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Author Topic: Basic income guarantee - opinions&criticism welcome  (Read 14122 times)
Hunterbunter
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September 19, 2012, 06:20:06 AM
 #121

I'm not talking about people not participating because they're lazy, I'm talking about people not participating because there is nothing to do.
So long as there is at least one other person who doesn't have everything they want, there's something to do. I can live with the possibility that one person might not get everything they want.

So by that definition, circle jerking will feed everyone.

I know you said they can earn the $1 off someone else and use that to buy the food from the controller of food, but there's only so much the controllers of food needs (or has time to consume), and that's the problem. Once he has all the $ in circulation, where will the more dollars come from without an army backed inflation currency?
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September 19, 2012, 06:28:07 AM
 #122

I'm not talking about people not participating because they're lazy, I'm talking about people not participating because there is nothing to do.
So long as there is at least one other person who doesn't have everything they want, there's something to do. I can live with the possibility that one person might not get everything they want.

So by that definition, circle jerking will feed everyone.

I know you said they can earn the $1 off someone else and use that to buy the food from the controllers of food, but there's only so much the controllers of food needs, and that's the problem. Once he has all the $ in circulation, where will the more dollars come from without an army backed inflation currency?

So the farmer just needs money? He has no maintenance costs? He doesn't like to watch movies? He's just going to sell his food, and put all the money gained thereby into the bank, where it sits, doing nothing, right? Yeah, no, It doesn't work that way. He has costs, too, and desires. The money he gets from selling his food will go to pay for those needs, expenses, and desires. That puts the money back out into the market.

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September 19, 2012, 06:30:19 AM
 #123

So by that definition, circle jerking will feed everyone.
Yes, that's how every economy works. Everyone works for everyone else and everyone profits.

Quote
I know you said they can earn the $1 off someone else and use that to buy the food from the controller of food, but there's only so much the controllers of food needs (or has time to consume), and that's the problem. Once he has all the $ in circulation, where will the more dollars come from without an army backed inflation currency?
If you worry about this scenario, then a guaranteed basic income isn't the solution. If you can't exchange your basic income for food, what good would a basic income do you? I can't imagine any realistic situation in which people would need to worry about this, but if we ever get anywhere close to it, I'm sure the superior technology we'll have in that far distant future will make possible a solution you and I could never even dream of.

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September 19, 2012, 06:30:51 AM
 #124

I wanted to address this separately, as it deserves it. The starving people are not a primary driving force to advocate a system like this - they just benefit slightly more than others. When I was talking about starving people, I was leading to welfare as an example of social expectations within humans trumping the economic efficiency of capitalism - we care about each other, unfortunately, even when we don't expect to or want to, and it overtakes our normal sense of unemotional rationality.
[...]
Just being alive is given a particular status by society, and different cultures have different idea of what that level should be, led by prevailing proportions. In some cultures starving to death is ok, in others it isn't. Even though the Germans might grumble about the people immigrating and going on welfare, they're still not taking that food away. It's possible that they believe a higher minimum standard of living is more important than a higher maximum standard of living. This does not mean that a person cannot still personally aim to have the highest standard of living possible for themselves (and family) if they so choose.

Jeez...  For someone who does not take starvation as a primary driving force to advocate your system, you sure talk about it a lot.

But fine, I think I get your point.  Basically it is just an example of how we can make exceptions to capitalism, because of moral considerations, altruism and all.   We care about each other, that's why we might accept to give to a stranger with not much in return.  Cute.

But once again, your system is for EVERYONE.  Including the guy who hates capitalism, who earns his life correctly, and who would never ever spend a penny in order to buy a share.  It doesn't seem to me that I should feel much pity to him.  And yet, you want me to give him some of my capital.

If you give this guy a basic, additional income, this money will come from the "excess of production" as you called it earlier, which otherwise would have gone to people who did actually buy a share:  capitalists people like me.

So you steal capital from people who did a financial effort to acquire this capital, and you give it to people who:
- were not interested in acquiring this capital ;
- do not need it ;
- have nothing but contempt for the capitalist system ;

To me, there is something deeply wrong in this scheme.
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September 19, 2012, 07:41:57 AM
 #125

So the farmer just needs money? He has no maintenance costs? He doesn't like to watch movies? He's just going to sell his food, and put all the money gained thereby into the bank, where it sits, doing nothing, right? Yeah, no, It doesn't work that way. He has costs, too, and desires. The money he gets from selling his food will go to pay for those needs, expenses, and desires. That puts the money back out into the market.

No the farm owner doesn't really need money, even though he'll be offered plenty of it; he controls the goods that money is worth anything for, and only 24 hours in a day to enjoy its worth. He might have a use for 50 million people, and gives them grain for their services via money, but if he can feed the total 100 million that exist, what are the other 50 million people to do to get the food he controls?

So by that definition, circle jerking will feed everyone.
Yes, that's how every economy works. Everyone works for everyone else and everyone profits.

Quote
I know you said they can earn the $1 off someone else and use that to buy the food from the controller of food, but there's only so much the controllers of food needs (or has time to consume), and that's the problem. Once he has all the $ in circulation, where will the more dollars come from without an army backed inflation currency?
If you worry about this scenario, then a guaranteed basic income isn't the solution. If you can't exchange your basic income for food, what good would a basic income do you? I can't imagine any realistic situation in which people would need to worry about this, but if we ever get anywhere close to it, I'm sure the superior technology we'll have in that far distant future will make possible a solution you and I could never even dream of.

First part; no I mean literally circle jerking, not metaphorically. The farm owner can even be a part of it, but the trade can go on forever without any food entering anyone's bellies.

Second part; Yes you're right about that actually, it's an issue that could exist in either realm, so this point was more in support of it being a big state thing only. Going on that, if one doesn't believe that a big state should ever exist, then there's no reason any of this would make sense either way.

Jeez...  For someone who does not take starvation as a primary driving force to advocate your system, you sure talk about it a lot.

lol ok, I won't mention them again.

But fine, I think I get your point.  Basically it is just an example of how we can make exceptions to capitalism, because of moral considerations, altruism and all.   We care about each other, that's why we might accept to give to a stranger with not much in return.  Cute.

But once again, your system is for EVERYONE.  Including the guy who hates capitalism, who earns his life correctly, and who would never ever spend a penny in order to buy a share.  It doesn't seem to me that I should feel much pity to him.  And yet, you want me to give him some of my capital.

There is the small matter of the "What if I somehow fail hard and end up being desperate?" fear driving that caring aspect, but otherwise pretty much: depending on how much you value his life, just for existing, you can agree to a portion of your capital going to sustain them if they are unable to do so (including the mental disorder of laziness). You don't have to pity him to value his life, but that's up to you. Being a big state solution, this isn't really charity, because the amount would presumably be set by some power balance and all would be forced into it - even if it was zero, which it actually is today.

You, working hard and saving and buying shares, will still always have a better life than he will ever have, and in the relative way that humans understand things, there is a way this will find rationalization/justification.

I don't really understand what you mean by "the guy who hates capitalism, earns life correctly and who would never buy a share" - what's earning life correctly? Working -> earning -> consuming -> repeat?

If you give this guy a basic, additional income, this money will come from the "excess of production" as you called it earlier, which otherwise would have gone to people who did actually buy a share:  capitalists people like me.

So you steal capital from people who did a financial effort to acquire this capital, and you give it to people who:
- were not interested in acquiring this capital ;
- do not need it ;
- have nothing but contempt for the capitalist system ;

To me, there is something deeply wrong in this scheme.

Yes, it would make everything else more expensive. I think anyone who has contempt for the capitalist system is confusing politics with economics, tbh. As for need, by definition everyone needs it, since it is to cover items most certainly used by every human being (food, water, shelter, clothing, healthcare, etc). I guess you must mean "need" as in "can't afford because I take more than I give", but this isn't about welfare really, as put just above it's about how much the aggregate of society values each individual member's life at its most basic level. It may in fact not be very much, but people need to be asked to know.

This is more to do with consumption than capital itself. Your capital is what will of course be consumed, to a degree.
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September 19, 2012, 07:55:19 AM
 #126

Yes, it would make everything else more expensive. I think anyone who has contempt for the capitalist system is confusing politics with economics, tbh. As for need, by definition everyone needs it, since it is to cover items most certainly used by every human being (food, water, shelter, clothing, healthcare, etc). I guess you must mean "need" as in "can't afford because I take more than I give",

No, I didn't mean that.  I mean that if a guy can earn his life on his own already, he doesn't need your help or your money to afford the things you're talking about.  That's what I meant.  A man who is not poor does not need the basic income you're promoting.

But maybe I had your proposal confused with an other in my country.  You want to give this money to everyone, including people who actually already have a job and no financial difficulties, don't you?

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September 19, 2012, 08:06:50 AM
 #127

So the farmer just needs money? He has no maintenance costs? He doesn't like to watch movies? He's just going to sell his food, and put all the money gained thereby into the bank, where it sits, doing nothing, right? Yeah, no, It doesn't work that way. He has costs, too, and desires. The money he gets from selling his food will go to pay for those needs, expenses, and desires. That puts the money back out into the market.

No the farm owner doesn't really need money, even though he'll be offered plenty of it; he controls the goods that money is worth anything for, and only 24 hours in a day to enjoy its worth. He might have a use for 50 million people, and gives them grain for their services via money, but if he can feed the total 100 million that exist, what are the other 50 million people to do to get the food he controls?
The farmer typically doesn't give a shit who eats his food. All he cares about is that someone buys it. Thus, he seeks the money for the food, and uses that money to buy services and (here's my next point) other consumer goods. Food is not the only consumer good out there, it's just one of the few that everyone needs. He's also not the only farmer, nor does he supply the only type of food.

But let's assume that there is one farmer supplying all the food to everybody. He has enough food for all 100 million people. The people all have enough money to buy the food. They do. Now he has a great deal of money, but, say, only enough food to feed himself. What now? Well, now, he takes that money and buys a TV, a new couch, some booze (likely made from his grain), some fertilizer, new farm equipment, watches movies, gets a blowjob, etc, until he's out of money. By that time, the crops are in, and he has food again, and no money. The people have eaten all their food, and by virtue of providing services and other consumer goods to the farmer (and each other), the people have money. The cycle starts again.

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September 19, 2012, 08:45:55 AM
 #128

No one does...we're talking about scraps from the dinner table.

Miln40 is not.

He just explained above that he won't buy shares because it would not allow him to live without working.  So to him it is everything or nothing.

When someone enters the stock market, he usually does NOT intend to become filthy rich by doing so.  Most of the time it just gives some nice complement to other incomes.

You grievously misunderstood me, sir. You claimed that the BIG model can be replaced with the stock market system we have today, and I wanted to show you that it is not the case. That's all.

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September 19, 2012, 08:52:37 AM
 #129


Just being alive is given a particular status by society, and different cultures have different idea of what that level should be, led by prevailing proportions. In some cultures starving to death is ok, in others it isn't. Even though the Germans might grumble about the people immigrating and going on welfare, they're still not taking that food away. It's possible that they believe a higher minimum standard of living is more important than a higher maximum standard of living. This does not mean that a person cannot still personally aim to have the highest standard of living possible for themselves (and family) if they so choose.
I like this paragraph Smiley

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September 19, 2012, 09:53:50 AM
 #130

Many have argued that's a bad system as deflation (ie, a reduction of value over time, always confuses me as that's called inflation in the UK) is necessary to keep money circulating.

That is inflation, someone must have told you the wrong terms at some point.

Inflation: increase in supply, resulting in loss of value, and increase in prices denominated in that currency.
Deflation: decrease in supply, resulting in increased value, and decreasing prices denominated in that currency.

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September 19, 2012, 10:08:19 AM
 #131

Yes, it would make everything else more expensive. I think anyone who has contempt for the capitalist system is confusing politics with economics, tbh. As for need, by definition everyone needs it, since it is to cover items most certainly used by every human being (food, water, shelter, clothing, healthcare, etc). I guess you must mean "need" as in "can't afford because I take more than I give",

No, I didn't mean that.  I mean that if a guy can earn his life on his own already, he doesn't need your help or your money to afford the things you're talking about.  That's what I meant.  A man who is not poor does not need the basic income you're promoting.

But maybe I had your proposal confused with an other in my country.  You want to give this money to everyone, including people who actually already have a job and no financial difficulties, don't you?

I'm not the OP, the OP was from Germany, I'm also not from Germany, but I believe that's what the OP was aiming for, yes. I don't really see the difference between what you said and what I said, but ok, "doesn't need help with obtaining". That doesn't remove the fact that he still "needs" it to live, in the other context of need.

Firstly, I very much doubt that person would say no. There might be a few with principles so lofty as that to be the case, but not many.

Secondly, need isn't the issue. To use a metaphor, how important is not needing help to climb stairs if you live in a stairless society? This proposal is about having that stairless society, for things everyone knows the society can easily and sustainably provide.

Those with a job will still fulfill whatever desires their hearts can imagine, including investing in capital and shares and have a life beyond subsistence in retirement, and they will still be far better off than those who only rely on the basic income.

The farmer typically doesn't give a shit who eats his food. All he cares about is that someone buys it. Thus, he seeks the money for the food, and uses that money to buy services and (here's my next point) other consumer goods. Food is not the only consumer good out there, it's just one of the few that everyone needs. He's also not the only farmer, nor does he supply the only type of food.

But let's assume that there is one farmer supplying all the food to everybody. He has enough food for all 100 million people. The people all have enough money to buy the food. They do. Now he has a great deal of money, but, say, only enough food to feed himself. What now? Well, now, he takes that money and buys a TV, a new couch, some booze (likely made from his grain), some fertilizer, new farm equipment, watches movies, gets a blowjob, etc, until he's out of money. By that time, the crops are in, and he has food again, and no money. The people have eaten all their food, and by virtue of providing services and other consumer goods to the farmer (and each other), the people have money. The cycle starts again.

Yes, in the first paragraph you're describing how things currently are, not where they are heading. I'm talking about the assumption you display in the second paragraph that companies are allowed to grow (as they naturally will) to own as much as possible, such that they control the entire food supply of a nation. These companies do not necessarily have to be public companies. So one arable land owner produces the food for 100 million people, and all of it's vested shareholders spend every penny they make as much as possible, and only 50 million people are found to be useful to them.

Since I made those remarks, I've realized it's off topic since its about "necessity control" and not really relevant to this discussion. One way or another that food must be accessible for a flat basic income be calculable.
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September 19, 2012, 10:32:29 AM
 #132

The farmer typically doesn't give a shit who eats his food. All he cares about is that someone buys it. Thus, he seeks the money for the food, and uses that money to buy services and (here's my next point) other consumer goods. Food is not the only consumer good out there, it's just one of the few that everyone needs. He's also not the only farmer, nor does he supply the only type of food.

But let's assume that there is one farmer supplying all the food to everybody. He has enough food for all 100 million people. The people all have enough money to buy the food. They do. Now he has a great deal of money, but, say, only enough food to feed himself. What now? Well, now, he takes that money and buys a TV, a new couch, some booze (likely made from his grain), some fertilizer, new farm equipment, watches movies, gets a blowjob, etc, until he's out of money. By that time, the crops are in, and he has food again, and no money. The people have eaten all their food, and by virtue of providing services and other consumer goods to the farmer (and each other), the people have money. The cycle starts again.

Yes, in the first paragraph you're describing how things currently are, not where they are heading. I'm talking about the assumption you display in the second paragraph that companies are allowed to grow (as they naturally will) to own as much as possible, such that they control the entire food supply of a nation. These companies do not necessarily have to be public companies. So one arable land owner produces the food for 100 million people, and all of it's vested shareholders spend every penny they make as much as possible, and only 50 million people are found to be useful to them.

You're missing the point. I've bolded the parts of my previous statement that might help you get it. A food seller cares about selling his food. The shareholders in a food selling company only care about getting profit from the company. This means that all the company cares about is selling as much of its food as possible, for the best price possible.

The shareholders, employees, farmers, etc. of the food company only find useful 50 million people. So what? Those 50 million people will find the other 50 million people useful in some manner. Money circulates, it does not make one transfer and then stop. Everybody needs something, and the 50 million people can't get the necessary services and products from the food company, it's too busy providing food. Even doctors go to other doctors when they're sick. Wink

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September 19, 2012, 10:59:03 AM
 #133

A food seller cares about selling his food. The shareholders in a food selling company only care about getting profit from the company. This means that all the company cares about is selling as much of its food as possible, for the best price possible.

The shareholders, employees, farmers, etc. of the food company only find useful 50 million people. So what? Those 50 million people will find the other 50 million people useful in some manner. Money circulates, it does not make one transfer and then stop. Everybody needs something, and the 50 million people can't get the necessary services and products from the food company, it's too busy providing food. Even doctors go to other doctors when they're sick. Wink

The point that you've missed is that the company that gets to the stage where it owns a market completely has no reason to sell 100M @ $2 if it has the power to sell 50M @ $10 over two years. If only 50M are sold into the market, and they're consumed, and it's a food monopoly, 50M have no way of buying that food. Only 1 arable land owner on the planet. The people cannot eat money, no matter how much they have.

This is still off topic, because this problem is irrelevant to how much money those people have.
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September 19, 2012, 11:28:55 AM
 #134

A food seller cares about selling his food. The shareholders in a food selling company only care about getting profit from the company. This means that all the company cares about is selling as much of its food as possible, for the best price possible.

The shareholders, employees, farmers, etc. of the food company only find useful 50 million people. So what? Those 50 million people will find the other 50 million people useful in some manner. Money circulates, it does not make one transfer and then stop. Everybody needs something, and the 50 million people can't get the necessary services and products from the food company, it's too busy providing food. Even doctors go to other doctors when they're sick. Wink

The point that you've missed is that the company that gets to the stage where it owns a market completely has no reason to sell 100M @ $2 if it has the power to sell 50M @ $10 over two years. If only 50M are sold into the market, and they're consumed, and it's a food monopoly, 50M have no way of buying that food. Only 1 arable land owner on the planet. The people cannot eat money, no matter how much they have.

This is still off topic, because this problem is irrelevant to how much money those people have.

Only one arable land owner on the planet is never going to happen in real life. So, that has to be assumed, for this model to work. But even assuming that, Why would they sell half their production? Why sell 50M @ $10 per year when they can sell 100M @ $10? The answer, of course, is that no sane monopolist would intentionally limit his profits when the idea behind monopoly is to maximize profits. If the people have the money, they can get the food. You're arguing that first, an impossible situation would arise, and then, that the person able to benefit from that impossible situation would choose not to. And why he chooses not to, that's the best part. You claim it is out of greed.

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September 19, 2012, 12:42:06 PM
 #135

quite a discussion going on here...

As we all know there are 3 kinds of people in this world: slave, free man, and owner.
Well actually that's not true. Free man don't exist anymore:

A highly evolved society like ours comes with a high degree of interdependence, and that implies that each member is BOTH slave and owner. However, sometimes the proportions are massively skewed. E.g. when people just earn enough to barely live. Then you're effectively a slave. And you are owned by the people who provide the jobs.

The way I see it: the basic income guarantee is an attempt to "free the slaves". But it ignores the other problem, which are the people who provide the jobs.

So, the fundamental question which should be answered is: why do some jobs hardly pay enough to make a living? And if people are freed from the pressure of doing those jobs, would people still do them? What about the people who provide the jobs? Why don't they pay more salary?

The answer - my friends - is greed. Profits from businesses are kept at the high levels and hardly diffuse down to the people who implement the business. It's exploitation of human resources. The only tangible way of dealing with that is taxes on income and profits. However, people who profit the most usually succeed in weaseling their way out of paying large income taxes.

thus my conclusion: if you don't solve the tax problem, you ain't gonna solve the income problem.

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September 19, 2012, 03:18:46 PM
 #136

Let's say it:

44% of USA budget belongs to social programs...
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September 19, 2012, 04:56:12 PM
 #137

You grievously misunderstood me, sir. You claimed that the BIG model can be replaced with the stock market system we have today, and I wanted to show you that it is not the case. That's all.

I meant that it's the only thing that can.  If it actually can't, then nothing can.

You just have to get the wealth from somewhere.  You can't create it out of thin air.  If there is not enough wealth in dividends to allow everyone to live happy doing nothing, then I don't see where exactly you plan on getting the wealth to implement your system.
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September 19, 2012, 10:14:47 PM
 #138

maybe it'll be possible for most to earn their income with their computers running calculations. Think Bitcoin mining, but many more diverse tasks, via a good infrastructure with a website, client and plugins so that a proper market can flourish. GPUs will be useful again. A distributed high performance grid.

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September 20, 2012, 12:33:31 AM
 #139

Hmmm... 44% slaves...?


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September 20, 2012, 01:56:29 AM
 #140

+1. And does that mean if you're 60% slave, you are 40% owner? Wink

The ASICMINER Project https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=99497.0
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