Monday, July 24, 2017

UBI and Economics (Collection Post)

 GDP is ultimately people buying goods and services from other people. Somebody has to flip those burgers the basic income recipients are buying. 
Since low income people spend locally and buy from people they know (not robots) the income from outside the local economy stays in the local economy and all are better off.  The multiplier effect of the basic income dollar for a relatively closed local economy without box stores or Franchises to siphon off money is nearly 3 times.  The burger flipper in a local lunchroom who is paid somewhat more than the basic income or hesh wouldn't work, spends most of herm income including UBI on local goods and services employing other local workers, creating more local demand for those goods and services and more workers to produce and vend them.  
 Assuming UBI and Medicare for All, now dead urban and rural suburbs will become vibrant villages of local commerce and art most of which will generate excess funds for local amenities. UBI is an external source of resources for the community which will be subject to the economic multiplier by those providing services to the UBI recipients.  Dispersal would solve the "BMR" housing issue as only those needing to be close to cities would compete for high end suburbs and high density city housing.  Note that minimum wage jobs in high density areas would no longer be attractive to distant UBI recipients.  There are many things they could do with the costs in time and money of a multi-hour commute. 

 National box stores and franchises subsidize low prices with subsistence wages.  The only outside money to generate a multiplier is welfare which combined with subsistence wages makes artificially low prices necessary and the multiplier is close to negative. With UBI subsistence employees would be hard to find, and working conditions would have upgraded to attract employees.  Wages could still be low, but equal low wages at local businesses would allow them to compete on price and service effectively and low income people tend to buy from people they know.  With the geographic dispersal of low income UBI recipients box stores would be restricted to the mobile middle class and above. 

 Some basic income recipients will use their time to pursue a dream of artisan goods production; a local service like a band, restaurant, or performance venue; or a mercantile service.  Some will succeed and become tourist magnets generating outside dollars for the community. 

 Assuming an income tax the multiplier will be reduced a bit from a pure subsistence economy, but if the tax rate is progressive the reduction in the multiplier should be minimal for in community services as these services will be provided on narrow margins as the providers will be recipients of UBI as well.   

From Facebook:

FC It's all great until you examine the macroeconomic effects....
J'C PUOSU Throw out a macro effect other than fucking the oligarchy that will be a problem .

FC Hyperinflation?
 Particularly, hyperinflation of pricing on necessities that have a strict supply constraint.

Mind you, this is NOT a "don't" argument. This IS a "can't handwave at it" argument, or more like a "don't cut off your nose to spite your face" argument.
J'C How? UBI is spent on goods and services locally that generate taxable income. The only necessity that I can think of with supply constraints are medical care and drugs which come under the category of fuck the oligarchy. The rest of the world seems to do better with that constrained resource than we do. I am open to other suggestions.
FC Off the top of my head, it's partially a simple supply/demand dynamic, particularly aimed at something with a very limited supply (most notably, physical space).
I don't want to be too strong in my criticism because I AM a UBI crank, but I also don't want to blindly run into something likely to have a spiraling pattern.
J'C Limited space, for housing as an example, is a political not an economic problem. With UBI now dead suburbs and exurbs would be viable for artisans, self employed, and couch potatoes. All create taxable revenue for suppliers of goods and services who would follow them. There would be plenty of space in existing cities for corporate and government employee housing. Facebook is showing how to build a city in a suburb in spite of the political NIMBY flak.
Limited space, for housing as an example, is a political not an economic problem.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

On Bigotry and Hate.

I saw South Pacific when I was in my early teens taken by my father who was carefully taught in Alton IL in 1907-9 when he was 6 or 7 or 8. He learned to control his unconscious and I never learned when I was young to "Hate all the people your relatives hate." It was mostly my mother's gift to our family. Thanks to Dorothy S Black for this invaluable lesson not to hate. Nonetheless it was my father who made me discuss the song and its context of Emile losing his love due to the shape of the eyes of his children which his lover had learned to hate.

Since Hate is a highly marketable product these days I think it is important to understand that it is a product which political marketing has taught us to need. Possibly not only at 6 or 7 or 8, but even at 60 or 70 or 80. Considering hate unconscious or even innate, is an extremely dangerous belief. Anything taught can be untaught: That is, proven to be incorrect, whether it is religion, politics, or hate. With great difficulty in the former two but quite possible with the latter. Assuming otherwise is to admit failure.

In South Pacific Emile hired his estranged lover as a governess while he was on a dangreous mission with Lt. Cable, the venue for the song, and the children taught the governess that her hate was irrational and wrong.

From a different thread heavily redacted
I would argue that bigotry and hate are beliefs rather than unconscious. In practice there is not much difference but we do have some control over our beliefs and very little control over our subconscious. 
The evidence is very clear that bigotry operates both consciously and unconsciously.
 I doubt it. Bigotry operates at the conscious belief level, see Shermer, it is very hard to get past the (conscious) conceptual blocks, but contrary data remains at the subconscious level, you cannot unhear or unsee anything. The Amiglyda can and does filter such data from the conscious belief system but overwhelming contrary data in the subconscious can overwhelm any belief. See Stockholm Syndrome et. al.
 I am being a prick about this because admitting unconscious bigotry, hate, and prejudice is abject surrender. I refuse to do so.

 Surrender to what?
 Surrender to intrinsic bigotry, hate, and prejudice.
 The fact that unconscious bias is a thing.
 I have fought Religious bigotry all my life, and while progress is extremely slow it is being made. The Patriarchy, while certainly not dead yet is noticeably weakened in the Western world. The "Lord Thy God" isn't dead either by a long shot. But the long shots are taking their toll.
 It is natural to feel hopeless in the face of societal forces that take hundreds of years to shift, but we can't just handwave at that.
The answer, Williams argued, is unconscious discrimination. According to Williams, the research shows that when people hold a negative stereotype about a group and meet someone from that group, they often treat that person differently and honestly don't even realize it
But they learned it consciously somewhere and have learned that is a politically incorrect belief and try to deny it. They may not realize they are an anti-Semite either, but anti-Semitism is not an unconscious concept or Jews would never have made into Zion.

 How does the subconscious acquire hate? We know how it acquires reflexes: You learn them or you die. Hate is a social trait, Social traits are conscious, how do they get into the unconscious and how do you get them out?

Michael Shirmer, The Believing Brain (video)

I have studied the whole book over and over again due to a lifelong interest in Religious Belief Systems.
"We form our beliefs for a variety of subjective, personal, emotional., and psychological in the context of environments created by family....Beliefs come first, explanations for beliefs follow. I call this process belief dependent realism." The Believing Brain. Michael Shirmer. 2011. p 5. Nowhere does he suggest that this is anything but a cognitive (conscious) process.

 The lips acquire stains...
  If not from Sapho whence the stains.
...with subconscious underpinings.

To wit:

This is not, strictly speaking, hate. It goes beneath something that, ahem, conscious.

Deconstructing America's unconscious racial bias
Fox Circe Just because CBS snooze calls it unconscious does not make it so. America's Racial bias has incredibly deep roots, but I have never seen any analysis that shows that any of them are anything subconscious, from the dehumanization of slaves, to redlining, they are all conscious rationalizations to shut down the subconscious moral imperative that humans are us and that killing them is specicide.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Blood Drive FAQ

  • You save several lives. 
  • You get a short nap.
  • You get a free lunch. 
  • You learn needles aren't scary.  ---  Where is the downside?



  • Tattoos, acupuncture and piercings: no deferral in many states for licensed single use facilities.  One year otherwise.
  • Medically controlled diabetes and high blood pressure: generally no deferral. 
  • MSM - Men who have had sex with other men and partners: One year deferral since last contact.  NO LONGER LIFETIME!!!!  YAY!!! You are welcome.   A long hard battle by many friends. 
  • MAD COWS - Military and residents in UK late 80s and certain others in Europe at that time are still deferred.  We are working on it.

  • See above.
  • If you have been told by a blood collection agency or other medical professional not to donate blood,  get clearance from that professional before scheduling an appointment.  Some changes in eligibility have been noted above. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Fortune Cookies

 All time fortune cookie:
The great pleasure in life 
is doing what people say you cannot do.

 Fortune cookie of the week:
A person of words and not of deeds
is like a garden full of weeds.

 Watching the sunrise outdoors statistically increases your odds of having a good day. And needing a nap after lunch. Firefox.7.11.17

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Act Now to Convert all National Parks and Monuments to State Parks

Greetings State Representative:

 As the Department of the Inferior is determined to defund and destroy all National Parks and Monuments it is imperative that California designate all National Parks and Monuments in California as State Parks as well. 

 Just the lost Tourism income to the state would pay for the costs of maintaining the parks for residents as well as US and Foreign Tourists.

 These facilities could be a huge source of revenue for the state by putting a stiff Tourism Hotel and campground tax on overnight facilities that are regional to the Parks and Monuments. 

 Entrance fees should be raised to cover the cost of maintaining the facilities with a discounted entrance fees for state residents, like 10% of the Tourist tariff.

Yours Respectfully, 

Registered Voter Name:

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Collection Post for Basic Income and Living Wages

This post is a working collection of blue road thinking on UBI and LW.  It is subject to additions, editing and other annoyances.  A more readable version an be found at which is also a work in progress but updated as comments and careful thinking refine the blue road thinking here.

Once again a guest post to start things off.  

July 19, 2015 at 4:43am

The biggest reason I support UBI (Universal Basic Income) has nothing to do with our possible automated future, as labor becomes less essential, or at least as we need much less of it, though that's a great reason to support it. It's not even about eliminating poverty or making the unemployment rate a non-issue, though those are very good reasons too.

The reason I want a UBI is to make work at least -technically- optional. I want this because so long as work is not optional, so long as it is mandatory, it is coercive. I want UBI so that every low wage worker whose boss screws them on hours, who reprimands them for taking sick days, who asks them to work too fast in unsafe conditions (see the current fast-food lawsuit), every young employee whose boss secretly grabs their ass while no one is looking, who's constantly making lewd comments, or racist comments, or any other sort of hateful bullshit... So that every employee who finds themselves trapped in the fiefdom of some petty little tyrant of a boss, which is actually The Majority Of Low End Workers, so that they can say:


So that they can really, truly, meaningfully walk the fuck away. And not have it mean they end up on the streets or their kids starve or they find themselves turning tricks to keep the water running and the lights on. Or for that matter just ending up in yet another job with a slightly different petty tyrant. And they can do this, deal with this, without having to deal with lawyers or Union Reps, who though are better than -not- having them it'd be nicer to just be able to do it ourselves. Because if -enough- of them (us) say 'NO' to this petty fucking bullshit, then firms will be forced to stop letting the petty bullshit happen (those who fail to will simply not get workers), and work in general will end up less awful for everyone.

Because the ability to say 'NO' to someone who's actively abusing you... that should be pretty high on the list of 'Liberties' worth defending. In my mind.

GDP is ultimately people buying goods and services from other people. Somebody has to flip those burgers the basic income recipients are buying. 
Since low income people spend locally and buy from people they know (not robots) the income from outside the local economy stays in the local economy and all are better off. The multiplier effect of the basic income or entry wage dollar is nearly 3 times. That is, the burger flipper who is paid somewhat more than the basic income or hesh wouldn't work, spends most of herm income on local goods and services, creating more local demand for those goods and services.   Also some basic income recipients will use their time to pursue a dream of artisan goods production, a local service like a band or restaurant or performance venue.  Some will succeed and generate more local income. 

Eliminating corporate welfare in the form of support for inadequate wages for minimum wage workers would be the first step to a more equitable distribution of the GDP.  Instead of welfare to supplement inadequate earned income each adult citizen or green card holder would be provided with one half the income necessary for housing, medical care, education,  and local transportation for a family if married, less if single.  This assumes that a two parent household is preferred for raising children.  Single mothers would be encouraged to partner up with an interested co-parent of any gender to form a family unit enabling the larger per person payment. 

Eliminating welfare with all its administrative costs would more than pay for the BI for those unable to work or have better things to do with their time than unskilled minimum wage labor. Those with better things to do will probably provide taxes and purchase goods and services which will cover their BI. Everybody wants to start a restaurant, or write a graphic novel, or sing a song. Some of them would actually succeed if they didn't have to worry about feeding the family first.

It wouldn't take much transfer of wealth from the hoarders to have a profound effect on the GDP. If the corporate welfare queens had to compete for unskilled labor with a UBI minimum wage laws would be anachronistic. Market wages and working conditions for unskilled labor in a competitive market for those willing to work at those jobs would move even unskilled laborers into the low middle class.

The economic argument for a UBI is that it is outside money to low income people who spend locally for necessities provided by mainly other low income people. The bodega proprietor, (there would be food trucks on every corner) and other neighborhood business would thrive and economic benefits would trickle UP to landlords, food truck lessors, food truck builders, etc. They might even buy a solar food truck with a Powerwall 2 from Tesla if they are really successful.

Another opportunity for recipients of UBI would be intermittent garage sales of art, crafts, artisnal foods, etc.  Advertising would be social media to regular customers who would avoid the gallery markup and have the same choices.

 About those "worthless idlers" living off the UBI as couch potatoes.

 People work. Even if it is only knitting at a boring meeting, and some of it will rise to saleable art. I am caregiver and supporter for a disabled person who assumes household chores and does them well even though hesh does not need to and does not get paid explicitly for them. Unpaid volunteer workers now could choose to be idle but work anyway. Why would that not become a way of life for those with no saleable skills? Also most people I know in the class of comfortable retired people are still working hard at something paid or otherwise. Only the trust funders are sailing and golfing their lives away.

Some work will be more useful economically than other work and it will be paid. Many "unskilled" jobs which need human attention will be filled inexpensively (to the employer) since they will be optional and provide incremental income for a slightly better life style. Those that do it well will necessarily be paid more as the market will be competitive. 

The few couch potatoes living off the stipend are probably just as well off the streets and not making trouble to survive. They still are consumers that drive the economy. They still eat, buy couches, TVs, and pay rent. If we make the "idle" comfortable enough to live a decent, if not easy, life what they do with their life is of no consequence to society.

Work for income or medical insurance is almost by definition meaningless, whether it is on an assembly line, coding for a rich guy, or flipping burgers. What the progressive left (no relationship to the Neolib democratic party) wants is optional work, where basic income, medical care and education as far as they qualify are rights and any work for supplemental income (taxed) is chosen in a competitive market where skills are rewarded and "Take this Job and shove it"--thanks Nyah Wynne--is a given for meaningless work.
If basic needs are covered people will work at something meaningful to them whether it is needlework, carving, artisans of all kinds, even coders and inventors. If the work is saleable they get extra income to support the local economy and the Government. If not they can try harder or learn to do something else but in any event they subsist and don't die and will work at something saleable or not. 

Those who want to work will have plenty of opportunities under UBI. There are many jobs that require human input. But a job, which is working for someone else will be only one option, and an option at that. Employers will have to compete on working conditions as well as pay to attract those who wish to work for others if basic needs are covered by UBI. If a restaurant owner or retailer needs people, hesh will have to make the job more attractive than opening a lunchroom or storefront shop. 

Job availability will exceed demand, given the "Be your own boss" drive most people have. If a tradesperson with a truck can supplement UBI working for herm neighbors the job premium would have to be very attractive to drag herm across town instead. Keep in mind that any income above UBI is disposable income in the economic sense.

 A note on what basic income would cover. UBI would be based on the needs of a family of whatever size is considered optimal by the goverment split between 2 adult citizens independent of relationship status or child care choices.   Basic housing, basic food, a local bus pass, HMO premiums and public education costs would be included. Infrastructure, and government costs would be abbsorbed by the government.

 See Maslow needs pyramid. Once physiological and safety needs are met (UBI and Medicare for all) and you find a friend or two, prestige and accomplishment become critical human psychological needs. Or why Grandma Moses learned to paint and why rednecks whittle.

Assuming UBI and Medicare for All, now dead rural suburbs will become vibrant villages of local commerce and art most of which will generate excess funds for local amenities. UBI is an external source of resources for the community which will be subject to the economic multiplier by those providing services to the UBI recipients.  Assuming an income tax the multiplier will be reduced a bit from a pure subsistence economy, but if the tax rate is progressive the reduction in the multiplier should be minimal for in community services as these services will be provided on narrow margins as the providers will be recipients of UBI as well.   

Social Security and Medicare for ALL.
Social Security at $1200/Mo Grandfathers Grandfathered in at current rate. No Cap on Social Security Taxes and Medicaid payments. Work optional till dead. All income taxed. Self employment income taxed once.  

Merge Federal SSA, Welfare, Unemployment, and let employees sort themselves out. 


J'Carlin said...
Why it is worth the daily slog through facebook.
J'Carlin said...
I learned about the TTJASI from a mentor at Pan Am. His advice: As soon as you save up enough "Fuck You Money" you can begin to do your job right. In a sense privilege, and/or another livable income in the family gives the same work freedom as FYM which is after all a relative term, but UBI puts a safety net under all who wish to "do their job right."
J'Carlin said...
Nyah Wynne Yes! Definitely. That's probably my number 2 top reason, in part because it's talked about very little. There are huge numbers of activities that people can engage in that are of real meaningful value to society that don't translate well into market value. Experimenting with art is a major one. Art sometimes pays off, sometimes doesn't, but all too often ends up either compromising itself in order to sell better or having to be fit into someone's spare time while they work some non-career, low end, dead-end job to survive. Other things include many sort of research, as finding grants can be as troublesome as trying to fund art. Care of children and the elderly sometimes pays but only if the ones being cared for can pay. In fact any sort of general service to the community tends to be deeply undervalued. The market values service to people according to their ability to pay, so serving the needs of 100 poor people is worth less than serving the whims of 1 wealthy person. There are all manner of truly valuable activities one can engage in that the market deems worthless.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

SCAG Traffic Issues

 Many of the traffic issues in the SCAG area are caused by our suburban neighbors driving to Urban Amenities like Santana Row, Valley Fair, Westfield, the Safeway Shopping Center and the Lyon center. SCAG occupants would walk or cycle if the proposed Urban Corridor on Albany and Kiely is implemented.   
 Another issue is surburban neighbors using the Saratoga I-280 ramps to avoid the problems at Lawrence and Winchester.  Some use basically residential streets like Kiely, Moorpark and Albany as short cuts to the Saratoga ramps causing much of the congestion on Kiely and on the very short merge from Kiely to 280S. Another problem is car dealer test drives by mechanics and sales people on these residential streets. 
 Work  Commuting from the suburbs is also a major problem  for the whole area.
 Restricting SCAG streets except Saratoga and Stevens Creek Boulevard to local traffic, would encourge cycling and walking, both for the SCAG population and the local workers on Stevens Creek, nearby businesses and local residents.  

School Enrolment

“We are looking at a decline in enrollment,” said Wendy Gudalewicz, Cupertino Union superintendent. “What’s happening in this district is we have very large classes; sixth, seventh and eighth [grade] are much larger than kinder [classes] now and future kinder. We’re looking at a bubble of students going out.”
Caused by....rising housing costs that are pricing young couples out of the area.

It is rising housing costs that are pricing young couples out of the area that is driving "Save our Schools" the 10K+ activist group under many names in Cupertino, West San Jose, and some in Santa Clara whose email list I have been banned from, but I get them anyway by from www dot 'latest SJW meet-up' on lawn signs in my WSJ/Cupertino/Santa Clara stomping grounds. They always start with PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY VALUES.  Whether it is SCAG, Valco, redistricting, MacDonalds at Orchard Farms or even Cell towers on schools.

We know that even market rate rentals in the CUSD will affect property values since those values are driven by "School Moms" from China and India paying cash for CUSD homes.  School dads providing the cash don't lose, the appreciation for the few years the kids are in school has been about 10% per year since I moved into District 1 in 2001. BMR housing would be even worse which is why they try to use on site BMR housing requirements to kill development.

This is a serious issue for High Schools as well Lynbrook, the premier school in District 1, is scrambling for students to maintain their excellent acadamic programs.  Some AP classes were cancelled last year due to declining enrollment.