The income guarantee system of Basic Income (BI) has been attracting
attentions. BI provides same amount of money for anybody,
instead of an income guarantee as a system of public assistance--that is,
choosing the poor through a means test. BI has been recently discussed widely in Japan.
Here, I would like to introduce books on BI which were published within the last two years.
Those who would like to have the overall picture of discussions on BI in
Japan are recommended to read the Part 3 "Statements over BI in Japan" of Basic Income: Possibility of the
Minimal State that Distributes which was written by Shin'ya Tateiwa and Taku Saito (Seidosha, 2010). This part outlines the literature on BI in Japan,
and it is summarized by Saito with his viewpoint.
Such variety of people are for BI, although they
differ from opinions concerning other issues. Why is that so? Some people are for BI because this system can support
the living of such people as the ones who have been neglected in the present social
support net of public assistant and had difficulty living their lives. Other people support BI,
expecting BI can provide a more efficient and economical system with
much less troublesome administration works. These two ideas may not
be quite different. Yet it seems that they are quite
different approaches to me. Of course, it depends on what kind(s) of taxes is (are) used for its resources, and how much amount of BI should be provided.
On the other hand, there is a criticism that BI unfairly benefits those who can work but will not work. I discussed some basic points on BI in the
Part 1 "The Way to Distribute in this World" of my above book.
In 2009, Toru Yamamori published Introduction to
Basic Income: Considering Basic Income with Unconditional
Benefits (Kobunsha). The book is read by many people,
partly because this is an easy-to-read paperback pocket edition.
Yamamori describes in this book that the idea of BI is not a new
idea, but it has been discussed by many thinkers and has been
demanded by variety of people who have been neglected by social
security systems in the world.
Soon after that, Toshiaki Tachibanaki and Toru Yamamori published
Which can save the poor, social security reform or basic
income? (Jinbun Shoin). In this book, two authors debate
from different positions; Tachibanaki as a famous economist who
believes the existing system should be reformed, and Yamamori as a
promoter of introduction of BI.
Then Gendai Shiso features "Basic Income: Its Demanders" in June
2010. This feature includes contribution from Shunji Ozawa, who
introduced BI to Japan for the first time with its practicality. The
feature also includes articles on BI from different standpoints, such as
single mothers, people with diabilities, or students. Kumiko Makino writes on
BI in South Africa, and Yamamori and Tateiwa discuss how each should accept each idea and go
toward the future.
Lastly, I would like to introduce Philippe Van Parijs's, Real Freedom
for All-What (if Anything) Can Justify Capitalism? although it
may be difficult for the general public to read. Reiko Gotoh and Taku Saito translated it into the Japanese version (Keiso Shobo, 2009).
I had some questions on Van Parijs's ideas, so I discuss the points in my
book with Saito. Still, we should appreciate Van Parijs, who is one
of the founding members of international network of BI, especially on
his appeal to maximize BI, under some cases many discuss BI as a system to reduce
budget by cutting other systems.
◆Gendai Shiso 38-8(2010-6)
June 1, 2010
Cover Stories "Basic Income: Its Demanders"
Seidosha, 229p. ISBN-10: 4791712145 ISBN-13: 978-4791712144
1,300 yen ［amazon］／［kinokuniya］ ※
◆TATEIWA Shin'ya and SAITO Taku April 10, 2010 Basic Income: Possibility of the
Minimal State that Distributes (『ベーシックインカム――分配す
る最小国家の可能性――分配する最少国家の可能性』), Seidosha, ISBN-10:
4791765257 ISBN-13: 978-4791765256 2310 ［amazon］／［kinokuniya］ ※ bi.
◆TACHIBANAKI Toshiaki and YAMAMORI Toru November 20, 2009
Which Can Save the Poor: Social Security Reform or Basic
革か、ベーシック・インカムか』), Jinbun Shoin, 302p. ISBN-10:
4409240846 ISBN-13: 978-4409240847 2100 ［amazon］／［kinokuniya］ ※ bi.
◆Van Parijs, Philippe 1995 Real
Freedom for All-What (if Anything) Can Justify Capitalism?,
Oxford University Press.
=Translation by GOTOH Reiko and SAITO Taku, December 10, 2009 Basic Income no Tetsugaku-Subete no
Hito ni Riaru na Jiyu wo Keiso Shobo, 494p. ISBN-10:
432610192X ISBN-13: 978-4326101924 6,000 yen ［amazon］／［kinokuniya］ ※
◆YAMAMORI Toru February 20, 2009 Introduction to Basic Income:
Considering Basic Income with Unconditional Benefits （『ベーシック・インカム入
門――無条件給付の基本所得を考える』）, Kobunsha, 296p. ISBN-10:
4334034926 ISBN-13: 978-4334034924 882yen [amazon]/[kinokuniya]
Translation by :HIRAGA Midori
Proofread by :KATAOKA Minoru