Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 1 2001, page 57-71.
Opponents of the citizen’s income have declared it to be unfair, because it represents a breach with certain principles: 1.You must contribute if you want to obtain benefits. To get income transfers you must work. 2. Rights are linked to responsibilities. Citizen’s income is seen as a right without an obligation, a right to income without an obligation to make oneself available for a job on the labour market. Citizen’s income is said to be unfair, whereas ‘activation’ is seen to be fair because rights are combined with obligations.
At some abstract linguistic level, these two principles are obviously right, and so they can be seen as an indication of some basic norms of justice in all societies. But, when it comes to understanding in principal how contemporary society function and to the specific interpretation of these principles in relation to the idea of citizen’s income and the policy of ‘activation’, there is fundamental disagreement.
The argument in the article is that the opponents of citizen’s income turn things upside down. The problem is not that citizen’s income violates these norms. The problem is that contemporary society does not live up to these norms. The solution to this problem might be an unconditional citizen’s income, because such a measure can help to ensure that these norms can function