Sunday, June 5, 2016

Stupid idea of the week

Here's your stupid idea of the week - today Switzerland is voting on an idea some delusional people are calling the "universal basic income".

Basically, the idea is that all citizens would be paid a base income of around $3,500 a month, regardless of what they do, down to and including nothing.  Proponents of the scheme argue that money is a "human right" and people should have their basic costs of living guaranteed.

They further propose that salaries would become "a symbol of appreciation" and this would allow people to be free to choose what they wanted to do, as opposed to being a wage slave in order to pay bills.

Those who chose to work and who earned above the basic income would have the monthly payment deducted from their salary.

These people would have to be some of the most crack brained socialist idiots you are ever likely to encounter in your life.  Freebies for everyone sounds like a great idea, what could possibly go wrong?  Let's list some of the more obvious issues, shall we?

  • What's to stop people sitting on their arse, doing nothing, and still collecting their $42,000 a year?  Who is paying for that?
  • Why would anyone in a job earning less than $42,000 a year bother to continue to work?  It costs money to get to and from work, buy work clothing etc.  They could incur less expenses and get the same income for doing less work.
  • Why would anyone earning just over $42,000 a year bother to work?  40 hours a week plus all the costs and loss of person time when you're only going to be effectively paid the same as the lazy prick next door who doesn't bother?
  • Who's going to do the crap jobs, like garbage collection, or overnight shift in a power station, or ambulance paramedic?  You'd have to pay these people sufficient money over and above the basic income to incentivise them to bother, so you'd need to pay a garbo about $100K.  Or, in other words, about the same as what they get paid now without a basic income component, but with a little more on top to encourage them not to just stay in bed and pull in the $42K for nothing.
  • The same applies to hard demanding jobs, like mining, or being a doctor, or a cop.  You have to pay them the basic income on top of their current wage to get them to bother.
  • And with all these wage rises, why won't prices simply rise to encompass the "free" money available, so a sandwich costs you $20 (wait until you see what one costs in an airport)?

Most importantly, where's the money coming from?  Even assuming a money tree has been located for immediate use, you're still going to need to pay someone about $85K to shake the bloody thing!

(This is ignoring the basic fact that a real world money tree would actually be a hyperinflationary thing, because money is only worth anything when there is a strictly controlled volume of it in circulation.)

This isn't Star trek, you fucking morons.  The reality is that work is something the overwhelming majority of people would rather not be doing, and while I'm sure that most people have hobbies, pasttimes and pursuits they would enthusiastically pursue is all of their free time, the reality is that painting pictures of flowers and playing video games doesn't produce anything that will feed, clothe or shelter anyone.

Apparently the organisers of this farce are aiming for about a 20-25% "yes" vote, with the goal of it becoming a reality in 10 years or so.  I'm quite sure they will get their 20-25%, because I'm willing to believe that that's about the proportion of lazy fuckers out there would would gladly do nothing if given the chance.

Until we invent safe room temperature nuclear fusion, the ability to mine asteroids for raw materials and the Star Trek replicator though, that's about as far as it will go because I also think most people are rational enough to understand that free shit doesn't fall from the sky.  Even your average dole bludging useless waste of space professional government welfare recipient understands that.

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