Fair Reciprocity Essay

712 Words3 Pages
This essay will identify and discuss Stuart White’s 6 conditions for the structuring of fair social intuitions in light of the basic income debate. Stuart White generated a 6-part theory for the structuring of fair social institutions, that builds upon Rawls (1921-2002) theory on justice as fairness (White, 2012 p.129). White’s theory is based on the notion of fair reciprocity; this is defined as an obligation that individuals who possess a higher than average share of social benefits correspondingly owe the individuals who possess less, a contribution of their benefits (White, 2003 p.91).

White discusses the rights and obligations that individuals should possess in his theory of justice as fair reciprocity. The notion of fair reciprocity
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White finds several strong arguments in favour of basic income from the point of fair reciprocity. First, improving the minimum wage would allow workers to rely less on their wages for day-to-day survival and possibly improve labour market employment opportunities, thus meeting the first core commitment- non-immiseration. Secondly, implementation of a basic income would allow some individuals to continue to make other contributions to society that weren’t adequately acknowledged and compensated for by society to begin with, which acknowledges White’s third core commitment- work as a challenge. Thirdly, the implementation of basic income would put pressure on employers to improve the quality of their employee positions, increasing the opportunity to satisfy the third core condition- achieving self-actualization in work. Lastly, a basic income would create a safe guard against income exploitation, fulfilling White’s core condition two (White, 2003 pp.155-156). In conclusion, White articulates 6 conditions that he believes are required in order to structure and maintain a fair social institution utilising the example of the Australian welfare system in regards to the introduction of a basic
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