It wasn’t surprising to see on Q and A last night that Jennifer Westacott, the CEO of the Business Council of Australia, was against the fairness and simplicity of a universal basic income (UBI), often called a citizen’s dividend by supporters of the ideas of Henry George.
A UBI would provide the freedom to do your own thing, of course, whilst big business needs a relatively compliant source of workers from which to draft its employees.
Nor was it really news that Matt Comyn, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Nicki Hutley from Deloitte Access Economics were comfortably against a UBI.
Michael Sukkar, the Assistant Federal Treasurer could also be expected to be in the brigade against the benefits of a universal basic income, because the Liberal Party are not supporter of that sort of freedom! A pool of captives works nicely for big business.
The Labor Party’s Linda Burney was also more in favour of the government’s grab-bag of selective handouts than a UBI. That’s probably because the Labor Party and unions are in something of a cleft stick on a UBI, no matter how fair it may be. A bit of the Protestant work ethic still prevails: can people be trusted to work if they’re receiving a UBI?
Of course they can! And they’d probably be self-employed in vastly superior productive areas than they have been.
Whilst I’m not sure where singer/songwriter Josh Pyke stood on the benefits of a UBI, Q and A clearly had a number of clear-sighted supporters who saw its benefits, not only through the period of the coronavirus but into the future. They’re not captive to the status quo.
Then, on 3AW news this morning, I heard this classic from an academic. He believed people should not be wearing face masks during the coronavirus. Their efficacy had not at all been proven. They’re in extremely short supply and should be left for the health professionals to use. Huh? A doctorate doesn’t seem to insulate against flawed logic, either!
Neil Mitchell was in good form, too: “Where’s the money to come from? Future generations are going to have to pay for this.”
(This bloody socialism!)