May 07, 2016

FT, are you aligned with the interests of redistribution profiteers and besserwissers, or with citizens’?

Sir you refer to that “Next month, Switzerland will hold a referendum on whether to introduce an Unconditional Basic Income”, and then you opine “this measure seems premature today [though] it is worth running data-driven pilot projects to test the concept’s future viability. More effective tax regimes and smarter forms of wealth redistribution will be needed to ease our social strains.” “Bring on the robots but reboot our societies too” May 7.

I come from Venezuela, where the poor, from that so lauded 21st Century Socialism, have not received more than about 15 percent of what should have been their individual share of the fabulous oil revenues over the last 15 years, tops. So please don’t tell me an unconditional universal basic income, in this case funded by oil revenues, “seems premature”… it is way overdue.

And Sir, why do we really need to test the hypothesis that people know better what to do with their own resources than what the governments with other’s resources? Is that to find ways to help profiteers and besserwissers to keep control over the redistribution?

As I have written to you I support a worldwide gas/carbon tax which revenues should be paid out by means of a universal basic income, in order to align the incentives in the fight against climate change and against inequality.

And I also support a social pro-equality tax, which revenues should be paid out entirely by means of a universal basic income, from citizens to citizens, so as to avoid all the dangerous populist and demagoguery intermediaries.

Sir, if we can separate all the redistribution from governments’ normal functions, then we will also be able to make these perform better for us. For instance, we might suddenly realize that all tax evasion and tax avoidance put together could be less than government waste.

PS. And bring on the robots to bank regulations. These at least have smaller egos that stand in their way of admitting and learning from their mistakes. The robots would, long ago, have eliminated the risk weighted capital requirements for banks, which only dangerously distort the allocation of bank credit to the real economy, for absolutely no good reason at all. 

@PerKurowski ©