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Old 03-01-2018, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,035 posts, read 1,028,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
Econ-101 is actually a pretty good system. It’s worked since the Sumerians first got enough of a grain-surplus, that they could afford to have a class of priests and nobles, besides just peasants.
So was slavery, throughout history, and from a purely economic viewpoint, the South was completely justified in defending its economic base. There was just that, y'know, irretrievably evil aspect of using other humans as property and chattels, and burning out their lives to put wealth in everyone else's pockets. But the crops boomed and the steamboats ran on time and the pyramids got built and everyone [with pale skin] was perfectly happy with things.

We're in much the same situation now: we've got an economic system that's working just fine and has deep historical roots, and while it tends towards some evil behavior, it mostly self-corrects or yields to long-term correction in that respect. (For most, anyway; the lower tiers are pretty much always screwed by something.) Most challenges to capitalist/consumer/conventional economics have been from theoretical grounds, or ethical or religious or idealistic principles; a vague notion that "we could do better, somehow" (usually from the perspective of the have-not propounding the theory). Not too compelling, a lot like the early anti-slavery/abolition arguments.

We're past that, and it's time to recognize it.

We have an economic system that purely, simply is not going to work much longer, for a number of reasons never before seen on a national/global scale.

The primary one is that there will not be enough jobs to allow all workers to be self-supporting. That's always been the concrete foundation to conventional economics: all parties pull themselves along by their own bootstraps. A mass of workers exchanging productivity for support is the basic fuel. We are already well into a long-term decline of "good" jobs as we've discussed them (stable, secure, paying a living wage for at least an individual if not a family). We've masked that drop with a huge rise in second- and third-rate jobs - call them "luxury" or "service" or "discretionary" or whatever, but those jobs will take a huge drop when the population no longer has the spare income to pay for them.

And we are about to see a large, sharp drop in the next tier of jobs (the more rote and focused white-collar/desk/"intellectual" jobs) due to AI. That's going to hit hard, not only because it's going to rapidly displace a large number of workers, but because these tend to be higher-paid than the labor and skilled-labor jobs displaced by efficiency and automation over the past few decades. It's this tier that supports all of the "service" jobs, so their economic collapse is going to trigger an almost immediate secondary collapse. (Think 40-50% effective unemployment, band-aids and short-term fixes aside.)

Add in the global economic changes needed to really address global warming, and a rising curve of resource depletion (including anywhere to dump more waste products like CO2) and (perhaps more into the idealistic here, but my main field) the need to get the evil of fostered overconsumption out of our lives... and you have not a bump in the historical/economic/social/political road but what may be the single biggest shift in human history. And our conventional economics can't begin to handle it, tweaks and shifts and percentage adjustments and Malthus notwithstanding.

So we could stay the course, because too many in power and too many who support them are stupid, stubborn, blind and Econ-101-conditioned into that "tomorrow will be just like yesterday, only more so, but with flying cars or something" mindset.

Or we can recognize the new national/global realities that make our current thinking as obsolete as the books of a Virginny plantation. We need to start formulating and implementing an economic system that does not rest on a largely working, self-supporting, "productive" population. And that can't be done within anything like the present, conventional framework.

And we can do that in a brutalist, two-class, subsistence dystopian way, or transform humanity into what it always should have been, freed from that sweat-of-your-brow and sorrow bullsh*t. Trying to stay the course until it all crashes can lead only to the former.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
5,170 posts, read 4,734,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
We need to start formulating and implementing an economic system that does not rest on a largely working, self-supporting, "productive" population. And that can't be done within anything like the present, conventional framework.
I thought that was a very good summary, except for this part. Why wouldn't a BI tied to the employment rate and GDP solve the problem? The framework doesn't need to change in any other way. It's quite simple really. The hard part will be methods of taxation when the employment rate drops and the BI grows. But a the beginning, say with a BI that's 15% of GDP, our taxes would still be lower than many developed countries.

Of course the really hard part will be getting the oligarchs and the highly confused and manipulated public to agree to it.
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Old 03-01-2018, 01:13 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,866 posts, read 57,900,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
The hard part will be methods of taxation when the employment rate drops...
We could shift away from an INCOME tax tomorrow; certainly for those below $X in total income.
It would be like an immediate 20-30% bump in pay to most.

Shift the expense back up the food chain to the owners.
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Old 03-01-2018, 01:16 PM
 
5,461 posts, read 6,129,964 times
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The dotard just announced he is going to start a trade war by slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum. That should alleviate any notion that GDP will be higher.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,035 posts, read 1,028,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
I thought that was a very good summary, except for this part. Why wouldn't a BI tied to the employment rate and GDP solve the problem? The framework doesn't need to change in any other way. It's quite simple really. The hard part will be methods of taxation when the employment rate drops and the BI grows. But a the beginning, say with a BI that's 15% of GDP, our taxes would still be lower than many developed countries.
I think you are trying too hard to patch the existing system. It won't work.

BI is an integral part of the long-term solution, but it is not a solution in and of itself. Simply subsidizing some segment of the population so they can participate in the economic dance is no solution at all.

We are also not talking about BI replacing something like the current welfare/entitlement/support system for some equivalent number of people - we are talking about an explosion in the population of those who cannot support themselves, no matter how many of them want to, or how much. Our current system cannot be patched to function under that situation, nor should it have to. Change the assumptions; change the syllogisms; change the rules to match the actual game being played.

Quote:
Of course the really hard part will be getting the oligarchs and the highly confused and manipulated public to agree to it.
Well, as always I too am about your choice of terminology, but yes, getting the smug Havesies and the frightened and economically-ignorant (make that -misinformed) masses to come to terms with a new economic system is an uphill battle. Which is why I started somewhere else in the loop.
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
5,170 posts, read 4,734,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
We are also not talking about BI replacing something like the current welfare/entitlement/support system for some equivalent number of people - we are talking about an explosion in the population of those who cannot support themselves, no matter how many of them want to, or how much. Our current system cannot be patched to function under that situation, nor should it have to. Change the assumptions; change the syllogisms; change the rules to match the actual game being played.
So what exactly are you advocating?
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
5,170 posts, read 4,734,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
We could shift away from an INCOME tax tomorrow; certainly for those below $X in total income.
It would be like an immediate 20-30% bump in pay to most.
Most people pay less a lot less than that in income tax.

And to fund a BI we'd need a lot higher taxes overall. I haven't thought about it that much, but I know it's tricky when tax rates get high. Lots of incentive to bypass them.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:28 PM
 
6,082 posts, read 2,500,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
There's no need for unbridled pedantry; I did say, "arguably". And yes, one could think of stupid and even self-destructive things, that at least keep people employed, skills sharp and plants humming. An example might be the employment of chemists, to make chemical weapons, which are contrary to the rules of war, embarrassing if discovered, difficult to store, carcinogenic to those who produce them, and useless for any civilian purposes. So why do it? Perhaps, because it keeps said chemists' skills sharp, for some potentially better future use. Or, it gives them employment, so that they don't sell their skills to some really nasty dictatorship. Or, it produces spinoff benefits, say in new materials for hazmat storage. And so forth.

The absolute worst thing, from a material-prosperity point of view, is an idyllic hunter-gatherer society, that peacefully gathers fruits from vines, builds nothing, fights nobody, uses only natural materials, and keeps its population sustainably low.
So where do I find these dictators that need weapons? Can the weapons be produced in the USA and then exported? Its so much easier to set up shop and operate in the USA than to try setting up shop in the war lords nation, supply chain / equipment / parts issues etc.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:03 AM
 
8,293 posts, read 3,458,668 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Most people pay less a lot less than that in income tax.

And to fund a BI we'd need a lot higher taxes overall. I haven't thought about it that much, but I know it's tricky when tax rates get high. Lots of incentive to bypass them.
By the time we need a UBI we will have have figured out how to provide the (or some) money (or essentials) by other means than taxation. Trough other central means and action the money does not have to (all) come from taxes.

https://ellenbrown.com/2017/10/03/ho...-or-inflation/
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,035 posts, read 1,028,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
And to fund a BI we'd need a lot higher taxes overall. I haven't thought about it that much, but I know it's tricky when tax rates get high. Lots of incentive to bypass them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoonose View Post
By the time we need a UBI we will have have figured out how to provide the (or some) money (or essentials) by other means than taxation. Trough other central means and action the money does not have to (all) come from taxes.
We can't do BI without some substantial changes to the economic system. It cannot simply be added to the mix or even "replace" other economic support systems. Talking about how to adjust tax rates and so forth to make it happen is a textbook case of "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic." (Which also describes about 90% of econ discussion that thinks the solution lies in tinkering with rates and exemptions.)
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