Microsoft tackles employment…

Microsoft tackles employment…

The linked article is a great start and needs to be expanded at a rapidly growing pace, but here is where I differ with the outcome. The effort is a noble one as older industry jobs are subject to reduction and automation, my take is that even with this and other efforts, there will still not be enough work to go around, and then what? Some people are more special than others? more worthy of successful lives? part of the politically correct club or outfit? I could go on and on; my counterargument is the dollars that are spent this way can be better served by taking the same set of workers and provide them with a Universal Basic Income as a floor. An excellent primer for this concept and the freedom it can provide is found here.

The highlighted image/screengrab I created below does lay out a good quote for the project, even if it is “corporate speak”.



Brad Smith of Microsoft (Arif Bacchus, 2017)

Having said that, there are not enough companies that are willing to go this far to help retrain displaced workers and do it without the prodding of governments or to fulfill political objectives from one tribe or another. I must disclose that I am a HUGE fan of Microsoft and their products, but I would also welcome this from Amazon, Google, Facebook, heck even Apple.



via The Markle Foundation will team with Microsoft to expand skillful employment | On MSFT

Arif Bacchus. (2017, June 28). The Markle Foundation will team with Microsoft to expand skillful employment [WordPress 4.8]. Retrieved June 29, 2017, from

Basic Income and Choices

Most recent Duke Energy payment

Notice the key to the image on the left, this account has a remaining balance. I, like so many others, have to make this kind of choice every month; do I have groceries, OTC medicines, and dog basics, or do I keep the lights on? With Universal Basic Income, this would not be a choice, as there would be enough money to keep the lights on, and have an cash payout that would replace SNAP and not penalize a North Carolina resident for being, well poor, unlike what happens now. This is not unique to NC, of course, but with political aspirations of being the “new Alabama”, this is what sanity is up against.

Since I can not get an answer from the state level, maybe someone that reads this can explain this to me.

How does a person, who borrows money for graduate school and thus have “no income” gets the full SNAP benefit while in school (less BS deductions done at NC level because they could) but becomes disabled and has “income” that is about 1/3 less has to beg for a few crumbs in SNAP?

I have had at least 5 conversation attempts from my end about this discrepancy and drama just this year, and none of them have even come close to resolving this. If I/we had Basic Income, none of this would have mattered as SNAP and the people that administer it would have to do something else for a living and not exist only to provide drama, but could actually do something worthwhile with their social service “skills”. Consider me naive, but isn’t the point of digital government services is effective and efficient communication to the constituency?

Mecklenburg DSS response

This is the official policy of at least NC, and possibly the whole US that receiving SSA Disability is different money than Student Loan/Stipend money. I guess the Student Loan lobby is much more powerful because I thought dollars were dollars and didn’t distinguish between entities since it all spends the same. Elections have consequences, and the lack of voting allows representatives to condone this type of policy. Basic Income is paid to everyone independent of Disability, Social Security, retirement, employment, or even dividends. Basic Income does not place value judgments on cash, it just straightforward.

As this post was being edited and put to virtual paper while thoughts emanating from my head, I did hear back from NCDHHS in my county, while not answering the question above, did state that being a student had no effect on SNAP benefits while being Disabled.

The non-food portion of the EBT/SNAP side is a Federal-State program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Since states administer it, the name and benefits vary based on locale. In North Carolina, where I live, it’s called Work First. The goal, at least to TPTB here is to encourage work for families so the “temporary” part of the program is emphasized.

Highlighted search field {without children} is key

Leave it to the US Government to define a family as having children. This is not to diminish the importance of child raising, but to those of us that do not have any, we are left out. So much for American choice!

A Basic Income replaces these programs with cash upon which there are no restrictions on how it is spent. With this also comes responsibility, in case a person does not spend the money to live on, finds themselves homeless or worse, and then expects the Government to bail them out. This is not to penalize a person who plays by the rules and S__t/Life happens, but to discourage reckless behavior.

…and with Universal Basic Income, it may not be in most months.