Universal basic income
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Thread: Universal basic income

  1. #1
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    Universal basic income

    I always see people encouraging a basic income...they suggest it should be a living wage.

    So, I have a basic question...

    1) where does the money come from?

    Someone, a lot of people actually, need to earn more than the basic income to support those who don't. If you can get enough to survive without working and, if you work you have to give a lot of what you make to support those who don't, what's encouraging you to work?

    Maybe it should come from businesses? Except they need to earn more than they make to pay taxes...if we raise taxes, the business needs to charge more, which raises the cost of living. This means the government needs to raise the payouts on the living wage, so they need to increase taxes.

    There is only one source of government money, that's the tax payer. It's not "free" money. If they print more, the buying power decreases, it's a zero sum game.

    It's always nice to help out others, give to the needy, etc. But where does he money come from? Do we just "tax the rich"? Who is classified as "rich"? Seems anyone not getting government money.


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    The premise is that there are cost savings in other parts of govt by doing this. Healthcare, social services, eliminates GIS, welfare, etc. Is it enough in savings to offset the costs? I don't know.

    Most experiments with it have shown that there is no drop in workforce participation rates.

    I'm indifferent on the subject either way.

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    I think the number of people who are currently sitting around, happily milking the system will be the same and the number of people who have a job because they would go mad without something to do all day will be the same. It will just result in a simpler, more efficient government for the reasons nobleea has mentioned.

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    Spent money circulates through the economy (velocity of money) and it ends up back to the government.

    Governments create deficits when the money doesn't circulate........like tax breaks for the rich.

    It was never more obvious than the comparison of the efforts of the US and China to provide impetus during their recessions.

    The Americans spent Trillions propping up their banks, and the banks earned money by lending it back to the government.

    The Chinese directed their stimulus capital to the people in the form of vouchers to buy Chinese products and cash.

    China recovered fairly quickly. The US has languished for years.
    Last edited by sags; 2017-05-10 at 04:29 PM.
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    I've said this before, but right now I believe we are peak jobs in the world. Automation is going to be increasing at a much faster rate over the next few years. I also see consumerism dropping (if slightly) from it's current peak which will reduce need for jobs even more.

    At some point society needs to address this. When 5% or 10% of the population is unemployed we can support them partially through taxes, and heck if a few fall through the cracks, it isn't that significant a number anyway. But what happens when it's 90% unemployment? Is it fair that the 10% who happen to have jobs get all of the money or conversely fair for them to get taxed to pay for the rest?

    Or does it become a matter of decreasing the retirement age to something like 40, or making a 20 hour work week?

    Again, remember I'm not talking next week or next year, but we will reach this point sooner rather than later and it's something we need to think about.

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    I was listening to Sam Harris's podcast and this is an example of how it could work:

    Everybody would get 12,000 a year. After one reaches 30,000 there will start to be a small clawback till it's gone. This ensures that people who can get a raise to 35,000 don't decide to quit because who wants to slide back to 12,000.

    As for where the money comes from. We would eliminate Disability, Unemployment, GIS CPP etc. Right now, some of those various offices have paperwork and people have to track any work they might have done, where they looked for work etc. Then they get called in to talk to a government clerk to show their supporting paperwork. You know the drill. Eliminate most of this and just give people a basic amount.

    With AI coming really quickly, we don't have many options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just a Guy View Post
    I always see people encouraging a basic income...they suggest it should be a living wage.

    So, I have a basic question...

    1) where does the money come from?
    If you give money to someone without any corresponding generation of goods and services, it will become purely inflationary. Milton Friedman won a nobel price when he proved this economic theory.

    Price increases, in a society, are paid for by everyone in that society, but the highest cost is paid for by the lowest incomes, since the effect of any price increase will be a higher percentage to lower income people then higher income people. Since the people getting the free money will obviously benefit, the highest cost will therefore be paid for by the people at the lowest incomes in that group that do not qualify to receive any free money. So the ones who just missed out on the free lunch. They will become the most poorer of all the citizens in that society as a result of this program.

    The middle class get to take it in the behind again.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsPartridge View Post
    As for where the money comes from. We would eliminate Disability, Unemployment, GIS CPP etc. Right now, some of those various offices have paperwork and people have to track any work they might have done, where they looked for work etc. Then they get called in to talk to a government clerk to show their supporting paperwork. You know the drill. Eliminate most of this and just give people a basic amount.
    So, instead of just giving to the minority (the unemployed and the retired), we'll take that money and give everyone money...I don't see that working as there are way more people currently not getting government handouts (umm I mean benefits) that can't afford to pay for the few who are currently.

    As for the advent of AI and more unemployed people, my question gets even more relevant from what I can see.
    I'm not JustAGuy (without spaces), or Donald, or <insert name here>.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OptsyEagle View Post
    If you give money to someone without any corresponding generation of goods and services, it will become purely inflationary. Milton Friedman won a nobel price when he proved this economic theory.

    Price increases, in a society, are paid for by everyone in that society, but the highest cost is paid for by the lowest incomes, since the effect of any price increase will be a higher percentage to lower income people then higher income people. Since the people getting the free money will obviously benefit, the highest cost will therefore be paid for by the people at the lowest incomes in that group that do not qualify to receive any free money. So the ones who just missed out on the free lunch. They will become the most poorer of all the citizens in that society as a result of this program.

    The middle class get to take it in the behind again.
    So, if we we give everyone a base amount, aren't we just raising the bar for everyone equally? Maybe the poverty line goes from 25k to 50k, how's that any different if we just gave everyone 25k now.
    I'm not JustAGuy (without spaces), or Donald, or <insert name here>.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsPartridge View Post
    I was listening to Sam Harris's podcast and this is an example of how it could work:

    Everybody would get 12,000 a year. After one reaches 30,000 there will start to be a small clawback till it's gone. This ensures that people who can get a raise to 35,000 don't decide to quit because who wants to slide back to 12,000.

    As for where the money comes from. We would eliminate Disability, Unemployment, GIS CPP etc. Right now, some of those various offices have paperwork and people have to track any work they might have done, where they looked for work etc. Then they get called in to talk to a government clerk to show their supporting paperwork. You know the drill. Eliminate most of this and just give people a basic amount.

    With AI coming really quickly, we don't have many options.
    Clawback has to be much more aggressive to make the numbers work. Really, there is no reason/need to have a 0 marginal tax rate on all income up to 30k. Really, the clawback should be at least 33% from $1. It's much better than the current welfare clawback of 100%+ (penalizing work).


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