January 16, 2014
Say! Wouldn’t it be great if the government gave everybody in America a guaranteed job—and a guaranteed income to go with it? Even better, wouldn’t it be nice if you could get that guaranteed income even if you didn’t work at all?
Jesse Myerson, an amoeba who was big in Occupy Wall Street, got progressives all excited Jan. 3 when he floated these ideas in a Rolling Stone column, “5 Economic Goals Millenials Should Be Fighting For.” The big “economic goal,” he explained is to “make participation in the labor force truly voluntary.”
As sure as a liberal will pick your pocket, these notions will soon emerge in a national election as part of the Democrat party platform. Why, asks Myerson, should anybody have to work to live? After all, he says, “work blows.” If your calling in life is to sit in bed playing video games, why shouldn’t America subsidize you? Why should you have to get out of your pajamas, except to visit the pool hall?
Do you think they’re joking? Progressive “thinkers” already have a fine-sounding name for this: Universal Base Income, UBI for short. That sounds so much better than “buying votes for Democrats” or “teaching people to be shiftless wastes of space.”
They aren’t kidding. In fact, this asinine scheme has been around for decades. In 1969 President Nixon proposed an annual government benefit to persons with children to support. In 1972 the Democrat presidential candidate, George McGovern, one-upped him by proposing an annual baksheesh check to anyone whose breath could fog a mirror. McGovern took one state out of 50 in the election, and Guaranteed Annual Income sank back into the murky waters of progressive “thought.”
Now it has emerged again.
Let’s see, now… guaranteed jobs. Didn’t there used to be people who had guaranteed jobs? Yes: slaves. When they finished building the Coliseum, they could be shipped out to the mines in Numidia, or drafted as gladiators, or auctioned off to wealthy landowners. They never had to worry about being out of work.
We don’t know from Myerson and the neo-Stalinist brain trust what kind of guaranteed jobs people would have. He actually suggested “painting murals.” He must think there are a lot of budding Giottos or Diego Riveras out there. We could be talking about another Golden Age here, subsidizing a lot of drones to compose symphonies, write poems and tragedies, or find cures for various diseases.
If we get to choose our guaranteed jobs, I volunteer to be an oil sheik. But if the government chooses them for us, I want off this train before it gets there.
But why worry? He also wants the government to pay you if you do no work at all. We can’t all write for Rolling Stone, but we can all loll around getting high. Why shouldn’t Uncle Sam pay me every year just for being me?
All right, it’s ridiculous. It’s childish. That Jesse Myerson could come out of college with no more sense than this, is a scandal. The professors who taught him should be drowned.
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But more than just colossally inane, this line of thinking is—dare I say it?—profoundly immoral. It encourages the deadly sins of sloth and envy, punishes industry, mocks the conscience, and cultivates perpetual infancy. For any able-bodied adult to wish to live off the fruits of someone else’s labor is a form of theft.
Besides which, wealth is created by work, and only by work. Where else do these idiots think it comes from? Does it grow on trees, or rain down from the sky? What kind of kook is going to continue working when, everywhere he looks, he sees others being paid for idleness? And no one can “help the poor” if no one is creating wealth. Indeed, if no one works, everyone will soon be poor.
America should be ashamed for creating Jesse Myerson.
� 2014 Lee Duigon - All Rights Reserved
Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on www.amazon.com
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