The Universal Basic Income
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23-09-2015, 06:41 AM
RE: The Universal Basic Income
I've commented on this concern that the OP raises previously on this forum--it is a tough problem, and I don't think anyone has the solution. Star Trek, as others brought up, essentially lives in a world where they figured out how to do away with the need to work for their basic needs. But here in the real world, taking away all incentives to work will not likely be sustainable.

I somewhat think a high rate of subsidy for work is going to have to be in place in order to deal with the large numbers of people who do not fit in the new economy. We already are doing this to a large extent, but will likely need to do more as technology replaces even more low skilled labor. Many on the left decry this kind of subsidy as subsidizing employers, but the alternative in a very high minimum wage only disincentives the use of low skilled labor.

There is another possible outcome though. How many times have we in the past gone through major technological advances only to find new labor needs in the new economy? Every such transition we have gone through has resulted in major booms and busts as entire segments of the labor force lose their jobs and have to go through a painful transition. Major advances in Agriculture, Manufacturing, Automation, and Information have all lead to booms and busts as the new efficiencies gained at first lead to great profits, and then lead to massive loss of employment. I don't think we are done with the information revolution that started in the late 90s. We have a lot more people who are going to become obsolete. However the market has a way of identifying new needs-- in the past after similar economic revolutions people eventually moved into new industries and careers. We have no way of knowing for sure how that will take shape.
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23-09-2015, 08:01 AM (This post was last modified: 23-09-2015 08:05 AM by Slowminded.)
RE: The Universal Basic Income
(23-09-2015 06:27 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  The "make them work for their welfare" idea isn't entirely without merit.

It's a bit unrealistic for some - as not everyone is capable of such work.

In all economic structures there is always a group perception of what constitutes "the bottom". In that our entire economic structure is based on group perception - this is important.

In the "work for welfare" paradigm - that's the bottom.

In the "minimum wage" paradigm - that's the bottom.

It always amazes me that people think upping the minimum wage is good for the people at the bottom.

It's still the bottom.

But, if upping the minimum wage isn`t good for the people at the bottom doesn't that mean that downing the minimum wage isn`t bad for them either?

. . . ................................ ......................................... . [Image: 2dsmnow.gif] Eat at Joe's
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23-09-2015, 08:37 AM
RE: The Universal Basic Income
The relevant question isn't whether or not a universal basic income would be ideal if somehow implemented, but whether or not those who would benefit from it have the leverage to demand it from those who would not benefit from it. The reality is that if a few people control the resources used to produce the machines, and the machines can perform all the tasks typically reserved for the general population, then it isn't just you who becomes obsolete, but your income as well.

Think of it like this... Say I have a robot Army I control from my smartphone. They protect my house from looters, and guard my mines which are run by robots, from which I extract resources used by my other robots to produce goods for me to use, and service robots to take care of my cooking, medical care, etc. Since you as a human worker are obsolete, and there is absolutely nothing I need from you since all my needs are taken care of by robots, then what good is your money regardless of where it comes from? I'm not going to bother selling anything to you, because there is nothing I need to purchase myself and therefore no incentive to bother with the exchange. I'm giving you something of value to me (resources which I control) in exchange for something that is useless to me (money that can't provide anything I don't already have). What you're overlooking is that money is nothing more than a symbolic representation of resource leverage. Right now, humans are one of those resources, and that is why money is worth something even if you don't control the above mentioned resources. If all of the above become obsolete, then so does the exchange of currency. There is absolutely nothing I need from you, and your income is therefore symbolically meaningless. The paper used to print it (or the electricity used to make the digital transaction take place) is more valuable to me than anything you can provide. If you become a nuisance, I'm better off having my robot army wipe you out and living like an emperor with perhaps 40 or 50 friends scattered across the world in gigantic mansions with a bunch of robots to support us and no obsolete humans to bother us with their whining.

I can't say for sure what's going to happen, but here's my suggestions:
• Acquire robots.
• If you lack the resources to do that, and the future shown in the video becomes a reality, learn to hunt, forage, and grow your own food and stay the fuck out of the way. Without even a theoretical purpose, your complaints to those who possess what you need but need nothing you possess won't even be worth the time it takes to listen to them.

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23-09-2015, 08:55 AM
RE: The Universal Basic Income
(23-09-2015 08:01 AM)Slowminded Wrote:  
(23-09-2015 06:27 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  The "make them work for their welfare" idea isn't entirely without merit.

It's a bit unrealistic for some - as not everyone is capable of such work.

In all economic structures there is always a group perception of what constitutes "the bottom". In that our entire economic structure is based on group perception - this is important.

In the "work for welfare" paradigm - that's the bottom.

In the "minimum wage" paradigm - that's the bottom.

It always amazes me that people think upping the minimum wage is good for the people at the bottom.

It's still the bottom.

But, if upping the minimum wage isn`t good for the people at the bottom doesn't that mean that downing the minimum wage isn`t bad for them either?

That depends.

If you're already in a job making minimum - and your employer isn't a total dick - -it probably won't hurt, and could potentially help.

The guy who's looking for work - he's gonna take it in the ass....

...
But, there's always SOMEBODY getting screwed anytime you enforce wage controls.... Now - everytime they boost minimum wage - anyone living on a fixed income is going to have less earning power.

Money is like water -- it seeks a a level.

When you artificially increase wages - prices will follow. History shows this. You'll never see a minimum wage increase followed by price stagnation. You will see wage stagnation with price of goods/services inflating --- but only to a certain point. At some point people will quit buying those over inflated priced goods/services and the price will have to come back down.

The whole point of money -- it's an abstract concept to represent real goods and services. When you start playing with it's value - things generally don't turn out for the better... You can't simply say "Everybody's wealthy now" - and expect it to be true.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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23-09-2015, 10:49 AM (This post was last modified: 23-09-2015 10:53 AM by BnW.)
RE: The Universal Basic Income
I don't buy that raising wages for the lowest earners will raise prices. I'd need to see some hard evidence for that.

What I think is far more likely is you will quickly see fewer of those jobs. Fast food places and stores that pay minimum wage will increase the rate of automation. The reality is that McDonald's doesn't need to have cashiers. They can automate that entire process and cut their work force in half within months. That is the most likely outcome.

Btw, on playing with value, we do that all over the place. If tomorrow the government said anyone who makes at least minimum wage would no longer be eligible for any public assistance, places paying minimum wage would have to either pay more or lose anyone who is either not in high school (which will seriously reduce their available work force) or living with mo, and dad. McDonald's and other employers can only get away with paying below a living wage because the tax payers make up the difference.

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23-09-2015, 01:23 PM
RE: The Universal Basic Income
(23-09-2015 10:49 AM)BnW Wrote:  I don't buy that raising wages for the lowest earners will raise prices. I'd need to see some hard evidence for that.

What I think is far more likely is you will quickly see fewer of those jobs. Fast food places and stores that pay minimum wage will increase the rate of automation. The reality is that McDonald's doesn't need to have cashiers. They can automate that entire process and cut their work force in half within months. That is the most likely outcome.

Btw, on playing with value, we do that all over the place. If tomorrow the government said anyone who makes at least minimum wage would no longer be eligible for any public assistance, places paying minimum wage would have to either pay more or lose anyone who is either not in high school (which will seriously reduce their available work force) or living with mo, and dad. McDonald's and other employers can only get away with paying below a living wage because the tax payers make up the difference.

Economists debate whether minimum wage limits the entry level job numbers. I think it probably does -- some.

You have to remember - our entire economic system is built upon PERCEPTION rather than anything quantitative --- as it was, when we were on the "gold standard".

With a gold standard - there is a solid correlation between two things - the reserves of precious metals - and the amount of paper dollars printed.

Coinage of course is it's own value - as the coins are a set weight of gold or silver - per dollar.

Not a perfect system of course - but at least you were assured you could get some gold or silver.

Once we went off the gold standard - it's all a game of perception -- what people THINK a dollar is worth -- and they tend to make the judgement against certain things that "seem" to have a stable price --- the cost of a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk -- or what a minimum wage earner takes in per hour.

It's a doomed system of course. It WILL eventually implode.

The funny part? That people think a "virtual dollar" -- something that doesn't even have a physical, tangible counterpart -- "cash" - which at least needs to be printed --- will save the system.

All it takes is the stroke of a key - and you can "coin" millions, billions, trillions... It's just where you want to put the decimal point.

And theft???

A mugger has to show up to mug you - giving you a chance to fight back.

Cyber criminals??? They can work from their villa on the beach -- making it even more attractive and less risky to criminals.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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23-09-2015, 01:42 PM
RE: The Universal Basic Income
(23-09-2015 08:37 AM)yakherder Wrote:  ...What you're overlooking is that money is nothing more than a symbolic representation of resource leverage. Right now, humans are one of those resources, and that is why money is worth something even if you don't control the above mentioned resources.....


This is something to think about. Still I don't think humans will ever run out of resources to leverage. Robots are not going to make political resources(i.e. individual votes) go away for instance.

Further, when robots are producing everything from the extraction of raw materials to the finished product, how much is stuff actually going to cost?

We are headed for some exciting times and I suspect that no matter how it all turns out. We will be better off.
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23-09-2015, 03:11 PM
RE: The Universal Basic Income
I don't know if we will ultimately better off but I suspect there is going to be a lot of near term pain. A lot of jobs are going to be displaced by automation and people at the bottom of the economic ladder are going to be even worse off. And, they are going to have more and more company. Low wage jobs will be eliminated by automation
White collar jobs will be sent to lower cost economies.

I know of companies who outsourced parts of their legal and sourcing functions to India. Accounting and payable functions have gone too.

The wealth gap will grow as fewer people have viable jobs. It is a complicated problem to which there is no easy solution.

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When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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23-09-2015, 03:29 PM
RE: The Universal Basic Income
(23-09-2015 03:11 PM)BnW Wrote:  I don't know if we will ultimately better off but I suspect there is going to be a lot of near term pain. A lot of jobs are going to be displaced by automation and people at the bottom of the economic ladder are going to be even worse off. And, they are going to have more and more company. Low wage jobs will be eliminated by automation
White collar jobs will be sent to lower cost economies.

I know of companies who outsourced parts of their legal and sourcing functions to India. Accounting and payable functions have gone too.

The wealth gap will grow as fewer people have viable jobs. It is a complicated problem to which there is no easy solution.

And before too long, the Indians will be outsourcing to Cambodia, and the Cambodians will be outsourcing to Malawi.

And when even the Malawians are more expensive than autonomous software, well, we'll see.

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23-09-2015, 03:30 PM
RE: The Universal Basic Income
Quote:That said, our current version of capitalism where large corporate and banking interests buy laws that tip the balance way in their favor, and governments that shift risk burdens from reckless assholes to taxpayers is not going to be sustainable either.


That was a valid point, BnW. The problem with these tea-bagger assholes is that they are fixated on the wrong revolution. Oh, the tri-cornered hats were okay but they forgot this.

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