Where do you stand on the subject of:

unconditional basic income?

@openscience IDK, my opinion is more nuanced than any of these.

Like, UBI has a place in a society's financial design, but it's not a substitute for proper healthcare, food, and housing systems. It's better used as one of two things:

- Blanket redistribution of wealth not used for other functions
- Giving people an explicitly designed-in discretionary income

@emmy @openscience indeed that's usually the difference between the left and right on the subject (because both sides have people proposing it) : the right-wing usually want to replace all social systems with it and voila.

@mmu_man Yeah,

the problem is, that's essentially free money for people who live in well-designed areas and are healthy.

@emmy yep, it can't be universal if some people have to use it to compensate for handicap or health or whatever instead.

@mmu_man Yeah, that, and societal decisions like food deserts and car-only long-commute cities.

Exactly. I'd vote for UBI only if it come together with the expansion of social systems.

@twitterrefugee @mmu_man Well, the survey isn’t about the removal of any social security, and the word “unconditional” is pretty clear to me.

@emmy @openscience the strongest case I hear is the minimum wage laws are hard and a strong UBI can replace all of them

@LovesTha If designed well.

If there aren't other solutions for basic needs, it could just lead to prices spiking, to the point that even with UBI and minimum wage it's hard to afford things. Though, tying the UBI's amount to the local cost of basic needs would work decently well.

@emmy yes, but a robust ubi is likely to shake things up in many ways. No limited experiment is going to show how it works, so we wont know.

Doing it when many essentials are not in healthy free markets with good competition would be likely to have some terrible results.

@LovesTha Yeah.

At the same time, doing nothing i having some pretty terrible results already.

@openscience i voted bad idea. Its main purpose from the perspective of politicians is to increase the longevity of capitalism. It will keep workers comfy+apathetic longer and allows even more of the earths land+resources to be used up. it will also increase reliance on the state/corps and make it harder to strike or protest, and increase divides between classes. The idea of everyone being able to live as equals is great ofc, but don't think UBI achieves this

@matin @openscience i think it might be a good reform too if implemented well, but don't trust current politicians to do so. I think they'll implement it such that it benefits capitalism more than workers

@raeaw @openscience at the same time it may provide breathing room to be politically active to those who are currently spending all their energy trying to keep their heads above water.

Most of the organizing meetings and protests I have missed were because I couldn't afford to take the time off.

@openscience Thing is, you can just literally provide the things UBI is supposed to help people pay for, directly. Just provide for healthcare, food, whatever is needed to people as a service based on a need.
Thing is, people have different needs, incomes etc and currently, many welfare programs exist that targer specific demographic and try to appeal to their specific needs. Unfortunately some politicians currently in support of UBI aren't interested in keeping these welfare programs, which isn't fair to the people with needs that might exceed whatever the UBI can provide for them.
Even if someone in support of UBI was also interested in keeping/expanding welfare, advocating for UBI at that point seems very unnecessary, since they would already be building much better programs. If we were talking about something post-capitalist there might be an argument there but even then it very much depends.
I am 100% for unconditional basic income. I believe it would eventually lead to abandoning capitalism all together. People would work for themselves, not for companies they are not involved in anymore.

Technological progress always outpaces social norms, but those in power would rather see the unemployed/homeless die off than share wealth... though sharing is the ethical thing to do.

@openscience Socialism. UBI would, in theory, be a nice thing, but capitalism would break it and accumulate capital even faster. So mostly the richest people would profit from it. We desperately need a system where everyones fundamental needs are secured, but simply giving out money won't solve the problem

@Mr_Teatime I think whether or no the process should be degrading should come down to the person's circumstances. If the person has some sort of physical or mental disability which precludes them from work, okay, sure they shouldn't have to go through a degrading process. Otherwise, I think the process should be somewhat degrading to encourage employable people to seek employment. They're not all leeches, it's just there are some.

@Mr_Teatime Unconditional UBI would just be rife with overuse. If UBI were to be implemented, it would need rules, guidelines, procedures, etc, to keep from being exploited. Besides, we're already $28 trillion in the hole.

Not sure who "you" are, but the idea about UBI is that there can't be overuse because everybody qualifies.

Oh, and it's great for online disputes because (as I said before...), lots of people imagine it being implemented in lots of different ways. I bet the implementation you imagine is *very* different from the one I have in mind.

@Mr_Teatime If everybody qualifies, how will it not be overused?

Because, by definition everybody who qualifies is the intended use!

That's pretty much the only thing all scenarios for UBI have in common. *Not* having to pay lots of people to verify claims and test eligibility criteria.

The only thing you have to ensure is that nobody gets it twice. *that* would be overuse.

@Mr_Teatime By having everyone qualify, more money would be disseminated than was needed. It would cost more than just having an automated system for say, keeping track of direct deposits from employers.

Oh yes, of course!

But that may not matter half as much as you might think, depending on how state finances are handled, how much money you save by not paying for agencies who check applicants, and the time citizens have to spend gathering evidence etc.., costs due to homeless and depressed people who used to fall throug the cracks, how much contribution to the public sphere you get from such people, and of course on what happens to taxes on the other hand.

Those are open questions.

...and I think *that* argument does not work at all.

I've been on unemployment for a few months (while writing up my PhD thesis for free...), and I can tell you from first-hand experience, that just the notion that you are on benefits, and that they will eventually be reduced if you don't find wirk quickly enough, is enough to get people into dark places.

You punish the sensitive people in order to educate the insensitive ones. That does not work.


Nothing about it should be degrading. It should exclusively be about whether someone qualifies or not. Full stop. If "are you willing to put up with being talked down on" becomes part of the qualifying criteria, the whole process stops being fair, and starts to become a punishment, for the crime of not doing well and not having a thick enough skin.

Believe me, the people who deal badly with that are already suffering enough from it, they don't need any extra. That's just punching down.

@Mr_Teatime I didn’t say it should be degrading for everyone. I couldn’t sleep for a week after I had to sign up for state health insurance. The problem is, not everyone is like me. Not everyone has the same view of government assistance that I do. Every generation you go back, the worse people feel about social programs and vice versa.

Really, the hard part is devising some way of determining whether they’re A) Normally productive members of society or B) Lazy leeches.

»Really, the hard part is devising some way of determining whether they’re A) Normally productive members of society or B) Lazy leeches.«

There have been lots of laws in lots of countries trying to make that distinction, and they always fail.

There have been (and are) coutnries which allow the officials to "exercise judgment", and it always turns into a discrimination fest.

Whether someone is a lazy leech or not is way too subjective to base any decisions on.

@Mr_Teatime I thinkone way to go about it would be to require a state-funded therapist visit after say, six months. The therapist could dig down to cause of their unemployment and report back to the state. If the person needs help, the therapist can ask the person about additional sessions. The hard part there is figuring out how much the state should pay for future visits and whether or not there should be a limit.

That therapist visit would the most degrading thing ever, and forever destroy the trust which people have in therapists.

No. way. It would break psychotherapy.

There's a reason why even the catholic church deems confessions confidential, and has done so for over a thousand years: If they weren't confidential, nobody would confess.

@Mr_Teatime I'm not saying the therapist should report the details. Just asses the situation and give a 'yes' or a 'no' to the state as regards continuing the person's benefits.

@Mr_Teatime The idea here is that by going to a therapist, it helps to provide some emotional distance between the unemployment office and the discussion. I think it would be easier to open up to a therapist than someone at the unemployment office. A therapist is also likely to be much more approachable and empathetic.


All of that is true, but if that therapist also has the task of judging someone's intentions, and their opinion will decide whether you get benefits or are treated like a "lazy leech" ... you can't have herapy anymore.

Also: Most therapists don't quite understand the people they're treating. The aim of psychotherapy is for the client to understand themselves and change their own view, not for the herapist to analyse them.

Judging intentions is impossible, and only leads to bad things.

@ASIC gave me an idea:

Anyone on unemployment benefits gets free visits to a therapist. The aim is to help them. Whatever bothers them, that's the topic.

Benefit: Less depression among unemployed people, which makes it way esier to deal with setbacks when applying for jobs again, find other meaningful content for their life, learn something, or just deal with stupid bureaucracy (though maybe also reduce stupid bureaucracy around benefits) and generally be valued members of society.

@Mr_Teatime That sounds a lot better. You're changing my mind. My only concern though, is what about people who can't find work for years? Also, how often should the visits be? Weekly? Biweekly?

@Mr_Teatime Also, I was suggesting an automated system instead of all of that bureaucracy. Plus, the bureaucracy approach doesn't work when there's aren't enough jobs in either a person's sector or the country as a whole. The automated system could just check people's income, even if it just went by direct deposits, just like how TurboTax can get your direct deposit info after you supply your employer's ID number.

The idea behind the automated system is that it would be a way to keep employed people who are making enough from getting benefits they don't need without. Yet, it wouldn't really cost that much. It could just boot up once a week to check for paychecks within the state. It might not be 100% effective, but it would be better than nothing.

@ASIC @Mr_Teatime * without needing expensive bureaucracy

I was just trying to be quick when I wrote my previous toot. I’m on my phone right now and Tootle can’t delete an re-toot, so I’ll just have to wait until morning to fix it properly.

That's a little less worse, but everyone would still go into those meetings knowing that they need to convince the therapist.

It also means that anyone who is comfortable lying can convince the therapist that they deserve everything,
Then you get therapists who expect to be lied to and become a bit distrustful of people who come to them.

So somebody who is afraid of losing benefits and maybe a bit uneasy around therapists ... could easily look suspicious and get the bad treatment.

It should not be degrading, ever.
If someone qualifies, they get it. If they don't, they don't. Their willingness to submit to degrading procedures should not, ever, be part of the equation.

I've seen some of what this sort of mindset can do, when the British home office scared quite a few residents with Carribean roots (who had every right to stay!) into leaving the UK, by "mistakenly" sending them letters... Having that kind of tool leads to evil, sooner or later. Mostly sooner.

@Mr_Teatime "If someone qualifies".

That's an interesting departure from having everyone qualify.

We were talking about how degrading benefits application processs can/should (not) be, independent of UBI.

You wouldn't need one for UBI, of course. That's one of its advantages. But there'd still be other benefits which require an application (disability, chronic problems, other unusual circumstances ...), and I think that nobody should ever be deliberately treated worse. That only helps to make people hate the agency established to help them.

@openscience This is probably an unpopular opinion, but if they wouldn't take our money in the first place and just let us choose where it goes then we would be better off.

First it is not unconditional. You have to be registered in a specific country.

We already see what they call like this, in the pension. They do not work. People should stand on their own feet

@lation @openscience the problem is that some people are standing on solid rock and others are on shifting sand.

True but these ppl have bild there rock. We should make it possible for everybody do bild there rock and set the intentions to do so.

We also need to respect what these ppl have bild.

@openscience we already have various forms of free money - subsidies for land owners, bailouts for banks, etc. - my interest is in abolishing means testing.

I'm generally favorable to UBI associated to heavy progressive taxes on wealth or capped revenues since there's no shortage of goods associated to basic human needs.
That being said I may be more favorable to generalization of social security to food and housing.
Finally, I am now wondering whether more radical approaches such as the Duniter project/G1 currency woukd not be a better way to go compares to UBI

@openscience I voted "Bad Idea". I grew up in easter Europe in communism. Basically, what does UBI mean that everyone will have the "same nothing" - where is the motivation for the people they don't want to contribute to society if they will be receiving regular income? Don't bring socialism and communism back - it's a trap!

@oldsoldier @openscience The difference is that during our socialism there was no basic income and people had to have a job. Usually a job they hated, it was a sort of lottery. There was no motivation to do anything because people were forced to do the work they did. If you let people do whatever they want, they will strive to make themselves some better environment, just because they can. A lot of people in our society hate themselves because they feel unproductive and unappreciated. Nobody appreciates them because they only do what they must, same as others, nothing special, while also making mistakes and hating the whole process. And they are unproductive, because they have much they want to do, but they never really have time for any of it, because they're too tired of what they have to do everyday. It's a completely different psychological frame. And on the other hand the difference between the wealthy and the poor has never been greater and that's not a good thing. The whole society made today's industry possible, yet only a tiny fraction is allowed to profit from it. The world is historically not just, we have to actively try to make it so or it's gonna turn even worse.

@oldsoldier @openscience I don't see this doing any good, aside from causing inflation, less people will feel the need to work and this “could" lead to a reduction of goods and services available. As much of a bad rap capitalism gets, it does work and generally provides incentives for people to provide goods and services to others. Some would provide for others just out of their good will, but many others wouldn't care less. Capitalism with proper regulation is the best solution

@oldsoldier @openscience UBI doesn't remove capitalism... it only changes it so that no one will suffer as hard from it. You can still work and thus get a better standard.

Personally I think it will be crucial eventually when automation/robotics takes over more and more jobs. In 10-15 years the driver will probably not be needed anymore as cars and trucks will drive themselves.

Money will flow even more to the few in the future... and this has to be redistributed.

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