Friday, September 14, 2018

Media Matters - Watch a Fox panel become speechless after a guest defends universal basic income

This is funny, Felix Salmon argues for the Basic Income on Fox News. Felix Salmon is so casual.

https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2018/09/12/watch-fox-panel-become-speechless-after-guest-defends-universal-basic-income/221286

Transcript - But the video is better.


STUART VARNEY (HOST): Felix Salmon is with us, he is the chief financial correspondent at Axios, and he knows a thing or two about social networks and regulations. Good morning, Felix.
FELIX SALMON (AXIOS): And even universal basic income, which is a great idea, I'm all in favor of that.
VARNEY: What? You don't believe that.
SALMON: If Mike Huckabee actually wants to take people from poverty and put them into work, if you look at the actual evidence --
VARNEY: Oh God.
ASHLEY WEBSTER (FOX BUSINESS): Oh God.
SALMON: Giving people guaranteed money increases the probability that they'll find a job.
VARNEY: You've got a British accent. Are you an Englishman?
SALMON: I am.
VARNEY: What the devil's going on where the Brits export their socialists over here?
SALMON: Well, they're exporting all of their people because it's falling into the sea because they left the E.U.
VARNEY: What are you thinking? You support a universal basic income system?
SALMON: Maybe not universal, but certainly for people in poverty.
VARNEY: Wildly expensive. Free money, for God's sake.
SALMON: Free money is awesome. The best way to get people out of poverty is to give them money.
VARNEY: Do you pay tax?
SALMON: I do.
VARNEY: You'd have no objection to your tax money going to people, free, do what you like with it, here's a transfer, just do it.
SALMON: Yeah, unconditional cash transfers, yeah, they're incredibly powerful.
VARNEY: You like this?
SALMON: Yes.
VARNEY: How long are you going to be in America for?
SALMON: I'm a citizen now.
VARNEY: You're a citizen? So you vote?
SALMON: I'm going to, yes.
WEBSTER: But didn't they try this in Finland and it fell apart? They've yanked it, it didn't work, it was no incentive to go and work.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD (FOX BUSINESS): Because it was so costly.
SALMON: That was not the reason.
MACDONALD: It was the reason, because it was so costly.
SALMON: The cost was the reason, but the work incentive actually played out. You wind up working more, and being healthier, and having healthier kids who go to school more, those findings, especially -- is stronger in places like sub-Saharan Africa, where you can see the differences happen much more rapidly. But there's a good case to be made that it happens in all countries. It happens in Alaska, Alaska is a Republican state, and they give everyone an unconditional check every year.
MACDONALD: That's a dividend out of the oil supplies.
VARNEY: That's from the dividend from the oil, it's got nothing to do with universal basic income for heaven's sake.
SALMON: It's universal income.
VARNEY: Are you a socialist?
SALMON: No.
VARNEY: What are you?
SALMON: Maybe.
VARNEY: Way left of center? Did you declare that when you came to America and became a citizen?
SALMON: They asked me if I had or had ever been a member of the Communist Party, and I had not.
VARNEY: And you had not.
SALMON: I had not.
VARNEY: So you're off the hook.
SALMON: Exactly.
VARNEY: You can be a socialist on television, but you don't tell the immigration authorities about it.
SALMON: Now it's too late now, I'm a citizen.
...
VARNEY: Our viewers are not going to be very happy about this.
SALMON: They should be because it's free money. Who doesn't like free money?
MACDONALD: Taxpayers don't, they have to pay for it.
VARNEY: The people handing it out. People like me.
SALMON: Well, you have too much.
VARNEY: Oh. You've done it now. You've really done it now. I gotta move away to something else. Get off my set.

16 comments:

Matt Franko said...

Mike did that every week for 10 years....

Konrad said...

Socialism means government ownership of the means whereby goods and services are produced. A UBI does not involve this. Therefore a UBI is not socialism. Therefore f—k Fox News people. They are liars and idiots, just like everyone else in the corporate media outlets.

Whatever domestic thing they don’t like is “socialism.” (Whatever foreign thing they don’t like is a “dictator who gasses his own people.”)

Fox News people justify their attack on a UBI by using the lie that taxes pay for Social Security.

Meanwhile Fox viewers tend to be stupid older people who demand their Social Security, while demanding that younger people don’t get any.

One Fox idiot says, “But didn't they try this in Finland and it fell apart? They've yanked it, it didn't work, it was no incentive to go and work.”

[1] The UBI program in Finland will not be terminated until the end of this year. It did not “fall apart.” It was killed by the Centre Party, which is neoliberal, and which leads the ruling coalition.

In fact, the UBI program was a neoliberal trick. The Centre Party wanted to drastically but unemployment benefits for Finnish workers. Since Finnish workers did not like this, the Centre Party launched a program to give 560 euros a month (about USD $675, or £475) to 2,000 randomly selected unemployed Finns for two years. As I said, the Centre Party will terminate the program at the end of this year, but the cuts in unemployment benefits are permanent. Half of unemployed Finns have lost all their unemployment benefits because the Centre Party decided they weren’t looking hard enough for jobs.

The Centre Party is now working to make college students start having to pay tuition. Bankers are ready to hand out student loans, so that Finland can have a student loan debt crisis.

[2] Finland cannot be compared to the USA, since the Finnish government (unlike the U.S. government) cannot create its spending money out of thin air. And since Finland has a trade deficit, the Finnish government has a debt crisis. The USA also has a trade deficit, but the U.S. government has no debt crisis, since the U.S. government does not borrow its spending money.

Tom Hickey said...


Socialism means government ownership of the means whereby goods and services are produced.


Defining socialism are government (state) ownership of the means of production falls into a right wing trap by limiting the range of the terms.

In the broader sense, "socialism" means public control of the commanding heights of an economy.

In the broadest sense, "capitalism" means policy favoring capital formation with labor (people) and lan (environment) secondary. "Socialism" in this sense reverses the prioritization.

Konrad said...

“It was killed by the Centre Party, which is neoliberal, and which leads the ruling coalition.”

Most European governments are ruled by “centre left” coalitions.

“Centre left” means they push neoliberalism, while they also push identity politics in order to distract the masses from their ever-increasing poverty and indebtedness.

If you don’t like this neoliberal scam, then according to the corporate media outlets, you are an “extremist.”

Konrad said...

“Defining socialism are government (state) ownership of the means of production falls into a right wing trap by limiting the range of the terms. In the broader sense, ‘socialism’ means public control of the commanding heights of an economy.” ~ Tom Hickey

Agreed, but “public control” ultimately means government control.

I refer to socialism as “government ownership” here in this blog, because this blog’s readers are not programmed to regard all forms of “government control” as evil.

I would never use the phrase “government control” in public. Instead, I would call it “public control” or “democratic control.”

“In the broadest sense, ‘capitalism’ means policy favoring capital formation, with people and environment secondary. ‘Socialism’ in this sense reverses the prioritization.”~ Tom Hickey

Agreed. Socialism is a reversal of priorities. Everybody works for each other, instead of working for a handful of rich oligarchs.

Kaivey said...

Tony Blair is thinking of starting a centrist neoliberal party. The media is going to make Labour look like an extremist party with Jeremy Cornyn a terrorist sympathizer. But Blair is the extremist who supports the terrorist criminal Israeli state. It was Blair who sent people off to be brutally tortured in ME countries. Alright, he might not have authorized it, but he knew what British intelligence was up to and did nothing to stop it. And he probably new MI6 was funding the jihadists terrorists so how can he, or the media, sell his new party as moderate?

Konrad said...

“Tony Blair is thinking of starting a centrist neoliberal party. How can he, or the media, sell his new party as moderate?” ~ Kaivey

Neoliberals always camouflage their militancy by calling themselves “moderates.”

They hide their extremism by calling themselves “centrists,” while they denounce populists as “extremist Nazis,” and socialists as “extremist Communists.”

Neoliberal extremism is "centrism."

Everything else is “extremism.”

Neoliberal militants are "moderates."

All others are "militants."


Unfortunately the masses believe these lies.

“The media is going to make Labour look like an extremist party with Jeremy Corbyn a terrorist sympathizer. But Blair is the extremist who supports the terrorist criminal Israeli state.” ~ Kaivey

Blair senses an opportunity to start a new “centrist” and “moderate” party (i.e. extreme neoliberal) because the Tories are in disarray, while Labour struggles with the “anti-Semitism” hoax. Blair will get massive media coverage, since the corporate media outlets are all pro-neoliberal.

And as always, the masses will think what they are told to think.

Magpie said...

Defining socialism are government (state) ownership of the means of production falls into a right wing trap by limiting the range of the terms. In the broader sense, ‘socialism’ means public control of the commanding heights of an economy.

Baloney. Defining "socialism" otherwise is to fall in the fake-left trap. It's to concede that there is something shameful, wrong, in socialism. It's to apologise in advance.

What's more, it won't work. It's cowardly and smacks of fraud.

To re-define "socialism" as "welfare state", as job guarantee, as free education, as unions, as this or that, will only give ammunition to those opposed to those measures. It only shifts the Overton window rightwards.

The older I get, the more I appreciate a truth my parents and grandparents taught me: honesty it the best policy. One may disagree with Steve Bannon on many fronts. I do. The guy was right when he said: wear it like a badge of honor and let the chips fall where they may.

Tom Hickey said...

To re-define "socialism" as "welfare state", as job guarantee, as free education, as unions, as this or that, will only give ammunition to those opposed to those measures.

Social democracy is not democratic socialism. Social democracy is managed capitalism, while democratic socialism is public ownership or control of the commanding heights of the economy.

Marx did not envision the end state of communism to be characterized by state or government ownership of the means of production, since communism occurs only after the withering away of the state.

Governance is not necessarily through a government that implies a state in which there are class distinctions that are operative politically.

Government is a political institution. Governance is a political process rather than a political institution. Governance as a process doesn't necessitate government as an institution.

Magpie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Magpie said...

Social democracy is not democratic socialism. Social democracy is managed capitalism, while democratic socialism is public ownership or control of the commanding heights of the economy.

I could rest my case. You just admitted to the fraud accusation! You started with socialism. Now it's managed capitalism and social democracy. They call that bait and switch.

----------

But let's talk about social democracy. It's dead. Kaput, gone, gone-diddly-on. Even John "We are all socialists now" Quiggin knows it! Look at the charts here:

Sunday, 9 September 2018
Now, Now, We Are all Socialists.
http://aussiemagpie.blogspot.com/2018/09/now-now-we-are-all-socialists.html

Good riddance.

Social democracy failed for the same reason you defend it: social democrats need to talk tough to their voters, but that same tough-talk scares capitalists. If they appease capitalists, then it's their voters who are unhappy. Whatever social democrats do, someone is bound to be disappointed. And, call me cynical, but I think chances are it's the voters who will be disappointed.

Here:

Monday, 3 September 2018
Reformism Yesterday and Social Democracy Today
https://aussiemagpie.blogspot.com/2018/09/reformism-yesterday-and-social.html

----------

Do you remember Zach Carter's article a few months back about Prof. Kelton? This article:

Stephanie Kelton has the Biggest Idea in Washington (Huffington Post, May 20)
https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/stephanie-kelton-economy-washington_us_5afee5eae4b0463cdba15121

Carter did his best to present the JG as a Very Serious policy, didn't he? Something even establishment Democrats could support: even Wall Street types! He didn't even mention Prof. Mitchell's name, for God's sake!

Doesn't that reveal the kind of constraints "social democrats" are subject to?

Even if "social democrats" were honest (and frankly, you don't help their case), how do you think that kind of thing sounds?

Someone is being taken for a cuck. Guess who?

Tom Hickey said...

Social democracy is not socialism. I am pretty sure that Bernie knows it. If so, it was disingenuous of him to represent social democracy as democratic socialism. I doubt the people like the Bernie progressives coming along now are aware of this distinction though.

Democratic socialism is not necessarily state socialism where the government, which can be captured by class interests, owns everything or everything of economic importance.

Democratic socialism can be effected through worker co-ops, for instance. Public ownership is worker ownership in this model, with the workplace operated democratically.

Konrad said...

“The older I get, the more I appreciate a truth my parents and grandparents taught me: honesty is the best policy.”

This is true in private interpersonal relations, but it is na├»ve in politics. Rich people and the corporate media outlets have so programmed the masses to love and defend their enslavement that most people shriek with derision at any mention of “socialism” or “government ownership.”

Therefore, if I interpret Tom Hickey correctly, he is asking us to be careful with the terms we use. Most people don’t know what “socialism” means, but they know it is evil, because they have been told this from birth. Therefore, if we want to make any progress, we must act while we avoid verbally pushing the masses’ hot buttons.

Most people prefer to live in a dream world. Many defend their fairy tales with their lives. Therefore they actually want politicians to lie to them. They insist on it. They would become confused and disoriented if a politician suddenly spoke the truth, e.g. “The U.S. government does not run on tax revenue.” President F.D. Roosevelt didn’t speak the full truth when he pushed through Social Security. He just did it.

If we deny these factors, and if we claim that most people respond to truth, then we are refusing to face reality. We are being childish.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon wanted the USA to have Universal Social Security (USS). Nixon was checkmated by Congressional Democrats who feared that USS would undermine Democrats’ false pretense that they are the “party of the people.” (If average people become financially happy, they will stop believing our lies that we are their only protection from Republicans!”) Even today, people still support the neoliberal Democrats who want to crush them.

“One may disagree with Steve Bannon on many fronts. I do. The guy was right when he said: wear it like a badge of honor and let the chips fall where they may.”

In politics the chips fall into oblivion.

Anyway it is one thing to awaken from the lies, but it is more difficult to cope with a world of people who insist on believing the lies. The challenge is not so much to wake up as to deal with people who refuse to wake up. Such people must be handled tactfully if we want to get anything done. That is reality. We can reject reality if we want, just as we can howl at the moon if we want.

Magpie said...

Social democracy is not socialism. I am pretty sure that Bernie knows it. If so, it was disingenuous of him to represent social democracy as democratic socialism. I doubt the people like the Bernie progressives coming along now are aware of this distinction though.

Absolutely. Sanders is misrepresenting his position. That's false advertising: his and yours.

If Sanders thinks he can single-handedly resurrect that Lazarus, let him try. People may fall for it for a while, he'll have his honeymoon. But soon enough they'll see there's no there there. As they used to say in that TV series: It all happened before, it'll happen again.

Tom Hickey said...

and yours

How so? I distinguish between social democracy as managed capitalism and democratic socialism as public ownership or control of the commanding heights.

I use "control" since the way I view it there is no ownership public or private (other than petty) in socialism, which is based on the commons rather than private property as it developed historically.

db68 said...

Varney is a douche bag of the highest order.