Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Other Complaint About A Basic Income Guarantee

The Other Complaint About A Basic Income Guarantee (BIG)

Yancey Ward writes:
I have never really thought a BIG was ever going to work. Just as soon as the first news stories appear where Dad spent all the money on booze that was supposed to pay for the school lunches for the children, you would start to see the welfare programs themselves resurrected. I doubt it would even take 5 years to end up with all them resurrected to fill in the gaps from poor behavior.
My Reply: 
Today dad has to trade the food stamps for booze or cash. 
Look in reality food is very cheap and people can and do have their children taken away for neglect now and in a country with BIG dad and mom have fewer excuses.  As an added benefit a BIG might enable more of the better poor parents to be able to keep their children.
Also, in a country with BIG the need for charity would small enough that private charity (which is often underestimated because it between siblings and friends or church member to church member) could meet the needs.
In my experience non-poor people overestimate the number of poor people who do not care for their children to do well. Thankful almost all parents, even most heroin addicts, care for their children and the few who don’t can mess them up just as bad with the piece meal system that we have now. When I was in school, even with the tax funded schools a few children seldom showed up for school.

Basic Income Guarantee Again

People are contending that the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) would cost more than the current system but if you design it as outlined below it would save money.

Each  adult US citizen would get $200/week. To lower the cost you would:

  • Raise the tax rate on lower income people to consume that $200 more rapidly, they currently pay no income taxes. Income up to $26,000/year tax rate would be taxed at a 40% rate. So at $26,000/year of earnings the net effect of the BIG on their income would be zero. The tax rates on income above $26,000/year would then drop to the current rate and rise as the current rate does form there. 
  • With the BIG you eliminate SS.There is Absolutely no need for SS with a BIG!
  • You replace Medicaid and medicare with something like this:

The state would provide insurance to all Americans but the annual deductible would be equal to the family’s trailing year adjusted income minus the poverty line income (say $25,000 for a family of 4) + $300. So a family of 4 with a trailing year adjusted income of $30,000 would have a deductible of $5,300. A family of 4 with a trailing year adjusted income of $80,000 would have a deductible of $55,300. Middle class and rich people could fill the gap with private supplemental insurance but this should be full taxed. This would encourage the middle class and rich, who are generally capable people, to demand prices from medical providers and might force down costs. They could opt to pay for most health-care out of pocket while the poor often less capable would be protected.
It is not a perfect plan but it might help. Some deregulation of health-care would also help the poor gain access. The gauntlet that Doctors have to run these days to get to practice seems like an anachronism in today’s world. Let smart people get to practice medicine after on the job training. Let the medical businesses decide who is qualified to practice medicine. 12 years of training to tell if my child has an ear infection is overkill and reduces access to health-care for the poor.
Another benefit of my plan is that it would encourage capable Americans (the rich and middle class) to be a counter weight politically against the providers.
Of course our politicians are too corrupt to set up such a program but any discussion of a BIG is pure theory anyway.

All of our debt and inefficiency problems come from rationally ignorant voters and corrupt politicians. With rationally ignorant voters politicians almost have to corrupt of ignorant to get elected.

NOTE: (You would still need programs for the very disabled)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Aaron Carroll and Jon Chait Try to Blame the Arrest of Mother for Letting Her Child Play in a Public Park on You and Me

Friday, June 20, 2014

Iraq Again?

There seems to be a move to push the USA to enter the new civil war in Iraq. I want us to stay out of this Sunni, Shiite war.

I do understand that this war will be really bad for the people of Iraq and I especially feel for the Christians who are likely to be caught in between the Sunnis and Shiites. I would support helping the Christians get out of there, perhaps by providing green cards to any still in Iraq but beyond that I do not see anything positive that we can do there and I do not even see how we can help ourselves over there, we certainly do not need the petroleum nor do I see a threat to us from Iraq. The ISIS are not international terrorists who threaten us, this is a war between faction in Iraq, let's stay out.


Time to start doing nothing which we should have started doing long ago. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Do we know anything about nutrition at all? Or did we know everything in 1960

Aaron Carroll asks: Do we know anything about nutrition at all? 

I got to thinking about it and maybe we knew everything about nutrition in 1960.  

You need sufficient amounts of the 12 essential amino acids which almost all Americans get.
You need sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals which almost all Americans get.
If you eat more calories that you burn you get fat. 

And that all those newer findings; low fat, low carbs, more antioxidants, Mediterranean diet etc. are just spurious findings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The NCAA has an Agreement on Athlete Compensation but not on Coach Compensation

The NCAA has an agreement on athlete compensation and they enforce it pretty well, but interestingly they have no agreements on coach or executive or for that matter professor compensation.   It might be difficult to have an effective agreement on executive compensation because the better executives could move to non NCAA organizations, professors you could probably do as long as the cap is high enough and coaches could surely be done because:


  1.  Where would the coaches go.  Some could go to professional sports but those positions are limited.
  2. Winning in NCAA sports is a zero sum game and though you would loose some talent the effect would be inconsequential.


So I propose that the NCAA members agree that coaches  not be compensated more that $250,000/year.  That is enough that they should still be able to attract sufficiently qualified candidates. 

This would mean that we are treating the NCAA as a single organization as fare as sports goes.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Response to Dean Baker's Great Post: "Medicare Is a Steal, but for Whom?"


Clearly our Governments Fed and local should combine all Medicare, Medicaid and all 

Government employees into one insurance program to maximize buying power and:
1. Squeeze providers.
2. Refuse to pay for care that has not shown strong evidence of net benefit.  

But our politicians are so corrupt (and fearful of seniors and Government employee unions) that they will not even do that. AND BTW Seniors and Government employee unions would not in the long run be hurt but helped on net by such a move though they would surely see it as a negative.

When given a choice between what is good and right for the people and what is good them politicians will choose to do what is good for them 90%+ of the time. You can count on that.