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Is this possible?
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 Post subject: Basic income
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:39 pm 
God
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How many people believe this would create the results promised?

https://medium.com/basic-income/basic-i ... 85b8214664

A few months ago in my “10 Reasons for Basic Income” video, I explained that the solution to poverty and much of the world’s problems is simple: Give everyone money.

We would no longer need to work in order to eat and keep a roof over our heads. Sounds like a good thing to me; although, the idea of a world without poverty is so alien to how we live today — (4 out of 5 Americans facing poverty) — that it worries some people. The following is my response to people’s most common concerns:

Why would anybody work?

There’s more that motivates the human mind than fear of homelessness. Michael Jordan was driven by an unshakable desire to be the best. Steve Jobs introduced technology that changed the world because he wanted to “put a ding in the universe.” It wasn’t for the money. If it were, either man could have retired rich early in their careers.

Michael Jordan’s and Steve Jobs’ accomplishments were extraordinary but their motivations were not. Deep down we all want to be the best we can and make the world a better place. A guaranteed basic income would give everyone the autonomy and ability to finally act on these motivations.

Would YOU enjoy having a paid job even if you didn't need the money? Survey responses from 19,000 people in 18 European countries showed that the more generous a country’s government benefits, the more likely they were to agree that they would “enjoy having a paid job even if they did not need money.”

They weren't lying either: Across the board countries with the more generous welfare have higher employment. Why would that be? Simple. If people feel forced to work, they repel it. If they don’t feel forced, work is more satisfying and enjoyable.

What about jobs nobody wants to do?
Unwanted dirty jobs are already being automated. In many US cities garbage trucks (not people) pick up the garbage bins. There is no garbage man, just the truck driver, who will inevitably be replaced with technology as well.

Also remember: basic income is an amount just sufficient enough to provide for the basics. Most people are not satisfied with bare minimum and will continue working. The difference is, with a basic income, people will work to earn more, rather than out of fear of homelessness.

Is basic income… communism?

No. Basic income is NOT communism. In Stalin’s communist Soviet Union you had no choice. No freedom. Your occupation, wage, and shelter were decided for you. If you didn’t do what you were told, you’d be sent to a prison camp or murdered.

Basic income, on the other hand, just gives everyone money. What you do with it and your time is entirely up to you. You can work on whatever you want, earn as much additional money as you please, and choose what wages you will and will not accept. If that’s not freedom and liberty, I don’t know what is!

Basic income would strengthen capitalism. A strong capitalism needs a strong economy. A strong economy needs a healthy supply of entrepreneurs and demand from consumers who can afford their products. Basic Income provides both, with money everyone can use to purchase products and/or develop their own innovations. All of a sudden anybody will be able to be an entrepreneur and try a commercial idea without risking becoming homeless or indebted.

Where will the money come from?
Basic income would replace the current welfare system. When every single citizen is given an unconditional monthly cash deposit, less money is wasted on government bureaucracy. It goes straight to the people.

Rather than spending so much overseas with counter productive results — 2/3 of the Humvees the US sent to Iraq to fight terrorists have ended up in the hands of Islamic State militants — we can spend that money at home, in the US, to not merely “fight” poverty but eliminate it. The US could cut it’s military budget by 80% and still have the largest military budget in the world.


By reducing bureaucracy, trimming excessive expenses, and simplifying taxes, we can easily afford a basic income.

Why give $ to everyone? Even the rich?
Basic income is about giving everybody enough money for the basic needs they deserve. Even rich people. It sounds wrong at first. But understand: Bill Gates will be paying way more in taxes on his $80 billion than he would receive in basic income. (Assuming those f*****g tax loopholes are eliminated.)

Also rather than pay government employees gross administrative costs to analyze everyone’s data to determine who deserves what amount, it would actually save money to simply give everyone the same amount.

Will I have to pay higher taxes?
The key component of Unconditional Basic Income is that it goes to everybody unconditionally…including yourself. So unless you’re one of the highest earners you would likely make a net gain, and receive more from BI than you would be paying in any additional taxes.

Would basic income cause hyperinflation?

Hyperinflation is when the value of the local currency falls rapidly. Wikipedia explains “Hyperinflations are usually caused by money creation”. As made clear earlier, new money creation is not necessary to fund basic income, so it’s unlikely basic income would cause hyperinflation. In fact, there is surprising evidence that giving citizens free money actually lessen inflation.

Kuwait gave $4,000 to each of its 1.155 million citizens in 2011. People were worried about inflation. But instead of rising, inflation dropped.

Alaska used to have a higher rate of inflation than the rest of the US. But since 1982, when Alaska began providing a partial basic income annually to all its residents, Alaska has had a lower rate of inflation than the rest of the US!


info + graphic from “Wouldn’t Unconditional Basic Income Just Cause Massive Inflation?” by Scott Santens
How the hell is that possible?
Experiments suggest the way basic income lowers inflation is by increasing competition.

In India, those given regular cash payments were twice as likely to increase their productive work as those in control villages. They invested in seeds and pesticides for growing food, and sewing machines to make and sell clothing.
In Liberia, when given basic incomes, 1/3 of recipients started their own businesses.
In Uganda those given a year’s worth of income invested most of it in “skills and business assets,” ending up 65 percent more likely to practice a skilled trade.
In Namibia residents used the money to start their own small business, including brick-making, baking of bread and dress-making. Self-employment jumped 301%.
In Kenya, when poor people were given cash unconditionally, 90% of them used it to start their own businesses or purchase livestock.
Cash transfers enable people to invest in themselves and create their own businesses. More competition → lower prices → more value in your dollar = Deflation.

What’s stopping all the landlords from raising everyone’s rent $1,000?
The basic principle of capitalism we mentioned earlier: Competition. Basic income will lead to more competitive housing markets than we have ever seen. When not anchored down by a job, people can move to a different neighborhood/city with more competitive prices. It’s also a lot easier to move when you get $1,000 in the bank every month. This will force housing markets to offer more competitive prices. Anybody that raises prices when supply is abundant and demand stays constant risks having their ass served by competition offering a better price. And with such an overabundance of housing in America (over 5 vacant houses for each homeless American) there will definitely be competition.

Another deterrent to keep landlords from colluding is jail time. Price fixing is illegal in the US (as well as Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand).

Won’t addicts just spend the $ on drugs?

Addicts use substances (or gambling, or video games, or television…) as an escape from reality. But what if reality was pleasant? What if they didn’t have to worry about keeping a roof over their family’s head? There would be less of a desire to escape.

Most are familiar with science experiments showing that rats, once introduced to a drug, will continue to choosing the drug over food…until they die. The experiment has been replicated over and over. But that is only half the story.

Bruce K. Alexander noticed all these experiments only studied isolated rats in cramped cages. So he built a “Rat Park” to test what happened to drug addicted rats in a healthier environment.

Alexander built Rat Park, a housing colony, 200 times the floor area of a standard laboratory cage. There were 16–20 rats of both sexes in residence, an abundance of food, balls and wheels for play, and enough space for mating and raising litters
Junkie rats, who had been forced to consume morphine for 57 consecutive days, were brought to Rat Park and given a choice between plain water and water laced with morphine. Shockingly, for the most part, they chose the plain water.

Basic income would create a more secure supportive environment and help everyone feel less like a rat in a cage. The Rat Park results suggest it may relieve addicts’ need for an escape. It won’t help everyone overcome their psychological issues. Basic income will not make the world perfect. But it will make it better.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic income
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:48 pm 
God

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The presentation in favor of it that you linked is awful, but I favor universal basic income as an alternative to many currently existing welfare programs that attempt to create the same thing, but with more holes and inefficiencies along the way that have greater market distorting effects. More specifically, I favor a VAT with UBI with means tested caps meant to offset the regressive nature of the tax. UBI was proposed under the Nixon administration and is not a new idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Basic income
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:09 pm 
God
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Quote:
More specifically, I favor a VAT with UBI with means tested caps meant to offset the regressive nature of the tax.


What's a VAT?

It's hard not think about how much fun it could be to travel, play and enjoy the world instead of being locked on the hamster wheel I'm currently on and will be on for the next 30 years if I'm lucky. I just don't understand where my life got so expensive. What made living on $400 a month possible during the 2 year mission? Would you agree that a basic unconditional income for everyone would not be possible?

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 Post subject: Re: Basic income
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:42 pm 
God
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ajax18 wrote:
What made living on $400 a month possible during the 2 year mission?


Missions are subsidized by the church and individual members.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic income
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:07 pm 
God
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just me wrote:
ajax18 wrote:
What made living on $400 a month possible during the 2 year mission?


Missions are subsidized by the church and individual members.


They must be much more heavily subsidized by tithing dollars than I originally thought. $400/mo. wouldn't go far. But I could see myself living very comfortably in Colombia on a universal income of $1000/month.

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“You see, here in America, there’s a reason we celebrate the 4th of July, and not April 15. Because in America we celebrate our independence from the government, not our dependence on it.”

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 Post subject: Re: Basic income
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:15 pm 
God

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ajax18 wrote:

What's a VAT?


Value added tax. It's a type of sales tax. For a variety of reasons, I prefer it over income/corporate taxes if the regressive nature of it can be counterbalanced.


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 Post subject: Re: Basic income
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:17 pm 
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The proposal of a so-called 'basic income' is as American as apple pie. Thomas Paine suggested as much, if I remember correctly.


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 Post subject: Re: Basic income
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:27 am 
God
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Goya wrote:
The proposal of a so-called 'basic income' is as American as apple pie. Thomas Paine suggested as much, if I remember correctly.


So would you agree that there would be plenty of money to provide basic unconditional income for all the poor people currently in the US and as many immigrants that might like to come and collect as well just by taxing rich?

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“You see, here in America, there’s a reason we celebrate the 4th of July, and not April 15. Because in America we celebrate our independence from the government, not our dependence on it.”

Scott Walker


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 Post subject: Re: Basic income
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:55 am 
God

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ajax18 wrote:
Goya wrote:
The proposal of a so-called 'basic income' is as American as apple pie. Thomas Paine suggested as much, if I remember correctly.


So would you agree that there would be plenty of money to provide basic unconditional income for all the poor people currently in the US and as many immigrants that might like to come and collect as well just by taxing rich?


Estimating the true cost of UBI is enormously complicated with areas that require hard to forecast items such as the impact it would have on gross productivity. That being said, it's less expensive than you think it is when you consider it a replacement for currently existing anti-poverty programs and their administration. There's already a lot of money being spent on ensuring people don't fall beneath a basic standard of living. From what I've read on the subject, I think UBI would be more expensive, but not so much so that it couldn't be handled by relatively small increases in taxes as % of GDP or redistribution of the federal budget (primarily by reducing military spending). It's a mind-bogglingly expensive project, but you should know as well as anyone that the federal government has taken mind-bogglingly large sums of revenue in already.

I believe Great Britain has been moving in the direction of a UBI with cost-parity in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Basic income
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:31 am 
God
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ajax18 wrote:
What made living on $400 a month possible during the 2 year mission?


Until the early 1990's, each missionary paid their own actual expenses, so missionaries serving in Bolivia might need $100/month for food and board, while missionaries in Japan might need $400. That changed around 1991, and the Church leveled out the program so all missionaries paid the same ($350) into the missionary fund regardless of where they served, and missionaries would receive a monthly stipend according to the expenses of their area.

Serving in the American south in 1995, I got about $120/month if I recall. Rent, car expenses, and utilities were paid directly by the mission.

This program obviously wouldn't apply to a Basic Income-type scenario unless you had many different countries involved, and wealthier countries willingly subsidized poorer countries.

Good luck with that.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic income
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:40 am 
God
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Cinepro if you count the rent, assignation we'd each get, utilities, medical care, it still doesn't seem like I could get the same deal on life if I went to Colombia now and tried to live on $425/month.

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