Universal Basic Income

  • Eli_jah

    Posts: 1391

    Apr 25, 2016 9:51 AM GMT
    How do you feel about it? I fully support it, and think it's the perfect time in history to implement it. The Netherlands, Canada (Ontario), Switzerland, and Finland have the right idea.

    http://www.techinsider.io/sam-altman-praises-basic-income-on-freakonomics-podcast-2016-4?pundits_only=0&comments_page=0#comment-571de5abe15ce5af1308106a

    My comment:
    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HERETrying to get a UBI bill through Congress would be disastrous, but I really think UBI would greatly improve life for the average citizen in this country. Think about it. More money equals more spending equals a better stimulated economy. Better quality of life, less crime. The nature of work would change: less hours per week, more time for leisure activities, family, vacation, and personal advancement, hobbies, and passion. Americans would be less stressed out, less sick, less angry, and less depressed which equals falling healthcare costs. Poverty would pretty much be eradicated. A poor individual is the US earns under $11,000, a poor family under $25,000. A basic yearly income of $12,000 to $16,000 boosts every single one of these individuals and families clear of the poverty level. The poverty line ceases to exist. I'm sure I'm only seeing the good, and not the downside, I'm not an economist or sociologist. But in a time where the average person is struggling to survive, where half the country is on government benefits of some kind, where student loan debts are keeping the youth from achieving what their parents so easily could (due in large part to government programs), it's time for a change. Want to make America great again? Wipe out the rampant inequality and poverty that is threatening the stability and continued existence of this country as we know it.
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    Apr 25, 2016 12:04 PM GMT
    This is one of those ideas that are easy to support in theory than practice. There are many pitfalls in supporting a move of this kind; one being that it removes the primary motivation for people to work hard at their job and persevere when the stress of work gets in the way since one is already taken care of. I do however think it is the job of government to implement programs that are rooted in compassion which means providing employment insurance in times of joblessness. It means providing healthcare and access to affordable education and eradicating systemic barriers that causes social inequalities which imbalances future opportunities and induces higher crime rates. UBI, is stretched a little too far.
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    Apr 25, 2016 4:21 PM GMT
    theantijock%20engage%20stalker%20reducti

    Within structures of existing economies, it's hard for me to imagine how such a concept wouldn't lead to inflation or debt, either eventually cancelling benefit.

    And as long as world mindset is stuck in evolutionary (survival of the fittest) terms, then economies suited to that will follow. The person who works harder lives better (at least within that bracket--also determined by constructs of society) but so does the person who steals someone else's food eat more.

    Man of Steel (2013)
    Faora: [Beating up Kal-El] You are weak, Son of El, unsure of yourself. The fact that you possess a sense of morality, and we do not, gives us an evolutionary advantage.


    But what will be the economic model when all work is automated, not just labor at Amazon's distribution warehouse but surgery at the Mayo Clinic or androids with positronic brains doing every conceivable labor and cerebral task that now we train for and apply? Remember when that was science fiction? Well now it could be a few generations away.

    More immediately, how do we deal with the reduction of jobs to automation given the growing population of the planet. Reduce the planet's population to a handful of humans? Or fundamentally change how we think about concepts of economy.

    How do we humanize automation? Can we change our way of thinking such that the concept of income becomes obsolete while remaining motivated to live satisfying lives? Or are we but beasts stuck in the struggle to survive?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 25, 2016 4:50 PM GMT
    It has been obvious for many, many decades that some form of UBI is in the future. How to tell when to implement it is tricky. But when enough wealth gets concentrated in the hands of the idle rich parasite class, some sort of tipping point will force the issue.

    I wonder how population control would factor in to the equation, though? If unemployed breeders spend all of their time, well, breeding, will the model break down? Someone somewhere must have done some modeling of this. Things could get nastily dystopian in a hurry.
  • Aleco_Graves

    Posts: 708

    Apr 25, 2016 5:02 PM GMT
    Well then, I am earning well under what is considered poor.... And i own an iphone, a macbook pro, im buying a car soon.

    I dont want to be that person to say it: but life in USA must be a lot easier than in most parts of the world... I heard burger flippers at Mcdonalds earn more than i do.
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    Apr 25, 2016 7:00 PM GMT
    In Great Britain don't they do something similar, yet different? Instead of giving them money they give them housing and food stamps. I think the housing is called council housing?

    In the US of course it makes more sense to give the unemployed money, that way the landlords make money rather than the government managing the housing.   icon_evil.gif

    The Soviet Union and Communist Europe were good examples of what ricky1987 is saying.
  • Eli_jah

    Posts: 1391

    Apr 25, 2016 7:07 PM GMT
    ricky1987 saidThis is one of those ideas that are easy to support in theory than practice. There are many pitfalls in supporting a move of this kind; one being that it removes the primary motivation for people to work hard at their job and persevere when the stress of work gets in the way since one is already taken care of. I do however think it is the job of government to implement programs that are rooted in compassion which means providing employment insurance in times of joblessness. It means providing healthcare and access to affordable education and eradicating systemic barriers that causes social inequalities which imbalances future opportunities and induces higher crime rates. UBI, is stretched a little too far.


    Hmm, but doesn't that give people more freedom? Which means a happier populace, which means less stress, a less harrowing culture, less crime and so on. People will now be pursuing jobs they are passionate about. I actually think the nature of work would change. Less hours, more flexibility, etc.

    UBI could easily be paid for. Phase out all welfare programs (which are useless and only perpetuate poverty) and scale down the unemployment program. It would really pay for itself in so many ways. I guess we'll just have to wait, watch, and see how these programs play out in Canada, the Netherlands, Finland, and Switzerland, and that experiment here in the US.

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    Apr 25, 2016 7:41 PM GMT
    If everyone had the same income everyone would be poor. Giving everyone in the nation a million bucks makes it worthless. Guess I'll be a custodian for the rest of my life since I don't need to go to school now and be a physician.
    If you don't like capitalism, then move to all the other socialist western countries, there's tons of them and only one of us.
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    Apr 25, 2016 7:51 PM GMT
    LOL! This is another one of those several euphemisms for socialism, like "economic justice." However good it might be in theory, the fact remains that mankind is a species of nature, driven by natural impulses, such as competition, and divided by natural divisions, such as ability. We've seen the results of well-intended ideas like this one, and the hell to which they invariably lead. No, competition based on ability and drive, in the forum of free and open markets, is and will remain the optimal social program for the betterment of all.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Apr 25, 2016 8:22 PM GMT
    I don't think it is affordable internationally but it certainly is in most first world countries. I do think it would allow some perfectly healthy people to basically be lazy but the attractiveness of the proposal is that it is mostly paid for by (theoretically) a complete elimination of the massive bureaucracy supporting social welfare programs and assistance other than health care and education. In the US, Dems don't like it because that bureaucracy generally votes Dem and the Repubs don't like it because they like to legislate their morality by controlling how the poor spend money.
  • Eli_jah

    Posts: 1391

    Apr 25, 2016 8:48 PM GMT
    tempprofile saidIf everyone had the same income everyone would be poor. Giving everyone in the nation a million bucks makes it worthless. Guess I'll be a custodian for the rest of my life since I don't need to go to school now and be a physician.
    If you don't like capitalism, then move to all the other socialist western countries, there's tons of them and only one of us.


    A gross oversimplification. People will not quit their high paying or mid paying jobs. Basic income means that EVERYONE over a certain age receives a guaranteed monthly income that covers living expenses, let's say $2,000 a month, $16,000 annually after taxes. Studies have shown that people actually work more when receiving a basic income, and that innovators have more time to devote to passion projects. Wouldn't you have more time for medical school if you didn't have to worry about rent and putting food on the table? Besides, throughout American history, social programs have created great prosperity. This is a no brainer.

    It's not about liking capitalism or not, we have seen the deleterious effects of capitalism play out on the world stage for the last thirty years. America has changed irreversibly, all that old school talk of merit and pulling yourself up by your boot straps is old hat. The average person is being sucked dry by the debt industry and lack of economic opportunity. Anyone who believes that "ability and drive" is all one needs to get ahead these days is truly out of touch.
  • Eli_jah

    Posts: 1391

    Apr 25, 2016 9:48 PM GMT
    A great article over at FiveThirtyEight today:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/
  • badbug

    Posts: 800

    Apr 26, 2016 4:24 AM GMT

    For sure the government can't afford to spend this type of money. Look at what happened after World War II, spending all that money America went bankrupt. Oh wait, no they didn't and had an economic boom that has lasted until now. Wait, what? Something something debt??


    Giving money to people that have no choice but to put all that money back in the economy costs nothing. Billionaires hording money in overseas accounts and supporting a tiny economy of yachts and golden shower faucets, is where all the wealth is going that is truly hurting the financial stability of everyone even the idiot billionaires who are just depleting their customer base. 200 people having all the money is not only stupid, it's dangerous.


    This idea that you can't afford this or you can't afford that, is laughable. No, you can't stifle the tax base and squeeze and wonder why less and less juice is coming out when you stagnate wages and erode the middle class. Again, if 200 people have all the money, they can only do business with themselves and everyone else can barter their chickens.



    being that it removes the primary motivation for people to work hard at their job and persevere when the stress of work gets in the way since one is already taken care of


    People's primary motivation is the opinion of others. As long as being succesful is rewarded socially, that will be why people want the nicest clothes and cars and have everyone else think of them as some success.


    It has been obvious for many, many decades that some form of UBI is in the future


    I wonder what these same people will think about it, when in 40 years robots are doing 90 percent of the jobs available. Or in a 100 when they are doing virtually every job that exists. Will there still be republicans arguing about motivation and boot straps etc. etc. "Well the three dudes that own the robot factory made something of themselves, why can't the 8 billion rest of you???"

    Isn't politician a form of welfare?


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 26, 2016 4:41 AM GMT
    Somehow the idea of giving a person everything they need in life really rubs me the wrong way. Even if it did work (and I have my doubts), imagine the type of monsters with entitlement issues it would create.
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    Apr 26, 2016 6:26 PM GMT
    Radd saidSomehow the idea of giving a person everything they need in life really rubs me the wrong way. Even if it did work (and I have my doubts), imagine the type of monsters with entitlement issues it would create.

    No need to imagine them: circumspice.
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    Apr 26, 2016 7:24 PM GMT
    If you haven't had much exposure to different people you may not have worked with people who are only there because they're getting paid. Where I worked those of us who enjoyed our work were a distinct minority.

    I would wager that the majority of our adults don't really know what they'd like to do, other than sit at home and watch TV. And if they did, there aren't enough openings for them; not everyone can be a singer, performer, pro basketball player, etc.

    Think of all of the crappy minimum wage jobs; those people would quit in an eye blink if they could get a "UBI" and not have to work.
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    Apr 27, 2016 9:27 PM GMT
    ^+1 Think Thoreau: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3521

    Apr 28, 2016 4:25 AM GMT
    AI is going to change EVERYTHING soon. If your job is to related facts and figures to others. You will be out of a job. Accountants, Lawyers, most gov employees. All the pencil pushers will be AI. Very soon.

    As the robots chew their way up the food chain, some of the lower upper class will suddenly see themselves in the muck with the brickety brack.

    They really need to implement a robot minimum wage now, as silly as that seems right now, to prevent it. Otherwise there will be no gov tax base.

    Consider cheap space runs, with AI and robot slaves, with the rich living in space habitats (no property tax), and running things from there in control of everything. There will be nobody left to pay taxes at all, and the rich will have won the only victory left. (being invulnerable)
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    Apr 28, 2016 4:33 AM GMT
    Oh, please. The empty-suit crowd is already living on a very generous welfare system. We don't need machines to replace them, because they don't do anything that's of any use to begin with. How can you build a robot to have good hair and teeth and pledge the right frat?

    There was an OpEd in the NYT this morning that made some good points about the fact that 1950's manufacturing jobs are never coming back, no matter what the candied dates say. But then it made some pretty stupid prescriptions for turning everyone into HR managers and executive VPs instead icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Fireworkz

    Posts: 606

    Apr 29, 2016 11:27 PM GMT
    The argument for technology is valid.

    When most things are automated there will be less jobs.

    The paradigm that people have to work is outdated.

    In resource rich states very few people actually have to work because the countries income comes from the sale of its natural resources. (countries like Norway and Arab states)

    And in some countries (i.e the caribbean) most people already own their land so they don't need to get a mortgage or pay rent. So really people are only working for food and disposable income.

    Without an economy that is dependent on debt (mortgages, school loans) and growth to pay back that debt people can tend to other matters rather than just survival.

    Automation will bring the equivalency of a resource rich state where people don't need to work as much.
    There will be less reason to economically exploit others as technology will replace cheap labour.

    So when everything is automated having a universal income will be essential.


    Hopefully the future will be like Star Trek. no one really works in star trek they live in the pursuit of knowledge and technological advancement. Money doesn't really exist.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 01, 2016 4:11 AM GMT
    We already have a welfare system. Some families are on welfare for generations. We need to get those people to work. I mean, a basic yearly income of $16K is like getting a job at McDonalds. Would you rather have people working? Or encourage them to be leaches?
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    May 01, 2016 2:20 PM GMT
    [url]http://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/human-services/your-dhs/Pages/Temporary-Assistance-for-Needy-Families-(TANF).aspx[/url]
    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

    What is TANF?

    TANF provides temporary financial assistance to eligible families with children. The family receives a monthly cash payment to meet their basic needs.


    How long can a family receive TANF?

    A family who has someone in VIEW may receive TANF for no longer than 24 months followed by a period of ineligibility. A family may receive TANF no longer than 60 months in a lifetime.


    http://www.tanf.us/
    TANF Program Guidelines

    Work Guidelines: 1. Recipients of TANF must be working no later than 2 years from the start of receiving the government assistance program TANF. 2. To maintain eligibility toward the States eligibility guidelines, work must consist of employment of no less than 30 hours per week (or 20 hours a week if there is a child in the household under 6 years of age).

  • May 06, 2016 1:50 AM GMT
    We have seen this time and time again..."handouts" are never free, and I'm wary of any more government involvement in our lives than the humongous amount with which it is in involved now. So instead of a guaranteed annual income - given to both slackers and CEOs - why not institute a program where if you cannot find full-time work after six months of being unemployed, the government will pay you a modest (for your area) income, provided that you work 40 hours a week at a local charity? This to me makes more sense than simply handing out "free" money, and it gives chronically impoverished people a chance to get off the government dole.
  • metta

    Posts: 39104

    May 06, 2016 2:12 AM GMT
    Where would all that money come from? I would support Universal Basic Income for those that are unable to work due to a severe disability or the elderly (Social Security).

    I would rather see trade agreements that protect American jobs. We have not been able to get medicare for all yet. Let's get that first.
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3521

    May 06, 2016 4:17 AM GMT
    a basic income that comes without guilt, would unleash a creative explosion in the arts though. writers, painters, theatres...free from day jobs could get actual work done.