Tyndmyr wrote:Doing this would be horrible for future investment. It'd basically be setting our entire economy on fire. Ultimately, land has value because there is someone there to buy it. If the rich are all leaving, and those outside the country cannot own land, then you have to sell it to the poor who remain. The poor, by definition, do not have money.
So the people trying to flee the country end up losing money if they try that (to the benefit of the poor who remain), which discourages them from doing so.
By definition, once people flee, you can no longer take their money.
If people are trying to flee, and you're refusing to let them out and repossessing everything they have, you might be a dystopian hellhole. Also, in practice, the rich tend to leave before it's too late. If such a law is being tossed around and looks like it has a shot at passing, you'll start seeing negative effects before it even takes effect.
The market, after all, prices in expectations for the future.
Pfhorrest wrote:Leaving aside the question of if they deserve it or not, as a practical matter, if your system relies extensively on a few people and yet greatly incentivizes those people to leave, your system has a problem.
It only 'relies' on them to the extent that they are in control of most of the wealth. If that stops being the case, then it no longer relies on them.
It relies on the existence of wealth to take. If the wealthy bail, that becomes increasingly less true. At that point, you need to either tax those who remain more harshly, or accept a lower standard of subsidy.
If you wish to give everyone 27.5k/yr in basic income(half the average), you need to tax everyone an average rate of 50% in addition to the 10% for other services. Even taxed at 100%, an obviously unattainable amount, you need to tax a few of the highest earners.
You're overlooking again, like everyone taking your position does every time this topic comes up, how most of the money "taxed" comes straight back in the form of the basic income itself, and so in effect never leaves. You're not taxing 60% of the wealth generated in the country, and then spending it on something, for just 60% of the money gone that people can't choose to spend on other things. On a simple flat-tax account of it, "Eric", who makes that $55k/yr average, gets taxed $27.5k/yr to pay for the basic income, but also gets $27.5k/yr in basic income
, so he is basically not taxed anything at all, besides the other $5.5k for other stuff besides the basic income.
I agree that people who don't really gain or loose probably won't leave. Likewise, people who experience a net gain are unlikely to leave.
However, focusing heavily on the richest few will incentivize them to leave. And since they're largely funding the program, everything goes south pretty fast.
Right-libertarianism recognizes the need for a state. ... Attempting to do away with the state entirely is anarchism, not libertarianism.
We've been over this before, extensively.
Yup. And if you're discussing an ungoverned state, it's far more clear to use the term anarchy than anything else.
Tyndmyr wrote:So, for the US, the average income* is $39kish, so a 50% solution ends up being 19.5k/yr, and the distribution you propose is roughly a 27% solution. Ballpark, almost 10k allowance is what it'd translate to in US terms. I'm not sure that 10k/yr is actually a basic income given that full time minimum wage employment comes out to around 15k/yr.
Sure, but the distribution you provided cuts out the top quintile of incomes in the United States. To have a distribution that roughly resembles what the United States actually has, you'd need to increase Adam and Beth's incomes to around 300k each, leaving everyone else the same. Using that distribution, you can get a 25k personal income for everyone using the existing income tax brackets
and basically break even.
That average income does not much resemble that of the US's, though. The subsidy, adjusted for our actual economy, would again be fairly modest. A changing distribution doesn't affect the relationship with the average. It only increases the system's vulnerability to Adam deciding to leave.
And you can't merely use the existing income tax brackets unless you discard all other government spending. A basic income is going to be significantly more expensive than means tested welfare. Discarding all other government spending is not reasonable.
Only if you make the jump from "there ought to be" to "the government ought to".
What's the alternative?
Alternative solutions include corporate ones and charity. Folks would agree that food ought to be widely available and inexpensive, and government has historically performed less well at this than commercial efforts have.
Now, there are some roles that government fills best, but jumping from "something should exist" to "government should do it" bypasses the discussion of alternatives.
Thesh wrote:My definition of efficient market is that someone can't expect to get ahead of someone else without working harder for it.
That's not the canonical definition of "efficient market", but whatever.
That is definitely not the definition of an efficient market, yeah.
Taking risk is an obvious example. Taking risk doesn't mean working hard, and you may advance much more rapidly than equally hard workers. Flip side is that you may lose your shirt, and be much worse off than equally hard workers. It's balanced in a statistical sense, but on an individual basis, hard work will not directly equal results.
Risk is inherent in a lot of human activity.
ucim wrote:Now, government is (in one reasonable view) a contract between people. One that is imposed by history, yes, but its effect is to supplant a whole bunch of individual contracts that would otherwise be needed. A democratic government gives people (collectively) the opportunity to re-negotiate those contracts at every election, something that autocratic regimes do not permit. Libertarians, I expect, would thus be inclined towards democracy rather than autocracy, and should support rules and behaviors that resist the natural tendency towards autocracy in groups of people (fueled by the concentration of power in the political ecosystem).
Generally. Some cynicism exists with regards to the sort of people who get elected sometimes, but that's probably no different than any other ideology.
Some also advocate more explicit approval systems than what we have now. For instance, some would like to adopt some variation of a no-confidence vote. Examples of this exist in some European governments, and some variation of that might be reasonable. This'd give greater importance to feedback from the public overall, and possibly limit dysfunctional government.
ucim wrote:Now, my ownership of property does not deny others ownership of property. It only denies others ownership of that particular property. That's what ownership means. When a cooperative owns a boat, nobody else does. No other cooperative owns that boat. Ditto individuals.
Again, you seem to only view the market from the perspective of an individual property owner, and ignore the rest of the economy. There are absolutely people who don't even own their home, let alone their own business. This allows conditions that are akin to slavery.
I rent my home, but I'm pretty sure I'm not a slave. A lot of folks do pretty well without owning their own business or home. Working for a wage can be pretty good, depending on what the wage is.
Again, you are just pointing out that people can profit off of markets that are less efficient than their potential. It is not the invention of the claw hammer, but the restricting of that invention that allows them to profit. Their idea has no economic value; only the amount of effort that goes into developing the idea has economic value. Without patents or copyright, they can sell their design for whatever someone else would charge to design it from scratch.
Knowledge has value. At a minimum, knowledge has the potential for value. Sure, if a person never bothers to apply the knowledge to anything, no gain results, but the right knowledge can make effort vastly more useful.
Someone who understands leverage can far more easily move a load, if you want to use a physical example. In this way, investing in knowledge is similar to investing in tools. Sure, a tool hanging in the garage helps nobody, but a tool can save vastly more effort than is spent in it's creation, resulting in a net gain. Knowledge works similarly.
Again, that's wrong. People will instinctually work for the good of the group that they see themselves as a member of; our society makes people see their family as the primary group they belong to, rather than their community.
Cults tend to work off some principle of this, so yeah, the nuclear family isn't the only possible source of identification, but what constitutes a community? I can see some shared interest with my neighbors, sure. With someone on the other side of the country who I've never met, and will likely never meet? Not really. I feel no shared kinship with, say, Trump. Why should I? We've never met, our interests do not always align, we're not related...why should a country have the same level of bond as a smaller group?
I don't know of any country that has pulled such a thing off. North Korea explicitly tries, too. A few countries have. Mostly wildly authoritarian ones.
I note that cooperatives are fairly normal at the small level. A bunch of local farmers can harness this effect. Scale up to looking at multinational corporations, though, and cooperatives are irrelevant. They simply don't appear at that scale. There's probably a reason for this, and it probably has to do with Dunbar's number.
Thesh wrote:They would sell the design, not the tool.
Selling designs in a world without IP law does face some challenges. You can sell it once, certainly. Selling it on a repeated basis is more difficult.
Insisting that he sell it for only the labor that went into it poses difficulties. Perhaps that idea is the only one of several that worked, and yet the others all took effort as well. Should he be compensated for only the good idea, and be forced to labor for free on the others?
If he should instead be compensated for all, then we end up rewarding the person who has good ideas only rarely the same as we reward the person with many good inventions. And individual good ideas from the former would need to be far more expensive!
Thesh wrote:Well, if they won't act in their own best interest, then I'm not sure what your argument is. You can use government to manipulate them into behaving better by preventing people from copying each other? Doesn't sound very libertarian.
Libertarianism gives zero shits if a person wants to keep an invention to themselves. It's theirs, they can do that. It poses no ideological problem. It relies on greed as a sufficient incentive for most to share, and given that greed is pretty common to humanity, this mostly works out provided the system isn't broken in some other way.
Socialism does not benefit from this same incentive system. So, what happens when someone behaves capitalistically in a socialistic environment? Do they get to free ride on the benefits, such as they are, and exploit things for profit?
ucim wrote:From a libertarian POV, intellectual property rights are preserved through contract - we could sign a contract entitling you to use my idea or play my song or run my program, and you also agree not to allow anybody else to use your "copy" of my IP. It states that whenever you play my song, you must have a contract with everyone in earshot that they may not play my song either. If you don't agree to this contract, you may not use my IP. Yes, it's cumbersome, but it should be enforcable, and essentially duplicate present day copyright law. Given that, why not simply enshrine copyright into law to begin with? People can then choose to (by contract, of course!) release their work under whichever scheme they choose, but absent a choice, standard copyright rights would exist.
Would libertarians have a problem with that?
Contract based IP is generally fine from a libertarian perspective. They might not choose to sign a contract so onerous as to require viral signing of anyone who might hear, but you can ask whatever price you like, no matter how ridiculous. You'd probably want some sort of agreed upon penalty in the contract if it was broken, too. That way, all nice and straightforward if anything goes awry.
Removing implicit copyright protection would likely go along with that. Life + 70 years is a little much without any specific agreement. And anyways, having explicit contract based IP largely removes the need for the existing copyright system. The exception is trademark/trade dress, which would remain unchanged.
ucim wrote:Yes, if most people end up dependent on the (UBI) dole, social issues will result as this tightens government control over all of us. This is one of the reasons a UBI is not one of my favorite ideas.
This makes no sense at all
You don't think politicians would want to start attaching riders to UBI? I'm certain the Republicans would want to start putting moral checks on it. "The government dole funded this terrorist, we need to be able to revoke UBI from convicted criminals of this caliber of evil"
Probably pretty easy to pass, too.
And next the drug testing, and whatever else becomes a moral panic.
Tyndmyr wrote:Why? If the government is offering a service, is it not inherently choosing what you should best do? I mean, yeah, you *could* choose not to accept it, just like you could not accept means-tested benefits, but how is this about maximizing liberty?
For one thing, even if a government offers and manages a service you still have alternate options. The postal office exists, but there are still other package companies people choose to use. If someone chooses to use the USPS it's because they actively prefer it. The same is true for the UK's healthcare system.
Sometimes. In the case of the USPS, certain sizes of packages may only be carried via USPS. This grants a government monopoly over certain portions of mail.
And in practice, if one is forced to spend a significant amount of one's resources on insurance or a governmental health program, one is less able to purchase an entirely secondary health system. It's an option for those who are quite well off, but for most, health care is too expensive to buy twice.
You are going to have to explain how this "means testing" makes any sense, and why it's better than a UBI system in any regard. If you remove the regulations, and the assistance comes without strings attached, you've functionally implemented an inefficient UBI system with a lot of overhead.
Means testing is specifically the concept of giving out assistance to those most in need of it. Welfare is given to the poor, but not the rich, or even the middle class. The system does have to determine who is in need of aid, but this is not extremely hard. It applies to only a minority of the population rather than everyone, so while eligibility determinations are an additional cost, they need to administer benefits for only a small fraction of people. Way fewer address changes, checks being sent out, fraud claims being handled, etc.
Additional checks can be added to either system, and are quite popular with Republicans, though not unique to them.
Having ultra-wealthy persons is not a country having wealth, and if you think that its simple and obvious that it is advantageous you are simply wrong. If it is good for a country for a huge portion its wealth to be tied to the whims of a small number of individuals, you're going to have a make a complex and nuanced argument to demonstrate it, because there's nothing inherently obvious about that.
If you heavily penalize ultra-wealthy persons to the point that they leave, you will lose wealth as a country.
This happens for a couple of reasons. First, people will take whatever they can with them when they go.
Second, much of a country's wealth is derived from trade. Preventing or punishing foreign ownership is kind of a hindrance to trade. If the wealthy people are bailing on it, and you're not going to permit them to own wealth in your country from outside and be free of your system, then trade's gonna drop off a cliff.
Look at countries that have done massive wealth nationalization. What happened to their economies afterward?
"Potentially" is worse than meaningless when you spend so much time arguing that they shouldn't be because they might leave the country. A benefit you lose if you try to claim it is not actually a benefit, it's a lie. If anything, this is an argument against concentration of wealth - wealth that is more distributed is more easy to tax because the people who hold it are less likely to leave the country!
The traditional game that is played is to try to tax them a bit. Make some money off it, without scaring it off entirely. It's a balancing act.
Yes, if you keep the population poor, they will be less able to escape the country when you hurt them. This is not something to aspire to.
See: Bezos. He is maintaining his incredible profit margins not be continuing to change or innovate so much as by virtue of the fact that his company got their first.
Amazon doesn't have incredible profit margins. They don't even get profit at all some years. It took many years before they saw any success at all. The stock is doing pretty good, but the company overall is, while successful, not ludicrously so. Apple would generally be a far better example.
They are the trope-namer, the popularize, the first to really capitalize on it, and as such they dominate by virtue of efficiencies of scale (their own network of distribution centers is almost impossible to compete with), by virtue of network effects (everyone wants to sell on amazon because that's where people buy, everyone wants to buy from amazon because that's where people sell), and by virtue of customer lock in (the whole concept behind Prime is to disincline people to even try purchasing from anyone else), by reducing market competition (often by acquiring potential competitors before they have the chance to compete, but also by using their size and wealth to swallow losses long enough to drive competitors out of business).
You do realize it's the third largest retailer, yes? Second largest if you only count the US, but third in world. Walmart is #1, Alibaba is #2, and Amazon is #3. Amazon did recently pass up CVS, though.
Walmart has a similar online marketplace to Amazon, and it's third party seller friendly. The same is true of Alibaba. Neither require a membership.
So, you may be misunderstanding the market a little.
Since it's been brought up a few times, I figured I'd ramble a bit about health care. A big, big problem in US health care is simply cost. We can argue about how to divide the bill, but a significant part of the problem is how much we're paying up front. Now, the US is ranked first in quality of service(WHO), but significantly less expensive systems also rank fairly well. So in terms of $/benefit, we can probably do better.
Do you have a link or something for US being ranked first? Because everything I've seen puts them middle of the pack or lower among developed countries. This
is the best I could easily find on google and it has the US #37.
Certainly. The overall ranking of health systems includes cost/value assessments, and thus, our #37 ranking is largely because of our high cost. Our #72 ranking for overall health is further discounted because Americans are fat as hell, and manage to screw up our a health a lot as a result. It's a simplification, but not much of one.
In the WHO report, you want to look for Responsiveness, which is a combination of patient surveys and how well the system acts. Cost is disregarded for this particular metric. So, we have really, really good medical care, but we pay so very much for it that the cost/benefit analysis suffers greatly. In order, the countries with highest responsiveness are the United States, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Canada, Norway, Netherlands and Sweden. The WHO credits this primarily to having lots of resources, being developed nations, and taking a pro-active approach to health care systems.