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Comment Re: Basic income (Score 1) 603

A properly implemented basic income basically does nothing more than rescale the vertical axis of of an income distribution curve, centered on the mean income. A basic income of around, say, $1000/mo, would be around 25% of the mean income. To fund that and remain revenue neutral would thus require a 25% additional income tax (which would be more than offset by the basic income it's paying for for the vast majority of people). Those together have the effect of moving every point on a graph of income distribution to 75% of its previous distance (on the y-axis) from the mean income's position (on the y-axis). The total amount of money in the economy remains the same, the lineup of who is richer than who remains the same, the qualitative shape of the income curve remains the same, it just gets a little squished vertically. You didn't suddenly print a bunch of free money, you just shuffled it around a little bit. Why would that cause rampant inflation? Some people have more money to spend, sure, and others have a little less. The amount of money in circulation is the same. Whence the inflation?

Comment Re:I don't even like Uber but (Score 1) 603

How are people supposed to get independent of their parents if they can't get the income they need to be independent of them until they are independent of them?

What about people who are students and don't have parents that they can be dependent on, working their way through school? Do they get the money they need to survive, or the lower student income? Do the first group above (people struggling to get independent of their parents) have to go through a barely-surviving stage like this before you start paying them enough to survive?

What about working people who go back to school to try to get training to get better, higher-paying jobs? Do you cut their pay while they're doing that?

Comment Re:Basic income (Score 1, Insightful) 603

the fact that until you find a job that exceeds that you get no benefit

This is not true, or shouldn't be and doesn't need to be true.

Let's say we set the basic income to 50% the mean wage (which would be about $25k/year basic income, or a little over $2k/mo), and fund it by a 50% tax on all incomes (which is more than offset by the basic income for about 75% of the populace who currently fall below that mean income). A homeless with no income thus suddenly has a free income of about $2k/mo. But every nominal dollar they earn on top of that, they still get to keep 50 cents of it. If they get a full time minimum wage job, that amounts to over $600/mo extra. If they get a full time median-wage job (around $25k), that amounts to around $1000/mo extra. On top of the basic income. By the time they're working a full-time mean-wage job (around $50k), they're making twice as much as the basic income, after basic income and the taxes they pay to fund it are factored in (and the basic income and the taxes they pay to fund it exactly cancel out in that case). And even at that point, there is still motive to continue working; if they make twice that again, they're still going to end up with yet another extra $1000/mo or so (compared to the mean income) after taxes and basic income are accounted for.

If you were to make the basic income something more like $1000/mo, which is barely enough to survive off of in many places (that's slightly more than what my destitute mother's SSI pays), or about 25% the mean income (or half the median income), and fund that with a 25% additional income tax, then instead people would be able to keep 75 cents out of every dollar they earn, on top of their basic income.

In any case, you'd have to set the basic income up in some kind of pants-on-head retarded way (like the way current welfare payments like SSI are set up) in order for it to not pay off to work unless you can get a job paying more than the basic income pays. Any sane way of doing it would provide incentive to work more at any income level. Yes, even the people making a millions per year: if the choice is between doing something that beings in another million of which you get to keep half or three-quarters or whatever, or not doing that and getting nothing at all, which do you think people are going to choose?

Comment Re:Welcome to the future of capitalism (Score 1) 603

There being so few people rich enough to do anything with their ideas and so many poor people consequently beholden to those rich people is bad.

If the money actually flowed from the idle rich to the hardworking poor then the problem would solve itself, but it seems somehow (*coughrentandinterestcough*) the money always ends up flowing right back into the hands of the rich to spend over and over again ad infinitum, and never actually accrues in the hands of the poor who are nominally being paid it.

Comment Re:America! (Score 3, Insightful) 603

I mean, when did burger flipping become a "real job" instead of something teens did in high school?

When jobs on that pay scale became the only kinds of jobs that an enormous fraction of the populous can get (and having a job working for someone else became necessary for survival because everything everywhere is owned by someone else so you either work for whoever will hire you or die).

Comment Re: News for Nazis (Score 1) 1545

First off, "fake news" doesn't mean what you're using it to mean here. Editorial, spin, distortion, or misinterpretation of real events to score political points is not "fake news". Deliberately making up complete fabrications out of whole cloth, knowing (on the part of the creator) that they are fake, and trying to get other people to believe it, is what "fake news" means.

Second, I'd like to see an example of Trump mocking an able-bodied person in the same way as he mocked the disabled person in question. (It seems plausible that he maybe does 'retard hands' like that as a way of mocking people in general, which still is not great on his part, but I'd like to know for the record whether that's really the case or not).

Comment Re:Not impulsive at all (Score 1) 1545

I can see where it comes from easily. You try appealing to someone's reason and it fails. You try appealing to someone's empathy and it fails. You're arguing against a closed-minded heartless brick wall of an opponent; you're not really going to convince them of anything, in any way, because their purpose in life is to disagree with you no matter what. So the best you can do is hope to dissuade others from falling in with their same lot, and one way to do that is to just publicly look down on the opponent, snub them, make them seem like the uncool kid who nobody wants to be like. So you get smug. Your opponent is an obvious moron and you publicly can't see any reason why anyone with two brain cells to rub together would so much as give them the time of day. They're not even worth listening to. Hopefully, if you give off that air, people won't listen to them, and won't fall into the trap out of which they can't be reasoned. Of course if someone asks what makes them so uncool, you still give reasons, but the default before that conversation happens is just an air of them not even being worth talking about.

Comment Re:Not a single time traveler? (Score 5, Funny) 1545

Time travelers already learned their lesson with Hitler. With no Trump presidency, there's no WWIII, and the technology that leads to time travel never gets invented, so using time travel to prevent America from getting trumped is pointless because paradox. Just like with Hitler and WWII, so since we already learned our lesson about how futile such things are there, none of us bother trying to run face first into paradox over Trump. Sad.

Comment Re:That's what we call a buying opportunity. (Score 2) 168

If you're invested in index funds, as you should be, the performance of your investment tracks the performance of the overall market, so if things bounce back in a week, it doesn't matter to you if a bunch of inefficiently human-managed mutual funds lost a bunch of money in that dip, the market is back up so so are your indexed investments and you're still doing just fine.

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 1) 311

$100k household income is about 200% the median household income, so that not the best choice for "middle class". (It is around the mean household income, but some 75% of Americans are below the mean. Then again, real middle class status based on rent and interest expenses vs unearned incomes is large unattainable to even that 75% percentile, so maybe that's not such a bad choice, somewhere between the "like most people" and "actually capital-neutral" senses of "middle class").

Not that that undermines the rest of your point.

Comment Re:wow, great (Score 1) 181

The solution is easy and has been mathematically proven for literally hundreds of years: use a Condorcet method to count ballots and strategic voting is a thing of the past.

The much harder followup problem, however, is how to get the people in power, who benefit from the broken system we have now, to implement that easy solution to something they consider a feature, not a bug.

Comment Re:Nothing to do with Trump (Score 1) 432

The company that owns that investment is in your country.

Think as if it were people: a given American citizen might $X invested domestically, or $2X invested internationally. In the latter case, the American citizen has twice as much money invested somewhere earning him more money, which is better for him, the American, even though that money isn't invested in other Americans.

Comment Re:Yay (Score 2) 432

You realize they said the same thing about Obama curbing Bush's then-decried use of Executive Orders, don't you?

The ACLU had this huge list of things that Obama could and should have done on day one, using Executive Orders, to reverse bad things that Bush had done before, and the Democrat narrative in response to that was "he can't do those things because Executive Orders are bad and Bush was bad to use them and we shouldn't use them or else the next Republican president will feel even more emboldened to use them". And then they went and used them anyway -- on things other than fixing the problems Bush caused -- and yeah, almost certainly emboldened Trump to use them even though he decries Obama's use of them every bit as much as Obama decried Bush's.

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