Tag Archives | basic income

How to Bamboozle a Billionaire

Continuing his “hey, let’s get to know normal people” tour, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife traveled to Alaska and came back with some musings on the “basic income,” the idea of giving everybody in the country a monthly check to live on whether they do any work or not. But in drawing on Alaska […]

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Lighting Fires and Filling Buckets

Policy Ideas for the Age of Automation, Part One: Education Everyone is starting to become concerned that the machines are about to take away all of our jobs—at least, all of the jobs that we do now. Everything is on the chopping block to be automated, from flipping burgers to driving trucks to filing legal […]

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The Socialism In Your Head

I was recently musing about the fact that so many bad political ideas, so many novel and ingenious expansions of government power, seem to originate with people who are on the political right and are supposed to be in favor of small government. Take the example of Charles Murray, who I used to hear cited […]

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What the “Trekonomics” Fantasy Gets Wrong About the Economics of the Future

Manu Saadia takes on Peter Thiel, as a proxy for Donald Trump, for saying that he prefers Star Wars over Star Trek because the setting is more capitalist. There’s a lot of over-reading going on here, particularly because this all takes off from a short throwaway comment in an interview with Thiel where he comes […]

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The Basic Income Is the Worst Response to Automation

We’ve been hearing a drumbeat recently of claims that a universal basic income—in effect, a monthly welfare check sent to everyone—is going to be necessary to save all the poor unfortunate souls put out of work by self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, robots, and other new forms of automation. We are told that the basic income […]

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Workers of the World, Report to the Labor Camps

The fantasy of a benevolent, “progressive” socialism—which, as we saw among the Bernie supporters at last week’s Democratic convention, still attracts a large fan base—always involves the promise of a neo-aristocratic life of leisure. Karl Marx projected that, when “society regulates the general production,” the worker would escape the tyranny of being stuck in the […]

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Democratized Aristocracy

Voters in Switzerland just resoundingly defeated a referendum calling for a guaranteed minimum income, a check to be sent to every Swiss citizen every month for as much as 2,500 francs, or a little over $30,000 per year. That’s a solid lower-middle-class income—for doing nothing. There are two ways of looking at this news. We […]

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