Left and Right Unite! – For the UBI Fight!

August 2020 Forums General discussion Left and Right Unite! – For the UBI Fight!

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 155 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #104113
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Trial project begins in Ontariohttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/24/canada-basic-income-trial-ontario-summer Unconditional monthly payments will begin to flow this summer; single people will receive up to C$16,989 ($12,570) while couples will receive C$24,027. All participants will continue to receive child or disability benefits, if applicable, to 4000 folk, in a 3 year three-year, C$150m pilot program drawn from the cities of Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay. Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s premier said “It’s not an extravagant sum by any means,” 

    #104114
    ALB
    Participant

    This Canadian pilot project is not really about a universal basic income. It's about an unconditional basic income for people who would otherwise be on some other, means-tested state handout, i.e. it doesn't apply to everybody but only to those on below poverty line incomes. And although the payments won't be means-tested the recipients will be pre-selected on this basis. So, more a reform of the poor law than a step towards breaking the link between work and consumption. Which is the most "UBI" will amount to if it is ever implemented.

    #104115
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    We're swamped by pro universal basic income messages on progressive websites and although this is the conservative-minded NYT, i think this article on the Finnish experiment introduces a much-needed healthy dose skepticism. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/20/opinion/finland-universal-basic-income.htmlIt explains the purpose – to encourage workers to accept low-paying jobs and while this experiment has been publicised, less reporting has been on its austerity cut-backs on benefits.

    #104116
    ALB
    Participant

    Interesting article which points out that these pilot schemes are not testing a "universal basic income" but a reform of the poor law system : in this one (and presumably others) the "free money" is conditional on being unemployed under certain circumstances:

    Quote:
    Kela, the national social-insurance institute, randomly selected 2,000 Finns between 25 and 58 years of age who were already getting some form of unemployment benefits. The subsidies were offered to people who had been unemployed for about one year or more, or who had less than six months of work experience. Participants in the trial would receive €560 (about $645) a month from January 2017 to December 2018, whether or not they came to earn any additional income.The trial size was cut to one-fifth of what had originally been proposed, and is now too small to be scientifically viable. Instead of giving free money to everyone, the experiment is handing out, in effect, a form of unconditional unemployment benefits. In other words, there is nothing universal about this version of universal basic income.
    #104117
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Once more we have the "progressive' demand for the UBIhttps://commons.commondreams.org/t/why-we-need-a-universal-basic-income/45041/8Isn't it time to dedicate a pamphlet that explains the con that is taking place, rather than expect visitors to this forum or our website to search for the scattered critique of the Citizen's Wage.It needn't be a print pamphlet but an online collation of our articles re-formatted and re-edited for better reading.

    #104118
    robbo203
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    Once more we have the "progressive' demand for the UBIhttps://commons.commondreams.org/t/why-we-need-a-universal-basic-income/45041/8Isn't it time to dedicate a pamphlet that explains the con that is taking place, rather than expect visitors to this forum or our website to search for the scattered critique of the Citizen's Wage.It needn't be a print pamphlet but an online collation of our articles re-formatted and re-edited for better reading.

     Indeed,  Alan,  The SP should be churning out several pamphets a year along these lines.  As a format it is so obviously convenient when you have to refer people to the socialist position on a particular subject matter.  I dont know why the Party does not do it

    #104119
    Dave Chesham
    Participant
    robbo203 wrote:
    The SP should be churning out several pamphets a year along these lines.  As a format it is so obviously convenient when you have to refer people to the socialist position on a particular subject matter.  I dont know why the Party does not do it

    Currently the SP doesn't appear to have the human resources capable of "churning out several pamphlets a year".  We've managed to produce the Martov one so far this year but we're having difficulty getting the one on the Russian Revolution out in time for the centenary…

    #104120
    robbo203
    Participant
    gnome wrote:
    robbo203 wrote:
    The SP should be churning out several pamphets a year along these lines.  As a format it is so obviously convenient when you have to refer people to the socialist position on a particular subject matter.  I dont know why the Party does not do it

    Currently the SP doesn't appear to have the human resources capable of "churning out several pamphlets a year".  We've managed to produce the Martov one so far this year but we're having difficulty getting the one on the Russian Revolution out in time for the centenary…

     Thats a pity Dave.  Perhaps the idea needs to be promoted in the SP to see what kind of response  it elicits. Does the Party not have a "pamphlets committee" (or whatever it was called)  anymore? Such a body could take it upon itself to commision pamphlets by directly approaching individual writers to come up with something or, as Alan suggests, compile pamphlets out of old articles with a common theme. I cant stress enough the benefits of having publications in a pamphlet form.  It enables a much more detailed , multi-angled and rounded  examination of a particular subject than is possible with an isolated article appearing in the SS. I know I have mentioned this example before but take the case of the Libertarian Alliance which the SPGB has debated on several occasions.  They are a tiny outfit, a fraction of the size of the SPGB, yet they manage to produce an astounding array of publications.  Check out their literature stock here  http://www.libertarian.co.uk/?q=publications Why can't the SPGB do something similar? It just needs the imagination and the will to make it happen

    #104121
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    I think because of your concerns, Gnome, that we should be more modest in our efforts and it is why i suggested that any pamphlet should first be a compilation of what is already online in our archives and on this forum. Copy and paste what we have already said and reviewed others have said…such as https://gegen-kapital-und-nation.org/en/what-wrong-free-money/which is usually the detailed analysis i usually link to but it does mean we miss out on any exposure and possible debate.We do have some members who would like to participate more but are not part of any branch who could collate all the articles and then edit and reduce to a fairly comprehensive statement of the Party's position. …I know what is going through your head….why don't i volunteer….I'm actually pushed for the time to take on other responsibilities. I have a couple of project that i placed on the back-burner that needs attending to first. But i am sure there are some isolated members frustrated by the lack of activity that they can join in.I'm only replying to you like this,  hoping that they read this and perhaps take the independent initiative and present us with a fait accompli that the EC can rubber-stamp, approval for internet to place on our home page and then our education section …without all the members demanding a say in crossing the t and dotting the i which is usually the case…i think such and such word should be struck down and my favourite saying substituted…you know what i mean…we've seen it before…control-freaks in the name of party democracy.So i appeal for those out there…do a search of our past Standards and previous postings on the Forum , copy and paste and then start cutting the repetition and shifting sentences about so that it flows and is a coherent read As Robbo said…we can also include other topics…automation and robotics…nationalism…whatever

    #104122
    Dave Chesham
    Participant
    robbo203 wrote:
    gnome wrote:
    robbo203 wrote:
    The SP should be churning out several pamphets a year along these lines.  As a format it is so obviously convenient when you have to refer people to the socialist position on a particular subject matter.  I dont know why the Party does not do it

    Currently the SP doesn't appear to have the human resources capable of "churning out several pamphlets a year".  We've managed to produce the Martov one so far this year but we're having difficulty getting the one on the Russian Revolution out in time for the centenary…

    Thats a pity Dave.  Perhaps the idea needs to be promoted in the SP to see what kind of response  it elicits. Does the Party not have a "pamphlets committee" (or whatever it was called)  anymore? Such a body could take it upon itself to commision pamphlets by directly approaching individual writers to come up with something or, as Alan suggests, compile pamphlets out of old articles with a common theme.I cant stress enough the benefits of having publications in a pamphlet form.  It enables a much more detailed , multi-angled and rounded  examination of a particular subject than is possible with an isolated article appearing in the SS.I know I have mentioned this example before but take the case of the Libertarian Alliance which the SPGB has debated on several occasions.  They are a tiny outfit, a fraction of the size of the SPGB, yet they manage to produce an astounding array of publications.  Check out their literature stock here  http://www.libertarian.co.uk/?q=publicationsWhy can't the SPGB do something similar? It just needs the imagination and the will to make it happen

    Comparisons with other organisations are odious; we have no knowledge of the capabilities and circumstances of the various individuals involved.  What I am able to say is that the four member Publications Committee is doing its very best bearing in mind the constraints of employment and family commitments.  And some, if not all, of those comrades are also engaged in other party activity.The Russian Revolution centenary book runs to 227 pages and is essentially a reprint of articles which have appeared in the Socialist Standard over the years.  But it's not just a simple question of copying and pasting; formats, typefaces and font sizes are different, and with numerous original typographical and other errors which have been discovered, much time has had to be spent addressing these issues to ensure a publication of which the Party can justifiably be proud.

    #104123
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Ellen Brown adds her support for the UBIhttp://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/42155-how-to-fund-a-universal-basic-income-without-increasing-taxes-or-inflation

    #104124
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    We don't have a lot to work with on the specific subject of U.B.I.We could do with more 'Papers' which  would need some sort of scrutiny and approval, before putting up.I started to compile the 'Cooking the Books' column into a Blog page here on Socialism Or Your Money Back for 2016, for handy accessable  economics stuff.I don't know how familiar you are with this website for seeking out specifics, but if you hit on 'Publications'-'Index'- Subject it opens up 'nodes' in alphabetical order you can search. You can get two articles specifically on the Universal Basic Income  subject, one of which is  a book review..Economics has 16 Headlines compiled of around 70 subcategorized articles.The Economics Calculation Argument term gives us 9 articles.

    #104125
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Another article on UBI/Citizens Wage from a less common angle. First the usual intro analysis 

    Quote:
    giant advances in twenty-first century communications, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) are having huge impacts on how we work. He suggested, rightly in my view, that in the near future the economy will not need very many humans to maintain it. So what to do with billions of redundant human beings? If people cannot obtain money through work, because no one needs them to work, how are they to obtain the money they need to survive? And how are corporations to continue maximising profit? For its many longstanding disciples (and perhaps some new converts in the corporatocracy), UBI is the obvious answer.

    The article then highlights some interesting points

    Quote:
    Standing informed us that he had recently been invited to speak about UBI in Davos. He seemed to think this was a fantastic achievement. Being welcomed into the arms of the world’s most powerful oppressors of humanity and despoilers of the planet was sold to us by Mr Standing as something we should admire and respect – instead of being horrified by (which was my reaction). Then Mr Standing told us that “even Hillary Clinton” had taken an interest in UBI, and that billionaire businessmen and IT wizards in Silicon Valley had been seeking his wisdom. None of this appears to have troubled Mr Standing. Quite the contrary. He seemed proud of these things, suggesting that we should be heartened and encouraged by the implied credibility the rich and powerful are giving to UBI. He seemed to be oblivious to the obvious conflict of interests – the problem of talking about a scheme that’s supposed to eliminate human poverty with the very people who are responsible for causing it, and who choose to carefully maintain it……it seems to me quite impossible to properly test something like UBI. Trying to trial UBI in a town or a city where the rest of the economy is working around it as normal would be a bit like conducting a delicate scientific experiment using soiled and defective apparatus…In short, the results of any pilot scheme concerning UBI needs to be rigorously examined. But this is not what appears to be happening…Standing described a pilot in India that he’d been involved with. He couldn’t go into detail because his time was limited (and it was probably in his book), but the outline was that a few thousand people in some remote town had all received a basic income for the trial period and surprise, surprise, the local economy improved. Who would have thought it? Add some money to a working economy and sales will pick up. Incredible……UBI/CI are worthy and workable schemes, but the interest the corporate business world appears to be taking in them should scare the life out of their disciples rather than reassure them. I don’t suggest UBI/CI should be scrapped, merely amended, because there’s a much better alternative – guaranteed, useful, well-paid work in public service,…

    Sadly that is the article's conclusion…Statism and the public sector and the welare state, much like the criticism and ultimate rejection in Left Unity (whatever happened to that?) to ex-comrade SW's chagrin but the article does, however, raise useful points i think we can incorporate in our critique.

    #104126
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant
    #104127
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    The feasibility can be looked at, particularly via Varoufakis' version (that listed companies must vest a portion of shares in a sovreign wealth fund that distributed the dividends to the population at large, i.e. the basic income is not guaranteed).So, according to a quick goodle search:http://economia.icaew.com/en/news/october-2017/record-dividends-paid-to-uk-investors-in-q3

    Quote:
    Dividends being paid to UK investors have risen by 14.3% to £28.5bn this quarter, new research has foundThis was the largest third quarter on record and the third-largest quarterly total ever paid, which was driven by a 262% jump in payouts in the mining sector, totalling £3.3bn.Capita Asset Services explained that commodity prices began to rebound a year ago, driving mining profits higher, with dividends following suit.

    Now, currently, a lot of those dividends go to pension funds and institutional investors.  £28.5 billion sounds a lot, but that, evan if it was taken in its entirety to distribute, would only be £400 per head (assuming 70 million UK souls, if we restrict the sum to >18's we can get to about £500).If we abolish corporation tax, to throw directly into this pot: last year the UK raised, on a quick search, £56 billion, that can get us £1,600 per head per year (>18's).A quick estimate of VAT receipts from the government is £120 billion, throw this into the pot, and finally we reach about £70 per week per person.The bottom line is, this can work, but we have to basically dismantle the welfare state to do it, and people would have to redirect some of their income into insurance and friendly society cover to make up for lost state services.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 155 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.