The UBI already exists for the 1%

The universal basic income — a cash payment made to every individual in the country — has been critiqued recently by some commentators…

The Return Of The Matt link
I love MattBreunig’s take on Universal Basic Income. We already have it. It’s called income from capital, not labor link
  • Ashley Feniello (AshleyFen)

    timoreilly MattBreunig Medium Presented as if national income is a given and we're merely divvying. As if simeone's gain means another must lose. It's not a zero-sum game

  • Tim O'Reilly (timoreilly)

    AshleyFen MattBreunig Medium Right, but we do that divvying via politics. That’s what different tax rates are all about.

  • Pramath Malik (PramathMalik)

    timoreilly MattBreunig Rent, Net Interest etc. have risk/services associated. Rewards are disproportionate but comparison to UBI is absurd

  • Tim O'Reilly (timoreilly)

    PramathMalik MattBreunig Norway has successfully done it with oil revenue. It often seems “absurd” to consider doing things differently

  • Pramath Malik (PramathMalik)

    timoreilly MattBreunig Alaska does it too. TX/WA/etc have 0 state income tax. Not saying UBI is absurd, comparison to "Economic Rent" is.

  • Max Holland (MaxHolla)

    PramathMalik timoreilly MattBreunig of UBI (that it's divorced from work) by saying we already have a large workless reward system

  • Pramath Malik (PramathMalik)

    MaxHolla timoreilly MattBreunig I was addressing the same issues. Not all economic reward is for "work". 1/2

  • Pramath Malik (PramathMalik)

    MaxHolla timoreilly MattBreunig An "incentive" to reinvest is good. Norway's example was bad when proposed for US with 17 Tn in debt 2/2

  • Max Holland (MaxHolla)

    PramathMalik timoreilly MattBreunig he's addressing the specific argument that UBI is bad because it's detatched from work

  • Pramath Malik (PramathMalik)

    MaxHolla timoreilly MattBreunig Look to Saudi for why UBI's cons, India for pros. My argument is Alaska can afford UBI. All of US can't.

  • Alasdair Allan (aallan)

    timoreilly "Takes money to make money," as my father always said. /cc MattBreunig

  • timoreilly MattBreunig Medium elephant in the room still untouched: what about the most obvious outcome of UBI, namely, inflation?

  • Scott Santens (scottsantens)

    jesusmnavarrol timoreilly MattBreunig Yeah... About that... link

  • scottsantens timoreilly MattBreunig not space to answer here but that article is, sorry to say this, plain bollocks.

  • scottsantens timoreilly MattBreunig correction: the part about UBI vs stamps is spot on.

  • Scott Santens (scottsantens)

    jesusmnavarrol timoreilly MattBreunig Okay. Did you already know that some prices went down in the India UBI experiment? Do you know why?

  • scottsantens timoreilly MattBreunig yes: demand drifting. It's already there on the wealth of nations, not exactly a novelty.

  • scottsantens timoreilly MattBreunig I'm being literal: re-read the part about goat derivatives.

  • ©ommons $ense (iddqkfa)

    timoreilly He has it wrong. It's called rent: income from land, monopoly, and exclusive privilege. B_Barbarian MattBruenig

“The UBI already exists for the 1%” by MattBruenig link
  • Leiterfluid (Leiterfluid)

    Medium MattBruenig This is a bogus argument. Where did the initial investment capital come from? SOMEONE worked for it.

  • Leiterfluid Medium MattBruenig yeah, the 1%'s ancestors.

  • Leiterfluid (Leiterfluid)

    PatFromEarth Medium MattBruenig Right, they earned it, and passed it on to their offspring. What's wrong with that?

  • PJ Pope (StJacki)

    Leiterfluid PatFromEarth Medium MattBruenig Books have been written on what's wrong with that.

  • Leiterfluid (Leiterfluid)

    StJacki PatFromEarth Medium MattBruenig Books have been written about the earth being flat and the moon landing being faked, too. Point?

  • Leiterfluid StJacki Medium MattBruenig and because $ is power, they're the ones who get elected to office and enact policies that are

  • Leiterfluid StJacki Medium MattBruenig incredibly out of touch with the needs of the common man & only serve to protect their wealth

  • lenny (recentpoker)

    Medium MattBruenig let's just give everyone free money. Please save us #trump

  • Fool-Saint. (eldivyn)

    Medium MattBruenig belongs to you. It's not a gift. It doesn't belong to the country. No one paid it out to you. It's already yours.

  • Fool-Saint. (eldivyn)

    Medium MattBruenig What do you mean "10% of income in this country is PAID OUT to the 1% without them having to wrk for it"??

  • Fool-Saint. (eldivyn)

    Medium MattBruenig No one Pays income out to anyone. Last time I checked property rights meant that income earned by your property

  • jon (farmer) (jonkaupp)

    Medium MattBruenig but to me this is just an oblique way of telling people we should be a communist society without using the word

  • jon (farmer) (jonkaupp)

    Medium MattBruenig I am truly trying to understand as we're going to need to change something with more extensive automation coming

  • jon (farmer) (jonkaupp)

    Medium MattBruenig where and how is the government going to aquire 90 trillion in capital assets without destroying economy

  • jon (farmer) (jonkaupp)

    Medium MattBruenig to give out 1k/mnth to each citizen would cost 3.6trillion a year which a 4% return would require 90trillion in assets

  • jon (farmer) (jonkaupp)

    Medium MattBruenig and these returns are based on people with skin in the game making the investments and not bureaucrats. Total silliness

  • jon (farmer) (jonkaupp)

    Medium ByYourLogic MattBruenig has anyone done the math on this? because it's so outrageously unfeasible that i don't know where to start

  • Medium MattBruenig So what ban Dividend stocks?

  • Jorge Brumatti (JorgeMib)

    Medium MattBruenig This is just wrong.

  • . NickHanauer MattBruenig Noahpinion jbarro wait, the top 1% get rentier income and this is the standard to meet for society as a whole?

  • . NickHanauer MattBruenig Noahpinion jbarro there is so much evidence why that top 1% passive income is so destructive for society

  • Scott Santens (scottsantens)

    ptcherneva NickHanauer MattBruenig Noahpinion jbarro It's extreme inequality of prosperity that is destructive to society not 1% wealth

  • Steve Roth (asymptosis)

    NickHanauer MattBruenig If you include holding gains, owners get more like 40+%. link

  • Indisciplined (postdiscipline)

    NickHanauer joshtpm Only rentier income from inherited assets can B truly counted as passive;inherited wealth not dominant in top 1% incom

  • Richard Hasse (RichardHasse)

    NickHanauer thank you for sharing this, very enlightening.

  • Ryan Hammill (RyanAHammill)

    NickHanauer MattBruenig "Where does the 1% get its meaning with all of that free cash flowing in?" Many don't have any meaning.

  • Jason (jaylboh)

    NickHanauer KatrinaNation Not exactly the same in comparison, but like the perspective. Thanks!

  • NickHanauer This is liberal nonsense.

  • Sit_zenkane (sit_zenkane)

    NickHanauer MattBruenig presumably we plebs lack the intelligence and imagination to find another way to spend our time..!

“the average person in the top 1% receives a UBI equal to 7.5 times the average income in the country.” MattBruenig link
  • Arjun Narayan (narayanarjun)

    interfluidity I've always thought the rich literature on third world post-colonial land reform was relevant to UBI arguments. 1/2

  • narayanarjun i don't know if any literature. but huge difference btw financial transfers and direct xfers of real productive resources.

  • Arjun Narayan (narayanarjun)

    interfluidity I would read someone who teases that apart in a rigorous way. Surely there is something to be learned? Anyways, thank you!

  • narayanarjun the simple difference is fin xfers permit + retain incentives for real resources to remain in hands most capable of exploiting

  • (((kevin grier))) (ez_angus)

    interfluidity MattBruenig I don't follow this. isn't the argument here more for a large inheritance tax with no loopholes?

  • ez_angus MattBruenig the arg is not against the cap income. it’s that if the 1% are not turned into xbox masturbators by it, neither wld u

  • Eli Dourado (elidourado)

    interfluidity ez_angus MattBruenig That doesn’t follow at all.

  • elidourado interfluidity ez_angus MattBruenig assuming rich and poor are equivalent except for money is a huge flaw in this argument

  • Kristian Blom (kltblom)

    interfluidity MattBruenig Yes UBI will encourage risk taking, not sloth. Should have mentioned Cap income is from 'stored risk/labor'.

  • finem respice (finres)

    interfluidity MattBruenig Conflating passive income with UBI takes the cake for one of the most daft finance arguments in recent memory.

  • Ricc T (RiccRockets)

    interfluidity MattBruenig Medium I like the idea of the UBI as a dividend from income producing assets owned by Country Fund.

  • Ricc T (RiccRockets)

    interfluidity MattBruenig Medium Current problem is #Politicians flog off our assets for short term gain. We need to think long term #UBI

  • Carlos Mucha (mucha_carlos)

    interfluidity MattBruenig interesting that capital gains (whether realized or unrealized) not included in definition of capital income.

  • interfluidity MattBruenig to call capital gains UBI is a fantastical claim.

  • Firing Squid (Octapode)

    interfluidity HallowXIII MattBruenig That feels intuitively wrong. For one thing, getting to that passive income takes work. Second, what

  • Firing Squid (Octapode)

    interfluidity HallowXIII MattBruenig is a trust fund kid if not exactly the kind of reckless consumer that UBI is expected to create?

  • Octapode Well yeah, all forms of socialism weaken the weeding-out of the shit. So do existing welfare systems. The point of UBI is...

  • Octapode ...basically to remove perverse incentives against working that exist under classical means-tested shit.

  • Octapode You can see it as a transformation of the State into a Cooperative Joint-Stock Sovcorp

  • Firing Squid (Octapode)

    HallowXIII I see it mostly as a way to subsidise drug dealers, liquor stores, and extremist groups absent massive social repair.

  • Octapode these people are already being subsidized

  • Firing Squid (Octapode)

    HallowXIII And you want to further that?

"the average person in the top 1% receives a UBI equal to 7.5 times the average income in the country." link
  • ryan cooper (ryanlcooper)

    this is the best news of the new year tho link

  • Spill Erix (Spill_Erix)

    ryanlcooper What's bad tho is that he still autodeletes his tweets after 24 hours and still hasn't reopened his blog. Good commentary lost.

  • ryan cooper (ryanlcooper)

    Spill_Erix give it a minute

  • ryanlcooper I am a supporter of UBI for people but calling collecting rent a UBI is just plain wrong.

  • ryan cooper (ryanlcooper)

    Jovial_Hack this figure refers to equity and interest income alone

  • ryanlcooper the Bruenig piece repeatedly uses rent link

  • ryan cooper (ryanlcooper)

    Jovial_Hack yes I know, just not that 7.5% figure

  • ryanlcooper ok I see it now you're right. Something the piece does not include is that capital income includes risk. Real UBI does not

  • UNSUB Dick (NorskHaus)

    Jovial_Hack ryanlcooper "Rents" is an econ term for unearned income thrown off by any asset: real estate, a gold mine, an oil well.

  • NorskHaus Yes which does not fit the definition at all of what a "universal" basic income is at all

  • Amy  ? (Violet_Sakinacy)

    ryanlcooper very thought-provoking-- thanks for writing!

  • ryan cooper (ryanlcooper)

    Violet_Sakinacy thanks! but that was MattBruenig, not me

  • Amy  ? (Violet_Sakinacy)

    ryanlcooper well thank you to MattBruenig and you for sharing it, otherwise wouldn't have found it :)

  • Ryan K. (rkk24)

    . ryanlcooper Medium can't stop thinking about this. Really astounding.

  • ryan cooper (ryanlcooper)

    rkk24 MattBruenig is the man

  • Ryan K. (rkk24)

    ryanlcooper MattBruenig I never thought to think about interest earnings in the same terms. But of course.

  • faceplant (faceplant10)

    ryanlcooper UBI would instantly give labor a huge amount of leverage against employers. This has to be the main reason it's opposed no?

  • cho cho (ChoCho1962)

    ryanlcooper but everyone tells me it is all about race identity, not class

  • UNSUB Dick (NorskHaus)

    ryanlcooper That graph could change at the end if hedge fund profits are declared unearned income. They're currently a form of wages.

Alternatively Titled: Don't Read Josh Barro, Why Would You Ever Do That link
  • Cory J. Lack (jupiterbrando)

    deep_beige before enlarging I thought your new av was Wes Anderson

  • Dazzlirion (DavidJesse101)

    deep_beige Medium and to think- Sarah "how's that socialism werkin fer ya" Palin's land is really ground zero

  • RuthBaderBernieBro (fqrevol_r)

    deep_beige he seems to just write articles about shit that feels hinky to him

  • RuthBaderBernieBro (fqrevol_r)

    deep_beige dumbest thing about the jbarro piece was how he never even came up with a justification for the opinion, lol. devoid of logic

  • Emil Seidel (mayorseidel)

    deep_beige MattBruenig He had a thing about how subways cost too much to build that was mostly on point.

This is a really great point link
'1 in 10 dollars of income produced in this country is paid to the richest 1% without them having to work for it' link
“The UBI already exists for the 1%” by MattBruenig link
  • Jim Love (JamesLove31)

    JohnQuiggin graham_moloney2 MattBruenig Canada's child benegit cheques are a form of #basicincome link

  • Matt Bruenig (MattBruenig)

    JamesLove31 JohnQuiggin graham_moloney2 Old-age pension and child benefit are essentially basic income for elderly and children

  • Matt Bruenig (MattBruenig)

    JamesLove31 JohnQuiggin graham_moloney2 To me, those are no-brainers and the real UBI debate is about working-age adults

  • MattBruenig JamesLove31 JohnQuiggin Indeed. How does UBI fit with minimum wage, for instance? Employed & unemployed rates?

  • John Shaplin (johnshaplin)

    JohnQuiggin MattBruenig But you might show total transfer payments of unearned income: much higher%

  • John Shaplin (johnshaplin)

    JohnQuiggin MattBruenig With total transfer people would see how far we've gone already to UBI

  • John Shaplin (johnshaplin)

    JohnQuiggin MattBruenig much cheaper to go the extra mile than to keep the current system?

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