I ran across a website talking about a basic minimum income for the European Union. It was from a fairly mild mannered activist group with seemingly good intentions. As much as I come across to some people as conservative and capitalistic, I actually have a side of me that invites communal support and taking care of one another. This group claims that everyone will get a set minimum amount of money to live on. Even if you are working or have a lot of money, you will get this income guarantee. They claim that funding this will come from luxury tax, financial tax and the like. Images of Amway sales reps popped into my head and reminded me that pyramid schemes are a mathematical dead end. This plan, is a dead end.
If you had ten people in a room each making ten dollars a month, there would be no reason to have any sort of welfare system since everyone is already equal because of their income. (irrelevant of where they get it from). If one of those people lost their income, the other nine would have to give a dollar each to restore an income to that person. Now, everyone is making nine dollars. Cool right? Two more people lose their income for whatever reason and now seven people have to support ten people. Now everyone only has seven dollars. Still cool right? But three out of those ten people aren’t working and they still get their money. The people that still have jobs have to pay out thirty percent for what reason? If I’m stuck in a room where three of the ten of us are living off of [our] hard work, they damn well be earning their keep! My problem with the system is the fact that the government comes in and says to the ones that don’t have income to provide… “don’t worry, we’ll make sure you’re taken care of and you can have every benefit afforded to someone who works for their money. And we’ll squash anyone that disagrees or doesn’t pay their share of taxation.”
Even if taxes were capped in a plan such as the Flat Tax, and welfare for the underemployed was equalized, there is a variable in the equation that is the demise of our society.
Thinking back to the room of ten people. Assume the room is overseen by a room council. The room council makes sure everything is fair and just and everyone is safe. In this room, there is no money. Everyone must provide for themselves by combining efforts and skills to live off the resources in that room.
Let’s say that one of these people wants something more out of life but they still want the security of what the room provides. So, they leave the room to go make a product that makes life easier. Outside the room, their product isn’t directly transferrable (or tradable) for multiple things which means a currency is traded for an equal value given to that product. Since this person can’t spend all their time in the room, they must contribute something back into the room. Most likely this is money. That money can be used to outsource outside the room, making the room essentially equal again. Being that this person who wanted to go beyond the room still paid into it, they can still receive benefit from this room.
Now six other people in that room want to go do the same thing! They each have a skill and motivation to do something more with the life they’ve been given. So, each goes out and does their business while paying back the room for the lack of their presence. The room can once again outsource for what it needs with the money paid in by the members. Again, the room is simply trying to sustain the minimum required for survival so that people can venture off and expand and make products and provide services. It’s outside the room that they can gain more for extra hard work. Inside the room they simply get the basics. Everyone relies on the room for the basics.
If you’ve followed this scenario, you might see what’s coming next. The ‘room council’ now has to oversee the inflow and outflow of money to sustain the intent of the room. The three people left in the room full-time also need some of this money being paid into the room by the outsiders. Well, the room council begins to think it needs a cut of the money too. Naturally the people inside the room get quite jealous of the outsiders. They’ve went off and made tons of money and have really cool things while they have to remain in the room with nothing but the basics. The acceptable standard of living is now being set by the outsiders who created it for themselves. It’s well above the room’s standards and the remaining party says it’s their basic human right to live at a minimum standard of living. The minimum set by the outsiders that is.
So, the room council says to the outsiders “you need to give us more money because the standard of living can’t be sustained anymore.” The outsider then says, “wait, your ONLY job was to make sure you correctly managed the money and resources in that room. Why do you need more?” The room council argues, “the members of the room who can’t work need money for basic needs. They also need cars, cellphones, TVs, toys and they are reproducing so you need to support them too.”
Outsider says, “That’s some bullshit!”
This story could take so many directions right now, but to finish it off here is one final idea.
The outsiders feel ripped off by the Room Council. Some refuse to pay taxes, some downsize their operation, some find loopholes in tax laws so they pay less. The really clever ones become one of the ‘Room Council’ and create a sub-room that the original room needs to sustain itself. For example this sub-room could produce energy. Since the leader of this sub-room is also part of the original room council, the sub-room is the only one allowed to provide energy to the room. Being that the room has to have energy, it is forced to pay what the energy room says. All the while, some outsider who isn’t a part of any council is saying, “hey, I can provide energy for a quarter of the cost if you’d just let me do my business without squashing me with taxes, regulations and restrictions.” But no, the outsider is simply forced to pay more money into the room.
The standard of living is inadvertently being raised by the pioneers who are innovating and advancing the human race. The ones who do little to nothing are reaping the benefits of this supposed standard that we are all supposed to be equal on. The outsiders, the innovators, the movers and shakers, are not the problem. The politicians (aka the room council in the above story) are not the cause for our advancement. They are the cause for the degradation of our modern society. Instead of being peacemakers or coordinators of society, they have wiggled their way into control.
Granted we need to ultimately take care of one another, but if we are forced to equalize for the sake of others who have no desire to contribute to our advancement as humans, then our resources will go to waste. All the hard work will be in vain. We will all find ourselves back in that little room. Skill and hard work turned into money, will be turned into entitlements for the ones who won’t go beyond sitting in a room watching the world go by. How many people on welfare do you know contribute to the advancement of science or medicine? Arts? Humanities? If anything, people on welfare are really good at educating people on how to do this one special thing… Work the system for all it’s worth.