...And Economic Justice for All: Welfare Reform for the 21st Century

By Michael L. Murray | Go to book overview
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8
The Guaranteed Adequate Income Proposal

So, reader, I suppose about now you're saying: "Enough why's. It's time for how." OK. It's time to suggest how this theoretically appealing idea is to be implemented. I do so under three headings. First, there is a listing of the nonnegotiable elements; second, a discussion of the other variables which can be the subject of democratic debate; and finally, a description of just how the GAI is to operate.


THE NONNEGOTIABLES

When I refer to some components as "nonnegotiable" it is not because I have a desire to dictate. Rather, it is because without these elements, the plan loses its raison d'être. This will become clearer as I discuss the components themselves.


A Share, Not a Gift

This is the basic premise of the guaranteed adequate income. Those who have control of the wealth of the country commit themselves to share it. Those who receive a payment are neither getting a gift nor are they on welfare or public assistance. They are simply receiving their share.


Universal Entitlement

Who is entitled to receive this share? Everyone! I cannot emphasize this too strongly. This includes you, it includes me, it includes disabled persons and able-bodied, it includes mothers of small children, fathers of older children, the children themselves, criminals, mentally retarded, lazy geniuses, street people, managers, owners of businesses, doctors,

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