Sandwichman: Sure a UBI on the receiving side, without disturbing anything else, is an unalloyed good. But there is more to it than that.
Paine: We’re on the same page.
Peter K: Sure employment is a priority. My posts were limited to benefit programs.
nihil obstet: I think my reforms are pretty ambitious. Just not too ambitious. Some of your specifics are in the spirit of social insurance, so not against the grain of my posts.
Rich C: UBIs as I noted are being proposed in a wide variety of forms. I think the basic thrust of the idea is to replace everything, more or less, with a UBI. As for Dolan’s numbers, it only adds up to $6K a year, which is a pretty skinny income for one person. It’s easy to imagine better uses for the dollars lost from tax expenditures. Others have their own plans for that money, which as you can appreciate is very difficult to crack for any purpose.
Nihil Obstet: We disagree about the basis for political support for SS. I think it’s the contributory/insurance angle, you think it’s universality. I don’t have any evidence to bring, so I guess we’ll have to let that sit.
I’m not sure I get the pensions/SS angle. I think hostility to pensions stems from envy of public employees, including misguided perceptions of how great they have it.
coberly: We’re in agreement about the focus on the cap, though it should be noted that the Medicare tax was uncapped with barely a whimper from anyone.
sglover: no I don’t buy the substitution argument (public benefits allow employers to pay lower wages). That’s another post, since it comes up all the time with the EITC. It follows even less with the UBI, as you say.
Alex B.: No, it is unattainable, but that’s not my argumment. Mine is that it distracts from more compelling objectives, as elaborated in my manifesto. The UBI is not huge enough to noticeably affect the national debate in the U.S., but it is still the wrong road to go down, IMO.
Bud Meyers: I totally disagree with the idea that jobs will be displaced by automation. The composition of jobs will change, but there is still quite a bit of useful work to be done. People were talking this way in the 1950s. There is always more automation, and always other kinds of new jobs.
JDG: You’re raising the same universal vs. contributory argument I picked up above. To be sure, the ‘earned’ nature of SS or Medicare is not precise; I would argue that it is broadly appreciated in any case. As for end of work, see the preceding.
The question of public employment is well-addressed in the comments so I’m not taking that bait.