Thanks for the comments and questions.
- Nothing new at all and this is nothing new coming from the left. The policy itself has historical roots in American political thought from Thomas Pain, Martin Luther King, and Milton Friedman(Yang mentions this a lot and he’s absolutely correct). A dividend like this is very much not new idea at all. So I agree with you completely on this point.
- Nothing about this is what I want. I honestly hate that it has come to this but I see no alternatives. I want a country of self-sufficient, competent and confident citizens but we don’t live in that country in the slightest. American’s are physically, mentally, spiritually, and economically unhealthy. I have no faith in the average working citizen to weather the waves of technological, economic, and demographic transitions that are coming at them in the 2020s. They aren’t prepared and we aren’t prepared for them not being prepared. There’s going to be hell to pay because of it if these transitions aren’t addressed aggressively and intelligently.
- How can you receive dividends in an organization you didn’t personally invest in? Well parents do that all the time with their kids. They pass on ownership and the kids have rights to those future dividends. The kids never made the initial investment. None of us made the initial investment in USAcorp in 1776 yet we reap the rewards indirectly and I’d recommend making the rewards be made directly because the indirect rewards have lost their effectiveness or even worse been subverted. You could say the last generation bequeathed the country to the current generation. Citizenship is already passed down by birth right. You didn’t earn or buy you’re way into being a citizen with voting rights. You were probably born into your position as citizen voter. Being a shareholder should be a part of that. I could give two shits about voting. Show me the fucking money and don’t send my brother to Syria.
- We torture Mr. Webster because words change the mental images that pop up in your head and the choice of words steers the conversation in a different direction. If you anchor the starting point of your conversation in different words you’ll get different results even if they refer to similar things. Word choice matters a fuck ton. Lawyers, marketers, journalists, politicians all know this and use it their advantage. Some are better at it than others. UBI and FD present different conversation spaces. I prefer the conversation space with FD even if it is effectively the same. The conversation space leads to different decision spaces. Different decision spaces lead to different possible outcomes.
- The problem: The citizen is not a beneficiary of the current capital structure of USAgov. The USAgov and citizen relationship is parasitic at best. The citizen’s existence only matters to USAgov in the sense that the citizen is needed as collateral for the financial system, citizens are fresh bodies for war, and they represent energy, information, and time the government can harvest for the benefit of those included in the capital structure of USAgov. What needs to happen is the working citizen needs to demand to be a part of the capital structure of USAgov so the citizen can take a cut from the value being sucked up by the convergence of capital, the state, and technology. The freedom dividend isn’t about the homeless or disposed. I’m a cynic when it comes to much these topics so I agree with you here as well. I don’t think there is much at all you can do for many of them. There are already tons of services and organizations already dedicated to them. The freedom dividend will do very little to help the homeless because many of them are beyond help. I was just on skid row in LA, the FD will do close to nothing for the people that are squatting there. Its sad but many are far beyond helping them “get back on their feet”. However there may be a few people that fell on hard times that this would help out. I think the FD will help the ambitious young person just starting out, who has nothing and no one as well as the working family that is struggling to put food on the table for their kids. Thats my priority, not the homeless.
- I agree, I don’t think income inequality is a huge issue for most people but it is for egalitarian progressives. Equality is their God. But, a huge issue for everybody is financial insecurity, loss of purpose and meaning, and basic fairness. Thats something most people can get behind and are issues they are worried about. I think most people aren’t as covetous and envious as those that rail on and on about income inequality but they do want basic fairness and don’t want to be or want others to be perpetually financially insecure.
- I think the rollout of this policy will coincide with a big short term nothing burgers in terms of negative impacts and huge short term gains in mental reframing. Long term the metrics I would look at to evaluate success would be: suicide rates, total household savings, savings rates, household debt, consumer confidence, business confidence, marriage rates, birth rates…if we see positive movements in these metrics i think we can call it a success, if not, well decay, desperation, and depression was gonna happen anyways.
- Well, that’s a tough one and I don’t think its as one sided as you think because there are a lot of people who call themselves progressives that have thought deeply about their issues and causes. But I do think you are stereotypically and generally correct and those that have thought deeply are a dime a dozen. But that might be a bias of mine that I share with you. Anyways, progressives in general and the current crop of progressives in particular are quite sure of themselves, quite sure they have“The Answer”, and they know that the moral arc of history bends in their favor. When people know they are morally superior and have “The Answer” they tend not to be very good question askers. Why would you need to ask questions when you and your group already have “The Answer”? The inability or refusal to ask questions makes one philosophically retarded but that same refusal to ask questions is acts as a massive political advantage. Progressivism is very attractive for those that are in the market for absolute certainty and the moral superiority. I also mention in the essay that Thomas Sowell and Nick Land have made the link between progressivism and universalism. They have a lot to say on the topic and I tend to agree with both on this specific point and would recommend their writings on it.