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Tax, Inequality, and Human Rights$
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Philip G. Alston and Nikki R. Reisch

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190882228

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190882228.001.0001

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Taxation, Human Rights, and a Universal Basic Income

Taxation, Human Rights, and a Universal Basic Income

(p.553) Chapter 25 Taxation, Human Rights, and a Universal Basic Income
Tax, Inequality, and Human Rights

Philip Alston

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter explores the arguments for and against a universal basic income (UBI) in light of the provisions of international human rights law. To appreciate the significance of a UBI, at least in its comprehensive and ideal form, it is important to note that it is explicitly designed to challenge most of the key assumptions underpinning traditional social security systems. The most committed proponents of UBI proclaim their approach to be utopian, not in the sense of being unrealistic or unachievable, but as providing a highly ambitious, sweeping, and progressive vision. Meanwhile, critics or skeptics who raise objections based on unaffordability, the unacceptability of unconditionality, or the unrealistic change in mentality required will often be dismissed as unimaginative defenders of an obviously unsatisfactory status quo.

Keywords:   universal basic income, international human rights, social security systems, human rights, taxation, human rights law

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