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Universal Basic Income Will Fund Guaranteed Anarchy

andrew yang

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, an advocate for a universal basic income of $1,000 a month, speaks at the National Action Network national conference at the Sheraton Hotel in New York City on April 5, 2019. (Brooke Pierce/Dreamstime)

By Monday, 27 July 2020 03:36 PM Current | Bio | Archive

For the past four months, America has taken part in a grand experiment. Unemployed Americans have received an additional $600 a week in unemployment insurance.

It’s our nation’s sudden and accidental leap into universal basic income (UBI), an idea that has been pushed by many thought leaders from the Left, including former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who ran on the platform of giving a $1,000 monthly check for every man and woman over the age of 18, all paid for by companies that would owe a new tax to the federal government.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook and one of the most influential persons in the Western world, supports UBI, as it is known.

Proponents say that a universal basic income would take the stigma out of getting a government check, and Zuckerberg said that such a program would "make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas."

We’ve now outdone Yang’s aspirational basic income by more than double, and we see the results. The "new ideas" aren’t pretty.

First, employers are struggling to entice people back to the workforce.

With the $600 many receive as relief checks in addition to the basic unemployment insurance checks they are entitled to, many now admit they’re making more money staying home.

One business owner in Anchorage, Alaska says that one of her drivers asked her to lay him off because he could make plenty of money if she did, and have a nice summer to fish the rivers. She refused, because as a waste disposal company, she provides a regulated service and is not allowed to stop picking up the garbage just because her workers don’t want to drive their routes.

But a large number of laid off workers are indeed bringing in nearly $1,000 a week in combined cash benefits, and they qualify for free healthcare under Obamacare, while federal and local moratoriums on evictions are still in place, and mortgage companies are under orders to allow forbearance.

It’s easy to live a modest life in most places in America with such government largesse.

One could, of course, use the time to take online classes, learn new skills, and prepare for a recovered economy by positioning oneself for a fresh start in one’s career.

Unfortunately, there’s no indication that some Americans have used their down time in any productive or proactive way.

Some in the Northwest liberal strongholds are reaching new skill levels in Fortnite Battle Royale during the day, and then donning homemade battle gear to engage in street revolution cosplay at night — all paid for by the U.S. Treasury, which just keeps printing the money and sending it in the mail.

And that brings us to the second unintended consequence: The wave of social unrest that has swept our cities. The violent-but-localized Black Lives Matter protests quickly spawned widespread BLM-Antifa riots, the defacing of public and private property, looting, and the destruction of cultural and education monuments.

In Portland and Seattle, a revolution is underway against what are the most tolerant governments in the world. Even the mayors of Portland and Seattle are now under attack by the Left for not being "enough."

Third, crime in our cities has spiked as mayors stopped supporting law enforcement and started supporting the “defund the police” platform of Black Lives Matter. Violent crime, robberies, rape — the numbers are skyrocketing in urban centers. In New York, the homicide rate for the first half of the year is up 23 percent over 2019, while Chicago murders are up 39 percent over last year, and Los Angeles is experiencing a 250 percent jump in homicides this summer.

Alaska has had a form of universal basic income for decades with the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, the royalty share from the oil wealth of the North Slope. This year, it equated to a mere $82 a month, and yet it is lauded by proponents of universal basic income as the model for the nation.

It is not a model to replicate. The Alaska Permanent Fund dividend has caused more unhappiness and strife in Alaska in recent years because state legislators have siphoned off some of the dividend that statutorily belonged to the people and used it to pay for government services that are used only by half of the people.

The lesson of the Alaska Permanent Fund is that what government gives, government can also take away.

UBI doesn’t yield happier, more creative, or more productive people. We’ve seen what it does — it pays for the socialist, possibly communist revolution. Our government prints more money daily and distributes it to Biden voters who are burning and looting their way to the November election.

We are paying for the revolution. The bill just won’t come due until after Nov. 3.

Suzanne Downing is the publisher of Must Read Alaska and Must Read America. She is a former business owner, longtime journalist, and political adviser who worked for Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Gov. Sean Parnell of Alaska. She was raised in Juneau, Alaska and is based in Anchorage. Where she writes on current events and politics. Read Suzanne Downing's Reports More Here.

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Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, said that such a program would "make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas." Unfortunately, there’s no indication that some Americans have used their down time in any productive or proactive way.
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Monday, 27 July 2020 03:36 PM
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