Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: "Basic Income" - Should People Be Paid for Being Alive ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    78,982

    Default "Basic Income" - Should People Be Paid for Being Alive ?

    A Swiss movement is pushing for a basic income for all adults, working or not working, to be paid by the State.

    This is an idea that has been around for a while, and Michael D. Higgins spoke in favour of it shortly before his Presidential run.

    The idea has had support from people on the left and on the right.

    Some people promote it simply because it would mean doing away with a lot of jobs in the public sector that adminster the complex schemes that would be
    replaced by a single payment.

    In a small scale experiment in a town in Canada, hospital admissions went down, and High School completion went up.

    I'm not sure what impact it had on the economy, but it would be interesting to see.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/ma...?smid=tw-share

    Even workers states did not so far as I know pay people to exist - wages were attached to work.

    Would it work in Ireland ?

    This fall, a truck dumped eight million coins outside the Parliament building in Bern, one for every Swiss citizen. It was a publicity stunt for advocates of an audacious social policy that just might become reality in the tiny, rich country. Along with the coins, activists delivered 125,000 signatures — enough to trigger a Swiss public referendum, this time on providing a monthly income to every citizen, no strings attached. Every month, every Swiss person would receive a check from the government, no matter how rich or poor, how hardworking or lazy, how old or young. Poverty would disappear. Economists, needless to say, are sharply divided on what would reappear in its place — and whether such a basic-income scheme might have some appeal for other, less socialist countries too.

    The proposal is, in part, the brainchild of a German-born artist named Enno Schmidt, a leader in the basic-income movement. He knows it sounds a bit crazy. He thought the same when someone first described the policy to him, too. “I tell people not to think about it for others, but think about it for themselves,” Schmidt told me. “What would you do if you had that income? What if you were taking care of a child or an elderly person?” Schmidt said that the basic income would provide some dignity and security to the poor, especially Europe’s underemployed and unemployed. It would also, he said, help unleash creativity and entrepreneurialism: Switzerland’s workers would feel empowered to work the way they wanted to, rather than the way they had to just to get by. He even went so far as to compare it to a civil rights movement, like women’s suffrage or ending slavery.
    When we spoke, Schmidt repeatedly described the policy as “stimmig.” Like many German words, it has no English equivalent, but it means something like “coherent and harmonious,” with a dash of “beauty” thrown in. It is an idea whose time has come, he was saying. And basic-income schemes are having something of a moment, even if they are hardly new. (Thomas Paine was an advocate.) But their renewed popularity says something troubling about the state of rich-world economies.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    3,696

    Default Re: "Basic Income" - Should People Be Paid for Being Alive ?

    An interesting concept and a potentially very efficient one administration wise, but to finance it would require a very high level of taxation which is not saleable in a capitalist system. In an ideal world it'd be great in the way it would free people from job slavery, but it would also infantilise the population to a point where dynamism and production and production coordination would be entirely voluntary and that's no recipe for providing for the needs of the masses.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    78,982

    Default Re: "Basic Income" - Should People Be Paid for Being Alive ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaadi View Post
    An interesting concept and a potentially very efficient one administration wise, but to finance it would require a very high level of taxation which is not saleable in a capitalist system. In an ideal world it'd be great in the way it would free people from job slavery, but it would also infantilise the population to a point where dynamism and production and production coordination would be entirely voluntary and that's no recipe for providing for the needs of the masses.
    I'm not sure if that is the case. I was reading recently that until medieval times there was a right to food. People had land rights and access to common land where food could be grown, hunted and gathered and firewood got.
    At the moment, benefits can have a paralysing effect. If people felt secure for the basics it would free them up to take a chance on new types of work or businesses. I'm not sure either that it would cost much more than the present regime. If it was treated as taxable income, it would be in part recouped from people who didn't need it.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2,050

    Default Re: "Basic Income" - Should People Be Paid for Being Alive ?

    In France they have the SMIG, the minimum integration salary, a sort of payment for all. However, it is heavily circumscribed and needs thousands of public servants.

    BTW would it influence the decision by Judge Joe Bermngham to allow a bankrupt developers wife €9000 a month as living expenses? What sort of parallel world is the Judge living in? Wasn't he once a socialist??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    3,696

    Default Re: "Basic Income" - Should People Be Paid for Being Alive ?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I'm not sure if that is the case. I was reading recently that until medieval times there was a right to food. People had land rights and access to common land where food could be grown, hunted and gathered and firewood got.
    At the moment, benefits can have a paralysing effect. If people felt secure for the basics it would free them up to take a chance on new types of work or businesses. I'm not sure either that it would cost much more than the present regime. If it was treated as taxable income, it would be in part recouped from people who didn't need it.
    The thing about the land rights and the common access of yesteryear was that you had to get up and farmer/hunter-gatherer it. Under the paid enough for being alive regimen, you literally could sit on your couch and have someone deliver the essentials of life without doing a stroke yourself at all.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    hiding inside Brendan Gleesons underwear drawer...
    Posts
    13,555

    Default Re: "Basic Income" - Should People Be Paid for Being Alive ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaadi View Post
    An interesting concept and a potentially very efficient one administration wise, but to finance it would require a very high level of taxation which is not saleable in a capitalist system. In an ideal world it'd be great in the way it would free people from job slavery, but it would also infantilise the population to a point where dynamism and production and production coordination would be entirely voluntary and that's no recipe for providing for the needs of the masses.
    There needs to be a disparity then between the payment and the wages that people would earn so that if they wanted to live in a bit more comfort they could work and we also need to create the jobs that would go alongside such a project. The idea is fantastic if you ask me. Such a concept will not attract any fans in the business world though, employers would get their knickers in a twist over such a concept for fear of knowing they could not fire someone as easily as the employee would then know there is a safety net there. Id be all in favour of it. Ensure it covers, rent, heating, light, food, clothing, transport or car , toileteries and incidentals.
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    78,982

    Default Re: "Basic Income" - Should People Be Paid for Being Alive ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaadi View Post
    The thing about the land rights and the common access of yesteryear was that you had to get up and farmer/hunter-gatherer it. Under the paid enough for being alive regimen, you literally could sit on your couch and have someone deliver the essentials of life without doing a stroke yourself at all.
    Picking blackberries is not really tough work. Perhaps there should be a certain modest number of community hours people should have to demonstrate they have putting in - tasks of their choice.

    People want to work, and the boom was living proof that everyone who can works when jobs are there.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    5,727

    Default Re: "Basic Income" - Should People Be Paid for Being Alive ?

    it is an interesting idea

    economically I dont see why it wouldnt work if you think that >50% of what you earn ends up in the 'hands' of the government in the form of taxes (one way or another)

    so, this is a nice way to keep the money rolling and the economy pumping..

    sounds like a good return in your investment if the investor is the State (I may be wrong?)

    .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Meath
    Posts
    8,581

    Default Re: "Basic Income" - Should People Be Paid for Being Alive ?

    I'm moving to Switzerland. They pass this and they have me. I'll give up the passport, medical card, waiting lists and all. I want to live and work somewhere where I am not stigmatised when I lose my job(I have only been out of work a month and am signing off in the coming week as I've found some work at least for the next few weeks)and where I feel like I'm valued for my hard work. 5 years in college and entirely paid for by my local authority. Currently living in transitional housing too which the local authority gave me, and also have a medical card and for 2-3 weeks have been claiming-we have a skeletal welfare estate which is just enough to keep young single people and old and sick people off the street or in my case give them somewhere to stay til they get back on their feet but really it's stigmatised to the point where people feel humiliated asking for help-and I don't just mean me-rather than seeing it as something they have a right to as a citizen and someone who paid taxes their whole working life. I dread to think what a 21 year old will have to go through in 10 years in Ireland if they lose their flat and job like I did. The council and dept of social welfare already outsource emergency housing to charities, which tenants pay for in rent from their dole/pension/income. You can bet the day will soon come when these places will have to turn away the needy due to cuts and stripping of the already skeletal status quo. Either that or Ireland will turn into Spain with people at home til they're 35(before 1 or 2 of the usual better young fellas than me cos I've a mortgage and I'm not a FFFFFGER but heads come on this actually isn't an option for a lot of young people who for various reasons HAVE to support themselves because they've relied on vulnerable exhausted households for too long!!)

    I'm only half joking about this as I'm filling out an application for their State language assistant programme for next year which seems to be the easiest way to get a job in Switzerland as a foreigner outside the country. Not worth the risk staying here for another winter, the hardest time of year to get work, and being expected to feed yourself on 30 quid a week and still find bus fare/cv money once the(lets face it priority bills) bills are paid.

    So yes I think all developed states should and will eventually have a basic income right for everyone, and rich people should receive it for their kids but just pay more tax on it. Which is another reason why Tory Gael insiders central won't have one.
    Last edited by Apjp; 17-11-2013 at 04:58 PM.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Share us
Follow Us