Universal Basic Income

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Sandydragon
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Sandydragon » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:27 pm

Son of Mathonwy wrote:How about introducing UBI incrementally? Try it at 25% of the required level and reduce benefits, state pensions accordingly, increase tax to whatever levels this requires. See how this goes for a few years. If society looks better for it, and there is support, consider moving to 50% etc etc.

I think that would have to be the approach, but target benefits rather than a set percentage. So, remove pensions first and get the system working, then look at replacing unemployment benefit. If all is OK, then consider replacing child benefit and leave the complex area of housing and disability benefits to last.

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Son of Mathonwy » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:46 pm

Sandydragon wrote:
Son of Mathonwy wrote:How about introducing UBI incrementally? Try it at 25% of the required level and reduce benefits, state pensions accordingly, increase tax to whatever levels this requires. See how this goes for a few years. If society looks better for it, and there is support, consider moving to 50% etc etc.

I think that would have to be the approach, but target benefits rather than a set percentage. So, remove pensions first and get the system working, then look at replacing unemployment benefit. If all is OK, then consider replacing child benefit and leave the complex area of housing and disability benefits to last.

That would test the system, but I'm thinking make the change gradual for everyone so that:
1) unforseen or unpredictable consequences appear only gradually, and not at a level that might destabilise the economy or society,
2) people's lives change gradually, so that they are less likely to make dramatic decisions eg I expect that more people would immediately quit their jobs if we move straight to 100% UBI whereas some might never make that decision if their income increases gradually over a decade (say).

It's possible that there would be some tipping points - maybe 50% UBI - where a large number of families with 2 earners switch to 1 earner, hence UBI would have to be gradually increased around those levels.

It's possible, if the impacts are too great at lower levels, that UBI might never get to 100%. But that's better than destroying the economy, causing society to break down, or more likely a backlash which would see UBI stopped and become a poisonous concept for another 100 years.

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Zhivago » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:15 pm

Sandydragon wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
Digby wrote:
I suppose if you look at job benefits, unemployment benefits and think they're doing a job on redistribution of wealth so be it. But the clue is in the name, basic income


Yes welfare is a redistributive policy area. Redistribution involves taking and giving. Welfare is the giving side of the redistribution.

Is it that much of a redistribution when everyone gets the same amount (barring disabled as previously discussed and possibly single parents)?


Everyone gets the same amount in nominal terms, but in relative terms, the poorest get a larger % increase to their income from it. Therefore it is redistributive. The size and shape of the redistribution obviously depends on exactly from whom the money comes and the magnitude of the transfers.
Last edited by Zhivago on Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Zhivago » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:54 pm

Digby wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
Digby wrote:
I suppose if you look at job benefits, unemployment benefits and think they're doing a job on redistribution of wealth so be it. But the clue is in the name, basic income


Yes welfare is a redistributive policy area. Redistribution involves taking and giving. Welfare is the giving side of the redistribution.



We have welfare as part of the current model, and overall there's not a lot of redistribution(1), far from it, much more we see money coalescing at the top. UBI is a change and a significant one to our current model(2), it's not proposed (by me at least) that a model designed to ensure a basic standard of living is commensurate with a wider reengineering in society that actually sees a significant redistribution of wealth, if you want huge changes to the tax system, even a dismantling of the capital system, whilst I'm unlikely to support your ideas(3), indeed I'm likely to think you've lit upon something as sensible as the dribblings of Trump, by all means go for it.

I'd just like to think we could see the case for UBI which would help a huge number in society could be pursued without tying it to still much wider ranging reforms again because that's going to make it much harder to achieve. Why this happens that so many on the left seem to want people to suffer because they consider ultimately that will help deliver their one true vision rather than getting on with what might be practically possible I don't know, hopefully this isn't going to be another instance of those with their pure vision from the moral high ground allowing the potential perfect to crowd out the possible good. For this to happen we don't need to convince the WT's of the UK, we need to convince a lot of Sandys and quite frankly a lot of people who'll be far more sceptical for a variety of reasons than Sandy, saddling the project with a lefty agenda (or tbh a righty agenda because there are things you could do looking the other way with UBI) helps kill the debate before it even gets started


(1) You're simply incorrect here - welfare policies of social transfers funded from tax (as opposed to private sources) decrease the coefficient of inequality (gini) significantly. It obviously varies a lot based on the policies - accounting for more than 44% improvement in Belgium, Sweden, and Denmark, but barely any improvement from the policies of USA (17%) or Rep. South Korea (8%). UK is a bit below the OECD average with a 27% improvement in gini.

(2) I don't see how it is a significant change (the wording of course open to interpretation). It may give a short term boost to demand boost to the economy (if people don't reduce their working hours concurrently), but in the long term the net income of people will equilibrate to that derived from the relationship between the market need for the labour and the labour's demand for compensation (i.e. it must have a lower bound above the point of starvation or otherwise minimum acceptable standard of living).

(3) Very open minded of you. I have many great ideas, and all of them sensible. All of them better than spaffing the money on UBI, and all a great deal more patriotic than taxing the rich to give people more leisure time, or whatever people think UBI is aimed at. Ideas such as using central bank digital currencies to implement a sovereign money system, recovering the not insignificant powers seignorage back to the public coffers from private hands, and stabilising the economy by putting more shackles on the private capacity of banks to create asset bubbles with their loan granting/deposit creating. Or ideas such as using state spending to undertake national investment programs of a more keynesian nature such as transforming our infrastructure or to fund national projects to rejuvenate britain, rather than just wasting the extra cash on people to sit at home and watch more netflix. Or ideas such as introducing tax benefits for enterprise structures that provide significant profit sharing of employees in order to boost productivity. OR... a tonne of ideas far more worthy of the cash than UBI.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Puja » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:07 pm

I would like to note that there is a side-route around all of the questions of having to raise the highest rate of income tax to 85% in order to make the books balance, which is that a nation's economy is not a chequebook. If a policy is seen to be worthwhile in the long run (and there are significant advantages to UBI in terms of the money coming back into the government's coffers from VAT, increased spending in the economy boosting business, people having the freedom to start businesses because of the safety net, better productivity, the aforementioned not needing to bribe multinationals with tax breaks for jobs, etc - whether they would balance in the end can only really be seen from actually trying it), then the government has the facility to borrow or to quantitive ease for it. And, yes, I'm aware inflation is a risk, especially with more demand being pumped into the system at the same time that supply might be experiencing a bit of a squeeze, but as with bank bailouts, wars, Conservative tax-breaks, and Test and Trace contracts for government mates, the money can be found if we think it's important enough.

Zhivago wrote:(3) Very open minded of you. I have many great ideas, and all of them sensible. All of them better than spaffing the money on UBI, and all a great deal more patriotic than taxing the rich to give people more leisure time, or whatever people think UBI is aimed at. Ideas such as using central bank digital currencies to implement a sovereign money system, recovering the not insignificant powers seignorage back to the public coffers from private hands, and stabilising the economy by putting more shackles on the private capacity of banks to create asset bubbles with their loan granting/deposit creating. Or ideas such as using state spending to undertake national investment programs of a more keynesian nature such as transforming our infrastructure or to fund national projects to rejuvenate britain, rather than just wasting the extra cash on people to sit at home and watch more netflix. Or ideas such as introducing tax benefits for enterprise structures that provide significant profit sharing of employees in order to boost productivity. OR... a tonne of ideas far more worthy of the cash than UBI.


This is strikingly reductive of you to dismiss UBI as "letting people sit home and watch netflix". The point of UBI is the theory that everybody in the country has the right to live and survive with a minimum standard of living and that your capacity to exist shouldn't depend on if you can work 40 hours a week. The ability to work hard to have a comfortable life and have nice things is still there, but there shouldn't be an expectation that a person's value and right to not starve is predicated on them working at Poundstretcher instead of producing art, starting a business, retraining, or just surviving as a disabled person without having to jump through hoops for government inspectors.

I am genuinely surprised that you're not in favour of it. I can understand why you might believe other things might have more worth and should have more priority and I do like some of your other ideas, but I am taken aback that you're actively opposed to those ideals.

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Digby » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:15 pm

Zhivago wrote:
Digby wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
Yes welfare is a redistributive policy area. Redistribution involves taking and giving. Welfare is the giving side of the redistribution.



We have welfare as part of the current model, and overall there's not a lot of redistribution(1), far from it, much more we see money coalescing at the top. UBI is a change and a significant one to our current model(2), it's not proposed (by me at least) that a model designed to ensure a basic standard of living is commensurate with a wider reengineering in society that actually sees a significant redistribution of wealth, if you want huge changes to the tax system, even a dismantling of the capital system, whilst I'm unlikely to support your ideas(3), indeed I'm likely to think you've lit upon something as sensible as the dribblings of Trump, by all means go for it.

I'd just like to think we could see the case for UBI which would help a huge number in society could be pursued without tying it to still much wider ranging reforms again because that's going to make it much harder to achieve. Why this happens that so many on the left seem to want people to suffer because they consider ultimately that will help deliver their one true vision rather than getting on with what might be practically possible I don't know, hopefully this isn't going to be another instance of those with their pure vision from the moral high ground allowing the potential perfect to crowd out the possible good. For this to happen we don't need to convince the WT's of the UK, we need to convince a lot of Sandys and quite frankly a lot of people who'll be far more sceptical for a variety of reasons than Sandy, saddling the project with a lefty agenda (or tbh a righty agenda because there are things you could do looking the other way with UBI) helps kill the debate before it even gets started


(1) You're simply incorrect here - welfare policies of social transfers funded from tax (as opposed to private sources) decrease the coefficient of inequality (gini) significantly. It obviously varies a lot based on the policies - accounting for more than 44% improvement in Belgium, Sweden, and Denmark, but barely any improvement from the policies of USA (17%) or Rep. South Korea (8%). UK is a bit below the OECD average with a 27% improvement in gini.




So you don't think UBI is needed, and you're happy with the redistributive effect of our current welfare both now and looking to a future with a great many more job losses to automation? And you're a Corbyn fan boy? Something here isn't adding up.

For myself I'd contend our current welfare policies leave an awful lot to be desired and it's seemingly only set to get worse. We could so something about that with UBI, although that's not hugely redistributive because the rich would still be the rich, we'd just have a better and more secure welfare model. I do think we need a better plan to pay for it than just borrowing an/or printing money, but I confess I don't love the current rates for either one of those already and think we should be acting responsibly, and I note it's not easy too clarify exactly when (or perhaps even why) problems kick in with shovelling debt onto the grandchildren, looking around it's easy to think it might never be problem.

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Zhivago » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:34 pm

Puja wrote:This is strikingly reductive of you to dismiss UBI as "letting people sit home and watch netflix". The point of UBI is the theory that everybody in the country has the right to live and survive with a minimum standard of living and that your capacity to exist shouldn't depend on if you can work 40 hours a week. The ability to work hard to have a comfortable life and have nice things is still there, but there shouldn't be an expectation that a person's value and right to not starve is predicated on them working at Poundstretcher instead of producing art, starting a business, retraining, or just surviving as a disabled person without having to jump through hoops for government inspectors.

I am genuinely surprised that you're not in favour of it. I can understand why you might believe other things might have more worth and should have more priority and I do like some of your other ideas, but I am taken aback that you're actively opposed to those ideals.

Puja


If UBI cannibalises existing welfare programs, it's not worth having such a trojan horse.

If UBI acts as a bone thrown to the starving poor in order to prevent the guillotine further down the road, then it's not worth having.

If UBI is aimed at providing workers with their just proceeds from technological advances, then I would not stand against it, but I do not think it is the right approach for that purpose.

And about sitting and watching netflix, it's much more about my disdain for the idea that we deal with unemployment caused by technological advancement by paying people to do nothing.

People getting money for doing nothing is exactly why I am against capitalism on a fundamental level.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Zhivago » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:44 pm

Digby wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
Digby wrote:

We have welfare as part of the current model, and overall there's not a lot of redistribution(1), far from it, much more we see money coalescing at the top. UBI is a change and a significant one to our current model(2), it's not proposed (by me at least) that a model designed to ensure a basic standard of living is commensurate with a wider reengineering in society that actually sees a significant redistribution of wealth, if you want huge changes to the tax system, even a dismantling of the capital system, whilst I'm unlikely to support your ideas(3), indeed I'm likely to think you've lit upon something as sensible as the dribblings of Trump, by all means go for it.

I'd just like to think we could see the case for UBI which would help a huge number in society could be pursued without tying it to still much wider ranging reforms again because that's going to make it much harder to achieve. Why this happens that so many on the left seem to want people to suffer because they consider ultimately that will help deliver their one true vision rather than getting on with what might be practically possible I don't know, hopefully this isn't going to be another instance of those with their pure vision from the moral high ground allowing the potential perfect to crowd out the possible good. For this to happen we don't need to convince the WT's of the UK, we need to convince a lot of Sandys and quite frankly a lot of people who'll be far more sceptical for a variety of reasons than Sandy, saddling the project with a lefty agenda (or tbh a righty agenda because there are things you could do looking the other way with UBI) helps kill the debate before it even gets started


(1) You're simply incorrect here - welfare policies of social transfers funded from tax (as opposed to private sources) decrease the coefficient of inequality (gini) significantly. It obviously varies a lot based on the policies - accounting for more than 44% improvement in Belgium, Sweden, and Denmark, but barely any improvement from the policies of USA (17%) or Rep. South Korea (8%). UK is a bit below the OECD average with a 27% improvement in gini.




So you don't think UBI is needed, and you're happy with the redistributive effect of our current welfare both now and looking to a future with a great many more job losses to automation? And you're a Corbyn fan boy? Something here isn't adding up.

For myself I'd contend our current welfare policies leave an awful lot to be desired and it's seemingly only set to get worse. We could so something about that with UBI, although that's not hugely redistributive because the rich would still be the rich, we'd just have a better and more secure welfare model. I do think we need a better plan to pay for it than just borrowing an/or printing money, but I confess I don't love the current rates for either one of those already and think we should be acting responsibly, and I note it's not easy too clarify exactly when (or perhaps even why) problems kick in with shovelling debt onto the grandchildren, looking around it's easy to think it might never be problem.


I'm very much a treat the disease not the symptoms kinda guy. Some welfare is needed (e.g. For disabled) but some is fixing a problem caused by inequality/capitalism. I'd much rather address the problem at the source.

I'm no one's fanboy. I've never been a member of any political party. I supported Corbyn because he was offering several policies that I want implemented.

Your concerns around public debt are unfounded. The bank of England owns almost a third of UK national debt. Private debt is the problem, and that is caused by the financial sector creating debt to fuel asset bubble creation.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Zhivago » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:52 pm

If UBI is aimed at supporting people to start businesses, I would prefer a more targeted policy for that. But i wholeheartedly support that aim.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Puja » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:53 pm

Zhivago wrote:
Puja wrote:This is strikingly reductive of you to dismiss UBI as "letting people sit home and watch netflix". The point of UBI is the theory that everybody in the country has the right to live and survive with a minimum standard of living and that your capacity to exist shouldn't depend on if you can work 40 hours a week. The ability to work hard to have a comfortable life and have nice things is still there, but there shouldn't be an expectation that a person's value and right to not starve is predicated on them working at Poundstretcher instead of producing art, starting a business, retraining, or just surviving as a disabled person without having to jump through hoops for government inspectors.

I am genuinely surprised that you're not in favour of it. I can understand why you might believe other things might have more worth and should have more priority and I do like some of your other ideas, but I am taken aback that you're actively opposed to those ideals.

Puja


If UBI cannibalises existing welfare programs, it's not worth having such a trojan horse.

If UBI acts as a bone thrown to the starving poor in order to prevent the guillotine further down the road, then it's not worth having.

If UBI is aimed at providing workers with their just proceeds from technological advances, then I would not stand against it, but I do not think it is the right approach for that purpose.

And about sitting and watching netflix, it's much more about my disdain for the idea that we deal with unemployment caused by technological advancement by paying people to do nothing.

People getting money for doing nothing is exactly why I am against capitalism on a fundamental level.


See, it's that bit that surprises me. Why do people have to earn their right to stay alive? Why are you okay with the way our society sneers at anyone who isn't working, for whatever reason?

For me, that's the absolute best part of UBI. No more having to prove that you're disabled enough to be allowed the pittance that we give to the pitiable. No more single parents having to choose between putting their 6 month old in nursery to slog at a minimum wage job and get judged for not parenting, or stay at home and get judged for being "a welfare queen". No more having to apply for jobs you hate because you can't afford to retrain and our society hates people staying on unemployment too long so you've gotta jump through the hoops to prove that you *deserve* not to be starving.

Why is a person worthless if they don't work? It's a very conservative attitude, reminiscent of workhouses and talk of "the idle poor", and thus one I was very surprised to hear you espouse

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Which Tyler » Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:25 am

Sandydragon wrote:You are the one who suggested raising tax - its your quote form your original post. You then decided that you hadn't suggested raising tax and that adding 12K to everyone income would make them better off. of course it would, FFS. If you Add 12K to their income and change tax rates then that is a different matter.

Your quote:

Either way, we've can put somewhere around £700-722B into a pot to be redistributed with UBI. If we "simply" did that, and didn't touch the rest of the tax brackets (though I would anyway), for a population of 66.6Million, that gives us £10,510- £10,840 for every man, woman and child in the country (AKA, anyone with a national insurance number).


Its reasonable to assume that means raising taxes above a certain limit (which you failed to specify but I'll assume to be 50K because thats where it is now.

Thanks, I understand perfectly well what privilege is. Everything I've got I worked damn hard for and it was no accident of birth.


It's not "reasonable to assume" things that I have explicitly said I'm not doing. I've failed to specify, because I haven't said anything of the sort.

And once again - read what's written, try with a fresh look, and not your pre-conception.

Just in case you are still incapable of this, my proposal is:
A] Give everybody something like £10,500
B] Reduce the tax-free personal allowance from £12,500 to £10,500 - meaning that that free £10,500 is untaxed.
C] Reduce the Basic Rate threshold from £50,000 to £39,500 - so it's still 20% tax on the next £37,500.
D] Reduce the Higher Rate threshold from £15,000 to £139,500 - so it's still 40% tax on the next £100,000.

A threshold earner currently gets £50k, paying £7.5k in tax; taking home £42.5k
Under UBI, they get £10.5k + £50k, paying £11k in tax; taking home £48k

If you prefer, let's make UBI £12,500; in which case, my proposal is
A] Give everybody £12,500
B] Make no change to the tax-free personal allowance of £12,500
C] Make no change to the BAsic Rate threshold of £50,000
D] Make no change to the Higher Rate thrishold of £150,000

A threshold earner currently gets £50k, paying £7.5k in tax; taking home £42.5k
Under UBI, they get £12,500 + £50k, paying £11k in tax; taking home £61.5k

For that individual, their (income) tax contribution increases by £3.5k; and their take-home pay increases by £9k

Now, please show your working for how much poorer they are. Or at the very least, tell me what you think I'm saying - if you can use my own words, then that would help, because currently you're merely claiming to use my words, then making assumptions I've explicitly said aren't true, and running with those despite being repeatedly told, and shown that you are wrong.

If it's the "I would change the tax structure, but haven't in my proposal" then please note "I haven't in my proposal"
Otherwise, the only thing I can possibly think you think I mean, is that I'm touching the first (0%) tax bracket, and making it equal to the amount of UBI I'm handing out. But choosing to interpret that as I'm gouging the 2nd (20%) tax bracket to pay for it all, leaving the rest untouched. If that's what you think then A] you must have ridiculously low opinion of me; B] have paid no attention to anything I've ever written on the politics boards in order to gain that low opinion; and C] fail at reading comprehension.

Just FTR, and this is NOT related to UBI; I'd increase the higher band (45%) tax rate back up to 50%; and impose a new tax rate for those earning over about £0.5M, probably around 55-60%. I'm perfetly open to the idea of raising the £50k threshold, probably to £52.5 (or £40k above the Basic Rate, which I am proposing changes to). Once again, that is purely for the record, and nothing to do with UBI, which is why I left it out of this debate.

Not going into privilege again here, as it's a side track - you and I have obviously have different definitions of the word.
Last edited by Which Tyler on Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Zhivago » Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:30 am

Puja wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
Puja wrote:This is strikingly reductive of you to dismiss UBI as "letting people sit home and watch netflix". The point of UBI is the theory that everybody in the country has the right to live and survive with a minimum standard of living and that your capacity to exist shouldn't depend on if you can work 40 hours a week. The ability to work hard to have a comfortable life and have nice things is still there, but there shouldn't be an expectation that a person's value and right to not starve is predicated on them working at Poundstretcher instead of producing art, starting a business, retraining, or just surviving as a disabled person without having to jump through hoops for government inspectors.

I am genuinely surprised that you're not in favour of it. I can understand why you might believe other things might have more worth and should have more priority and I do like some of your other ideas, but I am taken aback that you're actively opposed to those ideals.

Puja


If UBI cannibalises existing welfare programs, it's not worth having such a trojan horse.

If UBI acts as a bone thrown to the starving poor in order to prevent the guillotine further down the road, then it's not worth having.

If UBI is aimed at providing workers with their just proceeds from technological advances, then I would not stand against it, but I do not think it is the right approach for that purpose.

And about sitting and watching netflix, it's much more about my disdain for the idea that we deal with unemployment caused by technological advancement by paying people to do nothing.

People getting money for doing nothing is exactly why I am against capitalism on a fundamental level.


See, it's that bit that surprises me. Why do people have to earn their right to stay alive? Why are you okay with the way our society sneers at anyone who isn't working, for whatever reason?

For me, that's the absolute best part of UBI. No more having to prove that you're disabled enough to be allowed the pittance that we give to the pitiable. No more single parents having to choose between putting their 6 month old in nursery to slog at a minimum wage job and get judged for not parenting, or stay at home and get judged for being "a welfare queen". No more having to apply for jobs you hate because you can't afford to retrain and our society hates people staying on unemployment too long so you've gotta jump through the hoops to prove that you *deserve* not to be starving.

Why is a person worthless if they don't work? It's a very conservative attitude, reminiscent of workhouses and talk of "the idle poor", and thus one I was very surprised to hear you espouse

Puja


I'm all for making welfare more dignified for those who need it, but that does not need UBI to be achieved.

We live in a society that is not yet automated enough to function without human labour. I look at it from a Kantian perspective - asking the question what would the outcome be if everyone stopped working? The answer to that question indicates that not working when you can when society depends on it to function is not ethical.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Stom » Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:40 am

Zhivago wrote:
Puja wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
If UBI cannibalises existing welfare programs, it's not worth having such a trojan horse.

If UBI acts as a bone thrown to the starving poor in order to prevent the guillotine further down the road, then it's not worth having.

If UBI is aimed at providing workers with their just proceeds from technological advances, then I would not stand against it, but I do not think it is the right approach for that purpose.

And about sitting and watching netflix, it's much more about my disdain for the idea that we deal with unemployment caused by technological advancement by paying people to do nothing.

People getting money for doing nothing is exactly why I am against capitalism on a fundamental level.


See, it's that bit that surprises me. Why do people have to earn their right to stay alive? Why are you okay with the way our society sneers at anyone who isn't working, for whatever reason?

For me, that's the absolute best part of UBI. No more having to prove that you're disabled enough to be allowed the pittance that we give to the pitiable. No more single parents having to choose between putting their 6 month old in nursery to slog at a minimum wage job and get judged for not parenting, or stay at home and get judged for being "a welfare queen". No more having to apply for jobs you hate because you can't afford to retrain and our society hates people staying on unemployment too long so you've gotta jump through the hoops to prove that you *deserve* not to be starving.

Why is a person worthless if they don't work? It's a very conservative attitude, reminiscent of workhouses and talk of "the idle poor", and thus one I was very surprised to hear you espouse

Puja


I'm all for making welfare more dignified for those who need it, but that does not need UBI to be achieved.

We live in a society that is not yet automated enough to function without human labour. I look at it from a Kantian perspective - asking the question what would the outcome be if everyone stopped working? The answer to that question indicates that not working when you can when society depends on it to function is not ethical.


We could probably be better than perfectly fine with 50% employment or lower, though...

And then employers like meat Packers or Amazon would need to change their systems as their jobs become less appealing. Why work in such poor conditions for money you don’t need?

I’d say that’s a good thing. As if they need to work on automation, that will be a net benefit.

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Zhivago » Wed Feb 24, 2021 7:17 am

Stom wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
Puja wrote:
See, it's that bit that surprises me. Why do people have to earn their right to stay alive? Why are you okay with the way our society sneers at anyone who isn't working, for whatever reason?

For me, that's the absolute best part of UBI. No more having to prove that you're disabled enough to be allowed the pittance that we give to the pitiable. No more single parents having to choose between putting their 6 month old in nursery to slog at a minimum wage job and get judged for not parenting, or stay at home and get judged for being "a welfare queen". No more having to apply for jobs you hate because you can't afford to retrain and our society hates people staying on unemployment too long so you've gotta jump through the hoops to prove that you *deserve* not to be starving.

Why is a person worthless if they don't work? It's a very conservative attitude, reminiscent of workhouses and talk of "the idle poor", and thus one I was very surprised to hear you espouse

Puja


I'm all for making welfare more dignified for those who need it, but that does not need UBI to be achieved.

We live in a society that is not yet automated enough to function without human labour. I look at it from a Kantian perspective - asking the question what would the outcome be if everyone stopped working? The answer to that question indicates that not working when you can when society depends on it to function is not ethical.


We could probably be better than perfectly fine with 50% employment or lower, though...

And then employers like meat Packers or Amazon would need to change their systems as their jobs become less appealing. Why work in such poor conditions for money you don’t need?

I’d say that’s a good thing. As if they need to work on automation, that will be a net benefit.


We should absolutely be automating as much as possible. We could definitely incentivise working hours reduction. Without having thought it through - if we get to a situation where there is not enough work to go around how about using tax structures to nudge people to work a 4 day week.

If you want more automation we need to get more people studying things like engineering. We could fund study for people to upskill or reskill for example.
---Zhivagone---

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Stom
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Stom » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:12 am

Zhivago wrote:
Stom wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
I'm all for making welfare more dignified for those who need it, but that does not need UBI to be achieved.

We live in a society that is not yet automated enough to function without human labour. I look at it from a Kantian perspective - asking the question what would the outcome be if everyone stopped working? The answer to that question indicates that not working when you can when society depends on it to function is not ethical.


We could probably be better than perfectly fine with 50% employment or lower, though...

And then employers like meat Packers or Amazon would need to change their systems as their jobs become less appealing. Why work in such poor conditions for money you don’t need?

I’d say that’s a good thing. As if they need to work on automation, that will be a net benefit.


We should absolutely be automating as much as possible. We could definitely incentivise working hours reduction. Without having thought it through - if we get to a situation where there is not enough work to go around how about using tax structures to nudge people to work a 4 day week.

If you want more automation we need to get more people studying things like engineering. We could fund study for people to upskill or reskill for example.


Why? I know more engineers than anything else. Seriously, ship them in from Eastern Europe: they have high work ethic, they're intelligent, they're relative free thinkers, so can come up with creative solutions to problems...

You only need the system in place. But a company isn't going to spend the large up front cost when the cost of employees is so low and the incentives so high.

UBI would mean no-one would want to work at a meat packing plant. Ever. So they'd NEED to make changes to survive.

And we could probably get rid of a lot of jobs without seeing any negatives at all: they're wasted.

Most HR roles, for instance ;)

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Zhivago » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:37 am

Stom wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
Stom wrote:
We could probably be better than perfectly fine with 50% employment or lower, though...

And then employers like meat Packers or Amazon would need to change their systems as their jobs become less appealing. Why work in such poor conditions for money you don’t need?

I’d say that’s a good thing. As if they need to work on automation, that will be a net benefit.


We should absolutely be automating as much as possible. We could definitely incentivise working hours reduction. Without having thought it through - if we get to a situation where there is not enough work to go around how about using tax structures to nudge people to work a 4 day week.

If you want more automation we need to get more people studying things like engineering. We could fund study for people to upskill or reskill for example.


Why? I know more engineers than anything else. Seriously, ship them in from Eastern Europe(1): they have high work ethic, they're intelligent, they're relative free thinkers, so can come up with creative solutions to problems...

You only need the system in place. But a company isn't going to spend the large up front cost when the cost of employees is so low(2) and the incentives so high.

UBI would mean no-one would want to work at a meat packing plant. Ever. So they'd NEED to make changes to survive.

And we could probably get rid of a lot of jobs without seeing any negatives at all: they're wasted.

Most HR roles, for instance ;)


(1) I don't think buying in labour from other countries is a sensible long term solution, for many reasons. By all means bring the best experts in all relevant fields to boost our universities, but we should be developing home grown talent.

(2) What I'm saying is that instead of giving money with no strings attached (aka UBI), you use that money to get more people into some form of skilled training or education that aligns with the goal of transforming our industrial base into a highly automated one. And if companies are not willing to invest then you need to create the conditions to encourage them to - this too can be achieved with the right tax environment to nudge strategic decision making, and the right funding facilities in place to enable the investment.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Stom » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:49 am

Zhivago wrote:
Stom wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
We should absolutely be automating as much as possible. We could definitely incentivise working hours reduction. Without having thought it through - if we get to a situation where there is not enough work to go around how about using tax structures to nudge people to work a 4 day week.

If you want more automation we need to get more people studying things like engineering. We could fund study for people to upskill or reskill for example.


Why? I know more engineers than anything else. Seriously, ship them in from Eastern Europe(1): they have high work ethic, they're intelligent, they're relative free thinkers, so can come up with creative solutions to problems...

You only need the system in place. But a company isn't going to spend the large up front cost when the cost of employees is so low(2) and the incentives so high.

UBI would mean no-one would want to work at a meat packing plant. Ever. So they'd NEED to make changes to survive.

And we could probably get rid of a lot of jobs without seeing any negatives at all: they're wasted.

Most HR roles, for instance ;)


(1) I don't think buying in labour from other countries is a sensible long term solution, for many reasons. By all means bring the best experts in all relevant fields to boost our universities, but we should be developing home grown talent.

(2) What I'm saying is that instead of giving money with no strings attached (aka UBI), you use that money to get more people into some form of skilled training or education that aligns with the goal of transforming our industrial base into a highly automated one. And if companies are not willing to invest then you need to create the conditions to encourage them to - this too can be achieved with the right tax environment to nudge strategic decision making, and the right funding facilities in place to enable the investment.


The point, though, is that companies make the tech, not individuals. They’ll own the rights, so ship in the best minds from wherever you can, produce the automation, then sell on that automation and end the contracts.

You don’t need to train people up for that and there are plenty of engineers to keep it running after.

I don’t see why you want to retrain people for non existent jobs.

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Zhivago » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:00 am

Stom wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
Stom wrote:
Why? I know more engineers than anything else. Seriously, ship them in from Eastern Europe(1): they have high work ethic, they're intelligent, they're relative free thinkers, so can come up with creative solutions to problems...

You only need the system in place. But a company isn't going to spend the large up front cost when the cost of employees is so low(2) and the incentives so high.

UBI would mean no-one would want to work at a meat packing plant. Ever. So they'd NEED to make changes to survive.

And we could probably get rid of a lot of jobs without seeing any negatives at all: they're wasted.

Most HR roles, for instance ;)


(1) I don't think buying in labour from other countries is a sensible long term solution, for many reasons. By all means bring the best experts in all relevant fields to boost our universities, but we should be developing home grown talent.

(2) What I'm saying is that instead of giving money with no strings attached (aka UBI), you use that money to get more people into some form of skilled training or education that aligns with the goal of transforming our industrial base into a highly automated one. And if companies are not willing to invest then you need to create the conditions to encourage them to - this too can be achieved with the right tax environment to nudge strategic decision making, and the right funding facilities in place to enable the investment.


The point, though, is that companies make the tech, not individuals. They’ll own the rights, so ship in the best minds from wherever you can, produce the automation, then sell on that automation and end the contracts.

You don’t need to train people up for that and there are plenty of engineers to keep it running after.

I don’t see why you want to retrain people for non existent jobs.


Please read all of my post. As I said - you create the environment such that companies want to invest in automation. For example you can reduce tax or even subsidise investment, you provide funding at low (0%?) interest rates, and at the same time you can levy taxes on companies that rely on low pay and menial labour as part of their business model. These business models need to be made unviable, I agree, but UBI is a very clumsy way to do it. You need to make them unviable without pulling the rug out from under these businesses.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Stom » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:24 am

Zhivago wrote:
Stom wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
(1) I don't think buying in labour from other countries is a sensible long term solution, for many reasons. By all means bring the best experts in all relevant fields to boost our universities, but we should be developing home grown talent.

(2) What I'm saying is that instead of giving money with no strings attached (aka UBI), you use that money to get more people into some form of skilled training or education that aligns with the goal of transforming our industrial base into a highly automated one. And if companies are not willing to invest then you need to create the conditions to encourage them to - this too can be achieved with the right tax environment to nudge strategic decision making, and the right funding facilities in place to enable the investment.


The point, though, is that companies make the tech, not individuals. They’ll own the rights, so ship in the best minds from wherever you can, produce the automation, then sell on that automation and end the contracts.

You don’t need to train people up for that and there are plenty of engineers to keep it running after.

I don’t see why you want to retrain people for non existent jobs.


Please read all of my post. As I said - you create the environment such that companies want to invest in automation. For example you can reduce tax or even subsidise investment, you provide funding at low (0%?) interest rates, and at the same time you can levy taxes on companies that rely on low pay and menial labour as part of their business model. These business models need to be made unviable, I agree, but UBI is a very clumsy way to do it. You need to make them unviable without pulling the rug out from under these businesses.


But if you do that, you're going to have to provide something very close to UBI anyway, as there's going to be a lot of people out of work...

I don't understand what the problem is with it now.

And it's a challenge for those companies, that's the point. Some of them will sink and others will swim. And you really think they're going to wait for your new engineering grads to enter the job market? No, they'll hire experienced engineers from wherever they can find them.

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Sandydragon » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:33 am

Zhivago wrote:
Stom wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
I'm all for making welfare more dignified for those who need it, but that does not need UBI to be achieved.

We live in a society that is not yet automated enough to function without human labour. I look at it from a Kantian perspective - asking the question what would the outcome be if everyone stopped working? The answer to that question indicates that not working when you can when society depends on it to function is not ethical.


We could probably be better than perfectly fine with 50% employment or lower, though...

And then employers like meat Packers or Amazon would need to change their systems as their jobs become less appealing. Why work in such poor conditions for money you don’t need?

I’d say that’s a good thing. As if they need to work on automation, that will be a net benefit.


We should absolutely be automating as much as possible. We could definitely incentivise working hours reduction. Without having thought it through - if we get to a situation where there is not enough work to go around how about using tax structures to nudge people to work a 4 day week.

If you want more automation we need to get more people studying things like engineering. We could fund study for people to upskill or reskill for example.

Could not agree more. There is a 2 way deal here in that those who find themselves unemployable due to lack of skills need to want to up skill and the government should be looking at providing appropriate training. It costs money but is cheaper than long term benefits.

There is a problem about how to manage this when an area that developed around a specific industry finds that the industry in question has disappeared and they aren't in a great position for new businesses to locate, but that is a separate question.

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Stom » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:45 am

Sandydragon wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
Stom wrote:
We could probably be better than perfectly fine with 50% employment or lower, though...

And then employers like meat Packers or Amazon would need to change their systems as their jobs become less appealing. Why work in such poor conditions for money you don’t need?

I’d say that’s a good thing. As if they need to work on automation, that will be a net benefit.


We should absolutely be automating as much as possible. We could definitely incentivise working hours reduction. Without having thought it through - if we get to a situation where there is not enough work to go around how about using tax structures to nudge people to work a 4 day week.

If you want more automation we need to get more people studying things like engineering. We could fund study for people to upskill or reskill for example.

Could not agree more. There is a 2 way deal here in that those who find themselves unemployable due to lack of skills need to want to up skill and the government should be looking at providing appropriate training. It costs money but is cheaper than long term benefits.

There is a problem about how to manage this when an area that developed around a specific industry finds that the industry in question has disappeared and they aren't in a great position for new businesses to locate, but that is a separate question.


Why should that be apart from UBI, though? I mean, education benefits society, so upskilling should be affordable anyway.

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Sandydragon » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:55 am

Stom wrote:
Sandydragon wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
We should absolutely be automating as much as possible. We could definitely incentivise working hours reduction. Without having thought it through - if we get to a situation where there is not enough work to go around how about using tax structures to nudge people to work a 4 day week.

If you want more automation we need to get more people studying things like engineering. We could fund study for people to upskill or reskill for example.

Could not agree more. There is a 2 way deal here in that those who find themselves unemployable due to lack of skills need to want to up skill and the government should be looking at providing appropriate training. It costs money but is cheaper than long term benefits.

There is a problem about how to manage this when an area that developed around a specific industry finds that the industry in question has disappeared and they aren't in a great position for new businesses to locate, but that is a separate question.


Why should that be apart from UBI, though? I mean, education benefits society, so upskilling should be affordable anyway.


It certainly does need joined up thinking between the 2 departments who look after that (don't hold your breath) but you have to draw lines around programmes somewhere otherwise they become unmanageable. You can introduce UBI and look at skills training separately.

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Zhivago » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:56 am

Sandydragon wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
Stom wrote:
We could probably be better than perfectly fine with 50% employment or lower, though...

And then employers like meat Packers or Amazon would need to change their systems as their jobs become less appealing. Why work in such poor conditions for money you don’t need?

I’d say that’s a good thing. As if they need to work on automation, that will be a net benefit.


We should absolutely be automating as much as possible. We could definitely incentivise working hours reduction. Without having thought it through - if we get to a situation where there is not enough work to go around how about using tax structures to nudge people to work a 4 day week.

If you want more automation we need to get more people studying things like engineering. We could fund study for people to upskill or reskill for example.

Could not agree more. There is a 2 way deal here in that those who find themselves unemployable due to lack of skills need to want to up skill and the government should be looking at providing appropriate training. It costs money but is cheaper than long term benefits.

There is a problem about how to manage this when an area that developed around a specific industry finds that the industry in question has disappeared and they aren't in a great position for new businesses to locate, but that is a separate question.


The key thing is different people will need different levels of support, for example, older brains are less plastic than younger ones. Single people without dependents have different needs compared to parents with children too. We need to be able to support people better in this, and that includes providing more options for adult education - part time and distance learning needs to be encouraged more by the government, and people need financial support while they engage in retraining.

All of this is a lot more targeted than just UBI. Now, different to UBI but also important is a concept called Helicopter Money. That I support, but that has a specific short term economic goal aimed at boosting aggregate demand, and needs to be an option when we face recessions.
---Zhivagone---

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Digby » Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:54 am

If you're simply set against capitalism then fair enough UBI isn't for you. But you're basically lumping yourself in with the flat earthers and anti-vaxxers for my money at that point an can simply be ignored. Capitalism like democracy is far from perfect, but like democracy it's the worst idea apart from all the others

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Sandydragon » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:15 pm

Zhivago wrote:
Sandydragon wrote:
Zhivago wrote:
We should absolutely be automating as much as possible. We could definitely incentivise working hours reduction. Without having thought it through - if we get to a situation where there is not enough work to go around how about using tax structures to nudge people to work a 4 day week.

If you want more automation we need to get more people studying things like engineering. We could fund study for people to upskill or reskill for example.

Could not agree more. There is a 2 way deal here in that those who find themselves unemployable due to lack of skills need to want to up skill and the government should be looking at providing appropriate training. It costs money but is cheaper than long term benefits.

There is a problem about how to manage this when an area that developed around a specific industry finds that the industry in question has disappeared and they aren't in a great position for new businesses to locate, but that is a separate question.


The key thing is different people will need different levels of support, for example, older brains are less plastic than younger ones. Single people without dependents have different needs compared to parents with children too. We need to be able to support people better in this, and that includes providing more options for adult education - part time and distance learning needs to be encouraged more by the government, and people need financial support while they engage in retraining.

All of this is a lot more targeted than just UBI. Now, different to UBI but also important is a concept called Helicopter Money. That I support, but that has a specific short term economic goal aimed at boosting aggregate demand, and needs to be an option when we face recessions.


No arguments (although do you mean elastic rather than plastic?) which is why I would look at UBI implementation first for that very reason. Longer term we need to re-skill large parts of our workforce.


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