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Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 658

Why should we make that assumption?

Because it sets some bars that are useful in illustrating a point that is actually real, but that is impossible to convey without creating an artificial situation that exemplifies it. The set-up is legitimate: when I worked at Wendy's, it was clear we wouldn't sell more burgers by staffing more people; but we were profiting, and we had exactly enough people that we could make the burgers and fries as fast as they were ordered at any given time, and we would still be profiting with a few pennies increase in wages, and still be cheaper than buying and maintaining machines at the time. This is a thing that is actually real.

If labor is cheap, they will use business strategies that take advantage of that abundant resource (and drive up demand) If labor is more expensive, they will find alternatives.

It's not a blending though. It's this behavior, and there is a lot of ground to cover on both sides to hit that cross-over point.

Who is this "we" that are "ensuring" things? Where are the resources coming from? You cannot cheat market value. Trying to manipulate market value with top-down governmental policies will backfire when people take advantage of any perverse incentives created.

It's possible with the amount of money we currently spend on direct welfare. Our current welfare system discourages work. By creating a more efficient welfare system using the same financial resources, we increase value by moving power into the hands of workers and allowing for a free-market solution to wages and employment.

The current solution is "if you don't work, you will die." That's an artificial market solution with a dictatorial nobility oligarchy. We try to counter that by minimum wage; it has problems, but they're smaller than the problem of supplying work to desperate workers. My solution eliminates minimum wage, its problems, the problems of qualified welfare, and the problem of desperation, without eliminating the demand for employment; demand for employment increases, compared to our current welfare system, because getting a job when you're on our current welfare system tends to leave you with less money.

Comment: Are biological self-reproducing robots ... robots? (Score 1) 372

by Khopesh (#48636235) Attached to: The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots
Who is to say that we'd even be able to conceive these "robots" as anything but another form of life? They'd have to tell us that they were manufactured, and given the required self-sufficiency of space travel, said "manufacture" would probably be rather akin to what we call "reproduction." All of these lines are blurred when talking about sufficiently advanced technology and science.

Comment: Re:This is worse than mythology. (Score 4, Insightful) 372

There's been a trend of treating science like speculative fiction. A few dissenters have tried to explain to us that AI is a set of computer algorithms that make intelligent decisions, not necessarily by human-like thought process, but with human-like outcome; but people are fixated on the idea of AI being a warlike species with infinite reach, immediately taking hostile control of all network systems, rewriting firmware to turn anything capable of generating or measuring electromagnetic noise into a transceiver, and turning every piece of electronic machinery into a drone node specializing in the killing of biologicals.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 658

Did you see the part where I countered that I paid off my own student debt in 3 years as opposed to your hypothetical 30 year mortgage?

Yes, that's called anecdote. It's cool that your $30k loan could go down in 3 years; it's also cool that the 5 colleges around me have students coming out with $192,000 of tuition over 4 years, plus books, plus lab fees, plus registration fees, and none of these kids have jobs. In the IT field, I had coworkers who were on their 12th year of student loans, with over $100k of balance.

It has been estimated (as of April, 2014) that 75% of college graduates will be paying their student loans in their 50s. In America, many student have over $200k of debt; some have over $400k; and we have a 10-year deferral where interest accrues, which is massively expensive. One of the big cons of loans is the concept of loss of balance: by the time you've half paid a mortgage or a student loan, you've paid way more than the original borrowed sum. The Federal government is putting new regulations in place to cancel student debt after 30 years (England already does this); this isn't a loss because, 30 years in, you'll have paid well more than you borrowed anyway. You haven't paid your contracted obligation, but you've paid the bank the amount borrowed, plus inflation, plus a profit on top.

Welcome to the real world, where we have $1 trillion in student debt in America.

That's not an emotional appeal.

You said we should advocate education in all its forms. There is no justification for such a statement; it leaves open every possible situation, every possible expense, every possible idea. We could advocate education by providing state-funded tuition and housing so that people don't have to work or pay for food and housing while being educated; we could combine this with re-education, in case the market is flooded in your career and so you need to go back to college. In that situation, you could just spend your entire life in college, being paid by the government, and just take 400 degree programs until you die. It would not be productive; it would be state welfare.

You may not be aware of this, but you see education as a thing we give individuals. You don't see college education as a hand-out to businesses, but as a service to the student. Because of this, any suggestion that we should take away state support for college education feels, to you, as if we're advocating taking things away from people. When things are taken away, they must go somewhere; presumably, they go to other people who are not the poor and the middle class. Your immediate reflex is to see this as taking things away from the poor and giving them to the rich.

Think about that for a minute. Then think about what I said about cheap labor. State-supported universal college education is a hand-out to the rich at the expense of the poor.

You crazy? Are you selectively looking at giant corporations that make widgets that have a 30 year shelf-life? There are startups that genesis, rise, fall, and get resurrected in the span of 5 years.

Even a startup that only survives 5 years has a business plan. Often that plan doesn't pan out; but the business won't survive such a massive shift in direction that it needs to fire an entire class of employees and hire a different class. In short: your business isn't going to have to fire half its programmers and hire nurses; your business isn't even going to have to fire half its 3D designers and hire Web designers. Your business operates in a certain market sector with a certain type of operation needing certain styles of operation; growth is lower risk, diversification is higher risk, and complete changes of market are nearly impossible.

I predict that I will need water, light clothes, food, and a compass to cross the desert. If I get into the desert and find an oasis, I may realize I need more water, and stock up. If I haven't predicted that the desert is so vast and so hot, I may simply die out there. I won't suddenly need to dump all my water, throw out my food, and build a boat; that won't work. (This works the other way, too: your ship may sink; you can't simply charter a camel if you realize your ship wasn't properly equipped for the ocean voyage, or it was but you went out and encountered a tropical storm.)

I assume you're not a business executive, project manager, PHR, or risk management professional. This is simply outside your professional field of understanding.

That'd be lovely, but all too often we see them preferring to simply hire contractors who already have the skills.

Yes, because they're available. Remember what I said about not having the state provide a mechanism for the individual to actually get those skills already? Re-assess that in a world where people don't already have the skills: you can't just hire someone because there are one million programmers and fifty million programmer jobs, and nobody can afford college on their own. What do you do? What would a business do? What strategy would give a business a competitive edge over its skilled-labor-starved competitors who cannot find the professionals they need?

Unless you can sit back, smoke your cigar, massage your bag of gold coins, and just wait for these poor schmucks to make themselves into useful tools for you to hire, you're going to have to toss some of your gold coins their way and send them off to the big trade school factory that makes them into trained professionals. With universal college education, you don't have to put your own coins in the pot to get these people trained; without universal college education, if you want a tool, you're going to have to pay assloads for one of the very few available, or make one yourself. Guess which way businesses want it?

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 658

by bluefoxlucid (#48628737) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Let's say businesses are willing to hire 100 guys at $5/hour, but min wage is $8/hour, so they only hire 60 guys instead.

Let's say those businesses can make a profit hiring 100 guys at $10/hr, and will make less of a profit hiring 90 guys at $10/hr, and less of a profit hiring 60 guys at $10/hr. Let's say, as well, that demand sharply drops off after the production capacity possible with 100 guys: they make less of a profit hiring 110 guys at $5/hr than they make hiring 100 guys at $5/hr. If they can negotiate $5/hr, they will hire 100 guys; if they are forced to a minimum wage of $10/hr, they will hire 100 guys; and, if minimum wage is $15/hr, the demand slowly tapering off (S-curve) will cause them to only hire 70 guys at $15/hr.

People are not dying from burger flipping or running the cashiers.

People need some 2000kcal of food intake per day to live. Paying people enough for 1500kcal of food intake per day will lead to malnutrition over time, as they can't get enough food. If they aren't paid at all, they simply starve immediately.

While this may sound good, implementations harm those who work and reward those who do not work. Since work is essential to the improvement and maintenance of human civilization, this effectively undermines and destroys civilization.

Providing everyone for the means to live will not destroy the desire to work.

Our current implementation of welfare creates a situation in which you should *not* seek employment, because you may permanently lose welfare. Bouncing into and then back out of employment can disqualify you from receiving welfare you could have kept receiving. Further, the welfare may be more than or only slightly less than the wages; why would you work for a quarter an hour?

An unconditional guaranteed supply of the basic needs of life would avoid this welfare trap. Employment always increases income; however, employment also reduces quality-of-life, and so compensation must be equal to the exertion of employment plus the time. This exchange provides a null impact on a person's life; wealth is increased by using the wages to afford things which increase the quality-of-life during time spent outside work. Because of this, minimum wage is no longer an imperative: we have ensured a minimum standard of living, and placed negotiation power in the hands of the laborer.

I ask you: if you had the money to afford a bedroom big enough for a twin bed (roughly the size of a small bathroom), a sitting room slightly larger, a small kitchen, and a bathroom that includes a shower stall (with sink basin in the shower) and a toilet crammed in the corner, would you be happy? Would you spend every dime you have on rent, on meager and tasteless food, on shoddy clothes, and find yourself hardly able to afford a Frisbee to play with? Or would you seek to live in something that isn't slightly larger than a Singapore apartment, something more than half the size of a studio in New York, with enough money to not financially ruin yourself by eating at Burger King four times in one month?

I am rather certain this doesn't undermine and destroy civilization, as you could have essentially the same standard of living if you convinced someone to let you sleep in his tool shed and take a shower and some bread each day in exchange for sucking his dick before and after work. In my system, I've eliminated the dick sucking part.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 658

by bluefoxlucid (#48628623) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

You should advocate education. In all it's forms.

This is an emotional appeal most people have fallen for. Think about if I can hand you something that is, in itself, a boon: if I give you food, food is good for you, and will help you. Taking that something away is a bad thing. Assume this thing is pure, and in fact good for you to have in all cases.

That's education.

The problem is the circumstance in which you receive it. With college education, we take two burdens from businesses: cost and risk. The risk, in particular, is very context-sensitive: businesses know who they want to hire, and they know what direction their business is moving in; they can manage their human resources effectively by building skills in their employees. Anyone who tells you a business can't predict its need for technical people in 5 years and would be completely ineffective at planning for their workforce effectively has no idea what he's talking about.

This risk, on businesses, equates to hiring entrants for cheap, shifting crap work from highly-skilled labor (expensive) to entrants (cheap), and improving the entrants (relatively cheap, and amortized) so that more complex work can be moved from the highly-skilled labor. This allows you to reduce costs by making more efficient use of your expensive resources, rather than pouring gold over every cheap plastic bit.

On individuals, it's different. Individuals need to pick out what general market will have the most need for their skills after college (in 4 years), and move in that direction. Their ability to switch course is severely eroded after the first year (you can only front load so much gen-ed), and so they must settle on a declared major. For at least three years, they take risk in earnest; the longer they're in school, the higher the risk. If they come out into a market which is now saturated, they may face unemployment; changing careers at any stage induces sunk costs, and more costs are sunk the longer they stay in college. Likewise, a high-demand career may come with an increase in tuition costs to the student, further increasing risk. When the college is funded by tax dollars, the risk is transferred to the taxpayer basis.

With the risk transferred to individuals, businesses see an increase in available trained, skilled labor. This means they can flatten the costs of labor by lowering salaries: Instead of a $100k programmer, a $30k entrant, and $30k ($7.5k/year) paying for the entrant's college education while profiting by moving cleanup and QA off the $100k programmer to the $30k entrant and giving more tasks to the $100k programmer, the business can just hire two $60k skilled programmers. This gives the business two *skilled* programmers, instead of one skilled and on entrant, allowing greater management flexibility and the ability to implement more aggressive business strategies.

You'll notice that providing universal college education effectively reduces people's salaries and increases unemployment risk, while reducing costs to businesses and improving their ability to profit from individuals.

In other words: by giving a college education to everyone, we are disenfranchising and burdening the individual laborer, and giving a hand-out to businesses.

Interestingly, the logic above would indicate that universal education plans as such actually work out better the higher your income level: poor people can't handle these risks, and even a fully-paid tuition ending in having an oversupplied degree is worse than a situation where they only have to get hired as an unskilled entrant with a solid high-school education. Our current system is an absolute abomination, as it puts debt risk on the poor: if we can't guarantee them employment immediately out of college, they can't afford to even try. Any hope of possibly scraping by on a McDonalds salary evaporates when you have to pay your student loan debt on top of all the other shit.

Yeah, I dunno dude, automation keeps taking away more jobs. When they come for the paper pushers, I'm not sure I'm going to say anything.

That's why I'm designing a system that doesn't break that way. Remember unemployment insurance? Everyone loses their jobs, so you have to spend 10 times as much, but you didn't tax that much? And now the economy is falling apart, so you jack up taxes, and make it worse? Yeah, no. 100% saturation 100% of the time means you always have the net under everyone, and don't have to make it bigger when the economy tanks. You avoid that damage.

You do this by giving welfare to *everyone*. Mark Zuckerberg should be collecting a check from the government that's enough for a broke, unemployed asshole to afford a cramped apartment and barely-edible food; although, due to his massive income, the taxes collected from him to support it will be a shitload bigger, and he'll come out net-negative on the welfare system. That's fine; anyone who isn't on welfare comes out net-negative on the welfare system now. Thing is, if Zuckerberg falls into ruin, the money being funneled in his direction will be funneled in some other direction, and taxed, and he'll still receive that same government check without paying the same taxes.

It might be better informed guesses than the average shmuck, and avoid some of the more obvious pitfalls, but I have little faith that any social plan will work as intended. And if you don't think economics have anything to do with human culture and social trends, then I have zero faith in any economic plan you have. Like you said, it's complex.

Risk. I'm a risk professional. Or expert. I hate these words; I have a lot to learn about everything, so calling myself an expert is ridiculous. Still, there are ways to deal with risk; the first thing you must do is recognize how confident you are in an outcome, and how important it would be if you were wrong.

I prefer conservative politics because large leaps are hard to control: if I retracted the entire college education program (student loan program, mainly), we'd need to wait years for tuition to stabilize and employers to pick up the remaining unemployed and integrate new human resources management strategies, accepting all bad things *and* the possibility (and impacts) of me being totally wrong about that. I could be completely *correct*, but facing a stubborn market that hobbles itself for 15 years before new executive blood finally gets the ball rolling and starts behaving as I've predicted--which is just as bad as being wrong. I raise the issue a lot without pushing for any specific action because I don't have specific action which remains safe if the world doesn't play by my rules.

By contrast, my welfare plan includes dropping all kinds of welfare systems, repealing minimum wage, and even eliminating OASDI (old-age pensions and disability insurance through Social Security). Many of these are state-supported, and so I leave those in place: the Federal Government has no place dictating what the states do with their tax systems, *and* their welfare systems will scale back and take up the slack during transition--or if I'm completely wrong--meaning we'll have a better welfare system in all remotely-likely outcomes. OASDI is handled by cutting it back by the dividend, having a null-effect on recipients; there's a 15-year grandfathering period, after which nobody under the retirement age is going to collect old-age pensions *at* *all*, and so you have 15 years to prepare to have this new, smaller, but well-known stipend (plus medicaid and medicare) to survive in your old age.

I'm more comfortable with the welfare thing, because I can do it in pieces, with built-in controls against failure, minimizing risks. This isn't a matter of shooting randomly; it's a matter of identifying how big the unknowns are, and putting a bridge about that big across those gaps. I like this because being almost-right is good enough; by contrast, the college education thing is an important observation, but I can't give you any recommended action because I'm not an oracle and have no way to compensate for that.

I doubt it will be any less complex, or at least won't become as complex in time.

It's one administration, including claims; but the claims are automatic (keep your address or ACH updated), and the potential for fraud is minimal (you can't fake qualification; you can only defraud by identity theft).

The part where the social security admin has to directly process contracts between citizens and slum lords is probably a no-go.

That's a feature, not a requirement. It allows a two-party agreement to be facilitated through the administration, as a way for recurrent payments to come with a stronger guarantee. If the payment isn't coming, the recipient (e.g. landlord) will be informed; if the recipient cancels the contract, the collector (individual) will be informed that his service (e.g. lease) will end. This reduces non-payment risk, which means you can charge less. Of course, if the customer has some cash on hand, you can instead enter a bond with an escrow fund or such. If they refuse, you can self-insure against non-payment risk by charging them higher rent; but that may be impossible for the tenant to afford.

Honestly, that part, I think, is the part I can make the most effective argument for in any debate. The rest is radically new; but risk management is a firmly understood concept, and very easily illustrated. The rest of the market forces discussion requires a great deal of faith in economic theories the listener may not understand, and in any case cannot directly confirm against reality even if reality appears to actually behave that way.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 658

by bluefoxlucid (#48626595) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Actually, we have farm subsidies because the oversupply was increasing the price of food. There were so many suppliers with so much land they had to take a loss on land (missed profits) and would risk a loss on production. Basic prisonner's dilemma: 10 farmers each producing 100 tons of food, but only 800 tons are bought; each farmer can't get an agreement with the other farmer, so they all produce 100 tons of food instead of 80 tons, because if you can sell your 100 tons then you can make more profits. Unsold food means unrecovered expenses in irrigation, pesticides, crop maintenance, seed costs, and so on; the risk of unsold food translates to costs, and the costs are rolled into the food price, so the cost of food goes up. Consumers pay for 1000 tons of food, but only buy 800 tons of food.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 658

by bluefoxlucid (#48626189) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

The only way for removing minimum wage to reduce what a worker is paid is if the labor supply is being restricted by minimum wage, thus increasing the price given the supply/demand.

The labor supply isn't restricted. We have a huge labor supply; it's the money or job supply that's restricted.

You think denying people a paying job ($0/hour) is better than them having a paying job?

It's complex.

As I said, people now must have a job to have a survivable income. A job without a survivable income is still going to help you scrape by; it raises your chances, and is better than nothing. Thus you don't have enough negotiating power to negotiate for fair compensation: If the labor will KILL you, but food and healthcare will sustain you, the proper payment is the cost of food and healthcare that will sustain you, PLUS compensation for your time; however, without an income, starvation will kill you faster, so you will work a job where you pay $10 worth of your health and receive $5 in compensation, thus dying more slowly. This is, conceptually, what happens in our current system.

It becomes complex when you consider rebalancing. Raising minimum wage does create some job scarcity, but only where the worker is less valuable than an alternative (e.g. automation, although there are many management strategies which are more expensive but more effective than others, and so become cost-effective when labor is expensive). This happens when the net profit using the worker is lower than the net profit by other means (when unprofitable, net profit by not doing anything is $0, and net profit by employing labor is negative). This means a minimum wage raise has an effect of moving money from some laborers to others.

With that in mind, you must consider: One million laborers slowly killing themselves; or half a million starving, half a million surviving? In one model, we conceptually lose everyone: no one is really better off; they merely suffer longer. In the other model, we outright give up on half of them.

This is why I prefer to ensure survival outright, to disconnect life from work. The comforts of life should be tied to employment; living itself, uncomfortable and unsympathetic, should not. Then we have no dilemma: all laborers, even unemployed, are cared for; and laborers can reject unfair employment terms, negotiating a fair deal, requiring no intervention by the government on their behalf. A great many moral questions are eliminated, as are many economic uncertainties, and many risks, many costs, and many ineffective social safety nets which try to address these problems in current.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 658

by bluefoxlucid (#48626067) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Increasing supply is not always a good thing. We have farm subsidies to prevent farmers from producing too much food; the US Government buys 500,000 tons of sugar every year specifically to reduce supply in the market.

If the supply meets demand at 500 million tons of grain, producing 20 million tons more won't do anything but create too much grain. Other suppliers will have excess, and will store it as seed grain; the next year, they'll cut back on production. They'll purchase less new seed grain.

Wealth only increases if there is actual scarcity and a new method of production reduces energy. If you invest 5 units of effort to create 10 units of product, you can increase wealth by learning to invest 4 units of effort to create 10 units of product. If you stand up a new facility which must invest 5 units of effort to create 10 units of product, you are still investing 10 units for 20, or 1 unit effort per 2 product. Wealth has not increased; scarcity may decrease. If, however, supply meets demand, adding more production facilities only consumes finite resources while creating oversupply, which doesn't increase wealth (may decrease wealth by creating waste).

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 658

by bluefoxlucid (#48620997) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Removing minimum wage right now would leave the poorest under the threat of a worse situation than a horribly low salary. The salaries they would be offered would be below tolerable, but better than nothing.

You should negotiate based on your best alternative to a negotiated agreement. When the best alternative is having nothing, anything is something. That's why we have minimum wage. My observation was that we can immediately repeal minimum wage when the best alternative to a negotiated agreement is functionally superior to working the grease fryer at McDonalds for $2/hr; we can do that by separating unemployment from death, and instead attaching it to stability and security with extreme discomfort. Our current welfare system retracts its offerings when you get a job, and can even permanently remove your security (e.g. if you get a job and lose it again, or it's actually horrible and you quit, you lose unemployment), and so pursuing employment when on welfare comes with the risk of lost stability; removing this risk but leaving discomfort and security means people will be highly motivated to seek employment, and highly motivated to refuse or abandon employment which is ill-compensated.

We don't provide an alternative to work. I want to provide one that encourages employment, but that does allow you to give anyone and everyone the finger if they refuse to hire you on fair terms.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 658

by bluefoxlucid (#48620927) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

I worry about how much of that would simply be funneled to the casinos and liqueur marts. Maybe they are acceptable parasites. I imagine it would help some people. But some of the homeless are down'n'outers are there because they can't get their act together, and handing them money isn't going to necessarily help them do so.

I abandoned this argument long ago, when I realized I could use an EBT card to buy a lot of Tide laundry detergent that I can then sell. Back in 1912, Winston Chuchill said that old-age pensions (Social Security OASDI) and unemployment insurance wouldn't save anybody; but that it would provide hope, which would encourage people to save. That's exactly what happened: people gained hope. Show people what should be a clean shot to survival--or at least a guaranteed resource that they very probably can scrape by on, and if not then they can get by with minimal help--and they will be encouraged to survive, rather than to booze out. It may still happen, but it will happen less; moreover, I do not need to put my sympathies with people whose bad decisions cost them their livelihoods when their livelihood has been bought and paid for completely by society's good graces.

If that was true, then there really wouldn't be any problems when factories had massive layoffs. And when they do eventually find work elsewhere, the extra competition drives down wages.

What of the delay between losing millions of jobs and finding a new way to capitalize on all of this available labor? Should the factory worker put aside his need for food, shelter, and clean water for three, maybe five years, until the market discovers a new way to employ them?

Except that there is work for people with real skills. Tech schools, trade schools, STEM degrees, and less so with philosophy or anthropology.

You mean that whole crippling debt thing, with the 3-5 years out of college delay to find a job, with deferred loan payments accruing interest, leaving skilled laborers with something akin to a 30-year mortgage, endless debt that will suck their paychecks dry? It delivers the upside of having dropped STEM salaries from ridiculous numbers such as $150k or $220k down to the reasonable range of $50k-$80k. I've known many Nursing students who had Nursing master's degrees, and could attain a full $40,000 annual salary... in Washington DC, where salaries are high. This when we supposedly have a nursing shortage.

Well.... I highly doubt that it wouldn't be a contentious issue and be tweaked up and down on a regular basis at the whims of the politicians and the voting blocs.

My simulations indicate that a partial dividend is viable, because I leave state welfare alone as a huge risk control: the state welfare system, in a predictable failure mode, may shrink to 10% or smaller if the dividend is not quite enough for the unemployed to survive. The single impedance I've encountered is a landlord's explanation that landlords usually don't underwrite leases of more than 1/3 of the tenant's income, as a risk control; and I find this dubious because I qualify a Citizen's Dividend as a "Right to Life" provision, guaranteeing access to all basic needs, and thus would provide it statutory immunization from taxation and court-ordered garnering of all kinds.

The landlord risk is, essentially, that the tenant may have an unpredicted medical expense, or spend their money on booze, or some such; but you can't refuse life-saving medical treatment, you can't garner this income source, and I provide an additional mechanism for two parties to agree to divert part of the payment first. This mechanism is such that the two contact the Social Security administration, sign a co-agreement to divert some dollar amount to a third party (e.g. landlord) each month, and will each be immediately notified if either party contacts to cancel the agreement (which is unilaterally effective by both parties). The risk of non-payment is non-existent. Still, landlords tell me underwriting an apartment for more than 1/3 of income is too risky.

Assuming the landlords have a legitimate complaint, a partial dividend is viable; but, as you say, it opens itself to political manipulation. I want a full dividend, 100% eliminating poverty; this becomes more viable in the future, as society's wealth increases. If we go partial, it will set precedent by giving valid reason to occasionally manipulate the system by handing out more welfare money, which is exactly what I want to never do. Obviously, with that being an expected phenomena, it will become a political talking point like minimum wage, which is being doubled and tripled in some states ($15 in 2015 and $21 by 2020?!).

The long and short of it is that economic systems like this are complex. As with all concepts, there is a complex basis--particle physics research--and a practical basis--how to construct a nuclear reactor. Practical knowledge always sounds like an oversimplification, but it's also practical and useful (some boy scout built a nuclear reactor in his garage); complex theoretical knowledge is important, and improving it allows us to summarize it as practical knowledge, developing engineering schematics that don't care about all the caveats and nuances of the field. I mostly talk about the engineering schematics: what we must do, and roughly what impact it has; but do realize that it is extremely nuanced in theory, and only simple in practice when you've ingested a ton of theory and come up with a rough diagram that doesn't violate that theory.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 658

by bluefoxlucid (#48620677) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Dividends often come from stock markets, or from board members who own a lot of common stock and get paid in stock options. Most investment nowadays isn't venture; venture investment is actually a very small portion of the investment market.

If a person wants to be a dairy farmer, he's entering a market of dairy farmers. What value is he bringing but the chance to take business (and value, and profits) away from other dairy farmers, and thus the chance to make himself and his venture backers rich?

Hold on to the root.