Thursday, January 05, 2017

Good Story

The story often matters much more than the big picture. Increased security measures at airports shift people from very safe aeroplanes to very dangerous cars. John Mueller estimates the additional US death toll (since 9/11) at 500 a year because people choose to drive rather than fly. One of the objections to an Unconditional Basic Income is that you are paying people to be lazy. That is a good story for people who believe they are responsible for all the income they earn (ignoring capital, inheritance and beneficial relationships). GiveDirectly, Canada, Finland and others are rolling out rigorous tests to see what actually happens. We can afford to end poverty. It would be a pity if we chose not to for a reason that is wrong. Even if you believe work, for pay, is culturally important, I can't see how Poverty is more an incentive than a trap. Let's see.

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