A basic income guarantee (basic income, citizen’s income) is a proposed system of social security that regularly provides each citizen with a sum of money unconditionally. In contrast to income redistribution between nations themselves, the phrase basic income defines payments to individuals rather than households, groups, or nations, in order to provide for individual basic human needs. Except for citizenship, a basic income is entirely unconditional. Furthermore, there is no means test; the richest as well as the poorest citizens would receive it. The U.S. Basic Income Network emphasizes this absence of means testing in its precise definition, "The Basic Income Guarantee is an unconditional, government-insured guarantee that all citizens will have enough income to meet their basic needs."
Basic income is related to the concept of a social dividend, and is one of the proposed means for distributing the surplus value or economic profits created by socially-owned enterprises in a hypothetical socialist economy.
Basic income guarantee is not to be confused with Guaranteed minimum income, a similar concept where the income that is received may be conditional upon participating in government enforced labor or other conditional means testing. Basic income guarantee is distinct in that the only requirement for receiving it is to be a citizen of the country.
In everyday usage, the phrase basic income is often inaccurately conflated with means tested guaranteed minimum income alternatives such as a negative income tax. A basic income of any amount less than the social minimum is referred to as a partial basic income.
Similar proposals for "capital grants provided at the age of majority" date to Thomas Paine's Agrarian Justice of 1795, there paired with asset-based egalitarianism.
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... Cook also proposed a national dividend, sometimes known as a Basic Income Guarantee or "BIG", was advocated in the United States by economists, politicians and reformers, including Thomas Paine, Milton ... Friedman originally proposed a negative income tax to support this system, but then opposed the bill because its revised implementation would have merely supplemented rather than replacing existing tax-structures. 5257, proposed a basic income guarantee ...
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