6 thoughts on “Debate: Should we support a Universal Basic Income?”

  1. Posted 08/10/2018 at 22:42 | Permalink

    the strongest argument against is that the state is replacing the role of the family. The primary economic responsibility is the division of labour and the redistribution of income between members (spouses/partners, parents and children etc). Basically, ubi supporters are saying that the state should give all those who do not receive an income in their own right an income instead of it being provided by the family. The family is the basic unit of organisation within society, for the state to take over its functions is disastrous.

  2. Posted 09/10/2018 at 21:47 | Permalink

    Markets work best when everyone is compensated for the harm/loss of opportunity others cause to them. When this doesn’t happen, we bake in excessive inequalities and resource misallocation.

    In order for this to happen, we need laws, regulations and indeed taxes and re-distributive spending.

    In this context, the UBI shouldn’t be viewed at a State handout, but simply part of the compensation we are all owed along with wages and the payment of goods and services.

    A loss of opportunity occurs when we are excluded from using natural resources. Harm is done via activities that pollute and congest the environment.

    Thus the rental value of natural resources, Pigou Taxes, user fees and other royalties should be collected and paid out as an equal share as part of what we are all rightfully owed.

    If this was done, taxation of incomes, capital and transactions wouldn’t be necessary. Indeed, a Poll Tax would be the only fair and necessary way to fund the services the state provides.

    So citizens all end up getting their exact dues, and so would the state.

    This is what the UBI could and should deliver.

  3. Posted 12/10/2018 at 14:58 | Permalink

    If UBI is not going to be either extremely low or unaffordably expensive, it will have to be withdrawn at a high marginal rate as people start earning, probably at least as high as the current 63% withdrawal rate for universal credit. The trouble is that it will no longer be benefit withdrawal but income tax. Assuming we don’t want the standard rate of tax to go up for people on average earnings, we will end up with a marginal rate of tax which FALLS sharply as incomes rise. Can’t see how this could be sold politically.

  4. Posted 11/01/2020 at 16:47 | Permalink

    “Three replies showing lack of interest in such a potent proposal for stabilising the supply demand cycles.
    I particularly wonde about John Maloney having nothing to say in response to Benjamin Weenen’s post.”

  5. Posted 10/05/2020 at 20:59 | Permalink


  6. Posted 10/05/2020 at 21:24 | Permalink

    UBI is messy subject. My first view of economy, politics and all of that shenanigans was leave the market alone. Almost like a religious doctrine, same way I thought state should leave any personal affair alone. But here’s why I had a change of heart to those classical clear view. And that’s what Benjamin Weenen said, word by word, you are losing out on the opportunity to use any resource like water, wood, most of land owned by others and oil, and these basic things taken away from you makes you deserve compensation, and it only makes sense that everyone compensates everyone for what they’ve taken and have been taken from. Now this is the first almost argument which is constructed almost like a mathematical proof of our rights. But as is many (not me) find these right oriented politics not empirical enough and followingly too ideological. For these people I’d like to produce a similiar argument from Robert Nozick’s brilliant “State, Anarchy & Utopia”.

    Reparations are a big point of contention, my grandpa stole from yours, is that why you’re poor now? Do I have to pay you back for him? Do I have to take into account the worth it had then and now? And how would I do that? Not to mention, what if I’m not sure who stole my grandpa’s stuff, but I know for sure somebody stole everything he had, maybe even his life, made him a slave. This situation is undoubtedly unjust for me, but I am left without any rejoice, because any compensation from a group to a group will also include new wrong doings! The messiness of this can be seen with reparations for blacks in america. Nozick argues because of the new injustices if we tried to fix it we would just make more injustice that we would then have to fix. A viscous government interference cycle. However he said that one could argue for a redistribution of everything to everyone. So we all have the same. But he obviously said this for the leftist comparison and it’s absurdity as political position, but I found it profoundly interesting that even such a writer saw an opportunity in redistribution. Now the argument goes: We can societly compensate for the wrongs that we don’t know of anymore by assuming a small percentage of all gains are of unjust origin, and redistribute the exact amount of capital to everyone on a regular basis to also make up (very slowly) for the past injustices.
    In effect this means raising communities of colours and other marginalized communities out of poverty by letting the have capital and worth, which all the data says is wicked important for bringing down crime and raising stability and happiness. MLK pushed also thought this would be a big part of the answer to the race inequity problem.

    Lastly, and lastly there are people who aren’t convinced of the pragmatic real meaning of a giant redistribution to the population, these are our dear utilitarians, caring foremost not about rights, but about the actual graspable things we all have. To you I can say this is a question of empirical research, which means we should allude to science, which means allude to authority, in this case macro economists who do real research not just theory. Now you might not like alluding to authority but that is how science works, it’s a social being. And by what I know, Milton Friedman and a thousand economists signed a letter and supported UBI. Even then it’s important to look at only those economists who have actually researched the impacts of basic redistribution, who are predominantly for it. Now if these authorities don’t convince and you’d rather trust your friends, a quick Google search of both sides or a podcast you listen too…. Then I guess you aren’t reading this anyhow ^^

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