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Old 9th May 2019, 04:46 AM   #41
McHrozni
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
The other most often rationale for UBI over paternalism is that it has the potential to be much more efficient. You don't have to spend resources on the bureacracy to manage providing services directly or determine who is in need of what. They figure that out for themselves.
That's true. However UBI also spreads what is available for said services across the entire population. The rationale works if there is a complex bureocracy to determine who needs what and a large enough part of the populace is a net reciever of aid with comparably few contributing to it.

I sincierly doubt this is remotely true anywhere in the world.

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Old 9th May 2019, 05:59 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Oh no! "Wealth redistribution"!.



I'm going to say it. Wealth should be redistributed. Take some of the wealth away from the obsanely rich and give it to some poor people so they don't starve.
You try to make fun of my position, but then advocate exactly my position.
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Old 9th May 2019, 07:54 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If this was directed at me I never said anything about not being able to afford etc. I merely question the means of redistribution to those in need, whether directly supplying money is preferable to instead supplying the goods and services that money should be buying. I don't object to a portion of taxes taken in money going towards a safety net, but I'm not sold on the notion that the form that safety net should take is a cash payment rather than food, clothing, shelter, etc.
The problem is that having bureaucrats decide what the poor should be spending money on is wasteful, degrading and prone to corruption.

The wasteful part comes in two ways: Not only is it expensive to set up the bureaucracy but there is no incentive for an individual to negotiate low cost accommodation if they don't get to keep the difference between that and what the bureaucrats decide is appropriate accommodation.
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Old 9th May 2019, 04:07 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You try to make fun of my position, but then advocate exactly my position.
No, I tried to make fun of your use of an antisocialist dogwhistle. That's all.
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Old 9th May 2019, 05:08 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
No, I tried to make fun of your use of an antisocialist dogwhistle. That's all.
Oh. Well you failed miserably. In the same post where I mentioned blanket wealth redistribution, I also advocated a taxpayer funded social safety net for those who need it.

Why is it a problem for you, if I refer to UBI as a blanket wealth redistribution?
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Old 9th May 2019, 05:28 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Oh. Well you failed miserably. In the same post where I mentioned blanket wealth redistribution, I also advocated a taxpayer funded social safety net for those who need it.

Why is it a problem for you, if I refer to UBI as a blanket wealth redistribution?
Yeah, it was a pretty offhand comment, and I'm not going to attempt to justify it.
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Old 9th May 2019, 07:10 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yeah, it was a pretty offhand comment, and I'm not going to attempt to justify it.
Could you at least apologize for it?
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Old 9th May 2019, 07:32 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Could you at least apologize for it?
Unreservedly. I'm sorry to have made that remark.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 05:59 PM   #49
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I have great reservations about UBI.

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

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

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

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

But free cash? No thanks.

Even I'm sure simply handing out monthly checks would be a less expensive program, I still prefer EBT cards, rent vouchers, etc. Gives me peace of mind that my tax dollars won't be wasted and helps me sleep better at night.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 06:22 PM   #50
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As a social liberal and fiscal conservative, I agree. People, and children in particular, should not be forced to go without housing, education, food, and medical care. But as you say, a significant portion would spend cash on drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc. before what's needed.
Liberal as I am, I have to admit that for a significant portion of the poor and deprived, it's their own fault. There needs to be a hand up for them, not a hand out.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 06:26 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
As a social liberal and fiscal conservative, I agree. People, and children in particular, should not be forced to go without housing, education, food, and medical care. But as you say, a significant portion would spend cash on drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc. before what's needed.
Liberal as I am, I have to admit that for a significant portion of the poor and deprived, it's their own fault. There needs to be a hand up for them, not a hand out.
I was thinking about how I would talk about this with a supporter of UBI.

I'd ask them, "would you prefer to give a hungry homeless person $5 in cash or buy them a hamburger?". I think most would prefer to buy them a hamburger than give them their own money.

Even if the guy does buy food with the $5, at least if we buy them the burger we KNOW for sure they actually bought food and not cigarettes or a Lotto ticket.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 06:39 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Hercules56 View Post
I was thinking about how I would talk about this with a supporter of UBI.

I'd ask them, "would you prefer to give a hungry homeless person $5 in cash or buy them a hamburger?". I think most would prefer to buy them a hamburger than give them their own money.

Even if the guy does buy food with the $5, at least if we buy them the burger we KNOW for sure they actually bought food and not cigarettes or a Lotto ticket.
You're right. Most people are condescending jerks.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 06:41 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
You're right. Most people are condescending jerks.
Wow.

Why is it condescending to want to make sure that our donations are used for a useful purpose and not wasted?

What matters is that we are trying to help people, right?

If you were homeless would you rather receive NO help or a credit card that could only be used for food?
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Old 22nd November 2019, 06:56 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Hercules56 View Post
Wow.

Why is it condescending to want to make sure that our donations are used for a useful purpose and not wasted?

What matters is that we are trying to help people, right?

If you were homeless would you rather receive NO help or a credit card that could only be used for food?
What I'd rather is that people don't make policy out of treating people like they're stupid because they're down on their luck. If they're hungry and have money, guess what? They'll buy something to eat.

In the more abstract, I'd also rather never see this thread resurrected again because in the US our politicians often won't even let people have "a credit card that [can] only be used for food" (food stamps) unless they find a job first. It's a rare month when I don't see yet another story about either federal or state governments increasing restrictions on who gets food stamps.

In other words, get real. UBI is pie-in-the-sky ******** when we refuse to feed hungry people with programs we actually have, and when we refuse to move to single-payer healthcare despite a mountain of evidence showing that we could not only do it but save money in the process.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 07:59 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Hercules56 View Post
I was thinking about how I would talk about this with a supporter of UBI.

I'd ask them, "would you prefer to give a hungry homeless person $5 in cash or buy them a hamburger?". I think most would prefer to buy them a hamburger than give them their own money.

Even if the guy does buy food with the $5, at least if we buy them the burger we KNOW for sure they actually bought food and not cigarettes or a Lotto ticket.
That $5 hamburger would probably be worth only $3. And if the person prefers beefburgers then we have not done much for the person. Give the poor the $6 ($5 we gave the poor person and the $1 we spent doing paperwork) and some education about budgeting and how to deal with the issues that make them buy drugs.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 08:28 PM   #56
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I agree, it's definitely condescending, and arrogant, to imagine that 'we' know better than 'them' what 'they' should be using resources on.

Whether 'they' earn their money, or are handed it via UBI or benefits, is irrelevant, IMO. Once we decide on redistribution, the the nature of that redistribution should be left in the hands of the beneficiary.

For instance, playing the lottery. Who is to say that spending one dollar out of five on a lotto slip (or a high-risk business venture) might not be better than spending it all on food? We smug net-contibutor types don't know the future; and, in any case, it is making decisions of this kind that makes us humans and free (wo)men.

Sure, actual addicts cannot be trusted to make good decisions. But to imagine that all net beneficiaries in some redistribution scheme are similary incapable of doing the right thing, seems insufferably arrogant to me.

Of course, both these POVs are only opinions. This issue -- benifits or UBI? -- is probably best decided through localized empirical research on what people actually do, not what we imagine they might do. Localized, because different groups will likely behave differently.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 12:36 AM   #57
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My friend bought a guy a hamburger once and he watched the guy go to the bus stop and try to sell it to people. I've offered to buy food for people begging for money in front of restaurants and been refused more than once. In fact only one person has ever accepted it (and I watched him eat it).

Do I think if someone is hungry they will buy food instead of drugs? Yes they often do. I see some extremely skinny people walking around downtown San Jose that are as high as a kite.

Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime. I'll buy one rod, a hook and some line for someone.

Wow how we have changed - or at least many want us to. Free money for all...wtf? Howzabout we just get rid of the idiots and save the rest us a lot of - everything!
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Old 23rd November 2019, 12:59 AM   #58
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I'm not in favor of UBI unless there is also a Universal Basic Support: people shouldn't be in a position where they have to decide between getting food or medical care, period.
The whole point of UBI is to take existential anxiety away from everyone, but I don't think it's the right tool to do so.
What would be needed is a parallel state subsidized program of food stamps, health insurance and affordable housing so that you could maybe spend 70% of your UBI on having all your basic necessities taken care of, even if you somehow waste the other 30% you aren't left in exactly the same position as you were before UBI.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 01:13 AM   #59
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What are most social problems, crime, and family arguments about?

Lack of Money.

I think a UBI would reduce many problems in society.

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



Distribute a larger proportion of wealth directly to the people, and I think it's likely (as do many proponents of UBI) that less funding would be needed on social services' bandaid solutions.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 04:24 AM   #60
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Deciding what people need and giving it to them might make you feel better but it doesn't follow that it meets their needs. There's no point in ten people generously giving a hamburger to someone on the same day for example, and food vouchers won't help someone desperately needing warm, dry socks or a sleeping bag.

https://metro.co.uk/2017/04/09/these...rence-6563674/
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Old 23rd November 2019, 05:10 AM   #61
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And the thing is, if we're going to dictate to people what to consume, why stop with the benefits crowd? Why not everyone?

Why shouldn't, then, all of our salaries be first given to us in food coupons, then in schooling coupons, then in medical coupons, and so forth for all the necessities, and only the excess over all of this in cash?

Not trusting folks with a UBI assumes, implicitly, that the benefits folks are to blame for their plight, that it's something lacking in their moral make-up, not that it's a systemic issue. Because whether or not cash derives from a job or from UBI, and whether or not someone's able to spend wisely, are two entirely separate questions.

Those advocating a patrnalistic can't-trust-them policy are implicitly conflating these two issues. That conflation is not warranted, not unless research explicitly bears this out empirically.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 06:54 AM   #62
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I don't think UBI has ever been properly tried. It's for everyone. Not just the poor or the unemployed or the marginalised, but for everyone. No exceptions, no discrimination, no stigma. It requires a restructure of the entire tax-benefits system. I don't know how it's structured as regards age, because I don't think you'd give a newborn baby a full adult income, but on the other hand you'd give it something. I also don't quite know what you do about disability because it costs a lot more to live if you're disabled, so some disability benefits would presumably have to remain.

But in effect everybody has enough to live on, at a very basic no-frills level. No need for tax rebates and social security benefits. I have read a number of articles about it. The only objections that seem to come up are "some people don't deserve this" and "some people would spend the money on things I don't approve of", which are spurious. The question of whether the number of people who would choose to vegetate unproductively at this bare minimum standard of living (and no doubt there would be some) would offset the many other benefits is simply something we don't know the answer to.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 07:12 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
And the thing is, if we're going to dictate to people what to consume, why stop with the benefits crowd? Why not everyone?

Why shouldn't, then, all of our salaries be first given to us in food coupons, then in schooling coupons, then in medical coupons, and so forth for all the necessities, and only the excess over all of this in cash?
Don't worry, if Johnson's backers get their way we'll all be getting our wages in company script.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 07:30 AM   #64
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Most people seem to baulk at a "livable" UBI. To implement something like this immediately would be too traumatic - even if it were affordable.

That doesn't mean that we should go for nothing instead. Eliminate tax free thresholds and reduce existing welfare payments by the UBI and we could have a UBI that doesn't cost anything. It may be well short of a "livable" payment but it would still be better than consigning large numbers of people to dumpsters for a living.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 08:03 AM   #65
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As you say, it could be introduced gradually. You need to structure the tax system so that people who are already comfortable don't actually get extra money, but they do need to get the UBI or it isn't universal.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 08:15 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
...Howzabout we just get rid of the idiots and save the rest us a lot of - everything!
Maybe you should suggest that idea to your favorite Trump-supporting congress member. Start rating the population in terms of productivity -- maybe through a government agency created for the purpose -- and set a baseline standard. Below that, adios amigo. It might require some Constitutional retooling -- and libtards could be expected to be squeamish about the idea -- but why not give it a shot?
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Old 23rd November 2019, 09:05 AM   #67
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It would be quite some experiment, but I would like to see how it would work. The limited experiment in Finland seemed to work pretty well, but that wasn't a universal income, it was more like helicopter money targeted at people who seemed like good bets to get on their feet if they had a bit of a helping hand. (I think helicopter money would work, but that's a different issue.)

We're entering an age of automation. Given how much drudge work is already done by machines of one sort or another it's a miracle we've managed to keep employment as high as it is for so long. Soon there will be driverless vehicles which will eliminate everything from truckers to Uber drivers to pizza delivery guys. I could envisage a vicious circle where so many people became unemployed that service industries, which rely on customers with enough disposable income to want their product, struggle and start to disappear. Causing more people to become unemployed.

It was once envisaged that increased automation would lead to everyone working fewer hours, more leisure time for everyone (on the same salary of course), and an actual boost in service industry jobs as people had more time for luxuries like meals out or entertainment. But that's not what's happening. The people who control the automation are simply cutting down on worker numbers while squeezing those who are left till their pips squeak. When Amazon works out a way to automate its warehouses, are their poorly-paid and overworked warehouse staff going to benefit? No, they'll lose their jobs.

What would happen if everyone had a guaranteed income that was enough to ensure, with decent budgeting, a basic warm home and simple but sufficient food? Paid for by taxation, so that for one thing the people who have benefited from automating away all these jobs contribute to the maintenance of the people who don't have jobs.

I don't know because nobody has done the experiment, for fairly obvious reasons. You can't simulate it because it's an experiment to find out how people would behave, and you can't programme a simulation with the data you're trying to establish. I have no doubt that some people would somehow manage to vegetate on the basic income and contribute nothing to society. But would there be enough of these to be a problem? Human beings are creative and active. Human beings have an incentive to better themselves. The people in the Finnish experiment did get up and do things with their "free" income. I don't know how you'd do the experiment without having complete fiscal control of a small country, but I'd love to know the outcome.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 09:21 AM   #68
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What would you do if there were an UBI scheme and you got money? Since I'm making a decent salary already I would just invest whatever they gave me. So on the one hand I'd be putting money back into companies, but I'd be extracting money as well in the form of dividends, and eventually I'd sell those investments to cash in. I wouldn't be spending the UBI directly on consumer goods or services. So would I be helping, hurting, or neutral to the overall economy in my use of my share of the UBI? And what percentage of the population would do the same as I?
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Old 23rd November 2019, 09:53 AM   #69
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In a Capitalist Society, one role of the State is to constantly re-distribute wealth from the Top to the middle and bottom - simply because the Market does the opposite automatically.
Just to keep the system going, money (or credit) has to be transferred to those who primarily buy and not invest.
The a game of Monopoly would be over in five rounds if it wasn't for the regular influx of cash to all when you pass "GO".
A UBI would make this transfer permanent, and as a result, the Market would become much more stable - in particular, recessions would be significantly reduces in size and duration.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 09:55 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
What would you do if there were an UBI scheme and you got money? Since I'm making a decent salary already I would just invest whatever they gave me. So on the one hand I'd be putting money back into companies, but I'd be extracting money as well in the form of dividends, and eventually I'd sell those investments to cash in. I wouldn't be spending the UBI directly on consumer goods or services. So would I be helping, hurting, or neutral to the overall economy in my use of my share of the UBI? And what percentage of the population would do the same as I?

You wouldn't actually get extra money if you were already making a decent salary. The entire tax and benefits system would be reformed. It would sort itself out in tax bands but it would be a fundamental change in how money is distributed among the population.

At the moment (I'm talking about in Britain but I think most countries are basically similar) everyone has a tax-free amount of income before tax kicks in. This is sort of a similar thing, in that it's meant to give everyone who has an income the ability to earn (or otherwise acquire) a basic amount of money to live on before the state begins to take money away.

The trouble is that some people don't even have that much. UBI is in effect going to ensure that everybody does, by actually giving it to them. So that would be about £12,000 a year by that logic. You then have the problem of structuring tax bands so that people who earn more on top of that aren't hammered for doing so, i.e. you have to have an incentive to better yourself. But at the same time you have to generate enough tax revenue to fund the UBI.

I've seen articles explaining how it's done. The benefits you get are those of any reduction in inequality in society, which makes richer people happier as well as poorer people.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 09:58 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
In a Capitalist Society, one role of the State is to constantly re-distribute wealth from the Top to the middle and bottom - simply because the Market does the opposite automatically.
Just to keep the system going, money (or credit) has to be transferred to those who primarily buy and not invest.
The a game of Monopoly would be over in five rounds if it wasn't for the regular influx of cash to all when you pass "GO".
A UBI would make this transfer permanent, and as a result, the Market would become much more stable - in particular, recessions would be significantly reduces in size and duration.

That seems to be a good way to explain it. Thanks for that.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 10:11 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
What would you do if there were an UBI scheme and you got money? Since I'm making a decent salary already I would just invest whatever they gave me. So on the one hand I'd be putting money back into companies, but I'd be extracting money as well in the form of dividends, and eventually I'd sell those investments to cash in. I wouldn't be spending the UBI directly on consumer goods or services. So would I be helping, hurting, or neutral to the overall economy in my use of my share of the UBI? And what percentage of the population would do the same as I?

You, and most of us here who're reasonably well off, we'd be net contributors, not net gainers. Our tax outgo would go up, and that would be offset, only partly though, by the UBI.

What do we do with it? I don't know, whatever we want? Invest in growth, invest conservatively, spend it ... I mean, money's wholly fungible, so we'll do with this money whatever we'd tend to do with money generally?

*

Like Rolfe says, since over a century people have been going on about how enhanced productivity ought to free us up from drudgery, blah blah blah -- and indeed it should! -- and what more straightforward way to do this than a UBI sufficient for simple sustenance?

So what if some/many wish to vegetate? Let them, they're doing it by sacrificing quality of life measured in money (no doubt offset, in their eyes, by enhanced quality of life in terms of leisure). Why not, if that's what they want?

I personally believe most would gravitate towards actually higher productivity, in work of their own choice. But even if this did not happen for many, no harm done, really. Do we really want (to perpetuate) an economy that's based on extorting work out of people on pain of being deprived of basic necessities and basic dignity?
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Old 23rd November 2019, 10:53 AM   #73
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I think the lack of means to enjoy leisure activities would weigh heavily for a lot of people. Especially young people who know there's a whole world of experiences out there to get involved in. You can sit at home and do origami with the newspaper you've managed to purchase out of your UBI, or you can take up walking until you can't afford the extra footwear, or you can work maybe 20 hours a week, and make enough to be able to attend a concert or a sporting event or go for a nice meal - or take a package holiday abroad.

You can get training or an education to let you work at something you don't entirely hate. You can use your time to make something marketable, or get a new business off the ground. It would actually transform the progression into adulthood.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 11:16 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
In a Capitalist Society, one role of the State is to constantly re-distribute wealth from the Top to the middle and bottom - simply because the Market does the opposite automatically.

Then why does wealth in the Capitalist Society, which the State maintains and secures, always end up in the hands of the Top?
What the State actually does is maintain the smooth workings of a Capitalist Society where the wealth that's produced by the members of what you call the middle and bottom from the very start belongs to the Top because the upper classes are the ones that the working classes produce it for. The handouts given to the unemployed don't re-distribute anything. The wealth belongs to the upper classes, and the handouts merely keep alive a class that would otherwise perish because of the way that wealth is produced in a Capitalist Society.
The State perpetuates a system where wealth belongs to the top and remains there.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 11:27 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Then why does wealth in the Capitalist Society, which the State maintains and secures, always end up in the hands of the Top?
What the State actually does is maintain the smooth workings of a Capitalist Society where the wealth that's produced by the members of what you call the middle and bottom from the very start belongs to the Top because the upper classes are the ones that the working classes produce it for. The handouts given to the unemployed don't re-distribute anything. The wealth belongs to the upper classes, and the handouts merely keep alive a class that would otherwise perish because of the way that wealth is produced in a Capitalist Society.
The State perpetuates a system where wealth belongs to the top and remains there.
I said that's the role of the State, not how well in practice the state performs it.
In the US, the state mostly works in shifting credit, not money by keeping interest rates low and going into debt favorable tax-wise.
But compared to some states where there is next to no government-run wealth re-distribution, the US is doing not to badly in keeping the bottom 50% somewhat liquid - if you ignore the healthcare system.

As mentioned, the economy would run much, much better if the state would focus on strengthening Demand instead of single-mindedly supporting Supply.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 11:37 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Yes, let’s perpetuate the memes that keep the one percent in their place, maintain our middling privileged existences and poor minorities down. Unbridled capitalism FTW!
This is why I don't support any sort of UBI -- it's an essentially 'hail-mary' pass at keeping people in thrall to capitalism, thinking it's the only way to solve humanity's problems.



Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Oh no! "Wealth redistribution"!.

I'm going to say it. Wealth should be redistributed. Take some of the wealth away from the obsanely rich and give it to some poor people so they don't starve.
Or... not.

How about maybe let people who earn money to keep all of the money generated by their labor instead of redistributing that wealth to a small handful of humans and then attempt to redistribute it back again?
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Old 23rd November 2019, 11:43 AM   #77
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I'm all ears. Sounds good. I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 03:31 PM   #78
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I don't know a whole lot about economics but I would predict that a UBI would cause price inflation of consumer goods and services. I could be wrong.

Let's pretend the UBI is $1000 per month. That's free cash without strings attached. Suddenly everyone has $1000 per month that they never had before. Suddenly everyone is able to pay more for goods and services than they were already paying before this monthly windfall.

Q: Why did you raise your price of a dozen eggs from $2 to $5?
A: Stop complaining Mr. Moneybags, I know what you've got in your pocket.

Would prices go up if everyone suddenly has a bigger pile of money to spend?
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Old 23rd November 2019, 03:37 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Suddenly everyone has $1000 per month that they never had before.

No, that is absolutely not how it works.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 04:11 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
No, that is absolutely not how it works.
I thought I saw posts in this thread talking about some people getting the money who don't actually need it.
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