[ExI] Universal basic income

Mark Walker markalanwalker at gmail.com
Wed Jan 18 15:06:31 UTC 2017

Costs for a basic income guarantee (BIG) for all adult citizens in the US
is around 2 trillion. In my book on the subject, I discuss two ways to
finance this: a VAT and reworking the tax code. The former proposal is
discussed in an article of mine in the Journal of Evolution and Technology.
Here's the abstract:
"The paper rehearses arguments for and against the prediction of massive
technological unemployment. The main argument in favor is that robots are
entering a large number of industries, making more expensive human labor
redundant. The main argument against the prediction is that for two hundred
years we have seen a massive increase in productivity with no long term
structural unemployment caused by automation. The paper attempts to move
past this argumentative impasse by asking what humans contribute to the
supply side of the economy. Historically, humans have contributed muscle
and brains to production but we are now being outcompeted by machinery, in
both areas, in many jobs. It is argued that this supports the conjecture
that massive unemployment is a likely result. It is also argued that a
basic income guarantee is a minimal remedial measure to mitigate the worst
effects of technological unemployment." The paper also argues that BIG is a
good bet either way. If there is not massive technological unemployment,
then BIG will be easy to pay for. It represents about 13% of the economy,
and this proportion would greatly shrink in the future if we have full
employment. If we do not have full employment, then it is a small price for
the rich to pay to keep their heads attached to their necks.

Dr. Mark Walker
Richard L. Hedden Chair of Advanced Philosophical Studies
Department of Philosophy
New Mexico State University
P.O. Box 30001, MSC 3B
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001

On Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 10:34 AM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:

> I can see that universal unemployment probably means that UBI will
> become necessary. But I can't see where the money to do this comes
> from.
> Pension schemes are already going bust because of low interest rates
> and governments are moving the pension age later and later to postpone
> the increased costs of an ageing population.
> If taxation is increased it will make the poor worse off and devalue
> the UBI payments. Social security will still be required in addition
> as many people have disabilities, medical costs and families to
> support that UBI wouldn't be sufficent for.
> And you will get millions of immigrants from the third world wanting
> to claim their UBI.
> It will be interesting to see how the trials work out.
> BillK
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