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Forum Post: Unconditional basic income - The revolution is coming according to leading economists.

Posted 12 years ago on Jan. 11, 2012, 4:12 p.m. EST by ubi (6)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Unconditional basic income can be part of the solution when it comes to achieving more socioeconomic equality in the USA.

Basic income is a particular form of guaranteed minimum monthly income, which gives all people access to some income irrespective of their current work performance or their past work performance. A guaranteed minimum monthly income in this sense is something which has existed in several European countries for a number of years, but basic income differs from the existing guaranteed minimum income along three dimensions: first, basic income is strictly individual, given to all people on an individual basis irrespective of their household situation; second, it is given to all irrespective of income from other sources (labor income or capital income); third, basic income is not subject to whether people are willing to work or not. It is not restricted to the involuntarily unemployed, but would be paid to everyone, including people who choose not to engage in paid work (for example, housewives, househusbands, volunteers, students, and many artists).

Funding solutions could involve a combination of the following tax increases for the wealthiest 20%:

  • Income tax
  • Capital gains taxes
  • Inheritance taxes
  • Luxury taxes
  • Pollution taxes
  • Lottery / gambling taxes

This would coincide with the elimination of current income support programs and tax deductions.



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[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

This is easy to criticize but we really do have to brainstorm ways to change this economy so that it works for everyone. I don't know what the answer is yet, or if this is even feasible or necessary, but if we don't think about what possibilities are out there we'll never find it.

[-] 8 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

if i sent this to you already i am sorry for being redundant - we need to change the way we think about economics - the whole system is backwards and must be reworked - here is max neef with some ideas! ........AMY GOODMAN: What do you think we need to change?

MANFRED MAX-NEEF: Oh, almost everything. We are simply, dramatically stupid. We act systematically against the evidences we have. We know everything that should not be done. There’s nobody that doesn’t know that. Particularly the big politicians know exactly what should not be done. Yet they do it. After what happened since October 2008, I mean, elementally, you would think what? That now they’re going to change. I mean, they see that the model is not working. The model is even poisonous, you know? Dramatically poisonous. And what is the result, and what happened in the last meeting of the European Union? They are more fundamentalist now than before. So, the only thing you know that you can be sure of, that the next crisis is coming, and it will be twice as much as this one. And for that one, there won’t be enough money anymore. So that will be it. And that is the consequence of systematical human stupidity.

AMY GOODMAN: So, to avoid another catastrophe, collision, if you were in charge, what would you say has to happen?

MANFRED MAX-NEEF: First of all, we need cultured economists again, who know the history, where they come from, how the ideas originated, who did what, and so on and so on; second, an economics now that understands itself very clearly as a subsystem of a larger system that is finite, the biosphere, hence economic growth as an impossibility; and third, a system that understands that it cannot function without the seriousness of ecosystems. And economists know nothing about ecosystems. They don’t know nothing about thermodynamics, you know, nothing about biodiversity or anything. I mean, they are totally ignorant in that respect. And I don’t see what harm it would do, you know, to an economist to know that if the bees would disappear, he would disappear as well, because there wouldn’t be food anymore. But he doesn’t know that, you know, that we depend absolutely from nature. But for these economists we have, nature is a subsystem of the economy. I mean, it’s absolutely crazy.

And then, in addition, you know, bring consumption closer to production. I live in the south of Chile, in the deep south. And that area is a fantastic area, you know, in milk products and what have you. Top. Technologically, like the maximum, you know? I was, a few months ago, in a hotel, and there in the south, for breakfast, and there are these little butter things, you know? I get one, and it’s butter from New Zealand. I mean, if that isn’t crazy, you know? And why? Because economists don’t know how to calculate really costs, you know? To bring butter from 20,000 kilometers to a place where you make the best butter, under the argument that it was cheaper, is a colossal stupidity, because they don’t take into consideration what is the impact of 20,000 kilometers of transport? What is the impact on the environment of that transportation, you know, and all those things? And in addition, I mean, it’s cheaper because it’s subsidized. So it’s clearly a case in which the prices never tell the truth. It’s all tricks, you know? And those tricks do colossal harms. And if you bring consumption closer to production, you will eat better, you will have better food, you know, and everything. You will know where it comes from. You may even know the person who produces it. You humanize this thing, you know? But the way the economists practice today is totally dehumanized.

AMY GOODMAN: What have you learned that gives you hope in the poor communities that you’ve worked in and lived in?

MANFRED MAX-NEEF: Solidarity of people. You know, respect for the others. Mutual aid. No greed. I mean, that is a value that is absent in poverty. And you would be inclined to think that there should be more there than elsewhere, you know, that greed should be of people who have nothing. No, quite the contrary. The more you have, the more greedy you become, you know. And all this crisis is the product of greed. Greed is the dominant value today in the world. And as long as that persists, well, we are done.

AMY GOODMAN: And if you’re teaching young economists, the principles you would teach them, what they’d be?

MANFRED MAX-NEEF: The principles, you know, of an economics which should be are based in five postulates and one fundamental value principle.

One, the economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy.

Two, development is about people and not about objects.

Three, growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.

Four, no economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services.

Five, the economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible.

And the fundamental value to sustain a new economy should be that no economic interest, under no circumstance, can be above the reverence of life.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

"One, the economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy.

Two, development is about people and not about objects.

Three, growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.

Four, no economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services.

Five, the economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible.

And the fundamental value to sustain a new economy should be that no economic interest, under no circumstance, can be above the reverence of life."

  • Manfred Max-Neef

It is hard to understand why this is so complicated for people. Thanks for posting this flip. You can post it as much as you like. You have a sound mind and I always appreciate your posts.

[-] 5 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

i don't think it is really complicated for most people - the ruling class (or power elite or whatever you like to call them) always drinks the kool aid. they always believe with all of their being that they are better and should be running the show. of course, then the economic system reflects that and they somehow benefit very much from that system! in the same way the nobility of old believed in divine right. if you look at polls there is a very distinct split in the thinking of the top 20% or so of the population and the bottom 80% on all sorts of issues. a huge percentage of the population believes that the economic system is inherently unfair (85% in some cases!). how about this - . Polls show that almost half the population believe that the U.S. Constitution -- a sacred document -- is the source of Marx's phrase "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need," so obviously right does the sentiment seem.6

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

I like that comparison to the Divine Right of Kings. It is, indeed, quite similar.

[-] 3 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

maybe divine right of free markets? or divine right of capital

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago


[-] 2 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

anybody having a second for this link here? -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6zVj3nBmNs

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

Very interesting. Good research.

[-] 1 points by booksgamesvideos (72) 12 years ago

Even though I'm a Libertarian, I support this idea


Eliminate all the redundant and inefficient programs like Social security, medicare, welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, and just send EVERYBODY one single check for ~$1000 a month (equivalent to a 7/hour job). "Simplify, simplify." - Thoreau. And then they'll no longer be able to bitch that the government is not helping


[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

a ron type libertarian - free market libertarian or an anarcho syndicalist type???

[-] 1 points by booksgamesvideos (72) 12 years ago

More like Jefferson. He didn't support anarchy, and neither do I. "If it were possible to have no government, we would, but we resort to government in order to protect our individual rights."


[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

if you think anarchy means no government you do not understand it

[-] 1 points by Budcm (208) 12 years ago

What did he say?

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

what did who say??

[+] -4 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

Amy Goodman is a worn out old left-wing extremist. She trolls the airwaves in a few markets on a loopy show called "Democracy Now". For anyone that wants to hear true nut-talk, the kind of propaganda you hear on Radio Havana, this is the place. They're out there and she's a good reminder.

[-] 3 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

even if your nonsense were true it says nothing about what max neef says. amy was simply asking questions - and why would you (land of the free and home of the brave - ha!) be afraid of cuba? and why would you be so stupid as to try to tell me who amy is - i have known her since before the indonesian army tried to kill her (those fascist pigs that clinton armed and supported while they slaughtered the timorese)? so say something about the subject or go play with the others capitalist nut jobs on this site

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 12 years ago

I did a search on her, she seemed reasoned, if liberaly boring.

But if she reflects your views, maybe she should be placed further out on my trusty lefty-o-meter

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

you need help - i will help you even though it is a bit like cleaning up shit. go to google - you can find that can't you - with that tiny little pea brain of yours - by the way - are you rich or a wanna be - look up quisling first - it's a good word! ok, sorry - i got off track - you are so stupid i can't focus - laughing too much! anyway google amygoodman bill clinton interview - listen to the whole thing and tell me who is the lefty - big bill or amy - you're a big fan of his - right??

[-] 2 points by debndan (1145) 12 years ago

Oh, absolutely I admire Bill Clinton.

He was an honest liberal and had the country's best interest at heart.

And he did a lot of good. Wages and employment hit all time highs and poverty hit all time lows. And he respected all views, whether he agreed with them or not.

Which is the rub. While liberals tend to see all views, leftist tend to see only their own narrow world view.

And, God forbid, if you question a leftist, or dare to counter their arguement, why surprise surprise, they say that their opponent is small minded, or stupid, or some other quakery.

This is the same Intellectual laziness of the far right. Instead of organizing a logical defense, or an answer on topic, all you get is some skreed.

Congradulations! you get the Fucktard of the month award for january

oh, and notice I saved the name calling till I'd formed the arguement first

how stupid and small minded of me

==(==< , O , >==)===

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

bill is a murderer - an honest liberal - were you upset at the way amy treated you hero - here suck on this little boy - this is ms halfbright (you do know who she is right?) - Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.

--60 Minutes (5/12/96)

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 12 years ago

Whew, thanks for restoring my faith in leftists

I was wondering when you'd get around to defending a brutal dictator like soddum hussain

For it was his actions that nessesitated those sanctions

And it was Saddoms choice to divert funds from the oil for food program, not Clintons, dipshit

So, it was saddams choice to starve his people to the tune of a half mil. that's nothing new for him, he gassed his own people in the late 80's as well,

and saddam also killed a million Iraqies and a million Iranians through his war with iran in the 80's as well

So, go ahead, defend a monster like that, just as leftists have defended castro, pol pot, stalin, and hitler : it's what you guys do best.

And then, as you speak, why normal people like me can parade your words past our children, so that they know what a crazy fucktard sounds like

(I also do this with right wingers too) my motto is that you can never educate your kids too much

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

500k kids! Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 12 years ago

Well of course she said that. She's a liberal, and felt badly that saddam kept aid from those kids, sometime liberals blame themselves for the actions of others, when said liberal makes a hard choice.

In this case it was the hard choice of sanctions, because she knew that if saddam cheated the food for aid, then kids would die. It just means she has a conscience for feeling partly to blame.

A conscience that saddam and you lefties are sorely lacking so keep up the 'good' fight of defending yet anouther monster of history like your creepy little gray haired, gray voiced Amy Goodcommie does.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

you are sick - commie was years ago - today it is terrorist - you need to keep up with the enemy of the week. so i wonder do you do anything or do you just sit around in your jammies watching porn - do you live in mommies house or daddies

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

thanks a lot both for your interesting views. now, would it be possible please to open a new thread if you want to discuss that particular topic further? this thread was supposed to be about the inconditional basic income, what we need are contributors able to help with research.

like, for example, about this question here: http://occupywallst.org/forum/unconditional-basic-income-the-revolution-is-comin/#comment-590974

[-] 0 points by commonsense11 (195) 12 years ago

Research for what? To see that lazy people favor unconditional income? Hard working Americans will never allow it and it would be the final nail in the coffin for America.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

By lazy people, you must mean management.

Laziest bunch by far,

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

exactly, shooz, thanks a lot for this comment. commonsense must mean the lazy 1%.

and common sense: please do us a favor and go open yourself an own thread about why you don't like the idea. leave the people here alone and let them work on this thread.

[-] -1 points by commonsense11 (195) 12 years ago

I'm talking about the lazy entitled generation that seems to be so prevalent in our society today. No one owes you anything. You work for a living and take pride in that. You don't start your life with a new car, new house, and go into debt to have everything your heart desires by age 24. You set goals, spend wisely and enjoy the satisfaction of obtaining those things you want because of your efforts, not someone else. The world has way too many lazy bums with an attitude of entitlement in it and it's time they get called out and told to get off their lazy butts like the majority of us have and get it together.

[-] -1 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

I'm not afraid of Cuba or Amy "Moonbat" Goodman. This remains a center-right country and their ideas have zero chance of being implemented here. But if their ideas were implemented here, the country would be destroyed. And while Amy Goodman remains on the irrelevant whacko fringe, people should listen in to know that people like her are out there.

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 12 years ago

true, although when I first looked her up, she came off as reasonable in her newscast.

It wasn't until I offended another leftist nut job by calling her boring that said nut-job provided the links that showed otherwise.

After flipper directed me, Amy borington went to Amy Borscht.

Boy, you were right that lady is BAT-SHIT crazy, and flippers response was worse than being a rabbi at a david duke rally

[-] -1 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

I listen to Pacifica a fair bit; it's on here locally. They're just freaks. The used to refer to the Iraqi insurgents as the "resistance". They had some Canadian female prof on a few years ago talking about Afghanistan and women's rights. She viewed it as imperialism saying "no one asked the women of Afghanistan what THEY wanted." Yes, maintain the order of life: white American males are the worst, even against the Taliban. I head a discussion about capitalism where they wondered how we go from innocent babies to believing in profits. Oh, and another one, Pacifica gives air time to Jim Hightower. He'd take everything you've ever earned and throw it out of a helicopter. He's a complete nut that can't figure out why a successful industrialist would make more than a librarian down the street.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

the ruling class is center right - the population is for sure social democratic on the european line - that is the fact - you don't know it but you don't know much. if you are right then you can relax - put the tv on and grab a beer - maybe it will dull the pain

[-] -3 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

You don't know your own country. Forget the wet dreams of the leftists that've always been puzzled why hardly anyone agrees with them; deal with the ongoing reality of who we are as a people.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

and you do - sure! i could get the polls but it is a waste of time as are you - i hope the beer is cold

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

alright, thanks a lot for this comment, now may I please ask the people in the forum whether it's possible to slowly turn this thread to a more constructive one? what's needed, would be some research help. like the needed statistics re jobs flowing away due to unpaid overtime hours: see http://occupywallst.org/forum/unconditional-basic-income-the-revolution-is-comin/#comment-590974

[-] -2 points by debndan (1145) 12 years ago

Hmmm, just did a search on her and listened to her latest broadcast.

Seemed less like radio havana, and more like a liberal version of faux news, with less flair.

she's actually kinda boring, here's the link I found her at:


[-] 0 points by jimmycrackerson (940) from Blackfoot, ID 12 years ago

Boring? That's what all the dumb kids in school say when they can't comprehend what the teacher is trying to teach them.

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 12 years ago

oh, I understood every monotone word, it was almost creative boredom.

[-] -1 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

She's a craggy old left-over and bitter leftist. The voice thing is getting really bad, I agree. It's grating. It's the kind of thing everyone should listen to at least once. They're still out there, few and far between, but they're there.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 12 years ago

but what about max-neef's views on the the relationship of the economy to the ecosystem?

[-] -2 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

I know the whacko drill well enough. Spend your own time with it.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 12 years ago

do you know anything about the environment? have you had any science in school?

[-] -2 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

Gee, must've missed it. LOL.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 12 years ago

how can you make a decision on something you don't know about? how will your grandchildren live in a world that has been wasted? we're already beginning to have abnormal weather patterns.

[-] 0 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

The climate thing is kinda funny. Even if we are changing the climate, who says were moving away from optimal and not towards it? Of all the climate history of the planet, when was optimal experienced? Was it 1826? How about 1926? Or was it 967 BC? Perhaps 1 million BC?

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 12 years ago

the problem could be that the climate in large areas that we depend on for food production will change and they will be less productive and we won't have suitable new areas. this would cause shortages, raise price and possibly famines in some areas. pollution of our water supplies could also have very bad consequences. here's a link to problem that occurred in phoenix. it was swept under the rug to protect the government and the polluters.


[-] -3 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

Maybe, maybe not. It could also open giant new areas in places like Canada.

LIke I wrote, even if we're warming the earth, there's nothing that says we're moving away from optimal and not towards it. A cold planet is pretty rough too.

Think about the problems of mankind and think about the costs of addressing global warming. Bang-for-the-buck-wise, globally warming is way down the list. And try going into Indoogoo's hut in Ogabogaland and telling him electricity is bad. Global warming is a big deal because people see a chance at giant international capital flows and markets for things like carbon. They see massive opportunity for transfer payments from first world to third and the biggest graft opportunity in the history of the planet.

The biggest problems are population size, resource limitations of all kinds, access to water, governance quality, and ethnic strive. Warming is way down the list. If we stabilize temperature, good luck with things if we reach 12 billion people.

Some are willing to be highly coercive to lower carbon. Why not then be highly coercive about population size? Spending a trillion to arrest galloping population growth in places like Pakistan, Somalia, and India would do more for the planet than any of the global warming stuff.

[-] 2 points by philosophersstoned (233) from Gypsum, CO 12 years ago

Full Employment/Jobs Guarantee Program. It is proven to work. And aside from helping the economy, it encourages local communities to organize and work together on a grass-roots level, which is beneficial to our democracy in general.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

Full employment is not something that we've ever had here. Keynesian capitalism holds that a 4-5% unemployment rate is the norm. They like it that way. It keeps employers powerful and employees weak. It would be very interesting to try full employment.

[-] 0 points by technoviking (484) 12 years ago

100% is nice. But you won't force me to work. I'll be that 0.0001% unemployed.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

Good one.

[-] 1 points by technoviking (484) 12 years ago

Glad you see the point. People are unemployed for all kinds of reasons. Some estimates are that about 1-2% of the workforce will always be transitioning between jobs. Consistent 100% employment means people aren't changing jobs and one consequence of that is that some people are in the jobs they are not happy in or are not the most efficient in.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

I enjoy a sense of humor. And, yes. I know, but the Keynesians are too high on that number of 4-5%.

[-] 1 points by 1169 (204) 12 years ago

I think its feasible and necessary, the produce and consume economy we have now could be replaced with a resource based economy set up to be fair for the 100%.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

I agree that we need an economic system that will work for everyone, not just the wealthy.

[-] 0 points by WooHoo (15) 12 years ago

Easy to criticize? That's an understatement.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

People criticized Columbus for saying the world was round, too. Open your mind. Think outside of the box.

[-] 3 points by WooHoo (15) 12 years ago

Everyone can, to employ a tired and trite cliche, 'think outside the box' without too much effort. But even thinking outside the box requires at least one foot remain in reality. I would advise you to at least know where the box is located. There are no unicorns.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

Evidently five nobel prize winners in economics believed this was a good idea so the box is in just the right place. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by WooHoo (15) 12 years ago

Five Nobel prize winners advocate a 'basic income' for all? Could be. Seems they're handing out Nobel prizes as if they were Tic-Tacs. Obama even has one. So five of them? Name them.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

"Winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics who fully support a basic income include Herbert Simon,[30] Friedrich Hayek,[31][32] James Meade, Robert Solow,[33] and Milton Friedman.[34]" - Wiki

Note the inclusion of Hayek, the Austrian economist.

[-] 0 points by WooHoo (15) 12 years ago


[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

Yes. Wiki.

[-] -2 points by Kirby (104) 12 years ago

Milton Friedman is dead and would not have supported this.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

But he did think it was a good idea. Go figure. Economists who understand how capitalism works.

[-] 1 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 12 years ago

Just curious.... Do they award Nobel Prizes for TROLLING? If so, I would place my bets on "WooHoo"... :)

[-] 1 points by WooHoo (15) 12 years ago

I don't doubt there is one. Thanks for the vote.

[-] -3 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

A giant welfare state where huge masses simply live off of what their neighbors produce is hardly "thinking outside the box". It's merely thinking inside your neighbor's wallet.

Maybe you could start a new sub-"movement". Occupy Your Neighbor's Bank Account.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

You've obviously bought into the right wing corporate brainwashing that has ruined this country.

No problem:

1 in 7 on food stamps.

22% of American children in poverty.

Declining wages by 7% in last decade.

ONE-HALF of all Americans earning less than $26,000 per year while corporations run away with the biggest profits ever.

CEO's, who, today, earn an average of 343 times the average workers wage when 30 years ago they earned 40 times the average workers wage.

And on and on. Go ahead and defend the status quo, a society ruled by corporate greed and a government bought by those same wealthy corporations. Bravo.


[-] -3 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

Making the government tit in the sky just that much bigger is no answer.

You talk about CEOs. Hmm, basketball players have seen explosive salary gains too. Hmmm, maybe something else is going on. Globalization means huge leverage to people with skills and motivation. It means more competition if all you can do is tighten a bolt.

Want less poverty in the U.S.? Stop importing it. We've seen massive immigration of unskilled people. It's been the biggest immigration skills gap in the country's history. The average educational attainment of Americans is about 1 year post-high school. What comes over our southern border and what gets dropped off from places like Somalia is essentially uneducated. In 1990, drops-out immigrants joined a nation of low educational attainment. It was a wash. Now it's a disaster and a giant poverty factory. Fight poverty: Occupy the border. Liberals want a bigger welfare state, but reject the obvious and will immediately smear anyone that brings it up as a racist.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

Wow. You type fast.

I disagree. The immigrants that come here perform a function - jobs that are available to them. How do they create their poverty? They don't. They are performing a vital function here. If one-half of all Americans earn less than $26,000 per year how on earth could all of those people be immigrants? Your assumption that people from Somalia are uneducated is a poor one. I've known one Somalian in my life and he was a PhD in history.

[-] -2 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

They do create poverty. We've had enormous immigration, record setting in fact. 3-4% of the country's entire population now is even illegal. The skills gap for much of it has also been a record setting deficit to the rest of our population. Think about what's real. Education and skills underpin standard of living. As we average that down, we drag down our standard of living. We also add disparity. An electrical engineer is going to make massively more than a lawn dude, especially when the lawn dude market is awash in fresh people that've crossed our porous border.

Here's what's also real: immigrants have higher birth rates and children of the uneducated UNDER-participate in things like graduating high school. That deepens the problem going forward.

The jobs they do. We've touched off a servant class in the U.S. via immigration. Nail salons, restaurants, yard services, maid services have exploded. Valet parking is becoming ubiquitous. There's a reason. It's elasticity. Demand for labor isn't fixed. The nature of the workforce adjusts. As we pick up more servant-type skill level people, dishwashers get cheaper, for example. As they get cheaper, restaurants can expand and clear that supply of labor in the market.

People with low skills make little. And the more of them you have, the lower the price to induce enough demand to use that supply. Combine that with a lot of baby making and you have a poverty machine.

You know one Somali. You should meet 80k more that've been dumped off by our government in MN under a refugee program. You won't be as impressed. LOL.

This isn't a point against immigration. We can also have immigration that averages us up. But the bulk of what's been happening has been the opposite. Keep what helps us, but stop what undermines us.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

But our capitalists are the ones providing these low-paying jobs. How can you blame the labor supply? Who would do these jobs if the immigrants did not? Would these jobs miraculously pay more if an "American" did them?

You make a good point. What about all the immigrants that come here that are well educated and technical, my Somali friend aside? Huh? What about them? What about all the Asian doctors and engineers and physicists and pharmacists and other scientists? How do they factor in?

And, don't use social darwinism to say poor people/immigrants have too many babies. That is so out-dated and nasty.

I see all human beings as equal to myself. I don't judge people based on their race or education level or what language they speak. Try to find compassion for the "other." You may not understand them, but they are human, too.

[-] 1 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

It isn't blaming anything, it's just supply and demand. Her's something that's true: markets clear. Supply and demand need to line up. Price changes affect both the supply-side and the demand-side to get us there. When giant numbers of unskilled people enter the workforce, the market still needs to clear. The way it clears is that prices fall to generate the extra demand needed to soak up the supply.

Who would do the jobs if the immigrants did not? You missed the point about elasticity. Jobs don't just exist, they exist in relation to price. For example, if the enormous supply of zippo skill labor began to go away, lawn care prices would rise. As your lawn went from $20 to $40, you likely would make different choices. You might go from once a week to once every other week. You might fertilize less often. You might be more careful to end the service in the fall. You might plant a smaller tree that you could plant yourself. You might substitute a hardier version less likely to need replacement. You might choose synthetic boards for your next deck, the kind that don't need annual painting. So, I gotta ask you, where'd the labor hours go? See what I mean?

We do have immigration that averages us up. I mentioned that. Your Somali friend is a great example. The others you mention too. I'm talking about the Somalis that have never spent a minute in a school and, I'm not kidding, need toilet training when they get here. That stokes poverty, especially considering the large number of babies.

It isn't Darwinism to connect babies to poverty, it's just reason and facts. Let's play, "You Form The Hypothesis". If you have mass immigration of unskilled people that then have a higher than average birth rate and their kids will also be more likely to be under-skilled, what's you hypothesis on poverty? Mine is that it gets worse. Yours is....? It's OK to agree with me. Acknowledging what's real isn't wrong or immoral. Implementing compassion doesn't require stupidity or denial.

Compassion is fine. We can have all sorts of compassion. I'm not suggesting anyone isn't human. We can leave our border open and continue the present mass immigration of those utterly without skills and education. That's just a choice. I'm simply pointing out an important implication. When you do that, you increase poverty and income skew. Too many today bitch about water in the boat, but then scream at anyone wanting to plug the hole. Just don't be that guy.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

I'm trying to listen to what you say as you are very passionate. I just don't see it. The low level jobs are available (Americans do not want to mow their lawn. Women want their nails done.) because Americans demand them. The immigrants come here and fill those jobs. How is that their fault?

Immigrants also fill many higher level jobs and are often small business owners as this article outlines:


And, this one shows how immigrants with college degrees outnumber those who haven't finished high school:


[-] 0 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago


Here's Obama. But why?

Of course, Obama is a contradiction. He gets it, like in this speech, but then doesn't get it when it creates stealth amnesty and goes to El Paso to taunt those in favor of border enforcement. He cited Einstein and I.M. Pei in a place where a high school grad probably hasn't crossed in 30 years.

[-] 0 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

It isn't about fault. I'm not passionate, I'm dealing with reason and facts. I'm not sure what you don't see. Which point is it?

Demand is there, but that's obvious. Supply is there too, but that's obvious as well. As prices fall, we demand more. As wages rise, more enter the workforce to offer their labor. But somewhere they meet. Women don't just want their nails done. They want them done in relation to price. Demand varies with price. Isn't that obvious? That's elasticity.

Let's take it from the demand side. Yes, demand for labor at $5/hour is huge. That's enough demand to soak up a huge number of low-skill people, if they're willing to supply their labor at that price. And they are, because Mexico is a crudhold (other places too). So they come and the market balances. Peasants wages to clear a massive supply of labor.

Happy days, you can eat out every day and have a guy leaf blow your whole damn street and the Olive Garden gets valet parking. But not really because we've increased poverty by importing it. $5/hour is poor. Again, we can do what we'd like, but just get it that it has consequences.

Here's another fact. Markets clear. That means housing too. So, slums get created. Not because anyone's bad, but because a housing solution gets created to meet demand from someone with $100/month to spend on housing. Then liberals cry about poor housing conditions too. Oh, and schools? Try hiring a math teacher on the taxes raised from someone making $11k/year. And healthcare? Guess who'll be paying for that.

You can't avoid the obvious and factual: Low skill people have low incomes. If you massively over-supply the market, it'll be even worse. More low income people means an expansion of poverty. Want less poverty, stop aggravating the oversupply of no-skill people. What's an obvious way to do that? Immigration changes.

Listen to Obama. He talks about the SHARE of people with college degrees. Why do you suppose that is? Education and skills underpin our standard of living. Presently, immigrants are 3x as likely as Americans to have not graduated high school. That matters. Imagine your concern about drop outs in Chicago. You can obviously understand the implications. Now, if those Chicago kids went to Mexico, dropped out there, and then returned as immigrants, are we better off? Of course not, thats idiotic. Drop outs exacerbate poverty no matter how we got one.

We can have good immigration. I've noted that. But masses of drop outs increase poverty. Want less poverty? Have the sense to stop importing it.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

You didn't address the facts in those articles. Also, have you ever studied nationalism? I don't particularly care where one human comes from or another. To me one human is equal in value regardless of where he/she comes from. We are the human race. Not the American race. Maybe it is time to put the idea of the "nation" aside. It only makes the "other" seem so opposite to us, when in fact, they are just mere people as are we trying to feed their families and make a better life.

[-] 1 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

That's completely fine, we're a human race and the United States isn't entitled to an immigration policy. But then don't bitch about poverty. If you're gonna think how heart warming it is that another million Mexicans with 5th grade educations enter the country and set off on their careers as lawn dudes, dishwashers, and maids, at least understand the implications for income skew and poverty. Don't feign ignorance when you see stories in the news about slums and kids whose parents can't buy school supplies or pay for a dentist visit. Know that there's absolutely NOTHING about someone pursuing a better life for themselves that somehow magically insulates us from the adverse consequences like more people piling up that can't pay for their own healthcare (60% of the babies born at Ben Taub in Houston are now to illegal aliens. Guess who DIDN'T pay the bill).

Again, just have the brains to think it through. Thinking is OK; in the end thinking people can accomplish more to fix problems than simple emoters anyways.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

You speak well for yourself.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

incredibly fascist comment, sorry for having to say this out loud but in light of this comment I recommend readers of this page to revisit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b66u-mzfBPE

[-] -3 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

Big words. But please show me why. What did I get wrong? See, leftists are pretty good at tossing around emotional smears, but not so good when it comes to reason. My paragraphs are there; please, the floor is yours.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

thanks for the floor, I'm not a ballet dancer, instead, here's the vocal:

"did you find the time to follow the link?

don't you like the rhyme underlining the ink?

you talk about ressources and these ressources are yours

on how many continents, floors and parcours

what about: sweatshops, "human ressources"?

what if a human is a bit more than that -

what is it: oil? military forces?

while your own people are forced to regret

to mourn afterwards, and to see their own money

flowing away into an iron hand

earth is not a pot full of honey

as little as a garden for a horse or a pony

maybe that's indeed something not to forget.

your companies however do play honeybee

sucking earth's black nectar as if it was for free

as if there were no consequences

(such as ecologic)

your history teaching cold war but you build fences

(that's, I assume, only logic)

then, and after all this, some persons behave

as if they're gods own masters of still the same slave"

[-] 0 points by freewriterguy (882) 12 years ago

one thing is missing from this dreamworld, ive hired 20 americans over the years, invested my personal income from my small business in their training, and they were all here today and gone tomorrow, only my mexican is still around.

[-] -2 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

You've succeeded. Now shut off the computer and reflect for a moment on how that was wrong of you. LOL.

[+] -4 points by Kirby (104) 12 years ago

So you want to encourage people to never work? Nice. I work my ass off for my pay. Perhaps people getting a basic pay from we the people should put in 40+ like everyone else, working a job that we the people decide needs to be done. Like picking up trash, or sweeping sidewalks, or cleaning publi property.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

When did I or any proponent (and I'm not a proponent, I'm simply exploring) say that this would be a replacement for working? Never. It is a small basic pay to provide income security.

Right now in the U.S. one-half of all Americans are financially fragile:


A basic guarantee income would provide security, not enough to live on, but a basis from which to avoid poverty. I think it could reduce overall economic stress as well as physical stress and could even possibly lower our healthcare costs.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

wrong. unconditional basic income -is- supposed to be enough to live on.

as mentioned, there are 3 motivations regarded as motivating people to work: you feel the work is making sense, you think the work provides some respect and money (I could think of several more, but let's stick to these three for a while).

now, the 3rd one: how should that vanish. enough to live on is enough to live on. luxury is something else. and now how about those other 2 points?

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

Not following you entirely, but that's okay. Like I said, I'm no expert on unconditional basic income or basic guarantee income, but from the little I've read it is not exactly enough to live on.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

not in the place you may have heard/read about. -that- in this place- is not regarded as unconditional basic income since it's not enough to be called that. unconditional basic income -is- defined as enough to live on. there is indeed a chance to free people from the force to have to take anything (...as many jobs at a time as possible, I am wondering when the first there start to live their day with 3 hours sleep...) just to make ends meet.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

I see what you're saying. Yes. I think it would relieve some stresses, especially the worries about losing a job.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

Such as, exactly. Maybe someone has a link to a reliable statistcs page about the amount of work hours/summing up to the amount of jobs that are flowing away due to unpaid overtime hours. Work done by people doing them only due to the power their employers gain over their personnel as a consequence of this stress? i.e. people doing unpaid overtime ours only not to lose their job?

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

I've been saying on this forum that we need to address workers' rights. Major erosion in the past 30 years. "Exempt" vs. "Non-exempt," "Temporary" vs. "Permanent," etc. and overtime is a huge issue. It is like the Fair Labor Standards Act doesn't even exist. No one seems to ever enforce it.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

the unconditional basic income -is- a way to enstrenghten them. you need something in your hand if you want to enstrenghten your rights. it does not help the worker to know that 'usually' and 'theoretically' he/she could have fought against his bosses time schedule saying him he's expected to work on next saturday up to 9pm because of this large important project for the huge important company and, since he/she is a newbie in this company or for what ever reasons not taken seriously (only the work results are taken), so due to this, he/she is supposed to work this overtime hours for free. it does not help the worker to know that theoretically he could have a chance to defend against this if all he/she risks is his/her own job as soon as he/she reacts. the unconditional basic income -has- a chance to work as a working tool.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

I agree.

[-] -3 points by commonsense11 (195) 12 years ago

It was said in the thread starters post. Not necessary to work to have the basic income. That has got to be at least one of the stupidest things I have read on this forum. If only there were a "Stupid filter" there might be an exchange of meaningful ideas.

[-] 7 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

Right. Guaranteed Basic Income does not seem to require work except for the fact that it is not enough to live on. So, therefore, one has to work. It simply provides a safety net, like I said. We're just exploring here. Hurling insults won't get you anywhere.

[-] 2 points by ebri (419) 12 years ago

Thank you. We all need to explore the possibilities which our highly advanced technology allows, one of which is monitoring -- I know people may not like this -- how a Guaranteed Basic Income would be distributed. We as a society which emphasizes individualism would have to agree on what constitutes need, and how much we could all be guaranteed. We would have to agree on terms like "means," as in "means of production," etc. Only a literate, educated society can explore these kinds of issues in a meaningful way.

This is not to say I don't completely agree a Guaranteed Annual Income, or Guaranteed Basic Income is an idea which originated in our founding fathers and whose time has finally come.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

I agree. It is something to talk about and consider.

[-] -2 points by commonsense11 (195) 12 years ago

I simply called it what it is. Once again the entitled generation stirs from slumber long enough to ask for a handout. There are some very real problems in our society and handouts of any kind are not the answer to solving them. I've heard enough of the mid twenties and younger philosophy in regards to getting something for nothing.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

I'm sorry, but I think people in their twenties right now have it harder than any generation in history. What generation are you?

The generation with job security (you remember the kind, where seniority mattered), full pensions (not defined compensation, but the real ones that don't exist anymore, defined benefits), healthcare for life, homes that were a much smaller percentage of salary that were actually affordable and easier to pay off, college education that you could pay for with a part-time job? Huh? What generation are you from? And, you have the nerve to criticize young people today?

[-] -2 points by commonsense11 (195) 12 years ago

You're not much of a historian are you? The 80s had a higher unemployment rate then today. There has always been periods of inflation. You apparently have not heard of the Great Depression? People did without the wants in life and felt lucky to have the food and housing. Young people today have it no harder then many of the generations before them. The difference is a lack of work ethic that seems to prevail among this generation. I learned the value and satisfaction of hard work at age 9 working 8 hours a day on a farm. Today I make my living repairing industrial equipment. A skill I acquired through education and work history. I'm under 50 years of age and was thrust into the work force during another unstable period of time. I see young people today that are willing to sacrifice to achieve their goals, even if it means working several part time jobs. I also see a large number of 20 somethings that feel like they are owed something they are not. The entitled generation seems to fit this group quite well. There are ways to achieve your goals and better yourself but they shouldn't and don't include free hand outs.

If a person won't work then he shouldn't eat. That doesn't mean if a person is unable to work or can't find a job, it means if a person refuses to work then he should have nothing. Even those on welfare today should be required to work even if it means picking up trash on the streets (Wonder how many would be willing to stay on welfare if they had to work to get their check?) We don't need parasites in our society. We need people with high ethics and values.

I also just threw a 24 year old stepson out of our house for the 3rd and final time that seems to echo the same ridiculous arguments that I read on here and hear from his friends on a regular basis. He felt like he should spend his days playing and enjoying life rather then looking for or sticking with a job and supporting himself like all good people should. He will now sink or swim. If he wants to swim I'll help him. If he wants me to put him in the life raft and paddle him back to shore then he is going to sink to the bottom.
As my 5th grade teacher was fond of saying "God helps those who help themselves and so so do I"

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for people who have to put other people down in order to build themselves up. It's desperate and pathetic.

[-] -1 points by commonsense11 (195) 12 years ago

I feel sorry for our country if your mind set prevails. We already have fallen behind other countries in so many areas. Anything worthwhile requires sacrifice. Pull you pants up, tie your shoes, and work for what you want in life.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

I feel sorry for our country, too. The fear-mongering reactionary phony nationalistic indoctrination has been bought by far too many Americans.

[-] 0 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

"If a person won't work then he shouldn't eat." that's exactly how a system works if it wants to feed the system's own snake biting it's own tale. make them hungry, keep them hungry, make it as stressful as possible, they will finally crawl and learn to work everywhere: in the gun and bullet factory, in the viagra spam freelance crew, for that porn site. just keep the education as hard to require as possible and keep the stress up, it will work then, for sure. take care to make it as stressful as possible, with enough people doing their 2nd and 3rd job simultaneously just in order to pay up their student loans, their rent. what you have then is a working system. one you can be proud of.

[-] -2 points by commonsense11 (195) 12 years ago

The key is "won't". This doesn't mean if a person is disabled or unable to work it means if they refuse to work. That person should be homeless and starve to death. That's what they deserve and that's what they should get.

That may sound cruel to you but every individual should pull their own weight and not leach off of the rest of society.

[-] 0 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

it's not just pure 'cruel', that fascist and exactly what I've been talking about. that's still the voice of the old slave master. The person saying 'no' to what the system throws at his/her face after it made access to education as hard as possible and alternatives as impossible as possible "should be homeless and starve to death". it's the same whip in the voice.

re "That may sound cruel to you but every individual should pull their own weight and not leach off of the rest of society." well, my answer is: first, let's talk about the pyramid top society pulling away from the rest. let's still talk first about free education up to master. (and then we can return to the master voice, not before that.) let's first talk about where the people's (society's) money is flowing to right now. you see, state is not only about what the individual "should", "has to" "ought" "must" do for it, it's also about rights, basic rights of the people. such as education, for example. so, also about what state is owing the individual, the human being, to be exact.

[-] 0 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

unconditional basic income shows no signs so far - when you look at poll results - of a danger of people getting lazy and prefering to spend their life in front of a tv. you have an amazing definition of human nature.

[-] -3 points by Kirby (104) 12 years ago

If you came from the same neighborhood as me, you would have the same feelings.

[-] 2 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

how many of the people in your neighborhood had the chance to enroll in a university for free?

[-] -2 points by Kirby (104) 12 years ago

Most would meet the financial hardship threshold, but one has to graduate from high school and apply to college.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

how many had the chances to enroll in a university for free?

[-] 0 points by Kirby (104) 12 years ago

The question should be rephrased: How many have had the chance to enroll in a university and have someone else pay the way?

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

rephrasing almost agreed. the question is how many had the chance to enroll in a university for free. what exactly is this country doing with the people's money?

[-] -1 points by Kirby (104) 12 years ago

No shit. Can people really be this stupid?

[-] -1 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

Yes, they can. It's simply easier to live off of someone else than it is to earn it yourself. Mix in a little rationalization and, for many, it becomes a plan.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

A libertarian's take on smaller government and basic unconditional income.

"Often the criticism of those against market-based societies is that the market may punish those that are born with deficiencies. This is intuitively plausible, as it seems inherently unfair, whatever ‘fairness’ is, to have the market punish someone not because they failed in merit of economic maximization but because of disabilities they were born with. Therefore, our society tries to compensate for this by means of disability insurance and other similar programs. I believe that endorsing, once again taking it as a given of government intervention in this arena, a basic unconditional income can satisfy all these issues of fairness and also make the government much smaller. For instance, many government agencies could be successfully eliminated. The Department of Education, of Health and Human Services, and so on and so forth could all be removed from the rolls because now consumers would best decide how to spend the unconditional income. With current systems such as Medicare and Medicaid, government bureaucrats decide where spending can occur. In my alternative, consumers would best decide how to spend the basic unconditional income thereby alleviating the market of the perverse incentives created by government intervention. The state could then return to the most basic of functions of protecting Persons, Property and Promises"


[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

"protecting Persons, Property and Promises"? - well, not sure whether security, ownerhip and hot air is all what democratic government should be about.

however, indeed unconditional basic income is discussed as having the ability of free the state from expenses that flow into pure administrative acts, the processing of filled forms for social welfare. they (administrative costs) can be quite immense and their work not necessarily productive, there are countries where people filling out such forms report to be faced with a beaurocracy that they report to perceive as indeed a repressive one, with surveillence apparatus characteristics (incl. digging in very private issues, for germany for example check the consequences of the "bedarfsgemeinschaft" concept).

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

My views aren't libertarian, but I thought I would offer that up against the knee jerk reactions calling "unconditional income" communism. If a libertarian can entertain the idea and see the upsides of the idea, then maybe it will dissuade someone else's knee jerk reaction.

It's bothersome that people can't be more open minded to ideas. Some won't even attempt to look beyond their initial bias, to take a harder look at it. Sad.

[-] 2 points by philosophersstoned (233) from Gypsum, CO 12 years ago

Here's a better idea - a US Jobs Guarantee program. The Federal government provides funding to local charities, NGOs, and community groups to create local projects which will employ anyone who needs work. This has been shown to work in other countries http://www.jstor.org/pss/4418315 and for further evidence that it is a good idea, google "jobs guarantee" and note the massive flood of propaganda from corporate media claiming it will never work.

[-] 2 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

the problem is that the world has changed, this is 2012, there are less and less people needed for many tasks.

[-] 1 points by philosophersstoned (233) from Gypsum, CO 12 years ago

that's neoliberal bullshit. manufacturing fled the US because of Free Trade, not because of magical robots taking our jobs.

[-] 2 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

sure, some manufacturing fled the US because of Free Trade, this word has a basis in latin (made of two words) and has to do with work you do with your hands. sure, that kind of work fled because of free trade. but the argument above has to do with work that is not fleeing but vanishing, rationalization. and if you take a look at production processes nowadays, you will find that automation is simply not a SciFi comic figure, they appear not to be that magical.

[-] 1 points by Occupussy (1) 12 years ago

You have to be fucking kidding me. You fucking losers!!!

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 12 years ago

I have been for such a system for years, the benefits far out way the costs. Remember at base level incomes, people spend ALL that money into the economy, this keeps the system rolling even in slow times.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

so, what's up, this is March 2012 now - no new updates regarding that idea?

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

here are some general links for anyone who wants to find out more: http://www.livableincome.org/links.htm

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

ok, let me please point out first, that I personally am opposing -any- kind of unpaid work, misusing of young people's work via so-called "internships" included. but taking a look at the current situation, there might be exactly this said group (young people starting their professional life) that might be interested in the unconditional basic income, too: take a look at this link: http://internsanonymous.co.uk/ you might esp want to read the post "Young, rich and working for free…"

[-] 1 points by mikeydubbs (40) 12 years ago

I have actually been doing some research on this very subject. I discovered that there was actually a presidential candidate who campaigned on it in the 70's named McGovern. Also the idea was deemed economically sound by both Keynes and Hayek (throw that in the face of the free market fundamentalists). Philippe Van Parijs is the most renowned supporter of such a policy here is a link that I found very informative on the issue.


I also read a compilation of essays that was published by him entitled "whats wrong with a free lunch". There is also an organization called the USA Basic Income Guarantee Network, here is the link to their website.


Honestly if I here one more thing about a "resource based economy" I'm going to shoot myself, I think this is something we can really work towards, and is economically sound. I'm not sure I what a resource based economy would look like. I think people ought to be rewarded for their labor so 100% tax would take away all incentive to produce. I do believe however that every member of society should be given enough to live independent of the free market. I believe we need an unconditional monthly stipend that will allow each member of society to live in reasonable comfort and not worry about where their next meal is coming from. In this way individuals will have greater bargaining power when choosing a profession, and can allocate their time towards bettering themselves. You would need to raise taxes to do this significantly, and the revenue could easily reach twice the national budget, but this money would then be evenly distributed to all citizens, or all people if done on a global scale.

This is actually being tested in Iran, which is one more reason I pray our government doesn't bomb them to oblivion. If they can do it there where the median income is significantly lower it could be done anywhere. This could be done without printing money. All citizens would receive the stipend, even mayor Bloomberg, of course he would almost assuredly loose out on the deal. The USSR was started by people with noble ideals, but it failed because people won't work out of a sense of contribution, and the regime was forced to use fear as a motivating factor. I prefer a society motivated by greed over one that is motivated by fear.

However, I also believe we need a mechanism that allows us to redistribute the natural resources of society, and the proceeds of mechanization of labor in an equitable way. I would hope that this would lead to more worker friendly types of employment, my favorite being the worker cooperative. However, I believe it should be up to the free market to make that transition, I don't believe it is the governments job to dictate the way we live. This way we can maximize individual liberty, and have a greater degree of social justice.

The biggest argument is that some people would benefit who don't contribute to society, but plenty undeserving people get opportunities in our current system, like rich kids who party all the time and live off trust funds. Do you see a problem with this? the problem with subsidizing target areas is that it invites an army of bureaucrats to suck up needed resources that could be going to the people, it's inefficient whereas writing you a check is much more simple. Plus this is less likely to create economic bubbles because all individuals can spend the money on different things, this is why Hayek supported it, it works from with the free market economic perspective. If you give the government the power to steer markets, they will most likely abuse it to help their cronies in the financial sector, rather than help working Americans who actually produce something for the economy. Many say this will lead to inflation, but I'm not sure on what grounds they do this. Massive wars cause inflation, this could be paid for through pollution taxes, and taxing income, and wealth. It would actually spur real productivity because it would allow individuals to train themselves and better produce for society, and it would increase demands for goods because people will spend their money on goods.

It's not about mooching, its about insuring that all individuals are given the chance to better themselves, and better produce for society. Some people would obviously squander it, but there are plenty of undeserving people with money through inheritance, so i don't really see how this causes an issue in the realm of social justice.

In the end It's all about liberty friend, who is the government to tell you how to spend your money. It's all about freedom, and while some undeserving people would get funding, society would be a better place because of it. Society provides a world of opportunity for people, and this would essentially redistribute the opportunities that society provides. There's allot of people on this rock, and we're gonna need to learn to work together if we're going to make it through the 21st century.

[-] 1 points by sufinaga (513) 12 years ago

this is absolutely necessary as the jobs have been automated or outsourced so we are no longer needed to work. give everyone a basic living wage then let them be free to work for themselves. let them be organic gardners and bonfire builders for the regular community events. let them be free to be entrepreneurs with safeguards to protect the community from being ripped off or poisoned or imprisoned unlike the present state of supervision, control and overpaid delusional professional classes. "and there shall be no more curse!" first be FRISK AVERSE and legalise marijuana!!

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

Please let me think... isn't this what they call "Revenue de base inconditionnel" in France? http://forum.partipirate.org/wiki/conseil/mesures_compatibles_avec_le_programme

[-] 1 points by commonsense11 (195) 12 years ago

One of the most idiotic posts I've seen. Sorry no free rides for those that choose not to work.

[-] 1 points by thelastlegacy (10) 12 years ago

Any of these reforms will be pointless because in the end, they are reversible (history has proven this time and time again). There is a need for a new form of democracy, one that spreads both economic, social and political power in a similar way financial capitalism spreads risk across the global population. It might even generate profit, something everyone likes, no?

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 12 years ago

Full employment, forcing higher wages, is the only solution.

That way the percentage that prefer "the dole" will be affordable, and the taxes reasonable. The bureaucrats of any system is equivalent to hiring the mob, which makes it impo$$ible to contract government work. Catch 22.

[-] 1 points by WooHoo (15) 12 years ago

When everybody gets a basic income (which comes from someplace!) they immediately go back into the boat from whence they came. Namely, tax the wealthy to pay the slackers means the slackers won't be able to afford the $35 dollar burger which is what the cost will rise to so the wealthy won't take the hit for people who rather just collect a check.

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 12 years ago

WooHoo! "When everybody gets a basic income..." unquote.

That will only happen when our government is concerned about those that don't get sufficient income to afford a beer to go with a burger.

The government power has given its bias towards the rich, and that bias is expensive on the whole society. The rich are above the crisis, just because they can afford the cost of an expensive government.

There has always been money "wasted" on the poor, and as long as there is poverty, there always will be a price that will have to be paid, whether it's in the form of welfare, incarceration, disease control or revolution.

Everyone in the U$A is "taking a hit" now. There's people on this thread trying to solve the mismanagement, in spite of you.

[-] -1 points by WooHoo (15) 12 years ago

And a basic income no matter what you do is an impossible pipe dream. If you call that trying to solve mismanagement, rational people would call it spinning your wheels.

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 12 years ago

Thanks. You're on the right track. It's being (irrationally) done. It's time to get a push out of the mud.

[-] -1 points by WooHoo (15) 12 years ago

Unicorns and rainbows time. Not gonna happen because it can't. Snap out of it.

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 12 years ago

There's billions spent on the poor's welfare, and subsidies for the rich capitalists now. It's only the negative job (tax) creation, that has brought the budget to a crisis.

[-] 1 points by SmallBizGuy (378) from Savannah, GA 12 years ago

European countries like Greece and Italy. Oh Great! Just what we want.

How about this....we just make winning the lottery easier. Maybe like a 50/50 odds of winning.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

I do hope you don't feel insulted when I tell you it's necessary to post comments in a way so that the readers can understand you. I gave this link already but maybe it's better to post it again. Overview of countries where basic income is discussed: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedingungsloses_Grundeinkommen#Aktuelle_Diskussionen

steps to realize it were done in: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedingungsloses_Grundeinkommen#Umsetzungsversuche

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 12 years ago

Which European countries do this?

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

time will tell. see overview of current situation on http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedingungsloses_Grundeinkommen

in germany many parties are discussing their models.

if you want to take a look at one of them, here it is: http://wiki.piratenpartei.de/Bedingungsloses_Grundeinkommen

[-] 1 points by pullmyfinger (-6) 12 years ago

Cut to the chase..it's what you all long for. Communism. Everybody makes the same wage. Punish those who excel.

[-] 2 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

see below, there is a reply to this already. unconditional basic income does not mean everybody makes the same wage, if you prefer to do a job in addition, work more, less, take a job with a higher or a smaller salary in addition you're free to do so. unconditional basic income sets people free from being forced do things against their will, belief, away from their skills they're good at. "Punish those who excel"? how do you want to excel if what you do was not your own free choice, not a job fitting to your skills but simple force, hunt for whatever available in order to pay up your students loans, to pay your rent, ...

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

tomorrow btw ends the deadline for proposals for panel discussions for the congress in may in toronto: https://www.grundeinkommen.de/content/uploads/2011/11/na-big_call_111130.pdf (a pdf published also on this german web address, but it's a call in English language, of course) - "Basic Income and Other Approaches to Economic Security for All" - Thursday May 3rd, to Saturday May 5, 2012, University of Toronto

[-] 1 points by 4TheHumanSocietyProject (504) 12 years ago

that is still telling people what to do.

[-] 1 points by sampson (34) 12 years ago

there has to be some negative repercussions on the economy when people spend most of their time at work

[-] 1 points by sampson (34) 12 years ago

I think it's a good idea but what about shortening the "full time" work week. Who set the 40 hour standard (work 5 days for 2 days off?) shouldn't it be more of a half and half? 3.5 days of work for 3.5 days off?

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

Isn't it what they call the "Grundeinkommen" in Germany? "Unconditional basic income" is what they call the "bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen"

[-] 1 points by ubi (6) 12 years ago

Unconditional basic income gives individuals freedom of choice when it comes to work / self employment.

[-] 0 points by wigger (-48) 12 years ago

Most people would sit on their asses and tell the world they are "artists", or an author working on their novel, or some other bullshit excuse to sit on the couch and eat twinkies and watch the Price is Right. Frankly, you would probably have more twinky hulls around you than most.

[-] 1 points by 1169 (204) 12 years ago

speak for yourself

[-] 1 points by philosophersstoned (233) from Gypsum, CO 12 years ago

i am an artist

and im going to go buy a twinkie. i heard Hostess is going bankrupt and i dont remember the last time i ate one, so i want to get a fix before twinkies are extinct.

[-] -1 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

So you really can't name ANY "leading" economists that say this is coming can you? Nice try "UBI".

[-] -1 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

Um.....just an FYI-of ALL the names on your link that I could actually verify, the ONLY person on the list who is an actual ECONOMIST AND still LIVING is "economist" among them who is still living is Robert Solow.

The rest are political scientists, philosophers, politicians etc. Which doesn't really seem ALL THAT supportive of your claim.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

4 winners of the Nobel Prize in economics are on the list. I think that's impressive.

[-] -1 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

5 winners on the list-4 of them dead.

My definition of "leading" economists kind of requires them to be alive and able to "lead" someone or something. But that's just me.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

That's silly.

Milton Friedman, John Kenneth Galbraith and even, Friedrich Hayek. My goodness, who would have thought you'd have an Austrian for a basic income guarantee. I might faint.



[-] 0 points by dreamingforward (394) from Gothenburg, NE 12 years ago

This is ridiculous. The government is set up by you. You are essentially paying yourself, with interest.

Better is to enforce a "right to live" like France. In fact, perhaps the only purpose of a government is to protect the rights of its members.

Cities can require certain minimums of community garden space (much like the FCC enforces a minimum amt of public broadcasting), promote fruit tree planting, remove laws that go against basic human needs (like need to sleep), etc.

In absence of this, petty theft of basic food (an orange on a market stand) should be allowed.


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[-] -1 points by DependentClass (19) 12 years ago

Free shit? Excellent!

[-] -1 points by wellhungjury (296) 12 years ago

Here we go again! Why would anyone want to work if they are guaranteed a base salary for kicking back and chilling? Set this up and I am headed to the beach. Direct deposit my salary for me will ya!

[-] 3 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 12 years ago

Because there is boredom in doing nothing, and reward in accomplishments. Presumably the basic income would not be enough to do much more than pay for food, shelter and clothing. If you can live near enough to the beach to get there on this minimum income, then please, enjoy, at least in the summer.

[-] 1 points by wellhungjury (296) 12 years ago

Being self employed, I understand perfectly about being bored when I do not have projects. Heck, I even volunteer coach and neither have the time nor extra money to be doing it. I just know it is a good thing for my soul. However, I see the majority of people trying to do basically one thing....as little as possible and still get what they want. I think most would be happy to just sit, relax and collect the check. Then others will be expected to work harder to pay for it all. I feel that those who would remain productive will become so few that this situation could not be maintained. Besides, basics would not stop at food, shelter and clothing. Politicians would buy people with healthcare, childcare, schooling, free utilities, internet and whatever to get their votes. Who will pay for these mounting costs. I just do not think it is viable. Aside from our current system and this one proposed, is there another that would be more realistic? Maybe?

[-] 2 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 12 years ago

You are self employed and, I presume, doing something you enjoy doing. I think that many of those folks who would rather sit home doing nothing is because they are locked into a job they hate. If they had been encouraged at an early age to discover what gave them joy and then educated in ways to make a living doing it, the world would be a different place.

[-] 3 points by wellhungjury (296) 12 years ago

Self employed does not mean doing what you love all the time. I would have to say that I spend about 80% of my time doing the things that I hate. Bills, taxes, quotes, permits, pushing paper, janitor and the myriad of other things that I do each day that allow me to do the 20% that I love. That is the point. People only want to do the parts they like and get all the benefits. That is not life. Life is hard and you have to work through it to enjoy the parts that you can love. So, if I followed the way of doing only what I like, I would not have a business and I would be on the street, wishing someone would give me things. Not the way I am wired.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

sorry, I know many self employed people who would simply prefer not to be forced to participate in projects they oppose (say a product you think is harmful, ...). I know many self employed people who would simply prefer not to be forced to do what they catch just in order to survive, to pay your next rent - they would enjoy to be able to do those they regard as making sense.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 12 years ago

Don't we already have this in the US? Anyone who is able and willing to fill out the necessary paperwork or go to the right place can get food, shelter, and clothing.

[-] 2 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

actually, sure, bread and games are supposed to be all what people need according to their "leaders" since quite some centuries ago. not sure whether the look from the top of a pyramid is the one with the least distortion. basic income is discussed as a possibility to get rid also of the need to act against your own will and belief. say the alley cat would indeed prefer to get it and enroll in an education program instead. say the dealer of a product he would prefer not to spread chooses to get it and work for less in a nonprofit organisation informing about the negative effects of said product. sure, many many people are standing ready to shout out "oh you fools, you idealists..." - ah yes, sure. are you aware that there are people on freelancer platforms selling their time for 1 dollar per hour and less (no joke) because they are placed in direct competition with people from other continents with a different currency. they are selling their time in order to send viagra spam and spam of similar products around. how many of them would prefer to get a basic income and be able to ignore spam projects... - basic income can give people the possibility to choose the job they want to do, the job they preceive as valuable. not be forced to do everything - everything - in times when unemployed numbers rise.

[-] 1 points by wellhungjury (296) 12 years ago

I get the basic premise, but lets look at basic human nature. There will always be those who will exploit whatever system that exists. There will also be those who will see this as an opportunity to explore other ventures. I feel that the reality is that most will choose the path of least resistance. Someone will always have to work harder to compensate for those who want to play. Eventually, those who see their hard work being taken to give to those who want to play also cease to work. Why wouldn't they?

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

the current exploitation of the current situation in the current system bothers me more, to be honest. take a look at the military budget. take a look at the exploitation of every single offshore tax gap hole. you can ask yourself which of those has a higher percentage of the money that flows away while the US still belongs to the most most poor countries in the western hemisphere. most, most poor one, if taking a look how absolutely desperate their situation must be if they cannot even afford free education up to master for their own people.

so, seriously, the current exploitation of the current system bothers me more.

[-] 1 points by wellhungjury (296) 12 years ago

But your answer is to guarantee a base income to all, even those who choose not to work and tax more to pay for it. This too will be exploited. I suspect people will have more babies to increase the income of their family. I see it now with welfare. A friend bragging about the money she will get for having her next child. That is messed up thinking. On a side note, cite where the U.S. belongs to the most poor countries in the western hemisphere?

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

re "On a side note, cite where the U.S. belongs to the most poor countries in the western hemisphere?" - I gave exactly this quotation above, it's a statement that is a pure logic consequence of the situation described above. Please read it again.

re "I suspect people will have more babies to increase the income of their family." - on one hand, some countries are currently complaining about demographic problems, on the other hand they are "suspecting" people to have babies, quite a disturbing comment, if you allow me to state that. Sure, in general, there is a larger problem - a planet simply cannot feed more than it can feed. However, how about starting thinking about feeding those who are alive now already? And even more general: inform me about the education level in the US (see problem above) - usually, women are not generally regarded to be as retarded to let themselves be used (by others like husbands or by themselves) as a pure giving-birth-possibility in order to raise income.

One of the replies to the question "who will work, then?" is: "There are 3 basic moments motivating people to work: they perceive something as meaningful/or the work as something making sense, if they hope to get respect (for some, it's probably more influence, but) and money or material benefits." polls about how the people would react/whether they would work more or less in case having a basic income show this picture of a human being being interested in nothing more than dollardollardollarIdoeverythingforit (quite a look from the top of a pyramid, if you ask me) seems to be not that correct.

and there is something... wait, I just have seen an artist holding up a "Living Wages Now" at the General Assembly in the MOMA. I think, this one will be also busy with doing something with the money she would get. I would like to see her next painting, sound installation or sculpture.

[-] 1 points by wellhungjury (296) 12 years ago

Yes, I read your post and I was asking for proof. Telling me to reread it does not make it true or not.

Increase of family size: I am just proposing a possibility based on people that I know that currently abuse the welfare system.

The original suggestion is a basic income for existing. Then, if you want to work more (for whatever motivating factor) you can, so that you can improve on your life.

I believe that over time, society will get to a point that they will work less and less. This in turn will make it NOT economically viable to pay all of these "basic incomes".

Would it be great to see the artist flourish with their ideas without consideration of income. Of course! This speaks to me more than you know. I am a commercial artist and would love to dump some of the responsibility. To focus on art as a creative process without concern of economic forces being involved has always been my dream. My path to that dream is to become fiscally strong, so that I can take the time to do just that. I am not there yet, but I will get there someday and appreciate it more when I do.

I just do not think that it is a reality that is being presented here and we could spend our time on solutions that have a better chance of working.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

proof: prove me that the US -can- afford free education up to master for their own people now, then you have proven the logic consequence stated above wrong because in such case it would turn to a statement on false facts (with false premises).

[-] 1 points by wellhungjury (296) 12 years ago

So the answer is you do not have proof. That it is an opinion. Pity, I would have liked to have seen the statistics. Lastly, nothing is free. Someone has to pay for everything in some way.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

the answer is I gave the proof and you don't like this fact (the sentence you wanted a proof for was sarcastic and I doubt you missed that). it's still exactly what quite a few countries here on this planet have to think about the US in light of the situation described above. prove me that the US -can- afford free education up to master for their own people now and you have proven me wrong.

[-] 1 points by wellhungjury (296) 12 years ago

Again, you have no proof. Check. You said, "the US still belongs to the most most poor countries in the western hemisphere". You cannot cite the source ie: you cannot prove it. I would have liked you to prove it, but you cannot. Your benchmark is based on whether the U.S. can pay for everyone's education, up to a masters. Now, why should the U.S. pay for an education all the way up to a masters? Not everyone should or is capable of a masters. List the countries that pay all the way up to a masters for everyone. You want free education. You get K-12. Then you can prove your worth with scholarships, grants, loans and saving to pay, just like I and everyone else does. My education was bought and paid for by me. I have no regrets for having paid for it. You want without working.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

Again, there seems to be some need to train some reading skills, don't you think? My 2nd proof right now is the fact that you don't like the given proof. Please do simply read, re-read the post above and reply accordingly.

[-] 1 points by wellhungjury (296) 12 years ago

Apparently, you do not understand the basic skill of backing your statements with documented proof. Go to college and they will teach you. There are opinions and their are facts. Just because you wrote it, does not make it a fact. Therefore, it is an opinion and that is how I will have to accept it. Things that I write and do not back with documented evidence should be taken in the same manner. Take care and good luck in furthering your education.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

apparantly, you just have taken the 5th approach to understand that complicated statement and failed. please restart and try again: prove me that the US -can- afford free education up to master for their own people now and you have proven the statement wrong. (a sarcastic statement, that was initially not complicated to understand, as long as you don't ride on on a one-way-street asking for proof for sarcasm). repeating in extra slow modus especially for you: how incredibly poor and desperate must a country be that cannot even afford t.h.a.t for their own people.

[-] 1 points by wellhungjury (296) 12 years ago

Yes, I get what you want. But it does not make your statement true. This is just like saying that if the U.S. cannot provide a fluffy bunny to every person in this country, then the country must be poor. Get past your self absorbed idea of intellectualism and answer this. WHY, should any country pay for education up to a masters? Then, tell me WHY a masters is the end all to a proper education? Do you want me to say it slower for you?

[-] -1 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

Yeah....which "leading economists" are saying this is coming?

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

there is a reply to that question already, see above.

[-] 0 points by justhefacts (1275) 12 years ago

Note the time difference between when I asked, and the reply. :-)

[-] -1 points by ssjkakkarotx (-77) 12 years ago

Complete and utter bullshit. Unconditional income = unconditional deadbeats

[-] 3 points by buphiloman (840) 12 years ago

Actually I looked into it, this was tried in the city Dauphin, Manitoba CA from 1974-79, and the data showed that the only people who worked less were expecting mothers and teenagers (who had no family relying on their income). Correspondingly, Hospital emergency room visits fell 8.5% owing to fewer job related injuries/driving related injuries, and crime rates fell. It was called the 'mincome' program.

[-] -1 points by pullmyfinger (-6) 12 years ago

Translation.= Communism

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

coud you translate your comment for me, please?

[-] -1 points by buphiloman (840) 12 years ago

what leading economists have discussed this? Do any of them live outside the confines of your tin-foil cap?

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23789) 12 years ago

This is really Basic Income Guarantee. See the wiki page. It lists many politicians and economists throughout history that have supported it:


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[-] -2 points by SteveKJR (-497) 12 years ago

Hey, I don't want to be paid what the next guy is making. I place more value on what I can do and as a result I feel my "worth and value offered" is worth more.

Read Karl Marx and "Communist Manifesto" and you will get a "real feel" for what you are talking about and then it may just may educate you.

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

you won't be paid what the next guy is making. the idea of the unconditional income is the income paid indeed to all, without further premises, so if you choose to make your job in addition to your unconditional basice income, a job with a top salary because you're "more valuable" (if you indeed prefer to define yourself on bases of the amount of dollars paid), then you are free to do so. if the guy next door prefers to define himself on basis of other values and prefers to choose a "less valuable" job (smaller payment but something he prefers) in addition to the basic income or even prefers not to take an additional job but instead invests his time on writing a book, you are free to call yourself the guy who made it. who has been the "more valuable" one. if the book the other guy wrote is a good one, I would be free to value said question differently and read the book.

[-] -2 points by wigger (-48) 12 years ago

Yes! I deserve free money! Let those rich bastards pay for me to sit on the couch and eat twinkies and watch The Price is Right! I simply don't feel I should have to take some job that is beneath me in order just to pay my bills.

There's plenty of immigrants who will do all the nasty stuff I don't want to do, I'm a fucking American I deserve to be taken care of whether I want to work or not!!!

[-] 1 points by wn030 (56) 12 years ago

actually, it's the question of passport or resident. how actually the realization will be worded will decide this.

[-] -3 points by LaraLittletree (-850) from Scarsdale, NY 12 years ago

We kind of already have this,,,welfare. public assistance, section 8, food stamps, unemployment, wic, etc.....What you are suggesting sounds like whai's up in Cuba...It's not too far from the USA.... Why don't you go there to experience your excellent vision?