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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 17 Nov 2019, 10:26
by Aresen
Ellie wrote: 17 Nov 2019, 01:03 I confess I don't know anything about "the dole" besides hearing references to it in some of the British novels I've read. From my extremely ignorant perspective, it sounds a little like UBI -- kind of like money for nothing, but not very much, just enough to get by? Or am I way off base?

(yes, I could google it, but I don't feel like it SO THERE)
The usage I am familiar with meant 'being on welfare'.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 17 Nov 2019, 15:07
by Shem
Ellie wrote: 17 Nov 2019, 01:03 I confess I don't know anything about "the dole" besides hearing references to it in some of the British novels I've read. From my extremely ignorant perspective, it sounds a little like UBI -- kind of like money for nothing, but not very much, just enough to get by? Or am I way off base?

(yes, I could google it, but I don't feel like it SO THERE)
The dole is unemployment benefits. At least in a British context.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 17 Nov 2019, 16:42
by JasonL
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/j/jo ... ce-jsa.asp

Normal mode seems to be up to 26 weeks with requirements to continue searching for employment and accepting any job with “reasonable”wage.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 17 Nov 2019, 20:23
by Shem
That's Unemployment.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 18 Nov 2019, 10:24
by JD
"The dole" is basically unemployment/welfare, but my impression is that in recent decades it's actually been a lot more restricted; at its height it seemed to be generous, non-time-limited unemployment, housing provided by the local council, plus of course the free education, free healthcare, etc.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 18 Nov 2019, 10:48
by JasonL
Shem wrote: 17 Nov 2019, 20:23 That's Unemployment.
I know? I was just clarifying the flavor of UK unemployment.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 18 Nov 2019, 12:38
by Shem
JasonL wrote: 18 Nov 2019, 10:48
Shem wrote: 17 Nov 2019, 20:23 That's Unemployment.
I know? I was just clarifying the flavor of UK unemployment.
That's exactly the same as US flavor in at least 45 states.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 18 Nov 2019, 12:56
by JasonL
Ok? Are we arguing about something?

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 18 Nov 2019, 13:08
by Ellie
JD wrote: 18 Nov 2019, 10:24 at its height it seemed to be generous, non-time-limited unemployment, housing provided by the local council, plus of course the free education, free healthcare, etc.
Yeah, I just realized how unclear I was in my post! Most of the books I've read are talking about the dole in the 70s and 80s and make it sound like everybody was just getting money automatically each week and nobody was looking for work anyway.

I'm sure it's still much more like modern unemployment than a UBI, but there was just something the other day where an Irish woman on a podcast was reminiscing about getting her weekly dole check that made me go "hmm." Anyway, carry on!

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 18 Nov 2019, 13:16
by Warren
Ellie wrote: 18 Nov 2019, 13:08
JD wrote: 18 Nov 2019, 10:24 at its height it seemed to be generous, non-time-limited unemployment, housing provided by the local council, plus of course the free education, free healthcare, etc.
Yeah, I just realized how unclear I was in my post! Most of the books I've read are talking about the dole in the 70s and 80s and make it sound like everybody was just getting money automatically each week and nobody was looking for work anyway.

I'm sure it's still much more like modern unemployment than a UBI, but there was just something the other day where an Irish woman on a podcast was reminiscing about getting her weekly dole check that made me go "hmm." Anyway, carry on!
It's actually integral to the plot of The Full Monty.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 02:52
by Jennifer
I can't recall which search terms to use to find it, but -- I'm fairly certain that somewhere on this thread I've made posts to the effect of "One reason I support a UBI is to alleviate certain forms of economic pain which otherwise might develop into some nasty sociopolitical things." (And if I didn't post such a thing here, I did write a couple blog posts on the theme, at least one of which got reprinted as an op-ed column -- that particular one was long-enough ago that I didn't think Trump would actually win, but used his fans, and the Sanders fans on the left, as examples of Americans who got the short end of the free trade stick -- the whole "diffuse benefits, concentrated costs" thing.

I mention this because -- I know, the plural of anecdote is not data, and even if it were this dataset only comprises "various left-of-center friends and acquaintances I have on social media" -- lately I'm seeing more anger at the status quo, and in a disturbing "let's trash the village in order to save it" kind of way. For example: one of my college friends (an AOC fan) approvingly shared something about "Let's drop congressional pay to $15 an hour," while adding her own suggestions that the work conditions and benefits be as crappy as for most part-time low-wage jobs. I pointed out that this would be a bad thing because it would basically ensure the only people who ever served in congress were those rich enough to not need to make a living in the meanwhile -- and I mentioned the difficult time AOC had during the brief period between her arrival in DC and her first congressional paycheck, and pointed out that if my friend's plan had been in place AOC could never afford to serve in congress at all -- didn't matter.

Or, even worse, a local (Atlanta) IRL acquaintance who basically thinks Warren's proposed wealth tax doesn't go far enough; he wants to set an outright wealth LIMIT of something absurd like $10 million (a lot of money for one person ... but a rather small amount for many companies, and an impossibly small amount for certain industries -- good luck making OR owning airplanes if $10 million is the most you can have. And we've been debating this, and I keep trying to bring up "Let's focus on helping America's poor rather than stigginit to America's rich" ... he genuinely doesn't seem to see the difference. And I'm seeing a lot more of that kind of thing lately.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 07:51
by Eric the .5b
Jennifer wrote: 11 Dec 2019, 02:52I mention this because -- I know, the plural of anecdote is not data, and even if it were this dataset only comprises "various left-of-center friends and acquaintances I have on social media" -- lately I'm seeing more anger at the status quo, and in a disturbing "let's trash the village in order to save it" kind of way.
My thing is that I don't see much difference from ten or twenty years ago. I've encountered so many people like you describe, who want to punish someone for their problems or society's problems much more than they want those problems fixed or ameliorated. (Naturally, there exist plenty of those people on the right, too, but we're talking about the left.)

Like Trump and racism, I don't think it's inspiring the sentiment, it's just a matter of the counter-reaction giving them the comfort to "say the quiet parts out loud".

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 08:46
by JD
Like Jennifer, I am definitely seeing more than I remember in the past of overt "let's outlaw being rich and take all the rich people's money", and remember that I live in NYC, which has always had a significant hard-left population. I've seen comments in the past, from across the political spectrum, about how American capitalism has been saved by a series of concessions (eight-hour days, unemployment benefits, etc.) but 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."

I'm not sure of the cause of this, but I think part of it has to do with the lingering effects, emotional as well as purely financial, of the crash of 2008, and part of it has to do with the internet, which can make numerically insignificant voices look as important as majority ones, and which has, frankly, encouraged reaction rather than introspection. A reaction to Trump is certainly a part of the cause: when somebody pushes the Overton Window on one end, it actually encourages people to push on the other end too. And a lot of people are fundamentally joiners, reactors and not thinkers, and not very original: when they see somebody complaining about the very existence of rich people, particularly somebody with a high profile like AOC or Sanders, they jump on the bandwagon.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 09:53
by JasonL
That is the unifying theme of much of my bitching. People are acting like things are terrible and they aren't terrible. Crime low, rich country environment impacts improving, low unemployment, slow expansion but expansion lasting 10 years now. Wages rising for 8 years. You can do the full Gapminder thing on global issues. Racial issues dramatically improved. LGBT issues dramatically improved. It isn't paradise but it's not that bad.

The amount of effort going in to making everything the worst possible thing is going to cost us because people can't tell the difference or don't care what the real story is anymore. People are going to destroy mechanisms for making things pretty decent out of some combination romantic revolutionary foolishness or needing something to matter or being uninformed or in an echo chamber or just dumb.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 10:12
by Warren
JasonL wrote: 11 Dec 2019, 09:53 That is the unifying theme of much of my bitching. People are acting like things are terrible and they aren't terrible. Crime low, rich country environment impacts improving, low unemployment, slow expansion but expansion lasting 10 years now. Wages rising for 8 years. You can do the full Gapminder thing on global issues. Racial issues dramatically improved. LGBT issues dramatically improved. It isn't paradise but it's not that bad.

The amount of effort going in to making everything the worst possible thing is going to cost us because people can't tell the difference or don't care what the real story is anymore. People are going to destroy mechanisms for making things pretty decent out of some combination romantic revolutionary foolishness or needing something to matter or being uninformed or in an echo chamber or just dumb.
Gillespie was saying on one of the podcasts, I think he was paraphrasing Schumpeter (has anybody here read Schumpeter?), the reason capitalism fails. Marx 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.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 10:35
by JasonL
Yeah that's a thing - I think we suffer diseases of wealth. I think suicide rates and some other things are like that. It isn't really that life had more meaning before - it's that you just didn't have time to worry about things like that very much. Expectations included some amount of pain, cyclical suffering, death, etc. Now we dump extraordinary resources in to pets and children because nothing seems adequate if other people are "doing more". Super mommies are in a no holds barred battle for supremacy and start inventing new religious tenets to satisfy their increasingly obsessive totalizing identities as The Best Mommy. When people describe themselves in the world, nuance doesn't fit in twitter and so gets no oxygen. My twitter identity battles it out with Bad Guy twitter identities because ... we need to pretend we are in a battle for civilization or whatever even when we clearly are not. People are fucking terrible with too much time on their hands.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 11:14
by Painboy
It does seem lately that the bar for dystopia for many people is now "things exist that might inconvenience me."

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 12:33
by Jennifer
JD wrote: 11 Dec 2019, 08:46 Like Jennifer, I am definitely seeing more than I remember in the past of overt "let's outlaw being rich and take all the rich people's money", and remember that I live in NYC, which has always had a significant hard-left population. I've seen comments in the past, from across the political spectrum, about how American capitalism has been saved by a series of concessions (eight-hour days, unemployment benefits, etc.) but 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."

I'm not sure of the cause of this, but I think part of it has to do with the lingering effects, emotional as well as purely financial, of the crash of 2008, and part of it has to do with the internet, which can make numerically insignificant voices look as important as majority ones, and which has, frankly, encouraged reaction rather than introspection. A reaction to Trump is certainly a part of the cause: when somebody pushes the Overton Window on one end, it actually encourages people to push on the other end too. And a lot of people are fundamentally joiners, reactors and not thinkers, and not very original: when they see somebody complaining about the very existence of rich people, particularly somebody with a high profile like AOC or Sanders, they jump on the bandwagon.
A lot of it IS, IMO, also a Newtonian response -- every action has an equal and opposite reaction -- to take just one example, Trump imposes tariffs which hurt American farmers, then started giving said farmers lots of tax money to offset the hurt ... and just recently made some big food-stamp cut which'll boot some ridiculous number of people off the rolls. (As opposed to, say, "helping American farmers" via helping poor Americans buy food.) The current government obviously has zero problems with "wealth redistribution," they simply focus on redistributing it to those who already have a lot.)

And it is genuinely appalling to see stories like "This otherwise-healthy young diabetic died because he couldn't afford his insulin" or (in my neck of the woods) "Atlanta closes homeless shelters. The following winter, hypothermia deaths rise. Whoa, who POSSIBLY could've seen THAT coming??" (Rest assured, folks: the city has PLENTY of money to build giganto sports arenas for multi-millionaires. We just can't afford to maintain some dry cots in a warm room.)

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 13:33
by Jennifer
Jennifer wrote: 11 Dec 2019, 02:52 (And if I didn't post such a thing here, I did write a couple blog posts on the theme, at least one of which got reprinted as an op-ed column -- that particular one was long-enough ago that I didn't think Trump would actually win, but used his fans, and the Sanders fans on the left, as examples of Americans who got the short end of the free trade stick -- the whole "diffuse benefits, concentrated costs" thing.
Shit -- I went looking for the article/post in question and found the Facebook post I made about a similar article on March 2016 (this article wasn't the UBI piece, but an earlier one suggesting the popularity of Trump on the right and Sanders on the left might have something to do with economic insecurities) ... in the comments on that post, I discussed a UBI and other things which ended up making it into that second column, and ended one particular comment thusly (emphasis added just now):
.... not something so big as to enable lazy lotus-eater types, but big enough to supplement even McJob pay sufficiently that such job-holders needn't accept grinding American-style poverty as their lot in life (and that of their kids, too). Because the brutal truth is, Americans WON'T settle for that as their lot in life ... hence the rise of the working-class Trumpkins and the Sanderistas. The most important thing is to avoid Trumpkinesque mass roundups-n-deportation, or introduction of religious, ethnic or racial bigotry into official US policy; second most important is to keep trade as free as possible, to benefit both Americans AND the rest of the world.
I suppose one could quibble over semantics and say the roundups and deportations (plus concentration-camp fatalities) aren't big enough to qualify as "mass." Otherwise, though ... ugh.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 16:14
by Eric the .5b
I still say it's a matter of people being emboldened to openly say the things they didn't say as loudly before. It's like how that Jacobin Ikea guillotine t-shirt was taken from a cover they're done years before Trump.

I think a lot of the hostility toward the centrist Blue candidates from the left, for example, is the fear that with moderates in power, things might get a bit more normal and fire-breathing about destroying capitalism will look stupid, again.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 16:29
by JasonL
Agree with that. Same with racists. There is far less shame in expressing stupid or awful ideas.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 18:22
by Warren
JasonL wrote: 11 Dec 2019, 16:29 Agree with that. Same with racists. There is far less shame in expressing stupid or awful ideas.
Agree with that. There is more light of day expression, but number of people holding such ideas is at historic low.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 14 Feb 2020, 13:07
by JD
Andrew Yang thinks that NYC should adopt a UBI: https://nypost.com/2020/02/14/andrew-ya ... ic-income/

Some quick BotE math: The population of NYC is about 9 million. Times $1000, times 12 months per year, and we're looking at $108 billion per year. That is larger than the entire current budget. Hard to know how he would explain this without both large tax increases and cuts to existing benefits.

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 14 Feb 2020, 13:11
by Hugh Akston
Why would you think the UBI would come without massive tax increases?

Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Posted: 14 Feb 2020, 13:43
by JasonL
Yang wants to fund via VAT or other consumption tax.