Author Topic: Do mustachians support universal basic income?  (Read 20956 times)

EscapedApe

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #150 on: October 15, 2019, 11:37:46 AM »
Universal Basic Income (UBI) has nothing to do with prices...

It is a price. Specifically, it is a price floor.

Even if only working individuals are allowed to collect UBI, you are raising the price of their labour by whatever amount UBI pays out to them.

Most of the proposals for UBI would have each person getting a fixed amount of money each month (ex., $1000) which is ideally indexed to a basic cost of living (i.e., basic shelter, food, utilities)

The money for UBI will have to come from a tax. The existence of that tax will prompt producers of goods and services to raise their prices in order to maintain their profit margins (the introduction of taxes always has this effect). So even in the best case scenario, people will have slightly more money, but prices will go up, including the basic cost of survival. Nothing changes, no additional safety net is created.

More likely, some of that money will be fed into public coffers to be misspent or misappropriated by bureaucrats.

bacchi

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #151 on: October 15, 2019, 11:58:24 AM »
Universal Basic Income (UBI) has nothing to do with prices...

It is a price. Specifically, it is a price floor.

Even if only working individuals are allowed to collect UBI, you are raising the price of their labour by whatever amount UBI pays out to them.

Most of the proposals for UBI would have each person getting a fixed amount of money each month (ex., $1000) which is ideally indexed to a basic cost of living (i.e., basic shelter, food, utilities)

The money for UBI will have to come from a tax. The existence of that tax will prompt producers of goods and services to raise their prices in order to maintain their profit margins (the introduction of taxes always has this effect). So even in the best case scenario, people will have slightly more money, but prices will go up, including the basic cost of survival. Nothing changes, no additional safety net is created.

More likely, some of that money will be fed into public coffers to be misspent or misappropriated by bureaucrats.

Some of that money is already being collected and distributed.

Further, since the floor is a lot lower than the ceiling (meaning paid employment, aka the median per capita income), the actual rate of inflation for goods and services won't jump as much as a UBI. This is how the minimum wage works. Raising the minimum wage to $10/hour from $7/hour does not increase all goods and services by $3/hour. There will be some adjustment at the lower levels but the HQ manager will not get a corresponding $6000/yr boost in salary.

A UBI will absolutely be a safety net.

Boofinator

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #152 on: October 15, 2019, 12:01:59 PM »
The money for UBI will have to come from a tax. The existence of that tax will prompt producers of goods and services to raise their prices in order to maintain their profit margins (the introduction of taxes always has this effect). So even in the best case scenario, people will have slightly more money, but prices will go up, including the basic cost of survival. Nothing changes, no additional safety net is created.

More likely, some of that money will be fed into public coffers to be misspent or misappropriated by bureaucrats.

I have to disagree with the bolded part. Certainly, prices for necessities will go up by some degree (if more people are buying necessities who wouldn't have otherwise), but nowhere near enough to say that no safety net is created.

Arguably the Standard Deduction is an employment linked UBI since the government is earmarking sufficient funds for basic survival as non-taxable. Obviously it's not quite the same as UBI, but the basic idea is there.

Arguably, anything-linked UBI is no longer universal, since it is linked to some contingent requirement. I prefer to think of the Standard Deduction as the 0% tax bracket.

Telecaster

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #153 on: October 15, 2019, 07:39:49 PM »
Money is a measure of how much people care about something. The more money you get for what you do, the more people care about you doing it. Prices, when they are not interfered with, allow us to get a real sense of how much a society cares about this service or that, this product or that.

That's at best incomplete.   Prices allow us to get a sense of how much the free market cares about this or that product or service.

Society cares about a lot of things the free market can't/doesn't provide:  Police, fire protection, the military, prisons, roads, bridges, emissions standards, food inspection, air traffic control, health care for seniors, volcano monitoring, school lunch, the Post Office, air traffic control....I think you get the point.  None of those things are provided by the free market.  For most people, even drinking water isn't provided by the free market. 






MikeO

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #154 on: October 16, 2019, 08:50:13 AM »
stupid idea....it would be as effective as the minimum wage hike to $15 an hour.  Ask those at Target employees how it worked for them.  Sure they get $15 an hour but now they can't get a full work week.  Not only did it cut their pay but now they lose benefits because they aren't working the minimum hours per year to qualify. 

Nothing is free, and until people realize that all these schemes will only provide short term illusions of benefit.  You want to make more money, learn something, and work hard at it for 20+ years. 

panda

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #155 on: October 16, 2019, 09:04:52 AM »
It is a price. Specifically, it is a price floor.
Again, no, it isn't a price floor. Recall that a price floor is an externally imposed minimum price that can be paid for a product, good, commodity, or service. This means that minimum wage is a price floor (the government sets a minimum price that can be paid for labor). However, UBI fails this definition since you are receiving it without exchanging any products, goods, commodities, or services. Furthermore, under UBI minimum wage could either drastically reduced. In fact some economists are actually arguing that UBI would be a wage subsidy under that scenario which would allow the marketplace to better set price for labor.

Arguably the Standard Deduction is an employment linked UBI since the government is earmarking sufficient funds for basic survival as non-taxable. Obviously it's not quite the same as UBI, but the basic idea is there.

Arguably, anything-linked UBI is no longer universal, since it is linked to some contingent requirement. I prefer to think of the Standard Deduction as the 0% tax bracket.
Correct, it is a really pained connection and is mostly used to demonstrate that conceptually the idea isn't exactly new.

Boofinator

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #156 on: October 16, 2019, 09:39:16 AM »
Arguably the Standard Deduction is an employment linked UBI since the government is earmarking sufficient funds for basic survival as non-taxable. Obviously it's not quite the same as UBI, but the basic idea is there.
Arguably, anything-linked UBI is no longer universal, since it is linked to some contingent requirement. I prefer to think of the Standard Deduction as the 0% tax bracket.
Correct, it is a really pained connection and is mostly used to demonstrate that conceptually the idea isn't exactly new.

I agree, conceptually UBI is very similar to other schemes, though it is somewhat unique in the universality of the approach. A better analogy to UBI would be social security, as it is essentially a basic income for people who have worked at least ten years in the U.S. and are over the minimum age requirement.

I also think the proponents of UBI are coming from a similar vantage point as the proponents for social security. The concept behind social security is that people who have worked in the U.S. for a minimum period of time will be covered with a basic income should they not be able to find work due to their old age or disability (the expansion to everyone over a specific age was probably more of a ploy to convince the average person that it wasn't just a monetary redistribution to the poor). UBI proponents seem to be saying that current employment demographic trends are such that we shouldn't restrict this right only to people beyond a certain age that have already worked a minimum period of time; rather, the right of a basic guaranteed income should be expanded to everyone living within the borders of the country.

panda

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #157 on: October 16, 2019, 10:09:13 AM »
I also think the proponents of UBI are coming from a similar vantage point as the proponents for social security. The concept behind social security is that people who have worked in the U.S. for a minimum period of time will be covered with a basic income should they not be able to find work due to their old age or disability (the expansion to everyone over a specific age was probably more of a ploy to convince the average person that it wasn't just a monetary redistribution to the poor). UBI proponents seem to be saying that current employment demographic trends are such that we shouldn't restrict this right only to people beyond a certain age that have already worked a minimum period of time; rather, the right of a basic guaranteed income should be expanded to everyone living within the borders of the country.
I'd have to dig out a couple of my history books again, but I seem to recall that Social Security was originally presented more as a safety net for the country's elderly since (paraphrasing) "a great society should be able to provide for its most vulnerable citizens." If I recall correctly, tying the benefits to the number of years worked was something that was added after it was passed since originally it just said you had to be above a certain age?

EscapedApe

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #158 on: October 16, 2019, 10:38:59 AM »
Again, no, it isn't a price floor. Recall that a price floor is an externally imposed minimum price that can be paid for a product, good, commodity, or service. This means that minimum wage is a price floor (the government sets a minimum price that can be paid for labor). However, UBI fails this definition since you are receiving it without exchanging any products, goods, commodities, or services. Furthermore, under UBI minimum wage could either drastically reduced. In fact some economists are actually arguing that UBI would be a wage subsidy under that scenario which would allow the marketplace to better set price for labor.

UBI meets your definition of a price floor.

If you are enacting UBI (the receipt of money without exchanging any products, goods, commodities, or services in return), you are externally imposing a price floor for doing nothing.

The non-imposed normal market payout for doing nothing is $0.

Edit: I understand that UBI does not meet the strict definition of a price floor - it's closer to a subsidy. I see this as a semantic matter.

Money is supposed to be an abstract representation of concrete value created via work. I have a problem with money being paid when no work has been done to justify it. That is what UBI is, and I have not seen compelling evidence that justifies its implementation.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 11:27:59 AM by EscapedApe »

panda

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #159 on: October 16, 2019, 11:32:36 AM »
UBI meets your definition of a price floor.

If you are enacting UBI (the receipt of money without exchanging any products, goods, commodities, or services in return), you are externally imposing a price floor for doing nothing.

The non-imposed normal market payout for doing nothing is $0.
Actually, you really need to review rent seeking behavior because there are a lot of cases were the market value of doing nothing is significantly higher than zero. Likewise, a lot of cost benefit analysis work assess the value of the status quo (typically "do nothing") against some form of action.

Second, your understanding of a price floor is still wrong so here's a challenge: find a reputable economist (or someone that has verified credentials as an economist) that says that UBI is a price floor. If you are right then it should take that long to do so.

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #160 on: October 16, 2019, 11:51:10 AM »
Again, no, it isn't a price floor. Recall that a price floor is an externally imposed minimum price that can be paid for a product, good, commodity, or service. This means that minimum wage is a price floor (the government sets a minimum price that can be paid for labor). However, UBI fails this definition since you are receiving it without exchanging any products, goods, commodities, or services. Furthermore, under UBI minimum wage could either drastically reduced. In fact some economists are actually arguing that UBI would be a wage subsidy under that scenario which would allow the marketplace to better set price for labor.

UBI meets your definition of a price floor.

If you are enacting UBI (the receipt of money without exchanging any products, goods, commodities, or services in return), you are externally imposing a price floor for doing nothing.

The non-imposed normal market payout for doing nothing is $0.

Edit: I understand that UBI does not meet the strict definition of a price floor - it's closer to a subsidy. I see this as a semantic matter.

Money is supposed to be an abstract representation of concrete value created via work. I have a problem with money being paid when no work has been done to justify it. That is what UBI is, and I have not seen compelling evidence that justifies its implementation.

I mentioned this earlier but you didn't reply so I'll say it again - this is true of all forms of welfare.

Are you saying that you are against all forms of welfare? Are you opposed to paying for the basic necessities for those who cannot provide for themselves?

And even if you are, removing all forms of welfare is not what's up for discussion. It's whether UBI would be a better solution than what we have now. If your choice was binary, current system vs. UBI, what would be your arguments specifically against UBI?

Boofinator

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #161 on: October 16, 2019, 12:36:21 PM »
If your choice was binary, current system vs. UBI, what would be your arguments specifically against UBI?

The current system is set up so that people who cannot physically work (old or infirm) have a basic income for subsidence. UBI would expand those benefits to people who can, theoretically, work.

The free market system has evolved from primitive economies to one where value is exchanged in direct proportion to the value that is provided to each party (theoretically, of course), with money being the fungible medium of exchange. This is, in my opinion, a desirable state of nature. Any alternatives should serve to rectify the inherent disadvantages of this system.

One disadvantage of the free market is that there isn't a government-sponsored "safety net". Over the years, various safety nets have been proposed, some of which have been implemented. What these safety nets generally have had in common are that they are to support people who cannot physically support themselves due to disability or old age. UBI takes away those contingent requirements.

Here are my arguments against UBI:

The most common refrain I hear from the proponents of UBI is that the economy is changing to the degree that even able-bodied people are having trouble finding work, and thus being able to provide enough value to society to justify the value associated with basic subsistence. I personally don't buy this argument for a variety of reasons (this would require a post in its own right).

A second argument from UBI enthusiasts is that people could be creating great things if they didn't have to spend their time groveling for jobs (which the current welfare system requires). I don't disagree that there might be some people like this out there, but I would argue they are so few and far between as to be immaterial to the argument.

Third, I don't think the second-order effects can be fully understood until after such a plan was implemented. I believe these effects would be a lot more negative effects than some of the positive first-order effects that are predicted. Since the philosophy of MMM is predicated on knowing the value of things like time, money, survival needs, etc., a further removal from the connection of these things to the work put in to achieve them is one of those undesirable second-order effects.

EscapedApe

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #162 on: October 16, 2019, 01:00:54 PM »
I must not have seen your reply.

Let's split this up so it does not become a double-barrelled question:

Are you saying that you are against all forms of welfare?

Helping people is a noble cause, one that I am completely on-board with.

I am saying that I am against all forms of compulsory taxation that have welfare as a justification.

Notice that I am choosing my words advisedly. Tax money ostensibly collected for the purpose of public assistance is not always used to that end - and even when it is, it isn't always done successfully.

Are you opposed to paying for the basic necessities for those who cannot provide for themselves?

I have no problem with charities or not-for-profit organizations whose goal is to provide financial assistance. I have personally donated to many causes over the course of my life, even when my own money situation was difficult.

The principle difference is that donating to a charity or non-profit is voluntary.

If your choice was binary, current system vs. UBI, what would be your arguments specifically against UBI?

No justification is required to be skeptical. Skepticism is the default position in science, until evidence is provided indicating that a hypothesis has truth value to it. I have not been presented with evidence that UBI has been applied more successfully in the past when compared to non-compulsory welfare provisioning, so I remain skeptical.

That being said, I can play along for the sake of discussion.

One can point to numerous instances in history where government has interfered with the price of goods or labour, or provided subsidies and assistance, with the stated goal of improving the lives of people, but with the actual result of creating shortages, surpluses, cartels, and all the way up to economic disasters and famines. There is evidence and reason enough to be reluctant to try for another centrally-planned solution when so many have failed catastrophically in the past.

Better, I think, that we do nothing as opposed to doing active harm.

But isn't it cold to simply do nothing? Callous? Aren't we ignoring the plight of fellow human beings?

When people are suffering and in distress, there is a powerful compulsion to do something. Sometimes, this desire to feel useful in combating the tragedy of the universe's indifference to us can lead us to make poorly thought-out decisions for the sake of conscience. We end up causing harm in our attempts to propitiate our consciences, and we rationalize the harm done by our misguided efforts by invoking our good initial intentions.

I prefer, instead, to believe in human ingenuity, charity, willpower. I prefer to believe in people's ability to adapt and become stronger in the face of hardship. And above all, I believe in people's freedom from compulsion by outside forces.

Until evidence emerges, preferably historical examples, of UBI being applied both beneficially and with no equal-or-greater negative side effects, we must be skeptical of it, however much it may appeal to our sensibilities as charitable people.

EvenSteven

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #163 on: October 16, 2019, 01:09:24 PM »
Again, no, it isn't a price floor. Recall that a price floor is an externally imposed minimum price that can be paid for a product, good, commodity, or service. This means that minimum wage is a price floor (the government sets a minimum price that can be paid for labor). However, UBI fails this definition since you are receiving it without exchanging any products, goods, commodities, or services. Furthermore, under UBI minimum wage could either drastically reduced. In fact some economists are actually arguing that UBI would be a wage subsidy under that scenario which would allow the marketplace to better set price for labor.

UBI meets your definition of a price floor.

If you are enacting UBI (the receipt of money without exchanging any products, goods, commodities, or services in return), you are externally imposing a price floor for doing nothing.

The non-imposed normal market payout for doing nothing is $0.

Edit: I understand that UBI does not meet the strict definition of a price floor - it's closer to a subsidy. I see this as a semantic matter.

Money is supposed to be an abstract representation of concrete value created via work. I have a problem with money being paid when no work has been done to justify it. That is what UBI is, and I have not seen compelling evidence that justifies its implementation.

I found some very compelling evidence for the implementation of money being paid when no work has been done to justify it:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1037/0002-9432.72.2.182

There is a wealth of similar and related studies.

Boofinator

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #164 on: October 16, 2019, 02:15:48 PM »
I found some very compelling evidence for the implementation of money being paid when no work has been done to justify it:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1037/0002-9432.72.2.182

There is a wealth of similar and related studies.

From the abstract (the rest is behind a paywall): "Three policy implications are discussed: (a) increasing access to federal food programs, (b) promoting breastfeeding, and (c) working toward reducing child poverty."

I can get onboard with (a) and (b). As for (c), it could improve child nutrition, but not in the absence of improved knowledge of nutrition and responsible spending by the parents. In other words, what percentage of the supplemental income would actually be spent on nutrition? Meanwhile, the U.S. government has these programs in place: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_and_Nutrition_Service#Nutrition_assistance_programs.

Very tangentially related: I find the poverty line to be an interesting statistic if MMM in his early blogging/retirement days could be counted under that statistic, as seems likely from this information: https://www.census.gov/topics/income-poverty/poverty/guidance/poverty-measures.html and https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/cps/tables/time-series/historical-poverty-thresholds/thresh11.xls. (Especially when one considers that capital gains are not factored into the equation.)

Wrenchturner

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #165 on: October 16, 2019, 02:27:26 PM »
I think we should move to a four day work week first.  Make Fridays Great Again.  It wouldn't reduce productivity that much, it would help people in their personal/social lives, and some people would probably start volunteering or otherwise working for free, a la UBI.

I'd like to see a more consensual post-scarcity model, if possible.

Lack of consent(taxes -> welfare) require means testing so people don't get angry.

Consensual donations don't require that as much.

Just a thought.

EvenSteven

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #166 on: October 16, 2019, 02:43:34 PM »
I found some very compelling evidence for the implementation of money being paid when no work has been done to justify it:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1037/0002-9432.72.2.182

There is a wealth of similar and related studies.

From the abstract (the rest is behind a paywall): "Three policy implications are discussed: (a) increasing access to federal food programs, (b) promoting breastfeeding, and (c) working toward reducing child poverty."

I can get onboard with (a) and (b). As for (c), it could improve child nutrition, but not in the absence of improved knowledge of nutrition and responsible spending by the parents. In other words, what percentage of the supplemental income would actually be spent on nutrition? Meanwhile, the U.S. government has these programs in place: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_and_Nutrition_Service#Nutrition_assistance_programs.

Very tangentially related: I find the poverty line to be an interesting statistic if MMM in his early blogging/retirement days could be counted under that statistic, as seems likely from this information: https://www.census.gov/topics/income-poverty/poverty/guidance/poverty-measures.html and https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/cps/tables/time-series/historical-poverty-thresholds/thresh11.xls. (Especially when one considers that capital gains are not factored into the equation.)

The bolded part sounds suspiciously like people getting stuff without the work to justify it.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #167 on: October 16, 2019, 02:45:14 PM »
A second argument from UBI enthusiasts is that people could be creating great things if they didn't have to spend their time groveling for jobs (which the current welfare system requires). I don't disagree that there might be some people like this out there, but I would argue they are so few and far between as to be immaterial to the argument.

Yes. I don't think we are all just artistic/musical/computer prodigies waiting to be unleashed, if only we didn't have to punch on at McDonald's every morning.

I have no great issue with the idea of having a universal safety net, but to give it unconditionally (i.e. to able-bodied people, for doing nothing) troubles me, for reasons I've discussed in other threads. If nothing else, it would make low-level goods and services significantly more expensive, since there would no longer be any market for menial jobs, or it would be distorted in any case beyond recognition if a liveable wage was payable for literally zero effort.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 02:47:16 PM by Bloop Bloop »

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #168 on: October 16, 2019, 02:47:18 PM »
...snip...

Until evidence emerges, preferably historical examples, of UBI being applied both beneficially and with no equal-or-greater negative side effects, we must be skeptical of it, however much it may appeal to our sensibilities as charitable people.

I think you've made incorrect assumptions about my position. I'm highly skeptical of UBI but I'm also open minded and interested in solid arguments for and against. If you're looking for historical evidence of a successful UBI I don't know what to tell you.

Where I've said "welfare" in previous posts I meant to say "government provided welfare" (also, assistance would have been a better word than welfare). From your response it sounds like you are in fact against that.

But my last and most relevant question was what arguments do you have specifically against UBI? I understand what you're saying when you state that skepticism is the default position and that you don't need to make arguments against UBI until someone else makes a proper argument in favor of UBI, but regardless, you have in fact made arguments against UBI. I've pointed out that all of those arguments can apply at least as well to current forms of government assistance. What I'm looking for is arguments that apply specifically to UBI.

If you don't have any and all of your arguments are against any form of government assistance, there's nothing wrong with that, but it would benefit the discussion if that was made clear.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 02:50:20 PM by Dabnasty »

Alternatepriorities

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #169 on: October 16, 2019, 02:58:12 PM »
After reading through many of the comments on this thread I listened to a 2 hour interview with Yang. He makes the best argument for the need to do something before the next technological revolution I've heard. If someone is going to convince me UBI is a good idea it will probably be him. I might be biased by the MATH hat though...

Still, I have to wonder why we as a society shouldn't pay people to actually make the world we live in nicer instead. Why hand out free money to able bodied people when there is still trash along our roadways, graffiti on the walls, dilapidated buildings in many towns, and 100% of our waste isn't recycled. Not to mention all the bike paths and hiking trails that could be built. Maybe the robots will do all of those jobs eventually, but until then I think I'd rather spend a trillion a year something like the CCC instead of a UBI.

Boofinator

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #170 on: October 16, 2019, 03:08:56 PM »
I found some very compelling evidence for the implementation of money being paid when no work has been done to justify it:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1037/0002-9432.72.2.182

There is a wealth of similar and related studies.

From the abstract (the rest is behind a paywall): "Three policy implications are discussed: (a) increasing access to federal food programs, (b) promoting breastfeeding, and (c) working toward reducing child poverty."

I can get onboard with (a) and (b). As for (c), it could improve child nutrition, but not in the absence of improved knowledge of nutrition and responsible spending by the parents. In other words, what percentage of the supplemental income would actually be spent on nutrition? Meanwhile, the U.S. government has these programs in place: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_and_Nutrition_Service#Nutrition_assistance_programs.

Very tangentially related: I find the poverty line to be an interesting statistic if MMM in his early blogging/retirement days could be counted under that statistic, as seems likely from this information: https://www.census.gov/topics/income-poverty/poverty/guidance/poverty-measures.html and https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/cps/tables/time-series/historical-poverty-thresholds/thresh11.xls. (Especially when one considers that capital gains are not factored into the equation.)

The bolded part sounds suspiciously like people getting stuff without the work to justify it.

Yes, the stuff that directly addresses the need. Money indirectly addresses the need, and I'd argue substituting an equivalent amount of UBI money (or even double the money) for these nutrition programs would not improve the nutrition of the poor.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #171 on: October 16, 2019, 03:11:16 PM »
After reading through many of the comments on this thread I listened to a 2 hour interview with Yang. He makes the best argument for the need to do something before the next technological revolution I've heard. If someone is going to convince me UBI is a good idea it will probably be him. I might be biased by the MATH hat though...

Still, I have to wonder why we as a society shouldn't pay people to actually make the world we live in nicer instead. Why hand out free money to able bodied people when there is still trash along our roadways, graffiti on the walls, dilapidated buildings in many towns, and 100% of our waste isn't recycled. Not to mention all the bike paths and hiking trails that could be built. Maybe the robots will do all of those jobs eventually, but until then I think I'd rather spend a trillion a year something like the CCC instead of a UBI.

Because people need incentives to do unpleasant tasks.  See: highly paid plumbers.
People don't just go out of their way to do unpleasant work.
See: company lunchrooms (communism)

Boofinator

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #172 on: October 16, 2019, 03:15:26 PM »
Still, I have to wonder why we as a society shouldn't pay people to actually make the world we live in nicer instead. Why hand out free money to able bodied people when there is still trash along our roadways, graffiti on the walls, dilapidated buildings in many towns, and 100% of our waste isn't recycled. Not to mention all the bike paths and hiking trails that could be built. Maybe the robots will do all of those jobs eventually, but until then I think I'd rather spend a trillion a year something like the CCC instead of a UBI.

Well put. And 100% agree that if unemployment actually became a huge issue, that a government work program would be a significantly better solution than UBI.

Boofinator

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #173 on: October 16, 2019, 03:18:31 PM »
After reading through many of the comments on this thread I listened to a 2 hour interview with Yang. He makes the best argument for the need to do something before the next technological revolution I've heard. If someone is going to convince me UBI is a good idea it will probably be him. I might be biased by the MATH hat though...

Still, I have to wonder why we as a society shouldn't pay people to actually make the world we live in nicer instead. Why hand out free money to able bodied people when there is still trash along our roadways, graffiti on the walls, dilapidated buildings in many towns, and 100% of our waste isn't recycled. Not to mention all the bike paths and hiking trails that could be built. Maybe the robots will do all of those jobs eventually, but until then I think I'd rather spend a trillion a year something like the CCC instead of a UBI.

Because people need incentives to do unpleasant tasks.  See: highly paid plumbers.
People don't just go out of their way to do unpleasant work.
See: company lunchrooms (communism)

Perhaps I misunderstand your message, but the primary incentive would be to earn money to purchase food and other necessities. The same reason most of us work jobs.

EscapedApe

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #174 on: October 16, 2019, 03:26:37 PM »
If you don't have any and all of your arguments are against any form of government assistance, there's nothing wrong with that, but it would benefit the discussion if that was made clear.

Yes. I am against any and all forms of tax-payer-funded assistance: UBI, subsidies to farmers, welfare, social security, etc. The same basic arguments apply to all of them.

EvenSteven

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #175 on: October 16, 2019, 03:30:08 PM »
I found some very compelling evidence for the implementation of money being paid when no work has been done to justify it:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1037/0002-9432.72.2.182

There is a wealth of similar and related studies.

From the abstract (the rest is behind a paywall): "Three policy implications are discussed: (a) increasing access to federal food programs, (b) promoting breastfeeding, and (c) working toward reducing child poverty."

I can get onboard with (a) and (b). As for (c), it could improve child nutrition, but not in the absence of improved knowledge of nutrition and responsible spending by the parents. In other words, what percentage of the supplemental income would actually be spent on nutrition? Meanwhile, the U.S. government has these programs in place: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_and_Nutrition_Service#Nutrition_assistance_programs.

Very tangentially related: I find the poverty line to be an interesting statistic if MMM in his early blogging/retirement days could be counted under that statistic, as seems likely from this information: https://www.census.gov/topics/income-poverty/poverty/guidance/poverty-measures.html and https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/cps/tables/time-series/historical-poverty-thresholds/thresh11.xls. (Especially when one considers that capital gains are not factored into the equation.)

The bolded part sounds suspiciously like people getting stuff without the work to justify it.

Yes, the stuff that directly addresses the need. Money indirectly addresses the need, and I'd argue substituting an equivalent amount of UBI money (or even double the money) for these nutrition programs would not improve the nutrition of the poor.

Quite possibly. But my point remains. There is good evidence that providing unearned welfare does indeed have evidence to support it being a good idea.

Boofinator

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #176 on: October 16, 2019, 04:09:22 PM »
If you don't have any and all of your arguments are against any form of government assistance, there's nothing wrong with that, but it would benefit the discussion if that was made clear.

Yes. I am against any and all forms of tax-payer-funded assistance: UBI, subsidies to farmers, welfare, social security, etc. The same basic arguments apply to all of them.

This is a slippery slope. Would you be ok with people literally dying in the streets because they could not afford food? You seem to assume that private charity would eliminate this possibility, but then if this were the case we wouldn't see so many advertisements for charities showing starving people, would we?

EscapedApe

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #177 on: October 16, 2019, 04:54:05 PM »
If you don't have any and all of your arguments are against any form of government assistance, there's nothing wrong with that, but it would benefit the discussion if that was made clear.

Yes. I am against any and all forms of tax-payer-funded assistance: UBI, subsidies to farmers, welfare, social security, etc. The same basic arguments apply to all of them.

This is a slippery slope. Would you be ok with people literally dying in the streets because they could not afford food?


People are already dying in the streets because they cannot afford food or shelter, despite the availability of social programs. Have a look a New York City. The city has thousands of rent-controlled derelict properties currently in state repossession, and dozens of homeless dying every winter like clockwork. Social programs haven't fixed that problem.

Now, one might say "Well, just add more social programs to cover the rest. Problem solved." But you still haven't justified the assumption that social programs do a better job of feeding/sheltering people than people could just by working hard without interference.

You cannot assume the conclusion you are trying to prove.

You seem to assume that private charity would eliminate this possibility, but then if this were the case we wouldn't see so many advertisements for charities showing starving people, would we?

I didn't say that charities are the solution to hunger.

I said voluntary charitable donations are a preferable strategy to state-mandated tax-payer-funded assistance programs.

Governments are inefficient because of their inherent constraints and their perverse incentives (here, a "perverse incentive" means that a politician profits personally by taking actions that are against the interests of the people she is supposed to represent).

Government inefficiency is the principal argument against any kind of state-administered program.

BTDretire

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #178 on: October 17, 2019, 07:51:28 AM »
If you don't have any and all of your arguments are against any form of government assistance, there's nothing wrong with that, but it would benefit the discussion if that was made clear.

Yes. I am against any and all forms of tax-payer-funded assistance: UBI, subsidies to farmers, welfare, social security, etc. The same basic arguments apply to all of them.

Re: social security, I'll admit many people get back more than they paid in and maybe even more than if the money had been invested well. But, if your going to be against it as "tax-payer-funded assistance", please send me a check for all the FICA I paid in over the last 50 years, also, I'd like to get a decent growth rate on the money that was taken from me.

BTDretire

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #179 on: October 17, 2019, 08:12:46 AM »
Are we giving this $1,000 a month to everyone and continuing the same amount of payments from all the other welfare programs?
 Is the $1,000 per person in the household?
 Is there an age limit?
I suggest there should be, otherwise, get your childs birth paid for by hardworking taxpayers then get $12,000 a year for the next 18 years. Do that 5 or 6 times and you could have a nice standard of living and still not take care of the kids.
 And, are all the mustachians sitting on their $1M+ collecting their Obamacare going to get  another $12,000 a year from hardworking taxpayers.
 Note" US population 329.8M, US workers 131.7M, Percent of workers that actually pay Federal income Taxes, 51%. 131.7/329.8=40%. That means that only 20% of the US population are hardworking taxpayers supporting the system. We might want to think seriously about how hard we squeeze them.
  I personally don't like taxing corporations, but, that is the only way we get some money out of those that don't pay Federal income taxes.

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #180 on: October 17, 2019, 08:43:48 AM »
Are we giving this $1,000 a month to everyone and continuing the same amount of payments from all the other welfare programs?
 Is the $1,000 per person in the household?
 Is there an age limit?
I suggest there should be, otherwise, get your childs birth paid for by hardworking taxpayers then get $12,000 a year for the next 18 years. Do that 5 or 6 times and you could have a nice standard of living and still not take care of the kids.
 And, are all the mustachians sitting on their $1M+ collecting their Obamacare going to get  another $12,000 a year from hardworking taxpayers.
 Note" US population 329.8M, US workers 131.7M, Percent of workers that actually pay Federal income Taxes, 51%. 131.7/329.8=40%. That means that only 20% of the US population are hardworking taxpayers supporting the system. We might want to think seriously about how hard we squeeze them.
  I personally don't like taxing corporations, but, that is the only way we get some money out of those that don't pay Federal income taxes.

The title of the thread asks about support for UBI, which leaves the answers to some of your questions open ended but in the OP they specifically refer to Andrew Yang's proposal. If you're asking about the Freedom Dividend specifically, answers can be found here.

https://www.yang2020.com/what-is-freedom-dividend-faq/

To get you started:
- some assistance programs would remain and others would be eliminated. For example Social Security Disability Insurance would stack with UBI but SNAP benefits would end.
- 18+ year olds would receive UBI
- yes, everyone would receive UBI regardless of their other sources of income


Wrenchturner

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #181 on: October 17, 2019, 08:46:08 AM »
After reading through many of the comments on this thread I listened to a 2 hour interview with Yang. He makes the best argument for the need to do something before the next technological revolution I've heard. If someone is going to convince me UBI is a good idea it will probably be him. I might be biased by the MATH hat though...

Still, I have to wonder why we as a society shouldn't pay people to actually make the world we live in nicer instead. Why hand out free money to able bodied people when there is still trash along our roadways, graffiti on the walls, dilapidated buildings in many towns, and 100% of our waste isn't recycled. Not to mention all the bike paths and hiking trails that could be built. Maybe the robots will do all of those jobs eventually, but until then I think I'd rather spend a trillion a year something like the CCC instead of a UBI.

Because people need incentives to do unpleasant tasks.  See: highly paid plumbers.
People don't just go out of their way to do unpleasant work.
See: company lunchrooms (communism)

Perhaps I misunderstand your message, but the primary incentive would be to earn money to purchase food and other necessities. The same reason most of us work jobs.
Yes, you're correct, I misread that paragraph.

EscapedApe

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #182 on: October 17, 2019, 08:59:51 AM »
Re: social security, I'll admit many people get back more than they paid in and maybe even more than if the money had been invested well.

Indeed. That's how pyramid schemes are supposed to work.

But, if your going to be against it as "tax-payer-funded assistance", please send me a check for all the FICA I paid in over the last 50 years, also, I'd like to get a decent growth rate on the money that was taken from me.

Good luck getting that money out of the particular politician who squandered it.

That's the other problem with sweeping programs like social security or UBI. Once they are put into law, it's very difficult to repeal them, even after you have come to realize they were a bad idea.

nancyfrank232

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Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #183 on: October 17, 2019, 09:35:40 AM »
- 18+ year olds would receive UBI
- yes, everyone would receive UBI regardless of their other sources of income

Yes please! Iíll take it

Boofinator

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #184 on: October 17, 2019, 10:23:02 AM »
If you don't have any and all of your arguments are against any form of government assistance, there's nothing wrong with that, but it would benefit the discussion if that was made clear.
Yes. I am against any and all forms of tax-payer-funded assistance: UBI, subsidies to farmers, welfare, social security, etc. The same basic arguments apply to all of them.
This is a slippery slope. Would you be ok with people literally dying in the streets because they could not afford food?

People are already dying in the streets because they cannot afford food or shelter, despite the availability of social programs. Have a look a New York City. The city has thousands of rent-controlled derelict properties currently in state repossession, and dozens of homeless dying every winter like clockwork. Social programs haven't fixed that problem.
I agree with a lot of what you wrote. Above is the passage that I disagree with.

Yes, people are dying. But social programs aren't intended to save everyone ("No Child Left Behind" excepted...). Social programs are intended to save the people who want saving. So the drug addicts who are more interested in their next fix than an actual plan to save themselves, are not going to be helped by most social programs. But the family living paycheck to paycheck that loses their primary income source, they need the assistance until they can get back on their feet.

In addition, there are many social programs that I feel were generally ill-conceived, though of course they come from good intentions. I feel rent-control is one of those. It distorts the housing market significantly enough that people use where they live as a proxy for economic gain (because it is much cheaper than other locations), and therefore it reduces the options of finding better living locations that reflect their true needs.

EscapedApe

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #185 on: October 17, 2019, 11:42:02 AM »
But social programs aren't intended to save everyone ("No Child Left Behind" excepted...). Social programs are intended to save the people who want saving.

This is really the core of what I've been getting at. Intention.

It doesn't matter what a program is intended to do. It only matters what it actually does.

On the whole, social programs suck. They're mismanaged, their funding is misappropriated, and their ultimate outcomes are a distortion of their stated goals.

If our aim is to promote the greatest social good, then (idiosyncratically) the best course of action is to do nothing and let people's ingenuity, determination, and hard work solve their own problems without forcibly siphoning the ingenuity, determination, hard work of other people.

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #186 on: October 17, 2019, 12:12:40 PM »
But social programs aren't intended to save everyone ("No Child Left Behind" excepted...). Social programs are intended to save the people who want saving.

This is really the core of what I've been getting at. Intention.

It doesn't matter what a program is intended to do. It only matters what it actually does.

On the whole, social programs suck. They're mismanaged, their funding is misappropriated, and their ultimate outcomes are a distortion of their stated goals.

If our aim is to promote the greatest social good, then (idiosyncratically) the best course of action is to do nothing and let people's ingenuity, determination, and hard work solve their own problems without forcibly siphoning the ingenuity, determination, hard work of other people.

You claimed that government aid doesn't save everyone. Boofinator pointed out that saving everyone isn't the intent. You took one word from that post and changed the subject. This no longer feels like a sincere discussion.

As for the bolded, you've made it pretty clear that this is your opinion but you haven't provided any evidence for why this is true.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #187 on: October 17, 2019, 12:48:31 PM »
I cant argue that a UBI is absolutely a perfect thing that needs to be enacted instantly. But logically, giving EVERYONE $12,000 per year on top of their income reduces income inequality. A person making minimum wage now makes nearly double off UBI plus work and I would make like 8% more. No way prices would raise drastically (logically there would be some inflation) because most people make more than minimum wage and so their income would not go up anywhere close to double. Again, I cant say that this is the perfect solution. The people on here who vehemently disagree with it ARE giving illogical reasons why it wouldn't work. If you're idealogically opposed to $ for nothing then fine. Please stop posting B.S. about how this wouldn't improve income inequality and how prices would just go up $12,000 per person. Small inflation associated with UBI, combined with a VAT WOULD absolutely hurt HIGH spenders (people who spend 6 figures plus per year) and financially benefit all others. There is no logical argument about that.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #188 on: October 17, 2019, 12:54:03 PM »
Percent of workers that actually pay Federal income Taxes, 51%. 131.7/329.8=40%. That means that only 20% of the US population are hardworking taxpayers supporting the system. We might want to think seriously about how hard we squeeze them.
 

That is such a intellectually dishonest argument that I'm not sure any further retort is warranted.

https://www.cbpp.org/research/misconceptions-and-realities-about-who-pays-taxes

Boofinator

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #189 on: October 17, 2019, 12:56:47 PM »
But social programs aren't intended to save everyone ("No Child Left Behind" excepted...). Social programs are intended to save the people who want saving.

It doesn't matter what a program is intended to do. It only matters what it actually does.

On the whole, social programs suck. They're mismanaged, their funding is misappropriated, and their ultimate outcomes are a distortion of their stated goals.

If our aim is to promote the greatest social good, then (idiosyncratically) the best course of action is to do nothing and let people's ingenuity, determination, and hard work solve their own problems without forcibly siphoning the ingenuity, determination, hard work of other people.

I don't disagree with your first two paragraphs. Outcomes are what matter, and in general bureaucratic programs suck in generating positive outcomes for the money spent.

Your third paragraph is where I disagree. The same argument can really be used for any government expenditure. Military? Nah, we don't need them, the second amendment and a citizen militia could defend us and save some 3% of GDP. CDC? Nope, human immune systems have been evolving for millions of years to fight these diseases. Etc., etc.

As for social programs specifically, 1) Who cares if they are an inefficient use of resources in the short term if they accomplish a stronger long-term society? and 2) Government is simply a civil compact between the people, for the people; instituting social programs that require a tax on the people is simply an agreement that individual people are too selfish by themselves (not in a bad way, just in a self-interested way) to accomplish this objective, but government has the power to tax and distribute the money if it accomplishes a greater good. So the government is forcing the people to pay taxes, but at the same time it is the social contract of the people with the government that gives the government the authority to tax.

The actual "good" that any social programs accomplish is difficult to quantify. I prefer to consider whether I would benefit from the program if I was in dire straights, while not putting too large of a burden on the greater society. if the answer is yes, then I consider that specific social program a morally good program. (I feel UBI fails this test in that it does put a large burden on greater society, in not expecting people to have to provide value to society to receive income.)
« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 01:00:33 PM by Boofinator »

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #190 on: October 17, 2019, 01:18:16 PM »
Small inflation associated with UBI, combined with a VAT WOULD absolutely hurt HIGH spenders (people who spend 6 figures plus per year) and financially benefit all others. There is no logical argument about that.

If you're earning $200,000 previously and min wage is $25,000, and now with the passage of the UBI you're earning $212,000 (we will put aside the fact that you probably have to pay more tax to make it work) and min wage + UBI is $37,000, your spending power has just gone from 8x min wage to 5.7x min wage. This doesn't account for tax, but the point is obvious: you suddenly have less spending power, and this affects all transactions you make other than perhaps luxury goods/services which were not market-priced anyway. So now you want a cheap take-out meal, or an Uber, or someone to mow your lawns, or someone to babysit, or any other basic good/service: suddenly your relative purchasing power has shrunk by a third relative to what you previously had.

Telecaster

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #191 on: October 17, 2019, 02:21:06 PM »
If you're earning $200,000 previously and min wage is $25,000, and now with the passage of the UBI you're earning $212,000 (we will put aside the fact that you probably have to pay more tax to make it work) and min wage + UBI is $37,000, your spending power has just gone from 8x min wage to 5.7x min wage. This doesn't account for tax, but the point is obvious: you suddenly have less spending power, and this affects all transactions you make other than perhaps luxury goods/services which were not market-priced anyway. So now you want a cheap take-out meal, or an Uber, or someone to mow your lawns, or someone to babysit, or any other basic good/service: suddenly your relative purchasing power has shrunk by a third relative to what you previously had.

Uh no.  Your spending ability went from $200K/year to $212K/year.  That is NOT a decrease.

The above sentence says nothing regarding the notion that UBI is a good idea or not, but your purchasing ability would not decrease by a third.  Come on! 


Bloop Bloop

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #192 on: October 17, 2019, 02:38:38 PM »
If you're earning $200,000 previously and min wage is $25,000, and now with the passage of the UBI you're earning $212,000 (we will put aside the fact that you probably have to pay more tax to make it work) and min wage + UBI is $37,000, your spending power has just gone from 8x min wage to 5.7x min wage. This doesn't account for tax, but the point is obvious: you suddenly have less spending power, and this affects all transactions you make other than perhaps luxury goods/services which were not market-priced anyway. So now you want a cheap take-out meal, or an Uber, or someone to mow your lawns, or someone to babysit, or any other basic good/service: suddenly your relative purchasing power has shrunk by a third relative to what you previously had.

Uh no.  Your spending ability went from $200K/year to $212K/year.  That is NOT a decrease.

The above sentence says nothing regarding the notion that UBI is a good idea or not, but your purchasing ability would not decrease by a third.  Come on!

I'm not sure if you're wilfully ignoring my argument, or just incapable of understanding the term "relative".

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #193 on: October 17, 2019, 03:05:07 PM »
If you're earning $200,000 previously and min wage is $25,000, and now with the passage of the UBI you're earning $212,000 (we will put aside the fact that you probably have to pay more tax to make it work) and min wage + UBI is $37,000, your spending power has just gone from 8x min wage to 5.7x min wage. This doesn't account for tax, but the point is obvious: you suddenly have less spending power, and this affects all transactions you make other than perhaps luxury goods/services which were not market-priced anyway. So now you want a cheap take-out meal, or an Uber, or someone to mow your lawns, or someone to babysit, or any other basic good/service: suddenly your relative purchasing power has shrunk by a third relative to what you previously had.

Uh no.  Your spending ability went from $200K/year to $212K/year.  That is NOT a decrease.

The above sentence says nothing regarding the notion that UBI is a good idea or not, but your purchasing ability would not decrease by a third.  Come on!

I'm not sure if you're wilfully ignoring my argument, or just incapable of understanding the term "relative".

It's difficult to refute your argument because the logic is so twisted. If I had to pick just one flaw it would be that your explanation assumes market prices are set exclusively by the price that minimum wage earners can afford.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #194 on: October 17, 2019, 03:17:55 PM »
No, it doesn't assume market prices are set "exclusively" in that manner, but it assumes that that is a significant contributor.

For example, people drive Uber now because it's an alternative to minimum wage which pays a little more than minimum wage. If you no longer needed that money to survive (because of UBI), then Uber's prices would have to go up. I'm sure you agree with that.

So suddenly a whole bunch of goods and services see their price increasing. Which means that for everyone their spending power decreases.

Now if your total income goes from a $25k min wage to $37k min wage + UBI (i.e. increases 50%), then you have more absolute spending power as long as prices don't increase 50%. Meanwhile, if your total income goes from $200k to $212k (increase of 6%), then you have less spending power if prices rise by more than 6%. This doesn't even account for the likelihood that taxes will increase from UBI.

Now you might say that if someone on $212k only spends $40k a year, then as long as the "new" spending doesn't exceed $52k (i.e. a 30% increase), he or she is still better off. But this neglects the fact that the remaining non-spent portion of wages now has less investment power than before, because of general inflation.

But, it's a logical fallacy to say that my explanation "assumes market prices are set exclusively by the price that minimum wage earners can afford." If I was saying that, then I'd be saying that the UBI would increase all prices by 50%. I'm not saying the price increase will be anything like that. However, I suspect the average rate of inflation would be significant. And yes, for things like Uber, I think the increase would be close to 50%.

kite

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #195 on: October 17, 2019, 03:26:17 PM »
I cant argue that a UBI is absolutely a perfect thing that needs to be enacted instantly. But logically, giving EVERYONE $12,000 per year on top of their income reduces income inequality. A person making minimum wage now makes nearly double off UBI plus work and I would make like 8% more. No way prices would raise drastically (logically there would be some inflation) because most people make more than minimum wage and so their income would not go up anywhere close to double. Again, I cant say that this is the perfect solution. The people on here who vehemently disagree with it ARE giving illogical reasons why it wouldn't work. If you're idealogically opposed to $ for nothing then fine. Please stop posting B.S. about how this wouldn't improve income inequality and how prices would just go up $12,000 per person. Small inflation associated with UBI, combined with a VAT WOULD absolutely hurt HIGH spenders (people who spend 6 figures plus per year) and financially benefit all others. There is no logical argument about that.

When 'everyone' qualifies for a subsidy, the prices do rise.  That's exactly what happened to college tuition. 
Inequality would still exist and become even more extreme.  Because 'everyone' is not actually everyone.  There is going to be zero support for a UBI entitlement to be extended to immigrants.  None.  And yet they are a large part of the poorest of the poor in our communities.  Among our immigrant populations, about 12 million or so are undocumented.  Those are the very poor, often scraping by without access welfare or SSI, without access to banking on whom prices will have gone up by 12,000 per year (or whatever the mythic number) at the same time that the champions of UBI believe that we no longer have need of foodbanks, shelters or charity medical care because 'everyone' just got a raise. 

We already have the EITC, which is a marvelous method of boosting the income of the working poor in an unrestricted manner.  As a bonus, it gives more to those with dependents.  Other need-based aid options offer incentives to producers and parts of the supply chain.  ie... Housing subsidies ensure housing availability & standards, Ag Subsidies (that's what SNAP is) ensure that farmers grow food and stores that serve the poor stock things besides liquor.  WIC checks are the reason that specific nutritious foods & baby formula is available in poor neighborhoods instead of something like the paint thinner that has been passed off in other countries. 
My opposition to UBI is about more than an ideological opposition to handouts.   I believe that aid should be means tested because some people need more than others and they always will.  It is immoral for those of us who don't need anything to give ourselves a boost that ultimately takes away from those who are in need.  And to do this systemically and fund it with a regressive tax as we seek to close the programs that were devised in response to need is cruel.     
I have a few loved ones scraping by below poverty levels.  And if you took away their subsidized apartment, their welfare & their food stamps, they would starve or die of exposure.  You see, they aren't poor because the economy is tough or because of technology.  They are poor because they aren't equipped to manage the activities of daily living.  They need food & shelter provided by someone else.  All their available cash gets frittered away in a manic cycle of their bipolar illness or on a daily basis on lottery tickets or on booze & eating at the diner.   My uncle is a nice guy.  He drops $20/daily at the diner.  Which accounts for most of his $800/month check.  The rest of it goes for gas & car insurance.  He's always going to need his free housing.  Always. 
My beef with every UBI proposal I've read (including Yang's) is that they are touted as a solution to poverty when they are nothing of the sort.  You should spend a heck of alot more time with actual poor people before concluding that what they need is $1000/month in cash.  For most of them, it will never be enough.  And the consequences of eliminating all the other patchwork of services is a catastrophe.   

v8rx7guy

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #196 on: October 17, 2019, 03:49:58 PM »
If a recent high school grad got married straight out of school , could that couple FIRE in a LCOL with the $24,000/yr UBI payment while never working a day in their lives?  Seems quite plausible, and I'm not sure it feels "right"... though who am I to say what "right" is?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 03:54:59 PM by v8rx7guy »

Wrenchturner

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #197 on: October 17, 2019, 04:29:48 PM »
The comment on immigrants is interesting to me, mostly because it points out a practical issue: how do we track who has already received UBI?  People will require bank accounts?  That means they need photo id and probably a mailing address.   Otherwise, how would fraud be prevented?

LoanShark

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #198 on: October 17, 2019, 06:32:23 PM »
I cant argue that a UBI is absolutely a perfect thing that needs to be enacted instantly. But logically, giving EVERYONE $12,000 per year on top of their income reduces income inequality. A person making minimum wage now makes nearly double off UBI plus work and I would make like 8% more. No way prices would raise drastically (logically there would be some inflation) because most people make more than minimum wage and so their income would not go up anywhere close to double. Again, I cant say that this is the perfect solution. The people on here who vehemently disagree with it ARE giving illogical reasons why it wouldn't work. If you're idealogically opposed to $ for nothing then fine. Please stop posting B.S. about how this wouldn't improve income inequality and how prices would just go up $12,000 per person. Small inflation associated with UBI, combined with a VAT WOULD absolutely hurt HIGH spenders (people who spend 6 figures plus per year) and financially benefit all others. There is no logical argument about that.

When 'everyone' qualifies for a subsidy, the prices do rise.  That's exactly what happened to college tuition. 
Inequality would still exist and become even more extreme.  Because 'everyone' is not actually everyone.  There is going to be zero support for a UBI entitlement to be extended to immigrants.  None.  And yet they are a large part of the poorest of the poor in our communities.  Among our immigrant populations, about 12 million or so are undocumented.  Those are the very poor, often scraping by without access welfare or SSI, without access to banking on whom prices will have gone up by 12,000 per year (or whatever the mythic number) at the same time that the champions of UBI believe that we no longer have need of foodbanks, shelters or charity medical care because 'everyone' just got a raise. 

We already have the EITC, which is a marvelous method of boosting the income of the working poor in an unrestricted manner.  As a bonus, it gives more to those with dependents.  Other need-based aid options offer incentives to producers and parts of the supply chain.  ie... Housing subsidies ensure housing availability & standards, Ag Subsidies (that's what SNAP is) ensure that farmers grow food and stores that serve the poor stock things besides liquor.  WIC checks are the reason that specific nutritious foods & baby formula is available in poor neighborhoods instead of something like the paint thinner that has been passed off in other countries. 
My opposition to UBI is about more than an ideological opposition to handouts.   I believe that aid should be means tested because some people need more than others and they always will.  It is immoral for those of us who don't need anything to give ourselves a boost that ultimately takes away from those who are in need.  And to do this systemically and fund it with a regressive tax as we seek to close the programs that were devised in response to need is cruel.     
I have a few loved ones scraping by below poverty levels.  And if you took away their subsidized apartment, their welfare & their food stamps, they would starve or die of exposure.  You see, they aren't poor because the economy is tough or because of technology.  They are poor because they aren't equipped to manage the activities of daily living.  They need food & shelter provided by someone else.  All their available cash gets frittered away in a manic cycle of their bipolar illness or on a daily basis on lottery tickets or on booze & eating at the diner.   My uncle is a nice guy.  He drops $20/daily at the diner.  Which accounts for most of his $800/month check.  The rest of it goes for gas & car insurance.  He's always going to need his free housing.  Always. 
My beef with every UBI proposal I've read (including Yang's) is that they are touted as a solution to poverty when they are nothing of the sort.  You should spend a heck of alot more time with actual poor people before concluding that what they need is $1000/month in cash.  For most of them, it will never be enough.  And the consequences of eliminating all the other patchwork of services is a catastrophe.

Or, perhaps, ďif we took away their subsidiesĒ...they would figure out they need to provide for themselves?

Why should we pay for your uncleís $20/day diner habit? Why is that our responsibility?

nancyfrank232

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Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #199 on: October 17, 2019, 06:51:10 PM »
Uh no.  Your spending ability went from $200K/year to $212K/year.  That is NOT a decrease.

The above sentence says nothing regarding the notion that UBI is a good idea or not, but your purchasing ability would not decrease by a third.  Come on!

Iím not intelligent enough to comment about the societal benefit of UBI, but what I can comment on is what would happen to me if UBI is implemented for all 18+ year olds irrespective of other sources of income

From what Iíve read, most low income people spend their UBI on groceries and other necessities

https://futurism.com/basic-income-money-spent-necessities

UBI is uninteresting in increasing my purchasing power. That wasnít even what I was thinking about when I heard about UBI

If UBI is implemented I would happily collect it

But I wouldnít be using my UBI for groceries and necessities. It would all be invested. All of it

Eventually I would quickly achieve a return from UBI that would give me passive income equivalent to my annual UBI and increase my purchasing power without having to even touch my UBI

UBI would just be cash flow source #23 for me. And would use it to generate cash flow source #24 and so on

After few years I will have done far more for my net worth with the UBI than a low income person will have done with theirs

Personally I donít see UBI having any significance when it comes to addressing inequality. Not the way I would use it anyway
« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 10:05:42 PM by nancyfrank232 »