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Old 05-27-2020, 01:57 PM
 
1,963 posts, read 503,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NSHL10 View Post
UBI seems to be a good idea during Covid to provide a safety net, but how will it work in a good economy when the unemployment rate is low?
Reread the introductory post. The COVID-era unemployment is very likely a harbinger of extreme unemployment rates on the very near horizon — rates that are essentially permanent and will continually increase. The virus crisis may well have kicked us several years down that road, as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WIHS2006 View Post
Thing is, a significant portion of the "lowest unemployment ever!!!" that Trump used to brag about was due to minimum wage jobs and the gig economy. Walmart workers and Uber driver's are not jobs you can comfortably raise a family on, that's where UBI comes in with the extra money. UBI would actually benefit large corporations by absolving them of the need to raise wages.
You're thinking in very short terms, here, as if we have to solve today's headlines by tomorrow.

The crappy low-end job situation, gig and offloaded-worker especially, are symptoms of the greater problem, not causes. And since we have utterly failed to give the major employers any kind of conscience or incentive to pay adequate wages, it's time to ignore them and deal with the problem directly. They will pay the price for their not-a-nickel, profits-first attitude in the near term.
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:52 PM
 
585 posts, read 198,711 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
Reread the introductory post. The COVID-era unemployment is very likely a harbinger of extreme unemployment rates on the very near horizon — rates that are essentially permanent and will continually increase. The virus crisis may well have kicked us several years down that road, as well.


You're thinking in very short terms, here, as if we have to solve today's headlines by tomorrow.

The crappy low-end job situation, gig and offloaded-worker especially, are symptoms of the greater problem, not causes. And since we have utterly failed to give the major employers any kind of conscience or incentive to pay adequate wages, it's time to ignore them and deal with the problem directly. They will pay the price for their not-a-nickel, profits-first attitude in the near term.
no they won't. politicians aren't ever going to do anything to help the middle class long term.
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Moving?!
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Two questions, regarding rules #1 and #3.

First, how much is spent on overhead for existing welfare programs? You characterize the administrative costs as "huge" but I think you have the burden of quantifying the savings, since this is your biggest selling point for a universal program.

Second, the hard question (and the biggest risk in my opinion, assuming no requirement to balance the budget) is: how high would the UBI be? $1,200 for everyone is quite different from $12,000 for everyone. I think you have the burden to specify an approximate level of basic income you advocate.

https://www.cbo.gov/publication/56324
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:36 PM
 
1,963 posts, read 503,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
They will pay the price for their not-a-nickel, profits-first attitude in the near term.
Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnslaw View Post
no they won't. politicians aren't ever going to do anything to help the middle class long term.
Who said anything about politicians or the middle class? Please don't fall into kneejerk responses.

I should have finished the above thought: With some vast number of socioeconomic bottom-dwellers effectively taken off the job market, companies like Walmart will have to pay higher wages to attract the "better" workers of the next tier. And even with employment getting more scarce, that will translate up the tree somewhat, with each tier of worker getting better candidates deserving better compensation and terms... even if they're sitting on a cushion of basic income and health coverage.
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:45 PM
 
1,963 posts, read 503,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riffle View Post
First, how much is spent on overhead for existing welfare programs? You characterize the administrative costs as "huge" but I think you have the burden of quantifying the savings, since this is your biggest selling point for a universal program.
It's far from the biggest selling point. It's somewhere between a minor point and a bonus. I have no doubt that it will be more cost-effective and productive to make it universal than to implement even the smallest degree of means-testing or qualification.

I don't know what the overhead is for "welfare" administration in this country; I am not sure there's any easy way to quantify it, at least to anything but a ballpark figure. But we don't really need to: we know it's a lot, because of the immense number of workers needed to evaluate each applicant and each claim, because of the attitude that $2,500 in salary time is far preferable to $100 of overpayment or fraud. So it's not too much of a stretch to say it doesn't matter what the total is; it's all wasted money, spent for the wrong reasons and improving no one's situation one bit.

Compare with the COVID stimulus checks: they simply went to everyone who wasn't a dependent and (pointlessly) some shrinking pyramid of those who made over "enough" money. Little or no admin overhead and processing and applications and validation and means-testing; the funds went where they were needed, not in making sure Josiah Q. Doakes in Kansas didn't get $100 too much.

Quote:
Second, the hard question (and the biggest risk in my opinion, assuming no requirement to balance the budget) is: how high would the UBI be? $1,200 for everyone is quite different from $12,000 for everyone. I think you have the burden to specify an approximate level of basic income you advocate.
Burden, maybe; ability, no. I don't think anyone does and far too much pointless wrangling is spend on $1200 or $1500 or $2000 or whatever... mainly because they want to argue about the tax burden on workers who will have to pay it. Self-cancelling nonsense, all of it.

For one thing, we are talking about a radical shift in economic models with as yet undetermined consequences. Today's numbers might mean nothing. Pegging it to, say, $2000 is to throw out an anchor before we've gotten where we need to go.

But Basic means basic. Not paying people to live any kind of luxe life without working. Basic income, for reasonably dignified survival and the ability to use at least some discretionary time to achieve whatever they choose... and yep, for some that will be a high score in Fortnite. So what?

And I don't believe UBI and a balanced budget are exclusive. The money will not be coming from government coffers as it is for the COVID stimulus.
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Old 05-27-2020, 04:09 PM
 
9,610 posts, read 10,231,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ312 View Post
Coronavirus has demonstrated the need for safety nets. The United States has a safety net problem that the conservatives are ignoring. Conservatives are actually purposefully attacking the unemployed right now, hoping that they will die in the streets after August 1, just like the indigent of third world countries. Additionally, liberals/leftists/progressives have done a poor job with not protecting the worker from layoffs. Right to Work states are an absolute abomination. I believe that there should have been better initiatives in place to protect workers from layoffs.

Given some of the technological changes forthcoming like automation and AI, as well as the various policy failures of the past, there's a good case to be made for UBI. I was against UBI prior to the pandemic. My view has now changed. The United States' corporatist economy has failed on a massive scale for the 2nd time in 13 years. Either pure capitalism like Chile post 1973 needs to be put into place or something like UBI needs to exist to replace the myriad of safety net programs out there, some of which are not working well enough.

I'm more for helping the indigent and the unemployable ranks than giving everyone money. Some people make too much money to get supplemental income. Right now, the $600/week going to the unemployed on top of their standard unemployment makes sense. That's actually getting to a living wage in a lot of cases.
"Safety net problem the conservatives are ignoring?"

A great statistic from The OECD. Between public and private sources The US spends more on social welfare as a percentage of GDP than any country except France.

https://www.oecd.org/social/expenditure.htm
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Old 05-27-2020, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Moving?!
500 posts, read 156,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
It's far from the biggest selling point. It's somewhere between a minor point and a bonus. I have no doubt that it will be more cost-effective and productive to make it universal than to implement even the smallest degree of means-testing or qualification.

I don't know what the overhead is for "welfare" administration in this country; I am not sure there's any easy way to quantify it, at least to anything but a ballpark figure. But we don't really need to: we know it's a lot, because of the immense number of workers needed to evaluate each applicant and each claim, because of the attitude that $2,500 in salary time is far preferable to $100 of overpayment or fraud. So it's not too much of a stretch to say it doesn't matter what the total is; it's all wasted money, spent for the wrong reasons and improving no one's situation one bit.

Compare with the COVID stimulus checks: they simply went to everyone who wasn't a dependent and (pointlessly) some shrinking pyramid of those who made over "enough" money. Little or no admin overhead and processing and applications and validation and means-testing; the funds went where they were needed, not in making sure Josiah Q. Doakes in Kansas didn't get $100 too much.
You know the saying... "Often wrong, never in doubt."

30 million (top 10%) * $10,000/yr = $300 billion with a 'B' per year. You can pay for a heck of a lot of administration with that. Not saying that the cutoff should be at 90/10 or that $10k is the amount, just that administrative savings are very unlikely to pay for themselves.

You could use exactly the same means-testing method (AGI cutoff) as the recent stimulus checks. What is the benefit of making the program universal instead?
Quote:
Burden, maybe; ability, no. I don't think anyone does and far too much pointless wrangling is spend on $1200 or $1500 or $2000 or whatever... mainly because they want to argue about the tax burden on workers who will have to pay it. Self-cancelling nonsense, all of it.

For one thing, we are talking about a radical shift in economic models with as yet undetermined consequences. Today's numbers might mean nothing. Pegging it to, say, $2000 is to throw out an anchor before we've gotten where we need to go.

But Basic means basic. Not paying people to live any kind of luxe life without working. Basic income, for reasonably dignified survival and the ability to use at least some discretionary time to achieve whatever they choose... and yep, for some that will be a high score in Fortnite. So what?

And I don't believe UBI and a balanced budget are exclusive. The money will not be coming from government coffers as it is for the COVID stimulus.
My expenses are approx. $1000/month. I could cut that to maybe $700/month if I had to. So let's go with $10,000/year as a starting point.

$10,000 * 328 million = $3.28 trillion or ~2x current spending for Social Security plus mandatory income support programs plus all non-defense discretionary spending (most of which is not "welfare").

I think a "rule" for UBI should be to recognize its scope and set aside red herring references to existing "welfare" programs which are not on the same scale. What do you think?
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Old 05-27-2020, 04:58 PM
 
1,963 posts, read 503,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riffle View Post
Y30 million (top 10%) * $10,000/yr = $300 billion with a 'B' per year. You can pay for a heck of a lot of administration with that. Not saying that the cutoff should be at 90/10 or that $10k is the amount, just that administrative savings are very unlikely to pay for themselves.
Possibly, but it's not just a simple equation of admin costs. I am not quite sure how I made that seem the be-all end-all when it's just gravy in the overall scheme.

But I wouldn't argue against a recipient cap as long as it was simple and low-overhead; a number high enough that few people would cross it either way in any given year and determined by a simple sort on filed income data. No evaluations down to individual level or means-testing down to some large and fluid level.

I'm just resistant to anything that makes a simple idea too complex and muddy to implement successfully.

Quote:
I think a "rule" for UBI should be to recognize its scope and set aside red herring references to existing "welfare" programs which are not on the same scale. What do you think?
I don't think there's anything misdirecting about including current welfare programs — it would replace most of them on a wholesale basis, for cost savings on a number of levels. Even if the costs are "not excessive," I think we need to get away from endless means-testing, qualification, loss/regain on the simple basis that it promotes instability and uncertainty. Individuals and families need to be able to make economic decisions without worrying it will leave them destitute as they fall between the statistical cracks.
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:08 PM
 
5,226 posts, read 2,905,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
"Safety net problem the conservatives are ignoring?"
Yes. There is one. Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham's hard line stance against continuing the $600 life line payments for the unemployed is an absolute atrocity and the antithesis to Christianity that they profess. Christianity is supposed to be about helping the poor, not sentencing them to death in the streets like what someone might see out of some uncivilized third world country. Right now, with the private sector unable to function in a healthy manner, $600/week payments need to continue. Additionally, standard unemployment should be permanently extended from 26 weeks to 99 weeks. In white collar jobs, interview processes are long, drawn out affairs, and policy makers have not factored that into policies. Legislators are kowtowing to management of companies that typically provide McJobs (the McJob employees are the people who need UBI). The white collar people are just using the current payment system to keep afloat, not actually upping their earnings unlike the McJob populace. I'm not seeing enough being done for the unemployed. 99 weeks of standard unemployment at all times needs to happen (unless legislators would rather take on the calamity that is Right to Work) and the current supplementary unemployment needs to go until the end of 2020 or the end of Q1 2021. Without the artificial stimulus, demand will collapse and the negative cycle will perpetuate.

There's no demand when there's 20% unemployment. It is survival mode. When an economy is so heavy dependent upon consumer sentiment to move, that's the case for Keynesian economics. I used to think Keynesian economics was a bad idea until I lived through Great Depression 3.0 (1930s was 1.0, 2008-2012 was 2.0). 2 Great Depressions in 13 years is a sign that the system isn't working. This corporatist economy needs significant reform.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
So... you're arguing for a bunch of complex, selective, admin-heavy safety nets instead of one simple one. Ones for which individuals will have to qualify, on a recurring basis, even if their situation is more or less permanent. And to get some carefully adjudicated minimum support, on the theory it will drive them to go find a job.

That's what we have, and it's the political football (with real people's balls involved) you describe.
I wish there was a simple solution. I don't think that UBI should be handed out to high income earners above a certain level. The indigent need UBI. The unemployed need UBI. Households in the top 25% do not need UBI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WIHS2006 View Post
I was thinking about this myself, if the Trump administration has to propose paying workers $450 extra per paycheck to get them to return to work isn't that more or less an admission that wages are too low? Of course, this only works if the workers actually have a job to go back to.

Unfortunately Mitch the Turtle would rather have people on the side of the road begging for people to throw their spare change in a cup than do anything to help the less fortunate. Good news is each day he sits around and twiddles his thumbs while saying "we need more time to evaluate things!" the worse it's going to go for the Republicans on November 3rd. He's leading the Republican Party off the cliff.
When an economy relies on consumer spending, and the consumer does not have a job to earn money, there will be a negative cycle that leads to more layoffs and more joblessness. Demand collapses. Suppliers have excess inventory, and cannot sell their inventory, leading to problems. Therefore, there's a need for intervention. I used to be more free market oriented until Coronavirus, and the absolute failures that I have seen with Coronavirus have taught me that the free market principles, as applied by U.S. are not working. I think the U.S. has been a mixed economy and not purely capitalistic for most of its history. However, 2 massive failures of the corporatist system in a 13 year period indicates that it is broken. I don't think there's an appetite at this time to see massive deaths in the streets to try to get a pure capitalistic model in place, so I'm thinking that some variant of UBI and progressively more leftist policy is going to end up as the solution.
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:10 PM
 
6,005 posts, read 7,281,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WIHS2006 View Post
Thing is, a significant portion of the "lowest unemployment ever!!!" that Trump used to brag about was due to minimum wage jobs and the gig economy. Walmart workers and Uber driver's are not jobs you can comfortably raise a family on, that's where UBI comes in with the extra money. UBI would actually benefit large corporations by absolving them of the need to raise wages.
But according to OP, large corporations will be paying a production tax. So where is the benefit to them? Seems like they will just be taking money out of a different pocket than getting a true cost savings.
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