AuthorTopic: Universal Basic Income  (Read 23926 times)

Offline RE

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Universal Basic Income
« on: April 18, 2013, 02:24:25 AM »
From the folks at FEASTA, who also brought you David Korowicz, King of the Fast Collapse Analysis, the Anti-Wizard to Mr. Wizard JMG.  :icon_mrgreen:

Looking for thoughts from the Diners on the plausibility of this model.  I'll reserve my thoughts on it for a while to see what drops in here.

RE

Universal Basic Income: A brief overview of a support for intelligent economies, quality of life and a caring society

Apr 17, 2013
 
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by Anne Ryan
 



Introduction
The system for social security as it has developed in Ireland and many other European countries is not working. It was designed for a different era, to provide income security for the relatively small numbers of people who became temporarily unemployed from standard jobs. Efforts to patch it up in response to new needs have been piecemeal. On the other hand, some EU countries, such as Italy and Greece, have no social security system in place. We need a proactive new system, building on the old system’s principles of security and social solidarity, but far more inclusive. Basic financial security should be a right for all members of society. A system that could achieve this is universal basic income, sometimes called a citizens’ income or dividend, and referred to as basic income in this short introductory paper.
Basic income is a regular and unconditional distribution of money by the state to every member of society, whether they engage in paid work or not. Basic income is always tax-free and it replaces social welfare payments, child benefit and the state pension as we currently know them. It also extends to all those who currently receive no income from the state. Ideally, a basic income would be sufficient for each person to have a frugal but decent lifestyle without supplementary income from paid work.
Basic income would bring into the security net all those not served by the current system: casual and short-contract workers who get no or limited sick pay, holiday pay or pension rights; self-employed people and business owners; those doing valuable unpaid work, including care, which adds value to society and economy. Basic income would increase everybody’s capacity to cope with financial shocks and uncertainties and would improve general quality of life, while supporting many different kinds of work, with or without pay.
Currently, those receiving welfare are badly served by the system: if they take paid work, especially low-paid or temporary, they often lose out financially, in a ‘benefits trap’. With basic income, there would always be a financial incentive for people to earn a taxable income, should a job be available. Employers would also welcome the ending of the benefits trap.
For those in sporadic or seasonal employment, a basic income would eliminate the need to sign on and off and the payment delays that often occur. The possibilities for welfare fraud would be minimised, with everyone playing by the same rules in a simpler system. This would also eliminate the current bureaucracy and intrusive scrutiny of claimants’ circumstances.
Advantages to business
Running a business would be a different kind of experience. The income from it would be a top-up to a basic income. This would be a boost to existing businesses. It would also free people to try out business ideas, and the businesses would be viable as long as they made some small profit. They might even be able to carry losses for a short time while the business got established. There would be no harm done if the business failed, because the people involved would have their UBI to fall back on. It would also allow social entrepreneurs, who are not motivated by profit, to thrive. It would be a particularly good support for cooperative and partnership ventures.
It is often difficult in the present climate for small businesses to act ethically and survive. Fair trade is not always as profitable as so-called free trade. A UBI, by providing basic financial security for self-employed people and all involved in a business, would help truly ethical businesses to survive.
A basic income would also allow businesses to run a natural life cycle, fulfil a purpose and then die off naturally. Businesses that are successful often reach all their potential customers, serve them well, and then go out of business because their market has been saturated. They have cycles, like everything else in nature. However, in the modern growth mindset, a business is not regarded as successful unless it is constantly expanding; we find it hard to accept that businesses come to an end. A basic income would also mean that businesses that don’t want to grow can function at the same size for a long period.
A basic income would allow for the enforced closing of businesses (of any size) that are socially or ecologically harmful, such as weapons producers or big polluters. With their basic incomes to provide basic financial security, if a business was threatened with such closure, owners and employees could work (together or separately) to devise an alternative plan for the company. At the same time, all workers have financial security and greatly increased individual choices.
Basic income is a necessary part of any coherent state strategy for fostering private-sector business and entrepreneurship in the future. By providing basic securities for those wishing to start a business, it would create a supporting scaffold on which enterprise, creativity and inventiveness can flourish.
Employees
All employees would get increased bargaining power (individual and collective) within their jobs, because they would not be reliant on income from work to supply basic needs. Those who were dissatisfied with their type of work or with their work conditions would have better chances to negotiate other ways to live and work.
Young people
Young people, who currently face a very precarious future, would have much more meaningful choices and possibilities available if they had a basic income. Pressures to emigrate for financial reasons would be reduced. Basic financial security opens up possibilities for creativity, employment, entrepreneurial and educational pursuits and voluntary work.
Low-paid work
Basic income would make low-paid work more financially viable than at present, since the pay would be a top-up to the basic income. A great deal of caring, artistic and political work is low-paid, but of direct social benefit. If a low-paid job were also dead-end work, a person would have a genuine exit possibility. Anybody, in any kind of paid work (high- or low-paid), who considered the work to be personally, socially or environmentally harmful, would have improved choices about staying or going.
A shorter work-hours culture
Basic income would also make shorter hours in paid work financially viable for greater numbers of workers. If more people chose shorter hours of paid work, this would create employment opportunities for others. There is a growing body of evidence that working shorter hours on the job has environmental benefits, since stressed workers in a hurry consume more high-carbon goods and services. Personal health and wellbeing, time for family, household, community and civic engagement also benefit when people are less engaged with the demands of ‘full time’ jobs.
Government would ideally support this by legislating for practical changes in administration and taxation practices, to make things easier and simpler for employers. They should not be penalised and should ideally be rewarded for taking on more employees, working shorter hours.
Paying for basic income
It is possible to pay for basic income in Ireland, with our existing revenue system. It would replace almost all existing social welfare provisions (top-ups would be put in place for people with special needs), so the amount currently spent on welfare is immediately available. Employers would make a social-resources payment, to replace the present employer’s PRSI. The rest would come from an increase in income tax, which would be paid on all personal income over and above the UBI.i
Talk of increased income tax generates strong reactions, usually negative. But most people ignore the fact that the extra revenue taken in tax would be returned as UBI. In other words, the extra tax we would pay to finance basic income would be offset by the UBI received.
The income-tax source of funding is the simplest and most do-able right now. But ultimately, there is a need for a fairer tax code, more compatible with goals of sustainability and resilience. Such a tax code would keep taxes on labour low and charge high taxes (or economic rent) on resource use. Site- and land-value taxes would be an excellent start. There is also a need for democratic monetary reform, a shift to treating money as a social resource and a public good. And there is a need to start creating regional currencies and local currency commons.ii There is also the possibility of part-funding a global basic income through the Cap and Share or Cap and Dividend frameworks.iii
The important point for now, however, is that any Irish government making a priority of basic financial security for all could afford to introduce it.
Savings would arise from eliminating the bureaucracy of the present social security system. With better quality of life, thre would be less demand on public services such as hospitals, courts, mental health services and prisons.
Conclusion
Basic income would undoubtedly financially benefit some people more than others. Those who would benefit most are the most vulnerable in the current work-welfare system: people doing valuable unpaid work, including care, political and social activism and all kinds of cutting-edge pioneering projects. It would also help those caught in the ‘benefits trap’, people in precarious employment, the self-employed and young people. It would give people financial support to avoid high-carbon and other polluting and damaging work, and to devise low-carbon lifestyles. It would increase the contribution made by those who are already very well off. But if the well-off did fall on hard times, the basic income would provide basic financial support, without welfare applications or delays.
Basic income is not a panacea; it will not solve all our social, ecological or debt problems, nor does it claim to. But it creates the conditions for creative solutions, rather than blocking them, as much of our present social security system does. It is an immediate injection of liquidity into the ‘real economy’ of everyday goods and services and it is an essential investment in a resilient and positive future for all. It would work best if combined with a fairer tax code, especially site- and land-value taxes, and accompanied by democratic monetary reform and the creation of diversity in local and regional currencies. But even standing alone, it would release many talents and energies that are constrained by the present work-money system.
The social inclusion and care for each other that underpins basic income would foster solidarity and tolerance and reduce the resentment, divisiveness and cynicism that can occur when people experience wildly different levels of security. Increased social inclusion creates conditions for greater civic participation and deeper democracy. It deflates the claims of far-right groups, who play on the fears and insecurity of populations, and claim that their undemocratic methods can provide a better life. With basic income, the state functions to pre-distribute money, it provides a basic security at the broad parameters of society and economy and allows unlimited creativity and diversity in the ways people choose to live and work.
Get involved
There is an active international basic income network (BIEN) on all continents. Visit the international website at http://www.basicincome.org/bien/
The Irish network is one of the oldest affiliates and has recently launched a website at www.basicincomeireland.com.
You can find many resources and links on the various websites.
The European Citizens Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income is a campaign to collect one million signatures to call on the European Commission to encourage cooperation between the Member States to explore Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) as a tool to improve their respective social security systems.
Please visit their site and sign their petition at: http://basicincome2013.eu.
Endnotes
i. Seán Healy, Michelle Murphy, Seán Ward, and Brigid Reynolds (2012) ‘Basic Income Why and How in Difficult Times: Financing a BI in Ireland’, paper presented to BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network) Congress, Munich, Sept 14th. http://www.bien2012.de/sites/default/files/paper_253_en.pdf
ii. Emer Ó Siochrú (2012) (ed) The Fair Tax. London: Shepheard-Walwyn
Feasta Liquidity Network http://www.feasta.org/documents/liquidity_network/2009_liquidity_network.html
Margrit Kennedy (2013) Occupy Money: Creating an Economy Where Everybody Wins. London: New Society.
Mary Mellor (2010) The Future of Money: From Financial Crisis to Public Resource. London: Pluto
Prosper Australia (2012)
Real Estate 4 Rent

Smart Taxes, www.smarttaxes.org
Sensible Money, www.sensiblemoney.ie
Positive Money, www.positivemoney.co.uk
iii. http://www.capandshare.org/
http://www.ilsr.org/instead-cap-and-trade-cap-and-dividend/
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Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 06:50:50 AM »
This is one of my pet ideas, when combined with an absolutely flat income tax rate, a fixed dollar amount check for every (adult) citizen (children presumably getting a lower rate).  To be viable, though, it would have to supplant every other form of welfare, including all tax breaks.  As such, I don't see it as politically feasible except after a governmental collapse.  However, that presupposes a new government can effectively be formed, which at this point is not clear.

I don't see these kinds of schemes working on a large scale without surpluses from cheap energy.  I think where this sort of thing comes into play, in a non-formal way, is on a tribal scale, less than 150 people (which is probably a good upper limit for a Foxstead.)
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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 07:14:59 AM »
Anne Ryan is the anti Ayn Rand, not JMG. Hmmm UBI eh?

I counted a hell of a lot of would would would'..do this that and the next. Wouldnt that be lovely except that it would not and could not do many or maybe even any of these claims. And wheres the math if it wants to be taken seriously?

Since all evil and unethical behavior from welfare fraud to arms manufacturing is only due to inadequate income and would be cured by UBI, why not just start by "topping up" politicians and banksters income with it, then they would become ethical and low carbon consuming and all the financial and ecological world problems would be solved.

In reality this ignores and denies inconvenient facts like aggregate human nature and global labour markets.



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Offline Eddie

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 07:49:53 AM »
Basic financial security should be a right for all members of society.

False premise.

Basic income is a regular and unconditional distribution of money by the state to every member of society, whether they engage in paid work or not.

A proven disincentive that would surely create even more unintended consequences than the present system. Author does not understand human behavior and feedback loops.
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Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 09:18:29 AM »
I've advocated the same thing myself, most recently in one of the news threads here.  Subsistence-level support for all.

The biggest challenge to this is scale, in that I do not believe it will work above a tribal scale. Above that, there's the problem of accountability.  If person A is expending energy to create the resources that person B is consuming, then person A and B should be in close proximity.  If person B is just lazy, then person A should have the opportunity to apply social pressure for them to be socially productive.  That does not mean 'git a job' but it does mean 'do something with your life'. 

In such a structure I'd be happy if they were earning nothing because the tasks they did were not paid but were part of the 'social contract'  --the one we've commercialized in the last few decades -- like child care, elder care, or providing support services for those who are working (i.e. a stay-at-home spouse).  I would not be happy with people sitting around watching TV, playing computer games or chronic drug use to the level of incapacity.

On a scale greater than a tribe, say a state level, then the social contract breaks down.  The probability of abuse gets significantly larger if the working population cannot exert a level of social pressure.

For an internal system of an intentional community, I think it is great.  For it to work, I believe the bottom rungs on Maslow's hierarchy of needs  should be the ones provided by the intentional community: Physiological needs, such as food and water, plus security needs, such as shelter and knowing that you are likely to have a meal next week as well as today.

All these basic needs could, and should, be met on a local level.  In a sustainable model, the food is grown locally, the basic housing is made from local materials, energy use limited to sustainable levels.

That communal interdependence and support (I don't like to call it income) should not function in the same "space" as money.  I don't like "redistribution of wealth" as a concept and I certainly do not want money taken out of my pocket and given to anyone else.   

I'm not talking moral hazard, which I believe is a function of scale - it's harder to break communal mores when you have to deal with the community on a daily basis and cannot hide behind the anonymity of a McMansion.  I'm talking about the internal conflict that having wants and needs on the same system generates, where a person thinks, "I'd love to get the latest iPad but I'm taxed too heavily and my money is handed to the welfare bum next door."

"Food stamps" do not cut it for me since it's cash with limits imposed, and it conflated needs and wants in the recipient as much as the person funding the program via their taxes.     

Tax transactions in the "want" economy to fund the development of the "need" infrastructure, limited to a small intentional community scale, and I think it might work. 


Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 09:56:19 AM »
They are talking about the whole country and even whole world.   

haniel Im not sure I get whether the need economy of the small tribe is drawing tax from the want economy of the same people in the same small tribe OR their surrounding town, state or country? Hey you guys are all going to die, we are not, so just give us some of all your money cos you wont be needing it LOL.

Anyway other than waterford crystal and Guinness, how does ireland fund any of this pie in the sky? service sic economy? They would do just fine if the rest of the world paid them to take their traditional export of people looking for a basic income.

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Offline monsta666

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 09:57:32 AM »
The main issues I see with a universal basic income is funding. How would the funds be raised so everyone had access to this basic income? Would it come through greater taxation among the more wealthy members of society or would the tax rises come across the board? I guess in theory it should be possible to raise enough money by simply taxing the richest (who are leeches of another kind and do not need that obscene level of wealth anyway). In this global economy however were labour and capital is so easy to move it seems this idea could not fly. The elite would not pay the taxes by either using tax loopholes and if no loopholes existed they would simply jump ship. I don't see how this idea can realistically be implemented. The pigmen would scream too loud to allow this to happen.

The other issue is one of accountability. While a basic income does add a good safety net what would society do the people who are only interested in gaming this system without being productive? I do like and agree with haniel's suggestion that greater compliance could be achieved if there was greater social integration by members to the general community. So to earn their universal based income people must either do communal activities such as child/elderly care etc. If those roles are filled then they can be put to good use doing "reverse engineering" jobs i.e. jobs that will enable an easier transition to a post-industrial economy.

The main issue however and one that is apparent if we consider a world of finite resources, is that anything that raises the income of society will lead to an increased rate of consumption of resources. If a universal basic income is to be applied then some means of reducing consumption must be implemented. In most advanced economies the biggest drain is pensions. Now it will not be popular but an option is to send people beyond a certain age into the great beyond or at least give them the option to have a premature death. I am sure a sizeable chunk of the population would like to off themselves if it could be done easily, painlessly and legally so give people the freedom to do what they want. Just put some safeguards that the decision cannot be made in the spur of the moment. This could reduce the burden on society.

If the last idea is unacceptable then slackers greatly reduces by testing adolescents with some kind of coming of age test. Slackers or people who don't measure up are given the ticket to the great beyond or at least left to fend for themselves. To be fair no exemptions can be made in missing this test. Neither solution will be popular no doubt but if we want people in society to enjoy a decent quality of life then some means population management must be implemented otherwise you will just get booms and busts.

Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 10:09:09 AM »
They are talking about the whole country and even whole world.   

I have a problem with that. Have we not learned that "economies of scale" really mean "big enough that people don't see the graft"?


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haniel I'm not sure I get whether the need economy of the small tribe is drawing tax from the want economy of the same people in the same small tribe OR their surrounding town, state or country?

From the same small tribe.  What is taxed from the "want" economy is sufficient to provide outside inputs to food production, shelter expansion and the protection of the commons.  Also, those producing the food should have come "want economy income' for the effort they put into food production.

In my nascent monastic model, maybe three out of ten people work the garden full time and get a stipend, which only needs to be spent on needs, since wants are met though their (and others) communal effort. Most of the rest will either be working entrepreneurial ventures or traditional jobs and their external income would be "taxed" by the community to provide the external inputs.

Harvest time, everyone pitches in, including those who's skills include preservation, generating a stipend for those weeks.



Offline RE

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 01:33:15 AM »
Let me begin here with Eddie's contribution, which purports to understand "basic human nature" better than Ann does, without really explaining it.

Basic financial security should be a right for all members of society.

False premise.

Basic income is a regular and unconditional distribution of money by the state to every member of society, whether they engage in paid work or not.

A proven disincentive that would surely create even more unintended consequences than the present system. Author does not understand human behavior and feedback loops.

Begin with the first argument which Eddie calls a "false premise", without ever justifying this blanket dismissal or even providing a counter example.

What IS a "society" other than a group of people who all look out for each other's well being?  Do you HAVE a "society"if some people are outcasts and left hung out to dry? What kind of "society" do you have if some people are Slaves to make the lives of their Masters better?

To be Functional and not DYSFUNCTIONAL, Basic Financial Security is essential to all in a society. It is not so much a "right" as it is an Axiom upon which you build a society. WTF wants to belong to a society where you can be pitched off the cliff the minute you no longer seem to have Value? That's not a "society", that's anarchy.  Everybody just looks out for #1, nobody gives a shit about anyone else.

2nd is that such organization is a "Proven Disincentive" which I can't see as ever having been "proven" at all.  Certainly the Commie system didn't prove Jack Shit because it was rife with corruption, and besides that had no Reward system built in, which UBI does.  All UBI provides is basic sustenance, but you still can "Better Yourself" by taking on work and making yourself a greater value to the community.

What I think most people Ignore is that we ALREADY run a UBI society, because we already DO provide Basic Food and Housing to ALL PEOPLE. You just gotta go to PRISON to get it. "3 Hots and a Cot".People Fall Off (or never get on) the Mainstream Economic System, they start dealing Drugs or Stealing, we employ tons of Cops to catch them, then pitch them into Prison where we House them and Feed them on the Public Dime,employing still more tons of Prison Guards to keep them locked up!

How much does THIS system cost to run, eh?  Do you think it would cost more to provide basic shelter and food to everyone in the society?  I don't.  If you kept a floor under it and decriminalized a lot of self-abusive behavior like doing Drugs and Boozing endlessly, I think  90% of the "criminal"population would disappear entirely.

There ARE some major issues to deal with that Ann does not address, Marriage/Procreation being primary amongst them.  If you are down there at that Bottom Subsistence level, you can't reward Procreation in the "Welfare Mom" syndrome, where people have kids just to get further Bennies from the State. So you would need some type of Sterilization Program to make it work, but nowadays we have Reversable Vasectomies and Tubal Ligations, so if you ever manage to Bootstrap yourself UP from the Bottom and can AFFORD kids, you can get hooked up for procreating again.

Monsta also brought up the issue of really OLD folks, who we currently support at HUGE cost to the society overall.  It is simply insane to be doing expensive organ transplants and chemotherapy on folks 80+.  Man, if you got 80 years walking the earth, you did fucking GREAT!  Pack it in and head for the Great Beyond and give somebody else a chance to use the resources you consume every day!

If you are a Super Healthy Octagenarian who ate Organic his whole life, took your Vitamins and Anti-oxidants,ran Marathons in places OTHER than Boston, and don't need to hit the Med Industry to STAY ALIVE, feel free to keep on ticking.  However, you don't get Social Security  OR the UBI anymore after 80, so you better be able to still Dig Holes and Farm or have some Kids (well, Great-Grandkids) who will do this for you at that age.  Otherwise, jump in the fucking Kayak and Paddle Out to Sea already! LOL. You got your Ride, time to get OFF the Coaster!

A Little CFS and we can SOLVE these problems equitably! We are wasting Resouces in all the WRONG places, keeping inviable infants with Spina Bifida alive in Neonatal Intensive Care units, jacking new Hearts and Livers into Octagenarians and letting people BREED outta control when they don't have the personal resources to AFFORD raising a child to *hopefully* be a productive citizen of the society.

You fix these problems, you will eliminate most crime, provide a decent standard of living for people who ARE alive and do it CHEAPER than the current INCREDIBLY fucked up system which misallocates resource all over the place.

RE
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Offline Eddie

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2013, 07:12:26 AM »
RE

"Society" is just what we call this mass of humanity that has accumulated on the earth. There is nothing all that noble about human society. Nobility is a characteristic of individuals, not societies. At least societies that have progressed beyond the hunter-gather stage of things anyway. On a tribal level, society and family are essentially the same. But that's not what this author is talking about.

You (and the author) are trying to give humanity both a quality of charity and/or a "mission" or a "duty" that it doesn't possess. Humans are like bacteria, now eating the last of the nutrient agar off the petri dish that is the earth, and you are in essence saying that the only fair thing to do is make sure everyone gets a shot at a little of the agar that's left, especially because some bacteria have gotten a lot of agar, and are fatter than the rest.

I do believe that is  a false premise to state that society owes a living to anybody. Bullshit! In order to give anybody something they didn't figure out how to get themselves, then either some benevolent individual has to share their surplus willingly...or alternately "society" can take something away from one person and give it to someone else. Those are the choices.

There have been plenty of examples (enough to satisfy my mind anyway) that show that providing support for groups of people based only on them having a low income tends to make them dependent rather than "helping them get on their feet". Every day of my life, I deal with people who grow up and live their lives fully expecting our entitlement system to take care of them for free...just because it has in the past. They don't even begin to understand that somebody else is paying their way. And they reproduce in a most prolific fashion, even though they don't carry their own freight.

Those humans I'm talking about aren't part of MY tribe...maybe they are part of yours, so YOU take care of them. I have no problem with that.

If they were part of my tribe, then I'd be able to exercise some control over their behavior, and I'd insist they not keep producing offspring that eat up all the agar on the petri dish.

You said:

 "The commie system was rife with corruption".

Dude, ALL systems are rife with corruption. You will not ever, under any circumstances invent one that isn't. Not one that involves more than 150 people.

And yes, I understand that we waste resources, and that theoretically we could give people three hots and a cot and spend less than we spend on the prison planet.

And Lord have mercy, if we could stop wars, then we'd be able to give everyone a car and a phone and a fine dog for companionship. It's only "fair".

 But the devil, my friend, is in the details. Every big "initiative" is subject to bureaucracy, fraud, and corruption. "Societies" are stupid. Read Orlov's latest again. I know you read it. It's true. Society can't run shit, Not for long anyway.

Look, I'm not an unfeeling asshole, and I'm not even greedy. I'm just a fucking realist about what IS. It IS what it IS. "Feeling" like we should do something to provide basic support for people is nice. But it doesn't accomplish jack shit. Utopian visions are horseshit.  We live in an out-of-control, overgrown condition that is collapsing, right now. No government program is going to cushion the blow.









« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 01:43:42 PM by Eddie »
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Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2013, 09:07:34 AM »
Let me begin here with Eddie's contribution, which purports to understand "basic human nature" better than Ann does, without really explaining it.

Basic financial security should be a right for all members of society.

False premise.

Basic income is a regular and unconditional distribution of money by the state to every member of society, whether they engage in paid work or not.

A proven disincentive that would surely create even more unintended consequences than the present system. Author does not understand human behavior and feedback loops.

Begin with the first argument which Eddie calls a "false premise", without ever justifying this blanket dismissal or even providing a counter example.

Eddie has similar concerns to me.  Remember the story of the welfare queen?  We all know the one, there's an excellent article on it under the news thread.  We know Reagan's administration made it up, but who the hell thinks like that?

Sociopaths.

What would the typical sociopath do if they were a single female down on their luck?  The sociopath, putting themselves in that situation, would abuse the benefit system, much like they abuse every system that can be gamed for personal advantage.  The welfare queen meme shows us clearly that sociopathic thinking was at the core of Reagan's government.

LD has described the same sociopathic behaviour with in-laws.

I think smaller communities will have less of a problem with these because they have to deal face-to-face.  They can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time... 



Quote
What IS a "society" other than a group of people who all look out for each other's well being?  Do you HAVE a "society"if some people are outcasts and left hung out to dry? What kind of "society" do you have if some people are Slaves to make the lives of their Masters better?

What kind? the one we live in.


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To be Functional and not DYSFUNCTIONAL, Basic Financial Security is essential to all in a society. It is not so much a "right" as it is an Axiom upon which you build a society. WTF wants to belong to a society where you can be pitched off the cliff the minute you no longer seem to have Value? That's not a "society", that's anarchy.  Everybody just looks out for #1, nobody gives a shit about anyone else.

You already do live in that society and it's not anarchy, it's soft fascism. Anarchy would be a step up. At least groups could self-organize where if they try to do so today, they are often seen as a threat to the dominant system.


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2nd is that such organization is a "Proven Disincentive" which I can't see as ever having been "proven" at all.  Certainly the Commie system didn't prove Jack Shit because it was rife with corruption, and besides that had no Reward system built in, which UBI does.  All UBI provides is basic sustenance, but you still can "Better Yourself" by taking on work and making yourself a greater value to the community.

A agree with RE, but for it to work it has to local.  The anonymity of state-level programs allows the sociopaths who do not have the opportunity to climb a ladder to game this system instead.


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What I think most people Ignore is that we ALREADY run a UBI society, because we already DO provide Basic Food and Housing to ALL PEOPLE. You just gotta go to PRISON to get it. "3 Hots and a Cot".People Fall Off (or never get on) the Mainstream Economic System, they start dealing Drugs or Stealing, we employ tons of Cops to catch them, then pitch them into Prison where we House them and Feed them on the Public Dime,employing still more tons of Prison Guards to keep them locked up!

How much does THIS system cost to run, eh?  Do you think it would cost more to provide basic shelter and food to everyone in the society?  I don't.  If you kept a floor under it and decriminalized a lot of self-abusive behavior like doing Drugs and Boozing endlessly, I think  90% of the "criminal"population would disappear entirely.

The prison-industrial complex is a huge industry.  Most people do not know that when a person is sent to a private prison (let's say for ten years) then a tradeable financial bond is created.  The value of that bond represents the payments that will pass from the state to the prison system to pay for food, housing, heating, health-care, etc. the government typically pays $ 50,000 a year to house a prisoner.

That bond is then traded as a commodity on Wall Street.   

Well worth remembering if you want to drop out of the system.  If you refuse to play the game of conspicuous consumption, Wall Street can still make money off you.  It's why a person earning $ 100,000 who is caught with a couple of lines of coke will get a fine (they go back to consuming) while a poor kid caught with one joint will get ten years. 


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There ARE some major issues to deal with that Ann does not address, Marriage/Procreation being primary amongst them.  If you are down there at that Bottom Subsistence level, you can't reward Procreation in the "Welfare Mom" syndrome, where people have kids just to get further Bennies from the State.

Only a problem if the welfare is fungible, i.e., it can be turned into anything, since it is "money". 

Food stamps are a way of trying to address this, but that is flawed because the currency of basic sustenance is the same as the currency for desires.   

I still think sustenance and survival should be functionally separate from the market that meets our needs.

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So you would need some type of Sterilization Program to make it work, but nowadays we have Reversable Vasectomies and Tubal Ligations, so if you ever manage to Bootstrap yourself UP from the Bottom and can AFFORD kids, you can get hooked up for procreating again.

I prefer education as a means to control population, not force.  That's as bad as the anti-abortion crowd wanting to interfere in private decisions.

Something has to be done about religions that promote overpopulation. Their vested interest of creating as many followers paying 10% of their income may be a great business model in a world of infinite growth, and the leaders may get off on the power they exercise over (usually) poor and ignorant peoples, but they're a major part of the problem.


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Monsta also brought up the issue of really OLD folks, who we currently support at HUGE cost to the society overall.  It is simply insane to be doing expensive organ transplants and chemotherapy on folks 80+.  Man, if you got 80 years walking the earth, you did fucking GREAT!  Pack it in and head for the Great Beyond and give somebody else a chance to use the resources you consume every day!

I remember Logan's run.


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If you are a Super Healthy Octagenarian who ate Organic his whole life, took your Vitamins and Anti-oxidants,ran Marathons in places OTHER than Boston, and don't need to hit the Med Industry to STAY ALIVE, feel free to keep on ticking.  However, you don't get Social Security  OR the UBI anymore after 80, so you better be able to still Dig Holes and Farm or have some Kids (well, Great-Grandkids) who will do this for you at that age.  Otherwise, jump in the fucking Kayak and Paddle Out to Sea already! LOL. You got your Ride, time to get OFF the Coaster!

I think the knowledge and experience inside their little balding skulls is worth the cost of food.  Old people don't eat much, anyway.  As for housing, they should be with their tribe, however they define it. Less resources should lead to more humanity in how we deal with people.


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A Little CFS and we can SOLVE these problems equitably! We are wasting Resouces in all the WRONG places, keeping inviable infants with Spina Bifida alive in Neonatal Intensive Care units, jacking new Hearts and Livers into Octagenarians and letting people BREED outta control when they don't have the personal resources to AFFORD raising a child to *hopefully* be a productive citizen of the society.

You fix these problems, you will eliminate most crime, provide a decent standard of living for people who ARE alive and do it CHEAPER than the current INCREDIBLY fucked up system which misallocates resource all over the place.

RE

The problem in the current system is, solving those problems requires the people learn to use CFS. That's been bred out of humanity over the last two thousand years, at least in the west.  Remember that until the reformation, showing that you had enough brain cells to be useful to humanity usually resulted in death at the hands of the religion.  Still happens in many places where variants of the desert religions hold sway.

Edited to add:  Surly1 posted an article about the prison-industrial complex a couple of hours bewfore I wrote this reply.  Lots of synchronicity on this site....

« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 11:05:21 AM by haniel »

Offline reanteben

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2013, 11:00:52 AM »
Basic financial security should be a right for all members of society.

False premise.

Basic income is a regular and unconditional distribution of money by the state to every member of society, whether they engage in paid work or not.

A proven disincentive that would surely create even more unintended consequences than the present system. Author does not understand human behavior and feedback loops.

+1 

Offline agelbert

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2013, 01:53:54 PM »
RE said:
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What IS a "society" other than a group of people who all look out for each other's well being?  Do you HAVE a "society"if some people are outcasts and left hung out to dry? What kind of "society" do you have if some people are Slaves to make the lives of their Masters better?

To be Functional and not DYSFUNCTIONAL, Basic Financial Security is essential to all in a society. It is not so much a "right" as it is an Axiom upon which you build a society. WTF wants to belong to a society where you can be pitched off the cliff the minute you no longer seem to have Value? That's not a "society", that's anarchy.  Everybody just looks out for #1, nobody gives a shit about anyone else.

Right on! I'm with RE and yeah, altruistic behavior isn't just touchy feely "pie in the sky"; IT's CFS! (unless you are into the sociopathic wet dream called Game Theory!).  :evil4:
War profiteering Deficit spending is over 10 TIMES the cost on society that a guaranteed basic income would be! Humanity HAS THE MONEY! It's the hysterical propaganda against the masses pushed by the 1% that claims the numbers make it impractical. BULLSHIT!
Even world population growth rate has been DECREASING for at least 30 FUCKING YEARS!. The growth is NOT considered exponential (as it was before) and is now linear.


But hey, this isn't REALLY about resources at all; it's about ideology and rigid mindsets that see fellow humans as a constant competitive THREAT to "YOUR STUFF" versus those of us who see humans as a family where all members should be taken care of as CFS. I understand... :icon_mrgreen:

Have a nice competitive, paranoid day. :evil4: :icon_mrgreen:
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 04:23:52 PM by agelbert »
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if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2013, 02:30:15 PM »

I do believe that is is a false premise to state that society owes a living to anybody. Bullshit! In order to give anybody something they didn't figure out how to get themselves, then either some benevolent individual has to share their surplus willingly...or alternately "society" can take something away from one person and give it to someone else. Those are the choices.

The reason those are the only choices is because the commons have been completely enclosed to give everyone only those choices.  If a homeless person goes to a neglected patch of ground and takes some edible plants to feed their starving children, they have "taken" the property of another, even though the only claim of ownership is the fact that it grew on their land.   

Are my two adult stepchildren, who live with us and are supported by us, recipients of my benevolence?  Could the same be said of the teenagers who have lived with us when their parents kicked them out on their 18th birthday? From one perspective - yes. But that's not the prism I choose to see the world through. 


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There have been plenty of examples (enough to satisfy my mind anyway) that show that providing support for groups of people based only on them having a low income tends to make them dependent rather than "helping them get on their feet".

So have I - because the system is designed that way.  Dependence on benefits means jobs for the entire benefits system.  The bigger the benefits bill, the bigger the bureaucratic system, the more people to work it, opportunities for promotion as new teams of welfare processors needed, the guy at the top has "more responsibility" and thus "deserves" a larger "compensation package". 

Keeping people on welfare is about control, not about helping them.


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Every day of my life, I deal with people who grow up and live their lives fully expecting our entitlement system to take care of them for free...just because it has in the past.

Yet if you had grown up in a more "socialist" society, that "entitlement" would be taken for granted by everyone, including you.  Universal health care is an entitlement in most of Europe.   

Based on my income, I would pay more than ten times as much in National Insurance contributions in the UK than I pay for private medical insurance here.  The system works well for me - until I lose my job.  Yet I would rather see my contributions to the social safety net increase and have a real health care system, instead of the exploitative sick-care system we have today.


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They don't even begin to understand that somebody else is paying their way. And they reproduce in a most prolific fashion, even though they don't carry their own freight.

I see "reproducing in a most prolific fashion" mostly as a result of ignorance and lack of education. You're right, they don't even begin to understand.  Often they've been brainwashed into believing it's a good idea to have many children and if there are insufficient resources, well that's no big deal.


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Those humans I'm talking about aren't part of MY tribe...

There's the rub.  I think we can have a more egalitarian society once we break away from the idea that we're one big society.  We're not. We're a collection of disparate tribes that have been lucky enough to have sufficient resources that the conflict over said resources has not come home to affect most our lives.  Those cheap and easy resources are going away.

I'm not interested in saving everyone, or even as "many" as I can, which is a noble theme here.  I'm willing to help those who are part of my tribe, and as many allies as I can. 


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If they were part of my tribe, then I'd be able to exercise some control over their behavior, and I'd insist they not keep producing offspring that eat up all the agar on the petri dish.

"Controlling behavior" skirts a sensitive area for me, I prefer to think I would encourage saner choices, like proper sex education and providing birth control when requested, even if that expends valuable resources.  Our emergency supplies include a batch of "morning after" pills (although plenty of yarrow in the diet will have a similar effect).



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Look, I'm not an unfeeling asshole, and I'm not even greedy. I'm just a fucking realist about what IS. It IS what it IS. "Feeling" like we should do something to provide basic support for people is nice. But it doesn't accomplish jack shit. Utopian visions are horseshit.  We live in an out-of-control, overgrown condition that is collapsing, right now. No government program is going to cushion the blow.

I think I understand, you don't want to be an enabler of parasitic behavior, which is what our society encourages, but you don't mind helping folks who need it.  Our current system conflates the two.   

So in a smaller community, say maybe a hundred or so, what social safety net would you favor?  If you could look the person who wants to consume your resources in the eye, would you be more willing to part with them?

« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 02:32:12 PM by haniel »

Offline Eddie

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Re: Universal Basic Income
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2013, 03:58:52 PM »
I prefer education as a means to control population, not force.  That's as bad as the anti-abortion crowd wanting to interfere in private decisions.

Did I say control. I meant INFLUENCE.   ;D





So in a smaller community, say maybe a hundred or so, what social safety net would you favor?  If you could look the person who wants to consume your resources in the eye, would you be more willing to part with them?

I believe family should take care of family, neighbors should help each other, and that dentists should try to figure out a way to help people in pain. Those are my core principles.

I don't really see any reason to expect any real organized national or local system of welfare or disability to survive the coming hard times. We will have some increasingly dysfunctional version of what we have now until it implodes...then the safety net, such as it is will vanish.(Europe too, it's just a matter of time).  Care will be local and it will be extended only to the extent of local human and financial means...whatever those may be. We won't keep 26  week old premature babies alive anymore, nor will we put Gramps on the ventilator until the antibiotics work on that pneumonia.

Perhaps many people who require assistance now will find themselves better able to contribute in a simpler world, one in which they will no doubt starve if they don't.

I agree with you on the loss of the commons. A locally based world is more conducive to getting that back, hopefully. People should be allowed a place to grow food...or just a place to BE. The last place in our country where you could do that, up in RE's Alaskan wilderness, even that has seen squatting outlawed ...albeit illegally in my opinion. There should be public land everywhere...in Texas they gave it all to the railroads in exchange for laying tracks that no longer exist. That was a sweet deal for somebody. Great example of long range planning there.

Most likely land will become easier to come by at some point because there will be die-offs. I don't mean to be overly pessimistic, but I don't see us avoiding that.

Helping people is likely to become a lot more personal..I actually think there is some good there...of course meanness won't cease to exist.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 04:00:53 PM by Eddie »
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