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#1 Sotha

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 02:16 PM

...meanwhile in Finland...

https://m.huffpost.c...4b00187b558e5ab

What do you think about UBI?

Here is my take:
Initially I was in favour of UBI. Reason: automation, self-driving cars, AI and pals will make many jobs extinct. Millions of people will lose their jobs and the old system of small rich elite, big middle class and small poor unemployed population will transform; middle class shrinks a lot and amount of poor people will increase. This will cause a lot of social problems.

The problem is that I am not at all impressed by the results of the Finnish UBI test.

The results are preliminary, but could be summarized like this:
1) people who got the UBI got happier.
2) The unemployment of UBI folks did not improve during the first year compared to non-UBI folks.

If UBI does not improve the ability of the unemployed getting jobs, then it is only an extension of the welfare state. The little happiness injection to keep the lower classes from causing trouble.

So perhaps UBI will be used to prevent the poor from rioting and breaking the toys of the rich elite. Another solution would be riot police and extra security. UBI is probably cheaper in terms of cost and human suffering. In democracies the rioting could be replaced by wrecking ball-type politicians getting more power.

The problem is that people receiving it will still have pretty bleak outlook in life: you get this basic income, you will never get a real job and cannot thus move forward in the social hierarchy. But it is better than nothing, I guess.
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#2 RPGista

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 03:16 PM

In anarchism theory, from where I believe the UBI system historically comes from, the idea of securing the basic needs of individuals is meant to free the person from having no choice but to enslave themselves for a living wage, in order to avoid starving and falling into extreme poverty. This comes from a world view where human beings are seen as having considerable potential in each of them, which has been stumped throughout the ages by lack of freedom, education and having to dedicate most of their waking hours working for those that hold the money and power. If you dont need to work in order to survive, you are free to go after whatever it is that actually inspires you as a human being - you can devote years to study and science, you can go into a medical or law university (something that is impossible for the great majority of people, who have to drop from school to work and never even apply for higher education), you can choose to become an artisan, creating things that benefit your community, you can work with ONGs, you can devote your life to music or art, you can actually afford to work for normal people instead of only the nobility (if you are an architect, designer, etc)...

 

Still, what you said is mostly true. Some foward thinking societies are recognizing the threat of mass unemployment that awaits us in the near future, and some governments are seeing the need to experiment with these concepts in order to basicly avoid future social unrest and degradation. This could indeed be seen as an effort to preserve business-as-usual for a few more centuries to come. But its still cultural progress, even if the intention is not necessarily pure. It will be engraved into peoples minds that something like this could happen, and that in itself is very interesting. We have had things like that in the past, like our own social security systems today attest to (in some areas of the world). They have been gradually diminished for decades now, but they were once implemented when there was nothing like that before, and its now recorded that it is possible to achieve (a kind of society that looks out for people in need), even if our own socities are evolving in the opposite direction. Smart countries are going to do what the fins are doing. Less intelligent ones (like mine (brazil) and others (Im looking at you US)) are going the neoliberal way - electing ignorant and morally bankrupt demagogues; less and less public spending (so that governments are freed from the burden and exist solely for paying debt interests and supporting the industrial and financial classes with socialism for the rich), ever growing inequality and investment in a police state, gates and walls and punishment and supervision in order to mantain the privilege of the upper classes.


Edited by RPGista, 11 February 2019 - 03:21 PM.


#3 OrbWeaver

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 03:29 PM

So, who is going to create the wealth necessary to fund this universal free money, if nobody needs to do unpleasant but necessary jobs in order to make a living? Are they assuming people will empty our bins and pave our roads purely out of the goodness of their hearts? Do these people even understand how the economy works?


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#4 Cookie

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 03:31 PM

The are some things universal income would lead to:

 

- immigration into the social systems (why stay in Estonia for example if there is some money to get in Finland and no, I wouldn´t blame the people coming to a new country, a broken system is bound to be abused)

- increasing percentage of people who will be satisfied with the amount of money they get from the state - problem: its either enought to live from it (then they won´t work their whole life) or you still need a job (it´s almost pointless in this case)

- many very low paying jobs will be created (see 450€ model in Germany, but on 40 hours a week - why would companies pay more if the people got a financial foundation already and they know it?)

- inflation on a low, but asynchronous scale (especially on food/common goods - everyone wants a share of the cake)

 

Things to fix this:

 

- basic income on a VERY low scale (low amount of money, only for people in need), so that nobody will starve/freeze to death

- High amount of tax free earnings (think first 20.000 € earned per person per year completely tax free - to increase the motivation to work)

 

Other ideas to prepare for the future (not directly related):

 

- High investments for R&D (at least 5% of state budget per year), legislation to support companies that innovate

- huge amounts of cheap energy will be the key for the "country of the future", a european nation should aim to produce two or three times the amount of energy it needs today till the end of the century (4th generation nuclear power plants/dual fluid reactors/fusion power?) - reasons: supply automated factories, cheaper energy always positive, export?, energy is the limiting factor of almost all things imaginable (more food, more drinkable water, filtering CO2 - the possibilities are endless). This is a huge challenge considering climate change, but in the end, higher energy consumption is needed (from better sources).



#5 jaxa

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 04:00 PM

Automation will eradicate a lot of jobs, but we haven't seen the tipping point yet. That will come when drivers and fast food/retail/janitorial workers are largely eliminated.

 

Self-driving cars are an interesting area to look at because the job of driving covers a wide range of salaries. You have the lowly paid Uber/Lyft driver whose "employer" is actively researching the way to get rid of them, and will ultimately do so since the cost per mile for driverless will be much less. Then you have truck drivers who can make $90,000 a year or six digits for hazmat/security-certified driving, etc.

 

Food services are currently an area of growth, but turnover can be high, so a drop-in robot that could cheaply replace various food workers would be desirable. The cashier could be replaced by using a touchscreen + cash machine (supporting credit card or NFC payments) or an app to order. One side benefit would be a great reduction in order mistakes. You can possibly eliminate the building or parts of it by focusing on food delivery, which could be done by drones or autonomous cars.

 

Also in retail: online retail reduces the amount of workers needed. No more big air conditioned building filled with people trying to sell you something you don't need. Then when you look at companies like Amazon, you will see that they are also trying to eliminate their lowly warehouse workers by replacing them with robots.

 

If we throw regenerative medicine into the mix, we could prevent people from needing to go to the hospital as much or at all later in life, and axe workers in what is one of the most "safe" areas to be employed in today: health care and end-of-life care. There is some synergy with self-driving cars since those are expected to reduce car accidents to maybe 20%, if not less. If lifespans are extended due to these improvements, then that could also affect UBI plans by driving up population.

 

Something that could affect UBI: a decline in energy prices. If solar or fusion can lower the cost per kilowatt-hour to $0.01 or below, it could enable a cheap bountiful lifestyle. Living costs could also be lowered by housing people in very dense cities, or in arcologies.

 

Here's a UBI alternative: another Homestead Act. Give people the most worthless land and access to the tools and knowledge needed to grow enough food to subsist, even if they have to do it indoors in the desert or Antarctica, etc. Make heavy use of solar and/or fusion, supplement plants with grow lights where needed, and use desalinization to get more water to places that need it. Try vertical farming and using drones and other robots to perform menial tasks or kill pests. Do use GMOs (the current anti-GMO sentiment is nonsense).

 

Further into the future, there is a possibility to greatly increase the amount of wealth available using asteroid mining, while also reducing the environmental impact of heavy industrial activity. It remains to be seen whether this will be a big benefit to people on Earth (soft landing the resources on a planetary surface instead of using them in zero-g only would be a requirement).


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#6 RPGista

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 04:07 PM

So, who is going to create the wealth necessary to fund this universal free money, if nobody needs to do unpleasant but necessary jobs in order to make a living? Are they assuming people will empty our bins and pave our roads purely out of the goodness of their hearts? Do these people even understand how the economy works?

 

This way of thinking takes for granted that there should always be a great mass of subservient people, basicly slaves, that will be forced (by the threat of starvation) to do all the manual, heavy and dangerous labor while others are freed from it and are allowed to pursue their own interests (to some extent), because they happen to live in privilege.

 

A good system should be balanced and humane, so a place where noone has to do anything was never considered. There will always be the need for impersonal work, and that sould be shared by everyone in a rational, intelligent manner, and not just fall upon a class of people that has been forced to do it because of "economic forces". For this to work, many changes would have to come about, governments would have to be very different and the society as well. For example, machines would need to be employed to create products and aliviate work for the whole of humanity, and not be captive to captalists who buy them in order to get rid of workers, to build whatever stupid thing they think the market wants. Its a very different goal for a society, which Im not really educated enough to even conceive right now.

 

But it is telling how lacking our imagination is, that we cant really think of a society where people are equal and resources are used to benefit everyone, instead of the wasteful and utterly irrational system we have now.

 

Cookie - if people are leaving their countries to go live under a different system, then that system is not broken, the other places around it are. Even inside the same economic system (again, to some extent because the relations are not equal between countries), today you see how people are moving by the millions in order to try and lead a better life in one of the privileged places that arent as devastated as their own.


Edited by RPGista, 11 February 2019 - 04:15 PM.


#7 Cookie

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 04:28 PM

People moving to a different country because of welfare incentives is not a broken system? I am not talking about countries with a need for new workers we know from the present, but a country already in need to keep its lower class citizens from rioting by introducing UBI - just to attract more people to this place that will never find work and to create tensions? This is the definition of a broken system to me (just a different kind of broken, but at least not sustainable) - less jobs and more welfare is not going to end well (and this is not a question of fairness, but of common sense). Urbanisation and other regional movements are a different topic and not comparable.


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#8 Obsttorte

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 04:28 PM

So, who is going to create the wealth necessary to fund this universal free money, if nobody needs to do unpleasant but necessary jobs in order to make a living? Are they assuming people will empty our bins and pave our roads purely out of the goodness of their hearts? Do these people even understand how the economy works?

You can raise this argument against a high educational standard, too. If most of the people are highly educated, who will empty our bins? So in return it would just be legit to argument that a certain percentage of the society should be kept "dumb" to ensure we have enough of them doing the unpleasant jobs.

 

Or you could think about a way to make those unpleasent jobs more attractive by providing a reasonable compensation (not neccessarely money).

 

To me, the idea of having a basic income is aiming at two points:

  1. Ensuring that each person has a guarenteed minimum life standard, independent from income. The latter only serves the purpose of raising that standard. This would highly reduce the amount of pressure and fears that encompany especially the part of the society that belongs to the lower casts.
  2. Providing a fundament that would allow to finally uncouple work from living standard. Your living standard and happyness you can achieve shouldn't be only bound to your job, as the latter only includes what you get paid for, not what you actually contribute to the society.

Money is a fictive good after all, it doesn't need to be produced. It has the value everyone believes it to have.


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#9 Destined

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 04:30 PM

- High amount of tax free earnings (think first 20.000 € earned per person per year completely tax free - to increase the motivation to work)

I think this would lead to bankruptcy of the state. If people see that they could earn 20 000 € a year without paying taxes or alternatively earn 25 000 € and pay 5000 € in taxes, people will rather earn less and not pay taxes. This is one reason, why many people do not want to get out of social services for minimum wage jobs: they would have to sacrifice their whole free time to earn slightly more money.

 

A friend of mine recently visited Cuba and told me that there you could see what a UBI can do: most people will not strive to explore hidden talents. Most people will simply be complacent with the way they live and vegetate from day to day, because they have not sufficient incentive to strive for more. Humans are lazy and UBI only feeds that lazyness.



#10 Cookie

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 04:44 PM

You won´t pay every cent above that mark in taxes, as you also introduce an increasing tax rate based on income. Simple example: Person A: 20.000€ income Person B: 30.000€ income, Person C 50.000€ income

 

Person A is keeping 20.000€ without any taxes,

Person B is keeping 20.000€ without any taxes and is taxed lets say 25% on 10.000€ -> he overall keeps 27.500€

Person C is keeping 20.000€ without any taxes and is taxed 40% on 30.000€ -> he overall keeps 38.000€

 

This is a incentive for low played employees to get a bigger share and to prevent them from not taking a job. And no, this would not lead to a bankruptcy, current Germany could easily afford this for example, even without raising taxes. Other means of financing: Higher maximum tax for rich people (up to 55%, something between tough and reasonable), higher sales tax (like 25%, you spend more for spending more, huge source of income for the state). This is just an example, there are more ideas that are possible.

 

Edit: I agree with the second part, the lowest hanging fruit is often the highest motivation for many people.


Edited by Cookie, 11 February 2019 - 04:50 PM.


#11 stumpy

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 05:09 PM

welfare system in Great Britain pays more than that on the basic amount you can get per month.



#12 Fidcal

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 05:56 PM

I think UBI is  only very likely.  What is absolutely certain is increasing inefficiency in production with less and less employees. No way to stop that. Left without new controls, commerce will  profit more and more until it reaches a tipping point where the mass unemployed public don't have any money to buy their goods.

 

 

 UBI would reverse that. Funding  for UBI would have to be   by spreading that wealth through changes in taxation. The laziest people who settle back with UBI and never work again we already have with us anyway - it's not too difficult to remain on so-called job seeker's allowance indefinitely. Meanwhile, those who wish to work will have more incentive because they won't lose the UBI. Many will work without any additional pay to UBI.

 

 

What sort of work will there be if most manufacturing and service industries are run primarily by smart devices? All sorts of creative work, much of which will profit society. Wikipedia is an example of people working without pay. So is Dark Mod. Society has benefited from Dark Mod providing free games. Society  is richer for it, better for it. All those who have worked on Dark Mod deserve to be paid by UBI at least. Same with fiction and fan fiction which I write. I've had thousands of readers reading my free fiction and raving about it. I do it because I love it just as I loved working on Dark Mod.Some  people love to invent stuff even if they can't make any money from it. They'd give their ideas to  automatic manufacturing plants to produce and sell.

 

 

What a great world it would be if everybody just worked on what they love to do anyway and live on UBI paid for by an entirely robotic industry.  But I suspect UBI might be just a step towards no currency whatsoever.Who'd need it when production is so efficient the goods could be virtually given away once the fat cats  no longer cream off the nation's wealth.   



#13 chakkman

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 06:16 PM

So, who is going to create the wealth necessary to fund this universal free money, if nobody needs to do unpleasant but necessary jobs in order to make a living? Are they assuming people will empty our bins and pave our roads purely out of the goodness of their hearts? Do these people even understand how the economy works?

 

You're asking the wrong questions. None of the Lefties, which is where these ideas originate from, have ever thought about that. Money ist just... there. The state has it. Because it's being printed. Or so. Not generated by the tax payers.

 

That said, i wouldn't mind universal basic income at all. Can't be arsed to work anyway.


Edited by chakkman, 11 February 2019 - 06:16 PM.

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#14 nbohr1more

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:21 PM

This is the topic of our time.

We are at a cross-roads and nobody has good answers.


Left wing? "UBI is the only answer. Capitalism is obsolete."


This is a utopian outlook which largely ignores human nature and motivations.

It "would" work, if Angels were elected to office and we had no fear of corruption
sneaking in.

Sadly, with actual humans in charge, this is rife for abuse.


Right wing? "The Amish are right! Let's be Luddites!"


The Right have no answer to the challenges of automation and stagnant population growth.

The displacement of workers by automation means less consumers to buy things = capitalism is broken

The discouragement of unbridled reproduction means fewer consumers than producers = capitalism is broken

Thus the Trumpian "solution" of artificially reviving old industries so that workers will be "viable consumers" again.

Keep the status quo going as long as possible.

 

A new path?

 

What we might need to do is a little of both.

 

On the Right wing "Luddite" side, we would prop-up hand-made products by making it mandatory

that UBI recipients work in cottage industries for a certain number of days per year. (Or perform

some essential assistance to society.)

 

On the Left wing utopian side, we could have a secondary economy that trades in "luxuries".

Instead of working to maintain your survival, you work on creative pursuits that are worth some

"luxury value" that can either be spent on non-essential comforts or the creative works of others.

 

It would be prohibited to trade "real" money (essentials) for "luxury credits". The two economies would

live in parallel.


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#15 demagogue

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:42 PM

This is an issue where I'd lean heavily on empirical findings. I have an intuition it has the risk of killing motivation and stigmatizing recipients depending on it, but it's such a complex thing with so many different cases I wouldn't bet on it.

 

As part of my research for Fukushima victims, I researched Chernobyl victims, who basically receive lifetime support, and that is sometimes argued to feed into their fatalism that things will never get better, so just take the money and live a basic life, which also adds a kind of stigma, by outsiders and self-directed (there must be something wrong with me if I have to depend on "victim" funds) and only keeps the region stuck in an economic slump, which then makes it a vicious cycle. But you'd have to be very smart pulling people off of the support too because they'd really collapse in the short-term. It's a risky thing to start if you're not going to commit to it.


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#16 jaxa

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 11:47 PM

so just take the money and live a basic life, which also adds a kind of stigma, by outsiders and self-directed

 

Do not fear, I'll take your money!

 

Give me UBI or give me death!
 

*oof*



#17 Abusimplea

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 01:09 AM

Nothing wrong with living a basic life - as long as it includes Internet access.



#18 Sotha

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 01:30 AM

As always, the discussion is interesting and good points are made. I find these so useful, because I get new viewpoints and ideas. Thanks!

The point Cookie rises is probably correct: if one country gives money for free, it results in people moving in just to enjoy the benefits. I think this point makes it clear that UBI *must* be compensatory. The receiver *must* contribute back to society to earn it. It is a salary for being a citizen, and you must contribute to earn it. That's what money was invented for in the first place, right? You contribute to the society and the society is indebted to you for it.

RPGista said,

If you dont need to work in order to survive, you are free to go after whatever it is that actually inspires you as a human being - you can devote years to study and science, you can go into a medical or law university (something that is impossible for the great majority of people, who have to drop from school to work and never even apply for higher education), you can choose to become an artisan, creating things that benefit your community, you can work with ONGs, you can devote your life to music or art, you can actually afford to work for normal people instead of only the nobility (if you are an architect, designer, etc)...

Beautiful, and I wish it was true. But I am cynical enough to see that people who got rid of work would not strive for higher fulfilment of their potential. They would just waste away doing social media and pursuing pleasure after pleasure and end up unfulfilled. And most horrifyingly, insignificant and meaningless.

If what you said was true, people with UBI would get an employment boost over non-UBI folks. But that did not happen. 70% of the benefit receivers didn't even reply to the researchers questionnaires. They just gladly took the money and did nothing, it seems to me. I may misinterpret and the results were preliminary. I hope I am wrong.

Orb makes a valid point of the funding. I agree and would really like to see different parties run the calculations and show the numbers. If UBI is the future, it will be funded by the economic growth the automation brings. Perhaps that's what UBI will do: it just patches up the problem the automation brings and -at then same time- consumes the benefits the automation brings.

And lastly, how would UBI affect the rest of the economy. In Finland we have a system where the social system pays part of the rent for the poor. This is really problematic because:
1) the rents increase so that the support goes directly into the coffers of the house owners. You are supporting the poor but feeding the rich.
2) you cannot shut the thing down, because then the poor people cannot afford to live in their homes, will end up evicted and homeless.
3) if you could shut the thing down, the prices of apartments and rents would plummet, because people could no longer afford them and demand would go down. ...yet the poor people would benefit of the lower rents that would exist if the system was shut down.

So the system stays, even if it sucks. I think it might be the same thing all over again with UBI. If everyone had 600e for free, the economy would adjust itself so that the pricing would reflect that. The wealthy will have their way to funnel those 600e to their own coffers, somehow.
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#19 Petike the Taffer

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 02:07 AM

My two very meagre and very un-intellectual cents:

Even if someone literally payed me to do nothing for the rest of my life, I would still engage in meanigful work, both manual and mental. Simply because I would like to.

 

Additionally, I think there is still a lot of work to be done this century, with automation or without it.



#20 Destined

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 02:09 AM

A new path?

 

What we might need to do is a little of both.

 

On the Right wing "Luddite" side, we would prop-up hand-made products by making it mandatory

that UBI recipients work in cottage industries for a certain number of days per year. (Or perform

some essential assistance to society.)

 

On the Left wing utopian side, we could have a secondary economy that trades in "luxuries".

Instead of working to maintain your survival, you work on creative pursuits that are worth some

"luxury value" that can either be spent on non-essential comforts or the creative works of others.

I think the first point made here is how it should be and I wonder why this is not enforced by solidary states, anyway. Of course, there are exceptions, like people who are sick or unable to work for other reasons. But why not have fit people that are uneployed and use social services have clean parks and roads or help serve food in homeless shelters or let them do other work that does not require any form of special education. Ever since the military service was cancelled in Germany, many social institutions lack work force, because there is no more civil service as an alternative for the military service. This work was done by people fresh out of school, so practically enyone should be able to do it.

 

Regarding two separate markets for luxury and survival goods: This just screams black market, in my opinion. It is a nice idea, but I don't think that you build completely separate economies. There will always be overlaps.

 

 

And lastly, how would UBI affect the rest of the economy. In Finland we have a system where the social system pays part of the rent for the poor. This is really problematic because:
1) the rents increase so that the support goes directly into the coffers of the house owners. You are supporting the poor but feeding the rich.
2) you cannot shut the thing down, because then the poor people cannot afford to live in their homes, will end up evicted and homeless.
3) if you could shut the thing down, the prices of apartments and rents would plummet, because people could no longer afford them and demand would go down. ...yet the poor people would benefit of the lower rents that would exist if the system was shut down.

The development on the real estate and rents market is simply unacceptable. Many people pay half their income simply to afford a small flat not too far from where they work. Student apartments are not any cheaper, which contributes to only rich (or at least higher middle class) people being able to afford letting their children study. If there is one place, where regulating the market is required, this is it. In Germany they are currently trying to do just that, but they are not really successful and the only thing that politics try is to confine further increase of rents, instead of forcing to reduce them. I know I would talk differently, if I would rent out an apartment myself, but still, we are far from reasonable prices for living right now.



#21 Obsttorte

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 03:11 AM

You won´t pay every cent above that mark in taxes, as you also introduce an increasing tax rate based on income. Simple example: Person A: 20.000€ income Person B: 30.000€ income, Person C 50.000€ income

 

Person A is keeping 20.000€ without any taxes,

Person B is keeping 20.000€ without any taxes and is taxed lets say 25% on 10.000€ -> he overall keeps 27.500€

Person C is keeping 20.000€ without any taxes and is taxed 40% on 30.000€ -> he overall keeps 38.000€

 

This is a incentive for low played employees to get a bigger share and to prevent them from not taking a job. And no, this would not lead to a bankruptcy, current Germany could easily afford this for example, even without raising taxes. Other means of financing: Higher maximum tax for rich people (up to 55%, something between tough and reasonable), higher sales tax (like 25%, you spend more for spending more, huge source of income for the state). This is just an example, there are more ideas that are possible.

This is more or less how it works here in germany, with the only difference that the tax rate is applied to the whole income (minus things were no taxes get applied one, like health care payments). But basically you need to earn a certain amount of money per year to have to pay taxes (8400 € or so, not sure) and the tax rate increases with income, but in a way so that earning more money always means that more mones is kept, even with the higher tax rate, similar to your example. We call this progressive taxation, and I think it is a rather fair concept.

 

Another approach that came to my mind is as follows. If you have a basic income, you ensure that nobody has to work in order to survive. So the amount of money they earn in addition serves the purpose of increasing the live standard as mentioned above but is not crucial. This way people could be sharing jobs. I mean, the main intent for this discussion was the idea that in the near future the employment rates may sink due to advanced technologies (although I am pretty sure people have thought so in the past either, think industrial revolution). Nevertheless, if a smaller percentage of employees is needed in a certain area, you could instead still employ all people educated in that area but at a lower work time or less days per year. As said, with the ubi you don't neccessarely have to work 40-50 hours per week to ensure some minimum standards.

 

Distribution of employees among companies could be made by a governmental directorate, based on anonymous evaluation of those companies by their current employees. The better the rating, the better the employees are that they get (better in terms of their marks). This way companies have to be good employers in order to get the best educated employees instead of just having the most money available to pay them.

 

Obviously this is only a concept and something like this can not be established within a short amount of time. However, I consider the question in what direction we want our society to develope to as far more important as the question on whether any concept is compatible with our current economical system.

 

 

A friend of mine recently visited Cuba and told me that there you could see what a UBI can do: most people will not strive to explore hidden talents. Most people will simply be complacent with the way they live and vegetate from day to day, because they have not sufficient incentive to strive for more. Humans are lazy and UBI only feeds that lazyness.

So they basically do what every other animal on this world does. And as you said, most people, not all. Although I am not sure whether this is really true or may only be how your friend experienced it from his or her personal point of view. We have been tought to evaluate a human life by the amount of work that human can perform. I am not sure whether this is something we should be eager to keep.

 

After I made my university degree I was unemployed for a year before finally getting a job. I've spend a fair amount of the time with TDM and how many of the underlying systems work. For an outsider, however, it probably would have appeared as I would have been playing a game, more or less wasting my time and beeing lazy. I don't know whether my perspective is right or the one of the imaginated outsider, or whether it is something in between. But I am also not sure whether it is up to others to tell me on how to live my life and whether they have the right to judge upon its worth. Because in the end, it is my life.


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#22 Destined

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 07:35 AM

So they basically do what every other animal on this world does. And as you said, most people, not all. Although I am not sure whether this is really true or may only be how your friend experienced it from his or her personal point of view. We have been tought to evaluate a human life by the amount of work that human can perform. I am not sure whether this is something we should be eager to keep.

My friend pointed out the differences to her trip to Thailand the year before her trip to Cuba. In Thailand she had the feeling of actually being welcome and people being happy to show you around, while in Cuba the feeling she got was more of a "Oh, now that you are here, I actually have to work" attitude. But not only by a few people, but by almost anyone.



#23 Springheel

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:27 AM

Beautiful, and I wish it was true. But I am cynical enough to see that people who got rid of work would not strive for higher fulfilment of their potential. They would just waste away doing social media and pursuing pleasure after pleasure and end up unfulfilled. And most horrifyingly, insignificant and meaningless.

 

 

That's what most people do already, so I don't think UBI would make that better or worse.  Telling people they have to spend most of their waking hours toiling at meaningless labour doesn't improve the situation any.

 

UBI is not going to be enough to replace the income of most jobs.  The idea, as I understand it, is that it's enough to cover basic necessities, so you don't have your population starving or living on the streets.  People can take a year off to retrain without worrying about losing their housing.  They can take up creative work that wouldn't otherwise provide a living wage, like writing novels, illustrating, various crafts, etc.  They could, as Obs mentioned earlier, work half time instead of full time.  Those all sound like positive things to me.

Would some people sit at home and play video games all day? Sure, some would.  But so what?  Those people won't be able to afford most of the things that people with jobs can afford, so either they'll eventually decide they want those things and look for ways to earn extra money, or they'll be happy with what they have.  I don't see how either of those options is negative.
 


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#24 OrbWeaver

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 09:12 AM

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#25 Fidcal

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 09:16 AM

This is not the industrial revolution. This is wonderful movies and games and tv productions being produced almost entirely without humans being involved except to gloat over the profits. Books and scripts and kitchen recipes written by machines. This is accountancy without human accountants; marketing without salesmen; services without supervisors; logging without lumberjacks; hospitals without human medical staff; trains and boats and planes and every kind of craft and vehicle without human drivers; newsfeeds without human writers or editors; building construction without bricklayers, plumbers, electricians, or even architects; restaurants and hotels and shops without staff, chefs, or waiters or any personnel at all. The only thing it has in common with the industrial revolution is that  IT - CANNOT - BE - STOPPED. The only choices will be: share the wealth via UBI (or some other system) or bloody revolution.

 

There's a storm coming in the next few decades; best be ready for it.

 

[EDIT. And yes, the machines WILL build and maintain  themselves. Those ideas are already being developed.]






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