San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Monday, March 27, 2017

Universal Basic Income

Here is a great idea whose time has come.  Please allow me to introduce universal basic income.  Do you know what it is?  Let me tell you about it.   I am so excited by this new concept I can hardly stop my hands from shaking as I execute my key strokes while writing this blog post. According to this article, "...universal basic income (UBI), is currently one of the most hotly debated policy topics being floated as a means to address income inequality and the disruption that technology poses to the workforce....Advocates for UBI argue that a guaranteed paycheck could serve as a way to fight poverty and uncertainty in an evolving U.S. economy, and encourage workers to take more risks in the job market if they had some extra money as a cushion....The idea has gained prominent backers such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who recently told CNBC he supported UBI — joining a growing list of tech execs who've voiced support for the concept as a solution to unemployment that will be caused by future automation — the rise of the robots....Well-known libertarian Charles Murray agreed, saying that by the government eliminating spending on some programs, thereby generating revenue to spend elsewhere, 'we can afford to do this in America.'"
I can't see how anything can possibly go wrong with a government program guaranteeing all of the hard working families of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika an annual income, can you?  After all, we all know income inequality is a major social problem in our noble and free country these days.  Giving everyone free money will go a long way towards solving that immoral state of affairs.  We also know that evil profit seeking corporations care nothing about people and are gleefully laying employees off in favor of using robots that can perform the same tasks as the people previously employed.  It makes me so angry as I think about how evil those corporations are.  As a caring and compassionate nation we have to ask what is to be done with the poor souls who find themselves out of work due to the presence of robots. What should be done?  Give them a guaranteed annual income of course!  Why didn't I think of this?  I could have become King of the SDA if only I had been the first to come up with this amazingly brilliant idea.
As I consider the history of this country I realize that a guaranteed annual income could have kept horse and buggy drivers, as well as buggy whip manufacturers, in business right down to this very day.  Not only that, all of those poor family farms that have been forced into bankruptcy by the rapacious activities of corporate farms would still be with us if only they could have received an annual payment from the government.  The good folks who made console televisions complete with cathode ray tube screens would still be working as well, if only the career politicians of this land had had the foresight to guarantee their incomes before they found themselves out of a job.  I can think of so many noble career paths that would still exist today if a guaranteed annual income had been paid decades ago.  Telephone operators, telegraph operators, blacksmiths, sanitation engineers who followed horses around scooping up the manure they inelegantly left behind, milkmen who delivered a gallon of fresh milk to your door each day and soothsayers who could diagnose your physical ailment by reading the entrails of a goat  would all still be with us today if they had only received a guaranteed annual income. 
Skeptics claim that when people are paid not to work they will not work.  Skeptics are stupid.  I believe we all know that the noble human spirit is embiggened (if you do not believe that is a word, look it up in the Simpsons dictionary) by free cash payments from the government, motivating hard working families to go forth and work even harder.  Nothing makes me want to go to work more than free cash.  The moment a bag of cash is deposited on my front porch I immediately begin thinking about how to invest it into ventures that will serve the needs of humanity in a compassionate and inclusive fashion.  And I know I am just like everyone else.  Free cash for everyone will unleash a torrent of human kindness resulting in the creation of  environmentally friendly sustainable solutions for all of mankind's problems.
So I say a hearty "Yes" to universal basic income.  It does not matter that I do not know how it will be paid for.  It does not matter that I do not know where the government will get the money to do it.  It does not matter that inflation will be the inevitable result.  It does not matter that taxes will have to be increased on the evil rich (they don't pay their fair share anyway).  It does not matter that no other government give-away has ever worked.  All that matters is that universal basic income is an idea whose time has come.  Now, where do I sign up to get mine?

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