welfare

AUSTRALIA: Alfred Deakin Institute Policy Forum – The Future of Work and Basic Income Options for Australia

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 06/10/2017 - 5:00pm in

Jon Altman and Eva Cox. Credit to: Alfred Deakin Institute (Deakin University, Melbourne)   The Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, hosted a forum on the 17th and 18th August discussing the concept of a universal basic income.   Workshop co-convenor Jon Altman (Deakin University and ANU) suggested that part of the impetus for the workshop was

The post AUSTRALIA: Alfred Deakin Institute Policy Forum – The Future of Work and Basic Income Options for Australia appeared first on BIEN.

Lavaland Holiday Camp (1970-1970)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 22/09/2017 - 2:06am in


Lavaland was a holiday camp on the outskirts of Scarfolk built around an active volcano, which had been designated an area of outstanding natural peril.


It opened on the first of May 1970 and closed on the first of May 1970, a mere eight hours after opening, following a catastrophic volcanic event that killed nearly three thousand guests and could be heard as far away as the bowling green in Torquay.


The Council's Tourism & Leisure Department claimed that the tragedy was a freak accident that could not have been predicted. It soon became apparent, however, that the victims were people the council had previously tried, unsuccessfully, to evict from the town: children born out of wedlock, foreigners, the poor, people with lisps, and women with ideas of their own, among others.

Cartoon: What if we talked about white poverty the way we talk about black poverty?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/09/2017 - 11:51pm in

To state the obvious, I am not saying that we shouldn't care about white poverty or that poor whites haven't had to endure their share of shaming from a punitive culture that uses wealth to determine the value of a human being (a source of condescension, it's important to note, that originates from the right and its cult of market fundamentalism).

That said, there's been a spate of sympathetic talk lately about the plight of working-class whites, expressing concern about the loss of economic opportunity in rural America and the rise of the opioid epidemic. A mythology has formed around the forgotten white man, and outrage has been manufactured -- mostly by Fox and other conservative outlets -- to blame the left for his struggles. This narrative has been so powerful that conventional wisdom spewers tend to forget that Trump's voter base was relatively affluent and did not in fact represent the working class. (Valorization of white, blue collar men as the epitome of American authenticity is nothing new, of course. See: countless advertising campaigns from the past several decades.)

Again, I have no intention of diminishing the problems of anyone in the throes of poverty; yet I can't help wonder where all this sympathy has been for black neighborhoods suffering from a lack of economic opportunity, or for the problems of addiction faced by communities of color. The condescending (and inaccurate) language used to describe black poverty is widespread among mainstream commentators on the right.

Commenter casbott below shared a link to this thought experiment by Anil Dash, imagining "if Asian Americans saw white Americans the way white Americans see black Americans." I hadn't seen it, but it's making a similar point.

Follow Jen on Twitter at @JenSorensen

Strange bedfellows

Published by Matthew Davidson on Sat, 26/08/2017 - 4:43pm in

Via MacroBusiness, here's the TL;DR of the Business Council of Australia's submission to a 2012 Senate inquiry into social security allowances:

  • "The rate of the Newstart Allowance for jobseekers no longer meets a reasonable community standard of adequacy and may now be so low as to represent a barrier to employment.
  • "Reforming Newstart should be part of a more comprehensive review to ensure that the interaction between Australia’s welfare and taxation systems provides incentives for people to participate where they can in the workforce, while ensuring that income support is adequate and targeted to those in greatest need.
  • "As well as improving the adequacy of Newstart payments, employment assistance programs must also be reformed to support the successful transition to work of the most disadvantaged jobseekers."

Not only did the BCA's confederacy of Scrooges suffer unaccustomed pangs of sympathy, the Liberal Party senator chairing the inquiry also agreed that Newstart is excessively miserly. However, he failed to recommend raising the allowance, saying:

"There is no doubt the evidence we received was compelling. Nobody want's [sic] to see a circumstance in which a family isn't able to feed its children, no one wants to see that in Australia. But we can't fund these things by running up debt."

Sigh. (Here we go…) There is no need to "fund these things", whether it be by "running up debt" or any other means. The Federal Government creates money when it spends. We, as a country, run out of the capacity to feed our children when we run out of food. We cannot run out of dollars, since we can create the dollars without limit.

The government does however, at the moment, have a purely voluntary policy of matching, dollar-for-dollar, all spending with government bond sales. There's no good reason for this; as Bill Mitchell says, it's just corporate welfare. Even so, selling bonds is not issuing new debt. Bonds are purchased with RBA credits (or "reserves", if you prefer). The purchasing institution simply swaps a non-interest-bearing asset (reserves) at the RBA for an interest-bearing one (bonds), still at the RBA. It's just like transferring some money from a savings account to a higher-interest term deposit account at a commercial bank; do we say that this is a lending operation? Of course not.

There is no fiscal reason why the government should punish the unemployed to the extent that they become an unemployable underclass. Even if we are generous and assume the good senator and his colleagues on the inquiry are just ignorant about how the economy works, we are still bound to conclude that there must be some (not so ignorant) people in government, who do want to see people suffering for no just reason.

My 2 cents

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/08/2017 - 1:19am in

Untitled

One of the readers of this blog [ht: ja] forwarded the above email reporting a two-cent refund, illustrating just how honest Walmart is.

walmart

source

Walmart is just as honest about the wages it pays it workers, which—in the absence of unions and an unchanged federal minimum wage—are as low as it can get away with.

Now, if Walmart would only be as honest about its reliance on double-dipping in corporate welfare related to food stamps:

It’s able to keep wages low thanks to the benefits — a well-known phenomenon — but then it also cashes in on the other end, when those employees and others earning low wages spend their food stamps at Walmart.

Tagged: corporations, food stamps, wages, Walmart, welfare, workers

In the Country of Dijsselbloem - Labor Relations in the Netherlands

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 14/07/2017 - 11:15pm in

image/jpeg iconmiljarden.jpg

Describtion of labour relations, state-induced attacks on 'social wage', 2017 elections and formation of a new governement in the Netherlands. From a council communist view, developed by Arbeidersstemmen (Workers' Voices).

Despite of the ‘decentralization’ of austerity measures the central
state, in fact is in control of these billions of Euros. The state is
able to redistribute enormous sums to corporations as tax reductions
and ‘green’ investments, ‘investments’ in army, navy and
repression.

Corvo

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DEBATE: Is a Basic Income Better Than Welfare?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/07/2017 - 7:52pm in

Tags 

welfare

In May this year, Bryan Caplan debated with Karl Widerquist about Universal Basic Income (UBI) and Welfare at PublicSquare.net. Widerquist is associate professor at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service at Qatar and vice-chair of Basic Income Earth Network (co-chair at the time of the debate). He sees UBI as a means to completely eliminate poverty and as a compensation for

The post DEBATE: Is a Basic Income Better Than Welfare? appeared first on BIEN.

“We need people to go to work”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 26/05/2017 - 11:00pm in

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Emily Badger is right:

The new White House budget proposal is built on a deep-rooted conservative belief: The government should help those who are willing to work, and cull from benefit rolls those who aren’t.

But it’s also a deep-rooted liberal belief. Lest we forget, it was Bill Clinton who signed the original let-them-work-or-starve welfare reform in 1996 (two years after signing the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the largest crime bill in history).*

As I argued back in March,

liberals and conservatives agree on very little these days, especially now that we find ourselves in the era of Donald Trump. But they do seem to find common ground on one thing: the so-called dignity of labor.

Basically, liberals and conservatives have long shared the view that government programs should be redesigned to make sure people—especially the members of the working-class, white, black, and Hispanic—are forced to have the freedom to sell their ability to work to someone else.

Donald Trump’s first budget is merely the latest proposal to implement this view, held by liberals and conservatives alike.

 

*In general, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, work requirements have done little to reduce poverty, and in some cases, they push families deeper into it:

Work requirements rest on the assumption that disadvantaged individuals will work only if they’re forced to do so, despite the intensive efforts that many poor individuals and families put into working at low-wage jobs that offer unpredictable hours and schedules and don’t pay enough for them to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads without public assistance of some kind.  Too many disadvantaged individuals want to work but can’t find jobs for reasons that work requirements don’t solve:  they lack the skills or work experience that employers want, they lack child care assistance, they lack the social connections that would help them identify job openings and get hired, or they have criminal records or have other personal challenges that keep employers from hiring them.  In addition, when parents can’t meet work requirements, their children can end up in highly stressful, unstable situations that can negatively affect their health and their prospects for upward mobility and long-term success.

 

Tagged: conservatives, liberals, reform, welfare, work, working-class

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