Chaos Germany!

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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by Derek » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:06 pm

I still struggle with the concept of UBI.

If you give the entire population the money to stay above the poverty line, and (OK, this might be exaggerating for effect) everybody decided this was enough for them, and everybody stopped working because there was no compulsion to do so, and why bother when the dossers down the road don't have to, then where will the Government get its taxation from? How will all the people on UBI get the services that they need? How will the work required to run any industry or public service get done?

And who pays for this? I did just take a quick look at UBI, and one of the first things I came across was a study saying that it was "affordable" if any income earned was taxed at 45%. So, anybody who works would instantly be a higher rate tax payer.

It sounds like a form of socialism to me, and (to take a famous quote) "the problem with socialism is that you always eventually end up running out of somebody else's money...."
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by Saul » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:18 pm

I definitely would not want to live in a socialist state. Their idea of equality is usually to spend money we don't have on things that waste money, like quango's and "special interest" groups whilst the people in power pay themselves 10 times more than the average wage, send their kids to private schools, live in luxurious accommodation and call it equality?

UBI is not perfect, not by any means but so far I have not seen an alternative.

I keep a very close eye on not just the tech we have now but the sort of tech we will have in 5,10 or 15 years time and most of it will make human workers redundant. We need to be looking ahead and planning now for a radically different future.
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by tux » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:07 pm

Derek wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:06 pm
If you give the entire population the money to stay above the poverty line, and (OK, this might be exaggerating for effect) everybody decided this was enough for them, and everybody stopped working because there was no compulsion to do so, and why bother when the dossers down the road don't have to, then where will the Government get its taxation from?
What stops you (and everybody else who works) from giving up work and living on benefits now then?
And why do you assume that these reasons would no longer apply with UBI?

There no compulsion to work in the UK or Germany with the present system if you don't have a higly paid skill, as often you earn less in an unskilled job than what you would get by living on benefits.

With UBI there is a strong incentive to work as any money earned is on top of UBI, not instead of benefits, as currently the case.
It sounds like a form of socialism to me
The current benefits system is already a form of socialism, UBI is simply a much fairer and far more efficient way to distribute the benefits that are already being distributed.
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by Derek » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:51 pm

I guess it depends what country you live in?

In the UK we have a social care system that was meant to be a safety net in times of hardship, not provide a lifestyle choice. To me, social care like what it should be is a moral function of any civilised society, but that is not socialism.

What has happened is that social care creeps towards socialist principles (the few have to contribute more to the many) due to polices that Labour introduce (like tax credits) before they bankrupt the country (as they always do, spending somebody else's money), and it is difficult to roll back from what people then expect to have. Like free bus passes and TV licenses for the elderly - there is little moral justification for a blanket payment of those.

Heaven forbid if Corbyn ever gets in (a real threat right now). He will introduce Socialism+ and probably bankrupt the country in record time. Who benefits from that?

It goes back to what social care should be - my point above. It should be a safety net and not a lifestyle choice. We have a system where if you are fit and able, it should be incentivising you back into work so that you are not a burden on other tax payers - apart from it doesn't work terribly well (see above). On that test alone UBI would have a moral failing element built into it if it allows fit and able people to sit in the house all day eating pizzas and watch Jeremy Kyle.

Unless we completely reinvent the societal model we live in, then we live in a society that works by people being paid money for the services they provide others which is mutually beneficial to a functioning society with different people doing different services. It might be flawed (no system will ever be perfect), but it has been proven time and time again to better than socialism - the extreme form of which is Communism, which is always doomed to failure - ask any Venezuelan right now what they think about socialism.

Whether UBI is fair or works well will obviously depend on what is proposed, which is hard to prejudge, so my opinion is indeed subjective like anybody else's arguing the case for it, unless you know of an example where it is in place, works and the consensus is it is fair and equitable without anybody being disadvantaged.

Like any tax system there will be winners and losers, and, strangely, the winners will be in favour of it and the losers won't be... ;)
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by tux » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:46 pm

Derek wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:51 pm
In the UK we have a social care system that was meant to be a safety net in times of hardship, not provide a lifestyle choice.
That might have been the original intention and that might be what you think it should be, but you know all too well that the present social care system of the UK (and of Germany too) is already a lifestyle choice for many of those who benefit from it. And this has been the case for a long time, it certainly was already the case 25 years ago when I spend some time at university in the UK and it was still the case when I used to live in the UK 15-20 years ago.

So when considering UBI, the starting point is the present reality, which is a social care system that is being used as a lifestyle choice by a considerable portion of the population.

As already mentioned UBI actually incentivises working far more than the current system, as any earned income doesn't replace benefits but would be on top of UBI.

So the kind of system you would like to have does not exist already and is getting more and more utopian since there is already not enough well paid work around for everybody to earn a living from it, and this will only get worse in the future, hence a more generalised safety net like UBI is needed.
UBI would drive the society towards a future where most people will work less hours, but more people than currently will work. Basically work would be distributed more evenly.

The idea of UBI is actually quite liked among many heads of businesses too as it gives them more flexibility, because it will mean that people will be more open to short term jobs and part time work, as people don't depend on the salary to survive anymore.
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by Derek » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:32 pm

I totally agree with your first paragraph as a statement of fact. I totally disagree that it should be accepted, and therefore a valid starting point for UBI.

Like I said, I do not agree with it on principle. But show me an example where it works equitably for all, and I would be inclined to change my mind if I am wrong. Otherwise it is a socialist nirvana that somebody is going to have to pay for, and my question remains: who?
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by tux » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:17 pm

Derek wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:32 pm
somebody is going to have to pay for, and my question remains: who?
You seem to be under the mistaken assumption that UBI would cost the state considerably more than the current system, which isn't the case. In fact I have seen credible calculations for Germany that show that no spending increase at all is required.
You need to keep in mind that UBI replaces almost all existing benefits and that the admin costs are drastically reduced compared to the existing system as no means testing needs to take place anymore.
Even the tax rate increase you mentioned a few posts ago isn't a real increase (unless you are at the high end of the income scale) because this is purely to offset the UBI that people who are working are getting too.

Just to explain what I mean:
say you earn £3000 gross per month which in many parts of the UK is already a very good salary, this currently means £2300 take home.

Now let's assume UBI is set to £800/month and the tax rate is increased to 45% flat rate. This means that with UBI your take home will be £1650 net income + £800 UBI so a total of £2450.

In other words even somebody on £36000/year salary still benefits from UBI by £150/month.
Only once you get above £48000/year, your take home after tax and UBI would gradually start to be less than with the current system.

Of course this is only an example based on an assumed UBI of £800 and a 45% flat income tax rate (personally I don't think a completely flat rate without personal allowance would be fair even with UBI but that's beside the point of this example).

Basically when you calculate the true annual cost of UBI it isn't £800 x 12 months x number of inhabitants (as some opponents would want you to believe), but rather far less as the effective net UBI amount depends on taxable income. By tweaking the figures appropriately it's not hard to make it match current social expenditure, as the calculation I saw for Germany showed.

This has nothing to do with a socialist nirvana, it's rather a reorganisation and drastical simplification of the current system.
Quite a few of those who have made living on benefits a lifestyle might actually be worse off with UBI (especially if they currently live on their own in an expensive area, as housing benefit would also cease to be paid and UBI would probably not be enough to pay rent in their area).
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by Derek » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:15 am

I can follow your reasoning and your math, so if it worked that way I will concede your points based on the example parameters IF (big if) it worked that way. :)

But until we know how it would be funded and what the parameters (taxation % and base income) are then we'll have to wait and see. I guess as well the type of Government you have at the time, and how much they want to fleece the better off, will have a major bearing in it. ;)

I still think it is morally wrong to give people money for doing nothing. Just because today's system can be gamed does not say it is right and we should continue to tolerate it. If anything you ought to sort that out before going on a UBI scheme. There is a difference between somebody who cannot work because of disability and somebody who chooses not to. Why should society pay for the latter when they are contributing nothing? Maybe I could accept UBI if you got it if you were genuinely disabled or a carer for somebody genuinely disabled (who actually does need it - I know somebody who is fleecing that one), retired (assume it will replace state pension?) or fit and able to work. The benefit scroungers should not be taking the current benefits, so I don't see why they should be getting anything under UBI.
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by tux » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:05 pm

Derek wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:15 am
But until we know how it would be funded and what the parameters (taxation % and base income) are then we'll have to wait and see. I guess as well the type of Government you have at the time, and how much they want to fleece the better off, will have a major bearing in it. ;)
Agreed. UBI is just a general idea, it's how it will be implemented that will make all the difference between success and failure, that's why the implementation details need to be carefully thought through, ideally by people who have the best of the whole country in mind and not just of a specific interest group.
I still think it is morally wrong to give people money for doing nothing.
Well on the other hand our society with it's exclusive property rights on land prevents people from choosing to live in a self-sufficent manner by simply hunting game and collecting nuts and berries and living off that.
Allowing exclusive property rights on land can be considered immoral too as it prevents sustenance, even more so when you consider that most of these property rights come from the dark times when they were acquired by force.
This is why some people actually argue that UBI should be at least partially financed by a land value tax to compensate for this.
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by jima » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:29 pm

tux wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:05 pm
Well on the other hand our society with it's exclusive property rights on land prevents people from choosing to live in a self-sufficent manner by simply hunting game and collecting nuts and berries and living off that.
Darn, they just shut my local Tesco Express for three months for refurbishment - guess I'll have to dig out Ol' Bessie and see if I can't bag a brace of the local wildlife for the pot. Wonder if I can still get ammo for her? Ah well, if not, I think there are still some blackberry bushes down by the station (less'n they closed it already). Seriously :?:
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by tux » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:39 pm

The point is that you don't even have the choice to maintain yourself outside of the monetary system, not whether you want to do it or not.

And even though you might have been half joking, consider for a moment what would happen if people who rely on the current benefits system all of a sudden had to fend for themselves?
Would you expect them to just starve away or beg for jobs, or rather do whatever necessary (including thefts, robberies and violence) to feed themselves?
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by Derek » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:57 pm

tux wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:39 pm
The point is that you don't even have the choice to maintain yourself outside of the monetary system, not whether you want to do it or not.
You could get over to a place of untainted wilderness (a fair bit of the planet) and live off the land if you wish.
tux wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:39 pm

And even though you might have been half joking, consider for a moment what would happen if people who rely on the current benefits system all of a sudden had to fend for themselves?
Would you expect them to just starve away or beg for jobs, or rather do whatever necessary (including thefts, robberies and violence) to feed themselves?
No, I expect them to get a job and pay their way. If there is no job then they are unemployed and on benefits - that is fair. If there is a job and they choose not to take it, then their benefits are cut so they take the job.

One of the people I know from that band who did not work for a living was eventually "forced" into a job when his benefit was cut. Two years on he is still moaning about it.... But I am no longer subsidising him (so much). It gets him off his bum out of the house instead of eating piza whilst watching Jeremy Kyle. What is so wrong about that?

Harsh? I still do not see why my taxes should subsidise a life style choice of doing nothing. That is something I feel strongly about, and something the current system supports where it should not, and neither should any replacement. But we are probably going around in circles now.

Again I will emphasise that if you genuinely cannot work because you are not able to for a disability reason or there is no work, then that is different and that is what social security is there for.
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by tux » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:05 pm

Derek wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:57 pm
You could get over to a place of untainted wilderness (a fair bit of the planet) and live off the land if you wish.
It's only natural that most people tend to stick to the area they are familiar with, and the fact that they cannot live there autonomously due to property rights that where established in the past by a small minority with violence (rather than by general consensus) is a good argument for UBI and that it should be financed by a land tax.
This would remove the problem you have with UBI, as it would't be your income taxes paying for UBI.
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by Derek » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:30 am

I cannot say I agree with the logic of that argument.

Next, as well as UBI, some socialist/anti-capitalist Government will be wanting to give everybody a free plot of land to atone for the sins of this violent land grab of the past so it is all nice and fair....

If you take the argument to its logical end, we'll be giving everybody free Yamaha Montages so it is fair. I accept that I can afford high end keyboards whereas others cannot, but my recent purchases have come via work bonuses as a result of me working my butt off - and in 1983 all I could afford was a cheesy CASIO MT40 rather than the DX7 I lusted after, so I had to wait until 1998 when I could finally afford a second hand DX7II.

Again, my question on your land tax issue would be who pays? Is that a land tax on my property (on land which is a minuscule area of the planet), which I am purchasing out of my hard earned income? We already have a form of property/land tax as a Council Tax paying (banded so the bigger the house the more you pay) for local services (like social care schools, police, rubbish collection), that, again, some people get for free when they should be paying....
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Re: Chaos Germany!

Unread post by purcell » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:30 pm

Derek: "Again, my question on your land tax issue would be who pays?"
"I still struggle with the concept of UBI."

Naturally! The multimillionaires...that have stolen money...in that insanely pouring out... hyper capitalism!
It´s really sick! ... any people ... with multibillion euros doing what they want! That´s sick!
... THEY DON*`T WORK! THEY DON`T PAY TAX! ((i)) Its´deal?
Nice to own 10000000000 Euros! Or better 80000000000000 :mrgreen: ...!
I don´t know it... something between 40000000000 or 600000000000000? :lol:
No problem for them to pay all the double or triple UBI!

If I earn 2000 € I PAY TAX! :mrgreen: If I earn 200000000 € I pay NO TAX! What a crazy scene! :twisted:
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