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AZDuffman
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May 31st, 2018 at 8:16:37 AM permalink
Split per request of management.

For those who never heard of it, UBI = Universal Basic Income. An idea that everyone in a society deserves a floor level of subsistence income. So you would get a check, say $1,500 per month. As would I. As would Mark Zuckerberg, who is a major supporter.

The trade-off is that all other welfare programs would end. Presumably even social security and unemployment benefits. No section 8, no food stamps, no WIC, nothing. Spend it wrong, too bad.

Some say this would let more people start a business or go to school since they would have their very basic needs met. Some say it would make a nation of layabouts spending all day on the couch and all evening in the bar. It would absolutely be *simpler* that the current welfare system. And it would get rid of the serf class of welfare dependents we now have, those that will not work because they lose benefits so why bother.

DISCUSS.
Last edited by: AZDuffman on May 31, 2018
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terapined
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May 31st, 2018 at 8:27:16 AM permalink
I lean left and I don't support this.
No way Jose
wont work
What's there to discuss?
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FleaStiff
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May 31st, 2018 at 8:34:45 AM permalink
Actually that is not quite what the proposals are.

Its simply that instead of having to qualify for specific assistance programs and demonstrate need for certain types of assistance, all the social worker paper pushers and all the investigators would have to find productive work. A few cheats might get some money they don't deserve and a few people might be unwise but in general it is a recognition that low paying jobs do not pay a living wages and that excessive time and money is spent on a qualification system.

Scandinavian countries have tried this.

A few jurisdictions in the US have had it on a de-facto basis.

One figure bandied about was 798.00 off everyone's tax bill if everyone just gets the handouts without having to qualify and renew and all that junk.
darkoz
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May 31st, 2018 at 8:40:07 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

Split per request of management.

For those who never heard of it, UBI = Universal Basic Income. An idea that everyone in a society deserves a floor level of subsistence income. So you would get a check, say $1,500 per month. As would I. As would Mark Zuckerberg, who is a major supporter.

The trade-off is that all other welfare programs would end. Presumably even social security and unemployment benefits. No section 9, no food stamps, no WIC, nothing. Spend it wrong, too bad.

Some say this would let more people start a business or go to school since they would have their very basic needs met. Some say it would make a nation of layabouts spending all day on the couch and all evening in the bar. It would absolutely be *simpler* that the current welfare system. And it would get rid of the serf class of welfare dependents we now have, those that will not work because they lose benefits so why bother.

DISCUSS.



Its section 8 :) not section 9

Also welfare recipients have to work

Food stamp recipients have to work

You are still living in the 80s
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AZDuffman
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May 31st, 2018 at 8:49:47 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

Its section 8 :) not section 9



Fat fingers. But funny because my realtor and I were talking rentals and said "Section 9" so I asked. He described section 8. I said "how is that different from section 8?" He asked what he said and I told him. He couldn't believe he mixed it up.

Quote:

Also welfare recipients have to work

Food stamp recipients have to work



Sometimes yes, sometimes no. IIRC Obama cut the work requirement back for a few years. I do remember some crazy woman saying having to work for benefits was "slavery."
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darkoz
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May 31st, 2018 at 8:56:58 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

Fat fingers. But funny because my realtor and I were talking rentals and said "Section 9" so I asked. He described section 8. I said "how is that different from section 8?" He asked what he said and I told him. He couldn't believe he mixed it up.



Sometimes yes, sometimes no. IIRC Obama cut the work requirement back for a few years. I do remember some crazy woman saying having to work for benefits was "slavery."



The work requirement ia not commensurate with income expectation

I.E. the benefits allowance remains the same regardless of how many hours you work or type of work

So work 10 hours get $350(average per month cash in nyc)

Work 20 hours sweeping up subway platforms get same $350

Work 36 hours receive same $350

Some people are working for $2 or $3 an hour.

It was challenged in court as the state getting around its own minimum wage laws but state prevailed. Welfare recipients dont have same minimum wage protections when subsidies come from the state

So yeah I agree its somewhat akin to slave labor in a metaphorical sense
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Romes
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May 31st, 2018 at 9:10:31 AM permalink
This would never work because as soon as everyone in the country received an extra $1500 per month, the base cost of living everywhere would just go up another $1500 per month. It's the same argument with wanting to give fast food employees $15/hour... then the prices would just go up and the owners would automate to get rid of the employees. There's just no point. Why not just give everyone $100 million? Because then we would be Zimbabwe and have a 100 trillion dollar bill that you could use to buy a loaf of bread.

The only way injecting cash would work is if you had gov controls on businesses to not raise prices... but then you're going down another rabbit hole I'm sure you don't like and would consider straight communist. Shocking or not to you, I actually hate gov control and want the gov to play a MINUTE role in my life. I swear I'd be considered a bleeding heart republican in the 70's and 80's...
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darkoz
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May 31st, 2018 at 9:22:55 AM permalink
Quote: Romes

This would never work because as soon as everyone in the country received an extra $1500 per month, the base cost of living everywhere would just go up another $1500 per month. It's the same argument with wanting to give fast food employees $15/hour... then the prices would just go up and the owners would automate to get rid of the employees. There's just no point. Why not just give everyone $100 million? Because then we would be Zimbabwe and have a 100 trillion dollar bill that you could use to buy a loaf of bread.

The only way injecting cash would work is if you had gov controls on businesses to not raise prices... but then you're going down another rabbit hole I'm sure you don't like and would consider straight communist. Shocking or not to you, I actually hate gov control and want the gov to play a MINUTE role in my life. I swear I'd be considered a bleeding heart republican in the 70's and 80's...



Another problem

Basic living costs... for where?

Big city people have higher basic living requirements. Rents transportation food costs are all higher

It would lead to income inequality by trying to make everyone equal

I could see a mass influx to cities (or people claiming to live with their city slicker relatives) in order to qualify for UBI city levels

I dont see this working. Leftie here!
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troopscott
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May 31st, 2018 at 9:58:41 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

Its section 8 :) not section 9

Also welfare recipients have to work

Food stamp recipients have to work

You are still living in the 80s



and you are wrong my fat ass cousin who is older than me has not worked since she dropped her second illegitimate kid at 22 lives in a 5 bedroom house (for her and her 7 illegitimate kids) and pays like $100. She gets plenty of food stamps and a big check every month
TomG
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May 31st, 2018 at 10:07:11 AM permalink
Strongly support this. In my mind we could introduce it at $600 per month. Either stay there with only cost of living increases, or slowly increase it to the $1,500 AZD brought up. It would be phased out for people with over $360,000 in liquid assets (or whatever number we decide is double the amount it would take to earn that much just on interest). Enforcement would be very weak. If someone earning $1 million per year really wants to take all the time and effort to keep their money hidden, let them grab the same check that goes to the part-time single mother.

Keep social security because people are still going to get too old to work -- collect a little bit more, begin paying out small amounts earlier that now, but the bulk much later and there it can become self-sustaingin tomorrow if we wanted to. Increase the Earned Income Credit. All other of the traditional welfare programs at the state level.

Eliminate virtually all non-cash benefits to government employees, then use that to provide minimum levels of health care to everyone.

This would essentially eliminate the underclass and allow the part-time single mother earning just $15,000 from the workforce to join the contributing class. In fact, that $15,000 would provide as much as someone currently earning $50,000, without increasing government spending. If the libertarian position is that people should be allowed to do whatever they want without interference, this allows even the poorest people to do what they want with the comfort and security of a staying off the streets and knowing they can afford their next meal.

Any government spending is always going to be a redistribution of wealth, so the target should always be to do it as efficiently as possibly, while providing the most benefit to the most people. This is so far better than how we currently redistribute wealth to fight wars and support a welfare state that it is absolutely insane it doesn't have near universal support.
TomG
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May 31st, 2018 at 10:11:54 AM permalink
Quote: Romes

This would never work because as soon as everyone in the country received an extra $1500 per month, the base cost of living everywhere would just go up another $1500 per month.



If it was done without increasing spending (as it should be), then it would simply mean the government is using its resources to give us cash benefits, instead of non-cash benefits. That would not effect the cost of living.
Wizard
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May 31st, 2018 at 10:30:10 AM permalink
I am open to learning more about it, but with what little I know, I strongly support it, largely to get rid of other welfare programs and give everyone an incentive to work.

Out of college I was a claims adjuster for Social Security and it was an enormous amount of work to process a disability case through the system. It took at least six months and chock full bad of decisions both ways -- denying the truly disabled and awarding people faking a disability, because they didn't want to work. Once people are on, there are rules to allow a return to work without benefits being cut -- temporarily. Once the work has lasted more than x months (and I forget what x is) you are deemed well enough to work and your benefits, as well as medicare, end. Many people don't try to return to work because they would lose medicare, but that is getting off on a tangent.

I'm sure it would be enormously expensive at first glance but the cost could be recouped by the elimination of every welfare program as well as increase in taxes, such that mid-income people would come out basically even between the UBI and the tax increase.
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gamerfreak
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May 31st, 2018 at 10:37:26 AM permalink
Many economists smarter than myself have said that something akin to universal basic income will become absolutely necessary as automation continues to advance and replace many jobs that exist today. Iím talking long term, 30-50 years+ down the road.

Iíd be in favor of universal basic income today if it replaced most or all federal assistance programs in place today. It would be cheaper just to do it this way with the MASSIVE administrative overhead that would be saved by just cutting every US adult citizen a $1500 check each month.
darkoz
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May 31st, 2018 at 10:38:04 AM permalink
Quote: troopscott

and you are wrong my fat ass cousin who is older than me has not worked since she dropped her second illegitimate kid at 22 lives in a 5 bedroom house (for her and her 7 illegitimate kids) and pays like $100. She gets plenty of food stamps and a big check every month



Im certain there are people who get around the requirements

Does she report she works when she doesnt?

There are ways to skirt the laws. Those can be fixed. I have no problem with that
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jml24
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May 31st, 2018 at 10:45:42 AM permalink
My opinion is close to the Wizard but I would like to see more numbers. There are a vast number of people employed by the government to prevent cheating on the existing welfare programs. All those positions could be eliminated. All these programs introduce distortion into the economy such as the example cited where someone has a disincentive to return to work for fear of losing disability benefits. IMO a good economic principle is that government distortions to the economy should be as simple and transparent as possible. If the goal is to prevent people from living in poverty there is no solution simpler and more transparent than just giving money to everyone. There could be a phase out above a certain income level but adjusting the tax brackets would have the same effect and would be simpler to administer because the system for distributing the money would not need to know about the recipient's income.

I am paraphrasing something I have heard before but the current system exists because we as a society place a greater importance on preventing someone from getting help they don't "deserve" than we place on helping people that truly need it. We are willing to let some people starve or live on the streets for fear they might be gaming the system somehow if we help them. At this point in my life I have learned that the concept of "fairness" isn't really a thing. My position in life is the result of a huge number of factors, some are advantages I was born with, some I worked for, and some were just dumb luck. Fairness doesn't even enter into it.
billryan
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May 31st, 2018 at 10:48:09 AM permalink
You almost sound jealous. Surely you wouldn't want to trade places with her, would you?
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Wizard
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May 31st, 2018 at 11:05:45 AM permalink
Quote: jml24

There could be a phase out above a certain income level but adjusting the tax brackets would have the same effect and would be simpler to administer because the system for distributing the money would not need to know about the recipient's income.



I think this would be one of our few points of departure. The way I would do it, even Mark Zuckerberg would get paid. If you phase it out by income level, you incentivize* people to work less or falsely report income. Vegas is full of $500/hr prostitutes who are are also on welfare. Why not be, free money and health care for them, as they don't report income anyway. My point being that the current system punishes honest taxpayers and rewards the cheats. Give everyone the same amount and you eliminate the moral hazards.

* Why does my spell checker not like that spelling?
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billryan
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May 31st, 2018 at 11:47:39 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I think this would be one of our few points of departure. The way I would do it, even Mark Zuckerberg would get paid. If you phase it out by income level, you incentivize* people to work less or falsely report income. Vegas is full of $500/hr prostitutes who are are also on welfare. Why not be, free money and health care for them, as they don't report income anyway. My point being that the current system punishes honest taxpayers and rewards the cheats. Give everyone the same amount and you eliminate the moral hazards.

* Why does my spell checker not like that spelling?



I don't think the current system punishes honest taxpayers. It might punish lazy uninformed people but the tax code is easy to manipulate. Intentionally so. Unfortunately, poor people don't have many thousand dollar an hour lobbyists writing tax codes.
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AZDuffman
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May 31st, 2018 at 11:58:35 AM permalink
Quote: TomG

Strongly support this. In my mind we could introduce it at $600 per month. Either stay there with only cost of living increases, or slowly increase it to the $1,500 AZD brought up.



Just as an aside as someone else quoted it, I am not saying $1,500 is a good number or even a suggested number. I just picked that because it is FT on the $15MW number some are fighting for. Just saying because I saw it at least twice including this post.

CONTINUE DISCUSSIG
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AZDuffman
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May 31st, 2018 at 12:05:03 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I think this would be one of our few points of departure. The way I would do it, even Mark Zuckerberg would get paid.



There was an old idea in IIRC the Ford Admin. Morton Downey, Jr. put it in his book as if it were his. Making up numbers, everyone would get $10,000. Your tax rate between say $80-90,000 would be 100%, paying back the $10,000. Then your rate would actually fall, encouraging you to work harder.

Before anyone screams about a "bubble rate" well we had one in the late 1980s.

Not saying this is a *good* way to not have the high earners get UBA, just saying it is *a* way to not have it happen.

FWIW I am against UBI, but if we had it then I would say every adult gets it, same as SS, except earnings would not matter like SS contributions do.
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billryan
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May 31st, 2018 at 12:06:47 PM permalink
How does a $15 minimum wage relate to $1500 a month?

$15 an hour equals $2600 a month.

If the idea is to replace a working wage, $1500 doesn't cut it.
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AZDuffman
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May 31st, 2018 at 12:22:00 PM permalink
Quote: billryan

How does a $15 minimum wage relate to $1500 a month?

$15 an hour equals $2600 a month.

If the idea is to replace a working wage, $1500 doesn't cut it.



You are right, my math was wrong. Posted in a hurry.

The idea is not to "replace a working wage." Except for the furthest left people I have not heard that suggested.

The idea is subsistence level only.
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billryan
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May 31st, 2018 at 12:29:25 PM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

You are right, my math was wrong. Posted in a hurry.

The idea is not to "replace a working wage." Except for the furthest left people I have not heard that suggested.

The idea is subsistence level only.



This is something I am unfamiliar with but who would be interested in a subsistence level income?
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rxwine
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May 31st, 2018 at 12:31:08 PM permalink
I'm willing to see how UBI turns out in practice, if indeed it is already being tried in some places.
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gamerfreak
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May 31st, 2018 at 12:31:50 PM permalink
Quote: billryan

How does a $15 minimum wage relate to $1500 a month?

$15 an hour equals $2600 a month.

If the idea is to replace a working wage, $1500 doesn't cut it.


There really isnít an official definition.

Itís generally considered a stipend to cover the bare minimum expenses to survive. So the bare minimum Food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare expenses. For most people it would be a supplement to full time or part time income.

A single individual could live on $1500/month. It probably wouldnít be comfortable, but itís possible.
AZDuffman
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May 31st, 2018 at 12:39:35 PM permalink
Quote: billryan

This is something I am unfamiliar with but who would be interested in a subsistence level income?



I'd say $1500 possible. Live with roommates, rice and bean diet.
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TomG
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May 31st, 2018 at 12:46:01 PM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

I'd say $1500 possible. Live with roommates, rice and bean diet.



For most of us that should be more comfortable than living alone, eating steak, and having to commit 40 hours per week to the workforce.
AZDuffman
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May 31st, 2018 at 12:54:48 PM permalink
Quote: TomG

For most of us that should be more comfortable than living alone, eating steak, and having to commit 40 hours per week to the workforce.



Right-sizing one's life is important. I live alone in a 4 room place, rental unit upstairs. Drive used only. Don't overload on clothes.

It works great! Just bought another rental unit down my street. I eat well. Low debt. Just lost 2 clients and am looking for work again. But I can find a "fill in" job and survive. 15 years ago I had a way nicer place but it cost me twice as much to just live. Could not afford the daily niceties. Steak and a modest place is more important than a fancy place and beans.

Most people could do it. Most people will not do it.
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TomG
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May 31st, 2018 at 1:01:52 PM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

Right-sizing one's life is important.
...
Most people could do it. Most people will not do it.



We all have different values. Which is what makes it is far better to give everyone cash and let them spend it on whatever they value most instead of our current system of wealth redistribution.
Wizard
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May 31st, 2018 at 1:22:07 PM permalink
The minimum wage per the federal government is $7.25 (source). I think that is a good starting point. Assuming 40 hours a week, that is $41.43 per day, or $1,260.12 per month. I find it hard to believe anyone really lives on that. I've heard about subsidies for the working poor, but don't know much about it. I'd love to throw out a big number, to look like I have a big heart, but I'm also a realist. I think somewhere around $1500 to $2000 a month sounds reasonable.
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RS
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May 31st, 2018 at 1:40:29 PM permalink
The whole UBI thing is kinda ridiculous. Redistribution of wealth? Yeah, no thanks. Gut a majority of the govt programs like welfare, SS, etc. and now weíre talking.

IF IF IF UBI were ever introduced, it should be something like $500/month. It shouldnít be a thing where everyone just gets a free ride (IE: $1500/mo) sucking the teet of the people who are actually working. Make it so you still have to work but you get a little extra, because bottom-tier jobs donít pay much.

Although the entire idea of UBI disgusts me, other than the idea it could be a start to gutting welfare and whatnot.
TumblingBones
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May 31st, 2018 at 3:44:07 PM permalink
Quote: gamerfreak

Many economists smarter than myself have said that something akin to universal basic income will become absolutely necessary as automation continues to advance and replace many jobs that exist today. Iím talking long term, 30-50 years+ down the road.


As a former AI researcher, I think the 30-50 year window is too long. We've already seen an impact on jobs from automation and its only going to get much much worse. The question is when do we reach a tipping point where permanent unemployment levels impact the social fabric. Anything north of 20% probably (Great Depression was 10 to 25% range). UBI has been proposed as a defense against massive unemployment due to AI.

Quote: Wizard

I think this would be one of our few points of departure. The way I would do it, even Mark Zuckerberg would get paid. If you phase it out by income level, you incentivize* people to work less or falsely report income. Vegas is full of $500/hr prostitutes who are are also on welfare. Why not be, free money and health care for them, as they don't report income anyway. My point being that the current system punishes honest taxpayers and rewards the cheats. Give everyone the same amount and you eliminate the moral hazards.


Exactly! I've heard this is supposed to be the big improvement of UBI over welfare. As soon as you set a cut-off threshold, folks are disincentivised to seek employment when it is available. UBI also avoids introducing an "us vs them" mindset by being universal.

Quote: RS

Make it so you still have to work but you get a little extra, because bottom-tier jobs donít pay much.


The point of UBI is it is intended to deal with a world in which the jobs don't exist. Think of a permanent Great Depression as the background.
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gordonm888
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May 31st, 2018 at 3:54:13 PM permalink
I have a relative who is in a government program in which he gets > $1000/month worth of benefits because he is "emotionally disabled."

Believe me, the last thing any government does in these kind of programs is give people a check or cash payment.

1. My relative get food stamps to buy food -and certain items in the grocery store (like booze and junk food) are not eligible for food stamps.

2. My relative gets a housing voucher -and the landlord that he rents from is the one who gets the payment for the rent -not my relative.

3. He gets a certain amount of money each month intended for electricity and utilities -but I believe the government program makes those payments directly to the utility. A social worker helps him with the paperwork.

I am actually glad for all of these government controls -because my relative would blow the money on booze, video games and other stuff and would be homeless in a month or two. Believe me, it has happened before.

ANYWAY, I doubt a UBI would be given to people as a monthly check to spend on whatever you want. Too many recipients would spend it on drugs, booze, hookers and casinos and would live in poverty anyway. The government would instead give you a voucher and require that it be spent on approved housing or officially-approved food items or on officially approved clothing.
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Dalex64
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May 31st, 2018 at 4:05:12 PM permalink
Quote: gamerfreak

Many economists smarter than myself have said that something akin to universal basic income will become absolutely necessary as automation continues to advance and replace many jobs that exist today. Iím talking long term, 30-50 years+ down the road.



This.

As automation continues to increase, decreasing the number of available jobs, and the population increases, increasing the number of people looking for work, there simply will not be enough jobs available, no matter how menial.

At that point, people will need to figure out how to support even the able-bodied who are willing to work.
AZDuffman
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May 31st, 2018 at 4:07:08 PM permalink
Quote: TumblingBones

As a former AI researcher, I think the 30-50 year window is too long. We've already seen an impact on jobs from automation and its only going to get much much worse. The question is when do we reach a tipping point where permanent unemployment levels impact the social fabric. Anything north of 20% probably (Great Depression was 10 to 25% range). UBI has been proposed as a defense against massive unemployment due to AI.



I hear this so much, but I do not buy it. I heard in the 1980s that we would soon have "dark factories" of just robots with no need for lighting. Hasn't happened yet. There will be displacement and people working at the call center not the MCD counter. But work is going to need to be done. New kinds of work will be found.

Quote: gordonm888

ANYWAY, I doubt a UBI would be given to people as a monthly check to spend on whatever you want. Too many recipients would spend it on drugs, booze, hookers and casinos and would live in poverty anyway. The government would instead give you a voucher and require that it be spent on approved housing or officially-approved food items or on officially approved clothing.



This is the dark side of UBI. But it is the libertarian side (as much as there is one.)

"It is the second of the month and I dropped it all at the casino and strip joint. I got no food!"
"That's gonna be rough!"

IMHO, the people who would blow UBI on meth are today selling their food stamps at a discount to buy meth. Those who budget right will still budget right. Smart ones of us would just drop it into an investment account, forget it even exists. The poverty-industrial complex would mostly remain, it would just run more efficient.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
TomG
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May 31st, 2018 at 4:18:09 PM permalink
Quote: RS

Redistribution of wealth? Yeah, no thanks.



All government spending is a redistribution of wealth. Redistributing it by giving people cash instead of our current system would be far less wasteful. In our current system, the free ride goes to those who don't work. Changing that to giving more to everyone regardless of their work status would benefit everyone
TomG
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May 31st, 2018 at 4:22:07 PM permalink
Quote: gordonm888

The government would instead give you a voucher and require that it be spent on approved housing or officially-approved food items or on officially approved clothing.



That defeats the entire purpose. I want to spend only $400 per month on housing so I can have some left over for other things, which could be an investment, charity, or my own personal "entertainment." Now the government is going to insist I find a place with a $1000 per month rent or I get a lower benefit than someone else
Paradigm
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May 31st, 2018 at 4:33:58 PM permalink
Quote: TomG

All government spending is a redistribution of wealth.


I am not sure I agree with this statement. Spending on items for the collective good doesn't feel like a redistribution of wealth. As an example, infrastructure spending to ensure we have public roads for everyone to use isn't wealth redistribution in my opinion. Neither is spending on national defense. In my book, redistribution of wealth is limited taking tax dollars collected from many and spending it on individuals normally through entitlement programs. But I am open for a discussion on why you believe all government spending is wealth redistribution. How do you get to that definition for government dollars spent on common benefit types of items?
jml24
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May 31st, 2018 at 4:42:11 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I think this would be one of our few points of departure. The way I would do it, even Mark Zuckerberg would get paid. If you phase it out by income level, you incentivize* people to work less or falsely report income. Vegas is full of $500/hr prostitutes who are are also on welfare. Why not be, free money and health care for them, as they don't report income anyway. My point being that the current system punishes honest taxpayers and rewards the cheats. Give everyone the same amount and you eliminate the moral hazards.

* Why does my spell checker not like that spelling?



I don't think I was arguing for a cutoff. I think the payments should be for everyone. I was trying to say there could be a cutoff to appease those who would complain about the rich getting the benefit, but it would be simpler to just tax rich people slightly more instead. That said, I don't think someone accustomed to a rich person's lifestyle would start working less due to the prospect of losing extra subsistence-level income. I would be strongly against any cutoff at an income level where the UBI amounts to a substantial portion of total income, because of the moral hazard you cite.
TomG
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May 31st, 2018 at 4:47:55 PM permalink
Quote: Paradigm

I am not sure I agree with this statement. Spending on items for the collective good doesn't feel like a redistribution of wealth.



The collective good is the goal of all government spending. Some are forced to pay much more than others to be a part of this collective good; and some people people get much more value out of this collective good than others. Given those two inequalities. there must always be some sort of redistributing effect
beachbumbabs
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May 31st, 2018 at 6:48:42 PM permalink
Quote: Paradigm

I am not sure I agree with this statement. Spending on items for the collective good doesn't feel like a redistribution of wealth. As an example, infrastructure spending to ensure we have public roads for everyone to use isn't wealth redistribution in my opinion. Neither is spending on national defense. In my book, redistribution of wealth is limited taking tax dollars collected from many and spending it on individuals normally through entitlement programs. But I am open for a discussion on why you believe all government spending is wealth redistribution. How do you get to that definition for government dollars spent on common benefit types of items?



I think it can be argued that imfrastructure spending (and all government spending) is a redistribution of wealth.

All road paving benefits all the public, for example, but not equally. It benefits locals much more than itinerants, and much much more than non-locals who don't travel. It benefits drivers more than non-drivers. It benefits those who run a business that depends on many people accessing their service via those roads much more than someone who simply lives in the area.

But everybody pays the same surcharge via a gas tax to maintain some or all of those roads. Those who own property pay a mill rate property tax that usually includes some road construction and maintenance. Commercial licenses for trucks and drivers often include a surcharge that helps pay for their increased use of those roads. Commercial business licenses often include assessments for the roads to their places.

Even though the taxes funding the roads are piecemealed, there's no way that some don't pay more than their fair share, and some are paying less. So wealth redistribution is in effect, because the roads are getting built, for our mutual benefit, despite any inequity in paying for them . And this example is representative enough of many, if not most, government programs.

Welfare simply removes some of the masking that goes on in government contracting and administration of other programs. You would not BELIEVE the amount of taxes wasted on overhead and profits to for-profit contractors to the government. THAT'S the shell game they're hiding when they deflect the conversation to the welfare state.


And, considering 99% of the actual welfare benefit is immediately spent on something, it's not like that money is gone from the economy of taxpayers. It's supporting the grocery stores, public transportation, gas taxes, property investors, a thousand other things. So in some ways, the person paying those taxes is getting at least some of that money back in revenue if they're providing any service or good to a basic subsistence spender.
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billryan
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May 31st, 2018 at 11:10:47 PM permalink
Is the idea to give every citizen or resident a basic living allowance or only the lowest rung on the economic ladder?
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Rigondeaux
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May 31st, 2018 at 11:48:59 PM permalink
I'm unsure about it for many reasons, but lean to yes.

If job loss continues, something similar will be needed.

But i sometimes wonder if/how much an economy can run on BS. Nail salons, fantasy sports, phone games, sports memorabilia, vintage clothing... All frivolous things that contribute nothing to our sustenance. But all billion dollar industries.

Could our frivolous secter just keep expanding as our "real jobs" are replaced?

Anyway, another expence we could cut would be military spending. The military is effectively wellfare for a lot of people. We know there are way too many bases, but every senator and congressman will fight to the death to keep their bases open.

Now aimless 18 year olds won't have to join up.

Quote: Romes

This would never work because as soon as everyone in the country received an extra $1500 per month, the base cost of living everywhere would just go up another $1500 per month. It's the same argument with wanting to give fast food employees $15/hour... then the prices would just go up and the owners would automate to get rid of the employees. There's just no point. Why not just give everyone $100 million? Because then we would be Zimbabwe and have a 100 trillion dollar bill that you could use to buy a loaf of bread.

's...



All of this is objectively and deeply wrong. It's amazing that someone so smart could believe this.
Rigondeaux
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May 31st, 2018 at 11:54:39 PM permalink
An acquaintance of mine prefers massive workfare. But he is creative about it.

For example, you pay people to take regular classes on healthy cooking. They prepare and bring home food for their families.

Eventually, society saves on healthcare costs. Prison and LEO costs. People are smarter, more energetic and stable, etc.
AZDuffman
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June 1st, 2018 at 3:42:58 AM permalink
Quote: billryan

Is the idea to give every citizen or resident a basic living allowance or only the lowest rung on the economic ladder?



Every adult, hence "universal." I would assume incarcerated folks would not get it.

It is just an idea at the moment, so if it ever happened (God help us if it does) expect tinkering.
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troopscott
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RS
June 1st, 2018 at 5:14:06 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I am open to learning more about it, but with what little I know, I strongly support it, largely to get rid of other welfare programs and give everyone an incentive to work.

Out of college I was a claims adjuster for Social Security and it was an enormous amount of work to process a disability case through the system. It took at least six months and chock full bad of decisions both ways -- denying the truly disabled and awarding people faking a disability, because they didn't want to work. Once people are on, there are rules to allow a return to work without benefits being cut -- temporarily. Once the work has lasted more than x months (and I forget what x is) you are deemed well enough to work and your benefits, as well as medicare, end. Many people don't try to return to work because they would lose medicare, but that is getting off on a tangent.

I'm sure it would be enormously expensive at first glance but the cost could be recouped by the elimination of every welfare program as well as increase in taxes, such that mid-income people would come out basically even between the UBI and the tax increase.



You cant keep taxing the rich period. If you want more taxes eliminate the income tax and go to a fixed sales tax of 20% and let everyone have some skin in the game
wellwellwell
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June 1st, 2018 at 5:30:19 AM permalink
Quote: troopscott

You cant keep taxing the rich period. If you want more taxes eliminate the income tax and go to a fixed sales tax of 20% and let everyone have some skin in the game


No thank you to a national sales tax.
After only a few short years the lefties will be dragging the income tax back out and then we will have both to pay. Look at Europe.
TumblingBones
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June 1st, 2018 at 7:05:15 AM permalink
Quote: troopscott

You cant keep taxing the rich period. If you want more taxes eliminate the income tax and go to a fixed sales tax of 20% and let everyone have some skin in the game


One idea I've heard was to impose a "robot tax" on the companies. Call me cynical but even if it was the right thing to do and even if the politicians agreed to do it, it would end up being the most complicated tax law in history. How do you define what is, or is not, a "robot"? A self-driving car that puts taxi drivers out of work is an obvious candidate. What about the so-called "robotic surgery" devices? From a Comp Sci POV they are not true robots (no autonomous capability) and don't put doctors out of work. And what about software like QuickBooks and Turbo Tax that has probably put thousands of accountants out of work? Would that get taxed somehow?

p.s. kudos to AZ for starting this thread.
My goal of being well informed conflicts with my goal of remaining sane.
gamerfreak
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June 1st, 2018 at 7:41:27 AM permalink
Quote: TumblingBones

One idea I've heard was to impose a "robot tax" on the companies. Call me cynical but even if it was the right thing to do and even if the politicians agreed to do it, it would end up being the most complicated tax law in history. How do you define what is, or is not, a "robot"? A self-driving car that puts taxi drivers out of work is an obvious candidate. What about the so-called "robotic surgery" devices? From a Comp Sci POV they are not true robots (no autonomous capability) and don't put doctors out of work. And what about software like QuickBooks and Turbo Tax that has probably put thousands of accountants out of work? Would that get taxed somehow?

p.s. kudos to AZ for starting this thread.



Bill Gates says this will be needed:
http://fortune.com/2017/02/18/bill-gates-robot-taxes-automation/

I think there are some fairly clear boundaries between a tool and automation.

Computers/computer software like quick books are a tool that a human needs to operate to accomplish a task.

However, you can make a reasonable argument argument that 10 self check out kiosks replace 1 job (or something to that effect).
TumblingBones
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June 1st, 2018 at 8:16:29 AM permalink
I don't think the tool vs automation divide is that clear. I used to pay 2 accountants: one for personal and one for my business. Now I pay zero and buy a new copy of Turbo Tax every year.
My goal of being well informed conflicts with my goal of remaining sane.
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