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Chicago Toying With Universal Basic Income

Chicago Toying With Universal Basic Income

When will Chicago (and Illinois) accept reality?

Oh, Chicago. I love my home city so much, but it keeps giving me reasons to never move back! Now the corrupt city has decided to toy with universal basic income (UBI) because we all know Chicago has a ton of money to throw around.

Except it doesn’t.

Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar wants the city of Chicago to give between $500 and 1,000 to families. Pawar is worried about “the coming wave of automation” from Tesla, Amazon, etc. that could potentially put people out of jobs:

“You know, the British pit Hindus and Muslims against one another,” Pawar told The Intercept at the time, drawing on his Indian-American heritage. “Pit people against one another based on class and geography, caste … this is no different. Chicago versus downstate. Downstate versus Chicago. Black, white, brown against one another. All poor people fighting over scraps.”

Pawar now believes that a wave of mass automation will only compound this problem.

“From a race and class perspective, just know that 66 percent of long-haul truck drivers are middle-aged white men,” he observed. “So if you put them out of work without any investment in new jobs or in a social support system so that they transition from their job to another job, these race and class and geographical divides are going to grow.”

Pawar thinks that one way to battle racial resentment is to address the economic precarity that politicians have used to stoke it. He has decided to endorse the universal basic income — an idea that has been picking up steam across the world.

*temples starting to bruise from rubbing them too hard*

Let’s back up a minute. Chicago is the reason Illinois has is embroiled in a battle with downstate. The city owns the state. The city receives everything first and the leftovers go to everyone else. Granted, Illinois wouldn’t receive as much attention as it does if it wasn’t for Chicago.

Show Me The Money

Secondly, where is the money coming from? The Intercept discussed how it could work, but it never brought up the severe economic problems that have enveloped Chicago and Illinois.

The easiest and best way to solve this problem is to cut taxes and spending so people have bigger paychecks. If Pawar is so concerned about job availability then he should direct his attention to Springfield to make these changes so Illinois becomes more business friendly.

Illinois finally passed a budget last July after a two-year stalemate, but it didn’t do much to help and the Democratic legislature pushed through a $5 billion income tax-hike. The bill also included a corporate tax hike, making the state even less business friendly:

The budget plan would spend more than $36 billion on primary and secondary education, colleges and universities, social services, medical care for the poor and other government functions, with nearly $5 billion in new taxes to help pay for it. The personal income tax rate would rise from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. The corporate tax rate would go from 5.25 percent to 7 percent. The plan also would have the state pay down about half of the nearly $15 billion pile of unpaid bills through a combination of borrowing and using cash from other state accounts.

The U.S. News and World Report ranked Illinois as “the most financially unstable state in the nation.” From WQAD:

The ranking of 2018’s most fiscally unstable states was conducted by McKinsey & Company, the global management and consulting firm. The report considered credit rating and state public pension liability to rank states on long-term stability. For short term, the report measured each state’s cash solvency and budget balance.

Illinois was 50th overall.

The state’s pension debt – commonly estimated at $130 billion, but measured as high as $250 billion last summer by Moody’s – was a factor. That debt load was cited by Moody’s and other creditors as a cause of the state’s near junk rating.

Rankings by short-term stability used the amount of liquid funds in a state’s budget and how balanced the state’s budget is.

Illinois’ current budget that passed last July, despite Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto, is $1.5 billion in the red, even with a $5 billion income tax hike, according the Civic Federation.

Working Age Adults Keep Leaving Chicago and Illinois

Bad policies and sky-high debt have led Illinois to bleed working-age adults at an alarming pace. Between July 2016 and July 2017, Illinois lost 37,000 residents between the ages of 25 and 54 and a total of 115,000 people.

This happened despite the fact that America’s working-age population grew by 0.4% during that time period. The Illinois Policy Institute found income growth is stale in Illinois:

In the rest of the U.S., personal income grew 28 percent faster than Illinois from 2015 to 2016, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In addition, Illinois job seekers stay unemployed 33 percent longer than unemployed workers in the rest of the nation, according to government data. This helps to explain why other states offer more opportunity.

The state of Illinois’ economy is one reason the 2017 tax hikes were such a poor policy choice. By costing the state thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity, the recent tax hike will exacerbate the state’s outmigration crisis. State lawmakers cannot continue to rely on tax hikes if they want families to bet on Illinois.

Pawar talks about race and class wars, but handing out money won’t help anything. University of Illinois at Chicago professor Janet Smith and other researchers discovered that Chicago lost a large chunk of the middle class, leaving Chicago with a population “on opposite ends of the income spectrum.”

PNC chief economist Gus Faucher said the industry growth in the suburbs may attract a lot of millennials to the metropolitan area. Losing such a large population could cause major problems for Chicago:

“If the population is not growing, that could lead to economic stagnation,” Faucher said.

Job growth in the Chicago area has lagged behind other parts of the country, and that along with a high cost of living and crime could all entice millennials to move elsewhere, Faucher said.

In some cases, the beneficiaries could be other Cook County communities that have access to urban amenities — at a lower price.

Chicago is a great city filled with food, entertainment, and culture. None of that matters if people cannot make a living.

I won’t be shocked if this passes. Maybe it’s what Chicago needs if it’s ever going to find its way back to reality.


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It avoids addressing the collateral damage from asset inflation, institutional diversity, excessive immigration, inequitable trade, and conflict in high-density population centers. It’s not a sustainable policy, but public smoothing functions do engender stability in the shot-term, progressive corruption, and spiritual destruction in the long-term.

Oregon Mike | July 17, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Hell, if poor benighted bankrupt Stockton can do it, why not bankrupt Chicago as well? After all, the money’s free!

    carolmcl in reply to Oregon Mike. | July 18, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    In Stockton it’s a private initiative, no tax money being used. It’s a test to see if it could work. But other than allowing it, I don’t know that the city has anything to do with it.

To those who promise the UBI nonsense — It is not their money.

To those who accept the UBI nonsense — It is not their money.

What could possibly go wrong? Socialism always works. History is filled with success stories — right?

“When will Chicago (and Illinois) accept reality?” Answer -Never. A leftist does not discover reality. A leftist DEFINES reality and it just happens. They actually believe that.

One day these prog shit-holes will go hat-in-hand to the federal government looking for a “bail-out.” When that happens we’ll all be paying for this nonsense. Sooner or later this Marxist bullshit is going to cause another civil war.

LeftWingLock | July 17, 2018 at 5:41 pm

The article would have been better if it told us the frequency of the $500-1000 payment — daily, monthly, annually??? However, I support the idea — the quicker Chicago and Illinois hit rock bottom, the sooner they can begin to recover. And the easier it will be overall for the citizens.

    herm2416 in reply to LeftWingLock. | July 17, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Until Speaker Madigan is ousted, this state will continue its downward spiral.

    It’s $500/month for the 1,000 trial families, picked by lottery. Yes, that’s $500,000/month of money Chicago does not have. The original article cited Finland (they’ve abandoned their attempt, after abject and predictable failure), and Alaska, which pays a dividend based upon oil revenues, not new taxes.

    I can’t wait until every Maynard G. Krebbs wannabe (work!) in the country shows up for the “free” goodies. Chicago deserves everything that shall come its way.

      Fen in reply to bear. | July 17, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      Noonan: “From the start, the door was open to mischief. In walked Mischief” – The Greenwood Position

      (interesting to look back at Florida 2000, it’s like a previous lifetime in a previous war)

      But my point – Chicago? Lottery for $500/month? How many families should we expected to be “randomly chosen” by cronyism? All of them?

    tom_swift in reply to LeftWingLock. | July 17, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    the quicker Chicago and Illinois hit rock bottom

    Unfortunately, “rock bottom” is pretty low. Rampant looting and food riots at minimum.

      LeftWingLock in reply to tom_swift. | July 18, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      tom _swift — I understand and take no joy in my prediction. But CHicago is going to get to rock bottom sooner or later and I think the overall pain is minimized by getting there sooner.

    Has Illinois manage to pass a budget yet (for last year) ?

What’s the difference between UBI, and welfare? Is a person getting a UBI required to do some kind of work, to earn it?

If not, isn’t this just welfare with a fancy name?

    The idea behind Universal Basic Income is that EVERYBODY gets some amount. The only requirement is that you exist (well, in Chicago, maybe you only need to have once existed).

    Welfare is (theoretically) based on need. UBI is based on it makes everybody feel good to get free money. See the difference?

What are you so skeptical about? Don’t you understand that if we just believe enough, we can do anything? If it fails, it’s all your fault for putting out those negative waves!

Liberal thinking at its finest.

We should just ask these people. They have it all sorted.

Dragonlance Saga. When Rastlin Majere ascended to become a deity and wiped out the other gods, his symbol in the constellations became a snake swallowing its own tail.

Corruption always devours itself in the end. Unfortunately, by then it has destroyed everything else.

Chicago is a like a parasite running out of hosts to sustain itself. Run away as fast as you can.

In the spirit of schadenfreude, I can’t wait to see the reaction from the Chicago gangsters to this plan. Will they welcome the new drug money available to them, or will they repudiate the new wave of healthy-eating, responsible, two-parent families invading their hoods?

Either way, it’ll be priceless. And either way, I predict another increase in the murder rate.

inspectorudy | July 17, 2018 at 6:53 pm

OMG! Their pension program is bankrupt and taxpayers are feeling the state and they are going to introduce a universal income! Who the he11 is going to pay for it?

    Some will be a (mis)use of a Federal grant.
    Some will be demands on Springfield.
    Some will be offloading city costs upon C(r)ook County, who will shift the spending from suburban C(r)ook serfs.

Maxing out cheating and brainwashing, the left is now left (no pun intended) with no viable voter base than it cannot outright buy.

I fled the People’s Republic of Illinois over 40 years ago and — other than to visit a relative from time to time — have avoided it like the plague. It was vile and corrupt before I left, and the intervening years have only worsened that condition.

At the very end of that Intercept Article

Update: July 17, 2018

On Tuesday, Mayor Emanuel’s former boss, President Obama, said that a universal income should be part of the political conversation.

This does not leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy.

nordic_prince | July 17, 2018 at 11:59 pm

I cannot *wait* until I see Illinois in my rear view mirror for the last time. As soon as I find a job in TX, my day of liberation will have come.

HairyBuddah | July 18, 2018 at 2:18 am

Hmmmm, Wiki says that the US currently spends about 1.6 Trillion on Social Welfare each year. I bet that doesn’t include everything, but let’s go with that. There are about 325 million folks living here. That works out to about $5,000 per person. Or $20,000 per family of four.

Currently our welfare programs are designed to discourage work. Go on public assistance, get a part time job, the public assistance goes away. Disincentive to work.

Suppose we turn that around. Everybody gets $5,000 per year. The vast majority of the bureaucracy goes away. Then there is a flat tax on all employment income. You can sit on your butt and collect UBI, or you can do ANYTHING and improve your lot in life.

Sure, there will be some slugs who don’t do anything, but is it possible that such a program could lead to HUGE gains in productivity?

Maybe not as crazy as it sounds at first.

Or we could send the illegals back to where they came from, put the unemployed to work, and reduce the cost of social welfare programs by 80%. Of course, to the left, that would be viewed as a macroaggression, and I’m fine with that.

A new industry is born. How to get fake docs to qualify for the cash. Lawsuits from the excluded people.

Upcoming Chicago Tribune headline:

“UBI claims lawsuit filed on behalf of dead Chicagoans: ‘They’re still voters, so they also deserve a piece of the UBI action.'”

harleycowboy | July 19, 2018 at 11:46 am

Welfare under a new moniker.