Thursday, June 11, 2020

‘When All Men Are Paid for Existing’: Universal Basic Income Has Arrived

Such an expansion of the welfare state would have once kept conservatives awake at night.
Amid all the momentous events that have defined the coronavirus pandemic, the decision by both the Trump administration and, in near-unanimous votes, both houses of Congress to institute a “stimulus” program — an element of which amounts to a de facto universal basic income (UBI) — is perhaps the least appreciated.
Paying individuals a flat check of $1,200, is, effectively, a one-time UBI. Legislators are already considering a second round.
The long-term import of this is significant. At a time when the two parties can agree on almost nothing, they came together to support a policy that up until recently was restricted largely (but certainly not exclusively) to the Silicon Valley Left.
Watching this go through brought to mind Rudyard Kipling’s 1919 poem “The Gods of the Copybook Headings.” Kipling contrasts the Gods of the Marketplace, meaning the socially acceptable wishful thinking, with the Gods of the Copybook Headings, who remind us of the eternal truths we routinely abandon for a more fashionable pantheon. He concludes with these lines:
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
Sound familiar? In a few short months, we went from UBI (the idea of giving almost every adult citizen a check) being an idea favored only at the margins to its being the official policy of a Republican administration backed by a Republican-controlled Senate.
Read the rest from Jerry Bowyer & Charles Bowyer HERE.

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