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Discussion on the idea of Universal Basic Income

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09 May 2020 01:50 #351835 by JamesSand

A lot of the focus seems to be on abuse rather than necessity. It's kind of funny to me but seems true nonetheless. We don't worry so much about the abuse that happens every single day when it comes to rich people exploiting their financial status and power. Whether it's tax shelters where they aren't paying their fair share or flat out scams and pyramid schemes, rich people get away with a hell of a lot more than we know about. And they have lawyers on standby to help them circumnavigate the law and bend and break it and get them out of trouble if need be. And often they have more money than they could need or want and then the desire for gain can mutate over time into greed and the hording of wealth so that the rest of us are fighting and arguing over the scraps from their table. Because they also own the table, the chairs, etc.


I have assets that mean I generate a portion of my income from doing basically nothing other than having my name on those assets - if that makes me a part of the problem, so be it -

I suppose if I wanted to defend my position I would say - all my income from those assets is still fully taxed by my government, so the community (via the government) still reaps rewards from the risks I take with my capital...

I share a similar view to you on businesses that take measures to avoid handing over their fair share of income back to the governing body for infrastructure, services (and I suppose welfare) funding.



My major issue with your view overall in that post is that you're thinking too small - you're thinking about taxes propping up low income workers - Why put a bandaid on a shit system? Why is technology a threat to "blue collar workers" ? If it's an unfulling, unskilled, and tedious job - why have it as a job at all if technology can do it?

Think end game on this - A nation (or world) where the menial jobs that are required to sustain society - food generation, (and the distribution of food) power generation, even healthcare, is handled by our impressive technology - you now have thousands, if not millions of "blue collar" workers who are freed up to spend their days doing more "spiritually rewarding" things.

It's not about throwing an extra $100 note at people with crap jobs. That fixes almost nothing short term, and properly nothing long term - it's about changing how we view wealth, satisfaction, success, and the value of our time.

Time being, really, the only thing of any value you can spend....






*I don't actually agree with this - there's a lot that is spiritually rewarding in manual work - but perhaps it would be just as rewarding to do 30 hours of work a week as it is 60....freeing up a few hours for sunrises, or feeding the birds, or breathing)

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10 May 2020 23:32 #351875 by Adder
I've been at the bottom and worked my way up without windfalls or cheating, and in my experience people focus on what they are lacking and grasp for it as a solution. To me this is the fundamental error, which perpetuates if not corrected no matter how much wealth someone might have. If your stuck on a mousewheel going around in circles hand to mouth, then you usually feel the need for freedom of time as your 'want'. And if your unemployed and loving it, you usually feel the need for money or toys as your 'want'. Most people are a mix of both, wanting more time and more money.... but I think it's entirely the wrong way to look at money and probably time as well.

The only reason people focus on abuse of a system is because that is what destroys a system and makes it a giant waste of time to consider. If you can isolate the weakness in a system, you can use its performance as a measure to compare it to other models.
If you focus only on the positive then your just postponing the discovery of whether its actually going to perform at any level above the perfunctory feel good of pretending a solution appears 'good'. It's usually better for a system to work well, then appear good. Which is why talking about its weakness is not an attack on it, or ignoring its benefits necessarily... IMO.

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu

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20 May 2020 16:32 #352106 by ZealotX

Alexandre Orion wrote: But therein resides the misunderstanding. The UBI is conditionless, that is to say that there is hardly any way to abuse it. One may either choose to live tranquilly and pay their bills and feed themselves whilst watching Netflix and eating Doritos (in which case they probably won't live that long anyway), or as Chai was saying, people would pursue more rewarding - individually and culturally - activities.


But if UBI was a card or something that could only be spent on bills and necessary items then people could always afford to live but if they wanted to watch Netflix they'd have to get a job to pay for it. UBI, as I understand it, was not designed to give people a life but to help them maintain and preserve it in an age where robots can take people's job.

I wouldn't even have UBI paying for a car. I would have public transportation that UBI card could be used for and anything more than that you can buy with your own money. I think if there's a cheap option for something a person needs to survive, UBI should cover that. But everything else should be on the individual to provide for their own wants. It shouldn't be like a blank check that can be used for anything.
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20 May 2020 16:40 #352107 by ZealotX
I think the other important component is time. If you only have to worry about the things you want then you can be flexible on when you work, who you work for, how long you choose to work for, etc. More people could work because less people would be working 40, 60, and 80 hour weeks. And yes there are plenty of people with 2 full-time jobs.

Not only could someone else, who maybe doesn't have a job, could do that 2nd job and therefore ease more people into the workforce, but not having to work a full 40 hour week would cut down on tons of stress. which leads to drug and alcohol abuse which can lead to crime and death. Everyone in society medicates. It's just the medication changes. Some people yell at their spouse or kids. Some people drink and drive drunk until they end up killing someone. Even a lot of the greed that we see... is simply an over reaction to the thought of scarcity. Some (not all) of the people who horde wealth do so because of how we, as a society, place value. UBI would allows us to place less value on monetary things and more value on our time and happiness. And isn't the pursuit of happiness an important part of the American dream? But if you have to work 60 hours to survive how is that the American dream?
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20 May 2020 20:21 #352109 by JamesSand

ZealotX wrote:

Alexandre Orion wrote: But therein resides the misunderstanding. The UBI is conditionless, that is to say that there is hardly any way to abuse it. One may either choose to live tranquilly and pay their bills and feed themselves whilst watching Netflix and eating Doritos (in which case they probably won't live that long anyway), or as Chai was saying, people would pursue more rewarding - individually and culturally - activities.


But if UBI was a card or something that could only be spent on bills and necessary items then people could always afford to live but if they wanted to watch Netflix they'd have to get a job to pay for it. UBI, as I understand it, was not designed to give people a life but to help them maintain and preserve it in an age where robots can take people's job.

I wouldn't even have UBI paying for a car. I would have public transportation that UBI card could be used for and anything more than that you can buy with your own money. I think if there's a cheap option for something a person needs to survive, UBI should cover that. But everything else should be on the individual to provide for their own wants. It shouldn't be like a blank check that can be used for anything.



I guess that's the difference between "UBI" and "Welfare" - one (arguably) is designed to lift people up the hierarchy of needs, the other one is to stop people hitting the bottom.....

That's the vibe I got from Alexandre.

The practicalities of either have already been alluded to.

And isn't the pursuit of happiness an important part of the American dream? But if you have to work 60 hours to survive how is that the American dream?


I wouldn't have a clue.

I have some ideas about what constitutes the american dream these days, but perhaps it would be uncharitable for me to paint you all the brush reddit gives me.....

but not having to work a full 40 hour week would cut down on tons of stress. which leads to drug and alcohol abuse which can lead to crime and death.



I reckon that's drawing a pretty long bow....
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