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Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:58 AM

Raising the Minimum Wage is good, but a Basic Income would be better.


What is Basic Income? It's a minimum level of income that every citizen deserves, regardless of whether he/she works or not. As it becomes increasingly clear that today's modern hi-tech society does not need all working-age adults to work full time, it's kind of ridiculous to expect all of us to find full-time work at a decent wage. Basic Income has been around as a theoretical concept for over 200 years (Thomas Paine was an advocate), but it is an idea whose time has finally come.

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

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Reply Raising the Minimum Wage is good, but a Basic Income would be better. (Original post)
reformist2 Feb 2013 OP
Puzzledtraveller Feb 2013 #1
Duer 157099 Feb 2013 #2
libtodeath Feb 2013 #3
reformist2 Feb 2013 #4
ParkieDem Feb 2013 #5
upaloopa Feb 2013 #6
reformist2 Feb 2013 #7

Response to reformist2 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:01 AM

1. Yes, but....what can we do about the cost of living

It will continue to sky rocket, so that our higher wages become just as inadequate as before. Many of my clients complain first about the prices of food, shelter, before they complain about their wages.

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Response to Puzzledtraveller (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:06 AM

2. I would say that the basic income has to be tied to the cost of living

otherwise it is just another theory

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Response to reformist2 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:21 AM

3. This should be considered our first basic right.

To claim this country is great when it allows poverty is disgusting.

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:24 AM

4. I agree. Thomas Paine tied it to everyone's inherent right to own land. Not to buy land - to own it.


In other words, Paine thought of every citizen as a landlord to some extent, and that those who "legally" owned the land actually owed a kind of rental payment to those who did not.

An excerpt from the Wikipedia page about his pamphlet from 1795 called "Agrarian Justice":

"The work is based on the contention that in the state of nature, "the earth, in its natural uncultivated state... was the common property of the human race"; the concept of private ownership arose as a necessary result of the development of agriculture, since it was impossible to distinguish the possession of improvements to the land from the possession of the land itself. Thus Paine views private property as necessary, but that the basic needs of all humanity must be provided for by those with property, who have originally taken it from the general public. This in some sense is their "payment" to non-property holders for the right to hold private property."

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

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Response to reformist2 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:28 AM

5. I've always been intrigued by this idea ...

... and a similar (but not identical) concept such as the negative income tax.

It has support across a wide swath of the ideological spectrum, including far-right wingers and libertarians. Their argument is that if would be more efficient to simply replace all forms of social programs with this idea and avoid the administrative costs that those programs will inherently generate.

I'm not sure how it would play out in the real world, but the idea is definitely worth exploring.

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Response to reformist2 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:40 AM

6. I here these ideas but the presentation talks only

about 1/2 the issue. There is at least one reason this isn't happening and that is because there is no one to pay for it.
Say everyone is guaranteed $50K a year. Where does that money come from if working only earns you $40k?
Someone who is able gas to give up part of their income to make up the other $10k.
Who is that person?.
You can't just print the money because inflation would erode the buying power of the $50K.
Where does the money come from?

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:07 PM

7. Tax the wealth of those who could afford it. It would be their rental payment to the rest of us.

It wouldn't be anywhere near $50K per person, by the way. It would only be the rent each person is entitled to, based on the total value of land in the country.

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