The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

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Campitor
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Campitor » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:20 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:28 am
However, America is not just the Mecca of Capitalism, it is also a country founded on Christian values, very much including the notion that on some level, not privy to the mechanisms of the market or even hard physics, we are all created equal-ish. So, that's where UBI really comes from.
We’re created equal but we’re free to pursue our life, liberty, and happiness in our own way. This type of freedom unfortunately results in disparate outcomes.

Give me UBI and I’ll generate 3x it’s value because I will make choices that maximizes its potential. Others will just buy booze and drugs. UBI will not correct outcomes caused by bad choices or incentivize better behavior.

This doesn’t mean I want the poor to suffer. I want to help them by providing mechanisms that teach financial literacy and marketable skills. Giving a person a fish will not make them a fisherman.

And since Christianity was brought into the conversation, forgive me for quoting the New Testament:

“A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” (Matthew 7:18)

Jean
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Jean » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:22 am

I see UBI as a good tool to replace FRB with in order to control the monetary mass.

7Wannabe5
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:22 am

I didn't mean to invoke a debate on the topic of Christian morality. I am not a practicing Christian. I was just thinking about what Harari wrote on the topic of the morals and myths underpinning the American Constitution. All humans created equal very well may be the best assumption for moral society, but it is not the truth in the sense that any child, given equal opportunity such as access to healthy food and decent education has the potential to grow up to be a Data Scientist.

I don't disagree that a fishing pole is of more value than a fish. In fact, one point I was trying to make is that innovation towards a better fishing pole is the ONLY way out of zero-sum competition for limited resources. The only thing I am disagreeing with is the inherently slavish notion that large scale corporations are the primary centers of innovation. (It's like "job-creators" which in another catch-phrase which makes me want to puke, even though or maybe because, I was a micro-micro "job-creator" within the context of my own micro-micro business. It does sound prettier than "human labor leverage profiteer" but maybe the reality is something betwixt and between? )

IMO, the human drive to innovate is internal and is strongly related to curiosity, risk-taking, and imagination. It can happen on many different levels and scales. For instance, when I recently learned how to identify lamb's quarters and used them in a recipe, that was an innovation within the limited context of my own domain or lifestyle. Another example would be my invention of the "lentil baby" concept which combined the symbol of extreme frugality with the concept of "sugar baby" and the salvation-through-good-housekeeping characters often found in Victorian novels. That was an example of sideways-invention that only required a modicum of knowledge in unrelated realms, rather than the sort of innovation that requires a great deal of knowledge in one realm, such as writing and publishing a research paper in physics. I am happy to offer the use of the "lentil baby" concept gratis to all of humanity, because of the high level of internal amusement this would produce for me. As an ENTP with my particular interests, all I need to do to die a very happy woman is come up with one catch-phrase which migrates into the common vernacular OR breed a tasty new perennial vegetable OR something like that. Just piling up a pile of money seems boring to me, except as means to more interesting ends. However, MMV and I believe that humans who are more of the Builder type than the Inventor/Explorer type might have different thoughts about how things might or should come to happen.

Anyways, the quote from Matthew, is actually quite relevant to this discussion, because it epitomizes how bad science is often used to prop up self-serving moral strictures. In the vast majority of very popular 19th century "rags to riches/work ethic" novels, the notion that hard work is the path to success was very much intertwined with the notion of strong direct inheritance of advanced abilities and innate moral goodness. Often, the poor orphan who worked his way up from the bottom would be revealed as accidentally abandoned child of noble birth. The biological truth, which doesn't universally apply to all species, but which very much does apply to apples and humans, is that it is very much possible for a healthy tree to bear bad fruit. Therefore, it is thoroughly hypocritical to suggest that something like UBI is a bad idea for society as a whole while leaving aside the possibility of much more Draconian inheritance tax.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:36 pm

I agree that corporatism is stultifying.

Campitor
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Campitor » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:39 pm

@7wb

Corporations are not the only centers of innovation but they certainly one of the chief means of bringing innovations to market at scale. The point I was trying to make in regards to UBI, with no-strings-attached to it, is that it makes no sense to take from those already innovating to hand it over to an entire swath of US citizens who are not currently innovators, have no plans to be innovators, and have no incentives to become innovators.

I included the quote from Matthew because of its relevance to this notion of UBI. The whole "bad tree/good tree" and subsequent "bad fruit/good fruit" was an allegory about human behavior. Humans who are up to good are doing good things (good fruit). Humans doing bad things produce bad outcomes (bad fruits). To know someone's authenticity of character, you have to look at their actions and see what fruit they are bearing. Anyone who isn't innovating is not an innovator and UBI will make him or her so.

A means tested UBI with incentives to spark innovation may be worth a limited test. But a no-strings-attached UBI is certainly unworthy of any consideration. Giving out UBI with no strings attached is giving people fish. Giving people incentive based UBI is giving them a fishing pole or at the very least the desire to procure one. Teaching people financial literacy is teaching people how to build a fishing pole, a fishing net, a fishing boat, and also educating them about the migratory patterns of fish. Sorry for beating a dead horse. Or should I say beating a dead fish?

7Wannabe5
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:27 pm

@Campitor:

I think we may have to agree to disagree, because it seems like my personal experience is in direct opposition to yours. I am one of those super annoying people who when trapped in a corporate environment actually found meetings to be relatively enjoyable, because at least there were snacks and I could amuse myself by offering endless suggestions for improvement on any problem brought to the table. What I hated about corporate employment were all the dull hours I had to perform assigned routine or pretend to coach/motivate other adult humans.

Then I inherited less than $12,000 from my father, and I used that money to buy myself the free time and basic tools I needed to start my own business, and for quite a few years I was very happy and moderately successful at that endeavor. So, I do believe that there are people who are internally motivated towards innovation, but just maybe need a little bit of a parachute before they can jump, because I was one of them.

7Wannabe5
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:56 pm

P.S.

Actually, I think we are in agreement if education towards financial literacy includes taking the risk on investing in your own endeavors as well as the very conservative choice of auto-pilot dividing the investment of your funds between businesses being run by a variety of innovators other than yourself. I mean, obviously, Elon Musk is an X times greater innovator than me, but only at Y degrees of remove. It's like patiently waiting for McDonalds to add a very palatable new item to its menu versus tooling around in the kitchen yourself. You might fail profoundly at making yourself a palatable dinner compared to what McDonalds eventually brings to market, but when you win, you win big! And this course of action is actually involves taking on MORE personal responsibility for outcome.

Or to state my belief in even more basic form, you don't need somebody, anybody, "them" to give you a job in order to work, and you don't need somebody, anybody, "them" to make a public offering in order to invest. You can always do it yourself at any level.

bigato
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by bigato » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:32 pm

I agree that if the basic income is universal, a part of it will go to waste and not only not benefit society as a whole but also not even benefit those it was given to. I don’t think anybody here is denying this, because it is obvious human nature.

On the other side, I also know that part of the population will improve their lifes as a consequence and at least move the economy some more. Furthermore, having the income be universal will also guarantee that *every* genius will have at their disposal the possibility of living a spartan life or semi-bum without worrying about what they may see as the stupidities of earning a living, and they will be able to focus all their energy on whatever obsession they have.

If you can step aside from the moral programming that was drilled into you, and if you know the bare minimum about innovation, startups and statistics, you’ll probably see that this would be of the biggest benefit for all in that it would not try to select for the best geniuses by some potentially flawed and gameable criteria. You just assume that the ones that will spend it all wasting themselves are a tiny price to pay for the benefit you get. Imagine some quirky weirdo like Tesla discovering cold fusion clean energy or something of that level. It’s pretty much the spirit of venture capital and startups, where they invest in lot of them knowing well in advance that almost all of them will fail completely, but some of them will create crazy stuff and make up for the losses. Now imagine that in a national scale. Or even bigger.

Add strings and you’ll have a system that can be gamed. And according to the game theory and human nature, it will be gamed and thus benefit the best gamers in detriment of the rest.

Campitor
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Campitor » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:46 pm

bigato wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:32 pm
I agree that if the basic income is universal, a part of it will go to waste and not only not benefit society as a whole but also not even benefit those it was given to. I don’t think anybody here is denying this, because it is obvious human nature.
I agree but more than just a small part will be wasted. Everyone 18yrs old and above who is a US citizen will get UBI -that means rich people and upper middle class people will get the money too. Considering that the rich are getting richer, you are just giving them more money - that is wasteful.

There are approximately 550K homeless people on any given night in the US. A lot of them are dying from drug overdose - it's an epidemic. Many are homeless because of drug addiction. Now you're going to hand the homeless $1000 per month without requiring drug addiction intervention (no strings attached right?). You've now exacerbated the homeless opioid death and addiction rate. http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factshe ... iction.pdf.

How many other things are going to be negatively impacted that you haven't considered? Can we now agree that perhaps some type of requirements may be needed for UBI?
On the other side, I also know that part of the population will improve their lifes as a consequence and at least move the economy some more. Furthermore, having the income be universal will also guarantee that *every* genius will have at their disposal the possibility of living a spartan life or semi-bum without worrying about what they may see as the stupidities of earning a living, and they will be able to focus all their energy on whatever obsession they have.
That is no justification for taking someone else's money by force. That someone considers employment stupid is even more incentive not to give them money. We shouldn't be paying people to be lazy with money taken by force.
If you can step aside from the moral programming that was drilled into you, and if you know the bare minimum about innovation, startups and statistics, you’ll probably see that this would be of the biggest benefit for all in that it would not try to select for the best geniuses by some potentially flawed and gameable criteria. You just assume that the ones that will spend it all wasting themselves are a tiny price to pay for the benefit you get. Imagine some quirky weirdo like Tesla discovering cold fusion clean energy or something of that level. It’s pretty much the spirit of venture capital and startups, where they invest in lot of them knowing well in advance that almost all of them will fail completely, but some of them will create crazy stuff and make up for the losses. Now imagine that in a national scale. Or even bigger.
Start ups have a high failure rate; 75% and higher depending on the data set. It's not moral programming, it's facts and logic. Why would I forcefully take money from proven money makers and redistribute to people who have no track record in business? Let them fund their ventures via private loans and not forced redistribution of money. And I'm also against corporate welfare too.
Add strings and you’ll have a system that can be gamed. And according to the game theory and human nature, it will be gamed and thus benefit the best gamers in detriment of the rest.
But somehow UBI is immune to gamification just because there are no strings attached to it?

tonyedgecombe
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by tonyedgecombe » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:16 am

Campitor wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:46 pm
I agree but more than just a small part will be wasted. Everyone 18yrs old and above who is a US citizen will get UBI -that means rich people and upper middle class people will get the money too. Considering that the rich are getting richer, you are just giving them more money - that is wasteful.
I thought there was supposed to be a big cost to this, that implies the rich are paying more tax. Make your mind up one way or another :)
Campitor wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:46 pm
There are approximately 550K homeless people on any given night in the US. A lot of them are dying from drug overdose - it's an epidemic. Many are homeless because of drug addiction. Now you're going to hand the homeless $1000 per month without requiring drug addiction intervention (no strings attached right?). You've now exacerbated the homeless opioid death and addiction rate. http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factshe ... iction.pdf.
Or you have eliminated $1000/month of drug fuelled crime, and got people out off the street. It could actually be an improvement for everybody else.
Campitor wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:46 pm
But somehow UBI is immune to gamification just because there are no strings attached to it?
I'd be interested to know what your ideas for ramifying it are because there is nothing obvious to me. The big benefit of it is that it is universal, that you don't need any demeaning and bureaucratic gatekeepers. By definition it's small government because it's universal.

Jean
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Jean » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:53 am

Today, monetary creation is made by bankers. I don't think that bankers are less wastefull when it comes to spending money than the average american. So, replacing FRB with UBI wouldn't really be a wastefull change.

Campitor
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Campitor » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:26 pm

tonyedgecombe wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:16 am
I thought there was supposed to be a big cost to this, that implies the rich are paying more tax. Make your mind up one way or another
UBI is expected to cost 2.3 trillion to 4+ trillion per year. Total tax revenue for 2018 was 3.9 Trillion which still required the US to borrow an additional 1.3 Trillion to cover government obligations. The costs are big enough that the burden to fund UBI will need to come from other income brackets.
Or you have eliminated $1000/month of drug fuelled crime, and got people out off the street. It could actually be an improvement for everybody else.
Buying non-prescription opiods is a crime. You cannot eliminate drug fueled crime when the activity requires buying illegal opiods. The gangs/cartels selling opiods will not turn into angels just because the money is coming from UBI.
I'd be interested to know what your ideas for ramifying it are because there is nothing obvious to me. The big benefit of it is that it is universal, that you don't need any demeaning and bureaucratic gatekeepers. By definition it's small government because it's universal.
Taking 2.3 trillion dollars by implied force isn't small government. That the money is distributed universally doesn't mean that government resources aren't required to manage the distribution of this money. If I was going to implement UBI, I would do a limited test in the poorest of communities to see what the results are. If the effect is positive, I would expand the program to the next income bracket. If the program is partially successful, I'd see what factors led to better outcomes and which didn't and adjust UBI policy accordingly. What I certainly wouldn't do is just hand out UBI to everyone and hope for the best. And I certainly wouldn't hand out UBI to people who make enough money that they can take care of themselves.

bigato
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by bigato » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:00 pm

One point where we probably agree is that I think decreasing the country debt and financial responsibility should be prioritized over such a project. In that sense, it’s not every country that would be in conditions to implement UBI, unless we are talking about a much smaller monthly stipend directed for those who need the most. Brazil has such a minimum version of it, and for all the criticism of we being a third world country, it has been shown that the program actually produces a net effect of saving money to the country and improving people’s lives although it’s very far from being anything close to a minimum wage or something of that level. It’s only enough to get people something to eat, or help them with getting a roof over their heads. Far from enough to even pay for rent, except for maybe in some of the poorest places where you would be able to find something barely better than sleeping out. Again, we are not in the best of fiscal situations, but it has been show mathematically to save us money, so there’s that.

One of the few countries which is in fiscal conditions to implement true UBI is Swiss, and they actually did a poll in recent years asking the population if they wanted to receive such free money every month. In a attitude that I consider noble, they answered “no”. It’s only a shame in the sense that we would’ve had the opportunity to witness the result of such an experiment in a whole country, a situation that would be unprecedented in history as far as I know.

Jean
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Jean » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:07 pm

It wasn't a poll, it was a vote.

bigato
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by bigato » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:09 pm

Thanks and sorry for my poor command of English

latearlyFI
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by latearlyFI » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:57 pm

Banks & businesses had million dollar bailouts, but some people don't want to give people a small safety net?

If you're employed, imagine your job is gone and the unemployment rate is 50%. Would you agree then that UBI is a good idea. I'd bet most of your expenses are also wildly above the UBI. It's not to create a nation of Bums, it's to create a safety net which would benefit everyone.

Would we want to live in a country with massive shanty towns of unemployed people? Competing insanely for the very few jobs?

The amount of automation coming is staggering. The book, "War on Normal People", shows what is happening and thankfully proposes some solutions

latearlyFI
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by latearlyFI » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:03 pm

bigato wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:48 pm
The detail that is missing in your narrative is that most of the new technologies are exponentially cheaper and profitable, and need less and less people to make it work. This leds to the version of capitalism that we are living were a handful of big tech have more power over the world than most governments. The differences between those that have a lot and those that have nothing is increasingly bigger. Technocratic Capitalism is failing us. And I say this as one of the few privileged.
Totally agree! Technocratic Capitalism is what it is. I hope we fix it to become Humanity Capitalism before it's too late.

latearlyFI
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by latearlyFI » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:07 pm

I think he say's UBI would only be for Citizens

7Wannabe5
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:06 am

In breaking news on this topic, "The Technology Trap: Capitol, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation" by Carl Benedict Frey was released today. It is now on the top of my stack along with jennypenny recommended "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World" and "Plants from Test Tubes: An Introduction to Micropropagation"...bwah-ha-ha-ha.

Anyways, I was wondering if the discussion on this topic could/would be altered if instead UBI, it was referred to as UTD (Universal Technology Dividend) and somehow actually linked to that reality. IOW, some sort of analogy to tax rebates in states with large oil reserves, or the population of the U.S. being like unto the extended clan of Saud?

IlliniDave
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:27 am

No matter how you dress it up, it still comes down to the basic requirement that the government must first take money from someone before they can give it to anyone.

If the government wants to share their profits they first have to make profits which would require for-profit government enterprise. To hand out trillions they'd have to displace a significant swath of private enterprise. Even if the gov't overtook all US corporations and ran them as well as they have been, all the profit would at best barely cover the Freedom Dividend (e.g., US corps profited ~$2.1T in 2017). That's a big jump down the road to Soviet/Chinese-style Communism. Aside from a few natural resource boons on public land of a handful of states (Alaska comes to mind, which totals about 0.08 Freedom Dividends to the eligible fraction of the population per year), there's not a non-disruptive way to do it.

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