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  1. 05 Jun '16 23:08 / 1 edit
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/02/state-handouts-for-all-europe-set-to-pilot-universal-basic-incomes

    "State handouts for all? Europe set to pilot universal basic incomes."
    --Philip Oltermann (2 June 2016)

    "A recent poll by Dalia research found that 68% of people across all
    EU member states said they definitely or probably would vote for a
    universal basic income."

    On 5 June 2016, Switzerland held a referendum on whether everyone
    (employed or not) should be guaranteed a basic income (suggested at
    2500 Swiss francs for an adult and 625 Swiss francs for a child per month).
    It's been estimated that this would cost about 1/3 of Switzerland's GDP.
    Update: Exit polls indicate that 78% of Swiss voters rejected this proposition.

    I suspect that this will be the last that's heard of the notion of a universal
    basic income (UBI), though UBI has some major basic problems
    (such as variance in housing costs).

    Should a universal basic income in some form be considered in addition
    to or as a replacement of some existing welfare programmes?
  2. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    05 Jun '16 23:32 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/02/state-handouts-for-all-europe-set-to-pilot-universal-basic-incomes

    "State handouts for all? Europe set to pilot universal basic incomes."
    --Philip Oltermann (2 June 2016)

    "A recent poll by Dalia research found that 68% of people across all
    EU member states said they definitely or probably would vote for ...[text shortened]... e in some form be considered in addition
    to or as a replacement of existing welfare programmes?
    That would depend a great deal on the cost and popularity of the program. If the citizens are happy with this program, and the costs are manageable, I don't see a problem with it.
  3. 06 Jun '16 00:06 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/02/state-handouts-for-all-europe-set-to-pilot-universal-basic-incomes

    "State handouts for all? Europe set to pilot universal basic incomes."
    --Philip Oltermann (2 June 2016)

    "A recent poll by Dalia research found that 68% of people across all
    EU member states said they definitely or probably would vote for ...[text shortened]... some form be considered in addition
    to or as a replacement of some existing welfare programmes?
    It's not going to be the last that's heard of a UBI.

    At some point in the not too distant, probably when self driving cars/trucks/etc take off,
    where the numbers of people made permanently structurally unemployed and unemployable
    will grow so large that the alternatives are basically implement a UBI or your economy and
    civilisation completely collapse. [due to increasing automation of jobs]
    Estimates currently for the proportion of jobs readily automated [next few decades] go between
    40~60%... The great depression caused a mere 25% unemployment in the states.

    Vox has done some well written articles on a UBI that are worth reading for anyone interested.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/5/31/11819024/universal-basic-income-works

    http://www.vox.com/2016/6/1/11827024/universal-basic-income

    The tl:dr version is the first demonstrates that a UBI is absolutely possible to affordably implement
    [even if there is no chance at all of getting the idea past the republican party] and would absolutely
    end poverty if implemented at an affordable level sufficient to do so.
    The second is dealing with the bigger question to which the answer is unknown, which is whether
    people can be respected [and respect themselves] if they are living on just the UBI and are not working.
    The evidence and examples given suggest strongly to me that they can, but it's not a certainty.
    IF people can live happily on a UBI then its worth implementing, if not, the article argues that we would
    be better off trying to get everyone [working age] to work. Although as I said before, I don't believe that
    is going to be an option for much longer.

    I suspect that this will be the last that's heard of the notion of a universal
    basic income (UBI), though UBI has some major basic problems
    (such as variance in housing costs).


    That's not a big problem. Firstly, if you are living somewhere expensive, it is so because lots of people
    want to live there [vs number of residences available] which typically means that there are lots of high
    paying jobs available that are attracting people [especially true of cities]. This means that such people
    are likely to be among the employed in which case [unless they are highly paid] the UBI simply makes
    them better off and helps with the rent along with everything else.
    Secondly, it's pretty trivial to have a regional variation to compensate for differing living costs.
    The UK's university loan scheme has higher loans for London than it does for cheaper areas for precisely
    that reason.
    Thirdly, it's supposed to be a 'basic' income, which you can just about live off of, but which you would want
    to supplement by working.... or by sharing... A flat unaffordable to one, may be easily affordable to two or three
    on a UBI. Which is incidentally more efficient [more ecological] as well as more social. Everyone living alone
    [those not in families] is not great for a social species.
  4. 06 Jun '16 08:42
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    IF people can live happily on a UBI then its worth implementing, if not, the article argues that we would be better off trying to get everyone [working age] to work. Although as I said before, I don't believe that is going to be an option for much longer.
    Not an option under the current system. It is however possible to get more people working if necessary, it just requires more effort from government. A government could for example provide more education grants and education services to increase skill levels of the work force. They could also actively work to create jobs via a range of means.

    I would, however, like to see the UBI tried and think it would probably work. I suspect the figure suggested in Switzerland was too high. They should have started with a lower amount that would effectively replace social services but not be seen as so much that the voters wont accept it. Also, on a country wide implementation it needs to be phased in gradually as it makes a significant change to the way people are remunerated.
  5. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    06 Jun '16 11:10
    Let me see. Either everyone should have enough to live on or it is okay that some people are impoverished to below minimal acceptable standards. If the former, then UBI is just an administratively effective way to achieve what ought to be the fundamental goal of any decent society. If the latter, then of course extreme poverty is not going to be addressed by any alternative method either and UBI is no more desirable than any other state action to protect vulnerable people.

    UBI would not eliminate the incentive to work - the delights of decent, respectable poverty notwithstanding, what one writer has called the "cut price baccahanalia" enjoyed by the poor, few people really subscribe to the attractions of poverty when applied to their own lives. But it would help to moderate the excessive levels of fear that presently serve to humiliate and demoralise those in need and to discipline wage earners. Imagine if employers were obliged to respect employees as equal humans, because the employee is no longer enslaved by the fear of penury. Imagine if the state lost the power to humiliate the poor, because they were no longer so dependent on squalid procedures of means testing and entitlement testing. For example, to voluntarily leave a job in the UK removes all entitlement to support, placing employees subject to oppressive employers and unhealthy working conditions, unable to leave without severe sanctions. The state and corporate interests work together to enslave workers and UBI would make some (modest) contribution to challenging that culture.
  6. 06 Jun '16 16:59
    Already got a UBI in most western countries.Here in the US it's called welfare.
  7. 06 Jun '16 17:41
    Originally posted by FishHead111
    Already got a UBI in most western countries.Here in the US it's called welfare.
    Wrong.
  8. 06 Jun '16 23:15
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/02/state-handouts-for-all-europe-set-to-pilot-universal-basic-incomes

    "State handouts for all? Europe set to pilot universal basic incomes."
    --Philip Oltermann (2 June 2016)

    "A recent poll by Dalia research found that 68% of people across all
    EU member states said they definitely or probably would vote for ...[text shortened]... some form be considered in addition
    to or as a replacement of some existing welfare programmes?
    Why not just make everything free like Bernie?
  9. 07 Jun '16 14:59 / 1 edit
    Another Vox article on UBI specifically talking about the vote in Switzerland.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/6/6/11861018/switzerland-basic-income-vote-rejected

    As it points out, they were expecting to loose this vote, but by staging it they have
    successfully raised awareness of this idea and got people all over Europe and the
    world talking [often favourably] about it.

    It also showed that a large majority of the Swiss were in favour of a TEST of UBI as
    opposed to just rolling it out nationwide and seeing what happened.
    Which was not true before this campaign.

    While they opposed implementing one immediately, 77 percent of Swiss poll respondents said they'd support a test of basic income, and on that they're getting their wish. Finland is gearing up to launch a large-scale trial next year, and a more limited effort is current underway in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Y Combinator, the US-based investment company, is doing a pilot in Oakland, California. The government of Ontario, Canada, is launching a test this year, and GiveDirectly, a cash transfer charity, is doing a test in Kenya.

    Switzerland's vote suggested that rich countries aren't ready to go all in and adopt a basic income as policy yet. That's reasonable; it's a major, and majorly expensive, step. But the vote also helped generate a firestorm of media coverage and attention that made basic income a mainstream idea. That itself is a huge success.

    "There is certainly no week in the history of the world in which the media have allocated so much time and space to a discussion of basic income," longtime basic income booster Philippe Van Parijs wrote in a blog post titled, "Thank you Switzerland!"

    He has a point. The Swiss organizers should claim victory, for they played a key role in taking a nearly forgotten idea and turning it into the subject of worldwide debate.
  10. 07 Jun '16 15:48
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Another Vox article on UBI specifically talking about the vote in Switzerland.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/6/6/11861018/switzerland-basic-income-vote-rejected

    As it points out, they were expecting to loose this vote, but by staging it they have
    successfully raised awareness of this idea and got people all over Europe and the
    world talking [often fa ...[text shortened]... e in taking a nearly forgotten idea and turning it into the subject of worldwide debate.[/quote]
    Are there demographic breakdowns identifying who favors this?

    I can easily visualize many destructive incentives. Who would produce what all those non working consumers require?

    And more importantly, who would determine what are "needs" from which to determine basic income? Would this include self destructive addictions?

    I know many seniors who "just could never make it on Social Security alone". I also know many who do live quite comfortably on that same income.

    I'd bet that the majority of supporters anticipate an increase in their income, while opposers may lose out.
  11. 07 Jun '16 19:16 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Are there demographic breakdowns identifying who favors this?

    I can easily visualize many destructive incentives. Who would produce what all those non working consumers require?

    And more importantly, who would determine what are "needs" from which to determine basic income? Would this include self destructive addictions?

    I know many seniors who ...[text shortened]... the majority of supporters anticipate an increase in their income, while opposers may lose out.
    There have been (limited) experiments with a universal basic income and they don't suggest that people will stop working en masse. Moreover, there are plenty of countries where a generous minimum income is already guaranteed albeit through administratively more complex means and many of them have low unemployment and high labour participation ratios (e.g. Norway). Your fears are unfounded.

    I favour a universal basic income not because I would stand to gain in a direct, financial way (I'm doing fine) but simply because it is the most efficient way to guarantee that everyone has at least their basic minimum needs met. Such a guarantee provides major benefits to society in general and I would stand to gain indirectly from such benefits - e.g. higher labour productivity, lower crime, higher life expectancy etc. A universal basic income is also the most market-friendly way of structuring a welfare system since it is people themselves that will determine what they find essential rather than government bureaucrats.

    Of course, if you don't think a minimum standard of living ought to be guaranteed, then food stamps, Social Security, Medicare, veterans' benefits etc. etc. ought all to be abolished.
  12. 09 Jun '16 14:58
    This was published in September 2015, but has bubbled up because it resonates with
    what's going on right now and in particular in reference to the topic of this thread.

    This is an article in Vox making a case against "Equality of Opportunity" as opposed to
    "Equality of Outcomes" which, while not directly about a UBI, does make a great case
    for why we should have one.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/21/9334215/equality-of-opportunity

    Having read the article in full, there are no major points upon which I disagree with the
    writer on this argument.