Author Topic: UBI  (Read 29 times)


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« on: February 15, 2019, 07:43:57 pm »
UBI  ( Universal Basic Income )

This idea has been around for a long time, known under different names.  But now, in the wake of the lost 2016 Presidential Election, and maybe the demonstrated popularity of Bernie Sanders, it is being taken more seriously.

UBI is not needs tested.  And as I see it, you would not even need to apply for it.

So a question would be, can the government actually pay out that much money?  Well it might be like $10k or $20k per person, or at least for adults, and then something for children.  So maybe $4 to 8 Trillion per year, an epic amount of money.

Okay, but lets look more closely.  What happens to the money, and where does it go?

Well it gets spent, and then generally it ends up back where it started, with the people who print the money, our Federal Government.

So half is paid out to people above the median income.  So they might put it in that mountain of dead money which inflates the Stock and Real Estate Markets. 

Or it might go to Dan Quayle's Isle of Man favorite tax dodge.

Okay, but we still got them though, as with pre-Reagan taxes, their tax hike will be more than their UBI.  So more money will be in circulation, creating jobs and business revenue.

They might deposit in a bank.  But banks can't sit on the money, they have to loan it out.  So usually it keeps getting redeposited into banks until it reaches 1 over the Cash Reserve Ratio.  Either way, it keeps getting clipped until it makes it back to the government.

Now the other half of the money goes out to those bellow the median income level.  They spend it the fastest.  Some of it will end up in the hands of the rich as described above.  Other will keep getting clipped by, if not income tax, by sales tax.  Sales tax is not very progressive at all.

So to answer the question, this huge amount of money is not depleting gov't funds at all, as it just goes back to the gov't.

Some economists don't like to classify stuff like this as either GDP or taxes, as it is just transfer payments.  From where ever you look at it, it just keeps coming back.

So really, this is just Keynesianism take a couple of steps further.  Keynesianism is not Socialism, as it does not try to set up state control of industries.  It is like they say, "Saving Capitalism from itself."

But Keynesianism is still focused on creating full employment.

That works to a point.  But in later stages of Capitalism there are more problems, like environmental, and social problems if you are promoting the middle class family.

So the next step beyond Keynesianism would be to go to a Welfare State.  And yes this worked under LBJ.  Even Nixon showed specific support with his Family Assistance Plan (FAP).

But there was a huge political backlash and we got Reagan and his Welfare Queen stories.

The problem with welfare is that it is needs tested, it is done in order to regulate the poor and to subject the poor to ritual humiliations so that they become a symbol which is used to maintain workforce and political discipline.

So the way to move the next step is UBI, because it is not needs tested.

So this amounts to a huge expansion of the economy, like what, 50%, but no longer tied to employment.

So first of all we cannot follow idiots like Rick Perry and gut environmental protections and worker safety, to create jobs.  Expanding the economy like this to bring more people in, we must use the best environmental science we have, and have unions and worker and consumer safety.

Now, the idea is not to fatten slum lords.  Rent control exists some places, but it has problems.

So the other way is just to use governmental authority and plow the slum lords under.  Complete them out of business.

So there have to be public offerings for all basic and necessary services.

So say a housing projects authority which builds high rise towers, 20 , 30, 40 floors.  Start one per year in each area.  Average finishing one per year.  They have schools, child care, libraries, retail, community centers, everything, and on the bottom floors.  And they are built on rail mass transit lines.  So you really have very little use for a car.

And these are not just for the poor, again, no needs test.  Just click on the box that you want it, and you get it as soon as available.

So right away there you have an economic and material utopia, and so easy.

Then if you seek employment or try to start a business, your prospects will be so much better, as the economy is about 50% bigger, and with this commitment to providing these universal no needs tested services.

Maybe it is fixed so that you need to give 50% of you UBI to get into one of these housing projects.  Maybe we have a mix of gov't and private contractors building them, competing with each other, keeping each other honest.  We build at a stead pace out forever.  Eventually buy up the slum lord property and make it into parks, if not farmland or wilderness.

Universal Single Payer Health Care of course.

Most things like that, universal and no needs test.

Taxes are accessed by a means test.  But nothing requires any needs test.

No gov't or public funds being depleted, just money recirculating into perpetuity.

Good education.  People who believe in themselves and do not carry any stigma for having been poor.

The right that wants to blame the poor, or invoke religion to do that, **** 'em.

Far less reliance on automobiles,  Good public transit.  Bicycles, but also very little need for anything more than just walking.

More people will be employed or running their own businesses than the way it is now.  And the monetary costs of the social problems we face today are most certainly greater than what this would cost.  Really just Keynesianism taken a couple of steps further so that it no longer depends on employment.

Satin Doll - Patti Austin

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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2019, 03:22:12 pm »
... those who are getting an income, are not necessarily "contributing" anything more to our society than those who do not have such income.  The most serious needs in our society are always going to be the needs of those who have no ability to pay.  These for example are always going to be those with the greatest need for a lawyer.

Most paying employment does not contribute anything to our society, nothing commensurate with the resources it uses up, staring with the gasoline and tire rubber used by all those people driving in their cars to work.

We already produce enough of all the goods and services people need, but despite that we still have people living in a state of extreme deprivation, simply because they have not been able to secure one of those good paying jobs.

The US experienced its greatest period of sustained economic growth when the top personal income bracket was 90%.  And then the greatest purchasing power for the working man was 1969 'till 1972, when the top bracket was 70%, the level AOC suggests we go back to.

And remember, it was Richard M. Nixon who said, "We are all Keynesian's now."

Needs tested welfare is probably going one step beyond Keynesianism.  It has great economic expansion benefits, and most of the needed tax revenue comes from just the re-circulation.  And it solves the problems which arise when some people don't have money to spend.  But then it makes those welfare recipients into the national scapegoats.  Our entire politics comes to revolve around them, when they aren't the ones doing anything wrong.

Non-needs tested Universal Basic Income is probably going two steps beyond Keynesianism, but Keynes himself did suggest it, as did Thomas Paine, and as did Milton Freedman and a panel of his colleagues.

If all the money re-circulated until taxes nibbled it up, the we would not have to raise taxes.  But usually rich people have gotten themselves installed in key economic choke points, and then half of the money does go to people above the median income in the first place, so that money the rich get goes into inflating the stock and real estate markets, and that is a complete waste.  So we will have to increase taxes on the rich, just to get their UBI benefit, and their UBI re-circulation cut, back from them.

In the early 70's, Control Data Systems, St. Paul Minnesota, did have on site free employee child care.

France has long had Universal Free Child Care.  It is not mandatory, but you don't see people complaining about it.  Most seem to use it.  Its purpose is not to enforce the Work Ethic, its purpose is to benefit the children, and hence their entire society.

As a side note, France does not seem to take ADHD-Asperger's-Autism very seriously, seeing it is more like a stress induced condition, more like battle fatigue.

Needless to say the advocates in the Anglo-American Autism Industry are livid.

In the early 70's, the US Congress did pass Universal Free Child Care, but Nixon vetoed it saying, "It would "Sovietize the American Family".

At the material level UBI pretty much does create utopia.  Now of course there are a great many details to work out.

I have not read most of this anywhere, but in my opinion there are 3 other things you must have, and then it pretty much just all works out.

1.  Strong public housing offering.  Price set at 1/2 UBI.  Anyone can live there, but to have enough space, this will cost money to build.  Make on public transit rail lines, and all services on the lower floors of the tower clusters.  So it is basically assumed that those who live in the public housing will not have automobiles.  Not just the poor, anyone who wants to live there, 1/2 UBI.  Public housing should be able to make a profit.  Have a mix of public and private contractors, competing with each other building it on an on going basis.  Expansion in demand for housing at this bottom end might be 2 to 1.

No rent control.  Rent control has its own problems.  Just use public housing to compete with the private landlords.

2.  Universal Medicare, but this time with cost controls.  Originally Medicare was to have cost controls, board established fees, but LBJ scraped this to bring the AMA on board.

3.  Some kind of Free College.  Maybe the Bernie Sanders system, but maybe something more rudimentary.  Don't ever want the gov't offering blank checks.  This has been the problem with Medicare, and it is the problem with Student Loans.  So there have to be cost controls.  Maybe at least initially it is simply a program of supervised independent studies, run by the Community Colleges, running online, but with some discussion seminars in community centers in the public housing towers.

Modern life entails too much pressure, and much of this comes down to daily transportation needs.  Want people to be pretty much able to do all the things they need, in the public housing clusters.  Want to rebuild our cities this way, what they are calling Urban Villages.  And the rail transport running underneath is a big part.  Try to keep it within an elevator ride and 600' of people's front doors.  And many employed people will work locally, or online.

And the services in the lower floors of these towers are available to anyone, not just to the tower residents.  And it is all right on the rail public transit lines.

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