ucim wrote:Implementing it slowly guarantees that any effect is lost in the noise until politics takes over, and there will be endless fruitless discussions as to whether or not that was the problem, or even if there is a problem.
If any problems are so small as for it to be uncertain that they're even there, how can they be big enough problems to be worth worrying about?
Why are you excluding sales of goods and capital?
Because we're trying to measure change in wealth, and buying or selling goods or capital is just converting wealth from one form to another. If the exchange rates between those forms of wealth change between conversions, so be it.
I buy an ounce of gold for $1000 (which could buy me a lawnmower), in a few years sell it for $1500, and find that it still only buys me a lawnmower - the same one, whose price has risen to $1500. But I'm taxed on $500 so no longer can even buy the ch*rpin' thing.
Not under my proposal, for exactly this kind of reason. You convert 1000 dollars into 1oz gold, which have the same value as each other and as a lawnmower at that time, so you've neither gained nor lost any wealth and I wouldn't have you taxed for that. Later you convert 1oz of gold into 1500 dollars, which have the same value as each other and also as a lawnmower at that time, so you've neither gained nor lost any wealth and I wouldn't have you taxed for that. So now you have $1500 and can buy that $1500 lawnmower with it, just like you could have spent the $1000 before to buy the same lawnmower back then. Because you haven't gained or lost any wealth in the process.
Do you support financial incentives for (say) green power, to counter our dependence on energy that pollutes or destabilizes the world?
I don't think that's the kind of thing that should be handled by the tax system. If we want to fund green power (which, compared to many other things we already fund, sounds like a decent priority to me), we should just fund it, through some program that gives people money to implement it. I also don't like "sin taxes"; if we're going to charge people money for doing bad things, make a law against the bad thing and attach a fine to it.
slinches wrote:UBI seems like it could be effective as a replacement for social security, so that may be able to be phased out eventually. But I don't see how you can say the UBI supplants medicaid and other need based programs. The UBI may be large enough to say that even the poorest isn't "eligible", but if someone foolishly spends all of their UBI income on other stuff rather than insurance and maintaining savings and then gets sick and goes to the emergency room, what happens? They don't have the money to cover their medical costs, so do hospitals turn such people away? If not, then who pays for their care? Same question applies for housing programs and food stamps and all of the other need-based programs.
For food and housing and so on, if people choose
to starve or freeze when we're giving them the means not to, that's up to them. Maybe next month they will choose differently after experiencing the consequences. For medical expenses that is a better point, because you can't just realize you ought to start buying health insurance after
you've already suffered a medical catastrophe, but perhaps some kind of program could be developed such that, if you incur huge expenses that you've failed to insure yourself against (medical or otherwise), those will be covered by said program and a portion of your UBI (comparable to the insurance you should have been buying anyway) will be garnished to fund that.