Richard Nixon's Excellent Idea

aaronvan

Suspended
Original poster
Dec 21, 2011
1,349
9,287
República Cascadia
But he never implemented it, of course: the negative income tax.

There are many sites where one can research the negative income tax. Of course, it will never be implemented. Richard Nixon was the last president to openly discuss the NIT and it's certain to remain a historical curiosity.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
13,987
Just Google it. There's all sorts of sites about the NTI.

I'd never heard about it, until it was discussed on my favorite podcast.
Care to share the name of the podcast (and episode number if possible)? This sounds like an interesting concept.
 

zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
488
6,439
United Kingdom
I used to support something like this but a negative income tax would be used to replace all welfare programmes. It is true that everybody would therefore have a minimum income and that money would be saved by reducing the administration of all of the separate welfare programmes.

However, the negative income tax is simply an excuse to get rid of the minimum wage. The only thing this would do is flood the market with cheap labour. I have a hard time believing that employers wouldn't race to the bottom to eventually lower everybody's wages in the long term.

After all, why pay your employees a living wage if the Government is going to provide it anyway? It just releases corporations from what should be an obligation to support their employees.
 

Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
2,047
2,678
Flea Bottom, King's Landing
However, the negative income tax is simply an excuse to get rid of the minimum wage. The only thing this would do is flood the market with cheap labour. I have a hard time believing that employers wouldn't race to the bottom to eventually lower everybody's wages in the long term.

After all, why pay your employees a living wage if the Government is going to provide it anyway? It just releases corporations from what should be an obligation to support their employees.

FDR's Economics Bills of Rights
would have been ideal.:cool: There would be no welfare nor the huge discrepancy in income between the haves and the have-nots. Heck, there would be no have-nots. Wal-Mart would have to share a chunk of the multi-billion dollar profit with the workers who made the profit possible.
 

localoid

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2007
2,428
1,722
America's Third World
True. No president just dreams these policies and programs himself.
Nixon himself probably wasn't that keen on the negative income tax idea, which was part of Nixon's "Family Assistance Program," (a plan proposed in 1969 which was crafted with the help of chief Urban Affairs counsel Daniel Patrick Moynihan.)

Quote below, from UVA's Miller Center, re: Nixon's domestic affairs

His Family Assistance Program was bold, innovative-even radical-and, apparently, insincere. "About Family Assistance Plan," Haldeman wrote in his diary, the President "wants to be sure it's killed by Democrats and that we make big play for it, but don't let it pass, can't afford it."
The result: "Nixon gets the credit for the idea; Democrats get the blame for its failure." [source]


In 1964 (before Nixon was president), GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater embraced the negative income tax idea as a party plank. Milton Friendman (who had come up with the idea in 1962), just happened to be a Goldwater campaign advisor.

See below, from the book "The Making of an Elder Culture: Reflections on the Future of America's Most Audacious Generation"

Screen shot 2014-10-14 at 1.35.34 PM.png
 
Last edited:

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
2,104
2,162
IOKWARDI
AIUI, the problem with programs like AFDC is that when the recipient gets a paying job, their income exactly replaces their benefit. That creates a big disincentive to get a job, because it does cost money to work, including the time you might have spent making meals or watching the children.

What we have to get rid of is the finance tax, that draws money out of the working economy, into the capital casino cloud. There is no valid reason that it should cost the average person so much to get by, other than to support this alternative form of peerage. The Americans broke away from England's flawed culture, then England turned around and became a more egalitarian country than America.
 

localoid

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2007
2,428
1,722
America's Third World
AIUI, the problem with programs like AFDC is that when the recipient gets a paying job, their income exactly replaces their benefit. That creates a big disincentive to get a job, because it does cost money to work, including the time you might have spent making meals or watching the children. ...
The AFDC program is no more. It was replaced by TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) in 1996.

TANF was part of major welfare reform in 1996 and is more restrictive than AFDC was -- TANF only pays a maximum of 60 months of benefits within one's lifetime and recipients are required to find a job within 24 months of receiving aid.

The number of Americans on welfare plunged from 12.6 million in 1996 to 4.2 million individuals by 2009.
 

sodapop1

Suspended
Sep 7, 2014
187
1,282
I used to support something like this but a negative income tax would be used to replace all welfare programmes. It is true that everybody would therefore have a minimum income and that money would be saved by reducing the administration of all of the separate welfare programmes.

However, the negative income tax is simply an excuse to get rid of the minimum wage. The only thing this would do is flood the market with cheap labour. I have a hard time believing that employers wouldn't race to the bottom to eventually lower everybody's wages in the long term.

After all, why pay your employees a living wage if the Government is going to provide it anyway? It just releases corporations from what should be an obligation to support their employees.
I completely agree, focusing on ways to more efficiently distribute welfare may seem like a good idea, but it is actually counterproductive when what we should be doing is thinking of creative ways to eliminate welfare.

IMO, we should move away from a guaranteed income system in the form of welfare to a guaranteed job provided by either the government or the private sector. Instead of the government handing out free money with no strings attached, the government should use the tax revenues dedicated to social programs to pay people to work and provide a service in return.
 

Bug-Creator

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2011
550
2,129
Germany
.... the government should use the tax revenues dedicated to social programs to pay people to work and provide a service in return.
Which sounds nice, has been tried allready several times , but....

- will be (mis)used to replace jobs that would have gone into the private sector otherwise
- will be a bureaucratic nighmare apt for massive corruption
- slavery for all but in name who can't find a normal job under this NWO
 

sodapop1

Suspended
Sep 7, 2014
187
1,282
Which sounds nice, has been tried allready several times , but....

- will be (mis)used to replace jobs that would have gone into the private sector otherwise
- will be a bureaucratic nighmare apt for massive corruption
- slavery for all but in name who can't find a normal job under this NWO
Tried several times where? As if previous failures by other corrupt and incompetent countries somehow matters....

- will be (mis)used to replace jobs that would have gone into the private sector otherwise

So your argument is that society as a whole would be much more productive having a segment of it sitting at home doing nothing? Great concept, I'll pay you a percentage of my income to have you sit at home and do nothing just so I can keep my job.:rolleyes:

- will be a bureaucratic nighmare apt for massive corruption

News flash, the current welfare system in America is already a bureaucratic nightmare with massive corruption.

- slavery for all but in name who can't find a normal job under this NWO

Sure, people have a better opportunity to develop the essential jobs skills they need to lift them out of poverty by sitting at home collecting welfare. Working for the government and learning skills they could bring to the private sector is a form a slavery. :rolleyes:
 

Bug-Creator

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2011
550
2,129
Germany
Tried several times where? As if previous failures by other corrupt and incompetent countries somehow matters....

Mmmm... how should I read it ?
a) all countries that tried that are corrupt, the US is not therefore it will work
b) the US is just another corrupt and incompetent country but that somehow does not matter

:p

Neither welfare nore negative taxes tackle the real issue, that todays average worker is far more productive than his own consumption (includeing that of dependant family members).

So the smart move would be to reduce the average working time to share it between more people.
2 reasons why this won't work either:
- most people are greedy and will work 40+ hours even if they had all expenses covered after 30.
- the skill sets and motivation of the average unemployed are far lower than those of the average employed making it impossible to just redistribute 3 current jobs to 4 people in most industries.
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
2,104
2,162
IOKWARDI
Neither welfare nore negative taxes tackle the real issue, that todays average worker is far more productive than his own consumption (includeing that of dependant family members).

So the smart move would be to reduce the average working time to share it between more people.
2 reasons why this won't work either:
- most people are greedy and will work 40+ hours even if they had all expenses covered after 30.
- the skill sets and motivation of the average unemployed are far lower than those of the average employed making it impossible to just redistribute 3 current jobs to 4 people in most industries.
You seem to be misapplying "productive" here. Productivity refers to the relative output of a given worker, or how much profit an employer makes off of them. More productive workers do not collect proportionally more income, in fact, in general, the most productive workers make the least amount of money. So unless the productivity formula changes, job sharing makes no sense at all. And since the economy really happens on the ground level, higher productivity is not an overall net positive for it, it is just a benefit for owners and investors, who tend to be in the minority.
 

Bug-Creator

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2011
550
2,129
Germany
All of these theories bout welfare or negative tax are about how the mass of products get distributed, wether thats fair or can even be achieved ain't the point.

The point is a industrilized nation needs only between 50-80 of it's available workforce to produce all it's population consumes. Well actually probraly even less as that figure includes quite a waterhead.

Those numbers can also be shifted by producing stuff that no consumer really wants (think anything military) or by running a large trade surplus, but both option will fall onto your feet soone or later.
 

FreemanW

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2012
472
87
The Real Northern California
- will be a bureaucratic nighmare apt for massive corruption

News flash, the current welfare system in America is already a bureaucratic nightmare with massive corruption.
Would you care to enlighten us with even the slightest corroboration or link that this is anything other than a mythical yarn spawned by the ruling class and one percenters?

What continually amazes me is the gullibility of people to believe unbelievable fairy tales.

I look forward to reading your Koch Brothers website link.

You might want to begin your search for a link with this tidbit on Food Stamps.

If you take notice of the chart, all the benefits given to job creators . . . . . yeah, those are the FRAUD, the absolute WORST performers when it comes to ROI.
 
Last edited:

sodapop1

Suspended
Sep 7, 2014
187
1,282
Would you care to enlighten us with even the slightest corroboration or link that this is anything other than a mythical yarn spawned by the ruling class and one percenters?

It continually amazes me at the gullibility of people to believe unbelievable fairy tales.

I look forward to reading your Koch Brothers website link.

You might want to begin your search for a link with this tidbit on Food Stamps.
You need to get a grip, those were not my words, I was responding to them.
 

FreemanW

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2012
472
87
The Real Northern California
You need to get a grip, those were not my words, I was responding to them.
That's funny.

I guess the forum is broken because it was indicating the following as coming from your keyboard:
News flash, the current welfare system in America is already a bureaucratic nightmare with massive corruption.
Now if those aren't your words, then I would be most interested in seeing the person that typed them provide the slightest modicum of substantiation backing up that statement. This fecal matter has been debunked countless times.
 

sodapop1

Suspended
Sep 7, 2014
187
1,282
That's funny.

I guess the forum is broken because it was indicating the following as coming from your keyboard:


Now if those aren't your words, then I would be most interested in seeing the person that typed them provide the slightest modicum of substantiation backing up that statement. This fecal matter has been debunked countless times.
Yes, those are my words and perhaps I was being a little too hyperbolic with my statement in order to make a point but I don't see why you're attacking someone who is on your side. The point I was trying to make is that no system, regardless of its type, can be guaranteed free of corruption. If you have a problem with that statement, then you must be really naive.
 

jnpy!$4g3cwk

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2010
1,100
1,293
But he never implemented it, of course: the negative income tax.
It is a rational idea. The kind of idea that economists, liberal or conservative, think of. Because they think that people act like rational economic agents.

Actually, it was Milton Friedman's idea before it was Nixon's, and Juliet Rhys-Williams' idea, before it was Friedman's.
Thanks. I did not know that.

Nixon himself probably wasn't that keen on the negative income tax idea, which was part of Nixon's "Family Assistance Program," (a plan proposed in 1969 which was crafted with the help of chief Urban Affairs counsel Daniel Patrick Moynihan.)
The point is a industrilized nation needs only between 50-80 of it's available workforce to produce all it's population consumes. Well actually probraly even less as that figure includes quite a waterhead.
This idea has many names.
Jens O. Parsson called it the "National Dividend" in his book "The Dying of Money".
Agreed, it does have many names, and has appeared in many variations.

One of the problems it is trying to address is the welfare dependency trap where someone on welfare has to become even more impoverished to get off welfare. NIT is an obvious solution. And, a very rational solution. The related problem is how to give people an incentive to work as industrial production becomes more and more efficient and automated-- as well as way to distributed some of the output to the poor. It all makes sense.

But, I'm not sure it would work in the way we want it to work. Because, for a large number of people, work is therapeutic. Many people want to feel that they are doing something worthy of the respect of other people. NIT does nothing to address that. And, I believe it is the social challenge of the 21st century -- how to keep people working at meaningful jobs.