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Author Topic: Basic income guarantee - opinions&criticism welcome  (Read 14128 times)
Hunterbunter
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September 18, 2012, 07:25:55 AM
 #81

Please explain what you mean by "peer pressure".

There's probably a better word for it, but by peer pressure I mean: the presence or influence any human(s), causing someone to act without a necessary reward save recognition or acceptance by the peer(s).


Oh... you meant "charity", I guess.

It's ok.  I'm fine with working for other people and buying them stuff, as long as I don't have to.

How is what I described charity?

It was already established in the OP that this is a big state solution, not libertarian castle state one.


Is the threat of starvation going to cause someone to decide to become a nuclear physicist?

No, but the lack thereof might make him decide against it.

That would depend on what motivates him. Einstein worked as an IP clerk to pay for food. He changed the world in his spare time.
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grondilu
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September 18, 2012, 07:31:53 AM
 #82

How is what I described charity?

Ok, ok...   Group behavior then?  You mean that I would accept to work for others mainly because that's what people around me do?
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September 18, 2012, 07:34:01 AM
 #83

too much to read but adding another useless opinion

OP sounds like the views or purpose of Nancy Pelosi

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September 18, 2012, 07:39:13 AM
 #84

How is what I described charity?

Ok, ok...   Group behavior then?  You mean that I would accept to work for others mainly because that's what people around me do?

Possibly a combination of group behavior and peer pressure would describe it adequately.

But yes, monkey see, monkey do for the majority of people.

What would you do if this happened tomorrow? Would you continue working or quit your job? Why?
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September 18, 2012, 07:52:15 AM
 #85

What would you do if this happened tomorrow? Would you continue working or quit your job? Why?

That's a funny question, since I did actually quit my job four years ago.

Once I gathered enough money so I would not need to work in the next ten years, I just stopped working.

So I can actually answer your question without any "if".

In a sense, I'm a living proof that this basic income is not a good idea.

You should not underestimate people's laziness.
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September 18, 2012, 08:42:47 AM
 #86

What would you do if this happened tomorrow? Would you continue working or quit your job? Why?

That's a funny question, since I did actually quit my job four years ago.

Once I gathered enough money so I would not need to work in the next ten years, I just stopped working.

So I can actually answer your question without any "if".

In a sense, I'm a living proof that this basic income is not a good idea.

You should not underestimate people's laziness.

Fair enough, I don't think I do, as it seems you were anything but lazy in earning those 10 years off. What do you generally do with your time now? Is there anything you do that would otherwise be considered productive? You don't have to be, of course, I'm just curious what your plan was for 10 years (if there was one), and whether you were sticking to it.

You earned that time off yourself, but would you have been getting this income while you were working, you'd still be getting it now and would been able to achieve the same thing you're doing now anyway with a slightly higher quality of life. If the economy was that awesome anyway, then the same should happen provided you're needed for something.
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September 18, 2012, 09:06:34 AM
 #87

Fair enough, I don't think I do, as it seems you were anything but lazy in earning those 10 years off. What do you generally do with your time now? Is there anything you do that would otherwise be considered productive? You don't have to be, of course, I'm just curious what your plan was for 10 years (if there was one), and whether you were sticking to it.
I'm sorry I can't answer your questions.  It's just too personal.   What I can tell you is that I think I'd probably not be aware of bitcoin right now, had I been keeping on doing that job.  Sometimes I happy I did quit, just because of that.  

Quote
You earned that time off yourself, but would you have been getting this income while you were working, you'd still be getting it now and would been able to achieve the same thing you're doing now anyway with a slightly higher quality of life. If the economy was that awesome anyway, then the same should happen provided you're needed for something.

I'm not sure you get my point.  Right now I don't do much but at least I don't cost society anything.  Were your proposal to be implemented, I wonder how many people would immediately quit their job and start leaving on other people's work and money.
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September 18, 2012, 10:36:39 AM
 #88

Hello BTC community!

I am a member of the German Pirate Party and am excited about their promotion of the idea of a Basic income guarantee.
You can read about it here, among other places: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income_guarantee

The idea is that:
1) People are producing more than they need, and with the further development of technology even less people will be needed to produce even more. Since less people will be working to produce, society as a whole would earn less, and therefore the population will not be able to afford to purchase all the goods being produced, eventually leading to bigger and bigger problems.
2) To overcome that, everyone is given a certain sum by the state every month that should provide for the basic amenities of life. Luxury goods will be available to those who can earn more money in the usual way, thus continuing to encourage private initiative.
3) Since the basic amenities will be covered, people will be free to pursue activities not directly related to their survival - like coding for Bitcoin Wink
4) Financing for this whole venture would be obtained by taxes on products purchased and by abolition of unemployment subsidies (among other methods)

Now, this is definitely a big state solution and I suppose that the multi-headed libertarian hydra on this forum will not like it, but I am ready to defend it Smiley

Some more arguments already for your critique: the unemployment subsidies + underlying bureaucracy in Germany can be redistributed among the 80 million Germans at the rate of about 12.5k EUR per year. So 1000k EUR of basic income guarantee per month is realistic. This can be further expanded with several different approaches to taxation.

So yeah, I'm curious to see what the community thinks about it.
Thanks for reading,

M


The one show stopper for you, been mentioned already but again now for posterity:

Security.  <===   

If you can find a way to make a verifiable and uncorruptible per-person payment scheme, please let us know.  Until then this will sadly be a joke and thieves as well as your "state regulators"  will find a way to get themselves the income of 1000 people by declaring themselves as 1000 individuals.  Take a look at how hopelessly corrupt state voting systems are, and put some extra money on the line for individuals in addition to the usual theatrics and you will get some idea what would happen if you tried to implement such a system without getting some kind of basic security in order first.     

Some kind of biometrics will be necessary, but it's not obvious to me how exactly this can work.  Sure I can add a hash of an iris scan to a database but what guarantees this is a hash of an iris scan and not a number I made up to collect some extra cash?  "Honest regulators" is a reasonable answer if you happen to live in fairyland.

Your idea is fantastic, but to implement it you need some way to securely identify unique humans, a nontrivial problem. 
Until we have this down, we will be wasting our time.

good luck!!!!!




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September 18, 2012, 10:51:52 AM
 #89

Fair enough, I don't think I do, as it seems you were anything but lazy in earning those 10 years off. What do you generally do with your time now? Is there anything you do that would otherwise be considered productive? You don't have to be, of course, I'm just curious what your plan was for 10 years (if there was one), and whether you were sticking to it.
I'm sorry I can't answer your questions.  It's just too personal.   What I can tell you is that I think I'd probably not be aware of bitcoin right now, had I been keeping on doing that job.  Sometimes I happy I did quit, just because of that.  

Ok, I'm sorry if my question intruded into your personal space. That was unintentional.

Quote
You earned that time off yourself, but would you have been getting this income while you were working, you'd still be getting it now and would been able to achieve the same thing you're doing now anyway with a slightly higher quality of life. If the economy was that awesome anyway, then the same should happen provided you're needed for something.

I'm not sure you get my point.  Right now I don't do much but at least I don't cost society anything.  Were your proposal to be implemented, I wonder how many people would immediately quit their job and start leaving on other people's work and money.

I understand what you meant, but the proposal is that if the basics are so cheap that it costs society very little, what's the big deal? Australia spends 2% of it's national budget on "I can't find a job but I need to eat" welfare...hardly back breaking for society to support this right now, and there's a pervading view here that all welfare recipients are permanent "dole bludgers" too, so at most, all the people who absolutely will not work under any circumstances costs 2% of tax revenue.

If the cost of giving everyone a basic life, factoring in all of the people who simply wouldn't work at all, managed to fit into that 2% of budget, purely because productivity was so incredible, wouldn't it be nice to have? Of course this probably isn't possible right now, but it's potentially foreseeable within 50 years. The other question to answer is what % is acceptable - how cheap must it be to feed/clothe/house/healthify a population compared to all other productivity for a society to implement it? 0.1%? 10%?

Sure a lot of people would quit jobs they hated, and people would only ever do "work" that they enjoy...but I see that as a positive end goal for our species. The ultimate fulfillment in the mastery of our environment, if you will. Working for food is so...cave man.
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September 18, 2012, 11:56:02 AM
 #90

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I'm not sure you get my point.  Right now I don't do much but at least I don't cost society anything.  Were your proposal to be implemented, I wonder how many people would immediately quit their job and start leaving on other people's work and money.

Well, in my country you CAN do exactly that. There is no demands that you have to work at all, and if you choose not to, you get support money from the state for basic needs.(Place to live, money for food, entertainment etc.) Still I don't personaly know a single person who does. And the statistics show only 2.3 % live off it(2007), and that is probaly mostly people who need it cause they are psyical or mentaly ill, criminals and/or drug addicts.

I can agree that number could increase thought if it was seen more "legitimate" to live only off basic income.
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September 18, 2012, 12:06:46 PM
 #91



The one show stopper for you, been mentioned already but again now for posterity:

Security.  <===   

Your idea is fantastic, but to implement it you need some way to securely identify unique humans, a nontrivial problem. 
Until we have this down, we will be wasting our time.

That is of course an interesting problem to solve. It would require keeping a national database with biometric data (actually the EU kind of has one - most of the passports nowadays are biometric). Of course, hackers could pose a problem, but with sufficiently strong encryption and a transparent mechanism open for public auditing, I think it should be ok. Just think the bitcoin system, which is relatively immune to tampering attempts because of its open source structure.

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September 18, 2012, 01:42:17 PM
 #92

If a country can produce enough resources without taxing anyone - sure, but just to distribute wealth through taxation - no way.
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September 18, 2012, 02:27:30 PM
 #93



The one show stopper for you, been mentioned already but again now for posterity:

Security.  <===   

Your idea is fantastic, but to implement it you need some way to securely identify unique humans, a nontrivial problem. 
Until we have this down, we will be wasting our time.

That is of course an interesting problem to solve. It would require keeping a national database with biometric data (actually the EU kind of has one - most of the passports nowadays are biometric). Of course, hackers could pose a problem, but with sufficiently strong encryption and a transparent mechanism open for public auditing, I think it should be ok. Just think the bitcoin system, which is relatively immune to tampering attempts because of its open source structure.

Yes, encryption and open system could help, but I don't see the solution.  Until there is a secure implementation, there isn't one yet Smiley 

This is indeed related to the bitcoin system.  However, Proof-of-work, or one CPU one income, works because you can prove you did some hashing.  However proving you are a human I have a feeling will be a trickier one and will wind up as a game of whack-a-mole as Gavin would say. 

The idea of a "national database" would of course have to be replaced by something public like a block chain data structure so to avoid regulatory capture phenomenon and the blatant security hole of letting some folks change the database at will.  I have no idea how an "OP_ADD_HUMAN" transaction would be verified.  It might need to wait for some kind of universally trusted AI to come along and welcome us all to the human polity Smiley   

IMHO other economic arguments for or against are rendered moot if there is no secure implementation with which to implement the system.   

 

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September 18, 2012, 04:30:37 PM
 #94

That is of course an interesting problem to solve. It would require keeping a national database with biometric data (actually the EU kind of has one - most of the passports nowadays are biometric).

Don't you find this idea a bit repulsing?   Can't you see it basically consist in treating humans as cattle?
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September 18, 2012, 04:57:48 PM
 #95

I understand what you meant, but the proposal is that if the basics are so cheap that it costs society very little, what's the big deal? Australia spends 2% of it's national budget on "I can't find a job but I need to eat" welfare...hardly back breaking for society to support this right now, and there's a pervading view here that all welfare recipients are permanent "dole bludgers" too, so at most, all the people who absolutely will not work under any circumstances costs 2% of tax revenue.

If the cost of giving everyone a basic life, factoring in all of the people who simply wouldn't work at all, managed to fit into that 2% of budget, purely because productivity was so incredible, wouldn't it be nice to have? Of course this probably isn't possible right now, but it's potentially foreseeable within 50 years.

That's a big "if".  An even worse is "if not".

If your 2% taxation is NOT enough to fund basic income, what will happen?  People will complain and ask for more.  So it will be 3%.

So basically since your "big state" can raise this level as high as it wants, it will always make sure that the rate is high enough to finance your basic income, even if it does not make economic sense.  In other words, even if it will crash the economy.  That does very much look like an elaborate, quantified version of communism.

Basic income is implemented in the current system with shares and stock market.  Why don't you guys just buy shares?  You would get some part of the excess of production you are talking about.

But no, you want your share of the cake, without putting any fucking effort about it, not even spending a penny.  Seriously, this is despicable.

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September 18, 2012, 05:38:45 PM
 #96

Governments are hugely over centralised, requiring massive databases with overly complicated verification is just one of the side effects. A centralised government requires a long bureaucratic procedure with built in failsafes to confirm the identity of a single individual, a town hall can just ask them to call in sometime next week.

That's not what I meant when I talked about cattle.  This biometrics thing makes me think of cattle tagging.



That's what I meant.  Maybe it's irrational, but yeah, the whole idea stinks.
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September 18, 2012, 05:47:12 PM
 #97

I mean the same, the farmer knows how many cattle he has but the central authorities need the cattle tagged to keep their books in order.

I wish I could just answer you "well, I don't want to be part of this system", but I guess I can't, can I?

I mean, let's assume your basic income system is based on some consumption tax.

Can I be exempted from this tax if I decide not to be included in the national database and not to receive your basic income?
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September 18, 2012, 06:50:29 PM
 #98

I'd like to go back to my question about whether or not people could buy or sell this thing.

Let's call Basic Income Share (BIS) one entry in the database.  It's basically the name of one person, some bitcoin address or something, along with some proof that this person does exist and a way to identify him (with biometrics).

Let's give a different name to the amount one person actually receives each month.  Let's call it BIR (Basic Income Right).

Ok so one person "owns" a BIS and that allows him to receive one BIR each month.

Question:  do I have the right to sell my BIS?

I mean, can we allow people to give an order such as:  "I'm the owner of BIS n°XXXXX.  Here is cryptographic proof of this assertion.  From now on, all my BIR will go to the owner of BIS n°YYYYY"  ?

I don't see why it should not be allowed.  If people have the right to own things, they should have the right to give them away (and in particular, to sell them).   Plus, if you forbid this, a black market will probably emerge.

So assuming I do have the right to sell my BIS, I also have the right to buy some.  In effect, it is just as if the State was turned into an anonymous society (not sure of the english term.  Corporation maybe).

Some people would have a lot of BIS, some people would have very few.   So we'll be very far away from your initial project.

Your system would look like capitalism, but it would be much worse.  Because this "big state" would be a giant company whose income does not come from free trade, but taxation.   This should be a nightmare to everyone.
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September 18, 2012, 07:40:42 PM
 #99

...
Your system would look like capitalism, but it would be much worse.  Because this "big state" would be a giant company whose income does not come from free trade, but taxation.   This should be a nightmare to everyone.
States generally make money only through taxation, with the exception of some nationalized industries.
You won't be able to share your BIR. Of course, you will be able to give the money to someone if you want to. Why you'd do that without something worthwhile in exchange is beyond me. I don't see how you'd end up with people getting other people's money outside of criminal coercion, which can be defended by the courts.

Don't you find this idea a bit repulsing?   Can't you see it basically consist in treating humans as cattle?
I know there's a lot of opposition to the idea of identifying yourself, and personally I can't understand it. Even now you willingly take a nickname on this forums to identify yourself, therefore branding your online persona in some way. Would it be better if we let you choose the code that would be on your eartag? Smiley I'm joking, of course, but a public database holding your fingerprints and your name on record is hardly a large breach of privacy. And I guess if you want to opt out, then you should be able to, but no state support would be given then.

But no, you want your share of the cake, without putting any fucking effort about it, not even spending a penny.  Seriously, this is despicable.

Now, stocks and shares are quite an interesting animal. First of all, to buy them, you have to have some capital. Money makes more money. If you don't have the starting capital and your living expenses keep eating up your minimum-wage job earnings, you'll never make it to the stockmarket. And not for lack of trying.
Second, I believe an argument can be made that relying on income from stocks is an unproductive life. You are not helping the community in an way, you are not producing something, your are not providing a service. The only thing you are doing is moving money from one place to another, and making more money in the process. A counter-argument is that you provide starter capital for companies that could better society if given a chance... but do you? Or do you just buy low, sell high with random stocks, or even worse, survive on dividents from the already established companies?
Some things to think about Smiley

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September 18, 2012, 08:05:57 PM
 #100

States generally make money only through taxation, with the exception of some nationalized industries.
You won't be able to share your BIR. Of course, you will be able to give the money to someone if you want to.
I think it will always be possible to sell your BIS, even if it's not supported by the state.  I can always sign a contract saying "from now on I swear I'll give all my BIR to XXXX".   It's basically a eternal debt contract, but your proposal makes this idea not so ridiculous.

Quote
Why you'd do that without something worthwhile in exchange is beyond me.
"Worthwhile" is very relative.  It all depends on your time preference regarding consumption.

Some people might prefer having 100 BIR right now rather than waiting 100 months.  So they might accept to sell their BIS against 100 BIR.

More generally, some people might be more "carpe diem" oriented, so they'll just sell their BIS to people who think they'll live two hundred years (I'm exaggerating).

Quote
I don't see how you'd end up with people getting other people's money outside of criminal coercion, which can be defended by the courts.
Private contracts do exist.  And even if courts decided not to defend them, reality would, as screwed people would get angry and would use violence.

Quote
And I guess if you want to opt out, then you should be able to, but no state support would be given then.

Ok, that's one thing.  But can I be exempted from tax then?

Quote
Now, stocks and shares are quite an interesting animal. First of all, to buy them, you have to have some capital.  Money makes more money. If you don't have the starting capital and your living expenses keep eating up your minimum-wage job earnings, you'll never make it to the stockmarket. And not for lack of trying.
You can buy stocks with no more than a few dollars.  That's a start.  Maybe the OP has spent much more in contributions to the pirate party.  Which to me is ironic.

Money makes more money indeed, but your system does not change that.  People could buy BIS, and with the money they get from these BIS, they'd buy even more BIS.

Quote
Second, I believe an argument can be made that relying on income from stocks is an unproductive life. You are not helping the community in an way, you are not producing something, your are not providing a service. The only thing you are doing is moving money from one place to another, and making more money in the process. A counter-argument is that you provide starter capital for companies that could better society if given a chance... but do you? Or do you just buy low, sell high with random stocks, or even worse, survive on dividents from the already established companies?
Some things to think about Smiley

I do not trade.  I receive only dividends indeed.

Some guy indeed at some point had a company grow.  He made it florish and he produced some wealth.  I now own the shares he used to own.   So according to you he's a good guy and I'm a parasit, right?

Well, consider this:  I did not steal those shares from this guy.  I bought them.  So in a sense, I rewarded him for the good work he's been doing.  Without people like me, his job would have had much more difficulty to find a correct price in the market.  I hope you can understand that.

Are you going to tell me that receiving money from doing nothing is fine as long as you don't pay to do that, but if you do it without stealing anyone, by investing wisely, it becomes morally wrong?
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