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Universal Income - Freedom Dividends
Old 02-21-2019, 08:13 AM   #1
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Universal Income - Freedom Dividends

Saw this topic was discussed previously but thread is too old to reply to.

I found this interview interesting.



I feel like there will be a need for this sooner than I expected. Part of me wishes this was the way we handled many families on support.

In my opinion, if we solved the healthcare issue and if we gave people a safety net like this, it would drive new business from people taking more chances on successes of entrepreneurship without the fear of losing everything.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:43 AM   #2
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I don't want to invest two hours in watching a video. Here's a link to Andrew Yang's website https://www.yang2020.com/what-is-ubi/

His website does not explain how UBI would be integrated with Social Security. Would I get UBI in addition to my SS, instead of SS, or would I get the greater of UBI or SS?

I could enjoy talking about this with the thoughtful people on this board. But, I don't think Porky will allow that.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:56 AM   #3
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I could enjoy talking about this with the thoughtful people on this board. But, I don't think Porky will allow that.
Thoughtful exchange is always welcome at E-R Forum! Itís the other kind that butts in and ruins the party for everyone.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:00 AM   #4
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Surely, this idea is really is only a variation of the welfare and food stamp system currently in place. It would save a lot of administrative/application/research costs. Not that I am for or against it.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:10 AM   #5
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I don't want to invest two hours in watching a video. Here's a link to Andrew Yang's website https://www.yang2020.com/what-is-ubi/

His website does not explain how UBI would be integrated with Social Security. Would I get UBI in addition to my SS, instead of SS, or would I get the greater of UBI or SS?

I could enjoy talking about this with the thoughtful people on this board. But, I don't think Porky will allow that.
Sorry, wrong response.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:25 AM   #6
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I know this is very political right now, but in my mind it’s just a mathematical fact that until we address immigration and clarify who is and who isn’t a US citizen these types of programs cannot be seriously considered. I don’t mind the welfare philosophy and I do think that we’re automating so much that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. However, that situation exists in far greater numbers throughout the world, so without a proper gate keeper mechanism, it just doesn’t make sense - mathematically.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:27 AM   #7
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Are you familiar with the experiment that Finland is doing?

Finland's Basic Income Experiment Kind of Works, but Not For Jobs | Fortune

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The program involved a couple of thousand unemployed Finns between the ages of 25 and 58, who got €560 ($634) a month through 2017 and 2018 instead of basic unemployment benefits. The second year’s results will be reported in 2020, but as for the first year, it seems the basic income made the subjects feel healthier and less stressed.

However, it didn’t have any meaningful effect on the subjects’ employment—compared with a control group, the participants worked an average of 0.4 days more during 2017, and earned an average of €21 ($24) less over the same year.
It's still early, and of course Finland is a much smaller and more homogeneous country than the U.S, but it is going to be interesting to see the final outcomes.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:30 AM   #8
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The question I think we need to ask is what are we going to do when there aren't jobs for a large percentage of the population?
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:33 AM   #9
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Seems to really be about automation with UBI as a partial solution, but not really.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:46 AM   #10
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Thoughtful exchange is always welcome at E-R Forum! Itís the other kind that butts in and ruins the party for everyone.
Thanks, I'll try.

The general idea of UBI appealed to me way back when Friedman and Nixon proposed it. The concept is attractive.
- Eliminate the administrative burden of our current means tested program by replacing them with something much simpler.
- Remove the extreme disincentives to work that can occur when people get jobs and lose welfare benefits.
- Allow adults to make their own choices about their mix of spending (housing vs. food, for example), rather than having the gov't make that decision, by giving them unrestricted cash.

The devil is in the details. I've never been able to assemble a plan.

One detail is children. Yang's proposal gives $1,000/month to a single adult and $1,000/month to an adult with two dependent children. That doesn't work for me.

Another is medical care. I don't think $1,000/month begins to buy health insurance. But, the financing plans for UBI seem to assume that we will stop providing Medicaid.

Then there is financing in general. There are 200 million people in the US between the ages of 18 and 64. $1,000/month is $2.4 trillion. Yang wants to cover that with $800 billion from a VAT plus (he says) $600 billion from current welfare. I don't think that adds up. When I do the numbers, tax rates get too high for me.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:54 AM   #11
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The question I think we need to ask is what are we going to do when there aren't jobs for a large percentage of the population?

Starving people revolt, or at least try to... for awhile.
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:30 AM   #12
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Maybe this is not the best place to discuss this since many people in this forum wouldn't be directly affected by this.

But I think it's a real concern that we'll have millions of people losing jobs with no way to assimilate into the workplace anymore.

A very high percentage of these once-proud workers will be stuck without work as they enter into their retirement years and will likely become a burden on society anyway.

Part of the idea of this would be to proactively address these people so they know they won't be in financial disarray and the other benefit is that they would not be psychologically embarrassed by the fact they are receiving it.

With the embarrassment gone, they can then figure out how they can best optimize their future with this money. Hopefully it would be by volunteering, creating social groups for others like them, and to possibly start new businesses with a large risk of failure being removed.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:08 AM   #13
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Maybe this is not the best place to discuss this since many people in this forum wouldn't be directly affected by this.

But I think it's a real concern that we'll have millions of people losing jobs with no way to assimilate into the workplace anymore.

A very high percentage of these once-proud workers will be stuck without work as they enter into their retirement years and will likely become a burden on society anyway.

Part of the idea of this would be to proactively address these people so they know they won't be in financial disarray and the other benefit is that they would not be psychologically embarrassed by the fact they are receiving it.

With the embarrassment gone, they can then figure out how they can best optimize their future with this money. Hopefully it would be by volunteering, creating social groups for others like them, and to possibly start new businesses with a large risk of failure being removed.

We'll all be directly effected either by the automation (loss of jobs) or paying for the UBI to magically backfill for the loss of jobs (higher taxes). SS is a pay as you go system. Todays workers pay for todays benefits. No jobs = nobody paying SS taxes = nothing coming out the other end to drip into my cup.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:25 AM   #14
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Maybe this is not the best place to discuss this since many people in this forum wouldn't be directly affected by this.
While true, I think many of us are wired differently than a lot of working people (in the US). As a group, we are less likely to define ourselves by our jobs, or to feel a sense of loss without one. This is more of a philosophical point then economic. While I'm in favor in theory of a broader safety net, and UBI simplifies the equation, I'm not sure it would fit with the horatio alger mythology that seems to frame a lot of the social construct.

The US worker more typically identifies with their job than some other cultures. "we are what we do." It's more hard-wired in the US to consider one's work as one's contribution to society. So a huge cultural shift would be needed to make UBI acceptable to a large portion of those it would ideally help most. Today, it's not hard to find stories of folks eligible for welfare who just won't take it, out of pride or embarrassment or whatever.

It's not (always) about the paycheck.
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Old 02-21-2019, 12:01 PM   #15
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While true, I think many of us are wired differently than a lot of working people (in the US). As a group, we are less likely to define ourselves by our jobs, or to feel a sense of loss without one. This is more of a philosophical point then economic. While I'm in favor in theory of a broader safety net, and UBI simplifies the equation, I'm not sure it would fit with the horatio alger mythology that seems to frame a lot of the social construct.

The US worker more typically identifies with their job than some other cultures. "we are what we do." It's more hard-wired in the US to consider one's work as one's contribution to society. So a huge cultural shift would be needed to make UBI acceptable to a large portion of those it would ideally help most. Today, it's not hard to find stories of folks eligible for welfare who just won't take it, out of pride or embarrassment or whatever.

It's not (always) about the paycheck.
I agree with what you are saying.
I think with an UBI system that is integrated, it's important that people feel it's something that everyone can receive so that hopefully that removes the stigma of receiving it.

Sitting around at home collecting a check is not a great place to be from a point of worth standpoint. People need to feel the need that they are valued. So having these people volunteer to other causes and have the ability to start a new business without the worry of losing their money for food while they try it would be rewarding.

Could also provide a chance for a lot of hobbyists, artists, to start to hone their craft which they could try to market.

I believe one of the biggest hurdles to starting new businesses right now is:
1. Risk of financial ruin if you fail
2. Healthcare costs if you don't work for someone full time.

I'm looking to start a business in the next year or so, but I'm in my mid-40's. Prior to now I didn't have the financial means to take that risk, where now I'm first getting to that point where I have enough reserved to start to spend on that business while I still work full time to fund my family.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:46 PM   #16
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UBI would certainly make the life of early retirees easier, but the big question of how to pay for it can't be ignored.


How much more in Taxes are you willing to pay, not have others pay, to see something like this implemented.


If I recall correctly, Finland's experiment is ending. So won't know for awhile yet, after all of the data has been parsed and dissected, if it was successful.



I pay quite a bit in taxes as it is. Have a small company that also supports 4 other families who also pay taxes. I feel like I'm doing my part as it is.



I've worked 2 to 3 jobs when I needed to. And my wife worked when she needed to. Is that a bad thing?
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:57 PM   #17
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UBI would certainly make the life of early retirees easier, but the big question of how to pay for it can't be ignored.


How much more in Taxes are you willing to pay, not have others pay, to see something like this implemented.


If I recall correctly, Finland's experiment is ending. So won't know for awhile yet, after all of the data has been parsed and dissected, if it was successful.



I pay quite a bit in taxes as it is. Have a small company that also supports 4 other families who also pay taxes. I feel like I'm doing my part as it is.



I've worked 2 to 3 jobs when I needed to. And my wife worked when she needed to. Is that a bad thing?
Paying for anything is always a concern, but in my opinion, much of our financial system is a ponzi scheme to begin with. It's just one where they need to keep it honest enough that people partake. Essentially we have been borrowing from the future to pay for now forever.

Regarding ways to pay for it, one theory is to have an automation tax where the company pays a tax for the automation that took place. This could be related to the number of workers displaced, but if instead of paying someone $40k a year you might have a machine and a tax on that machine of $4,000 per year, the company is still better off paying for the automation and the tax for the displaced worker.

This really isn't a discussion about how to pay for it, but rather how do we handle it as a population when over the course of the next 10-30 years, instead of having 60% of people working it drops down to maybe 30-40%.

What do we do with the 60-70% who simply don't have jobs available to them?
When automation gets to this point, some new jobs will be created but in the name of progress, it's not going to be 1 for 1, otherwise the market wouldn't drive the change.

So when this happens, we'll have a financial burden to these people through healthcare and food stamps whether well thought out or not. Or we will have an uprising at worst as this slowly hits the tipping point of what the then majority won't feel is moral.

I guess to me it isn't a question of how do we pay for it. It's a question of how to we best prepare for it so the the system is efficient, makes sense and as affordable as possible while keeping people from uprising.
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:00 PM   #18
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I've worked 2 to 3 jobs when I needed to. And my wife worked when she needed to. Is that a bad thing?
You are to be commended for this. My concern is what happens when people like you and your wife want to do the same thing, but there is actually no job. (And I mean NO job because of automation).
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:17 PM   #19
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In earlier centuries/millenia when the standard of living finally rose above the cost of food and shelter, the number of people in arts an entertainment expanded. That can happen with UBI too.
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:20 PM   #20
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We have a country wide example of universal health care here called medicare.
We can look to Canada and many other countries to see universal health care.

Universal health care would remove one problem of becoming unemployed or jumping to self-employment, as the cost is huge.

I could see that switch being made, as it's possible, since lots of countries have been doing it for years.

However, giving everyone free cash is not workable, if you give everyone $12K per year, who pays the extra $$$$ taxes to afford that $12K.

Try and tax the rich the amount needed, and you will see them all gone the next year.
If you give $12K /pp , then a couple gets $24K, so unless wages are raised to $40K per year for a minimum wage job, who is going to work at those lousy jobs for a little bit more.

We could of course solve lots of the immigration issue of people coming here for opportunity by simply giving all 4.5 Billion people in the world $12K each per year. Then no reason to move to the USA.
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