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Universal Basic Income (merged)

A forum for discussion of regional topics including oil depletion but also government, society, and the future.

Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 06:04:59

Newfie wrote:VT,

Re: your SS reduction. I’m not 100% sure, but close, that you don’t “loose” that money. Your future post full age allotment will be adjusted upward so that when you reach the statistical average age of death you will have been reimbursed. If you live shorter you loose, longer you gain.

No you only get "adjusted if you have a year where your total earned income is higher then the highest year you have worked before. To do that you have to go back to work full time for a year.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 09:33:39

It appears to me that several people posting in this thread are still pretending the UBI will take place in a vacuum and that the rentier class and consumer sales industries will let it go by them without responding.

Does anyone really believe that slumlord X is going to just joyously go along taking $750 a month in his slum tenants money when he knows that said tenant now has an additional $1,000 a month of income? Slum lord X may be forced to do so in NYC where rent controls are in place, but for the vast majority of the country those controls do not currently exist.

Then you have Used Car Salesman Y who thinks he should be able to get at least 10% more for his barely running cars that the poorest members of the driving public purchase because all those folks have that extra $1,000/month in their income pocket.

Then you have local government Z who say to themselves "Gosh, now we can raise taxes to fund that project we really want because our citizens are $12,000/year wealthier than they were last year!"

If you believe these things will not happen without truly draconian wage and price controls than IMO you are hopelessly naive.

As for the last dollar tax, way back when I was in college I ran into that myself. For every dollar I earned in excess of my federal student loan the one year I took a loan my loan value was reduced at the gross earning rate. IOW if I earned $100 gross and received $78 net my loan was reduced by $100. In effect I was punished for working if I accepted the federal student loan I desperately needed to pay for that last semester of school. These sorts of disincentives and effective punishments are all through the 'public money' sector. If you are a parent who needs assistance you are punished for being married or allowing a second parent to live with you. On and on it goes.

You really want to help people on public assistance reward them for earning some money in addition to their assistance. Reward them for having stable two parent households where kids see examples of two adults living together in a "normal" relationship with give and take between the adults. DON'T just throw more money at the recipients and pretend that will fix ANYTHING because in the real world nothing happens in a vacuum! Every change you make has consequences.

Presumably the 'welfare state' as it currently exists was created with the best of intentions, but the results have been devastating to inner city family structure. We are on our third or fourth generation of kids growing up in government forced single parent families. We are on a multigenerational disincentive to work campaign for the poor.

Presumably the UBI would also be created with the best of intentions, but pretending the intentions matter and the consequences do not matter is just plain foolish. If UBI passed exactly as Andrew Yang proposes without Congress mucking it up even worse costs for everyone who buys stuff would go up significantly. This would be from both the VAT and from people who sell and lease stuff trying to get a slice of the bigger income pie. I personally don't want my expenses to go up even more just so Andrew Yang or any other politicians can get themselves elected while living in their ivory government towers.

If you honestly believe I am wrong about expenses going up then tell me where i am in error. Convince me, don't just repeat platitudes about how great it will be for poor people to get this extra cash every month.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby careinke » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 14:18:29

Tanada wrote:If you honestly believe I am wrong about expenses going up then tell me where i am in error. Convince me, don't just repeat platitudes about how great it will be for poor people to get this extra cash every month.

Expenses go up no matter what, they are going up now. But I see your point. My understanding when the Income tax was first proposed, it was suggested it be capped at 2%. The proposal was rejected because no one could see the income tax ever going above 2%.

So maybe we should just stick with the current system, it's working so well, and I'm sure it will be just fine with the upcoming AI, robotics, and job displacements. After all single parent rates above 50% are just fine, kids don't need more than one parent.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 14:39:54

careinke wrote:
Tanada wrote:If you honestly believe I am wrong about expenses going up then tell me where i am in error. Convince me, don't just repeat platitudes about how great it will be for poor people to get this extra cash every month.

Expenses go up no matter what, they are going up now. But I see your point. My understanding when the Income tax was first proposed, it was suggested it be capped at 2%. The proposal was rejected because no one could see the income tax ever going above 2%.

So maybe we should just stick with the current system, it's working so well, and I'm sure it will be just fine with the upcoming AI, robotics, and job displacements. After all single parent rates above 50% are just fine, kids don't need more than one parent.


Have two guests from Denmark here. We got on the subject of taxes.

VAT is now 25% in Denmark.. If you are single renting a flat and have no dependents and no mortgage your personal income tax rate can be as high as 60%

Nobody likes the tax rates but they all like the free education and excellent infrastructure and health care. No one is rioting in the streets. Even with 60% personal income tax rates most folks who do even the most basic jobs earn a livable wage.

Go figure.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 16:32:17

careinke wrote:
Tanada wrote:If you honestly believe I am wrong about expenses going up then tell me where i am in error. Convince me, don't just repeat platitudes about how great it will be for poor people to get this extra cash every month.

Expenses go up no matter what, they are going up now. But I see your point. My understanding when the Income tax was first proposed, it was suggested it be capped at 2%. The proposal was rejected because no one could see the income tax ever going above 2%.

So maybe we should just stick with the current system, it's working so well, and I'm sure it will be just fine with the upcoming AI, robotics, and job displacements. After all single parent rates above 50% are just fine, kids don't need more than one parent.

Hey, I didn't see Tanada say that we should do nothing about / ignore such issues. Don't blame the messenger for pointing out a serious flaw in a proposal.

Instead, perhaps trying to find something different would work better?

To my mind, one problem is the UNIVERSAL part. Why in the WORLD do we want to give income to those who don't need it at all? We have the income tax system, which should easily be able to tell apart the poor, the middle class, and the well off. Might as well USE that data while all the effort and expense is made to collect income taxes.

If anyone getting such help didn't have a sign on them saying they were getting it, then it would be far harder for the rentier class to automatically raise prices. Now, the poor who got such help SHOULD keep such income private as not to tip off the rentier class -- but trying to teach the poor to be financially savvy is a whole different class of problem. (I think money spent there might yield a lot more per dollar, but again, a topic for another thread).

Oh, and if we only gave that to the newly unemployed due to technology, or the bottom 20%, or whatever "rational" criteria society decided on, it should be a HELL of a lot expensive than just giving it to the vast majority of adults, including billionaires.

That's just one example. Again, sarcastically claiming Tanada is "bad" in any way for pointing out a very real problem with the proposed system is, IMO, highly counterproductive. And the concerns re automation taking away jobs is valid. Just think of how many jobs will go once cheap computers drive car 10X better than humans, for one example.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 16:45:16

Ibon wrote:Have two guests from Denmark here. We got on the subject of taxes.

VAT is now 25% in Denmark.. If you are single renting a flat and have no dependents and no mortgage your personal income tax rate can be as high as 60%

Nobody likes the tax rates but they all like the free education and excellent infrastructure and health care. No one is rioting in the streets. Even with 60% personal income tax rates most folks who do even the most basic jobs earn a livable wage.

Go figure.

And their military budget is about 1.1% of GDP, and they're in no way trying to be the policemen of the world. Go figure.

You can't just look at ONE aspect of an economy in isolation and then claim they're doing great because problems X, Y, and Z don't exist.

...

BTW, I'd be ALL for the US having a much smaller military, or charging other countries for the security we provide for things like oil in the Middle East. We could use a cool $500 billion or more a year savings for a number of things to improve the US economy. How about paying down debt / reducing deficits, infrastructure, education, and medical research, just to name several?

https://www.globalfirepower.com/country ... id=denmark

https://theodora.com/wfbcurrent/denmark ... onomy.html

How much extra effort would you put in to get a better job if the government takes 60% of your wages, or more?
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 18:29:11

Count me in the group that realizes that out present system is far from perfect but think that UBI would not be an improvement. Bring up something else and I'll give it fair consideration.
As to Denmark's 60 percent tax rate they have been at plus 50 percent for forty years or so if I remember correctly. They have a very homogeneous population and apparently a very efficient bureaucracy handling the expenditure of all that tax revenue. I doubt if you can promote the Americans working at your DMV and get the same results.
Also consider just how much income you have left after you pay your taxes, health care and education expenses? In a lot of cases it is less then 40 percent of gross.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 18:54:56

vtsnowedin wrote: Also consider just how much income you have left after you pay your taxes, health care and education expenses? In a lot of cases it is less then 40 percent of gross.

But that very much depends on who you are and how you live.

For most people working in the US at a decent job, their employes pay a very large proportion of their health care expenses. As a single person, IBM paid 100% of the medical insurance for me and I was fortunate enough to be pretty healthy, so my medical expenses while working, including things like dentistry were under 2% of my salary, overall (from ages 22 to 48).

Education costs can be huge in the US, but OTOH, frugal people who go to more practical state schools and don't go crazy with the system don't have to spend a fortune. Last time I checked, despite all the wailing and drama, the average college loan total was little over $30,000. So significantly less than the average new car. As long as someone gets a decent education for that money, I'm not buying the hype that it take several decades to pay such a debt off requiring horrific payments. After all, many new car loans are for about 5 years.

https://www.credit.com/personal-finance ... loan-debt/

And taxes -- well, until you get into the top two quintiles, it's not like US taxpayers pay much in federal income tax. So again, it very much depends on one's situation.

But of course if where you live has 60% or higher tax rates as "normal" for a decent job, then there's no choice. It's a trade-off, helping some groups and hindering others. Not "better" or "worse" objectively, but certainly very different.

I suppose if I lived in a place where I saw such government work WELL and consistently (unlike much of what goes on in the US re government), I might have a far better impression of the value of 60% or so of wages feeding that maw.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 19:04:36

Tanada wrote:You really want to help people on public assistance reward them for earning some money in addition to their assistance. Reward them for having stable two parent households where kids see examples of two adults living together in a "normal" relationship with give and take between the adults. DON'T just throw more money at the recipients and pretend that will fix ANYTHING because in the real world nothing happens in a vacuum! Every change you make has consequences.

Presumably the 'welfare state' as it currently exists was created with the best of intentions, but the results have been devastating to inner city family structure. We are on our third or fourth generation of kids growing up in government forced single parent families. We are on a multigenerational disincentive to work campaign for the poor.


careinke wrote:So maybe we should just stick with the current system, it's working so well, and I'm sure it will be just fine with the upcoming AI, robotics, and job displacements. After all single parent rates above 50% are just fine, kids don't need more than one parent.


How in the world can you conclude that is what I want from what I wrote?
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 19:17:40

How about this in place of the Yang version of UBI? If you are on any form of public assistance you can earn up to $1,000.00/month aka $5.77/hour @ 40hours/week or $11.54/hour @ 20 hours a week without any impact on your benefits. Over and above that amount for the next $1000/month you will lose $0.25 in benefits for each additional dollar earned. For the third $1,000/month you will lose $0.33 in benefits for each dollar earned.

Under this system you are rewarded for working in addition to receiving benefits, and the income taxes you pay as well as payroll deductions for SSI/Medicare/medicaid help offset expenses in those social insurance to the less fortunate than yourself. By the time you are earning over $3,000/month you are making $17.30/hour if you work 40/week/52 weeks/year aka $36,000.00.

Bonus, anyone making less that $36,000/year who runs into a rough patch can qualify for public assistance to get through the tough times without having to give up seeking work or taking side jobs to improve their situation.

Personally I think this system would be a thousand times better than UBI in terms of expenses and social impact.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 19:30:39

Outcast_Searcher wrote:And their military budget is about 1.1% of GDP, and they're in no way trying to be the policemen of the world. Go figure.?


And their citizens not academically inclined can learn a trade in a trade school paying no tuition and when they graduate they have a well established apprentice program working with industry instead of in the USA where one of the only viable options for a young man with little financial resources is to choose military service serving the military industrial complex that consumes over 40% of our GDP.

Go Figure.
Last edited by Ibon on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 19:57:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 19:39:06

Ibon wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:And their military budget is about 1.1% of GDP, and they're in no way trying to be the policemen of the world. Go figure.?


And their citizens not academically inclined can learn a trade in a trade schools paying no tuition and when they graduate they have a well established apprentice program working with industry instead of in the USA where one of the only viable options for a young man with little financial resources is to choose that military service that consumes over 40% of our GDP.

Go Figure.

Um speaking of figuring, did you mean under 4% of GDP?

All I'm saying is they're very different, re priorities. So you can't, IMO, act like the 60%ish tax rate isn't a bad thing just because certain things about their society seem good. Too much apples vs oranges to make such an isolated comparison.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 22:01:21

Outcast_Searcher wrote:you live.

For most people working in the US at a decent job, their employes pay a very large proportion of their health care expenses. As a single person, IBM paid 100% of the medical insurance for me and I was fortunate enough to be pretty healthy, so my medical expenses while working, including things like dentistry were under 2% of my salary, overall (from ages 22 to 48).


That money paid by IBM for your insurance should be considered part of your salary. The reason your employer paid it is to pay it out of pre-tax dollars and right it off as a corporate business expense. It dates back to WW2 when they had wage freezes but were allowed by the FDR administration to pick up health insurance. Of course back then it only cost a few hundred a year and there was not a lot they could do for you beyond delivering your babies and setting broken bones.
One thing I worry about with LiaWatha's medicare for all plan is that the corporations will get let off all the healthcare premiums they are paying now without having to add it to your wages. Not a problem for new hires but those that worked for thirty plus years at reduced wages, like yours truly, may well end up much worse off then they are now.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby careinke » Sat 07 Dec 2019, 22:56:16

Tanada wrote:
Tanada wrote:You really want to help people on public assistance reward them for earning some money in addition to their assistance. Reward them for having stable two parent households where kids see examples of two adults living together in a "normal" relationship with give and take between the adults. DON'T just throw more money at the recipients and pretend that will fix ANYTHING because in the real world nothing happens in a vacuum! Every change you make has consequences.

Presumably the 'welfare state' as it currently exists was created with the best of intentions, but the results have been devastating to inner city family structure. We are on our third or fourth generation of kids growing up in government forced single parent families. We are on a multigenerational disincentive to work campaign for the poor.


careinke wrote:So maybe we should just stick with the current system, it's working so well, and I'm sure it will be just fine with the upcoming AI, robotics, and job displacements. After all single parent rates above 50% are just fine, kids don't need more than one parent.


How in the world can you conclude that is what I want from what I wrote?

.
I apologize, I didn't mean to offend, I thought we were just throwing out ideas and looking for flaws. I did not mean the above comment to be directed toward you. It was more a rhetorical statement, based on my frustrations with the current economic incentives/disincentives.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby evilgenius » Sun 08 Dec 2019, 00:41:31

I still think the best way to go forward is to address ownership of corporations. Currently, the way we reward shareholders is with stock price increases. Management also benefits from that because a certain amount of their pay is based upon stock options. If we limited what management could earn, to whatever a certain class of stock decided by majority vote was left over to them after deciding what they would like to earn from their capital investment, then there might be a place for those that automation will displace. It would create an inverse relationship between that class of stock and management. If that class wanted more money, then management would have less incentive. Less incentive would, eventually, mean less money for that class of shareholders. It would help eliminate operation at the extremes.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 08 Dec 2019, 06:19:37

evilgenius wrote:I still think the best way to go forward is to address ownership of corporations. Currently, the way we reward shareholders is with stock price increases. Management also benefits from that because a certain amount of their pay is based upon stock options. If we limited what management could earn, to whatever a certain class of stock decided by majority vote was left over to them after deciding what they would like to earn from their capital investment, then there might be a place for those that automation will displace. It would create an inverse relationship between that class of stock and management. If that class wanted more money, then management would have less incentive. Less incentive would, eventually, mean less money for that class of shareholders. It would help eliminate operation at the extremes.

Yes I am in favor of cleaning up IRS rules to eliminate tax avoidance. As to stock options I'd rewrite IRS publication 525 and the statutes behind it to make all stock options taxable income the day they are granted as opposed to when they are exercised or sold. They would be taxed at the market price of the stock on the closing price the day before the options are granted. The option holder would then have the same position as someone outside buying the stock that same day and face capital gains (or loss) when the option is exercised and sold.
This would put a damper on manipulating a corporations stock price up or down for the purpose of maximizing executives after tax income.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby longpig » Sun 08 Dec 2019, 06:26:18

UBI is a scheme to destroy the currency. 1933 government banned gold, made holding it illegal for US citizens, everyone had to turn their gold in for $20 an ounce and the next day after the government got everyone's gold they revalued it $35. 1971 US government borrowed so much other countries started converting their US dollars to Gold so US delinked the US dollar from gold. US went on a big debt spree for 40 years, Gov and consumers can't pay off their debt and keep the economy running. Gov institutes UBI, everyone has money and it becomes worthless along with all debts, so after UBI indebted consumers and government are free of their debt obligations, that is what UBI is.

Buy Gold, UBI won't work, it's intended to mass default on debt.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 08 Dec 2019, 06:49:57

longpig wrote:UBI is a scheme to destroy the currency. 1933 government banned gold, made holding it illegal for US citizens, everyone had to turn their gold in for $20 an ounce and the next day after the government got everyone's gold they revalued it $35. 1971 US government borrowed so much other countries started converting their US dollars to Gold so US delinked the US dollar from gold. US went on a big debt spree for 40 years, Gov and consumers can't pay off their debt and keep the economy running. Gov institutes UBI, everyone has money and it becomes worthless along with all debts, so after UBI indebted consumers and government are free of their debt obligations, that is what UBI is.

Buy Gold, UBI won't work, it's intended to mass default on debt.

I doubt it is a scheme being deliberately put forward. After all who would benefit from destroying the currency? Of course scheme or not it has the potential of greatly weakening the currency through inflation if not destroying it all together. But instead of buying gold ,which you can't eat, why not just elect politicians smart enough to understand that UBI will not work? That has the potential to be positive on many levels.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 08 Dec 2019, 07:40:53

Outcast wrote:


For most people working in the US at a decent job, their employes pay a very large proportion of their health care expenses. As a single person, IBM paid 100% of the medical insurance for me and I was fortunate enough to be pretty healthy, so my medical expenses while working, including things like dentistry were under 2% of my salary, overall (from ages 22 to 48).


But if you doing a comparison to Denmark then you need to include the cost of that health care as a “tax.”

Say I have 2 job offers, each of $100,000. Company A has a very good health plan that costs $15,000/employee while B has a bad plan that costs $5,000. Your cost to Company A is $115,000 and to B it is $105,000. Therefore Company A is really offering you $10,000 more. Or if you take the job at Company B it like a hidden $10,000 tax.

Let’s say the equivalent health care in Denmark is worth $15,000. That is supported by taxes. Because everyone gets it it has some elements of a UBI.

In Denmark that difference between Company A and B would be obvious. Company A would offer you $115,000 and B $105,000.

It’s just a shell game with the money.

Medicare-for-all is another form of UBI, a benefit equally spread among the CITIZENS.

I’m not arguing for or against at this point, simply trying to peel back the layers of obfuscation.

That 60% tax rate? We probably pay all of that here in the USA, it’s just that it comes in hidden taxes (medical) and out of pocket expenses.

Yet another way to think of the Socialist approach is that it is a very large uniform Insurance program. What we pay as individual expenses are covered by the government in a massive wealth redistribution system.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 08 Dec 2019, 08:00:17

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
Ibon wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:And their military budget is about 1.1% of GDP, and they're in no way trying to be the policemen of the world. Go figure.?


And their citizens not academically inclined can learn a trade in a trade schools paying no tuition and when they graduate they have a well established apprentice program working with industry instead of in the USA where one of the only viable options for a young man with little financial resources is to choose that military service that consumes over 40% of our GDP.

Go Figure.

Um speaking of figuring, did you mean under 4% of GDP?

All I'm saying is they're very different, re priorities. So you can't, IMO, act like the 60%ish tax rate isn't a bad thing just because certain things about their society seem good. Too much apples vs oranges to make such an isolated comparison.


That is absolutely correct but these comparisons are important so that Americans can wake up on how they are being shafted up the ass with policies that serve only the wealthy. You remind the enough and they may wake up from their deep passive slumber.
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