Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Neil Wilson — Is Basic Income Basically Theft?

The Basic Income idea has some great marketing behind it and superficially appears to solve problems. Unfortunately the tricks used to promote it come straight out of the propaganda textbooks — attributing miracles to the policy when there are not justified.
The main trick is to compare an income guarantee to the broken system we have at the moment. The result is a miraculous increase in output. But that has nothing to do with the merits of Basic Income. It is just what would happen with any system of increased spending activity that knocks our monetary production systems out of the persistent slumps they always finds themselves in under ‘laissez faire’ conditions.
It’s only when you compare Basic Income with other managed economy schemes that the issues with it come to light….
Modern Money Matters
Is Basic Income Basically Theft?
Neil Wilson


Andrew Anderson said...

Neil should not talk about theft since he favors forced loans from the poor to lower the borrowing costs of the rich.

I guess defending banks is bound to drive one batty eventually.

Let others be warned; there's a price to be paid for defending injustice.

Andrew Anderson said...

Question to Neil:

Is retribution for theft theft?

John said...

Andrew, how about not for profit local banks?

Andrew Anderson said...

How about 100% private banks with 100% voluntary depositors?

And no, we've never had those since it is an implicit moral duty of a monetary sovereign like the US to provide inherently risk-free accounts in its fiat for all citizens, their buisinesses, etc and not leave them to the mercy of private banks, credit unions, etc.

If 100% private banks with 100% voluntary depositors can't survive then good riddance anyway. How much longer are we going tolerate privileges for a usury cartel?

John said...

Andrew, private banks with no implicit state assistance? Very few people would put money in them, and you'd have no capitalism. Also because hard money is involved, not credit, the economy would be much smaller. So you'd probably have a depression. The US had private banks with private money in the 19th century. There were six depressions, and that was in a gentler era of capitalism.

What we need is a credit system run by not for profit local banks answerable to the town or county they're in. The giant banks can go fuck themselves. Except for the mega rich bankers of today, everyone would be much better off.

Bob said...

Just call it a Citizen's Dividend instead of Basic income. A bona fide entitlement.

What is the point in seeking reciprocity with a JG when the same cohort who demand reciprocity are unwilling to eliminate unemployment?

Welfare for some, or jobs for all. We've chosen the former. Unfortunately there is a cohort that is unsatisfied with the current arrangement and their preference is jobs for some and the rest can drop dead. These people will not be coaxed into accepting a JG.

Matt Franko said...


Deposits are their own class of liabilities of a bank, banks do not borrow..... they are the entities that do the lending....

Auburn Parks said...

and the Fed sets the interest rates not poor people using banks.

Calgacus said...

Neil: Excellent!

In a word, yes. (I prefer "slavery" for Basic Income.) But, great!

Bob, I don't understand what you are saying. The "cohort who are unwilling to eliminate unemployment" is the rich, no? Of course they want "welfare for some". Namely themselves: "All for ourselves, and nothing for other people."

They most certainly aren't the ones demanding reciprocity, but the ones preventing it. They hates it, they hates it, they hates reciprocity forever. No reciprocity is the secret, the only secret of their power.

Basic Income almost falls into the category of things of "Beware of what you wish for, you might get it".

Only almost because God & Marx are Good, because no amount of wishing will ever make any people, any society get the impossible, incoherent Basic Income. That just isn't how those guys made the world.

Bob said...

Calgacus, it includes the rich and the middle class. It includes those who have jobs who are resentful of the unemployed because they are not working. This cohort pushes for the reduction/elimination of the welfare state. They do not push for a JG. They seem to want a punitive society, not an inclusive one.

Calgacus said...

The only cohort that really ever pushes for welfare state elimination is the rich. They just manage to bamboozle others some of the time.

I mean in the USA, a large part of this cohort you describe, the white working class just helped elect Trump. In the UK they had the far better choice of Corbyn for party leadership & who knows, government. They want jobs = secure income, true welfare, not Basic Income bullshit, because the real world has taught them a bit of economic understanding - far more than Basic Income daydreamers. Had they had the chance, they would have surely helped elect Sanders over Trump, like Corbyn, someone far more likely to represent their genuine interests, rather than occasionally giving rhetorical support.

Basically, it is hard to push for something you've never heard of, like the JG. In the USA, "this cohort" has decidedly supported the general idea of "full employment", unfortunately often enough it is also duped by demented mainstream economic deficit terrorism. IMHO, wrongly attributing things to an (insubstantial) resentment, or considering resentment a fundamental reason, not something rationally explainable is mistaken. This mistake seems to me to be a much bigger, much realer problem than any desire of any non-rich cohort to punish rather than include.

There are so many who seek to put out peoples eyes - so many who have even put out their own. So it is hard for me to reproach ordinary working class people for occasional moral blindness, rather than support them in what I assert is still the usual case: passable, maybe needing some corrective lenses, not 20/20, but still passable vision.

Bob said...

I reproach those who believe that everyone can find a job if they're willing to pull up their sleeves (or other article of clothing). I reproach those who believe that welfare, laziness, and minimum wages are the causes of unemployment. I reproach purists who insist that only the private sector can create "real" jobs. It's tragic that these attitudes are found amongst the working class but they must be addressed. Ideally, they should be demolished.

As Neil Wilson has written numerous times, schemes that do not satisfy the psychological need for reciprocity are voted against and dismantled. This is an argument against the Basic Income. I'm arguing that the Job Guarantee is not immune, even though it would provide reciprocity. Something else is going on here that I call resentment. I don't know what else to call it.

There is a proverb: "There, but for the grace of God, go I." Nowadays, instead of compassion we get resentment. In place of humility, arrogance.