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Thread: UBI vs Minimum Wage

  1. Top | #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly_Penguin View Post
    This issue has pushed me on from Bernie Sanders' call for minimum wage increases to Andrew Yang and UBI. UBI applies to everyone evenly, including those who truly need it, the unemployed.

    Thoughts?

    Does anybody have a good reason why Yang isn't the better choice? I'm swinging s heavily towards Yang lately. Talk me out of it.
    I dislike the idea of the UBI. Capitalism works best when people have to work to make money. It is empowering for the individual too, to work to support oneself and not to be dependent on the government or a trust fund set up by a parent.

    Instead of the UBI, my choice for a good idea that has little chance of being implemented would be the guaranteed job. A job corp that would hire anyone over 18 who wants a job. It would be a minimum wage job paid for by the federal government but organized by the local government to do those many things like picking up litter and scrubbing off graffiti. Things that don't get done in cities and towns today.

    I don't know Yang and I don't have an opinion on him one way or another. He doesn't have much support so far.

    The 15 dollars an hour minimum wage isn't unreasonable. It is what the minimum wage would be if indexed to inflation from its highest real value when the minimum wage increase didn't cause the widespread unemployment and other problems that the neoliberals claim that it will cause. The $15 minimum wage also includes splitting the gains from the workers' productivity increase since 1968 evenly between wage and profit increases.

    We shouldn't give up on an increase in the minimum wage just because the neoliberals demonize it. Not raising the minimum wage is one of the many ways the neoliberals have successfully suppressed wages to increase profits and to create a huge income and wealth inequality that we see today.

    I don't know Yang and unless he moves up in the polls I don't have much reason to look at him.

    What we need is for the Democrats to return to their roots as the party that champions the workers. This is not going to happen if they nominate Biden. It should be obvious that the Republicans won't meet anyone half-way just get something done. They are conservatives and they are happy with the way that things are today.

  2. Top | #12
    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post

    Really? When was this? You do realize he's been a US Senator for a long time, don't you?
    I'd bet that 95% of Bernie supporters did not know who is was prior to the 2016 primaries. Hell, most of them didn't know who the Senators in their own state were. The problem for Yang is that support for Bernie has very little to do with the quality of his ideas, most of which are poorly thought out or based on logically invalid comparisons to Scandinavian countries. It's about the appeal of his colorful folksy charisma. People find him charming and amusing as a person, so they like him as a candidate. Yang lacks such appeal of "style".
    Sorry, but Bernie's been a fixture amongst the left for many years. He appeared weekly on Thom Hartmann's show, a segment they called "Brunch With Bernie".
    ITMFA

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleDon View Post
    I dislike the idea of the UBI. Capitalism works best when people have to work to make money. It is empowering for the individual too, to work to support oneself and not to be dependent on the government or a trust fund set up by a parent.
    No one is forcing you to not work. You can empower yourself by working for free even with UBI, volunteering can be very empowering.
    As for modern capitalism, jobs are increasingly becoming bullshit job, which is neither empowering nor satisfying.

    Instead of the UBI, my choice for a good idea that has little chance of being implemented would be the guaranteed job. A job corp that would hire anyone over 18 who wants a job. It would be a minimum wage job paid for by the federal government but organized by the local government to do those many things like picking up litter and scrubbing off graffiti. Things that don't get done in cities and towns today.
    So you want doctors who lost their jobs due to AI pick up litter?

  4. Top | #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleDon View Post
    Instead of the UBI, my choice for a good idea that has little chance of being implemented would be the guaranteed job. A job corp that would hire anyone over 18 who wants a job. It would be a minimum wage job paid for by the federal government but organized by the local government to do those many things like picking up litter and scrubbing off graffiti. Things that don't get done in cities and towns today.
    Or... just build AI machinery to do all that for us. Its coming. When a robot can do your job for pennies and you are being paid $15 per hour for it, and you keep doing it and being paid that, not because you want to, not because it is adding to society, but just so you can feel "empowered" and useful.... I think something has gone wrong. I think you could be doing something both more enjoyable and more constructive to society with your time, even if its something that wouldn't be paid work in current capitalist society.

    I don't agree with guaranteed jobs, because I don't think the work will be there for them. Nor do I consider it a good use of humans' time. Let the robots take over the repetitive and simple jobs. Let the robots eventually take over the more complicated jobs too. The humans should be spending human times on activities that either robots can't do (which will be fewer and fewer as time goes on) or better yet on activities that interest humans.

    Minimum wage only covers those who have jobs. Same reason medical insurance/care needs to be detached from employment. I can see supporting both a minimum age and UBI, but if UBI is at a high enough level, I don't think minimum wage will be necessary. UBI takes a step in the direction of leveling the bargaining power between employers and employees. If employees don't starve if they don't work, they aren't held hostage in negotiations over pay.

    I also like how Yang calls it a "Freedom Dividend". A Dividend. Like you are entitled to survive simply for being a person, and work wages is on top of that. I can get behind that notion.

    The way society is now structured, if we perfected AI and robotics so all labour could be done by robots, and humans could spend all their time doing whatever it is they want to do, with plenty of resources to support everybody, we would have a massive outcry over lack of jobs and people would starve in the streets, because the .0001% who owns the AI and robots will horde all the resources for themselves.

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    SimpleDon,

    I don't know if you got what you propose from Bernie Sanders or not, but he fully agrees with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanders in 2019 in Iowa
    Audience member: “I know you’ve expressed support for universal basic income in the past in your interviews, but there’s this guy Andrew Yang who wants to give everybody a thousand bucks a month with a VAT tax, and I think to win the Democratic primary, you’ve gotta do that.”

    Bernie Sanders: Nah. I’ve got a better idea.

    Audience member: You won’t do it?

    Bernie Sanders: Nope. Sorry you came all the way from Alabama. Here’s a better idea. I understand that idea. I have a better idea, and the better idea I think is that in a nation in which there is so much work to be done, just think about it. You’ve got an infrastructure which is crumbling. We can put millions of people to work doing that. Transforming our energy system in terms of weatherizing homes all over this country, building a more efficient transportation system. Putting more money into wind and solar and other sustainable technologies. We can create millions of jobs doing that. Think about daycare. You want a world class child care center? You need well-educated, well-trained, well-paid child care workers. We need many of them. We need more doctors in rural areas and in urban areas. We need more nurses. We have a dental crisis all over this country. We need to train dentists and get them out there. We need more social workers. You want to reform our criminal justice system? You’re going to need people to start working with prisoners. You want kids not dropping out of high school? You’re going to need mentors working with them.
    There is an enormous amount of work to be done and what we believe in is guaranteeing a job in this country to anybody who is prepared to work. I think that’s the better approach.
    I see Bernie looking at this in the short term and Yang looking at this in the long term. Bernie's solution doesn't cover Yang's primary concern. I don't see why Bernie won't support both of these initiatives. I also don't see how Bernie can imagine that everybody is suitable for hire for the work he describes. Most of it takes significant training and skill that people don't immediately have, and plenty of people won't ever be able to develop. Yang has an excellent point when he talks about retraining, and how abysmally bad it has been. You're not going to take a partially disabled 45 year old cashier who lost her job due to Amazon and turn him/her into a construction worker building bridges.

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    Read somebody on Redit today write:

    Whether he realizes it or not, Bernie Sanders has handed the torch of progressivism to Andrew Yang. That is why I will be supporting the latter. For the first time in a long time, I can say that this choice is not about the lesser of two evils but the greater of two goods. You had better believe it is a choice I am happy to make.
    I agree, and I really like the sentiment bolded. It has been a long time since I've been able to say that about American politics.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/YangForPres...ernie_to_yang/

  7. Top | #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly_Penguin View Post
    This issue has pushed me on from Bernie sanders' call for minimum wage increases to Andrew Yang and UBI. UBI applies to everyone evenly, including those who truly need it, the unemployed.

    Thoughts?

    ANybody have a good reason why Yang isn't the better choice? I'm swinging heavily towards Yang lately. Talk me out of it.
    UBI isn't a replacement for the minimum wage, it's a different way of enacting the welfare state. It would replace medicare, medicaid, social security, unemployment etc. Though it would also eliminate any rationale for a minimum wage as well, I don't think this is the main effect by a long stretch.

    As far as robots go, the luddites and neo-luddites have never been right about automation yet in the hundreds of years they've been preaching against automation.

    There's no reason to think they're going to be right in the timeframe of a President Yang.

    You may want to think about where the tax revenues are going to come from to pay for UBI in a word where robots produce everything. Or why anyone would need an income.

  8. Top | #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dismal View Post
    As far as robots go, the luddites and neo-luddites have never been right about automation yet in the hundreds of years they've been preaching against automation.

    There's no reason to think they're going to be right in the timeframe of a President Yang.
    Luddites oppose automation. Yang is for it, but just wants society to be ready for it as people are displaced from their jobs. And this HAS ALREADY happened to a large extent. It is a big reason why Trump won in 2016. Amazon has already shut down many stores. Self driving trucks will shut down millions of jobs. If we do nothing to ease this transition, Trump and his ilk will grow more powerful with blaming immigrants, etc. And no, this won't all happen within a Yang presidency, but he doesn't have to remain in the white house for his policies to have shifted the nation significantly.

    You may want to think about where the tax revenues are going to come from to pay for UBI in a word where robots produce everything. Or why anyone would need an income.
    Yang's idea is a VAT tax, primarily on companies like Amazon, who currently pay minimal taxes. Is that impossible?

    People would need income so long as stuff costs them money to buy. UBI doesn't undo capitalism or competition or employment. It just provides a higher baseline and less desperation and uncertainty and pain and anxiety at the bottom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post

    Really? When was this? You do realize he's been a US Senator for a long time, don't you?
    I'd bet that 95% of Bernie supporters did not know who is was prior to the 2016 primaries. Hell, most of them didn't know who the Senators in their own state were. The problem for Yang is that support for Bernie has very little to do with the quality of his ideas, most of which are poorly thought out or based on logically invalid comparisons to Scandinavian countries. It's about the appeal of his colorful folksy charisma. People find him charming and amusing as a person, so they like him as a candidate. Yang lacks such appeal of "style".
    Sorry, but Bernie's been a fixture amongst the left for many years. He appeared weekly on Thom Hartmann's show, a segment they called "Brunch With Bernie".
    Really? Thom Hartman's show is heard by about 1.00% of the US population, and far less than that during any given segment. And talk radio audiences skew old, while Bernie's 2016 base skewed young. And Bernie was on that show b/c it was originally broadcast in Bernie's back yard and the two likely knew each other.

    The kind of establishment liberals that knew him most were Hillary supporters. Almost all his own eventual supporters didn't know him before 2015, which is why he only had less than 10% of Democrats support in the early polls. Everyone knew exactly who Hillary was and no other candidate had any real support. So, if most people knew Bernie and his ideas, then he'd would have had their support from the start.
    Blacks now support him more than any other candidate, but in 2015 he was just another unknown crusty old white assumed to be a racist, which is why at an early rally in extremely liberal Seattle, BLM stole the mike from him, accused him and the almost entirely white audience of being "white supremacists" and shut down the rally.

    As he got more media coverage, including parodies of his "style", his popularity skyrocketed before he ever laid out any real policies, due to his likability.

  10. Top | #20
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    I don't think that UBI is a good idea. Finland had a run with it to test it out, and it will not continue. They were dissatisfied.

    I never had much trust in the idea. But I don't mind testing around with ideas. Ideally, politics should be experimental and empirical, rather that ideological, and the Finns had the right approach. Now we have some empirical data suggesting UBI is not a very successful idea.

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