Posts Tagged ‘Basic Income’

Zuckerberg Sucks Bergs

July 11, 2017

Zuckerberg, Facebook main owner: “Priscilla and I spent the weekend around Homer, Alaska as part of the Year of Travel challenge. It’s beautiful here.” Next week, he does Bali? How does he travel there? Cattle class? Probably a personal jumbo jet, like the Google guys. Full of an army of bodyguards. Could we emit more CO2 please, Antarctica is not breaking apart fast enough! OK, I have been to Alaska more than once, it’s incredibly beautiful there. But I also have (lots of) close family in Alaska (thus a good excuse to visit).

Zuckerberg: “Alaska has a form of basic income called the Permanent Fund Dividend. Every year, a portion of the oil revenue the state makes is put into a fund. Rather than having the government spend that money, it is returned to Alaskan residents through a yearly dividend that is normally $1000 or more per person. That can be especially meaningful if your family has five or six people.

This is a novel approach to basic income in a few ways. First, it’s funded by natural resources rather than raising taxes. Second, it comes from conservative principles of smaller government, rather than progressive principles of a larger safety net. This shows basic income is a bipartisan idea.”

Zuck is poorly informed: the dividend used to be much more than $1000 per year per person. But now the state is heading towards heavy debt, from the collapse of oil revenues. Zuck also has some cheeks, to call “especially meaningful” to earn one thousand dollars a year, when he earns personally several billions dollars every few months.  Notice in passing that smaller government and eschewing “progressive principles of a larger safety net… is a bipartisan idea”. According to him.

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Pluto Zuck says: …“basic income… [to be] funded by natural resources rather than raising taxes. Second, it comes from conservative principles of smaller government, rather than progressive principles of a larger safety net. This shows basic income is a bipartisan idea.” So go hunt in the forest: there are your natural resources. “Conservative principles of smaller government… is a bipartisan idea”. Progressive principles are not bipartisan.

In other words, the bipartisan party is the plutocratic party. It’s also ironical, that a “larger safety net” is to be avoided: except for Zuck himself, who needs to be protected by his own private army.

In San Francisco where Zuckerberg (also) resides, those who bother his army of bodyguards are thrown in prison, three months at a time. A man sleeping outside Zuckerberg in his car was put in prison. In his other mansion in Palo Alto, Zuckerberg, college drop-out, but NSA collaborator, receives the safety net of 16 bodyguards, 24/7. It was not enough to buy the four mansions around his own… to insure his own “progressive principles of a larger safety net”. 

In Zuckerberg’s world, the world is about Zuckerberg. Serving Zuckerberg’s safety.

Not happy? You are probably “an unstable Internet user” and you should move to Alaska! There, you can go, live off “natural resources” as native Americans do so successfully, hunting bears and the like.

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Not only Zuckerberg sucks the teat of state, but he gives us lessons about us, low lives, needing to quit the habit

While claiming he does not, as demonstrated by his desire to make the state much smaller … forgetting that Facebook, operating hand in hand with US intelligence, has made the state so much larger and omnipresent. This is a deliberately confusing circus, or, as the Guardian puts it: “Mark Zuckerberg is part of the bigger trend of global companies expecting the state to pick up the tab even though they’re not prepared to pay the taxes to fund it.

I have long said this, attracting opprobrium. Zuckerberg is also representative of these new plutocrats who treat the elected butlers supposed to represent us, as pigeons fighting for crumbs.

The Guardian has finally noticed how far the outrageous behavior of the Facebook founder will go. In Mark Zuckerberg’s got some cheek, advocating a universal basic income, Sonia Sodha observes that:

“Facebook’s CEO has spent the last couple of years casting himself in various guises. First, global philanthropist: he and his wife last year pledged to invest $3bn over 10 years in order to eradicate global disease (a well-meaning if hopelessly naive sentiment; it’s a tiny fraction of what’s spent on medical research worldwide). Most lately, social commentator: Zuckerberg is currently undertaking a 50-state meet-and-greet tour across the United States. Little wonder rumours are flying that he fancies himself for an imminent White House run.

Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg aim to ‘cure, prevent and manage’ all disease?

Put aside for a moment the chilling thought that if the chief of the world’s most ubiquitous media platform chose to run to be leader of the free world, his command of Facebook’s unrivalled ability to profile, segment and target voters might make him all but unbeatable. What might he do as president? The missives from his grand tour – published, of course, on Facebook – provide some clues. Last week’s was from Alaska. Zuckerberg used it as an opportunity to heap praise on the idea of a universal basic income – an unconditional income paid by government to all citizens, regardless of whether or not they’re in work.”

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Plutocrats love men, as lions do, with no government to protect them:

We are told Marc Zuckerberg, his wife, Priscilla Chan, and their ilk, are “lovers of man” (phil-anthropos). The wealthiest spy agency operators in the world are “persons who seeks to promote the welfare of others”. Does that mean we don’t? Does that mean we don’t promote the welfare of others? Does that mean that one has to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes, to be called a lover of man? Does that mean one has to run the world’s largest spying operation, to be called a “lover of man”? Does that mean we have to pledge billions of tax money we should have paid to be called a “lover of man”?

The generosity of bandits has no limits: their survival depends upon it.

Let’s do a little computation. The median family income in the USA is 60 K. The median worth, a bit more. So “worth” and yearly income are roughly the same. Scaling this up to Zuckerberg, this means the plutocrat controls money flows of the order of his wealth, each year. Namely 50 billions. (Facebook’s revenue in 2016 was actually $28 billion.)

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Zuckerberg and Chan claim they want to save the world, do good. But they are living, impudent, obvious, blatant symbols of inequality, the greatest factor in human misery. The more unequal a society the more selfish, violent, stupid, insane, ill, unfair, demented a society is. If Zuck Zuck and Chan were sincere, they would fund an academy for the reduction of inequality. If Zuckerberg was sincere,he would advocate for higher taxes. Instead, he advocates for the exact opposite, and he basically pays no taxes already (relative to his income and effective control output)

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Separation of wealth and state violated:

In other words Zuckerberg directly directs the flow of 1/1000 of the world economy. However, Zuckerberg’s influence is far more ranging: Zuckerberg has been received in all the presidential palaces and heads of governments mansions, in the countries which really matter, including China. Why do the mightiest receive the wealthiest in the halls of power? Isn’t this, per se, a violation of the separation of wealth and state?

Presumably, Zuckerberg and his ilk are negotiating his power of influence versus the future incomes of elected officials, their kin, friends, children… Zuckerberg and his ilk are together-breathing (con-spirare) with the mightiest politicians. The latter are ephemeral, Zuckerberg is permanent. Here is The Guardian again:

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“Zuckerberg’s got some cheek. The idea of a universal basic income is all very well and good in sparsely populated Alaska, where revenues from natural oil fund a modest annual dividend to the state’s permanent residents that in the last decade has varied between $800 and $2,000.

But the proponents of a basic income often talk it up as replacement for welfare benefits altogether. Funding a decent safety net that gets paid to everyone – where there isn’t a multibillion-dollar state-backed fund conveniently created in the 1970s from oil reserves – would be very expensive. The cash would either have to come from hiking up taxes or significantly cutting back state spending on other services, such as education and health.

Here’s the rub. Zuckerberg has no right to pronounce on what the welfare state should look like while Facebook takes aggressive measures to minimise its tax burden. Here in the UK, Facebook paid just £4,327 in corporation tax in 2014, despite paying its UK staff bonuses of £35m. In 2015, it offset its tax bill of £4.2m against a tax credit of £11.3m – despite making global profits of almost £5bn.”

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Work is power, so we will take it away from you, replace it by basic income, say Silicon Valley plutocrats;

This is an infection: those plutocrats rule the world. Just as when the Roman Republic started to die, they have found tricks to avoid taxes, by using globalization, exactly as the Roman plutocrats did!

“It’s not just Facebook: global tech giants such as Amazon and Google are notorious for exploiting every loophole to get out of paying their fair share of tax. It’s deeply hypocritical for Zuckerberg to back the idea of a state-based income while his company does everything it can to avoid paying tax. And there’s a clue Zuckerberg sees a basic income as a replacement for, not in addition to, public services, “It comes from conservative principles of smaller government, rather than progressive principles of a larger safety net,” he writes.

Zuckerberg is not the first Silicon Valley CEO to talk up universal basic income: it’s an idea fast gaining traction in that corner of California. This is no coincidence. One of the beliefs that powers Silicon Valley’s fervent tech worship is the idea that artificial intelligence and automation will one day spell the end of work. This is implicit in the business plans: Uber’s growth strategy, for instance, is based on the idea that driverless technology will one day replace its drivers altogether.”

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The More Income Inequality In A Country, The More Drug Use:

Thanks, oh you, billionaires! As Inequality Has Exploded in the USA in recent years, thanks to Obama’s Quantitative Easing and pro-plutocratic monopolies ploy, so has drug usage. There are now more death from drugs than from cars of shootings.

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How come cockamamie plutocrats? Lack of basic education!

Most plutocrats are actually rather ignorant: Zuckerberg, Gates have no college degrees (Whereas Warren Buffet has a master of science in economics from Columbia U). They didn’t go through basic education. If he had, maybe Zuckerberg would realize the income per capita of Alaskan citizen used to be ten times more (in constant dollars). I wouldn’t be surprised if it had disappeared next year. Zuck probably knows nothing of the history of the price of oil.

About three out of 10 billionaires—29.9%—around the world did not have at least a bachelor degree in 2015, according to a billionaire census by Wealth-X. That’s 739 out of the total 2,473 billionaires.

It’s a bit of a problem, because these people are leading the world’s politicians by the nose at this point. They think they are the smartest, but, typically, they confuse smarts, greed, happenstance, and conspiracy (“Social Networks” and other high-tech as a spy agencies…)

To mitigate this capture of politics by one needs to introduce a good dose of direct democracy: then the orders will be coming not from the wealthiest, stupidest people in the world, but directly from We The People, as they did in Athens, Rome, and now Switzerland…

 

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Civilization means government. Big Government started with Trajan, then the Merovingians:

Let’s backtrack a bit: Roman emperor Trajan fostered higher taxes on the wealthiest to enable a welfare state, including food distribution to the poor, government scholarship to meritorious students. Under Trajan, initially a general a bit similar to Eisenhower, the Roman empire reached its largest extent (Trajan ruled from 98 CE to 117 CE). Where did Trajan get his ideas? Trajan ingratiated himself with the Greek intellectual elite, including historians such as Plutarch and Dio (who was recalled to Rome). Be it Athenian leaders such as Pericles, or the kings of France in the Twelfth or Fourteenth centuries, massive progress was directly attributed with civilization class intellectuals interfacing directly with the leaders: the edge of civilization is one, top thinking allow it to cut. (De-cide means, exactly, to cut-off!)

Starting in the Sixth Century, the Merovingian Franks (ruling France and Germany, and soon, all of Europe) made secular education global, mandatory, and non-profit. Secular education became a function the government imposed on the Churches (the Pope got infuriated in vain). Later more government in the Middle Ages imposed more functions: not just free universities, but free health care, taking care of abandoned babies, no questions asked.

The “small government” movement championed by Silicon Valley monopolists inverts all this: students pay something like a third of the median family income, to attend the “public” university of California in tuition alone (not counting room and board). Meanwhile top plutocrats in the USA have earned hundreds of billions from the private healthcare system of the USA (and then claim to be democrats, and give to the “Democratic” Party which enabled their lucrative activities…)

Facebook & its ilk want to cut all that government down, so that they instead, are the oligarchy: the few (oligo) who rule. They have already achieved that status, hence their insolence and impudence. If Teddy Roosevelt were around, he would mount his white charger, and arrest them all at gunpoint, for violating anti-monopoly laws.

As The Guardian observes: “Obsessing about a universal basic income as the panacea for the shortcomings of the labour market of the future is a distraction from tackling the problems in the labour market of today.” Well, that’s exactly why they obsess: it’s very self-serving: the plutocrats want slaves.

Not just that, but the plutocrats’ obsession with self-serving issues invites us all to obsess with them on the same issues, instead of asking why is it that they pay so little taxes, have so much power, are constantly received by ephemeral power holders, have bent the tax code to serve themselves, name hospitals after themselves, made deals with spy agencies to “open backdoors”, and all sorts of deals which are rumored about in Silicon Valley, etc

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Bigger Civilization, Bigger Government:

It’s no coincidence that the biggest civilizations had the biggest (and best) governments: Sumer, Egypt, Babylon, Achaemenid Persia, Rome, China, France…

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/synthesis-found-governmentalism/

When we consider the progress of civilization over the last 4000 years, we observe an ever greater power of just, fair, balanced, and intelligent government. However, Zuckerberg’s operation is none of this: it’s just a one man show. Put a representation of part of the anatomy of a human female chest, Zuck will get you banned. The guy is that dumb. And that’s why he wants to rule the world.

Sonia Sodha concludes: “We should be fighting for a society in which everyone has the right to a decently paid job that provides them with autonomy and fulfilment; not a future in which a big chunk of the population is consigned to exist on meagre state handouts. At best, a universal basic income is a dangerous diversion from how to improve the quality of work. At worst, it could be an enabler for the dark motives of the Silicon Valley tech scene. We’d be naive to buy into the idea that the owners of the robots would happily carry on paying the rest of us a basic income if it no longer suited them. Karl Marx would be turning in his grave at this fundamental misunderstanding of how economic power works.”

Zuckerberg himself is an epiphenomenon, like a flake of snow shining on top of the iceberg of the inversion of all values, which has led to a stalling of civilization and endangerment of the biosphere. The cult of The One is the ultimate form of intellectual fascism. It has led to tax-free monopolies in the global economy, but it was preceded by a cult of celebrities… even in science, and other intellectual domains, where only a few, the stars, get funded well.

It’s as if Usain Bolt’s starting line was ten meters ahead, noticed the scientific journal Nature in “Our obsession with eminence warps research“: “We can quantify exactly how much faster Usain Bolt is than the next-fastest sprinter. It’s much harder to say who is the best scientist, let alone how much better they are than the next-best scientist. Deciding who deserves recognition is, at least in part, a judgement call.”

It’s even harder to find out who the best thinkers are, and what the best thinking is. However, what we have now is plutocrats and their lackeys dominating the debate. There is not even an independent intellectual class, as most intellectuals in academia are on the take, or know they should have a low profile. Superstars dissenters tend to be all barking up the wrong tree (although The Guardian essay quoted above is a good sign).

A fundamental democratic right in Ancient Greece was isegoria. The right to speak equally. It is massively manipulated nowadays. The ownership of all media by the plutocratic class has led to a situation where lowering taxes on the hyper-wealthy has become “bipartisan”, and earning one thousand dollar a year is “especially gratifying” in the eyes of those earning billions a year, and they can then advertise their “love of man” and flaunt their pledges to give billions, well, you know, someday…

All these self-important tax cheating, conspiring monopolists at the teat of governments, worldwide, deserve out contempt. Really, not kidding: New York Times bans me. Who is the greatest holder of common shares of the NYT? Carlos Slims, scion of a plutocratic Mexican family. How did he become for a while the world’s richest man? Because Mexican government officials conspired to offer him Mexican Telecom at rock bottom prices. No doubt: they were well rewarded.

Now we see these government connected billionaire punks, going around the world in their personal jumbo jets, paying their way through government, media and academic circles, to mold decisions in their favor. And what of all the CO2? What of the greatest biological extinction now apparently forming and accelerating?

They don’t care: as they circle the globe in their CO2 spewing jumbo jets, billionaires and their obsequious political butlers suck entire iceberg in the maw of the global warming they generate, and it’s their friend, because they profit from disaster (be only as a distraction from their ill deeds…)

We are facing an inversion of all civilization, and even the biosphere. Plutocrats and their ideology are the prophets of the extinction of all values, and of all worth.

Patrice Ayme’