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No Malibu Surfer Left Behind: Three Tales About Market Coercion

  • Åsbjørn Melkevik (a1)

This article examines the question of private coercion in market societies, arguing for an unconditional basic income guarantee from a classical liberal viewpoint. It proposes three main arguments. First, classical liberals view the purpose of government to be the reduction of coercion, both public and private. Second, a proper understanding of the nature of coercion indicates that parties subject to certain types of hardship are being coerced. Third, where the total amount of coercion is reduced by eliminating the hardship, the classical liberal state must do so as to fulfill its purpose. Hence, this article argues that if the total amount of coercion in society can be reduced by the state employing the amount of coercion necessary to maintain an unconditional basic income guarantee, then the classical liberal state is obligated to maintain such a guarantee by its underlying justification.

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