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Old 4th December 2019, 12:50 PM   #641
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
With all the insurance schemes or what have you -social programs, free healthcare, etc- there are still poor people in the UK who can’t even afford electricity? Homelessness is one thing if that’s what you are talking about. But I put homelessness in a separate category -that is a catastrophic form of poverty brought on by mental illness, drug abuse, etc and has its own unique set of problems and potential solutions from what we are discussing here. I don’t think a UBI is going to help them much. Doesn’t the UK have a stipend for unemployed people already?
Yup.

This is four or five years old:


https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...nment-policies

"The coroner said that when David Clapson died he had no food in his stomach. Clapson’s benefits had been stopped as a result of missing one meeting at the jobcentre. He was diabetic, and without the £71.70 a week from his jobseeker’s allowance he couldn’t afford to eat or put credit on his electricity card to keep the fridge where he kept his insulin working. Three weeks later Clapson died from diabetic ketoacidosis, caused by a severe lack of insulin. A pile of CVs was found next to his body."
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Old 4th December 2019, 06:29 PM   #642
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Yup.

This is four or five years old:


https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...nment-policies

"The coroner said that when David Clapson died he had no food in his stomach. Clapson’s benefits had been stopped as a result of missing one meeting at the jobcentre. He was diabetic, and without the £71.70 a week from his jobseeker’s allowance he couldn’t afford to eat or put credit on his electricity card to keep the fridge where he kept his insulin working. Three weeks later Clapson died from diabetic ketoacidosis, caused by a severe lack of insulin. A pile of CVs was found next to his body."
Tragic, and completely preventable.
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Old 4th December 2019, 07:12 PM   #643
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Originally Posted by MinnesotaBrant View Post
And in the Philippines a useless ultrasound costs 300.
Really? I had an ultrasound here recently and I don't even remember what it cost.

Quote:
I am guessing that China might be a place that does not nickel and dime everyone causing everything to go up. Also saw crappy clothes being sold for a price there.
"There" being the Philippines? I think clothing here is extremely inexpensive compared to elsewhere, particularly if you shop on Taobao.

Quote:
Also many people have made the point that it’s not the same everywhere but fail to understand that you can’t immigrate if you poor
But that wasn't anyone's point. NT made the point that people in China are able save in spite of having a much lower income than people in the US, which suggests that people in the US should be able to save as well if they were to live a similar lifestyle to those in China. Kellyb countered by making the point that interpret as saying that the cost of living in China is much lower, so in spite of a lower income level it's actually easier to save here.

I don't actually think that's true, I think there are cultural differences, that I've seen in people who I know, that lead to the savings.
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Old 7th December 2019, 08:07 PM   #644
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
I'm going to do something a bit out of character here, and jump in with a defense of NewtonTrino. His claim, which I will accept at face value simply because it's plausible, is he arrived as an immigrant to the USA with very few assets. Did he even have a job when he arrived, or did he have to find one? Provided what he's been telling us is true, he managed to work his way up from having almost nothing to running a successful business. If car in the avatar is his and he purchased it from the proceeds of the business, then he has done very well for himself.

Having said that, his mistake is believing anyone can do this. Running a business can be a hit or miss thing, depending on the nature of the business. A friend of mine ran a successful sporting goods firm here in town, but had to shut down when the bank called a loan. Another business I know of went down because two very large chain stores selling similar stuff at a much lower price entered the local market. I know of more than one company that failed to come back after a fire.

I call this the "fallacy of the expert," where a person with expertise in one area simply assumes everyone else can and should acquire that expertise. I'm sort of like that. I've been a computer professional for over thirty years. Every week I hear of people who have suffered a significant data loss because they failed to back up their systems. I really have to check myself from saying, "What the hell were they thinking? Why didn't they back up their data?" The answer is because as a computer professional, for me backups are a priority and I've invested time doing them for my systems. Not everyone has the required knowledge or skills to do it.
I call this the genius entrepreneur meme. Basically the idea that only geniuses can be successful. Making money and running a company is a skill like any other, so there is definitely a range.

And yes I did arrive here with a suitcase as a young man and have worked my way up. I did have a couple of people that wanted to work with me at the time. I learned a lot working for other smart people over the years but am not the type to work for others for too long.

That car isn't mine btw, the one I have is a much nicer 812 superfast
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Old 7th December 2019, 08:11 PM   #645
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
But that wasn't anyone's point. NT made the point that people in China are able save in spite of having a much lower income than people in the US, which suggests that people in the US should be able to save as well if they were to live a similar lifestyle to those in China. Kellyb countered by making the point that interpret as saying that the cost of living in China is much lower, so in spite of a lower income level it's actually easier to save here.

I don't actually think that's true, I think there are cultural differences, that I've seen in people who I know, that lead to the savings.
Basically cultures have a safety vs security slider that is reflected in saving rates. At least that's the simplistic explanation. Savings aren't correlated with income, they are correlated with other things. If you can't save on your income then you have too much lifestyle, but it's kind of accepted in the US to just live off of credit cards and/or home equity loans. Not a good idea btw.
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Old 8th December 2019, 08:29 PM   #646
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What would happen if we randomly gave $1,000 to poor families? Now we know.

tl;dr you stimulate the local economy and everybody becomes better off.

Quote:
What happens to one of the world’s poorest places if you randomly pick more than 10,000 poor families out of an eligible pool and give them $1,000 each, no strings attached?

It sounds like a plan some mad scientist might hatch, but no: It was actually a group of researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, Princeton and the University of California at San Diego who came up with it. They have just unveiled the results of a sprawling, first-of-its-kind study that ought to put to bed some enduring myths about the effects of giving cash directly to the very poor in rural Africa.

Dozens of studies have already shown conclusively that just handing very poor people a considerable sum of cash can transform their lives in lasting ways. That is hardly surprising. But this study set out to ask a different question: What about their neighbors?

...

Their findings are significant: Cash transfers benefited the entire local economy, not just direct recipients. As money made its way through the area, both families who did and did not receive cash ended up substantially better off.

Just as importantly, they could find little in the way of adverse effects from the experiment, either in villages that got the cash or in those that didn’t. Spending on temptation goods — such as cigarettes, alcohol and gambling — did not increase. People didn’t work less. Rates of domestic violence didn’t change, nor did more children drop out of school. Local income inequality levels did not change. And contrary to a common fear, the program had minimal effect on prices: Inflation increased less than 1 percent over and above Kenya’s overall rate.

...

In the United States, depending on the study, researchers usually put [the fiscal multiplier] in the range of 1.5 to 2.0 — meaning that every $100 the government spends, between $150 and $200 worth of economic activity is generated. Back in 2013, researchers had estimated the number might be in the same ballpark in Kenya.

But this study found a much bigger impact: Every $100 given directly to the poorest households was generating between $250 and $270 in GDP. That’s a fiscal multiplier in the range of 2.5 to 2.7 18 months after the money was spent — a huge number by global standards.
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Old 9th December 2019, 01:45 AM   #647
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That's helicopter money. I was thinking about that too, but it's a very different thing from UBI so I wasn't sure it was relevant in this thread.
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Old 9th December 2019, 05:27 PM   #648
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
That's helicopter money. I was thinking about that too, but it's a very different thing from UBI so I wasn't sure it was relevant in this thread.
It's relevant to the claim that if you give money to poor people they will spend it on alcohol and drugs. I agree it's not UBI but that's the main reason I posted it. The rest of it is interesting though, if not directly relevant.
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Old 9th December 2019, 05:48 PM   #649
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Does buying drugs count as "stimulates the local economy" ?

Asking for a friend.
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Old 9th December 2019, 05:52 PM   #650
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It will be interesting to see this discounted.
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Old 10th December 2019, 03:16 AM   #651
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Originally Posted by Pterodactyl View Post
Does buying drugs count as "stimulates the local economy" ?

Asking for a friend.

Taking a joke as serious for a moment... Drug dealers have to buy food somewhere, as do addicts if they have enough money left over after feeding their habit. If the buyers can afford their drugs you're going to have fewer burglaries and muggings to pay for them, this might be compensated by an increase in gang on gang violence if it stimulates competition but that competition already exists so maybe it would just maintain at existing levels? Of course the other approach would be to pair food money with prescribed drugs so the addict has access to safe, clean drugs and the means to stay alive (which will mostly be spent locally). In the longer term the confidence of a secure supply can help addicts gain the confidence to reduce or even wean off the drugs. Also, of course, improving peoples standard of living at the bottom of the income scale is probably going to reduce the number of people becoming drug users in the first place.
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Old 10th December 2019, 04:55 PM   #652
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Taking a joke as serious for a moment... Drug dealers have to buy food somewhere, as do addicts if they have enough money left over after feeding their habit. If the buyers can afford their drugs you're going to have fewer burglaries and muggings to pay for them, this might be compensated by an increase in gang on gang violence if it stimulates competition but that competition already exists so maybe it would just maintain at existing levels? Of course the other approach would be to pair food money with prescribed drugs so the addict has access to safe, clean drugs and the means to stay alive (which will mostly be spent locally). In the longer term the confidence of a secure supply can help addicts gain the confidence to reduce or even wean off the drugs. Also, of course, improving peoples standard of living at the bottom of the income scale is probably going to reduce the number of people becoming drug users in the first place.
Don't want to be the guy that just says "I agree" but this hits it right on the head. Giving money away helps everyone, including dealers and addicts.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:09 PM   #653
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It's usually not worth the effort of mugging poor people - because they don't have anything to take. That all changes with UBI.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:10 PM   #654
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Don't want to be the guy that just says "I agree" but this hits it right on the head. Giving money away helps everyone, including dealers and addicts.
It is not a hallmark of drug addicts that they practice moderation when their money supply magically increases.

What if all you're really doing is increasing the total market cap of the illegal narcotics industry? Funneling more money into drug dealer's pockets and not really decreasing drug related crime at all?

Is that something your policy would seek to measure? Is that something that would prompt you to consider rolling back the policy if it turned out to be true?
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:12 PM   #655
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
It's usually not worth the effort of mugging poor people - because they don't have anything to take. That all changes with UBI.
I'm looking at it the other way 'round: Poor people mug middle-income people because they need money. In theory that changes with UBI, but I wonder how much. Especially in the case of people who are poor in part because they are addicted to drugs.

I suspect that once you're to the point where you're mugging people for drug money, having some UBI in your pocket won't make any real difference, except in the amount of drugs you take in between regular muggings.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:14 PM   #656
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It is not a hallmark of drug addicts that they practice moderation when their money supply magically increases.

What if all you're really doing is increasing the total market cap of the illegal narcotics industry? Funneling more money into drug dealer's pockets and not really decreasing drug related crime at all?

Is that something your policy would seek to measure? Is that something that would prompt you to consider rolling back the policy if it turned out to be true?
In the experiment I linked to above, drug use did not increase. Crime did not increase. People did not work less or go to school less.

And please, what do you think "my policy" is? I don't own UBI, nor do I own this experiment which is a controlled experiment and not a policy.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:21 PM   #657
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm looking at it the other way 'round: Poor people mug middle-income people because they need money. In theory that changes with UBI, but I wonder how much. Especially in the case of people who are poor in part because they are addicted to drugs.

I suspect that once you're to the point where you're mugging people for drug money, having some UBI in your pocket won't make any real difference, except in the amount of drugs you take in between regular muggings.
I understand what you are saying. I was thinking that with UBI poor people will have new incentive to mug poor people. The destitute prey on the destitute because each month they all get a fat wallet.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:25 PM   #658
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
In the experiment I linked to above, drug use did not increase. Crime did not increase. People did not work less or go to school less.

And please, what do you think "my policy" is? I don't own UBI, nor do I own this experiment which is a controlled experiment and not a policy.
I think your policy is the policy you would like to see implemented, and which you propose, and which you will defend against unfounded criticism.

Please don't turn this into some bizarre scenario where you legitimately think I'm confused about whether you're in charge of a UBI program or a socio-economic experiment of any kind.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:37 PM   #659
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I lost a sorta friend to a cocaine heart attack two years ago. He wasn't financially good and was using coke whenever he could. His mother was dying and he told me that whenever he got his inheritance he would then splurge on cocaine. I told him he was crazy but that often means nothing to addicts.

It happened. His mom died and he got $10,000. He spent almost all of it on cocaine and was soon dead.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:38 PM   #660
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
It's usually not worth the effort of mugging poor people - because they don't have anything to take. That all changes with UBI.
It is usually worth mugging poor people because since they have trouble getting bank accounts they carry cash rather than cards that can be traced and/or cancelled. Plus cops give less of a crap when they report it, which they won't often do for various reasons.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:40 PM   #661
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think your policy is the policy you would like to see implemented, and which you propose, and which you will defend against unfounded criticism.

Please don't turn this into some bizarre scenario where you legitimately think I'm confused about whether you're in charge of a UBI program or a socio-economic experiment of any kind.
Well how about you ask about my opinion rather than my "policy"? That word implies things that you don't intend to imply.

And yes, I think that it would be wise to legalise, regulate and monitor the drug market under a UBI, but I think that would be wise NOT under a UBI as well, so it's not really related.

And yes, if it were clearly demonstrated that illegal activity increased under a UBI, and the cause of that increase can be clearly demonstrated to be the UBI itself and not something else, then yes, that would be a reason to reconsider. But that's a hypothetical, and we all know about those. The evidence that we have so far - which is still not that great - suggests that that would not be the case.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:43 PM   #662
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
It is usually worth mugging poor people because since they have trouble getting bank accounts they carry cash rather than cards that can be traced and/or cancelled. Plus cops give less of a crap when they report it, which they won't often do for various reasons.
I guess I'm talking about people who wouldn't normally have more than $5 in their pocket. They just aren't worth mugging until the UBI happens.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:43 PM   #663
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I understand what you are saying. I was thinking that with UBI poor people will have new incentive to mug poor people. The destitute prey on the destitute because each month they all get a fat wallet.
What do you imagine is happening? Poor people are lining up at the local cash dispensary every month while muggers lie in wait to bop them as they leave?
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:46 PM   #664
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I notice I'm using cash less and less as it's so easy to make a contactless payment with a card. As this facility becomes more all-pervasive, mugging people for actual cash is going to be less and less worthwhile.

How do we think UBI would be paid anyway? Everyone gets sent a packet of banknotes in the post every week? Everyone goes to the post office with a book of vouchers and is given actual banknotes?

Don't be silly.

It's going to be paid into people's bank accounts, and for people who don't have regular bank accounts there will be some sort of UBI holding account that is also accessed by card. Nobody is suddenly going to start carrying substantial wodges of cash around with them.


[That was a cross-post with Psion.]
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Last edited by Rolfe; 10th December 2019 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:50 PM   #665
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I could go completely cashless tomorrow if I wanted to. I find it easier to budget in my head with cash, but it's not actually necessary for anything.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:55 PM   #666
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Well how about you ask about my opinion rather than my "policy"? That word implies things that you don't intend to imply.
Neither of us was actually confused about what we were discussing, so I don't see the problem. I'm not going to micro-manage my English just to try to avoid triggering your strategic pedantry. Primarily because if that's how you want to play it, there's literally no level of precision I could possibly achieve, that would convince you to give it a rest. So please, just give it a rest.
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Old 10th December 2019, 05:58 PM   #667
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Neither of us was actually confused about what we were discussing, so I don't see the problem. I'm not going to micro-manage my English just to try to avoid triggering your strategic pedantry. Primarily because if that's how you want to play it, there's literally no level of precision I could possibly achieve, that would convince you to give it a rest. So please, just give it a rest.
Okay, I just feel like using precise language allows us to communicate better. Anyway, I answered your questions. Do you have any others?
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:02 PM   #668
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Okay, I just feel like using precise language allows us to communicate better. Anyway, I answered your questions. Do you have any others?
Yeah. Were we not communicating just fine?
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:04 PM   #669
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's going to be paid into people's bank accounts, and for people who don't have regular bank accounts there will be some sort of UBI holding account that is also accessed by card. Nobody is suddenly going to start carrying substantial wodges of cash around with them.
If it can't be given as immediate cash then the UBI really does have strings attached.
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:04 PM   #670
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Yeah. Were we not communicating just fine?
Obviously not, because I felt the need to seek clarification. Can we get back to the subject now please?
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:08 PM   #671
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
What do you imagine is happening? Poor people are lining up at the local cash dispensary every month while muggers lie in wait to bop them as they leave?
I'm not sure if I understand your question.

Anyway, with the UBI, it might become worthwhile to rob some homeless guy sleeping in a tent because now he has money.
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:08 PM   #672
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
In the experiment I linked to above, drug use did not increase. Crime did not increase. People did not work less or go to school less.
.
This is because poverty causes drug addiction, with the converse being rare.

It takes about an ounce of empathy and about three months dealing with desperately poor addicts to see this as obvious.

Generally speaking:

Relatively well off people get into drugs when they party and then they party too much and go broke or hit a cop or DUI causing injury/death and then are addicts or claim to be addicts as to escape harsher punishment for whatever crimes they have committed. Like that sorta friend or cousin everyone has that got sideways and sold the house, car, and dog to get one more bump.

Poor people tend to get into drugs for different reasons. Meth addicts are trying to work multiple jobs. Opiate addicts trying to self-medicate for pain or severe anxiety. Severe anxiety is one of those things, like being in desperate poverty, that is impossible to really understand without living with it.

Yet those of us not poor project the reasons people we know got into drugs because we have no idea why poor people get into them and have trouble seeing this. We then do things like send addicts to detox and a few days of group meetings, send them back into the desperate poverty, and then shake our heads sadly at them when they relapse for the same exact reasons. Like they just can't drag themselves through that triple shift or the chest pains and rapid heartbeat from the last panic attack is too much.

Detox and release is a great way to combat the number of addicted people, assuming overdose deaths are an acceptable way to bring down the numbers. That is a different issue tho...
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:15 PM   #673
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I guess I'm talking about people who wouldn't normally have more than $5 in their pocket. They just aren't worth mugging until the UBI happens.
Those are people with bank cards.

Poor people carry around every penny they have.
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:16 PM   #674
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I'm not sure if I understand your question.

Anyway, with the UBI, it might become worthwhile to rob some homeless guy sleeping in a tent because now he has money.
Of course, he's probably no longer sleeping in a tent, so maybe not.
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:22 PM   #675
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Those are people with bank cards.

Poor people carry around every penny they have.
This is a good point. UBI would probably have to be accompanied by a transition into a truly cashless society in order to work optimally. Which is one reason why it probably won't happen soon.
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:23 PM   #676
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Of course, he's probably no longer sleeping in a tent, so maybe not.
I already saw what Rolfe said would be the monthly UBI. It won't pay the rent. He stays in the tent but has more cash to work with... or lose.
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:28 PM   #677
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
This is a good point. UBI would probably have to be accompanied by a transition into a truly cashless society in order to work optimally. Which is one reason why it probably won't happen soon.
Wouldn't quite need that. Just a return to a form of the old post office banking system where anyone can have an account and a bank card.

Getting shut out of the banking system is a huge part of how being poor is expensive. It takes me ten seconds on my phone to pay my electric bill. Someone that has to cash the paycheck somewhere and then take the cash to get a money order has a harder time of it both as to time and fees.
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:29 PM   #678
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Poor people carry around every penny they have.
That's what I'm talking about. Poor people that would normally be walking around with only $5 will be walking around with $100 after the UBI. That makes sense.

It's not just muggings. This could set the stage for a new class of extortion of poor people. "I know how much you get every month. Give me $300 a month or I will break your legs."
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:31 PM   #679
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I already saw what Rolfe said would be the monthly UBI. It won't pay the rent. He stays in the tent but has more cash to work with... or lose.
Won't people just steal the tent anyway?

I mean, if we are going to be cartoonishly simplistic, why not go the whole nine?
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Old 10th December 2019, 06:33 PM   #680
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Wouldn't quite need that. Just a return to a form of the old post office banking system where anyone can have an account and a bank card.

Getting shut out of the banking system is a huge part of how being poor is expensive. It takes me ten seconds on my phone to pay my electric bill. Someone that has to cash the paycheck somewhere and then take the cash to get a money order has a harder time of it both as to time and fees.
Yes, I said "to work optimally". There are other ways to make it work, down to and including handing the cash over at the counter. But ideally, every person should have a card and an account of some kind.
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