January 8, 2016

"Actually, it’s society that’s getting a free ride on women’s unrewarded contributions to the perpetuation of the human race."

"As Marx might have said had he deemed women’s work worth including in his labor theory of value (he didn’t), 'reproductive labor' (as feminists call the creation and upkeep of families and homes) is the basis of the accumulation of human capital. I say it’s time for something like reparations."

Writes Judith Shulevitz in the NYT. The "something like reparations" is the Universal Basic Income ("UBI"), which goes to every person in the country — not just women, not just caregivers, not just to non-wage-earners. She's guessing it could be something like "$12,000 a year per citizen over 18, and $4,000 per child." She imagines the costs being paid by cutting back the military and taxing the rich (and also by saving on various anti-poverty programs that might become unnecessary).

Do you like UBI? Do you like it more with this "something like reparations" feminist argument or would some other argument work better?

106 comments:

Seeing Red said...

With robots taking our jobs women can stay home and raise the kids. Talk about coming full circle and giving me laughing fits!!! What will feminazis do?

Stephen said...

One basic rule of economics is that if you subsidize something, you'll get more of it. Assuming that Ms. Shulevitz is for ZPG (isn't that term a blast from the past---and I'm open to correction about this assumption about Ms. Shulevitz's beliefs), wouldn't a reparations policy add to population growth?

mccullough said...

Don't have kids if you don't want them. If you do want them, don't expect the government to take care of them for you. This hasn't worked out well for the majority of blacks in the US the last 50 years. Uncle Sam paid for substitence but wasn't a substitute for a father. The experiment needs to end and more shit ideas like this Julia wants should be mocked.

Humans have been around 100,000 years. The ones whose ancestors have made it this far have been more resourceful.

If fewer people have children, so be it. The ones who take care of their children and raise them well will be taken care of by their children. The others will die off. This is what human existence has been for 50 millennia.

The Drill SGT said...

Alternately, we can eliminate the Army, and the Police. Sooner or later some American thug or Jihadi will put her in a coffle and drag her off to a harem. Or wil do so if she is young and attractive enough. Think of that as Universal Harem Support.

David Begley said...

UBI. Soon to be a major part of Hillary's platform.

traditionalguy said...

Reproductive Sheproductive. The women don't have it so bad They don't have to live as an aggressive Guardian service, while being a trained gentleman on command, and keeping ourselves up being the good looking generator of children using a special magic wand that we are only allowed to make hard on command of our Queen. We are the original Drones.

eric said...

Math is hard for liberals.

Sammy Finkelman said...

I would assume it would logically come from taxing bachelors, or people without children, provided they had enough money.

tim maguire said...

I'm against anything phrased as "reparations." This idea that anybody (except white men) who contributed anything has been cheated by someone and should be paid by everyone (else) is obscene nonsense.

But I'm open to the idea of a guaranteed minimum income if it's part of a larger restructuring of the welfare state. Her proposal for how it gets paid for is just as childish as her reparations demand, but the basic idea that there is a limit to how poor someone should be in a rich society is not really controversial. (Bluster all you want about rewarding idleness, nobody wants people starving in the streets.) And if the guaranteed minimum income has the potential to be a beneficial way of getting there, then we should consider it.

William said...

Marx had sex with his maid. She later went into reproductive labor. Marx had first hand experience of the exploitation of domestic labor. He wasn't just some ivory tower theoretician.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

(as feminists call the creation and upkeep of families and homes

Point #1: They aren't, not anymore. What I mean is the # of marriages and children American citizens have and keep have been dropping for a few decades now. American women are marrying later, having fewer children, and divorcing. It's a particularly bad time to ask to be paid for "upkeep of families and homes" given that type of labor is done less and less now. A large portion of the population growth comes from immigrant families, and as far as I know they didn't demand a UBI as a condition of their immigrating here.

Point #2: I'm glad someone's actually putting a price on their demand that I pay for them, at least! You can classify about 1/3 of opinion articles written from a Leftist perspective as someone telling me (an unmarried white man) I need to give them money. They're often frustratingly vague as to exactly how much they expect me to pay, so I thank this author for at least putting some numbers on paper.

Point #3: The idea that we can pay for a trillion dollars a year (or whatever the total will be) by cutting back the military and "taxing the rich" is stupid. We're already going to make those cuts and additional taxes under President Bernie Sanders, so that money's already spent, lady. I guess the real plan is just to have me work more, a la Boxer the horse.

Point #4: It used to be the job of the husband in committed, stable, long term marriages to pay the cost of his wife's work in keeping up the family (raising kids, homemaking, etc). Feminists weren't happy with the restrictive gender roles that system required (I don't blame 'em!) and did everything they could to break that system. It was successfully broken. Now women lament that there's no one to pay for them, life-of-Julia style. Even when married they're not happy with the recompense they receive, and now they're apparently demanding that I pay up. As a self interested man who is (by the way) unmarried, I have to ask just what the hell I get out of this deal? Oh, the survival of the nation, the perpetuation of the species, sure. Point #1 takes care of the nation part, though, and who says I want mankind to keep on? Maybe I"m a radical environmentalist who wants fewer people. Maybe I want to pay for my own genetic line, and don't see why it's fair that I subsidize someone else's.

Point #5: Am I as a man due any kind of offsetting payment for the risk and burden I shoulder simply for being a man? Probably not, is my guess--a UBI would give money to men, too, of course, but if it's all equal gender-wise I don't see how it's sold as paying women back for their "extra" work.

Point #6: Aren't a TON of our current gov. programs already geared towards redistributing money towards families and women w/children? Pretty sure they are. I already pay for those!

Gusty Winds said...

Keep the nuclear family as far away from gov't intervention as possible. This type of reparations policy put forth by Ms. Shulevitz seems to disdain the act of caregiving for children. Is it really the same thing as digging ditches or programming computer code? And are women really all simply slaves to thier children's needs and the sexual desires of their husbands?

There is something more to parenting, and most often, it is entered into voluntarily.

To claim that mothers raising children aren't appreciated, or compensated within their families is just bitter. The payment method is "pay it forward". Your parents took care of you, so you can take care of your kids. Really according to this logic children should accrue monthly debt that is owed to their mother when they turn 18.

That wouldn't work because we expect them to go into massive debt to support Universities and the feminists that work there.

eric said...

By the way, why cut back the military? If you're going to give people money, shouldn't the first thing reduced be welfare? No more food stamps. No more wic. This should be the only handout. Right?

n.n said...

The matriarchy headed by Mother Nature is unfair.

As for "reparations", there is your husband and father of your child. Women who received sperm deposits or pull their faith out of a penumbra and abort their child are penalized under the Matriarch's established rules.

Basil said...

Sure, a tax on all single women could be enacted t pay for it.

Terry said...

Giving birth is voluntary. People choose to do it.
Maybe the government should give me money for picking up trash in my yard? Or washing my car?

rehajm said...

Women can rationalize anything in the name of their biological imperative.

n.n said...

A "UBI" policy only makes sense if human life has intrinsic value. Otherwise, the supreme bigotry inherent to abortion rites that debase human life engender progressive corruption of the individual and society.

The liberal demand for elective abortion, class diversity, and other anti-human and anti-native policies cannot be reconciled with their need for environmental stability.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Bill Burr: Motherhood, the most difficult job on the planet

Birkel said...

Feminist revolution against biological fact is too easy to mock.

rehajm said...

I'd wager my UBI Judith believes UBI should be in addition to rather than a substitute for other social welfare programs.

Tank said...

I did not have sex with that woman, Judith Shulevitz, and I'm not paying any God Damn "something like reparations" to her. Jesus Christ woman.

============================================

That said, if she (and all) want to end ALL other welfare and social security etc of all types and replace it with this, that might be a good idea. That, of course, is never what they want.

s'opihjerdt said...

Womencan be part of "society" or barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

Andrew said...

UBI works great in Europe, generations of unemployed immigrants.

Christy said...

Has government ever cut no-longer-needed programs?

Henry said...

"The accumulation of human capital" sounds like an interesting place to visit. I envision a kind of enormous ziggurat made of discarded teddy bears. There's a tap at the bottom where you can fill your own bucket.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

tim maguire said...And if the guaranteed minimum income has the potential to be a beneficial way of getting there, then we should consider it.

Well yeah, IF, but we're both adults Tim, and we know that's not even remotely a possibility. If we said that the UBI would take the place of all of the existing state and local "welfare" programs then sure, everyone would be on board, but that won't happen. People get targeted benefits now. They're not going to give those benefits up...realistically they're never going to give them up. Whole businessse, whole gov. departments, whole workforces are designed around these programs; never mind the direct beneficiaries, the UBI would put all of those people out of business.

Now, of course, that'd be a great thing from an efficiency standpoint, but "real talk" Tim: it ain't gonna happen. Why do we still have sugar production subsidies today!? And the sugar lobby doesn't even have the opportunity to put some weepy mothers or pictures of poor, sick kids on TV when lobbying. Imagine the commercials!

Sure, I'm cynical, but I'd say I'm a realist. If a majority of the population was libertarian-minded and economically savvy it'd be a cinch--we'd scrap a ton of existing programs and substitute a UBI and even if it cost the exact same in nominal terms it'd still be a huge savings. If that were realistic I'd be happy, big time. But...it's not.

Amanda said...

Giving birth is voluntary...for now. Wait until abortion becomes illegal, society will be paying monies in TANF to unmarried women with children like you haven't seen in many years. They could rename it Reparation Pay.

n.n said...

Women who rent their wombs to dysfunctional males including transgender/homosexuals already receive direct payments from their clients or his proxies.

Men who make sperm deposits in dysfunctional females including transgender/homosexuals already receive direct payments from their clients or her proxies.

Normal women and men are compensated in a committed relationship traditionally known as "marriage".

Lifetime bachelors and bachelorettes receive the market value of their labor.

Actually, so do all women and men in a society with a State-established pro-choice quasi-religion, whether enforced by a left-wing ruling party or the democratic consensus of the population.

dbp said...

Ignoring the $4,000/child, just $12,000 per adult comes to about 3 Trillion Dollars, which is close to the current US budget. So, aside from the "logic" of it all--I don't see where the money comes from. If it was instead of Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps etc--rather than on top of those, that might pay for half of it, but we need a military.

Qwerty Smith said...

I have a great way to eliminate the reparation programs' administrative cost. Each person who has benefited from being produced by a woman should pay $12,000 annually to one of that woman's natural heirs.

If we elect to make ourselves the designated heirs, each of us will owe ourselves $12,000 annually, thereby cancelling out both the entitlement and the debt.

Now, we just have to make the that the Obama administration does not find a way to treat our reparations to ourselves as taxable income.

Larry J said...

A quick search turn up this: "As 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 242,470,820 adults living in the United States. The total population was estimated at 316,128,839 people, with 76.7 percent of those people being over 18."

If they gave each adult $12,000 as she suggests, that would cost $2,909,649,840,000, or $2.91 trillion. Simple subtraction indicates there were 73,658,019 children in 2013. Giving each of them $4000 would cost another $294,632,076,000 a year. Add those two numbers together and you get $3,204,281,916,000, or a bit over $3.2 trillion a year. That's pretty much the entire US federal budget. Sorry, but even if you killed off the DoD and took 100% of the net worth (not income) of the rich, you couldn't come close to funding her wet dream for a year. Yes, the numbers are large but this is third grade arithmetic. Are people really that dumb that they can't do third grade arithmetic to see the stupidity of their ideas?

Renee said...

I'm not a baby sitter or a housekeeper, I'm a mother. So actually, no.

mikee said...

If I wear a dress and grow my hair long and call myself Betty, can I get in on this scam? Why not?

mikesixes said...

I'm guessing her suggested numbers would come out to an expense of about $4.5 trillion. There are about 500 billionaires in the country, so if they were all picked clean we'd still come out about $4 trillion short in the first year of her utopia. A great many people would surely find that $18k of guaranteed, free money would be sufficient to live on, given that off-the-books work could be done to supplement the free cash. Before long, there wouldn't be enough taxpayers to support it and and the whole stupid scheme would collapse. Aside from the practical problem, though, there's the moral one: why should people's personal behavioral decisions be subsidized? We don't conscript women to have children, and paying them to do so is like treating children as livestock.

rhhardin said...

It's time the world's sex workers got a fair wage.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let's rephrase what she wants a bit. Traditionally, males were needed to raise their own children. They would provide support for such. Sure, some females would sneak around and actually have kids by the alphas around, and then get their beta mates to support and raise them, by pretending that the beta husbands were the biological fathers. But, what she wants is to completely separate the support of the children she might have from the choice of guys she can fuck. She could sleep with whichever alpha males she wants without worrying about who is going to support and raise the resulting children.

What could possibly go wrong here? Well, we have this to some extent already in the lower income communities, and, esp. poor black inner city communities, where most of the kids are born out of wedlock, and not coincidentally, a large number of the boys end up dead or in prison, and the girls end up getting pregnant early, mothering the next generation of hoodlums or teenaged mothers. No surprise, some of the alpha males who manage to impregnate a number of women brag about it, and are proud of the number of children that they provide DNA for, but nothing else. This is what happens when financial responsibility is separated from child rearing, and women forgo having the fathers in the household helping to raise their offspring.

Another part of this is that males work much harder when they believe that they are working to support their own children. Much harder than if they believe they are supporting the children of some other guys. So, if you like this woman's plan, then you are essentially behind many/most guys being slackers, worrying about themselves, and not supporting a family, and spending their lives playing instead of working.

All so that she can fuck whom she wants without consequences.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Before the modern era (but after the spread of industrialization) women were recompensed for their "reproductive labor."

Men were the bread winners and in decent homes most of that bread was spent on the housing and food and whatever luxuries they could afford on the parents and the children. That is, in exchange for food, shelter, and protection from other men, a woman would agree to bear and raise a man's children, and the children would maintain them in their old age once they could no longer work.

Before that, when most people worked in agriculture, (were farmers) men and women worked together because survival required it. Children were an economic asset because they could be set to work as soon as they were old enough. The compensation women received in this case was the same as the man's. Survival.



Beldar said...

It's not "UBI." It's TWOMAL: "The world owes me a living."

We might as well pass a law forbidding the waves from crashing into the shores as pass one pretending that it's possible to pay a living wage to everyone who doesn't work (for whatever reason, including "I don't want to") without collapsing our economy and ultimately our civilization.

As acronyms go, I much prefer TANSTAAFL, baby. That's truth, and it negates this UBI nonsense.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

How about reparations for male bodies that have been destroyed by wars or criminals.

Males keep society safe and can pay the ultimate price. Having a kid seems small potatoes to me.

Show me the money, bitches!

walter said...

I don't know if there are better studies out there on this but..
Forty-two per cent would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, no matter the wishes of their partner.

Jane the Actuary said...

The fantasy that we, as a nation, are wealthy enough to give everyone a "basic income" is getting out of hand. Some people imagine that it's paid for by not having to provide welfare benefits any longer but the math just doesn't work.

tim in vermont said...

So women sit outside the human race, with their faces pressed against the window, cold and in the dark? Who knew?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Do you like UBI? Do you like it more with this "something like reparations" feminist argument or would some other argument work better?

Sorry, I didn't initially answer these questions.
In the abstract I don't hate the UBI--under certain conditions it would be a good or even a great idea. I don't think those conditions are likely to be met, however, so in practical terms I don't think it'll work. Noted free market proponent Milton Friedman thought something like a UBI could be a good idea, but again with provisos.
I don't like it more with the feminist reparations angle as I think that's both an illogical and a losing argument (ie it doesn't make sense and it also doesn't convince on non-logical terms). Other arguments for the UBI should work better. The best you could say is that possibly this argument would work with some people (leftist feminists, I guess?) and other arguments could be used for other groups...but honestly I just assume leftist feminists would already be in favor of a UBI (expanding the size, scope, and role of government in people's lives as it would) so I doubt they need some special argument just for them. Thus, a loser of an argument all around.

MadisonMan said...

at some point during the diaper-changing or bedpan cleaning, they have to wonder why their efforts aren’t seen as “work.”

Who isn't seeing the efforts as work???! Feminists aren't!

walter said...

Tim,
Regarding starving, I agree that no one wants that. But I shop at discount stores for food and get really tired seeing the little signs pointing out all the non-staples "EBT eligible". I've seen discussion where folks feel that steaks and cakes should be eligible on some ridiculous humanitarian standard. I know in absolute dollars we're talking err..peanuts in the bg picture. but I can't help but feel it has a larger effect than it seems...especially now that the transaction appears to those around no different than any other credit/debit transaction. But we wouldn't want "shame" to enter the picture...

tim in vermont said...

I bet if we set up robots to just print money, we could all sit around and be rich, and it is only the Koch Bros who are keeping us from doing it because they want to be the only rich people.

tim in vermont said...

Before we implement a UBI, we need to import millions more third world peasants to support, otherwise we will never get enough votes!

Dan Hossley said...

If we pay women to have babies, can we tax them if their babies turn out to be thugs?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

By the way, I am against handouts to layabouts, regardless of how the proposition is phrased.

Rick said...

For society to be getting a "free ride" they have to be getting something for free. Is it the feminist position that "society" owns these children?

Because failing that I see women undertaking labor to achieve something they want. And I don't see why that incurs obligation on anyone else's part. If I build myself a man cave who owes me?

I think we have poor thinkers proselytizing to other poor thinkers.

Achilles said...

If you ended every transfer payment on the books in all states and at the federal level and replaced it with this go for it. Make it flat rate with mo means testing or any form of adjustment.

Completely automate the system and fire all of the federal and state workers currently soaking up all of the money in the current "safety net." Most of the money that goes to "fight poverty" ends up in the pockets of people well above the poverty line.

Geoff Matthews said...

What if this were done instead of food stamps? Instead of pell grants? Instead of >insert social program<?

Why does this have to be done in addition to the other social programs?

TreeJoe said...

I like the concept of a guaranteed basic income as a function of a certain portion of government income that is not spent. So, for example, if the U.S. government had an income of $3.5 trillion and only spent $3 trillion, I'd be for distribution of the remaining $500 billion as a guaranteed income (that would only be $3,333 per household assuming 150 million households).

This would encourage careful consideration of expenditures, better government investment, etc.

But to get there we'd need to:

1. Stop spending above income as a nation
2. Restructure the tax code
3. Restructure the welfare code

I personally like the concept that the state should distribute gains to it's people - that includes income from government bonds, from sale of property, from income-generating activities (i.e. leasing land), etc.

But you've got to setup the government to make it happen.

Ironically we already need to address #1-3 above

tim maguire said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...Well yeah, IF, but we're both adults Tim, and we know that's not even remotely a possibility.

Sure, of course it's not going to happen. It's still an interesting exercise well worth thinking about. What if we gave $1,000 a month to every adult and $200 to every child. Everybody. Then we eliminated the welfare state--no more food stamps, no more housing allowances, no more school lunch programs, no more. How much jiggering would we have to do to pay for it? What would happen to wages for unskilled labor if the employees were no longer working for the rent? What would happen to working conditions if it were that much easier to say, "take this job an shove it!"

Inquiring minds want to know.

Static Ping said...

I'm all for the UBI, as long as it comes paired with the "free chicks" as so crooned by Dire Straits.

Back in reality, there comes the question of how to pay for all of this, which the author provides nothing useful in guidance. Oh, she suggests higher taxes and whatnot, but it is big on big ideas and small on practical details. There seems to be a delusion among certain segments of the population that any amount of tax money can be raised with minimal effort and that this amount would remain available in perpetuity because once a massive change is placed on society, society will not change in response. The fact that she brings up a carbon tax, which is supposedly meant to reduce carbon emissions and therefore - if it works - should reduce the tax monies available from it over time, gives me the impression that she has not thought this out at all. The fact that she casually brings up eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, which would cause a massive economic upheaval if not handled extremely carefully, makes it even more obvious.

The fact that she is in favor of slashing national defense in a time when we do desperately need it makes it clear that she is not a serious person.

Finally, the experiments with UBI, while interesting, are rather useless unless they (a) include a large number of people and (b) are performed over an extended period of time. Cash grants to, say, a thousand people in a country with millions of people, or in the case of India over a billion people, may have large impact on the persons benefiting but essentially no impact on the population at large. Once it becomes the entire population, the results can change dramatically. Furthermore, this is something that needs to be tested out over generations to really know what the impact is and I seriously doubt any of the experiments were for more than a year. UBI would change the norms of society and if those new norms are not sustainable, it may not be obvious for decades. Of course, this assumes that it would not collapse upon itself in short order, which I suspect it would.

It also makes me wonder if the rich are expected to pay for everything then why shouldn't they just assume power. If they are rich enough to fund the rest of the society, they should own it. Lords and serfs.

To answer your question, whenever I see the word "reparations" it makes me significantly less interested in the idea because it is usually this sort of "emotions without thinking pretending to be thinking" thing.

Joe said...

What's so deeply cynical about this article is that Ms. Shulevitz is proposing to monetize the most fundamental aspects of human relationships. It's also deeply cynical that her view of a person's worth is their W-2.

Of course, another view is that the Shulevitz's of the world want free money so they can continue their useless "careers".

tim in vermont said...

First thing you would have to do with a UBI is forbid people to borrow against it, which would be impossible of course. Otherwise the money would soon end up in the hands of those who can plan ahead and delay gratification and leave the hands of those who can't, sort of like right now.

Laura said...

Most men I know offer unlimited free rides as well.

cubanbob said...

The stupidity of this idea is awe inspiring. Yes let us all tax ourselves to give ourselves a handout because that is what it comes down to as there simply aren't enough rich people to tax nor is the military and other essential departments and agencies that justify the reason for being a State. A better idea is the time tested one of actually getting a job and supporting yourself.

Jack Wayne said...

I am in favor of reparations of all kinds - black, feminist, Japanese, Muslim, left-handlers, brown hairers and whatever else needs free money. I'm sick of the whole thing and the quicker we get to complete bankruptcy and start the shooting, the better!

Temujin said...

All of you: Read the Fair Tax. Then report back to me. How about incentivizing freedom instead of subsidizing decline?

Just asking. Oh…by the way- the Fair Tax allows you to keep the fruits of your labor- ALL OF YOU, while still allowing for a minimum base pay to all for the purposes of covering basic life needs.

robother said...

So, according to Marx's labor theory of value (updated), soldiers and police perform no value-added activity, they are like banksters purely parasitic on the labor of others? Well, lets give it a try; what could go wrong?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

tim maguire said...Inquiring minds want to know.

Oh I agree, it's a lot of fun to think about, for sure--you've got a lot of competing movements both along and of the S and D curves in several related markets (labor and otherwise), but I guess for me it's tough to get started without considering how any of it would be paid for...and that stops things more or less before they start.
I mean, if we're assuming the money exists and/or is free then we've already changed our baseline so we'd have to explicitly define the market paramenters.
If we're assuming the money would be obtained by doing X then we have to first factor the changes that X would make to the existing markets and take that as our baseline.

But yeah, working our the marginal effects on the hours worked/jobs taken by workers currently making minimum wage, for example, is a fun thought experiment once we assume the money to pay for the UBI falls from the heavens.

Gahrie said...

Women can rationalize anything in the name of their biological imperative.

Close....

Women can emotionalize anything in the name of their biological imperative.

Unknown said...

If you do away all the welfare system, how many people are you putting on the unemployment line?

Peter said...

If "reproductive labor" is a paying job, then surely those who wish to employ reproductive laborers should get to choose who to hire (with due consideration given to genetic testing of both parents).

If we're paying for gestation then we'd expect a severe penalty should you not take reasonable care to provide a suitably nurturing internal environment.

And if the procreation is a work for hire then it is we and not you who shall retain rights to the work product; thus, should we hire to to conceive and gestate the child, we shall reserve the right to select alternate childcare arrangements.


For, surely, you wouldn't propose a division of labor in which you have rights while we have only obligations?

Birkel said...

TreeJoe:
Government does not and cannot invest. Government spends.

That bit of sloppy thinking, of which you are one in a long line making that mistake, has gotten us into loads of stupid situations.

Birkel said...

tim maguire:

Then we would have a bunch of children and adults get robbed of those monies and return to the state with hat in hand for more freebies. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

The exercise you think is well worth having is but a gambit in a long con.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

She's guessing it could be something like "$12,000 a year per citizen over 18, and $4,000 per child."

Just vote Bernie and our dreams will come true.

Jonathan Graehl said...

As Ann implies, 'reparations, just like the blacks!' is both muddled and a losing political argument (unless immigration continues on its 50-year burn for a few more decades). As to why it appeals to some, it appears that there's some sort of expectation that the gimmedat bandwagon can never say no - if you can say no to one, you can say no to all.

UBI, which is just wealth redistribution, but with less bureaucracy and perhaps lower marginal tax rates for poor people's official income, has traction in my mind as soon as the robot economy can sustainably support it (and this depends on where you draw the borders for who gets UBI vs where you run the farming/mining/refining/building etc that supports it). If you're asking a few capable + hard working *people* to support everyone else, good luck with that! Another way to view UBI: ignoring people who work less than minimum-wage-part-time, you're just talking about changing the current progressive tax rates. It's only UBI at very high levels that's interesting. It's an attempt to pare down the puritan identification of work with human value - which, if robots+capitalists produce everything, might one day be a good thing.

If you're nativist/nationalist then you probably support significant UBI (and/or subsidies for native children) sooner than a rational anti-borders humanitarian would.

Controlled immigration (allow only those who *are* a 'meal ticket'), high UBI, and lower (nearly 0) funding+employment of the needy-assistance bureaucracy sound like a winning bargain, but for whatever reason it's not even seriously discussed (elites don't like it?) .

The setting of a per-child subsidy (which we already have, obviously) is really interesting - I'd want to use it to [dis]incent reproduction to somewhere just above replacement fertility; I'd also increase it gradually to full UBI by age 16. If the subsidy were high enough, we'd want to make it less for each additional child after the third (discourage baby farmers without adding an overly intrusive CPS bureaucracy).

Rusty said...

Nobody want's to take away your abortion , Amanda. Providing you're still of an age to get pregnant, I for one, would encourage you to get one.

Eustace Chilke said...

I would veto any such schemes as UBI since it's just theft in support of vote buying. Theft in support of vote buying being a fair description of taxation in general, I would measure any potential benefit of UBI by how many bureaucrats could be let go. The odds of this being for a net negative reduction in bureaucrats, I favor a more direct method. Decimation comes to mind. To encourage a general exodus in a search for honest work. Maybe those remaining would improve their behavior a bit.

Sebastian said...

Several errors in this piece. 1. Invoking Marx is silly. Wage labor is exploitative; keeping reproduction out of the sphere of accumulation saves women the worst fate male proletarians suffer. Applying the LTV to reproduction would be tricky anyway, since only the portion adding to labor power ultimately put to use in production would be subject to compensation. Marx's own calculations were unwieldy enough; I have yet to see a feminist try in earnest. (Yeah, I know I'm making the classic AA error of taking a nonsensical assertion made in bad faith seriously as argument.) 2. A universal basic income doesn't compensate for the particular injustice supposedly suffered by women.

SGT Ted said...

""Actually, it’s society that’s getting a free ride on women’s unrewarded contributions to the perpetuation of the human race.""


Bullshit.

Women already got paid by men buying them food, clothes, shelter and entertainment while they stayed at home with the kids. They were handsomely rewarded for it. Nobody owes women a goddamned thing. Greedy ungrateful bitch.

Gahrie said...

A couple with two kids gets $32,000 a year? Hell even in expensive to live in California there are millions who would take that deal and never work a day in their life again.

Are they paying taxes on that $32,000? In most of the country these days, $32,000 for a family of four after taxes is hardly poverty.

Assume such a program is doable. Do we really want to create such an underclass?

Jerry Young said...

What would Hitler's mom get?

Otto said...

Blah blah blah from another princess. Probably grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth, graduated from Yale with a degree in french, managing editor of magazine , in science no less, married to columbia professor. Probably had a maid her whole married life and has a nice retirement package waiting.Total BS
You wonder why some upper middle class princess who never had a hard day in her life is kvetching about women hardships.
Power, money, anti-establishment, anti - family , anti -values, anti - Christian ?

Darleen said...

This kind of dangerous nonsense happens when covetousness is not only not a sin anymore, but becomes the principle foundation on which to pontificate one's entitlement to another person's earnings and property.

eric said...

If its tax free, that's 40k a hear for my family. Almost doubles my net income.

Bob Ellison said...

I predict that future generations will not admire this epoch in American pseudo-philosophy.

White males bear the sins of their fathers.

All males bear the sins of their chromosomes.

Women are worth more than men.

Non-whites are worth more than whites.

eric said...

This reminds me of a conversation with my daughter when she was 12.

Daddy, I wish everyone could be millionaires.

Oh? What would you do with your money if everyone was a millionaire?

I'd pay someone to clean my room!

Why would a millionaire clean your room?

Oh.....

Big Mike said...

She imagines the costs being paid by cutting back the military and taxing the rich (and also by saving on various anti-poverty programs that might become unnecessary).

Great imagination there.

Static Ping said...

Gahrie, that does bring up another question: cost of living. 32K a year in NYC is a lot different than 32K a year in rural Alabama. The blue states would get mugged by this something fierce.

Grundoon said...

My work is worth more to my employer than to me. Don't believe it? My employer bills my customers for more than I am paid. And the customers think its value is even higher than that or they would stop buying. I produce something of more value than I receive and many people benefit.

So if I stop producing value it is not just me who earns less. In a way, my wealth is already being distributed--to my employer, its stockholders, its customers, and their customers.

We need a way to get everyone to produce value so we can all benefit.

Unknown said...

Of *course* it boils down to Nemo's Law: PAY ME! (Nemo is a commenter at Daily Pundit.)

n.n said...

Bob Ellison:

White males bear the sins of their fathers... except for the ruling minority.

All males bear the sins of their chromosomes... except for the sperm depositors that make a woman and transgender/homosexual feel like a mother.

Women are worth more than men... except for the girls and women sent into combat, rented out as womb banks, exploited for progressive morality, sacrificed for the greater transgender/crossover good, etc.

Non-white are worth more than whites... except when they're positioned off-camera.

It's a pro-choice, pro-choice, selective, pro-choice world.

openidname said...

Nothing like an appeal to Karl Marx to convince me and the American public.

Eric said...

The numbers actually work on UBI, assuming you're actually able to eliminate all the current anti-poverty programs. How many bureaucrats do you need to go down a list and cut checks? The caveat is the ratio of makers and takers can't change too much before the numbers don't work.

My fear is after a generation or two it'll be normal for young people to view employment as something only suckers do. And then we'll run out of money with a substantial portion of the population having no work experience and feeling entitled to maintenance.

wildswan said...

Raising children isn't valued in today's society so there's no chance of "reparations". All the same, the reason Merkle let a million Muslims into Germany is that German men and women didn't have children and a universalistic welfare society cannot survive a low low fertility rate so Merkle brought in replacements - the Muslims. We know how that is working out - people who didn't want to bother with showing children how to be a good German find they have to live with adults who don't want to bother with being good Germans. Women's work - maybe there always was more to it than feminists will ever know. Just as there is more to being a man than rape, pillage and soccer. Does this mean there should be a UBI? My simplistic take is that things like that just don't work. I've never persuaded anyone with that argument but it's what I think.

DanTheMan said...

If only we hadn't built America on the backs of oppressed women, they would have had time to learn arithmetic.

themightypuck said...

Hasn't the labor theory of value been thoroughly debunked?

themightypuck said...

To be responsive to the question, I'm in favor of a guaranteed basic income as an alternative to the current welfare state but I worry about impacts it might have on ambition. I don't think the feminist argument is all that persuasive. I also don't think the state wants to take on all responsibility for women and get rid of things like spousal and child support.

Smilin' Jack said...

""Actually, it’s society that’s getting a free ride on women’s unrewarded contributions to the perpetuation of the human race.""

What contributions? All the woman does is lie there. It's we men who are expected to do push-ups for half an hour.

Laura said...

Even Medal of Honor winners are jumping at the chance to ride the child support gravy train, so the proposed military cuts must be hitting the mark.

PianoLessons said...

Agree with Eric - math is hard for liberals.

UBI income is literally $6 per hour.....without the kid bonus.

This is pretty much all anyone needs to know.

Math Matters Folks.

Carl said...

Bluster all you want about rewarding idleness, nobody wants people starving in the streets.

Not true. I do. In fact, the more people starving in the streets for reasons they could have prevented themselves, through the application of diligence, cleverness, character and persistence, the better. Only this way can the species improve and the future be brighter than the past. We only pass this way a short time: the potential future quadrillions that lie ahead of us are enormously more, a potential infinite legacy. Our clear duty is to improve their welfare as much as we can, even if it means some paltry millions of us must snuff it early.

And in the streets is important, because it motivates others to try harder.

Alternatively, we could genetically engineer a predator, say a T. rex with the smarts and social abilities of a chimp. That would improve our species even faster.

Laura said...

As if sperm spontaneously generates and all women are singular parents . . .

Ask the harem eunuchs about their contributions to ruling dynasties.

tim in vermont said...

I have an idea, let's give everybody a free blog and call it quits.

n.n said...

The female chauvinists do not care about people generally and other women specifically. They are like the anti-native fringe who back the creation of a refugee crisis and global humanitarian disaster, while simultaneously supporting mass abortion of Posterity and its replacement with a malleable alien population. The demand for abortion rites justified by a sincerely held belief in spontaneous conception established by their faith emanating from a penumbra is direct evidence of ulterior motives. Their empathy ends where their environment is stable and green, and their competing interests are either suppressed or eviscerated.

Rusty said...

Tree Joe @ 1:26

Voting for Bernie are we? As another usual suspect likes to say, ponder. Where does wealth come from? How is wealth created? What is wealth? Answer all of these and then reread your above. This has been a Rusty public service announcement. You're fucking welcome.

Tom said...

I love this for everyone IF all other benefits go away. You get cash. Use it wisely.

DanTheMan said...

Why are we even having this discussion? Let me propose a parallel:

What is the feminist perspective on giving everyone a free time machine?

Giving everybody 12G a year for life, or giving everyone a free time machine are equally possible.

Next up: The gay perspective on unicorn ranching.

Paco Wové said...

Bravo, Carl! Well done. Are you familiar with the McArdlian concept of "milliBlighters"?

Fernandinande said...

'reproductive labor'

Who held guns to their heads?

Nobody? Then their actions tell us that they're already appropriately rewarded.