Universal Basic Income

It’s awesome that we have a UBI policy in D4, but right now it doesn’t have that many effects. Here’s a few it could potentially have:

  • Surely, UBI would greatly please the poor with its income, as well as having a moderate effect on the middle class.
  • By giving a fixed income to everyone, UBI would help increase economic equality.
  • The working week would be reduced a bit, since people would be free to work fewer hours.
  • Perhaps it should increase the number of self-employed people? I imagine there’s a fair number of people who’d like to start their own business, but don’t want to take the risk of quitting their current job.

I guess “education demand” isn’t a thing (I feel like that actually kinda should be a thing) but if it were, UBI would boost that too.
Like, people will try to further their education towards what ever their dreams are, caring less about sticking around in a subpar job.

Hard to tell what UBI would really do to the number of self employed. I can see the argument that more people start small businesses, knowing that they have the safety net of UBI if it goes wrong… but then people whose businesses are doing really badly anyway may well quit entirely if UBI allows them to survive without working.
Nobody can be sure which effect is more prominent, it probably depends on a lot of other factors.

It’s gonna depend on how extensive the UBI is for sure. But I don’t think most people would just go properly unemployed (in the sense of lazing about at home doing nothing at all) even with a very high UBI. What they might do is basically just work (or study) for fun, possibly not with a goal of profitability. If the UBI is really high, they’ll just do what ever they please, and they might make an extra buck on the side if they can, but it’ll never be a proper goal.

The questions is, at which point would an UBI start doing that? Up until then, it’s gonna be mostly beneficial I think. People will refuse subpar jobs, but good ones will remain. They’ll be more likely to quit employment if the place just sucks for a variety of reasons. They will study longer and, as a result, also be qualified for better jobs. (Skills shortage should definitely decrease - not sure if it currently does)
They will extend their childcare. Etc.
Ultimately it would probably be a net positive for society up to a point.
But yeah, at some level, there’s probably gonna be negative consequences instead.

Interesting to have UBI included in the game. Still only a theory. Over the last 50 years we have had some 30 experiments in real life. None however have been implemented on a whole economy. The current try in Kenya is probably the closest to give a view of a “full” economy. This in the sense of multiple groups in a society that are involved in the try. Still however no impact on the tax system or social welfare structure provided by the government or the bureaucracy. That is for later tries.

As for whether people will start up more new businesses, we dont know. From all the tests done that has not been one of the discoveries. The main discovery is regarding individuals behaviour. We tend not to work less or be active less. (However we have not seen any diminishing of unemployment either. Which might be due to the small impact these tries have had on any society)

What we have seen though is that the type of activities have changed. Sometimes to education, other times to more household works (lowering GDP)

Another clear pattern is that the participants have been more satisfied with their own situation. This has shown for both poor and middle income. (No rich people have been involved in any tries)

To be fair I highly doubt for people of sufficient income / savings it’d matter much at all. Mostly they might notice how other people change their tune. Maybe. But if you already have hundreds of thousands, millions, or even billions, you’ll feel the impact less and less and you couldn’t care less. At least for your personal income. I’d think.

Personally, the only real problem I have with this game’s take on UBI is how cheap it is. I don’t really pay enough attention to the costs of all the policies to know whether they’re realistic at all in general, but with the UBI, the price really stood out to me. For instance in the US at 200% difficulty, the cost of a maxed out policy comes out to about 170 USD per person per month. That’s more than an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, I suppose, but less than even the lowest serious proposals that I’ve seen for a UBI that provides a livable minimum income.

I’d like UBI to scale from “spending money” to “All Needs Covered” (£X per person scaled for the slider), and when you have the max out, you should have such happiness from the retired, that it’d counter then removing state pension (as the most inclusive UBI covers retirement costs) - among other welfare benefits (unemployment, food stamps, childcare). The higher on the scale UBI is, the lower all the other sliders could be without losing any net happiness from the affected groups. Or at least a net happiness increase from ‘everyone’ much like income increasing.

I feel like it might be cheap currently? Currently starting max cost (so largest payments unless I’m mistaken)is £22.90Bn/quarter (91.6Bn/year) but for the UK’s population (65.1m ~47m voters if you want to be generous) comes to ~£490 per person / quarter if you’re only giving it to registered voters.

For the political capital it costs, I’d want to be able to roll it out as a replacement for a slew of public welfare programs, and the cost to be priced accordingly. I’d be interested to see the numbers behind the calculation, basicincome.org has a recent costing idea.

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on that note it should also, at high values, counteract private pensions

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