Jack Saturday

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 354-356

Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.
Tom Robbins

The businessman [sic] is interested in making money; the machine knows no end except making goods. The businessman achieved his end not by working within the framework of the social
machine, but conspiring against it. His function was not to help make goods, but to cause breakdowns in the regular flow of output, so that values would fluctuate, and he could capitalize on the confusion to reap a profit.

On top of the machine-like dependability of the actual production apparatus in the world, the businessmen built a superstructure of credit, loans, and make-believe capitalizations. ...it was
the constant disturbing, undoing, even conscious misdirecting of the efforts of society to provision itself.
Robert L. Heilbroner,
The Worldly Philosophers

Now, just think of this: A basic income policy can change that for the first time in our history. It can ensure every Canadian has a living – regardless of age, gender, region or income level. It can mean that we live up to our commitment to the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights: " ... everyone has a right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself [sic] and his family ..."

But don't be alarmed that this would really be one big boondoggle. The program will be self-funding through the tax system, this basic income being added to whatever else a person is receiving as salary, wages, pension, dividends or anything else.

So, before you throw your hands up in amazement that anything as "far out" as this can be recommended by otherwise rational people, just face one fact: In principle, we are already doing this with one segment of the population. All Canadians, aged 65 and over, are entitled to the Old Age Security Pension. And it's taxable so that seniors receiving above a certain income can find all or part of it "clawed back." If that works with part of society, what makes it unworkable with the rest?

…this method can be more efficient than what we are doing. Not only can it rid Canada of poverty, it can do it in a cost-effective way because it can require far less administration than the multitude of social work-driven programs – plus their professional fundraisers – we now pay for.

… it will actually add to the economy because the money people receive will be spent on goods and services that keep Canadians working. If you think that's "voodoo economics," just ask why just last week, the U.S. Congress broke all legislative speed records to approve a multi-billion dollar program to revive the economy and avert a recession. That's what a Canadian basic income policy would do all year, every year.
An income for all Canadians
Reginald Stackhouse
Toronto Star

Feb 17, 2008


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