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Finland is scrapping plans to extend its basic income project (businessinsider.com)
121 points by SirLJ on Apr 19, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 166 comments



I can't see how it's theoretically possible to do a small scale experiment with UBI. If not everyone gets it, you can't see the big impact on the economy (what happens with supply/demand/inflation). And if it's with a short horizon, then people still have to plan for life after the UBI experiment.

You can't give up the career you are going to need to make a living in 2 years time, just because you get paid a small sum per month for 2 years.

So I can't see how experiments are worthwhile unless you actually go in head first. UBI should be announced as universal and forever, or it isn't "proper" UBI, and doesn't show the effects of UBI.

This is also the reason why no one tries it.


There are already large versions of UBI already in place, just by another name. If you take a look at Saudi Arabia and other rich gulf states, there’s essentially large cash transfers to citizenry for just being alive (and of course not revolting).

It is of course telling that Saudi Arabia has no sort of industry and the little they produce via Aramco has large swaths of imported experts working for them. Same applies to the other gulf states, importing everything from house cleaning to engineering labor.

As to an American UBI scheme, one can look at the handful of rich pockets of Native American tribes who run successful casino operations. In Florida, the Seminole tribes distribute thousands of dollars/month, to each of their members just for being alive. Many of them end up having chronic issues with drug and alcohol abuse.


> In Florida, the Seminole tribes distribute thousands of dollars/month, to each of their members just for being alive. Many of them end up having chronic issues with drug and alcohol abuse.

Okay I was with you for a little bit but this part of your comment is completely off the mark. The casinos are built on tribal land. And in many cases owned by the tribe. For all intents and purposes the tribe is a corporation. Members get a monthly dividend based on their percentage of native american blood. It is not UBI and not a welfare. If you or I, assuming you aren't NA, move to tribal land we still wouldn't be entitled to that money, nor through marriage. We aren't a stakeholder.

I've been to Miccosoukee and Seminole country before and after the casinos. The additional income has made a lot of difference in improving their way of life. Hurricane hardened homes, fully funded schools, and reliable cars.

As for alcohol and drug abuse. That is an issue with tribes who don't receive any money at all. That is a separate issue related to education, job prospects, and, yes still, racism.

BTW, the Seminoles didn't just spend their dividend money on alcohol and opiates. They've been busy investing that money as well. They have bought the entire chain of Hard Rock restaurants and resorts.


IMHO this is more correct than you give it credit for. Humans need to feel a sense of accomplishment to maintain their mental health over the long term. Just giving them money to survive without giving them something to do leads to high rates of depression and self destructive behavior. A good percentage of the population is not self starters, they'll sit on their ass all day long if nobody forces them to get up.

IMHO New Deal type projects are a better use of resources than UBI. Put people to work building/repairing infrastructure instead of just handing them cash and hoping they don't just spend it on drugs.


I'm not sure what a good percentage is but I know the majority of the population is self-motivated. What that motivation is can very greatly and is affected by resources. I've sat on my ass plenty of times and watched TV simply because I didn't have the money to go anywhere.

Will there people who abuse that goodwill? There is in almost every system. Just like you can't design the perfect lock to keep all thieves out and still be useful you can't design a UBI where everyone is going to use the money as we judge best.

A new New Deal I think should cover more than just infrastructure. There are public works of art that we have now that would not exist if not for the fact that some administrator in the New Deal era thought having artwork was also important.


Maybe, but I've done charity work in south West Virginia and welfare depression is a serious issue in former coal country. You want to see the people do just anything but they've lost all motivation. It's not everybody, but it's a big enough percentage of the population to cause a lot of problems.


Is there any avenue for investment and personal growth for the majority people in coal country, let alone those on long term welfare? I ask because a wealthy friend sends a substantial amount of money home to relatives in WV ($2k per person or so) and even though they save quite a bit, there is nothing for them to do with that money other than move out to a more economically active area if they want to improve their lives. Starting a business or getting an education is pointless because there's no market for anything but the bare necessities. They even had trouble finding good local caterers, photographers, and a wedding planner even though they had saved up enough money to cover a decent wedding in an urban city.

Basic income at least has the ability to thrust everyone in a region into the market by giving them disposable income so that there is actual activity that can provide opportunities.


State level welfare is not UBI.

For almost every state youll get 200 dollars in EBT/person. These are nontranferable, you must only buy unprepared food, etc. Yes, even now people abuse this. You cannot make a perfect lock.

If you have a kid you also get a bit of cash aid (less than 200 dollars.)

Try living on 400 bucks for the next month or 12 and see how depressed it will make you.


> I'm not sure what a good percentage is but I know the majority of the population is self-motivated.

This is simply totally incorrect.

If it was close to true we wouldn't need schools or universities. Everyone could self learn through books.

Even MOOCs can't yet work out the motivation issues with drop out rates of 90%


I will concur with this based on my own anecdotal evidence. I know someone who has a good paying job that gives them nothing to do and they have struggled with depression ever since taking the position.


There is a key difference here between your friend's job and UBI. If your friend instead of having their job got UBI they would still be able to go and find fullfilment in the workforce and bolster what they recieve from UBI with a salary.

In the scenario you mentioned they are probably locked in by way of a contract from being able to find fillfilment unless they do it in their, probably small, amount of personal time.


I mean, my little sister grew up with a member of the Seminole tribe in SFla, I can tell you from experience that her family didn’t have what is considered a “job”.

Also, my friend was a medical doctor tending to a large group of them and would constantly comment on their alcoholism and shenanigans (which sounded awesome) with atvs and off-roading.

I don’t really understand what you’re nitpicking with the money passed to tribesmen though.

In theory UBI is passed to every one in the US based on citizenship. Same applies for that cash transfer for the seminoles. Same thing goes for Saudis and other gulf state members. Same thing applies if you were a stupendously wealthy man, you’d probably pass some cash around down to your descendants.

A rose by any name, I’d say.


Most of the rentier class also don't have a "job". Dividends, leases, and IP checks arrive into their bank accounts and they are free to choose what to do with it. Invest wisely or blow it on vices.

In concept UBI is closer to welfare than the tribal or Saudi model. Gamblers willingly go to their casinos. We willingly purchase Saudi oil. Since the government owns the means of production they are within their right to give it to their constituents. If fewer people gamble, buy tax-free cigarettes, or use less petrol that is less money the tribe and Saudis have to give out.

UBI is not voluntary. The government extracts that cash from me in the form of taxes to distribute it. I cannot use fewer government services and therefore give less money to them.


> Many of them end up having chronic issues with drug and alcohol abuse.

I don't think this is a constructive statement to make unless you compare rates between UBI and non-UBI.


I still don't think this addresses the parents comment about the UBI operating on a country-wide scale.

The Native American tribes, people in Alaska etc. are still a fraction of American society. Not to mention... there are other socio-economic factors that prevent the American tribes from being successful (e.g. perhaps a genetic pre-disposition to alcoholism as well).

I would like to see what happens when a major population center, either a US state or a populous city, implements a form of UBI. That is when the true economic impact may be evident.


Of course that's not just a basic income, that's a full cushy income. A better example with be Alaska which uses ok revenues to give a subsidy to residents of the state.


We get about $1000/year, and the cost of living here is higher than just about any other state. You can't really compare the Alaska PFD to a UBI.


When I lived in Wisconsin, we got $400/year. Officially it was to help pay for heat in the winter, but I always thought of it as a consolation prize for having to live in Wisconsin.

I hear Minnesotans get a stipend, too.


In 2008, the AK PFD hit its all time high of $2069, and we got an "Alaska Resource Rebate" of $1200. Every family in the state who qualified got $3269 per person. In large families, that was a windfall.

That said, I think that was the winter that was extra cold and windy. We were living in a house with a boiler, and it wasn't adjusted right one month. That month's heating bill was over $500.

Heating costs are serious business. We got a deal on the house we bought because renters couldn't afford to heat the whole house one winter, and the cold and damp in the rest of the house caused enough damage to bring down the value of the house.

I didn't know there were other states that offered blanket assistance like you described, that's pretty interesting to know.


I am very skeptical of claims that outcomes are discontinuous in policy space. Going one step in direction A should give you information about going further in that same direction, at least on some scale of change. Clearly the people running the experiment agreed, because they designed it with the intent to get that information.


> Going one step in direction A should give you information about going further in that same direction

So eating healthy for 1 day/week will change your blood results and tell you that a year of it will make you lose 50 pounds?

So going to 1 day of college will make you measure differently on a test that checks critical thinking?

Different things take different amount of time to see results. I could see behaving very differently between

* This is a very temporary 1 year test of UBI *

vs

* You have a social safety net of UBI for your entire life, and can count on the income no matter what happens


It's more that shorter experiments might tell you whether there are deep downsides even in the short-term. Not great information, not full information, but information; even if it's just a one-way test.


It’s not that they are completely useless it’s that they cannot test the actual affects on the economy.

If you have a small scale UBI even if it’s on say a scale of a whole town it’s still not enough to evaluate the economic impact because the supply/demand economy isn’t that localized.

We have other experiments that have shown to have a negative effect for example rent allowance in the UK which essentially set the lower limit for rent as no one rents below what the council would pay, this has increased rent prices even in places where there was no negative change in the supply and demand.


It's good to be skeptical. There are a whole class of problems that are discontinuous, but it's way too tempting to label things that way.

That said, UBI _seems_ a lot more like herd immunity than most policy problems, especially social safety net policy.


Well outcomes are discontinuous where the policies are discontinuous. There's a huge leap in the graph from 'this is temporary' to 'this is permanent.' We can't just write off the effect that has on human behavior.


First, nobody is saying they're discontinuous. But there are plenty of continuous results we can see that are concave up, i.e. they require commitment beyond a certain point to be more effective than not implanting them at all.

For example, let's say initially we build a single road from coast to coast in the US, starting with no roads. There wouldn't be many places to drive to, there would be a small market for cars, and as a result of lacking economies of scale, cars would be expensive. There wouldn't be much infrastructure for purchasing or maybe even extracting gas, so that would be more expensive too. The road probably wouldn't get used much, and wouldn't be worth it.

But if you build a bunch of roads all over the country between where people want to go, eventually they'll become worth it.


I imagine that researchers designed the experiment they thought would be accepted rather than the experiment they wanted. Yes, they intended to learn some things and most likely did.


There are such things as network effects and thresholds for complex systems. So outcomes can and will be discontinuous in policy space. Perhaps for the simple reason that human society is pretty complex and certain things about it are still not very well understood.


If the criticisms of a policy is that subsidies for the voluntarily economically inactive can only be funded with massive tax increases and cuts in benefits for some of the poorest members of society, that the biggest chief beneficiaries will be house-rich early retirees and that it isn't economically sustainable, then a test which tops up a proportion of people's existing benefits out of general government funds for a short period and discovers they like free money isn't very informative.


Also, we can predict a lot of the major impacts something like UBI will have, however part of the plan must be to implement plans and strategy to manage for these - in particular, whenever new money is introduced into a system, many for-profit systems will increase their pricing, which then trickles down into every other system requiring to increase their pricing. There has to be a floor created, and there needs to be management of otherwise unmanaged wild west economics.


I think it's also important to remember that the effects would be wildly different between countries with big social safety nets (such as Finland), and countries withouot.

For countries with lots of extensive welfare programs, a small UBI is shifting money from various programs into UBI, thereby removing administrative overhead - rather than "new money".

For example: every parent in sweden gets $160 child allowance ($320 for a single parent), regardless of income, and with no application required. We don't have dental included in the universal health plan - instead there is a subsidy of $70 per person per year. Students get an allowance of nearly $400 a month (allowance, not loans)

And so on and so forth. There are lots of these allowances and subsidies that under a UBI system would just disappear and be part of the UBI in the nordic countries.

That's why I don't see it as such a massive step. First you go to an enormous welfare state, then you change that to a UBI system. It's then less of a leap.


You can balance out a UBI program with other programs, it would be better anyhow, as an example, you can incentivize more people to be a student.


Right. It's like promising immortality for two years.


Sounds reminiscent of "Socialism doesn't work if not applied globally".


I wouldn't go that far, but I'll go as far as saying that socialism near useless for a single person, and only shows any promise whatsoever for two or more people...


「The initial plan was for the experiment to be expanded in early 2018 to include workers as well as non-workers early in 2018, but that did not happen – to the disappointment of researchers at Kela. Without workers in the project, researchers are unable to study whether basic income would allow people to make new career moves, or enter training or education.」

And this is the paragraph I went looking for.


Yeah, the other thing that is weird when you read the article is that it wasn't UBI at all. It only went to people from a set that was unemployed. This "trial" just removed all bureaucracy and removed restrictions on side jobs, etc.

I'm not sure what you could learn from this experiment. The things a lot of people want to know is can UBI provide a safety net for the poor and allow people to quit a toxic job without fear. It will be interesting to see if any of the 2K participants used this income/time to retrain or receive education.


Yup that's my point exactly - it's just less restrictive unemployment benefits. As you said the really interesting stuff from UBI is people quitting shitty jobs (or, working part time at shitty jobs instead of 60 hours a week) and doing something else with their lives.


Studying a UBI pilot with an end date is not studying UBI at all: It is instead studying a misnamed temporary cash payment. By the nature of pilots, the cohort’s behavior cannot reliably change to depend on UBI’s long term existence. No study yet has guaranteed a cohort money forever, and even if it did it would be difficult for a pilot to study the long term effects, some of which may be generations out. What pilot can tell us answers to questions like: "What is it like for kids to grow up with parents who have never worked?"[1]

Universal Basic Income projects also tend to fail hard at the Universal part. It’s hard to study how society would change if you are not piloting something that is intended to affect all of society.

For the Finland study, the cohort doesn’t even scratch the "U", and somewhat contradicts itself:

> During the experiment, a total of 2,000 unemployed persons between 25 and 58 years of age will receive a monthly payment of €560, unconditionally and without means testing. The experiment will run for two years.

(quoting from: http://www.kela.fi/web/en/experimental-study-on-a-universal-...)

I've written my own long list of objections to UBI, here: https://medium.com/@simon.sarris/after-universal-basic-incom...

I think it's an important problem, but I'm totally flabbergasted at how much simplistic thinking the proponents are willing to gloss over.

~~~

[1] There answer is SSDI but don't look at it if you want to sleep at night. https://web.archive.org/web/20130420171159/http://thelastpsy...


Your footnoted link was good reading. Disturbing but good. Thanks for posting it.


Very cool to see you on Hacker News. I listened to your piece on Medium (great narrator btw) and loved it. It's started some lively conversations


These experiments confuse me. Haven't we already seen the result of UBI? Pensions, states that issue money (from state oil income etc), allowances, annuities?

The world doesn't come to an end; the people don't all become listless and stop contributing. The currency doesn't inflate uncontrollably; prices don't change at all. The cost of living is unchanged (because economics doesn't work that way).

All the FUD produced over this is astonishing. I admit, I had questions to begin with as well. But it takes only a little reading and thinking to get over it.


> the people don't all become listless and stop contributing

Well, in the US two groups that do get state distributions - residents of Alaska and those on Native American reservations - do have disproportionate rates of substance abuse (mainly alcohol).

As far as seniors who get pensions, what is your definition of "contributing"? In many cases they are eligible for those pensions only once they declare themselves retired.


> residents of Alaska

Probably a bad example to bring up.

The Alaska fund distributions amount to roughly ~$1.5k a year. Not quite the same as a pension or UBI. I'll probably get egg on my face for saying this, but I highly doubt anyone in Alaska lives solely on fund distributions.

Further, as noted [1], the "dividend had no effect on employment, and increased part-time work by 1.8 percentage points (17 percent)... our results suggest that a universal and permanent cash transfer does not significantly decrease aggregate employment."

1: http://www.nber.org/papers/w24312.pdf


One of my intern friends a few years ago was from Alaska. He said all that money practically goes towards heating because it gets so freaking cold in the winter.


There are also plenty of retirees and rich people that get money for not working.

I think a good cohort to look at would be trust fund recipients, specifically those who receive between $10-50k/year from their trust. Oftentimes these trusts are first available in young adulthood, so they are a good proxy for UBI. Of course the major confounding variable would be that these recipients are likely to be wealthier, and thus more educated, than the general population


This. Go ahead and make whatever arguments you like about how people should not get money for not working, just as long as you're prepared also to apply that to the workings of compound interest in savings accounts :)

There should be no income whatsoever merely from already having money. Go get a job :)


> Well, in the US two groups that do get state distributions - residents of Alaska and those on Native American reservations - do have disproportionate rates of substance abuse (mainly alcohol).

Both of which had those problems before the distributions, so this appears to be the worst kind of correlation to causation argument, the pre hoc ergo propter hoc argument.


Are those groups anomalous though: alcoholism has a generic factor I gather, and colder climates appear to have more substance abuse. With those factors accounted for does providing "pensions" increase substance [ab]use, and is the use problematic.


Isn’t Saudi Arabia an example where citizens did became lazy, and the government had to introduce incentives to go to college, start businesses, etc? And they still need cheap migrant labor for everything from childcare to construction, so automation has a long way to go.


I've never seen any evidence to suggest that people paid a living income off state pensions or oil funds are anywhere near as productive as those who aren't (even after controlling for demographics), and not having an enormous drop in productivity is integral to the possibility of UBI being fundable in the foreseeable future.


How did you come to those conclusions? I've never seen any such study.


>Pensions

>The currency doesn't inflate uncontrollably

Seeing the costs for pension homes in Germany, I disagree. There is a ton of fraud and abuse (in the billions) and the prices are outrageous. Old people are an easy target and we have a general problem with crime, so that no doubt contributes to it, but overall the example seems to be a bad one if you're in favor of UBI.


Perhaps because they are 'pension homes', which can be a closed market and an easy target.

A UBI is universal. You can't tell those dollars from any other dollars being spent. Prices, in fact, should drop with more demand and thus flexible supply adapting. Cheaper by the volume.


> Prices, in fact, should drop with more demand and thus flexible supply adapting. Cheaper by the volume.

Housing isn't a flexible supply and isn't much cheaper by the volume (if anything, it can become more expensive because of the space).

Personally that's my biggest issue with UBI. If it's not taken together with incentive to build suburbs/other cities that will make people want to go further away... most of it will go toward rent because you will all compete for a better location (I don't know for you but I waste 2 hours a day to go to works, I could lower that to 30 minutes a day for less than 1000$ a month, that's for sure).

We already see this effect in the cities that attracted startups. They got higher wages (which can be seen as "basic income" essentially because there was already a similar job done for less money close to there), which made housing price to go much higher.


> Haven't we already seen the result of UBI?

Nope.


> The world doesn't come to an end; the people don't all become listless and stop contributing. The currency doesn't inflate uncontrollably; prices don't change at all.

That’s exactly what has happened. Inflation has been masssive. From food to services to education. Everything is expensive, and poor people spend their lives watching Netflix, playing video games. That’s what I see all around me.

Americans are too good pick their own food or perform such labor, and politicians of all varieties are happy expanding the national debt to support this depressed lifestyle while shitting on the people who actually do the work.

No one understands the value of a dollar. The things you can get on the global market for a dollar are huge, but Americans will buy bottled water or Gatorate for two dollars. Then they’ll tell you they’re poor. People put down $2.15 for a tiny cup of guacamole at Chipotle like that’s not completely insane. As if that’s how life intrinsically works.

People say you can’t afford housing like you could in the 1950s but if you showed them the average 1950s new American ranch home they’d think it was a shanty hovel. Everything is fundamentally inflated, the whole developed world is a bubble that shows no respect for humanity, the environment or what is appropriate to have and to want.


There are two problems with universal basic income:

1/ Many people think UBI is a great idea but everybody imagines something else. This makes discussing UBI very difficult.

2/ Regardless of what version of UBI you personally support, it is probably not a good idea to give money to those who don't need it. Sooner or later people will realize that what they really want is tax/benefit reform, not universal basic income.

REAL NUMBERS HERE -> Check out this process flow diagram: https://www.lucidchart.com/documents/view/87d3102c-5b89-4001...


>2/ Regardless of what version of UBI you personally support, it is probably not a good idea to give money to those who don't need it.

Wrong. The system doesn't work if you don't give people to money who don't need it: the administrative requirements of assessing who and who doesn't need it, and then policing all this, is just too high. This is the reason UBI was invented in the first place!

It's very simple: you give the same money to everyone, even if they're a billionaire. To make up for this, you raise the taxes a commensurate amount on the people who don't need it (and more for the really rich people, because the idea is wealth redistribution). So someone making $100k, for instance, obviously doesn't need a handout, so you raise their taxes that same amount so they're paying back in taxes what they're getting from the UBI, and netting zero. It's much easier to do this than to have thousands of government workers auditing everyone to make sure they aren't "cheating" by receiving money they're not qualified for, which is what we do with current welfare schemes.

>Sooner or later people will realize that what they really want is tax/benefit reform

No, tax reform doesn't do anything to reduce the administrative burden of current welfare systems. UBI does. Less money you pay out for unnecessary government office workers is more money you can end up giving to people in need, and society will be better off with those government workers finding more productive professions which might actually generate more wealth and taxable income, instead of just being a drain on taxpayers.


> the administrative requirements of assessing who and who doesn't need it, and then policing all this, is just too high

Oh okay this makes sense.

> To make up for this, you raise the taxes a commensurate amount on the people who don't need it

Wait just a second..


I think the point is that you have one audit system, the IRS, instead of two, the IRS and welfare programs.


> you give the same money to everyone, even if they're a billionaire. To make up for this, you raise the taxes a commensurate amount on the people who don't need it (and more for the really rich people, because the idea is wealth redistribution

This has already happened in various countries like the UK until the 1970's. In New Zealand the top income tax was 66%, and a "UBI" for everyone 60 and over, regardless of their income, was introduced. Of course those with high incomes paid up to 2/3rds of this back to the govt as income tax. In the 1980's, NZ followed the UK in slashing income taxes to the levels found in the US. The qualifying age for the "Universal Basic Income" was progressively increased to 65, with tentative plans to raise the age even further in the near future.

If the experiment there was to be extended, then the top income tax would have remained at 66% and the qualifying age for this "UBI" progressively lowered in stages down to 18 as the country could afford it. To see why the experiment was cancelled, I think we should look at why the income tax was lowered in these countries. Perhaps the rich lobbied for less taxes, and threatened to shift their businesses to Australia and other countries.


That sounds very similar to the FairTax bill that's been proposed since the 90's. Only with FairTax money comes from sales tax rather than income.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairTax


"FairTax" doesn't work because sales tax is extremely regressive. Rich people don't spend nearly as much of their income as poor people, and they frequently don't even spend it inside the country. Sales tax just ends up hurting the working class the most.


The FAIRtax eliminates the most regressive tax for low earners--the Social Security/Medicare tax. The FAIRtax also provides an exemption up to the poverty level for all households with valid SS cards. It also eliminates the IRS and filing. If more money is needed for lower income then pay directly not through tax code.


Technically, it's a flat tax. You can argue that it's "effectively" regressive if you divide mean spending by income across the income distribution or something, but it doesn't really matter since as long as the prebate value is large enough, the poor still come out ahead.

Needless to say, I'm not claiming that FirTax would work. I'm just pointing out the similarities between it and UBI. If this experiment shows evidence that UBI doesn't work, then that gives me less confidence in FairTax as well.


> Technically, it's a flat tax.

It's a flat tax on consumption, which is a regressive tax on income; when unspecified, progressive/flat/regressive in regard to taxation conventionally refers to relation to income.

> but it doesn't really matter since as long as the prebate value is large enough, the poor still come out ahead.

The size of the prebate (and the 23% rate) is part of the FairTax proposal (though a slighlty incoherent part, since it is defined in terms of income, not spending)—it is defined at the level that a taxpayer would pay 0 net FairTax with poverty level income (presumably, this assumes 100% spending at poverty level.)


Quote from page:

>Internet purchases would be taxed, as would retail international purchases (such as a boat or car) that are imported to the United States (collected by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection).[53]


Thank you for proving my point. And now look at the numbers in my diagram, the administrative costs are negligible compared to the cost of giving money to those who don't need it.


You're missing a section on the bottom of your chart.

Who will pay for UBI? -- income tax. Raise the per capita income rate an average of £12,000, (£15,000 pounds minus the ~3,000 in savings you calculated earlier).

No net impact on the average taxpayer, little impact on the rich and massive impact on the poor.


I did the calculation for UK 2015-2016:

There are about 31 million taxpayers in the UK. The basic income tax rate of 20% for income up to £42k/year generates 33% of the income tax revenue. Let's agree that these are not the rich people we want to tax. (88,7% of Britons earn less than £50k/year.)

The higher (40%) and additional (45%) tax rates generate the rest 67% or £117 billion of the £174 billion income tax revenue.

In order to raise additional £472 billion, we would have to increase the higher and additional tax rates to approximately 211%.

As you can see, taxing the "rich" cannot raise enough money to give everyone unconditional poverty line minimum income.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-tax-liabilit..., https://www.gov.uk/income-tax-rates


"Let's agree that these are not the rich people we want to tax."

I definitely do not agree. BI is only viable if the average taxpayer sees no or very little net benefit from BI. So the average taxpayer would pay £15k extra in taxes if they receive £15k in BI. And £42k is above average (but not a lot, the medium income is £21k, but only a little more than half of adults are taxpayers)


The average taxpayer with income between £20k and £30k pays on average £2630 tax, some 10.7%. If you hand him over £15k and them tax him on average additional £15k then his tax rate must be around 44%. This will be extremely demotivational. A hard-working person will have barely more than absolute freeloader and if he tries to work extra hard you will take half of his reward.


No, he will have almost twice as much money as the freeloader.

More importantly, if both him & the freeloader are spending £15k on rent & food, then the freeloader has £0k of disposable income and the worker has infinitely more disposable income.

Another way of looking at it is that average taxpayer with UBI has an income of between £35k and £45k and has a marginal rate not much different from what people making £45k are paying right now. People making £45k aren't currently significantly demotivated by taxes, are they?


You are contradicting yourself.

"the average taxpayer would pay £15k extra in taxes if they receive £15k in BI"

vs

"Another way of looking at it is that average taxpayer with UBI has an income of between £35k and £45k".

Today a taxpayer with median income £21k takes home £19k net. After your reform, he will take home the same £19k net (remember: pay £15k extra in taxes if they receive £15k in BI). Except hew will now be way below the median and making only £4k more than the now ubiquitous dude Lebowski type.


The average taxpayer is well above £21k -- that's the median income, which includes the 40% not paying taxes and of course median is well below average due to tail effects.


25% of the working age population is economically inactive (with more being below the income tax floor) most of whom do not receive benefits (they're living off savings or others) even before you actively incentivise people not to look for work. It's going to cost a lot more than £12k per taxpayer, and with median UK household income being only £27k the taper for the working poor is going to be steep, and the middle classes seeing a net tax increase is going to include an awful lot of people struggling to pay off their mortgages.

And the thing is, many people who are actively looking for work or disabled already receive more than the UBI in other benefits being cut to fund this. The true beneficiaries? Upper middle class people who've paid off their mortgage, built up savings and wish to retire a decade or two earlier and traditional housewives. The losers? The working young and single people.


And, in the US, the administrative overhead is apparently less than about 10%, [1] which you're not actually going to completely eliminate unless you plan to cut pretty much all social support programs other than sticking money in a bank account every month.

[1] https://www.cbpp.org/research/romneys-charge-that-most-feder...


It is an excellent idea to give money to people who don't need it. That's the whole point of UBI. There are some other good arguments in other replies, so I won't reiterate those, but add another: peace of mind.

Suppose you make $50K and support a family on that. At that level you don't need UBI, but you don't have any buffer. You get a UBI cheque every month, but the increased taxes take away most of it. Now suppose something comes up at work that makes it intolerable. You know that it's going to be pretty difficult to prove that to the unemployment office, so without UBI you'd just grin and bear it to keep food on the table. But you see those UBI cheques coming regularly so you know they won't stop. You now have the freedom to quit your job and look for another one without starving your children.


> It is an excellent idea to give money to people who don't need it.

How do you conclude that taking money away from those who worked for it and need it and giving it away to those who don't want it is a good idea?


> Everybody thinks UBI is a great idea

Irrespective of anyone's personal opinion, I'm absolutely sure it's not everybody. And there are valid reasons for this - but every opponent also imagines something different, just as proponents do.


I don't want it - I have a real knack of stretching money and I could very well see myself becoming lazy if given a dependable source of unearned income.


Look no further than the Financial Independence movement for more evidence than you'd ever need. It's made up of people who basically are creating their own personal basic income, and while some do work to pass the time, a goodly percentage do no economically meaningful work again.


Except that was the goal of the one that did this to themselves and they made it not to "survive" but to live the life they want.

UBI should be fixed to a survivable life style. You get the minimum, no luxury. I'm pretty sure that movement fix their income to a bit higher than that, to an amount that at least allow them a bit of luxury (restaurant is one).

It was also their goal, not working of working to pass the time.

As a counter point, look at anyone that make more than 100 000$ a year. They have much more than needed, yet can still works insane hours. Is it that they ALWAYS NEED more money or simply that's what they want to do and having more money is an extension to it? Workaholic exist...


Fine, then you can personally refuse it :)


Fixed.


I also don't think it's a good idea at all. It may be a cultural thing but I'm sure most people in my surroundings will stop working and eventually even fall for substance abuse. I can see myself falling for that. Have you even seen how many NEETs are there? That would go over the roof. I think these UBI discussions are monopolised by people who live in a bubble.


I do not disagree, but I think it's also interesting to consider the following: currently there's a lot of suffering caused by poverty. Or by the frustration derived from the need to get/keep a job to avoid poverty. Those economic needs might have some positive effects, but they also push the society in very wrong directions. Also, for many people the reality sucking so much is exactly the reason that leads them to become NEETs, addicts, depressed, indifferent, conformists, etc.


Define "give" and "don't need it" :) I think UBI necessarily implies a tax raise. If you give a rich person $1000 in UBI and raise their effective tax bill by $3000, are you actually giving them money?


You have to give the money to people who don't need it, otherwise it becomes a powerful disincentive to working or earning income. That's what differentiates UBI from welfare and also what makes it so expensive.


It depends on what the starting point is. In Denmark every single person have tax deduction. For persons over 18 that is currently 46.000 DKK. In addition there is a host of other deductions and benefits for various situations. UBI would replace some/many of those, so it would in essence be a tax reform. It still doesn't capture the majority of economic activity the state is involved in, but it would make a lot of things significantly simpler.


The US gives social security to nearly everyone, including people who "don't need it".

This was intentional. The idea being it's harder to take away a benefit that everyone enjoys, and fairly easy to take away benefits solely for "the poor".


The US doesn’t “give” it to nearly everyone — you get a benefit as a proportion of your contribution. If you never contribute to social security, you don’t get the benefit.


It's not directly proportional. Low lifetime earners get proportionally more back than high lifetime earners. It has the effect of a wealth transfer from high earners to low earners.


> The US doesn’t “give” it to nearly everyone — you get a benefit as a proportion of your contribution.

It's not proportional to even the wage-indexed total of contributions, because of bend points. (And because it's actually based on qualifying wages, not contributions, and the relationship between the two has not been constant over time.)


What I read from the diagram is that we are looking towards an horizon where corporations can keep increasing profits while employing less people and there is nothing we can do about it. Do we simply have to accept that economic growth ultimately benefits fewer and fewer people? Or do you simply believe that somehow jobs will never disappear?


There is still a LOT of value that people can bring to the table. Instead of paying everyone for nothing, why not pay them for creating value (volunteer in various projects, local agriculture, studying, etc)


What’s the reasoning behind #2?


Becuase you first have to take the money from those who earned it.


You are missing the whole point of UBI - because it's unconditional it doesn't discourage working.


I don't understand your comment, I never said it discourages working.


You suggested giving it only to those who need it, which makes it conditional.


I don't understand your logic. I never said UBI discourages working.


People who pay more taxes than UB are essentialy people who do not receive UB.


A more accurate title might be: Finland declines to extend its experiment with basic income.


Reading the comments, I'm getting the feeling of "No True UBI". Every UBI-ish attempt that has been mentioned so far, someone says, "But that's not real UBI, because..."

We may need some more precise definitions. UBI-1 is some precisely-defined thing, UBI-2 is some other precisely-defined thing, and so on. Then we can say, well, Saudi Arabia did and still does UBI-4, and it has had these effects. Then we can look at various experiments and start learning something about whether UBI is workable, and if so, what kind of UBI it needs to be.


Instead of giving out money, why not give out the basic necessities directly? A free home, free utilities, free food, a basic vehicle, free clothes, free healthcare? If you’re happy with these things you’re set, if you want more you work for it and acquire money.

Seems like this would accomplish the same goals of UBI, but with less risks and impact on the economy, and at some point you can benefit from economies of scale to provide these things at even lower cost. People would not need the financial discipline and restraint that comes with managing a basic income.


Where is that home? In the US, would it be in SF, CA or Alamo, GA? What kind of vehicle? I don't have a license, does that mean I only get a bicycle instead of a car? What about gas? What's "free utilities" - how much can I consume? Can I trade the clothes for something else if I don't need as many? If so, who decides for what and how much I can trade them for?

I'm not an expert, but I think the results where this has been tried were bureaucracy, waste and black markets.


> Where is that home? In the US, would it be in SF, CA or Alamo, GA?

A dense, tall building in SF could hold homes for a lot of residents at once.

>I don't have a license, does that mean I only get a bicycle instead of a car?

It means you get a car when you learn to drive, or else just take a bus.

> What about gas?

Electric vehicle

> What's "free utilities" - how much can I consume?

A set amount per month based on reasonable usage estimates.

> Can I trade the clothes for something else if I don't need as many?

You can do whatever you want with your stuff.

> If so, who decides for what and how much I can trade them for?

Between you and the person you trade with.


A dense, tall building in SF could hold homes for a lot of residents at once.

That's not the point. An apartment in a dense, tall building in SF will still cost more than an apartment in a dense, tall building almost anywhere else. Who gets to live in SF if too many people want to?

It means you get a car when you learn to drive, or else just take a bus.

So your UBI discriminates against people who can't drive, who are oftentimes the people most in need. Also, it promotes massive waste, since I'll ask for a car even if I don't need one - why not, if I don't gain anything by giving it up?

A set amount per month based on reasonable usage estimates.

Right, but "reasonable" will depend on geography (for heat/cooling), needs, etc, no? How many jobs will be required to calculate that for the 3000+ counties in the US?

You can do whatever you want with your stuff. Between you and the person you trade with.

So you're producing and distributing a bunch of clothes, cars, etc, which will then be sold to companies (for low prices, obviously, since everyone has them) which will export them to other countries. Nice corporate subsidy. The WTO might have something to say about your unfair competition practices.


> That's not the point. An apartment in a dense, tall building in SF will still cost more than an apartment in a dense, tall building almost anywhere else. Who gets to live in SF if too many people want to?

A random lottery for high demand low supply places.

> So your UBI discriminates against people who can't drive, who are oftentimes the people most in need. Also, it promotes massive waste, since I'll ask for a car even if I don't need one - why not, if I don't gain anything by giving it up?

Nothing wrong with public transportation, people use it all the time and much easier than parking anyway. When you’re giving stuff away you always have to accept people wasting it. Just factor it in and move on.

> Right, but "reasonable" will depend on geography (for heat/cooling), needs, etc, no? How many jobs will be required to calculate that for the 3000+ counties in the US?

Of course. This will need very few jobs, it’s just basic data analysis based on historical usage. Very automated.

> So you're producing and distributing a bunch of clothes, cars, etc, which will then be sold to companies (for low prices, obviously, since everyone has them) which will export them to other countries. Nice corporate subsidy. The WTO might have something to say about your unfair competition practices.

Considering it’s the only basic car people can get I doubt they will just sell it off so easily. Government can always buy it back too, cheaper than making a new one. Plus regulation can easily block export of basic cars. Clothes don’t matter, people get a basic wardrobe with a few good durable pieces, not an endless closet.


A random lottery for high demand low supply places.

So a bunch of people with no ties to SF will get a place for free that they'll sublet (and then live somewhere else). How does this not distort the market?

When you’re giving stuff away you always have to accept people wasting it.

So much for saving money with those economics of scale.

Considering it’s the only basic car people can get I doubt they will just sell it off so easily.

There's always a buyer if it's cheap enough. The State buys for $10000, the person sells for $500, then the distributor sells it Latin America or Africa for $2000.

Plus regulation can easily block export of basic cars.

Legal export, sure. Illegal, not really. And especially if the owner is complicit.


> Instead of giving out money, why not give out the basic necessities directly?

Because needs vary considerably by circumstance, and trying to address that with bureaucratic central planning rather than leveraging the market is brutally inefficient. And because a universal basic home, for instance, is hard to mix with outside income to get the home.you want. Same with universal basic food. Or a universal basic car.

(Though it's interesting if you combine this idea for setting basic benefits with the “why not force people to work a government chosen jov to get basic benefits” alternative to UBI often floated, you've gone a long way to reinventing Leninism.)

That being said, UBI advocates often see certain basic needs as efficient and desirable to provide directly in addition to UBI, most notably universal basic health insurance.


Because people vary. And while you may need a slightly larger vehicle (because of family size) and are therefore willing to spend a bit less on a home, so live further out, others may make the opposite tradeoff.

UBI gives people the ability to make the tradeoffs that work for them personally, rather than being stuck in a one-size-fits-all situation.


You do not need UBI for that, you just need a few more options or packages for people to choose from, which would be trivial to provide.


More like one package per person. Of course that's still trivial to provide, as you say. You just give everyone a fixed set of points they can allocate to the options available according to their needs. I propose to call those points "money".


Even if you want a point system it becomes a separated currency from actual money.


But money is fungible, even among different currencies; think exchange rates.


What’s the value of a currency that can only be used to buy limited items?


"The black market for food stamps — where recipients sell the federal vouchers for cash — has grown by 30 percent in recent years, the Agriculture Department said in a just-released study. (...) In figures, sales of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program vouchers brought in $858 million in cash in the 2009-2011 period, compared to $330 million in the 2006-2008 time frame."


Somewhat lower because of transaction costs associated with barter and black markets but it still has value.


Often times when I've seen this discussed, the reasoning behind straight cash vs just necessities, it often has to do with overhead. If you just give people money, its easier to administer, everyone in the program gets the same cash, theres no inventory to administer, theres nothing to check. The other thing often discussed in the same manner is help that has certain "morality" clauses, such as welfare or help, but only if the poor person makes certain decisions. As far as total impact, you can do more by just giving money, and not spending any of it policing behavior.


To me this is just throwing money at a poverty problem and hoping it will fix itself.

It will never work, UBI will inevitably raise prices of things so people will need more basic income to get what they want. That means having to either give out more UBI or have the program become irrelevant because it doesn’t keep up with standards of living.

A free house though is a free house. It does not become any less of a houses just because more people have houses. And you don’t have to give out more house to each person over time.

It seems to me that we need better systems for administration of free goods. These are problems we can solve, permanently.


> A free house though is a free house. It does not become any less of a houses just because more people have houses.

What about houses that are damaged or destroyed? Will your "trivial" system repair or replace them? What if the occupant is responsible for the damage or destruction? What if this is the second or third such free home they've destroyed?

And how will people move? Can they move? Can people trade homes? Can they still buy and sell them? If a person sells their home will your system give them another one for free?


Why do you think a free home must come with some restrictions? It’s very simple. It’s yours, free and clear.

Do whatever you want with it, even destroy it. But you’re not getting another one. And if it’s damaged you need to repair it. Buy insurance if you can. If you can’t deal with it get a free condo or apartment instead not a SFH. If theres a big natural disaster and your home is affected apply for aid or perhaps a new home for these special cases.


> If you just give people money, its easier to administer, everyone in the program gets the same cash, theres no inventory to administer, theres nothing to check.

You'll also get rid of all the public sector workers which represent a significant population cohort that is directly and personally invested preserving the rulling regime and also the status quo. Once you lose that, you destabilize a whole society.


We could give out a token that would be accepted by certain government entities.


With UBI people say you are not discouraged from working because everyone gets the money no matter how much money they make. But where does that money come from?

Once you earn enough surely they will be taxing you more than you receive per month, otherwise the system would not work.


I have really only read comments on UBI so I might be extremely wrong, but I believe the idea is that as we move toward a more "automated" life, the "1%" can make enough to pay for the 99% to have UBI. And since everyone gets the same baseline, even monumentally high tax rates would be tolerable.

This is basically a way of redistributing wealth with the added side benefit that you can quit your job without fear of losing everything in your life.


> I have really only read comments on UBI so I might be extremely wrong, but I believe the idea is that as we move toward a more "automated" life, the "1%" can make enough to pay for the 99% to have UBI.

That's an idea, but far from universal among UBI proponents.

Actually, reducing the concentration of capital by redistributing it's returns is part of it, and in that view preventing control of the pre-redistribution gains by an increasingly narrow class is part of the goal.


>you can quit your job without fear of losing everything in your life

That sounds like an American problem more than anything else


It's a problem everywhere, but many places have some kind of safety-net working to prevent it.

The idea of UBI (at least in theory) is to make that safety-net universal, remove the barriers to use it, lower the overhead cost of administering a system like it.

Remove the need for applications to benefit from it, remove the wasteful "taxing unemployment income" that happens currently (at least in the US), remove the stigma attached to having it.


This is the inconvenient truth: UBI is a horrible idea, it will turn the majority of the population into drunks and drug addicts, watching TV and doing nothing all day...

If you want to be free in life and not to worry about money, you have to work hard first to get your FY money, this is the only way you will appreciate them and the freedom they provide...


Well it will be interesting to see if they do publish any findings. I do agree it would have been beneficial to see what would happen if workers were added to the mix. The question some like myself would like to see is, did any of the initial participants gain employment and leave the program? What did they do differently while provided with UBI they did not do before. I would also like to see if they will be followed to determine the negative and positive effects on them after it being discontinued.

my issue with the UBI fascination is that too many automatically assume there won't be work in a highly automated world or that costs of living won't decrease sufficiently as well. where it ends up is still unknown


did any of the initial participants gain employment and leave the program?

The program didn't end even for people who found a job. That's the difference between UBI and regular unemployment benefits.


True. So, did any of the initial participants gain employment?


My issue with it is that we aren't even at a point where UBI is viable. Yes, we have lots of automation but we still have many times more jobs still not automated. The experiment isn't going to show accurate results.

But I agree with you - there will still be work available in an automated society.


UBI doesn't need automation at all; the big question is if society is more productive with it or with traditional welfare. That's why experiments are needed.


The same amount of work with the same relative amounts of pay?

Doesn't that require far greater wealth distribution. Currently people mostly work for companies which make their capitalist owners rich. If the companies ditch workers and use robots then in order for the workers to also be employed the money from those owners needs to be spent on other things - the unemployed workers don't have money other than what they're spending with the pre-existing companies for food/clothing/housing and such.

Those currently earning off others labour will increase their take of profits; by what mechanism will that additional proportion of the wealth be made available for new industries. What industries will move the wealth from the Uber rich and distribute it, they're going to need to be large employers of many low-skilled workers.

I don't see how this can happen without a revolution such as UBI or a cultural shift to a communistic system, say, that can democratise the profits from robotisation.

Yes, the industrial revolution freed workers to take up new roles, but the lower population and higher availability of easily acquired resources fed in to that. The world is different now, I don't see the same happening again, the maths of that doesn't add up.


Doesn't UBI have the potential to cause inflation (demand and cost-push)? Is this a valid enough concern to search for an alternate solution to UBI?


So now, Finland has told every citizen "If we ever seriously start UBI, or any further experiment make sure you behave like you don't have UBI, 'cause soon enough, you probably won't."


The article is a bit misleading since AFAIC there are no agreed plans yet on the next steps. The title implies that the project is totally cancelled, but all of the major political parties in Finland are proposing their own solutions for replacing it. Because of upcoming elections, this is a fairly hot topic.


I don't see a top level comment mentioning this, but what if UBI just doesn't work? That's certainly possible - that it works seems to be taken as a given, and evidence against that seems to be dismissed frequently in this thread.

A lot of things that work seem like they shouldn't (flight, capitalism) even after a lot of consideration - similarly, a lot of things that don't work seem like they should (Mendelian genetics). Maybe this unfortunately just doesn't work?


I wish the article said something about why it's declining to extend the experiment.


The article does say this:

> But in December last year, the Finnish parliament passed a bill that is taking the country's welfare system in quite the opposite direction. The new 'activation model' law requires jobseekers to work a minimum of 18 hours for three months - if you don't manage to find such a job, you lose some of your benefits. And Finance Minister Petteri Orpo already has plans for a new project once the basic income pilot concludes in December 2018.

In short, the current political climate doesn't support it.

IIRC there's also been some discussion whether the experiment has been in violation of equality guarantees of our constitution, as it treats a randomly selected group different from others.


Things you need to live: food, dwelling, energy, transportation, healthcare. (And necessary for a thriving economy/government: trade skills, education, military)

Self-sustaining would be very plausible on extremely modest amounts of income if the government subsidized the dwelling, energy, transportation, and healthcare. It may be unnecessary for large portions of a nation to work if people produced their own goods and services (most of which could be done by individuals, not even necessitating cooperative work except for a few difficult tasks).

What occurred to me, though, is that this would never work in a traditional society because the government would be responsible for too much of people's lives. So as an alternative, a split model may work, where people can choose between a competitive libertarian model and a cooperative socialist model. You either work hard to earn a living that you fully control, or you sit back and let someone provide you with your requirements, and the model you choose determines what things like your taxes or labor go towards.

This may be an incredibly stupid and shortsighted idea, but I would love the opportunity to live in a commune subsidized by the government - with the choice to leave for a different model if it sucked.


I would call food, dwelling, healthcare, communication(internet) the four basic necessities. So why not providing these for free and for the rest, just tax other sources of income by a fixed rate depending on how much is needed to provide the free ones?


For the first two, humans are pretty capable of providing for these themselves. Having the government provide it alone is a single point of failure, and simply adds cost and complexity where it isn't necessary.

Healthcare is definitely something which could benefit from subsidy, considering how advancements in it often require large coordination of R&D, manufacturing, schools/practice, etc. Communication is just not necessary at all to live.

Transportation, energy, and education are also necessary to enable a means of production, trade, and basic self-sufficiency of living. Paying for these individually is not only less efficient, it hampers the ability of the economy to grow by limiting who has the means to contribute to it. If you can't get to work, you can't do work, and you're basically a burden on society. And having to pay for the energy needed to do things like cook your food and heat your home is just another thing which is inefficient, especially considering different parts of a country may have different access to energy resources.

I'm not well read on tax policy so I don't know the best way to fund these ventures, but it would be obvious that one group would need to be taxed heavily while the other was taxed lightly, due to the difference in the use of or contribution to subsidized resources.


If you're interested in this issue, you might like the book Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work. They talk about the rise and hegemony of neoliberalism- how it makes it seem capitalism is and always was the way societies should work. They also mention the proletariat. I'm reading the book now and don't have a good grasp on all its complex ideas but one big idea was that capitalism works by displacing peasants. At least peasants were self-sustainable. But in countries that are industrializing, you start taking away the land, and the means to be self-sustainable.


I understand the argument that, once free from work, a number of people will voluntarily choose to work as physicists or playwrights or mathematicians.

What I haven’t understood, though, is why someone would choose to work as a bricklayer or spend their 20s sitting in a fluorescent office designing an industrial process to make ball-bearing lubricant 0.4% more efficient. It’s that sort of menial, unglamorous labor that our society and quality of life is built on.


If people didn't have to work, the unappealing work that still needs to be done would probably pay a lot more than it does today.


But it might not be worth it, to make that bearing more efficient if it costs more.


True, but maybe such inefficiencies are counteracted by the increased number of people in fun jobs. Maybe it suddenly becomes worth it to do things we're currently not doing.


> It’s that sort of menial, unglamorous labor that our society and quality of life is built on.

It's also that sort of labor that has been—and will continue to be—replaced by robots.

As for why someone would do that? Well, you still get paid your UBI even if you have a job. So they would do that for the same reason anyone does that—they want the money.


If the work isn't interesting, it just means the employer will need to pay more to attract people, UBI isn't a world without salaries.


Most people is not extremely bright. It can be very frustrating to attempt complicated things and not succeed. Even most bright people would rather do something boring from time to time. Maybe many "boring" jobs would get better social recognition, and would be seen as a contribution. Maybe we would develop a sense of duty towards that. Maybe many people would even do some of those jobs for free. Maybe people will start trying out many different jobs, changing between them a lot. Maybe jobs would change and become way more diverse: fun things on mondays and tuesdays; wednesdays reserved for the most boring tasks. We will never know without trying. There are many objective issues with UBI, but many of the problems we imagine are just due to our lack of imagination to see the ways in which society might evolve around them.


At one point in my life, I voluntarily gave up my job writing software to go sell it, even though I preferred the former. Why? To make more money.

It is true there are some folks who are fine with making the minimum, however I’d wager most would take a job to increase their income significantly.


That's because, for some strange reason, you're confusing UBI with some idealized form of communism.

UBI is Universal Basic Income. The keyword here is "basic". If you sit on your ass and collect UBI, you should receive enough money to let you live in a crappy apartment with roommates, and get some crappy food to eat at the local crappy grocery store. Do you want to live in a crappy apartment with roommates, and not be able to afford to eat at a nice restaurant? Me neither. If you want extra luxuries, you have to work more, to make more money. That's UBI in a nutshell.


Some people have no conception of crappy. I do get your point.


>Do you want to live in a crappy apartment with roommates, and not be able to afford to eat at a nice restaurant?

That's how many people I know have lived their entire lives, even if they worked hard. And some of them because they could not find a job. Some are young some are old. You live in a bubble.

Do you really think most people, especially young people, can afford to live in an appartment of their own, or go eat at a nice restaurant? Do you think McDonalds is full of young people because it's better than a nice restaurant?


Do UBI supporters intentionally not understand supply and demand?

Who wants to work at a restaurant if they don’t have to? Who will lay bricks and take out the trash if they don’t have to? The idea that UBi can help people find fulfilling work leads to the question of who does the unfulfilling work.


In Europe, you already have some sort of UBI in most states. While it's often required that you actively look for a job, it isn't hard to get companies not to hire you. And yet, most people are actively looking for work. Because sitting at home all day for years is often worse than doing a menial job.

As a side note, working in a restaurant doesn't have to be a bad job. In the US it's often associated with low pay but there are a lot of people actually enjoying it (I know some).


Do UBI haters intentionally not understand wanting to have a better life?

People will work at a restaurant if they don't have to so they can afford a place without crappy roommates, or in a better part of town. It's really that simple. You work, even at a crappy job, and now you have more money than you get with the UBI alone. Is this really such a hard concept for you?


> and now you have more money than you get with the UBI alone.

And so does everyone else. Prices will reflect that.

> Is this really such a hard concept for you?

Yes, what's so hard about supply and demand? Housing costs too much? Increase supply. Healthcare costs too much? Increase supply. Education costs too much? Increase supply.

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here. It's all really simple. If you want the price to go down increase supply. I'm not saying it's easy - but nothing else will work. Redistributing costs more energy than is gained. If you want to help those in need, increase supply.


Ok, and WTF do you do for people who can't work, or aren't in a position to get a job, or simply cannot afford things at the prices they're at? You're never going to have free housing and food. That's why we have welfare systems, and that's what UBI aims to improve.

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here. It's all really simple. Welfare exists for a reason, even if people like you refuse to believe this.


> Ok, and WTF do you do for people who can't work, or aren't in a position to get a job

Make jobs that increase supply, and give some of that supply to those who can't work. China is building new cities from scratch, why not do that given the scope of UBI as an initiative?




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