A Universal Basic Income to be a policy in Labour's Manifesto in next UK General Election?

GodsDog

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#25
Many people will be surprised to learn that the UBI concept has supporters on the right.
Charles Murray, a U.S libertarian leaning conservative, supports the universal basic income.
Milton Friedman supported a version of it called the "negative income tax".

Supporters on the right see it as a more efficient replacement for the current welfare system and a grand compromise with the left and centrists for an overall smaller and less intrusive government.
Typically, they advocate that it should be introduced in combination with a flat tax and a commitment to balanced budgets.

Personally, I'm agnostic about the concept.
I see a lot of potential pitfalls, particularly in regard to welfare tourism.

While I'd have no objection to a randomised trial for a UBI, some sort of earned income tax credit would probably be a more sensible option -- at least for now.
Thing is, people can't actually eat tax credits! LOLlllllllllllll

Capitalism contains within itself the seeds of it's own destruction. It wants to produce lots of stuff to sell. But it really hates having to pay it's workers anything. And it also really hates paying any tax at all to the state to fund social programs. And if the workers have all starved to death or died of exposure and they get nothing from the state, or have no money because they have all been replaced by unpaid robots then of course they can't afford to buy anything. So in the end who is left to buy all the useless shit produced??

Even the right are starting to see how absurd the basic premises are. So they are starting to look at the idea of the state giving a small basic income to the serfs so they can keep the whole absurd capitalist charade going for a little bit longer.

And anyway why not pay the great unwashed a modest stipend to house and feed them and keep them alive? After all, isn't that the whole point of having a society in the first place? i.e. To collectively work together to create a system to help us all to survive. And we've been happily giving huge amounts of free printed money to rich banks and other enterprises for ages with little or no outcry. So why not a basic income for the little guy?
 
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se0samh

se0samh

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#26
Fair enough, but bots cost money and slave labour is not literally free. There will be fewer jobs - in time. Maybe I'm over (or under) thinking this but I am distrustful.
As a basic proposition, distrust of politicians isn't unreasonable, but it isn't particularly productive...all we can do is measure them against one another and choose those we think will do the most good....in the UK, that simply cannot be the Tories...
 
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#27
There is a qualitative difference in the technological changes now taking place though, farm workers displaced by machinery were able to get jobs producing machinery...now the machines will be making all the machines...a human or two may get jobs looking after the guard dogs perhaps...if there are guard dogs...
For simplicity, consider the example of an economy with a fixed money supply.
In such an economy, we would expect falling wages, as the demand for labour falls, but an even more rapid decline in the price of goods and services.

This is what is currently happening.
With the exception of housing, which is massively distorted by regulation, the cost of food, clothing and electronic goods has fallen in real terms over the past several decades.

At the point that human labour becomes obsolete -- if it ever does -- affording the necessities of life won't be a problem, as their costs of production will have approached near to zero.
 
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se0samh

se0samh

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#28
For simplicity, consider the example of an economy with a fixed money supply.
In such an economy, we would expect falling wages, as the demand for labour falls, but an even more rapid decline in the price of goods and services.

With the exception of housing, which is massively distorted by regulation, the cost of food, clothing and electronic goods has fallen in real terms over the past several decades.

At the point that human labour becomes obsolete -- if it ever does -- affording the necessities of life won't be a problem, as their costs of production will have approached near to zero.

That sounds a bit like the free energy I was always hearing about in the sixties, seventies, and eighties...it pops up every so often still...but my energy bills still arrive with depressing regularity...
 
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#29
Thing is, people can't actually eat tax credits! LOLlllllllllllll

Capitalism contains within itself the seeds of it's own destruction. It wants to produce lots of stuff to sell. But it really hates having to pay it's workers anything. And it also really hates paying any tax at all to the state to fund social programs. And if the workers have all starved to death or died of exposure and they get nothing from the state, or have no money because they have all been replaced by unpaid robots then of course they can't afford to buy anything. So in the end who is left to buy all the useless shit produced??

Even the right are starting to see how absurd the basic premises are. So they are starting to look at the idea of the state giving a small basic income to the serfs so they can keep the whole absurd capitalist charade going for a little bit longer.

And anyway why not pay the great unwashed a modest stipend to house and feed them and keep them alive? After all, isn't that the whole point of having a society in the first place? i.e. To collectively work together to create a system to help us all to survive. And we've been happily giving huge amounts of free printed money to rich banks and other enterprises for ages with little or no outcry. So why not a basic income for the little guy?
We don't live in a free market economy.
The heavily regulated "capitalism" we have today suits the big corperations.
They can afford to comply with the regulatory burden while smaller competitors can't.

As for the UBI, I'm not opposed to it in principle.
But for now at least I'd prefer to see a earned income tax credit combined with a work guarantee, even if just a part time community work placement, for those who can't find employment for whatever reason.

This deals with your objection that you "can't eat tax credits".
 
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#30
That sounds a bit like the free energy I was always hearing about in the sixties, seventies, and eighties...it pops up every so often still...but my energy bills still arrive with depressing regularity...
Total technological replacement of human labour was also predicted.
 

orebel

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#31
Yes there are a surprising range of supporters, as for your welfare tourism objection, that would need careful handling....but with the coming dearth of unskilled work and with many unable to up-skill(there are dangers for the professions with the advent of AI too) people will need some sort of income to survive....and consume...
How do you think welfare tourism could be handled particularly in a country within the EU with freedom of movement.?
 
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se0samh

se0samh

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#32
How do you think welfare tourism could be handled particularly in a country within the EU with freedom of movement.?
The same way it could have been had the UK (and perhaps Ireland) put the proper measures in place before the emergence of any problem... there isn't a lot of evidence for such a problem though...
 

GodsDog

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#34
How do you think welfare tourism could be handled particularly in a country within the EU with freedom of movement.?
Easy. break up the EU then reinstate a proper border around our sovereign territory. The EU is an unaccountable out of control self serving bureaucracy with waaaay too much power. (and it's the real cause of all the brexit issues we face. But noone ever seems to look at things that way!).

As with all unhealthy addictions, withdrawal from the EU drug will hurt for a while until the artificial dependency wears off but once we're "clean" we can reclaim the right to our own currency and then start to get our lives back on a much more healthy track! LOLlllllllllllll
 
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#35
And is looking closer to being fulfilled than free energy...
If it is achieved, it would have the same implications as free energy: scarcity will have been near eliminated.

Prices will fall at a much faster rate than wages, so being able to afford life's essentials won't be a problem.
 

GodsDog

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#36
If it is achieved, it would have the same implications as free energy: scarcity will have been near eliminated.

Prices will fall at a much faster rate than wages, so being able to afford life's essentials won't be a problem.

Problem is capitalism currently seems to want to have it's cake and eat it.
To pay zero tax while achieving total replacement of the workforce using AI and cheap automation
without giving the serfs any alternative means of support to replace their work income.
This is clearly absurd. Something must break.
 
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