Sunday, June 26, 2016

living wage calculator by state

http://livingwage.mit.edu/pages/about

"The living wage model is an alternative measure of basic needs. It is a market-based approach that draws upon geographically specific expenditure data related to a family’s likely minimum food, child care, health insurance, housing, transportation, and other basic necessities (e.g. clothing, personal care items, etc.) costs. Detailed description of the data used in the tool can be found on the landing page of each state."

This is pretty useful. Planning to move?  check this site out for your future home.  Is the economy keeping up with family needs?  Find out here.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Basic income pilot project for Oakland, CA

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/06/can-high-profile-bay-area-tech-incubators-basic-income-plan-work/

"OAKLAND, Calif.—Earlier this month, Y Combinator, the famed Silicon Valley incubator dropped a bombshell: it had selected this city to be the home of its new 'Basic Income' pilot project, to start later this year.
The idea is pretty simple. Give some people a small amount of money per month, no strings attached, for a year, and see what happens. With any luck, people will use it to lift themselves out of poverty.
In this case, as Matt Krisiloff of Y Combinator Research (YCR) told Ars, that means spending about $1.5 million over the course of a year to study the distribution of "$1,500 or $2,000" per month to '30 to 50' people. There will also be a similar-sized control group that gets nothing. The project is set to start before the end of 2016."

This is one of those great ideas that will be universal after my lifetime.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The demise of the truck driver job

https://www.buzzfeed.com/coralewis/as-tech-evaporates-jobs-tipping-point-will-be-driverless-tru?utm_term=.gyr11q4XD#.gqQJJZwDl

"Based on your research, how are automation and technology hastening policies like a basic income?
I think the tipping point will be driverless trucks. It’s the largest job in 29 states. It’s 3.5 million truck drivers. Then there are 6.8 million people in auto repair, insurance, rest stops, gas stations and emergency rooms that all live off those 3.5 million people. They won’t disappear overnight, but you know business will deploy labor-saving technology before you or I debate whether we want it and wait until our next car comes.
Business is not going to wait if they can eliminate large numbers of workers. And then we’re going to have this mass problem. Let’s assume it’s two or three million people distributed all throughout the country. That will make what happened in the steel or auto industries look tiny."

Bus drivers too.  And taxis, Uber, pizza delivery, etc.  What will these people do?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

What's the barrier to universal basic income?

http://www.businessinsider.com/interview-and-analysis-with-basic-income-advocate-rutger-bregman-2016-6

"Speaking to Business Insider in late May, Bregman - whose book Utopia for Realists explores realistic ways of putting into place ideas like UBI and working for just 15 hours per week - said that before there's a real chance of a basic income being accepted worldwide, there needs to be a paradigm shift in the way we think about the concept of work, what we define as work, and why we pay for some types of work but not others.

'The most important obstacle for basic income is a moral obstacle, it is in the ideas that we still have about work. We still work with a very outdated definition of what work is. We define work by getting a salary in a hierarchical relationship with an employer, and you have to get paid.
'All the other things, caring for the children, caring for the elderly, doing housework and volunteer work - we don't consider that as work, even though obviously it is. Try and stop doing those things, go on strike as a careworker or stop doing the dishes and you'll see that it is going to be a problem.'"

I'm still thinking this will happen, though probably not in my lifetime. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Switzerland rejects universal income

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36454060

"Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for all.
Final results from Sunday's referendum showed that nearly 77% opposed the plan, with only 23% backing it.
The proposal had called for adults to be paid an unconditional monthly income, whether they worked or not.
The supporters camp had suggested a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs (£1,755; $2,555) for adults and also SFr625 for each child."

Alas, we'll have to wait for a test of this idea.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Nobel Prize winner gets behind basic universal income

http://www.techinsider.io/basic-income-gets-nobel-prize-winners-approval-2016-5

"His thinking: Government intervention on the scale of regular monthly checks, handed to people regardless of working status for the purpose of meeting their basic needs, may be the smartest solution.
In the past, Deaton has firmly supported the idea that wealth inequality will only continue to increase unless some larger safety net acts as an insurance agent to bind people together. He won the 2015 Nobel Prize for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare. His research has focused on the ways people's individual choices intersect with larger, macro-economic outcomes."

Only experiments on this idea will happen in my lifetime, but I hope it takes hold in the future.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

another look at universal basic income

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2016/04/what-would-society-look-universal-basic-income

"That is the sort of freedom that sounds like blasphemy to conventional, liberal, 'free-market' economists. In today’s understanding of the economic facts, individuals have the freedom to choose how they are exploited – but they cannot choose to escape exploitation, unless they are born wealthy. Basic income seeks to change that, not just because it is the right thing to do but because the coming labour crisis may soon leave world governments, whatever their orthodoxy, with no other choice.
'If we don’t disconnect work and income, humans will have to compete more and more with computers,' Bohmeyer explains. 'This is a competition they will lose sooner than we think. The result will be mass unemployment,' he says, 'and no money left for consumption.'"

I look forward to these tests.