ABOUT THE UBI

The Economic Impact Of Universal Income
By Dr. Tim G Williams

In an age of technological marvels as we are seeing today has generated enormous wealth. But, with this wealth you would think that society as a whole would be the benefactors of all those technological advances. Today, the wealth disparity gap has only gotten wider. The rich continue to reap the rewards while the majority continue to languish far behind unable to have some of the benefits of all the advances made whether they were scientific, medical or technological. In every period in history when ever there has been scientific breakthroughs or advances in technology it is always the wealthy that immediately reap the benefits. They in turn are able to garnish more wealth, power and control. In essence mankind has yet to share the wealth generated by man's continued quest to invent new and more wondrous ways of improving the quality of life or improve the ways of destroying life.

When we put this in context to today's economic outlook there are numerous employment opportunities that are soon to become irrelevant and obsolete. Take for example driverless cars, automation in practically every factory, and warehousing is going to be completely automated in the near future. What this means is that people employed today will soon become like so many still are today unemployed. And, when you have the majority of populations either unemployed and underemployed the overall economy suffers. The rich will continue to get richer while the rest of us will continue to become poorer. When we have the largest income disparity gap in history today in the United States our economic and financial future is darkened by clouds of deception by what the wealthy and government continue to do. The stagnation and retardation of incomes of the majority of the population has kept the United States from becoming the economic engine we once were right after World War II.

With Trump in the White House and the wealth gap that continues to widen has made the United States irrelevant in global affairs. This irrelevancy is threatening the very fiber of American society. When we look at the out pouring of support both financially and otherwise in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey by people everywhere that really couldn't afford to pitch in but do has shown that much of the American public still have the strength to act with great empathy. This is what the American spirit is all about. Then there is the dark side in America today. We have seen it raise its ugly head when ever there is a disaster. The impact of devastating storms or other disasters there are always those who seek to capitalize on others who are less fortunate. The greed of people today is more evident with each instance of instability.

It is the instability in the United States that is cause for grave concern. From racial tensions, to catastrophic disasters, to economic inequality all have dominated the growing instability in America today. With the advent of newer technologies that are now poised to displace workers has put a new dimension on what it would take to generate economic mobility within the US. Governmental programs, those safety nets for the poor, and the unemployed are just meager subsidies that aren't effective in producing the economic stability for our society. For our seniors relying on Social Security those monthly checks offer just as much financial security as those meager subsidies for the poor and the unemployed. When we look at the bigger economic picture in the US today the governmental programs that are in place don't and can't support a growing economy. In essence what the United States is experiencing is a retardation in economic growth and stability.

The question now that now one is asking is how do we turn the tide of growing economic retardation and instability to one of economic growth, productivity, and stability? To answer that is one of great consequence to every American. First thing we have to recognize is the failure of our governmental policies both domestic and foreign. For far too long they have only benefited the wealthy and entrenched politicians. Then there is greed of individuals whether they are mega corporations run by ruthless CEO's or the policies of government that have for years made it easier for financial institutions, large corporations and wealthy individuals to avoid their fair share of taxes. Trillions of dollars that could be infused into our society are being hoarded in the tax havens of the wealthy that our government has allowed to happen. Once we dispose of all the so called loop holes of tax shelters for the wealthy and major corporations trillions of dollars would then be available to heal the wounds that is keeping the United States economy in critical condition.

Closing those tax loop holes is only a first step in generating economic growth. There are an additional two basic steps that must be implemented to complete the resurgence toward economic stability, financial security, and national security for the United States. The implementation of National Economic Reform's Ten Articles of Confederation would in fact be the greatest financial and economic boost for our country. Correspondingly apply a universal income for every American would add a whole new level of economic growth, financial security and stability that is sadly missing today.

The idea of a universal basic income has been suggested numerous times. Dr. Martin Luther King wrote that the solution to end poverty was to establish a guaranteed basic income for all. Today, Switzerland is poised to implement universal income while other European countries are seriously considering the same. To the skeptics and Republicans today who ferociously state that this is impossible the reality though is we actually could afford it. That's if the tax loop holes were eliminated and National Economic Reform's Ten Articles Of Confederation were to be implemented. Once this is done then there would be more than enough tax revenue to support a guaranteed basic income of $1,000 per month for every American who now earn less than $150,000 per year.

Just think of the economic impact that a guaranteed universal income of $1,000 per month for all Americans who earn less than $150,000 per year would do to our economy. The economy would grow substantially, poverty rates would plummet, many of the racial tensions would be eliminated and our stability as a nation would be restored. To do nothing is only a prelude to disaster and is inhuman in today's reality. With the advances of robotics and digital automation will undoubtedly create more poverty and instability if we fail to implement universal income. We can support universal income by spending far less than we do now. It is within our financial capacity to do the right thing for our population. But, if we let greed or lack of empathy override our compassion to ease the suffering of so many that are so impoverished the great wealth divide will only get wider and our nation will only become more divided.

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Universal Basic Income: Visionary or Wishful Thinking
By Susan Boskey

Universal Basic Income, also known as UBI, social credit and Basic Income Guarantee, is not a new concept. However, it is being looked at newly by the State of Hawaii as a solution to how AI (artificial intelligence) is likely to take over many of their jobs.

Having lived in Hawaii, I understand why the concern there may be greater than for other places. My experience showed me that the income disparity between wealthy mainlanders who bumped-up real estate prices in Hawaii, and everyone else who had to work for a living, was crazy severe. To survive a cost-of-live higher than the San Francisco Bay area at minimum-wage levels, I observed that most locals had to work more than one job just to survive. Today, I imagine this disparity is even greater.

UBI is a dividend-type proposal similar to the one in Alaska since 1982 via the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation distributing an annual share of oil revenues to each resident of the state (including children in the family). In 2007, the amount to each resident was $3,269 and in 2016, only $1022.

Former Democratic Congressman, Dennis Kucinich, a proponent of this economic strategy for every American, not just Alaskans, said after former Treasury secretary Henry Paulson announced the 2007 $700 billion bank bailout:

"Since the bailout will cost each and every American about $2,300, tomorrow I will offer legislation to create a United States Mutual Trust Fund, which will take control of $700 billion in stock assets, at market value and not higher, convert those assets to shares, and distribute $2,300 worth of shares to new individual savings accounts in the name of each and every American."

According to another UPI proponent, Richard C. Cook, former Treasury employee and author of the book, We Hold These Truths, (for which I wrote the forward) one of UBI's most recent sources is Scottish Major C.H. Douglas. In 1918 he was an industrial engineer who authored the book, Economic Democracy, which addressed the gap of purchasing power for the average person, and therefore the need for government-distributed dividends.

Cook, in a Global Research article, discusses "Credit as a Public Utility: The Key to Monetary Reform," asserting that social credit "should be treated as a public utility, like water, electricity, and clean air."

"A citizens' dividend could work wonders in rebuilding the economy from the bottom up, including small business and local agriculture. To assure that dividends are spent for necessities, they could be issued initially as tax-free food, fuel, and housing vouchers from a government recovery account not dependent on taxation or borrowing. Rather the backing for the vouchers would be the productive potential of the economy. This way new economic production could be generated without bank loans. The vouchers, when spent, could be funneled into a network of community savings banks that would re-lend the money at zero percent interest." (Richard C. Cook, "How to Save the U.S. Economy," Global Research)

At the time, in 2007, when Richard Cook asked me to write the forward to We Hold These Truths, the social credit concept sounded good to me: a practical solution to the purchasing-power gap Americans had continued to suffer in the early to middle 2000's. That said, in 2017 I am no longer a fan of social credit having had the time to look into it more deeply.

Would this government strategy create economic justice providing a spiritual basis for the economy as Cook and others suggest? Or would it simply be the next step towards larger government and its increased control over matters of our personal lives? And how exactly would social credit affect the national debt? The UBI, in my view, is short-sighted; it would enhance, not end, the grip financial elites already have on Central Banking, a system destined to underwrite a world government with a world currency.

Frederick Hayek in his 1960 book, The Constitution of Liberty, predicted that egalitarian redistribution would end up only as a new approach of the "old aims of socialism."

Visionary? No. Short-sighted wishful thinking? Yes.

Susan Boskey is author of the book, The Quality Life Plan®: 7 Steps to Uncommon Financial Security. The information in the book not only exposes the systemic-root cause of the 2008-09 economic meltdown but, perhaps more importantly, provides critical steps to help everyday people turn the tide and build real wealth. To learn more or to purchase the book, visit her website at http://TheQualityLifePlan.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Susan_Boskey/23923
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THE FUTURE OF CAPITALISM and DEMOCRACY

EUROPE'S CRISIS and AMERICA'S ECONOMIC FUTURE

DUNCAN SMITH EXPLAINS

The U.K.Universal Credit and the Small Business Owner
By Rachel J Toussaint

Universal Credit is the brainchild of the UK Coalition government and is part of the biggest overhaul of the benefits system in the post World War II era.

According to the UK government it is a policy that will be "Simplifying the welfare system and making sure work pays"

The aim of Universal Credit is to act as a One Stop Shop for individuals and families eligible for financial assistance from the government. It will bring under one umbrella the following current benefits entitlements:

Income based Jobseekers allowance

Income related employment and support allowance

Income Support

Child tax credit

Working tax credit

Housing benefit

How Universal Credit differs from the system currently in place.

Firstly, Universal Credit will be made available to those working or not working. This, it is supposed, will enable people to move in and out of work more smoothly. So, for example, you will not need to stop a working tax credit claim and start a new Jobseekers Allowance claim. Clearly for some, particularly those who were self-employed, it takes so long to sort out a claim, that they feel once they get on benefits they are going to stay there!

Presently, self-employed people eligible for financial assistance mostly depend on working tax credit and child tax credit if they have children. So under Universal Credit these two benefits will be merged into one along with any other payments from the list above.

This all seems like a seamless and forward looking transition. So, Why all the fuss from various groups against these changes?

Well, a proper look at Universal Credit will reveal that it inherently punishes a business owner if their income falls below a "minimum income floor". Effectively, an adviser at the Department of Work (DWP) and Pensions will decide what a business in the same category should be turning over. This will then be used to set a minimum income level for the Claimant's business.

At a minimum, you're business will be expected to provide you with an income which is equivalent to working 35 hours a week at the National Minimum Wage. If your income falls below the "minimum income floor" level, Universal Credit will not compensate the difference.

Self -employed claimants are required to report their income on a monthly basis.

All this means that you could end up receiving less money being self-employed than you would if you were actually unemployed.

The additional work this will create for business owners and the administrative nightmare brewing at the DWP at this point, can only be imagined.

The logic behind these reforms is to "encourage" small businesses to improve their financial performance. In my view, this is oversimplifying how and why small businesses exist and the reality of small businesses achieving peak performance in the present economic climate.

As a small business owner and a parent, I know that one of the main reasons many small business owners decide to set up on their own is to be able to fulfill their family obligations whilst earning their livelihood. There are many reasons why a small business may experience a dip in income. Parents who own "solo businesses" may work reduced hours due to maternity or paternity leave or any number of family and personal commitments.

This will naturally have an effect on the turnover of the business. They are still, however, working and running a viable business which could sustain itself now with financial assistance, and can be self-sustaining in the future when current obstacles no longer exist.

Start-up businesses will be given twelve months to achieve the "minimum income level" and existing businesses will be given six months to achieve this figure.

Universal Credit has already been rolled out in certain parts of the North-West of England and will be rolled out throughout the UK from October 2013. Universal Credit is expected to have reached all parts of the UK by the end of 2017.

What are the Options

- You can decide to set up a business anyway and hope that you meet the "minimum income level" within the twelve months. You will be allowed a new start up period every five years.

- You can continue in your existing business and hope that you meet the "minimum income level" within six months.

- As there is no minimum or maximum numbers of hours that must be worked (the present 16 hours requirement will no longer apply). You can run your business for less hours and supplement your income with paid employment until your business income is sufficient. This will take longer for you to build your business. Also it will present more challenges - particularly as typical recipients of the now tax credits are likely to be families with young children - so time won't be their best friend at this stage in their lives!

It's simply too early for us to speculate just how badly these changes are likely to affect small business owners with families. But the future is not looking rosy.

We will have to wait for "from the ground" feedback from claimants already subject to the new Universal Credit system.

The jury is still very much out.

Rachel Toussaint is a UK Solicitor and a Consultant at Toussaints Solicitors, Birmingham. She specialises in Family law and immigration for families. She has a particular interest in empowering women to use legal strategies to enhance their lives. She shares top tips and solutions for parents returning to work after a career break. She can be contacted for speaking engagements, advice or networking on 0121 523 5050.

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