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Basic Income News wants me to write

Here is part of what I replied to the Basic Income News people when they said they were looking for writers.

I do some writing about various topics that interest me, including Basic Income. But I could not commit to giving you anything regularly. When I have a topic I think might interest you, I could pitch it to you or just send it.

One thing I would want to do soon is to write something debunking the idea of financing a Basic Income without a tax on wealth. I think that is a very bad and dangerous idea. Usually this comes from radical libertarian dogma and always uses dishonest arguments.

You have an article on your site by one Jeffrey Smith, who is working for another one of these libertarian groups. His real agenda is reducing or eliminating taxes. As well, a "dividend" would be an excuse to eliminate all other social spending.

In short, this guy is a trojan horse. I am bothered by the political naivety of Basic Income activists, that they keep giving such people a forum. This destroys the credibility of the Basic Income idea.

I grew up in Alberta, which has a long and sorry history of this kind of thing. It was especially hard to talk about a Basic Income there because you have to get past this, "Ew, Gawd! This is this "Social Credit" thing again? So, when do we get our 'Funny Money? Pft! '"

I have relatives in Alberta who are amused to hear that they are getting $860 a year, (or is it a month, or week,?) from "The Government". In the recent Alberta election, the leader of the "Wild Rose" opposition party followed the sordid tradition of hard-right parties in Alberta, of trying to get support by promising to pay everybody money from the province's massive oil revenues. It did not work.

This worked once, back in 1935, and all Alberta got was a patronizing, corrupt, and all-powerful Social Credit party government for the next 36 years. A history of the "Socreds" in Alberta would be a good antidote for the idea of trying to run a society on resource revenues. The social damage they did, the culture of cynicism about the usefulness of public government which they brought about by their antics, has never been overcome in Alberta.

Right now there is some debate about the "Dutch disease" in Canada, due to the rising value of oil exports from Alberta and its effects on the whole economy. This is, that flows of easy revenues from resource extraction have a corrupting effect on society and a crowding out effect on more stable, job creating industries. This is just one more reason why you do not want to base an economy on resource revenues.

But in most places, there is no significant resource revenue with which the public can be bribed to go along with the wealthy paying no taxes, at least until after the election. So the anti tax crackpots have another idea; the 'Georgist' 'ground rent' or 'one big tax' bunkum that has been around even longer than Social Credit. The object is still the same; to sharply restrict government revenues in order to minimize restrictions on a wealthy elite.

I think that the mark of a true Basic Income advocate is that he or she has become an expert on all the crank economic ideas out there. The touchstone is; an understanding that Basic Income, and society in general, will only be funded by taxes on wealth. Authentic democracy, and social and economic stability and harmony depend on not having a wealthy elite.

That is all that Smith and other libertarian types are really talking about; protecting private wealth and restricting the revenue capacity of public government. The wealthy fear Basic Income and its consequences for their privileges. So plenty of money is made available for cognitive controllers to insinuate themselves into the Basic Income discourse wherever they have the slightest opening, and turning it into something the direct opposite of its original intent.

This is why, if any discussion forum on Basic Income is to have any real value, it must be run by people who have the issue stood up properly. That is, as the best way of fighting the class war that is being waged on all of us, by giving people personal autonomy and freedom from coercion. Toward this they have to be able to see where the inevitable trojan horses are really coming from.

So far, the Basic Income News fails this test. It seems to be caught in this 'debater' mentality, or the 'fallacy of the middle'. If I am going to write for Basic News, I want to write about real issues regarding a Basic Income. That means, if I show something to be spurious, I do not want to read it again.

I definitely have no interest in making the same debunkings, over and over. There are too many better things to do with my time.

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