November 22, 2016
Sir, Janan Ganesh makes a very good case for a Universal Basic Income with his “Those who shout loudest are not always the worst-off” November 21.
At the end of it all, what Ganesh really discusses is the politicians’ efforts to maximize their own redistribution profiteering margins… something that skews it all.
Were there a UBI, then that would be an all citizen to all citizens affair, and governments would be elected, not based on who offers the most to some, but on the basis of who offers the best in what should be a governments primary responsibilities to all.
To diminish the redistribution role of governments will be no easy affair. That is not only because redistribution profiteers will naturally fight back; but also because after so many years of being brought up on the need to cry for a larger share of the redistribution pot, voters have become somewhat more genetically disposed to be beggars of favors.
Venezuela is a case in point, there its poor have received from the Chavez/Maduro governments, less than 15% of what should have been their per capita share of last 15 years of oil revenues. That is something probably true of most previous governments too.
But today, the most vociferous clamors against the government, come from a middle class that discovers having been placed on a road that’s heading in the wrong direction… its “the rage of dispossession” Ganesh writes about. The Venezuelan poor, well they have no time for anger, they have barely time to survive.