Post by firstname.lastname@example.org Post by email@example.com Post by Alex W. Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
On Sunday, 10 February 2019 07:43:24 UTC,
Post by email@example.com
If you are employed then you should have at least a
minimum wage. What consumer product does everyone want?
A smartphone. You can get a pretty good smartphone for
as little as USD 200. There is no need to steal one.
If you are busy working, you don't have much spare times
to plan or commit crimes.
If you are employed, you feel like a useful part of
society, and are more likely to follow its rules.
I have not studied any data, but suspect that there is a
strong correlation between unemployment and crime.
Abhinav Lal Writer & Investor
"Man is by nature a political animal"
But I thought you argued in favour of a free wage for
everyone. In that case, people could choose to be
unemployed. Or, employed doing something that they aren't
The concept you are referring to is known as universal basic
income. I don't recall what I argued before, but UBI is
basically unaffordable for most governments.
What may be affordable is a targeted income support. A basic
income that raises the income of only the poorest to a living
Fundamental market mechanisms make this impossible.
A vendor will offer goods and services at a price they think
the market will bear. Hand out more money to the poorest, and
those who make a living by selling goods and services to the
poor will raise their prices to match this new, higher level of
income. Put simply, a street vendor selling food to day
labourers may charge only 10 rupees for a dosa ... but when he
knows that his customers now have double their income, his
prices will go up to 20 rupees. The end result is that
government spending, prices and inflation will all go up but
the poorest will be no better off.
I don't agree. About 50 million people live in India on less
than two dollars a day. If we focus on providing income support
to this 4% of the population, most people will still only be able
to afford the same price for food. On packaged goods, there is a
Maximum Retail Price, so shops cannot overcharge customers.
I think your government proposes to do the income support thing -
when they are re-elected?
The opposition, led by Congress, is promising basic income for 300
million people. It's going to be very expensive for the state, and
possibly the taxpayer. But it will improve the quality of life for
the poorest and provide them financial security.
There is no "possibly" about it.
This will be hugely expensive for the taxpayer.
Now think about the practicalities. How will those 300 million get
their basic income? If it is in cash, they will have to form orderly
queues to pick up their money once a week or month ... when was the last
time you saw an efficient government office in India? Hell, even with
an efficient bureaucracy, this would be a mammoth task.
If it is by way of bank transfer, most of those 300 million will have to
open bank accounts. This requires skills such as literacy which many of
them do not have. It requires identification papers. It will cost
these people money in banking fees.