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Old January 29th, 2015, 09:20 AM   #1
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Basic Wage

A basic wage is a min wage payment independent of labor hours. In a basic wage system, a person receives a regular weekly/monthly/yearly (depending on how it's set up) payment of a predetermined amount whether the person worked a 60/h week or not at all.

The idea behind the basic wage is straight forward: It's more useful than welfare, it's cheaper than welfare (the assumption being that the welfare state is dismantled) and it lessens or eliminates the need to work for a wage.

The last point is vital to consider as automation increasingly eliminates jobs and driving unemployment during a period of record economic growth. If the Welfare state was limited to Medi/Medacare, SS and WIC with other programs eliminated and replaced with a basic wage of $1k/m per household, the cost of the program would only be $14B as opposed to the $2T price tag associated with the current Welfare state.

This is an idea gaining traction on both sides (at least among the tech and economic savvy) as it promises to drive down Fed spending while making unemployment less of a personal and economic problem.

Thoughts?

For more details on what I'm talking about:
Why the Tech Elite Is Getting Behind Universal Basic Income | VICE | United States
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Old January 29th, 2015, 10:15 AM   #2
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Wow! There is something to ponder. So these people want to "adopt" the sick,the old and the lazy? Makes me wonder what the catch is. Where do I send my information to sign up for the free money?


I think over time there would not be enough workers to pay the non-workers.

Last edited by DodgeFB; January 29th, 2015 at 10:19 AM.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 10:39 AM   #3
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Automation does little to eliminate jobs. It mainly eliminates menial highly repetitive functions that would drive a human bonkers over a short period of time if they had to do the same thing over & over & over hundreds if not thousands of times a day.

Remember Lucy at the chocolate factory???


Last edited by Aufgeblassen; January 29th, 2015 at 10:52 AM.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 11:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DodgeFB View Post
Wow! There is something to ponder. So these people want to "adopt" the sick,the old and the lazy? Makes me wonder what the catch is. Where do I send my information to sign up for the free money?


I think over time there would not be enough workers to pay the non-workers.
Just tax the tech companies that are eliminating jobs. The techcorp taxes will pay for it all making the system independent of a reduced labor tax base. And it's not really free money so much as more accurate and in turn cheaper welfare. Putting 70 million people on SNAP, SS, Unemployment, etc. isn't something the system could handle no matter how much reforming you did. A Few billion dollars on the other hand is manageable on the Fed level and does a better job keeping people out of poverty than the current system anyway.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 11:58 AM   #5
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Just tax the tech companies that are eliminating jobs.
LOL! Punish those that innovate & increase efficiency and therefore improve lives.

Not to mention driving the jobs overseas will certainly increase poverty here.

You have some pretty half-wit ideas.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 12:11 PM   #6
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We are a while off until this really becomes a concern, but it is important to think about. I think eventually it could be good social policy as we enter the point where machines can think or outthink humans. Even outside of that though, there have been some interesting studies suggesting that in certain situations it may have a benefit in increasing social mobility and overall outcomes to the point where the ROI is worth it even today.

It is amusing to think that one of the first proponents of this sort of thing was none other than Milton Friedman.

Last edited by myp; January 29th, 2015 at 12:15 PM.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 12:30 PM   #7
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We are a while off until this really becomes a concern, but it is important to think about. I think eventually it could be good social policy as we enter the point where machines can think or outthink humans. Even outside of that though, there have been some interesting studies suggesting that in certain situations it may have a benefit in increasing social mobility and overall outcomes to the point where the ROI is worth it even today.

It is amusing to think that one of the first proponents of this sort of thing was none other than Milton Friedman.
I disagree. Based on historical norms, there's no reason for the current unemployment rate with an economy as vibrant as ours is currently. Only when taking into consideration automation and our education systems' lack of focus on high tech jobs does it start making since. While we're not at the point where human jobs are truthfully scarce, this is due more to cost effectiveness then technical limitations. The Robots already rule, it's just not obvious yet and waiting until 1/2 the workforce is not just unemployed but unemployable to deal with the decline in consumer spending is unwise. We should have been thinking about this 10 years ago, now is the time to act.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 12:37 PM   #8
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I disagree. Based on historical norms, there's no reason for the current unemployment rate with an economy as vibrant as ours is currently. Only when taking into consideration automation and our education systems' lack of focus on high tech jobs does it start making since. While we're not at the point where human jobs are truthfully scarce, this is due more to cost effectiveness then technical limitations. The Robots already rule, it's just not obvious yet and waiting until 1/2 the workforce is not just unemployed but unemployable to deal with the decline in consumer spending is unwise. We should have been thinking about this 10 years ago, now is the time to act.
There is a natural rate of unemployment due to churn in the market. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
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Old January 29th, 2015, 01:20 PM   #9
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There is a natural rate of unemployment due to churn in the market. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
I fully agree, but it's traditionally around 3-4%, not 5.6%. Not with record economic growth and companies with more money then they know what to do with. Automation is driving up the 'natural' unemployment rate and while the wave is only just starting to build, it's going to snowball rapidly. We're going into another depression in 10-15 years if we don't act to blunt automation's negative impact on the economy now.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 01:42 PM   #10
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I fully agree, but it's traditionally around 3-4%, not 5.6%. Not with record economic growth and companies with more money then they know what to do with. Automation is driving up the 'natural' unemployment rate and while the wave is only just starting to build, it's going to snowball rapidly. We're going into another depression in 10-15 years if we don't act to blunt automation's negative impact on the economy now.
Most Fed officials put natural rate around 5-6% right now, which is pretty in line with what we are seeing. Furthermore, we have a strong downward trend, so the unemployment rate might go down further yet.

If automation affects the natural rate, it is more of a short-term thing and not long as it drives the churn- the demand for jobs is the more relevant factor longer term (i.e. a reduced supply of jobs due to automation won't affect the natural rate long term because the natural rate is due to churn (which is temporary) - the actual unemployment rate would be affected by supply, but not the natural rate). But I'll admit I am not too familiar with how they officially estimate it.

I don't think there is much that points to the depression you predict either. Again, automation probably won't rid of jobs that fast- look at predictions even by people like Gates, Musk, etc. and they don't see it that soon. Of course no one has a crystal ball, so we'll see.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 01:54 PM   #11
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there's no reason for the current unemployment rate with an economy as vibrant as ours is currently.
Umm... You've been duped by the liberal medial that is still trying to make Obama look good. The numero uno indicator of the "vibracy " is employment!!! - hello?!
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Old January 29th, 2015, 04:59 PM   #12
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Most Fed officials put natural rate around 5-6% right now, which is pretty in line with what we are seeing. Furthermore, we have a strong downward trend, so the unemployment rate might go down further yet.

If automation affects the natural rate, it is more of a short-term thing and not long as it drives the churn- the demand for jobs is the more relevant factor longer term (i.e. a reduced supply of jobs due to automation won't affect the natural rate long term because the natural rate is due to churn (which is temporary) - the actual unemployment rate would be affected by supply, but not the natural rate). But I'll admit I am not too familiar with how they officially estimate it.

I don't think there is much that points to the depression you predict either. Again, automation probably won't rid of jobs that fast- look at predictions even by people like Gates, Musk, etc. and they don't see it that soon. Of course no one has a crystal ball, so we'll see.
I do hope that you're right but I did warn that the end of Human labor was coming a few years back and we're seeing it happen 5 years sooner than I originally predicted. Eventually the trend will result in a post-scarcity economy in money will be a minor/non-issue but unless we do something about financial security during the transitional period, the change will be vary painful.

Another option I was thinking of: What if a trust fund, not unlike SS but totally voluntary, was set up with interest (not principle) payed out monthly to contributors. Nobody would be forced to part with their money, it wouldn't have to carry the whole population as SS does and the fund would never be depleted as principle would remain untouched. It might take a while to build up if no large government and/or corporate investment was made but once the fund reached a few million dollars, hundreds of thousands of people (more if you restricted it to households) could receive thousands of dollars monthly without any impact on government spending.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 05:35 PM   #13
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I do hope that you're right but I did warn that the end of Human labor was coming a few years back and we're seeing it happen 5 years sooner than I originally predicted. Eventually the trend will result in a post-scarcity economy in money will be a minor/non-issue but unless we do something about financial security during the transitional period, the change will be vary painful.

Another option I was thinking of: What if a trust fund, not unlike SS but totally voluntary, was set up with interest (not principle) payed out monthly to contributors. Nobody would be forced to part with their money, it wouldn't have to carry the whole population as SS does and the fund would never be depleted as principle would remain untouched. It might take a while to build up if no large government and/or corporate investment was made but once the fund reached a few million dollars, hundreds of thousands of people (more if you restricted it to households) could receive thousands of dollars monthly without any impact on government spending.
I recently read an interesting proposal about something like the fund you talked about which would essentially be government being active in venture capital. I don't remember the exact details, but I'll try to find it and post here.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 06:18 AM   #14
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I recently read an interesting proposal about something like the fund you talked about which would essentially be government being active in venture capital. I don't remember the exact details, but I'll try to find it and post here.
Government just needs to GET OUT OF THE WAY!!! (to allow business to thrive & therefore HIRE).
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Old January 30th, 2015, 08:24 AM   #15
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Government just needs to GET OUT OF THE WAY!!! (to allow business to thrive & therefore HIRE).
How about this. Shut half of those big government buildings down and donate them to the Humane Society for no kill pet shelters.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 11:35 AM   #16
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The bottom line is that "basic wage" is a COMMUNIST idea!!!
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Old January 31st, 2015, 02:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
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The bottom line is that "basic wage" is a COMMUNIST idea!!!
Exactly.
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Old February 1st, 2015, 05:39 AM   #18
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The bottom line is that "basic wage" is a COMMUNIST idea!!!
Do you consider Milton Friedman, arguably the poster boy economist of the right, to be a commie?
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Old February 1st, 2015, 05:41 AM   #19
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Government just needs to GET OUT OF THE WAY!!! (to allow business to thrive & therefore HIRE).
Well this proposal was to address the topic that David brings up- the point where machines effectively can replace the vast majority of human labor - the point where there are no more jobs to hire for, but people still looking for jobs. It is the discussion of a potential future, not the current market.
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Old February 1st, 2015, 06:02 AM   #20
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Well this proposal was to address the topic that David brings up- the point where machines effectively can replace the vast majority of human labor - the point where there are no more jobs to hire for, but people still looking for jobs. It is the discussion of a potential future, not the current market.
A vast takeover of functions by machines causing significant unemployment will never happen. Just like it was predicted in the 60s that everyone would be flying around in flying cars by the 80s.

Only practical things happen - hello?!
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