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Comment Re:Moronic argument (Score 1) 1135

How about instead of "giving" them money we continue to have jobs so that people can work.

Jobs are paid for by the consumer. Jobs are created by consumer capacity to buy. Consumer capacity to buy is a factor of the consumer's income (paid for by other consumer spending) and the cost of goods (which, at a minimum, must cover the wages of the labor-hours involved in producing those goods).

Unemployment baselines are a natural part of an economy that's grown population until it hit scarcity, then stopped growing. New technology makes products cheaper, moving some people out of their jobs temporarily, then allowing the consumer to use the extra money left over after prices (eventually) come down (fail to keep up with inflation) to buy new things, creating replacement jobs. When new technology also allows scaling production up without scaling the required labor *faster* (15% more workers to make 10% more goods), scarcity is uncapped, and the population can again grow.

Fiat currency is backed by production. It's backed by the useful output of labor. That whole pile of income rolled over every year represents everything that was made and sold. Print twice as much money and make (and sell) twice as much stuff and you have zero change in the buying-power of a dollar; print twice as much money and make the same amount of stuff and your dollar is worth half as much.

Why did they make SNAP all card based and put restrictions on what you can purchase? Because an extremely large percentage of people were not purchasing food for their kids, they were drinking and smoking the money away.

This is why I specify against a cash payment per child, and instead for an EBT system for children of low-income families: avoids *increasing* the risk in a basic income system above current baseline. This risk is low (and more personal) for individuals receiving payments for themselves: when it's their own stomach that's rumbling, they'll look for food.

Taking from the productive people to give to the unproductive incentivizes non-productivity.

Current welfare is taken away when you become productive. That means you might get $10.50/hr of welfare services and have FedEx offer you a $10.75/hr job; that's a quarter an hour, and fuck that. Universal Social Security continues to pay, and the top tax bracket is still only 40%, so a $10.75/hr job is still actually adding more than $8.50/hr to your pocket after taxes versus not working.

Mind you, I'm working off a model that costs $1 trillion less, counting the downward movement of income as a "cost", so the taxes taken are relatively close to the modern model and the final result is *much* less taxes retained. A single individual with a $150,000 income has $3,800 more money per year under my system.

Comment Re:Soros? (Score 1) 1135

far less than the $3.2 trillion per year needed to provide every American with $10,000/year stated by an earlier poster. So that's already $2 trillion unaccounted for right there.

Essentially, those numbers are ludicrous. When including a public aid system cut back to give EBT covering children of low-income households (rather than just handing out more cash every time you pop out a baby), the burden to taxpayers (counting money moving downward from rich hands into poor hands as "burden on taxpayers") is a trillion dollars lower.

Is $10,000/year even enough to live on in the US? [] lists the price of a one bedroom apartment outside the city center as $900/month, i.e. around $11,000/year.

You're thinking in terms of today's market. There's a huge amount of overhead in cost of risk that doesn't scale downward to small income demographics, because those demographics have unstable risk. I talked about this.

There would be no money left over for food, education, medicine, etc.

Medical and education are separate considerations. We have entire budgets and even economic debates over those; I understand both sides of the education economic debate, and I stand on the side that workforce development branded as "education" is an economically-harmful practice that creates a lot of waste in training excessively-large skilled workforces and flooding the labor market (I'm the guy who invented that argument in the first place; it takes several pages to explain).

so anyone who is poor today would still be poor under this new system - and living out on the street. Well, nicely done - you did not eliminate poverty after all

Checking my models.

National average HUD eligibility for extremely-low-income households for 1, 2, and 3 persons are $12,650, $14,200, and $15,800. These households's after-tax incomes would increase by approximately $7,250 for single-adult households and $14,500 for two-adult households. For just low-income households, incomes are $29,450, $33,700, and $37,900. Their incomes increase by just under $7,000 for single-adult households and just under $14,000 for two-adult households. Again: each of these households also gets an EBT-mediated public aid for any children, for any service for which they qualify (WIC food assistance, etc.), currently a state service and likely run as such for the foreseeable future.

The bottom 5%, 10%, and 15% of incomes are $7,100, $12,300, and $17,100. Such single-adult households would increase after-tax income to $13,800, $18,000, and $22,000, each above the Federal poverty lines for 1, 2, and 3 individuals, respectively. Two-adult households at these income levels would increase to $21,000, $26,000, and $30,000, above the Federal poverty lines for 3, 4, and 5 individuals.

The median Single Father household would increase its spendable income by $6,400; the median Single Mother household would increase its spendable income by $6,900.

Two-adult, married-filing households at $600,000 income would have about $30 more spendable money; two-adult, married-filing households at $700,000 income would pay $370 in additional taxes. Your average 1-adult, single-filing household is less-advantaged, with $200,000-income households retaining $1,000 more in spendable income, $300,000-income households paying $1,000 more.

Among the less-advantaged 1-income households, the top 1% income level of $330,000 pays $1,600 more in taxes. The 0.1% level of $1,700,000 pays $8,504 more in taxes. A household with $10,000,000 of income would pay $41,700 more in taxes.

These tax increases represent around $20 billion of a $1,000 billion reduction in tax burden, and can be eliminated by adjusting the general income tax (progressive). Currently, the total top-bracket income tax in my model is 40.0%, compared to 39.6% in today's tax brackets; a lower income tax is desirable.

So no homelessness, no hunger, child welfare covered no worse than the current system, no qualification for adults (meaning those welfare households are 100% guaranteed to *receive* the aid provided by UBI, rather than having to qualify for HUD vouchers and food stamps for the adult members of the household), and immediately stronger financial position for current welfare-qualifying households. I'd call that "solving poverty", since suddenly nobody in America is deprived of the basic needs of food, shelter, clean water, clothing, and personal care consumables.

Comment Re:Yes it is a straw man argument (Score 1) 1135

So now we are down to $500 billion in extra costs, which is a much more realistic figure.

$1 trillion less in costs to the tax payer.

I pay a little over $30k per year in federal income taxes

I assume that puts you in the $110k-$130k range? My current models compute that you'd take home between $5,300 and $5,000 more income at the same salary level, assuming you're single in a 1-adult household. For a 2-adult household, you must be in the $130k-$140k range, which means your household would take home between $8,900 and $8,600 of additional spendable income per year.

You're *still* paying for someone else. The average per-person is almost $7,000, and you're "getting" $4,300-$5,300 per person under my tax scheme. That other $2,700-$1,700 is coming out of your pocket and going to some other bloke; it just happens to be less than what's coming out of your pocket currently.

Comment Re:Soros? (Score 1) 1135

The extra medical support is excludable (it's either not feasible *or* you should have a separate medical care system).

As for the rest--food, housing, utilities, clothing, personal care--it's actually doable in (today's money) just under $7,000/year. The big problem is housing, and it's complex to cover; food, clothing, and personal care are easy, although a lot goes into settling out the risk.

My first attempt with this used a 2013 model and a split budget for food, clothing, and personal care of $100, $35, and $35. In 2016 I was able to model day-to-day meals in California, Washington, and Maryland on the order of $25/month for 30 days at 2000kcal/day, including beans, rice, bread, eggs, vegetables, and the infrequent rotisserie chicken (2-3 per month). Nevertheless, I found the $100 budget staggeringly difficult to work with, largely due to bootstrapping (I put pans and utensils under the Food budget, and I was going on bulk buy of beans and flour--because 50 pounds of flour costs $6.82 and 5 pounds of flour costs $3.50). With clothing and personal care being overbudgeted and more flexible (you can skip new clothes this month; you can't wait for the end of the week to get food!), I switched to an integrated $170/month budget for all three. It's $181/month in 2016.

Housing is more complex than that.

The simple analysis is that low-income areas range rents from $0.66/sqft to $1.10/sqft, with about $1.02/sqft as a common median. That gave me a 224sqft unit with a 33% risk reserve at $1.33/sqft, or a $300/month single-person low-income unit. It works, and it covers risk with a shitload of money; but that's not good enough.

I had to first prove the model. New single-bedroom units cost about $58,000 to build, so I used charts of apartment costs supplied by various local governments to remove the cost of fixtures (counters, stoves, sinks, bath tubs, toilets, cabinets) from that figure, and then cut the remaining cost down to a 224sqft unit and added back the fixtures (which aren't per-sqft). That got me $23,000-$26,000 per unit; packing in heavy insulation (R-23) added up to $150 of material and 2 hours of labor (~$100), which was a concern with utilities (I've heated spaces that size in under $30 with less insulation). We may need regulation mandating proper weather-sealing construction for newly-remodeled or constructed units under 600sqft.

The next was a risk evaluation. This is the theoretical basis. Essentially, when you target lower-income demographics, risk increases: low incomes are less-stable, and increase the frequency of costly evictions and empty units. To stay in business, you have to distribute that risk among your tenants; landlords can take alternate routes, such as reducing rent in exchange for a high security deposit on a case-by-case basis, essentially removing that tenant from one risk pool and putting him in a different one. All of this means people whose minimum-wage job may cut hours or vanish entirely and, especially, people on unemployment who may hit the six-month term without finding a job are likely to cost you money, and thus you must charge them higher rent to offset that likelihood; at a point, the minimum-viable rent is higher than the demographic can afford.

A guaranteed basic income (such as a Citizen's Dividend or Universal Social Security) can't go away.

The risk of eviction or vacant units due to tenant non-payment via tenant loss of income goes away. The tenant may still *fail* to pay, but he won't become *incapable* of paying nearly as frequently. That reduces the cost of risk, allowing for smooth scaling of rent prices without a reduction in profit margin. This, the 33% risk reserve ($1.33/sqft projection when median prices are about $1/sqft), and other potential strategies (e.g. a landlord-tenant agreement in which Social Security directly deposits the rent to the landlord, and immediately informs both parties if either cancels the recurring deposit) reduces the risk to the landlord and the risk to the tenant (razor-thin income margins mean slight overspending or unexpected costs leaves you unable to pay bills, hence the padded budget).

So yes, it's entirely feasible for $7,000 today ($6,557 in 2013) to cover all those things. More importantly, the impact on household incomes of low-income families more-effectively stabilizes their finances, and has greater reach (HUD only pays out to 1/4 of all HUD-qualified families; the rest go on a waiting list and never receive benefits). We'd have to grandfather current retirees and new retirees for some time; and after about 15 years, we can just leave new retirees with the smaller Universal Social Security figure, as this lifetime payment gives them more money (in much of the middle-class, it's several thousand dollars more money per year), which they can save or spend based on how much money they want on hand in their retirement.

It's really an engineering problem.

Comment Re:Servants (Score 2, Interesting) 239

Of course they are! Even servants have servants these days!

People keep telling me folks should all just get better jobs instead of being burger flippers. This comes up a *lot* because I talk a lot about alternatives to minimum wage, because minimum wage increases concentrate wealth at the expense of jobs (no, your hamburger won't be $15; your $8 value meal will cost 13 cents more, multiplied by 31 billion sales per year, which takes enough of the *same* *total* *income* to make wage for 281,000 minimum-wage jobs--that's the maximum number of jobs that go away). One of the common answers is just "they should get better jobs instead." The other is some magical handwaving about money falling out of the sky (some people don't realize that the wages come out of the consumer's spending, and think that raising wage means more money magically appears in the paycheck, and so it can be spent and create even more jobs--a concept that would indicate infinite money and infinite jobs at all wage levels).

My more recent response has been pointing out that these people can bother feeding themselves, since those wage workers are your grocery baggers and burger flippers. People expect a register operator, stocked store shelves, bagged groceries, and a hot meal ready for them for two dollars; then they complain that somebody actually did all the work involved, and demand that guy stop mooching and go get a real job. It's ludicrous.

Really, I shouldn't talk about this on Slashdot. Bashing concepts like Basic Income is front-page material, but supporting positions are spam.

Comment Re:Still a proprietary, DRM'd piece of shit. (Score 1) 131

The only 'negative' things I can see about it are the Microsoft connection..and that it'll eventually RROD on me.

It's also violating your privacy (especially if instead of a 360 it were an Xbone, as this topic is actually about). By using it, you are also tacitly signalling your support for Microsoft's continuing assault on property rights (by attempting to subordinate them to copyright law run amok). Those costs may not be measured in dollars, yet they are real.

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