In a higher phase of communist society, when the slavish subordination of the individual to the yoke of the division of labour has disappeared, and when concomitantly the distinction between mental and physical work has ceased to exist; when labour is no longer the means to live, but is in itself the first of vital needs; when the productive forces of society have expanded proportionately with the multi- form development of the individuals of whom society is made up – then will the narrow bourgeois outlook be utterly transcended, and then will society inscribe upon its banners, “From everyone according to his capacities, to everyone according to his needs!”
Edgar Hardcastle, Socialists Do Stand for Equality
When you get down to brass tacks, this is what “liberals” really want, a Universal Basic Income. Via the WaPo:
This naturally brings up the debate about whether it should be a policy goal for the United States to adopt a universal basic income (UBI). These poverty-level targeted incomes are universal and unconditional, so everyone would get them regardless of their income, status or work participation. Wonkblog’s Dylan Matthews wrote an overview of universal basic incomes and some proposals for such a system last year.
If you’re dependent on Uncle Sam paying your way, you gotta know sooner or later there will be strings attached to those checks. As Milton Friedman said there are no free lunches.
Furthermore, on a practical level, if everyone receives a check to cover their basic needs, how many people would roll out of bed @ 5:30am to, you know, go to work? Who is going to pay the taxes to the government so they can, in turn, re-distribute to everyone?
According to the Utopians at the WaPo, they have this problem covered.
It would also increase bargaining power for workers, who could demand better working conditions with a safety cushion. As Erik Olin Wright argues in Envisioning Real Utopias, such bargaining power “will generate an incentive structure for employers to seek technical and organizational innovations that eliminate unpleasant work,” which would “have not just a labor-saving bias, but a labor-humanizing bias.”
This discussion of a Universal Basic Income has a distinct tinge of Marxism. Compare and contrast the above paragraph to this excerpt from the Communist Manifesto:
Owing to the extensive use of machinery, and to the division of labor, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and, consequently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labor, is equal to its cost of production. In proportion, therefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases. What is more, in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labor increases, in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours, by the increase of the work exacted in a given time, or by increased speed of machinery, etc.
“[W]ill generate an incentive structure for employers to seek technical and organizational innovations that eliminate unpleasant work,”…. “[A]s the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases.”
“[H]ave not just a labor-saving bias, but a labor-humanizing bias.”… “He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him.”
Amazingly it has been proven time after time that utopian schemes have never worked and will never work, yet the left keeps pushing them.
Why? The dirty secret is, if you ask a liberal, he or she will tell you that they are part the elite running the show. And your life.
*** h/t Ace ***