Saturday, June 04, 2016

“I honestly don't understand why people vote against Universal Basic Income UBI”. Well here are some reasons.

The most general reason, thanks to arguments spread around by interested redistribution profiteers, is that by means of a UBI many will receive more than they should… in terms of what they need… and without reflecting enough on what is being redistributed, a societal dividend, really signifies.

The second reason is that many might consider that for some, given their special needs, a UBI does not suffice to keep them out of unfair unacceptable hardships… and without reflecting that not only nothing with UBI states a “that’s all folks!”… and again without reflecting enough on what is being redistributed, a societal dividend, really signifies.

Three, most those who carry out research on the consequences of UBI are, one way or another, often the recipients of re-distributional favors, and therefore have a bias against UBI.

For, bad proposals, look at the Swiss referendum. “2500 Swiss Francs or $3500 — would be paid to every citizen, for their whole life, no matter where they live. Those with a job could still work but would have the monthly income deducted from their salary.” 

Sincerely in such as referendum, I would also vote NO!  At about 50 percent of the GDP per capita, it is way too much. In Switzerland a number like $1.000, and expressed as a percentage of GDP or a percentage of average salaries, would be a much more reasonable level at which to start this social experiment.

And of course the idea of those working not getting the UBI plays directly into the hands of those arguing that UBI could cause people to work less.

So what is a Societal Dividend? Here is my take on it.

It is an amount transferred to anyone independent of having been able to capitalize on society’s strengths, like having been able to get a job.

It could be seen as an effort to grease the real economy by combating the natural concentrations of wealth.

It could be seen as a substitute for all those redistribution efforts that because of their complexity is bound to attract the profiteers.

It is a well-funded transfer, no funny money, from citizens to citizens, not depending on government favors. It could therefore be seen as an effort by citizens to become more independent of that populism and demagoguery that often lies behind all societal redistribution.

The way it is funded, could help to align the incentives for other societal causes, for instance if with carbon taxes, with the efforts for a better environment.