Basic assistance

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The Uniting Amendment provides for financial assistance to those in need. Why? Because we are entering a time when there will be massive unemployment. If we do not provide a simple, effecient way to provide for the needs of those who are unable to care for themselves, it will lead to widespead dissatisfaction and eventually a revolution. Providing assistance to those in need will eliminate poverty, protect against domestic unrest and preserve our liberty. And providing for those in need is morally consistent with civil society.


The primary function of government

The primary function of government as established by the Constitution is to protect our lives, rights and property. Members of our military and Congress take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Our military is the most powerful in the world and it is unlikely that an attack from any foreign enemy would result in the defeat of our country. However, under conditions of extreme dissatisfaction among the people of the United States, domestic unrest could result in a usurpation of the government and the protections it provides for our lives, rights, and property. This happens all the time throughout the world, even in powerful, well established countries. Enemies of domestic origin are more of an existential threat than foreign enemies. But what future events or conditions would cause people to turn against the country, and how can the country defend against it?

The future of employment

There has been an acceleration of increased productivity due to advancements in information technology and robotics. And that will likely continue: more stuff will be produced with less labor. Our labor-saving devices will save labor, duh! Going forward, the demand for workers is going to decrease and that decline in demand for labor will accelerate. There will be fewer and fewer jobs available, while at the same time increased productivity will create less aggregate scarcity of the necessities of life. The effects on society will be profound as we approach the technological singularity.

More and more people will not be working; at least not working in the traditional sense. And this will happen as the baby-boom generation has left the workforce for retirement, further exacerbating the problem. Many of those people will not be able to support themselves, paradoxically, at a time when there will be a general abundance of the necessities of life. We are already seeing these effects in the widening of the distribution of incomes. Those with the talent and skills to adapt will continue to work while many others will be unemployed. Current policy makers, from both government and business, are attempting to address the issue with outdated hegemonic tactics and bloated, inefficient government assistance programs. If this continues, large segments of the population will become unable to support themselves, politicians will demand even more power to “fix” the problem and the result will be political instability and the potential for loss of our liberties from domestic enemies and authoritarian government power.

Domestic security

How can we defend against this threat of domestic unrest while preserving freedom? We can't continue to hand over our freedoms to the politicians. Private charity should be the primary source to help people in need but relying on voluntary charity may not be sufficient to accommodate everyone in need. Simply allowing people to languish is inconsistent with a compassionate society and can result in a revolution with loss of liberty.

Basic assistance, not basic income

To defend against domestic unrest, the Uniting Amendment establishes a single Basic Assistance Fund to provide direct monetary payments to those in need. Even the most ardent free market advocates support a safety net for those in need. (see F. A. Hayek's, The Road to Serfdom; Chap. 9, "Security and Freedom") This is not a basic income which would be distributed to everyone, it only goes to those who are in need. A basic income is wasteful because it pays benefits to people who don't need it. Basic assistance only goes to those who need it. A portion of revenues to the treasury may be used to provide for those who cannot care for themselves and are unable to obtain help from private sources. Payments from the fund are sufficient to provide basic needs and quell dissatisfaction. The payments are in lieu of all other government assistance and there is no byzantine bureaucracy needed to administer dozens of different programs. And the recipients provide whatever value or services they can to society in exchange. It's simple and fair. It provides for all people in need with less cost than our current programs, and it completely heads off any "justification" for more bloated, inefficient government programs and regulations.

But what if people cheat?

If anyone can request it, won't people cheat? What if people who don't need assistance request it? Isn't that unfair?

The system of distribution of basic assistance implemented by the Uniting Amendment doesn't allow the government to decide who gets assistance and who doesn't, it let's those in need request and receive it without interference. It is likely that some people who don't need it will request it. Studies done on our current food assistance programs (which are administered by the government) show that about 1-2% of people lie to get benefits. Without any enforcement by the government, that would likely be higher. But how high would it be, maybe 10% or even 20%? The worst theoretical case would be if 100% of the people requested benefits. That would be universal basic income. Basic assistance under the Uniting Amendment is much more efficient than that, which means less money will go much further. (The tax rate proposed by the Uniting Amendment is less than 1%.) Also, the names of all of the people who request basic assistance is made public, so those who are well off will likely not apply because of the social pressures that would likely occur when their name is made public.

No "need" for a minimum wage

Having a simple method to provide basic assistance also eliminates the “need” for a minimum wage. If people know that they have a reliable safety net to fall back on, they will be in a position to demand a higher wage within a free market or they will be more willing to take the risks necessary to start their own businesses. Wages will be higher without imposing pricing mandates on businesses and more businesses will be created.

This solution of basis assistance is entirely consistent with the government's fundamental function to protect our lives, liberty and property. Instead of using the force of an oppressive, domestic police state to quell domestic unrest, the Basic Assistance Fund helps to prophylactically protect against the conditions that lead to that unrest.

Strategically, the Basic Assistance Fund provides a buffer that will help maintain political stability while we transition to an as-yet-unknown future beyond the event horizon of the technological singularity.

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