Author Topic: What is a good about Covid 19 related?  (Read 4278 times)

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Offline Kasper

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #75 on: March 30, 2020, 10:25:55 pm »
[...]
UBI is a minimum wage taken to the ultimate extreme. The difference is that while a minimum wage is a form of targeted assistance, a UBI (by definition) applies to everyone. Well, anything that applies to everyone just changes the baseline for everyone. It's like raising all of the voltages in a system by some shared amount, say by raising the common from 0V to 10V... nothing actually changes because all of the potential differences, which cause current to flow, are still the same. A potential that used to measure 5V to ground now measures 15V to 10V - same differential, same current flow. For that reason, a UBI is nothing but a devaluation of the currency as explained above.
[...]

UBI is universal but the systems it replaces are not. That means when it is first applied, it is not a universal change to everyone. People who previously got welfare stop getting welfare. People who make tons of money get extra taxes.  That is not universal.

If you want an electronics example think about an op amp with input range of 5V to 15V being fed by a signal with a range of 0V to 12V.  Currently, anything below 5V is clipped up to exhibiting same response as 5V (min wage workers get same money as welfare users).  If you incr DC bias on the signal (apply UBI) then you remove clipping on bottom end (aka incentivize welfare users to get jobs) and add clipping on top end (aka higher taxes for higher income).

People on welfare should see no big change. 
People on min wage should see biggest change, as they should. Currently they do way more work than people on welfare but have similar income.
People of moderate wage will see relatively low change because the extra money is relatively less meaningful to them.
People of extra high wage will see less income (after taxes).

Ideally removing the welfare system that gives incentive to have kids and not work means society becomes more productive and that reduces the extra taxes required to pay for UBI.

There should be a correlation between effort and income but our system clips on the bottom end because effort and income have different bottoms.  Min effort is 0 hours/lifetime and min income is ~$1000/month or whatever welfare pays.  It seems reasonable to think there could be a way to make sure people who do 40hrs of easy work / week get more money than people who do 0 hrs work / lifetime.  UBI seems like a way to do that.
 

Online Marco

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #76 on: March 30, 2020, 10:41:33 pm »
Just like a rising tide lifts all boats, and deflation/inflation changes the value of all currency in circulation, raising the economic baseline for literally everyone just resets the value of all transactions (as described above).

Not saying it's a good idea, but a shock increase to inflation rapidly decreases existing private debt (and savings). Given that private debt overhang is becoming a break on the economy that particular aspect wouldn't be so bad. Unlike sovereign debt, private debt does matter.

Of course such a debt jubilee should really be combined with a restructuring of the economy to avoid debt building as much the second time. Fix real-estate, better regulate leveraged buyout, stock buy backs and dividend issues etc.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 10:44:50 pm by Marco »
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #77 on: March 30, 2020, 10:47:23 pm »
[...]
UBI is a minimum wage taken to the ultimate extreme. The difference is that while a minimum wage is a form of targeted assistance, a UBI (by definition) applies to everyone. Well, anything that applies to everyone just changes the baseline for everyone. It's like raising all of the voltages in a system by some

UBI is universal but the systems it replaces are not. That means when it is first applied, it is not a universal change to everyone. People who previously got welfare stop getting welfare. People who make tons of money get extra taxes.  That is not universal.
What stops UBI dead in it's tracks is that it needs a tax of at least 75% on income which makes it totally uninteresting to have a job. A long standing rule of economy is that tax on income has an optimum around 49% and should not exceed that number.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Kasper

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #78 on: March 30, 2020, 10:47:37 pm »
Drew a picture to show what I am thinking about UBI vs welfare only for people who don't work. With the current system, anyone who doesn't feel like doing lots of work is better off doing no work.  Getting off welfare means more expenses (child care, transportation, tuition, etc) and less free money.  With UBI, every bit of work is rewarded and people who are in the hole can see incentive to try even if they can only manage to do a bit of work. Hopefully that gets them on the right path to becomming productive instead of being stuck on welfare for generations.
 

Offline Kasper

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #79 on: March 30, 2020, 10:50:40 pm »
[...]
UBI is a minimum wage taken to the ultimate extreme. The difference is that while a minimum wage is a form of targeted assistance, a UBI (by definition) applies to everyone. Well, anything that applies to everyone just changes the baseline for everyone. It's like raising all of the voltages in a system by some

UBI is universal but the systems it replaces are not. That means when it is first applied, it is not a universal change to everyone. People who previously got welfare stop getting welfare. People who make tons of money get extra taxes.  That is not universal.
What stops UBI dead in it's tracks is that it needs a tax of at least 75% on income which makes it totally uninteresting to have a job. A long standing rule of economy is that tax on income has an optimum around 49% and should not exceed that number.

Ouch. 75% would be painful. Is that 75% evenly distributed?
 

Offline Kasper

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #80 on: March 30, 2020, 10:55:50 pm »
[...]
UBI is a minimum wage taken to the ultimate extreme. The difference is that while a minimum wage is a form of targeted assistance, a UBI (by definition) applies to everyone. Well, anything that applies to everyone just changes the baseline for everyone. It's like raising all of the voltages in a system by some

UBI is universal but the systems it replaces are not. That means when it is first applied, it is not a universal change to everyone. People who previously got welfare stop getting welfare. People who make tons of money get extra taxes.  That is not universal.
What stops UBI dead in it's tracks is that it needs a tax of at least 75% on income which makes it totally uninteresting to have a job. A long standing rule of economy is that tax on income has an optimum around 49% and should not exceed that number.

Ouch. 75% would be painful. Is that 75% evenly distributed?

Does it factor in reduced costs of welfare distribution complexity, medicare and judicial system?  People with no incentive to work get bored and do things that increase those costs.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #81 on: March 30, 2020, 11:04:20 pm »
[...]
UBI is a minimum wage taken to the ultimate extreme. The difference is that while a minimum wage is a form of targeted assistance, a UBI (by definition) applies to everyone. Well, anything that applies to everyone just changes the baseline for everyone. It's like raising all of the voltages in a system by some

UBI is universal but the systems it replaces are not. That means when it is first applied, it is not a universal change to everyone. People who previously got welfare stop getting welfare. People who make tons of money get extra taxes.  That is not universal.
What stops UBI dead in it's tracks is that it needs a tax of at least 75% on income which makes it totally uninteresting to have a job. A long standing rule of economy is that tax on income has an optimum around 49% and should not exceed that number.

Ouch. 75% would be painful. Is that 75% evenly distributed?
Likely. Unlike what communists think you can't feed the entire country from what 10 rich people make (I call myself a pragmatic socialist; but UBI goes under communism in my book). The middle class makes far more money combined so that is where the majority of the UBI money has to come from.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #82 on: March 30, 2020, 11:06:52 pm »
To prevent freeloading, what about only give the basic income to working age people working for 20 hours per week or more? (Less than that can also be accepted in special cases.)
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Offline IDEngineer

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #83 on: March 30, 2020, 11:08:57 pm »
Of course such a debt jubilee should really be combined with a restructuring of the economy to avoid debt building as much the second time.
The "debt jubilee" I was talking about was only the US fedgov debt, and as I mentioned it should be combined with a balanced budget requirement going forward for 1) exactly the reason you mentioned, and 2) so that the rest of the world would slowly start to have faith in the USA again.

You cannot have a "debt jubilee" for private debt, because just like "student loan forgiveness" it penalizes those who have properly managed their finances. Despite what they say during campaign season, every politician knows that is political suicide. Every career professional who hunkered down, behaved themselves, and worked hard to pay off their student loans will hate such politicians AND the freeloaders who got their debts wiped clean. The same would happen for people who paid off their houses vs. those who got a free mortgage payoff, people who paid cash for a used car vs. those who have $1K payments on a dream sports car, etc. There's no way to unravel that in an equitable way.

And so far we're only talking about people who are debtors... what about those who saved and invested, whose money is backing up those loans? How do you make those people whole in a fair and equitable manner? I have some friends who sold their large acreage, are carrying the note, and have structured their retirement to live on the principal + interest payments (which at 30 years will outlive them). Even if you simply repaid them their principal, they'd be out all of the interest on which they've based their retirement. Then what? How is that fair to them? The entire deal was set up by a willing seller and a willing buyer at terms both found acceptable, no one feels slighted. Yet the buyers would be fools to not take advantage of a jubilee, and it's highly unlikely the contract anticipates such an event to protect the sellers.
 

Offline IDEngineer

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #84 on: March 30, 2020, 11:14:29 pm »
If you want an electronics example think about an op amp with input range of 5V to 15V being fed by a signal with a range of 0V to 12V.
Having "inputs" out of range makes the example meaningless.

Quote
It seems reasonable to think there could be a way to make sure people who do 40hrs of easy work / week get more money than people who do 0 hrs work / lifetime.
That happens naturally: Work zero hours and I doubt you'll have a line of people waiting to give you cash. You don't need a UBI to do that, Nature does it automatically.
 

Offline Circlotron

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #85 on: March 30, 2020, 11:38:39 pm »
Work zero hours and I doubt you'll have a line of people waiting to give you cash.
Unless you're Imelda Marcos. I saw her being interviewed on tv once and while she was talking with her nose in the air she was thanklessly opening one envelope after another with money in them that desperately poor people had sent her.
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #86 on: March 30, 2020, 11:43:49 pm »
That happens naturally: Work zero hours and I doubt you'll have a line of people waiting to give you cash. You don't need a UBI to do that, Nature does it automatically.
If you go back in history a bit then you'll see wellfare has been 'invented' to keep the poor people from criminal behaviour and providing them with a basic sanitary living standard so they don't endanger the rest of the people with diseases. The alternative is to live in reversed prisons (a fence and guards to keep the poor people out). The economics decide what is most cost effective.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 11:45:51 pm by nctnico »
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Offline IDEngineer

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #87 on: March 31, 2020, 12:04:23 am »
If you go back in history a bit then you'll see wellfare has been 'invented' to keep the poor people from criminal behaviour and providing them with a basic sanitary living standard so they don't endanger the rest of the people with diseases.
You'd think people would NOT want to accept "welfare", UBI, etc. and thus be lumped in with the "poor people" who are associated with "criminal behavior".
 

Online Marco

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #88 on: March 31, 2020, 12:11:33 am »
You cannot have a "debt jubilee" for private debt, because just like "student loan forgiveness" it penalizes those who have properly managed their finances.
So does a deflationary spiral, just in a far more painful way which led to world wars in the past.

Unless properly managing is having enough money for a private island to get out of dodge for a while while society collapses, but I don't want to reward that level of properly managing.

The private debt overhang is unsustainable and both the debtor and creditor side of the equation are guilty of creating the situation. Non financial private debt was worse than 2007 before Corona, it's going to be off the charts soon after GDP shrinks. You can inflate it away or default it away, but it's not going to get repaid in full value ... that's for damn sure.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 12:23:17 am by Marco »
 

Offline Sredni

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #89 on: March 31, 2020, 12:30:22 am »
There is indeed some good that will come from all this, but it is for selected people only.

  • Some politicians will learn that they can literally get away with mass murder through inaction and or sheer negligence/culpable stupidity, and their supporters will love them all the more.
  • Other politicians will gain sweeping powers and new means to control the population that will look so good to be let go of, once all this has become the new normal.
  • Some fat cats in Wall Street and related venues will become unbelievably rich by betting on the demise of entire Countries, adding up to the number of death with the misery their speculation will cause.
  • Many CEOs will likely continue to receive their huge bonuses even if - especially if - they will be forced to give the axe to a sizable chunk of their workforce.
  • Manufacturers of life-saving apparel will increase the price of their merchandise in auctions between States.
  • Young doctors will find it easier to have a career.
  • Undertakers will learn to drive a Lamborghini.

Too dark?

« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 12:32:27 am by Sredni »
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Offline nctnico

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #90 on: March 31, 2020, 12:39:06 am »
If you go back in history a bit then you'll see wellfare has been 'invented' to keep the poor people from criminal behaviour and providing them with a basic sanitary living standard so they don't endanger the rest of the people with diseases.
You'd think people would NOT want to accept "welfare", UBI, etc. and thus be lumped in with the "poor people" who are associated with "criminal behavior".
No. I'm saying that every society has a certain amount of people who get money (welfare) for literally doing nothing. Contrary to the UBI idea this group on welfare should be kept as small as possible and the amount of money as low as possible so it pays quickly to get a job.

@Sredni: Who is going to make the Lamborghini? In a short while there won't be any Italians left!
« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 12:41:22 am by nctnico »
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Offline maginnovision

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #91 on: March 31, 2020, 12:52:33 am »
Volkswagen already owns lamborghini.
 

Online coppice

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #92 on: March 31, 2020, 12:56:32 am »
Quote
@Sredni: Who is going to make the Lamborghini? In a short while there won't be any Italians left!

The [add the Country you like] investors who bought the company for peanuts?
Lamborghini have been part of the VW Audi group fro quite a while, and many of the key parts in a Lamborghini are common to Audi cars.
 

Offline petert

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #93 on: March 31, 2020, 05:58:22 am »
I hadn't realized there was anywhere that actually had UBI. I've known enough people who can barely be motivated to get a job even when they can't pay the bills and will always do the bare minimum they can get away with to survive.
Every system will always have negative counter examples, but also people who take them and exaggerate the amount of people who really are lazy vs. those who are in troubling situations. If people who get by having several jobs, and only sleep, work, eat are a better alternative is questionable as well, which a system of "self-reliance" creates. Too many have to get by with minimum wage and an unclear future.

People who achieve truly great things do so out of their own motivation, not by an external one. Quite a few have become very poor or bankrupt as well and risked their health and life. But many early scientists and intellectuals were actually well off.
I don't believe in the carrot and stick method.

But the main point is that UBI is not necessarily a good or the only solution, but the problems it tries to address matter.

Automation will keep increasing the efficiency of production, and will result in few people accumulating more wealth with increasingly less need to distribute it again, by having employees. The goal of any company (in our current economy) is to reduce costs, including labor cost as much as possible. That in itself is a major problem, that the UBI tries to address. Certainly not in the best way, but a safety net of some sort is necessary if you want to advance society and keep innovating. It's simply unrealistic to compete with others who are a lot more resourceful.

To find good solutions, we need to move away from that "lazy people" idea, and instead move to thinking what can be done to remove barriers for motivated people to succeed. Currently, this is usually understood as allowing big companies to grow even bigger, or people accumulating more wealth. But what we need is people being able to innovate and improve the world. The tools required for the latter are quite different. A basic safety net so that you can focus on the task is one ingredient, easier access and collaborations with universities and advanced gear would be another. Citizen science labs for example, where you pay a regular fee, or can rent space or tools for limited periods, maybe even some hours, without being enrolled in a university, would be another. Access to knowledgeable people, chairs that get payed and valued for making science more accessible, i.e., clear but not dumbed down, is still rare. Currently, as a scientist, being understandable is not a "currency" that advances your career, while more clarity is important to accelerate innovation and knowledge transfer.
People who focus on clarity, summarizing, writing overview papers, and actually do research on how to present knowledge in an unambigious way, not just for highschool, but academia and higher level research as well, are very necessary.

But back to topic, UBI or not, the problems that UBI tries to solve are real.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 06:08:43 am by petert »
 

Offline petert

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #94 on: March 31, 2020, 06:16:12 am »
No. I'm saying that every society has a certain amount of people who get money (welfare) for literally doing nothing. Contrary to the UBI idea this group on welfare should be kept as small as possible and the amount of money as low as possible so it pays quickly to get a job.
It's a common thing for people to say, but I wonder how many people really fall into this group. I do believe it is one of the ways to make people accept that "it's all their fault". I doubt that many people are truly happy with a "useless" life. Increased automation will further reduce the amount of people needed as employees, and I predict the "lazy people" argument will get stronger as this progresses, to hide this issue.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #95 on: March 31, 2020, 06:20:25 am »
Emotionally I want to agree, and I'm not going to argue, but do consider this. Such medical expenses are paid for with tax dollars, which politicians and the media constantly scrutinize to find fault with how they're spent (though they often couch such actions as "oversight" or "being responsible", they really do it to find ammunition against their political opponents). If the government is financially responsible for your medical expenses, then legally they can prove standing to control those behaviors which cause or increase those expenses.

Let's take an easy one: Smoking. The medical expenses associated with smoking are 100% preventable. Therefore, it seems reasonable to compel taxpayer-funded patients to not smoke, correct?

OK, then what about fast food? How about liver disease caused by liquor consumption? Drug abuse? Every one of those is 100% preventable - wouldn't it be appropriate to ban them to save tax dollars? (Ask yourself how those would be enforced, and what penalties we would impose for violation?)

Now let's get to the tougher ones. What about activities deemed "risky" to one's health? I'm a scuba diver, an activity deemed risky enough that it disqualifies you from many life insurance policies. Same for private pilots. But what about rock climbing? Kayaking? Children's sports like soccer, baseball, and (especially) gymnastics? There are well known stats for the dangers of these activities, and your CHOICE to participate risks government spending obligations.

Finally, the heavy lifting. Should women deemed "high risk" be allowed to get pregnant? The costs for a baby requiring NICU can hit six figures at light speed, and the actuarial tables that statistically predict such outcomes are well known to both the medical and insurance industries. And that's not even considering the risks to the mother. How about adults with inheritable mental or physical ailments - should they be allowed to create children who will be virtually certain to create enormous expense for the government?

There is substantial legal precedent for a benefactor having standing over the decisions of a beneficiary. Politicians and the media already weaponize the spending decisions of their adversaries. Do you really want your medical decisions to be wrapped around that axle?


This is borderline to what I would call a strawman, at least I think that's the right term.

I mean those are valid points but the glaring reality is that we already spend the money, and those factors already cost us the USA spends something like twice as much per capita on medical care and yet we have tens of millions of people without any coverage or without adequate coverage. The money we pay for healthcare isn't called "tax" but fundamentally it is no different. In my case my health insurance is part of the compensation I get from my employer, officially it's not a tax on my earnings but it's money my employer spends on me which is taken out before it is ever called wages so it differs from tax in name only. If the company spent exactly the same amount acquiring my services but either gave it all to me and let the federal government extract a cut in taxes, or paid some kind of corporate tax on my behalf would not have to impact the amount of money I take home. Uninsured people can go to the emergency room and not be denied treatment, if they're unable to pay then those costs are spread across everyone else, we pay either way, currently we just have a pile of middlemen siphoning off billions of dollars to sustain themselves while contributing absolutely nothing to the actual healthcare. I saw an article where someone put it well, saying if we were concerned about the jobs lost by shutting down the private medical insurance industry we could pay those people to play video games all day, occasionally strolling through hospital waiting rooms killing random people and accomplish the same goal.

Smoking, poor diet, poor habits, those are all very real issues but again we already pay for the poor habits of our fellow citizens, it is already in our best interest to keep people healthier. The way to do this is not through compulsion but a steady campaign to encourage people to improve their habits and incentivize being healthier, we've done it before and it works. I remember the big campaigns to increase seatbelt usage in cars, that was highly effective. Smoking too has been dramatically reduced, I would love to see it go away entirely, smoking tobacco has enormous costs, it puts Covid to shame though it is at least a conscious choice people make. Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, these are things we can encourage people to change because it is in our own best interest, both for the individual and for society as a whole. Yes some people will do their own thing no matter what, some people smoke, some people eat poorly, some people are lazy, some people don't wear their seatbelt when the drive a car or a helmet when they ride a motorcycle or bicycle and these cost society money, whether through universal healthcare or through the additional costs they incur which are spread to the rest of us anyway.

The money already gets spent, providing universal care doesn't have to cost more, it consolidates and eliminates layers of overhead and waste. The fact that every other developed nation on earth has it and not one of them is trying to get rid of it suggests that it works pretty well. I have quite a few Canadian friends and whenever this comes up they just cannot comprehend why we still have a system as backwards as what we have, they are absolutely appalled that we seem to find it acceptable to have ~35 million uninsured, that we force people to choose between death and bankruptcy, that we allow health insurance to be tied to employment such that losing one's job means losing access to health care often when one needs it most. It's a bad deal for employees and employers, with people sticking around in jobs they hate and half-assing it for years to get by rather than lose their medical coverage switching jobs. The Canadian system I mention is not without problems of course, they complain of excessive wait times for some procedures but they spend less than half as much per person as we do, if Canada doubled the money they spend on healthcare to catch up with the USA or even increased it by 50% I'd bet those wait times would drop dramatically.
 

Offline petert

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #96 on: March 31, 2020, 06:31:24 am »
To prevent freeloading, what about only give the basic income to working age people working for 20 hours per week or more? (Less than that can also be accepted in special cases.)
The main point of UBI is the "freeloading", i.e., unconditionally providing it, like you don't tax air either, or require people to work or pay for it.
A major reason for the UBI -- though different proponents have different goals (amongst which are rich people and big companies, but probably not for good reasons) -- is that we will reach/have reached a state were part of the wealth creation is not tied to human labor.

The only "merit" then becomes to own certain machines or infrastructure, which is "freeloading" by being born earlier, or having had the wealth to buy said machines.

One goal of UBI is to balance this out. Another would be taxation.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #97 on: March 31, 2020, 06:31:46 am »
It's a common thing for people to say, but I wonder how many people really fall into this group. I do believe it is one of the ways to make people accept that "it's all their fault". I doubt that many people are truly happy with a "useless" life. Increased automation will further reduce the amount of people needed as employees, and I predict the "lazy people" argument will get stronger as this progresses, to hide this issue.

You'd be surprised. I mean even I would be tempted to semi-retire a few years from now when my house is paid off if I had a UBI. I mean why go to work for somebody if I can dink around with my hobbies and personal projects? Knowing that I'd be tempted to do this despite the fact that I'm not particularly lazy, and knowing that there are loads of people out there who *are* lazy, I do not doubt in the least that we'd end up with millions of people content to get by doing the bare minimum. There *has* to be a great incentive to work if one is able to do so. We're a long, long way off from sufficient automation that most people do not need to work, and I think we need to be very careful not to become too dependent on automation. You end up in the situation we have now with this Covid fiasco where the factories are all these finely tuned highly automated 24 hour operations and we cannot simply throw more manpower at it to boost production, everything is running wide open just to meet normal steady state demand.
 

Offline petert

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #98 on: March 31, 2020, 06:38:26 am »
I mean even I would be tempted to semi-retire a few years from now when my house is paid off if I had a UBI. I mean why go to work for somebody if I can dink around with my hobbies and personal projects?
I think we have different ideas of being lazy. Working for somebody else is only one possibility, but not a necessity. An entrepreneur is not an employee, yet he creates value.
There is also something rewarding about creating products that people will find useful. I don't think you would enjoy to just have personal projects as goal in itself, without sharing in some way.
And it doesn't mean that having a job you get payed for is advancing the world or creating values, either.

It is not as clear cut anymore, as when people were farmers and grew food. In other words, just because you are forced to work, does not necessarily mean you really contribute to society, even if you pay taxes. The net result for society may be negative, depending on your employer and motivations.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 06:42:05 am by petert »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
« Reply #99 on: March 31, 2020, 06:43:40 am »
I mean even I would be tempted to semi-retire a few years from now when my house is paid off if I had a UBI. I mean why go to work for somebody if I can dink around with my hobbies and personal projects?
I think we have different ideas of being lazy. Working for somebody else is only one possibility, but not a necessity. An entrepreneur is not an employee, yet he creates value.
There is also something rewarding about creating products that people will find useful.
And it doesn't mean that having a job you get payed for is advancing the world or creating values, either.

It is not as clear cut anymore, as when people were farmers and grew food. In other words, just because you are forced to work, does not necessarily mean you really contribute to society, even if you pay taxes. The net result for society may be negative.

Why would I create products for other people if I can get paid to do whatever I want? I could build more RC airplanes and spend my summer days at the field flying them. I could work on my house, work on my yard, devote a lot more time to the hobby projects I build for my own enjoyment. I release many of my hobby projects as open source but they are mostly amusements and not anything that fills any need of society and hardly justify earning a living. I may be selfish but I don't think I'm atypical.
 


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