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Comment Re:4/5 in favor (Score 1) 751

Let's call a "sub-livable wage" X. Let's say the EITC or similar supplement to get to "livable" is Y. If Megacorp pays X, and the government pays Y, how exactly is that worse than having the government pay X + Y? What happens when all the people who only used to cost Y a year now cost X + Y, plus they're still spending their disposable income at Megacorp & Friends to improve their bottom line? You really think that's preferable?

it would drive up the wages of these menial jobs

I'd love to hear the plausible explanation for this one. If you were only worth X before, you're not worth more now. The most likely outcome is that people drop out of the labor force en masse, figuring they'd rather sit at home and smoke weed than get up and work. After all, if you can't be denied a "livable wage" just for breathing in and out, and you're a low-skill worker, what's the point? Nobody's going to clock 40 hours a week for $1 an hour. Given the high tax rates needed to pay a mincome, employers aren't going to be able to pay you $15 an hour for flipping burgers.

This is like the arguments for higher minimum wages. Yeah, at the margins, you don't see widespread layoffs with modest increases. But if doubling it is fair, and there are no downsides, why not triple? Quadruple?

Comment Re:basic income? (Score 1) 751

Basic income is the idea that everyone gets it, regardless of need. Even Bill Gates. The only bureaucrats required are those who verify your citizenship status and some people to write the checks. Citizen? Here's a check.

This is very efficient. Administration costs almost nil as a percent of expenditures. The problem is that some people tend to spend all their money on vices rather than their children. So now you have to introduce housing vouchers, food stamps, etc... and you get the same welfare system you have today, plus a basic income.

Comment Re:4/5 in favor (Score 1) 751

The great thing about mincome is that it's really, really efficient to administer. Are you a citizen? You get a check. A thousand people could administer it for the entire US. The bad things about mincome are that it's really expensive, and that people will oppose it as "corporate welfare" (really, just look at what is said against the Earned Income Tax Credit) for giving those greedy corporations workers at a very low price.

Add in universal suffrage, and the mincome just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It's a decent idea, but the implementation details sink it.

Comment Re:Alternative to Clinton? (Score 1) 676

Jerry Brown would be an interesting addition to the race. I saw him in a panel discussion in the late 90s, in which he asserted that unilateral disarmament by the US would serve as a model for other countries. Henry Kissinger bluntly replied, "How did you ever get elected governor of California?"

Aside from that, if we're going to have a Democrat as the next president, he'd be a far better choice than Clinton. How about a Jindal-Brown matchup?

Comment Re:Alternative to Clinton? (Score 1) 676

Trump has zero chance of winning the Republican nomination, let alone the election. Quit worrying about it. He's popular because he's saying a lot of things a career politician won't... but there's a reason that government mostly consists of career politicians.

Comment Re:Statists will not go quietly into the night (Score 1) 330

Not even close to true. My wife's car isn't insured at all. It's old, a wreck would cost more to fix than it's worth. She, as a driver, is insured against harms to others. I haven't dropped the insurance on my car yet, because it's worth around $20k and I don't feel like eating that if I have a wreck, but when it drops below $10k or so there will be no point - I can self-insure against that kind of loss, so why pay someone else? I'll still keep my uninsured-motorist coverage and liability to protect me, but the car itself is no longer worth insuring at that point.

Comment Re:Statists will not go quietly into the night (Score 1) 330

If European taxis are great, explain why I spent half an hour at the Place de la Concorde (not exactly out in the suburbs) waiting for one unoccupied taxi to show up at a marked taxi stand before giving up and just walking. I had a broken toe at the time, so I had a pretty strong incentive to ride rather than walk.

Is your job running? You'd better go catch it!