What Do You Guys Think About A Universal Basic Income?

Well, jobs are being automated away. The process was started along time ago, see the Luddites. The difference now? There was a ton of room for growth, and a ton of things that humans could do that mere machines could not. AI poses a great problem, being capable of some pretty amazing things. I don't believe it'll destroy anything close to all jobs; there are still some things that humans can do better, and things that aren't economically feasible to automate. But how much unemployment does it really take to generate a miserable, starving, violent population? That ain't bulletproof, and neither is the stress of stable employment, let alone precarious employment.


There are a lot of positive people on this forum. So I'm expecting a lot of "anybody can be a wealthy entrepreneur if they just put their minds to it!". But we can't all sell books and MCT oil.


So what do you guys think? Sweet freedom from the machine, or communo-totalitarian government control scheme? Inevitable either way?


Here's how I think of it, corruption and failed implementation aside. What is the ultimate goal of human progress and technology? 100% unemployment! So we can d*ck around, dance, and eat grass-fed steaks all day.


It's something to think about these coming decades...


Comments

  • CallenCallen
    edited July 2016

    I just don't see how giving everyone $30,000 a year (or more) is possible in the United States, given that we have 318 million people living here. The State of California alone has way more people than does Australia (38 million vs 23 million). 


  • SkeletorSkeletor The Conqueror Worm ✭✭✭

    hahaha dis gon b gud


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  • I've heard former labor secretary (under Bill Clinton) Robert Reich give a pretty strong argument for a universal basic income. Saying that it will even be good for companies and the rich people who own stock in them -- because more people with money means more purchasing of goods and services.


     


    I've also heard the argument that the Earned Income Tax Credit is better for fighting poverty, because it encourages people to work, rather than taking away that incentive.


     


    Of course, I have my qualms about "how are we gonna pay for this?", and I have concerns about taking away people's incentives to work, and to generally contribute to society.


  • WalterWalter ✭✭✭
    edited July 2016

    Well first, I don't think everything will be automated. And if it would happen, people will find ways to work and get paid, destroying machines if necessary.


    And second, some people can be relatively rich and talk on the internet about supplements because billions of people are poor and do useful stuff for cheap.


     


    Lastly, let's not forget it's physically impossible to have everyone eat grass fed steak and wild caught salmon regularly. Normal people will eat corn, peanuts, soy and grains because that is available in large quantities. It's not called BulletproofDevelopingWorld, it's called BulletproofExec.


  • RekaReka ✭✭✭

    I think the world of occupations and work is changing rapidly, and will keep changing. Jobs won't really disappear, but change a lot, and I feel that so many new jobs are pretty worthless, and basically one only has to talk a lot to land a good job, nothing else. Interesting stuff.


     


    Some basic income already exists in most places, in form of some unemployment allowance or how it's called. Here it is very low, but also the minimal wage is so low that the difference is too small, and many people don't have a real incentive to work. On the other hand, there is no financial appreciation of completing university studies, one can earn more as a hairdresser or electrician than a teacher or healthcare provider, so there is not much incentive to get education, except for the fact that it delays getting an actual job and starting an adult life. Crazy world.


    It doesn't get easier... It's you who gets better.

     

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  • CallenCallen
    edited August 2016

    No rebuttals, OP? Lol. You seemed like you had it all figured out. 




  • No rebuttals, OP? Lol. You seemed like you had it all figured out. 




    Quite the opposite, I definitely don't have it figured out. I have an incomplete opinion on this. This thread is more about highlighting a potentially huge problem in the near future.


    But here are some thoughts.


    1. GDP per capita in the US is over $50,000. The most common number tossed around by US proponents of UBI is ~$15,000 per year. If that speaks anything for its affordability.

    2. I'm not worried about people losing the motivation to work because:

        a. The whole reason for UBI is to null the negative effects of a labor oversupply caused by mass automation. And the monotonous, soul-killing work is what will be prone to automation, leaving more of

        the creative, potentially rewarding jobs left for humans.

        b. Additional wages for labor can co-exist with UBI, contrary to popular assumption. People still want things, and $15,000 will not satisfy everybody.

        c. People still want to feel important. Studies have shown that social status means more than money when it comes to happiness, after the point where you can feed yourself and live comfortably.

    3. To accurately assess the efficacy/affordability of UBI, you must consider the costs of not having one. Assuming a reality of mass unemployment, these homeless don't go away. A large percentage is virtually guaranteed to commit crimes and make their way to jail, which is far from cheap. UBI will likely replace most of welfare (barring certain minimum programs, like mental health assistance for the ones that can't function perhaps). Then there's the incalculable-yet-significant healthcare and criminal cost of unemployment stress.

  • RekaReka ✭✭✭
    edited August 2016


    Quite the opposite, I definitely don't have it figured out. I have an incomplete opinion on this. This thread is more about highlighting a potentially huge problem in the near future.


    But here are some thoughts.


    1. GDP per capita in the US is over $50,000. The most common number tossed around by US proponents of UBI is ~$15,000 per year. If that speaks anything for its affordability.

    2. I'm not worried about people losing the motivation to work because:

        a. The whole reason for UBI is to null the negative effects of a labor oversupply caused by mass automation. And the monotonous, soul-killing work is what will be prone to automation, leaving more of

        the creative, potentially rewarding jobs left for humans.

        b. Additional wages for labor can co-exist with UBI, contrary to popular assumption. People still want things, and $15,000 will not satisfy everybody.

        c. People still want to feel important. Studies have shown that social status means more than money when it comes to happiness, after the point where you can feed yourself and live comfortably.

    3. To accurately assess the efficacy/affordability of UBI, you must consider the costs of not having one. Assuming a reality of mass unemployment, these homeless don't go away. A large percentage is virtually guaranteed to commit crimes and make their way to jail, which is far from cheap. UBI will likely replace most of welfare (barring certain minimum programs, like mental health assistance for the ones that can't function perhaps). Then there's the incalculable-yet-significant healthcare and criminal cost of unemployment stress.




     


    Good points.


    But oh God, I don't make $15,000 a year in Hungary. :D For me this would only give motivation to move to the US and do nothing. :D


    Of course, while here it is a sum much above the average income, in the US is quite minimal. Still, got me thinking, in countries such as Hungary and so many others, people like me with university degree, speaking foreign languages, lots of IT and finance skills, earn just enough to pay rent and get by. And we are pretty much in the middle, not in a really bad situation.


    I'm very sad to come to this conclusion, but if I could go back in time I would have just skipped most of my education. It was great for learning and gave me lots of knowledge, but no return on it. 


    More generally speaking, wages should be corrected first, otherwise it would make no sense for most people to make the effort to work.


    It doesn't get easier... It's you who gets better.

     

    Is your social worker in that horse?

     

    Success has a price, not a secret.

  • CallenCallen
    edited August 2016


    Quite the opposite, I definitely don't have it figured out. I have an incomplete opinion on this. This thread is more about highlighting a potentially huge problem in the near future.

     




    Technology will render some jobs obsolete but will also create new jobs. I'm not worried about it all.


     


     




    Here's how I think of it, corruption and failed implementation aside. What is the ultimate goal of human progress and technology? 100% unemployment! So we can d*ck around, dance, and eat grass-fed steaks all day.

     




    This statement gives me the impression that you're not genuinely inquiring so much as hoping it comes to fruition. You're a Bernie supporter, aren't you?




  • Technology will render some jobs obsolete but will also create new jobs. I'm not worried about it all.




    Of course. But I don't think there's any guarantee against a net loss of jobs. Businesses only invest in human labor if the predicted payoff is greater than the cost. At the point of a technologically advanced society, it's more profitable to invest in robots, raw materials, real estate, high-end miscellaneous investments (old cars, antiques etc) than human labor. The people they will be buying these items will most likely be very wealthy. This is one way wealth concentrates. And as wealth concentrates, it becomes more profitable to sell badass things (high-end biohacking tools, space travel) to ridiculously rich people than to sell "Walmart items" to people with $0 to $12 in their bank account, assuming welfare doesn't exist. So it's not like the volume of trade decreases, it just occurs to an ever-wealthier and ever-shrinking percentage of the population. Wealth concentration is a known phenomenon, and it's sort of common sense. The logical endpoint is a monopoly that can manage to choke out it's competitors via predatory pricing, keeping supply artificially low, or any other such tactic. I would guess that we'd be there already, if it weren't for heavy war taxes, direct monopoly breakups, and other forms of state intervention. To argue that business predation and monopoly building is wrong, and that past examples of state intervention were totally righteous is another argument. But let's be honest about the accumulator nature of wealth.

     



     


    This statement gives me the impression that you're not genuinely inquiring so much as hoping it comes to fruition. You're a Bernie supporter, aren't you?



    Why can't it be both?


    For the record, I'm not a Bernie supporter.

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