ref.: Goldsmith, Michael (1998) "Universal Basic Income and its Critics: a Reply to Preston ",
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand 10:33-35 (June).

© 1998 Social Policy Agency of the Dept. of Social Welfare.

Universal Basic Income and its Critics:
a Reply to Preston

Michael Goldsmith


I am pleased that David Preston responded to the essays by Keith Rankin and myself in the last issue of this journal and grateful to the editor for allowing me the right of reply. Most of Preston's criticisms are refutable. Let me first deal with two of his final comments on my paper, however, as they potentially have more purchase than the rest:

    1. the essay was explicitly submitted as a companion piece to Keith Rankin's paper which addresses economic issues in spades;
    2. I believe that contentious philosophical issues are inevitable in debates over social and economic policy. If citizenship is not a philosophical---and social and political and cultural---issue, I don't know what is. I would also add that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in Preston's philosophy.

The remaining criticisms are relatively minor:


References cited

Munnell, Alicia H. (ed.)
1986 Lessons From the Income Maintenance Experiments. Boston: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. (Conference Series, No. 30.)

Parker, Hermione
1989 Instead of the Dole. London: Routledge.

Van Parijs, Philippe
1991 Why Surfers Should Be Fed: The Liberal Case for an Unconditional Basic Income. Philosophy and Public Affairs 20(2): 101-31.