Government and bureaucracy
Translated from the original Dutch by Pierre Madden

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   40. Basic income makes us all too dependent on government

   41. Providing of cash to people is not a task for the government

   42. A basic income turns us all into benefit claimants

   43. Basic income will never be high enough to eliminate all bureaucracy

   44. Basic income promotes government corruption

   40. Basic income makes us all too dependent on government

Explanation

A basic income increases the role of the state, and that is not a good thing. People are becoming even more dependent on the government.


Since the state can again suspend a basic income and a citizen with a basic income (in this sense) is dependent on the state, it encourages a vertical power structure between citizen and state that makes the citizen less free. With a basic income, citizens are no longer self-sufficient in any way, and are therefore completely passive and dependent.

 

Refutation

That only seems to be the case. The unconditionality of the basic income means that the government's position in the generation of income is severely limited.

  • Taxes are being fundamentally simplified;

  • Basic income is subject to very limited eligibility requirements;

  • The generation of income outside the basic income is at least regulated.

At present, the government, through agencies such as the Netherlands Employees Insurance Agency (UWV), has a huge influence on the daily actions of individuals who are dependent on social security. This will no longer be the case as soon as the level of the basic income is clearly established and no further conditions need to be checked. The freedom that the loss of these rights gives those concerned should not be underestimated.

However, for more people than is currently the case, the government does determine (part of) the income. This must therefore be periodically adjusted, for example in order to index to the cost of living. Political discussion will also arise about other adjustments, but due to the political situation this discussion will seldom lead to substantial adjustments.

If a UBI has been introduced, then there is a political constellation that is based on the collective possession of productive assets, to which everyone is entitled.


Risk can arise as a result of economic developments at a global level, which necessitates adjustments, but these take place within the framework of that political constellation.

It is also possible to spread the Basic Income scheme over several layers, for example a part by the EU (as Philippe of Paris has proposed in The Eurodividend - a European Basic Income), a part by the State and a part by the municipality which can take into account local aspects (such as, for example, the housing market). That spreads government power!

It is a philosophical view that people become passive on a basic income and are entirely dependent on it. See Values and Philosophy of Life for further discussion.


Very briefly here is the following:

  • Research and trials show that the effect in terms of passivity is very small: it will not be more than 2 to 5%.

  • The fear of passivity betrays a view of mankind: the idea that people do nothing with their freedom, or only fall into sin, is of a biblical nature, but denies the creativity and playfulness for which there is room.

41. Providing of cash to people is not a task for the government

 

Explanation

 

The government does not have the task of giving people money, or should not interfere in the course of affairs in society in this way (and should only assist when this is really necessary).

Refutation:

This is a splendid free-market or anarchist idea, far removed from the present reality.

 
In the Netherlands, 90 % of households currently receive something through a scheme or a surcharge from the government. Everyone received or had family benefits, those who get old enough get the state pension, etc.


At the most, one can think that the task of the government should be reduced to this one alone - abolishing this task is also impossible in the current system!

By the way: the government intervenes in a great many areas and the limitation of this interference has been an issue for political thinkers for centuries. The theme is ideologically charged, but it also has practical components. The government's task is to create a just society and an appropriate distribution of wealth. A simple distribution of money would be a good thing for a government.
 

42. A basic income turns us all into benefit claimants

Explanation

A basic income means a benefit for everyone, including those who do not need it.

 

Refutation

 

This is an attempt at negative framing that rather conveniently skips over a few things.


Almost everyone (at least 90 % of households!) currently receives public support, mostly in the form of tax reductions, such as tax credits and various deductions. 


Almost everyone accepts this with gratitude. And that includes those who would not need it!


Basic income can, to a large extent, take the place of public support and can therefore be used and can therefore be used to abolish or reduce benefits and allowances.

In that case, the image of a profiteer no longer needs to be linked primarily to the most disadvantaged in our society!

43. Basic income will never be high enough to eliminate all bureaucracy

Explanation

There are single person households in the Netherlands where the total of benefits, allowances and tax credits is between € 1,500 and € 2,000 per month. Few supporters of a basic income dare to propose such high amounts. We therefore need to continue to supplement it with all the bureaucratic regulations and controls that go with it.

Refutation

 

Whether that is the case remains to be seen. The method of implementation is important in this respect. The problem is that there is a broad insistence on developing a policy solution for each particular situation. The rethinking of this idea is precisely to enable 'left-wing' and 'right-wing' solutions over and above the UBI, such as individual insurance, earning opportunities in a deregulated labour market, or some specific supplements for serious diseases or disabilities

  44. Basic income promotes government corruption

Explanation

It is highly likely that systems for the introduction of basic income will benefit people other than the target group. There will be a great deal of lobbying and possibly associated corruption to ensure that existing revenue models remain effective.

 

Refutation

 

This objection does not concern the basic income as such, but a flawed way of introducing it or even hindering it from running smoothly.

Of course, this can happen if we are not vigilant enough, but we can also make every effort to prevent this as much as possible.

The basic income is the same for everyone, so there is no question of different treatment of target groups. There is no basis for corruption or fraud.

 

It is conceivable that identity fraud could lead to money being misused, but that is also the case under the current system. The complexity of the current system also offers other opportunities for fraud and corruption that are eliminated with a basic income.

Pierre Madden: cell: 514 238-0044

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