1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

UBI - a Libertarian Idea

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Heyo, May 11, 2020.

  1. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Messages:
    6,452
    Ratings:
    +5,537
    Religion:
    none
    The idea that every person in a society should be guaranteed a living income, no questions asked, irrevocable and automatic is old, diverse in the plans of financing and motivation.
    I wont go into details here but argue that anyone who calls himself libertarian should favour an UBI.

    Any true libertarian, i.e. someone who cares about liberty for all, not only his own, abhors any kind of pressure. The pressure to work for a living is a fact of nature but it could be overcome by society - and therefore it should.
    Freed from the need to work people could pursue a career they really like. Bosses could no longer coerce workers into things they don't like. The amount of personal freedom would reach unknown heights.

    I know the objections that will come, especially about financing and UBI making people lazy. We can address those in the debate.

    But first and foremost, do you agree that UBI is a libertarian idea? If not, why not?
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    76,157
    Ratings:
    +37,802
    Religion:
    Non-Theistic Mysticism
    If it's a libertarian idea, so much the better! It seems to be an idea different political groups can get behind for perhaps varying reasons.

    I totally agree with you about an UBI being liberating. And I like Bill Gates' advice to "tax the robots" in order to pay for it. That would be a good start, I think.

    What is the use of having the wealthiest economies in the history of the world if we live our lives unnecessarily subjected to so many of the same damnable pressures and anxieties as Medieval peasants?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    33,667
    Ratings:
    +14,030
    Religion:
    Philosophical Buddhism
    I'd like it in principle, but I got to tell you that will never ever happen
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Messages:
    6,452
    Ratings:
    +5,537
    Religion:
    none
    It's questionable if it will ever happen in the US but several European countries are toying with the idea. I see it as inevitable in light of the coming next wave of automation. The pain of transition will be less for those who adopt early.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
  5. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,910
    Ratings:
    +711
    Religion:
    Standard Animism
    My read from them is that they seem to like the idea of unsupported freedom, but hopefully that is incorrect. 'someone has to pay for it'

    I'd clarify more but a large cat has laid on one arm

    there;s a statement that should be framed
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  6. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    76,157
    Ratings:
    +37,802
    Religion:
    Non-Theistic Mysticism
    I see it as inevitable too, and for the same reason. Automation. But I also foresee the US being 'the last nation on the planet' to adopt it. When we ramped up to fight the Cold War, we massively propagandized the public for generations on the evils of "socialism". We ingrained in them that knee-jerk view of the world -- and this will look like socialism to our nation's noble and esteemed masses.

    I fear we might sink most of the country into poverty before we get around to adopting an UBI.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  7. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    7,488
    Ratings:
    +5,315
    Religion:
    Buddhism
    Apparently the idea was first mooted by Sir Thomas More in his work Utopia published in 1516, and who centuries later was made an official hero of the Soviet Union. So that'll be popular in the land of the free. :D

    Just as long as the robots aren't made in China.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Messages:
    6,452
    Ratings:
    +5,537
    Religion:
    none
    Land of the free capitalists.
    What's the difference if the robots are made in China? If they pay taxes, they should be welcomed.
    (Though I'd also prefer that those robots were made by free people.)
     
  9. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    7,488
    Ratings:
    +5,315
    Religion:
    Buddhism
    I was just thinking Trump and his ilk would want to make a stink about anything Chinese.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Salvador

    Salvador RF's Swedenborgian

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    Messages:
    5,301
    Ratings:
    +1,681
    Religion:
    Swedenborgianism
    U.B.I. and Universal Health Insurance are now essential in our Covid ravaged world where there's high joblessness of people in which fearless germ-free automation will fill this void of human joblessness.

    I’d like U.S. Covid recovery stimulus spending be done on universal health care insurance and universal basic income; this being paid with a national ten percent value-added tax as well as with a higher corporate income tax of twenty-nine percent. I’d like tax reform and universal health insurance with universal basic income be implemented as follows:

    1. Universal health insurance ( U…H.I.) affordably be done with insured cost sharing, ( Universal Medicare with a combined $4,000 Part A and B deductible, a 20 percent Part A and B co-insurance and a 50 percent prescription drug co-insurance ) costing taxpayers ca. $1.9 trillion in the fiscal year 2023.

    2. U.H.I being funded in large part with a 10 percent value-added-tax ( 10%V.A.T.) less VAT tax monthly rebates of $165 for each American citizen age 18 or over, this would net approximately 600 billion dollars of revenue in the year 2023; U…H.I. also being funded in part with an increase in the corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 29 percent resulting in corporations paying U.S. corporate income taxes of ca. $500 billion, the imposition of financial transaction taxes ( remittance taxes and stock/bond trade taxes) generating ca. $200 billion, the implementation of tariffs resulting in ca. $135 billion of revenue in 2023 and federal estate taxes generating an additional ca. $35 billion in revenue., alcohol, cannabis and tobacco excise taxes generating ca. $80 billion of funding for U.H.I, and the remainder of funding for U. H.I. coming from Medicare payroll taxes of ca. $350 billion.

    3. Social security being fully funded by a doubling of the cap on social security taxes, so that all workers and employers would contribute 6.2 percent of social security taxes on every dollar of their earnings up to $320,000 of each individual wage earner’s income .In 2023, this would mean Americans would pay ca. $1.3 trillion in social security payroll taxes.

    4. U.S. military spending along with all other governmental agencies, save for U.H.I. social security the Department of Transportation and Homeland Security,being funded with a simplified income tax system, just a few income tax brackets beginning in year 2026, zero percent on the initial $12,000 of personal individual annual income, 12 percent on $12,001 to $51,000 of personal individual annual income, 32 percent on individual personal annual earnings in excess of $51,000. Capital gains taxed at same rate as ordinary income. No tax credits, save for a refundable $2,000 child tax credit as well as a $4,000 subsistence living allowance tax credit for each adult American citizen. In 2023, this would result in total personal federal income taxes amounting to an estimated $1.2 trillion.

    5. The implementation of excise taxes on railways, fuel, airports and aviation collectively adding up to $160 billion, which would fund the Department of Transportation and Homeland Security.

    6. Approved federal spending in 2023 at ca. $1.9 trillion for universal health care ( U.H.I. ) $1.3 trillion for Social Security, ( no change from status-quo on S.S. retirement benefits ), ca. 900 billion dollars towards the military and veteran services or veteran benefits, $494 billion on debt interest payments, an estimated $100 billion towards Medicaid, $62 billion spending on the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ( ca. $10 billion ) for the Department of Commerce, ( ca. $13 billion ) for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, ( ca. $32 billion) for the Department of Energy, ( ca. $9 billion ) for the Environmental Protection Agency, ( $4 billion ). for the Food and Drug Administration, ( ca. $40 billion ) for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, ( ca. $23 billion) for the Department of Interior annual spending, ( ca. $50 billion) for the Department of Homeland Security, (ca. $30 billion) for the Department of Justice, ( ca. $10 billion ) for the Department of Labor, ( ca. $25 billion ) for N.A.S.A., ( ca. $45 billion ) for the State Department, ( ca. $110 billion) for the Department of Transportation, ( ca. $23 billion ) for the Department of Treasury; the above proposed federal spending resulting in total federal annual spending to be ca. $5.18 trillion…

    7. The above approved fiscal year 2023 federal spending being ca. $5.18 trillion and ca. $4.56 trillion of tax revenue would result in a federal deficit of ca. $620 billion for FY 2023; all new federal government spending could be balanced with incoming revenue sources. The only deficit spending could be for paying interest on debt from previous government spending.
    What spending would you like done in order to stimulate our economic recovery from the C.O.V.I.D.-19 pandemic? How would you like this spending to be paid for?
     
  11. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    183,928
    Ratings:
    +62,285
    Religion:
    Atheist
    Libertarians could be either for or against the idea, so I wouldn't
    make it a No True Scotsman litmus test for us. But some have been
    proposing that for decades. (I recall one such proposal from The
    Cato Institute eons ago.)
    I see it as the the most libertarian of social assistance programs
    because unlike others, it allows maximum choice for the recipient,
    & minimum coercion.

    A window into current programs...
    As a landlord, I avoided managing Section 8 housing. One reason
    is that I'd be required to monitor the tenants' guests & length of stay.
    This would be reported to government, determining tenant compliance
    with......ugh....you get the picture. There's even special management
    software available to properly track surveillance results.

    One might say that taxing Peter to pay a UBI to Paul isn't libertarian.
    But I argue that it's more libertarian than Section 8 housing.
    Solutions to life's problems are are never perfect. So we pick the
    best....or least objectionable.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    17,948
    Ratings:
    +10,488
    Religion:
    Agnostic
    I suppose it could be considered a libertarian idea, although I'm not entirely sure. UBI seems more a practical measure to ensure the stability and political harmony within society, which is a collectivist notion that libertarians often rail against.

    Libertarians strike me as hyper-individualists who ostensibly favor dog-eat-dog competition and an every-man-for-himself philosophy, not unlike that of organized crime. It's a variation of social Darwinism and a just-world fallacy, since they invariably conclude that those who are rich "deserved it" (because they're superior) and that those who are poor "deserved it" (because they're inferior). It doesn't matter how one plays the game, as long as "he who dies with the most toys wins."

    To give money or "free stuff" to the poor somehow violates their sensibilities, as if it's against some sacred "law of nature."

    I'm not convinced that "true libertarians" are all that devoted to true individual freedom. They're more stuck on legal technicalities than anything else and artificial divisions between the so-called "public sector" and "private sector." They're also big on contracts and fine print. Their idea of "freedom" is whatever their lawyers and accountants tell them it is.

    They go running to "Big Gov" any time something doesn't go their way, so I'm not even convinced that they're committed to reducing the size and scope of government. In practice, what they seem to want to do is clip the wings of the Executive and Legislative branches and put most government power in the hands of the Judicial branch. They want lawyers to run things even more than they are now.

    Labor unions might be the working class' answer to libertarianism, since it's private individuals organizing and exercising their right to freedom of association (which is a right that libertarians cherish). Historically, business owners utilized the apparatus of the state to oppose and crush labor unions, or they might have used privately employed strikebreakers to use violence against discontented workers. When that was no longer politically expedient, business owners had to play ball with the unions, until they found another way to work around them by advocating for free trade, outsourcing, and importing low-wage workers (both documented and undocumented) from other countries, driving down the cost of labor and reducing the bargaining power of unions.

    As for UBI, I think it would be good for society overall, as a way of promoting greater political stability in society. I don't think it would promote laziness, although there might be some short-term adjustments since it would definitely be a game-changer in terms of the typical employer/employee relationship.

    Employers which depend on immediate access to a pool of necessitous individuals with few options and willing to work low wages just to survive would probably be put into somewhat of a temporary bind. It would be a true test of their capitalistic skill, if they could still stay in business without having the option of taking advantage of others' misfortune.

    I'm reminded of a story about a lady who owned a small vineyard and winery. When faced with the likelihood that her undocumented laborers could be deported, she complained that she wouldn't be able to stay in business if she had to hire people who were legally able to work in the United States. But I had to wonder, where is her capitalistic skill? Capitalists always crow about how those with the best skills get the best rewards. They talk about how capitalists are just these wonderful, magical people who "create jobs" and "create wealth" just because they're so brilliant and have talents far beyond that of mortal men. But when the real truth comes out that they have to depend on chicanery, manipulation, and exploitation in order to survive, then it puts capitalism in a different light.
     
  13. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    183,928
    Ratings:
    +62,285
    Religion:
    Atheist
    Are non-libertarians hyper-collectivists, who favor the sacrificing
    the individual for the greater good & glory of the state?
    Perhaps the extremes don't accurately characterize the many.

    But I agree with the issue of practicality. We're gonna have some
    social welfare system. UBI is more libertarian than any alternative.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    17,948
    Ratings:
    +10,488
    Religion:
    Agnostic
    Some seem to favor that. Every war memorial and veterans' appreciation event would be proof of that. In earlier times, it was considered a great honor to sacrifice for "king and country." Even those who aren't quite so militaristic might still think that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." In practice, the individual wouldn't be "sacrificed," but the continued viability of the collective is of paramount importance in order to maintain some semblance of freedom for the individual.

    I think much of the problem is due to philosophy and/or ideology overriding practicality in a lot of people's minds.
     
  15. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    183,928
    Ratings:
    +62,285
    Religion:
    Atheist
    Philosophy should be influenced by reality.
    Otherwise it's just a useless construct.
     
  16. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
    Messages:
    17,335
    Ratings:
    +4,005
    Religion:
    Theological noncognitivist
    Define living income.
     
  17. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Messages:
    6,452
    Ratings:
    +5,537
    Religion:
    none
    Enough to have a roof over your head and enough to eat and then some to take part in social life plus free healthcare. In the US that would amount to something like $ 1500 per month. In short, not being forced to work (or become criminal) to survive.
    Not a good life, but one someone can be content with.
     
  18. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
    Messages:
    17,335
    Ratings:
    +4,005
    Religion:
    Theological noncognitivist
    You do realize that such a standard varies from location to location right? A large part of NYC that aide comes up short. In other areas people will have a surplus.
     
  19. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Messages:
    6,452
    Ratings:
    +5,537
    Religion:
    none
    I am aware of that but don't really want to discuss the details of UBI. I'm sure some kind of solution could be found if that is the intention. My question was more if you (when you call yourself a libertarian) see UBI as principally a good idea. My thesis is that you should because it brings more freedom to more people.
     
  20. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    183,928
    Ratings:
    +62,285
    Religion:
    Atheist
    If someone wants to live solely on UBI, then they would do well to move.
    UBI shouldn't mean living anywhere one wants, eg,
    The Hamptons, Grosse Pointe Farms, Dupont Circle.
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...