Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made headlines this past week by calling for a universal basic income during his Harvard University commencement speech.
He joins the ranks of Silicon Valley elites who have come out in favor of a guaranteed minimum financial stipend to cover housing, food and utility costs for every single human being. The vast majority of those in favor of such a massive government-led economic program are on the left of the political spectrum – but the idea has become accepted by some on the mainstream right as well.
Free market conservatives must quash this rapidly growing movement before it gains a head of steam and spills on over into the mainstream.
More Legalized Theft
Imagine a situation in the next decade when those who are employed in positions that have not been automated are taxed at an extraordinarily high rate. The brunt of this tax is redirected to those who are too lazy or unintelligent to hold a position that requires creativity, talent or skill. These individuals are provided with free room, board and utilities.
Their existence depends on the taxes derived from those who work. This is nothing more than legalized theft from those who produce on behalf of those who don’t.
Why should someone be entitled to the basics of life simply because he is too lazy or incompetent to obtain employment? It is not fair to those who are willing to work for a living.
Imagine if a universal basic income were passed into law and the majority of people decided to stop working. They opt for the bare minimum in terms of food and shelter. Society would crumble in the absence of a basic incentive for survival.
Coping With Automation
Automation is having a significant effect on global markets, with many jobs being replaced by technological solutions. As a result, plenty of workers have been displaced.
Millions of working-age Americans are out of the workforce. Yet this does not mean they should simply stay at home all day and accept government handouts for food, shelter and utilities. Able-bodied individuals should be forced to contribute something to society in exchange for a hand up.
Consider the fact that able-bodied and childless residents of New York state and countless other states are now barred from receiving SNAP food stamps unless they volunteer on a weekly basis.
New York state, commonly referred to as the premier “Nanny State”, has decided it is immoral to provide able-bodied individuals with free food simply because they do not want to work. If the socialists in New York are putting their foot down on free food for the unemployed, everyone else should as well.
Unemployed individuals who are capable of working should only be eligible for government handouts if they volunteer 40 hours per week. Otherwise, our society will be on a slippery slope toward cradle-to-grave government support. Anyone who has studied history is well aware of the fact that such communist societies don’t last long. They crumble from within due to a lack of personal responsibility.
Leftists like Zuckerberg like to argue that people will still show up to work if a universal basic income is implemented simply because they desire niceties. People like to travel to exotic locales, go golfing, see movies, play video games and so on. There might be some truth in that argument yet it only applies to certain jobs.
If universal basic income was implemented, why would anyone be willing to do our society’s dirty work? Would anyone willingly work in a sewer, on a garbage truck, at a construction site or as a janitor?
Plenty of people certainly enjoy working in climate-controlled offices and other comfortable spaces, yet they do not want to perform physically taxing work in unpleasant environments. Yet the Democrats simply assume people will still be willing to do these tasks even when they can stay at home and collect a guaranteed minimum income.
There is an excellent chance the political pendulum will swing the other way in 2020. If a leftist like Mark Zuckerberg or Bernie Sanders wins the presidency in 2020, they will almost certainly attempt to pass universal basic income into law.
Such a policy will do nothing but create a nation of leeches, which is precisely why conservative thinkers should be building up their case against universal basic income before it’s too late.
~ Conservative Zone