A Capital Idea. Start-up Grants for Young People, by David Nissan and Julian Le Grand

Fabian Society (11 Dartmouth Street, London SW1H 9BN, www.fabian-society.org.uk), ‘Second Term Thinking’, February 2000, 16p, £7.50. (Second author’s address: London School of Economics, Houghton St. London WC2A 2AE)
In the same vein but more modestly than Ackerman and Alstott’s Stakeholder Society (Yale U.P. 1999), this is a lucid and firm plea for a universal yet conditional grant of about 15.000 Euros to be paid to all young people at the age of 18, to be funded by an inheritance tax and to be used for education purposes, as a down-payment on a house or as start-up capital for a business venture. Quite a distance from an unconditional basic income! But some arguments will sound familiar to basic income supporters, for example the “fundamental reason for a universal grant”: “Everyone born into a developed country benefits from a share in a common inheritance: a set of capital assets, including buildings and other infrastructure, transport links, capital equipment and agricultural land.”