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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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There is no such thing as free cash!

Universal Basic Income might sound appealing, but how we would pay for it is not.

I am writing in response to Nick Woomer’s Dec. 13 column, “Family values through free cash.” The column’s very title is a misnomer. As anybody who has ever held a job (or been unemployed) knows, there is no “free cash.” Money does not generate itself. As Woomer himself maintains, taxes would support “Universal Basic Income.”

Woomer argues homemaker should be a paid position. While this might sound appealing, think about who is actually paying these salaries. This homemaker would be paid by his or her own spouse, via government control. Also, this person would probably receive less than he or she would if receiving funds directly from his or her own spouse.

It’s simple math – people with homemaker spouses pay into the “Universal Basic Income” fund and the monies from it are dispersed to all homemakers plus millions of freeloaders who are sucking the system dry. It ends up being a pretty raw deal for those homemakers, doesn’t it?

Woomer goes on to say if there was “Universal Basic Income,” people would have more time to spend with their families. Leisure time is not a problem in the United States – how we spend it is. Overworking ourselves because we are living beyond our means is also a problem, and I will be the first to admit I am not exempt. The more money a person makes, the more he or she is likely to spend, the more he or she must work to pay bills. Not everyone operates like this, but many do. Ask your average college student, businessman or housewife whether they have credit card debt and most will answer “Yes.” As a whole, we live very posh lifestyles compared with the rest of the world.

The key to being a good parent does not lie behind income or how much free time a person has. How many wealthy people do not spend more than 15 minutes a day with their children because they are too concentrated on material pleasures and “me time”? How many poor people work long days and yet sit down with their families for dinner and tuck their children into bed at night? Whether you are poor or wealthy, there are always two sides of the coin when it comes to family life.

The problem lies ultimately in our attitudes, not in our pocketbooks. Parents who really care and realize the importance of spending time with their children will find ways to do so. Socialism at any degree is not the answer.

Maria J. McRae is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected].

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