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Old 09-09-2020, 08:25 PM   #1
Mathgod
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Default Universal Basic Income/Andrew Yang Discussion

Got into a discussion regarding UBI in the Trump thread, and will carry on the conversation here instead of derailing that thread.
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No, its not a policy position. For something to be a policy position it needs political support. It needs funding support. It needs regulatory and legal support. UBI has none of the above. UBI is an idea, and a half baked idea at that. There is no support for UBI and the American voter will not back the concept, and the power brokers in Washington will not get behind the idea either. UBI is dead on arrival. You'll see universal healthcare in the United States before UBI, and that won't happen in the next 20 years either.
Wrong. It IS a policy position... just like slavery abolition was a policy position 300 years ago, even though it didn't have much support at the time.

UBI maybe be a relatively unpopular policy at the moment, but its popularity has soared from what it was 12 months ago. https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-amer...-should-have-a

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Says who? You? Because no one is talking about in the United States. The only guy talking about it was Yang, and he got kicked to the curb because he wasn't viewed as a serious candidate with serious ideas.
Says anyone who is paying attention and doesn't have a preconceived bias against UBI.

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No, they did it because they were whiny little bitches that didn't get their way in the primaries and this was their way of showing the DNC who was boss. Well you whiny little bitches, how did that work out for you? Yeah, not so well. And thanks to those whiny little bitches we all got stuck with Cheeto Mussolini.
I already made a video on this topic:
Spoiler!


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How the hell was Yang showing a better future? Promoting the nanny state that is so derided in this country? Promoting socialism that is pretty much a non-starter for American voters? Yang rode the UBI sham to gain some attention, but beyond that he was all hat and no horse. He was a like able guy, but he had no real plan and no real policy.
Based on the way you've been talking, it seems like you have more in common with Trump than you realize...

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It's wonderful saying that, except that is how the system is set up in the United States, at every level. It is a binary system where the introduction of any other party acts as nothing but a drain off one of the two major parties. Unfortunately you have run as a Democrat or a Republican to have a serious chance of being elected to congress, and if you want to be a serious presidential candidate, you have to be from one of those two parties. In the United States everything is binary (left/right, conservative/liberal, right/wrong, black/white, etc.) and that is the way the electorate likes it. Get used to that concept because it ain't changing any time soon.
My point was that sometimes a traditional voter for one party may decide to vote for the other (or for a 3rd party) in a particular election for reasons that fall outside of conventional thinking. 2016 was a prime example of that, where many 2-time Obama voters ended up voting for Trump, 3rd party, or not voting at all. For the record, I believe that those who didn't vote for Clinton made a big mistake, and I hope that as many people as possible vote for Joe Biden this time around.

For those who want to learn more about UBI:





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Old 09-09-2020, 08:38 PM   #2
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Yang had more actual policy proposals in his platform throughout the primaries than any other candidate except for Elizabeth Warren. Suggesting that he had no substance to his campaign is absurd. Hell, even if you ignored the UBI part completely, his democratic reform proposals were easily the most ambitious in the group, and got the endorsement of Lawrence Lessig as a result.



There are plenty of valid reasons to criticize Yang as a candidate, but it would take someone exceptionally stupid, or willfully ignorant, to characterize him as someone who had no policy to run on.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:06 PM   #3
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Wrong. It IS a policy position... just like slavery abolition was a policy position 300 years ago, even though it didn't have much support at the time.
No, its not. One person, with no backing from a political party, does not make something a policy position. For something to be a policy position it needs political support. It needs funding support. It needs regulatory and legal support. UBI has none of the above. UBI is an idea, and a half baked idea at that. There is no support for UBI and the American voter will not back the concept, and the power brokers in Washington will not get behind the idea either. UBI is dead on arrival. No party in the United States of America is willing to align itself with UBI, nor the mechanisms that would make such a policy possible. As a result, it is NOT a policy position. No more than the policy of establishing a permanent settlement on Mars.

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UBI maybe be a relatively unpopular policy at the moment, but its popularity has soared from what it was 12 months ago. https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-amer...-should-have-a
You really think that voter support means anything? 70% of voters want Medicare for All (universal healthcare) but neither party is willing to rally around that majority and establish a policy position to support such a desire. Neither party is willing to codify anything close to that in a policy position as it would be dragged out and used as a weapon during elections.

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Says anyone who is paying attention and doesn't have a preconceived bias against UBI.
Really? Whose talking about it? Who is adding that to their party platform and policy stack? Neither Democrats or Republicans are talking about UBI. None of the marginal parties are either. UBI is a non starter for all the reasons I mentioned in the other thread.

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Based on the way you've been talking, it seems like you have more in common with Trump than you realize...
No, I just know my fellow Americans and what their tolerance is for certain ideas. Promoting the nanny state that is so derided in this country is a political death sentence. Promoting socialism is pretty much a non-starter for American voters, PERIOD.

https://spectator.us/ubi-actually-work-america/

You have to understand the American mindset. It is why there is 41% of the electorate that are standing behind Trump regardless of what he does. American politics is not about rationality or pragmatism, is is about emotion and tradition. Ronald Reagan killed socialism in the 80s. It isn't making a comeback anytime soon

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My point was that sometimes a traditional voter for one party may decide to vote for the other (or for a 3rd party) in a particular election for reasons that fall outside of conventional thinking.
There's your problem. You think elections in the United States are about thinking. They aren't. They are about emotion, and that gave us Donald Trump.

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2016 was a prime example of that, where many 2-time Obama voters ended up voting for Trump, 3rd party, or not voting at all. For the record, I believe that those who didn't vote for Clinton made a big mistake, and I hope that as many people as possible vote for Joe Biden this time around.
Yes, they made a massive mistake and we (Americans) have had to suffer for four years because of it. Those voters did it because they were whiny little bitches that didn't get their way in the primaries and this was their way of showing the DNC who was boss. And thanks to those whiny little bitches we all got stuck with Cheeto Mussolini.

And I will repeat what I said in the other thread. It's wonderful saying that a third party would make a difference, except that is not how the system is set up in the United States, at every level. It is a binary system where the introduction of any other party acts as nothing but a drain off one of the two major parties. Unfortunately you have run as a Democrat or a Republican to have a serious chance of being elected to congress, and if you want to be a serious presidential candidate, you have to be from one of those two parties. In the United States everything is binary (left/right, conservative/liberal, right/wrong, black/white, etc.) and that is the way the electorate likes it. Get used to that concept because it ain't changing any time soon.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:18 AM   #4
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I think that UBI in some form is inevitable. I've really only started to learn about since Andrew Yang began his campaign so I'm not that well versed in the details but it seems like a step in the right direction. Ultimately, it replaces part of the social security net and puts money directly into the hands of people. For the vast majority of people, that money goes right back into the economy by way of rent, food, education and less basic needs. It also takes the pressure off of the hand-to-mouth subsistence that a lot of people experience.

CERB is a pseudo-example of UBI in action. It allowed one of my sons to leave his dead-end job as a cook and volunteer in a field that he's studying in University. One of the long-term benefits is that it may improve working conditions in a lot of jobs where otherwise the employees don't have options. The flip side is that those workers that are more inclined to be lazy and flakes have even more reason to do so.

I would like to see a larger scale test of UBI in action. It would be ideal if another Western Democracy tested this out (similar to how Portugal decriminalized drugs) before it was implemented. But Canada could be the ideal testing ground for this too. Maybe try it in one of the smaller provinces like Manitoba or New Brunswick for a few years to uncover some of the potentially unseen consequences, both good and bad.

The US will always be behind the world when it comes to progressive policy because of it's fundamental conservative DNA. But similar to things like Universal health care they will also eventually get there but it may not be in my lifetime unless there is a drastic social upheaval.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:36 AM   #5
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Finland is running a UBI experiment right now or it just finished. I think they took two cohorts of people to follow selected randomly and gave one UBI and then are monitoring things.

The issue is at what point will people quit working.

If we use CERB as an example of 2k per month for every adult indexed to inflation I would work another two or three years and retire at 40. With a paid off house 48k would be easy to live off of. So the CERB value of UBI is probably too much.

The other thing you would need to do is significantly raise income tax rates. Probably to 35%-50% federally for any dollar earned above the UBI rate. You would need all earners to be paying for this program maybe more.

You would also want to eliminate minimum wage at let the market determine what people are willing to work for which would be interesting given the high tax rate. You might be trying to convince people to work full time for $1000/month after tax.

I think there would be a big challnage in determining to correct UBI value. You also get rid of programs like EI / child benefits etc when you do this so weirdly it might encourage people not to have kids. Immigration becomes a challenge as the cost of an immigrant is even higher than now and you will need immigration to offset lack of growth of population.

So you need to avoid the Saudi situation of two classes of people.

Lots of challenges. I donít by the argument that itís required an EI/Welfare model that we have now is an option that would work indefinitely the question is whether UBI is more efficient of a program due to decreased administration and decreased lag in getting funds.

Currently our welfare system is a gurenteed minimum income rather than a Universal basic income.
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Old 09-10-2020, 11:31 AM   #6
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I don't see UBI ever getting real traction due to the cost of such a program. However, I do think there will be push to help simplify our current social safety nets to something akin to a UBI model. By that I mean that we have several systems right now that all have different rules and do not coordinate with each other, and there will be a push to replace it with one system.

The recent changes in the child care benefit is a good example of this. There used to be tax credits that needed to be shared between parents, a UCCB payment that was taxable, and an application process. Now you automatically qualify when you file your tax return, and each family gets one cheque a month with a simple phase out system based on family net income.

I see programs like GIS, OAS, EI, etc. start to come together and simplify, which would be a great step forward.
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Old 09-10-2020, 11:42 AM   #7
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Simple, divert military money to UBI.
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:08 PM   #8
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Simple, divert military money to UBI.
Given what we spend on our military, I don't think that would get you very far.
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:15 PM   #9
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An interesting way to think about UBI

https://www.scottsantens.com/the-mon...l-basic-income

At the end of the article he links to another article that addresses the fear of inflation.

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Old 09-10-2020, 02:10 PM   #10
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Simple, divert military money to UBI.
Cool, we'll have a UBI but be ready to welcome our Russian or Chinese overlords with open arms, unopposed...
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Red Slinger View Post
I think that UBI in some form is inevitable. I've really only started to learn about since Andrew Yang began his campaign so I'm not that well versed in the details but it seems like a step in the right direction. Ultimately, it replaces part of the social security net and puts money directly into the hands of people. For the vast majority of people, that money goes right back into the economy by way of rent, food, education and less basic needs. It also takes the pressure off of the hand-to-mouth subsistence that a lot of people experience.

CERB is a pseudo-example of UBI in action. It allowed one of my sons to leave his dead-end job as a cook and volunteer in a field that he's studying in University. One of the long-term benefits is that it may improve working conditions in a lot of jobs where otherwise the employees don't have options. The flip side is that those workers that are more inclined to be lazy and flakes have even more reason to do so.

I would like to see a larger scale test of UBI in action. It would be ideal if another Western Democracy tested this out (similar to how Portugal decriminalized drugs) before it was implemented. But Canada could be the ideal testing ground for this too. Maybe try it in one of the smaller provinces like Manitoba or New Brunswick for a few years to uncover some of the potentially unseen consequences, both good and bad.

The US will always be behind the world when it comes to progressive policy because of it's fundamental conservative DNA. But similar to things like Universal health care they will also eventually get there but it may not be in my lifetime unless there is a drastic social upheaval.
UBI experiments have also shown to promote entrepreneurial initiatives by giving people a safety net. If someone isn't gambling their entire future on on a one-shot entrepreneurial endeavor, they are more likely to take the risk. Some of them will fail, but some are bound to have a positive effect on local economies.

I think we need to look at how we define what a job is as well. There are many things people do that have a net benefit on society, but are not considered "jobs". I could see an eventual social credit/UBI hybrid system one day where people can accumulate social currency to be used on goods and services, by volunteering and conducting charity work.

Of course, the downside of this is that a corrupt government could easily abuse such a system by awarding negative credit to people who don't conform to their ideals. Such a system could make it difficult for undesirable people to rent or own property. China has been doing this by giving people social credit ratings that can be made available to the public.

https://www.businessinsider.com/chin...eir%20behavior.

But with the right checks and balances, I think it could be a good system. I am not a big promoter of the "end stage capitalism" fear, but I do think that Western capitalism is a system that needs to be periodically adjusted as times change. It's not the first economic system the world has known, and it won't be the last. The only thing unique about it is how it became taboo to criticize it.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:32 PM   #12
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COVID-19 and the CERB is pretty much most of the evidence one needs to see that a UBI is a better program to employ, especially during times of national public crisis. This has been a stark reminder that society can be blind-sided at any given moment by natural disasters or phenomena.

Planning, budgeting, and integrating into the basic economic framework of Canadian households is how Canada can reduce shocks to the system - all while benefiting from the advantages of UBI. These include (but are not limited to) less poverty, higher education, less health issues (e.g. stress, depression), more entrepreneurship, and tax-dollar savings on big money government services such as healthcare and infrastructure.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Izzle View Post
An interesting way to think about UBI

https://www.scottsantens.com/the-mon...l-basic-income

At the end of the article he links to another article that addresses the fear of inflation.

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Without basic income, workers in restaurants all over are making your sandwiches with a gun to their head. With basic income, the people making your sandwiches will be only those people who want to make your sandwiches. The work people do would go from being the work people feel they have no choice to do, to the work people are choosing to do more than anything else, because they have the very real freedom to not do anything at all.

Try to think about how profoundly transformative that would be. Right now, only 15% of workers are engaged by the work they do. What if 100% of workers were engaged by their work, because everyone was fully choosing to do it instead of being compelled to do it? What if employers had to offer more than a minimum wage or reduced hours in order to attract fully voluntary workers? What if startups didn't have to pay any wage and were instead able to attract passionate volunteers to work for a percentage of future profits?
To me this reads like a bunch of fantasy. Nobody wants to make your sandwich. Nobody wants to be the guy who cleans outhouses after a chili cookoff. You will never find enough people engaged in doing crappy jobs to make the system work as described. You must have incentives for many jobs, otherwise they don't get done.


Th incentive for me to go to university was having had worked crappy jobs, I knew I didn't want to do that.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:57 PM   #14
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Simple, divert military money to UBI.
Where did you get this level of stupid talking point from?

Canada's defense budget is approx. $21.9B...a simple Google search would have figured this for you. Grade 5 math tells us that if we conservatively assume a Canadian population of $35M (could google this also), that would be the equivalent of $625/year. If you now want to restrict UBI so that only the bottom 10% of Canadians get UBI...you have successfully increased the premium to $6250 / year or $520/month.

Congratulations...you are now at the mercy of every military power in the world...while getting a boot out of our alliances (eg. NATO) because they wont carry our freeloading deadweight. In exchange you are now paying the poorest 10% of Canadians half a rent cheque.

I dont disagree with the concept of UBI...but if you are going to spread your opinion like it's a fact...at least do the most basic of research.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:09 PM   #15
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My research says that Jordan! is from Arizona.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:18 PM   #16
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There is the issue of the US being too 'different' economically, $1000 in Podunk is different than $1000 in Manhattan. There are differences in Canada as well but not this extreme, yet.

Also, does getting $1000 equal income A) are you taxed on that and b) does $12,000 per year lose you other rights? Does it take you out of the lowest benefit bracket? Ie, would you lose healthcare, food stamps, etc... Or a simpler way to put this is, does UBI replace welfare?

Finally how to fund this? Yang proposes to tax the supply chain but we all know that just gets passed down the consumer in the end.

I would argue that the CERB was too high and the requirements to qualify for it, too low. My niece has been working minimum wage at Walmart throughout the pandemic at 30 hours per week (120 x 15 = 1800), making less than CERB if she had been let go. And that's with a $15/hr minimum wage, the highest in Canada.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:24 PM   #17
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There is the issue of the US being too 'different' economically, $1000 in Podunk is different than $1000 in Manhattan. There are differences in Canada as well but not this extreme, yet.
That is a good point.

Perhaps people receiving UBI and who aren't tied down will be persuaded to spread out more. If someone is poor enough that UBI is 100% critical and yet they aren't tied down, it's kind of their fault if they choose to live in Manhattan. UBI would give people mobility options that may not have been previously available.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:31 PM   #18
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Do people honestly look at this pandemic and see positives in the economy and positives for the argument towards UBI?

The economy is in shambles. The government is printing money to keep afloat. Small businesses are closing down left right and centre. There's a massive wealth gap widening between those that own capital and those just trying to stay afloat. Credit debt is mounting. People cannot pay their rent. We're facing a massive wave of layoffs....do I need to go on.

And no...nobody is going to clean your toilet for $2500/month when they can sit at home for $1800/month.

All UBI is going to accomplish is further increasing inflation. It doesn't create new housing units. It only leads to an increase in costs of the existing ones, as the government basically just subsidizes landlords.

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Old 09-10-2020, 03:45 PM   #19
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Do people honestly look at this pandemic and see positives in the economy and positives for the argument towards UBI?

The economy is in shambles. The government is printing money to keep afloat. Small businesses are closing down left right and centre. There's a massive wealth gap widening between those that own capital and those just trying to stay afloat. Credit debt is mounting. People cannot pay their rent. We're facing a massive wave of layoffs....do I need to go on.
UBI would eventually have to be at least partially funded by private industry through profit sharing. I don't think you can use COVID relief as a fair model for how it should work, but rather as an example for why a planned UBI would be beneficial.

There is really no practical reason for CEOs to be making billions upon billions every year never to be put back into the economy. Most of the capital sits idle and benefits no one. We used to put up with it because at least they were providing jobs. As automation improves and corporations keep actively pursuing ways to reduce employment while increasing profits, it's not a sustainable economic system. The government needs to ensure a strong middle class as it is the backbone of capitalism.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:51 PM   #20
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UBI would eventually have to be at least partially funded by private industry through profit sharing. I don't think you can use COVID relief as a fair model for how it should work, but rather as an example for why a planned UBI would be beneficial.

There is really no practical reason for CEOs to be making billions upon billions every year never to be put back into the economy. Most of the capital sits idle and benefits no one. We used to put up with it because at least they were providing jobs. As automation improves and corporations keep actively pursuing ways to reduce employment while increasing profits, it's not a sustainable economic system. The government needs to ensure a strong middle class as it is the backbone of capitalism.
Welfare programs can just as easily degrade the middle class.

The problems you're talking about, in terms of the highest percentage making too much money, have to do with the tax system. And I agree, it is horribly flawed. The biggest issue is all of these personal corporations that allow the rich to shelter their earnings in corporations paying 10-12% tax. The purpose of lower corporate taxes was to allow the corporations to invest money back into their business, not to have the CEOs store the money in passive personal investment accounts.

We'd be much better off looking at increasing the tax base of the wealthy. I'd also look into an estate tax of some kind. Once again, we'd have to deal with another major loophole with the "trusts".
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