UBI → UBM

Recently, The Portly Politico wrote a short piece entitled “Fast Food Premium” about Universal Basic Income (UBI) and some of what is grossly wrong with this particular Leftist idea.

There’s been a lot of discussion of UBI—Universal Basic Income—over the last few years, especially with the presidential primary run of Andrew Yang.  The concept is seductive in its simplicity:  gut the welfare state and its behemoth apparatus of bureaucratic pencil pushers and middlemen, and just cut every adult citizen a monthly check.

For fiscal conservatives, it’s a particularly toothsome Devil’s Bargain:  streamline an inefficient and wasteful bureaucracy and simply direct deposit a grand every month into Americans’ checking accounts.  Of course, it’s a siren song:  we’d just get the payments and still suffer from an entrenched bureaucracy, claiming $1000 a month isn’t enough to meet the specialized needs of whatever community they pretend to support.

Even if the deal were struck and every redundant welfare program was eliminated, there UBI would still be a bad idea.  Besides the absurdity of merely paying people to exist, it’s inherently inflationary:  if you give everyone $1000 a month, prices are going to go up.  Just as college tuition has soared because universities realized they could jack up the price and federal loans would expand to cover the costs, UBI would cause a similar rise in prices.  Sure, it’d be great at first, but the inflationary effects would kick in quickly.

— The Portly Politico
Fast Food Premium

Rather than comment on his post directly, I’ve chosen to put my thoughts out here, both to boost the signal of his post and to avoid clogging up his post with TLDR commenting and bringing in tangential and barely tangential facts and predictions to his discussion.

My Thoughts On His Post and Premise

He right; UBI is prima facie very seductive to those who want to increase efficiency and decrease the size of the federal government’s payroll. He’s also right in his allusion to the fact that such an improvement is unlikely in the extreme to happen. The realities of the Deep State’s power, the issues involved in putting a significant number of federal workers onto the unemployment rolls, and many of the several States each likely deciding that they need more than the proposed $1000 per month per person, all indicate that there would be little, if any, streamlining of the federal bureaucracy.

I also agree that UBI would be inherently inflationary. Any time you inject “free” money into an economic system, inflation will be the result. This is especially true when it’s perceived as a stable, recurring injection of said money.

Finally, I agree that UBI would devastate the many industries that rely upon – and are to some extent relied upon by – the unskilled, lowest tier of workers inside our borders, e.g., the fast food industry that was his example.

I disagree, however, that this would be simply a Direct Deposit of monies into people’s bank accounts. Even today, most form of government “largess” are offered through debit cards managed by various third-party firms who make a great deal of money off of proving that service. There’s just too many of the same sorts who have issues with Voter IDs who “need” that sort of card vs. having a banking account of some sort.

UBI - You All Get "Free" Money, No Effort Needed
UBI – You All Get “Free” Money, No Effort Needed

My Thoughts On Near-Term UBI

My first thought is that this very much wouldn’t be a replacement program in the near term. UBI, along with “free” college, pay per baby birthed (I believe this will be expanded and made more direct than the current refundable tax credit), and other subsidies will simply be added to the billions of dollars the federal government hands out as subsidies to the “poor” every year. I firmly believe that, if UBI is enacted, it will be an addition, not a replacement, to the current subsidies collectively referred to a “Safety Net.”

No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!

— President Ronald Reagan (Bl. 😉 )

No, my guess would be the only part of the “Safety Net” that might be removed (after a one-time, lump-sum payout) as redundant is Social Security (SSI), which is a largely worker-funded program that has been an issue for the government – as well as a cash cow – for some time now.

My second thought is that this, like minimum wage, unemployment, and a plethora of other nationwide programs, will actually increase the inefficiencies and sizes of state and local governments. After all, $1000 doesn’t go nearly as far in Manhattan, NY as it does in Gering, Ne. Hence, the more costly, Democrat-controlled states and localities will do whatever they can to get significantly (200% or more in some cases) increased UBI stipends.

Hellfire! That’s not even ridiculous or grafting. Just taking into account rent, there’s a huge difference. Apartments in Manhattan average costing 680% ($3670 vs. $540) of what they do in Gering. Other costs are similarly different. It would just make sense for NY politicians to demand more UBI money per resident, especially since UBI wouldn’t be means-tested in any way.

My third and final thought is that the proposed $1000 per month federal subsidy would only be the starting point. It would dramatically increase relatively quickly as increasing the monthly stipend would become a key campaign promise, especially for Democrat candidates.

Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) – America’s only long term experiment with any form or level of UBI and Mike Dunleavy landslide victory in the 2018 Alaska gubernatorial election after he promised to increase the PFD payout by more than 600% of the then-current payout and over 300% of the original payout, rather proves that point.

My Longer-Term Predictions: UBI → UBM

In the longer-term, I predict that, if UBI is enacted upon America by the Democrats now or in the near future, it will over the course of some amount of time morph into Universal Basic Maintenance (UBM), with specific subsidies, services, and products replacing all or most of the cash payout. The negative synergy between the Republicans’ desire to not spend taxpayers’ money on frivolous or immoral things and the Democrats’ ideology of benevolent tyranny, pretty much guarantees this, as do all the politicians’ perfectly logical desires for increased control over the populace.

So, those UBI monies that bureaucrats think would or should be spent upon food will, at some point, be replaced by actual, preselected, “appropriate” foodstuffs either available for pickup at government or government-authorized locations or delivered to people’s homes.

Remember, President Trump already floated this idea as a change in SNAP, and the only real reason Democrats lambasted it was that President Trump was the one putting it forth.

Similarly, I’d expect some hybrid of government credit system in POS’s for durable goods, e.g., toilet paper and cleaning supplies and home deliveries of the same to replace that expected portion of the UBI cash payout.

Rent could and might well be handled similarly to how NYC’s rent control works, with the landlords receiving federal monies but being required by fiat to limit their rents to a pre-specified level – a portion of the future iteration of the UBM program that they may not be allowed to opt-out of in most cases.

And, of course, even if healthcare doesn’t get moved to a fully government-controlled single-payer model, that portion of each person’s UBI allotment would likely end up under UBM being placed directly by the government into that person’s Health Savings Account (HSA). Additionally, the government will probably at that point completely control how much medical professionals and institutions can charge for individual procedures and medications.

Yes, my predictions is that UBI will mutated into UBM, a para-utero to grave support and control system ran by the government, without the need for- or use of money by the residents of the nation for their basic needs as defined by our government.

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Record Setters

Record Setters
Record Setters

Words can be important, but both actions and the results that really matter. Hence, a POTUS – any POTUS – should be judged upon his record and the records, if any, that he sets. 😉

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Some Things Don’t Change

Some people, especially the Liberals and Progressives, loves to spout off about how times have changed and the old paradigms are no longer appropriate for America.

Some sorts don't change...
The Monkey’s Remain The Same

Yet times may seem to change but certain sorts and demographics don’t change. The monkeys remain same, dreaming of- and chattering for those free bananas and throwing feces when they don’t get them.

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America’s New Economy

There’s a lot of talk about America’s new economy and how we all have to do whatever is necessary to adapt to it.

People who work for a living are being overwhelmed by people who vote for a living
America’s New Economy

These animals’ view of America’s new economy is an economy based upon the productive being enslaved by the worthless and, as every previous attempt of this Keynesian nightmare has shown us, this economic model is doomed to utter failure.

As far as I can see, most of this talk – and all the jabbering spewing out of the maws of Obama and his coterie of vermin – should be rejected by we, the People of the United States of America – rejected by force and with extreme prejudice if needs be.

Already America is in a state where and when for every 1.25 productive citizens there is one resident that is either being supported through welfare or who is employed for the government in some capacity. A 1.25:1 Maker to Eater & Taker ratio is ridiculous, abhorrent to men of good character, and utterly unsustainable.

If America’s new economy is one where people who work for a living are being overwhelmed by people who vote for a living, then it’s time for drastic change starting in DC, working down to the ghettos and slums, and not stopping until America is cleansed, purified, and reborn once again as nation it was created as and always meant to be.

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Subsidized Smut

Just another crackhead nigger begging for moneyThere’s always a reason why poor people are poor and often, though not nearly always, that reason is that the people in question make poor choices and have priorities that prevent them from ever being anything better then parasites on society as a whole.

Even when they’re given largess from the public’s coffers in the form of welfare and food stamps via EBT in order for them to feed themselves, they seem to have different priorities for its use.

It seems some number of them prefer to spend the money that government took from Americans and gave to them as a hand-out on: liquor, pornography, hookah use, and strippers.

Theyre on the dole and watching the pole.

Welfare recipients took out cash at bars, liquor stores, X-rated video shops, hookah parlors and even strip clubs where they presumably spent their taxpayer money on lap dances rather than diapers, a Post investigation found.

A database of 200 million Electronic Benefit Transfer records from January 2011 to July 2012, obtained by The Post through a Freedom of Information request, showed welfare recipients using their EBT cards to make dozens of cash withdrawals at ATMs inside Hanks Saloon in Brooklyn; the Blue Door Video porn shop in the East Village; The Anchor, a sleek SoHo lounge; the Patriot Saloon in TriBeCa; and Drinks Galore, a liquor distributor in The Bronx.

The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), which oversees the cash assistance program, even lists some of these welfare-ready ATMs on its Web site.

One EBT machine is stationed inside Club Eleven, an infamous Hunts Point jiggle joint known as much for its violent history as its girls in pink thongs.

NOTE: Before I go any further I must say that Fox News’ article has one huge and glaring flaw, most likely of deliberate origin. There are NO EBT MACHINES! EBT cards work in any ATM, which are what is installed in the locations mentioned. OK, technically they just reprinted an excerpt from an NY Post article but, especially considering the nature of their sister company, that’s no real excuse for either poor fact-checking or willfully ignoring errors.

By way of probably long overdue full disclosure, since it hasn’t mattered in close to two years, I worked for a Newscorp business as a senior technical executive (ISO) for 5 long years.

I know the people all the way to the top and I know what the companies’ real goals are and they’re not political in the least.

I like the various Newscorp businesses for what they are – a lone counterweight to the Leftists’ MSM complex. I can’t and don’t try to delude myself about their own agenda and methodology though, and I don’t see where anyone else should either.

~*~

Still…Strip Clubs? These grifters and failures prefer to use hands-outs meant for their food, housing, utilities, and sundry household necessities to watch some slut jiggle and show off the sum total of her worth as an animal? Tell me again why we’re keeping these creatures alive.

Now Accepting Other People’s Money
(Card Swipe Available For Extra Fee)

I could almost understand the occasional splurge on a six-pack, a bottle of spirits, or nice bowl out of hookah, or a civilized drink or two at a bar. People do need to maintain some semblance of normalcy and pleasure irrespective of their poverty; that’s part of the aim of these welfare programs. But strippers?!?

As an interesting side-note, the NYC Green Markets accept EBT but ONLY issue coupons that are only good at the green market. They even add extra, in the form of $2 extra for every $5 spent.

Many would say that the welfare system is flawed and that this is proof of it. To be fair though, the federal government did recognize this problem and the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, which Obama actually signed into law, included provisions that requires states to prohibit sinful welfare spending by 2014. If they dont, theyll forfeit federal cash. Yet those state legislatures which are controlled by Liberals, including New York’s, don’t seem to believe that they need to address this because doing so would “hurt the poor.

For myself, I wouldn’t say that the system is flawed and I have no idea how to stop this sinful spending of other people’s money without returning to old voucher system which was determined to be both needlessly and prohibitively expense to run. In other words, what they’re losing in misuse is probably less than they were losing in overhead before.

What I would say is that entire concept is flawed. Clinton, under American pressure in his 2nd term, reformed Welfare to some extent but we’ve never gone far enough. We’re still keeping habitual parasites and failure alive instead of implementing caps and cut-offs to limit how long they can live at our expense.

Then again, since only very recent dates were mentioned, it may just come down to who are the new poor and who’s been now allowed these entitlements. That would point to a systemic failure but not to a failure of the specific system delivery largess to the our society’s dregs and temporarily – we hope but do not count on with Obama’s reelection – impoverished.

 

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