PDA

View Full Version : Hawaii Considering Becoming First US State to End Poverty


mattsmith48
September 6th, 2017, 10:42 AM
It has a long way to go, but Hawaii is now one step closer to adopting a full universal basic income for all its residents.

Basic income — a plan under which the government would regularly send everyone in a given country/state/city/etc. money just for being alive — has been gaining a significant amount of interest in recent years, with trials ongoing or set to start in Finland, Ontario, and Kenya. The Hawaii state legislature has unanimous passed a concurrent resolution which sets up a “basic economy security working group” tasked with considering the idea.

State Rep. Chris Lee, a Democrat from the Honolulu suburb Kailua who spearheaded the measure, says he first heard about basic income as a concept on Reddit.

His interest in the idea, he said, is motivated by a concern that automation will make good jobs rarer, particularly in a service industry-dependent state like Hawaii. Manufacturing has never been a major part of the economy and while agriculture used to be dominant, the state’s last sugar mill closed last year and the pineapple industry has declined dramatically.

“Because we don’t have a heavy manufacturing base or a heavy tech sector, it really is that there are regular services available in other cities that make up a much larger share of the overall economy,” Lee says.

And those service jobs, he argues, are at risk of being automated away: “We’ve seen automation of the retail space, with self-checkout systems proliferating, as well as automation in fast food and similar sectors, and the biggest thing, which obviously is yet to come but surely around the corner, is on the transportation side with respect to autonomous driving.” (For a good counter-argument to the claim that automation threatens jobs, see this Matt Yglesias piece.)

Lee’s resolution, HCR 89, was supported by major unions and the Chamber of Commerce, and sets up a working group to study the idea of implementing a basic income. Its text cites these concerns, and positively mentions basic income as a potential means of addressing them:

WHEREAS, the governments of Finland, Uganda, and the Canadian province of Ontario, along with private sector partners in Oakland, California and non-profit partners in Kenya, have begun pilot projects that explore providing different types of universal basic income; and

WHEREAS, the concept of universal basic income is analogous to providing social security to every citizen at a level sufficient to cover their basic needs; and

WHEREAS, the availability of universal basic income would allow individuals seeking job retraining or working part-time to maintain a basic standard of living; and

WHEREAS, universal basic income would also allow more people to share part time work between the fewer number of jobs that may be available, while lifting burdens on businesses, and providing a more secure and substantial safety net for all people, ending extreme financial poverty, and providing for a more financially sustainable and equitable future for all citizens in spite of coming economic disruption; now, therefore,

The working group will include members from the State Senate and State House, the state's director of human services, the head of the University of Hawaii’s Economic Research Organization, and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO.

“We had support both from the Chamber of Commerce and the biggest unions in the state,” Lee says. “Everybody recognizes that if large portions of our population are no longer able to work jobs that no longer let them pay the rent, they’re not going to have the discretionary funds available to keep a lot of the industries in our economy going.”

The legislature approved the measure unanimously. There are only five Republican state representatives in Hawaii out of 51 state reps total, and zero Republican state senators, but unanimous passage also meant getting support from more moderate and conservative Democrats. One of the sponsors is Beth Fukumoto, who for years led the Republican party in the State House before losing the job for attending a Women’s March in February; she’s since left the party entirely.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/15/15806870/hawaii-universal-basic-income

Dmaxd123
September 6th, 2017, 06:09 PM
so where does the money come from?

where is the incentive to work if you can make do with whatever little paycheck the state gives you?

Alaska used to give residents some of the oil $$ but that has since dried up I believe

all sounds fine and dandy until you think about the fact that saying "just raise the taxes on the rich" will push the rich out of the area and make it even more economically depressed

SethfromMI
September 6th, 2017, 06:36 PM
so where does the money come from?

where is the incentive to work if you can make do with whatever little paycheck the state gives you?

Alaska used to give residents some of the oil $$ but that has since dried up I believe

all sounds fine and dandy until you think about the fact that saying "just raise the taxes on the rich" will push the rich out of the area and make it even more economically depressed

The money will come from the sell of magical beans

Some will still have the desire to work, but if it is the La La Land version of socialism if you don't want to work it is no big deal (if it is more of a Stalin world which those situations often end up being, you will be killed for not working. but let's not spoil the dream shall we)

Ah but the rich will magically buy into the utopia of giving up all their wealth so everyone can live equally as they hold hands dancing around the camp fire

mattsmith48
September 6th, 2017, 07:33 PM
Dmaxd123 SethfromMI Basic income is something that needs a lot of work and planning before being implemented and would only need a small increase in taxes, but most of the money comes from already existing programs that basic income would replace like unemployment. In studies and pilot projects done on basic income, the only people who were leaving their jobs were mostly students and single parents. Job lost to automation is a problem we have to face and will only get worst and a universal basic income is inevitable the only question is when we will implement it.

I started a thread on Basic Income in ROTW a couple months ago, you guys should check it out.


Ah but the rich will magically buy into the utopia of giving up all their wealth so everyone can live equally as they hold hands dancing around the camp fire

Actually a lot of rich people openly endorsed the idea of universal basic income.

Dalcourt
September 6th, 2017, 10:36 PM
I'm always a bit sceptical about the basic income concept. I read a little about it but still don't completely grasp how it would work in practice.
But given it works it would be great for the people there...and yeah if any US state can figure it out it's Hawaii.

Dmaxd123
September 7th, 2017, 05:29 AM
on the bright side if Hawaii does do this basic income stuff... maybe some of those just living off the system in other states will leave and go to Hawaii

Falcons_11
September 12th, 2017, 11:34 PM
I don't think it will work. You can never totally eliminate poverty. There will always be people who will be living in poverty. It's written in the Bible.. "The poor you will always have with you. But you will not always have Me. - Matthew 26:11

Dmaxd123
September 13th, 2017, 07:23 AM
I think you are 100% right falcons: a lot of poverty is due to personal decisions

someone once told me "if you can't manage $1.00 you can't manage $100 or $1 million"

I know of quite a few people with decent jobs and lots of debt and probably the same number with average jobs and decent savings/retirement accounts

Voice_Of_Unreason
September 13th, 2017, 12:00 PM
I know I'm supposed to be gone, but there is some fake news here that needs to be clarified, aka the OP's statement that a UBI program that would end poverty would only result in a small increase in taxes, and would be mainly financially covered by current state welfare spending.

First of all, the poverty rate for Hawaii is defined as having less than $14,000 per adult, and $5000 per child per yearly income. You will notice that both of these numbers are over $1000 higher than the standard Federal poverty level, due to Hawaii having the highest cost of living compared to any other state. Now, to say that Hawaii plans to "ends poverty" using UBI, it requires that all individuals receive just enough to put them over the poverty line.

Let's do some math. The Hawaiian population is 1,454,200 people. Of those, 1,113,000 are adults, and 300,000 are children. This means that for adults, the state will need to pay out 16 billion dollars to make sure they are all above the poverty line under a UBI system. For children, the state will need to payout 1.5 billion to make sure each household is above the poverty line. This means that combined, the state will need to pay out 17.5 billion to end poverty using UBI.

Now, any guesses on how much Hawaii spends on welfare programs currently? Let me give you a hint, it's less than a billion. Currently, Hawaii spends 600 million on its various welfare programs. The total budget for Hawaii is only 14 billion, most of which goes to transportation and education. To enact a UBI program that will end poverty will require at least a double in the current budget, and thus the tax rate for Hawaiians, which is already the second highest in the nation with a 11.5% tax rate. We will basically be seeing a 25% tax rate for Hawaiians if such a program is enacted. Add to that, Hawaii has the 6th largest state debt, so their budget is already struggling as is. I don't know about you, but that seems more than a "small increase in taxes" like the OP stated. Also, this program would induce an increased rate of inflation for Hawaiians; it has been repeatedly observed that firms will increase prices if there is a surplus of cash in the market. That's why college tuition sky-rocketed after Federal student loans became common, and why medical services are increasing in price under government healthcare programs. This is one of the basic principles of microeconomics, and would just exacerbate the affects of such a high tax rate, which will just deter well-earning people from moving to the state.


I would also like to add, that despite what the conspiracy theorists like to say, automation isn't taking over the workforce anytime soon. Sure some industries have had automation take over some jobs, like manufacturing, but for nearly every job lost to automation, there is another job gained in another field. This is very similar in fact to the Industrial Revolution. People feared that mass-production would make them obsolete. And while there was a shift in the job demand, and a decent amount of artisans and craftsman had to leave their shops, new jobs were produced by the factories, and nearly everyone who lost their job got a new and better one. The same for automation. It is just fear-mongering to claim otherwise.

mattsmith48
September 13th, 2017, 12:14 PM
I don't think it will work. You can never totally eliminate poverty. There will always be people who will be living in poverty. It's written in the Bible.. "The poor you will always have with you. But you will not always have Me. - Matthew 26:11

It also said in the bible ''If a women is not a virgin on her wedding night she must be stoned to death'' - Deuteronomy 22:20-21 The bible is a book written centuries ago, you shouldn't take it seriously.

The point of having a basic income is so everyone has enough money to be able to live and not having to worry about being able to eat or having a place to live. Eliminating poverty is a side effect of a basic income.

I think you are 100% right falcons: a lot of poverty is due to personal decisions

someone once told me "if you can't manage $1.00 you can't manage $100 or $1 million"

I know of quite a few people with decent jobs and lots of debt and probably the same number with average jobs and decent savings/retirement accounts

You make it sound like poverty is a choice. Yes some people have made poor personal and financial decisions that put them in that situation, but poverty is not a choice.