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How far are we from a universal basic income being the norm?


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#1
RoboRage

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I would like your thoughts on this?

 

Thanks.



#2
funkervogt

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What does "the norm" mean? "The norm" across the richest 20 countries, or for the majority of the global human population? 

 

What if a country doesn't technically have a UBI, but it guarantees all citizens a package of free services (healthcare, housing, education, mass transit, etc.) that, if monetized, would be worth $3,000/mo, which most people would consider equivalent to a "UBI"? Would you consider that as being as good as a UBI? 



#3
RoboRage

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What does "the norm" mean? "The norm" across the richest 20 countries, or for the majority of the global human population? 

 

What if a country doesn't technically have a UBI, but it guarantees all citizens a package of free services (healthcare, housing, education, mass transit, etc.) that, if monetized, would be worth $3,000/mo, which most people would consider equivalent to a "UBI"? Would you consider that as being as good as a UBI? 

 

The "Norm" will be money given to citizens for no stings attached; though by your definition that would be a form of UBI.

 

Though you didn't answer my question:

 

When will UBI become the Norm?



#4
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no stings attached

That's a weak point. Should be Conditional Basic Income (CBI).
 



#5
waitingforthe2030s

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Depending on how the next 5 years go, 2029 or never.


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#6
Cyber_Rebel

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Like Andrew Yang's position? 

 

Depends entirely upon how much automation disrupts labor and industry, and when. Even capitalist at that point would need to consider some kind of reparation, or risk all out revolt. The smarter ones in silicon valley and the Elon Musk types have, but this is an issue that needs to be felt before anything comes out of it. 

 

A package of free services guaranteed to citizens sounds pretty good, (like @funkervogt) and really is better for covering basic needs for living.



#7
Alislaws

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What does "the norm" mean? "The norm" across the richest 20 countries, or for the majority of the global human population? 

 

What if a country doesn't technically have a UBI, but it guarantees all citizens a package of free services (healthcare, housing, education, mass transit, etc.) that, if monetized, would be worth $3,000/mo, which most people would consider equivalent to a "UBI"? Would you consider that as being as good as a UBI? 

OP: "How far are we from a universal basic income being the norm?"

FV: Define "the norm"? Do you mean in rich countries or all countries? what counts as UBI?

OP: "the norm is normal, You didnt answer my question"

---

 

Im with you guys on the idea of a package of free basic services. If i was in charge: (this should probably never happen, due to my megalomania!)

I'd have 2 types of money,

  • one that buy essential basic stuff, like food, overalls and nappies and toothpaste.
  • One that buys everything else

 

Then your UBI is enough "essential money" to cover everything you need for the month, but you cant take it and go out and spend it all on chocolate or something. This is important because if you are wealthy enough to buy luxury food/clothing/toothpaste/nappies etc. and you choose to do so you wouldn't have anything to spend your UBI on so it wouldn't get used.

 

People only need a limited amount of essentials. Few people will go "oh well I have E$200 left over I'll buy thousands of cans of beans!" at least after they already have a house full of piles of essential foodstuffs and supplies. 

 

Probs have some socialist structures in the provision of essentials, (basically you want to get the biggest possible economies of scale, and you don't need a lot of innovation or originality if your producing loaves of bread or bags of rice) and then you can free up the rest of the economy for much more dynamic capitalism since your safety net is both comprehensive and largely unaffected by economic up or downswings.  

 

This means an end to "too big to fail" an end to unions striking and an end to monopoly-assisting over regulation. Also an end to governments being too scared of corporations leaving, or reducing jobs to actually tax them. Your companies can hire and fire as they choose and every person in the country can walk away from their job at any time making it a true free market, and with Jobs being a true free market, the job market would regulate corporations effectively with no/little govt. intervention.

 

 

My guess for UBI being normal: Never. By the time we are productive enough for 50+% of humanity to have UBI, we'll start to get "post money" societies and we'll probably never have over 50% of people on some kind of Universal income



#8
quantumdoc

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this is a great question and discussion.

 

i feel as the great income inequality gap widens rapidly as it is right now throughout the world, this will eventually be needed to save humanity. the question is, how long till we get there? probably impossible to estimate, but I would say somewhere around 100 years. I think select countries will evolve to this but "universally" it will take much longer. Once there are a certain percentage of homeless and impoverished people then I would think a government would adopt the system. there are already forms of this but not quite UBI. medicaid, medicare, social security, disability, etc. these are all forms of UBI but with "strings attached" as another person stated. These types of systems in my opinion are just the "beta" stage of UBI. they were all designed to help the needy which used to be the minority. When the predominate class of people become lower class bracket, i think governments will have to institute a UBI. the UBI system was actually in place well before US existed. believe it or not for centuries of humanity, the income gap was as such universally. the kingdoms were the 1% and everyone else fell into a low class bracket ensuring the kingdom could live on. kingdoms gave a UBI in the form of food and goods to everyone and this kept the people happy and subserviant to them. it also ensured that the people were "addicted" and "dependent" upon the kingdom. it wasnt really until the 1700's when the US were founded when there was an attempt to create a middle class and give people freedom. People tend to forget this. What we are witnessing now is the evolutionary and eventual realization that whenever you have a ever increasing poplulation anywhere on earth, no matter how hard you try to give "power to the people" and keep a fair middle class, it seems that things sort of fall back to a select few obtaining all the power and the majority of humanity becomes poor and powerless. this is now happening in the US, falling back to the way kings operated centuries ago. both political parties are guilty of this. the democrats want universal handouts. all this does in secure their power and creates a dependency. the republicans do anything they can to empower the richest people and create a sense of false economic boom but in reality the majority of people are not able to afford basic things anymore.  this in my opinion is just circling back now to the way it had been for centuries of human civilization.


"what we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning" WH


#9
RoboRage

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this is a great question and discussion.

 

i feel as the great income inequality gap widens rapidly as it is right now throughout the world, this will eventually be needed to save humanity. the question is, how long till we get there? probably impossible to estimate, but I would say somewhere around 100 years. I think select countries will evolve to this but "universally" it will take much longer. Once there are a certain percentage of homeless and impoverished people then I would think a government would adopt the system. there are already forms of this but not quite UBI. medicaid, medicare, social security, disability, etc. these are all forms of UBI but with "strings attached" as another person stated. These types of systems in my opinion are just the "beta" stage of UBI. they were all designed to help the needy which used to be the minority. When the predominate class of people become lower class bracket, i think governments will have to institute a UBI. the UBI system was actually in place well before US existed. believe it or not for centuries of humanity, the income gap was as such universally. the kingdoms were the 1% and everyone else fell into a low class bracket ensuring the kingdom could live on. kingdoms gave a UBI in the form of food and goods to everyone and this kept the people happy and subserviant to them. it also ensured that the people were "addicted" and "dependent" upon the kingdom. it wasnt really until the 1700's when the US were founded when there was an attempt to create a middle class and give people freedom. People tend to forget this. What we are witnessing now is the evolutionary and eventual realization that whenever you have a ever increasing poplulation anywhere on earth, no matter how hard you try to give "power to the people" and keep a fair middle class, it seems that things sort of fall back to a select few obtaining all the power and the majority of humanity becomes poor and powerless. this is now happening in the US, falling back to the way kings operated centuries ago. both political parties are guilty of this. the democrats want universal handouts. all this does in secure their power and creates a dependency. the republicans do anything they can to empower the richest people and create a sense of false economic boom but in reality the majority of people are not able to afford basic things anymore.  this in my opinion is just circling back now to the way it had been for centuries of human civilization.

 

 

I mean will earth be around in 100 years?



#10
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BTW, if some of you are enthusiastic UBI supporters, why not give your personal money to those who are poorer than you?
 



#11
Alislaws

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BTW, if some of you are enthusiastic UBI supporters, why not give your personal money to those who are poorer than you?
 

Because that is not the same as UBI?

 

UBI is about agreeing a minimum acceptable standard of living for your society and then ensuring everyone in your society has the means to meet that regardless of their circumstances. you're saying "no, as a nation we can afford to make sure no one lives worse than X"

 

Giving your money to people poorer than you is just normal charity, and generally doesn't address root cause or the underlying issue. e.g. if you give a homeless person £10 they won't suddenly get less homeless. (although you'd be doing a good thing and helping someone out) whereas if you vote in a govt. that builds loads of council houses, that could actually get the person of the street. 



#12
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UBI is about agreeing a minimum acceptable standard of living for your society and then ensuring everyone in your society has the means to meet that regardless of their circumstances.

Just giving money without any conditions does not guarantee a standard of living. Many will spend this money in three days, and then what?
There must be very strict conditions regarding the receipt of "free money".  The recipient must meet certain requirements.
And the decision to give or not should be made by a computer program, and not by a person.

 



#13
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Universal basic income won't work

It will increase inflation and give the bourgeoisie a excuse to cut government services

A future economy where most people are unemployed and receive a basic income and a few people are rich and own businesses producing goods would be horrid.

#14
Erowind

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BTW, if some of you are enthusiastic UBI supporters, why not give your personal money to those who are poorer than you?

If you think measles should be eradicated why don't you give your vaccine to people in countries that don't have access to it instead of using it yourself? 
 
 

 

UBI is about agreeing a minimum acceptable standard of living for your society and then ensuring everyone in your society has the means to meet that regardless of their circumstances.

Just giving money without any conditions does not guarantee a standard of living. Many will spend this money in three days, and then what?
There must be very strict conditions regarding the receipt of "free money".  The recipient must meet certain requirements.
And the decision to give or not should be made by a computer program, and not by a person.

 

Conditional welfare creates income threshold traps that keep people in poverty. If people lose their UBI after an income threshold they won't seek higher income by virtue that working will generally cause their income to drop or stagnate overall. This is a proven economic phenomena despite the non-partisan wiki definition.
 
https://en.wikipedia...ki/Welfare_trap
 
"The welfare trap (or unemployment trap or poverty trap in British English) theory asserts that taxation and welfare systems can jointly contribute to keep people on social insurance because the withdrawal of means-tested benefits that comes with entering low-payed work causes there to be no significant increase in total income. An individual sees that the opportunity cost of returning to work is too great for too little financial return, and this can create a perverse incentive to not work."
 
To elaborate a bit. If someone makes 1,000$ a month from UBI but loses a dollar off that benefit for every 1$ they make by the time they make 1,000$ through their wages they are worse off than before. Yes, they still make 1,000$, but they also lose energy in the fact that they're toiling for it now. Say to reach that threshold a person must work 40hrs a week at a near minimum wage job. Well what's the point? If they want to get anywhere they'd have to work 80hrs a week at a shitty job to double their income over their benifit which they got for not working at all. If you were in that scenario what would you do? The threshold could be set in a more egalitarian way of course. Say, UBI is an opt out program for all people with less than 1,000,000$ in assets and isn't given to anyone over that threshold. But that's not the conversation being had in western oligarchies and I highly doubt that the rich are going to support a policy that empowers poor people while highlighting their own exploitative economic position. 
 
Yes, poor people can spend money quickly because they often live paycheck to paycheck due to their economic reality. The economic liquidity generated through UBI induced consumer spending is something that some capitalist economists actually advocate in favor of UBI believe it or not. Increased consumer spending = higher profit margins for business reliant on consumer spending thus stimulating the economy. The question of UBI highlights a greater systemic issue in that it generally doesn't eradicate the need to live paycheck to paycheck for many, only make it more comfortable. That issue being structuring economies entirely around capital accumulation, and the implications of such a system, assuming one cares about human need and or ambition. 
 
Removing human agency through automation is a myth within the context of our modern time. All automation no matter how advanced requires human input, where human input is susceptible to human bias making the entire automated system biased. Perhaps this could change if an artificial general intelligence is ever developed. Even then though AGIs will have to spend centuries or more likely millennia crafting their own cultures before being truly free of human influence. Which is to say, even if a computer were as intelligent as a human they would initially be shaped by the same cultural, economic and philosophical forces that shape us.



#15
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UBI's "no string attached" the only advantage is simplicity. The management price would be close to zero.
Everything else is another utopia that has never worked out in the history of mankind. 

Why work if you can live a decent life without wasting time on activities you don't like? 
in theory, technological communism  can be achieved by implementing extensive self-services, but a sufficient amount of people will not be able to learn.



#16
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UBI's "no string attached" the only advantage is simplicity. The management price would be close to zero.
Everything else is another utopia that has never worked out in the history of mankind. 

Why work if you can live a decent life without wasting time on activities you don't like? 
in theory, technological communism  can be achieved by implementing extensive self-services, but a sufficient amount of people will not be able to learn.

 

Unconditional welfare works when its funded. See the NHS prior to decades of funding cuts. Moreover people come to accept and defend it tooth and nail so much so that even conservatives are forced to frame their policy in terms of defending the program even if they don't actually want to fund it. See Brexit rhetoric around saving money for the NHS by leaving the EU. 

 

Saying "everything" is a dubious statement because it's all encompassing. Many societies didn't rely on markets at all and human need was/is the motivator. See the planned economies of the Inca or modern and historic tribal societies. Moreover its not utopian to seek policies that work better, that's called improvement. 

 

Why do rich people work when they can live off interest if they please? Some of them do, but I'm sure you noticed most don't. Moreover work exists outside of wage labour and profit generation. Building community is work. Studying is work. Research is work. Spiritual enrichment is work. Cultural enrichment is work. I do not define work by what profit deems productive but by what mutually improves our lives both individually and collectively. If you didn't need money for anything would you loaf all day? 

 

"In theory, market capitalism can be achieved by implementing extensive market freedoms, but a sufficient amount of people will not be able to learn" ~ said the feudalist.



#17
Alislaws

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If people spend the money immediately, then its going to other businesses in their area, and stimulating the economy. They can pay for their other essentials using the money they earn normally. 

 

If they are unemployed, they won't spend it in 3 days because then they would starve to death and human beings don't like starving to death. We avoid it instinctively because all the humans who enjoyed starving to death died out. 

 

 

A future economy where most people are unemployed and receive a basic income and a few people are rich and own businesses producing goods would be horrid.

The alternative we are currently heading towards is a future where a few people are rich and run businesses employing billions of robots and a few thousand people with several PHDs each to run things, and the rest of the population is useless and starves to death. 

 

UBI Is a simple solution that allows us to continue our entire capitalist economic system without either having 80% of the population starve to death, or a major revolution (which is more likely because, as i've mentioned starving to death is not fun for people).

 

 

Why work if you can live a decent life without wasting time on activities you don't like?

  • Because you could live a better life by working? (UBI+Salary > UBI)
  • Because you actually enjoy your job? 
  • Because sitting around watching daytime TV all day is both boring and actually for many people depressing?
  • Because your job is important and helps people?

 

Just because some people might like to sit around doing nothing productive 24/7 for a decade doesn't mean that most people will. Even super rich people who don't need to work to have everything they could want will still organise charity dinners, or run their own hobby companies or party with the rich and famous or whatever to entertain themselves. They don't just sit there staring at walls because they don't have to move. 

 

How many people would volunteer to do charity work if they didn't have to worry about earning a living? A lot more than with the current system where you can volunteer in your 2 days a week spare time around your job which you need to live.

 

I'd give it a year or so before most people would find something productive to do at least 3 or 4 days a week. 

 

with UBI:

  • Lazy uninterested employees will be a thing of the past, they will just stay home. (if you have ever worked anywhere, you will know how much of a problem unmotivated people who are just doing the bare minimum can be for any business that wants to be a success)
  • Boring Jobs which don't appear to be important or necessary will need to be automated because no one will do them.
  • If your business becomes unprofitable you can fire half your workforce right away which is illegal now in most places. But is also occasionally the only way to keep a business going. With a safety net that will catch all your employees you don't need to worry about making the hard choices.  
  • Asshole bosses will have very high employee turnover rates and will soon be replaced. So enthusiastic + motivated workers along with good managers would be the norm in every business!

 

Essentially UBI gets all the people who can't be bothered out of the way and lets all the motivated people work on getting things done. 

 

Not as good as the system I outlined earlier in the thread IMO but good luck getting people to vote for that! UBI is probably the most reasonable transitional system for the end of our current system and movement to whatever the next phase is. 

 

(This is all assuming people don't just miraculously invent new productive jobs for everyone as we automate the old ones as some people claim will happen)



#18
caltrek

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There is another transitional system that could also work:

 

https://nonprofitqua...nemy-to-friend/

 

 

Also discussed heavily in this thread:

 

https://www.futureti...n-thread/page-4


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#19
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Why do rich people work when they can live off interest if they please? 

But do they work at a construction site in winter or at a fish processing plant? And even so, they get huge salaries and bonuses.

Studying is work. Research is work. Spiritual enrichment is work. Cultural enrichment is work.
Sure. Car repair in the pit all day long sounds less attractive. What about nursing old people? Working on a fishing trawler? 
People get paid for the work because no one does it for free.

 

most people would find something productive to do at least 3 or 4 days a week. 

Something like lying on the beach in summer? Play volleyball?



#20
Alislaws

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Why do rich people work when they can live off interest if they please? 

But do they work at a construction site in winter or at a fish processing plant? And even so, they get huge salaries and bonuses.

Many many many rich people volunteer at charities or work at unprofitable jobs because they enjoy those jobs or because they care about the charities involved. 

(Some billionaire buying a clothing shop for his wife is like a whole stereotypical rich thing in London these days!)

As for the crap jobs, see below.

 

 

Sure. Car repair in the pit all day long sounds less attractive. What about nursing old people? Working on a fishing trawler? 
People get paid for the work because no one does it for free.

So your argument is that UBI won't work because automation of unpleasant or tedious jobs will never happen? Can you lay out your reasoning for why automation is going to stop progressing? Obviously if automation stops then UBI will never be introduced so the whole conversation is pointless. 

 

 

 

most people would find something productive to do at least 3 or 4 days a week. 

Something like lying on the beach in summer? Play volleyball?

Here is the definition of the word productive which may help you?

I hope this makes it clear that lying on a beach is not productive. Playing volleyball might be productive if there are enough people who find it entertaining to watch you I guess. 

 

Do you have any evidence beyond "thats what i would Do!" that people will be totally unproductive unless forced into working by threat of starvation/homelessness etc. Are there some studies that have proved that most people behave this way when given the opportunity? You seem very certain? 






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