[pp.int.general] Basic income - how does that fit into the pirate ideology?

carlo von lynX lynX at pirate.my.buttharp.org
Wed Jul 17 13:36:32 CEST 2013

On Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 12:38:56PM -0600, illunatic at greenpirate.org wrote:
> tl;dr - The annual cost to unconditionally provide each person of
> Switzerland's 7,912 million population with ?2.500 per month is
> ?237.360.000.000. That's a lot of billions. Where does this money
> come from?

Not sure if shuffling around these virtual sums is helpful - it's
like expecting a country to have its GNP on a bank account all at
once. Think of the state-employed teacher earning a certain sum from
the state. What difference does it make if instead of getting that
sum for her labour she gets half of it for labour and half of it
simply because she's a human being deserving it? People who come up
with ficticious numbers like that haven't seen the realistic models
yet. There are some in the proposals on various websites and there
are some illustrated in the documentaries on the topic.

> Here is an opponent of basic income in Switzerland making his case against it.
> http://www.schwaab.ch/archives/2012/04/11/pourquoi-les-socialistes-doivent-s%E2%80%99opposer-au-%C2%ABrevenu-de-base-inconditionnel%C2%BB-allocation-universelle/

    "Conseiller national socialiste vaudois" ... a nazi? I presume not.

    "Comme ces faibles montants ne suffiront pas à atteindre le premier objectif de l'initiative, à savoir garantir des conditions de vie décentes, leurs bénéficiaires seront obligés de travailler quand même, malgré le revenu de base. La pression d'accepter n'importe quel emploi ne disparaîtra donc pas."

He makes this deduction out of nowhere, without any facts to support it.
A classic case of having an opinion before having understood the model.

    "le revenu de base incitera les employeurs à baisser drastiquement les salaires,"

Yes, that's part of the model. Go learn it.

    "Les «bénéficiaires» du revenu de base ne seront donc pas libérés de «l'obligation de gagner leur vie» et ils devront se contenter de salaires plus bas."

Again, "donc" without a decent reasoning leading to such a conclusion.

    "Le revenu de base aura un effet pervers supplémentaire, celui de baisser la valeur du travail."

Congratulations. Now stop saying this is a problem and start understanding
that this is a huge opportunity for a more human and sustainable economy

    "dont on nierait alors le droit au travail"

Yes, the "right to work" is a growth-economy concept that has failed us
both on the socialist as on the capitalist side of the fence. There
is no work for all - deal with it - stop treating those people better
that have one and disregarding those who don't.

    "Bref, le revenu de base inconditionnel est pire qu'une fausse bonne idée. Son acceptation serait une catastrophe pour les salariés. Il convient donc de s'y opposer dès maintenant."

Concluding, he has NO data supporting his claims and matter-of-factly
assumes that causing a revolution on the economy and the job market
MUST BE terrible for humanity, especially those with a job.

This guy has no clue of what he's talking about - he obviously has
never seen a decent mathematical model of the UBI. I bet he is very
influential and we have to deal with this sort of populism, right?

> He makes one point which seems to me that it could be a realistic
> expectation. If current social programs are replaced by basic
> income, people currently receiving benefits would end up receiving
> less so that people who don't necessarily need these benefits can

No, that's not what he says, but it is similarely wrong.
It all depends on the details of the UBI legislation if any
such scenario happens and I'm vehemently against that.

> get their share. This is his only point that is fairly
> straightforward. The following are based on speculation about how
> people could react. I would add to this the question of whether the
> funds available to these social programs offer enough to cover the
> cost of unconditional basic income for so many people.

Of course not, the UBI is a radical revolution of the economy
and cannot be regarded as a simple reorganization of welfare.
That indeed leads to presuming that it can't work.

> As for his other points, I'm not so quick to agree. Would basic
> income cause employers to lower wages because they know their
> employees are supplemented by basic income? This could go either

Yes, that's why IMHO UBI legislation must come with a directive
for all employment in the country to be recalculated according to
the new economic model. That is, from the day of introduction of
the UBI all incomes are reset adeguately. UBI doesn't work without
changing employment revenues in the entire economy.

> way. On one hand, employers know that employees still need to work
> because basic income would only cover half to little more than half

Depends on the sum we agree upon and how the economy settles after
the hurricane. You can't say it must be like that - you can say it's
a scenario to consider and avoid, while working out the details.

> of their cost of living. Employers know that people still need to
> work and they know people are supplemented by basic income so the
> employer may determine that they can pay people less and it would
> still be reasonable to expect that employees are making enough to
> meet their cost of living.
> I don't know that this would happen because employers may need to
> offer competitive wages to attract employees that are now under less
> pressure to cover their living expenses. However, many businesses
> may not be able to afford higher wages. In this case, these

Only businesses that offer jobs that suck may have to maintain
higher wages. Other businesses will be able to lower wages and are
thus our candidates for new and smarter taxation... The details of
the latter are so complex that we c/should spend some years working
them out.

> businesses would suffer from not being able to offer competitive
> wages to attract employees. It's difficult to see how there would be
> any dramatic change in wages.
> He says equality in the work place is threatened because women who
> earn less wages than men who make the same amount would be more
> likely to settle for basic income instead. He already made it clear
> that these women could not rely entirely on basic income so I don't
> understand where this concern is coming from.
> Anyway, it will be interesting to see this debate continue in
> Switzerland and maybe we will even get to see how they experiment
> with it, what models they use, what the results are.

But I'm scared of them taking some wrong turn or succumbing to
socialist populism as in the case of Mr Schwaab. People are far
from understanding that there are thousands of possible models
of UBI and only a dozen of them are the way we want it. Yet,
it's the greatest economic opportunity of change humanity is
currently facing. Also the authors of "The Limits to Growth" in
their more recent revisions have come to the conclusion that only
a new strategy of redistribution of wealth can bring suicidal
growth tendencies to a halt and create a state of general wealth
for the entire population. UBI is the key we are holding in our
hands to keep the planet from stepping over the edge. But we should
stop to market it as UBI and instead focus on the opportunity to
create a sustainable economy with it.

> My question is still "Where does this money come from?" You can't

Please read the mathematical models, although the one I prefer only
exists in italian - the one that tries to achieve ecologic sustain-
ability as a side effect of UBI introduction.

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