— Nick Gillespie (@nickgillespie) April 19, 2019
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang says a universal basic income would put “more people in position where they can actually participate in a free market.” https://t.co/YjX6qsyQOV
— reason (@reason) April 19, 2019
“The presidential hopeful told Reason that his Freedom Dividend would put “more people in a position where they can actually participate in a free market,” making for a “much more dynamic” economy.
UBI has a bevy of full-throated critics on both sides of the aisle. In 2016, Oren Cass wrote in National Review that it is “a logical successor to the worst public policies and social movements of the past 50 years.” Eduardo Porter of The New York Times said it provides a “non-negligible disincentive to work” and that government aid would become “less generous over time.”
But it’s also had an unlikely array of supporters over the years, like Thomas Paine and Martin Luther King, Jr.—not to mention famed libertarian economists Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, and Charles Murray.
“The good news is that a well-designed UBI can do much more than help us to cope with disaster,” Murray wrote in The Wall Street Journal in 2016. “It also could provide an invaluable benefit: injecting new resources and new energy into an American civic culture that has historically been one of our greatest assets but that has deteriorated alarmingly in recent decades.”
Murray and Yang approach the UBI discussion from a similar vantage point: Automation is picking up speed, and it’s coming for your job. “We are approaching a labor market in which entire trades and professions will be mere shadows of what they once were,” says Murray. Similarly, Yang calls his Freedom Dividend a “tech check”—an homage to the retail workers, call center employees, and truck drivers who may increasingly find themselves without work in the coming years.
But Murray and Yang diverge considerably when it comes to how they would pay for a UBI—as well as how it would interact with the welfare system. Murray champions the burn-it-all-down approach, financing the stipend by eradicating all social safety net programs, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, as well as housing and agricultural subsidies.
Yang sees it differently. He proposes centralizing health care costs and taxing tech giants like Amazon, who he says are automating jobs into oblivion and driving some stores across the country into the ground. Emboldened by the Freedom Dividend, recipients would spend their money in their local communities, facilitating a “trickle up economy.”
And while he pictures welfare dependence waning, Yang maintains that it has its rightful place in society. “You don’t want to take away benefits that hundreds of thousands of Americans are literally relying upon for their very survival,” he told Reason. “The goal is to create more positive incentives.” Over time, he says that welfare enrollment would decline with a rise in empowered consumers, “because many people in the Dividend would never find themselves in those programs.” …”
In the course of my historical research, I came across a very different understanding of “liberty” than is held by modern day liberals and libertarians under wage slavery. These posts were all drawn from David Hackett Fischer’s Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America’s Founding Ideas:
In the South, the three major ethnocultural hearths that gave rise to Southern culture – South Carolina and the Deep South, Virginia and Tidewater and Appalachia and the Backcountry – each had an idea of “liberty” that was closely associated with leisure, prosperity and economic independence. The republican vision of liberty was linked to agrarianism and ownership of property.
Historically speaking, the Southern idea of liberty was having the constitutional right to free speech and the economic independence to essentially say, “fuck off.” Liberty was highly compatible with Slave Society because it gave the planters both the leisure and wealth to style themselves as the Southern equivalent of England’s country gentry. That’s something to think about now that Yang is telling everyone that Silicon Valley and China are restoring Slave Society with AI and robotics.
joking/not joking the past is the future
joking/not joking the Yankees created our current dystopia
The vast majority of people in America today are employees. They would have been recognized as wage slaves by our Southern ancestors. The rise of wage slavery and the intensification of the political correctness are closely related. The whole Northern ideal of liberty has always been associated with tyrannical conformity. In an a land of agrarian farmers, there were fewer employees and more people were free to speak their minds because they weren’t lackeys of employers.
The Northern cultures had their own peculiar awful visions of liberty as well. Check out the book. I would argue we are seeing a resurrection of the Southern ideal of liberty. There are only a tiny number of these new robotic slaves in the United States of 2019 which is a historically significant date. It is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of black slaves in Virginia.
We need to start studying the classics. The Roman Empire combined slavery with republican liberty. The same is true of the Old South which admired Rome and Greece.
Note: I’m being humorous, of course, but simultaneously serious. It is hard to believe this is happening, but nevertheless here we are.