Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Basic Income and Net Neutrality: A Perfect Match

Dear Readers,

As of today I will likely no longer be posting to this blog. I have moved over to steemit.com, a free blogging service that pays posters and upvoters in real cryptocurrency.

You can find my latest post there:

Net Neutrality and Basic Income Guaranteed: A Perfect Match

Thanks for reading, and see you on Steemit!

-Tyler

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Basic Income and Universal Healthcare: A Perfect Pair

One of the largest obstacles to the transition to single-payer, universal healthcare in the United States is the huge portion of the economy- and the labor market (read: jobs)- dependent upon the existing health insurance industry. It’s one thing to say you want single-payer healthcare but it’s another to find solutions for the million who's lives would be affected with the effective dissolution of the health insurance industry. Sure, costs may go down when the government is paying, but part of those costs support paychecks for insurance industry workers. As legislators in California work on a bill for single-payer healthcare in the state the real question is what is going to happen to the employees of the huge health insurance companies that would be all but cut out of the picture should single-payer become the law of the land? One such company is the largest private employer in the state- what’s going to happen to the 160,000 workers it employs?

Problem

Healthcare in America may be a giant, convoluted mess but millions of Americans depend upon it for their employment and thus survival. Streamlining the process by implementing single-payer healthcare would lower costs for consumers but, in cutting out insurance companies, would jeopardize the futures of the hundreds of thousands of Americans employed in the health insurance industry. So far, proposals for single-payer have failed to present adequate solutions for those workers.


Solution

As the US continues to look to make the transition to a single-payer system, lawmakers should consider co-implementation with a basic income guarantee. Such a large transition in the economy will be majorly disruptive and everyone should be offered a guaranteed income until they find an alternative occupation. The Living Income Guaranteed scheme presented by the Equal Life Foundation is a good framework for making something this massive work.



Reward

Despite employing hundreds of thousands of people, the health insurance industry is, as most other advanced countries have shown, largely redundant, making health care unnecessarily expensive. Transitioning to single-payer is a solution but it needs to be coupled with a basic income guarantee that supports those workers as the economy recovers from such a large change. Under such a program, everyone would be guaranteed an income sufficient to cover their basic needs as they search for alternative ways to earn a living.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Credit Scores- Why do they Exist?

A headline read 'Credit Scores Hit Record Highs' but a single company develops the formula used to calculate every American's credit score. Thus, while general trends mentioned in the article such as people's past bad credit decisions falling off their reports are contributing to improving credit scores, another factor that could cause peoples' scores to go up is if the formula itself changed. And in fact, that is what happened.

You see, because the financial industry is profit-based and so when the banks have more money, they have more money to give to the credit rating agencies. Thus, it is in the rating agencies' interest for the perception of increased credit ratings to be created in the market so more loans are given and banks make more money. If they believe that by ignoring certain factors previously thought important by the agency in rating credit, they can increase loans without incurring significant risk, that's the move they are going to make. The point is, when we see a headline that talks about increasing credit scores, we have to make sure we get the whole picture.


Beyond the inherent problems with the ways these scores are calculated, demonstrated in our little example, the power credit scores can have over people's lives is problematic. To understand that problem, however, we must understand how problematic it is that the average person is not guaranteed an income in this economy while simultaneously being subject to unreliable credit access. Now you are transferring power over this individual's life from themselves to a profit-driven organization that actually views their financial status as a product rather than a key to a tolerable life.

Problem
Credit agencies issue arbitrary credit scores that can have profoundly negative effects on our lives.

Solution
With a living income guaranteed, we can insure that we always have access to the resources we need to survive. Thus, credit extended for various projects is much more likely to be used for the actual project at hand and thereby carry a low risk of default.


Reward
By securing an adequate income for everybody, we will not only gain the positive benefits of a massive injection of income virtually guaranteed to be spent, but entrepreneurial endeavors will be more successful overall. This will lower the risk of defaults and generally make credit more available. An economy where nobody is below poverty and lots of people have access to credit is the healthiest kind of economy.





Investigate:
Living Income Guaranteed
Equal Money System
EQAFE