Chapter

Justifying a minimum income guarantee: the right to personal development

Amilcar Moreira

in The activation dilemma

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420466
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303695 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847420466.003.0003
Justifying a minimum income guarantee: the right to personal development

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This chapter aims to provide a normative framework to give an adequate justification of the right to a minimum income. Using the ontological frameworks proposed by John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx as terms of comparison, the first part of the chapter shows that Emile Durkheim's theory of social justice offers a theorisation of society, individual, and market from which an adequate justification of the right to minimum income can be derived. In line with Durkheim's theory of social justice, it is argued that each individual has the right to personal development which can be performed while carrying out a social function in society, such as paid employment, providing care to dependent family members, unpaid work in social economy organisations, and improving human capital through education or training. Securing this right means that social actors and institutions must: meet the basic consumption needs of every individual; remove any forms of constraints on the individual's choices on the best way to exploit their talents; provide opportunities for the individual to exploit their talents; and enforce through the use of restitutive sanctions an individual's obligation to exploit their talents to enable personal development of others. The last section of the chapter shows that, as it recognises that the right to a minimum income should be made conditional on the fulfilment of a contribution requirement, this requirement must be imposed in a context in which individuals have the opportunity to fulfil their obligations, and which recognises the variety of activities that make a contribution to society and that the right to personal development can provide an adequate justification of the right to a minimum income.

Keywords: minimum income; John Stuart Mill; Karl Marx; social justice; theorisation; personal development

Chapter.  7315 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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