Isn’t this a horrible thought?

As Stewart Lansley and Howard Reed, the nation’s foremost experts on UBI

That Howard Reed is thought of as the nation’s expert in anything?

12 thoughts on “Isn’t this a horrible thought?”

  1. I naturally have no problem with bludging on the taxpayer myself. But I’ve never yet seen any explanation of why anyone would bother to work if they didn’t have to.

    Still perhaps they’ll try it again. After all Venezuela was obviously sabotaged by awful Trump. (I know it started before he was elected, but the astrologers predicted his reign, so the terror of his policies caused it.)

  2. @Boganboy

    UBIs don’t work in developed economies, because we cannot afford it. The AEI in the US did a calculation last year that offers adults $16K and under 18s $7K if they abolish medicare, medicaid, VA, social security and every other welfare programme plus a load of tax deductions. So nothing for the disabled, the ill other than the UBI.

    This hits the poorest hardest since currently the poor receive a lot more. The moment we break from the principle of a flat rate, the cost balloons horribly as exceptions cost a lot and require the administrative costs of working out who to pay.

    The evidence about what happens if you offer a UBI from developing nations is that people do work and the extra income improves life outcomes. The reason why people work is that the UBI really is very basic and you get to keep a lot more of the income that you earn than conventional welfare systems.

  3. UBI =Marxist fantasy island shite based on the idea that wealth creation =writing cheques.

    Who will do the work of producing tangible physical goods/services to sustain human life on Earth while having their arse taxed off to pay for millions of parasites shrivelling their souls on permanent furlough?

    The usual bs offered is robots but we are nowhere near that yet.

    UK Venezuela is the end result of UBI shite. Nor should there be any living in some cunt supposedly being an “expert” in the bs–whatever “expert” means in such a context.

  4. Seeing as UBI only exists in an extremely hypothetical form, isn’t this like being the greatest experts on Star Trek or Lord of the Rings?

  5. @mr Ecks and squawkbox

    Actually the theoretical version of UBI has been embraced by right and left. As a negative income tax, it has significant positive incentive effects because individuals no longer face very high marginal effective tax rates as they come off benefits. Unfortunately because of the cost, it only really works if the BI is really basic.

    This works better in developing economies, where you can achieve a basic income that does cover the basics without being too expensive, and it is really basic. In the developed world it doesnt work because welfare systems are far more targeted and far more expensive. We’ve committed to paying tens or hundreds of thousands for the disabled and ill, all of which would disappear with a real UBI. We pay different levels of support for housing dependent on location and provide extensive support for those who are less able to work (single mothers). Yes, this support is lousy, but a true UBI would be far less.

    To be fair the Grauniad op-ed pieces kind of assume that UBI would provide something like 80% of income with no cost, which is insane (and explain why the crazy people above are supposedly “experts”).

    There’s an enormous amount of informed academic and think tank work about UBI in both emerging and developed countries. Funnily enough none of it written by the two “experts”

  6. The biggest problem with UBI is that it gives incentive for people on UBI to vote for politicians who say they will increase the UBI. This is is “bread and circuses” territory; and we know how that turned out.

    The next biggest thing is that unless it is set to be a flat rate across the country, folks will be attracted to higher cost areas by the higher UBI. Be prepared for excessive whining by the Guardian types about an unwed mother of 5 just can’t make it on UBI, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE, leading to more welfare.

  7. You can have a universal income – as with Alaska’s common oil fund, *everybody* is a shareholder, *everbody* gets a dividend, but that’s a share of whatever this year’s profits are, so never a basic income. Or a basic income – as our means-tested income support, where only certain people receive it, and it varies person by person, so not universal. I can’t see how the mathematics can work to be both universal and basic.

    The closest to a Universal Basic Income is the state pension. It is paid universally but only to a subset of the population, and it is a basic income. And as has been pointed out, the recipients are voters, so they vote to protect their continued existance as recipients.

  8. @Jgh
    The beauty of a true UBI is that it is cheap to administer and has excellent incentives. Unfortunately to be viable, it plus minimal work has to get you to the poverty line basics. But to work we have to cut off the more generous payments we make to various vulnerable groups – old people, disabled, the ill. If you want to keep those, the cost spirals out of control. The AEI version gets US families to the poverty line in the US, but only if we gut every other programme in existence.

  9. I can’t see how the mathematics can work to be both universal and basic.

    To work, the emphasis has to be on the basic. Just enough to put some sort of roof overhead and 1500-2000 boring but nutritious calories on the table daily. No more.

    Unfortunately it is an interesting idea but one that just isn’t going to work in our world. UBI rates will ultimately be set by politicians, and will become a race where each politician tries to outdo the next by giving away yet higher UBI. “Everyone should have an above-average income!” etc etc.

  10. @Boganboy: “I’ve never yet seen any explanation of why anyone would bother to work if they didn’t have to”

    You can observe for yourself that there are plenty of people who work but don;t have to. That applies to nearly all very rich people (especially billionaires) – pop stars, footballers, etc. Almost nobody stops working once they have accumulated enough to live on unless it has been a long, hard process to get there or an extremely quick one (e.g. lottery winners). Rich sports stars not only keep competing, but often don’t simply retire when they’re too old to be competitive but become coaches or managers of other sports stars (or for young people who they thin show potential).

    Generally jobs involving more creativity are the type that people do regardless of money. That applies to both rich and poor – there’s the stereotype of the starving artist and people like Bill Gates who kept working for Microsoft long after he could have handed over to someone else and lived off the proceeds.

    Though that all means that if everyone had enough to live on without working you’d probably have plenty of things like sport and music, but find it very hard to get a burger at a fast food outlet.

  11. @Charles…

    Re your examples of billionaires and elite sports stars who continue to work even though they have no further need for more money…

    Are they actually “working” in the way that plebs like us consider work? I’d guess that it’s more like a hobby – they don’t have to turn up at a prescribed time for a certain number of hours, they’re not at the whim of their bosses, their working lifestyle is already at the VIP stage (no waiting for busses or trains, or sitting in heavy near-stationary traffic for hours). The businessmen trot round the world attending “meetings” or conferences, the sports stars are fawned-over and feted wherever they go. It’s not what I’d call “work”, it’s a feather-bedded hobby – I wouldn’t mind doing it!

  12. @Baron Jackfield: It has been said “That ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it
    Money for nothin,’ and your chicks for free”.

    But it’s work nevertheless – you do stuff and get paid for it.

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