Universal Basic Income Discussion

JMacHack

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 16, 2017
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I want to hear various opinions about UBI, I've heard it's being tested in Finland and Ontario right now, and I want to know if anyone here has any experience with it or has any theories about it.

Personally, I believe it won't work. I don't believe there's enough people that would continue putting enough money into the system through taxes to pay for everyone in a given population (I believe enough people would simply not work at all to cause the system to crash), and taxes would have to be raised too far on those who make money for them to be competitive.

But I'm willing to accept that I'm wrong, after all the current welfare system has massive overhead, and like the system in Florida that drug-tested welfare recipients that lost more money than saved, it could be that there's enough money to be saved in overhead costs to make a system like this work.
 

Herdfan

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2011
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It could work, but I don't think it will. At least not yet. Maybe when the cost of technology comes down to the point where robots are doing most of the work it could. But as long as there are those who work hard, but resent those who sit around doing nothing, but get the same "benefits" it won't.

I know when I was growing up there were people who resented those on welfare were able to get their kids braces for free when hard working people couldn't afford them. Until the system changes, it won't work.
 

Herdfan

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2011
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I don't think anyone finds a life of only leisure to be fun - even the super rich.
Depends on what you constitute leisure to be. I could be very happy buying old homes and refurbishing them if I didn't have to worry about making a profit.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
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Depends on what you constitute leisure to be. I could be very happy buying old homes and refurbishing them if I didn't have to worry about making a profit.
That's work IMO. It's a job well done.

I suspect the people on rich kids of instagram who look happy are doing charity work and going on the yacht is a fun break.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2011
4,741
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New England
Even with a UBI I'd still want to work even if it's something as mundane as "Welcome to Taco Bell may I take your order"

I simply need to be entertained and work provides that
That's the idea of UBI. If industry is so efficient that manual labor isn't necessary for anything anymore, might as well take care of all people with the profits and free them to do whatever they want to be intellectually stimulated and feel productive.

I mean, I don't absolutely love sitting in front of a computer all day researching and writing. I do it because it pays. If I had no loans, food and housing was taken care of, and no need to save for health expenses, kid's education, or retirement, I would probably choose to do something else. Unfortunately for me, being the guy that hands out maps and tells people to slow down at ski resorts doesn't pay as well as being an attorney.
 
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lowendlinux

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Sep 24, 2014
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North Country (way upstate NY)
That's the idea of UBI. If industry is so efficient that manual labor isn't necessary for anything anymore, might as well take care of all people with the profits and free them to do whatever they want to be intellectually stimulated and feel productive.

I mean, I don't absolutely love sitting in front of a computer all day researching and writing. I do it because it pays. If I had no loans, food and housing was taken care of, and no need to save for health expenses, kid's education, or retirement, I would probably choose to do something else. Unfortunately for me, being the guy that hands out maps and tells people to slow down at ski resorts doesn't pay as well as being an attorney.
I'm nothing but a dispensable cog in the government wheel but that government for all it's drawbacks lets me live where I want and do fun things, and I have and would in the future do it for free. As long as the folks in green are around and I have bread on the table I see no real reason to change
 

oneMadRssn

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Sep 8, 2011
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I'm nothing but a dispensable cog in the government wheel but that government for all it's drawbacks lets me live where I want and do fun things, and I have and would in the future do it for free. As long as the folks in green are around and I have bread on the table I see no real reason to change
Sounds pretty Marxist to me. (kidding). Seriously though, I think you just described the socialist utopia: good on the table, living where you want to live, doing what you want to do, and all while being taken care of by the government.
 

Raid

macrumors 68020
Feb 18, 2003
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Toronto
The three cities in Ontario that will be affected are interesting choices:

Hamilton is a fair sized city right in the centre of "the golden horseshoe" of Ontario (45 mins west of Toronto) and in one of the the most (if not the most) densely populated areas in Canada.
Thunder Bay is also a big city in the north on the northwest side of Lake Superior.
Lindsay is a smaller city/town about an hour and change northeast of Toronto.

All three have pretty different economic drivers and characteristics. I'm not sure how many people there are part of the "Ontario Works" program (which assists unemployed workers) in those cities, but I would wager each has their own distinct characteristics.

$17,000 per year isn't a whole hell of a lot, and for all of those saying it would promote lack of incentive to get a job, the general minimum wage (as rates vary a bit) is $11.60 currently which means that full time hours should net you around just a bit above $22,000.

Also I'm wondering who's file this is so I can get the inside scoop on how the cities and income levels were selected.
 
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thekev

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Aug 5, 2010
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Probably wouldn't be since it would be held less than 1 year. So full 36%. :(
That doesn't apply to the whole sale though. It applies to the difference between what you purchased it for and the amount it sold for. It comes down to whether the hours, risk, and any available tax deductions for costs pertaining to this allow the sale to make sense.
 

steve knight

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Jan 28, 2009
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we would never have it in the US. hell we can never have one payer insurance as there are plenty of people that don't want to pay into it because someone else will benefit from it that they don't like or approve of.
 

Herdfan

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Apr 11, 2011
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we would never have it in the US. hell we can never have one payer insurance as there are plenty of people that don't want to pay into it because someone else will benefit from it that they don't like or approve of.
That is not my concern in single payer. My concern is injecting government bureaucracy into health care. In reality, people can holler about the government paying for sex changes and crap, but there aren't really enough of them to matter in the big scheme of things. There will be 1,000x more bureaucratic waste than paying for sex changes.

I don't trust the government to do the right thing. I suspect you do.
 

steve knight

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Jan 28, 2009
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That is not my concern in single payer. My concern is injecting government bureaucracy into health care. In reality, people can holler about the government paying for sex changes and crap, but there aren't really enough of them to matter in the big scheme of things. There will be 1,000x more bureaucratic waste than paying for sex changes.

I don't trust the government to do the right thing. I suspect you do.
I don't trust drives to do the right thing and it just goes down hill from there. But at least we can vote people out can't vote out a insurance CEO.
 
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Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
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Toronto, Ontario
17k a year is what it sounds like is being used around here for a pilot, my daughters daycare costs more than that. If it were 50k a year I could get by on a part time job maybe, and that would be living pretty frugally.