NeilHowardBath144 karma2023-11-16 15:11:55 UTC
Yes I think there is a strong case for this. And in my empirical research experience, certainly those who are poorest appear to benefit most from receiving UBI.
One push-back I'd have though to the idea of rich folks not needing it simply - no problem, if we fund our UBI via progressive taxation then whatever we give to the rich will ultimately be taken back in incresed tax.
Of course, the rich can also fall on hard times though, and even someone earning 100k a year could get sick, lose their job, and end up in poverty. This is where having a solid and universal floor is helpful for everyone.
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NeilHowardBath117 karma2023-11-16 15:06:48 UTC
I do, yes.
Resources-wise, there is no issue in Europe or the US - we have the money; it's a question of how we want to use it. In this sense, I think the task is to build an evidence base and a movement calling for the govt to guarantee economic security. In the US, such a movement already exists.
Secondly, capitalist societies are based on the (theoretical) idea of free labour - we are free to choose what jobs we take; that freedom is what justifies capitalism and enables creativity. The problem of course is that unless you have the money you need to survive without taking shitty work, you don't have real freedom. In this respect, there's a contradiction at the heart of capitalist ideology that I think can be probed to open space for the push towards basic income.
Third, in liberal capitalist societies we already see elites calling for basic income as a way of supporting people in the absence of work (many of the Silicon Valley folks, for example). So they get it and they are lending weight to the idea.
There is more to say but I'll stop for now :)
NeilHowardBath86 karma2023-11-16 14:45:35 UTC
This is a tough one. I have in the past tried using data - the data shows that people don't waste money when they get it, and in fact that they are more likely to work or engage in productive activity if they have economic security. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesnt.
Another approach is to turn the question around - 'You say you don't like the idea of people getting money for nothing. What about the rich who inherit their wealth without having to work for it? Do the rich stop working just because they don't have to?' Again, sometimes this might work and sometimes not.
Third, probe deeper. 'When you say you can't trust the govt, what is it you're concerned about the govt doing?' It might be something like the govt impinges upon autonomy or is too detached from people to really understand their needs. But probing inquisitively and wiuth genuine openness helps go deeper into what people really care about, which inevitably will be things we all care about and so can connect around.
NeilHowardBath78 karma2023-11-16 14:51:47 UTC
This is a good little summary of the debate: https://www.scottsantens.com/negative-income-tax-nit-and-unconditional-basic-income-ubi-what-makes-them-the-same-and-what-makes-them-different/
Broadly-speaking, all things being equal, a UBI will be easier to administer.
NeilHowardBath53 karma2023-11-16 15:42:22 UTC
i think you'd struggle to sell that! what is not hard to sell to most people though is a major wealth tax - we are now experiencing levels of inequality not seen since the 19th century in the West, and people are fed up.
Alternative taxes too could be considered - carbon, land, data.
Some also advocate for the creation of new fiat sovereign money curriencies to fund a UBI. Which in a sense is what the govt did qith QE, only that all went to banks, not people...
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