Cato Comes Out in Favor of a Universal Basic Income
By Karen De Coster
I never signed any contract at all – let alone a “social” one – but somehow, I am expected to sign a “new” social contract to amend the one I never signed in the first place. In the video within the article, that Zucker guy says that we should have a society that measures progress by the “meaningfulness” of our role in life. We are led to believe, by that Zucker guy, that a universal basic income (UBI) will provide a cushion for all of those entrepreneurial welfare types to “try new ideas.” Cato’s Michael Tanner likes the idea, and he adds this:
Looking for the next big political idea? How about this: Let’s scrap our entire social welfare system, including all of our anti-poverty programs, unemployment insurance, Medicare and even Social Security. In its place, just send every American a no-strings-attached check for enough money to ensure that no one falls below the poverty line
…For those who believe in getting government out of people’s lives, a UBI would also be far less paternalistic, expecting the poor to budget and manage their money like everyone else.
Tanner thinks that replacing the web of contradictory welfare programs with UBI will somehow correct the “incentive” problem, thus promoting work, marriage, and savings amongst a high-time preference sect of the population that will never think beyond today or tomorrow, no matter how much the amount of the “check” that you plop into their hands. But Tanner didn’t seem to opine on Zucker’s amazing, new theory that the welfare class is the undiscovered entrepreneurial class.