Scott Santens πŸ§’πŸ„β€β™‚οΈ Profile picture
Basic income advocate with a crowdfunded #BasicIncome/#UBI; Editor @UBIToday; Board @FundforHumanity; Senior Advisor @HumanityForward; https://t.co/FjhtKCxYE0
Globalbizdynamics Profile picture Antonis Profile picture Jacqueline S. Homan 🧒 β‰₯ Profile picture George Atherton Profile picture Peter English #FBPE Profile picture 17 added to My Authors
3 Aug
"Officials could coerce them to work... with so-called 'farm policies' where benefits were lowered or cut off during the planting or harvesting seasons to force parents and children as young as 7 into the fields for extremely low wages."

Sound familiar?

cbpp.org/research/famil… Image
Every governor who canceled the UI boost and extension early just did this same thing. You need to understand that this isn't about getting people to work in general, because people want to find the right work for them, paid or unpaid. It's about forcing people to accept low pay.
It's still too early to tell despite what misinfo media is already lying about, but the data so far is showing that employment has actually gone down a bit in the states that ended their UI early while going up in states that have kept UI going.

arindube.com/2021/07/18/ear…
Read 7 tweets
31 Jul
I'd support Patricia's patreon, but what's the point really when her anti-UBI logic is that people don't need income in advance of the work they do, to enable that work, and that being able to refuse other work in order to pursue stuff like podcasting is not really contributing?
Having a patreon has actually deepened my understanding of UBI. The security provided by having a dependable monthly income is huge, and until I felt it, I didn't realize how little security I ever felt before that. UBI opponents tend to be people who take security for granted.
I also absolutely recognize to my bones now, that access to resources comes before work. Lacking money prevents work. Lacking economic security hinders focus by creating survival-centric tunnel vision that functions like a tax on higher order long-term thinking and planning.
Read 5 tweets
24 Jul
I've been in the process of writing the article I've been working on for 5 months now. Basic income enables the kind of research and time that big projects need, and I think if everyone had UBI, we'd see far less click-bait and content for content's sake.

patreon.com/scottsantens
There's a big difference in general between subscription-based content and ad-based content. Ads require clicks which require as much content as possible. Subscriptions require subscribers which require subscriber satisfaction.

Quality is more likely via subscription vs adverts.
This is also behind the fall of local journalism and rise of disinformation. It was a devil's bargain to stop subscribing to our local papers to get our news for free on the internet. The loss of well-researched local journalism is a big piece of our mis/disinformation problem.
Read 9 tweets
22 Jul
The heart of MMT is about spending before taxing instead of taxing before spending. It's not the concept of a job guarantee, but for some reason MMT has attracted a ton of people that see MMT as the way of "putting people to work" instead of the way of focusing on resources vs $.
The question, "Can we resource it?" instead of "Can we pay for it?" is the correct one to ask of any policy, and that question centers around efficiency. We should always focus on doing the most of what we want in the best way possible, where best includes efficiency + quality.
Because MMT focuses on resources, best utilizing it should center on evidence-based policymaking, where we only do something if we know it works, and we should not do stuff that doesn't work, or doesn't work as well as the provision of cash.

MMT should embrace cash benchmarking.
Read 11 tweets
19 Jul
Inflation is a regressive tax that impacts those with low incomes more than high incomes. However the net outcome can be made progressive, where those with low incomes see an increase in buying power and those with higher incomes see reduced buying power.
theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
I fully expect inflation hawks to soon start claiming the monthly CTC is part of the inflation story but if your income is $12k and you get $500/mo CTC, then an annual inflation rate of 3% would reduce buying power by $45/mo. That's $455/mo more.

It is $455/mo with 0% inflation.
What's also interesting about this is that any conservative crying about inflation as a result of the monthly CTC will be making the argument (whether they realize it or not) that taxes should be raised on *families* in order to reduce the invisible tax of inflation on the rich.
Read 6 tweets
18 Jul
I started binging my way through Dr. Stone recently and it's one of my favorite things I've seen in years. It's 10 billion percent pro-science, and it's so clever how it teaches physics and chemistry and an appreciation of trial and error and how everyone is valuable to humanity.
No human could build human civilization on their own. We are all interdependent, and all our many diverse interests are additive. We are greater together than the sum of our parts, and we must escape this zero-sum thinking that says that others must have less for us to have more.
We're all better off working together for a mutual goal of human progress. One of our biggest barriers is poverty which in a world of abundance hinders positive-sum thinking. The fear of poverty also hinders trial and error. We must all be free to fail for us together to succeed.
Read 4 tweets
15 Jul
No one would have received a CTC payment today if not for Democrats winning both Senate seats in Georgia. That would have never happened without Mitch refusing to send out a $2,000 stimulus check while Ossoff and Warnock ran on changing that.

Victories lead to other victories.
Furthermore, it was the passing of the $600 stimulus check that helped pave the way for the $2,000 push in Georgia, and two key players in that were @AndrewYang and @HumanityForward. That 2nd stimulus check almost never happened and many complained it was too little to support.
But little victories are still victories, and strategically they can make all the difference in winning extremely large victories.

Also the $600 was possible because of the $1200 which was possible because of a shift toward unconditional cash as the best emergency response.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jul
Over 10 years after the 2-year universal basic income pilot ended in Namibia, this follow-up report has been published. It includes interviews with recipients, like this one with Josef Ganeb, a bricklayer, whose business flourished during the #UBI pilot.

bignam.org/Publications/B…
Rudolphine Eigowas is a dressmaker and her business flourished too but when the pilot ended, problems born of money scarcity returned.

"I just want that they bring back the BIG, the whole Namibia must get the BIG - the problems are not only here - the whole Namibia must get it!”
Christian Swartbooi repaired shoes during the pilot. Over ten years later his eyesight prevents him from continuing that work and he wishes #BasicIncome would return.

β€œBIG was working.” His wife, Crecia, continues: β€œWith the BIG we never had to suffer, but now we are suffering.”
Read 10 tweets
29 May
This article is a lesson in how to be a terrible journalist. As one example, he wants readers to think that Jackson's successful basic income pilot is evidence of how it'll replace government services, leaving people worse off, because of a boil advisory.

prospect.org/api/amp/econom…
He also plants the notion that perhaps Tubbs deserved to lose in Stockton as punishment for choosing to get people cash versus fixing local journalism. And he links to my article about the importance to our health of preventing poverty (vs just treating the effects) as "ominous."
In just the first two paragraphs he wants readers to think that the *only* reason Yang may become the next mayor of NYC is because of UBI's massive popularity, and that despite being a frontrunner, Yang can only get 4 volunteers, and that if elected he'll be NYC's Michael Scott.
Read 4 tweets
17 May
Parents will receive their first child tax credit payment on July 15. Each month thereafter for six months 39 million families will receive another. We should make them permanent like Romney proposes, plus extend monthly payments to childless adults too.

nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1…
The monthly child tax credit is essentially the income guarantee for families that Nixon proposed half a century ago. That's how long ago we could have started dramatically reducing child poverty, but we chose not to. It's time to change that for good.

humanityforward.com/blog/scott-san…
There are however some problems with the design of the new child tax credit. Because the IRS handles them, tax filing is required. So make sure and file! But there will be many low income non-filers who earn too little to file who don't know they qualify.

peoplespolicyproject.org/2021/05/17/irs…
Read 4 tweets
11 May
Some progressive guaranteed income supporters are making the claim that a targeted guaranteed income approach will reduce inequality more than universal basic income (UBI) because they want GI to exclude the rich. Here's why I think that's false and based on bad analysis.

THREAD
Let's say you're a very wealthy GI supporter and you think GI should be means-tested in the same way the stimulus checks were so that you receive nothing. The total cost is seen as less than the cost of UBI, and your taxes go up $1 million a year. That indeed reduces inequality.
However, now consider a $20k/yr UBI that would be considered much more expensive than a $20k/yr GI. Do you think your taxes would go up by only $1.02 million? If so, you'd see the exact same loss of disposable income as a $20k GI design. But that's a very unrealistic assumption.
Read 8 tweets
15 Apr
Among families earning under $50,000, 56% mostly used their $1400 stimulus check to pay down debt, 26% mostly saved it, and 18% mostly spent it.

Among families earning over$100,000, 38% mostly paid down debt, 39% mostly saved it, and 23% mostly spent it.

economicsecurityproject.org/wp-content/upl…
I think it's important to note that based on the above numbers, 77% to 82% of the stimulus checks put no upward pressure on inflation at all because the money didn't chase any goods or services in limited supply.

In fact, paying off debt is deflationary.

yesmagazine.org/economy/2019/0…
So why spend $850 billion on stimulus checks if the majority of the money was saved or used to pay off loans instead of being spent into the economy? Because money can be for survival or loan forgiveness or a feeling of security for a rainy day.

Let people decide for themselves.
Read 6 tweets
31 Mar
Here's a quick thread on the $UBI coin project that's part of @DemocracyEarth and @Kleros_io on the Ethereum blockchain that @santisiri has recently launched.

First, I have to say, I'm impressed by its approach to UBI which includes some pros and cons.

proofofhumanity.id
Pros:

1. Verified humans receive $UBI in the form of a constant drip. With every second of existence, you get a bit more UBI.

2. Verification is a process that prevents one person from getting more than one account.

3. The currency provided has actual value. (about $450/mo)
Cons:

1. The application process is prohibitively expensive. It cost me about $350 of which $290 was refundable. ($60 was the ETH gas fee)

2. The application process requires the ability to setup and connect an ETH wallet with sufficient ETH, and record a video + post a photo.
Read 9 tweets
3 Mar
The results of the basic income experiment in Stockton are in.

BASIC INCOME WORKS.

βœ…More full-time employment
βœ…Income stability increased
βœ…It was mostly spent on essentials
βœ…Debts were reduced
βœ…Mental health improved
βœ…Helped family and friends too

theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/… ImageImageImageImage
"Unemployment among basic income recipients dropped to 8% in February 2020 from 12% in February 2019. In the experiment's control group β€” those who didn't receive monthly stipends β€” unemployment rose to 15% from 14%."

Lack of income PREVENTS employment.

businessinsider.com/stockton-basic… ImageImage
Important to note the difference between increased employment and reduced unemployment. People without jobs were able to get them, but also, people with jobs were able to get better jobs.

Basic income helped recipients afford the costs of better jobs.

mashable.com/article/univer… Image
Read 6 tweets
2 Mar
BREAKING: A group of 10 senators led by @RonWyden has sent a letter to @POTUS urging him to include automatic stabilizers in his Build Back Better bill. Monthly stimulus payments and boosted UI would continue until certain economic conditions are reached.

s3.amazonaws.com/s3.boldprogres…
The signatories of this letter are: @RonWyden, @ewarren, @BernieSanders, @CoryBooker, @MichaelBennet, @SherrodBrown, @SenGillibrand, @tammybaldwin, @EdMarkey, and @AlexPadilla4CA.

Please show them your support and encourage your senators to join them.

🚨 BailOutThePeople.com
For anyone who says that the next bill should focus entirely on infrastructure and not include any cash assistance, please understand that cash is LIQUID INFRASTRUCTURE. Cash can become anything. Liquid infrastructure belongs in an infrastructure bill. πŸ‘‡

scottsantens.com/unconditional-…
Read 4 tweets
1 Feb
It's fascinating how the GOP can shove through a $2 trillion tax cut for the rich during an economic expansion, but during an economic crisis when alarms are blaring and the Fed is begging for them to go big, they support only $600 billion, despite stimulus checks being tax cuts.
Republicans passed a massive tax cut for the rich, and they did it based on the logic that it would not grow the national debt because the rich would spend and invest more and grow the economy. Stimulus checks are tax cuts for the bottom 80% that would boost the economy far more.
Either Republicans are only for making the rich richer, or they don't understand that every stimulus check that goes out is a tax cut that (because it increases spending) pays for itself to a much greater degree than tax cuts for the rich who have lower propensities to consume.
Read 4 tweets
17 Jan
It's true that a sufficiently high UBI could serve as an alternative to a $15 minimum wage, but I personally would prefer a combo of both plus a 4-day 32-hour week. Let's pay people more for work, support all unpaid work, and distribute employment and leisure time more equitably.
What the left needs to be honest about in regards to a $15 min wage is that although the overall effects will likely be positive, there will be impacts like reduced hours to compensate. Let's lean into that by leaving the 5-day 40-hour week behind. Every weekend should be 3 days.
It's also likely that a higher min wage will increase automation. Great! Let's do that! But that means less employment for humans. 4-day weeks share the available employment better, and universal basic income makes automation literally work for everyone.

medium.com/basic-income/i…
Read 9 tweets
27 Oct 20
The following is a thread translating this short video in French by @benoithamon (he ran for president in 2017) about his new book that is a plea for France to adopt Universal Basic Income (UBI):

Translation by @So_Ethereal

1/6

Hi everyone, I'm presenting you my new book "The Necessary Courage, My Plea for a Universal Basic Income." After the presidential election I tried to think about visible barriers facing UBI but also the most important ones: the invisible ones.

2/6
What were the budgetary, economic arguments... we heard them a lot but also the psychological, philosophical ones justifying the rejection. Working class people and employees tend to think UBI would stigmatize them if it was completing their salary.

3/6
Read 6 tweets
22 Oct 20
Because of its unconditionality, basic income is for everyone, but because everyone gets it, we can look at its effects on certain demographics. What would UBI do for single mothers, for foster youth, for Black & LGBTQ communities, for artists, for veterans, for ex-felons, etc?
The pilots popping up all over the place to look at the effects of UBI on specific groups aren't saying that UBI is only for those groups. It's about getting people from different communities to think about the effects of UBI on their own communities.

This is about storytelling.
If you can see yourself in the success story of someone provided unconditional basic income, then you are more likely to see the good sense of it. By creating a tapestry of stories people see themselves in, that's how we build a successful coalition.

A + B + C + D + E … = UBI
Read 7 tweets
14 Oct 20
Pelosi could pass a $50 trillion bill through the House. That doesn't mean it would ever become law, and I'd argue it's meant to not become law. If her intention was to start high and meet in the middle, she's now won. If HEROES was never meant to be law, no deals can be allowed.
Mitch is playing the same game, except he is going low, with the intention of only wanting to create the impression that he wants to pass something, when what he really wants is voters to blame Democrats for not passing something.

Both sides are playing a giant game of chicken.
Who can win the battle of making the other side look like they are the ones responsible for the increasing misery of voters? With only three weeks left, whoever gives in by accepting a deal, will be taking off the table the misery of voters, which is seen as a high value card.
Read 6 tweets
1 Sep 20
It's not new evidence, but a huge new review of the existing evidence finds no evidence of a significant reduction in labor supply with basic income, instead finding evidence that labor supply increases globally among adults, men and women, young and old.

preprints.org/manuscript/202… Image
Because of an ongoing #UBI experiment that started before the pandemic, we now have evidence of what impact UBI would have had if already in place elsewhere. We'd be seeing less food insecurity, less depression, and we would have more hospital capacity.πŸ₯

econweb.ucsd.edu/~pniehaus/pape… ImageImage
A 2018-19 experiment in Vancouver, BC provided $7500 unconditional cash to 50 homeless people. As a result they spent less time in shelters, saving the shelter system $8100 per person. Drug and alcohol use also went down 39%, plus food security improved.

Image
Read 5 tweets