Basic Income/Negative Income Tax

Greece to Test Minimum Guaranteed Income Program

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TaxRebate.org.uk/Flickr

Greek Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis announced yesterday that the country will be testing a "minimum guaranteed income" (MGI) measure for Greek citizens living in poverty. The country's current social welfare system is inefficient and incomplete, said Vroutsis, but the MGI "is the pillar of the social solidarity of tomorrow."

The pilot program will be implemented in 13 municipalities for six months. Participating individuals will receive 200 euros per month, plus an additional 100 euros per adult in the household and 50 euros per child.

Some version of a minimum guaranteed income plan—also called a basic income guarantee (BIG) or negative income tax—has been gaining tepid but bipartisan support in America. The proposal has managed to capture the imaginations of conservatives, progressives, and libertarians alike, although each tend to lend support for different reasons and envision a different finished product. The appeal from a conservative or libertarian perspective is that a basic income guarantee program could replace our current bloated, labyrynthian, work-disincentivizing welfare scheme (including everything from food stamps to unemployment benefits to Social Security) with one program that costs less, runs more smoothly, and empowers individuals to use benefits how they, not federal officials, see fit. 

This is not the income program that Greece is implementing. For one thing, Greece's program is designed solely for people with little to no income; the mimimum income plans en vogue here tend to involve a no-strings attached cash benefit for all Americans, regardless of income. And while proposals here—at least from the libertarian and conservative camps—hinge on eliminating other, function-specific social welfare programs, Greek leaders seem to view the MGI as an additional pillar of the country's welfare scheme. Greek Deputy Prime Minister* Evangelos Venizelos stressed that the MGI was "the minimum, it is not enough." 

* an earlier version of this post misstated Venizelos' title as vice president

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165 responses to “Greece to Test Minimum Guaranteed Income Program

  1. Wow – this sounds like a genius idea for a broke country with a poor record of financial freedom and liberty.

    Can’t wait to see how it works out.

    1. Greeks aren’t already lazy enough, and need the government to help.

      And how long before there are demands that illegal immigrants be able to get this?

      1. “Roll me over and put the money in my back pocket – I’m napping!”

    2. Good timing too!

      Greece Is In Full-Blown Stock Market Collapse-

      http://www.businessinsider.com/greece-down-2014-10

      1. Aaaaaaand we’re back to 2008. I’m calling it: we are going right back to that much-needed recession however it won’t effect the whole world at once. As the world economy gets less ‘co-ordinated’ Europe will be in a different place from America.

        1. My prediction is that the US will hold out for a bit as the EU goes to shit, but soon enough we’ll fall off the perch, precipitated by the higher ed bubble.

    3. Hey, when you hit rock bottom the only solution is to keep digging.

  2. And while proposals here?at least from the libertarian and conservative camps?hinge on eliminating other, function-specific social welfare programs

    It’s soooooo libertartian to replace one statist program with another.

    No. Eliminate all of it. Burn it down. If that’s not the objective, ur doin it wrong.

    1. Curse you! Not only were you faster, you had italics as well!

      I DEMAND A GUARANTEED FIRST POST OF A THOUGHT!!!

      1. All for one and one for all!

        That’s sooooooo libertarian!

        1. I believe it was the great Milton Friedman who once said “Make it rain ya’ll. I gots ta get dat gubmint chedda son. Ya herd meh?”

          1. Well, to be fair, he was in the Champagne Room at the time.

            1. “There is no Champagne in the Champagne Room.”

    2. It’s libertarian to reduce the head count of the public sector unions.

      If you spend exactly the same number of tax-extorted dollars on two programs, but program A employs 500,000 federal and state workers and program B employs 1,000, program A is less libertarian than program B.

      At the end of the day, the state is people sitting around in buildings calling themselves the state. If you fire the people and shutter the buildings, that is “less state”.

      1. This. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the somewhat better.

        1. Didn’t say “don’t do it”. Just please don’t tell me how “libertarian” it is. Cause it’s not.

          1. Unless you consult nearly every important libertarian thinker of the past 100 years.

              1. No no, it’s true — for the right definition of “important libertarian thinker”.

          2. It’s pure utilitarianism and moral relativism. It’s like saying Mussolini’s Italy is more libertarian than Hitler’s Germany so therefore we should all put on our black shirts and praise the timely train service.

            1. Godwinning.

              1. I reduced to Mussolini actually. But as usual you have no valid rebuttal.

              2. Godwinning

                More like THREADWINNING, amirite??!

            2. Heh… interesting analogy, since Mises did say pretty much that when it was fascists vs communists.

      2. But what actually happens is that A and B coexist.

        1. And pretty soon B has 500,000 employees too.

    3. Umm, the concept originated with Milton Friedman, the primo libertarian economist of the 20th century.

      Anyone who expects to repeal the the current “safety net” is crazier than a hoot owl. It has nothing to do with libertarianism, but more to do with sanity. We ain’t gonna get a free society by never electing anybody. duh.

      Or do you support an armed revolution? If so, why not destroy our label even more than it already has been — a label rejected by 85% of libertarians so stop it with the Kool-aid.

  3. Oh boy, that sure sounds libertarian!

    “We are going to take money from you, by force! Then we will route it through the G, and send it out to everyone!” What is not to love???

    1. “We are going to take money from you, by force! Then we will route it through the G, and send it out to everyone!”

      That already happens. What’s YOUR solution? THIS solution is from Milton Friedman, the primo libertarian economist of the 20th century.

      Faux libertarians, the dickhead wing, run around grunting, “git the gummint out of it NOW.” Friedman is smarter than that. As people work out of welfare, they face marginal tax rates of 50-100% or more. The next dollar of income can cost $2 OR MORE in food stamps alone.

      Friedman combines the entire welfare safety net into a single monthly check. Then a single formula reduces the ENTIRE benefits by (say) only 10%. Welfare recipients would then have the same incentives as ? you.

      Dickheads go insane, screeching about a “GUARANTEED income,” ignoring everything we’ve learned about incentives from Hayek, von Mises and others. That’s all they have, screeching.

      Friedman combines the same dollars we spend now, into a single monthly check (less, because no more welfare bureaucracy) No savings on day one, but positive incentives every tomorrow.

      When dickheads screech about a “guaranteed income” — they attack the same incentives they defend for … themselves! (why they’re dickheads)

      (I use terms like dickhead for dramatic effect. Don’t take it personally. This Reason writer can’t grasp it either)

      Copyright 2010-2014 by Michael J Hihn. All Rights Reserved and Defended.

  4. The bloat and inefficiency are features, not bugs. Implementing a program that actually addresses those features will be roundly condemned for throwing people out of work.
    To say nothing of the private muttering to the effect of ‘how can we provide work for our cronies now?’

  5. the pillar of the social solidarity of tomorrow

    No more masks. The language is straight from Stalin.

  6. No way this “test” ends unless Greek politicians are willing to lose elections to do so.

  7. Totally offtopic, but why isn’t Reason running more pieces on GamerGate? It’s total clickbait, videogaming is Tr?s Millenial, and it gives us a chance to jeer at SJW types who want to have free-speech-gutting “conversations” about video gaming.

    1. There’s nothing else to say that hasn’t been said.

      1. Just missed

        *mic drop*

      2. That’s when it’s best to beat it to death.

        1. Death has never stopped us from beating a horse.

    2. They ran one post on a weekend that got like 600+ comments. Yes, it is click bat but it also offends other journalists and Reason is loath to that

      1. I thought she implied more.

    3. When gamers get a -gate life in America is seriously fucked.

    4. Because both sides on Gamergate are odious and only concerned with scoring internet hate points?

      1. That’s just ignorance on your part.

        1. +50 hate points

        2. Probably so. I haven’t taken an interest in it because my brief experiences revealed that as a non-progressive woman, both sides want to make an example of me.

          1. GG really doesn’t. Read the GG article.

            1. I have. I have no problems with the stated goals of GG. Or, for that matter, the SJWs. The problem is that their stated goals, in my experience, have nothing to do with their actions.

              I realize that it is just my limited experience, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.

      2. Excellent

      3. It’s probably fairer to say that both sides are large enough that they contain some odious people, and both sides have seen fit to portray these odious people as the face of the other side.

        1. Oh, you mean this thing.

  8. Greek leaders seem to view the MGI as an additional pillar of the country’s welfare scheme.

    Yes, because that will solve Greece’s woes.

    1. additional pillar

      HA! Called it!

  9. Greek Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis announced yesterday that the country will be testing a “minimum guaranteed income” (MGI) measure for Greek citizens living in poverty

    If the Greeks, like many other European nations had such lavish welfare and pension benefits, how on earth could anyone in the country be living in poverty?

    1. pension benefits, how on earth could anyone in the country be living in poverty?

      Same reason as the US.

  10. “…it is not enough.”

    Is it ever?

    No mention about where the money is coming from…..

      1. Forget it…he’s rolling…

      2. I was gonna make a joke about this announcement making every asshole in Germany go into spasms, but I wasn’t sure if the Krauts were still footing the bill for the Greeks.

    1. You know who else thought it wasn’t enough?

      1. Echo and the Bunnymen?

      2. Peter North?

      3. Lindsay Buckingham? No.. wait..

  11. The Greeks don’t want to leave their poor countrymen’s behinds.

    1. Sure took a long time to get to an anal joke.

      1. Finally!!!

  12. This post has nothing to do with pot, Mexicans, ass sex, OR abortion.

    Bad, Elizabeth! BAD! BAD! BAD!

    1. I thought the article was about greek.

      1. Don’t be such an ouzo.

        1. Oh now you have to bring the gaze into it.

            1. Skinny gaiz – PERFECT

              1. Only if they’re also buff.

              2. Great, you made Swiss narrow his gaze so much that he can’t see the keyboard!

  13. Participating individuals will receive 200 euros per month, plus an additional 100 euros per adult in the household and 50 euros per child.

    IOW, 300 euros per adult per month and 250 euros per child?

    I suppose each senior *pays* 550 per month. Each *German* senior, that is.

    1. Oh, Hello, *Francisco*.

  14. Watching the financial news in Europe; CNBC gets one guy pointing out that markets have been reacting to gov’t promises rather than performance; he gets the hook.
    Then they go to a guy who pitches better work by the central bankers (more free money!) to ‘fix’ things.
    Third up is some guy who mentions that the PIGS are now performing like the major Euro econs, but it’s because the major ones are now as sorry as the PIGS.
    Finally we get the story that Greece is not even keeping up with the PI(x)S, (7% bond rate !!!!); the market is correcting as some idjit lefty might become PM. Shame they didn’t mention this bit of idiocy.

    1. some idjit lefty might become PM

      Former president of a Communist successor party.

  15. The appeal from a conservative or libertarian perspective is that a basic income guarantee program could replace our current bloated, labyrynthian, work-disincentivizing welfare scheme (including everything from food stamps to unemployment benefits to Social Security) with one program that costs less, runs more smoothly, and empowers individuals to use benefits how they, not federal officials, see fit.

    From a “libertarian perspective” then, we should vociferously support a proposal to fingerbang every man woman an child but once in a lifetime in exchange for not being fingerbanged every time you fly. It’s a hypothetically better outcome, right?

    Perhaps the ‘libertarians’ of FDR’s day should have lent their unswerving support to an 89% tax rate because it’s better than a 90% tax rate. Or maybe “libertarians” should have supported the “internment” of only 95% of Japanese Americans, because that’s better than interning 100%. Even if we could be reasonably sure those promises would be kept, self-described libertarians have no business supporting those policies.

    Principles of liberty are not to be subjected to utilitarian haggling with slavers, murderers and plunderers. Leave that to conservatives who can count themselves among the ranks of the latter.

    1. Or maybe “libertarians” should have supported the “internment” of only 95% of Japanese Americans

      No, we should have demanded they also intern everyone of German descent, too. Boom, I’m here all fall.

      Principles of liberty are not to be subjected to utilitarian haggling with slavers, murderers and plunderers. Leave that to conservatives who can count themselves among the ranks of the latter.

      You just dogwhistled for everyone to scold you on the possible vs. the perfect.

    2. “In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.”

      1. There’s ‘comprise’ and then ‘choosing the best option’. Did you know Ayn Rand voted for Nixon?

        1. So you’re literally saying that’s even a possible option? So upon implementation of a guaranteed welfare income program, the progressives will for all time stop their pursuit of a total welfare state? Why, it sounds like guaranteed income is all we need to get a fully libertarian society.

          /explosive derp

          1. ‘Explosive Derp’ is right because that’s all you bring. You just made up an argument I never made at all.

            1. I seem to recall you writing:

              There’s ‘comprise’ and then ‘choosing the best option’.

              If it’s not even an option, it’s not a compromise. Using “guaranteed income” as the ultimate check on the growth of government is almost as absurd as believing that the leftist ideologies will forever halt their expansion of the state.

              You did in fact make a derptastic argument laden with derpy assumptions, as described.

              1. I never said I supported ‘guaranteed income’ I was speaking more generally. Can you just…leave? You’re just here to make an ass of yourself.

                1. We’re talking about the guaranteed income. Like you know the subject of the article and thread?

                  There’s ‘comprise’ and then ‘choosing the best option’.

                  What fucking “compromise” or “option” do you think is being discussed? “General compromise”?

                  How nice that you get to decree what is being discussed after it gets inconvenient to continue on with your absurd argument.

                  1. it’s not a compromise. Using “guaranteed income” as the ultimate check on the growth of government is almost as absurd as believing that the leftist ideologies will forever halt their expansion of the state.

                    Here’s a crazy idea. Why not learn what the FUCK you’re talking about?

        2. One wonders if McGovern would have created the EPA.

          1. It was created in 1970, natch.

    3. As I often say around here, we are not in the semi-socialized mess we’re in because socialists stayed true to their core beliefs, or because there was a socialist revolution, or because the Socialist Party won elections. We’re here because Fabian Socialists continually compromised, for generations, working within established parties, and eventually got what they wanted.

      That’s why we need Fabian Libertarians: don’t lose sight of your goals, but yes, compromise if it gets you one step closer to your goals.

      1. People like Free Society are narcissists. Every movement has these people who’d rather jack off to how awesome they are for being straight and pure.

        That being said, I am not a fan of the minimum income.

        1. I’m a narcissist because I don’t support a dumbfuck proposal from fantasy land? If I am a narcissist, at least I’m a libertarian one which is more than we can say for your ilk.

          1. No, that’s not why.

          2. I’m a narcissist because I don’t support a dumbfuck proposal from fantasy land? If I am a narcissist, at least I’m a libertarian one which is more than we can say for your ilk

            You’re the dumbest fuck on the block. I explain it all for you elsewhere on this page.

            1) You have no clue how the current welfare system works, which the rest of the universe has known for over 30 years now.

            2) You also have no fucking clue how he negative income tax works, also for over 30 years.

            So you’re comparing two things, when you know NOTHING about either one of them.

            It’s like Murray Rothbard in 1980. Threw a massive hissy fit, eventually destroying his connection to Cato, because he demanded that Ed Clark run on repealing the entire income tax, instead of the 30% across the board tax cut that Clark and Koch campaigned on.

            What does it tell you when Murray Rothbard was WAY too extreme for even …. Ayn Rand?

      2. Correct me if my memory serves me wrong, Papaya, but haven’t you shifted from libertarian-leaning Republican to vanilla libertarian?

        Why “compromise” when people slowly come around our way by exposure…or is it osmosis?

        1. If pressed, I’d say something like “moderate libertarian,” because I am wary of trying to impose any ideological purity onto messy reality, and because I’m willing to compromise.

          I have never considered myself a Republican, though I have sometimes voted that way.

            1. PapayaSF thinks Eminent Domain is a-okay if it’s necessary for a pipeline and thinks freedom of movement doesn’t extend to icky furriers. He’s a moderate something but it ain’t libertarian.

              1. Hey! My maternal great-grandfather was a furrier. He was also a foreigner, but that’s beside the point.

              2. Foreigners can move all over the place if they want, but no, I don’t think everyone can or should move here, because filling the US with Third World peasants who will vote for more socialism and Muslims who want Sharia doesn’t advance the cause of liberty.

              3. How do we create a libertarian society … if we never elect anyone, let alone a majority?

                Are you in a political movement … or swilling Kool-Aid in a cult?

                Political movements work on learning how to elect people and govern.

                Libertarian LABELS are less than 12% of the population.

                Libertarians have been a majority for over 35 years … fiscally conservative and socially liberal … but 85% of them reject the libertarian label entirely

                There’s a message there. But who’s listening?

      3. We are philosophically correct, and the statists are wrong. However, being right frequently conveys no real world benefits whatsoever, and knowing what the correct outcome should be doesn’t mean you have any idea how to cause that outcome to happen.

        1. Good point. What good is philosophically correct when we’ve been losing for over 30 years — even though a majority of Americans self-describe as fiscally conservative and socially liberal?

          Just run around asking the same question How can we create and govern a libertarian society by never electing anyone, certainly never a majority? You’ll get nothing but blank looks!

          The only other alternative is an armed revolution, right? Is it okay to initiate the use of force, if we’re forcing people to be libertarian?

      4. I think you have this backward. ALl this shit happened because ostensible “conservatives and libertarians” slowly gave ground to the libprogs on EVERYTHING, ALWAYS, because “compromizzee!”

        And here we are.

        No thanks. I’m done. Yes, I’ll take incrementalism if that’s ALL I can get. But to even think about going for this “if everything else goes away” is just stupid. Cause everything else is not going away. So I oppose all of it. Burn it the fuck DOWN..

        If I manage to burn a little of it down…I’m OK with that. Rampant incrementalism.

        See how that works?

        1. True, compromise should not only be in a statist direction. I’m not saying “Give the statists what they want incrementally.” I’m saying that incrementalism can work in the political arena, and so rather than spouting off about libertarian daydreams that scare off 90% of voters (“Just end Social Security and Medicare and the rest of the welfare state!”), we need smaller-scale libertarian-minded proposals that can be sold to voters, and that when successful, can be used as evidence for even more of them.

          1. Another thing we can steal from the left’s playbook is to pretend that every niche interest is best served by furthering our interests, and delegitimizing all the competing solutions as immoral half-measures.

            1. I’d be happy if every federal program was split into the leftist version and the libertarian version, and we tested them to see which did better.

              1. PapayaSF|10.15.14 @ 9:01PM|#
                I’d be happy if every federal program was split into the leftist version and the libertarian version, and we tested them to see which did better.

                A slightly better approach, appealing to more voters, was proposed 30 years ago or so by libertarian talk jock, Lowell Ponte. Give people a tax CREDIT for contributions to listed “life support” charities.

                The way he described it to me is beautiful. You or I might look for a charity with some sort of work or training requirement. If a lefty wants to support anyone who walks in the door, with no demands at all, they can. Everybody’s money is spent THEIR way. If it works then the tax credits will eventually eliminate all welfare spending and taxes, thus privatizing all or most of it … as determined by market forces. No risk at all to the disadvantaged.

        2. It’s one thing to begrudgingly mutter that your slightly diminished tax burden is better than the slightly higher rate you were paying. It’s another to stand up at the podium and announce “Hey libertarians let’s all actively work to erect a new welfare institution because a handful of lefties have promised to make all the other lefties never again expand the welfare state!”

          It’s not a compromise, it’s a utilitarian fantasy from Whore Island.

          1. It’s a utilitarian fantasy from Whore Island

            Your handful of lefties is bullshit. What would YOU do if your marginal tax rate — next dollar of income — was 50%, 100%, or even more? Would you work as hard to increase your gross, when your net ? at some levels — is $0? Or stop at the 0% bracket?

            Consider a single mom on welfare, with a part-time job paying $150 per week, all the time she can leave her daughter. What if she worked more hours, hired a babysitter with PART of her new income?

            Her gross increases $75 per week, but her food stamps are cut by $20. Three other benefits take $25. So she works 10 hours for a net of $30. If she finds a baby sitter at $3/hour, her net is exactly the same as now.
            Stucking fupid?

            Instead, combine all 4 benefits into a single monthly check, with a “negative income tax” (lower benefits) of 7%, leaving her $69.75 ahead. Some dumbfucks (like Murray Rothbard) bitch about the $5.25 in taxpayer savings, versus the $45 taxpayers keep now. RIPOFF!

            But we never save the $45, because we punish her new earnings. The $5.25 tax savings is just her first step up the ladder. We’ve already cut 90% of the bureaucrats now supporting her

            By comparison, the average tax rate for Obama’s $50,000 truck driver is, wait for it … 8%, with a marginal rate of 15%. The welfare mom’s marginal rate is now 60%. Stucking fupid, and we’ve known it for over 30 years.
            Any questions?

        3. If I manage to burn a little of it down…I’m OK with that. Rampant incrementalism

          Ironically (perhaps) even Ayn Rand agrees with you.

          Ayan Rand, Virtue of Selfishness. chapter15
          Any program of voluntary government financing is the last, not the first, step on the road to a free society?the last, not the first, reform to advocate. It would work only when the basic principles and institutions of a free society have been established. It would not work today.

          Ayn Rand

    4. Principles of liberty are not to be subjected to utilitarian haggling with slavers, murderers and plunderers. Leave that to conservatives who can count themselves among the ranks of the latter

      Hmm, and here I thought EVERYONE was educated enough to know that the principle originated from Milton Friedman, the primo libertarian economist of the 20th century.

      Think you may have missed anything?

      1. principle originated from Milton Friedman

        You’re off by a couple hundred years. Clearly you missed most of it.

        1. A typical libertarian yahoo, you BELIEVE (hallelujah!) that a negative income tax existed over a century before the income tax or welfare programs existed! And you swallowed it without a peep, right?

          That’s like believing the polio vaccine was invented before polio!

          Clearly you missed most of it, when brains were handed out. Go back for the missing parts, to avoid any future self-humiliation. And with a functioning mind, you will finally absolve your current reliance on vacuous trash talk!

          Think about it. Oops, sorry, you yet have nothing to think with. I can sympathize with your dilemma. Oh well, I tried.

    5. Perhaps the ‘libertarians’ of FDR’s day should have lent their unswerving support to an 89% tax rate because it’s better than a 90% tax rate

      Uhh, no, The libertarian” dumbfucks of today, if given the opportunity to get a 1% tax cut would sneer and refuse it as being too small — like Murray Rothbard did in 1980.

  16. Greece is about to collapse so who cares what they do?

  17. It’s not freedom unless you’re scolding and punishing people for their poverty. Freedom means sticking your big fat nose into the private lives of poor people and adjudicating their moral worth based on how they spend their time. And, of course, children must starve for their parents’ moral failings. Freedom!!

    1. Yeah, shitstain, this has nothing to do with prosperity, it has to do with whatever lie you come up with next.

    2. Poverty justifies theft. Got it.

      1. If taxation is theft then you don’t get any of the things you want from government either.

        1. You mean, no roadz??? :-O

        2. …what?

          1. No property rights. You get to steal shit from somebody else and defend it with whatever weapons you can get your hands on. If taxation is theft then you can’t expect me to help pay for police and courts to protect your claim to your shit. You not being able to claim a piece of land as yours is most certainly not a more pressing social concern than starving children.

            1. No property rights. You get to steal shit from somebody else and defend it with whatever weapons you can get your hands on.

              You assume only a monopolistic expropriator of property is not only qualified to protect property, but is the only option.

              1. I don’t suppose it’s the only option, merely the best. I don’t believe true anarchy is possible. There are plenty of unpleasant alternatives to democratic government that might work to secure property claims.

                1. There are plenty of unpleasant alternatives to democratic government that might work to secure property claims.

                  Yes once again, you assume a monopolistic expropriator is best and only. A democratic state is still a state last I checked.

            2. Y’all don’t forget, if the Tonster had his way he would dispose of property rights altogether. This is just the prattling of a lying socialist.

        3. My wanting something justifies theft. Got it.

          1. Theft only makes sense as a concept in an environment in which property is defined and defended legally. Taxation cannot be theft, because both are defined by law. With no law, there is neither taxation nor theft. What’s yours is what you say is yours, and will soon be what someone else says is his.

            1. Theft is justified by LAW. Got it.

            2. If one guy robs you, that’s theft.

              If a bunch of Mafia guys rob you, that’s also theft.

              But if thousands of strangers vote for representatives who take a vote and decide to rob you, that’s not theft?

              Why? Because more people are involved?

              1. Because we are the government.

                1. Government is just the stuff we steal together.

            3. Taxation cannot be theft, because both are defined by law. With no law, there is neither taxation nor theft.

              Law =/= reality.

              Retard.

              1. In Tonyworld, government authority is the only authority that matters. What government says is law and that’s it.

                Taxes? Pay them.
                Opinions? Only if the government says it’s ok.
                Dissent? Not allowed.

                All of this and more is completely legitimate because the government passed legislation making it so.

            4. Taxation cannot be theft, because both are defined by law.

              It cannot be valid law unless it’s universally applicable and taxation by it’s very nature is not universally applicable. By your standard you must believe that no Jews were murdered by the Nazi government because the Nazi government unilaterally declared that it wasn’t murder to kill them. It was legal, so no crime right?

              With no law, there is neither taxation nor theft.

              With no statist law, there is neither rape nor consensual sex. Without a state, you don’t even own yourself apparently.

    3. ? Strawman Queen!

      ? Strawman Queen!

      ? He is the Strawman Queeeeeen!

      1. Freedom means sticking your big fat nose into the private lives of poor people

        Wait, we don’t actually support this??

        1. In the Tonyverse, any reluctance to robbing Peter to pay Paul is proof of hating Paul, not the robbing.

    4. You’re an idiot, Tony. Another brainwashed puppet of the wacky left.

      FREEDOM is a return to pre FDR, when private charities and churches provided a higher level of “welfare” than today, and provided medical treatment for EVERY American, with total healthcare costs under 6% of GDP. There were NO private health insurers until FDR required them (tax-free employer-paid versus local churches and charities)

      Today, government provides roughly half of all medical care, for-profit insurers are down to less than 15% of the total, while healthcare costs have tripled as a percentage of GDP and 50 million Americans have no medical treatment at all.

      Medicaid pays so little that nearly half of all doctors can’t take it. This leaves no doctors at all in many inner cities. So (pre-Obamacare) the uninsured rate was 18.8% among Medicaid eligibles, versus 16.3% in the private market!

      Yep, more people die uninsured among Medicaid eligibles than in the private market! (pre-Medicare for all)

      Also before Obamacare, 12 million Americans, 25% of our uninsured, were eligible for Medicaid and CHIP (children) but never enrolled. There are no doctors.

      So before you criticize our “compasssion” — get your own fucking house in order. Medicaid is YOUR disgrace. Shame on you

  18. No-strings-attached cash handouts totally work: http://www.spur.org/publicatio…..e-not-cash

    1. When they ended that program in SF, we were told that the poor would be starving in the streets. Not only did that not happen, but it turned out people were driving in from out of town (as far away as Reno) to pick up their cash.

    2. You certainly commented on the right post.

  19. Huh, so far I’ve only heard one guy on CNBC talking about fundamentals of the market, while everyone just tries to be a sportscaster and talk about how this or that segment will execute in the next game.

    I don’t care what the market does next week vs this crappy week, the fact that the FED owns 26% of the US economy and the largest percentage of able-bodied people in history are being paid not to work are NOT good fundamentals. Will “The Dow” do well despite these fundamentals? Sure, for a while, maybe.

    1. Yeah, this. Totally

    2. Nor is the stock market at all an indicator of economic health when the feds are essentially forcing people to invest in it. It’s like saying the economy is doing great by looking at the increased number of health insurance policies being sold after the government mandates you buy coverage. It’s a zero-sum indicator, that wealth was necessarily being pulled out of other markets.

  20. When Clinton signed off on welfare reform., progs went nuts. Marian Wright Edelman said a million black children would starve. Didn’t happen.

    1. Too bad that welfare reform was pretty marginal. Libertarians and conservatives alike spent too much of the ’90s gloating and doing victory dances.

      1. We pretty much rolled back that welfare reform by expanding SSDI, didn’t we?

        1. Yarp. I believe the disability rolls grew in almost exact proportion to the shrinkage of welfare.

        2. A compromise for the ages or until whenever we decide to change it.

      2. Too bad that welfare reform was pretty marginal. Libertarians and conservatives alike spent too much of the ’90s gloating and doing victory dances.

        Well that’s because the progressives went nuts. If I post a picture of a funny looking cat, and the progressives go apeshit, I’m probably going to think that posting pictures of funny looking cats is a winning strategy.

  21. “$50 per child”

    In other news, Greece is experiencing a baby boom the likes of which the world has never seen.

  22. The concept was pioneered, of course, by Milton Friedman, the primo libertarian economist of the last century.

    1. You keep repeating that line like a vaguely leftoid spambot that couldn’t pass a Turing Test and clearly isn’t familiar with many “primo libertarian economists” or the differences between them.

      1. You keep repeating that line like a vaguely leftoid spambot that couldn’t pass a Turing Test

        Only an asshole’s spambot would see Milton Friedman as “leftoid” (lol)

        and clearly isn’t familiar with many “primo libertarian economists” or the differences between them.

        Space is limited, 1500 characters. You defend one, so I can shoot you down again. And so you don’t make an ass of yourself again, my libertarian credentials follow

        Do a page search for my name, Libertarian Party. It’s there twice, in reference to 1974. Were you even alive?

        http://bit.ly/1diJC3X

        Ccandidate interview, LP, State Insurance Commissioner. Just ONE question to your “leftoid” fuckup.

        What would you do to make health insurance more affordable and available for individual consumers?
        Deregulate. Open your Yellow Pages. Compare the number of health insurers with the number of auto and home insurers. Then ask yourself which insurance is the most highly regulated — but offers the fewest choices, with out-of-control prices. As you can see, over-regulation is hazardous to your health

        http://seattletimes.com/politi….._mike.html

        Leftoid? (snicker)

        I have much more if you like, but I’m at the limit now.

        I await your nomination for primo libertarian economist of the 20th century. Trash talk will be treated as it is here.

      1. That’s Murray Rothbard, a lefty lib who’s pissed that Friedman demolished the gold standard with a single question. “Do we want stable prices or a stable money supply?” DUH

        Stable prices, which the gold standard failed to achieve for over 150 years. It’s impossible to have both stable prices and a stable money supply, unless

        a) somebody repeals the law of supply and demand.
        b) demand for ever-increasing currency somehow stops.

        DUH

        Rothbard is a Tribal Hero known only by libertarians. An asshole who hates anyone who cannot dismantle government tomorrow, which Rothbard NEVER explained, even to his own Tribe.

        Friedman’s PBS series (and book) “Free To Choose” sold free-market ideas to tens of millions of Americans, launched the brilliant career of Thomas Sowell, and was instrumental in electing Ronald Reagan.

        Friedman, in addition to Free to Choose, has roughly 100 short videos on Youtube … all preaching liberty to a public audience, and still sending the message today to YouTube visitors.

        Rothbard, hass done NOTHING to promote or EXPAND liberty, which preaching to the choir cannot do — as proven by your posting his video here. Rothbard’s video has a staggering 5,200 views in over two years (gasp) versus tens of millions still watching Friedman’s videos, 5,000 every two months, plus his best selling books.

        Friedman’s student, Tom Sowell, is read by more people every day, than Rothbards was read in his entire life!

  23. Another case of a government breaking legs then handing out crutches.

  24. Don’t tell me, let me guess: They will NOT be eliminating any existing welfare programs, they will be stacking this atop them.

    could replace our current bloated, labyrynthian, work-disincentivizing welfare scheme

    Riiight, because the Free Shit crowd won’t scream bloody murder the second you touch anything.

    One has to wonder where Greece will steal the money to fund this.

  25. Don’t tell me, let me guess: They will NOT be eliminating any existing welfare programs, they will be stacking this atop them

    Reason suggests that it’s not yet known how closely Greece will follow the concept, which was invented by the top libertarian economist, Milton Friedman.

    Friedman replace all welfare programs, state, local and federal, all combined into a single monthly check, Initial savings come from eliminating 99% of the welfare bureaucracy.

    Future savings come as recipients work their way up the ladder, paying a small tax (lower monthly check) of 10% or so. What tarps people on the dole today is every program has different cutoffs, which work like marginal tax rates of 50-100% or more on EACH program.

    For example, a $1 increase in income can lose $2 or more of food stamps. Staring from poverty, they cannot escape this punitive marginal tax until they are all the way into the lower middle class — which could take years of DECLINING net income.

    Friedman calls in a negative income tax because it works like the income tax works for us. A single tax, on a single source, never exceeding 10% marginal for low-income working Americans — versus today’s “tax” on welfare recipients as high as 50-100% or more.

    In simpler terms, welfare recipients would “pay” no more than the same 10% marginal tax rate paid by low-income working Americans. (up to $18,000 married, $9,000 single for this yearon net after tax earned income.)

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