Skip to comments.5 reasons to consider a no-strings-attached, basic income for all Americans
Posted on 03/20/2014 2:14:19 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
What if you could receive a guaranteed basic yearly income with no strings attached? Didnt matter how much money you made now, or in the future. Nobody would ask about your job status or how many kids you have. The check would arrive in the mailbox, no matter what.
Sounds like a far-fetched idea, right? Wrong. All over the world, people are talking guaranteeing basic incomes for citizens as a viable policy.
Half of all Canadians want it. The Swiss have had a referendum on it. The American media is all over it: The New York Times Annie Lowrey considered basic income as an answer to an economy that leaves too many people behind, while Matt Bruenig and Elizabeth Stoker of theAtlantic wrote about it as a way to reduce poverty.
The idea is not new: In his final book, Martin Luther King Jr. suggested that guaranteeing people money without requiring them to do anything in exchange was a good way for Americans to share in prosperity. In the 1960s and early 1970s, many in the U.S. gave the idea serious consideration. Even Richard Nixon supported a version of it. But by 1980, the political tide shifted to the right and politicians moved their talking points to unfettered markets and individual gain from sharing the wealth and evening the playing field.
Advocates say its an idea whose time has finally come. In a world of chronic job insecurity, stagnant wages, boom-and-bust cycles that wipe out ordinary people through no fault of their own, and shredded social safety nets, proponents warn that we have to come up with a way to make sure people can survive regardless of work status or economic conditions. Here are five reasons they give as to why a guaranteed basic income might just be the answer.
(Excerpt) Read more at salon.com ...
We already have this. It is a combination of Earned Income Credit and about 140 welfare programs. Working the “system” one can take in $52,000 here in MA. Your state may vary.
We may just as well all become drug addicts with govt as our pusher.
This idea, of course is ridiculous.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted curly hair. Never dreamed it would be this awful.
That’s hilarious. Thank you for such a good laugh (in the face of disaster). : ) : (
Just... wow. Are people really that stupid?
First of all, money has no intrinsic value. Its worth is derived as a consequence of the fact that we use it to barter indirectly for goods and services, because indirect barter is a lot more efficient than direct barter.
Money handed to people with no strings attached is worth exactly as much as the effort they put into earning that money. In other words, it’s worthless.
“Share in Prosperity”.........just another name for thievery
Barbara Parramore with her daughter, AlterNet Senior Editor Lynn Stuart Parramore.
Strange logic. Actually, it spends exactly the same as any other money, whether it's individual or corporate welfare.
Hugin, I would disagree with you here. For about one year it will send like any other money. And then inflation will take care of it. To put it simply, the price of milk and everything else will adjust to 10.00 to compensate for the new cost of living.
It’s a very simple concept. Nothing is Without Cost. Somebody pays for Everything.
Milton Friedman demonstrated that capitalism is the best vehicle to lift people out of poverty but Progressives will never stop chewing on the socialism bone.
Sounds like a far-fetched idea, right? Wrong. All over the world, people are talking guaranteeing basic incomes for citizens as a viable policy.
And if all over the world people are talking about jumping off a bridge...?
No, the logic is not strange.
Money handed to people in exchange for nothing is worth exactly that. Of course they can spend it, because other people have produced goods and services, which imparts some of the value of those goods and services to the money. In turn, the value of the money is diluted by the amount of money handed out in exchange for nothing.
Maybe it would be easier to understand if I push the description to the limit. Imagine if all people were receiving a guaranteed minimum income, and no one were working. In the absence of goods and services, how much would that money be worth? Could any quantity of money, no matter how large, substitute for the absence of goods and services?
Sure, but milk would still be ten dollars for everyone, regardless of where your money came from.
No, the price of the milk would inflate to adjust for the fact that more money is available to buy it, but the quantity of milk did not increase.
Not only will the payout be continually increased in a futile attempt to keep up with inflation but taxes will begin to approach and, at the margins, exceed 100%.
At that point, most of us will only go to work at the point of a gun.
I think that people who believe these schemes can work do not have an understanding of basic physics and are mathematically illiterate.
In 1620 Plymouth Plantation was founded with a system of communal property rights. Everybody got what they wanted from the labor of others.
They nearly starved to death because no one wanted to do the hard work of turning the land, planting the see and harvesting the crops.
Three years later this utopia was ditched, every family was assigned a parcel of land and told to provide for your self.
Wasn’t it George Santayana who said that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it?
“Americans now have more computer power in their smart phones than did the Pentagon in all its computer banks just 30 years ago. We board a sophisticated jet and assume that the flight is no more dangerous than crossing the street.
The downside of this complete reliance on computer gadgetry is a fundamental ignorance of what technology is. Smart machines are simply the pumps that deliver the water of knowledge not knowledge itself.
What does it matter that millions of American students can communicate across thousands of miles instantly with their iPads and iPhones if a poorly educated generation increasingly has little to say?
The latest fad of near-insolvent universities is to offer free iPads to students so that they can access information more easily. But what if most undergraduates still have not been taught to read well or think inductively, or to have some notion of history? Speeding up their ignorance is not the same as imparting wisdom. Requiring a freshman Latin course would be a far cheaper and wiser investment in mastering language, composition, and inductive reasoning than handing out free electronics................”
So everybody, the wino with the cardboard sign asking for donation up to Bill Gates gets a check for thirty grand a year regardless of any othe source of income. Who’s paying it? Where’s it coming from? Are these people so delusional as to believe we can just print it? If the government can do that, stop collecting taxes and just print what you need.
I notice the author claims Milton Friedman supported this idea. I doubt it, but I could see how he might say that it would be better than what you point out we have now.
First, it wouldn’t punish people for working, at least not directly. And since there would be (supposedly) no strings attached, you wouldn’t need the millions of federal, state and local administrators to run it. It’s possible it could save enough on administration to make up for paying all those extra checks, while encouraging poor people to work and save.
But of course, “no strings attached” would never happen. The nature of government is to attach strings to everything we do. The morality police on the left and right would demand that the money be tracked and not allowed to be used on whatever vices they deemed unacceptable. And the left and some on the right would complain about “the rich” getting subisdies, and those who worked hard to get ahead would find their “mincome” taxed or otherwise reduced, and once again government would be in the business of punishing success and subsidizing failure.
I didn’t say money wouldn’t inflate. But the value would have nothing to do with whether it was earned or given to someone, which is what you said.
Why yes. And Howie Carr was on a screed a while back that this fact combined with the Forensic Evidence being Jimmied ( let 10,000 perps go? ) and the Lawsuit that will probably involve the State of MA (i.e. their blessing of the Lab with the Tainted Injections) add up in a way to denote the Bay State is headed for real trouble. He also mentioned "Romneycare" is also squeezing budgets. With that said, how soon before MA is broke?
Something for Nothing - the oldest scam since the Dawn of Mankind.
Then you need to invade other countries and take what they have - take from people who produce and haven’t been turned into house plants.
“A government powerful enough to give you everything you want is powerful enough to take away everything you have”
The kind of poverty we have in the United States in 2014 isn't the kind of poverty that any amount of money can fix.
But who will work to generate the tax money to pay for those who are content to live off the “basis income?” Or, will the government just print the money to pass out?
Panem et Circenses. (Latin for Bread and Circuses.)
Widespread public support for this sort of economic magical-thinking is the inevitable result of letting the Left take control of the education of our children.
Nothing will get done because nobody will work.
——Just... wow. Are people really that stupid?——
The economic IQ in this country must be below 25....
How can anyone think this idea is even remotely viable must be brain dead....
Impossible. The money has to come from somewhere. "Strings" and consequences will always apply.
Similar to what the Fed is doing?
Friedman proposed a negative income tax.
We have pretty much achieved what he was talking about with earned income tax credits, food stamps, welfare, crazy money, section 8 housing. His plan was simpler. What we have done is provide millions of government jobs to administer 80 different income redistribution schemes.
The logical extension of that idea is that the same government that gives the money out (to people who allegedly need it) then turns around and does whatever it can to get the money right back. That's why lottery sales, for example, are highest in places where people live in poverty.
What the author of this article doesn't understand (among a lot of other things) is that poverty is usually the result of poor decision-making, not unfortunate circumstances. When Rodney King won a court settlement against the LAPD for nearly $4 million after he got his @ss beaten by a bunch of cops, he didn't suddenly become a rich man. He became a poor man with a lot of money ... which is why he ended up dead at the bottom of a swimming pool with alcohol and multiple narcotics in his system.
Sure but then people living on the basic guaranteed income couldn’t afford milk
So they would need more guaranteed income
then the price of milk would go to $15
Now multiply this by every item money buys- shelter utilities food transportation clothing medical care insurance-
Ok, let’s try to find something positive.
If we did this, but also got rid of all facets of government that provide “free stuff” - then slowly reduced the payout of the “basic income” over time.....
I know, it would never happen....
The Treasury Has Already Minted Two Trillion Dollar Coins
“5 reasons to consider a no-strings-attached, basic income for all Americans”
1) It will create a one-party state
2) It will increase crime
3) It will increase bastardy
4) It will increase poverty
5) It will ensure the final victory of communism
Well, there’s five right there! Didn’t take long, either.
From the Forbes article.
“In 2007, the monetary base the amount of money our government printed in its entire 231 years of existence totaled $800 billion. Today it totals $2.8 trillion.”
That's why the author mentioned Richard Nixon. He was the originator of the Earned Income Credit. He didn't get to stay around long enough to sign it into law, that "honor" fell to Gerald Ford.
All one has to do to understand what being “given” a “living” looks like, is to witness the rot produced in Democrat run inner cities - decades of nurturing dependency and generational welfare has crippled people, who now resort to destroying each other and their surroundings.
Argh! I’m not sure what about the proposal bothers me the most: the naively arrogant notion that there is a simple solution to complex problems or the complete lack of understanding of economic reality involved in this woman’s views.
Such a proposal is wrong, economically and, IMHO, morally. It is wrong for the following reasons:
-Somebody’s got to pay for that “basic income”, and it won’t be the people getting the money.
-There is always a “creep factor” in any government spending program. Over time, taxpayers will be expected to pony up more and more for less and less results.
-Sometimes, poverty is the result of poor decisions. If people choose not to save or to spend their money on frivolous things rather than invest in their future, what makes anyone think that handing out “free” money is going to do anything but reinforce that behavior?
-In fact, you might see an INCREASE in poverty in certain welfare cases. The author suggests replacing existing systems with this program. EBT, WIC and the like have restrictions in them to try to ensure the money and goods are spent on what it is intended for. We have also seen a lot of fraud and abuse in that area. Giving strings-free cash might work where everyone makes rational economic decisions, but in reality we’re likely to see a lot of this money blown in short order.
-Despite what the author argues, it will create a disincentive for workers. Not in working at all, perhaps, but in ambition. If I can work as a fast food worker, and, with my “basic income money” earn as much as someone who has learned a trade or gotten an education, why should I push myself to go further? Especially if that free money gets cut off at some income level?
-What we NEED is a re-evaluation of our trade policies, the Obama administration’s economic policies, and so on. The best way to address income equality is with real economic and job growth.
How high is rent in Ma.?
The single sane point of this scheme: the fed does have to inject cash into the economy to balance for population growth and productivity, else prices change because more people are pursuing a fixed pool of currency; best if the fed just hands it out evenly to everyone as positive cash instead of to banks which hoard it and distribute it as debt.
Also, if you’re going to have a welfare state, then just hand it out evenly to all instead of by bizarre rules executed by a deranged bureaucracy.
(I’m not advocating a federal reserve or welfare state. But if you’re gonna have them...)
This is the beginnings of the Morlocks and the Eloi.
Strange logic v. No logic.
Just who exactly would be inclined to produce anything in such a system?
Income redistribution invariably has negative aggregate economic consequences.
It can not be good for the economy.
Any arguments to the contrary are transparent sophistry.
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