John Derbyshire on the proto-UBI

Posted On: Wednesday - April 29th 2020 7:15PM MST
In Topics: 
  Immigration Stupidity  Economics  Liberty/Libertarianism  Socialism/Communism

This image of these 2 pundits is from our 6-month-ago post "Our favorite pundits have grown up." This post is referring to writing by the one on the right, of course, Mr. Derbyshire

(Again, just trying to save on server space to keep the planet cool and avoid another letta from Greta).

It's the (italicized) 2nd segment, after his Intro, that I refer to here from Moratorium Fiasco, Glimmers Of Light, Lifeboat Ethics, And Judicial Diversity, Etc by John Derbyhsire from his April 24th "Radio Derby" podcast transcript. I can read in < 10 minutes what takes 36 1/2 minutes in the podcast, but the transcripts get published, at least on VDare, a week later. That's OK, as we don't deign to be timely here.

The whole Radio Derb transcript is interesting and well said/written as usual. However, I'll point out in his immigration segment something that's about Liberty vs. Socialism more than anything immigration* related. Here's an excerpt of the words in question:
Another excuse being circulated around Washington is that, to quote Tucker Carlson, who retailed it on his show the other night, quote:
Officials from the Department of Labor and the Council of Economic Advisors [argued that] the unemployment benefits in the coronavirus stimulus bill were so generous that American citizens would refuse to go back to work because it was easier to just get a government check. And so we have to bring in more foreigners.
End quote.

That's kind of a supercharged version of the notion peeping out from between the lines of articles by immigration fanatics like Bret Stephens and Max Boot: that working-class Americans are dull-witted loafers lacking any spirit of enterprise, no use for anything except drawing a dole, so that the country would be a better place if we just got rid of these useless mouths somehow and replaced them with immigrants.

I don't say there are no such useless, workshy Americans. From my own experience of the nation's labor force, though, which spans a range from dishwashing to investment banking, I don't believe there are many. Most of us want to work.
Nah, Mr. Derbyshire doesn't get it. It's not about laziness. This ADDITIONAL unemployment money of $600/week, that, with even a measly $250 normal amount, adds to over $3500 monthly**, is a serious amount of income for a majority of Americans. Why WOULD you take a $10/hr, or even $20/hr job (not that easy to come by), if you can make more by staying home. There's absolutely no incentive to go to work.

"Sure", you say, "but, it's temporary." Well, who's the poor bastard that's gonna break the news of the end of this deal? Is it going to be a cold turkey withdrawal for Americans on this plan? As blogger "Audacious Epigone" predicts too***, this big unemployment money is likely the Socialists big boot in the door for the Universal Basic Iincome.

This doesn't change Mr. Derbyshire's point that President Trump's exempting of most H-1B visa holders (Indentured Servants) and others, at a time with dozens of millions of Americans unemployed, is egregious and stupid. Well, I may as well excerpt another snippet about that, giving John Derbyshire his due:
To put it less gently: This executive order is just another blast of hot air from our windbag President, accomplishing nothing—actually, on those suspended admissions now to be restarted, less than nothing.
Indeed, as the Instapundit says.

* Please read that segment for some more information on the tease that was President Trump's immigration "moratorium" tweet, likely adding to what Michelle Malkin wrote here.

** I can't believe I haven't written the post on this that I had meant to yet. Coming soon ...

*** See Conceived in Corona, UBI Baby Is on the Way.

Saturday - May 2nd 2020 5:52AM MST
PS: Thanks, Rex. I've been to and read most of John Derbyshire's site. I'm not sure if he has his transcripts up earlier on his own site (may be the case), but I'm in no hurry - it's commentary on breaking news, but not the news itself.

You should read a few of his stories, if you haven't already, particularly the one about he and his wife in China and some incident about his jumping o the car hood like William Shatner.
Friday - May 1st 2020 8:23PM MST
PS Blackadder. One of the best ever. Rowan Atkinson. Stephen Fry. Hugh Laurie. Miranda Richardson. All marvelous.
Rex Little
Friday - May 1st 2020 9:58AM MST
PS Transcripts of Derb's podcasts are also archived here:

Derb mentions his family background from time to time in his writings, and I'm pretty sure it was working class, not "the posh side of the divide." I don't have time to search for confirmation on this, so if someone can show me I'm wrong, please do so.
Friday - May 1st 2020 6:59AM MST
PS. Blackadder is quite funny IMHO, series 1 less so than 2-4. Great ensemble comedy. The specials are worth your time too, “Blackadder’s Christmas Carol” and “Blackadder Back and Forth”.
Friday - May 1st 2020 6:38AM MST
PS: Thanks, Mr. Ganderson. I have never seen that "Blackadder" show. Somehow the guys don't seem as funny to me as the Monty Python guys, but I don't know why.

Of course I don't mind cross-posting. I just had gotten started on the iSteve thread on that idiotic "Atlantic" article and had to go, so I didn't get you your comment till I checked iSteve just now.
Friday - May 1st 2020 6:22AM MST
PS Mr. Moderator if you don’t mind me cross-posting from iSteve, the President’s new really really strict no shit this time it’s for real new immigration policy reminds me of General Melchett’s list of personnel cleared to know about “Mission Gainsborough”:

Melchett: Now, I’ve compiled a list of those with security clearance, have you got it Darling?
Darling: Yes sir.
Melchett: Read it please.
Darling: It’s top security sir, I think that’s all the Captain needs to know.
Melchett: Nonsense! Let’s hear the list in full!
Darling: Very well sir. “List of personnel cleared for mission Gainsborough, as dictated by General C. H. Melchett: You and me, Darling, obviously. Field Marshal Haig, Field Marshal Haig’s wife, all Field Marshal Haig’s wife’s friends, their families, their families’ servants, their families’ servants’ tennis partners, and some chap I bumped into the mess the other day called Bernard.”
Melchett: So, it’s maximum security, is that clear?
Blackadder: Quite so sir, only myself and the rest of the English-speaking world is to know.
Thursday - April 30th 2020 1:57PM MST
PS: I agree with you about the English classes and that, Mr. Blanc. However, in this excerpt, Mr. D. gives the American working-class the benefit of the doubt. I would agree with him that most men would rather work. However, when it's $3,500/mo. to stay home vs. $2,500/mo. to work one's ass off, BEFORE TAXES*, who in his right mind would take the latter option?

On the Oriental immigrants, agreed on the ladies. As much as we f___d up with awarding citizenship to way too many people (especially the BS with the anchor babies), I say a deal is a deal. However, green cards and visas have been given out like candy, and they can be revoked at any time. You know the Chinse government would do that whenever they wanted to.

Maybe there could be revocation regarding the anchor babies. Just a few of them, and that would put the kibosh on the whole idea of it.

* I don't know if taxes are taken out of unemployment benefits - round and round we go, where it ends ...
Thursday - April 30th 2020 10:07AM MST
PS I’m quite a fan of Derb, but he does have his blind spots. He comes from a highly class-stratified place, England. He’s on the posh side of the divide and doubtless views real working-class Americans much as he views English yobbos, i.e., down his nose. And while I share his, um, interest, in East Asian ladies, I don’t advocate bringing any more of them here. In fact, I advocate sending all of them whose ancestors weren’t here before 1924 back to Asia.
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