In Pope Francis’ new book Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future, which is set for release December 1st, the pernicious Pontiff who has been keeping Roman Catholic apologists on their toes with a whirlwind of spicy comments – approving same-sex civil unions, affirming Biden’s catholic faith, appointing pro-LBGT cardinals to positions of power, and generally engaging in Green New Deal fanboyism – has decided to feed his little Marxist soul a few rounds of outrage and attention by enjoining in a thinkalong about the merits of Universal Basic Income (UBI).
Universal Basic Income is a government program where every adult receives a set amount of money on a regular basis. Essentially, everyone gets a base income, typically tens of thousands of dollars a year in direct transfer from the government, regardless of whether one works or not. There are no strings attached and no restrictions on how it ought to be spent.
Universal Basic Income was last tried on a large scale in Canada in 2017, when 4000 low-income applicants were awarded the monies. Singles were given nearly $15,000 and couples $20,000 a year. This program was scrapped after an election was called and the incoming government crushed the outgoing one 10 months later. Finding that 25% of people stopped working altogether, the Conservative Party said the program disenfranchised people from keeping and maintaining a job, and therefore was discontinued.
The Pope, bless his heart, is salivating and licking his chops at such a prospect. He writes:
God asks us to dare to create something new. We cannot return to the false securities of the political and economic systems we had before the crisis. We need economies that give to all access to the fruits of creation, to the basic needs of life: to land, lodging, and labor…
We need a politics [sic] that can integrate and dialogue with the poor, the excluded and the vulnerable, that gives people a say in the decisions that impact their lives…
I believe it is time to explore concepts like the universal basic income (UBI), also known as ‘the negative income tax:’ an unconditional flat payment to all citizens, which could be dispersed through the tax system.
Criticizing the government’s “false assumption of the infamous trickle-down theory that a growing economy will make us all richer,” the Pope went on to plead with governments to hand out “an unconditional lump-sum payment to all citizens, which could be paid through the tax system” while asserting that “universal basic income could reshape labor market relations by guaranteeing people the dignity to refuse employment conditions that lock them into poverty.”
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