Citizen's Wage

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:28 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
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.


Iif you want a conversation, read what is being written. I did not write that. Why am I annoyed and making snappy comments? Because you aren't actually considering this seriously, you are basically looking at our current system, saying "Well, this doesn't apply to our current system, therefore it is wrong." You are unwilling to examine the concept beyond that.

Izawwlgood wrote: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.


Do we have the resources to provide everyone with food and clothing today, as well as the resources to educate everyone today? If so, then we can do it. The rest is a matter of implementation details, not practicality.

Izawwlgood wrote: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.


It's been stated many times that people are likely to work less, and that production is likely to go down. Production going down means fewer consumption of resources, means less harm to the environment. Furthermore, it's unrealistic to think we can continue growing the economy forever until the end of time without destroying the environment.

Izawwlgood wrote: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.


You are incapable of considering a system that does not fit nicely into the system we have today. Because your view of society is one in which the economy is the primary measure, you will never accept the possibility of a system in which we don't necessarily grow the economy. You will never accept the idea that people working less is a good thing. You seem to only economically accept the system insofar as "Well, giving money to the poor might create growth," which is completely missing the point.

Economics is really about allocating resources to achieve a goal. if your goal is perpetual growth of the economy, then you choose a system that best fits that. If your goal is different, then you choose a different system.

If you want to add to the discussion, why not try stepping back and considering the concept, instead of trying to find ways of rejecting it because it's not what we have today?
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:31 pm UTC

Arguably, the entire reason for jobs requiring a college degree is because they were de facto banned from using their own assessment tests. Used to be, you had a high school diploma and just got on the job training for nearly all jobs. each company would give applicants assessment tests. In the 60s and 70s, the tests were found to be biased against non rich-white-males. There was a legitimate complaint, such as the oarsman regatta* example. But rather than have to constantly defend themselves in court and prove that their tests were fair after spending fortunes on attorney fees, the companies just threw up their hands and just said 'fuck it, college degree required'.

So the college degree is now the certification that you aren't an idiot. Only costs 4 years and up to $200k. This kind of fucked over the people least able to obtain a college degree, i.e., non rich-white-men, or, the very same people the courts were ostensibly trying to protect. But hey, who cares if we are doing the exact opposite of what we claim to do!



*SAT question: Runner is to Marathon as Oarsman is to _____ (Regatta). Rich kids might know what a regatta is, a boat race, poor kids probably not. I didn't know what a regatta was until I heard about that question.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:37 pm UTC

If the goal is to guarantee that everyone has food, clothing and shelter, why not eliminate the middle man entirely and have the government provide those directly?
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:41 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:If the goal is to guarantee that everyone has food, clothing and shelter, why not eliminate the middle man entirely and have the government provide those directly?


If government provided all of them, then people who worked wouldn't live any better than people who didn't from that regard. You want people to get more if they worked, since that is the incentive to work. You could provide housing subsidies, food stamps, and clothing subsidies, but then that makes a much more complicated system, and in the end doesn't actually have much of an advantage over direct cash transfers.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:42 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:If the goal is to guarantee that everyone has food, clothing and shelter, why not eliminate the middle man entirely and have the government provide those directly?


Because Senator Wharton's cousin has a small business providing the food etc to people! What do you have against small businesses? You hate success, don't you? YOU HATE THE JOB CREATORS!

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:43 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Iif you want a conversation, read what is being written. I did not write that. Why am I annoyed and making snappy comments? Because you aren't actually considering this seriously, you are basically looking at our current system, saying "Well, this doesn't apply to our current system, therefore it is wrong." You are unwilling to examine the concept beyond that.
Are you daft? On page *2* I stated I'd spoken to a friend of mine and was convinced that a CW would help bring people out of poverty and protect against debt spirals. And you did in fact write that a CW is about more than economics.
Thesh wrote:Do we have the resources to provide everyone with food and clothing today, as well as the resources to educate everyone today? If so, then we can do it. The rest is a matter of implementation details, not practicality.
Right... which is why we should discuss the economic feasibility of doing it via implementing a CW...
Thesh wrote:It's been stated many times that people are likely to work less, and that production is likely to go down. Production going down means fewer consumption of resources, means less harm to the environment. Furthermore, it's unrealistic to think we can continue growing the economy forever until the end of time without destroying the environment.
This doesn't follow at all; people working less means production goes down, but it doesn't mean that people will consume any less. It just means that the demand will increase. Environmentally speaking, I wager the poor have a fairly large footprint insofar as the resources of others that they require, but almost certainly a smaller footprint than, say, someone who drives to and from work every day. A CW is going to elevate people from poverty to lower class; that means more people will have cars, more people will want iGizmos, and more people will consume, which ultimately means a LARGER environmental footprint.
Thesh wrote:Economics is really about allocating resources to achieve a goal.
No, economics is the study of how people consume, produce, and distribute goods. That we have to define 'economics' to you at this point in the thread is kind of frustrating; stop with this 'fighting the man, man!' boner you're waving in an effort to argue that us corrupt capitalists aren't listening to you. We are, and some of us even support the notion of a CW, but not for the reasons you seem to be rambling about.

I support a CW (since page 2!) because I recognize that being born into poverty isn't a good reason to stay poor, and that our system, as it currently stands, does a poor job facilitating the poor from rising out of poverty, or protecting them from falling deeper into poverty. A CW would push that line of no return, that debt spiral, down, making it easier for people to climb up. As evidenced by LaserGuys peer reviewed journal citation, throwing a bit of money at extremely poor people actually factually has long term effects on increasing their annual income. This is a good thing; this is an economics thing. If you want to argue for a CW via the morality route, be prepared to have people disagree with you; but don't then start whining and thrashing that they do.

Incidentally, you STILL haven't described why you think this is better than government food stamps or subsidized housing. Your recent post doesn't answer the question at all.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:55 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
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.


I didn't say it had to be free. I said I thought it should be subsidised and that this can be accommodated within a CW. Anyway, how higher education is charged and what its purpose is is not really the point of this debate (and it seems that we both have very different views on the matter).

CorruptUser wrote:Arguably, the entire reason for jobs requiring a college degree is because they were de facto banned from using their own assessment tests. Used to be, you had a high school diploma and just got on the job training for nearly all jobs. each company would give applicants assessment tests. In the 60s and 70s, the tests were found to be biased against non rich-white-males. There was a legitimate complaint, such as the oarsman regatta* example. But rather than have to constantly defend themselves in court and prove that their tests were fair after spending fortunes on attorney fees, the companies just threw up their hands and just said 'fuck it, college degree required'.

So the college degree is now the certification that you aren't an idiot. Only costs 4 years and up to $200k. This kind of fucked over the people least able to obtain a college degree, i.e., non rich-white-men, or, the very same people the courts were ostensibly trying to protect. But hey, who cares if we are doing the exact opposite of what we claim to do!



*SAT question: Runner is to Marathon as Oarsman is to _____ (Regatta). Rich kids might know what a regatta is, a boat race, poor kids probably not. I didn't know what a regatta was until I heard about that question.


This is entirely understandable.

The problem however did not lie with the employers (although there are clearly big problems with their tests), the problem lies with the high school diploma not being descriptive enough.

I think that A-levels in the UK are better (although, due to grade inflation (and the related fact that top end candidates can consistently score >90% in tests) there is not enough precision at the upper end). In a more A-level-like system, rather than simply receiving a diploma (possibly with some GPA included), the students receive individual qualifications in individual subjects each with their own grade.

If someone finishes secondary school and immediately applies for work, employers do not need to perform their own tests (ignoring for now the problems with lack of precision at the top end which is merely an implementation issue) because they can readily evaluate their applicants ability against various standard metrics (so their gcses in maths and english language/literature measure their basic numeracy and literacy (as well as other useful skills) and their other gcses allow them to measure other skills. A-levels then measure a person's ability at higher level skills (so maths A-level starts measuring things more like the ability to abstract and analyse things)).

As an OT aside, that question is not even accurate because a regatta is a series of races. A better start would be athlete is to pentathlon or somesuch.

Izawwlgood wrote:Incidentally, you STILL haven't described why you think this is better than government food stamps or subsidized housing. Your recent post doesn't answer the question at all.


Assuming you've been reading the same posts as me this is false. Citations:

Thesh wrote:If government provided all of them, ... that makes a much more complicated system, and in the end doesn't actually have much of an advantage over direct cash transfers.


A more complicated system leads to larger inefficiencies and unnecessary spending in administration. A simpler system providing the same payments is cheaper. As such, a CW is cheaper (provided it has a sensible implementation) than a fragmented system providing equivalent benefits.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby morriswalters » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:02 pm UTC

The CW is better because it doesn't stigmatize, it gives you freedom to make choices and empowers you. Which still doesn't make it practical or useful. There is nothing to show that it would enhance social stability and good reason to believe that a large number of people would react poorly to it.(those paying for it) And all it does is move the problem out of sight, offshore to another location.

As a truly dystopian notion you could offer it conditionally as a carrot for the unwashed masses to not breed. Reversible sterilization as long as you take it. Add free education as a means of sweetening the pot. If productivity and efficiency are high enough, the loss of population(if you assume that anyone would acquiesce)wouldn't be noticed. We could then test the idea that the poor are wasted space and a problem to be cured.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:04 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:This doesn't follow at all; people working less means production goes down, but it doesn't mean that people will consume any less. It just means that the demand will increase.


I don't see how you get from production going down, to consumption not going down, to demand increasing. From a macroeconomic standpoint, consumption is demand, and unless there is a resource shortage, then production is equal to demand.

Izawwlgood wrote:Environmentally speaking, I wager the poor have a fairly large footprint insofar as the resources of others that they require, but almost certainly a smaller footprint than, say, someone who drives to and from work every day. A CW is going to elevate people from poverty to lower class; that means more people will have cars, more people will want iGizmos, and more people will consume, which ultimately means a LARGER environmental footprint.


If less people are driving to work overall, if more people are driving three days instead of five, then overall consumption of fuel will go down, and the environmental impact will be less. There's also the industrial sector for the production of goods

Izawwlgood wrote:
Thesh wrote:Economics is really about allocating resources to achieve a goal.
No, economics is the study of how people consume, produce, and distribute goods. That we have to define 'economics' to you at this point in the thread is kind of frustrating; stop with this 'fighting the man, man!' boner you're waving in an effort to argue that us corrupt capitalists aren't listening to you. We are, and some of us even support the notion of a CW, but not for the reasons you seem to be rambling about.


Sure, all of those are part of the study of economics, but from the highest level its about allocating resources. Production and distribution are all about resources, and consumption is the end goal. Without scarcity of resources, economics becomes obsolete.

Izawwlgood wrote:I support a CW (since page 2!) because I recognize that being born into poverty isn't a good reason to stay poor, and that our system, as it currently stands, does a poor job facilitating the poor from rising out of poverty, or protecting them from falling deeper into poverty. A CW would push that line of no return, that debt spiral, down, making it easier for people to climb up. As evidenced by LaserGuys peer reviewed journal citation, throwing a bit of money at extremely poor people actually factually has long term effects on increasing their annual income. This is a good thing; this is an economics thing. If you want to argue for a CW via the morality route, be prepared to have people disagree with you; but don't then start whining and thrashing that they do.

That's kind of my point, you want the CW for benefits as applied to this system, but you aren't willing to consider a different system.

Izawwlgood wrote:Incidentally, you STILL haven't described why you think this is better than government food stamps or subsidized housing. Your recent post doesn't answer the question at all.


I don't see the advantage of those over direct cash transfers. CW gives more choice on how you allocate your money. For example, with a CW, you have a choice of whether you want to live alone in a studio apartment, or whether you want a two bedroom apartment with a roommate in which you will save money by sharing the cost of food and rent so you have more money to spend on luxory.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:08 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:I didn't say it had to be free. I said I thought it should be subsidised and that this can be accommodated within a CW. Anyway, how higher education is charged and what its purpose is is not really the point of this debate (and it seems that we both have very different views on the matter).
eSOANEM wrote:A more complicated system leads to larger inefficiencies and unnecessary spending in administration. A simpler system providing the same payments is cheaper. As such, a CW is cheaper (provided it has a sensible implementation) than a fragmented system providing equivalent benefits.
Putting aside our disagreement on what an education should be; are you and Thesh basically arguing that a CW consolidates 'poverty assistance' programs into a single entity, and is superior at least insofar as it clears away bureaucratic red tape? Only in regards to why it is superior than, say, a food stamp, disabilities and education loan subsidies as separate entities?
EDIT: Thesh has confirmed, so;
That's fine; why not just fix those systems then? Foodstamps are basically just debit cards that are paid out to monthly.
Thesh wrote:I don't see how you get from production going down, to consumption not going down, to demand increasing. From a macroeconomic standpoint, consumption is demand, and unless there is a resource shortage, then production is equal to demand.
You'll have to explain how you think that less people producing means less people consuming. Are these people who aren't working factory jobs also not eating? Driving? Is the only place that someone consumes things (What things? Food? Electronics? Electricity at home?) while on the job?
Thesh wrote:If less people are driving to work overall, if more people are driving three days instead of five, then overall consumption of fuel will go down, and the environmental impact will be less. There's also the industrial sector for the production of goods
And what about the people who weren't driving but now are? Round and round we go!
Thesh wrote:That's kind of my point, you want the CW for benefits as applied to this system, but you aren't willing to consider a different system.
Wat? You mean like how I'm willing to consider CW?
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Ixtellor » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:11 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:So the college degree is now the certification that you aren't an idiot. Only costs 4 years and up to $200k. This kind of fucked over the people least able to obtain a college degree, i.e., non rich-white-men, or, the very same people the courts were ostensibly trying to protect. But hey, who cares if we are doing the exact opposite of what we claim to do!


You can get a college degree for $20k. You can go to a public big university and get one for $40k.
You know... the price of a modest car.

The result - an additional $1,000,000 in earnings on average over your lifetime.

Its the easiest way to hit the lottery in America.

Thesh wrote:It's been stated many times that people are likely to work less, and that production is likely to go down. Production going down means fewer consumption of resources, means less harm to the environment. .


Consumption is the #1 driver of a modern economy. So are you admitting your idea will crash the economy? It begs the question how are we going to provide $20k to every American (Double the price of all Federal spending - assuming the gov did nothing else... like protect the environment) with a falling economy?

Thesh wrote:Furthermore, it's unrealistic to think we can continue growing the economy forever until the end of time without destroying the environment.


Pipe down Malthus. Assuming society in the 2nd and 3rd world continues to advance, they will eventually hit a stage of reproduction rates similar to Europe. Additionally, technology will continue to advance. Spray on solar paint, genetically engineered microbes.

I believe your problem is you don't understand human nature. Man, as evidence suggests, is self motivated. Your pretty much just recommending we try a communistic economic model. Assuming the government did want to maintain research and an EPA, your basically suggesting a tax rate of 60% assuming full employment. And we have mountains of evidence to suggest that people become LESS productive when you give them stuff for free, one could assume an even higher tax rate would be required. Which only disencentives people to work. (Why should I bust my ass for minimal gains, while others loaf all day {or as you would suggest writing free apps!})
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:15 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:You'll have to explain how you think that less people producing means less people consuming.


If you mean "people producing less" and "people consuming less", then consumption cannot exceed production. The exception is if we only stop producing goods for government consumption, which I don't think is a very likely outcome, and it would have to be a conscious decision.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:19 pm UTC

@Ixtellor: Well wait; a CW isn't aimed at ensuring everyone's equal, it's aimed at ensuring the poorest don't fall through the cracks. As I understand it, it's a pretty good way of equalizing those who earn below a certain amount of money, as they don't have the same access to loans/credit, stability against income fluctuation, or ability to pursue things like family rearing or education without potentially starving. It's, as I see it, a means for ensuring that an economy remains a meritocracy, it equalizes opportunity, and only by reducing the penalty for being born poor.

That said, it's not going to solve half the things some people seem to be going on about. It's not going to change human nature, or reduce a countries environmental footprint, or usher in world peace.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:30 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:I didn't say it had to be free. I said I thought it should be subsidised and that this can be accommodated within a CW. Anyway, how higher education is charged and what its purpose is is not really the point of this debate (and it seems that we both have very different views on the matter).
eSOANEM wrote:A more complicated system leads to larger inefficiencies and unnecessary spending in administration. A simpler system providing the same payments is cheaper. As such, a CW is cheaper (provided it has a sensible implementation) than a fragmented system providing equivalent benefits.
Putting aside our disagreement on what an education should be; are you and Thesh basically arguing that a CW consolidates 'poverty assistance' programs into a single entity, and is superior at least insofar as it clears away bureaucratic red tape? Only in regards to why it is superior than, say, a food stamp, disabilities and education loan subsidies as separate entities?
EDIT: Thesh has confirmed, so;
That's fine; why not just fix those systems then? Foodstamps are basically just debit cards that are paid out to monthly.


I believe it is superior in part because it unifies them, but also because, by removing the need for means-testing, it becomes more efficient.

It is not possible to 'fix' a fragmented system to be as efficient as a properly fine tuned CW because the fragmented will always suffer from inefficiencies by virtue of its fragmented nature.

Ixtellor wrote:I believe your problem is you don't understand human nature. Man, as evidence suggests, is self motivated. Your pretty much just recommending we try a communistic economic model. Assuming the government did want to maintain research and an EPA, your basically suggesting a tax rate of 60% assuming full employment. And we have mountains of evidence to suggest that people become LESS productive when you give them stuff for free, one could assume an even higher tax rate would be required. Which only disencentives people to work. (Why should I bust my ass for minimal gains, while others loaf all day {or as you would suggest writing free apps!})


As I've said far too many times in this thread, that is not what disincentive bloody well means. The incentive is reduced but it is still there. Someone in paid work will always be better off than someone not. There is still an incentive to work. The amount this incentive is reduced by can be fine tuned.

This is not a communist move. It is not even a socialist one. There is no public ownership in this system. This system is a left wing one yes, but to claim it is communist is simply resorting to inaccurate name-calling (which is at least in keeping with your tone from other posts and other parts of this post).

Izawwlgood wrote:That said, it's not going to solve half the things some people seem to be going on about. It's not going to change human nature, or reduce a countries environmental footprint, or usher in world peace.


I want to make it clear that I am not under any illusions that a CW would/could lead to world peace or many of the benefits Thesh has actually said it might. I think the CW is a good way to help prevent the poorest from falling through the cracks. That will have benefits beyond simply improving their standard of living but they will not necessarily be as large or far-reaching as some seem to think.

I have however said that a global CW is a noble aim (although as I've said, it is almost certainly unreachable in the forseeable future) and I believe that such a system would exist hand in hand with world peace but with the causation the other way round. A global CW could only work if world peace already existed.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Ixtellor » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:41 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote: As I understand it, it's a pretty good way of equalizing those who earn below a certain amount of money, ..


There is no evidence CW works.

And remember as the OP said on the first page his goal : Provide the choice not to work. That is the motivation.

as they don't have the same access to loans/credit,


Its called saving. Also, many people have poor credit, because when they borrow money they dont pay it back.

I say this as a person who 100% supported myself, and put myself through college on $15k/year. No car, crappy apartment, sandwiches for every meal, while working 40 hours per week and taking 12 hours every semester.


stability against income fluctuation,


Thats called unemployment insurance, etc. We already have a strong safety net there to help people through hiccups.

or ability to pursue things like family rearing


Personal Responsibility has to play a role at some point. If you dont have a job... dont have kids. (Birth Control is now 100% free in the USA for those with insurance, and 100% free if you utilize public services like Planned parenthood.)

or education without potentially starving


Grants and Student loans. Everyone pays the same interest rate on student loans regardless of background. And again, people dont' starve in America.
Some children go hungry, but that is due to parental habits. And we don't have the authority to make people be good parents. Additionally, there is ample federal money to feed kids, especially during school.

It's, as I see it, a means for ensuring that an economy remains a meritocracy, it equalizes opportunity, and only by reducing the penalty for being born poor.


The penalty for being poor is a cultural problem not a rigged system.
Having tought school at THE poorest school in Texas, lack of financial assistance is not the problem. The misuse of personal resources and poor decision making is almost always to blame. [The parents, not the childrens decisions]


Or to summarize, we have programs in place to deal with everything you stated. What we have learned is you can't force people to make good choices. And there is ZERO evidence, and LOTS of contrary evidence that giving people with bad decision making skills sums of cash -- is not the solution.
Hell even giving people food stamps, we see them selling it at a discount to pay for BAD decisions.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:52 pm UTC

Heh, I like that I'm now arguing on this side of the line;
Ixtellor wrote:There is no evidence CW works.
There is in fact evidence that the idea does. Relinking LaserGuys evidence for you.
Ixtellor wrote:And remember as the OP said on the first page his goal : Provide the choice not to work. That is the motivation.
I agree with you that this is not a functional or reasonable goal for a CW. That's the OP's addition. A CW, as I see it, should be about helping people climb out of needing a CW. It should not be for everyone.
Ixtellor wrote:Its called saving. Also, many people have poor credit, because when they borrow money they dont pay it back.I say this as a person who 100% supported myself, and put myself through college on $15k/year. No car, crappy apartment, sandwiches for every meal, while working 40 hours per week and taking 12 hours every semester.
Can we dispense with the 'well I knew a guy' or 'I suffered through it and look at me!' anecdotes? FACT: Poor people don't have access to the same lines of credit rich people do. FACT: It is strikingly easier for a poor person to fall into a debt spiral than a wealthier person. OPINION: You struggled, and shouldn't have had to struggle as much as you did to reach the position you reached.
Ixtellor wrote:Thats called unemployment insurance, etc. We already have a strong safety net there to help people through hiccups.
And yet, you don't see many 'Checks Cashed Here!' ads in upscale neighborhoods!
Ixtellor wrote:Personal Responsibility has to play a role at some point. If you dont have a job... dont have kids. (Birth Control is now 100% free in the USA for those with insurance, and 100% free if you utilize public services like Planned parenthood.)
Agreed; being born poor shouldn't penalize anyone though.
Ixtellor wrote: And again, people dont' starve in America.
You know that's not true, as I defended the confusion you and LaserGuy were having about just this topic.

Anyway, your position seems to be 'poor people make bad decisions, so we shouldn't help them'. I don't really think that's A ) true, and B ) defensible. Poor people may make bad decisions insofar as, say, not properly budgeting a foodstamp stipend, but that doesn't mean we should eliminate foodstamp stipends, it means we should see what economic tricks we can utilize to mitigate human natures logical reasoning skills ("Hungry people don't shop for food wisely, so, we broke up the stipend bimonthly instead of monthly.").
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:13 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote: As I understand it, it's a pretty good way of equalizing those who earn below a certain amount of money, ..


There is no evidence CW works.

And remember as the OP said on the first page his goal : Provide the choice not to work. That is the motivation.


That is not what Alexius said. They said that providing the choice not to work was "the big effect". He made no value judgement as to whether this was a good or bad thing only that, overall, he thought the CW was a good idea.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thrasymachus » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:53 pm UTC

There were three large experiments in the US in the 60's which implemented a basic minimum income for between 800 and 1600 families. They showed that the average reduction in hours worked was about 5% on average. "Primary breadwinners" barely reduced their hours at all, while teenagers and wives working part time jobs to supplement income reduced quite a lot. Some of the effects of this included fewer hospital visits and improved academic achievement by the children. The reduction in hours worked might be understated by these studies, as the participants were aware that their benefits were not permanent, and would end when the study ended.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:11 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
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.


We have already pointed out that a "living wage" given to everyone would utterly destroy our current system economically. Rapidly, too. Any equilibrium position must therefore be significantly below that.

Let us, using 2012 numbers, consider what wage would be paid out(assuming equal payments to everyone) by replacing ALL social programs from the 2012 budget...For this purpose, we will consider social security, medicare, medicaid, veterans benefits, all other health department and housing department expenditures, and all community and regional development spending as social programs this replace. This is...highly optimistic. We will further assume a perfect efficiency in income redistribution. It comes out to about 7,700 a year. Is that a livable wage, assuming no social programs whatsoever?

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.


No, actually impossible. Consider the example of the automobile. We make a crapton of them every year. Every car we make is part of GDP. However, the number of cars on the road is pretty constant, growing only slowly, because most cars go to replace old vehicles that have worn out. If you are appropriating fully half of this production, then you are not merely hindering growth, you are falling below replacement values. There are a range of possible tax values that don't destroy the economy, but you cannot take more than half of GDP, and just assume that the results will be ethically superior.

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.


If you do not believe that economy is a good system of measurement, then why in the hells are you trying to fix society with an economic system?

Thresh wrote:Do we have the resources to provide everyone with food and clothing today, as well as the resources to educate everyone today? If so, then we can do it. The rest is a matter of implementation details, not practicality.


Implementation details ARE practicality. I find that whenever someone says "the rest is just implementation details", the solution is probably ill thought out, and likely entirely unworkable. A solution without a way to implement it is useless. Worse than useless, if it is selected instead of a viable one.

It's been stated many times that people are likely to work less, and that production is likely to go down. Production going down means fewer consumption of resources, means less harm to the environment. Furthermore, it's unrealistic to think we can continue growing the economy forever until the end of time without destroying the environment.


The same is true of genocide.

Economics is really about allocating resources to achieve a goal. if your goal is perpetual growth of the economy, then you choose a system that best fits that. If your goal is different, then you choose a different system.


Growth, at an economic scale, means improvement. Yes, my goal IS a society that keeps getting better, as opposed to one that stagnates or deteriorates. That's what growth is.

I agree, if you want stagnation or failure, there are certainly other economic systems that are better suited for producing that. However, I see little enthusiasm for pursuing those goals.

PAstrychef wrote:If the goal is to guarantee that everyone has food, clothing and shelter, why not eliminate the middle man entirely and have the government provide those directly?


We do that now, in some cases. Government subsidized housing, etc. Of course, it's generally of a minimal quality, and usually demand vastly exceeds supply. It's difficult for it to be otherwise. Government run supermakets are hella inefficient compared to say, walmart(source, the military PX system).

I don't see how you get from production going down, to consumption not going down, to demand increasing. From a macroeconomic standpoint, consumption is demand, and unless there is a resource shortage, then production is equal to demand.


Production decreases continued indefinitely will result in resource shortages. In practice, it likely would not take terribly long to hit resource shortages. Hell, a threat of a hurricane or a major storm will produce resources shortages across a good chunk of territory, as people rush to buy bread and water and such. Inventories are not stocked deeply in the modern world.

As we already export a helluva lot less than we import, decreased production means either some other kind country needs to ship us lots and lots of things that we can't really pay for, or we get a lot less things. Lower standard of living, in other words. It means embracing poverty and want.

If less people are driving to work overall, if more people are driving three days instead of five, then overall consumption of fuel will go down, and the environmental impact will be less. There's also the industrial sector for the production of goods


It won't be a 3/5ths reduction in demand, though. It'll be less. Look, if we worked 0 days a week, consumption would not drop to 0. It'd drop, sure, but this is a world in which goods must constantly be consumed merely to sustain life as it is. Even if production has entirely stopped, consumption continues until the point at which supplies are exhausted. Yes, if you hit that point, consumption hits zero....because everybody dies.

Cutting production by 3/5ths simply means that people on average have to survive on 3/5ths of the goods, while some of their expenses are pretty static. Your house is gonna wear out in the same amount of time if you work three days a week or five.

It is absolutely not possible to pay a living wage via CW without grinding the country's economy into dust. It'd make the last recession remembered as the good ol' days.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby morriswalters » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:23 pm UTC

Did anybody actually run those Nambia numbers?

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thrasymachus » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:31 pm UTC

We have already pointed out that a "living wage" given to everyone would utterly destroy our current system economically. Rapidly, too. Any equilibrium position must therefore be significantly below that


You've asserted it, but you haven't actually proved it. Denmark, for example, has a livable wage basic income guarantee, and they seem to be doing just fine. Changing incentives to produce or consume doesn't necessarily change amounts of things produced or consumed. In fact, decreasing the incentives to produce while increasing the incentives to consume can result in increased production. It merely changes the valuation of the things produced and consumed.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:31 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
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.


We have already pointed out that a "living wage" given to everyone would utterly destroy our current system economically. Rapidly, too. Any equilibrium position must therefore be significantly below that.

Let us, using 2012 numbers, consider what wage would be paid out(assuming equal payments to everyone) by replacing ALL social programs from the 2012 budget...For this purpose, we will consider social security, medicare, medicaid, veterans benefits, all other health department and housing department expenditures, and all community and regional development spending as social programs this replace. This is...highly optimistic. We will further assume a perfect efficiency in income redistribution. It comes out to about 7,700 a year. Is that a livable wage, assuming no social programs whatsoever?


No. You have illustrated that, in the current economic system it would require enormous tax hikes. It is not clear that these tax hikes would necessarily destroy the economy.

Regardless, I have said several times now that it is clearly impractical to implement on anything but a small scale at the moment. I am not arguing for introducing a CW now. I am arguing that, a CW is an ethically better system than the current one and so we ought to work towards a situation where it becomes feasible.

Tyndmyr wrote:No, actually impossible. Consider the example of the automobile. We make a crapton of them every year. Every car we make is part of GDP. However, the number of cars on the road is pretty constant, growing only slowly, because most cars go to replace old vehicles that have worn out. If you are appropriating fully half of this production, then you are not merely hindering growth, you are falling below replacement values. There are a range of possible tax values that don't destroy the economy, but you cannot take more than half of GDP, and just assume that the results will be ethically superior.


This analogy is ridiculous. Large progressive income tax hikes are not at all equivalent to appropriating more than half of all production and to claim it is is as stupid as claiming (as ormurin did earlier) that this system would mean that any property would be available for arbitrary seizure to fund the CW.

Tyndmyr wrote:If you do not believe that economy is a good system of measurement, then why in the hells are you trying to fix society with an economic system?


This is a non-sequitur. Just because I do not believe something is a good metric for determining utility for society does not mean that I do not believe that the solution to certain ethical problems is not expressible in similar terms to those that metric is expressed in.

Tyndmyr wrote:Growth, at an economic scale, means improvement. Yes, my goal IS a society that keeps getting better, as opposed to one that stagnates or deteriorates. That's what growth is.

I agree, if you want stagnation or failure, there are certainly other economic systems that are better suited for producing that. However, I see little enthusiasm for pursuing those goals.


Except that, as has been shown earlier in this thread, economic growth is not a good indicator for improvement in the standard of living of the lowest earners in society. I would prioritise improving their standard of living to a basic secure level above improving that of those who already live in relative security and are able to regularly afford luxuries.

Tyndmyr wrote:Cutting production by 3/5ths simply means that people on average have to survive on 3/5ths of the goods, while some of their expenses are pretty static. Your house is gonna wear out in the same amount of time if you work three days a week or five.


You're assuming that the proportion of produced goods which are actually consumed is the same. This is not necessarily the case and could work either way (although thesh has already provided arguments as to why this proportion should rise and so an x% reduction in production leads to a y% (where y<x) reduction in the amount of goods the average person consumes).
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:02 pm UTC

Thrasymachus wrote:
We have already pointed out that a "living wage" given to everyone would utterly destroy our current system economically. Rapidly, too. Any equilibrium position must therefore be significantly below that


You've asserted it, but you haven't actually proved it. Denmark, for example, has a livable wage basic income guarantee, and they seem to be doing just fine. Changing incentives to produce or consume doesn't necessarily change amounts of things produced or consumed. In fact, decreasing the incentives to produce while increasing the incentives to consume can result in increased production. It merely changes the valuation of the things produced and consumed.


Denmark's income guarantee does not function as a CW, paying out to everyone. Instead, it pays out to the unemployed. It's unemployment. You apply for it after you lose your job, then get money for a while, provided you are actively seeking employment. That's...not really that different from how things work here.

They do not, in fact, have any legal minimum wage at all, so describing them as an example of why CW would work is hilariously inaccurate.

They do have higher social spending than us overall, but it's beginning to cause them severe economic difficulty. http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/blog/index.php/2013/04/denmarks-economic-problem-is-fundamentally-a-moral-problem/. One can only imagine the additional difficulty if they did switch to a CW system.

eSOANEM wrote:No. You have illustrated that, in the current economic system it would require enormous tax hikes. It is not clear that these tax hikes would necessarily destroy the economy.


No country on earth taxes at over 50% of GDP. The closest is Zimbabwe, at 49.3%. Given the very wide spread of tax rates among existing countries, one can postulate that the sudden barrier beyond which countries do not pass demonstrates a practical limit.

Regardless, I have said several times now that it is clearly impractical to implement on anything but a small scale at the moment. I am not arguing for introducing a CW now. I am arguing that, a CW is an ethically better system than the current one and so we ought to work towards a situation where it becomes feasible.


Why, exactly, is it ethically better?

And how would it even be practical on a small scale? The single example provided was not CW...it was just a donation of money. Without the taxation portion, you're not testing the system. Now, even on a small scale, how do you test it in any area? Do you ban people from moving into/away from the area, because damn, is there going to be a motivation for people to do that.

Tyndmyr wrote:No, actually impossible. Consider the example of the automobile. We make a crapton of them every year. Every car we make is part of GDP. However, the number of cars on the road is pretty constant, growing only slowly, because most cars go to replace old vehicles that have worn out. If you are appropriating fully half of this production, then you are not merely hindering growth, you are falling below replacement values. There are a range of possible tax values that don't destroy the economy, but you cannot take more than half of GDP, and just assume that the results will be ethically superior.


This analogy is ridiculous. Large progressive income tax hikes are not at all equivalent to appropriating more than half of all production and to claim it is is as stupid as claiming (as ormurin did earlier) that this system would mean that any property would be available for arbitrary seizure to fund the CW.


Given the extremely high cost of CW at a living wage(as the OP and others proposed), then it may as well be described as arbitrary seizure, since the majority of your earnings are indeed seized. Regardless of if goods are seized, or money is seized, so they buy goods instead of you, the end result is much the same.

Tyndmyr wrote:If you do not believe that economy is a good system of measurement, then why in the hells are you trying to fix society with an economic system?


This is a non-sequitur. Just because I do not believe something is a good metric for determining utility for society does not mean that I do not believe that the solution to certain ethical problems is not expressible in similar terms to those that metric is expressed in.


If you can't determine utility, how do you determine a solution?

Tyndmyr wrote:Growth, at an economic scale, means improvement. Yes, my goal IS a society that keeps getting better, as opposed to one that stagnates or deteriorates. That's what growth is.

I agree, if you want stagnation or failure, there are certainly other economic systems that are better suited for producing that. However, I see little enthusiasm for pursuing those goals.


Except that, as has been shown earlier in this thread, economic growth is not a good indicator for improvement in the standard of living of the lowest earners in society. I would prioritise improving their standard of living to a basic secure level above improving that of those who already live in relative security and are able to regularly afford luxuries.


Economic meltown reliably screws over the poorest members of society hard. Economic growth has reliably meant everyone at least staying even, but mostly improving. A poor person in the US now is a lot better off than a poor person in the US a hundred years ago. Sure, he may have jack in terms of money compared to Bill Gates, but in real, practical terms, medicine is better, lifespan is longer, we've got television and cell phones and all manner of such advances.

Screwing over growth means hurting everyone. And odds are, even that won't fix economic equality...but if it does, it only does so because the rich are being hurt worse. It isn't making the poor better off. Abandoning growth as an objective is never a sane fiscal strategy.

Tyndmyr wrote:Cutting production by 3/5ths simply means that people on average have to survive on 3/5ths of the goods, while some of their expenses are pretty static. Your house is gonna wear out in the same amount of time if you work three days a week or five.


You're assuming that the proportion of produced goods which are actually consumed is the same. This is not necessarily the case and could work either way (although thesh has already provided arguments as to why this proportion should rise and so an x% reduction in production leads to a y% (where y<x) reduction in the amount of goods the average person consumes).


No, I'm explicitly stating that the proportion is NOT the same.

If you are suddenly working 3/5ths as much, and only producing 3/5ths the resources, your house does not wear out 3/5ths as fast. It wears out at exactly the same speed. Therefore, maint. ends up being a static expense, and takes up a larger proportion of your now shrunken budget. Another aspect of it has to take a disproportionately large hit.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby morriswalters » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:52 pm UTC

If the CW was allowed to be given in addition to the minimum wage, using that as an arbitrary point, you then you set up a situation where the wages directly above the minimum wage would be devalued The effective wage that would be attractive to job seekers would be a premium above the combination of the CW and the minimum wage. For instance why would you take a job at 8 dollars when you could take the CW and the minimum wage. There is a psychological barrier at that point.

If on the other hand if the CW were decreased by wages than the incentive to work at all would be decreased absent a premium above the cutoff point. Effectively what it seems you would be doing is raising the minimum wage by the amount of the CW plus the premium to make the risk of the job more attractive. People tend to protect that which they already have over that which they may get.

Add in the availability of Medicaid and you have a perfect storm. Simply the Medicaid benefit itself is attractive enough to cause couples to game the system by divorcing so that their children can have healthcare. The workers on the fringe are punished by not having available the CW or medical benefits. And you simply move the boundary line by changing the amount and point of eligibility. The boundary is where the ethics are problematic as is true today. Too affluent for welfare and Medicaid and to poor for affordable heath insurance and things the middle class take for granted.

Just for fun the amount in Nambia was 10 US dollars a month, if I read the exchange rate correctly. I believe this speaks more to the degree of poverty in Nambia than it does to the applicability in the US or any other developed country.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:49 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:If the CW was allowed to be given in addition to the minimum wage, using that as an arbitrary point, you then you set up a situation where the wages directly above the minimum wage would be devalued The effective wage that would be attractive to job seekers would be a premium above the combination of the CW and the minimum wage. For instance why would you take a job at 8 dollars when you could take the CW and the minimum wage. There is a psychological barrier at that point.


Because your income is always added to your CW. In fact, minimum wage is arguably unnecessary, if not detrimental, with a CW system.

morriswalters wrote:If on the other hand if the CW were decreased by wages than the incentive to work at all would be decreased absent a premium above the cutoff point. Effectively what it seems you would be doing is raising the minimum wage by the amount of the CW plus the premium to make the risk of the job more attractive. People tend to protect that which they already have over that which they may get.

Add in the availability of Medicaid and you have a perfect storm. Simply the Medicaid benefit itself is attractive enough to cause couples to game the system by divorcing so that their children can have healthcare. The workers on the fringe are punished by not having available the CW or medical benefits. And you simply move the boundary line by changing the amount and point of eligibility. The boundary is where the ethics are problematic as is true today. Too affluent for welfare and Medicaid and to poor for affordable heath insurance and things the middle class take for granted.


First off, we already have this problem: It's called the welfare wall. There are certain thresholds at which the loss of benefits is not offset by an increase in income. This is a problem that CW fixes, because the benefits do not decrease with your income, or, if they do decrease, they decrease progressively so that any increase in income always results in a real wage increase for the individual--for example, for every extra dollar you earn, your CW benefit is reduce by 20 cents until it reaches zero.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby morriswalters » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:44 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Because your income is always added to your CW. In fact, minimum wage is arguably unnecessary, if not detrimental, with a CW system
Then you effectively subsidizing small business by paying the first dollars of their employees wage for them.

LaserGuy wrote:First off, we already have this problem: It's called the welfare wall. There are certain thresholds at which the loss of benefits is not offset by an increase in income. This is a problem that CW fixes, because the benefits do not decrease with your income, or, if they do decrease, they decrease progressively so that any increase in income always results in a real wage increase for the individual--for example, for every extra dollar you earn, your CW benefit is reduce by 20 cents until it reaches zero.
Yes, I know. However it still punishes the man in the middle. He's bracketed on both sides, like he is today. And the real increase you talk about is a perception barrier. If the perceived value of the job is not greater than CW then you won't take it. Being progressive make the calculation harder for the job seeker. The CW is certainty, a job no matter how attractive otherwise, is not.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:59 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:They do have higher social spending than us overall, but it's beginning to cause them severe economic difficulty. http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/blog/index.php/2013/04/denmarks-economic-problem-is-fundamentally-a-moral-problem/. One can only imagine the additional difficulty if they did switch to a CW system.


The predictions that article look pretty damn inaccurate seeing as (based on 2012 unemployment figures) only has a year to get from 6.4% unemployment to ~50%.

Your article is from an objectivist periodical (a philosophy which I utterly reject as being one without compassion or humanity) and its ridiculous claim, which comes via the NYT comes, in turn, from a government statistics group which (as far as I can tell after a quick search through their releases which were recent enough to be relevant at the time of the article) never made any such claim. Your article is at best biased and makes statements which advocate the spending of no public money on welfare whatsoever ("Its government violates the rights of its citizens by forcing them to finance the welfare state"). It also, being objectivist argues that charity is immoral ("Denmark’s economic problem is a consequence of its moral problem ... the government does this because Danish citizens regard selfless service to others as moral.").

I do not possibly see how anyone with a drop of humanity left in them could possibly consider such evil nonsense to be rational.

Tyndmyr wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:No. You have illustrated that, in the current economic system it would require enormous tax hikes. It is not clear that these tax hikes would necessarily destroy the economy.


No country on earth taxes at over 50% of GDP. The closest is Zimbabwe, at 49.3%. Given the very wide spread of tax rates among existing countries, one can postulate that the sudden barrier beyond which countries do not pass demonstrates a practical limit.


Your numbers place it (total federal spending with a CW) at around $7T out of $15.66T. That is assuming that no current federal spending is stopped and the CW is paid on top of everything else. It also assumes that untaxed income allowance stays in place. On the other hand, it doesn't include children in it. I suspect it is probably is an overestimate of the total cost and this places it at 45%. This is a hell of a lot. It is also why, as I have said before, I do not believe a CW is going to be implemented or indeed could implemented on anything but a small scale in the forseeable future.

You are also wrong about taxation. According to the CIA world factbook, 28 countries tax above this 45% mark which, according to your own numbers would be needed to implement a CW. These countries are: Iraq, Greenland, Turkmenistan, & Macau (which all tax above 75%); Libya, Cuba, Lesotho, Marshall Islands & Kuwait (which all tax above 60%); Tuvalu, The Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland & France (which all tax above 50%) and Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Austria, Italy, Bhutan, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Brunei, Bolivia, Slovenia & Netherlands. Zimbabwe is not on that list you may have noticed, this is because it is unknown how much they tax. Zimbabwe would not be a good comparison anyhow given the number of ways their system is already broken and how little of that money would actually be being spent on the public good.

The top two sets of countries there (taxing >60% GDP) are mostly countries without a great standard of living generally (which, seeing as that's the main argument for the CW, I shall use as my metric). The next two brackets (taxing above 45%GDP) we see countries like the Nordic countries, France, Austria, Belgium and Netherlands in there all of which do have a high standard of living.

In fact, as measured by average life expectancy at birth, of those 28 countries, Macau, Italy, France, Sweden, Netherlands and Norway are in the top 28. By infant mortality, Denmark, Slovenia, Netherlands, Norway, Finland, France, Italy, Macau and Sweden are in the top 28. By maternal mortality, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, France and Bosnia and Herzegovina are all in the top 28 (note, I wasn't carefully checking each name in the top 28 against those taxing above 45%GDP so there may actually be more countries than this in each of these lists although probably not many).

Just for giggles, I thought I'd also do this for the GDP/capita. With this metric, Macau, Norway, Kuwait, Brunei, Austria, Netherlands and Sweden are all in the top 28.

So, this tells us that 29% of the top 28 countries by standard of living tax above this "impossible" line. It also tells us that 25% of the highest GDP economies tax above this line. I'm struggling to see how you can possibly argue that such taxation will destroy the economy any more.

Tyndmyr wrote:
Regardless, I have said several times now that it is clearly impractical to implement on anything but a small scale at the moment. I am not arguing for introducing a CW now. I am arguing that, a CW is an ethically better system than the current one and so we ought to work towards a situation where it becomes feasible.


Why, exactly, is it ethically better?

And how would it even be practical on a small scale? The single example provided was not CW...it was just a donation of money. Without the taxation portion, you're not testing the system. Now, even on a small scale, how do you test it in any area? Do you ban people from moving into/away from the area, because damn, is there going to be a motivation for people to do that.


The main ethical benefit is the lack of benefit cliffs. Also, the reduced administration costs make it preferrable.

By a small scale, I mean on the scale of a small nation or state (for the US). Somewhere like Netherlands for instance (which already taxes a sufficiently large percentage of GDP that it ought to be able to provide it).

Tyndmyr wrote:Given the extremely high cost of CW at a living wage(as the OP and others proposed), then it may as well be described as arbitrary seizure, since the majority of your earnings are indeed seized. Regardless of if goods are seized, or money is seized, so they buy goods instead of you, the end result is much the same.


Now you're just being silly. Taxation is not arbitrary seizure. Arbitrary seizure implies the taxman can just walk up to your house and say "sorry mate, we need that tv to fund the CW". This is not how tax works. Tax is seizure albeit in defined and not arbitrary ways.

Tyndmyr wrote:If you can't determine utility, how do you determine a solution?


I can determine utility on any number of metrics for measuring the standard of living. None of these are GDP. Rejecting one metric does not mean I have none.

morriswalters wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Because your income is always added to your CW. In fact, minimum wage is arguably unnecessary, if not detrimental, with a CW system
Then you effectively subsidizing small business by paying the first dollars of their employees wage for them.


Yes, this is a reasonable way to analyse the CW (for those in paid work for a small business).

morriswalters wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:First off, we already have this problem: It's called the welfare wall. There are certain thresholds at which the loss of benefits is not offset by an increase in income. This is a problem that CW fixes, because the benefits do not decrease with your income, or, if they do decrease, they decrease progressively so that any increase in income always results in a real wage increase for the individual--for example, for every extra dollar you earn, your CW benefit is reduce by 20 cents until it reaches zero.
Yes, I know. However it still punishes the man in the middle. He's bracketed on both sides, like he is today. And the real increase you talk about is a perception barrier. If the perceived value of the job is not greater than CW then you won't take it. Being progressive make the calculation harder for the job seeker. The CW is certainty, a job no matter how attractive otherwise, is not.


There is always an increase in the amount of money you have available if you enter paid work under a CW. The man in the middle is not punished at all. If a job is not perceived to b of greater value than the CW, it is still worth taking because their values add rather than replacing each other. Progressive taxation also does not make it harder to choose whether to take a job because you're still always better off with a higher paying job than a lower paying job.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby elasto » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:57 am UTC

In practice, people will have an extremely strong incentive to seek employment when on a citizen's wage simply because of the 'disposable income' factor.

Let's assume the CW is set at $20k as mentioned in this thread - which is roughly $400/week. And let's assume that someone has $50/week of disposable income after paying rent, food, utilities and so on. Someone now only has to earn $100/week after tax in some part-time job to triple their disposable income, making a huge difference to quality of life.

That's the reason that people even now seek out low-paying jobs despite the ridiculous welfare cliffs we have with people losing insane percentages of their wage (sometimes well over 100%...). The situation would be far better under a simple, cut-down, libertarian, egalitarian welfare system that treats adults like adults.

The other main reason people still seek out crappy jobs despite the current insane system is that (gasp, shock horror) people as a rule actually do like the idea of working, bettering oneself, making a difference, job satisfaction and so on; Spending 40 years bored on a sofa is actually not a dream lifestyle for any but the most moronic (who would likely suck at any job they did anyhow...)

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Chen » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:04 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:The main ethical benefit is the lack of benefit cliffs. Also, the reduced administration costs make it preferrable.


Wouldn't it be FAR simpler to just make the existing cliffs into slopes of decreased benefit as your income increased rather than just cutting it off entirely at some point?

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:11 pm UTC

You could do that yes (and, provided the gradient of that curve never went below -1, it would prevent benefit cliff-like problems). To do so would require an absolute fortune in extra administration and more accurate means-testing which would necessarily complicate the system further making it even harder for those on the edges of society to take advantage of benefits.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:32 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:They do have higher social spending than us overall, but it's beginning to cause them severe economic difficulty. http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/blog/index.php/2013/04/denmarks-economic-problem-is-fundamentally-a-moral-problem/. One can only imagine the additional difficulty if they did switch to a CW system.


The predictions that article look pretty damn inaccurate seeing as (based on 2012 unemployment figures) only has a year to get from 6.4% unemployment to ~50%.


That's not what they predicted. They said that only 3 provinces will have a majority of working residents on x date. Unemployment rate is not the same as all non-working people at all. You can't possibly consider those as equivalent.

Your article is from an objectivist periodical (a philosophy which I utterly reject as being one without compassion or humanity) and its ridiculous claim, which comes via the NYT comes, in turn, from a government statistics group which (as far as I can tell after a quick search through their releases which were recent enough to be relevant at the time of the article) never made any such claim. Your article is at best biased and makes statements which advocate the spending of no public money on welfare whatsoever ("Its government violates the rights of its citizens by forcing them to finance the welfare state"). It also, being objectivist argues that charity is immoral ("Denmark’s economic problem is a consequence of its moral problem ... the government does this because Danish citizens regard selfless service to others as moral.").


The NYT is a major, reputable news agency. The claim you wrote up there is not a claim in the article, so that solves that problem handily.

Additionally. charity and government aid are not the same things.

I do not possibly see how anyone with a drop of humanity left in them could possibly consider such evil nonsense to be rational.


Rationality has nothing to do with your "humanity", ie, emotion. Rationality is "do the numbers work out", not "they DESERVE this".

Tyndmyr wrote:No country on earth taxes at over 50% of GDP. The closest is Zimbabwe, at 49.3%. Given the very wide spread of tax rates among existing countries, one can postulate that the sudden barrier beyond which countries do not pass demonstrates a practical limit.


Your numbers place it (total federal spending with a CW) at around $7T out of $15.66T. That is assuming that no current federal spending is stopped and the CW is paid on top of everything else. It also assumes that untaxed income allowance stays in place. On the other hand, it doesn't include children in it. I suspect it is probably is an overestimate of the total cost and this places it at 45%. This is a hell of a lot. It is also why, as I have said before, I do not believe a CW is going to be implemented or indeed could implemented on anything but a small scale in the forseeable future.

You are also wrong about taxation. According to the CIA world factbook, 28 countries tax above this 45% mark which, according to your own numbers would be needed to implement a CW. These countries are: Iraq, Greenland, Turkmenistan, & Macau (which all tax above 75%); Libya, Cuba, Lesotho, Marshall Islands & Kuwait (which all tax above 60%); Tuvalu, The Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland & France (which all tax above 50%) and Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Austria, Italy, Bhutan, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Brunei, Bolivia, Slovenia & Netherlands. Zimbabwe is not on that list you may have noticed, this is because it is unknown how much they tax. Zimbabwe would not be a good comparison anyhow given the number of ways their system is already broken and how little of that money would actually be being spent on the public good.


Did your read half my examples and ignore the rest? Those examples(there was not a singular set of numbers) were intended to show just how excessive the cost was even if we used ridiculously favorable assumptions. The point of them was not "this is the maximum it will cost". Quite the reverse.

At what time did 50% become 45%?

Additionally, my data comes from the Heritage Foundation, which has the most recent numbers on this(2012). Other sources confirm a rough order that is very similar, though, being older datasets, they're not exactly alike. OECD or Eurostat also have a comprehensive list of this, and none of those show any countries above 50% either.

Oh, did you think "top tax rate" was the same as "percentage of GDP"? Holy god...

The top two sets of countries there (taxing >60% GDP) are mostly countries without a great standard of living generally (which, seeing as that's the main argument for the CW, I shall use as my metric). The next two brackets (taxing above 45%GDP) we see countries like the Nordic countries, France, Austria, Belgium and Netherlands in there all of which do have a high standard of living.


Yeah, definitely nobody taxes at 60% of GDP.

In fact, as measured by average life expectancy at birth, of those 28 countries, Macau, Italy, France, Sweden, Netherlands and Norway are in the top 28. By infant mortality, Denmark, Slovenia, Netherlands, Norway, Finland, France, Italy, Macau and Sweden are in the top 28. By maternal mortality, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, France and Bosnia and Herzegovina are all in the top 28 (note, I wasn't carefully checking each name in the top 28 against those taxing above 45%GDP so there may actually be more countries than this in each of these lists although probably not many).

Just for giggles, I thought I'd also do this for the GDP/capita. With this metric, Macau, Norway, Kuwait, Brunei, Austria, Netherlands and Sweden are all in the top 28.

So, this tells us that 29% of the top 28 countries by standard of living tax above this "impossible" line. It also tells us that 25% of the highest GDP economies tax above this line. I'm struggling to see how you can possibly argue that such taxation will destroy the economy any more.


No, this tells me you've failed at basic numbers hard.

Yes, there is a correlation between wealthy countries and higher taxes. The causation is obvious. Higher amounts of wealth make somewhat higher taxes viable. The social programs that european countries can afford to implement is a lot better than what poorer countries can pull off, because they have money. If you have enough wealth, you have a lot more options.

Tyndmyr wrote:
Regardless, I have said several times now that it is clearly impractical to implement on anything but a small scale at the moment. I am not arguing for introducing a CW now. I am arguing that, a CW is an ethically better system than the current one and so we ought to work towards a situation where it becomes feasible.


Why, exactly, is it ethically better?

And how would it even be practical on a small scale? The single example provided was not CW...it was just a donation of money. Without the taxation portion, you're not testing the system. Now, even on a small scale, how do you test it in any area? Do you ban people from moving into/away from the area, because damn, is there going to be a motivation for people to do that.


The main ethical benefit is the lack of benefit cliffs. Also, the reduced administration costs make it preferrable.


Er, benefit cliffs can be removed from existing programs. Also, you are proposing a constantly fluctuating system that affects literally everyone. Please show your work to demonstrate "reduced administration costs".

Tyndmyr wrote:Given the extremely high cost of CW at a living wage(as the OP and others proposed), then it may as well be described as arbitrary seizure, since the majority of your earnings are indeed seized. Regardless of if goods are seized, or money is seized, so they buy goods instead of you, the end result is much the same.


Now you're just being silly. Taxation is not arbitrary seizure. Arbitrary seizure implies the taxman can just walk up to your house and say "sorry mate, we need that tv to fund the CW". This is not how tax works. Tax is seizure albeit in defined and not arbitrary ways.


When taxation is sufficiently cripplingly high to send the entire country into poverty, then yeah...the difference is mostly moot.

Tyndmyr wrote:If you can't determine utility, how do you determine a solution?


I can determine utility on any number of metrics for measuring the standard of living. None of these are GDP. Rejecting one metric does not mean I have none.


What are these metrics? And if economics is not something you value(something very different from GDP, btw), then why the hell are you using a solution that pursues economic targets?

If you change your mind and DO value economics, it is not rational to just throw out half the basic concepts of them because you don't like those. Math doesn't work that way.

There is always an increase in the amount of money you have available if you enter paid work under a CW. The man in the middle is not punished at all. If a job is not perceived to b of greater value than the CW, it is still worth taking because their values add rather than replacing each other. Progressive taxation also does not make it harder to choose whether to take a job because you're still always better off with a higher paying job than a lower paying job.


Nah. Look, if the difference between working and not working is $2/hr more, that I have to pay taxes on, and now I need to drive to work, own professional clothes, hire a babysitter, etc...then suddenly working isn't really worth it.

If you ditch minimum wage, you have the issue that certain low wages are still a loss for the worker. An effective minimum wage, if you will. And those costs mean that there is still a welfare cliff.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:06 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:They do have higher social spending than us overall, but it's beginning to cause them severe economic difficulty. http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/blog/index.php/2013/04/denmarks-economic-problem-is-fundamentally-a-moral-problem/. One can only imagine the additional difficulty if they did switch to a CW system.


The predictions that article look pretty damn inaccurate seeing as (based on 2012 unemployment figures) only has a year to get from 6.4% unemployment to ~50%.


That's not what they predicted. They said that only 3 provinces will have a majority of working residents on x date. Unemployment rate is not the same as all non-working people at all. You can't possibly consider those as equivalent.


50% was over-egging the pudding. Still, given the percentage of the population who are of working age (which is readily calculable from the age pyramids on the cia world factbook site), it is clear that the claim is far from plausible given today's figures.

Tyndmyr wrote:The NYT is a major, reputable news agency. The claim you wrote up there is not a claim in the article, so that solves that problem handily.

Additionally. charity and government aid are not the same things.


I was using related but indirect evidence to show that the prediction had not come true. Unemployment is not a measure directly of the proportion not in work, but it is indicative of such things and so can be used to decide (as I did) whether it is plausible that a prediction came true.

No, the article you linked makes it clear that their objection is to the fact that "Danish citizens regard selfless service to others as moral". This applies to all charity not just government aid.

Tyndmyr wrote:
I do not possibly see how anyone with a drop of humanity left in them could possibly consider such evil nonsense to be rational.


Rationality has nothing to do with your "humanity", ie, emotion. Rationality is "do the numbers work out", not "they DESERVE this".


Rational with different end goals. Rational not with "what is best for me" as my goal, but rational with a "what is best for society as a whole". That latter, to me, would imply humanitarian concerns.

Tyndmyr wrote:Did your read half my examples and ignore the rest? Those examples(there was not a singular set of numbers) were intended to show just how excessive the cost was even if we used ridiculously favorable assumptions. The point of them was not "this is the maximum it will cost". Quite the reverse.

At what time did 50% become 45%?

Additionally, my data comes from the Heritage Foundation, which has the most recent numbers on this(2012). Other sources confirm a rough order that is very similar, though, being older datasets, they're not exactly alike. OECD or Eurostat also have a comprehensive list of this, and none of those show any countries above 50% either.

Oh, did you think "top tax rate" was the same as "percentage of GDP"? Holy god...


No, I read your numbers. The way you apply them, is a reasonable estimate, but, for the reasons I gave, I think constitutes an overestimate.

The 45% is the proportion of GDP your estimated cost actually is.

My data is from the CIA world factbook which gives "taxes and other revenues" as a %ge of GDP. It gives Netherlands as having a revenue of 45.1%GDP according to a 2012 estimate. Here's the link to the table I used.

Tyndmyr wrote:Did your read half my examples and ignore the rest? Those examples(there was not a singular set of numbers) were intended to show just how excessive the cost was even if we used ridiculously favorable assumptions. The point of them was not "this is the maximum it will cost". Quite the reverse.

At what time did 50% become 45%?

Additionally, my data comes from the Heritage Foundation, which has the most recent numbers on this(2012). Other sources confirm a rough order that is very similar, though, being older datasets, they're not exactly alike. OECD or Eurostat also have a comprehensive list of this, and none of those show any countries above 50% either.

Oh, did you think "top tax rate" was the same as "percentage of GDP"? Holy god...


No, I read your numbers. The way you apply them, is a reasonable estimate, but, for the reasons I gave, I think constitutes an overestimate.

The 45% is the proportion of GDP your estimated cost is. It is not 50% as you claim.

My data is from the CIA world factbook which lists tax and other revenues as a %ge of GDP here. For the countries most comparable to the US (e.g. France, Netherlands, the Nordics etc.) these are 2012 estimates.

No I did not think top tax rate was %ge GDP, my statistics are quite clear in what they describe.

Tyndmyr wrote:Yeah, definitely nobody taxes at 60% of GDP.


The CIA beg to differ.

Tyndmyr wrote:Er, benefit cliffs can be removed from existing programs. Also, you are proposing a constantly fluctuating system that affects literally everyone. Please show your work to demonstrate "reduced administration costs".


Don't be stupid.

There are overhead costs for administering benefits. These costs are constant for each benefit administered. Means testing adds additional costs particularly if it is performed for each benefit. Giving everyone a CW removes all of these.

Tyndmyr wrote:What are these metrics? And if economics is not something you value(something very different from GDP, btw), then why the hell are you using a solution that pursues economic targets?


I am not pursuing economic targets and I can't see why you think I am. All I am pursuing is an increased standard of living for those worst off.

Tyndmyr wrote:Nah. Look, if the difference between working and not working is $2/hr more, that I have to pay taxes on, and now I need to drive to work, own professional clothes, hire a babysitter, etc...then suddenly working isn't really worth it.

If you ditch minimum wage, you have the issue that certain low wages are still a loss for the worker. An effective minimum wage, if you will. And those costs mean that there is still a welfare cliff.


I did not suggest ditching the minimum wage. That was someone else. I said the minimum wage could be lowered. There is no effective cliff provided some sufficient minimum wage still exists.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby morriswalters » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:36 pm UTC

Unintended consequences. Even if you don't eliminate the minimum wage and merely lower it it changes nothing. You can

a. progressively reduce the CW as the wages available to the user increase
b. place an arbitrary cutoff point
c. make it available to everybody

You're creating a mixed economy. One where only some people can participate in both if you choose a or b, and one where everyone can participate in the case of c. Taking the first two cases. The cliff occurs because of the transition between economies. You can reduce the slope of the cliff but you can't eliminate it. The transition is discontinuous. Option c removes the cliff by raising the whole floor. But to afford that option requires money from outside the local economy where the CW is offered. You effectively raise the standard of living in one place by drawing income from your increased productivity by increasing your markets. Which is what the growing economy in the industrialized economies has already done. The most desperately poor who used to exist here simply exist somewhere else. They haven't evaporated.

Inside this economy it won't matter if you want a job or not. They simply won't exist. CW can't make that go away. Even if a significant number of people face food insecurity today, and they do, you can't close the loop.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Ixtellor » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:54 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Oh, did you think "top tax rate" was the same as "percentage of GDP"? Holy god...


Yes, all of his examples were based on top tax rates, not tax rates as % of gdp.

At best this thread is like debating with a FAIR taxer. Its the "trust me, its all going to work out" argument. Cherry picking a few, non relevant, cases to "argue" some claim that would require a bureacratic system that collects and distributes $7 trillion dollars per year. Factoring in immigration, death, birth, turning 18, turning 65 --- for 300 million + citizens.

Why? As the OP clearly stated "To provide the choice not to work".

At worst this is a troll thread and several of us got pulled in.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:01 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Unintended consequences. Even if you don't eliminate the minimum wage and merely lower it it changes nothing. You can

a. progressively reduce the CW as the wages available to the user increase
b. place an arbitrary cutoff point
c. make it available to everybody

You're creating a mixed economy. One where only some people can participate in both if you choose a or b, and one where everyone can participate in the case of c. Taking the first two cases. The cliff occurs because of the transition between economies. You can reduce the slope of the cliff but you can't eliminate it. The transition is discontinuous.


Uh, the problem with a "cliff" is that it has no slope; it is discontinuous. In the current system, it works more like this: If your gross income is $20k per year, you can access $10k in benefits, so your net income is $30k. If you increase your gross income to $21k per year, you only qualify for $5k in benefits, so your net income is $26k--you lose money by earning more. In a CW system (or negative income tax, which is, IMHO, a more accurate description of cases (a) and (b)), an increase in gross income from always leads to an increase in net income. It's not one-to-one, but it's never one-to-one because your income gets taxed. As long as the increase in gross income results in an appreciable increase in net income, there is a strong incentive for people to look for better-paying work. If your net income increases very little, or, worse, actually decreases by increasing your gross income, then you have a system with major problems in it.

Again, this is very strange. All of the problems that you are attributing to CW are far worse in the system that we have now.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby Thesh » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:22 pm UTC

May I point out that people are mentioning numbers on percent of GDP, but not one person in this thread has used any number as anything other than an illustrative example? 40% of GDP is probably excessive for a CW. If you want a more realistic number to work off of, the poverty line for a single person in the US is about $12,000. If you shoot for 25% above that, it's $15,000. That should be able to get you a studio apartment in or around Los Angeles in Southern California ($800 per month), cover about $200 per month in food, pay for clothing, and cover utilities ($100 per month), TV, phone, and internet ($100 per month) with $100 per month to spare. $15,000 per year is 30% of the GDP.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:34 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Unintended consequences. Even if you don't eliminate the minimum wage and merely lower it it changes nothing. You can

a. progressively reduce the CW as the wages available to the user increase
b. place an arbitrary cutoff point
c. make it available to everybody

You're creating a mixed economy. One where only some people can participate in both if you choose a or b, and one where everyone can participate in the case of c. Taking the first two cases. The cliff occurs because of the transition between economies. You can reduce the slope of the cliff but you can't eliminate it. The transition is discontinuous. Option c removes the cliff by raising the whole floor. But to afford that option requires money from outside the local economy where the CW is offered. You effectively raise the standard of living in one place by drawing income from your increased productivity by increasing your markets. Which is what the growing economy in the industrialized economies has already done. The most desperately poor who used to exist here simply exist somewhere else. They haven't evaporated.

Inside this economy it won't matter if you want a job or not. They simply won't exist. CW can't make that go away. Even if a significant number of people face food insecurity today, and they do, you can't close the loop.


a and b both have much higher administration costs than a CW due to means testing and, seeing as they would still have an untaxed income allowance (which would not exist in a CW system because the CW would be untaxed), the extra cost would not be as huge as it might seem at first.

CW does not require money from outside its economy. Using numbers earlier in this thread, it was estimated at requiring total government revenue of 45%GDP in order to implement. 45%<100% ergo no external money is needed.

What the CW does do is narrow the wealth gap by progressively taxing the rich and paying money which represents a larger %ge of total income to the poor. It does not make the rich poor, it just reduces the rate at which they accumulate wealth.

Ixtellor wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Oh, did you think "top tax rate" was the same as "percentage of GDP"? Holy god...


Yes, all of his examples were based on top tax rates, not tax rates as % of gdp.

At best this thread is like debating with a FAIR taxer. Its the "trust me, its all going to work out" argument. Cherry picking a few, non relevant, cases to "argue" some claim that would require a bureacratic system that collects and distributes $7 trillion dollars per year. Factoring in immigration, death, birth, turning 18, turning 65 --- for 300 million + citizens.

Why? As the OP clearly stated "To provide the choice not to work".

At worst this is a troll thread and several of us got pulled in.


No it was not. Read the link. The statistics there are for "tax and other revenue" and are given as a %ge of GDP. Please, don't make assertions about my evidence without actually reading it. If you believe I have misunderstood the statistics on that page, please provide quotes from that page to show that rather than simply asserting that I have misinterpreted what seems like a pretty unambiguous statistic.

Edit: here's the quote from the data I used explaining their statistics. If you still believe they refer to top tax rates, please explain to me how I have misunderstood them.

This entry records total taxes and other revenues received by the national government during the time period indicated, expressed as a percent of GDP. Taxes include personal and corporate income taxes, value added taxes, excise taxes, and tariffs. Other revenues include social contributions - such as payments for social security and hospital insurance - grants, and net revenues from public enterprises. Normalizing the data, by dividing total revenues by GDP, enables easy comparisons across countries, and provides an average rate at which all income (GDP) is paid to the national level government for the supply of public goods and services.


That is not what Alexius said; he made no value judgement about making not working a possibility only saying it was "the big effect". He also said that he thought a CW was a good idea implying that, on balance, he believes it is good not that all its effects are good. This does allow for the possibility that "the big effect" is a bad thing. Or a neutral thing. Or any type of thing.

Thesh wrote:May I point out that people are mentioning numbers on percent of GDP, but not one person in this thread has used any number as anything other than an illustrative example? 40% of GDP is probably excessive for a CW. If you want a more realistic number to work off of, the poverty line for a single person in the US is about $12,000. If you shoot for 25% above that, it's $15,000. That should be able to get you a studio apartment in or around Los Angeles in Southern California ($800 per month), cover about $200 per month in food, pay for clothing, and cover utilities ($100 per month), TV, phone, and internet ($100 per month) with $100 per month to spare. $15,000 per year is 30% of the GDP.


To get my total cost (which came to 45% not 40%) I was looking at the total revenue necessary in order to provide a CW and all current other spending based on Tyndmyr's numbers.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby morriswalters » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:50 pm UTC

I'm not attributing any problems to it. I'm stating the situation as I understand it. If you don't like the word slope than use step, I suppose it fits better with the cliff metaphor. However your idea of progressive changes in payouts by income are exactly that, a slope. The problem is one of the complexity of the system you are trying to graft to. Depending on which tact you take you either make businesses which rely on cheap labor, have a much more difficult time acquiring and keeping that labor force, or you add a subsidy to those same employers which directly increase their profits. You become either a competitor who produces nothing or a sugar daddy.

Sad to say the present welfare system falls into the category of perpetual care of people who will always be at the bottom. That is not a reflection on them, it is a statement of the way things work. It exists at all levels of the economy and business and the world as microcosms. Think of the place where you work. It's formed of an hierarchy from high to low. Inside that company there are winners and losers. The world as a whole is that way. You can't change that. The end case occurs when the whole world has equivalent economic scale. Cheap labor allows the idea to work. Remove cheap labor and the world gets to be a much more expensive place to live in.

And sooner or later it will be used to manipulate people. My dystopian example was extreme but once the dependency is there it isn't all that great a leap. The idea of drug testing and criminal record checks is just at the other end of that scale.

eSOANEM wrote:a and b both have much higher administration costs than a CW due to means testing and, seeing as they would still have an untaxed income allowance (which would not exist in a CW system because the CW would be untaxed), the extra cost would not be as huge as it might seem at first.

CW does not require money from outside its economy. Using numbers earlier in this thread, it was estimated at requiring total government revenue of 45%GDP in order to implement. 45%<100% ergo no external money is needed.

What the CW does do is narrow the wealth gap by progressively taxing the rich and paying money which represents a larger %ge of total income to the poor. It does not make the rich poor, it just reduces the rate at which they accumulate wealth.
See the answer I gave to LaserGuy. Just because you can't see the link doesn't exist. The total GDP of the US is a number that already includes the money earned outside the country.

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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:03 pm UTC

True.

As long as enough necessities are produced to keep the entire population alive (and fed, sheltered, clothed etc.) then there is, by definition sufficient production internal to the system to provide for everyone.

I believe there are some statistics somewhere which were mentioned earlier in this thread that global food production (or at least, all global farming land) is sufficient to feed the current population. Of course, if the population continues to increase, there will be a point at which the population is simply too large to sustain itself on Earth. At this point, no system will be sufficient to provide for everyone and we have much bigger problems than growing the economy.
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Re: Citizen's Wage

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:50 pm UTC

And what would keep the population from growing uncontrollably? Public education would help, but simply giving people all the resources they need to keep breeding won't.


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