This is a very debatable figure. Many choose $12K in the U.S., because it is the “national poverty level”. It really could be anything one can justify as living expenses.
As I’ve pointed out in another post, this is already unworkable. The living wage that the Progressives/Marxists tell us we must all have is $15 an hour. That equates to a bit more than $31,000 a year. And as I’ve also pointed out, that amount of money, if multiplied by the number of households in the US (I am assuming this UBI-thing is per household, not per person) exceeds the total amount of money in circulation on the Planet Earth.
Why does that matter? Because with the lack of acuity that seems to be pervasive amongst the Progressive/Marxists these days, if $12K was ever achieved, it strains credulity to believe that they would stop there, and not then demand a “living UBI”.
The cost of a $12K UBI per household, btw, is 2.2 trillion dollars. The US took in 3.27 trillion via taxes in 2016, and spend .37 trillion in federal welfare. Therefore, you’d need a tax increase of 2.2-.37 = 1.85 trillion dollars, which simply put means you’d need to increase everyone’s taxes by 50% across the board permanently.
That’s everyone. The “rich” in the US don’t have anything close to that kind of money, to pay for that on an ongoing basis.
This is why People Who Do Math ignore the UBI fetishists like yourself. Your prose is full of “Oh, we just need to do this and this and that, and that’s all it would take!” That’s nuts.
It’s managed by a state organization, but the funds come originally from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), which is privately owned.
End this discussion. Sovereign wealth funds are not possible in the US broadly because of the size of our population. SW funds are a characteristic of nations which have outside natural resource wealth and tiny populations. You can have one in Alaska because there are only 650K people there and a ton of oil. Doesn’t work anywhere else.
You might need to have roommates or live further from a city if you don’t want to work. $1K/month per person would make an enormous difference in America, and is certainly livable enough to guarantee housing and food.
I’m sure it would. See above. The math doesn’t work.
Medical, as I expressed in the original piece, should be universal healthcare.
Well, as we’ve learned from the ACA debacle, you need to raise taxes for THAT, too. You’re not going to get anything close to a universal system for the “trillion over 10 years” that the last admin foisted on us.
I also support free public college
Well, there’s ANOTHER tax increase…….what are we up to now, about 90% marginal rates? (That giant sucking sound you hear is money being moved offshore to where it is safe. The people who own that money will soon follow.)
For my model, which is similar to many others, let’s call it $10K average per person ($12K per adult and $4K per child).
OH SHIT. It’s not 12K per household? Let’s redo the math:
10K per individual * 320,000,000 individuals = 3.2 TRILLION PER YEAR, 2.9 Trillion after the welfare offset. So, now everyone’s taxes are going up by almost NINETY PERCENT.
This is a common complaint. I still say the market will be defined by supply and demand. If landlords raised rents, someone could undercut them.
The cost of building materials has inflated as well.
I would happily approach a real estate investor and open up dormitory-style residences with small rooms with locking doors and community style facilities. These would be vastly preferable to both formerly homeless people on the streets and in dangerous shelters as well as 20 somethings like I was who wanted to live cheaply while figuring out their paths in life.
Yes, but for the other 95% of the population, that’s a fucking nightmare straight out of 1984. You’re now re-organizing an entire economy around a social program which most suffer for the benefit of a few.
I would have pursued acting full time, instead of on the side at night, exhausted from my shift at the bar.
It has not escaped my notice that the biggest proponents of UBI are the creatives.
There would be a whole new demographic for this, and it would create competition for landlords to keep rents down.
Forget rents. EVERYTHING inflates, and you create a viscious cycle where inflation feeds into inflation. We know the outcome of this from history, and it’s not a good outcome.
You cannot tax your way into prosperity.
You could pay for UBI without any of these measures, at least in America. Scott outlined some, I outlined others. Others have outlined even more ways. I don’t want to go into that again right now. We have the money many times over.
The idea here is redistribution from the overly leveraged and advantaged elites to the less fortunate and powerful.
There isn’t enough money. Obviously.
That’s why it’s important that they understand that it is not full blown socialism that is being suggested. It is a socialistic floor, a guarantee of a basic need and nothing more, much like we socialistically provide police, fire departments, and many other services.
Nobody will understand that. A UBI is an expanded welfare system. You can’t turn a duck into something that is not a duck by renaming it.
Further, you misunderstand the difference between socialism and shared services. The police and fire departments are not examples of socialism.
I believe they will gain their freedom by a sturdy floor of security. Something that at least guarantees they will never have nothing.
You already have that guarantee. It’s called “labor.”
Maybe you don’t know too much about the American tax system, but it is full of big juicy kisses for the rich. The wealthy only pay 15% taxes on unearned income (capital gains and interest), which is most of what many of them bring in, and without having to lift a finger.
First off, let’s keep in mind that when you talk about people who are rich enough to take their money in cap gains, you’re only talking about 150,000 people. That’s it.
And this is the problem with the “tax the rich” naivete that persists on the American left. If you jack up the marginal rates on the rich 5% (as we did in 2012) , you get .060 trillion dollars in additional revenue. So, talking about them as a source of income for a UBI that’s going to cost 3.2 trillion a year is simply insane.
They spend it on what they need. The dollars move and circulate through local businesses. When they raised the minimum wage in Seattle, conservatives promised restaurants would fold and have to fire people. Instead, restaurants flourished and hired more because there was a new customer base: the employees of restaurants, who could now afford to eat out sometimes!
This study was shown to be false.
Analysis | A 'very credible' new study on Seattle's $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals
When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city's minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they'd…
“Government funding priorities could shift (looking at the military budget here, for one).”
I would agree that it’s outsized, but you can’t take it to zero. Again, you’re talking about increasing annual expeditues by 2.9T net, while the 1T we spend on defense could perhaps be dropped 20%, saving .2T.
This is exactly why many conservatives and libertarians actually like the idea of UBI.
In concept, we do prefer things that are simpler, and UBI would be. However, the hard reality is that the money is not there to pay for it.
That’s it. A coder could write that program in a weekend.
That part is true. Could even written in COBOL. I’m sure the core Social Security systems are written in COBOL and running on 60’s technology mainframes. There’s no value in converting them over.
To summarize, three reasons why this will never happen:
- The prevailing American mindset, even on the part of many Democratic voters, will hate it. At the end of the day, it’s an expanded welfare system.
- The inflation/deflation problems it creates. If you baseline money to everyone, everything goes up in cost over time. You’re creating a vicious cycle that is inflationary. On the other side of the equation, making matters worse, is the deflation of taxed assets. If you have a piece of land, for example, and suddenly there’s a new tax on it, the value of that land drops. It’s not unlike your car which is perhaps worth 15,000, but the moment you find out your air conditioner is broken, the value of the car drops by the cost of repair. The broken A/C and the tax are the same.
- There’s just not enough money. You’re talking about instituting a program which costs three trillion a year. The total net worth of all Americans is about 70 trillion; and the total US GDP is 19T. If the cost of UBI was around 1% of any of those numbers, it might work; but it’s not. Of particular concern is the ratio of UBI to GDP; you might recall that when the ACA was being scored (at that mythical 1T over 10 years) it was estimated to drop GDP by .5% per year, and yes, there were calculations done using velocity of money equations showing how much the economy would be stimulated by putting more money into the hands of the lower income group. With the fact in mind that an additional government expenditure of .1T per year would lower GDP growth by .5% (and it’s corresponding impact on jobs and wage), one cannot imagine what the impact of adding an expenditure of 2.9T a year would do to GDP growth, especially considering the fact (as you mention twice above) that UBI would allow some to not work productively at all.
I think we can comfortably conclude that it would kick us right into a recession.