317 Comments

This is not new research, it's pretty well established. This SlashDot discussion is from 2016.

https://science.slashdot.org/story/16/08/11/2128230/a-bit-of-cash-can-keep-someone-off-the-streets-for-2-years-or-more

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FDR, the GOAT, figured this out almost a century ago. Just give people in distress a little hand up, and they can do the rest. He ushered in the growth of the middle class, and contempt for the idle rich, which led to decades of economic expansion. My father, who served in North Africa in WW2, was the first person in his family to hold a degree (ME from U of IL Champaign-Urbana) thanks to the GI Bill. During his college years he also earned a bit of extra money illustrating textbooks for his professors. His people were all Irish immigrants in Chicago, who seldom finished HS, let alone college. Investing in people is a winning policy.

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Ta, Dok. I'm a fan of UBI, too; it's an idea whose time has come. Of course, I also think access to nutritious food and at-least-basic medical care should be human rights in such a wealthy country, but (most of) the 0.1% would probably not agree. After all, I was FURIOUS with the UN when access to potable water was not declared a basic human right.

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UBI is going to be necessary within the decade as more work, especially low-skilled work, is automated. There are a **LOT** of people in the world who aren't smart enough and/or ambitious enough to do anything more complex than walk a security patrol, wash dishes, stock shelves, clean carpets, etc., and all of those jobs are going away.

A lot of more complex jobs are going to disappear as well, errors were inserted into a bunch of contracts. Teams of lawyers found 85% of them in an average of an hour and a half, an AI found 92% of them in 26 seconds. The only thing keeping chain-store pharmacists employed is the inertia of the insurance cartels. Long haul truck drivers will be a thing of the past within a decade.

It's a new world coming, and our society isn't preparing for it.

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“They might have a friend or relative that may not be willing to support them completely, but if they have something to contribute that opens up a room.”

This bugged me - the assumption that the friend is not willing - the friend may be only just above the breadline themselves and be unable to help - sorry, it just bugs me

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The idea that poor “willl just spend it on drugs and alcohol” has become so ingrained into this country’s political thinking that it’s almost impossible to challenge it with anything as silly as facts.

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"primarily cigarettes, in fact" -- this stuck out to me, as we also try to tax cigarettes out of the range of affordability. I think it's like $10-12/pack last time I checked. So a UBI would be an indirect government subsidy to tobacco, AND some sort of ROI where the taxes bring the UBI money back into government coffers.

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Good news story. Thank you.

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Oh, but that would disincentivise the Amazon serfs from stepping lively with today's must-have-direct-to-garage kitchen widget (Seriously--have you had a passing peek into an open garage in McMansionSubdivisionland lately? Lookit: I'm not one of those insufferable sackcloth-and-ashes-simple-living pecksniffs--a glance at my driveway'll tell ya that--but the wanton profligacy on display is just, well, gross.).

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We walk the dogs every day, and in the summer see a lot of the garage doors standing open. One neighbor has a two car garage that's full of stuff, they've never parked in the garage since they moved in because it's full of crap like exercise machines they can't even reach because of the other junk piled around them, there's a pile of Bekins boxes that haven't been touched since they moved in four or five years ago. I'd almost bet that they have a storage unit somewhere that looks just like their garage.

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that would have been my attic and cellar - garage was for ladders and lawn furniture. I have no idea why I have so many ladders or where they came from.

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I have to admit, this made me cry a little bit. God, if we could just start treating people this way.

Sorry, it's the holidays and I'm wrapping presents for my staff.

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Just giving people money is actually the most direct, and cheapest, way to alleviate poverty.

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we could use some of that here in Vegas (hi casino owning billionaire weirdos who are at the heart of this bullshit anyway!) because homelessness here is on a different level.

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Yeah--I'd never seen homelessness like what you have in Vegas anywhere else. Between the underground folks in the storm channels and the tent cities on the sidewalks in Northtown, it was pretty heartbreaking.

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our first apartment here was across the street from one of the storm channel entrances on one end and one of the homeless hotspot parks on the other.

my first impression of Vegas was pretty damn sobering.

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I lived over the hump, but I had to go to Vegas fairly often. It's bewildering.

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WHAR PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC?

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"How can we work when drag queens took all our jerbs???"

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I'm a very conservative person, but do enjoy reading and learning about innovative ideas such as this.

Obviously, there isn't a solution that would work in every city or state, but aside from giving money, I think people who are coming up with solutions for these kinds of complex problems should ask themselves what are fundamental causes of these problems. Is it that people in general aren't strong enough mentally to deal with the fact that life is or can be hard. I would personally want to survey people who are homeless to ask what was the reason that lead to their current state. I think this data would help a lot in terms of preventing homelessness.

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Most people in this country are one missed paycheck away from disaster. It doesn't take much to end up homeless in our capitalist hellscape.

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I couldn't agree more with the "one missed paycheck away from disaster". It goes along one of my believes that were all 3-5 decisions away from disaster. That being said, I don't think the political/ economic system we are in is the fundamental issue. I think homelessness or another social problem would be the same or worse in a socialistic environment. The chaotic/ weak nature of humans is what leads us astray, which is why it is my personal belief that each person should work hard to stay sane by having discipline, and working to be best version of self. Obviously people are definitely affected by the environment they are born in, which sucks, but I'd rather have the opportunity/ option to overcome my difficulties and hindrances then be born into a system where everything is "equal", which is unsustainable though I understand the goodwill behind trying implement it, right?

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Homelessness would absolutely NOT be the same or worse in a "socialistic environment" - the whole point of socialism is to make sure everybody has a roof and a meal (I mean the basic necessities, obviously more than just a roof and a meal).

Not everybody is capable of just being disciplined and working hard. For example, I have ADHD. I can't just "try harder" and suddenly not have it. I am, and both of my kids are, autistic. We can't just crack down and NOT be. I have anxiety and depression. I can't just pull my mental health up by its bootstraps. And these are just my personal examples! There are so many other extenuating circumstances that affect people - LOTS of people, and over which those people have no control. We're not all capable of just "being mentally strong" all the time.

Capitalism is a disgusting system of oppressing most people for the enrichment of a few. The least our government should do is make sure every person has the basics of survival (shelter, food, health care).

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"If you meet one homeless person, you've met one homeless person" is how a local expert puts it. People move into expensive towns and have their job fall through, people have mental health breakdowns like a former colleague of mine, people get ruined by medical bills, and probably a lot more reasons.

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I have always told friends (mostly in the under 200k category in Seattle) that we're all just few paychecks from shitting in the woods. They would shrug it off. I was at 200k. My unemployment just ran out. 10 months without work.

I was lucky to make 10 months. Now what? UBI - like unemployment - could keep me and my family secure, but I'm left with bootstraps.

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You're right. It's definitely sad that there are so many things that can cause homelessness or any other catastrophic situations. Not trying to impose Christianity on you, but to me all of these possibilities (causes) is exactly what the "fear of the lord" is. The fact that something sad/ hard can happen in a blink of an eye. Only thing I think we can do is focus on being mentally strong for ourselves and those around us.

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What is the advice here? To "be strong for ourselves and those around us?" To properly "Fear the Lord," That's seriously first book shit. If you read on, Jesus urged you to do one thing: Feel what other people are feeling. Treat them how you imagine you might want to be treated in the same circumstance.

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Wasn't giving advice in regards to how to fear the lord. Just observing that the possibility of anything occurring is fearing the lord, at least that was the conclusion I came to when trying to figure out what that meant. In regards to the Jesus thing, you're right. The advice I was perhaps giving is that in moments where the unexpected get very stressful, being or trying to be mentally strong can be helpful in order to push through.

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Lemme tell you, after 10 months of searching for a job with a very good CV, pablum is pablum. Don't give advice unless what you add is pertinent. I have no good choices. I will be burning through another 401k this month. My family is on the brink.

Your "advice" somehow includes magical thinking and Jesus. I'm clearly not pious enough to get a job. Jesus would have rewarded me by now. Your view of the world is that of a 7th grader.

I eat Mac & Cheese 3 of the four nights per week. 7th-grader's dream!

Maybe I'll start delivering in the gig economy. Or maybe work in call centers.

I had a great career before I got laid off. Magical thinking is only useful to me if I use it to get to the next day - stay alive - and start all over again.

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Or even a polite sneer.

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Not sure why we only stigmatize poor people for receiving government assistance. Before a farmer can claim a tax credit for buying a new tractor, he should have to pass a drug test

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And a dung test

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I love that UBI has entered the mainstream discussions now. It’s a fantastic idea and is absolutely something we should experiment with to see how it might work best.

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