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What's your opinion on Unconditional Basic Income? (This is not Communism)

The Basic Income movement is one that is quickly gaining ground around the world. Both prominent right and left wing persons have given their support for this idea.

What's your thoughts on Basic Income, do you think it's a good idea?


EDIT: I forgot to mention (in case you haven't heard) that what sprout the movement was Switzerland's proposal for basic income ($2800 monthly). http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/04/us-swiss-pay-idUSBRE9930O620131004

EDIT 2: This is NOT meant as a universal cure for all the problems of the world, things like education, politics, corruption and deceases are separate issues (even though Basic Income might help with them) if you wish to solve those issues please join or start a conversation about those. However discussing them with respect of BI is very fine and encouraged.

Please try to NOT sway too far from the topic, which is "What's your opinion on Unconditional Basic Income?". Comments to others opinions are of course free to go far from the topic, but preferably not too far.

And please try to be constructive and mature in your comments to others on this conversation.

Also please read AT LEAST the provided Wikipedia article on Basic income as it will answer many questions posted here.

Thank you for reading this explanation...(?)

Topics: basic income

Closing Statement from Jimmy Strobl

Wow, thank you ALL for your contributions to this conversation!

There's no way that I'm going to be able to summarize what was said here.
But I do feel that people might be ready for this transition or at least they are able to be convinced that it is feasible.

Anyway, thank you all for your participation and sorry for the lack of response the last few days.

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  • Dec 22 2013: The earth has not enough money to provide Unconditial Basic Income.

    Just look at the number of people worldwide, it is more than 7 000 000 000 and growing.

    World GDP is approx 10 000 USD per capita. Thousands are in hands of governments now (in Europe, governments very often regulate more than 50 % of GDP).

    To give 5000 USD (which is only ~ 420 USD per month per person) we would need to establish communism and 100% regulation.

    But! 100% regulation means that people who are motivated by money would A) stop trying or B) move their business to black markets. You can choose A) or B) in both cases official World GDP would be lower which means less money for basic income, less money for normal income, less money for companies which leads to even less GDP.

    Unconditial Basic Income may be fine idea for some other world with 10 times higher GDP (at the same prices and same amount of people) and without corruption and inefficient governments. Sorry but I don't believe world can have Basic Income in (at least) next 100 years.
    • Comment deleted

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        Dec 29 2013: Mike,

        We have technology now that can help implement this. you no longer have to deliver bags of cash and hope the next person in the chain is honest and divides it properly...

        Biometrics. The government can create an account for every eligible person and register their retinal scan and transfer equal money to all the accounts that the person can just go to the store and spend by retinal scan or by scanning it into their bank account.

        Implementation is still tough because politicians are corrupt, but that's why we have smart people in the private sector checking up. Anyway, implementing a different percentage of taxes will be no harder than what's already being done.

        It may even reduce the cost and manpower needed because you wouldnt need to have public aid workers calculating whether you qualify or not since all adult citizens would qualify.
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      Dec 24 2013: I love pointing out that the research has been done time and time again over the ages. The only thing really lacking has been the political will and that is because so much of the tired, old out dated ideologies of the Industrial era that still pollute the halls of governance. the answers to your concerns are but a google away.
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        Dec 30 2013: I find it troubling that so few actually care to try to fact check their opinion. Like "do I have data to support my claims?"...

        "Does the idea that there might be knowledge frighten you?
        Does the idea that one afternoon on Wiki-fucking-pedia might enlighten you frighten you?
        Does the notion that there may not be a supernatural so blow your hippy noodle that you'd rather just stand in the fog of your inability to Google?" - Tim Minchin - Storm

    • Matt K

      • +1
      Dec 27 2013: agree, for the reason (overppopulation). however, u missing out the point that an UBI can be introduced at a low level and then can incrementally increase over (100) years time?!

      E.g. in Germany everyone gets today an UBI of $520 plus flat. So I think that will work at least in the U.S. and you should rethink your calculation.
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      Dec 29 2013: Jiří Knesl, I do think it can be done on a worldwide scale, but to start out with, if each country implemented its own system, it would still work. forget the dollar amounts.... there is enough money because you would take taxes on a percentage and redistribute it on an absolute amount.

      The United States' nominal GDP was estimated to be $16.6 trillion in June 2013.
      GDP per capita $51,704 (2012)
      Population 2013 estimate 317,354,000
      10% of GDP = $1,660,000,000,000
      per person = $5230.00
      per month = $435.90 (This is for the entire population cuz i'm too lazy to figure up adults only)

      Just for fun, let's say that the US takes 10% for domestic and then takes another 10% for every person on earth. (Estimated to 7.5 billion) not subtracting the us population that already got paid with the first 10%, so this is additional.
      = $221.33/year
      Since the global EXTREME poverty rate is $1.25/day, just a single country can cut that in half without having to find who is eligible, deserving, cheating, whatever.

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