Poll

What is your opinion on UBI based on political leanings?

Economically liberal/in favor of UBI
53 (37.1%)
Economically conservative or libertarian/in favor of UBI
42 (29.4%)
Economically liberal/not in favor of UBI
11 (7.7%)
Economically conservative or libertarian/not in favor of UBI
33 (23.1%)
Other (post below)
4 (2.8%)

Total Members Voted: 143

Author Topic: Can We Achieve Universal FI?  (Read 23182 times)

shelivesthedream

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #200 on: January 29, 2017, 06:45:11 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.

Do you not have state taxes in addition to federal income tax? Or am I getting confused?

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #201 on: January 29, 2017, 09:34:09 AM »
Tax receipts would rise with a UBI system.  This would be the biggest stimulus program of all time.  And unlike the 2008-9 stimilus program, it would "fast money".  Ninety five percent (Easy!) of the people receiving the payments would spend every penny in the front month.  It wouldn't go directly to propping up financial assets.  It would flow to the bottom line of every merchant.  Profits would soar and tax receipts would thus rise.  I think talk of how much this would require tax rates to rise is overlooking the impact of an enormous and never ending stimulus. 

This is ultimately the same argument that Elon Musk has  made.  Robots will take all the jobs and UBI will be necessary to keep the velocity of money high enough to avoid a deflationary spiral.
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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #202 on: January 29, 2017, 09:36:13 AM »
I have been pondering this since the latest reports about the 8 richest men owning more wealth than 50% of the world's population. I think UBI can be achieved once humanity figures out how to correct the current economic disparity between the ultra rich and the rest of us. 

I am not an economist, but I think nations can start to reverse this trend by charging tech companies like Facebook royalties for mining information from their citizens. Treat citizens like natural resources and then use those royalties to fund UBI  Companies can't come into Canada and extract oil without paying royalties, why can Facebook mine information for free?  Royalties are an operating cost, so it would be more difficult to get out of paying, unlike the current income tax shell game being played by the big tech companies, Facebook included.  I am sure some will say this is unethica to consider people as natural resources, but really how can the level of enrichment being made from our personal data by these companies be seen as anything but unjust enrichment? 
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 09:38:28 AM by FIRE Artist »

bacchi

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #203 on: January 29, 2017, 09:45:46 AM »
Do you not have state taxes in addition to federal income tax? Or am I getting confused?

Yes, total government spending is close to $7 trillion. That includes welfare and pensions, which will largely go away with a UBI.


Libertea

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #204 on: January 29, 2017, 11:05:24 AM »
I have been pondering this since the latest reports about the 8 richest men owning more wealth than 50% of the world's population. I think UBI can be achieved once humanity figures out how to correct the current economic disparity between the ultra rich and the rest of us. 

I am not an economist, but I think nations can start to reverse this trend by charging tech companies like Facebook royalties for mining information from their citizens. Treat citizens like natural resources and then use those royalties to fund UBI  Companies can't come into Canada and extract oil without paying royalties, why can Facebook mine information for free?  Royalties are an operating cost, so it would be more difficult to get out of paying, unlike the current income tax shell game being played by the big tech companies, Facebook included.  I am sure some will say this is unethica to consider people as natural resources, but really how can the level of enrichment being made from our personal data by these companies be seen as anything but unjust enrichment?
Interesting idea.  Out of curiosity, what are the arguments for this being "unethical"?  I guess I could see it being unethical in the sense of possibly violating the rights of individuals, but this is happening anyway.  I'm not really clear on how charging royalties to companies for using "the commons" of societal personal data would be unethical.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #205 on: January 29, 2017, 11:26:17 AM »
Particularly since people do have the choice NOT to use facebook and the like.

Facebook isn't stealing people's personal data. It's offering to voluntary buy people's personal data in exchange for providing them with a place online to host low resolution selfies, find out how much happier their ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends are now, and feel a sense of social connection (illusory or otherwise) even when they are all alone. Whether that trade off is worth it is going to vary from person to person.

I don't like this idea because I think it singles out one of the more benign ways for folks to become ridiculously wealthy. If we look at the world's billionaires, technology is only the 4th most common way folks make that sort of ridiculously large amounts of money.* Financiers, fashion and retail, and real estate investors are all more common among the world's wealthiest people.** I may not see a lot of the value in the facebooks and snapchats of the world that others do, but I also don't see the harm or a reason to single them out ahead of all the other ways people accumulate vast sums of wealth.

*And "tech" includes lots of companies that actually DO things, like Amazon, or SpaceX, or Intel.
**Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2016/03/07/how-billionaires-get-rich-which-industries-make-the-most-mega-fortunes/
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LalsConstant

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #206 on: January 29, 2017, 01:15:04 PM »
Just as a thought experiment:

I often joke with my friends I wish I were fabulously wealthy so I could pay them salaries to indulge in our shared hobbies, so we could all just do that all day rather than waste our lives in cubicle farms.

Now I'm being silly when I say this, but the statement underlies a basic truth: the entertainment value I'd derive from such an arrangement is worth something to me.  Thinking about it carefully, there's many things like that I'm sure people wish were services offered which currently just aren't, because we only have so many people and other functions and goods are far more important.

If I were one of the elites in this automated paradise and I wanted to play World of Warcraft, and it was nothing to me to spend money on such a thing, why not pay people to form a raid party with me?  Sure right now that would be stupid, but if there's no other actual use for money because food, transportation, etc. are so cheap they're nearly free, it might make sense.

The point being, since it's human nature to literally want everything, will our expenditures simply not become more frivolous (or perhaps intellectually and emotionally enriching is a more positive way to say it) as the costs of pragmatic needs decline?

I mean we already have people who make their living doing things most people find, well, useless, strange, or stupid (for example people who make a living showing toys or playing video games).  Just because the demand for labor for pragmatic things might drop doesn't mean demand for labor in general will, it could just shift to the next most demanded services that currently aren't much of the economy because of the limitations of current resources.

To put this in a more stern way, human nature is greedy and once necessities and many luxuries become ludicrously cheap, people will just demand more luxuries.  The demand for labor may simply shift into increasingly less pragmatic areas and  not vanish.

Perhaps that's too optimistic, but again it's just a thought.  I suspect though some element of this kind of economic phenomenon will come to pass.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #207 on: January 29, 2017, 01:23:20 PM »
It's possible. But at a certain point aren't you just paying people to be your friends? This is essentially what rich and famous people already do with their entourages.

 (Also, doubtless some bright programmer will eventually be able to develop an AI that'd be more fun to have in your raid party than an actual human being paid to be there: Able to keep up the witty banter without being distracting from casting DOTs, subtly setting things up so you're usually the one landing the killing blow, that sort of thing.)

OTOH, right now in China surge pricing is driving up the cost of hiring a woman to come and pretend to be your girlfriend when you meet your parents over spring festival... (and they is a whole app designed to connect buyers and sellers of this service) which lends more weight to your view than mine.
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Paul der Krake

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #208 on: January 29, 2017, 02:26:23 PM »
I have been pondering this since the latest reports about the 8 richest men owning more wealth than 50% of the world's population. I think UBI can be achieved once humanity figures out how to correct the current economic disparity between the ultra rich and the rest of us. 

I am not an economist, but I think nations can start to reverse this trend by charging tech companies like Facebook royalties for mining information from their citizens. Treat citizens like natural resources and then use those royalties to fund UBI  Companies can't come into Canada and extract oil without paying royalties, why can Facebook mine information for free?  Royalties are an operating cost, so it would be more difficult to get out of paying, unlike the current income tax shell game being played by the big tech companies, Facebook included.  I am sure some will say this is unethica to consider people as natural resources, but really how can the level of enrichment being made from our personal data by these companies be seen as anything but unjust enrichment?
Interesting idea.  Out of curiosity, what are the arguments for this being "unethical"?  I guess I could see it being unethical in the sense of possibly violating the rights of individuals, but this is happening anyway.  I'm not really clear on how charging royalties to companies for using "the commons" of societal personal data would be unethical.
We could also charge the meteorologists who mine all the weather data for their selfish interests. The clouds belong to all of us. If they're going to read into them, they need to pay.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #209 on: January 29, 2017, 04:35:27 PM »
Do you not have state taxes in addition to federal income tax? Or am I getting confused?

Some states have income taxes, yes. What is the question?
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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #210 on: January 29, 2017, 04:48:00 PM »
Do you not have state taxes in addition to federal income tax? Or am I getting confused?

Yes, total government spending is close to $7 trillion. That includes welfare and pensions, which will largely go away with a UBI.
Which ones would go away? Social security is funded from payroll tax, not income tax. Ending it would not change the equation, unless the money in the fund was rolled into the first years' UBI payments.
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bacchi

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #211 on: January 29, 2017, 09:31:20 PM »
Do you not have state taxes in addition to federal income tax? Or am I getting confused?

Yes, total government spending is close to $7 trillion. That includes welfare and pensions, which will largely go away with a UBI.
Which ones would go away? Social security is funded from payroll tax, not income tax. Ending it would not change the equation, unless the money in the fund was rolled into the first years' UBI payments.

Some state welfare money ($45B in Calfornia) would go away. The state pensions could be reduced because part of is being paid with UBI. And, yes, SS could be partially diverted as well.

It'll take 1.7T to give every adult in America $6000/year, or 25% of all government spending.

1.7T
- .2T from defense
- .5T from SS
= 1T from elsewhere

(Leaving almost .5T for SS and .4T for defense (still nearly more than China + Saudi + Russia combined)).

Total government spending for welfare is .5T. That leaves a gap of ~.5T to make up. As mentioned, some of the pensions could be reduced, dollar for dollar (total pension spending is 1.3T).

There's still a large gap but it wouldn't require taxes going up to 60%.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/breakdown2017_0.html

Metric Mouse

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #212 on: January 29, 2017, 09:39:05 PM »
Do you not have state taxes in addition to federal income tax? Or am I getting confused?

Yes, total government spending is close to $7 trillion. That includes welfare and pensions, which will largely go away with a UBI.
Which ones would go away? Social security is funded from payroll tax, not income tax. Ending it would not change the equation, unless the money in the fund was rolled into the first years' UBI payments.

Some state welfare money ($45B in Calfornia) would go away. The state pensions could be reduced because part of is being paid with UBI. And, yes, SS could be partially diverted as well.

It'll take 1.7T to give every adult in America $6000/year, or 25% of all government spending.

1.7T
- .2T from defense
- .5T from SS
= 1T from elsewhere

(Leaving almost .5T for SS and .4T for defense (still nearly more than China + Saudi + Russia combined)).

Total government spending for welfare is .5T. That leaves a gap of ~.5T to make up. As mentioned, some of the pensions could be reduced, dollar for dollar (total pension spending is 1.3T).

There's still a large gap but it wouldn't require taxes going up to 60%.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/breakdown2017_0.html
Is $6000 per year the goal? That seems awfully low if the goal is to feed and clothe and house a person. Average food stamp benefit is $135 dollars per month - so that would leave $350 per month for housing and everything else. Would this level of income actually solve any problems for people?
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bacchi

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #213 on: January 29, 2017, 09:57:31 PM »
Is $6000 per year the goal? That seems awfully low if the goal is to feed and clothe and house a person. Average food stamp benefit is $135 dollars per month - so that would leave $350 per month for housing and everything else. Would this level of income actually solve any problems for people?

Well, $12k is too much, taking up 50% of total government spending. That's just crazy.

There are one-room tiny homes the homeless can rent for $210/month. Subtracting out $135 for food gives us $155, which could be used for utilities, clothes, and bus fare.

So could it get someone off the street? Just barely, with the right housing. It wouldn't be housing that most people would want (shared bathrooms and kitchens, etc.)

Given even a part-time job at minimum wage, though, means more regular housing is within reach. Missing a shift because Johnny is sick also wouldn't mean having to choose between rent or the gas company. Hypothetically, of course; we all know that most people would spend the extra $6k on a nicer phone and a larger cable package.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #214 on: January 29, 2017, 10:20:36 PM »
Is $6000 per year the goal? That seems awfully low if the goal is to feed and clothe and house a person. Average food stamp benefit is $135 dollars per month - so that would leave $350 per month for housing and everything else. Would this level of income actually solve any problems for people?

Well, $12k is too much, taking up 50% of total government spending. That's just crazy.

There are one-room tiny homes the homeless can rent for $210/month. Subtracting out $135 for food gives us $155, which could be used for utilities, clothes, and bus fare.

So could it get someone off the street? Just barely, with the right housing. It wouldn't be housing that most people would want (shared bathrooms and kitchens, etc.)

Given even a part-time job at minimum wage, though, means more regular housing is within reach. Missing a shift because Johnny is sick also wouldn't mean having to choose between rent or the gas company. Hypothetically, of course; we all know that most people would spend the extra $6k on a nicer phone and a larger cable package.
So 6K would be the bare minimum for UBI to be effective in the USA. I could see how it could be fought for, even though minimum wage arguments often place 'living wage' much higher than that.

It doesn't affect the fact that the numbers you posted would put the SS trust fund in default in about 6 years - is that enough time to transfer people who have paid their entire lives into the system to 1/2 or less of the benefits they would receive under the current system?

And if the welfare number listed covers any medical coverage - that money would have to be kept out, as UBI does not obviously cover medical care. And if 'welfare' in any way benefits minors who are not eligible for UBI, that money would have to kept from the pot, unless those programs are eliminated.

And after eliminating all of those social programs, this still leaves a half trillion dollar deficit - equal to the current budgetary deficit of all federal spending, and equal to all governmental welfare currently spent, or 7% of the total budget. 

I just don't see the math working on this plan.
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bacchi

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #215 on: January 29, 2017, 10:43:44 PM »
It doesn't affect the fact that the numbers you posted would put the SS trust fund in default in about 6 years - is that enough time to transfer people who have paid their entire lives into the system to 1/2 or less of the benefits they would receive under the current system?

The average SS benefit is $1341. Halving that is $671 so there would be a loss of $171/month. Obviously, there'd have to be some gliding path. Telling a 63 year old planning to make $1341/month that they're now going to make $1170/month would be a shock.

Quote
And if the welfare number listed covers any medical coverage - that money would have to be kept out, as UBI does not obviously cover medical care.

According to the site, government health care (1.6T) is a separate category. I don't know how that breaks down but presumably that's medicare and medicaid and VA.

Quote
And if 'welfare' in any way benefits minors who are not eligible for UBI, that money would have to kept from the pot, unless those programs are eliminated.

Yes, good point.

Quote
And after eliminating all of those social programs, this still leaves a half trillion dollar deficit - equal to the current budgetary deficit of all federal spending, and equal to all governmental welfare currently spent, or 7% of the total budget. 

I just don't see the math working on this plan.

Hard choices or more taxes or a combination.

3.2T was collected in federal taxes in 2015*. Another $500B would be a 16% increase in tax collected.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/3248723000000-federal-taxes-set-record-fy-2015-21833-worker-feds-0

It's possible to do it now. It'll be far easier to grow into it and, with more efficient production (3d printers?), it'll become an obvious solution to more automation displacing more workers.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #216 on: January 29, 2017, 10:44:39 PM »
Again, the math comes from the fact that growing the economy will eventually depend on wealth redistribution. Immigration too, for that matter, if birthrates keep trending down. Maybe not today, but very possibly someday soonish. Or maybe not. I would be OK if automation ends up not meaningfully impacting employment opportunities.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #217 on: January 29, 2017, 10:55:40 PM »
Who is going to produce the goods and services in a world where everyone is FI and supported by UBI?
There is a huge logical fallacy in the concept..

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #218 on: January 29, 2017, 11:01:34 PM »
Who is going to produce the goods and services in a world where everyone is FI and supported by UBI?
There is a huge logical fallacy in the concept..

Except for the temporarily unemployed, the terminally lazy, or potheads, most people won't be happy with a basic income.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #219 on: January 29, 2017, 11:14:46 PM »
Again, the math comes from the fact that growing the economy will eventually depend on wealth redistribution. Immigration too, for that matter, if birthrates keep trending down. Maybe not today, but very possibly someday soonish. Or maybe not. I would be OK if automation ends up not meaningfully impacting employment opportunities.

How would immigration help, if there are no jobs because robots replaced them all? There would be more liability, and less tax revenue. I understand our system currently depends upon immigration to keep the economy growing and money velocity increasing, but as the shift occurs large influxes of unskilled labor would no longer be a positive.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 11:16:20 PM by Metric Mouse »
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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #220 on: January 29, 2017, 11:24:21 PM »
Universal FI is do able only if the technology advance so far ahead, that production become so darn cheap.
Organic food is so easy and cheap to grow,  energy is freely sustainable (wind, solar,  etc),
If basic need can be automatically, cheaply produced, then it is obtainable.
Else what to buy with the money you have in the bank.

People can work so little to achieve FI for basic need.  And work much more only more their passion and non essential/luxury(artwork, skills,  sports)

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #221 on: January 29, 2017, 11:28:27 PM »
Universal FI is do able only if the technology advance so far ahead, that production become so darn cheap.
Organic food is so easy and cheap to grow,  energy is freely sustainable (wind, solar,  etc),
If basic need can be automatically, cheaply produced, then it is obtainable.
Else what to buy with the money you have in the bank.

People can work so little to achieve FI for basic need.  And work much more only more their passion and non essential/luxury(artwork, skills,  sports)

Yes, agreed.

There will probably be a really shitty period where there are a lot of people out of work and there are no jobs and not enough production efficiency to feed and shelter and clothe them. Like most countries around the world. When technology catches up, UBI will occur.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #222 on: January 30, 2017, 08:57:47 AM »
Tax receipts would rise with a UBI system.  This would be the biggest stimulus program of all time.  And unlike the 2008-9 stimilus program, it would "fast money".  Ninety five percent (Easy!) of the people receiving the payments would spend every penny in the front month.  It wouldn't go directly to propping up financial assets.  It would flow to the bottom line of every merchant.  Profits would soar and tax receipts would thus rise.  I think talk of how much this would require tax rates to rise is overlooking the impact of an enormous and never ending stimulus. 

This is ultimately the same argument that Elon Musk has  made.  Robots will take all the jobs and UBI will be necessary to keep the velocity of money high enough to avoid a deflationary spiral.

+1

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #223 on: January 30, 2017, 10:15:12 AM »
Again, the math comes from the fact that growing the economy will eventually depend on wealth redistribution. Immigration too, for that matter, if birthrates keep trending down. Maybe not today, but very possibly someday soonish. Or maybe not. I would be OK if automation ends up not meaningfully impacting employment opportunities.

How would immigration help, if there are no jobs because robots replaced them all? There would be more liability, and less tax revenue. I understand our system currently depends upon immigration to keep the economy growing and money velocity increasing, but as the shift occurs large influxes of unskilled labor would no longer be a positive.

Our economy runs off of consumers at least as much as it does off cheap labor. When the need for cheap labor disappears, the need for consumers will only increase. At least that's my current (and completely uninformed) opinion on the topic.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #224 on: January 30, 2017, 03:47:43 PM »
Again, the math comes from the fact that growing the economy will eventually depend on wealth redistribution. Immigration too, for that matter, if birthrates keep trending down. Maybe not today, but very possibly someday soonish. Or maybe not. I would be OK if automation ends up not meaningfully impacting employment opportunities.

How would immigration help, if there are no jobs because robots replaced them all? There would be more liability, and less tax revenue. I understand our system currently depends upon immigration to keep the economy growing and money velocity increasing, but as the shift occurs large influxes of unskilled labor would no longer be a positive.

Our economy runs off of consumers at least as much as it does off cheap labor. When the need for cheap labor disappears, the need for consumers will only increase. At least that's my current (and completely uninformed) opinion on the topic.
What I fear is if there is no labor, only consumers, driven by the cheap products made under heavy automation, is that the economy will becime similar to China's internal policy; there is only the drive to move money, as much as possible, as fadt as possible, through as many channels as possible.  While this results in explovise growth, it does seem to be unsustainable long-term if the tax base does not increase at some point as well.

A complex topic, no doubt.  Perhaps there are enough consumers outside of the US to keep inflation and monetary policy solvent for UBI.
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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #226 on: February 06, 2017, 06:55:48 AM »
I think someone else may have already posted this link regarding the libertarian argument in favor of UBI up thread, and I know it's been posted in other UBI threads.  But in case someone else besides me is just reading it for the first time now, I want to post it again: https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/why-did-hayek-support-basic-income

(I also added the link to the original post.)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 06:57:32 AM by Libertea »

Lagom

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #227 on: May 01, 2017, 08:14:44 PM »
Figured I would resurrect this thread rather than start a new one. I really liked this thought provoking piece comparing UBI to vaccines and thought some of you would enjoy as well:

https://futurism.com/could-universal-basic-income-be-the-social-vaccine-of-the-21st-century/




OurTown

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #228 on: May 02, 2017, 06:57:51 AM »
Great post.  $1,000 per month per adult and $300 per month per child.  Nuclear family of four = $2,600 per month.  That seems pretty reasonable to me. 

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #229 on: May 02, 2017, 01:27:53 PM »
Ontario is running a pilot: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/wynne-announcement-hamilton-1.4082476

I also think the naming matters. If we name it a "negative income tax" more republicans will be for it since they like lower taxes!

Note that the tax credits for the Republican health care plan are essentially a negative income tax.

Lagom

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #230 on: May 02, 2017, 02:14:34 PM »
Ontario is running a pilot: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/wynne-announcement-hamilton-1.4082476

I also think the naming matters. If we name it a "negative income tax" more republicans will be for it since they like lower taxes!

Note that the tax credits for the Republican health care plan are essentially a negative income tax.

Ha! For real though, we probably should come up with a name that makes it sound like something other than a handout. Negative income tax, universal tax rebate, standard tax refund...

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #231 on: May 02, 2017, 02:30:26 PM »
Ontario is running a pilot: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/wynne-announcement-hamilton-1.4082476

I also think the naming matters. If we name it a "negative income tax" more republicans will be for it since they like lower taxes!

Note that the tax credits for the Republican health care plan are essentially a negative income tax.

Ha! For real though, we probably should come up with a name that makes it sound like something other than a handout. Negative income tax, universal tax rebate, standard tax refund...

I've been living in far red conservative Midwestern areas for about four years now. My opinion is that if you made it a negative tax in more than just name, there could be far reaching support for UBI.  For example, if someone can prove a minimum level of productivity, like 500 hours of work or non paid volunteerism per year, you qualify for a tax credit/UBI. Maybe even less for full-time stay at home parents.  I could see this flying in the lower/middle class conservative and union circles that got Trump elected.

The potential beauty of the US is that we have the ability to experiment with this on a smaller scale government levels.  I'm really not sure why there have been so few experiments.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #232 on: June 01, 2017, 07:29:36 AM »
Ontario is running a pilot: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/wynne-announcement-hamilton-1.4082476

I also think the naming matters. If we name it a "negative income tax" more republicans will be for it since they like lower taxes!

Note that the tax credits for the Republican health care plan are essentially a negative income tax.

Ha! For real though, we probably should come up with a name that makes it sound like something other than a handout. Negative income tax, universal tax rebate, standard tax refund...

The last few years I have really found it fascinating how a name can sell a program. I had never really contemplated previously that the marketing is more important than the actual content. A few examples among many really stand out where the public perceptism (mine included) did not match the facts of an item.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #233 on: June 01, 2017, 11:24:04 AM »
The last few years I have really found it fascinating how a name can sell a program. I had never really contemplated previously that the marketing is more important than the actual content. A few examples among many really stand out where the public perceptism (mine included) did not match the facts of an item.
Like "Social Security"?

(I'll refrain from any modern examples, as those are likely to invoke partisan political fighting.)

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #234 on: June 01, 2017, 11:44:06 AM »
Universal FI is do able only if the technology advance so far ahead, that production become so darn cheap.
Organic food is so easy and cheap to grow,  energy is freely sustainable (wind, solar,  etc),
If basic need can be automatically, cheaply produced, then it is obtainable.
Else what to buy with the money you have in the bank.

People can work so little to achieve FI for basic need.  And work much more only more their passion and non essential/luxury(artwork, skills,  sports)

Yes, agreed.

There will probably be a really shitty period where there are a lot of people out of work and there are no jobs and not enough production efficiency to feed and shelter and clothe them. Like most countries around the world. When technology catches up, UBI will occur.

This is an excellent reason to become FI before any of that happens.  Already being rich allows you to survive these scenarios much more easily than someone that needs their next paycheck to buy food and pay the rent/mortgage.
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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #235 on: June 01, 2017, 12:04:41 PM »
One question I always ponder is what will be the tax base if no one is making any income?  In other words, how do you fund the UBI?  I wonder if you could still have a consumer economy with a UBI funded by a financial transactions tax?

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #236 on: June 01, 2017, 12:16:47 PM »
One question I always ponder is what will be the tax base if no one is making any income?  In other words, how do you fund the UBI?  I wonder if you could still have a consumer economy with a UBI funded by a financial transactions tax?

Well universal FI doesn't have to mean universal FIRE. There would likely be some fraction of people who would still have in demand skill sets and making extremely high incomes. But yes, if folks like Piketty are right and more and more of total income is going to capital rather than labor, it would be necessary to move more of the tax burden onto capital rather than labor (whether or not a UBI is introduced).

That's problematic as capital tends to be more mobile between countries than labor can be. So a world with universal FI would likely be a world with a corporate tax rate that was either higher or (ideally) the same or lower but without many if any deductions or credits so that it actually generated more revenue. Similarly it would likely be a world with higher taxes on capital gains and dividends.

There are some really interesting ideas floating around about how one could improve property taxes by taxing the value of the land but not improvements built on the land. Conceptually this could both raise more revenue and increase economic efficiency.* This also has the advantage that, unlike other forms of capital, land cannot flow easily across national borders.

Financial transaction taxes might disincentivize high frequency trading, but I don't think there are any models where it would raise enough revenue to be a significant portion of the federal budget.
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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #237 on: June 01, 2017, 07:01:50 PM »

It's a good thing the government is using taxpayer money to bribe Carrier into keeping some jobs here, so that the people with those jobs can complain with a clear conscience about people who live on handouts.

If I understand correctly, the government is putting up 7 million over ten years and Carrier is investing 16 million - not a bad return on investment, and allows people to keep their jobs. Kinda why the auto industry bailout worked so well.

For fewer than 1000 jobs? Seems like a pretty bad ROI to me.

Some of the numbers listed in this description have since been revised.  Just to set the record straight:  It seems that the 2100 jobs saved turned into 1300, then 1100, then 800, and finally 730 once the paperwork was done.
After that, the CEO of United Tech came out and said that some of those 730 jobs that were saved will be eliminated anyway because they're going to use some of the awesome money that they have to invest in automation. 

People really need to understand that they can't count on politicians to "save their jobs" through legislation or protectionism.   These jobs are going away due to technology.  Unless Trump and Pence can convince their followers that we'll all be better off reverting to the Stone Age.
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kayvent

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #238 on: June 01, 2017, 07:44:41 PM »
One question I always ponder is what will be the tax base if no one is making any income?  In other words, how do you fund the UBI?  I wonder if you could still have a consumer economy with a UBI funded by a financial transactions tax?

I started Pro-UBI but earlier in this thread I was destroyed in debate and am preceding to just be a neutral bystander on this topic. However, I think I can answer this in a neutral fashion.

Plain and simple: a lot of people aren't taxed as is so UBI won't affect the base. I'll illustrate this for Canada. Imagine a man who makes 42K a year and has one child in daycare. In other words, me a few years ago. This is over double my average peer's salary and above the median income for all adults in my area.

My taxable income was around 6K and my effective tax rate when including transfers payments (i.e. the CCTB/UTCB/GST Rebate/etc...) was -7.1%1. As I rented, didn't splurge on items subject to VAT taxes, and so forth, I would posit that I in no way contributed positively to the tax base. Despite being above the 50th percentile in income.

The tax system as it is designed and elected by the greedy bourgeoisie middle class advantages them by not requiring them to pay much in taxes. In the USA for example, the top 1% pays around half of all federal income taxes and corporations & the 1% pay well over half of all federal taxes2. Unless CEOs and doctors decided they wanted to dump their high income jobs and live modest lives on UBI alone I would assert that the tax base would not be materially affected by the bottom perhaps choosing not to work. The reason being is that they don't contribute significantly as a proposition of taxes as is.

1 This percent does not include CPP or EI premiums as I do not consider them taxes.
2 I have calculated these numbers for the federal USA government but have never bothered to rip out a calculator and do any USA states. It is possible this breaks down at the state and municipal level. In my Canadian city the relationship still exists but I am unsure otherwise.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 07:50:17 PM by kayvent »

Lagom

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #239 on: June 01, 2017, 08:01:35 PM »
Here's a good article on how UBI has been working out in Iran (relatively well, it seems):

https://theoutline.com/post/1613/iran-introduces-basic-income

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #240 on: June 02, 2017, 10:01:29 AM »
Ontario is running a pilot: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/wynne-announcement-hamilton-1.4082476

I also think the naming matters. If we name it a "negative income tax" more republicans will be for it since they like lower taxes!

Note that the tax credits for the Republican health care plan are essentially a negative income tax.

Ha! For real though, we probably should come up with a name that makes it sound like something other than a handout. Negative income tax, universal tax rebate, standard tax refund...

I've been living in far red conservative Midwestern areas for about four years now. My opinion is that if you made it a negative tax in more than just name, there could be far reaching support for UBI.  For example, if someone can prove a minimum level of productivity, like 500 hours of work or non paid volunteerism per year, you qualify for a tax credit/UBI. Maybe even less for full-time stay at home parents.  I could see this flying in the lower/middle class conservative and union circles that got Trump elected.

The potential beauty of the US is that we have the ability to experiment with this on a smaller scale government levels.  I'm really not sure why there have been so few experiments.

Good insight everybody...I vote for "standard tax refund" as the preferred nomenclature. 

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #241 on: June 02, 2017, 05:07:23 PM »
Here's a good article on how UBI has been working out in Iran (relatively well, it seems):

https://theoutline.com/post/1613/iran-introduces-basic-income
In 2011, in response to heavy cuts to oil and gas subsidies, Iran implemented a program that guaranteed citizens cash payments of 29 percent of the nation's median income, which amounts to about $1.50 every day. (In the U.S. such a measure would translate to about $16,000 per year.)

isn't this what americans call poverty level? Even if people got $16,000/year, they wouldn't be happy with it as a basic income

Lagom

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #242 on: June 02, 2017, 05:29:23 PM »
Here's a good article on how UBI has been working out in Iran (relatively well, it seems):

https://theoutline.com/post/1613/iran-introduces-basic-income
In 2011, in response to heavy cuts to oil and gas subsidies, Iran implemented a program that guaranteed citizens cash payments of 29 percent of the nation's median income, which amounts to about $1.50 every day. (In the U.S. such a measure would translate to about $16,000 per year.)

isn't this what americans call poverty level? Even if people got $16,000/year, they wouldn't be happy with it as a basic income

That's the point. UBI is not supposed to replace a middle class income. It's supposed to (ideally) provide the absolute minimum necessary for basic survival needs (food+shelter). This is one of the reasons it doesn't overly disincentivize work, as most people would not be happy living that level of lifestyle. 

Left

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #243 on: June 02, 2017, 05:46:49 PM »
Here's a good article on how UBI has been working out in Iran (relatively well, it seems):

https://theoutline.com/post/1613/iran-introduces-basic-income
In 2011, in response to heavy cuts to oil and gas subsidies, Iran implemented a program that guaranteed citizens cash payments of 29 percent of the nation's median income, which amounts to about $1.50 every day. (In the U.S. such a measure would translate to about $16,000 per year.)

isn't this what americans call poverty level? Even if people got $16,000/year, they wouldn't be happy with it as a basic income

That's the point. UBI is not supposed to replace a middle class income. It's supposed to (ideally) provide the absolute minimum necessary for basic survival needs (food+shelter). This is one of the reasons it doesn't overly disincentivize work, as most people would not be happy living that level of lifestyle. 
they make the same argument about minimum wage, and all those $15/hr protestors seem to think they can't live on minimum wage as a basic lifestyle


stoaX

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #244 on: June 02, 2017, 05:49:15 PM »
Here's a good article on how UBI has been working out in Iran (relatively well, it seems):

https://theoutline.com/post/1613/iran-introduces-basic-income
In 2011, in response to heavy cuts to oil and gas subsidies, Iran implemented a program that guaranteed citizens cash payments of 29 percent of the nation's median income, which amounts to about $1.50 every day. (In the U.S. such a measure would translate to about $16,000 per year.)

isn't this what americans call poverty level? Even if people got $16,000/year, they wouldn't be happy with it as a basic income

That's the point. UBI is not supposed to replace a middle class income. It's supposed to (ideally) provide the absolute minimum necessary for basic survival needs (food+shelter). This is one of the reasons it doesn't overly disincentivize work, as most people would not be happy living that level of lifestyle.


And I wonder if setting the UBI at only $16k per year (or something like that) in the USA is one reason it might not happen - if it replaced the current array of social programs it would represent a "pay" cut to those relying on those programs.   

Nonetheless, I think I favor the idea.  I doubt it would be worse than what we have today.

Lagom

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #245 on: June 02, 2017, 05:50:14 PM »
Here's a good article on how UBI has been working out in Iran (relatively well, it seems):

https://theoutline.com/post/1613/iran-introduces-basic-income
In 2011, in response to heavy cuts to oil and gas subsidies, Iran implemented a program that guaranteed citizens cash payments of 29 percent of the nation's median income, which amounts to about $1.50 every day. (In the U.S. such a measure would translate to about $16,000 per year.)

isn't this what americans call poverty level? Even if people got $16,000/year, they wouldn't be happy with it as a basic income

That's the point. UBI is not supposed to replace a middle class income. It's supposed to (ideally) provide the absolute minimum necessary for basic survival needs (food+shelter). This is one of the reasons it doesn't overly disincentivize work, as most people would not be happy living that level of lifestyle. 
they make the same argument about minimum wage, and all those $15/hr protestors seem to think they can't live on minimum wage as a basic lifestyle

Huh? That's a red herring if I've ever heard one. The minimum wage debate is completely unrelated to UBI.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #246 on: June 10, 2017, 11:29:28 AM »
He's saying that minimum wage is low to incentivize people to study or train or work hard to get ahead in life and get a better job.

Problem is that if you're working full-time and can't meet your basic expenses because you earn minimum wage, that doesn't leave much time for bettering yourself to get a better education and better job.
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Lagom

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #247 on: June 10, 2017, 11:59:48 AM »
He's saying that minimum wage is low to incentivize people to study or train or work hard to get ahead in life and get a better job.

Problem is that if you're working full-time and can't meet your basic expenses because you earn minimum wage, that doesn't leave much time for bettering yourself to get a better education and better job.

Oh ok, but you aptly summarize why they are still largely unrelated debates, thus the same reasoning cannot be applied to each.

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Re: Can We Achieve Universal FI?
« Reply #249 on: September 19, 2017, 08:09:19 AM »
Perhaps this has already been mentioned here, but for UBI to work I think it would have to be its own currency that is only accepted for certain things (like food stamps, but valid for rent and utilities, etc. too). Then dollars could be spent on luxury items like a bigger house or more cars, and to earn dollars you have to go work at a job.

The reason there aren't 318 million people on this forum is because the vast majority of people SUCK at money management. If you remove all social programs to give them a UBI in dollars, there will be some (maybe not most, as many people have pointed to in studies) who don't work and who don't spend every penny in an efficient, self-sustaining way. Some will gamble it, or smoke it, or whatever.

Now the question becomes, do we let this group starve and die in the streets because they suck at money management? Remember, there are no other social programs because we removed them for UBI. Do we manage everyone's money for them? Of course that takes away the freedom of UBI...

Maybe all the extra time people have will go towards volunteering to help this group, I don't know. That seems like an awful lot of faith to put in a species that isn't known for its kindness.