[FoRK] universal welfare.

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sun Feb 7 01:41:44 PST 2010

Sean Conner wrote:
> It was thus said that the Great Damien Morton once stated:
>> http://sfreporter.com/stories/born_poor/5339/all/
> ...
>   And about that $250,000 ... is he serious?  Let's see:
> 	Population of the US (estimate):	300,000,000 or 3*10^8
> 	Proposed amount:			250,000	    or 2.5*10^5
> 	multiply the two together:	7.5*10^13 
> 		or			75,000,000,000,000
>   That's 75 TRILLION dollars.  GNP as of 2008 was *only* 14.3 TRILLION [2]. 
> Of course, we could go all Zimbabwe and run the printing presses 24x7 to get
> us to 75 trillion dollars ... 
 From the article:
> “Suppose instead what we did is this: We said, ‘Look, when somebody 
> turns 18, he gets a quarter of a million dollars and, after that, 
> you’re on your own,’” Bowles says. “Once you’ve got your 
> quarter-million, you’ve got to make a decision: ‘Should I go to 
> college or do I want to start a business?’—which you could do with a 
> quarter of a million.”

4.29 million are born in the US every year, so roughly 4 million turn 18 
every year.  So 4M * $250K = $1T / yr.

GDP of the US is $14.1T, or $45K per person.  
Assuming productive working age of 50 years (20-70), an increased GDP of 
$5K/yr./person on avg. would cover the $250K (not including financing / 
overhead costs).  Seems plausible.

If you assume a zero sum game, well, that's just dumb.  There are so 
many opportunities, which are only growing at an increasing rate, that 
there is huge upside.  And it isn't like every person doesn't already 
have a public and private cost that is going to be there to some degree 
whether they are productive or not.

The US is 5% of the world's population, and the economy does OK, but we 
hardly take advantage of our strengths.  I kind of feel like, at some 
level, in some ways, deliberately or not, we loaf along to give the rest 
of the world a chance to catch up.  And that we've been doing it for a 
long, long time.

Clearly, something like this would have to prevent, by clever design 
plus social aspects, people from just partying away all of the money 
Ideally, some structure(s) would be created to support things like 
enough people grouping together to create larger projects and entities.  
Perhaps there would be an infrastructure for the framework of companies 
(HR, purchasing, accounting, taxes, controller, etc.) in a neutral but 
not bureaucratic way so that all effort goes to creating something 

Interesting idea.  Probably too big of a leap from the status quo.
>   -spc (Heck, let's just take Bill Gates $100 billion and distribute it
> 	amongst ourselves ... too bad that only works out to $333 per
> 	person, and there's a good chance Bill will *still* end up on the
> 	top 10% of rich folk in America afterwards ... )
> [1]	A 1 in 100 shot for making it in the top 10 in America.  What about
> 	the rest of the world?  Or even Europe?  I would say an even less
> 	chance.  Funny how the figures for the rest of the world aren't
> 	presented.

"Making it to the top" is meaningless to most people.  With just $2-4M, 
a person could retire and be comfortable for the rest of their life.  
(10% interest / market gain.)  Anything much over that and it's just a 
job to manage the money.
> [2]	http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=ny_gnp_mktp_pp_cd&idim=country:USA&dl=en&hl=en&q=GNP+of+the+United+States
> 	Also, this site
> 	http://www.studentsoftheworld.info/infopays/rank/PNB2.html
> 	Had the US at 13 trillion in 2005.
Why are all of those other countries loafing??

Kind of misleading, EU is mostly equatable to US, with Germany = 
California+Texas (the latter pair is a bit larger), etc.
You could probably lump China+India+Korea into a pseudo-country for some 
purposes (cheap factory labor, farming).
Japan is an outlier in the far East.

So, what you are saying, is that half of those 18 year olds should take 
their investment egg and start businesses in other countries where they 
can operate with lower costs / more upside?  ;-)


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