Karl Widerquist turns libertarian arguments on their head in an argument for unconditional income
My reaction to the first minute or so was was "oh, this isn't a very good argument", but then I realized it wasn't quite what I thought.
Widerquist starts with the argument that nobody has the right to stand between someone else and the resources they need in order to survive. If someone is starving, and I have food, I don't have the right to prevent them from taking it.
Marketists (aka "libertarians") phrase this as a "positive obligation", which they believe only exists as the result of a voluntary contract: If you see someone who is dying, and you have a resource which could save them, you have no obligation to act to give it to them unless you signed a contract in which you agreed to that obligation.
He argues that this is actually a negative obligation, which marketists do believe in: You have the obligation not to prevent someone from taking life-saving resources from you if they need them.
He also provides evidence that this right is pretty much universally acknowledged worldwide except with regard to poverty in the US. (It also strikes me as a pretty basic principle for a humane society.)
He also notes that the idea of "property" basically imposes a positive obligation on society (to defend that property). If society can be obligated without its consent, then how is it unfair for society to obligate the property owner in return (e.g. taxes)? He suggests that taxes are fair payment for the obligation imposed on society.
He also makes the point that capitalism and the work ethic are mutually contradictory (unless applied using a double standard, which is how they generally get away with it -- they've basically redefined "work" to mean "helping someone else to become richer").
Basic income is not "something for nothing". It's something in exchange for each person's share of the obligations imposed on them by property owners.
Overall, there are some very good arguments here, mixed in with some weaker arguments, with presentation not as smooth as it might be -- but still well worthwhile.
(This post was adapted from G+.)