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Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, there has been talk of a basic universal income. Do you support the concept?

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There was talk of UBI long before the pandemic, and a few places had experimented with it. As with many things, craven politicians have used COVID as an excuse to advance policies that otherwise would have had zero chance of public acceptance. Never let a virus…err…crisis go to waste, as they say.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

It’s in fact already installed, otherwise many would starve to death every month. As this obviously doesn’t happen in numbers in most countries, many are supported one way or another, with given basic needs or at least housing, food and drinks. There’s not so much difference if that is now called basic income, or a base part of wages would be called basic income, the rest for the work done. Nothing will change in principle, when that amount or help the poorer is already given now, just only is renamed into basic income.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

I don't like it. Before the pandemic, and actually still today, its mainly framed as a solution to the mass unemployment that it is predicted will be caused by AI making so many human workers obsolete in the coming years/decades.

The problem with that framing is that UBI is not a substitute for jobs. UBI is never going to be more than the bare minimum needed to survive, so if people don't have UBI AND jobs then they are going to perpetually be in poverty.

Also jobs serve really important social functions that go way beyond merely providing people with income. They do way more: they provide them with a sense of purpose, a motivation to better themselves, social links, opportunities for upward mobility etc etc. They also give workers some power since at the end of the day somebody needs their labor and the ability to threaten to quit, form a union, go on strike, etc at the very least gives them some empowerment (not enough in my opinion, but at least some). UBI doesn't replace any of those things .

The tech billionaires who are pushing UBI basically want to foist this thing on society in the place of jobs since their business models are mainly predicated on destroying jobs. I understand that technological progress is inevitable, but we need a better vision for society's future than what UBI has on offer.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

UBI would be great if replacing existing welfare schemes, and a terrible idea if being in addition to existing welfare schemes.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Yes, but the reason for my answer is not just the pandemic, it is also the increasing use of AI in the workplace.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Depends on how much. How much?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It seems an excellent idea, an excellent way to redistribute income. It is such a simple idea. Of course, there are other methods of redistributing income such as revolution. I am surprised high rollers don't realise that UBI could benefit them and is far more pleasant for the rich than revolution.

So much work is unnecessary, so much production is unnecessary. Why should people have to work so hard anyway?

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

There has been talk of a basic universal income. Do you support the concept? Like it or not, the US is playing with the idea and has already started giving out FREE money to its citizens. I don't know of anyone who will turn down money, even though this is an experiment I don't think it will EVER go away. It will only make people lazy and depending on the money each month. Those who work will pay more because they will not get it and those on the bottom will continue to stay there and depend on other governmental programs. Instead of being capitalist the US is slowing becoming a socialist country!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

NO.

Do there need to be programs and some funds available for those who are -unable- to function in society? Yes.

Do we need universal income? No. There will always be those who don't even try to make their own way and expect the gov't to bail them out. 'Tis socialism. Never!

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

No. Give people a UBJ instead (Universal Basic Job). If you can't find economically productive work, the government can pay you in exchange for visiting the elderly or planting flowers in the park.

'Tis socialism. Never!

I don't see UBI as a socialist idea. In fact, it's the exact opposite. The biggest supporters of UBI will eventually be crony capitalists like Amazon who will benefit most from free money being handed out.

The world of UBI is a hyper-capitalist one where the government is not an economic player. In UBI world, the state just gives you free money because they have no need for your labour. Apparently, there are no public nursing homes you can work at, no public roads that need fixing, no public beaches that can be cleaned. The unspoken assumption of UBI is that everything has been privatised.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

M3M3M3,

No. Give people a UBJ instead (Universal Basic Job). If you can't find economically productive work, the government can pay you in exchange for visiting the elderly or planting flowers in the park.

I think that’s a better solution.

I’ve always thought of that as Guaranteed Government Jobs. If you find yourself without a job, the govt must employ you, and it’s up to them to match your skills to jobs such as those you mentioned, plus work in government offices, help lines, public services and so on. If one doesn’t have any marketable skills then they can provide training and on-the-job training which will help people find (higher paying) jobs in the private sector if they choose.

It would replace other welfare systems plus keep people from lying on the sofa all day while collecting government cheques. Of course there’ll be room for exploitation within the GGJ system, but welfare systems have been gamed since the jump, anyway.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Some people are so stuck in old school thinking, they lack the ability to see what's coming.

Technology has led to no necessity for a 40 hour work week for the entire population. Automation has freed up a significant amount of resources, and will only do so more in the future. We could find make-busy work to get people to do, or we could have an easier life as humanity by cutting down the amount of work each person needs to do.

In selfish populations with large numbers of right-wingers however, the idea that someone get anything without having to work for it is basically an allergy to them. They would rather spend more money in policing to make sure no one dare get something they didn't work for, than just giving it out at a cheaper cost.

UBI will never work in those nations until it's working well enough in other nations that they start to get jealous.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Closing all the loopholes on tax avoidance by the upper 1% would generate enough revenue to pay for healthcare, infrastructure, UBI and more. The wealthy aren't being "smart and savvy" by not paying taxes. They are breaking the law.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Strangerland,

Technology has led to no necessity for a 40 hour work week for the entire population. Automation has freed up a significant amount of resources, and will only do so more in the future. We could find make-busy work to get people to do, or we could have an easier life as humanity by cutting down the amount of work each person needs to do.

I can’t get my head around that. Please help me out.

Does that mean that because costs of production are so reduced by automation and technology that people can work much less and still be able to afford food, shelter, some luxuries etc?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

...and what of work that can’t (at present) be automated. I’m thinking medicine/therapy, teaching, and other jobs that require human interaction. Do you think A.I. will advance enough to replace those kinds of workers?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you find yourself without a job, the govt must employ you, and it’s up to them to match your skills to jobs

I don’t fancy that idea much.

Government should be for governing - setting laws and rules and the like.

I think it should always be up to the individual to find their own way in the world to the maximum extent possible. That is what gives the individual their dignity, and independence.

So if there were to be a UBI, then I’d prefer it be with no strings attached, and leave it over to the recipients to survive on it. Beef up government support programs and that means more taxes need to be collected to pay those support people too.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

fxgai,

Government should be for governing - setting laws and rules and the like.

Beef up government support programs and that means more taxes need to be collected to pay those support people too.

Forgive me, but those two statements seem to be in opposition.

Isn't government also responsible for security, infrastructure, basic medical, and so-on?

I think it should always be up to the individual to find their own way in the world to the maximum extent possible. That is what gives the individual their dignity, and independence.

I agree, but there are people who fall between the cracks due to certain disadvantages, drug and alcohol abuse, criminal histories and the like. I think these people need to be helped to their feet and then it's up to them to start walking.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If we allow the government to dictate how we get our money, they can also control what you have to do in order to get that money.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, there has been talk of a basic universal income. Do you support the concept?

The great reset.

This question pulls a tighter focus, doesn't it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Isn't government also responsible for security, infrastructure, basic medical, and so-on?

Protecting the country from say the North Koreans or Chinese does seem best handled at a national level since everyone benefits by not having the country invaded.

But infrastructure is a bit different - if I want to ride the bullet train I have to pay. My local utilities are operated by Tokyo gas etc, so I don’t think I need the government for that.

Basic medical - I would suggest health is too important to be left over to government, although that’s how it is in many places, I grant you.

I’d like a Singapore style system of individual health savings accounts as opposed to the system we have, where costs are not transparent to the consumer of the service.

I agree, but there are people who fall between the cracks due to certain disadvantages, drug and alcohol abuse, criminal histories and the like.

I think these people need to be helped to their feet and then it's up to them to start walking.

But by central government?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Thanks for taking the time.

But infrastructure is a bit different - if I want to ride the bullet train I have to pay. My local utilities are operated by Tokyo gas etc, so I don’t think I need the government for that.

Well there’s roads and ports but I take your point. I’ve never lived in a place without national health care (and, touch wood, haven’t had to use it for anything too serious - yet) so I don’t know much about how it is elsewhere.

But by central government?

Well by local government at least, but surely it’s in their best interests in terms of reducing crime and other problems such as homelessness or excessive demands on health services. Treating ODs and alcohol related health problems etc. Perhaps a place like LA with its homelessness problem would be better served with preventative or restorative measures rather than paying for the problems caused.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does that mean that because costs of production are so reduced by automation and technology that people can work much less and still be able to afford food, shelter, some luxuries etc?

There will be less work to do. In some countries, this will fracture the economy into extreme upper and lower classes, whereby those that own the automation are filthy rich, and the rest will be dirt poor, while other nations will figure out ways to readjust their economies, by doing things like dropping the number of hours in a work week over time, and/or increasing the middle wage.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

what of work that can’t (at present) be automated. I’m thinking medicine/therapy, teaching, and other jobs that require human interaction.

I don't think any of those require human interaction in the long run. We just don't have the technology to create proper assessments yet.

Until then those people will have jobs.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Strangerland,

Thanks.

Yeah, I think you’re right. Seems a pretty grim future for a rather large portion of the world’s population. I think I’ll start investing somewhere. Or get a PhD in computer science real quick.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Strangerland

whereby those that own the automation are filthy rich, and the rest will be dirt poor, while other nations will figure out ways to readjust their economies, by doing things like dropping the number of hours in a work week over time, and/or increasing the middle wage.

But how is UBI a solution to anything you describe? If we ever reach a world of almost unlimited productivity thanks to technology, why would we still need to hand out $1000 per month to people? Why not just send the robots to build houses for people and deliver food and other necessities on demand? The need for UBI doesn't necessarily follow from anything you've described.

In selfish populations with large numbers of right-wingers

This suggestion that UBI is an inherently left-wing idea is a total misconception. Marxists have always been hostile to UBI because it turns poor people into market participants rather than aboloshing the market entirely. UBI also pacifies the segments of society with the most revolutionary potential by giving them just enough material comfort to avoid an uprising. On the other side, right-wing libertarians like Milton Friedman have always been willing to entertain the idea of UBI for the same reasons.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

RiskyMosaic,

Well by local government at least

There you go!

I am basically fed up with all sorts of central planning, and I would like to decentralize a lot of decision making. Getting it closer to the people it affects us key. People would have so much less to complain about if problems were taken care of locally, and we can always spend our own money or ourselves better than central planners can.

Actually there was a good paper out of New Zealand a few years back calling for health and welfare systems based on compulsory savings, as opposed to taxation.

https://voxeu.org/article/welfare-savings-not-taxation

Conservative folks don’t like to consider such changes and love the idea of central government doing various things, but I believe this is the way that government systems will be reformed in future when the triggers are pulled by demographics etc.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

On the other side, right-wing libertarians like Milton Friedman have always been willing to entertain the idea of UBI for the same reasons.

One of my heros :)

I understood his favoring such ideas because they would be simpler to administer than the alternative schemes we currently have. UBI as his “negative income tax”.

Bring back Milton…

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

We already have it...

Unemployment benefit , universal credit, dole... call it what you like..

In Japan its call "being a "guard man" at a construction site.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The experimental implementations didn't work.

In the UK I pay an effective tax rate of 29%. Despite that, the welfare state, education, social care and health services are underfunded.

If everyone gets free cash, how much extra tax would those of us who work have to pay, so others can play video games, go fishing, surf for p0rn and write bad poetry all day?

The reduced incentive to get a job would see sectors either vanish or have to increase wages, which would increase prices and inflation, creating greater poverty and requiring a higher universal income. That is a bad spiral. Most nations could do more to support those who cannot work or are best kept out of employment, but this is a bad idea. Especially now. People are struggling to cope with the changes they are currently facing. More change now will make things worse.

If we are all to be herded into a matrix-style life, locked in our homes, to work and watch TV, governments may just do this. But it won't work well. Oh, and your offspring won't ever need to leave home.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

-Well by local government at least.

Surprised that there are people who think local government functions any better or is any less corrupt than central government.

Perhaps they have just arrived on this planet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

UBI will only benefit government, its desire for power, to be master to your slave. Fight the urge, before its too late.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I have very mixed feelings about UBI. On paper I support it - mostly. But realistically I feel it will be exploited and not be used as it was intended. I don't know a lot about UBI and so I will admit that I'm not 100% educated on the program - all I know is what it's meant to provide.

IDK, maybe it's wrong for me to say but I don't want to see this as another "well fare" type program. Again I say that because I haven't really spent the time to really understand UBI.

My mother had to go on well fare back in the early 70s (recently divorced with a single child, me) but she didn't stay on it for very long. Just long enough for her to get back on her feet so before you start blasting me about ware fare please know that my mom had to use it which was hard for her to accept back then.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

UBI will probably lead to inflation and become a dead-end.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that his grandkids would work just 15 hours a week.

That was with the progressive tax, high growth, broad based prosperity in the 50s and 60s. Then came the trickle down policies of the 80s (Freidman et al).

Where are we now?

The obscene inequality created and looming automation are what make UBI an emergency mitigation strategy at the moment.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

We've studied UBI in various forms in Canada for more than 50 years maybe even earlier. They all work. The problem is the conservative mindset and the politicians who get all scared that noone will take their benefactor's McJobs anymore. It has never been about the data from any of the studies.

During pandemic last year there was CERB, $2000 a month and that worked just fine but then the government freaked out and cut it back even forcing people to pay it back. It was enabled in a few weeks and saved the economy. What made it exceptionally rare was that it wasn't done by committee and without all the normal little fingers that pile on the requirements and exceptions of government largesse.

Thus proving another point learned over decades that a simple program is best with any clawback on the tax return rather than all the earmarking and committees.

This is never learned in government and thus will continue to fail the implementation of UBI. Which is weird here since we have baby bonus and old age pension that clearly work but nothing in the middle that would actually make a difference for all three. It's stupid

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yep, I support that, I have always dreamt about the government funding my booze.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Not a bad idea, but the thieves at the TOP will NEVER let it happen

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Surprised that there are people who think local government functions any better or is any less corrupt than central government.

Different conversation. Keep up.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Difficult to advance an intelligent yes or no vote on this poll when you have not advanced even a basic definition of the concept or its basic terms. Do you mean support for a UBI as an unconditional cash payment given at regular intervals by the government to all residents, regardless of earnings or employment status, to provide enough to cover the basic cost of living and establish a sense of financial security (e.g., Kimberly Amadeo, “What Is Universal Basic Income?,” https://www.thebalance.com/universal-basic-income-4160668)? Or UBI as a government program in which participants (citizens? voluntary or mandatory participation?) receive a set amount of money regularly, with a goal to alleviate poverty and replace other need-based social programs (https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/basic-income.asp)?

Lots of details to iron out - particularly regarding who exactly would be included or excluded - well before you start data collection, in order to know whether or not the program could meet reasonable outcomes, or whether it could further advance an undesireable socio / economic outcome.

Please come back to your readers when you have an idea over where you want to go with this.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Correction to earlier post.

Difficult to give an intelligent yes or no vote on this poll when you have not advanced even a basic definition of the concept or its basic terms. Do you mean support for a UBI as an unconditional cash payment given at regular intervals by the government to all residents, regardless of earnings or employment status, to provide enough to cover the basic cost of living and establish a sense of financial security (e.g., Kimberly Amadeo, The Balance, “What Is Universal Basic Income?,” https://www.thebalance.com/universal-basic-income-4160668)? Or UBI as a government program in which participants (citizens? voluntary or mandatory participation?) receive a set amount of money regularly, with a goal to alleviate poverty and replace other need-based social programs (e.g. Katelyn Peters, Investopedia, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/basic-income.asp)?

Lots of details to iron out - particularly regarding who exactly would be included or excluded - well before you start collecting data to know whether or not the program could meet reasonable positive outcomes, or whether the plan could advance undesirable socio / economic outcomes.

Please come back to your readers when you have an idea over where you want to go with this.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It would help so many people. I'm for it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This will most definitely happen. It’s the next step. A year ago everyone was saying coronavirus passports wouldn’t happen. This is next, so get used to it

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It’s called communism and slavery in my mind. I cannot believe that most people voted yes.

To be born controlled even more because of your income given to you by the ruling party.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

the idea that someone get anything without having to work for it is basically an allergy to them. 

ya got me on that one. Guilty as charged.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No. It sounds like something that would probably be popular among lazier types of people, but I'm not one of them. Also, I don't feel like paying even higher taxes than I do now just so these types can live their dream.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Of course I do. I support anything the gov't and media say I should.

Why think for myself when the gov't and media can.

Why support myself when the gov't can.

Why work myself when others can work and support me with their taxes.

I love the gov't. I love the media. I believe everything they tell me.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Universal Basic Income = dependence = control.

Think about that for a minute, when all small businesses have been bankrupted and only the large corporations are left then people will lose their independence.

You didn't get your vaccine? Sorry, no UBI for you.

And for the already vaccinated ... You don't want a booster shot? Sorry, no UBI for you.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Against it. If people who don't need it get it then it makes the poorest comparatively poorer.

Lets say I am comfortable. The guy next door is on welfare and struggling. Suddenly I get the same he's getting on welfare on top of my salary. I get richer he gets comparatively poorer. Also inflation: Goods and services go up because providers know that people like me have extra cash. This idea is just needless middle-class welfare, when welfare should be means-tested and those who need it get more, those of us who don't, shouldn't get any. Basic economics.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Lets say I am comfortable. The guy next door is on welfare and struggling. Suddenly I get the same he's getting on welfare on top of my salary. I get richer he gets comparatively poorer.

If the guy had no money in the first place, then getting UBI makes him objectively richer.

Since he had no money, and you're both going up by the same amount, he's not comparitively poorer, he still has just as much money less than you, as before the UBI. But now he has some money.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As long as they have to work for it and it is not just a gift for being lazy!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Neoliberalism is the antithesis of UBI. Basically almost all advances are partially based on prior art. We all have some basic claim to prior art as a society. This should be shared equally. All forms of welfare and the accounting overused should be abolished and UBI should be installed. There is no means testing for UBI.

invalid CSRF

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Covid is agenda 21 NWO and yes communistic basic income is part of the plan and I don't mind if it you get income regardless if your out of a job or looking for your next job.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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