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Finland’s Socialist Experiment Goes Off the Rails

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Finland’s “free money” experiment has come to a grinding halt.

Kela, the government agency in charge of redistributing benefits, revealed that the “basic income experiment did not increase the employment of participants during the first trial year”

In January 2017, Kela and the Finnish Centre for Economic Research teamed up to carry out a two-year experiment that randomly selected 2,000 unemployed Finns and gave them a monthly basic income of approximately $634. Mind you, these individuals were given the income stipend regardless of whether they were actively seeking employment.

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Miska Simanainen, a Kela researcher, informed the BBC that the experiment was conducted in order “to see if it would be a way of reforming the social security system”.

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Simanainen asserts that the trial had not “failed”, and instead claims that it “is not a failure or success – it is a fact, and [gives us] new information that we did not have before this experiment.”

Given the Finnish government’s decision to pull the plug on this project so quickly, Simanainen’s spin on Finland’s Universal Basic Income project should be called into question.

The UBI is all the rage these days in socialist circles, as numerous political figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have flirted with the idea.

Even entrepreneurial elites such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk have given the UBI a warm endorsement.

Like any socialist program, however, there are hidden costs that come with the UBI.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated that Finland would have to increase its income taxes by 30 percent in order to fully implement its UBI scheme.

Additionally, the OECD cautioned that the UBI could potentially cause Finland’s poverty rate to increase from 11.4 percent to 14.1 percent.

Despite these warnings, cities like Stockton, California, which filed for bankruptcy in 2012, launched a UBI project of its own in 2018.

Feel-good intentions aside, UBI’s are destined to fail because of their redistributionist characteristics.

Increasing worker productivity is at the crux of raising living standards. To do so, capital must be accumulated.

However, the UBI takes resources away from employers, thus stifling capital accumulation. Workers receiving government aid end up living at the expense of other workers who lose out on opportunities to increases their productivity. In the end, these workers get lower wages than they would have in the absence of the UBI.

As a result, society becomes poorer overall.

In all likelihood, the Finnish government came to this conclusion while running their UBI experiment. To be fair, they at least kept this program at a limited scale.

Had the whole country been subject to the UBI, the results would have been disastrous for Finland.

Regardless, we can chalk another loss for socialism.

 

Immigration

Flashback: Ann Coulter Warns Steve Bannon about Donald Trump’s Hires During 2016

Coulter tells it like it is.

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Earlier this week, former White House adviser Steve Bannon reached out to President Donald Trump, in an apparent move to reconcile with the president. Bannon was one of the more renowned advisors in the Trump administration who received a lot of attention for his unconventional views. The former White House adviser is likely looking for Trump to pardon him for several federal criminal charges that he is currently facing.

Bannon was one of the strongest contrarian voices on the right who questioned traditional conservative dogma on free trade and immigration. His rise to prominence represented a raw, populist anger that was building within the Republican Party base. Bannon ended up leaving the Trump administration after the infamous Charlottesville rally. This left a massive void for populist voices within the Trump brain trust, which was never adequately filled with populist figures.

Most of the strong populist voices during the Trump era came from the outside. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter has been one of the leading figures trying to steer populist discourse in America.Although a harsh critic, Coulter did her best to hold President Trump accountable and watch his every move, especially personnel decisions that did not align with his America first vision. To the average pro-Trump individual, Coulter’s criticism may come off as abrasive, but it was and still is  necessary to have a viable nationalist movement.

As a reminder to her followers about how she knew that there were subversive elements in the Trump administration who wanted to gut the president’s America First agenda and pursue more traditional Republican policies, she tweeted about email correspondence she had with Bannon dating back to December 2, 2016. In light of the rapprochement between Bannon and Trump, Coulter called attention to how she warned the former White House adviser about some of the latter’s questionable staffing decisions during the early stages of his presidency.

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Coulter tweeted, “No, actually, I knew Trump was betraying us pretty early on – and that it would cost him re-election. My December 2, 2016 email to Steve Bannon:”

In an email sent on December 2, 2016 with a subject line titled “ghost of christmas future”, Coulter warned then-White House adviser Bannon about some of Trump’s hiring decisions.

She first noted that “the fact that Trump is even CONSIDERING rep. Mccaul (rubio in the house) for homeland — and is NOT considering kobach— tells me we’re not getting any major deportations, no removal of refugees, no e-verify, no end to end anchor babies… and trump will be dead.

also, “mad dog” isn’t going to build a wall.”

She was referring to Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, a known mass migration booster and a potential nominee for the head of the Department of Homeland Security. United States Marine Corps General James Matthis would be Trump’s first Secretary of Defense, who ended up turning out to be a Deep State hack. On the other hand, Kris Kobach is a nationally recognized immigration hawk, who gained fame for implementing some of the stiffest voter ID standards in the nation during his time as Secretary of State.

The Trump administration was successful in implementing several administrative changes that limited immigration and also did not get involved in any nation-building engagements like previous administrations.

Nevertheless, Coulter’s incisive suggestions still have use for future Republican administrations. The new GOP should follow Coulter’s pro-migration restriction suggestions if it wants to not only remain politically relevant, but also protect the integrity of America’s political system.

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