Author Topic: Do mustachians support universal basic income?  (Read 20934 times)

EscapedApe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #250 on: October 23, 2019, 11:09:36 AM »
Okay. Let's come at this from a different angle...

What's so bad about wealth inequality?

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #251 on: October 23, 2019, 11:18:07 AM »
Okay. Let's come at this from a different angle...

What's so bad about wealth inequality?

I don't think any of the UBI proponents are suggesting we should completely eliminate wealth inequality. That's more akin to communism.

The government has some very strong controls on the amount of wealth inequality in the United States, through the implementation of taxes. For example, income taxes have progressive gradations; those gradations could be higher than they are now (as they were not too long ago), or they could be lower than they are now, such as in the case of the various proposed flat tax schemes.

In my mind, the economy prospers with some level of wealth inequality; too much wealth inequality, and conditions get ripe for revolution; too little wealth inequality, and people lose the incentive to work.

mathlete

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1247
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #252 on: October 23, 2019, 12:27:07 PM »
Thanks for the response!

Wrong. Dead wrong.

We can decide to pay a UBI in the same way that we decided to make a national guaranteed issue option for healthcare in 2010, or the same way we've decided to tax gains from capital at a lower rate than earnings from labor, or that other countries have decided that you're entitled to healthcare, regardless of your ability to pay for it.

Tell that to Jeff Bezos circa 1999. Or the two engineers that started Google. Or to young James Cash Penney, who barely had a penny to his name.

For sure. And in a subsequent post, I clarified that value creation is a component of overall compensation:

"Value certainly does drive some compensation, no doubt. But regulatory rent collecting does too. As does simply having money to begin with, or having a dubious land claim. Or successfully navigating arbitrage."

But the relationship between value creation and overall compensation is fuzzy and nebulous enough, that I don't think this defeats the idea of a UBI. i.e., people in this thread have and will ask, "Why should we pay people who don't create value?" To which I respond, that we pay people all the time for things that don't create value (in the market sense). Rent collecting (regulatory or otherwise), arbitrage, etc.

If you don't believe in property rights, then you also must believe that theft isn't a crime. After all, if you don't have a legitimate claim to the stuff in your house, then I should be able to just come and take it from you. And burn your house down too.

I acknowledge that property rights are a "thing". I'm not making a value judgement one way or the other. Given that, I'm doing my best to take advantage of and profit from property rights. The part I reject, is that making money off of land is something so fundamental, that it is "okay", while receiving a UBI check is "not okay".  I don't work the properties. In fact, I've never even seen some of them. I don't interface with tenants. I didn't build the house. All I have is claim to a piece of property that ultimately came to me through the combination of

1.) having money
2.) buying it from someone who either "got there first", or was able to take it from someone else and successfully defend their claim through the use or threat of violence

Furthermore, the value of my house and my rentals is protected through the very undemocratic, anti-capitalist practice of big money interests lobbying for friendlier landlording laws and blocking the development of competing residential projects.

When I break it down like that, it's hard for me to explain why it's okay for me to collect rent checks, but it's not okay to issue a UBI.

There will always be inequality in the universe. This will not change, no matter how noble and well-intentioned we are.

Things will never be fair, if only because what constitutes "fair" is ever-changing. Human ingenuity creates some cool new thing that only the wealthy can afford (at first), and everyone else cries and declares it unfair. There's no end to that treadmill.

I know that there's no end to the treadmill. And that's a good thing. People should be in a perpetual state of demanding better and more equitable treatment. At some point, we decided that the government should provide free public education to children up to the twelfth grade. In 2010, we decided that the government should guarantee health insurance issues regardless of pre-ex, and provide subsidies for people who have difficulty affording it. UBI is another step on that continuum. It has a ton of potential benefits, and I'd like to see it implemented sooner rather than later. Because I don't want to be having these conversations when it's absolutely necessary for survival in a world where machines out compete us for nearly every job.

EscapedApe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #253 on: October 23, 2019, 01:23:52 PM »
I don't think any of the UBI proponents are suggesting we should completely eliminate wealth inequality.

Of course they don't want to eliminate it. If wealth inequality were completely eliminated, they would have one less excuse to meddle in other people's affairs.

So they have developed a strategy for guaranteeing that we never eliminate inequality. All they have to do is redefine the parameters that determine "equality".

You and I could have equal incomes, work equal hours, pay equal taxes, and have equal-sized homes. But because your house is in dry, temperate California, and mine is in the humid south of Louisiana, I have to run my AC longer throughout the year, increasing my utility bills compared to your and rendering us "unequal." Using bullshit UBI-style excuse-mongering, I contrive a demand for "fair temperature subsidy" paid for by people who have better "climate fortune".

It's all bullshit.

The desire to help the less fortunate is a noble goal, provided you do it with your own money. Why? Because personal sacrifice is hard.

It's not noble to be generous with someone else's money.

In my mind, the economy prospers with some level of wealth inequality; too much wealth inequality, and conditions get ripe for revolution; too little wealth inequality, and people lose the incentive to work.

I don't know anything about the contents of your mind. Mine is certainly filled with images of double cheese burgers, fast cars, and scantily-clad blonde cheerleaders.

But as I said above, it's pointless to argue about what constitutes equality if the goalpost can be moved. We must assume that inequality will ALWAYS exist.

Given that, we're better off talking about what improves the net wealth of a society, regardless of how that wealth is statistically distributed. And history shows us that net societal wealth increases when governments back off of social programs.

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #254 on: October 23, 2019, 01:36:22 PM »
I'm going to disagree with a few of your points:

But the relationship between value creation and overall compensation is fuzzy and nebulous enough, that I don't think this defeats the idea of a UBI. i.e., people in this thread have and will ask, "Why should we pay people who don't create value?" To which I respond, that we pay people all the time for things that don't create value (in the market sense). Rent collecting (regulatory or otherwise), arbitrage, etc.

I'll use arbitrage as an example of where value creation can be created from what appears to be a valueless transaction. The arbitrageur buys from a market seller at a lower price, and sells to a market buyer at a higher price. Everybody in the transaction received value: the seller for selling his goods for a price he was agreeable with, the buyer for buying his goods at a cost she was agreeable with, and the arbitrageur for getting a cut of the pie for providing the service of connecting the buyer and seller. As long as the arbitrageur doesn't act unethically by promoting an inefficient system, then he/she is definitely creating value.

Quote
I don't work the properties. In fact, I've never even seen some of them. I don't interface with tenants. I didn't build the house. All I have is claim to a piece of property that ultimately came to me through the combination of

1.) having money
2.) buying it from someone who either "got there first", or was able to take it from someone else and successfully defend their claim through the use or threat of violence

1.) Money represents value you have created in the past that you've not yet used to purchase value from somebody else. So the fact that you had money to purchase the rental, means you've provided more value than you've consumed (or if you're going into debt to purchase the rental, you promise to provide value plus interest in the future). Once you purchase the rental using that money, you're no longer positive on your value, except that now you are offering people shelter, which someone will value for the rent they are paying you. So having money is (mostly) equivalent to having provided value.
2.) There is nothing wrong with "getting there first". That's how life exists and propagates, by exploiting resources that are there. As humans, we have the ability to exploit those resources intelligently, which includes guaranteeing property rights to some extent.

Quote
People should be in a perpetual state of demanding better and more equitable treatment.

Agreed.

Quote
At some point, we decided that the government should provide free public education to children up to the twelfth grade. In 2010, we decided that the government should guarantee health insurance issues regardless of pre-ex, and provide subsidies for people who have difficulty affording it. UBI is another step on that continuum.

There is still debate as to whether government-sponsored "free" education and "free" healthcare results in better or more equitable treatment. Putting aside the particulars of that debate, if "free" healthcare was eliminated in the next five years, would we come to the conclusion that eliminating government-run "free" education is the next step on that continuum? I don't think so, and I believe that each public benefit should be analyzed in its own right.

Quote
Because I don't want to be having these conversations when it's absolutely necessary for survival in a world where machines out compete us for nearly every job.

I think this is the largest fallacy I hear in the argument for UBI. There has been no trend I'm aware of that is pointing in this direction, and I doubt there ever will be. Now I will say that I think it's government's role to help provide employment or welfare for those willing to find work, which may be more or less necessary from time to time, but assuming a vast number of people cannot provide any value to the lives of others is contrary to all historical and current trends.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 01:38:14 PM by Boofinator »

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #255 on: October 23, 2019, 01:47:15 PM »
Given that, we're better off talking about what improves the net wealth of a society, regardless of how that wealth is statistically distributed.

Agreed, to some extent. However, there will always be disagreements as to what constitutes "wealth". I think most here wouldn't simply consider it to be GDP, though it certainly plays a role.

Quote
And history shows us that net societal wealth increases when governments back off of social programs.

You've stated this as fact on several occasions. However, I for one am not convinced. I can think of dozens of social welfare programs off the top of my head that have ostensibly increased society's wealth, and I imagine my position is not in the minority. Since you are presenting the contrary opinion to the majority, would you care to back up your position with supporting facts?

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 862
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #256 on: October 23, 2019, 01:49:33 PM »
Okay. Let's come at this from a different angle...

What's so bad about wealth inequality?

Extreme wealth inequality (eg feudal systems, oligarchies like Russia, South Africa, Namibia, etc) results in:
- Increased crime
- Decreased health outcomes (for all members of society)
- Reduced innovation
- Reduced competitiveness
- Capital and political being strongly tied together (ie, buying votes or not having representation at all)
- Reduced educational outcomes
- Decreased wellbeing
- Generational poverty and entrenched social stratification

These are not desirable to me, at all. We see clearly that - in our currently world - and increase in wealth inequality leads to those things.

Now I know reductionists will say 'well if we slide inequality to 0 there'd be problems too' to which the answer is 'of course, so it's good no one wants that'. We just want LESS inequality which, and I've been clear on this previously, comes from building up the middle class, making it easier for poorer people to enter that and consistently and unashamedly regulating and taxing wealth.

EscapedApe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #257 on: October 23, 2019, 01:50:36 PM »
But the relationship between value creation and overall compensation is fuzzy and nebulous enough, that I don't think this defeats the idea of a UBI. i.e., people in this thread have and will ask, "Why should we pay people who don't create value?" To which I respond, that we pay people all the time for things that don't create value (in the market sense). Rent collecting (regulatory or otherwise), arbitrage, etc.

Your definition of value is very narrow.

A thing doesn't have to be physically tangible in order for it to have value, or even to create value.

Think about an engineering education, for example. The education itself can produce tremendous value, even though it's just a configuration of thoughts inside your head.

Or how about a musical performance? It has a transient form, temporarily altering the state of air molecules and vibrating your eardrum. But hearing it might improve your mood, or inspire you to be productive at work, or to create music on your own which in turn inspires others. It's not tangible either, but it still creates value.

Even rent is valuable. I rent my apartment because I cannot afford a house, I am not interested in owning a house in my area, and my only alternative is living on the street. The rented apartment provides shelter, warmth, and privacy, all of which I value and am willing to pay money for.

The key here is that a thing is valuable if people are willing to pay money for it.

No one thinks sitting on your ass is valuable. No one is willing to pay money for it.

And inflating the existing value of a good or service by some amount arbitrarily determined by a government is a stupid idea.

the value of my house and my rentals is protected through the very undemocratic, anti-capitalist practice of big money interests lobbying for friendlier landlording laws and blocking the development of competing residential projects.

See, this is what I'm trying to communicate.

Even here, you readily agree that government fucks things up because it is comprised of individual representatives whose duty to public service can be compromised by outside incentives.

And yet your proposal for UBI involves implementing more government.

Do you see why that doesn't make any sense?

Davnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2113
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #258 on: October 23, 2019, 01:59:17 PM »
At some point, we decided that the government should provide free public education to children up to the twelfth grade. In 2010, we decided that the government should guarantee health insurance issues regardless of pre-ex, and provide subsidies for people who have difficulty affording it. UBI is another step on that continuum.

There is still debate as to whether government-sponsored "free" education and "free" healthcare results in better or more equitable treatment. Putting aside the particulars of that debate, if "free" healthcare was eliminated in the next five years, would we come to the conclusion that eliminating government-run "free" education is the next step on that continuum? I don't think so, and I believe that each public benefit should be analyzed in its own right.


I don't think the argument here is that it's the next step in the continuum and therefore it's a good idea, but rather, it is a step in the continuum and not a complete change of direction.

Many of the arguments against UBI are fundamental in nature. For example, giving something for nothing can only lead to worse outcomes. But we do give something for nothing. Education, healthcare, assistance for the disabled, so unless someone believes that all of these things lead to worse outcomes, then the fundamental argument is off the table. The bolded still holds true.

Davnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2113
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #259 on: October 23, 2019, 02:04:52 PM »
the value of my house and my rentals is protected through the very undemocratic, anti-capitalist practice of big money interests lobbying for friendlier landlording laws and blocking the development of competing residential projects.

See, this is what I'm trying to communicate.

Even here, you readily agree that government fucks things up because it is comprised of individual representatives whose duty to public service can be compromised by outside incentives.

And yet your proposal for UBI involves implementing more government.

Do you see why that doesn't make any sense?

So the logical conclusion of your statement is "corruption exists; therefore anarchy is the best option"

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #260 on: October 23, 2019, 02:10:31 PM »
I don't think the argument here is that it's the next step in the continuum and therefore it's a good idea, but rather, it is a step in the continuum and not a complete change of direction.

Many of the arguments against UBI are fundamental in nature. For example, giving something for nothing can only lead to worse outcomes. But we do give something for nothing. Education, healthcare, assistance for the disabled, so unless someone believes that all of these things lead to worse outcomes, then the fundamental argument is off the table. The bolded still holds true.

Fair enough. But I would argue that the services mentioned don't represent "something for nothing", with the exception of assistance to the disabled (or social security, for that matter, for those who take out more than they put in). With education, we are providing an ability for future adults to provide more value to society. With healthcare, we are ensuring people have the ability to care for themselves using the medical establishment, and healthier people are more valuable to society than unhealthy ones.

UBI would be giving something for nothing, and it would in theory be replacing a system where we give the unemployed something in exchange for at least trying to get a job (and hence return value to society).

mathlete

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1247
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #261 on: October 23, 2019, 02:16:43 PM »
There is still debate as to whether government-sponsored "free" education and "free" healthcare results in better or more equitable treatment. Putting aside the particulars of that debate, if "free" healthcare was eliminated in the next five years, would we come to the conclusion that eliminating government-run "free" education is the next step on that continuum? I don't think so, and I believe that each public benefit should be analyzed in its own right.

Your point is well taken. The continuum thing was a little lazy on my part. However, I think the benefit of the UBI does stand on its own right. On balance, we're putting money in places where it has higher marginal utility. Research suggests that direct cash transfers are a very efficient form of public assistance. It braces us against our oncoming robot overlords, ;), etc.

I think this is the largest fallacy I hear in the argument for UBI. There has been no trend I'm aware of that is pointing in this direction, and I doubt there ever will be. Now I will say that I think it's government's role to help provide employment or welfare for those willing to find work, which may be more or less necessary from time to time, but assuming a vast number of people cannot provide any value to the lives of others is contrary to all historical and current trends.

I think there is good reason to think that the future will not follow alongside historical and current trends. The industrial revolution didn't, nor did the development of the microprocessor. The common argument is that those developments meant more jobs, not less. But there's reason to believe that an AI boom would be different.

All it would take is for an emulation of a human brain to run 1% faster than the flesh based competition. And that's one of the more cumbersome and inefficient ways that it could happen. The reality is that we're finding much more efficient ways to automate jobs. Everyone knows about self-driving cars, but think about the last time you called customer service at a large company. I'm guessing an automated program answered the call and said, "In a few words, describe why you're calling. Try something like, 'I want to pay my bill' or 'I want to change my reservation.'" And I'm guessing that this worked reasonably well. If not to completely satisfy your reason for calling, then at least to "triage" you to the right person reasonably fast. Half a million people work in call-centers in the US.

And it's not just customer service reps either. There are a lot of start-ups gaining traction based on the idea that much of the labor attorneys do can be handled through optical character recognition, natural language processing, and good old fashioned flow-charting.

I don't know when all service reps, lawyers, and truck drivers will be out of a job. Whether it's 10 years, or 100. But I think a future where most labor is automated is pretty likely.

I'm cribbing from a book called Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom here.

TheContinentalOp

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
  • Location: Suburban Philadelphia
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #262 on: October 23, 2019, 02:46:40 PM »
Okay. Let's come at this from a different angle...

What's so bad about wealth inequality?

Extreme wealth inequality (eg feudal systems, oligarchies like Russia, South Africa, Namibia, etc) results in:
- Increased crime
- Decreased health outcomes (for all members of society)
- Reduced innovation
- Reduced competitiveness
- Capital and political being strongly tied together (ie, buying votes or not having representation at all)
- Reduced educational outcomes
- Decreased wellbeing
- Generational poverty and entrenched social stratification

These are not desirable to me, at all. We see clearly that - in our currently world - and increase in wealth inequality leads to those things.

Now I know reductionists will say 'well if we slide inequality to 0 there'd be problems too' to which the answer is 'of course, so it's good no one wants that'. We just want LESS inequality which, and I've been clear on this previously, comes from building up the middle class, making it easier for poorer people to enter that and consistently and unashamedly regulating and taxing wealth.

if reducing inequality is the goal, the first thing we should do is stop all low-skilled immigration. Every low-skilled immigrant who enters the county by definition increases the Gini coefficient and adds to inequality.

Also it will be easier to create a UBI, if it's not being handed out to immigrants.

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #263 on: October 23, 2019, 02:54:10 PM »
There is still debate as to whether government-sponsored "free" education and "free" healthcare results in better or more equitable treatment. Putting aside the particulars of that debate, if "free" healthcare was eliminated in the next five years, would we come to the conclusion that eliminating government-run "free" education is the next step on that continuum? I don't think so, and I believe that each public benefit should be analyzed in its own right.

Your point is well taken. The continuum thing was a little lazy on my part. However, I think the benefit of the UBI does stand on its own right. On balance, we're putting money in places where it has higher marginal utility. Research suggests that direct cash transfers are a very efficient form of public assistance. It braces us against our oncoming robot overlords, ;), etc.

I think this is the largest fallacy I hear in the argument for UBI. There has been no trend I'm aware of that is pointing in this direction, and I doubt there ever will be. Now I will say that I think it's government's role to help provide employment or welfare for those willing to find work, which may be more or less necessary from time to time, but assuming a vast number of people cannot provide any value to the lives of others is contrary to all historical and current trends.

I think there is good reason to think that the future will not follow alongside historical and current trends. The industrial revolution didn't, nor did the development of the microprocessor. The common argument is that those developments meant more jobs, not less. But there's reason to believe that an AI boom would be different.

All it would take is for an emulation of a human brain to run 1% faster than the flesh based competition. And that's one of the more cumbersome and inefficient ways that it could happen. The reality is that we're finding much more efficient ways to automate jobs. Everyone knows about self-driving cars, but think about the last time you called customer service at a large company. I'm guessing an automated program answered the call and said, "In a few words, describe why you're calling. Try something like, 'I want to pay my bill' or 'I want to change my reservation.'" And I'm guessing that this worked reasonably well. If not to completely satisfy your reason for calling, then at least to "triage" you to the right person reasonably fast. Half a million people work in call-centers in the US.

And it's not just customer service reps either. There are a lot of start-ups gaining traction based on the idea that much of the labor attorneys do can be handled through optical character recognition, natural language processing, and good old fashioned flow-charting.

I don't know when all service reps, lawyers, and truck drivers will be out of a job. Whether it's 10 years, or 100. But I think a future where most labor is automated is pretty likely.

I'm cribbing from a book called Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom here.

I'm all for automation when more effective than human labor. But I cannot conceive of a scenario where automation completely eliminates the value that humans can provide to other humans owing to the division of labor. Now, if I were to be proven wrong, then I could probably be convinced that UBI is a good idea; however, I am very skeptical it will ever happen, and I certainly don't feel that it is an issue currently given the low unemployment rate.

freya

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 387
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #264 on: October 23, 2019, 02:57:31 PM »
Quote
And history shows us that net societal wealth increases when governments back off of social programs.

This type of debate was carried out during the framing of the US Constitution.  The framers specified a limited number of social institutions that were deemed to be essential for normal functioning, which was more or less defined as providing a supportive environment and level playing field for commerce to thrive.

These included a court system, a "well-armed militia", and a common monetary system.  To this we've added things like interstate highways, public schools, and (to an extent) a patchwork medical system that any individual can access (sort of). 

I agree that the yardstick should be whether society would function better with a given social program in place.  And would it *really* function better, not just in someone's imagination.   I think it is not beyond reason to hypothesize that a UBI might become necessary in a world where automation has developed to the extent that it is no longer possible to keep >95% of the working age population employed.  Our continued high rate of expansion of the underclass combined with steadily increasing hiring costs is only going to accelerate this scenario.  (To give a small idea of the problem:  almost a third of New York state residents are on Medicaid, and it's increasing fast.)

So, we're already supporting a large class of people who effectively can't support themselves.  I'm not sure it's reasonable to ask whether we should do this, so much as HOW to do it.  UBI is probably more efficient than several hundred random, uncoordinated welfare programs, so it's probably going to become inevitable at some point.


mathlete

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1247
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #265 on: October 23, 2019, 03:01:29 PM »
Your definition of value is very narrow.

A thing doesn't have to be physically tangible in order for it to have value, or even to create value.

Think about an engineering education, for example. The education itself can produce tremendous value, even though it's just a configuration of thoughts inside your head.

Or how about a musical performance? It has a transient form, temporarily altering the state of air molecules and vibrating your eardrum. But hearing it might improve your mood, or inspire you to be productive at work, or to create music on your own which in turn inspires others. It's not tangible either, but it still creates value.

I'm not sure I defined value in any way the precludes music or education. But I'll leave this be in favor of the rest of your post.

Even rent is valuable. I rent my apartment because I cannot afford a house, I am not interested in owning a house in my area, and my only alternative is living on the street. The rented apartment provides shelter, warmth, and privacy, all of which I value and am willing to pay money for.

The key here is that a thing is valuable if people are willing to pay money for it.

But maybe there's a configuration in which people still got shelter, warmth, and privacy, but without ceding a 15% IRR to a nameless, faceless landlord. Perhaps your municipality could decide to be friendlier to co-ops and less friendly to landlords. Then you could elect a board of directors that spent that money that would be a dividend to the landlord on some capital improvements that the apartment needs. Or maybe they just lower rents.

I'm not fundamentally against landlording. As I said, I'm a landlord myself. But I strongly feel that any value that my properties provide comes from builders, contractors, gardeners, the management company, etc. I'm pretty passive. I mostly just sit back and collect checks.

Because of this, I'm not of the opinion that value creation and who gets compensated is fundamentally "correct" under our current construction. There are all sorts of different ways to operate an economy. I'm open to new ideas.

No one thinks sitting on your ass is valuable. No one is willing to pay money for it.

1.) I disagree. Leisure time is extremely valuable. My own leisure time is valuable to me, of course, but I think it's important for everyone to have it as well.
2.) UBI doesn't pay you for sitting on your ass. It pays you irrespective of how you choose to spend your time. No one is compelled to sit on their ass in order to receive a check.

See, this is what I'm trying to communicate.

Even here, you readily agree that government fucks things up because it is comprised of individual representatives whose duty to public service can be compromised by outside incentives.

And yet your proposal for UBI involves implementing more government.

Do you see why that doesn't make any sense?

I think government, and representative democracy in particular, is an unambiguous good for the advancement of mankind. The world is infinitely complex, and understanding and making informed decisions about everything is beyond the capacity of most people. So we outsource much of that thinking to representatives so we can focus on the things we are good at. Representatives, in turn, outsource further to specialists and technocrats. Inevitably, those specialists and technocrats are going to put their thumb on the scale in their own interests. Like a landlord advising the city council on zoning laws.

We should fight corruption where we can, but broadly, I think the system works reasonably well. A steering community (government) checked by the people (voters) who directs human effort (as measured by tax revenue) in the direction of progress at the recommendation of experts (scientists, universities, bureaucrats, business-people, etc.).

The downside is that we're seeing a massive concentration of wealth and earnings. Rather than unwinding the entire system, which serves us reasonably well, I'm in favor of "floor-raising" measures. Guaranteeing healthcare would be a good start. Guaranteeing a base level of income should make the list at some point too.


TheContinentalOp

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
  • Location: Suburban Philadelphia
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #266 on: October 23, 2019, 03:02:45 PM »

Quote
I'm all for automation when more effective than human labor. But I cannot conceive of a scenario where automation completely eliminates the value that humans can provide to other humans owing to the division of labor. Now, if I were to be proven wrong, then I could probably be convinced that UBI is a good idea; however, I am very skeptical it will ever happen, and I certainly don't feel that it is an issue currently given the low unemployment rate.

Automation doesn't have to eliminate the value that humans can provide, all it has to do is drive down wages to a level where it's impossible for a human to survive.

Look at horses. They have comparative advantages to humans. But after the introduction of the internal combustion engine, the value that the vast majority of horses could provide could no longer pay for their room and board.

EscapedApe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #267 on: October 23, 2019, 03:06:07 PM »
So the logical conclusion of your statement is "corruption exists; therefore anarchy is the best option"

Your logical fallacy here is the False Dilemma (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma).

"Governmental control" and "total anarchy" are not two opposites on a linear continuum.

To suggest that they are is to suggest that two (or more) individuals cannot reach a mutually-advantageous and mutually-acceptable compromise without influence from an outside authority.

EscapedApe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #268 on: October 23, 2019, 03:15:47 PM »
if reducing inequality is the goal, the first thing we should do is stop all low-skilled immigration. Every low-skilled immigrant who enters the county by definition increases the Gini coefficient and adds to inequality.

But then who would vote the tax-grabbing authoritarians into office? /s

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 862
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #269 on: October 23, 2019, 03:22:29 PM »
Okay. Let's come at this from a different angle...

What's so bad about wealth inequality?

Extreme wealth inequality (eg feudal systems, oligarchies like Russia, South Africa, Namibia, etc) results in:
- Increased crime
- Decreased health outcomes (for all members of society)
- Reduced innovation
- Reduced competitiveness
- Capital and political being strongly tied together (ie, buying votes or not having representation at all)
- Reduced educational outcomes
- Decreased wellbeing
- Generational poverty and entrenched social stratification

These are not desirable to me, at all. We see clearly that - in our currently world - and increase in wealth inequality leads to those things.

Now I know reductionists will say 'well if we slide inequality to 0 there'd be problems too' to which the answer is 'of course, so it's good no one wants that'. We just want LESS inequality which, and I've been clear on this previously, comes from building up the middle class, making it easier for poorer people to enter that and consistently and unashamedly regulating and taxing wealth.

if reducing inequality is the goal, the first thing we should do is stop all low-skilled immigration. Every low-skilled immigrant who enters the county by definition increases the Gini coefficient and adds to inequality.

Also it will be easier to create a UBI, if it's not being handed out to immigrants.

The US has an ugly history of blaming poor people for its social issues while being hamstrung and run by wealthy, shadowy, non-elected individuals and companies who are more than happy to sit back and use their wealth to direct the country.

Don't buy into the rhetoric that poor people are to blame. The gini co-efficient is one measure, manipulating it doesn't necessarily change much (as per your example, life would be no better for someone in the USA living on the poverty line) even if it looks good on paper. The goal is not to pat ourselves on the back that things appear better, but for them to actually be better. Reducing the bottom 1-2% doesn't really affect the lived experiences of others. Bring the bottom 50% up affects a huge number of lived experiences for the better.

mathlete

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1247
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #270 on: October 23, 2019, 03:23:17 PM »
I'm all for automation when more effective than human labor. But I cannot conceive of a scenario where automation completely eliminates the value that humans can provide to other humans owing to the division of labor. Now, if I were to be proven wrong, then I could probably be convinced that UBI is a good idea; however, I am very skeptical it will ever happen, and I certainly don't feel that it is an issue currently given the low unemployment rate.

You're right. Unemployment is spectacularly low right now. That makes arguing for UBI all the more difficult. Like climate change, I'd rather we do something now than later, but it's a tough sell when it's nice and balmy in October, and only 3.5% of people are out of work.

But luckily there are other arguments for it. I think Andrew Yang has done a pretty good job of marketing the idea. I love that he doesn't call it welfare, or even UBI, he refers to it by the hilarious moniker, "Freedom Dividend".

The US economy is a $21 trillion powerhouse. While guys like Jeff Bezos scoop up most of the headlines and much of the wealth, all of us are stakeholders in America. Companies like Amazon are helped along by public schools and public universities. Public roads. Public goods and utilities. I think most people are cool with the idea that they owe something back to the public above and beyond the goods and services they sell. Hence, taxes. One use of taxes would be to take a percentage of all the transacting Amazon does, and use it to pay all of the America stakeholders a dividend.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 03:28:37 PM by mathlete »

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 862
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #271 on: October 23, 2019, 03:23:33 PM »
if reducing inequality is the goal, the first thing we should do is stop all low-skilled immigration. Every low-skilled immigrant who enters the county by definition increases the Gini coefficient and adds to inequality.

But then who would vote the tax-grabbing authoritarians into office? /s

I don't know, poor people lean blue in the USA, gerrymandering and voter suppression leans red. I'd argue preventing people from voting is pretty authoritarian and there are so many examples of the Republicans doing it one cannot have allegiance with that party in good faith.

TheContinentalOp

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
  • Location: Suburban Philadelphia
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #272 on: October 23, 2019, 03:30:32 PM »
Okay. Let's come at this from a different angle...

What's so bad about wealth inequality?

Extreme wealth inequality (eg feudal systems, oligarchies like Russia, South Africa, Namibia, etc) results in:
- Increased crime
- Decreased health outcomes (for all members of society)
- Reduced innovation
- Reduced competitiveness
- Capital and political being strongly tied together (ie, buying votes or not having representation at all)
- Reduced educational outcomes
- Decreased wellbeing
- Generational poverty and entrenched social stratification

These are not desirable to me, at all. We see clearly that - in our currently world - and increase in wealth inequality leads to those things.

Now I know reductionists will say 'well if we slide inequality to 0 there'd be problems too' to which the answer is 'of course, so it's good no one wants that'. We just want LESS inequality which, and I've been clear on this previously, comes from building up the middle class, making it easier for poorer people to enter that and consistently and unashamedly regulating and taxing wealth.

if reducing inequality is the goal, the first thing we should do is stop all low-skilled immigration. Every low-skilled immigrant who enters the county by definition increases the Gini coefficient and adds to inequality.

Also it will be easier to create a UBI, if it's not being handed out to immigrants.

The US has an ugly history of blaming poor people for its social issues while being hamstrung and run by wealthy, shadowy, non-elected individuals and companies who are more than happy to sit back and use their wealth to direct the country.

Don't buy into the rhetoric that poor people are to blame. The gini co-efficient is one measure, manipulating it doesn't necessarily change much (as per your example, life would be no better for someone in the USA living on the poverty line) even if it looks good on paper. The goal is not to pat ourselves on the back that things appear better, but for them to actually be better. Reducing the bottom 1-2% doesn't really affect the lived experiences of others. Bring the bottom 50% up affects a huge number of lived experiences for the better.

And we can best help bring up the folks from the bottom not forcing them to compete with low-skilled immigrants.

As immigration has increased, wages have stagnated for the middle and lower classes.

Meanwhile the one-percenters have benefited enormously. Notice that across the political spectrum: Kochs, Adelson, Bloomberg, Zuckerberg, Bezos, Buffet, Gates, etc. almost all the billionaires preach more immigration. Even Trump's businesses take advantage of guest workers and illegal aliens. What does that tell you?
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 03:38:57 PM by TheContinentalOp »

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #273 on: October 23, 2019, 03:30:58 PM »
Look at horses. They have comparative advantages to humans. But after the introduction of the internal combustion engine, the value that the vast majority of horses could provide could no longer pay for their room and board.

Correct, horses have comparative advantages that were essentially eliminated by the invention of the engine. But there are two flaws to the argument: 1) Horses are extremely specialized, being able to do just a couple of tasks really well; in this way, they are more similar to individual jobs or technologies rather than to humans. 2) Humans are running the show (horses weren't); unless we are going to task our robot overlords with running the show, we don't have to worry about being put out to pasture.

Quote
Automation doesn't have to eliminate the value that humans can provide, all it has to do is drive down wages to a level where it's impossible for a human to survive.

This is true, and where I feel government may need to step in to bridge the gap at times. But I still feel that these people can add value to society, in which case jobs can be created (with or without government subsidy).

TheContinentalOp

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
  • Location: Suburban Philadelphia
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #274 on: October 23, 2019, 03:34:25 PM »
Look at horses. They have comparative advantages to humans. But after the introduction of the internal combustion engine, the value that the vast majority of horses could provide could no longer pay for their room and board.

Correct, horses have comparative advantages that were essentially eliminated by the invention of the engine. But there are two flaws to the argument: 1) Horses are extremely specialized, being able to do just a couple of tasks really well; in this way, they are more similar to individual jobs or technologies rather than to humans. 2) Humans are running the show (horses weren't); unless we are going to task our robot overlords with running the show, we don't have to worry about being put out to pasture.

Quote
Automation doesn't have to eliminate the value that humans can provide, all it has to do is drive down wages to a level where it's impossible for a human to survive.

This is true, and where I feel government may need to step in to bridge the gap at times. But I still feel that these people can add value to society, in which case jobs can be created (with or without government subsidy).

The problem is more and more people are going to be in a position that they won't be able to provide the value to earn a surviving wage for two reasons.

1. Minimum wage laws and other regulations that price their labor out of the market.
2. The increasing cognitive demands of the jobs that are created. 100 years ago, a guy with an IQ of 85 could make it as a farmer. Not today. In a few years folks with IQs of 100 are going to be in the same boat.

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #275 on: October 23, 2019, 03:44:56 PM »
The problem is more and more people are going to be in a position that they won't be able to provide the value to earn a surviving wage for two reasons.

1. Minimum wage laws and other regulations that price their labor out of the market.
2. The increasing cognitive demands of the jobs that are created. 100 years ago, a guy with an IQ of 85 could make it as a farmer. Not today. In a few years folks with IQs of 100 are going to be in the same boat.

But this hasn't happened. If people with an IQ of 85 or lower weren't able to find a job, we'd have pretty significant unemployment. Ditto for minimum wage.

One idea that has been floated, which I'd be much less opposed to than UBI, is a negative income tax rate at low incomes, and a concurrent lowering of the minimum wage to offset high unemployment (should that come to pass). (A negative income tax is more or less the case currently with the EITC, so really it would just be acknowledging reality.)

TheContinentalOp

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
  • Location: Suburban Philadelphia
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #276 on: October 23, 2019, 03:45:18 PM »
Serious question:

If you really believe that widespread automation is going to result in mass-unemployment and UBI is needed to save us from this dystopian future, how does it make sense to have any immigration at all, excepting maybe dependent spouses and O-1 visas?

TheContinentalOp

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
  • Location: Suburban Philadelphia
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #277 on: October 23, 2019, 03:47:31 PM »
The problem is more and more people are going to be in a position that they won't be able to provide the value to earn a surviving wage for two reasons.

1. Minimum wage laws and other regulations that price their labor out of the market.
2. The increasing cognitive demands of the jobs that are created. 100 years ago, a guy with an IQ of 85 could make it as a farmer. Not today. In a few years folks with IQs of 100 are going to be in the same boat.

But this hasn't happened. If people with an IQ of 85 or lower weren't able to find a job, we'd have pretty significant unemployment. Ditto for minimum wage.

One idea that has been floated, which I'd be much less opposed to than UBI, is a negative income tax rate at low incomes, and a concurrent lowering of the minimum wage to offset high unemployment (should that come to pass). (A negative income tax is more or less the case currently with the EITC, so really it would just be acknowledging reality.)

Percentage of US population with IQ < 85:    16%
Percentage of  US population in workforce:  63.2%

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 862
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #278 on: October 23, 2019, 03:52:53 PM »
And we can best help bring up the folks from the bottom not forcing them to compete with low-skilled immigrants.

I disagree - low skilled immigrants perform menial, low paying work that very few people born into a society want to do, even as a way to earn a crust. Trying to bring up everyone by cutting off the bottom end seems a lot like a manager saying they've grown a company by firing 1-2% of the workforce, ok costs have shrunk, but are the workers any better off?

Quote
As immigration has increased, wages have stagnated for the middle and lower classes.

I think this statement is implying a causal relationship (taken in context with your broader points). I see no evidence that low skilled immgirants have any power, sway or ability to affect wages, wage growth, etc. The family that runs Walmart could raise their minimum wages by $3 a hour and have a huge net effect on people compared to a family of low skilled immigrants. Where is the power to dictate wage growth and wage policy? Does it reside with low skilled immigrants? Or even with immigration policy? Where's the evidence for that?

Quote
Meanwhile the one-percenters have benefited enormously. Notice that across the political spectrum: Kochs, Adelson, Bloomberg, Zuckerberg, Bezos, Buffet, Gates, etc. almost all the billionaires preach more immigration. Even Trump's businesses take advantage of guest workers and illegal aliens. What does that tell you?

I don't know all of these individuals, but even from this list I can see some different motivations. Gates and Buffet are known for being vocal about improving the human condition (and putting a lot of money towards that), so I imagine there's an argument from that point of view.

Zuckerberg has a pretty spotty relationship with employees - the workers in the Phillipines helping FB moderate content, etc, get a pretty shitty deal - so I imagine there's a bit of 'saying the nice thing while doing the naughty thing'.

Certainly I doubt that the one percenters want low skilled immigration to keep their profits high (I imagine favourable business tax, no monopoly lawsuits, tax havens, no Unions, etc, allow them much more control than immigration).


TheContinentalOp

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
  • Location: Suburban Philadelphia
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #279 on: October 23, 2019, 04:00:44 PM »
Quote

I disagree - low skilled immigrants perform menial, low paying work that very few people born into a society want to do, even as a way to earn a crust. Trying to bring up everyone by cutting off the bottom end seems a lot like a manager saying they've grown a company by firing 1-2% of the workforce, ok costs have shrunk, but are the workers any better off?


There are maybe one or two job categories where immigrants are the majority of workers in an industry, and even then Americans are still filling a sizable fraction of those jobs.

Thirty years ago meatpackers made a middle class wage in this country. Now the industry is filled with refugees making the minimum wage or a little higher.

Some jobs should disappear via automation: Agriculture especially. The Netherlands is the second largest ag exporting country in the world. And they did it, not by importing exploitable third world labor, but by automating.

But in US where the ag concerns can privatize the profits and socialize the costs, there's no incentive.


LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 862
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #280 on: October 23, 2019, 04:03:24 PM »
That's, umm, why you need policy.

Roland of Gilead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1912
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #281 on: October 23, 2019, 04:19:15 PM »
Farming should be automated.   Fields should be leveled and cleared such that plowing, planting and harvesting can be done by autonomous vehicles.  Sorting can be done with machine vision, packing by robots, loading onto autonomous trucks.

Some of this is already being done.  I worked on a machine vision system to sort blueberries faster and with lower error than 25 human workers could do it (who were probably let go after we installed the system).

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #282 on: October 23, 2019, 04:46:25 PM »
But maybe there's a configuration in which people still got shelter, warmth, and privacy, but without ceding a 15% IRR to a nameless, faceless landlord. Perhaps your municipality could decide to be friendlier to co-ops and less friendly to landlords. Then you could elect a board of directors that spent that money that would be a dividend to the landlord on some capital improvements that the apartment needs. Or maybe they just lower rents.

I'm not fundamentally against landlording. As I said, I'm a landlord myself. But I strongly feel that any value that my properties provide comes from builders, contractors, gardeners, the management company, etc. I'm pretty passive. I mostly just sit back and collect checks.

I'm not sure what your concern is regarding the status quo of landlording. You provided value to somebody else in your job in order to earn the money which you then saved until you had enough to purchase the property that the builders made. You exchanged value to the builders, and in turn the renters are now exchanging value to you. If you feel guilty about it, feel free to lower rent and meet face to face with your tenants.

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #283 on: October 23, 2019, 04:50:09 PM »
The problem is more and more people are going to be in a position that they won't be able to provide the value to earn a surviving wage for two reasons.

1. Minimum wage laws and other regulations that price their labor out of the market.
2. The increasing cognitive demands of the jobs that are created. 100 years ago, a guy with an IQ of 85 could make it as a farmer. Not today. In a few years folks with IQs of 100 are going to be in the same boat.

But this hasn't happened. If people with an IQ of 85 or lower weren't able to find a job, we'd have pretty significant unemployment. Ditto for minimum wage.

One idea that has been floated, which I'd be much less opposed to than UBI, is a negative income tax rate at low incomes, and a concurrent lowering of the minimum wage to offset high unemployment (should that come to pass). (A negative income tax is more or less the case currently with the EITC, so really it would just be acknowledging reality.)

Percentage of US population with IQ < 85:    16%
Percentage of  US population in workforce:  63.2%

1 - Percentage of US population in workforce ≠ Unemployment Rate

And even if it did (which it doesn't), the statistic you would need to present is

Percentage of US population with IQ < 85 that are unemployed

EscapedApe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #284 on: October 23, 2019, 04:51:45 PM »
I don't know, poor people lean blue in the USA, gerrymandering and voter suppression leans red. I'd argue preventing people from voting is pretty authoritarian and there are so many examples of the Republicans doing it one cannot have allegiance with that party in good faith.

You are conflating the voters of one party label (Democrats) with the representatives of another party label (Republicans) and making a blanket moral comparison of all "Republicans" and "Democrats" by deliberately confusing what the labels refer to.

Voters and representatives are two different groups of individuals, with different sets of incentives and constraints influencing their behaviour.

You must be careful in how you use your words, otherwise you might inadvertently contribute to misinformation, confusion, and misdirection.

Wrenchturner

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 607
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Canada
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #285 on: October 23, 2019, 05:23:05 PM »
And we can best help bring up the folks from the bottom not forcing them to compete with low-skilled immigrants.

I disagree - low skilled immigrants perform menial, low paying work that very few people born into a society want to do
Interesting phrasing--sounds like we already have a UBI, but it's for companies and people who don't want to compete in a Western labor market, so they import desperation to protect their margins.

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 862
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #286 on: October 23, 2019, 05:42:27 PM »
I don't know, poor people lean blue in the USA, gerrymandering and voter suppression leans red. I'd argue preventing people from voting is pretty authoritarian and there are so many examples of the Republicans doing it one cannot have allegiance with that party in good faith.

You are conflating the voters of one party label (Democrats) with the representatives of another party label (Republicans) and making a blanket moral comparison of all "Republicans" and "Democrats" by deliberately confusing what the labels refer to.

Voters and representatives are two different groups of individuals, with different sets of incentives and constraints influencing their behaviour.

You must be careful in how you use your words, otherwise you might inadvertently contribute to misinformation, confusion, and misdirection.

I'm not going to pretend that voters who support an anti-democratic part are making a moral choice. Voters make their choices, they get to be held accountable. Vote in a party that suppresses voters en masse, gerrymanders districts our the whazoo repeatedly, etc, that's making an objectively harmful choice. A vote is an endorsement, a vote is a choice, a vote is a say, a vote is support.

But thanks for the condescension!

freya

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 387
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #287 on: October 24, 2019, 05:59:37 AM »
And we can best help bring up the folks from the bottom not forcing them to compete with low-skilled immigrants.

As immigration has increased, wages have stagnated for the middle and lower classes.

Meanwhile the one-percenters have benefited enormously. Notice that across the political spectrum: Kochs, Adelson, Bloomberg, Zuckerberg, Bezos, Buffet, Gates, etc. almost all the billionaires preach more immigration. Even Trump's businesses take advantage of guest workers and illegal aliens. What does that tell you?

Keeping wages low has been government policy for years.  Alan Greenspan actually came out and said it directly while he was Federal Reserve chair.  Virtually unlimited low-skilled and illegal immigration has been pushed by politicians on both sides of the aisle.  The H1b program accomplishes the same thing in the STEM fields.  Globalization also helps, by encouraging corporations to transfer jobs to very low wage countries.

Modifying immigration preferences via a points system to favor high skilled, productive immigrants is what the rest of us need to have happen.  It's amazing how few people have realized this.  Meanwhile, it's hilarious how politicians can promote policy A, designed to increase the wealth gap, and policy B, aimed at decreasing the wealth gap, simultaneously.  All I know is that if policy A (unlimited low skilled immigration) is allowed to continue unchecked, policy B (UBI) will become inevitable at some point.

Davnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2113
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #288 on: October 24, 2019, 06:18:13 AM »
So the logical conclusion of your statement is "corruption exists; therefore anarchy is the best option"

Your logical fallacy here is the False Dilemma (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma).

"Governmental control" and "total anarchy" are not two opposites on a linear continuum.

To suggest that they are is to suggest that two (or more) individuals cannot reach a mutually-advantageous and mutually-acceptable compromise without influence from an outside authority.

Fine, anarchy was not the correct term. But then you are advocating for a complete lack of government control?

EscapedApe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #289 on: October 24, 2019, 09:22:13 AM »
I don't know, poor people lean blue in the USA, gerrymandering and voter suppression leans red. I'd argue preventing people from voting is pretty authoritarian and there are so many examples of the Republicans doing it one cannot have allegiance with that party in good faith.

You are conflating the voters of one party label (Democrats) with the representatives of another party label (Republicans) and making a blanket moral comparison of all "Republicans" and "Democrats" by deliberately confusing what the labels refer to.

Voters and representatives are two different groups of individuals, with different sets of incentives and constraints influencing their behaviour.

You must be careful in how you use your words, otherwise you might inadvertently contribute to misinformation, confusion, and misdirection.

I'm not going to pretend that voters who support an anti-democratic part are making a moral choice. Voters make their choices, they get to be held accountable. Vote in a party that suppresses voters en masse, gerrymanders districts our the whazoo repeatedly, etc, that's making an objectively harmful choice. A vote is an endorsement, a vote is a choice, a vote is a say, a vote is support.

But thanks for the condescension!

Politicians in both parties have been caught participating in vote suppression and manipulation - both recently, and in the past.

If that's the case, then by your reasoning all voters are complicit in voter suppression and manipulation. Personally, I don't hold someone accountable for the actions of others.

As for feeling condescended, that was not my intention. But if you can't have your reasoning analyzed without feeling personally attacked, maybe you shouldn't discuss political issues on the internet.

EscapedApe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #290 on: October 24, 2019, 09:49:33 AM »
So the logical conclusion of your statement is "corruption exists; therefore anarchy is the best option"

Your logical fallacy here is the False Dilemma (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma).

"Governmental control" and "total anarchy" are not two opposites on a linear continuum.

To suggest that they are is to suggest that two (or more) individuals cannot reach a mutually-advantageous and mutually-acceptable compromise without influence from an outside authority.

Fine, anarchy was not the correct term. But then you are advocating for a complete lack of government control?

I am advocating for a reduction in government interference. The government's sole responsibility is to safeguard the rights of the people - that's all. I cite the Declaration of Independence as my source.

So the real question being discussed here is, "Is universal basic income a right that the government is sanctioned to defend?"

My answer to this question is no. UBI cannot be a right, because it conflicts with the other rights stated in the Declaration of Independence. Declaring UBI to be a right is logically inconsistent - that is, it produces a contradiction.

If you would like to hear more, just let me know. Otherwise I won't belabour the point.

Davnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2113
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #291 on: October 24, 2019, 10:18:54 AM »
So the logical conclusion of your statement is "corruption exists; therefore anarchy is the best option"

Your logical fallacy here is the False Dilemma (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma).

"Governmental control" and "total anarchy" are not two opposites on a linear continuum.

To suggest that they are is to suggest that two (or more) individuals cannot reach a mutually-advantageous and mutually-acceptable compromise without influence from an outside authority.

Fine, anarchy was not the correct term. But then you are advocating for a complete lack of government control?

I am advocating for a reduction in government interference. The government's sole responsibility is to safeguard the rights of the people - that's all. I cite the Declaration of Independence as my source.

So the real question being discussed here is, "Is universal basic income a right that the government is sanctioned to defend?"

My answer to this question is no. UBI cannot be a right, because it conflicts with the other rights stated in the Declaration of Independence. Declaring UBI to be a right is logically inconsistent - that is, it produces a contradiction.

If you would like to hear more, just let me know. Otherwise I won't belabour the point.

My point in asking was to clarify your baseline. Given that you feel the government should only exist to protect rights, I don't think there's really any point in discussing UBI. The disagreement is in something much more fundamental and now that we know that we can respond accordingly.

I would still be interested in your evidence that government assistance has only ever resulted in worse outcomes. If there is no evidence, I'll have to assume that you did not reason your way into this belief and therefore no amount of evidence will reason you out of it.

Telecaster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1961
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #292 on: October 24, 2019, 10:26:20 AM »
I am advocating for a reduction in government interference. The government's sole responsibility is to safeguard the rights of the people - that's all. I cite the Declaration of Independence as my source.

So the real question being discussed here is, "Is universal basic income a right that the government is sanctioned to defend?"

My answer to this question is no. UBI cannot be a right, because it conflicts with the other rights stated in the Declaration of Independence. Declaring UBI to be a right is logically inconsistent - that is, it produces a contradiction.

If you would like to hear more, just let me know. Otherwise I won't belabour the point.

I've never heard anyone say UBI is a right, have you? 

EscapedApe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #293 on: October 24, 2019, 10:43:22 AM »
So the logical conclusion of your statement is "corruption exists; therefore anarchy is the best option"

Your logical fallacy here is the False Dilemma (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma).

"Governmental control" and "total anarchy" are not two opposites on a linear continuum.

To suggest that they are is to suggest that two (or more) individuals cannot reach a mutually-advantageous and mutually-acceptable compromise without influence from an outside authority.

Fine, anarchy was not the correct term. But then you are advocating for a complete lack of government control?

I am advocating for a reduction in government interference. The government's sole responsibility is to safeguard the rights of the people - that's all. I cite the Declaration of Independence as my source.

So the real question being discussed here is, "Is universal basic income a right that the government is sanctioned to defend?"

My answer to this question is no. UBI cannot be a right, because it conflicts with the other rights stated in the Declaration of Independence. Declaring UBI to be a right is logically inconsistent - that is, it produces a contradiction.

If you would like to hear more, just let me know. Otherwise I won't belabour the point.

My point in asking was to clarify your baseline. Given that you feel the government should only exist to protect rights, I don't think there's really any point in discussing UBI. The disagreement is in something much more fundamental and now that we know that we can respond accordingly.

I would still be interested in your evidence that government assistance has only ever resulted in worse outcomes. If there is no evidence, I'll have to assume that you did not reason your way into this belief and therefore no amount of evidence will reason you out of it.

My evidence is disparately compiled. It'll take some time to put it together and then find relevant links, but if there is enough interest then I'll do that.

EscapedApe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #294 on: October 24, 2019, 10:46:23 AM »
I am advocating for a reduction in government interference. The government's sole responsibility is to safeguard the rights of the people - that's all. I cite the Declaration of Independence as my source.

So the real question being discussed here is, "Is universal basic income a right that the government is sanctioned to defend?"

My answer to this question is no. UBI cannot be a right, because it conflicts with the other rights stated in the Declaration of Independence. Declaring UBI to be a right is logically inconsistent - that is, it produces a contradiction.

If you would like to hear more, just let me know. Otherwise I won't belabour the point.

I've never heard anyone say UBI is a right, have you?

The government's sole responsibility is to protect the rights of the people.

If you are recruiting the government to provide UBI, then you are implicitly declaring UBI to be a right.

Davnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2113
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #295 on: October 24, 2019, 11:14:03 AM »
I am advocating for a reduction in government interference. The government's sole responsibility is to safeguard the rights of the people - that's all. I cite the Declaration of Independence as my source.

So the real question being discussed here is, "Is universal basic income a right that the government is sanctioned to defend?"

My answer to this question is no. UBI cannot be a right, because it conflicts with the other rights stated in the Declaration of Independence. Declaring UBI to be a right is logically inconsistent - that is, it produces a contradiction.

If you would like to hear more, just let me know. Otherwise I won't belabour the point.

I've never heard anyone say UBI is a right, have you?

The government's sole responsibility is to protect the rights of the people.

If you are recruiting the government to provide UBI, then you are implicitly declaring UBI to be a right.

Or perhaps someone could disagree with the part of the Declaration of Independence which says the government's sole responsibility is to protect the rights of the people?

Not that they would need to disagree, as the Declaration of Independence doesn't actually say that.

What it says is:
Quote
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

Saying the purpose is to secure rights is not the same as saying it is the sole purpose.

AND even if it did say that, shouldn't we put more weight on what is said in the constitution than the Declaration of independence?

According to the Constitution:
Quote
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 11:16:42 AM by Davnasty »

Telecaster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1961
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #296 on: October 24, 2019, 11:25:58 AM »
The government's sole responsibility is to protect the rights of the people.

If you are recruiting the government to provide UBI, then you are implicitly declaring UBI to be a right.

In a democracy, the government's role is to do whatever we collectively decide it should do.   In our society, that means doing everything from researching medical breakthroughs, to providing land grant universities, to building roads, to going to the moon.  You can argue the government shouldn't be doing those things, but it clearly does do them.

And no reasonable person would say that going to the moon or the Interstate freeway system is a "right" by any normal definition of the term.   UBI clearly isn't a right.   And we should discuss it like it it actually is:  Public policy. 
 

EscapedApe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #297 on: October 24, 2019, 11:56:55 AM »
Or perhaps someone could disagree with the part of the Declaration of Independence which says the government's sole responsibility is to protect the rights of the people?

Not that they would need to disagree, as the Declaration of Independence doesn't actually say that.

What it says is:
Quote
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

Saying the purpose is to secure rights is not the same as saying it is the sole purpose.

AND even if it did say that, shouldn't we put more weight on what is said in the constitution than the Declaration of independence?

According to the Constitution:
Quote
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America

Indeed. The key here is recognizing how the powers of government are laid out (in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence, which functions like a "statement of intent").

Firstly, the powers given to the government are enumerated powers - meaning they are designated with specificity, and they are finite in number.

Secondly, any rights not enumerated to the government are reserved for the states, or with the people (tenth amendment). The people are meant to have the greatest amount of freedom and discretion possible in their daily lives.

Thirdly, the Bill of Rights as a whole functions as a set of restrictions on what the federal government may NOT do. The potential for abuse is high when power is supreme. The intent is to limit the scope of what the federal government may do precisely because it is the supreme authority within its scope.

All of this is hardly surprising. A cursory reading of the Declaration of Independence, or of colonial history, will show that the colonies were dissatisfied with the king because he disobeyed his own laws whenever he liked, selectively enforced laws across his domain, made seeking a redress of grievances tremendously inconvenient, and outright ignored those requests for redress whenever he wanted. The colonists were keenly aware of what can happen when authority is both centralized and absolute, because they experienced its effects.

Limiting the scope of government was their fundamental intent.

Davnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2113
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #298 on: October 24, 2019, 12:06:24 PM »
The government's sole responsibility is to protect the rights of the people.

If you are recruiting the government to provide UBI, then you are implicitly declaring UBI to be a right.

Or perhaps someone could disagree with the part of the Declaration of Independence which says the government's sole responsibility is to protect the rights of the people?

Not that they would need to disagree, as the Declaration of Independence doesn't actually say that.

What it says is:
Quote
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

Saying the purpose is to secure rights is not the same as saying it is the sole purpose.

AND even if it did say that, shouldn't we put more weight on what is said in the constitution than the Declaration of independence?

According to the Constitution:
Quote
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America

Indeed. The key here is recognizing how the powers of government are laid out (in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence, which functions like a "statement of intent").

Firstly, the powers given to the government are enumerated powers - meaning they are designated with specificity, and they are finite in number.

Secondly, any rights not enumerated to the government are reserved for the states, or with the people (tenth amendment). The people are meant to have the greatest amount of freedom and discretion possible in their daily lives.

Thirdly, the Bill of Rights as a whole functions as a set of restrictions on what the federal government may NOT do. The potential for abuse is high when power is supreme. The intent is to limit the scope of what the federal government may do precisely because it is the supreme authority within its scope.

All of this is hardly surprising. A cursory reading of the Declaration of Independence, or of colonial history, will show that the colonies were dissatisfied with the king because he disobeyed his own laws whenever he liked, selectively enforced laws across his domain, made seeking a redress of grievances tremendously inconvenient, and outright ignored those requests for redress whenever he wanted. The colonists were keenly aware of what can happen when authority is both centralized and absolute, because they experienced its effects.

Limiting the scope of government was their fundamental intent.

I'm a little confused here. None of this seems to refute the 3 reasons I gave for why

"If you are recruiting the government to provide UBI, then you are implicitly declaring UBI to be a right."

is a false statement.

Do you have an argument against any of these 3 reasons?

1) What is written in the founding documents is not fact.
2) The Declaration does not say what you claim it says.
3) The Constitution directly contradicts what you claim the Declaration says.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 12:11:16 PM by Davnasty »

EscapedApe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #299 on: October 24, 2019, 12:24:10 PM »
I'm a little confused here. None of this seems to refute the 3 reasons I gave for why

"If you are recruiting the government to provide UBI, then you are implicitly declaring UBI to be a right."

is a false statement.

Do you have an argument against any of these 3 reasons?

1) What is written in the founding documents is not fact.
2) The Declaration does not say what you claim it says.
3) The Constitution directly contradicts what you claim the Declaration says.

First, let me ask you question, just so that I am clear on your perspective.

What do you think a right actually is? How would you define the word?