April 28, 2020
Pelosi says universal basic income could be ‘worthy of attention now’ as coronavirus stifles economy
“Others have suggested a minimum income, a guaranteed income for people. Is that worthy of attention now? Perhaps so. Because there are many more people than just in small business and hired by small business … that may need some assistance as well.”
“There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better; we’re looking at mass unemployment. This is gonna be a massive social challenge and ultimately we would have to have some kind of universal basic income for sustenance. I don’t think we’re gonna have a choice.”- Elon Musk
Two problems with UBI:
We can’t afford it. Not unless we erase the expensive cabinet level bureaucracies of the 50’s and 60’s that are now failing to produce a social safety net.
Next, people don’t do well when given money they do not feel they have earned. That may have been what doomed LBJs Great Society to failure. See Lieberman, M. D. (2013). Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect. New York: Crown for neuroscientific details.
“People have no food. People are talking about suicide…We’re literally begging you, sir, please come out of your ivory tower, come down here in the trenches with your people and actually see what’s going on, answer us.” -Michelle Izzi, Frustrated Unemployment Insurance applicant
“This will make… this will not make anyone feel any better, but we are leagues ahead of virtually every other state. But there’s still a backlog. I know folks are still frustrated. You won’t lose one penny, I promise you, including of your federal plus,” -Phil Murphy, Governor of New Jersey.
“People don’t understand the magnitude of … the social unease … that’s going to happen…We’ve lost every single job that we created since the bottom in 2009.”
What he’s failing to mention is that the labor market is expanding by about a million people a year, and even though jobs are being created there are not enough to go around.
US farmers don’t have anywhere to sell their livestock, “millions of animals — chickens, pigs and cattle — will be depopulated because of the closure of our processing facilities…There will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed.” See more here.
The pandemic could significantly alter the way many companies operate, with more employers willing to embrace work-at-home arrangements long after offices are reopened. Already, some executives have said they would work differently going forward.
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