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  #101  
Old 02-10-2019, 12:47 PM
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Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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Originally Posted by Heffalump and Roo View Post
Could you explain a bit more what you mean by a larger vision? Or maybe who is proposing it as a standalone idea?

Your question is in a thread on the Green New Deal which is a plan to add more jobs to the economy to help combat poverty. That's more comprehensive than straight UBI.
Well, just to very briefly mention a few aspects i would imagine going into this larger vision is working to change the long-entrenched (both as individuals and culturally) health and lifestyle behaviors and habits that in part work to keep a person in stasis, to keep them in poverty. Basically, we need to do more than do things like build and provide affordable healthy grocery stores that include fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc to these poverty stricken people to shop at in their own neighborhoods..

What objective empirical data has shown is that putting a (for example) Whole Foods in every run down poor neighborhood does not affect changes/improvements in these poor people's health issues or poor dietary choices and decision making. They buy the same groceries at Whole Foods that they bought at Sam's Liquor & Hot Dogs Shoppe. They just now probably have to drive a tiny bit farther.

This is what a comprehensive vision would include: yes, the UBI is a crucial component no doubt. But its strength lies in its connection to something more. A plan that helps ensure that this modest UBI that the government disperses has the best chance at substantially improving the health, wellness and achievement of life goals for the people to whom it is dispered.

So we need to understand better these already mentioned issues hindering many people in poor communities when trying to improve the quality of their lives. This should allow, through cooperation with and input from the local communities and people in them, plans and policy to be crafted that would help foster an environment where the people in these poor communities have access to the education, information, training, and/or medical treatment whose previous lack thereof had been a direct influence on perpetuating the poor decision making that strengthen the vicious cycle that keeps them in a failure to launch scenario.

Its a conundrum, i will admit. A conundrum with no easy, obvious answers. But just because we are faced with a vexing societal illness that has proven itself hard to kill doesnt mean we disengage and give less than 100% in our efforts to ultimately prevail in the name of humanity.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 02-10-2019 at 12:52 PM.
  #102  
Old 02-10-2019, 02:05 PM
BeenJammin BeenJammin is offline
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Has it yet occurred to anyone that "life" (Just the word, those 4 letters: L - I - F - E) in the human vernacular, just might be a little too easy to begin with? I mean, generally speaking - not singling out anyone's personal hardships - macro level here. Might that not explain at the most fundamental level why there seems to be just too many and more coming all the time? With (now, as always) not enough jobs paying high enough to keep everyone gainfully employed at a decent living level?

If you can't see where this is going, you might re-consider trying to get there faster, if not a sea-change in direction.
  #103  
Old 02-10-2019, 03:01 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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Originally Posted by Jas09 View Post
When folks have to work multiple minimum-wage jobs just to make ends meet they often lack both time and mental capacity to expand their skills.
Good thing almost nobody in the US works multiple MW jobs just to make ends meet, then.

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  #104  
Old 02-10-2019, 03:09 PM
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Then again, if employers can not convince anyone to do a particular job for what the employers consider a "fair" wage the employers just might have to raise wages sufficiently to attract workers willing to do that job.
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Which means raising prices.
Or lower profits for owners.

Yes, very small businesses the owners aren't getting terribly wealthy, but there are numerous corporations where the disparity between executive compensation and the rank and file's compensation is huge - in those companies workers COULD be paid more without raising prices... except that the folks at the top demand 7, 8, or even larger figure salaries.
  #105  
Old 02-10-2019, 04:57 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is online now
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Originally Posted by octopus View Post
And that is best done with targeted direct assistance and not strategically counterproductive wage floors.
Keep it on the taxpayer's dime, rather than on the employer who gets the benefit of the worker?

I can see how that could work.

Lets implement a UBI, then we can get rid of MW.

Otherwise, we will get rid of MW, then replace it with nothing.

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Good thing almost nobody in the US works multiple MW jobs just to make ends meet, then.
Of course, that stat that you like to trot out, that only a small percentage of people literally make the federal minimum wage does not take into account all the people who are making their state's MW, or anyone who makes $0.05 over MW.

You are literally talking about only the people who make exactly $7.25 an hour, and ignoring the people who make 7.30, 7.50, or even $8 an hour.

When people say, "MW job", they are not being as literally pedantic as you. They often mean low wage jobs near MW.

If you would like to pedantically correct them, and point out that many of these people make as much as $9 an hour, then that's probably useful in its own little way.

But the way that you come across makes it seem as though you are trying to indicate that there are not that many people in low wage jobs, rather than the actual claim that you are making, in that there are not that many jobs that pay exactly $7.25

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Or lower profits for owners.
Yeah, but some of us already have low, low profits, and cannot really take much lower.
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Yes, very small businesses the owners aren't getting terribly wealthy, but there are numerous corporations where the disparity between executive compensation and the rank and file's compensation is huge - in those companies workers COULD be paid more without raising prices... except that the folks at the top demand 7, 8, or even larger figure salaries.
To be honest, that kinda helps out the small businesses. If they didn't pay their execs the big bucks, then given their economies of scale, they would have the resources to keep their prices low and their wages high.

That would mean that small businesses would have to try to match their price point and payscale, and would have a much harder time of it.

Not necessarily he best from a macroeconomic perspective, but I will admit that everyone hating on PetSmart opens up room for other groomers to thrive.
  #106  
Old 02-10-2019, 05:43 PM
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Of course, that stat that you like to trot out, that only a small percentage of people literally make the federal minimum wage does not take into account all the people who are making their state's MW, or anyone who makes $0.05 over MW.

You are literally talking about only the people who make exactly $7.25 an hour, and ignoring the people who make 7.30, 7.50, or even $8 an hour.
How about we define “minimum wage job” based on the average of the minimum wages of the three West Coast states. I have not checked lately, but it seems to me that that average would be in excess of $9/hr – with no tip credit allowed in any of those states. There are plenty of states where a minimum like that would be mathematically reasonable.
  #107  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:32 AM
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And that is a problem. Labor does act as a market, but the labor market is made of human beings. The labor market does not treat these human beings any different than it treats a barrel of oil or an apple.

We need to accept that, when people are treated as commodities, then some of them will be treated inhumanely, and we should do our best to reduce and ultimately eliminate that.
Fair enough. I guess where I'm struggling a bit with the idea of poverty reduction is with the idea of mandating wages. First, because the labor does operate like a market, and fiddling around with markets rarely has the hoped-for effects.

Second, because what people need is more related to circumstances such as location, number of children, etc... and we can't solve all that through the really blunt instrument of a minimum wage hike.

Third, the main goal shouldn't be temporary relief. That's all well and good, but until we manage to actually relieve or eliminate the causes of poverty beyond the facile "they don't have enough cash" type things, we're throwing money away- we're temporarily relieving someone's current situation without actually changing that situation in the long term. It's putting band-aids on a gash, without stopping the bleeding first.

One thing to consider- many states have significantly higher minimum wages than the Federally mandated one- California for example has an $11 minimum wage (soon to go to $12). Has this done much to alleviate poverty in California? Or are the California poor still poor, in part because everything else has gone up in price relative to the extra $3.75/hr people get?

I'd like to see proof that this is doing something other than just cause price inflation before I'll be on board with it.
  #108  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:49 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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That's not the company being dicks; developing skills and experience (and hard work is definitely a skill) is the main way you differentiate yourself in the job market. Luck plays a large role as well, but as far as things you can control, that's how you raise the perceived value of your labor. That's why education is important- it's a way to differentiate yourself. So are things like summer jobs, internships, etc... And stuff like criminal records also differentiate you, except negatively.
Being currently in the middle of a job search myself, I can kind of see both sides. No, we shouldn't have some sort of global welfare system for people to sit on their ass smoking pot all day watching Netflix.

OTOH, do we want a system that is so mercenary that you can be let go at a moment's notice for any reason whatsoever and then find it nearly impossible to land a similar job for any number of reasons beyond your control? Or maybe simply because there is always at least one person who is a better "fit"?

Yes, your brilliant Ivy League grads with perfect grades in the right degrees and the right internships will probably always find a job. And there will always be some segment of the population content to do nothing if they could. But I'd like to see some solution for the vast population in the middle who want to work, but maybe don't want to be treated like disposable cogs, easily replaced when their perceived value to the organization slips.
  #109  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:58 AM
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Chronos, not everyone is a frustrated artist with an MFA working in an unsatisfying job. The vast majority of of people, if given a free income, will spend their time watching TV, surfing the net, drinking, smoking pot, or otherwise just chilling.
Doesn't that depend on how much income it is?

For $25,000 a year, no thanks. I'll continue doing my job.

For $250,000 a year, sure, I'll quit my job.
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  #110  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:08 PM
John Bredin John Bredin is online now
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I get that many fiscal conservatives and especially Libertarians don't like UBI (and I'm not sure I'm 100% sold on it either), but it's not completely whack-a-doodle either. And it is rather popular across the political spectrum, particularly in some of the white working class areas that Trump swung away from the Democrats in 2016. Economic populism will always sell.

It seems pretty clear that AOC, and likely a few others in the progressive caucus support UBI. It also seems like she (or her staffers) tried to shoe-horn it in the GND and it got yanked. But this idea that UBI somehow paints AOC as crazy is absurd.
IMHO, UBI is not shoehorned into the GND but a pragmatic political consideration. Look at Clinton and the coal-miners kerfuffle: she made a speech talking about coal mining as an industry that is and should be receding, the Republicans and Trumpists cut out the parts of her speech where she talked about retraining and assisting displaced miners, and voila, a talking point for Trump. By putting UBI squarely into the GND, AOC & the other supporters of a GND are trying to neutralize that "what about my job!? what about my family?!" resistance to the GND. In fact, the more the Republicans emphasize UBI for the "helping lazy people" narrative, the less they can use the "they're putting you out on the street because you're miners/oil workers/etc" narrative.
  #111  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:09 PM
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Doesn't that depend on how much income it is.
No. It depends on how the individual perceives their lot in life. There are tiny, tiny minorities at the extreme on both ends of the spectrum, with the fabulously rich on one end and pockets of agrarian subsistence on the other. Both can be happy in their own way, with enough income to do what they want - even if that is merely surviving, because that is what they know, and all they know.

But now, we have this huge working class population left over from the post-industrial techno boom that "knows better." They also know they are basically shut out of any sort of upward mobility, without alot of that "luck" factor involved. Wadda ya gonna do?
  #112  
Old 02-11-2019, 01:14 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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Of course, that stat that you like to trot out, that only a small percentage of people literally make the federal minimum wage does not take into account all the people who are making their state's MW, or anyone who makes $0.05 over MW.
No, this is incorrect. The 0.2% of the US workforce that works multiple jobs refers to all the workforce, not just those who make MW or close to it. So the percent of those working multiple MW jobs is even lower than 0.2%.

Also -
Quote:
all the people who are making their state's MW...
There are no states where the MW is lower than the federally mandated rate, so that doesn't change the calculations at all.

Regards,
Shodan
  #113  
Old 02-11-2019, 01:29 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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The vast majority of of people, if given a free income, will spend their time watching TV, surfing the net, drinking, smoking pot, or otherwise just chilling.
The evidence suggests that this is wrong. Finland tried out universal guaranteed income, and there was no impact on unemployment rates.
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  #114  
Old 02-11-2019, 01:32 PM
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No, this is incorrect. The 0.2% of the US workforce that works multiple jobs refers to all the workforce, not just those who make MW or close to it.
Are you suggesting that 0.2% of the workforce work more than one job?
  #115  
Old 02-11-2019, 01:33 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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Also - There are no states where the MW is lower than the federally mandated rate, so that doesn't change the calculations at all.
You may want to think about this objection of yours. Specifically: What does it say about people who make the state MW (in those states where it's different than the fed MW)? Are they making the federal minimum wage?
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  #116  
Old 02-11-2019, 01:55 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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Originally Posted by Evil Economist View Post
You may want to think about this objection of yours. Specifically: What does it say about people who make the state MW (in those states where it's different than the fed MW)? Are they making the federal minimum wage?
In states where the MW is different from the federal MW, they are making more than the federal MW. In states where they are the same, they are making the same as the federal MW.
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According to the U.S. Department of Labor, where both federal and state minimum wage laws apply, an employer must pay the employee at the higher rate. At the time of publication, only Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina do not have minimum wage laws. In these cases, employers apply the federal minimum wage.
Cite. Is that what you mean? I feel like I am not understanding you.

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  #117  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:29 PM
Brayne Ded Brayne Ded is offline
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There are very, very few people who are unwilling to do any work at all. What you actually get is people who don't want the work that pays them enough to live on. If we had universal basic income, then you'd see a lot more people following their dreams and becoming artists, philosophers, or other sorts of unprofitable workers.
Well, maybe. The next post after Chronos neatly states one obvious point of view: welfare recipients. However, look at the latest issue of New Scientist, which has an article about a UBI experiment in Finland. Possibly a flawed experiment, but the results are interesting.

And was the "unwilling to work"part tagged on, and is not in the original proposal? Could it be fake news?
  #118  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:34 PM
Brayne Ded Brayne Ded is offline
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I have seen the future...

... and I have my doubts about it. What do we do with a growing number of unemployed who will probably never get any sort of real job? Automation has taken over a lot of manufacturing jobs, admin will be next because it is so routine and formulaic that a computer can do it, and doesn't goof off or fall sick. Seriously, while it may sound the stuff of a sci-fi fantasy, what do we do when the labor force is relatively tiny? Of course, we still need people to deal with people, unless jobs such as nursing and entertainment also get digitized.
  #119  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:42 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is online now
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When people say, "MW job", they are not being as literally pedantic as you. They often mean low wage jobs near MW.
On a message board dedicated to fighting ignorance, pointing out the actual facts is not being pedantic.
  #120  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:45 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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In states where the MW is different from the federal MW, they are making more than the federal MW.
Right, so they're not making the federal MW. The number of people making federal MW does not include those people making MW in states where the MW is higher than the federal MW.

So the following conversation occurred:

"[your claim that] only a small percentage of people literally make the federal minimum wage does not take into account all the people who are making their state's MW"

to which you replied:

"There are no states where the MW is lower than the federally mandated rate, so that doesn't change the calculations at all."

But it does change the calculation. If you are trying to determine the number of people who are making minimum wage, and you count only the people who are making the federal minimum wage, then you are undercounting by all the people who are making minimum wage in states where the minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage. (I assume you agree that the number of people who make the federal minimum wage exactly is a meaningless number in this context)


P.s. GA has a lower minimum wage than the federal minimum wage (though of course the federal rate controls)
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  #121  
Old 02-11-2019, 04:21 PM
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Well, OK, but the point of the cite was that hardly anybody is working two jobs at any wage level, federal or state.

0.2% of the workforce is working two jobs. X = the percentage of the US workforce working for the MW in their state. Y = the percentage of the US workforce working for the federal MW.

0.2 > X > Y. Unless every single person in Y works in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana or South Carolina.

This suggestion that people are slaving away for 80 hours a week at starvation wages is wrong at least 99.8% of the time.

Regards,
Shodan
  #122  
Old 02-11-2019, 04:47 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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0.2% of the workforce is working two jobs.
Not sure how you get this number, but according to BLS, there are 6.5 million people working 2 jobs. Unless there are 32 billion Americans working 1 job, I doubt the percentage is that low.
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  #123  
Old 02-11-2019, 04:54 PM
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Third, the main goal shouldn't be temporary relief. That's all well and good, but until we manage to actually relieve or eliminate the causes of poverty beyond the facile "they don't have enough cash" type things, we're throwing money away- we're temporarily relieving someone's current situation without actually changing that situation in the long term. It's putting band-aids on a gash, without stopping the bleeding first.
I agree, but we also need to recognize that some things can not be fixed - to use your analogy, it's not a gash, it's an amputation. Some people really are going to need help long-term and forcing them to jump repeatedly through the same hoops over and over hoping for a change that will never come helps no one. In some instances we really would be better off (both the person in question and society at large) providing modest accommodations (a studio apartment, say) and a food budget for people that are not capable of supporting themselves.
  #124  
Old 02-11-2019, 05:14 PM
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. . .0.2% of the workforce is working two jobs. . .
The 0.2% statistic is for people working 2 or more full time jobs.
The percentage of people working one full time and one or more part time jobs, or all of the jobs are part time is is between 4 and 6 percent. Which is, indeed, a signficant percentage. And this statistic does not include "side gig" jobs like uber driver, or on-the-side cash jobs, which raises the percentage even higher

4.9 percent of workers held more than one job at the same time in 2017

More People Probably Work Multiple Jobs Than The Government Realizes

Does Everyone Have Two Jobs?
  #125  
Old 02-11-2019, 05:17 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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Not sure how you get this number, but according to BLS, there are 6.5 million people working 2 jobs. Unless there are 32 billion Americans working 1 job, I doubt the percentage is that low.
Again looking at BLS numbers, there are more people earning less than federal minimum wage then there are earning the federal minimum wage.
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  #126  
Old 02-11-2019, 05:49 PM
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The trend on 2-job workers has been downward for decades, unsurprisingly.
  #127  
Old 02-11-2019, 08:44 PM
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To avoid continuing this hijack, please strike the word "multiple" and change "jobs" to "job" in my previous post. I don't believe it changes in any way the intent or meaning, but perhaps will allow us to re-focus on UBI and the effects of the lack of financial security on the mental and physical well-being of those in poverty.
  #128  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:28 PM
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Speaking as a person who was unemployed, and on benefits, for a number of years:

If there had been one person, in a job, that was willing to exchange my benefits for their job, I would have willingly paid the value of the benefits to that person in exchange for that job.I never met such a person.

I take it from what I read here, nobody is claiming that they themselves would give up their jobs for benefits: it is only those 'other' people who would give up their jobs for benefits.

Last edited by Melbourne; 02-11-2019 at 09:29 PM.
  #129  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:57 PM
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^this. "Those people" are just lazy.

In my gig I work with a lot of people who sit around the house, playing video games and smoking weed. Some receive benefits. Some don't. But each and every one of them would like to be able to work. But crippling anxiety, or depression, or panic attacks, or simply shitty social skills tend to get in the way of regular employment. And that's just the ones who have the resources--emotional, mental, transportation, financial--to come to see me.
  #130  
Old 02-12-2019, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Jas09 View Post
To avoid continuing this hijack, please strike the word "multiple" and change "jobs" to "job" in my previous post. I don't believe it changes in any way the intent or meaning, but perhaps will allow us to re-focus on UBI and the effects of the lack of financial security on the mental and physical well-being of those in poverty.
There is much more stability and financial security for the poor now than there was for the vast majority of individuals 200 years ago. Nevertheless, vast increases in human well-being occurred and >95% of people contributed to their well-being and society’s in some way or another.

Do you have evidence that human physiology or psychology has changed such that the same percentage of people cannot make similar contributions?

It’s much easier now to contribute. You don’t even really need to lift heavy things or do arithmetic. These things are aided by machinery and automation. Back in the day, you had severely handicapped people working strenuous jobs and still sustaining. Today, it’s possible to sustain a standard of living 10 times greater with 1/10 the physical and mental output.
  #131  
Old 02-12-2019, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by andros View Post
^this. "Those people" are just lazy.

In my gig I work with a lot of people who sit around the house, playing video games and smoking weed. Some receive benefits. Some don't. But each and every one of them would like to be able to work. But crippling anxiety, or depression, or panic attacks, or simply shitty social skills tend to get in the way of regular employment. And that's just the ones who have the resources--emotional, mental, transportation, financial--to come to see me.
So are people lazy or not? Could you describe the attributes of a lazy person if indeed you believe they exist?
  #132  
Old 02-12-2019, 08:05 AM
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Universal Basic Income hasn't worked in Finland.
  #133  
Old 02-12-2019, 08:40 AM
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Fair enough. I guess where I'm struggling a bit with the idea of poverty reduction is with the idea of mandating wages. First, because the labor does operate like a market, and fiddling around with markets rarely has the hoped-for effects.
It is a market with severe power imbalance. Historically, it has not worked out too well for the worker to have no power in the relationship.
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Second, because what people need is more related to circumstances such as location, number of children, etc... and we can't solve all that through the really blunt instrument of a minimum wage hike.

Third, the main goal shouldn't be temporary relief. That's all well and good, but until we manage to actually relieve or eliminate the causes of poverty beyond the facile "they don't have enough cash" type things, we're throwing money away- we're temporarily relieving someone's current situation without actually changing that situation in the long term. It's putting band-aids on a gash, without stopping the bleeding first.
Not sure where you are going with your talk about minimum wage hikes here, as I didn't mention them.

I was actually specifically, in that post, talking about how a UBI would level the playing field between employee and employer.

Now, as an employer, I don't know that I actually like this.

But, as a fellow human being, I think I do.

As far as MW goes, well, I do consider it to be a necessary evil unless there is a robust safety net.

There will always be someone in more desperate situation, and willing to do the job for less. Without a floor on wages, the value of your labor is based on what the lowest bidder can accept.

Quote:
One thing to consider- many states have significantly higher minimum wages than the Federally mandated one- California for example has an $11 minimum wage (soon to go to $12). Has this done much to alleviate poverty in California? Or are the California poor still poor, in part because everything else has gone up in price relative to the extra $3.75/hr people get?

I'd like to see proof that this is doing something other than just cause price inflation before I'll be on board with it.
The problem is, is that you have price inflation with or without a MW increase. I'd like to see proof that MW always produces price inflation before I'm on board with not keeping MW up with inflation.

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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
No, this is incorrect. The 0.2% of the US workforce that works multiple jobs refers to all the workforce, not just those who make MW or close to it. So the percent of those working multiple MW jobs is even lower than 0.2%.
Please cite this, as the BLS claims that 4.9% of people report working two or more jobs.

Should I believe your uncited assertion here, or the BLS?

Also, it may be higher than that.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikshe.../#247b58c72a21
Quote:
Also - There are no states where the MW is lower than the federally mandated rate, so that doesn't change the calculations at all.
If you are talking about people who make the fed MW, and there are states that pay a higher than fed MW, then the people that are making their state MW are not counted in your statistic, but are still MW.

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Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
On a message board dedicated to fighting ignorance, pointing out the actual facts is not being pedantic.
And yet, sometimes, the method of "pointing out facts" is to obscure the actual truth, and in the process, actually contributes to ignorance.

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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Well, OK, but the point of the cite was that hardly anybody is working two jobs at any wage level, federal or state.

0.2% of the workforce is working two jobs. X = the percentage of the US workforce working for the MW in their state. Y = the percentage of the US workforce working for the federal MW.

0.2 > X > Y. Unless every single person in Y works in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana or South Carolina.
Once again, please cite where you got this statistic, as it is not in agreement with any other official published statistic.
Quote:
This suggestion that people are slaving away for 80 hours a week at starvation wages is wrong at least 99.8% of the time.
Please cite who made this claim.
  #134  
Old 02-12-2019, 09:18 AM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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Universal Basic Income hasn't worked in Finland.
I think the real takeaway from that experiment is that UBI didn't lower employment rates, which is what certain posters claimed would happen. In fact, I'm not sure what you mean by "didn't work", since there seem to have been a lot of positives and no real negatives (other than the cost, of course).
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  #135  
Old 02-12-2019, 10:10 AM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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And this was about the least crazy thing in the green new deal, which I would have flunked if it had been handed in as a grade 8 social studies assignment. My favorite is the plan to replace all air travel with high speed rail.
First, you never did provide support for your claim that "the plan to replace all air travel with high speed rail", and you seem to have disappeared when you were called on it.

Second, I now see that you've plagiarized Donald Trump: “It sounds like a high school term paper that got a low mark.” I hope I never reach the point in my life when I think something Donald Trump said was so witty that I have take it for myself.
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  #136  
Old 02-12-2019, 12:01 PM
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There will always be someone in more desperate situation, and willing to do the job for less. Without a floor on wages, the value of your labor is based on what the lowest bidder can accept.
You don't get markets then; that's ALWAYS the case, no matter what the market. If you have a dozen guys selling identical widgets, the buyers for the identical widgets are going to buy from the one selling them for the least until he runs out, and then from the next cheapest, and so on.

Over time this reaches an equlibrium- some combination of the other eleven guys lowering prices to capture some of those sales and/or the twelfth guy raising his prices to make more money (realizing that the next guy behind him made more per widget) happens, and the market price stabilizes.

The same thing happens with wages- haven't you ever been in the position where you wouldn't take a job because the pay's too low? That's you participating in the labor market and effectively raising the lower end of the market price for your particular combination of skills and experience.
  #137  
Old 02-12-2019, 12:03 PM
JcWoman JcWoman is offline
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Originally Posted by WillFarnaby View Post
Do you have evidence that human physiology or psychology has changed such that the same percentage of people cannot make similar contributions?

It’s much easier now to contribute. You don’t even really need to lift heavy things or do arithmetic. These things are aided by machinery and automation. Back in the day, you had severely handicapped people working strenuous jobs and still sustaining. Today, it’s possible to sustain a standard of living 10 times greater with 1/10 the physical and mental output.
One variable left out of this equation is that it's become a LOT harder to get through the job interviewing gatekeepers to get a job. Speaking as someone who recently changed jobs, I can attest to this. Employers act like they're still holding out for the "best and brightest" or that it's impossible to fire a bad hire. (Yeah, yeah, documentation and blah blah. Those excuses are in direct contradiction with "at will" labor laws that exist in most states.) I still read the jobs subreddit and other internet forums for job seekers and it's brutal out there even for highly skilled people. Today's normal is to send out something like 200 resumes/applications, resulting in 8 phone interviews, followed by face to face interviews with only 3 companies, landing you one job offer. And this generally takes place over 6 months to 1.5 years depending on where you are. Many more companies are also requiring their candidates to do projects to "prove" they have the needed skills - all unpaid of course.

I'd say that tons of people WANT to contribute but can't because of this. Many just give up after a year or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
talking about how a UBI would level the playing field between employee and employer.

Now, as an employer, I don't know that I actually like this.

But, as a fellow human being, I think I do.
I'm not an employer yet but working hard to increase my shop revenue to support a small staff, so I've been thinking forward to that. In the current world without UBI, I'd have the pressure of needing to pay for a very small full time staff and pay them a living wage. I'm not Walmart who will happily pay rock bottom and show my staff where the welfare line is to make up the difference.

However, I think in the world with UBI, I could hire more people for lower wages without feeling like a cheapass. The workers would join my crew because they enjoyed the work and wanted extra money, not because they only had bills to pay.

Think of it this way: when job interviewers ask candidates why they are interested in working there, candidates are coached not to say "I need the paycheck". But in fact, that's exactly the only reason a lot of people apply to work at a lot of companies. Combine what I said above about the job market, it's often not possible for people to work at the company they want to work for, so they have to settle for somewhere else. In such cases, they don't care that much about the company, they're literally there only for the money.
  #138  
Old 02-12-2019, 12:11 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
You don't get markets then; that's ALWAYS the case, no matter what the market. If you have a dozen guys selling identical widgets, the buyers for the identical widgets are going to buy from the one selling them for the least until he runs out, and then from the next cheapest, and so on.

Over time this reaches an equlibrium- some combination of the other eleven guys lowering prices to capture some of those sales and/or the twelfth guy raising his prices to make more money (realizing that the next guy behind him made more per widget) happens, and the market price stabilizes.

The same thing happens with wages- haven't you ever been in the position where you wouldn't take a job because the pay's too low? That's you participating in the labor market and effectively raising the lower end of the market price for your particular combination of skills and experience.
What assumptions are needed to ensure that your claims about the functioning of the labor market are true? Please be very specific.
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  #139  
Old 02-12-2019, 12:36 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is online now
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
You don't get markets then; that's ALWAYS the case, no matter what the market. If you have a dozen guys selling identical widgets, the buyers for the identical widgets are going to buy from the one selling them for the least until he runs out, and then from the next cheapest, and so on.
I do understand markets just fine, thank you very much.

And you are right that that is always the case when you are dealing with commodity objects, which is the exact problem that I am specifically pointing out. People are not commodity objects, but that is how the market treats them.

Given that you consider low wage workers to be as fungilbe as identical widgets, then it is only the widget that is offered at the lowest price that you will take.

That seller may be selling that widget at lower than the cost of the widget, for any number of reasons, which ends up putting all the other widget makers out of business.

To translate to the labor market, that means that there will be people who are taking the job for less than a living wage, because less than a living wage is better than no wage.

There are times, like right now, that there is more demand for widgets/labor, and as such, the price of it is going up, though rather slowly.

Then there are times, like 2008 or so, and quite likely within the next decade or less, that there is more of a supply for labor than there is demand, which means that the price of it goes down, often times very rapidly.

In 2008, I know many people who left jobs that paid $18 or so an hour, and ended up finding jobs that paid MW.

The free market doesn't care about the widgets that are not sold.
Quote:
Over time this reaches an equlibrium- some combination of the other eleven guys lowering prices to capture some of those sales and/or the twelfth guy raising his prices to make more money (realizing that the next guy behind him made more per widget) happens, and the market price stabilizes.
Not always. The twelfth guy may have lower costs than the others, and be able to maintain a lower selling price than the others, while still maintaining a profit. He may make more profit if he matches their price, but if there is more supply of widgets than demand, then he will force the others to lower their prices as well.

In the end, whoever demands the lowest price for their widget wins.
Quote:
The same thing happens with wages- haven't you ever been in the position where you wouldn't take a job because the pay's too low? That's you participating in the labor market and effectively raising the lower end of the market price for your particular combination of skills and experience.
I *have* been in a position where I could turn down jobs because it didn't pay enough to compensate for the work.

However, I also have been in positions where I have accepted MW, and would have taken lower, as it was more than what I was making at the time.

Not everyone has the luxury of holding their labor out for the highest bidder. The don't have time to wait for it to reach "equilibrium." They have bills to pay now, they are hungry now.

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Originally Posted by JcWoman View Post
One variable left out of this equation is that it's become a LOT harder to get through the job interviewing gatekeepers to get a job. Speaking as someone who recently changed jobs, I can attest to this. Employers act like they're still holding out for the "best and brightest" or that it's impossible to fire a bad hire. (Yeah, yeah, documentation and blah blah. Those excuses are in direct contradiction with "at will" labor laws that exist in most states.)
Even in an "at will" state, if you do not fire with cause, they can collect unemployment, which raises your payroll tax. Documentation is important.
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I still read the jobs subreddit and other internet forums for job seekers and it's brutal out there even for highly skilled people. Today's normal is to send out something like 200 resumes/applications, resulting in 8 phone interviews, followed by face to face interviews with only 3 companies, landing you one job offer. And this generally takes place over 6 months to 1.5 years depending on where you are. Many more companies are also requiring their candidates to do projects to "prove" they have the needed skills - all unpaid of course.

I'd say that tons of people WANT to contribute but can't because of this. Many just give up after a year or so.
Or, they take the first job offer that they receive, having been at it for months or a year, and get a salary that's less than they would have were the labor market actually efficient at valuing human resources.
Quote:


I'm not an employer yet but working hard to increase my shop revenue to support a small staff, so I've been thinking forward to that. In the current world without UBI, I'd have the pressure of needing to pay for a very small full time staff and pay them a living wage. I'm not Walmart who will happily pay rock bottom and show my staff where the welfare line is to make up the difference.

However, I think in the world with UBI, I could hire more people for lower wages without feeling like a cheapass. The workers would join my crew because they enjoyed the work and wanted extra money, not because they only had bills to pay.
Depends on why they want to help.

When I was first opening, I had friends offer to volunteer their time, to which I had to turn them down, as I didn't want to break labor laws before even opening my doors.

With a UBI and no MW, they could have come and helped me for whatever we settled on was fair compensation.
Quote:
Think of it this way: when job interviewers ask candidates why they are interested in working there, candidates are coached not to say "I need the paycheck". But in fact, that's exactly the only reason a lot of people apply to work at a lot of companies. Combine what I said above about the job market, it's often not possible for people to work at the company they want to work for, so they have to settle for somewhere else. In such cases, they don't care that much about the company, they're literally there only for the money.
I prefer people who are here for the money. I can motivate them with money, I can threaten them with money.

If someone says that they are looking for something to "fulfill" them, then I have no idea how to fit that into my metrics.
  #140  
Old 02-12-2019, 12:42 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
And you are right that that is always the case when you are dealing with commodity objects...
No, there need to be very stringent assumptions to get to a market equilibrium result, even with commodity objects.
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  #141  
Old 02-12-2019, 01:48 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is online now
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Originally Posted by Evil Economist View Post
No, there need to be very stringent assumptions to get to a market equilibrium result, even with commodity objects.
In that, I am not talking about market equilibrium, but a race to the bottom.

The biggest assumption needed to get to equilibrium is that everyone and everything stops and does nothing, and nothing at all changes until this one supply/demand curve finds its optimal point.

As things are always changing, there is no equilibrium to be had, or if there is, it's different from the equilibrium point a year ago, a month ago, yesterday, or even an hour ago.

What does Keynes have to say about this?

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Originally Posted by John Maynard Keynes
In the long run we are all dead
  #142  
Old 02-12-2019, 06:03 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Originally Posted by JcWoman View Post
One variable left out of this equation is that it's become a LOT harder to get through the job interviewing gatekeepers to get a job. Speaking as someone who recently changed jobs, I can attest to this. Employers act like they're still holding out for the "best and brightest" or that it's impossible to fire a bad hire. (Yeah, yeah, documentation and blah blah. Those excuses are in direct contradiction with "at will" labor laws that exist in most states.) I still read the jobs subreddit and other internet forums for job seekers and it's brutal out there even for highly skilled people. Today's normal is to send out something like 200 resumes/applications, resulting in 8 phone interviews, followed by face to face interviews with only 3 companies, landing you one job offer. And this generally takes place over 6 months to 1.5 years depending on where you are. Many more companies are also requiring their candidates to do projects to "prove" they have the needed skills - all unpaid of course.

I'd say that tons of people WANT to contribute but can't because of this. Many just give up after a year or so.
As someone looking for a job, I can attest to this, along with several members of the tech Meetup I am involved with. I don't know what it is, but it seems like companies just string the process along forever and then just stop calling you.







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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
The biggest assumption needed to get to equilibrium is that everyone and everything stops and does nothing, and nothing at all changes until this one supply/demand curve finds its optimal point.
No one said that the equilibrium point isn't constantly changing.
  #143  
Old 02-12-2019, 06:24 PM
Chisquirrel Chisquirrel is online now
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Well, OK, but the point of the cite was that hardly anybody is working two jobs at any wage level, federal or state.

0.2% of the workforce is working two jobs. X = the percentage of the US workforce working for the MW in their state. Y = the percentage of the US workforce working for the federal MW.

0.2 > X > Y. Unless every single person in Y works in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana or South Carolina.

This suggestion that people are slaving away for 80 hours a week at starvation wages is wrong at least 99.8% of the time.

Regards,
Shodan
Taking out the cherry-picked 0.2% of people working two FULL TIME jobs, the multiple job rate is actually roughly 5%. Please try to be correct.
  #144  
Old 02-12-2019, 06:30 PM
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I think the real takeaway from that experiment is that UBI didn't lower employment rates,
I'm not sure how you get that, because those to be on UBI were selected. I didn't see that new people were given UBI. The aim was to get them back to work. And it didn't work.
  #145  
Old 02-12-2019, 07:34 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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I'm not sure how you get that, because those to be on UBI were selected. I didn't see that new people were given UBI. The aim was to get them back to work. And it didn't work.
I'm not sure the point of UBI is to get people back to work. I think it's to keep them from being homeless if they are out of work. It's also to relieve the stress of being out of work, which indirectly may make it easier to look for a job.
  #146  
Old 02-12-2019, 08:13 PM
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I'm not sure how you get that, because those to be on UBI were selected. I didn't see that new people were given UBI. The aim was to get them back to work. And it didn't work.
Selected random-ish-ly, because the program was not an effort to get people back to work but a study to determine what effect UBI would have on the employment rate of the sample. Turns out that it had no effect at all: the per-person rate was the same as the average. That does not sound like a failure, in that the participants were not less inclined on average to seek employment than anyone else.

Last edited by eschereal; 02-12-2019 at 08:14 PM.
  #147  
Old 02-12-2019, 08:52 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
I'm not sure how you get that, because those to be on UBI were selected. I didn't see that new people were given UBI. The aim was to get them back to work. And it didn't work.
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
Selected random-ish-ly, because the program was not an effort to get people back to work but a study to determine what effect UBI would have on the employment rate of the sample. Turns out that it had no effect at all: the per-person rate was the same as the average. That does not sound like a failure, in that the participants were not less inclined on average to seek employment than anyone else.
Right.

Quartz, I don't think you understood the article you linked. Rates of finding jobs for people on UBI were the same as people not on UBI (i.e., employment rates were the same for equivalent groups of people on UBI and not on UBI), which means people don't stop looking for jobs and just sit around if they go on UBI.
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  #148  
Old 02-13-2019, 11:24 AM
bump bump is online now
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I'd figure that UBI recipients would kind of fall into a handful of categories (there's some overlap between categories):
  • Low income recipients who choose not to work, as the UBI is close enough, and their jobs suck.
  • Recipients of any income who use the UBI as supplemental income. In other words it's basically free money on top of the job they already have.
  • Recipients of any income who use the UBI as a sort of enabling mechanism to help them find jobs they want, rather than jobs they need. The idea here is that if you need $50k to live the lifestyle you want, UBI might mean that you could get a job that you loved for $35k and still live that lifestyle due to UBI making up that difference.
  • Recipients for who it doesn't really make much difference- the difference between the amount they're taxed and the amount they give back is similar to what they paid in taxes before UBI.
  • Recipients for who it's a net loss- the difference between taxation and UBI refund is still more than they were previously paying in taxes.

I'd imagine the first group is fairly small, mostly because just about any effort throws you into the second group- even with minimum wage or part time jobs, you'd still be considerably better off than solely subsisting on the UBI.

The enabling mechanism is probably the largest one- I imagine that it's really the bigger "follow your own star" sort of thing rather than the idea that we'd get a bunch of arts and culture giants out of it. By taking some significant chunk out of what people would need to make in order to live the lifestyles they need to live, that frees them up to choose jobs/careers that they might not consider due to lower pay. For example, I bet if new teachers made 53k at a minimum with UBI, a lot more people would seriously consider teaching as a career relative to now, where the average new teacher salary is $38k. Or some people might scale down to part time to better care for children, etc...

The biggest question marks for me are how large the UBI would be, and what the tax structure and who/how that's going to impact people.
  #149  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:07 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is online now
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I'd figure that UBI recipients would kind of fall into a handful of categories (there's some overlap between categories):
  • Low income recipients who choose not to work, as the UBI is close enough, and their jobs suck.
  • Recipients of any income who use the UBI as supplemental income. In other words it's basically free money on top of the job they already have.
  • Recipients of any income who use the UBI as a sort of enabling mechanism to help them find jobs they want, rather than jobs they need. The idea here is that if you need $50k to live the lifestyle you want, UBI might mean that you could get a job that you loved for $35k and still live that lifestyle due to UBI making up that difference.
  • Recipients for who it doesn't really make much difference- the difference between the amount they're taxed and the amount they give back is similar to what they paid in taxes before UBI.
  • Recipients for who it's a net loss- the difference between taxation and UBI refund is still more than they were previously paying in taxes.
I'd agree that those are some of the categories that people would fall into.

But, I would add a few more.

People taking care of family, whether they are taking care of elderly relatives, their own children, the children of others, or adults with disabilities.

People who want to travel for a bit.

People who want to learn a subject or subjects.

People who want to write a book, a poem, a sonnet, a song, a play, or a movie.

People who just want a bit of time off before they go back to work.
  #150  
Old 02-13-2019, 07:23 PM
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I'd add one more category: people who would like a job, but who really don't have much or anything to offer on the labor market today, and who therefore can't get a job even in a tight market. A lot of these folks have physical and/or mental impediments that aren't quite "disabling" but sure aren't what employers are looking for, e.g., or who don't have the social skills or the mental acuity to keep a job.
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