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Universal Basic Income? We Already Have It!

a poster of a one thousand dollar bill with andrew yangs picture on it
A supporter carries a sign representing then-Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang's plan for a $1,000 monthly universal basic income during a rally in New York City in 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
 

By Wednesday, 12 August 2020 08:28 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Along with the Green New Deal, free college tuition and Medicare for All, another proposal has been gaining steam in Democratic circles — Universal Basic Income. But they don't seem to understand that we already have it.

Lawyer and entrepreneur Andrew Yang promoted the notion of giving Americans a Universal Basic Income during his brief campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

He proposed giving every adult American a basic $1,000 monthly income, which would work out to $2.4 trillion every year assuming a 200 million adult population.

Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey picked up on that theme and announced on his platform last month that he was donating money to the cause, adding, "This is one tool to close the wealth and income gap, level systemic race and gender inequalities, and create economic security for families."

Despite that claim, Dorsey should realize that there's no system in place creating a disparity in wealth and income between the sexes or among the races. Everyone is born with the same opportunity to do what they wish with their lives.

Dorsey himself was raised in a middle-class St. Louis household to amass an estimated net worth of $4.5 billion.

But he apparently wants to toss out the concept of "equal opportunity" and replace it with equal results.

The $3 million he chipped in for the cause would cover 0.000125% of the annual cost of Yang's $1,000 monthly universal Basic income. But it was actually going to Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, an organization which now enjoys its own universal basic income thanks to Dorsey.

Without surprise, the coronavirus pandemic has stepped up calls for a Universal Basic Income.

A Change.org petition seeking 500,000 signatures was launched, calling on "Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee to support bailing out the people and publicly endorse a Universal Basic Income."

But they're not happy with that measly $1,000 a month Yang proposed last year. They're seeking a minimum of $2,000 a month.

And they want that sum guaranteed to not just every adult American. They want every United States resident to receive it — apparently without regard to age or legal status.

As of Wednesday morning the petition was fast approaching 372,000 signatures of the 500,000 they're looking for.

If implemented, this would cost taxpayers $7.92 trillion per year, assuming a 330 million population.

Despite the cost, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., announced that he was all in on the proposal.

"Give every person in our country $2000/month for the duration of the pandemic, $2000/month for 3 months after that, and $2000/month retroactive to March," he tweeted.

Sen. Ted Cruz decided to have a little fun at Markey's expense, and at the same time the Texas Republican demonstrate how ridiculous the proposal was.

"Why be so cheap?" he asked. "Give everyone $1 million a day, every day, forever. And three soy lattes a day. And a foot massage. We have a magic money tree — we should use it!"

Without surprise the left went crazy over this, but what everyone has to understand is that the United States already has Universal Basic Income. It's called a job.

Granted, the latest unemployment rate in the country is at an unacceptable 10.2%, due entirely to the pandemic.

We can get America going again. The elderly and other high-risk individuals can continue sheltering-in-place. Everyone else should open the country up again, including primary and secondary schools, as well as colleges, universities and trade schools.

Americans can continue to socially distance from others and take other preventive measures as they open their doors to customers and clients. After all, liquor store clerks and supermarket baggers have been doing it all year, with very few COVID-19 cases to show for it.

And doing so will have an even greater benefit — it would feed the soul. It would once-again instill a sense of pride and self-worth as we look back on our work and say to ourselves, "I did that; I built that; I have worth."

And at the end of the week when the newly-awakened American workforce is handed their paychecks, they can look down at it and say, "I earned that."

You can't get any of that from a $2,000 check in exchange for for having a warm body with a pulse.

But I wouldn't expect Democrats to understand that.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.

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Without surprise, the coronavirus pandemic has stepped up calls for a Universal Basic Income.
universal basic income, work
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2020-28-12
Wednesday, 12 August 2020 08:28 AM
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