Headline: Why Facebook should pay us a basic income
Sub-headline: If data are the new oil then we may have found a 21st-century revenue stream
At The Financial Times, the propaganda headquarters for Free Market Economics, in sum Neo-Liberalism, since before the ‘Thatcher/Reagan Revolution’ to the present historical moment – that its editors could present an unbiased ‘report’ on the universal basic income is demonstrated in the negative by Mr. Thornhill’s historically garnished serio-comic pastiche. Using the comments of ersatz philanthropist and Capitalist/Internet wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg on the the ‘Alaska Permanent Fund’ . Mr. Thornhill’s ideological myopia, not to speak of this historical ignorance is demonstrated in the fact that The Yukon Territory and Alaska were both built by the use of the ‘Grub Stake’ now dubbed, at least in an American context, the ‘Alaska Permanent Fund’ ! Mr. Thornhill and the Financial Times editors do your homework!
The idea has gained renewed resonance in our own times as we fret about the erosion of living standards, the concentration of wealth and the possible threat of mass unemployment caused by technological change.
There is no ‘fretting’ here at The Financial Times about ‘rising inequality’ gingerly hinted at here by Mr. Thornhill, just the usual fretting about the populists hoard about to steal the hard earned cash from this Century’s Robber Barons of Financialized Capital. Whose Neo-Liberalism has produced untold misery for the 99%, while the 1% bask in profits larger than before the current Depression: denial of the level of the failure of Capital in 2008, has led the apologists for that ‘Free Market Mirage’ to the use of the euphemism of ‘Financial Crisis’.
The reader of Mr. Thornhill’s essay eventually arrives at the two pressing questions about the universal basic income:
Why should people be paid to do nothing? And how could we possibly afford it?
One of the cornerstone of the Neo-Liberal Theology, as argued by its tin goddess Ayn Rand, was that the the world was divided into Producers or Drones: call it Economic Calvinism i.e. the saved and the dammed.
The imperative of rebuilding of the whole of America’s Infrastructure could be part a 21st Century New Deal! If American corporations were forced to pay a tax rate of 90%, and also forced to bring their offshore profits home, as the in-order-to of paying their civic/economic/moral debt, that could be a beginning, part of a larger plan. And, please don’t lecture me on my ‘Utopianism’ Neo-Liberalism was/is an utterly failed Capitalist Utopianism! Nor my ‘Authoritarianism’ in forcing Corporations to pay their fair share! I am legally compelled to pay my taxes, as is the reader