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Comment Re:Dey tek er jebs! (Score 1) 332

If every company does it, that means decreased costs and thus lower prices. We're not "fluffing corporate profits" because anyone who attempts to make that drop in cost full profit will die at the hands of their competitors. If only one company benefited from H1-Bs, it would be different. Lower prices means more buying power which means higher standard of living for everyone (except maybe the displaced programmer who wasn't competitive on the world market).

Comment Re:Very Basic Income (Score 1) 618

I assume that because you didn't write about each of the other items on the list, you agree that those are actually downsides. However, most of the other arguments you provide rest on the premise that "the demand for low skill human labor will drop very close to zero as most menial jobs and quite many more complex jobs can be automated." This assertion is not supported by historical precedent: every time something has been created to reduce labor, we just find other ways to keep people busy, increasing the standard of living. Yes, the labor market isn't quite as fluid as we would like. Yes, it might take a generation or two for things to settle down (as it did during the industrial and green revolutions). But no, we won't run out of jobs.

many people will probably be working part time still, and contribute to a number of things via which they can get their sense of achievement.

That's kind of a vague statement and even if I assume that you're right and that "many people" will continue working part time you have left out a large segment of the population. Where will they get their sense of achievement (assuming they're not very religious)?

because even though the difference between a low wage job and being on the benefits might not be more than a few hundred euros that few hundred euros more in disposable income is a significant improvement in one's standard of living.

Right, and we want to keep it that way, instead of making that difference smaller. When it comes to money, we get diminishing marginal returns for every extra dollar. When living on UBI is comfortable, we've lost the "significant improvement" incentive

Throwing money at the poor doesn't make them less poor?

This is the point when I wonder if you actually read what I wrote. I guess you did to be able to pick that one out, but I did say "The essential issue is that it is not just a lack of money that makes the poor "poor," but an entire environment." Being poor is not a purely economic problem. It's chiefly a social problem and yes, throwing money at the poor won't fix the social problem.

the history will likely look back at the guys who thought UBI was the end of the world as akin to those who said the ending of slavery would cause major economic meltdowns

I would love it if we could avoid this sort of thing. Comparing me to an anti-abolitionist is not only insulting but completely unrelated to the issue. Not only did I never say that "UBI [is] the end of the world" but it's completely different from slavery. Slavery is morally wrong... and so is freeloading. Just claiming "people will say I'm right in the future" doesn't make your idea any more correct in the present.

Even if you were right, these things aren't in the present. You're arguing that we will need UBI at some point, but use that as justification for it's creation now. How can you justify fixing a problem that doesn't even yet exist?

Comment Re:Very Basic Income (Score 2) 618

There are many negative side effects of a UBI:
  • It distorts the relationship between the individual and the government. The government now becomes the provider, rather than the individual. By making work optional, we would be celebrating the status of the disenfranchised rather than trying to help them out of it. It normalizes dependence and sanctions freeloading. We have already shifted some of family responsibilities to the government. Now it's not the younger generation caring for the old, but a faceless government handing out checks.
  • When we remove the incentive to work, we reduce production. When less people work, production falls. If you can work, you should work.
  • More importantly, the satisfaction of working disappears. Is work not respectable? Do people not get a sense of achievement when they can be self-reliant? Isn't that what all liberals claim to be for? Freedom and individualism? How can one be for those and also for basic income? People need to be able to respect their own lives and work really helps with that
  • What do we really want for the poor? A fridge, TV, cell phone, home, internet service, and food? Is that really a fulfilling life? The poor need a way out of poverty, not an easy way to endure it. UBI makes upward mobility difficult by making the reward of getting a job less. How can we expect someone to climb up the ladder if the first three steps are less attractive than not getting on it?
  • Work forces a social life. When someone has to get out a job, no matter how meager, it at least saves him from becoming the American equivalent of a Hikikomori. Is this not at least beneficial from a mental health standpoint?
  • It creates a social atmosphere which condemns work. Poor peers will encourage continuing to freeload even to one who wants to move up in life, asserting that it's a mistake to devote hours of your life to actually doing something.

While I do admit that UBI might deter some hardship of the poor, it only serves to keep them from dependent on the government and from asserting their value in society. UBI reduces the poor to freeloaders, says it's a good thing, and provides no desirable way out. The essential issue is that it is not just a lack of money that makes the poor "poor," but an entire environment. Throwing money at the issue isn't going to fix it. We must make a path out of poverty, not make it more comfortable.

Comment It's not the government's job (Score 5, Insightful) 367

...to make sure reviews are accurate. They aren't (nor should they be) the ones running the websites which record and display these reviews. Those websites are the ones who are responsible for making sure the reviews are real. The ones who do the best job are most likely to gain the most users.

It's called the free market. Let it happen, EU.

Of course I'm completely aware that review quality is not the reason behind this proposition, but it makes no sense that they would think that such a justification would make sense.

Comment Re:New geo-locking strategy (Score 1) 229

Because that's not how these agreements work. They're not based on the consumer's nationality, but their location at the time of watching. If I go on vacation in some place with no Netflix, under the current system I would get no service. If they used my billing address they would illegally serve me American content. Also, many of these agreements are made with the regional distributors who don't have the authority to make contracts that work with that system.

In reality, all geoblocking is wrong and impossible to do so perfectly effectively.

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