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Old 23rd November 2019, 04:21 PM   #81
psionl0
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I thought I saw posts in this thread talking about some people getting the money who don't actually need it.
And you didn't see the posts that explain where the money for a UBI comes from?
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Old 23rd November 2019, 04:29 PM   #82
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Forget it. Apparently the answer to my question is no. Prices of consumer goods and services will not go up. I can only assume that the answer is no because I'm not getting an answer to the question.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 04:30 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I thought I saw posts in this thread talking about some people getting the money who don't actually need it.

Everybody gets it, however tax bands and indeed the entire tax system are overhauled and redesigned so that people who are already comfortably off do not actually end up with more money. In fact, since people who are not well off do end up with more money, then some redistribution has to take place and people on the high side of comfortable are going to end up with a bit less.

This isnt' funded by a magic money tree. It's the foundation of an entirely re-thought tax and benefit system. If the tax take isn't sufficient to fund it, it's a failure.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 04:45 PM   #84
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Is my question answerable at all?
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Old 23rd November 2019, 04:54 PM   #85
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Your basic premise is wrong, that's why you are not getting an answer.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 05:57 PM   #86
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There are some studies that indicate in tests of UBI that many people use the money to buy down their debts and otherwise stabilize their financial situation. Profligate and wasteful spending was rare. But I believe more rigorous studies are required. In any case I believe that the core idea behind UBI requires that the recipients be respected as any other human being and no restrictions on their spending be imposed. Most poor people are no different from us, except they have less money...
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Old 23rd November 2019, 06:26 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Is my question answerable at all?

My off-the-cuff take would be, No. That is, no inflation. Because the money supply stays unchanged, because all this is is redistribution, therefore there's no cause for inflation.

On the other hand, while overall money supply will not change, some/many individuals will indeed have more to spend on food, on clothes, on rent, on everyday things. Conceivably that might trigger a price increase -- or not, there's arguments on both sides there. If at all prices do go up in specific sectors, that can be seen as profiteering rather than regular inflation, and might be remedied through intervention by regulatory authorities. Systems can be set in place to smoothen these wrinkles.

Of course, all of this is theorizing. Rigor-free theorizing at that. We probably need empirical data to weigh in conclusively on either side. But yeah, chances are, No, at least IMO.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 06:33 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Forget it. Apparently the answer to my question is no. Prices of consumer goods and services will not go up. I can only assume that the answer is no because I'm not getting an answer to the question.
What are you going on about? Your question was absolutely answered (and Rolfe did a good job too).

It sucks that you don't have a "gotcha" moment after all but don't blame those who patiently dealt with your objections.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 06:43 PM   #89
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I can't see how people who are very much at the poor end of society and still not well-off even under UBI can trigger price inflation. These are people who are still motivated to spend thriftily and get good value. And these are the only people who are going to have significant extra money under a UBI system.

William's basic premise was that everyone has $1000 a month that they didn't have before. That isn't going to happen. Nobody is going to have $1000 a month that they didn't have before except people who had $0 a month (or little more than that) before it started. The point is that everyone will have at least $1000 a month, but people who had $5000 a month previously aren't going to have more than $5000 a month once the whole systen has balanced out with the tax changes.

Even at the moment the fact that there are plenty people around with $5000 a month doesn't cause price inflation. The only way this would conceivably lead to price inflation would be if a large number of people were suddenly so well-off that they no longer had to shop thriftily. That won't happen, as the UBI will be set at a level that doesn't allow people to go out and splurge. It's intended to allow a dignified standard of living (small warm basic dwelling and enough simple food) when budgeted with reasonable care, not to allow people to run around as if money is no longer an object.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 07:38 PM   #90
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Remember giving money to wealthy people (by tax cuts) is not inflationary; it stimulates the economy. Giving money to the poor is inflationary. Or so the wealthy have told me...
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Old 23rd November 2019, 07:48 PM   #91
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As you of course know, the wealthy are lying to you. Giving money to poor people stimulates the economy, because they go out and spend it. They buy stuff, often from other relatively poor people, who then have more money to spend in their turn. And this spreads out like a ripple effect and the money stays in circulation.

Giving money to rich people only results in it being squirrelled away in an investment bank or a pension fund somewhere.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 08:02 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
What are you going on about? Your question was absolutely answered (and Rolfe did a good job too).

It sucks that you don't have a "gotcha" moment after all but don't blame those who patiently dealt with your objections.
Gotcha moment? I think the UBI is a good idea. Is that my gotcha moment?
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Old 23rd November 2019, 08:05 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I can't see how people who are very much at the poor end of society and still not well-off even under UBI can trigger price inflation. These are people who are still motivated to spend thriftily and get good value. And these are the only people who are going to have significant extra money under a UBI system.
There could actually be some price rises at the lowest end of the market since many who had to rely on dumpsters and soup kitchens to survive will actually have money to buy some basics.

Of course, capitalism being what it is, some entrepreneur may well see this as a market to invest in and the increasing productivity in these items would limit and maybe even counter any price rises.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 08:08 PM   #94
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I don't really see it happening. The people who were relying on dumpsters and soup kitchens and now have just enough to live on if they budget carefully aren't going to be responsible for price inflation of budget groceries.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 08:10 PM   #95
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To be clear, I don't know if this would work or not. A lot would depend on tweaking the exact amount of the UBI and the associated tax codes to get the balance right, and that won't be easy because we won't have the data to make accurate predictions about how people will behave overall in a wholly novel situation.

I don't see how a meaningful experiment can be carried out unless you happen to be the benevolent dictator of a small country either. But I don't see any obvious a priori reason why it couldn't work.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 08:34 PM   #96
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Would drug testing be required to receive the UBI?
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Old 23rd November 2019, 08:43 PM   #97
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What? No of course not. Why would you even imagine such a thing? I mean, drug test everybody? Every month? Are you nuts?
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Old 23rd November 2019, 09:12 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The problem is that having bureaucrats decide what the poor should be spending money on is wasteful, degrading and prone to corruption.

The wasteful part comes in two ways: Not only is it expensive to set up the bureaucracy but there is no incentive for an individual to negotiate low cost accommodation if they don't get to keep the difference between that and what the bureaucrats decide is appropriate accommodation.
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Most people seem to baulk at a "livable" UBI. To implement something like this immediately would be too traumatic - even if it were affordable.

That doesn't mean that we should go for nothing instead. Eliminate tax free thresholds and reduce existing welfare payments by the UBI and we could have a UBI that doesn't cost anything. It may be well short of a "livable" payment but it would still be better than consigning large numbers of people to dumpsters for a living.

These points are both very good. The Alaska Permanent Fund is a UBI for every Alaskan resident. Citizens get somewhere between $1000 and $2000 a year. Certainly not enough to live off of but it has many benefits just the same.
http://www.pfdak.com/know-your-fund-...enders-alaska/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Permanent_Fund
I don't think a UBI should necessarily be enough to live off of. People should still seek out employment. It empowers the people and should be a message that resonates with the more "free market" types that think things work best bottom-up rather than the top-down from a wise and benevolent bureaucracy of central planners.
I think a UBI could do a great deal to lessen homelessness and other problems that are actually quite expensive (whether or not we decide to explicitly spend money on those problems or not). Homelessness costs us in police expenses, our healthcare system, our insurance costs, and so on and so on.
Clearly, we'll still have crime and drug addiction but a UBI could be more cost-effective than other various nanny state propositions. It would also be a "trickle up" economy and increase consumer spending and if the source of UBI was a VAT tax on consumer goods, part of the UBI would feed right back into itself.
I think a UBI or a negative income tax could do a great deal of good. It is an idea that we should take as a serious proposition.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 09:17 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
What? No of course not. Why would you even imagine such a thing? I mean, drug test everybody? Every month? Are you nuts?
I am going to forge onwards ignoring your insulting demeanor.

There are poor people with drug addictions who rob and steal in order to pay for the drugs. A UBI might allow them to keep the addiction without the need to commit crimes to pay for it.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 09:21 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
To be clear, I don't know if this would work or not. A lot would depend on tweaking the exact amount of the UBI and the associated tax codes to get the balance right, and that won't be easy because we won't have the data to make accurate predictions about how people will behave overall in a wholly novel situation.
I think you are giving too much consideration of the tax codes.

The level of UBI would almost certainly be less than what the higher wage earners gain from tax free thresholds (if we are making it revenue neutral). As for the working poor, removing the tax free threshold would mean that they pay some tax but less than what the UBI level would be. So for them, the UBI would be a top up which is exactly what we want.

So massive changes to the tax scales are not called for.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 09:25 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
There are poor people with drug addictions who rob and steal in order to pay for the drugs. A UBI might allow them to keep the addiction without the need to commit crimes to pay for it.
So what? Why should we allow the dregs of society dictate against what would otherwise be an excellent policy?
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Old 23rd November 2019, 09:32 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
So what? Why should we allow the dregs of society dictate against what would otherwise be an excellent policy?
I'm not even saying that the dregs could cause a problem with the UBI. I'm saying that the UBI might cause a reduction in crimes.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 10:15 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Gotcha moment? I think the UBI is a good idea. Is that my gotcha moment?
I missed this post. Your resistance to the notion that UBI would not be inflationary (because it is a redistribution of wealth) sort of lead us astray.

Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I'm not even saying that the dregs could cause a problem with the UBI. I'm saying that the UBI might cause a reduction in crimes.
In that case, I am glad to see that you are now on board.
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Old 24th November 2019, 12:26 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
What are most social problems, crime, and family arguments about?

Lack of Money.

I think a UBI would reduce many problems in society.

Domestic violence.
Homelessness.
Child neglect.
Sole parenting.
Non-Communicable Diseases.
Crime.



Distribute a larger proportion of wealth directly to the people, and I think it's likely (as do many proponents of UBI) that less funding would be needed on social services' bandaid solutions.
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Most people seem to baulk at a "livable" UBI. To implement something like this immediately would be too traumatic - even if it were affordable.

That doesn't mean that we should go for nothing instead. Eliminate tax free thresholds and reduce existing welfare payments by the UBI and we could have a UBI that doesn't cost anything. It may be well short of a "livable" payment but it would still be better than consigning large numbers of people to dumpsters for a living.
Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I'm not even saying that the dregs could cause a problem with the UBI. I'm saying that the UBI might cause a reduction in crimes.
psionl0, William Parcher, you're starting to grasp some of what I said.
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Old 24th November 2019, 01:02 AM   #105
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Domestic violence.

Domestic partners need to fight over what food (or alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets for that matter) they can afford to buy. We all have food likes and dislikes.

Yet governments and taxpayers throw all sorts of funding towards paying people to "help" deal with the violence AFTER IT'S HAPPENED.


Homelessness.
See Detroit's Tiny House project for how giving houses at very low interest rates, and the Finnish project, gives people the footing to create meaning in their lives.

Child neglect.
Sole parenting.



e.g. Australia - unemployment benefits are less per person if in a couple.
That's ******.

Then the politicians wonder why so many families break up. Do they even realise that's in the rules?

(As well as the money arguments in relationships.)

And they wonder why mothers struggle to work to feed children but haven't got enough to pay child for childcare.

Non-Communicable Diseases.

12 donuts are $3.
A bag of fresh spinach is $3.

You can't work all day with 40 calories of spinach in your stomach.
You can work all day with 12 donuts (8400 calories) almost keeping your stomach from feeling empty but you'll probably gain weight.

Then there's depression, a debilitating co-partner to low wages and poor quality of life.


Crime.

Needn't really say how crime is about wanting more money.
Not even serious crime, or drug crime, though relevant.
I knew people who shoplifted because they had no money.

===

Giving people adequate to cover basic needs removes the burden of care of wasteful systems that perpetuate the problems, not solve them.

It's a Basic Income because it covers basic needs. It's not a bloody luxury.
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Old 24th November 2019, 03:22 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I am going to forge onwards ignoring your insulting demeanor.

There are poor people with drug addictions who rob and steal in order to pay for the drugs. A UBI might allow them to keep the addiction without the need to commit crimes to pay for it.

Maybe you should think through what you're saying then.

A UBI is universal. Everybody gets it. No conditions, no stigma, no shame. That's kind of the point. It's not targeted only to the "poor". There's no bureaucracy to pick and choose who gets it and who doesn't.

Who are you going to decide to test for drugs? Who are you going to single out of the whole population and say, you and only you don't get your income unless you pass a drugs test? Can't you see how impossible that is? What about the investment banker who does a line of cocaine at a party? What about the rave attender who takes ecstacy? Are you going to initiate a wideranging drug testing programme so that these people too can be deprived of part of their income as punishment?

The entire philosophy of the UBI is that the recipient chooses what to spend it on. If they choose to spend it on drugs then they won't have the money for food or fuel or rent of course, and that's going to be a problem for them and for society too. But I fail to see how cutting off their income is going to help.

In fact one of the things the UBI is likely to do is to reduce drug addiction quite a lot. People who have secure lives seldom become drug addicts, or certainly not heroin addicts. People turn to drugs because their lives are a mess and they need a way out. US servicemen returning from Vietman with fairly heavy heroin habits almost all gave up voluntarily without intervention because they were out of the hellish lives that had caused the addiction in the first place and back in a secure environment.

If people are secure in having enough to feed and clothe themselves, and have a home and warmth, the incidence of addiction is going to fall. But not, I suggest, if the state turns bully-boy and strips people of their income after failing a compulsory drug test!
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Old 24th November 2019, 03:27 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I think you are giving too much consideration of the tax codes.

The level of UBI would almost certainly be less than what the higher wage earners gain from tax free thresholds (if we are making it revenue neutral). As for the working poor, removing the tax free threshold would mean that they pay some tax but less than what the UBI level would be. So for them, the UBI would be a top up which is exactly what we want.

So massive changes to the tax scales are not called for.

That's interesting. I had thought they would need to be quite substantial. But I have never thought through the minutuae.

However, while revenue neutral the UBI is redistributive. People who had little or nothing are now gong to be substantially better off. So some people at the top end are going to be paying more in tax than they gain from getting the UBI, and more in tax than they were under the old system so that the money exists to pay the UBI to the poorer demographic.
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Old 24th November 2019, 04:09 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
As you of course know, the wealthy are lying to you. Giving money to poor people stimulates the economy, because they go out and spend it. They buy stuff, often from other relatively poor people, who then have more money to spend in their turn. And this spreads out like a ripple effect and the money stays in circulation.

Giving money to rich people only results in it being squirrelled away in an investment bank or a pension fund somewhere.
I spend so much time trying to explain this to my Tory & Brexit voting boss in my second job. We sell a luxury product, fine wines, and while he has a few very wealthy 'old money' clients who regularly spend thousands on wine the bulk of our business is just ordinary people who might treat themselves once or twice a year to a case of something a bit better than what they'll get in the supermarkets. I've been doing the job for about six years and in that time, I've seen my figures rise rapidly as I learned the job, then steadily decline (as have sales across the company) as peoples budgets have tightened, discretionary spending is obviously hit first and people swap out more expensive treats for cheaper ones. People who might have bought a case of wine as part of their day out instead buy a bottle of rhubarb gin from the stand next door, people who would have had the gin buy a half bottle instead and people who would have had the half bottle buy an overpriced chocolate brownie. Anyone that can't afford the brownie just fills up on the free samples.

My bosses response is to put up prices (because he can only see the profit/item not the relationship with sales) and complain that a rise in minimum wage would put him out of business despite the fact that he has no-one on salary, we're all self employed on commission only. The idea that people who can afford a few little luxuries might help his business passes over his head.

We seem to have become infected with our own distorted version of the 'Amercan Dream' where we too are temporarily embarrassed millionaires waiting for the right break, idea, Brexit, Lotto win or reality TV role that will see us assume our rightful position on top of the heap. In the meantime we'd better not push for anything that might rob us of some of that anticipated wealth, no matter how much it may help us now.
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Old 24th November 2019, 04:14 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
That's interesting. I had thought they would need to be quite substantial. But I have never thought through the minutuae.

However, while revenue neutral the UBI is redistributive. People who had little or nothing are now gong to be substantially better off. So some people at the top end are going to be paying more in tax than they gain from getting the UBI, and more in tax than they were under the old system so that the money exists to pay the UBI to the poorer demographic.
But the increase in economic activity means that although they'd pay more tax on the same earnings their earnings could rise to more than compensate, the economic pie isn't a fixed size it can grow or shrink. Stimulating the economy can be the rising tide that floats all boats. Add any more metaphors you'd like into the mix!
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Old 24th November 2019, 05:45 AM   #110
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I like your thinking. The arguments for helicopter money are similar.

I just hate the judgemental way some people talk about this. Nobody has to be deserving. Nobody has to behave in a certain way to be worthy of life. I visited the World Heritage Site at New Lanark the other day and it really was a great system in its time, with the employer not hell-bent on screwing the workers for every penny, but providing accommodation, schooling for the children, and an adult education centre. When he realised his workforce was being sold shoddy overpriced goods by the market traders that came to the factory site he set up an in-house shop which became the model for the Co-operative movement. When he set up the shop many people were in debt, but soon pretty much everyone had cleared their debts and most were able to save a bit. So he set up a savings bank. And it was very profitable, as the workers paid rent and paid for the goods in the shop, but they were getting a better deal than they'd have got elsewhere, so everyone was a winner.

But my God it was paternalistic. Even when it's benevolent, this attitude of the upper classes know best and must guide the lower classes by education or punishment to do what they think is the right thing. And I see the residue of that in a lot of modern thinking where the poor must demonstrate that they deserve whatever support they need - while nobody asks if the multi-millionaires deserve the latest round of tax cuts. It's a fact of life that some people will behave badly. But these are relatively few, in the absence of crippling economic hardship. The idea that it's more important to prevent a few freeloaders from freeloading than it is to benefit society as a whole is so 18th and 19th century and needs to stop.
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Old 24th November 2019, 05:50 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
The idea that people who can afford a few little luxuries might help his business passes over his head.

Unbelievably short-sighted. Didn't Henry Ford's original business model depend on making cars that his workers could afford to buy for themselves? So he had an incentive not just to keep the price reasonable but also to keep the wages at a decent level. He knew that if ordinary people weren't earning enough to buy his product the business model would fail.
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Old 24th November 2019, 06:10 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
I don't think a UBI should necessarily be enough to live off of. People should still seek out employment. It empowers the people and should be a message that resonates with the more "free market" types that think things work best bottom-up rather than the top-down from a wise and benevolent bureaucracy of central planners.

I would like to take issue with this. I do think that the principle of UBI, in the form it's intended to take, requires that the money be enough to live on. It's supposed to substitute for unemployment benefit and for the state retirement pension, so does away with the need for these benefits and all the bureacracy and means-testing that goes with them. If the amount is not enough to live on, simply, then that is negated and you have to go back to top-up benefits for people who are unemployed and for retired people.

It also negates the aim of allowing creative or entrepreneurial people to work on projects that will bear fruit down the line without having to hold down a job while they do it. A writer can write. An inventor can invent. Someone with a great business idea that will benefit the community but which needs time to build up to the point where it's self-sustaining can do that.

The point you bring up is that "people should still seek out employment", and of course this is essential. If everyone sits back on their UBI then there will soon be no money to pay anyone's UBI. They will also have nothing to buy with their UBI because nobody will be making anything to buy, or selling it.

The answer from UBI proponents is that most people do not want to sit around doing nothing on an income that only covers basic subsistence. Even leisure activities cost money. Unless you're one of these driven writers or inventors, what are you actually doing all day? Most people aspire to a better standard of living, and most people don't want to spend their days in idleness. Getting a job or running your own business will still be the norm.

Will it actually work out that way in practice? The limited trials such as the one in Finland suggest yes. People given enough to live on with no strings attached didn't sit at home doing nothing, they used the opportunity to "better themselves" in various different ways and ended up contributing more to society. But these were carefully-selected unemployed people and might not be representative of the effect of a truly universal system.

The Alaska thing sounds interesting, but as you say it's nowhere near enough to live on. It just helps a bit. I don't know how much a true UBI should be set at. I think the proponents envisage a sweet spot where it's enough to exist on if you're unemployed but not so much that you don't have any incentive to find another job, and enough to prevent retired people falling into poverty.

If I was the benevolent dictator of a small country I think I'd call in some heavy-duty economists and some blue-sky thinkers and thrash out a system and give it a go.
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Old 24th November 2019, 06:47 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
If I was the benevolent dictator of a small country I think I'd call in some heavy-duty economists and some blue-sky thinkers and thrash out a system and give it a go.
Viva El Rolfedanté!
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Old 24th November 2019, 07:58 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Who are you going to decide to test for drugs?
Nobody. You told me that there would be no drug test for UBI.

Quote:
Who are you going to single out of the whole population and say, you and only you don't get your income unless you pass a drugs test?
Nobody. You said that there would be no drug test.

Quote:
Can't you see how impossible that is?
That question is non sequitur because there will be no drug test for UBI.

You have an odd style of conversation.
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Old 24th November 2019, 08:03 AM   #115
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You have an odd way of asking loaded questions, then when the questions are unpacked to reveal their implicit assumptions, denying everything.

I could simply have written, "your question is ludicrous, because..." of course.
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Old 24th November 2019, 08:15 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
In that case, I am glad to see that you are now on board.
I was already on board with UBI. I said it was a good idea. It didn't suddenly become a good idea for me as a result of the conversation. The conversation informs me of the UBI but I already thought that it was a good idea.
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Old 24th November 2019, 08:20 AM   #117
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The UBI has no strings attached and there are no necessary conditions to receive it (if I understand correctly).

Would that mean that a jailed or imprisoned person also continues to receive UBI?

For anyone who answers: I beg you not to insult me, please.
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Old 24th November 2019, 08:28 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
The UBI has no strings attached and there are no necessary conditions to receive it (if I understand correctly).

Would that mean that a jailed or imprisoned person also continues to receive UBI?

For anyone who answers: I beg you not to insult me, please.
good question.
Since UBI is supposed to be sufficient to take care of your bare necessities, I would guess that a big chunk of it would have to be used to contribute to the cost of incarceration (but not all).
But I don't think there is a definite opinion on the subject by the proponents of UBI.
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Old 24th November 2019, 11:15 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Hercules56 View Post
I have great reservations about UBI.

Mind you, I totally support making sure every American has a roof over their head, food, healthcare and a good education.

However the idea of simply giving people an unconditional wad of cash every month, without any monitoring of their spending, just seems plain old reckless.

Would even 50% of folks misuse their funds and overspend and buy things they should not? I don't know.

I just prefer the idea of vouchers for food, rent, Medicaid and free public schools and college as well.

But free cash? No thanks.

Even I'm sure simply handing out monthly checks would be a less expensive program, I still prefer EBT cards, rent vouchers, etc. Gives me peace of mind that my tax dollars won't be wasted and helps me sleep better at night.
This seems a peculiarly American thing. Benefits (welfare) here in the UK is paid into bank accounts as money. Vouchers for this or that seems to deny agency to people - are Americans seen as that much more untrustworthy in the way they would use their welfare payments?
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Old 24th November 2019, 11:21 AM   #120
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I do wonder about someone who has enough income to be paying tax lying awake at night worrying that somewhere in his vast country some semi-destitute person might be wasting a bit of their meagre benefits allowance on a small luxury.
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