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The question of a universal basic income

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The True Friend of Liberty

The best argument I can think of for a UBI is that there already is one. Lower income people in the US are already given various support payments such as welfare and rent subsidies. A UBI could be seen as just a repackaging of these benefits, and would involve a lot less overhead.
This sounds good in theory. But as Yogi Berra said, in theory there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

Peace Love and Understanding

The real problem with UBI is that the people with property currently will go to any lengths to torpedo it, including making up nonsense arguments about affordability which reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of how supply and demand works. Certainly there are other valid criticisms of UBI but that is not one.

The real problem with UBI is that the people with property currently will go to any lengths to torpedo it,
Would not a soon to be retiring Baby Boomer - with a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, kids gone - want the maximum price when they sell and downsize to a smaller home for retirement?
How about current GenXcess and GenYner owners?
Wouldn't they want the maximum appraisal in when borrowing against their equity?

Ed Zimmer

All nations will eventually require a Job Guarantee (JG) or Universal Basic Income (UBI) program because of the irreversible loss of jobs resulting from automation and globalization. An advantage of a JG over a UBI program (besides possible cultural issues) is that the JG improves the stability of prices (ie., reduces inflation/deflation possibilities) by acting as a counter-cyclical automatic stabilizer, ie., JG spending increases automatically as private sector spending decreases, and vice versa. The JG programs I've seen described range from wasteful to unworkable. So I've taken a pass at one ( I believe even the most conservative could find acceptable.

john4law in reply to Ed Zimmer

Something for NOTHING is not reality. It is Vote Buying and not cheap much less relatively innocuous Vote Buying either. The Moral Hazard is HUGE and the Political Hazard of satisfying higher and higher demands for "basic "dignity' benefits" is even greater. Communist Regimes shot their way to Power with Bread, Land and Peace promises in the last One Hundred years which were Pure BIG LIES!! Over One Hundred Million lost their lives and as many as One Trillion Lives were permanently RUINED by False Promises and Megalomaniac Policies to redeem them. Enough of Bad Economics and WORSE History with SOMETHING for NOTHING Ideologies. Your comment IGNORES the RESULTS, always BAD, of every Real Life attempt to implement your Old Tired Slogans.

PS: Every Economic Revolution starting with the Agricultural Revolution in the Eighteenth Century and the Industrial Revolution thereafter, despite Sky will Fall, Malthusian Pessimism actually produced FAR more economic opportunity and JOBS than was lost by "Creative Destruction". The current Internet and Networking Revolutions are following the SAME Wealth and Better Job creation patterns of Earlier Economic "Revolutions".

john4law in reply to Ed Zimmer

"Money is created by government spending (or by bank
loans, which create deposits). Taxes serve to make us want
that money - we need it in order to pay the taxes. And they
help regulate total spending, so that we don’t have more total
spending than we have goods available at current prices -
something that would force up prices and cause inflation. But
taxes aren’t needed in advance of spending - and could hardly
be, since before the government spends there is no money to
A government borrowing in its own currency need never
default on its debts; paying them is simply a matter of adding
the interest to the bank accounts of the bond holders. A
government can only decide to default – an act of financial
suicide – or (in the case of a government borrowing in a
currency it doesn’t control) be forced to default by its bankers.
But a U.S. bank will always cash a check issued by the US
Government, whatever happens."

THAT is your version of "Real Economics"??? Nothing about Scarcity, Supply and Demand, diminishing returns, how the Banking System creates money, inflation, deflation, monetary policy. All you need is a Printing Press and the Power to Stamp Legal Tender on whatever you PRINT!! Fine, believe that.

Another historical parallel is the Roman Empire, which began buying the loyalty and submission of the populace with generous food subsidies, multiple holidays, cheap entertainment, etc. beginning in the first century bce. Sure enough, five centuries later their empire fell apart.

Ed Zimmer in reply to john4law

The paragraphs you're quoting are pointing out the misunderstandings of the (currently-dominant) neo-liberal economists - not trying to teach economics. I'm ready and willing to defend any of those statements if you wish. I came to those conclusions on my own, using plain old ordinary common sense, before discovering that the MMT economists had seen them a good 15 years earlier. The problem is the "no free lunch" syndrome is so embedded in the human psyche (as your comments show) that it's politically untouchable - subjecting a large part of society to needless suffering. To break free of those blinders all that's required is to step back and ask what it means that we operate with a fiat currency. That leads to recognition that a monetary sovereign does not have the same constraints as your business or household (or your state/local government).