Libertarianism and Basic-Income Guarantee: Friends or Foes?

  • Juan Ramón RalloEmail author
Original Paper


The Basic-Income Guarantee is a governmental programme of income redistribution that enjoys an increasing predicament among academic and political circles. Traditionally, the philosophical defence for this programme has been articulated from the standpoint of social liberalism, republicanism, or communism. Recently, however, libertarian philosopher Matt Zwolinski also tried to reconcile the Basic-Income Guarantee scheme with libertarian ethics. To do so, he resorted to the Lockean proviso: to the extent that the institutionalization of private property impoverishes certain people by depriving their access to natural resources, these people deserve compensation and the most pragmatic way of providing this is through a Basic-Income Guarantee. This paper examines Zwolinski’s arguments and responds by demonstrating that the Basic-Income Guarantee is incompatible with libertarian ethics: the current levels of poverty are not caused by the institutionalization of private property and the Basic-Income Guarantee does not constitute a pragmatic approach to eradicate poverty.


Basic-Income Guarantee Libertarianism Redistribution 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Juan Ramón Rallo declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

No humans were involved, and therefore, informed consent was not needed.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsIE UniversityMadridSpain

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