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in Deep Dives2 months ago

Free money is what will save capitalism. I'm not kidding; it is in fact the only way capitalism will survive, and that's why I believe we will eventually see the arrival of some form of a Universal Basic Income in all prosperous nations.


source: YouTube

No matter how much I like and write about the good things FDR did with his New Deal, it is important to remember that it was not of his own choice. It wasn't like he woke up one morning and thought: "American workers are suffering. The poor can't feed their kids. Unemployment is killing the soul of this nation. It's time the rich started handing over some of their money to help those poor people!" FDR was no voluntary Robin Hood, but was instead put under immense social and political pressure to deliver for all Americans who suffered because of the crash and depression caused by the banks. Back in the 1920s and 1930s there still were significant socialist and communist organizations, as well as strong unions who were prepared to take direct action if their demands weren't met; the pitchforks were kept handy, so to speak. So FDR turned to his rich friends with an ultimatum; you have to give me something to keep the masses quiet, and to prevent them from storming The Capitol. We all know what happened next: FDR implemented tax rates for the rich of up to well above 90 percent, and with that money created millions of government funded jobs and for the first time set up the social safety-net.

In other words, FDR saved capitalism and saved the capitalists from having their heads placed under a guillotine. After his death though, we've seen a constant deconstruction of everything that was accomplished, because the capitalists and capitalism were saved. The system is still about maximizing growth and profits, and corporations still do anything to achieve those goals, so they've seen tax-cut after tax-cut, while the rest has seen cuts to the social safety net. We're back where we started before FDR, back to looking down on "free money" and those who receive it. The working poor and the working middle-class in large numbers despise taxation as a legitimate tool to soften the painful wealth- and income gap that has made the country ripe for so much polarization that many saw in Donald Trump a good presidential candidate. Instead of blaming the insanely rich individuals and corporations that rule the country, they blame the immigrants and the "woke left" for the decline in their financial and cultural situation.

But... There are also many young Americans who are waking up to the fact that capitalism simply doesn't work. They are growing up in a society where social mobility is all but non-existent, where medical bills can render a family bankrupt, and where they begin their professional career with a huge student loan debt, and that's besides the perpetual foreign wars and capitalism's gigantic onslaught on the environment and atmosphere. A growing number of young minds are becoming interested in alternative economic theories, prime among which is (democratic) socialism:

Socialism: It’s back. Left for dead after the Cold War, revived by Bernie Sanders’s 2016 and 2020 presidential bids, and popularized by social media superstars like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the concept has gone mainstream. According to a 2018 Gallup survey, 51% of Americans age 18-29 have a positive opinion of socialism, as do 57% of Democrats. And the COVID-19 pandemic has lent new urgency to discussions about creating a more fair and equitable economic system.
source: TeenVogue

And this is why we'll see the advent of Universal Basic Income, the distribution of cash handouts regardless of employment status, free money for everyone. Oh sure, you'll hear voices that say UBI is necessary because all jobs will eventually be lost to automation, which is true. But if you believe that's the reason why an increasing number of billionaires are in favor of UBI, you also believe FDR did what he did out of the goodness of his heart. Did you miss that billionaires are in favor of UBI? Here are the top 5 articles when searching for "billionaires in favor of ubi": 1) What billionaires say about universal basic income in 2017, 2) Another Silicon Valley Billionaire is in Favor of Universal Basic Income, 3) Billionaire Entrepreneurs who support Universal Basic Income (Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Richard Branson), 4) Why are billionaires in favor of Universal Basic Income?, 5) Tech billionaires got rich off us. Now they want to feed us the crumbs. That last article had it 100 percent right:

If you believe that wealth is essentially a private product, produced by individuals, then such an arrangement might seem fair. But in a modern economy, wealth is produced by society as a whole – and nowhere is this fact more apparent than in the case of the tech industry. Ever since the US military funded Silicon Valley into existence after the second world war, the tech industry has fed on a steady stream of public goods. Those goods might be government research, mined for profitable inventions, or the contents of your Gmail inbox and Facebook feed, mined for advertising revenue. What matters is they’re free, and they’re free because we give them away. If the robots ever arrive, their arrival will be bankrolled by our taxes, our attention, our data.

Under these circumstances, a basic income would be the crumbs left by the bully who steals your sandwich. Better to keep the sandwich for ourselves. Better to own the robots collectively, and allocate the surplus democratically, than leave society’s wealth in the hands of its luckiest members.
source: The Guardian

UBI is the billionaires next scheme to pay us hush-money, to make us forget that capitalism doesn't work and to further the believe that wealth is created by a few exceptional individuals. And we should be grateful for those elevated individuals as well, especially now that they want to give us free money... Don't fall for it.

Why UBI Isn't Progressive

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