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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: Capt j-rod on February 07, 2018, 10:54:31 AM

Title: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Capt j-rod on February 07, 2018, 10:54:31 AM
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/07/post-bankruptcy-california-city-tests-universal-income-for-residents.html

If you give a mustacian $500 they will invest it because they already have their finances under control. The newbies would pay off debt. Give it to the morons and there will be a sweet party! There is about to be a serious run on liquor, smokes, scratch-offs, shoes, sunglasses, smart phones, junk food, fast food, and other financial fuckery!
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: bacchi on February 07, 2018, 01:17:20 PM
Mincome studies around the world have found that poor people, overwhelmingly, spend their money wisely. They pay off debt or start businesses or go back to school. Even the homeless who have been given money, without any constraints, find apartments and spend less on alcohol and drugs.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: ketchup on February 07, 2018, 01:36:43 PM
Also, any proponents I've read of a universal basic income have it replacing welfare, food stamps, etc., not supplementing it.  In theory it'd be a lot simpler than the current system, and not prone to welfare-cliff traps which are huge disincentives to earning more and upward mobility.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Dabnasty on February 08, 2018, 02:44:16 PM
Shame and Comedy? I don't get it, social experiment hoping to be the early stages of solving one of the biggest issues facing the world?

Thanks for the link though, I'm interested in seeing what they find.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: a1pharm on February 08, 2018, 03:44:11 PM
Headline: Post-bankruptcy California city tests ‘universal’ income for residents

Excerpt: "Several-dozen families will be given $500 a month, and monitored to see what they do with the money and how it affects self-esteem and identity."

a1pharm's conclusion: clickbait

Seriously though, it almost sounds like the person/people funding this "experiment" are just voyeurs wanting to find out what poor people spend money on. 

It's kinda fucked up.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on February 08, 2018, 04:16:58 PM
When I was a child and I didn't get enough to eat, it was because I didn't have any money. If I had had money, I could have gone to the store and bought myself some food. That's how money works. You exchange it for goods and services.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: bacchi on February 08, 2018, 11:04:36 PM
Poor people are poor because they have no money. It's pretty simple, really.

GiveDirectly gives the impoverished money. It works when they've done it.

Now, will it work in Stockton where inequity is much higher than a village in Africa? Where the temptation to buy the latest iPhone is much greater? That's what an experiment will show.

The article headline is definitely clickbait. What does it matter if the city declared bankruptcy recently? It's not city money; it's funded by a non-profit.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLee on February 08, 2018, 11:45:39 PM
I have yet to see any studies that indicate UBI would result in "morons buying liquor, smokes, scratch-offs, shoes, sunglasses, smart phones, junk food, fast food, and other financial fuckery."  OP, you appear exceptionally judgmental of massive swathes of people, and also uneducated as to what studies have shown on this topic to date.

We need more data before anything conclusive can be drawn, but it was tested in Canada many years ago:
https://www.marketplace.org/2016/12/20/world/dauphin
Quote
The initial results are striking: the vast majority of Mincome participants kept working.

Primary wage earners worked a little less, but only slightly.

Married women backed off too, but mostly to take longer maternity leaves.

There was a drop in work by teenage boys, but Forget says many simply were able to stay in high school longer. Their families weren’t as desperate for another breadwinner.

Forget said the income helped people live beyond the next paycheck. “The idea was to create a little bit of cushion," she said.

Forget said Mincome also appears to have boosted well-being. Hospitalizations fell significantly, especially for mental health problems. That extra money may have relieved some of the stress of “getting by.”

“It doesn’t surprise me,” she said. “The amount of stress that a family operates under is strongly related to the amount of money a family has.”


A more current research project:

Quote
http://rooseveltinstitute.org/modeling-macroeconomic-effects-ubi/
How would a massive federal spending program like a universal basic income (UBI) affect the macroeconomy? We use the Levy Institute macroeconometric model to estimate the impact of three versions of such an unconditional cash assistance program over an eight-year time horizon. Overall, we find that the economy can not only withstand large increases in federal spending, but could also grow thanks to the stimulative effects of cash transfers on the economy.

I think it's important to plan ahead for some form of universal income due to the increase in automation and efficiency we have as a society.  There's going to be a point where we simply have to invent worthless "jobs" just to keep people "working" so they "earn" a paycheck...when we could just have a machine replace them for a tiny fraction of the cost. No productivity is lost, and now there are a bunch of people who have to go find something else to do.  That point is made here:

Quote
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/
It’s not just governments and charities attracted to the idea of basic income. The private sector is curious, too. Silicon Valley in particular. These enthusiasts are motivated less by an interest in improving the welfare state and more by a desire to guard against much bigger economic changes coming down the pike. In a much-written-about 2013 paper, two Oxford economists estimated that 47 percent of all U.S. jobs were at risk of computerization. Increasingly, technologists envision basic income as a “hack,” or fix, to the system — it offers a way of coping with an economic future dominated by automation, a fallback plan for when most human labor isn’t valued or needed.

“We think there could be a possibility where 95 percent — or a vast majority — of people won’t be able to contribute to the workforce,” said Matt Krisiloff, the manager of Y Combinator’s basic income project. “We need to start preparing for that transformation.”

Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on February 09, 2018, 04:30:20 AM
"Oh, man. I wish I had more income, so I could pay for an apartment or some food in the fridge. I'm so hungry and I have nowhere to live."

"Here's $500."

"Hooray! Now I can get a new iPhone!"

Do you see how ridiculous that looks? They are poor people. Not insane people.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Just Joe on February 09, 2018, 07:30:50 AM
Are poor Americans different than poor Europeans or poor Canadians?

I've seen some people do some really stupid stuff that they could not afford. Hell, I've done some stupid stuff that I could not afford in my younger days.

Somehow I expect the Americans to do some of the very stuff detailed in earlier comments. We seem to be a rather short sighted breed of people. No long game at all in a portion of the population.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Dabnasty on February 09, 2018, 08:43:24 AM
Certainly there would be a mix. Some people are going to waste the money and some are going to use it to improve their lives but that's the point of the experiment, see what happens. It's important that they find a way to not select recipients who are more responsible than average for the study to have any meaning.

I don't think comparing this to a windfall like winning the lottery where people are likely to blow the money on crap is justified though. In those cases someone who has very little may see a $10,000 pay day and think "wow, I've never had so much money. How could it possibly run out?" But $500/month for someone who is hungry and behind on their bills? I suspect most of those people would put the money to good use.

I've only read about a few similar studies which were very small scale but their conclusions were generally that no strings attached money improved lives more than current welfare programs. Here's one example which is quite different than the Stockton study but nonetheless is rather surprising.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/free-money-might-be-the-best-way-to-end-poverty/2013/12/29/679c8344-5ec8-11e3-95c2-13623eb2b0e1_story.html?utm_term=.d349e20edd66 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/free-money-might-be-the-best-way-to-end-poverty/2013/12/29/679c8344-5ec8-11e3-95c2-13623eb2b0e1_story.html?utm_term=.d349e20edd66)
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Capt j-rod on February 09, 2018, 05:30:29 PM
I have rental property. I have seen it first hand. Those on assistance are usually spending every dime they have. Those who are working to get by cook food, walk or bike to work, ask me for odd jobs and work to subsidize their rent. My metro property leaves the door open in winter, eats all fast food, and have no desire or need to do otherwise. Of course there are exceptions. I have a younger couple and he is laid off for winter. He has shoveled the drive way and is literally asking me every week if I have any work or know someone who does. Last year they grew a garden and borrowed my pressure canner to preserve it. Rent is NEVER late. Might be $50 short but he ALWAYS pays it back. They are now musicians thanks to my suggestion and the inputs of this site. I too would like to see these results of this study.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Finances_With_Purpose on February 09, 2018, 09:34:21 PM
I have rental property. I have seen it first hand. Those on assistance are usually spending every dime they have. Those who are working to get by cook food, walk or bike to work, ask me for odd jobs and work to subsidize their rent. My metro property leaves the door open in winter, eats all fast food, and have no desire or need to do otherwise. Of course there are exceptions. I have a younger couple and he is laid off for winter. He has shoveled the drive way and is literally asking me every week if I have any work or know someone who does. Last year they grew a garden and borrowed my pressure canner to preserve it. Rent is NEVER late. Might be $50 short but he ALWAYS pays it back. They are now musicians thanks to my suggestion and the inputs of this site. I too would like to see these results of this study.

Kudos to you for giving those folks a chance.  Paying short but on time late takes a certain kind of humility and hard work at the same time.  Plus asking for jobs.  I hope to hear they're doing well somewhere years hence...
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Capt j-rod on February 10, 2018, 01:45:21 PM
This year has been much better for them. They had a good savings built up but then some medical bills and car trouble came up. Not only did they tell me in advance, but insisted I see the bills as well as where they paid them so that I didn't think they were making up excuses. They are young and in their early 20's. He is a concrete worker so winter is hard. The light bulb has definitely come on and they now understand how this game of life works. I had him cleaning my basement and garage last week. The guy is a machine. Their drive is what makes me dislike the programs described in the thread. The answer isn't cash and prizes, the answer is living with what you have and making it work.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLee on February 11, 2018, 04:14:11 PM
This year has been much better for them. They had a good savings built up but then some medical bills and car trouble came up. Not only did they tell me in advance, but insisted I see the bills as well as where they paid them so that I didn't think they were making up excuses. They are young and in their early 20's. He is a concrete worker so winter is hard. The light bulb has definitely come on and they now understand how this game of life works. I had him cleaning my basement and garage last week. The guy is a machine. Their drive is what makes me dislike the programs described in the thread. The answer isn't cash and prizes, the answer is living with what you have and making it work.

He is a concrete worker, so presumably in good health. What happens if he's injured?
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: SwordGuy on February 11, 2018, 04:52:52 PM
"Oh, man. I wish I had more income, so I could pay for an apartment or some food in the fridge. I'm so hungry and I have nowhere to live."

"Here's $500."

"Hooray! Now I can get a new iPhone!"

Do you see how ridiculous that looks? They are poor people. Not insane people.

Well, I worked and lived in downtown DC for a few years during the work-week.  My company won a big contract that morning.  I was walking down the street and was accosted by someone with a sob story.   Feeling extra generous I handed the person two $20 bills.   They ran off down the street like a rocket, shouting for their drinking buddy to join them, and ran straight into the liquor store.   Shouted "We got the money!  We got the money!" the whole way.

So, yep.   It sure looked ridiculous, I'll grant you.   But that doesn't make it any less true.

A week later she hit me up for more money with the same sob story.   You can guess what I told her.

The truth is somewhere between both your positions.  Some poor folks are poor because of bad luck, or bad choices in the past that they are working hard to overcome.   Others are poor because of past and current bad choices they have absolutely no intention of changing.

Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: partgypsy on February 12, 2018, 07:05:07 AM
There is definitely a "poor" mentality. People who have been poor for a long time, that even if they get money it is not a tool to get into a better situation, but seen as a transient good luck to be blown as soon a possible, before someone else does. My sister is usually employed but goes from one job to the next. She lived with my mom and my older brother for years. They all smoke, and Mom and brother drinks (he's an alcoholic). Whenever they find out she has any little money, they will not stop bugging her. So she gives in, buys the groceries, smokes, booze, etc to get them off her back. Or, knowing that the money will soon be gone, she spends it first, buying cheap fashion clothes or nutritional supplements, stuff that gives her a temporary happiness boost. The end result is, even when she made OK money and didn't have to pay rent, she never accrued any savings. And whenever shelost her job, or had a big bill (medical, car) she would quickly go into debt and be unable to pay it. I just don't know at this point, if she can change. She is now living with my brother, not working or contributing towards household bills, and unable to pay her cell and car payments. It makes me sad for her, and my lil brother, who has a mortgage and his own financial concerns who could really use the help of a paying roommate. So what is she doing? my Mom recently sold her house. So now she (and other people in my family) are bugging my Mom to borrow money. Sigh.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Roe on February 12, 2018, 07:28:29 AM
As several people have pointed out there is a certain mindset that comes from stress of not knowing, stress from too many setbacks and similar situations. If you have been in Poor-land too long, or too deep, a sudden windfall runs a high risk of being squandered on something "useless".

It kind of makes sense. I wasn't able to pay all bills on time last month, and I wont be able to next month. Wasting this money on bills wont change anything in the long run. But if I buy the latest smartphone, I will have something nice that's otherwise out of reach.

I suspect that the "free" money experiment won't turn out as well as it would as a long time thing. Im hoping for automation to, in the end, result in a universal basic income. While a high reaching dream, the mentality of spending while it's there would not grab hold of as many people as today. 
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Just Joe on February 12, 2018, 07:37:00 AM
You don't think that if the money was reliable that people would eventually stabilize and live on a "budget"?

...or would they take on payment books until all the easy money was spent each month?
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on February 12, 2018, 07:56:07 AM
There is definitely a "poor" mentality. People who have been poor for a long time, that even if they get money it is not a tool to get into a better situation, but seen as a transient good luck to be blown as soon a possible, before someone else does. My sister is usually employed but goes from one job to the next. She lived with my mom and my older brother for years. They all smoke, and Mom and brother drinks (he's an alcoholic). Whenever they find out she has any little money, they will not stop bugging her. So she gives in, buys the groceries, smokes, booze, etc to get them off her back. Or, knowing that the money will soon be gone, she spends it first, buying cheap fashion clothes or nutritional supplements, stuff that gives her a temporary happiness boost. The end result is, even when she made OK money and didn't have to pay rent, she never accrued any savings. And whenever shelost her job, or had a big bill (medical, car) she would quickly go into debt and be unable to pay it. I just don't know at this point, if she can change. She is now living with my brother, not working or contributing towards household bills, and unable to pay her cell and car payments. It makes me sad for her, and my lil brother, who has a mortgage and his own financial concerns who could really use the help of a paying roommate. So what is she doing? my Mom recently sold her house. So now she (and other people in my family) are bugging my Mom to borrow money. Sigh.

I've bolded one of the key problems that productive individuals have in generationally poor families. In a normal family with maybe three generations there's generally a set of kids, a set of elders, and a set of working-aged adults. The working-aged adults can, under normal circumstances, provide for themselves, their own kids, and a little extra to the elders who have already paid for their homes and/or secured their retirement income. From time to time an elder moves in with working-aged adults to provide child care. But when one or more of the working-aged adults are defective in some way, it causes a chain reaction. By "defective" I don't mean a low IQ, a disability, or something similar. I'm referring to an active addiction, an unmanaged mental health problem, or anything else that causes an otherwise able-bodied individual to either not earn or to spend through whatever they earn.

A working-aged adult is *way* better at getting resources out of the family than a child or sick elder is: they do not take time off from it except to feed their own addictions, impulse purchases, or whatever else is causing them to be defective, and it does eventually wear down the family members who give to them just to make them go away. The only effective defense against people like that-- many of whom will gladly steal what you don't willingly give-- is to not be reachable or to not actually have what they're asking for.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Roe on February 12, 2018, 08:05:03 AM
There is definitely a "poor" mentality. People who have been poor for a long time, that even if they get money it is not a tool to get into a better situation, but seen as a transient good luck to be blown as soon a possible, before someone else does. My sister is usually employed but goes from one job to the next. She lived with my mom and my older brother for years. They all smoke, and Mom and brother drinks (he's an alcoholic). Whenever they find out she has any little money, they will not stop bugging her. So she gives in, buys the groceries, smokes, booze, etc to get them off her back. Or, knowing that the money will soon be gone, she spends it first, buying cheap fashion clothes or nutritional supplements, stuff that gives her a temporary happiness boost. The end result is, even when she made OK money and didn't have to pay rent, she never accrued any savings. And whenever shelost her job, or had a big bill (medical, car) she would quickly go into debt and be unable to pay it. I just don't know at this point, if she can change. She is now living with my brother, not working or contributing towards household bills, and unable to pay her cell and car payments. It makes me sad for her, and my lil brother, who has a mortgage and his own financial concerns who could really use the help of a paying roommate. So what is she doing? my Mom recently sold her house. So now she (and other people in my family) are bugging my Mom to borrow money. Sigh.

I've bolded one of the key problems that productive individuals have in generationally poor families. In a normal family with maybe three generations there's generally a set of kids, a set of elders, and a set of working-aged adults. The working-aged adults can, under normal circumstances, provide for themselves, their own kids, and a little extra to the elders who have already paid for their homes and/or secured their retirement income. From time to time an elder moves in with working-aged adults to provide child care. But when one or more of the working-aged adults are defective in some way, it causes a chain reaction. By "defective" I don't mean a low IQ, a disability, or something similar. I'm referring to an active addiction, an unmanaged mental health problem, or anything else that causes an otherwise able-bodied individual to either not earn or to spend through whatever they earn.

A working-aged adult is *way* better at getting resources out of the family than a child or sick elder is: they do not take time off from it except to feed their own addictions, impulse purchases, or whatever else is causing them to be defective, and it does eventually wear down the family members who give to them just to make them go away. The only effective defense against people like that-- many of whom will gladly steal what you don't willingly give-- is to not be reachable or to not actually have what they're asking for.

I read an article about a gypsy in her late teens. She had traveled with her family to my country, where the family intended to beg. It was quite an uplifting article, she was very firm about wanting something better for herself. She had her eyes on a career and studied to get there.

A relatively short while later they did a follow up interview with her. She had stopped studying, and seemed to have given up on her dream. Reason being that when people went out to beg, they demanded she watched their children. In the end she didn't have any time for her studies, and gave up.

Maybe not quite the same situation as you described, but another sad example of how someone is held back due to family/background. 
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: mm1970 on February 12, 2018, 11:06:49 AM
"Oh, man. I wish I had more income, so I could pay for an apartment or some food in the fridge. I'm so hungry and I have nowhere to live."

"Here's $500."

"Hooray! Now I can get a new iPhone!"

Do you see how ridiculous that looks? They are poor people. Not insane people.

Well, I worked and lived in downtown DC for a few years during the work-week.  My company won a big contract that morning.  I was walking down the street and was accosted by someone with a sob story.   Feeling extra generous I handed the person two $20 bills.   They ran off down the street like a rocket, shouting for their drinking buddy to join them, and ran straight into the liquor store.   Shouted "We got the money!  We got the money!" the whole way.

So, yep.   It sure looked ridiculous, I'll grant you.   But that doesn't make it any less true.

A week later she hit me up for more money with the same sob story.   You can guess what I told her.

The truth is somewhere between both your positions.  Some poor folks are poor because of bad luck, or bad choices in the past that they are working hard to overcome.   Others are poor because of past and current bad choices they have absolutely no intention of changing.
It's her job.

There are, quite literally, people in my town whose families panhandle for a living.  I've been hit up at the gas station by a reasonably dressed, middle aged woman driving a minivan "on a business trip and I need gas money".  I was post-partum, on my way to work, and exhausted, so I said "I don't have any money".

My town has such a wide variety of people - bleeding hearts who give money to everyone because it's the right thing to do, and they are sympathetic, and what if they really need it, to people who are way more skeptical and give nothing, to the in between, like us, who donate to charities.

Anyway, there was an article in our paper a few years ago profiling some families who brought in close to six figures by panhandling.

A few years ago, a friend had his identity stolen, right when he and his wife were trying to get a mortgage.  What a mess to cancel the illegal credit cards.  I said "get a job!" but you know, that IS their job, really.  Which is sad.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Scandium on February 12, 2018, 12:34:11 PM
nice! Can we please have more anecdotal stories to dehumanize poor people? Once we really hammer home the point that they are sub-human scum unworthy of help and basic respect, who will squander the riches we shower on them, then we can finally take away all social benefits and start harvesting their organs.
Everything is going as planned..
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Roe on February 12, 2018, 02:29:14 PM
nice! Can we please have more anecdotal stories to dehumanize poor people? Once we really hammer home the point that they are sub-human scum unworthy of help and basic respect, who will squander the riches we shower on them, then we can finally take away all social benefits and start harvesting their organs.
Everything is going as planned..

Im sorry if any of my posts came across that way, that was not my intention.

I was commenting on how long term poverty makes it harder to make rational decisions, and maybe even how long term poverty changes what, objectively, is a good decision.

I believe that a lot of people in the mentioned experiment will run out and blow the money, because it is short term and all their life has taught them to use it while you can. If it was a more long term thing, less people would use it on short term happiness. Still some wouldn't be able to change, due to habit, and the mechanics that TGS describes so well. However, if it was truly long term thing, the next generation would not get the depravity mindset from their parents, and would be able to make more rational decision about the money and their future.

It's like the exampel with the sugar cane farmers, a truly universal basic income would lift us above that. I hope to see it in my lifetime.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on February 12, 2018, 02:44:44 PM
I'm going to contain my white trash rage and just leave this for some of you folks on this thread. It's the full text of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal". http://emotionalliteracyeducation.com/classic_books_online/mdprp10.htm (http://emotionalliteracyeducation.com/classic_books_online/mdprp10.htm)

Seems like you should probably read it.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: RFAAOATB on February 12, 2018, 03:16:52 PM
nice! Can we please have more anecdotal stories to dehumanize poor people? Once we really hammer home the point that they are sub-human scum unworthy of help and basic respect, who will squander the riches we shower on them, then we can finally take away all social benefits and start harvesting their organs.
Everything is going as planned..

I've noticed the more my net worth increases, the easier it is to dehumanize the poor.  I mean, if the poor are happy good for them, but why should we keep subsidizing their poor decisions? 
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: one piece at a time on February 12, 2018, 03:23:45 PM
It is a chicken and egg problem. Poor people don't make good decisions because they are poor...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641572/

extract....

Cognitive load refers to the presence of a burden on the cognitive system of an individual. An increase in cognitive load can occur when dealing with a problem and focusing attention on certain stimuli, thus leading to a reduced ability to attend to other stimuli (Paas and Van Merrienboer, 1994; Sweller et al., 1998). From the point of poverty research, an increase in cognitive load has been found to be associated with negative experiences related to long-term poverty (Shah et al., 2012). Moreover, a study by Haushofer and Fehr (2014) found that people living in poverty are more likely to experience cognitive load in the form of stress and negative affect, due to protracted exposures to adverse economic and social phenomena. Hence, negative affect and stress could be the bridging factor between poverty and its effect on economic decision-making (Haushofer and Fehr, 2014). From an economic context, cognitive load can arise from a person living in poverty having to deal with constant uncertainties in current and future economic situations. As coping with the resulting negative affect reduces one’s cognitive resources, this can lead to a deterioration of executive functions, thus causing an individual to become enmeshed in a cycle of focusing on poverty-related problems (see Shah et al., 2012).
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Capt j-rod on February 12, 2018, 03:31:23 PM
wow... that's deep bro.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: ohsnap on February 12, 2018, 05:06:36 PM
It is a chicken and egg problem. Poor people don't make good decisions because they are poor...

...

The book Evicted had many examples of this - it was almost painful to read.  Someone living in poverty makes a bad decision which makes their poverty worse...which leads to more bad decisions...which leads to worse poverty.  It is a sad book.

I'm not sure what the answer is - I'm not sure if any of us, or the "experts" even know.  But I don't think UBI is it.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Roe on February 12, 2018, 05:23:07 PM

The book Evicted had many examples of this - it was almost painful to read.  Someone living in poverty makes a bad decision which makes their poverty worse...which leads to more bad decisions...which leads to worse poverty.  It is a sad book.

I'm not sure what the answer is - I'm not sure if any of us, or the "experts" even know.  But I don't think UBI is it.

I found Evicted to be very insightful, sad is a fitting name for it.

Im curious to know why you don't think UBI would be a solution? I see the main obstacles to be logistics and practical, if there is enough money for it etc. If we had the option for a guaranteed, long term UBI my guess is a lot of our problems would be solved.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLee on February 12, 2018, 05:53:34 PM

The book Evicted had many examples of this - it was almost painful to read.  Someone living in poverty makes a bad decision which makes their poverty worse...which leads to more bad decisions...which leads to worse poverty.  It is a sad book.

I'm not sure what the answer is - I'm not sure if any of us, or the "experts" even know.  But I don't think UBI is it.

I found Evicted to be very insightful, sad is a fitting name for it.

Im curious to know why you don't think UBI would be a solution? I see the main obstacles to be logistics and practical, if there is enough money for it etc. If we had the option for a guaranteed, long term UBI my guess is a lot of our problems would be solved.

I think it's eventually going to be inevitable.  We can't manufacture jobs indefinitely -- if we can have one machine doing the work of 100 people, we can't keep inventing new jobs forever to keep the other 99 busy so they're "earning" a wage.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Roe on February 12, 2018, 06:07:06 PM

The book Evicted had many examples of this - it was almost painful to read.  Someone living in poverty makes a bad decision which makes their poverty worse...which leads to more bad decisions...which leads to worse poverty.  It is a sad book.

I'm not sure what the answer is - I'm not sure if any of us, or the "experts" even know.  But I don't think UBI is it.

I found Evicted to be very insightful, sad is a fitting name for it.

Im curious to know why you don't think UBI would be a solution? I see the main obstacles to be logistics and practical, if there is enough money for it etc. If we had the option for a guaranteed, long term UBI my guess is a lot of our problems would be solved.

I think it's eventually going to be inevitable.  We can't manufacture jobs indefinitely -- if we can have one machine doing the work of 100 people, we can't keep inventing new jobs forever to keep the other 99 busy so they're "earning" a wage.

I hope you are right.

From my point of view UBI, or similar, is our way forward. The question is if we will take it, or keep acting like the completely FI 70-yo that refuses to retire, addicted to the temporary highs and scared what will happen if we slow down.

We could probably already have gotten there. Instead we cashed out on our progress by changing our views on what is normal consumption.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: mm1970 on February 13, 2018, 01:37:40 PM
It is a chicken and egg problem. Poor people don't make good decisions because they are poor...

...

The book Evicted had many examples of this - it was almost painful to read.  Someone living in poverty makes a bad decision which makes their poverty worse...which leads to more bad decisions...which leads to worse poverty.  It is a sad book.

I'm not sure what the answer is - I'm not sure if any of us, or the "experts" even know.  But I don't think UBI is it.
This book was in the little free library on my block for about a month.  I almost picked it up a few times.  But I feel like ... it would just make me sad and angry.  It's not there anymore, but the author is coming here to speak soon.  Thinking about going.

Being poor is really really hard.  I grew up poor.  But by no means was I the worst off.  My parents were hard working, were not addicted to any substances (at the time), we had a large extended family and room for a garden.  I talk to people and read stories about growing up with abuse, addiction, being evicted, going seriously hungry every single day (as opposed to once every 2 weeks), and it makes me really sad.

A lot of people don't even really think about stupid little details.  If you are poor and you bounce a check, you get charged $30 or $40.  If you get a parking ticket and can't get down to pay it, the cost goes up.  If you lose power you lose the food in your fridge and freezer.  Those are only really small examples.  Meanwhile, in middle class land, I get free coffee and tea at work.  My spouse gets free lunch once a month.  If my water gets shut off for any reason (water main break), I have a gym to shower at or my workplace.  I have a job where I can work at home if my kid is sick, not get fired.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Kyle Schuant on February 13, 2018, 05:22:56 PM
There's going to be a point where we simply have to invent worthless "jobs" just to keep people "working" so they "earn" a paycheck...

A while back I talked to my local MP, at that time Simon Crean. Decent and smart man, been involved in government at high level, led his party, father was a federal Treasurer who said, "with taxes you buy civilisation", which I fully agree with.

One day I said to him, "Look, this tax system is rather complicated. Let's say the government gets on average 20% of people's income - progressive taxation is fine, we'll just talk averages to keep it simple though. And let's say on average all their various deductions take the government's revenue from 20 to 15% of people's income. Why not just lower the rate to 15% and abolish all the deductions? It'd be much simpler."

He looked slightly surprised and said, "That'd be reasonable. But then what would all the tax accountants and tax lawyers do?"

So the complex taxation system is an employment scheme for accountants and lawyers. We already invent worthless jobs to keep people working so they can get paid. For centuries society has had people who draw an income but do nothing productive. Landlords, priests, most academics, most managers, and Barry down the road smoking his bong while playing Call of Duty. The only new thing about UBI is the name and the lack of moral judgment.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLee on February 13, 2018, 05:29:49 PM
There's going to be a point where we simply have to invent worthless "jobs" just to keep people "working" so they "earn" a paycheck...

A while back I talked to my local MP, at that time Simon Crean. Decent and smart man, been involved in government at high level, led his party, father was a federal Treasurer who said, "with taxes you buy civilisation", which I fully agree with.

One day I said to him, "Look, this tax system is rather complicated. Let's say the government gets on average 20% of people's income - progressive taxation is fine, we'll just talk averages to keep it simple though. And let's say on average all their various deductions take the government's revenue from 20 to 15% of people's income. Why not just lower the rate to 15% and abolish all the deductions? It'd be much simpler."

He looked slightly surprised and said, "That'd be reasonable. But then what would all the tax accountants and tax lawyers do?"

So the complex taxation system is an employment scheme for accountants and lawyers. We already invent worthless jobs to keep people working so they can get paid. For centuries society has had people who draw an income but do nothing productive. Landlords, priests, most academics, most managers, and Barry down the road smoking his bong while playing Call of Duty. The only new thing about UBI is the name and the lack of moral judgment.

I would argue that the complex taxation system is a scheme to lower taxes for absurdly rich people who have this nasty habit of buying the government, but I digress...
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Kyle Schuant on February 13, 2018, 06:02:56 PM
That, too. It just came out today all these big companies who have paid literally zero tax for years.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-14/corporate-tax-australian-companies-havent-paid-in-10-years/9443840

But my point was less about tax, and more about the fact that we already do and always have make up bullshit jobs to keep people busy despite their producing nothing useful. So the idea of UBI isn't that radical, we're just hosing away the bullshit covering the idleness.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLee on February 13, 2018, 06:07:53 PM
That, too. It just came out today all these big companies who have paid literally zero tax for years.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-14/corporate-tax-australian-companies-havent-paid-in-10-years/9443840

But my point was less about tax, and more about the fact that we already do and always have make up bullshit jobs to keep people busy despite their producing nothing useful. So the idea of UBI isn't that radical, we're just hosing away the bullshit covering the idleness.

Sure, there are a lot of people who are worthless at their jobs - but the job wasn't created with the intent of being worthless simply in order to pay someone. 

I don't think the idea is that radical either, but given how I'm 100% confident there are a lot of people who would rather see "lazy poor people" manually digging ditches for $8/hour to "earn a living" while an excavator is idle than they would have the excavator do the job in 3 minutes and then pay the would-be diggers anyway...it will probably be a problem to implement.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: bacchi on February 13, 2018, 07:13:23 PM
Oregon's gas pumpers are created jobs just to pay someone. (Cue Oregon defenders in 3..2..1...)

We first need to separate the idea that "working" is moral and, if you're not working, you're amoral and deserve to be poor. There are plenty of people who work and still struggle to make ends meet. There's also that one unfortunate event and you lose a job and you're SOL, as described above. Is Alice amoral because her beater car broke down and she can't get to work on time? Is Bob amoral because his son is vomity sick and he doesn't have a sitter?

A UBI is not linked to work. It's linked to being a citizen of the richest countries on earth with excess labor and excess production.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLee on February 13, 2018, 07:36:05 PM
Oregon's gas pumpers are created jobs just to pay someone. (Cue Oregon defenders in 3..2..1...)

We first need to separate the idea that "working" is moral and, if you're not working, you're amoral and deserve to be poor. There are plenty of people who work and still struggle to make ends meet. There's also that one unfortunate event and you lose a job and you're SOL, as described above. Is Alice amoral because her beater car broke down and she can't get to work on time? Is Bob amoral because his son is vomity sick and he doesn't have a sitter?

A UBI is not linked to work. It's linked to being a citizen of the richest countries on earth with excess labor and excess production.

That's literally providing a service, though. If you're going to say people pumping gas are jobs that exist just to pay someone, then house cleaning, lawn care, babysitters, you name it...all of those jobs were simply created in order to pay someone.

I'm talking about when we run out of jobs because fast food joints are automated, factories and warehouses are using robots instead of people, cars are automated, etc. There are only so many jobs we can invent.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: bacchi on February 13, 2018, 07:52:36 PM
Oregon's gas pumpers are created jobs just to pay someone. (Cue Oregon defenders in 3..2..1...)

That's literally providing a service, though. If you're going to say people pumping gas are jobs that exist just to pay someone, then house cleaning, lawn care, babysitters, you name it...all of those jobs were simply created in order to pay someone.

True but gas pumpers are* were mandated by law in Oregon. A driver can't just drive up to a pump and start pumping. Unlike the jobs you mentioned, you need to be certified to pump gas. It's completely a job creator law and resisted many attempts to get rid of it based on that.

* As of this year, Oregonians can pump their own gas.

Quote
I'm talking about when we run out of jobs because fast food joints are automated, factories and warehouses are using robots instead of people, cars are automated, etc. There are only so many jobs we can invent.

I know. It was just an aside.

We can all become artists selling our art to each other.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLee on February 13, 2018, 07:57:17 PM
Oregon's gas pumpers are created jobs just to pay someone. (Cue Oregon defenders in 3..2..1...)

That's literally providing a service, though. If you're going to say people pumping gas are jobs that exist just to pay someone, then house cleaning, lawn care, babysitters, you name it...all of those jobs were simply created in order to pay someone.

True but gas pumpers are* were mandated by law in Oregon. A driver can't just drive up to a pump and start pumping. Unlike the jobs you mentioned, you need to be certified to pump gas. It's completely a job creator law and resisted many attempts to get rid of it based on that.

* As of this year, Oregonians can pump their own gas.

Quote
I'm talking about when we run out of jobs because fast food joints are automated, factories and warehouses are using robots instead of people, cars are automated, etc. There are only so many jobs we can invent.

I know. It was just an aside.

We can all become artists selling our art to each other.

The Oregon law was created in 1951, allegedly because the state was concerned about untrained people spilling fuel.  Apparently gas station liability insurance is (was?) cheaper in Oregon as a result (http://www.insidesources.com/why-did-oregon-ban-self-service-gas-pumps/). Many people in Oregon want full service, so they don't have to get outside of the car and pump their own gas.  It's still providing a service, and I can't find any evidence stating that it was created simply to manufacture jobs.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: bacchi on February 13, 2018, 08:19:47 PM
Many people in Oregon want full service, so they don't have to get outside of the car and pump their own gas.

And many people didn't want full service but couldn't pump their own gas because they weren't certified.

Quote
It's still providing a service

Every job provides a service, including BS jobs. Hiring ditch diggers to use shovels instead of an operable excavator right next to them is silly, wasteful, and a BS job, but they're still providing a service.

Quote
and I can't find any evidence stating that it was created simply to manufacture jobs.

There were 17 reasons in the 1951 law about gas pumping. One of them is about unemployment. The law resisted many attempts at getting rid of it because of "jobs!" From the article you linked,

Quote
Supporters of the ban on self-service have also cited the economic benefits, particularly with regards to employment.


Next you'll be arguing that Portland really didn't have to cover their reservoirs because their water was so "pure." ;)
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLee on February 13, 2018, 09:19:59 PM
Many people in Oregon want full service, so they don't have to get outside of the car and pump their own gas.

And many people didn't want full service but couldn't pump their own gas because they weren't certified.

Quote
It's still providing a service

Every job provides a service, including BS jobs. Hiring ditch diggers to use shovels instead of an operable excavator right next to them is silly, wasteful, and a BS job, but they're still providing a service.

Quote
and I can't find any evidence stating that it was created simply to manufacture jobs.

There were 17 reasons in the 1951 law about gas pumping. One of them is about unemployment. The law resisted many attempts at getting rid of it because of "jobs!" From the article you linked,

Quote
Supporters of the ban on self-service have also cited the economic benefits, particularly with regards to employment.

Next you'll be arguing that Portland really didn't have to cover their reservoirs because their water was so "pure." ;)

Your claim was that it was "completely a job creator law," which is obviously not the case because you just proved it was a 5.88% job creator law. ;)

The act of a gas station attendant putting gas in a customer's car removes the requirement from the customer to perform the same act.  It's a thing that the customer no longer has to do themselves, i.e provides a service that otherwise would not exist.

Ditch diggers manually digging ditches instead of an excavator operator digging ditches makes no difference to the customer. The customer pays for a ditch to get dug and the ditch gets dug.  The end result is the same, except the excavator's process will be dramatically faster. 

Comparing the two is a false equivalency.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: bacchi on February 13, 2018, 09:38:48 PM
Your claim was that it was "completely a job creator law," which is obviously not the case because you just proved it was a 5.88% job creator law. ;)

Ha. Fair enough.

Quote
The act of a gas station attendant putting gas in a customer's car removes the requirement from the customer to perform the same act.  It's a thing that the customer no longer has to do themselves, i.e provides a service that otherwise would not exist.

The service does exist; it's called self-service and millions of people in 48 states do it every day. A job that replaces what a customer can do, with little efficiency gain and no gain to civilization, is the very definition of a BS job.*

Quote
Ditch diggers manually digging ditches instead of an excavator operator digging ditches makes no difference to the customer. The customer pays for a ditch to get dug and the ditch gets dug.  The end result is the same, except the excavator's process will be dramatically faster. 

Comparing the two is a false equivalency.

That's a faulty application of the false equivalency. We're discussing job creation and the customer is the U-6 rate.

They're both BS jobs created to give someone employment when it would be far better to give them a real job or just to give them a UBI if a real job wasn't available.



* A better definition is from the Guardian. "'Is the job you're doing, or applying for, one the world would be fine without?"
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/07/column-change-life-bullshit-job

And the answer is emphatically yes for a gas pumper. What would happen if they all quit? Oregonians would pump their own gas and life would go on.

Or David Graeber at https://www.strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs:

"Again, an objective measure is hard to find, but one easy way to get a sense is to ask: what would happen were this entire class of people to simply disappear?"
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLee on February 13, 2018, 09:50:32 PM
Your claim was that it was "completely a job creator law," which is obviously not the case because you just proved it was a 5.88% job creator law. ;)

Ha. Fair enough.

Quote
The act of a gas station attendant putting gas in a customer's car removes the requirement from the customer to perform the same act.  It's a thing that the customer no longer has to do themselves, i.e provides a service that otherwise would not exist.

The service does exist; it's called self-service and millions of people in 48 states do it every day. A job that replaces what a customer can do, with little efficiency gain and no gain to civilization, is the very definition of a BS job.

Quote
Ditch diggers manually digging ditches instead of an excavator operator digging ditches makes no difference to the customer. The customer pays for a ditch to get dug and the ditch gets dug.  The end result is the same, except the excavator's process will be dramatically faster. 

Comparing the two is a false equivalency.

That's a faulty application of the false equivalency. We're discussing job creation and the customer is the U-6 rate.

They're both BS jobs* created to give someone employment when it would be far better to give them a real job or just to give them a UBI if a real job wasn't available.

Yes, and millions of people also clean their houses. That's not "providing a service" like a maid service does.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: bacchi on February 13, 2018, 09:53:27 PM
https://www.strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs:

Quote from: Graeber
Again, an objective measure is hard to find, but one easy way to get a sense is to ask: what would happen were this entire class of people to simply disappear?

If gas pumpers disappeared, would the entire economy of Oregon grind to a halt? Would Oregonians be unable to commute? Would food disappear from grocery stores because trucks couldn't fill their tanks (actually, diesel trucks were exempt I believe)?

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/07/column-change-life-bullshit-job

Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLee on February 13, 2018, 10:03:13 PM
https://www.strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs:

Quote from: Graeber
Again, an objective measure is hard to find, but one easy way to get a sense is to ask: what would happen were this entire class of people to simply disappear?

If gas pumpers disappeared, would the entire economy of Oregon grind to a halt? Would Oregonians be unable to commute? Would food disappear from grocery stores because trucks couldn't fill their tanks (actually, diesel trucks were exempt I believe)?

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/07/column-change-life-bullshit-job

And in a dramatic movement of the goalposts, we're now talking about something else entirely!

I think we're on the same side of the argument and you just haven't figured it out yet. ;)
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Goldielocks on February 13, 2018, 10:31:03 PM
Link to the major Manitoba Minimum Income study ($17 Million, including one entire town, plus several cohorts and a control group in the urban city).

The study was 1977..  They wanted to see if people would stop working if given more "free" money.

Has links to the actual database for data mining..
https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/revisiting-manitobas-basic-income-experiment-411490895.html (https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/revisiting-manitobas-basic-income-experiment-411490895.html)  Press article

https://dataverse.lib.umanitoba.ca/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.5203/FK2/JWVHEJ (https://dataverse.lib.umanitoba.ca/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.5203/FK2/JWVHEJ)  Study report to download.

gregorymason.ca/mincome/  (http://gregorymason.ca/mincome/)  Access to study data

Result -- a key finding was that women in two adult households with children, especially preschoolers, reduced their work outside of the home.   Men, however, did not reduce work overall, and those with preschoolers may have increased their work as their wives stayed home more.   Many women actually took educational upgrading for future work opportunities, as well as choosing to be with their children rather than using daycare.

Another large impact was that children (teenagers) worked a lot less.  Presumably they stayed in school / studied more when family income did not require their labour.   


Another interesting result was that when made universally available to everyone in the small town below an income threshold, only 40% signed up for it.  It was well advertised and more money than the welfare programs, but not everyone wants change, I guess, or government involvement represented by all the surveys that they needed to complete.

Healthcare outcomes improved, but it was not measured directly, just anecdotes.


Anyway,  download the study report.  It also has comparisons to 4 US based Minimum income studies between 1970 and 1990 (Gary, Seattle, rural communities, New Jersery).   Results for all studies except Seattle were similar....> Guaranteed  Minimum income programs have minor impacts on labour workforce participation rates...  especially for men.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Dabnasty on February 14, 2018, 08:14:57 AM
Your claim was that it was "completely a job creator law," which is obviously not the case because you just proved it was a 5.88% job creator law. ;)

Ha. Fair enough.

Quote
The act of a gas station attendant putting gas in a customer's car removes the requirement from the customer to perform the same act.  It's a thing that the customer no longer has to do themselves, i.e provides a service that otherwise would not exist.

The service does exist; it's called self-service and millions of people in 48 states do it every day. A job that replaces what a customer can do, with little efficiency gain and no gain to civilization, is the very definition of a BS job.

Quote
Ditch diggers manually digging ditches instead of an excavator operator digging ditches makes no difference to the customer. The customer pays for a ditch to get dug and the ditch gets dug.  The end result is the same, except the excavator's process will be dramatically faster. 

Comparing the two is a false equivalency.

That's a faulty application of the false equivalency. We're discussing job creation and the customer is the U-6 rate.

They're both BS jobs* created to give someone employment when it would be far better to give them a real job or just to give them a UBI if a real job wasn't available.

Yes, and millions of people also clean their houses. That's not "providing a service" like a maid service does.

People who have a maid service do so by choice. The gas station attendants that started this discussion were mandated so even people who would prefer to pump their own gas were using them and in turn paying their wages. I would not be ok with that. If Oregon residents were required to have a maid service once a week this would be an apt comparison.

New Jersey has a similar law still in effect and typically the reasons cited are safety and jobs. So maybe it's as much as 50% of the reason?

Brazil more recently instituted a ban on pumping your own gas in 2000 and as far as I can tell the primary goal was saving jobs.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: the_clevelander on February 14, 2018, 08:21:39 AM
Alaska has had a small version of the UBI for years.  As far as I know, they don't blow it on cigarettes, booze, and drugs
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Blonde Lawyer on February 14, 2018, 08:32:17 AM
I didn't have a chance to read all the comments but I want to make one point.  There is a big difference between getting a one time payment of $500 and a monthly payment of $500.  A one time payment will not bring the poor out of poverty or get them a place to live or better food to eat over the long term.  For that reason, it makes more sense for them to just blow the money on a luxury.  Repeat payments, however, can become part of the budget and be used to actually improve their life situation.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Dabnasty on February 14, 2018, 08:37:01 AM

* A better definition is from the Guardian. "'Is the job you're doing, or applying for, one the world would be fine without?"
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/07/column-change-life-bullshit-job


By this definition I think the vast majority of jobs qualify as BS. I think for most manufacturing, sales and really any job that is part of getting a product to a consumer is one the world could not only be fine without but better. Now I should clarify that I don't think all of these jobs are bullshit but rather many of them are bullshit because we as a society overproduce and over consume. We may benefit from the manufacture of blenders but not when so many blenders are being produced that designers need to build planned obsolescence into their products to keep sales steady.

While typing this I remembered the concept of UBI was discussed at length here:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/universal-basic-income-forced-early-retirement/ (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/universal-basic-income-forced-early-retirement/)

and maybe other threads as well?
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Just Joe on February 14, 2018, 09:44:51 AM
Did anyone document what the Bush era tax stimulus checks were used for? 
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on February 14, 2018, 09:56:29 AM
It may amuse you to note that bullshit jobs go all the way back to the feudal system and possibly into antiquity. Wealthy families, and to a lesser extent wealthy individuals, have always had entourages that contained children, elderly people, folks with learning or other disabilities who could not otherwise earn a living, and such.

Most of the pages, errand-runners, chamberpot-bringers, and court jesters at, say, the Renaissance court of King Henry VIII were not "essential" as we define it today. Nor were the oodles of professional embroiderers who put countless hours into the very labor-intensive garments worn by the upper class (Source: Great Harry by Carolly Erickson). Same goes for a substantial number of clergy. Many of the people in convents or monasteries had job duties on par with, say, Wal-Mart greeters or half the personnel at the TSA. Yet the income, which in many cases included just room, board, clothing, and an occasional coin, was enough to keep them from begging, stealing, or weighing down their families with an extra nonproductive mouth to feed.

Back then (and I think this level of common sense may be missing at the rightmost end of the political spectrum) people who were wealthy and functional understood that they were badly outnumbered, and that in order to continue living it was a pretty good idea to provide the basics at a heavily subsidized rate. The first Western society to do it on a regular scale was the ancient Romans. Mary Beard's book SPQR breaks down the economics nicely.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: bacchi on February 14, 2018, 10:55:56 AM

* A better definition is from the Guardian. "'Is the job you're doing, or applying for, one the world would be fine without?"
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/07/column-change-life-bullshit-job


By this definition I think the vast majority of jobs qualify as BS. I think for most manufacturing, sales and really any job that is part of getting a product to a consumer is one the world could not only be fine without but better. Now I should clarify that I don't think all of these jobs are bullshit but rather many of them are bullshit because we as a society overproduce and over consume. We may benefit from the manufacture of blenders but not when so many blenders are being produced that designers need to build planned obsolescence into their products to keep sales steady.

Yes, true, and I'd agree with that. For the android dev work I did, the world would've gone on fine without my contribution to a bar tab app. There are plenty of similar apps, and we know how to pay bar tabs, so it was ultimately a waste of labor.

Graeber's definition is probably more helpful. If truck drivers stopped driving tomorrow, would it impact our society? It would, if only because grocery stores would become bare, even though some trucks have consumer garbage on them. Same with clothing stitchers in Pakistan factories -- sure, fast fashion is a waste of resources but we all need clothes.

For UBI, we're concerned with avoiding the creation of any BS jobs simply for employment. That is, a Player Piano situation occurs and the government decides to create a modern day CCC that hires workers as...store greeters for every store. Or hires infrastructure workers where they can't use the excavator. This is driven by the belief that not working is a moral failing and people need to work, even if it's for something fucking stupid and created solely for the purpose of working.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLE1990 on February 14, 2018, 02:28:57 PM
wow... that's deep bro.

I just want to take a second and point how ridiculous what you just said was. You read an extremely interesting insightful researched response, complete with citations, shedding light on a topic that is horribly misunderstood in this country. You respond like a frat bro who still uses sarcastic responses from 2008. I realize that your clickbait article was from Fox News, whose demographic is less educated than someone who watches NO news at all ( http://www.businessinsider.com/study-watching-fox-news-makes-you-less-informed-than-watching-no-news-at-all-2012-5 ) but I would expect someone on this forum to be more perceptive. You're managing to look beyond the bs that you're fed about how finances work but you just dive right into the pool of shit information about the poor like Greg Louganis? Is it because it feeds your ego? And you've 'proven' your thoughts because you have some tenants that aren't hard workers? I'm sure you're going to think that you are successful because you worked hard and if they did too then they would be on the same level. Sorry to burst your egotistical bubble but if you were born in a developed country you are already far ahead of the rest of the planet. Race, family education, family wealth, and mental/physical health all exponentially increase your chance of success before you even make single decision.

Let me guess your response:
"Your triggered"
"It's only a joke"
"I'm not privileged, I've earned everything I've gotten"


This post belongs on the wall of shame so people can laugh that you thought this was a good thing to post on this forum. Did you expect people here to make comments like on Fox News?

Quote
45% of households don't speak English
$500/mo free handouts = "I think it will make people work better"

Free stuffs and mostly illegals is going to fix the problem[...]



Quote
The Dems just want more illegal babies
(I mean he does understand that babies born here wouldn't be illegal right?)
Do you expect anyone to even take seriously a news organization whose top contributor just released an article that the Obama painting has secret sperm cells in it?
https://www.thedailybeast.com/sean-hannity-promotes-then-deletes-bonkers-obama-portrait-secret-sperm-conspiracy-theory
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLE1990 on February 14, 2018, 03:30:52 PM

* A better definition is from the Guardian. "'Is the job you're doing, or applying for, one the world would be fine without?"
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/07/column-change-life-bullshit-job


By this definition I think the vast majority of jobs qualify as BS. I think for most manufacturing, sales and really any job that is part of getting a product to a consumer is one the world could not only be fine without but better. Now I should clarify that I don't think all of these jobs are bullshit but rather many of them are bullshit because we as a society overproduce and over consume. We may benefit from the manufacture of blenders but not when so many blenders are being produced that designers need to build planned obsolescence into their products to keep sales steady.

Yes, true, and I'd agree with that. For the android dev work I did, the world would've gone on fine without my contribution to a bar tab app. There are plenty of similar apps, and we know how to pay bar tabs, so it was ultimately a waste of labor.

Graeber's definition is probably more helpful. If truck drivers stopped driving tomorrow, would it impact our society? It would, if only because grocery stores would become bare, even though some trucks have consumer garbage on them. Same with clothing stitchers in Pakistan factories -- sure, fast fashion is a waste of resources but we all need clothes.

For UBI, we're concerned with avoiding the creation of any BS jobs simply for employment. That is, a Player Piano situation occurs and the government decides to create a modern day CCC that hires workers as...store greeters for every store. Or hires infrastructure workers where they can't use the excavator. This is driven by the belief that not working is a moral failing and people need to work, even if it's for something fucking stupid and created solely for the purpose of working.

Well I think the issue in that case would be the creation of ridiculous jobs not necessarily UBI itself. As a commenter pointed out, there are already programs like this such welfare and the cash type of SNAP. It seems the biggest difference UBI would make is removing the stigma attached to receiving government assistance. It seems inevitable that something like UBI will have to go into effect eventually. I agree with Elon Musk, as production by each worker continues to increase and automation removes jobs, there will come a point where UBI is necessary and reasonable. Increase in production per worker/increase in population/reduction of available jobs makes it inevitable.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: EricL on February 14, 2018, 05:17:12 PM
I’m pretty sure UBI will lead to poor decision making by the poor.  But potentially good decisions too.  I think it’s worth trying.  God knows we spend tax dollars on stupider shit. 
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Capt j-rod on February 14, 2018, 05:31:31 PM
Well, now that I have been called out... I guess I am guilty of looking at multiple news outlets. I like to see the same story and see how each media outlet twists it around. Personally I can care less about a party or agenda. I do what I do and you do what you do. None of my property was given to me. I made very good business and life decisions based on sites like this and many others. I use my skills to fix up junk and turn a profit. If you think the $500 stipend will fix the world then go for it. I use my assets to help those who wish to better themselves. I provide work to those who ask. If you feel the need to appear as a PHD genius then go for it. This dumbass, fox reading, bib overall wearing, plumber will just keep on driving my pick up and buying old beat up houses. Sorry to waste your precious time.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Dabnasty on February 15, 2018, 07:21:53 AM
Well, now that I have been called out... I guess I am guilty of looking at multiple news outlets. I like to see the same story and see how each media outlet twists it around. Personally I can care less about a party or agenda. I do what I do and you do what you do. None of my property was given to me. I made very good business and life decisions based on sites like this and many others. I use my skills to fix up junk and turn a profit. If you think the $500 stipend will fix the world then go for it. I use my assets to help those who wish to better themselves. I provide work to those who ask. If you feel the need to appear as a PHD genius then go for it. This dumbass, fox reading, bib overall wearing, plumber will just keep on driving my pick up and buying old beat up houses. Sorry to waste your precious time.

I can respect that you work hard and make good decisions with your money and even try to help others when you can, but what does that have to do with your opinions on human behavior? You're using anecdotal evidence to choose your position on the topic and then going out of your way to make fun because you're confident enough of your position that someone else's position is laughable.

Based on emotions I would absolutely have agreed with your assumption that those who need the money most will waste it. I grew up around kids who got free lunch and wore air Jordans and $50 t-shirts and I spent a lot of time judging but the truth is this was anecdotal evidence and chances are I only noticed the outliers, outliers tend to be more interesting to watch. Compare our anecdotal evidence to actual studies where researchers watch every individual who participates to see how the money impacts their lives. The results will be much more meaningful than our opinions formed by watching the more interesting outliers.

Not to mention the inevitable loss of jobs to automation that has become the new discussion of this thread. That is an issue that will need to be dealt with one way or another. Whether UBI is a solution or not, we need to start figuring that out now. I commend anyone who is working towards a solution to this problem. If their first attempt is unsuccessful or even misguided, I don't laugh at them and tear them down. I'm happy to see that this is happening and back to my first comment, I eagerly await the results.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on February 15, 2018, 08:24:32 AM
Not to mention the inevitable loss of jobs to automation that has become the new discussion of this thread. That is an issue that will need to be dealt with one way or another. Whether UBI is a solution or not, we need to start figuring that out now. I commend anyone who is working towards a solution to this problem. If their first attempt is unsuccessful or even misguided, I don't laugh at them and tear them down. I'm happy to see that this is happening and back to my first comment, I eagerly await the results.

A lot of what we know about human nature has come from various large-scale social experiments. Many sounded extremely good at the time but failed due to factors that now seem obvious. But things like the Reign of Terror, Communism, or Napoleon's invasion of Russia only seem idiotic now because of what we learned from them. It may be that UBI is going to be a grand failure, but there's also a possibility that it could be a great social benefit on par with universal vaccination. Social experiments don't always turn out badly.

It seems to me that an UBI experiment, set up on a large enough scale to factor in a range of behaviors *including* the statistical outliers, might be long overdue.

I admit I've got some reservations about UBI when it comes to people who are practicing an addiction. Access to extra resources seldom changes the root cause of the addictive behavior: if it did, there would be no wealthy addicts, and we all know that isn't true. But access to money will often make the overdose process easier.

I'd also like to point out that most of our collective opinion about the deleterious moral effects of unearned money are focused on poor people as opposed to rich ones. Few of us seem to think that enjoying our own financial independence on the strength of invested assets will harm us or make us do destructive things.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: OurTown on February 15, 2018, 02:51:48 PM
UBI will eventually happen because of automation, it's not "if" but "when." It might be a government benefit or alternatively it might be some sort of universal dividend so that people have some money to buy shit from whatever businesses exist at that point in time.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: a1pharm on February 15, 2018, 03:53:08 PM
UBI will eventually happen because of automation, it's not "if" but "when." It might be a government benefit or alternatively it might be some sort of universal dividend so that people have some money to buy shit from whatever businesses exist at that point in time.

You make the assumption that there will be money to pay for UBI.  We would need laws that are hostile to corporations in order to pay for UBI.  Given that the people continue to cling to guns and religion while voting against their best interests, these laws will never come to pass.

Instead of getting pissed off and demanding more money for people who say they don't have enough, maybe we should focus on living more sustainable lives.  UBI is out of our circle of control.  Living more sustainably is directly in our control.

I say it's time to start taking control of our own lives before demanding free money from politicians.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of free money, too.  It's just not going to happen.  Best to focus on things that will happen instead of attaching my plans for the future to a fantasy.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Capt j-rod on February 15, 2018, 03:59:25 PM
Give a man a fish he eats for the day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: mm1970 on February 15, 2018, 04:56:47 PM
UBI will eventually happen because of automation, it's not "if" but "when." It might be a government benefit or alternatively it might be some sort of universal dividend so that people have some money to buy shit from whatever businesses exist at that point in time.

You make the assumption that there will be money to pay for UBI.  We would need laws that are hostile to corporations in order to pay for UBI.  Given that the people continue to cling to guns and religion while voting against their best interests, these laws will never come to pass.

Instead of getting pissed off and demanding more money for people who say they don't have enough, maybe we should focus on living more sustainable lives.  UBI is out of our circle of control.  Living more sustainably is directly in our control.

I say it's time to start taking control of our own lives before demanding free money from politicians.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of free money, too.  It's just not going to happen.  Best to focus on things that will happen instead of attaching my plans for the future to a fantasy.
There is money for UBI, and it's not really "free".

The money exists.  It's in the pockets of the Koch brothers and their ilk, and the large multinational corporations.  The point of getting to UBI eventually, is that *all* (or most) of this money will be in the hands of very very few.

What you'll have left is a handful of people with money - doctors, nurses, maybe accountants, engineers, plumbers, and, of course, the independently wealthy.

If there are few jobs for "everyone else" and they don't pay enough to live, eventually you have 90% of the country with no money, no housing, and no food.  With the inability to live or even work for a living, desperation sets in and you'll have a revolt.  UBI will be necessary to protect the wealthy from themselves, really.  (Also: who is going to buy your stuff from your awesome companies if nobody has any money?)

I hope for sure that this type of disruption doesn't happen until I'm long dead.  We are already headed down that path though.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: a1pharm on February 16, 2018, 06:29:56 AM
UBI will eventually happen because of automation, it's not "if" but "when." It might be a government benefit or alternatively it might be some sort of universal dividend so that people have some money to buy shit from whatever businesses exist at that point in time.

You make the assumption that there will be money to pay for UBI.  We would need laws that are hostile to corporations in order to pay for UBI.  Given that the people continue to cling to guns and religion while voting against their best interests, these laws will never come to pass.

Instead of getting pissed off and demanding more money for people who say they don't have enough, maybe we should focus on living more sustainable lives.  UBI is out of our circle of control.  Living more sustainably is directly in our control.

I say it's time to start taking control of our own lives before demanding free money from politicians.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of free money, too.  It's just not going to happen.  Best to focus on things that will happen instead of attaching my plans for the future to a fantasy.
There is money for UBI, and it's not really "free".

The money exists.  It's in the pockets of the Koch brothers and their ilk, and the large multinational corporations.  The point of getting to UBI eventually, is that *all* (or most) of this money will be in the hands of very very few.

What you'll have left is a handful of people with money - doctors, nurses, maybe accountants, engineers, plumbers, and, of course, the independently wealthy.

If there are few jobs for "everyone else" and they don't pay enough to live, eventually you have 90% of the country with no money, no housing, and no food.  With the inability to live or even work for a living, desperation sets in and you'll have a revolt.  UBI will be necessary to protect the wealthy from themselves, really.  (Also: who is going to buy your stuff from your awesome companies if nobody has any money?)

I hope for sure that this type of disruption doesn't happen until I'm long dead.  We are already headed down that path though.

The USA is actually a small sliver of the world population.  Once its "middle class" can no longer buy the trinkets made by offshore factories, they will simply stop selling to us.

Throughout human history, civilizations have fallen.  It happens slowly to the big ones.  It's happening now.  Don't assume that it won't happen to us.  Don't assume the rich individuals/corporations will take pity on the US citizens and hand them free money.

It ain't gonna happen.

Best not to be delusional and think that somehow others' money will magically appear in your bank account with no work on your part.

Be realistic and get your life in order NOW in a sustainable fashion.  Your future self will thank you.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: OurTown on February 16, 2018, 06:53:33 AM
Dude, I will be just fine.  I don't need "free money" to fund my future.  It's likely that I will be six feet under by the time UBI arrives.

Look, robotics and automation are going to be driven by profit margins.  Company A can save beaucoup bucks by eliminating labor costs, therefore it will do so.  It's not going to not happen just because we are sitting here in 2018 and can't imagine it will happen.  It's going to happen.  First in transportation, then pretty much everywhere else.  How do you think we are going to sustain a consumer economy if 90% of the workforce no longer has an income? 
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: a1pharm on February 16, 2018, 07:17:01 AM
How do you think we are going to sustain a consumer economy if 90% of the workforce no longer has an income?

We won't sustain this type of economy because it simply isn't sustainable.

90% of the US workforce = 190,000,000 people.

This is about 2.7% of the world's population.

Given that the US doesn't manufacture much anymore (it consumes more than it produces since 1971, and each year this "deficit" increases), the manufacturers in other countries can safely ignore the US after the value of the dollar drops, or the Chinese yen value increases (or both).

Keep in mind China has been keeping the value of its currency cheap on purpose for a long time.  US dollars will not be the dominant currency in the future.

UBI will not happen.

Get your life in order, stop buying stupid shit.  This isn't hard.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Dabnasty on February 16, 2018, 07:45:44 AM
Give a man a fish he eats for the day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

Or, at least until there aren't enough fish in the sea to live on because a freezer trawler with a crew of 30 men can do the work of 1,000's of fishermen.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: OurTown on February 16, 2018, 08:20:22 AM
Point. Missed.  Amazing.

I get the personal responsibility routine and, in fact, I practice it.  I would submit that you won't be able to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps in 50 years or 100 years when there are no jobs.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Capt j-rod on February 16, 2018, 09:23:23 AM
Fewer jobs and poor education in the wrong topics. Real life finance is not taught. It is a self study project. This is how the majority of us found this forum and MMM to begin with. If you live the way America teaches us you are doomed from day one. Debt has been advertised as wealth in our country. All dollars spend the same. Borrowed, gifted, earned, printed, saved, found, all are eligible to purchase the same product. Until you get frustrated with breaking even at best, working your ass off to do it, buying more shit thinking that it will make you happy, wondering why you can never retire, putting emergencies on a credit card, and always blaming someone else for your problems.... You will suffer the same cycle of life until you die. Many lottery winners end up broke. This is not by accident.

Start teaching people at a young age. Just because your parents are stupid with money does not mean you have to follow suit. We all found our way by being different. That's why I hang out here, no one else seems to get it. I am a social outcast in my area for not doing what everyone else does. Until you learn what to do with your money, more money will NEVER solve your problem.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: NoraLenderbee on February 16, 2018, 11:44:23 AM
Give a man a fish he eats for the day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

Or, at least until there aren't enough fish in the sea to live on because a freezer trawler with a crew of 30 men can do the work of 1,000's of fishermen.

Or there are still plenty of fish, but only 30 men get to catch them and the rest can't even get a spot on the pier.


I get the personal responsibility routine and, in fact, I practice it.  I would submit that you won't be able to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps in 50 years or 100 years when there are no jobs.

This. It's not about frugality. It's about how people will earn a living when the majority of them are not needed and there is no work for them. 
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: a1pharm on February 16, 2018, 12:23:12 PM

I get the personal responsibility routine and, in fact, I practice it.  I would submit that you won't be able to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps in 50 years or 100 years when there are no jobs.

This. It's not about frugality. It's about how people will earn a living when the majority of them are not needed and there is no work for them.

UBI is not a sustainable solution to a country that doesn't have enough jobs.  Americans without prospects will have to do what other humans do in the same circumstances: immigrate.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLE1990 on February 16, 2018, 01:04:22 PM
Give a man a fish he eats for the day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

You can't use the same simple philosophy that may have worked 50 years ago. The idea that if you are given money by the government it means it some how "free" are archaic, unproductive, and implies ignorance of modern economics. The U.S manufacturing sector has increased its production significantly while reducing its workforce.
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/07/25/most-americans-unaware-that-as-u-s-manufacturing-jobs-have-disappeared-output-has-grown/

The benefits of this growth in efficiency has almost exclusively gone to the '1%.'
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/07/when-gains-at-the-top-hurt-those-at-the-bottom/493070/

So you have workers that are producing, let's say 5x the product, getting just a 6.6% increase in wages and paying the same taxes.
Then the owner of that factory is producing 5x the product and experiencing an 86.6% increase in income and paying less taxes.
That increase in productivity was also likely subsidized by the American government in the form of tax breaks or direct subsidies.
https://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-vs-social-welfare/

If you were to use the same tax system in place when people commonly said shit about teaching fishing, we could have UBI and other services that would improve the lives of Americans. We would be the most advanced nation by nearly every metric, instead we are one of the stupidest(which is why Americans make poor financial decisions) and one of the worst industrialized nations by almost every metric.

Actually Noralenderbee lack of fish is a huge problem and it will get much, much worse in the next couple of decades. For every 6lbs of fish we pull from the oceans we discard 5lbs of it.
https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/feb/16/overfishing-is-as-big-a-threat-to-humanity-as-it-is-to-our-oceans

a1pharm
UBI is absolutely sustainable. Corporations would love to convince everyone that there is not enough money but that is entirely because lobbying has reduced taxes for them so dramatically(before even this latest insanity).
https://medium.com/economicsecproj/how-to-reform-welfare-and-taxes-to-provide-every-american-citizen-with-a-basic-income-bc67d3f4c2b8

Just as final semi-thought out thought, when it comes to natural resources, several countries and states(such as Alaska) take dividends that are then distributed to citizens in a form of UBI. Why do we not do this same thing with the resources that have arisen because of modern society? As mentioned in that medium article, Facebook mines us like oil fields. They take our information and sell it like a natural resource. The new technology that is allowing corporations to double or triple their profits is sourced from Americans(our info) and American workers(innovations saving on traditional business costs). This is becoming more valuable than any lump of coal. Why are we perfectly fine asking for dividends from companies taking things out of our ground for profit but no one's suggested the same thing when they are literally taking things out of our minds?
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: NoraLenderbee on February 16, 2018, 04:19:13 PM

I get the personal responsibility routine and, in fact, I practice it.  I would submit that you won't be able to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps in 50 years or 100 years when there are no jobs.

This. It's not about frugality. It's about how people will earn a living when the majority of them are not needed and there is no work for them.

UBI is not a sustainable solution to a country that doesn't have enough jobs.  Americans without prospects will have to do what other humans do in the same circumstances: immigrate.

ITYM "emigrate."
Where should Americans go for work? Are they hiring Americans to work in Chinese factories? How long until the robotics take over there, too? The world is not exactly undersupplied with desperate poor people.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Kyle Schuant on February 16, 2018, 04:48:24 PM
I get the personal responsibility routine and, in fact, I practice it.  I would submit that you won't be able to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps in 50 years or 100 years when there are no jobs.
Well, I don't think that'll happen. This is going beyond what the forum usually discusses, but the end of the era of cheap oil will be followed by the end of cheap natural gas, and then cheap coal. The energy base just isn't there to automate everything. "Yeah but electric -". Alas, no. You still have to mine and refine things, and fossil fuels are still necessary chemically - for example, natural gas for fertiliser, oil for pesticides, and coal for making steel. We used essentially half of the world's resources just to give freeways and cars and PCs and all that just to the Western world, if we try to do that with India and China too, and to take it a step further with massive lithium batteries and the like - it's just not going to happen.

There are, alas, limits to growth. I realise that this is heresy these days, but there it is.

As well, all this shit costs effort and money, and in many places the labour is cheaper. Have a look some time at the shipbreaking they do in places like Bangladesh. They're using human power to pull apart massive ships, I mean ropes and pulleys for 20 tonne sections of steel. Because the labour of 100 Bangladeshis is cheaper than running a crane. Thanks to the ideology of free trade, this will remain true for many things.

At most what will happen is that we'll have cities of elites all congratulating themselves on tooling around in electric self-driving cars while they go to their jobs as a "social media influencer", waving to the security guard as they pass the gates, outside the gates are waiting all the people who live in the slums outside the city and come in each day to be maids, prostitutes and street sweepers. And if you think this can't happen in the Western world, then you really need to visit a place like Dehli and walk around a bit.

We just don't have the resources for everything to be automated for everyone. Sorry. So either the automation won't happen, or it'll happen but for a tiny minority while everyone else lives in a slum.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: JLE1990 on February 16, 2018, 05:07:34 PM
I get the personal responsibility routine and, in fact, I practice it.  I would submit that you won't be able to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps in 50 years or 100 years when there are no jobs.
Well, I don't think that'll happen. This is going beyond what the forum usually discusses, but the end of the era of cheap oil will be followed by the end of cheap natural gas, and then cheap coal. The energy base just isn't there to automate everything. "Yeah but electric -". Alas, no. You still have to mine and refine things, and fossil fuels are still necessary chemically - for example, natural gas for fertiliser, oil for pesticides, and coal for making steel. We used essentially half of the world's resources just to give freeways and cars and PCs and all that just to the Western world, if we try to do that with India and China too, and to take it a step further with massive lithium batteries and the like - it's just not going to happen.

There are, alas, limits to growth. I realise that this is heresy these days, but there it is.

As well, all this shit costs effort and money, and in many places the labour is cheaper. Have a look some time at the shipbreaking they do in places like Bangladesh. They're using human power to pull apart massive ships, I mean ropes and pulleys for 20 tonne sections of steel. Because the labour of 100 Bangladeshis is cheaper than running a crane. Thanks to the ideology of free trade, this will remain true for many things.

At most what will happen is that we'll have cities of elites all congratulating themselves on tooling around in electric self-driving cars while they go to their jobs as a "social media influencer", waving to the security guard as they pass the gates, outside the gates are waiting all the people who live in the slums outside the city and come in each day to be maids, prostitutes and street sweepers. And if you think this can't happen in the Western world, then you really need to visit a place like Dehli and walk around a bit.

We just don't have the resources for everything to be automated for everyone. Sorry. So either the automation won't happen, or it'll happen but for a tiny minority while everyone else lives in a slum.

What makes you think we don't have the resources to support the world? Food in the world was supposed to run out in the '60s. Until one guy created a hybrid wheat and exponentially increased the amount of food an acre can produce. The efficiency of renewable energy has similarly increased by massive leaps. If we were to put even more research and focus on wind, solar, and hydro(this is exactly what will happen as the potential profits will be worth it in an energy crisis) we would eventually only use about 30% of current fuel costs. This would give us enough fossil fuels to last into the next century and time to invent jet engines (9.7% of fossil fuel produced) and new materials to replace plastic(19.7%). Pavement, non-consumable, and lubricants make up just 2 of the 19million barrels of oil American consumes each day.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Kyle Schuant on February 16, 2018, 06:51:58 PM
Yeah, that's the other part of the modern religion of progress, that technology will continue improving forever. That's a statement of faith. It's the equivalent of seeing your income declining, digging into your savings, and saying, "well, something will come up, it always does."

Jobs aren't disappearing in the West because they're going to robots, they're disappearing because they're going to Chinese and Indians on $150 a month living in dormitories not allowed to go out at night. Looking at what's happened in Cape Town, Detroit or Shepparton - this is a class issue, so many people don't get it. That's why they're so surprised when fruit loops get elected, while we're considering whether to get a solid 5% on this investment or a risky 7% on another, whether to get the $50,000 hybrid or the $60,000 electric, there are people who not only have never had a job, but their parents never had a job, and the electricity isn't reliable, or the tap water, the house next door has been cleaned out for its copper and aluminium, the other house is full of meth addicts, and they're not sure if they can afford dinner tonight.

It's like the other discussion here on minimum wage: all the people not on minimum wage are agreed that it shouldn't be raised. In part this is because the forum is American-dominated, and in America if you're wealthy it's because of your hard work and virtue, your parents never gave you anything (except shelter, good food, a private school education, and a place to stay rent-free till you're 30), and if you're poor it's all your fault. With this ideology, it's natural that people will be against raising the minimum wage or having a UBI. "But they don't deserve it, not like me." And this is probably why we like to think of poor people as deserving their poverty: because if they don't deserve their poverty, then maybe we don't deserve our wealth? Bit of a blow to the self-esteem, eh?

We are not going to have flying cars, colonies on Mars, all 7.5 billion of us tooling around in Teslas, and robots doing all the jobs. It's not going to happen. We just don't have enough resources - it's not just oil or whatever. This article is a decent start to looking at these questions - http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3086. But those hungry people may get angry.

It's not well-known, but the first work injury insurance scheme in the world was in Prussia under Bismarck, who was very, very conservative. But his reasoning was, "If we do not give them a few crumbs from our table, they may decide to seize the whole loaf." A UBI's a few crumbs.

We like to believe in endless growth because of the poor; because if the economy doesn't grow forever, then the only way for the poor to get richer is for them to take some of our wealth. We don't like this idea. But as Bismarck said, if you don't give them some crumbs they may seize the whole loaf. A decent healthcare system, a UBI, at heart these are conservative policies - the wealthy class sacrifices some of its wealth to try to keep the rest safe. 
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: one piece at a time on February 20, 2018, 01:55:57 PM
https://ourworldindata.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/World-Poverty-Since-1820.png


...let me know where you think the inflection point will be.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Kyle Schuant on February 20, 2018, 11:18:32 PM
I can't say. I think the whole system will last longer than is commonly supposed among people talking about peak oil and so on. But countries and systems do collapse, like Hemingway's "way you go bankrupt... slowly at first, the suddenly all at once." The Soviet Union comes to mind. But the various European empires are another example.


Collapse is a process of centuries. No Roman looked out their window one day and said, "hey, where'd the empire go?" There are long periods of stagnation with sudden drops, and everyone saying, "well this is just temporary, things will pick up soon." Change, both good and bad, is often talked about for years and then happens surprisingly suddenly.


It's trivial to look at how much oil - or coal, or aluminium, or whatever - the Western countries consume per capita, then multiply that by the population of China and India and so on, and realise we'd need several times as much of those resources as we're currently producing. And it's just not possible.


What it comes down to is that we can't have infinite growth on a finite planet. At some point we come up against limits; as I said, later than the peakers usually suppose, but quicker than most here would suppose.


I would note, however, that your graph is of "absolute poverty", which isn't defined on the graph, but I assume it's one of those "less than two dollars a day" sorts of things. We won't necessarily have more people living in that sort of poverty, but we will have less people living in luxury. And that includes most of us - certainly anyone who's FIREd. I mean, "retirement" is a relatively new idea in history, and relies on a huge energy surplus...
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: mm1970 on February 21, 2018, 11:12:17 AM
Dude, I will be just fine.  I don't need "free money" to fund my future.  It's likely that I will be six feet under by the time UBI arrives.

Look, robotics and automation are going to be driven by profit margins.  Company A can save beaucoup bucks by eliminating labor costs, therefore it will do so.  It's not going to not happen just because we are sitting here in 2018 and can't imagine it will happen.  It's going to happen.  First in transportation, then pretty much everywhere else.  How do you think we are going to sustain a consumer economy if 90% of the workforce no longer has an income?
+1

Nevermind about my "future self", my "current self" has a NW of over $2M.  I think.  Haven't checked since the last stock market dip.

Likewise, crazy health issues, addictions, or disasters aside, both my kids will be "just fine".

But I'm ALREADY seeing desperation in my rural home town, an area where people are KNOWN for their strong work ethic - because there are no jobs.  A few people have adjusted, but many have not.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: one piece at a time on February 21, 2018, 05:36:50 PM
I would note, however, that your graph is of "absolute poverty", which isn't defined on the graph, but I assume it's one of those "less than two dollars a day" sorts of things. We won't necessarily have more people living in that sort of poverty, but we will have less people living in luxury. And that includes most of us - certainly anyone who's FIREd. I mean, "retirement" is a relatively new idea in history, and relies on a huge energy surplus...

It is defined on the graph, but your assumption was correct anyway.

The world population is stabilizing; metals are recyclable; and renewable energy is growing. I'm going to stay positive.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: SwordGuy on February 21, 2018, 07:05:15 PM
We need tariffs based on labor and environmental protections.

Want to pollute your country making stuff?   It will cost a big tariff to get it into our country.

Want to treat your workers like dirt?  Ditto.

Conversely, if your labor and environmental protections are better than ours (as practiced, not written, by both parties),  a tax is placed on domestic producers.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: a1pharm on February 22, 2018, 07:42:06 AM
We need tariffs based on labor and environmental protections.

Want to pollute your country making stuff?   It will cost a big tariff to get it into our country.

Want to treat your workers like dirt?  Ditto.

Conversely, if your labor and environmental protections are better than ours (as practiced, not written, by both parties),  a tax is placed on domestic producers.

This would incentivize domestic companies to pollute our country and treat our workers poorly.  Remember: the US is small compared to the rest of the world.  If we stop importing goods, our US dollar literally can buy less than it used to.  This literally devalues our currency in the world market.

The Donald imposed a 30% tariff on imported solar panels.  These panels' production creates pollution in the manufacturing country.  By imposing this tariff, USA buyers install LESS solar and consume MORE fossil fuels.  It also will result in more domestic pollution if US companies start to produce them en masse.

Tariffs are dumb.  I understand why they exist, but they are a short term "solution" to a long term problem.
Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Dabnasty on February 22, 2018, 09:34:51 AM
We need tariffs based on labor and environmental protections.

Want to pollute your country making stuff?   It will cost a big tariff to get it into our country.

Want to treat your workers like dirt?  Ditto.

Conversely, if your labor and environmental protections are better than ours (as practiced, not written, by both parties),  a tax is placed on domestic producers.

This would incentivize domestic companies to pollute our country and treat our workers poorly.  Remember: the US is small compared to the rest of the world.  If we stop importing goods, our US dollar literally can buy less than it used to.  This literally devalues our currency in the world market.

The Donald imposed a 30% tariff on imported solar panels.  These panels' production creates pollution in the manufacturing country.  By imposing this tariff, USA buyers install LESS solar and consume MORE fossil fuels.  It also will result in more domestic pollution if US companies start to produce them en masse.

Tariffs are dumb.  I understand why they exist, but they are a short term "solution" to a long term problem.
I don't necessarily agree with the tariff recommendation either but your example of the solar panel tariff is an exception, not the rule. Tariffs on products that could provide long term benefit to the environment may be counterproductive but most products are not consumed for the purpose of environmental benefit, they're just consumed.

The difficulty I can't get around with tariffs is that you can make the argument that the party you want to pay the price will pay it and in theory tariffs will accomplish whatever you want them to. Unfortunately it's difficult to predict how markets and manufacturers will actually react, especially when you consider things will change gradually over a number of years, not all at once.

Title: Re: Trickle Up Economics at it's finest!
Post by: Capt j-rod on February 22, 2018, 10:30:35 AM
Tariffs and penalties rarely have the outcomes that their makers intend. That being said, the huge influx of cheap Chinese shit has made America in to the hyper consumer capital of the world. If items weren't so cheap then the consumer would take better care of what they own and not buy as much junk that they don't need. I still have my dad's antique steel toy car. It was his only one. He has purchased and showered my kids with more plastic cars and trash than anyone. We as a nation have failed to see that part of what made us so great was the items that we were without that we lusted for. That was part of the drive to make more money to afford what we couldn't afford growing up. If they do use tariffs then part of it should be used to box up the broken cheap plastic shit and take it back to the country of origin and let them deal with the waste. Landfills in America could have easily held the trash generated by it's own resources, but look at how much trash is shipped in for us to handle!
Government cash and prizes can only come from the working class population and property owners. Rich people don't pay taxes and never will (read rich dad poor dad)... Cash and prizes handouts are a slap in the face and a penalty only dealt to the working class Americans. Excuse me while I go get my fire retardant suit and helmet for the flames of hell that are about to come my way.