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Old 05-27-2020, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
10,459 posts, read 9,437,481 times
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As a concept, I agree with UBI, and I agree with many of the points OP brings up.

However, just because the concept is called Universal, that is not an argument for inviolable universality. That may or may not be the best plan, but you cannot simply define the question out of existence.

Second, I have concerns about the tax model proposed. Assuming that taxes are part of a future economic system, it is practically impossible to omit UBI from taxes. We can do things like increase basic tax exemption, but there is always going to be pressure for more tax revenue. Do we increase the base exemption from its current rate to current plus UBI? What happens if we ever decrease the exemption? Does that mean we have infringed on UBI?

Finally, how do we pay for this, and what do we do if it has an inflationary effect? Do we raise UBI to compensate? Where does that ride end? I acknowledge that providing UBI is also likely to have a huge stimulus effect, and I am not against fair living wages, I am very much in favor of them.

So while I like your thoughts, you have some good points, it is likely necessary because of increasing automation, I just don’t see how it works.
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:37 PM
 
1,963 posts, read 503,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ312 View Post
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.
Ah. Phase II. We'll get there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NSHL10 View Post
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.
The cost savings, in the largest model, comes from not having anything like the workforce they once had to pay. Automation, remember. And "production," which is restricted to the companies who have basically found a way to continue/increase profits without providing jobs. Not necessarily most smaller business, retail etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
Second, I have concerns about the tax model proposed. Assuming that taxes are part of a future economic system, it is practically impossible to omit UBI from taxes.
No, it's not. You're viewing this through the lens of our current, idiotically convoluted income tax system. UBI would be outside that, especially if it's restricted from any income bracket above $XXk. Only earned money need to accounted for (literally and figuratively) in income tax.

But there's nothing stopping the lowest income brackets from starting at, effectively, zero, instead of essentially no taxes for most under $10-15k earners as now.


General observation: don't stretch the COVID situation and stim money too far in this discussion. They are unique and temporary and flawed (if necessary), not any representation of a sustainable model.
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Old 05-27-2020, 11:34 PM
 
138 posts, read 91,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ312 View Post
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.
Is your suggestion that people with income above certain cut-off threshold gets nothing while people making less than the threshold gets the full payment?

In such a system, people with income just above the threshold would end up worse off than if they earned slightly less money, which is clearly problematic. People should always be better off financially the more they earn.

Rather than using a simple cut-off, one can also imagine phasing out the basic income payment above some income threshold.

For example, for each dollar of income above some threshold, we reduce basic income payment by $0.20 until it reaches 0. However, reducing the basic income payment by $0.20 for each dollar of income has the same effect as just imposing an additional income tax of $0.20 on each dollar of income while not reducing the basic income payment.

In other words, phasing out the basic income payment is equivalent to having the same universal payment but imposing additional income taxes. The only difference is that there is less bureaucracy with universal payment as only the tax agency needs to monitor people's incomes instead of both the tax and safety net agencies having to monitor people's incomes.
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:18 AM
 
Location: San Diego
7,758 posts, read 2,197,378 times
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This is quite a lot of well-thought-out and erudite discussion, impressively so for an act that amounts to the Government (whose purpose was originally to protect people's rights) stealing from some people and redistributing the stolen goods to others.

If people don't like being stolen from, who do they call for redress and justice?

As I mentioned, that used to be government's purpose. Plainly, it isn't any more. Or won't be when UBI is put into place.

Will people have any place left to go to discourage and stop the thieves?
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:33 AM
 
27,961 posts, read 30,454,479 times
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In my opinion, the ultimate goal of UBI is to increase power and control over people. Don't want to do X that the government wants you do to? Oops, no UBI payment for you.

And the idea that there will be major cuts to other social programs to pay for UBI is delusional. People will say "That's a great idea--as long as it's not a cut to my program".

This publication (not a conservative one) also pointed out the high costs of UBI and also noted it seems to be a modern version of the Roman Empire's "bread and circuses" to pacify the masses. The critique doesn't go far enough for me, but I certainly agree with everything said.

It [UBI] neither empowers nor even consults the people it aims to help. (Do workers who have lost their middle-class jobs want government transfers or an opportunity to get another job?) As such, UBI proposals have all the hallmarks of the “bread and circuses” used by the Roman and Byzantine Empires – handouts to defuse discontent and mollify the masses, rather than providing them with economic opportunities and political agency

Many current social problems are rooted in our neglect of the democratic process. The solution isn’t to dribble out enough crumbs to keep people at home, distracted, and otherwise pacified. Rather, we need to rejuvenate democratic politics, boost civic involvement, and seek collective solutions. Only with a mobilized, politically active society can we build the institutions we need for shared prosperity in the future, while protecting the most disadvantaged among us.

This modern "bread and circuses" strategy is an indicator of a failing society/culture. Notice the parallels between the U.S. (and to some degree, other rich Western countries as well) and Rome before it fell:

1. Yawning gulf between rich and poor. Check.
2. Military spread too thin from overexpansion / unjust wars. Check.
3. Economy that produces few exportable goods. Check.
4. Slaves did farming and construction work. In the U.S. the 'slaves' are illegal immigrants. Also occurring in Europe as well. Check.
5. Cheap slave/illegal labor displaces citizens out of the low end of the labor market. Check.
6. Make work/subsidized housing/part time jobs proliferate. Free grain doled out = today's food stamps. Check.
7. Emperors added more and more holidays (especially true in Europe). And built more and more stadiums (especially true in America). Check
8. An increasing % of citizens only care about favors (corporate favors and tax cuts) / free stuff (welfare/food stamps/health care/'basic income' from the government. Check.

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-ho...rica-like-rome


https://thehill.com/opinion/white-ho...rica-like-rome

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 05-28-2020 at 03:12 AM..
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:56 AM
 
1,963 posts, read 503,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboteer View Post
This is quite a lot of well-thought-out and erudite discussion, impressively so for an act that amounts to the Government (whose purpose was originally to protect people's rights) stealing from some people and redistributing the stolen goods to others.
Hysterical anti-tax arguments are the next window down.

(You clearly don't understand the issue; you might want to start over. Getting stuck in the groove that UBI is taking the hard-earned money of A and giving it to lazy turd B is... misdirected.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
In my opinion, the ultimate goal of UBI is to increase power and control over people. Don't want to do X that the government wants you do to? Oops, no UBI payment for you.
Hysterical government control arguments are two windows down.

The US can yank pretty much any citizen's leash hard enough to rip their head right off... right now, even for the most 'spectable old-school Republican homeowner with 2.4 kids. One of the arguments for making this truly universal — maybe, maybe allowing for a high income cap — is that it removes not only the entire needs-based evaluation bureaucracy but a lot of manipulation on who receives it, down to some sh*t of a social worker having a bad day. Even Tweety Bird shouldn't be able to interfere with the basic right to the stipend.

It's possible that in some circumstances the UBI stipend might be redirected — for anyone serving time for a felony, for anyone under long-term medical care (including mental services). But that's a relatively trivial detail and could be a slippery slope as well.

Universal is uniiversal.
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Texas
560 posts, read 112,401 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.
Why should tax payers bailout people for their bad life choices? If you are trying to raise a family on Walmart or Uber driver pay you failed somewhere along the way.
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:09 PM
 
7,946 posts, read 4,468,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
Hysterical anti-tax arguments are the next window down.

(You clearly don't understand the issue; you might want to start over. Getting stuck in the groove that UBI is taking the hard-earned money of A and giving it to lazy turd B is... misdirected.)

....
So you basically don't have an answer to the most fundamental questions. How much will it cost and where will it come from?

You're describing a system ideally designed to keep everyone, except for a select few ruling class, perpetually in the same state, with no hope for improvement.
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:27 PM
 
1,963 posts, read 503,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
So you basically don't have an answer to the most fundamental questions. How much will it cost and where will it come from?
No, I don't have all the answers. I never claimed to. But here's a secret: neither does anyone else.

There are simply too many steps and too many changes in between now and actual implementation to have even approximate answers; one of the ways these discussions go completely down Useless Road is angrily defending, say, $1200 vs. $1500 on the basis of current tax and welfare structures. Utterly pointless. Like squabbling over HOA rules for a Mars Colony.

I maintain that the cost is more or less irrelevant (certainly to this phase of the discussion) because no matter what it is, it's a lot less than having 40-50% of the country destitute. And that's what we're facing, and that's what UBI is all about... not some vague lib'ral idea to make everyone's life easy.

As to where it comes from, I was quite specific: taxes and tariffs on production, something that is basically not done now and is becoming increasingly dissociated from corporate income and tax structures. I'll make it very simple if you promise not to take the example off a cliff: If Elon Musk can pump out cars with five people, two of them being his batty partner and their bizarrely-named child, then Tesla owes the US for the equivalent displacement in meaningful employment. Multiply by all the industries producing more and more with fewer and fewer at ever-increasing profit. That's not "innovation" and "ingenuity"; it's national economic pillage.

Quote:
You're describing a system ideally designed to keep everyone, except for a select few ruling class, perpetually in the same state, with no hope for improvement.
Two parts to this answer: First, no, because you're thinking of this as that BHL, SJW, sob-sister let's-give-everyone-money-to-feel-good crap which has nothing to do with the proposal.

And no, because UBI will not be enough to make most recipients content. Some, absolutely. Too many, maybe. But someone on a basic stipend with anything like normal human motivation (much less our vaunted American exceptionalist drive to conquer and rule) is not going to sit around on it like a fat bear in the sunshine. And that's more of Phase II.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Right here; Right now
10,649 posts, read 5,044,736 times
Reputation: 1694
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenBouy View Post
Why should tax payers bailout people for their bad life choices? If you are trying to raise a family on Walmart or Uber driver pay you failed somewhere along the way.
Why should tax payers bail out Corporations for bad decisions?
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