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Tue Feb 23, 2021, 01:45 AM

How to frame a UBI public policy for successfully passing a new law

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a desirable public policy with many social benefits. However, UBI as a public policy is an anathema to conservative elements in government and society. Even though conservative elements would undoubtedly benefit from having a UBI public policy they are strongly against it. So when promoting UBI as a public policy, the importance of language and how the issue is being framed is paramount. Any bill promoting UBI will require finely crafted language or it will never get enough support to pass.

This post is broken down into four parts below:

Part I The Wrong Language to use for Promoting UBI

Part II The Right Language to use for Promoting UBI

Part III Counter Arguments to the Criticisms of UBI

Part IV References

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Reply How to frame a UBI public policy for successfully passing a new law (Original post)
thx64536 Feb 23 OP
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Response to thx64536 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 01:45 AM

1. Part I The Wrong Language to use for Promoting UBI

Here are some of the benefits of having UBI but also the wrong way of framing the issue. Wrong meaning using certain language will guarantee it will never become public policy. Here are examples of the wrong way to promote UBI as a public policy with commentary:

"The Universal Income Project is devoted to the expansion of economic security and human dignity through the implementation of a universal basic income in America. We build networks and use creative tools to educate, popularize, and organize around this radically common-sense idea." (1)

Economic security and human dignity are good aspirations. But no bill will ever be passed using this language. Also, it is important to avoid using words like "radically" when it comes to trying to get support from conservatives. UBI may seem to be a "common-sense idea" but only from a certain point-of-view. For example, if massive tax increases are needed for funding UBI, then UBI is not considered to be a common-sense idea to conservatives.

"Universal basic income is a simple idea that could have a radical impact on our society: give people enough money to meet their basic needs, providing everyone in the country with an income floor. Basic income could eliminate absolute poverty, support entrepreneurship and creativity, and allow every American to share in the prosperity that we have created together as a nation." (2)

UBI is not a simple idea because of how it will be funded. The word "radical" will kill any effort. The phrase "give people enough money" will shut down conservative support. Language like this is often criticized with derogatory comments like "communism", "tax increase", "socialism", or "redistribution of wealth". No matter how admirable, moral, or needed, using language like this will go nowhere. Nobody is going to disagree with the idea babies should have enough food to eat. Eliminating poverty is certainly a desirable goal but it has to be talked about tactfully and with sophistication. The people in power, that is, people with real money and influence are simply not going to accept "allow every American to share in the prosperity that we have created together as a nation" as a valid argument. Conservatives do not think in terms of "we". They believe they are personally and solely responsible for all their own wealth creation. Suggesting otherwise to a conservative is seen as or experienced as a personal attack. This is why the language used in promoting UBI must be finely crafted so that conservative elements of society see it as a positive for their well-being the same way tax-cuts are perceived.

"UBI has potentially profound ramifications for inequality. Poverty is eliminated, the labour contract becomes more nearly voluntary, and the power relations between workers and employers become less unequal since workers have the option of exit." (3)

Nobody making the median wage is going to deny the economy is tilted not in their favor. Every year the rich get richer. Wealth inequality is at all-time highs. (4) The thing is, people with power and privilege are not going to support any public policy that will change the "power relations between workers and employers." This is simply not going to happen without a massive bloody revolution, economic collapse, and/or a complete rewrite of our government's Constitution. And the military will be used without hesitation in preventing a any kind of leftist revolution from occurring in this country.

Anyway, you get the idea. In spite of hundreds of articles promoting UBI, outlining all its moral benefits, the power structures of society will not allow it. I claim the language used in these articles is the wrong approached for bringing about a successful UBI public policy. For decades conservative have been preventing any public policy addressing wealth inequality. The people with power and privilege do not want anything to change since everything is already tilted in their favor. This is what it means to be a conservative.

However, maybe we can construct a framing and a set of language describing a UBI public policy the conservative elements of our society are willing to accept. I think the first step towards this end begins by reducing or limiting any grandiose goal of completely eliminating poverty. Despite the intellectual appeal of Karl Marx, people on the left are being completely delusional if they think neoliberalism or laissez faire capitalism are going to go away any time soon. So it is important to understand before we can achieve any substantial transformation we must first accept our current reality.

So rather than ending poverty, a better approach is to at least prevent it from getting worse. Consider the following snippet from an article which I would generally consider as having unacceptable language in terms of promoting a successful UBI public policy:

"The results show large effects from even modest UBIs. For example, a $200 per month payment would more than halve the black poverty rate, putting it below the current white poverty rate. This would cost about $800 billion per year. A $1,000 monthly UBI would reduce the poverty rate from its current 13 percent to roughly 1 percent for all racial groups, costing about $4 trillion." (5)

Although the article falls short in tackling the problem of how UBI would be funded, it is still an excellent piece of work because it talks about the estimated costs.

So with this commentary in mind I will present what I am proposing as a UBI public policy. Notice the language I am using doesn't contain the of the usual trigger words or phrases known for provoking a negative reaction from conservatives. I am purposely avoiding using language conservatives will find offensive while attempting to appeal to their direct interests as well as their enlightened self-interests.

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Response to thx64536 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 01:46 AM

2. Part II The Right Language To Use For Promoting UBI

As stated, before we can have any real transformation, we first must accept our current reality. We have to be able to work within the institutions we currently have even though they are heavily biased towards neoliberalism and laissez faire capitalism. So the basic idea of what I am proposing is to have a new mechanism for allowing the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy independently of Congress and the politicians.

Here is the stated purpose of the Federal Reserve:

"The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 established the Federal Reserve System as the central bank of the United States to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system." (6)

And after 1977, Congress gave the Fed a dual mandate:

"Since 1977, the Federal Reserve has operated under a mandate from Congress to 'promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long term interest rates' — what is now commonly referred to as the Fed's 'dual mandate.'" (7)

It is reasoned by having a separate for-profit Federal Reserve corporation it will produce better economic results when economic policy decisions are free from political influence:

"Experience around the world has also shown that countries with independent central banks that are able to make decisions free from political influence have better economic outcomes for their citizens." (8)

Just like with interest rates, having a separate authority for controlling decisions around stimulating the economy free from political influence will produce better outcomes. Congress takes too long to act when it comes to passing economic stimulus legislation. And often when Congress finally does act the new legislation includes unnecessary and expensive boondoggles. Just consider our latest economic crisis and the recent stimulus acts in response to COVID-19 global pandemic:

"The single biggest tranche of money in the package is a large pot of money aimed at industry rescues, but with no guardrails to ensure that public money is directed toward saving the jobs, wages, and benefits of typical workers rather than the wealth of shareholders, creditors, and corporate executives." (9)

The purpose of stimulus is to stimulate the economy. It should not be a boondoggle for certain political interests. What I am proposing here as a public policy is a way for the Federal Reserve can act immediately and independently when it comes to stimulating the economy. The idea is to have a permanent mechanism for stimulus the Federal Reserve will control in the same way the Federal Reserve controls interest rates. This will eliminate the kinds of boondoggles included in recent stimulus acts passed by Congress.

Here is why this is needed. History has shown our economic system which is built on capitalism has been inherently unstable. See "List of economic crises" (10). Every few years there is a major economic crisis. If someone is not making a killing by gaming the system then there is something like 9/11 or a global pandemic causing an economic crisis. Therefore, we should just assume the next economic crisis will always be just around the corner. For the sake of economic stability it seems obviously prudent to build into our economic system a mechanism for responding to economic crises. Responding to economic crises should be ready to act at any moment once it's agreed upon that it's needed.

Economic crises are usually followed by a deep and long lasting recession. These recessions may take months or even years to overcome before the economy returns back to normal. The graph of the Employment-Population Ratio (11) is a good way of seeing the effects of each economic crisis over the last 30 years. Every time there is an economic crisis the Employment-Population Ratio has huge drop. And sometimes the Employment-Population Ratio doesn't return to it's previous level before the next economic crisis hits.

So by giving the Federal Reserve an additional tool, along with controlling interest rates, the overall length of any recession will be shorten. Just like the way raising or lowering interest rates is used for controlling the velocity of economy (GDP growth), so will a Federal Reserve controlled economic stimulus. The Federal Reserve may decide no stimulus is needed because the economy is overheating or it's a better time to fight inflation. Or, in response to a new economic crisis, the Federal Reserve can immediately authorize stimulus to be given directly to consumers where it will be most effective and in the least amounts needed to ensure economic stability. With Covid-19 had the Federal Reserve been in charge it would have acted sooner and without interruption. This would have saved a trillion dollars and possibly even more.

Here are the details of what I am proposing:

Federal Reserve Dividend Act (FRDA - pronounced Freda)
* Eligibility
- People who filed income tax the previous year
- People who currently receive Welfare checks
- People who currently receive Social Security checks
* Amount of dividend check
- Amount to be set by Federal Reserve (zero to no limit)
- Checks are issued monthly
* Mechanism of payment
- Federal Reserve transfers money to the federal agency cutting the check
- Federal Reserve authorizes the check to be cut
- Federal agency cuts checks using existing equipment
* Source of Funding
- Federal Reserve profits coming from the interest payment on the National Debt
- New money supply created by Federal Reserve

You might be thinking why would the Federal Reserve foot the bill for economic stimulus. The reasons are straight forward. The Federal Reserve is a private for-profit corporation with a profit-based motive for ensuring economic stability. The interest payment on the National Debt in the year 2020 was $376 billion dollars (12). Ensuring the uninterrupted continuation of this interest payment on the National Debt is a question of risk management. The last thing the Federal Reserve wants is a total economic collapse or a successful January 6th like overthrow of our government. This would result in a disruption of profits derived from the interest payment on the National Debt. So it is in the Federal Reserve's direct self-interests to lower the risks of economic collapse or the potential for another, and possibly successful, right-wing political uprising.

And there is also the risk from the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies. As the total amount of Federal Reserve notes in circulation gets concentrated into fewer and fewer hands, the Federal Reserve dividend will ensure the dollar continues to be our nation's most popular and most widely used currency in circulation.

But it's not only risk management as a justification. Risk management falls under the Federal Reserve's original charter or purpose which states, "a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system." (6) The other justification is dictated by the language found in the dual mandate, "promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long term interest rates." (7) You can't achieve maximum employment unless companies have customers. And companies having lots of customers is the best incentive for hiring new employees. Recessions reduce the percentage of the population employed. This results in a downward spiral of economic activity. Today's job losses fuel tomorrows job losses because employees are also consumers. The only way to stop the downward spiral of economic activity is by having massive amounts of economic stimulus.

The US economy is a big ship with a small rudder. Once the ship gets moving in a particular direction, it takes a long time and huge effort to right the ship. This is why having the Federal Reserve immediately inject stimulus into the economy is so important. It will dramatically reduce the overall amount of stimulus money needed to right the ship. Between interest rates and economic stimulus the Federal Reserve would have the tools it needs to achieve consistency with target economic measures. As it stands now, based on the recent years of never ending economic stagnation, the Federal Reserve needs a bigger rudder for steering the ship.

Assuming a $100 per month dividend check, for 12 months, here is what I estimate the cost would be:
154,000,000 times 100 times 12 = $184 billion (People who filed income taxes)
59,000,000 times 100 times 12 = $71 billion (People on Welfare)
70,000,000 times 100 times 12 = $84 billion (People on Social Security)
Total $339 billion per year for 12 months of stimulus.

Based on the $376 billion dollar number, a full 12 months of economic stimulus would result in the Federal Reserve only having a $37 billion profit per year from the interest payment on the National Debt. But this seems like a good value when you consider what the costs would be to the Federal Reserve for not properly managing the risks.

Essentially, our economy would running on interest-free money for a short period of time until our economy got back on track. This would result in having increased levels of economic activity without the associated problems with inflation caused by printing of too much money.

This would also provide an incentive to Federal Reserve board members for doing a better job policing their peers when it comes to gaming the banking system so we don't see another banking crisis like we had in 2008.

So at this point, you might be thinking how does the Federal Reserve controlling economic stimulus has anything to do with the goals of UBI? UBI goals include economic security, human dignity, provide for basic needs, sharing of prosperity, and eliminating poverty. By giving the Rederal Reserve a new tool for achieving target levels for economic indicators, the Federal Reserve would finally be able to achieve its goal of having maximum employment. The benefits of having maximum employment will be key for indirectly achieving the goals of having a full blown UBI public policy.

Just imagine if the Federal Reserve were able to accurately control the velocity of the economy such that we had a solid 3.0% to 3.5% GDP growth rate year after year. We would be able to get back to the 64% Employment-Population Ratio peak (11) we had back in the year 2000. We do not have to imagine too hard what the economic impact of this would be. This is exactly what happened back in the late 1990s:

1996: 3.79% GDP Growth, 2.794 Jobs Created in Millions, -$107.5 Billion Budget Deficit, $7.8 GDP in Trillions
1997: 4.51% GDP Growth, 3.355 Jobs Created in Millions, -$22 Billion Budget Deficit, $8.3 GDP in Trillions
1998: 4.4% GDP Growth, 3.002 Jobs Created in Millions, $69.2 Billion Budget Surplus, $8.7 GDP in Trillions
1999: 4.87% GDP Growth, 3.174 Jobs Created in Millions, $125.6 Billion Budget Surplus, $9.3 GDP in Trillions
2000: 4.17% GDP Growth, 1.948 Jobs Created in Millions, $236.4 Billion Budget Surplus, $9.8 GDP in Trillions
(13)

Poverty Rate 1996: 13.7%
Poverty Rate 1997: 13.3%
Poverty Rate 1998: 12.7%
Poverty Rate 1999: 11.9%
Poverty Rate 2000: 11.3%
(14)

So imagine what our economy would be like if we had 20 straight years of having an Employment-Population Ratio hovering around 64%. Companies would have stability in predicting financials. Although many factors go into what makes a stock do well in the market, having a steady economic velocity would certainly help many Fortune 500 companies achieve their goals. Local, state, and federal governments would have consistent tax revenues for planning budgets. It's almost unimaginable but consider how nice it would be to see 20 straight years of having a Federal Budget surplus!

Having Federal Budget surpluses may sound alarming to some Federal Reserve board members who are interested in maintaining a target level of Federal Debt. But I don't think board members should be too concerned about our government's ability to pay off the National Debt. I am confident that at any point in time Congress would be able to come up with new and creative ways of accumulating more public debt with either additional military spending or additional social spending. It seems unlikely public debt will ever be going away any time soon. Besides, having a high Employment-Population Ratio would most likely result in an overall increase in other forms of debt.

Politicians will continue to have the same levels of power and influence regardless if the Federal Reserve takes over controlling economic stimulus. Besides finding new and creative ways of accumulating more public debt, politicians will have more opportunties to pass new programs when we get back to having budget surpluses that come from having a high Employment-Population Ratio.

So what I am proposing may not seem like it would be the end of poverty. But I have a strong feeling after 20 year of rock solid GDP growth, poverty will be way less compared to the anemic GDP growth we are experiencing now every year. Back in the late 1990s, a rising tide lifted all boats. I've been working for 36 years and the late 1990s were without a doubt the best economy I've ever participated in. Back in the late 1990s, I was able to pay off all my student loans and save up enough money to be able to buy my first home. I can assure you, unlike the recent events of January 6th, people back in the late 1990s were making too much money to take seriously the fringe elements of society who were calling for the overthrow of the government.

In the 1990s, the poverty rate dropped 2% in a five year period. If we interpolate for a 20 year period, we could see an 8% drop in the poverty rate. Getting the poverty rate below 7% would be a banner success for any public policy. Plus raising all boats from a rising tide will help people just above poverty line have better job opportunities and improve their lives. It seems pretty obvious having a stagnating economy is not going to be conducive to creating substantial job opportunties. Companies need customers for the economy to pick up speed.

Next, I would like to address the most common criticisms of UBI and what my counter arguments would be based on assuming the FRDA Act were passed into law. It better pass because I am already working on my acceptance speech for my Nobel Prize in Economics.

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Response to thx64536 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 01:46 AM

3. Part III Counter Arguments To The Criticisms of UBI

"Cost is an obvious consideration. The most quoted schemes today would, according calculations from Commerce Department data, cost the federal government between $2 and 4 trillion a year, amounting to a 50% increase in current federal outlays or more than 10% of last year’s gross domestic product (GDP)" (15)

The proposed FRDA Act would not be funded by the Federal Government. The first source of funding for FRDA will be the interest payment on the National Debt. This would be an operating expense of the Federal Reserve which is a for-profit private corporation.

The second source of funding for FRDA will be new money created by the Federal Reserve. This new money would be a new form of money supply issued by the Federal Reserve which is often labeled "helicopter money". (16) There are a number of criticisms often made with regards to economic stimulus based on helicopter money especially with regards to inflation:

"So-called 'monetisation' risks fueling inflation and undermining economic discipline. It should be used only as a last resort. " (17)

The way the FRDA Act is proposed deploying helicopter money does not have to be the first method. The first source is the preferred source because it causes increases economic activity without the associated inflation caused by the printing of too much money. "As of February 10, 2021, there was $2.05 trillion worth of Federal Reserve notes in circulation." (18) Helicopter money can be deployed only as last resort to address the most dire economic circumstances. But having the FRDA Act in place will allow the Federal Reserve to act swiftly deploying helicopter money to where it will be most effective. Also when helicopter money is required, the Federal Reserve will be able to act quickly which will help reduce the overall amount of helicopter money needed, and thereby, reduce the overall effects on inflation.

"Giving people cash will cause them to work less, hurt the economy, and deprive them of the meaning that work provides in life." (19)

The typical stimulus amounts proposed in the FRDA Act are not enough where people would be able to choose to stop working. But if the amounts were enough then so what. A FRDA dividend check is not free. Consuming products and services is hard work. Think of people receiving a FRDA dividend check as being on the Federal Reserve's payroll (a private corporation). The people receiving FRDA dividend checks are being paid to consume products and services, and therefore, are actually working to serve company shareholders.

"Automation and globalization are indeed restructuring work, eliminating certain types of jobs and increasing inequality. But rather than build a system where a large fraction of the population receives handouts, we should be adopting measures to encourage the creation of 'middle-class' jobs with good pay, while strengthening our ailing social safety net. UBI does none of this." (20)

The FRDA Act I am proposing is specifically designed to encourage the creation of "middle-class" jobs. Companies are not going to hire workers unless customers are buying products and services. The FRDA dividend check will allow consumers to purchase more products and services for the purposes of jump-starting the economy. The best way for our government to have the resources it needs for tackling social problems is by having a solid 3% or more GDP growth consistently year after year.

Speaking of automation, globalization, and the restructuring of work, I watched an interesting Ted talk by Hans Rosling titled, "New insights on poverty." (21) Hans has spent a lifetime studying and presenting statistics for poverty and public health. In his talk, Hans shows how the economies of the world have evolved over time eliminating disease and overpopulation. He also outlines a table titled, "The dimensions of development" as a response to social problems. In the not too distant future, there's a good chance we will have 100% factory automation, self-driving trucks, and 3D printed housing construction. The coming extreme automation will undoubtedly eliminate the need for millions of good paying jobs. Extreme automation will allow factories to quickly scale-up or scale-down capacity to fit any level of market demand all without having any inventory. Just like with farming, the number of people required for producing traditional goods and services may become dramatically reduced. Hans gives an encouraging solution for how to cope with these job losses as nation's economies evolve. The idea is as economies become more advanced and sophisticated, in order to have economic growth, products and services would place a bigger emphasis on "culture". Markets and economic activities would become more organized around culture and supporting culture as an end in itself. Towards the end of the talk Hans gives an amazing demonstration supporting his way of thinking.

"Universal basic income would be great if it wasn’t all going to end up in your boss’s pocket." (22)

The proposed FRDA Act is designed to do one thing. Allow the Federal Reserve to have a new and effective tool for controlling the stability of our economy. What I am proposing will not directly solve any social problems our society is facing. Lobbyists enticing politicians to pass laws creating cartels and monopolies in exchange for campaign financing is a much bigger problem. The debate over whether the federal government has a role to play in managing free-markets is beyond the scope of the FRDA Act. Addressing government privatization resulting in the highest possible costs to the tax payer, mediocre quality, and the hiring of cheapest possible workers for the sake of profit is outside the scope of the FRDA Act. But, achieving a steady 3% GDP growth target per year will certainly give our politicians a better opportunity for addressing our social problems than having the current year after year economic stagnation.

Based on history, I admit the FRDA Act I am proposing, just by itself alone, will most likely increase wealth inequality:

"The top 1% US income share in 1992 — which Andersen cites as the start of the good times — was 13.5%, according to the World Top Income Data Base. When Bill Clinton left office in 2000, the share had risen to 16.5%. Actually, high-end inequality rose more during the Clinton presidency, 3.01 percentage points, than during the Bush presidency, 1.4 percentage points. Goes to show you that if all the boats are rising — unlike today — no one cares how the yachts are doing." (23)

I think this statement, "no one cares how the yachts are doing," accurately characterizes how people felt about wealth inequality in the late 1990s. Addressing wealth inequality, along with other social problems, is more a question of political will. The FRDA Act's main purpose is for controlling GDP growth and economic velocity independent from political influence.

The language I am using for the FRDA Act has a better chance of achieving a successful legislative result. This is because of how it is worded and what is being proposed is in everyone's self-interests regardless of political wills.

In conclusion, it's time to give the Federal Reserve an accelerator pedal for the economy independent of political influence. No public policy is perfect. Hopefully, enough people will like Freda as much as I do.

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Response to thx64536 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 01:47 AM

4. Part IV References

1: https://www.universalincome.org/

2: https://www.universalincome.org/about/

3: https://en.unesco.org/inclusivepolicylab/news/can-universal-basic-income-solve-global-inequalities

4:

5: https://medium.com/ubicenter/how-universal-basic-income-would-affect-the-black-white-poverty-and-wealth-gaps-452e2af1497b

6: https://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/fract.htm

7: https://www.richmondfed.org/publications/research/economic_brief/2011/eb_11-12#:~:text=Since%201977%2C%20the%20Federal%20Reserve,goals%20can%20be%20traced%20back

8: https://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/why-is-it-important-to-separate-federal-reserve-monetary-policy-decisions-from-political-influence.htm

9: https://www.epi.org/blog/despite-some-good-provisions-the-cares-act-has-glaring-flaws-and-falls-short-of-fully-protecting-workers-during-the-coronavirus-crisis/

10: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_economic_crises

11: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/EMRATIO

12: https://www.thebalance.com/interest-on-the-national-debt-4119024

13: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990s_United_States_boom

14: https://www.statista.com/statistics/200463/us-poverty-rate-since-1990/

15. https://www.forbes.com/sites/miltonezrati/2019/01/15/universal-basic-income-a-thoroughly-wrongheaded-idea/?sh=714a5c2745e1

16. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/ben-bernanke/2016/04/11/what-tools-does-the-fed-have-left-part-3-helicopter-money/

17. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-economy-money-breakingviews/breakingviews-dixon-helicopter-money-is-a-toy-best-left-alone-idUSKBN21O0X0

18. https://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/currency_12773.htm

19. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/20/15821560/basic-income-critiques-cost-work-negative-income-tax

20. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-universal-basic-income-is-a-bad-idea-2019-06-19

21.

22. https://www.welcometothejungle.com/en/articles/universal-basic-income-will-not-free-us

23. https://www.aei.org/pethokoukis/explaining-1990s-economic-boom-hillary/#:~:text=Anyway%2C%20here%20is%20his%20rundown,percent%20for%20a%20whole%20year.)

24. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/10/24/24-7-wall-st-most-profitable-companies/74501312/

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Response to thx64536 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 07:30 AM

5. Bookmarking, K&R We need to pay more attention to framing

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Response to thx64536 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 09:20 PM

6. I would add additional arguments to the usual ones

"What about all those people who will just spend it on booze and lay around? Why should we support them?"

Such people are a tiny minority. Most people want something besides booze to occupy their time and that means work of one type or another, whether managing a garden and selling surplus veg or developing a skill and producing handcrafted items that last a lot longer than machine made items, or fixing things that break down. Others will be backyard/garage tinkerers who traditionally provide the next wave of technology and entrepreneurship. People want to work. They just don't want to be treated like part of the machinery.

For tiny minority who have no interest in doing anything but staying drunk and loafing, have you ever worked with any people like that? They are a disaster on the job, causing accidents, shoving work off on other people, and generally gumming up the works. There are some people out there who, for one reason or another, just don't get it and never will. It is better for all of us that we stop trying to force them into things they are not suited for, and Christian compassion (even if we're not Christian) dictates that we don't allow them to starve if they can't be forced to conform.

40 hour work opportunities are going to be sharply curtailed in the not too distant future, both through improved automation and AI. A lot of the jobs were physically destructive and soul-suckingly boring and won't be missed. There will be a lot of people out there with no means of support without them and we're not all qualified to be technical staff in charge of repairing machinery that breaks down. The alternative to the UBI is mass starvation and mass starvation leads to violent revolution. The UBI is cheaper.

Even ancient Rome knew all this, which is why it had a basic bread ration for all its citizens. The UBI is not a new idea.

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