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Samizdata quote of the day – universal basic income disaster version

“some stories stand out. The one that confuses me is the call for Britain to trial some form of ‘universal basic income.’ What exactly do people think we’ve been doing for the past two years?”

Sam Ashworth Hayes, in the Daily Telegraph (£).

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – universal basic income disaster version

  • Sam Duncan

    Dunno. Whatever it is, I haven’t seen a penny of it.

  • Mark

    I don’t know about an income, but we all know what the universal outcome will be!

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Dunno. Whatever it is, I haven’t seen a penny of it.

    Well a lot of people have, as the article shows.

  • It’s a pretty harsh paywall, only offering a lines of the article.

  • bobby b

    “What exactly do people think we’ve been doing for the past two years?”

    Well, no one has really tried a true Universal Basic Income.


  • Scott Johnson

    You almost had me for a second 😉

  • Paul Marks.

    bobby b – “no one has really tried a true Universal Basic Income”.

    Well if you mean “universal” in the sense of the government openly giving a set amount of money to everyone, including millionaires, what you say is true (millionaires do get welfare – but it is via the Credit Money system, the “Cantillon Effect”, it is not a set amount of money per person), but a minimum income has often been tried – in various countries (it has always been a disaster). The government openly giving money to everyone “universally” (Bill Gates getting as much as the homeless person on the street) is so insane that only a lunatic would propose it – but there have been many “minimum income” schemes.

    In England and Wales what Milton Friedman was, much later, to call a “negative income tax” was called the “Speenhamland” system, named after the English village where the system started during the wars with Revolutionary France in the 1790s (almost the last thing Edmund Burke wrote was “Thoughts and Details on Scarcity” OPPOSOING such welfare developments) – it was a system of wage subsidies (funded by local taxation) to get wages up to a certain level – unsurprisingly the cost of this system went up-and-up leading to its eventual ending in 1834 by the Poor Law Amendment Act (which replaced the system of wage subsidies with the “Workhouse” system – although some “Workhouses” had existed long before).

    France did not have government welfare taxation at all, not till the 20th century, yet poverty caused death was not common in France, unlike British ruled Ireland where the Poor Law Tax system was introduced in 1838 and a third of the population was lost (either by death or emigration) by the Census of 1851 (1 in 3 of the entire population of the country). The lesson that modern “scholars” draw from this is that 19th century France should also have had a system of Poor Law taxation.

    The United Kingdom today has a system of wage subsidies (the Social Credit system) and various other welfare benefits and public services – the idea being that as technology has advanced we can afford all this and even offer it to the world by our de facto Open Borders policy (and if anyone really thinks this is going to work – I have a nice bridge to sell you).

    Many false claims are made about the “Universal Basic Income” – perhaps the most important false claim (claimed for both “UBI” and Milton Friedman “Negative Income Tax”) is that other benefits and “public services” could be abolished to help pay for it.

    Let us say that the “UBI” was even as high as 100 Pounds a week – would that enable people to pay for schools for their children and still have enough to live on? No it would not. Nor would they have enough money for health care insurance. Nor, if they live in a city or big town, rent. And on-and-on.

    Whether it is “UBI” (Bill Gates getting as much money from the government as a homeless person on the street) or Milton Friedman’s “Negative Income Tax” – the existing government benefits (for housing and so on) and public services (health, education – on and on) would remain, even the free food would have to remain – as people would spend the government cash on all sorts of things (drink, drugs, gambling, and so on), so it is important to remember that the “UBI” would be on-top-of the existing government benefits and services – not instead of them. And the “UBI” could never be high enough to cover such things as education, health care, housing (and so on) anyway.

    That last point is so important that I will repeat it – “UBI” (or Milton Friedman’s “Negative Income Tax”) would be on-top-of existing government benefits and services – it could NOT replace most of them.

    We should have learned from “Speenhamland” that handing out money to people does not have good results – and 19th century France shows that the claim that lots of new land (“the frontier” – the “Wild West”) is necessary if a nation is to do without welfare taxation, is-not-true.

  • Paul Marks.

    For a very long time now society has been undermined (I would argue deliberately – others would argue accidentally – the “result of human action, but not human design” tap dance) people have been encouraged to reject their responsibilities – even to their own children. A married coupe with the father providing most of the income and the wife-and-mother looking after the children used to be almost universal – it certainly is NOT now. It is also the case that fraternal mutual aid associations (both religious and secular) have been so undermined that they are a pale shadow of what they once were.

    The “Cloward and Piven” (the Marxist academic couple who helped design some of the destructive “Great Society” schemes created in the 1960s – that have grown like cancers ever since) dream of a degenerate society with ever higher government spending, children not knowing who their fathers are, and much of the population saturated in drugs (and other degeneracy) and dependent on government benefits and services, has arrived – and not just in American cities.

    It should be remembered that “Cloward and Piven” and all the rest of the Legion (Legion of Devils) of “intellectuals” working to destroy “capitalist” society were not just sadists (although they often did have a sadistic streak) – they believed that if they destroyed “capitalist” society with a mixture of cultural destruction (the “Social Revolution” from the 1960s onwards) and benefits and services leading to growing government spending that would crush the “capitalist” economy, a wonderful new society would arise in the place of the destroyed “capitalist” society.

    So the academics and officials (and so on) were not just destroying society for the love of (pleasure in) destruction and creating suffering – they were destroying “capitalist” society in order that a better society could replace it (or so they told themselves).

    The present international elite (Dr Schwab, Bill Gates….. and all the rest) are not followers of Karl Marx – they have more in common with Henri Saint-Simon, but they also believe they are creating a “Better World” (TM), that what they do is NOT just motivated by sadistic pleasure in causing suffering.

    The UBI is part of the plan – most people are to be dependent on benefits to be paid in digital currency (certainly NOT physical gold or silver) – to be spent in a set amount of time.

    And it is vital to the plan that the government and “partner” Corporations (“Public-Private Partnership”, “Stakeholder Capitalism”) decide what people spend this Credit-Money.

    People can not, in the view of the international establishment (and they are not wrong on this point) just be given cash and allowed to spend it on whatever they choose to spend it on – Dr Schwab and the rest know how the “Social Revolution” since at least the 1960s has changed people – just as it was meant to change people, over the generations (a population is not corrupted instantly – it takes time and effort). So people will have to be told what they can and can not spend this “money” (remember it is NOT going to be physical gold or silver – or anything that has value independently of the government and Corporations in the Corporate State).

    The totalitarianism (total control of ordinary life) in the plans of the international establishment is “not a bug – it is a feature”, it is the core objective of everything they push (from DEI, to C02 is evil, to Credit Money), and UBI is a vital part of that.

    The future is to be one of people living in apartments in “Smart Cities” – dependent on the government and “Partner” Corporations (themselves dependent on Credit Money – the Cantillon Effect) who will control every aspect of the lives of ordinary people – “for our own good” (of course).

    Aristotle said that the best form of Polity was one under the control of independent farmers and craftsmen (and so on) – people neither dependent on the public purse, or on the slave labour of others, as the very rich were in the time of Aristotle (although Aristotle did not oppose slavery – and only freed his own slaves in his will), such a society of independent people, of traditional families bringing up their children (hence Aristotle’s opposition to Plato’s idea that men and women should be the same and that the children of the “Guardians” should be brought up communally – in what Aristotle thinks of as the best society, there-are-no-Guardian-elite-rulers) – the society that Aristotle thought best is precisely what the international establishment hate most, and wish to utterly destroy (whether they know it or not – the international establishment are very much followers of Plato).

    As for handing money to people and thinking that, by so doing, you will end poverty – Aristotle pointed out that this was like pouring liquid into a container, with-no-base-on-it.

    Yes – UBI (and the “Negative Income Tax”) was refuted two and a half thousand years ago.

    Although there are much more recent refutations of the government handing out money-for-nothig – such as that by Governor Thompson of Wisconsin, which led to American Welfare Reform in the 1990s (now sadly reversed).

  • Paul Marks.

    President Charles De Galle, President of France when I was a young boy, could remember a time when France had no Income Tax and no Welfare Taxation.

    It is that historically recent. Yet the government of France today takes about half of the income of the people in various taxes and compulsory “insurance” schemes (taxes in all but name) – a revolution in an historically short period of time.