Jun 18, 2014

Unconditional basic income, ultimately, is an additional tax. Wrong.

UBI, ultimately, is an additional tax. 
From Profoundly Immoral, Increasingly Popular, the 'Unconditional Basic Income' Becomes a Meme

It's worthwhile re-posting a few old posts. The arguments should keep going until we get our citizen dividend back.

Myth: Citizen Income is Redistributive

Redistribution has a negative meaning of robbing the hardworking to give to the lazy, or robbing the rich to give to the poor.

Basic income is sometimes linked to redistribution. For example, Professor Erik Olin Wright, in arguing for a basic income, lists this objection:

"There are, of course, many objections that can be raised against both of these proposals. Some of these objections are moral: basic income rewards people for being parasites; redistribution of wealth illegitimately takes assets away from people who have worked hard to build them up."

Since proponents of Basic Income do not specify the source of funding, people tend to assume it is from tax, and hence people think of redistribution.

In contrast, citizen income is very specific on the source of funding. It is distribution (not redistribution) of income that rightfully belongs to every citizen. It is returning a heavy tax that has been imposed without a clear legal authorization on every citizen.

Citizen income is returning to citizens what is rightfully theirs by virtue of their ownership of the country. Citizen income is justice.

Basic income: Not robbing Paul to pay Peter

The above is a news report about Switzerland's drive for an unconditional basic income.
The below shows a few typical reactions:
"So where exactly do they think the money will come from? A money tree? A golden goose? Or the taxes raised from companies who employ people and the taxes paid by those employees too? You want a minimum income: get out there and earn it."
 "Socialism with cowbells! You expect people to go to work to earn money to have it paid to people who don't work? Dream on!"

Many people, when they hear of an unconditional basic income, think that it has to come from tax. People who work are going to be taxed to pay people who don't work.

This need not be so.

A basic income can be funded purely from common wealth. Many countries have huge common wealth. The revenue from the commonly owned wealth is enough to fund a good livable level of basic income. For example, in Singapore, the common wealth can generate more than a yearly distribution of $10,000 for every citizen.

A basic income is returning confiscated citizen dividend back to the people.
It is not robbing Paul to pay Peter.

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