A universal basic income for transgender and 'non-binary' people? Palm Springs steps right up
One-party blue California is an amazing repository for bad ideas that have failed elsewhere, and nowhere is that more obvious than in Palm Springs.
The ritzy desert city has shucked out $200,000 to two activist groups to come up with a pilot plan for a "universal basic income" solely for the city's transgender and "non-binary" individuals, with a plan to apply for the cash for it from the state.
According to NPR, which has an impressively surreal report about it:
The city council unanimously approved allocating $200,000 for DAP Health and Queer Works in late March. But this was just the first step to develop the program, which would provide a regular no-strings-attached stipend.
The two organizations are now in the works to design the pilot program. They aim to apply for a piece of $35 million in state funding — set aside for universal basic income programs — sometime later this year.
Where do we start?
Well, the first problematic thing about this is that the plan seeks to selectively dole out taxpayer cash to favored special interest groups which aren't particularly poor.
Transgender individuals, according to the report, have a higher rate of poverty than the rest of the population:
According to a study by UCLA's Williams Institute, "LGBT people collectively have a poverty rate of 21.6%, which is much higher than the rate for cisgender straight people of 15.7%." Among LGBT individuals, transgender people have an especially high poverty rate of 29.4%.
There's nothing in there about the black poverty rate in Palm Springs, or, more significantly, the Hispanic poverty rate. Hispanics, according to the U.S. Census, form 25% of the population of that city, and it's well known that the city has a significant illegal alien population. With the border surge and lots of rich people looking to employ illegal alien gardeners in the desert paradise, you can bet that the Hispanic poverty rate is going to be a lot higher in Palm Springs than the transgender poverty rate.
What the report also doesn't state is that these figures are averages, and some are more impoverished than others — with much of the transgender poverty stemming from drug abuse and destructive choices in behavior, which keep some from holding down productive jobs. NPR quotes an activist who gushes about how the universal basic income plan being developed, unlike basic welfare programs already available to anyone who qualifies, is expected to hand out up to $900 a month with no strings attached.
"Having that unrestricted cash flow is really important, not only for trans and nonbinary individuals, but for everyone," Rostovsky told NPR.
Social service programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program limit what individuals and families can buy with those benefits.
With unrestricted funds, anyone can repair their car or address health problems as they see fit, he says. Having that freedom of cash is especially important for trans individuals, who have unique needs, Rostovsky says.
"When you look at the trans community, we have to decide if we eat, have safe housing or receive medical treatment, or, for us, gender-affirming care," he says. With funds from a universal basic income program, "you don't have to think about choosing anymore. You can have the freedom to address all of your needs."
And if those "needs" include illegal drugs, well, bonanza time for the Mexican drug cartels, who already have a huge presence in the California desert extending from Palm Springs all the way down to San Diego's backcountry, which leads to the Mexican border itself. Chapo Guzmán's wife had her twins in Lancaster in 2011, just to the north. What could go wrong?
That's not the only potential problem here. The second problem is how to determine who is transgender and who is non-binary? With characters like "Lia" Thomas flashing around their un-mutilated private parts in the women's locker room at the University of Pennsylvania, and claiming to date women, it's pretty much whoever wants to claim the title, isn't it? Non-binary is an even murkier category, and there are people who switch this designation from year to year. Obviously, officials are not going to check on this, so it leaves open the possibility of anyone who wants to claim to be transgender to claim the "free" income. Worse still, with studies showing that transgenderism has spiked among certain classes of teenagers based on computer bulletin boards and group-suggestibility dynamics, the whole thing amounts to another incentive toward transgenderism. Let's not even get into the unresolved and massive claims of state fraud in various income transfers in the wake of the COVID handout era — with losses of billions. Fraud, anyone? This is all about fraud.
There are other problems, too.
A big one is the idea itself. Because even if the universal basic income offering were to include every person in Palm Springs with no check for "gender" status, it's worth noting that the idea has already been tried, and failed miserably, in Europe.
Here are a couple of the problems from the postmortem on Finland's embrace of the leftist idea:
The "happiness" claim is questionable, given that people who have been warehoused up by the state as wards tend to live a life of purposelessness. Obviously, if all one wants to do is pursue sexual fulfillment, a steady cash stream as an idle princeling heir to the state free to live a dissolute life might bring some sort of happiness, but how does one explain the addiction to drugs and other "self-medication" so rampant in the transgender community?
It all suggests a lot of trouble on the horizon for Palm Springs if the plan goes through and Sacramento decides to release the millions it would take to implement it.
There are signs it won't, though — the city's transgender mayor, "Lisa" Middleton, who signed off on the city council's decision, signaled strong reservations against it, stating that the city had been inundated by hate calls and rage from presumable residents and made loud noises to her constituents to say it hadn't gone through and the cash doled out went only to activist groups for an application to state funds.
Why did Middleton sign off on it, then? Most likely, since Middleton himself claims to be a woman, it was cash flung to activist groups he was in hock to, or perhaps being threatened by. Two hundred thousand dollars is an awful lot of cash for a mere "study" and application for funds. One of the activists who must have been feeling the heat and fending off charges of cronyism made this ridiculous claim in the wake of the blowback — emphasis mine:
During the March 24 council meeting, the leaders from DAP Health and Queer Works said that while the $200,000 would be enough to fund the process of designing the pilot and submitting the application, they would likely need about $900,000 more in funding from the city to operate the program. However, several councilmembers, including Middleton, said they were unwilling to commit to providing that additional funding.
At that point, Queer Works CEO Jacob Rostovsky said the money would not be wasted even if the project could ultimately move forward. [I suspect that's an editing error, with the word 'not' accidentally omitted]
"This model and this program could be used for something DAP wants to do or something Queer Works wants to do," he said. "It's not wasted time or wasted money, something will come out of this proposal if for some reason we don't move forward with guaranteed basic income."
That smells like crony politics, all right, a means of funneling cash to NGOs and activists in the interest of maintaining their support. That's Chicago way politics. That's now blue-city and state politics. The real story here might be not how vulnerable transgender people are to poverty, but how vulnerable they are to being bullied by activist crazies anxious to get their snoots into the public trough.
Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.