“. . . 55% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck (and these are the folks who have online access, which one would assume are better off than those who don’t). Actually, that’s inaccurate. 36% are living paycheck-to-paycheck, 19% are actually worse off than that – accruing debt.’ https://20somethingfinance.com/percentage-of-americans-living-paycheck-to-paycheck/
“46.2 million Americans, or 15 percent of the population, were living in poverty, and the number of homeless people on a single night in January 2012 was 633,782. “
“More than a million children regularly go to bed hungry in the US, according to a government report that shows a startling increase in the number of families struggling to put food on the table.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/17/millions-hungry-households-us-report
373,187 viewsJan 23, 2014, 09:01am
“The 85 Richest People In The World Have As Much Wealth As The 3.5 Billion Poorest” [THAT IS CLOSE TO ½ OF THE WORLD POPULATION!] https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2014/01/23/the-85-richest-people-in-the-world-have-as-much-wealth-as-the-3-5-billion-poorest/#b112d6e17531
WORLD POPULATION 2019 7,714,576,923 https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/
I have presented apparently random facts above. The point is quite simple, money goes to the rich and not to the poor. Why do the rich deserve so much and the rest deserve so little? Quite frankly an old joke about a fellow born with a silver spoon in his mouth who got an inheritance and thought he hit a tipple tells the bulk of the tale. Wealth and poverty are inherited. Yes, there is the Horatio Alger myth of rags to riches stories in America-a few actually happen and we hear about those folks, bit time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Alger Those whose lives parallel those stories are damn few compared to those who inherited their “stater fortunes.” However, if more poor people had an income how many of them would parley that income into a respectable accumulation or nest egg? If you think about the many impediments to the survival of the poor, they have to be fairly adept at making ends meet to stay alive. Yes, poverty may be easier for them to master than wealth, but if they have a proper and regular income, they may have a chance to master how to survive with an income. Think about it.
Some will argue that “they” are different from us (the some mean “me.”) However, in day to day interactions most people behave the same, follow the same norms, obey the same rules (laws) and fit in nicely. Most people are civilized, not criminal and just like us. “They” is a shorthand for those using the term to suggest others are not up to snuff. However, the evidence suggests most people are the same. Those who argue that “they” are different from us tend to want others to do what those who argue they are different want done. Somehow the argument makes the person putting it forward better, or special or different. Notice who is different from most of us (ironic, no?).
Have you ever heard the phrase, “They will not use what we give them wisely?” Or, they will spend it on drugs, beer, or worse. This is an offshoot of “they are different from us.” Actually, “they” are different, for they do not have an income or resources. So, exactly how does the person asserting “they will not use what we give them wisely,” know how they will use it? Is the person making the assertion working from a sample of one and externalizing how the person making the assertion would use money if we gave it to him or her? Do I detect an undercurrent of the “special or better” people wanting to use drugs, booze or worse? Ironic, isn’t it?
Indeed, I suspect the problem that most people will have in hanging on to their money or using it wisely is the number of wealthy people cooking up schemes to get their money—you know like Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels or characters like Donald J. Trump in real life. So to minimize that risk, the plan includes a provision to not allow for the garnishment or other attachments of this basic income when we democratize money.
The bottom line is that what the poor need is money!
“But,” most people will add, “we have programs to assist the poor, food stamps, rent vouchers, Medicaid, to name a three. So, why give them money?” And under their breath add “and “waste my hard earned money.”
Most of those social welfare programs are viewed by taxpayers as progrmas they fund with the taxes on their hard earned income—transfer payments. And a good number of taxpayers resent them. We have all heard the criticism of a family shopping with food stamps spending our money on t-bones and Twinkies. A good number of taxpayers resent the fact they don’t receive similar benefits such as medial assistance, rental or hoursing assistance and food stamps. The thing is if you take from some to give to others you build in resentment toward those in need. One further complicates their lives by creating shame. Strangely we taxpayers transfer more of our tax dollars to large corporations in the form of subsidies, tax breaks granted by local government, price floors for agricultural products, and under the current administration increases we in the form of tariffs that we pay to rise the price of foreign goods. Tariffs that a government places on imported goods raises the price of foreign goods. Tariffs are subsidies to domestic corporations—taxpayers and all consumers in a country pay higher prices because of tariffs.
While once in a while we hear about these transfer payments to corporations, largely they are not as visible to the average taxpayer as are transfer payments to the poor. It should be noted that large corporations hire lobbyists to keep their interests before legislators, commissions and the executive branch in general. Corporate officers and board members make donations to political candidates who, once in office, know whom their donors were and strangely pass legislation that insures direct and indirect subsidies continue to those corporations whose officers and board members were major campaign donors. Far fewer “public interest” and not for profit organizations have lobbyists in the halls of government representing the poor. The poor can vote, but they are hardly in a position to make noticeable campaign contributions.
Notice the asymmetry in who is represented between voters and campaign contributors. This asymmetry is reflected in the public remarks of public officials—for example the former Speaker of the House stating that oil subsidies were good for small oil producers. Small oil producers are much better of financially than are those who qualify for food stamps. If subsidies were not available to small oil producers, they would simply change where they invest their money. In contrast how do the poor change how they live their poverty? In the same manner of thinking, the average taxpayer does not seem to notice the new luxury vehicle driven by small oil producers every year, but does notice the five to ten year vehicle, a luxury one when new, the poor person is in.
So, the transfer payments the taxpayer can see cause friction. The ones that they can not see do not. If we provide every citizen with a livable base income, then we can phase out the transfer payments to the poor, the visible ones. That will leave the taxpayer wondering where all their tax dollars are going. I suspect there will be some public concern for the transfer payments to the wealthy that currently are under the average taxpayer’s radar. Notice also, that the average taxpayer will receive new dollars just like the poor, and the same amount. It turns out, see the line about 55% of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck above, a whole lot more people than the poor need money.
I would conclude this part of the discussion with the observation that criticizing payments to the poor when everyone receives them and they do not come from taxpayer dollars will only come from people who do not believe in equality, do not want to share and probably are mean spirited. Almost everyone, but the 85 wealthiest people in the world needs more money.