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#291094 - 08/12/16 11:36 PM Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? [Re: logtroll]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6426
Loc: North San Diego County
I say keep them both: Establish an absolute bottom that gives every US resident shelter, food, medical care, and clothing. But not very nice shelter, food, medical care, and clothing. If you are disabled, mentally disturbed, or just lazy you can coast by on the minimums. If you want more, get a job or figure out a business.

Our current welfare system excessively rewards those who have it together enough have an address, can get to appointments, can wait in long lines, etc. and does almost nothing for those who can't do those things. That's why I advocate for no cost for the minimums. All you have to do is walk in and get them.

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#291095 - 08/13/16 12:03 AM Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? [Re: logtroll]
matthew Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 227
'
A friend wrote the following to me:

I would be happy to provide a tithe of my income, in order to make society function humanely, rationally and efficiently, so that others may be as lazy (or productive) as they like. In the long run, I will be safer and happier that way.
The brainwashing of this society makes the brain-dead believe that we live in a society of scarcity. One look at the lavish waste of resources on the military would cause anyone who still had their marbles to see the folly of that notion.

Long ago, we passed from the Age of Scarcity to an Age of Abundance. This has kept our ruling classes at their wits' end to find ways of wasting the abundance so that they might maintain their own power. The problem that society faces is how to manage abundance without destroying itself or having that abundance destroy the world around us. So far, society has failed miserably.

Society would function much better if every young person had the options which the rich assume as a matter of course. Words fail me to express my contempt and disgust at the vulgar lower middle class and proletarian belief that a young person should be thrown out into the world with no resources, to make his own way, to "make a man of him," or find favor with God, or some such imbecility. That is an unconscionable, loathsome waste of human potential when a young mind is at its most flexible, vigorous and innovative stage of development. It is an idiotic error which established, well-to-do families rarely make. They see to it that their offspring get off to a good start in the world.

Of course, as in any other prudent, upper middle class family, we would want to see that a young person would not waste such wealth in short-sighted or riotous living. Naturally, the money should be reserved for education, housing, insurance and other expenditures that would increase his or her chances of leading a happy life, and one useful to the world.

There is another aspect to a guaranteed annual income which I think is important. It would provide, for many, an escape from inner-city slums and other death-traps of American society. People would have the resources, minimal though they might be, to move to places where living expenses are less -- for instance, to rural areas. This would bring human capital to areas where it might be needed, give opportunities for employment which otherwise people might not get, encourage co-operative enterprise, and generally shake up lives which all too often are mired in a rut of hopelessness and dependence---in the Wonderful Land of Opportunity known as the USA.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of Americans

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#291099 - 08/13/16 10:26 AM Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? [Re: pondering_it_all]
Ezekiel Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 6387
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all

...
If you are disabled, mentally disturbed, or just lazy you can coast by on the minimums. If you want more, get a job or figure out a business.
...


Not sure why one would lump together the disabled, mentally ill and the lazy.
The first two are incapable through no fault of their own. Why should they suffer the same fate as one who chooses not to contribute?
_________________________
"The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them."
Lenny Bruce

"The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month."
Dostoevsky




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#291101 - 08/13/16 01:17 PM Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? [Re: NW Ponderer]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8439
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
...While the CCC and WPA were examples of JG-like programs, their duration and historical circumstances have not been duplicated since. America Corps is so limited in scope I'm not sure it counts. ...

Americorps is nothing like the CCC and WPA, it's more like a domestic Peace Corps where young college students "intern" with nonprofits.

All my life I have been enamored of the work of the CCC - I really like making things, and they made some beautiful and functional things. But we don't have much of a physical work culture anymore. This country has a really weak basis anymore for getting things done that involve toil and sweat... that's one of the reasons we import foreigners for those jobs.

But beyond that, the subject of cooperation vs competition is something I am struggling with in a big way. For about the last 20 years my "occupation" has been centered on forest restoration and wood products made from low-value biomass. A century of profit-taking has left us with millions of acres of unhealthy, catastrophic fire prone forests. The key to restoring health to those forests is the establishment of a new triple-bottom-line economy (people, planet, profit) that utilizes low-value biomass. The catch is the "low-value" portion - there are many things that can be done that would have incredible people and planet benefits, which over time will also include economic benefits - but in the short term there is "no money in it".

Many people are working on this problem, with incredible competition for the scarce public money that has been allocated to the task. The money tends to go to higher profile endeavors conducted by powerful entities such as universities and large corporations, for things like making jet fuel out of wood chips. In spite of that, there are innumerable folks like me who have great ideas that fit within the realities of rural capacities and economies and are generally low-tech and conservation based rather than high-tech and consumption based (mine are primarily related to soil and water conservation and carbon sequestration).

The primary differences involve the perception of competence and if there "is money in it".

The fact is, competition for profits always involves externalizing costs, which is what got us to the millions of acres of unhealthy forests in the first place. And the continued competition for solutions with "money in them" is causing us to continue to externalize (ignore) excellent triple-bottom-line solutions.

I spend half of my time trying to find money to advance my work, which is focused on TBL solutions, and should be supported by the beneficiaries of the solutions, not by profits. The pressure of having to build profit into the functionality of the solutions also causes deflection from the optimal commercialization path, meaning that the target markets become those who will pay for the products instead of where the application of the products will have the greatest TBL impact.

From my point of view, a CCC-like government program that supports forest restoration, and products made from the byproducts of that restoration applied to soil and water conservation, would create jobs, improve the environment, and restore true wealth (more fertile soils, re-interrment of carbon in the soils, cleaner and more abundant water).

Less mindless consumption, more mindful conservation - better lives, less stress.
_________________________
"You can't fix a problem until you know what the problem is." Logtroll

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#291102 - 08/13/16 01:30 PM Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? [Re: logtroll]
Ezekiel Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 6387
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: logtroll
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
...While the CCC and WPA were examples of JG-like programs, their duration and historical circumstances have not been duplicated since. America Corps is so limited in scope I'm not sure it counts. ...

Americorps is nothing like the CCC and WPA, it's more like a domestic Peace Corps where young college students "intern" with nonprofits.

All my life I have been enamored of the work of the CCC - I really like making things, and they made some beautiful and functional things. But we don't have much of a physical work culture anymore. This country has a really weak basis anymore for getting things done that involve toil and sweat... that's one of the reasons we import foreigners for those jobs.

But beyond that, the subject of cooperation vs competition is something I am struggling with in a big way. For about the last 20 years my "occupation" has been centered on forest restoration and wood products made from low-value biomass. A century of profit-taking has left us with millions of acres of unhealthy, catastrophic fire prone forests. The key to restoring health to those forests is the establishment of a new triple-bottom-line economy (people, planet, profit) that utilizes low-value biomass. The catch is the "low-value" portion - there are many things that can be done that would have incredible people and planet benefits, which over time will also include economic benefits - but in the short term there is "no money in it".

Many people are working on this problem, with incredible competition for the scarce public money that has been allocated to the task. The money tends to go to higher profile endeavors conducted by powerful entities such as universities and large corporations, for things like making jet fuel out of wood chips. In spite of that, there are innumerable folks like me who have great ideas that fit within the realities of rural capacities and economies and are generally low-tech and conservation based rather than high-tech and consumption based (mine are primarily related to soil and water conservation and carbon sequestration).

The primary differences involve the perception of competence and if there "is money in it".

The fact is, competition for profits always involves externalizing costs, which is what got us to the millions of acres of unhealthy forests in the first place. And the continued competition for solutions with "money in them" is causing us to continue to externalize (ignore) excellent triple-bottom-line solutions.

I spend half of my time trying to find money to advance my work, which is focused on TBL solutions, and should be supported by the beneficiaries of the solutions, not by profits. The pressure of having to build profit into the functionality of the solutions also causes deflection from the optimal commercialization path, meaning that the target markets become those who will pay for the products instead of where the application of the products will have the greatest TBL impact.

From my point of view, a CCC-like government program that supports forest restoration, and products made from the byproducts of that restoration applied to soil and water conservation, would create jobs, improve the environment, and restore true wealth (more fertile soils, re-interrment of carbon in the soils, cleaner and more abundant water).

Less mindless consumption, more mindful conservation - better lives, less stress.



Indeed ThumbsUp
The profit motive strikes again. In my own work I have had similar experiences, albeit in the field of research. There is no money to develop work that helps protect against natural disasters (I have written several papers on the subject) unless some corporation can turn a profit from selling some snake-oil gadget to some rube, dumb enough to pay for it.
So pure research, the type that actually creates solutions to problems that concern humanity, and not just some tiny fraction of it, is dead.
_________________________
"The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them."
Lenny Bruce

"The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month."
Dostoevsky




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#291107 - 08/13/16 06:59 PM Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? [Re: logtroll]
Ken Condon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/14/07
Posts: 3648
Loc: Eugene, OR
Charles Murray, a well known conservative economist, first wrote an article about the idea of a guaranteed minimum income for all in the early 1980’s. He was not the first to express this idea but was the first one I had read about. I thought the idea a little outrageous when I first read his proposals but over time they have made more sense to me. Especially when ever more people are going to be put out of work through technology and automation.

He wrote another article in the WSJ this past June reiterating his ideas and I believe this time around he has more sympathetic eyes (or ears as it may be) on the topic:

Quote:
When people learn that I want to replace the welfare state with a universal basic income, or UBI, the response I almost always get goes something like this: “But people will just use it to live off the rest of us!” “People will waste their lives!” Or, as they would have put it in a bygone age, a guaranteed income will foster idleness and vice. I see it differently. I think that a UBI is our only hope to deal with a coming labor market unlike any in human history and that it represents our best hope to revitalize American civil society.


WSJ Link



_________________________
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

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#291139 - 08/14/16 07:02 AM Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? [Re: Ezekiel]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6426
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
Not sure why one would lump together the disabled, mentally ill and the lazy. The first two are incapable through no fault of their own. Why should they suffer the same fate as one who chooses not to contribute?


Just because it's so difficult to categorize each person as one of the three. Many disabled or mentally ill people do work. But many disabled people could work but are too lazy. Besides, there will be some small fraction of "the minimums" that are using it to live as they create art, music, poetry, and any number of other things we should value but that have no ready market. You have to play a musical instrument for 10 years to reach the maximum skill that your innate talent allows. Lot's of human endeavors have that same apprentice period. You could also support college students in that same way.

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#291144 - 08/14/16 11:15 AM Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? [Re: logtroll]
Ezekiel Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 6387
Loc: New York
In my opinion, creating jobs is the key. Assistance should be available to ALL who need it, and of course, some form of triage would be necessary- as it is even today, excessively and punitively so, for minorities. I think the main point is that without changes to the underlying system, band-aid approaches are just that, and nothing more.
The UBI could be a tool toward promoting those changes, while itself not being the ultimate solution. In that sense, I think it might be a good idea.
_________________________
"The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them."
Lenny Bruce

"The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month."
Dostoevsky




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#291156 - 08/14/16 01:24 PM Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? [Re: Ken Condon]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8439
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Originally Posted By: Ken Condon
... Especially when ever more people are going to be put out of work through technology and automation.
Quote:
When people learn that I want to replace the welfare state with a universal basic income, or UBI, the response I almost always get goes something like this: “But people will just use it to live off the rest of us!” “People will waste their lives!” Or, as they would have put it in a bygone age, a guaranteed income will foster idleness and vice. I see it differently. I think that a UBI is our only hope to deal with a coming labor market unlike any in human history and that it represents our best hope to revitalize American civil society.

WSJ Link

I have never thought much about the UBI concept. With this discussion meandering around I have had the chance to try the idea "on for size".

I'm thinking that maybe the knee-jerk response to the UBI being a nice couch for layabouts and slackers is just one more manifestation of the the Great Capitalism Con Job. Perhaps, if people didn't have the stress of "making a living", which has been culturized into a competitive thing, we could comfortably try out what we are good at and what we like to do, instead of prioritizing by what makes the most money.

If we led fuller and quieter lives, maybe we wouldn't feel the need to consume so much. Maybe we would spend more time gardening. Maybe we would feel free to help each other out just because it was fun and fulfilling...

In my memory, the best times of my life were when I was younger and had fewer "responsibilities" demanding my attention and feeding. I had more time, I watched less TV, I was full of enthusiasm and unfilled with worry. I was definitely not a slacker or a layabout.

One more thing... I could really use some help right now in my "mission" for environmental restoration, which is chock full of very fun things to do, but the people I would like to have help are all mired in "making a living" and I can't afford to pay them what they need in this competitive world. What if we were free enough from want to be free enough to do what we want? Would that turn out badly? Or would that be the key to unlock our human potential to the fullest?
_________________________
"You can't fix a problem until you know what the problem is." Logtroll

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#291161 - 08/14/16 03:32 PM Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? [Re: logtroll]
Ken Condon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/14/07
Posts: 3648
Loc: Eugene, OR
I certainly don’t know the answer or even if there is one to this dilemma. But if a guaranteed income were available for all it likely would help someone in your situation find affordable help. Work can be fun and it’s also a reason to get up and get going--aside from just income.

You had mentioned the CCC. CCC and New Deal structures are all over Oregon and us Oregonians enjoy them to this day. I am not so sure the young “kids” of today are willing to bust their asses doing the physical work it took to build these structures, but perhaps they would be.

Anyway, a link to current New Deal structures still in use today in Oregon:

New Deal Structures in Oregon
_________________________
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

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