A Basic Income Research Programme

It is a great vision, particularly popular among the political Left: that the citizen could enjoy the freedom of doing with his life whatever she wants. Work, make arts or devote oneself to family or the community. Of course, basic income would not bring with itself the total freedom, but it would make the unconstrained choice of one’s way of living much easier. So far the assumptions, at least. It would be interesting to know, however, whether and–if yes–how this idea can become reality. For so far the vision of basic income is not much more than that–a vision. A beautiful one, but largely lacking an empirical and scientific basis. Continue reading

The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz

A popular claim in modern economics (especially in its libertarian version) is that what people need to increase their own welfare is alternatives to choose between (consider the “love of variety” assumption in models of monopolistic competition). The distinguished psychologist Barry Schwartz questions the reason of this assumption: