Poll

What is your opinion on UBI based on political leanings?

Economically liberal/in favor of UBI
53 (37.3%)
Economically conservative or libertarian/in favor of UBI
42 (29.6%)
Economically liberal/not in favor of UBI
11 (7.7%)
Economically conservative or libertarian/not in favor of UBI
32 (22.5%)
Other (post below)
4 (2.8%)

Total Members Voted: 142

Author Topic: Can We Achieve Universal FI?  (Read 20074 times)

iris lily

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #150 on: December 31, 2016, 09:57:04 PM »

Of course I understand that. What you don't seem to understand is that the majority of those tax funded social services are aimed at keeping people off the street, not helping them once they are there. Those in place to help the homeless (e.g. housing programs) very often save taxpayers money....

Ah, ok, I see what you mean and I agree with your characterization of social welfare programs, that they exist to get people into stable housing and food situations. I was thinking of foodstamps which are fairly easy to get, but the intent of the program is not to feed people on the street, agreed.

« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 11:43:20 AM by iris lily »

shelivesthedream

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #151 on: January 02, 2017, 11:24:29 AM »
Just wanted to clarify that all this stuff I'm saying about disabled people and the possibility of supplemental programmes isn't an objection to UBI or a definit advocation of supplemental programmes. Just that I think people forget about those who don't have the same choices available to them. Maybe the answer is for them to rely on family/friends/charity (and decent public healthcare, but even that only covers medical things and not living expenses) but you have got to think philosophically and pracically about where such people fit into a UBI system.

When it comes down to it, I think UBI, good public healthcare (like the NHS when it works properly) and a limited selection of grants for actual medical equipment necessary for permanently disabled people (wheelchairs, hearing aids, prescriptions for chronic illnesses, that kind of thing) would be my preferred solution.

nnls

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #152 on: January 03, 2017, 09:27:29 PM »
Looks like Finland is starting it or a version of it anyway

http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/finland-begins-universal-basic-income-trial-as-the-world-watches/news-story/7ae91901c856ca697ed6b30e18cbba00

Quote
The trial in Finland kicked off on January 1, 2017 and marks a monumental moment for proponents of the idea who hope successful results will usher in an era of free money.
Under the two-year, nationwide pilot scheme in the country of 5.5 million, 2000 randomly picked unemployed Finns will receive a guaranteed sum of €560 ($806) per month.
The income will replace their existing social benefits and will be paid even if they find work, and government officials say it could soon be extended to other low-income groups such as freelancers, small-scale entrepreneurs and part-time workers.
Olli Kangas, from the Finnish government agency KELA responsible for the country’s social benefits, said the scheme’s idea is to abolish the “disincentive problem” among the unemployed.
The unemployment rate of Finland stands at 8.1 per cent with some 213,000 people without a job — unchanged from the previous year.
Currently a jobless person may opt to refuse a low-income or short-term job out of fear of having their financial benefits reduced drastically under Finland’s generous but complex social security system.
“It’s highly interesting to see how it makes people behave,” Mr Kangas said. “Will this lead them to boldly experiment with different kinds of jobs? Or, as some critics claim, make them lazier with the knowledge of getting a basic income without doing anything?”
« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 09:29:04 PM by nnls »

Financial.Velociraptor

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Libertea

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #155 on: January 06, 2017, 06:43:20 AM »
Awesome.  I have added Professor Standing's book (The Precariat) to my "to-read" list.  Have any of you read it by chance?

Metric Mouse

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #156 on: January 06, 2017, 06:47:41 AM »
I have not.
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shelivesthedream

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #157 on: January 06, 2017, 12:21:19 PM »
Can't remember if this has been posted before, but this is a fantastic summary of UBI and explanations of the commonest objections/questions: http://basicincome.org/basic-income/faq/

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #158 on: January 07, 2017, 10:59:13 AM »

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #159 on: January 07, 2017, 11:19:24 AM »
I don't think we can assume replacing all welfare programs equals a cost of UBI. But I would love to see an authoritative economic study to show it does, in the U.S.
  I don't think so, either.

There are 242,470,820 adults living in the United States (I assume UBI is not for children, right?).

Even $10,000 each, or $833 monthly (can one survive on $10,000, is that basic income?  it is only 2/3 of the federal minimum wage!), the budget each year would be in excess of $2.4 trillion.  That's technically less than the $3.54 trillion budget last year.

Do the numbers work as "replacing all welfare?"

Are politicians likely to touch social security (currently a quarter of the budget and growing) when some individuals are receiving $2639 monthly, and will see it replaced by a paltry $833?????

Hell, even the minimum social security benefit is $1260.  A $10,000 UBI would cut even the minimum $427. 

I just do not see that happening.

Raising the UBI amount would of course just explode the budget, so that is not happening, either.   We are already $17 trillion in debt as a nation.  I just do not see that growing forever and ever without severe consequences.

Watchmaker

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #160 on: January 09, 2017, 11:11:20 AM »
I don't think we can assume replacing all welfare programs equals a cost of UBI. But I would love to see an authoritative economic study to show it does, in the U.S.
  I don't think so, either.


I really don't think many UBI supporters suggest the cost is equal to the cost of the welfare programs it replaces, just that UBI is not quite as expensive as it first seems since there are savings associated with ending those welfare programs (that might pay half of the costs of UBI).

There are 242,470,820 adults living in the United States (I assume UBI is not for children, right?).

Even $10,000 each, or $833 monthly (can one survive on $10,000, is that basic income?  it is only 2/3 of the federal minimum wage!), the budget each year would be in excess of $2.4 trillion.  That's technically less than the $3.54 trillion budget last year.

Do the numbers work as "replacing all welfare?"

Are politicians likely to touch social security (currently a quarter of the budget and growing) when some individuals are receiving $2639 monthly, and will see it replaced by a paltry $833?????

Hell, even the minimum social security benefit is $1260.  A $10,000 UBI would cut even the minimum $427. 

I just do not see that happening.

Raising the UBI amount would of course just explode the budget, so that is not happening, either.   We are already $17 trillion in debt as a nation.  I just do not see that growing forever and ever without severe consequences.

I think $10k is roughly what UBI would need to be.  A lot of programs are based around the federal poverty level (around $12k), but I tend to think our perception of poverty has gotten somewhat out of whack as overall quality of life has improved and that a UBI of $8k would be reasonable.

Let's look at it another way, using your numbers.  The GDP (an imperfect number, but easy to find) of the US is ~17 trillion.  2.5 trillion is ~15% of that.  Is it worth paying a 15% tax to ensure all citizens have access to basic food and shelter?  It is to me.

I think you're absolutely right that it will be tricky to implement UBI if it results in (your example) people getting less out of social security than they thought they would.  If I'd paid into SS for 40 years, I wouldn't be happy about it disappearing right when I retire.  Maybe you could phase UBI in by allowing one generation the choice of UBI or SS?

sokoloff

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #161 on: January 09, 2017, 12:04:49 PM »
Let's look at it another way, using your numbers.  The GDP (an imperfect number, but easy to find) of the US is ~17 trillion.  2.5 trillion is ~15% of that.  Is it worth paying a 15% tax to ensure all citizens have access to basic food and shelter?  It is to me.
If paying 15% took 100% of people from not having basic food and shelter to having basic food and shelter, it would be absolutely worth it.

The problem is that today, without UBI, an enormous fraction/overwhelming majority of those people already have access to basic food and shelter, so it's not 15% tax to improve the lots of 100% of the people, it's a 15% tax to raise < 5% of the people to the level of basic food and shelter.

I support UBI in concept; I can't see any remotely reasonable way to make the math work in a way that doesn't cut programs that are morally questionable to cut (like diverting all of SS and veteran's benefits to UBI), doesn't result in elimination of supplemental welfare programs, or doesn't leave people on UBI with "so obviously too little that it will be practically useless, demanded to be expanded significantly, or both".

Lagom

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #162 on: January 09, 2017, 12:19:10 PM »
Well based on some of the news articles linked earlier, it seems increasingly possible that one major country or another will give this an honest try eventually, and then we'll get to see how realistic all of this is once the rubber hits the road. Certainly, enough highly qualified economists seem to think it's a potentially good idea. I've had a hard time finding clear stats, but the range I seem to be seeing is between 40-60% for/against, so pretty evenly split.

Watchmaker

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #163 on: January 09, 2017, 12:20:02 PM »
Let's look at it another way, using your numbers.  The GDP (an imperfect number, but easy to find) of the US is ~17 trillion.  2.5 trillion is ~15% of that.  Is it worth paying a 15% tax to ensure all citizens have access to basic food and shelter?  It is to me.
If paying 15% took 100% of people from not having basic food and shelter to having basic food and shelter, it would be absolutely worth it.

The problem is that today, without UBI, an enormous fraction/overwhelming majority of those people already have access to basic food and shelter, so it's not 15% tax to improve the lots of 100% of the people, it's a 15% tax to raise < 5% of the people to the level of basic food and shelter.

I support UBI in concept; I can't see any remotely reasonable way to make the math work in a way that doesn't cut programs that are morally questionable to cut (like diverting all of SS and veteran's benefits to UBI), doesn't result in elimination of supplemental welfare programs, or doesn't leave people on UBI with "so obviously too little that it will be practically useless, demanded to be expanded significantly, or both".

If it was simply the case that we were trying to help that 5%, I agree it would be money poorly spent.  But my interest in UBI stems largely from the fact that I think inevitable changes in the labor market re: automation will result in more and more people without the ability to earn a living, and the we can solve that by 1) inventing more pointless work to keep everyone "employed" 2) civilization collapsing 3) something like UBI. 

(2) is pretty bad, but honestly (1) doesn't sound too hot to me either, so I hope for (3). 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 01:31:29 PM by Watchmaker »

Lagom

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #164 on: January 09, 2017, 12:34:24 PM »
If it was simply the case that we were trying to help that 5%, I agree it would be money poorly spent.  But my interest in UBI stems largely from the fact that I think inevitable changes in the labor market re: automation will result in more and more people without the ability to earn a living, and the we can solve that by 1) inventing more pointless work to keep everyone "employed" 2) civilization collapsing 3) something like UBI. 

(2) is pretty, but honestly (1) doesn't sound too hot to me either, so I hope for (3).

I agree with this. At a certain point, there won't be enough jobs and if the wealthy want to continue to maintain, much less grow their wealth, it will actually make the most economic sense to underwrite something like UBI. After all, if everyone is on the street with no money, they can't exactly buy crap to keep the economy going.

OurTown

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #165 on: January 09, 2017, 02:04:49 PM »
If it was simply the case that we were trying to help that 5%, I agree it would be money poorly spent.  But my interest in UBI stems largely from the fact that I think inevitable changes in the labor market re: automation will result in more and more people without the ability to earn a living, and the we can solve that by 1) inventing more pointless work to keep everyone "employed" 2) civilization collapsing 3) something like UBI. 

(2) is pretty, but honestly (1) doesn't sound too hot to me either, so I hope for (3).

I agree with this. At a certain point, there won't be enough jobs and if the wealthy want to continue to maintain, much less grow their wealth, it will actually make the most economic sense to underwrite something like UBI. After all, if everyone is on the street with no money, they can't exactly buy crap to keep the economy going.

Exactly.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #166 on: January 15, 2017, 12:22:00 AM »
Europe to tax robots

Europe looking to 'tax robots' to pay for the jobs they've taken away from people. Not sure if this would help push towards UBI, or actually make it harder to pay for.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 11:41:11 PM by Metric Mouse »
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Paul der Krake

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #167 on: January 15, 2017, 09:10:18 AM »
https://www.smart401k.com/resource-center/retirement-strategy/roth-401k-vs-401k-contribution-taxes

Europe looking to 'tax robots' to pay for the jobs they've taken away from people. Not sure if this would help push towards UBI, or actually make it harder to pay for.
Wrong link.

Libertea

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #168 on: January 15, 2017, 04:22:10 PM »
MM, can you please post the correct article link?  Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you wrote, but I'm trying to understand the concept of taxing robots....or do you mean taxing the production of robots?

Metric Mouse

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #169 on: January 15, 2017, 11:37:00 PM »
Dammit, Janet.  I fuckin' fixed it. Sorry all - thanks for alerting me!
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Libertea

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #170 on: January 16, 2017, 08:03:35 AM »
Haha, ok, so I was right that it's the robot owners that would be taxed, not the robots themselves.  That makes more sense.  Cute article. 

BTDretire

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #171 on: January 16, 2017, 08:25:00 AM »

I don't know how to sell it to the left, maybe you could help me with that.

I honestly believe that the left would embrace UBI fairly quickly. I certainly can't see any argument against giving every individual a UBI, indexed to inflation. It would probably reduce or eliminate the need for a great many programs that already serve, badly, the neediest among us. Given that most of the arguments I see against it seem to come from people on the right, who view this idea as another "nanny state" policy -- akin to socialism -- I think you might be somewhat mistaken. I can't find many people on the right these days, either in the general population or in the political class, who have expressed any support for such an idea.

 OK, I'll take the consevative side.
First, human nature, if people can get money and not work they're not going to work.
Second, why should I work just to give my money to someone that wants to sit on their butt.
Third, those that did want to work, could create a huge underground economy, thereby
not contributing to the money needed for the UBI.
Fourth...

Kris

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #172 on: January 16, 2017, 09:01:48 AM »

I don't know how to sell it to the left, maybe you could help me with that.

I honestly believe that the left would embrace UBI fairly quickly. I certainly can't see any argument against giving every individual a UBI, indexed to inflation. It would probably reduce or eliminate the need for a great many programs that already serve, badly, the neediest among us. Given that most of the arguments I see against it seem to come from people on the right, who view this idea as another "nanny state" policy -- akin to socialism -- I think you might be somewhat mistaken. I can't find many people on the right these days, either in the general population or in the political class, who have expressed any support for such an idea.

 OK, I'll take the consevative side.
First, human nature, if people can get money and not work they're not going to work.
Second, why should I work just to give my money to someone that wants to sit on their butt.
Third, those that did want to work, could create a huge underground economy, thereby
not contributing to the money needed for the UBI.
Fourth...

Yes, I think we all know the arguments that "the conservative side" would raise.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

sokoloff

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #173 on: January 16, 2017, 10:29:05 AM »
OK, I'll take the consevative side.
First, human nature, if people can get money and not work they're not going to work.
Second, why should I work just to give my money to someone that wants to sit on their butt.
Third, those that did want to work, could create a huge underground economy, thereby
not contributing to the money needed for the UBI.
On the first point, I think that's a little bit the wrong way to think about it. Don't think of it solely as "get money to not work". It's "get money", period. Whether or not you work. So, this makes it two choices: get UBI, don't work, live on just what UBI provides or get UBI, work, live on what UBI and work provides.

On your second point, you do that today (I assume you work).

On your third point, yes, increasing tax rates will increase tax avoidance/evasion behavior. I'm not sure that's an argument against UBI so much as an observation on human nature.

Libertea

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #174 on: January 16, 2017, 06:13:27 PM »
OK, I'll take the consevative side.
First, human nature, if people can get money and not work they're not going to work.
Second, why should I work just to give my money to someone that wants to sit on their butt.
Third, those that did want to work, could create a huge underground economy, thereby
not contributing to the money needed for the UBI.
Fourth...
I'm a conservative (well, actually libertarian, but that makes me fiscally conservative), and I've already addressed two of these points further up thread.

First point: I disagree with your assessment of human nature.  Most people want to live a meaningful life, however they define that.  It's probably true that the TYPE of work that many people would choose to do if they didn't have to work just to be able to survive would be different than what they currently do, but I don't view that as being necessarily a bad thing.  If someone wishes to be an artist, or write a novel, or whatever else, they will have that ability.  You should consider too that many people do a great deal of unpaid work that society is absolutely dependent upon, such as caring for children or elderly relatives, volunteering for charity, etc.  So this would free them up to be able to continue to do such necessary but unpaid work, or to otherwise pursue whatever they deem to be of greatest value to them as human beings.  UBI would also greatly decrease government control and interference in people's personal lives, since recipients, and not the government, would be the ones deciding how to use the money.  It would ideally lead to smaller government and less bureaucracy, which are ostensibly conservative goals.

Second point: you're already doing that anyway, assuming you aren't evading your taxes.  If you're a conservative, then I doubt I need to point out to you how profligately wasteful our current welfare system is.  In fact, by reducing people's welfare benefits if they take low wage jobs, we are currently literally paying people not to work.  We also pay farmers not to grow crops and all kinds of other corporate welfare stupidity that would ideally go away if UBI were adopted.

Third point: again, this already occurs to some extent under the current system.  It's not clear to me why this would be worse under a UBI system than it currently is.

To me, the potential of UBI to maximize personal freedom while minimizing government control over people's personal lives and choices is its greatest appeal.  However, there is also the added benefit that it would provide for some income for people who can't find work in the future, given that many currently undesirable and low wage jobs may not even be available in the future.  When the cars start driving themselves, the planes are flying themselves, the buildings self-clean, and we order almost everything we need or want online, what kind of low wage jobs do you anticipate still being available?  And what would you propose doing instead with the "surplus" workers who can't find paid work?

shelivesthedream

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #175 on: January 24, 2017, 03:59:28 AM »
Europe to tax robots

Europe looking to 'tax robots' to pay for the jobs they've taken away from people. Not sure if this would help push towards UBI, or actually make it harder to pay for.

Ugh, what a frustrating link. "Europe" doesn't work like that. It's just hot air. The real robot tax story is Benoit Hamon. I've struggled to find any really detailed information about his proposal online, despite there being a lot of opinion pieces floating around, but it seems to be a cornerstone of how he would fund UBI in France. Does anyone have a good link?

Kris

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #176 on: January 24, 2017, 06:33:21 AM »
Europe to tax robots

Europe looking to 'tax robots' to pay for the jobs they've taken away from people. Not sure if this would help push towards UBI, or actually make it harder to pay for.

Ugh, what a frustrating link. "Europe" doesn't work like that. It's just hot air. The real robot tax story is Benoit Hamon. I've struggled to find any really detailed information about his proposal online, despite there being a lot of opinion pieces floating around, but it seems to be a cornerstone of how he would fund UBI in France. Does anyone have a good link?

Not in English. And he took most of the details off his website after getting some pointed qquestions, so...
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #177 on: January 24, 2017, 12:23:53 PM »
Europe to tax robots

Europe looking to 'tax robots' to pay for the jobs they've taken away from people. Not sure if this would help push towards UBI, or actually make it harder to pay for.

Ugh, what a frustrating link. "Europe" doesn't work like that. It's just hot air. The real robot tax story is Benoit Hamon. I've struggled to find any really detailed information about his proposal online, despite there being a lot of opinion pieces floating around, but it seems to be a cornerstone of how he would fund UBI in France. Does anyone have a good link?

Not in English. And he took most of the details off his website after getting some pointed qquestions, so...

I could read a French link if it's words. (Not a video.)

Kris

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #178 on: January 24, 2017, 12:29:22 PM »
Europe to tax robots

Europe looking to 'tax robots' to pay for the jobs they've taken away from people. Not sure if this would help push towards UBI, or actually make it harder to pay for.

Ugh, what a frustrating link. "Europe" doesn't work like that. It's just hot air. The real robot tax story is Benoit Hamon. I've struggled to find any really detailed information about his proposal online, despite there being a lot of opinion pieces floating around, but it seems to be a cornerstone of how he would fund UBI in France. Does anyone have a good link?

Not in English. And he took most of the details off his website after getting some pointed qquestions, so...

I could read a French link if it's words. (Not a video.)

Here's one that can give you about as much information as anywhere else -- which also explains how he's kind of backtracked on the specifics (or at least pushed them back a bit).

http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2017/01/22/les-points-cles-du-programme-de-benoit-hamon_5067096_4355770.html
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #179 on: January 24, 2017, 01:04:12 PM »
Europe to tax robots

Europe looking to 'tax robots' to pay for the jobs they've taken away from people. Not sure if this would help push towards UBI, or actually make it harder to pay for.

Ugh, what a frustrating link. "Europe" doesn't work like that. It's just hot air. The real robot tax story is Benoit Hamon. I've struggled to find any really detailed information about his proposal online, despite there being a lot of opinion pieces floating around, but it seems to be a cornerstone of how he would fund UBI in France. Does anyone have a good link?

Not in English. And he took most of the details off his website after getting some pointed qquestions, so...

I could read a French link if it's words. (Not a video.)

Here's one that can give you about as much information as anywhere else -- which also explains how he's kind of backtracked on the specifics (or at least pushed them back a bit).

http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2017/01/22/les-points-cles-du-programme-de-benoit-hamon_5067096_4355770.html

Sorry, I can't see where it explains the robot tax. Maybe my French isn't as good as I thought :/ Interesting to read about the gradual introduction of UBI, though. I'd never considered it before, but it seems like it might lessen the economic shock.

Kris

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #180 on: January 24, 2017, 01:11:56 PM »
Europe to tax robots

Europe looking to 'tax robots' to pay for the jobs they've taken away from people. Not sure if this would help push towards UBI, or actually make it harder to pay for.

Ugh, what a frustrating link. "Europe" doesn't work like that. It's just hot air. The real robot tax story is Benoit Hamon. I've struggled to find any really detailed information about his proposal online, despite there being a lot of opinion pieces floating around, but it seems to be a cornerstone of how he would fund UBI in France. Does anyone have a good link?

Not in English. And he took most of the details off his website after getting some pointed qquestions, so...

I could read a French link if it's words. (Not a video.)

Here's one that can give you about as much information as anywhere else -- which also explains how he's kind of backtracked on the specifics (or at least pushed them back a bit).

http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2017/01/22/les-points-cles-du-programme-de-benoit-hamon_5067096_4355770.html

Sorry, I can't see where it explains the robot tax. Maybe my French isn't as good as I thought :/ Interesting to read about the gradual introduction of UBI, though. I'd never considered it before, but it seems like it might lessen the economic shock.

Aha, sorry, I didn't realize (or had forgotten/glossed over) that you wanted something specifically about that.

Here's a source:

http://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/politique/elections/benoit-hamon-veut-taxer-les-robots-pour-financer-la-protection-sociale_1858606.html

And here's another:

http://www.rtl.fr/actu/politique/primaire-de-la-gauche-qu-est-ce-que-la-taxe-robot-voulue-par-benoit-hamon-7786651606
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #181 on: January 24, 2017, 02:07:25 PM »
Everyone running on the left in France has been jumping on the UBI bandwagon lately. The actual proposals are pretty modest, 600-800 euros per month.

I will be surprised if the left still exists in May.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #182 on: January 24, 2017, 02:09:36 PM »
Everyone running on the left in France has been jumping on the UBI bandwagon lately. The actual proposals are pretty modest, 600-800 euros per month.

I will be surprised if the left still exists in May.

It's craziness. I thoroughly expect LePen to take the presidential election.
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Paul der Krake

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #183 on: January 24, 2017, 02:11:59 PM »
Everyone running on the left in France has been jumping on the UBI bandwagon lately. The actual proposals are pretty modest, 600-800 euros per month.

I will be surprised if the left still exists in May.

It's craziness. I thoroughly expect LePen to take the presidential election.
Nah, there aren't enough crazies to hand her the victory. But then again I said that about Brexit and Trump.

Kris

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #184 on: January 24, 2017, 02:48:59 PM »
Everyone running on the left in France has been jumping on the UBI bandwagon lately. The actual proposals are pretty modest, 600-800 euros per month.

I will be surprised if the left still exists in May.

It's craziness. I thoroughly expect LePen to take the presidential election.
Nah, there aren't enough crazies to hand her the victory. But then again I said that about Brexit and Trump.

Ha. I predicted both. And I follow French news pretty closely.

Not that I would be happy to be right about this. Some of my best friends live there.
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Metric Mouse

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #185 on: January 25, 2017, 12:48:42 AM »
Europe to tax robots

Europe looking to 'tax robots' to pay for the jobs they've taken away from people. Not sure if this would help push towards UBI, or actually make it harder to pay for.

Ugh, what a frustrating link. "Europe" doesn't work like that. It's just hot air. The real robot tax story is Benoit Hamon. I've struggled to find any really detailed information about his proposal online, despite there being a lot of opinion pieces floating around, but it seems to be a cornerstone of how he would fund UBI in France. Does anyone have a good link?

Never heard of him. He doesn't appear to be a member of the European Parliament committee that drew up the proposal.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 12:56:15 AM by Metric Mouse »
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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #186 on: January 25, 2017, 12:54:09 AM »
Sorry, I can't see where it explains the robot tax. Maybe my French isn't as good as I thought :/ Interesting to read about the gradual introduction of UBI, though. I'd never considered it before, but it seems like it might lessen the economic shock.
Here's link to the actual proposal at the EU, courtesy of Mandy Delvaux.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML%2BCOMPARL%2BPE-582.443%2B01%2BDOC%2BPDF%2BV0//EN
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shelivesthedream

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #187 on: January 25, 2017, 08:03:11 AM »
Europe to tax robots

Europe looking to 'tax robots' to pay for the jobs they've taken away from people. Not sure if this would help push towards UBI, or actually make it harder to pay for.

Ugh, what a frustrating link. "Europe" doesn't work like that. It's just hot air. The real robot tax story is Benoit Hamon. I've struggled to find any really detailed information about his proposal online, despite there being a lot of opinion pieces floating around, but it seems to be a cornerstone of how he would fund UBI in France. Does anyone have a good link?

Never heard of him. He doesn't appear to be a member of the European Parliament committee that drew up the proposal.

https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=benoit+hamon

shelivesthedream

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #188 on: January 25, 2017, 08:15:37 AM »
Europe to tax robots

Europe looking to 'tax robots' to pay for the jobs they've taken away from people. Not sure if this would help push towards UBI, or actually make it harder to pay for.

Ugh, what a frustrating link. "Europe" doesn't work like that. It's just hot air. The real robot tax story is Benoit Hamon. I've struggled to find any really detailed information about his proposal online, despite there being a lot of opinion pieces floating around, but it seems to be a cornerstone of how he would fund UBI in France. Does anyone have a good link?

Not in English. And he took most of the details off his website after getting some pointed qquestions, so...

I could read a French link if it's words. (Not a video.)

Here's one that can give you about as much information as anywhere else -- which also explains how he's kind of backtracked on the specifics (or at least pushed them back a bit).

http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2017/01/22/les-points-cles-du-programme-de-benoit-hamon_5067096_4355770.html

Sorry, I can't see where it explains the robot tax. Maybe my French isn't as good as I thought :/ Interesting to read about the gradual introduction of UBI, though. I'd never considered it before, but it seems like it might lessen the economic shock.

Aha, sorry, I didn't realize (or had forgotten/glossed over) that you wanted something specifically about that.

Here's a source:

http://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/politique/elections/benoit-hamon-veut-taxer-les-robots-pour-financer-la-protection-sociale_1858606.html

And here's another:

http://www.rtl.fr/actu/politique/primaire-de-la-gauche-qu-est-ce-que-la-taxe-robot-voulue-par-benoit-hamon-7786651606

Thanks! It's an interesting thought, and certainly a good soundbite, but it seems kind of complicated. I did think "Why don't you just raise business taxes?" but I suppose the idea is that some businesses will be based on robots and some won't, and you don't want to excessively tax the latter. It'll be a hard job working out what should count as a "robot" for tax purposes, though, because new ones will keep popping up. Self-checkouts in supermarkets is a good example, but there are all sorts of things which used to be done by humans that are currently done by machines. All sorts of factory work, stock exchange trading algorithms... even calculators!

I liked this bit: "pensons demain une fiscalité qui se fonde non pas sur le nombre de travailleurs qu'il y a dans notre entreprise, mais sur la richesse créée par l'entreprise."  Taxing profit rather than human workers does go well with UBI partially disconnecting money from work. But I don't think it'll be happening any time soon.

Kris

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #189 on: January 25, 2017, 08:38:51 AM »
Thanks! It's an interesting thought, and certainly a good soundbite, but it seems kind of complicated. I did think "Why don't you just raise business taxes?" but I suppose the idea is that some businesses will be based on robots and some won't, and you don't want to excessively tax the latter. It'll be a hard job working out what should count as a "robot" for tax purposes, though, because new ones will keep popping up. Self-checkouts in supermarkets is a good example, but there are all sorts of things which used to be done by humans that are currently done by machines. All sorts of factory work, stock exchange trading algorithms... even calculators!

I liked this bit: "pensons demain une fiscalité qui se fonde non pas sur le nombre de travailleurs qu'il y a dans notre entreprise, mais sur la richesse créée par l'entreprise."  Taxing profit rather than human workers does go well with UBI partially disconnecting money from work. But I don't think it'll be happening any time soon.

Yes, my impression on the whole taxe-robots thing, at least from Hamon's floating of it, is he's trying for a presidential run and is trying to be a phoenix out of the ashes of the Socialist party. It's out of the box thinking from a party, and a government, that's become calcified and mired in its own inertia. God knows they need something new and radical. I've talked to people who basically don't think he's going to do be able to do this on the off chance he gets elected, but like the idea and appreciate something fresh and intriguing. (And hey, it takes some of the air away from the right wing reactionary "They're takin' our jobs/health care/resources" racialized/anti-immigrant/islamophobic discourse of the FN.)

Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #190 on: January 27, 2017, 12:10:33 PM »
Let's look at it another way, using your numbers.  The GDP (an imperfect number, but easy to find) of the US is ~17 trillion.  2.5 trillion is ~15% of that.  Is it worth paying a 15% tax to ensure all citizens have access to basic food and shelter?  It is to me.
If paying 15% took 100% of people from not having basic food and shelter to having basic food and shelter, it would be absolutely worth it.

The problem is that today, without UBI, an enormous fraction/overwhelming majority of those people already have access to basic food and shelter, so it's not 15% tax to improve the lots of 100% of the people, it's a 15% tax to raise < 5% of the people to the level of basic food and shelter.

I support UBI in concept; I can't see any remotely reasonable way to make the math work in a way that doesn't cut programs that are morally questionable to cut (like diverting all of SS and veteran's benefits to UBI), doesn't result in elimination of supplemental welfare programs, or doesn't leave people on UBI with "so obviously too little that it will be practically useless, demanded to be expanded significantly, or both".
  Except it does not work that way.  It is 15% of GDP, not 15% of your income.  The bottom half of income in this country accounts for 2.8% of income taxes paid.  If you are not in the bottom half, your percentage to cover this is going to be way, way more than 15%

Look at it this way:

ALL federal receipts are less than 20% of GDP.

All of them.


So what are your income taxes going to have to be to raise 15% of GDP out of you?  LOL!

Here is a link to a nifty chart of federal receipts v. GDP.  https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYFRGDA188S  It will give you some idea of what we are discussing here.

15% is almost 100% of receipts (or at least the vast majority of it in recent history), and not all receipts are from income taxes.


Watchmaker

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #191 on: January 27, 2017, 03:19:02 PM »
Let's look at it another way, using your numbers.  The GDP (an imperfect number, but easy to find) of the US is ~17 trillion.  2.5 trillion is ~15% of that.  Is it worth paying a 15% tax to ensure all citizens have access to basic food and shelter?  It is to me.
If paying 15% took 100% of people from not having basic food and shelter to having basic food and shelter, it would be absolutely worth it.

The problem is that today, without UBI, an enormous fraction/overwhelming majority of those people already have access to basic food and shelter, so it's not 15% tax to improve the lots of 100% of the people, it's a 15% tax to raise < 5% of the people to the level of basic food and shelter.

I support UBI in concept; I can't see any remotely reasonable way to make the math work in a way that doesn't cut programs that are morally questionable to cut (like diverting all of SS and veteran's benefits to UBI), doesn't result in elimination of supplemental welfare programs, or doesn't leave people on UBI with "so obviously too little that it will be practically useless, demanded to be expanded significantly, or both".
  Except it does not work that way.  It is 15% of GDP, not 15% of your income.  The bottom half of income in this country accounts for 2.8% of income taxes paid.  If you are not in the bottom half, your percentage to cover this is going to be way, way more than 15%

Look at it this way:

ALL federal receipts are less than 20% of GDP.

All of them.


So what are your income taxes going to have to be to raise 15% of GDP out of you?  LOL!

Here is a link to a nifty chart of federal receipts v. GDP.  https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYFRGDA188S  It will give you some idea of what we are discussing here.

15% is almost 100% of receipts (or at least the vast majority of it in recent history), and not all receipts are from income taxes.

I don't think you're making the point you think you're making.  GDP is a pretty good measure of the nation's total income, so 15% of income is what we are talking about.  We could use GNI if you'd like, but it doesn't change anything.

Yes, with a progressive tax system, you'll pay a larger share the more you make.  If that concerns you, the tax rate for UBI could be set at a flat 15% on all income. 

Ultimately, yes, it's a lot of money.  Remember though, that it would be offset by getting rid of social security as well as a host of smaller programs.  Social security is about 7% of GDP I believe, and I bet the other stuff could add up to another 3%, so that's 1/2 to 2/3's of the cost of UBI.   

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #192 on: January 27, 2017, 03:40:41 PM »
46.2% of federal receipts are from income taxes for individuals.

All federal receipts are only 17.5% of GDP.  So current individual income taxes account for 8% of GDP.

The 15% of GDP is HUGE, HUGE!  It is almost all of what they are taxing now.

If you believe in the Rahn curve, the high levels of taxation necessary to this scheme would be dangerous economic growth.

Here, take a look for yourself.
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/what-are-sources-revenue-federal-government-0


Quote
Remember though, that it would be offset by getting rid of social security
  Which also makes it an instant non-starter.   Pure fantasyland.

Do you remember the outcry when President Bush talked about dedicating 1% (yes, 1%!!!) of payroll taxes to private, individual accounts?  That trial ballon was made out of lead and did not fly.  The public outrage was something else.

Substituting $833 a month for current social security benefits would make Democrats and most Republicans scream.  The idea is so politically implausible as to be laughable.  Would it replace Medicare, too?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 03:42:28 PM by Malum Prohibitum »

Metric Mouse

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #193 on: January 27, 2017, 08:46:54 PM »
46.2% of federal receipts are from income taxes for individuals.

All federal receipts are only 17.5% of GDP.  So current individual income taxes account for 8% of GDP.

The 15% of GDP is HUGE, HUGE!  It is almost all of what they are taxing now.

Wow... so this would require roughly triple the taxes on everyone's income. No wonder they're suggesting taxing robots...
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Watchmaker

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #194 on: January 28, 2017, 03:57:29 PM »
46.2% of federal receipts are from income taxes for individuals.

All federal receipts are only 17.5% of GDP.  So current individual income taxes account for 8% of GDP.

The 15% of GDP is HUGE, HUGE!  It is almost all of what they are taxing now.

If you believe in the Rahn curve, the high levels of taxation necessary to this scheme would be dangerous economic growth.

Here, take a look for yourself.
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/what-are-sources-revenue-federal-government-0


Quote
Remember though, that it would be offset by getting rid of social security
  Which also makes it an instant non-starter.   Pure fantasyland.

Do you remember the outcry when President Bush talked about dedicating 1% (yes, 1%!!!) of payroll taxes to private, individual accounts?  That trial ballon was made out of lead and did not fly.  The public outrage was something else.

Substituting $833 a month for current social security benefits would make Democrats and most Republicans scream.  The idea is so politically implausible as to be laughable.  Would it replace Medicare, too?

Referencing income tax makes no sense in this context.  SS (the most similar current govt program) isn't funded through income tax.

And of course you couldn't just replace SS with UBI in one day.  Probably the right way would be to let one generation (say, those 40 and above) choose to receive their SS benefits OR UBI.  At my age, I'd gladly take $833 a month for life over my SS benefits.

And no, most UBI programs have healthcare as a separate, single payer program.

As you say, currently federal revenue is around 17.5%.  UBI would probably require that to increase to 22.5%-25%.  Yes, a big increase in taxation, but not a sea change in tax levels.  If you have a better idea for solving the problems that would be created by future mass un/underemployment, I'd genuinely love to hear it.

   

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #195 on: January 28, 2017, 04:16:47 PM »
You don't use GDP. GDP is increased by sitting in traffic. It increases by a building catching fire and being gutted and then rebuilt. It has nothing to do with tax revenue.

GDP = C + I + G + (Ex - Im)
^^^
Tax revenue is not in the formula.


The total government spending is $7T, if all government levels are included.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 04:23:16 PM by bacchi »

sokoloff

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #196 on: January 28, 2017, 08:15:15 PM »
You don't use GDP. GDP is increased by sitting in traffic. It increases by a building catching fire and being gutted and then rebuilt. It has nothing to do with tax revenue.

GDP = C + I + G + (Ex - Im)
^^^
Tax revenue is not in the formula.
Over the long run, G is T.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #197 on: January 28, 2017, 08:17:28 PM »
You don't use GDP. GDP is increased by sitting in traffic. It increases by a building catching fire and being gutted and then rebuilt. It has nothing to do with tax revenue.

GDP = C + I + G + (Ex - Im)
^^^
Tax revenue is not in the formula.


The total government spending is $7T, if all government levels are included.

I believe it was explained that Tax revenue was one part of one of those additions (probably G, but hard to tell from your formula)
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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #198 on: January 29, 2017, 01:30:55 AM »
Doesn't the US have a low income tax rate compared to other developed countries? I'm sure you could raise income tax to help fund UBI without the country collapsing.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #199 on: January 29, 2017, 02:50:31 AM »
Doesn't the US have a low income tax rate compared to other developed countries? I'm sure you could raise income tax to help fund UBI without the country collapsing.

This was answered a few posts above. Rough numbers put it at twice the current income of the government, so approximately three times the current tax rates.

Let's look at it another way, using your numbers.  The GDP (an imperfect number, but easy to find) of the US is ~17 trillion.  2.5 trillion is ~15% of that.  Is it worth paying a 15% tax to ensure all citizens have access to basic food and shelter?  It is to me.
If paying 15% took 100% of people from not having basic food and shelter to having basic food and shelter, it would be absolutely worth it.

The problem is that today, without UBI, an enormous fraction/overwhelming majority of those people already have access to basic food and shelter, so it's not 15% tax to improve the lots of 100% of the people, it's a 15% tax to raise < 5% of the people to the level of basic food and shelter.

I support UBI in concept; I can't see any remotely reasonable way to make the math work in a way that doesn't cut programs that are morally questionable to cut (like diverting all of SS and veteran's benefits to UBI), doesn't result in elimination of supplemental welfare programs, or doesn't leave people on UBI with "so obviously too little that it will be practically useless, demanded to be expanded significantly, or both".
  Except it does not work that way.  It is 15% of GDP, not 15% of your income.  The bottom half of income in this country accounts for 2.8% of income taxes paid.  If you are not in the bottom half, your percentage to cover this is going to be way, way more than 15%

Look at it this way:

ALL federal receipts are less than 20% of GDP.

All of them.


So what are your income taxes going to have to be to raise 15% of GDP out of you?  LOL!

Here is a link to a nifty chart of federal receipts v. GDP.  https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYFRGDA188S  It will give you some idea of what we are discussing here.

15% is almost 100% of receipts (or at least the vast majority of it in recent history), and not all receipts are from income taxes.
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