Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Statist Incomes Policy Is Gaining Ground In Silicon Valley

Cora Lewis reports:
This week, the startup incubator Y Combinator put up a job listing for a researcher to study basic income, a policy where the government would, as described by Y Combinator boss Sam Altman, give all citizens “enough money to live on with no strings attached.”
There are other ways to describe the UBI (“universal basic income”), the cutest being “mincome” (short for minimum income), but the general parameters include just that: all citizens get a base amount of money, unconditional on employment status or other factors.
Why am I not surprised "libertarian" Peter Thiel is in favor of the idea? SEE: The Truth About Peter Thiel.

Lewis continues, I guess thinking that Thiel is a libertarian:
It’s an idea that has united Marxists and libertarians, making unlikely comrades of anarchist anthropologist David Graeber and billionaire investor Peter Thiel. Some proponents argue the policy would raise the standard of living, return a degree of labor market power to working people, and compensate unwaged work by women. Others believe direct cash payments are a more efficient way for the government to distribute money than the current welfare system.
For the record, any plan that requires government, to take by coercion money from some and give to others, can not be libertarian since it is a violation of the fundamental libertarian principle of non-aggression.

Altman, Thiel and Graeber are simply central planners here. If they think giving money to non-workers is a grand idea then they should just do it. When they call on government to get involved, which, again, brings in to the picture coercion, they are suffering from what Friedrich Hayek called the fatal conceit, that they know best how society should be ordered and they would like to see everyone coerced into following their plan.

“I’m fairly confident that at some point in the future, as technology continues to eliminate traditional jobs and massive new wealth gets created, we’re going to see some version of this at a national scale,” Altman wrote, reports Lewis.

Which, btw, means that Altman isn't even aware that Silicon Valley is in the middle of another Federal Reserve created bubble.

The website of Altman's company, Y Combinator, boasts "Our companies have a combined valuation of over $65B."

Let's see where that stands after the next crash.

Again, if Altman, Thiel and Graeber want to give their money to others who do nothing, they should be free to do so. However, to demand that all follow their lead at the point of a gun is not about freedom and creativity, it is about leaders in the line of Lenin, Stalin and Mao.


(ht Chandra Duggirala)


I should add that this wacko proposal exists at a time when the government run retirement program, Social Security. will run out of money to pay just retirees---who have coercively  paid into the program for their retirement!

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