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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 Ibon » Sun 08 Dec 2019, 08:43:20

NYT article today relevant to the discussion

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/07/opin ... alism.html

There is a paywall but you get 5 free views per month.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 08 Dec 2019, 10:19:04

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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 08 Dec 2019, 18:26:13

America has to make up its mind. Do you want to be a 3rd World Country or a 1st world country. Both are viable options. And both can produce happy citizens. But what we have today in America is neither, in fact it is the worst of both options; 3rd world social services and 3rd world inefficiencies, 3rd world disparity of wealth and 3rd world politics. But with 1st world prices and expectations and regulations. Poor provincial Americans really do not have a clue how hard their lives have become compared to say with folks in Denmark or Panama.

You see in Denmark the public and private sector works efficiently, social services are cherished by the population, mass transit works, pregnancy leave, 4-6 weeks vacations. High standard of living and folks generally content.

In Panama food and goods and services and cell phones are cheap, 4 weeks vacation, basic health care coverage, tight communities of folks who work for a awhile and then take a break, nobody in debt, you do without a car but public transportation gets you anywhere. You can really survive and be happy earning $15 -$ 25 dollars a day because you have no debt, no car, no expenses, but friends and family and lots of festivities. This also provides a high standard of living. Lots of humility in the population.

Both Denmark, 1st world, and Panama, 3rd world, have functional societies with high levels of contentment.
America? Middle class indebted up to their nostrils, enslaved in jobs with just 2 weeks off a year, limited social services, divided polarized society, cable TV and cell phone plans rapacious in their costs, health care down right abusive in the cost and bureaucracy. In summary, 1st world prices and 3rd world services. And folks agitated and split.
I am so fucking happy to no longer live in the United States of America.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby longpig » Mon 09 Dec 2019, 02:56:58

vtsnowedin wrote:
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.


Where is the money going to come from to pay for UBI. If a country was on a gold standard they would not institute UBI because they know it won't work, they can't print gold. UBI won't be funded through tax collections, it will be paid for by more deficit spending and hence more inflation, the currency won't be accepted, will be regarded as monopoly money.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 09 Dec 2019, 06:17:30

Where would the money come from? I can provide an answer but it is a theoretical, not saying it would happen. And I’ll answer health care for all as well.

In the USA everyone pretty much gets fed, maybe not quite enough or of the right type but nobody starves. And there are homeless folks, but they are a pretty small percentage of our population. Government stats say it is about 0.2%, even doubling that it would be well under 1%. Same kind of thing with medical. Eventually most everyone gets treated one way or the other. And by not treating folks we frequently make matters worse and create even bigger medical bills. Sure there are folks going bankrupt to pay for medical, but by and large they are getting medical. The percentage dying because of total lack of medical is small, probably well under the number killed by hospital induced infections, but I digress.

OTOH we have for both housing and medical extremely inefficient payment systems. The money that gets to end service provider starts in a workers paycheck deductions and is then routed through a myriad of bureaucrats, each nibbling their share. Same thing with medical, it starts as a reduction in your salary because your employer pays for the insurance. And that buying power is constantly eroded by the insurance company administration, the Drs. Billing clerks, and hospital staff. Hospitals routinely over charge so that they can get the maximum amount from your insurance so that they can cover losses on folks where they don’t get paid. We already have a single payer medical system, the tax payer. It’s just an extremely inefficient system.

So we have these HUGE inefficient wealth distribution systems in place. Suppose we ditched these systems, and the deadwood bureaucrats they support and came up with an efficient system, simple to administer. Still keep the same amount of money being withdrawn in taxes and through employer supplied insurance but Handel it wisely. Clearly there would be significant savings. Those savings could then be used to provide a far simpler to administer health care system and some form of basic income.

This could work and the trick would be to say that the net cost of the new system needs to be no more than the net cost of the old system.

There is a rub to this plan. What do we do with all the excess people, the insurance clerks, put out of work by this program? If they can find alternative employment then fine. But a lot won’t be able to and will end up living on the largess of the new system. But there is still money to be found because of excess salaries for mid and upper managers and profit now going to stock holders, some significant part is the 1%.

So ther you have it, it does not have to cost 1¢, you just have to limit the benefits to the savings.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby evilgenius » Wed 11 Dec 2019, 17:28:22

As far as medicine in the US goes, the first step is to make whatever an employee's plan costs taxable. Treat medical benefits the same as earnings. Let the employees decide if they like receiving more coverage, instead of getting an actual raise. If it gets too bad for them, they can vote with their feet. Right now, they have no apparent reason to vote with their feet, because they can't see the difference. The current system is rigged to drive medical prices up, and not provide anything more in return.

Another problem is that, in capitalist America, people don't treat each other as potential entrepreneurs. Instead, they always ask what people do, when they meet them, as if they were employees. Everything, from the school system to people's deeply ingrained attitudes, is about meeting the demand for labor.

Artificial intelligence will provide opportunities for ownership that people fail to mention. If there will be self-driving cars, for instance, the issue shouldn't be with how many will get put out of work, but rather with who will be able to own them. Will a small holder of a handful be able to lease their fleet out to a business that needs them? You could say the same thing about production robots, if they begin to become more mobile, as well. We shouldn't let only large corporations own the transport or technology of the future. It's a recipe for National Socialism.

People will need to be involved, as owners of the capital that will operate automatically and that can think for itself in work related situations. They'll need to be able to either borrow the money to put themselves into those ownership positions, or the government could help people get there. To do otherwise, to approach automation with the Amazon or Walmart model, is economic suicide. The money supply needs to expand and contract according to economic activity. People need to both borrow and pay off their debts. The whole thing works because, essentially, we take their word for it. The value of any currency is based upon the faith of the people.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Zarquon » Sat 28 Dec 2019, 19:32:52

Ibon wrote:NYT article today relevant to the discussion

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/07/opin ... alism.html

There is a paywall but you get 5 free views per month.


On many sites with paywalls like this you can read the article if you switch off CSS (style sheets; with Firefox it's the View/Page Style menu) in your browser. Works with the NYT, too.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby dissident » Sun 29 Dec 2019, 10:33:17

Newfie wrote:FYI relative to comments on USA military spending.

Image

https://ourworldindata.org/military-spending


Nominal currency exchange comparisons are meaningless. At the very least PPP based comparisons need to be made but the military sector is typically not evaluated for PPP factor determination. The focus tends to be on consumer goods and services. The effective military budget for Russia is not $70 billion but several times higher. Military prices in Russia are not grossly inflated like they are in the USA, Japan, etc. For example, a single Japanese Soryu class diesel-electric submarine goes for $2 billion when a Russian Project 636.3 submarine goes for just over $300 million. Some can pretend that one is just so much better than the other, but that is simply ignorant. Russia still hasn't caught up to the $7,000 toilet seat pricing seen in US military procurement. Eventually it will, but then its military budget will reflect that, so judging how much more the USA is spending based on nominal exchange rates is detached from reality.

A detail routinely missed in such comparisons is that expenditures are in local domestic currencies and not dollars. So when the forex drops by factor of two that does not translate into a factor of two reduction in expenditures. The forex rate is not a measure of the physical economy. It is a measure of the ignorance of currency traders. The vast majority of whom actually think that Russia's GDP depends 50% on oil and gas exports. These morons, swallowing the fake stream media yapping as hard fact, do not know that the whole oil and gas industry accounts for less than 8% of Russia's GDP and is falling every year and that even the consolidated budget of the federal government only depends at the 17% level on oil and gas export taxes. The World Bank must be a Russian front organization since anyone can check its estimates and they do not agree with the fake stream media spew.
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 29 Dec 2019, 12:30:30

Newfie wrote:It’s just an extremely inefficient system.

So we have these HUGE inefficient wealth distribution systems in place. Suppose we ditched these systems, and the deadwood bureaucrats they support and came up with an efficient system, simple to administer. Still keep the same amount of money being withdrawn in taxes and through employer supplied insurance but Handel it wisely.

For the medical care part, wouldn't "Medicare for All" go a long way toward doing just that?

The one proposal by HRC I really liked was having an option to get onto Medicare for folks starting at age 55 (with people paying what it costs the system). For early retirees, that would have been fantastic, IMO.

I mean, at 60, surely my contribution wouldn't be higher than well over $1200 a month for one person who historically, has had minimal medical bills over time, and re things like diet, exercise, weight, not using drugs, not drinking, etc. takes reasonably good care of himself. Oh, and who knows how well the system will pay if disaster strikes before I'm 65? And it's not like I'm a phalanx of lawyers to fight them if/when they decide to screw me. The current system SUCKS.

And with Medicare, from what I know from helping my parents and from friends, there is no fighting with the insurer over paying for a needed procedure, etc. CMS (the Medicare administrator) handles all the paperwork, approvals, payments, etc. and does it much more efficiently than the current system.

So it seems to me that with a system like that, we'd be nearly half way there and the big thing would be working out the payment side. For example, if it's all done via taxes, who pays and how much. If there were a larger medicare tax (but no private insurance premiums) for life, that should be able to handle it just fine. And if needed, larger deductibles could be used for the small stuff.

It's not a $20 vs. $30 copay that bankrupts people. It's 100,000 for a broken arm with complications, once the system is done overcharging all over the place. So for starters, with a single payer, they could clamp down on outfits vastly overcharging, as I think medicare already does to a certain extent. For example, under medicare, if a hospital causes an infection (their fault) -- THEY pay to straighten it out, and they don't get reimbursed. We need that system for many system-induced common medical errors.
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 Newfie » Sun 29 Dec 2019, 14:10:59

Outcast,

Exactly, we the people already pay for 100% of medical coverage in the USA. We just do in in a very inefficient manner.

The “problem” will be what to do with all those folks it puts out of work. But that’s still cheaper because the 0.1% don’t get to take off their share. Oh, the horror!
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Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 30 Dec 2019, 16:16:37

Newfie wrote:Outcast,

Exactly, we the people already pay for 100% of medical coverage in the USA. We just do in in a very inefficient manner.

The “problem” will be what to do with all those folks it puts out of work. But that’s still cheaper because the 0.1% don’t get to take off their share. Oh, the horror!

Yes, the folks it puts out of work is a real issue. That's almost always a concern with meaningful change.

I have a problem wrapping my head around how with all the obvious things that need to be done in many areas, we as a society seem to let "putting some people out of work" stop us from doing things like fixing the medical system, fixing the federal income tax system (it could be automated for a good 95% or more of returns, much as lawers and accountants would hate it).

Imagine, for example, if we transitioned making weapons systems the Pentagon doesn't even want to, say, infrastructure or clean energy programs, instead of the threat of laying off thousands. Hell, we could even call that part of defense, re "preparedness". (And I'm talking a gradual thing, not an "all in" and doing away with national defense, or anything crazy like that.)

Somehow, the incentive system (re doing the smart, vs. popular or current thing) is clearly broken, and I don't see how to fix that.
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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