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Re: Fixing America

Unread postPosted: Mon 02 Dec 2019, 02:00:40
by careinke
I just watched a pbs "off script" conversation with Andrew Yang. In it, he laid out his ideas for fixing America. It was interesting to watch and I believe some of his ideas are pertinent to this discussion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2Wr7lDI-Hg&fbclid=IwAR06fQkR117qES5Ye1JJTP0AA_PQLA8DzW9Z_ivCIbkvLZdyne1KyOeCbaE

A. Provide a "Freedom Dividend" for every American starting at 18 years old of $1,000 per month for life, with no conditions. The cost would run about 2.3 Trillion a year, funded by a Value Added Tax of Approximately 1/2 the EU rate.

Personally, I like the idea. Granted, I would prefer ALL taxes to be consumption taxes, but this is a start. Yang had numerous diverse selling points for the plan. It was amusing to watch the two "undecided voters" concerns over the plan. The lady was concerned the people would just blow the money and it needed to be controlled somehow. The guy was stuck on a wealth tax instead. Yangs response was wealth taxes have been tried, and repealed in numerous european countries because they simply don't work and revenue was well below expectations. The cost of enforcing how people spend their money would not be worth it.

YANGS Selling points for the "Freedom Dividend":

1. Everyone gets the same amount, so there is no stigma/resentment attached to it.
2. Percentage wise, it significantly raises the income of the poor more than the rich, flatting the wealth disparity to some extent.
3. It is much harder for companies to avoid paying taxes, plus
the taxes continue as the employees get replaced by AI or automation.
4. The money will be spent stimulating the economy.
5. He listed others to numerous to mention.

B. Yang advocates using Thorium Nuclear power plants in addition to renewables for FF use reduction/pollution control/ climate change etc.

C. He is against a college education being the only goal of our education system as most citizens never go or never graduate. Instead, he advocates providing skill training in jobs that are not easily automated. Some examples; electricians, carpenters, etc.

Some other topics were brought up, but not germain to this thread.

Re: Fixing America

Unread postPosted: Mon 02 Dec 2019, 05:34:56
by Newfie
I can see why you like it. Sensible stuff. A VAT is essentially the production tax I was describing above. I suppose he would also revise the tax code to do away with the income tax or portions thereof? Don’t some folks now get back more than they put in?

Re: Fixing America

Unread postPosted: Mon 02 Dec 2019, 10:02:51
by Tanada
For what seems like the billionth time put is probably much lower count.

UBI will only work if you impose wage and price controls first. Otherwise 1) employers will use it as an excuse to not give raises for a very long time. Just for fun remember that $1,000.00/month works out to $5.81 an hour for anyone working the standard 172 hours a month. If you work for me I can now forgo your raises for the next 3-5 years without effecting your lifestyle at all. 2) The Rentier class will use it as an excuse to increase your rent/lease charge by $100-$500 a month when your lease contract expires because they want to get in on the rake off from the new money suddenly flowing through the economy.

The only way to prevent these actions from taking place is to have a federal level wage and price control system where wages and prices are set by the commission so that raises still take place on at least an annual scale and rents and things like grocery costs can also only go up at the set rate. You probably end up with something like the SSI system where "cost of living" changes are issued by the government commission in charge of wages and prices issues on an annual basis. Given how poorly they have preformed for people on SSI the last couple decades I don't have great confidence in the government wage and price bureau functioning well.

What most people keep ignoring even though they should know better is none of these things take place in a social vacuum. People selling or leasing property want to get as much for that sale as they can squeeze out of the consumers so if Joe6P has a sudden income increase of $1,000.00/month everyone engaged in selling him something is going to want their slice of that new pie. Not to mention all those lower layers of state and local government right down to the school districts who will want to raise taxes on the individual to rake in greater tax revenues as well.

Re: THE Democrat Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Wed 04 Dec 2019, 11:18:57
by vtsnowedin
careinke wrote:
Newfie wrote:I think the situation as it stands points to how dysfunctional the current selection process has become.


I Would like to see a 2024 election, (after Trump wins), between Andrew Yang (D), and Candice Owens (R). :-D

For me, it would feel like a win regardless of who won.

Yang's universal income is a non starter and will keep him from ever winning anything.

Re: THE Democrat Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Wed 04 Dec 2019, 16:41:14
by Plantagenet
vtsnowedin wrote: Yang's universal income is a non starter and will keep him from ever winning anything.


I'm not so sure of that.

We've got a divided program here in Alaska, and its very popular and very successful. I don't see why it couldn't work on the federal level.

Yang's point is that automation and climate change are going to booger up the economy but good, and we've got to radical steps to deal with it. His proposal for the $1000 per month dividend is coupled with a requirement that recipients renounce their right to all other welfare programs, so its actually a plan to streamline government bureaucracy. It would actually probably cost less then the current multiplicity of federal welfare and social benefits.

Personally I think its a good idea.

Image
Would you rather get welfare and food stamps and a housing voucher or $1000/month for life? I'll take the dividend, thank you very much.

CHEERS!

Re: THE Democrat Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 02:37:40
by vtsnowedin
The trouble with universal income is that someone has to pay the taxes that supply the funds and I know that I will be in the group that does the paying. So sure I get $1000 every month but will be taxed $2000 or more a month to pay for myself and some deadbeat that is too stoned on his $1000 to hold a job.
Alaska's program works because they had a large oil income stream and a very small population to spend it on. You can not expand it to the whole country because the resources per capita nationwide will not support it.

Re: THE Democrat Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 05:18:45
by Ibon
vtsnowedin wrote:The trouble with universal income is that someone has to pay the taxes that supply the funds and I know that I will be in the group that does the paying.


You may have to adjust your thinking about this. Look at what you would be paying as an insurance so that you can move about in public spaces with less liklihood of getting robbed or murdered.

Yes, social dislocation might get that bad.

Re: THE Democrat Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 06:22:36
by Cog
I'm less likely to get robbed by a person, who needs $1000/month, is gainfully employed earning it. Sloth breeds crime and a host of other bad outcomes.

Re: THE Democrat Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 06:56:30
by Newfie
Cog,

I think you are missing the point. How much are we now coming out in all kinds of air and assistance through social service programs and also through tax breaks?

How much do all those individual programs cost to administer? How many thousands of bureaucrats are involved in the administration?

If you get rid of all those Jessie and hard to administer programs and all of the thousands of government jobs that go with them will it be cheaper?

Really it sounds like something a small government person would love.

Now I don’t know that anyone has done all the math to say what the net cost would be, if if it would be a net gain. But it is something worth investigating.

Re: THE Democrat Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 12:01:30
by vtsnowedin
Ibon wrote:
You may have to adjust your thinking about this. Look at what you would be paying as an insurance so that you can move about in public spaces with less liklihood of getting robbed or murdered.

Yes, social dislocation might get that bad.

I'm insured by Smith & Wesson. 8)

Re: THE Democrat Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 12:05:38
by Newfie
And you never, ever sleep!

Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 14:08:57
by Tanada
This topic is spattered all over in dribs and drabs so I am attempting to make a cohesive thread out of it so we can stop repeating ourselves endlessly in multiple places. In the mean time I would love it if the advocates of UBI could address the points I made in this post that got quickly lost in the multi thread discussion format.
Tanada wrote:For what seems like the billionth time put is probably much lower count.

UBI will only work if you impose wage and price controls first. Otherwise 1) employers will use it as an excuse to not give raises for a very long time. Just for fun remember that $1,000.00/month works out to $5.81 an hour for anyone working the standard 172 hours a month. If you work for me I can now forgo your raises for the next 3-5 years without effecting your lifestyle at all. 2) The Rentier class will use it as an excuse to increase your rent/lease charge by $100-$500 a month when your lease contract expires because they want to get in on the rake off from the new money suddenly flowing through the economy.

The only way to prevent these actions from taking place is to have a federal level wage and price control system where wages and prices are set by the commission so that raises still take place on at least an annual scale and rents and things like grocery costs can also only go up at the set rate. You probably end up with something like the SSI system where "cost of living" changes are issued by the government commission in charge of wages and prices issues on an annual basis. Given how poorly they have preformed for people on SSI the last couple decades I don't have great confidence in the government wage and price bureau functioning well.

What most people keep ignoring even though they should know better is none of these things take place in a social vacuum. People selling or leasing property want to get as much for that sale as they can squeeze out of the consumers so if Joe6P has a sudden income increase of $1,000.00/month everyone engaged in selling him something is going to want their slice of that new pie. Not to mention all those lower layers of state and local government right down to the school districts who will want to raise taxes on the individual to rake in greater tax revenues as well.

Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 14:41:43
by Cog
I'm already drawing more than $1000/month in social security. Most people who have worked their whole life do. So am I getting a cut here or am I getting a $1000 addition? If it's an addition I'm buying as much ammo as possible with my addition to prepare for the financial collapse of the USA.

Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 15:02:29
by Tanada
Cog wrote:I'm already drawing more than $1000/month in social security. Most people who have worked their whole life do. So am I getting a cut here or am I getting a $1000 addition? If it's an addition I'm buying as much ammo as possible with my addition to prepare for the financial collapse of the USA.


As I argue above you end up with almost nothing because rents and consumer prices will shoot up to rake in the supposed new benefit unless wage and price controls over the entire economy are put in place first. Uncle Sugar will make sure if you are getting extra income that things like your proposed ammunition purchase cost you at least $1,000 more a month when added together with all the other aspects of your personal spending where costs will rise.

Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 15:20:34
by Cog
So no free lunch then? My absolute lack of surprise.

Re: THE Democrat Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 15:36:13
by Outcast_Searcher
Plantagenet wrote:Yang's point is that automation and climate change are going to booger up the economy but good, and we've got to radical steps to deal with it. His proposal for the $1000 per month dividend is coupled with a requirement that recipients renounce their right to all other welfare programs, so its actually a plan to streamline government bureaucracy. It would actually probably cost less then the current multiplicity of federal welfare and social benefits.

Personally I think its a good idea.

Image
Would you rather get welfare and food stamps and a housing voucher or $1000/month for life? I'll take the dividend, thank you very much.

CHEERS!

But in the real world, almost NO liberals are going to go for getting rid of ANY social programs, especially favorites like food stamps.

So now you have both this AND the huge mess of all the social programs. That makes it a non-starter for me.

Now, realistically, if you could replace one with the other and get rid of all that monstrous overhead of managing all that, I'd be all for it -- but we don't live in anything CLOSE to that world in the US.

Also, generally, the VAT is going to be highly regressive. Good luck getting liberals to go for that. Personally, I agree with having far more of the taxes be consumption taxes. Then, perhaps, only the truly rich would pay income taxes, have to file income tax forms, etc. That would be great. But again, I don't see liberals voluntarily giving up on highly progressive income taxes -- even for the upper middle class.

To me, it's ridiculous not to have an income test for this. Why do Gates, Buffett, etc. need such income? And it's not like the income tax system couldn't handle it re seeing who is eligible. The only downside would be that people who don't file today would need to file to document that they are entitled to it, IMO.

I also think Tanada had an excellent point re what happens to people and their wages and their rents if it is put into place. I hadn't really thought about how pervasive that issue would be. Price controls are worse than having this, so that's a BIG negative right there.

It's better than arbitrarily stealing X percent of assets from the wealthy re Sanders and Warren, but in the real world where a huge percentage of the public and politicians will NOT tolerate removing the majority of social programs or the income tax, it's not that great overall.

Re: THE Democrat Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 15:45:02
by Outcast_Searcher
Plantagenet wrote:Yang's point is that automation and climate change are going to booger up the economy but good, and we've got to radical steps to deal with it.

So why not just DEAL with that problem by changing the tax system?

For example:

1). Eliminate the income tax for incomes under, say, $100,000 or so, inflation adjusted over time via one large personal deduction. That way "rich" people still pay taxes on lots of income at a highly progressive rate, but the income tax system is GREATLY shrunk.

2). Tax things that hurt the environment like CO2 production, in proportion to how much they hurt the environment instead of such income taxes. Now people are DIRECTLY incented to conserve and to make energy efficient and green choices.

3). If need be, have some sort of tax credit for the poor, since they generally pay negative income taxes anyway (re tax credits like the earned income tax credit (EITC).

4). Make it tax neutral overall.

...

Done. No need to fool around with paying everybody to do nothing, and FAR more effective re reducing CO2 than just giving the average consumer an extra $12,000 to buy cars and gasoline and consumer products -- which would make CO2 production and pollution from the US WORSE.

That political rhetoric is a joke. On the AGW results front, Yang would be just as bad as Trump, via that policy. Shouldn't this be obvious?

Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 15:50:47
by Newfie
Tanada,

In response .... it depends.

If it a true replacement for the confusing myriad of social programs then I think you are wrong. If it’s in ADDITION to these programs then I can see your argument.

It’s really complicated. Can you imagine how many bureaucrats it would put out of work? And who would pay for them? Would they also be expected to live on $1,000/month? I’m guessing the answer is “Yes.”

As noted above the chances of it happening are about the same as the chances for my absolutely FABULOUS Presidential voting reform.

Still I think it’s very valuable to consider these kinds of initiatives. Who knows maybe some day something will come out of it. The option is just a endless repetition of the current crop of crap.

Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 17:59:42
by careinke
Cog wrote:I'm already drawing more than $1000/month in social security. Most people who have worked their whole life do. So am I getting a cut here or am I getting a $1000 addition? If it's an addition I'm buying as much ammo as possible with my addition to prepare for the financial collapse of the USA.

It's an addition, have you considered reloading???

If you want, we could team up, you provide the security, and I make sure you get fed, and as a bonus I can show you how you can feed yourself ... This is my plan for the collapse. :) :)

Re: Universal Basic Income (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 18:13:37
by vtsnowedin
Tanada :
In the mean time I would love it if the advocates of UBI could address the points I made in this post that got quickly lost in the multi thread discussion format.

I agree with all of that and it just demonstrates how unworkable UBI is.