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Wed May 24, 2017, 09:07 AM

"Would people work if they didn't have to?"

Universal Basic Income (UBI). The revolutionary idea to solve poverty and stimulate the economy by giving everybody free money is becoming mainstream. The goal of UBI is not to make everyone rich, nor to make everyone equal, but to provide everyone with a monthly basic income to provide for basic necessities. No more, no less.

Source: Medium, by Matt Orfalea


1. No More Poverty Trap

Our current welfare system in America is a disincentive to work. Because the money is conditional on you NOT working (unemployment, disability, etc). If you are on benefits and you get a job, you lose those benefits, so naturally you’re less likely to get a job. Even if you’d really like to get a job, you don’t because it no longer makes financial sense. You’d be risking you’re financial security by doing so. This is a “poverty trap”.
Replacing the current welfare system with an Universal Basic Income would remove that current work disincentive. Since Universal Basic Income is unconditionally guaranteed, nobody would be penalized for working. If we all had UBI, everybody who works a job will earn more than somebody who does not. It will finally pay to work again.


2. More Efficient Work

No bank teller is more efficient at counting and dispensing money than an ATM machine. That’s a fact. Machine work is a great thing in terms of productivity and efficiency. But it’s not so great a thing when we live in a society where we’re all dependent on a job’s income for survival.
Technology already exists that will likely automate half of all jobs in the next 20 years. This may sound like the dystopian plot of “The Matrix”. But it doesn’t have to be. A Universal Basic Income will protect workers from the otherwise inevitable poverty of joblessness. It will also be a catalyst for more efficient automated work, allowing humans to spend less time on thoughtless repetitive tasks, and more time on works of passion and innovation.

3. More Innovative Work


Due to an epidemic of financial insecurity, the large majority of the workforce is restricted to doing work that is profitable. But not all work, especially innovative work, or work that benefits society in the long run, is profitable. (For example, the invention of the polio vaccine has saved countless lives, but its developer Jonas Salk didn’t make a dime selling it. Because he never patented it.)
Henry George put it well in 1879:
“The fact is that the work which improves the condition of mankind, the work which extends knowledge and increases power and enriches literature, and elevates thought, is not done to secure a living. It is not the work of slaves, driven to their task either by the lash of a master or by animal necessities. It is the work of men who perform it for their own sake, and not that they may get more to eat or drink, or wear, or display. In a state of society where want is abolished, work of this sort could be enormously increased.”


4. More Work Opportunity.

What if you don’t want to invent the next polio vaccine. What if you just want to a traditional job working for someone else to earn enough to to afford a nicer house, a bigger family, and/or a vacation every once in a while? Well, Universal Basic Income helps in that department as well. Because UBI will create more business opportunities.
By putting more money in the hands of more people, UBI will increase aggregate demand (create more potential customers). This creates an environment with more incentive and opportunity to create new businesses (and improve old business) to compete for the new customers.

Much more at: https://medium.com/basic-income/would-people-work-if-they-didnt-have-to-ef91cbec600f

42 replies, 8679 views

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Would people work if they didn't have to?" (Original post)
yallerdawg May 2017 OP
treestar May 2017 #1
yallerdawg May 2017 #4
treestar May 2017 #6
get the red out May 2017 #10
Dream Girl May 2017 #14
treestar May 2017 #22
Hortensis May 2017 #19
treestar May 2017 #23
Hortensis May 2017 #26
treestar May 2017 #35
VOX May 2017 #41
Hortensis May 2017 #42
FLPanhandle May 2017 #21
treestar May 2017 #24
Hortensis May 2017 #29
lostnfound May 2017 #40
janterry May 2017 #2
Doreen May 2017 #32
HughBeaumont May 2017 #3
yallerdawg May 2017 #5
Adrahil May 2017 #11
yallerdawg May 2017 #15
Adrahil May 2017 #16
HughBeaumont May 2017 #27
yallerdawg May 2017 #37
treestar May 2017 #7
justiceischeap May 2017 #8
yallerdawg May 2017 #9
Iggo May 2017 #12
justiceischeap May 2017 #13
smirkymonkey May 2017 #17
yallerdawg May 2017 #28
jalan48 May 2017 #18
FLPanhandle May 2017 #20
yallerdawg May 2017 #25
FLPanhandle May 2017 #33
yallerdawg May 2017 #36
Calculating May 2017 #31
Marengo May 2017 #39
hunter May 2017 #34
Calculating May 2017 #30
yallerdawg May 2017 #38

Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 09:19 AM

1. Most people would

because of the American value of working hard, and to gain more stuff to show off that they work more (the UBI providing the basics, they would work to get fancier stuff to show off). That's the American way.

I don't buy it when right wingers claim people go on welfare so as to not work. If that was such a great way to live, why doesn't right winger do it?

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Response to treestar (Reply #1)

Wed May 24, 2017, 09:44 AM

4. I think today most people work to survive!

"Keeping up with the Joneses" is now an upper-income privilege.

You'd be shocked to know how many Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck on subsistence-level wages.

Not to mention the health insurance conveniently tied to employment, and a necessity when an employee is trapped by family medical expenses accumulated over our lives.

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #4)

Wed May 24, 2017, 10:22 AM

6. True enough.

As a kid, I remember the keeping up the with Joneses thing a lot more. You still see it when right wingers whine about poor people having cell phones. It's not a status symbol now so they feel deprived of that superior feeling.

We need to de-couple the job/health insurance thing. It's bad enough to lose a job, then you lose health coverage and have pre-exisiting conditions and the COBRA "privilege" just proves how expensive it is (as if you can afford that when you just lost your job).

The best thing about the ACA is that it encourages self employment, as that obstacle probably stopped a lot of people.

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Response to treestar (Reply #1)

Wed May 24, 2017, 10:32 AM

10. I agree

And people could do work that inspires them without worrying about losing everything. I think people would dare to be more innovative and creative.

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Response to treestar (Reply #1)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:24 AM

14. Some right wingers do, but they are deserving. Like those guys who took over that Malheur

Reserve. Half of them were on SSI and looking forward to getting their checks

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Response to Dream Girl (Reply #14)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:26 PM

22. +1

Yes, they are deserving and just need a little help.

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Response to treestar (Reply #1)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:57 AM

19. Agree, but it's not just "American values." People work

when they don't have to and don't get paid zilch all the time. It's part of the normal human condition. And, as you say, working part time for additional discretionary income would appeal to most people. This isn't in doubt.

What we currently lack, outside unpaid volunteer work, is widespread opportunity for structured limited-hours work in a wide variety of fields and skill levels.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #19)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:28 PM

23. and to have a better life in terms of

stress and what that takes out of you worrying about ends meeting for the basics. Starvation and homelessness need not be a threat for a person to be willing to work.

That's what right wingers are saying too when they claim people are not motivated to work because welfare exists. Well righty, why do you work then, if you think all people would have to have a specter of starvation or homelessness over them or they would not work? Rich people gong to work proves otherwise. Why do they keep working when they have enough accumulated not to have to in order to eat?

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Response to treestar (Reply #23)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:41 PM

26. Conservatives naturally have a dark view of humanity.

It's a big part of what makes them conservative. In this case, it wouldn't matter how many people they see working happily for the pleasure of working and/or for its other rewards, they "feel" most people would not work if they didn't have to.

Frankly, I've come to the conclusion that strong conservatives are simply not fit for leadership in a democracy.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #26)

Wed May 24, 2017, 01:35 PM

35. Yeah their view of people is too negative

Exceptions for themselves, of course!

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #26)

Thu May 25, 2017, 06:20 AM

41. Anger and fear, anger and fear.

They're stuck on those two settings. Their personal media (Fox, Breitbart, Rush, etc.) cuts those twin neural pathways deeper every day: fear and anger.

No wonder the mortality of white middle aged Americans is ascending. And of note:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/433863/
<snip>
"This trend was especially concentrated in the South, they found. “In seven southern states—West Virginia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Arkansas—the gap between actual and expected mortality in 2014 exceeded 200 deaths per 100,000 people. In West Virginia, mortality rates were higher than at any time since 1980,” they write."
<snip>

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Response to VOX (Reply #41)

Thu May 25, 2017, 07:35 AM

42. +100. Today's right-wing extremism is toxic. The Atlantic

article and researchers don't say it, but an obvious link is being drawn between increased mortality for middle-aged whites and the mood created by 40 years of dystopian, anti-government/taxation messaging aimed at the gut. And, of course, by actual right-wing policies eroding belief in the American dream.

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Response to treestar (Reply #1)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:07 PM

21. Many people would not choose to work too.

I know a few relatives that would happily live in a UBI safety net if someone were to fund it.

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Response to FLPanhandle (Reply #21)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:31 PM

24. I can agree with that, too

If they don't want anything else or anything luxurious. I could see that being a problem if too many people were like that, but I don't think it would happen. A lot of people might work fewer hours, too.

It would be worth looking into what percentage would feel that way.

Or a lot of people might write or do art and not make money off of it but it still might add to the country, some value.

And save us some pollution if they don't commute to a workplace every day.

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Response to treestar (Reply #24)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:48 PM

29. This is real also. But total veggies would spend their limited income

mostly locally, thus even they performing some economic function.

A big issue would be costs of having purpose to health, both medical and mental, and therefore to society. Authoritarian non-democratic governments that don't care about the wellbeing of recipients, such as some of the oil nations in the middle east, throw money at what would be unemployed populations to keep them quiet and passive. What happens to them is entirely their problem.




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Response to treestar (Reply #24)

Thu May 25, 2017, 05:35 AM

40. Maybe kids and old people would get more attention then, too. And parents would get relief

Novels and stories from other generations in which young moms would get visits from other relatives who would stay for a few months helping with the babies? That doesn't happen much in our workaholic splintered world.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 09:24 AM

2. Many folks on disability do work

The current system allows up to 20 hours of work, and many people do that.

(Can't comment on the rest, right now.......there's a lot to unpack and it's not as simple as what is a disincentive to work. Many wealthy don't work, of course, they live on dividends).

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Response to janterry (Reply #2)

Wed May 24, 2017, 01:02 PM

32. I worked for years even while disabled but I finally got

to a point that the work finally made my disability worse and was forced to stop. I kind of miss working. I miss it because it gave me something to do and kept people off my back a little more that I was cheating the system. I do not miss it because my mental health was on complete overload and I was always in pain because no matter how well I did in proper body movements I re injured my injuries from my accident that helped create my disability. I was actually going against doctors orders when I worked because they said it would worsen my disability and shorten my life. They were right about making it worse.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 09:30 AM

3. If we're looking at one group of people to start giving it to . . .

. . . begin with folks like these.

57-63 year olds aged and priced out of the 2017 job market, but not yet financially ready to retire/collect SS (sorry, SS will still have to be there; you cannot just eliminate something people have been paying into their whole lives).

Capitalists will never get the picture that the safety net needs to be EXPANDED, not depleted.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #3)

Wed May 24, 2017, 09:50 AM

5. This isn't about 'paying into.'

This is about getting our money back! This is about social justice!

We have lived in a society created and managed to serve the elites! To perpetuate the elites!

Their greatest fear is when we finally understand the true power of democracy - and the choices WE can make to serve US!

When we decide it's time for us all to share in this future!

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #5)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:02 AM

11. While I support some model of UBI....

 

We must be VERY cautious with the idea that we can be successful, both politically and economically, with just calling for "social justice."

We have a couple models we can adopt. We can go the Scandinavian route, where democratic socialism is blended with responsible market economic policies, or we can go the way of Venezuela, where people seem to think they can decree economic success.

We must recognize the realities of economics, while developing a system that ensures support for the peoples' basic needs.

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Response to Adrahil (Reply #11)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:30 AM

15. Social justice.

“Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought.

A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override.

For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others.

It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many.

Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.”

― John Rawls, A Theory of Justice

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #15)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:40 AM

16. That's nice.

 

I support social justice and wear the label of "social justice warrior" proudly.

But in my experience, many social justice movements do not pay enough attention to the details of how such systems actually function. They are "outcome-based" and ignore the process. That's what the supply-siders do, as well.

We MUST focus on the processes of how such systems function. Venezuela has failed to do this. Scandinavia has succeeded.

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #5)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:43 PM

27. I'm going off of "what would happen if UBI were instituted".

For instance, people have thrown about the idea that a UBI would be IT as far as benefits are concerned (presumably to get moderates on board) . . . no Medicare, no Medicaid, no SS, no SNAP, no WIC, etc.

That simply cannot be. The social safety net, already the WORST among modern industrialized nations, needs to be greatly expanded. It's an utter goddamned CRIME what Capitalism's doing to the middle/working/poor. Working more hours and keeping less than ever . . .. yet there's always money for corporate pork, tax cuts for the wealthy and war.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #27)

Wed May 24, 2017, 02:29 PM

37. "1. No More Poverty Trap"

"Our current welfare system in America is a disincentive to work. Because the money is conditional on you NOT working (unemployment, disability, etc).

If you are on benefits and you get a job, you lose those benefits, so naturally you’re less likely to get a job.

Even if you’d really like to get a job, you don’t because it no longer makes financial sense. You’d be risking you’re financial security by doing so. This is a 'poverty trap'."

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #3)

Wed May 24, 2017, 10:23 AM

7. It is quite unfair to

take the people with the most experience and lock them out of the job market!

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 10:25 AM

8. I'll be honest--I wouldn't work if I didn't have to

I'd spend all my time on photograpay and traveling (for the sake of photography)

As it stands now, I can't find work and I've never had this big of a problem finding work in my field before like this.

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #8)

Wed May 24, 2017, 10:31 AM

9. Follow your bliss!

Why would we ever enable and celebrate that in our affluent society?

I mean, for poor people.

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #8)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:05 AM

12. In other words, you would do work that you love.

So yeah, you'd still work.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #12)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:14 AM

13. I don't see Photography as work though

so I guess it's all about perspective.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:49 AM

17. It sounds like a nice idea, but affordable housing would be a major issue.

Would UBI vary by region depending upon housing prices? That is something that would have to be figured out first. We can't all cram into the areas with the cheapest real estate in order to keep a roof over our heads. And would housing be owned by the government or privately owned? That would be another issue as well.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #17)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:47 PM

28. Depends on what is considered "affordable" housing?

If you have a job, and you live in a fairly nice place that you consider affordable, and suddenly you lose your income - would you receive a "larger" basic income than everyone else?

The "regional" differences would still be based on your regional income. If you work in NYC, you can afford NYC.

If you don't work - and have UBI - why would you want to live in the most unaffordable housing in America? But if that's what you want to do, you get the same start as everyone else, and you find the work and pay that makes up the difference!

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:52 AM

18. Given the precarious state of our environment I think the less humans do, the better. nt

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Response to jalan48 (Reply #18)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:06 PM

20. Maybe use UBI as an environmental incentive

Anyone who chooses not to have any children, gets a UBI.

Maybe not everyone gets a UBI, but use it as a reward for those in humanitarian, environmental, educational, etc. fields.


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Response to FLPanhandle (Reply #20)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:39 PM

25. UBI would be unconditional and universal.

UBI today would be a safety net if we lost our job or wanted to make a change.

A safety net when we find there are no jobs to get.

For those who "win" at the game of life, progressive taxation would claw back the UBI stipend and more from the fortunate ones - but they too would always have their guaranteed UBI!

That is the bet we are betting on as a society.

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #25)

Wed May 24, 2017, 01:16 PM

33. I just don't see this happening without some conditions

Especially to begin with. Maybe in the long run in could be expanded, but look at the push back on Medicaid for all.

Maybe start with folks who would rather contribute positively to the world instead of just working.

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Response to FLPanhandle (Reply #33)

Wed May 24, 2017, 02:23 PM

36. Universal Basic Income.

As long as we add conditions, we make it something else.

We have some safety net today, but we don't have it universal and unconditional. We make it age-related, or income-related.

We take away most if not all of it if a person gets a job!

As long as WE consider these things to be granted by our government - and not the basic human rights they should be - we can justify a reason to not have them.

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Response to FLPanhandle (Reply #20)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:54 PM

31. I would strongly agree with that

Give UBI to people who choose not to have any children. They're actually doing a great service for society by not adding further competition to the workplace and clearing up space/resources for people in the future. Maybe if you go your life with no children you should get the equivalent of $15,000 per year in UBI.

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Response to FLPanhandle (Reply #20)

Wed May 24, 2017, 03:30 PM

39. Aren't people with children potentially in greater need?

 

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Response to jalan48 (Reply #18)

Wed May 24, 2017, 01:26 PM

34. I've been saying that for years.

This thing we now call economic "productivity" is a direct measure of the damage we are doing to the earth's natural environment and our own human spirit.

We ought to be paying people to experiment with lifestyles that have a very low environmental footprint, encouraging no-car and largely vegetarian lifestyles, etc.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:52 PM

30. I think people would still work

Because there would always be those who want to make more than the UBI provides. The UBI would probably be something pretty small (maybe the equivalent of working for min wage). It would pay for food and such but not much else. If you wanted to own a nice car, nice home electronics, other luxuries you would still need to get off your ass and work.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 02:42 PM

38. What would Bernie do?

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