Libertarianism

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Chen
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Chen » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:04 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Goods and services will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever run out. That you think this will happen tells me you are a sociopath who would rather die than risk someone else benefiting from your labor without compensation.


Who’s going to volunteer to do shitty, unfulfilling jobs like trash pickup or random retail sales? A partial UBI where you make extra money above it for any job you take is one thing. But if you receive nothing extra (or what feels like nothing extra) you’re going to find a lot of people not working those shitty jobs.

Implementation times are also a problem. Assuming you base the full UBI on total value created and distribute to everyone, you’ll likely not be updating how much each person gets “live”. Which further distances people from the direct results of them chosing to work or not. You’d get some crazy seesaw effects. Imagine half the workforce decides to stop working once the 100% UBI is implemented. Right away you get shortages in services that theres no real way to mitigate (cant raise pay since it all gets taken back) and shortages in goods which will drives prices up. Once you recalculate the UBI (quarterly maybe?) you have to cut it significantly due to less value being created (all the service vacancies and some portion of the goods ones, since their price rose). You now get into a situation where the people who stopped working need to consider going back. But each individual wont see the results of this until the next UBI recalculation and only IF a significant portion of the people who quit go back to work. And it still doesnt incentivize people to go back to shitty retail jobs.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Kit. » Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:54 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It appeared you were proposing that the effects of tax rates were discontinuous. IE, that a 99.99% tax rate behaves wildly differently than a 100% tax rate.

With a growing economy, it seems to be quite possible.

For example, consider the following scenario: due to AI revolution, per capita GDP grows 10000x, but 99.99% of the output starts to be considered basic human necessities and covered by UBI. Then the money after tax will have about the same incentive as it does now.

With 100% tax, no amount of previous growth will result in this.

Even with a smaller growth, the effective incentive may not change if people start to value the differences in income differently (more is considered basic necessity covered by UBI, less is considered luxury people need to compete for).

Tyndmyr wrote:0% personal tax doesn't provide money to run the government.

Seven US states have zero personal income state tax. But we digress. What I am saying that there is no reason to believe that changes in the personal income taxation cause exactly the same effect on the economy as changes in corporate income taxation, considering how different they are in their roles in the economical models.

Tyndmyr wrote:I don't know of any government that's tried a 100% tax on the entire population, since it's so obviously punitive.

Bolshevik Russia in its early years, for example, and it still won the civil war. But we digress again. We are not talking about punitive taxation, we are talking about an economy with 100% (or close to 100%) UBI.

Yes, it is widely believed (and is most likely true) that people need some kind of competition in order for the economy growth. But this competition is not limited to competition over personal monetary income.

Chen wrote:Who’s going to volunteer to do shitty, unfulfilling jobs like trash pickup or random retail sales?

Robots.

I don't like the idea that the current system coerces some people into doing uninteresting jobs, and I would be personally interested in doing a job that would make uninteresting jobs gone.

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Thesh
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Thesh » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:17 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Thesh wrote:Goods and services will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever run out. That you think this will happen tells me you are a sociopath who would rather die than risk someone else benefiting from your labor without compensation.


Who’s going to volunteer to do shitty, unfulfilling jobs like trash pickup or random retail sales? A partial UBI where you make extra money above it for any job you take is one thing. But if you receive nothing extra (or what feels like nothing extra) you’re going to find a lot of people not working those shitty jobs.


A lot of people do a lot more cleaning in their homes than is absolutely necessary, because they prefer to live that way. It's the same with every job, really. People will run the stores because they are necessary for the people to live the lifestyle they want to live. People don't really require monetary compensation to work. Yeah, some jobs suck, but if they are necessary then people will do them.

Implementation times are also a problem. Assuming you base the full UBI on total value created and distribute to everyone, you’ll likely not be updating how much each person gets “live”. Which further distances people from the direct results of them chosing to work or not. You’d get some crazy seesaw effects. Imagine half the workforce decides to stop working once the 100% UBI is implemented. Right away you get shortages in services that theres no real way to mitigate (cant raise pay since it all gets taken back) and shortages in goods which will drives prices up. Once you recalculate the UBI (quarterly maybe?) you have to cut it significantly due to less value being created (all the service vacancies and some portion of the goods ones, since their price rose). You now get into a situation where the people who stopped working need to consider going back. But each individual wont see the results of this until the next UBI recalculation and only IF a significant portion of the people who quit go back to work. And it still doesnt incentivize people to go back to shitty retail jobs.


If you implement it gradually, there shouldn't be huge jumps where half the workers just drop off. The month to month changes will generally be small, and you can always smooth them out if they are an issue.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby DaBigCheez » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:58 pm UTC

Based on my experience herding cats in MMOs, I am dubious of the claim that people will, voluntarily and spontaneously, organize themselves to cover all the proper roles needed without external incentive. It's usually more along the lines of "leadership begs and wheedles and pleads with people to cover the necessary roles, heavily incentivizes them, and then about 5% of the people finally start to pitch in out of self-interest". (And that's when there's a clear leadership and a clear list of well-defined roles that need to be filled, rather than more murky and amorphous real-life scenarios.)

I can see where you're going with the "people will do what needs to be done to eat" idea, but...it seems most people are much more willing to "do what needs to be done" when it has a direct, measurable impact on *their own* experience. If there's not enough food, I could see people starting up their own gardens, to have food. I have more trouble seeing people starting up their own gardens, to contribute all the food to a central fund such that their garden has next to zero impact on the food they wind up with.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Chen » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:20 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:A lot of people do a lot more cleaning in their homes than is absolutely necessary, because they prefer to live that way. It's the same with every job, really. People will run the stores because they are necessary for the people to live the lifestyle they want to live. People don't really require monetary compensation to work. Yeah, some jobs suck, but if they are necessary then people will do them


Im curious as to where this super optimistic view of humanity comes from. Im more in line with DaBigCheez in that through all my personal experience its exceedingly rare that someone will just do something because society at large requires when they get nothing directly out of it.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Weeks » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:31 pm UTC

DaBigCheez wrote:I am dubious of the claim that people will, voluntarily and spontaneously, organize themselves to cover all the proper roles needed without external incentive.
Does it have to be a spontaneous change? In a world where UBI is implemented, I doubt people go "nice, we spent a century getting this system into place. Now what?" If we're considering real-world behavior for the period where it is already implemented, we have to consider the behavior and the circumstances before and while it is implemented. This is not to say that it would be "easy" to get people to do things, but rather that it wouldn't reflect current social norms, behavior patterns, etc. The current system definitely puts stress on people that wouldn't exist with a UBI.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Thesh » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:37 pm UTC

It's not super-optimistic; the amount of work you are talking about is fairly small compared to the amount of people, and I'm not expecting everyone to work. You don't need everyone to nearly as much as we do today for a functional society. It's also a matter of structure; our society is not structured for people to work together as communities, it's structured around families. People will do work and pitch in as a family, without personal compensation. If they see themselves as being primarily a member of a community, rather than a family, they will work for the good of that community.

Not to mention that we have a society where the economy forces us to see all economic transactions as highly impersonal, so most commerce is a negative experience that leaves us stressed out and unable to work together. A society where everything is volunteer work and no one is struggling to survive puts people in a completely different mindset.

People will do things for nothing more than social rewards, and because it's part of their culture - we grow up learning to imitate those around us, after all. You have an experience with capitalism, where people would fail to survive in the wild because they are unable to work together for the good of the group. Humans are forced to live far below their potential.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:02 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Can I create a new company without somehow conveying shares of stock/dividends to the government in this hypothetical scenario? If not, there's no meaningful difference from taxation.

Of course. Though if you trade it publicly, the government can buy some of it just like anyone else. And if you end up with a huge market cap, the government will likely end up buying a lot of it, like any reasonable index fund would.

As far as that making the government indifferent to the wellbeing of its citizens who are no longer its source of income: is a mutual fund indifferent to its investors? Is a business indifferent to its owners? We're talking about a scenario where an organization that belongs to the people, a democratic government, owns shares of lots of businesses, and uses the proceeds from those businesses to benefit the people to whom the organization (the government) belongs. How does that lead to the government finding the people irrelevant?


Ah, this is far more interesting, then.

There might be potential problems, but they are different problems than a forcible regime would be. On the one hand, it'd give the government a direct stake in keeping the economy healthy, though the economy's effect on politics is already significant. Flip side of it is that it does provide incentives for collusion with whichever large businesses the government owns stock of. For instance, they might be inclined to draft harsher IP laws, or to erect barriers to small businesses to favor large companies they happen to own.

I have some concerns about combining the forces of corporations and government even if we can avoid property violations. In this, even the socialists and what not probably agree. Some counterbalance/division of powers is good to prevent any one power structure from becoming overwhelmingly dominant. This distrust is generally expressed as a distrust of government in libertarian circles, but in reality, power structures are power structures and people are people. Too much power flowing to a single power structure, with no alternatives/balancing powers is likely to create a bad situation.

Thesh wrote:And reason says that at least enough people will work so that all people can meet their basic needs. Most likely more. Your only real argument here is one of personal preference.


Existing data on welfare cliffs says that they will not.

Oh, I believe they'll work to attempt to meet *their* basic needs. However, disconnecting incentives from work results in people choosing not to work. Volunteering is all well and good, but most volunteering is done by people who already work(ed) for pay. If you don't lack for anything, sure, one may choose to perform emotionally rewarding work without pay.

This doesn't mean that the garbage man will pick up his garbage without pay. Charity is a tool that does not work for all situations.

Thesh wrote:And when they do, someone will do the job to make more.


If this were always true, shortages wouldn't exist in the real world, and yet they do.

Not everyone can perform every job. Not everyone will perform every job. If say, health care is needed, we cannot simply assume it will arise in the absence of paying for it. Lots of people want health care, but do not have health care.

Thesh wrote:Because there is not a single person on this planet who would work without compensation.


You don't need a single person. You need everyone.

Thesh wrote:Even if 80% of the work stops, there wouldn't be poverty. Everyone in the US would still be above the poverty line, as long as there is equality.


That is true in a technical sense. If everyone's average, nobody's below average. However, reducing everyone to a mere fraction of the current average would be impoverishing our society.

Thesh wrote:Goods and services will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever run out. That you think this will happen tells me you are a sociopath who would rather die than risk someone else benefiting from your labor without compensation.


You...realize that goods and services running out is a thing that happens in the real world, yes? And not for lack of people working? I'm not sure what kind of upbringing you had, but the world has a great many places which have shortages. Capitalism didn't invent this, either. Poverty, shortages, and barely getting by describes a fair amount of human history.

Someone not working for no pay isn't a sociopath. People who are benefiting from safety nets without working/volunteering right now are generally not sociopaths. They are simply people trying to manage their needs. If you're short on food money, it's challenging enough to fix that problem for yourself without trying to fix it for all of society.

Kit. wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:It appeared you were proposing that the effects of tax rates were discontinuous. IE, that a 99.99% tax rate behaves wildly differently than a 100% tax rate.

With a growing economy, it seems to be quite possible.

For example, consider the following scenario: due to AI revolution, per capita GDP grows 10000x, but 99.99% of the output starts to be considered basic human necessities and covered by UBI. Then the money after tax will have about the same incentive as it does now.


If you can figure out how to make GDP boom by 10000000% yearly with super-AIs, go nuts. Until then, this is pretty much speculative sci-fi. Probably roughly the same order of magnitude as entirely solving death.

That said, if you can get 99.9% as much by not working as you can by spending a third of your life...you would need to value your time exceedingly little in order to consider the latter a good deal. Regardless of what the base dollar amounts are.

Kit. wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I don't know of any government that's tried a 100% tax on the entire population, since it's so obviously punitive.

Bolshevik Russia in its early years, for example, and it still won the civil war. But we digress again. We are not talking about punitive taxation, we are talking about an economy with 100% (or close to 100%) UBI.


And if we're considering that as a model, we have an awful lot of deaths to lay at that model's feet. There is a reason that most proponents of socialism hasten to advocate a model other than communist Russia/the USSR.

Kit. wrote:
Chen wrote:Who’s going to volunteer to do shitty, unfulfilling jobs like trash pickup or random retail sales?

Robots.

I don't like the idea that the current system coerces some people into doing uninteresting jobs, and I would be personally interested in doing a job that would make uninteresting jobs gone.


By all means, make robots for those jobs. But right now, we have an awful lot of uninteresting jobs that have not yet been displaced by robots. How do you propose filling them until robots have been made for all of them? Is there a better method than choice/compensation?

Thesh wrote:A lot of people do a lot more cleaning in their homes than is absolutely necessary, because they prefer to live that way. It's the same with every job, really. People will run the stores because they are necessary for the people to live the lifestyle they want to live. People don't really require monetary compensation to work. Yeah, some jobs suck, but if they are necessary then people will do them.


So, you believe the person who likes wearing designer apparel will work retail, without pay, because of her love of the lifestyle?

The lifestyle of the customer is not the lifestyle of the retail worker. And hey, rich people could do this right now, if they wanted to.

DaBigCheez wrote:Based on my experience herding cats in MMOs, I am dubious of the claim that people will, voluntarily and spontaneously, organize themselves to cover all the proper roles needed without external incentive. It's usually more along the lines of "leadership begs and wheedles and pleads with people to cover the necessary roles, heavily incentivizes them, and then about 5% of the people finally start to pitch in out of self-interest". (And that's when there's a clear leadership and a clear list of well-defined roles that need to be filled, rather than more murky and amorphous real-life scenarios.)


This also matches my MMO experience. Without some structure, most guilds are dumpster fires. With structure...many guilds are still dumpster fires. And even the quality ones, a fair degree of effort goes into maintaining the whole thing. Even then, you occasionally get people trying to circumvent the rules for their own gain, cause drama, or god knows what else.

Real life is often similar. A lot of systems just barely work, and people, being people, will destroy them in a heatbeat in the absence of something actively working to keep stuff organized.

DaBigCheez wrote:I can see where you're going with the "people will do what needs to be done to eat" idea, but...it seems most people are much more willing to "do what needs to be done" when it has a direct, measurable impact on *their own* experience. If there's not enough food, I could see people starting up their own gardens, to have food. I have more trouble seeing people starting up their own gardens, to contribute all the food to a central fund such that their garden has next to zero impact on the food they wind up with.


Yeah, home gardens would make sense. Small scale organization, maybe. Depends on how much they like each other, but small groups can sometimes get along well enough that a charismatic or hard working person can get them to all chip in. The bigger the organization gets, and the less an individual contribution matters....the more that all breaks down.

Thesh wrote:People will do things for nothing more than social rewards, and because it's part of their culture - we grow up learning to imitate those around us, after all. You have an experience with capitalism, where people would fail to survive in the wild because they are unable to work together for the good of the group. Humans are forced to live far below their potential.


If you don't like the culture, you can change it. Japan, for instance, has a significantly different culture in many of the respects you discuss than the US does. They still have compensation, though. Having different cultural values doesn't require a UBI.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:06 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Some counterbalance/division of powers is good to prevent any one power structure from becoming overwhelmingly dominant. This distrust is generally expressed as a distrust of government in libertarian circles, but in reality, power structures are power structures and people are people. Too much power flowing to a single power structure, with no alternatives/balancing powers is likely to create a bad situation.

Agreed and glad to hear you saying this, but I want to make sure you understand that this is pretty much exactly what libertarian socialists mean when they say they're against capitalism? That the line between "the government" having abusable power and "private parties" having abusable power is very fuzzy, and "private parties" with enough power concentrated in their hands basically are governments.

Like, imagine if you have a "libertarian" government inasmuch as it only uses force to enforce private property rights and contracts, but the government owns basically everything, and to get you to do what they want they'll just threaten to withdraw your permission to use their property, and use force to enforce those private property rights of theirs. Sounds pretty horrible and not very libertarian after all, yeah? Now imagine instead of the government owning everything, some other "private party" does. How is that any different in effect? "The government" in that scenario are just the enforcement division of the real people in power, those who own all the stuff. The libertarian socialist position is that in that scenario, the "private party" who owns all the stuff basically is the government, and they have pretty much unlimited power. And that there is a continuous spectrum from that scenario down to total capital equality, and anywhere on the spectrum closer to that scenario is effectively a situation of abusable state-like power hiding as "private property rights", but really just allowing the haves to abuse the have-nots.

The only way to have actual liberty is to have equality, because inequalities inherently create abusable, state-like power between the haves and have-nots.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Kit. » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:11 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Kit. wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:It appeared you were proposing that the effects of tax rates were discontinuous. IE, that a 99.99% tax rate behaves wildly differently than a 100% tax rate.

With a growing economy, it seems to be quite possible.

For example, consider the following scenario: due to AI revolution, per capita GDP grows 10000x, but 99.99% of the output starts to be considered basic human necessities and covered by UBI. Then the money after tax will have about the same incentive as it does now.

If you can figure out how to make GDP boom by 10000000% yearly with super-AIs, go nuts. Until then, this is pretty much speculative sci-fi. Probably roughly the same order of magnitude as entirely solving death.

I don't think so. I think that is is likely to happen in the next 40 years, while "solving death" is unlikely (but might still be possible).

Moreover, it's actually a huge problem for the current system if that happens. Without UBI, that is.

Tyndmyr wrote:That said, if you can get 99.9% as much by not working as you can by spending a third of your life...you would need to value your time exceedingly little in order to consider the latter a good deal. Regardless of what the base dollar amounts are.

But if it's the same after-tax amount in resources as you are getting now, doesn't that mean that you value your time "exceedingly little" now? If not, why - if it's exactly the same value?

Tyndmyr wrote:
Kit. wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I don't know of any government that's tried a 100% tax on the entire population, since it's so obviously punitive.

Bolshevik Russia in its early years, for example, and it still won the civil war. But we digress again. We are not talking about punitive taxation, we are talking about an economy with 100% (or close to 100%) UBI.

And if we're considering that as a model, we have an awful lot of deaths to lay at that model's feet. There is a reason that most proponents of socialism hasten to advocate a model other than communist Russia/the USSR.

Yeah. It had no UBI. It had forced labor - which later was changed to compulsory employment.

Tyndmyr wrote:
Kit. wrote:
Chen wrote:Who’s going to volunteer to do shitty, unfulfilling jobs like trash pickup or random retail sales?

Robots.

I don't like the idea that the current system coerces some people into doing uninteresting jobs, and I would be personally interested in doing a job that would make uninteresting jobs gone.

By all means, make robots for those jobs. But right now, we have an awful lot of uninteresting jobs that have not yet been displaced by robots. How do you propose filling them until robots have been made for all of them? Is there a better method than choice/compensation?

You can start by introducing UBI. It will shift the labor supply from uninteresting jobs toward interesting jobs, and will incentivize corporations to invest into robotics as a substitute for increased uninteresting labor costs.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby DaBigCheez » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:50 am UTC

Kit. wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:That said, if you can get 99.9% as much by not working as you can by spending a third of your life...you would need to value your time exceedingly little in order to consider the latter a good deal. Regardless of what the base dollar amounts are.

But if it's the same after-tax amount in resources as you are getting now, doesn't that mean that you value your time "exceedingly little" now? If not, why - if it's exactly the same value?

You're familiar with the concept of diminishing marginal utility, yes? The value of $10,000 to you is significantly less if you're already a billionaire than if you have $5 total in your bank account.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Kit. » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:27 am UTC

DaBigCheez wrote:
Kit. wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:That said, if you can get 99.9% as much by not working as you can by spending a third of your life...you would need to value your time exceedingly little in order to consider the latter a good deal. Regardless of what the base dollar amounts are.

But if it's the same after-tax amount in resources as you are getting now, doesn't that mean that you value your time "exceedingly little" now? If not, why - if it's exactly the same value?

You're familiar with the concept of diminishing marginal utility, yes?

It applies to the utility of the same good.

In our case, the goods are not the same. The UBI covers necessity goods, the salary covers luxury goods.

DaBigCheez wrote:The value of $10,000 to you is significantly less if you're already a billionaire than if you have $5 total in your bank account.

On the other hand, $200 of discretionary income are the same $200 of discretionary income, no matter if you pay $300 for rent or $3000 for mortgage.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:20 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Some counterbalance/division of powers is good to prevent any one power structure from becoming overwhelmingly dominant. This distrust is generally expressed as a distrust of government in libertarian circles, but in reality, power structures are power structures and people are people. Too much power flowing to a single power structure, with no alternatives/balancing powers is likely to create a bad situation.

Agreed and glad to hear you saying this, but I want to make sure you understand that this is pretty much exactly what libertarian socialists mean when they say they're against capitalism? That the line between "the government" having abusable power and "private parties" having abusable power is very fuzzy, and "private parties" with enough power concentrated in their hands basically are governments.


Oh, I wholly agree. A corporation that gains as much money, power, etc as a government is indistinguishable from one. The East India Trading Company is an excellent historical example. Even now, large companies may have more power than small countries.

Not understanding this flaw is the core problem of fascism(in an economic sense).

Like, imagine if you have a "libertarian" government inasmuch as it only uses force to enforce private property rights and contracts, but the government owns basically everything, and to get you to do what they want they'll just threaten to withdraw your permission to use their property, and use force to enforce those private property rights of theirs. Sounds pretty horrible and not very libertarian after all, yeah? Now imagine instead of the government owning everything, some other "private party" does. How is that any different in effect? "The government" in that scenario are just the enforcement division of the real people in power, those who own all the stuff. The libertarian socialist position is that in that scenario, the "private party" who owns all the stuff basically is the government, and they have pretty much unlimited power. And that there is a continuous spectrum from that scenario down to total capital equality, and anywhere on the spectrum closer to that scenario is effectively a situation of abusable state-like power hiding as "private property rights", but really just allowing the haves to abuse the have-nots.

The only way to have actual liberty is to have equality, because inequalities inherently create abusable, state-like power between the haves and have-nots.


Oh sure, any one entity owning everything is awful. It isn't a free market unless competition exists. Monopolies in general are awful, and this isn't a government-only principle. Doesn't really matter if that single entity is a corporation or a government, it's got the power either way.

However, I disagree that total capital equality is the state with the most freedom. Such a situation traps people in a way that renders them unable to significantly better their lot in life. That's not really freedom.

Kit. wrote:I don't think so. I think that is is likely to happen in the next 40 years, while "solving death" is unlikely (but might still be possible).

Moreover, it's actually a huge problem for the current system if that happens. Without UBI, that is.


Again, Super to human AI has been a staple of Sci-Fi for ages now, what makes you certain that it's going to not only be discovered, but be omnipresent? If for some reason it's discovered, could we not pass required laws then, rather than needing to change society entirely because you're certain that THIS time, this fuzzy prediction is correct?

Kit. wrote:But if it's the same after-tax amount in resources as you are getting now, doesn't that mean that you value your time "exceedingly little" now? If not, why - if it's exactly the same value?


Value is relative. The rich man probably isn't willing to scrub toilets for $8/hr. The poor man is.

Making .01% more is not terribly exciting by any standards, and is not worth expending a third of one's time on.

Yeah. It had no UBI. It had forced labor - which later was changed to compulsory employment.


It had that because people won't simply labor for free without compensation.

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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Weeks » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:55 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It had that because people won't simply labor for free without compensation.
"labor for free without compensation" in a country with a UBI in the 22nd century is probably not the same as the USSR Gulags. I think, I mean, I'm not an expert on the subject.
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:07 pm UTC

Sure. Everyone voluntarily chipping in is the sales pitch. The gulag is the reality.

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LaserGuy
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:29 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Can I create a new company without somehow conveying shares of stock/dividends to the government in this hypothetical scenario? If not, there's no meaningful difference from taxation.

Of course. Though if you trade it publicly, the government can buy some of it just like anyone else. And if you end up with a huge market cap, the government will likely end up buying a lot of it, like any reasonable index fund would.

As far as that making the government indifferent to the wellbeing of its citizens who are no longer its source of income: is a mutual fund indifferent to its investors? Is a business indifferent to its owners? We're talking about a scenario where an organization that belongs to the people, a democratic government, owns shares of lots of businesses, and uses the proceeds from those businesses to benefit the people to whom the organization (the government) belongs. How does that lead to the government finding the people irrelevant?


Ah, this is far more interesting, then.

There might be potential problems, but they are different problems than a forcible regime would be. On the one hand, it'd give the government a direct stake in keeping the economy healthy, though the economy's effect on politics is already significant. Flip side of it is that it does provide incentives for collusion with whichever large businesses the government owns stock of. For instance, they might be inclined to draft harsher IP laws, or to erect barriers to small businesses to favor large companies they happen to own.

I have some concerns about combining the forces of corporations and government even if we can avoid property violations. In this, even the socialists and what not probably agree. Some counterbalance/division of powers is good to prevent any one power structure from becoming overwhelmingly dominant. This distrust is generally expressed as a distrust of government in libertarian circles, but in reality, power structures are power structures and people are people. Too much power flowing to a single power structure, with no alternatives/balancing powers is likely to create a bad situation. Regardless of what the base dollar amounts are.


This isn't really any different from what sovereign wealth funds do already, and pretty much all of the inherent risks/benefits associated with those can be applied to the model being discussed. Actually, in a way sovereign wealth funds are an exceptionally good solution to getting around the problem of where does the money come from in the first place... the government has ownership of a valuable resource that it sells and uses the proceeds to build up an investment fund, where some portion of the interest generated is siphoned off to support their citizens directly. The trick is governments actually having real ownership of those resources and not selling away the rights to them to corporations for a song. Also keeping the fund's actual management sufficiently isolated from government interference that they can't go and pick its pockets to fund some pet project or war or whatever is important too.

Tyndmyr
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Re: Libertarianism

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:49 pm UTC

Agreed. Same basic pros/cons there. Not a bad strategy, so long as you can keep the politicians honest. It's a significant caveat, though.


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