Tag Archives: Elon Musk

New welfare program Universal Basic Income comes to California

The U.S. government has a dizzying array of taxpayer-funded welfare programs, including:

  1. Negative Income Tax
  2. SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps
  3. Housing Assistance
  4. SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
  5. Pell Grants
  6. TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
  7. Child Nutrition
  8. Head Start
  9. Job Training Programs
  10. WIC (healthy food for Women, Infants and Children)
  11. Child Care
  12. LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)
  13. Lifeline (Obama Phone)

As if those welfare programs aren’t enough, the Left have been floating the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI).

UBI is no longer hypothetical, but is being realized in two California cities — Oakland and Stockton.

Lukas Mikelionis reports for Fox News, July 9, 2019, that in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Oakland, Y Combinator, a startup incubator, is giving out $1,500 a month to randomly selected residents. It’s expected the money will soon be distributed to 100 recipients with a prospect of expanding the program to 1,000 people who will receive $1,000 monthly.

Next year, the city of Stockton in California’s Central Valley will begin a pilot Universal Basic Income program, in which a hundred residents will receive $500 a month without conditions, i.e., recipients can spend the money on anything they want without any strings attached. After 18 months, a decision will be made on expanding the UBI across all of Stockton.

On how welfare recipients misspend taxpayer funds, see:

The Stockton UBI program’s utopian goal is to eventually ensure that no one in the city of 300,000 lives in “poverty”. How “poverty” is defined is unclear.

Stockton’s economy is in shambles — from foreclosures (the city was declared America’s foreclosure capital); millions in debt from expensive development projects to lure in tourism; a median household income nearly $8,000 lower than the national median; and as many as 1-in-4 residents living below the poverty line. The city declared bankruptcy in 2012.

Stockton’s Universal Basic Income experiment has financial backing from wealthy Silicon Valley moguls, including Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, 34, whose Economic Security Project contributed $1 million to the project. Hughes told CNN: “It is such a fundamental idea behind America that if you work hard, you can get ahead, and you certainly don’t live in poverty. But that isn’t true today, and it hasn’t been true in the country for decades. I believe that unless we make significant changes today, the income inequality in our country will continue to grow and call into question the very nature of our social contract.”

But Hughes has no intention to extend his own money for the UBI program. Instead, he wants the government to fund UBI welfare from higher taxes on the “wealthy” and high-tech companies. See “Facebook co-founder: Tax the rich at 50% & give $500/month to low income earners to fix income inequality“.

Note: Chris Hughes is notorious for ruining The New Republic magazine, which he purchased a majority share of in 2012 as what the New York Times calls “a vanity project”. After mass departure of the magazine’s staff, he sold it 4 years later. Hughes is an open homosexual, married to Sean Eldridge, political director of Freedom to Marry. The couple bought a $2 million residence in New York’s 19th congressional district with the reported purpose of permitting Eldridge to run for the congressional seat there. Eldridge lost his 2014 bid for a congressional seat by 30 points. Following that and the mass resignation from The New Republic, The Daily Beast dubbed the two “America’s Worst Gay Power Couple”.

Other business moguls have endorsed the UBI idea, though mostly in rhetoric, including billionaire Richard Branson, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Tesla’s Elon Musk, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Musk wrote in a tweet last month: “Universal income will be necessary over time if AI takes over most human jobs.” Zuckerberg said in his May 2017 Harvard commencement speech: “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”

Others who have spoken out in favor of universal basic income, whether by name or in effect, are Senator Bernie Sanders (S-V) and Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s Labor Secretary (source).

Both Sanders and Reich are millionaire socialists (an oxymoron!):

  • Bernie Sanders owns three homes, including a $600,000 lakeside summer home he purchased just 5 days after the end of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in which he betrayed his “useful idiot” supporters by enthusiastically endorsing Hillary Clinton. In June 2018, Newsweek reports that in 2017, for the second year in a row, Sanders made more than $1 million.
  • Robert Reich has an estimated net worth of $4 million.

It is the perverse nature of the Left to refuse to learn from precedents.

Finland experimented with UBI by giving €560 (US $657) per month to 2,000 unemployed working-age people. The program, however, came to an abrupt end in April after the Finnish government decided against continuing to fund the program. (The Guardian)

See also:

~Eowyn

Bezos says we need to leave Earth in order to survive

jeff bezos

You go first, Jeff.

From Fox News: The recently anointed richest person in the world, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, says we need to colonize the moon — and time is of the essence.

“We must go back to the moon, and this time to stay,” he said.

Speaking at the Space Development Conference in Los Angeles over the weekend, Mr. Bezos made the argument that in order to protect Earth and allow the human species to continue growing, we need to move much of our industrial activity to the moon, or even asteroids.

The 54-year-old billionaire said moving heavy industry into solar-powered space outposts is the only way to ensure that our planet can cope with the rising demand for energy and the stresses of a growing population.

“We will have to leave this planet,” he said, according to Geek Wire. “We’re going to leave it, and it’s going to make this planet better. We’ll come and go, and the people who want to stay, will stay.”

Mr. Bezos believes it will happen in our lifetime because the human race has little alternative. “The alternative is stasis,” he said, adding that without space settlements, societies around the globe “will have to stop growing” due to environmental and other constraints.

“That’s not the future that I want for my grandchildren, or my grandchildren’s grandchildren.”

The US government has stated it wants to pursue sustainable outposts in space and the Trump administration has shown renewed interest in returning to the moon. The Amazon CEO expects US government funding taxpayers to play a vital role in efforts to build habitats in space but said his rocket company, Blue Origin, would push on with its mission even if it doesn’t receive funding help from NASA.

“It won’t be done by one company” or by NASA, he said but by “thousands of companies working in concert over many decades”.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has previously outlined his idea for sending humans to colonize Mars but Mr. Bezos clearly thinks our planet’s moon is a better option for an initial outpost. As he pointed out during the conference talk, the moon is more conveniently located and reachable in just a couple of days with the right rocket.

The e-commerce entrepreneur also seems excited by the fact that in the past decade scientists discovered the existence of icy water near the poles that could theoretically be converted into hydrogen and oxygen and used for drinkable water, breathable air and propellants for reusable rockets.

“It’s almost like somebody set this up for us,” Mr. Bezos said.

If you’re a billionaire leader of industry, it’s become rather fashionable to use your means to push humanity towards the final frontier.

Jeff Bezos previously said he sells about $1 billion a year in Amazon stock to pursue his plans for space tourism and called his rocket company “the most important work I am doing”.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG