Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

User avatar
JD
Posts: 12204
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:26

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JD »

Hugh Akston wrote: 14 Feb 2020, 13:11 Why would you think the UBI would come without massive tax increases?
Oh, I wouldn't. I just wonder how Yang would fare when he has to start answering the hard questions instead of just saying, "Wouldn't it be wonderful to get an extra thousand dollars a month?" And the tax increase might be especially sensitive given that we already pay federal, state, and city income taxes.
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston
User avatar
Hugh Akston
Posts: 19733
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:51
Location: Elev. 5280 ft

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Hugh Akston »

JasonL wrote: 14 Feb 2020, 13:43 Yang wants to fund via VAT or other consumption tax.
What a lame-o. One of the selling points of UBI is to redistribute income from higher earners.
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Somali pirates are beholden to their hostages in a way that the USG is not." ~Dangerman
User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30424
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by thoreau »

UBI only makes sense if it is replacing some means-tested program. What means-tested program(s) does Yang propose to phase out for a NYC UBI?
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
User avatar
JasonL
Posts: 25475
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL »

His thing is to give people the choice of cash or in kind and let in kind erode.

Andrew proposes funding the Freedom Dividend by consolidating some welfare programs and implementing a Value Added Tax of 10 percent. 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.
https://www.yang2020.com/what-is-freedom-dividend-faq/
User avatar
JD
Posts: 12204
Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:26

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JD »

JasonL wrote: 14 Feb 2020, 14:06 His thing is to give people the choice of cash or in kind and let in kind erode.

Andrew proposes funding the Freedom Dividend by consolidating some welfare programs and implementing a Value Added Tax of 10 percent. 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.
https://www.yang2020.com/what-is-freedom-dividend-faq/

See, that's the thing - AFAICT, welfare programs are not that big a part of the NYC budget. You're just not going to get very much money that way.
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston
User avatar
Ellie
Posts: 13478
Joined: 21 Apr 2010, 18:34

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Ellie »

JD wrote: 14 Feb 2020, 14:16 See, that's the thing - AFAICT, welfare programs are not that big a part of the NYC budget.
What about the health care programs treating butthurt for people who can't get a good bacon egg and cheese sandwich outside of NYC?
"Yours is the much better comeback." -JD
User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 26091
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Jennifer »

Even assuming NYC's budget were already sufficient to handle this (pretend all welfare/social assistance programs are currently handled at the city level, say), this still would fail. A UBI in America is like congressional term limits: it would only work if everybody did it, else the one state or locality that did would be at a huge disadvantage compared to those who didn't.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b
User avatar
Shem
Posts: 8509
Joined: 27 Apr 2010, 00:27

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Shem »

JD wrote: 11 Dec 2019, 08:46 I am starting to see that concept deployed in a more "weaponized" way, like "those rich people better agree to this if they don't want us to string them up."
This is a response to the rhetoric deployed against protesters over the past decade. When one spends their time time playing "boy who cried class warfare" in response to a proposed 5% increase in the top marginal rate, one shouldn't be surprised when they bring on the real thing and wind up with no defense left.
and part of it has to do with the internet, which can make numerically insignificant voices look as important as majority ones,
Not even the internet. Twitter, and the media's insistence on treating it like it's a microcosm of American opinion.
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen
User avatar
Shem
Posts: 8509
Joined: 27 Apr 2010, 00:27

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Shem »

Warren wrote: 11 Dec 2019, 10:12 Gillespie was saying on one of the podcasts, I think he was paraphrasing Schumpeter (has anybody here read Schumpeter?), the reason capitalism fails. TheMarx was wrong in predicting that the workers will revolt against being exploited. Capitalism fails because it throws off so much wealth that people come to expect perpetual and uninterrupted economic growth and then demand that the government put programs in place to provide it.
I wish the people who critiqued Marx had actually read more than The Communist Manifesto and selected portions of Capital. That's almost exactly what Marx said capitalism would do. It's the basis of the Marxist dialectic, which was a decades of centuries-long process of labor and capital negotiating more of the benefits from the incredible surplus capitalism provides to accrue to workers rather than being collected and held by capital. The stuff you're talking about is Leninism.
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen
User avatar
JasonL
Posts: 25475
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL »

People who defend Marx like to talk about things other than his most frequent, most influential claims that were highly specific and wrong. The man was a polemicist who made sweeping statements with every sentence. He had a single variable view of the entire history of man on earth and he was overwhelmingly wrong in his claims about the future. He should be taken no more seriously than Ayn Rand and for similar reasons.
User avatar
Shem
Posts: 8509
Joined: 27 Apr 2010, 00:27

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Shem »

JasonL wrote: 16 Feb 2020, 12:50 People who defend Marx like to talk about things other than his most frequent, most influential claims that were highly specific and wrong. The man was a polemicist who made sweeping statements with every sentence. He had a single variable view of the entire history of man on earth and he was overwhelmingly wrong in his claims about the future. He should be taken no more seriously than Ayn Rand and for similar reasons.
Which ones in particular were those?

Also, which works of Marx have you read? Since you're familiar enough with him to make broad statements about his "every sentence."
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen
User avatar
JasonL
Posts: 25475
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL »

Kapital and Manifesto are my direct sources but I’ve been reading about Marx my whole life as he appears in the apologist crowd - Chomsky, Zizec, etc. The claims about the trajectory of wages going to subsistence, the claims about how many people wind up in that condition, the claims about capital hoarding got capital markets pretty wrong. Overall his view of zero sum wealth allocation driving economics was entirely wrong. How specialization gets priced, that skills are biddable to zero because of “who has power”. That labor as a class homogenized because apparently a factory is the only imaginable production model. What’s your favorite accurate prediction?
User avatar
Shem
Posts: 8509
Joined: 27 Apr 2010, 00:27

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Shem »

JasonL wrote: 16 Feb 2020, 14:38The claims about the trajectory of wages going to subsistence, the claims about how many people wind up in that condition, the claims about capital hoarding got capital markets pretty wrong. Overall his view of zero sum wealth allocation driving economics was entirely wrong. How specialization gets priced, that skills are biddable to zero because of “who has power”.


Insofar as those didn't happen, they didn't fail to come to pass because of some feature of markets, they were avoided because political systems were able to reach synthesis without the violent action anticipated by Marx. Even then, there are more than a few places (multiple parts of Central America, for example) where what he predicted is exactly what happened, because political action was repeatedly frustrated for the sake of maintenance of economic power.
That labor as a class homogenized because apparently a factory is the only imaginable production model.


This one was actually clear in his own lifetime, which is why he wrote an entire book exploring his errors and clarifying their implications. Not that this would be familiar, since it wasn't in the Manifesto or Capital.
What’s your favorite accurate prediction?
Foreseeing the creation of fascism as a response to class struggle 45 years before it happened was a good one. Predicting globalization was pretty good, too. Recognizing capitalism's ability to constantly produce more and more of everything was also astute, as was his prediction that this would gradually lead to a leveling of the population, even if his lack of experience with popular political movements led him to believe that the leveling would inevitably be violent in nature. Given that people in his time took it for granted that competition would inevitably be diffused as a natural feature of economic life, the fact that he foresaw the centralization of the economy into Wal-Marts and Amazons was pretty astute, also. The progressive income tax (which nobody had when he argued for it) was also a good idea. A lot of stuff a person would have heard not very much about if all they had read was that one pamphlet and the parts of the book that nobody reads in full.
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen
User avatar
JasonL
Posts: 25475
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL »

See this thing about concentration understates the stupid claim he made. He didn’t predict Amazon in 2016 he predicted catastrophic concentration leading to collapse in his lifetime. That pamphlet and those sections they are specific.

Unless we are talking about a repudiation of precious very wrong claims, he still issued a critique of capitalism that missed the entirety of capital markets as a capital allocation method. He got core capitalism wrong. He got core ownership and concentration wrong. He’s the most wrong person still taken seriously.
User avatar
Shem
Posts: 8509
Joined: 27 Apr 2010, 00:27

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Shem »

JasonL wrote: 16 Feb 2020, 20:41 See this thing about concentration understates the stupid claim he made. He didn’t predict Amazon in 2016 he predicted catastrophic concentration leading to collapse in his lifetime. That pamphlet and those sections they are specific.
You mean the collapse that happened? They call 1848 the Year of Revolution for a reason. The repeated application of Communist principles that led to the Progressive movement in the US and reforms in Europe to blunt the revolutionary fervor? You've read not even 1% of the guy's work, focused on the least substantive part, and apparently read none of the history surrounding when it was written (and what happened after the parts you did bother to read), but still feel comfortable dismissing all the stuff you haven't. That's your right, but you might do well to remember this the next time you're rolling your eyes at Thoreau's lack of nuance on whatever subject has him outraged.
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen
User avatar
JasonL
Posts: 25475
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL »

Oh no. Communist principles don’t get credit for progressive compromise. It shouldn’t have been possible on his own terms. The world after was utterly different From his predictions. . Every salient feature of labor share of wealth, of capital accumulation, of the distribution and access to capital was just flat wrong. Unless these other works are full repudiations of those claims the man was dramatically wrong.
User avatar
JasonL
Posts: 25475
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL »

He kept saying inevitable. One lens, one outcome. He has to be judged against the strength of that claim.
User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30424
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by thoreau »

Shem wrote: 16 Feb 2020, 21:46 you might do well to remember this the next time you're rolling your eyes at Thoreau's lack of nuance on whatever subject has him outraged.
Insert class analysis of public university administrator salaries here.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
User avatar
Shem
Posts: 8509
Joined: 27 Apr 2010, 00:27

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Shem »

JasonL wrote: 16 Feb 2020, 22:03 He kept saying inevitable. One lens, one outcome. He has to be judged against the strength of that claim.
In the one pamphlet you read. Sub out "Marxism" for "evolution," and this is like debating the guy who runs the Noah's Ark theme park.
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen
User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30424
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by thoreau »

I've read some Schumpeter (the guy who coined the phrase "creative destruction" as a fine defense of what markets accomplish), and I recall that he considered Marx to be an interesting enough thinker to be worth dissecting. He certainly disagreed with most of what Marx said, but he considered the ideas to be worth examining, and some of the insights worth noting (even while correcting where he went with them).

Marx is a guy who deserved to get a section of a chapter in an economics book, alongside a bunch of other 19th century economists, as an example of a set of ideas that yielded some insights but could never be taken as the full and final word. Instead he became the official prophet of the most disastrous economic system ever tried.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
User avatar
Shem
Posts: 8509
Joined: 27 Apr 2010, 00:27

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Shem »

Marx is interesting because he was willing to engage in his later life with his shortcomings as well as his successes. So instead of being "this is why I was actually right, and just haven't been vindicated yet on the stuff that makes me look wrong," it's "this is what I didn't foresee that caused the revolution to go off the tracks." It's both interesting sociology and a really good lesson for people who want to do social criticism in how to grapple with shortcomings.
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen
User avatar
D.A. Ridgely
Posts: 20446
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:09
Location: The Other Side

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Nothing good can come from Hegel.
User avatar
Shem
Posts: 8509
Joined: 27 Apr 2010, 00:27

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Shem »

I'll say; Knocked Up was terrible.
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen
User avatar
JasonL
Posts: 25475
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL »

Shem wrote: 17 Feb 2020, 00:13 Marx is interesting because he was willing to engage in his later life with his shortcomings as well as his successes. So instead of being "this is why I was actually right, and just haven't been vindicated yet on the stuff that makes me look wrong," it's "this is what I didn't foresee that caused the revolution to go off the tracks." It's both interesting sociology and a really good lesson for people who want to do social criticism in how to grapple with shortcomings.
This is interesting because of the very dramatic very specific claims he made through a lens of “class war is all there is in human affairs”. If one were remotely cautious one probably wouldn’t make that argument in the first place. Ugh the Marxist reformation project.
User avatar
D.A. Ridgely
Posts: 20446
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:09
Location: The Other Side

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Well, in fairness, there simply wasn't a robust empiricism in the social sciences in the 19th century. I wasn't kidding about Hegel; his shadow so overwhelmed philosophy and its still nascent offshoots until the early 20th century that it's hardly surprising that any major thinker of the time claimed metaphysical certitude.

There's an old jib about Hegel claiming that it was necessarily the case that there were seven planets. What he actually said was that if, in fact, there were only seven planets, then it was necessarily the case that was so. That's too subtle a distinction for most people, though.

If you are looking to give Marx some credit, and I think it's fair to say that the man was better than his disciples (something that could also be said about, oh, say, Freud), he was a pioneer in rejecting idealism even if he did embrace Hegel's dialectic lock, stock and barrel. That's not nothing.
Post Reply