MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘UBI’

Doug Casey on the Labor Shortage and other Disturbing Distortions…

Posted by M. C. on May 20, 2021

Are millions going to be kicked out of their apartments and houses? Does this mean we’re going to have a new wave of homeless people? Or will the State just take over their obligations, so we have overtly socialized housing? The small landlords, in particular, will be hurt worst. I’m not sure what the way out is. The country has been painted into a corner.

I’m shocked that I don’t see any of this being discussed anywhere. The country is sleepwalking into a living nightmare, and we’re just scratching the surface of all the problems that will have to be confronted in the years to come.

https://internationalman.com/articles/us-labor-shortage-and-the-implications-of-stimulus-checks/

by Doug Casey

International Man: According to the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs report, only 266,000 new jobs were created in April—well below the one million new jobs that was expected.

At the same time, American businesses are desperately seeking to fill job openings which they can’t fill. A survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that 44% of small businesses had jobs they couldn’t fill, which is a record high.

What’s going on with these seemingly contradictory trends?

Doug Casey: First of all, I don’t trust the government’s statistics. Some are surely better than others, but especially when we’re looking at monetary and economic numbers, it’s increasingly apparent that the US government’s statistics are only marginally more reliable than those of the Argentine government at this point. As the US is increasingly politicized, they’ll deteriorate further, fudged and adjusted for propaganda purposes.

Eventually, they’ll approach the inaccuracy of those in the old Soviet Union. It’s understandable, I suppose, because people believe in, and love to quote, that old saw of Franklin Roosevelt’s: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” It’s nonsense, of course; you can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

The government likes to publish happy, optimistic numbers for lots of reasons. A belief that economic health is based on psychological smiley faces is prominent among them. Unfortunately, optimism can blow away as easily as a pile of feathers in a hurricane.

That said, there are huge distortions that have been cranked into the economy because of the ongoing COVID hysteria, compounded by the government’s reaction to it. It appears there are over 16 million workers collecting unemployment bennies, while there are about 8.5 million job openings, 13% more than in the before times. How is that possible? Lots of fast-food chains are paying $15 an hour, plus recruiting bonuses—and that’s for unskilled labor. There are loads of highly-paid manufacturing and construction jobs going begging. Anyone who wants a job can have one.

There are several reasons for this.

One is that COVID hysteria is slacking off somewhat but still in high gear. A high proportion of the population wear masks when driving alone, walking alone, or even participating in a Zoom call (presumably to virtue signal). Needless to say, these types are afraid to go to work or be among other people. They want to self-isolate out of fear. They won’t work, or will work less, from hypochondria. Those that will work have to be induced with hazard pay.

Meanwhile, a combination of state unemployment benefits, $300 Federal unemployment, and Federal stimmy checks means that a lot of them can take home more not working than working.

It’s easier to stay home, get up late, binge-watch Netflix, and collect tax-free money than commute to work. After a year, it can turn into an ingrained bad habit.

International Man: Since the beginning of the pandemic, the US government has been sending stimulus checks to Americans—mostly to those who experienced no reduction in their income or job loss. This flurry of free money has led to people choosing not to work.

What’s your take on this?

Doug Casey: You get what you pay for. And if you pay people to stay at home, they’ll do that. People are consuming more than ever. Retail sales are way up because of all the funny money the government is practically helicopter dumping, while a lot less people are producing. This is a guaranteed formula for economic disaster. And it’s not just an economic failure but a moral failure.

See the rest here

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Those Yang Republicans – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 31, 2020

If Republicans were honest, they would say things like:….

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/laurence-m-vance/those-yang-republicans/

By

Andrew Yang, the son of immigrants from Taiwan, is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who founded the nonprofit organization Venture for America (VFA) in 2011. Yang left the organization in 2017 and filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on November 6 to run for president of the United States. Although Yang participated in seven of the first eight Democratic presidential debates, on February 11, 2020, shortly after the New Hampshire primary, he suspended his presidential campaign. A week later he joined CNN as a political commentator.

Yang’s main campaign focus was how the federal government should respond to the increasing automation of the economy. According to Yang2020:

I’m proud of the work I did at VFA. But during my time there, it became clear to me that job creation will not outpace the massive impending job loss due to automation.

So I went to Washington, and I visited Congressional leaders. I presented them with the hard facts. 78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, 40% cannot afford an unexpected $400 bill, and so many live one medical emergency away from bankruptcy. A wave of automation is coming that will displace even more American jobs. I asked, “What will our government do?”

And here is what he thinks the federal government should do:

As president, my first priority will be to implement the big solutions America needs to get back on track. To start, I’d enact the Freedom Dividend: $1,000 a month, no strings attached, for every American 18 and older, paid for by a new tax on the companies benefiting most from automation.

Republicans baulked at Yang’s idea, just like they have generally run from other universal basic income (UBI) proposals. However, this does not mean that they oppose on principle the government giving Americans cash in their pocket.

The federal government twice under President George W. Bush—with overwhelming Republican support—sent Americans money.

In 2001, as part of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act, the federal government sent a $300 check to single individuals and $600 to married couples.

In 2008, under the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, the federal government sent a $600 check to single individuals and $1,200 to married couples. Taxpayers with children eligible for the Child Tax Credit (CTC) received an additional $300 per dependent child.

And just recently—with practically unanimous Republican support—Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or “CARES Act.” Amid hundreds of pages of pork, it directs the federal government to send checks (or make direct deposits) of $1,200 to single individuals and $2,400 to married couples. Taxpayers with children eligible for the child credit will receive an additional $500 per dependent child.

If Republicans were honest, they would say things like:

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when there is a public health crisis.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when they need it.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when the economy needs a stimulus.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when there is a pandemic.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when unemployment claims drastically increase.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when there is an economic downturn.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except in extenuating circumstances.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when there are severely distressed sectors of the U.S. economy.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when the economy collapses.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when there is a recession.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when many Americans need economic relief.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when there is a financial panic.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when the stock market tanks.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when there is a depression.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when Americans are hurting.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when certain industries need a bailout.

It is wrong for the federal government to give Americans money—except when Republicans vote to do so.

None of these Republican-supported government handouts should be viewed as surprising. Republicans have for decades supported the federal government giving Americans money in the form of welfare. Indeed, we already have a universal basic income in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that Republicans wholeheartedly support and increase every year.

Republicans have no philosophical objection to the federal government giving Americans cold hard cash. Don’t be surprised if round two of the CARES Act results in more checks to Americans, amidst all the pork it will contain, courtesy of the Republicans.

Be seeing you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Of Two Minds – A Radical Critique of Universal Basic Income

Posted by M. C. on December 7, 2017

UBI is the last gasp of a broken, dying system

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogdec17/UBI12-17.html?fullweb=1

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is increasingly being held up as the solution to automation’s displacement of human labor. UBI combines two powerful incentives: self-interest (who couldn’t use an extra $1,000 per month) and an idealistic commitment to guaranteeing everyone material security and reducing the rising income inequality that threatens our social contract–a topic I’ve addressed many times over the past decade. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Evil Zuckerberg – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 5, 2017

https://lewrockwell.com/2017/06/no_author/the-evil-zuckerberg/

The most important thing to look at, however, is not the technical ramifications of UBI—whether it’s technically possible. A bigger question is who allocates these things. Because, obviously, it’s going to direct more power to the government. They’ll determine how the fruits of all this get distributed. Read the rest of this entry »

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