Analysis: Labour’s international brains trust
Robert Reich, who said he once dated Hillary Clinton before she married, told a Labour Party conference in Auckland today that a guaranteed minimum income for all was “the only way of dealing with where technology is taking us”.
“When technology is going to be replacing most jobs, how do we get the money back to people so they can buy the technology?” he asked.
He said technology was heading towards what he called an “i-everything” that would be able to use 3D printing to print out anything a consumer wanted.
“The problem is no one will be able to afford that, because nobody will have a job,” he said.
So Reich thinks the future is so bleak we’ll have 100% unemployment, and the government should just pay everyone $200 a week.
Professor Standing said a universal basic income should not be a policy for “the distant future”.
“We always have to act and speak as if it’s tomorrow, not say kick it into touch and we’ll deal with it later,” he said.
He said a basic income could be justified on the principle that most of our current wealth was created by our ancestors, and it was only fair to share some of that common wealth with everyone.
Oh, wealth belongs to our common ancestors. Right. In that case, I’d like Professor Standing’s house and car.
“You allow private inheritance, Mr Prime Minister,” he said. “They have done nothing for something, they are given the right to incomes and wealth. Can we have a modest social amount?”
Note the views of the hard left. Private inheritance is something the government allows! His view is all property belongs to the government, and we plebs are lucky enough to have a government allow us to keep some of it.
He regards private inheritance as getting something for nothing. Let’s have 100% death duties!
Finance spokesman Grant Robertson picked up a comment by Mr Reich that any national basic income scheme might be 10 or 15 years away.
“It’s some way away,” Mr Robertson said.
That is the sound of backing away as quickly as possible.
Mr Reich suggested that a basic income could be funded by “a small share of the revenues from intellectual property”.
If you profit from intellectual property, you pay income tax on it.
Is Reich saying that all intellectual property should belong to the state, and be split between the state and the creator?
Political commentator and pollster David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog.
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