Guaranteed Income

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RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture
Guaranteed Income

How come we can't all agree on a Guaranteed Income.  I believe Conservative Senator Hugh Segal is a big proponent. How come it only comes up between elections? What are the flaws with it? 

 

I think if Canadians knew how cheap it was and how much it could help us spend less, they'd be on board.

 

This election seems to be rigged. Call me tin-foil just don't call me fool me forever. Why doesn't this get more play? It resonates with Canadians and is cheap, just doesn't resonate with corporate interests.

 

Don't think the $10 tax cut they offer you isn't going to cost you $100 down the road.  But whatever...

Lord Palmerston

Well, Hugh Segal debates with a neoconservative opponent on the idea [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drDMmbOnfUw]here[/url]

Fidel

Hugh Segal is also a proponent of electoral reform toward a proportional system. He must not have a lot of friends in the upper chamber when fat-cats take their work breaks every so often.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

And why is this tolerated Fidel? How come more of us don't wake up to it? I'm about to look at your link LP.

 

Frickin' fat-cats. Where's bagkitty with a picture of our overlords. Freaking media is a huge scam. It's a sham. Rabble needs to become bigger. I'm rejoining my donations to rabble. I had a brief separation.

 

Elections always remind me why.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Well, Hugh Segal debates with a neoconservative opponent on the idea [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drDMmbOnfUw]here[/url]

 

Hang on, the first minute tells me I've already missed Hugh Segal's points for it???

 

eta: Do you have a full interview link or should I look for it?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I think this is Segal's initiative:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoIJKTQ3U4A&feature=fvwrel

XXX

You're missing the point... if there was a GIS for everyone, nobody would work at tim horton's

the country runs on minimum wage employees. Who would go to work if they could stay home in bed for the same money?

 

Tim's needs to make their 100 million per month you know!

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

And Paikin is a tool. He's arguing with a Conservative.  Watch this folks.  It's a Conservative telling you how it's true we will reduce Government.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

XXX wrote:

You're missing the point... if there was a GIS for everyone, nobody would work at tim horton's

the country runs on minimum wage employees. Who would go to work if they could stay home in bed for the same money?

 

Tim's needs to make their 100 million per month you know!

 

That's just untrue. The Guaranteed Income would never even be even to minimum wage. I'll always work. Most folks I know don't like not working. They like jobs.

 

Perhaps, I'll just flag your post as it seems unbabble. Dude, or dudette. people like to work, I need shit to do. This is a Conservative proposing this, it makes sense and saves us money. I laugh when folks try to deny this.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Watch the video if you care.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Wow, they quote Woody Allen and laugh at people in poverty.  FFS.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

There's your token Conservative I love. Hugh Segal nailed it. The defelection by Tasha to people won't work was what I expected. That's all they got. Weak. Ha! Segal pushed her that it's ok if working-age people starve.

 

C'mon folks...

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Bravo, Hugh Segal, I didn't think I'd cheer on a Con! Point of privilege.

XXX

RevolutionPlease wrote:

 

Perhaps, I'll just flag your post as it seems unbabble. Dude, or dudette. people like to work, I need shit to do. This is a Conservative proposing this, it makes sense and saves us money. I laugh when folks try to deny this.

 

wow... you're going to flag my post for saying something you don't agree with. Chill dude. LOL

GIS is never going to happen. Voters don't like giving money to poor people. Voters like throwing poor people in jail.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Gah. Again. Don't work. Sure dudette.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

XXX wrote:

RevolutionPlease wrote:

 

Perhaps, I'll just flag your post as it seems unbabble. Dude, or dudette. people like to work, I need shit to do. This is a Conservative proposing this, it makes sense and saves us money. I laugh when folks try to deny this.

 

wow... you're going to flag my post for saying something you don't agree with. Chill dude. LOL

GIS is never going to happen. Voters don't like giving money to poor people. Voters like throwing poor people in jail.

 

 

Heh, jus playin. good luck throwin us in jail. I'm not poor but I do wish you could feel it.

XXX

who do you think is in our jails? Overwhelmingly, it's poor people.

People vote for law and order. They support paying more taxes for more cops, more jails, tougher laws. They don't care how much it costs.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

XXX wrote:

who do you think is in our jails? Overwhelmingly, it's poor people.

People vote for law and order. They support paying more taxes for more cops, more jails, tougher laws. They don't care how much it costs.

 

 

ReallyÉ lol, youère about to discover what ÈpeopleÈ really care about.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Oh well, I only concern myself with this late at night, anyways...

bekayne

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Bravo, Hugh Segal, I didn't think I'd cheer on a Con! Point of privilege.

But he's not really a Conservative in the Harper sense (he was appointed to the Senate by Martin). He's a member of that diminishing species known as Tories

Fidel

XXX wrote:

You're missing the point... if there was a GIS for everyone, nobody would work at tim horton's

It boils down to whether the person would be better off or not. If the tax system is structured so that people are better off with GIS + low wage work, then a large majority will choose to work in addition to having GIS income. What we have had now and for a long time is called the welfare trap, and it's a miserable system. If there is no significant difference in quality of life between welfare and a life of low wage philanthrophy, then incentives to accept low paid work are lacking. For instance, a single mother in the Ottawa area will probably refuse a job downtown at or barely above minimum wage. She would then have to deal with child care expenses and transportation costs. In too many cases the person would be worse off accepting low wage slavery. It's just not worth it.

Very many teenagers and young people might have some incentive for low wage jobs, because many of them will try to work and save for college while living at home in order to avoid student loan debt ball and chains the size of small home mortgages by the time they're through. But that doesn't do much for the hundreds of thousands of adults across the country who would be anywhere from no better off to worse off working at Tim Horton's.

The current system is broken, and it's just the way the rich and powerful prefer things to be in a country where the democracy gap has become a canyon over the last 30 years. Our corrupt stooges are now running the country little better than a banana republic as they drop the country further and further into a debt hole while Canada's raw materials and energy are siphoned off at well below market prices. If our corrupt stooges were CEOs and ran corporations into the ground similarly, they'd have been fired off the job long ago.

Unionist

We've had lots of threads in the past about "guaranteed income". I think it's a diversion - often an opposition - from a more complex package of real needs:

- Higher minimum wage

- Guaranteed employment for all who can work and in the meantime guaranteed income for those who are "between jobs" and looking for work

- Guaranteed income for those who can't because of disability

- Guaranteed training to allow access to higher-value jobs

- Guaranteed child care to free women for the workforce

- Guaranteed parental leave and similar programs to allow families or single parents to manage both child-rearing and work

- Ever-increasing social provision for free, or cheap, of basic necessities - like health care (including drugs, dental, home care, elder care, etc.), education, housing

- Decent retirement income

"Guaranteed income" solves nothing, because without all these other measures (and a lot more that I haven't listed), it would simply be guaranteed poverty.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

We've had lots of threads in the past about "guaranteed income". I think it's a diversion - often an opposition - from a more complex package of real needs:

- Higher minimum wage

- Guaranteed employment for all who can work

- Guaranteed income for those who can't because of disability

- Guaranteed training to allow access to higher-value jobs

- Guaranteed child care to free women for the workforce

- Guaranteed parental leave and similar programs to allow families or single parents to manage both child-rearing and work

- Ever-increasing social provision for free, or cheap, of basic necessities - like health care (including drugs, dental, home care, elder care, etc.), education, housing

- Decent retirement income

"Guaranteed income" solves nothing, because without all these other measures (and a lot more that I haven't listed), it would simply be guaranteed poverty.

 

Agreed but guaranteed employment is a difficult issue-- that is what some who advocate work-fare like programs to replace social assistance say. Of course I know that is not what you are proposing but it is important to distinguish between the two.

What you are saying --includes 1) programs to end low wage exploitation and 2) universal programs to support and protect people and families. I support both objectives and the specific measures you suggest-- just so long as every reader understands what you mean by guaranteed work -- (respectable work for a living wage)

Sean in Ottawa

xxx does have a point.

While I agree with Revolution Please that people want to work the impression that people would not is very real. There is also the reality that there are different kinds of work and people would likely not choose the worst jobs if they had a choice.

I suspect it might not be all right wing fluff as well. I know people working for minimum wage and if they had a guaranteed income, I'd be the first to tell them take it and do volunteer work for something more valuable that also could be experience or knowledge used to get a better job. There are other people who might have choices to help their families if not forced to work for the lowest of wages-- many people ahve aged parents or young children and would not find the time away from work useless.

Minimum wage is not rewarding and most employers who pay it would have a hard time getting people to work unrespected in dead end jobs for crap wages if people had a choice.

Tim Horton's in particular is mostly franchises many with shoddy employment practices. I knew people working at Tim's. They would get calls in the middle of the night like 4 am asking them to come in to work because there was a shortage-- no respect for the fact that Tim's people don't tend to have enough income to live alone.

Of course this would not all be bad. Many people currently working in minimum wage could use the guaranteed income to improve skills and get out of the rut and in to something better. It would be harder to get people to do those jobs and they would have to pay more. In some cases they would use technology to do the jobs with fewer workers as more people would get better employment with the help a GI could give them.

People would use the GI for short periods and try to get something better than minimum wage. We would over a short time likely see a greater proportion of people earning better incomes and fewer working at the bottom wage rung. The country would be better off, and so would the government. Some of the employment shortages would be covered with technology rather than mind-numbing tasks and some employers would find they would need to pay more than minimum wage.

The bottom line is people get exploited when they have no choice. Given a choice they do something else. In the end we would all be better off. In a round about way I am finding myself more in agreement with xxx but still not liking the more pejorative tone of the first post even while I actually don't completely disagree on the facts-- that people would withdraw exploitive labour given a choice.

Given xxx's other comments I am not sure it was an anti-poor position-- perhaps because I am not offended by the notion that people would not give labour below a living wage willingly.

 

ETA: Cross-posted without seeing Unionists and Fidel's excellent posts. (I had written this but did not click send and it hid behind other stuff on my computer...

Unionist

Yes, Sean, you're right, I wasn't proposing workfare.

I still oppose "guaranteed income" concepts, because they are invariably debated in isolation from, and often in opposition to, the points I raised.

I should have added:

- Guarantees that all workers wishing to unionize can do so with minimal effort, combined with severe penalties for any employers that lift a finger to interfere.

- Anti-scab legislation.

- Far more progressive taxation on all fronts.

It's all about righting the social imbalance.

Also, just to underline my points about health care etc., society should constantly be advancing toward the provision of social needs to all its members for free (or nominal charge) - i.e. paid from government revenue. We already recognize that principle for roads and drinking water and (some) health care and K-12 education. Why not shelter? And I'd go further, but I'd be accused of being a socialist.

We shouldn't be providing people with money. We should be providing them with the means to obtain the goods and services they need to live full and rewarding and productive lives - whether that be decent jobs or affordable or no cost items.

 

 

Sean in Ottawa

I'm ok with a mixed economy-- socialist in many respects including socialized education, health, housing. Then I am ok with people being able to earn some additional money over that as well to buy what pleases them-- so people can make money on non necessities and earn money to buy and choose between them. But I don't like people choosing between rent and health care etc.

There is a lot of money to be made on non essentials and private industry can have those as their playground. Re moving private interests from the social determinants of health, employment and personal security while defining a place for private innovators outside of that would be a major advancement in civilization.

I don't want to explain in detail now but it is also essential to point out that art is also a collective good and must be supported and shared by citizens. What I am speaking about is a massive restructuring and limiting of capitalism out of key sectors and in to a more limited sandbox (albeit with regulation). It would remain a part of government responsibility to ensure that that sandbox remain fair and healthy but the priorities of health get managed outside of it.

In this context it would be much easier to live in an environmentally sustainable world.

I think, Unionist, we are very much on the same page...

Unionist

I agree with all your points there, Sean. I think we're creating a "list" of how to build a more humane society, while still respecting individuals and nature etc. I have long believed that "guaranteed income" is a short-cut that doesn't actually get you to that destination.

 

D V

I hope some would find of interest my five or so longish posts from a few years back on topic at https://greenparty.ca/blogs/1193/2009-10-18/guaranteed-annual-income-dis... , covering a lot of ground (I am poster whose name with these same initials, "D V ").

In my vigourous advocacy since I left the Greens re the dangers of wireless, and encountering many dissenting scientists' having been stifled, I have come even more to appreciate the useful place of a "GAI". This was broached by one such veteran oppressed scholar in Sweden, regarding funding inadequacies & dependencies for researchers. A GAI-type institution should tend to free up creative work, lessen effective intimidation.

This is a topic whose time has come again, see esp. my remarks on timeliness & the last background financial near-breakdown; see also e.g. my anticipating leftish criticism, some book references, etc.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Thank you all for your responses.  Now I get why it's not so easy.

Unionist

RP (and everyone), [url=http://archive.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=00725... is one of many past babble threads on the Guaranteed Annual Income issue. You'll find some wonderful and thoughtful posts here by Sean in Ottawa, and some arrogant elitist right-wing and stupid posts by a noted "economist".

ETA: And [url=http://archive.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=12&t=0015... is another thread, from two years earlier (2006), lots of good stuff here. Same right vs. left line-up.

The economist tried again in [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-strategy-next-federal-... to peddle his GAI charity-style keep-the-poor-happy nostrum, but didn't get any further than in the past.

And there's lots more if you start looking around.

Fidel

 

Quote:
- Guaranteed employment for all who can work
- Guaranteed income for those who can't because of disability

Isn't this just a variation of Puritanical old world view of people with sorting them into deserving and undeserving poor?

The problem today is that true full employment is both incompatible with environmental concerns as well as an improbable goal WRT the available economic ideologies. Certain environmental economists are saying we should actually pay people to stay home the situation is becoming that dire.

And scientists have basically said that full employment according to "this", what we have today, which is still an old world capitalist economic model based on resource and fossil fuel consumption would strip the earth's resources bare in nothing flat. And we would end up choking on the pollution if and when "this" is ever fully globalized. It would spell the end of us long time.

I think that for these reasons a GAI should be part of a transitional economic model during which time the obsolete capitalist system is gradually replaced by a more sustainable economic model designed around the needs of humanity and the environment. And right now humanity and the environment are not in need of anymore industrial food or plastic widgets churned out of factories only to be thrown on capitalist scrapheaps of time.

 

Jacob Richter

Guaranteed income worsens the position of labour, compared to structural employment policies.  And no, I'm not referring to Keynes but to guys like Minsky and anonymous populists who'd like government to simply hire everyone and subcontract to the private sector those who need to be subcontracted.

Fidel

I like the idea of full employment. It would be a good thing to achieve some day and I think it could be doable, just not today in these times. Unfortunately our economic system and the environment are not designed for it. Too many decades in a row with corrupt governments asleep at the switch have led us down this particular garden path we are on. With capitalism there is no planning just month-to-month balance sheet considerations and quarterly earnings projections, Beyond that the capitalist system is a ship without a rudder sailing full speed ahead toward the rocks.

Nordic countries simply give money to poor people and allow them to decide what job training to seek and whether to pursue work or not. And those countries have the will and means to educate and train unemployed workers for hire by fickle employers.  But most of those economies are not designed around extracting dead plant materials from the ground to use as fuel. The Swedes and other countries have recognized that the writing is on the wall for fossil fuel based old world economies. We would have to do a clean sweep of the corrupt stoogeaucracy from the halls of power in Ottawa first in order to even consider fuller employment policies in Canada. I think the rest of the world would prefer that Canada live up to its obligations to the world and reduce carbon emissions not increase them with fuller employment policies under an old world colonial-extractive type of economy.

Our corrupt petro state has come close to full employment by their own standards during the neoliberal 1990s-early 2000s. And I think it is too low a standard to aspire to. What we end up with is a lot of part-time, seasonal and temporary jobs mixed with some government employment along with some misguided urban sprawl and a debt bubble by the time it collapses in two or three years.  A lot of it tends to be non-unionized and branch plant economy. I think we should differentiate between neoliberal fuller employment, which was not very consistent anyway leading up to the ideologically-induced meltdown, and that of socialist and green economy fuller employment policies characteristic of meaningful work and with the aim of modernizing our obsolete economy.  

JKR

According to a Conservative candidate, there's no real poverty in Canada?!?

NDP blasts Tories for ex-envoy’s claim poverty is no more

Quote:

“I believe in poverty elimination in this country; we’ve eliminated it for the levels the World Bank recognizes. We don’t have that kind of poverty in Canada. But we still have low income,” Mr. Alexander told the crowd.

Amid groans and cries of “you’re lying, you’re lying,” he said: “Two dollars a day? Two dollars a day? I would ask anyone in this room to stand up and tell me who’s living on $2 a day?”

...

And Mr. Layton, who was making a campaign stop in Prince George, B.C., called the statements outrageous.

“We have begin to see the inside thinking of this Conservative party with this kind of a comment,” Mr. Layton said. “Now we can understand why they have taken no action to address the growing poverty in this country.”

...

Mr. Layton said Mr. Harper and Mr. Alexander must take account of the fact that more Canadians are going to food banks, that homelessness is a huge problem, and that many seniors live below the poverty line.

“No wonder Mr. Harper wouldn’t respond when I said let’s lift every senior out of poverty in the budget,” Mr. Layton said. “He’s in complete denial about it.”

Boze

People should direct their energies to their own projects and work on what is important to them.  And they should be remunerated for the amount of effort they put in.  In the past it was necessary to labour in order to produce food and other things we need.  But it was not and has never been necessary to work just in order to live in your domicile, unless somebody else owned it.  So if we are not going to declare that everyone owns their domiciles then we certainly CAN issue them a cheque that covers a decent domicile's rent or mortgage.  That should be a NO-BRAINER for anybody concerned about social equality: nobody should be driven to wage slavery to pay rent or mortgage!

Further, we have been and are constantly finding ways to produce more with less due to technological advancements.  This cultural heritage, as CH Douglas put it, belongs to all of us.  And the amount, per capita, that it produces should be enough to provide a subsistence level amount of food and energy to every citizen on the planet.  If people had this AND did not have to pay rent or mortgage, nobody would labour unless they wanted to, because it was coming out of their needs and interests. 

Maybe a certain, low level of employment is still necessary just to keep the wheels turning, okay, fine.  Say, 5 hours a week?  Maybe less?

If we are serious about freedom we need to talk about freeing people from the major tyranny in their lives which is the need to work. Because wealth has been directed upwards and many are born OWNING NOTHING.  The whole point is to ensure no citizen is born into poverty by bestowing property, in the form of a monthly grant, kind of like a trust fund, "shares" in the "common wealth," on every citizen.  WE CAN AFFORD THIS.  We shall ALL be freed of the demands of the global economy that enslaves us all to produce and consume ever more.

And rather than obviating the need for further social reforms I think this will only make that need more obvious as people think to themselves, why on earth would I work at a job I hate for somebody else at $8/hour?  For that matter, why would I do it for $16/hour if I hate it that much?  Sure, maybe I'll put in a few hours here and there to earn some money.  The job wouldn't be such a grind then.  It's the need to spend more time doing the job than any single other activity that reduces it to WAGE SLAVERY.  There are a million other things I could be doing to make the planet and my life and the lives of those around me a better place if I only had the time.  Spending it with friends and family, riding my bike, gardening, sewing, cooking, reading, exercising, volunteering, taking some classes at the university, and enjoying life.

How does guaranteed income worsen the position of labour?

ygtbk

Unionist wrote:

RP (and everyone), [url=http://archive.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=00725... is one of many past babble threads on the Guaranteed Annual Income issue. You'll find some wonderful and thoughtful posts here by Sean in Ottawa, and some arrogant elitist right-wing and stupid posts by a noted "economist".

I liked the Poisson-Charlier link, athough I'm more of a Chebyshev guy myself.

Unionist

ygtbk wrote:

I liked the Poisson-Charlier link, athough I'm more of a Chebyshev guy myself.

LOL! Thanks for reminding me of that fun discussion!

ETA: Er, whoops, you said you preferred Chebyshev, didn't you:

 

XXX

It would be nice to see a government run mortgage program... low rates, 40 year terms (with limited ability to take out equity)

In most canadian cities, owning is cheaper than renting. But many can't qualify for mortgages. Which is stupid. You can rent but you can't pay less to own.

A house owned in retirement makes living costs low, and if needed, can be sold to pay for said retirement. Saves people from eating catfood, anyway.

But a universal mortgage program will never happen. Takes money from landlords. All those "live off your renters" shows on tv would have to be cancelled. And then people who own property couldn't feel superior. Policies to further equality amongst canadians are just not popular with voters. Private wealth runs the show

 

Fidel

Maggie Thatcher said roughly the same thing about creating a property owning democracy. It was a ploy to get Labour voters to vote Tory and a ruse for big biz to put grabs on the gas, oil, water, electrics, and public transportation at firesale prices. Political conservatives live by the adage that suckers are born every minute. Much of the social housing stock built in Britain in the post-war years was transferred from public ownership to private. But Thatcher's market solutions didn't create adequate numbers of affordable housing, and Thatcher-Friedman monetary policies basically ended up pauperizing the economy. Very many Brits lost their mortgages in the property owning democracy. Maggie didn't specify who the new property owners would be. Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, South Africa, Russia, Thailand etc through Latvia today same thing.

Neoliberal ideology was designed to fail. The western world monetary system is basically finished. It will take a few years yet for the west to realize its financial captains of industry are feeding off a corpse. The debt system is kaput. Neither the idle rich nor money itself creates wealth  - people and labour do by the sweat of their brows and by creativity of the human mind. It's an immutable law of nature that not even neoliberal witch doctors can alter.

XXX

I wasn't taiking about thatcherism or selling off public assets. I was talking about helping families and individuals who want to own a home or apartment get a mortgage at a cheap rate without jumping through bank hoops.

What's wrong with owning the house you live in?

 

Fidel

I like the idea of owning a home, but then so do bankers and rich people like the idea of owning my home some day. An unwritten rule of capitalism says that the taxpayers money should never be used to compete with private enterprise and "the market." We have an affordable housing crisis today, and that sits well with people in high places who believe that owning a home is a privilege not a right. But at the same time, they don't want a national housing strategy supplying what the market can not or simply doesn't as a rule.

Housing should be a right and not a privilege granted by some invisible hand ideology. And rich people since the 1980s have lost their will to invest in the economy like they used to. The superrich today would rather make money with money and by compound interest, rent and usury. But they don't want to build anything only to run at a slight profit, or break even or even run at a loss for periods of "market downturn", which is a euphemism for when the system crashes on time according to debt schedule engineering. There is a certain class of us who want guarantees in life that just aren't available to ordinary market agents ie. us regular slobs sold on the idea of property owning democracy. Countries with some of the highest percentages home ownership are socialist and-or are not following pure market ideology in the area of housing.

ygtbk

Unionist wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

I liked the Poisson-Charlier link, athough I'm more of a Chebyshev guy myself.

LOL! Thanks for reminding me of that fun discussion!

ETA: Er, whoops, you said you preferred Chebyshev, didn't you:

 

Yes, although I like the simpler formulation

NorthReport

 A nice dream perhaps, but not bloodly likely to pass

Rather than savage cuts, Switzerland considers “Star Trek” economics

Switzerland will vote on giving every adult in the country a $2,800 check every month. How would that work?

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Simple. Print more money. Money mouth

socialdemocrati...

It's simple. Instead of spending millions of dollars on a department of social services, with clerks policing who claims their cheques and social workers verifying that everyone is in compliance, and an entire system to manage alternative "currencies" like food stamps... You just give everyone $2800 when they file their tax return. Funny enough, a guaranteed minimum income is actually supported by some of the intellectual pointy heads on the right, who hate bureaucracy more than they hate redistribution of wealth.

It's not an absurd reason to do so: a lot of American states are doing the opposite, adding all kinds of bureaucracy to chase down this perceived problem of unemployment fraud, only to end up spending more chasing it down than they save by reducing fraud. People tend to overstate the "moochers" abusing the system. Almost all of the people who received social services actually need them.

Brachina

 This will make an interesting expirment.

Unionist

The right-wing "guaranteed income" scheme has been demolished in many babble threads over the years. And in this 2008 Progressive Economics Forum conversation, you can see some of the key elements of that demolition:

[url=http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2008/02/11/gai-proceed-with-caution/... - Proceed With Caution[/url]

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

So then how do we come up with a system of income support that helps people without giving Libs and Tories an excuse for sticking it to the people who need this help the most? (this could include neo-lib NDP governments at least like those on the pairies, as well).

socialdemocrati...

Yeah, I'm with you. I'd much rather see a higher minimum wage, better job benefits, and job creation through public works and infrastructure. As much as I find it interesting when some principled right-wing intellectuals sympathize with the left, particularly on civil liberties... I can't help but be cynical and see it as a trojan horse. Like, as soon as we obliterate our social safety net for a guaranteed minimum income, that's when the right wing starts whittling away the guaranteed minimum income.

That being said, I'm conscious of the right wing myth that poor people can't be motivated to work if you give them "guaranteed" anything, and I'm not comfortable with that being the reason that we shoot it down. One of the best arguments for a GMI is that we waste a lot of money on bureaucracy and "anti-fraud", essentially because we're worried that poor people can't be trusted.

 

Unionist

Arthur Cramer wrote:

So then how do we come up with a system of income support that helps people without giving Libs and Tories an excuse for sticking it to the people who need this help the most? (this could include neo-lib NDP governments at least like those on the pairies, as well).

Carefully try to do what Andrew Jackson suggested in the 2008 discussion I cited above: Make guaranteed income a replacement for welfare (essentially), but don't eliminate a single other program (EI, CPP, minimum wage laws, etc. etc.).

I still think it's dangerous, though, because it will provide neoliberals with a pretext to wipe out everything in exchange for the guaranteed income - in other words, guaranteed poverty.

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Unionist wrote:

Arthur Cramer wrote:

So then how do we come up with a system of income support that helps people without giving Libs and Tories an excuse for sticking it to the people who need this help the most? (this could include neo-lib NDP governments at least like those on the pairies, as well).

Carefully try to do what Andrew Jackson suggested in the 2008 discussion I cited above: Make guaranteed income a replacement for welfare (essentially), but don't eliminate a single other program (EI, CPP, minimum wage laws, etc. etc.).

I still think it's dangerous, though, because it will provide neoliberals with a pretext to wipe out everything in exchange for the guaranteed income - in other words, guaranteed poverty.

 

What a screwed up world. All this wealth and we think its ok if a few people have most of it and a lot have almost none of it.

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