Investopia

Serious discussions on politics, religion, and the like.

Re: Investopia

Postby gaeila » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:50 pm

Killjoy wrote:
gaeila wrote:Why Should We Support the Idea of Universal Basic Income?


We shouldn't.

Why not?

(I'm almost afraid to post anymore. In almost all the threads I've posted to, I seem to have killed the discussions dead. That's never been my intent.)
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Re: Investopia

Postby Killjoy » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:46 pm

gaeila wrote:
Killjoy wrote:
gaeila wrote:Why Should We Support the Idea of Universal Basic Income?


We shouldn't.

Why not?

(I'm almost afraid to post anymore. In almost all the threads I've posted to, I seem to have killed the discussions dead. That's never been my intent.)


* The US already spends about a trillion dollars a year on its "social safety net", and clearly it's not working very well -- and most basic income schemes would cost 3 times that, or more.

* The burden of paying for such programs falls disproportionately on the middle class while lower income brackets benefit and higher income brackets dodge paying in.

* Positive rights are a downward spiral of ever-increasing false notions of what people supposedly owe each other.
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Re: Investopia

Postby gaeila » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:01 pm

Killjoy wrote:* The US already spends about a trillion dollars a year on its "social safety net", and clearly it's not working very well -- and most basic income schemes would cost 3 times that, or more.
.


Just because one particular country is doing it wrong doesn't mean it can't be done right. In the U.S., the vast majority of the money spent on safety nets go to the bureaucrats administering them--and I know for a fact through direct experience that most of them are lousy at their jobs. The U.S. system mostly sucks, as is. There are other countries who have done much better jobs on safety nets, so the concept itself is NOT inherently flawed.
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Re: Investopia

Postby Killjoy » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:58 am

gaeila wrote:
Killjoy wrote:* The US already spends about a trillion dollars a year on its "social safety net", and clearly it's not working very well -- and most basic income schemes would cost 3 times that, or more.
.


Just because one particular country is doing it wrong doesn't mean it can't be done right. In the U.S., the vast majority of the money spent on safety nets go to the bureaucrats administering them--and I know for a fact through direct experience that most of them are lousy at their jobs. The U.S. system mostly sucks, as is. There are other countries who have done much better jobs on safety nets, so the concept itself is NOT inherently flawed.


Regarding the claim that most US social spending goes to bureaucrats or administration:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter ... mp-fundin/

It's a claim based on including payments to health care providers from Medicare and Medicaid, payments to landlords from housing assistance, etc -- counting every dollar that doesn't go directly to the individual as "going to a bureaucrat".
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Re: Investopia

Postby gaeila » Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:08 pm

Killjoy wrote:
gaeila wrote:
Killjoy wrote:* The US already spends about a trillion dollars a year on its "social safety net", and clearly it's not working very well -- and most basic income schemes would cost 3 times that, or more.
.


Just because one particular country is doing it wrong doesn't mean it can't be done right. In the U.S., the vast majority of the money spent on safety nets go to the bureaucrats administering them--and I know for a fact through direct experience that most of them are lousy at their jobs. The U.S. system mostly sucks, as is. There are other countries who have done much better jobs on safety nets, so the concept itself is NOT inherently flawed.


Regarding the claim that most US social spending goes to bureaucrats or administration:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter ... mp-fundin/

It's a claim based on including payments to health care providers from Medicare and Medicaid, payments to landlords from housing assistance, etc -- counting every dollar that doesn't go directly to the individual as "going to a bureaucrat".


It's possible I'm incorrect about the % of the welfare budget going to the non-poor; however, I still maintain it's a non-trivial amount, and those employed usually suck at their job. Try going through the Social Security Disability system sometime; no matter how seriously destroyed your body is.

HOWEVER:

The very article you linked implies that the U.S. spends nowhere near a trillion a year on welfare. Numerous sources cited that figure as ridiculously inflated. "The federal government spends just $212 billion per year on what we could reasonably call “welfare.” (Even then, the poor have to enter the institution of waged labor to get the earned income tax credit.) "
Here's one source, but there are many others:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... 15b0f04046

That one is one of the more concise, and less technical.

What's often overlooked, is that the vast majority of people who received welfare benefits only do so for relatively brief periods of their lifetimes. Some kind of disaster hits--illness, unemployment, etc., and people need help for usually only a couple years until they get back on their feet again.
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Re: Investopia

Postby Killjoy » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:30 am

Whether or not it's a trillion is quibbling over definitions. You'll note that I said "social safety net", not "welfare". If I wanted to be even broader, I could throw in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and those programs alone, without any of the other entitlements, come close to TWO trillion dollars a year.

Additionally, nothing in the Politifact article implies what you say it does. The numbers it gives are using one specific program as an example, not claiming to cover the entirety of spending.
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Re: Investopia

Postby JustinReilly » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:08 pm

A major problem with the US government is that -- for various political and structural reasons specific to our system -- it's incredibly difficult to get a piece of legislation removed. This both makes it difficult to experiment with various potential programs and ensures that programs that are started get accreted upon like a clump of barnacles over time as we try to make them work better. This isn't a property inherent to government, this is a property inherent to the US government. The governments of other nations are often able to be much more nimble in their legislation. The fact that we can't manage to make shit work implies very little about the ability of more able government structures to do so.
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Re: Investopia

Postby Killjoy » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:19 pm

JustinReilly wrote:A major problem with the US government is that -- for various political and structural reasons specific to our system -- it's incredibly difficult to get a piece of legislation removed. This both makes it difficult to experiment with various potential programs and ensures that programs that are started get accreted upon like a clump of barnacles over time as we try to make them work better. This isn't a property inherent to government, this is a property inherent to the US government. The governments of other nations are often able to be much more nimble in their legislation. The fact that we can't manage to make shit work implies very little about the ability of more able government structures to do so.


And yet the oft-touted social-welfware systems in quite a few European countries are also in deep trouble.

It has less to do with "efficiency" and far more to do with inevitable unsustainability.
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Re: Investopia

Postby JustinReilly » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:27 pm

Killjoy wrote:And yet the oft-touted social-welfware systems in quite a few European countries are also in deep trouble.

It has less to do with "efficiency" and far more to do with inevitable unsustainability.

I'm curious what assumptions you're making to conclude inevitability. Because frankly, to me, statements like that smack of either a lack of imagination or an ideologue using the failure of a particular program to justify abandoning the entire endeavor.
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Re: Investopia

Postby Killjoy » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:30 pm

JustinReilly wrote:
Killjoy wrote:And yet the oft-touted social-welfware systems in quite a few European countries are also in deep trouble.

It has less to do with "efficiency" and far more to do with inevitable unsustainability.

I'm curious what assumptions you're making to conclude inevitability. Because frankly, to me, statements like that smack of either a lack of imagination or an ideologue using the failure of a particular program to justify abandoning the entire endeavor.


For starters, these programs pretty much all rely on a growing population as part of their basic math.
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