UBI: For individuals or households?

This post is about a point which has come up here and there in the discussion about Universal Basic Income, but which I’ve never worked through properly.  


A preliminary observation is that it’s necessary to consider tax and welfare together as an integrated system. What matters most is the effective marginal tax rates (the sum of marginal income tax and benefit reduction rates). 


Then, starting with the current Australian tax-welfare system, and considering possible paths towards UBI, the key problem is that the tax system is organised (mostly) on an individual basis while the welfare system is organised (almost entirely) on a household or family basis. 


The Negative Income Tax version of UBI is one way of implementing a universal payment if you work exclusively on an individual basis. Start with the standard version where people with zero income receive a refund (negative tax) and all income above zero is taxed according to some scale (rightwing fans of NIT usually want this to be flat-rate, but there’s no logical reason for this).  All you have to do is relabel the refund as UBI. 


The difficulty with a fully individual system is that it disadvantages single people relative to our current system. The same payment goes to a single parent and to a stay-at-home parent with an employed partner. Similarly, a retired couple with no market income (currently getting the couple-rate age pension) would get twice the income of a single retired person (currently getting the single-rate pension which is more than half the couple-rate).


The other way of getting consistency is to tax incomes on a household basis, but this is also tricky. Most obviously, if one partner (commonly the husband) is already employed on a high income, the other faces a very high marginal tax rate.


The Livable Income Guarantee I’ve worked on with Tim Dunlop, Jane Goodall, Troy Henderson and Elise Klein starts with the existing tax-welfare system, taking the age pension (including the income-dependent benefit reduction)  as the model and proposes to expand it to a larger group of people, subject to a participation requirement. That’s why it’s best seen as a plan-in-progress.


It’s easy enough, in principle, to move the LIG towards universality in one way by allowing a wider range of participation options and ultimately removing conditionality altogether. The major constraint here is political support – given the prevalence of punitive attitudes, a participation income represents a radical change, even with conditionality.  Having done that, it ought to be possible to relabel the payments everyone receives and makes so as to have a household-based UBI, but I’m still thinking about this.

22 thoughts on “UBI: For individuals or households?

  1. A UBI in advanced countries is inevitable and it is only a matter of time before it is implemented. However, However I think that people should get away from the idea that it should be paid for via the tax system. Most countries already tax everyone to death ( high income earners already pay the vast majority of taxes collected in most countries ) and people are sick of it. To suggest higher taxes is envy, plain and simple. We need to devise a system to reduce taxes and kill off the welfare state before it sucks us all dry.

    I suggest that advanced economies start giving every adult citizen a permanent stipend of beginning at around $2000 per annum as a UBI. This stipend should be paid for by just ‘printing’ the money, no debt. It won’t create any inflation because it is becoming pretty obvious that increasing automation is causing a technological deflation that requires a sort of permanent ‘QE for the people’.

    Technological progress – automation – is inherently deflationary and is accelerating. We are now at a point where advanced countries need to offset this deflation by providing a stipend. Governments have been spending money like crazy and all they are doing is creating pointless debt and causing asset inflation in the stock market and elsewhere. This money should be given directly to the people and it should grow at a rate sufficient to prevent deflation. It needs to start low so that people can get on board with it, and it needs to eventually replace the welfare state because the welfare state should rightfully be called the ‘illfare state’ – no one is happy with it.

    The amount of $2000 should also increase at a steady rate of about 20% per year for the foreseeable future and as it grows it should gradually replace all other welfare payments. In this way the welfare state can be slowly dismantled leading to huge increases in all spheres of productivity.

    Why 20%? The rate needs to be set to an amount that causes about 2% inflation. We live in a debt driven society and 2% is widely considered an ideal balance that reduces debt over time. The worst thing would be a debt deflation where debts became more onerous over time. As I said, technology is inherently deflationary. Marc Andreessen once said that ‘Software is Eating the World’ and this is becoming more true every day. The marginal cost of software is almost zero in more and more cases. Software that once cost hundreds of dollars can now be had for free and increasingly software is driving inefficiencies out of the world. Ie AI, automation etc. This is accelerating at an exponential rate so the UBI should also accelerate at an exponential rate – BUT from a low base. 15 – 20% would be a doubling every 5 years or so, so that in 10 years it would be around $10,000 per person. We can by then start dismantling our awful and stupid and inefficient welfare state.

    As long as the stipend growth doesn’t outpace technological deflation we will be fine. Eventually income tax can also be reduced and finally eliminated as well, causing further increases in productivity.

  2. “The Livable Income Guarantee […] starts with the existing tax-welfare system, taking the age pension (including the income-dependent benefit reduction) as the model…”
    Yes! Existing tax and pension systems have all found workable, if not ideal, solutions to the individual vs. household problem. The wheel need not be reinvented.

  3. A person is an easily definable and provable entity. A household is not, in all cases, an easily definable or provable entity. I would opt for a UBI for adult individuals. If individuals wish to cooperate in households (which tends to mean sharing accommodation and some portions of incomes and expenditures) then that is entirely the business of those individuals. Singles are not necessarily disadvantaged. Singles may live in share households anyway and/or may enjoy greater advantages of personal autonomy. Do not make a system too complex in an effort to achieve absolute but unattainable equality.

    Ikonoclast’s Laws of Social Welfare Administration:

    1st Law: “Every rule introduced to correct an anomaly usually creates two more anomalies.”
    2nd Law: “Do not attempt to measure welfare need finer than data gathering measurement error plus administrative application error.”

    The answer to concerns about single disadvantage is to ensure that the UBI is sufficient to live on even if living singly. The answer to concerns about couple, communal and cooperation advantage is to say “Bravo, the system encourages community and cooperation (a socialist objective) without unduly disadvantaging people voluntarily or involuntarily living single (a social autonomy objective).”

    The solution to costs for children is to provide;

    (a) Free childcare, no means tests.
    (b) Free school and university, free books, uniforms etc., no means tests.
    (c) Free public transport for under 18s (and those on full UBI).
    (d) Free public medical for under 18s (and those on full UBI).

    This list could be extended. It conforms to the principle that a proportion of the social wage should come from free provision of services rather than individualized payments. This reduces the need to build in larger child payments into the UBI, although there will still be considerable need for child payments. Pay the child payment to the caring female (as part of her UBI) in most cases. There will be a need for a few more rules (and social workers!) to cover unfitness/incapacity, disputes and same sex couples. I would opt to employ more social workers and mediators, and give them considerable discretion, before adding too many more administrative rules. There is still no algorithmic rule set (regulated or automated) as flexible as a human and algorithmic rule sets have no empathy at all!

  4. A person is an easily definable and provable entity. A household is not, in all cases, an easily definable or provable entity.

    I don’t even know whether my normal situation counts as a household, let alone how it would work as a single entity under a household UBI. Specifically, I own the house but rent out rooms. So there are completely independent, unrelated individuals living in my house. Defining us as a “household” for tax purposes would be savage, especially since many of the tenants are international students or guest workers who tend to leave on very short notice (I still get bills from Telstra for one former tenant, I assume still chasing the $10k mobile phone bill they ran up). Would I have to get them to sign something to say they were leaving, and what happens when they just vanish? The bureaucrazy around that would be even worse than it is now.

    But similar things apply to share houses, especially the large ones, some forms of cohousing, and would have to be worded very carefully if they were not to negatively multigenerational households (common in Lakemba, I think the average number of grandparents living with grandchildren in the street would be almost one per house… none here, two next door).

    Egde cases are what make law difficult, and discretion on the part of the bureaucrazy is just a code word for racism.

  5. “Discretion on the part of the bureaucrazy is just a code word for racism.” – Moz.

    I presume that’s a throwaway line. Seriously describing or implying that all government workers are inveterately racist and crazy and/or not able to creatively resist and positively modify ingrained systemic racism and illogic in the bureaucracy is actually pretty insulting. As a former public service worker I would take exception to any serious generalization of that type. It’s so easy to knock the public service but by heavens people grouse and whinge when they and theirs don’t get the particular public service that they want or need.

    Speaking of bureaucrazy, I worked in the National Bank many years ago, before I worked in DSS (later Centrelink). The bank gave me a loaded pistol (safety on) to enable me to escort a teller, with a suitcase of payroll cash attached to his wrist by handcuff, across the road to Queensland Newspapers. I was 19 years old. I had never held a pistol before. Whatever one can say about the bureaucrazy of the P.S. they never handed untrained-me a pistol and sent me out onto a public thoroughfare with it. (I did have enough common sense to internally resolve, “I am not pulling this out of my pocket no matter what.”)

    Nobody more crazy than MF-ing capitalists protecting their money! So don’t unfairly criticize PS staff is all I can say. 😉

  6. Not a throw-away at all. There are so many examples of bureaucratic discretion producing racist outcomes that I think there’s a very strong onus on advocates for it to explain how they intend to prevent racist outcomes. From the royal commissions into racist policing, the similar problem with the churches (most recently the bureaucratic reluctance to get involved with paedophile gangs in guise of religion), the ongoing removal of aboriginal children from their families, the differential expulsion and suspension rates for black kids in school, the regular Centrelink problems, the poorer health care black people get… I would love to have the likely much shorter list of bureaucratic systems where discretion *doesn’t* enable racist outcomes.

  7. Also, I am differentiating between the “equality is not equity” type situations, where things like “get signatures from 2 independent GPs” means crossing the road in Prahran and a 1000km drive in Arnhem Land. Or “ring Centrelink” means driving 100 km, borrowing money then queuing for the phone box in the camp outside Alice Springs but even the homeless guy I pass on my morning bike ride in Sydney has a cellphone with an Aldi SIM in it (he already had the phone before I gave him the SIM).

    That sort of thing is somewhere between a deliberate decision that some Australians deserve less and wilful blindness on the part of the powers that be. It’s made worse by bureaucratic decisions, but it’s directed by the voting public (or Our Rupert, if you’re sufficiently cynical about our political process). But… if the voters weren’t racist a whole lot of things would be different – can you imagine how Howard’s “we decide” campaign would land without racist voters?

  8. Moz,

    Much depends on who you give the discretion to. Giving discretion to social workers is a far different proposition from giving it to police, for example. It comes down basically to the division between the helping and granting professions and the taxing, compliance and enforcing professions. It is the later professions which need to be tied up in red-tape controlling them more closely.

    The rich elites essentially direct our public policy through “Our Rupert” types and through direct donations to political parties. The power of the rich elites has to be removed and the way to do it is to implement minimum and maximum wealth conditions in the system. UBI properly implemented would answer the need for a minimum wealth condition. Wealth limits (100% final marginal tax rate) would answer the need for a maximum wealth condition. A fully electronic and encrypted tag fiat currency would make all currency “clumps” over a set size traceable.

    Can’t control the rich? Can’t means won’t. That’s all.

  9. hi john

    I view a UBI through a slightly different lens. I me the problem we should be trying to resolve is that technological advance is slowly but surely leading to a society of rising income and wealth inequality. the share of national income going to capital is rising and the that to income is falling. I can certainly envisage a world when most manufactured goods, and a large chunk of services can be produced with only minimal human labour. The result of this will be a gradual hollowing out of the workforce with a cohort of highly skilled and high paid workers on the one hand and a much larger cohort of low paid, casual and insecure workers on the other.

    the trick to me is to reorganise our economy over time by redistributing the returns to capital back to everyone via a basic income scheme. This could be done through some form of future fund or sovereign wealth fund which would invest in shares, infrastructure etc and pay out an unconditional non means tested ‘community dividend each year. Initial seed funding could come from borrowing at ultra low interest rates or the abolition of some benefits and tax breaks.

    starting with a low amount the dividend would increase each year and most benefits, pensions and tax breaks would slowly be reduced. this would minimise disruption as people adjusted.

    This sort of scheme avoids the major problem with most UBIs which is that they are funded through the tax system, leaving to excessively high marginal tax rates

  10. As several people above have pointed out “household” is problematic to the extent that people without households ie people living on the street, would be excluded.

    I haven’t been through this https://clubofrome.org/impact-hubs/rethinking-finance/ yet but I suspect there are many useful ideas included.

    Personally I think it is vital to predefine the basis of the need for a UBI in order to steer clear of the “money for nothing for lazy people” meme that is so easy to use to blacken the whole UBI concept.

    The basic principle that under our concept of property ownership, everything in Australia is “owned” by some one or the Crown. So because of that a person with nothing and no where to go or be is permanently trespassing on some-ones property, and as such their fundamental human rights are void. therefore the State, which created this situation has a legal responsibility to ensure a basic standard of living for those who are unable to achieve a starting point towards social inclusion. This is especially true where a government by economic design consciously manipulates for there to be a nominal percentage of unemployed people specifically to create downward pressure on incomes.

    This understanding must be enshrined in law or the constitution else UBI will be a divisive political football.

    The second most important understanding, and one that the Club of Rome has pondered on in the past, is that it is the nature of modern highly automated capital equipment (and commercial instruments) that they concentrate wealth to a very small group of people while depending upon there being a substantial mass of people to market to. There is a dependence here and so also a responsibility.

    Once these factors are universally understood and accepted then it is possible to move forward to quantifying the State’s basic responsibility to each person in the economy.

    We can see first hand in the current US political environment the failure to recognise the co dependence between a government and the people it serves, and the costs of that failure.

  11. As several people above have pointed out “household” is problematic to the extent that people without households ie people living on the street, for instance, would be excluded.

    I haven’t been through this https://clubofrome.org/impact-hubs/rethinking-finance/ yet but I suspect there are many useful ideas included.

    Personally I think it is vital to predefine the basis of the need for a UBI in order to steer clear of the “money for nothing for lazy people” meme that is so easy to use to blacken the whole UBI concept.

    The basic principle that under our concept of property ownership, everything in Australia is “owned” by some one or the Crown. So because of that a person with nothing and no where to go or be is permanently trespassing on some-ones property, and as such their fundamental human rights are void. therefore the State, which created this situation has a legal responsibility to ensure a basic standard of living for those who are unable to achieve a starting point towards social inclusion. This is especially true where a government by economic design consciously manipulates for there to be a nominal percentage of unemployed people specifically to create downward pressure on incomes.

    This understanding must be enshrined in law or the constitution else UBI will be a divisive political football.

    The second most important understanding, and one that the Club of Rome has pondered on in the past, is that it is the nature of modern highly automated capital equipment (and commercial instruments) that they concentrate wealth to a very small group of people while depending upon there being a substantial mass of people to market to. There is a dependence here and so also a responsibility.

    Once these factors are universally understood and accepted then it is possible to move forward to quantifying the State’s basic responsibility to each person in the economy.

    We can see first hand in the current US political environment the failure to recognise the co dependence between a government and the people it serves, and the costs of that failure.

  12. everything in Australia is “owned” by some one or the Crown

    In theory “the crown” is actually “the people of Australia”, which is an argument for giving us some of the rental income. If there is none because our politicians are not charging rent for our resources, then those politicians need a good firm kick up the backside.

    Which should please the libertarians, as it does in Alaska 🙂

  13. The usual justification for doing welfare, and in some countries income tax, with the household as a unit is economies of scale in consumption – a two person household does not need twice as much income as a one person household to have the same consumption possibilities (or, equivalently, on the tax side you can say two individuals living together and pooling resources each have more capacity to pay tax than a single household person on the same individual income).

    But a UBI, working as it does solely off income as a a measure of need/capacity to pay (its most problematic feature IMO), cannot compensate for the myriad other individual economies or diseconomies of consumption. To the exent that household arrangements are freely chosen, why should we care whether adults choose to share their housing and meals with no-one or with dozens of people? Of course social conservatives care – the nuclear family is Anointed By God in their view, but liberals (in either the American or European lsense) should be more relaxed about that.

    I have in my time scribbled a lot more about the issues with UBIs/GMIs/NITs but the one point I keep wanting to make over and over is that such schemes are not just about more or less technically efficient ways to reduce poverty or inequality but have at their root very different views as to what those terms actually mean. I’m convinced we need to spell out our views on these before we build the sort of clever tax/benefit models I spent a fair chunk of my career building.

  14. Yes indeed the Crown is functionally the People of Australia.

    The point is that every person must have permission to be on that land else they are trespassing. There is the prospect of “adverse possession” but this would be difficult for people with zero resources.

  15. I’ve read JQ’s post and my comments relate almost exclusively to it.

    First question to come to my mind: What is the objective? Is it to arrive at generally applicable principles (analytical; math econ theory) or is it to improve one specific system (eg the Australian system with possibly relevant implications for jurisdictions with an almost identical institutional set-up)?

    Analytical: The question is: Under which conditions do Negative Income tax (NIT), UBI and LBI have identical outcomes for individuals, taking both tax and welfare payments into account. My best guess is that one of the condition will relate to the income and wealth distribution (minimum wealth condition which links NIT, UBI and LBI to all other prices). Another condition relates to the total tax system (eg income tax is the only taxation) and thirdly, welfare payments are separable from transfer payments such as NIT, UBI and LBI (eg large family supplements [eg, if the number of children per individual is greater than say 1 – not sure how to work this one out for the male individuals without making paternity text compulsory and even then there may be loopholes], special categories of hardship [eg uninsurable natural catastrophes, personal injuries at work, rare uninsurable illnesses…..].

    In the Australian context primarily, only the LBI, based on Age Pensions, has the advantage of at least some consumer prices being taken into account (a very very rough proxi for the minimum wealth condition.) On pragmatic (admin cost saving included) grounds, it seems to me the LBI requires less information acquisition costs regarding relative prices because one can piggyback on the Age Pension, making adjustments for the weights in the index.

    The NIT idea does not take consumer prices (with or without consumption taxes) into account and, I assume, there would be much disagreement as to which income tax rates should be applied. For example, who would agree that a progressive marginal income tax rate schedule should be applied in reverse order for the calculation of NIT, even though it would counteract the increasing income and wealth concentration (a desirable implication on sustainability grounds regarding a market oriented institutional environment)? I imagine those who seem to believe they have a reasonable argument against income tax by noting that high income earners already pay the vast majority of taxes, would not agree with the idea of applying the progressive income tax schedule in reverse order for the purpose of NIT.

    I look forward to the next instalment on this topic.

  16. If I can take a wider view (which is no criticism of focused views above):

    There is a set of broad but connected problems in the political economy. The economy must:

    1. Provide everyone one with a livable income.
    2. Ensure all needful work is performed.
    3, Be efficient and sustainable.

    I will address the first two items for this topic.

    The conventional fear seems to be that if all adult persons have potential access to an LBI (Livable Basic Income) without work and without the need for a seeking-work test then too many will opt to not work and needful jobs will not be filled. On a first analysis, the difficulty (aside from the sheer lack of jobs) would seem to be the relativity between an LBI and a minimum wage. There is a floor to the LBI. The LBI has to be high enough to be livable. There is a ceiling to the minimum wage. Set the minimum wage too high and few employers will hire the (relatively) unskilled workers at that rate. The LBI floor and the minimum wage ceiling may provide a band too narrow to tempt potential workers from the LBI group to the minimum wage group.

    There is a path through this conundrum via the JG (Job Guarantee). I am not sure if my proposal here is part of JG theory by MMT proponents like Bill Mitchell. The policy could be stepped as follows:

    A. Pay an LBI which is livable and has no work-test. Remove all work tests from the welfare system.

    B. Pay a JG (government job) minimum wage which has a sufficient differential to attract able entrants off the LBI. Set the rate empirically. Via research (what pay would attract you to a JG job?), and a phased introduction, commence the JG wage at a level to attract a small initial influx. Gear up the system by increasing the JG minimum wage gap over the LBI over time. Only accept JG applicants from the LBI pool and these applicants will be voluntary (but “advertised at” and encouraged). Ensure the JG provides full training and skills people up. It will eventually serve as the nation’s training and apprenticeship program. If the JG minimum has to rise above what private employment would pay for an unskilled worker this will not be a problem. Private employment can then operate significantly in the zone of bidding for now skilled workers from the JG system and paying higher than minimum wages for them, to attract them across from the JG.

    This system should be operated empirically. That is to say, the rate of LBI is set with respect to cost of living measurements, the rate of JG is set with respect to the government macroeconomic targets for attracting workers to the JG, and finally the levels of skills training in the jobs of the JG are set with respect to government macroeconomic targets for making JG trained workers attractive enough to private enterprises to warrant an attracting above-minimum wage offer.

    Along with this framework, natural monopolies would be nationalized and strategic industries nationalized if private enterprises elected to not perform them due to seeing inadequate profit in them. Under this overall framework, private enterprise would be encouraged to compete not only against each other but against some government enterprise and thus to prove their boasts that they are more efficient than government enterprise in certain competitive arenas. Private enterprise propaganda concerning unfair competition from public enterprise would hardly stand up even to a “pub test” when the state was undertaking a vast amount of the basic training of workers and apprentices and also largely confining itself to natural monopolies and arenas where markets routinely fail anyway; public goods, health, welfare, aged care, education, ecological work and so on.

  17. I’m more and more inclined toward universal basic services (UBS), instead of or as well as a UBI. If everyone in society has access to a free home, free healthcare, free education, free transport, etc then the question of households vs individuals becomes less crucial. If you’re entitled to a free home, that’s a one bedroom home if you’re on your own, a home with a large master bedroom or a two bedroom home if you’re a couple, or an eight bedroom home if you’re a polyamorous quadruple with four children. Oddly, by providing the service directly you can be less invasive than by giving money.

    This principle is already at play in the way universal healthcare is provided. We’re not given an annual individual or household cash payment to take care of our health, we’re given healthcare. This reminds me about the time I door knocked someone who was speaking with some authority about the patient experience at various emergency departments around the country. He said he’d been to Canberra Hospital three times and he’d had to wait for ages every time, whereas at the PA… There was no polite way to ask why he spent so much time in the emergency room, especially as it was none of our business. Eventually he revealed that he’s a boilermaker and so chopped up his hands with reasonable regularity. My door knocking partner and I couldn’t help but laugh at the relief of not having to wonder about this guy’s accident-prone life any further.

  18. UBI, JG, NIT – Old, new, nornal, fashion, new normal, repeat. And insightful with robot fears.

    “The Ad Hoc Committee on the Triple Revolution

    “In retrospect, the establishment of the right to an income will prove to have been only the first step in the reconstruction of the value system of our society brought on by the triple revolution. ”
    http://www.educationanddemocracy.org/FSCfiles/C_CC2a_TripleRevolution.htm

    From Wikipedia:
    “In Harlan Ellison’s 1967 anthology Dangerous Visions, Philip José Farmer’s story “Riders of the Purple Wage” uses the Triple Revolution document as the premise of a future society, in which the “purple wage” of the title is a guaranteed income dole on which most of the population lives.”
    ****

    Background, Comments & Caveats on The Triple Revolution via Wikipedia. 

    “The statement identified three revolutions underway in the world: 

    – the cybernation revolution of increasing automation; 

    – the weaponry revolution of mutually assured destruction; and 
    – the human rights revolution. 

    “It discussed primarily the cybernation revolution. The committee claimed that machines would usher in “a system of almost unlimited productive capacity” while continually reducing the number of manual laborers needed, and increasing the skill needed to work, thereby producing increasing levels of unemployment. It proposed that the government should ease this transformation through large-scale public works, low-cost housing, public transit, electrical power development, income redistribution, union representation for the unemployed, and government restraint on technology deployment. ”

    “Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final Sunday sermon, “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” delivered days before his assassination, explicitly references the thesis of “The Triple Revolution”:[2][3]
    “:There can be no gainsaying of the fact that a great revolution is taking place in the world today. In a sense it is a triple revolution””:… “…
    “In Harlan Ellison’s 1967 anthology Dangerous Visions, Philip José Farmer’s story “Riders of the Purple Wage” uses the Triple Revolution document as the premise of a future society, in which the “purple wage” of the title is a guaranteed income dole on which most of the population lives.”

    “In his 2015 book Rise of the Robots,[2] Martin Ford claims The Triple Revolution’s predictions of steady decline in future employment were not wrong, but rather premature.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Triple_Revolution
    ****

    “Linus Pauling’s connection with the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI) …
    “While in Pasadena, Pauling joined a group of social activists that called itself “The Ad Hoc Committee on the Triple Revolution.” Working under the auspices of the CSDI, the Ad Hoc Committee worked together to draft a memorandum addressed to President Lyndon B. Johnson and titled “The Triple Revolution.”
    https://paulingblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/the-triple-revolution/
    ****

    Similar, only different.

    “The Gonzo Constitutionalism of the American Right
    By Corey Robin
    “In its heyday, American conservatism was called a “three-legged stool.” 
    – One leg was economic and libertarian, appealing to business-minded voters with a platform of tax cuts, deregulation, and gutting the welfare state. 
    – The second leg was statist and anticommunist, rallying militarists eager to fight and win the cold war. 
    – The third leg was cultural and traditionalist, speaking to voters who were anxious about religion, sex, and race, and who hoped to roll back the reforms of the Warren Court and the Sixties.”
    https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/10/21/the-gonzo-constitutionalism-of-the-american-right/
    https://crookedtimber.org/2020/10/21/gonzo-constitutionalism-on-the-right-norm-erosion-on-the-left/

    And imo a better way to deliver this via JQ’s future envisioning attempt. BUT NOT with an ‘ism’ anywhere with conceptual coo-ee. No mention of:
    Capitalism
    Socialism
    Communism 
    Neo x y & z ism
    Unionism
    (Add your own …ism)

    Capital (ism) may fail (odds 99-1 against) and social(ism) is derided and defined not as a social cause but in relief to capital.

    So drop any ‘ism’ and define as JQ said “it’s possible to imagine a future where society’s focus has moved from consumption to quality of life”. 

    Or better still, a snappy new neologism or rallying concept ala ‘The Triple Revolution’.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/17/socialist-utopia-2050-what-could-life-in-australia-be-like-after-the-failure-of-capitalism

    OK – now please use your lateral and linguistic skills all, to come up with new tag lines and catch phrases…
    2060 for all
    Then-Now
    RoboTaxTrust

  19. A way around a system to introduce a UBI.

    Wednesday, February 27, 2019

    Leff: A Universal Basic Income Through The EITC
    By Paul Caron

    “This Article re-envisions a UBI as a series of reforms to one of the largest existing governmental transfer program in the US: the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

    “The EITC is a work-conditional transfer program, and so any UBI-like reforms to the EITC will lack the defining characteristic of a UBI — that is it not work conditional. On the other hand, a number of reforms to the EITC would make the program more “UBI-like.” These include: (i) that the EITC “phaseout” be removed so the program is no longer means-tested (no means testing); (ii) that the program benefit be applied on an individual basis, decreasing the importance of support of custodial children (individuality); (iii) that the administration of the program be reformed so workers can receive payments throughout the year (regularity). By starting with the EITC and proposing a series of reforms to make it more “UBI-like,” one is able to accurately assess the differences between a UBI and at least one large governmental transfer program, diminishing the impression that a UBI is too “utopian” to actually become reality. One is further able to build on decades of tax policy research about the successes and failings of the EITC.

    “Of particular importance to both supporters and critics of the UBI is its lack of work requirement, and that is often its most philosophically controversial element. By exploring UBI-like reforms to the EITC (which is work conditional), this paper relaxes a defining aspect of the UBI — that it be free from work requirements”…

    Benjamin M. Leff (American), EITC For All: A Universal Basic Income Compromise Proposal, 25 Wash. & Lee. J. C.R. & Soc. Just. ___ (2019):

    https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/02/leff-a-universal-basic-income-through-the-eitc.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s