# Universal Basic Income

Gold Member
I'm seriously happy Elon Musk is behind a universal basic income. It's something we desperately need to advance.

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#### Evo

Mentor
WTH??? What was that? I got the last part "stutter stutter ahahaha" ???

#### russ_watters

Mentor
I think UBI is a naive fad...not that that will necessarily keep people from trying to implement some form of it...

Gold Member
They used to think the same about equal rights, heliocentrism, abolishment, etc. It's not that our current model is the be all end all so it doesn't hurt to try. It certainly doesn't hurt those who need it the most.

#### S.G. Janssens

It's something we desperately need to advance.
Is it? Maybe, maybe not. A lot of scholarly literature on the topic can be found online, among with a recent study in a German context. This is one of those situations where I would like to know more economics in order to come to a better objective assessment.

#### russ_watters

Mentor
They used to think the same about equal rights, heliocentrism, abolishment, etc.
I doubt that, but even if true that doesn't mean this one is any good.
It's not that our current model is the be all end all...
Agreed.
...so it doesn't hurt to try.
Actually, trying bad ideas or even just implementing good ideas badly can hurt a lot. Right now we're piling bad program on top of bad program and each new one we add accelerates our march to bankruptcy and deepens it's eventual impact.
It certainly doesn't hurt those who need it the most.
Maybe/maybe not, but it certainly does hurt almost everyone else.

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Gold Member
Maybe/maybe not, but it certainly does hurt almost everyone else.
Why?

Gold Member
That doesn't explain anything. But neither did I so I guess it's fair game.

Imagine that millions of jobs are taken over by robots, faster than ever before. This is inevitable, unless a global catastrophe happens. I don't see how the general populace will be able to change their skillset as fast as robots will change theirs. The need for physical work will shift to intellectual work. How this will play out I don't know, but it seems logical that basic income will expedite this transition. The only thing that keeps the hoi polloi from embracing automation is not the fear of losing their job, but losing their income, their livelihood.

By costing money.
For Belgium for instance it has already been calculated. We'd actually profit from basic income, compared to the social security system we have now; which already gives 'free money' to people who do nothing.

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#### russ_watters

Mentor
By costing money.

#### S.G. Janssens

That doesn't explain anything. But neither did I so I guess it's fair game.
and thought it was a question about my post. My apologies.

#### russ_watters

Mentor
For Belgium for instance it has already been calculated. We'd actually profit from basic income, compared to the social security system we have now; which already gives 'free money' to people who do nothing.
I'd like to see some information about that. Generally with this concept I've seen a lot of vague and overly optimistic analysis, particularly when it comes to ignoring or downplaying the costs.

#### mheslep

Gold Member
... so it doesn't hurt to try. It certainly doesn't hurt those who need it the most...
There's an argument that it very much hurts to try via government, which the UBI would. Have you considered that position? Some leaders in this country have suggested that the dole is a "narcotic" that "destroys" the "spirit" and "moral" fibre, that it's profoundly un-American.

Gold Member
I'd like to see some information about that. Generally with this concept I've seen a lot of vague and overly optimistic analysis, particularly when it comes to ignoring or downplaying the costs.
I got it from a tv report from one of the most credible channels in Belgium. Regarded as the public as a channel for 'smart people'. Not that it makes a scientific different, but whatever. Not everything is a lie. It's an engineer who spent six months calculating the system. I don't have any raw data :( but considering we have an incredibly convoluted social net I wouldn't understand it anyway.

I'm not expecting to convince anyone with this reply. Just a clarification where I got it from. They reran this over 5 times within a short period.

Gold Member
There's an argument that it very much hurts to try via government, which the UBI would. Have you considered that position? Some leaders in this country have suggested that the dole is a "narcotic" that "destroys" the "spirit" and "moral" fibre, that it's profoundly un-American.
A scary amount of people including leaders in America worship Jesus as their savior, yet they ignorantly denounce everything he stands for as communism. Their savior is the epitome of un-American. Anyway, I'm confident they'll realise it has to be implemented once they try and create jobs where there aren't any. I also find it very misanthropic or pessimistic to think people will stop doing creative and entrepreneurial things with basic income. Don't forget, basic income does not mean a fixed income of $X; you can have additional means of income too. #### russ_watters Mentor I got it from a tv report from one of the most credible channels in Belgium. Regarded as the public as a channel for 'smart people'. That's the opposite of compelling. I also find it very misanthropic or pessimistic to think people will stop doing creative and entrepreneurial things with basic income. That is the flaw on the beneficiary side, yes. Misanthropic and pessimistic maybe, but widescale implimentations of communist policies have shown it also realistic. I see that people are doing small scale studies of the concept to see if it makes people lazier or more ambitious. All suffer from the same basic flaw: the people being studied know they are being studied. #### mheslep Gold Member A scary amount of people including leaders in America worship Jesus as their savior, yet they ignorantly denounce everything he stands for as communism. I have a stongly different understanding of the sayings of Jesus in the new testament, which has much to say about what one should personally do to aid the poor of means and spirit, and rejects anything to do with the embrace of power (e.g. government power). Mathew 4:8, Luke 10:30, Luke 12:12-13 When Jesus is tempted and offered all the nations of the world in Mathew, he does not respond: 'Deal. What wonderful fair, just, and utopian societies I will create via a vast army of tax collectors and equality laws.' Last edited: Tsu #### TheBlackAdder Gold Member That's the opposite of compelling. Not if you'd see the difference in content. But I understand what you're getting at, which is true mostly. #### TheBlackAdder Gold Member A good article discussing the naive flaws I was referring to before: http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21699907-proponents-basic-income-underestimate-how-disruptive-it-would-be-basically-flawed Key points: -"Fantastically expensive" -"Proponents...underestimate how disruptive it would be" "But over time, the stigma against leaving the workforce would surely erode: large segments of society could drift into an alienated idleness. Tensions between those who continue to work and pay taxes and those opting out weaken the current system; under a basic income, they could rip the welfare state apart." It's not in our nature to be idle, and if it is, I think generally only people who dislike their job will complain and be jealous of those not working. "The right to an income would encourage rich-world governments either to shut the doors to immigrants, or to create second-class citizenries without access to state support." This is currently the biggest problem with UBI I'm seeing. #### russ_watters Mentor "But over time, the stigma against leaving the workforce would surely erode: large segments of society could drift into an alienated idleness. Tensions between those who continue to work and pay taxes and those opting out weaken the current system; under a basic income, they could rip the welfare state apart." It's not in our nature to be idle... I think history has shown that not to be true, but even still, try looking at it from a perspective of logic or cost/benefit analysis: If you have a part time job that pays you$10,000 a year and are offered a UBI of $10,000 a year, that renders your job's effective pay rate to be zero: you are working for free. That makes quitting your job and living off your UBI the logically/economically correct thing to do. #### TheBlackAdder Gold Member I think history has shown that not to be true, but even still, try looking at it from a perspective of logic or cost/benefit analysis: If you have a part time job that pays you$10,000 a year and are offered a UBI of \$10,000 a year, that renders your job's effective pay rate to be zero: you are working for free. That makes quitting your job and living off your UBI the logically/economically correct thing to do.
Yes, if you hate what you're doing.
All things aside, I've got a big problem that, at least in Belgium, you don't have the freedom to live a life of modesty. You can not live in a super small home or a hut you build yourself in a forest or land while growing your own food. We don't have the freedom to live a self-sufficient life. Before you call me lazy, it has nothing to do with reluctance to work, but with a reluctance to buy stuff I don't need. But today, you are looked at sideways if you say you want to work part time or less. If I observe most of the people around me, most of their money goes to stuff they don't need. Well, I don't need that stuff, so I don't need money for that also. But how the heck do you find a job which pays you the right amount of money you need.

Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/04/elon-musk-robots-will-take-your-jobs-government-will-have-to-pay-your-wage.html
See the opening post ;)

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#### russ_watters

Mentor
Yes, if you hate what you're doing.
No, all that is required is that you not like your job more than you would like to do literally anything else. And there really aren't many people in the world for whom that is true.
I've got a big problem that, at least in Belgium, you don't have the freedom to live a life of modesty. You can not live in a super small home...
Huh? Of course you can! In a free society you can live in a cardboard box under a bridge if you want! (And some people do!).

I'm finding myself forced to ask; how old are you? Have you ever had a job? What you are saying doesn't seem to me to have much of a connection to reality.

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