tv Washington Journal Katherine Mangu- Ward Discusses Universal Basic Income CSPAN June 3, 2017 9:08am-9:43am EDT
propaganda stations will not be allowed. had westnd after, you wing station, the fact i use owned by thel term w cfo in chicago, in chicago. the socialist party in new york city. for political purposes and free speech, they wanted to spout their opinions. these are dead propaganda stations. when they were renewed, they were told to be careful about expressing opinions. announcer 2: sunday night at 8:00 eastern on q and a. journalr 2: "washington " continues. host: time for our spotlight on magazines. with the recent managing editor
mangu-ward toine talk about universal basic income. katherine: thanks for having me. host: what is the universal basic income? katherine: you asked me a question too hard to answer. thank you. there are lots of proposals that fall under this broader conversation. some of them i do not call universal. it is an old idea, been around a long time. maybe we can start with thomas payne. he said instead of making a welfare system that have a lot of boundary lines, testing, what if we essentially thought of a welfare program that gave a basic grant to people for existing?
how it is structured is controversial. foul play something alaska has been doing for years with oil. katherine: alaska would be the closest thing to seeing this. it is different than some of the most classic versions of this because it is technically a result of a specific resource, because alaska as a state has a tremendous amount of oil and they smell number of -- and a small number of humans and no income tax. it looks like universal basic income. you might argue it is dividends on an investment that the state holds collectively. that is what you see in alaska. to be clear, it is supported by a natural resource rather than taxation. host: in doing research to speak
with you, i put it into a google search. 10 lines popped up. what is the deal? weiss and gaining steam? -- why isn't gaining steam? -- is it gaining steam? katherine: there is this idea of the robots are coming for jobs, and when they do, what happens to the money? one proposal is next income. it seems to solve that problem monthly. another reason is because welfare programs and their structures are controversial, and every step of the way there are so many partisan differences about these proposals, whereas basic income proposals are pretty trans-partisan. people all over find them appealing for their own reasons. have to argue that we
could compromise in a way we are having compromising on other proposals. host: is there a case we can look to where it is working? katherine: no. alaska is pretty close. there are proposals constantly being floated. very recently in the netherlands, they voted on the proposal, it got voted down by like 28% of the population. in the 60's and 70's, there were a bunch of venus apologies in the united dates -- principalities in the united -- es in the united states that tried this. most of them were pilot programs seeingcontrol group or with the fallout effects would be. the question that comes up, if
,ou say, here is a cash grant will people think this is a devised? centivized? benefits from jobs now, and that is about structure. people were wondering in the 1960's and 70's if it was just a grant. host: we are supporting the phone lines on income. $25,000 or less, (202)-748-8000. between $26,000 and $56,000, (202)-748-8001. between 51000 and $100,000 a year, (202)-748-8002. 02-748-8003.0,000, 2
you citizens and devices people from working -- said it disincentivizes people from working. katherine: at the time it was perceived to be disinc entivizing, women left their income husbands. people make different choices. the 60's and 70's that was amount for panic that it got thrown out. look has been a subsequent that maybe that was not really so one thingg on that comes up a lot is that you could structure it just right, you could work around that. is eveng people say milton friedman thought this was
a good idea, the libertarian pro-market economist godfather of a lot of our current policies today. he liked the negative impact -- income tax which is like in the general category. he liked it because it cleared away the brush of other welfare programs. the big divide when you see people on the left who favor if first is the right is whether or not it is and or or. if we could clear away almost everything we are doing now, we taxing people for and and children's benefits after testing for certain disabilities and health care, age, we could eliminate all of those tests and replace it with
the cash grant. it would be more efficient at the very least. it would be government spending without bureaucracy. people on the right like that. on the left they say we have programs that are not done. we need a very, very basic safety net under the safety net, that is what it would be. that is the sticking place why this can't really be a bipartisan effort because those people want different things. host: in the phones, ashland, kentucky, calling between $25,000 and $50,000 a year. caller: my question is, i would like to hear about how this works. i don't think it would work -- i am on disability now, almost 60. when people get on social security, different things,
different free programs, they don't work. explain how it is supposed to work, what the income needs to be, and if every single person gets an income and what you do with people that have larger families? that is what i would like to explain. katherine: thank you for your question. there is different things. one is that there are different proposals. the thing i will describe is a keep inic version, but mind people who are experts, everybody has around pet theory. i am not an expert, i am a journalist. what these proposals do, it is by adult individual, sometimes , and it would be for everyone. distinction between a person getting social security because , someone getting
disabilities because of health status, those would disappear. it would be you are a citizen or resident of the united states and entitled to an annual grant of a certain amount of money. trouble is,ets into how much would it be? it seems to matter. it matters to me about whether that income is $4000 or $10,000 or $100,000. those are different proposals. one of the economists who works on this at the center, ed doland , has done basic math. so you took current spending on welfare, did not raise taxes. what with the payment look like? it is $4500 a year which is not most. most people would ask for the minimum threshold, they say $10,000. it is a legitimate question to say what is the number, how would it be distributed, but it
might not be that high if we want to keep taxation levels the same. money for nothing continues the cycle of poverty. we could break it over two or three decades. what do you think? katherine: this is a common argument. did, relying who on government grants is bad. if you teach people the money comes from the government no matter what, there will be a group who choose not to work. those people exist. they are in the status quo, many rely on government assistance, and haunting this debate is the deserving poor versus undeserving poor, the unfashionable thing to say. do people get money because they cannot work, or do we give money to people who don't work? ubi, having the government
arbitrate is a bad idea in the first place. they are not good at those who deserve anything. people the idea that would sit around at your games forever if the ubi existed is probably wrong. by peternother article suleman who talks about people not doing videogames for work -- they do a little. it might not be the end of the world, and it does not seem to , given the relatively small basic income, people give up ambition or desire to work. while i am skeptical, people respond to incentives. creating a large complicated poverty bureaucracy does create bad effects for people getting
it, even though it also creates the fundamental good effect of not starting in the streets. -- hejesse walker writes or she? katherine: the. -- he. kennedys rival bobby called for the massive extension of welfare. he said the answer is work, jobs, family integrity. a gallup poll showed the public rejecting the concept of a guaranteed income. even back then the guaranteed basic income was anathema to the founding principles. katherine: it is a weirdly attractive idea for about a large group of people. don't hear many policy proposals where you say tom paine and huey long and milton friedman, that is a pretty weird
list of people. it is a piece by jesse walker, opens with a debate between anti-syrian, the former head of the labor union and -- andy surin and another guy. they agree. they are on stage together at the cato institute and agree to income.influence -- anytime you get them on stage to agree on something, i think you are tapping into a weirdly everful idea, even if it gets to actual policy. host: take a listen. >> i estimate the cost of $1.75 trillion. i do 18 to 64. i don't do kids, i don't do people on social security unless they make a certain amount.
i don't do undocumented workers, only citizens. $500 to $600s billion in the current welfare system we should allocate. to $600 $500 billion billion of tax which should our ,ax breaks paid for incentives paying taxes. we are paying people back. orre is another $500 billion $600 billion. i am not a revenue neutral person. the financial tax for 15 years, we got rid of it. it.pe is reestablishing there is probably $200 billion there. we are the only industrial country without the vat tax are carbon tax. there are plenty of others to do and i am not on income tax. host: that was nothing if not classic andy stern.
you can see the whole thing on our website. let's go to the phones, west virginia under $25,000 a year. is, it my question doesn't matter with the minimum wage, there are so many people in the united states, there are not enough jobs. education, most of them go to college. the improvement of the economy and the work ethic, it has come to where it does not require so many people anymore to support the ability to maintain the economic wheel of the united states or in the world. cut, what, already quarter of people that there is
no place for them to work. this is a very, very common concern, people on -- theyment would be idea that some combination of inomation, increase efficiency gains means jobs don't exist anymore. it is one reason people talk about this idea now. there is a lot of concern. issuer piece in the same by the science correspondent ron bailey looks specifically at the question whether automation is making jobs go away and whether it did in the past. there are some including charles murray who was the monitor in that clip who say it is different. there is something different now. that is what michael is saying. i am not convinced that is true. his are the same arguments we
movementn the actual for whom the term derived were worrying about new technology. you could hear these arguments in the state of the union speeches by jfk saying we know automation is increasing, we will offer job training to help this policy solution vary. but you find unemployment rates don't. they are low despite ever-increasing automation. the proposal to increase minimum wage much more likely to hurt the number than basic income. host: we go to arizona where susan is calling on the $25,000 to $50,000 a year line. [video clip] we have got to caller: teach children that the american experience is first more about
equality, not equality of outcome. it is disingenuous we are looking at a billionaire who does a commencement speech and says we should look for something like this. that is not with the american experience was built upon. race, howking about to change systemic things in the country. reserve children a bowl of ice cream before we give them that, we take a huge bite out of it. we will have taxes, people under the poverty line and things like that. for the most part you need to understand it is not about taking more from somebody that has it. somebody earned that. they did got the opportunity of looking for something better in their life. it is about choices. we can teach children it is ok to take from someone who has
earned it? i am disturbed by asking these questions. in school we should say what can we do and what will be income -- outcome look like? katherine: you give me a flashback to my children. -- childhood. my parents would open a package and say, i am taking a tax chip now and eat one. that has been imparted to me and i am scared. so everything you need to know -- i think this is a good moment to talk about the underlying moral question, which is a serious one and sometimes lost in the midi -- nitty-gritty practical debates. to redistribute money, you have to take money. you have to tax them. you are taking money from everyone and giving it back in a different configuration. i would like taxes to be low. like a taxation is
morally dubious activity, but we accept it. toind it much more difficult justify the idea of money should be taken from people and sometimes given to people wealthier than they are. universal basic income, not all, would give the grant to everyone, even people not disabled or without systematic as advantages. the idea we will tax people regardless, i think it is much easier to make the moral case when we tax people we need to do end ofa clear moral supporting people who cannot support themselves. that is not what it is based on, and people struggle with this proposal the same way they struggle with the idea of corporate giveaways or lower taxes on investment income, the
idea that people who are already well-off is a legitimate argument on this point. and again, if we are going to give universal income with a relatively high number, we have to increase taxes. that is something americans do not accept. host: james is calling from the $25,000 to $50,000 a year line. .aller: two comments i don't think your scheme is going to work. i don't think people would like it. , they askedbible people what we should do with the lazy people who are sick and not doing any work? paul said let them not eat. after that when they made this country, that is what made this country what it is.
not just stealing from everyone and giving back. that makes like no sense at all. katherine: i would say it is not my scheme. i am not a factor of the universal basic income, but it is interesting and people are talking about it. another piece is private charities. we have the state system. we also have lots of people who give money away on their own. they give it to arts charities, poverty assistance. a good way to evaluate proposals about universal basic income is say, is this how a private charity would conduct itself? yes, there are private actors who are trying the universal basic income proposal in pilot programs. some are overseas, some with government aid, some not.
there are some that are saying let's see in areas where poverty is more common and extreme than the united states, let's try this. that youivate charity have heard of says, ok, from donations people give us, let's distribute them equally to whoever is nearby. that would not be a good charity . i would not give money to that charity. while they are not directly analogous, it is important to think about this proposal and say how much sense does it make in light of what people do when they are not being forced to do it? the: we have a call on $100,000 and over a line. what do you do for a living? caller: i worked for a large bank. host: that would be helpful. caller: here is my concept.
we currently have social security, people paying payroll taxes. is of the things we could do subsidize the fica taxes that are being paid to a certain limits. it would be relatively transparent for most workers, and their already cap's -- there are already caps. what do you think about leveling people up to some reasonable level like 50 dozen dollars a year? five making $25,000 a year, my social security taxes make me look like i been working at $50,000 a year. over the long term i am still getting my benefits in the future. it will make me look like i had i did.r job than using the current system in a different way. katherine: that is probably the
strongest counterpoint to the broad discussion of basic income. as attractive as it might be to simplify the system,, added, -- come at it, it is unlikely to happen. we have this incredibly elaborate system in place. we could tweak it to include outcomes in a new direction. there are many proposals like yours with her more likely to become reality. for me, the main appeal of the don't back the proposal, the main idea is to take away the subtle, sophisticated loopholes, levers, buttons we are currently pressing to manipulate behavior in the tax code. your proposal is good, but it is embedded in the system where we are incentivizing and also
discouraging work simultaneously. we are encouraging people to buy certain goods on welfare or making it impossible to by others. most of the welfare is currently archive to where you live. people that live in areas with no jobs, there is universal basic income, they would not have that problem. archive to where you live. people thatsomething you are deg like many tax proposals which try to balance people's income over their lifetime could be perfectly good. the reason people are not talking about your proposal and are writing 1000 our tutorials -- editorials is because they feel like they need broader change. host: here is another idea from a tweet. the federal government to break the cycle of poverty with an employer of last resort programs, more money for green technology. what do you think?
katherine: that is untrue. people say things like that, let's have government spending on either government workers proposal or maybe if the government could choose the right sector to invest in, millions of jobs would appear. washington's greatest figuring out how to allocate labor resources. there is a reason we don't ask them to do that, and historically when we have had aggressive governments, the economies don't show long-term success. it will not be a surprise to you to hear from a person that identifies as libertarian bent to allocate labor and other types of resources, i don't think this is a problem. it is a problem that could be
solved by, everybody work for the census bureau, forever, the end. host: let's go to pennsylvania. he makes less than $25,000 a year. caller: how are you doing? host: good, thanks. caller: i think our country spends too much on military spending and nobody objects to that. the cost of living is outrageous as well as the cost of raising a kid. very expensive. and everybody be lazy, i disagree. when you have the money to raise a kid properly, it gives them the proper resources, education to break that cycle. let's look at the great depression now. what was the answer? the government developed welfare, it got people out, made a vibrant economy. that is the best idea. outsourcing has taken over this country. as a result of that, we have to
help citizens survive. katherine: almost all of the colors including jeff keep coming back to the same idea that we are experiencing some kind of shift in employment, either outsourcing or technology is changing the underlying availability of jobs. something needs to be done about that. there is not a ton of evidence that is fundamentally true. there is things to do to encourage job creation that are unrelated to universal basic income. we should not have an extremely high minimum wage. but i think this anxiety and fear that people don't have resources to raise children is printed in part --bred in part of that people have loopholes,
confusion, they don't know what they will be eligible for in the future. , lot of the appeals is that all the way back to tom paine, it is the way we could simplify, say listen, they are people and have fundamental needs. they need basic resources. the trouble is in washington 2017, things getting simpler is a bit of a pipe dream. we should take money from people and redistribute it without regard for whoever needs it is a morally fraught idea. i am not getting the underlying concern jobs will not be there for people who want to do them in a broadly systematic way. the solution might add more bureaucracy to the government apparatus has not actually help with the desire to find jobs. host: katherine mangu-ward is
the editor of reason magazine. coming up, more phone calls. that stuffe calls you heard today, anything you want to talk about. republicans, (202)-748-8001. democrats, (202)-748-8000. independents, (202)-748-8002. cspanwj. twitter at @ stay with us. c-span's newsmakers interviewed arthur brooks. he talked about the opioid crisis being felt in many communities. >> looking over the political landscape, it was clear it was a fear-based political movement going on. whether you were talking about , unexpectedable
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