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The Republican case for the Universal Basic IncomeFollow

#1 Dec 24 2013 at 8:36 AM Rating: Good
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I find this argument from John Danaher interesting. He asserts that Utilitarian, Libertarian and Progressive ideologies aren't served well by a Universal Basic Income, but that Republican ideologies are. Basically, if every adult has a guaranteed economic independence, than every adult is freer to live life without other people's ideologies, morals or rules imposed upon them. Choice and therefore freedom is exponentially expanded.
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/danaher20131223

John Danaher wrote:
The point is that, for the republican, freedom is not simply a matter of factual non-interference; it is a matter of institutions and power relationships too. Unless A is institutionally freed from B’s dominating control, A is not free in the morally important sense...
(1) The republican political goal is to ensure that all people are free from dominating control (i.e. that the ideal of freedom as non-domination is achieved).
(2) The UBI is an essential (or at least highly effective) means of ensuring freedom as non-domination.
(3) Therefore, the UBI helps to achieve the republican goal.

The second premise is the important one. Why might the UBI be so important in ensuring non-domination? Very simply: relationships of economic dependency, which are institutionally supported by regimes of contract and property law, can involve dominating control. Pettit gives two examples of this. The first is a case in which there are many employees but relatively few employers.

The employers can thus use their superior bargaining power to impose harsh or unfair working conditions on the employees, and the employees cannot step beyond the bounds of the working relationship due to their economic dependency. The second case is that of the woman who is economically dependent on her husband. Pettit notes that the husband need not be abusive or violent toward the woman for a relationship of dominating control to arise: the economic dependency is sufficient for that.

In both of these cases, provision of a UBI would free the people from dominating control. Furthermore, the argument on behalf of such a UBI would have to meet the adequacy criterion. The amount of the income provided would need to be enough to eliminate the relationship of economic dependency.
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#2 Dec 24 2013 at 8:59 AM Rating: Decent
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Just outlaw companies larger than 10 people.
#3 Dec 24 2013 at 9:33 AM Rating: Good
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. Basically, if every adult has a guaranteed economic independence, than every adult is freer to live life without other people's ideologies, morals or rules imposed upon them. Choice and therefore freedom is exponentially expanded.

Noe of that is of interest to the Republican Party. Not really even in the abstract now, it's just maintenance of the rich white christian status quo in name and deed at this point.
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#4 Jan 01 2014 at 2:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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Aiiiight.
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#5 Jan 01 2014 at 5:07 AM Rating: Good
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Demea, just how bored were you?
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#6 Jan 01 2014 at 4:08 PM Rating: Good
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Very. Also, drunk.
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#7 Jan 01 2014 at 5:12 PM Rating: Good
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At least it's good for your postcount.
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#8 Jan 01 2014 at 6:06 PM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
At least it's good for your postcount.

Indeed.
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#9 Jan 01 2014 at 6:16 PM Rating: Good
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Good. Bad. I'm the guy with the keyboard.
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#10 Jan 01 2014 at 7:24 PM Rating: Good
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You don't need any more +1's anyway.
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#11 Jan 01 2014 at 11:20 PM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
You don't need any more +1's anyway.
Probably not.
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#12 Jan 03 2014 at 6:23 PM Rating: Good
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Tested in Canada back in the 70's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mincome

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/1970s-manitoba-poverty-experiment-called-a-success-1.868562
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#13 Jan 03 2014 at 6:40 PM Rating: Default
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I meant to respond to this back when it was first posted, but I forgot, then got distracted by holiday stuff. But, since it's been bumped (and I'm bored), here's my take.

First off, I don't think that the labels used in the accompanying sources directly translate to US political parties, so it's misleading to translate it that way. They specifically use the labels "Liberalist" and "Republican" to distinguish between two specific approaches to liberty (not being interfered with versus not having a dominating force controlling you). Those are subtle differences in otherwise very very similar positions, and not at all to be confused with modern US political differences between conservatives and liberals (much less Republicans and Democrats).

Secondly, there's a huge caveat that's being ignored here. The Republican position (as defined in the source articles) makes a case for UBI *if* it can be assured that such a thing does not involve a domineering power and danger of such a thing being used as a means of control. Which really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. I've argued myself in the past that if we lived in some kind of future Star Trek world where scarcity was more or less eliminated (abundant/cheap power combined with replication technology in that case), then we absolutely could provide everyone with some basic level of living and allow their work to simply add to that as they wish. This is fine because absent scarcity, one person getting a free ride doesn't represent a "cost" to anyone else.


But in the real world in which we live, one person getting a free ride does come at a cost to others. We need a large percentage of our population to be productive workers in order to maintain ourselves. Thus, a UBI would always require some sort of domineering force to take from those producing to provide for those who are not. It's unlikely that a sufficient number of people would continue working under a UBI system to provide for all, and almost certainly what would happen would be the same sort of thing we've seen every time something like this has been attempted: Forced labor and harsh penalties for those who don't work. So no free rides and less freedom. Ergo. Not a good solution.
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#14 Jan 03 2014 at 8:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
But in the real world in which we live,
Contrary to all evidence.
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#15 Jan 04 2014 at 2:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
It's unlikely that a sufficient number of people would continue working under a UBI system


UBI doesn't mean no income stratification. People would continue to work, although those with minimal talents would be disincentivised .
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#16 Jan 05 2014 at 6:41 PM Rating: Good
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It's unlikely that a sufficient number of people would continue working under a UBI system to provide for all

Can you really not work out why that's basically impossible?
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#17 Jan 06 2014 at 8:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:



But in the real world in which we live, one person getting a free ride does come at a cost to others.
Someone making money hand over foot also comes at a cost to other (beyond the cost of simply paying the 'price' of the good or service).

So, what's your point?
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#18 Jan 06 2014 at 12:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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As someone who spent a year living with basic needs met but not much excess personal income, I can safely say that there would probably be enough people who get bored of living off the UBI and want to go out and make more money to keep society going.

I took a year off after I got married. I had shelter, I had food, I had a small allowance beyond that (which mostly went to FFXI fees.) I played video games all day. I wrote a novel (everyone here remembers my "pretend to be an author" phase.) My house was pretty clean.

I had no fun money for computer upgrades. I had only old clothes. I couldn't afford to give people presents. I was bored out of my skull.

Even though I was - and am - in the enviable position of not having to work, I discovered I was a lot happier working full time. The UBI is enough if you're content to be a basement dweller and not go anywhere or do anything and just watch TV all day. But if you want to have some sort of meaning in your life once all your basic needs are met, as well as have additional funds to do things like buy a winter wardrobe or a new laptop, you'll happily commit yourself to at least a part time job.

Edited, Jan 6th 2014 3:48pm by Catwho
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#19 Jan 06 2014 at 1:47 PM Rating: Decent
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It's funny reading Gbaji's response. He acts as if we don't already provide a UBI through social safety nets.
#20 Jan 07 2014 at 6:53 PM Rating: Default
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Smasharoo wrote:
It's unlikely that a sufficient number of people would continue working under a UBI system to provide for all

Can you really not work out why that's basically impossible?


I'm sorry. Let me rephrase that: "It's unlikely that a sufficient number of people would produce sufficient labor of their own free will under a UBI system to provide sufficient goods and services for all".

Better? My point isn't that you can't do this (cause the Soviet model did work at providing those basics). It's that the cost to individual liberty is far greater than the benefit in the long run if you do.
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#21 Jan 07 2014 at 7:00 PM Rating: Default
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Yodabunny wrote:
It's funny reading Gbaji's response. He acts as if we don't already provide a UBI through social safety nets.


What we do in the US is nothing remotely like a UBI. UBI means that everyone receives X goods and services deemed necessary to live a basic life. So you get a free place to live, free food, free clothing, free transportation, education, health care, etc. Everything you "need" to live. If you choose to work, you get a salary in addition to that UBI. You don't lose benefits if you work (which is how most social safety nets work). You get the same stuff, only you can augment it with additional things if you work.

While the system appears to be ideal because it eliminates the initial disincentive for work (losing benefits equal to pay) in a traditional safety net system, it also requires much lower pay per hour of work (to make up for the fact that a large portion of all pay is being consumed providing all that free stuff for everyone). So the benefits to working are decreased relative to the benefits for not working. There are additional problems with regards to markets for the "luxury" goods in this type of system, which may also price things out of reach for most to achieve.

It's a bad idea all the way around, unless your objective is to eliminate private property. Then it's a great idea.
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#22 Jan 08 2014 at 9:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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Your safety nets are exactly what a UBI is you've just convoluted the whole process to allow a few thousand people to stick their hands in that particular set of cookie jars and skim their cut. Unless you're letting people die in the streets you're already providing a UBI. If you guys would just pull your heads out of your asses and give everyone proper health care your costs would drop significantly, to use the most common example. The US has this horrible habit of reacting to domestic issues rather than preventing them and trying to give money to rich people for the privilege. Everything is a "wait until it explodes" situation so everything ends up being ridiculously expensive (emergency room visits instead of just paying for people's check ups to keep them healthy, the stupidity of that is unbelievable.) The US could feed the world with its pocket change if it wanted to and didn't half *** it, providing basic necessities for its less fortunate should be child's play.
#23 Jan 08 2014 at 9:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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Wait until it explodes, and then complain someone is trying to steal your freedom when someone mentions it.
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#24 Jan 08 2014 at 8:46 PM Rating: Default
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Yodabunny wrote:
Your safety nets are exactly what a UBI is ...


I just explained in precise detail how UBI and our existing safety net system are different (everyone's safety net system in fact, since no one on the planet currently implements a UBI system), and that's your response? Could you at least try to address what I just said?
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#25 Jan 08 2014 at 9:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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There's nothing to address. All developed nations provide various welfare programs that guarantee a basic level of income. Since we're all doing it and people still work your argument is demonstrably false. We're already doing it, and it works just fine, in fact we should do it more. The very society you live in has proven you wrong just by having the programs you speak out against so passionately...it's obvious.
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