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Universal Basic Income


Universal_001

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaranteed_minimum_income

What do people think of this idea? also known as a "minimum income" or "living wage"

If your too lazy to read the article, the idea is that you abolish the entire welfare system, and replace it with an income big enough for everyone to live on, a few grand above the poverty line, there are various ways of calculating the sum.
It would be paid by the state, and everyone would get it regardless of income, and if you make over a certan amount you'd just pay it back in taxes.

It seems like a silver bullet to eliminate poverty, IF it could be made to function properly, and I think it could.

I've a problem with that wiki article as it seems to assume that you have to implement a UBI throught a Negative Income Tax system, it could just as easily be done through the normal progressive tax system we have now?

There seems to be two major problems with it...

Firstly, if it didn't work. if enough people decided simply not to work, then there would be more people withdrawing from the system than paying into it, and it would thus collapse.
Surely there could be some sort of work provisions similar to what we already have for traditional social welfare to prevent this "malabu surfer effect"?

Secondly, if it did work, then employers, knowing an employee had a UBI to fall back on, could reduce their wages to cut costs, thus keeping a huge proportion of the population close to the basic minimum.
This could surely be prevented by keeping the mimimum wage in place?

(can we avoid one liner comments like "communism doesn't work" and "THATS CRAZY WHAT ABOUT THE ECONOMY" :wink: )

This seems to be an American and Canadian idea I'm surpirsed I've never heard anyone in Europe sugest it!
 

smiffy

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Universal_001 said:
This seems to be an American and Canadian idea I'm surpirsed I've never heard anyone in Europe sugest it!
Really? CORI have been going on about it for ages, I think the Greens have tossed the idea around a bit and it was certainly something that Democratic Left looked at, back in d'olden days.
 

meriwether

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What a waste 4 years in College, and all those part-time jobs were. If Id have known that no matter what I did, Id end up with the same wage, I wouldn't have wasted my time studying and working. Id just have stayed a cashier in a bookies and earn the same as a doctor. Marvellous.
 

smiffy

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meriwether said:
What a waste 4 years in College, and all those part-time jobs were. If Id have known that no matter what I did, Id end up with the same wage, I wouldn't have wasted my time studying and working. Id just have stayed a cashier in a bookies and earn the same as a doctor. Marvellous.
Perhaps you should actually try and understand the concept before commenting on it. It'll go better for you in the long run.
 

gurrier

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meriwether said:
What a waste 4 years in College, and all those part-time jobs were. If Id have known that no matter what I did, Id end up with the same wage, I wouldn't have wasted my time studying and working. Id just have stayed a cashier in a bookies and earn the same as a doctor. Marvellous.
Are you such a pathetic specimen that you would allow your brain to rot if you were not motivated by avarice?
 

meriwether

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smiffy said:
meriwether said:
What a waste 4 years in College, and all those part-time jobs were. If Id have known that no matter what I did, Id end up with the same wage, I wouldn't have wasted my time studying and working. Id just have stayed a cashier in a bookies and earn the same as a doctor. Marvellous.
Perhaps you should actually try and understand the concept before commenting on it. It'll go better for you in the long run.
I was being sarcastic. However, I could have stayed a bokies cashier and received a much higher salary regardless. So still marvellous.
 

Universal_001

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smiffy said:
Universal_001 said:
This seems to be an American and Canadian idea I'm surpirsed I've never heard anyone in Europe sugest it!
Really? CORI have been going on about it for ages, I think the Greens have tossed the idea around a bit and it was certainly something that Democratic Left looked at, back in d'olden days.
Democratic Left were before my time.

I did see on the Green website a little box flshing saying if you belive in XY and Z vote Green and one of the things was a "basic income for all citizens" but they never did a policy document on it's implementation as far as I'm aware.

I like the concept but it's the implementation I'm conserned with, how it could be made to work.

meriwether said:
What a waste 4 years in College, and all those part-time jobs were. If Id have known that no matter what I did, Id end up with the same wage, I wouldn't have wasted my time studying and working. Id just have stayed a cashier in a bookies and earn the same as a doctor. Marvellous.
This is the kind of comment I didn't want.

It's not about people all earning the same money, it's just about setting a floor below which nobody can fall into poverty, incentive is still preserved, nobody is going to want to stay on the bare minimum.
 

meriwether

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smiffy said:
meriwether said:
I was being sarcastic.
That was sarcasm? It actually looked like an attempt at sarcasm, let down by a confusion between the concepts of minimum and maximum income.
Yes, yes, yes.
As to gurrier, I wouldn't consider that insatiable greed for money would be my only motivation, but money is nice. I mean, it may not buy you happyness, but as the old saying goes, it makes misery more important. I presume you have a job that is so intellectually stimulating as to make up for any shortfall in income? I bet being a theologian is fierce interesting, but if it doesn't pay the bills it's sod all use.
 

smiffy

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meriwether said:
Yes, yes, yes.
As to gurrier, I wouldn't consider that insatiable greed for money would be my only motivation, but money is nice. I mean, it may not buy you happyness, but as the old saying goes, it makes misery more important. I presume you have a job that is so intellectually stimulating as to make up for any shortfall in income? I bet being a theologian is fierce interesting, but if it doesn't pay the bills it's sod all use.
Is any of this relevant to the topic?
 

Universal_001

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So meriwether are you in favour or against the idea of a UBI?

You seem to be giving us sarcastic tid bits on a maximum income, thats very nice, but it's not what were talking about... :wink:
 

meriwether

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In an attempt to contribute something more meaningful to the debate-

If this floor is less than the amount of social welfare a recepient would receive, what is the use?

And if its more, why not just increase SW?

And why would this system remove people from the poverty trap, but increases in social welfare wouldn't?

As tempting as it is to say "introduce it, and we can cut bureauracy" its all very well to say that, but some welfare is necessarily complicated, such as child benefit. You cant just remove child benefit, and replace it with a lump sum payment. Its a bit blunt surely? Unless of course, each child received the lump sum aswell, eliminating the need for child benefit...

Which leads me to ask, if everyone is entitled to it, wouldn't an equal payment to a 16 yar old as to a 35 year old be impractical?
 

meriwether

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Universal_001 said:
So meriwether are you in favour or against the idea of a UBI?

You seem to be giving us sarcastic tid bits on a maximum income, thats very nice, but it's not what were talking about... :wink:
Its got merits, but Im not sure. A single lump sum seems a bit.. blunt. Some people need more, some less, which is why social welfare means testing is a good thing. He/She who is in recipient of the dole and lives with ones parents surely deserves less that one who receives the dole but doesn't?
 

gurrier

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meriwether said:
As to gurrier, I wouldn't consider that insatiable greed for money would be my only motivation, but money is nice. I mean, it may not buy you happyness, but as the old saying goes, it makes misery more important. I presume you have a job that is so intellectually stimulating as to make up for any shortfall in income? I bet being a theologian is fierce interesting, but if it doesn't pay the bills it's sod all use.
The point being that, the idea of the guaranteed minimum income would mean that the bills were always going to be paid.

To smiffy: the relevance being that many people argue against such schemes from the point of view of "if the basic bills were paid, nobody would do anything except sit around". Very few people say, on the other hand, "if my basic bills were paid, I'd do nothing except sit around". In reality, despite the fact that many people have to spend a lot of time earning money to pay their basic bills, they also spend time to run the GAA and build the Internet, to name but two examples of the type of things that people do despite the absence of financial incentives.
 

geraghd

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What about employers? Would they get the same? and personally I wouldnt like the idea of not being able to earn more by working harder or more for it. And what would happen to the luxury markets? they employ a lot of people you know.
 

Pax

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gurrier said:
meriwether said:
As to gurrier, I wouldn't consider that insatiable greed for money would be my only motivation, but money is nice. I mean, it may not buy you happyness, but as the old saying goes, it makes misery more important. I presume you have a job that is so intellectually stimulating as to make up for any shortfall in income? I bet being a theologian is fierce interesting, but if it doesn't pay the bills it's sod all use.
The point being that, the idea of the guaranteed minimum income would mean that the bills were always going to be paid.

To smiffy: the relevance being that many people argue against such schemes from the point of view of "if the basic bills were paid, nobody would do anything except sit around". Very few people say, on the other hand, "if my basic bills were paid, I'd do nothing except sit around". In reality, despite the fact that many people have to spend a lot of time earning money to pay their basic bills, they also spend time to run the GAA and build the Internet, to name but two examples of the type of things that people do despite the absence of financial incentives.
Also, such a fall back safety net could improve competitiveness and entrepreneurship.
 

geraghd

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How many people would emigrate if they had their earnings capped? Im not sure that would improve competitiveness. Though the imigrants of course could fill in here..
 

geraghd

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smiffy said:
geraghd said:
and personally I wouldnt like the idea of not being able to earn more by working harder or more for it.
What is it with some people on here? A minimum income is not the same thing as a maximum income. How many times does it have to be said?
Oh yes, sorry I misunderstoon when the first guy said earning over a certain amount one would pay it back in tax. That being the initial minimum wage rather than all the earning above that. however this would disincentise people earning more than the minimum up until a point that they could earn more than the necessary wage for tax to repay the initial minimum. Of course that depends how the system of pay back would work in practise.
 
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