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Comment Re:Not unconditional (Score 1) 441

You can't call this basic income, when there's at least one string attached - unemployment. This is basic welfare.

No, it's not, it's "a study". They're studying how a UBI of specific amount affects behavior in a specific group of people. More studies will need to be done, of course, including selecting a random group of people without regard to their income/asset levels, and varying the amount received per month, but this is a first step.

Comment Re:Tired of this shit. (Score 2) 179

You really want a higher resolution than microseconds. The clock_gettime() system call returns the number of seconds and nanoseconds in two separate values. If you return the number of nanoseconds in a 64-bit signed value, you have a range of only +/- 292 years, which is limiting if you want to use it for historical dates or longer term future dates.

With a 64-bit signed seconds value you can go +/- 292 billion years. With a 64-bit value for the fractional part, you could easily increase the resolution to attoseconds (1E-18, 60 bits). Both those limits are not very constraining.

Comment Re:Tired of this shit. (Score 3, Insightful) 179

There are mods to ntpd and the time conversion libraries that do this. System clock is in real seconds since epoch, you only need to worry about leap seconds when converting between system clock and display (wall) time, which also handles time zones and leap years and everything else weird. Anyone who is dividing by 86400 to convert system clock to years, days, hours, minutes, seconds is doing it wrong. You can still divide by 86400 (or 3600 or 60) to display roughly how many hours, minutes or days a particular interval was, of course.

NTP could support this, or an auxiliary protocol defined, to distribute time conversion table changes (so with leap seconds as well as legal changes to daylight savings or other time zone changes), and to update the current difference between TAI and UTC. This would be useful even if we end up dropping DST or leap second adjustments.

Currently TAI and UTC differ by 36 seconds. For "current time", simply having that value available is sufficient for most applications that don't store the system clock value, and any that do are most likely already using a proper time conversion library.

Simply adding the ability to retrieve the clock as either "unix time (UTC-based)" or "elapsed time (TAI-based)" and convert between the two and use either as input to the time conversion routines would make it simple to update existing programs and databases. At the same time, converting once and for all to a 64-bit signed time value for seconds would help immensely with the next big time-handling crisis in about 21 years.

I fear that Google is just papering over the problem and making things more difficult to properly solve.

Comment Re:And you think Hillary would be any different? (Score 1) 1066

So now being a racist is "daring to think different"? Wow.

So it's worse to generalize that a group of people are "deplorable", because that isn't criminal, than it is to generalize that a group of people are criminals? Would you rather have someone say that "Trump supporters are rapists, they're murderers, and some, I assume, are good people"?

Comment Re:And you think Hillary would be any different? (Score 1) 1066

She said half of Trump supporters were deplorable, that's only one quarter of the country, not half. If you look at the polling on various positions of Trump supporters, that's probably low.

It's also the case that a lot of deplorable categories are strongly attracted to Trump (e.g. "alt right").

In other words, Trump supporters are racists, they're bigots, they're stupid and gullible, and some of them, I assume, are good people. Or is that just not PC to say things like that unless you're Trump?

Comment Re:Numbers (Score 5, Interesting) 426

I did do the research about a year ago, but I don't have all the numbers at hand anymore.

UBI of $2000/month per adult, $800/month per child, flat tax of about 45-50% on all income, pretty much no deductions, no taxes on capital gains or interest/dividend income (but no deduction on interest/dividend payments or capital losses), elimination of gift/estate taxes, a VAT of about 25%, instead of deducting charitable contributions the organization gets a percentage of all contributions in additional funds directly from the government, eliminate welfare/SNAP, eliminate minimum wage. Single-payer universal healthcare would be available.

If we want to continue to subsidize certain things like home loan interest, they'd be direct reductions in the interest rate rather than deductions from your taxable income. All income, except the UBI itself, would be subject to the flat tax, paid directly by the employer.

Corporate taxes would be at the same rate as the personal income tax rate, with only direct costs deductible (not business lunches or advertising or corporate jets except to the extent they can be shown to actually save money over alternative transportation). This is where capital gains and dividend payments are taxed. Depreciation of actual working assets would be allowed as ongoing expenses as long as any resale of those assets is counted as income.

The income tax (personal and corporate) would be automatically set to provide 50% of the annual budget needs, while the VAT would provide the other 50% (based on the previous two-year period's numbers or similar).

Most individuals would never need to file a tax return. Payments would all be electronic to save on costs to administer.

Eliminating capital gains and dividend income is reasonable because you're collecting the taxes through a different route - and basing the country's budget and economy on the vagaries of the stock market is insane. Taxing everything at the source eliminates most ways of avoiding taxes. If a business is paying someone under the table to avoid taxes, they are just going to be paying a higher tax themselves since those payments won't be legitimate business expenses. Etc.

Yeah, living on $24000/year for a single person might not be great, but it would give people the freedom to move to places where prices are lower without worrying about whether there will be jobs there to support them. Once they move there, of course, then more jobs will become available as the economy picks up in the low-priced areas.

A UBI turns a flat tax into a progressive tax. UBI of $24,000 and flat tax of 50% means someone with income of $48,000 is paying 0% tax, $100,000 is paying 26% tax, a couple earning $120,000 total is paying 12%, a couple with two kidswith $250,000 total income is 30%, at $1,000,000 for one person the effective rate is 48%.

Comment Re:They don't make disasters like they used to (Score 1) 675

One store I go to just enabled chip, processing, I was surprised that I needed to sign for a relatively small transaction, they have a $50 limit without signature with swipe. At least some other stores I use that have started using the chip allow most transactions (e.g. under $25) without a signature.

Comment Re:This disaster is entirely of your own making (Score 1) 675

About 50% of the stores I go to regularly now use the chip, and none of them take more than 5-10 seconds to process once the transaction is rung up. With swipe, yeah, it often only takes 1-2 seconds, and I could swipe and put my card away as soon as we started, but so far all the ones I've used the chip with let me insert the card whenever I want. The only difference is I can't put it away immediately.

Comment Re:Soros? (Score 1) 1145

People will be much more able and willing to pack up and move out of the expensive places when they have the security of having the UBI until they can find a job at the new location. People who aren't willing to move out will benefit as those who do move reduce the demand on lower cost housing, and raise the demand for jobs.

Flat tax combined with fixed payment becomes progressive.

E.g. with $2000/month payment and 30% flat tax, effective tax rate at $80,000 is zero, is negative below that, and increases towards a max of 30% above. At $120,000 it's at an effective rate of 10%, at $480,000 it's 25%, at $1,000,000 it's at 27.6%.

Comment Re:Soros? (Score 1) 1145

You give everyone the UBI because that eliminates any incentive to cheat. You don't need to take money under the table while working at below-market rates in order to retain the payment. The whole point of the UBI is thst it's Universal and Unconditional.

You pay for it through taxes, so the effect of the UBI for you would be to lower your tax burden paying for it. Such a payment turns a regressive flat tax into a progressive tax. A flat tax also reduces the ability to cheat the system, and is much less expensive to administer and comply with. Many UBI proposals are combined with flat tax proposals.

Example, $1000/month, flat tax of 25% (personal, corporate, plus a VAT). You earn $120,000/year, you live with someone who isn't employed, and have two kids. Your take-home pay is reduced from $10,000 to $7,500/month (reducing your other taxes and lowering your tax bracket), but your UBI received is $3333 (dependent children receiving 1/3 the full amount). You'll also be getting Universal Healthcare (though you can pay for more if you want). Prices for things you buy might go up around 25% from the VAT (which would actually be done by taking 20% of the price you pay as a tax through the seller), but unless you spend more than $3000/month on stuff subject to the VAT, you're still ahead (even before taking into account your other taxes going down).

Above figures are rough, based on current GDP, take-home salaries, retail sales figures, and health care costs, but should be fairly close.

Comment Re:Soros? (Score 1) 1145

Actually, with a UBI allowing people to move to less expensive areas, the economies of such small towns will boom, leading to more jobs, which will then be available to those new people. Rather than be stuck at 10k or whatever, they'll be able to afford even more, leading to a growth in housing (leading to more jobs), making way for more jobless people to move there, and so on.

Most people WANT to work, to get more, to improve their life. Few dream of retiring to the luxuriant lifestyle of 10k/year.

A more realistic figure is about $2000/month, get there by starting small ($100/month) and increase it by $100 every 4 months or so. Fund with a flat tax (corporate, personal, and VAT), set to recover exactly the amount required. It should be around 1.8% or so for $100/month. UBI and the flat tax amount would not be reported as income, so your taxable income (and tax bracket) would go down, and of course you'd also be getting the UBI back to offset those additional taxes. Reduce the minimum wage by about $0.50/hr for each $100/month of UBI. Dependent children get 1/3 of the payment for an adult.

Reduce budget for other programs as the need (and eligibility) is reduced, which then lowers the remaining taxes. You'd still want a Universal Healthcare program, including assistance for people who are still unable to manage their lives even with a UBI.

Comment Re: The Republicans want to make everyone work (Score 1) 1145

Your scholarship, the money to pay for your lab work, even the very existence of that college is due in large part to resources provided by society precisely so people could benefit as you have. If you hadn't been able to come to this country, and you were now living in poverty somewhere with no opportunities, would that have been a reflection on your worth? Sure, congratulations, some of what you have now is very much through your own talents and determination, but you also were lucky enough to be in a position where that even mattered. One illness, one missed opportunity, could have prevented you from succeeding.

Unless you survived on your own after being born "naked and afraid" in the wilderness, you are not a self-made person, you are the beneficiary of millions of people before you.

Comment Re:"you’re redistributing income upward" (Score 1) 1145

Many UBI methods are combined with a flat tax. One way of phasing it in (which is almost certainly going to be necessary, as a straight jump to a full UBI would be disruptive) would be to start off small (say, $100/month distributed), funded entirely by a very small flat tax.

The UBI itself would never be taxed itself, nor counted as income for setting tax brackets. The amount that is taken out by the flat tax is also not not reportable as income. The tax rate itself would set to be be exactly what's needed to cover the payments, and would be on corporate profits, personal income, and as an added VAT, all at the same rate.

You could distribute $100/month ($1200/year) for about a 1.8% flat tax/VAT rate while leaving everything else alone, then adjust other spending (and thus the need for other taxes) as the UBI increasingly reduces the need for other services. You can also start to adjust minimum wage rates as the UBI increases (e.g. by around $0.50/hour for each $100/month of UBI being distributed, delayed by a year).

So, at $1,000/month, you'd be at around 18%, $2,000/month ($24,000/year) around 36%. At that rate, if you're making less than $70,000/year, you would be receiving as much in UBI payments as you're paying in salary. You'd also be paying more for purchased items because of the VAT, but that's before taking into account lower additional taxes (that you currently already pay) as the government reduces costs of other programs, reduced prices of good through the reduction in minimum wage, etc. Some of that reduction would be automatic as your reportable income (and tax bracket) go down as the flat tax increases.

I'd like to see the elimination of capital gains tax because the budget of the country shouldn't depend on the whims of the market. You'd also eliminate the primary means of gaming the tax system. Instead, add a very small transaction tax (0.05% - 0.1%, perhaps.

With a flat tax system, you eliminate most deductions. Instead, use direct subsidies for things we want to encourage (e.g. subsidize lower interest rates on home mortgages, but only up to a certain amount for the loan). For charitible contributions, make direct matching funds (e.g. at 20% of total contributions) instead of giving tax deductions, meaning contributions from rich people are no longer being subsidized by everyone else, everyone's contributions are as valuable regardless of how much money you make. The VAT rate could be made lower for food and medicine and other basic necessities. Much more directly subsidizing things would be better than our current indirect subsidy through income tax policy where your subsidy is higher the richer you are.

You'd still need additional mechanisms - Universal Healthcare would still need to exist (and could be the primary solution for almost all circumstances beyond the norm, whether mental or physical needs). You wouldn't eliminate Social Security, you'd phase it out over time (people who have paid into it for their entire lives shouldn't just lose it arbitrarily). Inexpensive education (including online) and communication (computers and internet), affordable housing, public transportation, there are still many things that we'd want to have government doing.

$24,000/year seems to me a reasonable goal. Most people want a significantly higher standard of living than that will provide, so there's still plenty of motivation to do something useful, with no disincentives to making additional money. Rich people don't say "hey, I have plenty, I'm going to stop trying to make more money" - if having $24,000/year was enough to keep people from working, they'd already be doing it, there are plenty of people with a couple million in assets that could just kick back and live the grand dream of surviving on $24,000/year.

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