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Comment Re: Finland (Score 1) 441

They can't just pay $X less and hope to still have people working for them though, unless the resulting wage is high enough that the employee will be paying most or all of their UBI back in taxes, in which case the $X reduction is mostly or completely just a regular pay cut.

That doesn't really address the point ? Even if someone is being paid relatively a lot, the UBI still represents a subsidy to their employer who will be paying them roughly the equivalent of the UBI less than they would be if it didn't exist.

A job guarantee relies on there being jobs available, which as we've established is kind of the problem. I guess you could invent some pointless work for someone to do, but forcing them to spend a significant chunk of their time doing meaningless busy work doesn't strike me as being better than not forcing them to do it.

There is arguably plenty of work that is not so much "pointless" as not particularly profitable. Someone to help little old ladies on and off buses, for example. Or more teachers. Or take back all the jobs around publicly funded services that have been privatised and improve it (eg: cleaning staff).

Comment Re:I predict a lot of misunderstandings about BI (Score 1) 441

That is an incredibly convoluted way of saying "reduce the cost to business for employing people". :)

But it doesn't really explain what you're trying to achieve. The last few decades show that reduced costs to business go primarily into CxO bonuses and - maybe - shareholder dividends.

Businesses aren't charities. They won't employ more people without unmet demand. Supply-side economics is bunk.

In that context what really matters is this:

[...] while receiving an extra $269.08 deposit from Social Security every 2 weeks.

Not the reduction in taxes to business (though I agree payroll taxes are bad taxes).

As I said elsewhere, a jobs guarantee is a better and fairer option than a UBI (or similar), at least until we really do have robots that can do anything and current attitudes towards welfare have matured.

Comment Re: Finland (Score 1) 441

Let me put it another way, a UBI of $X is a subsidy of $X to employers who can pay their employees $X less and pocket the difference themselves.

A jobs guarantee (paid employment by Government for anyone who wants it) is a better and fairer solution than a UBI, at least until we really do have robots that can do anything and everything.

Comment Re: Finland (Score 1) 441

And if you don't pay your employees enough, they'll stop working for you[...]

That's OK, there's zillions more employees out there. We already have a massive surplus in workers (hence high unemployment and low wages) and that surplus is only going to keep increasing.

But since people who are working will essentially be giving their UBI back in taxes anyway, I find it hard to see it as a subsidy to businesses.

Employer pays someone a dollar an hour to work 20 hours a week. Worker needs UBI to live.

What scenario are you envisaging where a worker will be paying back their entire UBI in taxes ?

Comment Re: Don't forget (Score 2) 351

Yes, it is.

The only free market is one without any rules. So no property rights, no contracts, no money, no fraud, no standards, nothing.

Anything else and all you're doing is arguing about the extent of regulation you want in your market.

It shouldn't take long with a history book to conclude where "no rules" inevitably ends up.

Comment Re:Finland (Score 1) 441

The ironic thing is that this is basic investing, that businesses should be glad to be doing. I don't get why this is not done more often.

Socialise the costs, privatise the profits.

Why would businesses pay for something when they can get everyone else to pay for it instead and take the money they would have spent in CxO bonuses ?

Comment Re:Ever the optimist is our Elon (Score 0) 426

90% of the work we're doing now (and probably closer to 100% of slashdotters' work) doesn't *need* to be done, but we do it anyway.

That's because the alternative is to just give them the things they need to live, which bothers a lot of people who like to take the position that the only moral way to survive is to work.

It has nothing to do with Maslow. If people's time wasn't taken up with bullshit jobs, and they instead were able to do work they found personally fulfilling without having to worry about working to survive, then their esteem and self-actualisation would be taken care of.

Government

Largest Auto-Scandal Settlement In US History: Judge Approves $15 Billion Volkswagen Settlement (usatoday.com) 128

A federal just has approved the largest auto-scandal settlement in U.S. history, a $14.7 billion settlement concerning Volkswagen Group's diesel car emissions scandal. USA Today reports: U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco approved the sweeping agreement between consumers, the government, California regulators and the German automaker in a written ruling a week after signaling he was likely to sign off. He said the agreement is "fair, reasonable and adequate." The settlement comes about a year after Volkswagen admitted that it rigged 11 million vehicles worldwide with software designed to dodge emissions standards. The company is still facing criminal investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and German prosecutors. The U.S. probe could lead to additional financial penalties and criminal indictments. About 475,000 Volkswagen owners in the U.S. can choose between a buyback or a free fix and compensation, if a repair becomes available. VW will begin administering the settlement immediately, having already devoted several hundred employees to handling the process. Buybacks range in value from $12,475 to $44,176, including restitution payments, and varying based on milage. People who opt for a fix approved by the Environmental Protection Agency will receive payouts ranging from $5,100 to $9,852, depending on the book value of their car. Volkswagen will also pay $2.7 billion for environmental mitigation and another $2 billion for clean-emissions infrastructure.

Comment Re:Not a minicomputer (Score 1) 40

A minicomputer is typically the size of a small fridge,

More the size of a large fridge. A small modern fridge is about the size of a PC. Towards the very end of the mini-computer era, DEC did produce some that kind of size, but your typical mini-computer occupied one to four cabinets, each about 4' or 6' tall. The term mini-computer distinguished them from mainframes, which tended to need a whole room.

Comment Re:Bribe? (Score 1) 122

Why not both ?

As an aside, can you imagine the unholy shitstorm that would be making the rounds if any of this were happening to Apple ?

Exploding iPhones... The internet might not cope with that, and then Apple bribing people to keep quiet about the whole thing ? We might have a singularity event...

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