Unconditional Basic Wage

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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#21  Postby Galactor » Dec 28, 2016 11:32 am

Sendraks wrote:It's hard to deny that the Netherlands appears to be living in a future at least 50 years ahead of the UK.


It is also hard to deny the amount of money that the country wastes.

For those interested in the history of the Netherlands that has led them to be so social and united, I heartily recommend "The Low Sky" by Hans van der Horst. A country forced to learn to compromise and cooperate across religions divisions through the threats of the sea and learn to benefit from the influx of (economic migrating and persecuted) foreigners.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#22  Postby Galactor » Dec 28, 2016 11:54 am

lyingcheat wrote:I'm guessing that many here will be familiar with Bertrand Russell's essay 'In Praise of Idleness' written, presciently, in 1932.

He is not arguing for an unconditional wage but rather for a kind of redistribution, of both the wealth and the leisure, made possible by what he could already, in 1932, see.

Modern methods of production have given us the possibility of ease and security for all; we have chosen, instead, to have overwork for some and starvation for others. Hitherto we have continued to be as energetic as we were before there were machines; in this we have been foolish, but there is no reason to go on being foolish forever.


'In Praise of Idleness'


Excellent contribution.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#23  Postby Galactor » Dec 28, 2016 12:00 pm

PensivePenny wrote:I think what you're talking about, here in the US we call, "Raising the minimum wage" (though the right would prefer we 'raze the minimum wage').



Have a read of this WSJ article.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#24  Postby Sendraks » Dec 28, 2016 12:15 pm

Galactor wrote:

It is also hard to deny the amount of money that the country wastes.


Which one, the Netherlands or the UK? Because I'm confident that when it comes to money wastage, the UK is way out in front of the "pointlessly frittering cash away" league.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#25  Postby PensivePenny » Dec 28, 2016 12:19 pm

Sendraks wrote:
Galactor wrote:

It is also hard to deny the amount of money that the country wastes.


Which one, the Netherlands or the UK? Because I'm confident that when it comes to money wastage, the UK is way out in front of the "pointlessly frittering cash away" league.


Ahem.... Excuse me.... there's an AMERICAN in the room? Somebody does frivolous spending better than we do? That's a pretty high bar.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#26  Postby tuco » Dec 28, 2016 12:21 pm

Your spending is not frivolous, its dangerous, to put it euphemistically ;)
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#27  Postby Sendraks » Dec 28, 2016 12:34 pm

PensivePenny wrote:Ahem.... Excuse me.... there's an AMERICAN in the room? Somebody does frivolous spending better than we do? That's a pretty high bar.


Meh. The UK has a far more ignominious history of wastefulness than the US. Just look at how the UK frittered away the money it got from the US in Marshall agreement post WWII.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#28  Postby PensivePenny » Dec 28, 2016 12:53 pm

Sendraks wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:Ahem.... Excuse me.... there's an AMERICAN in the room? Somebody does frivolous spending better than we do? That's a pretty high bar.


Meh. The UK has a far more ignominious history of wastefulness than the US. Just look at how the UK frittered away the money it got from the US in Marshall agreement post WWII.


Gotta go back 60 years do ya? :naughty:

I just checked SDI... remember that? "Star Wars?" 1983, adjusted for inflation, 72 billion dollars for a defense system that was abandoned. Just a cold war antic. Abandoned. Of course, we could argue whether or not it constitutes "waste." The US spent like 4 times as much per capita as UK! Over a trillion USD! It was our gift to ISIS... with UK help, of course.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#29  Postby Galactor » Dec 28, 2016 12:55 pm

Sendraks wrote:
Galactor wrote:

It is also hard to deny the amount of money that the country wastes.


Which one, the Netherlands or the UK? Because I'm confident that when it comes to money wastage, the UK is way out in front of the "pointlessly frittering cash away" league.


I was referring to the Netherlands. I have spent the last two years contracted to the government and I can assure you, it is an endemic waste-factory. What takes the average commercial enterprise to do, takes the government ten times as long and I am being serious. I have heard a department head in essence say that there is little concern about being thrifty or economic with budgets as the money will keep rolling in.

Commercial enterprises have to innovate and be efficient or go under. In government, rocking the boat is frowned upon. Suggesting economies, doing things differently to be efficient and more productive is to suggest running the risk of embarrassing the ministers or senior civil servants (if things go wrong) with the knowledge that success will not even bring a pat on the back.

The pillared departmental system here makes it impossible to consolidate and benefit from economies of scale.

In the recent past, prior to the crisis, the social parties went bonkers with the care system. The current governmental line is "the participation community" where we all start looking out for one another instead of the state chucking money at expensive individual care. "Den Haag" knows how to throw money away.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#30  Postby crank » Dec 28, 2016 1:03 pm

The reality is this has to be the way things go. Otherwise, what happens to the majority of folk who have no job? That is going to happen, automation/robotics will eliminate most jobs sooner or later.

I recommend reading Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

The link is to a pdf of the book. All of his books are free. It's an interesting take on a future where few work. There will have to be a change in how basic value is determined. I recommend reading/viewing pretty much anything Doctorow does, you'll be enlightened and entertained
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#31  Postby Nicko » Dec 28, 2016 1:50 pm

I quite like the idea of an unconditional basic wage.

It seems to solve a lot of problems around what is a "fair" day's pay for a "fair" day's work. Take care of the basic needs of survival and you don't need to worry about minimum wage and shit. If you have workers negotiating on the basis of "Can I be fucked getting out of bed for that?" it strikes me as somewhat better than, "Oh fuck, I need a second job." It gives people the freedom to say, "You know what? Fuck you and your job."

The problem is, of course, the implementation.

Moving from a system where one's earnings are all one has to a system where one's earnings are a surplus over and above a basic unearned income is fraught with ... stuff.

One would expect, for example, every wage or salary to be cut by the amount of the UBW. One would also expect a greater tax burden to be placed on everyone's earnings (though hopefully mostly the rich) in order to pay for this stuff. That is, there would be a massive reduction in the amount of money aid out in wages, with a commensurate increase in monies extracted via tax.

It strikes me that we might end up with a system no better than the current one, just with a lot more government interference.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#32  Postby Sendraks » Dec 28, 2016 2:01 pm

Galactor wrote:Commercial enterprises have to innovate and be efficient or go under. In government, rocking the boat is frowned upon. Suggesting economies, doing things differently to be efficient and more productive is to suggest running the risk of embarrassing the ministers or senior civil servants (if things go wrong) with the knowledge that success will not even bring a pat on the back.


It seems that the UK civil service is in the entirely contrary position, where efficiency and productivity are the be all and end all at the moment. Of course, blindly pursuing these things in a dogmatic way, doesn't necessarily lead to better outcomes that generate real efficiencies but, as long as we're seen to save money its all our Ministers care about.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#33  Postby Nicko » Dec 28, 2016 2:41 pm

Sendraks wrote:
Galactor wrote:Commercial enterprises have to innovate and be efficient or go under. In government, rocking the boat is frowned upon. Suggesting economies, doing things differently to be efficient and more productive is to suggest running the risk of embarrassing the ministers or senior civil servants (if things go wrong) with the knowledge that success will not even bring a pat on the back.


It seems that the UK civil service is in the entirely contrary position, where efficiency and productivity are the be all and end all at the moment. Of course, blindly pursuing these things in a dogmatic way, doesn't necessarily lead to better outcomes that generate real efficiencies but, as long as we're seen to save money its all our Ministers care about.


Well, "efficiency" and "productivity" by what definition?

One of the problems with using market jargon to set goals for government agencies is that government agencies are not - generally speaking - in the market in the first place. As a result, what constitutes "efficiency and productivity" tends to be mandated by a committee somewhere rather than by what the people who use the services actually want.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#34  Postby Scot Dutchy » Dec 28, 2016 2:45 pm

Nick

The problem is that there will not be the jobs to go around. Full time work will be a thing of the past for the majority of people.
You two options: 1. Play the game we are playing and allow the two tier society we have already just get more extreme ending up with people dying or living in abject poverty or 2. spread the limited work around allowing people to supplement the UBI.
The UBI should sufficient for people to live soberly on and the extra income would add the few frills.

The big problem for many societies is the mind change required and that is one thing I have great doubts about especially in countries like America.

Of course there are plenty of facets to take off but it does offer a way out of a very difficult problem; just what are you going to do with the unemployed.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#35  Postby Beatsong » Dec 28, 2016 2:51 pm

Sendraks wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:Ahem.... Excuse me.... there's an AMERICAN in the room? Somebody does frivolous spending better than we do? That's a pretty high bar.


Meh. The UK has a far more ignominious history of wastefulness than the US. Just look at how the UK frittered away the money it got from the US in Marshall agreement post WWII.


You mean establishing the world's first comprehensive national health system, and carrying out a monumental and unprecedented program of social housing construction?

Yeah, can't stand waste like that.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#36  Postby Scot Dutchy » Dec 28, 2016 3:03 pm

It was the worlds first national health system but not the only one. Being first is not always best.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#37  Postby tuco » Dec 28, 2016 3:04 pm

Handouts thwart UAE drive for Emirati-run economy

http://print.thefinancialexpress-bd.com ... 13822.html

and related:

Shooting the Goose that Lays the Golden Egg: The Case of UAE Employment Policy - https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/ ... dfid%3D217

---

UAE are probably the most robust case study, relevant to the topic, today.

So yet again, realistic implementation of concepts like this will likely need to be global for them to work properly and in long term.

Its like the first question I asked during my economy lectures: What-if conditions for conducting business were same, or similar, everywhere? And this should probably be our first goal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimum_currency_area
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#38  Postby Sendraks » Dec 28, 2016 3:04 pm

Beatsong wrote:You mean establishing the world's first comprehensive national health system,


Which is to ignore the fact that the bulk of the aid did not go on the NHS and was simply squandered. The Government could have used the money to modernise UK industry in the way European recipients did but, instead the money was effectively wasted by a Government fixated on playing the sterling banker for the commonwealth, an already defunct concept at that time.

The NHS is a great achievement (and as Scot says, it paved the way for similar programmes in other countries) but, how much greater could it have been if the rest of the UK's marshall aid had been invested wisely?

Beatsong wrote: and carrying out a monumental and unprecedented program of social housing construction?

Which was ultimately squandered and destroyed by Thatcher.

Beatsong wrote: Yeah, can't stand waste like that.

No I can't.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#39  Postby Scot Dutchy » Dec 28, 2016 3:11 pm

Where Britain did squander money was during the oil boom. Thatcher wasted it on smashing the unions.

Looking back today there are many who think we should have not accepted Marshall aid as it tied us for years to American coat tails. Remember the USA made a killing from Marshall Aid and most of Europe ended in long term debt.
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Re: Unconditional Basic Wage

#40  Postby Sendraks » Dec 28, 2016 3:16 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:Where Britain did squander money was during the oil boom. Thatcher wasted it on smashing the unions.


Well as I say, we have a history of UK Government's being horribly wasteful with money.

Scot Dutchy wrote:Looking back today there are many who think we should have not accepted Marshall aid as it tied us for years to American coat tails. Remember the USA made a killing from Marshall Aid and most of Europe ended in long term debt.


Given the aid really did help kick start European economies post WWII and has led to countries like Germany being able to outcompete the US in various industries (because the US didn't modernise its industry post WWII), the plan was worth it to certain recipients in the long term.
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