Reviews for "Why Basic Income?"

Thank you for explaining the interconnecting socioeconomic web between the safety net known as "Basic Income" in regards to reducing poverty and crime prevention. For a 100 years, people have known the statistics and the connection between the lack of financial opportunities and crime, yet the poor are still victimized because the ones with wealth do not want to lose their power. Shaming the poor keeps them and others from questioning an unjust economic system.

I am an educated American college graduate who's job sector was displaced by the tech industry; I changed careers two times, held 7 temporary jobs, and still have no luck. If Canada passes the "Basic Income" law, I will be the first American to work in Canada because it is nice to have the Basic Income as a safety net. I'm unemployed and live at home and always looking for work. There must be 30 million lazy Americas, too.

adamanimates responds:

Yeah, I think the only way some people will realize there's a problem is when they find themselves out of work and get tired of blaming themselves.

I give you 2.5 stars because I appreciate that you at least put some effort into making this, but this is a fundamentally bad idea on so many different levels. You are pushing a narrative in favor of policies that would essentially force the government to subsidize people simply for existing and not actually producing any valuable goods or services, while simultaneously exasperating the problem by reducing the tax base. It's economic cannibalism. The only reason we even have all this infrastructure and quality of life today is thanks to the capitalist system of "earn your keep". You'd be turning the driving force behind hundreds - no, thousands - of years of human progress on its head in the name of collectivism, and this would send society back into a new dark age.

adamanimates responds:

I agree that it goes against what many Americans believe. But it's not an anti-capitalist program. It enhances entrepreneurship and new business start-ups. All of the studies cited have found evidence for this. You need some capital to start things, and it's incredibly risky so many who would try just don't.

Whatever the basic income starts at, it's not going to be much... likely just enough to keep people off the streets. I suspect that both you and I would be motivated to do more than just subsist. The evidence from the studies in the US in the 1970s supports this conclusion as well. Everyone feared people would just stop working, but it didn't happen. The only people that reduced their working hours were new mothers and high school kids.

So if it turns out people keep working, your fears about the tax base shrinking are unjustified.

Well that sounds all fine and dandy in principle, but there's one simple reason why it couldn't work. Because there are TOO MANY DAMN PEOPLE. It's unfortunate that there are billionaires while there are people who can't get a job and have no money, but go ahead, do the math. All that wealth isn't enough to support all those people. The only way it could be done in principle is if we stopped having an income tax, and started having........ an asset tax. And that is a rabbit hole that no one will ever voluntarily dive into. You're going to need a full-blown communist revolution if anything like what you want to happen is to come to pass. Go ahead, make my day, figure it out. Take the entire market capitalization of walmart and exxon-mobil combined (half a trillion dollars) and divide it by the number of people on Earth (7 billion), you get 70. 70 bucks a person. That could feed the world for like a week or two. If we sacrificed walmart and exxon. And then 2 weeks later you'd be in the same situation sans walmart and exxon. Do you see how quickly all that massive wealth would vanish? No obviously not everyone on Earth would NEED the basic income, it could be like food stamps, where you get it only if you're at the bottom. Unfortunately most people ARE at the bottom, so that wouldn't cut off even an order of magnitude from just how FAST all the assets of the world would just evaporate if you tried to do anything like that social program. The super-rich are disgustingly rich but there are SO many damn people even so, that even if you did spread their wealth across the masses, it would be a drop in the bucket. It just wouldn't work. This is why the correct balance is something in between hard liberalism and hard conservatism. They're both correct, within certain parameters. Unfortunately humans are faulty creatures that fall for false dichotomies and they pick one extreme or the other. And add to that the additional baggage that comes with both groups, most egregiously that the political right is championed by religious zealots who want some Christian equivalent to sharia law to be legislated on all free nations (or at least the United States). This is why I would never be a politician. Also that I hate people. There's that too.

adamanimates responds:

I appreciate the concerns. While myself and lots of economists, like Thomas Piketty, would be in favor of a wealth tax, it's not necessary for a basic income. A form of it actually already exists in Alaska. They split the oil revenue among the population and it's called the Alaska Permanent Fund. It varies from year to year around $2000 each or so. It's less than I'd like, sure, but it shows that the principles work.

Money doesn't just disappear when you give it to lower-income people. They tend to spend it in their communities, and so it benefits the community many times over. When economists talk about the velocity of money, this is what they mean.

The 1950s and 1960s, when the economy was booming, the wealthiest Americans paid a top income tax rate of 91%. Today, their top rate is 43.4%. And there are so many loopholes in the tax code that you can probably cut it down a lot further if you have an accountant.

But even under today's tax rate, Basic Income is possible. It's just a more efficient way of distributing what we're already spending on lots of social programs. You give it directly instead of through bureaucrats who take a cut. The problem is we're taught not to trust the poor to spend it properly, even though all the evidence shows they do in fact spend it on what most improves their lives.

There's a new pilot program coming up this year in Ontario that is going to test out replacing welfare payments with basic income in three cities. The policy is closer to implementation than you might think. Economists have done the math and it is affordable. Check out the 'math' link up above if you're interested.

I'm going to talk entirely about the animation here.

Very well done. I liked the style, it was well done, it transitioned VERY smoothly. It was a very easy watch and pleasing to the eyes.

adamanimates responds:

thanks very much! It's always a good time making bits of foam move around on their own.

A skewed form of socialism or communism? Every generation has this type of debate and it always fades out until the next gen comes along to debate the utopia communistic happy world. In a perfect world all humans have their basic needs covered. Shelter, food and an education. But we have this thing called human nature and it tends to make us not perfect. If we were perfect, we would all be robots.

We all have the opportunity living in our first world counties to succeed. It's just that there are people that prefer not to and float along. There are people that strive to make a great life and there are those who are fine with bare minimal effort. Then you have people that prefer to not be tied down by society and live homeless. Not all but there are those that do not wish to be productive members to society. Thus human nature, it's random by person.

There are plenty of jobs to be filled. Problem is there not the ones we want to do. I see too often people going to school and graduating with a handful of degrees yet no job after school. I've seen those same people sit around crying there are no jobs for them. Here is a saying I stand by.
"Take the jobs you do not want, and do them till the job you want opens up. Keep pushing for the job you want and you will land it."
It looks bad in an interview if asked what are you currently doing for work and you reply "nothing till I land this job". Where as if you have been earning any type of a living till you land your goal job.

"A basic income is an income unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement" Just saying this statement alone should clue you in on how backwards it is. Where exactly does the money come from? Is it a tax or do we magically make a surplus of monopoly money to hand out? Can you imagine the fallout on currency values if this were to happen.

"You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime" Education and making the field lucrative to work in should be number one. But you seem to know a little about propaganda and how society functions. George Carlin was a pretty good source on this matter.

Animation 4
Message -2 Printing money and handing it out does not fix everything. Also crime happens regardless of money. Some do it for the thrill and some are mental.

Here's two stars Adam, you seem to have a good spirit but the world is no where near perfect.

Wait are you trollin?

adamanimates responds:

haha... I spent a long time making this and a long time looking at the evidence from all of the studies around the world. Wouldn't be trolling. I never claimed the world is perfect, nor do I think a perfect world is required. There's nothing too utopian about a floor upon which to build your life. I disagree with your outlook and I believe the evidence supports my view.

If I can't change your view, I can at least tell you about the design of a potential basic income model. Many economists have done the math and support it. A Universal Basic Income would be where everyone gets something around $1000 per month, and the money comes from slightly higher taxes on the rich, a carbon tax and dividend, and reductions on benefits that would now be obsolete. So there's a point at something like $90,000 of income at which your taxes increase and the basic income is taken back. Most people benefit, and it is absolutely affordable.

This is the model I most prefer. There is a breakdown of how it might work here, which I've also added to the list of links above: