I’ll start by pointing out that this was always meant to be ballpark math to show the general viability of UBI in its scope, and so my intent throughout was to show, conservatively, that we very much have the ability to fund it, and it’s only a matter of political will to do so.

GDP doesn’t do this at all; this is a flagrant disregard of what GDP is, which is a measurement of course of production. It cannot be “routed” to specific program use, no matter how much political will you have.

Let me start out by saying that UBI is probably the most insane idea I have ever heard, and is proposed in utter disregard to human nature, by which I mean this:

Image for post
Image for post

This is just one of about a million studies which show that the primary component of life satisfaction is employment. Individuals who are on the dole exhibit markedly lower life satisfaction levels; which is why people who are on the dole end up with higher rates of substance abuse and a host of other mental and physical problems.

Now, I apologize in advance, but I’m about to psychoanalyze you a bit.

I have noticed on Medium that some of the strongest proponents of UBI are the creatives, of which you appear to be one. I am starting to wonder if creatives are wired a bit differently than the rest of us are in the above regard. Where the life satisfaction of most of the population comes from our ability to produce, perhaps the life satisfaction of creatives comes from their ability to create. If this is the case, it would explain why the creatives (1) embrace UBI, (2) reject alternatives like guaranteed jobs (because who can paint write or sculpt if you’re cutting grass all day), and (3) don’t appreciate the fact that the bulk population needs to work productively in order to be happy, because (4) all the creatives need to do is have paid-for time to create.

End of digression. Back to economics.

With regards to using GDP versus total tax revenue, it seems a bit like potato potahto to me, just different ways of expressing the exact same idea.

No. What you’re suggesting is what is essentially a federal SALES tax (it can be collected in different ways, normally on each stage of production) that immediately raises the cost of everything in the US by 18%.

There are a host of cascading effects that then occur as consumers and businesses adjust to compensate for the new reality. Not many of those cascading effects are good for the average dude. Point is that you’ve created a vicious cycle which leads to an economy that will soon be circling the drain.

Look, here’;s your problem in a nutshell:

Image for post
Image for post

1.23 in taxes? But wait! US tax revenue in 2013 was is in the 2.9T range. Why only 1.2?

Well, this:

Image for post
Image for post

Only about half of fed tax revenue comes from the personal income tax. And all that payroll tax is earmarked for other purposes. So, if you want an extra 3.25T, you need to increase the personal income tax by 266% in one fell swoop.

Nonstarter. You need a formula based around productive work, not additional dole.

Written by

Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store