The Economist on the Basic Income: Nyet! A comment by Almost Marx

The victories of Syriza in Greece,of SNP in Scotland and Podemos in Spain has,perhaps, led the Oxbridgers at the Economist to do some preemptive thinking or just call it propagandizing, as the in order too of checkmating the ‘Left’: that amorphous self-created creature, that haunts the thoughts and economic schemes of The Neo-Liberal Thought Collective, or just call them the Neo-Hayekians for short! I will admit to ignorance of the British political context that could have given rise to this essay. But the muted political hysteria of the Economist’s writers, as advocates and apologists for the utterly failed Neo-Liberal Project, can’t ever be underestimated!

The walk-ons are of interest: Thomas Payne in the guise of his pamphlet Agrarian Justice gets what might be called a dismissive hearing. Then James Meade takes the stage for more of the same, except that his argument about the decline of employment in the computer age rings more than true: economic reality entered by the back door of that posh London office?

Then Free Market Demi-God Milton Friedman, as nod to the dubious thinking on the Right, enters stage right. Succeeded by an interlude of cold hard facts and figures: Economic Science forgets it’s origins, as the companion volume to The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and it’s beginnings as Political Economy. Perhaps discarded as a sign that science trumps morality/ethics?   After all this, and more, the conclusion is that The Basic Income is unworkable. Don’t call it Economic Strum und Drang, although it shares something like the Romantic sensibility’s faith in it’s intuitions, the Economist writers just gussied it up as Science.

Almost Marx   

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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