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Welfare State

Silicon Valley Wants a Government Allowance for Everyone

Written by Joe Scudder

A government allowance will make us all into entrepreneurs rather than lazy slobs, they assure us.

Advocates of the government allowance, or a “universal basic income,” include more than just Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

These welfare advocates want us all to get free money from the government. The most obvious flaw in this plan is never even mentioned: An increase in the money supply will cause an increase in price inflation reducing the value of the income.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports, “Why universal basic income is gaining support, critics.

The idea of a universal basic income — monthly cash payments from the government to every individual, working or not, with no strings attached — is gaining traction, thanks in part to endorsements from Silicon Valley celebs.

 

“I think ultimately we will have to have some kind of universal basic income, I don’t think we are going to have a choice,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the World Government Summit in Dubai in February.

The article describes different rationales for a government allowance. Like Zuckerberg, some people in Tech insist it will produce a nation of innovators rather than deadbeats.

Zipcar founder Robin Chase, now a speaker and author, said universal income would encourage and reward important work that “does not get monetized,” such as child care and volunteer work. It would also spur business creation. “I had the luxury of taking risks because I had a husband who had a full-time job with health care. A majority of the population cannot take any risks in pursuing innovation or higher-value, non-remunerative things.”

To the San Francisco Chronicle’s credit, the article ends with a dose of economic reality from a critic:

Jason Furman, who chaired Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, doesn’t like guaranteed jobs or guaranteed income. Furman, now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, said universal income suffers from three problems.

Two reasons are: (1) that targeted or conditional welfare is better and (2) that a government allowance would be too expensive.

Finally, he said, “I believe there is no reason that people can’t be employed in the future. We have thousands of years of experience of technological progress not leading” to mass unemployment. He pointed out that technologically advanced countries do not have higher unemployment rates than those that are less advanced.

This should give us reason not to panic about being replaced by robots.

“We should put more effort into how to create jobs and prepare people for jobs in the future,” he said. Universal basic income “is giving up on work and giving up on people. I’m not prepared to do that.”

Not only is it “giving up on people,” but it will encourage people to give up on themselves. They will figure there is no way they can improve their situations. One might wonder how a government allowance would benefit Silicon Valley if everyone is spending all their time surfing the internet and buying overpriced junk online.

In my opinion, the real reason these elites want universal basic income is to bribe people to stay poor. Stephan Molyneux spells out the strategy in the video below, starting at 18:32.

Read the full article.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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