Right off the bat from the title alone, I can already make a couple of comments. First of all, while I do not know the intricacies of Canadian politics, the fact that any Canadian province would be conservative enough, or heck, LOGICAL enough to realize the socialist idea of a “universal basic income” is a bad idea honestly surprises me. My first and only impression of Canada is that they are socialists to the core. I fully expect them to totally embrace every socialist policy there is because of their white Obama PM named Justin Trudeau.
Second of all, OF COURSE IT’S UNSUSTAINABLE!
But we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves. Let’s begin with The Guardian’s report titled: “Ontario’s new Conservative government to end basic income experiment.”
The article reads as follows: “The previous Liberal government launched the pilot program last year, touting it as a unique three-year foray into a policy touted as a panacea to poverty, bloated bureaucracy and the rise of precarious work.”
“The C$150m pilot recruited 4,000 participants across three regions of the Canadian province, ranging from people working in low-paying or precarious jobs to those on social assistance. Social scientists watched closely as the unconditional payments began to flow last year, tracking whether the funds would improve health, education and housing outcomes.”
“On Tuesday, Lisa MacLeod, the Ontario minister responsible for social services, announced the end of the pilot, which she described as ‘quite expensive’, adding that it was ‘clearly not the answer for Ontario families’… ‘It was certainly not going to be sustainable,’ she said. ‘Spending more money on a broken program wasn’t going to help anyone.’”
Now, The Guardian does mention that MacLeod does not provide any data to support her claim, but one really needs data to understand that such a program would be unsustainable. What that program does, at least if implemented to the level socialists want in which everyone gets paid roughly $10,000 a year, is logically flawed. Never mind how the government would be able to pay for it if they can’t even manage to afford Medicare-for-All (I’m talking about here in the U.S., not necessarily Canada) where it would take roughly $32.6 TRILLION and according to Ocasio-Cortez, taxing the ultra-rich and corporations would only get us around $2 trillion.
So never mind the fact that it’s unaffordable, what about the fact that it destroys any and all incentive to work for anything? If I can get $10,000 for sitting on my behind watching t.v. all day, I will. Why would I go out to work for any company, having to waste gas driving there, meeting with people I may or may not like, having a boss I may or may not like and working on something that is not my passion?
If I’m thinking this, you can bet your basic income that other people would think the same. I get that not every single job out there would go away. There are certain occupations that are people’s passion. For example: painting. I know that if I had any artistic talent whatsoever, I would take that basic income and try to cash in a bit more by selling my art. But then I run into another problem: who is going to sell me paint? Who is going to make the paint that I use? I can’t imagine anyone who works at a retail store that sells paint is passionate about what they do. If they can also sit at home all day and survive off of basic income, why would they go to work? The same goes for anyone who makes paint.
Another occupation that takes passion is acting. Acting in a movie, t.v. show, theater, etc. But again, a problem arises: who is going to work to set up a stage? I can’t imagine too many people are passionate about managing lighting or holding up the boom stick.
Or take architecture. I can imagine people who become architects or building designers are passionate about their work. But what will all that work amount to if there is no one to actually build the buildings they design? Who is passionate about setting up ply-wood? About working a crane? Mixing cement?
You see? Even passion-based occupations suffer tremendously if no one is willing to work to set up the tiny details.
Now, I fully understand that people want more and more money. I’m not saying that all of these jobs will certainly go away. But many of them will and there will be a severe lack of employment. Not to mention the people that are willing to work despite the basic income will most likely be inefficient. Who is going to work hard for something if the worst thing that happens is you get fired and you have to sit comfortably with $10,000 a year? Work efficiency goes down when people don’t really care if they retain that job or not.
Which brings me to another point: what about the individual product? Who is going to work hard to make your iPhones? No one in this country, that’s for sure. As such, you have massive outsourcing to China, India and just about anyone who is willing to do this work because they won’t have anything if they don’t work.
And all of these examples count on basic income being a permanent thing. Like I mentioned earlier, how are they going to afford it? Particularly in the U.S.? Even if you tax the ultra-rich 100% and confiscate all of their assets, you still would not be able to fund Medicare-for-All, let alone universal basic income for a significant period of time.
Of course, taxing the ultra-rich 100% means they are officially dirt-poor and someone else takes their place at the 1%. But since those people have considerably less money than the previous ultra-rich, the government can take even less money from them at 100%. So that creates a cycle of poverty that quickly leaves everyone in the country in a worse condition than North Koreans.
And this is all to barely even afford universal basic income for a year. As a result, with people being dirt-poor, the government has less and less to give and more and more people to support - and the whole idea becomes irrelevant. You get to the point where anyone having $10,000 becomes the 1% and they get taxed to high-heaven.
There is likely no better way to destroy a nation’s economy than universal basic income. Even if you don’t apply the ludicrous idea of taxing the ultra-rich 100% of their income and confiscating their belongings, it is still unsustainable because it costs far too much for everyone.
Universal basic income wouldn’t just be taxing the ultra-rich horrendous rates, it’d also be taxing EVERYONE ELSE a ludicrous amount. According to the Pew Research Center, back in 2015, people who made $200,000 or more paid for 58.8% of all the country’s taxes. Those who made less than $30,000 a year paid only 1.4% of all taxes. Meaning that even if you tax everyone a very high amount of money, you don’t come out with much more.
This follows basic math. If you take 10% of $1,000,000, you get $100,000. If you take 10% of $10,000, you get $1,000. And this is assuming you have a flat tax rate, which the country does not. My point is that the rich naturally pay more than middle and low-income level people because of basic math. So if you tax middle and low-income level people exorbitant rates, you hardly get much more to begin with. And since the rich can’t afford to pay huge taxes to cover basic income, taxing everyone else will hardly get you much more money.
No matter what way you slice it, it’s impossible to afford universal basic income to the level socialists want. And as I mentioned before, even if we could afford it, it would set us down the path of less and less employment, less and less wealth and the government, country and everyone within it ends up paying dearly. Yes, that even includes the very people who want to implement it. Even the Left would end up paying heftily for it.
Not only is universal basic income a rational impossibility, but it’s also economic suicide. The only real way to lift people out of poverty is through capitalism. Capitalism creates wealth. Anyone who sets their mind, time and work to become wealthy can become wealthy.
If only these nincompoops could realize this.
1 Timothy 5:8
“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
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