Author Topic: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?  (Read 11340 times)

shenlong55

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #300 on: May 29, 2019, 11:58:57 AM »
Sol, sometimes a rebuke is necessary to make a person improve their practice, in this case to either be silent or research things before speaking about them. It appears to have been effective. The real vitriol comes not because of how you say things, but what you say. You Sol are polite most of the time and it doesn't stop people hoeing into you. You commit the worst sin of all: challenging their assumptions.

How, exactly, do you gather that a rebuke has been effective over the internet? If anything, I thought it was nitpicky and completely undermined your point, insofar as what could have been a teaching moment turned into a lecturing moment. Or was the effectiveness of this rebuke simply an assumption on your end?

Another assumption you appear to make is that UBI would reduce crime. How do you come to this conclusion? If UBI were to lead to an increase in unemployment, might it actually increase crime? https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000026

And yet another assumption you make is that UBI would be no more expensive than the current welfare model. I agree this would be the case if all other factors were equal, but there's simply little evidence to show that would be the case. Again, an increase in unemployment (http://jsspi.com/journals/jsspi/Vol_2_No_2_June_2014/11.pdf) might result in an increase in cost-of-living and inequality (https://stanfordreview.org/universal-basic-income-its-that-simple/).

No, I am not an expert (I wasn't aware that that was a stipulation to post on the MMM forums), so feel free to lecture, scold, and rebuke me on the nuances I most certainly have missed. However, one thing I am expert on is knowing what I don't know, and knowing that anybody who claims otherwise on UBI is blowing a lot of smoke due to the complete lack of evidence to support any conclusions one way or the other. And hence we come back to moral judgments; and for me, despite zero evidence pointing in either direction, I sure as hell don't give my kids any allowance unless they get shit done around the house.

I don't believe that at all.  I'm sure you give your children food, shelter, healthcare (if you can afford it) and clothing regardless of how many chores they do.

EricL

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #301 on: May 29, 2019, 12:04:59 PM »
Sol, sometimes a rebuke is necessary to make a person improve their practice, in this case to either be silent or research things before speaking about them. It appears to have been effective. The real vitriol comes not because of how you say things, but what you say. You Sol are polite most of the time and it doesn't stop people hoeing into you. You commit the worst sin of all: challenging their assumptions.

How, exactly, do you gather that a rebuke has been effective over the internet? If anything, I thought it was nitpicky and completely undermined your point, insofar as what could have been a teaching moment turned into a lecturing moment. Or was the effectiveness of this rebuke simply an assumption on your end?

Another assumption you appear to make is that UBI would reduce crime. How do you come to this conclusion? If UBI were to lead to an increase in unemployment, might it actually increase crime? https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000026

And yet another assumption you make is that UBI would be no more expensive than the current welfare model. I agree this would be the case if all other factors were equal, but there's simply little evidence to show that would be the case. Again, an increase in unemployment (http://jsspi.com/journals/jsspi/Vol_2_No_2_June_2014/11.pdf) might result in an increase in cost-of-living and inequality (https://stanfordreview.org/universal-basic-income-its-that-simple/).

No, I am not an expert (I wasn't aware that that was a stipulation to post on the MMM forums), so feel free to lecture, scold, and rebuke me on the nuances I most certainly have missed. However, one thing I am expert on is knowing what I don't know, and knowing that anybody who claims otherwise on UBI is blowing a lot of smoke due to the complete lack of evidence to support any conclusions one way or the other. And hence we come back to moral judgments; and for me, despite zero evidence pointing in either direction, I sure as hell don't give my kids any allowance unless they get shit done around the house.

I don't believe that at all.  I'm sure you give your children food, shelter, healthcare (if you can afford it) and clothing regardless of how many chores they do.

He said "allowance" not food, shelter, healthcare, and clothing.  Allowance for chores is pretty common in most first world households. 

shenlong55

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #302 on: May 29, 2019, 12:16:46 PM »
Sol, sometimes a rebuke is necessary to make a person improve their practice, in this case to either be silent or research things before speaking about them. It appears to have been effective. The real vitriol comes not because of how you say things, but what you say. You Sol are polite most of the time and it doesn't stop people hoeing into you. You commit the worst sin of all: challenging their assumptions.

How, exactly, do you gather that a rebuke has been effective over the internet? If anything, I thought it was nitpicky and completely undermined your point, insofar as what could have been a teaching moment turned into a lecturing moment. Or was the effectiveness of this rebuke simply an assumption on your end?

Another assumption you appear to make is that UBI would reduce crime. How do you come to this conclusion? If UBI were to lead to an increase in unemployment, might it actually increase crime? https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000026

And yet another assumption you make is that UBI would be no more expensive than the current welfare model. I agree this would be the case if all other factors were equal, but there's simply little evidence to show that would be the case. Again, an increase in unemployment (http://jsspi.com/journals/jsspi/Vol_2_No_2_June_2014/11.pdf) might result in an increase in cost-of-living and inequality (https://stanfordreview.org/universal-basic-income-its-that-simple/).

No, I am not an expert (I wasn't aware that that was a stipulation to post on the MMM forums), so feel free to lecture, scold, and rebuke me on the nuances I most certainly have missed. However, one thing I am expert on is knowing what I don't know, and knowing that anybody who claims otherwise on UBI is blowing a lot of smoke due to the complete lack of evidence to support any conclusions one way or the other. And hence we come back to moral judgments; and for me, despite zero evidence pointing in either direction, I sure as hell don't give my kids any allowance unless they get shit done around the house.

I don't believe that at all.  I'm sure you give your children food, shelter, healthcare (if you can afford it) and clothing regardless of how many chores they do.

He said "allowance" not food, shelter, healthcare, and clothing.  Allowance for chores is pretty common in most first world households.

Yes, but he's using it as a comparison to UBI.  So if he's not using my broader definition of "allowance" then he's just using a bad analogy.  And it's even an analogy that actually supports a UBI when formulated correctly.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 12:23:26 PM by shenlong55 »

Boofinator

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #303 on: May 29, 2019, 12:44:30 PM »
I don't believe that at all.  I'm sure you give your children food, shelter, healthcare (if you can afford it) and clothing regardless of how many chores they do.

This thought did cross my mind after I posted. Yes, allowance is for discretionary expenses.

But everything else I give my kids more closely resembles welfare in the traditional sense rather than UBI. I don't give my kids $x,000 and tell them to figure it out. I provide them with the necessities while they are incapable of providing on their own. And these provisions are means-tested: if they are expecting hand-outs as an adult and are not at least trying to provide for themselves, I'm going to kick the bums out.

Watchmaker

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #304 on: May 29, 2019, 02:29:16 PM »
The figures you quote (very low five figures) are not the traditional definition of UBI, anyway. They're in no sense equivalent to a Harvester UBI.

I'm confused as to what you're saying here. I think I'm reading it wrong, but it sounds like you are saying you think the traditional definition of UBI is some amount higher than "very low five figures". But very low five figures (10k-12k USD) is precisely in the range I think most UBI proposals target (per adult per year).

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #305 on: May 29, 2019, 05:44:00 PM »
The figures you quote (very low five figures) are not the traditional definition of UBI, anyway. They're in no sense equivalent to a Harvester UBI.

I'm confused as to what you're saying here. I think I'm reading it wrong, but it sounds like you are saying you think the traditional definition of UBI is some amount higher than "very low five figures". But very low five figures (10k-12k USD) is precisely in the range I think most UBI proposals target (per adult per year).

Kyle and I are Australian, so any figures he used would have to be multiplied by 2/3 in order to get a USD equivalent. So his figures would be high 4 figures in USD. A very meagre figure.

To give you context, the Australian dole is actually around that level already: it's about $250 per week, $12,000 a year (AUD). The dole is given to everyone subject to meeting job-search and/or education/training requirements.

So in that sense, we already have a very bare bones UBI. My reference to a Harvester UBI refers to a few ideas:

1) I believe the traditional definition of UBI is a wage that allows more than a very, very basic existence (which is all that $12,000 a year buys you in my country). I think a UBI is usually seen as allowing some frugal comfort. I am trying to draw Kyle out on whether he thinks that is the level that a UBI should be set at - in which case his proposal cannot be revenue-neutral - or whether he thinks our current level of spending should just be averaged out and given to every person - in which case the proposal might be revenue-neutral but will be very meagre.

2) Kyle seems to conflate two arguments. One is that we shouldn't allow moral judgment in the delivery of welfare, i.e. it should be unconditional. The second is that even from a self-interested point of view, it is undesirable to have mass unrest, etc. The two arguments are distinct. One can agree that you don't want mass unrest in society, but happily disagree that welfare should be unconditional. This is particularly so when right now, in Australia, all welfare is conditional and yet I don't see rioting in the streets, or a surge in our crime rate, either.

And as others and I have alluded to in recent posts, the problem with allowing people to get a subsistence wage for doing nothing is that suddenly market forces don't work any more at the lower end of the wage spectrum. For some who want equality of outcomes, that's a good thing. For some who want to see market-driven outcomes, that's a bad thing.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #306 on: May 29, 2019, 06:12:57 PM »
How, exactly, do you gather that a rebuke has been effective over the internet?
When it has the intended effect, which in this case is to either silence the person or make them go and research things more before speaking again; more research was in evidence later.

Quote
Another assumption you appear to make is that UBI would reduce crime. How do you come to this conclusion?
Not a UBI specifically, but a good welfare net. This is something which is widely-accepted, and is a major part of the justifications for any welfare spending at all. People have to have shelter and eat one way or another. The basic three options are working, charity, and crime.

Working is preferred by most unemployed people, but we have structured our society such that working is not always available; we have free trade destroying manufacturing jobs, but we have reams of regulations and permits and fees so that self-employment is not always possible.

Charity can take many forms, such as parents looking after their children (even as adults), church groups and so on. Government social welfare is simply formalised charity.

Crime is a general term, and includes ordinary old theft, but also self-employment which the government considers illegitimate, such as narcotics dealing.

If you restrict them from working and don't offer welfare, then you get crime instead. It's either that or people just die, but they tend not to be keen on doing that quietly, so there's crime. This is common sense and well-established.

Here I am assuming that a UBI would give similar results to welfare. This may or may not be a good assumption. There tends to be strong classism in the West, and it is assumed that the poor are too stupid to know what to do with their money, so you have to restrict it by giving them subsidised social housing rather than extra money which they could pay a private landlord with, or a grocery card or food stamps rather than just money to buy food with, and so on.

My experience being and knowing poor people is that they are not stupid, but that they are actually fairly skilled at getting by in difficult circumstances. I realise that the salaried middle class are uncomfortable with the idea that the poor are not stupid, because it undermines their self-esteem: "How can you say the poor are not stupid? If the poor are not stupid, then how did I get my wealth? It was my brains and hard work only! Pulled myself up by my own bootstraps!" etc.

I believe a UBI would give better results than does welfare. In my experience, many poor people are unable to improve their lives because they have to focus on the short-term, you can't worry about tomorrow if you may not even make it through today. And today you don't have much time because you have to apply for six jobs this fortnight even though you know they'll knock you back and you have to go to that Centrelink appointment and then later that seminar they want you to go to and then you have to argue with the guy at the post office when you're trying to get the concession on your gas bill and... by the way, this must all be done with travel on public transport, because you can't afford a car.

Whereas if we just gave them the cash without question (again, we already give cash to the middle class without question) they could focus better on tomorrow and do things to improve their lot. And maybe officials and store clerks and potential employers would, if we took the moral judgement out of payments by turning a pension into a UBI, treat the poor with more respect, making it easier for the poor to improve their lot, for example by getting a job or starting a (very) small business.

Quote
And hence we come back to moral judgments; and for me, despite zero evidence pointing in either direction, I sure as hell don't give my kids any allowance unless they get shit done around the house.
As others have pointed out, you're comparing different things. An "allowance" is for fun things. A pension or UBI is for basic subsistence. You feed and clothe your children regardless of whether they do chores, they just do chores for fun stuff like going to the movies and eating lollies. Your children will not be tossed out onto the streets to sleep under a bridge and hunt through a rubbish bin for something to eat if they fail to clean their room.

But a second point is that you give them jobs to do, and if they come up with their own jobs to do, you will praise and encourage and reward them. Whereas our Western society has destroyed many jobs by means of free trade and deregulation of large businesses, while at the same time hindering self-employment by endless regulations and permits. It would be like your paying a housekeeper to tidy their room and then wondering why your children do not tidy their rooms, or insisting they fill out several forms and pay you money (from where?) before allowing them to do any chores.

We had our honeymoon in Peru, and I saw there that there were no pensions, of course, since the country isn't wealthy like ours. But anyone could get a little burner, a pot and some corn and cook it up and sell it to passers-by. In most of the West you can't do that, you need Safe Food Handling Certificates and what about an open flame on a street corner and all those nice people in suits don't want to see a poor person squatting down next to a burner on the street so the police will move you along.

You would not outsource all your children's chores to someone else, harass them when they came up with their own new chores, and then rebuke them for their idleness, would you? And yet that is precisely what we do in the West with adult workers.

A government can either help, or get out of the way. Either works. Since we in the West insist on getting in people's way, we have to help. A UBI would, I believe, be more effective at getting out of people's way than the current welfare system.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #307 on: May 29, 2019, 06:37:42 PM »
"Whereas our Western society has destroyed many jobs by means of free trade and deregulation of large businesses, while at the same time hindering self-employment by endless regulations and permits. "

Society evolves. Free trade has done much to increase wealth, both at home and in the poorer countries to whom we outsource. It is really only the bottom quartile of the population that hasn't benefited from free trade and deregulation. The rest of us have benefited greatly. The GDP and GDP per capita stats don't lie, nor do the real income stats. As you'd know, all three have gone up continuously for several decades, and GDP continues to increase, whilst the other two measures are stagnant (but not falling). Ergo, we have more riches than we ever had before.

And unless you can show us stats which show that crime and overall social unrest are escalating, there is no need for any reform along the lines of a UBI on 'social safety' grounds.

FIREstache

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #308 on: May 29, 2019, 07:29:03 PM »
Boofinator and Bloop Bloop, your posts make the most sense.  I think Kyle will perform all the mental gymnastics and make all the excuses possible to try to justify getting a free handout.  He's not the only one though, but I sure wouldn't think that way.

UBI is a terrible idea.  Directed assistance where it's really needed is much more logical and practical.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 07:32:27 PM by FIREstache »

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #309 on: May 30, 2019, 03:44:00 AM »



we need to look at maximising opportunity, not outcomes.

For example, look at the NBA. Most of their stars come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Yet they still get in the big leagues. Clearly, the NBA provides equality of opportunity, but not equality of outcomes (a handful of superstars, some role players and a lot of people who never get a look in). It's a meritocracy.

Society should be a meritocracy.

And as Sol said, perhaps you can engage with the larger point, which is whether the proposals sounded out in this thread (about UBI) go to equality of opportunity, or equality of outcome. I agree with the former, but not the latter.




Ricci conclusively demonstrates how New Haven's misplaced  reliance on a statute aimed at achieving  equality of outcome for the City's minority firefighters had the ironic,  opposite effect of nullifying the minority firefighters' equal opportunity of promotion.

In Ricci, New Haven's impermissible reliance on an anti-discrimination, disparate-impact statute resulted in discrimination  against white and Hispanic firefighters that denied  them their rightfully earned promotions. Eventually Ricci and the other plaintiffs  prevailed when New Haven reversed its rejection of the examination results.


Ricci v. DeStefano (2009)

In 2003, 118 New Haven firefighters took examinations to qualify for promotion to the rank of lieutenant or captain.

When the examination results showed that white candidates had outperformed minority candidates, the mayor and other local politicians opened a public debate that turned rancorous.

Some firefighters argued the tests should be discarded because the results showed the tests to be discriminatory. They threatened a discrimination lawsuit if the City made promotions based on the tests.

Other firefighters said the exams were neutral and fair. And they, in turn, threatened a discrimination lawsuit if the City, relying on the statistical racial disparity, ignored the test results and denied promotions to the candidates who had performed well.

In the end the City took the side of those who protested the test results. It threw out the examinations.

 Certain white and Hispanic firefighters who likely would have been promoted based on their good test performance sued the City and some of its officials.

 Theirs is the suit now before us. The suit alleges that, by discarding the test results, the City and the named officials discriminated against the plaintiffs based on their race, in violation of both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964...and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The problem, of course, is that after the tests were completed, the raw racial results became the predominant rationale for the City’s refusal to certify the results.

But its hearings produced no strong evidence of a disparate-impact violation, and the City was not entitled to disregard the tests based solely on the racial disparity in the results.


 The City and the officials defended their actions, arguing that if they had certified the results, they could have faced liability under Title VII for adopting a practice that had a disparate impact on the minority firefighters.

 The District Court granted summary judgment for the defendants, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

    We conclude that race-based action like the City’s in this case is impermissible under Title VII unless the employer can demonstrate a strong basis in evidence that, had it not taken the action, it would have been liable under the disparate-impact statute.


The respondents, we further determine, cannot meet that threshold standard.
As a result, the City’s action in discarding the tests was a violation of Title VII.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 05:07:25 AM by John Galt incarnate! »

Watchmaker

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #310 on: May 30, 2019, 08:22:45 AM »
Kyle and I are Australian, so any figures he used would have to be multiplied by 2/3 in order to get a USD equivalent. So his figures would be high 4 figures in USD. A very meagre figure.

To give you context, the Australian dole is actually around that level already: it's about $250 per week, $12,000 a year (AUD). The dole is given to everyone subject to meeting job-search and/or education/training requirements.

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I'd caught that you were Australian, but didn't realize the exchange rate is what it is (the last time I noticed it, it was around 1:1).

Part of what I've learned from this community is that you can live a perfectly dignified and happy life for much less than people believe. If healthcare coverage is separate, 8-10k USD per adult is more than enough in my mind. Yes, I think people who wanted to live solely on that would have to make some different choices (e.g. smaller house, shared housing, no car, moving to a lower COL area), but I think we need to learn to consume less anyway, so that's fine with me.

On the market distortion issue--we already distort the market in all sorts of ways. If UBI distorted the market so less unnecessary work was being done, and necessary but unpleasant jobs paid better, I'd be pretty happy with that outcome.


John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #311 on: May 30, 2019, 09:31:58 AM »

The real vitriol comes not because of how you say things, but what you say.

Agree.

Let all of us be mindful of the benefits of discussing tendentious subject matter in  a collegial ambiance.

GuitarStv

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #312 on: May 30, 2019, 10:17:10 AM »

The real vitriol comes not because of how you say things, but what you say.

Agree.

Let all of us be mindful of the benefits of discussing tendentious subject matter in  a collegial ambiance.

. . . and eschew purportless obfuscatory terminology.



:P

Boofinator

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #313 on: May 30, 2019, 12:01:40 PM »
If you restrict them from working and don't offer welfare, then you get crime instead. It's either that or people just die, but they tend not to be keen on doing that quietly, so there's crime. This is common sense and well-established.

Here I am assuming that a UBI would give similar results to welfare. This may or may not be a good assumption.

I agree with you all the way up through here. After this, you go into the assumption that society believes poor people are stupid. At this point, I disagree. Poor people aren't stupid. But many poor people are poor because they are 1) not the best with money and/or 2) having a difficult time obtaining income from employment. For those who fall under category 1, no amount of monetary handouts will be sufficient to keep them sheltered and fed, because they will spend their money on stupid things (I've met quite a few of these people). For those under category 2, we need to encourage the factors that lead to employment, not give society an excuse to stop seeking employment altogether. Right now, the employment level is very high (as an American I give zero credit to Trump, by the way), so the evidence (and theory) points to no systemic issues with a lack of jobs in the modern economy.

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #314 on: May 30, 2019, 05:31:25 PM »
Quote
I agree with you all the way up through here. After this, you go into the assumption that society believes poor people are stupid. At this point, I disagree. Poor people aren't stupid. But many poor people are poor because they are 1) not the best with money and/or 2) having a difficult time obtaining income from employment. For those who fall under category 1, no amount of monetary handouts will be sufficient to keep them sheltered and fed, because they will spend their money on stupid things (I've met quite a few of these people). For those under category 2, we need to encourage the factors that lead to employment, not give society an excuse to stop seeking employment altogether. Right now, the employment level is very high (as an American I give zero credit to Trump, by the way), so the evidence (and theory) points to no systemic issues with a lack of jobs in the modern economy.

There's an acute difference between society believing poor people are stupid (or that they are poor because of moral faults)), and them actually being poor or morally deficient.    Kyle made such a distinction in his next paragraph.

Evidence of society's assumption that poor people are stupid are all around us, from the common refrain that "anyone who wants one should be able to get a job" to more directly challenging aspects like requiring proof of job-seeking as a condition to recieve benefits (the assumption being that poor people just don't want to work, or somehow don't understand that they need to apply for jobs in order to find work).

I have still seen no convincing evidence that providing automatic benefits to people results in a reduction in employment-seeking.  The assumption seems to be that at some point it will, but at what point and if this is true, who knows.  For the levels of UBI being commonly discussed I don't see how this could conceivably become an issue.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 06:16:09 PM by nereo »

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #315 on: May 30, 2019, 05:49:00 PM »
"Evidence of society's assumption that poor people are stupid are all around us, from the common refrain that "anyone who wants one should be able to get a job" to more directly challenging aspects like requiring proof of job-seeking as a condition to recieve benefits (the assumption being that poor people just don't want to work, or somehow don't understand that they need to apply for jobs in order to find work)."

I don't quite follow this. I think even if someone believes that "anyone who wants a job should be able to get a job" (this is putting aside people with obvious infirmities), the inference from that statement is not that jobless people are stupid but that they are lazy or unwilling to put in the effort to find a job. This is also the reason that benefits require proof of job-seeking.

To be fair, I see a lot of crappy jobs with heaps of job openings (couriers, UberEats delivery drivers, fruit pickers, casual labourers) so I can understand why someone would want to ensure that a person exhausts all options before wanting to subsist on the public purse.

nereo

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #316 on: May 30, 2019, 06:15:41 PM »
@Bloop Bloop - it would be very helpful if you used the quote function, which would assist other posters in understanding who exactly you are quoting (allowing readers to go back and see the original content for content).

My earlier comment was in response to the discussion between Kyle and Boofinator about the perception of poor being stupid.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #317 on: May 31, 2019, 02:25:40 AM »
You'll note that both left and right support policies which restrict how the poor spend money. High taxes on tobacco - but not on Bollinger. Debit cards or food stamps to be spent at groceries, rather than simply cash to spend wherever they like. Social housing (costing public money) in lieu of extra benefits (costing public money) to pay private rent. And so on and so forth.

There are many taxes and subsidies and restrictions built into various systems with the assumption that, left to themselves, however much money you give them, the poor will end up broke, stoned, starved and homeless. In other words, an assumption of the poor's stupidity (along with assumptions of laziness, greed, a lack of sobriety, etc) is built into society.

This is not to say that there are no stupid poor people. It is to say that the stupidity of the poor is not so widespread as to be assumed, and that in any case the stupidity of the poor is not as socially dangerous as the stupidity of the rich, cf Enron, the GFC, the ongoing Iraq and Afghan wars, etc.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #318 on: May 31, 2019, 02:51:58 AM »
Guess what Kyle. If a person wants to have a hand-out of other people's money, he or she needs to be prepared to jump through hoops for it.

Don't like it? Get a job. Plenty of fruit picking positions around, the last I heard. Uber also.

nereo

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #319 on: May 31, 2019, 05:06:48 AM »
Guess what Kyle. If a person wants to have a hand-out of other people's money, he or she needs to be prepared to jump through hoops for it.

Are you sure this is what you mean?  The phrase "Jumping through hoops" is means doing complicated and often unnecessary things in order to achieve something.

I'm against adding additional complexity to systems unless they result substantially better outcomes. The only documented change I've seen from installing work-requirements is that the applicants and the administrators have to spend more time verifying conditions have been met; I have not seen any evidence that they result in more people getting hired, nor that generous assistance programs (such as UBI) have caused a substantial number of people to stop or reduce the amount that they work.  Feel free to share studies if you have them.

Tax revenue is not "other people's money" if you are a member of that society. It is the people's money, to be spent as the society chooses.

sol

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #320 on: May 31, 2019, 08:34:07 AM »
Guess what Kyle. If a person wants to have a hand-out of other people's money, he or she needs to be prepared to jump through hoops for it.

Don't like it? Get a job. Plenty of fruit picking positions around, the last I heard. Uber also.

I have multiple people in my family who are varying degrees of disabled, and they cannot jump through hoops for the same reason they cannot get a job.  Society needs to be able to provide for these people anyway.

What do you do with a kid who has down syndrome?  He can't fill out paperwork.  He can't drive.  He can't manage a bank account, or show up for an appointment on his own.  He basically needs a full time caretaker, which is usually his parents until they die but after that then what do you do?  He's never going to get any better, so he's going to live for decades without anyone to take care of him.  Right now, the State provides him a social worker who jumps through all of those hoops for him.  Are you suggesting it's unethical for welfare benefits to include paying for the administration of welfare benefits?

Lots of people are in this situation, and it's not just people with genetic disorders.  People with traumatic brain injuries following car accidents.  People born to crackhead mothers.  People with schizophrenia or severe anxiety disorders.  People who have fried themselves with drugs.  Millions of Americans have no means of supporting themselves, and cannot "jump through hoops" in order to receive money to pay for food and shelter.  Right now a distressingly large number of these people just end up as homeless street people, which is not good for them and is not good for the rest of society. 

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #321 on: May 31, 2019, 09:04:34 AM »
Sol, if you read through my other posts in this thread you will see that I have always restricted my arguments to able-bodied people who are capable of working. (In my post 2 posts up, I said - "I think even if someone believes that "anyone who wants a job should be able to get a job" (this is putting aside people with obvious infirmities)..." -

The post I was responding to was discussing whether we should require job-seekers to satisfy conditions or whether they should be given a sum of money unconditionally. I should clarify that I am referring to able-bodied job-seekers.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #322 on: May 31, 2019, 09:14:12 AM »
Guess what Kyle. If a person wants to have a hand-out of other people's money, he or she needs to be prepared to jump through hoops for it.

Are you sure this is what you mean?  The phrase "Jumping through hoops" is means doing complicated and often unnecessary things in order to achieve something.

I'm against adding additional complexity to systems unless they result substantially better outcomes. The only documented change I've seen from installing work-requirements is that the applicants and the administrators have to spend more time verifying conditions have been met; I have not seen any evidence that they result in more people getting hired, nor that generous assistance programs (such as UBI) have caused a substantial number of people to stop or reduce the amount that they work.  Feel free to share studies if you have them.

Tax revenue is not "other people's money" if you are a member of that society. It is the people's money, to be spent as the society chooses.

What requiring people to 'jump through hoops' does it that it forces them to have a go at finding a job, even if that job is not their first choice job or the most suitable job. No doubt some people would do this anyway, in preference to receiving benefits, but making it mandatory ensures that everyone does.

I don't believe anyone ought to have the right to an unemployment hand-out (again, limiting this to able-bodied people) without firstly exhausting all reasonable options to find work or to upskill themselves through further training.

Tax revenue is money taken from people's incomes (and corporations' incomes). To me, it is disingenuous to pretend otherwise, by grouping all of our achievements and liabilities together as those of one society. Society is made up of different people with different capabilities.

Even if you can rightfully say that society chooses how that money is gathered and distributed, the society should not (and usually does not) forget the provenance of the money.  That is why voters tend to vote with their wallets.

Boofinator

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #323 on: May 31, 2019, 11:01:24 AM »
Quote
I agree with you all the way up through here. After this, you go into the assumption that society believes poor people are stupid. At this point, I disagree. Poor people aren't stupid. But many poor people are poor because they are 1) not the best with money and/or 2) having a difficult time obtaining income from employment. For those who fall under category 1, no amount of monetary handouts will be sufficient to keep them sheltered and fed, because they will spend their money on stupid things (I've met quite a few of these people). For those under category 2, we need to encourage the factors that lead to employment, not give society an excuse to stop seeking employment altogether. Right now, the employment level is very high (as an American I give zero credit to Trump, by the way), so the evidence (and theory) points to no systemic issues with a lack of jobs in the modern economy.

There's an acute difference between society believing poor people are stupid (or that they are poor because of moral faults)), and them actually being poor or morally deficient.    Kyle made such a distinction in his next paragraph.

Evidence of society's assumption that poor people are stupid are all around us, from the common refrain that "anyone who wants one should be able to get a job" to more directly challenging aspects like requiring proof of job-seeking as a condition to recieve benefits (the assumption being that poor people just don't want to work, or somehow don't understand that they need to apply for jobs in order to find work).

I have still seen no convincing evidence that providing automatic benefits to people results in a reduction in employment-seeking.  The assumption seems to be that at some point it will, but at what point and if this is true, who knows.  For the levels of UBI being commonly discussed I don't see how this could conceivably become an issue.

Bloop Bloop responded well to your second paragraph, but I'll put my own take on the rest of it.

Kyle, in the next paragraph, explicitly doubled down on society thinking poor people are stupid (except him, of course).

Here I am assuming that a UBI would give similar results to welfare. This may or may not be a good assumption. There tends to be strong classism in the West, and it is assumed that the poor are too stupid to know what to do with their money, so you have to restrict it by giving them subsidised social housing rather than extra money which they could pay a private landlord with, or a grocery card or food stamps rather than just money to buy food with, and so on.

My experience being and knowing poor people is that they are not stupid, but that they are actually fairly skilled at getting by in difficult circumstances. I realise that the salaried middle class are uncomfortable with the idea that the poor are not stupid, because it undermines their self-esteem: "How can you say the poor are not stupid? If the poor are not stupid, then how did I get my wealth? It was my brains and hard work only! Pulled myself up by my own bootstraps!" etc.

I don't deny that a lot of people feel poor people are stupid, but since in my experience the only people who feel general classes of people are stupid are stupid people themselves, and that stupid people aren't that common, Kyle's statement is an over-exaggeration.

I have another quip with your first paragraph. You state "society believing poor people are stupid (or that they are poor because of moral faults)", which implies stupid and having moral faults as being equivalent. I have to completely disagree here, as there is a very large difference between the two. Should people not wanting to get a job because they have other priorities in life be considered a moral fault? I don't think so. Should people expecting handouts from society be considered a moral fault of those people? Not necessarily, people are just trying to get by. But should people expecting handouts from society be considered a moral fault from society at large? I think so. As for my morals, I believe people should have a moral obligation to not take more from society than what they give. At the same time, society has a moral obligation to encourage the success of its people, making this a two-way street.

As far as your third paragraph: I think it is common sense that welfare correlates with higher unemployment (and the citations are out there, for example: https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2015/02/20/increased-welfare-benefits-really-do-reduce-the-employment-rate/#1e1dbfa37e3a). Not that this is altogether a bad thing, because some unemployment is good for capitalism and without welfare benefits to tide people over during unemployment the shit will hit the fan (as rightly it should). However, while I can honestly say that UBI would have a negative effect on employment rate (if even for Mustachians who will be able to bridge to FI), what I cannot say is whether UBI of the modest nature being proposed is a good or bad thing, because the evidence is scant, and there are many more factors besides unemployment to consider.

Watchmaker

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #324 on: May 31, 2019, 11:58:11 AM »
Tax revenue is money taken from people's incomes (and corporations' incomes).

Income that was enabled by, and would not be possible without, society. This is probably one of those fundamental differences we won't resolve here. To me, it's obvious that there are no entirely self-made people in our society. Every successful person has benefited immensely from those around them and those preceding them. And it is entirely within society's purview to determine how much individuals benefit from their labor. We already do that; UBI is simply a modification to that arrangement.

FIREstache

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #325 on: May 31, 2019, 02:52:49 PM »
What requiring people to 'jump through hoops' does it that it forces them to have a go at finding a job, even if that job is not their first choice job or the most suitable job. No doubt some people would do this anyway, in preference to receiving benefits, but making it mandatory ensures that everyone does.

I don't believe anyone ought to have the right to an unemployment hand-out (again, limiting this to able-bodied people) without firstly exhausting all reasonable options to find work or to upskill themselves through further training.

Tax revenue is money taken from people's incomes (and corporations' incomes). To me, it is disingenuous to pretend otherwise, by grouping all of our achievements and liabilities together as those of one society. Society is made up of different people with different capabilities.

Yeah,  I agree.  I totally oppose taking other people's money, which includes my money, and giving it to people that don't need it, such as to many millionaires planning to FIRE while increasing the taxes and expenses for everyone, including taxes and expenses for those poor elderly people who won't get UBI on top of their measly $1100/mo SS checks, for example.  I referenced this earlier in the thread.  Wealthy workers would get UBI on top of their job income.  Wealthy millionaires would get UBI on top of any investment income they receive.  Wealthy government pension recipients would get UBI on top of their pensions.  But poor elderly SS recipients averaging $1100/mo in benefits would not receive any UBI, yet they are more likely to actually need it than those wealthy workers, millionaires, and pension recipients, plus the elderly's taxes and expenses would go up as a result of UBI being implemented.  So UBI would be bad news all the way around for those SS recipients while the wealthy workers, FIREd millionaires, and pension recipients would be raking in extra cash at everyone else's expense.  That would explain some of the support for UBI on this forum from people thinking of themselves rather than what is best.  I don't believe in giving my tax money or handouts to people who don't need it while many people that do need it won't get it and will end up suffering more as a result of a system with UBI.   As terrible of an idea as UBI is in general, UBI as has been proposed is even more unfair, illogical, and impractical.  It doesn't seem like anyone really thought the idea through and is just trying to appeal to a large voting block by promising to give out free money, while screwing many people who actually need help.  I don't have a problem with higher taxes to help the truly needy such as those elderly facing possible social security cuts and to fund Medicare for seniors.  I do have a problem with taxes going to pay for handouts for people that don't truly need it.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 03:00:46 PM by FIREstache »

nereo

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #326 on: May 31, 2019, 02:55:45 PM »
Tax revenue is money taken from people's incomes (and corporations' incomes).

Income that was enabled by, and would not be possible without, society. This is probably one of those fundamental differences we won't resolve here.

Probably correct that the above is a fundamental difference that will not get resolved here, but I reject this notion that taxes are money belonging to an individual that the government takes from them.  No, it's money you owe the government; it's the government's money.  Not yours. This is codified in our laws, along with centuries of president and tradition.  And as the government in most western countries are various flavors of democratic republics, "your" taxes belong to the people, which include the poor, the lazy, the stupid and the destitute, even if they pay less taxes than you.


Kyle Schuant

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #327 on: May 31, 2019, 05:01:08 PM »
Guess what Kyle. If a person wants to have a hand-out of other people's money, he or she needs to be prepared to jump through hoops for it.
If they're poor, you mean. You give the example of an unemployed person, and seem to forget the enormous financial benefits given to us middle-class without question or judgement.


My family has an above-median household income, and we would have a single annual hoop to jump through, online, to get $13k of other people's money in the form of childcare benefit. So a family with 1.5 fulltime jobs and an investment property and some $140k of income fills in one form online annually to get $13k, but if you have no jobs and no assets then the response fuck you lazy bum!?


On any day of the week you can pick up a newspaper or turn on the tv and see articles about lazy dole-bludgers, and be told that they should jump through even more hoops, for example drug testing, having some of their benefit in the form of a grocery card, etc. But I have never seen an article suggesting that families receiving childcare benefits should not receive them, or be required to fill in more forms, still less that their benefit should come in the form of grocery cards or the like. The poor are kickable, the middle class cannot be criticised. Ever.


And this is why I say that too often, while people talk about the money, it's rarely actually the money, it's the moral judgements. In objecting to the UBI, it's not that people don't want to give up their money, they just don't want to give up their moral judgements.


The money is going out one way or another. The only question is whether the handout is accompanied by a smile or a wagging finger. I would have it given with neither, just give it over and let us get on with our lives.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Why did anyone ever think UBI would work?
« Reply #328 on: May 31, 2019, 07:20:13 PM »
Guess what Kyle. If a person wants to have a hand-out of other people's money, he or she needs to be prepared to jump through hoops for it.
If they're poor, you mean. You give the example of an unemployed person, and seem to forget the enormous financial benefits given to us middle-class without question or judgement.


My family has an above-median household income, and we would have a single annual hoop to jump through, online, to get $13k of other people's money in the form of childcare benefit. So a family with 1.5 fulltime jobs and an investment property and some $140k of income fills in one form online annually to get $13k, but if you have no jobs and no assets then the response fuck you lazy bum!?


On any day of the week you can pick up a newspaper or turn on the tv and see articles about lazy dole-bludgers, and be told that they should jump through even more hoops, for example drug testing, having some of their benefit in the form of a grocery card, etc. But I have never seen an article suggesting that families receiving childcare benefits should not receive them, or be required to fill in more forms, still less that their benefit should come in the form of grocery cards or the like. The poor are kickable, the middle class cannot be criticised. Ever.


And this is why I say that too often, while people talk about the money, it's rarely actually the money, it's the moral judgements. In objecting to the UBI, it's not that people don't want to give up their money, they just don't want to give up their moral judgements.


The money is going out one way or another. The only question is whether the handout is accompanied by a smile or a wagging finger. I would have it given with neither, just give it over and let us get on with our lives.

None of the above proves that (from a market standpoint not a moralistic one) we shouldn't means-test welfare. It simply shows that there is a gulf in the way we treat "middle class" welfare recipients. And I agree with you. Childcare handouts are bullshit. They are not a tax offset that you might justify on economic grounds. They are pure and simple spurious welfare. FTA and FTB are also bullshit (except in the case of actual low income families). We should get rid of those handouts.

Once we get rid of those handouts, there won't be any inconsistency in how we treat welfare-recipients. It should all be means-tested. The discourse should be on market principles (e.g. avoiding distortion of supply and demand) rather than moralistic principles. That is a failure of our journalists.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 07:22:11 PM by Bloop Bloop »