Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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JasonL
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL » 28 Jun 2017, 09:07

Hmm. That may be fair. In particular the Paris and Kim thing makes me pause as I don't think of that as work exactly but it is by my definition.

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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by nicole » 28 Jun 2017, 09:16

Technically by your definition all they have to do is go to the gym and call the paparazzi to let them know they're on their way.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL » 28 Jun 2017, 09:22

Right. Fame converts in exchange to tons of cash and they aren't just spending down daddy's money. It has to count.

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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Shem » 28 Jun 2017, 13:43

JasonL wrote:Right. Fame converts in exchange to tons of cash and they aren't just spending down daddy's money. It has to count.
Even if that fame accrued because of Daddy's money?
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL » 28 Jun 2017, 14:33

Shem wrote:
JasonL wrote:Right. Fame converts in exchange to tons of cash and they aren't just spending down daddy's money. It has to count.
Even if that fame accrued because of Daddy's money?
On my own terms, it isn't what you do or how you got the ability to do it, it's can you convince people to give you money in voluntary exchange. I have my own aesthetic preferences of course, but this is the standard I have to hold if I'm going to be consistent about the things that matter. I make jokes about people and things being terrible, but I do hold that recurring instances of voluntary exchange are telling us that value is being created for a customer and I trust that more than I trust second guessing about where money "should" be going. If that's my standard yuck, KimK has to count.

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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Dangerman » 28 Jun 2017, 15:02

dbcooper wrote: Another question about UBI: how much bureaucracy can it really eliminate?
It would eliminate my whole organization, where the vertical that I work for had revenues of $156M last year, and that's just the cost of operating the programs that TANF mandates in a handful of Non-California states and cities, not including the costs of the various state Health Human Services department budgets OR the cost of the TANF grant itself. You also save all the USDA budget for administration of TANF/SNAP.

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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL » 28 Jun 2017, 15:16

I don't think you do though. I think even in the situation where the level is well north of $8k, you still have all those programs. They will be used less but they will still exist for reasons tr0g suggests.

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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Shem » 28 Jun 2017, 15:50

You can make quite a bit of money by shifting unemployment insurance tax receipts straight into the program, though. Depending on the state, that can be considerable (Washington has over 2 billion in their trust fund alone).
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Shem » 28 Jun 2017, 16:05

JasonL wrote:
Shem wrote:
JasonL wrote:Right. Fame converts in exchange to tons of cash and they aren't just spending down daddy's money. It has to count.
Even if that fame accrued because of Daddy's money?
On my own terms, it isn't what you do or how you got the ability to do it, it's can you convince people to give you money in voluntary exchange. I have my own aesthetic preferences of course, but this is the standard I have to hold if I'm going to be consistent about the things that matter. I make jokes about people and things being terrible, but I do hold that recurring instances of voluntary exchange are telling us that value is being created for a customer and I trust that more than I trust second guessing about where money "should" be going. If that's my standard yuck, KimK has to count.
So, the fact that it's fundamentally easier for the Paris Hiltons of the world to meet your standard with less effort and fundamentally weaker products has no implications for the system in Jasonia? Or, put a different way, we must accept as fair a world where Lena Dunham is a cultural icon even though you could find at least a dozen better-talented writers and dramatists at any mid-level state college with practically no effort?
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL » 28 Jun 2017, 16:40

I don't think fair means anything in that context. It's easier for people born smart to be good at technical things. It's easier for pretty people to be good at social things. It's easier for people with grit *ducks* to stick to hard things that may have payoff.

I'm not sure how to evaluate the proposition "fundamentally weaker products". A product has a price point, a brand, a context in which it is used, features technical and nontechnical, etc. What I believe is people making choices with their own money are better suited to understand what kind of value they receive by each combination of those things than I would be sitting over here second guessing the choice. In particular if a given exchange happens over and over again, I don't really believe the proper analysis is "why are people doing it wrong", it's "what is the nature of the value they clearly receive". That question can have very complicated answers but you won't ever get there if you refuse to take the flow of money seriously or think it's all tricks and fraud and stupidity. Yes, I have my own set of instincts about things, and yes I express those views strongly, but I am only ever expressing my own values and reasoning when I say those things and I fully recognize that people may have similar values configured in slightly different weights and come up with a dramatically different set of preferences.

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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Shem » 28 Jun 2017, 18:17

JasonL wrote:I don't think fair means anything in that context. It's easier for people born smart to be good at technical things. It's easier for pretty people to be good at social things. It's easier for people with grit *ducks* to stick to hard things that may have payoff.
It's easier for people with famous parents to be good at getting noticed? But, I take your point.
That question can have very complicated answers but you won't ever get there if you refuse to take the flow of money seriously or think it's all tricks and fraud and stupidity.
It's not a matter of asserting tricks or stupidity, it's a matter of recognizing the extent to which some aspects of the larger society are governed by social relationships to which most people have no access, and asking if this might have a deleterious effect on the egalitarian character of society. One of the less trivial examples of this is the Supreme Court, where everyone went to 1 of 3 law schools, and almost everyone had a similar career path, and where, because the higher echelons are so filled with people from similar backgrounds, deviation is barely considered. I would argue that any interpretation that's agnostic to this will eventually be used as a justification for oligarchy, at best. And that benefits nobody.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL » 28 Jun 2017, 21:44

My take on that is I don't trust any institution to come up with a "better" set of outcomes. I'm okay that some people are born rich or smart or pretty and I'm okay that it's way harder for others to attain a similar outcome. I'm okay in part because I don't think there's any affirmative obligation by social institutions to manage outcomes and also because any hypothetical system would be based on worse logic. What I do care about is the ability to progress dueling the course of a life. That may not land you where Kim K is at the end of it all but that's ok.

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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Mo » 29 Jun 2017, 07:22

Shem wrote:
JasonL wrote:
Shem wrote:
JasonL wrote:Right. Fame converts in exchange to tons of cash and they aren't just spending down daddy's money. It has to count.
Even if that fame accrued because of Daddy's money?
On my own terms, it isn't what you do or how you got the ability to do it, it's can you convince people to give you money in voluntary exchange. I have my own aesthetic preferences of course, but this is the standard I have to hold if I'm going to be consistent about the things that matter. I make jokes about people and things being terrible, but I do hold that recurring instances of voluntary exchange are telling us that value is being created for a customer and I trust that more than I trust second guessing about where money "should" be going. If that's my standard yuck, KimK has to count.
So, the fact that it's fundamentally easier for the Paris Hiltons of the world to meet your standard with less effort and fundamentally weaker products has no implications for the system in Jasonia? Or, put a different way, we must accept as fair a world where Lena Dunham is a cultural icon even though you could find at least a dozen better-talented writers and dramatists at any mid-level state college with practically no effort?
Actually, the point wasn't about what they were doing being valuable. Jason made a point about trust fund kids being layabouts. I asked if there is any statistical basis for trust fund kids not trying to earn a buck. The point about Hilton and Kardashian is that they were also attempting to make a buck.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL » 29 Jun 2017, 08:15

Yeah but that little detour gets at some of the underlying justice type differences I would have with Shem and others. That stuff points to differences in what UBI is and can be and how far you should go with it.

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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by nicole » 05 Jul 2017, 12:22

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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by tr0g » 05 Jul 2017, 13:38

I'm sure he'll have it fleshed out in more detail when his campaign website goes live.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by JasonL » 05 Jul 2017, 13:49

Silicon Valley technocrats believe for real software will eat every job and soon. They all love UBI. Also closer to Star Trek.

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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Jennifer » 05 Jul 2017, 16:22

It's not that software will take "all" the jobs, so much as good-paying jobs are becoming far more scarce, with low-paying crap jobs filling the void.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by thoreau » 05 Jul 2017, 16:28

I think Jason may have been slightly hyperbolic, but certainly if you delve deep enough into the disruptive transformative singularity talk from Silicon Valley there are people who believe that between robots getting better at shitty manual jobs and AI taking desk jobs, soon there will be very little for humans to do.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Jennifer » 05 Jul 2017, 16:39

thoreau wrote:I think Jason may have been slightly hyperbolic, but certainly if you delve deep enough into the disruptive transformative singularity talk from Silicon Valley there are people who believe that between robots getting better at shitty manual jobs and AI taking desk jobs, soon there will be very little for humans to do.
Not sure how soon is "soon," but in the meanwhile, much job growth is in shitty-pay jobs. (Given that "full employment" is defined as "Unemployment rate at only 5 percent," we've actually surpassed that point right now -- yet somehow, this hasn't resulted in wage increases at the bottom.) FWIW, I do agree that it's unrealistic to expect basic shelf-stocking or burger-flipping-type jobs to pay sufficiently high wages that even one person can comfortably support himself off that alone -- which is one reason I support a basic UBI: to take the pressure off the McDonald's-type employers. (Or even the "nursing homes in Georgia who pay their assistants 9 bucks an hour"-type employers, for that matter.) The idea "every job, or even most jobs, must be 'good' jobs" is not feasible--but neither is it feasible to have a healthy economy or a stable society where evermore adults are trying to live off the type of jobs I held as a high school student working after school for pocket money.

EDIT: Homonym typo -- "assistants," not "assistance." D'oh!
Last edited by Jennifer on 05 Jul 2017, 16:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by thoreau » 05 Jul 2017, 16:48

I'm not sure anyone's going to persuade anyone of anything on the general topic of the UBI or what is or isn't a good job or what sort of sympathy people should or shouldn't get. That horse has been thoroughly flogged.

But I'm not sure Jason's snark about Silicon Valley types was really meant as an argument on the bigger topic that has been beaten to death. Whatever we might think about the bigger topics, there's no harm in snarking a bit about how Silicon Valley has persuaded itself that they're about to create The Matrix and render all human labor (except raising money from VCs for vaporware) pointless.

People of divergent views should still be able to laugh at Silicon Valley. Ditto for Gwyneth Paltrow.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by nicole » 05 Jul 2017, 16:54

thoreau wrote:I'm not sure anyone's going to persuade anyone of anything on the general topic of the UBI or what is or isn't a good job or what sort of sympathy people should or shouldn't get. That horse has been thoroughly flogged.

But I'm not sure Jason's snark about Silicon Valley types was really meant as an argument on the bigger topic that has been beaten to death. Whatever we might think about the bigger topics, there's no harm in snarking a bit about how Silicon Valley has persuaded itself that they're about to create The Matrix and render all human labor (except raising money from VCs for vaporware) pointless.

People of divergent views should still be able to laugh at Silicon Valley. Ditto for Gwyneth Paltrow.
Technically The Matrix was created because AI did not obviate the need for human labor.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by lunchstealer » 05 Jul 2017, 17:51

thoreau wrote:I think Jason may have been slightly hyperbolic, but certainly if you delve deep enough into the disruptive transformative singularity talk from Silicon Valley there are people who believe that between robots getting better at shitty manual jobs and AI taking desk jobs, soon there will be very little for humans to do.
Or that software + robotics will mean that there are only really well-paying jobs, plus a few niche jobs, but basically no repetitive jobs that don't require the apparent emotional connection of an actual human being. But you're not getting shitty Walmart jobs because what does Walmart need with meatpuppets when everything is self-checkout and iRobot's Storeba can handle the stocking just fine, and not long after that the bulk of not-top-tier lawyers and doctors and basic web coders and IT support guys get replaced by AIs.

So services like luxury mani-pedi where the whole point is to be pampered by a person may be around, but many will be replaced by the iPedi or whatever. It'll take a long time to get holosuites sufficiently advanced that they put real hookers out of business, but even then minus UBI there might not be enough customers to keep all but the highest class hookers in business.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Painboy » 05 Jul 2017, 18:20

lunchstealer wrote:
thoreau wrote:I think Jason may have been slightly hyperbolic, but certainly if you delve deep enough into the disruptive transformative singularity talk from Silicon Valley there are people who believe that between robots getting better at shitty manual jobs and AI taking desk jobs, soon there will be very little for humans to do.
Or that software + robotics will mean that there are only really well-paying jobs, plus a few niche jobs, but basically no repetitive jobs that don't require the apparent emotional connection of an actual human being. But you're not getting shitty Walmart jobs because what does Walmart need with meatpuppets when everything is self-checkout and iRobot's Storeba can handle the stocking just fine, and not long after that the bulk of not-top-tier lawyers and doctors and basic web coders and IT support guys get replaced by AIs.

So services like luxury mani-pedi where the whole point is to be pampered by a person may be around, but many will be replaced by the iPedi or whatever. It'll take a long time to get holosuites sufficiently advanced that they put real hookers out of business, but even then minus UBI there might not be enough customers to keep all but the highest class hookers in business.
I don't understand why Walmart style jobs are "crap" jobs. They require essentially no education and you do very little hard labor. Much of it is just stocking some shelves and standing around and answering the odd question. It's far easier than an assembly line job. The pay isn't great obviously but what is anyone doing that demands it? I did a similar job for several years and it wasn't so bad. I did do a couple assembly line jobs and those were pretty miserable and rarely worth the pay.

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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Jennifer » 05 Jul 2017, 18:26

Painboy wrote:
lunchstealer wrote:
thoreau wrote:I think Jason may have been slightly hyperbolic, but certainly if you delve deep enough into the disruptive transformative singularity talk from Silicon Valley there are people who believe that between robots getting better at shitty manual jobs and AI taking desk jobs, soon there will be very little for humans to do.
Or that software + robotics will mean that there are only really well-paying jobs, plus a few niche jobs, but basically no repetitive jobs that don't require the apparent emotional connection of an actual human being. But you're not getting shitty Walmart jobs because what does Walmart need with meatpuppets when everything is self-checkout and iRobot's Storeba can handle the stocking just fine, and not long after that the bulk of not-top-tier lawyers and doctors and basic web coders and IT support guys get replaced by AIs.

So services like luxury mani-pedi where the whole point is to be pampered by a person may be around, but many will be replaced by the iPedi or whatever. It'll take a long time to get holosuites sufficiently advanced that they put real hookers out of business, but even then minus UBI there might not be enough customers to keep all but the highest class hookers in business.
I don't understand why Walmart style jobs are "crap" jobs. They require essentially no education and you do very little hard labor. Much of it is just stocking some shelves and standing around and answering the odd question. It's far easier than an assembly line job. The pay isn't great obviously but what is anyone doing that demands it?
The answer to your question is contained in it -- it's a crap job because the pay is crappy enough that even the most frugal of single people with no dependents or health problems can't live on it. (And such jobs also usually have irregular schedules, which means the jobholder can't even get a second job to supplement the income.) Which would be okay if such jobs were mainly held by teenagers who still live at home and want spending money, or bored housewives looking to earn pin money (do such people even still exist in large numbers?), but when the bulk of new-job growth is in such low-wage fields, that is NOT a good thing.

As for "the pay isn't great, but what is anyone doing that demands it" -- that again would be NBD if it were only a relative handful of workers we're talking about, but when the bulk of new jobs are in such "they don't pay much because they're not worth much" fields, that is a genuine society-wide problem.
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