Hillary Almost Proposed "A Universal Basic Income" In 2016; Now The Idea Is Catching On Among Grassroots Democrats

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Should you get free money from the U.S. government every month simply for being alive? 

That may sound like a crazy idea to many of us, but the truth is that this will likely be one of the biggest political issues in the 2020 presidential election.

At this point, 40 percent of all Americans already “prefer socialism to capitalism”, and the concept of a “universal basic income” is starting to catch fire among grassroots Democrats. 

Many liberals are convinced that the time has come to fight for the right to “a minimum standard of living”, and one study by a “left-leaning” group found that giving every adult in the country $1,000 each month would increase the size of the U.S. economy by more than 2 trillion dollars

Giving every adult in the United States a $1,000 cash handout per month would grow the economy by $2.5 trillion by 2025, according to a new study on universal basic income.

 

The report was released in August by the left-leaning Roosevelt Institute. Roosevelt research director Marshall Steinbaum, Michalis Nikiforos at Bard College’s Levy Institute, and Gennaro Zezza at the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio in Italy co-authored the study.

What an incredible idea, eh?

All we have to do is give out free stuff and the economy grows like magic.  And the study also discovered that the larger the universal basic income is, the more the economy would grow.

So why not make it $10,000 a month for everyone?

Well, it turns out that there is a catch.  According to the study, the economy only grows if the universal basic income is funded by deficit spending.  If we have to raise taxes to pay for it, there is no positive benefit to the economy at all

These estimates are based on a universal basic income paid for by increasing the federal deficit. As part of the study, the researchers also calculated the effect to the economy of paying for the cash handouts by increasing taxes. In that case, there would be no net benefit to the economy, the report finds.

Oh.

What a bummer.

Getting free stuff from the government always sounds like a great idea until you realize that we are going to end up paying for it one way or another.

Unfortunately, that little detail isn’t stopping potential Democratic presidential candidates such as Mark Zuckerberg from “exploring” the idea. 

And actually, it is being reported that Hillary Clinton almost made a “universal basic income” part of her platform in 2016

In her new book “What Happened,” and in a recent subsequent interview with Vox Editor-in-Chief Ezra Klein, Clinton explains how she seriously considered including a version of universal basic income — a radical solution to poverty, currently being tested in cities and countries around the world — as one of her platforms in the 2016 US presidential election.

 

The platform would have been called “Alaska for America,” in homage to the state’s Permanent Dividend Fund. Every year since 1982, Alaskans have received a yearly check — typically ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 — as a kickback from the pot of money that has been set aside in case oil reserves dry up.

If the left is ever able to get this implemented, do you think that we will ever be able to take it away?

Over time, government just keeps getting bigger and bigger and so does our national debt.  In fact, we just hit a major milestone in that regard.  According to CNS News, we just surpassed the 20 trillion dollar mark for the first time ever…

The federal debt officially surpassed $20 trillion for the first time on Friday, as the debt subject to the legal limit set by Congress jumped $317,645,000,000 in one day–following President Donald Trump’s signing of a spending-and-debt-limit deal that will fund the government through Dec. 8.

If the left wants a “universal basic income”, they are going to have to get the money from somewhere.  Our budget deficit is already larger “than the entire GDP of Argentina”, and hard working Americans are already being taxed to death.

The truth is that the money simply isn’t there.  As it is, we need to dramatically cut back our borrowing because the path that we are currently on leads to national suicide.  Just consider the following numbers

Here’s the problem: the national debt is growing MUCH faster than the US economy. In Fiscal Year 2016, for example, the debt grew by 7.84%.

 

Yet even when including the ‘benefits’ of inflation, the US economy only grew by 2.4% over the same period.

This is not even close to the realm of being sustainable.  We are steamrolling toward an inevitable financial collapse, and yet most Americans don’t seem to care.

And thanks to our rapidly aging population, our entitlement spending is set to absolutely explode in coming years.  The following comes from David Stockman

The Federal spending machine is almost entirely on autopilot and heading for disaster owing to ballooning populations and debt. Ten years from now the combined cost of mandatory programs and debt service will reach $5.12 trillion compared to just $2.87 trillion during FY 2018.

 

Entitlement spending will be nearly double — even if Congress took a 10-year recess!

 

As shown below, that means the Federal spending share of GDP is now inexorably climbing toward 30% owing to baby boom retirements, even as revenue under current law is stuck at about 18% of GDP. The CBO’s latest projection of the widening fiscal gap — soon more than 10% of GDP annually — leaves nothing to the imagination.

There is no such thing as “free money”.  In the end, we all have to pay for any “free stuff” that the government gives out.

But the “free stuff army” is going to continue to demand more free stuff from the government, and the Democrats are going to be more than happy to give it to them.

To many of you this may sound like complete and utter insanity, but the truth is that the path that we are already on is completely insane as well.  If we don’t find a way to right the ship, it is just a matter of time before it goes under, and anyone that tries to tell you otherwise is not being straight with you.

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jcaz's picture

Where be I gots to go for mah free muny???   Sure I'll vote for you, bitch- what's yo name again?

tmosley's picture

>Should you get free money from the U.S. government every month simply for being alive? 

Sure, but ONLY if you first get rid of ALL other welfare and entitlements and all government regulations regarding employees, including minimum wage. Also the amount should be TINY, enough to pay for couch surfing, or living in a small apartment with multiple roommates. If you want more than the bare minimum, get your ass to work.

toady's picture

They already have one... It's called EBT/welfare...

tmosley's picture

Incorrect. You have to prove that you aren't making any money legally to get that. That is the problem. You want people to go make money, not pay them not to.

People need to understand the difference between paying people to be alive and paying them not to work. The latter is the current system and it is TERRIBLE.

decon's picture

"40 percent of all Americans already “prefer socialism to capitalism"

That's because they've never experienced capitalism.


813kml's picture

My entitlements damn well better be delivered by helicopter, only a brokeass third-world country would do otherwise.

Alternatively, I will accept hand delivery by a tiny robot riding on an Amazon drone at a date and time of my choosing and convenience.

Pinto Currency's picture

No better way to destroy hard work and initiiative in the economy.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~"No better way to destroy hard work and initiiative in the economy."~

Are you kidding me? This is "free shit army platinum". This would put the USD on par with the Venezuelan Bolivar in about 6 months. There's a story on Drudge today that 4 out of ten Americans cannot name a single constitutional right they have. If they can't even name that, how do you expect them to understand macroeconomics? Remember, we're talking about the end produts of 50+ years of unionized government employees. 4 out of ten would fail an entrance exam for village idiot.

Itinerant's picture

Bullshit. The whole article forgets to subtract current costs for welfare programs, tax credits, etcetc, not to mention the armies of bureaucrats it takes to decide who is and who is not eligible. Without discussing the difference in costs, there is no point saying anything. There are also benefits: People can work, or study, or start a business because they are not being paid to do nothing, and they know that they have something to fall back on aside from death if things don't work out.

Particularly aggravating is the idea that nobody will be doing anything anymore, as if everybody works only because they are being forced (?where's the libertard freedom of exchange and freedom in that? How beneficial is it for the long term that millions of people are doing shit they don't believe in or is actually harmful?).

There will still be people trying to get ahead, do something useful, be the best, or get rich. None of that would change. And most of the lame asses are on welfare already. They would just have fewer leftists controlling their lives and telling them they are victims of society and circumstance. And it would be easier for them to get involved in gigs since they would not be violating the terms of their welfare by going to school or earning something extra [much vaunted poverty trap].

The idea that this discussion is a 100-0 score is crazy. You may decide the idea is unworkable, but scoring it ahead of time as 100 to zero is thoughtless. Even the argument to shoot all the un(der)employed is not a 0-100 score.

And saying the money isn't there kind of ignores that the government just propped up the finance industry with Tr$30 last time around. When it's time for war, nobody bitches about how the money ain't there. For a country that already spends Tr$1/year on war and has supposedly been financing itself in a way that will surely bring us to Zimbabwe as the pundits have been threatening these last 10 years, this is a crazy argument. Saying there isn't enough money is like saying you can't play because the scoreboard is out of numbers. Money is just a matter of keeping score, priorities, who gets more and who gets less. The real problem is not how much there is, but getting it to circulate in the right ways. Right now only 1/3 of the population works full time, so there is plenty of room for people to do more.

caconhma's picture

Why work if there is no need for it? 

Zio-promoted economy = the US National suicide starting with a civil war!

Normalcy Bias's picture

The deliberate dumbing down of the American People has not only been frighteningly effective, but also frighteningly swift.

If the DNC hadn't stolen the nomination from Sanders, he'd probably be the President.

 

MasterControl's picture

Because most are murdered before its installed.

AtATrESICI's picture

100% of the 40% who prefer socialism to capitalism should get some first hand knowledge in China or Venezuela.

East Indian's picture

I never realized China is a better Capitalist country

intheshortrun's picture

No, it's because they have never experienced socialism. They should get a sampler in Venezuela. I hear it' going like gangbusters there!

jcaz's picture

"Tiny"... You mean like "a Bit".......

Placerville's picture

The only way to keep the DEBT PONZI going. The average person is tapped out and the GDP is going nowhere. It will all crash down without more parabolic money creation.

mayhem_korner's picture

The DEFINITION of inflation is currency expanding at a faster rate than production.

The loonies don't understand that to grow GDP (emphasis "P"), there must be an increase in production, not currency. 

 

yogibear's picture

The housing projects contain thousands of examples where this creates dependencies.

CheapBastard's picture
Clinton's bold reparations bill will tax “white people’s racist shit,” including fraternities, John Mayer

 

WASHINGTON D.C. -- At a White House press conference on Thursday, President Hillary Rodham Clinton called on Congress to institute a sweeping new tax on "White People's Racist Shit" to raise $6.14 trillion that the federal government owes black Americans as reparations for slavery.

"For years on the campaign trail, when reporters asked me whether I supported paying black Americans reparations for slavery, I dodged - because bigoted white women were already terrified of me," she said.            

 

http://www.hillarybeattrump.org/home/2017/7/5/clinton-comes-out-in-favor...

 

 

ScratInTheHat's picture

LOL! If it started out tiny do you really think it would stay tiny? You need to look at the history of the income tax!

tmosley's picture

Government is pretty damn stingy when it comes to cost of living increases. Ask any retiree on SSI.

Gorgeous's picture

They don't want old retiree's vote though.  They want young unemployed votes.  Like, black males, immigrants, and single moms. 

Big Creek Rising's picture

You are wrong. Under no circumstances should the federal government give free money; doing so would be immoral and unconstitutional.

But we already give free shit?  That doesn't make it right or constitutional.

But what about the general welfare clause?  Thats in the preamble, a concise exposition as to why the states were forming the union; promoting the general welfare is not an enumerated power.

Getting rid of existing entitlements and regulations as you suggest would allow productive members of society to keep more of what we earn, and we are a generous lot.

NoDebt's picture

Universal Basic Income:  Sounds cool.  How you gonna pay for it?

That's what I thought.

 

yogibear's picture

The government does a poor job of re-distributing wealth.

813kml's picture

Their expertise is re-distributing debt.

Gorgeous's picture

Nobody's going to pay for it.  But it will "pay" down the debt by inflation.

FRD's must flow.  And with China, Russia, and now Venezuala and pulling their de-dollarization shennanigans, those $$ got to go somewhere.  Might as well be in the pockets of their happy voting consituency.

Normalcy Bias's picture

All this will do is raise inflation to the point where the cost of living rises at least to the amount they give away to everyone, and create another vote-buying scheme for the schumcks promoting it (and the ever increasing amount needed to maintain one's standard of living).

shovelhead's picture

Just because an idea is incomprehensibly stupid doesn't mean people won't vote for it.

It almost assures it will be.

OverTheHedge's picture

If they vote for it once, then they will keep on voting to increase it. Each politician will have to offer to increase the UBI, just to have some hope of winning. As inflation spirals away, and the cost of living goes hypersonic, the mobs will clamour for MOAR. Will conservative, small government politicians be able to say " No increase, because it is bad", and ever be able to hope of winning an election? It does seem to guarantee left wing government for ever. I wonder if that is why it is being promoted?

Restless Boomers's picture

Merika will be like Zimbabwe, everyone will be a trillionaire.

illuminatus's picture

It gets paid for the same way that everything else gets paid for by the productivity of the land and the people working and developing the recources it and they provide and last but not least by the same financeal leger de main that the banksters and owners of the markets are performing now.

East Indian's picture

Not by borrowing "money" from a cabal of banskters. 

 

Seriously, if the Debt Money scam is abandoned, there will be a yuuu....ge growth spurt. 

This UBI can be paid for by printing new greenbacks. That will cause less damage to the economy.

 

 

I have an even better idea: let people use a marker to add a zero to the notes they have. It will make them richer by 10 times!

warpigs's picture

1) Circulating more money into the system is inflationary. More bucks chasing same #/amt of goods/services

2) To #1, why won't providers of goods and services say they'll charge more, knowing that more money is there to be spent?

3) As fucked as this concept of UBI is, we are about to witness/experience one of the greatest market dislocations the planet has ever had. Imagine all of the 3rd world crap jobs we lost to cheap shit and manufacturing now/soon being replaced by robotics? You think the hollowing out of our economy will be bad under this new trend? I'd hate to be born in one of those nations. 

 

We may not have a way out of this one folks. This modern day socialist b.s. may stick, and stick hard.

illuminatus's picture

At least with that type of arrangement the money would actually stimulate the economy instead of driving up the financials and putting all the fiat into the hands of the 1% gang.

secretargentman's picture

Do it. Its time to burn it all down. 

illuminatus's picture

No, just eliminate the vipers nests in DC and Wall street.

batterycharged's picture

What's funny is that when it's a private company doing this, it's brilliant. When gov't does it, it's "giving away free shit".  Hey, coupons work don't they? Discounts work don't they? Tax credits are probably beloved by this website's inhabitants. So if, like a private company, you want to supercharge the economy, why not take money from the have-a-lots and give it to the have-nots? Consider it a big coupon to go participate in the economy.

Think of it as a monopoly game. Let's say you're bored because you own every property and have hotels on them all. And you want to make the game more interesting. You give over 1/2 of your properties to the other players and start a competitive game.

If you give a low-wage person extra money, it's only going to end up back in the hands of the rich anyway, but in between it creates jobs and GDP.

I just turn off to people that talk about "getting free shit". YOu're a fucking mindless cliche.

 

NYC_Rocks's picture

Seriously, you are comparing a basic income to couponing?  You are so far off the planet that you have no chance of every understanding these topics. This is why our country is so messed up.

batterycharged's picture

So you've never taken an econ, marketing or finance class? Never heard of giving customers financial incentives to buy your product?

Rebates?

So far off the planet? Only if you can't follow along. How do you get people to buy your products? You give one away for each one they buy. YOU GIVE SHIT AWAY. But that's a brilliant business strategy but when it's the gov't doing it, it's a horrible idea? OK. It's sad how narrow minded most are here. Nothing but anarchists and militia members that want to overthrow the gov't.

quesnay's picture

Variable pricing (coupons, discounts) optimize profits by charging different prices for different people. However companies still sell the item at a profit. I don't see the parallel to a guaranteed income at all. Garunteed income would be like companies selling items at a loss.

mayhem_korner's picture

Have you ever heard of the psychological concept of "projection?" It's when you ascribe your own attributes to others. 

Let me show you, using your own post, how you PROFILED YOURSELF by "projection":

  • "never taken an econ, marketing or finance class"
  • "can't follow along"
  • "narrow minded"
  • "anarchist"
  • "want to overthrow the gov't"

Questions?

Bigly's picture

You are an utter moron.

To the low wage worker who makes 1800 a month busting hump, you want to pay someone to sit around in their underwear 1000, a nominal difference?

In addition, these HAVE A LOTS don't have a lot anymore because of grabby hands like yours.

---

Guys and gals it is getting close to GOING GALT time.

The tax donkeys are done.  Morons seem to confuse the 1% with the .001%. There is a HUGE difference between the 2.  The former is hanging on, with difficulty, while the latter is laughing at the little people.

 

batterycharged's picture

You're the moron. Do I need to post endless charts showing wealth and income distribution? The main problem in this country is that people are quickly becoming non-consumers. They can't buy houses or cars, or durable goods. All the money is going to the few people that control the global economy.

You're fucking crying for the top 10%?? REALLY? SMFH.

This is a basic income so the person busting their ass making $1800 will make $2800 where the slack ass will only make $1000.

Imagine if you made $1000/mo., suddenly a min wage job doesn't look so bad. Suddenly all these greedy employers can pay these people the shit wages they've been paying because it's subsidized. So you can actually live on a min wage job that you work FULL TIME.

mayhem_korner's picture

I wonder if hallucinagens will cause your posts to make sense. 

You fail to grasp the universal, fundamental truth: production, NOT consumption, grows the economy. 

So let's get to the advanced concepts: When people consume more than they produce, deficits result.  When deficits grow, wealth disparaties increase. 

Summary: throwing money at the masses to "solve" the wealth inequality "problem" will expand the wealth inequality problem. 

Let me know when your synaptic pathways open up wide enough to comprehend any of this.

Jessica6's picture

UBI will create an even more pervasive underclass than is seen under the current welfare state.

Really want to fix poverty in one generation? Offer the snip to 18-25 year old men in exchange for $10K cash.

Bigly's picture

Your argument would hold slightly more water if you altered your percentages. The top 10% Really? I know people in the 90-95th percentile who are really starting to hurt. If you are at 99, you still might be good, but the trend is not so hot, especially so if all your 'wealth' is stored in our fake markets.

Lastly, if you observe what is going on the real squeeze is $$$ flowing not to the top 1%, but the top .001%:  the people who have multiple estates in multiple countries, private jets...not leased. THESE people are doing quite well and better each day.

Will you be happy where everyone is equally miserable? You should know that these .001% will be a-ok, regardless, as they can insulate against us rubes.

As a society, we are broke. These super rich pay no real taxes. The 90-99 percentile's backs are breaking under supporting basically every grabby hand, including ILLEGALS.

You either get this... or you don't. 

/shun