Journal of Applied Philosophy 21 (3):257-270 (2004)

Serena Olsaretti
ICREA & Universitat Pompeu Fabra
In this paper we ask whether liberal egalitarians can endorse workfare policies that require that welfare recipients should work in return for their welfare benefits. In particular, we focus on the fairness-based case for workfare, which holds that people should be responsible for their own welfare since they would otherwise impose unfair costs on others. Two versions of the fairness-based case are considered: The first defends workfare on the grounds that it would form part of an unemployment insurance scheme that individuals would endorse under certain hypothetical conditions that are salient for the purposes of determining just public policy. The second appeals to the notion of reciprocity in order to justify the requirement that people work for their benefits. We cast doubt on both of these arguments for workfare. Neither argument shows that the unconditional provision of welfare benefits is unjust; hence, the fairness case for workfare is inconclusive.
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DOI 10.1111/j.0264-3758.2004.00280.x
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References found in this work BETA

"Sovereign Virtue" Revisited.Ronald Dworkin - 2002 - Ethics 113 (1):106-143.
Egalitarianism and the Undeserving Poor.Richard J. Arneson - 1997 - Journal of Political Philosophy 5 (4):327–350.
The Obligation to Work.Lawrence C. Becker - 1980 - Ethics 91 (1):35-49.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Dominating Effects of Economic Crises.Alexander Bryan - 2021 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 24 (6):884-908.
What Is Wrong with Conditional Cash Transfer Programs?Cristian Pérez-Muñoz - 2017 - Journal of Social Philosophy 48 (4):440-460.
The Slavery of the Not So Talented.Alexander Brown - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):185-196.

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