Thursday, March 02, 2017

Quote of the Day

Regarding a guaranteed basic income, which has been mooted in various guises for decades, and more recently adopted as a favourite by Gareth Morgan in his book, The Big Kahuna:

When income is procured through the threat system of taxation and redistribution, no wealth is created … The unproductive consumers are merely a conduit for funneling what was taken back to those who produced it in the first place. It is like trying to increase your bank account by writing yourself a check. And unless the receivers are required to spend 100 percent of the BIG [Basic Income Guarantee], the result will not even be zero-sum. It will be negative-sum.      Dylan Pahman



Anonymous said...

This the same Gareth Morgan that loved North Korea whose dear leader murders rellies living overseas because ... (make up any reason you like). Being loaded doesn't make you sensible. Gareth will flop in politics because we are smarter than he is. Gareth will never work this out.


Mark Hubbard said...

Great quote and source, Lindsay. Thanks for this. Have been fighting an ideological war with the free-lunchers, sorry, universal income crowd, since it has been picking up (too much) momentum over the last decade.

SimonD said...

That may be so but let's imagine a world 20 years from now in which robotics and AI dominate creating 50 to 75% unemployment. Redistribution of income from the remaining 25% will be unavoidable and frankly it will be enforced via the ballot box.

Don W said...

With superannuation at it's current level being unsustainable, how is a guaranteed basic income for all affordable.? That defies logic.

david said...

Lindsay you know i agree in principle with the sentiments. I picked up the big kahuna in a bookshop, read on the cover that the purpose of government was to redistribute income and refused to read any further.

However the situation described by Pahman is what we have now. We have an elaborate system of taking your and my money and giving it to other people. And the problem with the system we have, as you have regularly documented and is set out elegantly by Bartholomew in "the welfare of nations" is that the system does it in a way that actually provides an incentive to not work, to have bastard kids and to dissemble. And it does that because the benefit is means tested.

To me there are two possible ways out. One is to abolish welfare. Great if you could but with over half the voters receiving a net benefit from the state, unlikely. That's the two wolves and the lamb for you. The other is to make the benefits universal. Difficult (maybe even impossible) to envisage a workable system. But I would not criticize someone for trying.