Video Of The Week: Albert on Squawk Box

My partner Albert went on Squawk Box along with Chris Hughes a few weeks ago.

Here is the part where Albert talked about his views on intellectual property rights and a bit more.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Tom Labus

    Newark, NJ should do this and track the change for a generation. Would there be more legit new businesses or more crooks, exclusive of the government.

  2. jason wright

    Who’s the Joe in the white shirt and stripy tie? Was he suffering from oxygen deficit?

    1. LE

      Joe Kernen – yeah he sounded like, for lack of a better way to put it, a giggling idiot.

      1. Salt Shaker

        Kernen’s house in Short Hills, NJ was featured in Arch Digest. Ya think this pompous ass has a clue how the other half lives?https://www.architecturaldi

        1. LE

          Well what I dig up is that that house (40 Woodfield Drive Short Hills NJ) actually sold to Joe in 2013 for $566,667. The odd thing is that the property taxes are $53205 on that which even by NJ standards is ridiculous. Further it’s assessed at 2.8 million. Looking at the property history it appears it was sold within the family not arms length. Probably a bunch of kids whacked up the spoils and he and wife got to buy their portion from the estate. That’s my take on this.Funny so now (after searching records) I read the story you linked to that is exactly what happened. Was his wife’s childhood home.He is my ‘other half’ story of the week. Girl who cuts my hair at the ‘finer’ salon I go to is married to an Iron worker. [1] Anyway I start to talk about brands and to illustrate I tell her how I feel about Tesla vs. Porsche. She asks me to repeat what I said “tesla”. Huh ‘tesla’ what is that?? She has never heard of Tesla. Elon Musk? Who is that? And she wasn’t kidding either. She is in her 40’s and has a tatoo not some ‘old’ lady. Loves Hoda and Kathy Lee on the morning shows.[1] What does he do I ask when no jobs? Well he collects unemployment she says that as if to brag.Kernen House:….While I’m at it Paul Krugman’s house in Princeton NJ….

          1. PhilipSugar

            Really good work. Unemployment payments are somewhat a tax on the company as your SUTA and FUTA rates go way up depending on your companies history. But it is abused and companies that don’t lay people off subsidize the system.See my other post.

          2. LE

            Yep and I am well aware of that ‘tax’. I had a few cases where I fought those and won to avoid the rate hike.

          3. PhilipSugar

            Workers Comp is ten times worse. People that sit in Ivory Towers don’t get this.Do I know of somebody that “slipped” falling out of his plumbing truck and “couldn’t” work???? Yes. Dumb ass posted a Facebook video of him pulling a huge deer out of the woods: SteveDo I know somebody that got “rear ended” in his work truck by a friend? Then went to work on side jobs lifting pickup trucks (heavy work) in his severe pain: MikeDo I know somebody that got hooked on pain pills and went on social security disability???: MollyYes. If you don’t know a Steve, Mike, or Molly you live in a fucking Ivory Tower.

          4. LE

            Old news! In college I did photography for personal injury lawyers.My sleezy cousin wanted to open a small medical clinic in the 80’s ‘eh you hire russian doctors and the lawyers send you clients’. How did he learn what happens? He owned supermarkets. People would slip and fall. His insurance agent told him ‘slip at mcdonalds automatic $10k settlement no questions asked’. (That was back then doesn’t happen today insurance companies got a clue).I know a guy who clears asbestos from buildings by hiring people off the street to get rid of it. No containment nothing. Just get rid of it.Wonder why people cheat and cut corners? In a place down the shore a floor needs to be replaced. Call the local flooring company and they say ‘oh we think the tiles there are asbestos you will have to pay first a company that specializes in removing it’.Call a small contractor he said ‘stupid that’s only for certain types of tiles (broken etc.) we do this all the time not an issue for my crew’. I actually told him what the other contractor said (not typically what I would do either but health related I will not mess with). (Not the guy in paragraph 3 above btw..)

        2. LE

          Oh one other thing. Don’t confuse appearing like a pompous ass and being a pompous ass. While it’s entirely possible that he is a pompous ass anyone in entertainment who is smart plays a role in order to further their interests. He goes with what has worked for him. After all we are talking about Kernen and the saying is ‘don’t care what you say about me as long as you say something’.Honestly if I could turn appearing like a pompous ass into money I would do it for sure. Don’t want fame though even if in a positive way.Won’t even give the obvious example of who this worked for in a big way. Besides anytime you have more than others, people will take potshots at you, right?

          1. Salt Shaker

            Don’t watch the show or CNBC. When the markets strong they’re bullish, when it’s not the walls are caving in. They blow with the flow, rarely providing any substantive value IMO. I didn’t like his presentation and interaction w/ Albert. Tried to control the narrative and continually interrupted. Also said stupid shit: “…..we’re not worried about survival or food in this country.”

          2. PhilipSugar

            You know how a consumer buys a 80 inch LED TV? They don’t.They go to Rent-a-Center and make weekly payments on a 52 inch.This isn’t echo chamber it is vacuum chamber.Do you know how they pay for a wife and a mistress??They don’t. Can’t afford that. They might sleep around on the side. They can’t get divorced…….you know why??? They can’t afford it.

    2. @mikeriddell62

      He’s actually a pretty good egg to be fair – I guess his job is to make a dry show a bit more entertaining…?

  3. David C. Baker

    That topic is far to complex to resonate on sound-bite television.

    1. jason wright

      and that is the lion’s den for an advocate of universal basic income. a super tough sell.

  4. Richard

    I understand Albert’s position as most early stage VCs use team (talent) and capital to create barriers to entry.Because 9/10 early stage ventures fail and fail before product fit, it is true that patents offer little value for 90% of USVs portfolio.But as the returns on early stage funds is so dependent on the winners as as the winners take 7–10 years to fully bake, and as patents can create incredible barriers to entry for a 10 year old company with product / market fit (as well as creating a better infra-company discipline for future innovation), Albert philosophy may be at the expense of USV LPs.It is true that some companies, SNAP for example, exit before the lack of technological barriers start to reveal themselves. But reveal themselves they eventual do.

  5. Vendita Auto

    Interesting to hear newscasters in the U.S. seemingly condemn capitalism had I been Albert my retort might have been would prefer / are you supporting the current Xi socialist system ? and keep repeating it in McCarthy mode for fun

  6. Salt Shaker

    White shirt guy (when he finally awoke from his nap):“We’re not worried about survival or food in this country….”Pretty asinine statement….way too much starch in his collar….

    1. David C. Baker

      Especially since city-dwelling civilization, where most of the venture world gets traction, isn’t worried about food because of the rural-dwelling civilization that they “fly over” so to speak. 🙂

  7. Aaron Loring Davis

    I was with him until he started talking about doing away with IP. It would be interesting to speak with him about how he would balance no IP protection and the necessity for an idea to be definsible in order to substantiate another’s investment.

    1. LE

      He is not talking about doing away with IP. He is talking about an IP system that (per my other comment) is totally out of whack. Unfortunately there is not any practical way to constrain that system at this point. So sure maybe (per his example) there are no patents in math. But if there were patents in math [1] it would be equally hard to change that.[1] I suspect this has to do simply with the way academics share and think and lack of money people seeing opportunity legacy as anything. They aren’t business people and don’t think like opportunistic business people. That is the ingredient that was missing.

      1. Aaron Loring Davis

        Good point. I overstepped with “do away”.I’d still like to discuss the merits of defensibility and the layers of rights that do/could exist.

    2. @mikeriddell62

      Collective IP is quite another thing (as in our collective data).

  8. William Mougayar

    Given the short amount time in these segments, it’s so tough to complete a point. But Albert did a good job tee-ing up the arguments. And his make-up looked good too 🙂

    1. jason wright

      That’s the classic Chomskyan critique of mass media, that everything is reduced to sound bite analysis. nothing can be discussed at length. the economics of mass media time are set against discourse.

      1. William Mougayar


        1. jason wright

          it’s a form of censorship.will tokenomics change that?

          1. @mikeriddell62

            I think so, yes.

          2. William Mougayar

            No, blockchain cannot solve everything. 🙂

          3. jason wright

            WHAT?!!! Heresy.

  9. LE

    The short summary of what Albert is saying (per Becky’s question) ‘what’s it to you Albert’ is:less ip rights so that companies starting out can usethe building blocks more freelyThe problem here is one of actual implementation. How do you create an ip rights system that is not all or nothing? Takes care of gray areas? It’s very clear that IP is completely a clusterfuck of patents being issued and then pursued in court (texas venue friendly court taken into account) that is preventing early and even later stage (and especially small companies) from competing. But exactly how do you roll back high priced attorneys gaming the system by being able to force their will on people working in the patent office? Same government employees that hope one day to work for those same law firms? That is the actual problem. If you can’t solve that the theory and hoping is really meaningless.

    1. @mikeriddell62

      We just need a membership club that owns our own data. Hence the new commons.

  10. David Semeria

    The chap with the tie was quite annoying. I think Albert showed great restraint.

  11. Mark Annett

    Does Albert discuss this anywhere else at length? Because he really didn’t get a chance to make his point.The US patent system has already been significantly weakened in recent years to the benefit of big corporations, not the independent inventors. So, I am very curious about his proposal.

  12. Guy Lepage

    Great job Albert. Personally I feel Universal Basic Income will ultimately end up being the next form of Capitalism. A time of hyper growth and innovation. “Hyper Capitalism” is how I start the conversation. I have found that starting there and then explaining the vision of this new model for growth, seems to excite people. I leave all the uncomfortable aspects of Hyper Capitalism to the end and it seems to leave the audience thinking about it rather than dismissing it. Ultimately, the path to acceptance will require everyone to think about this new form of growth.

    1. jason wright

      yes. Pensions give people beyond the labour market the opportunity to drive the economy. UBI gives people excluded from the labour market the same opportunity. It’s personally empowering, and economically ‘efficient’.

      1. @mikeriddell62

        Yeah, but how is it funded?

        1. jason wright

          Hyper tax Buffet and that cohort. They’re hoarding value. Spread things around. unleash mass human potential. It’s our obligation to each other.

          1. @mikeriddell62

            Wouldn’t disagree but we haven’t a big enough gun to hold to their heads and they ain’t going to surrender the monies voluntarily. However I do think we can develop the market to invest in it…I’m hopeful!

  13. Randall Tinfow

    A universal income makes sense, even to this fiscal conservative. Give everyone enough in which to subsist and let them keep every earned dollar thereafter.The implementation then comes into question. What is subsistence? Does that include 160 cable channels, a case of sugar water, and a carton of cigarettes? Should spending be constrained to healthy products and behaviors? How do we protect the needs and rights of children?

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Yes, but it’s not so easy to make the numbers work: E.g., consider taxing $1 billion from each of the 1000 richest US citizens. Then distribute that to 330 million other US citizens. So the arithmetic is just1000 * 10**9 / ( 330 * 10**6 )= 10**6 / ( 330 ) = 3,030.30dollars, just once, from confiscating a major fraction of all the wealth of the richest US citizens.Sooooo, sure, we need much more economic productivity. So, roughly we need humans managing computers, managing computers, …, managing computers, several levels deep, managing computers doing the work. So far, it’s not so easy to manage just one computer.

      1. @mikeriddell62

        You assume that UBI will be funded through taxation. I’m more optimistic about the alternative business models that are beginning to emerge to capitalise such initiatives. More around social capital and less around financial capital. Less around debt and more around credit. (Of the Community kind).

        1. sigmaalgebra

          I was not so much assuming taxation as just trying to illustrate that UBI is a LOT of money.Bluntly, the big bucks in US capital are in the pension funds of the worker bees.That fact illustrates another reality: There are so many worker bees or would be worker bees that UBI is so much money that really the first step to get there is to put tens of millions of US citizen workers bees back to work and deport the illegals. For the getting back to work, we want more trade deals with more exports and more tariffs on imports and fewer regulations. For the illegals, deport the current ones and “Build the wall”. Right, all leading Trump policies.Next, tweak the system by helping some manufacturing locate in poor areas and help with the worker training. Trump’s supposed to have Dr. Ben Carson working on JUST that. E.g., Foxconn wants to hire, IIRC, 20,000 workers in the US. Okay: Have Trump, Carson, and Congress work with Foxconn and some cities with poor areas and get it DONE.Next, and/or ASAP at the same time, get more economic productivity per person using computers, the Internet, robots, etc. as hinted at by Albert. How to do that? Involve Trump, Congress, NSF, Department of Education, Dr. Carson, Intel, Microsoft, QUALCOMM, Cisco, MIT, community colleges, …, get some leadership (lots of good for minimal dollars) to guide and light the way, and let US business do the heavy lifting.E.g., take another look at technical training: At one time in Millington, TN, about 20 miles north of Memphis, the US Navy had their NATTC — Naval Air Technical Training Center. So, it was a trade school with courses of 6-8 weeks each with 40,000 students at one time. Long the graduates were a major contribution to the US labor supply in electronics technology and engineering. The head education expert was Dad. He did lots of really good things. So, borrow from that. Then update with the best available since.Hint: One of the main reasons Japan lost WWII was not that they had too few planes and aircraft carriers. The main reason was that it took them way too long to train pilots and ground crews, and the shortage of trained ground crews was as about as severe as the shortage of trained pilots.The pilots? The Jap Zero was a threat as an airplane, but in the great Marianas Turkey Shoot the score was 25 to 1 or so in favor of the US, due essentially only to pilot training. Later, by the battles Leyte Gulf, IIRC the shortage of well trained ground crews hurt Japan again.Well, in Dad’s years at Millington, the US Navy had a greatly superior supply of well trained ground crews.Net, technical training is quite doable. So, the US Department of Education, etc. can help get it DONE so that we can put back to work a lot of the 90 million US citizens currently out of the labor force.THEN we will have a shot at UBI. Before then? Not so much.

          1. @mikeriddell62

            Pension funds are a good idea as potential sources of funding. I like it. Take your point about training. Cheers

    2. @mikeriddell62

      By showing them what ‘good’ really looks like and persuading them to produce it.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Yes, but the next step can be either “a giant leap for mankind” or blowing up the world and taking us back to just before your picture.

  14. SubstrateUndertow

    Johnny Jellybean’s main prop was the “Squawk Box”Johnny Jellybean Guru of ’60s Show in Canada No Longer So Off-The-WalIn 1968, broadcasting out of a small television studio in Montreal, Ted Zeigler regularly taunted his fellow Americans in Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Burlington, Vt., for waging what he called a senseless war in Vietnam.Using the call sign “Radio Free Canada,” Zeigler delivered weekly body counts of children killed in Southeast Asia. Eventually, viewer protest caused the station manager to decide that body counts and chiding Uncle Sam had no place on noon-time kiddie TV–not even on a production as off-the-wall as “The Johnny Jellybean Show.”The show was low-tech Pee Wee Herman. And, says Zeigler, now 61 and living in Studio City, “If a spiteful production manager hadn’t wiped the tapes, it would probably still be running.”…

  15. sigmaalgebra

    Albrecht ist rechtig!Yes, computing and the Internet and the corresponding consequences of opportunities for progress in productivity and standard of living from the better information and opportunities for automation are one of the major steps up in the history of civilization.E.g., now YouTube suddenly has a lot of old movies. Movies from about 1936 on can have decent video quality.(1) So, from 1936 on, we can get some views of what movie audiences then were prepared to accept as views of good, bad, or ugly American life and see what the changes have been by now. The changes look enormous. Albert touched on some of these changes with his, IIRC, “Big families, nuclear families, no families”.(2) One of the movies isLife with Father (1947), with William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylorat…set in 1883 in New York City, in a townhouse at, IIRC, 420 Madison Avenue.It’s fun to see the changes since 1883 and try to list the main causes of the changes, maybe oil, internal combustion engines, chemical engineering, aluminum, airplanes, plastics, electric power, electric lighting and motors, radio, vacuum tubes, agricultural productivity, TV, nuclear reactions, medicine, transistors, computing, magnetic storage densities (IIRC, giant magneto resistance), a lot of computing infrastructure software (MIT Project MAC and Multics; access control list security; E. Wong, E. Codd relational database; from MIT, Rivest, Shamir, Adleman public key cryoto systems; from MIT Kerberos authentication) tiny solid state lasers, and the Internet.Notice how much we got from MIT.Notice that we got the transistors, lasers, the C programming language, Unix (Linux), error correcting coding, and more heavily all just from Bell Labs. For the issue of intellectual property, Bell deliberately gave the rights to the transistors to the world. If Bell had been getting a penny per transistor, then by now they would have owned the world and everything in it? That eight core AMD FX-8350 processor with a 4.0 GHz clock I just plugged into a motherboard might cost what, for what, for its 1.2 billion transistors, $12 million dollars? For the lasers, I remember way back there hearing a lecture from a Bell labs guy on Ga-Al-As heterojunctions — that is, the tiny solid state lasers we are using to light the optical fibers of the backbone of the Internet and transmit a movie, such as the Life with Father, at about 70 Mbps.More generally, a lot of the really good work in intellectual property, especially that relevant to information technology, has long been relatively open, e.g., done in US universities with NSF grants. Maybe we’d be better off if we still had Bell Labs?Maybe on intellectual property Albert was thinking about nuisance law suits from patent trolls?But there are still ways to protect intellectual property, e.g., just don’t tell anyone and call the work a “trade secret”. E.g., for some original applied math that have programmed, just run the software on a secure server farm and don’t tell anyone about the internals.So, yup, microprocessors, lasers, and the Internet are major steps up civilization or at least now opportunities for such.But making those opportunities fully real, getting the horn of plenty Albert has in mind, does risk a lot of slips between the cup and the lip.But as a country we very much should be addressing both (A) the opportunity for that horn of plenty, that genie in a bottle, and (B) what we will do with it.How about less money for Akrapistan and Pukistan and more money for NSF and NIH? We can’t get back the blood and treasure LBJ and Nixon wasted in Viet Nam or W and O wasted in Iraq and Akrapistan, but, gee, if we could, just the money part, the whatever, net present value, $10+ trillion? That would fund a LOT of Bell Labs, MIT, GPS, genome project, Eric Lander, Hubble telescope, etc. work.We’ve got a lot of problems: IIRC, 40% of US children are born to single mothers. One third of marriages end in divorce. The birth rate in number of babies per US mother is so low we are literally going extinct. There are 55,000 homeless people on the streets of Los Angeles. Instead of the land of milk and honey we should be, we are too often a slum of sewage and the gutter.For blame, I place nearly all of that on a circle 10 miles in radius with center at the Washington Monument. As POTUS, I greatly respect Trump. Otherwise, I can’t much respect any POTUS, or the candidates from either party, since Eisenhower.Details? Sure, absurd foreign adventures. Then, Pelosi and Schumer are executing a mostly non-violent civil war, saying we must do it the Democrat party way or do nothing. The Democrat party and much of the Republican party, the Bush family, McCain, and Romney are for globalism which wants a new version of slave labor and wants to let China “carpet bomb” manufacturing in the US “fly over” states and, generally, ruin the standard of living and nearly everything about the lives of the people and what families are left in the fly over states.A $500 billion annual trade deficit with China, $80 billion or so with Mexico, more with Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, and $10+ trillion in absurd foreign adventures, many millions of imported slave laborers — it really adds up, up to devastation of a huge fraction of US families.Yes, since 1900 US farm productivity per farmer has increased by what, a factor of 10, 20, or more? E.g., now from John Deere we have huge tractors with GPS and several touch screens:…Don’t much want a little 40 acres and a mule farm anymore. Now, just to warm up that John Deere puppy, want at least a few thousand acres?So, in just 100 years, not so many layers in the family trees, we’ve gone from ballpark 90% of the people on farms to fewer than 10%. So, we’ve had massive migration from farms to cities. Broadly, bluntly, our culture, norms, careers, family structures have not kept up.So, US families are failing. Altogether for families, the US is getting a failing grade, D or less. With such massive failure, Darwin is on the case: In a few more generations, either (A) the population of descendants of current US citizens will be significantly smaller than now or (B) we will have some major changes in our politics, economy, society, and families.Albert’s remarks are both a warning that we need to get busy and a start on the work to be done.

  16. @mikeriddell62

    A universal basic income is only going to work if it’s earned into existence for contribution to the common good. Then the platform cooperative movement will be able to help. I just can’t see it coming out of the US, not when we over here in Greater Manchester (Rochdale to be precise) invented the Cooperative back in 1844. It’s in our genes.

  17. PhilipSugar

    Here’s how I see UBI:The only benefit is it makes rich people “feel” better.Working people would rather see money go to infrastructure or some other project. Why?The basic tenant of UBI is that people will not abuse the system.That is where it falls on it’s face. Completely.People that work are not going to be in favor of this system. Not one bit. I beg people come visit me, we will go crabbing, shooting, and turn wrenches with normal people. Get your boots and get ready to get some callouses on those manicured hands.You know what???? They resent the shit out of welfare, they HATE food stamps. I don’t really care, but people that work hourly are BITTER about these programs.What??? Why???Because when you work overtime, you get up on Saturday morning at 4am to go crabbing, and help your wife clean beach houses for the Saturday turnover, you are bitter as shit when you see some lazy ass lowlife buying your crabs with a WIC card. Mad as hell. Mad enough to vote for Trump.

    1. LE

      Yep and some people actually like to work and like the reinforcement and positive feedback from doing a good job. They aren’t interested in creative pursuits whereby they write, make music or art, and nobody cares. God knows the guy who is a janitor and cleans an execs office might get more daily positive feedback than any of us do by writing comments on this blog. [1] I don’t do it anymore but in the past I used to like when it snowed and I would want to shovel the entire driveway with a shovel instead of having someone else do it. Actually got into a fight with my ex wife long time ago because she had a neighbors husband plow the driveway before I got home.[1] I say this as someone who used to wax cars in high school and college and would love to do a perfect job and see the look on the owner’s face after I picked up literally every scrap from the interior and shined the car to perfection. The tip was nice (so were the referrals) but the look really did the most for me. Remember the positive feedback my dad gave me when I did photos for his catalog which stood out from him generally not really giving any positive feedback at all as in ‘why not all a’s?’

      1. PhilipSugar

        You talk to ANY craftsman and ask……would you take on an apprentice if they showed up on time every day, worked hard, and were willing to put in the hours to learn your craft? Drywaller, Plumber, Roofer, Electrician, Floorer, Countertop installer, Stone Mason,Welder, Pipe Fitter etc.Every one says YES!!! Do you know somebody?!!Albert seems to have forgotten this which is strange as his native land Germany/Austria is so successful exactly because those people exist.

        1. LE

          There is a series on tv called ‘supercar superbuild’ (smithsonian). In an episode I just watched they showed the Rolls Royce factory in England and this fine group of good looking young people who were apprenticing to work in the factory. Like really a good looking group as if at the finest Ivy school in the US.https://www.smithsonianchan…The first thing that strikes me when seeing these factories in Europe is the type of person that works there. For lack of a better way to put it the people seem as if they are the type that were not pushed into getting a college degree and gain great joy from simply doing a good job in these factories. Not some loser here who attends a shit college and then ends up managing a PNC branch for crap pay but yeah great you get to spend money and dress up. Stupid.Of course I don’t want to be naive I am sure they put out their best people on camera but still this idea that we have in this country where everyone goes to college and trades are looked down on is just so archaic and wrong.The guy who does flooring for me is so busy he doesn’t even have time to bill me for work he has done.The apprentice idea is gold. I think it would be almost to easy to put together a system to match people who want to learn and people that will take someone who wants to learn. Have no doubt you could get Lowes or Home Depot to put money into that idea.

          1. PhilipSugar

            Done. See a person from Baltimore, Maryland, famous TV Host, Amazing Opera Singer, and Voice Over specialist:

          2. PhilipSugar

            Talking of another Baltimore Opera Singer, see Justin Tucker, Highest paid kicker in the NFL, from Texas, singing:

          3. Pointsandfigures

            Negative income tax works better than UBI, especially given pure human motivations.

          4. PhilipSugar

            Yes, you being from Chicago must follow Milton Freidman. As I said above there should be some conditions on it.The real problem is trying to break the cycle, and UBI will just increase the velocity.

        2. LE

          By the way the ‘finer salon’ that I get my haircut at has an apprentice system as did the salon before that. Someone goes to school to learn how to cut hair. Then they just assist a stylist at the salon by starting washing people’s hair. Often they stand there and just watch what the stylist does. (And I have very little hair). So they do the crap work for some time before they actually get to cut someone’s hair themselves.Now of course with the labor laws you can’t even do things like that.

    2. Dave S

      I think that designing a social safety net that avoids directly giving money to people may be a way that is more socially acceptable to the constituency you describe. For instance, health care that is paid for for everyone. Or college education that is paid for by the government. These are things that are often out of reach for people at the low end of the income spectrum. In terms of distributive justice, for health care, then it would be delivered based on need, not on who can afford it. With respect to education, this might make our system more “meritocratic.” All the while, I think that it would not be perceived as a “giveaway to lazy bums.” The Earned Income Tax Credit is actually a government giveaway, but is not perceived as such, and is popular with both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

      1. PhilipSugar

        How many meals a week do you eat with that “constituency” just the word exudes arrogance. How many hours do you spend working with “them” a week? How many actually do you call friends, and they would say the same. How often a month do you work in the inner city.If the answer to any of these questions anonymous Dave S is less than 10.Sit the fuck down and shut the hell up.

        1. Dave S

          You really don’t know anything about me, nor do I about you. So I’m not going to attack you personally.Earlier this year, I was getting my shoes resoled, and the cobbler let me know that I could pick up my shoes around April 15 “you know, around the time those welfare bums get their checks.” On FB, many of my high school acquaintances express a deep and abiding anger and as you said bitterness towards those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. So, what you were describing was not unfamiliar to me.In my original post I suggested that instead of giving money directly to individuals–which is morally offensive to some people–that instead we figure out ways to level the playing field in ways that do not anger people.You mentioned infrastructure in your original post. I agree with you, but my definition of infrastructure would include, for instance, the health and education of our population. If that is the case, then maybe the government should underwrite it. That would also help to level the playing field. And I might even be able to convince some of those bitter folks that that makes sense.

          1. PhilipSugar

            I agree the tone and content of my comment was unwarranted and unacceptable. I publicly apologize to you and the rest of the commenters it is not in the spirit of this board. Not one bit. I actually was going to do it before your post as I thought about it in the shower (some of my best thinking goes on in there)I live with a foot in one world and a foot in another. The barber shop I go to still has a straight razor hot foam touchup after a cut. They use an airhose to clean off the hair. I go to the bowling alley, I go to the shooting range. I also go to some of the most exclusive private clubs and restaurants. I also have this old house and have workers in most days of the week. (just about done)Here is the thing. You either believe that people at the bottom of the ladder are there through absolutely no fault of their own. Or you believe they are there because of their own fault.Now like all things the truth is in the middle.But here to me is the hardest part: How do you break the cycle of a kid having a kid and that kid is raised in a single parent household where there is no value placed on working or eduction. I have proposed the radical solution of you have to be on birth control (both sexes) if you are on any kind of government aid. Any, including EIT Credits. Drug testing as well. It is not your right to get aid.Why your cobbler is so mad at the “bums” is that his hands are sore, his back hurts, his feet are killing him, but he works, and he can’t stand it when he sees people that purposely don’t.I travel (I am a 3mm miler on American) to places where there is no safety net, where there are no workers rights. I don’t want that to be us. I don’t want our workers to have to compete with those workers. I don’t believe that I am a citizen of the world.

          2. Dave S

            Thanks for your response. These questions related to distributive justice are obviously important to both of us. They are complicated enough right now, but with AI and robotics, they may become even more challenging and may impact even more people. Albert’s UBI proposal is an attempt to address these concerns now and in the future. I always pay extra attention to blog posts related to this topic (can’t help myself). I enjoy the discussions and think that they are important. Cheers.

          3. PhilipSugar

            It is a tough issue. From your ending, Cheers,and your use of the word Cobbler, I assume you know that means (ass u me) 🙂 You are British.The one thing I really warn people about is that the U.S., when you really get into the U.S. is just sooo different than other places. Sure Iceland you can do things, Denmark same, Sweden, Finland, Japan, Germany, Austria, Singapore…..same. Canada, Britain, France and some others….close to that group.But when people from other countries want to prescribe things for the U.S. it is tough, not that they can’t have input, not that it doesn’t scare the shit out of them when they see things happening. But even though we are very wealthy we span the gap and in some ways are like India, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico and others.Yes I go to all.The U.S. truly is unique. If you just live in a city…..not really. If you don’t…….unique.

  18. jason wright

    They may as well call it Squash Box. Invite dissidents on, poke fun at them, and squash their ideas flat. If it makes their advertisers happy…

  19. Pointsandfigures

    property rights are very important to capitalism. blockchain might be a better system to categorize and keep track of property rights and patents

  20. LissIsMore

    I was in my car, with CNBC on the radio, and I heard this conversation live. I missed the introduction and had no idea that it was Albert I was listening to. But now the conversation makes more sense.This is one of my favorite topics. I, too, am in favor of rolling back intellectual property rights. Kudos to Albert for bringing this topic to the public square. Most people don’t “get it”. And the bubbleheads at CNBC were surely shaken by the idea.I tilt at windmills, and howl at the moon from time to time. I enjoy listening to others do the same.