Thoughts on Andrew Yang's UBI proposal

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There are some people calling the UBI idea an extreme right wing trojan horse. The ultimate move to break down our social safety nets so that once and for all chaos can reign supreme.

What is also very funny about this, is that my right leaning friends say that UBI is the most socialist idea they've ever heard, and that it would never work.

Truth is that UBI is not exclusive to any political spectrum, and it's implementation is just as important as the core idea behind it.

As always, do your own research on the matter, but these are my current thoughts on how it actually makes sense to me.

MenO

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I am disabled and on SSDI (disability insurance) I would love to work but my situation doesn’t allow. I get a a pathetically small government check. It’s hard to scrape by, but my parents are awesome and help a lot. I also have a significant savings (from years of work) was which allows me to invest in Steem and such. I’m one of the fortunate ones. Many of my disabled friends don’t have anything really. So, a UBI would be wonderful- but I don’t know how realistic it is...

Also, too many people take advantage of the system, ruining things for most of us who need it!

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I think UBI is just a flawed term. Change the word income to opportunity, and people don't bat an eye. Alaska has UBO already , in the form of a dividend.

UBO can work very well, we have a form of it in Steem, if you work hard , everyone has equal opportunity to make something out of nothing.

Yang himself will tell you it isn't his idea. He is just rehashing it because it makes sense to do so. I have believed since Reagan popularized Trickle Down Economics that it could never work and only the opposite approach would have the desired effect. That opposite is UBI. It works because poor people spend money and dont save it. It will be injected immediately into the economy and benefit everyone. The opposite only injects 13 cents per dollar and even less after you adjust for inflation. It doesn't make sense. UBI does make sense

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you are obviously either a socialist marxist that wants Venezuela to happen here in America... OR... you are a right wing neo-con trying to privatize everything and leave people on the streets with nothing...

I just can't decide....

hahahha

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I'm neither. I'm a trained economist and just saying that UBI will achieve the desired effect of Trickle Down Economics. Reaganomics was a lie and it has been proven over and over in paper after paper that it cannot work. It nothing more than a way to steal wealth. UBI will stimulate and economy and cost practically nothing. Socialism does not work, Venezuela has been a CIA debacle since the plans to assassinate Chavez and privatization is a ridiculus concept. I have no idea how you got your opinion of me based on my answer.

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I'm being silly my friend... I'm just being facetious for a second. Since I've been accused of being both for having an nuanced pro position on the matter as yourself. I was giving you a small taste of the twitter discussions.

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I hear you. It's tough to tell sometimes through text. My position is that Ive never surrendered my mind to a political party. The economics of a plan either works or it doesnt. The Republicans always have a plan that cannot work under any circumstance and it ultimately leads to a recession if not tweaked. Politics and government are a bad mix in my opinion lol

I've been a big fan of Yang and i'm glad he's getting a bit more recognition now. I'm starting to see technology replace mid-level managers in white collar jobs so that 'freedom dividend' is going to be very important for a large section of the population.

Well stated and well spoken.

I think a lot of the anti-Welfare/disability rhetoric comes from people who actually have never been on or never knew anyone who was legitimately disabled. All they have is anecdotal evidence of a few bad actors gaming the system, and what they lack is an understanding of how people get trapped in the cycle.

Basically, what I've seen from people in my life who have gotten trapped in the cycle of dependency is that they stay on disability not because they want to, but because they have no other choice.

Say, for instance, you are diagnosed with cancer. It's not terminal, but it's major. It will require radiation, chemotherapy, multiple visits to the hospital, and during that time the treatment for a disease which is literally killing you will make it impossible for you to work.

Most companies in the US are required to hold your job for a period of time if an employee is away from work due to health reasons, military deployment, and other short terms as covered by law. The problem comes when, even after six months to a year of invasive and aggressive treatment, you are unable to return to work.

Now you've lost your job, but you still need to pay for your food, your housing, and your medical expenses, and you go on disability.

Another year goes by, your treatments continue, and you are given a clean bill of health by the doctors. You are in remission. You beat the cancer. No more chemo, no more radiation, and your energy levels will slowly return to normal.

But you cannot go back to work yet, at least not full time, because you aren't fully recovered despite the fact you've just beaten cancer. Your old job held your position as long as they were required, but after a year, they filled it and they have nothing comparable to offer you. Plus, you've been out of the workforce now for years, and reintegration will take some time.

Now you have to hunt for a job. But nobody's hiring in your area, at least not for the work you're qualified to do, and places that are hiring have strict physical requirements even for part-time work that you couldn't possibly maintain. Additionally, what you'd earn going back to work cannot compare with the benefits you're earning through Social Security, because entry-level positions are paying $9 an hour. You were earning more than twice that before tragedy struck, but you've been absent from the workforce for two years after a major illness, and nobody's going to offer you $50,000 a year if they have to re-train you.

You can go back to school, but you can't afford that out-of-pocket on disability, which means you'd have to take out loans that will put you even deeper in debt than you already are. And unless you were extremely well-off financially before the cancer diagnosis, you may have lost your home and possibly your car due to your inability to pay in the interim. You may be living back at home with your parents, or with a friend, and they'd really love to keep helping you but it's a strain on them socially too.

Any job you get pays you less than you earn on disability. Making more than a certain amount per year means even part-time employment costs you the entirety of your benefits, keeping you in the hole. Going back to school requires money you don't have, keeping you in the hole long after you've acquired the degree or certification you need to enter a new career path. And your compromised health means that certain avenues of work that might pay very well, like construction or other trades, are closed to you because you can't meet the physical requirements of the job.

You want to work, but you can't afford to. You aren't trapped by disability, you are trapped by stagnant wage growth and a job market that hasn't grown to meet the needs of its citizens, and disability is the only thing currently keeping you afloat.

That, for most people on benefits programs, is the sad reality: quitting them costs too much.

Apologies for the wall of text. I applaud your stance towards UBI and your willingness to consider many sides of the issue. :)

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Thank you for this comment, it really does wonders to prove my point!!