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Basic Income
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15227 posts
The simple existence of this thread should hopefully induce a nicely spectacular conniption fit in infi and Brool! :)

Wiki background (this is essential reading before commenting, imo): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income

You may have heard of this concept, but the basic idea is that every man, woman and child in a country should be provided the unconditional basic income to survive modestly, and be able to undertake normal social behaviours within the society without the need to work in order to eat or be clothed. Baswic income (be it in the form of a flat amount or negative income tax) replaces a swathe of social programs. Entire departments are dissolved and reduced to a simple national accounting measure.

This is obviously a subject that is rabidly dismissed by right wing conservatives who cannot countenance the notion of a bludging existence for anyone. Typically there's a reds-under-the-bed communism / socialism slant on the objections. Everyone who can is morally obligated to work ... unless rich, for whatever reason. Then its fine to live however you please!

Have given this a lot of thought (and reading) recently, and have come to the conclusion that its an idea whose time may have come, driven somewhat ironically by capitalist forces.

In developed nations there may be a looming crisis of work, and basic income could be the solution. At the moment my job is all about creating software automatons that perform simple clerical tasks. The culling of work that essentially wiped out manufacturing is increasingly moving into service jobs. There are easily foreseen massive losses for the labour force coming in accounting and broadscale in service industries as simple tasks become the jobs of automata, with wealth concentrating to the owners of the virtual and real world robots and a new (small and no doubt always shrinking) middle class of technical experts who maintain them.

Many believe that basic income is the only real solution, with community- and virtual-driven artisanal and craft work the major point of difference between basic income and wealth for the new middle class, but work essentially becoming something you pursue for enrichment (or to get coin to buy a new toy or holiday) rather than to survive.

Could it work? Would it be the end of the world, and is there any other way to avoid severe societal issues if work does become significantly scarce?
10:46am 12/06/14 Permalink
system
Internet
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10:46am 12/06/14 Permalink
paveway
Brisbane, Queensland
19762 posts
oh boy they are going to lose their s*** over this one hoggy
11:12am 12/06/14 Permalink
eski
Perth, Western Australia
1974 posts
So you're talking about the lowest bands of the progressive tax system actually going into the negative? Seems kind of insane, although it would cut down on a lot of the red tape associated with our current welfare system.

My gut reaction is that I don't like it, but my politics are generally pretty close to centre, so big changes always seem like a bad idea to me. It seems like it would remove the incentive to work for a large amount of the population, and potentially widen the divide between rich and poor.
11:20am 12/06/14 Permalink
Persay
Brisbane, Queensland
7739 posts
how does basic income work when i've lost my job with a 1m mortgage on my house hmmmm
11:22am 12/06/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15228 posts
You sell the house or bankrupt like normal

out to lunch but will reply to questions later
11:40am 12/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8575 posts
I prefer a conditional job seeker allowance if only because it's less confusing to my brain about how the taxation works (I'm reading the wiki now, but it's always my first thought, if everybody is being given the allowance then it just has to be taxed right back from most to balance).

Buuut at the same time, the potential 'automation utopia' really needs better social design than what we have, as you say.
11:51am 12/06/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15229 posts
Will talk about that too nerfy
11:52am 12/06/14 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
15847 posts
It's pretty obvious to me that as the world progresses and automation becomes more the norm that already large number of jobs available to unemployed people (about 140,000 jobs on market, about 650,000 people unemployed) will only continue to grow.

Star Trek like society plz.
12:26pm 12/06/14 Permalink
arkter
Gold Coast, Queensland
1764 posts
Don't worry guys, we'll deploy Liberty Prime to shut down this goddam' communist.

01:47pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15230 posts
So you're talking about the lowest bands of the progressive tax system actually going into the negative? Seems kind of insane, although it would cut down on a lot of the red tape associated with our current welfare system.

It does until you consider that the current welfare system (not health, welfare!) costs 130 billion dollars anyway, and there's a LOT of money in administration of the various programmes that would be saved with a simpler have-some-money-and-shut-up unified system. 130B is $5.7k for every single human in the country. If we're talking about a system with negative income tax then the bottom 30% of society is nearly 20k per head!
My gut reaction is that I don't like it, but my politics are generally pretty close to centre, so big changes always seem like a bad idea to me. It seems like it would remove the incentive to work for a large amount of the population, and potentially widen the divide between rich and poor.

Unsure about the widening of wealth disparity. I don't see how giving poorer people money would widen the gap but I'm interested.

The disincentive to work is a big issue raised int he wikipedia article. I think the key to any successful basic income (before work posibly dries up anyway..) is to make sure that its not TOO comfortable a living. The average human should be able to survive, but be expected to work for luxuries like holidays etc. If you want a flash car or luxuries, then you should be expected to work for it, but if you want shelter, food, clothing and electricity then you'll get by.

The studies and experiments to date show that participation in work doesn't actually decline significantly. Unsure how reliable they are, since the trials done have been explicitly short term so participants knew they would need to work when it finished and probably needed to hedge their bets. Students and new mothers in particular drew upon the system which makes sense.

Again, the idea (and its generations old mind you) was kind of utopia-ish until the looming work crisis made it more serious. Its a big change, but big changes are happening to our society whether we like it or not. If its achievable, and it seems to be, then would it not be amazing to live in a world where you didn't NEED to spend your best years working unless you wanted lots of things, but could rather pursue interests regardless of whether they made enough money to live on?
02:05pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Raven
Melbourne, Victoria
8515 posts
People are quick to forget that when you pay people a basic wage out of welfare, you're effectively putting that money back in to the economy in one way or another.

Let's say you give someone who has $0 income $500/wk, which has to be spent on rent and food, otherwise they just can't get by. They've effectively put that in to the economy. Of that, straight away 10% is going in to GST somewhere up the chain. The rest of it is going in to paying someone to provide whatever services were associated with them spending that money!

The whole 'bludging' argument just doesn't hold up. Will there be lazy people? Sure. Just as there are lazy people, there are criminals out there earning legitemate incomes. You can't stop everyone doing things wrong, and expect to punish those who do the right thing because 5% of people do the wrong thing.

If I were earning a basic wage, what you might see as 'bludging' would eventaully become a profitable exercise (and get me off the program). Others would be using that income to allow them to go to school/uni and become more valuable later when they do score a job.

I actually have no problem with a basic wage being provided to everyone. Yes, there will be people who abuse the system. Whatever, waste less time worrying about them and worry about making things better for everyone else who actually wants a good life for themselves. Ultimately the ones who just freeload and make no effort are only disadvantaging themselves.
02:47pm 12/06/14 Permalink
FaceMan
Brisbane, Queensland
11121 posts
Oh come on, surely you know what that is ?

02:54pm 12/06/14 Permalink
konstie
Melbourne, Victoria
2337 posts
Yeah this thread feels like a giant troll.
03:02pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8576 posts
It does until you consider that the current welfare system (not health, welfare!) costs 130 billion dollars anyway

Keep in mind though that only like 9 billion of that is spent on students and jobseekers (despite it being what the conservatives always go after and represent 'welfare' spending as, when the majority (~93%) of it is actually on pensioners and the disabled, though I presume the pensioner component isn't a long term problem, and ends when the superannuation generations kick in).

Dunno how much the pension or disabled costs are, but it might work as a downgrade for them, I imagine being disabled can get pretty expensive.

(Actually just looked it up, the full rate pension is about $16k per annum).
03:04pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15233 posts
Being disabled doesn't get you s*** in terms of welfare. Its just like a normal pension. This is the reason there's a push for the NDIS -- the hideously expensive cost of disability (chairs, home alterations etc) isn't covered by our welfare system OR Medicare. The munty has to try and work it out themselves or rely on charity etc.

The reality is that the 130b is largely payments and associated admin for those not participating in work, or middle class welfare that probably just shouldn't exist at all.

The cost of providing basic income for non-working (or as a top up for part time employed) adults is very much bearable. Smarter people than me have run the numbers, its about attitude to the morality of non-work and political will more than necessarily being able to afford it. The reality is that anyone who really, really wants to not work ends up on disability / the dole anyway.
03:15pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8577 posts
Oh well if it's more affordable than I'm all for it.
03:55pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
23005 posts
tl;dr

If I work hard to earn f*** all money, I sure as hell hate parting with parts of it (f*****g tax man, go die now) to support c**** who just sit on the beach all day.

IMHO: If you don't work, you die. Law of nature. Only the strong survive.
05:18pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8578 posts
Okay, but what about cases which are nothing like that? Investing in successive generations etc for more mutual profit, social mutually agreed protection if an industry should fail (as seems very close to happening for a lot of jobs on the edge of automation), social guarantee of help should you give birth to an incapacitated offspring? Why do you presume that people would settle for the lowest standard of living rather than keep striving for more as seems to be human nature the world over anyway? Do you buy the narrative that the only reason that some people don't have money is because they haven't worked as hard as those that do? What about the fact that there will always, as a mathematical reality, be an underclass, so no matter how hard people are working there will always be people on the bottom? How does that fit into your rhetoric?

And what about efficiency, if it works better than the current onerous system as Hog suggests?

Ironically, the only cases I've personally heard of non-working people who spend a lot of time sitting around at beaches etc are those getting a tidy chunk of other people's work output through trustfunds, a tax on your work paid to the assetholders decided at birth and not by work ouptut, but shallow politicians like the coalition could never work you up against those leeching that way, likely taking a far larger unearned chunk of your work due to blood relations and nothing to do with any personal hard work. For example we know that Frances Abbott sure as hell didn't get to where she was because of merit, but because of her nepotistic trajectory she's going to likely be a large assetholder in years to come which has nothing to do with her work output (if she even does work, it seems iffy, since she's the only person at the institute of Abbott's donor without an actual job role). That means that she'll be getting cuts of everybody else's work simply due to having more and being able to buy up assets, through rental payments and cuts from your work due to having stock in the corporation etc, a tax from you to people like her not because they worked harder but because they were born to privilege. Are you upset about being the peasant to their royalty too when you talk about this? She'll lead a far better life for it than somebody on a measly $7k a year intended to keep them from death and to give them a chance at becoming something greater and more profitable in turn.
05:28pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Mantorok
Brisbane, Queensland
7232 posts
Ironically, the only cases I've personally heard of people who spend a lot of time sitting around at beaches are those getting a tidy chunk of other people's work output through trustfunds...
But ACA told me there's all these young bludgers on the Gold Coast! They even interviewed 5 of them!
05:37pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Viper119
Other International
2427 posts

This is a pretty interesting topic, I found this article on post-scarcity economics, using the Star Trek world as an example, pretty fascinating. As in the Star Trek world they've not only given every human a basic income, but more. Have a read.

https://medium.com/medium-long/the-economics-of-star-trek-29bab88d50


05:51pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Spook
Brisbane, Queensland
37969 posts
but but, joe just told me that i already work for a whole month to pay for those bums on welfare.

how much is this going to cost me? (please answer in months of my salary)

i just could not stand for those bums to get a free ride from me when im working so hard!
06:45pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
15848 posts
But Spook, you could be one of those bums instead!
08:01pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Spook
Brisbane, Queensland
37970 posts
oh yes, the life i would live, id be drinking it up and smoking it up and surfing all the time and taking holiday and just living.

it would be awesome.

its a wonder anyone works, when such an awesome life is just there for teh taking with absolutely no effort!
08:06pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Obes
Brisbane, Queensland
10299 posts
Pretty sure it's called communism. It failed.

I also think the western "democratic" consumerism (capitalist society) is doomed, slowly it is becoming a plutocracy (a form of Oligarchy, the antithesis of a democracy). If the rest of the world got the Australian standard of living it would be beyond unsustainable even if we had 4 planets!

Any system is doomed. Systems are rules to a game, humans excel at beating the game. So Anarchy is the solution ... No anarchy is rules i.e. "there are no rules" ... but they are still rules!!! And us meat-puppets will exploit them for personal gain.

I prefer Libertarianism... but unless we are zombies that will never happen.
09:01pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Enska
Sydney, New South Wales
2308 posts
Do you buy the narrative that the only reason that some people don't have money is because they haven't worked as hard as those that do? What about the fact that there will always, as a mathematical reality, be an underclass, so no matter how hard people are working there will always be people on the bottom? How does that fit into your rhetoric?


It's almost like you love living on #1 struggle street regardless of how hard you think you work. I can't understand such massive amounts of whine.
09:35pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Phooks
Brisbane, Queensland
2839 posts
A supercomputer will figure it all out soon enough.
10:19pm 12/06/14 Permalink
jum
Queensland
692 posts
if nothing else you have to commend nerf's ability to approach almost any topic and segue into jealous ranting about how horrible it is that people choose to pass on their affluence to their children
10:35pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8579 posts
Why not just answer to what I actually said instead of trying to start that lame straw man yet again? Positions in life frequently aren't about "how hard one works", I gave a very relevant example considering the political factions trying to tear down safety nets on such narratives - are people as frustrated about the 'tax' that they must pay to a non-earned ownership class for the rest of their lives? On rent? On portions of their work going into their investment portfolios that they never earned for themselves? How do those people fit into the narrative that everything in life is earned when there's such clear examples that it's not the case?

Me thinks some of you are mentally broken at this point, unable to face the question.
10:46pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Enska
Sydney, New South Wales
2309 posts
^^ all I see in that post is more whining that you/ every other oh woe is me sook hasn't been left some kind of fortune and is therefore entitled to some kind of assistance?
You are the blinding example of someone who expects something just for doing it tough.
f*****g please, many people the world over have had it just that way and have overcome it. stop calling out straw men that aren't there.

Edit* - if you are entirely reliant on which party leads this country, you are doing it wrong. like full retard wrong.
11:02pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8580 posts
Then you have some serious reading comprehension issues and are an embarrassment to the australian education system. You're basically just trying to shoot down the person highlighting information that you seemingly don't want to hear.
11:10pm 12/06/14 Permalink
Enska
Sydney, New South Wales
1070 posts
This post has been removed.
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11:17pm 12/06/14 Permalink
konstie
Melbourne, Victoria
2340 posts
BUT THEY TOOK OUR GUNS AWAY SO WE CANT REVOLT
08:29am 13/06/14 Permalink
arkter
Gold Coast, Queensland
1766 posts
Alright, so we give everyone enough cash to survive and party a little bit. Let's say $40,000/ year. Awesome. All of a sudden, everyone can afford everything - would that not increase the price of everything? I know I would put up the rent I charge.... because I could.

Also begs the question, why would you do some horrible s***** job that is absolutely essential to society when you can just.... not..... at the moment, a lot of people do horrible s***** jobs that are essential because the alternative is financial failure, if there is an alternative.. why would you do it?

Am I missing the point? I only briefly skimmed the wiki.
09:12am 13/06/14 Permalink
ph33x
Thailand
2119 posts
BUT THEY TOOK OUR GUNS AWAY SO WE CANT REVOLT

I didn't realise a gun could stop a 2 ton bomb dropped from one of our brand new F35's.
09:35am 13/06/14 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
15849 posts

its a wonder anyone works, when such an awesome life is just there for teh taking with absolutely no effort!


And here we are, working like a couple of chumps!


I didn't realise a gun could stop a 2 ton bomb dropped from one of our brand new F35's.


No worries, those things will be lucky to fly without glitching out hehe
09:58am 13/06/14 Permalink
copuis
Brisbane, Queensland
5026 posts

I didn't realise a gun could stop a 2 ton bomb dropped from one of our brand new F35's.



a little thunderstorm and rain can stop them, a gun would f*** their s*** right up,


OP, I think that the system would be great to start with, but the only downside would be all the c**** that suddenly think they are worth more, so will charge more, and the price of services would go up, and possibly the price of many goods (that pesky old greed ruins all the good ideas imo)

at the root I see your point, instead of paying these beach bums 10k a year, why not pay everyone 6k a year in a simple system and remove all the admin and support to sucks up a large percentage of the welfare budget (are there any figures on how much goes into admin/support and how much goes into payments?)
10:10am 13/06/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15234 posts
Pretty sure it's called communism. It failed.

Pretty sure its not, because capital is still privately owned, you f*****g mental midget.

Its just a shifting of rules for entitlement to welfare.
Alright, so we give everyone enough cash to survive and party a little bit. Let's say $40,000/ year. Awesome. All of a sudden, everyone can afford everything - would that not increase the price of everything? I know I would put up the rent I charge.... because I could.

Not really. 40k / year is a very big number. Most proponents of basic income don't suggest anything so lavish, more like pensions becoming more widely available and replacing other benefits like study and unemployment. Everyone can afford food and - if they pool resources and share expenses - accommodation.

Most people could already pursue a life like that if they wanted to, working minimal hours to pull in say $350 per week and otherwise having a life of leisure but balancing it with very little in the way of possessions and simple / shared accommodation. Very few people actually choose do this though, but its becoming increasingly a thing especially among young people as scarcity of full-time work is seemingly on the rise.
Also begs the question, why would you do some horrible s***** job that is absolutely essential to society when you can just.... not..... at the moment, a lot of people do horrible s***** jobs that are essential because the alternative is financial failure, if there is an alternative.. why would you do it?

Am I missing the point? I only briefly skimmed the wiki.

Again, my preferred model is one where you can choose to live on a pension and be a struggling artist living on grilled cheese. If there is a s***** job that is absolutely essential to society, one assumes that remuneration would be commensurate and thereby attract workers. Many of these s***** jobs (disgusting or rote) will be replaced with automation eventually as well. The crisis of work that seems to be on the way is a big part of the recent reappearance of basic income as a potential necessity.
10:13am 13/06/14 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
USA
37777 posts
I am a massive socialist and do not think we are ready for this idea yet.

That said, I think it is inevitable once technology gets us to a certain point (.. either that, or the enslavement of most of the human race) that such a system will exist. People will be able to do whatever they want with a base level of sustenance provided by machines and automation.

If you are interested in sci-fi views of this sort of society, I strongly recommend The Culture series by Iain M. Banks.
10:14am 13/06/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15235 posts
I am a massive socialist and do not think we are ready for this idea yet.

Yup. I think its time for it to start being considered though. Its much more prominent in Europe which is a lot more socialist in a lot of ways than us.
That said, I think it is inevitable once technology gets us to a certain point (.. either that, or the enslavement of most of the human race) that such a system will exist. People will be able to do whatever they want with a base level of sustenance provided by machines and automation.

Yeh, I have no idea what is going to happen when the basic service jobs like bank tellers, waitresses and checkout chicks are all gone. How long before McDonald's produce a wholly automated store that just just restocked every few days and serviced on demand?

Not to mention the total collapse of office admin that's currently active and will continue to accelerate.
10:25am 13/06/14 Permalink
Raven
Melbourne, Victoria
8518 posts
Pretty sure it's called communism. It failed.


It really didn't. There has never been a pure implementation of communism. Almost everywhere you see claims of "whaaaaa, communism", it's actually that the people in power have abused that by having those below them operating on communism correctly, they can abuse the system easily by NOT adhering to the rules. That in itself is great for them, but bad for those below.

That's not a failure of communism. That's a failure to implement the system as it should be.

Reminds me of being a lot like some companies try to implement Agile - by doing it half-assed ;D
10:27am 13/06/14 Permalink
arkter
Gold Coast, Queensland
1768 posts
and be able to undertake normal social behaviours
40k / year is a very big number.


Current pension is something like $19,643/yr - and it's not even close to enough to live on, forget normal social behaviours on that, pensioners are out selling their prescription medication to pay their Labor jacked electricity bills.

So I am just assuming again, but the economic sustainability of this model heavily relies on this basic income being re-invested into the economy, food, electricity etc etc. It would need to be pretty high, lets say $30,000/yr?

The model wouldn't fit in on a global scale either, it would massively devalue our currency(hyper inflation) and result in a surge of people migrating to Australia, legally or illegally. It would have to be a kind of global switch over... So the Africans get their basic income of $43.24 a year and we get our $30,000/year. But that isn't fair. So we would need an earth wide government and global currency.

I really like this idea, but it's just not ever going to work as long as people are people.

Again, correct me if I'm wrong
10:37am 13/06/14 Permalink
Raven
Melbourne, Victoria
8519 posts
An alternative method be to subsidise basic services. That is, that gas, phone, water and electricity providers are obligated to provide X kWh at no charge to persons living under a certain income threshold, and be given free public transport? This would relieve them of the burden of some of these basic utility fees. For utilities it wouldn't be unlimited - but it would be a sufficient start based on average usage.
10:59am 13/06/14 Permalink
copuis
Brisbane, Queensland
5028 posts
An alternative method be to subsidise basic services. That is, that gas, phone, water and electricity providers are obligated to provide X kWh at no charge to persons living under a certain income threshold, and be given free public transport? This would relieve them of the burden of some of these basic utility fees. For utilities it wouldn't be unlimited - but it would be a sufficient start based on average usage.



sadly i dont think that would work all that well, remember the 8c per litre QLD used to get off fuel, and the price at the pump was often only 2-4c cheaper than in other states?,
11:14am 13/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8583 posts
An alternative method be to subsidise basic services. That is, that gas, phone, water and electricity providers are obligated to provide X kWh at no charge to persons living under a certain income threshold, and be given free public transport? This would relieve them of the burden of some of these basic utility fees. For utilities it wouldn't be unlimited - but it would be a sufficient start based on average usage.

At that rate of payment the basic services are all that could be afforded anyway. The point seems to be to cut out all the overhead like that intended to hamper all the imaginary bad people, because it costs more to maintain all that bureaucratic architecture anyway.
12:02pm 13/06/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15236 posts
Current pension is something like $19,643/yr - and it's not even close to enough to live on, forget normal social behaviours on that, pensioners are out selling their prescription medication to pay their Labor jacked electricity bills.

So I am just assuming again, but the economic sustainability of this model heavily relies on this basic income being re-invested into the economy, food, electricity etc etc. It would need to be pretty high, lets say $30,000/yr?

The assumption is that people choosing to subsist solely on the basic income would need to pool resources and share accomodation etc. A 60k tax-free household is entirely doable (say 3 people, one couple, sharing a 2 bedroom flat in a non-flash area). No it won't be fun and you'll need to be careful with money ... but its subsistence. You declare than the pension is not livable, but pensioners are alive!
The model wouldn't fit in on a global scale either, it would massively devalue our currency(hyper inflation) and result in a surge of people migrating to Australia, legally or illegally. It would have to be a kind of global switch over... So the Africans get their basic income of $43.24 a year and we get our $30,000/year. But that isn't fair. So we would need an earth wide government and global currency.

I really like this idea, but it's just not ever going to work as long as people are people.

Again, correct me if I'm wrong

You've made a lot of assumptions here that I'd like to know more about the basis of, in particular claims of hyper-inflation. I don't foresee large portions of the adult population of Australia shifting to a subsistence lifestyle personally, I'm not going to close my business for household 40k p.a., but it would be comforting to know that we could make some significant lifestyle changes and make that work if need arose. How would illegal migrants gain access to basic income payments given that citizenship is a requirement? Many Arab nations have national oil money payments, I can't move there and latch onto free moneys.

Would you quit your job for 20? I personally couldn't afford to. Would you migrate to Sweden for 20k p.a.? Are we especially unique in deciding that work gives us a better deal than subsistence? Global inequity is unfair regardless of whether we have a basic income.

What I would love to do though is be able to work in spurts, say do a few years heavy, then take a few years on basic income to relax and pursue personal projects. This isn't posisble at the moment.

Its really just about a societal shift from this silly dance we do at the moment chasing people down who are terribly unemployable, and the first step away from a moralistic attitude to working full-time, which we will very likely need to do anyway if work becomes excessively scarce.

At a base level too, I personally think that every citizen should be guaranteed baseline safety, shelter and food regardless of whether they choose work (and the benefits its provides) or not. At the moment we are literally compelled to work. This doesn't seem right for a 21st century society with the crazy magic technology and wealth we have?
At that rate of payment the basic services are all that could be afforded anyway. The point seems to be to cut out all the overhead like that intended to hamper all the imaginary bad people, because it costs more to maintain all that bureaucratic architecture anyway.

Yup. Just a simple indexed payment without eligibility criteria aside from citizenship and taxable income.
12:14pm 13/06/14 Permalink
paveway
Brisbane, Queensland
19763 posts
at what point do we start recycling the dead into food?
12:30pm 13/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8585 posts
Everybody except homeless Australians are already on about that income anyway due to the safety net, so it wouldn't cause any more inflation than now if it was the same amount.

Additionally, the max rate pension is about $16k per year (looked it up earlier the thread), and it's very doable to live on ~$12k-$15k per year without any medical costs (I think there's only been one year of my life where my spendings have been >$15k per year, due to renting a sweet ass single apartment which then got flooded). e.g. in a $150 a week share room, that's $7800 a year, leaving >$138 per week. Utilities take a chunk out of that, but there's still enough left to eat and get around a bit too.
12:33pm 13/06/14 Permalink
copuis
Brisbane, Queensland
5029 posts
at what point do we start recycling the dead into food?



wait what, we haven't started that yet, oops, might have jumped the gun
01:02pm 13/06/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15237 posts
wait what, we haven't started that yet, oops, might have jumped the gun

They already are recycled into food, since you can't really escape the biosphere. Circle of life, motherf*****.
01:09pm 13/06/14 Permalink
stinky
USA
3790 posts
how on earth could I buy my 32oz chicken fried steak for $6.95 at the diner if people that worked there earned more than $4/hour + tips ?
01:12pm 13/06/14 Permalink
copuis
Brisbane, Queensland
5030 posts

They already are recycled into food, since you can't really escape the biosphere. Circle of life, motherf*****.


will that hold up in court?

besides, if everything is better with bacon, and bacon is a pork product, surely long pork would make long bacon, which would make it better longer
01:16pm 13/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8586 posts
One confusing part to consider is how superannuation would fit into this. On a side note, it's amazing that even with taxes so much lower these days (though somewhat made up for in super contributions), basic income for 25 million people on today's mostly affordable welfare budget could still be seven and a half grand.
01:31pm 13/06/14 Permalink
koopz
Brisbane, Queensland
10549 posts
the good side of my job is going into wealthy Australian's homes, seeing and experiencing their lives

the bad side of my job is going into lower social demographic Australian homes, seeing and experiencing their lives

*edit* hang on a minute - it's usually the opposite of that. lower social demo's don't see me walking into a room to install fiber and seeing a coke deal. take this with a grain of salt..

..and I love seeing underdogs get up. I notice many of my team are clearly spoken Indy and Pak chaps just like myself :/ I came here for better opportunities - and made the most of it. Did you?


back on subject..


sometimes, I go into regular Australian homes, and I get to see how they live and experience their lives.


regardless of your act...


your internet use and that usage cache squirreled away in your Windows user profile says it all.


they're all just people - doing what they do. they just want some respect

last edited by koopz at 19:53:06 13/Jun/14

last edited by koopz at 19:55:40 13/Jun/14
07:51pm 13/06/14 Permalink
loutl
Brisbane, Queensland
342 posts
Hard to see how this is that much different from what already exists?

Unlike trog, I'm not a massive socialist, but I'm not against this idea. In fact, I don't think subsistence is going to cut it at all. People should get enough to rent a modest joint, pay for their internet/phone, socialize normally, have a car, be able to drive it without worrying too much about costs.

This will be funded by simply asking 50% of the work force to stop working and redirecting their wages. The only tricky part is making sure you ask the 50% who are useless idiots that generally cost whatever company they are working for more when they show up and actively f*** things up than when they simply call in sick. In the public service this should be even easier, as only about 10% of the people there are actually getting s*** done and the other 90% just make things worse.
09:25pm 13/06/14 Permalink
infi
Brisbane, Queensland
21576 posts
It's communism plain and simple. More importantly who pays for this ridiculous fantasy.? Massive tax increases on higher income earners thats who. Over and above the baseline of government waste, this proposal wants to actively redistribute higher income earners salaries to those less well off.. And what is the reason? Because. To suggest it is not communism is naive because capitalism respects property rights which this system does not.

The other very good point was made that is that if everyone gets a base income above the poverty line, then in reality THAT becomes the new poverty line. Rents will go up because everyone can now afford that apartment they never could before their new juice kicked in. But hang on now everyone has it so shiiite. Same goes for appliances and costs of goods and services. And then there will be the disaffection and demands for a higher basic income to afford the rising prices.

Money is a means of allowing the market to prioritise the allocation of scarce capital. If everyone gets the more money, except the rich of course cos they don't deserve the money their earned, then the basic resources that are scarce will become under fierce competition. The government would have to introduce rationing and then a black market would develop. It would designate more people to poverty than the current welfare system in the end- and more corruption. I love reading the naive posters here who trust the government so blindly...

Social engineering like this is fraught with danger. The market economy as much as you lot hate it has been the goose laying the golden egg. Strangle the goose like Russia did and no more eggs.

The Basic income discussion belongs at the uni refec. Talking about how to carve up the money that has been earned by other people. Thats called theft.
09:45pm 13/06/14 Permalink
baz
Victoria
590 posts
Black Market, lol.

The white market is pretty balck too.
09:56pm 13/06/14 Permalink
infi
Brisbane, Queensland
21577 posts
That happens in every non capitalist economy, Baz you basic b****.
09:59pm 13/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8589 posts
Infi you didn't even read any of the above discussion, the first sentence asks questions which have already been answered, the second paragraph brings up inflation which has already been discussed, and wouldn't be any different than the situation now, while saving hugely on admin costs.

Hell they could sell all the centrelink offices too, some of that's prime real estate, just get the tax office to have a few phone workers/mobile folk to handle translation/strange cases/etc. If the numbers add up as it seems, anybody who wants to lower government spending should be for it.
10:15pm 13/06/14 Permalink
baz
Victoria
591 posts
That happens in every non capitalist economy, Baz you basic b****.


Sorry, I still haven't harnessed the ideology of corruption yet.

I hate being simple.
10:32pm 13/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8590 posts
Bloody hell it's seeming hard to get numbers for calculating how this might work. All I want to know is how much of Australia is on less than about $17k per year (or maybe $25k, since you'd want to phase it out to encourage working). From the looks of things, something like 10% of households are on less than $400 per week ($20k per year, with the vast majority of that 10% at around $18-20k, so maybe like 4% on the pension rate right now), but households could/would contain multiple people, so there could be more people than 4% of Australia, and I have nfi how kids are counted, or pensioners, or students, etc.
11:26pm 13/06/14 Permalink
typo
Other International
6555 posts
Only a retard who doesn't own a dictionary would think that this is communism. It's relatively extreme socialism.

I can't see how it could be maintained as the maths never seems to add up. A lot of the people who support basic income also think that flat taxes will magically make it affordable. That being said, one of the richest guys in Germany, Götz Werner, thinks that Basic Income is the future ... so I'd differ to his judgement - even if I don't understand it.




02:31am 14/06/14 Permalink
Jim
UK
13540 posts
defer
since we're talking about dictionaries, teehee
05:44am 14/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8591 posts
I can't see how it could be maintained as the maths never seems to add up. A lot of the people who support basic income also think that flat taxes will magically make it affordable. That being said, one of the richest guys in Germany, Götz Werner, thinks that Basic Income is the future ... so I'd differ to his judgement - even if I don't understand it.

That was my thoughts at the start of the thread, tl;dr - just the same rate & costs as now, but remove all the admin, just make it happen by default. There's enough spent on 'welfare' in australia for every man, woman, pensioner, and child, to receive 7.5k, yet it seems that way less than half the country needs double that spent on them (pensioners, kids, students, job seekers, the disabled, etc), so the costs are way higher than they should be.
09:32am 14/06/14 Permalink
stinky
USA
3791 posts
on a related note. if you give homes to homeless people they stop being homeless.

http://www.upworthy.com/its-an-extreme-but-effective-way-to-get-rid-of-homelessness?c=ufb1
03:22am 15/06/14 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
15853 posts
No stinky, you can't just give things to people, they have to earn it. If they can't earn well that is their own damn fault for making poor decisions 15 years ago!
10:05am 15/06/14 Permalink
trillion
Gladstone, Queensland
3566 posts
basic income, it used to be pocket money for taking out the trash and washing the cars or cleaning up the room

but then i got the night vision like the wise old owl, and the cops, they come and try to snatch my crops

theeeeese pigs wanna blow my houz dowwwwwwwn. head underground, to the next town. they get mad when they come to raid my pad and i'm off in the night, loose CAD.
11:25am 15/06/14 Permalink
ytime
South Korea
71 posts

If you are interested in sci-fi views of this sort of society, I strongly recommend The Culture series by Iain M. Banks.

Neal Sphenson Diamond Age is fantastic as well. Adding that book to my list of reads/
05:45pm 15/06/14 Permalink
Sir Redhat
Sydney, New South Wales
1391 posts
Could I take my basic income and just go overseas where it has more purchasing power?
01:17am 16/06/14 Permalink
Scooter
Brisbane, Queensland
6420 posts
I remember people on AusStudy still getting payments when they headed over to Bali for a month during the Uni break... so you would at least get paid on 'Holidays' I guess the duration would have to be limited though.
07:34am 16/06/14 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
USA
37788 posts
Neal Sphenson Diamond Age is fantastic as well. Adding that book to my list of reads/
Diamond Age is more of a "near future" world where the post-scarcity economy has really just started - it's well established in that most people have access to whatever they need, but there are still your "haves" and "have nots" across the world.

The Culture series is basically many thousands of years in the future - citizens of the Culture are all "haves". They can do whatever they want, whenever they want. Many of the stories and themes are about the pointlessness of such an existence - they all live in a sort of slothful opulence with basically little risk.

I love the series - I didn't at first but the more I read the more I loved the universe he created. The idea of a true, post-scarcity economy where "real" automation and artificial intelligences can basically look after humanity better than we can is a fascinating concept. If we don't blow ourselves away in the meantime I can't see why it's not attainable.
03:30pm 20/06/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8619 posts
I remember people on AusStudy still getting payments when they headed over to Bali for a month during the Uni break... so you would at least get paid on 'Holidays' I guess the duration would have to be limited though.

There's no way that somebody actually relying on student payments could afford that (it's even lower than the pension/jobs seeker rates), though I did know two cases of people who were very well off (millionaire parents) who had accountants who had managed to exploit the full rate via some trickery involving claiming to rely on divorced parents/broke relatives/etc, which was kind of face-palm'ingly annoying when I went through half of uni on a partial rate from it (~$40 to $80 a week) before being mailed saying that they realized I'd qualified for full rate and they'd made a mistake in telling me that I didn't...

TL;DR There's no holidaying possible for people actually relying on those payments for income. The passports/visas/travelling gear/insurance/etc alone would cost more than it's possible to save living in the cheapest accommodation and spending nothing on uni for printing, transport, etc, let alone the actual planes, accommodation, taxis, insurance, whatever.
03:36pm 20/06/14 Permalink
ytime
South Korea
82 posts
Diamond Age is more of a "near future" world where the post-scarcity economy has really just started - it's well established in that most people have access to whatever they need, but there are still your "haves" and "have nots" across the world.

The Culture series is basically many thousands of years in the future - citizens of the Culture are all "haves". They can do whatever they want, whenever they want. Many of the stories and themes are about the pointlessness of such an existence - they all live in a sort of slothful opulence with basically little risk.

I love the series - I didn't at first but the more I read the more I loved the universe he created. The idea of a true, post-scarcity economy where "real" automation and artificial intelligences can basically look after humanity better than we can is a fascinating concept. If we don't blow ourselves away in the meantime I can't see why it's not attainable.

I see your point but I thought it was worth a mention because of it's relative proximity to modern day.

It sounds like a cool series I'll have to check out.
04:08pm 20/06/14 Permalink
ytime
South Korea
84 posts

on a related note. if you give homes to homeless people they stop being homeless.

http://www.upworthy.com/its-an-extreme-but-effective-way-to-get-rid-of-homelessness?c=ufb1

What's interesting is not having housing makes everything more difficult from finding a job and feeding yourself.
04:20pm 20/06/14 Permalink
Roonee
Perth, Western Australia
136 posts
We consume about 14 times more than our grandparents did at our age (based on the 2-4% economic growth rate we have) and it is in the post-depression/post-war era in which the babyboomers were born that this 'age of entitlement' began, so the fact that we even have to consider things like reducing pensions or welfare or basic income says to me that we're doing something very wrong.

People becoming poorer while the economy is growing, and has in fact multiplied many times over in the last 70 years, does not make sense.

Anyway, on automation, oddly enough it is this (automation), or technological improvements that is pretty much the only source of economic growth/increased production (in a 'developed' economy anyway). Basically we end up with increased production with the same amount of labour. (It doesn't create unempoyment at all.)

So the obvious alternative is reducing the amount of labour by 2-4% per year while keeping the same rate of production.

Screw basic income. I demand a personal jetpack and I want to work less for it.
01:23pm 21/06/14 Permalink
Sir Redhat
Sydney, New South Wales
1396 posts
People becoming poorer while the economy is growing, and has in fact multiplied many times over in the last 70 years, does not make sense.


I wondered about this, but have been reading Picketty's book Capital in the 21st century. It explains that the rate of return on capital is typically 5% while wages typically increase at max 3%.
09:58pm 21/06/14 Permalink
infi
Brisbane, Queensland
11509 posts
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10:04pm 21/06/14 Permalink
baz
Victoria
561 posts
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08:43pm 22/06/14 Permalink
infi
Brisbane, Queensland
21649 posts
Academics recommended it! Well that's awesome.
10:57am 02/07/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8650 posts
Former Conservative senator Hugh Segal, who officially resigned from his post this month, argued for years in favour of the idea, saying it would provide more effective services at a reduced cost.

Why are you against reducing government costs infi??

(I know that academics, people trained to do maths and research and so on, are a horrifying enemy to you anti-science folk, because they actually bring something more useful to the table than rhetoric and lies)
01:18pm 02/07/14 Permalink
infi
Brisbane, Queensland
21650 posts
Because it implies a no strings attached benefit which incentivises non work. Incentivising non-work breeds a culture of complacency.

The bureaucracy in this situation is required to ensure only legitimate claimants are accessing the system. Otherwise get off your ass and get a job!
01:41pm 02/07/14 Permalink
Roonee
Perth, Western Australia
139 posts
Pensioners should get free power and gas. They certainly shouldn't have to go cold because they're worried about the bills.

Take 5% of their income away to pay for it or whatever, and call it "income management" and despotic if you think that helps or makes a difference.

Guarrentee the basics - food, water, shelter for everyone, and then worry about income.
01:48pm 02/07/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15297 posts
I don't necessarily agree. A basic income won't disincentivise work to any tremendous degree, it will however remove the need to chase those few who choose to pursue a non-work subsistence for whatever reason (be it lack of aptitude or whatever) and simplify social welfar immeasurably.

Nobody I know who currently works would take the dole or a pension willingly if work was available. If work does become scarce due to automation and new production doesn't manifets to fill the gap then it may be necessary to consider the idea of a higher base social contract where work is primarily undertaken to bridge the gap between subsistence and lifestyle improvements.
01:50pm 02/07/14 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
15943 posts

Because it implies a no strings attached benefit which incentivises non work. Incentivising non-work breeds a culture of complacency.


Got any proof of that story?

Pretty sure you wouldn't be happy to sit on $20k/year, I'm pretty sure you would want to buy nice things and live a better quality of life. That alone is incentive enough for the majority of Australians.
If people are not going to be incentivised by that, then forcing them to look for work in a job market where 500,000 people cannot find work due to literally no jobs being available for them isn't going to do anything but cost the state and country more.

So why are you against cutting costs and saving money?


Otherwise get off your ass and get a job!


640,000 jobless people, 140,000 jobs available. So ummm.. yeah GET ERR JEERRRBBB


Infi, are you familur with Terry Pratchett Discworld novels? The Patrician has some wonderful ideas about society..

last edited by Tollaz0r! at 14:22:50 02/Jul/14
02:21pm 02/07/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8651 posts
Infi wants the government to waste money now for some armchair psychology reasons which seems to only ever get repeated by those who have never actually been exposed to low income living, lawl.
02:36pm 02/07/14 Permalink
infi
Brisbane, Queensland
21651 posts
infi, are you familur with Terry Pratchett Discworld novels? The Patrician has some wonderful ideas about society..


i dont have time to read kids books. i am currently reading the Warren Buffet Way.

Infi wants the government to waste money now for some armchair psychology reasons, lawl.


i don't accept the fundamental idea that people should receive a living wage without doing work. keep em lean and keen. if you want stuff, do work.
02:48pm 02/07/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8652 posts
That's nice, except they already are, so why not trim down the costs as has been the entire discussion? You haven't given an excuse for why the government should waste money, if that is actually the case.
02:50pm 02/07/14 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
15944 posts

i dont have time to read kids books. i am currently reading the Warren Buffet Way.


hah Kids books.

Terry Pratchett is considered a genius by many. There is so much social commentary that hits home with incredible accuracy crammed into each of his books that it is hard to argue otherwise.

It really does show why your world view is seemingly so narrow. If you call Terry Pratchett novels kids books, how much treasure have you missed out on? So much Wisdom missed out on.

infi, they receive the money anyway. As someone who is reading Warren Buffet Way you should be understanding of the opportunity cost of all that money wasted in giving these people money in incredibly complicated ways, when a simple system of a base wage would be far easier and cheaper to administer. That could save enough money for another ROAD!

last edited by Tollaz0r! at 14:57:06 02/Jul/14
02:54pm 02/07/14 Permalink
fpot
Gold Coast, Queensland
24424 posts
It's pretty much confirmed that infi doesn't know how to think critically, but I'd argue that he doesn't know how to think period. His mind is like a little narrow gap and all that he allows to squeeze through are things that agree with his predetermined worldview. Are your parents dumb c*** frothing at the mouth lolbertarians like you infi, or did you read an Ayn Rand book when you were young or something? You're simply incapable of individual thought, or taking in new evidence and adjusting to it and many other things normal functional human beings seem to do quite easily. What is actually wrong with you? Why are you such a miserable loathsome piece of s***?
03:05pm 02/07/14 Permalink
infi
Brisbane, Queensland
21652 posts
If we abandon the principle of mutual responsibility and just say everyone gets paid no matter what, your social culture deepens its expectation of receipt. Our Welfare State in Australia is bad enough as it is. We have rule to ensure the need is justified and to reinforce the culture that primarily you receive money through work.

it is good to work and it is good to have rules which reward work and limit welfare for those who can work.

It's amazing the lengths to which soclaists will invent new ways to hand out other people's money.

Moral Hazard. Look it up. A basic income is just like the sickening bailouts for banks and big business. if there is no moral hazard people look at risk differently.
03:10pm 02/07/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8653 posts
Lol, because the richest business leaders in the world who actually built their companies don't make time for reading fiction, they're way too 'tough'

Elon Musk told NPR that he's read "thousands and thousands" of books. The Tesla Motors and SpaceX founder enjoys the Lord of the Rings series and he's read the work of many philosophers.

But one of his all-time favorites is Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Glaxay, which he read while growing up and trying to figure out his place in the universe.

One of the biggest takeaways Musk got from reading Adams was, "The question is harder than the answer."

"When we ask questions they come along with our biases. You should really ask, 'Is this the right question?' And that's hard to figure out," says Musk.
Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman told Bloomberg Markets Magazine that one of his favourite past times is reading spy novels by John le Carre, the author behind Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.

etc.
03:11pm 02/07/14 Permalink
infi
Brisbane, Queensland
21653 posts
Lol, because the richest business leaders in the world who actually built their companies don't make time for reading fiction, they're way too 'tough'


what is your point? i said i dont have time for kids books. others may. good for them..... etc.

fpot i have never read ayn rand's books, i do see her posts on facebook from time to time, she speaks a lot of sense. she encourages self-reliance instead of WHAT ABOUT MY FREE MONIEY?
03:13pm 02/07/14 Permalink
fpot
Gold Coast, Queensland
24425 posts
If we abandon the principle of mutual responsibility and just say everyone gets paid no matter what, your social culture deepens its expectation of receipt. Our Welfare State in Australia is bad enough as it is. We have rule to ensure the need is justified and to reinforce the culture that primarily you receive money through work.

it is good to work and it is good to have rules which reward work and limit welfare for those who can work.

It's amazing the lengths to which soclaists will invent new ways to hand out other people's money.

Moral Hazard. Look it up. A basic income is just like the sickening bailouts for banks and big business. if there is no moral hazard people look at risk differently.
lolbertarian bootstraps. citation required. lolbertarian bootstraps.

lolbertarian bootstraps.

SOCIALISTS!!#!#!#

economists are always wrong, except for when they agree with me, then they're right.
03:16pm 02/07/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8654 posts
what is your point? i said i dont have time for kids books. others may. good for them..... etc.

It actually hurts to read this chest-beating twat's words, I'm out. Another thread he pissed all over with empty rhetoric without bothering to read any of the actual content.

she encourages self-reliance instead of WHAT ABOUT MY FREE MONIEY?

Hahahaha betchya didn't turn down a free job at a family company, nor criticize rinehart getting given a free company, nor criticize abbott's daughter being the only other person to ever receive the 60k scholarship aside from the director's kid, despite being on average marks, etc. You're so full of s***. You'd have an absolute tantrum if somebody suggested an inheritance tax on free money to keep unqualified twats from having unearned fiscal, social, and political power, you'd whinge about blocking free money on a scale that most people can't even dream of, and none of your rhetoric about how it would make them lazy would apply, it would be an investment when it's for the "right" (already privileged) people.
03:18pm 02/07/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15299 posts
it is good to work and it is good to have rules which reward work and limit welfare for those who can work

This is the core of the moralistic argument, that every human who can should work.

The unspoken caveat though is that the rich are excluded from this moral compulsion, they don't have to unless they want to, and that's OK.
03:20pm 02/07/14 Permalink
fpot
Gold Coast, Queensland
8073 posts
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03:21pm 02/07/14 Permalink
Some Fat Bastard
Brisbane, Queensland
1732 posts
soclaists
If caring about the welfare of others is socialist than I'm a socialist but I grew up thinking I was just a kind c***. Go figure.
04:06pm 02/07/14 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
15945 posts

If we abandon the principle of mutual responsibility and just say everyone gets paid no matter what, your social culture deepens its expectation of receipt.


Again, you are just telling a story, nothing to back it up with. Show us the research that shows otherwise.

You say these people should work for the money. But you are happy for people to get dividends in stocks, the person getting the dividend didn't do any work for it. You say it's totally OK to get family inheritance, the person receiving it didn't do any work for it. You are totally OK to receive interest on loaned money or money saved, the people receiving the money didn't work for that income.

So you are OK with people getting money without working for it. But you are not OK with poor people getting money without working for it.

I think you just have a beef with someone getting something you don't. I remember a thread quite some time ago where a game was given out for free a year or so after it was released. The majority of people welcomed that, thinking yay more people to play with. You, however, had a problem with people getting something that you originally paid for.

So here we are, with a mechanism to save the government substantial money through cutting bloat and waste. Something you sprouted time and time again as a reason to elect the government.

BUT WAIT!

Now you say that some bloat and waste is OK. Where exactly do you draw the line then, when is bloat and waste not OK? When the Liberal Government tell you?
10:07pm 02/07/14 Permalink
Sir Redhat
Sydney, New South Wales
1410 posts
Rentiers who ship money overseas are ok, people who put all of the money they recieve from doing nothing back into the econmomy are not.
10:00pm 05/07/14 Permalink
infi
Brisbane, Queensland
21681 posts
But you are happy for people to get dividends in stocks, the person getting the dividend didn't do any work for it. You say it's totally OK to get family inheritance, the person receiving it didn't do any work for it. You are totally OK to receive interest on loaned money or money saved, the people receiving the money didn't work for that income.


someone has previously worked for this money and now acquired an asset with it. if we as a society believe in property rights then that means we also give the person who has the property the right to do whatever they want with it. this includes giving it to their children or to donate to charity.

it's amazing how for the posters here such fundamental bedrock concepts of liberal democracy and capitalism are offensive to you. it goes to show how extreme and ideological you are.

the way it goes according to the basic income crowd is that less people work (i mean as if you would, just take the utopian free money), more high wealth people pay higher taxes (f*** them right), and anyone who has accumulated anything would have half of it taken by the government to disperse amongst the proletariat.

sounds like you should move to Venezula or some other banana republic.

Now you say that some bloat and waste is OK. Where exactly do you draw the line then, when is bloat and waste not OK? When the Liberal Government tell you?


when it serves no point, the qualifying tests for safety net benefits ensure people who can otherwise work do so.

If caring about the welfare of others is socialist than I'm a socialist but I grew up thinking I was just a kind c***. Go figure.


kind people do it with their own money, socialists do it with other people's.
11:29pm 06/07/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8660 posts
someone has previously worked for this money and now acquired an asset with it.

You've had it pointed out to you a billion times that this isn't always true, that people often get given money to work with due to birth, and you just refuse to update your views to include any information which would require you to admit that, no, your first position wasn't right.

it's amazing how for the posters here such fundamental bedrock concepts of liberal democracy and capitalism are offensive to you.

Except the case that they were talking about, free money from inheritance, is anti-capitalism, it's offensive to Warren Buffet, the most successful capitalist in the world.

when it serves no point, the qualifying tests for safety net benefits ensure people who can otherwise work do so.

And how would the qualifying test change if you just moved it a system as we were suggesting, when it was mostly just cutting out bureaucracy and yet delivering to nearly all the same people (pensioners, the disabled)? Why do you keep putting forward the frankly classist assumption that people in a position of temporarily needing help wouldn't try to better themselves financially when given the chance, as we know that all other humans do incessantly? You're basically like a kind of person who goes around talking about how inferior 'the blacks' are or something without ever comprehending how wrong and f*****g stupid it it is to say and hold onto these discriminatory views, not even looking at evidence counter to your ridiculous and disgusting ivory tower speech. What you say actively insults good and hard working people who have probably had to do more to earn their place than you ever have.

kind people do it with their own money, socialists do it with other people's.

And yet you're the one arguing to spend more of other people's money on some sort of moralistic crusade rather than move to a more efficient system because it sounds 'socialist' to you, so it seems that once again your inconsistent bulls*** falls apart once two working brain cells are applied to it.
03:57am 07/07/14 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
15963 posts
Yeah,



someone has previously worked for this money and now acquired an asset with it. if we as a society believe in property rights then that means we also give the person who has the property the right to do whatever they want with it. this includes giving it to their children or to donate to charity.


So inif is OK when people don't work for money, unless they are poor. He doesn't like people getting things for free, particularly if he feels his own wealth is somehow diminished by it, and that is the core of his position. He will not allow his position of wealth, when compared to others, to be in any way diminished as it is very likely his biggest source of self-worth. He is just defending his ego. No amount of logical arguing will change that, it also explains the slight amount of cognitive dissonance infi displays. That is my armchair analysis of the situation.


if we as a society believe in property rights then that means we also give the person who has the property the right to do whatever they want with it.


if we as a society believe in the health and welfare rights of a person then that means we also give those people a basic income to do whatever they want with it, very likely to used to house and feed themselves.


You totally skipped the bloat section.

You were babbling immensely pre-election about bloat and wasted money in government, yet you are OK with this bloat and wasted money. Where do you draw the line? I would figure that if you identified an area of bloat and wasted money you would be happy to move to a more efficient system.
I guess you are a Liberal, what you say isn't what you do.


last edited by Tollaz0r! at 08:18:50 07/Jul/14
08:13am 07/07/14 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
USA
37803 posts
the way it goes according to the basic income crowd is that less people work (i mean as if you would, just take the utopian free money), more high wealth people pay higher taxes (f*** them right), and anyone who has accumulated anything would have half of it taken by the government to disperse amongst the proletariat.
Not disagreeing with you (I agree with your points about assets/inheritance) but we sort of already HAVE the basic income thing, right - via the dole and various other forms of social security. At the moment the institutions to deal with those programmes are huge and have massive overheads. So I have to wonder what the economic impact would be of scrapping them and just handing out free money to those people with none of that overhead - maybe it might end up costing less than it does to do it anyway via a dole programme.

So the net result might be a few more people opting for the basic income option but with significant savings as all those government employees and programmes are massively reduced in scope.

Just wild idle speculation; I have no idea what it costs to do that stuff.

But generally I agree with infi that poor people getting money for doing "nothing" is very different to people who have assets/inheritances also getting money for doing "nothing".
12:01pm 07/07/14 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
15965 posts
Infi stated that people should work for their money as his basis for rejecting basic income, hence the inheritance example as people not working for their money.
12:12pm 07/07/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15310 posts
But generally I agree with infi that poor people getting money for doing "nothing" is very different to people who have assets/inheritances also getting money for doing "nothing".

It is different, but it is very telling on the morality of work argument. The notion that it is immoral to not desire to work unless you are rich.
12:15pm 07/07/14 Permalink
Raven
Melbourne, Victoria
8581 posts
Not disagreeing with you (I agree with your points about assets/inheritance) but we sort of already HAVE the basic income thing, right - via the dole and various other forms of social security.


Unfortunately in Australia these programs have not kept up with the cost of living - particularly housing/rent prices, and the ever increasing cost of basic groceries.

I don't know about you guys, but shopping for two people is coming in at around $120/week. Rents and power, water and gas in even a s***** suburb are going to chew up most of what's left of any centrelink payments.
01:29pm 07/07/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8661 posts
Again, as well, people keep acting like we're talking about jobseeking assistance payments here, which are pretty much irrelevant in the scheme of things when talking about 'welfare spending' and any associated potential savings. The vast majority of 'welfare' has to do with pensioners, the disabled, families with kids, etc.
02:06pm 07/07/14 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
USA
37805 posts
It is different, but it is very telling on the morality of work argument. The notion that it is immoral to not desire to work unless you are rich.
I don't know if I like the word "immoral' but I think you could make the case for "selfish". A rich person that decides not to work because they don't need to is not going to have the same burden on their fellow citizens as a non-rich person. Arguably they are still contributing significantly to the economy as they'll be paying way more taxes anyway.
12:25am 08/07/14 Permalink
Sir Redhat
Sydney, New South Wales
1413 posts
Infi stated that people should work for their money as his basis for rejecting basic income, hence the inheritance example as people not working for their money.


I can't believe there's no estate taxes in Australia.
01:07am 08/07/14 Permalink
cainer
Brisbane, Queensland
1952 posts
The vast majority of 'welfare' has to do with pensioners, the disabled, families with kids, etc.


families with kids is a bit of dilemma.

considering that most women aren't high powered executives with stellar careers earning 6 figures, with childcare costs upward of $100/day regardless of actual time spent there, what monetary incentive is there for women to rejoin the workforce if the net gain of working fulltime is a few hundred a week over and above staying home raising your child ?
01:38am 08/07/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8663 posts
I don't know if I like the word "immoral' but I think you could make the case for "selfish". A rich person that decides not to work because they don't need to is not going to have the same burden on their fellow citizens as a non-rich person. Arguably they are still contributing significantly to the economy as they'll be paying way more taxes anyway.

That's not really them contributing if they didn't earn it, that's their wealth contributing while also giving them a payout, with them not getting as much as they otherwise would (putting aside that there'd be no system for generating that free money for them in the first place if taxes weren't paid, so it's a necessary cost for the most part for them to receive any benefits).

As for whether there's a burden to society, well I'd say that there's three. First, the status-quo preserving right wing seems to be built upon such sheltered & privileged people, with their money controlling much of the political system. Secondly, everybody else is largely bound to working for these people and paying them money through distributed ownership, meaning that depending on what station you're born at, you may be spending much of your life essentially being a fee-paying peasant for somebody else's unearned lifestyle in everything you do, the only difference being what class one was born to. Third, costs and competition are both driven up against undeserving competitors, who have a massive leg up in everything because of these handouts, making our society not a meritorious one for how it distributes resources, and probably less efficient for it. What if instead of unqualified and stagnant modern royalty such as Gina Rineharts and Waltons the Koch Brothers, we had more Richard Bransons, Bill Gates, Elon Musks, etc?
03:52am 08/07/14 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
USA
37809 posts
I can't believe there's no estate taxes in Australia.
There's CGT on assets though or something, right?
What if instead of unqualified and stagnant modern royalty such as Gina Rineharts and Waltons the Koch Brothers, we had more Richard Bransons, Bill Gates, Elon Musks, etc?
That'd be great but not at the cost of the freedom of the people who worked hard to do whatever they want.

I think we'll see more of the ultra-rich vie for the hearts and minds of the people going forward because they too want to be seen like Elon Musk and Bill Gates, who make the rest of them look like a*******. The trick is to make sure they're not doing it in the political arena.
10:18am 08/07/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8664 posts
Well, we also don't allow other freedoms which hurt society, such as polluting, speeding, corruption, etc. If the blood system is, in theory, hurting us, I'd be interested to consider what sort of alternative world we could have. One of merit, and hopefully a world without the sheltering that leads to conservative politicians and their supporters, could make an enormous positive change to the world.

The current system, is, after all, limiting a lot of people who work hard, and rewarding many who didn't, the former born to paying bits and pieces across the board on most everything to fund the lifestyles and social privileges of the second. And with the amount of mockery and disdain trickling down from the privileged and naively insane, it's increasingly hard to have much sympathy towards many of them. Do I really want people like Tony Abbott's daughter to be my landlord and company owner for the rest of my life, campaigning on the conservative ticket that life is meritorious as an extra insult? Eventually a straw is going to break if things gets too divided and caste based, paying upwards and at the mercy of those who hardly deserve the position.
10:27am 08/07/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15313 posts
There's CGT on assets though or something, right?

Its complicated, but you don't pay tax on assets until the value is realised (ie when you sell it). There's lots of ways to avoid paying CGT.

Personal assets are not subject to CGT. So if you own a $5 million mansion and sell it after 5 years for $10m then yay for you. Anything you owned prior to 1985 is also CGT free (not sure if this carries forward if you inherit something). Expensive art (if picked up for $500 or less originally) is considered a personal asset and is exempt.
11:32am 08/07/14 Permalink
justrev
Melbourne, Victoria
490 posts

Its complicated, but you don't pay tax on assets until the value is realised (ie when you sell it). There's lots of ways to avoid paying CGT.

Personal assets are not subject to CGT. So if you own a $5 million mansion and sell it after 5 years for $10m then yay for you. Anything you owned prior to 1985 is also CGT free (not sure if this carries forward if you inherit something). Expensive art (if picked up for $500 or less originally) is considered a personal asset and is exempt.


Inheritance is a capital gains event for everything except the family home. Even that can have some capital gains after it loses it's exemption as a primary residence. the home is valued at the date it is no longer a primary residence and any increase in value after that is taxed.

But capital gains tax is a concessional tax, not taxed at full marginal rates. You'd think is wasn't judging by the QQs from those who have to pay it.

CGT was brought in to stop investment biasing to passive instead of labour income sources.
11:42am 08/07/14 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
15975 posts
Single Parents are easily the heaviest hit in terms of loss of welfare over the last 3 years, from both Governments. They just keep getting smashed over and over.
12:31pm 08/07/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8665 posts
Have given this a lot of thought (and reading) recently, and have come to the conclusion that its an idea whose time may have come, driven somewhat ironically by capitalist forces.

In developed nations there may be a looming crisis of work, and basic income could be the solution. At the moment my job is all about creating software automatons that perform simple clerical tasks. The culling of work that essentially wiped out manufacturing is increasingly moving into service jobs. There are easily foreseen massive losses for the labour force coming in accounting and broadscale in service industries as simple tasks become the jobs of automata, with wealth concentrating to the owners of the virtual and real world robots and a new (small and no doubt always shrinking) middle class of technical experts who maintain them.

Many believe that basic income is the only real solution, with community- and virtual-driven artisanal and craft work the major point of difference between basic income and wealth for the new middle class, but work essentially becoming something you pursue for enrichment (or to get coin to buy a new toy or holiday) rather than to survive.

3 billionaires talking about that here in fact -



Their solution (along with Richard Branson's and Bill Gates' it seems) seems to be in part that people move towards fewer working hours, thereby freeing up more work for others, while cutting back on a lot of unnecessary wasteful spending.
02:13pm 08/07/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15322 posts
Wow Larry Page is on the money there isn't he.
02:44pm 08/07/14 Permalink
ytime
South Korea
117 posts
Single Parents are easily the heaviest hit in terms of loss of welfare over the last 3 years, from both Governments. They just keep getting smashed over and over.

Don't have children then.
03:24pm 08/07/14 Permalink
fpot
Gold Coast, Queensland
24443 posts
Don't have children then.
Not having children is the logical choice after all.
03:33pm 08/07/14 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
15978 posts
Yeha because they should totally not be left with the kids after the other parent runs off, or continues to beat them silly!
03:36pm 08/07/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15323 posts
Don't have children then.

What a vacuous, vapid remark.

I award you 0 bacons and sentence you to a week's disdain.
04:05pm 08/07/14 Permalink
infi
Brisbane, Queensland
21688 posts
Single Parents are easily the heaviest hit in terms of loss of welfare over the last 3 years, from both Governments. They just keep getting smashed over and over.


the answer more accurately is: who hit them? did someone put a tax on single parents? (no actually it's just more complaining about the taxpayer money people were enjoying to pay for their kids).

where is the moaning from the people who were taxed more? they are not interesting. there is only moaning from people who get less. The Welfare State concentrates the discussion on "What do I get?".

Do you honestly think a single parent with 3 kids would be happy with a Basic Income. their first question will be: "if I have another kid what do I get?"

Social policy needs to focus people onto the question: 'How can I generate more income for me and my family, and pay taxes to the government?"
04:18pm 08/07/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15324 posts
Social policy needs to focus people onto the question: 'How can I generate more income for me and my family, and pay taxes to the government?"

No, no, no. F*****G NO

Social policy needs to move people AWAY (AWAY F*** YOU, AWAY!) from this grasping more more more thinking and attutude. It is unsustainable, ruining our society and our planet. It creates the situation where most of the best and brightest portions of our lives are spent on producing bulls*** that we don't care about to buy bulls*** we shouldn't care so much about.

We need less. How can we still have a nice life, live comfortably, advance our knowledge, create art, heal the sick, care for the young and the elderly, work less, OUTPUT LESS S***, rape the environment LESS to make LESS S*** ... and focus on quality of life experiences, neighbourhood, friends and family?

Is working 40-60 hours per week to produce vapid, forgettable bulls*** the sum of the human experience in the 21st century? Can we not replace 'how can I make more income' as the driver to 'how can I have a rewarding and fulfilling life'?
04:26pm 08/07/14 Permalink
Dazhel
Gold Coast, Queensland
6522 posts
I like my ipad though. ipads are nice.
04:37pm 08/07/14 Permalink
ytime
South Korea
118 posts

Haha, you guys fall for the bait so easily.

But seriously, I sometimes wonder why single/no children couples are constantly sidelined by the budgets. I realise it's because of several reasons like population growth rate is important for economic reasons and more couples with children than unattached making them the standard unit. It's still annoying as hell listening to the treasurer not once mention anything related to unattached people.

There is a great article here discussing the difference:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-30/jericho-singles-sidelined-by-budget-but-its-not-all-bad/5419730

For someone on the average wage with two kids, your tax burden is about 40 per cent less than someone without children.

Ouch.

Also as someone said in the comments on that article we should move the focus from families towards number of dependents or defining what a family unit is.


04:43pm 08/07/14 Permalink
Hogfather
Cairns, Queensland
15325 posts
But, Apple :(
04:43pm 08/07/14 Permalink
Some Fat Bastard
Brisbane, Queensland
1736 posts


the answer more accurately is: who hit them? did someone put a tax on single parents? (no actually it's just more complaining about the taxpayer money people were enjoying to pay for their kids).

where is the moaning from the people who were taxed more? they are not interesting. there is only moaning from people who get less. The Welfare State concentrates the discussion on "What do I get?".

Do you honestly think a single parent with 3 kids would be happy with a Basic Income. their first question will be: "if I have another kid what do I get?"

Social policy needs to focus people onto the question: 'How can I generate more income for me and my family, and pay taxes to the government?"
and one wonders why the current LNP is so one-dimensional when it's constituents critical thinking amounts to this.
05:26pm 08/07/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8666 posts
If different conditions are being provided to dual parents (in an approved christian marriage setup most likely) but not to single parents, then yes, single parents are being hit, in a purposeful way.
12:02pm 09/07/14 Permalink
Raven
Melbourne, Victoria
8590 posts
Fortunately the relgious jackasses writing laws haven't really managed to swing that in Australia. It's certainly true that in the United States, singles are hit hard, but in Australia that's not the case, everyone is taxed individually.

However there are certainly a lot of tax breaks and general societal discounts that are given to families, rather than singles: on all health insurance you get a discounted family rate, there are tax exemptions/credits around school programs, the schoolkids bonus, and the family tax benefit. FTBA gives anything up to $230 per child per fortnight, and FTBB up to $150 per fortnight per family.

Why the hell anyone should get a benefit for their choice to have a child is baffling to me. If you want a child, you need to understand the responsibilities, including the financial responsibilities and obligations.

Oh yeah, and some of these benefits are availbale if one person earns as much as $150,000! That would put them in the top 5% of all wage earners! Unbelievable.

last edited by Raven at 12:48:11 09/Jul/14
12:46pm 09/07/14 Permalink
Nerf Stormborn
Brisbane, Queensland
8667 posts
How do they define a family though? As exactly two adults? Do they have to be married? (which they inconveniently block for non-abrahamic-approved couple combinations).

I don't think that people should be having kids that they can't afford either (unexpected changes to life circumstances aside), but the point being argued is whether single parents are being targeted unfairly in how these are delivered, as a bit of moralistic punishment or just oversight (I have nfi). That's before considering potential arguments for whether it's better value to invest in the kids at that point or something anyway.
12:55pm 09/07/14 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
15981 posts
Single parents aren't being targeted.

It is just that they are living to every cent they get, that any change to their income or expenditure really hits them. $7 GP charge for instance, can be enough to make them not able to pay their electricity bill for instance. Fuel tax increase will mean groceries go up, again if you have literally no money to spare, then that takes a toll.

Then you take away school payments, and now they can't afford school uniforms or books, luckily Clive has their back on this matter (for now).

There are lots of changes that have significant impact on them, and anyone else living to every cent they receive.

Oh, also, it is pretty hard for a Single Mum/Dad to get a job that allows them to drop off and pick-up their kids from School, those job hours aren't easy to find and they are in high demand.

last edited by Tollaz0r! at 13:06:19 09/Jul/14
01:05pm 09/07/14 Permalink
Raven
Melbourne, Victoria
8591 posts
A mate is finding exactly that - his wife recently died - they were both working, but can share the duties. She was a councillor, he owns a bike shop. Since she died, he's having to come in to work late as he needs to drop off the kids, leave early to pick them up, and not work weekends anymore because someone has to look after them. What was a comfortable dual income is now a struggle.

Imagine a single person in a similar situation, with with or without kids - for whatever reason (eg, sick) so unable to work. They don't have a second income to fall back on.
03:02pm 09/07/14 Permalink
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