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World & Current Events > Guaranteed income for all?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments A theme of universal/basic income is a discussed and debatable issue around the world. But from the theory it has a chance to be implemented, for today the idea of providing minimum income (of around 2,500 USD) goes on referendum vote in Switzerland. Some researches conducted in the context of the upcoming vote show that those who'd choose the income not necessarily intend to sit home doing nothing.. Obviously, the public discourse goes around a few aspects of the proposition.
The polls show low probability of the positive vote (who would believe?), but the idea must've garnered at least 100K supporters to be able to go on referendum..
Knowing Russian or Ukrainian mentality, I'd argue that if anything close goes on vote there, I'm sure of overwhelming support. What could be better of drinking and partying without the necessity to work a minute? -:)

For more info:
http://www.thelocal.ch/20160127/swiss...

What's your attitude?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Is this similar to welfare? What is the criteria for qualification besides having a poles?


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments Yep, like welfare. No criteria. The essence of the initiative: If you don't work, the Swiss government pays you 2,500 usd monthly, so you have a minimum income to support yourself, just because you are a citizen.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments This sounds insane LOL. Surely I'm missing something....


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments Tara wrote: "This sounds insane LOL. Surely I'm missing something...."

It's so not-American, that I'm not surprised -:)
There are people around the world that actually believe that the state has to provide a minimum living income to its citizens. A basic income. It has some logical explantions to it too, like that with automatization it's much harder to find jobs and so on. Obviously, there are a lot of counter-arguments too. Some countries can afford paying it. And the paradox is that these are such countries, where only a small per cent would choose to live of welfare rather than earn their living.
Nevertheless, the exit polls show that the vote was most likely rejected...


message 6: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments A universal income is a good thing. Every government should at least try to reach that goal.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I believe in social supports only if they work in tandem with incentivized entryways into employment. This does not apply to certain vulnerable classes however. But I would not like to think I am supporting an able-bodied adult who could be out working and contributing.


message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments Tara wrote: "I believe in social supports only if they work in tandem with incentivized entryways into employment. This does not apply to certain vulnerable classes however. But I would not like to think I am supporting an able-bodied adult who could be out working and contributing."

The funny thing is that to a degree you probably support billionaires and corporations, enjoying different direct and indirect benefits worth billions of dollars, much more than you'd ever support anyone living on welfare, be his/her support justified or not. I argue that the entire government spending is projected in a rather distorted way, so everyone is eagerly engaged in counting less dollar or more dollar to a needy, while billions go practically unnoticed without proper public debate.
Some researches show that in countries like Switzerland people won't just sit home do nothing, but would find engagement to move up from a 'basic' to a more advanced level. We may just see a strong influx of indie authors from there -:)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments This would not work in the US as it does in Switzerland for Myriad reasons. Switzerland is the child who obediently attends to his lesson book while the US is the child who puts chewing gum under the desk and makes his classmates giggle behind teacher's back.

Hardworking people are forced to hand over millions to tax dodging and downright criminal industrialists every day whether we like it or not. But two wrongs do not a right make. I think it is socially irresponsible to pay abled adults not to work. If they truly have honorable intentions to earn a trade will they not accept incentivized career training programs?


message 10: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2108 comments Nik wrote: " I argue that the entire government spending is projected in a rather distorted way, so everyone is eagerly engaged in counting less dollar or more dollar to a needy, while billions go practically unnoticed without proper public debate...."

This is why we have so many conservatives revolting against the Republican party - because conservatism is supposed to be about smaller government, less federal spending, and more local control, yet the Party supports corporate welfare as fervently as the Democrats support social welfare programs.

A few years ago when the Republicans and Obama agreed to the Sequester as punishment for not settling on specific spending cuts, the idea was brilliant. The Sequester forces all areas of the government to accept a cut in their budget equally. No one department is forced to take the brunt of the budget cuts and no one department receives favoritism in the process.

Once they got stuck with the mandatory cuts, suddenly the Republicans (supposedly the party of conservatism) join the Democrats in crying about the budget cuts.


message 11: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2108 comments Tara wrote: "This would not work in the US as it does in Switzerland for Myriad reasons. Switzerland is the child who obediently attends to his lesson book while the US is the child who puts chewing gum under t..."

The concept depends on how a country generates its revenue. It wouldn't work in a country like the US, because the citizens are directly funding government spending through taxes. But if you have countries that generate revenue through other means (sales of natural resources, government-run businesses, etc.) then the concept would work.

I'm seeing everyone debate it like it is a radical idea or it wouldn't work, but here in the US, we already see something similar in Alaska where residents get an annual cut of the oil revenue. It's not exactly on the scale some of these countries are proposing, but the concept is the same - they're paying people to live in the state.


message 12: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments My SF books also examine different forms of governance, and in my First Contact trilogy I have one I invented, and that includes a guaranteed minimum income for everyone. There is, of course, a catch - they have to turn up to various centres from time to time to do periods of work, and they have to obey laws and certain rules, or at least don't get caught breaking them. If they do, or do not turn up to work, their guaranteed support disappears. The corporations, in return for their semi-monopoly rights, have to provide the work, even if they don't want to, although they have the right to choose what the work is. Personally, I see this as a reasonable idea. It redistributes income, and if the corporation, or whatever, can find good use for the labour, then it will do better, and if it cannot, then it becomes a charity to those who have less ability or less access to resources or money.


message 13: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments J.J. wrote: "I'm seeing everyone debate it like it is a radical idea or it wouldn't work, but here in the US, we already see something similar in Alaska where residents get an annual cut of the oil revenue. It's not exactly on the scale some of these countries are proposing, but the concept is the same - they're paying people to live in the state. "

I don't think it's a radical idea at all. It's not affordable for every country, as the country has to have a viable business and desirably external revenue to generate the necessary surplus and it should rest on a mentality, where 'basic' living would be the least desirable option. In my vision it's the state for the people, so if Alaska distributes some of its revenues back to the population it sounds like a right approach.
It became popular to frighten people with 'Dutch disease' - a side effect of considerable new revenues resulting from discovery of natural resources, but I don't think it should be addressed through withholding incomes from the people.
I think Norway in this respect is a fine example of how to benefit its population and achieve one of the top standards of living in the world


message 14: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments Ian wrote: "My SF books also examine different forms of governance, and in my First Contact trilogy I have one I invented, and that includes a guaranteed minimum income for everyone. There is, of course, a cat..."

Sounds like an interesting concept to explore especially in the future conditions of scarce natural resources. If you have semi-monopolies, I guess the competition is reduced/inexistent? Can workers/population upgrade to business?


message 15: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments J.J. wrote: "This is why we have so many conservatives revolting against the Republican party - because conservatism is supposed to be about smaller government, less federal spending, and more local control, yet the Party supports corporate welfare as fervently as the Democrats support social welfare programs. ..."

This article shows that at least some republicans deliver -:):
http://www.investors.com/politics/com...
I wouldn't exactly say that 'best-run' is tantamount to 'most financially sound', as there are more parameters, but I guess the study is quite interesting


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments Re the economic model I "invented", the concept was that resources are somewhat scarce (there are now about a couple of dozen elements that are approaching the end of their availability in moderately concentrated ores. The elements are still there, but the energy requirements become extreme to get them from really dilute sources. For example, there is more gold in seawater than has been mine, but try getting it out, and try finding it next time you have a sample of seawater.) Also, energy is somewhat constrained. While fusion has been invented, there is a limit to how many such plants you can build because when they wear out, they are still radioactive - fusion always also makes neutrons.) So, the idea is a federal government allocates resource consumption based on need to corporations, and in return the corporations guarantee employment, and guarantee the right for citizens to rise to their level of competence. Of course there are flaws in this system, which, of course, is what the novels are about - the unintended consequences of what seems like a good idea. You may question the "good" part, but basically the premise is that most political systems will work, but only if everybody tries to make them work. They are usually undermined by greed, or personal quests for power. As an example, was far as we can tell, at the early part of the Res Publica, everybody worked together for the common good, and all the stories of "Roman virtues" were born. By the time of the Gracchi brothers, the greedy patricians had wrecked the system, and eventually you got Caesar "borrowing" an army and conquering Gaul for no better reason than to pay off his debts, and to fulfil an ambition.


message 17: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments Ian wrote: "As an example, was far as we can tell, at the early part of the Res Publica, everybody worked together for the common good, and all the stories of "Roman virtues" were born. By the time of the Gracchi brothers, the greedy patricians had wrecked the system, and eventually you got Caesar "borrowing" an army and conquering Gaul for no better reason than to pay off his debts, and to fulfil an ambition...."

In a sense the tensions between the patricians and plebeians continue and form our modern societies, just the layers are called differently... And those patricians calling the shots in the modern world can be contributive or destructive, depending on the agenda they are driven by....


message 18: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments Feels like this thread may have something in common with 'robots' -:)


message 19: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments A guaranteed wage would create 2 things:
1. Allow freeloaders -- bad. They have always been and alway will exist.
2. Creative people would explore opportunities--good. No worry about income.

With everything, there is always a plus and a negative. But, what the US has, isn't any good. It opens up a whole avenue of problems. The US welfare system doesn't have incentives to be creative.


message 20: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments GR wrote: "A guaranteed wage would create 2 things:.."

I think it's success will depend on prevailing norms of conduct and aspirations in specific societies. There will be countries, where maybe 60% would say: 'hey, thanks, I'm gonna be drinking the entire day now', while others - where those applying won't be more than 10%, as everybody would strive to go beyond 'basic'


message 21: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2108 comments GR wrote: "A guaranteed wage would create 2 things:
1. Allow freeloaders -- bad. They have always been and alway will exist.
2. Creative people would explore opportunities--good. No worry about income.

Wi..."

Part of the problem with the US system is that the Federal government gives the money to the states and forces them to run their own programs. Since everybody loves getting "free money," the states have no incentive to push people into joining the workforce, because each person who goes off the public dole means less money the state gets from the Federal government. This was something Bill Clinton had to address when he sought to reduce the Welfare Roles in the 90s.


message 22: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments JJ, that is perverse. It goes against the dictum the he who pays the piper calls the tune.


message 23: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments J.J. wrote: "GR wrote: "A guaranteed wage would create 2 things:
1. Allow freeloaders -- bad. They have always been and alway will exist.
2. Creative people would explore opportunities--good. No worry about i..."


That is so sad. What it does is keep people out of the competition. I believe it is the soul purpose of US Welfare back by industry. A sad, sad reality. It makes dead-weight and a multiple set of problems--crime, prejudice, abuse, slavery, etc., the list goes on. This is what makes me feel ashamed about the US. There isn't anything they want to fix the problem.


message 24: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2108 comments Ian wrote: "JJ, that is perverse. It goes against the dictum the he who pays the piper calls the tune."

It's the same principle with the decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. Supreme Court ruled the Federal Government couldn't force the states to expand their programs, so many Republican-led states refused to do so. The arguments that have since arisen in those states is not about the people that would be helped, but about the "free money" the states aren't getting from the Federal government because they didn't expand Medicaid.


message 25: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments That too shows a Constitutional flaw. Where the Federal Government wants to do something for the general population, it should prevail. The Supreme Court should be interpreting law, not making political decisions, and if it had the power to do that, then maybe there needs to be yet another amendment. Not that the present political situation in the US would permit the necessary majority vote to amend the Constitution.


message 26: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2108 comments Ian wrote: "That too shows a Constitutional flaw. Where the Federal Government wants to do something for the general population, it should prevail. The Supreme Court should be interpreting law, not making poli..."

It's not a Constitutional flaw. The Constitution lays out what responsibilities the federal government has and delegates everything else to the states. When Congress decides to enact these massive programs, but dump the responsibility of administering the programs to the states, it surrenders its Constitutional rights to the states. Congress has the Constitutional right to surrender its power to the states, but it then does not have the Constitutional right to strong arm the states as the ACA attempted to do through the proposed Medicare expansion. The flaw is not with the Constitution, but with the Congress, and as the Supreme Court once ruled, it is not the job of the Court to protect the country from bad laws, only unconstitutional ones.


message 27: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments Hmmm, I did not know of this subtlety. Since Congress seems to be GOP controlled, was this a deliberate attempt to sabotage Obamacare?


message 28: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13109 comments In the terms of contracting jobs and expanding number of capitas, do you think human beings deserve saving or letting sink?


message 29: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9250 comments The problem, Nik, is once the children arrive, they have to be looked after. After all, at that point, none of it is their fault. As for the economy, surely it is to serve the people, not the other way around. Th real question is whether the population will go along with population control? China tried a 1-child policy that had a certain degree of success, but they seem to have abandoned it to some degree.


message 30: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5206 comments I'm just looking at the thread title, "Guaranteed Income for all?" As technology progresses and robots take over jobs, it seems to me that there must be some sort of guaranteed income for those who can no longer find jobs for which they're qualified.


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