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    News Center - Thread: Universal Basic Income

    1. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      I'm aware of what the idea is. The trouble is whether it would work or not. I don't doubt it would be a lovely thought to have lots of people given a living wage regardless of whether they do anything useful or not. I wouldn't say no to some free money for not doing anything. I can't imagine many people would be opposed to it.

      The part of your post I bolded is something I guess you got mixed up. If people pay more in tax than their UBI it works out as a tax increase, not a tax cut.

      How do you think you're going to levy taxes on the income produced by robots? A robot doesn't have a tax domicile and we've already seen how multinationals can pretty much choose where they want to be based and how much tax they would like to pay. Unless anyone thinks like companies set to make untold billions from replacing human labor with robots are suddenly going to become very charitable and not do everything in their power to avoid taxes we'd better come up with a good way to figure out how to pay a 13-figure annual bill and even a figure as low as $1,800,000,000,000 each and every year is only giving people $500/month. I don't know about you but I can't live on $500/month. Make it $2,000/month (still probably not enough for people with mortgages, student loans, car payments etc) and you just boosted the bill to $7,200,000,000,000 every year. That should do wonders for the national debt.

      You could always make it work like the UK's income support, where you're allowed to earn some token amount before everything you earn is deducted, pound for pound, from your income support. Never underestimate the ability of government to create powerful disincentives to do anything useful.
      Actually welfare is set up that way so is social security and the disability pension I get is as well. If I would earn anything it would be deducted dollar for dollar from my check. They even do that with my social security. My disability is about 200 a month more than I can get in social security and rather than get two checks I just dont apply for the social security. I agree that they should allow people to work or earn income at some level rather than doing the dollar for dollar thing. You are right that it does kill incentive for sure. Thgere should be a happy medium where if someone is on welfare or a pension that they be allowed to earn so much before that kicks in or in the case of welfare that they would continue with that till a person would get on their feet with a job rather than just cutting them off right away
      Isaiah 40:31

    2. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by psalms 91 View Post
      Actually welfare is set up that way so is social security and the disability pension I get is as well. If I would earn anything it would be deducted dollar for dollar from my check. They even do that with my social security. My disability is about 200 a month more than I can get in social security and rather than get two checks I just dont apply for the social security. I agree that they should allow people to work or earn income at some level rather than doing the dollar for dollar thing. You are right that it does kill incentive for sure. Thgere should be a happy medium where if someone is on welfare or a pension that they be allowed to earn so much before that kicks in or in the case of welfare that they would continue with that till a person would get on their feet with a job rather than just cutting them off right away
      It would make sense that earnings are deducted fractionally up to a certain point, then welfare is cut off.

      For the sake of figures if your welfare is $1000/month perhaps anything you made could be deducted 50c in the dollar, so that if you worked and made $1200 you'd lose $600 of your welfare. Then by the time you were earning $2000/month your welfare would have dropped to zero.

      The trouble with the current system is that it encourages a combination of dependency and dishonesty. There's no point working if you're not going to benefit from it, and if you can work for cash in hand there's a strong disincentive to be honest about it. In the meantime the taxpayer gets to pick up the tab, again.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    3. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      It would make sense that earnings are deducted fractionally up to a certain point, then welfare is cut off.

      For the sake of figures if your welfare is $1000/month perhaps anything you made could be deducted 50c in the dollar, so that if you worked and made $1200 you'd lose $600 of your welfare. Then by the time you were earning $2000/month your welfare would have dropped to zero.

      The trouble with the current system is that it encourages a combination of dependency and dishonesty. There's no point working if you're not going to benefit from it, and if you can work for cash in hand there's a strong disincentive to be honest about it. In the meantime the taxpayer gets to pick up the tab, again.
      This makes sense, to bad the government doesnt operate on sense
      Isaiah 40:31

    4. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by psalms 91 View Post
      This makes sense, to bad the government doesnt operate on sense
      If you start from the assumption that welfare is about helping people into work nothing makes sense. If you start from the assumption that welfare is a way to keep people dependent and little more than a vote-buying scheme it makes a lot more sense. I struggle to conclude anything other than that welfare is more about buying votes by keeping people afraid that the other side will take away the free money, than about actually helping.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    5. #15
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      What I wonder is why the phrase "no strings attached" has to be applied to the project. What if there were strings? We don't become better as a society by giving free money and saying "have a nice day!" We become better by meeting need. Financial security is a need, for sure, but so are many other things that might go along with finances (budgeting, child care, bills, grocery shopping...). Some might not know how to do these things (I did say some, not all), and would benefit from case management to assess that. Left to our own devices, what's really being solved if these other needs are still present? Stockton, California isn't the first place I think of when someone mentions fiscal security. The report mentioned that most are living well below the median income level.
      Language is so powerful, and paints a picture that looks good (No strings attached!!! No-one looking over your shoulder!!!), but why do we frame it that way? I fail to see the issue with asking "where is your greatest need, and how can we assist you to meet that need?"
      I can't stop the world from turning around, or the pull of the moon on the tide...
      But I don't believe that we're in this alone, I believe we're along for the ride..
      - Dream Theater

    6. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryDay2 View Post
      What I wonder is why the phrase "no strings attached" has to be applied to the project. What if there were strings? We don't become better as a society by giving free money and saying "have a nice day!" We become better by meeting need. Financial security is a need, for sure, but so are many other things that might go along with finances (budgeting, child care, bills, grocery shopping...). Some might not know how to do these things (I did say some, not all), and would benefit from case management to assess that. Left to our own devices, what's really being solved if these other needs are still present? Stockton, California isn't the first place I think of when someone mentions fiscal security. The report mentioned that most are living well below the median income level.
      Language is so powerful, and paints a picture that looks good (No strings attached!!! No-one looking over your shoulder!!!), but why do we frame it that way? I fail to see the issue with asking "where is your greatest need, and how can we assist you to meet that need?"
      A few things here.

      Firstly, by definition, 50% are below the median. It's the very definition of what the median is. It makes for shock headlines if you rely on people not knowing because "half of people have below average income" is the kind of thing that can be used to rouse up the rabble to insist that Something Must Be Done when the very definitions used mean that nothing will ever change. The mean is more prone to be skewed - if you're using mean income then Bill Gates walking into bar makes everybody a multimillionaire, on average. The mean moves sharply when he walks in, the median won't shift anywhere near as sharply.

      Throwing money at problems is just what government does. It's about all government can do. It's all well and good teaching people how to budget but different people have different priorities. You might be saving up for a fancy sports car while I think a sports car is a waste of money because I'd rather travel the world. You might think that's a waste of money. Understanding basic household economics is the sort of thing that should be taught in schools rather than left until later when maybe some government program or another will help people address a lack of basic life skills.

      Meeting needs is complex. I think of people I've known over the years. Like the elderly widow who lived alone, who didn't have a lot of money (sometimes barely enough to get by) but she was OK with that - her biggest problem was losing physical mobility and finding it harder to get around. Or the guy whose wife died who literally had more money than he knew what to do with (his wife had a huge life insurance policy he didn't know about until she died) but was desperately lonely. Or the couple who endlessly fought over money because she was prone to waste it in one area while he wasted it in another, while both blamed the other for their financial situation. There's not much that can be done for the first person because even if you got the things she needed delivered to her door that doesn't help with the fact she struggles to get out and socialize. The second person needed human company, something government programs are bad at dealing with. The third needed a combination of financial advice and marital counseling.

      Case management sounds good in theory but would rapidly become just another money pit that failed to offer anything like value for money. One fundamental problem is that the people who use welfare as a safety net while they get themselves sorted out aren't the problem, and the people who use welfare as a lifestyle choice because it's easier to just game the system than go out and work will just continue to game the system. It's not even as if making sure people are trying to find work achieves much - I've known business owners despair at the appalling quality of candidates they have seen turn up for interviews, wasting everybody's time because they had to prove they were "looking for work" to get their free money. So they'd show up late, make no attempt to impress the interviewer and make it clear during the interview they had no interest in the job at all, but every letter that said "thank you for your time, however we regret to inform you..." counted as "proof" they were looking for work. In the meantime the people who are genuinely trying to find work have their time wasted by being expected to prove it, when they would rather stay busy job hunting.

      ETA: It's actually quite hard to enforce giving away money with strings attached. You've probably seen the kind of person who gets to the checkout with a cart piled high with junk food and then pays with their food stamps. Even if you could enforce some kind of system whereby food stamps couldn't be used for junk food it's virtually impossible to stop someone buying things that are covered by their food stamps, selling them on for cash at a discount, then using the money to buy junk food. All it means is that someone who doesn't qualify for food stamps gets a benefit from food stamps and the person who does qualify gets a bit less junk food.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    7. #17
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      Its definitely a complicated subject. On one hand IMO here in the U.S. I think Social security it too low for those folks who’ve paid in all their lives and others that are truly disabled. But then again I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard of people younger and in better shape than me on SSI.

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      Its definitely a complicated subject. On one hand IMO here in the U.S. I think Social security it too low for those folks who’ve paid in all their lives and others that are truly disabled. But then again I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard of people younger and in better shape than me on SSI.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
      Its definitely a complicated subject. On one hand IMO here in the U.S. I think Social security it too low for those folks who’ve paid in all their lives and others that are truly disabled. But then again I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard of people younger and in better shape than me on SSI.
      Social Security definitely didn't turn out as most people anticipated
      "Christianity does not require more work but more trust." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "Bearing fruit does not make you a branch. A branch is a branch because it grows from the vine." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "A Christian's life is not defined by what the Christian does. It is defined by Christ and what He has done for us." Pr. Rolf David Preus

    11. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lämmchen View Post
      Social Security definitely didn't turn out as most people anticipated
      Mainly because congress has been robbing it since the 60's/ Now they want to blame the system for not having the money when it was congress who depleted the funds
      Isaiah 40:31

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