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Thread: Europeans considering universal basic income and job guarantees

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Europeans considering universal basic income and job guarantees

    The pandemic is encouraging tests of universal basic income and job guarantees - CNN
    Christine Jardine, a Scottish politician who represents Edinburgh in the UK parliament, was not a fan of universal basic income before the pandemic hit.

    "It was regarded in some quarters as a kind of socialist idea," said Jardine, a member of the centrist Liberal Democrats party.
    But not long after the government shut schools, shops, restaurants and pubs in March with little warning, she started to reconsider her position.

    "Covid-19 has been [a] game changer," Jardine said. "It has meant that we've seen the suggestion of a universal basic income in a completely different light." In her view, the idea — sending cash regularly to all residents, no strings attached — now looks more "pragmatic" than outlandish.

    She isn't the only one to change her mind. As the economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus drags on, support in Europe is growing for progressive policies once seen as pipe dreams of the political left.

    In Germany, millions of people applied to join a study of universal basic income that will provide participants with €1,200 ($1,423) a month, while in the United Kingdom, more than 100 lawmakers — including Jardine — are pushing the government to start similar trials.

    Austria, meanwhile, has launched a first-of-its-kind pilot program that will guarantee paying jobs to residents struggling with sustained unemployment in Marienthal, a long-suffering former industrial town about 40 miles southwest of Vienna.
    The article then went into a lot of detail about these experiments and about UBI proposals.

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    "Conservative" political values in Post-Rational America have been hijacked

    I will explain why such a program as OP describes could not be enacted in U.S.A. I fear that my remarks are off-topic for this thread and ask the Administrative Staff to move my post to a more appropriate thread.

    On The.Other.Board, a "conservative" explained that the Right understand the Left but not vice versa, and indeed are morally superior to the Left: While Leftists acknowledge just 4 or 5 moral principles, the Right acknowledges those and three more including Respect for Authority and Loyalty to One's Group.

    Group loyalty is widely accepted. Most (D) legislators value Americans over foreigners, and we all value family over strangers. We value humans over other mammals; where do you draw the line? In this way, for a white-skinned fellow to value fellow whiteys over other races is the obvious extrapolation. So far ... whatever. We'll need no cites that well-wishing for and loyalty to one's group (perhaps accompanied by a complementary hatred against one's rivals) has played a big role in politics for thousands of years.

    But consider the Medicaid Expansion, part of the Affordable Care Act. This would have made it easy for poor Southern states to provide free or heavily subsidized health insurance to people who would otherwise remain or become uninsured. Many whiteys would benefit as well as many of the whitey's white friends, white neighbors and white family. It would be FREE, in the sense that most of the funding would be transferred from rich states like California or New York, or be from taxes that would otherwise be, in effect, rebated to participating states. Yet whiteys did not agree to Medicaid Expansion!

    The reason? Very simple. The 'Group Loyalty Moral Value' translated not into well-wishing for one's race, but to hatred and desire to subjugate another race. (In many states, a very large portion of poor people are black.) Whites, or rather their elected legislators, found it better to bring suffering on their group, than to relieve the suffering of both white- and black-skinned people. Many of these right-wing voters might have demoted their hate-filled bigotries to approve of free health insurance, but of course were lied to by the cynical politicians and talk-show hosts on their hate-driven team.

    TL;DR Summary: "Conservative" political values in Post-Rational America have been hijacked.

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    We have always known that the right has in general deleterious false "values". This is, in my estimation, a cutting critique of values ethics insofar as values ethics doesn't actually make an argument over the rightness of the values themselves, merely proclaiming their values to be good without suitable justification. I always ask what justification people can provide for their values and I always get "because feels".

    The fact is, it's just an inability to discern that "moral feelings", aka "values" do not create ethical rules. Thank fuck that while wrong, values at least get us most of the way there...

    At any rate, I'm glad this virus has pushed change towards a social paradigm

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    Veteran Member Wiploc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swammerdami View Post
    On The.Other.Board, a "conservative" explained that the Right understand the Left but not vice versa, and indeed are morally superior to the Left: While Leftists acknowledge just 4 or 5 moral principles, the Right acknowledges those and three more including Respect for Authority and Loyalty to One's Group.
    I love that! Moralities should have many core values, and the one with the most core values is best!

    ---

    Edited to add: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics And Religion is highly recommended. It's a great read, full of epiphanies.

    Presumably the author's (Jonathan Haidt's) moral foundation theory is what was referenced in the post on The.Other.Board.

    Liberals tend to judge something's morality by whether it does harm. We also care about fairness and loyalty.

    When conservatives make moral judgements, they tend to weight these about equally: Harm, fairness, loyalty, authority, and sanctity.

    We all care, to some extent, about all five of these moral bases, but conservatives care about authority and sanctity much more than liberals do.

    Haidt would agree that conservatives understand liberals better than liberals understand conservatives (because conservatives share our concerns about harm, fairness, and loyalty, whereas we are often baffled by their claims that it's immoral to disobey some self-styled "authority," or that deviant sex (when you don't do it the way your legislators want you to assume they do it) is bad because unsanctioned).

    "I have just as much authority as the Pope. I just don't have as many people who believe it." -- George Carlin

    But the notion that more moral foundations is better? That's just laughable.


    chart copied from Divided We Fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    The pandemic is encouraging tests of universal basic income and job guarantees - CNN
    Christine Jardine, a Scottish politician who represents Edinburgh in the UK parliament, was not a fan of universal basic income before the pandemic hit.

    "It was regarded in some quarters as a kind of socialist idea," said Jardine, a member of the centrist Liberal Democrats party.
    But not long after the government shut schools, shops, restaurants and pubs in March with little warning, she started to reconsider her position.

    "Covid-19 has been [a] game changer," Jardine said. "It has meant that we've seen the suggestion of a universal basic income in a completely different light." In her view, the idea — sending cash regularly to all residents, no strings attached — now looks more "pragmatic" than outlandish.

    She isn't the only one to change her mind. As the economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus drags on, support in Europe is growing for progressive policies once seen as pipe dreams of the political left.

    In Germany, millions of people applied to join a study of universal basic income that will provide participants with €1,200 ($1,423) a month, while in the United Kingdom, more than 100 lawmakers — including Jardine — are pushing the government to start similar trials.

    Austria, meanwhile, has launched a first-of-its-kind pilot program that will guarantee paying jobs to residents struggling with sustained unemployment in Marienthal, a long-suffering former industrial town about 40 miles southwest of Vienna.
    The article then went into a lot of detail about these experiments and about UBI proposals.
    I am becoming less hostile to a UBI than I was. What is important is that we do something to reduce the income inequality that the pandemic has made much worse. The way that conservatives ramped up the income inequality was by frog boiling, businesses slowly were able to claim all of the profits from improvements in the workers' productivity and the innovations devised by the workers. The workers' negotiating strength was slowly eroded out from under them by conservatives' hostility to unions and the minimum wage, and by automation and the threat of moving their jobs offshore.

    To reverse these would require a frog boil in the other direction, much too slowly to meet the need and the expectations to raise workers' wages.

    We also have to face the fact that has become painfully obvious in the last four years, that conservatives are incapable of competently running the government and will believe the lies and conspiracy theories repeated in the conservative media to oppose any such program as the UBI or the JG that their puppet masters brand as "socialism," as they have done for what originally was their program, the ACA, ObamaCare.

    A UBI is the ACA of correcting the income inequality. The job guarantee is a much better approach, just as Medicare for All is the better solution for the problems with health care. But if the oligarchy has to choose between the UBI and the JG they will choose the UBI. What they want to do is to preserve the huge increase in profits that they have earned by suppressing wages. What they want to avoid at all costs is having to pay higher wages. The UBI will do this by subsidizing their low wages with tax dollars or if they are really lucky they can get the government to pay for it without a tax the same way that they bullied the Republicans into paying for their tax cuts, increased defense spending, the wars started by intentional mistakes, homeland security, and the Medicare drug benefit, by deficit spending, i.e. running the printing presses printing money.

    The JG would force businesses to pay more than the JG pays and to provide the same benefits provided by the JG, child care, maternity leaves, health care insurance, etc. Rather than having to pass an increase in the minimum wage by passing contentious legislation, the same thing can be accomplished by raising the JG wage.

    So while I am becoming less hostile to the UBI, I still have a long way to go.

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    I think where UBI goes wrong is that it's marketed as 'free money for everyone'. We don't really need free money for everyone we need a welfare system and safety net that's effective. Tying ourselves to the concept of 'basic income' just obscures this goal. Maybe the solution does have elements of a basic income, but what's more important is intrinsic effectiveness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I think where UBI goes wrong is that it's marketed as 'free money for everyone'. We don't really need free money for everyone we need a welfare system and safety net that's effective. Tying ourselves to the concept of 'basic income' just obscures this goal. Maybe the solution does have elements of a basic income, but what's more important is intrinsic effectiveness.
    The problem here though, is that means testing makes it cost more to implement than literally just giving everyone UBI. It also opens the system to abuse by horrible people (see the modern GOP) in attempts to punish people just for using the system. Honestly, it's simpler and easier to just give Jeff Bezos the extra $30k/year or whatever than try to implement a system that excludes people above a certain income.

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    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worldtraveller View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I think where UBI goes wrong is that it's marketed as 'free money for everyone'. We don't really need free money for everyone we need a welfare system and safety net that's effective. Tying ourselves to the concept of 'basic income' just obscures this goal. Maybe the solution does have elements of a basic income, but what's more important is intrinsic effectiveness.
    The problem here though, is that means testing makes it cost more to implement than literally just giving everyone UBI. It also opens the system to abuse by horrible people (see the modern GOP) in attempts to punish people just for using the system. Honestly, it's simpler and easier to just give Jeff Bezos the extra $30k/year or whatever than try to implement a system that excludes people above a certain income.
    And then take that money back when wealthy people file their taxes. Then it won't be free money for everyone.
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

    Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor but because we can't satisfy the rich.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Worldtraveller View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I think where UBI goes wrong is that it's marketed as 'free money for everyone'. We don't really need free money for everyone we need a welfare system and safety net that's effective. Tying ourselves to the concept of 'basic income' just obscures this goal. Maybe the solution does have elements of a basic income, but what's more important is intrinsic effectiveness.
    The problem here though, is that means testing makes it cost more to implement than literally just giving everyone UBI. It also opens the system to abuse by horrible people (see the modern GOP) in attempts to punish people just for using the system. Honestly, it's simpler and easier to just give Jeff Bezos the extra $30k/year or whatever than try to implement a system that excludes people above a certain income.
    And then take that money back when wealthy people file their taxes. Then it won't be free money for everyone.
    Pretty much yeah. It's puts the onus where it belongs though, without creating an entire other government department that the wealthy can exploit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Worldtraveller View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I think where UBI goes wrong is that it's marketed as 'free money for everyone'. We don't really need free money for everyone we need a welfare system and safety net that's effective. Tying ourselves to the concept of 'basic income' just obscures this goal. Maybe the solution does have elements of a basic income, but what's more important is intrinsic effectiveness.
    The problem here though, is that means testing makes it cost more to implement than literally just giving everyone UBI. It also opens the system to abuse by horrible people (see the modern GOP) in attempts to punish people just for using the system. Honestly, it's simpler and easier to just give Jeff Bezos the extra $30k/year or whatever than try to implement a system that excludes people above a certain income.
    There is literally no one more ignorant than me on implementing such a system, but wouldn't a catch all 30k/year system need just as rigorous of testing as any other system?

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