I admire intelligence more than anyone.
I esteem the ability to think and analyze through obstacles which would leave most mortals in a befuddled state of confusion. But intelligence is, at most, a singular character trait that is attached to many personality traits on the whole, but never causally.
Intelligent people are quieter than average, drink more than average, are more methodical than average, but not all intelligent people are alike, and many do not share all the personality traits we infer from intelligence. Intelligence is one indelible human trait and can never tell us everything about a person’s character or judgment…or wisdom.
For instance, Andrew Yang, entrepreneurial wunderkind and burgeoning elitist leftist (surprise), recently piped in about a subject with which he seems way out of his depths, one involving common sense and pragmatic understanding of human nature, individually, and collectively.
Speaking to Business Insider, he weighed in on all manner of politicking which many gullible and lazy might passively accept as gospel based on the guy’s business acumen.
(News for you: business acumen, an indicator of intelligence to be sure, is susceptible to misplaced level of self-grandiosity.)
For instance, his conceptualization of a universal basic income, or in his post-digital/post-capitalist socialist flowery semantics, a “freedom dividend,” contains all the pie-in-the-sky leftist meanderings of an idealistic college-boy half his age.
[writer, Andrew] Fisher: What’s the one issue that you’d like to be known for?
Yang: We’re in the midst of automating away the most common jobs in our economy. And the reason why Donald Trump’s our president today is that we automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, all the swing states. And we’re about to do the same thing to millions of retail jobs, call-center jobs, fast-food jobs, truck-driving jobs, and on and on.
So my signature policy proposal’s that every American should receive $1,000 a month in a freedom dividend to be able to make adjustments for the future and manage this transition.
Fisher: So that’s universal basic income. Why do you think that would be better than, say, a jobs guarantee?
Yang: Well, a universal basic income is much, much easier to administer and much more powerful and effective to getting resources into people’s hands.
Let’s say tomorrow the federal government said, “We’re going to administer a jobs guarantee.” Does that mean millions of Americans will wake up and say, “Oh, I know where I’m going: I’m going to go to that job.” Of course not. You’d have to set up this massive bureaucracy and infrastructure. What are the jobs? What if someone doesn’t like their job? What if someone’s not working out? Is this really the way we want Americans to have to be able to feed themselves?
So if you’re going to make a move and you’re going to make it actually work on a reasonable timeframe, a universal basic income is a much more powerful and effective way to go.
Yang is haplessly drawn into a close-minded dichotomy of guaranteed basic income versus a government jobs guarantee and frames his freedom dividend proposal within the narrow confines of this argument. This trailblazing business maven is amazingly unable to consider a 3rd, or 4th, or 5th, way. His freedom dividend has so many advantages over a job guarantee and he spends his entire narrative spelling this out. Essentially, wasting our time, and all his high-rent mental energies.
The reality is that the freedom dividend will succumb to the oppressive limits of human collective incompetence that any corresponding jobs guarantee will experience, or any collectivist program that must appease 300 million Americans who share conflicting values, or lack thereof.
In fact, I’d like to tweak one of Yang’s thoughts – my revisions in red.
Let’s say tomorrow the federal government said, “We’re going to administer the freedom dividend.” Does that mean millions of Americans will wake up and say, “Oh, I know where I’m going: I’m going to go look for a reason and path by which to give me a productive reason to live and exist in this society, because who needs free handouts?” Of course not. You’d have to set up this massive bureaucracy and infrastructure. What about the loss of human purpose? In the absence of being a productive member of society, what if someone really likes getting money for doing nothing, contributing nothing, symbolizing nothing? What if someone doesn’t like being self-sufficient? Is this really the way we want Americans to have to be able to leech off those who have a healthy sense of purpose and viability?
Idealism is no match for the restraints of common sense; so intelligent people circumvent fantasy with socialism.