Author Topic: Do mustachians support universal basic income?  (Read 20836 times)

Wrenchturner

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #350 on: November 01, 2019, 03:25:23 PM »
It might be easy to look retroactively on the economy and see this 1 in 6 number, but you're going to have a hard time finding the 1 in 6 and keeping them employed and incentivized when the other five get to eff around on the dole, so to speak.  Incentives are the problem with UBI but I do still see UBI as some type of inevitability.
You are imagining that only 1 in 6 are productive. That's not what I said. I said that 37-50% of people were doing entirely unproductive jobs, and that even those doing productive jobs were only working 12.5hr pw, ie one-third of the time. Of every 6 people in a company we don't have 1 super-productive person and 5 freeloaders, rather we have 2-3 freeloaders and 3-4 people third-arsing things.

Thus, "but we'd be paying people to do nothing!" is not a valid objection to UBI, because we already do that - we'd just be paying them less to do nothing than we are now.

Most UBI proposals are for something like $12,000 annually. US white collar jobs average $45,000. If being paid FOUR TIMES the UBI is not an incentive to stick with your job, then you must have a truly awful job, and your employer needs to figure out how they can improve the quality of the job, the pay and conditions, to get people to want to do it.

Perhaps this is part of the opposition to UBI: managers thinking that it would be harder to find people to do pointless jobs with shitty conditions. "We would actually have to provide meaningful fulfilling work... dear God, is it possible?" Fear not! The appetite for pointless work will be kept up. There'll always be someone who wants to be a stockbroker or a diversity manager.

I read your post, even if workers are averaging 1 person-output in six, it's not as flagrant as paying people to actually do nothing.  The perception matters.  And no body runs at 100% all the time anyway.

It would be great if employers would raise wages to incentivize employees to work for them.  But when people have the choice of not working for x amount that permits survival, they will likely choose it.  And if it's less than that, it just seems like it will be eaten up by inflation.

I don't see how we can have it both ways. 

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #351 on: November 01, 2019, 04:09:13 PM »
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even if workers are averaging 1 person-output in six, it's not as flagrant as paying people to actually do nothing.  The perception matters. 
So it doesn't matter if they're actually productive or not, only that they look busy?

You wouldn't by chance be a middle manager?

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #352 on: November 01, 2019, 04:56:25 PM »
I think the point is, if we pay people a survivable wage to do nothing, no one will want to do (or have any incentive to do) the shitty jobs like Uber Eats and cleaning and fruit picking and whatever that they currently have in order to have a survivable wage. Or if they do it, they will do it for a higher wage. So every time you go to the grocer for fruit, or want your meal delivered, or your office cleaned, you'll pay more.

Optimiser

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #353 on: November 01, 2019, 05:21:53 PM »
I think the point is, if we pay people a survivable wage to do nothing, no one will want to do (or have any incentive to do) the shitty jobs like Uber Eats and cleaning and fruit picking and whatever that they currently have in order to have a survivable wage. Or if they do it, they will do it for a higher wage. So every time you go to the grocer for fruit, or want your meal delivered, or your office cleaned, you'll pay more.

So everyone will have enough to survive, no more homelessness? Those that choose to work will actually make enough to make their efforts worthwhile?

This seems like a really good outcome. I would gladly pay more for fruit, meal delivery, and office cleaning in exchange for that. Especially since my spending is so low that UBI would likely be a net positive for my bank account.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #354 on: November 01, 2019, 05:32:16 PM »
But if I have an extra $12k annually, I can afford to pay more for this stuff.

I am prepared to believe that some jobs will not be viable in different economic conditions. Since economic rationalism and free trade destroyed millions of jobs and people were told, "oh well, do something else, then," I am not sure why this is an objection to a UBI (or a carbon tax, or many other suggestions people have).

Wrenchturner

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #355 on: November 01, 2019, 05:41:28 PM »
Quote
even if workers are averaging 1 person-output in six, it's not as flagrant as paying people to actually do nothing.  The perception matters. 
So it doesn't matter if they're actually productive or not, only that they look busy?

You wouldn't by chance be a middle manager?
Now you're playing the other side.  No one was producing 0% output in your post, were they?  Because a UBI reflects money for nothing.

How exactly do you plan to identify who is working in unproductive jobs?  If a large company makes a bad decision at the top end, everyone beneath that decision is going to be working against the goals of the company without even knowing it.  And this is despite our best efforts to optimize.

Perhaps some of the other 5/6 is an opportunity cost for using humans in a system.

And no, I am NOT a middle manager.  How DARE you!!!

Wrenchturner

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #356 on: November 01, 2019, 05:51:06 PM »
I feel like a UBI relies on a spread between the unfortunate having not enough and the well off having too much, and the willingness and charity for the well-off to subsidize the unfortunate. 

Whereas our current arrangement relies on the same spread, but a willingness for the unfortunate to work to earn enough to live and even thrive.

Price discovery in the latter is going to be a very strong force because the lowest level of working class will sort of set the baseline for inflation based on their sheer capacity to produce enough cashflow to exist, while the former relies on some sort of good intentions from people that aren't directly affected by the prices of inelastic needs(like food or housing).  Wealthy people(investors, I suppose) don't seem to have to worry about inflation so much.  Because their investments will climb with inflation(could be wrong on this!), and because they have more discretionary spending.

When we consider how much money is put into offshore accounts, the amount of effort spent on tax avoidance, and Laffer's work(which I don't know much about) I think UBI is dangerous for the monetary system, essentially.

I'll admit I'm not a great economist but UBI sounds utopian to me because of the strange mechanisms for pricing that comes out of it.  Could be consequences for the velocity of money in relative terms too.

Edit: I suppose it's plausible that the $12k or whatever it is will always remain a non-zero amount of purchasing power, regardless of inflation, so it might work out, and people will only buy so many tomatoes, or oats or what have you.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 05:53:05 PM by Wrenchturner »

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #357 on: November 01, 2019, 06:02:15 PM »
But if I have an extra $12k annually, I can afford to pay more for this stuff.

I am prepared to believe that some jobs will not be viable in different economic conditions. Since economic rationalism and free trade destroyed millions of jobs and people were told, "oh well, do something else, then," I am not sure why this is an objection to a UBI (or a carbon tax, or many other suggestions people have).

The rise in costs will be a lot more than $12k a year.  Because all the cheap things in life will no longer be cheap. Plus, UBI will be taxed at marginal rates, so that $12k after tax will be only $6k.

Because the UBI is not economic rationalism or free trade. A UBI is directly counter to meritocracy and I won't support it for that reason.

Boofinator

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #358 on: November 03, 2019, 04:05:04 PM »
No one thinks sitting on your ass is valuable. No one is willing to pay money for it.
37% of British workers think their jobs are meaningless. Another 13% are unsure. Source 1. Thus, 37-50% of total work hours are spent doing nothing productive.

By an assessment of people's digital devices, white collar workers spent about 12.5hr a week - or 2.5hr a day for a 5 day week - actually working Source 2. A survey of white collar workers gave similar results Source 3, and I note with amusement that they were searching for other jobs for 26 minutes a day - perhaps they felt overworked?

So, only 50-63% of people are doing jobs where they produce anything of value, and even those producing something of value are only doing it 30% of the time. Thus, only about 1 in 6 of the hours people are working is producing anything of value. This is by their own assessment, mind you. This isn't some Marxist idea of labour being meaningless unless it produces tangible goods - it's people's own assessment of their work.


Now, it may be that some people feel their job is unproductive but it's actually useful in less than obvious ways (for example, most workplace safety planning), but by the same token someone else will feel they're very productive but actually be useless or even destructive of other people's productivity, like a micromanager. But anyway: 1 in 6 white collar work hours are productive. Or if we got fewer people to do the same total work, 1 in 6 workers are productive.

Put another way, 5 in 6 white collar workers are being paid to sit on their arse. Evidently, someone thinks sitting on your arse is valuable.

The average white collar wage in the US is about $45,000. Is it better to pay people $45,000 to do nothing productive, or pay them $12,000 to do nothing productive? I don't know about you, but I'd go for the cheaper option, myself.

Talk about bullshit statistics. Sure, I won't argue that a bunch of people are completely unproductive. But that doesn't mean that the work that they are supposed to be doing is unproductive. It just means that it is difficult to separate the future productive employees from the bullshitters during the interview process. It also means that a lot of people are working jobs that are unsuitable to their strengths, but this is unfortunately a part of life when people fear the uncertainty of change, and I don't think a UBI would make those people any more productive (because very few people would quit their jobs given an extra $12k a year, they'd just inflate their lifestyle by that amount).

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #359 on: November 03, 2019, 05:10:38 PM »
The rise in costs will be a lot more than $12k a year.  Because all the cheap things in life will no longer be cheap. Plus, UBI will be taxed at marginal rates, so that $12k after tax will be only $6k.

You seem unaware that we already spend about that much on social welfare.

In 2019-20 the Commonwealth government expects to spend $191.8 billion on social welfare source 1. There are some other benefits people get which fall under different departments, for example old aged pensioners getting cheaper medicine, people on low incomes getting discounted travel, and so. Notably, the childcare subsidy isn't part of social welfare, and that's huge. And there are various state subsidies for those on lower incomes, the disabled and older people, like public housing. So in practice it's a lot more than that.

Obviously we can argue who should get UBI. I would suggest that minors and non-citizens should not get it. In other words, just adult citizens. We can take the number of registered voters as a good representation of how many adult citizens we have; there are usually some younger people who've not yet registered to vote (requiring registering to vote a requirement to get UBI would, I think, encourage younger people to do so), but there are also some people from the UK etc who came here years ago when the law was different and remain on the roll despite not being citizens. The AEC says there are currently 16,486,185 registered voters source 2.

Dividing the $191.8 billion budget among 16,486,185 people gives us AUD11,633 each. Adding in the benefits and subsidies I mentioned above which aren't part of the official social security budget and it's trivial to get an extra $377 to take it to an even $1,000 a month, or $12,000 annually.

We already spend $12k per adult citizen on social welfare. We just give more to some like old aged pensioners, and spend lots on admin to decide who is "worthy" or not.

Abolish the dole. Abolish the aged pension. Abolish disability pensions. Abolish childcare subsidies. Replace them all with UBI, keep the tax brackets the same so that people on high incomes get small net benefit.



Of course if we did all that then we would have to abolish our judgement of who is "worthy" poor, and who "unworthy." The admin fraction of the budget would be considerably reduced without having all those people to decide who is worthy and who not.

And we are very, very attached to our moral judgements. Which is why we scream about the $12k cost of someone on the dole, but make no comment about the $12k cost of a family on $140k getting $12k in childcare subsidy, or the $22k cost of someone on an aged or disability pension. There are worthy poor, and unworthy poor, and - more important, electorally - worthy middle class.
Quote
Because the UBI is not economic rationalism or free trade. A UBI is directly counter to meritocracy and I won't support it for that reason.
We don't have a meritocracy. 5 in 6 work hours are, by the assessment of the people doing them, spent unproductively. For at least 5 in 6 work hours, the only "merit" anyone is asked to demonstrate is to persuade others that actually they're being productive and useful, honest.

But fear not! Nobody will be willing to set aside their moral judgements, they'd rather spend more money instead.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #360 on: November 03, 2019, 05:26:53 PM »
Talk about bullshit statistics. Sure, I won't argue that a bunch of people are completely unproductive. But that doesn't mean that the work that they are supposed to be doing is unproductive.
I'm going by their own assessment. Firstly, of whether their job is in itself at all productive and useful: 37% of people say it's not, and 13% aren't sure. Secondly, of how much of their work day is spent doing productive work: the average is 2.5hr.

Obviously, some people will feel their job is bullshit but it's actually important, but the reverse is also true. And some people will do much more than 2.5hr a day of productive work, and some much less. These are averages after surveying many tens of thousands of people.


Not all of the unproductivity is the worker's fault. Coders have to wait for their program to compile, many workers are dragged into meetings on topics irrelevant to them, barristers have to wait for judges who are always late, and so on. So this does not necessarily reflect laziness of the worker, much of it is just human nature: 2 cooks do not necessarily produce twice the amount or quality of broth as does 1 cook, and 10 cooks will probably make no broth at all.

I've no doubt that you have a very important and productive job, and that you are productive for 10 of your 8 work hours each day; you would not, of course, be so indignant about this if you were one of the people doing a pointless job, or doing a useful job but slacking. But some people have bullshit jobs, and even some of the people with productive jobs are only productive for a small fraction of each day.


Given that most work hours paid for are unproductive BY THE ASSESSMENT OF THE WORKER THEMSELVES, it is not an objection to the dole, aged pension, disability pension or UBI that "but we'll be paying people to do nothing!" And as I noted above, we already spend that much money paying people to do nothing. It's just that it is socially acceptable for a person to do nothing after 65 years old, or if they're disabled, it is less socially acceptable for them to be unemployed, a single mother or whatever, and it's not only socially acceptable but socially praised for a parent to do paid work, thus our subsidies of it.


So again, a UBI will never happen, because this is not about what is economically sensible, but about us wanting to keep our moral judgements. We like wagging a moral finger at some people and patting others on the back. Typically, we shake a moral finger at people we don't know, and pat on the back people like us.


Thus, unemployed and disabled are firmly in favour of benefits for unemployed and disabled, but against childcare subsidies for middle class; middle class are not so keen on the dole but pretty keen on childcare subsidies, and older people are of course very much in favour of the aged pension but those dole bludgers? to hell with them!


Just the other day my elderly mother visited, and told me with a straight face that older people receive less benefits than the unemployed. $23k is less than $12k, apparently. Everyone feels horribly oppressed, and people will not set aside their self-interest and desire to wag a moral finger. UBI won't happen, so calm down.


But it's still economically sensible, and still fair.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #361 on: November 03, 2019, 06:18:13 PM »
Kyle - only a small part of the social welfare budget goes to what might be called UBI-type welfare (ie payments for unemployment or underemployment). The rest is spent on childcare subsidies, family subsidies and age pensions. The current age pension already far exceeds $12k a person. I quite agree with you that our level of spending on families and the aged is too much. However, I doubt that many families or old people think the same. Your UBI proposal would actually leave a lot of families and the vast majority of old people worse off. That is before you even consider the effect of inflation due to what I am about to discuss.

My second point is that, other than for the age pension and childcare benefits (which I fully agree should be snipped), we don't pay welfare to people for doing nothing. They have to job search. They have to make at least a nominal effort. They often have to either take a low-end job or go into WFTD. All those things keep the low-end labour market "honest", by which I mean they introduce something of a market effect. If we pay out a UBI there will be inflation issues for low-end goods and services.

effigy98

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #362 on: November 03, 2019, 11:39:00 PM »
I support UBI. Grew up very poor and that was not fun wondering where your next meal was going to come from. A UBI would have helped a lot as my mother was too proud to take food stamps and they really treat you like a criminal for taking handouts in this country. No questions asked FAIR ubi for all would be so much easier.

The other reason is when I was starting out I tried to not work for the man and do a few small businesses. I could not afford the basics (like food) after ahwile because it was going to take me a year or two to start monetizing. I had to shut down and go work for the man, dreams were crushed and now I work for money and it is like doing math problems all day or going to the dentist, but it pays extremely well so it is a fair tradeoff.

As for automation, I work on automation all day and probably put many people out of work every year. A few weeks of coding can easily put many people out of work and I see it all over the place. They can find new jobs but they usually pay a lot less then they were making before. Full employment does not mean good employment.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 11:53:40 PM by effigy98 »

Boofinator

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #363 on: November 04, 2019, 09:09:27 AM »
Talk about bullshit statistics. Sure, I won't argue that a bunch of people are completely unproductive. But that doesn't mean that the work that they are supposed to be doing is unproductive.
I'm going by their own assessment. Firstly, of whether their job is in itself at all productive and useful: 37% of people say it's not, and 13% aren't sure. Secondly, of how much of their work day is spent doing productive work: the average is 2.5hr.

Obviously, some people will feel their job is bullshit but it's actually important, but the reverse is also true. And some people will do much more than 2.5hr a day of productive work, and some much less. These are averages after surveying many tens of thousands of people.

I'm not saying your statistics aren't true, I'm only saying they're not the relevant ones to the question at hand (in my opinion). Most employees' primary incentive is the paycheck. Those that can't see the meaning in their work beyond their paycheck generally categorize it as bullshit (understandably). But there are two reasons that it is unlikely that those are actual b.s. jobs. 1) Managers are highly incentivized to weed out both bullshit jobs and bullshit employees (of course neither action is necessarily easy). 2) If a true bullshit job is creating a product nobody wants, customers will usually vote with their wallets (with the exception of some unethical businesses).

So just because someone cannot perceive a positive impact in the work that they do or should be doing, doesn't necessarily mean it is bullshit, even though it is perceived that way by the employee.

I've no doubt that you have a very important and productive job, and that you are productive for 10 of your 8 work hours each day; you would not, of course, be so indignant about this if you were one of the people doing a pointless job, or doing a useful job but slacking. But some people have bullshit jobs, and even some of the people with productive jobs are only productive for a small fraction of each day.

Lol

UBI won't happen, so calm down.

But it's still economically sensible, and still fair.

Said like a true revolutionary.

EscapedApe

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #364 on: November 04, 2019, 10:15:32 AM »
Because the people you add to the process are better equipped to help navigate the process.

"We invent a process, which has not been demonstrated to be more effective, and then staff it with people who are familiar with the process. This makes it more efficient."

The same way our educational outcomes are much better when we have a bureaucratic system that considers and decides what to teach in free public schools, and then hires people to teach these things.

Citation needed.

We already have so many working models for how more government involvement helps. I feel like my work there is done.

If your goal is to persuade me that government involvement is superior to free market solutions, then no, your work is not done. I have not been persuaded.

If your goal was merely to state your opinion, then perhaps you are.

Meanwhile, for evidence of the failures of central planning, please see the 20th/21st century histories of: the former Soviet Union, former East Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Cuba, North Korea, Cambodia, Venezuela...

The value of animal life is so much lower than the value of human life. That's not me saying this, that's what we've all decided as a society. We make decisions about animals that we would never make about humans. We do not round up and euthanize homeless people, nor do we sterilize people to prevent the cost that future human births might inflict upon us.

It's not just about the cost. It's the simplicity of the process.

Without all of the needless complexity created by government involvement, everything boils down to whether the price can be afforded.

LonerMatt

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #365 on: November 04, 2019, 11:51:19 AM »
Currently many (most) the highest performing education systems in the world are incredibly reliant on central planning: Singapore, South Korea, Shanghai, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong.

Central planning doesn't mean gulags. It often means working out what works the best and ensuring that happens most often.

catprog

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #366 on: November 04, 2019, 01:37:10 PM »

Abolish the dole. Abolish the aged pension. Abolish disability pensions. Abolish childcare subsidies. Replace them all with UBI, keep the tax brackets the same so that people on high incomes get small net benefit.


I would keep the NDIS to help people with disabilities.

I would remove the two lowest tax rates as well to help pay for it.


Of course if we did all that then we would have to abolish our judgement of who is "worthy" poor, and who "unworthy." The admin fraction of the budget would be considerably reduced without having all those people to decide who is worthy and who not.

This is the main reason I support a UBI.  Remove the decision of who is worthy for welfare.

I.e if you earn a dollar, then in addition to paying the income taxes on that dollar your welfare payments will be reduced by 60 cents.

robartsd

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #367 on: November 05, 2019, 12:10:42 PM »
I think the idea that all cheap labor will evaporate is opposed to the idea that our economy is driven by consumerism. Why would those who are merely surviving give up working just because they have a handout that lets them survive? Why wouldn't they instead choose to purchase luxuries they can't now afford. Sure that's counter to what someone who is seeking early retirement through frugality would choose, but we all have lots of examples of lots of people who spend (at least) their means. An increase in income nearly always results in an increase in spending within our society; I think plenty of people working low-paying jobs would continue working under similar conditions and happily spend their paychecks and UBI.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #368 on: November 05, 2019, 12:19:55 PM »
Some people engage in work just to make ends meet, i.e. because they have no other choice. If they suddenly have another choice, they may not choose to do certain work which is low-paid or undesirable. Or they may do fewer hours a week. If currently someone does 40 hours a week of Uber and in future he receives a UBI equivalent to say 25 hours a week of that work, he might choose to only do 25 hours a week of Uber on top of that. The result is that there is less supply of labour. Less supply of labour means higher unit price. That means inflation.

kite

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #369 on: November 05, 2019, 12:25:07 PM »

Abolish the dole. Abolish the aged pension. Abolish disability pensions. Abolish childcare subsidies. Replace them all with UBI, keep the tax brackets the same so that people on high incomes get small net benefit.


I would keep the NDIS to help people with disabilities.

I would remove the two lowest tax rates as well to help pay for it.


Of course if we did all that then we would have to abolish our judgement of who is "worthy" poor, and who "unworthy." The admin fraction of the budget would be considerably reduced without having all those people to decide who is worthy and who not.

This is the main reason I support a UBI.  Remove the decision of who is worthy for welfare.

I.e if you earn a dollar, then in addition to paying the income taxes on that dollar your welfare payments will be reduced by 60 cents.

Curious as to how one maintains the necessary robust support system for those with disabilities while also eliminating those who determine who is worthy ie... disabled.  How do we know who is disabled or in need of more without staff who could discern?  How would we evaluate exactly what level of support is needed. Most of the people who posit UBI as a solution to poverty or income inequality seem to be either unfamiliar with the poor with or intentionally oblivious to the diverse causes of poverty and inequality.       

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #370 on: November 05, 2019, 01:13:02 PM »
Some people engage in work just to make ends meet, i.e. because they have no other choice. If they suddenly have another choice, they may not choose to do certain work which is low-paid or undesirable. Or they may do fewer hours a week. If currently someone does 40 hours a week of Uber and in future he receives a UBI equivalent to say 25 hours a week of that work, he might choose to only do 25 hours a week of Uber on top of that. The result is that there is less supply of labour. Less supply of labour means higher unit price. That means inflation.

They may, they might. I don't know how people would react and how their behavior would change if UBI became a reality. That's one of the main reasons I don't have a firm opinion on UBI. But I see an awful lot of people argue against UBI based on their assumptions of how people would behave.

Do you have evidence that suggests people would work less* or is it just the way you feel?

*Not to mention, people working less while "low wage or undesirable" jobs become automated is the primary argument for a UBI. But let's stick to one point at a time.

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #371 on: November 05, 2019, 01:15:01 PM »
Not if itís going to replace our other social benefits.

Exactly.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #372 on: November 05, 2019, 01:21:42 PM »
Some people engage in work just to make ends meet, i.e. because they have no other choice. If they suddenly have another choice, they may not choose to do certain work which is low-paid or undesirable. Or they may do fewer hours a week. If currently someone does 40 hours a week of Uber and in future he receives a UBI equivalent to say 25 hours a week of that work, he might choose to only do 25 hours a week of Uber on top of that. The result is that there is less supply of labour. Less supply of labour means higher unit price. That means inflation.

They may, they might. I don't know how people would react and how their behavior would change if UBI became a reality. That's one of the main reasons I don't have a firm opinion on UBI. But I see an awful lot of people argue against UBI based on their assumptions of how people would behave.

Do you have evidence that suggests people would work less* or is it just the way you feel?

*Not to mention, people working less while "low wage or undesirable" jobs become automated is the primary argument for a UBI. But let's stick to one point at a time.

If it's the primary argument for a UBI, then that would suggest that UBI proponents are happy to agree to the same assumptions I've made.

People are driven by economic necessity to take undesirable jobs. If that necessity is taken away, they will be less driven to do so. There's a reason those jobs are undesirable. But it's the undesirable jobs that need filling and doing. Not everything can be automated.

Also, if my assumption is wrong and it turns out that people's work practices (hours, pay, jobs, etc) do not change at all, then that would indicate that there is no need for a UBI.

catprog

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #373 on: November 05, 2019, 01:35:09 PM »

Abolish the dole. Abolish the aged pension. Abolish disability pensions. Abolish childcare subsidies. Replace them all with UBI, keep the tax brackets the same so that people on high incomes get small net benefit.


I would keep the NDIS to help people with disabilities.

I would remove the two lowest tax rates as well to help pay for it.


Of course if we did all that then we would have to abolish our judgement of who is "worthy" poor, and who "unworthy." The admin fraction of the budget would be considerably reduced without having all those people to decide who is worthy and who not.

This is the main reason I support a UBI.  Remove the decision of who is worthy for welfare.

I.e if you earn a dollar, then in addition to paying the income taxes on that dollar your welfare payments will be reduced by 60 cents.

Curious as to how one maintains the necessary robust support system for those with disabilities while also eliminating those who determine who is worthy ie... disabled.  How do we know who is disabled or in need of more without staff who could discern?  How would we evaluate exactly what level of support is needed. Most of the people who posit UBI as a solution to poverty or income inequality seem to be either unfamiliar with the poor with or intentionally oblivious to the diverse causes of poverty and inequality.       

https://www.ndis.gov.au/ This program continues. So I am not advocating the removal of disability support. But for general welfare(including the people who are disabled) their is no need for a large admin to determine who is worthy.

mathlete

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #374 on: November 05, 2019, 01:47:24 PM »
"We invent a process, which has not been demonstrated to be more effective, and then staff it with people who are familiar with the process. This makes it more efficient."

That's cute, but remember that you earnestly tried to make a point that veterinary care was an example of how less regulation leads to cheaper healthcare outcomes.

If your goal is to persuade me that government involvement is superior to free market solutions, then no, your work is not done. I have not been persuaded.

In general? Certainly not. The free market solves a lot of problems. But sometimes, the free market fails, and in this case, the government solution is better. We even have a term for this. It's called a market failure. Healthcare is a market failure. We've decided that human life is valuable, but the free market doesn't do a good job of matching up healthcare to those who demand it. 10% of non-elderly people effectively cannot get healthcare. It was even worse back before 2010, before the Federal Government expanded access. Furthermore, it's 100% rational to start killing people if you can't get life saving care.

This is not a well functioning market. There is one free market solution for poor people to get expensive healthcare, and that's voluntary cost-sharing; insurance. There is no free market solution for covering someone who was or is already sick, but had a lapse in their insurance coverage. This is so widely accepted that even most conservative lawmakers in the US take the fact that we should cover PreEx as an absolute given.

Meanwhile, for evidence of the failures of central planning, please see the 20th/21st century histories of: the former Soviet Union, former East Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Cuba, North Korea, Cambodia, Venezuela...

I can name a lot of less scary sounding countries as well. Canada. Germany. Switzerland. Denmark. The United Kingdom. In all of these countries, healthcare is guaranteed by the government in some form, and in all of them, they spend less per capita without much change in outcomes.

I like free market solutions a lot. But there is no free market solution for healthcare. And one day, there will be no free market solution for human beings who can no longer compete in the labor market. We're not there yet, of course. But in some ways, we already see the symptoms with technologization and globalization. How often do we hear that laborers can't/shouldn't ask for better wages because that will just speed up the automation of their job, or the outsourcing of their job to some place like India or China? We're racing the value of human time and labor as low as we can. And why? So capital investors can get a slightly better ROI? So Jeff Bezos can make 50,000 times the median American just by collecting dividends?

Let's try to get ahead of the curve on this.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 01:48:56 PM by mathlete »

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #375 on: November 05, 2019, 01:49:19 PM »
Some people engage in work just to make ends meet, i.e. because they have no other choice. If they suddenly have another choice, they may not choose to do certain work which is low-paid or undesirable. Or they may do fewer hours a week. If currently someone does 40 hours a week of Uber and in future he receives a UBI equivalent to say 25 hours a week of that work, he might choose to only do 25 hours a week of Uber on top of that. The result is that there is less supply of labour. Less supply of labour means higher unit price. That means inflation.

They may, they might. I don't know how people would react and how their behavior would change if UBI became a reality. That's one of the main reasons I don't have a firm opinion on UBI. But I see an awful lot of people argue against UBI based on their assumptions of how people would behave.

Do you have evidence that suggests people would work less* or is it just the way you feel?

*Not to mention, people working less while "low wage or undesirable" jobs become automated is the primary argument for a UBI. But let's stick to one point at a time.

If it's the primary argument for a UBI, then that would suggest that UBI proponents are happy to agree to the same assumptions I've made.

No, the argument in favor of UBI is that those jobs will be automated whether people choose to stop doing them or not. Human behavior isn't part of that argument.

Quote
People are driven by economic necessity to take undesirable jobs. If that necessity is taken away, they will be less driven to do so. There's a reason those jobs are undesirable. But it's the undesirable jobs that need filling and doing. Not everything can be automated.

Again, this is your assumption. Do you have evidence to back the assertion that people would be less driven to take undesirable jobs in order to pay for wants than they would in order to pay for needs?

More importantly, is anyone actually working these jobs to pay for needs? What's your definition of needs/necessity?

Based on my definition of needs (food, water, and sometimes shelter), almost no one in a developed country is working out of absolute necessity. We already have assistance programs for absolute needs. So really with or without UBI they would just be working for a different degree of wants.

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #376 on: November 05, 2019, 02:06:59 PM »
You didn't respond to my question. If people would be not driven to change anything about their jobs or rate of pay, then what's the point of instituting a UBI?

As for my assertion:
- Currently in Australia you have to apply for 20 jobs a month and take any reasonable job in order to get the dole, which is set at approximately similar to the UBI level ($12,000 a year).
- This, I am sure you would agree, creates a ready supply of labour at the very bottom end of the job market.
- If we gave out the dole unconditionally, without requiring any job-taking or job-seeking, then I am sure the fruit picking, cleaning and Uber roles would diminish.

There has never been a study conducted, because we have never given out a UBI. But let us all know if you disagree with my points above based on your understanding of human nature and what it does in times of exigency.

"More importantly, is anyone actually working these jobs to pay for needs? What's your definition of needs/necessity?"

As I said above, people are working these jobs because right now they do not have any unconditional payment that obviates the need to take those jobs. Here in Australia if you get an offer to work such a job and you don't take it, your payment shuts off.

"Based on my definition of needs (food, water, and sometimes shelter), almost no one in a developed country is working out of absolute necessity. We already have assistance programs for absolute needs. So really with or without UBI they would just be working for a different degree of wants."

See above. There is a massive difference between a payment like the dole which requires you to jump through job-seeking hoops, versus an unconditional, untested payment. People will take crap jobs in the former scheme because otherwise they get hounded by job providers to continually report their job seeking efforts.

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #377 on: November 05, 2019, 02:24:22 PM »
You didn't respond to my question. If people would be not driven to change anything about their jobs or rate of pay, then what's the point of instituting a UBI?

You did not ask this question.

However, I did indirectly answer it.

Quote
the argument in favor of UBI is that those jobs will be automated whether people choose to stop doing them or not

To elaborate, the point is to provide income to individuals who no longer have the means to provide value in the job market.

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #378 on: November 05, 2019, 02:44:40 PM »
"To elaborate, the point is to provide income to individuals who no longer have the means to provide value in the job market."

1. Firstly, those individuals are not yet automated out of existence. So let's postpone the UBI debate till it happens.

2. Secondly, automation does not necessarily lead to loss of work. In the case of Uber and Uber Eats, huge global platforms are developed that actually provide more work - as drivers and couriers - to people. Likewise AirBnB and Airtasker.

3. Finally, the value of giving a conditional based payment like the dole (I have mentioned the idea of conditionality in each of my posts yet you glide over it - picking and choosing what you want to reply to) is that a dole can still provide income to individuals who no longer have the means to provide value to the job market - that's what you want, isn't it? - but it forces them to prove that they really can't get even the most basic jobs, before getting it. A UBI doesn't require that "proof". Therefore, a UBI is market-inefficient. With a dole, you can be reasonably certain that someone is on it out of true market necessity. With a UBI, you have no such information. Hence, market distortion.

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #379 on: November 05, 2019, 02:59:47 PM »
No and I think Yang hasn't fully thought any of this through.

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #380 on: November 05, 2019, 03:04:58 PM »
As for my assertion:
- Currently in Australia you have to apply for 20 jobs a month and take any reasonable job in order to get the dole, which is set at approximately similar to the UBI level ($12,000 a year).
- This, I am sure you would agree, creates a ready supply of labour at the very bottom end of the job market.
- If we gave out the dole unconditionally, without requiring any job-taking or job-seeking, then I am sure the fruit picking, cleaning and Uber roles would diminish.

All of this is assuming that some amount of income is a necessity. The point I'm trying to make is that absolute necessities are available even to those who have no money. In the US that would be through programs like SNAP and charities like the Food Bank. I'm assuming that Australia has similar programs in place to prevent starvation.

After true necessities are provided for, everything is on a sliding scale of "wants". I'm not disputing that some wants provide more incentive than others, just trying to show that the hard line between needs and wants is irrelevant to this discussion.

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #381 on: November 05, 2019, 03:17:13 PM »
"To elaborate, the point is to provide income to individuals who no longer have the means to provide value in the job market."

1. Firstly, those individuals are not yet automated out of existence. So let's postpone the UBI debate till it happens.

I think waiting until the problem is upon us is a bad idea. And again, I am not arguing in favor of UBI, I'm only arguing against incorrect or unfounded assertions.

Quote
2. Secondly, automation does not necessarily lead to loss of work. In the case of Uber and Uber Eats, huge global platforms are developed that actually provide more work - as drivers and couriers - to people. Likewise AirBnB and Airtasker.

This is a separate discussion. If you are correct, then yes, there may be no need for UBI but I'm trying to keep the discussion narrow so that we don't have the problem I've bolded below.

Quote
3. Finally, the value of giving a conditional based payment like the dole (I have mentioned the idea of conditionality in each of my posts yet you glide over it - picking and choosing what you want to reply to) is that a dole can still provide income to individuals who no longer have the means to provide value to the job market - that's what you want, isn't it? - but it forces them to prove that they really can't get even the most basic jobs, before getting it. A UBI doesn't require that "proof". Therefore, a UBI is market-inefficient. With a dole, you can be reasonably certain that someone is on it out of true market necessity. With a UBI, you have no such information. Hence, market distortion.

Again, I am not arguing in favor of UBI. The post I first responded to was in regard to your assumptions about human behavior. My argument was to dispute your assumption that people would work less and to what extent they would work less.

I understand the concept of conditionality. The argument that UBI could be superior is that we could do away with the overhead and inefficiency of the imperfect system we use to ensure an inability to find work.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #382 on: November 05, 2019, 03:17:50 PM »
We do not have SNAP and even if we did, you could not pay for rent with SNAP, and we have a huge waiting list for public housing. So no, your assumption is wrong. The dole is the safety net you get, and unless you are disabled or have particular special needs it's all you get.  Thus, for the majority of Australians, getting the dole is their safety net, and it requires X number of job applications per month.

As for your statement that UBI could be superior because we could do away with the overhead, the problem is that doing away with the "overhead" also does away with the conditionality, which then leads to the outcomes I suggested. So while UBI is superior in the sense that no one needs to be paid to check on whether job applicants put in 20 applications a month, it is inferior in the sense that suddenly we might struggle to fill up vacancies in fruit picking and Uber Eats that currently get filled up with applicants who are pushed to apply by market forces.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 03:20:42 PM by Bloop Bloop »

mathlete

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #383 on: November 05, 2019, 03:34:55 PM »
No and I think Yang hasn't fully thought any of this through.

I think this is among the most well thought through and well articulated policy proposals I've ever heard during a presidential election cycle. At least since Ross Perot's infomercials.

I understand that this is faint praise though. Democrats struggle to clearly articulate how they want to get healthcare access to all Americans. Bernie Sanders is the exception, since he wants to move everyone on to an already existing government program, but with his plan losing popularity in public poling lately, the other candidates are left struggling to explain why their plan covers everyone, but also doesn't have the drawbacks of Bernie's plan. And Republicans griped about the ACA for 7 years before revealing that they had no alternative that either wasn't more expensive, or caused millions of people to lose coverage.

But Yang clearly articulates on his website, the problems UBI is supposed to address.

Quote
-Approx. 40 million Americans live below the poverty line.

-Technology is quickly displacing a large number of workers, and the pace will only increase as automation and other forms of artificial intelligence become more advanced. ⅓ of American workers will lose their jobs to automation by 2030 according to McKinsey. This has the potential to destabilize our economy and society if unaddressed.

-Good jobs are becoming more and more scarce and Americans are already working harder and harder for less and less.

-There are many positive social activities that are currently impossible for many to do because they lack the financial resources to dedicate time to it, including taking care of a child or sick loved one, and volunteering in the community.

He clearly explains how he plans to pay for the UBI: A VAT tax on certain goods + offsets from previously existing welfare programs.

He provides sources for why things that sound good like job retraining are not complete solutions. He provides sources showing the effectiveness of direct cash transfers. etc.

I still have lots of questions for Yang, but I don't think it's fair to say the he hasn't thought it through.

Alternatepriorities

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #384 on: November 05, 2019, 04:49:36 PM »
No and I think Yang hasn't fully thought any of this through.

I think this is among the most well thought through and well articulated policy proposals I've ever heard during a presidential election cycle. At least since Ross Perot's infomercials.

I understand that this is faint praise though. Democrats struggle to clearly articulate how they want to get healthcare access to all Americans. Bernie Sanders is the exception, since he wants to move everyone on to an already existing government program, but with his plan losing popularity in public poling lately, the other candidates are left struggling to explain why their plan covers everyone, but also doesn't have the drawbacks of Bernie's plan. And Republicans griped about the ACA for 7 years before revealing that they had no alternative that either wasn't more expensive, or caused millions of people to lose coverage.

But Yang clearly articulates on his website, the problems UBI is supposed to address.

Quote
-Approx. 40 million Americans live below the poverty line.

-Technology is quickly displacing a large number of workers, and the pace will only increase as automation and other forms of artificial intelligence become more advanced. ⅓ of American workers will lose their jobs to automation by 2030 according to McKinsey. This has the potential to destabilize our economy and society if unaddressed.

-Good jobs are becoming more and more scarce and Americans are already working harder and harder for less and less.

-There are many positive social activities that are currently impossible for many to do because they lack the financial resources to dedicate time to it, including taking care of a child or sick loved one, and volunteering in the community.

He clearly explains how he plans to pay for the UBI: A VAT tax on certain goods + offsets from previously existing welfare programs.

He provides sources for why things that sound good like job retraining are not complete solutions. He provides sources showing the effectiveness of direct cash transfers. etc.

I still have lots of questions for Yang, but I don't think it's fair to say the he hasn't thought it through.

He hasn't sold me on the idea of UBI yet, but he's doing a decent job of selling me on Yang... Even though my observations of Alaska's PFD don't really support a UBI working as advertised, I would vote for Yang which I can't say for most of the candidates. I will not vote for anyone who promises to penalize me $50K for paying off my student loans instead of buying a giant truck. Money is fungible and at least with a UBI the government isn't in the business of deciding which choices to reward.

powskier

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #385 on: November 05, 2019, 11:11:30 PM »
I like Yang as a candidate. I like that he has no interest in identity politics and clearly cares about people. I like that that he argues that capitalism should be human focused, not just blindly about the  money . He is open to new information and not too interested in the usual pretense of politicians. He is solutions focused not politically focused,he is not a divider like the dickhead in office,  it's very refreshing. I'd vote for him in a heartbeat.
The Alaska dividend has attracted a whole bunch of total losers ( dumb rednecks) here that have made our dysfunctional politics even worse. I wish we'd do away with it because it has distorted local politics beyond belief. It wasn't always thus but the rise of Palin and subsequent influx of idiots is rapidly eroding our quality of life. Giving it to every person is motivating people bad at math and worse at raising kids to have as many kids as they can, compounding issues.

So, I want the Alaska dividend to go away so we can adequately fund basic public services and education, BUT I am FOR a UNIVERSAL basic income. UNIVERSAL ( that is age 18 and up) being the keyword. In the simplest of terms I think it is the simplest way to start to put a dent into income inequality and I think it would radically improve our society. Many folks that fall off the economic edge get into a criminal lifestyle out of necessity and I think that $12K a year would keep many folks away from that.
It seems to me like many people on this site have no idea of how many Americans live in abject poverty, telling people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps when they have no boots. $12K a year would give a lot of people a place to start, some food, some gas, breathing room. It's hard to grow when you are only barely surviving.

This is not to say this wouldn't create problems akin to the recent one we had here, when the mini trump running for Governor just promised everyone $6700 and got elected, even though the math doesn't add up. So yeah whats from keeping the next guy promising $20K a year from getting elected? I don't know, but it's not like we aren't almost at a trillion dollar deficit that appears to only be benefiting the rich  ( Rich includes everyone who owns some VTI by the way, even though it doesn't feel that way sometimes).

Yes there are potential issues with UBI, but the issues with the way our country currently "functions" are way greater IMO than any potential downsides from UBI. Slackers will still be slackers, super productive people will still be super productive, people who were stealing to buy drugs might not "have to steal" anymore.

I'll vote for Yang with or without UBI, in fact I think it's unfortunate that UBI is all people know about him.

Sorry this reads like a ramble, it's late.

mathlete

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #386 on: November 06, 2019, 07:58:09 AM »
He hasn't sold me on the idea of UBI yet, but he's doing a decent job of selling me on Yang... Even though my observations of Alaska's PFD don't really support a UBI working as advertised, I would vote for Yang which I can't say for most of the candidates. I will not vote for anyone who promises to penalize me $50K for paying off my student loans instead of buying a giant truck. Money is fungible and at least with a UBI the government isn't in the business of deciding which choices to reward.

I think we should move away from the idea that someone getting a benefit means that you're being penalized. Insisting that the next generation be saddled with a problem just because we were also saddled with it is cutting our nose to spite our face.

I'm certainly open to the idea that there are better uses of money than canceling debt, but the practice is generally pro worker and pro middle class (though skewed to people who actually went to college, meaning it's skewed towards upper middle class). I'm not going to refuse to vote for say, Elizabeth Warren over this issue (in the general) because that's effectively a vote for the group that went trillions into debt for share buybacks. Going into debt to boost capital is at least as silly as cancelling student debt. And the beneficiaries are largely rich people.

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #387 on: November 06, 2019, 08:02:36 AM »
"To elaborate, the point is to provide income to individuals who no longer have the means to provide value in the job market."

1. Firstly, those individuals are not yet automated out of existence. So let's postpone the UBI debate till it happens.

I think waiting until the problem is upon us is a bad idea. And again, I am not arguing in favor of UBI, I'm only arguing against incorrect or unfounded assertions.

Your first sentence contradicts your second. We know that people have worried that jobs will be lost due to technological advances for a long, long time, and yet it's always been shown to be an incorrect and unfounded assertion. Hence, by induction, it is unlikely this time will be different. As Bloop Bloop says, let's not place the foundation of a sweeping policy proposal on something that does not and, if history is any guide, is unlikely to exist.

Many folks that fall off the economic edge get into a criminal lifestyle out of necessity and I think that $12K a year would keep many folks away from that.

My observation in life is that this isn't true. Most people (Jean Valjean excepted) commit criminal behavior over wants rather than needs (or perhaps needs, but then they continue to satisfy their wants legally, in some kind of perverse logic). This observation can be backed by the fact that very few people in the developed world are dying from lack of needs being met (as has been mentioned), leaving the only explanation for the vast majority of criminal behavior being the desire to satisfy wants. $12k per year won't fix this, in my opinion.

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #388 on: November 06, 2019, 09:43:10 AM »
1. Firstly, those individuals are not yet automated out of existence. So let's postpone the UBI debate till it happens.

I think waiting until the problem is upon us is a bad idea. And again, I am not arguing in favor of UBI, I'm only arguing against incorrect or unfounded assertions.

Your first sentence contradicts your second. We know that people have worried that jobs will be lost due to technological advances for a long, long time, and yet it's always been shown to be an incorrect and unfounded assertion. Hence, by induction, it is unlikely this time will be different. As Bloop Bloop says, let's not place the foundation of a sweeping policy proposal on something that does not and, if history is any guide, is unlikely to exist.

My first sentence was hypothetical. In a scenario where we assumed the problem was coming, or even had a chance of coming, the time to discuss it is now. Once it's already happening is too late. Whether or not it is going to happen is a separate argument.

I think this is why the discussion of UBI (and lots of other policy issues) goes in circles. There are multiple ideas up for debate. Will there always be enough jobs in the future? Is extreme inequality a bad thing? What effect would there be on inflation? Will people work less if we give them enough to cover the basics?

I think the only way to properly address these questions is to break them down into separate discussions. That last question is the only one I actually wanted to address but I'll admit I failed at that when I attempted to address every subsequent point that was made.

Alternatepriorities

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #389 on: November 06, 2019, 11:13:48 AM »
He hasn't sold me on the idea of UBI yet, but he's doing a decent job of selling me on Yang... Even though my observations of Alaska's PFD don't really support a UBI working as advertised, I would vote for Yang which I can't say for most of the candidates. I will not vote for anyone who promises to penalize me $50K for paying off my student loans instead of buying a giant truck. Money is fungible and at least with a UBI the government isn't in the business of deciding which choices to reward.

I think we should move away from the idea that someone getting a benefit means that you're being penalized. Insisting that the next generation be saddled with a problem just because we were also saddled with it is cutting our nose to spite our face.

I'm certainly open to the idea that there are better uses of money than canceling debt, but the practice is generally pro worker and pro middle class (though skewed to people who actually went to college, meaning it's skewed towards upper middle class). I'm not going to refuse to vote for say, Elizabeth Warren over this issue (in the general) because that's effectively a vote for the group that went trillions into debt for share buybacks. Going into debt to boost capital is at least as silly as cancelling student debt. And the beneficiaries are largely rich people.

It's not the next generation, but rather my peers who went of fancy vacations, bought fancy cars and houses while I dutifully paid off my loans. It's the alternative me who could have spent an extra two years traveling the world if I'd skipped paying back my student loans that I don't like. It's also my friends who didn't go to college and chose a trade missing out on a windfall just because Senators Warren and Sanders decided they are not 'worthy".

I could accept your argument as applied to UBI, but not to student loan forgiveness. I do believe we should return to allowing student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy, but blanket forgiveness is no less unfair to people who made responsible choices than the bailouts that went to buybacks were.

Alternatepriorities

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #390 on: November 06, 2019, 11:27:05 AM »
I like Yang as a candidate. I like that he has no interest in identity politics and clearly cares about people. I like that that he argues that capitalism should be human focused, not just blindly about the  money . He is open to new information and not too interested in the usual pretense of politicians. He is solutions focused not politically focused,he is not a divider like the dickhead in office,  it's very refreshing. I'd vote for him in a heartbeat.
The Alaska dividend has attracted a whole bunch of total losers ( dumb rednecks) here that have made our dysfunctional politics even worse. I wish we'd do away with it because it has distorted local politics beyond belief. It wasn't always thus but the rise of Palin and subsequent influx of idiots is rapidly eroding our quality of life. Giving it to every person is motivating people bad at math and worse at raising kids to have as many kids as they can, compounding issues.

So, I want the Alaska dividend to go away so we can adequately fund basic public services and education, BUT I am FOR a UNIVERSAL basic income. UNIVERSAL ( that is age 18 and up) being the keyword. In the simplest of terms I think it is the simplest way to start to put a dent into income inequality and I think it would radically improve our society. Many folks that fall off the economic edge get into a criminal lifestyle out of necessity and I think that $12K a year would keep many folks away from that.
It seems to me like many people on this site have no idea of how many Americans live in abject poverty, telling people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps when they have no boots. $12K a year would give a lot of people a place to start, some food, some gas, breathing room. It's hard to grow when you are only barely surviving.

This is not to say this wouldn't create problems akin to the recent one we had here, when the mini trump running for Governor just promised everyone $6700 and got elected, even though the math doesn't add up. So yeah whats from keeping the next guy promising $20K a year from getting elected? I don't know, but it's not like we aren't almost at a trillion dollar deficit that appears to only be benefiting the rich  ( Rich includes everyone who owns some VTI by the way, even though it doesn't feel that way sometimes).

Yes there are potential issues with UBI, but the issues with the way our country currently "functions" are way greater IMO than any potential downsides from UBI. Slackers will still be slackers, super productive people will still be super productive, people who were stealing to buy drugs might not "have to steal" anymore.

I'll vote for Yang with or without UBI, in fact I think it's unfortunate that UBI is all people know about him.

Sorry this reads like a ramble, it's late.

Yay there is another Alaskan here! I'd like to hear more about why/how a UBi would work out differently than the PFD and generous state benefits in AK have.

mathlete

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #391 on: November 06, 2019, 12:47:34 PM »
It's not the next generation, but rather my peers who went of fancy vacations, bought fancy cars and houses while I dutifully paid off my loans. It's the alternative me who could have spent an extra two years traveling the world if I'd skipped paying back my student loans that I don't like. It's also my friends who didn't go to college and chose a trade missing out on a windfall just because Senators Warren and Sanders decided they are not 'worthy".

I could accept your argument as applied to UBI, but not to student loan forgiveness. I do believe we should return to allowing student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy, but blanket forgiveness is no less unfair to people who made responsible choices than the bailouts that went to buybacks were.

I think the bold is an incredible fair criticism. And it's the reason why while I'm not against loan forgiveness, I think it should be behind other priories like universal healthcare/childcare, and probably UBI. I think Warren and Sanders are testing the popularity of this policy right now. As they should given that it's the primaries.

I also agree that having student loans dischargable in bankruptcy is good step. The Public Student Loan Forgiveness program was a good step too. It requires a good faith effort to pay (120 payments, or ten years of payments) and gainful employment to qualify. Unfortunately, the administration of this program has been pretty tricky, and very few people have actually benefited from it ten years on. The current administration doesn't much care for the program, and Warren's CFPB, which is supposed to help consumers call out lenders who aren't holding up to their end, has been gutted.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 01:38:46 PM by mathlete »

LonerMatt

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #392 on: November 06, 2019, 12:49:13 PM »
I think this is why the discussion of UBI (and lots of other policy issues) goes in circles. There are multiple ideas up for debate. Will there always be enough jobs in the future? Is extreme inequality a bad thing? What effect would there be on inflation? Will people work less if we give them enough to cover the basics?

It's bizarre that you wrote in a way that implies 'extreme inequality' is some hypothetical situation and not a reality that we have reams of studies, evidence, historical context, modern examples and first person lived experience regarding.

If anyone concludes that extreme inequality is good they are simply ignorant. No one experiencing bottom 1% poverty likes it. No on is enriched by it. No one is stronger, more able, more motivated or more capable because of it.

Do you know what the bottom of society is like? Even here in Australia the bottom 1% is this:

-  Obviously, you can't afford anything - barely even rent and food, often not rent, and public housing is scarce, so you're homeless
- Your rates of: domestic violence, neglect, childhood trauma, development delays, high school drop out, drug use, addiction, learning disorders, incarceration, unemployment, health risks, heart disease, etc are sky high compared to everyone else
- Your mental health is a shit show
- Incidences of child abuse, molestation, rape, assault are through the roof
- You're generally unliked by society, very few people accept or want you around - socially isolated, publicly maligned
- You're miserable
- Systems don't support you and have little interest in changing to do so
- You die 30 years younger than everyone else

It's shit. I've spent way too much of my life trying to help people in the bottom 1% here and they suffer every fucking day. It's miserable and ugly and unpleasant and so hard. Almost all of them have developmental trauma so severe we can see a reduction in brain development in an MRI scan - and when you've got developmental delays, abnormal brain development and developmental trauma you're not learning much.

Reducing human suffering should be a social aim the world over - extreme inequality (where the # of people at the bottom increases) increases human suffering. Perhaps not everyone should be at the top, but as few people as possible should be at the bottom.

Extreme inequality is terrible, it's ugly, if it ever was natural (and I don't think that's a good argument) we have the money to stop it right now. It is unethical, immoral and disgusting that in rich countries like ours it still happens.

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #393 on: November 06, 2019, 01:11:50 PM »
I think this is why the discussion of UBI (and lots of other policy issues) goes in circles. There are multiple ideas up for debate. Will there always be enough jobs in the future? Is extreme inequality a bad thing? What effect would there be on inflation? Will people work less if we give them enough to cover the basics?

It's bizarre that you wrote in a way that implies 'extreme inequality' is some hypothetical situation and not a reality that we have reams of studies, evidence, historical context, modern examples and first person lived experience regarding.

If anyone concludes that extreme inequality is good they are simply ignorant. No one experiencing bottom 1% poverty likes it. No on is enriched by it. No one is stronger, more able, more motivated or more capable because of it.

Do you know what the bottom of society is like? Even here in Australia the bottom 1% is this:

-  Obviously, you can't afford anything - barely even rent and food, often not rent, and public housing is scarce, so you're homeless
- Your rates of: domestic violence, neglect, childhood trauma, development delays, high school drop out, drug use, addiction, learning disorders, incarceration, unemployment, health risks, heart disease, etc are sky high compared to everyone else
- Your mental health is a shit show
- Incidences of child abuse, molestation, rape, assault are through the roof
- You're generally unliked by society, very few people accept or want you around - socially isolated, publicly maligned
- You're miserable
- Systems don't support you and have little interest in changing to do so
- You die 30 years younger than everyone else

It's shit. I've spent way too much of my life trying to help people in the bottom 1% here and they suffer every fucking day. It's miserable and ugly and unpleasant and so hard. Almost all of them have developmental trauma so severe we can see a reduction in brain development in an MRI scan - and when you've got developmental delays, abnormal brain development and developmental trauma you're not learning much.

Reducing human suffering should be a social aim the world over - extreme inequality (where the # of people at the bottom increases) increases human suffering. Perhaps not everyone should be at the top, but as few people as possible should be at the bottom.

Extreme inequality is terrible, it's ugly, if it ever was natural (and I don't think that's a good argument) we have the money to stop it right now. It is unethical, immoral and disgusting that in rich countries like ours it still happens.

It's bizarre that you read that much into it. I was just throwing up some questions relevant to the discussion.

I absolutely agree that extreme inequality is a bad thing.