Capitol Hill Blue
Posted By: logtroll Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/12/16 11:53 AM
Resiliance

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The common argument against both UBI and JG programs is the need to fund them through taxes or borrowing. This is, however, a specious argument when the Federal Government is the one footing the bill. The Federal Reserve regularly creates new currency when it purchases securities from banks, as it did to the tune of $2+ Trillion during the financial crisis of 2008. The requirement to offset Federal spending through taxes and borrowing is a legal, not a technical, constraint. There is nothing apart from a lack of political will that keeps Federal programs from being directly funded, without regard to effects on the (misleadingly named) Federal budget deficit.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/12/16 01:16 PM
I like the idea as a step toward building community and as an organizing tool for those left out (the overwhelming majority of the people). I'm sure there could be much learned from developing these kinds of programs.
The critique that the author mentions is a valid one: they may serve as temporary relief but one would need to incorporate into the program the notion that lasting change will only come from structural changes to the system itself.
And the argument about budget deficit is spot on.
I find the discussion fascinating. We really do need to have an in-depth review of our modern economy and is future. I've long been a fan of/intrigued by the concept of UBI as a new paradigm and its practical impact on the existing economy. One great advantage is the need for a much smaller bureaucracy. There would need to be three organizations in such a scheme: a dispensing administration; a policing agency (to prevent fraud); and some kind of oversight/review apparatus to study its impacts in the real economy.

One hitch on my thought experiment on its implementation is whether a limited-scale pilot program would be possible. In some respects it could be argued that paradigms exist in Alaska's Permanent Fund and some Indian tribes' gaming revenue distribution schemes (e.g. Tribal Gaming Revenue Sharing in California - some tribes distribute gaming revenues directly to members as a dividend as well). Those funds, however, vary from year to year. I'm not aware of any long-term implementation of UBI in any discrete community.

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. Further, I'm not sure how that would work on the scale that JG would require today. Moreover, SOME unemployment is necessary in a functioning economy to allow for job transition.

But this is the kind of thinking that has to be done to address our future economy.
I remember going through this intellectual exercise back in the 1960s. IMO this is at core a moral issue and goes to the nature of our relationship as humans to one another.

We live in a competitive nation culture and the very best of it is in admonitions of religious leaders to help those who are downtrodden. But what if we removed competition as a key force in society? What if the core of our way of living were, instead, cooperation?
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/12/16 04:21 PM
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
But what if we removed competition as a key force in society? What if the core of our way of living were, instead, cooperation?

That is the root of it, in my opinion.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/12/16 04:31 PM
Indeed there is a moral issue.
Some would argue that humankind is, by nature, competitive hence, a cooperative society is utopian and not achievable.
This is belied by aboriginal human groupings that demonstrated a greater trend toward cooperativism.
I am unsure of how much of the current competitiveness is due to technological progress and how much could truly be considered innate (if any). But I believe that a cooperative society would be the answer. If it is attainable and what the path would be are matters that merit discussion.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/12/16 05:02 PM
It seems to me that human nature (and the survival of species) are comprised of both - competition in order to ensure survival and cooperation for the same purpose. If any society were to be entirely one or the other it would likely become extinct. And the species that knows best how to use competition (not individual but as a species) to survive would do so to defend against threats of other SPECIES (not humans).
However, since we are the dominant species on the planet, we wind up competing against ourselves by creating false divisions - black vs white, gay vs straight, male vs female, country A vs country B, etc.
So the question in my mind is, are we not at a stage of evolution that should favor cooperation over competition?
Read this when much younger and has in part shaped my ideas of human nature

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
I, too, believe that there is a dichotomy between cooperation and competition, and that both are necessary for a person, or a species, to survive. The truth is, we "compete" for resources. Sharing resources, while morally laudable, is not as inherently preferable to most people - yet we do it on the grandest of scales! (Think banking, insurance, taxation, Social Security, hospitals, fire protection) Too often (think Trump) we emphasize competition when it is not the best solution. Too much "competition" leads to many untoward effects.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/12/16 08:20 PM
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Sharing resources, while morally laudable, is not as inherently preferable to most people - yet we do it on the grandest of scales! (Think banking, insurance, taxation, Social Security, hospitals, fire protection) Too often (think Trump) we emphasize competition when it is not the best solution. Too much "competition" leads to many untoward effects.


Therein lies the rub. How much of this reluctance to cooperate comes from an economic system that encourages competition for its own furtherance? Which would mean that the current economic system is obstructing progress.
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.
Posted By: matthew Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/13/16 12:03 AM
'
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.
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Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/13/16 10:26 AM
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?
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/13/16 01:17 PM
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.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/13/16 01:30 PM
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.
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



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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.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/14/16 11:15 AM
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.
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/14/16 01:24 PM
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?
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
We will be forced to adapt to some kind of UBI/JG model no matter what the economic cognoscenti say because technological unemployment is a Pandora's Box which was already opened about a decade or so back.
Artificial intelligence and advanced robotics are here to stay and both fields are advancing faster than the consumer computer revolution did at the turn of the century.

Advanced robotics has already produced a walking bot that has most of the agility of a human body with rapidly advancing material handling capabilities. Boston Dynamics demonstrated a walking bot that can handle slippery steps and can maintain erect balance even when shoved or pushed, so bots no longer fall over or lose their footing on tricky surfaces.

Add in enough AI and it's easy to predict a "Bicentennial Man" model by 2020 or 2022, and five years hence such a device will most likely cost about as much as a luxury SUV.

By 2030 such units will most likely be able to do pretty much any skilled or unskilled labor we do now. Fifteen years is an eternity in the tech field, so don't underestimate this in terms of cost or feasibility. Industry has wanted to rid itself of the human component for as long as industry has existed.
Naturally they never think of the impact on the workforce, because that's "a government problem", right?

Well, here it is, and the small government advocates who worship libertarian tropes about personal responsibility and unregulated capitalism are about to stare down an abyss where no coin drop returns the echo of confirmation, because there is no bottom, and their arguments will be reduced to shouting at the darkness.

Technological unemployment is a threat to capitalism like no other.
It cannot be stopped, or even slowed, and it cannot be reasoned with. It will lay waste to well over half the workforce in the coming decade and possibly 90 percent of it by 2035.

We can ignore it or fight it all we want but there is no turning back. Ignore it at your own peril, because if you train for new vistas in employment you will quickly learn that the lifespan won't even outlive the sell by date on some of the technology you own now.

Fight it, and you're screaming at a tornado.

Rendering half the workforce redundant will trigger either a come to Jesus moment where UBI is the only available solution or it will trigger global revolution and unimaginable slaughter. No class of society will be safe.

Resisting UBI will simply trigger global economic collapse. The elites only get to choose whether it's a rapid collapse or a slow motion one.

UBI will be sold to them as a shareholder dividend. They get to own and manage the wheels of industry, society gets to share in the dividends.

PS: Techological unemployment will also raise, for the final time, questions about who gets to reproduce and why.
Watch for massive pushback from religious types but don't expect Armageddon because the only dividend from that will be a faster road to their own end.

Technological unemployment will force a sharp focus on the whole competition/cooperation paradigm in ways no one could heretofore imagine.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/14/16 06:09 PM
While I don't share Jeff's dire predictions - I think things progress in a nonlinear fashion - his point is well taken. That the economic system will be replaced there is little doubt. That it will need to be more cooperative I also think is inevitable. That social interactions and mores will transform as a result of the above is a certainty.
As the Chinese say: may you live in interesting times!
I think Jeff is more right than wrong in his predictions. In the past doomsday scenarios were spouted about claiming technologies would replace ever more workers. Along came the Luddites to smash the machines but eventually workers found new employment in new and as of yet uninvented areas. So many today claim the same thing will happen and all will be well as humans adapt to their new conditions. And find employment in the evolving work place.

I believe that this time things really are different. As robotics and technologies develop machines that can do ever more tasks better and more efficiently than humans, the only positions left for humans will be to develop better and better machines. And in pure numbers how many people will that employ? Only a small percentage of humans today have the capacity to learn the very difficult high tech skills that will be necessary. Which leads me to the following regarding Tesla’s new Model 3 factory under construction:

Quote:
The machine will ultimately be so complex that no humans will be expected to operate it directly, or to participate in the actual building of each Model 3.

"You really can't have people in the production line itself," said Musk. "Otherwise you'll automatically drop to people speed." (He didn’t elaborate on how much faster these machines will be able to work.


Link

And this is just the beginning of what’s in store.
Posted By: pdx rick Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/14/16 06:54 PM

Quote:
The machine will ultimately be so complex that no humans will be expected to operate it directly, or to participate in the actual building of each Model 3.

"You really can't have people in the production line itself," said Musk. "Otherwise you'll automatically drop to people speed." (He didn’t elaborate on how much faster these machines will be able to work.


I really like Elon Musk, a lot. smile
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/14/16 08:34 PM
Originally Posted By: Ken Condon
I think Jeff is more right than wrong in his predictions.


I hope not.
Simple: The citizens of a country should own some percentage of the country's industry. They have been doing that in Alaska for some time now. Some people are not very smart, so you have to prevent them from selling their share. Just tax every company a small percentage of their gross and we have the money to distribute the dividends.

But we do need to do this on a world-wide basis to prevent companies from moving to countries without the tax.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/14/16 09:20 PM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Simple: The citizens of a country should own some percentage of the country's industry. They have been doing that in Alaska for some time now. Some people are not very smart, so you have to prevent them from selling their share. Just tax every company a small percentage of their gross and we have the money to distribute the dividends.

But we do need to do this on a world-wide basis to prevent companies from moving to countries without the tax.


But.. But... PIA what you're suggesting sounds so dangerously close to the S word shhhhh ThumbsUp Socialism
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
Originally Posted By: Ken Condon
I think Jeff is more right than wrong in his predictions.


I hope not.


I'm not trying to spell out doomsday predictions, this is not an excercise in hyperbole. I'm just sticking my finger in the wind and saying "Chance of showers Thursday, be sure to pack your bumbershoot."

Now, that could go in the direction of a good rainstorm and everyone gets a nice soak, and we have to put up our galoshes and raincoats in the cloakroom or it could go full hurricane and wipe everything out.
That depends on how much we try to resist it.
I agree, Jeff. Like global warming, technological unemployment is an issue that is here, conceivable, and must be dealt with. We can ameliorate its effects, or we can live with the consequences. It may be that these issues are beyond the human scope to correct, but I choose not to believe so.

Our economy is built on a paradigm of employment for wages and consumption of goods. Those constituent parts can be decoupled, at least to a certain extent. We already do so in many aspects of the overall economy: Retirement benefits, Social Security, unemployment compensation and welfare, as well as those who live on investment income. UBI would be an extension of those concepts. Personally, I would orchestrate it as a refundable tax credit. That way it can be phased out for those who do not need it, and it would require participation in the general economic scheme of the nation.

In many respects such a scheme would be nearly revenue neutral, since the dollars spent would recirculate throughout the economy, the Local Multiplier Effect. The only step missing is the actual employment for wage process.
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
The only step missing is the actual employment for wage process.


That "minor detail" seems to rankle the congregation quite a bit because they can't seem to accept certain realities and prefer to manufacture their own.
The whole "forty-seven percent" narrative speaks to a form of denial that is well beyond pathological.

Put in perspective, the majority of that so called forty-seven percent once had well paying and secure jobs which placed them in a tax bracket which classified them as legitimate productive members of a capitalist society.
Such persons are reluctant to just toss that off and just become bums for the sheer fun of it, thus their cumulative number represents a fairly looming sector of society that no longer reaps the benefit of what it sows. Indeed, most in that forty-seven percent still work and work hard. They just get paid meager wages now and can't make ends meet.

That must be mighty frightening news, so why not just generate some cover which will divide and conquer instead?
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/15/16 12:54 AM
I'd be interested to read other folks' ruminations on how your own lives would have unfolded with a UBI factored in?
I'll be honest, I practically had a UBI life. My father died when I was in high school, so I attended college while receiving SS benefits. It was not a lot, but it paid my living expenses. I worked throughout high school, college and law school. I would not have done so if I were allowed to concentrate on my studies. I then spent a career in the Army. Twice I had to file for unemployment. Nonetheless, because I was frugal, saved incessantly, and managed my savings well, I was able to retire early.

I say this primarily to make two points: First, I know what it is like to be on a limited income, not from employment; Second, because it never stopped me from trying to improve my situation and take care of my family.
I just wrote a detailed response to your query on Safari IMac. It disappeared to the right then vanished. This is a continual problem I have in many forums with this fuggin kompewtr..

Zeke----- as Apple cannot help me--you surely must have the last and final answer to my dilemma--no? I need your help man....

Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/15/16 09:56 AM
Most folks in highly technical fields: Math, Physics, Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, etc. find themselves, like me, faced with a choice early on. Either you take a full time corporate job (the pay can be very enticing, but not as much as say SALES in the same firm) or you go into Academia (pay is less and pressure (both internal and corporate) is horrific).
The problem is, with either option you are always being confined to corporate work, and you are presenting your results to people who have no clue what you're talking about. Having tried, for a short while, both, I came to the conclusion that I wasn't getting anywhere professionally. I then embarked on my current path which is consulting, thus being able to pick my clients and the work I want to do. There is no UBI (or equivalent) for consultants. If you have a gig, you're being paid. If not, you're screwed. You can't apply for unemployment (unless you're on a 1099 - which is rare - and then you have to be on the same gig for at least 6 months - also rare). So the only way to survive is to be as stingy as possible, and have savings because you can count on the fact that you'll need them.
If there were some form of UBI one might be able dedicate one's talents to problems that serve humanity, the greater good, if you will, and not corporate greed. The field of pure research - dedicated to solving hard problems that take time and that could benefit everyone - has been destroyed by Capitalism. Even what were once places of pure thought (IBM, Los Alamos, Bell Labs) have become fronts for corporations and only work on problems whose short term results will generate profits somewhere for someone. But never for the people who actually achieve those results.
Sorry, I've got to jump in here.

Part of the problem with a cash UBI is that the poor typically spend any cash they get buying fast food, cigarettes, and maybe alcohol maybe drugs and then running out of money before the next check arrives. They really don't know how cheaply somebody can live by cooking every meal at home, not smoking, etc. (My sister is a perfect example of this.) Give them more cash and they will just buy more McDonalds, etc. You would just be subsidizing the fast food industry, payroll lenders, pawn shops, and so forth.

You can avoid that problem with my free food, shelter, clothing, and medical care approach.

As for creating a UBI tax credit, that only works for people who pay some taxes and file. You would be boosting the working poor a bit, but ignoring everybody below that level! I think we really need a bottom-up system. And I suspect this would be easy to pass because we already spend the money it would take on welfare programs. We just need to redirect that money to actually help the real poor.

I also think "the poverty line" is hogwash: $11,770 income for an individual is poor but certainly survivable. The real poor are homeless and have to beg or collect aluminum cans to survive.
Quote:
Most folks in highly technical fields: Math, Physics, Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, etc. find themselves, like me, faced with a choice early on.


Well, you could create "minimums monestaries" for those interested in Math and Statistics. Free food, shelter, clothing, and medical care for those interested in the mostly mental exercises. It's much harder to do Physics, Biology, and Chemistry research because you need labs and equipment. That takes grant money or corporate sponsorship.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/15/16 10:43 AM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Sorry, I've got to jump in here.

Part of the problem with a cash UBI is that the poor typically spend any cash they get buying fast food, cigarettes, and maybe alcohol maybe drugs and then running out of money before the next check arrives. They really don't know how cheaply somebody can live by cooking every meal at home, not smoking, etc. (My sister is a perfect example of this.) Give them more cash and they will just buy more McDonalds, etc. You would just be subsidizing the fast food industry, payroll lenders, pawn shops, and so forth.


The Food Stamps program limits what you can use the money for. (It isn't cash, BTW). You CANNOT buy cigarettes or alcohol. If someone wants to eat at MacDonalds because it's cheap then so be it. You can't dictate what food people want.
As for drugs, again, the food stamps come on a card and I know of no drug dealers that accept that card as payment.
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all

As for creating a UBI tax credit, that only works for people who pay some taxes and file. You would be boosting the working poor a bit, but ignoring everybody below that level! I think we really need a bottom-up system. And I suspect this would be easy to pass because we already spend the money it would take on welfare programs. We just need to redirect that money to actually help the real poor.

I agree. I don't see how a tax credit would work.

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all

I also think "the poverty line" is hogwash: $11,770 income for an individual is poor but certainly survivable. The real poor are homeless and have to beg or collect aluminum cans to survive.

In any large city in the U.S. you would live in a cardboard box with that income. In the smaller places where cost of living is lower it is still very little, but at the same time you are limiting job opportunities - which is contradictory to the whole point. So unless the program also creates decent paying work in small cities you are not solving the problem. Just putting a band-aid.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/15/16 10:44 AM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
It's much harder to do Physics, Biology, and Chemistry research because you need labs and equipment. That takes grant money or corporate sponsorship.


Or government sponsorship, such as it once was in the not so distant past.
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Sorry, I've got to jump in here.
I'm not sorry at all.
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all

Part of the problem with a cash UBI is that the poor typically spend any cash they get buying fast food, cigarettes, and maybe alcohol maybe drugs and then running out of money before the next check arrives. ... You would just be subsidizing the fast food industry, payroll lenders, pawn shops great deal of the, and so forth.
I have several thoughts on this. First, I think that is an overgeneralization of "the poor", but it would certainly apply to many people. Even "subsidizing" some of those industries, though, does a great deal of the work, as one of the points is still getting the money to the bottom of the economic ladder. It gets money into the local economy. Welfare, unemployment compensation, social security do the same thing. Interestingly, though, we don't complain about what people spend their SS "benefits" on, or unemployment checks... we assume they are buying necessities (and they usually are). But welfare comes with all kinds of strings and the social opprobrium that goes with them, even though that money serves the same purpose.
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all

You can avoid that problem with my free food, shelter, clothing, and medical care approach.
While I agree, there is a certain portion of the population that are not going to be reached no matter what resources are available to them. Homelessness is not solved even in communities with robust emergency housing options. Some people simply will not use shelters. (I have a friend with a schizophrenic daughter, so have now seen it first hand.). But, the perfect should not be the enemy of the good.

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
As for creating a UBI tax credit, that only works for people who pay some taxes and file. You would be boosting the working poor a bit, but ignoring everybody below that level!
I disagree, but not strongly. The purpose for a tax credit is specifically to establish participation, as would the requirement to use direct deposit. Poor people are denied many of the basic resources and institutions we take for granted. By using direct deposit and making bank services available to them they get into "the system." They become participants, they have "a stake" in the economy. Similarly, a tax credit system gives them a stake in the government. Paying/filing taxes is a civic function, not a punishment.

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
I also think "the poverty line" is hogwash: $11,770 income for an individual is poor but certainly survivable. The real poor are homeless and have to beg or collect aluminum cans to survive.
There has to be a base line. I think $12000/a year is reasonable. Enough to survive, but not be complacent. I think vigorous workforce training, housing, and economic literacy programs would also be important.
11,700 would not provide even the cardboard box in Los Angeles.

But if we get back to the issue of competition vs cooperation it is irrelevant. We should be looking for areas in which the public can pay, such as free medical care and higher taxes on upper bracket earners. We could also tax all those companies that exported income to other nations.
Posted By: jgw Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/15/16 07:50 PM
A while ago I posted something about the problem of dealing with folks who became a permanent underclass due to any number of things. I think we are either there now, or very soon. We need a bit more than just money or some kind of job. We need to give these people some kind of system that will care, train, educate and help these people find a life. A job would be nice. Plain money, however, is certainly not the answer. I remember the old debates about welfare and how to do it.

My own thought, at the time, was to build them housing facilities which also had communal kitchens. Food stamps would only apply to basic food stuffs and they could then cook their own. If they couldn't cook then they would be given training as to how to cook. Same with clothes. If they needed cloths they would be supplied with the cloth, a sewing room and, if they didn't know how to sew they would be taught. I am basing this on my own belief that people need to do for themselves, whenever possible, which, I believe, would also give them a feeling of some kind of success and pride.

There is a simple fact which drives this. There WILL be a permanent underclass due to the lack of jobs for those not well educated or lack of training to do those jobs which are available. The simple fact is that many choose not to get training and feel that they are somehow entitled. There is nothing anybody is likely to do to change that. We have folks, right now, in that condition but, give it about 10 years and there are going to be a lot more folks out of a job due to automation. Its coming and nobody is going to be able to stop it so we had best start thinking about how we can deal with it.

Hopefully, folks are going to start thinking on these problems and find solutions which is, incidentally, somewhat of a pipe dream.

I also thought that gov would start dealing with climate change, years ago. Nope, didn't happen. Louisiana, right now, is underwater and that's just the beginning of what we will see in coming years as we are, obviously, woefully lacking in any kind of preparation as the seas continue to rise. An example might be Bangladesh where there have been 1,000,000 already displaced already. As that million moves away from the sea it puts pressure on others to move up to Burma which is trying to stop the Bangladeshi influx due to pressure from them that already lost their land to the sea. In situations like this war is almost a given. Just remember, this is just one part of the world in trouble but there are lots of others. In the pacific, for instance, its generally believed that entire island nations are going under the sea right now.

Its unfortunate but, as far as I can tell, the United States, AND the rest of the world, simply cannot bring themselves to consider what's coming. Hell, we can't even fight the Zika virus thing! (and we know what that is going to cause) The only good thing about all of this is that I will be dead before it really gets bad but bad it's going to be!
Posted By: matthew Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/15/16 10:18 PM
'
Originally Posted By: logtroll

The fact is, competition for profits always involves externalizing costs....

That could be a good epitaph when we write the obituary of the USA.

Originally Posted By: logtroll

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.

You've got it, and you are right.
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Posted By: matthew Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/15/16 10:28 PM
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas

Rendering half the workforce redundant will trigger either a come to Jesus moment where UBI is the only available solution or it will trigger global revolution and unimaginable slaughter. No class of society will be safe.

Resisting UBI will simply trigger global economic collapse. The elites only get to choose whether it's a rapid collapse or a slow motion one.

The other possibility is that the One-Thousandth of the One Percent will decide to eliminate much of the obsolete human population the way they would any other redundant equipment in their factories.
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Posted By: matthew Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/15/16 10:50 PM
'
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel

If there were some form of UBI one might be able dedicate one's talents to problems that serve humanity, the greater good, if you will, and not corporate greed. The field of pure research - dedicated to solving hard problems that take time and that could benefit everyone - has been destroyed by Capitalism.

Perhaps this helps to explain why there was an avalanche of fundamental breakthroughs in the period from 1890 to 1950, and so very few since then.
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Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all

I also think "the poverty line" is hogwash: $11,770 income for an individual is poor but certainly survivable. The real poor are homeless and have to beg or collect aluminum cans to survive.


Not out here it ain't.
Throw in the tiny houses solution and you might have something there. The key to it is to make allowances for more locations to PUT tiny houses in. Think "trailer parks".
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
11,700 would not provide even the cardboard box in Los Angeles.


400 or 500 a month will get you a 1 BR trailer home rental but the problem is, the zoning restrictions make them very scarce.
So calld Tiny Houses are glorified trailer homes and could be very viable if restrictions were eased.
I think in the light of increased unemployment it is silly to train people for jobs that don't exist or won't exist shortly. Should we train the indigent to be servants and bed-warmers for the (increasingly fewer) well-employed? Grind them up to make Soylent Green?

The whole idea of a UBI is that there are a bunch of people who are just going to collect for their whole lives with few job prospects.

The zoning laws are written to keep the upper and middle classes happy, but if most voters are poor should the laws change? We could allow housing like dorm rooms, with tiny spaces for residents. That would be much more practical than Tiny Houses which are relatively expensive to build and have few places to go. (I have studied them a lot.) At the very least we could create trailer parks designed for Tiny Houses and create a few standard government-built models to give to the poor.

This is the free housing I see for my "minimum income" program. You could also build community kitchens where they could be supervised cooking for the community, taking turns to earn some cash.
My grandfather was a drill bit sharpener during the oil boom in Okahoma and Texas. When a new drilling field would open, men and their families would flock there, requiring lodging and food in a community completely unprepared to deal with the onslaught.

My grandparents and their three children traveled in one of those big, black, hearse-looking automobiles, packed full, with stuff on the roof -- a big tent, a gramophone, linens, mattresses, cooking ware etc.

The need for bare-basics shelter for so many people was the problem and the solution was the shotgun house.


This house isn't from an oil boom town, but it looks just like one.

So would this the be forerunner of the tiny house?

(Are there ways around zoning restrictions? I mean, if you take the wheels off a trailer and put it on a foundation, wouldn't it be a pre-fab home or modular or something?)

(Ooh. And what about those shipping container houses? There are some pretty cool ones. And they're cheap ... if you live near a place that has a lot of shipping containers. I'm not sure what shipping on a shipping container is. But they could be kind of like Jenga housing ... pull one out, and the rest might not collapse.)

But back to shot gun houses. Many were company housing, built to lure desperately needed skilled workers. Others were privately built and owned. But they were mostly built on tiny lots, and each one had to protect itself from the elements independently. That isn't really the cheapest way to live. Apartments and townhouses share walls, so the fight against the weather is shared.

My son once rented an apartment above a frame shop downtown on bar street of a small college town (the one we live in). Heat (gas) was going to cost him a bundle. But we figured that the frame shop under him would be heated (and heat goes up). Plus he had a neighbor in front of him and behind him, an owner-heated stair-hall beside him, and only one wall exposed to the outside. He decided not to turn on the gas until he really needed heat. He never did need to get the gas turned on.

I like the idea of tiny houses; I like the building of equity. But I'm not sure they are as efficient as they need to be. Maybe the slapping on of wheels and relocating cancels out that efficiency thing ... if this generation needs to be mobile in order to earn a living wage.
Reality check. Where do you put a "small house"? There is NO land available in most major cities. One of my staff commutes 60 miles each do to live in somewhat affordable circumstances. 60 miles = 2.5 hours. And land is fast disappearing.

Chinese money has increased land and housing dramatically here.

Get real
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Reality check. Where do you put a "small house"? There is NO land available in most major cities. One of my staff commutes 60 miles each do to live in somewhat affordable circumstances. 60 miles = 2.5 hours. And land is fast disappearing.

Chinese money has increased land and housing dramatically here.

Get real


Phil, there's still space in the margins between business and residential zones. Remember, these are basically trailer homes and most are transported ON flatbed trailers. We're talking 400 sq ft or thereabouts.

And since they CAN be moved, it is possible to set up a couple dozen on all kinds of empty land. For instance, we have had a large empty lot where a diner once stood in Norwalk at the corner of Firestone and Studebaker. The lot has stood empty for well over THREE years now and most likely will remain empty for another two or three.
A former Cadillac dealership at the other end on Studebaker and Florence has been an EYESORE for FIVE years BEGGING to be torn down.

No reason why a couple dozen or so tiny homes can't occupy this land and make a small sum for the owners while they decide what to do.

So just off the top of my head I just located space for FORTY-EIGHT small dwellings which can stay for up to five years, maybe more.
Where YOU are is the West Side, Phil.
It is understandable that land is scarce there.
It's second only to San Jose and San Francisco in terms of living expenses.
Homeless working poor will NOT be able to afford to live in your neck of the woods.

But Downey? Norwalk? Whittier?
All kinds of extra land around these parts.

And right now we're desperate because homeless working poor are already living in a Hooverville tent city right next to the San Gabriel River, a full on homeless encampment.

So clearly the tiny house solution would be much more preferable.
But where you could put 48 tiny houses, you could house 400 people in a four story building! And you could build a lot higher than that.

Even in the most occupied areas of Southern California you have individual houses on 1/4 acre lots. We could easily afford buying 10 adjacent ticky tacky single story houses at over-market cost, tear them down, and put up a building that houses 1000 people. And that building would require much less heating and air conditioning than 250 individual houses.

We have done just that with public housing projects in the past. We can still do it, and supply modern security with video cameras and microphones in the halls and common areas. That stuff is dirt-cheap now, and you can hire some residents to monitor the cameras.

I'm not saying Tiny Houses aren't cool but they are very impractical unless you use them as a rural cabin. And then you might as well just build a cabin.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/16/16 09:16 AM
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
11,700 would not provide even the cardboard box in Los Angeles.


400 or 500 a month will get you a 1 BR trailer home rental but the problem is, the zoning restrictions make them very scarce.
So calld Tiny Houses are glorified trailer homes and could be very viable if restrictions were eased.

So, at 400 per month that's 4,800 a year. Over 11,700 is 41% of total income (assuming that 11,700 is net, which it certainly would not be). Thus leaving you to eat garbage for the entire year and not a penny left for anything else.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/16/16 09:28 AM
Originally Posted By: matthew
'
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel

If there were some form of UBI one might be able dedicate one's talents to problems that serve humanity, the greater good, if you will, and not corporate greed. The field of pure research - dedicated to solving hard problems that take time and that could benefit everyone - has been destroyed by Capitalism.

Perhaps this helps to explain why there was an avalanche of fundamental breakthroughs in the period from 1890 to 1950, and so very few since then.
.


It does wink
Only $132 per week left for food for a single person? Pretty expensive garbage. Pinto beans and rice go for less than $1 per pound around here. Can you eat 132 pounds of rice and beans in a week?

Not that anybody would actually buy nothing but beans and rice, but the point is that you can live with roommates, buy cheap basic food items you cook yourself, not use air conditioning, use public transportation, etc.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/16/16 10:00 PM
It's too little. Period.
And you do need some minimum of clothing, electricity and gas. So your 132 ( which isn't 132 because the 11,700 is gross not net) is whittled down to nothing. Suppose the person doesn't like beans? Or rice? Or can't eat them for some medical reason?
C'mon PIA, unemployment in NYC can reach 23,000 a year .
LA bus pass 122 per month which is cheapest way around town
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
But where you could put 48 tiny houses, you could house 400 people in a four story building! And you could build a lot higher than that.

Even in the most occupied areas of Southern California you have individual houses on 1/4 acre lots. We could easily afford buying 10 adjacent ticky tacky single story houses at over-market cost, tear them down, and put up a building that houses 1000 people. And that building would require much less heating and air conditioning than 250 individual houses.

We have done just that with public housing projects in the past. We can still do it, and supply modern security with video cameras and microphones in the halls and common areas. That stuff is dirt-cheap now, and you can hire some residents to monitor the cameras.

I'm not saying Tiny Houses aren't cool but they are very impractical unless you use them as a rural cabin. And then you might as well just build a cabin.


Well, first off, I WAS referring to a dozen here and a dozen there, forty eight IN TOTAL.
Putting up forty eight units together equals something called "low income housing".
In Los Angeles that equals, "da projects", and the projects are a very bad idea.
Now, put up a medium density building for twelve units here, and a medium density building for twelve there, and you have something.

But my original idea was to make use of temporarily empty land the kind which exists where I live, the former Caddy dealer, the teardown site for the greasy spoon, etc.
Read the ENTIRE post, I am talking about temp solutions for temp homeless. Long term homeless require a different solution but for working poor staying in homeless encampments, tiny houses set up on land which is going to lie fallow for three to five years is a great idea.
And when the land gets sold and the developers rush in, move the tiny houses somewhere else.

Hey, we're already doing this anyway, under a slightly different name...FEMA trailers.
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all

Not that anybody would actually buy nothing but beans and rice, but the point is that you can live with roommates, buy cheap basic food items you cook yourself, not use air conditioning, use public transportation, etc.


I lived on nothing but red beans and rice, an occasional tomato, instant milk and frozen OJ, maybe a tin of canned fish once in a while and iced tea for almost two years.

I also looked FABULOUS. Karen said I looked "trim".
Now, I'm a beached whale but people say it's the sign of a happy marriage and a faithful husband.

Uhhh yeah, who would want to fool around with a water buffalo anyway?
Posted By: Ardy Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/17/16 01:10 AM
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all

Not that anybody would actually buy nothing but beans and rice, but the point is that you can live with roommates, buy cheap basic food items you cook yourself, not use air conditioning, use public transportation, etc.




Uhhh yeah, who would want to fool around with a water buffalo anyway?


Good question
Posted By: Ardy Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/17/16 01:21 AM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Only $132 per week left for food for a single person? Pretty expensive garbage. Pinto beans and rice go for less than $1 per pound around here. Can you eat 132 pounds of rice and beans in a week?

Not that anybody would actually buy nothing but beans and rice, but the point is that you can live with roommates, buy cheap basic food items you cook yourself, not use air conditioning, use public transportation, etc.


Imo, the ironic thing is that ...by in large... Poor people in this country seem not very adept at living a frugal lifestyle. They tend to use check cashing places, smoke cigarettes, have cable service, etc

I just watched a youtube about how used car dealers essentially rip off people with bad credit

If you miss a credit card payment, or bounce a check....ka ching
My sister is one of those people. She simply doesn't care to learn how to be poor, so she does all sorts of shady and downright criminal things. She is a big pawn shop, pay day loan, check cashing. fast food user.

She has ripped off so many banks I don't think she can have a checking account any more. And yes, she does have cigarettes, broadband internet, cable tv, cell phones for every child, new cars, etc. with zero employment income.
Quote:
I lived on nothing but red beans and rice, an occasional tomato, instant milk and frozen OJ, maybe a tin of canned fish once in a while and iced tea for almost two years.


I've lived in a single-wide on church-collections of canned food for a while too. No unemployment and no job. Family charity to pay rent.

I would suggest a few eggs and some government cheese if you can get it. And apparently there is a big dumpster-diving behind supermarkets and restaurants movement at present. The sheer quantity of slightly old or blemished food we toss is amazing.
Interesting how we have devolved to what is the least a person can subsist on. There are huge amounts of wealth in this country and the world.

We do not have to put up with the least. All of us deserve a decent living level.
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/17/16 02:50 AM
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Interesting how we have devolved to what is the least a person can subsist on. There are huge amounts of wealth in this country and the world.

We do not have to put up with the least. All of us deserve a decent living level.

I have another example of how some might find and develop a great deal of opportunity from the secure base of a UBI. I would have, and would continue to find it very helpful in pursuing small business ideas. One of the killers of small business is that you generally have to go all in - risk everything you have - on the bet of making a go of it. But a YOOGE amount of small businesses are best evolved from a part time basis. That is extremely difficult to do when you also have to work other jobs to make ends meet.
Originally Posted By: logtroll
I would have, and would continue to find it very helpful in pursuing small business ideas. One of the killers of small business is that you generally have to go all in - risk everything you have - on the bet of making a go of it. But a YOOGE amount of small businesses are best evolved from a part time basis. That is extremely difficult to do when you also have to work other jobs to make ends meet.


When my edit and duplication business was wiped out in 1994 by the quake it was a very long road back.
I had to survive on fallback jobs until around 2005 or so and just do video part time.
When the wage floor started falling out the bottom in North Texas we finally moved, also for a variety of other reasons, and I've now found that starting over in a new city at nearly sixty is not a great idea.

Work is small and low pay compared to what I used to make in L.A. back in the 80's and 90's. I've been getting some interesting shoot gigs to supplement the editing work but it's overall not very much.
Thank God for the Leon DVD.

I have to get the real estate we inherited to start producing, which is a tough row to hoe with the older brother being the executor, in order to have steady revenue of at least some reasonable means.
He's slow walking things, an irritant. With that coming in I could maybe position myself with better gear to do better paying work.

Right now I am at an impasse, so although we do okay, I am not as productive as I would like to be, and it rankles me.
I do not want to slowly lose my sight, hearing and physical health wishing I could keep doing what I am good at just because a few thousand dollars stands in the way.
That's tough because you need to spend some money for film and video editing equipment even to get started again. And inheritance takes a couple of years at best.

But like loggy said, there would be plenty of small business ideas that could grow and then become established if the we had the basic survival minimums or the UBI covered. You could build the business at a speed you couldn't survive otherwise. You could also afford to fail and try something else a few times, which small business persons rarely get to do now.
Quote:
We do not have to put up with the least. All of us deserve a decent living level.


I'm not suggesting anybody live on the least possible. I'm just pointing out that we have a whole almost invisible underclass of people who live on much less. Any UBI or "minimums" program has to reach all of them as well as the better off. But we don't have to give people living on four times the poverty level a subsidy. (The upper limit on tax credits for Obamacare.) We need a program that starts with the poorest of the poor and phases out as your income reaches some point. That point is certainly open to discussion.

Should we give every surplus non-worker a house and a car, insurance and gas money, an entertainment budget, a cell phone? Probably not. Should we give them a bed, all the rice and beans they can eat, free second-hand clothing, and medical care? Yes. Somewhat more? Maybe.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/17/16 09:10 AM
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Interesting how we have devolved to what is the least a person can subsist on. There are huge amounts of wealth in this country and the world.

We do not have to put up with the least. All of us deserve a decent living level.


Thank you, Phil! ThumbsUp
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/17/16 09:29 AM
BREAKING NEWS, Guys, everyone else is not like you. People fall on hard times for many different reasons. Their reactions and individual stories are very different. Many times there are health issues, both mental and physical. Many have no family that they can fall back on.
And Phil has nailed it: We are the richest country in the world. We should be able to provide for our citizens. We should be able to provide both work and assistance when needed.
The dearth of training available to people who have lost their jobs due to automation and/or trade agreements (I have family in the rust belt so I know the drill) is yet another failing of the system and its government with respect to the people it is supposed to represent.
UBI could be a good starting point (depending on how it is implemented) toward organizing true community in our cities (big and small) and getting people to demand a government that actually represents them. And I bet that even Trump supporters would benefit from programs like these - thus eliminating the allure of the buffoon and his hot air.
Posted By: Ardy Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/17/16 04:48 PM
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
BREAKING NEWS, Guys, everyone else is not like you. People fall on hard times for many different reasons. Their reactions and individual stories are very different. Many times there are health issues, both mental and physical. Many have no family that they can fall back on


Is there no way to discuss the other side of this problem without being inferentially cast as a hard hearted unsympathetic person?

It is obviously true that many people have encountered some situation that has made them "poor"

But it sems equally obvious that many poor people make very bad life choices
Some of this is bad luck of not being taught otherwise as children, etc.
But if part of the problem is people making bad choices, it does not seem like giving them more benefits addresses the problem
Quote:
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And Phil has nailed it: We are the richest country in the world. We should be able to provide for our citizens. We should be able to provide both work and assistance when needed.


Imo there already is assistance available. I do not recall the last time i saw a starving person. And there are housing programs also. And i agree that it would be good to offer work... Although that is problematical.

We all know of people that we would never hire as employees
Imo it is foolish to act as if such people do not exist

At some level, people need to learn self discipline
And imo this does not happen unless they see some consequence to their choices
And, for some people, they will remain bums regardless of the consequences
Quote:

The dearth of training available to people who have lost their jobs due to automation and/or trade agreements (I have family in the rust belt so I know the drill) is yet another failing of the system and its government with respect to the people it is supposed to represent.



I agree that many of our efforts in this respect are inadequate, or misguided
Otoh,
It may be difficult to train a 45 year old coal minor for the jobs that are available.... And which jobs are often located elsewhere
The governme ts simply not capable of sheilding its citizens from all bad outcomes
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/17/16 06:22 PM
Originally Posted By: Ardy
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
BREAKING NEWS, Guys, everyone else is not like you. People fall on hard times for many different reasons. Their reactions and individual stories are very different. Many times there are health issues, both mental and physical. Many have no family that they can fall back on


Is there no way to discuss the other side of this problem without being inferentially cast as a hard hearted unsympathetic person?

It is obviously true that many people have encountered some situation that has made them "poor"

But it sems equally obvious that many poor people make very bad life choices
Some of this is bad luck of not being taught otherwise as children, etc.
But if part of the problem is people making bad choices, it does not seem like giving them more benefits addresses the problem
Quote:
.
And Phil has nailed it: We are the richest country in the world. We should be able to provide for our citizens. We should be able to provide both work and assistance when needed.


Imo there already is assistance available. I do not recall the last time i saw a starving person. And there are housing programs also. And i agree that it would be good to offer work... Although that is problematical.

We all know of people that we would never hire as employees
Imo it is foolish to act as if such people do not exist

At some level, people need to learn self discipline
And imo this does not happen unless they see some consequence to their choices
And, for some people, they will remain bums regardless of the consequences
Quote:

The dearth of training available to people who have lost their jobs due to automation and/or trade agreements (I have family in the rust belt so I know the drill) is yet another failing of the system and its government with respect to the people it is supposed to represent.



I agree that many of our efforts in this respect are inadequate, or misguided
Otoh,
It may be difficult to train a 45 year old coal minor for the jobs that are available.... And which jobs are often located elsewhere
The governme ts simply not capable of sheilding its citizens from all bad outcomes


Not sure if there is a point here. Not a solution in sight.
1) Yes, some people do make bad choices. But just like anyone else they deserve a chance at correcting that. Following your logic a criminal makes a bad choice so we should lock him/her up and throw away the key? Is it not possible to teach them to make better choices? And in the process not let them starve to death. Not sure where you're going or if you have a suggestion.
So then I guess we should just throw them in the trash if they can't be as you would like them to be?
2) Apparently you have not traveled the country. Try the Ozarks. Try parts of West Virginia. Try parts of New York State. There are many starving people. Many more than you can imagine. In June 2016 there were 60,042 homeless people in NYC, 14,981 homeless families with 23,213 homeless children. Many of them starve.
The purpose of government is to support its citizens - not ostracize them. So while you can't shield people from all possible mistakes that they may make, you can't discard them either.
3) Coal MINERS can do many other things. They can and have been retrained. And if they aren't able to thrive at anything other than manual labor there is plenty of that to go around. We have a crumbling infrastructure that needs rebuilding much of which requires manual work. There are buildings, damns and etc. to be raised. Government should, as it did in the 30s, prioritize that work. That would employ tens of thousands of people.

So in summary, other than creating jobs, retraining and helping people stay alive, what suggestion do you have?
I think we started out by admitting that job retraining is hopeless in the long run because any job you could retrain a coal miner to do will not exist soon. We will have more and more people with no job prospects because of automation. A UBI is one way to see that they don't starve.

Of course that brings up another problem: The poor having lots of kids, all with equally poor prospects other than becoming cannon-fodder or criminals. Maybe long-term birth control has to be heavily pushed in the free medical care?
Well, as an unapologetic commiehippieetc I still say it doesn't matter if someone makes bad choices, good choices or no choices. With the wealth we collectively have, everyone should have the resources for a decent living, including free health care.

The notion of punishing bad choices is so arrogant and unnecessary. It implies that your judgment is superior and everyone should live up to your standards.

Hogwash, who appointed you as mother superior? Get off it and learn to share without restraints.

Now I agree, if that is not the system so that all participate, I do not expect any one of us to live that way. But if we are going for a compassionate, caring world, why not?
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/17/16 08:34 PM
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins

The notion of punishing bad choices is so arrogant and unnecessary. It implies that your judgment is superior and everyone should live up to your standards.

Hogwash, who appointed you as mother superior? Get off it and learn to share without restraints.


Tip of the hat again! ThumbsUp
So you give everybody UBI cash with no strings and most of the poor get conned out of their money because bad people purposefully try to cheat the ignorant and the elderly. There are whole industries that do nothing but cheat the poor.

Resources wasted. Try again, and this time don't assume that everybody is as smart as you.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/17/16 09:37 PM
Let's not make this into the Republican voter fraud BS. In any program there can be fraudulent use. Doesn't mean the program is no good. There are ways to avoid it. Talk about throwing the baby out with bath water. rolleyes
Posted By: matthew Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/17/16 10:56 PM
'
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel

1) Yes, some people do make bad choices. But just like anyone else they deserve a chance at correcting that. Following your logic a criminal makes a bad choice so we should lock him/her up and throw away the key? Is it not possible to teach them to make better choices? And in the process not let them starve to death. Not sure where you're going or if you have a suggestion.
So then I guess we should just throw them in the trash if they can't be as you would like them to be?
2) Apparently you have not traveled the country. Try the Ozarks. Try parts of West Virginia. Try parts of New York State. There are many starving people. Many more than you can imagine. In June 2016 there were 60,042 homeless people in NYC, 14,981 homeless families with 23,213 homeless children. Many of them starve.
The purpose of government is to support its citizens - not ostracize them. So while you can't shield people from all possible mistakes that they may make, you can't discard them either.

Yes, but all too many people in the USA do think that you can discard them --- which means that despite all the ranting of the pseudo-religion of "Americanism", there is no sense of unity in America, no sense that "we're all in this together." And this blindness to our social unity has been here right from the beginning.

From Mrs. Frances Trollope's 1832 classic, Domestic Manners of the Americans :

Long, disabling and expensive fits of sickness are incontestibly more frequent in every part of America than in England, and the sufferers have no aid to look to, but what they have saved, or what they may be enabled to sell. I have never seen misery exceed what I have witnessed in an American cottage where disease has entered....
"I suppose there is less alms-giving in America than in any other Christian country on the face of the globe. It is not in the temper of the people either to give or to receive.
"I extract the following pompous passage from a Washington paper of Feb. 1829 (a season of uncommon severity and distress), which, I think justifies my observation.
"'Among the liberal evidences of sympathy for the suffering poor of this city, two have come to our knowledge which deserve to be especially noticed: The one a donation by the President of the United States, to the committee of the ward in which he resides, of fifty dollars; the other a donation by a few of the officers of the War Department to the Howard and Dorcas societies, of seventy-two dollars.' When such mention is made of a gift of about nine pounds sterling from the sovereign magistrate of the United States, and of thirteen pounds sterling as a contribution from one of the state departments, the inference is pretty obvious, that the sufferings of the destitute in America are not liberally relieved by individual charity."

.
This is the kind of temporary housing that containers make possible:
There are thousands upon thousands of available containers. They run $2-4,000 each. A Solar-powered air conditioner can be obtained for about the same. (Now, plumbing and electrical supply adds cost, as does insulation, but $10-12 thousand per unit is still less than other temporary housing solutions.) There was a contest in Portland, OR to design housing based upon their ubiquity.
And those are certainly better than a cardboard box behind the Supermarket. Which some people will choose again and again for decades. How many bad choices should you let somebody make?

I think there has to be a limit. If you think giving money to a heroin addict forever is a good policy then you have a warped sense of compassion. Some people are simply beyond making their own choices. Maybe I've run into more of these than most people. At some point they need somebody like a probation officer who says: "I'm going to make some choices for you."
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/17/16 11:24 PM
Take them out and shoot them dunce
Swift made a Modest Proposal along those lines. Of course we can joke about it, much as Swift wrote that as a parody.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/17/16 11:51 PM
We can eat the babies too grin
Yes, that was Swift's Modest Proposal except he was talking about England and France, but the idea is the same.
Quote:
Cannon fodder


In the old days that is exactly what they would do. Fore young men! The major problem with todays humans is there are way too many xx chromosomes.
Maybe we need to remind everybody that having babies is actually pretty dangerous for women, and it ruins many a poor family's finances. Free long-term birth control should be the norm: No more accidents!

Let every child be a wanted child and a child the parents can afford.
Meanwhile:

Quote:
Today, U.S. fast-food workers will strike across 270 cities in a protest for higher wages and union rights that they hope will catch the attention of candidates in 2016 elections, organizers said.

The walkouts will be followed by protests in 500 cities by low-wage workers in such sectors as fast food and home and child care, a statement by organizers of the Fight for $15 campaign said on Monday.

The protests and strikes are aimed at gaining candidates’ support heading into the 2016 election for a minimum wage of $15 an hour and union rights, it said.
The strikes and protests will include workers from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King , KFC and other restaurants, the statement said
.
And while we sympathize with their demands for higher wages, here is the simple reason why they will be very much futile.

Link
It is clear that people have trouble with dreaming a future. There are many obstacles and issues, admitted. But what about spending just a little brain power on speaking about what we would like to have the future look like? There are plenty who can and do point out why it cannot happen. They may be right, but I have never given up dreaming.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/18/16 06:12 PM
In fact, dreaming (or imagination) is where many of the great breakthroughs have originated from. Einstein said that, and he should know smile
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
In fact, dreaming (or imagination) is where many of the great breakthroughs have originated from. Einstein said that, and he should know smile
Exactly
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/19/16 04:32 AM
Another thought on the UBI... how would it have shaped your financial and career planning if you knew that you'd have enough for basic living after retirement, no matter how long you manage to survive? That's one of the big concerns - how much money do I need to sock away for the unknown remainder of my existence?
Originally Posted By: logtroll
Another thought on the UBI... how would it have shaped your financial and career planning if you knew that you'd have enough for basic living after retirement, no matter how long you manage to survive? That's one of the big concerns - how much money do I need to sock away for the unknown remainder of my existence?
It would change us dramatically., but that is the point.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/19/16 10:55 AM
A majority of people pay taxes for most of their working lives and beyond. SS benefits obviously cannot cover even a meager subsistence when they retire. Getting something back for their contributions doesn't sound particularly dangerous or subversive. I think it would make a nation of people proud to be part of their country. And certainly more able to contribute to its progress.
And, a positive byproduct would be their lack of willingness to spend trillions on bombing other countries.
At the extremes, it IS possible to live on Social Security alone. I've worked for decades as a software engineer so my Social Security report says at age 70 I would collect $3428 per month. Could I live on $41K per year? Sure if I downsized, moved to a cheaper part of the country, and lived a somewhat frugal lifestyle.

In fact I have a wife, so we can actually collect 50% more. We will get $61,704 per year. Well above the poverty line for a couple.

People very consistently underestimate what Social Security is worth. I would need over $1.2 million dollars invested at 5% to make that much money every month. Social Security is the most conservative part of my portfolio.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/19/16 09:31 PM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
At the extremes, it IS possible to live on Social Security alone. I've worked for decades as a software engineer so my Social Security report says at age 70 I would collect $3428 per month. Could I live on $41K per year? Sure if I downsized, moved to a cheaper part of the country, and lived a somewhat frugal lifestyle.

In fact I have a wife, so we can actually collect 50% more. We will get $61,704 per year. Well above the poverty line for a couple.

People very consistently underestimate what Social Security is worth. I would need over $1.2 million dollars invested at 5% to make that much money every month. Social Security is the most conservative part of my portfolio.


You're talking max, not what most people get. You had to have had a much higher than average income to get that much from SS- probably near the top 5 or 10%.
And your SS calc we already discussed in a previous thread. Doesn't really work that way. It is an aggregate actuarial calc. It accumulates over time.
Posted By: Ardy Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/20/16 01:42 AM
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Well, as an unapologetic commiehippieetc I still say it doesn't matter if someone makes bad choices, good choices or no choices. With the wealth we collectively have, everyone should have the resources for a decent living, including free health care.

The notion of punishing bad choices is so arrogant and unnecessary. It implies that your judgment is superior and everyone should live up to your standards.

not?


Choices have consequences. No matter how we feel about it.

What is the decent living to which every one is entitled?
I think there is much dispute about that
And i disagree that it is workable to put our. Collective wealth in a big pot and just split it up to achieve the goal you seem to propose.



"Punishing bad choices is arrogant and unecessary?"
Please cite which such punishment i proposed

"Impliies thAt every one should live up go my standards"
Imo you have drawn an unfounded implication
There is no judgement in accurately noting that some people make poor choices
Unless you somehow wish to deny this reality

"Who made me mother superior..."
This bit of unwarranted snark is uncharacteristic of the person i know
And, fwiw, thx for your suggestion to improve my attitude
I will work on it

Besf
Ardy
I agree. I am all for people being able to make a VERY wide number of choices. From concentrating on making lots of money, to being itinerant poets, to making a military career, etc. Just don't complain and act as if it my fault if you make a lot of choices that lock you into permanent resentful poverty. (But if poverty is what you want, then go for it!)

In fact, a big part of my love of a basic minimum program is that people could chose to live on that while they pursue whatever they like, even if it has no marketability and could not support them. Some of those things may be absolutely useless, but some may be very valuable for the future. We don't (and can't) know, so we should try everything. Think of it as introducing variation so natural selection has something to work with.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/20/16 09:48 AM
Inner (or outer) fascist much?

Distribution of wealth - is that Greek?
Inclusion a foreign word?
Humanity - not in your dictionary?


1) First you must prove that you are all-knowing so that you can decide what is a good choice and what is a bad choice.
2) Then you must further prove your superiority by deciding what/how much those you say have made bad choices deserve (if anything at all).
3) Then - after all is said and done - you must tell us how much you have allotted for yourself.

tonbricks

Just a note: it is not any one individual that produces wealth. It is society as a whole that produces it. Get the Rand out of your heads, boys.
Posted By: pdx rick Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/22/16 04:35 AM


The future business model is all about eliminating the friction - which is why we need ""inefficient government jobs" like rebuilding our infrastructure for balance.

Quote:
Friction creates middle-class jobs, and cutting it out means automating or completely bypassing those jobs. Books provide a simple example of how today’s technology nukes friction-generating jobs. Physical books generate a lot of friction between publisher and reader—think of the portion of a book’s price that goes to employees at printers, truck companies, warehouses and book retailers. An e-book erases much of that. A book zips from Amazon’s data center to your iPad. The technology brings benefits to the publisher as costs fall, and it makes books cheaper and easier for consumers to get. But it kills all those jobs in the middle.
Good luck on that. From the time workers in Holland were throwing their shoes into the first factory machines, that has not worked. Even if you made those high-friction jobs mandatory in the US, the rest of the world would simply out-compete us.

Take a clue from simple physics, friction is wasted energy. About the only good friction is in your car's brake system, and that friction doesn't make the car go! (My Prius slows down by recapturing energy by regenerative braking, which is why it gets 45 MPG.)

I also don't think "inefficient government jobs" like rebuilding our infrastructure need to be inefficient at all. When a bridge falls down from lack of maintenance, it is a huge waste of time, energy, people, etc. Better to keep up with the needed maintenance even if it requires guys with shovels, welders, riveters, etc.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/22/16 09:40 AM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Take a clue from simple physics, friction is wasted energy. About the only good friction is in your car's brake system, and that friction doesn't make the car go! (My Prius slows down by recapturing energy by regenerative braking, which is why it gets 45 MPG.)


Elementary physics,PIA.

1) You could not walk without the friction between your shoes and the ground. As you try to step forward, you push your foot backward. Friction holds your shoe to the ground, allowing you to walk. Consider how difficult it is to walk on slippery ice, where there is little friction.

2) Writing with a pencil requires friction. You could not hold a pencil in your hand without friction. It would slip out when you tried to hold it to write. The graphite pencil led would not make a mark on the paper without friction.

3) A pencil eraser uses friction to rub off mistakes written in pencil lead. Rubbing the eraser on the lead wears out the eraser due to friction, while the particles worn off gather up the pencil lead from the paper.

4) It is the air resistance or drag that slows down a parachute.

5) And, of course, all braking systems rely on friction.

6) We can not fix nail in the wood or wall if there is no friction. It is friction which holds the nail.

Not all manual labor can be viewed as without skill. There are countless jobs that require human intervention. Automation advances but only inasmuch as it reduces labor costs (which is not always the case) so the capitalist will look for cheap labor (but human labor) where needed. This increases surplus value. Globalization, and its attendant Trade Agreements and Trade Policies are an attempt to procure that cheap labor as well as expanding markets, because, when the domestic market becomes saturated, as it tends to in highly developed economies, and the capitalist can produce goods at a lower cost she can offer those goods domestically, thus, depressing the level of wages in their own countries - increasing again the surplus value.
Vicious cycle aimed solely at increasing the share of wealth that goes to the capitalist as opposed to that which would be distributed in society.
Posted By: pdx rick Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/22/16 04:41 PM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Better to keep up with the needed maintenance even if it requires guys with shovels, welders, riveters, etc.

I've noticed that one of the political spectrum groups is not into maintaining and fixing and on-going repairs. They wait until the whole thing completely collapses and begins, anew.

There was this one blogger on Greta's that talked about "clean-up" day in her town. This seemed to be happening every six months. That's when I realized that certain political groups do not "maintain" but rather wait until the thing is so in need of dire attention, that they are forced to deal with the problem.

Not to mention any names, but you know the group I'm talking about - and if you're thinking it's the stingy, chintzy, one that doesn't want to spend money - we're on the same page. smile
Posted By: pdx rick Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/22/16 04:49 PM
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
There are countless jobs that require human intervention. Automation advances but only inasmuch as it reduces labor costs (which is not always the case) so the capitalist will look for cheap labor (but human labor) where needed. This increases surplus value. Globalization, and its attendant Trade Agreements and Trade Policies are an attempt to procure that cheap labor as well as expanding markets, because, when the domestic market becomes saturated, as it tends to in highly developed economies, and the capitalist can produce goods at a lower cost she can offer those goods domestically, thus, depressing the level of wages in their own countries - increasing again the surplus value.
Vicious cycle aimed solely at increasing the share of wealth that goes to the capitalist as opposed to that which would be distributed in society.

Bow
I think you have a misconception in your basic physics, Zeke.

Friction requires mechanical energy converted into heat: If you scuff your soles as you walk, that is friction. If you just walk normally and pick up your shoes and put them down along your path, there is no friction involved (other than a tiny bit as part of the sole expands as the weight on the foot increases and air resistance to your movement.)

Likewise, holding a pencil with your fingers involves no friction but the action of the pencil graphite against the paper does. Pounding in a nail creates a lot of friction (that's why nails get hot) but zero friction is generated once it is in there (that's why it cools). You give several examples and several of them do not involve friction.
I am all for maintaining our infrastructure and we should do it now before more bridges fall down. Interest charges are VERY low right now so it is very cheap for government to do this kind of work. Most of it requires lots of skilled labor that is not repetitive enough to make automation useful. Of course we do have things like paving equipment instead of men with shovels, but that's where the "skilled" part comes into play.

Not really about the topic of this thread, but some government spending now could delay the need for a UBI for a while. Since this kind of work really will continue to be needed, it means some percentage of us will have jobs for a long time.

And who could oppose this? Simple, end-time Christians think Jesus could come back at any time now, so why do maintenance? ROTFMOL
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/22/16 07:25 PM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
I think you have a misconception in your basic physics, Zeke.

Friction requires mechanical energy converted into heat: If you scuff your soles as you walk, that is friction. If you just walk normally and pick up your shoes and put them down along your path, there is no friction involved (other than a tiny bit as part of the sole expands as the weight on the foot increases and air resistance to your movement.)

Likewise, holding a pencil with your fingers involves no friction but the action of the pencil graphite against the paper does. Pounding in a nail creates a lot of friction (that's why nails get hot) but zero friction is generated once it is in there (that's why it cools). You give several examples and several of them do not involve friction.


Afraid the misconception is yours:

Friction
From the wiki entry on friction:

Quote:
Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and material elements sliding against each other.

And later:
Quote:
When surfaces in contact move relative to each other, the friction between the two surfaces converts kinetic energy into thermal energy (that is, it converts work to heat).


There has to be some force attempting to move the two surfaces against each other. If there isn't any such force, there is no friction and thus the heat generated is zero. You don't generate any heat by a nail just sitting in a wood block, and friction can be measured by the heat generated. If you try to force the nail into or out of the wood block, then there is friction because there is force being exerted and heat generated.

Static friction is modeled by the equation:

Ff <= mu x Fn

Where Ff is the force of friction exerted by each surface on the other. It is parallel to the surface, in a direction opposite to the net applied force.

mu is the coefficient of friction, which is an empirical property of the contacting materials.

Fn is the normal force exerted by each surface on the other, directed perpendicular (normal) to the surface.

If Fn is zero, then Ff must also be zero.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/22/16 10:13 PM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
From the wiki entry on friction:

Quote:
Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and material elements sliding against each other.

And later:
Quote:
When surfaces in contact move relative to each other, the friction between the two surfaces converts kinetic energy into thermal energy (that is, it converts work to heat).


There has to be some force attempting to move the two surfaces against each other. If there isn't any such force, there is no friction and thus the heat generated is zero. You don't generate any heat by a nail just sitting in a wood block, and friction can be measured by the heat generated. If you try to force the nail into or out of the wood block, then there is friction because there is force being exerted and heat generated.

Static friction is modeled by the equation:

Ff <= mu x Fn

Where Ff is the force of friction exerted by each surface on the other. It is parallel to the surface, in a direction opposite to the net applied force.

mu is the coefficient of friction, which is an empirical property of the contacting materials.

Fn is the normal force exerted by each surface on the other, directed perpendicular (normal) to the surface.

If Fn is zero, then Ff must also be zero.


In all the examples there is kinetic energy. Hence Fn # 0. So there can be and is friction. The point is it is not wasted energy. It serves a purpose.
The web site you linked has a very unusual set of examples that do not ever consider the Fn = 0 state. I suppose you could say there is a value for Ff, and that value is zero. In the sense that zero is a value, in the mathematical realm.

I guess I have the engineering viewpoint, and we would consider the nail in the wood block not to exhibit friction because there is no relative force between the nail and the wood block.
Friction is what happens when Ezekiel rubs me the wrong way. It can be smooth, cool, and fluid in one direction, yet conversely a nattering nabobism in the other.

And there is only a spirochete to blame.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/22/16 11:21 PM
Originally Posted By: Ken Condon
Friction is what happens when Ezekiel rubs me the wrong way. It can be smooth, cool, and fluid in one direction, yet conversely a nattering nabobism in the other.

And there is only a spirochete to blame.


Serious condition there. You should get that looked at. Could be dangerous. dunce
Oh geez, why are we delving into the physics of the analogy?

Let's get back to economics, which is what UBI is all about. We use the term "friction" in economics as analogous to the concept in physics, not as a direct application. Unemployment is "friction" in the economy, but is also a lubricant in that: on the one hand, it is wasted potential (income from employment), and on the other, it is necessary to allow labor to move from one application to another. High unemployment is an indication of inefficient application of labor within the economy.

But let's look at the bigger picture: personal income is used for purchase of necessary items as well as luxury items and savings. A UBI increases the availability of that "purchasing power" for everyone, and would create some ability for even those at the lower end of the income spectrum to have some ability to "save." The more purchasing power within the economy, the more demand. As demand increases, prices or supply (or both) will increase to fulfill demand. One of the problems with some economic formulae is putting the cart before the horse (e.g., "supply-side" economics). Supply in excess of demand creates (or exacerbates) "boom-bust" cycles.

The lack of income in the lower echelons of the populace is actually a drag on the overall economy ("friction"). That is also why government austerity programs tend to create/amplify recessions, and why Keynesian economics advocates for increased government spending to counteract economic downturns. UBI would provide, generally speaking, a "floor" to economic activity which would help stabilize the macro economy. It is not primarily about transfer of wealth through taxation, but decreasing external effects on the overall economy in the same way that social security, unemployment compensation and universal healthcare tend to do.

As with many supply-side economic theories, the argument about "disincentivizing" work is mostly a red herring:
Quote:
Tim Worstall, a writer and blogger, has argued that traditional welfare schemes create a disincentive to work because such schemes typically cause people to lose benefits at around the same rate that their income rises (a form of welfare trap where the marginal tax rate is 100 percent). He has asserted that this particular disincentive is not a property shared by basic income as the rate of increase is positive at all incomes.[17]

In one study, even when the benefits are not permanent, the hours worked—by the recipients of the benefit—are observed to decline by 5 percent, a decrease of two hours in a typical 40-hour work week:

While experiments have been conducted in the United States and Canada, those participating knew that their benefits were not permanent and, consequently, they were not likely to change their behaviour as much or in the same manner had the GAI been ongoing. As a result, total hours worked fell by about five percent on average. The work reduction was largest for second earners in two-earner households and weakest for the main earner. Further, the negative work effect was higher the more generous the benefit level.[13]

However, in studies of the Mincome experiment in rural Dauphin, Manitoba, in the 1970s, the only two groups who worked significantly less were new mothers and teenagers working to support their families. New mothers spent this time with their infant children, and working teenagers put significant additional time into their schooling.[18] Under Mincome, "the reduction of work effort was modest: about one per cent for men, three per cent for wives, and five per cent for unmarried women."[19]

Another study that contradicted such decline in work incentive was a pilot project implemented in 2008 and 2009 in the Namibian village of Omitara; the assessment of the project after its conclusion found that economic activity actually increased, particularly through the launch of small businesses, and reinforcement of the local market by increasing households' buying power.[20] However the residents of Omitara were described as suffering "dehumanising levels of poverty" before the introduction of the pilot,[21] and as such the project's relevance to potential implementations in developed economies is not known.
(from Wikipedia) Often the benefits of the program are more "social" than strictly economic (e.g., leaving more time for family care, increasing household income and savings, and additional social flexibility - such as allowing movement within the general economy).

One of the arguments that has been raised here I feel the need to respond to: It has been argued that the basic income would be insufficient in particularly high-cost areas. That assumes (incorrectly) that those dependent on the UBI would be fixed in place. Instead, the availability of the benefit would allow those who are otherwise economically limited to move to lower-cost-of-living environs. Indeed, it naturally spread the population around the country, and would NOT disproportionately affect one State over another (assuming that it is nationally universal) as the benefit would move with the recipient and not become a burden on the receiving State.

Personally, I think the advantages far outweigh potential problems. It would also get us "ahead of the curve" in the upcoming reduction of employment availability.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/23/16 12:28 AM
I would be skeptical of the idea that there would be any migratory movement amongst recipients of the benefit. The reason that the major cities suffer from vast overpopulation is the perception (whether true or not) that there are more opportunities in large cities. It also contradicts the notion that people tend to aggregate in their communities. The ability to be mobile presupposes the financial ability to do so.
On the other hand I agree that UBI would not decrease productivity. What does kill productivity is the instability of a system that makes people work without any true engagement. They stay in their jobs only because they feel they have no choice.
As someone who has actively participated in studies that attempted to apply physical theory to economics I must say: it doesn't work. Economics is people. Physics can have laws. Economic activity is human activity and is much less susceptible to the framework of exact science. It is more of a science/art.
Quote:
more opportunities in large cities


Of course, a sizable population for which there is and will be no job kind of makes that idea obsolete. I think we are stuck in thinking about people on welfare or unemployment being trained for or finding new jobs. Maybe we get to the point that there are simply more people than human jobs. I don't think we need to create a government program to dig and refill holes.

This is rather the point of a UBI.

Maybe people in cities getting a UBI would rather move to the country where they can plant a vegetable garden and raise some chickens? It might not be economically feasible but it would be more enjoyable than sitting in your apartment watching gardening shows on the TV.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/23/16 09:27 AM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Of course, a sizable population for which there is and will be no job kind of makes that idea obsolete.


The idea of a god is also obsolete. But millions of people still believe it.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/23/16 12:45 PM
Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Stiglitz Tells Us Why 'Neoliberalism Is Dead'

Quote:
Since the late 1980s and the so-called Washington Consensus, neoliberalism — essentially the idea that free trade, open markets, privatisation, deregulation, and reductions in government spending designed to increase the role of the private sector are the best ways to boost growth — has dominated the thinking of the world's biggest economies and international organisations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The policies of Ronald Reagan and Clinton in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK are often held up as the gold standard of neoliberalism at work, while in recent years in Britain George Osborne and David Cameron's economic policies continued the neoliberal tradition.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, however, there has been a groundswell of opinion in both economic and political circles to suggest that the neoliberal consensus may not be the right way forward for the world. In the past few years, with growth low and inequality rampant, that groundswell has gained traction.

Stiglitz, who won a Nobel Memorial Prize in economics in 2001 for his work on information asymmetry, has been one of neoliberalism's biggest critics in recent years, and he says the "neoliberal euphoria" that has gripped the world since the 1980s is now gone.

Asked by Business Insider whether he thought the economic consensus surrounding neoliberalism was coming to an end, Stiglitz argued: "I can talk about this from the point of view of academia or even in policy circles. In academia, I think it has pretty well become rejected.


Neoliberalism is dead
NEWS FLASH

Many people move to cities because there is more to do there, because there is a concentration of their particular minority there, etc
Posted By: pdx rick Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/23/16 06:20 PM
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
NEWS FLASH

Many people move to cities because there is more to do there, because there is a concentration of their particular minority there, etc

I'm living downtown at the moment. I walk to the bank and grocery store. In the 'burbs, you can be Anywhere™ USA - 'burbs are all the same.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/23/16 07:18 PM
Community is a big issue- at least among the folks I know smile
I've lived in apartments in cities, in a condo, in houses within walking distance of major shopping centers, and I am very reluctant to give up our current rural setting. In pretty much every setting, we had at least one really bad neighbor. We still do, but now they are about 1000 feet away over a hill and we almost never see them!

Of course the neighbors we like (all the rest of them) are also 1000 feet away. We see some of them every day, because we want to.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/24/16 09:54 AM
And in the world of neoliberal horseshyte:

20 Years Later, Poverty Is Up, But Architects of “Welfare Reform” Have No Regrets

Quote:

A GATHERING MONDAY in Washington, D.C., featured a bipartisan group of former government officials agreeing on the benefits of slashing the nation’s safety net.

This week marks the 20th anniversary of “welfare reform,” the 1996 law passed by Congress and administered by President Bill Clinton that strictly limited the amount of federal cash assistance that the poorest Americans can receive — transforming the Aid for Families with Dependent Children program into the more restrictive Temporary Aid for Needy Families.

One of the main impacts of the law was to help double the number of American households living in extreme poverty in America – defined as living on less than $2 a day.


The Intercept
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
I've lived in apartments in cities, in a condo, in houses within walking distance of major shopping centers, and I am very reluctant to give up our current rural setting.
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
Community is a big issue- at least among the folks I know smile
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Many people move to cities because there is more to do there, because there is a concentration of their particular minority there, etc
"Community" is created by the people who live there. I've lived in suburbs, the inner city, rural communities, and apartment complexes. In every one of those locations, I have found people who I get along with famously and who bind together into community, and people who are reluctant to interact (despite my best efforts). Many people look for commonalities - and they form internet groups, clubs, social organizations of various kinds - we are a gregarious species. (BTW, some of these formulations are NOT healthy - consider the alt-right and ISIS.)

I don't think a UBI would directly impair any of those connections, and, indeed, might enhance them. Consider how much more likely it is to make connections with your neighbors when you have less concern about "getting by". Consider Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs": "physiological", "safety", "belongingness" ... when the lower level needs are removed we can move to belongingness - community. It is the desperation of need that destroys community.
Posted By: pdx rick Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/24/16 06:01 PM
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
And in the world of neoliberal horseshyte:

20 Years Later, Poverty Is Up, But Architects of “Welfare Reform” Have No Regrets

Quote:

A GATHERING MONDAY in Washington, D.C., featured a bipartisan group of former government officials agreeing on the benefits of slashing the nation’s safety net.

This week marks the 20th anniversary of “welfare reform,” the 1996 law passed by Congress and administered by President Bill Clinton that strictly limited the amount of federal cash assistance that the poorest Americans can receive — transforming the Aid for Families with Dependent Children program into the more restrictive Temporary Aid for Needy Families.

One of the main impacts of the law was to help double the number of American households living in extreme poverty in America – defined as living on less than $2 a day.


The Intercept

Bill Clinton built that. coffee
Posted By: pdx rick Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/24/16 06:03 PM
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
....Consider how much more likely it is to make connections with your neighbors when you have less concern about "getting by"...

My co-workers and I are feeling the 'getting by' phenomena. We work for a good company - but those good wages only come after five plus years of service. I'm only in year two unfortunately. A year from now, I'll be doing better, but, that's a YEAR FROM NOW. Hmm

Three years from now, I'll be doing spectacular - nearly 1.75 times more than I make today. smile
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/24/16 06:30 PM
Originally Posted By: pdx rick

Bill Clinton built that. coffee


That be him rolleyes
offtopic
To be fair: Bill Clinton allowed that 20 years ago. 20 years ago we did not know what the result would be (although many of us had our suspicions). Neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton support those reforms now - with 20 years of experience. That was then, this is now.

Now, to get back to the topic at hand... Of Course We Can Afford A Universal Basic Income: Do We Want One Though?
Quote:
It’s possible that you think $13,000 a year isn’t enough. It’s certainly not going to be a plush lifestyle by American standards, not when someone decides to do no work at all to top it up. But it’s also true that $13,000 a year puts you in the top 12% of all global income earners. It would be nicer if there was some more significant digit there, like $13k puts you into the global 10% or something, but that does seem a fair enough guarantee to get purely through the privilege of having been born an American.


One aspect of Murray's plan that I disagree with is getting rid of Social Security. Indeed, I see UBI as a supplement to both Social Security and universal healthcare. Moreover, having Social Security gives one an incentive toward gainful employment. Maybe call it "UBI Plus".
Posted By: pdx rick Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/24/16 06:42 PM

I only learned this year what the affects of that legislation were. What I learned, and Bill Clinton knew this when he signed the legislation, is that any person with a felony could not receive any federal monies: student loans, work training, food stamps, housing.

What demographic does that hurt the most? Which demographic gets a disproportional heavier sentence?

While neither Bill nor Hillary may support those policies now, the fact is that those poliices are still enforce today, and, Bill at least, has to live with what he did.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/24/16 06:55 PM
In fact, no. In April of this year slick Willie was still defending his failed neoliberal policy.

Quote:
Everything Bill Clinton said Thursday to defend his 1996 welfare reform law was false.

Clinton claimed that he left the program with plenty of money for poor people, suggested that it helped reduce black poverty and that it was only the mean, nasty Republicans from the George W. Bush era who gutted it and hurt the poor. Clinton’s distortions of economic history and his own record are so outrageous that — you will be shocked — it is difficult to believe he was being honest.

...

This is not true. Poverty dropped during the Clinton years not because of welfare reform, but because the entire American economy was being juiced by a massive stock market bubble. No credible economist even disputes this. The Clinton bubble was fueled by the aggressive financial deregulatory policies of Clinton and his Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. When the stock market bubble burst, millions of people who previously would have received welfare fell into poverty.

Welfare reform was an intentional effort to curb financial assistance to poor people, on the grounds that many were simply too lazy to get a job. Clinton turned over a federal program to states, which were effectively allowed to slash welfare funding and impose new work requirements on people who received assistance. Even Republican co-architects of welfare reform concede that the program ended up hurting the poor.




HuffPo
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/24/16 07:01 PM
And I think that this is germane to the discussion. We are talking about how to implement a safety net (of sorts) for the population. Clinton's policy is the perfect example of what NOT to do.
A UBI, in my opinion, would need to stay as far away from the neoliberal quagmire as possible. So how it is implemented is just as important (if not more) than what is implemented.
The Psychological Argument for a Universal Basic Income
Quote:
Many modern families face scarcity of time, scarcity of money, scarcity of affordable housing, and scarcity of jobs. With all of these things to worry about, it follows that families with few resources face compounding barriers that limit their already stretched cognitive capacity. And while California and New York’s minimum wage increases mitigate the negative psychological impacts of scarcity, more can be done to strengthen American families who face a tough labor market and scarce resources. A universal basic income (UBI) that provides a monthly cash benefit to all adults and a smaller monthly benefit to children will allow for a decent minimum standard of living for all people, regardless of work status.

Whereas the minimum wage increase has benefits largely for low-income employees, a UBI would be advantageous for all members of the population, an important point considering that middle-class American families are increasingly coming into contact with scarcity. Despite gains in economic productivity, largely due to technological advances and a globalized economy, the labor force in the United States has not seen these gains in their paychecks; wages have largely remained stagnant since the 1970s.


BASIC INCOME SWITZERLAND. Even though the Swiss rejected the UBI proposal, the debate is not over, and even those voting against it agree that it will continue to be considered. (A fundamental argument against it was that $2500/month was too high to be "basic".)
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/24/16 07:12 PM
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Even though the Swiss rejected the UBI proposal, the debate is not over, and even those voting against it agree that it will continue to be considered. (A fundamental argument against it was that $2500/month was too high to be "basic".)


Interesting because Switzerland is a really expensive place to live. Can't imagine 2,500 would be even "basic".
There are non-cash-based programs that the US government administers or supports that should also be part of the UBI discussion. For example, the USDA has a number of food distribution programs that provide in-kind support to institutions providing meals to children, the elderly and the poor. HUD programs house 1.2 million households and a number of municipalities have their own housing authorities. My son was, for some time, a recipient of subsidized housing.

Recipients of UBI should, I think, be entitled to trade some of the cash assistance that UBI represents for these supports.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/24/16 10:22 PM
The non cash benefits do have a monetary value- food stamps for example are a value but you don't actually get cash. There is public housing but the waiting lists can be decades long.
I personally think that it should be cash and you have to be responsible and use it wisely. The whole paternalistic thing seems hokey to me.
There are food pantries and other options but the lines are always longer than the supply.
Affordable housing could be a good start. Food distribution centers where the prices are regulated - free healthcare and education would be another big plus.
There's plenty that could be done and we have the money to do it. Just have to allocate tax dollars toward people and not bombs.
Imagine if there were government stores where people could buy their supplies for cost. Oh wait, the military has them, they're called "Commissaries". If that were available for the general public... could have a significant impact on the poor. Not trying to compete with Safeway or Kroger, just making a point. Even if the products were pretty limited (paper products, diapers, basic food staples), it would have a BIG impact.

I'm also a big believer in Section 8 housing. My son lived in subsidized housing for several years, and his apartment was no different than the other residents', so there is no stigma. Housing Choice Vouchers Provide Essential Assistance in Every State. "Almost 90 percent of the 2.2 million households using vouchers are elderly, disabled, or families with children." The problem is the lack of available housing (and HUD budget limitations).
Quote:
“About 25 percent of those who qualify for Section 8 assistance receive it,” said Corianne Scally, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute, a social and economic policy think thank. “The other 75 percent are wait-listed or don’t apply.”
Housing vouchers don't pay the rent. Another serious problem (which my son avoided) are unscrupulous landlords. Affordable-housing dreams become Section 8 nightmares. Wait, wasn't Donald Trump one of those?
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/25/16 08:34 PM
Yeah. We had the vouchers here in NYC and a lot of landlords refused to accept them. I think they had to scrap the whole program.
A contradiction between private property and social benefits. Crops up a lot, unfortunately.
There is a significant difference, I think, between urban and non-urban needs that should be addressed in any policy proposal.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/25/16 10:13 PM
Yes, and lest we forget, the U.S. population is 80.7% concentrated in urban areas so that is the larger problem. Both obviously need to be addressed.
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
There are non-cash-based programs that the US government administers or supports that should also be part of the UBI discussion. For example, the USDA has a number of food distribution programs that provide in-kind support to institutions providing meals to children, the elderly and the poor.


We THROW AWAY so much food in this country, not spoiled food, just SURPLUS food, that we could run the food assistance program and STILL be searching for ways to do something with the surplus food we throw away because there would still be so much of it left over.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/25/16 11:10 PM
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
There are non-cash-based programs that the US government administers or supports that should also be part of the UBI discussion. For example, the USDA has a number of food distribution programs that provide in-kind support to institutions providing meals to children, the elderly and the poor.


We THROW AWAY so much food in this country, not spoiled food, just SURPLUS food, that we could run the food assistance program and STILL be searching for ways to do something with the surplus food we throw away because there would still be so much of it left over.


That's a very good point. ThumbsUp
Of course building a system to distribute all that food would be a logistic nightmare. A lot of wasted food is perishable or VERY perishable.

Better to take it to neighborhood feeding centers, prepare it, and give it away to anybody who walks in the door. Minimize waste and minimize transport. Very little administration required because you just give it to anybody, no cards, no paperwork, no ID. Just folks to move it and cook it. I bet people would do that for some cash on top of their UBI.

Another advantage of such community feeding is that low income housing would not require kitchens.
Any serious government activity requires money, usually a lot of it. The first task is to right the economic ship by increasing taxes on those who benefit the most. Once that happens, though, those who object will scream "redistribution!" Of course, EVERY government activity is "redistribution"- which is exactly the point. If we don't do something about it now, it will be too late later. Opportunity cost.
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/27/16 10:06 PM
I just got back from a long driving trip, so got to listen to lots of radio stations. Funny thing that, in the desire to not retrace the central valley I5 corridor that I took going up, I crossed over the Sierras on Sonora Pass (beautiful!), and on the east side of the mountains I was unable to find a single NPR station for more than a whole day of driving.

But I did get all the Christian radio my little heart desired. One program was the Wall Builders - I don't know that they took the name from il Douche de L'Orange, but I'd say they are in his camp - and they were talking about socialism and capitalism. One of their premier intellectuals has studied history more thoroughly than the usual group of self deluded mainstream historians and has discovered the truth of things. One major truth is that the Pilgrims fled Europe to escape the oppression of socialism. Yet when they arrived in the New World, they went ahead and kept with the "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need" creed. After a significant number of them died from starvation they switched to a private property and free markets thing and everything was good after that... fat and happy.

Proof positive that greed is a better motivator than starvation for getting people off their lazy arses and succeeding like Trump!

All that history got me to thinking - the core concern about socialism is that lazy people will take advantage of industrious people, and that just ain't right. In the extreme, under socialism nobody will do anything, because it isn't fair, even to the point of dying.

Which brings forth the question... are humans all too stupid and lazy to be trusted with a socialist system?

Would a universal basic income really feed an instinct to laziness?
Well, we were talking about the increase in automation that has decreased available manufacturing jobs and in the future might eliminate a lot more. So I don't think the old concerns are important anymore.

People would still work if they wanted to in service jobs. They could make some cash over the UBI, so a lot of people would probably do it. A lot of people make a great living now in service jobs or owning service businesses. And I doubt the UBI is going to supply everybody with steak and lobster.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/27/16 11:52 PM
Let me guess Loggy, he got his history degree at Butt F$ck U.
ROTFMOL
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/28/16 01:02 AM
I started out with an earnest question, then got a little sidetracked with the Wall Builders anecdote.

The question is: would a UBI encourage people to be nonproductive?
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/28/16 01:43 AM
I suspect it would make people more productive, if anything. Japan has historically had among the highest rates of productivity with the lowest rate of wage disparity, lower rates of employee turnover and higher mean wages than most. It also has a pretty extensive social net, and single payer healthcare. Less instability more productivity. Better distribution of wages better work ethic. Less fear of loss of income, better and stronger social contract.
Caveat regarding Japan. They are an enclosed monoculture, with outsiders viewed-- at best-- as less than acceptable. They abhor immigrants and go out of their way to disallow them as citizens.

Okinawan’s are viewed by mainland Japanese as “southern scum”. And not quite regarded as real “Japanese”. If anyone disagrees with my assessnment I am all eyes. And ears.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/28/16 02:15 AM
Originally Posted By: Ken Condon
Caveat regarding Japan. They are an enclosed monoculture, with outsiders viewed-- at best-- as less than acceptable. They abhor immigrants and go out of their way to disallow them as citizens.

Okinawan’s are viewed by mainland Japanese as “southern scum”. And not quite regarded as real “Japanese”. If anyone disagrees with my assessnment I am all eyes. And ears.

I caveat your caveat and raise you:
The insular character of Japanese society began to change (and open) in the late 19th century (the Meiji period). After WWII that accelerated. In the early 2000s I was in Nagoya, Tokyo and Kyoto for close to a year. They are enamored with Western "culture", to their detriment in my opinion.
Nonetheless, that is not germane to the comments on the economic framework in post WWII Japan. Although I will say, again to their detriment, even that framework has been changing lately, for the worse.
Quote:
They are enamored with Western "culture"


We did defeat them and then did not enslave them (like they would have done to us). So that may have affected the way they saw us.
Originally Posted By: logtroll
The question is: would a UBI encourage people to be nonproductive?
Earlier in this thread I addressed this question (with links). Rather than going back, I'll just say that the evidence is mixed. As I recall, the highest level of actual "loss" of incentive was around 5%, while another study showed it actually increased productivity (for the reasons that Ezekiel posited). It was also noted that the decrease in work was primarily attributable to social factors outside of employment (e.g., pursuing education, birth of children). Those may be actual social goods that improve the nation rather than employment detriments.

My opinion is the same as Zeke's - I believe that the social stability will increase productivity, just as Social Security did, and as Worker's and Unemployment Compensation have.

BTW, the same is true for taxation: the economic friction that occurs is primarily the result of volatility in the tax structure, not the actual tax rate. There is very little evidence that increasing taxes actually decreases productivity (and the opposite may be true). It's a canard of anti-government economists (without empirical support) that as taxes increase, people invest less. In actual fact, when taxes are sufficient to cover government expenses (i.e., not increasing deficits) the economy improves. (Tax Cuts Don't Lead to Economic Growth, a New 65-Year Study Finds) The opposite can be directly shown:
Quote:
Four of the five states that enacted the largest personal income tax cuts in the last few years have had slower job growth since enacting their cuts than the nation as a whole.
Four of the six states that cut personal income taxes significantly in the 2000s have seen their share of national employment decline since enacting the cuts. The exceptions &#8213; New Mexico and Oklahoma &#8213; grew mostly because of a sharp run-up in oil prices in the mid-2000s.
States with the biggest tax cuts in the 1990s grew jobs during the next economic cycle at an average rate only one-third as large as more cautious states.
State Personal Income Tax Cuts: Still a Poor Strategy for Economic Growth. The reality is that tax cuts cause deficits.
Quote:
Congressional Budget Office data show that the tax cuts have been the single largest contributor to the reemergence of substantial budget deficits in recent years. Legislation enacted since 2001 added about $3.0 trillion to deficits between 2001 and 2007, with nearly half of this deterioration in the budget due to the tax cuts (about a third was due to increases in security spending, and about a sixth to increases in domestic spending).
Tax Cuts: Myths and Realities (I'm trying to re-find literature on it, but there is evidence that every modern recession has been preceded by a tax cut.)

So, what does all this have to do with UBI? The point is that nothing stimulates an economy more than consumption. A Tale of Two Tax Cuts. When economic benefits go to the lowest end of the economic spectrum that results in increased consumption and increased Aggregate Demand (stimulus). When they don't, it does not. The UBI, like tax "credits" (not deductions), would also increase aggregate demand, and thus improve the overall economy. (Some caveats, here. In the short term, a UBI would increase government debt. Unlike tax cuts, however, this debt would be offset - with a lag time - by increased revenues from taxation associated with increased aggregate demand. Tax cuts, on the other hand, reduce government revenue, but do not increase demand (supply-side economics). So, the deficit increases, but there is no offsetting increase in revenues to tax.)
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/28/16 10:46 AM
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
...
The point is that nothing stimulates an economy more than consumption.
...

In the framework of a capitalist economy that is absolutely correct.

I think that associating UBI with Socialism is not accurate. Social safety nets are typically a band aid on Capitalism aimed at reducing the inherent contradictions of the system. They temporarily alleviate some of the hardships and injustices imposed on wage earners. However, they do not represent solutions to those contradictions. They can, however, be a harbinger of the change needed to inform the public and indicate a path to a more just and equitable economic system.
So, if the broader issue is whether or not people are prepared to live under Socialism, it would seem that, if they truly understand what the new economic relationships would be (and NW_P points out many aspects that are a preview or a hint of some of those relationships) and are not indoctrinated to hate anything that proposes to change the status quo (hate that has been repeatedly reinforced by government and media alike) then I would say yes, they are.
Just think of what the reaction would be if you suddenly told all of the recipients of Social Security, and other benefits, that they were being abandoned to the forces of the so-called "marketplace".
I think you might see pitchforks and torches.
Oscar Wilde wrote eloquently about this in The Soul of Man under Socialism
Here's where we tend to disagree, my friend. I see "socialism" as a philosophical overlay to the existing economic system (as opposed to practiced communism, which is a usurpation of the existing system). Communism, per se, can never work (and never has). Marx saw socialism as a transitional phase. I believe he was wrong.

I see socialism as a guiding principle - not a "band aid to capitalism" but as a fully-fledged partner. As with any successful process, there is a tension between individual and societal needs/desires. Successful government, in my view, seeks to keep these forces in balance. If the balance tips too far one way OR the other the society fails.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/28/16 05:38 PM
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Here's where we tend to disagree, my friend. I see "socialism" as a philosophical overlay to the existing economic system (as opposed to practiced communism, which is a usurpation of the existing system). Communism, per se, can never work (and never has). Marx saw socialism as a transitional phase. I believe he was wrong.

I see socialism as a guiding principle - not a "band aid to capitalism" but as a fully-fledged partner. As with any successful process, there is a tension between individual and societal needs/desires. Successful government, in my view, seeks to keep these forces in balance. If the balance tips too far one way OR the other the society fails.


Indeed we do disagree, old friend, for a very simple reason: you cannot have it both ways. The basis of Socialism (as understood by Marx) was the transfer of economic and political power (via the means of production) from the capitalist to society as a whole. The opposition between Wage Labour and Capital dooms Capitalism to implode.
Quote:
The ideas that are expressed in the essay have a very thorough economic contemplation about them as he put aside some of his materialist conceptions of history for the time being. This essay did, however, start to show an increased scientific rationale on his ideas of "alienated labor," which in Marx’s perspective would eventually lead to the proletarian revolution.

Wage-Labor and Capital is considered by Marxists as an "in-depth economic and scientific observation on how capitalist economy works, why it was exploitative, and ultimately why it would eventually implode from within".

Some of the main topics that the essay examines are about labour power and labour, and how labour power becomes a commodity. It also presents the Labour Theory of Value that further develops the distinct differences between labour and labour power. The essay also examines the commodity and how the economic principles of supply and demand affect the pricing of certain commodities. Beyond that the essay explores how capital and capitalism do not service any purpose other than to gain more of it, which Marx presents as an illogical method of living one’s life.

This dialectical and antagonistic relationship cannot be reconciled with temporary measures.
Marx saw Socialism as a historical step toward Communism.
As for Communism, it has never been implemented as understood by Marx. It never arose as a historical consequence of Socialism. So, to say it can't work is not possible, we don't know. It has yet to be tried.
Your use of the word "usurp" is incorrect. A coup may be usurpation but revolution not necessarily, given that the seizing of power does not have to be illegal. That would assume that power rightfully belongs to one specific group. This is clearly not the case.
I don't see how Marx's ideas stand up in a world where automation and AI supplies most of the labor. With a UBI, there wouldn't be anybody obligated to work or starve. People would work because they wanted more income, better food, nice cars, etc.

It kind of takes the fire out of the revolutionaries if they can just coast by on the UBI. Maybe grow a little pot, raise a few chickens and vegetables. Sounds like a peasant's ideal retirement to me. Why would he want to shake up the system?
How doctrinaire! There clearly has been no advancement of thought or integration of ideas since 1848, which is why, of course, the world is populated with naturally formed communist societies that were the inevitable result that Marx surmised. ThumbsUp Oh, wait...

There were concepts that Marx was absolutely correct about - especially "alienated labor" - but his prognostication was, shall we say, a wee bit off.

I would agree with the sentiment expressed that "This dialectical and antagonistic relationship cannot be reconciled with temporary measures." (emphasis added) I am not, therefore, asserting them. I am instead suggesting permanent changes, akin to the Sozialgesetzbuch in Germany. Social Security and Medicare were not conceived of as "temporary measures". Indeed, Social Security in the United States has lasted longer than the Soviet Union did. That's an important point, so I emphasized it.

I do not believe the "means of production" should reside primarily in government hands. I believe in private ownership, so I am no communist. Nor do I believe the welfare of society should be in the hands of the private sector (so I am no neocon). They have separate roles in our society and spheres of influence that should be properly demarcated. Marx did indeed see "Socialism as a historical step toward Communism." And that is where he was so fundamentally wrong. Others have properly recognized that alienation of labor does not inevitably lead to the proletariat revolution, which is why all communist proponents have sought to impose it by force. Marx himself was a lousy Marxist and did not actually believe his own press. Communism has never existed as Marx envisioned it because the premise was faulty. He opined that it would arise by natural progression, and, as I said, he was completely wrong. He assumed that society would not evolve to address the conditions that he properly identified. When he realized that, rather than modifying his views (as a genuine scientist would have), he agitated to create his proletariat revolution. Lenin and Mao and every other "communist" leader has followed this course, rather than his theory.

Many of Marx's insights have been adopted by mainstream economists. Labor is now recognized as a fundamental component of "capitalism" and the idea of "labor power" is fully integrated into academic economic thoughts and theories. Unions are one manifestation of this integration as is "The Department of Labor." We monitor Labor statistics and it affects perception of the economy. These are all good things. Society has evolved, economic thought has evolved and we are all better for it.
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
They are enamored with Western "culture", to their detriment in my opinion.
Nonetheless, that is not germane to the comments on the economic framework in post WWII Japan. Although I will say, again to their detriment, even that framework has been changing lately, for the worse.


They are not enamored with the culture itself. They are enamored with the visible outside trappings of it.
Not the same thing at all.
For a comparison, think about all the happy, talented and successful "Blue Eyed Soul" performers out there...Van Morrison, Stevie Winwood, to just name two.
They don't live like Detroit-based Motown performers of the old days, they don't talk like them and they don't partake of even so much as the same diet or religious leanings.
They just enjoy singing and playing the same kind of music.

I daresay that the Japanese fascination with American culture is nothing more than basic cultural appropriation.
It is not a bad thing at all but I don't expect Japanese Leon Russell fans (there are quite a few!) to feel the same feelings I feel when he plays the "Ballad of Mad Dogs and Englishmen".



But I know they are eager to put "Lady Blue" on when they feel romantic the same way some of us put Barry White on the stereo.

Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/28/16 07:11 PM
I'm afraid, Jeff, that it goes way beyond the music. ROTFMOL
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/28/16 07:17 PM
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
How doctrinaire! There clearly has been no advancement of thought or integration of ideas since 1848, which is why, of course, the world is populated with naturally formed communist societies that were the inevitable result that Marx surmised. ThumbsUp Oh, wait...

There were concepts that Marx was absolutely correct about - especially "alienated labor" - but his prognostication was, shall we say, a wee bit off.

I would agree with the sentiment expressed that "This dialectical and antagonistic relationship cannot be reconciled with temporary measures." (emphasis added) I am not, therefore, asserting them. I am instead suggesting permanent changes, akin to the Sozialgesetzbuch in Germany. Social Security and Medicare were not conceived of as "temporary measures". Indeed, Social Security in the United States has lasted longer than the Soviet Union did. That's an important point, so I emphasized it.

I do not believe the "means of production" should reside primarily in government hands. I believe in private ownership, so I am no communist. Nor do I believe the welfare of society should be in the hands of the private sector (so I am no neocon). They have separate roles in our society and spheres of influence that should be properly demarcated. Marx did indeed see "Socialism as a historical step toward Communism." And that is where he was so fundamentally wrong. Others have properly recognized that alienation of labor does not inevitably lead to the proletariat revolution, which is why all communist proponents have sought to impose it by force. Marx himself was a lousy Marxist and did not actually believe his own press. Communism has never existed as Marx envisioned it because the premise was faulty. He opined that it would arise by natural progression, and, as I said, he was completely wrong. He assumed that society would not evolve to address the conditions that he properly identified. When he realized that, rather than modifying his views (as a genuine scientist would have), he agitated to create his proletariat revolution. Lenin and Mao and every other "communist" leader has followed this course, rather than his theory.

Many of Marx's insights have been adopted by mainstream economists. Labor is now recognized as a fundamental component of "capitalism" and the idea of "labor power" is fully integrated into academic economic thoughts and theories. Unions are one manifestation of this integration as is "The Department of Labor." We monitor Labor statistics and it affects perception of the economy. These are all good things. Society has evolved, economic thought has evolved and we are all better for it.


How confused, dear boy. Not to mention you seem to confound the role of Socialism in the development of the economies of the world with some non-formed idea of how Capitalism is going to help labor. No, keeping tabs on the exploitation of labor is not the answer. ROTFMOL

While interesting, it is, of course, nonsense. Or can you point out where that has actually happened? Where Capitalism has become Socialism? Is there an exemplar of said theory other than in the world of magical thinking?
The fundamental question is: who is to control the means of production? And how does the conflict between concentration of wealth, an indispensable tenet of Capitalism, and the equitable distribution of said wealth occur?
The conflict between private ownership and economic oppression is evident everywhere. I'm sure you can find it in your own life as well.
Given the reality of the world, might it be possible that you are wrong and Marx was right? Just a thought ROTFMOL

BTW - if Marx's time is the problem you might want to read Why Marx was Right from 2011.
Nope, not at all (ROTFMOL heads aside). I.e., Marx was, simply put, fundamentally wrong. I cannot help but notice how my central points were just completely avoided rather than responded to. The problem, my friend, is that you live in a mind-space that is either-or. The world, of course, does not operate such. Oh, as exemplars? How about every developed economy in the world? Mixed economy Just a thought.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/28/16 07:58 PM
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Oh, as exemplars? How about every developed economy in the world?


No points to reply to, dear boy, just opinions which strain credulity. And based on air. No facts, mere speculation and magical thinking.

Mixed economy? Have you actually read this? I guess not. Does not answer the questions I asked. ROTFMOL But I figured that.
Living in Da Nile must be fun.


There ya go. Just like home LOL
The topic of this thread is a UBI, which is (1) just another temporary band-aid to keep the workers from eating the rich or (2) an example of the power of government to regulate the excesses of capitalism and fix the imbalance of income caused by manipulation of tax laws.

I guess you could interpret it either way.

I think it is pretty unlikely that any revolution will occur as long as the general population is fairly well fed. People usually start looting stores if the stores contain a lot of stuff they don't already have. The closest thing we have to a movement now is BLM, which would be pretty much deflated if the cops just stopped killing Black men for no reason.
I'm just guessing here, Zeke, but it appears from the tone that you feel you've made some kind of a point. I feel like I am speaking to a wall. It's incredibly unsatisfying. Please, provide me an example of where you have actually responded to the substance of any comment I made. We can proceed from there. Perhaps you can identify how a mixed a economy doesn't exit (and, please notify the majority of economists)? Maybe I missed something in my economics or political philosophy classes?

UBI is, I think, a paradigm shift. It is a major departure from the wage economy. The principle point of a "mixed" economy is to ameliorate the negative effects of private capitalist economic activity, primarily the "externalized social costs", such as environmental degradation, while at the same time recognizing that capitalist enterprises provide significant economic boosts to the economy as a whole.
Quote:
The topic of this thread is a UBI

Why does that always bring to mind some sort of plug in cord for some sort of electrical plug in devise? Because it is! Plug and play. Then work. Or not.

I agree with those who would view such a subsidy as exactly that. A device whereby the welfare system as we know it would be eliminated and the lazy could solely exist on it. All the while assuaging the hearts of the bleeding sort. “Hey, they have an income (by doing nothing) so I’m off the hook.” Then again, more motivated ones could use it as a mechanism whereby their basic needs will have been met, and if they chose to work for wages over and above that (or through some sort of personal enterprise) they could actually make a “living”. Perhaps not in NYC (Zeke) but there always is the option of moving elsewhere. As humans have done since their beginnings.

Allz I know now is many Trump supporters are hurting so they latch on- and there is a reason. Just not the ones they believe to be true. And will not be answered by the Trumpster any-who.
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
I'm afraid, Jeff, that it goes way beyond the music. ROTFMOL


I will take your word for it if you've been there.
I was always told that "Gaijin" aren't truly welcomed.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/29/16 11:01 AM
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I'm just guessing here, Zeke, but it appears from the tone that you feel you've made some kind of a point. I feel like I am speaking to a wall. It's incredibly unsatisfying. Please, provide me an example of where you have actually responded to the substance of any comment I made. We can proceed from there. Perhaps you can identify how a mixed a economy doesn't exit (and, please notify the majority of economists)? Maybe I missed something in my economics or political philosophy classes?

Mode of production. Look it up - there's plenty written about it.
Mixed economy does exist (I never said it didn't). What I did say is that

UBI is, I think, a paradigm shift. It is a major departure from the wage economy. The principle point of a "mixed" economy is to ameliorate the negative effects of private capitalist economic activity, primarily the "externalized social costs", such as environmental degradation, while at the same time recognizing that capitalist enterprises provide significant economic boosts to the economy as a whole.


Mode of production - look it up. There's plenty written about it. It is the fundamental basis of ANY economy.
I never said Mixed Economy doesn't exist... I ask you politely, but for the last time, to stop putting words in my mouth.
I did say it is Capitalism in a party hat, not unlike Intelligent Design. It doesn't address the question of mode of production.
Keynes believed that government intervention could reduce the excesses of Capitalism. But, when the government is owned by the corporations, (as in the U.S.) the intervention favors the capitalists. The destruction of Labor Unions would be an example. As would be the concentration of wealth which occurs in ALL of the so-called instances of Mixed Economy, and especially in most of the developed countries.

I ask you to actually read what I wrote. Your ideology is blinding you to what I am saying, again. LOL
You cannot reconcile Capitalist Accumulation with Labor. Clear?
As for your points: you have made none. You stated opinions. I disagree with your opinions.
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
Your ideology is blinding you to what I am saying, again.
Every time you pull out this canard, my friend, it makes me laugh, I have to admit. One of us is doctrinaire in his thinking, but that is not the one I see when I look in my mirror. It reminds me of Donald Trump's "rubber-glue" argumentation. So, let's get back to substance...

Originally Posted By: Ezekiel

I never said Mixed Economy doesn't exist...
I did say it is Capitalism in a party hat, not unlike Intelligent Design.
(Now that, I think, is where "opinion without substance" resides...)

I maintain that Marx's view of socialism as a transition to communism is a pipe dream that even he did not fully embrace. Empirically-speaking, his view of the transformation has never occurred in the real world and for myriad reasons. (I'm open to counter-examples.) Instead, of course, governments and economies have adjusted to address the concerns he raised. Your arguments seem to fixate on doctrinaire application of his dialectic - my perception - rather than to address how his theories have been absorbed and adjusted within the world economy and economic thinking. The conflict, I think, it putting Marx into context. For example, your reference to "modes of production" - which, like "social classes", is a nascent concept that he never really fully fleshed out. Das Kapital like Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations is a seminal work of economic thinking, but neither is the denouement of the subject.

Marx sought to put a framework around his theories, and did a very good job of doing so, but not all of reality fits within the framework. For example: take a "public-private partnership" in a stadium. Is that a socialist construction (since it is paid for by bonds, and the state shares the revenues and ownership), or is it a capitalist one (since the activities within it and surrounding it are private in nature)? Or is it, as I would maintain, mixed. These kinds of activities were not imagined in Marx's works. Public universities? Public hospitals? Similarly, how about ESOPs? When the workers own, partially or fully, the means of production, how does that fit into Marx's paradigm? Now you've mixed both class AND mode.

My objection is the desire to pigeonhole - again, the either/or mindset "You cannot reconcile Capitalist Accumulation with Labor. Clear?" UBI is a different paradigm because it changes the nature of the relationship between citizens, government, and private capital. It's an amalgamation. Since it doesn't fit neatly into a pigeonhole it raises an objection.

In an effort to discredit my approach, moreover, it is you, my friend, not I, who "put words in my mouth." E.g. "how Capitalism is going to help labor." Where in the world did that come from? Certainly not from anything I said. I certainly never made any such argument.

Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
The fundamental question is: who is to control the means of production?
I disagree. That is your question, not mine (because I am not about the pigeonhole). I am much more interested in the second of those questions:
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
And how does the conflict between concentration of wealth, an indispensable tenet of Capitalism, and the equitable distribution of said wealth occur?
My answer is multi-fold. ESOPs are one solution, UBI is another. I don't disagree that the fundamental defect of capitalism is the inevitable concentration of wealth - I rail about it often enough myself. In my view, however, it is the role of government not to usurp private ownership (e.g., communism), but to ameliorate the effects that protection of such ownership implies. That is where government socialism applies - and it comes in many forms: Social Security, unemployment compensation, universal health care, government ownership of resources (e.g., mineral rights, forests, managed lands, etc.), environmental protection regimes, national parks - there can be many more.

My approach is not to focus on labels but effects. Like Smith I take the broader view of the Wealth of the Nation. On the individual level we can be both labor AND investor (as I have been my whole life). We are all, however, citizens and participants in the economy of the nation and should be allowed to share in the fruits of that progress. The mechanism for that is the government that we share. Some of it involves the redistribution of wealth, some of it involves the sequestration of resources, some of it involves collective action to restrict or mitigate private commercial activity. The same instinct that is activated in protecting private civil rights should inform our approach to protecting our economic rights as citizens, but that doesn't imply taking those rights away.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed J - 08/29/16 05:24 PM
Your opinions are your own. You can think whatever nonsense you want. Let me think my own nonsense.
Your pipe dream of some happy campfire singalong between labor and capital is a non starter. You cannot give one example of where it works.
Why is private ownership better? What makes it legal, other than the laws of a system that created it and benefit from it?
Your logic is non existent. Your basic premise is flawed. And when the basic premise is flawed the whole theory is questionable, to say the least. Your taking a position based on what you think. If you were alive during slavery you'd have found similar justification for it. (Note that I don't mean you personally).
You have avoided my question on the mode of production. Just sayin grin
Even when ownership is shared between a capitalist state and a private company there is no socialist element. Both represent the same underlying system.
And it is capital that usurps value from labor - since you like the word so much LOL
Your ideas do not jive with reality dear friend.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/29/16 05:25 PM
But I digress ROTFMOL
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/29/16 05:49 PM
We haven't discussed the guaranteed job concept much. I am listening right now to Richard Wolff's Economic Update and he presents, in his inimitable 'all the lights on' way, the reality of unemployment, and how crazy we are to let it happen.
Clearly it is not possible to penetrate your predilections, Zeke. I have provided dozens of exemplars to demonstrate real-world application, but apparently they don't jibe with your notions of "reality." I give up. I hope that others have been able to approach the discussion with greater flexibility of mind.
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel

Keynes believed that government intervention could reduce the excesses of Capitalism. But, when the government is owned by the corporations, (as in the U.S.) the intervention favors the capitalists FASCISTS.


(There, I fixed it) smile

The destruction of Labor Unions would be an example.

Also fascist territory, as there are plenty of capitalist economies which still welcome, and benefit from, union participation.
It is only the FASCISTS who are interested in destroying unions.
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel

Your pipe dream of some happy campfire singalong between labor and capital is a non starter. You cannot give one example of where it works.


GERMANY.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed J - 08/29/16 07:18 PM
Actually- according to DW 1 in 6 Germans lives below the poverty line. The threshold is $1015 per month for a single person. Also recent stats show overall poverty at highest since reunification- 15.4%
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/29/16 07:20 PM
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel

Keynes believed that government intervention could reduce the excesses of Capitalism. But, when the government is owned by the corporations, (as in the U.S.) the intervention favors the capitalists FASCISTS.


(There, I fixed it) smile

The destruction of Labor Unions would be an example.

Also fascist territory, as there are plenty of capitalist economies which still welcome, and benefit from, union participation.
It is only the FASCISTS who are interested in destroying unions.


Welcome may not be the right word: tolerate perhaps.
The reason I have focused on UBI rather than a guaranteed job is because there need to be jobs available. I'm not sure that will soon be the case. It also requires that the recipient be employable, which could further decrease the pool. On the other hand, there are government needs that could be handled by "conscripted" labor, such as park maintenance.

My overarching concern with guaranteeing a job is the tremendous overhead required - hiring, selection, management, supervision.
Posted By: matthew Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/30/16 01:02 AM
'
Socialism triumphed long ago -- it exists solely for the rich.

"Free enterprise", red in tooth and claw, is for the poor, as it always has been.

.
The utopia I envision is eons away and a hopeless dream, I acknowledge. But to me it is essential that at least some of us do our best to live that dream.

All; the rest is versions of failure. But just once could we dream? What can you imagine life might be like in that dream?

I contend that whatever you can dream and imagine is at least as worthwhile as reasons why it cannot work.
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
Actually- according to DW 1 in 6 Germans lives below the poverty line. The threshold is $1015 per month for a single person. Also recent stats show overall poverty at highest since reunification- 15.4%


One in six is better than we're doing.
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel

Welcome may not be the right word: tolerate perhaps.


Volkswagen stated that they were not interested in a plant in Tennessee if it could not be unionized. This was not the employee statement, it was management and the CEO.
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/30/16 03:11 AM
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
The utopia I envision is eons away and a hopeless dream, I acknowledge. But to me it is essential that at least some of us do our best to live that dream.

All; the rest is versions of failure. But just once could we dream? What can you imagine life might be like in that dream?

I contend that whatever you can dream and imagine is at least as worthwhile as reasons why it cannot work.

Good on ya, Phil.
The problem is, it might not be eons away. AIs are getting better, much better. Deep learning AI can actually perform many human jobs better the humans can do it NOW.

Don't forget, we are in a singularity here. The curve is getting steeper all the time, and as soon as we have robots making smarter robots we get saturated with them within a few years. Probably the limit on this is energy, but the robots can crank out PV panels and fusion would blow that limit away. Then there would be very few jobs that needed and made economic sense for a human's time.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/30/16 10:13 AM
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel

Welcome may not be the right word: tolerate perhaps.


Volkswagen stated that they were not interested in a plant in Tennessee if it could not be unionized. This was not the employee statement, it was management and the CEO.


This would be the same Volkswagen that:
Quote:
It's been dubbed the "diesel dupe". In September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that many VW cars being sold in America had a "defeat device" - or software - in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results. The German car giant has since admitted cheating emissions tests in the US.


BBC

Which ended with this:

Quote:
Just two years ago, Volkswagen was actively supporting the United Auto Workers in its push to organize the company’s plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.

But in September, the German automaker was plunged into turmoil over revelations that it had equipped almost 600,000 diesel cars sold in the United States with software to cheat on tailpipe emissions tests.

Since then, a large portion of Volkswagen’s senior management has changed — and so has its approach to the union drive. Now, rather than cooperating with the U.A.W., Volkswagen is trying to block the union.


NY Times

Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed J - 08/30/16 10:17 AM
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
Actually- according to DW 1 in 6 Germans lives below the poverty line. The threshold is $1015 per month for a single person. Also recent stats show overall poverty at highest since reunification- 15.4%


One in six is better than we're doing.


It is, but Taiwan at 1.5% is much better and so is Malaysia at 3.8% and even Thailand 7.8%.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/30/16 10:52 AM
Originally Posted By: matthew
'
Socialism triumphed long ago -- it exists solely for the rich.

"Free enterprise", red in tooth and claw, is for the poor, as it always has been.

.


Quite. wink
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 08/30/16 10:53 AM
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
I contend that whatever you can dream and imagine is at least as worthwhile as reasons why it cannot work.


Indeed. ThumbsUp
Posted By: matthew Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 09/01/16 11:33 PM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
The problem is, it might not be eons away. AIs are getting better, much better. Deep learning AI can actually perform many human jobs better the humans can do it NOW.

Don't forget, we are in a singularity here. The curve is getting steeper all the time, and as soon as we have robots making smarter robots we get saturated with them within a few years. Probably the limit on this is energy, but the robots can crank out PV panels and fusion would blow that limit away. Then there would be very few jobs that needed and made economic sense for a human's time.

Then the 62 people who control half the world's wealth will simply find a way to liquidate most of unnecessary peons of the planet. They will certainly treat us as they do any other redundant equipment in their factories.
.
Posted By: Spag-hetti Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed J - 09/02/16 01:26 AM
Quote:
Zeke said:
It is, but Taiwan at 1.5% is much better and so is Malaysia at 3.8% and even Thailand 7.8%.


Um. Does it matter that all three of those countries reportedly use slave labor in their fishing industries?
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed J - 09/02/16 01:49 AM
Originally Posted By: Spag-hetti
Quote:
Zeke said:
It is, but Taiwan at 1.5% is much better and so is Malaysia at 3.8% and even Thailand 7.8%.


Um. Does it matter that all three of those countries reportedly use slave labor in their fishing industries?


Why would it?
Posted By: Spag-hetti Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed J - 09/02/16 02:14 AM
Shouldn't there be a range of numbers to rate how far below the poverty line people are? You know, so that the working poor in America score minus one point each; people on Welfare, living in homeless shelters in America score minus two points each; slaves anywhere in the world score minus 10 points each.

It's a matter of degree, I guess.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed J - 09/02/16 02:35 AM
It's a simple number of relative poverty. Do you happen to know what percentage of the population is in this so-called slave work? Proof?
I'd be interested in any metric you come up with, provided it's based on fact and logic.
Originally Posted By: matthew

Then the 62 people who control half the world's wealth will simply find a way to liquidate most of unnecessary peons of the planet. They will certainly treat us as they do any other redundant equipment in their factories.


I daresay they'd better get busy now before "the rest of the planet" figures out how easy it really is to liquidate 62 people.
Posted By: matthew Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 09/06/16 10:38 PM
'

They haven't figured it out for the past 5,000 years -- but hope springs eternal.

.
Posted By: matthew Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 09/11/16 10:22 PM
'
Rutger Bregman -- The Solution to (Nearly) Everything: Working Less

Quote:
Had you asked John Maynard Keynes what the biggest challenge of the 21st century would be, he wouldn’t have had to think twice.

Leisure. In fact, Keynes anticipated that, barring “disastrous mistakes” by policymakers (austerity during an economic crisis, for instance), the western standard of living would multiply to at least four times that of 1930 within a century. By his calculations, in 2030 we’d be working just 15 hours a week.

In 2000, countries such as the UK and the US were already five times as wealthy as in 1930. Yet as we hurtle through the first decades of the 21st century, our biggest challenges are not too much leisure and boredom, but stress and uncertainty.
What does working less actually solve, I was asked recently. I’d rather turn the question around: is there anything that working less does not solve?


DON'T JUST DO SOMETHING --STAND THERE!
.
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 09/11/16 11:00 PM
Originally Posted By: matthew
...What does working less actually solve, I was asked recently. I’d rather turn the question around: is there anything that working less does not solve?

I remember clearly the ads for 'labor saving devices' in the 50's and 60's, stuff that was being manufactured to be sold with the understanding that whoever bought it would work less and be happier.

Turns out that Capitalism operates as the Big Con, where the fruits of 'saving labor' only accrues advantages to the Capitalists and nothing much to the workers. Oh, we workers have more stuff, that's true, which may be interpreted as a higher standard of living... but that is mostly part of the Big Con.

What we don't understand is that a higher standard of living comes with higher quality - more leisure, better health, less stress - and doesn't come as a result of more stuff. More stuff is another part of the Big Con to make the Capitalists more money, which, ironically, they don't need.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job - 09/11/16 11:00 PM
Originally Posted By: matthew
'
Rutger Bregman -- The Solution to (Nearly) Everything: Working Less

Quote:
Had you asked John Maynard Keynes what the biggest challenge of the 21st century would be, he wouldn’t have had to think twice.

Leisure. In fact, Keynes anticipated that, barring “disastrous mistakes” by policymakers (austerity during an economic crisis, for instance), the western standard of living would multiply to at least four times that of 1930 within a century. By his calculations, in 2030 we’d be working just 15 hours a week.

In 2000, countries such as the UK and the US were already five times as wealthy as in 1930. Yet as we hurtle through the first decades of the 21st century, our biggest challenges are not too much leisure and boredom, but stress and uncertainty.
What does working less actually solve, I was asked recently. I’d rather turn the question around: is there anything that working less does not solve?


DON'T JUST DO SOMETHING --STAND THERE!
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Now this is an idea I could definitely get behind coffee
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job - 09/12/16 01:24 PM
I think this relates somehow...

How "busy" are you?
Posted By: matthew Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job - 09/12/16 10:41 PM
'
FREE DOWNLOAD -- Rutger Breger's:

UTOPIA FOR REALISTS -- The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek

Table of Contents

1. The Return of Utopia 13
2. A 15-Hour Workweek 33
3. Why We Should Give Free Money to Everyone 55
4. Race Against the Machine 75
5. The End of Poverty 97
6. The Bizarre Tale of President Nixon and
His Basic Income Bill 117
7. Why It Doesn’t Pay to Be a Banker 135
8. New Figures for a New Era 153
9. Beyond the Gates of the Land of Plenty 173
10. How Ideas Change the World 195

There is an interesting 45-minute interview of the author on Canada's CBC radio:

"We can handle the good life, if only we take the time."
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Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job - 09/15/16 06:28 PM
Interesting reflections on H.D. Thoreau's thoughts...

Thoreau's Luxuries

Quote:
Thoreau boils housing down to the years of servitude yours may require of you. The cost of your house might be calculated in terms of books not read, walks not taken, sunsets missed, song-bird concerts not heard. Or as he puts it:

"If it is asserted that civilization is real advance in the conditions of man. . . it must be shown that it has produced better dwellings without making them more costly; and the cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required in exchange for it, immediately or in the long run. An average house in this neighborhood costs perhaps eight hundred dollars, and to lay up this sum will take ten to fifteen years of the laborer’s life. . . so that he must have spent more than half of his life commonly before his wigwam will be earned. . . . Would a savage [sic] have been wise to exchange his wigwam for a palace on these terms?"
Posted By: pdx rick Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 10/02/16 05:23 AM


Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job - 11/30/16 02:12 PM
Looks like the Netherlands is going to try it

Quote:
Roebroek considers traditional welfare benefits a “tool to discipline and belittle people.” 100 unsuccessful job applications will burn out even a university graduate – let alone a simple blue-collar worker. “A basic income will liberate people, stir them up from their lethargy,” for example by founding their own business or learning a trade. He rejects his opponents’ main argument that handing out free money will make people even more passive and reluctant to work: “On the contrary – the basic income creates social dynamics. People can unfold their talents, they will live differently, treat each other differently, because they have financial security.”
I'm excited to see where this goes.
Netherlands makes a very good laboratory. It should be interesting. They decriminalized drugs a while back and very few people became addicts, so they have a population that is interested in western-style financial success.

Let's see if artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs blossom.
Finland's Basic Income Experiment Starts - Really, It's Testing The Laffer Curve For Poor People
Quote:
I'll admit that I'm interested--both in that the experiment is being done which is a nice change for policy ideas, to check they work, and also because I think it will work well. However, what I think will be a much more important lesson is that the Laffer Curve really works.

No, stop, it does not mean that all tax cuts pay for themselves. It just means that there are tax rates which, if you lower them, produce more revenue, just as there are other rates which if you raise them they produce more revenue. And one of the mechanisms by which this works is that at higher wages (and wages which attract lower taxes are indeed higher to the recipient) people will work more. This idea is generally thought of as applying only to rich people--I do not, I think that it applies to human beings.
Has someone mentioned Norway? If not seems they have a good thing going: Economey of Norway
Quote:
Norway's long-term social democratic policies, extensive governmental tracking of information, and the homogeneity of its population lent themselves particularly well for economic study, and academic research from Norway proved to make significant contributions to the field of macroeconomics during this era
One of the problems we face is NOT a guaranteed job for everybody: What with automation and AI there simply will not be enough 40 hour per week jobs that serve any useful purpose. The Basic Income will be so we don't have to get everybody unemployed digging holes and filling them in.

Giving some money to these unemployed people is supported by the Laffer Curve idea. It simply extends the curve into negative regions. When you give money to poor people they go out and spend it all immediately and it bounces around the economy many times. Some of it gets paid in sales taxes, some in wages to people who do have jobs and thus it generates income tax. In fact, if it bounces around enough it ALL gets paid as one tax or another, so it comes back to the government.
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
In fact, if it bounces around enough it ALL gets paid as one tax or another, so it comes back to the government.
This is a concept too few people understand. "A recent study of UI's economic impact, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Labor in 1999, found that UI benefits produced $2.15 of increased economic activity (GDP) for every $1.00 in UI benefits paid to laid
off workers." 2002. UI benefits are also income taxable.
A related benefit is availability for volunteer work.
Quote:
UI benefits are also income taxable


Taxable, but if all your income is the unemployment benefit you probably won't owe much. I'm probably collecting one of the highest UI benefits of anybody in the country and my award is under $11,000 total.
Posted By: jgw Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job - 01/06/17 10:06 PM
Universal basic income and guaranteed job, and welfare, and all the rest of these good works are efforts to deal with a permanent underclass. Dummy jobs are going to go away (and its happening right now). If you do not have a college degree, or a specific needed skill, you are not going to be working, unless gov has make work projects. I remember when Washington state decided that those on welfare, and able to work, would be put to work picking up trash on the highways - the state union for highway workers put a stop to that right away (claimed it took away their jobs (which they never did))

Anyway - we are at the beginning of a very real, recognizable, and permanent underclass. So far there have been no solutions that work, and no public recognition of the problem. Those that read SciFi will probably be familiar with the problems of a permanent underclass as that has been a regular meme for a very long time. Its pretty well accepted, for instance, that fast food companies have several test sites where EVERYTHING is automated but the counter person who delivers the goods. My own suspicion is that we will eventually end up with permanent CCC and WPA as well as training for those who want it.

Before any of the above happens, of course, we are going to have to work through the dealing with our incredibly greedy, incompetent, self serving elected class which, I fear, is going to take a LONG time, effort and pain.
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job - 01/06/17 10:37 PM
Originally Posted By: jgw
...Before any of the above happens, of course, we are going to have to work through the dealing with our incredibly greedy, incompetent, self serving elected class which, I fear, is going to take a LONG time, effort and pain.

Well said. I would add that we have a culture, based on capitalism, that needs to be changed. We won't get the right kind of politicians until that happens.
Who was it that advocated for UBI back in the 1960's?
Oh, oh, Pick me! Pick me!
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 01/07/17 02:21 PM
I am reading "Surviving the Future", a book about alternatives to the capitalist economic system. Some discussion is about "slack" and "tautness" in the economy. In capitalism, tautness is the holy grail, where every resource and every minute is used to make more money. Slack is viewed as anathema, to be avoided at all costs, as being "unproductive". In a triple-bottom-line model it is slack that is "productive" for the social and environmental sectors. Somehow, leisure, one form of slack, is promised as a reward of taut capitalism. It's offered up in much the same way as heaven, or 70 virgins, or your own planet is dangled carrot wise by certain religions as a reward for strict obedience to the cult.

Here is an interesting quote by a writer in the Democratic Review in 1853 regarding the day when the industrial revolution would make labor unnecessary; "Men and women will then have no harassing cares or laborious duties to fulfill. Machinery will perform all work - automata will direct them. The only task of the human race will be to make love, study, and be happy."

Apparently, capitalism is supposed to lead to luxurious socialism. Are we almost there, yet?
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Oh, oh, Pick me! Pick me!


Spring Butt (think a young Hermine Granger)

LOL ROTFMOL
Quote:
Are we almost there, yet?


I don't know about you, but I am feeling pretty slack since I retired in June.
Posted By: jgw Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job - 01/07/17 10:15 PM
Originally Posted By: logtroll
Originally Posted By: jgw
...Before any of the above happens, of course, we are going to have to work through the dealing with our incredibly greedy, incompetent, self serving elected class which, I fear, is going to take a LONG time, effort and pain.

Well said. I would add that we have a culture, based on capitalism, that needs to be changed. We won't get the right kind of politicians until that happens.


The basic problem is simple greed, not capitalism. I can remember a time when corporation ceo folk only made 2 or 3 times what those they hired made, now they make 200 to 300 times more. This has been a problem for a very long time. I believe the standard is set by our elected class and that class is elected by US! I am not sure how to change this as I believe that our culture is now based on pure, unadulterated greed, and that never used to be the case and the greedy eventually fell from grace. Now they are not. The Obama administration has made it very clear that if you break the law, and you have the big bucks then they get to pay a fine instead. This is a TERRIBLE plan and when our government catches the malefactor they are fined which makes their activities subject to just another cost of doing business. This is not capitalism but something else entirely. it used to be that the bad guys got to do time - no longer.

I doubt that it would ever happen but, I wonder when the last time was when a voter asked one of their elected whether rich criminals should goto prison. If they get a positive answer then the next thing to do is ask how much time he/she has spent making sure that ALL criminals get to goto jail.

Bank of America was fined when they were caught counterfeiting documents so they could foreclose houses (I think Trump may have nominated the guy in charge of that one to take over treasury). HSBC was caught laundering over 300 BILLION in drug money. Freely admitted it and was fined. (there are a LOT of these!

I think my point is that WE are doing an incredibly bad job of electing our elected class. They are returning the favor by screwing us ALL over, bigtime.

Just a thought...........
Brave New World?

Basic Income
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job - 01/07/17 11:55 PM
So greed is inherent in human nature? You should convince the rest of the anthropological world of that. It'll be news to them.
Capitalism breeds greed. So the problem is?
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job - 01/08/17 12:33 AM
That is the essentially contention of the author of Surviving the Future - capitalism is a system that promotes the accumulation of money, which easy corrodes to greed.

One way of attributing our current economic woes is the rapidly worsening wealth gap. besides, capitalism does not have columns for entries in the account book for anything but money. Everything else is marginalized, i.e. "slackness".

jgw's slackness from retiring, aka having acquired enough capital to retire, is an escape from participatory capitalism (the American Dream?).

Isn't that interesting - the idea that the American Dream is to escape the capitalist system!
The rich get away with everything: Like Martha Stewart and Congressman Randy Cunningham? Not all of them do...
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job - 01/08/17 10:30 AM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
The rich get away with everything: Like Martha Stewart and Congressman Randy Cunningham? Not all of them do...


The bankers that ripped off tens of thousands of people in the 2008 meltdown did. They actually profited from it.
Quote:
Who was it that advocated for UBI back in the 1960's?


I believe you are thinking of Milton Friedman? In the 1980’s economist Charles Murray became a proponent of his idea. I thought it to be slightly outrageous at the time but in light of today’s global economy it makes more sense that ever:

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.


Link
Posted By: pdx rick Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 01/09/17 12:12 AM


Milton Freeman is that shyte Chicago School of Economics, Professor, whose theories were never tested, and whose theories was the inspiration for the CIA-led Coup in Chile in 1972 that installed Pinochet - which then tested Freeman's theories and they were a complete and utter disaster, that Naomi Klein wrote about in her book, The Shock Doctrine.
actually it seems to me it was one of the Kennedy advisors
So- Rick- what are you saying? Are you saying since Friedman is unworthy as a human- through his associations and thoughts- and that he might have mentioned this idea years ago- the idea itself becomes unworthy, worthless, and suspect?

I am quite sure the idea of a UBI was not the brainstorm of a single human. If one looks over the years it is likely a result of A positing to B, then read by C, and subsequently discussed by D (and others) then disseminating down the line, that then the idea somewhat took hold.

Along comes Charles Murray.

Is UBI the answer?

Unlikely.

Although with this idea, a possible band aid might be able to be applied to stem the bleeding. And possibly good things could result from it. Any better ideas are welcomed.

By the globe.
Posted By: matthew Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 01/11/17 11:09 PM
'
Finland Launches Basic Income Experiment

Quote:
Finland has become the first country in Europe to pay its unemployed citizens a basic monthly income, amounting to 560 euros ($782 Canadian), in a unique social experiment which is hoped to cut government red tape, reduce poverty and boost employment....
Those chosen will receive 560 euros every month, with no reporting requirements on how they spend it. The amount will be deducted from any benefits they already receive.

This is the sort of progressive program which I like to see --- scientific, experimental studies to see what actually happens, rather than the endless political dogma rants which are so common in the USA.
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Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 01/14/17 05:09 PM
From "Surviving the Future" by David Fleming:

Quote:
The key to all this [the unintended consequences of industrial agriculture] is to recognize that the driving force behind industrial agriculture is not (as is usually claimed), the need to feed the world's population of 7 billion or more. Indeed, as a way of providing food, industrial agriculture is inefficient: the use of giant-scale standardisation on single crops is not a way to get the maximum yield from an acre of land, but to get the maximum yield per worker; the machinery and chemicals are intended to depopulate the agricultural landscape. Those workers that do remain are a quaint rearguard in retreat from the robots.
Posted By: Ezekiel Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 01/14/17 10:37 PM
Applying a band aid to a cancer patient? - never has worked.

I believe Milton Friedman is who Rick is referring to. A despicable human and an apologist for laissez faire capitalism. A con man on the same level as Trump.
Posted By: logtroll Re: Universal Basic Income? Guaranteed Job? - 01/15/17 12:03 AM
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
Applying a band aid to a cancer patient? - never has worked.

I have no idea what you are talking about.
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