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NCCommish

Basic Income Guarantee

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So I have been toying with this idea. Talk of the minimum wage and how much people should make have come up in other threads so I thought I'd throw this out there and see what people think.

So BIG is a program where everyone in the country gets paid a certain amount by the government every year. Currently we do something similar in the way everyone qualifies for a certain amount of write offs. But that's after the fact and isn't really stimulative. This way it's cash in hand paid monthly. I set the amount at 15,600 a year. I used that because it is in between the automatic write off and Mitts loophole cap of 17k. This income is untaxed no matter how much or how little you make. But there are no other loopholes. You are taxed on every dollar above this and all income is treated equally except in certain cases. Well really 2 cases. I would keep SS income tax free as well. And I would keep inheritances of 1 million per individual or 2 million a couple untaxed. Above that taxed as income but given 5 years to make total payment with no penalties accruing unless you exceed that time span.

Now what I think this would do is help alleviate some measure of poverty. Reduce expenditures on things like food stamps. Broaden the tax base. Drive demand which would help the economy get back on track which would help us with our debt issue. Also given the closing of all loopholes and broadened base we could drop the rates across the board and still have plenty of revenue from personal income.

So too commie or what?

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Why not just throw in the towel and go national sales tax at that point?

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Why not just throw in the towel and go national sales tax at that point?

I am a Fair Taxer so that works for me. I also don't consider it throwing in the towel.
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I've seen this idea briefly mentioned in a couple other threads. It seems outrageous at first glance but I'm certainly open to hearing an argument for/against it.

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I've seen this idea briefly mentioned in a couple other threads. It seems outrageous at first glance but I'm certainly open to hearing an argument for/against it.

It does doesn't it? It did to me. But the more I thought about it the more I realized it really isn't that different from what we are already doing.

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So I have been toying with this idea. Talk of the minimum wage and how much people should make have come up in other threads so I thought I'd throw this out there and see what people think.

So BIG is a program where everyone in the country gets paid a certain amount by the government every year. Currently we do something similar in the way everyone qualifies for a certain amount of write offs. But that's after the fact and isn't really stimulative. This way it's cash in hand paid monthly. I set the amount at 15,600 a year. I used that because it is in between the automatic write off and Mitts loophole cap of 17k. This income is untaxed no matter how much or how little you make. But there are no other loopholes. You are taxed on every dollar above this and all income is treated equally except in certain cases. Well really 2 cases. I would keep SS income tax free as well. And I would keep inheritances of 1 million per individual or 2 million a couple untaxed. Above that taxed as income but given 5 years to make total payment with no penalties accruing unless you exceed that time span.

Now what I think this would do is help alleviate some measure of poverty. Reduce expenditures on things like food stamps. Broaden the tax base. Drive demand which would help the economy get back on track which would help us with our debt issue. Also given the closing of all loopholes and broadened base we could drop the rates across the board and still have plenty of revenue from personal income.

So too commie or what?

I will NOT turn this into a political discussion...but here's my comments FWIW.

1st, I think that in theory, something like this is good. You're basically reallocating "credits" into real money that people can use for their daily life. Good idea. I think, however, that in practice, this will fail. I think that a big part of the issue is the entitlement and lazy attitude of so many Americans. I also think that while it's not a uniquely "American" problem, it is more prevalent here than anywhere else. I think that if you give this money out, the people who REALLY need it (the food stamp folks referenced), it will help them in the short term, but in the long term they'll be right back where they were. As evidence, I present the article about the homeless man who was given $100,000. I think the root of the problem for many people living in poverty is not money, but rather what they do with it. I'd much prefer to see 100% free tuition at many community colleges. Free education at a level not already given here. Free job/career planning for those out of work and on hard times. Free business clothing to help those who cannot afford to look nice for a job interview, etc. The sad thing is that I think if you provided all of that, there would still be thousands of lazy people who would not take any of it, and would be content to just sit around and complain about how poor they are.

I think this would drive demand in the short term...but the money would flow up the chain and ultimately end up with the 1%'ers...because the people at the bottom might have more money, but they STILL don't know what to do with it besides spend it on the first thing they see.

It's the attitude of those in poverty that needs to be changed, not the cash flow. Any time someone is more willing to collect an unemployment check then work at McDonalds, there's a problem. Stop the free hand-outs. There's plenty of jobs that need to be done. There's trash to be picked up by the roadside. There's something for everyone on unemployment to do to benefit society.

I know there are the exceptions...I know that a lot of these people depend on this money in hard times...but I think the majority of them depend on it because they are lazy and not educated on HOW to get out from under that support.

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I set the amount at 15,600 a year.

Why would people work for $8 a hour if you did this?

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I'm on board. I think it solves a lot of problems and cleans up a lot of issues. Of course, this only works as a replacement safety net - not as an additional safety net. if you do this and get rid of food stamps, for example, I'm on board.

I make a good living and have a nice house, but there's always that risk looming in the background - what happens if my employer goes belly up? How would I pay the mortgage? Of course, I have savings and investments I could tap into, but I could pay my whole mortgage with $15k/year untaxed and from then on, it's only worrying about food/utilities/etc. To me, that's a safety net people of all incomes could feel good about.

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Cost of goods will almost always rise with any free money (Min Wage, govt handouts, whatever).

You give everone in the country $15k free to start off and you're looking at inflation to reflect that.... bringing everything back down to level (except deflating everyone's EARNED wage.

#### that.

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I set the amount at 15,600 a year.

Why would people work for $8 a hour if you did this?
Because they want more money?

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So I have been toying with this idea. Talk of the minimum wage and how much people should make have come up in other threads so I thought I'd throw this out there and see what people think.

So BIG is a program where everyone in the country gets paid a certain amount by the government every year. Currently we do something similar in the way everyone qualifies for a certain amount of write offs. But that's after the fact and isn't really stimulative. This way it's cash in hand paid monthly. I set the amount at 15,600 a year. I used that because it is in between the automatic write off and Mitts loophole cap of 17k. This income is untaxed no matter how much or how little you make. But there are no other loopholes. You are taxed on every dollar above this and all income is treated equally except in certain cases. Well really 2 cases. I would keep SS income tax free as well. And I would keep inheritances of 1 million per individual or 2 million a couple untaxed. Above that taxed as income but given 5 years to make total payment with no penalties accruing unless you exceed that time span.

Now what I think this would do is help alleviate some measure of poverty. Reduce expenditures on things like food stamps. Broaden the tax base. Drive demand which would help the economy get back on track which would help us with our debt issue. Also given the closing of all loopholes and broadened base we could drop the rates across the board and still have plenty of revenue from personal income.

So too commie or what?

I will NOT turn this into a political discussion...but here's my comments FWIW.

1st, I think that in theory, something like this is good. You're basically reallocating "credits" into real money that people can use for their daily life. Good idea. I think, however, that in practice, this will fail. I think that a big part of the issue is the entitlement and lazy attitude of so many Americans. I also think that while it's not a uniquely "American" problem, it is more prevalent here than anywhere else. I think that if you give this money out, the people who REALLY need it (the food stamp folks referenced), it will help them in the short term, but in the long term they'll be right back where they were. As evidence, I present the article about the homeless man who was given $100,000. I think the root of the problem for many people living in poverty is not money, but rather what they do with it. I'd much prefer to see 100% free tuition at many community colleges. Free education at a level not already given here. Free job/career planning for those out of work and on hard times. Free business clothing to help those who cannot afford to look nice for a job interview, etc. The sad thing is that I think if you provided all of that, there would still be thousands of lazy people who would not take any of it, and would be content to just sit around and complain about how poor they are.

I think this would drive demand in the short term...but the money would flow up the chain and ultimately end up with the 1%'ers...because the people at the bottom might have more money, but they STILL don't know what to do with it besides spend it on the first thing they see.

It's the attitude of those in poverty that needs to be changed, not the cash flow. Any time someone is more willing to collect an unemployment check then work at McDonalds, there's a problem. Stop the free hand-outs. There's plenty of jobs that need to be done. There's trash to be picked up by the roadside. There's something for everyone on unemployment to do to benefit society.

I know there are the exceptions...I know that a lot of these people depend on this money in hard times...but I think the majority of them depend on it because they are lazy and not educated on HOW to get out from under that support.

Of all the good points you made I feel the bolded is most important. I usually find the people that are having a tough time making ends meet and can never seem to 'get ahead' often make poor financial decisions. Free money management classes maybe?

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Cost of goods will almost always rise with any free money (Min Wage, govt handouts, whatever).

You give everone in the country $15k free to start off and you're looking at inflation to reflect that.... bringing everything back down to level (except deflating everyone's EARNED wage.

#### that.

That's only if you give people that money in addition to the money they're already receiving.

That wouldn't be the case in the implementation of a program like this.

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I set the amount at 15,600 a year.

Why would people work for $8 a hour if you did this?
To double their income? You can't really live on 15k a year. But if you add a job to it now you are bringing home 25k a year and you can certainly get by on that.

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So I have been toying with this idea. Talk of the minimum wage and how much people should make have come up in other threads so I thought I'd throw this out there and see what people think.So BIG is a program where everyone in the country gets paid a certain amount by the government every year. Currently we do something similar in the way everyone qualifies for a certain amount of write offs. But that's after the fact and isn't really stimulative. This way it's cash in hand paid monthly. I set the amount at 15,600 a year. I used that because it is in between the automatic write off and Mitts loophole cap of 17k. This income is untaxed no matter how much or how little you make. But there are no other loopholes. You are taxed on every dollar above this and all income is treated equally except in certain cases. Well really 2 cases. I would keep SS income tax free as well. And I would keep inheritances of 1 million per individual or 2 million a couple untaxed. Above that taxed as income but given 5 years to make total payment with no penalties accruing unless you exceed that time span.Now what I think this would do is help alleviate some measure of poverty. Reduce expenditures on things like food stamps. Broaden the tax base. Drive demand which would help the economy get back on track which would help us with our debt issue. Also given the closing of all loopholes and broadened base we could drop the rates across the board and still have plenty of revenue from personal income.So too commie or what?

Commie at first glance but probably superior to the totally ####ed up system we currently have in place.

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I set the amount at 15,600 a year.

Why would people work for $8 a hour if you did this?
:goodposting: Here's the cold hard facts... not everyone gets the white picket fence with 2.3 kids and a Golden Retriever. If the average american was willing to WORK HARD for their money that would be one thing... but the sad fact is this nation is lazy as ####. Everyone seems to think they are entitled to an iPhone, a Car, a Flat Screen TV. No... you're not. Giving all these idiots 15k is just going to enable them. :thumbdown:

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So I have been toying with this idea. Talk of the minimum wage and how much people should make have come up in other threads so I thought I'd throw this out there and see what people think.

So BIG is a program where everyone in the country gets paid a certain amount by the government every year. Currently we do something similar in the way everyone qualifies for a certain amount of write offs. But that's after the fact and isn't really stimulative. This way it's cash in hand paid monthly. I set the amount at 15,600 a year. I used that because it is in between the automatic write off and Mitts loophole cap of 17k. This income is untaxed no matter how much or how little you make. But there are no other loopholes. You are taxed on every dollar above this and all income is treated equally except in certain cases. Well really 2 cases. I would keep SS income tax free as well. And I would keep inheritances of 1 million per individual or 2 million a couple untaxed. Above that taxed as income but given 5 years to make total payment with no penalties accruing unless you exceed that time span.

Now what I think this would do is help alleviate some measure of poverty. Reduce expenditures on things like food stamps. Broaden the tax base. Drive demand which would help the economy get back on track which would help us with our debt issue. Also given the closing of all loopholes and broadened base we could drop the rates across the board and still have plenty of revenue from personal income.

So too commie or what?

I will NOT turn this into a political discussion...but here's my comments FWIW.

1st, I think that in theory, something like this is good. You're basically reallocating "credits" into real money that people can use for their daily life. Good idea. I think, however, that in practice, this will fail. I think that a big part of the issue is the entitlement and lazy attitude of so many Americans. I also think that while it's not a uniquely "American" problem, it is more prevalent here than anywhere else. I think that if you give this money out, the people who REALLY need it (the food stamp folks referenced), it will help them in the short term, but in the long term they'll be right back where they were. As evidence, I present the article about the homeless man who was given $100,000. I think the root of the problem for many people living in poverty is not money, but rather what they do with it. I'd much prefer to see 100% free tuition at many community colleges. Free education at a level not already given here. Free job/career planning for those out of work and on hard times. Free business clothing to help those who cannot afford to look nice for a job interview, etc. The sad thing is that I think if you provided all of that, there would still be thousands of lazy people who would not take any of it, and would be content to just sit around and complain about how poor they are.

I think this would drive demand in the short term...but the money would flow up the chain and ultimately end up with the 1%'ers...because the people at the bottom might have more money, but they STILL don't know what to do with it besides spend it on the first thing they see.

It's the attitude of those in poverty that needs to be changed, not the cash flow. Any time someone is more willing to collect an unemployment check then work at McDonalds, there's a problem. Stop the free hand-outs. There's plenty of jobs that need to be done. There's trash to be picked up by the roadside. There's something for everyone on unemployment to do to benefit society.

I know there are the exceptions...I know that a lot of these people depend on this money in hard times...but I think the majority of them depend on it because they are lazy and not educated on HOW to get out from under that support.

You make a lot of good points. I'll have to do some thinking on them.

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I set the amount at 15,600 a year.

Why would people work for $8 a hour if you did this?
To double their income? You can't really live on 15k a year. But if you add a job to it now you are bringing home 25k a year and you can certainly get by on that.
I'd wager 50% of the people would just work less. They're not motivated to improve their quoatlity of life. They're motivated to do as little as possible to get by. You can only help people who want to help themselves.

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I'm on board. I think it solves a lot of problems and cleans up a lot of issues. Of course, this only works as a replacement safety net - not as an additional safety net. if you do this and get rid of food stamps, for example, I'm on board.

I make a good living and have a nice house, but there's always that risk looming in the background - what happens if my employer goes belly up? How would I pay the mortgage? Of course, I have savings and investments I could tap into, but I could pay my whole mortgage with $15k/year untaxed and from then on, it's only worrying about food/utilities/etc. To me, that's a safety net people of all incomes could feel good about.

I agree 100%...this is how I think, how you think, how most people who have a job and can currently pay their mortgage think. I'd use this to pay basic bills, and just save more.

The people who really need it would say "$15K/year! I can go lease a Lexus!" They would take this as incremental income, and continue to not save, plan ahead, or think about the what-if's.

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I'm on board. I think it solves a lot of problems and cleans up a lot of issues. Of course, this only works as a replacement safety net - not as an additional safety net. if you do this and get rid of food stamps, for example, I'm on board.I make a good living and have a nice house, but there's always that risk looming in the background - what happens if my employer goes belly up? How would I pay the mortgage? Of course, I have savings and investments I could tap into, but I could pay my whole mortgage with $15k/year untaxed and from then on, it's only worrying about food/utilities/etc. To me, that's a safety net people of all incomes could feel good about.

Yeah there would have to be a change in safety net programs. I think you could seriously scale back what we do there if you did this. I wish I had access to the numbers we'd need to see what level of offset that would be.

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Sorry to bring common sense into this discussion, but you're saying that people would work 40 hours a week at a burger joint making $8 an hour when they could be making half that by sitting on their couches and eating doritos all day?

:lmao:

genius!

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So why just give this money away? Why not have government run jobs (recycling depots, lawn mowing of gov't buildings, snow removal, etc) or give this money to employers to hire grunt workers?

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As evidence, I present the article about the homeless man who was given $100,000.

I watched this documentary, extremely frustrating.

I think the root of the problem for many people living in poverty is not money, but rather what they do with it. I'd much prefer to see 100% free tuition at many community colleges. Free education at a level not already given here. Free job/career planning for those out of work and on hard times. Free business clothing to help those who cannot afford to look nice for a job interview, etc. The sad thing is that I think if you provided all of that, there would still be thousands of lazy people who would not take any of it, and would be content to just sit around and complain about how poor they are.

Cheap education is the best way to go. A large number of people are on the border of settling for low skill/low wage jobs and getting an education to work higher skilled/higher paying jobs. I've seen people pass up education to work sub-$20k a year jobs because they thought college cost too much. So many people fail to understand that 2-4 years of education is worth far more than the cost. It's sad that we have to resort to paying people to get an education but if we are going to continue make it difficult for educated foreigners to come here then we have to make sure our own people get educated.

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You know I get it's fashionable to hate on a certain segment of society. And yes there will always be lazy people. But really I know more than a few people who are income challenged. By and large they want what you do. A place of their own, a little money in the bank, a better life for their kids and chance to retire with some dignity. I think we do ourselves a disservice when we forget that.

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I set the amount at 15,600 a year.

Why would people work for $8 a hour if you did this?
:goodposting: Here's the cold hard facts... not everyone gets the white picket fence with 2.3 kids and a Golden Retriever. If the average american was willing to WORK HARD for their money that would be one thing... but the sad fact is this nation is lazy as ####. Everyone seems to think they are entitled to an iPhone, a Car, a Flat Screen TV. No... you're not. Giving all these idiots 15k is just going to enable them. :thumbdown:
[icon], I agree with both your posts. I've always felt that if people who claimed to be "out of a job" were given a few month grace period to find a job (to cover those who used the system as it was intended), but then were required to work 30 hours a week doing unskilled labor in what ever way the government deemed fit, you'd really see who needed the money and who didn't.The hard worker would utilize the 3 month window as a period to get their resume and get out and find another job. The bums who just collect paychecks might think twice about turning down the minimum wage job if they had to go pick up trash by the side of the highway for 6 hours a day instead of just sitting around watching Jerry Springer.There's plenty to be done. Consider it like Roosevelt's "New Deal," only with incrementally more labor. We're already paying for it, why not make them do some work.

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Yeah there would have to be a change in safety net programs. I think you could seriously scale back what we do there if you did this. I wish I had access to the numbers we'd need to see what level of offset that would be.

Explain to me why you want to remove safety net programs to create a dis-incentive for people to work harder? I want to encourage people to work hard and make more money, even if they are still getting services.

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So I have been toying with this idea. Talk of the minimum wage and how much people should make have come up in other threads so I thought I'd throw this out there and see what people think.

So BIG is a program where everyone in the country gets paid a certain amount by the government every year. Currently we do something similar in the way everyone qualifies for a certain amount of write offs. But that's after the fact and isn't really stimulative. This way it's cash in hand paid monthly. I set the amount at 15,600 a year. I used that because it is in between the automatic write off and Mitts loophole cap of 17k. This income is untaxed no matter how much or how little you make. But there are no other loopholes. You are taxed on every dollar above this and all income is treated equally except in certain cases. Well really 2 cases. I would keep SS income tax free as well. And I would keep inheritances of 1 million per individual or 2 million a couple untaxed. Above that taxed as income but given 5 years to make total payment with no penalties accruing unless you exceed that time span.

Now what I think this would do is help alleviate some measure of poverty. Reduce expenditures on things like food stamps. Broaden the tax base. Drive demand which would help the economy get back on track which would help us with our debt issue. Also given the closing of all loopholes and broadened base we could drop the rates across the board and still have plenty of revenue from personal income.

So too commie or what?

The person bequeathing that money was already taxed. Why should it be taxed again? BS IMO.

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If it's good enough for Hayek and Friedman, it's good enough for me. :hifive:

I thought this was a way too liberal idea, even for me, until I read their arguments in this vein. The two worst things about our current welfare state are the paternalism and inefficiency aspects that the patchwork and large bureaucracy causes. It seems like a great way to simplify a lot of current programs. BottomfeederSports had a thread a bit back that tried to put hard numbers to this. He also added in education accounts and HSAs to further take out the Dept. of Education and Medicare/Medicaid.

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You know I get it's fashionable to hate on a certain segment of society. And yes there will always be lazy people. But really I know more than a few people who are income challenged. By and large they want what you do. A place of their own, a little money in the bank, a better life for their kids and chance to retire with some dignity. I think we do ourselves a disservice when we forget that.

I agree here. It's tough to make that distinction in a discussion. There are definitely people who utilize social programs the way they are intended to be utilized. There are also many who do not. I think if everyone used them as they were intended, the current programs would be fine. The problem is that there are no controls, or not enough controls, to discourage those who abuse them. I also think that those who are truly in need and good people would find ANY assistance useful, while those who will continue to abuse will find a way to exploit any program that exists and sponge off the government.

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You know I get it's fashionable to hate on a certain segment of society. And yes there will always be lazy people. But really I know more than a few people who are income challenged. By and large they want what you do. A place of their own, a little money in the bank, a better life for their kids and chance to retire with some dignity. I think we do ourselves a disservice when we forget that.

Yes, and I'm in favor of helping them achieve their dreams. If it takes giving them free education, ok. If it takes giving them food they are aren't starving while they're trying to make it, ok. But I'm not in favor of discouraging them from trying harder by paying them to do nothing (or government make-work jobs).

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Could you make it so this income could only be spent on certain things like necessities?

That sounds like a path back to where we are right now.

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It's a very intriguing idea, and the more I hear about it, the more I like it. I would note that in addition to leftists such as Friedman and Hayek, the idea was also endorsed, I've come to learn, from a true communist: Winston Churchill. So it's not a new idea.

That being said, I can't imagine it happening in our lifetimes, so any discussion is purely theoretical IMO.

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I know there are the exceptions...I know that a lot of these people depend on this money in hard times...but I think the majority of them depend on it because they are lazy and not educated on HOW to get out from under that support.

I simply disagree with this

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The person bequeathing that money was already taxed. Why should it be taxed again? BS IMO.

They already do this now, though not under this proposed set of rules. I agree it's BS.

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I believe it was Bottom Feeder Sports that brought this up earlier - he had a lot of really great points, and I'm pretty sure there is a thread on it somewhere.

Here is another great point - a BIG would allow some folks the freedom from working low-paying jobs just to make ends meet, and that could help foster innovation and/or the arts. In theory, someone like me could quit my job and spend all of my time in my garage tinkering on the next great invention. A struggling artist wouldn't struggle so much, if his basic needs could be more easily met. Not everyone out there is a lazy d-bag, there are some legit hard working people who struggle to make ends meet.

Here's the problem - there are tons of people who will blow that entire $15k/year on drugs. Of this, I have no doubt. These people will have essentially burned through the safety net, and all of a sudden, the bleeding-hart softies will want a safety net for them, and we end up doubling down, costing our society 2x what we do now. I suppose that's the slippery slope argument.

Edited by moleculo

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Could you make it so this income could only be spent on certain things like necessities?

EBT fraud is a huge issue... people sell $500 EBT cards for $200 cash all day long. Liquor stores fraudulently accept them. etc.... There is a whole cottage industry around it. I wouldn't expect this to work any better.

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Why not just throw in the towel and go national sales tax at that point?

I am a Fair Taxer so that works for me. I also don't consider it throwing in the towel.
:hifive:

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I know there are the exceptions...I know that a lot of these people depend on this money in hard times...but I think the majority of them depend on it because they are lazy and not educated on HOW to get out from under that support.

I simply disagree with this
Do you disagree with the "majority" comment or the "lazy" part? Or something else?

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I believe it was Bottom Feeder Sports that brought this up earlier - he had a lot of really great points, and I'm pretty sure there is a thread on it somewhere.

Here is another great point - a BIG would allow some folks the freedom from working low-paying jobs just to make ends meet, and that could help foster innovation and/or the arts. In theory, someone like me could quit my job and spend all of my time in my garage tinkering on the next great invention. A struggling artist wouldn't struggle so much, if his basic needs could be more easily met. Not everyone out there is a lazy d-bag, there are some legit hard working people who struggle to make ends meet.

Here's the problem - there are tons of people who will blow that entire $15k/year on drugs. Of this, I have no doubt. These people will have essentially burned through the safety net, and all of a sudden, the bleeding-hart softies will want a safety net for them, and we end up doubling down, costing our society 2x what we do now. I suppose that's the slippery slope argument.

I was thinking it would make it easier for couples to have someone stay home with the kids.

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It's the attitude of those in poverty that needs to be changed, not the cash flow. Any time someone is more willing to collect an unemployment check then work at McDonalds, there's a problem. Stop the free hand-outs. There's plenty of jobs that need to be done. There's trash to be picked up by the roadside. There's something for everyone on unemployment to do to benefit society.

One of the main benefits of the BIG is that it eliminates the disincentive to work. Whats the fastest way to lose unemployment benefits? Get another job. Same thing with welfare, social security disability, etc. - make enough and they cut your benefits. what's worse is, for some people, if they get a job, they will not only get screwed on money (they still make money by working, but their benefits are often decreased by enough that they no longer earn "minimum wage" per hour above what they were making before), but they risk losing other benefits, especially state sponsored health care. Add in a kid, and you have to find someone to watch them while you go to work and take home a couple bucks an hour more than you would have if you just collected a welfare check. And before you say that its their fault for having a kid, keep in mind that nobody is proposing that we legislate against #######. The rules are written in such a way that there is often little reason to work for a lot of people.Enter the basic I come guarantee. Now, if you make more money, you keep it. Now we dont need minimum wage laws, which reduce the availability of low income jobs and hamper growth (but are arguably a necessary evil without a BIG). Now people who are out of work still have some small safety net, but have an immediate incentive to get back to work. Now illegals have a harder time gaming the system because you cant collect money without a ss#. Now we can change a ton of flawed areas in the tax code. And with a universal health care plan - properly implemented - people no longer have to fear going to work and losing their medical benefits, which is a serious issue for the partially disabled and mentally ill. There's a lot of good involved in the BIG, when you think it through. There are some concerns though. One of the biggest is inflation. At some point, if everyone has more money, everyones money is worth less. The BIG has the potential to put a lot more money into circulation, if there aren't corresponding tax code changes, which amounts to a fairly regressive wealth transfer. There's also a lot of effort involved in keeping track of every citizen and sending them a check - and some privacy questions, too. And the tax code would need to be changed all over the place, which inevitably creates new and interesting ways to game the system, no matter how well intentioned. But these seem like beatable hurdles. I am a fan.

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Has icon always been such a disgruntled, dooshy, hate on the less fortunate type?

I'm a realist. Between living in Memphis, and having GF who's brother in law's entire family lives on Govt checks (and uses them to buy kids iPads, flat screen TV's, Xbox 360s, drink cases of name brand sodas, etc)... i'm jaded. If that makes me a doosh in some folks' eyes, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.I'm Libertarian and the idea of the Government issuing $15k checks to every citizen is absurd to me... SMaller government. Less nanny state. Less people suckling from the teat. This crap all sounds fantastic in theory.... but the problem is angle shooters destroy it when it's deployed. Edited by [icon]

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Honestly, I think a plan of this ilk will be adopted at some point in this country's future. It is inevitible.

I say this mostly because of the massive shift in work looming on the horizon: automation.

Within the next 20 to 30 years, I expect the vast majority of unskilled labor to be automated, as well as a fair ammount of mid-skilled labor. You can already see the beginings of this today, as automatic checkout machines are reducing cashier jobs, ATMs reducing teller jobs, etc. Within 10 years I doubt we'll have many truck driver or taxi driver jobs as self driving vehicles grow into a mature state. Even some higher end jobs, like doctors and lawyers, are going to have a drastically changing reality when hyper enabling tools like IBM's Watson get rolled in to medicine and law.

In the past, when technology makes a job obsolete, it also usually creates a new job as well. Maybe not a full replacement, but some jobs. Imagine an assembly line of workers replaced by robots. The line jobs are gone, but we can add in robot maintanence and programming jobs as a replacement. The thing is, the advance of technology is accelerating. Jobs are being eliminated more rapidly than new jobs can replace them at an increasing pace. Even with a full economic recovery in the US, I don't think we'll ever see 4% unemployment again. 6% is my estimate of the best we can do, and I expect that % will creep higher and higher in the next few decades.

Every one of us can pull a level. But only so many of use are capable of higher end jobs. So, what do we do about the folks who cannot find low skill work because it doesn't exist? The options are to institute something like a basic garunteed income, or to continue doing what we do now, which is very little combined with looking at them with disdain and calling them lazy. While today's option hasn't crumbled our society yet, I think moving forward this will become a greater and greater problem. At some point, we'll either find a way to support people who do not work (either by choice or because they're skills/intelligence is not enough to enable them to contribute) or we'll have a revolution. I prefer the former to the latter.

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It's a very intriguing idea, and the more I hear about it, the more I like it. I would note that in addition to leftists such as Friedman and Hayek, the idea was also endorsed, I've come to learn, from a true communist: Winston Churchill. So it's not a new idea.That being said, I can't imagine it happening in our lifetimes, so any discussion is purely theoretical IMO.

I'm surprised you like this, Tim. Incentives are already misplaced enough as it is in this country, why would we want do something like this? Isn't this why we had welfare reform?

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I was thinking it would make it easier for couples to have someone stay home with the kids.

Once again something that "conservatives" have been ranting on for years, that one parent or latchkey kids are a problem with modern society. Of course they would never go for something that would actually address that issue.

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I apologize for stepping on Bottomfeeders deal.

No need to apologize. Just certain things I always associate with certain posters. BFS = BIG, YankeeFan23 = Fair Tax, SWC = Coherent Wisdom, etc.

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