We believe that a significant hurdle to effective government is the refusal of our leaders to identify, and meet on, middle ground that clearly exists. This politically based rejection of ideas that enjoy a clear majority is born of a gerrymandered system that rewards each party’s less moderate elements.
Both parties have pledged our children’s future prosperity as collateral for historic debt levels in order to fund our current quality of life. Stealing from our children’s future prosperity is economic suicide and should be considered child abuse.
We have options if anyone has the political will to lead on the issue. It’s a truism that no matter what level of tax is levied, the U.S. Congress has outspent the resulting revenues. Each side portrays its policies as fiscally responsible, yet neither has acted as such. The situation has devolved into political trench warfare.
But what if a middle ground exists? What if there’s a method to reduce the size of government, increase economic freedom and ensure a minimum standard of living for all Americans?
The notion was reportedly first suggested by John Stuart Mill. He wrote, “The dispensers of public relief (government) have no business to be inquisitors.” Mill believed that true freedom was found in being economically free to make your own choices. However, true freedom must include a minimum income to be able to sustain one’s self and pursue their dreams. In his own words, the minimum income provided by government should be “less desirable than the condition of those who find support for themselves.”
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has made a Universal Basic Income (UBI) the cornerstone of his campaign. But you should rid your mind of the notion that a UBI is embraced only by the left.
The two economists most associated with the revival of conservative economics, Nobel laureates Milton Friedman and Friederich von Hayek, both advocated for a UBI in order to transfer economic power from corruption-prone, inefficient government to the individual.
Hayek and Friedman share their support for a UBI with former President Barack Obama, Secretary James Baker, Secretary Robert Reich, Secretary George Shultz, Secretary Hank Paulson, Martin Luther King Jr., as well as a host of luminaries who have demonstrated expertise on the topic of economics and business.
A UBI, implemented to be “less desirable than the condition of those who find support for themselves,” will necessarily shrink government expenditures and allow us to pay down the crushing debt we’re passing onto future generations. It allows for more economic freedom, not less.
A test case exists — Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend. The fund invests a portion of the state’s mineral royalties in global security markets and distributes an annual check to every Alaskan.
Some people will list all the potentially negative consequences of a UBI. To them we ask, “What do you have that is better and is embraced by all sides?” because we believe that virtually any revenue (tax) collection/redistribution method is better than what we now have.