Saturday, March 05, 2016

Canadian City To Give Residents Free Money

by JASmius

You know, kinda like the Joker in the first Batman movie....

....although he didn't originate the idea - and, of course, a lot of Gothamites soon died thereafter, illustrating anew and rather viscerally that NOTHING is "free," ultimately.  George McGovern may not have originated it either, but it was part of his 1972 campaign platform.  He lost forty-nine States back then; he'd probably win in a landslide now.

Whoever originally came up with the tiresomely unsustainable notion, a Canadian city in Ontario has revived it and is positive that they're the socialists who can make it work:

Residents of [a] Canadian city [in] Ontario will soon be eligible for a "basic income" project that will provide them with a regular monthly allowance for living expenses — with no questions asked about their working status.

So, by definition, it's universal - everybody's eligible.

The idea has been around since the 1960s, reports Tech Insider and is under consideration in Finland and the Netherlands.

"We need it rolled out around Canada and Quebec, too, is in the game," said Sheila Regehr, chairwoman of the Basic Income Canada Network, the organization promoting the idea.

Anybody wonder where the BICN gets its income?   Assuming it doesn't just fall from the sky like manna?  My guess would be some, or all, levels of government.  And from where does the government get its income?  Taxpayers who work and are productive.  And of which there will be fewer and fewer given this huge incentive to stop working and go on the dole, "no questions asked".  Which means government borrowing, spiraling debt, and ultimate default and economic collapse.  Because wealth can only be "redistributed" and "transferred" so much and so long before there's none of it left.  Sooner or later, more has to be produced - which "free money" flatly disincentivizes.

So does this mean that "basic income" will be taxable?  Doesn't it have to be?  And what will "da peepul" think about that?  Almost as if it isn't "free" after all.

Here's the punchline:

"There's no reason why people and governments in other parts of this country need sit on the sidelines. It's time for us all to get to work." [emphasis added]

Yes, Miss Regehr actually said that, in that context.  She's got a real career as a comedy writer waiting for her if she ever pulls her head out of her ass.

Oh, and in case you were wondering at what level this "basic income" will be flowing in to recipients, as you can see, there's already a problem:

In Finland, people would receive an extra 800 Euros, or around $900, a month, while in the Netherlands, they'll get an extra $1,000 a month, reports Tech Insider.

Just to provide context and perspective, in my ongoing predicament, that would not be enough to make monthly ends meet.  It would help, certainly, by extending our nest egg approximately sixfold, which would more than tide us over for the rest of our lives; but that's only because we HAVE a nest egg, and the only reason why we have a nest egg is because my wife and I both WORKED for our entire adult lives and SAVED and lived well within our means and didn't run up ANY significant debt outside of our mortgage, and THAT was for a dinky little rambler that most people would have flipped for something sixteen times bigger than they needed, but in which we have stayed for over twenty-two years.  Also bear in mind that Mrs. Hard Starboard STILL works, and I would be as well if anybody would hire me.

You could say that that "Basic income" is tailor made for our situation.  It is not, however, for most anybody else's.  If you're working, you don't need it, and if you're not working, it won't be enough.  I guarantee one and all that if this harebrained scheme takes root in Canada and Finland and the Netherlands and elsewhere, the word "basic" will give way to the term "livable," because a grand a month isn't going to cut it.  The psychology will be identical to the minimum wage wars, in which the pay for entry-level jobs isn't good enough and must be jacked up by law to make it - you got it - "livable," even though those jobs - being entry-level - aren't worth that level of recompense.

$900 or a thousand bucks a month, in other words, will be but the opening ante, and will spiral upward from there.  And the precedent will have been set that the government owes everybody a "livable" living.

The story doesn't say if that nine hundred or a thousand smackers every double-fortnight will be per household or per citizen, but let's compromise and say that that amount is given to every Canadian adult (age twenty and up).  Using the higher, rounded-up dollar figure - which is the approximate U.S. federal poverty level for a single person - that would be an annual (Canadian) price tag of over three billion dollars a year, or a little over one percent of the Canadian federal budget - as a start.  It would, of course, not remain there, and more and more of Ottawa's budget would be consumed by this metastasizing fiscal cancer.

About the only caveat one can toss into this witch's brew is that we're talking about small countries with comparatively small populations.  Writ it large by implementing it here and the price tag becomes approximately three hundred billion dollars out of - or, rather, added to - an already $4.1 trillion U.S. federal budget, or approximately seven percent.  And that would be on top of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare.

If Sheila Regehr wants to implement her scheme in a fiscally responsible manner, she can sign me up and forget about everybody else.  I would certainly be satisfied and content with that arrangement.  But something tells me nobody else would.

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