Contemplating Basic Income

What is this?
I have happily run a scoop on Basic Income for many years at Scoop.It, but they did a number on me and closed down access on six out of eight. I am now forced to dismantle them and reconstruct the content here. This may take a few months, stand by.


May 2018

BASIC INCOME, NOT BASIC JOBS: AGAINST HIJACKING UTOPIA

Some Democrats angling for the 2020 presidential nomination have a big idea: a basic jobs guarantee, where the government promises a job to anybody who wants one. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders are all said to be considering the plan. I’ve pushed for a basic income guarantee before, and basic job guarantees sure sound similar. Some thinkers have even compared the two plans, pointing out various advantages of basic jobs: it feels “fairer” to make people work for their money, maybe there’s a psychological boost from being productive, you can use the labor to do useful projects. Simon Sarris has a long and excellent article on “why basic jobs might fare better than UBI [universal basic income]”, saying that:…..


April 2018

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The UBI will Help Solve America’s Crisis of Income Insecurity

America faces a crisis of income insecurity — a crisis that providing people with a Universal Basic Income stands to solve. Despite the frequently heard claim that the federal government spends a trillion dollars on social welfare, less than a quarter of that resembles anything close to income support for the poor or distressed, and is less than what we spend annually subsidizing employer based health insurance. Look instead at the OECD’s measure of net income supports, a measure of a country’s de facto “minimum income” across developed nations, which reveals that the U.S. welfare system is among the stingiest in the developed world. For a country that prides itself on its economic dynamism, the massive UBI-shaped hole in our safety-net comes with steep costs.

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The Cost of Keeping Children Poor

This past week, President Trump and House Republicans took initial steps to cut back the social safety net. Both have argued that such spending is counterproductive and wasteful, and that eligibility must be tightened for programs including food stamps and Medicaid. Mr. Trump and House Republicans have also asserted that welfare benefits are far too generous, and work requirements much too lax.


Undercover author finds Amazon warehouse workers in UK ‘peed in bottles’ over fears of being punished for taking a break

* An undercover author told The Sun that workers at an Amazon warehouse in the UK “peed in bottles” because they were scared walking to a bathroom would cause them to miss targets.
The author, James Bloodworth, found that staff members feared being disciplined for “idle time.”
* A separate survey of Amazon workers released Monday found that some workers who reported feeling sick – even through pregnancy – said they were penalized for not turning up or taking breaks.
* Amazon said it didn’t recognize the allegations as an accurate portrayal of its warehouse working conditions.
* The company disputed the survey findings and said it didn’t time toilet breaks.


Millenials are Screwed Recommended!

But generalizations about millennials, like those about any other arbitrarily defined group of 75 million people, fall apart under the slightest scrutiny. Contrary to the cliché, the vast majority of millennials did not go to college, do not work as baristas and cannot lean on their parents for help. Every stereotype of our generation applies only to the tiniest, richest, whitest sliver of young people. And the circumstances we live in are more dire than most people realize.


March 2018


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