Agathotopy: freedom, equality and efficiency
The article tells about the travel made in 1988 by the Nobel laureate economist
James Edward Meade to the island of Utopia, a Perfect Place to live in. After much
effort, he could find the island Nowhere. However, on his way home, he found the island
of Agathotopia, a Good Place for people who made no claim for perfection to live in. After
studying the social arrangements of Agathotopia, Meade returned to his country convinced
that those arrangements were the best to attain the objectives of Liberty, Equality and
Efficiency. In Agathotopia there is much flexibility of prices and wages, a great deal of interaction
and partnership between capital and labor and a social dividend or a guaranteed
minimum income for all citizens. Meade has been proposing the social dividend since 1935,
after interacting with many other economists who have contributing to the idea of a guaranteed
minimum income or different forms of a negative income tax. The proposal is now
being discussed by the Brazilian National Congress.
JEL Classification: I38; O23.
Keywords: Universal basic income income distribution inequality