Universal Basic Income

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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Michael on Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:13 pm

Old Europe, thanks for a very detailed response.

Your points (1) and (2) are contradicted by the monetary systems within the USA from 1790-1913. There was a lot of non-debt money and there was no income tax. There were of course a lot of problems that the Federal Reserve Act was supposed to prevent, but it hasn't done so.

Point (3) is a faulty deconstruction of an irrelevant use of the word labor. You made a series of incorrect comparisons based on an incorrect interpreation of labor as some commodity with relative value. I am using the word labor in its most simple and obvious form and acknowledging that it is the basis for creating value. I don't know how to make it more simple: nothing happens without labor, without productive human effort. It is real. Value is an abstraction upon labor and money is an abstraction upon value. Whether money is based on a physical item like gold or just a symbol backed by credit and faith doesn't really change anything, although I would argue the limitation on money creation by the gold standard in the USA from 1944-1971 coincided with the greatest period of economic and industrial growth in the history of mankind, and that real wages and purchasing power have remained stagnant or decreased since then.

Point (4) There are three things you said that are relevant. If you understand the current monetary system it has two features at the inception of money: (a) intangibility: money created from nothing, it is an idea; and (b) it is created as debt.

Why does it have to be created as debt? This was not the case for almost all the money created in the USA from 1790-1913, so that proves it is optional.

I don't agree that civilization depends on a debt cycle because money does not have to be created as debt. However, I'm not totally questioning that. What I'm saying is that if you understand the monetary system in the USA today, there is a multiplicity of debt. Money is created when private individuals borrow it and money is created when the US govt. borrows it. For a fact, based on the history I've mentioned a few times, there is not any requirement for the US govt. to borrow money from a private banking cartel in order to create it. They could create the money without the debt part and spend it or distribute it into society and prevent citizens from also obtaining most of their own money from debt.

Point (5) It's a little off-topic, but China developed rapidly because Western govts. and Western multi-national corporations gave them cash, built them factories, trained their engineers and technicians, gave them intellectual property and technology, and allowed them to steal other intellectual property and technology. The US still gives foreign aid $cash$ to China today.

Private property and debt expansion is the Chinese mechanism for growth, but it is predicated on international support. Without it, China would have collapsed in the early 80's or before. China spends money into the economy as infrastructure through its state-owned enterprises, which do incur debt, as do private citizens who purchase the products, mainly real-estate, but the central government controls the debt and the books, and their currency is not fully convertible. They manipulate it a lot.

Point (6) I agree that the banking system allows for war to be one of the chief mechanisms to create debt. This is another reason why it's immoral.

Which means there is no moral way to run a society or economy...


I simply don't accept your premise. Money is a tool, so we and our govts should strive to use it morally for everyone's benefit, and perhaps save the souls of a few Shylock bankers along the way. ;D
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby windwalker on Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:19 pm

oragami_itto wrote:Yep it's working exactly as intended.

And after refunds, the IRS collected about $93 billion more from individual American taxpayers than it did in 2017. Interestingly, that number stands close to the tax break amount that corporations received from the TCJA in 2018.



Some numbers that might explain some of the thoughts expressed

standard deduction has increased from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and for married couples filing separately,
from $9,350 to $18,000 for heads of household, and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly.


State and Local Taxes
Taxpayers can deduct a maximum of $10,000 from the total of their state and local income taxes or sales taxes, and their property taxes (added together), a measure that might hurt itemizers in high-tax states such as California, New York, and New Jersey. The $10,000 cap applies whether you are single or married filing jointly; if you are married filing separately, it drops to $5,000.


Means ones state taxes may go up....as the states look for income revenue to make up for the fed subsidies .

Some may talk about the upper tax brackets

High-Income Households Tax Liability
The Tax Policy Center’s analysis shows that the biggest benefits will go to households earning $308,000 to $733,000. And those who earn more than $733,000 can expect a $50,000 tax cut.

Note that the top 20% pay nearly 87% of all the federal income tax the government collects, according to the Tax Policy Center. The top 1% pay more than 43% of it, and the top 0.1% pay more than 20% of it.


for corporations,

The top marginal tax rate for U.S. corporations under former law was 35% and the global average was 25%.

Critics have long contended that America’s high corporate tax rates put the country at a competitive disadvantage compared to lower-tax nations such as Ireland and Canada, pushing American corporations’ profits overseas.

In theory, now that rates are lower, companies might allow more profits to be earned domestically and they might spend fewer resources lobbying for lower tax rates and more resources on improving their products and services.


" In theory"

https://www.investopedia.com/taxes/how- ... fects-you/
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Michael on Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:22 pm

everything wrote:That was an interesting history of the world from a lens of debt!

Is UBI like an ESPP?

Glad you found it interesting.

ESPP is a new one to me. What is that?
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby oragami_itto on Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:25 pm

I mean, great theory, but in practice it just means citizens are paying more and corporations are paying less.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby windwalker on Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:39 pm

oragami_itto wrote:I mean, great theory, but in practice it just means citizens are paying more and corporations are paying less.




Donno,

I read it differently....it means its cheaper for them to build stuff in the US then it used to be.
They get better write offs for capital equipment investments and are not taxed on it.

The companies I worked at in high tech had to pay some crazy taxes on each piece
of equipment they had....never really understood it, but do know it and was a lot
The incentive at that time was to build and make stuff overseas...

maybe its changed now......hard to say,,,
those working in tech or other industries would know.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby everything on Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:50 pm

Sorry I think I wrote on my phone earlier. ESPP is an employee stock purchase plan that many public companies have. You can buy shares at a discount and typically have to hold them for some period, so your interest is aligned with the company's performance. Because of the discount, your return may be quite good, but from a portfolio allocation point of view, the risk is high because you've over-weighted in your company (and you already bet your time on it) instead of diversifying more.

This isn't really debt (it's actually riskier) but it does tie up your money, and in exchange, you expect a return. Compound interest just means (on top of the 15% or so I earn from having a discount) if the stock price goes up, say 5% this year, and I owned $1000 worth, then the value of my shares goes to $1050. If it goes up next year, let's say 10%, then my shares are worth $1050+105=$1155. And so on. So in this case, it ties up your money til some later date, but it's voluntary ( you don't have to participate).

Something else we haven't talked about but that is related to the time value of money is the drastic cases of inflation like in Venezuela right now. I really don't understand those cases at all.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby Steve James on Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:53 pm

Hmmm, I thought that the point of a tax cut was so that taxpayers paid less. That's how they could use the extra to put back into the economy. If they paid more in taxes, it means they would have less to spend or save.

Sure, one can "read" the article and say that it's a good thing that taxpayers contributed more because of tax cuts. Some people would argue that tax cuts are only good when taxpayers actually pay less. Anyway, the article clearly states that some of the tax reductions were "slight" and that some taxpayers ended up paying more. That's what I mean by it works. Anyway, anybody can read the article and watch the video and decide whether it's good or not.

Watch. What we need are more tax cuts, so that we can buy more stuff from China. It's how Walmart got richhhh.

It reminds me of what is was like in the 70s. Unions were still popular because the big stores weren't yet using container shipping to push their garments here. We used to actually wear shirts "Made in the USA." That was one way to support the country's economy. I wonder if anyone still sees the "union label" or even looks for it. Watch this ad from 1978.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Lg4gGk53iY
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby oragami_itto on Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:31 pm

windwalker wrote:
oragami_itto wrote:I mean, great theory, but in practice it just means citizens are paying more and corporations are paying less.




Donno,

I read it differently....it means its cheaper for them to build stuff in the US then it used to be.
They get better write offs for capital equipment investments and are not taxed on it.

The companies I worked at in high tech had to pay some crazy taxes on each piece
of equipment they had....never really understood it, but do know it and was a lot
The incentive at that time was to build and make stuff overseas...

maybe its changed now......hard to say,,,
those working in tech or other industries would know.


Yes I'm familiar with the concept of trickle down theory but it doesn't work. They just keep the money.

But yeah we probably need to keep giving the dragon the town's gold. He's just gotta eventually get tired of laying on it and give some back
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby everything on Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:12 pm

If the dragon is Gates or Buffett or a few investors. Paul Graham points out the reason you do angel investing once you've "made it" is you're bored and have no other way to hang out with really smart motivated people trying to do something cool.

Not sure about any other dragons, though. Dragons gonna do what dragons do. But the dragons know they are absolutely nothing compared to the TaxMan, so then that whole keep-your-dragon-eggs game goes on and on.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby oldEurope on Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:08 am

Hey Michael,

here comes another way too long response (the topic is just to complex for short answers).

Your points (1) and (2) are contradicted by the monetary systems within the USA from 1790-1913. There was a lot of non-debt money and there was no income tax. There were of course a lot of problems that the Federal Reserve Act was supposed to prevent, but it hasn't done so.


How did this non-debt money come into existence? What made people accept it and trust its value? Why could the US trade with other countries?

The US did not develop in a vacuum, but was a split off of an existing society and took part in international trade, which means it was linked to other states and monetary systems and could basically “piggyback” and “jumpstart” on the technological advances developed through debt pressure and competition.

The US settlers and pioneers could only defeat and conquer the indigenous population because of superior technology and population numbers, both in existence because of the debt based societal pressure in Europe to constantly advance and grow or get overrun or collapse.

A quick search for US government revenue in 1790 shows it generated its revenue through trade with other countries (tariffs), which means it was reliant on other countries/civilizations to finance itself:

Image

Germany is in a similar position in Europe today, as it is generating a surplus through exports, but the ability to export relies on the other European countries to go into debt to be able to buy them (which means they run a deficit).

Just like I personally have no debt and can still enjoy the fruits of civilization, but that just means someone else is in debt and carries the burden for me. There are always points in the monetary system where it appears that someone is debt free, but it is always reliant on other people’s debts and the system as a whole (true for both individuals and countries).


Point (3) is a faulty deconstruction of an irrelevant use of the word labor. You made a series of incorrect comparisons based on an incorrect interpreation of labor as some commodity with relative value. I am using the word labor in its most simple and obvious form and acknowledging that it is the basis for creating value. I don't know how to make it more simple: nothing happens without labor, without productive human effort. It is real. Value is an abstraction upon labor and money is an abstraction upon value. Whether money is based on a physical item like gold or just a symbol backed by credit and faith doesn't really change anything, although I would argue the limitation on money creation by the gold standard in the USA from 1944-1971 coincided with the greatest period of economic and industrial growth in the history of mankind, and that real wages and purchasing power have remained stagnant or decreased since then.


I totally agree that labor creates value. Where I disagree is that you can base a monetary system on it or use it as a unit to measure the value of something (outside of low tech communities cut off from the rest of the world). If you are more skilled than me in producing something (or have more advanced technology), you create more or better products while exerting the same amount of labor as me, which makes it unusable as a unit to compare values/prices etc.

Point (4) There are three things you said that are relevant. If you understand the current monetary system it has two features at the inception of money: (a) intangibility: money created from nothing, it is an idea; and (b) it is created as debt.


Money is almost never created from nothing, except in extreme circumstances (e.g. Quantitative Easing = real money printing to try prevent a total collapse, as is happening right now all over the world). In all other cases it is backed by something, even in Fractional Reserve Banking. Just the amount or kind of asset that has to be given as a security varies (land, gold, future income etc).

If you take out a mortgage, the house and land is the collateral (=the value), in case of a consumer loan it is your expected future income (otherwise the bank denies the loan).

The newly created money is just the “pricing” of you debt/asset, which means the debt/asset is the value and the money is just the “certificate”. Once the debt is paid back, the money ceases to exist, as there is no more debt to back it. So it is always based on an asset or the promise of future value created (income).

Why does it have to be created as debt? This was not the case for almost all the money created in the USA from 1790-1913, so that proves it is optional.


See the answer above, the US did not exist in a vacuum and was connected to and reliant on other countries, as well as on the already invented technology and an international monetary system created by already existing civilizations (all reliant on debt to function).

If money is not based on debt, the people are under no pressure to innovate and overproduce. Without this pressure, a civilization never forms or an existing one can´t maintain and improve its existing technology and declines and gets taken over or eventually collapses. This has happened countless times throughout the course of history.

I don't agree that civilization depends on a debt cycle because money does not have to be created as debt. However, I'm not totally questioning that. What I'm saying is that if you understand the monetary system in the USA today, there is a multiplicity of debt. Money is created when private individuals borrow it and money is created when the US govt. borrows it. For a fact, based on the history I've mentioned a few times, there is not any requirement for the US govt. to borrow money from a private banking cartel in order to create it. They could create the money without the debt part and spend it or distribute it into society and prevent citizens from also obtaining most of their own money from debt.


I agree that banks are not necessary and the government can issue the money directly, which will probably happen soon, as the world wide banking system is on the brink of collapse since 2008 and is only kept running by tricks like Quantitative Easing and similar financial acrobatics that break all rules that the governments themselves had set before.

But the government can never just spend the money into existence (or only in small quantities). If it does, it just creates massive inflation (see Zimbabwe, or Germany close before the end of WW II). It has to give it out as loans with interest; otherwise there is no pressure to produce more than is needed to survive.

Which is why, for example, home owners in Germany after WW II got a state mandated mortgage on their homes, which kickstarted the new currency and economy, as everybody had to pay back the newly created debt. And as the system was reset to zero and everything had to be rebuild (as it was destroyed by the war), the German “Economic Miracle” happened. But as the system ran its course, as it always does, the country once again is at the limit of possible expansion and the economy is about to decline.

Point (5) It's a little off-topic, but China developed rapidly because Western govts. and Western multi-national corporations gave them cash, built them factories, trained their engineers and technicians, gave them intellectual property and technology, and allowed them to steal other intellectual property and technology. The US still gives foreign aid $cash$ to China today.

Private property and debt expansion is the Chinese mechanism for growth, but it is predicated on international support. Without it, China would have collapsed in the early 80's or before. China spends money into the economy as infrastructure through its state-owned enterprises, which do incur debt, as do private citizens who purchase the products, mainly real-estate, but the central government controls the debt and the books, and their currency is not fully convertible. They manipulate it a lot.


All true, just as was the case with US at its foundation. China needed the technology of an already existing debt based society to enter the game, as it had no internal pressure to develop it itself before adopting capitalism.

But without private property and the ability to use it as collateral to take out loans (=increase the money supply & pressure= grows), China would still have no functioning economy and no pressure to produce and innovate, even if you gave it every technological secret of the West.

And the same thing happens in reverse: If you take away the debt pressure, an already developed debt based society declines (see all communist countries) or gets taken over.

Point (6) I agree that the banking system allows for war to be one of the chief mechanisms to create debt. This is another reason why it's immoral.
Which means there is no moral way to run a society or economy...

I simply don't accept your premise. Money is a tool, so we and our govts should strive to use it morally for everyone's benefit, and perhaps save the souls of a few Shylock bankers along the way.


That is the trap I fell into before as well:

The believe that there is a way out, that it’s just immoral practices and corrupt/greedy bankers and governments that are the problem and without them, the system would be cured. But they are just symptoms, not the cause.

The whole concept of civilization is based on an “immoral” motor and without it, it can´t exist. No debt = no pressure = no civilization.

Nobody develops nuclear reactors or combustion engines or mechanical looms or whatever else you need to run a civilization without the initial and never ending pressure of debt to overproduce and the looming punishment in case you can´t repay it.

People would just hunt/gather or farm to provide for themselves and their small community.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby everything on Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:58 am

So it is always based on an asset or the promise of future value created (income).

well this is the big problem with the subprime crisis. there really wasn't an underlying asset, but you "derive" instruments, and then you have a bubble built on not much.

Money isn't really based on debt. It exists without debt. Money is just, as you indicated, some kind of "certificate" - so that people can more easily exchange goods and services. it doesn't make sense to haul a horse to trade for wheat, then haul that wheat to trade for chickens, then haul that chicken to trade for wheels, and so on. Debt is based on money, and the time value of money. If we agree i will pay you back on tuesday and you trust me (I have credit), then that's what increases spending power because it's magnified everywhere. Like money, this makes things much easier for everyone to get shit done, and produce/consume more, because of the efficiency. The trust in this credit over time is indeed based on underlying assets and cash flows, which ultimately are produced by labor ( I produce wheat, you raise chickens, etc.) and any predictability of those cash flows. This portion can be seen as "economics" and economic theory without getting into the politics part. If you build a civilization on slave labor, paid slavery, sweatshops, etc., that is where morality enters. Then it gets more complex with things like the subprime crisis.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby oldEurope on Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:48 pm

Hello everything,

The problem with the subprime crisis weren´t the underlying assets (the land/houses), they were real and had value. But that value isn´t fixed and depends on the market (in this case the housing market).

The US government had instated a law that allowed banks to loan to people who really couldn´t afford a house. The big banks all had to participate in this marked or else lose out to their competition, knowing the loans were bad (high risk of failure to pay back).

To get rid of this risk, they packaged the bad loans in financial derivatives together with better loans and sold them to uninformed buyers (with the help of the rating institutes, who falsely labeled these packages as good/low risk). As these buyers were international banks/funds, the whole world was affected.

(And the people who were in on it made a fortune…)

Once the first loans defaulted, it triggered a domino effect:

More houses came back on the market -> higher supply/lower demand -> the value of houses/land fell -> which triggered even more people to default, as they had signed loans with variable interest rates that adjust to the current market rates(interest went up, as value of asset/houses declined) -> which triggered even more defaults where people couldn´t repay, as they now owed more than the initial asset was worth (it had fallen in value) -> all other sectors of the economy get pulled down as people have no more money to spend -> a recession started.

This triggered the governments worldwide to intervene (printing money that really isn´t backed by anything = Quantitative Easing etc), as the whole system would have been crashing down. In the past, such a crash was usually a reset point of a society and it would restart with most loans/debts declared invalid and a new round of the debt cycle would begin.

But because of the international interdependence of the modern financial system and high technological advancement of our societies, the crash would have wiped out all developed societies at the same time.

The last time this happened (Great Depression in the West, or the Asian Crisis for less developed Asian economies), people just went back from the cities to their relatives on the farm, which means they could still survive, as societies didn´t depend on incredibly complex international supply chains and advanced technologies.

This is not possible today, which is why all developed economies run on emergency mode at the moment (Japan already for 30 years, they had their own isolated crisis before) and governments try ever more outrages things to ward of the inevitable crash.

Money isn't really based on debt. It exists without debt. Money is just, as you indicated, some kind of "certificate" - so that people can more easily exchange goods and services. it doesn't make sense to haul a horse to trade for wheat, then haul that wheat to trade for chickens, then haul that chicken to trade for wheels, and so on. Debt is based on money, and the time value of money. If we agree i will pay you back on tuesday and you trust me (I have credit), then that's what increases spending power because it's magnified everywhere. Like money, this makes things much easier for everyone to get shit done, and produce/consume more, because of the efficiency. The trust in this credit over time is indeed based on underlying assets and cash flows, which ultimately are produced by labor ( I produce wheat, you raise chickens, etc.) and any predictability of those cash flows. This portion can be seen as "economics" and economic theory without getting into the politics part. If you build a civilization on slave labor, paid slavery, sweatshops, etc., that is where morality enters. Then it gets more complex with things like the subprime crisis.


That is the “Trading Economy Fairytale” that still gets taught in schools and universities today, but has empirically and archeologically been disproven for many decades (see the books I referenced in my first post). Such an economy based on people just “trading” never existed. It just hasn´t entered the mainstream yet.

There is never a surplus to trade and no “market” to trade in without the initial debt forced by the government/ruler, which initiates the overproduction compared to subsistence farming. Your illustration starts in the middle of an already running economy. The money is only “trusted” because it is backed by sheer force, and people only trade and prices develop because they have to get said “money” (initially grains) or become slaves/face punishment.

Here is an actual historical example from the Code of Hammurabi (around 4000 years ago):

115. If a man hold a [debt of] grain or money against a man, and he seize him for debt, and the one seized die in the house of the one who seized him, that case has no penalty.

116. If the one seized die of abuse or neglect in the house of him who seized him, the owner of the one seized shall call the merchant to account; and if it be a man's son [that he seized] they shall put his son to death; if it be a man's servant [that he seized] he shall pay one-third mana of silver and he shall forfeit whatever amount he had lent.

117. If a man be in debt and sell his wife, son or daughter, or bind them over to service, for three years they shall work in the house of their purchaser of master; in the fourth year they shall be given their freedom.


https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Code_of_Hammurabi_(Harper_translation)

That is the motor that runs civilization, although the system is much less transparent today and the punishments less harsh, so it is harder to recognize. But the same principles apply today.

Without debt/force, people farm/hunt/gather together in small communities, which is the scale at which Communism actually works. But there is no “Economy of Trade” (the exceptions are small communities like “alternative” communes INSIDE already existing debt based economies, but they rely on the already established technologies, market, prices, stability etc surrounding them).
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby everything on Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:04 am

yes.

the mortgages were backed by houses, but the cash flows to pay those mortgages weren't as reliable given the risk.

when you have that situation, low interest rates, prices going up stoked by this false demand/ability to pay, then stack "instruments" supposedly "backed" by that, it doesn't matter that there are real assets because those values (an artificial construct) for those assets fall.

there were real estate booms/busts before, and the above is probably well understood, hence we are probably right that most of the blame goes to those at the top of this pyramid scheme. there will always be some suckers doing stupid stuff, but the larger situation that caused massive harm doesn't necessarily need to happen too easily.
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby grzegorz on Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:24 pm


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Lg4gGk53iY[/quote]

Unions are where it is at and I think it's also why "our" politicans want to keep us divided because the unions aim to keep "us" those who do the actual work united. Unions are not perfect but compared to working at $10 an hour for the Waltons with no benefits, when could easily pay you a livable wage, Union jobs at least bring you healthcare if nothing else which can easily be more money than you make in a month.

The fact that we even need unions just to get decent healthcare shows how flawed the US system is. GM moved jobs to Canada because the costs of healthcare for automakers was more expensive than the steel to make the cars. Whereas in Canada prescription drug prices are negoiated by the government and guess what? Your coverage isn't tied to your employment so GM the corporations enjoys the benefit of reduced costs which makes the shareholders happy.

If we had a government that actually looked out for the forgotten man those jobs would still be here and we would have universal healthcare. But we don't. Instead the we have a "president" who attacks Baltimore instead of fixing our problems. Next week the right will be fed hours of podcasts and fake news on why we should all hate Baltimore while Betsy Devos and the corporations continue to pick our pockets.

(Remember all the fake outrage when Obama said you don't want to gamble away your life's savings in Vegas?)

Thank god I am Union because once I pay for the kids' college educations at least I will have a little money left over. Without the union my family would probably he indebt forever like the rest of country.

Btw, where is the right wing outrage over the government going a trillion into the red?

Oh yeah! This week it's all about a congressional freshman being a national threat. Clickbait anyone?
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Re: Universal Basic Income

Postby everything on Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:01 pm

https://inequality.org/facts/income-inequality/

a ton of charts here including one showing growing gaps corresponding with declining union memberships
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
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