Property and the power to say no : a freedom-based argument for basic income
This thesis examines the relationship between property and freedom in both the continuous sense of the word and the status sense of the word. Status freedom concerns the distinction between a free person and an unfree person. Continuous freedom concerns the continuum of liberties that make a person more or less free, whether they affect her status as a free person or not. Part One defines a status freedom as effective control self-ownership - the effective power to have and to refuse active cooperation with other willing people. It argues why this concept of freedom is important, situates it among the recent theories of freedom, and examines the conditions necessary to secure it. It concludes that a free person requires at least some unconditional access to property and that basic income is one way to secure that access. Part Two considers what kind of property-rights regime provides the greatest freedom in the continuous sense. It argues that Lockean and right-libertarian property theories fail to establish that full liberal ownership rights are consistent with the greatest freedom for all. It concludes that a payment from property owners to the propertyless in the form of an unconditional basic income from is necessary to establish property rights consistently with maximal equal freedom. Part Three examines whether social duties can take precedence over the commitment to effective control self-ownership and basic income proposed in the first two sections.