Monthly Archives: October 2015

Fare Well with Wealth-fare

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What if there were a simple way to reduce poverty in America? In this scenario, the government would give everyone money, so that no one would be poor. Outside of proving your U.S. citizenship, there would be no screening mechanism or ‘need’ test required. Everyone would be provided with the same monthly amount, even if they were middle class or wealthy.

This is the essence of a new policy model being proposed which is called Universal Minimum Income or Guaranteed Basic Income where, in lieu of myriad government assistance programs, there would be just one program dispensing a monthly or annual payment to all citizens, irrespective of income level, background, social status or other factors. While this idea seems nutty at first, given the federal budget deficit, it does offer some interesting arguments when you consider its full implications.

Personally, I have never been a fan of government handouts. But this one caught my curiosity because of its egalitarian approach. Besides, who wouldn’t want a little (or a lot) more money in their pocket each month for basic necessities like rent, food, gas and booze. I added booze in there because life in a society of equals would be truly boring.

Of course, the use of a handout for alcohol consumption would pique the wrath of those who believe that poverty is largely the result of an irresponsible lifestyle. As one of my Twitter trolls commented, responding to my recent tweet on guaranteed basic income:

“So there’s no reason to improve yourself? You have nothing to worry about? That has never worked. It didn’t work for the French. It didn’t work for the USSR. It won’t work now. I’d rather be free and poor than a slave to a State that meets my needs. Any liberal/progressive program will ALWAYS have the opposite outcome of it’s stated goal.”

What’s the Rationale for Guaranteed Basic Income?

At the risk of being branded a Bernie Sanders socialist, for kicks let’s explore the arguments in favor of Guaranteed Basic Income. For starters, today’s jobs economy is not what it used to be. Many workers are powering through 50+ hour work weeks, despite the fact that it’s still not providing them with enough money on which to live. Some might attribute this to greed on the part of employers; others might believe that it’s directly related to the decline of unionization. Nevertheless, a fact is a fact: for many, employment no longer provides a sustainable income because the wages of most American workers have stagnated or declined since the 1970’s. Moreover, about a quarter of all workers rely on some form of public assistance to supplement what they earn. Ultimately, advocates of the Guaranteed Basic Income proposition claim that it offers all Americans the opportunity to create a foundational base for living akin to the bottom level requirements of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. “

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Amazon at its Prime

amazonTwo years ago, Amazon announced an ambitious plan that quickly went viral: a new delivery service called Prime Air that would make same-day drone deliveries to participating Amazon customers. The service was not expected to come out for a couple years at the very least. As of now, it is still just an idea that might possibly never become a reality. But what is becoming a reality right now is a new Uber-like service for Amazon deliveries.

Not a company to fall behind on great new innovations for long, Amazon is planning to integrate crowd-sourced drivers into its Prime Now delivery service. The plan is that

Anthem Blanchard Opens for Gary Johnson at Liberty Fest Oct 9-11th

liberty_fest_anthem_garyjohnsonHave you heard of the liberty-loving event that is taking place next weekend in Brooklyn, NY? For six years now, some of the top thinkers and activists have been meeting in New York City to discuss informally the latest government rulings that are oppressing citizens and to seek the best way to combat – or exit entirely – the government-centric life.

I had the pleasure of attending Liberty Fest a couple of years ago when I was promoting the film Silver Circle. I can attest that this event is set apart from most due to the accessibility to headline speakers, the parties and also the chance to network without too much pressure. This is a great place to learn about what’s happening with top activists, how you can get involved, and it is also a great place to meet new friends.

This year’s event is taking place at Warsaw Concert Hall in Brooklyn, NY. The venue is close to both major airports, and it boasts a healthy range of affordable hotels as well as some great boutique options, plusAirbnb.com for those who support the sharing economy. It takes place from Oct. 10-11th. Be sure to especiallymark down the evening of October 10th as a must-see event. Anthem Hayek Blanchard, CEO of Anthem Vault and a recognized global expert on precious metals, will be the opening speaker for Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson!

Tickets are only $30 for the entire weekend, with some a la carte options that include VIP dinners and seating.

Anthem Vault will be offering FREE silver all weekend to lucky raffle winners. It’s free to get involved with the raffle, so visit the booth and sign up as soon as you get there!

The Geography of Personal and Economic Freedom

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My friends will tell you that I’m prone to frequent bouts of uncertainty in terms of where I want to live. One minute it’s Portland, OR; the next it’s Portsmouth, NH. Well today, its Chicago, IL. This I blame on a phone conversation with my pal John earlier in the week which rekindled my desire to return to the Windy City.

But I also have a rational side, one that pontificates on the unappealing side of a particular state or city. By way of an example, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo are all locales that get me jazzed; that is, until I consider issues such as cost of living, high taxes and onerous regulations that keep one feeling trapped and hamstrung. Then there’s Chicago and the whole State of Illinois which are both mired in a debt crisis of epic proportions. Things are so fiscally serious in the Land of Lincoln that IOUs are now being issued to many of the state’s lottery winners.

Another factor that I take very seriously is the fact that I’m a black male. So the vast majority of cities in the south are out, along with small midwestern towns with a ‘ville’ at the end of their name. And yes, I do look at racial profiling and stop-and-frisk statistics in places like New York that make moving there unconscionable.

The Economic Freedom Factor

At some level, I believe all of us value our freedoms and liberties. That’s certainly been the case for me which is why I’ve engaged in a great deal of due diligence in terms of finding a home. My current locale of Denver has perhaps been the most accepting place in which I have ever lived