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Talk:Basic income

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Affect on middle class?[edit]

This is a really good article, but i find it is missing what the impact will be on the middle class, it is very good at telling what will happen to the rich and the poor, but not the middle class, besides that this is a very well written article. Bubba41102The place where you can scream at me 23:13, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Socialism[edit]

This has barely anything to do with socialism beyond being a potential site at which class conflict can occur. Withoutaname (talk) 15:18, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

"Socialism" with the more modern meaning of promoting societal well-being as a function of government. Not socialist as a vague analogue for communism. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:39, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
We're not talking about a classless, stateless, moneyless society. We're talking about social control over the means of production -- which has very little to do with basic income. Withoutaname (talk) 16:03, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Financial pressure[edit]

Financial pressure isn't necessarily a force for bad. Arguably it's the engine that makes the world go, the invisible hand telling people what they need to do in order to serve their fellow man in ways that will get them the reward that's due.

In the case of young women who don't have parents to pay their way forever, they can respond to this financial pressure by getting a job or marrying a guy who's going to provide for them. (Marriage or its equivalent is needed in order to ensure they are provided for not only during their youth but also when they're past their prime of physical attractiveness.)

Take away the financial pressure, and what is going to push these women in the direction of being useful members of society, as opposed to just giving into the whims of the moment? The average faithful, dependable male breadwinner is fairly boring, as evidenced by the fact that most young women don't choose that kind of guy when there are more exciting guys available. But choosing the stable provider is part of being a good parent. Lightuh (talk) 01:11, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

You are right about financial pressure being ethically neutral. But I disagree with your suggestion of how it should be applied in this case. Women can and have the right to work even if they are married; just because they are married does not mean they must be provided for by their husbands. On top of that, they could also work till they retire and live off of their savings account and pension. I am skeptical about the statement you made on women's mate preferences; it sounds like a sweeping generalization to me. At least one credible source is needed. Nerd (talk) 01:27, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Disadvantages?[edit]

I fail to see the point of including the disadvantages if you aren't going to seriously consider any of the downsides towards UBI.Machina (talk) 15:06, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

Adding some criticisms to advantages[edit]

I propose to add some criticisms to the section Advantages, here they are in bold:

  • With the current social security system, people on benefits often lose money when they take up a job because their benefits are removed, meaning they have little incentive to work.[1][2] On the other hand, for many people, having a basic income would kill any incentive to work.
  • It encourages a better work-life balance and allows people to do the sort of productive, creative, or socially useful work they want, rather than chasing money in unpleasant jobs.[3] However, like it or not, until we will invent robots which will do all the unpleasant jobs, there will be still a need of people doing them.
  • It will fund people in training and education, to the benefit of individuals and the wider economy.[2] (Unless one has no interest in being trained or educated, and likes to spent all of their basic income in other things. Indeed, many people study because they hope in some form of future income from their career, and for them having a basic income could be a disincentive.)
  • It means that everybody who contributes to the welfare system through taxes receives some benefit.[2] (But also who do not contribute, because basic income is universal.)

If moderators have nothing to say, I'm going to add them in a few days. --McLaghing (talk) 08:43, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

Your points are mostly good. However, the last one isn’t a relevant criticism of the point (the point isn’t that great, though, and should probably go anyway) and I don’t think Puttong whole sentences in brackets is a good idea. I would also advise you to take into account all disagreement with your edits, even if it doesn’t come from a mod. Christopher (talk) 18:08, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
It would also be a good idea, @McLaghing, for you to ask @James Earl Cash why he reverted your edits. It is also good sysop etiquette, which James Earl Cash did not follow, to explain significant reversions to fellow-sysops. Bongolian (talk) 18:24, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
My bad, definitely should have checked the talk page first.
I reverted them because they seem to be unsourced speculation. For example, the work-life balance thing, I reverted it because it seemed to suggest that the point was to kill menial jobs when the larger point was so that people wouldn't be shackled to deadend jobs on a meager paycheck. Training and education point, your criticism and the advantage in question are not mutually exclusive. You can have a basic income AND want to improve yourself in some form for a career that would pay even better or garner them some form of status. The first point about killing incentive to work was covered in the disadvantages section, where it was said that a good many people like to work for free, even without any form of compensation. More to the point, these criticisms stem from large generalizations that seem to imply it would be a large percentage of the population doing this. On a larger front, they seem to be brief asides, not in-depth criticisms that seem to refute the advantages in any substantial manner.
I was too hasty on the last point though. If anything else, I think it's unclear what you mean, but for now I'll go ahead and put your input back in until you can explain yourself. But if you don't elaborate, I think it should be deleted because for now it's not entirely clear what you mean. James Earl Cash (talk) 19:00, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
"I reverted them because they seem to be unsourced speculation." <- Well, that sounds like an a posteriori excuse: not all the criticisms of the claimed disadvantages cite sources and, after all, basic income has never been tried on a large scale, hence mostly of the claims (both advantages and disadvantages) are, necessarily, speculations. Also, do However, like it or not, until we will invent robots which will do all the unpleasant jobs, there will be still a need of people doing them. and Unless one has no interest in being trained or educated, and likes to spent all of their basic income in other things. Indeed, many people study because they hope in some form of future income from their career, and for them having a basic income could be a disincentive. need sources?
" work-life balance thing, I reverted it because it seemed to suggest that the point was to kill menial jobs when the larger point was so that people wouldn't be shackled to deadend jobs" <- It makes sense, but only now that the advantage in question has been written better.
"You can have a basic income AND want to improve yourself in some form for a career" <- I agree and I have never negate that. I said Unless one has no interest in being trained or educated, and likes to spent all of their basic income in other things. Is'nt true that not everybody is interested in training and education?
"The first point about killing incentive to work was covered in the disadvantages section, where it was said that a good many people like to work for free, even without any form of compensation" <- Indeed my criticism is not that "there are not people who would work for free", I never said that.
"More to the point, these criticisms stem from large generalizations that seem to imply it would be a large percentage of the population doing this. On a larger front, they seem to be brief asides, not in-depth criticisms that seem to refute the advantages in any substantial manner." <- Not all criticisms need be in-depth and to refute a claim.
"I think it's unclear what you mean ... until you can explain yourself. But if you don't elaborate, I think it should be deleted because for now it's not entirely clear what you mean." <- It seems that my points are clear to @Christopher. --McLaghing (talk) 19:47, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm going to cover this all in one paragraph since most of my thoughts boil around the same. You want something that can adequately address the advantages as a whole, not something too wishy-washy to really say anything. When the advantages and the criticisms aren't mutually exclusive, to the point that the advantage still stands in face of said criticism, then it feels like an unpleasant side-effect, not something that really undermines the idea of basic income. Even if it some of the disadvantages aren't sourced, we don't want to start following the tu quoque fallacy anytime soon. Additionally they go forward in addressing the core of the disadvantages in question. Then again, I do feel some of the advantages CAN be better sourced and do need work, but that's a thing for another day.
Re: Christopher. He actually wasn't that fond of the last point and honestly I kinda agree with him that the whole thing should go, advantage AND criticism. And he also said to take into account disagreements with your edits, mod status or not. James Earl Cash (talk) 21:07, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Basic income schemes have also been criticised by at least one economist from the Modern Monetary Theory school, the Australian Bill Mitchell: A Basic Income Guarantee does not reduce poverty, A basic income guarantee is a neo-liberal strategy for serfdom without the work and Is there a case for a basic income guarantee – Part 1 (there are a total of five parts in the latter series). A general overview of his take one the topic can be found by this search for “basic income” on his blog, though he tends to use the acronym BIG (Basic Income Guarantee) in his writings. ScepticWombat (talk) 21:17, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

@James Earl Cash "You want something that can adequately address the advantages as a whole" <- Why? I see no reasons why the criticisms of the advantages must address all the advantages as a whole. Since I'm not convinced in any way of your reversion (expect for the "work-life balance point"), and since a moderator confirmed that my points are "mostly good" (except for the last one) I added them (except for the last one). --McLaghing (talk) 09:11, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

I can see people have been debating this for a while, but there's a section for disadvantages just below advantages, so why not put criticisms below, rather than putting them in 2 places? Currently removal of the incentive to work is covered both as a rebuttal to an advantage and as a disadvantage (and all that without evidence of a loss of incentive.) --Gospatric (talk) 15:28, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
Actually, I've changed that, because it's untrue to say it removes all incentive to work, so I removed the statement from "advantages" which was unsourced and unjustified. Consider the situation where I'm on benefits, get a job and lose my benefits, and thus have a salary but no benefits, and compare it to the situation where I go from UBI to UBI plus salary: in the latter case I (arguably) have a greater incentive to work because I receive more money while working than under a benefits regime. Anyway, as I said, this argument is covered under Disadvantages, which also considers incentives to work that don't involve money/food/buying things. --Gospatric (talk) 15:35, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
"I can see people have been debating this for a while, but there's a section for disadvantages just below advantages, so why not put criticisms below, rather than putting them in 2 places?" <- The point is that the two sections start with "Claimed advantages [from who supports UBI]" and "Claimed disadvantages [from who opposes UBI]" so it makes perfectly sense to read the claim advantages (respectively disadvantages) and then, eventually, read a possible criticism (isn't RW a wiki of skeptics?). Also, as I have already pointed out, basic income has never been implemented on a large scale, so everything is extremely theoretical.
"Actually, I've changed that, because it's untrue to say it removes all incentive to work, so I removed the statement from "advantages" [...] Consider the situation where I'm on benefits, get a job and lose my benefits, and thus have a salary but no benefits, and compare it to the situation where I go from UBI to UBI plus salary: in the latter case I (arguably) have a greater incentive to work because I receive more money while working than under a benefits regime." <- My sentence was "On the other hand, for many people, having a basic income would kill any incentive to work". Of course, there are people who would think: "I can have UBI and, by working, also an income? Great I'm gonna work!", but there are also other people who would think: "With my UBI I'm just fine, why bother of working?". Do you deny that? I rewrote a milder version of the sentence. --McLaghing (talk) 17:10, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
I guess I don't see the point of criticizing the advantages when it doesn't thoroughly undermine them in any significant way. People who don't want to work for whatever reason whether it's a lousy job or personal circumstances or anxiety issues will not work. Having or not having a basic income is not going to change that. Likewise, some of you accuse me of being hasty and then you go on your own to use Christopher's judgment alone as the arbiter of what should go and what should stay? When he already said that you should be willing to hear input from others? I'm not getting into an edit war because quite frankly I'm sick of it, but yeah, this article deffo needs some improvement and I think this talk page is the place for them. Don't rebuff other's changes just because you personally disagree with them. The rebuttals on the disadvantages section are thorough and give enough weight to be included. The same can't be said for your inclusions. I think your criticisms have to be significant, otherwise it's just an inconvenience, not something that really warrants being put in an encyclopedic article.
EDIT: I mean your casual dismissal reminds me of how you decided you were just gonna ignore all my replies to you and revert all my edits in the Molyneux article. Diplomacy is not your strong suit. James Earl Cash (talk) 17:59, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
"People who don't want to work for whatever reason whether it's a lousy job or personal circumstances or anxiety issues will not work." <- I have never said a word about "personal circumstances or anxiety issues" preventing from working.
I gotta say that I find your behavior extremely hypocritical and false: You are accusing me of not being willing to hear your inputs, after I have answered to every of your points one by one. On the other hand, you keep answering to me by not addressing my points and by misrepresenting what I said, just like this last case of never mentioned "anxiety issues".
Even regarding the discussion about Molyneux's page, your are painting it like I dismissed your reasons and I acted like a bully; while the reality is that I have made my edits motivating each of them, you reverted them by stating just "stop removing snark", we went to the talk page and I made again my motivations (which, by the way, were already on the talk page since quite a time), and you ignored them again (I'm still waiting a serious answer to "what about Steve? Islam and Crusades?" and - no - "a racist like Molyneux who supports Trump and tries to skew the Crusades" is not one). Everyboy can confirms this by looking to the fossil record and to the talk page. --McLaghing (talk) 19:04, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
"I have never said a word about "personal circumstances or anxiety issues" preventing from working." Obviously? It's called a hypothetical, look it up.
"I'm still waiting a serious answer to "what about Steve?" Already gave ya one. It's a really, really dumb joke, obviously. It's no different than knowing about his butthurt over Frozen and Maleficent, makes his whining over Beauty and the Beast that much more hilarious. You are deliberately removing all instances of humor on someone who definitely needs to be skewered with it.
" and - no - "a racist like Molyneux who supports Trump and tries to skew the Crusades" is not one" When he tries to push the Lost Cause of the South? When he is racist as hell and supports all of Trump's xenophobic policies? It ties into the rest of his state support, which is unfitting for a supposed ancap/libertarian. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that one.
Of course I only stopped debating you re: Molyneux after you decided you were done with me because my answers didn't satisfy you based on one exchange alone.
I'd also conclude that you are in no position to be bickering that you're not being heard when you fall back on tired cliches like, "The mods have my back!" when Christopher outright said to listen to others. Or how you're not giving any thrift to my point that your "criticisms" are just minor points that don't really disprove anything. It's like an abstinence only sex ed teacher who, faced with a real scientist, starts yammering on about pregnancy and STDs even after all their bunk is tossed to the side. A bunch of inconveniences don't amount to solid criticisms. If you're going to include them, at least recognize how trivial they are. James Earl Cash (talk) 19:39, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
"Already gave ya one." <- You are lying. If not, then tell me exactly where did you answered to my question "Why Steve and British? What is the joke? I know he get 'angry' for mispelling his name like 'Stephan', 'Stephen'... but 'Steve' ?" on the talk page https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Talk:Stefan_Molyneux#Cleaning_2 --McLaghing (talk) 20:22, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
I can't believe you're doing this with lowest common denominator humor. That's the point man. It's dumb and cheeky. I wouldn't even care normally but it seems like you're bent on removing any and all instances of humor from that page.
EDIT: I also found out how you were able to make me look bad to a mod like Bongolian, while casually omitting that you tried to pull rank on me in the Stefan Molyneux page just because you didn't like what I said. James Earl Cash (talk) 20:55, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
"It's dumb" <- Exactly, but apparently it was important "snark" that must not be removed... and apparently you "already gave ya [me]" an answer about that when you never did so...
"I also found out how you were able to make me look bad to a mod like Bongolian" <- The only one making you look bad is you. Indeed, if I was you, I would stop to play the victim when everybody can read the fossil records and talk pages and see that you lie and act like a bully. --McLaghing (talk) 09:51, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
Like I said, I wouldn't even care if you weren't bent on removing any and all instances of snark from the Molyneux page, even relevant info in the guise of snark, as if you were on a personal mission. As in, after I explained both the jokes and why it's relevant when Molyneux does something as opposed to other regular people in the talk page, you pretty much ignored my replies, and outright told me, who was a regular user at the time, that you were going to deliberately ignore all my future replies and edit war with me no matter what. I don't think you're in a position to be playing the moral high ground because of that, going to the mods as if I committed some unforgivable grievance when I reverted your changes on this page when I even left a note in the history section. I was under the impression that even if we did take this to the talk page, that it wouldn't go anywhere, and ultimately the brass would decide which version they liked better.
EDIT: Changed "fu replies" to "future replies." Your thickness is starting to rub off on me. James Earl Cash (talk) 19:53, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

Here we come again: @James Earl Cash has deleted my edits saying that "McLaghing isn't responding to my points" although we had a long conversation (and I was not the only one OK with those edits, @Christopher was too). He also deleted more than half of the section Disadvantages. I think this is plain vandalism, I don't know how else call it. --McLaghing (talk) 09:55, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

@McLaghing and James Earl Cash. I’ve changed the page back to this version, the last version before all of this started, and mod-locked the page. I’ll only unlock it if you two can agree on a version or if the mob shows a large preference for a particular version. Christopher (talk) 10:34, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
OK, I prefer the page mod-locked than James Earl Cash doing whatever he wants.
Let me summarize the situation:
  1. I asked to add some criticisms to the section Advantages.
  2. You said to me that they where "mostly good" except the last one.
  3. A discussing started on the talk page. I answered to each rebuttal of James Earl Cash, and I added again my criticisms again, except the last one and the one where I agreed with James Earl Cash rebuttal/edit.
  4. The reverting and discussion keep going.
  5. James Earl Cash revert everything again and even delete a big part of the section Disadvantages, without asking to anybody.
  6. You reverted anything back previous to my edits and mod-locked the page.
In conclusion: I tried my best to express my motivations behind my +580 (only!) edits, asking for other opinions, and I also changed/removed some of them accordingly to your and James Earl Cash's rebuttal. On the other hand, James Earl Cash didn't show any effort to get to a compromise and did essentially whatever he wanted. By your intervention as a moderator, now the page is locked to a previous version, so that my edits are removed, exactly like James Earl Cash wanted. Now tell me: Why should I put so much effort and time trying improving RW via discussion, consensus, and compromise, if the moderation system at the end rewards who show no effort at all? --McLaghing (talk) 12:59, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
This is a temporary solution, it’s standard practice to temporarily revert to a pre edit war version of a page and lock (temporarily) the page. As neither of you are likely to give in any time soon, I’ll set up a vote. I think you’ll probably win. Christopher (talk) 13:32, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
My two cents here, the discussion kinda stalemated and then petered out entirely when McLaghing stopped responding to some of my points, not really giving any rebuttal and eventually the discussion trailed off into some other bad blood between us. Even Gospatric above disagreed with McLaghing's points, but McLaghing reverted it anyway, not really giving much of a reason behind it and ignoring that his criticisms don't really do much to address or rebut the advantages, making them little more than side notes as opposed to genuine criticisms. They don't have weight the same way the criticisms do in the disadvantages section. I kept arguing with McLaghing but he stopped responding. Christopher even said to listen to others besides mods, but when the time came for us to debate and we didn't see eye to eye? McLaghing said that Christopher was a mod, so that makes his edits okay, quality of content be damned.
As for that big chunk of the disadvantages section I deleted just now? That was something I originally contributed and later deleted it, because not only did I not like the way I wrote it, it was also redundant and addressed in the disadvantages section that talked about people not working. That's not vandalism, that's getting rid of a mistake I made.
Whatever, I'm getting sick of McLaghing dragging my name through the dirt and crying wolf to the mods while hardly acknowledging his own hypocritical behavior. James Earl Cash (talk) 16:57, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

Could everyone just vote in the sections below and get this over with? 15:38, 26 February 2018 (UTC) —half unsigned, by Christopher / talk

I'd be fine with it, but right now neither section seems to be internally consistent, probably due to the edit warring. Get it cleaned up and THEN I'll vote. RoninMacbeth (talk) 16:34, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

For the entire thing, I would say it's still a good idea to get sources on said speculation (which I think is the core of contention). Yes, such thing hasn't been tried on a big scale, but does expert opinion exist? Sceptic Wombat did contribute, yes? Biggest reason I am not super engaged is that economics bore me, I was busy yesterday, this conversation is long, and I had access to RationalWiki and I forgot I was notified because last time I noticed the notification, I was in blasted mobile. I am still in blab-blasted mobile right now. But I will get a better opinion soon. I did read a bit of it. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 00:01, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

I'd been meaning to add some stuff from that blog ScepticWombat recommended, but I kinda got sidetracked with the debate here and now the page is locked so that ship has sailed, for the moment anyway. James Earl Cash (talk) 04:15, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Fuck me, I hate to be that guy on the internet, but nobody else has voted on this thing, and Christopher cast his vote before I had a chance to explain my side, and McLaghing's vote is biased, to say the least. Come on people! Get involved! I don't even care about McLaghing's minor edits anymore so long as my big chunk of extraneous bullshit (that ironically enough was used to implicate me as a vandal) remains deleted and somebody can add the content that ScepticWombat linked to. James Earl Cash (talk) 02:18, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

if people must insist in splitting things up into pros and cons sections then rebuttals most certainly needed in the advantages in section. the disadvantages section has them and while the advantages are unchallenged, it makes it look like they are unassailable. i will say nothing on the lack of detail in the advantages or the reliance of cites that are very local in nature, or even that one of the cites is just a link to wikipedia. AMassiveGay (talk) 08:42, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

The advantages critique section is barely that though. Just a handful of one note sentences that don't really disprove the advantages in question. Say what you will about how some of the disadvantages might be unsourced but they at least they have substance and have rebuttals that go into detail. Some of supposed critiques of the advantages are also addressed in the disadvantages section too, way before McLaghing wrote them. James Earl Cash (talk) 17:07, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Mostly/entirely agree with McLaghing’s edits[edit]

I’d prefer it if discussion happened above and this was just a list of endorsements. Christopher (talk) 13:32, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

  1. Christopher (talk) 13:32, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
  2. I guess is implicit, however Christopher urged to vote so... McLaghing (talk) 15:51, 26 February 2018 (UTC).
  3. how we can we not critique the advantages when we do the disadvantages. AMassiveGay (talk) 08:42, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
  4. Though I personally disagree somewhat with points one and four I would be willing to support these edits with reputable statistics to back them up. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 18:38, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Disagree[edit]

See above. Christopher (talk) 13:32, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

  1. McLaghing is voting for his own side? That's playing by street rules, son. James Earl Cash (talk) 04:29, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
    knock your pettiness on the head for fucks sake. AMassiveGay (talk) 08:42, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Maybe he shouldn't have voted for his own side then. — Unsigned, by: James Earl Cash / talk / contribs 17:08, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Per AMassiveGay. Just stop. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 18:15, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
And also, if things aren't going for your way, it's wise not to accuse of unfairness such as complaining that McLaghing rallied the mods to his sweet favor or ragging on even the smallest mistakes. What's going on here is that there are people who determine McLaghing's position to be stronger. If you don't like the results, you will have to provide stronger arguments and less... Whatever that above slop that was. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 18:19, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Like I said earlier, I'm past caring about McLaghing's initial edits. I'm far more interested in the info from that blog from Sceptic Wombat, and I hope nobody is still trying to use me deleting a chunk of my own writing I recognized was shite as proof I'm a vandal. Seriously. James Earl Cash (talk) 19:09, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
@James Earl Cash No one accused you of being a vandal, your arguments merely failed to sway the other users. If you do not like the results then stop whining and playing the victim and compose stronger arguments next time. If you cannot you will fail to gain support until you either do or leave. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 19:21, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
McLaghing: "Here we come again: @James Earl Cash has deleted my edits saying that "McLaghing isn't responding to my points" although we had a long conversation (and I was not the only one OK with those edits, @Christopher was too). He also deleted more than half of the section Disadvantages. I think this is plain vandalism, I don't know how else call it."
Oops. James Earl Cash (talk) 19:23, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
His saying it's vandalism isn't right either, but doesn't excuse your behavior. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:44, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
If this will calm James Earl Cash: I was wrong saying it was vandalism, you indeed delete your own writing. I was not aware of that, I just saw that a big piece of the section was deleted and I thought it was there before all our edits. If you do a lot of separate edits, without writing anything in the fossil record, it is quite difficult to understand exactly what have you done. -McLaghing (talk) 19:52, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
I listed that deleted chunk was my own contribution as soon as this page was closed to a vote and again in the coop case. There is no excuse for you taking this long to recant your original accusation. James Earl Cash (talk) 20:23, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Even AEI curmudgeon Charles Murray is for it[edit]

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jul/29/charles-murray-conservative-economist-backs-ubi/ 217.119.171.154 (talk) 23:04, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

Yup, US conservatives and various neoliberals/libertarians love UBI schemes, because:
  1. They will likely function as a huge wage subsidy for employers.
  2. They can be used to argue for the removal of all other kinds of welfare (allowing for total privatisation, incl. such US stables as Medicare and Medicaid).
  3. The costs and “envy effects” (see welfare queen and benefit scrounger) can subsequently easily be used to whittle away at UBI rates.
  4. The costs are unlikely to be born mainly by the wealthiest and/or corporations (just like current tax regimes and effective tax rates).
In fact, that such groups are jumping on the bandwagon should clue in more leftist supporters of UBI that maybe this idea isn’t the greatest one (from a leftist perspective) since sliced bread. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:07, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Btw, a UBI scheme would also be inflexible in terms of countering macroeconomic problems; in contrast to a government job guarantee in which the numbers, kinds and characteristics of “supplementary” jobs could be adjusted, depending on the general employment prospects, especially in the private sector. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:18, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
It's hard to see how a conservative could support something that would require massive tax rises, even if it was set at the lowest current state benefit level. Hatred of government bureaucracy may explain some of the support: they hope to get rid of a lot of public sector workers and bust up public sector unions. But it's not clear how much bureaucracy could really be removed - many proponents are silent on how to pay for the needs of the disabled, children/childcare, housing costs, and other provision over and above the "basic" basic income. And most of the cost of social security systems is the payments, not the administration. If you knew that unemployment would rise to 50% or 90% because of automation, it would be rational, but it's a hell of an expensive thing to do based on a hunch. Is it just a love of contrarianism? --Gospatric (talk) 11:32, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Hi @Gospatric, I agree that there’s a lot of bad faith, “mouthing along with the script”, insincere "support" among the rightist groups I mentioned. However:
  • If UBI "blows a giant hole in the budget" that’s a feature, not a bug for those groups, because they can then both whine about their political opponents being "fiscally irresponsible" and subsequently use this as an excuse to reduce UBI rates along with all other types of welfare (my points 2 and 3 above).
Mind you, the notion that taxes pay for services is not exactly correct, if you approach macroeconomics from a Modern Monetary Theory, MMT, angle, but that another kettle of fish; not that the need for "financing" rightist darlings, such as lavish tax cuts or military spending binges have been much of a priority for them anyway.
  • As for ”the needs of the disabled, children/childcare, housing costs, and other provision over and above the "basic" basic income,” the support for UBI among the right tends to be based on removing all other welfare, whether that condition is stated upfront or expected to be a subsequent effect (see point 2 on my list above).
  • Also, one expected result of or argument for UBI, from a rightist perspective, would be that with it, everyone could and should subsequently purchase any other welfare service they might need from the private sector.
Remember that the reason that Obamacare was originally a Republican scheme is that it essentially mandates all people to purchase products and services (insurance and healthcare) from the private sector, so it’s actually yet another indirect corporate subsidy (not saying it isn’t better than what went before, but it’s a perspective one should bear in mind). This is a parallel with the idea of replacing Social Security with individual, mandatory "savings accounts" to channel the massive amounts of money in that programme into Wall Street, which brings me back to point 1 on my list, namely that those on the right who honestly support UBI see it as an across the board wage subsidy for employers and thus yet more corporate welfare (basically, formally institutionalising the practices of companies such as Walmart of paying wages so low that the US public has to step in with healthcare, food stamps and other subsidies). ScepticWombat (talk) 06:46, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Do look this gift UBI horse in the mouth[edit]

I’ve already set out some of my scepticism regarding UBI in practice in the section above, so this section is more of a highlight into which various actual UBI proposals can be discussed.

Andrew Yang’s UBI proposal[edit]

One UBI proposal that is currently generating some hype is the one outlined by US Democratic Party presidential hopeful Andrew Yang. It has several of the hallmarks of why I’m sceptical about it clearly indicated by Yang’s own FAQ on UBI:

  • It will be paid for by a 10% VAT, which he claims will also fall heavily on corporations, but as with all VAT schemes, it will hit the poor relatively harder, given that they spend (almost) all (or even more than) their income on basic necessities. So, unless Yang’s VAT will exempt basic necessities, it will likely be a de facto regressive tax (see our article on FairTax for a somewhat similar example of a flat tax proposal with some of the same effects). Also, as the costs of this tax are likely to be transferred directly to the consumers through price increases, corporations will probably not end up being the main contributors.
  • It will replace, not supplement, other welfare programs (”Current welfare and social program beneficiaries would be given a choice between their current benefits or $1,000 cash unconditionally – most would prefer cash with no restriction.”) Now, Yang does not specify whether it will replace all other public programs, but I suspect that that is what is being hinted at here, not least given his use of ”public”, rather than ”federal”. In that case, these monthly US$1,000 have to cover all of your expenses, not only food, clothing and shelter, but also medicine etc., which brings us to the next point.
  • For a 1-person household US$12,000 doesn’t even clear the 2018 federal poverty line of an annual income of US$12,140. Sure, things look a bit better if you’re living in a multi-person household (due to economy of scale), but remember that you’re not likely to be eligible for any other public assistance. So, while it would likely really suck to be single under Yang’s scheme, being a multi-person household is probably not going to be a picnic either.
  • Yang attempts to counter the falling wage objection by completely irrelevantly pointing out that employers are already paying lower wages despite rising productivity. Then he claims that ”UBI would put power in the hands of the worker—with consistent, unconditional cash to cover their expenses, Americans will be able to be more selective about the working conditions they’re willing to accept.” However, this is dubious as long as there is a labour force reserve of unemployed and an UBI rate around the federal poverty level. As there has generally been a substantial labour reserve in the US for decades (not just unemployed but also underemployed and illegal immigrants), I really don’t see Yang’s optimism panning out. Instead, I find it far more likely that his UBI scheme will end up functioning as a massive wage subsidy — especially for low paid jobs. It will likely end up as a formal institutionalisation of the “Walmart model” of low pay being supplemented by public assistance to the employees that in the end amounts to corporate welfare.

And these objections are just the beginning, being based solely on Yang’s very sketchy FAQ. When we come into the nitty gritty of implementation things are likely to get even murkier (e.g. should UBI be taxed as income? Are the US$1,000 before or after taxes and other deductions? What would it mean for the taxes of a multi-person household? And so on and so forth).

PS. Yang’s justification of introducing UBI as a counter to mass unemployment due to robotisation/automation/digitisation is also dubious. One lesson from the past examples of introducing such new, laboursaving technologies suggests that it may affect tasks within jobs more than the actual number of jobs.

To be continued, expanded and updated... ScepticWombat (talk) 08:03, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Some proper criticism of Yang's UBI is badly needed imo. This is good stuff. NekoDysk 09:50, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words Dysklyver. I think that UBI is one of those ideas that may be viscerally appealing, but starts to look worse and worse the closer you scrutinise it, not to mention actual, concrete policies/implementations of it. UBI appears to me to be a very blunt instrument that is unlikely to do either all that it’s expected to do (i.e. act as a single solution replacing all or most other welfare schemes) or to do well at any of the individual scenarios it’s being touted as a solution for.
Personally, I think that some form of job guarantee, as suggested by some economists within the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) school of thought sounds more attractive, as it would be flexible (adjustable to counteract business cycles), act as a de facto minimum wage, as well as a guaranteed minimum income for those whose “only” problem is unemployment. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:57, 13 March 2019 (UTC)