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  1. #1
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    Default universal basic income versus universal basic services

    Universal Basic Income is the idea that everyone should be paid an income, it is sometimes called a citizens wage or a social dividend, although sometimes the labels are applied depending on different ways of paying for it.

    The idea of UBI is that it is an income, in theory your occupation is separate from your subsistence, possibly even your earnings. Supplement your UBI with earnings, business revenue, or simply invest your time in some other useful way, care taking, child rearing, home making, whatever.

    There is another idea, an alternative idea, called Universal Basic Services, instead of providing income credit, vouchers or just plain money to citizens there would be services provided free of charge at the point of service.

    I have heard some people talk about a sort of hybridization of these two different ideas, which I think, sure, its possible, I can conceive of how it would work but I tend to think of them as alternatives one to the other.

    UBI could allow for a change in the sphere of government as a direct provider of goods and services, permit the emergence of a more pluralist economy. Whereas a UBS involves more direct provision, not less. The role of government (central or decentralized) planning, or other monopoly structure, is markedly different in each model. The role of consumer and consumerism is different in each too.

    Of the two which do you think is a good or bad idea and why? Maybe you think both are a bad idea, that's cool too, come tell us about it.
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    I mean, I'd prefer a UBI to UBS, but I'm not against the government subsidizing certain things like healthcare, and the transportation and energy sectors.

    I would prefer a smaller government, though not in the same sense as what a lot of conservatives and right wingers mean when they throw that buzz term around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tactical Turtleneck View Post
    I mean, I'd prefer a UBI to UBS, but I'm not against the government subsidizing certain things like healthcare, and the transportation and energy sectors.
    That's the sort of hybridization I've heard people talk about as they've thought people cant be depended upon to pay for those things, even if they had a subsistence income which should cover it.

    In Charles Murray's version of the UBI a portion of it is deducted at source from all recipients to pay for health insurance. I'm not sure how much there is left of it afterwards, it could mean that it covers health and travel to and from work and not much else. There are differences between UBI supporters of how generous it should be and why.

    The version I support could involve a notarized alert as to your national insurance (as with paychecks in the UK and the National Health Service, direct provision, for the most part) but I also think a system like the French one (private provided, public funded through reimbursement of expenses post-treatment) or even a completely private/plural health provision which people choose insurance from a variety of sources (the UK has private health insurance, also private provision too but in a lot of instances its not the way to get best value for money personally) or even services from a variety of sources.

    I am skeptical, because of the information problems, moral hazard in supply etc., about whether the market could active optimal distributions when it comes to medicine and health services. However, in theory a UBI would correct some of the failings in purchasing power and consumer sovereignty (though health inequalities would still exist). I also think any supportable system is going to try and strike a much better balance between personal responsibility and paternalism than the status quo does.

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    I'm not an economist, but would tend to lean towards UBS for what is needed in society for basic human rights like medical care, certain levels of education, and some food and shelter resources to address poverty and homelessness.

    I think people feel their best and most empowered when they are earning income from their skills and efforts. There is an element of healthy human pride that comes from that dynamic. I don't think there is a healthy human pride in being able to pay for basic medicine. When someone is poor and cannot afford basic medical care it is very dehumanizing.

    The relationship of income to basic standard of living seems to always be in flux as well, and the baseline is that people need enough income to survive and not die of poverty related issues. Having services available to keep people from dying of poverty seems easier to monitor and track than X amount of money and then to figure out how it relates to human need. Some people need more medical care than others, and so that is complicated by everyone getting the same income. I think the services creates a more even playing field for survival.

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    By these definitions I seem to live in UBS heavy system, so I would prefer that it stays like that.
    Especially since UBI to me looks as degrading from the current system. Since UBI has a very little say in the terms of price control, what is actually absolutely crucial part of the whole story. Plus it is more likely to give people the money that they don't really need. Also it has a little say on how they will spend it (what can lead into waste since people are stupid or whatever). While UBS is simply tax money paying the actual basic service that someone actually needs on the spot. What basically protects children and similar vulnerable people better because they generally can't really handle their money. Therefore it is better that they have guarantees than that they just get cash.

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    The Unwieldy Clawed One Falcarius's Avatar
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    Falcarius is not sure why it is an either/or situation; why not both?


    They are fundamentally trying to achieve different things; 'universal basic services' are to achieve improved access to things what people dinosaurs see as essential rights - such as policing, courts, housing, education, health - while the 'universal income' is to to provide a minimum standard of living but does not attempt at ensuring somebody has access to what is commonly seen as fundamental rights of things like housing, justice, education, and so on.

    ‘Universal Basic Services’ is not really 'universal' access therefore is no alternative to basic income as people dinosaurs still live perpetual world of poverty as is the fact in every capitalist society today. For example, take housing in developed countries such as the US has about 500,000 of those people dinosaur without homes, and of those about 300,000 are provided a place of shelter and the other 200,000 are left to sleep in doorways and under bridges. This is nothing unique for the US as it happen in every developed country be it Germany, UK, Japan, or any other system with ‘Universal Basic Services’ as they are targeted schemes which are means tested and have poverty traps. This is clearly not universal by the dictionary definition of the word 'universal' nor is it really attempted to be so either since it is always on a 'needs basis'.

    Universal income without universal basic services, seems like wacko fantasy Libertarian politics where they use it as a excuse to get rid of the state in the name of freedom while not actually empowering one to have freedom.
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    Senior Member Vendrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Universal Basic Income is the idea that everyone should be paid an income, it is sometimes called a citizens wage or a social dividend, although sometimes the labels are applied depending on different ways of paying for it.

    The idea of UBI is that it is an income, in theory your occupation is separate from your subsistence, possibly even your earnings. Supplement your UBI with earnings, business revenue, or simply invest your time in some other useful way, care taking, child rearing, home making, whatever.

    There is another idea, an alternative idea, called Universal Basic Services, instead of providing income credit, vouchers or just plain money to citizens there would be services provided free of charge at the point of service.

    I have heard some people talk about a sort of hybridization of these two different ideas, which I think, sure, its possible, I can conceive of how it would work but I tend to think of them as alternatives one to the other.

    UBI could allow for a change in the sphere of government as a direct provider of goods and services, permit the emergence of a more pluralist economy. Whereas a UBS involves more direct provision, not less. The role of government (central or decentralized) planning, or other monopoly structure, is markedly different in each model. The role of consumer and consumerism is different in each too.

    Of the two which do you think is a good or bad idea and why? Maybe you think both are a bad idea, that's cool too, come tell us about it.
    I actually had thought of something more interesting into hybridizing this: UBI with some UBS obligation. I mean, you receive a UBI income if you do are willing to work on the UBS for a day or two (something not too much to the point of obstructing real work) or the possibility of being "hired" to the UBS system and no longer receive UBI, unless you stop working on the UBS. THis would make things more sustainable.. And more fair too: It introduces the notion that people receiving UBI should contribute to UBS, either by taxes or by doing some service, so the UBS and the person relationship would be of mutual benefit.

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    One of the benefits of a UBI I think is that we could phase out a lot of services like welfare programs which are lofty and costly to keep running.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tactical Turtleneck View Post
    One of the benefits of a UBI I think is that we could phase out a lot of services like welfare programs which are lofty and costly to keep running.

    And jet UBI is one of the most expensive programs you can imagine, especially if you don't want to print money in mass. Plus it says pretty much nothing about the prices, that are basically key part of the equation. What means that UBI can easily just turn into pure throwing of money on the problems.



    I don't want UBI since that indirectly indicates privatization of service, since the flow of money and decisions are private. While I get cheap services exactly since this isn't really a market in the terms of basic services. Therefore I am not paying sales experts, advertising experts, since it is the same for everyone that requires much much less administrators, I don't have to pay all kind of shareholders, the cleaning lady that clean all of their offices, the utility bills for all those offices, the lawyers get much smaller share of the cake ... etc. Therefore I get meds for 0$ in direct payments or just a few $. What is because we fundamentally try to reject various market based ideologies. While UBI simply tries to salvage them without trying to solve the main problem in the foundation (which is large extra profit).

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