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Occupy organizer calls for guaranteed income: Cost of poverty greater than eliminating it


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Occupy organizer calls for guaranteed income: Cost of poverty greater than eliminating it

TRAVIS GETTYS

09 OCT 2014 AT 13:35 ET

It costs more to keep poverty than it would cost to eliminate it, says author and Occupy Wall Street organizer David DeGraw.

The writer told Acronym TV in a recent interview that his own research had convinced him that guaranteed income was the most effective way to fix wealth inequality.

DeGraw told host Dennis Trainor Jr. that it would cost just 0.5 percent of the wealth currently held by the top 1 percent to eliminate poverty nationwide.

If people would just wrap their head around the fact that we have $94 trillion of wealth in this country, I think we would have a revolution overnight, DeGraw said.

At least 40 percent of the wealth held by the 1 percent is sitting idle, he said so there is an astonishing $13 trillion in wealth hoarded away, unused.

Having that much wealth consolidated within a mere 1 percent of the population, while a record number of people toil in poverty and debt, is a crime against humanity, he said.

DeGraw said negative effects of poverty, such as increased health care costs and costs associated with crime, already cost more than it would to simply pay $40,000 a year to every non-millionaire household or $35,000 to every working-age person.

The cost of poverty is more than the cost of eliminating poverty, he said.

He admitted that guaranteed income was highly unlikely to gain much political support, but he said its not as crazy as the Federal Reserves quantitative easing program.

Quantitative easing created $4 trillion out of thin air, OK, and they created it under the guise of stimulating job growth, DeGraw said. Since they started QE, we have lost over 12 million full-time jobs. Almost all of that money went into the pockets of the 0.01 percent, so they gave $4 trillion to people who already had $21 trillion sitting in the bank. That is not the way to stimulate the economy. We could have taken that $4 trillion, and we could provide $40,000 to every non-millionaire household, and that would be a much better stimulus for the economy.

DeGraw who coined the Occupy movements rallying cry We Are the 99 Percent said his background made him somewhat reluctant to call for guaranteed income, but it simply made too much economic and moral sense.

I looked at all the data and the evidence, and you can provide a guaranteed income to people, and it would cost society less, he said. We have a $2 trillion social safety net in this country right now. With that $2 trillion, you could give $20,000 to every non-millionaire household. So the moneys already out there, and once again and I cannot stress this enough we have $94 trillion of wealth in this country.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/10/occupy-organizer-calls-for-guaranteed-income-cost-of-poverty-greater-than-eliminating-it/

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hes missing a very important point that if you are giving everybody $40K a year regardless of what they do, many will simply sit around doing nothing. We need low income wage earners.

And to say the rich have all that money sitting idly is incorrect. Does Bill Gates have his 80 billion sitting in a bank somewhere? No, its all invested. Mostly in stocks. Its how the rich get richer.

I am all for a decent way to address income inequality but this guy is just regurgitating the old "take it from the rich and give it to the poor" with a bit of math thrown in. Theres nothing new here.

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hes missing a very important point that if you are giving everybody $40K a year regardless of what they do, many will simply sit around doing nothing. We need low income wage earners.

And to say the rich have all that money sitting idly is incorrect. Does Bill Gates have his 80 billion sitting in a bank somewhere? No, its all invested. Mostly in stocks. Its how the rich get richer.

I am all for a decent way to address income inequality but this guy is just regurgitating the old "take it from the rich and give it to the poor" with a bit of math thrown in. Theres nothing new here.

But Bill Gates has a foundation that does give it away. How about spending some of it on infrastructure at home instead of letting the corporations off shore it somewhere else?
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hes missing a very important point that if you are giving everybody $40K a year regardless of what they do, many will simply sit around doing nothing. We need low income wage earners.

And to say the rich have all that money sitting idly is incorrect. Does Bill Gates have his 80 billion sitting in a bank somewhere? No, its all invested. Mostly in stocks. Its how the rich get richer.

I am all for a decent way to address income inequality but this guy is just regurgitating the old "take it from the rich and give it to the poor" with a bit of math thrown in. Theres nothing new here.

But Bill Gates has a foundation that does give it away. How about spending some of it on infrastructure at home instead of letting the corporations off shore it somewhere else?
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hes missing a very important point that if you are giving everybody $40K a year regardless of what they do, many will simply sit around doing nothing. We need low income wage earners.

And to say the rich have all that money sitting idly is incorrect. Does Bill Gates have his 80 billion sitting in a bank somewhere? No, its all invested. Mostly in stocks. Its how the rich get richer.

I am all for a decent way to address income inequality but this guy is just regurgitating the old "take it from the rich and give it to the poor" with a bit of math thrown in. Theres nothing new here.

But Bill Gates has a foundation that does give it away. How about spending some of it on infrastructure at home instead of letting the corporations off shore it somewhere else?
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I think it's silly to assume that just giving the poor a whack of money will fix everything. Sure it helps, but not necessarily in the long run. Don't give 'em the fish, teach them to fish.

Give tax breaks to the rich who won't spend it instead of giving money to the poor who will spend it all and stimulate the economy?
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I think it's silly to assume that just giving the poor a whack of money will fix everything. Sure it helps, but not necessarily in the long run. Don't give 'em the fish, teach them to fish.

$35,000 OR $40,000 is a whack of money? LOL!

That will hardly feed a person and keep a roof over your head these days. Most people these days are living paycheck to paycheck and don't have the ability to get out of that cycle.

Not sure if this is the right solution, but it's step in the right direction. The middle class is basically gone, and the wealth distribution in this world is absolutely disgusting!

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$35,000 OR $40,000 is a whack of money? LOL!

That will hardly feed a person and keep a roof over your head these days. Most people these days are living paycheck to paycheck and don't have the ability to get out of that cycle.

Not sure if this is the right solution, but it's step in the right direction. The middle class is basically gone, and the wealth distribution in this world is absolutely disgusting!

Consider that the cost of living is much different in many poverty-rich areas. For example, in India, the price of rent maxes out at roughly $450 CAD/mo. and starts at around $115/mo. A can of Coke is roughly $0.40. Sure it's not huge, but I'd suspect the numbers are even more dramatic for villages that lack data for cost of living. http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Canada&city1=Abbotsford&country2=India&city2=Jamnagar (This specific city seems to be a slightly more extreme example, as rent is 5x cheaper than over here).

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More arguments about how we shouldn't give money to impoverished people or they get lazy.

So instead, let's continue to give the money to the super rich (through tax breaks), because you know they never get lazy.

So much fear about unfettered, pure communism/socialism in a society that holds so many damn monopolies and capitalistic tendencies, it's friggin' ridiculous.

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But Bill Gates has a foundation that does give it away. How about spending some of it on infrastructure at home instead of letting the corporations off shore it somewhere else?

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundations holdings are completely separate from his personal wealth of over 80 billion dollars. It is all invested, mainly in stocks, through Cascade investments.

He has put over 25 billion into the foundation and plans to eventually give almost everything away so yeah, hes a giving guy.

Consider that the cost of living is much different in many poverty-rich areas. For example, in India, the price of rent maxes out at roughly $450 CAD/mo. and starts at around $115/mo. A can of Coke is roughly $0.40. Sure it's not huge, but I'd suspect the numbers are even more dramatic for villages that lack data for cost of living. http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Canada&city1=Abbotsford&country2=India&city2=Jamnagar (This specific city seems to be a slightly more extreme example, as rent is 5x cheaper than over here).

The article is American. They are talking about $ 40K per household in America only.

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hes missing a very important point that if you are giving everybody $40K a year regardless of what they do, many will simply sit around doing nothing. We need low income wage earners.

And to say the rich have all that money sitting idly is incorrect. Does Bill Gates have his 80 billion sitting in a bank somewhere? No, its all invested. Mostly in stocks. Its how the rich get richer.

I am all for a decent way to address income inequality but this guy is just regurgitating the old "take it from the rich and give it to the poor" with a bit of math thrown in. Theres nothing new here.

Basically this.

Of course, the moron writer in the OP has it wrong. There should have been no QE at all. That's not $4 trillion dollars of wealth being redistributed via that stimulus. That's $4 trillion of debt.

It also ignores the premise that giving control of the government and Fed to be able to "redistribute wealth" in the first place is retarded, and these socialists won't ever think about the "every single time" the government redistributes it to the rich anyways, they just think about the fantasy scenario where the US government makes McDonalds drive-thru employees house owners.

I also wanna know where he thinks there's this $2 trillion safety net. The US is in debt almost $18 trillion. What safety net do you get from negative dollars? The US has to take loans out just to defer paying down it's debt.

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Basically this.

Of course, the moron writer in the OP has it wrong. There should have been no QE at all. That's not $4 trillion dollars of wealth being redistributed via that stimulus. That's $4 trillion of debt.

It also ignores the premise that giving control of the government and Fed to be able to "redistribute wealth" in the first place is retarded, and these socialists won't ever think about the "every single time" the government redistributes it to the rich anyways, they just think about the fantasy scenario where the US government makes McDonalds drive-thru employees house owners.

I also wanna know where he thinks there's this $2 trillion safety net. The US is in debt almost $18 trillion. What safety net do you get from negative dollars? The US has to take loans out just to defer paying down it's debt.

Yeah, funny how much that debt skyrocketed when GWB came into office after Clinton was running SURPLUSES.
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The Bill and Melinda Gates foundations holdings are completely separate from his personal wealth of over 80 billion dollars. It is all invested, mainly in stocks, through Cascade investments.

He has put over 25 billion into the foundation and plans to eventually give almost everything away so yeah, hes a giving guy.

How much are they spending on getting Americans out of poverty NOW?
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More arguments about how we shouldn't give money to impoverished people or they get lazy.

So instead, let's continue to give the money to the super rich (through tax breaks), because you know they never get lazy.

So much fear about unfettered, pure communism/socialism in a society that holds so many damn monopolies and capitalistic tendencies, it's friggin' ridiculous.

Exactly.
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It's an interesting concept that will one day come to pass, once more and more jobs become redundant due to technology and other factors, but I'm not convinced that it's feasible at this point in time.

The research that I've done into a universal guaranteed basic income is not entirely convincing. One of the studies that is often cited as "proof" that it works is from the 1970s in rural Manitoba did not satisfactorily in my mind answer the impact of such a public policy. It used vague quality terms to suggest that, because of the guaranteed basic income, health and social outcomes were better (which is not surprising). Anyways, I think before I can support such an idea more pilot projects need to be completed in Canada and elsewhere that demonstrate that it would be a sound policy for government to pursue. I'm not sure how anyone who is in favour of guaranteed basic income could argue against further pilot tests to demonstrate that it is indeed beneficial.

Another concern I have with the idea of guaranteed basic income is that many of the people I've discussed the idea with suggest it will completely replace all current social services. It's only logically to assume that with guaranteed basic income there will be less of a demand for social services but I can't agree that there would be no demand for them. Certainly, as one example, those who suffer from mental illness or drug addictions may not be capable of sufficiently allocating their resources to provide for their fundamentals of life and then what? Do we just leave them to die on the street?

I think every human being, marginalized and otherwise, can contribute to society in their own way. Instinctively I don't like the idea of a guaranteed basic income because it will create more people who are dependent on the state for their lives. In an ideal world I think everyone would be safe and find a purpose in their lives but I'm not sure if guaranteed basic income gets us closer or further away from that goal. At the very least more research and test projects need to be done to convince me of both the benefit and feasibility of a guaranteed basic income before I can start to consider to support the idea.

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Basically this.

Of course, the moron writer in the OP has it wrong. There should have been no QE at all. That's not $4 trillion dollars of wealth being redistributed via that stimulus. That's $4 trillion of debt.

It also ignores the premise that giving control of the government and Fed to be able to "redistribute wealth" in the first place is retarded, and these socialists won't ever think about the "every single time" the government redistributes it to the rich anyways, they just think about the fantasy scenario where the US government makes McDonalds drive-thru employees house owners.

I also wanna know where he thinks there's this $2 trillion safety net. The US is in debt almost $18 trillion. What safety net do you get from negative dollars? The US has to take loans out just to defer paying down it's debt.

You're not wrong. It was $4 trillion in debt (as you say) that the working class will be largely responsible for given to the wealthy who will largely hoard it.

I think the articles point was that if you're going to create the debt (which I agree is stupid) that there's better ways to use it. Particularly to help the actual people who will be paying for it.

It's an interesting concept that will one day come to pass, once more and more jobs become redundant due to technology and other factors, but I'm not convinced that it's feasible at this point in time.

The research that I've done into a universal guaranteed basic income is not entirely convincing. One of the studies that is often cited as "proof" that it works is from the 1970s in rural Manitoba did not satisfactorily in my mind answer the impact of such a public policy. It used vague quality terms to suggest that, because of the guaranteed basic income, health and social outcomes were better (which is not surprising). Anyways, I think before I can support such an idea more pilot projects need to be completed in Canada and elsewhere that demonstrate that it would be a sound policy for government to pursue. I'm not sure how anyone who is in favour of guaranteed basic income could argue against further pilot tests to demonstrate that it is indeed beneficial.

Another concern I have with the idea of guaranteed basic income is that many of the people I've discussed the idea with suggest it will completely replace all current social services. It's only logically to assume that with guaranteed basic income there will be less of a demand for social services but I can't agree that there would be no demand for them. Certainly, as one example, those who suffer from mental illness or drug addictions may not be capable of sufficiently allocating their resources to provide for their fundamentals of life and then what? Do we just leave them to die on the street?

I think every human being, marginalized and otherwise, can contribute to society in their own way. Instinctively I don't like the idea of a guaranteed basic income because it will create more people who are dependent on the state for their lives. In an ideal world I think everyone would be safe and find a purpose in their lives but I'm not sure if guaranteed basic income gets us closer or further away from that goal. At the very least more research and test projects need to be done to convince me of both the benefit and feasibility of a guaranteed basic income before I can start to consider to support the idea.

I'd personally love to see further pilot programs for guaranteed income and any other ideas people can come up with to reverse the ever widening chasm between the wealthy and the poor. Frankly it should be a priority of our governments to find a solution here and a priority of voters to demand they do so. Otherwise we risk a continuation of current trends which will only make problems worse and a very desperate, very large class of poor people will eventually revolt. Violently. History has shown this over and over.

I'm hopeful we've evolved enough to be smarter than that but I wouldn't bank on it.

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In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the
University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of the
Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: "A democracy is always
Temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent
form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until
The time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous Gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority Always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from The public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally Collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a Dictatorship."

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the
Beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200
Years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage."
The Obituary follows:

Born 1776, Died 2016
It doesn't hurt to read this several times.
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in
St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning
The last Presidential election:

Number of States won by: Obama:19 Romney: 29
Square miles of land won by:
Obama: 580,000 Romney: 2,427,000

Population of counties won by:
Obama: 127 million Romney: 143 million

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
Obama: 13.2 Romney: 2.1

Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory
Romney won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.

Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low
Income tenements and living off various forms of government
Welfare..."

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the
"complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of
Democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population
Already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase..

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In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the

University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of the

Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: "A democracy is always

Temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent

form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until

The time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous Gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority Always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from The public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally Collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a Dictatorship."

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the

Beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200

Years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;

From spiritual faith to great courage;

From courage to liberty;

From liberty to abundance;

From abundance to complacency;

From complacency to apathy;

From apathy to dependence;

From dependence back into bondage."

The Obituary follows:

Born 1776, Died 2016

It doesn't hurt to read this several times.

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in

St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning

The last Presidential election:

Number of States won by: Obama:19 Romney: 29

Square miles of land won by:

Obama: 580,000 Romney: 2,427,000

Population of counties won by:

Obama: 127 million Romney: 143 million

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:

Obama: 13.2 Romney: 2.1

Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory

Romney won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.

Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low

Income tenements and living off various forms of government

Welfare..."

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the

"complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of

Democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population

Already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase..

...doomed to repeat it?

Like I said above, I'm hopeful we've evolved/learned enough to avoid they same pitfalls. But people REALLY need to start grasping the concept that all signs are currently pointing to heading the exact route in your post.

We need to realize where we're headed and actually take proactive steps to change course if we hope to not land in the same trap. If the answer isn't guaranteed income or something similar we need to start investigating other avenues. NOW.

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