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Politics US Edition (2021-vol 2)


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9 minutes ago, Skarpen said:

A test run with limited number of participants is not the same as running a nationwide program.

First of all participants know it's limited time, so there is 0 incentive to quit a job. There is no data on the impact on the economy so such factors as inflation etc. will not show up. Also the longterm impact will be hard to predict. 

Basically it's like saying that taking big consumer loans is great because we tested it by giving some guys a hundred thousand for 3 months and his life was awesome in that time.

This is one of  my core issue around discussions around UBI which I raised earlier, we dont have any long term examples of how UBI impacted the overall economy once you start targeting your entire population or even larges groups of citizens 

You only have small pilot examples throughout the world and that should not convince anyone who is serious about understanding what UBI means

Once we can see a country implement  it in a way that includes at least 30 % of their citizens then we can discuss how realistic it is

I think we should have this important discussion in about 30 years when we have done proper economic analysis ?

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I didn't say that nor did I make the implication. I merely pointed out that there is no data that indicates that inflation will go up nor that motivation to get a job will suffer. If there's any data about local UBI projects or similar topics like minimal wage then that data points in the opposite direction or indicates there is no influence - but since the sample sizes are too small one can't be sure. Thus you (no matter if journalist or private person) should neither draw the conclusion that people will stop working - nor should you draw the conclusion that inflation will increase significantly. Those are just assumptions that may or may not fit your personal bias and opinion. You also shouldn't draw the conclusion that people will be a lot happier or healthier. Some pilots did show that it happened while others saw no significant impact.

There seem to be a lot of variables at play so universal and easy assumptions and solutions won't work.

Here's an argument from Germany: The amount of money we paid for social security in 2019 - which was 1.04 trillion € - was higher than the expenses for an estimated UBI of 1,000€ per capita and month  - which was 996 billion €. 
So we would even spare money if we just removed the current system and introduced an UBI system. AND poor people would even get more money than they get now - even those who currently don't get social welfare because they are not capable to apply (don't have the paperwork, no permanent residence, mental issues etc.).

Am I a fan of UBI? Not generally, no. Mainly because people who absolutely don't need the money would still get it - like me. That's not social equity. I don't need that money so I think it would be better to not give it to me - instead give it to people who really need it (like single moms for example or elderly whose pension is loo low while their health insurance grows more and more expensive). But there could be implementations where you simply introduce a luxury tax or increase the taxes of higher incomes more to remove that social injustice. Then I would be in favor. 

I don't see a big problem with an UBI test run in a whole country. I mean if it doesn't work out you just go back - what's the deal? Germany introduced tuition fees and we didn't like it: got removed. We canceled unemployment benefits and introduced social security benefits and kept it, we introdiuces minimum wage and it worked out well: kept it. You can't know for sure what will happen with any UBI unless you try it. 

But there can be many, many different implementation of an UBI system and I think you can't do UBI justice by quickly discussing it superficially with limited knowledge in a forum of a game developer where very conservative gamers meet very progressive gamers.  

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28 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

I didn't say that nor did I make the implication. I merely pointed out that there is no data that indicates that inflation will go up nor that motivation to get a job will suffer. If there's any data about local UBI projects or similar topics like minimal wage then that data points in the opposite direction or indicates there is no influence - but since the sample sizes are too small one can't be sure. Thus you (no matter if journalist or private person) should neither draw the conclusion that people will stop working - nor should you draw the conclusion that inflation will increase significantly. Those are just assumptions that my or my not fit your personal bias and opinion. You also shouldn't draw the conclusion that people will be a lot happier or healthier. Some pilots did show that it happened while others saw no significant impact.

There seem to be a lot of variables at play so universal and easy assumptions and solutions won't work.

Here's an argument from Germany: The amount of money we paid for social security in 2019 - which was 1.04 trillion € - was higher than the expenses for an estimated UBI of 1,000€ per capita and month  - which was 996 billion €. 
So we would even spare money if we just removed the current system and introduced an UBI system. AND poor people would even get more money than they get now - even those who currently don't get social welfare because they are not capable to apply (don't have the paperwork, no permanent residence, mental issues etc.).

Am I a fan of UBI? Not generally, no. Mainly because people who absolutely don't need the money would still get it - like me. That's not social equity. I don't need that money so I think it would be better to not give it to me - instead give it to people who really need it (like single moms for example or elderly whose pension is loo low while their health insurance grows more and more expensive). But there could be implementations where you simply introduce a luxury tax or increase the taxes of higher incomes more to remove that social injustice. Then I would be in favor. 

I don't see a big problem with an UBI test run in a whole country. I mean if it doesn't work out you just go back - what's the deal? Germany introduced tuition fees and we didn't like it: got removed. We canceled unemployment benefits and introduced social security benefits and kept it, we introdiuces minimum wage and it worked out well: kept it. You can't know for sure what will happen with any UBI unless you try it. 

But there can be many, many different implementation of an UBI system and I think you can't do UBI justice by quickly discussing it superficially with limited knowledge in a forum of a game developer where very conservative gamers meet very progressive gamers.  

Thanks for sharing your opinion on UBI, I think we both understand each others views  and we can agree to disagree on certain things

I think its an excellent idea that Germany implements UBI for 1 or 2 states for all citizens   and then we look at  how those states are doing in 10 years because that should be the minimum time to understand the positive or negative impact around the Germany economy

Then the rest of us can learn from the data and output we see and decide if UBI makes sense in the long term 

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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2 hours ago, BruceVC said:

Sadly  I dont need a theoretical model or article  to know this because I live in a country where I can see this. Over 30 % of our citizens live on social grants and many of them cant find work or dont find work or stop looking for work so parts of our Social grants system   perpetuates the cycle of unemployment1111

Serious question. How would you tackle the issue of there simply not being enough jobs for people in the future? Increasing automatization of tasks (less need for people to perform the tasks)  and a world population that is now not just too large, but way too large to be sustainable? Short of committing mass murder, genocide and forced sterilization of large numbers of people that is?

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13 minutes ago, Gorth said:

Serious question. How would you tackle the issue of there simply not being enough jobs for people in the future? Increasing automatization of tasks (less need for people to perform the tasks)  and a world population that is now not just too large, but way too large to be sustainable? Short of committing mass murder, genocide and forced sterilization of large numbers of people that is?

There was a time when a cabman was a very buoyant occupation. And introducing automobiles was met with apocalyptic visions of mass unemployment... and it didn't happened. There will be new jobs and old jobs will evolve. People are creative that way. In my lifetime I saw completely new jobs emerge and old obsolete jobs dissapear. Sometimes both of those apply to the same occupation. Just as I would never predict such a job as Web Developer existing when I was young I cannot predict what new jobs will emerge in the future. I guess we will get away from physical labor. And seeing the young generation kids age 5,6 using complicated technology with ease from that young age I don't fear that people will not catch up with technology. 

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2 minutes ago, Gorth said:

Serious question. How would you tackle the issue of there simply not being enough jobs for people in the future? Increasing automatization of tasks (less need for people to perform the tasks)  and a world population that is now not just too large, but way too large to be sustainable? Short of committing mass murder, genocide and forced sterilization of large numbers of people that is?

What a great question, its a real difficult question to answer  and even the cleverest and most prominent economic think tanks cant give you a definitive answer to questions like " how do we ensure job security  in a growing world population where advancements in technology mean you will lose jobs in certain sectors "

The main reason for this uncertainty is the truth about prudent and accurate economic models is they based on historical precedent and what we know works so you will notice excellent economists sometimes coming across as unconvincing or taking extreme views on why something " definitely wont work " and this includes discussions on UBI

Saying all that their is some excellent research and economic  views which are part of my opinion on that question and its also based on my personal life experience and work I have done in countries that are not first world and battle with different degrees of poverty and inequality. In other words I can find and send you additional links on most of what I believe in the post below. Then you can always do your own research if you prefer and corroborate the information

Firstly I appreciate their is a  core reason for UBI that you mentioned that ties into the question. This is basically the view that as some people lose their jobs due to prudent and expected changes in technology UBI will allow them to still have some revenue stream and spending power 

Okay so firstly I challenge the notion that in all countries advancements in technology should automatically mean job losses requiring something like UBI as the best solution. This should only apply to some countries and groups of citizens, not everyone in a specific country . A real SA  example, we have  a massive problem in our failing mining sector where mining unions fight against mechanization due to fears of job losses. We have some of  the deepest mines in the world where human beings still work at these great depths, and sadly sometimes die in accidents, yet the unions block mechanization to  mine at these depths. Now the unions are right that naturally you will see some job losses but the mine becomes safer and more efficient when they adopt new mining technologies 

And in the case of SA most of the miners have no formal education or education up to grade 6, so the truth is its unlikely they will find other work outside of mining. In this sector and this real example I would support UBI for these miners

But in all first world countries people generally do have an education up to grade 12 or similar so when we talk about " technology making your job redundant and therefore UBI is necessary " citizens should first see what work they can find before we assume they wont find work and have to implement UBI. 

And finally if you think about all the countries you have worked in Gorthfuscious what sectors and types of work would advancements in technology automatically mean people working in those sectors became redundant. Can you list some practical examples so I understand the sector and the concern

So in closing, countries have to educate citizens so that they realize large families arent necessarily sustainable because there arent the jobs in all sectors and then as we automate  our economies UBI should only be selectively applied to help some citizens based on their economic reality like the miners in SA  ....the word " miners " could apply to any country or certain group. Its just my real life example 

 

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"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

The amount of money we paid for social security in 2019 - which was 1.04 trillion € - was higher than the expenses for an estimated UBI of 1,000€ per capita and month  - which was 996 billion €. 
So we would even spare money if we just removed the current system and introduced an UBI system. AND poor people would even get more money than they get now...

 

Can you elaborate on this? How did giving monies to only those in need of social security amount to more than giving everyone 1k UBI?

 

1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

...or elderly whose pension is loo low while their health insurance grows more and more expensive).

 

Do German citizens have to pay into a health insurance fund?

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1 hour ago, Skarpen said:

There was a time when a cabman was a very buoyant occupation. And introducing automobiles was met with apocalyptic visions of mass unemployment... and it didn't happened. There will be new jobs and old jobs will evolve. People are creative that way. In my lifetime I saw completely new jobs emerge and old obsolete jobs dissapear. Sometimes both of those apply to the same occupation. Just as I would never predict such a job as Web Developer existing when I was young I cannot predict what new jobs will emerge in the future. I guess we will get away from physical labor. And seeing the young generation kids age 5,6 using complicated technology with ease from that young age I don't fear that people will not catch up with technology. 

Huh, I actually agree with that completely. Jobs will adapt and hopefully be replaced by higher paying, higher skill jobs.

I'd also like to think the current 40 hours and 5 days a week work model will change. If parts of your job are automated, and you can produce the same work in 20 hours instead of 40, then why work as much? You should be paid the same if you are being paid based on production.

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4 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

You should be paid the same if you are being paid based on production.

A big if. 

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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1 hour ago, Gorth said:

Serious question. How would you tackle the issue of there simply not being enough jobs for people in the future? Increasing automatization of tasks (less need for people to perform the tasks)  and a world population that is now not just too large, but way too large to be sustainable? Short of committing mass murder, genocide and forced sterilization of large numbers of people that is?

Ideally, the state would rent you a bootstrap, then you can pull yourself up and pay back with interest.

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9 hours ago, Skarpen said:

I'm pretty sure we were talking rents and basic comodities? I'm pretty sure bakers don't make trillions on bread and definietely none of my previous landlords were making trillions of of my rent.

The cost of rent usually goes up when interest rates goes up on their mortgages or some taxes go up. I'm pretty sure the current cost of bricks don't affect the costs of maintaining buildings already build. 

It' hard for me to understand that people think most companies/businesses make so much money (trillions?!) that additional taxes won't eat up their profits when it does 99.9% of the time. I know many industries that were practically wiped out because it's impossible to make any profit because the costs are just to great. And usually the industries that actually could pay additional cost without noticable decrease in profits are the ones the additional tax don't apply to. 

We were talking basic necessities: rent, medicine and groceries. Groceries aren't much of a problem currently, but with massive trading on futures contracts, the risk is there that a bubble could happen. Jury's still out on whether speculators contributed to the 2008 food crisis, but it's pretty clear that they didn't do what speculation is classically supposed to do: reduce volatility and hedge against price spikes. So either set price controls on staples to discourage trading above a certain point, or re-introduce regulations that stopped excessive speculation.

I brought up pharma profits because it's the most egregious example of a market sector in need of regulation. I feel this is so self-evident that going again is beating a dead horse: prices in the EU are regulated, whereas they aren't in the US. Compare treatment prices for stuff like leukemia, MS, and other chronic diseases. And somehow, pharma business is still incredibly profitable in Europe. But this has an even darker side -- it's more profitable to focus research on treatment of a select few chronic problems than diversify and try to find cures for the as many diseases as possible because you can keep patients on meds indefinitely and there is no limit on what you can charge for drugs.

And lastly, mortgages. Mortgages aren't owned by individuals or small businesses -- they are owned by banks, and bundled and resold on the derivatives markets to investment funds (yes, banks and funds also make trillions). Unlike small proprietors for whom owning an empty house can make no financial sense, big players can suck up these "losses" to keep market prices artificially inflated. You are right that interest rates influence rent prices, but interest rates on mortgages have remained constant or declined, contrary to what the end user is seeing in many places: a housing bubble. So it turns out that low interest rates actually benefit these big traders because leverage works to their advantage, but it's also in their interest to keep prices high. Much like futures contracts, they have no intention of ever taking possession of the good being traded, it's simply an investment vehicle to be endlessly recirculated.

Again, the goal is not to force your pops to make peanuts on rent from the apartment he bought thirty years ago -- it's to stop speculation by market players who don't give a **** about what they are buying or selling, just RoI, on stuff that people need to, like, not die from exposure.

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1 hour ago, Gorth said:

Short of committing mass murder, genocide and forced sterilization of large numbers of people that is?

We don't like words like "mass murder" around these parts. They make investors shift in their chairs during earnings calls. See, the worker class just becomes obsolete as a whole. And as with anything obsolete, it's simply "phased out".

It's called growth in a highly dynamic economic environment, friend.

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9 hours ago, Skarpen said:

It all depends on the difference between the UBI and potential salary. Usually a minimum wage. If for example you get 1000$ UBI and minimum wage is 1000$ which gives lets say 700$ after taxes and you need to spend for example 200$ to get to work (car, gas, transport) and pay 300$ for childcare then the wasting 40h a week for essentially 200$ extra might be somenthing many people would opt out of.

Also you need to consider that UBI should cover living expenses for one person, right? Now what about marriages and kids? Do UBI apply to kids? Then for a marriage with two kids you have 4 times the UBI amount. And living expenses for four people are not equal to four times that of a single person. Whould that be incentive for one of the spouses to resign from a low pay job? It happened in Poland with the 500+ for kids. People with 2-3 or more kids decide it's more beneficial to stay at home living off social handouts than working.

And it desn't take 90% of people resigning from jobs to live of social to affect the economy. 2-3% would be a huge hit because the rest would need to cover those differences. Which leads to increase of social spending while decreasing the tax income, which leads to the need of increasing taxes so maybe another 1-2% of people resigning from jobs. And I think when you hit about 8-10% the whole system atarts to collapse.

Point of UBI is that everyone gets it and everyone gets same amount.

30% tax for $1000 salary seem extreme high even from Finnish stand point and especially from USA point of view. And $1000 for 40 hours with 30% tax including $300 child care + $200 to travel will make many people opt out even if other option is no income at all. Because that just is not worth it.

Lets look Finnish example

UBI was 630€ with 0% tax and you can earn your taxes are kept to 0% until you reach 1000€. then it increases bit by pit until you reach 2000€ when you overall tax rate is about 15%

Public transportation inside of city cost about 250€ per year and you can travel as much you like.

Child care, schools, hospitals, etc. are paid from taxes, so they doesn't cost anything extra over your taxes.

So almost all that person earns over 250€ is extra income until they reach salary numbers that are considered high enough to motivate people to work 

Yeah there should be consideration if UBI should cover living expense or should there be another benefit for low income households, in FInland's UBI experiment later was the option that was tried.

 As I said 7.2% is the number of people in Finland who live on social security which you get if you don't have any other income even if you actively refuse to take any jobs. That social security is about same size as tested UBI. Finland is still one of the riches countries in the world and its economy has grown quite lot in past 40 years when our social security systems has been in effect. 

Finland's UBI experiment showed that people in social security were more likely to take job if one was offered them, among unemployed (not including people on social security) there was not indication that UBI any way impacted likelihood that them getting new job. Unemployed people on UBI reported higher happiness than those unemployed people who received unemployment benefit.

UBI experiment was too small to make conclusions of its impact to  state finances

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2 hours ago, Gorth said:

Serious question. How would you tackle the issue of there simply not being enough jobs for people in the future? Increasing automatization of tasks (less need for people to perform the tasks)  and a world population that is now not just too large, but way too large to be sustainable? Short of committing mass murder, genocide and forced sterilization of large numbers of people that is?

People should adapt, if it's really bad then I suppose violent crime or war may cut down on the population.

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1 hour ago, Gfted1 said:

Can you elaborate on this? How did giving monies to only those in need of social security amount to more than giving everyone 1k UBI?

It is simple bureaucracy + infrastructure to run social security system cost much more than the money that is distributed to people. As officials need to know that nobody who should not get money will not get money even if it adds couple billion per year in the bill

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2 minutes ago, Elerond said:

It is simple bureaucracy + infrastructure to run social security system cost much more than the money that is distributed to people. As officials need to know that nobody who should not get money will not get money even if it adds couple billion per year in the bill

Yeah, okay that is a valid point and mentioned in the article but I dont like the idea of setting such a low bar for acceptable distribution of payments like social services. It can be more streamlined  Elrond. Lets not just accept that " bureaucracy " needs to be expensive, lets rather use the word " efficiency " and never mention " bureaucracy " again

It starts with you Elerond and what you prepared to accept ?

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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1 minute ago, BruceVC said:

Yeah, okay that is a valid point and mentioned in the article but I dont like the idea of setting such a low bar for acceptable distribution of payments like social services. It can be more streamlined  Elrond. Lets not just accept that " bureaucracy " needs to be expensive, lets rather use the word " efficiency " and never mention " bureaucracy " again

It starts with you Elerond and what you prepared to accept ?

No, I get my income by making software for public sector, more efficient public sector means less money to me 😋

But in real I have campaigned long time for more efficient public sector, and which is why UBI experiments as good as they bring in light how cumbersome current system is and that there is clear need to fix it. And it brings fresh outlooks how system could work. 

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1 hour ago, Gfted1 said:

 

Can you elaborate on this? How did giving monies to only those in need of social security amount to more than giving everyone 1k UBI?

The whole administration for Hartz IV (and all of the many many local programs) is so very expensive that it dwarfs the amount that actually goes to the people in need.

 

2 hours ago, Gfted1 said:

Do German citizens have to pay into a health insurance fund?


You either have private insurance (several companies) or "statutory" health insurance (also several players which are actually not state-owned but operate differently than the private ones).
If you are employed you pay half of the fee and the other half is paid by your employer. The fee is a percentage of what you earn - like taxes. Higher income = higher fee. If you're not employed you pay it all by yourself (or welfare pays it for you). Private health insurances work like most other insuraces where they try to invest the money and get safe but decent returns - difficult with all-time low interest rates though. The more wealthy people "flee" into private insurance the more pressure there is for the people in stat. health insurance.

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4 minutes ago, InsaneCommander said:

Basic income, rising sea levels, plans to mine asteroids and colonize Mars.

We are definitely heading to The Expanse.

Will their be people blaming all the social problems in the world on "white, male, privlidege  " and " neo-liberal policies "   in The Expanse, if not sign me up  ... like yesterday for sure ✨

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"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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3 minutes ago, BruceVC said:

Will their be people blaming all the social problems in the world on "white, male, privlidege  " and " neo-liberal policies "   in The Expanse, if not sign me up  ... like yesterday for sure ✨

No. Some people will blame the "skinnies", others the "dusters" or the "squats".

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6 hours ago, Gfted1 said:

Can you elaborate on this? How did giving monies to only those in need of social security amount to more than giving everyone 1k UBI?

As Elerond mentioned, the cost of administration of benefits is ludicrous. Cut that out and there's a big saving.

Last time I checked it literally literally cost more to investigate benefit fraud here than was saved by detecting it, for example. You do have to have the investigations as you there would be more fraud if there was no chance of being caught, but still, nett loss per investigation suggests better alternatives should be looked at.

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US budget deficit to exceed $2.3 trillion for 2021 

The government spending deficit exceeds the rate of growth. Our economy is expanding against all reason or odds but it really isn’t because we’re going to be a negative growth for government spending. Oh and by the way in case anybody wonders why “nothing“ cost $48,000 per coin, this is why. this is also why gold is trading for double it’s real world value.

Tick tock tick tock....

 

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Get off my lawn!

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A bit late, but... the Australian take on Q Anon 😛

 

 

 

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