Patterico's Pontifications


Finland, Finland, Finland: How About a Guaranteed Minimum Income?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:33 pm

Finland, Finland, Finland. The country where I quite want to be.

National Post:

Finland’s government is drawing up plans to pay every citizen a basic income of euros 800 ($1,165) each month, scrapping benefits altogether.

Under proposals drafted by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution (Kela), the tax-free payments would replace all other benefit payments, and would be paid to all adults regardless of whether or not they receive any other income.

While it may sound counterintuitive, the basic income is intended to encourage more people back to work in Finland, where unemployment is at record levels. At present, many unemployed people would be worse off if they took on low-paid temporary jobs due to loss of welfare payments.

These days I am generally in the middle of about 30 books at a time. (I never did this before Kindle and audiobooks but it works out.) One of the books I am reading is Charles Murray’s In Our Hands : A Plan To Replace The Welfare State.

Murray proposes that we give everyone a guaranteed minimum income of about $10,000 a year. (Murray wrote the book in 1997.)(Economics nerds will recall that Milton Friedman proposed something very much like this.) Then, Murray says, we would scrap all other transfer payments, period. Something like a third of that is supposed to go to health care. (Well, Mr. Murray, we pretty much did that part with ObamaCare!)

I’m about halfway done and remain utterly unconvinced. But Charles Murray is a very credible writer. (I am also in the middle of Losing Ground, and What It Means to Be a Libertarian is sitting on my shelf, asking what it takes to be part of the 30-book rotation.) I’ll admit that Murray makes some interesting points, even if (halfway in) he has not begun to convince me. If you’re totally committed to ultra-compromise and throwing common-sense principles out the door, he makes a decent case that his system of handouts might be better than the crummy system of handouts we have right now.

But . . . I don’t think so. I’m still trying to keep an open mind, but I’ll admit that the idea of handing people money for nothing — even as a “realistic” alternative to our present welfare system — really rankles.

The part I am waiting to see him address is: what about when people accept your system and then want all the previous benefits back too? Or when they say things like: “How do you expect Americans to live on $10,000 a year?” or other spoiled, entitled crap like that.

I’m happy to see the experiment running in another country. By the time we start to see how it’s working in Finland, I’ll be done with Murray’s book — and I’ll get a chance to whack him across the head for his silly idea . . . or maybe to eat some crow.

I really doubt I’ll be eating any crow. But life is funny. You never know.

A Somber Anniversary

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:54 pm

My Dad died ten years ago today.

I first talked about his passing here.

I have a neat idea for a way to honor him, which I had hoped to do today, but life got in the way. It’s OK. I’ll take care of it soon.

In the meantime I did what was most important: talked to everyone in my immediate family. Everyone has different things going on, but it was nice to connect with everyone in one day.

When I do that special thing, I’ll share it with all of you. I’m looking forward to it.

Radical Left: Maybe We Should Blame the Victims of the San Bernardino Shooting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:14 pm

After Colorado Springs, Obama said we should not blame the victim:

“I think it’s fair to have a legitimate, honest debate about abortion,” Obama said. “I don’t think that’s something that is beyond the pale of our political discussion; I think it’s a serious, legitimate issue. How we talk about it – making sure that we’re talking about it factually, accurately, and not demonizing organizations like Planned Parenthood – I think is important.”

Obama will not say the same about San Bernardino, but will probably continue to go out of his way to suggest that we should not blame the religion of the perpetrators:

Obama initially said the shootings could have been terrorist-related or an incident of workplace violence. Two days later, in his weekend radio and Internet address, the president said called the attacks an “act of terror” and said it was “entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror. And if so, it would underscore a threat we’ve been focused on for years – the danger of people succumbing to violent extremist ideologies.”

I don’t see anything there about not blaming the victim.

If he is sending a subliminal message that maybe it’s OK to blame the victim, that message was received loud and clear by this harpy:

They were two hate-filled, bigoted municipal employees interacting in one department. Now 13 innocent people are dead in unspeakable carnage.

One man spent his free time writing frightening, NRA-loving, hate-filled screeds on Facebook about the other’s religion.

The other man quietly stewed and brewed his bigotry, collecting the kind of arsenal that the Facebook poster would have envied.

What they didn’t realize is that except for their different religions they were in many ways similar men who even had the same job.

Except for the bit about Farook being a mass murderer and the other fella being a murder victim. Otherwise, totally similar!!

This type of attitude will be present in Obama’s little talk. It will just be masked better.

They hate us every bit as much as they hate the murdering terrorists. Maybe more.

Terrorist Syed Farook’s Father Speaks Out

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:28 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The father of Syed Farook spoke about his son’s obsession with ISIS and Israel in an interview this weekend:

“My son said that he shared [ISIS leader Abu Bakr] Al Baghdadi’s ideology and supported the creation of the Islamic State,” said Farook’s dad, also named Syed Farook, who lives in Corona, Calif., with another son who is a Navy veteran. “He was also obsessed with Israel.”

“I told him he had to stay calm and be patient because in two years Israel will not exist anymore,” the elder Farook told La Stampa in an article published Sunday. The foreign language daily’s report was translated in part by The Times of Israel.

“Geopolitics is changing: Russia, China and America don’t want Jews there anymore. They are going to bring the Jews back to Ukraine. What is the point of fighting? We have already done it and we lost. Israel is not to be fought with weapons, but with politics. But he did not listen to me, he was obsessed,” the father said in the interview, according to The Times of Israel.

Also, President Obama startled with a shocking possible motive for last week’s massacre:

“It is entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror,” Obama said in his weekly radio address Saturday. “And if so, it would underscore a threat we’ve been focused on for years — the danger of people succumbing to violent extremist ideologies.”

“We know that ISIL and other terrorist groups are actively encouraging people — around the world and in our country — to commit terrible acts of violence, often times as lone wolf actors,” Obama said. “And even as we work to prevent attacks, all of us — government, law enforcement, communities, faith leaders — need to work together to prevent people from falling victim to these hateful ideologies.”

As a reminder, President Obama will be addressing the nation tonight at 7 p.m. ET in an effort to reassure Americans that the J.V. team is being contained, will be degraded and destroyed, and not to worry, because more gun control. The major networks will be airing his speech from the Oval Office:

“He [President Obama] will reiterate his firm conviction that ISIL will be destroyed and that the United States will draw upon our values — our unwavering commitment to justice, equality and freedom — to prevail over terrorist groups that use violence to advance a destructive ideology.”


[Ed. note: Update made noting major networks will also be airing the president’s speech, not just CNN]

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