National Basic Income: A Bad Idea on the Rise
By Daily Bell Staff - December 07, 2015

It Begins: Desperate Finland Set To Unleash Helicopter Money Drop To All Citizen … Finland is considering giving every citizen €800 a month. Proposals for a national basic income are intended to simplify the social security system and encourage more unemployed people to take on temporary work. – ZeroHedge

Dominant Social Theme: Let's turn central banks into a force for good by printing money for everyone.

Free-Market Analysis: Long ago, we identified the idea that central banks could print money for everyone as perhaps the single most pernicious myth of our modern era because it gave the masses a further stake in a ruinous system.

Central banking provides the beating heart of regulatory democracy. If you don't like what Western democracy has become with its serial wars, corrupted science and increased societal degeneracy and malfeasance, then you won't appreciate the imposition of national basic income that will inevitably garner more support for a system that is going to die one way or another.

Of course, supporters of central banking are almost certainly going to support a "basic income" because it will generate support for central banking and allow the system to linger just a little longer. Ultimately, it will still fail, though. The only question is how chaotic and ruinous the failure will be.

We have been viciously attacked for exposing this particular meme because so many statists are invested in it. But we persisted in writing about it and tracing its antecedents because it is so important. It is central banking's "last stand." Exposed and shamed, central bankers and those who stand behind them will now begin to offer the "benefits" of the system to a larger circle in order to rebuild public support.

Long ago, we identified the crackpot 1930s economists that supported the idea of a national income and tracked the emergence of the concept to the English Fabian Society. The Fabian Society is dedicated to creating socialism by building its foundation incrementally and cementing its progress piecemeal but in sustained campaign. The piece de resistance is what ZeroHedge refers to as "helicopter money."

To understand helicopter money, you need to understand the terrible simplicity of central banking: central banks print the money that governments spend. They create it out of "thin air." But ordinarily, the money printed by central banks is lent into the economy via commercial banks. It is done this way so that people don't realize where the money comes from.

Since banks lend the money into the economy via businesses, people don't question its origin. The brains of hominids do not in the ordinary scheme of things look past even a single veil let alone two or three. (This is why one should always be skeptical of buildings with elaborate facades.) In other words, once the money is circulating, people simply assume its presence and value.

But that would all change if central banks begin to print money and circulate it directly instead of via commercial bank lending. For this reason, among others, helicopter money has never been an especially popular concept among elites – even as they have readied such schemes in order to shore up support for monopoly central banking itself.

The Finnish proposal will probably be disguised as a government program and that will somewhat hide the origins of the money. But people are still bound to ask questions because a "national basic income" is an intimate concept, affecting every part of one's existence. Who is paying for such a thing? Who is taking such a paternalistic interest in one's wellbeing?

Even "welfare" can be disguised as a government program. But when you are receiving a "living wage" from the government, you might be tempted to ask more questions about where it comes from.

For these reasons especially, giving people a "basic income" has been something that Western democracies have shied away from. But now, in desperation, such countries as Finland are considering it. Here's more from the ZeroHedge article:

Authorities in Finland are considering giving every citizen a tax-free payout of €800 ($900) each month. Under proposals being draw up by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution (Kela), this national basic income would replace all other benefit payments, and would be paid to all adults regardless of whether or not they receive any other income.

Unemployment in Finland is currently at record levels, and the basic income is intended to encourage more people back to work. At present, many unemployed people would be worse off if they took on low-paid temporary jobs due to loss of welfare payments.

Detractors caution that a basic income would remove people's incentive to work and lead to higher unemployment … Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä supports the idea, saying: "For me, a basic income means simplifying the social security system."

Notice that the prime minister positions the basic income as just another government program. This will be part of the larger meme as any other positioning might reveal the third rail of Western democratic societies, which is the operation of the money mechanism.

But no matter how a basic income is positioned, it is yet a further step into the abyss of sociopolitical dysfunction and the gathering storm of economic ruin. Putting money directly into people's hands will likely speed its velocity and add to price inflation. More importantly, it becomes a moral issue in the way that welfare is not.

You can see a previous article of ours here, which currently has 150 comments. We made our objection clear in this paragraph:

From a philosophical standpoint, the decision is simply a moral one. Do we want to continually empower a tool inevitably controlled only by a few – called "government" – with further redistributive tactics? Do we want to create additional justifications allowing a small group to forcibly extract wealth from the larger citizenry?

Unfortunately, like so many other bad ideas, the national basic income is gathering momentum. The ZeroHedge article tells us that the Dutch city of Utrecht is planning a basic income. Switzerland, too, is contemplating the idea and a nationwide referendum on the issue is slated for 2016. ZeroHedge reports that 49% of the Swiss would currently vote in favor.

Surely expanding a destructive system is not the solution. Getting rid of central banking and other anti-freedom facilities is infinitely preferable to allowing its embrace to widen.

Modern monopoly central banking is actually a kind of genocide-in-waiting. It concentrates more and more power into fewer hands – and eventually such an imbalance is going to result in further repression, authoritarianism and the inevitable result of mass murder.

After Thoughts

All of the above provides us with yet more reason to resist these sorts of income proposals and to resolutely adopt various forms of human action to make our own existences less dependent on government resources and public services. Freedom is always the preferred solution.

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