I really don’t understand how the left can consider themselves intellectuals.
They walk around with this smug self-rightesousness, this air of superiority because they believe themselves to be not just smarter people, but better people.
They are a perennial study in failure.
And it’s not because their ideas are cutting edge and untested.
They are nothing but regurgitated social and fiscal theories that were proposed every decade for the last couple centuries.
There’s nothing original to their philosophy. Nothing.
And now, with the most progressive president in the history of the United States in his second term, they have the spine to simply come out and propose something that’s been tried over and over again.
Some call it a “redistribution of wealth,” other say “to each according to their need, from each according to their ability.”
The folks at Slate call it a “basic income.” Basically, the brilliant idea is to take money from the rich people and give it to the poor people.
Because that’ll fix everything!
A simple idea for eliminating poverty is garnering greater attention in recent weeks: automatically have the government give every adult a basic income.
Simple, they say.
And they believe it:
How would it work?
It’s exactly how it sounds. The government would mail every American over the age of 21 a check each month. That’s it. Everyone is free to do what they like with it.
Say, that is simple.
Here’s what it looks like in the mind of an American leftist:
Artist rendition of leftist economic theory.
This is from the mind of the supposed intellectual class. The government would just send people checks. What’s hard to understand about that?
Can you understand my irritated disbelief at their arrogance?
Now any intelligent person knows the government has to take everything they give away. That’s the only way they have money to give away. They use force to take someone’s property and give it to someone else.
But, in the mind of a leftist, it’s not that messy. First, you get rid of every state and federal benefit and replace it with a minimum income.
Then, you start taxing the crap out of businesses:
The CBO found that a carbon tax would bring in nearly $100 billion a year for instance.
Um, geniuses, who do you think is going to pay that carbon tax?
Let’s ask President Obama:
That will cost money…they will pass that money on to the consumers.
Consumers, for those leftists reading this, means the people you want to just give checks to. So, while you’re giving them a check, you’re simultaneously increasing their energy costs.
How do you fix that? More taxes?
No, you know what you’ll do. You’ll either reimplement the benefits you cut, like SNAP, or most likely, you won’t cut them in the first place.
But, in the fantasy world of the leftist, where basic economics doesn’t exist, everything would be fine, because no one would be living in poverty. Plus, this somehow gives employees leverage to get higher wages, because rainbows and unicorns and stuff:
Americans would have greater leverage to demand higher wages and better working conditions from their employer thanks to the increased income security. Families could allow one parent to take time off to raise their kids. Eliminating the numerous different government welfare programs would also lead to efficiency gains as adults would simply receive their check in the mail and not have to waste time filling out paperwork at numerous different offices.
Here’s what that looks like:
And, in this world, there are no drawbacks to this.
No, really. That’s what these giants of intellect tell each other:
a basic income is just that: basic. Most adults would continue to work to earn extra money. The employment effects would not be non-existent and there may be an increase in part-time work. As Lowrey points out, different studies have found the disincentive effects on work are not as strong as economists feared.
But what effect would this have on the price of goods? Would it cause an increase in prices? Of course it would. We’ve already discussed that. So if prices go up, the baseline for poverty goes up. Now people who don’t have a job to supplement their “basic income” need more “income.” So people start to ask, “Why are we giving rich people a basic income? They don’t need it. We should stop giving it to them and give it to the poor people instead.”
This that won’t happen? Think again:
Today’s wealthiest Americans have the same opportunity to put their country’s interests before their own. Politicians should not shy away from asking them to put forth not their lives but what are, for them, their modest Social Security checks.
That’s the Washington Post, not some far left fringe blog. These ideas are being discussed in the mainstream, right now. Never mind that they were forced to pay into the system. The rich should give up their Social Security checks.
This is exactly what would happen with a “basic income program.” You know I’m right.
This isn’t a fix for poverty. This is the most glaring example of leftist arrogance there is. The idea that they can, from a central location, dictate the standard of living for every citizen in the United States, is megalomaniacal.
There is a force in this world that can raise people out of poverty. It’s succeeded every time it’s been tried.
It’s capitalism. And it works.