If Zuckerberg Wants a Universal Basic Income, He Should Pay for It

By: David Unsworth - @LatinAmerUpdate - Jun 7, 2017, 10:21 pm
Zuckerberg would be well-advised to examine the case of Switzerland before touting the idea of a universal basic income (
Zuckerberg would be well-advised to examine the case of Switzerland before touting the idea of a universal basic income (Business Insider).

During his recent commencement address at Harvard University, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made national headlines by calling for a universal basic income. “Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract. We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful.”

It is rather amusing to see the head of one of the world’s largest corporations, a quintessential capitalist if you will, extolling the virtues of a socialist pipe dream.

I, for one, would like to encourage Zuck to practice what he preaches, by putting his own philosophy into practice at Facebook. I can imagine it now. Zuckerberg strolls into the next meeting with his hard-charging Silicon Valley employees and announces some changes: “We are no longer going to measure progress here at Facebook by economic metrics like quarterly earnings, advertising revenue, or stock price. Rather…what I really care about from now on is ensuring that my employees believe that they have meaningful roles here.”

Call me a naysayer, but somehow I doubt that such a policy would foster a productive environment at Facebook, or any other corporation.

Zuckerberg further explains that, “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things.”

Sounds all well and good. The harsh reality, however, is that the vast, vast majority of human beings out there are not Mark Zuckerberg. In the neo-Marxist, politically correct, social justice mentality that has proliferated in America today, every one is equal…the only differences in achievement are due to the cruel injustices that society brings upon individuals. Why…if only we had a universal basic income, then everyone could aspire to be the CEO of a $100 billion technology company, or an astronaut, or a baseball player, or a doctor, or a community activist, right?

Enter…big government, to make Zuck’s egalitarian, socialist dreams a reality. If only big government, under the control of benevolent and virtuous technocratic bureaucrats could redistribute wealth as they saw fit, taking it from greedy heartless capitalists and giving it to the less fortunate, we would eternally level the playing field, providing equality of opportunity to all!

Zuckerberg would be well-advised to heed the recent example of one of the world’s most advanced (and egalitarian) economies: Switzerland. The tiny prosperous Alpine nation, hardly a bastion of ultra-libertarianism, soundly rejected a measure that would have introduced a monthly basic income of $2,500 swiss francs (USD $2,555) per person, by the astounding margin of 77% to 23%.

The measure was opposed across the political spectrum, by every single parliamentary party in the nation.

Fortunately, the Swiss people had the good sense to reject the sheer lunacy of the proposal, something that apparently

What would be the end result of a universal basic income? My prediction: an alarming increase in really bad music, poetry, fiction, finger painting, and unwatchable YouTube videos.

For one to think that the answer to solving society’s ills is to distribute large sums of money, is to completely be a stranger to human nature.

No good will come of paying people to not work.

As Luzi Stamm of the Swiss Peoples’ Party noted, “Theoretically, if Switzerland were an island, the answer is yes. But with open borders, it’s a total impossibility, especially for Switzerland, with a high living standard…If you would offer every individual a Swiss amount of money, you would have billions of people who would try to move into Switzerland.”

If Mark Zuckerberg believes that a universal basic income is a good idea, he should put his money where his mouth is. With an estimated net worth of USD $63 billion, Zuck would be ill-equipped to fund such a program nationwide; but it would be well within his means to fund such a pilot program in a small US state or city.

So Zuck…my challenge to you: If a univeral basic income really is the answer, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is? Fund such a pilot program in Delaware or Bakersfield or South Dakota or Olympia. Then after five years let’s determine the success of your brilliant avant-garde thinking via objective measures.

Don’t get your hopes up though.

If you pay people to do nothing…they will generally do nothing.

David Unsworth David Unsworth

David Unsworth is a Boston native. He received degrees in History and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, and subsequently spent five years working in real estate development in New York City. Currently he resides in Bogota, Colombia, where he is involved in the tourism industry. In his free time he enjoys singing in rock bands, travelling throughout Latin America, and studying Portuguese.

Ecuador’s Unannounced Border Wall Angers Peruvian Officials

By: Karina Martín - Jun 7, 2017, 3:34 pm

EspañolPeru is urging Ecuador to "immediately" halt the construction of a wall being built along their border, arguing that it will have a negative impact on the countries' foreign relations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru requested "an urgent bilateral meeting of a political and technical nature," as the construction could raise the risk of flooding in the border city of Aguas Verdes, a press release warned. Peru's Foreign Ministry also said Ecuador didn't report the construction of the wall to them, and that the project only came up during the most recent Binational Cabinet. The details of the project did not mention a four-yard-high wall Peru authorities said. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   In a letter, Peru officials also cited Ecuador's obligations to adhere to the 1998 Bases Agreement, which requires 10 open yards on the right bank of the Zarumilla International Canal as well as a path to that strip of land. The Ministry of Urban Development of Ecuador said the wall will comply with the 1998 agreement, and that "dialogue" with Peru "remains open to finding solutions together." Read More: Venezuela Police Chief Finally Stands Up to Paramilitary Chavista Thugs Read More: Colombia Military, Police Officers Launch Party with Eyes on 2018 Election "Everything is subject to revision to reach agreements," Ecuador's Minister of Urban Development María Alejandra Vicuña said. Other Ecuador officials said construction is aimed at better controlling flooding and opening up the free transit of people once a pedestrian bridge is built. Sources: El Comercio; Perú21.

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