Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory

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"Gijs van Donselaar"

Titel: In Company of the Funny Sunny Surfer off Malibu: A Response to Michael Howard (and Some Others)
Autor: Gijs van Donselaar
Seite: 305-317

In `Exploitation, Labor, and Basic Income´ Michael Howard undertakes to defend an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) as non-exploitative, and on a revised conception of what Marx called `exploitation´. Without taking issue with the revision itself, I point out that Howard, like many others, fails to defend UBI as non-exploitative. All his arguments fail to establish that the so-called `Surfer off Malibu´, a figure who is full-time dedicated to leisure, is not an exploiter in receiving UBI. The strategies to include him as a rightful recipient of a labor-free income rely on the (sometimes far-fetched) attribution of certain contingent features to him that would entitle him to compensation or reward, but that he might also not have. I argue that the best strategy for UBI-advocates is to admit that `slackers´ should be merely tolerated as non-deserving recipients, because the UBI-policy will otherwise have good effects. Finally, I raise some questions about these good effects, as they are conceived by UBI-advocates such as Howard.

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