But there are additional concerns surrounding UBI, which are deal breakers for me. Without a strong guarantee that all anti-poverty measures would be terminated—and that they will not be brought back to life later—UBI is a terrible idea. Under such circumstances, UBI won’t live up to one of its chief selling points, namely, to serve as a more efficient substitute for the highly inefficient welter of existing welfare programs and to do it in a simple and uniform manner.
The new nihilism says no matter how many reform police commissioners are appointed or black mayors elected, “nothing has changed.” That is the definition of hopelessness.
It is not hopeless.
One could, for example, give people a better chance at home ownership and home equity, as HUD Secretary Ben Carson has proposed, through reforms of the mortgage-lending market and reducing regulatory hurdles to urban housing construction. Get rid of those godawful public-housing prisons. But no, the public housing authorities are patronage mills, so it can’t happen.
Chucked into the wastebasket along with the Bill of Rights was fiscal restraint. Modern Monetary Theory, actually an ancient pie-in-the-sky notion recently resurrected by State University of New York at Stony Brook professor Stephanie Kelton, marched into the House of Representatives and took over, giving Nancy Pelosi and her followers permission to spend unlimited amounts of borrowed money to relieve the misery caused by the lockdowns.
The Care Act was the result, and $2.7 trillion was added to the federal budget deficit. Ms. Pelosi, thus unchained, proposed to spend yet another $3 trillion, which began to stir some belated uneasiness among Republicans, including Trump, who had previously offered little resistance to this wild flight from fiscal reality.