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Old 27th November 2019, 08:13 AM   #321
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Why does everyone have to be as productive as possible? Or even productive at all?
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Old 27th November 2019, 08:16 AM   #322
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one thing for those concerned with "freeloaders" of UBI: the big, BIG advantage of UBI is that it doesn't require a huge bureaucracy to administer: no regulation, no need to look for "welfare queens", no need to process applications.
Any system that weighs whether someone should get UBI not only creates massive paperwork but is also susceptible to abuse - both by possible recipients and providers.
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Old 27th November 2019, 08:17 AM   #323
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Hardly anyone robs homeless people on the street because they are mostly broke. But when the UBI comes they are flush with cash and now easy targets for robbery and extortion. It's hard to secure a tent or sleeping bag. Many will buy guns for self defense.

Those kinds of crimes may go up. Also when junkies come into lots of cash they binge and then overdose. Expect more drug related deaths as people go crazy with the sudden windfall.
You may be concerning yourself with the wrong villiains.

Every bank in the U.S. would pretty quickly find itself in the "payday lending" racket.
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Old 27th November 2019, 08:28 AM   #324
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The extra money comes at an opportunity cost, though. I'd love to have some extra money, but I'd love to have some free time, some rest and relaxation, even more.
No you wouldn't. At least, not in the long term.

I have known people who were unemployed for lengthy periods of time. Even if their needs were being met, it stopped being fun very quickly. Most were greatly relieved when they finally found employment.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
In summary: I don't think a "universal" basic income makes much sense. I think a better approach would probably be a means-tested, outcome-oriented stipend program for people who need it, with the goal of getting them to the point where they no longer need it.
And that is always the response from the pampered classes. We must make government assistance as difficult to get as possible otherwise somebody "undeserving" might get a hand out.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't expect UBI proponents to agree with me on any of this (though at least some of it, they probably should). What I would like to see from UBI proponents is some description of a measurable goal, how it is to be measured, and the rollback plan if the program doesn't measure up to the goal.
I have already outlined how a partial UBI could be introduced (see post #306 for example).

Unfortunately it doesn't meet your basic philosophy that it is better for 1000 people to starve than for 1 person to get something they don't deserve.
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Old 27th November 2019, 08:48 AM   #325
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Why does everyone have to be as productive as possible? Or even productive at all?
Well, somebody needs to be productive, otherwise you don't have any wealth to distribute as UBI.

Also, your survival depends on productivity. If someone - ideally you - isn't producing a certain minimum amount of food and shelter, you will die. Call that one unit of productivity. It's not a question of everyone being maximally productive, it's a question of being minimally productive. If we aren't producing at least one unit of productivity per person, people will start dying.

Obviously some people simply can't produce that much. The disabled and the infirm for example. Which means that among the rest of us, we have to come up with at minimum our own unit of productivity, plus an extra unit for each of those who can't produce.

Not everybody needs to produce. As long as enough of us are producing enough to cover everyone, some can opt out of the rat race. But the more opt out, the more the rest of us have to produce, to cover their needs.

I hope this answers your questions. I hope you will answer these questions of mine:

If I choose to produce enough to cover two UBIs, and you choose to produce nothing at all, should I be compelled to split what I've earned with you? If I choose to produce less, rather than split it with you, should I be compelled to produce more anyway, to subsidize your choice not to produce at all?
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:20 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Well, somebody needs to be productive, otherwise you don't have any wealth to distribute as UBI.

Also, your survival depends on productivity. If someone - ideally you - isn't producing a certain minimum amount of food and shelter, you will die. Call that one unit of productivity. It's not a question of everyone being maximally productive, it's a question of being minimally productive. If we aren't producing at least one unit of productivity per person, people will start dying.

Obviously some people simply can't produce that much. The disabled and the infirm for example. Which means that among the rest of us, we have to come up with at minimum our own unit of productivity, plus an extra unit for each of those who can't produce.

Not everybody needs to produce. As long as enough of us are producing enough to cover everyone, some can opt out of the rat race. But the more opt out, the more the rest of us have to produce, to cover their needs.

I hope this answers your questions. I hope you will answer these questions of mine:

If I choose to produce enough to cover two UBIs, and you choose to produce nothing at all, should I be compelled to split what I've earned with you? If I choose to produce less, rather than split it with you, should I be compelled to produce more anyway, to subsidize your choice not to produce at all?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricu..._United_States

Looks like about 2% of us can handle the "food" issue. And I am not convinced that enough adequate housing does not already exist to provide everyone with decent accommodation.

Seems like we are currently devoting about %95 of our efforts towards "luxuries". Maybe we could do just fine easing off of that a little.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:21 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If I choose to produce enough to cover two UBIs, and you choose to produce nothing at all, should I be compelled to split what I've earned with you? If I choose to produce less, rather than split it with you, should I be compelled to produce more anyway, to subsidize your choice not to produce at all?

Nobody should be compelled to do anything. We're looking at outcomes, not applying outdated Calvinistic morality.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:24 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Nobody should be compelled to do anything. We're looking at outcomes, not applying outdated Calvinistic morality.
Then nobody should be compelled to support those unwilling to work.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:24 AM   #329
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
And I am not convinced that enough adequate housing does not already exist to provide everyone with decent accommodation.

Homelessness. Finland looked at this and decided that the underlying cause of homelessness was that people didn't have homes. Radical, I know.

So they gave them homes. I don't know the details of how this was done, but that's what they did. And it worked. Practically nobody in Finland is homeless.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:25 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Then nobody should be compelled to support those unwilling to work.

And who suggested that that was part of the proposal?
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:27 AM   #331
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And who suggested that that was part of the proposal?
If it's not included then there's nothing stopping those who produce from simply not participating, and keeping the fruits of their labor for themselves. Which stops the universal part of things.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:31 AM   #332
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Oh, do tell.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:32 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Then nobody should be compelled to support those unwilling to work.
Or to protect those unwilling to share from those unwilling to work either.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:39 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, do tell.
I just did. Why should anyone who produces more than they consume participate in a UBI scheme? What's their motivation? What's in it for them?
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:42 AM   #335
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How do they avoid participating, other than by refusing to accept their own UBI which seems a bit pointless?
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:44 AM   #336
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I just did. Why should anyone who produces more than they consume participate in a UBI scheme? What's their motivation? What's in it for them?
A better society in which to live.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:48 AM   #337
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
How do they avoid participating, other than by refusing to accept their own UBI which seems a bit pointless?
By not contributing their production to the pool from which you're making these distributions.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:49 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

If I choose to produce enough to cover two UBIs, and you choose to produce nothing at all, should I be compelled to split what I've earned with you? If I choose to produce less, rather than split it with you, should I be compelled to produce more anyway, to subsidize your choice not to produce at all?
You aren't being compelled to do anything other than pay taxes on earnings, which you are already compelled to do now. If one is a right-libertarian who believes taxation is theft and in total abolition of the welfare state, this might be objectionable. I don't see why using taxes for UBI should be more objectionable to current systems, however. In fact, the concept of UBI has been supported by some on the right as well as the left, although motivations for support may differ.

Nobody is proposing that you be compelled to work more to support others. You have the choice to work more or not as you do now, and if you work more you have more income for yourself. The primary motivation for working more is that you want more for yourself. Nobody is suggesting that your entire surplus is confiscated to subsidize anyone. Even a progressive taxation system does not take everything.
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:49 AM   #339
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Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
A better society in which to live.
What metrics are used to measure that? What are the defined ranges for performance to determine if it's working or not?
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Old 27th November 2019, 09:57 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
By not contributing their production to the pool from which you're making these distributions.
The only ways you could do this is by not earning, or not paying taxes on earnings.
Not earning is something you would be entitled to do, although it also means you would have minimal income yourself. I don't believe many want to live indefinitely on minimal income. Not paying taxes on earnings would involve tax fraud, but the same is also true now. Having to pay taxes is not something new and draconian being proposed as part of UBI.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:00 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
By not contributing their production to the pool from which you're making these distributions.

What are they going to do with the excess production then?
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:01 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
The only ways you could do this is by not earning, or not paying taxes on earnings.
Not earning is something you would be entitled to do, although it also means you would have minimal income yourself. I don't believe many want to live indefinitely on minimal income. Not paying taxes on earnings would involve tax fraud, but the same is also true now. Having to pay taxes is not something new and draconian being proposed as part of UBI.

Oh, I was hoping to work him up to admitting that he was planning tax fraud. You spoiled it!
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:05 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Why should anyone who produces more than they consume participate in a UBI scheme? What's their motivation? What's in it for them?
What do you mean by "participate in a UBI scheme"? They are just paying taxes as per usual.

Are you suggesting that they would all quit work and adopt a lower standard of living just to protest against some who can't or won't work getting a UBI?

Or are you suggesting that there will be a tax revolt for the same reason?
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:05 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, I was hoping to work him up to admitting that he was planning tax fraud. You spoiled it!
Sorry about that
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:07 AM   #345
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
No you wouldn't. At least, not in the long term.
I don't think that's something you can say.

Quote:
I have known people who were unemployed for lengthy periods of time. Even if their needs were being met, it stopped being fun very quickly. Most were greatly relieved when they finally found employment.
Anecdotes are not evidence. I've known many people who don't fit that pattern. What now?

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And that is always the response from the pampered classes. We must make government assistance as difficult to get as possible otherwise somebody "undeserving" might get a hand out. : yikes :
Slow down. My concern is not that the undeserving may get handouts. My concern is measurable pragmatic outcomes. If a certain percentage of undeserving people getting a "handout" is the best way to achieve the intended outcome, then let's do that. I have no objection.

What I do have an objection to is the knee-jerk insults from UBI swimfans, when the questions of what the outcome is, and how do we measure it, and is this really the best way to get there, are raised.

Quote:
I have already outlined how a partial UBI could be introduced (see post #306 for example).
Yes you have. It's a good gradual approach. Unfortunately, I didn't ask for that. I asked for a measurable outcome and a rollback plan if the proposal doesn't measure up.

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Unfortunately it doesn't meet your basic philosophy that it is better for 1000 people to starve than for 1 person to get something they don't deserve.
What can I say to convince you that this is not my philosophy, and you don't need to keep railing against it? Other than, "this is not my philosophy, and you don't need to keep railing against it"?

All I'm asking for is a measurable outcome, and an argument that giving some people stuff they don't deserve is a good way to get this outcome.

Last edited by theprestige; 27th November 2019 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:07 AM   #346
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
The only ways you could do this is by not earning, or not paying taxes on earnings.
Not earning is something you would be entitled to do, although it also means you would have minimal income yourself. I don't believe many want to live indefinitely on minimal income. Not paying taxes on earnings would involve tax fraud, but the same is also true now. Having to pay taxes is not something new and draconian being proposed as part of UBI.
If this UBI is being funded from taxes then you'll either need to raise taxes or reduce payment on things those taxes are currently paying for.

Are the UBI payments I'm going to get less than, equal to, or more than the amount I'm being taxed to pay firvtge UBI scheme?

If I'm paying more in tax I expect to get something out of it. If I'm paying in and receiving back the same amount there's no point in it. If I'm getting more back than I'm paying in that's good for me but it means someone else, somewhere, is getting less than they're paying in.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:09 AM   #347
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, I was hoping to work him up to admitting that he was planning tax fraud. You spoiled it!
I pay all my taxes promptly and in full. It's a rather disgusting slander to suggest I don't.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:09 AM   #348
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, I was hoping to work him up to admitting that he was planning tax fraud. You spoiled it!
Actually one additional minor benefit of UBI is that it removes some motivations for working 'off the books'. One might still do that to avoid tax. There is no longer any need to do so to avoid losing benefits.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:10 AM   #349
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricu..._United_States

Looks like about 2% of us can handle the "food" issue. And I am not convinced that enough adequate housing does not already exist to provide everyone with decent accommodation.

Seems like we are currently devoting about %95 of our efforts towards "luxuries". Maybe we could do just fine easing off of that a little.
A farmer growing food in Nebraska doesn't put food in your belly. What puts food in your belly is you, or someone working on your behalf, producing something of value to the farmer and trading it for food.

But even so, the answer to Rolfe's question is that some people do have to produce something, in order for this to work.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:12 AM   #350
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
What do you mean by "participate in a UBI scheme"? They are just paying taxes as per usual.

Are you suggesting that they would all quit work and adopt a lower standard of living just to protest against some who can't or won't work getting a UBI?

Or are you suggesting that there will be a tax revolt for the same reason?
If your employer wants you to take on extra work do you ask for more money in return? If you're making enough money to live comfortably by doing one job do you take up a second job to work additional hours and earn more?

There's a relationship between labor and reward, and that's why most people work. Unless you are a charity-minded trust fund kid who doesn't need to work to live comfortably.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:12 AM   #351
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If TM deliberately produces less so that he has no surplus to sell then he's not overproducing. It seems the only real loser is himself.

If TM produces surplus but sticks it in a store-room or lets it rot rather than selling it, again he's not overproducing and it seems the only real loser is himself.

If TM produces surplus and gives it away for free that's really nice of him and I'm sure the recipients will be very glad to have it on top of the UBI they're getting.

If TM produces surplus and barters it for other goods or services then that has tax implications which I'm sure the tax authorities will be very interested in.

So I'm struggling to see his big "gotcha" in this.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:13 AM   #352
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Why does everyone have to be as productive as possible? Or even productive at all?

The Protestant work ethic. The labor of thy brow thing. The morality of work.

You can take God out of folks' heads, but it's more difficult to clean out the other nonsensical beliefs and values that are part of the whole God package.

And/Or, of course, it could be a form of I've-worked-my-butt-off-all-my-life-I'm-damned-if-I-facilitate-others-having-an-option-I-myself-never-did. There's a word in German that'd describe this perfectly, only I can't recall it: not schadenfreude, the other one.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:13 AM   #353
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, I was hoping to work him up to admitting that he was planning tax fraud. You spoiled it!
I thought we were talking about the kind of tax and welfare policy we should implement, as a pragmatic and moral question.

Turns out you were just playing a gotcha game of silly buggers.

Never mind, then.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:14 AM   #354
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If your employer wants you to take on extra work do you ask for more money in return? If you're making enough money to live comfortably by doing one job do you take up a second job to work additional hours and earn more?

There's a relationship between labor and reward, and that's why most people work. Unless you are a charity-minded trust fund kid who doesn't need to work to live comfortably.

And? What's controversial in any of that? How is that "not participating"? It's one of the many legitimate ways to interact with a UBI scheme.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:15 AM   #355
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I thought we were talking about the kind of tax and welfare policy we should implement, as a pragmatic and moral question.

Turns out you were just playing a gotcha game of silly buggers.

Never mind, then.

Yes, TM decided to make it a gotcha game of silly buggers, in case you hadn't noticed.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:16 AM   #356
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
If TM deliberately produces less so that he has no surplus to sell then he's not overproducing. It seems the only real loser is himself.

If TM produces surplus but sticks it in a store-room or lets it rot rather than selling it, again he's not overproducing and it seems the only real loser is himself.

If TM produces surplus and gives it away for free that's really nice of him and I'm sure the recipients will be very glad to have it on top of the UBI they're getting.

If TM produces surplus and barters it for other goods or services then that has tax implications which I'm sure the tax authorities will be very interested in.

So I'm struggling to see his big "gotcha" in this.
TM makes X. TM lives comfortably off of Y, which is less than X. TM invests the amount X-Y to earn more. If TM is going to be taxed so that he makes Y instead of X then he's not going to do the same amount of work necessary to earn X. He's going to do work worth Y. There will be no excess left to take for redistribution.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:17 AM   #357
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
But even so, the answer to Rolfe's question is that some people do have to produce something, in order for this to work.

That is not an answer to my question, which was, why does everybody have to be productive? Or as productive as possible?
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:19 AM   #358
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
TM makes X. TM lives comfortably off of Y, which is less than X. TM invests the amount X-Y to earn more. If TM is going to be taxed so that he makes Y instead of X then he's not going to do the same amount of work necessary to earn X. He's going to do work worth Y. There will be no excess left to take for redistribution.

Unless you actually specify what X and Y are, this is all a little difficult to follow. (I don't mean amounts, I mean is X the UBI alone? Or UBI plus salary? Or what?)

On the face of it I don't see the problem. I also don't see it as not participating. If you pay your due taxes, you are participating.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:20 AM   #359
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If this UBI is being funded from taxes then you'll either need to raise taxes or reduce payment on things those taxes are currently paying for.

Are the UBI payments I'm going to get less than, equal to, or more than the amount I'm being taxed to pay firvtge UBI scheme?

If I'm paying more in tax I expect to get something out of it. If I'm paying in and receiving back the same amount there's no point in it. If I'm getting more back than I'm paying in that's good for me but it means someone else, somewhere, is getting less than they're paying in.
1) It would replace things that taxes are currently paying for - almost all current benefits and a large part of the administration costs associated with them.
2) Tax free-thresholds would be replaced with UBI, so everyone would pay tax on all earnings.
3) UBI would count towards reaching thresholds for higher tax rates for higher earners, so these thresholds would be reached sooner. However, there might need to be some tweaking of those thresholds.
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Old 27th November 2019, 10:28 AM   #360
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
What metrics are used to measure that? What are the defined ranges for performance to determine if it's working or not?
Society decides the metrics.
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