Citizen's Wage

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Thesh
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:19 pm UTC

The average social security benefit for 2012 was $14,760 per year. If we are going to say $20,000, then most seniors would be getting more. Some may be getting less.

http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers ... red-worker

This is not about implementation details, but if you want an example of what we could do, let's say we did choose to do 40% of GDP, which is $20,000 per person. We could and would likely pay less for dependents, let's say 70% for each child, so let's say 20% of our population is under 18 (which is a low estimate). We can then take the remainder, and distribute that as extra to seniors, so let's say 15% of the population is 65 or older (which is a high estimate). The 65% of our population that is 18-64 gets $20,000 per person. Each guardian gets $14,000 per kid, and each senior citizen gets $28,000 per person.

Again, that's one example of how you could do it, not necessarily the best.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:46 pm UTC

GDP counts repairs. That's a problem, since it means for first world countries, GDP tends to overestimate productivity. Now, repairing and replacing existing stuff is all well and good, but that is not really available for spending unless you want to embrace a deterioration into squalor.

But let's ignore this, and use your number of $20k per adult. Let's even leave off all the children entirely.

239.5m adults(all nums 2012)
Total cost: 4.79trillion/yr.
US Total GDP 15.7 trillion

For reference, TOTAL fed spending was only $3.53 trillion. Even at that level, we had a significant deficit of over 1 trillion. Increasing taxation just to cover the deficit would be painful. Increasing taxation to cover this? Holy god.

Now see, we still have other bits of the government this won't replace. Military. Post Office. Forest Service. State Dept. IRS. It's rather a list. A substantial part of the current federal budget will still need to exist even if this is displacing every social program. Hell, DoD is currently at over .7 billion alone. Let's assume that by drastic cutting and slashing, you manage to fit the entire US budget into .8b. This is ludicrously optimistic.

Now, you're not taxing the base $20k, so all the income must come from the REST of the GDP. So, you're sucking somewhere around $5.5 trillion out of $10.9 trillion. Even assuming we axe every single exemption in existence, and can somehow tax government production without making things worse budgetarily(gl with that), you're looking at an average tax rate of >50% on literally everything.

This would be a disincentive to working. Or, at least, it'd be a helluva disincentive to paying taxes. The best options are to say screw it, and live off the tax free 20k, or cheat like hell to avoid paying taxes. Either means the numbers get rapidly, progressively worse year by year as outlays increase with the population, and income drops like a rock.

If you actually did do 70% per child and 28k per senior, you'd end up with far worse numbers.

So no, if you're defining 20k as a living income, this definitely does not work. You need a far smaller number to even have a chance of it being possible.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Ixtellor » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:49 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:This is not about implementation details, but if you want an example of what we could do, let's say we did choose to do 40% of GDP, which is $20,000 per person. We could and would likely pay less for dependents, let's say 70% for each child, so let's say 20% of our population is under 18 (which is a low estimate). We can then take the remainder, and distribute that as extra to seniors, so let's say 15% of the population is 65 or older (which is a high estimate). The 65% of our population that is 18-64 gets $20,000 per person. Each guardian gets $14,000 per kid, and each senior citizen gets $28,000 per person.


So crunching some quick numbers:
You saying we spend $896 billion on payments for kids, 4.16 trillion on the 18-65's, and another 1.344 trillion for the elderly.
Or ball park - $6.4 Trillion dollars/year.
In 2012, the federal government made $2.45 Trillion. Now we are still in recovery, so lets give you a best case scenario/full steam ahead economy and make that $3trillion in revenues.

So in the USA you are suggesting we double our tax rates (already considering that all medicare and social security is incorporated).
...
to achieve.... a nation where people are free to decide if they want to work or not?

And what happens to tax revenues when X % of people decide "fuck it, I'm not working"?

This is to say nothing about the inflationary impact, already explained.

I don't think your plan is well thought out. In fact I think its just some utopian dream that has no real world application.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:51 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:What is drastically different from what you are describing is that the money doesnt' go to everyone, they only targeted the very poor. The payments are Conditional and again, go to people in a nation where food, clothing, and shelter are actual problems.

We dont' have a clothing or food shortage in the USA. Furthermore our homeless population for the legit poor is temporary. (not counting the 90% who are either addicts or mentally ill) (thats a different problem and requires solutions that dont involve throwing cash at them without conditions. )


15% of Americans are on food stamps. 10% of Americans are having trouble paying for shelter. 5% have trouble getting clean water. 20% have trouble getting medical care. [cite]. 14% are below the poverty line. Nearly one in five children don't get enough regular meals, and one in twelve Americans use food banks. Food, clothing and shelter are actual problems in the United States.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:53 pm UTC

I think you're both right to an extent; the US isn't suffering for a lack of food or shelter, it's suffering for a lack of equitable distribution of wealth. I'm not talking about narrowing the wealth gap, I'm talking about elevating people from poverty.

But AFAIK, people in the US aren't going hungry because there's a lack of food to go around.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:00 pm UTC

No, they're going hungry because they can't afford food...

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:03 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:But AFAIK, people in the US aren't going hungry because there's a lack of food to go around.


I'm guessing we overproduce, considering how much grocery stores throw away because it has gone bad. Not that throwing away bad food is bad, but it would be nice if fresh produce turned around faster. Would reducing poverty make us less wasteful? Probably not, since grocery stores want full shelves in the meat and produce department, because it looks better and increases sales.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:11 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:No, they're going hungry because they can't afford food...

Yes. That's what I'm saying.
Ixtellor wrote:We dont' have a clothing or food shortage in the USA.
LaserGuy wrote:15% of Americans are on food stamps. 10% of Americans are having trouble paying for shelter. 5% have trouble getting clean water. 20% have trouble getting medical care. [cite]. 14% are below the poverty line. Nearly one in five children don't get enough regular meals, and one in twelve Americans use food banks. Food, clothing and shelter are actual problems in the United States.

Do you see? You're both right, AFAIK, but both not really addressing the others points.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thrasymachus » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:22 pm UTC

When US food markets bring 3900 calories per person per day to the market, we're obviously overproducing, even after we account for waste, which reduces the total to 2900 calories per person per day. We bring nearly twice what the average person needs in a day to market, and we throw away nearly a quarter of what we bring to market because people don't buy it fast enough.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:26 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I am also not clear, if your speaking exclusively to the first world, or if you are applying this to the entire world.


I think that applying it worldwide is a worthy but impractical aim and that, on any forseeable timescale, this can only be applied locally (up to nationally/statewide).

Tyndmyr wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:I know; I'm pointing to microloans as proof that handing people who live below the poverty line a lump sum of cash tends to significantly improve their lives.


The lottery would be a more applicable example, and would yield the exact opposite results.


The lottery is also an irrelevant and stupid example because the sums of money are vastly greater. The CW would not be large enough to allow for the ridiculous spending you get with the lottery (which happens because people overestimate how much money they have and assume that, because they have £1m they can afford whatever they want. If someone gets a check for £500 however, they do not think this. Particularly if they're hungry and have rent coming up).

Tyndmyr wrote:This would be a disincentive to working. Or, at least, it'd be a helluva disincentive to paying taxes. The best options are to say screw it, and live off the tax free 20k, or cheat like hell to avoid paying taxes. Either means the numbers get rapidly, progressively worse year by year as outlays increase with the population, and income drops like a rock.


There is no disincentive to working. If you take paid work you will have more money than if you do not. This is an incentive to work. Pick up a dictionary, read what disincentive means. Try again.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:49 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:No, they're going hungry because they can't afford food...


Not necessarily. For instance, children don't manage the household finances. So, if daddy is getting food stamp money, but has a gambling habit, money might run out early. Meals get skipped. It's not because adequate money isn't there, and surely, the children are not to blame...even dad probably doesn't mean for this to happen, hes simply fallen into a cycle of poor money management due to addiction.

We don't really have a lack of food problem in the US...but we do definitely have money management problems.

eSOANEM wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:I know; I'm pointing to microloans as proof that handing people who live below the poverty line a lump sum of cash tends to significantly improve their lives.


The lottery would be a more applicable example, and would yield the exact opposite results.


The lottery is also an irrelevant and stupid example because the sums of money are vastly greater. The CW would not be large enough to allow for the ridiculous spending you get with the lottery (which happens because people overestimate how much money they have and assume that, because they have £1m they can afford whatever they want. If someone gets a check for £500 however, they do not think this. Particularly if they're hungry and have rent coming up).


For some people, 500 pounds is a lot of money, and prompts rapid spending. In areas heavily dependent on food stamps here in the US, local grocers experience massive sales on the day food stamps come out. This includes purchases of food items that are definitely not critical, such as soda. Later in the period, they're running out of food. In this country, "living paycheck to paycheck" used to be an insult. Now, it means you're at least doing alright.

Tyndmyr wrote:This would be a disincentive to working. Or, at least, it'd be a helluva disincentive to paying taxes. The best options are to say screw it, and live off the tax free 20k, or cheat like hell to avoid paying taxes. Either means the numbers get rapidly, progressively worse year by year as outlays increase with the population, and income drops like a rock.


There is no disincentive to working. If you take paid work you will have more money than if you do not. This is an incentive to work. Pick up a dictionary, read what disincentive means. Try again.[/quote]

It is a disincentive compared to the status quo, which is what we are comparing CW against, are we not? If I get taxed at 50% instead of 28%...but my first 20k is tax free, the difference in income between working and not working has decreased dramatically. Therefore, there is less reason for people to continue to work.

As less people choose to work, the state becomes cramped for income. If they keep upping taxes to compensate, we end up in a nasty death spiral.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:03 am UTC

Right, and people aren't very good spenders; I recall reading a study that showed children whose family are on foodstamps tend to draw more disciplinary actions at school later in a given month, presumably, because the kids are hungrier. The solution is to just chop up the payouts; instead of handing the CW out in one annual sum, hand it out monthly. Or biweekly.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:13 am UTC

I usually argue the 7th and 23rd of the month. Usually rent and stuff will be first of the month, so giving on the 23rd is convenient, and then another payment after rent is due handles middle of the month expenses.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thrasymachus » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:40 am UTC

Isn't a bit of a disincentive to working, or more accurately, a less large incentive to work, kind of ok for the moment, at least given current and foreseeable economic conditions? There is a vast oversupply of people looking for work, both worldwide, and in the largest producing developed economies, and we can only expect that to get worse as automation gets better and cheaper. So you get a bunch of people that decide to drop out of the labor force? That just shrinks the labor pool, and since levels of demand won't change much as people's incomes are being supported, the remaining workers will be in higher demand and thus able to command higher wages and better working conditions. That might draw some people who dropped out back in, so there'll just be a new equilibrium established.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:46 am UTC

Not really. See, it doesn't really add incentives to working on education for money later, either. Debt is still just as big, but the payoff down the road shrinks.

In fact, if this were a frequent thing, it'd magnify the student debt problem, which is already significant.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby morriswalters » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:37 am UTC

Put it on any day of the month you wish. It wouldn't make any difference. And kids will get screwed over by there parents if the parents don't know how to be parents. And that doesn't make any difference either. The idea I suppose is to give them the chance, not to make sure they take it. If you can't accept that than you are bound to be disappointed and angry. Sometimes you can't make things better. But we are running deficits now and we will for the foreseeable future. We can't afford it now. And there is no guarantee that that will change.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thrasymachus » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:52 am UTC

Since we are vastly overproducing basic necessities now, then we can, by definition, "afford it." It's simply a matter of rearranging the incentives and disincentives. Any solution that results in people having more equitable shares in output will do so by changing incentives and disincentives, including incentives to work. Criticizing this proposal because it changes incentives to work is kinda like criticizing the sun because it's so bright.

Not really. See, it doesn't really add incentives to working on education for money later, either. Debt is still just as big, but the payoff down the road shrinks.

In fact, if this were a frequent thing, it'd magnify the student debt problem, which is already significant.
You're gonna have to explain this leap. It seems like a giant non-sequiter to me.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby jseah » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:09 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Look, everyone keeps justifying welfare by avoiding starvation. That's all well and good, but the jump to "they deserve subsidized entertainment, etc" never seems to be explained. How exactly does the right to not die give them a right to being subsidized, and not being questioned as to how they spend it?

My justification for supporting a basic unquestioned income without spending controls is for a more practical reason. Namely, that we are very inefficient at enforcing rules on using welfare and deciding who is qualified.

Less inefficiency there results in more total money going to the welfare recepients and better productivity overall as you need to waste less labour in the welfare system.

If I was trying to implement this NOW (which I do not think is feasible), what I would do is scrap all of our welfare and social security, and take the revenue currently going into it and give it to the IRS instead for the purposes of a negative income tax. Make it revenue neutral by the numbers.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:29 am UTC

Thrasymachus wrote:Since we are vastly overproducing basic necessities now, then we can, by definition, "afford it." It's simply a matter of rearranging the incentives and disincentives. Any solution that results in people having more equitable shares in output will do so by changing incentives and disincentives, including incentives to work. Criticizing this proposal because it changes incentives to work is kinda like criticizing the sun because it's so bright.


It's an inherent part of the proposal, yes...but the changing incentives means the system rapidly destroys the economy. That'd be a downside.

Not really. See, it doesn't really add incentives to working on education for money later, either. Debt is still just as big, but the payoff down the road shrinks.

In fact, if this were a frequent thing, it'd magnify the student debt problem, which is already significant.
You're gonna have to explain this leap. It seems like a giant non-sequiter to me.


Sure. Right now, a student takes out $x loan in the hopes that his future earnings will increase by more than $x+interest after taxes, yes? If they do, college has been economically worthwhile. If not, well, crap, not so much. Currently, it is still worthwhile for the majority of people who pursue it, but it has become a less sure investment already.

Increasing the amount of taxes makes the amount of earnings necessary to break even higher. Thus, college becomes a less worthwhile investment financially speaking.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:24 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:For some people, 500 pounds is a lot of money, and prompts rapid spending. In areas heavily dependent on food stamps here in the US, local grocers experience massive sales on the day food stamps come out. This includes purchases of food items that are definitely not critical, such as soda. Later in the period, they're running out of food. In this country, "living paycheck to paycheck" used to be an insult. Now, it means you're at least doing alright.


True, but by paying often and in smaller amounts you limit the damage you can do by ensuring that the worst that can happen is a person is hungry come the next cheque rather than being dead or dying of starvation.

Tyndmyr wrote:It is a disincentive compared to the status quo, which is what we are comparing CW against, are we not? If I get taxed at 50% instead of 28%...but my first 20k is tax free, the difference in income between working and not working has decreased dramatically. Therefore, there is less reason for people to continue to work.

As less people choose to work, the state becomes cramped for income. If they keep upping taxes to compensate, we end up in a nasty death spiral.


This is a reduced incentive. It is not a disincentive. I repeat my recommendation that you look up what that word means because I do not think it means what you think it means.

Anyway, there is a reduced incentive to enter paid work, this is true however this effect is self-limiting. As fewer people enter paid work, the CW falls and the incentive to enter paid work rises until more people enter paid work, the CW rises again, the incentive to work reduces and fewer people enter paid work. The system will always work to reach an equilibrium (and it would not be hard to put systems in place to ensure that it does not oscillate freely about that equilibrium).

jseah wrote:If I was trying to implement this NOW (which I do not think is feasible), what I would do is scrap all of our welfare and social security, and take the revenue currently going into it and give it to the IRS instead for the purposes of a negative income tax. Make it revenue neutral by the numbers.


As has been pointed out, in order for this to actually be a liveable CW (which in order to replace welfare it would have to be), it would need to be accompanied by large tax hikes.

Tyndmyr wrote:Sure. Right now, a student takes out $x loan in the hopes that his future earnings will increase by more than $x+interest after taxes, yes? If they do, college has been economically worthwhile. If not, well, crap, not so much. Currently, it is still worthwhile for the majority of people who pursue it, but it has become a less sure investment already.

Increasing the amount of taxes makes the amount of earnings necessary to break even higher. Thus, college becomes a less worthwhile investment financially speaking.


Whilst this is the calculation most people do (albeit probably not explicitly), it is not necessarily one they should make, neither is it one I made. The purpose of university is not to better prepare people for jobs (being able to read old english texts or tell someone all the many animals Loki had sex with is unlikely to improve your wages). The only exceptions to this are cases where the course is required for the job you hope to have (it's worth noting that, even in these cases it won't always come out a net win).

The purpose of university education ought to be the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake rather than to prepare yourself for the job market (which ought to be high school's job).
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:29 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
Whilst this is the calculation most people do (albeit probably not explicitly), it is not necessarily one they should make, neither is it one I made. The purpose of university is not to better prepare people for jobs (being able to read old english texts or tell someone all the many animals Loki had sex with is unlikely to improve your wages). The only exceptions to this are cases where the course is required for the job you hope to have (it's worth noting that, even in these cases it won't always come out a net win).

The purpose of university education ought to be the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake rather than to prepare yourself for the job market (which ought to be high school's job).


If what you say is true, university shouldn't be subsidized by the taxpayer. Society gets no benefit from students pursuing an expensive hobby.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:31 pm UTC

So you are saying education doesn't benefit society? I'm curious what you define as a benefit to society.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:36 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:he purpose of university education ought to be the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake rather than to prepare yourself for the job market (which ought to be high school's job).
I very much disagree with you. Very, very much. The purpose of university education in many cases should be to lead to a more specialized job, or at the very least, producing something 'better'. High school education should be for menial or low level positions, while university SHOULD be for higher level positions. I'm fine with the arts being a university level pursuit that hopefully either leads to better art or more art being taught, but under no stretch of the mind do I think it is reasonable to assert that university is for the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake. I'm at presently at the highest level of knowledge pursuit, and you better believe I'm not doing it for knowledge's sake, and the stipend I receive, and the grants that fund my research, would certainly agree with me.

Thesh: Education VERY much so benefits society, but not because a bunch of mind expanded well read individuals are walking the streets preaching esoteric knowledge to the masses. Education benefits society because smart people produce things that pull society upwards, because smart people are doctors that cure sick people, because smart people are (in theory) law makers that know the best way to regulate the people. A burger flipper benefits society in a fungible manner (+1 production!), but an educated person benefits society in a potentially non-fungible manner.
EDIT: And yes, this was a fairly arrogant post. You don't NEED an education to be useful/non-fungible/vastly beneficial to society.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:38 pm UTC

I think you are confusing society with economy.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:41 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:So you are saying education doesn't benefit society? I'm curious what you define as a benefit to society.


Education in certain fields benefits society. It benefits it by making those people able to provide greater benefit to do this. The measure we use to quantify that benefit is the wages paid to a graduate.

We need more engineers, lawyers and doctors. Quelle surprise, those are highly paid professions.

Having an encyclopaedic knowledge of post feminist literary critiscism is functionally worthless. There are few highly paid jobs (except lecturing in that very subject...) that involve this.

Most people don't mind subsidising the people who stitch them up, build their cars, or ensure criminals have a fair trial

Paying for anyone who can meet the entry requirements to have three years of boozing and 6 hours of lectures a week, and paying for resources required for that education out of the pockets of people who are actually contributing to society, is unfair.

You want to pursue your hobby, do it with your own money.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:47 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:The measure we use to quantify that benefit is the wages paid to a graduate.


What a naive notion. If wages are the measure of benefit to society, someone who travels the country, travels the world doing volunteer work has no benefit to society. Someone who makes millions off of the stock market is a huge benefit to society?

Wages are a measure of scarcity, not benefit.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:53 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:I think you are confusing society with economy.
Economy is a good indicator of what society is doing. I think you should try addressing the things being said instead of trying for these non-constructive non-witty dismisses.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:59 pm UTC

If you think the primary measure of society is economic output, then there really is no point in discussing individual points.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:05 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:The measure we use to quantify that benefit is the wages paid to a graduate.


What a naive notion. If wages are the measure of benefit to society, someone who travels the country, travels the world doing volunteer work has no benefit to society. Someone who makes millions off of the stock market is a huge benefit to society?

Wages are a measure of scarcity, not benefit.


Someone who makes millions on the stock market has successfully allocated a great deal of capital to the correct places. They have increased the wealth of everyone in society by helping to direct the investment of resources to the places where they can do the most benefit.

Someone who travels the world doing volunteer work on a global scale, makes no difference. Perhaps a couple of hundred people get access to some temporary minor luxury, or a couple of shoddy wells are dug.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:05 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:It is a disincentive compared to the status quo, which is what we are comparing CW against, are we not? If I get taxed at 50% instead of 28%...but my first 20k is tax free, the difference in income between working and not working has decreased dramatically. Therefore, there is less reason for people to continue to work.

As less people choose to work, the state becomes cramped for income. If they keep upping taxes to compensate, we end up in a nasty death spiral.


This is a reduced incentive. It is not a disincentive. I repeat my recommendation that you look up what that word means because I do not think it means what you think it means.

Anyway, there is a reduced incentive to enter paid work, this is true however this effect is self-limiting. As fewer people enter paid work, the CW falls and the incentive to enter paid work rises until more people enter paid work, the CW rises again, the incentive to work reduces and fewer people enter paid work. The system will always work to reach an equilibrium (and it would not be hard to put systems in place to ensure that it does not oscillate freely about that equilibrium).


This contradicts the purported benefits of CW, such as security, and always getting a living wage. As we've already pointed out, it would be economically infeasable to subsidize a living wage to everyone even if no effect on incentives happened at all.

jseah wrote:If I was trying to implement this NOW (which I do not think is feasible), what I would do is scrap all of our welfare and social security, and take the revenue currently going into it and give it to the IRS instead for the purposes of a negative income tax. Make it revenue neutral by the numbers.


As has been pointed out, in order for this to actually be a liveable CW (which in order to replace welfare it would have to be), it would need to be accompanied by large tax hikes.


Impossibly large tax hikes, even with welfare gone and sharp cuts to other services.

Tyndmyr wrote:Sure. Right now, a student takes out $x loan in the hopes that his future earnings will increase by more than $x+interest after taxes, yes? If they do, college has been economically worthwhile. If not, well, crap, not so much. Currently, it is still worthwhile for the majority of people who pursue it, but it has become a less sure investment already.

Increasing the amount of taxes makes the amount of earnings necessary to break even higher. Thus, college becomes a less worthwhile investment financially speaking.


Whilst this is the calculation most people do (albeit probably not explicitly), it is not necessarily one they should make, neither is it one I made. The purpose of university is not to better prepare people for jobs (being able to read old english texts or tell someone all the many animals Loki had sex with is unlikely to improve your wages). The only exceptions to this are cases where the course is required for the job you hope to have (it's worth noting that, even in these cases it won't always come out a net win).

The purpose of university education ought to be the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake rather than to prepare yourself for the job market (which ought to be high school's job).


There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of education for it''s own sake, but from an economic analysis pov, "should" is irrelevant. You may not believe that it should take resources to learn...but it does, and resources are finite.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:08 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:Someone who makes millions on the stock market has successfully allocated a great deal of capital to the correct places. They have increased the wealth of everyone in society by helping to direct the investment of resources to the places where they can do the most benefit.


Trading stocks does not allocate any capital whatsoever. Trading stocks is not investing; it's trading ownership of shares of companies.

Ormurinn wrote:Someone who travels the world doing volunteer work on a global scale, makes no difference. Perhaps a couple of hundred people get access to some temporary minor luxury, or a couple of shoddy wells are dug.


:?
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:10 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Trading stocks does not allocate any capital whatsoever. Trading stocks is not investing; it's trading ownership of shares of companies.


Which leads to more accurate pricing of those stocks. Which leads to more efficient allocation of capital by someone else.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:13 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:If you think the primary measure of society is economic output, then there really is no point in discussing individual points.
I... are you capable of going a single post without straw manning or insulting the evil capitalist people who don't agree with you?

Dude, this is a thread discussing an ECONOMIC plan for improving the lives of the poor. Stop getting pissy with people who are bringing economics into the discussion, stop straw manning every thing people say, and stop trying to denigrate people who disagree by calling them 'capitalists'; it's not an insult, and it just makes you look like an out of touch idiot.

Make an argument. Support that argument. Stop just saying things like 'Nuh uh, you're a dumbdumb'.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:21 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:Someone who travels the world doing volunteer work on a global scale, makes no difference. Perhaps a couple of hundred people get access to some temporary minor luxury, or a couple of shoddy wells are dug.


:?


It is unfortunately true that charity sometimes fails to have any lasting effect. There is still a value to some charity, but it's fairly obvious to point out that the total economic value of charitable works is utterly dwarfed by the scope of business. A well is a well, and has the same real value if you charge for it or not, but in practice, most people charge.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:29 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:
Thesh wrote:Trading stocks does not allocate any capital whatsoever. Trading stocks is not investing; it's trading ownership of shares of companies.


Which leads to more accurate pricing of those stocks. Which leads to more efficient allocation of capital by someone else.


You're really making a leap there. Stock trading is reactive, making new investments is proactive. It's not about how the company is doing today, it's about how they are going to use that money for profit, even if they are not profitable today.

Izawwlgood wrote:
Thesh wrote:If you think the primary measure of society is economic output, then there really is no point in discussing individual points.
I... are you capable of going a single post without straw manning or insulting the evil capitalist people who don't agree with you?

Dude, this is a thread discussing an ECONOMIC plan for improving the lives of the poor. Stop getting pissy with people who are bringing economics into the discussion, stop straw manning every thing people say, and stop trying to denigrate people who disagree by calling them 'capitalists'; it's not an insult, and it just makes you look like an out of touch idiot.

Make an argument. Support that argument. Stop just saying things like 'Nuh uh, you're a dumbdumb'.


You do realize you were responding to a post on whether education is valuable to society, right?

As for a citizens wage, you really don't get it. This is not just about the poor, and it's not just about economics. The objections to this concept from you and others have been mostly moral and ethical, not economical. Half of the posts in this thread have been about the morality of giving money to people if they choose not to work. The concept is about whether or not everyone should be given a living wage, not just about the poor. It's about everyone. It's just as much ethical as it is economical. It's about whether our economy can continue to grow production without destroying the environment.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:49 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:As for a citizens wage, you really don't get it. This is not just about the poor, and it's not just about economics. The objections to this concept from you and others have been mostly moral and ethical, not economical. Half of the posts in this thread have been about the morality of giving money to people if they choose not to work. The concept is about whether or not everyone should be given a living wage, not just about the poor. It's about everyone. It's just as much ethical as it is economical. It's about whether our economy can continue to grow production without destroying the environment.


So the Citizens wage is both morally AND economically unsound? Good to know.

Thesh wrote:You're really making a leap there. Stock trading is reactive, making new investments is proactive. It's not about how the company is doing today, it's about how they are going to use that money for profit, even if they are not profitable today.


You're aware of the concept of price discovery right?
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:51 pm UTC

Sure, if dog eats dog is the basis for your moral system.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:58 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:You do realize you were responding to a post on whether education is valuable to society, right?
This isn't the first time int he thread you've made obnoxious quippy non-constructive comments. I'm calling you on it (again, actually). And... yes? I do realize that's what I'm replying to, and did as much, and you'll notice I posed a position, and and argument for it. All you've done with respect to the tangent on education is say that it has nothing to do with economics.
Thesh wrote:As for a citizens wage, you really don't get it. This is not just about the poor, and it's not just about economics. The objections to this concept from you and others have been mostly moral and ethical, not economical. Half of the posts in this thread have been about the morality of giving money to people if they choose not to work. The concept is about whether or not everyone should be given a living wage, not just about the poor. It's about everyone. It's just as much ethical as it is economical. It's about whether our economy can continue to grow production without destroying the environment.
Now you're the one who isn't read what's being said. There have been many many posts in this thread addressing the economic feasibility of the things being proposed, even as recently as asking you who is going to pay for everyone's free education if the purpose of education is only to expand the minds of students.

Now it's an environmental argument as well? By all means man, try and bring into play the notion of paying for a bunch of people who choose to consume, and lets have the environmental discussion.

You're very selectively forgetting that you seem to be incapable of addressing points that refute your own positions, and have on a few occasions been told/shown you're hilariously wrong about things. Your most recent posts is a great example of how you aren't adding to the discussion with these meaningless quips.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:59 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
Whilst this is the calculation most people do (albeit probably not explicitly), it is not necessarily one they should make, neither is it one I made. The purpose of university is not to better prepare people for jobs (being able to read old english texts or tell someone all the many animals Loki had sex with is unlikely to improve your wages). The only exceptions to this are cases where the course is required for the job you hope to have (it's worth noting that, even in these cases it won't always come out a net win).

The purpose of university education ought to be the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake rather than to prepare yourself for the job market (which ought to be high school's job).


If what you say is true, university shouldn't be subsidized by the taxpayer. Society gets no benefit from students pursuing an expensive hobby.


I disagree, pursuing knowledge for knowledge's sake does benefit society because it allows people to lowers barriers to entry into research which does benefit society.

Izawwlgood wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:he purpose of university education ought to be the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake rather than to prepare yourself for the job market (which ought to be high school's job).
I very much disagree with you. Very, very much. The purpose of university education in many cases should be to lead to a more specialized job, or at the very least, producing something 'better'. High school education should be for menial or low level positions, while university SHOULD be for higher level positions. I'm fine with the arts being a university level pursuit that hopefully either leads to better art or more art being taught, but under no stretch of the mind do I think it is reasonable to assert that university is for the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake. I'm at presently at the highest level of knowledge pursuit, and you better believe I'm not doing it for knowledge's sake, and the stipend I receive, and the grants that fund my research, would certainly agree with me.


The vast majority of graduates in 'graduate jobs' do not end up using anything directly from their degree. Their degree is not what enables them to do those jobs (again, I did make the exception for things like lawyers, doctors and researchers). What enables them to do those jobs is having a well-trained mind. In my view, high-school ought to be streamed/setted such that people can receive all the education/training they need in order to enter the job market. University ought then to exist so that people can pursue knowledge for its own sake and should be subsidised/funded by the public because it reduces barriers to entry to research to do so.

Tyndmyr wrote:This contradicts the purported benefits of CW, such as security, and always getting a living wage. As we've already pointed out, it would be economically infeasable to subsidize a living wage to everyone even if no effect on incentives happened at all.


This only contradicts the benefits of security if the lowest the CW ever falls is below a liveable wage. The equilibrium position (and therefore the lowest CW payout) can be fine tuned by changing the proportion of government revenue it represents/the tax rate. This is a problem of finding an optimal implementation rather than an inherent problem in the system itself.

Tyndmyr wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
jseah wrote:If I was trying to implement this NOW (which I do not think is feasible), what I would do is scrap all of our welfare and social security, and take the revenue currently going into it and give it to the IRS instead for the purposes of a negative income tax. Make it revenue neutral by the numbers.


As has been pointed out, in order for this to actually be a liveable CW (which in order to replace welfare it would have to be), it would need to be accompanied by large tax hikes.


Impossibly large tax hikes, even with welfare gone and sharp cuts to other services.


Politically impossible, yes. Actually impossible, no.

I am under no illusions. A CW is not going to be instituted any time soon except possibly on an incredibly small scale. No democratic government would ever pass it because it would be political suicide. I am not here to debate whether it will happen or whether it would be a popular policy. I am here to debate whether it would on some ethical metric represent an improvement on the current welfare/benefits system.

Tyndmyr wrote:There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of education for it''s own sake, but from an economic analysis pov, "should" is irrelevant. You may not believe that it should take resources to learn...but it does, and resources are finite.


I never claimed anything about whether it should take resources to learn. I simply stated my beliefs about what the purpose of universities should be. I am also not interested in an economic analysis as I do not believe that value to society is best measured by value to the economy.

Ormurinn wrote:
Thesh wrote:Trading stocks does not allocate any capital whatsoever. Trading stocks is not investing; it's trading ownership of shares of companies.


Which leads to more accurate pricing of those stocks. Which leads to more efficient allocation of capital by someone else.


Except stock price has been shown to not be directly related to the performance of the company they are associated with (at least, certainly not when comparing companies in different markets).

Ormurinn wrote:
Thesh wrote:As for a citizens wage, you really don't get it. This is not just about the poor, and it's not just about economics. The objections to this concept from you and others have been mostly moral and ethical, not economical. Half of the posts in this thread have been about the morality of giving money to people if they choose not to work. The concept is about whether or not everyone should be given a living wage, not just about the poor. It's about everyone. It's just as much ethical as it is economical. It's about whether our economy can continue to grow production without destroying the environment.


So the Citizens wage is both morally AND economically unsound? Good to know.


That's not at all what Thesh said. All they said was that those in this thread who have objected to the CW have done so mostly on ethical grounds. This does not mean it is ethically unsound, just that some people believe it doesn't stand up to their ethics. This is to be expected as no two people have an identical set of ethics.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:21 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:The vast majority of graduates in 'graduate jobs' do not end up using anything directly from their degree. Their degree is not what enables them to do those jobs (again, I did make the exception for things like lawyers, doctors and researchers). What enables them to do those jobs is having a well-trained mind. In my view, high-school ought to be streamed/setted such that people can receive all the education/training they need in order to enter the job market. University ought then to exist so that people can pursue knowledge for its own sake and should be subsidised/funded by the public because it reduces barriers to entry to research to do so.
This is a problem with our current job market, and incidentally, a problem in the business model America's university system has adopted.

In my view, high school should ready you for interaction with the world. Technical college should ready you for some more advanced jobs, college for even more advanced jobs, and graduate schooling for the most advanced. Obviously pursuit of knowledge for knowledge sake is a noble pursuit (EDIT: And one of the goals of college/graduate studies), but I don't think beyond high school everyone ought to be required to do so, and beyond making it easy for students to go learn, I don't think we need to make it free, for a number of reasons, incidentally, of which includes the fact that simply throwing an education at people doesn't minimize the credit inequality or debt spiral the poor are still subject to.
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