Unconditional basic income

category: offtopic [glöplog]
How does the source of the money in any way influence the reaction to the idea?
added on the 2014-03-09 22:07:49 by Bombe Bombe

Additionally, an unconditional basic income (UBI) would be a way more elegant solution for

-an expensive welfare system with a high overhead (which still fails to prevent itself from being absed)

-fixed minimum wages (which is likely to approve some still underpaid jobs while already harming other economies)

-complex employment laws (since employers will have to provide an attractive working environment in their own interest, even for low income tasks)

-bad reputation of "poor people jobs" (hey, they´re doing it voluntarily!)

In other words, an UBI is likely to boost a more liberal economy of demand and offer rather than the current situation which tries to regulate a capitalism dominated by a few major players with socialist-style regulations

However, there are also a couple of problems which need to be solved:

-How to prevent excess immigration from nonUBI countries?

-How to move from the current situation to a UBI based society?

-Migration inside UBI countries might overstrain the capabilities of certain cities or regions (imagine an UBI all over Europe)
added on the 2014-03-09 22:09:18 by T$ T$
Note: "signed" relates to algorias comment ;)
added on the 2014-03-09 22:10:21 by T$ T$
I really like the idea of a basic income and i have the strong feeling there is practically no way around it: There are so many meaning- and useful jobs that are so badly paid nobody likes to do them anymore.

What i don't like is the "unconditional" part. Just by calling it "unconditional" you put a lot of selfishness into its conception. It literally means "You have the right to take, but you don't need to give back". I think thats an insane layout for a society. Just some thoughts on this:

- The "give back" part is what separates a "society" from "just a bunch of individuals". We had the latter for the past 30 years and its obviously leading nowhere. I'd rather like to see a bit more of a civil society where people feel responsible for each other.

- "Unconditional" can also be read as: "Yeah! Nobody needs to do the ugly work anymore!". The reality is: Eventually someone still has to do the shitty work. Let me guess: We simply offshore those jobs to non UBI-countries, right?
added on the 2014-03-09 22:34:13 by degauss degauss
Bombe: The idea is nice, sure, but so is teleportation. I'm curious about implementation details.
added on the 2014-03-09 22:41:20 by Gargaj Gargaj
Conditional basic income is called social welfare. This is not a very effective system.
That is why more attention should be focussed on restructuring it, and yes, maybe making it unconditional could help. There is enough wealth in the world to go around, it is just the distribution system that is broken.
added on the 2014-03-09 22:57:36 by numtek numtek
I second numtek..
added on the 2014-03-09 23:13:54 by magic magic
@Bombe: So, you also believe the power driving your computer is generated by the socket you put the plug in?
added on the 2014-03-09 23:15:01 by Salinga Salinga
@numtek: I don't see how social welfare will become more effective by expanding it. But I totally agree on the imbalances in the distribution of wealth. Thats exactly why i think the UBI-ideas are somewhat esoteric. It would be so much easier to extract more money from capital-income (man, 25% flat in DE! what a waste!) to lower social-security costs.
added on the 2014-03-09 23:27:14 by degauss degauss
how do you call a UBI that is not really U because it only applies to living citizens of a certain (group of) countries? if there is no term for it yet i propose "UBI soft" to distinguish from "UBI hard" which is the same but also caters for foreigners and dead people :P
added on the 2014-03-09 23:53:33 by havoc havoc
money to live without having to work for it

I've got no issues with subsidised housing, food stamps/coupons and free healthcare. In fact I think they are universal rights.

I think that simply giving money to people with no expectations or incentive (such as say bettering themselves via further education etc.) sends the wrong message as a society. A perfect example in that case of providing goods/services vs. giving money would be addicts. Do we give them money to provide drug-dealers with income or do we provide them with things like methadone and other free treatments? I know which one I'd rather see my hard earnt tax dollars on.
I've worked some really shitty jobs with some really dismal pay/conditions in my time to "pay the rent" and I've never had any trouble finding work - trust me if you really want work it's out there.
I've also paid a fuckload of tax in answer to -
who provides that money?

and as I've said I ain't really happy with the notion of handing money over to those who aren't prepared to either work or improve their situation.
I'm sure I'm going to cop flack for saying these things but essentially I think I'm a showing bit more pragmatism than some of the posters here.
added on the 2014-03-10 00:15:46 by ringofyre ringofyre
UBI is a nice idea, but I don't think humanity and society are ready for that plus our standard of living is much too high anyway.
That said, I need to catch some sleep. Have to work tomorrow.
added on the 2014-03-10 00:23:20 by raer raer
@Gargaj, there’s a Wikipedia article (of course there is) which outlines some methods of funding. Most interesting are the bits about Brazil and Namibia. Some quotes from various surveys done in Brazil:

"Adult work is not impacted by income transfers. In some cases adults will even work harder because having this safety net encourages them to assume greater risks in their activities"

"Although the program is relatively young, some results are already apparent, including: (...) contributions to improved education outcomes, and impacts on children’s growth, food consumption, and diet quality."

And for Namibia:

Another finding of the project was that after the introduction of the pilot, overall crime rates fell by 42%, and specifically stock theft fell by 43% and other theft by nearly 20%.

Implementation details aside, it’s as numtek says, the distribution of wealth is currently all wrong. And the idea of the UBI is not to make rich people poor (hey, they would get the BI, too) but to enable every person to pursue whatever occupation they would like. Maybe you want to start your own business without having to fear for your family? Would you rather be stuck in a dead-end job that pays the bills but does nothing to actually improve your life?
added on the 2014-03-10 06:37:07 by Bombe Bombe
Would you rather be stuck in a dead-end job that pays the bills but does nothing to actually improve your life?

Dunno about you but having shitty jobs was one of the biggest impetus for me to get some more education to improve my life.
Had I been paid a guaranteed amount each week to sit at home, drink beer and play video games I don't think I'd be where I am today.
added on the 2014-03-10 12:43:26 by ringofyre ringofyre
Sorry Bombe I don't mean to nitpick but -
but to enable every person to pursue whatever occupation they would like

So now that we're all getting a regular paycheck so we can be free to study to become "Caribbean Bikini Inspectors" who wants to learn how to be sewer cleaner instead?
added on the 2014-03-10 12:53:15 by ringofyre ringofyre
So now that we're all getting a regular paycheck so we can be free to study to become "Caribbean Bikini Inspectors" who wants to learn how to be sewer cleaner instead?

First of all I didn’t really understand who you now want to be, or who wants to be what, or who wants to want to be what but it doesn’t really matter, because the answer would be the same: why would that be bad?
added on the 2014-03-10 12:55:21 by Bombe Bombe
I would rather ask the question "why should we have money at all?"
added on the 2014-03-10 12:57:36 by farfar farfar
Yes, let the robots make the sewer work and all become bikini inspectors!
added on the 2014-03-10 13:20:34 by Optimonk Optimonk
Also what plaf said.
added on the 2014-03-10 13:20:47 by Optimonk Optimonk
there’s a Wikipedia article (of course there is) which outlines some methods of funding

But almost all of these things are taxes; if someone doesn't have any other income apart from the unconditional one, then you can assume taxes have already been deducted from it, and the taxes that they pay while spending on their living conditions are going back to the same cycle and paid out to them again, except it's less.

I just don't see how it's sustainable, the numbers don't seem to add up.
added on the 2014-03-10 13:29:51 by Gargaj Gargaj
@Gargaj yes, it’s taxes. Of course it’s taxes. How else should the state make any money? However, not only natural persons pay taxes, corporations do, too.
added on the 2014-03-10 14:34:16 by Bombe Bombe
did i just interrupt a marxian hippie convention?
added on the 2014-03-10 14:39:33 by havamal havamal
Funny how the forum actually mirrors the current society's debate (at least for germany from what I grasp): Some people all for UBI, some against it, nobody actually knowing how it could work properly...
added on the 2014-03-10 15:15:04 by raer raer
I don't see how this conversation is relevant to this forum, except insofar as increasingly sophisticated automation is involved (along with economic factors such as the race to the bottom) in reducing the number of full time jobs available to a population increasing in size in a setting where the dominant economic model depends on perpetual consumption and population growth, which is not sustainable, and feeds off systemic inequality which isn't sustainable either. People without a means of support are vulnerable to exploitation and also understandably can become involved in political unrest or dependent upon the informal economy which may worsen various social ills.

The automation which eliminates jobs and thus removes peoples preferred means of support in turn depends on a ready supply of energy and rare earths among other nonrenewable materials.

Something has got to give. The question is what and how.

But in any case, except insofar as computerization can be indicted for these changes, this discussion seems irrelevant to this forum.
added on the 2014-03-10 16:02:46 by metoikos metoikos
Pretty sure that this basic income has to be paid for by the already hard working middle class through taxes. Everything to remove focus from the real problems (corrupt banks/big corporations evading tax, etc.)
added on the 2014-03-10 16:11:46 by Rob Rob