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Pyrtolin
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Debt was nit the problem. The fact that the debt could only be paid in foreign currency, something they could nit produce as needed was the problem.

We can device our federal "debt" (which is to say, our non-federal savings) at the push of a button, with no need to acquire foreign currency in the process. Because all of our federal debt consists on us dollars deposited with the federal government just like you would deposit money in a savings accounts or (more accurately) a CD account. Servicing our federal debt is simply a matter of transferring the balance from the Fed to what ever other bank the person with drawing their money from the bond specifies.

The only real threat to our credit rating is congressional shenanigans that would legally prevent the treasury from making the transfer, something that would likely be found unconditional if ever actually put to the test.

The federal debt is the total limit on non federal dollar savings. Unlike you want to complain that people save to much money and shouldn't be allowed to save more on net, then your claim that growth is bad is absurd. We need our public debt to grow at least to the point where it's replaced most private credit cards and loans so we aren't forcing people without money further into debt so that those with money can feel like you're savings are getting a good return.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Debt was nit the problem. The fact that the debt could only be paid in foreign currency, something they could nit produce as needed was the problem.

We can device our federal "debt" (which is to say, our non-federal savings) at the push of a button, with no need to acquire foreign currency in the process. Because all of our federal debt consists on us dollars deposited with the federal government just like you would deposit money in a savings accounts or (more accurately) a CD account. Servicing our federal debt is simply a matter of transferring the balance from the Fed to what ever other bank the person with drawing their money from the bond specifies.

The only real threat to our credit rating is congressional shenanigans that would legally prevent the treasury from making the transfer, something that would likely be found unconditional if ever actually put to the test.

The federal debt is the total limit on non federal dollar savings. Unlike you want to complain that people save to much money and shouldn't be allowed to save more on net, then your claim that growth is bad is absurd. We need our public debt to grow at least to the point where it's replaced most private credit cards and loans so we aren't forcing people without money further into debt so that those with money can feel like you're savings are getting a good return.

If you don't have enough money to pay the debt it doesn't matter what currency it's in. Even if it's your own you will have to print off more and more money to pay off ballooning debt, which devalues your currency, increases your debt and makes it harder to pay it off all at the same time.
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Pyrtolin
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The money to pay the bond accounts is already "printed". It was the money that was deposited into the bonds in the first place. Letting people transfer money out of their bins and into other accounts, something that the market already anticipates will happen at a fairly predictable rate, is already baked in to our economic expectations.
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
The money to pay the bond accounts is already "printed". It was the money that was deposited into the bonds in the first place. Letting people transfer money out of their bins and into other accounts, something that the market already anticipates will happen at a fairly predictable rate, is already baked in to our economic expectations.

It is your contention that the money needed to pay off the United States' debt already exists as printed currency or even allocated electronic currency? Do you know what "interest" is?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
The money to pay the bond accounts is already "printed". It was the money that was deposited into the bonds in the first place. Letting people transfer money out of their bins and into other accounts, something that the market already anticipates will happen at a fairly predictable rate, is already baked in to our economic expectations.

It is your contention that the money needed to pay off the United States' debt already exists as printed currency or even allocated electronic currency? Do you know what "interest" is?
Do you know how bonds work? You buy them at a discount on the total amount that can be withdrawn when the bond matures. At the money you buy it, every penny of the future value of the bond exists there in the account. You'll pay a penalty if you withdraw early, but that doesn't stop you from trading access to that account with other people that want to withdraw from it when it matures for some negotiated rate between that maturity amount and what you'd get if you had to pay the current penalty. They're not cash, to be sure, but that's just because the money they represent is in a different account than the Fed's cash account, which all paper currency is just effectively fixed amount checks written to draw on.
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
The money to pay the bond accounts is already "printed". It was the money that was deposited into the bonds in the first place. Letting people transfer money out of their bins and into other accounts, something that the market already anticipates will happen at a fairly predictable rate, is already baked in to our economic expectations.

It is your contention that the money needed to pay off the United States' debt already exists as printed currency or even allocated electronic currency? Do you know what "interest" is?
Do you know how bonds work? You buy them at a discount on the total amount that can be withdrawn when the bond matures. At the money you buy it, every penny of the future value of the bond exists there in the account. You'll pay a penalty if you withdraw early, but that doesn't stop you from trading access to that account with other people that want to withdraw from it when it matures for some negotiated rate between that maturity amount and what you'd get if you had to pay the current penalty. They're not cash, to be sure, but that's just because the money they represent is in a different account than the Fed's cash account, which all paper currency is just effectively fixed amount checks written to draw on.
Are all bonds due at the same time? What would happen if they were and no further bonds were issued?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Are all bonds due at the same time? What would happen if they were and no further bonds were issued?
You'd pretty much stop earning interest on your savings accounts, maybe even need to start paying banks to hold them in some cases, if you['re not otherwise a very profitable customer, even as vast amounts of money that would otherwise have been put into bonds goes looking for new homes with higher rates of return to hedge the risk (which mean increased pressure to lend and lower standards as well as more aggressive pushing to get people to take on loans) especially since FDIC guarantees only could a couple hundred thousand dollars of deposits, while federal deposits are effectively 100% covered. The entire private financial market would collapse in very bad ways because it's built on the expectation of being able to securely save most of its most in bond accounts for a reasonable baseline return instead of having to fund itself entirely on private loans and fees.
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Pyrtolin
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Imagine if every bank said they they were immediately closing all depository accounts and handing everyone a stack of cash. The financial disruption would be insane.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Imagine if every bank said they they were immediately closing all depository accounts and handing everyone a stack of cash. The financial disruption would be insane.

"Disruption"? There is only a 10% reserve held on deposits, so if even 20% of people (i.e. wealth equal to 20% of the aggregate) tried to have their accounts closed and money withdrawn the financial system would simply end, as that money either doesn't exist or isn't available. I somehow feel that your answers to Seneca are too pat, and to an extent not really addressing his concern. I am for this proposition, and yet I share his concerns about the details.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
There is only a 10% reserve held on deposits, so if even 20% of people (i.e. wealth equal to 20% of the aggregate) tried to have their accounts closed and money withdrawn the financial system would simply end
No it wouldn't. The banks would just sell more securities to other banks or the Federal Reserve until their reserve accounts could cover the withdrawals, the same way they do when they increase their reserves as they make loans so they can create new depository accounts to service those loans.

I mean, there's be a short term issue if everyone tried to pull cash, because they probably wouldn't have that many bills on hand in the short term, but that's just short term logistics.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
, as that money either doesn't exist or isn't available.
And to note- the money does exist. You account balances at the bank _are_ the money. That's what money is- an account balance denominated in a particular unit. A classic bank run isn't really possible anymore- the only danger is that a bank will get to the point where loan payment revenue coming in falls short of the payments it needs to make on its securities (it does like consumer deposits better, because it sets the rates on those lower than what the current Federal Funds and Overnight Window rates set by the Fed are)
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Imagine if every bank said they they were immediately closing all depository accounts and handing everyone a stack of cash. The financial disruption would be insane.

"Disruption"? There is only a 10% reserve held on deposits, so if even 20% of people (i.e. wealth equal to 20% of the aggregate) tried to have their accounts closed and money withdrawn the financial system would simply end, as that money either doesn't exist or isn't available. I somehow feel that your answers to Seneca are too pat, and to an extent not really addressing his concern. I am for this proposition, and yet I share his concerns about the details.
Pyr is short with Seneca because the argument is old; he's not being pat.

Pyr uses Modern Monetary Theory to frame his discussions of economics; its a descriptive analysis that observes that money (especially fiat currency, but not exclusively) is a type of marker created by some sovereignty, which is freely created and destroyed by that sovereignty, and whose properties have some basic observable rules. Its true (even its critics concede that), but some people have a really hard time with it, because they *assume* that it implies certain policy positions which they dislike. Typically, you will hear people complain about how "flooding the market" with "printed money" will cause run-away inflation, economic collapse and the advent of the end-times. In reality, MMT simply observes that governments cannot "run out of money", and should instead simply look at the consequences of increasing or decreasing the money supply.

Another long-argued issue is how much deficit spending there should be. Basic Keynesian economics advocates deficit spending for stimulus, and MMT describes how the current liquidity shortage stifles nearly every aspect of our economy. Classical economists, like Paul Ryan and other people who are completely full of s**t, think that deficits are always bad, and have thus strangled out ability to correct the slowdown that people like Paul Ryan, incidentally, happened to cause through de-regulation. Most of us who aren't Chicago school adherents believe that an increase in deficit spending is needed *now*, though that isn't a universal rule, just the answer to the current predicament.

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Seneca
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quote:
Its true (even its critics concede that), but some people have a really hard time with it, because they *assume* that it implies certain policy positions which they dislike. Typically, you will hear people complain about how "flooding the market" with "printed money" will cause run-away inflation, economic collapse and the advent of the end-times. In reality, MMT simply observes that governments cannot "run out of money", and should instead simply look at the consequences of increasing or decreasing the money supply.
No it's not true, and history is littered with the corpses and near-death instances of countries that prove this wrong.
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Pyrtolin
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Please provide one example., Seneca. So far you've brought up one country that process the MMT position and debunks yours. But feel free to keep trying to find a single example that actually works in your favor. Especially since what you mean by "it" is so vague in your reply that it only serves to indicate that you didn't read what was said and instead replied with a blind ideological assertion based on what you assumed you were arguing against.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
And in doing so, how many households of current government workers are you putting out of jobs? You do understand that the $1.88 trillion is supporting an awful lot of jobs (in the mix of direct aid and government waste).

Are you suggesting we should preserve jobs we don't need, just to have them? That's an interesting position to take. Are you sure that's something you'd like to defend?
Not at all. What I'm suggesting is that a plan based on taking economic "waste" and eliminating it that ignores that the actual "waste" is millions of household incomes that will be eliminated has less of a marginal benefit than what it's being billed as. When I worked for a large company they used to come in a give us very upbeat presentations about how the company was going to lower costs and increase revenues in the new year and it would be great, to a room full of people who were the "costs" to be lowered. Basically telling us that some of us would lose our jobs, other's would take a pay cut and we'd all be working more hours in a "happy" way. This reallocation is pitched as cutting waste, because saying you're going to eliminate social worker jobs and all the jobs in the welfare office and just hand those people's checks out to the poor is not something you'd ever get support for.

And when you have other people turn around and claim that we should allow people who feel like they need something "to fill their time" to do all the work that the country needs to have done (like say running the system's that will hand out the free money), what you have on net is going to even be less of a "gain".
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Wow, that's quite the collection of misrepresentations, incorrect assumptions and strawmen, Seriati.

Should I just say "nuh-uh" to this thoughtful critique? Me pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes to people trying to rebrand communism and dumping a bunch more people onto the doll as an economic plan that's "worked everywhere its been tried" is not a bunch of strawmen.
quote:
We could have people dig for gold too, like they used to, and call those government jobs. Why don't we just give jobs such as this to all people looking for work and say we've solved unemployment?
People still do dig for gold. I think you intended your second point to be specious, but you should consider that something like 7% of employed people work directly for government, and an even greater percentage owe all or most of their income to government spending.
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
On the other hand, we absolutely eliminate price fixing in the form of a minimum wage...

That's not price fixing, unless you are deliberately playing fast an lose with the meaning of terms to, I don't know, try and manipulate the debate on an issue.
quote:
and replace it with a buffer stock program that puts any person who wants a job to fill time work for a fixed wage/benefit package (including health care and child care if those continue to bed to be provided by employers or out of pocket)
And "to fill time" is not the purpose of a job, not one of any sort. Pretty much though that is the Star Trek economy, people work on tasks they enjoy because all the other tasks are accomplished without any real effort on their part. If you want the Star Trek economy then argue for it and quit obfuscating.
quote:
The work could be long over due infrastructure work..
Could it really? People are going to fill their free time with 20 years of Engineering training and or back breaking work to use their free time to build infrastructure while living on the dole?
quote:
...our arts/historical work,...
Which often requires talent apart from mere desire to have value. But in any event, doesn't need a universal dole to allow it to proceed. Why not just have an artist's dole? Tie grants into the actual exercise of talent.
quote:
...per the wpa or program one, our jobs that would have been unpaid internships, training, non profit volunteer work, etc, with some controlscontrols to ensure that any private companies that can get temporary work from our can't use it to displace permanent hires.
There will be no private companies if you model actually "works". That's the lie of your argument and of communism generally. You can't have it both ways, dolists can't be using their free time to meet everyone's needs voluntarily while still having private companies around to do something (what exactly is left for them to do?) and get greater rewards. Class resentment is inherent in that model.
quote:
It would serve both the purpose that our current minimum wage and unemployment systems in a much more market based manner.
There is nothing "market" based about allocating resources in this manner. The market dictates moving resources to the person that can use them best, this system moves them to the person who "needs" them most irregardless of effort. It is literally the opposite of a market based solution. I don't why you guys let him pretend on this.
quote:
Moving people working as an inflation control, instead of forcing a large segment of the population to be involuntarily unemployed our underemployed like we do now.
You're advocating that moving a large number of people into voluntarily being unemployed with no incentive to work will have a better economic result than having a small number voluntarily and/or involuntarily unemployed with a fairly strong incentive to work, while simultaneously capping the rewards available to those who work harder, its a pipe dream.
quote:
quote:
Currency only works as a trade medium because we believe it has a relatively constant value. This plan annihilates that belief.
Of all the in the post, which I'm not even going to try to work on from my phone, This is the most absurdly untrue. Church doesn't have any value, it just serves to communicate price. No one expects our to have relatively constant value, and in fact make many, many purchasing decisions based on expectations that prices will change in the short and long term.
Which is what relatively constant value of currency means. Prices change in short and long term both to reflect slight fluxes in currency value (seen directly in international trade) and to reflect changes in belief of the value of the underlying item purchased. Goods produced locally tend to flux with inflation (prices rise within some margin for all local goods, oh sure some are faster and some are slower but the average is relatively constant) and move driven more heavily by other factors when they are created in another economy, easiest example is oil prices which change far greater than inflation dictates. Both factors are present in all cases but the weight changes.

Your "plan" resets our currency value to a much lower value by increasing it's availability recklessly.
quote:
Markets work because everyone values everything differently, including money - purchases occur when a person values a good on sale more than having the amount of money required to meet the price asked for it, while the seller at the same time values that amount of revenue more than they value the good. All valuation is always relative to the person assigning value.
Market's work because while people's utility for a good is varied, the value of the good and the currency used to purchase it is generally known. If I have a use for gold that makes me $2K per ounce and the price is $1K I buy it and others sell, if the price is $3K I don't. But if someone invents a way to turn sand into a product that replaces my need for gold, then it's relative value to me drops to the market price (ie $1K) not the cost of sand.

And if it becomes clear that everyone is going to be handed free cash every year, the incentive to hoard the gold as it's commodity limited increases, side by side with reducing the need to sell it, side by side with increasing the amount of funds available to by it. My economically beneficial gets pushed out by the hoarding behaviors you fear as gold - for example - becomes a real form of currency in a world where paper money is constantly being devalued.
quote:
What's more we're creating wealth at accelerating rates.
You didn't create wealth at all, you created currency. And you simultaneously reduced the incentive to create actual wealth (though you continue to assert the opposite) by fundamentally destabilizing the ability to gain the benefits of that creation (as any currency you receive for it will be devalued when you receive it, when you try to spend it and the longer you hold it).

The value of the currency is roughly tied (but not precisely) to the value of the economy its issued from, the more you issue the more that value per unit declines. It's not precise though, because its value is set relative to all other currencies and all other economies and what millions if not billions of people expect those values to look like in the future. That means quite literally that the US can run a massive trade imbalance and create a large debt and still have a strong value to its currency, but that Zimbabwe could not.

But even the US runs out of credit on the world market at some point. What you propose is that we move to be the equivalent of the college kid with 15 credit cards.
quote:
Keeping the baseline money supply fixed by balancing in and outflow of it from its source means that the relative supply is shrinking rapidly, even as the material tendency of unchecked markets to tend toward monopoly means that fewer and fewer people control the limited supply that exists. A fixed money supply creates strong deflationary expectations, encourages hoarding, and puts progressively more power in the hands of those who have the largest hoards.
If we kept the baseline money supply pegged to match economic growth we'd have neither inflation or deflation. Assuming reasonable distribution measures, prices would be largely static. The fact that we have inflation means of course one of two things, either we're adding more currency and/or borrowing more than economic growth and hence seeing inflation, or as I suppose you must believe, the currency is being excessively hoarded.

But you haven't made a convincing argument that this is the case. And you certainly haven't made a convincing argument that anything you suggest will fix the economy, you're just repackaging a communist motive in better language.

Simple premise here, giving things away to people is NOT a market based solution. No matter your belief that doing it will drive people to make the things to give away.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
Not at all. What works in Alaska is the same thing that works in the middle east and in parts of northern Europe. Being a net commodities exporter creates the surplus distributed cash. That's not money created out of nothing, it's resource exploited and diminished. Doesn't work without actual resources injected from an external source.

This gets right to the heart of the ongoing economics dispute here: we are not on a gold standard anymore. Our money does NOT correspond to any specific form of wealth, and it hasn't since Nixon.
Could you review that again Adam. I don't think that gets to the heart of that issue AT ALL. Alaska has a surplus to distribute because it runs a positive trade imbalance from communal resources and/or taxes on them. The federal government could do the similar thing with resources like telecom band width licenses. But it's just a fact that what Alaska is doing is diminishing a non-renewable resource to gain this benefit.

Show me a similar thing working in an economy that isn't exploiting a resource. Every example offered on here has depended on such exploitation or the injection of cash/resources from outside the closed system.
quote:
All of these theories;
that currency not seen as a representation of tangible wealth will inflate to worthlessness;
that money must be collected by the government before it can be spent;
that currency itself is in any way a limited resource;

ALL of these theories were proven false when the Nixon shock severed any connection to a gold standard.

No, they were not. What was shown is that currency was more complex than simply being a representation of tangible wealth. What was shown is that currency has a projected expectation of value as well as an element that depends on tangible materials. What it showed is that an economy like the US's or China's for that matter can issue currency against the expectation of future value (or rather what it showed in your view can not actually be legitimately distinguished from what I think it showed allowing reasonable people to disagree).

The only way to test this result that would in fact prove what you said is to set the rate of currency creation above the rate of that expected future value and see what happens. You have noticed, haven't you the expressions of concern in foreign circles that the US did exactly that. The power of the Chinese government in our currency markets. The desire and intent of other countries to move away from the dollar for international trade.

It's my view that what is suggested is exactly the case that will prove one way or the other who is correct.
quote:
Fiat currency is just that: established by fiat, put in demand through taxation, its value set by market forces (but VERY stable compared to any commodity or other form of asset). Whether you believe it will work or not is irrelevant; it HAS worked for forty years.
Through 40 years where we didn't grossly exceed the expectation of new value (yet forty years that saw the price of a candy bar go from ten cents to over a dollar - after staying fairly stable for most of the 50 years previously). Meanwhile there are any number of foreign countries where they haven't been able to make it work because their injections causes a massive revaluing of their currencies relative value.
quote:
How discredited does an economic theory have to be before we don't have to debate it any longer?
It has to actually be discredited. Why not switch to leaves as currency if your argument holds water.
quote:
Money is created from nothing every day, and destroyed, and the money supply ebbs and flows based on private demand and government spending.
I totally agree. But you're overreaching when you read that to mean that it has no inherent value. Or that you can't materially damage that value based on your actions.

Do you really think European trade partners will take dollars for their goods if we embark on an express policy of doubling the dollars in circulation every year as a hand out to our citizens?
quote:
The most prosperous nation in history has created new money nearly every budget cycle for a century, and currency in circulation has tripled in the last decade alone(process that for a minute).
The most prosperous nation in history has. I think you have your cause and effect backwards on why it's worked.
quote:
Everything you are claiming will be a disaster has in fact already happened, and happens on an ongoing basis. Its simply absurd to evaluate new proposals on theories which are already obsolete.
The difference between what I claimed and what is being proposed is the difference between a stream and a river. The fact that a backyard stream hasn't flooded my basement doesn't discredit the idea that diverting a river onto that course won't. It couldn't in fact.

What we have seen, and we've actually seen it, from the impact of the stream is a steady stream of inflation in a country and a world that historically also had deflationary cycles. We've seen that countries that have strong economies can borrow against them, and in fact its beneficial for them to do so (in a prisoner's dilemma kind of way). But we've seen that countries without those economies don't have the same power or the same benefit. And we've never really seen the consequence of gross over-borrowing to the extent that we impair the expectations of the rest of the world as to what our currency is actually worth.

So no I don't think the fact that world didn't end when we left the gold standard means that arguments that we can't print currency to make our poor rich are discredited. Its the kind of argument that only makes sense in a poorly constructed modeling exercise.

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Fenring
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Seriati, I'll try to answer some of your comments in the way I think will satisfy you. I can't be sure this is what others who are for this proposition think, but it's what I think.

Yes. The type of economic approach means scrapping capitalism and the free market system. I happen to think the free market system was already scrapped long ago, but this would be admitting it and shucking off its corpse. But here's the cool part: the fact that giving a basic income means admitting that capitalism (which I define as a free market system governed only by market forces) is imperfect and needs modification doesn't mean that a new system that has control elements will be communism. One can still have a market-based economy with a basic income, it just won't be a free market economy. There are plenty of ways to incentivize entrepeneurship, work and development even with a basic income in place. Communism is totalitarian control of the people by the government, whereas ironically I believe a basic income would actually help to set up controls limiting the government's power to rule the people.

You are right that elimination of irrelevant jobs hurts people who need that income. There would definitely be fewer total jobs under a basic income system. However this is a short-term grievance and ignores the fact that jobs are progressively becoming obsolete anyhow. As soon as robotics makes the next stride forward it won't be economical to hire human beings for most jobs any more; certainly not in the service sector, not in factories, and not to do clerical work or number crunching. Look at a future (it doesn't matter whether it's 10 years from now or 50) where most jobs as we know them don't exist and tell me what you would do about it. Capitalism is simply becoming obsolete on a progressive basis. Do you want to wait until there are riots when the unemployment rate hits a record high, or shall we address the problem sooner and simultaneously take care of the unemployment problem we do have? Your comments about how not just anyone can be an engineer or highly-trained specialist is right on the mark, and is exactly why a basic income is needed. As time goes forward the necessary education and training level of the average existing job will go up (as has been happening for years), and will eventually be such that most jobs will be highly technical in nature and will be either impossible or at least undesirable for most people to do. What are they supposed to do with themselves then?

Prices of goods may change somewhat with the introduction of this system if new currency is required to make it work, but it would level out quickly enough and they would soon become stable again. However this may not even happen since some of us are claiming that there's enough money in the system already to make this proposal work. The elimination of certain programs (that would be obsolete if there was a basic income) might just be enough to fuel the whole program.

So my position is that - yes, you're right, I'm not pretending things will be just as they've been before. But I'm also not pretending that they'll continue to be as they've been before even if this proposal isn't taken up. Things are going to change fast either way. Would you prefer to wait around until the change is forced, or would it not be wiser to deliberate while there's still time about how to best create a system like this?

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Mynnion
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While this idea may at first seem drastic the fact that as mentioned above many jobs will be disappearing as technology continues to fill positions. How long before truck drivers and other delivery systems are replaced with GPS/laser proximity systems? This is one example. Sooner or later those actually working will be a minority.

The real question is how we move society to this point so that we do not lose our relevance along with our jobs. How do we promote a mentally healthy society? I don't believe it is would be good to have a significant percentage of the population sitting in front of their newest electronic entertainment system rather then experiencing life.

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The Drake
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I don't think I agree that just because human effort gets replaced by technology, that those jobs are lost forever and that we might as well get used to most humans having nothing to contribute to society.

Agriculture->Industry->Services->?

I'm not sure exactly what those new non-traditional services jobs will be, but they will exist and grow over time. Probably jobs that require more creativity and are more satisfying and less dangerous. No robot will design marketing campaigns, interactive online experiences, or plan events.

Protectionist legislation will likely slow the adoption of the new technology and allow some time for people to adapt, in general a reasonable thing.

As to what various individuals will do for a living when they've honed a skill that is going on the scrapheap, that's clearly disruptive but need not lead us to demolish our concept that each citizen should work for a living.

If we can be doing something to prepare, it should be to ensure that all children in the system now get every opportunity to explore their talents and abilities. Education needs reform from the current system, to enhance creativity and discourage groupthink. That will be made easier when much education can be delivered by AI. [Smile]

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Mynnion
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I am not suggesting that all jobs will disappear. There will certainly be service positions but I would be amazed if we don't reach a point where 80-90% of positions are filled via technology. Marketing campaigns are already being created based on cloud sourced data. As we develop more sophisticated AI many general programming functions will also probably be created via computers. 3D printers will eventually replace many manufacturing jobs. I anticipate a decline in population but still a massive surplus of labor.

I do completely agree with your last paragraph.

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
need not lead us to demolish our concept that each citizen should work for a living.

Why do we have the concept that each citizen should work for a living?
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Pete at Home
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I dispute the notion that every citizen must work for a living, since 1. clearly not every citizen *can* work for a living, and 2. because many of the jobs that citizens do for a living (telemarketing, spamming, pimping, etc), do considerable damage to one's fellow citizens and to society at large. However, I also oppose a general baseline income. As an alcoholic in remission, I can say for a fact that if anyone had handed me $1000 back in 2012, there's a 75% chance that I would have still skimped on food/morgage/power/water/sewer bills, and the money would have gone towards the nearest bar.

What I wish I could have had then, is some agency that could have put me to work doing something useful, and then paid my bills.

I don't say this from the moral point of view that someone has a duty to society to work. Maybe they do; I don't know; I have nothing to say on that subject. But from my self-observation and from working with people trapped in cycles of bad behavior (and a surprising number of us there are in the criminal system, cops lawyers and judges as well as defendants), we NEED to be useful. We NEED to work. Idleness and uselessness is as poisonous to us as self-pity. Putting 3/4 or more of the population on free bread and circuses would be a well-meaning genocide.

[ January 02, 2015, 03:43 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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scifibum
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Thanks for the food for thought, Pete.

I tend to think some kind of basic minimum income is a good idea, but I'm worried that it can't replace social services like food stamps and state-paid day care because of the destructive and self defeating patterns that people can so easily get into (addiction is a great example). Of course, there's the option of continuing all such services alongside a basic income, but it makes the latter a much harder sell.

Perhaps it should be that certain necessities can be billed to the government up to a dollar limit(?).

I think it's definitely important for there to be an ongoing incentive to work, and I don't think basic income takes that away for most people. I'm interested to see more data over time on the question of whether it dilutes that incentive or tends to increase the number of people who report that they can't or don't want to work for money.

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Fenring
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Pete, the people you've observed lived in a high-stress system where there were necessities, expectations, and consequences. Might we not describe various kinds of addiction, self-destruction, crime, and other problems as at least very frequently being related to high stress, fear, lack of prospects, lack of hope? I know that even wealthy industrialists and celebrities have addictions too, but when there is fear of losing everything or of failing to meet a standard the pain can affect anyone.

Perhaps a basic income would have no effect on the idle (or busy) self-destruction of the wealthy, but if the poor could at least not have to fear for losing their job, failing to pay the rent, or knowing they'd have to work 80 hours a week just to live in abject poverty, that could relieve a major stressor which causes substance abuse. I would suggest, when considering a proposal such as this one, to consider not only what would happen to people who no longer had to worry about basic survival; but even better, perhaps you might think about what life for their children would be growing up feeling secure that they'd have food and shelter and that mommy and daddy wouldn't be fired or have to suffer at work.

I agree that people all need to feel useful, but I have a strong inkling that the kind of work being done now by most people absolutely does not make them feel useful. Aside from the 'products of their labor' angle, which affects various kinds of employees, I think many people feel their work simply doesn't make the world a better place, doesn't serve some greater good, doesn't add to happiness, doesn't allow creativity and personal expression, etc etc. Drudgery doesn't fulfill the need to be useful and to be effective.

If complete idleness was an initial result of not having to participate in irrelevant drudgery, the question would then be - and this is the real question anyhow - what sorts of activities can people do that will promote good mental and physical health, and perhaps even also promote some cohesion between them in areas such as civics or maybe just plain old brotherhood? Rephrased: What is really good for people? That it's a hard question to address doesn't seem to me to be a good excuse to default to making people do jobs that are definitely not good for them.

I also agree with scifibum that incentives are required for entrepeneurship, work, research, and other areas. Without incentives it would truly devolve into a non-market system and then inevitably into totalitarianism or oligarchy.

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Pete at Home
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I'd be happy to support Basic income if there was no significant gambling, prostitution, and addictive drugs. Until then, I can't help see it as socialized vice on a massive scale. I'd rather see socialized housing, medicine, more generous food stamp allotments (more generous in numbers of allocations, not in individual disbursement), free public transportation, clean water. Give people a burst of cash for actually doing something, or failing that for getting sterilized.

[ January 03, 2015, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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PSRT
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quote:
I'd be happy to support Basic income if there was no significant gambling, prostitution, and addictive drugs. Until then, I can't help see it as socialized vice on a massive scale.
Do you have stats indicating how much of welfare payouts are currently used on these things? From what I've seen from the states that have done drug testing for welfare recipients, recipients use drugs at a rate less than or equal to the general population. Basically, drugs, prostitution, and gambling, are, from what I can tell, primarily vices of people who have disposable income.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
quote:
I'd be happy to support Basic income if there was no significant gambling, prostitution, and addictive drugs. Until then, I can't help see it as socialized vice on a massive scale.
Do you have stats indicating how much of welfare payouts are currently used on these things? From what I've seen from the states that have done drug testing for welfare recipients, recipients use drugs at a rate less than or equal to the general population. Basically, drugs, prostitution, and gambling, are, from what I can tell, primarily vices of people who have disposable income.
That sounds like a great argument to maintain the status quo rather than move to basic income

In Vegas I personally knew a number of people who told me that they obtained meth and marijuana in exchange for food stamps, but those folks didn't qualify for welfare per se-- they also frequented blood banks and used that money to gamble

Incidentally, what conservative jackass forced blood banks to get social security numbers to make sure that homeless people get taxed on their blood donations? Talk about bloodsuckers

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:


Show me a similar thing working in an economy that isn't exploiting a resource. Every example offered on here has depended on such exploitation or the injection of cash/resources from outside the closed system.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/12/23/mincome-in-dauphin-manitoba_n_6335682.html
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
Show me a similar thing working in an economy that isn't exploiting a resource. Every example offered on here has depended on such exploitation or the injection of cash/resources from outside the closed system.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/12/23/mincome-in-dauphin-manitoba_n_6335682.html

The cash payments were from the national and provincial government (ie from outside the closed system). If they'd been supported by the other people in the community then it would be an example.

Like I said, I'd love to see a test that doesn't rely on exploiting a diminishing resource or outside injections of capital. Preferably on a bigger scale too, it's impossible to fairly evaluate if such a policy warps national production and work incentives when virtually all of the goods that the community will consume with their extra resources come from outside the community.

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Pete at Home
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Another point, psrt, is that if you are male and don't have kids, getting and staying on welfare is a full time job of paperwork. And
You know you can't pick up your food stamp card from the welfare office? Screwed if you don't have an Addy to send it to.

[ January 08, 2015, 11:36 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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PSRT
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quote:
That sounds like a great argument to maintain the status quo rather than move to basic income
...so, your argument is that we should not make life better for 98% of people or so, because 2% of people might make stupid choices? Because thats what the welfare numbers show.

quote:
Another point, psrt, is that if you are male and don't have kids, getting and staying on welfare is a full time job of paperwork. And
You know you can't pick up your food stamp card from the welfare office? Screwed if you don't have an Addy to send it to.

So lets get rid of the stupid paperwork that mostly serves to hinder the process of helping people, by giving a basic income to all adults, period, regardless of whether or not they can fill out 100 forms properly.
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Pete at Home
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Or you could just be less bleeping stingy with food stamps, and cut out useless paperwork, and stupid rules that require an address to send a card to. Give people a place to stay.

Addiction isn't the only problem. And "choices?" Seriously? You grow up on fox news or something? You don't know people BORN hooked on the ****, like the first client I took on my own in Vegas.

Ever here of bullies? Thieves? Scavengers who pick on the elderly? Whole industries exist to scrape the poor. Don't see that happening w basic.

And 2%? What privileged neighborhood you live in? You think only 2% in Americas pay a regular stream of money based on compulsion and addiction to gambling, booze, dope strippers and/or whores?

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Fenring
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Pete, the question is not how many people squander money, but how many would compulsively do so to the point where they wasted all their money and couldn't eat or live. I don't think it's that many. Also, you're right that eliminating paperwork and other bureaucracy would help in any event, but when you have a very selective process that requires proof of various things, choosing who gets and who doesn't get, etc etc, you can't eliminate all that without also eliminating the selecting procedure. In effect, PSRT is saying that it would be more efficient in that sense not to select at all, but rather to give it to everyone. On a separate note, I think it would be more just. People have been complaining about welfare free loaders since welfare existed, and not without cause.

As for those who are born hooked on something, or are otherwise really messed up and can't be responsible for themselves, I don't know that too many of us here would object to having places for people like that to stay if they don't have families that can help them.

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Pete at Home
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Funding, I disagree that you can't make the welfare system less cumbersome without making it less selective for needyness.
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Pete at Home
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Generally people born addicted don't have families that can and will care for them. My own client was referred by a family member who didn't want to "enable" her. (Say, by giving so much as a dime towards the relative's representation). Other family members had the cute habit of giving her drugs on a night before I was to represent her in court. She worked in the sex industry, had a kid. I managed to keep her out of jailwhile iI was her attorney, but last i heard of her she was headed down for a mandatory year, maybe more.

r

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Pete at Home
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Fenring (sorry the stupid cell phone keeps turning your name to funding)
Why not instead provide baseline housing and healthy food for all citizens? Hong Kong did this for decades before the commies came in, and no one complained about HK destroying free enterprise.


s

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Pete at Home
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Utah recently started a program for the homeless where they just gave them homes. It ended up cheaper than the previous voucher and money doles.
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Pete at Home
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Dignity ultimately isn't something that can be doled out by the government.
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Pete at Home
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When I talk of predators that strip the poor of their money, that's not just family addicts and neighborhood thugs, but the local government, especially inner city governments, which use the criminal code to squeeze dimes from the poor. A base income would be met by skyrocketing municipal fines and increased police allocation to milking pedestrians and drivers for assorted new offenses.
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Pete at Home
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Inner city pimps would encourage their slaves to get pregnant by random doofuses, so pimp could squeeze his girls for child support, which would now be taken out from the base income. Disabling the kids means more child support.
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