Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The German Experiment

Focus wrote up a piece on Schleswig-Holstein's idea for 'basic income'.

For those not in the know....basic income is where the state just writes out a check to everyone who is not getting a company check each week or month, and it is X-amount....to meet the needs of the individual.  You and I, from another generation, would call it a welfare-check.  But it's been re-invented and re-worded.....basic income.

To reach this political consensus....the new state government of S-H (CDU-Green-FDP).....had to do a lot of talking.  This was hyped up by the Greens....they want to show at the state-level, it'll work and then transform into a national program.

The one hook added to this experiment that S-H intends?  Well....you have to be willing to work.  For some folks who were on the Hartz-IV welfare situation....that was a small problem.

Over the past few years, it's been discussed that basic income is the only way to go because down the road.....automation and robots will replace workers and the state will have to step in and cover a lot of people.  Naturally, a normal person would ask.....where will the tax base or funding for this basic income for this added cost come from, and the PhD guys just grin.  They hadn't thought about this part of the story.

For S-H, it's an experiment, and you can figure in two years....some report will emerge about problems and the fact that in the end.....it was just a renamed vehicle for welfare.

My expectation is that it'll eventually stick and become a regular program.  In twenty years....because people associate basic income with poverty....they will have to re-invent the whole thing again with another name....maybe 'wealth-income' or 'step-up income'.

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