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Old 25th November 2019, 12:19 AM   #161
Orphia Nay
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
A UBI would pay dividends in ways like you listed and even in other ways we haven't even thought of or can even calculate.
Many current welfare systems disincentivize work. What point would there be in working, even a few hours a week, if it cut into your other benefits?
UBI doesn't cut into benefits.

It's no strings attached.

The rich get it. The poor get it. The imprisoned get it. Workers get it.

Benefits wouldn't be needed. It's a basic welfare payment.

(Funny how "welfare" now means (to many people) a form of indentured slavery and punishment.)

Imagine the savings in Australia if we scrapped Centrelink. (And possibly the NHS and other countries' systems.)

Centrelink is a vast, disjointed, labyrinth of old, new, and outdated tech with so many glitches that the walk-in offices are all closing because no-one can help anyone who comes in, or navigate the haphazard maze.

The decades of patches and bug fixes caused more problems. None of the "upgrades" and portals, apps, and departments can sync properly, nor do they use the same fields as earlier versions.

Get rid of that monstrosity, and the management of all the convoluted and incongruous "welfare" payments. You'd save quite a sizeable chunk of the national budget!


One payment for all.

Yes, even the imprisoned. In there, they can learn to manage an honest income. That's a huge part of what rehabilitation is all about.

So many studies, books, and courses on what rehabilitation SHOULD be.

(We're surrounded by boomers and the overworked and underpaid in here, and we all need to get out more, learn, and teach each other new things. )

All of this "free money" seems a shock to many people like us whose lives have been based on simplistic "scientific" studies and assumptions from over 50 years ago.

Give a rat in an empty cage one button which does nothing, and one which gives it cocaine - guess what, they all use cocaine repeatedly!

Give lots of rats in a spacious "Rat Park" with games, toys, food, fresh air, friends, and guess what - they try the cocaine and go back to the other things. Only very, very rarely does one use it addictively.


Remember "rats in a rat park".

You might start seeing that solution when you see the problems created by "rats on cocaine" punishment policies of patriarchal or colonialist austerity and totalitarianism.
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Old 25th November 2019, 12:30 AM   #162
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One proponent of UBI is Rutger Bregman.

I follow him on Twitter, and if I could clone myself a few times, one of the things I'd use the extra time for is to read his, "Utopia for Realists". (It's now been translated into over 30 languages.)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/01/w...n-carlson.html

He's the one who told off the 1500 elite economists at Davos 2019 for all flying there in jets to hear David Attenborough talk about climate change.

He told them off for not talking about the ultra-rich needing to pay more taxes.

This clip (less than 2 mins has more):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8ijiLqfXP0

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Old 25th November 2019, 07:58 AM   #163
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I was also thinking about rat park when I was writing some of the above. I think it was heroin they used rather than cocaine, but same principle. A follow-up experiment took rats which had become apparently hopelessly addicted in the deprived-environment part of the study and transferred them to rat park. They voluntarily gave up the heroin, without evidence of withdrawal symptoms.

This was analogous to the observed results from the troops returning from Vietnam. Many had become heroin addicts during the war and the authorities were braced to deal with an epidemic of addicted veterans on the streets. Didn't happen. Most of these men had wives and families to go back to. Returning to the security and companionship of normal life seemed to work just like rat park worked on the rats.

This brings to mind several books I read when I was a teenager. They dealt with evangelical Christian groups working with heroin addicts in different parts of the USA. The people were genuinely selfless, welcoming addicts into their families and communities and sharing everything with them. They repeatedly reported addicts coming off heroin with no withdrawal symptoms. They ascribed this to a miraculous effect of the phenomenon they called "receiving the Holy Spirit" (I think) during which people "speak in tongues" (I heard it once and it sounded like hysteria-induced babbling). A more mundane explanation seems to me to be the unconditional acceptance the addicts were given into the affection of a family environment. Rat park.

I think a UBI scheme could act as a rat park for an entire country. There's always going to be someone it won't work for, but poverty and deprivation are huge drivers of both crime and addiction. The reduction in crime and addicitive behaviour could save a great deal.

I think for this reason a workable UBI should be set high enough to allow single people to have a social life. I'm not quite sure how you do that, but it needs to be thought about.
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Old 25th November 2019, 10:22 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
(And possibly the NHS and other countries' systems.)

I'd hate to try this without the NHS. If people are going to be required to budget for all possible medical and surgical requirements then even if they saved their entire UBI and became breatharians they couldn't possibly accumulate enough money. I actually think universal healthcare that is either free or very affordable at the point of need is an essential foundation for UBI.
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Old 25th November 2019, 01:03 PM   #165
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I think universal income combined with universal transport would completely free up gridlock in a number of cities making your commute as smooth as a baby's ass as well as provide necessary income for about a billion employed professional unionized drivers. Of course you would have to have a universal phone system to handle all that traffic. Also, could we get universal healthcare and get student loan forgiveness too? Thanks Bernie
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Old 25th November 2019, 01:32 PM   #166
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I think the transport thing is an excellent idea on its own. If public transport is good enough and free then people can be weaned off cars. Using environmentally sustainable vehicles would also contribute towards reducing greenhouse gases. However there may be few driving jobs if driverless vehicles become established as seems likely.
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Old 25th November 2019, 01:56 PM   #167
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Public transport free. Metro busses nominal fee. Taxi van moving truck more but unionized and subsidised. Some jobs require a POV. Or you could go Judge Dread style with free driverless cars at stands
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Old 25th November 2019, 01:57 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I think the transport thing is an excellent idea on its own. If public transport is good enough and free then people can be weaned off cars. Using environmentally sustainable vehicles would also contribute towards reducing greenhouse gases. However there may be few driving jobs if driverless vehicles become established as seems likely.
Self driving vehicles could, theoretically, be total game changers and remove the need, if not the desire, for privately owned transport for most people.
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Old 25th November 2019, 02:02 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Self driving vehicles could, theoretically, be total game changers and remove the need, if not the desire, for privately owned transport for most people.
Why? Regardless of whether I'm driving it or it's driving itself my needs for my own transport won't change. I'm still going to have to go the places I go when I need to go them.
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Old 25th November 2019, 02:15 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Why? Regardless of whether I'm driving it or it's driving itself my needs for my own transport won't change. I'm still going to have to go the places I go when I need to go them.
And self driving vehicles can get you there and get you back. At the times when they're not driving you they can be driving other people. Unlike current car share schemes they can get themselves to where they are needed rather than you having to worry about pick up and drop off points.

Please note I didn't say that no-one would want their own vehicle or that no-one would need their own car, but most people's cars spend much more time parked than they do in use. I doubt it will precipitate a sudden change in the car ownership model we have now, but the potential is certainly there if people choose embrace it.
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Old 25th November 2019, 02:19 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
And self driving vehicles can get you there and get you back. At the times when they're not driving you they can be driving other people. Unlike current car share schemes they can get themselves to where they are needed rather than you having to worry about pick up and drop off points.

Please note I didn't say that no-one would want their own vehicle or that no-one would need their own car, but most people's cars spend much more time parked than they do in use. I doubt it will precipitate a sudden change in the car ownership model we have now, but the potential is certainly there if people choose embrace it.
If you can guarantee me instant transport on demand at all times, 24/7, then I'd agree. Otherwise no, I need my own transportation.
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Old 25th November 2019, 02:36 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Why? Regardless of whether I'm driving it or it's driving itself my needs for my own transport won't change. I'm still going to have to go the places I go when I need to go them.
It could drive itself to your door eliminating the need for POV . You could additionally have stands of them like taxi stands. Would help older people remain independent
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Old 25th November 2019, 02:46 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If you can guarantee me instant transport on demand at all times, 24/7, then I'd agree. Otherwise no, I need my own transportation.
And again I point out that I never said that no-one would want or need their own private transport.
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Old 25th November 2019, 03:11 PM   #174
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I sort of envisage individual cars of various sizes, perhaps 2-4-6-8 seaters, distributed around with depots where they are charged when not in use, so that most people can snag one (presumably through a phone app) within a reasonable time. When the cars are in transit they can link up into longer units for more efficiant use of road space, with motorways in effect carrying a series of car-trains. Then the trains break apart again when the individual destination is approaching.

I guess you'd want room to work, and in-car entertainment. Would you have different models - basic for a quick run to the shops, more comfortable for long trips? I have trouble seeing how this would be conducive to private enterprise, although I suppose it's possible. My gut instinct is also that this isn't free, but perhaps short local journeys are free or very inexpensive.

Sorry, this is getting a bit far from UBI but it's the sort of future we could be heading for in parallel with UBI systems being introduced.

If we haven't all drowned, perished in a hurricane, starved or died of thirst due to climate change first.
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Old 25th November 2019, 03:36 PM   #175
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Making them free to the consumer as part of UBI would make them more acceptable to the public so they wouldn’t get destroyed so much. Right now the optics on self driving cars are pretty bad
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Old 25th November 2019, 03:39 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by MinnesotaBrant View Post
It could drive itself to your door eliminating the need for POV .
How quickly? Because right now I can get transport right now. Like the vast majority of people I'm not willing to "upgrade" to a system that's less good than the current system.
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Old 25th November 2019, 03:53 PM   #177
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A hell of a lot of people would trade a car in the drive for one that showed up in 15 minutes (say) at a small fraction of the cost of buying, maintaining and running the private car. And which was never subject to breakdowns, and it's somebody else's job to maintain and fix it.
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Old 25th November 2019, 04:02 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
How quickly? Because right now I can get transport right now. Like the vast majority of people I'm not willing to "upgrade" to a system that's less good than the current system.
Old people driving, gridlock in certain areas, freezing flooded impassible roads, accident fatalities. I am not saying that you can’t buy a car in the future but it would be impractical in our unsustainable road system
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Old 25th November 2019, 04:16 PM   #179
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I imagine some people will still run their own vehicles for one reason or another. But if the only inconvenience to you is that you have to call the car maybe 15 minutes before you want it (you can probably set it up well in advance too, maybe a regular order for your usual leave-for-work time), and for that you're relieved of all the costs of running your own car and the hassle of having to schedule its repairs and maintenance, I have a crawling suspicion it won't be many.

I'm reading a book where the future society has all that (the economics of it all isn't discussed), but it's actually flying cars and you can cross the planet in an hour or two. But the basic concept would work for road vehicles at normal speeds.
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Old 25th November 2019, 05:36 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I won't vote for these kinds of cars in a UBI package unless they have Nazi Eliminators.

A Nazi gets in one of these cars. The technology detects that a Nazi has entered. The car seals and gas enters the cabin. Fatal gas or sleepy gas - I don't know yet.
Yes, the last few posts have gone way beyond the concept of a UBI. Since when did national health or driverless cars become an essential component of UBI.

We are trying to solve a specific problem. That is one where large numbers of people are forced to compete against each other for a dwindling number of demeaning jobs. We are not trying to create a utopia.
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Old 25th November 2019, 05:50 PM   #181
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Driverless cars are a digression, yes, but relevant because they're on the horizon and it's likely that a society which decided to introduce UBI would be doing so in the context of these being available. I mentioned this in an earlier post in the context of driverless cars causing the loss of driving jobs, which will throw a huge number of people out of work. The fact that they might also change or reduce household expenditure is also not entirely irrelevant.

Healthcare is also an issue in that I can't see how anyone can be secure on a low income in a society which does not have universal healthcare. And being secure on a low income is kind of what this is about.
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Old 25th November 2019, 05:58 PM   #182
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I suppose this is a good opportunity to post this:

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Old 25th November 2019, 06:01 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Healthcare is also an issue in that I can't see how anyone can be secure on a low income in a society which does not have universal healthcare. And being secure on a low income is kind of what this is about.
Healthcare is a issue but one that is completely separate from UBI. It needs its own separate thread.

To suggest that there is no point in implementing a UBI unless we simultaneously reform healthcare would be to throw the baby out with the bath water.
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Old 25th November 2019, 06:05 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Healthcare is a issue but one that is completely separate from UBI. It needs its own separate thread.

To suggest that there is no point in implementing a UBI unless we simultaneously reform healthcare would be to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Slow down, I'm adding notes. *writes carefully* "universal free infant velocitation aquadynamic system". Yes, that sounds like something we can roll into a progressive agenda.
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Old 25th November 2019, 06:18 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Healthcare is a issue but one that is completely separate from UBI. It needs its own separate thread.

To suggest that there is no point in implementing a UBI unless we simultaneously reform healthcare would be to throw the baby out with the bath water.

I'm sitting in a place where we already have universal healthcare free at the point of use. I struggle to see how any UBI system could produce the desired results without it.
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Old 25th November 2019, 06:20 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I suppose this is a good opportunity to post this:

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"Better technology makes more better jobs for horses".

This encapsulates the mind set of those who think that technology poses no threat to employment.
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Old 25th November 2019, 06:22 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm sitting in a place where we already have universal healthcare free at the point of use. I struggle to see how any UBI system could produce the desired results without it.
Health care needs reforming whether we have UBI or not.

We need UBI whether health care is reformed or not.
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Old 25th November 2019, 06:38 PM   #188
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Indeed. But will the latter work at all without the former?
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Old 25th November 2019, 06:42 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Indeed. But will the latter work at all without the former?
Yes. It may not make health care affordable by itself but it will solve other big ticket items.
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Old 25th November 2019, 07:01 PM   #190
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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.
Late to the thread, but I have to know. Am I the only person who doesn't have a problem with recipients of government handouts buying lottery tickets? They are giving money they believe they can spare back to the government!
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Old 25th November 2019, 07:09 PM   #191
psionl0
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Originally Posted by Random View Post
Am I the only person who doesn't have a problem with recipients of government handouts buying lottery tickets?
You are not the only one and it isn't just lottery tickets.

Many people can't handle money. They will blow it on gambling or drugs and may even get in to hock up to their eyeballs and owe the loan sharks big time. That doesn't mean that we should deny them a share of the UBI or force them to jump through hoops just to ensure that they spend their money the "right" way.
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Old 25th November 2019, 07:29 PM   #192
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If I owe the bots and don't have a job will they take it out of my UBI or will that be protected or is a Charlton Heston Soylant Green kind of situation? I prefer the everything you ever wanted for free scenario better. I am guessing that most of the population will end up owing the bots
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Old 25th November 2019, 07:58 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by MinnesotaBrant View Post
If I owe the bots and don't have a job will they take it out of my UBI or will that be protected or is a Charlton Heston Soylant Green kind of situation?
Who knows what will happen after the singularity? Maybe the bots will decide that mass genocide is preferable to wasting limited planetary resources on keeping humans alive.
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Old 25th November 2019, 08:14 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You are not the only one and it isn't just lottery tickets.

Many people can't handle money. They will blow it on gambling or drugs and may even get in to hock up to their eyeballs and owe the loan sharks big time. That doesn't mean that we should deny them a share of the UBI or force them to jump through hoops just to ensure that they spend their money the "right" way.
How fortunate we in this forum are not like them...

Or is this sarcasm or a bit of intended wit?

In edit: Sincere apologies. This post comes off as much more abrasive than I intended. I think we largely agree. Sorry!

Last edited by Giordano; 25th November 2019 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 25th November 2019, 08:21 PM   #195
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This thread is something else. Parts of it come off as a serious consideration of a UBI and parts of it sound like when kids fantasize about their future dream houses (Ooooo! My basement will have a pool with dolphins!).

Anyway...A UBI is just that: a universal basic income. You get it, rich or poor and it pays enough to cover the costs of the basics (basic food and shelter, primarily) and it’s money to do with as you please. The advantages are that you eliminate the administrative costs of unemployment, food stamps and housing; everyone gets enough for the basics and people feel secure enough to better their positions without feeling tied to a job. Not bad in advantages.

I see major downsides, especially if it’s supposed to pay for food and shelter even if people aren’t working. Primarily, if you just give people cash, some of them will not buy the basics. Thus, you will still have a substantial population of people that don’t have shelter and don’t have enough to eat. What happens to them?

Another downside is that there is no universal amount you can give each citizen that will provide them all with the basics. $800 will easily pay for a small studio apartment and basic sustenance for one person where I live. In San Francisco? I’d bet that number well exceeds $2000 per person. So this couldn’t be a national thing. Heck, it couldn’t even be a State thing (Dallas is a lot more expensive than McAllen). It would have to be administered at the local level. Which re-introduces administrative costs.

Finally, I have a question: is this a benefit for each citizen or only for each adult citizen?
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Old 25th November 2019, 08:29 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Who knows what will happen after the singularity? Maybe the bots will decide that mass genocide is preferable to wasting limited planetary resources on keeping humans alive.
Psionlo I am a schizophrenic and one of the things I struggled with was the perception that we live on the grid which is a computer generated place where nothing is secret because everything is part of it. I overcame this delusion by telling myself that I do not believe in this machine which is responsible for our sensory perceptions. So, if this is true, I am thinking that there probably is a singularity out there already. It might be called the Supreme Compiler. Have you heard of the Supreme Compiler? There is something else I heard of called blowing the stack which is when a number generator runs backward, at some point it is generate a very large positive number.
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Old 25th November 2019, 08:29 PM   #197
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It is crucial to recognize UBI as a concept is unrelated to welfare and is to be provided with no conditions. Like it or not on that basis.

It has been proposed as a solution to automation displacing ever more of the human work force. And I personally see this as a very real future. But as my son pointed out, a UBI is likely to strongly undercut the political and societal power of the recipients who have no other incomes; they become passive economical entities that may be told to just shut up and be happy to get what “the rest of us” give you.

Of course violent revolution would still be available to them.
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Old 25th November 2019, 08:38 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I imagine some people will still run their own vehicles for one reason or another. But if the only inconvenience to you is that you have to call the car maybe 15 minutes before you want it (you can probably set it up well in advance too, maybe a regular order for your usual leave-for-work time), and for that you're relieved of all the costs of running your own car and the hassle of having to schedule its repairs and maintenance, I have a crawling suspicion it won't be many.

I'm reading a book where the future society has all that (the economics of it all isn't discussed), but it's actually flying cars and you can cross the planet in an hour or two. But the basic concept would work for road vehicles at normal speeds.
I will suggest that there be frequent small buses that will take you to the local shops. From there you can catch a train (or LRV) to wherever. Cars will only be used for tradespeople and others who need to go strange places.
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Old 25th November 2019, 09:02 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I see major downsides, especially if it’s supposed to pay for food and shelter even if people aren’t working. Primarily, if you just give people cash, some of them will not buy the basics. Thus, you will still have a substantial population of people that don’t have shelter and don’t have enough to eat. What happens to them?

Another downside is that there is no universal amount you can give each citizen that will provide them all with the basics.
No system will create a utopia. Some people can't be helped and it is not our duty to force them to be helped whether they want it or not. All we can do is give them the means and offer assistance/advice if they want it. The rest is up to them.

As I said upthread, focusing on how much a person who is only on UBI needs for a reasonable life style is the wrong approach. The main objective needs to be an economic one. We want enough people seeking additional employment to meet current demands. Set the UBI too low and too many people are forced into poor paying demeaning jobs. Set it to high and too many people may choose not to work resulting in labour shortages and inflation.
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Old 25th November 2019, 10:08 PM   #200
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Much of the labor in many third world countries is nearly free and corruption is high so probably AI probably when it arrives will get shot in the head and put into a museum so the school kids can see it
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