14 Outrageous Consequences of Basic Income

3/21/2017
Nathaniel DuPhene

More and more people are talking about Universal Basic Income (UBI) and how this concept will be essential to stabilizing our society in the face of job losses due to automation. While it’s clear that UBI will help end homelessness, reduce poverty, and increase happiness, a lot of the details and nuance aren’t often explained. These are just a few of the many ideas I’ve had kicking around in my head.

  1. Retail theft due to extreme poverty will be greatly reduced.
    Millions of people steal basic necessities such as food, hygiene products, clothes, shoes, and furniture. These people will finally be able to afford to live with dignity instead of in the shadows.
  2. People trapped in abusive relationships have more options
    Those unfamiliar with abusive situations might not know that an abuser can take control more easily when their victim has no financial means. UBI will provide a  game-changer many people need to break free from abuse.
  3. Rural & small town economies will find new life
    A family of 4 with 2 kids would get $3,000 per month in Basic Income. This would allow millions of Americans in poor rural areas to participate in the economy. This could jump-start small town economies back to life as more locals can afford meals, home products & improvements, and farm supplies. Small farming, and farming in general will be less stressful with families earning enough UBI to pay the mortgage.
  4. State & local governments will be better funded
    Cities across America collectively lose billions of dollars to foreclosure, failure to pay fines, vandalism,  crime, and homelessness. UBI cuts this down on all fronts, also leading to our next point…
  5. Families will be more stable
    Families will no longer be foreclosed on, lose their house or rental unit, and lose all of their furniture, clothes, and possessions. Moms and dads will be able to keep the heat, the lights, and the water on – 12 months per year. Cars will get fixed. Rideshare and bus fare to work is paid for. School trips, sports, and events get funded. Less financial stress on parents means fewer arguments and marriages failing due to finances.
  6. Cats, dogs, and other pets will thank us
    Pet owners will finally be able to afford vet bills, better food, better litter, and grooming services for their pets. People who want pets but can’t afford them will be able to adopt, meaning more stray animals will find homes. More people being able to afford spay/neuter also helps decrease unwanted pets.
  7. Donations to non-profits & charities will rise
    Imagine your club membership base is 1,000 and they all donate an extra $10 per month from their basic income. Your entity just fundraised an extra $10,000 per month. Volunteerism might rise as well, with more folks being able to afford to get to events and meetings.
  8. Newspaper & magazine subscriptions will rise
    With part-time & contract workers bringing in a steady $1,000 per month, suddenly, spending $20-$40 per month for more media options is actually imaginable.
  9. Micropayments will become much more viable
    Online subscriptions for $5 per month are simply out-of-reach for millions of people right now. UBI would fill that gap and give people enough financial breathing room to participate in the marketplace of ideas.
  10. Crowd funding will be supercharged
    Young, idealistic folks who want to help their friends crowd-fund usually don’t have steady incomes and lots of spare cash. UBI will jump start a virtuous cycle of new projects & business getting funded.
  11. Utility operators will save billions
    Most people don’t know this, but, power companies spend tens of millions of dollars or more per year disconnecting power from people who can’t pay their bills or who steal electricity. Same with water systems. UBI would allow millions of people to pay their bills on time, saving money for these providers.
  12. Hair & nail salons will become profitable
    Spending $50 or $100 per month will become an option for millions of people. This is one of the many huge business & job opportunities that will come out of UBI.
  13. Craft Beer, wine, & liquor will continue to boom
    Breweries, wineries, and distilleries will have millions of new customers who finally have enough money to even buy a few beers or one bottle of craft liquor every month. This will keep them on their current growth trajectory for years to come.
  14. Tourism will skyrocket
    People will finally be able to take vacation time from work and have enough money to go somewhere. Some people may just take their UBI, buy an RV, and hit the road. Mobility, both economic and literal, will increase, benefitting every tourist spot and larger city.

These are just a few of MANY positive effects that UBI will have on America. How many other problems will at least have hope once UBI is enacted? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Copyright (C) 2017 Endangered Patriot Media

7 thoughts on “14 Outrageous Consequences of Basic Income

  1. I noted the copyright. I have an extensive address list including politicians. Can I email this. I understand that Garret Fitzgerald, former FG Taoiseach now RIP, recommended this as far back as the 1980’s. Thomas Friedman speaks of acceleration of digital in three dimensions and if this is the case we surely must change how we define work based on cost when the Value dimension becomes another factor of production and hence the time is now for Universal Basic Income. I highly recommend people to watch the film ‘I am Daniel Blake’ – @kenloach2016

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ken. Find me on Twitter @ProgRebel and find the project on Facebook @ReviveDemocracy. Please e-mail and share widely. I hope you also checked out the rest of the 21st Century Bill of Rights project. Thanks!

      Like

  2. UBI would give small businesses a boost like most have never seen. The self-confidence that comes after being lifted out of poverty is immeasurable. Let’s make it happen.

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  3. The UBI is a bad idea because some people at the bottom of the social scale will be encouraged to be even lazier than at present. The money will be better used if it is distributed to those who CAN”T manage to help themselves (that is to say a disabled allowance) rather than those who WON”T try to help themselves, who deserve encouragement to become more usefully active, but without paying them a cent.

    There is a strong connection between the (apparently justified) claims for UBI and the failure of the nation to provide a more fair social system of the equality of opportunity: to work and to reside and to have necessary health care and to educate the children.

    These matter can be better answered by the establishment of full freedom of equality of opportunity, which today is being badly restricted and held back due to the unnatural monopolistic control of the right for access to all of the useful natural resources. Since much of these natural resources are already occupied by buildings and other privately owned forms of durable capital goods, these occupiers should be made to pay for the corresponding opportunities that their occupation (either by use or speculation in holding them out of use), is doing to the rest of the community. These payments would then replace all the other harmful tax burdens that are otherwise needed to pay for the various services and administration by the national and federal governments.

    Such an income to the nation can be obtained by charging a revenue on land values, sometimes called a Land Value Tax or LVT. This is a more ethical way of helping people to help themselves, instead of making some of them pay subsidies to the rest, (which is UBI when it is stripped of its socialist ideals).

    Socially Just Taxation and Its Effects (17 listed)

    Our present complicated system for taxation is unfair and has many faults. The biggest problem is to arrange it on a socially just basis. Many companies employ their workers in various ways and pay them diversely. Since these companies are registered in different countries for a number of categories, the determination the criterion for a just tax system becomes impossible, particularly if based on a fair measure of human work-activity. So why try when there is a better means available, which is really a true and socially just method?

    Adam Smith (“Wealth of Nations”, 1776) says that land is one of the 3 factors of production (the other 2 being labor and durable capital goods). The usefulness of land is in the price that tenants pay as rent, for access rights to the particular site in question. Land is often considered as being a form of capital, since it is traded similarly to other durable capital goods items. However it is not actually man-made, so rightly it does not fall within this category. The land was originally a gift of nature (if not of God) for which all people should be free to share in its use. But its site-value greatly depends on location and is related to the community density in that region, as well as the natural resources such as rivers, minerals, animals or plants of specific use or beauty, when or after it is possible to reach them. Consequently, most of the land value is created by man within his society and therefore its advantage should logically and ethically be returned to the community for its general use, as explained by Martin Adams (in “LAND”, 2015).

    However, due to our existing laws, land is owned and formally registered and its value is traded, even though it can’t be moved to another place, like other kinds of capital goods. This right of ownership gives the landlord a big advantage over the rest of the community because he determines how it may be used, or if it is to be held out of use, until the city grows and the site becomes more valuable. Thus speculation in land values is encouraged by the law, in treating a site of land as personal or private property—as if it were an item of capital goods, although it is not (Mason Gaffney and Fred Harrison: “The Corruption of Economics”, 2005).

    Regarding taxation and local community spending, the municipal taxes we pay are partly used for improving the infrastructure. This means that the land becomes more useful and valuable without the landlord doing anything—he/she will always benefit from our present tax regime. This also applies when the status of unused land is upgraded and it becomes fit for community development. Then when this news is leaked, after landlords and banks corruptly pay for this information, speculation in land values is rife. There are many advantages if the land values were taxed instead of the many different kinds of production-based activities such as earnings, purchases, capital gains, home and foreign company investments, etc., (with all their regulations, complications and loop-holes). The only people due to lose from this are those who exploit the growing values of the land over the past years, when “mere” land ownership confers a financial benefit, without the owner doing a scrap of work. Consequently, for a truly socially just kind of taxation to apply there can only be one method–Land-Value Taxation.

    Consider how land becomes valuable. New settlers in a region begin to specialize and this improves their efficiency in producing specific goods. The central land is the most valuable due to easy availability and least transport needed. This distribution in land values is created by the community and (after an initial start), not by the natural resources. As the city expands, speculators in land values will deliberately hold potentially useful sites out of use, until planning and development have permitted their values to grow. Meanwhile there is fierce competition for access to the most suitable sites for housing, agriculture and manufacturing industries. The limited availability of useful land means that the high rents paid by tenants make their residence more costly and the provision of goods and services more expensive. It also creates unemployment, causing wages to be lowered by the monopolists, who control the big producing organizations, and whose land was already obtained when it was cheap. Consequently this basic structure of our current macroeconomics system, works to limit opportunity and to create poverty, see above reference.

    The most basic cause of our continuing poverty is the lack of properly paid work and the reason for this is the lack of opportunity of access to the land on which the work must be done. The useful land is monopolized by a landlord who either holds it out of use (for speculation in its rising value), or charges the tenant heavily for its right of access. In the case when the landlord is also the producer, he/she has a monopolistic control of the land and of the produce too, and can charge more for this access right than what an entrepreneur, who seeks greater opportunity, normally would be able to afford.

    A wise and sensible government would recognize that this problem derives from lack of opportunity to work and earn. It can be solved by the use of a tax system which encourages the proper use of land and which stops penalizing everything and everybody else. Such a tax system was proposed 136 years ago by Henry George, a (North) American economist, but somehow most macro-economists seem never to have heard of him, in common with a whole lot of other experts. (I would guess that they don’t want to know, which is worse!) In “Progress and Poverty” 1879, Henry George proposed a single tax on land values without other kinds of tax on produce, services, capital gains etc. This regime of land value tax (LVT) has 17 features which benefit almost everyone in the economy, except for landlords and banks, who/which do nothing productive and find that land dominance has its own reward.

    17 Aspects of LVT Affecting Government, Land Owners, Communities and Ethics

    Four Aspects for Government:

    1. LVT, adds to the national income as do other taxation systems, but it replaces them.
    2. The cost of collecting the LVT is less than for all of the production-related taxes–tax avoidance becomes impossible because the sites are visible to all.
    3. Consumers pay less for their purchases due to lower production costs (see below). This creates greater satisfaction with the management of national affairs.
    4. The national economy stabilizes—it no longer experiences the 18 year business boom/bust cycle, due to periodic speculation in land values (see below).

    Six Aspects Affecting Land Owners:

    5. LVT is progressive–owners of the most potentially productive sites pay the most tax.
    6. The land owner pays his LVT regardless of how his site is used. A large proportion of the ground-rent from tenants becomes the LVT, with the result that land has less sales-value but a significant “rental”-value (even when it is not used).
    7. LVT stops speculation in land prices and the withholding of land from proper use is not worthwhile.
    8. The introduction of LVT initially reduces the sales price of sites, even though their rental value can still grow over a longer term. As more sites become available, the competition for them is less fierce.
    9. With LVT, land owners are unable to pass the tax on to their tenants as rent hikes, due to the reduced competition for access to the additional sites that come into use.
    10. With LVT, land prices will initially drop. Speculators in land values will want to foreclose on their mortgages and withdraw their money for reinvestment. Therefore LVT should be introduced gradually, to allow these speculators sufficient time to transfer their money to company-shares etc., and simultaneously to meet the increased demand for produce (see below).

    Three Aspects Regarding Communities:

    11. With LVT, there is an incentive to use land for production or residence, rather than it being unused.
    12. With LVT, greater working opportunities exist due to cheaper land and a greater number of available sites. Consumer goods become cheaper too, because entrepreneurs have less difficulty in starting-up their businesses and because they pay less ground-rent–demand grows, unemployment decreases.
    13. Investment money is withdrawn from land and placed in durable capital goods. This means more advances in technology and cheaper goods too.

    Four Aspects About Ethics:

    14. The collection of taxes from productive effort and commerce is socially unjust. LVT replaces this extortion by gathering the surplus rental income, which comes without any exertion from the land owner or by the banks–LVT is a natural system of national income-gathering.
    15. Bribery and corruption on information about land cease. Before, this was due to the leaking of news of municipal plans for housing and industrial development, causing shock-waves in local land prices (and municipal workers’ and lawyers’ bank balances).
    16. The improved use of the more central land reduces the environmental damage due to a) unused sites being dumping-grounds, and b) the smaller amount of fossil-fuel use, when traveling between home and workplace.
    17. Because the LVT eliminates the advantage that landlords currently hold over our society, LVT provides a greater equality of opportunity to earn a living. Entrepreneurs can operate in a natural way– to provide more jobs. Then earnings will correspond to the value that the labor puts into the product or service. Consequently, after LVT has been properly introduced it will eliminate poverty and improve business ethics.

    TAX LAND NOT PEOPLE; TAX TAKINGS NOT MAKINGS!

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