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Comment Re:A very good more basic question (Score 1) 723

I didn't say that money is a resource, merely replying to your statement implying that there is a shortage of money (as you agree, there isn't).

You are right, if there is a mismatch between goods and money circulating it will lead to inflation or deflation - undesirable at excessive levels - the level of about 1-2% inflation seems to lead to the most stable economy.
By all means, if there is a shortage of goods / services (i.e. the historic examples you cite) do not implement UBI - that would be foolish. However assuming that we have heavily automated production and services there is no shortage of goods - in fact there is overabundance of goods which leads to shortage of labor and decline of prices (what we begin see today). In that case UBI might be a solution that takes away pressure on the labor market (oversupply) and provides more demand. Of course it has to be balanced well with the economic power of the country in question. Obviously, you can't give everybody one million dollar (not today, when we still need doctors and firemen). It has to be a small amount so achievers are still motivated to work but big enough such that people left behind are not totally extracted from the economy (which may collapse the economy).

Since it's difficult to reason what amount exactly is right the Finnish experiment is so important. I think it's a very difficult transition to go from the goods-scarcity economy to the post-scarcity economy. It might be a transition where we fail the first few times we try (i.e. social unrest, dark ages) - but I hope we at least give it our best shot.

Comment Re:A more basic question (Score 1) 723

decimating the ocean floor

I believe you are referring to trawling fishery. That's a choice we make that we want to eat that much fish and use that technology to catch fish. Doesn't have to be that way.

Global warming - that's presumably related to increased CO2 levels. We can chose to reduce CO2 levels by reducing fossil fuel consumption and switching to other (sustainable) sources / fuels of energy.

Reducing population won't help the cause of pollution reduction because it will trigger economic problems that will make us turn away from sustainable technologies which presently require investment. If anything we have to at least maintain population level to create a stable economic basis.

The true challenge is to bring prosperity to the poor countries which currently have locally unsustainable population growth. This often a political problem though. Increasing prosperity usually leads to slowing down population growth.

Comment Re:A more basic question (Score 1) 723

There isn't any shortage of resources that I'm aware of. Maybe locally, people are short of certain resources - that's a distribution problem. Globally, we have enough of everything.
Pollution and destruction of environment is a choice that we make (in some countries).
For example, as long as we decide to use combustion engine cars for transport, that's a choice that will result in higher pollution levels compared to electric cars. We don't have to stick to that choice.

Maybe you know a resource that's in short supply globally and cannot be replaced?

Comment Re:You pay people to do fuck-all... (Score 1) 723

Coloring isn't creative.

Come on, that's just a slightly more advanced version of Paint's fill bucket. A task that can be done by anyone with a few simple instructions isn't creative. It's probably boring work that was begging to become automated.

For a better example of computer creativity look here

Comment Re:work less (Score 1) 723

If anything the graphs you cite actually support Waffle Iron's point: Output grew faster than Compensation in the last couple of years. Increased automation is likely the reason.

The graph doesn't make any statement about unemployment though. Compensation increases due to higher wages for same amount of working hours.

Comment Re:work less (Score 1) 723

Thanks to the internet today it's easier (and cheaper) than ever before to let people know about your product - you just need to be smart about it.
Just start a blog or a YT channel about pissing in people's mouth and build up the community, you'll succeed eventually if there is indeed a market.

Doesn't mean you are guaranteed to be successful with every stupid idea - you still need a working product and people willing to pay for it.
I'm skeptic about your proposed pissing business. I don't doubt you could achieve satisfactory quality of service but there could be a problem finding people willing to pay.

Comment Re:A more basic question (Score 1) 723

There is no overpopulation problem in developed countries. If there is a problem it's declining population. I would even claim that many economies in developed countries struggle because of declining / aging population (e.g. Japan). Immigration compensates that to a degree which is maybe one reason why Mrs Merkel didn't oppose it.

Why is declining population a problem?
a) Fewer people means demand for everything goes down - bad for businesses. It also means demand is shifting to older demographics - need to adapt your offering
b) Fewer people means less taxes collected => less money to spend on public services
c) You have to scale down public services like schools, public transport etc. This is difficult and most communities do it too late. Moreover there are sunken costs that you can't recover: closing a school won't give back the money invested to building it (and try selling a school)
d) Declining population is a major challenge for retirement schemes. A smaller number of people have to generate the economic surplus that keeps retired people afloat. Major problem in countries like Germany where most people don't own personal retirement funds.
e) Declining population is a major problem for the housing market - not only does demand go down but some (less popular) places shrink much faster than others. Property you own there can become pretty much worthless.

Comment Re:A very good more basic question (Score 1) 723

Mashiki, many people don't sit down and do the math of what it costs them to live and work in a metropolis. I did and figured that living in a certain well-known major city I'd have to ask a salary that the market would not provide. Working and living in a small town however looked entirely different on the financial side: _much_ lower living costs, commuting with the bike (costs = zero).
Of course you have to look a little bit and wait for the opportunity (job opening) to come around - but it really pays to do the math and figure out what your living costs are.

My list of fixed costs includes:
rent for apartment, health insurance, internet, electricity, heating, cell phone plan, commuting, insurance, subscriptions (professional magazines/associations). Also taxes, I subtract those first.
The remainder is kind of disposable income, I categorize into: food, eating out, clothes, health (what's not covered by insurance), cosmetics, household (e.g. kitchenware), furniture, hobby, travel, media (magazines), electronics, gifts, education, culture (e.g. cinema).

Now when comparing places you need to research what each category will cost you. This is much easier now with internet. If you know you major cost areas concentrate on those, make educated guess for the others.
For example, rent, health insurance, electricity and heating are the biggest ones for me. But surprisingly things like gyms can have dramatically different prices: one place I'd have to spend >$1000/yr the other more like $240. Also commuting costs can be quite different (hint: live close to work).
For the others, food, eating out, health and travel are the major ones. Of course, if you are struggling, travel and eating out can be reduced to about zero.

Anyway, it really pays to
a) know your expense structure (how much you typically pay for what, per month and year)
b) compare places when looking for a job
If you're young and don't have a mate yet, also look into the demographics.

Comment Re:A very good more basic question (Score 5, Insightful) 723

but that assumes (as does UBI itself) that money grows on trees.

You are apparently not aware of this but money (almost) does grow on trees. Ever wondered where the money that is around came from? It was printed by a central bank. And it still is. Just google Mario Draghi and what he's doing with the Euro lately.

citing from The Article:

Not only does SAK say that the system may reduce the labor force -- for instance by tempting mothers of small children or those close to retirement to take more time off -- but the union also suggests that making it easier to refuse unpleasant jobs may create inflationary bottlenecks.

Having people work less - but voluntarily - is one of the benefits of UBI. Many people suffer involuntary unemployment due to automation. So we end up with a part of the workforce without ANY job and the other part with full jobs. It would be smarter to distribute jobs more evenly. But the present system drives everybody to try and get a fully paid job, as a matter of risk management: it could be anytime you lose that job and without a (substantial) financial buffer you'd be in deep trouble. UBI takes away that fear of existential threat - it gives you peace of mind and makes you less clingy to the job you have. It significantly improves your negotiating position towards (potential) employers.
UBI can also significanlty reduced the size of financial buffer necessary to quit working entirely (freeing your position for someone who actually needs the salary). It's a feature, not a bug!

One might also wonder if money were created for free, whether cost (of everything) would remain the same, or rise to meet the levels of available money. In other words, the program might be undone by rampant inflation.

Yes, there will be inflation. FYI the European Central Bank is desperately trying to increase inflation (my above comment regarding Mario Draghi)

The reason why the union SKA is against UBI is pretty obvious once you think about it: Their main reason for existence is to give workers a more negotiating power against employers. UBI would provide that power naturally, making unions obsolete to some extent. The UBI is an existential threat for trade unions, THAT's why they are against it. Instead of going on strike to fight for better compensation people could just quit and look for a better job on the market.

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