Tuesday, July 4, 2017

More of the UBI thing

So, today on my random outing and about on Facebook, I see another UBI post, this time describing how it is inflationary and it is the status quo. Lots of activity on it before I got to say much of anything, but among some of the tidbits were that a UBI is advocated by right wing groups and neoliberals.

So to take this one thing at a time, that a UBI is inflationary. I am going to be honest here, I have one seen one main study on a UBI, hence why I use the term Mincome so often. In the late 70's a province in Canada (Happy Birthday to your country any Canadians reading this) attempted to use a UBI, called a Mincome. In this study families were given a few dollars, without looking the specifics elude me, as a means of giving the adults in the place a basic standard of living, you know that deal the Minimum Wage was supposed to do. So, they try this out for a spell, and the world did not end. Seriously, you might be from that Province and you are still here. We didn't have a world shattering event.

What they found was that some people left work. Oh the horror... Some people decided that they were better served at home, or going back to school to learn a newer viable trade, and, oh the horror, some older people decided to retire. Oh the humanity! People decided that there should be one parent at home, or that they should learn things in a school, or that they were old and tired and retired. It was a god awful mess, no not really. What they learned was that the human capacity for greed meant that some people took the time to learn new skills or trades to make them more marketable at a future data (basically, so they could earn more money), others elected (typically the fairer sex) that they could improve their children's lives by helping them with their homework, and we all know that having a parent at home is a good thing for the kids, and people who were older generally decided that since they didn't need to work to eat, that they would spend time doing Golden Years things. You know, before they were too old, sick and tired to do them anyway. Now, if my memory serves me correctly, inflation wasn't a big deal, or let me say, it wasn't something that became an issue, as suspected and believed by the very people who set up this experiment. What it did do, was boost a lackluster economy, employment improved, people spent money, and people continued to work (remember the human capacity for greed). It worked well enough that there are states here that are willing to give it a try, there are other countries wanting to try it out, and never once have I heard anything about concerns regarding inflation, but being honest, I haven't read what their current concerns are.

Next, they point to an UBI being part of the status quo. To be the status quo, it must be something already in effect. Certainly we have types of UBI (see Social Security), but its not really status quo. Status quo is the notion that one needs work to eat and have shelter. Be it working off rent or the “will work for food” person we generally see on the street corner from time to time. The status quo is people not being able to afford rent, food, utilities, and use of healthcare and working to improve your lot. That is the current status quo around the world, poverty, just being “dirt poor,” or being “the working poor.” In other words, work and someone will reward you with funds they feel are adequate for the job you are performing. If that reimbursement for your services are not enough to make ends meet in the lifestyle you choose, either choose a different lifestyle or get another job, multiple jobs if you must. Work until you are in your late 60's, then retire, maybe. Or you can die with your boots on, sick, tired, crippled up, and half senile. Well, if you aren't replaced with a newer younger version. That my friends is the current status quo, to have a comfortable middle class lifestyle, you are going to have to work your backside off, and take whatever happens, accept it, and move on. Those things and have good luck, because honestly, you are going to need a lot of it. One illness, one mishap, a single death in the immediate family, and you are behind the eight-ball. Again, that is the status quo of the world today.

Now, it was said, and not sourced, that right-wingers and neobliberals advocate for the creation of a UBI. I personally haven't seen the full effect of this. But first I am going to say that despite what some people say, and as that it rarely happens, I am sure that right wingers and neoliberals do occasionally stumble onto something that actually sounds reasonable and makes sense. Our roads came about from a conservative/neoliberal, actually most of our current highways. That was a good idea. Moving on from that, I've not seen many if any true conservatives, right-wingers, or neoliberals advocate for something such as this. It is not in their nature to be fiscally “wasteful.” Their general political mantra dictates that you work for everything, and they want austerity. The neoliberals won't openly call for cuts to social safety nets, but they have no problems making it more difficult to get onto these programs or putting strict rules on them, and that is really a cut into them.

Yeah, so... At this point, here is where we sit. There are a glut of people who say you should work to survive, and that is the current status quo of things. We have people who proudly claim to be awoke, and scream “Hey look at me, I speaking truths over here.” And they are telling more truth than others. But ultimately what we don't have are people really taking the time to view the status quo, and what it will take to change it. They are hung up on their notions, myself included, and many are becoming more agitated the more someone says that their way might not be the way forward. Again, I admit I am guilty of this as well. The key difference is, I am at least willing to be flexible in a time when the majority are becoming more rigid. And honestly, its a real turn off. We have so many issues, with a wide array of potential solutions, but because a potential this or an actual that have also said, we should look into it... Yeah, if you haven't figured it out, humanity sucks, its prideful, ignorant, and honestly, lacks the foresight to be just a little humble, myself included. That is a real traged.