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

Intended for constructive conversations. Exhibits of polarizing tribalism will be deleted.
EdithKeeler
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by EdithKeeler »

I'm just not convinced that it would help the poor more than the current system. Wellfare recipients aren't exactly known for great decision making skills. You would be giving them cash. Who's to say they wouldn't just use it to gamble or buy drugs and alcohol while leaving themselves and their kids homeless and malnourished. Wellfare ensures they use it for food and subsidized housing ensures they use it for housing.
There are quite a few studies out there that show that when poor people are given cash, they mostly spend it just like middle class people do—some buy better food, some upgrade the cable package, some move to better places, and some buy booze and drugs.

Personally, I’m convinced that if UBI was in place, people would just figure out a way to get their paws on it.

On “on the media” today the story was devoted to how rich landlords, particularly LLCs, sort of prey on poor people. Of note, rents for crappy apartments aren’t generally significantly less than good apartments, and poor people are quick to be evicted, with lots of fees tacked on. (As a landlord, I can see both sides on this one....).

But I think whenever there’s a big pool of money out there, whether it’s Medicare or Medicaid dollars or student loan $$ or welfare or UBI, someone’s gonna be trying really hard to get their hands on it. I think I’m realistic, not necessarily cynical about that.

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

Post by Campitor »

The rental price for crappy apartments doesn't differ significantly for many reasons. Homeowner taxes don't differ much from bad to good neighborhoods. Residential units in poor neighborhoods get abused so the upkeep costs are higher than most people realize. Holes punched in doors and walls is not uncommon. Busted windows and doors from robberies isn't uncommon either. And high rents buffer against late and delinquent payments.

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

Post by EdithKeeler »

The rental price for crappy apartments doesn't differ significantly for many reasons. Homeowner taxes don't differ much from bad to good neighborhoods. Residential units in poor neighborhoods get abused so the upkeep costs are higher than most people realize. Holes punched in doors and walls is not uncommon. Busted windows and doors from robberies isn't uncommon either. And high rents buffer against late and delinquent payments.
I don’t disagree. You charge more to those who are likely to cost you more. But the fact is profit margins on the cheap apartments are actually much higher than on better apartments because they buildings aren’t as well maintained and because of fees and things tacked on to the eviction process, etc. https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/03/ ... ch/585265/

Here’s a link to “on the media.” The story today is one of a 4 part story on eviction. https://www.wnycstudios.org/shows/otm

Personally, I think if we could get a handle on housing costs for lower income people, that would be half the battle. I would expect, though, that if UBI went into effect, rents would increase significantly.

Toska2
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Re: The benefits of a basic income // much higher min wage

Post by Toska2 »

Monetary wealth is a "relative" concept. If everyone had the same amount more, the new equilibrium is that.

Tinfoil hat time...
It would flush out everyone who choses to live quietly with "under the table" jobs and out of the governments reach. What they earn now would be insufficient. This is a hunt for the true independents under the guise of helping the poor.
I cannot put into words how vile this is to me.

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

Post by tonyedgecombe »

EdithKeeler wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:34 pm
Personally, I think if we could get a handle on housing costs for lower income people, that would be half the battle. I would expect, though, that if UBI went into effect, rents would increase significantly.
If the housing supply is constrained, otherwise probably not much.

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

Post by latearlyFI »

I think the UBI debate sometimes not focused on the right issue ie it becomes more about worrying about lazy people and unfairness on hard workers etc. I think the perspective needs to come from what the fuck are we going to do when 75% of the country doesn't have a job. That statistic is from a book written by a guy that has studied the possibilities, (The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future", by Martin Ford. But even with a much lower rate of unemployment due to automation, the outcome is scary. The Great Depression reached 25%. Businesses need people to have money to function. If only a small few people are rich and have income they can't make up for a mass market. You can only sell only so many phones, cars and appliances to Billionaires. So the question really is what steps can be taken to avoid calamity from the rapid reduction in available jobs.

From what I've read so far UBI is a very simple solution There may be better solutions that I'm unaware of. A VAT could fund it. Amazon is drastically reducing employment all on it's own, via robots in warehouses and shipping, drone deliveries, staff free stores and putting many retails stores out of business that hire. They also pay zero federal tax. The payroll taxes, are gone too. So if they had say a 5% VAT on all purchases, which was then redistributed to all Citizens, it would just go back into the economy.

Other countries have the VAT or GST, some countries don't apply it to basic necessities like food and utilities, but it spreads the tax load so it is not just on the shoulders of employees.

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

Post by Campitor »

There are 240 million adult citizens in the US. If 75% of them were unemployed, that would mean 180 million US citizens have no income - 12k a year UBI will not be enough to compensate for a complete loss of income. The math says UBI in any form where 75% of American's are unemployed is unsustainable.

And the only incentives businesses have to stop automation is to make hiring humans the cheaper alternative again. I don't see that happening.

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

Post by IlliniDave »

Campitor wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:23 pm
The math says UBI in any form where 75% of American's are unemployed is unsustainable.
Same could be said for the businesses. With 75% unemployment there's basically no customer base. Or tax base for that matter.

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

Post by Campitor »

IlliniDave wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:45 pm
Same could be said for the businesses. With 75% unemployment there's basically no customer base. Or tax base for that matter.
Totally agree. There will be jobs that will never be replaced because the complexity of the task would require automation that is so expensive that it wouldn't be worth the money. But keep jacking up the price of simple labor and simple machines that cost less than a year's salary for 2 employees makes sense. No profit loss to taxes, training, benefits, and family leave.

https://www.aei.org/publication/minimum ... coal-mine/

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

Post by bigato »

latearlyFI, this is just another instance of the eternal fight between right and left tendencies, where people will just be dominated by their emotions and biases most of the time. What I don't think is being answered is, given a system that intrinsically tends to concentration of power in the hands of a few through capitalism and automation, what do you do with the resulting differences? Is it ok to just let it run its course? Meanwhile a sizable group of billionaires just signed a statement saying that they themselves are part of the problem and that they should be taxed.

Obviously it is cheaper to apply machines to a lot of repetitive labour and computers to even intelectual labours. You need less humans for that, so whoever owns the machines concentrates the power and resources. Scale it up and you quickly end up with a portion of people who have way more than they would ever be able to spend. Given limited resources since we are on a finite planet, that also means that a much bigger percentage of the population will be barely scrapping by, or actually struggling to survive. Is that the world we want to live in? Will it even be a safe place? Do you enjoy seeing other humans suffer because they don't happen to be born with a brain good enough for being a programmer? Should the rest of personalities become entrepreneurs? Is that fair to human nature? Or maybe the rest should become self-sufficient farmers? Except that billionaires are buying vast parcels of land that they will never be able to use and putting armed guards to guarantee people won't trespass.

It is an economics problem really. What do we do? Do we define a limite for how much one single person can acummulate? Do we tax the shit out of the obscenely rich and redistribute it somehow in a way that will lower the contrasts between the poor and the rich? How do we deal with the morals of people who think the poor are animals who are going to try to abuse any type of resource redistribution that we institute? They don't care it is *universal*, it just triggers them that poor people will get resources without *deserving* it. As if the resources weren't already taken from them to begin with, in the form of very rich people and corporations taking over land and resources and making it much more expensive or impossible to acquire.

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

Post by latearlyFI »

bigato, well said!

I am a new US Citizen, and I was asked to choose a Political party when I registered in my state. I didn't know. So I've been on a mission to educate myself and talk to people so I can make an informed vote. I've been surprised mostly by the odd collection of issues that represent one side or the other, I mean why does guns correlate with abortion? And I've learned to be careful, people get really mad at you if you even mention liking a Democrat Policy where I live. I like and despise policies of both parties.

I wish we could discuss important issues separately without branding them with a political party. For example, little did I know that caring about the environment was political! I thought it was you know an environmental, earthling issue. Climate change policy should be based on science not politicking..

I think the automation of jobs should be an issue that both sides address. Eventually we'll have to anyway.

There was another article today about a company automating many white collar jobs away: -

https://www.marketscreener.com/ACCENTUR ... -28800182/

They at least are retraining. But I wonder if that will help.

I'm thinking becoming as self sufficient as possible is a good hedge, I started a Victory garden :)

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

Post by IlliniDave »

latearlyFI wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:18 am

I am a new US Citizen, and I was asked to choose a Political party when I registered in my state. I didn't know. So I've been on a mission to educate myself and talk to people so I can make an informed vote. I've been surprised mostly by the odd collection of issues that represent one side or the other, I mean why does guns correlate with abortion? And I've learned to be careful, people get really mad at you if you even mention liking a Democrat Policy where I live. I like and despise policies of both parties.

I wish we could discuss important issues separately without branding them with a political party. For example, little did I know that caring about the environment was political! I thought it was you know an environmental, earthling issue. Climate change policy should be based on science not politicking..
...
You shouldn't have to choose a party, being an "independent" is fine. I've never been a member of a political party.

Yeah, it would be nice to discuss things independent of politics. But UBI is a political strategy (even more so the so-called Freedom Dividend) so it's tough to avoid the overlap.

Caring about the environment is very apolitical. Whether to support federal government policies that will fundamentally alter our economic system and notions of freedom based on various doomsday scenario predictions is necessarily political, because the discussion at that point is about the government, more so than the issue(s).

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

Post by Campitor »

What I don't think is being answered is, given a system that intrinsically tends to concentration of power in the hands of a few through capitalism and automation, what do you do with the resulting differences?
All political and economic systems concentrate power and wealth into the hands of the few without exception. It's a flaw of any system run by humans. There's nothing that can be done with the difference because it will never cease to exist. You will never make everyone equally powerful because people behave differently which leads to differentiation in power. Name one system where power is equally distributed? It doesn't exist.

All economic systems produce incentives. These incentives are constrained by the political framework they operate in. These constraints and incentives will affect how people behave in the pursuit of money.

When taxes seem punitive to an individual, they will seek the means to minimize it or seek other sources of revenue which bypass taxes (bartering, black market wages, tax shelters, etc.). A system that strips 90% of earnings after a certain income level will incentivize people to stop short of reaching that level to avoid paying what they consider unfair.

How would this effect employment, tax revenues, and innovation? How would the poor be effected if government collected less tax revenue under a misguided tax plan? There is a "sweet" spot for taxes - too much and you slow the economy and increase unemployment, too little and you start growing the deficit and reduce the amount of benefits that can be given to the poor. Economist on the left and right believe this - its not a single party belief.

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

Post by bigato »

I don't think anybody here mentioned equal distribution, that's a strawman. You must agree that there are difference levels of contrast between countries and between different points in history. We probably also agree that the present tendency is towards concentration more than in other times and that it is possible to do something to alter it one way or another.

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

Post by Campitor »

bigato wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:03 pm
I don't think anybody here mentioned equal distribution, that's a strawman.
Actually it's not a strawman argument. Any system that seeks to distribute outcomes without defining its inherit limits is a race toward forced equal distribution. To make my argument a strawman you have to define the limits of your redistribution of wealth. So how much of a difference are YOU willing to accept and how are you going to convince others that your limits should be the limit for everyone? And how will you force those who don't wish to redistribute their wealth to part with it? Because force or implied force will be the only means to do it. And as soon as you authorize people to use force to redistribute anything, you have now created another imbalance of force.
You must agree that there are difference levels of contrast between countries and between different points in history. We probably also agree that the present tendency is towards concentration more than in other times and that it is possible to do something to alter it one way or another.
Really? So today's imbalance is greater than the Roman emperors or the Prussian Czars? The dynasties of China were more balanced? Or the aristocracy of Europe pre Bastille day? Or perhaps when the Mayans were sacrificing human hearts to Quetzalcoatl was a more benevolent time? Or maybe Ancient Egypt with its inbred dynastic government was better? Or the victorian era was more equal when women suffrage didn't exist? Or the early 1900's when segregation was still legal and black people were getting lynched? In what era was life and imbalances better than today? How did I miss this era of Utopia and why didn't it persist?

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

Post by daylen »

Incentives, power, symmetric consequences, wealth, and equality are all perfectly fine concepts to juggle around in a conversation as long as people agree on what counts. This is a measurement problem, and someone with a different measuring stick in the same topological space may appear radical or arrogant. What dimensions matter?

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

Post by Campitor »

daylen wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:31 pm
This is a measurement problem, and someone with a different measuring stick in the same topological space may appear radical or arrogant. What dimensions matter?
Good question. I'd settle for a system that uses actual results and criteria to gauge efficacy.

The official poverty rate in 2017 was 12.3 percent, down 0.4 percentage points from 12.7 percent in 2016. This is the third consecutive annual decline in poverty. Since 2014, the poverty rate has fallen 2.5 percentage points, from 14.8 percent to 12.3 percent. https://www.census.gov/library/publicat ... 0-263.html

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

Post by LookingInward »

Campitor wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:16 pm
Actually it's not a strawman argument. Any system that seeks to distribute outcomes without defining its inherit limits is a race toward forced equal distribution. To make my argument a strawman you have to define the limits of your redistribution of wealth. So how much of a difference are YOU willing to accept and how are you going to convince others that your limits should be the limit for everyone? And how will you force those who don't wish to redistribute their wealth to part with it? Because force or implied force will be the only means to do it. And as soon as you authorize people to use force to redistribute anything, you have now created another imbalance of force.
I would say the optimal level of redistribution is one where you don't have people talking much about inequality. Right now that is not the case, so there should be more redistribution in my opinion.

Taxes are, by definition, forced upon you. If you don't pay them, you go to jail. I've heard the argument that taxation is theft, but honestly, I don't see how we can have a decent society without it so I'll bite the bullet on possibly not being morally coherent. Rich people in Northern Europe don't seem to mind the high taxes that much. It's, among other things, a matter of culture. So if you want to walk towards less inequality, mentalities also have to be changed. Maybe we should discuss important moral problems in school instead of learning about dozens of different subjects most of us don't even care about or could learn later, if we are inclined to.

Maybe it's lack of imagination, but I just don't see how one can argue agains't redistribution when you understand that you didn't choose to be born, where, to what parents, with that brain, etc. I've been in the radical libertarian camp in the past by the way and I am also also very skeptical of minimum wages and universal basic income. But i have to admit I still need to study more about the empirical best ways to reduce inequality

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

Post by Campitor »

LookingInward wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:38 am
I would say the optimal level of redistribution is one where you don't have people talking much about inequality. Right now that is not the case, so there should be more redistribution in my opinion.
So every time there's excessive talk about inequality people will be recipients of redistributed wealth. In short, when people complain they get money and when they stop complaining the money stops coming. Do you not see how this system will be coopted maliciously? This is honestly a terrible idea.
Taxes are, by definition, forced upon you. If you don't pay them, you go to jail. I've heard the argument that taxation is theft, but honestly, I don't see how we can have a decent society without it so I'll bite the bullet on possibly not being morally coherent. Rich people in Northern Europe don't seem to mind the high taxes that much. It's, among other things, a matter of culture.
If you combined the immigration rates of Northern Europe they wouldn't equal the immigration numbers of the United States. It's easy to redistribute money when it has a smaller population to cover. To make an accurate comparison on redistribution of Europe vs the US, you would need to combine the total population of Europe and then try to redistribute money equally among all member countries. Take a look at this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_s ... yment_rate .

Look at the unemployment rate of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, and Germany. Now compare that to the unemployment rate of everyone else and see if what the rich currently pay is sufficient to cover everyone.
So if you want to walk towards less inequality, mentalities also have to be changed. Maybe we should discuss important moral problems in school instead of learning about dozens of different subjects most of us don't even care about or could learn later, if we are inclined to.
So what subject would you cut and how would you convince everyone you're right?
Maybe it's lack of imagination, but I just don't see how one can argue agains't redistribution when you understand that you didn't choose to be born, where, to what parents, with that brain, etc. I've been in the radical libertarian camp in the past by the way and I am also also very skeptical of minimum wages and universal basic income. But i have to admit I still need to study more about the empirical best ways to reduce inequality
This redistribution problem has been with humans since the 1st human with only 1 coconut noticed that his friend had 2 coconuts. You don't choose to be born but you certainly are responsible for the choices you make thereafter. Choose poorly and you may have a rough life or choose wisely and perhaps you'll be better off than those that choose poorly. There are no guarantees in life. Life isn't fair and it will never be fair. It's a byproduct of being human and living in a chaotic universe.

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

Post by daylen »

Campitor wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:27 pm
So every time there's excessive talk about inequality people will be recipients of redistributed wealth. In short, when people complain they get money and when they stop complaining the money stops coming. Do you not see how this system will be coopted maliciously? This is honestly a terrible idea.
Perhaps to implement at scale, but not everyone cares enough to signal/control what policy should be in their spare time. From the perspective of someone that actively avoids trying to trigger others it may be rational to pay attention to this measure. Violent crime is correlated with income inequality, not absolute income. People adapt to the absolute lifestyle standard and complain that they do not have the lifestyle their neighbor in the high-rise is signaling on social media. If a critical proportion of people start to feel unequal, then what is to stop a cascading effect where the whole system breaks. People respond to news of difference, not "objects".

I am in no way advocating for how society should be.

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