MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” co-host Krystal Ball (her real name) has a great idea on how to create some semblance of economic equality.
“The basic concept is simple,” she said. “Every non-incarcerated adult citizen gets a monthly check from the government. Other safety net programs are jettisoned to pay for the mincome, and poverty is eliminated.” “Mincome” is short for “minimum income.”
By the way, the “incarcerated,” are already getting a minimum income that provides them with housing, three square meals a day, and a job.
Wow! Why didn’t someone think of this before? Just give money to people. Hey, Krystal, it’s been done; it’s being done, and income disparity is growing.
If people can receive money and not have to work for it, they most likely won’t ever work again. In fact, the welfare rolls will increase, like what’s happening as I write this. She needs to read the story of the Pilgrims and their attempts of income equality. It nearly starved them out of existence.
The question remains: Where will this money come from?
The first law of economics is, you shall not steal. If there’s a law that politicians and voters break on a regular basis, it’s this one.
Krystal Ball is calling for more theft. But it’s for a good cause.
There is another way to increase the supply of money. Print it or digitize it. It’s the government equivalent of turning stones into bread. But it’s even more ingenious and cost efficient. All you need is one person to add zeros to the existing digital money supply.
It’s called inflation. Inflation is also theft since it dilutes the value of existing wealth. It’s like a wine dealer increasing his stock by diluting it with water and passing it off as the real deal. But what’s stealing and fraud for you and me is a sound economic policy for government officials.
Pope Francis has been praised for his compassion to the poor. Being compassionate to the poor is a good thing, if it’s done ethically and with long-term consequences in mind. There are reports that “Pope Francis has been sneaking out of the Vatican at night to give money to the poor on the streets of Rome. . . .”
Where did the Pope get the money to give to the poor? Priests take a vow of poverty. They don’t own anything. They don’t have any money to give. Unlike governments that control the supply of money, the Pope can’t print or digitize money to give to the poor. The money must come from people who have it and donate it to the church. The money must come from somewhere.
Who helps the poor more? The State? The Church? Capitalists? The answer is obvious. It’s capitalists, the very people Pope Francis took to the ecclesiastical woodshed. Capitalists create jobs. Contrary to what politicians claim, governments have not created a single job in the history of the world. Government employees are paid by money taken from taxpayers.
The second rule of economics is always operational and there’s no way to violate it ethically: There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL).1 While something might appear to be free (e.g., food, education, healthcare, housing, etc.), there is always a cost to someone. Ignore this law, and all economic hell breaks loose.
Of course, politicians believe they can ignore and break any moral or human-nature law by simply legislating it out of existence. They believe they can create economic prosperity ex nihilo, “out of nothing.”
In the end, someone, possibly all of us, will pay, and it won’t be pretty when the economic laws come calling.
- The phrase has been attributed to science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein in his 1966 novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. [↩]