The Value Of Dumb Ideas

Dumb ideas are a feature of democracy. The main reason for this is the majority of people trusted with a vote are average or below average. Democracy works on the assumption that people work in series. Connect enough of them, no matter their intellectual capacity, and you get enough brain power. In reality, people work in parallel, so the more you connect, the faster dumb ideas flow through society. Democracy is the form of government with the lowest resistance to dumb ideas.

Another aspect of this is that dumb ideas never die. At the risk of mixing science and superstition, dumb ideas are like demons from Hell. They are never killed. They can be exorcised and sent back to the pit, but they always find a way out. Like a demon, they inhabit a new body and employ new tricks, so the dumb idea often looks like an entirely new dumb idea. That’s what you see with the universal basic income. It is an old dumb idea that has come back in a new disguise.

Dumb ideas are not without their utility. Until they are revealed to be dumb, people debate them and that debate says something about the people. The homosexual marriage debate, which feels like a lifetime ago, revealed that the left side of the political class was going insane, while the right side had quit on its stool. In the fullness of time, the surrender on homosexual marriage will be seen as the point where conservatism entered the death spiral. That’s the power of dumb ideas.

In the case of the UBI, Andrew Yang becoming a household name based on his promotion of the idea underscores the bankruptcy of the Left. The reason Yang got so much attention is he is the only guy talking about policy. His idea may be silly, but at least it is an idea. People can hear the proposal and think about what it would mean to them if it was enacted. The rest of the candidates emote about intersectional grievances and social justice. They may as well be speaking in tongues.

Of course, the intellectual bankruptcy of the Left is not a new idea. In the 1990’s it became clear that the American Left had run out of practical road and was veering into the side roads of the bizarre. Conservatives used to crow about how they had many more plans for having the government do stuff. The thing is, the American Right was always just the straight man for the Left. It was never intended to be the star. Their job was to respond to the hijinks of their Progressive partners.

Another side benefit of the UBI is that it resonated with young people on the Right, who tweeted Yang onto the big stage. They were attracted to that promised allowance of a thousand bucks a month. It was mostly a joke, but it revealed a truth about the people moving from conventional politics. That is, there is a slow re-discovery of the fact that the point of government is to serve the people. Public policy is not about pleasing the economy, but about improving the life of the people.

The UBI debate has also leaked into adult conversation. The paleoconservatives are coming around to the idea that the economy is a false god. That wing of conservatism never went down the libertarian dead end, but they did get lost in the wilderness of foreign policy fanaticism. For a long time, they have focused solely on the endless wars and to a lesser extent the slobbering obedience to Israel. This post in the American Conservative suggests that is changing.

Again, the UBI is a dumb idea. Giving everyone an allowance of some figure simply makes that allowance the new zero. Whatever initial benefit people experience will soon be gobbled up by retail inflation as the new money hits the streets. You don’t fix massive inequality by dropping cash into the ghetto. What matters here is that people are starting to think again about government playing an active role in defending society, rather than acting as the great paladin of the economy.

Probably the most important observation that comes from the UBI discussion is that it has no impact on elite opinion. The Democrat candidates on stage look at Andrew Yang and fail to connect his presence with his ideas. Instead, they continue to pose in bizarre ways about intersectional politics and grandiose reform schemes. You would think that at least one of them would notice that a simple idea took an unknown Jackie Chan body double and elevated him to the big stage.

What this reveals, maybe underscores is the right way to put it, is that the political class, particular the inner party political class, is beyond reform. It is just a collection of carny folk hired to perform by the oligarchs. Those oligarchs look at America society in the same way raiders look at a coastal village. They are focused on looting as much as they can as fast as they can. If there is going to be reform, it will come after the current ruling class is wiped out and replaced by natives.


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Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
8 months ago

Trump should set up the federal equivalent of the deal Alaska has; re: sharing oil revenues. Make the US government into a profit center (oil and gas leases, land sales/leases, etc). That would get everyone’s motivations regarding citizenship moving in the right direction, and I think, avoid the problem of just manufacturing $1k a month for everyone (untied to any real assets).

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Karl McHungus
8 months ago

Good idea. The resources of the land should belong to the people. Of course, the companies that have the skills to move the resources to the market should be rewarded, but they should not own the resources.

On the other hand, any form of “money for nothing” is dysgenic. So the money gained from the ownership of the people’s resources shouldn’t be given as cash payments. That money should be added to the general fund for use in projects that help the people, like infrastructure and health care.

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  LineInTheSand
8 months ago

No, give it to people in cash, monthly. Make it clear that the fewer the number of citizens, the more each gets. Look at the Indian tribes here in the US; once they started making a profit off the reservation land, they trimmed down the tribal membership (i.e. kicked out people).

Al from da Nort
Al from da Nort
Reply to  Karl McHungus
8 months ago

Karl; Agreed re Indian Tribes and per capita welfare. As I’ve reported a number of times, casino money to the tribes *did* cause them to reduce their member rolls using algorithms suspiciously like that of the mustache guy: Most typically, you have to have at least one grandparent who lived on the rez (reservation) to qualify for UBI. But they still live in squalor, just like before. Worse, it functions like the old ‘crab bucket’* illustration: Since you gotta live on the rez to get the UBI, it discourages people from leaving and bettering their circumstances. In the past that’s… Read more »

Hoagie
Hoagie
Reply to  LineInTheSand
8 months ago

The resources of the land should belong to whoever owns the land. If it’s public land then it’s the people. If it’s private land then it’s the owner(s). The resources should be owned by those who develop them unless we are now adopting the economic ideas of Venezuela.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Hoagie
8 months ago

No human put oil in the ground or power in the rivers. Those resources belong to all. However, I do recognize that for most tasks, a private organization is most effecient at harnessing those resources and those firms should profit. My concern about my line of reasoning is that it could be applied to a beautiful view outside of someone’s home window.

No one but an anarcho-capitalist rejects all socialism, so the word had little sting. If you think any level of taxation is acceptable, you are a socialist as well, in the broad meaning.

Al from da Nort
Al from da Nort
Reply to  LineInTheSand
8 months ago

Line;
Come on. I’m sure you know about ‘the tragedy of the commons’: Everybody’s property is nobody’s property and the village acts accordingly.

As the Russians used to say, ‘With loose firewood around even the priest will steal it.’ N Khrushchev is reported to have said in frustration, ‘If people would stop stealing even for one day, we could have Communism’.

Not everything Libertarians say is wrong. Plenty of historical examples.

Having a shared commons could and did work in *tribal* societies which were most certainly *not* democratic in any way.

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  Hoagie
8 months ago

Do you have any idea how much land the federal and state governments “own”? And many private land holdings explicitly state that the government still holds the mineral rights (which covers oil, too).

guest
guest
Reply to  LineInTheSand
8 months ago

Then the same criminals now leaving family dynasties based on one member being in public office for a while would become even wealthier as more public monies are skimmed off the top. Bigger government always results in more criminality.

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  thezman
8 months ago

Or to Wall Street. Oh, wait. Never mind.

John Smith
John Smith
Member
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
8 months ago

LOL. Comment of the day. 100 likes! 🙂

Member
Reply to  Karl McHungus
8 months ago

Except the US has no net profit. Being $23 trillion in debt with an annual budget deficit around $1 trillion means that any “revenue sharing” is simply welfare or UBI by another name.

ETA: I periodically check

https://www.usdebtclock.org/#

Currently the debt per taxpayer is about $187,288.

If I just pay that off, can I then opt out of the part of the “social contract” that obliges me to pay anything to the government, ever again? Because I’ll totally do that.:)

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  Vizzini
8 months ago

just forget about the treasury debt, no one is going to be paying that back. Confederate money will be “good” before those bonds are repaid.

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  Karl McHungus
8 months ago

The bonds won’t be repaid as agreed, true. But the devil will collect his due when the United States of Diversity defaults. Everyone who has dollar denominated assets will see those asset values decline, perhaps crash. Overnight all of us will be poorer relative to the rest of the world.

BTW i think there are some advantages to your cash for citizenship idea. Not the least of which is the teachable moments afforded by the public spectacle of ghetto dwellers spending thier monthly check in 5 hours.

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  Michaeloh
8 months ago

We can tell the ghetto denizens it’s “repatriations” and get a two fer’ 😛

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  Karl McHungus
8 months ago
Member
Reply to  Vizzini
8 months ago

In the 50 years I have been alive, there has not a been a single year that the national debt did not increase. The federal debt grew every single year of the Clinton administration (along with every president since JFK) despite all the talk of federal surplus.

Jim Smith
Jim Smith
Reply to  Tars_Tarkusz
8 months ago

Not quite, Tars. Speaker Gingrich caused two consecutive budget surpluses when Bill Clinton was President: “By fiscal year 1998, the federal budget did reach a surplus of $69 billion. And in fiscal year 1999…it was in surplus as well, to the tune of $126 billion.”

Dinothedoxie
Dinothedoxie
Reply to  Jim Smith
8 months ago

Total federal debt grew in both of those two years.

Member
Reply to  Jim Smith
8 months ago

The off budget items outstripped the paper surplus and as was mentioned, the debt grew every single year of the Clinton administration.

bilejones
Member
Reply to  Tars_Tarkusz
8 months ago

1958 was the last lime there was no debt increase. Eisenhower not Kennedy.

Juri
Juri
Reply to  Vizzini
8 months ago

Who so rich that he can borrow the US a 23 trillion ? And everybody else too. It is not only the US who has debt.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Karl McHungus
8 months ago

If we’re going down this road, here’s an idea: put the oil money into a public pension. Get rid of social security. Let people keep the money they earn. Just throwing it out there.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Paintersforms
8 months ago

Using oil revenue/taxes is what Europe does to pay for its welfare state. Otherwise, they’d have $2-3 gas instead of $8. Anyone can raise taxes, but there is no free lunch.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Compsci
8 months ago

We subsidize the elderly anyway. I figure putting the money toward that would wreak the least economic havoc while ending the Ponzi scheme.

dad29
Reply to  Karl McHungus
8 months ago

You do know that there are “States” within this union, right? Are you proposing that the FedGov steal the assets of Alaska (e.g.) and re-distribute them to people in New York City?

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  dad29
8 months ago

That’s already happening. Money goes to cities.

Besides the feds bought Alaska from Russia. The state only exists because the feds allowed it.

We’re talking socialism here. Realities of it aren’t pretty.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Paintersforms
8 months ago

Technically, IMHO, there are only 13 States with a call upon freedom from the Fed’s. The rest are beholding to these 13 for their existence.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Compsci
8 months ago

Agreed. Maybe fewer since some of them seceded. The South could be called conquered territory.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Paintersforms
8 months ago

TX and CA would probably apply now that I think of it

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  Paintersforms
8 months ago

Eggzactly right. Because nobody, but nobody has the right to throw off their King… oh wait!

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Michaeloh
8 months ago

There was a process to re-admitting the Confederate states on new terms. Which included TX I guess. KY was divided from VA and didn’t secede. Not sure the legal implications. WV seceded from VA and joined the union. Again not sure of the implications. CA and TX joined on equal terms as republics as far as US is concerned (I think). TX later seceded and was defeated. HI was basically colonized. FL and other parts of southeast were acquired from Spain. Rest of the states were carved out of federal territories. So that leaves the colonies that didn’t secede and… Read more »

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Paintersforms
8 months ago

True about HI but they couldn’t resist the Americans. That’s why I see it as colonization, more or less.

Dinothedoxie
Dinothedoxie
Reply to  Compsci
8 months ago

TX, CA and HI we’re all sovereign states before entering the union. UT was sort of sovereign – an unambiguous autonomous zone.

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  dad29
8 months ago

no, this only applies to federal assets.

bilejones
Member
Reply to  dad29
8 months ago

Didn’t Federal Government buy Alaska? The State that didn’t exist didn’t buy its future self from the Russians

joe
joe
Reply to  Karl McHungus
8 months ago

If people are given a living, the only people who will work are those with fun jobs – largely govt workers and others who reeaallly enjoy bossing others around and pissing on their lives. Our rulers tend socialist because they CAN’T relate to people who dislike their jobs . So socialism ends up giving the rulers the power to control who gets what, and what the punishment is for not doing your job on the garbage truck. Future civilizations should learn from us: The only social safety net should be one that people will refuse if at all possible –… Read more »

Dinothedoxie
Dinothedoxie
Reply to  Karl McHungus
8 months ago

Good idea, but the value proposition of the federal government is the dollar as world reserve currency and the profits from IP monopolies. Figure out a way to transfer a large fraction of the benefits of both to individual citizens instead of oligarchs and raiders.

Member
8 months ago

The homosexual marriage debate, which feels like a lifetime ago, revealed that the left side of the political class was going insane, while the right side had quit on its stool.

Did the right quit, though? The right was winning every battle where persuasion and reason mattered. Every time homosexual marriage was put to a vote, it was defeated. Even in California! It triumphed because it was taken out of the peoples’ hands and imposed by judicial fiat. What could the right have done?

dad29
Reply to  thezman
8 months ago

…….and never WILL accept it. Nor the insanity of Big Tranny.

MemeWarVet
MemeWarVet
Reply to  dad29
8 months ago

But when do we do something other than silently acquiesce to Big Tranny?

Calsdad
Calsdad
Reply to  MemeWarVet
8 months ago

Ask JK Rowling – she’s finding out right now what happens when you question trannyism.

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  Calsdad
8 months ago

I almost feel sorry for her. But then I remember that for some reason every freaking SJW idiot adult goes on and on about a story for children. I mean “Witch” and “Wizard” are gendered, aren’t they? How dare Harry Potter conform to the standards of the time it was written all of 20 years ago.

guest
guest
Reply to  MemeWarVet
8 months ago

Until/unless we can get rid of them, we need (real) conservatives and traditionalists in the classrooms teaching. We could take back the schools within 10 years. If you know kids or esp mid-life career changers with life experience who want to make a difference, suggest it.

Sandmich
Sandmich
Reply to  Vizzini
8 months ago

I dunno, when it came time for people to vote with their pocketbook and punish globohomo they couldn’t be bothered, which makes me wonder how strong hatred of gay marriage was (and it didn’t help that we had people on our side like Glenn Reynolds pushing that crap under the guise of political expediency and equality).

Calsdad
Calsdad
8 months ago

At some point in the past – I answered a question on Quora about why Universal Income was a dumb idea. Now – I probably get pinged 3 times a week to answer somebody’s inane question about how Universal Income could work – or not work. I’ve given up offering up the reasons why it’s a dumb idea – now I just respond with something along the lines of : “the real issue here isn’t whether or not Universal Income would work – it’s with the fact that you (referring to the person asking the question) can’t seem to think… Read more »

Merfolk
Merfolk
Reply to  Calsdad
8 months ago

Well tell us. Why is it a dumb idea? I thought so myself, for the reason that Z states, but everyone ignores or laughs me down. Yang actually addressed some of these concerns on the Freakonomics podcast, which is a good podcast btw, sort of hit or miss like Kunstler’s, pointing out that the oil redistributionism has worked in Alaska. I wonder if that’s not similar to saying “socialism works in Norway,” lol, a lot of parallels there! Still however, Alaska is not a closed economy, and their lucre or loss is connected to the rest of the US economy.… Read more »

Calsdad
Calsdad
Reply to  Merfolk
8 months ago

UBI is just a new name for welfare with some slightly refined arguments behind where the money to pay for it is going to come from. Welfare does not “work”. If it did – we wouldn’t be where we are today – because the Western world has gone full bore for the welfare state for over a century. All the people who are “for” UBI and welfare should be put on the spot and FORCED to explain how their BS ideas aren’t responsible for all that chaos and decline that is currently consuming the Western world right now. If welfare… Read more »

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Calsdad
8 months ago

Calsdad, yep—UBI won’t work because, “people”. However named, UBI is not a new idea. Over a decade ago, Charles Murray proposed such a scheme in his book, “In Our Hands”, as a way to get government out of the welfare business. Similar to the Finland experiment, UBI was to replace all government handouts. Government handouts, broadly speaking, would include the usual things as welfare payments, school loans, and SSI, etc.—but even farm subsidies and corporate welfare.. All citizens would be required to buy health insurance (well before Obama’s ACA). Murray also worked out the numbers such that the plan would… Read more »

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  Compsci
8 months ago

Think of UBI (which is the equivalent of giving an allowance to children) as another way for the powers-that-be to infantilize the voters, along with all the other things going on that keep us acting like stupid children. Young people vote liberal, and keeping people voting liberal is part of the game. Which means the argument over UBI is here to stay, Yang or no Yang.

Al from da Nort
Al from da Nort
Reply to  Dutch
8 months ago

Dutch; ‘Allowance’ is a key to understanding why UBI can never work and also it’s attractiveness. The basic answers are ‘vast scale’ and ‘no consanguinity’. ‘Allowance’ can and does work in a nuclear family or even in an extended family of three generations under the same roof. These ancient forms of human social organization can never be anything but a Communist dictatorship: Parents produce and run the family, children consume until it’s their turn to be producers. But children are mostly incapable of unselfishly understanding the world. So they can never be in charge of unimportant decisions like the size… Read more »

John Smith
John Smith
Member
Reply to  Compsci
8 months ago

“Calsdad, yep—UBI won’t work because, “people”. ”
———————————————————————-

I think it was our esteemed blog host that said the current system cannot be salvaged. There is no tweak, no re-alignment, stream lining or other corporate magical double talk that will make the current one effective or fair. It has to be blown up, torn down, and carted away. Along with most of the people that ran it. If you come up with a new system and put the same guys in charge, you will get the same results.

It was a great country while it lasted.

Member
Reply to  Compsci
8 months ago

The aspect of inflation would be eliminated/minimized since no new money was entering the economy.

And I would like a sparkly unicorn who will be my best friend!

DaveA
DaveA
Reply to  Calsdad
8 months ago

Welfare suspends natural selection and replaces it with female sexual selection, causing humans to devolve into violent imbeciles obsessed with sex and bling.

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  DaveA
8 months ago

I do not doubt that is true so far as the ghetto is concerned. But middle class families have been not been weakened by welfare, just the opposite- high taxes and the high cost of non diverse schools for thier kids have driven women into the workforce to pay the bills. This, and easy divorce rape is what perverts the sexual and marriage markets.

John Smith
John Smith
Member
Reply to  Michaeloh
8 months ago

Phew. I think I completely disagree with that, M. If you go to any of the MRA sites, they are clogged with men that have been taken to the friggin cleaners by feral women. Tire biting shrews are involved in something like 70% of veteran suicides. They are responsible for 80% of the divorces, most of them frivolous. Welfare enables it and encourages it. We are only in the second generation of female liberation and empowerment – and our sons won’t come out of the basement playing video games. Our daughters are turning into screeching whores that hate men. Yesterday… Read more »

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  John Smith
8 months ago

I dont disagree that the marriage marketplace has been perverted. And i dont disagree that welfare provisions women Who therefore dont need to get as much from men or give as much to them in return. What I am saying is that since the middle class doesnt get much of that kind of welfare, nor are they satisfied with it as a sole source of income the middle class marriage market has been wrecked by women gaining financial independence through education and work rather than welfare.

Member
Reply to  Michaeloh
8 months ago

Who do you think is paying for all that welfare? It’s from that end that welfare wrecks the middle class.

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  Vizzini
8 months ago

Sure, i’ll buy that. But thats not the way i interpreted the original comment that i was responding to. Dont think thats what the poster had in mind either.

guest
guest
Reply to  Vizzini
8 months ago

and the fact that any money that comes from taxpayers and passes through the hands of congress and bureaucrats get skimmed, so their family dynasties can become richer and more powerful quicker for their benefit, not ours.

No matter how many book Peter Sweizer writes about it, we still want to give our money to middle-men who quickly find ways to put it into their own bank accounts.

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Michaeloh
8 months ago

How is “driving women into the workforce” not weakening middle class families ? Id argue its destroyed many

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  Anonymous
8 months ago

It does weaken families. But driving women intonthe workforce and welfare are two different things. One of which is distorting middle class marriage markets and the other is which isnt.

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  Calsdad
8 months ago

Who said welfare doesn’t work? It seems to me that the wealth inequality of the US is what isnt working. The scandanavians seem pretty happy with thier redistribution arrangements. Having said that i would be more interested in changing the rules of our winner take all society than increasing welfare. Rules that create more fairness in the labor markets for example; a moratorium on immigration, tariffs, deportation of illegals and prosecution of employers of illegals.

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  Michaeloh
8 months ago

it works fine in an ethically homogeneous society, like Scando countries pre-Islamification. As soon as there are multiple ethnicities with their hands out, it stops working.

Calsdad
Calsdad
Reply to  Michaeloh
8 months ago

LOL. The Swedes have cucked themselves so hard that they decided to troll around the world – find which peoples were pretty much the 180 degree opposite of Swedes – and them import them by the tens of thousands. Now they get grenade attacks, their women raped, and Jewesses telling them they still need to do more. And they still don’t have a replacement rate birthrate. So in the end – what their welfare state is going to lead to – is the first country covered with snow – that is full of Africans and Muslims with probably a small… Read more »

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  Calsdad
8 months ago

The Swedes don’t need a ‘welfare death’ to restore their society, they need a moratorium on immigration. That the Swedes are cucked, naive immigration morons and also egalitarian may not be linked as you seem to think. Example, the anti-immigration Swedish People Party is now the biggest party in the country. Yet as far as i know they are not proposing to rollback the welfare state because apparently they believe as I do; the problem isnt the system, it rarely is. The problem is their leadership and the morons they are importing into Sweden.

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  Michaeloh
8 months ago

Edit: the name of the party is Sweden Domocrats and the latest polls place them less than a point behind the ruling party.

Bert
Bert
Reply to  Michaeloh
8 months ago

Swedes are the smuggest people in the West.
They just KNOW that they’re better than you.
“LOL why are you doing that, why don’t you just do what we tell you?!”

I try to have sympathy for ’em.

Reply to  Michaeloh
8 months ago

“Rules that create more fairness in the labor market.” I would be interested in an example of that, Michaeloh. The first one that comes to my mind is affirmative action, which relegated ability and competence to the back of the line.

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  WhereAreTheVikings
8 months ago

Well i gave a couple examples: decreasing the supply of labor by ending immigration and deporting illegals, prosecuting employers of illegals. Also implement tariffs which encourages pro-American hiring.

guest
guest
Reply to  WhereAreTheVikings
8 months ago

“affirmative action” or “affirmative” action…or just be blunt and call it racial and sexual or identity group privilege. But then we always use the “liberals'” terms for things without a lot of thought…

Wildgoose
Wildgoose
Reply to  Calsdad
8 months ago

You’ve conceded that “UBI is just a new name for welfare” – and Welfare exists right now, and is growing inexorably. UBI acts as a brake on that simply because the payment is Universal so it cannot get too great. Don’t forget, UBI is intended to replace all forms of Welfare.

Calsdad
Calsdad
Reply to  Wildgoose
8 months ago

Why replace welfare? Just end it and tell everybody who is on it they’re going to have to get phucking job. Or die. UBI won’t act as a freaking “brake” on anything. Where’s the brake going to be? Because they can’t raise enough taxes to pay for it? Apparently you don’t pay much attention to the existing deficit. And what is UBI going to be $1000 a month? Like Zman – and a whole bunch of economists who don’t have their heads stuck in Das Kapital have already pointed out: that level sets zero. Once you give away $1000 a… Read more »

Merfolk
Merfolk
Reply to  Merfolk
8 months ago

Why are people down voting me? But UBI is slightly distinct from welfare. Same bracket but a bit different. All the dems want to give massive welfare, basically as a bribe to minorities for votes. I was thinking over lunch that the base of yangs support is probably millennial and younger white males who want to live in their parents basement and play video games all day. That’s the only demographic that benefits from UBI. Minorities want welfare specific to themselves bc they realize at some instinctive level that if everyone has something it loses value, even if they can’t… Read more »

Duke Norfolk
Member
Reply to  Merfolk
8 months ago

Merfolk,
Yep, and in all the UBI schemes I’ve seen, the current welfare recipients would take a big reduction in net, effective “income.” And so we’d just have to pay them more to keep them from rioting in the streets, just as we do now.

The whole UBI idea is nonsense, especially in the country we have now. It’s a giant distraction from anything meaningful and important right now.

guest
guest
Reply to  Duke Norfolk
8 months ago

Imagine the size of the new bureaucracy to “administer” it….and the dims’ new talking point each election cycle about how the other party is going to take it away…

Dinothedoxie
Dinothedoxie
Reply to  Merfolk
8 months ago

It’s not necessarily a dumb idea. The better versions of it would replace all welfare programs with a flat monthly check. This would be cheaper administratively and eliminate the web of disincentives created by means testing that create the welfare trap. The problem is that poverty in American today is mostly caused by incompetence and irresponsible behavior. So the cash payment in lieu of specific benefits would be wasted away by a large fraction of the recipients and we’d be back to people starving in the streets hysteria in short order. So as a practice matter, we’d end up with… Read more »

Stina
Stina
Reply to  Merfolk
8 months ago

He’s getting traction because he understands the need, if not the solution.

He rightly and accurately articulates the concerns of the average person over things like automation, low wages, and internationalization of the workforce.

He’s one of the only ones who demonstrates any understanding or sympathy over that economic issue, left or (especially) right.

His idea sucks. But he knows what the problem is.

Matrix
Reply to  Calsdad
8 months ago

Would UBI work if you made UBI the welfare system? By streamlining all benefits under UBI then the amount of governmental infrastructure would be greatly reduced. Not a citizen, no UBI, therefore no benefits. Also, homeless, the government then takes your 12 G a year to get you off of the street into treatment, therefore making squating illegal. Homeless, and not a citizen, see ya! No food stamps, no nothing, you get UBI. By the way, no more college loans, UBI is you college money if you choose to use it. Very simplistic, I know.

Al from da Nort
Al from da Nort
Reply to  Matrix
8 months ago

Matrix;
I like the concept if it could actually be implemented the way you suggest. But we know it would be an add-on to the current ramshackle system.

But it would be fun to see the faces once people understand what just happened. Kinda’ like the vids of the chick going to the campus impeachment rallies and saying, ‘Yea President Pence, woohoo.’ The looks on the faces when she tells them that’s what they’re demonstrating for is pretty funny.

Matrix
Reply to  Al from da Nort
8 months ago

Yup, I know. I don’t think Wang makes it clear on how he would pay for it. And the ONLY way it would work is if you had a moratorium on immigration. The FTN boys talked about all of the hidden amnesty in the new bills being passed so you would constantly have new flotsum added to the rolls. It’s sad when the only issue that is somewhat out there is this. Chang can only ride this one for so long.

Member
8 months ago

You don’t fix massive inequality by dropping cash into the ghetto. But you might get a statue and songs written about you! Hero of Canton (aka The Ballad of Jayne) Performed by Marc Gunn from As Long As I’m Flyin’ Jayne, the man they call Jayne He robbed from the rich And he gave to the poor Stood up to the man And gave him what for Our love for him now Ain’t hard to explain The hero of Canton The man they call Jayne Our Jayne saw the mudders’ backs breakin’ He saw the mudders’ lament And he saw… Read more »

Ganderson
Ganderson
Reply to  Vizzini
8 months ago

Edmund Blackadder checks in:

https://youtu.be/zzijOEHcFxk

Penitent Man
Penitent Man
Reply to  Vizzini
8 months ago

Viz,

Some hero, you know his wife is powerful ugly don’tcha?

😁

Member
Reply to  Penitent Man
8 months ago

Better not let her hear that, or by her pretty floral bonnet, she will end you.

Clayton Barnett
8 months ago

You are the best Christmas present, ZMan.

MemeWarVet
MemeWarVet
8 months ago

UBI would hasten the death of the ZOGbeast. For that reason alone, I like it.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  MemeWarVet
8 months ago

Those in power would deny UBI to “haters.”

MemeWarVet
MemeWarVet
Reply to  LineInTheSand
8 months ago

And constantly expand the definition of “hater”, it’s true.

But then maybe those denied might actually do something about it. Maybe.

guest
guest
Reply to  MemeWarVet
8 months ago

…and if they were deemed “haters” because they owned firearms or used “hate speech” or were proclaimed “white supremacist” because they played the “ok sign game” at the wrong time?

guest
guest
Reply to  LineInTheSand
8 months ago

or those who do not “help save the planet” or drive cars or eat meat..or even those who vote wrong…definitely from those who prefer to live in rural areas, which will be claimed “high-cost, low value”or some such by preferred academics in front of congressional panels.

CAPT S
CAPT S
8 months ago

“Dumb ideas are not without their utility. Until they are revealed to be dumb, people debate them and that debate says something about the people.” Depressingly true. We used to be a society that understood things that were “self-evident.” Men and women married, then procreated. Those who didn’t work didn’t eat. Every village had their idiot; the villagers reflexively gave aid and comfort. Cause and effect were understood; natural consequences and cultural shame curbed destructive behavior. These aren’t high-IQ issues; we called it “common sense” for a reason. When we start debating self-evident things that my illiterate great-grandfather knew at… Read more »

Yves Vannes
Yves Vannes
Member
8 months ago

Our ruling class wants our election to be about nothing of consequence…the only issue of import for them is the evil orange representative of white hetero males.

They’ve gelded Trump so he won’t wander too far off the reservation. They want to suppress the white vote so they will try to keep all drama to a minimum. If Trump manages to get reelected it will be because our tribe showed up to vote against ZOG and not because of Trump.

Member
8 months ago

Reminds me of an idea I saw yesterday about a guy who wants to crowd-fund 3 billion dollars to build a large homeless city to house California’s homeless population. Even assuming such a thing could be built for a paltry 3 billion and maintained in perpetuity somehow, it would vastly increase the number of homeless in California. LA and San Francisco each spend enough on homeless every year to give each homeless person in the area hundreds of thousands of dollars. The whole thing is one big racket. But even if you just paid the homeless 1/2 of what they… Read more »

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  Tars_Tarkusz
8 months ago

the only way to cure the homeless problem is to assign everyone a home state. if you end up destitute somewhere else, you can be bused back to your home state. Once they are bottled up in cold places, the homeless number will decline every winter, one way or the other.

ReturnOfBestGuest
ReturnOfBestGuest
Reply to  Karl McHungus
8 months ago

It’s funny because back when Bernie was mayor of Burlington, the city would put the homeless bums annoying the tourists on Church Street on a bus to the destination of their choice. NYC continues the practice today. https://tinyurl.com/y2sgyu8x Needless to say the receiving cities aren’t thrilled.

Member
Reply to  Tars_Tarkusz
8 months ago

Maybe my schadenfreude is running higher today than normal but the thought of this sounds awesome. Even the idea of the thing makes Clownifornia look bad and the drug and disease riddled reality would be even more bad publicity for the state.

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  Tars_Tarkusz
8 months ago

the smart play for Trump, is to use the homeless “crisis” as a wedge against illegal aliens. a Sophie’s Choice for the proggies; they love that shit, deciding who lives and who dies. Personally, I would dress up as Santa and hand out fenatyl to the homeless..

Rogeru
Rogeru
Reply to  Tars_Tarkusz
8 months ago

I heard China had some empty brand new cities. Just sayin…

Penitent Man
Penitent Man
Reply to  Tars_Tarkusz
8 months ago

I’m still trying to see the downside to Our Thing of having California become the national collection center for drug addicts, the insane and derelicts.

Guest
Guest
8 months ago

It’s worth noting that the (((Progressive))) drive for global democracy started in the wake of WWI, at a time when the great Empires of the West were effectively bankrupt, and increased in the wake of WWII. This drive was backed by (((banking interests))), which calculated that democratically elected governments were more likely to take on debt, and less likely to default on said debt, than monarchies or empires. It’s no accident that most modern democracies are basically enslaved by debt.

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  Guest
8 months ago

how about some real numbers to back that all up?

Guest
Guest
Reply to  Karl McHungus
8 months ago

How about you do your own damn research. I’m not your research monkey. You’re a real pain in the a** on this board, and significant contributor to the trend toward dumbing down the comment section here.

Snarky questions and comments don’t add any value. If you don’t have a salient point to make (and you normally don’t) then don’t post a comment. Nobody will miss your inane comments and snarky questions.

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  Guest
8 months ago

my point is you are talking out your ass. Confirmed nicely.

Lawdog
Lawdog
Member
Reply to  Karl McHungus
8 months ago

Average observer here. You lost that exchange.

Carl B.
Carl B.
8 months ago

If there is going to be reform, it will come after the current ruling class is wiped out and replaced by natives.

What if the vast majority of the “natives” are helpless idiots?

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  Carl B.
8 months ago

then you know you are in California (and not Kansas)

dad29
8 months ago

The paleoconservatives are coming around to the idea that the economy is a false god.

Umnnnhhh…..when did the Paleos (I am one) determine that The Economy was a REAL god? You won’t find that in any of Burke’s or Kirk’s writings, nor those of PJB. And don’t confuse “Reagan” with “PaleoCon.”!!!

Merry Christmas!

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  thezman
8 months ago

does it really matter what they have been up to, or ever get up to?

Reply to  thezman
8 months ago

While Ron Paul was taking up their slack on the economy.

dad29
Reply to  WhereAreTheVikings
8 months ago

Tucker Carlson has a genuine paleocon take on the economy. Note that “greed” is not “good”. That’s one reason that Limbaugh is not crowing about Carlson too much.

Also of note: Limbaugh is apparently being co-opted by the Turning Point bunch. Not likely he’s trying to bridge the ‘Turning Point’/Carlson divide, is it?

ReturnOfBestGuest
ReturnOfBestGuest
Reply to  dad29
8 months ago

Every time I’m exposed to the TPUSA BS, I wonder how anyone can buy what they’re selling? It’s demonstrably refutable GOPe/ZOG astroturf.

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  dad29
8 months ago

Rush is a pimp and always has been.

Member
8 months ago

Bad idea. Period.

We’ve seen what a UBI of sorts has done to the underclass. It removes incentive, dulls survival instincts, and America is the worse for it. In partnership with the unearned anesthetic of welfare, the middle class faux prosperity-induced lack of survival instincts has gotten us where we are, a cushy-but-teetering-on-the-precipice fiat currency way of life and culture, Cubicle Man, and out-of-control estrogen-fueled utopianism.

So, thanks but no thanks. We’re far gone enough without the death blow of a UBI.

Guest
Guest
Reply to  WhereAreTheVikings
8 months ago

I’m in favor of it. As you noted, the underclass already has a form of UBI. We might as well get ours. Hence the “secure the bag” memes. Republicans tried for decades to be the responsible adults in the room regarding limiting federal spending and all it got them was derision and minority status in the Congress. Twenty years ago I would have opposed it on fiscal grounds, but now I’m of the opinoin that if the masses want to sink this ship in a quagmire of debt I no longer care. I pay enough in direct income taxes annually… Read more »

Reply to  Guest
8 months ago

Believe me, I understand burn this mother down. But just remember, it will be used as an excuse to raise your taxes, so it will probably be a wash, or worse. And you will have become a part of the mob. Better to remain a part of the Remnant and set an example for future generation who are looking for inspiration.

Member
Reply to  Guest
8 months ago

We might as well get ours.

Hahahahaha!

Here’s your $1,000/mo. Now please pay your $2,000/mo in new taxes!

TANSTAAFL

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  WhereAreTheVikings
8 months ago

Other have pointed out, correctly, that you cant save the ghetto by raining down cash. It is just as true that you cant save the ghetto by turning off the rain. Ghetto gonna ghetto.

Member
Reply to  WhereAreTheVikings
8 months ago

Every time this UBI thing comes up I am reminded of all those “futurists” in the 50s and 60s predicting a 20 hour work week by the far off year 2000. People today laugh smugly at the naivete of those ideas but actually, at the time, they looked pretty reasonable. The work week had been dropping steadily while wages rose for about 100 years by mid-century. Many of the prognosticators had enough technical background to recognize that computers were getting smaller, faster, and cheaper with the then new transistor and that a lot of the more routine jobs could easily… Read more »

Reply to  pozymandias
8 months ago

China would probably never have become a problem if it weren’t for working women having disposable income out the ying-yang (!) to spend on doo-dads. David Rockefeller helpfully pointed that out, although in much more glowing terms, since it is part of the globalist agenda to reduce the United States middle class to feminist Amazons with spending money and males in cubicles.

Member
Reply to  WhereAreTheVikings
8 months ago

Hah! China is definitely the Yin to America’s Yang (yes, I said that, count the entendre’s bitches!). Z has pointed out that China, apart from cheap labor and lax environmental laws, doesn’t have any advantages over the West. What it does offer is a place to move all those “manly” jobs to so that Western male and female workers become more equally useful (useless). The real job of Homo cubiculunis, whether xe temporarily has a penis or not, is to have and spend money. The Chinese factory workers then make the stuff for Amazon to drone-drop on his porch and… Read more »

Reply to  pozymandias
8 months ago

I was with you until “some kind of UBI could actually help with this.” Giving somebody something that belongs to someone else doesn’t help any situation get better. It only dulls survival instincts, which is the worst thing that can happen to a society. It also increases people’s appetite for more “free” stuff. Americans can work less and commute less standing on their own two feet. UBI is a dumb idea and will be a dumb idea until the universe collapses, and probably even after. Actually, we were yin to China’s yang for a long time, but with that junkyard… Read more »

Member
Reply to  WhereAreTheVikings
8 months ago

I understand. It was more of an “after the revolution” type suggestion anyway. I’m totally against it for a multicultural democracy like ours for all the reasons others posted in this thread (runaway expansion of the UBI, having it added to existing programs instead of replacing them…). For a more homogeneous society it could be a way to ease poverty and unemployment and eliminate Leftist strongholds like the social service bureaucracies. Perhaps funding could be found from confiscating the pirate treasure of the more troublesome billionaire oligarchs. My overall point was that the problems the UBI addresses are real and… Read more »

Nationalist Man
Nationalist Man
8 months ago

Yang is in many ways a liberal populist if such a thing can exist. He’s almost certainly the one with the best chance against Trump, if they’ll even allow him to run, which I doubt. The most true thing he’s said is that “Trump is a symptom, not the problem,” which is exactly right if you swap out symptom for “(possible) solution.”

This is the age of populism. The only question is if we’ll follow Trump down the path of Nationalism and tribalism, or if we’ll lose to the Marxists and be thrown into the gulags.

DaveA
DaveA
8 months ago

I think UBI is a great idea, on two conditions. First, we pay for it by ending all other welfare programs, liquidating their assets, and terminating their employees, who are welcome to sign up for UBI. Second, UBI shall be paid annually, in cash, on the recipient’s birthday. These windfalls must be spread out, giving liquor stores and drug dealers time to restock, and morgues time to dispose of the bodies.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  DaveA
8 months ago

I am on board, but most people can’t tolerate watching high time preference people die in the streets, even if it is the fault of those impulsive people.

We’d have to have a strongly restricted franchise or a non-democratic system to prevent the pathologically compassionate from recreating welfare for the impulsive.

james wilsonzG
james wilsonzG
Member
Reply to  DaveA
8 months ago

Playing their game. Any thing that involves universalism will corrupt itself to the lowest denominator fairly quickly. What took 72 years to corrupt the US Constitution would remove all limits placed upon universal income in 72 months.

Member
8 months ago

UBI has problems, but it has legs because it addresses real problems.

What’s your brilliant solution to solve those problems?

Carl B.
Carl B.
Reply to  Κύριε Οὖτις
8 months ago

Why, make everything free of course. What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine. And if you object prepare for a visit from the State police force. Remember, vote ‘Rat this November!

Ryan
Ryan
8 months ago

Z my friend you are missing one small thing and one absolutely gigantic thing about UBI: Small thing: Any other public benefits offsets UBI. So if you’re on food stamps already you get $1000 minus your EBT. The EBT/SSI ghetos don’t move an inch under Yang’s plan. Galactic thing: UBI is a privilege of US citizens, only citizens. Any time an Indian tribe starts dolling out a piece of the gambling pie the first thing that happens is they kick out anyone who can’t prove that 1/8th ancestry. If you want the American people to demand that anchor babies be… Read more »

Reply to  Ryan
8 months ago

If UBI is unwisely ever offered, it will be extended to anyone and everyone who resides here, legally and illegally. Both the Democrats and Republicans will see to that. Their corporate masters will demand no less.

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  WhereAreTheVikings
8 months ago

Even for the Cloudies thats a tough job. They would have to get the courts to implement that by fiat. Doubtful in the short to medium term. Long term we’re all dead so who knows.

Reply to  Michaeloh
8 months ago

Illegals already get all kinds of federal government goodies. According to westernjournalism.com, these include grants, contracts, loans, professional and commercial licenses, retirement, welfare, WIC, disability, public housing, college education, Pell grants, food stamps, tax credits, earned income credits, tax refunds, and unemployment benefits. Plenty of precedent there for UBI.

Besides, the corporations will want it, and will enlist their Republican bootlickers and their new buddies in the Democrat Party. So it’s a done deal as soon as Trump leaves and not enough Baby Boomers are left alive to elect a nationalist populist.

Michaeloh
Michaeloh
Reply to  WhereAreTheVikings
8 months ago

Many of those bene’s you listed are funded by the Feds but administered by States, Universities or other entities. Also i think many of the bene’s that illegals are getting are often through their anchor babies. Of course that all may prove to be an excellent way to get UBI to illegals as well. Farm out admin to the states and California gives UBI to everybody and their anchor baby to boot.

guest
guest
Reply to  WhereAreTheVikings
8 months ago

“only for citizens,” just like all gov. benefits, drivers licenses, and voting rights.

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  Ryan
8 months ago

Exactly. UBI puts a dollar value on citizenship. More citizens – particularly poor citizens – means less UBI per capita.

Calsdad
Calsdad
Reply to  Ryan
8 months ago

” The EBT/SSI ghetos don’t move an inch under Yang’s plan. ” So UBI doesn’t solve a damn thing as far as total government expenditures in regards to “welfare”. It in fact makes it worse – because now you’ve an entirely new government agency and infrastructure to disburse those UBI payments – and all the welfare masses are STILL going to be getting their EBT cards filled, their disability checks – etc. And then you’ll add everybody else in the country who’s also going to be getting one of those $1000 checks. This might matter to poor people – who… Read more »

Reply to  Calsdad
8 months ago

And Congress will not take away welfare benefits under any scenario. UBI will merely be added to what is already given away. The irrational are not going to care that food stamps are merely being replaced. Logic will have no place in the discussion, as per usual. And the non-producers will win again, as per usual.

guest
guest
Reply to  Calsdad
8 months ago

Some of us recall McGovern running on it.

CAPT S
CAPT S
Reply to  Ryan
8 months ago

This argument presupposes one small thing: that US citizenship is a meaningful, exclusive distinctive that identifies my people. It does not. The argument further presupposes one gargantuan thing: that US citizenship can be defined and protected by people on our side. It is not and will not.

Why would we be interested in delegating galactic solutions to the selfsame political schlepps who seek to naturalize vibrants en masse? Let’s talk about UBI when we have a united people in a united country, not before.

TomA
TomA
8 months ago

Promising more free stuff is just voting buying, not politics for intellectuals. And it’s the fast-track to tyranny because eventually the bill comes due. Everyone knows that meth addiction is bad because the consequences are plainly obvious. Conversely, the harmfulness of welfare addiction (vote-buying by proxy) is more insidious and slow-to-show. For a billion years, life on Earth evolved robustness to each individual environment. Now we create artificial environments that enslave us to dependency. Our species likely peaked about 50 years ago.

G Lordon Giddy
G Lordon Giddy
8 months ago

In the past progressivism was tied to a progressive form of Christianity. At least it carried the Christian name along with it. Abolishinists and Temperance movements as past examples. These early progressive causes were not totally dumb ideas for creating a stable society. Just the forced implementation of them went too far. Once progressivism took up feminism and civil rights in the 50’s and 60’s the Christian label fell away. And because of increasing Jewish power after WW2 having Christianity alone associated with progressivism did not make sense. And the dumb ideas got really dumber. As we crossed into the… Read more »

Severian
8 months ago

The fact that none of the other Dems has co-opted Yang’s “idea” terrifies me. What could be more in line with all the other candidates’ “free everything, for everyone” campaigns than UBI? I see only two possible reasons they haven’t adopted it themselves: 1) As you say, they’re too ideology-addled to even recognize it as an idea, or 2) since the U in UBI means “universal,” it would also apply to White people… and they won’t be having that. I know which way I’m betting….

james wilsonzG
james wilsonzG
Member
Reply to  Severian
8 months ago

“”it would also apply to White ” Ican hear the workarounds rattling inside their heads already. This writes itself.

bilejones
Member
8 months ago

IQ is not additive.
Above three SD’s up. it may be multiplicative, Below about 1/2 an SD down, it’s divisive.

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  bilejones
8 months ago

Here is James Lafond’s take on group vs individual intelligence: Dumbasses and below become less intelligent as they group up, with strong wills and passions prevailing over thought, while smartasses and above usually have the capacity to form a problem-solving group which exceeds the capacity of the smartest individual, unless doctrine and ideology make this impossible, in which case the group of [usually smart motherfuckers] will devolve in intelligence, just like dumbasses and in fact become a functional conclave of dumbasses. It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but his classification system (“dumbass” is a category, not necessarily an insult; go there and… Read more »

james wilsonzG
james wilsonzG
Member
Reply to  Mike_C
8 months ago

Keep in mind that Burke as well as others never saw a proposal by bright individuals that wasn’t amended for the better by ordinary men. Bright individuals banding together have a greater capacity to spread bullshit than fertilizer. Do we really need more lessens in this?

Reality Check
Reality Check
8 months ago

Democracy is dumb because bla, bla, bla…You are aware that there were strict restrictions on who could vote right?? Having unqualified people voting is NOT integral to ‘democracy’. What better system is there??

TomA
TomA
Reply to  Reality Check
8 months ago

Once upon a time, fitness selection in the natural world culled stupidity because stupidity got you dead before you could reproduce. In our current “civilized” society of trading votes for sustenance, stupidity is actively rewarded and the vicious cycle is toward ever greater stupidity. How long can it last? Until our species becomes insect-like.

JR Wirth
JR Wirth
Reply to  TomA
8 months ago

Until a bond market crisis. Won’t be long.

JR Wirth
JR Wirth
Reply to  Reality Check
8 months ago

We need an American Putin. If he rips of $50 billion for himself it would be a tiny fraction of the ripoff we’re currently experiencing. Just look at the last bloated budget bill. $1.4 Trillion of mostly waste.

Member
8 months ago

You shouldn’t post anything else this year, this is your best essay of 2019.

sirlancelot
sirlancelot
8 months ago

” ” ” dumb ideas are like demons from Hell. They are never killed. ” ” ”

Good Lord, isn’t that the truth !

Merry Christmas

vxxc💂🏻‍♂️😉 Toxic masculinity vector
8 months ago

The current ruling class.

Ah (((yes)))

The terrible part being it’s largely true.
No them and no effective enemy, alien ruling class.

Let them flee, they have a place to go.
I pity Israel being so burdened, but it’s their family tragedies so they can bear the burden.

guest
guest
8 months ago

It would show an interest in ideas if Yang were onstage because of UIB. Instead, he is there because he is a billionaire, and to some, that magically means “smart.”