Saturday, June 2

Who says Democrats don't have something to run on? How about...guaranteed income?


From the pro-Democrat, pro-illegal-immigrant LA Times comes this story about a...um...novel proposal by the new 27-year-old mayor of Stockton, California, Michael Tubbs.

Tubbs wants taxpayers to pay what the Times cunningly calls "a select group of residents" "up to" $1,000 per month for 18 months, in a pilot program.  The Times reporter seems unsure of the actual purpose of this program, first saying that it's "to test the impact of what's called guaranteed basic income," but just two sentences later saying payments--cunningly called "stipends"--would be "paid to residents deemed most likely to shoot somebody."

The provision of two completely unrelated objectives seems deliberate:  That way if you don't get any drop in shootings, you can still claim the "pilot program" gave useful results vis-a-vis "guaranteed basic income."

I suspect liberals are totally excited about this proposal, since it checks off not one but TWO squares on their wish list.  And there's no question that the LA Times "reporter" is totally on board.  After all, who could argue with the claim that the program will "help these young men learn how to make better choices for their own and our community's collective future"?

He tells readers "The first thing you need to know about Stockton's stipend plans is that taxpayers aren't footing the bill."  Really?  This is typical of liberal "thinking," since the cash has to come from somewhere,

But don't worry--Tubbs' enabler, Natalie Foster, has the answer.  Foster co-chairs "the Economic Security Project," whose goal is "to find ways to lift people out of poverty and rebuild the middle class."  According to Foster, "You shouldn't live in poverty in the richest country on earth at the richest moment in time."

If that seems a bit...um...nebulous, she quickly gets specific: "It's not a question of where the money comes from. It's a question of political will, and there are a number of ways to finance it, from fees on the people making millions shuffling paper on Wall Street to a carbon tax."
 
Um, hate to tell ya, mayor Tubbs, but you and Natalie need to talk.  Cuz all taxes--repeat, ALL taxes--are paid by consumers.  I.e., taxpayers.  But I wouldn't expect liberals to worry much about trivial details, like "Who will pay for this?"  Natalie has already answered that: "It's not a question of where the money comes from."

When a liberal says that, it's always to make you sign the check and enjoy your virtue-signaling.

Not surprisingly, mayor Tubbs says his constituents are clamoring to sign up. "We get 50 constituents a week, if not more, calling and emailing us to explain why they would benefit" from a $500 monthly stipend," he said.  Gee, ya don't say.  People eager to get free money?  Who would ever have guessed?

He adds, "It's exciting that we can do something for these people."  Yes, I'm sure.  And it's simply a minor benefit that they'll vote for whoever gave 'em the cash for as long as he wants to run, eh?

Okay, I think most of us can agree that giving people free money a) reduces their incentive to work harder; b) makes them dependent on that money; and c) makes them vote for whoever promised them the cash.  And that unless you're the politician about to get a lifetime position, none of those are good.  So "guaranteed income"--even if euphemized to "basic income"--strikes me as a huge mistake.

In fact, that's such a bad idea that it almost makes my second criticism pale:

As most people with an IQ over two digits know, when you subsidize something, you get more of it.  So if Stockton--or any level of gruberment (google "Jon Gruber")--starts paying members of a "select group of residents" a grand per month not to shoot people, what do you think will happen to the number of potential members of this "select group"?

Of course:  "What do I have to do to qualify?"

But hey, Tubbs is a rising star in the Democrat party--27-year-old black guy, praised by no less a ratifier than the LA Times itself, whose "reporter" said "I like the young man's mix of rebelliousness, impatience and willingness to take risks."  You can't get much higher praise than that.  And if the Times likes the guy, and the proposal, you can bet other mayors will jump on that bandwagon, since it offers guaranteed job security.

And fer cryin' out loud, citizen, don't worry about where the money will come from, cuz Natalie Foster has already told us: "It's not a question of where the money comes from."
You should trust this man to make good decisions; he went to Stanford

Oh, here's the lede 'graf from the website of "The Economic Security Project."
The Economic Security Project is a network committed to advancing the debate on unconditional cash and basic income in the United States. In a time of immense wealth, no one should live in poverty, nor should the middle class be consigned to a future of permanent stagnation or anxiety.
  
Now is the time to think seriously about how expanding unconditional cash could work, how to pay for it, and what the political path might be to make it a reality.
Hmmm..."what the political path might be to make it a reality," eh?  You already guessed, of course, but let's look at the CV of co-founder Natalie Foster:
Natalie is an expert on the future of work. [And doesn't think people should have to do any if they don't want to.] She co-founded and co-chairs the Economic Security Project. In 2013 she co-founded and launched Peers.org to support people who work in the sharing and on-demand economy. Prior to Peers she was the CEO and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for people–driven economic change, with Van Jones. Previously, Natalie served as digital director for President Obama’s Organizing for America (OFA) and the Democratic National Committee. Natalie built the first digital department at the Sierra Club and served as the deputy organizing director for MoveOn.org.
 Natalie has checked every box on the communist community-organizer's punch-list.

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