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Thursday, August 13, 2015

The "Trojan Horse" of Right-Wing and Libertopian Basic Income Advocacy

Upgraded and edited from the Moot to this post about basic income advocates who see it as a way to abolish the minimum wage, friend of blog "Lorraine" writes:
The whole idea that minimum wage can or should be eliminated rests on marginalist assumptions such as the mythical "zero marginal productivity" worker. The freshwater economists and their allies who promote these concepts are overtly hostile toward wage-earning people of both high and low income levels and any income support programs whose parameters are acceptable to them should most certainly be regarded as Trojan Horses.
We share a suspicion of those who pretend indifference to the differences between basic income advocates of the left (who see it as part of a program for social justice, what I call equity-in-diversity) against those of the right (who see it as part of a program of "efficient" deregulation, privatization, and eventual precarization).

So, it will be no surprise that I strongly agree with your choice of the rhetoric of the "Trojan Horse" here.

It is nothing short of a tell when someone claims to want BIG not to supplement but to replace minimum wage laws.

Coupling "basic" guaranteed income to demolition of standards guaranteeing equity -- and this goes too for those who claim healthcare, education, legal representation and so on would no longer be a right for those "unworthies" who mis-manage their BIG so as to no longer have recourse to these privatized services -- ensures that what a "basic" income would amount to is the provision of subsistence, as understood no doubt by incumbent elites.

What this means in substance is that right-wing as well as market libertarian (who are also right-wing, of course, despite their incessant protestations that they are "beyond left and right") advocates of BIG are commandeering the emancipatory aspirations of left advocates of BIG in the service of a re-establishment of feudalism.

This is the same old story it is always is with the likes of them, and exactly what anyone would expect who wasn't distracted/deluded in the usual manner by the neoliberal/futurological shiny object of a new-fangled policy technofix.

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