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 Message Boards » » Basic Income: Round 2 Page [1]  
GrumpyGOP
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I want to talk about basic income. We already had a thread on this, but it's now too old to do anything with. If you'd like to review it:

message_topic.aspx?topic=627161&page=1

I first heard about it a while back on BBC as something that Switzerland and Finland were looking at. For those who aren't familiar, "basic income" means that everybody in a country gets money from the government every year. The exact details vary from scheme to scheme, but generally the idea is that it is enough money to live off of, and technically basic income is not means tested (as opposed to "guaranteed minimum income," which is). This income replaces other forms of aid (social security, welfare, food stamps, etc)

At the time I rejected the idea out of hand on the usual grounds, that it would be wildly expensive and would give people an incentive not to work. But the more I've heard about it lately, the more I'm starting to rethink that.

You can see both of those con arguments flushed out in the old thread, but the evidence doesn't really support them. In pilot programs, the decline in labor participation is small, and in some cases is found to mostly lie with secondary and tertiary earners who are thereby freed up to do things like raise their children or finish high school. On the flipside, a lot of current assistance programs really do provide an incentive not to work, because any earnings reduce benefits in direct proportion.

Another reason that attracted even conservative thinkers to the basic income idea is that it gets rid of a lot of government bureaucracy and involvement in peoples' lives. You don't need a multitude of agencies giving out different forms of assistance and making sure that everybody meets certain requirements.

The idea is getting just a tiny bit more traction now as we face one of moron's favorite topics, the coming obsolescence of a lot of jobs due to automation. Generally speaking I get creative destruction and try not to be too big a doomsayer about this sort of thing, but it seems conceivable that at some point most work as we know it will be delegated to machines. The productivity would be there to support everybody, but if the gains are going to be increasingly concentrated in very few hands. A basic income is one way to fix some of the issues that would come with that.

What are the 2016 Soap Box's thoughts?

4/17/2016 2:29:07 PM

Kurtis636
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I'm against pretty much all forms of welfare, but as that is not a politically viable position I would much rather see this than our current, convoluted bureaucratic nightmare. Sort of the same reason I would rather just give poor people money than have SNAP, section 8 housing, etc.

If you must redistribute wealth at least do it efficiently. Don't means test it, and simply reclaim it in taxes at the end of the year.

4/17/2016 3:32:21 PM

moron
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Basic Income, in its ideal structure, isn't a form of welfare. It's more a mechanism of social stability, similar to having a military for common defense, or legal system to settle disputes so we're not all taking the law into our own hands all the time. It's not means tested, it would be guaranteed to every american, regardless of income or employment status (but since you still have a progressive tax system, this is mostly psychological to eliminate the perception of "free riders").

As a side effect, it could serve to eliminate many or most "welfare" programs (but not all)

There's been a few small scale tests that have generally worked out well, MIT is conducting a more large scale test soon in Kenya soon for 6000 people:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/04/14/universal_basic_income_this_nonprofit_is_about_to_test_it_in_a_big_way.html

How many people would quit their job and try to start a business if they knew they could still meaningfully contribute to their household bills?

It's true that we probably couldn't afford to even pay everyone what a minimum wage job would pay, but this isn't the goal necessarily. You could implement it by paying whatever we could afford. Even if it was just $200/month, this is enough to have a part-time job and a roomate(s) and be able to go to community college or work on your side project/business, or whatever.

The problem with this, at least in the united states, is that politicians like to politicize things. They'll probably want to give people who work in a certain field more money, or take money away from people who've already served their time for a crime (which we know has a disproportionate impact due to the legacy of certain policies), or try to limit how people spend it, or something else, which tends to corrupt the idea and possible benefits.

[Edited on April 17, 2016 at 5:39 PM. Reason : ]

4/17/2016 5:38:39 PM

The E Man
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Its not inflation proof. Guaranteeing someone the cost of a loaf of bread does not guarantee them a loaf of bread in the long term.

Its better to have a hybrid system with a lower guaranteed income to go along with a guaranteed housing voucher for all (as a % of median market value), public health and education systems to avoid the inevitable problem associated with someone getting sick after spending all of their guaranteed income. This sort of system works well already.

[Edited on April 17, 2016 at 6:31 PM. Reason : k]

4/17/2016 6:30:22 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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Quote :
"I'm against pretty much all forms of welfare, but as that is not a politically viable position I would much rather see this than our current, convoluted bureaucratic nightmare. Sort of the same reason I would rather just give poor people money than have SNAP, section 8 housing, etc.

If you must redistribute wealth at least do it efficiently. Don't means test it, and simply reclaim it in taxes at the end of the year."


Agreed. I would accept a basic income as long as we got rid of all the other welfare programs.

4/17/2016 6:53:16 PM

moron
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^^ trying to break it up like that undermines the potential of a basic income. A housing voucher is useless to someone who owns a house or who lives in a tiny house, or who lives in a shack in the woods.

Programs like you're describing aren't bad, but should be discussed separately from a basic income. It sounds like you're arguing for a smaller basic income, but more (relatively) welfare spending.

But, the idea of a basic income is that people know how to spend their money better than anyone else (this was the basis of a pilot on Brazil, where mothers were given unconditional stipends). Sometimes it's more important to buy food and rent a motel room, and a housing voucher wouldn't help a person in this situation. It's better to just give them money, and people will naturally seek stability, which eventually includes stable housing. But in the meanwhile, the money is better spent on other things, rather than being denied to people who can't immediately use a housing voucher.

There's a few other problems I can think of, but the gist is that trying to add conditions creates more problems. Just let people choose how to spend the money.

4/17/2016 7:01:19 PM

The E Man
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You can't address welfare until you have guaranteed stable housing. If you implemented a basic income, there would be an immediate run on affordable housing. People with health problems would spend all of their money on medical expenses and end up homeless. People with homes would end up in the emergency room unable to pay. People with failed investments or student debt would have no money left.

I understand the desire to eliminate bureaucracy but you can't simply hand out money and take a hands off approach. Thats a very disorganized, lazy way to think about things. Some things have to be provided. Paying me the cost/capita of the department of transportation isn't going to allow me to get from place to place with no transportation infrastructure.

4/17/2016 8:56:31 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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i'd prefer implementing it through a negative income tax

4/17/2016 9:18:14 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Yeah, once you start talking about vouchers and shit it defeats the purpose. The whole appeal of the basic income is that you get rid of all that.

Quote :
"If you implemented a basic income, there would be an immediate run on affordable housing. People with health problems would spend all of their money on medical expenses and end up homeless. People with homes would end up in the emergency room unable to pay. People with failed investments or student debt would have no money left. "


For the most part aren't you just describing the status quo? When cheap housing is available people buy it. People with lots of health problems spend all their money on health. People can't pay hospital bills all the time. And that last sentence -- well, yeah, no shit, people who spend all their money won't have any money.

If we're going to have those problems anyway, why not have them with a basic income?

---

I'm playing around with some rough numbers and come up with about $2.2 trillion as the total 2015 cost of all the programs a basic income would replace. There about 296.4 million citizens living in the country. Some 59.3 million are under 15, and I'm thinking they should get half benefits in part to avoid incentivizing having extra kids. So 266.2 million total payouts, meaning an adult would get $8,264.46 and a kid would get $4,132.23 each year. $688.70 a month for grown-ups and $344.35 for snot-nosed little brats, all without increasing the revenue side at all.

For a family of four that's $2066 a month. For a middle-class family of four like mine, I think it likely they would have saved my basic income for college. By 15, when full benefits kicked in (15 being selected partly for ease and partly because there's some evidence that basic income encourages kids to finish high school) I'd have had more than sixty grand. By 18 it'd be close to ninety. That would have been enough to pay for four years at NCSU with room and board. The $33,000 I made in four years of undergraduate studies would have paid for my MA. (Note that neither was in mathematics so maybe I've done these calculations horribly wrong, let me know if that's the case).

Of course, what you can't do off $8,264.46 is "live," really. For a lot of retirees the basic income would represent a serious pay cut. To which I can only say that it would be a smaller cut than the one that's inevitable with our current broken system, because that cut is going to be 100% because there won't be any fucking money left. The transition would have to happen over time, but any young person with half a brain is already planning on a retirement that doesn't include much in the way of government benefits.

[Edited on April 17, 2016 at 9:23 PM. Reason : ]

4/17/2016 9:21:03 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"I understand the desire to eliminate bureaucracy but you can't simply hand out money and take a hands off approach. Thats a very disorganized, lazy way to think about things. Some things have to be provided. Paying me the cost/capita of the department of transportation isn't going to allow me to get from place to place with no transportation infrastructure."


Transportation infrastructure is a public good. We're all fine with public money being spent by the public on a public good.

What most of us aren't fine with is public money being spent by an unpleasant woman at the HUD office in the form of vouchers for Jethro's private trailer.

4/17/2016 9:31:14 PM

d357r0y3r
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Quote :
"Agreed. I would accept a basic income as long as we got rid of all the other welfare programs."


Sure, I'd be okay with that. At least guaranteed basic income doesn't have the same negative incentives. All things equal, it's better than the welfare we have today. I would be willing to bet that any manifestation of Bi in today's world will be in addition to the current system, not a replacement.

I disagree with BI as a "solution" to human obsolescence, mainly in that I reject obsolescence as an inevitable or even likely future. This is neo-Luddism at its core; the fact that folks can't imagine a use for human energy once today's version of "work" is automated out of existence isn't really an argument, it's just bad imagination.

One version of the future is that the concept of "value" changes. Automation of manufacturing and even resource retrieval/generation makes things like food so cheap that it might as well be free. Transportation will be virtually free. Housing (land, really) will be insanely expensive relative to material goods probably, but there isn't much to be done about that. So, what ends up becoming really valuable is creative output from humans, whatever form that takes.

Some neo-Luddites/technophobes take this a step further and argue that superintelligence will make even human creativity obsolete. That may very well be the case, but if you think some shoddily put together government program is going to protect you from godlike beings, you clearly haven't watch enough movies or, going back to earlier, have a really awful imagination.

4/17/2016 9:43:07 PM

moron
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Quote :
"This is neo-Luddism at its core; the fact that folks can't imagine a use for human energy once today's version of "work" is automated out of existence isn't really an argument, it's just bad imagination."


This is nearly the exact opposite of the rationale for basic income. The point of basic income is to enable human labor to flow more readily to its most efficient place in the market, rather than be held back by fear of starvation/poverty.

And in the event we DO reach a level where robots and computers do all productive work, it allows for the continued functioning of our market economy until we figure out something better.

Under a basic income, young and old workers alike would be far, far,far more likely to retrain when their job or compensation gets cut by automation, versus desperately clinging to the job they have to pay the bills, then blaming Mexicans or free trade and voting for trump when this doesn't work out.

4/17/2016 11:25:00 PM

The E Man
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Quote :
"
If we're going to have those problems anyway, why not have them with a basic income?"

No. Just solve the problems.

Quote :
" I'd have had more than sixty grand. By 18 it'd be close to ninety. That would have been enough to pay for four years at NCSU with room and board. The $33,000 I made in four years of undergraduate studies would have paid for my MA. (Note that neither was in mathematics so maybe I've done these calculations horribly wrong, let me know if that's the case).
"

Its almost as if you're trying to think of a way to change the welfare system so that it benefits you.
Quote :
"Transportation infrastructure is a public good. We're all fine with public money being spent by the public on a public good."

A healthy, educated, housed population is also public good. Don't take my word for it either. Its financially beneficial as well. Housing first programs for homeless have already saved American pilot cities millions. Singapore has created an amazingly positive society with a model of universal home ownership. The mentality in this thread is like saying, the roads have pot holes, bad bridges and horrible traffic. Lets just get rid of them all together and give people money.

4/17/2016 11:47:54 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"This is neo-Luddism at its core; the fact that folks can't imagine a use for human energy once today's version of "work" is automated out of existence isn't really an argument, it's just bad imagination."


Funny, I would say the same thing regarding your position. "We have adjusted to technology in the workplace before, therefore we will adjust to it in the future." It's not quite bad imagination so much as it is a willful refusal to imagine an alternative outcome.

But like I said in the beginning, I'm not a long-term alarmist about these things. But as they say, in the long term we're all dead -- and in the short term, a lot of people will be miserable when their jobs go away and no replacement is at hand. Given that the rate of technological change is constantly increasing, we can safely say that these disruptions to the workforce will become more frequent and require more significant retraining. To accommodate those realities, it might be wise to come up with some plan beyond "Everyone will probably figure it out" before making a snide reference to the candlemaker's petition or whatever it was called.

Quote :
"No. Just solve the problems."


A rat's nest of government bureaucracies handing out money, vouchers, and food stamps tangled up in restrictions has not managed this. Maybe we should try something else.

Quote :
"Its almost as if you're trying to think of a way to change the welfare system so that it benefits you. "


Shit, I thought I carefully cut out all the references to the part of my plan where I go back in time and convince Nixon to start implementing a basic income plan so it would be up and running by the time I was born. Don't be a shithead. I've got sense enough to know that no basic income scheme will be adopted in the US in my lifetime.

I used myself (in the past tense) as an example because I'm a member of a middle class family of four and I don't have to make up my own life story. It seemed wise to use such an example to demonstrate how average families would benefit, since "average family" types are so averse to anything that involves giving free money to poor people.

Quote :
"A healthy, educated, housed population is also public good."


We already have a public education system in this country, and there's at least some reason to believe that BI increases high school graduation rates since young people in poor families feel less pressure to drop out and join the workforce.

Public health, well, you've got me there. I'm in favor of single payer because in spite of all the ideological reasons that people don't want it to work and say it won't work, it seems to work an awful lot better than what we've got. "Oh people in Canada have to wait in line!" Well waiting in line must be good for them because they spend less and have better health. Fuckers.

You start to lose me at housing.

"Housing first" has worked under some pretty limited circumstances in areas not known for their out-of-control homeless problems (I'm looking at you, Utah). And I don't know who the fuck you think you're fooling bringing Singapore into the conversation -- Singapore, a country famously averse to giving out anything, where instead of Social Security they allow retirees to sue their children for failing to support them. A place where people are forced into homelessness by foreclosures, in spite of what you appear to envision as a housing-for-all paradise.

And since you'll no doubt want a source for that:

http://www.economist.com/node/15524092

This road example you're married to is a shit one. It is a public good. Housing is not. Housing is private, and if you think otherwise, I'll come by later with a carload of homeless people and let them crash on your couch. Individual citizens with their per capita share of the transportation budget cannot fix bridges. They don't have the capacity. To fix one bridge they'd need to get together with many, many other citizens to pool their resources, and then they'd have to agree on how to best go about fixing the bridge, which I guess means one of them had better know a little something about structural engineering or at least the infrastructure repair contractor options in the area. Average citizens don't know these things. This is why pretty much everybody is on board with electing a government to know them for us.

Individual citizens can, however, fix their housing situation by renting or buying or building housing. It does not require special skills, unless you go the "building" route. You don't need to pool together a bunch of strangers. It can be done alone or with other members of your household, because you are not deciding on it for anybody but yourselves. That's true because it's fucking private.

4/18/2016 2:38:06 AM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"i'd prefer implementing it through a negative income tax"


Another idea that interests me, although I think it would be even more complicated to implement because it necessitates massive changes to entitlements and taxes.

4/19/2016 11:24:45 AM

NeuseRvrRat
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Yeah, but both need massive changes.

4/19/2016 3:54:14 PM

moron
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Massive change is coming no matter what, it just depends whether we face it by cowering and being crushed under its weight, or do we ride it out and come out on top.

4/19/2016 3:55:24 PM

moron
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https://finance.yahoo.com/news/americans-don-t-like-to-buy-stuff-anymore-%E2%80%93-and-that-s-a-problem-170924225.html#

As someone who saves obsessively, i get this. It's hard to spend on luxuries when you don't have a pension, aren't sure how good social security will be, don't know if you'll have to dip into retirement to pay for a medical catastrophe, etc.

You can budget all you want, and still end up hosed. When general economic growth depends on consumer spending, we need strong, stable systems that allow for more predictable long term expenditures.

4/26/2016 3:05:52 PM

The E Man
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Great. The obsession with consumerism has to end.

4/26/2016 11:52:44 PM

rjrumfel
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I have a question though, so with basic income, as it is sold here, would the same amount truly be given to every American? Or do you still have to meet certain income requirements. In other words, would those in the middle class qualify for basic income? Or would it be like most tax breaks, where they begin to approach $0 as your income from your job goes up?

4/11/2017 1:21:46 PM

Dentaldamn
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The way I look at it is everyone gets paid X regardless.

This is a good read about the subject. This guy is loosely associated with my current employer

https://medium.com/@RickWebb/the-economics-of-star-trek-29bab88d50

4/11/2017 1:32:29 PM

JCE2011
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Hey guys, I have an idea, why don't we all just print off a billion dollars and give everyone a billion dollars???

4/11/2017 3:15:19 PM

rjrumfel
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You sure do have a way of framing your arguments don't you?

Why not just ask the question a better way?

If every family of four were given say, 2000/month in basic income - and this is for everyone across the board to spend as they wish, wouldn't it cause some inflation? And with an economy like ours, wouldn't we just set a new floor in a few years, and we'd be back to square one?

Obviously I'm not an economist, and that is a gross oversimplification of inflation, but it just seems kinda logical that might happen.

4/11/2017 3:22:20 PM

TerdFerguson
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It could increase inflation, but it could also spark an increase in real growth across the economy. People going out and buying stuff (back when the average joe still had expendable income) is what built our economy over the last 100+ years, I don't see why it couldn't work again.

4/11/2017 3:48:01 PM

tulsigabbard
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Quote :
"Hey guys, I have an idea, why don't we all just print off a billion dollars and give everyone a billion dollars???"

That got me thinking. This concept would be the ultimate robin-hood style "terror attack" thought experiment. Imagine if someone created a replica mint and printed billions (or trillions) of dollars that were indistinguishable. This could result in hyperinflation overnight and reset debt/savings. How would the government respond?

4/12/2017 5:48:14 AM

Dentaldamn
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A more likely situation would be depositing money into people's bank accounts bc everything is online.

Back to basic income. If we removed the entire safety net and gave everyone 2k a month it would provide people the freedom to move away from areas that have ballooning prices and lessen the expense of housing in cities. It would also give people in dead towns the ability to buy stuff.

Plenty of people in the country already sit on their ass and shoot drugs into their toes. I doubt this would inflate those numbers.

4/12/2017 7:48:57 AM

TerdFerguson
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There is actually substantial evidence that cash grants INCREASE entrepreneurship in communities (along with a host of other good financial markers - increased savings rate, better child behavior and learning outcomes, etc).

Evidence:

https://www.opendemocracy.net/openindia/stuart-weir/basic-income-transforming-lives-in-rural-india
Poor communities in India, folks were given ~$4 a month
Quote :
" Villagers were able to spend the money as they saw fit. But most of them used the cash grants for renewing their houses and building latrines, 18 new ones in all; stocking up and bulk buying food supplies; paying school fees and sending their children to school in uniform; investing in seeds and pesticides, goats and oxen, and at least one Jersey cow – which led to a significant shift from paid labour to self-cultivation; buying sewing machines for “own account” businesses making blouses, petticoats; treating unaddressed illnesses, such as TB and blindness, and remedying injuries. Often they pooled the extra cash, for example, to buy a communal television set, to repair the spire of their temple, to create a credit union or a loan fund for weddings (which are expensive throughout Indian society)."


http://cega.berkeley.edu/assets/cega_events/53/WGAPE_Sp2013_Blattman.pdf
http://www.poverty-action.org/study/northern-uganda-social-action-fund-%E2%80%93-youth-opportunities-program
Uganda, one time grant. People receiving money, of which the vast majority was spent on education/training, after 4 years they were working 17% more hours than control groups and earning 40+% more money.



And Evidence of spending all the money on booze is pretty slim as well.

http://www.poverty-action.org/study/impact-cognitive-behavior-therapy-and-cash-transfers-high-risk-young-men-liberia
Quote :
"Receiving therapy had no impact on the usage of the cash grant. Regardless of receiving therapy, cash recipients reported using roughly a quarter of the grant on consumption and rent, a quarter on business investments, and about one-fifth on savings and debt payments. Only 4 percent of the grant was allocated to drugs, alcohol, and other temptation goods."


http://blogs.worldbank.org/impactevaluations/do-poor-waste-transfers-booze-and-cigarettes-no
World Bank Meta study of 44 cash transfer programs
Found 80% of the studies show no statistically significant increase in spending on Alcohol or tobacco

4/12/2017 8:59:01 AM

JCE2011
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Lmao. "We gave people free money and they didn't tell us they bought alcohol so they must not of bought alcohol!" Almost as good as leftists referencing self-reported drug use surveys.

If the leftists think we need UBI because there aren't enough low-skilled jobs... how about you stop importing MILLIONS of low-skilled illegal immigrants and harboring them?

4/12/2017 12:30:15 PM

rjrumfel
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Because those low-skilled jobs will remain unfilled. Nobody wants them.

4/12/2017 12:52:09 PM

TerdFerguson
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^Literally no one has even made that argument ITT. Ignore the straw man.

^^im guessing you didn't read the survey methodologies, they pretty much address everything you bring up.

[Edited on April 12, 2017 at 12:57 PM. Reason : rabble rabble rabble]

4/12/2017 12:55:52 PM

aaronburro
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^ It's like he doesn't know there are ways to deduce those things without directly asking "did you spend it on booze". Oh, wait, he doesn't.

4/13/2017 9:29:49 PM

TreeTwista10
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4/13/2017 9:50:45 PM

JCE2011
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Quote :
" PovertyAction.Org: Since most data were self-reported, they validated the
behavior of a subsample with intensive qualitative observation."


So they admit it is self-reported. Also the “intensive qualitative observation” isn’t mentioned again… no evidence, no numbers, no methodology are provided. This really just translates to “we asked people if they used our money for drugs and alcohol, they didn’t lie, trust us”.

Quote :
" WorldBank: With all this messaging, wouldn’t they just lie about their consumption? Of course, it’s possible that households are not being truthful"


They follow this up with a long paragraph of mental gymnastics where they point to:
1-alcohol being 1 item on a long list
2-parties reporting the same low amount of spending consistently

As if either of those 2 points do anything to justify the shit methodology that is a self-reported use survey. I know leftists love these surveys, but in reality there is nothing remotely scientific about them. If you want to push your shitty socialist nonsense, get some actual data.

4/14/2017 10:58:19 AM

eleusis
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There are dozens of research papers through the NIH and the EU documenting that alcohol consumption is directly tied to the cost of alcohol and disposable income available. Claiming that UI won't lead to an increase in alcohol consumption is rather dubious, as it contradicts long standing research showing the opposite.

My problem with the concept of UI is how everyone claims we need it because of the impending doom of massive unemployment caused by drones and AI. Drones and AI will create jobs, not take them away. Electrification of the US combined with mechanization of equipment reduced agricultural labor from 33% to 3% of the workforce in the last 100 years. Those people found jobs in other areas once they obtained security that they wouldn't starve to death if they left their job.

4/14/2017 11:20:58 AM

TerdFerguson
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^^You need to click the link to the actual paper if you want to see the numbers:
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/617631468001808739/pdf/WPS6886.pdf

And I recognize that surveys aren't the best methodology, but the way the surveys are designed can make them much better than just some dope running around interviewing people. And surveys still provide us with infinitely more information and data than anything you've posted ITT. I'm sure your anecdotes of watching the panhandlers smoking and drinking in front of the Taco Bell you eat at, alone, everyday is really conclusive for you though.

^The difference being that AI, eventually, will absolutely be able to replace ALL humans in certain work flows, whereas previous technology only multiplied human efforts. A farmer on a tractor replaces 30 field workers, but the farmer still needs to be there, at a minimum to make planting decisions, when to plow, etc. Soon AI will be able to totally replace the farmer. It will make better planting decisions, it will use field inputs more efficiently, etc.

Now that farmer could go find a job in a totally different field, except this replacement of workers is going to be happening across the board, there's not going to be anything available.

[Edited on April 14, 2017 at 11:41 AM. Reason : arrows]

4/14/2017 11:29:58 AM

eleusis
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So far, drones have been creating jobs, not taking them. Claims that AI will take all jobs are nothing more than fearmongering. Is AI going to produce itself, write its own code, and build its own robots?

4/14/2017 2:48:00 PM

TerdFerguson
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Quote :
"Is AI going to produce itself, write its own code, and build its own robots?"


Potentially, yes.

But I will back off the claim in my previous post that AI will replace ALL jobs, that's jumping the gun. However, it will be extremely disruptive to the labor market as we know it today due to the speed it will be implemented, how it seems to be set to hollow out semi-skilled work first (middle class jobs), and its potential for across the board implementation in all manner of industries.

4/14/2017 3:04:12 PM

rjrumfel
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^^You're missing the whole point though.

Can your average high school diploma holder assist in the building of a robot? Do you learn how to code software to control these complicated robots in high school? Do you learn the electronics engineering behind their circuits in high school? No.

The engineering professional of the future will be the assembly line factory worker of tomorrow. So then what happens to those that would normally man the factories?

4/14/2017 3:17:16 PM

moron
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^^ It's already disrupting the labor market. Think of how many jobs used to require years of experience or education can now be done with someone with a HS diploma that is good with Excel.

Look at the web design market, it's filled with people with little or no college education making above-average incomes doing this job, because it's easy to learn by just sitting at a computer, and there's tons of free, excellent-quality learning resources.

The impact of this is that people who went to school for comp sci but they really just wanted to be programmers are competing with people who went straight to industry and have more experience. Meanwhile, as a result of this, the competition for medium-skilled comp sci work increases driving down wages, since people don't want to battle with the scrubs who just want to do web/app programming.

This is happening all through tech industry.

Retail is facing similar issues, massive job losses due to store closings have happened because web-based shopping is so high quality it doesn't make sense to go to a store unless you're trying to stretch your legs. This is directly a result of automation/AI enabling extremely efficient inventory management and very well targeted ads/shopping experiences.

People keep waiting for job losses, but it's not an overnight/black white thing. We're literally undergoing this process right now-- we're the frog being boiled.

Regulatory capture is causing the previously entrenched corporations to drag their feet and seek remediation by getting laws pass in their favor, while the growing inequality problem is stifling innovative entrepreneurs from obtaining capital, because their poor/middle-class existence doesn't allow them to save up to start a business.

Another big mitigating factor is that AI is also creating a small segment of highly-indemand coders, the market for people who know AI is undersaturated, because undergrad programs haven't caught up with this need yet.

I do see tons of help wanted signs on restaurants these days, grocery delivery is becoming a bigger thing (at the cost of regular in-store workers). So the exact impact of increased automation/AI/digitization is hard to predict-- but it's clear it's already disruptive, already driving inequality, it's changing the economy very fundamentally.

4/14/2017 11:25:55 PM

moron
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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-26/america-s-rich-poor-divide-keeps-ballooning-as-robots-take-jobs

4/26/2017 2:11:22 PM

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