UBI - Universal Basic Income

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Crni Vuk, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Well, if we get this stuff I'd be tempted to NEET out, but unfortunately, I actually like working. And despite random philosophers and linguists and other highly intellectual people trying to tell me otherwise, my job won't be replaced by automation any time soon, and it won't help me reduce the workload. So unfortunately I'll be gracefully allowed to enjoy my full work week for an ever decreasing return. Oh well.

    /edit: Of course the UBI would be increased. The increasing costs would then lead to living costs and taxes to be increased. Leading to UBI to increase.
  2. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Half-way Through My Half-life

    Nov 26, 2007
    A limited wellfare program is a good service to have. Accidents, and hard times happen, but it should be a hand up; and carry at least a mild stigma to it. It should not be seen as a privilege, or a right... like the right to vote or to legally drink. This is how it is seen by some where I live, and it is not good. It has become a way of life; a life of permanent dependence.

    If they ever stopped the ---service--- there would be riots in the streets, and mass looting of stores that month, possibly that very week.
  3. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Well, an increasing portion of the population is going to be out of work in the near future with increasing automation. Something has to be done about that. UBI might provide a solution, if it's done smartly.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  4. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Why does someone deserve anything at all? Why do you deserve treatment if you're deadly wounded in a car accident? Why do you deserve the love of your parents? Why do you deserve rights like free speech?

    I will never ever understand why you always focus so much on the poorest and lowest people in a society while completely ignoring the fact that you have a very large number of people which did absolutely nothing for their wealth because they inherited it. From the 1% of the wealthiest a substantial number of people completely inherited their wealth. They haven't worked even one day in their life to "deserve" it. You know the word deserve is thrown around very often in such discussions but it is a very strong word in this context.
    A lot of people already can't afford the rents. Why do you think there is such a huge push in Berlin to nationalize large residential property companys? We have a very serious crisis here and that has nothing to do with the UBI.

    Anyway, it seems like Spain might become the first country to actually introduce the UBI

    Coronavirus: Spain to become first country in Europe to roll out universal basic income

    Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as possible” to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.

    Minister for economic affairs Nadia Calvino told Spanish broadcaster La Sexta on Sunday night that the move was intended to help families during the pandemic.

    But Ms Calvino, who is also deputy prime minister, said the government’s ambition was that UBI could become something that “stays forever, that becomes a structural instrument, a permanent instrument”.

  5. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Half-way Through My Half-life

    Nov 26, 2007
    Lobster used to be food for the desperate; the shells in the house, an embarrassment. Perception has changed. Plastic used to be exotic.

    Hand made can still cost a premium; including hand prepared... It depends on public perception.
    People will have to adapt; some will be indignant about it, and not want to, but the fact is that life changes, and certain skills become obsolete. Imagine the fury of those who graduated the year that digital calculators became affordable... Of what use could their skill at the slide rule be to them then?
  6. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Well who knows Giz maybe this is what will happen to the United States in the near future and then your social darwinian theories can be put to practise. If the 30-40% of "unwanted" subject perish then you might become this perfect society of full employment ...

    Yes I am being sarcastic here.
  7. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Half-way Through My Half-life

    Nov 26, 2007
    Free speech is not free.
    Why don't you play devil's advocate for a while?... no seriously.
    Even if you disagree, try forming the arguments against, as an experiment. Try to understand the logic of the opposition---- it can't be purely all nuts can it?

    Many don't, but they get it all the same, such is a parent's love. And with some exceptions, that's what an inheritance is; that gift that you would raise the taxes on.

    They should move somewhere else, with cheaper rents; or buy a cheap house. That's not meant to be snide, it's the truth of it. When you cannot afford to live in a certain area, you move; possibly even to another town. Sometimes even to another country.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
  8. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    How much did it cost you?

    Depends entirely on the argument.

    For example what Hass said is an actual argument in the sense that I can follow the logic of his criticism - because it is actual criticism directed at the practicability. Without the intention to attack you, but a lot of the stuff you say simply reminds me about social darwinism and like arguments from the last century against any kind of social reform. - The way how some followers of Manchester Liberalism in the 18th century defended their economic liberalism despite the horrendous conditions of coal miners, iron workers and weavers during the industrial revolution. Some people simply held the belief they deserved their fate since their labour was simply not worth more than pennies. So why should they pay them living wages or cut their work hours from 12-14 hours to just 8? They would just squander their time with drinking and gambling anyway!

    Quite many held the belief that people had to be kept close to starvation or no one would would do the work and paying them more was seen as impossible and to expensive.

    However I am not calling you nuts. But the core of your arguments, in my opinion, comes down to a very philosophical issue. Like the question, do people exist to work or do they work to exist? What it boils down to is a basic question which has been discussed well for the last thousands of years without a definitive answer and two more or less opposing views.

    If there would be no need to work for your living then no one would working at all >vs< humans would still find them self work even without existential pressure and the need to work for a living.

    From here you will find thousands of nuances and views that go either in one or the other direction from people that say artists need to struggle for their creativity to excel or people need incentives like low wages and bad conditions to be motivated to actually work their way up. From here you can also deconstruct the whole narrative of (natural) hierarchies that form the basis of conservative and religious thinking where well fare is seen as an unfaire and unjust mechanic pushing people in a position they don't deserve because poverty is a character flaw/trait and so on and so forth.

    I am talking about children here, infants not just adults. From the hundredths of very troubled children and teenagers I meet in my life and worked with I never meet anyone that didn't deserve unconditional love and believe me I wanted to strangle some of them for their behaviour (figuratively speaking of course).

    If they don't have bread, let them eat cake.

    What you're creating is a paradox. If people have barely enough money to pay their rent, they can't just pack all their stuff and move away nor can they buy a house. Besides the way you explain it is way to simple. Maybe this is how people deal with high rents in the US? Does this work the same in Canada? France? Germany? Bangladesh? Sure Gizmo. Single moms with 2 sometimes 3 jobs to pay for everything are going to to buy themself a house. I mean sorry but if you really see that as the truth ... then I have to say it's not the truth here.
  9. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Half-way Through My Half-life

    Nov 26, 2007
    How could I know; how could anyone? I would need (possibly non-existent) records of slain family relations all the way back to 1776.

    Free speech, and freedom itself, are not free because to have them at all means they have already been paid for initially, and every time thereafter, when they have been threatened.

    ...or do you actually mean in money? Well taxes of course.

    *But that opens an interesting question: Why should one person's free speech cost more (or less) than another? Why should a person who runs three restaurants pay more for their free speech than a person who runs three kids into traffic with buckets begging alms?----who is doubtless collecting welfare as well as the alms, which in turn partly comes from the restaurateur.

    Why should that restaurateur's earned fortune be taxed higher the harder they work for it? Why should their success be cut down to raise up others? *That's what a UBI really is.

    So that's a 'no'; no experimenting as a devil's advocate. That is bias IMO.

    People are paid for valued labor (or insight); people are donated to for pity sake, and/or when their labor (or insight?) is insignificant and the person has some other reason to give them money.

    As I read it (above), a person would be justified a living wage for their work ---even if it were interpretive dance to Sea shanties? Who would value that enough to pay them? An employer's funds don't grow on trees (unless they are fruit vendors), they have to profit by the labor in order to afford paying for it. One cannot be perpetually paid for useless work; if your work is useless, then you learn to do something else that people need enough to pay for it.

    That usually handles itself; overpopulation until the point where one needs to work again---if for no other reason than living space constraints.

    Poverty is not a character flaw; choosing poverty is.
    *...when it is done at the expense of others.

    People go bankrupt here; not good, but it's better than debtor's prison. And yes, you can move somewhere cheaper to live, and start again. Different neighborhood, different city, State, even different country. Rents in one area might be $1000 a month, $14,000 in another, $550 in another. Rents can be low as -$16- for assisted housing.
    One moves where they can afford to live; maybe move again as their fortune later dictates.

    My comment was not snide, but that one is.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
  10. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    That's what I am trying to say here. How could you, like you personally, define who deserves what and who doesn't? I mean what if one of those "leeches" your talking about is a war veteran who sacrificed his health to defend the country? What if we're taking about an elderly woman that raised 3 kids?

    You're taking your idea of how things should be and declare it a standard everyone has to adhere to. And if they don't? Then they simply don't deserve it.

    Well. Yes. And no.

    Yes someone at some point had to fight for it so following generations can enjoy it. And no, because those rights have to be constantly and vigilantly defended by each generation anew because those values are always at attack by some groups, be it religious groups, fanatics or extremists and they do not always come from the most obvious direction. But I get what you're saying.

    However I make the argument that the current system you have where people are coerced into making decisions based on necessities can be a very serious threat to freedom and democracy itself. Consider this. If I get you right your point is, if people had no need to work they would not work at all. But that makes me ask one question. Why do we even have to force people into doing certain jobs? Jobs that pay so little that you can barely exist with them. What you're doing is that you force people in an almost slave-like situation where they sell their manpower to the lowest bidder and not because they want it but because they have to. How is that true liberty? It's like holding a gun at someone and telling them they have the choice. A system of mega-corporations can just as easily oppress people and put their boot in your neck as any state can. Just ask all those small towns and small business that have been destroyed by either Wall-Mart or Amazon in the last few decades with absolutely no way of fighting back. Some smaller communities never managed to recovered from this. But who cares as long the share holders are happy, right? And let us not even talk about the influence of money in politics.

    The Universal Basic Income - an old idea that you can even trace back to thinkers like Thomas Paine, see his work "Agrarian Justice" - aims at giving people true freedom saying, alright let us remove the need to accept any work just so that you can exist that way people have an actual choice to decide for them self without pressure where and how they want to participate and under what conditions they want to "sell" their labour. Imagine your self and your business where someone would "force" you to sell your stuff to a certain person and they dictate the price. The UBI believe it or not, is actually an idea that was also popular in classic liberalism. But since we're not an agrarian society anymore where we make everyone self reliant by giving them a peace of farm land we have to do things with money.

    It doesn't even have to be done trough the government you know. There are ideas that everyone should get access to a trust fund. Like the moment you are born, you have access to a financial trust fund based on capital gains by large corporations (Apple, Google, Amazon etc.). Basically making everyone into Paris Hilton, if you so want. That way actually everyone would get his share from the economy they participate in. Alaska did something similar with the Oil revenues. So it is not even a completely novel idea. Why not do it simply with all big corporations?

    My argument is that you're presenting me with an ideology. I don't have the feeling that you're playing the devils advocate here. It's not that I don't understand what you're trying to say here. But it is at it's core a philosophical question. I merely disagree with your assessment. Hassknecht was playing the devils advocate. You I am afraid are not. With all due respect.

    I believe humans are creative and have an inherent desire to be productive. Not everyone though might always chose an activity that grants him a wage granted. But we have many important roles in our society that yield absolutely no monetary profit because they are not viable in economic terms. Like raising your own children for example. Or doing charity work. Or taking care of your relatives, protecting your environment and so on. I mean take the whole civil rights movement for example. It was never meant to be a "business".

    Yes! But who defines that? Why are some professions that have hardly any relevance to society get thousands of dollars, sometimes in the 10 thousands, where as other essential jobs get almost nothing. I mean take the current crisis for example. Is your state in a lock down? If not than it probably will be quite soon. And guess who's staying at home? All the people with "non-essential" jobs.

    Let us face it. In our current society those that work a lot or hold important positions are not paid for their "valued" labour. They are paid what their employer grants them. If we would really go with what someone deserves then a lot of people out there which are doing their jobs right now, should be paid a hell of a lot more. Because without them you would probably not be here and chat.

    So, starving people to death? Not sure what you're saying here. Do you want the French Revolution in America? People usually do not go out quietly. Particularly not in the country with the highest number of weapons per person. You already have an opioid crisis on your hands, people living from pay check to pay check and this will only get worse. Particularly in the next few weeks.

    Sure if we keep everything simplistic here. But nothing is monocausality. Not if we're talking about people.

    And then people wonder how ghettos are created. If a place is cheap as dirt then this might have some very serious reasons. No infrastructure, high crime rates, maybe even polluted areas. Living next to a coal plant? Must be awesome.

    Glad you noticed :).
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  11. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Half-way Through My Half-life

    Nov 26, 2007
    Many will tell you that they are. ;) It is very hard for me to believe that anyone who was, would settle content on a street corner and beg for alms. Panhandling on the corner for a day (or even a week) is one thing, but I have seen people on the corner for 3 to 6 months; and in a few cases as many as ten years.

    On the street or on welfare? What are you asking here? That she should get public assistance for raising three kids? What on Earth for? If she raised three kids, then each should feel highly obligated to care for her, but to tax the neighbors for that?

    That should be 'Yes & Yes' then, as your point (for 'no') is the gist of the quote.

    This is not something I said; this was your mentioned hypothetical situation.

    That's life; the flip side is to force employers to pay more than it's worth to them, or higher rates than available elsewhere. Why is it okay to abuse the employer?

    Companies routinely outsource jobs over seas because it's cheaper; in some cases even better workmanship. Why shouldn't they be allowed to pay whom they wish for their projects?

    The only forced jobs that I can think of, at least here, are semi-voluntary AFAIK, and that is prisoners on work details; collecting trash and lawn mowing for 50 cents an hour (possibly less).

    There was once a situation possible where a company could build a town near the job-site, and pay workers in scrips, redeemable at the company store, and to pay for company housing, but that's probably illegal now. In that situation, the workers could really be trapped, and subject to whatever prices the store chose to charge.

    It's true, and it is the customer's fault. They have a choice of supporting the small business, or the large chain store that offers better pricing.

    Pressure is imperative.
    It's the natural order of the world. What you are advocating is a world without pain; a world with no opposite to pleasure & ease. It would create a short lived society of madmen. The more recent population already has difficulty coping with not getting their expectations met; imagine if there were no longer even the concept of not getting...

    *Bethesda's AI for Oblivion needed to eat. Oblivion's world is overflowing with food. It's because when they started running out of food, they would all go nuts and start killing each other over bread and carrots (etc). There was no degree.

    People naturally measure risk vs. reward; cost vs. gain; pleasure vs. pain for it. Is it worth robbing the beehive for the honey?

    In the movie Highlander, the villains would rampage without care, because nothing really meant anything; they were practically deathless (except to themselves), and would always rise to live again.

    Here you would advocate a society with no risk, no downside; free money for all; free housing, free healthcare; free education, free internet, free entertainment?

    How does any of that mean anything if it is no longer a personal achievement, but an optional gift.
    (And where does that money come from?)

    I would not choose to live in a society where there was no comparative gauge for contentment; no measure of hot vs cold. It would be like The Matrix that failed.

    But of course.

    By what right should they be fleeced? By what lunacy would they choose to stay in a country that does that to them, and not move to another that doesn't?

    The ones footing the bill for it of course.

    I had a friend who once chided a relative of mine for not hiring her friends to help her finish a commissioned order. This friend could not comprehend that in order to pay a helper, that helper would have to work at a speed that her friends could not ---had not. Without the accuracy/quality the commissioned work would not be accepted, and if it took too long to make then she would be paying them more than she'd earn from the sale... the commission would actually cost her money to produce.

    Even today, it's still lost on him. Money from a paycheck is just a magical number with no origin, or concern for how they were able to pay it; like a score in a video game.

    The value of one's work is worth the price one sets for it, tempered by the price other's will pay for it. Occasionally these values are reversed; sad when it happens. I knew a man who would sell his oil paintings to a dealer for under $100, and she would turn around and sell them for thousands.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
  12. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    That's mostly because the government in Berlin doesn't really know any other way besides nationalization. UBI, like nationalization, won't really help with rents, though. If there's a large demand and low supply, prices will be high. If everyone suddenly has a bit more money to spend on rent, supply and demand won't change. Prices will just increase. Now we can just artificially forbid rent prices from increasing, but that still doesn't increase supply, and will, especially with small scale property owners, just lead to decay of the buildings.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  13. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    It is a bit more complicated than that though I mean what we see right now is an issue that has been ignored for the last 30 years so it won't be fixed over night. But the situation in some parts of Germany is simply so dire right now that nationalisation while not a "perfect" solution might be the only one that helps in the short term at least till long term solutions can take effect.

    But it can not continue like it does now indefinitely with those predatory companies and investors pushing rents upward for no other reason but to create more interests. We are looking at the very real possibility of more than 1 million homeless people in the next few years. Additionally to the homeless people we already have. And we're also looking at a major recession right now which no one knows how it will play out making it even worse. A couple more weeks and up to 40% of the smaller and medium business could be forced to permanently shut down. I am curious how the situation will play out like if let us say 30% of the population can not pay their rents anymore. I am just speculating here but we could actually face a situation where those large companies will beg the government to be nationalised so that they have at least some form of by out or revenue.

    Nationalisation of large companies like Vonovia would be a radical move no doubts about it. But considering the potential crisis that's in front of us with very disrupting effects to our whole society I honestly see no alternative in the short term the issue has been simply ignored for to long by the our politicians - the push for nationalisation was started with a referendum by the way. There is only so much people can take before the existential pressure becomes so severe that parts of the society start to collapse.
  14. DarkCorp

    DarkCorp Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Oct 27, 2003
    For the current crisis, IMO, it is absolutely necessary. However, how much given out can be decided by the situation the person who needs it is in.

    So for Corona, we need to do our best to make sure people stay afloat as hardworking people are unable to work through no fault of their own.

    UBI being implemented in a non crisis situation would be a completely different beast and much harder to justify and to work out.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  15. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Alright here is the thing since it's an ongoing back-and-forth right now.

    I can not "prove" to you a case that is philosophical in nature and I do not think I can convince you of the UBI like that. But what it comes down to in the end I think is what kind of society we will end up with in the not so distant future.

    Varoufakis speaks about it when he mentions the current technological evolution we already experience, you know automation and what is also know as the internet of things and Industrialisation 2.0. I mean if they really can take something as complex like driving a car and give that to a machine then you will see a lot of people becoming redundant. But that is not even the worst part in my opinion. The question as I said is, what kind of society it will create a society where you and me will be a part of what ever if we like it or not. This is not a qeustion of the UBI but about technology and what technology does to us as a species, like how the steam engine changed society, or the computer or social networks do it right now and so on.

    And the question is, will we have a society moving in the direction of Star Trek? Or rather something like Elysium. For the case you haven't seen the movie yet :
    In 2154, Earth citizens live in poverty, and with inadequate medical care. The rich and powerful live on Elysium—a gigantic space habitat in Earth's orbit. Elysium is technologically advanced, with devices such as Med-Bays that can cure all diseases, reverse the aging process, and regenerate body parts. A long-running feud exists between Elysium and Earth, whose residents want Elysian technology to cure their illnesses.

    What's actually at stake here in my opinion is our democracy. Our freedom.

    I fear that we will one day wake up in a future where large corporations owned by a very small and very wealthy minority control nearly every aspect of your life and those that do not follow corporate rules will be stigmatised as mavericks and shuned. And when you look how Amazon deals with unions and protest and that we might soon have facial recognition and even more surveillance and intrusive technology one has really to wonder where this will end up.

    Imagine a Situation like this. A company forcing you to wear a smart watch which monitors all of your movements and health related data. A wearable devices to monitor our health and vital signs. And if you do not follow their procedures and their company guidelines you might loose all health care benefits. Unrealistic? Dystopian? Well. It almost became a reality with teachers in the United States before they actually protested against it. - And there is no limit to this kind of application. There are ideas floating around that go much further than that in controlling the habits of people.

    Or let us get a bit in to the future where facial recognition technology is becoming a mainstream technology like the smart phone. Imagine an warehouse owned by Amazon where one of the workers is trying to form a union to protest the working conditions. It ends up with Amazon firing him. But not only that. They share his data with any other major company out there. And suddenly each time he tries to apply for a job he's rejected based on facial recognition - without even knowing why. Not only to get rid of a dissident but also to serve as a warning to everyone else. You don't follow our guidelines? Then we make sure you will not get a job anywhere else.

    Is this so outlandish? China is already testing the waters with their social credit system.

    The question I ask my self now is this the future we want? I for my self don't. And I think the UBI could be actually a way to avoid it if we make sure that people do not have to take every job out of necessity. Otherwise I fear we might one day end up in a fascist society.


    And some might be already there without even knowing it ...

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
  16. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Half-way Through My Half-life

    Nov 26, 2007
    They already have automated fast-food restaurants too. It used to take three men to fit a rivet. Jobs change; one man can do the work of several by using a jackhammer.

    The difference between the machines and the (then presently) redundant people is that people can change. There was once an amazing airbrush made by Paasche; the Paasche AB Turbo. It was used almost like a rapidograph pen; it could create lines thin as hairs, and it was made totally obsolete after computer drafting became the norm. Unlike the machine (of course), the draftsmen moved on.

    How many trained photographers still regularly use & develop film in their home? How many of their customers would accept traditional negatives over high-res digital files? Jobs change, and so do people. Those photographers who would not change, are probably not professionals anymore... but they probably took a job doing something else.

    I wouldn't want either of them.

    The problem with this kind of freedom is that it demands the freedom to impose itself upon others.

    Exemplified in the irksome old song, 'Signs', by the The Five Man Electrical Band

    You can do better with the example of a company that requires an embeded RFID chip to get into the building, and to limit access within the building. The health monitor would likely be imposed on them by their insurance company; condition of their lowered insurance rate.

    It's not truly forced if the employee can quit; I know you discard the option of quitting as a valid choice, but I discard the option of an employer not being able to specify the conditions of employment.

    As it is, I would never hire anyone (period), because if the legal hassles already in place.

    Similar had happened to a friend of mine a few years ago; fired from a major chain business, and summarily refused hire by several others once his information came in. As I understand it, Trump signed a law that makes that practice illegal.

    Still... I cannot help but see it from both sides.

    Where does this money come from? Aside from that, all money is an abstraction of labor or service...somebody else's. It is the equivalent of redistributing the fisherman's catch by force. Everybody gets one ---of his fish, and only he had to work for it.

    Tell me... knowing the above awaits him, what is his incentive to go out for another day's catch?
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
  17. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    The money for UBI must come from increased productivity, where the few still working by necessity generate the additional wealth. It might end up with two competing ideas of justice: Those claiming that "justice" is that those still generating wealth should then get a proportionate amount of it, and those claiming that those who are simply not needed for this wealth generation should still be provided decent living conditions. Ideally, we'd want a mixture of both. A system where everyone can live decently, but those who form the basis for this wealth actually get something back for it.
    However, being "rich" or "wealthy" is also often seen as an inherently injust concept, so it's not like the difference in wealth will be accepted to grow too much.
    Let's say that the economy only really needs highly skilled employees anymore. Any simpler form of labour is obsolete. A scenario that's still quite far away, but let's say that maybe 20% of the current workforce is necessary. If the productivity of those 20% is enough to get everyone a base income of 12k a year and people can live decently from it, what would be considered "just" for those 20%? Let's say, an engineer who develops the automation in the factories and who still works 40 hours a week to solve issues with that? Would 24k/a be just? 36k? 120k? How much would that engineer be worth, and how much would be acceptable? If they don't earn enough, who in their right mind would then study many years to work in a field with little to expect in return? And how much taxes would those working have to pay to keep it all up? They would by necessity be in the highest tax bracket, so what, 50%? 60%? 90%? What would then be left, and who'd then even do that?
    Let's think about it. 1k per month for n people. So 0.2*n must generate n*1k in wealth to distribute, so they need to earn five times as much as the UBI of 1k. The UBI is paid from the nation's budget, and for the sake of simplicity let's consider the budget like this:
    Income: 50% income tax, 50% VAT
    Expense: 50% UBI, 50% other
    Basically, the UBI is completely paid for by income tax (or VAT) and the rest by the respective other. So let's say those working pay 50% of their salary in income tax, so they need to be paid ten times the UBI to finance it all.
    So the other half of the nation's budget needs to be generated via VAT. Just in order for the whole system to not collapse, the whole population must spend at least the entire UBI per month just to keep things running. Which is fine since nobody needs to save for bad times anymore, but I surely do not want to hear anyone complaining that we consume too much after we get a UBI.
    Also, the entire system collapses hard once globalism comes into play. Since the system is heavily dependent on wealth generation within its own borders, import and export must be extremely taxed in order to restrict currency flow in and out.

    /edit: Tl;dr: Those still working will need to be paid according to the amount of people still working, their tax rate, and the percentage income tax has in the nation's budget. The "working class" will probably earn at least ten times the UBI on average just to finance that shit. And everyone will have to spend a significant portion of their income to keep things going. Spending will be mandatory, because it essentially is shuffling money around and required to keep things going. Factually, this means that only the working class will be able (and even allowed) to amass enough temporary wealth to, for example, buy a car or an apartment or a house. Spinning this further, since consumption is essential for the economy, planned obsolescence is probably required. The UBI class is then practically without permanent property, because everything must be broken and bought new as often as possible, and the "working class" is again the one who can hold all the power.
    And this is just the result of financing the UBI.
    Given that I'd be one of the required working people, I gracefully accept my position as a future feudal lord, and am now a staunch proponent of the UBI.

    /edit2: It gets better. Jobs that could be automated but are less likely to be automated because humans are preferred like caretaking and nursery and so on will be even more oppressed and shitty because they're the more achievable entry to the "working class" (or rather, new ruling class) for most, so there'll be heavy competition for everyone trying to get into it. The supply will seriously outweigh demand and thus the benefit of those jobs over just plain receiving UBI will be just enough that people will want to do it. They'll be the new middle class. The UBI fixed nothing for the 80% (and that's the generous estimate, the income disparity gets more and more skewed the fewer people you need in required jobs).
    Congratulations, you empowered the working class. Aren't you happy now?
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  18. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I am not sure this increase in efficiency trough technology actually really created more jobs than it actually destroyed. I mean sure there have been changes, education has increased, you have more pencil pushers. But on the other side how many are they? And are the "new" jobs actually meaningful? Or even contribute to society? I think that is at the very least questionable with a lot of new professions out there.

    When we look at the current situation during this crisis and how many people are "asked" to sit at home doing nothing rather than working I kinda have the feeling there are a lot more "useless" jobs out there than we actually like to admit. Could be between 30 maybe even 40% of the jobs out there - at least this the unemployment rate that some people are expecting for the next few months if this shut down continues. Only the jobs which are absolutely required to run a functioning society are currently occupied, you know all those "low wage" people that are worth nothing. Truck drivers, store workers, nurses, mail delivery and the like. Who would have guessed that actually low skilled jobs are some of the most important ones out there for a functioning society. And yet, we as society often pay them just a nickel and a dime for their time. And in the near future a large chunk of those jobs might get replaced by machines.

    Anyway. You know I suspected for some time now that our society is very good in creating what is known as "Bull shit" jobs which I learned from David Graeber I quote : "that argues the existence and societal harm of meaningless jobs. He contends that over half of societal work is pointless, which becomes psychologically destructive when paired with a work ethic that associates work with self-worth. Graeber describes five types of meaningless jobs, in which workers pretend their role is not as pointless or harmful as they know it to be: flunkies, goons, duct tapers, box tickers, and taskmasters. He argues that the association of labor with virtuous suffering is recent in human history, and proposes universal basic income as a potential solution"

    So again I am not sure if all those new technologies really lead to actually more people doing meaningful work or if we simply haven't created also a very high amount of completely useless positions. I mean we even see this in academics sometimes.

    There is no reason to expect this next push in efficiency and automation to play out exactly like all the others before even if we would assume that all the technological changes before also created sufficiently enough new jobs for people to occupy. For example the number one job out there in most developed countries is delivery, from warehouses to mail and trucks, public transport and so on, pushing objects or people from point A to B. And this might become automated quite soon, maybe 5 years, or 10 who knows. But I am pretty certain that it will happen. Because the technology is actually already there so it's not a question of if but when. All that's needed really is some refinement and the necessary infrastructure (5G for example).

    So we're looking at millions of jobs here in just this one sector of employment that could see massive layoffs. However even if some people are capable of changing and adapting I just do not see how someone who was a truck driver for 35 years with a high school education is going to become suddenly an expert as virtual reality designer or big data analyst getting his PhD in physics, math or what ever and programming the AI that replaced his job. And that's just one industry. We haven't even talked yet about artificial AI in all of the services like banking, jurisdiction even medical fields. The moment an AI becomes sophisticated enough to answer your phone calls, taking orders and actually issuing orders with the same quality as humans all of those jobs will be terminated. Again what are those people supposed to do? Particularly when you have to consider that the remaining jobs will require highly specialized skill sets and intelligence probably with years of studying. Do you want to sent 20% or 30% of the workforce to collect food stamps?

    And another question even if we could, for the sake of argument, say yes all those people in low wage jobs miraculously have the IQ of Stephen Hawking and the motivation of Usain Bolt it still begs the question how they are supposed to actually get the required skills and education if they lost their previous job and thus have no income anymore particularly when you consider how expensive it is already now to get a high quality education. And not everyone has the funds to spend months if not years sitting at home and learning everything on is own either like a perfectly gifted autodidact - not to mention that this is also not possible in every field as certain professions require knowledge that you can only gain in a laboratory or comparable facilities.

    So even if you're not in favour of the UBI you have to at least make it somehow easier to get access to higher levels of education.

    Your point is that jobs change and even dissapear over time and I absolutely agree. However there is a difference between new technologies offering you more and easier accessible options - see the use of computers and digital technology with photography and photomanipulation - and technology aimed at lowering costs by eliminating staff which is what we see right now with Amazon and many other business where they work very hard on developing technologies to getting completely rid of their staff.

    For example if you're an construction engineer the development of the excavator isn't going to replace your position in fact it is probably going to make your job a hell of a lot easier because things can be done now faster and better offering you more options. The same though can not be necessarily said about the 20 or so "low skilled" guys which used to dig all those holes before the excavator replaced them. While this evolution might not have lead to mass employment because there have been still enough "low skilled" jobs around those people can do there is as I said no reason to assume that every technological change has to play out like this.

    Sadly we have very little influence on what technology and technological evolutions do to society as a whole, see the internet, social media or the smart phone and other electronical devices. Things have always impacted the people and society in ways how no one could imagine.

    All we can do is trying to push for policies and ideas that help us in dealing with the consequences. And I am not against technology per se. As long as it's not used to simply divide people even more in the haves and have nots. Right now, we're going very heavily in the direction of the Elysium society if you so will, where fewer and fewer people actually benefit from the technological improvements.
  19. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    In my previous scenario, the 80% will also work bullshit jobs. Everyone will create shitty Etsy-trinkets to keep themselves busy and sell to generate a bit more income so they can buy the same shitty trinkets. It's the backbone of the economy. Literally, because VAT is king. It's shuffling money around and pretending that some worth was created, when the actual worth was created by the working class, who will live like Lords in the countryside.
  20. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I thought it would be the social sciences creating papers by watching porn or playing video games.

    Playing vidgy games all day and smoking weed? Here! You earned your diploma, doctor.