There is a meme going around depicting Monopoly, the classic Parker Brother’s game from the 1930s, if the board was designed in a manner to suit Kamala Harris.  I found it funny, but I also thought it was missing a couple spaces for taxes and began thought experiments on some of the other candidates and how Monopoly would look for them.  Warren for example would be nothing but spaces for Income Tax and Luxury Tax. Sanders would alternate between tax spaces, communal housing, players wouldn’t be able to purchase any of the properties, nor would they be able to land on Boardwalk and Park place as they are both Dachas, nobody gets to be the racecar, and of course Sanders himself is the banker and only pays in black bread.  Wiliamson would be a bunch of pot dispensaries, yoga studios, hipster eateries, the railroads are electric and the pieces are all different colored crystals.  Booker has the distinction of simultaneously having or not having a version of Monopoly with his name as being racist.

The racecar token is not an option in any of these versions…

Then I got to Yang…more tax spaces and you get $1000 when you pass go?

This is my review of Santa Fe Brewing Co. Chicken Killer Barleywine.

Yang’s campaign is focused on the idea of a “freedom dividend” that in a sense sounds like a UBI of $1000 per person over 18 per month.  That’s the about all anybody focuses on in the media, so I decided to look up the proposal itself and it is straightforward enough.

This is independent of one’s work status or any other factor. This would enable all Americans to pay their bills, educate themselves, start businesses, be more creative, stay healthy, relocate for work, spend time with their children, take care of loved ones, and have a real stake in the future.

Other than regular increases to keep up the cost of living, any change to the Freedom Dividend would require a constitutional amendment.

It will be illegal to lend or borrow against one’s Dividend.

A Universal Basic Income at this level would permanently grow the economy by 12.56 to 13.10 percent—or about $2.5 trillion by 2025—and it would increase the labor force by 4.5 to 4.7 million people.  Putting money into people’s hands and keeping it there would be a perpetual boost and support to job growth and the economy.

Yang’s FAQ page states his plan does not take the place of other social programs like Veteran’s benefits or Social Security since both are either paid into or earned.  This is in contrast with Milton Friedman’s Negative Income Tax; while often portrayed as a UBI scheme it is better described as way Friedman balanced his Chicago School philosophy, Minarchism, and everyone else’s desire for welfare programs.  Not paying income taxes is a way to give low wage earners extra money without the disincentive to work.  The same FAQ page quotes Friedman out of context as a way to convince the voter UBI is not a new idea.  He even quotes Thomas Payne.

Welcome to Alaska…here’s $1000

Yang also goes on to compare this scheme to the dividend from the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) given to residents of Alaska as an example of how this might work on the national level.  The APF however functions much differently and is not funded through a tax, it is a state owned wealth fund and the dividend paid is based on the overall performance of the investments in that fund.  The amount paid therefore varies, and it is also subject to strict definitions of “resident”.

There is also the part where there are what, 100 people living in Alaska?

“Foolish Irishman, stop this at once! I’m white! Can’t you see I’m white?”

Interestingly enough, there are not many recent arguments out there discussing the merits or demerits of the idea, other than this article from FEE that is mostly making the argument that once a government program starts it never dies and gets bigger.  While true, I was hoping for something a little more in depth and  FEE to their credit does deliver in an older article.  I expect this to change as the primary election rolls along since unlike nearly all of that field, Yang is actually likeable.

As far as a barleywine goes this one is a bit unusual since you can almost serve it ice cold and chug it.  Not recommended for a barleywine since it should be served at the almost universal optimum temperature (50F) for beer and there it starts to feel more like what one expects from this style.  Its deep red and a bit of a sweet aftertaste but overall, a nice complex brew but I’ve had better.  Santa Fe Brewing Co. Chicken Killer Barleywine 3.5/5.