Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Elon Musk

A Class Analysis of the Twitter Crisis

In recent weeks, there have been extensive conflicts between Twitter workers and Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk. One user made an attempt to analyze the conflict in class terms, framing it as a clash between “entrepreneurial capital” and the “professional-managerial class”:

I think this badly misreads the situation. The professionals who work at Twitter are wage-earners who don’t even have a labor union. They don’t dominate anything. But it also made me think–why isn’t there a better class-based reading of the conflict? Let’s give it a go.

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Have the UBI People Turned to the Dark Side?

Yesterday, I wrote a post highlighting the regressive effects of Andrew Yang’s UBI proposal, especially its impact on our poorest and most vulnerable. Yang promises to pay for his UBI (of just $1,000 per month–far lower than the living wage) with a combination of spending cuts and a regressive VAT, or national sales tax. Yang writes openly of fooling poor people into exchanging lucrative benefits with spending-restrictions for smaller lump sums:

Andrew proposes funding UBI by consolidating some welfare programs and implementing a Value-Added Tax (VAT) of 10%. Current welfare and social program beneficiaries would be given a choice between their current benefits or $1,000 cash unconditionally – most would prefer cash with no restriction.

The post has been picked up by parts of the basic income community and has been circulated in Yang subreddits. But to my horror, many people in these circles seem to be untroubled by these features. This leaves me deeply concerned about whether rank and file Yang supporters care about poor people on any level.

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