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Universal basic income
Old 02-27-2018, 04:32 AM   #1
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Universal basic income

You can all stop saving now, ER provided by the government:
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/26/roug...ic-income.html

My favorite quote:
“supporters say that the companies that benefit from artificial intelligence should pay the higher taxes to fund a basic income”
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Old 02-27-2018, 05:43 AM   #2
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It will be interesting to see where the future goes. If there really is a lack of jobs it seems like one way to respond.
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Old 02-27-2018, 05:45 AM   #3
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Moved the thread to the Public Policy forum.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:01 AM   #4
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Not for it. As I see it the problem will be that the universal income will soon become the "new normal". And it won't be long before those that don't want to work to improve their lives will be asking for and demanding more free money.
That can lead nowhere good. But that's just me. I'm all about self sufficiency and personal responsibility.
Now if our country had no debt and no deficit and a healthy economy then maybe it could work. But people would still need to do something productive to feel good about themselves.
As an example I've seen some local Native American communities that have successful casinos give each of their citizens a free income. A percentage of these, especially the younger adults have become addicts of some sort. Or just spend that money buying new trucks every year or more often. Very few are using that money to prepare for their future.
Just look at how things are now.
Just my opinion.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:31 AM   #5
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I think this could be a good way to help unemployed, working poor, seniors, students, parents, etc.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:37 AM   #6
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On a different, but related, note: In theory, if you divided up all monetary wealth and distributed it to everyone equally, it would flow back to approximately the same net worth ratio as people have now, with just a few exceptions.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by folivier View Post
. . .people would still need to do something productive to feel good about themselves.
This, to me, is the most important issue. We have to find ways for people to do meaningful activities. I was talking to a friend from a middle eastern country. The comment was made something to the effect - Why is it like that there? Answer from friend - they have nothing better to do. Very telling in my book. If a young person cannot feel productive and connected through work or deeds, what will they do and how will they feel good about themselves?

I do, however, believe in subsidized situations. One of my issues with our welfare system (the way I understand it to be set up) is that you're either on it or off it. Why would a rational person take a job if the government will pay you equal or more? Change that an if the person takes a job, the welfare is cut back, but in total, the person is doing better financially, and I think that would be better. I think the same would apply to universal income. Unfortunately, I have not seen a system like that in the U.S. (if anywhere), and I doubt it would be administratively feasible.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:47 AM   #8
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This, to me, is the most important issue. We have to find ways for people to do meaningful activities. I was talking to a friend from a middle eastern country. The comment was made something to the effect - Why is it like that there? Answer from friend - they have nothing better to do. Very telling in my book. If a young person cannot feel productive and connected through work or deeds, what will they do and how will they feel good about themselves?



I do, however, believe in subsidized situations. One of my issues with our welfare system (the way I understand it to be set up) is that you're either on it or off it. Why would a rational person take a job if the government will pay you equal or more? Change that an if the person takes a job, the welfare is cut back, but in total, the person is doing better financially, and I think that would be better. I think the same would apply to universal income. Unfortunately, I have not seen a system like that in the U.S. (if anywhere), and I doubt it would be administratively feasible.


I think that was at least one goal of the earned income credit that some lower-income taxpayers receive. I won’t even try to guess whether or not it is effective.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 4legsgood View Post
I think this could be a good way to help unemployed, working poor, seniors, students, parents, etc.
My concern is that there is a very thin line between helping and enabling.

I think of DS, who is gainfully employed in a low income job but going to work is very good for his mental and physical well-being. If the government effectively offered him money to stay home and play video games, I'm afraid that he might chose that path.
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:04 AM   #10
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My concern is that there is a very thin line between helping and enabling.

I think of DS, who is gainfully employed in a low income job but going to work is very good for his mental and physical well-being. If the government effectively offered him money to stay home and play video games, I'm afraid that he might chose that path.
I think the amount of money that is usually talked about for this is well below a livable wage. I think of my daughter's guy. He works hard in a low paying blue collar job that he loves but he is just getting by and maybe something like this would give him a chance to better his skills, invest,...

It would probably be good for some, bad for others.
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:08 AM   #11
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I just see the whole idea as inflationary and creating a new, higher and artificial baseline over time
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folivier View Post
Not for it. As I see it the problem will be that the universal income will soon become the "new normal". And it won't be long before those that don't want to work to improve their lives will be asking for and demanding more free money.
That can lead nowhere good. But that's just me. I'm all about self sufficiency and personal responsibility.
Whether UBI ever happens at all, or ever grows to more than crumbs, don't hold your breath waiting for it. You have much better odds of hitting a secure ER by w*rking and saving.
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:12 AM   #13
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At first look, the math just wouldn't work. The Social Safety net programs are about $365B, given 330M people in the country, that leaves you $1100/year pp, not sure people are thinking this program would only provide $100/month and some of those specialized Safety Net programs would still have to remain

Now I believe the whole safety net needs to be revamped and technology could do a lot to ensure its a fairer use of resources..and technology, of course, would likely lead to the need of fewer govt jobs.

However, while automation will eliminate some jobs, other things will be invented. I have no doubt jobs will exist.. the question really is what will the pay be for those jobs. I know plenty of volunteer jobs that I'm like seriously who does this without getting paid because its way too much work.

If someone could figure out how to make the numbers work, I'd certainly be interested. I know too many people trapped in jobs that don't take a risk at new jobs because they are afraid of being new person on the totem pole (my honey got caught by this so you don't qualify for unemployment). Too many that have great ideas but too fearful to start a business because of income insecurity. And too many women that suffer financially because they care for loved ones.. I thought a lot about that while doing hospice for my father. It saves the govt a fortune in health care bills but it requires someone to be by their side 24x7 which is likely a family member not getting paid... a situation that somehow didn't seem right to me. It made me wonder if they gave the primary caregiver a stipend if more people would choose that option and greatly reduce the medicaid costs and create a win/win situation.
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:15 AM   #14
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The problem with a UBI is figuring out who will pay for it.

The poll in the OP asks
Quote:
Do you support or not support a universal basic income program as a way to help Americans who lose their jobs because of advances in artificial intelligence?
The premise of the question is massive job losses due to AI. 80% of the people who support UBI, based on that premise, agree with
Quote:
Companies that benefit most from advancements in artificial intelligence should pay more taxes to fund a universal basic income program.*
I'd say the centerpiece of our most recent FIT change was a big cut in corporate taxes, so taxing companies for UBI would require a big shift in tax policy.
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:24 AM   #15
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:29 AM   #16
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Surprised by that poll.

But I haven't heard any discussion about this at the state level, let alone the national level.

It may be that if UBI comes, it would be forced upon us by circumstance, before the country has a chance to make a policy choice.

Automation would decimate jobs long before fancy AI takes over work.

The debate in the last election was about trade policy and to a certain extent, types of jobs which have gone away, such as factory jobs or coal mining.

Problem is, these kinds of jobs are among the ones which might be automated away first.
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:34 AM   #17
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I think that is a long way off. Hopefully I am long gone before we start paying everyone for nothing...
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:53 AM   #18
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I don't accept the premise that new tech will mean so few jobs. Why aren't people working the widely predicted 8 (or 20? or?) hour week today? Why isn't unemployment 80%?

Look to history. In the US:

1990, farmers are 2.6% of labor force
1980, farmers are 3.4% of labor force
1960, farmers are 8.3% of labor force
1950, farmers are 12.2% of labor force
1930, farmers are 21% of labor force
1910, farmers are 31% of labor force
1890, farmers are 43% of labor force
1870, farmers are 53% of labor force
1840, farmers are 69% of labor force
1790, farmers are 90% of labor force

https://www.agclassroom.org/gan/time...rmers_land.htm

Those people found jobs.

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Old 02-27-2018, 10:18 AM   #19
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https://medium.com/basic-income/why-...s-da6e628f6070

Uncle Milty ("conservative" Nobel Prize winning economist, Milton Friedman) championed the Negative Income Tax back in the 1960's. His reasons had nothing to do with AI and lack of jobs, but sought to have rational incentives for work (the highest effective marginal tax rates often apply to welfare recipients who start earning) and less government intrusion on private lives.
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:32 AM   #20
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The problem with a UBI is figuring out who will pay for it.
In a sense, the machines will. As a thought experiment consider the extreme scenario of complete solar-powered automation, with no humans anywhere earning an income. Without income to spend, how does an individual obtain food, housing, etc.? If the individual can simply tell the machines to bring him food, build a house, etc. there is no limitation placed on requests by that individual, which leads to exhaustion of natural resources. UBI, conversely, forces an allocation scheme on individuals, thereby preserving a semblance of the world's current economic system.
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