Monthly Archives: June 2016

McDonald’s As Community Centers

“When faced with the greatest challenges, with a personal loss, wealthier Americans turn to expensive therapists, others without the resources or the availability, turn to each other.”  This Guardian story chronicles how communities across American use McD’s for bible study, dates, bingo games, and addiction support.

(On a personal note, LIR fondly thanks a South Miami McDonald’s for providing her free wifi/office for two months in early 2012.)

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Universal Basic Income

Switzerland is about to vote on a UBI.  What would that be like in America?  Is it about social justice, or economic efficiency via eliminating the benefit bureaucracy?  And is it necessary as we move to a leisure economy?

Charles Murray at AEI posits his plan:

The UBI is to be financed by getting rid of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, housing subsidies, welfare for single women and every other kind of welfare and social-services program, as well as agricultural subsidies and corporate welfare. As of 2014, the annual cost of a UBI would have been about $200 billion cheaper than the current system. By 2020, it would be nearly a trillion dollars cheaper…

Yes, some people will idle away their lives under my UBI plan. But that is already a problem. As of 2015, the Current Population Survey tells us that 18% of unmarried males and 23% of unmarried women ages 25 through 54—people of prime working age—weren’t even in the labor force. Just about all of them were already living off other people’s money. The question isn’t whether a UBI will discourage work, but whether it will make the existing problem significantly worse.

He goes on to defend NGO aid over government, but neglects to address the Tragedy of the Commons this will foster, or that government oftentimes must aid those without the size impact or access to attract private and religious monies.

Murray closes by observing, “A powerful critique of the current system is that the most disadvantaged people in America have no reason to think that they can be anything else…Their quest for dignity and self-respect often takes the form of trying to beat the system.”

ModCon does not support a UBI, because it assumes that financial need is equally distributed amongst society, when health needs, and cost of living differences by geographic region, make this untrue, and a UBI would not be able to drive down the cost of either.

What do you think?  Let us know in the comments.

The Threat to Ohio Voters

Since 2012, an estimated 200,000 Ohio voters have been purged from the rolls due to inactivity–defined as not voting since 2008.  Democrats–especially low-income African American ones–are disproportionately affected, since Republicans vote more in midterms, according to Reuters.

The practice of regular maintenance of correct rolls is national, but in Ohio it may determine the presidential election outcome.  All states routinely remove residents who have died or moved away, and several cleanse the roll of inactive voters. But in some counties in Ohio, the rate of purge approaches 13% of voters–higher than the margins that let Obama win in those counties in 2008.

According to electoral experts, the rule of thumb is that passing on three consecutive federal elections makes you a candidate for purging.

“Tom Fitton, the head of Judicial Watch, a conservative group that has pushed Ohio and other states to keep their voting lists up to date, described (an Ohio) lawsuit as a “power play” by civil liberties groups ‘to ensure that candidates they like are able to steal elections if necessary.’

Voters’ rights come back to the fore before every US presidential election, but unlike more well-known controversies like picture ID requirements, inactivity purges have been flying under the radar.

ModCon supports the practice: citizens who cannot be bothered to vote within eight years are not sufficiently engaged enough to deserve a say in the nation’s future.