Democrats Push Basic Income for All
Published : August 3, 2018
The Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) explains that “a basic income is a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without means-test or work requirement.”
While the universal basic income idea is a relatively new one on the political front, it has its origins in antiquity. From Sir Thomas More to Thomas Paine, there have been a number of advocates throughout history for a minimum income guaranteed by the government. Bertrand Russell, famous atheist philosopher and author of The Proposed Roads to Freedom sums up the underlying idea of the UBI perfectly.
“A certain small income, sufficient for necessaries, should be secured to all, whether they work or not… no one should be compelled to work, and those who choose not to work should receive a bare livelihood and be left completely free,” he wrote in his 1918 book. In Russell’s analysis, whether you work or not, you will be given a basic income while remaining free to do whatever you want. How lovely.
This Universal Basic Income idea is becoming so popular that a number of Democrat and socialist politicians are including it in their speeches, political platforms, and even implementing it into city legislation.
Just last month former president Barack touted his economic ideas in his South Africa speech. Andrew Yang, founder of Venture for America and 2020 Democrat presidential candidate, has declared one of his main campaign goals to be that all American citizens between the ages of 18 and 64 be given $1,000 a month. Yang said that as president he will ensure Americans received this “Freedom Dividend.”
“The most direct and concrete way for the government to improve your life is to send you a check for $1,000 every month and let you spend it in whatever manner will benefit you the most,” Yang’s campaign website states. “The government is not capable of a lot of things, but it is capable of sending large numbers of checks to large numbers of people promptly and reliably.”
In Chicago, America’s third largest city, Alderman Ameya Pawar (D) is trying to convince Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) that they should begin UBI as soon as possible. Soon, the Democrat-controlled bankrupt city of Stockton, Calif. will become the first in the country to participate in a test of the Universal Basic Income. Stockton, with a population of more than 300,000 and with a about a 25 percent poverty rate “will give 100 residents $500 a month for 18 months, no strings attached.”
Chicago and Stockton should take advice from the good intensions of the socialist government of Finland, which just recently ended its experiment with UBI.
“Many people in Finland — and in other lands — chafe at the idea of handing out cash without requiring that people work,” wrote Peter S. Goodman in an April 2018 article for the New York Times.
Just like Karl Marx’s dismal understanding of economics and how human beings really work, UBI socialists and progressive social engineers fail to understand human nature and the negative effect that so-called free money will have on self-respect and the incentive for self-improvement. Just like communism and socialism, the Universal Basic Income does not empower the poor; it turns them into wards of the state.
As with other socialistic “pie in the sky” ideas, it creates and perpetuates widespread sloth tendencies, increased crime and drug use, and a lifetime of dependency that is always looking for someone else’s money in the mail. It does not take a doctorate degree in economics to understand that if you pay people to do nothing, that is exactly what they will do.