Letter Re: Universal Basic Income


Regarding the piece on Universal Basic Income in SB edition of 12-13-16, please consider the following:

Neither Charles Murray nor Milton Friedman are/were “libertarians”. The best operational definition of the term “Libertarian” is one who rejects the “initiation” of force as a method to achieve social or political objectives. It is the absolute right of any and all individuals to engage in the free exercise of the rights appurtenant to their existence. Neither Murray nor Friedman acknowledge this universal truth. Both engage in a discussion more akin to a question such as: “How many lashes may a master administer to a slave for insubordination?” In fact, the question in priority is: “Can slavery morally exist in a free society?”

Implicit in the examination of the question of “Universal Basic Income” is the presumption that such a system is morally proper, and that there is a “legitimate authority” to implement such a system. There are two, and only two, ways to exchange goods and services. They are:

1. By persuasion, through voluntary action between a willing buyer and a willing seller.

2. By force, as dictated by individuals or groups of individuals regarding various aspects of economic transactions.

The first recognizes the intrinsic “inalienable” rights of the individual. The second denies same and presumes that the individual is somehow subordinate to an individual (the king?) or some form of group (government, warlords, gangs, et cetera). To the degree that force is introduced into any economic transaction, by any entity, that transaction is to that degree immoral and is in violation of the inalienable rights of the participants. There are no exceptions to this universal truth. “ ‘A’ is ‘A’ ”, Ayn Rand.