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The Forum > Article Comments > Basic Income: good in the boom, essential in the crisis > Comments

Basic Income: good in the boom, essential in the crisis : Comments

By Rubén Lo Vuolo and Daniel Raventós, published 16/7/2009

The GFC invites reflection on the role a basic income could play as an effective way of combating some of its worst effects.

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This article assumes that there is an eternal fund of wealth belonging to someone else that can be squeezed indefinitely, without worsening the original problem.

It also assumes that the policies of interventionist redistribution have nothing to do with the original problem they are trying to solve.

Both assumptions are wrong.

The "hardest hit" are not some kind of mysterious natural phenomenon. By far the single biggest causative factor is interventionist government, pursuing the same errors and fallacies that caused the collapse of the Soviet Union, starvation in North Korean, and totalitarian tyranny in Burma. The only difference is that, in the western world, the people have a limited ability to kick out one group of redistributionists if they go too far in invading private property rights.

When governments inflate the money supply, this causes capital and labour to flow into activities that are unsustainable and *must collapse*. When governments illegalise employment at the market rate (aka minimum wage) this causes unemployment and greater poverty. When governments illegalise productive activities except under government licence, this causes poverty and disadvantage at the same time as it increases prices.

All these intervention causes unemployment, poverty and disadvantage. The hardest hit are *always* those with least skills, capital or income.

The solution is not more government, it is more freedom.

But of course, even if government doesn't pay for the Basic Income by taking the money from others, you will always pay for it voluntarily yourselves, won't you?

Won't you?
Posted by Peter Hume, Sunday, 19 July 2009 10:57:34 AM
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