Guaranteed National Income: The “Right” to Live Without Working

The idea of a “guaranteed universal income” is gaining ground in the increasingly Communist Democratic Party. Even if Joe Biden balks at it, Kamala Harris will impose it by executive order, no doubt. Among others, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is in favor it. “Guaranteed income” turns the old fashioned idea of welfare on its head. The premise of government welfare is, “Prove that you’re in need, and we’ll give you help, for the duration of that need.” The idea of welfare benefits or unemployment benefits is a temporary response to a problem that couldn’t have been prevented. I’m not saying the welfare state is right; I maintain that all charity should be voluntary. But that’s still the premise of welfare programs as we knew them.

Guaranteed income is different. It states that you’re entitled to an income merely by being alive. You are entitled to an income not because of a temporary misfortune you couldn’t have prevented. You’re entitled to income precisely because you DO NOT WORK, AND SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WORK.

This is the dead end of the government welfare state that its fiercest opponents (like Ayn Rand, back in the 1950s and 1960s) always predicted would come. And here we are.

The darkly amusing aspect of the guaranteed income proposal is that it counts on people who ARE able and willing to work to finance the people who will gain this income for doing absolutely nothing … “on principle.” But if SOME are entitled to income, on principle, for doing absolutely nothing, then isn’t everyone entitled to income for doing absolutely nothing? And if everyone is entitled to income for doing absolutely nothing, then who’s to do the work to finance it all?

Jack Dorsey assumes he and people like him will always be rich enough to finance it all. But he can already finance it without any government coercion. He can give everyone a guaranteed income voluntarily, if he wants. Why doesn’t he? Why does he want the government to mandate it, if it’s really the people who don’t want to work for a living that he cares about? He can already help them.

The pretext for this new entitlement is, of course … you guessed it: COVID. On our present course, left unaltered, COVID will close absolutely everything down. If the lockdowns continue, human civilization will simply cease, at some point. So if the government is to take care of everyone with funds taken from a society WHERE ABSOLUTELY NOBODY ELSE IS WORKING, then how is this to work out any better than Venezuela, Cuba, Soviet Russia, or any other experiment with Communism?

The smugness, idiocy, evasion and willful ignorance in all of this is too stunning to contemplate.



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