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  #51  
Old 10-31-2019, 09:19 AM
Urbanredneck is offline
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
This doesn't actually conflict with what I said. The "bare minumum" food, shelter, and medical care could be prison-quality rations, a tiny concrete room with a small bed and a toilet, and prison-quality health care.
Actually many shelters are run this way. They get a bed for the night, food (on a chow line - like one tray per person), bathroom, and a place to shower and wash their clothes. They also have access to counseling, education, and job programs. They break the rules and they are out.
  #52  
Old 10-31-2019, 09:59 AM
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OK. I generally favor all of those. (Of course, a good percentage of folk/reps don't.) One undeniable benefit of universal income is that it eliminates the administrative costs of the programs you cite. And I speak as a career employee of Social Security administering the disability programs. Instead of deciding who is poor, disabled, or not, pay everyone, and recoup it from the employed/wealthy.

Sounds good to me.
Of course it sounds good to you. You get to replace your job of processing paperwork for poor people receiving benefits or whatever with a check for doing essentially nothing.

For someone like me, I just see having to work harder because more hands are in my pocket.

That is, unless you can convince me that the benefits of UI for all are offset by the reduction in administration costs for targeting benefits (with numbers...not handwaving).
  #53  
Old 10-31-2019, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Moriarty View Post
Healthcare: Should it be available without point of sale costs only when there's a dire emergency, or should that also apply to preventive care or more mundane maladies?
Preventive care is one of those cases where a penny invested avoiding problems can save thousands spent in minimizing them once they've happened. From vaccines to reasonable amounts and types of wellness checks (where "reasonable" is defined according to the current status of medical knowledge and not in order to maximize billing), if there is one single area of medical care that should be covered it's preventive care.
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  #54  
Old 10-31-2019, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Is government revenue a fixed constant, like the melting point of copper? Or might tax revenue be allowed to increase when spending increases?
No; yes, to an extent. You have to worry about increased fiscal spending crowding out private financing, and there are lots of nuances about where you spend money that have to be taken into account when estimating a fiscal multiplier. Crowding out is my primary concern with expansionary fiscal policy when public debt is already over 100% of the GDP (!).

And you're right. I'm not a fan of MMP, but I haven't done much research on it. The idea that you can sell more bonds (decreasing banking reserves) without raising interest rates is beyond my immediate comprehension.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 10-31-2019 at 10:36 AM. Reason: decreasing banking reserves
  #55  
Old 10-31-2019, 11:14 AM
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Of course it sounds good to you. You get to replace your job of processing paperwork for poor people receiving benefits or whatever with a check for doing essentially nothing....
Please re-read. I think you misrepresent my post.

My comment "Sounds good to me" was re: medical costs, not universal income.

My begrudging support for the idea of grossly reforming "entitlement" programs would very much be against my personal interests. Unless you are Bill Gates, it is unlikely that what you would pay in increased taxes would come close to what I would lose in salary.
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  #56  
Old 10-31-2019, 11:48 AM
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I always suggest, given the rich, roboticized society we have, or want to have, people should be afforded a completely decent basic living without having to pay anything extra, because I would rather see talented, motivated people at my workplace rather than someone who brings negative utility but needs a job to afford the rent.
This is one of many reasons I support UBI. I am not sure how "decent," though, and I would eliminate many programs.
  #57  
Old 10-31-2019, 11:51 AM
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I'm not a fan of MMP, but I haven't done much research on it. The idea that you can sell more bonds (decreasing banking reserves) without raising interest rates is beyond my immediate comprehension.
Reading a primer, I guess they are saying you don't need to issue bonds and can just pay for things with new money.

That is interesting but I think it is dangerous to assume that directly increasing the money supply with fiscal policy (if it's even called that any more) won't result in inflation. Fatal political issues aside, taxes have a significant effect on MPC and international markets that I don't think is being accounted for under MMP. Direct regulation of non-monopoly companies will likely result in either passing along costs (more inflation), or if properly done, will reduce the supply of relevant goods and services (more inflation). So unless we assume that most inflation is due to eg: corporate abuse of market powers, I don't see an effective way to combat inflation.

And the fatal political issues are fatal, in my opinion. The Fed isn't going to set tax rates any time soon, and I don't trust Congress to handle monetary policy. The priorities of Congress just aren't aligned correctly.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 10-31-2019 at 11:54 AM. Reason: and international markets; market powers
  #58  
Old 10-31-2019, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
OK. I generally favor all of those. (Of course, a good percentage of folk/reps don't.) One undeniable benefit of universal income is that it eliminates the administrative costs of the programs you cite. And I speak as a career employee of Social Security administering the disability programs. Instead of deciding who is poor, disabled, or not, pay everyone, and recoup it from the employed/wealthy.



Sounds good to me.
Sounds like the government should immediately find some remote location, build a ton of Section 8 housing and start bussing them there. Build a hospital such that Medicare type service is provided (long wait times but near unlimited coverage) , and a food outlet of some sort.

Recoup the money on the back end by not having to provide SNAP, WIC, welfare etc.
  #59  
Old 10-31-2019, 01:04 PM
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Sounds like the government should immediately find some remote location, build a ton of Section 8 housing and start bussing them there. Build a hospital such that Medicare type service is provided (long wait times but near unlimited coverage) , and a food outlet of some sort.

Recoup the money on the back end by not having to provide SNAP, WIC, welfare etc.
ISTR something similar was discussed on these boards recently. I believe someplace in Washington or Oregon proposed rehabbing a prison into a shelter. But various folk opposed providing for folk "there" rather than where they were.

But ANYTHING that requires oversight - even down to "workfare", involves administrative costs greater than just cutting checks.
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  #60  
Old 10-31-2019, 01:06 PM
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MMT is not a belief system nor is it a scheme of some sort. It's a description of how things work in the real world for a country with a sovereign fiat currency. It's like gravity, it works whether anyone believes in it or not, because any theory regarding gravity is just a mathematical interpretation of observed functioning. Here's a primer that should keep y'all busy for a while.
  #61  
Old 10-31-2019, 01:11 PM
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ISTR something similar was discussed on these boards recently. I believe someplace in Washington or Oregon proposed rehabbing a prison into a shelter. But various folk opposed providing for folk "there" rather than where they were.

But ANYTHING that requires oversight - even down to "workfare", involves administrative costs greater than just cutting checks.
That would be Portland, and the "prison" was the completely unused and never opened Wapato county jail facility. It sits on almost 20 acres and has bunk room for about 600 people, along with toilets, showers, a commercial grade laundry and kitchen, infirmary, gym, movie room and office spaces where service providers could have been set up quite easily for onsite use of the residents. TriMet, the local public transit department, was completely onboard to run shuttles to and from the facility to the nearest Max light rail line. Since it's not perfect, it's now going to be demolished after costing the residents of Portland millions of dollars since it was first proposed in the '90s. Epic fuckup, if you ask me.
  #62  
Old 10-31-2019, 01:27 PM
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That would be Portland, and the "prison" was the completely unused and never opened Wapato county jail facility. ...
Yeah. Unbelievable.

I generally support a pretty generous safety net. But the idea of folk having to put in SOME effort or inconvenience to benefit from it does not offend me.
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  #63  
Old 10-31-2019, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SmartAleq View Post
MMT is not a belief system nor is it a scheme of some sort. It's a description of how things work in the real world for a country with a sovereign fiat currency. It's like gravity, it works whether anyone believes in it or not, because any theory regarding gravity is just a mathematical interpretation of observed functioning. Here's a primer that should keep y'all busy for a while.
I'll read that primer this weekend, thanks. I also don't believe theories "work" (are accurate) just because they are "a mathematical interpretation of observed functioning", but perhaps that is a separate debate.

In the meantime, I am still of the opinion that expenditures should not exceed revenues in the long term.

~Max
  #64  
Old 10-31-2019, 01:39 PM
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I think that a UBI would be of questionable effectiveness without some sort of backstop like subsidized housing, because otherwise rents might just rise until they ate up all of the UBI, especially in any place where people actually want to live and has any sort of zoning or laws getting in the way of medium-to-low-priced housing. Creating new cheap housing in the boonies would be one way of resolving this. Better to at least start analyzing this now than after 25 more years of automation. Look at what happened when we did the same with the debt and global warming.

But first of all we need national health care. It's a complete no brainer.
  #65  
Old 10-31-2019, 01:52 PM
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I think that a UBI would be of questionable effectiveness without some sort of backstop like subsidized housing, because otherwise rents might just rise until they ate up all of the UBI,
Nobody's really addressed the effect on the various markets if UBI was implemented. I mean, if EVERYONE has another $1000/month in their pockets, are UBI proponents thinking that somehow the prices for EVERYTHING are not going to go up?

Remember, the price of most things is not related to the cost to produce, distribute, etc... but rather what people are willing to pay.

The real unfortunate part is that I suspect that prices would rise most in poorer areas because of the sudden and significant amount of extra income in the system- it's like everyone got a $12k a year raise.
  #66  
Old 10-31-2019, 02:25 PM
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MMT is not a belief system nor is it a scheme of some sort. It's a description of how things work in the real world for a country with a sovereign fiat currency. It's like gravity, it works whether anyone believes in it or not, because any theory regarding gravity is just a mathematical interpretation of observed functioning. Here's a primer that should keep y'all busy for a while.
My basic understanding of MMT is that it’s a belief that governments can continuously accumulate debt without needing to pay it off from tax surpluses. Old debt will eventually be paid off by an expanding money supply and replaced by new debt. There does seem to be a real world basis to the theory as many prosperous countries have governments that have decades–old deficit histories and debts. However, I’m mindful that in 2007, many people believed that housing prices would only ever go up, so the size of their housing loan didn’t matter since they would pay it off from the future increase in their house’s value. It’s a great theory right up until it doesn’t work. Regarding MMT, it relies in the faith of the lenders, in other words the treasury bond purchasers, that the bonds they’re buying will maintain their value. That faith isn’t guaranteed. Indeed, if bond purchasers believe a government is engaging in inflationary monetary policy, they’re going to stop buying that government’s bonds unless the interest rate on the bonds is higher than the expected rate of inflation. If a country gets into an expanding inflation/interest rate spiral as the only way of continuing to make government payments, it’s economy is going to go down, and probably in a very harsh way.

Taking a quick look at the primer, I was struck by this sentence:
“It is apparent that if one sector is going to run a budget surplus, at least one other sector must run a budget deficit.”
That seems to be taking the idea that the amounts borrowed must be equal to the amounts lended, which is true, and then applying it to government deficits and surpluses, assuming it’s a zero-sum situation. That’s like saying that all the businesses in an economy must have a combined profit of zero, which isn’t true. It also goes against the whole idea of expansionary monetary policy making government debt irrelevant. Maybe I scanned too far past the introductory bits or stopped reading too early. But a quick look at their primer doesn’t encourage me that MMT theorists are equivalent to Isaac Newton.

Last edited by Wrenching Spanners; 10-31-2019 at 02:29 PM.
  #67  
Old 10-31-2019, 02:53 PM
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Regarding MMT, it relies in the faith of the lenders, in other words the treasury bond purchasers, that the bonds theyíre buying will maintain their value.
I thought that too, but I read a few pieces earlier today saying MMT isn't really into the idea of financing the government with bonds. Bonds are just there to take money out of the banking reserves, and even then I guess MMT economists prefer taxes and direct regulation to combat inflation and interest.

There's also an upper limit to the deficit, after which point even MMT proponents must say there will be inflation, which is the point of maximum economic capacity. At that point any increase in money supply must necessarily increase the price instead of quantity of goods.
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Taking a quick look at the primer, I was struck by this sentence:
ďIt is apparent that if one sector is going to run a budget surplus, at least one other sector must run a budget deficit.Ē
That seems to be taking the idea that the amounts borrowed must be equal to the amounts lended, which is true, and then applying it to government deficits and surpluses, assuming itís a zero-sum situation. Thatís like saying that all the businesses in an economy must have a combined profit of zero, which isnít true.
I did read through that (second) article, but I'm not sure what you disagree with. Given a static money supply all businesses in an economy do have a combined financial profit of zero. An isolated economy as a whole cannot grow, just as the energy in an isolated thermodynamic system is constant. It's like if four people were standing in a room with exactly forty dollars between them. No matter how they redistribute the money, there will always be exactly forty dollars distributed among the whole group. The amount one man loses after a round of transactions is exactly equal to the amount the rest of the group gains in aggregate.

And so, assuming a static money supply, if the government spends $10bn on the private sector then the private sector gains exactly what the government lost: $10bn.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 10-31-2019 at 02:57 PM.
  #68  
Old 10-31-2019, 02:56 PM
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I can't speak for Yang but in my ideal implementation, yes. We minimize the government's intervention in people's life, no telling them to buy brocolli instead of beer or live in a particular section of town, or don't donate it to your church rather we let people decide what makes their lives better while giving them enough money to meet their basic needs. The nice thing about the monthly check is you always have the opportunity to do something different next month. Though I am intrigued by the daily payments though the administration costs may out weight the benefits.
One of the big drawbacks of Yang's UBI, imo, is that it's structured in a way in which those in the most need end up getting the very least. Namely, the disabled among us who cannot participate in the work force in much of any way, due to that disability, thus surviving on meager scraps from the government in the form of SSI or even SSDI payments.

These payments would count against Yang's $1000, so if they receive 800/month in disability payments, then Yang's UBI for that person would be $200/month. If the disability payments happened to be $1000 a month, they get nothing from Yang. So Donald Trump gets a check for a $1000/month but the woman with cerebral palsy living in a trailer gets nothing? That doesnt sound "Universal" to me.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 10-31-2019 at 02:58 PM.
  #69  
Old 10-31-2019, 03:49 PM
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Thing about a UBI is that it needs a federal jobs guarantee to go along with. So you have a floor below which you can't fall but the option is always there to work to whatever amount is possible/desirable to make up any shortfalls. A JG is a de facto rise in minimum wage (and of all other wages too because if you can get a JG job for $15/hour your employer is going to have to add to your salary to keep you from bailing and going elsewhere) and it improves mobility--how many of us would move from our current locations like a shot if we knew we could get another job in the community we prefer? With a guaranteed job, rent covered and no indenture to an employer for your health insurance the majority of us would be healthier, happier, and living where it best suits us and the need for a safety net would decrease. Add in putting a shit ton of people to work in the green sector generating renewable energy and maintaining the electrical grid and you remove the need to pay a ton of money every month for power too for the majority of people.

Implement these changes and see how much better everyone feels about life. Everybody talks about money and how do we pay for things but the fact is that the only currency there actually IS is work--productivity is what we use instead of gold to peg the worth of our currency to and if the majority of people are working and producing productivity the economy is kept healthy and busy. As it stands we have a huge number of people working way too hard just to keep from starving and going homeless, a huge number of people who're starving and going homeless and a very small number of people who're raking in the products of the labor of the first group and the labor generated by dealing with the second group and that third group produces nothing and adds no value. This is a problem--but that third group is "rich" so we think they're perfectly okay but they're nothing more nor less than parasites that are causing the overall organism to die like ticks on a moose. Not good.
  #70  
Old 10-31-2019, 04:00 PM
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Nobody's really addressed the effect on the various markets if UBI was implemented. I mean, if EVERYONE has another $1000/month in their pockets, are UBI proponents thinking that somehow the prices for EVERYTHING are not going to go up?
No. While everyone has an extra $1,000 UBI check only the lower income bracket will have a net increase in their income after taxes. Those in the middle income bracket will about break even and the upper income will be worse off--they will be paying more than $1,000 extra each month in taxes.

A federal jobs guarantee would be a horrendous bureaucratic mess to implement.

Last edited by PastTense; 10-31-2019 at 04:02 PM.
  #71  
Old 10-31-2019, 05:54 PM
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One of the big drawbacks of Yang's UBI, imo, is that it's structured in a way in which those in the most need end up getting the very least. Namely, the disabled among us who cannot participate in the work force in much of any way, due to that disability, thus surviving on meager scraps from the government in the form of SSI or even SSDI payments.

These payments would count against Yang's $1000, so if they receive 800/month in disability payments, then Yang's UBI for that person would be $200/month. If the disability payments happened to be $1000 a month, they get nothing from Yang. So Donald Trump gets a check for a $1000/month but the woman with cerebral palsy living in a trailer gets nothing? That doesnt sound "Universal" to me.
Sure if you just look at the outlay. On the other hand Trump's taxes go up say $24,000 per year while the person on disability continues to get the money from the government they need to survive. Sure the person on disability doesn't have their life improve but the goal of UBI is to create a floor that people can't fall through not improve the life of people that are currently secured by the current safety net.

If you want to argue that the UBI should be more than $1000 that is a separate argument but creating a floor for society that you have to try to break through is a good thing.
  #72  
Old 10-31-2019, 06:35 PM
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Sure if you just look at the outlay. On the other hand Trump's taxes go up say $24,000 per year while the person on disability continues to get the money from the government they need to survive. Sure the person on disability doesn't have their life improve but the goal of UBI is to create a floor that people can't fall through not improve the life of people that are currently secured by the current safety net.

If you want to argue that the UBI should be more than $1000 that is a separate argument but creating a floor for society that you have to try to break through is a good thing.
I just think the program is being disingenuously marketed. Using language such as that found here in his UBI mission statement: https://www.yang2020.com/policies/the-freedom-dividend/ strikes me as a bit deceptive...

[Quote/]
Andrew would implement the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income of $1,000/month, $12,000 a year, for every American adult over the age of 18. This is independent of oneís work status or any other factor. This would enable all Americans to pay their bills, educate themselves, start businesses, be more creative, stay healthy, relocate for work, spend time with their children, take care of loved ones, and have a real stake in the future.[Quote/]

It is simply *untrue* that Yang's UBI provides $12,000 a year for every American adult, regardless of one's work status or any other factor.

"This would enable all Americans to pay their bills, educate themselves, start businesses, be more creative, stay healthy, relocate for work, spend time with their children, take care of loved ones, and have a real stake in the future".

This part is also untrue. Unless the argument is that those disabled people currently existing on $1,000 a month in disability payments are *also* able to educate themselves, stay healthy, relocate, start businesses and have a real stake in the future, all dependent on that same original $1000 that up to this point, hasn't seemed to afford them much more than mere survival.
  #73  
Old 10-31-2019, 06:51 PM
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Sure the person on disability doesn't have their life improve but the goal of UBI is to create a floor that people can't fall through not improve the life of people that are currently secured by the current safety net..
Right, like i said, those in most need of assistance get the least. Because by his very own words, the goal of a UBI is to lift up every American and improve their lives by providing more security and life options. So i guess a valid interpretation of his words are that disabled people arent True Americans? Only half-kidding but thr truth must be that simply **not dying** is the most they can hope for.
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:55 PM
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Do EBT cards also count against Yang's UBI? What about veteran's benefits?

Last edited by Ambivalid; 10-31-2019 at 06:57 PM.
  #75  
Old 10-31-2019, 07:49 PM
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No one should go without food, housing, educational opportunities, or medical care. There are enough resources to guarantee these things to everyone.
  #76  
Old 10-31-2019, 08:14 PM
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Ambivalid: There is a separate thread for Yang's proposal:
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=872849

I am not familiar with this proposal, but I expect Food Stamps would go away while Veteran's Benefits would remain--but be somewhat modified.
  #77  
Old 10-31-2019, 08:48 PM
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OK. So how do we get doctors to stop ordering the tests that the gov't pays for. And keep patients from demanding them?
In some systems the doctors get a certain amount for each insured party. That reduces the incentive to order unnecessary tests, since it comes out of the bottom line. More openness to providing price lists will help also. Single payer systems wouldn't have as complex price lists as the current system.
And providing feedback based on data would help also - if a doctor gets a statement saying that 70% of the tests prescribed were not called for based on evidence, it would help. With penalties if there was no good reason.
I doubt many patients demand anything that a doctor couldn't dissuade them from. The power balance is still on the doctor's side. That's why we have prescription drugs, after all.

An example - during my recent bout of prostate cancer (now cured, hurray for technology) my urologist tried to get me to take something that he claimed would help improve my chances (which were good anyway) but which had side effects. I asked him for the data on how much it would help. He didn't have any and I said no thanks.
  #78  
Old 10-31-2019, 10:17 PM
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No one should go without food, housing, educational opportunities, or medical care. There are enough resources to guarantee these things to everyone.
I subscribe to something I once read (in a book by Mario Cuomo, if I recall correctly): the question isnít whether government or the private sector is better. The question is, what needs to be done, and who is the best to do it?

I subscribe to a belief that there are certain areas of society where the government is best suited to ensure that our needs are met:
Health
Education
Infrastructure, and
Safety

With this as a framework, I definitely agree that the social safety net should include universal access to healthcare and comprehensive education (publicly available from pre-kindergarten through graduate school). Effective healthcare would, of course, include ensuring people are properly fed (instead of food stamps, why not give everybody access to doctors, and let those doctors prescribe food vouchers as they deem necessary in furtherance of a medically appropriate nutrition plan?)

And - while itís not something Iím clear about how to implement - infrastructure can certainly include housing. I donít know if that should be through subsidies or actual government homes, but I have sometimes thought that (were money no object) Iíd love to build neighborhoods full of ďtiny housesĒ for the homeless/underclass.
  #79  
Old 10-31-2019, 11:27 PM
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During the worst of the last recession the estimate was that there were six or more empty foreclosed houses for every homeless person in the country. A conservative estimate is that 40% of all food grown in the country ends up being thrown out and wasted. We don't have a resource problem, we have an allocation problem. An endless cycle of deciding who "owns" things and who "deserves" things is what we do instead of just taking care of people.

Last edited by SmartAleq; 10-31-2019 at 11:28 PM.
  #80  
Old 10-31-2019, 11:48 PM
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Right, like i said, those in most need of assistance get the least. Because by his very own words, the goal of a UBI is to lift up every American and improve their lives by providing more security and life options. So i guess a valid interpretation of his words are that disabled people arent True Americans? Only half-kidding but thr truth must be that simply **not dying** is the most they can hope for.
Look i don't know anything about yang's proposal and I come at this from a libertarian point of view as it is the way to provide safety net with the least possible government intervention.

It seems to me that your complaint is that Yang's UBI proposal isn't a large enough number you want 48k per year or something. I guess a debate can be had about what the right number is but I don't think you're going about it the right way if that's what you're trying to argue.

On the other hand if your complaint is that the person who is not physically or mentally capable of work should be treaded better than the drug addict who was too stoned to go to work or the guys who was too lazy to get off his couch. I'm not sure if i agree with you but that could be a really interesting debate.

I'm not really sure what you're talking about so I'll stop there.
  #81  
Old 11-01-2019, 12:48 AM
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During the worst of the last recession the estimate was that there were six or more empty foreclosed houses for every homeless person in the country. A conservative estimate is that 40% of all food grown in the country ends up being thrown out and wasted. We don't have a resource problem, we have an allocation problem. An endless cycle of deciding who "owns" things and who "deserves" things is what we do instead of just taking care of people.
Yeah, it's weird. People don't want to go do back-breaking work like build houses and grow food unless they're compensated for it. And that compensation leads to ownership of things. And then someone comes along and wants to take that property that those people worked so hard to acquire and give it to someone else, someone who didn't do any back-breaking work for it. People get angry when that happens. Weird, right?
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:05 AM
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Yeah, those fuckhead foreclosing bankers are the worst--they don't build houses or fix houses or do anything tangible and yet they get paid two to three times the initial price of the house in interest for nothing more than allowing someone to use a bit of their money to finance the house. Then when they're about to go bankrupt because they traded in shady ass loans they get bailed out to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars but the people who lived in the houses ended up living on the streets and the foreclosed houses sit there and rot and bring down the values of every other house in the vicinity. Then those houses get snapped up by the hundreds by hedge funds and are managed as rentals by property management firms--hedge fund brokers and property managers don't do a fucking thing to build or improve houses either. They just charge exorbitant rents and keep the foreclosed houses from being affordable for regular people who then can't even afford to rent the houses they used to own. And yet with all this it's still considered unlawful to drag those parasitic fucks out of their offices and hang them from lamp posts even though when that gets done to Epstein they call it "suicide." Too bad there isn't an epidemic of banker "suicides" too, that would sure help the economy a bunch.
  #83  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:11 AM
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Each person picks a primary care physician and the government pays that primary care physician a fixed annual sum; the government pays a hospital a fixed sum for each heart attack... There are several alternatives to the current fee for service method.
What would be the incentive for a physician to accept a patient with complex medical issues, versus cherry-picking only healthy younger adults who aren't likely to need lots of visits and expensive care?
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:06 AM
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During the worst of the last recession the estimate was that there were six or more empty foreclosed houses for every homeless person in the country. A conservative estimate is that 40% of all food grown in the country ends up being thrown out and wasted.
Do you have cites for any of these estimates?
  #85  
Old 11-01-2019, 08:13 AM
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...
I doubt many patients demand anything that a doctor couldn't dissuade them from. The power balance is still on the doctor's side. That's why we have prescription drugs, after all.
...
I dunno. ISTR a recent article in The Atlantic, discussing how demanding (some? many?) US patients tend to be, while then failing to follow doctors' instructions. Many meds and procedures are direct marketed towards patients/consumers, and patients rate their doctors on social media.
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  #86  
Old 11-01-2019, 08:29 AM
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Do you have cites for any of these estimates?
It's not that hard to look it up yourself rather than demanding others do it for you.

Do you trust the FDA?
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How much food waste is there in the United States?

In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply. This estimate, based on estimates from USDAís Economic Research Service of 31 percent food loss at the retail and consumer levels, corresponded to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010. This amount of waste has far-reaching impacts on society:
  #87  
Old 11-01-2019, 08:36 AM
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According to some reports, there are now an estimated five vacant properties for every homeless person in the U.S., many left empty as the result of the foreclosure crisis.
  #88  
Old 11-01-2019, 08:47 AM
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Look i don't know anything about yang's proposal and I come at this from a libertarian point of view as it is the way to provide safety net with the least possible government intervention.

It seems to me that your complaint is that Yang's UBI proposal isn't a large enough number you want 48k per year or something. I guess a debate can be had about what the right number is but I don't think you're going about it the right way if that's what you're trying to argue.

On the other hand if your complaint is that the person who is not physically or mentally capable of work should be treaded better than the drug addict who was too stoned to go to work or the guys who was too lazy to get off his couch. I'm not sure if i agree with you but that could be a really interesting debate.

I'm not really sure what you're talking about so I'll stop there.
Im saying a UBI should go to *everyone* irrespective of their current job status or any other issue. Disability payments included.
  #89  
Old 11-01-2019, 09:22 AM
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No one should go without food, housing, educational opportunities, or medical care. There are enough resources to guarantee these things to everyone.
Not if we insist on not having control over immigration and our borders.

Countries like Denmark had to put up restrictions because they couldnt keep up their massive government safety net and allow in millions of immigrants.
  #90  
Old 11-01-2019, 09:23 AM
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So you want to move homeless people into $400,000 homes?
  #91  
Old 11-01-2019, 09:25 AM
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So you want to move homeless people into $400,000 homes?
Show me where I said that or even implied it.
  #92  
Old 11-01-2019, 11:53 AM
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A conservative estimate is that 40% of all food grown in the country ends up being thrown out and wasted. We don't have a resource problem, we have an allocation problem. An endless cycle of deciding who "owns" things and who "deserves" things is what we do instead of just taking care of people.
So you want the government deciding what you should eat and sending you a food basket each week based on the allocation they've decided for you?
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:09 PM
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Im saying a UBI should go to *everyone* irrespective of their current job status or any other issue. Disability payments included.
Disability payments are part of the existing safety net.

Basically UBI will be funded by:
1. Eliminating a huge chunk of existing tax expenditures (exemptions, deductions...)
2. Eliminating a large number of existing safety net programs and
3. Increased taxes

If someone gets disability via SSI I expect that program to be removed. If he gets disability via SSDI or Veterans Benefits I expect modifications--such that the person is not getting an extra $1,000/month--but is getting part of that [although as I said previously I am not familiar with the specifics of Yang's program].
  #94  
Old 11-01-2019, 12:30 PM
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Food waste is not unique to the well off. For example I have a relative who is not at all well off. Yet when she cooks she makes a lot of leftovers. These go into the refrigerator. Frequently after a few weeks these then go into the trash. Another relative has kids who almost always take substantially more food on their plates than they actually eat. The excess food goes to the garbage.

Go into a grocery store. Notice how the produce is all close to perfect? Well they throw away the stuff which isn't. If they didn't they would get lots of customer complaints.

Farmers leave a few percent of their crops on the ground. If it can't be picked up by the machines it is not economic for the farmer to hire people (or do it himself) to go along and pick up this extra food. [What farmers did a few decades ago was to let the livestock graze in the corn fields. Now with the specialization of agriculture they probably don't have the livestock.]

Thus while there is a great deal of waste in the food system I don't think the cause is primarily the rich wasting food and the poor can't afford it.

Last edited by PastTense; 11-01-2019 at 12:31 PM.
  #95  
Old 11-01-2019, 01:39 PM
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I thought that too, but I read a few pieces earlier today saying MMT isn't really into the idea of financing the government with bonds. Bonds are just there to take money out of the banking reserves, and even then I guess MMT economists prefer taxes and direct regulation to combat inflation and interest.

There's also an upper limit to the deficit, after which point even MMT proponents must say there will be inflation, which is the point of maximum economic capacity. At that point any increase in money supply must necessarily increase the price instead of quantity of goods.

I did read through that (second) article, but I'm not sure what you disagree with. Given a static money supply all businesses in an economy do have a combined financial profit of zero. An isolated economy as a whole cannot grow, just as the energy in an isolated thermodynamic system is constant. It's like if four people were standing in a room with exactly forty dollars between them. No matter how they redistribute the money, there will always be exactly forty dollars distributed among the whole group. The amount one man loses after a round of transactions is exactly equal to the amount the rest of the group gains in aggregate.

And so, assuming a static money supply, if the government spends $10bn on the private sector then the private sector gains exactly what the government lost: $10bn.

~Max
The room analogy is simplistic in that it measures wealth purely in terms of money - and existing money at that. If I have $200,000 and pay someone to build a house, then when he's finished, I have a house and he has $200,000. I haven't lost anything, and he's presumably made a profit. The builder is paying his suppliers, who are also paying their suppliers, and all parties involved are paying their employees, so even though there's a set starting amount of money, it's moving throughout the economy and generating wealth as it's being distributed between parties.

Also, I believe the whole basis of Modern Monetary Theory is that the money supply is always expanding. Maybe I need to read up again on MMT again, but I believe it relies on the idea that money is not a fixed commodity. Basically, governments are able to issue money to pay for their operations, but have to ensure that their monetary policy is not inflationary. Taxes, rather than being how the government pays for it operations, are a method of preventing inflation. So theoretically, as long as inflation is held in check, the size of the tax deficit doesn't really matter. Maybe somebody here can provide a better summary of MMT's tenets. In the meantime, I'm sceptical.
  #96  
Old 11-01-2019, 01:47 PM
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So you want the government deciding what you should eat and sending you a food basket each week based on the allocation they've decided for you?
Yes, because that's the only way to handle the situation. Hallowe'en is over so you can put your scarecrow costume away until next year.
  #97  
Old 11-01-2019, 01:56 PM
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I dunno. ISTR a recent article in The Atlantic, discussing how demanding (some? many?) US patients tend to be, while then failing to follow doctors' instructions. Many meds and procedures are direct marketed towards patients/consumers, and patients rate their doctors on social media.
Good point. In Europe drug companies are not allowed to advertise, which cuts down on the demand for the treatment of whatever disease gets marketed this month. (Nothing new - Lenny Bruce did a bit on this kind of thing.)
Since drug companies have bigger marketing budgets than research budgets, this should reduce drug costs by a bit and spur innovation.

Anyhow doctors can say no - but if it is profitable for doctors to say yes, (like the small subset of doctors responsible for a lot of opioid prescriptions) it is tougher.
  #98  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:06 PM
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Yes, because that's the only way to handle the situation. Hallowe'en is over so you can put your scarecrow costume away until next year.
Right. Because planned economies and government programs that mandate personal behaviour have such a great history of success. But hey, go ahead and let the government decide how much food you can buy. I'm sure they won't expand that into other areas of control such as how often you can fly, or whether you can decide to send your kid to a private school. Never mind who you can sleep with, what books you can read, or if the brands you like have been approved by the state consumer oversight committee.
  #99  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:11 PM
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Im saying a UBI should go to *everyone* irrespective of their current job status or any other issue. Disability payments included.
Why? I don't see a reason the disabled should lead a better life than the lazy. The idea here is to create a floor that gives people an acceptable minimum life. That means that some people, either through their own fault or through no fault of their own, will live at the floor level. After that most people will work to create a better life for themselves than that floor level not everyone will or will want to do that and that is OK.

It is a reasonable argument where to set that minimum acceptable living standard. I guess it is also reasonable argument that we should provide a better lifestyle to those who are at the minimum through no fault of there own though once we get to the point of deciding who is there through their own fault or not were back to a higher level of government intervention that I would prefer.

On the other hand you seem to want to keep the current saftey net in full force and then add UBI on top of it and that is just silly since it doubles (at least) the expenditures in the system. I guess silly is the wrong term but it does seem you'd be better off arguing that the floor for UBI needs to be raised if it's enacted since it would accomplish the same thing.
  #100  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:16 PM
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Right. Because planned economies and government programs that mandate personal behaviour have such a great history of success. But hey, go ahead and let the government decide how much food you can buy. I'm sure they won't expand that into other areas of control such as how often you can fly, or whether you can decide to send your kid to a private school. Never mind who you can sleep with, what books you can read, or if the brands you like have been approved by the state consumer oversight committee.
Not sure why you're quoting me when your response has literally nothing to do with what I said but if you're having fun you just keep right on fuckin' that chicken, good sir or ma'am.
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