Utopia Isn’t the Same as Eutopia [PHIL-OSOPHY]
There's a bill on Beacon Hill that will consider giving Universal Basic Income a test run. UBI is fairly basic. In my opinion, it's a scheme where the government gives people free money with no strings attached.
In Massachusetts, $1,000 every month would be given to 300 people for three years. Why? The study would look into whether the effects of the program would help address historic inequalities, including poverty and institutional racism. A similar pilot program is taking place in Stockton, California, a community with high unemployment.
Liberals don't want to have to deal with the failures of their policies. A comprehensive UBI would reduce work and increase government dependency by keeping people hooked on receiving a government check. This is part of what keeps people down.
This is a liberal idea that's been tried before in places like Finland, and the results weren't pretty. The liberal view of utopia, where everything and everybody works in perfect harmony isn't the same as the eutopia of creating a place of well being for yourself. One is an impossible reality while the other is attainable only through hard work.
Universal basic income isn't practical because making cash payments to all is no solution to poverty and inequality. A lot of people would spend it unwisely. In fact, I not only believe UBI won't fix existing problems, I think it will create new ones, because some will view this free cash as an alternative to work, and that destroys the human sense of self. UBI would also be very expensive on the taxpayers.
My suggestion to the politicians is to take the money wasted on flimflams and convert it into public and private sector jobs. We need to reward work, not replace it.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.