Utopia – as defined by a liberal loon

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  • #8410
    RobP
    Participant

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/opinion/sunday/why-not-utopia.html

    ” Better is the Guaranteed Basic Income, which is not universally despised (it’s at least as old as Thomas Paine, was endorsed by the economist Friedrich Hayek and was recently considered by Switzerland), because it would simplify matters and help keep the economy moving. How all of this would be financed is of course a question; we could make the income tax look like it did 60 years ago, when the top rate was 91 percent (and, by the way, the economy was just fine), or we could institute a 100 percent tax on wealth over $1 billion, or … well, there’s no dearth of ideas. The way to address income distribution is to redistribute income.”

    Uh, sure. That’ll fix everything. Just like Karl Marx did.

    #8412
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    Actually, there is a growing movement toward this. I think we will see it tried somewhere in the EU soon.

    http://www.helsinkitimes.fi/

    http://basicincome2013.eu/

    There are a variety of other efforts to organize around this right now. Some in silicon valley actually are investigating how this might work.

    FWIW, the idea isn’t utopia. Basic income is basic, not really desirable, but serviceable. The core idea is to enable people to take risks and improve themselves.

    The other idea is capitalism breaks down somewhat with high degrees of automation. What exactly do we have people do that will provide them with a meaningful wage?

    By meaningful, I mean a wage that presents demand to the marketplace.

    There is near infinite demand associated with people. They have needs, wants, goals. Perform that same analysis in terms of liquid, spendable dollars, and the picture is far more bleak.

    Some redistribution isn’t a bad thing. But, if we don’t want to do that, what exactly do we do?

    Add money to the system? I’ve suggested how that might happen. Public works is a great way to add money.

    The basic income would serve as a low level, stimulus which would lower the cost of risk for a ton of people, very likely resulting in new business, innovation, jobs, etc… Let that money compete with the old money kind of thing.

    Make it really cheap for people to live? Raise wages?

    Before you write this stuff off, consider demand and how it presents to the marketplace. If there is demand not backed by liquid dollars, and or credit, what happens? How do people who meet that demand get paid?

    And that’s what these ideas are getting at.

    There is near infinite demand among humans. There is considerably less material, trade capable demand, due to high levels of inequality.

    We’ve set aside, for now, the idea that we the people can advance things through government. Moon mission, interstate highway, WPA, CCC, etc…

    Which leaves the markets! And markets are awesome! I love markets and have made a career in them, automation, new process, product development, etc… Sweet!

    But, if we leave this to markets, and we leave the inequality in place, we blunt what markets can do for us because people can’t get paid. And when they can’t get paid, we don’t innovate, advance and do all that other future stuff people want and need to get done.

    That too is what these ideas are getting at. Think it through before you say, “loon.”

    Real problems exist right now and they don’t have “just ignore it” or “blame other people” type solutions.

    #8413
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    And I’m not an advocate for this. I see what they are getting at, and it’s real. Totally agree on that.

    But I don’t know that it’s the best, or will work, or if there isn’t something else that would be better, or have a better chance of happening.

    #8418
    NoParty
    Participant

    Uh, sure. That’ll fix everything. Just like Karl Marx did.

    Like Uncle Ronnie did?

    #8446
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    In my experience, most people (such as RobP) don’t have to be worried about income redistribution affecting them negatively. Yet they are the most vocal.

    Go figure. Actually, don’t figure. It’s par for the course.

    Most people bitching about paying taxes likely don’t pay much or pay very little in taxes. This is pure statistics. In otherwords, they are idiots and should shut up. I can’t begin to tell you the number of people I hear complain, yet, their federal return shows zero tax due. Zero tax liability yet they are chapped about taxes! Okay!

    Income inequality is a big issue. Our economy relies on the average person to spend money. If all that money is concentrated into the hands of a few, it will have a negative affect on the economy overall.

    The solution is several options.

    First, the inheritance tax needs to have some teeth. This would hit people like the Walton kids who have had billions passed onto them. Being a child of a billionaire shouldn’t mean you get to inherit the whole sum.

    Second, minimum wage needs to go up.

    Thirdly, the tax rate on capital gains and dividends should be taxed at the same rate as earned income. Mitt Romney should pay more than 13% on his $21 million in income when that rate is being paid by worker at Taco Bell.

    #8447
    jerry1949
    Spectator

    Capital gains tax should be 0%. Gains are often due to inflation, hence no real gain, and the investor is risking his principle.

    There should be no inheritance tax, either. Why shouldn’t the wealth of parents belong to their children?

    #8449
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    Because they didn’t earn it.

    I pay double the Fed tax rate that Mitt Romney does. Double. Why the difference? My income comes from work. Mitt’s income comes from money earning more money.

    Tax wealth and work at the same rate.

    #8450
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    And I will count F&B in that group that pays little to any Fed taxes, which is typical.

    #8459
    Broadway
    Participant

    People don’t know basic arithmetic anymore…sad.

    #8539
    NoParty
    Participant

    Broadway said>>
    People don’t know basic arithmetic anymore…sad.

    Damn rich people.

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