Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Independent

The Case for the Universal Minimum Income

See also

Editor's note: This essay has been published and annotated on Genius.com. It was originally published on MelvinDavilaMartinez.com under the title of "Universal Minimum Income as Highway Exit to Anarcho-Capitalist, National Socialist Macroeconomic Modalities".

There exists socioeconomic scaffolding, institutions and circumstances prompting liberation, requiring dismantling, if ever society should erect and transition into an alternative framework of governance. Be it the anarcho-capitalist systems advocated by Murray Rothbard (as deontology) or David D. Friedman (through cost-benefit analysis), or the national socialism espoused–though sparsely implemented by the book (Mein Kampf), but still to great, rapid gains–by Adolf Hitler, or in more modern and precise modalities, that national socialism forwarded by Commander George Lincoln Rockwell of the American Nazi Party, both anarcho-capitalism and national socialism offering respective benefits and being among the most desirable frameworks of governance, the wealth redistributive cash transfer program often termed the universal minimum income (UMI) is one expression of legislative expedience to expedite reaching that destination quicker, and thus may be likened to a highway exit. Here, shards of a politico-economically pragmatic chassis for such a proposal are unearthed for inspection.

The universal minimum income has the potential to simultaneously stamp out the starkest, most visible elements of the gross, widening wealth disparity that is impeding progress for historically oppressed groups; eliminate poverty in general for the most vulnerable peoples; and generally serve as a boon to the economy. The UMI may accomplish this by offering an escape rope, a ladder out of abyss, to the myriad quagmires bogging down the progressively deteriorating social safety nets worldwide.

Assuming extant cash transfer programs were dissolved into a UMI, it could raze bureaucratic incentives to perform inefficiently (and cut administrative costs which often comprise a sizable portion of welfare expenditures), and be deficit-neutral if not guiding the social safety net into surplus territory. At some point, factoring in deterministic economic growth, this will necessarily be true – if at optimal levels it is too expensive today, it may be phased in and reach a desirable point once living standards, as income per capita/household, increase enough to provide a sufficient revenue base to fund it.

Much of current social safety net policy is contingent upon absence of work in any official capacity, this stipulation motivated by protecting the recipients’ so-called dignity and work ethic. The UMI could neutralize incentives to abuse the system for wasteful, personal gain, potentially axing the bulk of the so-called “welfare queen” phenomenon, however historically dubious the designation. It would also ensure that those currently eligible to receive welfare but not accepting of monies due to pride stumbling blocks no longer face that stigma, internal and external.

In terms of potential economic growth, it is worth introducing the fiscal multiplier. In the Keynesian economic school of thought, the fiscal multiplier, in this application, submits that increases in government spending which lead to spikes in consumer activity would balloon the economy. Opponents of this theoretical mechanism often pose fallacious scenarios, which to give credit sometimes have transpired, where the government supposedly pays people to dig holes and fill them up and do it all over again, thus resulting in “economic activity” but no increase in wealth. The UMI, however, is the exact opposite of this. The economy would balloon reliably because the UMI is not temporary, cyclical policy, nor is it reductive as to productivity or wealth creation.

The UMI need not be considered panacea. It may be paired with other government programs like single-payer healthcare, or to accomplish a similar goal, certain amounts of the UMI may be mandated to be spent on healthcare. Particularly oppressed groups, such as blacks, Hispanics, or Native Americans, may organize and donate fractions of their UMI to niche redistributive funds. Such programs are inspired by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint, sustained today in the Nation of Islam by its current ecclesiastical head, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Mr. Muhammad’s National Representative.

There are also systemic shifts in the economy that could be ameliorated by a UMI, such as decreased need for human labor as a result of technological innovation; and if not in the long-term, for free market advocates consider anti-technological progress arguments from labor’s perspective to be fallacious, then certainly at least in the medium-term while people who may find jobs in different sectors would otherwise flounder for sometimes years.

The UMI, advocated historically in various forms from figures as diverse as Thomas Paine and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is worth considering to either normalize the wealth disparity facing the global community, solve current puzzles perplexing the social safety net, transition into a new paradigm of politico-economic organization, or all three and more.

Advertisement