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Author Topic: Finland is considering giving every citizen €800 a month
NobleHunter
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quote:
Care to explain, why so many people in a modern society, with free education, manage to get to adulthood without any useful skills?
Because the skills they learned in school are obsolete? Because the job market for the skills they have dried up? Because perverse incentives drive decisions about education? Because the way schools are funded is a recipe for some pretty awful schools? Because the skills they have can be bought from other countries more cheaply?

More seriously, I suspect the problem with reforming the weaning process is that it gets tangled in moralism. The ones most interested in reform are those who want to make sure no one who doesn't deserve help gets money. This is naturally opposed by people who'd rather err in the other direction. So it's hard to make incremental changes because you have to keep finding middle ground. Radical changes, like this one, are easier because they can tell one side (the moralists) to get stuffed.

As I've said before, I wonder what effect this will have on compensation. I think employers would find it tempting to cut wages by some or all of the amount of the stipend. Work, in addition to being a way to get money, is also an opportunity to be useful. The people I know who don't work either find their own projects or end up bored and stir crazy.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I'm hard pressed to see how paying people regardless of whether they work, would be better than fixing the weaning off process so that it's not starkly against their interests to work.
It makes it so that it's not against their interests to work. In fact, it allows them to be able to afford to seek reasonable employment and negotiate for appropriate, mutually beneficial, compensation instead of having to take whatever is available out of desperation, even if it effectively means working at a loss, at which point they're better off not even bothering and finding ways to exploit the system or simply acquiring what they feel they need or want.

quote:
So companies would incur higher costs of production. Which means higher costs for their products, which eats the basic support costs up leaving a new hole to fill.
Costs taht more accurately reflect the real cost of production, not costs subsidized through exploitation.

quote:
Which we will solve for with, central planning....
Better central planning though democratic process then central planing through plutocratic control. At least the former is accountable to the people and needs to work for the public interest, so can force a functional market to exist, whereas the latter continually seeks to eliminate the market in favor of a monopoly or cartel.

quote:
So central planners pick the good industries and subsidize the good products to ensure that they remain affordable, notwithstanding the higher costs. And we even use price controls to make sure it all fits together. How is this "never been tried system" different in any way from the failed communist systems?
Because we'd do it by applying the same market principles taht have allowed such plans to work properly in the US and not by force as per the communist systems? Our agriculture industry already runs on hte basis of subsidies and buffer stocks to moderate prices and even out production swings, which has allowed to to actually function instead of completely collapsed as it otherwise would have several times over if allowed to tack the default patter of oversupply/famine that contributed to its collapse in the 30's until we took measures to stabilize and support it.

quote:
Cause you know a few enlightened experts can always make better decisions about what people need and want to buy than the people themselves,
No, they don't. That's why we create money for people to use and let them spend it to communicate to the system what it needs to produce, instead of simply buying it for them and giving them the products that someone else thinks they need.

quote:
and no one in a collective ever turns out to just act in their own self interest and mooch off of the system.
Some do, but so few that they're of little consequence when positive contribution means they can get more than if they do nothing. It's only when you allow the system to exploit them such that they get less out than the effort they put in that you encourage such mooching.

quote:
It's not exploitable labor, it's labor that can be done by anyone, any where at any time, and that is generally replaceable by a machine at any higher cost level.
Noce context swicth. I said labor. The people doing the jobs. Now work, the jobs to be done. Desperation makes the people exploitable, so they can be forced to take whatever wage is offered instead of being able to negotiate a fair, mutually profitable price for their labor.

And if their labor can be replaced by a machine, then it should, because such jobs are a waste of human labor. But in the case of fruit picking, very little of it is yet able to be fully mechanized; it's very human labor intensive because, unlike vegetables, where the plant is the food or is new each season anyway, most fruit requires preserving the base plant across many seasons and the ability of the harvester to clearly differentiate fruit from plant and ripe from unripe. And while labor that can be exploited to keep the cost of applying humans tot he job remains low, the overall pressure to find better technological solutions remains low.

Why buy a machine when you have people that you can pay next to nothing because they're desperate for feed themselves, and won't even complain when you spray them with deadly pesticides or otherwise mistreat them in the name of keeping your bottom line low and avoiding having to price your product according to the real cost of production?

quote:
The fact that people take the jobs contra-logically to you does not mean that they want the jobs,
NO, it clearly means they want the jobs. The fact taht they accept exploitative wages instead of holding out for a proper income that allows them a comfortable baseline lifestyle in response to the need for their particular skills means that thee market is both flooded with far too many people who need work and those people don't receive enough baseline support to be able to negotiate on equal terms with the people looking to hire them.

quote:
Care to explain, why so many people in a modern society, with free education, manage to get to adulthood without any useful skills?
Because, first of all, you're randomly deciding on your own that their skills aren't useful, despite being pretty essential to the industries they work in, otherwise there wouldn't be a need for their labor in the first place. And second, because many, many people don't actually get to take advantage of that education system, because they're forced to work instead, or otherwise live in impoverished conditions which prevent meaningful learning. With only a few exceptions, people require a baseline of economic stability and physical security before they can meaningfully devote energy to academic pursuits and higher level learning. Deny them that and they're stuck competing for the scraps that keep them alive, without respect to the actual value of what they are providing or could possibly provide.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
As I've said before, I wonder what effect this will have on compensation. I think employers would find it tempting to cut wages by some or all of the amount of the stipend. Work, in addition to being a way to get money, is also an opportunity to be useful. The people I know who don't work either find their own projects or end up bored and stir crazy.
That's why I think the baseline needs to be high enough that people can self direct their own work if they want, just enough to support entrepreneurship without financial penalty for taking that risk. At the same time we should guarantee anyone that isn't cut out for self-directed productivity a job at a fixed wage/benefit level, so they can work, build skills and look for better regular employment instead of being trapped by lack of opportunity.

We don't really need a minimum wage at taht point, just a guaranteed baseline and a labor buffer stock program that keeps unemployment fixed at 0%, then letting the market take care of anything but pathological cases or industries where there's a national interest in preserving skill and infrastructure from there from there. (Enough food balanced production, industrial capacity, medical support, energy production etc.. to support ourselves without trade should be maintained so that if we ever find ourselves in a pathological defense situation (Canada and Mexico decide to embargo us, perhaps) we can hold out own until the issue is worked out).

Basic Wealth of Nations market principles there.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
To put his another way- _getting pregant_ for many people, can be easy. Especially if you're in an economic position that exhausts or preempts your ability or will to avoid it. Nothing that comes after is remotely easy, never mind when you repeat the process.

How many children do you have? I'm guessing none.
you're proving that you're not paying attention and grasping at straws.

Current count is four, two from birth, two recently integrated. I've gone through some periods where there were more than that, though, as we've opened our hose to friends that needed a place to live for a while.

More kids, even with more adults becomes progressively more difficult, not less.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
quote:
Care to explain, why so many people in a modern society, with free education, manage to get to adulthood without any useful skills?
Because the skills they learned in school are obsolete?
What skills do you think kids learn from their free education? I can't think of any, offhand.

Aside from the point where I agree with Seriati that the school system is a joke and therefore sabotages our economy artificially, I otherwise agree with basically everything Pyr is saying here (!).

Seriati, the one point worth noting that makes the USSR a bad comparison is that it's about game design. Which behaviors are incentivized and rewarded, and which aren't. In the USSR there were no good jobs to be had, very low production and supply, and was little more than a machine designed to establish a plutocracy with a military to back it up. The U.S., on the other hand, has no problem producing or obtaining a supply of goods, and has none of the same authoritarian blocks in place to stop entrepreneurship and production. The question is exactly what the landscape would look like with a basic income. Not what it philosophically feels like, but what people would actually do, as if they were game players. Some would likely never work again (which many do now anyhow), some would take their basic income and still work so that they could afford luxuries beyond mere survival, and some would go into business to try to make the big bucks, since to them the basic income would be trivial.

The advantage of the choice to work or not includes the fact that people who truly don't want to work and are never motivated even when they take crappy jobs is that the workforce is better off without them anyhow. Let them stay home with this basic income and enjoy their lives. Those who want more will go out and get jobs or start businesses, and these more enterprising or ambitious people are the sorts you want to hire anyhow. They want the work, they don't do it merely out of desperation, as Pyr said. There just aren't as many jobs to do as population, and further automation will make things much worse in short order. Getting those who don't want to work or are incompetent out of the workforce is the first step in establishing how the work should be done and how it should be rewarded. Making people go to a crap job where they're not needed merely on the principle that 'everyone has to work!' is a waste of resources at best, and needless disregard of the quality of human life at worst. Why not have them dig ditches at that point.

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
To put his another way- _getting pregant_ for many people, can be easy. Especially if you're in an economic position that exhausts or preempts your ability or will to avoid it. Nothing that comes after is remotely easy, never mind when you repeat the process.

How many children do you have? I'm guessing none.
you're proving that you're not paying attention and grasping at straws.

Current count is four, two from birth, two recently integrated. I've gone through some periods where there were more than that, though, as we've opened our hose to friends that needed a place to live for a while.

More kids, even with more adults becomes progressively more difficult, not less.

No, I was just curious. It seems you have the theory but none of the experience. Using words like "recently integrated" tends to reinforce that impression. I just don't think you have a good grasp on much beyond the highly theoretical and ideological bubble. Kind of like Obama. [Wink] . If you had kids, you'd be singing a little different tune.
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NobleHunter
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In my neck of the woods, the free school system is clearly not intended to be an endpoint. Even the least academic path was geared towards students getting an apprenticeship or otherwise entering the trades. University was definitely the preferred destination. If high school is spent getting ready for more school, students will tend not to get job-ready skills. Well, for anything other than near dead-end entry level jobs.

And that's not even going into how many employers use a university degree as a screening tool.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
quote:
Care to explain, why so many people in a modern society, with free education, manage to get to adulthood without any useful skills?
Because the skills they learned in school are obsolete?
Is that the case? Care to back that with demographics by age. If what you say is true the older the person the more likely they have no useful skills. Can you demonstrate it?
quote:
Because the job market for the skills they have dried up?
Which job market is it that dried up? Last I looked it's almost exclusively the job market for the highly paid uneducated person.
quote:
Because perverse incentives drive decisions about education?
True that.
quote:
Because the way schools are funded is a recipe for some pretty awful schools?
True too, but I wasn't even talking about colleges (which is what I think you mean). But union influence has turned schools below the college level into permanent job farms regardless of results.
quote:
Because the skills they have can be bought from other countries more cheaply?
True too. How do you fix it?
quote:
More seriously, I suspect the problem with reforming the weaning process is that it gets tangled in moralism. The ones most interested in reform are those who want to make sure no one who doesn't deserve help gets money. This is naturally opposed by people who'd rather err in the other direction.
Do you seriously not see the irony in your claim that the process is tangled in moralism, when you immediately start describing it that way?

The ones who want to reform the system by ending it, or most seriously changing it, are those who believe the point of the system should be to develop independence, and view the current system as generating never ending dependence. Its the maxim, give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Not as you inadequately state small minded people interested in ensuring people get what's coming to them, based on a bizarre interpretation that the poor are unworthy.
quote:
As I've said before, I wonder what effect this will have on compensation. I think employers would find it tempting to cut wages by some or all of the amount of the stipend.
Why wonder, it's exactly the model we used for waiters, and that's exactly what happened. It won't start that way though, it'll start with additive wages, and higher prices, and eventually it'll balance out back where it started (if not worse).
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
Why wonder, it's exactly the model we used for waiters, and that's exactly what happened. It won't start that way though, it'll start with additive wages, and higher prices, and eventually it'll balance out back where it started (if not worse).

This is a guess that I think would turn out to be wrong. The reason waiters had their minimum wage cut was to offset the cultural market conditions that were effectively giving them a crazy wage. It's true that tips could be compared to a basic income insofar as the employer would want to cut their hourly wage to compensate, but that's where the analogy ends. The income a server earns should be compared to other labor-intensive jobs in a system without a basic income. For a server to earn the full minimum wage and then additionally all the tips would basically mean that the waiter could be earning multiple times more than someone else earning minimum wage. The lowering of their hourly wage is often trivial compared to their tips, but even on a horrible night they're still making more than someone at McDonald's. On a good night a server can earn hundreds of dollars, putting their earnings per hour at a higher rate than highly skilled professionals.

What you need to do is to look at the incentive to work. No one wants to work a menial or servile job. If such jobs are still needed under a basic income system then employers would have to attract workers. Since workers are no longer desperate to survive a low wage wouldn't attract much of anyone; certainly not anything lower than what we see now. If anything since it would shift towards a worker's market employers would have to offer a more competitive wage than they do now to give people an incentive to actually work a job rather than sit on their basic income. If the pay is too crappy it won't be worth it to most people to do an annoying job. This fact may make it difficult for low-margin businesses to afford the new market rate for wages in low-skilled jobs, and business models may have to adjust accordingly. But note that the worker's market will have been created not as a result of artificial wage hikes but rather as a result of a real market shift away from people effectively being extorted into working bad jobs for little money. Any attempt at exploitation would actually now backfire against an employer, which of course means that a business owner would be forced to make the business both efficient and attractive for employees, and since the people who come to work are actually interested in working and aren't forced to work out of desperation the quality of the labor will go up as well. It's really a win for everyone all around, with the proviso that some business models would have to be adjusted. I imagine that companies that were addicted to cheap labor for harsh jobs will find it difficult to stay in business, and I can't entirely say I'd mourn them.

[ December 08, 2015, 01:07 AM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
I'm hard pressed to see how paying people regardless of whether they work, would be better than fixing the weaning off process so that it's not starkly against their interests to work.
It makes it so that it's not against their interests to work. In fact, it allows them to be able to afford to seek reasonable employment and negotiate for appropriate, mutually beneficial, compensation instead of having to take whatever is available out of desperation, even if it effectively means working at a loss, at which point they're better off not even bothering and finding ways to exploit the system or simply acquiring what they feel they need or want.
Can you respond to what I actually said now? How is paying people regardless of whether they work better than fixing the weaning off process? Your explanation works identically for what I said, ie make it so it's not against their interest to work in the weaning off process.
quote:
quote:
So companies would incur higher costs of production. Which means higher costs for their products, which eats the basic support costs up leaving a new hole to fill.
Costs taht more accurately reflect the real cost of production, not costs subsidized through exploitation.
"Real"? What makes them real? How is that a response to the fact that higher cost products eat into your basic stipend?

I really don't respect an argument that relies on a cost being more real. Frankly, you're the one suggesting the manipulation, and trying to flip onto me.
quote:
quote:
Which we will solve for with, central planning....
Better central planning though democratic process then central planing through plutocratic control.
Better not centrally planned at all. Most businesses are not plutocratically controlled. Though most of your policies try to make them so.
quote:
At least the former is accountable to the people and needs to work for the public interest, so can force a functional market to exist, whereas the latter continually seeks to eliminate the market in favor of a monopoly or cartel.
Neither works for the people. All central planning works for the central planners, doesn't make a difference if they got there by economic skill or political skill.
quote:
quote:
So central planners pick the good industries and subsidize the good products to ensure that they remain affordable, notwithstanding the higher costs. And we even use price controls to make sure it all fits together. How is this "never been tried system" different in any way from the failed communist systems?
Because we'd do it by applying the same market principles taht have allowed such plans to work properly in the US and not by force as per the communist systems?
No you would not, you have no concept that efficiently allocates resources in your model because you hand out cash to anyone that wants to acquire a resource. Resources do not move towards their best use as they do in an actual capitalistic system.
quote:
Our agriculture industry already runs on hte basis of subsidies and buffer stocks to moderate prices and even out production swings, which has allowed to to actually function instead of completely collapsed as it otherwise would have several times over if allowed to tack the default patter of oversupply/famine that contributed to its collapse in the 30's until we took measures to stabilize and support it.
Our agriculture industry has been deliberately warped in our strategic interest. We have deliberately maintained oversupply as a buffer.

And what's the consequence? Years and years and years of independent and smaller farmers not being able to make ends meet. Environmentally destructive mass farming practices. Complete replacement of any realistic job options with either machines or illegal alien labor. No ability to increase prices to reflect actual costs, let alone your concept of real costs.

And oh yeah, let's not forget the bread part of the bread and circuses. The politicians get to hand out food at a much lower cost than would otherwise be the case.
quote:
quote:
Cause you know a few enlightened experts can always make better decisions about what people need and want to buy than the people themselves,
No, they don't. That's why we create money for people to use and let them spend it to communicate to the system what it needs to produce, instead of simply buying it for them and giving them the products that someone else thinks they need.
Lol. This is how you confuse people, you speak like you're using market forces when you actually are not. This doesn't lead to people buying what they need, it leads to them indulging in wants, and it leads to the belief that there will always be more hand outs to cover needs. It doesn't lead to greater production either, because the cash you hand out had not value backing it you devalue the cash already out there. What's the point in acquiring a big pile of paper, when you'll just hand out paper to anyone who wants a real good?

Communist societies inevitable become dependent on blackmarkets and foreign currency, because their own system of currency is utterly meaningless.
quote:
quote:
and no one in a collective ever turns out to just act in their own self interest and mooch off of the system.
Some do, but so few that they're of little consequence when positive contribution means they can get more than if they do nothing. It's only when you allow the system to exploit them such that they get less out than the effort they put in that you encourage such mooching.
Lol, do you believe this stuff, or do you just make it up to try and argue the point? People mooch when they can get out more than they put in, period. Has nothing to do with being exploited. And if you're unwilling to let people's needs go unfulfilled when they spend on wants, they will increase the rate of mooching.
quote:
quote:
It's not exploitable labor, it's labor that can be done by anyone, any where at any time, and that is generally replaceable by a machine at any higher cost level.
Noce context swicth. I said labor. The people doing the jobs. Now work, the jobs to be done.
You play with context whenever you make a losing point. The people with no useful skills have no jobs they can do that are worth what you think their value is as a person.
quote:
Desperation makes the people exploitable, so they can be forced to take whatever wage is offered instead of being able to negotiate a fair, mutually profitable price for their labor.
Which to you, means extracting an unprofitable level of pay and the government subsidizing the good deed. The value of unskilled human labor decreases every day, and in the inflationary society that you encourage that says a lot.
quote:
quote:
The fact that people take the jobs contra-logically to you does not mean that they want the jobs,
NO, it clearly means they want the jobs. The fact taht they accept exploitative wages instead of holding out for a proper income that allows them a comfortable baseline lifestyle in response to the need for their particular skills means that thee market is both flooded with far too many people who need work and those people don't receive enough baseline support to be able to negotiate on equal terms with the people looking to hire them.
Or, quite literally it means that they have no "particular skills" that are worth a damn in the free market. People in the US receive a minimum of 12 years of free education (in other countries even more), after which they should in fact have the minimum level of skills needed to be useful to society. Yet they don't have any skill that has a value that can be realized on the market at the wages you think they are entitled to earn.
quote:
quote:
Care to explain, why so many people in a modern society, with free education, manage to get to adulthood without any useful skills?
Because, first of all, you're randomly deciding on your own that their skills aren't useful, despite being pretty essential to the industries they work in, otherwise there wouldn't be a need for their labor in the first place.
Absolute nonsense. I'm not deciding anything randomly or otherwise. The utility of their skills is directly established by the wages they earn. It's you who is pretending otherwise, and not randomly either, but rather by asserting that the "market" value of someone without any skill should be higher than it is.
quote:
And second, because many, many people don't actually get to take advantage of that education system, because they're forced to work instead, or otherwise live in impoverished conditions which prevent meaningful learning
Funny that, education (which would make a difference in their lives) is handed to people for free, and they don't or can't take advantage of it, it's "our" fault somehow. And the solution is to just hand them money instead.
quote:
With only a few exceptions, people require a baseline of economic stability and physical security before they can meaningfully devote energy to academic pursuits and higher level learning.
Sure, which virtually everyone in all western societies receives. Homes, food, clothing, medical care, all covered.
quote:
Deny them that and they're stuck competing for the scraps that keep them alive, without respect to the actual value of what they are providing or could possibly provide.
I have great respect for what they could possible provide, but they are receiving the actual value of what they are providing.

Poverty can be a trap, but more than half of the people born into poverty won't stay there. Some will go up, and others will come down. Giving people the tools to influence their result and getting them to embrace them is way more effective than giving them the cash to buy a PS3.

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Pete at Home
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"Communist societies inevitable become dependent on blackmarkets and foreign currency, because their own system of currency is utterly meaningless."

Which historical "communist" societies do you refer to? What you describe occurred in the USSR and in Nazi Germany and in the Confederate States of America, but the common thread there is militarization, rationing and favoritism, which seem to me to be the direct opposite of communism.

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Pete at Home
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(The rest of Grant's post, aside for the communism gaffe, I find alternately persuasive at best and thought provoking at worst.)
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Can you respond to what I actually said now? How is paying people regardless of whether they work better than fixing the weaning off process? Your explanation works identically for what I said, ie make it so it's not against their interest to work in the weaning off process.
PAying people regardless of whether or not they work is the only way to fix the weaning off process. Regardless of whether (as is completely ambiguous here) you're talking about weaning them out of unemployment or under the table employment in the current system or off of the notion of working for others for income as we need to start doing in order to face realities of our current level of technological potential.

quote:
"Real"? What makes them real? How is that a response to the fact that higher cost products eat into your basic stipend?
At pennies on the dollar. There would be a little adjustment, as upfront prices adjusted to reflect actual costs, instead of shifting them to others, but the overall savings from lack of sifting would pretty much balance out, if not same more, since prevention of problems is cheaper than cleaning up the mess afterwards. PArticularly in as much as the baseline income would, as has been pointed out, lower the overall wage needed to be offered to make a reasonable minimum in a given field. In fact, to the small degree that labor is the part of the price of most goods (materials and energy costs are by far the most significant portions due to automation enabling one worker to provide huge amounts of output compared to time invested) you'd probably see prices drop a little, since many companies at the baseline could now offer more net disposable income for less nominal pay. At the same time, their overall revenue would increase significantly, meaning that to the degree that they might have to pay more in some cases, they would easily have the margins to do it, and to invest in technology such that they can reserve human labor for human jobs, rather than putting humans to machine work.

quote:
I really don't respect an argument that relies on a cost being more real. Frankly, you're the one suggesting the manipulation, and trying to flip onto me.
What manipulation am I suggesting? The extortion and exploitation that our system currently depends on if manipulation; you're trying to recast protecting it from that kind of manipulation as manipulation? The fundamental characteristic of a free market is taht parties in it trade honestly on an equal for mutual benefit without resorting to any form of extortion.

If you force people to bid down the amount they're willing to take for their labor to the point where it's below their cost to provide it- that is below what it would require to provide them the minimum baseline acceptable lifestyle- then you're supporting manipulation of the market. If people can't walk away from a deal that they do not find is sufficiently beneficial to them, then the market isn't free- it's being controlled ("centrally planned") by those with the power to force them to take the bad deal.

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Better not centrally planned at all. Most businesses are not plutocratically controlled. Though most of your policies try to make them so.
There are some businesses taht are controlled by the employees, and some that are state supported, sure. But most are controlled by the owners and share holders- a relatively small segment of the population that uses the fact taht it owns that wealth to dictate its deployment for their own ends.

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Neither works for the people. All central planning works for the central planners, doesn't make a difference if they got there by economic skill or political skill.
Ah, so now you're advocating for pure communism? Or straight up anarch? That's about the only option left, since democratic and republican (in the structural sense) governance is build on the basis that central planning is necessary to maintain a stable society and economy, but it needs to be done under public oversight, in some combination of direct consensus or by proxy through elected representatives, and not left to the unaccountable plutocrats that otherwise naturally arise, and have, historically always arisen, in the absence of such oversight.

quote:
No you would not, you have no concept that efficiently allocates resources in your model because you hand out cash to anyone that wants to acquire a resource. Resources do not move towards their best use as they do in an actual capitalistic system.
No, you hand out cash in proportion to the basic non-negotiable need for resources. If they _want_ more than the basic need for a minimum standard to be able to support themselves and participate, then they still have to invest in acquiring additional income. Providing them from with the baseline, though, means that they can actualyl afford to make that baseline, while their spending on those baseline needs, means that the market can respond and allocate itself properly to provide that baseline by reacting to consumer demand, instead of falling short because it can only respond where consumers have enough money to elicit a response.

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Our agriculture industry has been deliberately warped in our strategic interest. We have deliberately maintained oversupply as a buffer.
Which is a fundamental necessity for economic, physical, and social security. It's strategically essential that we do so, and why we don't see telethons trying to beg people in other countries to donate money to feed starving Americans, as we do for countries that are unable to maintain a strategic buffer, and thus are at the mercy of droughts, and other sources of famine. Markets have to be adjusted sufficiently to compensate for the fact taht they are otherwise completely unable to regulate themselves, food is particularly pathological when left to its own devices, with surplus years driving farmers out of business because prices drop to nothing and famine years causing havoc throughout the economy.

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Lol. This is how you confuse people, you speak like you're using market forces when you actually are not. This doesn't lead to people buying what they need, it leads to them indulging in wants, and it leads to the belief that there will always be more hand outs to cover needs.
Only if you're handing out money in great excess of basic needs, not in proportion to them, particularly when you're already capable of producing vast excess and forcing people to go without basic needs by deliberately keeping them impoverished to make them easier to exploit. The entire notion of NAIRU is an attempt to institutionalize exploitation on the false basis that not being able to extort people to underprice labor will lead to runaway inflation. It doesn't bear out in practice, and only serves to depress wages and slow economic growth to the point that people are forced into poverty to support the current wealth structure.

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It doesn't lead to greater production either, because the cash you hand out had not value backing it you devalue the cash already out there.
you're presenting a conditional assumption as an unfounded assertion here. If the value/production potential to support it doesn't exist, absolutely. But we're dealing with a case where we have idle capacity and cheap potential capacity that is only not being deployed because of a lack of money to engage it. We're handing out money far to slowly in comparison to our need and ability to grow, and thus crippling ourselves and forcing people into poverty while feeding the wealth an power of those who control existing resources, especially because they use their control of the limited supply to make private loans to bridge the game, giving them more power over everyone that's now beholden to them by debt.


quote:
People mooch when they can get out more than they put in, period.
Getting out more than you put in is profit. It's only Mooching when you subjectively declare what they're putting in not worth what they're getting out.

But that's why you have to make the reward for working higher than the reward for "mooching". People will work when they get a greater reward for doing so than they do for doing nothing. When you force labor prices down to the point where it's more profitable to mooch than work, you destroy the incentive to work. If you give people enough of a baseline that they can profit even from lower labor rates or can negotiate a reasonable rate, then mooching takes care of itself. Which is why the only people that work less in the many, many places that unconditional basic income has been tried are new parents and students, both of whom are groups of people that actualyl do have more valuable ways to invest their current time than fighting for more income.

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The people with no useful skills have no jobs they can do that are worth what you think their value is as a person.
That's funny, the market says otherwise, since there are clearly jobs they're needed to do (jobs that actualyl do have distinct and useful skills associated with them, just not ones taht follow from academic education) The jobs can just get away with dictating the rates because there are too many people desperate for work for them to be able to hold out for mutually profitable compensation. If the skills weren't useful, there wouldn't be jobs in the first place.

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Which to you, means extracting an unprofitable level of pay and the government subsidizing the good deed.
That's not what I said,. That's what you want it to mean; make that argument if you want, but don't falsely put it in my mouth. The employees cannot be found on the basis of offering mutually profitable pay, then the business needs to innovate and change its model. If shouldn't be able to force people to work at a loss simple to subsidise a broken model, as we currently allow it to do.

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Or, quite literally it means that they have no "particular skills" that are worth a damn in the free market. People in the US receive a minimum of 12 years of free education (in other countries even more), after which they should in fact have the minimum level of skills needed to be useful to society. Yet they don't have any skill that has a value that can be realized on the market at the wages you think they are entitled to earn.
Because the market is currently structured to be able to extort them into accepting less though forcing people into unemployment and poverty so they can be exploited and have no choice but to take what's dictated, even if it represents working at a loss.

And the education system, even at a nominal ideal, cannot compensate for the effects of poverty unless it is funded well enough to offset the poverty of the people it's trying to educate. Our system fails most directly because the more impoverished a community is, the less baseline funding its schools get, where the relationship needs to be reversed in order to provide students with the baseline of security and stability they need to be able to learn if they can't get it directly at home.

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The utility of their skills is directly established by the wages they earn.
Only if the can freely negotiate those wages and walk away if they're insufficient. If they cannot walk away from a bad deal, then there is no market, and the wages are being set by the fiat of those dictating them.

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It's you who is pretending otherwise, and not randomly either, but rather by asserting that the "market" value of someone without any skill should be higher than it is.
Would those people accept those wages if they were not desperate for work, or would they hold out for better pat? If the latter is true, then the market is not deciding the wages, the people exploiting their desperation are. The market only works when all transactions are honest and voluntary within a given market. It cannot function if you don't have a choice.

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Funny that, education (which would make a difference in their lives) is handed to people for free,
It's not free if you have to give up income, security, health in order to take it- it costs you the income or other basic form of wealth that you must sacrifice in order to use it.

quote:
Sure, which virtually everyone in all western societies receives. Homes, food, clothing, medical care, all covered.
The ones that do better at it are certainly better off. That's why the Scandinavian countries are more economically free than most, and why they're moving toward adopting better models, such as basic income and universal health care to actualyl get to the point where they're actually fully covered.

But here in the US? We fall pathetically short on every count. And instead of working to provide a solid, consistent baseline, we're cutting into what we do give and putting more people out on the street or otherwise forcing them to live in self destructive situations.

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but they are receiving the actual value of what they are providing.
If this is true, then there's essentially no loss to our economy if their jobs and the industry they work in vanishes, so there's no real concern about discouraging them from working in it by giving them a better alternative. You can't have it both ways on that.

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Poverty can be a trap, but more than half of the people born into poverty won't stay there.
42% of people in the bottom income quintile remain there, while the number of quantiles taht poverty encomapsses in hte US is growing. Once you factor out the transitional visitors- those who briefly lose income long enough to be counted at the bottom, but then find it, not only do most people in poverty remain there, but we get the fact that the poverty rate is growing hte the US and people are being squeezed downward.

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Giving people the tools to influence their result and getting them to embrace them is way more effective than giving them the cash to buy a PS3.
Sure. But the same tools do both, since cash is also the most important tool they need to influence their stability and mobility. If they put it into a PS3 instead, then that's their loss, no one else's (and a gain for those that worked to make and sell them the PS3, or in this case, for the people that worked enough to afford the PS4 and benefit from there being a cheap aftermarket for their castoffs created by people looking for a less costly way to meet entertainment needs or desires.)
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Pete at Home
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The main problem with implementing this plan boils down the tiny part of the population that have the structure to actualiize rafis otherwise ludicrous fears about people having big families in order to milk a rather stingy program. And not surprisingly, those are the folks who already milk stingy systems at the expense of their barefoot children: Polygamists. The biggest threat here are ex-Mormon apostate polygamist franchises. Secondarily Muslim polygamists. Both can milk the system by requiring the wives and kids money to primarily benefit the patriarch. Ex Mormon plugs are more dangerous in this respect than Fundy Muslims because the whole living prophet doctrine (explicitly denied in most versions of Islam) allows multi layered extortionate priestcraft
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
The main problem with implementing this plan boils down the tiny part of the population that have the structure to actualiize rafis otherwise ludicrous fears about people having big families in order to milk a rather stingy program. And not surprisingly, those are the folks who already milk stingy systems at the expense of their barefoot children: Polygamists.
Absolutely. There won't be zero abuse or milking under any system, and the people who do this probably fall under other legal violations regarding abuse that are probably more appropriate to direct at them if their activity can be exposed.

It's not that there won't be people who try to game it, it's just that they're not worth worrying about in terms of the baseline program, instead of on the basis of more relevant abuses.

Also, reducing the need to constantly audit the average person for fraud would free up a lot more attention to be paid to unusual household reports to look for meaningful abuse.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
The biggest threat here are ex-Mormon apostate polygamist franchises.

Uh, no, this isn't 'the biggest threat' to the idea of a basic income. Obviously the biggest threat to it on a functional level would be that it...doesn't function. The arguments come in a variety ranging from 'we can't afford it' to 'it will incentivize sloth.' I agree with polygamy or other forms of milking the system are something to talk about, but surely they aren't the sticking point about whether or not such a system should be adopted.

I think that the birth rate issue and that of 'milking it' needs to be addressed in the basic framework, but it should be trivial to solve. I can literally patch that issue in around five seconds of thinking, although a longer planning period would likely come up with something better than what I could mention off the top of my head.

I think the debate on this subject is good but often misses the mark on what the actual point of contention is. I see the real object of concern being how such a system would be implemented. I understand that certain people question whether it ever should be implemented, but I don't think they realize that they are not actually proposing a real alternative. It is a fact that the job market isn't sustaining acceptable levels of employment and that many of the jobs available don't offer acceptable levels of remuneration. It is also a fact that automation advances will make this worse on a steady basis rather than better, despite empty rhetoric some experts put forward suggesting that technology creates jobs rather than takes them away. Even a cursory thought experiment should sufficiently demonstrate that this cannot possibly be true, and that jobs will continue to vanish.

In other words, employment-based capitalism is becoming obsolete. It was never a great system, but it was the best one so far. Technology (as it has always done through the ages) is changing that and turning our system into a living fossil. We can debate the morality of who deserves what or which mechanisms in a basic income will create incentives or disincentives to work; we can talk about business models and wage levels; but in the end the issue is somewhat moot since remaining in the current system isn't feasible. This is not the classic conservative vs liberal situation where the debate is between remaining with the tried and true system that is inflexible versus adopting something untested but with potential. The tried and true system is failing, and is not any kind of life raft to cling to. It's more like standing on the sinking Titanic because of objections as to how the life rafts are going to be employed and who will be sitting where in them. If a basic income isn't a palatable solution to some people then I challenge them to come up with an alternative that solves the issues of increasingly low employment, crappy work that doesn't need to be done by humans, and automation quickly undercutting human labor.

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DonaldD
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There's always the Luddite revolution that will overthrow all technology...
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Pete at Home
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Fenring, the issue here isn't whether the system proposes "incentivize sloth" but whether it does so more than the current system.

A base wage as a replacement for current welfare systems would do away with massive incentives in the system. Hell, forced sloth in the current system. Folks who can only afford health care for their kids by staying underemployed.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Can you respond to what I actually said now? How is paying people regardless of whether they work better than fixing the weaning off process? Your explanation works identically for what I said, ie make it so it's not against their interest to work in the weaning off process.
PAying people regardless of whether or not they work is the only way to fix the weaning off process.
That doesn't fix the weaning off process, it eliminates it. I'm talking about putting them in a place to be self sufficient, not about any of your politicized statements. I don't care if they work or not, but they are a biological organism and responsible for their own survival.
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"Real"? What makes them real? How is that a response to the fact that higher cost products eat into your basic stipend?
At pennies on the dollar.
That's the dispute isn't it. I don't think we disagree that a government can float some level of injection and get away with it, likely it's even healthy. I just think that the levels you propose will pop the bubble. And in particular that this method of injection, handing money to everyone, will undermine the currency much faster than would be predicted.
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There would be a little adjustment, as upfront prices adjusted to reflect actual costs, instead of shifting them to others, but the overall savings from lack of sifting would pretty much balance out, if not same more, since prevention of problems is cheaper than cleaning up the mess afterwards.
First, the adjustments aren't to actual costs, they are to inflated costs. Your proposal is to turn every job, no matter how minor into one that generates a living wage. Not all jobs are worth that much, and frankly not all employees need that much.

Second, ALL you are doing is shifting costs to others. I disagree with you that this is what's happening in the current system, but that's more definitional than anything else, but there is no dispute that what you are doing is cost shifting. You ignore it because you're shifting costs to the government and applying a loose monetary policy to eliminate them entirely. It really is a Star Trek economy, except you're letting the replicators make the "money" as well as the goods.

There are no savings here, there's no pursuit of efficiency that could generate savings. You're subsidizing the consumer, the laborer and the producer, by printing as much money as you deem to fit the ideal. There's not even a concept in your paradigm that approximates what "savings" actually means.
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PArticularly in as much as the baseline income would, as has been pointed out, lower the overall wage needed to be offered to make a reasonable minimum in a given field.
So, your hypothetical happy workers with no need to work, are now going to motivate themselves to do jobs for even less gain than they do today? What happened to your higher wages claims when people are free to only take on the jobs at the payments that they decide are worthwhile?
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At the same time, their overall revenue would increase significantly, meaning that to the degree that they might have to pay more in some cases, they would easily have the margins to do it, and to invest in technology such that they can reserve human labor for human jobs, rather than putting humans to machine work.
So to sum, base miminum lets people take jobs at wages that are fair not wages that undervalue them.

This conversely means they will get paid LESS, hence companies will be more profitable (yet these were the same companies that we were going to subsidize because they would now be paying higher fair wages because they can't exploit their workers).

They will plow these profits into more machines putting more people out of work, yet these new happy people will be doing more work, because....?

You can see why I say this is the Star Trek economy. In case you wondered, there is no economy in Star Trek, goods get produced without effort so people work for fun. Everyone in Star Trek world seems to have nothing but fun working, when it's far more likely, they'd all just spend the rest of their life on a Holodeck than actually do the work.
quote:
What manipulation am I suggesting? The extortion and exploitation that our system currently depends on if manipulation; you're trying to recast protecting it from that kind of manipulation as manipulation?
Lol. You assume manipulation, period. And don't cite me examples of exploited workers, the existence of exploited workers is not evidence that the system is exploitive. If you don't assume exploitation (as you do) then everything you do as a "correction" is nothing but a manipulation. So yes, you're manipulating left, right and center and trying to flip it around to claim that as a crusader you are doing nothing but "unmanipulating" things.
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The fundamental characteristic of a free market is taht parties in it trade honestly on an equal for mutual benefit without resorting to any form of extortion.
The fundamental characteristic of a free market is that people make exchanges for things they value more than what they are giving up, without undo interference by third parties.

Everything you propose violates the "without undo interference" portion of the game. And everything you do, ignores that the current participants are IN FACT trading something - their time - for something they value more - their wages.
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If you force people to bid down the amount they're willing to take for their labor to the point where it's below their cost to provide it- that is below what it would require to provide them the minimum baseline acceptable lifestyle- then you're supporting manipulation of the market.
No, you'd be supporting slavery. Since, we don't have slaves, or even serfs, and people are voluntarily taking the wages we also don't have them bidding down below "their cost to provide it," your argument is resting on a false premise. You know what that means right? It's illogical, and you're conclusions can't follow from your assumptions.

I think you're confused about the nature of work. Not every job should be a job that provides a living wage. It's entirely reasonable for people to have needs they are willing to pay for, and for other people to be willing to work for upon which no reasonable person could live. Those are not jobs for which it's intended a person to take and try to make a career out of. Your manipulation to try and "correct" the injustice that some jobs do not justify a living wage is where you are going wrong.
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If people can't walk away from a deal that they do not find is sufficiently beneficial to them, then the market isn't free- it's being controlled ("centrally planned") by those with the power to force them to take the bad deal.
Since people can and do walk away from crappy jobs and bad deals, again you're basing your argument on false assumption.

It does not follow that because people need to eat and live, they have no ability to get a better job or improve their lives.
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Better not centrally planned at all. Most businesses are not plutocratically controlled. Though most of your policies try to make them so.
There are some businesses taht are controlled by the employees, and some that are state supported, sure. But most are controlled by the owners and share holders- a relatively small segment of the population that uses the fact taht it owns that wealth to dictate its deployment for their own ends.
Lol. Small business owners are now the plutocrats of which you speak? Again, you claim you want to use market forces, but apparently people having the money to hire someone is a problem you think needs to be fixed. Presumably, success too is a problem that needs to be fixed, since it breeds the potential to hire others and become a plutocrat.
quote:
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Neither works for the people. All central planning works for the central planners, doesn't make a difference if they got there by economic skill or political skill.
Ah, so now you're advocating for pure communism? Or straight up anarch?
No. That's a particularly wild strawman argument jump you're making, that being opposed to central planning requires an embrace of anarchy or communism.

Then you build more on the nonsense. There's a ton of range between central planning and anarchy or communism.
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quote:
No you would not, you have no concept that efficiently allocates resources in your model because you hand out cash to anyone that wants to acquire a resource. Resources do not move towards their best use as they do in an actual capitalistic system.
No, you hand out cash in proportion to the basic non-negotiable need for resources.
Like I said no method to move resources efficiently, hence NO MARKET mechanisms in play.
quote:
If they _want_ more than the basic need for a minimum standard to be able to support themselves and participate, then they still have to invest in acquiring additional income. Providing them from with the baseline, though, means that they can actualyl afford to make that baseline, while their spending on those baseline needs, means that the market can respond and allocate itself properly to provide that baseline by reacting to consumer demand, instead of falling short because it can only respond where consumers have enough money to elicit a response.
Nothing about handing people cash implies that they will use it on needs rather than wants, but everything about your argument implies you will hand them another check and another after that if they keep allocating their money away from their needs.

The market will in fact respond to these heavy handed interferences, the same way it always does, it will move to a barter system, where goods owners only trade for goods and refuse "currency." And you will respond the same way others in your position always respond, you'll try to force sales at artificially low "reasonable" prices and confiscate goods from the "hoarders" for the good of the people.

ALL handing people an endless stream of free money does in the long term is devalue money.
quote:
quote:
Our agriculture industry has been deliberately warped in our strategic interest. We have deliberately maintained oversupply as a buffer.
Which is a fundamental necessity for economic, physical, and social security.
Hence the deliberate part.
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Markets have to be adjusted sufficiently to compensate for the fact taht they are otherwise completely unable to regulate themselves, food is particularly pathological when left to its own devices, with surplus years driving farmers out of business because prices drop to nothing and famine years causing havoc throughout the economy.
So you're arguing that we need to systematically put farmers out of business to protect them from going out of business? lol.
quote:
Only if you're handing out money in great excess of basic needs, not in proportion to them, particularly when you're already capable of producing vast excess and forcing people to go without basic needs by deliberately keeping them impoverished to make them easier to exploit.
"Impoverished" is a RELATIVE term not an absolute one. You can't end it, because no matter how high the standard of living at the bottom its still the bottom. The bottom in the US is actually pretty friggin high on any global measure or time series, and it keeps getting higher.

Virtually no one is without basic needs, and even less are there without contributing to the situation. And honestly, the people who are without basic needs are not being exploited by labor providers, they are almost uniformly long term unemployed and generally unemployable.

The people who are in fact working are also IN FACT capable of meeting their own basic needs.
quote:
We're handing out money far to slowly in comparison to our need and ability to grow, and thus crippling ourselves and forcing people into poverty while feeding the wealth an power of those who control existing resources, especially because they use their control of the limited supply to make private loans to bridge the game, giving them more power over everyone that's now beholden to them by debt.
There's not too little money in the system, there's too much concentration of money per the actual theory behind your arguments. You can't correct that by adding money in at the bottom because it will filter in the exact same channels that it filters today and end up concentrated back in the same hands. Everyone knows that no matter how much you argue for the hand outs at the bottom, you're also looking to tear down those at the top.
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People mooch when they can get out more than they put in, period.
Getting out more than you put in is profit. It's only Mooching when you subjectively declare what they're putting in not worth what they're getting out.
Seriously? You did not just write that. Profit is earned gain, its monetization of the extra value you are providing to someone else. Mooching is just taking out, you're not getting a piece of the extra value you're providing, you're claiming a piece of the extra value others are providing. That's EXACTLY what you are recommending with the free money handout. Allowing people to claim the goods that others produced without contributing anything of value or use to the group. Mooching, not profit.
quote:
But that's why you have to make the reward for working higher than the reward for "mooching".
Which you've already demonstrated it will not be, and will only get you labeled a plutocrat in the new-Pyrtolin order.
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People will work when they get a greater reward for doing so than they do for doing nothing.
Yep. Which is exactly why handing people a reward for doing nothing DOES NOT MOTIVATE THEM TO WORK.
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When you force labor prices down to the point where it's more profitable to mooch than work, you destroy the incentive to work.
Yep, of course we also do it in this country by increasing the incentives to mooch directly by increasing the rewards on that side.
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If you give people enough of a baseline that they can profit even from lower labor rates or can negotiate a reasonable rate, then mooching takes care of itself.
Not in any version of human existence to date, does letting people mooch without strings attached suddenly result in less mooching.
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Which is why the only people that work less in the many, many places that unconditional basic income has been tried are new parents and students, both of whom are groups of people that actualyl do have more valuable ways to invest their current time than fighting for more income.
If you ignore the history of communism, communes in general and any place that such schemes actually have failed with a no true Scotsman fallacy you could make such a claim.

I'll say it again, to my knowledge, no such scheme that didn't rely on the exploitation of physical commodities (such as natural resources) or injections of cash from outside of the system has ever actually worked on any sort of scale.
quote:
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The people with no useful skills have no jobs they can do that are worth what you think their value is as a person.
That's funny, the market says otherwise, since there are clearly jobs they're needed to do (jobs that actualyl do have distinct and useful skills associated with them, just not ones taht follow from academic education)
The market DOES NOT SAY OTHERWISE. The market sets the rates they get paid, it's your personal opinion that says those rates are too low and hence you require an assumption of exploitation to explain away the ACTUAL market result.
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The jobs can just get away with dictating the rates because there are too many people desperate for work for them to be able to hold out for mutually profitable compensation. If the skills weren't useful, there wouldn't be jobs in the first place.
Just because there is labor to be done, does not mean its worth a living wage to anyone to have it done. Yes there are too many people with no skills competing for the few remaining jobs that require no skills. Just handing them money is not going to fix their situation.
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Which to you, means extracting an unprofitable level of pay and the government subsidizing the good deed.
That's not what I said,. That's what you want it to mean; make that argument if you want, but don't falsely put it in my mouth.
You strawman people left and right. That is what you are saying. You are in fact claiming that jobs people are unwilling or unable to pay more for deserve a higher wage.
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The employees cannot be found on the basis of offering mutually profitable pay, then the business needs to innovate and change its model.
It is currently able to find such employees, hence logically its not a broken model, so why do you go here:
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If shouldn't be able to force people to work at a loss simple to subsidise a broken model, as we currently allow it to do.
Because again, you think you know better than the market and everyone who offers a wage and everyone who accepts a wage, what's a reasonable deal between them.
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Sure, which virtually everyone in all western societies receives. Homes, food, clothing, medical care, all covered.
The ones that do better at it are certainly better off. That's why the Scandinavian countries are more economically free than most, and why they're moving toward adopting better models, such as basic income and universal health care to actualyl get to the point where they're actually fully covered.
Or could it be because they uniformly exploit non-renewable natural resources and are lower cost homogeneous cultures? Exploiting a commodities trade imbalance to inject currency is not proof of your theories.
quote:
But here in the US? We fall pathetically short on every count. And instead of working to provide a solid, consistent baseline, we're cutting into what we do give and putting more people out on the street or otherwise forcing them to live in self destructive situations.
I call BS. Even the bottom floor here is a good place, with opportunity. The biggest detriment to success from the bottom is not a failure to meet basic needs, but rather a cultural ideal that refuses to take advantage of opportunity. The reason education fails has nothing to do with lack of resources and everything to do with cultural mores.
quote:
quote:
but they are receiving the actual value of what they are providing.
If this is true, then there's essentially no loss to our economy if their jobs and the industry they work in vanishes, so there's no real concern about discouraging them from working in it by giving them a better alternative. You can't have it both ways on that.
They are working for more than zero, which means you've got a logical problem in your assertion that there is no loss (which again makes your conclusions unsupported).

But even if we ignore that problem, you still don't get anywhere with this. There is NO BETTER alternative, there are no better jobs to be done or found by people without skills. Handing out money is not going to fix that, its almost certainly going to do nothing but create a permanent underclass that does nothing but seek to entertain itself, because it can't do anything actually useful and hey how is entertaining yourself NOT better than doing the kind of monotonous jobs the truly unskilled are qualified for?
quote:
quote:
Poverty can be a trap, but more than half of the people born into poverty won't stay there.
42% of people in the bottom income quintile remain there, while the number of quantiles taht poverty encomapsses in hte US is growing. Once you factor out the transitional visitors- those who briefly lose income long enough to be counted at the bottom, but then find it, not only do most people in poverty remain there, but we get the fact that the poverty rate is growing hte the US and people are being squeezed downward.
So after we "factor" things 42% becomes "most"? Did you proof that before you wrote it?

The poverty rate isn't growing because of any absolute worsening of circumstances, its growing only on a comparative basis. Pretty much reveals your argument about basic needs as junk, when someone whose needs are met today is "reclassified" as not having their needs met tomorrow without any change in circumstances.

I skipped a bunch of reiterations of the same point over and over. If you think there was anything novel that you need a response to, let me know.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
They are working for more than zero, which means you've got a logical problem in your assertion that there is no loss (which again makes your conclusions unsupported).
If the amount they're making does not meet the basic cost of living, never mind transportation, clothing, nutrition, health maintenance, to be able to do the job, then they are working at a loss. To work at a profit, the pay has to exceed their baseline expenses.

quote:
here is NO BETTER alternative, there are no better jobs to be done or found by people without skills. Handing out money is not going to fix that,
It absolutely will, because it will mean that there are more jobs available, less competition for them, and those jobs that are necessary but monotonous will have to pay more to compensate for their undesirability instead of counting on exploitation to take them without compensation for that undesirability and the associated damage that comes along with it.


And if there are some that would rather live with the bare minimum and societal castoffs, than work, all the better for everyone else, since they' have more ways to earn money and more access to resources without the competition from people that would otherwise bring no meaningful productivity in the first place.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Even the bottom floor here is a good place, with opportunity.
I hope you have some, any evidence to back that absurd claim.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Or could it be because they uniformly exploit non-renewable natural resources and are lower cost homogeneous cultures?
No, neither of those is relevant, and that latter one is pure fantasy. Homogeneity has nothing to do with "cost"; that's just a made up assertion to derail discussions about real potential solutions with unfounded nonsense.

The ones that have good fossil fuel resources have more convenient paths to employment sure, but that doesn't mean that they don't have a sufficiently broad production base to be able to support themselves without those as well. What domestic shortages do you suggests taht they have that they're fully dependent on trade to supply such taht tehy can only support themselves based on trade of non-renewable resources?

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Because again, you think you know better than the market and everyone who offers a wage and everyone who accepts a wage, what's a reasonable deal between them.
No, I don't know what a reasonable deal is. I just know how to spot an unreasonable deal where is not a functional market, just exploitation of desperation. If that really was a reasonable deal, then you should have no worry at all about their ability to find workers at that price if people were free to chose not to work those jobs.

Are you really trying to say taht everyone who works minimum wage is doing so because that's where they want to be and would turn down better paying work in any other field that would have them if it were available, or even the option to not work without worrying about physical and financial security?

Because unless you're saying that, then the people working in those fields are not their by choice and are not working at a freely negotiated rate for their labor.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
The market DOES NOT SAY OTHERWISE. The market sets the rates they get paid, it's your personal opinion that says those rates are too low and hence you require an assumption of exploitation to explain away the ACTUAL market result.
It's not my opinion, it's a matter of fact. Who would work in that field at that rate if they were not compelled to do so? IF they're not their purely based on free will and desire to do those jobs or earn those wages, then they're being extorted. That's not an opinion, that the definitional difference between a free market and an exploitative one.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Just because there is labor to be done, does not mean its worth a living wage to anyone to have it done.
Yes it does, since anything less is asking someone to work at a loss. IF you can freely convince people to do that because they gain some other, value out of doing the work that makes it profitable to them, great. But if you compel people to take that deal out of desperation, you're exploiting them; extorting them to work at a loss.

quote:
Yes there are too many people with no skills competing for the few remaining jobs that require no skills.
There are no jobs taht require no skills. Just jobs taht you're moralistically denigrating because you don't respect the skills required.

quote:
Just handing them money is not going to fix their situation.
It will allow them to spend more, which will create more jobs. It will allow them to properly feed themselves and invest in being able to and available for work. And best of all, it will allow them to do so on a market basis instead of being bound by centrally planned dictates over the best way to invest their time and energy in improving their lives. It's been shown, over and over again, to help immensely.

Any time you say "well, instead of giving you enough money to acquire these needs and services on your own terms wiere going to provide you with goods and services based on what we declare your needs to be" you're advocating central planning. Giving people money is the only way to provide support that doesn't involve any planning and leaves actual provisioning to the market.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I'll say it again, to my knowledge, no such scheme that didn't rely on the exploitation of physical commodities (such as natural resources) or injections of cash from outside of the system has ever actually worked on any sort of scale.
Well, that's the point. Injecting enough cash to make the system work. If you're taking cash that already exists in the system and just moving it around then of course it won't work, because it doesn't resolve the fundamental problem that the system is too short on cash to function properly in the first place. That's the handy thing about being a currency issuer- you can address a cash shortage by injecting as much as is needed to fill the gap.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
That doesn't fix the weaning off process, it eliminates it. I'm talking about putting them in a place to be self sufficient, not about any of your politicized statements. I don't care if they work or not, but they are a biological organism and responsible for their own survival.
Indeed, and again, that's why the simplest solution is to unconditionally give them enough cash to afford to be self sufficient. Any less than that, and you force them into dependence on whoever they are forced to turn to to make up the difference. That's the whole point of a basic income. Some vanishingly small fraction will chose not to work to improve their situation from there, but the vast majority of people will work to improve that baseline because they want more than the bare minimum where they couldn't afford to do that before.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Fenring, the issue here isn't whether the system proposes "incentivize sloth" but whether it does so more than the current system.

A base wage as a replacement for current welfare systems would do away with massive incentives in the system. Hell, forced sloth in the current system. Folks who can only afford health care for their kids by staying underemployed.

Which is why essential benefits should be offered without conditions on them. Then there's no discouragement, because there's no need to game the line where they go away.

Beyond taht, the "encourage sloth" is moralistic claptrap. It's a class warfare tactic that blames the poor for their condition in order to maintain the power of plutocrats by turning the middle class against them until the middle class itself have vanished by sinking into poverty.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
So, your hypothetical happy workers with no need to work, are now going to motivate themselves to do jobs for even less gain than they do today? What happened to your higher wages claims when people are free to only take on the jobs at the payments that they decide are worthwhile?
More gain, not less. The basic income doesn't magically go away when they work, that means every dollar that they earn is profit for them, rather than first needed into meet their baseline living expenses before it becomes profitable. So a lower wage that nets them more in combination with the basic income becomes a higher net pay then they were making before.

Simple math: Right now you're paying someone $10/hour (About $20k year). Put in place a basic income that provides $10k/year (equivalent to $5/hour) and if you pat them the same amount, they're now earning $30k/year. You could hire new people at $7.50/hour and they'd be making more than the $10/hour worker was before the basic income. So now workers have room to negotiate their pay higher if needed while your costs go down (not to mention that you get a $10l/year pad to your own bottom line since you don't need to make that baseline out of your profits as well)]

On top of that, a huge new market of people that now have the income to afford your services opens up to you, so you need to hire more people or buy more technology to keep up with the demand.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
There are no savings here, there's no pursuit of efficiency that could generate savings. You're subsidizing the consumer, the laborer and the producer, by printing as much money as you deem to fit the ideal. There's not even a concept in your paradigm that approximates what "savings" actually means.
Because we don't want savings right now, we want growth. You don't stockpile food in the middle of a famine while people are starving, you pull food out of stockpiles and feed them and wait till there's excess production to save.

The "savings" you're talking about are reflected in our current economy by unemployment and poverty. Pushing those up deliberately to keep prices down for people at the top of the heap is absurdly counterproductive, no matter how steadfastly you stand in support of policies that do just that in the name of "savings" or "efficiency"

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Fenring
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Seriati just to clarify something Pyrtolin is saying (which I think he's framing in a confusing way but makes sense): The issue of what he's calling 'baseline' income is to do with a minimum amount needed for basic expenses like food, rent, and so forth. When he says "working at a loss" he means that not only can the person not save up on that income, but they're going into debt just by living and buying no luxuries. If such a person were to have a basic income that covered their 'baseline' expenses any income they yielded from a job would effectively be 'funny money' that they could invest or spend as they see fit, which in turn gets funnelled back into the economy anyhow as a multiplier. It's Keynesian, but more importantly has to do with a person not having to go into debt by default just because of how the system is set up. And this doesn't even get into the issue of higher education if they want to move out of poverty.

It should be noted that "baseline" can't actually be fixed since a person's rent, food costs and other expenses aren't fixed but can fluctuate based on income level. My 'baseline' isn't the same as someone else's. That being said we might assume for the purposes of this discussion that Pyr means a baseline tailored to maximum thrift and with minimum unnecessary expenses. Imagine that the person in question is an excellent budgeter. You'll argue that most people aren't excellent budgeters, but the question is whether such a person could even possibly construct a good budget, not whether they have to will to live by it. Do you remember the McDonald's budgeting advice they were giving their employees a few years back on how to live on a McDonald's income? If you recall it involved cutting back on the number of basic meals per day (!). That is the sort of thing we're talking about here. People in that situation literally cannot make ends meet in any reasonable way. Maybe this involves a cell phone bill, who knows; it's not like you can really get by without a cell phone anyhow, and living without any kind of computer makes it very hard to do basic kinds of job application things. There's the library, but there are limitations there based on your needs and where you live.

On a side note I'll mention that having many people living on a pitiful income encourages the sale of dirt-cheap goods produced out east, which in turn means less jobs in America. Having the income levels in America higher means people would be able to purchase goods of higher value than Walmart, which means more local employment and less dependency on exporting jobs and having a trade imbalance.

[ December 09, 2015, 01:04 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
So to sum, base miminum lets people take jobs at wages that are fair not wages that undervalue them.

This conversely means they will get paid LESS, hence companies will be more profitable (yet these were the same companies that we were going to subsidize because they would now be paying higher fair wages because they can't exploit their workers).

Most companies would be paying less. Those that offer particularly onerous work where, in a healthy market, they'd have to pay more to convince people to overcome that undesirability may end up paying more, or moving toward better automation and policies to make the work more attractive.

In the narrow corner cases where there's an overriding national infrastructure or security interest, that may require some subsidization, but that's just part of the baseline work that needs to be done to keep any market healthy.

quote:

They will plow these profits into more machines putting more people out of work, yet these new happy people will be doing more work, because....?

They will be better able to choose what work they want to do and market their skills on their own terms, without fear of poverty.

quote:
You can see why I say this is the Star Trek economy. In case you wondered, there is no economy in Star Trek, goods get produced without effort so people work for fun. Everyone in Star Trek world seems to have nothing but fun working, when it's far more likely, they'd all just spend the rest of their life on a Holodeck than actually do the work.
Why? Most people want to do work that interests them and matches their skills and talents. Sure you would have to deal with the fact that people might make money doing things taht you don't value, rather than enjoying the current system taht lets you moralistically dictate what is and isn't valuable, but you're just going to have to suck that one up.

And Sure, the Star Trek economy is the relevant comparison, because we're rapidly approaching it, and the primary factor that's slowing its approach is a stubborn insistence on keeping people poor on moral grounds instead of paying them a dividend on our vast excess productivity so that they can both afford to participate in the system and help keep it vital by spending enough to keep pushing toward that eventuality.

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NobleHunter
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The trick with basic incomes is to keep the amount high enough that it provides security but low enough that there's sufficient perceived value in earning more money. Ad absurdumTwenty a month isn't going to change people's behavior much and a million year means no one's going to work for another few thousand.

The key questions are: is there a sweet spot where most people are secure enough to be free of economic coercion (broadly speaking) but still see enough value in work that necessary production still takes place and can the government hit that spot?

[ December 09, 2015, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:

t should be noted that "baseline" can't actually be fixed since a person's rent, food costs and other expenses aren't fixed but can fluctuate based on income level. My 'baseline' isn't the same as someone else's. That being said we might assume for the purposes of this discussion that Pyr means a baseline tailored to maximum thrift and with minimum unnecessary expenses. Imagine that the person in question is an excellent budgeter. You'll argue that most people aren't excellent budgeters, but the question is whether someone can even possibly construct a good budget, not whether they have to will to live by it.

Even more than that, there are state and regional differences that come into play- but those can be moderated at the state and regional level, with the bonus factor that it would enable many more people to become mobile enough to move to lower cost of living areas, if they so desired, which would spur development there and bring the costs of living up naturally.

And I'd say taht the target should be the average budgeter, not the most skilled. If someone can increase their margin by being extremely frugal, then more power to them. On the other side of the coin, I'm happy to leave the question of how to work with people that aren't good at that to the local level, as it's something that's not only more appropriate, but generally more effective to handle at the community level.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
The trick with basic incomes is to keep the amount high enough that it provides security but low enough that there's sufficient perceived value in earning more money. [i]Ad absurdum[/i,]Twenty a month isn't going to change people's behavior much and a million year means no one's going to work for another few thousand.

The key questions are: is there a sweet spot where most people are secure enough to be free of economic coercion (broadly speaking) but still see enough value in work that necessary production still takes place and can the government hit that spot?

With the caveat that if you shoot a little high, inflation will balance it out pretty quickly, while a little low will take the edge off, but note really get anywhere.

But that's mostly an implementation detail not the basic principle at play.

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scifibum
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I think cost of living variations could be problematic. How do you control for feedback loops between COL adjustments and people trying to game them in ways that might continue to drive up COL?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
The fundamental characteristic of a free market is that people make exchanges for things they value more than what they are giving up, without undo interference by third parties.

Everything you propose violates the "without undo interference" portion of the game. And everything you do, ignores that the current participants are IN FACT trading something - their time - for something they value more - their wages.

Except they're not doing so without undue interference. The threat of unemployment, poverty, and starvation are all extremely undue sources of interference that prevent them from trading freely, as is exploitation of those concerns. If everyone was guaranteed ownership of a small plot of land with a house and had the skills and physical ability to use it to produces all the food, clothing, and materials for repairs that they need, you'd be on better ground, because then absolutely, they could walk away from any employment offer that took them away from hat baseline if it didn't compensate them enough to gain net positive value.

But we don't provide everyone with that. In fact, we've actively denied most people taht possibility in order to build dense living environments like cities in order to take advantage of the additional productive efficiency that comes from proximity. We can simulate it, though, by providing them with the income needed to afford the equivalent baseline by contracting provision of it out to others through their purchases, but without taht, people are left open to exploitation and extortion in their attempts to reach that minimum baseline.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
quote:
Getting out more than you put in is profit. It's only Mooching when you subjectively declare what they're putting in not worth what they're getting out.
Seriously? You did not just write that. Profit is earned gain, its monetization of the extra value you are providing to someone else.
About right- it's monetization of the difference between your costs, including the costs to support yourself, and the value which you provide someone else. It's not total revenue, just the portion of revenue which exceeds production cost.

quote:
Mooching is just taking out, you're not getting a piece of the extra value you're providing, you're claiming a piece of the extra value others are providing.[/quote[
On what basis, though are you claiming that no value is being provided? This is waht I was talking about,. In many, if not most cases the people you are accusing of "mooching" are providing some for of value to others, it's just not one that you chose to respect (or are actively choosing to de-value based on your own subjective interpretation)

[quote] That's EXACTLY what you are recommending with the free money handout. Allowing people to claim the goods that others produced without contributing anything of value or use to the group. Mooching, not profit.

It allows for it, to be sure, but it also allows people to need less money to make a profit, because their baseline costs to provide value are already covered. That means taht the first dollar that they earn is not profit, rather than having to first earn enough to cover rent, food, clothes, transportation, etc... before they generate enough revenue to make a profit. THey can offer a lower nominal price for the same services and come out ahead than they could before and still risk taking a loss because they're making less than their rent payment.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I think cost of living variations could be problematic. How do you control for feedback loops between COL adjustments and people trying to game them in ways that might continue to drive up COL?

That's why it's better to set a fixed baseline. Even, to be honest, automatic inflation adjustments are a bit questionable, because they risk a feedback loop. It's better to try to find about the right lace, observe the results and then adjust it until it's clear that we're at the point of diminishing returns and only tweak it in response to surges in productivity that might put it out of whack with the availability of work.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
There's not too little money in the system, there's too much concentration of money per the actual theory behind your arguments. You can't correct that by adding money in at the bottom because it will filter in the exact same channels that it filters today and end up concentrated back in the same hands. Everyone knows that no matter how much you argue for the hand outs at the bottom, you're also looking to tear down those at the top.
Yes and no. That money filters to the top isn't an issue. Everyone gets richer? Then everyone wins.

However, a lack of money in the system means that people can get richer by, instead of providing value, providing loans. Effectively providing negative value. They take advantage of people's need to impose a private rent/tax on them without actualyl giving them anything of lasting value in exchange, just the promise of future expenses.

Those people would lose out under this system, because people would be able to afford more out of pocket and not need to indebt themselves in order to get by or take a chance at improving their lot. On the other hand, people that become wealthy for providing goods and services would do better, and there would be more incentive to invest in providing new wealth in order to gain money than there would be in providing debt to make money.

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