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Old 27th November 2019, 12:22 PM   #401
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All right then, but your pre-determined conclusion then seems to be that it cannot possibly work, rather than considering that there is a level of UBI at which the objectives can be achieved.
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Old 27th November 2019, 12:26 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
UBI might increase productivity. Lift a large percentage of people up from the brink of poverty where all they can do is think about where their next meal is going to come from, and some of them might actually decide to do something more worthwhile with their lives. There's your metric.
That makes sense.

In terms of a concrete policy proposal, would you say that a UBI scheme needs to include some way of estimating the number of marginally unproductive, and some way of measuring whether the UBI is increasing their productivity?

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Why is the expectation that people who don't have to work to meet their basic needs, won't work? Why can't the expectation be that people who aren't forced to do a job that society considers worthless (based on the meagre salary) will go and do something that has more value?
I think the expectation is that some who don't have to work, won't work.

I also think that most people working at "worthless" jobs are forced to do so by the fact that they don't have anything more valuable to offer. Some people do have something more valuable to offer, and just need a chance to get out of the poverty cycle they're stuck in. A UBI potentially does that, but so do a lot of other things: Job insurance, for example. A small or large loan, for another example. A straight-up one-time lump sum, for yet another.

One goal I think we would have to set, for any reasonable UBI scheme, is conversion of people who have nothing more valuable to offer into people who have something more valuable to offer.

I think this discussion will probably work better if we focus on pragmatic questions, rather than trying to guess and condemn the perceived moral judgements in each other's arguments.
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Old 27th November 2019, 12:28 PM   #403
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
If you set it at $2000 that may well be the case. I hadn't noticed anyone suggesting $2000, unless you meant $2000 for a couple.
It will be set at $2000 per month per person.

You've been using $1000 which I mentioned earlier. But I totally pulled that number out of my ass. I do not give you permission to use that number. It came from my butt.

The real amount will be $2000.
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Old 27th November 2019, 12:28 PM   #404
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I don't see the problem, it's the millionaires and billionaires that are going to foot the bill. With all of their money I don't see why anyone has to work. Between robots and people we bring in on work visas to do the dirty work Americans really wouldn't have a need to lift a finger.

You can look at to a country like Saudi Arabia as an example. Although they don't have a basic income they do have a class of people who basically live off the state revenues. Almost all the real work in the country is done by people they import to do the dirty work, then they send them home when they are done with them. Same thing could work here as far as growing food etc. that we need. Why does anyone have to work? The millionaire and billionaire crooks can pay. Billionaires shouldn't exist anyway so using their money to pay for a UBI is completely moral.
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Old 27th November 2019, 12:28 PM   #405
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I find it far more strange to base an economy on the notion that there are more people willing to work harder than they have to than there are people willing to cut down their standard of living in exchange for working less.

Maybe I should elaborate on my previous reply. As I said, the economy already works like that. My entire working life bar the last three and a bit years of it has been an example and there are countless others.

I have excellent professional qualifications. I came out of university in a position to command a salary well above double what would be needed for a basic food-warmth-shelter existence. Nevertheless I worked full time for about 35 years.

Part-time work was available. Plenty of my colleagues did that - not to give themselves more leisure, but to accommodate child-rearing, as part of a family. As a single person I could easily have found a part-time job paying more than enough to rent a simple room, and furnish and heat it, and keep myself fed and clothed.

I didn't do it. And you know what, I don't know a single person who has actually done that.

OK, I did do it in the end. When I was 62 years old. I moved to working 20 hours a week. It was extremely pleasant, although I had to raid some savings to maintain my existing lifestyle. By downgrading to a much simpler lifestyle I could have been doing that for 20 or 30 years. Anyone in a position to earn twice the average salary could. Nobody does.
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Old 27th November 2019, 12:29 PM   #406
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I think we have reached a post-scarcity state in many parts of the world. You only have to go into a supermarket and see what's on offer. Maybe more to the point you could look at their waste bins, and at the wasted produce that might have a small flaw that causes it to be rejected.
It's not post scarcity until nobody's livelihood depends on producing and selling those goods and services.

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Food, warmth and shelter. We should have enough of these to supply to everyone. Where capitalism is failing is that it is not actually supplying them to everyone, and that seems to be motivated by this Calvinist attitude that nobody should get anything they don't deserve and haven't worked their backsides off for. (Except the super-rich and their families of course.)
I think that you'll have to show that this Calvinist attitude exists, before you can start attributing policy proposals to this attitude.
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Old 27th November 2019, 12:29 PM   #407
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
But that's how it already works, and I don't see your problem occurring.
Money apparently is imbued with magical properties, so that it has different effects on behaviour depending on its origins.
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Old 27th November 2019, 12:34 PM   #408
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
All right then, but your pre-determined conclusion then seems to be that it cannot possibly work, rather than considering that there is a level of UBI at which the objectives can be achieved.
That's not my predetermined conclusion at all. I assume there are scenarios in which it can work. After all, similar taxation-redistribution schemes are already working today.

But the devil is in the details. It's fine to have a vague idea that a UBI would be nice to have. But at some point the conversation needs to move beyond that vague idea. At some point you're going to have to sell the details of the specific policy plan you want me to vote on. How much money does it need? Where does the money come from? How do we know if it['s working? What does working actually mean? What's your plan if it isn't working?

My predetermined conclusion is that we won't know if a UBI scheme is going to work, until we decide what objectives we want to achieve, estimate how much it will cost, figure out where we're going to get the funds, and then test it.
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Old 27th November 2019, 12:35 PM   #409
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
It will be set at $2000 per month per person.

You've been using $1000 which I mentioned earlier. But I totally pulled that number out of my ass. I do not give you permission to use that number. It came from my butt.

The real amount will be $2000.

It would kind of be nice if you engaged in serious debate, because I think you're intelligent enough to do that if you try.

The number will be the number that maintains a balance between the number of people destitute or struggling, and the number of people sitting back and not working.

If it's possible to sit back and enjoy life on the UBI, by definition nobody is destitute or struggling because everyone has enough money to sit back and enjoy life.

If there are people destitute or struggling despite getting the UBI, then by definition it is not enough for someone to sit back and enjoy life on it.
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Old 27th November 2019, 12:36 PM   #410
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That's not my predetermined conclusion at all. I assume there are scenarios in which it can work. After all, similar taxation-redistribution schemes are already working today.

But the devil is in the details. It's fine to have a vague idea that a UBI would be nice to have. But at some point the conversation needs to move beyond that vague idea. At some point you're going to have to sell the details of the specific policy plan you want me to vote on. How much money does it need? Where does the money come from? How do we know if it['s working? What does working actually mean? What's your plan if it isn't working?

My predetermined conclusion is that we won't know if a UBI scheme is going to work, until we decide what objectives we want to achieve, estimate how much it will cost, figure out where we're going to get the funds, and then test it.

I'm not arguing with that at all. But the preliminary stage of talking about the possibilities as well as the possible drawbacks is still not a complete waste of time.
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Old 27th November 2019, 12:38 PM   #411
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It's not post scarcity until nobody's livelihood depends on producing and selling those goods and services.

OK.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think that you'll have to show that this Calvinist attitude exists, before you can start attributing policy proposals to this attitude.

I think there are quite a lot of posts in this thread that demonstrate the attitude I'm talking about very well.
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Old 27th November 2019, 12:57 PM   #412
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm not arguing with that at all. But the preliminary stage of talking about the possibilities as well as the possible drawbacks is still not a complete waste of time.
Any chance we can get past the preliminary stage at some point?
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Old 27th November 2019, 01:05 PM   #413
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I think there are quite a lot of posts in this thread that demonstrate the attitude I'm talking about very well.
Or they're demonstrating some other attitude, and you're wildly misinterpreting them.
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Old 27th November 2019, 01:09 PM   #414
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Any chance we can get past the preliminary stage at some point?
Long odds.
But a chance.
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Old 27th November 2019, 01:18 PM   #415
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
I'm not sure what this means.

The linked article barely even gets *to* the preliminary stage, let alone past it. Are you saying that there's maybe a point in the future where people will actually want to discuss the details of a UBI scheme and whether specific schemes are likely to work?

Okay, sure. But why aren't there any people like that in this thread already?
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Old 27th November 2019, 01:26 PM   #416
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Why do people over 65 not want $1000 a month? Is there some way that would leave them worse off? Woulld they lose a pension that's already more than that? Would they be worse off because of tax or something?
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Old 27th November 2019, 01:32 PM   #417
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm not sure what this means.

The linked article barely even gets *to* the preliminary stage, let alone past it. Are you saying that there's maybe a point in the future where people will actually want to discuss the details of a UBI scheme and whether specific schemes are likely to work?

Okay, sure. But why aren't there any people like that in this thread already?
I mean that there is a least one candidate for POTUS who is running on an intent to institute one, and that there is broad (if not overwhelming) support for the institution of one.

The possibility of electing a president who intends to institute a UBI seems like a chance of getting beyond the preliminary stage, no?
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Old 27th November 2019, 01:41 PM   #418
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Why do people over 65 not want $1000 a month? Is there some way that would leave them worse off? Woulld they lose a pension that's already more than that? Would they be worse off because of tax or something?
Maybe it's different in Scotland, but here in the US everyone over 65 is a Calvinist. Nobody knows why, but once you turn 65, you convert from whatever your previous belief system was to strict Calvinism.
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Old 27th November 2019, 01:43 PM   #419
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
I mean that there is a least one candidate for POTUS who is running on an intent to institute one, and that there is broad (if not overwhelming) support for the institution of one.

The possibility of electing a president who intends to institute a UBI seems like a chance of getting beyond the preliminary stage, no?
I meant the preliminary stage of saying a UBI might be nice, and moving on to discussing the details of specific UBI proposals, how they'll be funded, what their goals are, and how we'll know if it's achieving those goals.

I certainly hope that nobody is going to implement a UBI without having that kind of discussion, but I can see how the article you cited does raise that worry.
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Old 27th November 2019, 01:47 PM   #420
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
It will be set at $2000 per month per person.

You've been using $1000 which I mentioned earlier. But I totally pulled that number out of my ass. I do not give you permission to use that number. It came from my butt.

The real amount will be $2000.
The current poverty level for a single person in the USA is ~ $12,500 per year, plus ~ $4,400 per additional person (Hawaii and Alaska differ).

So, that $1,000 per month actually looks to be a pretty good starting point, even if you do 'own it' out of your butt.

What evidence/logic do you have to support $2,000/month?
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:12 PM   #421
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I meant the preliminary stage of saying a UBI might be nice, and moving on to discussing the details of specific UBI proposals, how they'll be funded, what their goals are, and how we'll know if it's achieving those goals.

I certainly hope that nobody is going to implement a UBI without having that kind of discussion, but I can see how the article you cited does raise that worry.
Well, it may first have to be accepted that it is a moving target. Any policies would need to accept that the goal will always be "better than it is now" for the most people possible.
Start with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and maybe throw in promoting the general welfare.
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:22 PM   #422
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That makes sense.

In terms of a concrete policy proposal, would you say that a UBI scheme needs to include some way of estimating the number of marginally unproductive, and some way of measuring whether the UBI is increasing their productivity?
Not exactly. There shouldn't be a focus on specific groups of people. What should be considered is the productivity of the whole country with an UBI (I guess via GDP or something). Whether it would be better or worse is just speculation of course, but I think an improved GDP is a possibility. But yes, there needs to be some way of telling whether the scheme works.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think the expectation is that some who don't have to work, won't work.

I also think that most people working at "worthless" jobs are forced to do so by the fact that they don't have anything more valuable to offer. Some people do have something more valuable to offer, and just need a chance to get out of the poverty cycle they're stuck in. A UBI potentially does that, but so do a lot of other things: Job insurance, for example. A small or large loan, for another example. A straight-up one-time lump sum, for yet another.

One goal I think we would have to set, for any reasonable UBI scheme, is conversion of people who have nothing more valuable to offer into people who have something more valuable to offer.

I think this discussion will probably work better if we focus on pragmatic questions, rather than trying to guess and condemn the perceived moral judgements in each other's arguments.
All good points, but I think the main advantage of UBI compared to all those other options is its unconditional nature. It relieves the pressure to settle for something because you have no other choice, and takes undue power away from employers.

Many jobs pay badly because "anyone" can do them, and not because they are worthless as such. If people weren't forced to accept a low wage because of the consequences of unemployment, salaries wouldn't be based on competition among the workforce but actually on the value they contribute (that's my theory at least).

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Old 27th November 2019, 02:37 PM   #423
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Well, it may first have to be accepted that it is a moving target. Any policies would need to accept that the goal will always be "better than it is now" for the most people possible.
Start with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and maybe throw in promoting the general welfare.

This doesn't seem like a very serious proposal. Can you be more specific about your UBI scheme itself?
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:37 PM   #424
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
But that's how it already works, and I don't see your problem occurring.
Obviously no-one can be paid a living wage otherwise no-one will have any incentive to make the slightest attempt to better themselves....
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:41 PM   #425
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Maybe it's different in Scotland, but here in the US everyone over 65 is a Calvinist. Nobody knows why, but once you turn 65, you convert from whatever your previous belief system was to strict Calvinism.

We're born that way mate.
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:46 PM   #426
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
Many jobs pay badly because "anyone" can do them, and not because they are worthless as such. If people weren't forced to accept a low wage because of the consequences of unemployment, salaries wouldn't be based on competition among the workforce but actually on the value they contribute (that's my theory at least).

That is an extremely good point which I hadn't specifically considered. If existing on the bare UBI is preferable to making a pittance more by cleaning toilets or something, then the people who want someone to clean the toilets will have to put the wages up until the job becomes attractive.

I'm not sure how the possibility of bringing in migrant workers who aren't getting the UBI interacts with this. Maybe it's something that needs thought.
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:48 PM   #427
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
Not exactly. There shouldn't be a focus on specific groups of people. What should be considered is the productivity of the whole country with an UBI (I guess via GDP or something). Whether it would be better or worse is just speculation of course, but I think an improved GDP is a possibility. But yes, there needs to be some way of telling whether the scheme works.
It seems like there would be way too many confounding and contentious factors to make this a good metric. If that's your metric, then I'll never vote for your proposal. It'd be too easy for each faction to cherry pick their facts and work whatever spin gets them to the conclusion their partisan politics demand.

Plus, the fact is that a lot of people don't need a UBI. And a lot of people need a lot more than a UBI. For those people who do need a UBI, why wouldn't we want to figure out if they're getting what they need?

Also, what's the point of increasing GDP?

Quote:
All good points, but I think the main advantage of UBI compared to all those other options is its unconditional nature. It relieves the pressure to settle for something because you have no other choice, and takes undue power away from employers.

Many jobs pay badly because "anyone" can do them, and not because they are worthless as such. If people weren't forced to accept a low wage because of the consequences of unemployment, salaries wouldn't be based on competition among the workforce but actually on the value they contribute (that's my theory at least).
This seems like a good theory to test.

One of my main objections to most policy proposals is not that I think they're bad proposals, but because their proponents always seem to assume they're good proposals, and don't need to be given specific goals or metrics for success.
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:51 PM   #428
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
That is an extremely good point which I hadn't specifically considered. If existing on the bare UBI is preferable to making a pittance more by cleaning toilets or something, then the people who want someone to clean the toilets will have to put the wages up until the job becomes attractive.

I'm not sure how the possibility of bringing in migrant workers who aren't getting the UBI interacts with this. Maybe it's something that needs thought.
It would be nice if the jobs that add social capital were rewarded better than they are now. If all the cleaners and all the advertising executives disappeared overnight I think I know which most of us would miss first.
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:58 PM   #429
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Plus, the fact is that a lot of people don't need a UBI. And a lot of people need a lot more than a UBI. For those people who do need a UBI, why wouldn't we want to figure out if they're getting what they need?

The people who don't need the UBI will see little or no difference as the UBI is part of the tax/benefits system and the tax part will be adjusted accordingly.

The people who do need a UBI aren't so hard to monitor, we already have statistics on homelessness and deprivation and poverty. We keep monitoring these.
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Old 27th November 2019, 05:32 PM   #430
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$1000/month would be hard or impossible to live on in major US cities, but not enough to be able to move away from them.
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Old 27th November 2019, 05:46 PM   #431
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
$1000/month would be hard or impossible to live on in major US cities, but not enough to be able to move away from them.
It's per person. Get a group together and you have some serious spending power.
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Old 27th November 2019, 05:47 PM   #432
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
$1000/month would be hard or impossible to live on in major US cities, but not enough to be able to move away from them.

Better than having nothing at all though. If you're already trying to exist in a major city with nothing, then you have $1000 more than you had. You have options you didn't have before.
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Old 27th November 2019, 06:09 PM   #433
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Better than having nothing at all though. If you're already trying to exist in a major city with nothing, then you have $1000 more than you had. You have options you didn't have before.
But the sales pitch that you've been giving in this thread is that the UBI provides shelter, food, utilities and all other basic living necessities for a person without any other form of income. Also there is no requirement that the recipient live in a group.

If you want to "sell" the UBI to people then there can't be any lies or bait-and-switch or enormous amounts of fine print that essentially removes everything that the front page gives.

I've read your sales pitch through this thread. What you are selling so far is going to be $2000 per month per person here in America.

But before you ask me how I figure that and what my numbers are... you start by doing that same thing with $1000.
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Old 27th November 2019, 06:42 PM   #434
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Originally Posted by GodMark2 View Post
The current poverty level for a single person in the USA is ~ $12,500 per year, plus ~ $4,400 per additional person (Hawaii and Alaska differ).

So, that $1,000 per month actually looks to be a pretty good starting point, even if you do 'own it' out of your butt.

What evidence/logic do you have to support $2,000/month?
Rent, food, utilities and life necessities without any other necessary supplementation. At least that is what's being pitched by the sales.

$2000 per month is correct.

The proponents don't seem to actually have a figure. They grabbed the one that I pulled from my ass... like somehow it's a really real and dandy number. It isn't. And if they think that it is a dandy number then they can show how it works.
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Old 27th November 2019, 06:46 PM   #435
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
What is work?

Some people create art. Some people write. Some people train others in sport, or teach.

Work can be paid or unpaid. Some people's work is another's hobbies.

The devil is in the details. Thanks for posting a few figures. I'm sure the boffins are working on that, as indeed we saw yesterday in the Kenya study.

UBI and employment and production will sort itself out somehow. Or we're ******.
The beauty of UBI is that if your passion is in something that is difficult to monetise, you don't have to do something you hate in order to survive. The stereotype of the "starving artist" is destroyed.
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Old 27th November 2019, 07:01 PM   #436
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
The proponents don't seem to actually have a figure. They grabbed the one that I pulled from my ass... like somehow it's a really real and dandy number. It isn't. And if they think that it is a dandy number then they can show how it works.

If you pulled it from your ass it just happens to be the figure that the articles being linked to also suggest.
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Old 27th November 2019, 07:05 PM   #437
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
But the sales pitch that you've been giving in this thread is that the UBI provides shelter, food, utilities and all other basic living necessities for a person without any other form of income. Also there is no requirement that the recipient live in a group.

It's not a "requirement" to do anything. If it's possible to live on that somehow, somewhere, then that is possible. Whether it's moving to a really cheap place, or linking up with half a dozen mates to rent somewhere small in a more expensive area.

Options. Not everything handed out on a platter.

You tell someone who doesn't have a home that he's going to get $1000 a month on this new system. Is he going to say lousy system, I can't get a place of my own in the inner city for that?
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Old 27th November 2019, 07:05 PM   #438
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
If you pulled it from your ass it just happens to be the figure that the articles being linked to also suggest.
I didn't read any links in this thread. I figure that the proponents can explain it to me. Anyway the $1000 won't work no matter whose butt it comes from.
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Old 27th November 2019, 07:07 PM   #439
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The beauty of UBI is that if your passion is in something that is difficult to monetise, you don't have to do something you hate in order to survive. The stereotype of the "starving artist" is destroyed.

You're probably going to have to bring in a bit more if you want to buy artist's materials mind you. But if you can sell a few pieces it should be possible to stay ahead, far more than if you had to make all your living costs from the art.
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Old 27th November 2019, 07:08 PM   #440
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Originally Posted by NewtonTrino View Post
The only thing I want to know is when I get my first check so I can retire!
Vote for Andrew Yang and you might find out.
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