I recommend reading Capitalism and Freedom for a taste of his creativity.
Separatist cults would now be profitable instead of being money sinks. Debtor's prison is now a possibility again (you can house the person more cheaply than their annual stipend).
If the government gets to confiscate the stipend of incarcerated felons to offset prison expenses, there's now economic incentive to increase prison population.
As for the other economic incentive, you would need to compare the potential saving with the cost to the state of keeping someone in jail, which can run anywhere from about $15k (Texas) to $35k (Maine). Weather and geography are significant factors in this variation. The basic income we're talking about is probably only sufficient for basic survival; somehow I doubt it's going to be more than the cost of imprisoning someone.
Of all the possible unforeseen ramifications of how something like this might work out, putting people in jail to save money is not high on my list of things to worry about...though now I think about it, the cost per inmate per year might be a reasonable metric for determining this basic income, since it reflects the approximate cost of living in the most literal sense.
I just finished reading through the Self-Enforcing Protocols post (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=755131), and this scheme strikes me as something being easy to abuse.
Um, maybe having the kids around?
There is no such thing as a free lunch.
But really, this kind of reduction in inequality has generally quite positive effects on economic growth and productivity, and everyone in the society, including the rich, winds up better off after the improvements have compounded for a few decades.
This is basic supply and demand - If I give everybody in the country $5000 to go buy a computer, over time, computers will start to cost around $5000. If I give everybody $400/month to spend on food, over time, the cost of groceries will rise up to something more than $400.
On another note, who says the rational thing to do with a windfall is to go blow it on something just because you can?
I wouldn't want that for you, and I wouldn't want that for myself.
Humans created a society for a reason, and it wasn't so that we could each keep everything we earn and have a slightly bigger flat-screen TV. The collective protects the individual from Bad Things that can be devastating for that individual, in exchange for a tiny bit of each individual's earnings. With that tiny bit, we can also build infrastructure that would be otherwise economically infeasible for a private entity to fun (or for each individual to build himself), but is beneficial to society at large. Roads, public transportation, the Internet, etc.
Assuming that everyone should live in isolation ignores basic human biology -- we are a social animal, and we need the collective.
The fairest method would be: Who creates the most wealth, gets the most wealth.
The current method is: Who negotiates the highest salary (founders and passive income excluded), gets the most wealth.
Basic income method: Everybody gets an equal little piece of the wealth, the rest is distributed like before.
It seems fairer to me, because for example moms are not compensated with the current system.
Those men are correct.
The only people for whom it would make a material difference would be folks that are otherwise completely indigent, homeless, etc., and that does hold a lot of appeal.
But it's not going to give every other category of society the freedom to say, not work jobs they hate. The lack of economic survival alternatives isn't the only thing that's keeping people at jobs that pay higher than subsistence wages.
So, it sounds like the following things would happen, among others -- good or bad. Am I completely off track here?
- For people who are indigent, homeless and/or completely unemployed, this would be a big help. However, it would also disincentivise taking any very low-wage job that pays comparably, as long as people who have 'moved up' by virtue of receiving basic income are content with that level of lifestyle.
- That would strip a great, great many service industries in this country - i.e. most fast food, a lot of retail - of their present sources of cheap unskilled labour, requiring them to pay a premium above Basic Income and thus drive up costs for them and everyone that consumes their products and services. It would also greatly injure the competitive position of those firms relative to foreign competitors that do not have a Basic Income requirement. Although the requirement to pay higher wages when operating in the US for those foreign competitors would mitigate that _somewhat_, it would still be a very, very significant competitive distortion that could affect their ability to expand into other markets vs. foreign competitors, etc.
- Other aspects of having to "compete" with Basic Income would create similar distortions elsewhere. It's effectively the same as raising minimum wage significantly; it would encourage more aggressive export of jobs out of the country, where Basic Income does not create a high compensation bar.
- For anyone making substantively above a Basic Income-level salary, it would just add $BASIC_INCOME to their salary, contributing to significant inflation and making just about everything less affordable to people who only receive Basic Income.
- There would be constant disagreement as to just what constitutes Basic Income and how much is really needed to subsist. There's not a lot of consensus as to just what exactly "subsistence" entails. Poor people in America (somewhat understandably) have a standard of "subsistence" that poor people in Third World countries could only aspire to.
But there was a backside to this system because it produced a threshold below which it wasn't worth to work. This threshold was above the RMI because working needs to cover the cost of the trip to the job, clothing and such.
This is why the system has changed this year into the RSA "Active Solidarity Revenue". People without revenue still get the equivalent of the RMI. But now, when they get a job, they don't lose the RMI. The revenue is now balanced with the income, also providing an incentive to get a job even if it is only a few hours a week.
The huge cost of such basic income model is balanced by the benefit of reduced criminality, because these people don't need to steal, swindle or whatever to survive anymore. This makes France a pleasant place to live even if the taxes are high.
My friend has considered working, and has in the past, but he makes less money the more he works.
Last time I checked we were at about 75% of the official poverty line but ate healthily and even managed a small holiday. Now I suspect (one more child and ensuing benefit) we're on the line.
It might be more efficient if it was backed up with some kind of coaching to help people learn how to manage their income and life because this is like giving fish instead of learning to fish (though that's the purpose of school). But sometime you really need fish and have no time to learn, or some people are just too dumb to learn anything.
It has a huge cost, but it has to be balanced by the benefit of criminality and insecurity reduction. Without it these people would have to steal, swindle or deal drugs and this is very likely to have a much higher cost.
"Members who voluntarily chose to enter the United Order community would deed (consecrate) all their property to the United Order, which would in turn deed back an "inheritance" (or "stewardship") which allowed members to control the property; private property was not eradicated but was rather a fundamental principle of this system. At the end of each year, any excess that the family produced from their stewardship was voluntarily given back to the Order."
There seems to be reasonable evidence that at least some quantity of 'welfare' is beneficial. If that's the case, then the negative income tax can provide that without all the bad distortions that traditional welfare/re-distributions (SS, unemployment insurance, etc) produce. (Alas, we can never escape the DWL of taxation, though).
The difference is that instead of the AARP threatening nuclear warfare over any reform it would be everyone. (Incidentally, if you think the AARP is going to give up Social Security just because they're getting Basic Income in return, you're dreaming.)
on this subject and how it might work in the United States.
Mind you the system is so complex that they couldn't tell us in advance what child benefit we'd get - presumably they just wait and see what number the computer spits out. This number appears to have a random perturbation.
If you can afford to smoke or buy brand new clothes, buy cable telly or go out for food then you're getting too much stipend.
Then the question becomes how many people on minimum wage jobs would give up what they have and live in charity shop clothing, tending an allotment, not smoking or drinking (unless they grow/bottle their own) and preparing their own food at home in shared accommodation.
I don't think you'll see too many of the current generation choosing that sort of lifestyle.