CITIZENS OR WORKERS? BASIC INCOME V. WELFARE-TO-WORK POLICIES

Author: 

Professor Jose Antonio Noguera

One of the main aims of the welfare states that were built in post- war Europe was undoubtedly to guarantee basic economic security from the cradle to the grave for the whole population. The pillars upon which these projects rested were full male employment, a patriarchal nuclear family, a system of conditional monetary benefits for securing income in defined situations, and a set of public universal in-kind services (like education or health). At that time, social and economic citizenship was strongly anchored in formal employment, and its definition was biased in an androcentric way. At the same time, social protection and public income guarantees were consistently divided into two separate levels: a ‘first-class’ or contributory one, which was expected to replace wages in situations such as involuntary unemployment, sickness, or old age, and a ‘second-class’, non-contributory one, which was activated only when insufficient participation in the labor market had not raised rights of the first type, or had exhausted them (as in cases of poverty, long-term unemployment, insufficient contribution-records, or others). View More