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Guaranteed Universal Income = Guaranteed Universal Poverty

Another flawed, not-so-new economic idea to save the poor and middle class has once again started to gain popularity: a guaranteed universal (or basic) income. Basically, everybody is guaranteed a certain amount of money per month, courtesy of our overlords benevolent leaders. Anyone who earns above that amount gets taxed "in proportion." There are better ideas, but basic income advocates naively claim that their scheme would defeat poverty once and for all.

According to the 2013 Federal Poverty Guidelines, the individual poverty level is just under $12,000/year. So let's imagine a system where everyone, upon reaching a certain age, received a check for $1,000/month just for being alive.

The fault of any basic income scheme is in the underlying assumption that, once implemented, people will continue to work just as much as they do now. But this assumption conveniently ignores the immense disincentive to work once such a system is in place.

Read the rest at:
http://simplefactsplainarguments.blogspot.com/2013/12/guaran...

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If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

Violates the NAP, so I'll pass on this

Sadly, something like this is being floated as part of many "Fair Tax" proposals that have been made, although they call it a "prebate".

You're forgetting a huge upside to this proposal...

This would replace all government programs aimed at helping the poor, and would be way more efficient.

Much of what we spend today (through government) to help the poor gets consumed throughout the process to fund the massive bureaucracies. Under this proposals, that cost goes away and all of those people who currently push papers around in a bureaucracy would have to find real employment that actually serves other people - thus actually contributing to our economic production rather than leaching off of it.

We've seen in the past that massively cutting government funded workforce and returning them to productive areas of the economy results in big-time economic growth (best example is after WWII).

Note: I don't think this system should be the end goal, but I think it's an improvement over our current anti-poverty approach through government.

The zookeeper's model. Everyone's crib gets resources.

In return, what rights will the zookeeper have everyone surrender to get their daily bed and breakfast.

The right to travel? To seek a better zoo?

The right to complain of harms endured.

The right to discuss unofficial ideas?

Only the right to the prescribed work will be enforced.

The creditors are dangling the bait. Liberty or fish tank.

Make mine liberty. It's worked just fine for fifty-nine years. It's what great-great grandpa was looking for all those years ago.

They were looking for a world to build and enjoy.

Free includes debt-free!

fireant's picture

That's fine. Do it in your state.

The feds have NO constitutional authority to provide welfare of any kind.

Undo what Wilson did

I completely agree

All I'm saying is this proposed "version" of welfare is more sensible than our current approach.

On a side note: We've drifted so far from constitutional limits, unfortunately I think immediately returning to strict adherence is just not going to fly with most people. I think we'd be better served looking for incremental ways to return to constitutional government that would be palatable to the majority of people, rather than requiring a complete jump.

fireant's picture

Understanding the end goal is essential in order to sell it.

It's a pretty simple concept actually, to return those powers not granted the federal government to the States. Incremental steps toward that goal are fine, as long as the goal is clear. It can be accomplished rather quickly though, once people are sold on it.
Nipping around the edges without a clear end game is little more than window dressing.
People like Greg Brannon and Mark Bircher understand, and it seems to me our job at present is to get more people like them in the House esp, but the Senate as well.

Undo what Wilson did

Too many assumptions

First, it has been proven, that if people are sustained at a reasonable level of living, that they will be more productive at jobs that inspire them to master their skills and contribute to society: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrkrvAUbU9Y

Second, a basic income is different than a garaunteed income. A basic income is not means tested. Thus, everyone gets the check, people who work still get the check. You'd work so you don't have to barely make it by.

Third, while doing something like $1000/month to cover poverty (by the way, I make about that now and survive decently, and end up volunteering a lot both politically and socially), it could be a smalle rcheck from the Fed ($500) and the states can decide to pick up more (for instance, Alaska gives about $2000/year to their citizens as an oil dividend): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Permanent_Fund#Permanen...

And last, where the money comes from. I work on Public Banking. In North Dakota, their State Banks made $62M last year in non-tax revenue: http://www.ilsr.org/rule/bank-of-north-dakota-2/. While this doesn't cover a basic income, their revenues have increased dramatically in the last 20 years (while our economy has taken hit after hit). A network of these banks Nationally, at the State Level, and locally would only further increase this revenue. You add the savings from current Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, HUD, etc. And a Basic Income, especially with a Public Banking system (and even a Public Trust) would reduce the need for taxes.

In addition, it would integrate everyone into the same society (no more food stamps that need to be regulated, no more HUD housing projects, no more benefit assessments, just a check; cash, to be spent in the free-market).

Hayek and Paine both supported this. Both of which were strong free-market capitalists. But that shouldn't matter, it is a smart idea on its own.

Jack Wagner

Hmm, 300 million people at

Hmm, 300 million people at $12k each means a yearly expense of $3+ trillion.
If the government basically gives up most expendatures of money, than this would actually be possible. That will never happen though as it would mean the government would only have enough money to fund absolutely essential functions and nothing else.(actual essential functions, not what many consider but really arnt)

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

Normally these proposals are

Normally these proposals are aimed at 18+ or 21+, so it would be more like 240 million or something around there.

Not really true

That people would not work with a guaranteed subsistence income. They may not be as willing to be slaves, or follow someone else's orders which is a different thing than "work"

The money to provide subsistence wages would come from taxes on land rent.

Read about Henry George http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_George

One of main appeals of a

One of main appeals of a guaranteed income is that everyone collects the $12,0000, no matter what their income status is. This way, there is no fear of losing out on your "free money" by continuing to work. Things like Obamacare subsidies, TANF, etc. create a very high effect marginal tax rate (if you consider losing your benefits a tax), which makes people on the edge of poverty/not-poverty unlikely to push through the barrier.

It is also administratively simple. No more government bureacrats investigating the cash value of your car to see if you are eligible. Theoretically this system can be sustained even without the income tax (or at least a flat tax), because details about your wealth are not necessary to determine whether you are eligible.

Every single person gets

Every single person gets $12,000 regardless of their income status? Doesn't that just make $12,000 the new $0? Where's this money coming from for everyone to basically pay themselves $12,000? The only place I can think of is the Federal Reserve.

As another commenter pointed out and I mentioned in the article, very few or none of our tax dollars actually go toward gov't operations, rather it goes toward paying the interest on our national debt, which has been continually "rolled over" for over a century (debts payed off with new debts. I have no idea how you can say it would be affordable.

The truth is, as I mention in the article, that such a program is not going to replace anything. It would be passed and place on top of the programs it was supposed to replace, just like Social Security, Nixon's "Family Assistance Plan," and even Obamacare. All of these programs were supposed to "replace/streamline/fix" previous failed government welfare schemes, yet they were simply added on top. The idea that it would replace anything is a BS argument designed to mislead conservatives and small-gov't people.

Moreover, why abolish every other welfare program just to replace it with one more government program? After all, as libertarians and adherents to the non-aggression principle, we know the gov't is useless at relieving poverty because its only way of doing so is stealing and, thus, damaging the economy.

Simple Facts and Plain Arguments
A common sense take on politics and current events.

www.simplefactsplainarguments.com

I would only support a

I would only support a guaranteed income in replacement of the current welfare state.

I would challenge your idea that either Obamacare or Social security were a replacement plan for the welfare state. I would support something similar to Nixon's family assistance plan, except I would prefer a system where everyone gets the same amount of money, regardless of income level, combined with a dismantlement of the welfare state.

Items will still be priced by laws of supply and demand, so no $12,000 isn't the new $0. Also, people can do what they want with the $12,000, including saving it.

I think the current welfare system costs somewhere just shy of $2 trillion. Add to that the administrative costs, including things that aren't included in official alleys, like the enormous effort police departments have to make to track down alimony payments at the like, and something like this becomes feasible. And if we can roll in things like agricultural subsidies and corporate welfare, it would actually be cheaper.

Not politically feasible? Good point. But what's even less politically feasible is having no safety net at all. So you can't compare a guaranteed income with a world without any welfare state. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I'm also interested in replacing the public school system with vouchers, but at the state level.

I understand what you're

I understand what you're saying, but it just seems to me that it's pointless to support the abolition of one welfare state in favor of another (regardless of political feasibility) and then expect that the new one won't grow as well. To me it's kind of like arguing for the 3/5ths Compromise rather than full blown abolition of slavery, simply because it's easier. It's a lame cliche, but I think cliches are cliches for a reason: shoot for the moon and you'll end up among the stars. Many libertarians believe in more of a gradualist approach, and I respect that, but I also believe that if there's no one agitating for more radical or extreme ideas, then the boundaries of the debate won't shift. That's why, even though I agree with you that being less unfree is always better, I advocate for no welfare state and no taxation rather than a little of both.

From Murray Rothbard's For A New Liberty:
"This, for example, is precisely what happened to the states' old-age relief programs. The major talking point of the New Deal's federal Social Security program was that it would efficiently replace the then existing patchwork old-age relief programs of the states. In practice, of course, it did no such thing, and old age relief is far higher now than it was in the 1930s. An ever-rising Social Security structure was simply placed on top of existing programs."

Obamacare advocates tried to use the same argument - it would streamline/fix healthcare and insurance policies/practices. It obviously doesn't make any sense, and nobody bought it, but they still tried the same argument with it.

I think guaranteeing everyone $12,000/yr might have an effect on supply and demand, which, in my view, will lead to upward pressure on the actual amount of the annual income. This spiral effect is what I discuss in the article.

The income tax currently brings in $1.3 trillion or so (http://www.usdebtclock.org/). Payroll taxes, corporate taxes, state and local revenue bring that up to $2.8 trillion. In a country of 317 million, there are ~115,000,000 taxpayers. 91 million aren't in the labor force, and 20 million are unemployed. The United States has $127 trillion in unfunded liabilities, or about 1.1 million per citizen. Even if we somehow trimmed government spending down to $2.8 trillion, the welfare program would, literally, be the only thing on the budget. I think you said in another comment the adult population (18/21+) is ~240 million. That means almost $2.9 trillion. Just that would take up everything we get now without abolishing a single tax, and then some. Keep in mind we still have to pay for defense, emergency services, etc., that people don't yet consider to be "welfare" (though they should). That's where I believe central banking and more debt come into play.

Simple Facts and Plain Arguments
A common sense take on politics and current events.

www.simplefactsplainarguments.com

All major proponent of basic income agree

It is to replace the current Welfare System. To make it more effective and effecient. It is very similar to Nixon's proposal, but like you said, everyone gets the check (or every adult). Then people work to live more prosperous lives.

The benefit is that people have more freedom to find work that they'll be more productive at (rather than taking jobs to just get by). This is why companies give severance, so that you have time to find another job in the same industry, so that your skills aren't wasted having to start digging ditches and getting caught in that month-to-month life style (where I am at right now actually, though I had other reasons to "career down").

Also look into the "free clinic" model to replace government health care assistance (especially if we had a basic income in conjunction): http://benswann.com/the-free-clinic-is-the-solution-to-our-p...

Another "libertarian-esk" civil society project that if done, would make government health-care less relevant an issue. But someone has to do it, in each community, for their community.

Jack Wagner

This isn't a correct assessment.

"The fault of any basic income scheme is in the underlying assumption that, once implemented, people will continue to work just as much as they do now. But this assumption conveniently ignores the immense disincentive to work once such a system is in place."

The scheme does *not* assume that, once implemented, people will continue to work just as much as they do now. It assumes they will *not* - at least not with remuneration, although they might choose to do something for their own edification, entertainment, or enlightenment like play piano, paint, study sacred geometry, chase tornadoes, take up martial arts, volunteer on an archaeological dig, start cooking whole foods from scratch again, perhaps do more gardening; maybe home-school their children...

Because of technology, soon the needs of society will be able to be met with fewer workers. That's *why* people are talking about this and other ideas. As a result of technology, human beings as labourers - in manufacturing, farming, and other industries and in various ways among the professions (office work, to name one) is a concept being rendered obsolete. As for the segment that creates and has paying jobs - that could be determined based on free market principles or socialism/communism.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

I could be wrong, but I think the author's point...

is more akin to - where will the money come from in the interim in order for this transformation that you speak of to take place? It certainly won't be immediate. However, what will be immediate is a large number of people quitting their shitty jobs to take advantage of the new subsidy. In my opinion, its a manifestation of the Principle of Least Action.

In the short-term, production would plummet as the workers went on sabbatical. This would cause widespread poverty because it would become impossible to fund the program, thereby damning the plan from the git-go.

The only way to arrive at level of society approaching the Utopia you've described is through hard-work and innovation. Progress would only be stunted by such a plan. Spreading the work that is required to service 100's of millions of humans over fewer people is a recipe for disaster.

Scientists would have to take time away from research to perform basic tasks such as sweeping the floors and taking out the trash. Professors would have to stay after hours to maintain educational facilities. Thousands of valuable man-hours would be squandered. Progress would grind to a stand still or a slow crawl.

Do you think these folks are willing to pick up that amount of slack and work for less money? Not me. Certainly, not me.

At least, that's the way I took it.

This isn't some scheme to create a Utopian society.

It is not my goal or belief that we could, even if we wished to. Here's the problem, what you wrote here: "Spreading the work that is required to service 100's of millions of humans over fewer people is a recipe for disaster." Yes, it would be a disaster and WILL BE a disaster unless we can figure it out - via some basic income scheme or otherwise. No one is *choosing* that for the future, well, not per se. That's what is happening by default.

You ask, where is the money going to come from to fund such a plan. My question to you is: when increasing numbers of Americans can no longer find jobs, where do *you* propose the money will come from for the "welfare" to feed, clothe, and house them? If and when it does require a relative few people to supply societal needs, some system needs to be in place to overcome the widespread poverty that *would* exist. Poverty and likely serious violence.

I'm not sure what you mean by "progress" or even that "progress" has some intrinsic worth. But as to your hypothetical, you'd never have to sweep floors if you didn't wish to. There would surely be someone quite willing to do such manual-labour jobs that might remain, in order to have some cash on hand for things beyond the basics.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

There is no default. The immediate future is variable.

Yes, it would be a disaster and WILL BE a disaster unless we can figure it out - via some basic income scheme or otherwise. No one is *choosing* that for the future, well, not per se. That's what is happening by default.

I'm certainly not *choosing* this type of plan among the alternatives. I guess you are of the opinion that because you *choose* this as a good option that your opinion should obviously be the default choice - and everyone else should get on board whether they like it or not.

I owe you nothing. You owe me nothing. If I fall on hard times, I can't come to your house and steal your valuables. So, why should I be able to send a politician to do it?

This basic income plan would be an unfettered disaster. It will achieve precisely the opposite of its intentions - just like 99% of interventionist policies (for instance, the unAffordable Care Act).

I think there may have been a misunderstanding.

By "default" I mean letting the chips fall where they may vs. consciously choosing to take action (namely, where technology is concerned).

It's my contention that - whether anyone likes it or not - the way technology is progressing there will be fewer & fewer jobs available because it will require fewer & fewer people to do the same work, i.e., the work necessary to provide for society's needs, leading to... unprecedented levels of unemployment. It's not the solution I said would be happening by default, but the problem. I think we'll have mass unemployment whether we let the chips fall where they may (resulting in increased welfare? ultimately violence?) or whether we anticipate that possibility and have a plan to address it.

No one can predict the future. Of course it's "variable." But we *can* take a look at what road we're on and get an idea of where we're headed and plan for some likely outcomes. I'm not saying there aren't differences of opinion as to the consequences to society of technology, but I'm certainly not alone in thinking that human labour is increasingly being rendered unnecessary. (Outsourcing only exacerbates the problem, for us, anyway.) It's not that one day *no* humans will be needed to work, just *far, far less* than now. So, in general, things could go in one of two directions:

1) For every American job that bites the dust due to technology (or outsourcing), another American job is created. Well, it would still be a major problem if unskilled-labour jobs that were eliminated were replaced with only skilled-labour jobs. Not everyone has a STEM degree (science, technology, engineering, math) - not that those jobs are secure. [Indeed, hardly - as tech universities are the first to admit.] But forgetting that issue, i.e., the issue of unskilled labour, just assuming here that for every American job lost, one comparable job was gained, then I'd see no need to consider Basic Income. This post and whole discussion would be moot. So you can relax!

2) But alternatively, let's say the unemployment rate continually increases the more advanced technology becomes (and the more is outsourced), until there is massive, widespread unemployment. In such a case, I'd be open to considering the idea of Basic Income as one possible solution. You yourself said you thought it would be a "disaster" if all the necessary work were spread among less than the full population. Well, it's a good possibility that that will be the case, *not* because anyone is saying, "Here's a plan. Let's make it so that we hardly need any workers to fulfill society's needs." It's the natural consequence (by default, if you will) of continually developing more, and more refined, LABOUR-SAVING and ENERGY-SAVING devices.

You equated the idea of Basic Income with someone coming to your house and stealing from you. Okay, answer this. Do you think that widespread masses of starving people with no hope of finding a job to put food on their table will NOT start rioting and stealing, and killing? That's what I think the "Basic Income" people would like to prevent: sheer chaos if and when the system collapses due to *unavailability of jobs*.

Even if (in such a scenario) you would prefer to beef up the police state and ensure that any such criminals would be controlled and thrown into prison, who do you think pays for the police force and also the prisoners - their food, clothing, and shelter? Wouldn't that end up stealing from you, too? (on top of living with some ubiquitous militarized police force to stop riots). Or, again, IF there aren't enough jobs to go around, do you think like some that the answer is to decrease the population such as, for one, a government mandate allowing only one child like in China (resulting in infanticide, for one)? Doesn't that take away rights? Or do we just let unemployed masses starve to death, reducing the population that way, in effect setting a Human Being population ideal based on "# jobs available" EVEN IF there was more than enough food, clothing, and shelter to go around, just most people having no opportunity to earn wages to purchase them. My friend, dwalters, it seems to me it's you who envisions a Utopian society!

In reality, IF it does happen that we increasingly become so technologically sophisticated we *eliminate* much of the need for human labour (skilled and unskilled) - labour that was needed in the past to supply society's needs and was part of some closed-loop economic/social system tied to "wages" for it to operate (because that's what the model was based on), well, it seems to me that something's gotta give! You seem to only be able to see this in the terms that others have defined: some spectrum from free-market capitalism on the one end to communism on the other. I think it will require a paradigm shift in the way we view society, value its members, and consider such concepts as labour and wages - perhaps maybe in less materialistic terms. I, for one, see the value of a human being as more than just potential wage-earner.

So, if I'm so misguided, how would *you* deal with a scenario of unemployment on a massive scale? If I've missed something, then tell me. But don't bash my mere willingness to consider the idea presented here if you have no alternative ideas yourself.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Addressing your 2nd possibility:

2) But alternatively, let's say the unemployment rate continually increases the more advanced technology becomes (and the more is outsourced), until there is massive, widespread unemployment. In such a case, I'd be open to considering the idea of Basic Income as one possible solution. You yourself said you thought it would be a "disaster" if all the necessary work were spread among less than the full population. Well, it's a good possibility that that will be the case, *not* because anyone is saying, "Here's a plan. Let's make it so that we hardly need any workers to fulfill society's needs." It's the natural consequence (by default, if you will) of continually developing more, and more refined, LABOUR-SAVING and ENERGY-SAVING devices.

People being scared of technology has been around for quite some time. How much reading have you done into Austrian Economics? If I may, I'd like to suggest a short read that you'll likely enjoy - Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt (for free as a PDF at the link).

Thanks. I need to

read it after Christmas, though I did cut to the chase to check out "The Curse of Machines," which I'm reading now. I should probably wait to comment, but... I'm not sure we can go by the past given, for one, the rate that changes are occurring now that we have computers. I don't know that it's comparable in terms of necessary adjustment periods - not that everyone in the past adjusted so easily. For instance, while the introduction of the knitting machine grew the industry enormously, "For William Felkin, in his History of the Machine-Wrought Hosiery Manufactures (1867), tells us that the larger part of the 50,000 English stocking knitters and their families did not fully emerge from the hunger and misery entailed by the introduction of the machine for the next forty years." Obviously, any new/replacement jobs not only required different skills (abilities) but also capabilities - or it wouldn't have taken the knitters and their families generations to recover. It's difficult for me to reduce the analysis to some bottom line net figure when real people are involved, no less hundreds of thousands. Anyway, I'll reserve judgement until I've read it all, which I look forward to doing. I've actually had it on my to-do list for a while.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

It is my belief that there is no certain number of things...

that humans will accomplish and then just stop. In other words, humans will forever be innovating - at least, until extinction. New products will constantly be developed that fulfill some want or need. At first, new products are expensive and require excessive man power, but as time goes on, production becomes more efficeint and less people are needed (for that particular line of production).

Of course, in the short-run, affected people have to find something else to do. If the State decides to intervene at such a time by paying the people not to work, it should be no surprise that - even when jobs are available - the folks will be reluctant to go back to work as long as they are being subsidized.

For instance, I've known people that were previously hard workers that, after the never-ending unemployment benefits given after 2008, have become much less willing to do work.

Returning to the first paragraph. After production becomes more efficient and requires less man power, the item becomes less expensive and more available to the masses. Eventually, it is often found that more people are employed in the industry that were before the advances in technology.

"The scheme does *not* assume

"The scheme does *not* assume that, once implemented, people will continue to work just as much as they do now. It assumes they will *not* - at least not with remuneration, although they might choose to do something for their own edification, entertainment, or enlightenment like play piano, paint, study sacred geometry, chase tornadoes, take up martial arts, volunteer on an archaeological dig, start cooking whole foods from scratch again, perhaps do more gardening; maybe home-school their children..."

Maybe work wasn't the right word. Maybe I should have said "the main fault with the scheme is that it assumes that people will keep working to produce taxable income to pay themselves and everyone else such-and-such amount per year." Also, people do those things now. Some even get paid.

Technology also opens up new markets, and the human race ("society") is still growing. It doesn't make productive labor obsolete. Machines only do what a humans tells them, and a machine can't do everything a human can do. There's a reason people are willing to pay $500,000 dollars for a Bentley. They're willing to pay for something that took over 500 man-hours to make, and while some parts of the process are obviously automated, the entire appeal of the car is that many of the parts are hand-crafted by people. That appeals to them more than a car made by robots in China in under 9 hours.

Simple Facts and Plain Arguments
A common sense take on politics and current events.

www.simplefactsplainarguments.com

I agree that there would still be a demand for

"luxury" items, i.e., items above the basics. (Bear in mind, too, there would still be a "demand" for those basics!) Only time will tell, but I think you are not facing reality about the number of human-labor jobs that will be *needed* in the future to provide for human needs. Furthermore, for America, there are *two* issues: outsourcing AND technology *both* eliminating jobs left and right. Right now, we don't even grow our own staples like garlic or tomatoes. And when was the last time you purchased clothing made in the U.S.? Or an appliance?

I saw it re office work already in the mid-90's, over the duration of a drawn-out legal issue. In the beginning, a secretary (billed at $25/hour) would make a change on some document and call you in to sign it; within four years, the attorney (billed at $250/hour!) would call you in, putz around on the computer until he got the right screen up and hunt and peck to make the change and have you sign it right there. (Now, some legal papers can be downloaded off the internet and brought to a notary public to be signed. Yeah, we'll always need notary publics! At least one per town!) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2507100/Is-jo...

Because of open borders and trade agreements, some job opportunities are going to China, India, Canada, Mexico, and South America. Because of technology, other types of jobs are being eliminated all over.
http://work.chron.com/jobs-eliminated-nanotechnology-17999.html

Personally, I'm only open to the idea of basic income *because* I believe it's inevitable that there simply will not be enough jobs for everyone to be able to "work" for a living. GIVEN that hypothetical scenario, what would *you* recommend?

And where is the "money" coming from? Yes, it's coming from those who do "work" (for money), which will include those who supply THE BASICS for an entire nation, i.e., guaranteed "customers," and those with higher risk employment supplying THE LUXURIES for those who can afford it. That's your choice: make due with the basics and choose how you wish to spend your time; or be part of a taxed workforce which, nonetheless, would be able to afford you "more" if that was important to you. The assumption also is, there will always be those for whom it would be worth it - in the fields that are left: physicians, barbers...

Bear in mind, basic income is not welfare. Whether you "work" or not, you receive the basic income.

Again... IF there are increasingly fewer jobs than people who need to eat can find, what are the alternatives? I maintain, we can't be analyzing something like this comparing it to what has been in the past or what exists now, at least still for most - where people have had/have a *means* to earn a living. It needs to be analyzed from scratch based on certain givens:
~ people need to eat and be clothed and sheltered; and
~ the amount of labor needed to provide for those needs can be accomplished by a relative few, i.e., a number less than the population of adults.

The current models simply don't apply anymore.

P.S. Personally, I think that relatively soon we'll also be enjoying free energy. That will eliminate another whole host of jobs.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

I think it would be better

and more efficient than what we have now because you give people the freedom to choose how their money is spent allowing free markets to determine costs instead of government.
Of course you need to get rid of every other social program and welfare.The arguments you hear is most wouldn't work but really who wants to live off only $12,000 a year?
Some would not work but many would want more income and many would do something they like to do and get paid for it instead of doing something they have to do to survive.And the inflation argument is crap,look at the cost of everthng the government foots the bill for.All those things would go down when people actually ask how much things cost.

Here is a great article about how Hayek thought it was a good idea.

http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2012/05/hayek-enemy-of-...

I think this idea is like the flat tax idea.It is still a tax or in this case socialism but it is a step in the right direction.
We will never transition from socialism to libertarianism overnight but this would take us a step closer towards more liberty.And reigning in or ending the Federal Reserve and stop paying interest to bankers and returning the power of money creation to the people would be another step.
Also as a side note Thomas Paine also believed in having a safety net.

What about the freedom to not

What about the freedom to not have money forcefully taken from us in the first place, rather than the freedom to spend what our overlords allow us to spend?

Why abolish every other welfare program just to replace it with this one? The government is useless at relieving poverty.

You argument against my argument amounts to such: because we can't pay for one program who cares if we can't pay for another? You really didn't refute my claim. At the very least, such a program brings us one step (or several) closer to that moment when the levee breaks.

Hayek was not a libertarian. Was was an Austrian economist with some social democrat ideas, many of which clash with the NAP, which I, as a libertarian and not a utilitarian, adhere to.

Replacing socialism with socialism doesn't appeal to me, and even Thomas Paine makes mistakes. My choosing to style the website after is not to reflect his political ideals, but reflect his ability to take complex political and historical arguments and write in a way that everyone, and not just scholars, can understand.

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The ideal economic system.

Over the years I have given quite a lot of thought to this question and since becoming a Christian 37 years ago I began to study the Law of God to see how the first Kingdom of God on Earth, the ancient nation of Israel, was ordered economically and how that model might apply in the modern world.

That ancient nation did not follow faithfully the laws she was given so we actually have no record of how the system would work out in practice. The system that we have inherited by default is that of the ancient kingdom of Babylon modified over the centuries but still the one that is based upon debt and usury and that benefits the few at the expense of the many. It was used then for the purpose of enslavement and it is used for that purpose today. The economic Law of God is designed to set men free from that system.

I seriously doubt that men could follow the laws of the Kingdom economy today any more than the ancient Israelites could nor any more than they can follow the other laws of the Kingdom of God which are designed similarly to set us free.

"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)

Very good comment...

Don't forget though, that ancient Israel was around for a long time, a lot longer than the United States has been. They were conquered, and freed themselves, and conquered again (etc.) several times.

As you point out the Babylonian economic system (as well as ancient Egyptian empire, etc.) throughout the history of ancient Israel, and to this day, is all about debt-slavery.

Israel on the other hand, enjoyed a comparatively tremendous amount of economic and individual freedom. It was much more of a free market than today.

Like today, I'm sure there were plenty of folks who just didn't 'get it' and advocated for what were essentially socialist policies, and worshipping false idols, etc., etc...
Between those normal social-economic pressures, and fighting off aspiring (and successful) conquerors, the freedom enjoyed in ancient Israel could not last forever...
By the time Yeshua the Messiah came around, the evil-empire had taken over again. Basically, Pharaoh (Caesar, i.e.- man on thrown who declares himself god) had the Jews back in slavery, and again like Moses, G-d sent His people a Savior.

But ancient Israel did last a lot longer than the US has so far...

Thanks, and G-d bless...

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