Author Topic: Do mustachians support universal basic income?  (Read 20203 times)

MoneyGoatee

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Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« on: June 16, 2019, 09:57:34 AM »
One of the democratic candidates, Andrew Yang, proposes universal basic income of $12k a year for every person.  Is this something mustachians would support?  Many Americans who earn $25k or less simply have too little money to use the mustachian strategies to achieve FIRE.  An extra $12K a year (for a family of 4 that would be an extra $48k a year) would definitely help with their savings.  But of course, the question is could the nation even afford this?  How would the stock markets, which mustachians depend on, be affected?

FIREstache

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2019, 10:02:02 AM »
I absolutely oppose it!  See my posts in the off topic section, where this was recently beat to death.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/why-did-anyone-ever-think-ubi-would-work/

One of the democratic candidates, Andrew Yang, proposes universal basic income of $12k a year for every person.

Actually, not everyone would end up getting it, because they would have to give up more (such as a meager $1400 SS benefit) in order to receive UBI, while those receiving generous pensions and those earning sweet incomes would still receive UBI on top of their pension/income.  Yet, those SS recipients would still be paying the higher taxes and prices that result.  How fair is that?  There are other reasons why it's a bad idea, which would result in unintended consequences, but refer to the linked thread.  It's a crazy unfair idea that we can't afford that would do more harm than good.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 10:20:03 AM by FIREstache »

Cassie

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2019, 10:14:18 AM »
Not if itís going to replace our other social benefits.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2019, 11:40:25 AM »
One of the democratic candidates, Andrew Yang, proposes universal basic income of $12k a year for every person.  Is this something mustachians would support?


I am  leery of UBI for two reasons: Institution of UBI  would fulfill Marx's maxim and consolidate the  congressional redistributionists' power.

If, as predicted by some researchers and technologists, many millions  of employees lose their jobs due to technological advances UBI may be indispensable.

« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 01:25:32 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2019, 12:14:16 PM »
Generally sounds pretty awful and doesnít seem to make sense in our system.  It would require a massive overhaul of everything in the American system and safety net to really consider this.  I just canít get behind that with any current proposal.The Democrat candidate pool is looking pretty terrible again.  Maybe theyíll get their act together during the subsequent presidential race.

freedomfightergal

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2019, 07:47:31 PM »
If 2/3 of the people don't have jobs they won't be able to pay for anything.  That will crash the economy.  Then you will have a lot of very upset angry people. 

While ~ .05% will be rich unsympathetic fatcats, controlling the government too no doubt.


The economy needs the people to be able to spend.

Other countries have much better welfare systems that create a more stable economy and less crime, (see Australia). I'm not seeing this as a welfare system though.  I think it is an evolution in the economy.  Robots, AI etc will do a lot of the work, we can all share in the profits.  After all our forefathers created the evolution of the society that has led to this.  I also believe we won't become a nation of bums.  People will do more of what they want.  Starting with most importantly, actually parenting their children instead of leaving them in childcare centers, that sound like a better society.

Also, it's not a lot of money. But enough to hopefully stop a sudden avalanche of homeless, hungry people.


undercover

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2019, 07:59:12 PM »
I think UBI is a natural inevitability of a highly automated society. It's that simple. Has nothing to do with whether I want it to happen or not. All signs point to it's going to happen. I guess I don't necessarily support it now since I think it's largely unnecessary. But in the future I will since I think the consolidation of markets (retail/tech/etc..) is going to mean higher concentrations of wealth which will create civil unrest. And of course automation is happening alongside this so there just simply won't be jobs for a lot of people.

All of this is a question of timing, but of course it's still interesting to discuss the best ways to implement it when necessary.

scottish

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2019, 03:48:24 PM »

 I think we should enable people to reach their potential.   

I don't think the current culture would do that with a UBI.   There is too much internet and too much consumerism.


cowpuncher10

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2019, 01:11:28 PM »
UBI is absolutely terrifying to me. Literally getting something for nothing.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2019, 01:49:03 PM »
UBI is absolutely terrifying to me. Literally getting something for nothing.

UBI may be a double-edged sword that cuts well for some and poorly for others.

It may  benefit ascetics while deadening others' financial aspirations.

MoneyGoatee

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2019, 02:05:10 PM »
Maybe a one-time handout of $N to everyone?  Then do it again N years afterwards?  Would that be a good middle ground instead of giving out UBI to everyone every year?

v8rx7guy

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2019, 02:12:08 PM »
No thanks.  But if UBI does come to fruition,  you can bet I'll be cashing in double by raising rent $500/mo on each of my duplex units!  I know they can afford it.

solon

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2019, 02:13:41 PM »
No thanks.  But if UBI does come to fruition,  you can bet I'll be cashing in double by raising rent $600/mo on each of my duplex units!  I know they can afford it.

My thoughts exactly. Wouldn't UBI cause the cost of living to up?

MoneyGoatee

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2019, 02:29:50 PM »
No thanks.  But if UBI does come to fruition,  you can bet I'll be cashing in double by raising rent $500/mo on each of my duplex units!  I know they can afford it.

But then, people you buy from would also raise prices on you.  So everyone would raise prices on everyone, same as no one raising prices on anyone.

cowpuncher10

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2019, 02:36:22 PM »
Maybe a one-time handout of $N to everyone?  Then do it again N years afterwards?  Would that be a good middle ground instead of giving out UBI to everyone every year?

This is a tongue in cheek comment and not meant to inflame and might be a bit of a strawman as well.

People do such a great job and are responsible with their tax returns every year...I would use that as a substitution and example of why this suggestion would NOT be the best option.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2019, 02:42:27 PM »
Maybe a one-time handout of $N to everyone?  Then do it again N years afterwards?  Would that be a good middle ground instead of giving out UBI to everyone every year?

I think not for the reason that the vast majority of the populace has a very high propensity to spend almost all money they receive very soon after its receipt.

Thus, the  rationale of a spendthrift trust applies to a large,  one-time $N UBI and its replenishment years later as well as an annual UBI payment.

I think UBI/per month would be  best for most of its recipients.

The technocrats can figure a way to disburse monthly payments efficiently.

While I understand the paternalism of  my answer it's a given that  too many people are poor at managing money.



« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 03:41:22 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

v8rx7guy

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2019, 02:43:31 PM »
No thanks.  But if UBI does come to fruition,  you can bet I'll be cashing in double by raising rent $500/mo on each of my duplex units!  I know they can afford it.

But then, people you buy from would also raise prices on you.  So everyone would raise prices on everyone, same as no one raising prices on anyone.

Imagine that.  Well the good news is that I'm mostly Mustachian and bringing in 2X more than the poor souls who can't take advantage of all the extra money being pumped into the economy.  Best news is that I'm also already a homeowner with a fixed rate mortgage.  Can't imagine what a home would cost after UBI was implemented. 

Sounds like a great rich get richer scheme to me!  I'm sure it'll win some votes though.

lemonlyman

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2019, 02:46:27 PM »
Being for or against is irrelevant. I agree that it's inevitable. The seed of the idea will go more mainstream this election. As more jobs get displaced by automation, it'll permeate both sides of the aisle. How it's to be instituted will be the debate.

Telecaster

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2019, 03:02:32 PM »
No thanks.  But if UBI does come to fruition,  you can bet I'll be cashing in double by raising rent $600/mo on each of my duplex units!  I know they can afford it.

My thoughts exactly. Wouldn't UBI cause the cost of living to up?

In theory, if it is fully funded through taxes then no, because the same amount of money remains in the economy.  In the previous poster's example, rents are set (mostly) by supply and demand.  If suddenly incomes were increased by $12,000 per year, that wouldn't cause an increase in the number of people looking for rental units.   But it might increase the demand for higher end units, as some people could afford to upgrade from their current living conditions.   But in that case, the previous poster would have to upgrade his units as well in order to capture that market.     

solon

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2019, 03:12:55 PM »
No thanks.  But if UBI does come to fruition,  you can bet I'll be cashing in double by raising rent $600/mo on each of my duplex units!  I know they can afford it.

My thoughts exactly. Wouldn't UBI cause the cost of living to up?

In theory, if it is fully funded through taxes then no, because the same amount of money remains in the economy.  In the previous poster's example, rents are set (mostly) by supply and demand.  If suddenly incomes were increased by $12,000 per year, that wouldn't cause an increase in the number of people looking for rental units.   But it might increase the demand for higher end units, as some people could afford to upgrade from their current living conditions.   But in that case, the previous poster would have to upgrade his units as well in order to capture that market.   

Well, it seems to me that demand for everything would go up. Anyone selling anything (products, services, rents) would raise their prices because they know their target market has more cash now.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2019, 03:20:41 PM »
No thanks.  But if UBI does come to fruition,  you can bet I'll be cashing in double by raising rent $600/mo on each of my duplex units!  I know they can afford it.

My thoughts exactly. Wouldn't UBI cause the cost of living to up?


Maybe.

Maybe not.

For UBI to increase COL aggregate UBI   would have to exceed the  lost income that necessitated establishment of UBI.

If as projected, 25-40% of the workforce loses their jobs won't aggregate income and spending decrease even though the 25-40% receives UBI?

« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 03:34:56 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

v8rx7guy

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2019, 03:28:32 PM »
No thanks.  But if UBI does come to fruition,  you can bet I'll be cashing in double by raising rent $600/mo on each of my duplex units!  I know they can afford it.

My thoughts exactly. Wouldn't UBI cause the cost of living to up?


Maybe.

Maybe not.

For UBI to increase COL aggregate UBI   would have to exceed the  lost income that necessitated establishment of UBI.

If as projected, 25-40% of the workforce loses their jobs won't aggregate income and spending decrease even though the 25-40% receives UBI?

Maybe.   But the problem is that 25-40% are not losing their jobs in the near future but UBI is still being proposed by at least one 2020 potential Presidential nominee.

https://www.yang2020.com/policies/the-freedom-dividend/

EvenSteven

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2019, 03:31:30 PM »
No thanks.  But if UBI does come to fruition,  you can bet I'll be cashing in double by raising rent $600/mo on each of my duplex units!  I know they can afford it.

My thoughts exactly. Wouldn't UBI cause the cost of living to up?

In theory, if it is fully funded through taxes then no, because the same amount of money remains in the economy.  In the previous poster's example, rents are set (mostly) by supply and demand.  If suddenly incomes were increased by $12,000 per year, that wouldn't cause an increase in the number of people looking for rental units.   But it might increase the demand for higher end units, as some people could afford to upgrade from their current living conditions.   But in that case, the previous poster would have to upgrade his units as well in order to capture that market.   

Well, it seems to me that demand for everything would go up. Anyone selling anything (products, services, rents) would raise their prices because they know their target market has more cash now.

What if their competitors keep their price the same, and increase their profits by getting more sales and put the person who raised their prices out of business?

In other words, price depends on both supply and demand.

Steeze

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2019, 03:49:35 PM »
Not if itís going to replace our other social benefits.

Only if it replaces all other benefits.

FIREstache

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2019, 04:19:49 PM »
Maybe a one-time handout of $N to everyone? Then do it again N years afterwards?  Would that be a good middle ground instead of giving out UBI to everyone every year?

Except it's not proposed to be given to everyone.  The proposals I've seen including the democrat candidate mentioned, state that you would lose your earned $1400/mo SS benefit if you wanted to receive the $1000/mo UBI handout.  Which really means, no UBI for you.  So essentially, you're screwing those SS recipients who paid into the system over a career, while pension recipients and wealthy income earners would receive $1000/mo on top of what they already receive/earn.  That's absolutely ridiculous.  If it's really UBI, everyone should get it without exclusions and without having to give up other earned benefits, whether SS, pension, or what have you.  But that's not how it's ever being proposed.  It's a horrible idea anyway, but the unfairness of the proposals makes it even worse.

No thanks.  But if UBI does come to fruition,  you can bet I'll be cashing in double by raising rent $600/mo on each of my duplex units!  I know they can afford it.

My thoughts exactly. Wouldn't UBI cause the cost of living to up?

Yes, but some people aren't going to receive the UBI, such as the SS recipients that are earning a meager average $1400/mo in benefit, so for those people, they're getting triple screwed.  First for not receiving the UBI that everyone else gets, second for having to pay the higher taxes to fund UBI, and third for paying higher prices for everything as a result of UBI that everyone else gets.

No thanks.  But if UBI does come to fruition,  you can bet I'll be cashing in double by raising rent $500/mo on each of my duplex units!  I know they can afford it.

But then, people you buy from would also raise prices on you.  So everyone would raise prices on everyone, same as no one raising prices on anyone.

No, the SS recipients (and possibly others) not receiving the UBI because they've earned a meager SS benefit through a career of paying FICA taxes are the ones really losing out because, despite not receiving any UBI, they'll still have to pay the higher taxes to fund it and pay the higher prices that result from it, yet they still have to live on their same meager earned SS benefit, so those price increases and tax hikes will be real and painful for them when they are already struggling to get by on their limited benefit which is taxed higher every year due to SS tax thresholds which are not indexed to inflation along with higher health care out of pocket costs and ever increasing Medicare parts/supplemental costs on top of their other increasing expenses.  UBI would just be piling on - more bad times.  It's truly a horrible thing to screw SS recipients that way.

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« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 04:22:51 PM by FIREstache »

Telecaster

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2019, 06:39:07 PM »
No, the SS recipients (and possibly others) not receiving the UBI because they've earned a meager SS benefit through a career of paying FICA taxes are the ones really losing out because, despite not receiving any UBI, they'll still have to pay the higher taxes to fund it and pay the higher prices that result from it, yet they still have to live on their same meager earned SS benefit, so those price increases and tax hikes will be real and painful for them when they are already struggling to get by on their limited benefit which is taxed higher every year due to SS tax thresholds which are not indexed to inflation along with higher health care out of pocket costs and ever increasing Medicare parts/supplemental costs on top of their other increasing expenses.  UBI would just be piling on - more bad times.  It's truly a horrible thing to screw SS recipients that way.

Andrew Wang's proposal would be paid for by a VAT.  It is certainly reasonable to conclude the VAT's cost would show up in higher consumer prices.  But you can't double count both higher prices and higher taxes.  The taxes are baked into the higher prices.   

That said, SS benefits are indexed to the CPI.  If consumer prices went up, so would the SS benefits.   So I don't see how this particularly hurts SS recipients. 

One group that would benefit are people getting less than $1,000/month in SSI benefits.  A large number of these people are women who undertook child raising duties and accordingly don't have the work history and/or gave up career opportunities to stay at home. 

You have good points about the SS tax thresholds and increasing medical costs, but those issues are independent of UBI. 


StockBeard

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2019, 07:19:13 PM »
I'm in favor of universal income in principle. I do see how poor implementations of it would be counterproductive though, as described by most people above.

In principle, I think universal income would be key to human freedom in modern democracies. A mechanism that would empower people to really choose whether they want to work for money or not, or to really choose their employer, would in my opinion lead to happier, healthier, and more ethical people. I don't think most people have a choice of who they work for nowadays, and many of us would not work for their current employer if money was out of the equation, and if we could really have a say in some of the business's ethical choices.

Hopefully, on a forum where almost everyone tries to be freed from the shackles of "employment for money", that kind of goal should resonate a bit. Now, in terms of the implementation of it, maybe universal income is not the best way, but I think, if implemented correctly, it could get us closer to that goal.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2019, 11:31:47 PM »
I don't believe in redistribution of income (other than that required to pay for a universal medical and welfare safety net), so if the UBI is predicated on providing a level of healthcare and a minimal safety net to ensure everyone has 3 meals and a roof, I'm all for it. If it's predicated on providing a moderately good standard of living that currently people have to work for, I'm against it.

DaMa

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2019, 06:20:22 AM »
In theory, I like the safety net of UBI, but it would never work.  Give everyone another $1000 a month, and most people would just increase their standard of living to the new level.  Lose a job, and you are in the exact same spot. 

We do need a better welfare system, though.  My niece recently lost her job.  She found another job paying $11 an hour, but since school's out, she has extra daycare costs ($350 per week for two school age, one toddler).  She'll take home about $40 a week.  Her income is just barely too high to qualify for childcare assistance.  She'd be better off collecting unemployment for the summer.  But the childcare subsidy would allow her to work and pay another person to work, the daycare provider.  Two taxpayers instead of none.

Home Stretch

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2019, 07:31:03 AM »
Three thoughts:

1. This is a classic slippery-slope type of situation. Let's pretend we elect Yang and he implements his $12k/year for everyone over 18. In 2024, a candidate comes along and runs on $15k/year for everyone over 18. Who are the 22 year-olds voting for, I wonder? It would never end.

2. We already have reasonable policies in place that can be tweaked. For example, minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage would, in effect, raise the "basic income", for anyone able to work an unskilled job. We would only have to raise the minimum wage to $13/hour to get minimum-wage earners an additional $12k/year.

3. I would much rather focus on single-payer/universal health care. I am staring down the barrel of a $700/mo insurance premium starting next month for just my SO and I - $8,400/year. I know it's a stretch, but if we could radically change our insurance system and wean ourselves off of the inefficiencies of all these giant insurance companies and red tape, I think we could reduce the expense of healthcare AND improve the quality by allowing preventative access to all.

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2019, 07:33:51 AM »
I see pros and cons to the possible implementation of UBI, anyone who says with confidence that it is a good or bad idea is kidding themselves. Too many moving parts to be sure of anything. I do see the eventual need for a way to distribute wealth to a workforce replaced by robots and UBI is the best I can imagine right now, but maybe someone will come up with a better idea by the time we really need it.

For now, I think the US should prioritize some form of universal healthcare.

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2019, 07:43:03 AM »
Three thoughts:

1. This is a classic slippery-slope type of situation. Let's pretend we elect Yang and he implements his $12k/year for everyone over 18. In 2024, a candidate comes along and runs on $15k/year for everyone over 18. Who are the 22 year-olds voting for, I wonder? It would never end.

2. We already have reasonable policies in place that can be tweaked. For example, minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage would, in effect, raise the "basic income", for anyone able to work an unskilled job. We would only have to raise the minimum wage to $13/hour to get minimum-wage earners an additional $12k/year.

3. I would much rather focus on single-payer/universal health care. I am staring down the barrel of a $700/mo insurance premium starting next month for just my SO and I - $8,400/year. I know it's a stretch, but if we could radically change our insurance system and wean ourselves off of the inefficiencies of all these giant insurance companies and red tape, I think we could reduce the expense of healthcare AND improve the quality by allowing preventative access to all.

1. The slippery slope argument can be used to argue against just about anything. Personally I'm supportive of some form of UBI at some point in the future, but I think starting a $1,000/month (today's dollars) is too high.

2. Raising the minimum wage pushes employers toward automation which is exactly the problem that UBI seeks to address. It's the unemployed, whether temporary or long term, that will be a problem in the future.

3. Absolutely

nancyjnelson

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2019, 08:29:59 AM »
I'm not really crazy about UBI.

I would totally support free healthcare and free education.

Home Stretch

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2019, 09:00:45 AM »
Three thoughts:

1. This is a classic slippery-slope type of situation. Let's pretend we elect Yang and he implements his $12k/year for everyone over 18. In 2024, a candidate comes along and runs on $15k/year for everyone over 18. Who are the 22 year-olds voting for, I wonder? It would never end.

2. We already have reasonable policies in place that can be tweaked. For example, minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage would, in effect, raise the "basic income", for anyone able to work an unskilled job. We would only have to raise the minimum wage to $13/hour to get minimum-wage earners an additional $12k/year.

3. I would much rather focus on single-payer/universal health care. I am staring down the barrel of a $700/mo insurance premium starting next month for just my SO and I - $8,400/year. I know it's a stretch, but if we could radically change our insurance system and wean ourselves off of the inefficiencies of all these giant insurance companies and red tape, I think we could reduce the expense of healthcare AND improve the quality by allowing preventative access to all.

1. The slippery slope argument can be used to argue against just about anything. Personally I'm supportive of some form of UBI at some point in the future, but I think starting a $1,000/month (today's dollars) is too high.

2. Raising the minimum wage pushes employers toward automation which is exactly the problem that UBI seeks to address. It's the unemployed, whether temporary or long term, that will be a problem in the future.

3. Absolutely

Yes, slippery slope can be a kind of B.S. "catch-all" argument, but I truly see it as a bit more acute in this case, because you're starting the central re-distribution of $X amount of no-strings-attached cash. It's just a very easy thing for any American, anywhere on the intellectual spectrum, to comprehend. "Oh, well candidate A wants to give me $12k but candidate B wants to give me $15k - I know who I'm voting for!". Unlike other, more abstract/nuanced policy points, UBI as advertised by candidates like Yang has a specific dollar amount tied to it.

Raising the minimum wage will push employers toward more automation - very true. However, I'd rather take the step now of raising it to flush out all of the employers who can/will do this anyway. At least then we have an honest assessment of where we lie in regards to automation in the retail/food service/unskilled labor pool. The alternative is to continue the farce of paying people poverty-level wages and then having to subsidize them anyway in the form of food stamps, subsidized housing, etc... because almost nobody can live on $250/week.

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2019, 09:07:27 AM »
The last thing I want is to see idiots with more free time than currently. Hard pass for me.

Davnasty

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2019, 09:26:41 AM »
Three thoughts:

1. This is a classic slippery-slope type of situation. Let's pretend we elect Yang and he implements his $12k/year for everyone over 18. In 2024, a candidate comes along and runs on $15k/year for everyone over 18. Who are the 22 year-olds voting for, I wonder? It would never end.

2. We already have reasonable policies in place that can be tweaked. For example, minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage would, in effect, raise the "basic income", for anyone able to work an unskilled job. We would only have to raise the minimum wage to $13/hour to get minimum-wage earners an additional $12k/year.

3. I would much rather focus on single-payer/universal health care. I am staring down the barrel of a $700/mo insurance premium starting next month for just my SO and I - $8,400/year. I know it's a stretch, but if we could radically change our insurance system and wean ourselves off of the inefficiencies of all these giant insurance companies and red tape, I think we could reduce the expense of healthcare AND improve the quality by allowing preventative access to all.

1. The slippery slope argument can be used to argue against just about anything. Personally I'm supportive of some form of UBI at some point in the future, but I think starting a $1,000/month (today's dollars) is too high.

2. Raising the minimum wage pushes employers toward automation which is exactly the problem that UBI seeks to address. It's the unemployed, whether temporary or long term, that will be a problem in the future.

3. Absolutely

Yes, slippery slope can be a kind of B.S. "catch-all" argument, but I truly see it as a bit more acute in this case, because you're starting the central re-distribution of $X amount of no-strings-attached cash. It's just a very easy thing for any American, anywhere on the intellectual spectrum, to comprehend. "Oh, well candidate A wants to give me $12k but candidate B wants to give me $15k - I know who I'm voting for!". Unlike other, more abstract/nuanced policy points, UBI as advertised by candidates like Yang has a specific dollar amount tied to it.

Raising the minimum wage will push employers toward more automation - very true. However, I'd rather take the step now of raising it to flush out all of the employers who can/will do this anyway. At least then we have an honest assessment of where we lie in regards to automation in the retail/food service/unskilled labor pool. The alternative is to continue the farce of paying people poverty-level wages and then having to subsidize them anyway in the form of food stamps, subsidized housing, etc... because almost nobody can live on $250/week.

That's fair. It would also be very difficult for a politician to support lowering of a UBI. The numbers are so direct and easy for voters to see.

I used to be against the idea of the government subsidizing living costs of the employed, but I've somewhat changed my mind on that. If an employer can only justify paying someone $15,000 when they need $20,000 to get by, is it better to have them employed and costing the government $5,000 or unemployed and costing the government $20,000? Of course it's not always a binary choice, it's a bit more complicated than that, but I can see both sides of that argument.

jlcnuke

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2019, 11:14:50 AM »
When we have people making millions and a 45% unemployment rate because jobs have just disappeared and none have been invented to fill the void left from the old jobs disappearing, then I'll be happy to consider a UBI.

While we have a <4% unemployment rate and great potential for future growth and only fear-mongering of "the AI are going to take our jobs!" as a "good" reason to think people can't earn their own money, I'll continue to oppose it. Redistribution of wealth and income needs to have an urgent and serious reason to be considered in my opinion, and that's what UBI is. It's not "free money", it's taking money from some people and giving it to others.

Home Stretch

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2019, 08:06:26 AM »
Well, the response so far seems to be a resounding "NO", mustachians do not support UBI.

Case closed!

Raenia

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2019, 08:18:03 AM »
Some do, some don't.  If you take a look at the thread in Off Topic that was linked earlier on, you'll see quite a lot of discussion on both sides.  Mustachians don't agree on much, outside our little sphere, and sometimes not even there!

Caroline PF

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2019, 02:22:56 PM »
I would support a UBI under the following circumstances

  • Truly universal, so that we get the efficiency gains in the implementation
  • Subsistence level (enough to pay for a small apartment and food, and a couple other basics)
  • Replaces some forms of welfare (like section 8 housing, food stamps, WIC), but leaves others intact (SS, disability)
  • Coupled with universal healthcare and universal childcare
  • Coupled with massive simplification of taxes and used as a replacement for tax deductions
  • Funded through taxes, so that the amount of money in circulation doesn't go up and cause massive inflation
  • Funded through taxes, so that people won't want to 'slippery slope' increase the amount because they also pay for it in taxes.

freedomfightergal

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2019, 03:02:55 PM »
How much money was handed back to companies with the massive tax cuts, about 15% of trillions?
How much was the Bank Bailout - $12.8 Trillion in total

How much did your taxes reduce?
How much of a financial bailout did anyone that is an Employee get?

Seems to me only all the Corporations are winning - with OUR tax dollars.

Now those same companies are automating the jobs away - ok fair enough, it's the way of the world.  Yet pay levels are stagnant, benefits are reducing whilst Health Insurance costs soar. 

So why can't the public benefit by a pittance compared to the money-showers for Corps?

If it weren't for the automation - that is already happening it probably wouldn't be necessary.  But it is already happening and it is going to cause major social and economic problems fast without some kind of strategy in place.

In Australia they have the DOLE for anyone unemployed they get a small allowance to survive.  I must admit when I lived in Australia I thought it was a bit much.  But now that I live in the US I can see the benefits.  It reduces crime, it reduces ghetto's and horrifying poverty for children because everyone no matter what has some income.  The Goods and Services Tax, (GST) was brought in to help restructure the tax collection system to make it more fair and not soley on the shoulders of the workers, similar to a VAT.  It did not apply to food. 

I think a VAT applied to consumer goods and not basic necessities like food, gas and utilities, collected and paid back to the people in the form of a UBI makes a lot of sense.  A lot of companies don't pay Federal tax eg Amazon, if they collected a VAT, it would cover a lot of the UBI, and they have automated a slew of jobs already and will continue to do so ie drone deliveries...no more driver deliveries.

I'm not saying I think people should be paid for nothing.  I think we should support citizens when there are not enough jobs. 

I highly recommend Andrew Yang's book,  "The War on Normal People", he explains the trajectory of the labor market so well in an entertaining way.

Peace

alienbogey

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2019, 10:10:37 PM »
The projected U.S. government deficit for FY 2020 is $1.1 trillion and a Democratic candidate is proposing to "give" everybody $12,000/yr.  Other candidates are proposing to "give" everyone free health care.  Others are proposing to "give" everyone free college education.

A $1.1 TRILLION budget deficit and they are proposing massive increases in spending.  Well, of course they are.

If the AI prognostication actually happen then UBI may become necessary at some point in the future, but we'll be well and truly bankrupt before then.  We already are.



nancyjnelson

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2019, 01:58:37 AM »
Quote
How much money was handed back to companies with the massive tax cuts, about 15% of trillions?


The average taxpayer pays $200/year for food stamps and $80 for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (aka Welfare).  In comparison, the average family pays $6,000 annually for corporate welfare (subsidies, tax breaks, etc).
 
Yes, I see that I used average taxpayer and average family - not a direct comparison - but these are the stats I could find without spending hours on it.   

In 2015 military spending (all regular expenses of the DoD including war spending, nuclear weapons, military assistance and other Pentagon-related spending) was $598.5 billion annually https://www.nationalpriorities.org/campaigns/military-spending-united-states/. That breaks down to $1.64 billion each day.

Many of us on this forum are worried about slippery slopes and undeserving (as we see them) people being comfortable.  Maybe we should all step back and take a look at what type of country we are becoming. What can we afford?  I believe what we CANNOT afford is to beggar our population in the interest of enriching the military-industrial complex.   

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #43 on: June 22, 2019, 02:30:38 AM »
I agree there's too much funding going to military but if we were to magically wrest back that funding I would support pro rata tax decreases for everyone, rather than redistribution.

nancyjnelson

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #44 on: June 22, 2019, 10:31:09 AM »
I think as one of the richest countries in the world we should direct some of our wealth to bring up the standard of living of those who need it, whether they are "deserving" in the puritanical sense or not.  Jarod Kuschner, for example, is not what I would consider deserving, but he and his family have benefited to an obscene degree from public funds and from financial regulations that were written by people like him to benefit people like him.

I think we should invest in the country - schools, infrastructure, reliable mass transit, environment, etc - before looking at lowering taxes. And we would need to take a serious look at the entire tax structure before we start lowering tax rates all around. 

There is something wrong that I paid more federal taxes in 2018 than General Motors, Chevron, Amazon, Halliburton, Netflix, Whirlpool, Aramark, Goodyear, IBM or many other companies. We're getting it backwards when we get upset with individuals/families on welfare or food stamps - or with the idea of providing these people with more when they didn't work for it - when these corporations are literally making away like bandits.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 10:35:24 AM by nancyjnelson »

use2betrix

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #45 on: June 22, 2019, 11:29:08 AM »

There is something wrong that I paid more federal taxes in 2018 than General Motors, Chevron, Amazon, Halliburton, Netflix, Whirlpool, Aramark, Goodyear, IBM or many other companies. We're getting it backwards when we get upset with individuals/families on welfare or food stamps - or with the idea of providing these people with more when they didn't work for it - when these corporations are literally making away like bandits.

Do you think we would be better off if these companies disappeared, along with the millions of jobs associated with them? Those jobs, that also entail all the tax paying jobs that go along with them?

If we all of a sudden reduced their earnings by 35%, that would basically trickle immediately down to their employees via a reduction in force or pay.. Or by simply shutting down as they no longer remain profitable as a company..


MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2019, 11:33:09 AM »
The last thing I want is to see idiots with more free time than currently. Hard pass for me.

Can we be friends? This post was hilarious. 👍

I-Ranger

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2019, 11:50:06 AM »

There is something wrong that I paid more federal taxes in 2018 than General Motors, Chevron, Amazon, Halliburton, Netflix, Whirlpool, Aramark, Goodyear, IBM or many other companies. We're getting it backwards when we get upset with individuals/families on welfare or food stamps - or with the idea of providing these people with more when they didn't work for it - when these corporations are literally making away like bandits.

Do you think we would be better off if these companies disappeared, along with the millions of jobs associated with them? Those jobs, that also entail all the tax paying jobs that go along with them?

If we all of a sudden reduced their earnings by 35%, that would basically trickle immediately down to their employees via a reduction in force or pay.. Or by simply shutting down as they no longer remain profitable as a company..

So the choice is binary? We either refrain from collecting taxes from them or they go out of business?

Somehow, some way, I think the companies mentioned would find a way to survive if they had to pay more in taxes. And they're not going to cut a bunch of employees if the demand for their product is still there. 

use2betrix

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #48 on: June 22, 2019, 12:08:41 PM »

There is something wrong that I paid more federal taxes in 2018 than General Motors, Chevron, Amazon, Halliburton, Netflix, Whirlpool, Aramark, Goodyear, IBM or many other companies. We're getting it backwards when we get upset with individuals/families on welfare or food stamps - or with the idea of providing these people with more when they didn't work for it - when these corporations are literally making away like bandits.

Do you think we would be better off if these companies disappeared, along with the millions of jobs associated with them? Those jobs, that also entail all the tax paying jobs that go along with them?

If we all of a sudden reduced their earnings by 35%, that would basically trickle immediately down to their employees via a reduction in force or pay.. Or by simply shutting down as they no longer remain profitable as a company..

So the choice is binary? We either refrain from collecting taxes from them or they go out of business?

Somehow, some way, I think the companies mentioned would find a way to survive if they had to pay more in taxes. And they're not going to cut a bunch of employees if the demand for their product is still there.

Yes. Itís 100% binary.

I-Ranger

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Re: Do mustachians support universal basic income?
« Reply #49 on: June 22, 2019, 05:16:07 PM »

There is something wrong that I paid more federal taxes in 2018 than General Motors, Chevron, Amazon, Halliburton, Netflix, Whirlpool, Aramark, Goodyear, IBM or many other companies. We're getting it backwards when we get upset with individuals/families on welfare or food stamps - or with the idea of providing these people with more when they didn't work for it - when these corporations are literally making away like bandits.

Do you think we would be better off if these companies disappeared, along with the millions of jobs associated with them? Those jobs, that also entail all the tax paying jobs that go along with them?

If we all of a sudden reduced their earnings by 35%, that would basically trickle immediately down to their employees via a reduction in force or pay.. Or by simply shutting down as they no longer remain profitable as a company..

So the choice is binary? We either refrain from collecting taxes from them or they go out of business?

Somehow, some way, I think the companies mentioned would find a way to survive if they had to pay more in taxes. And they're not going to cut a bunch of employees if the demand for their product is still there.

Yes. Itís 100% binary.

Since it's that simple, we should collect more taxes from individual citizens, give that cash to huge companies, and then there's no way these companies will ever go out of business or layoff anyone. :)

I don't think Amazon, GM, Halliburton, etc. are all such fragile houses of cards that an uptick in their paid taxes from zero to something a bit above zero causes them to collapse, but I guess we agree to disagree. Must be tough for Bezos to be livin' paycheck-to-paycheck like that. Hope he has a solid E-fund. :)