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  1. #181
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    How would you propose to redistribute wealth? Increase the capital gains tax or maybe the personal income tax? Increase the estate or inheritance tax? Also, is there a socialist state that doesn't tax excessively and spend wildly?
    Socialist is a descriptor assigned by the observer. It's pointless to even consider engaging at this level because any example pointed out could be termed as socialist by someone for the widest variety of reasons.

    Leave the labels aside and just evaluate based on your parameters. What you should be asking is how can you redistribute wealth without a prominent tax and spend policy. I think Lark covered that with mention of cooperatives who share the profits of the business with the workforce. Not that this measure alone will bring about social reform but if that model is encouraged and becomes popular then it would stand to reason that you'd end up with a culture change. The follow on from that is where the redistribution of wealth comes in.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?
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  2. #182

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Isn't Sweden kind of the example for a good economy? They have the infrastructure to provide good public sector services as well as having sensible but not overly restrictive market rules. Aren't they also listed in the top countries for happiness and productivity?

    If I remember. Correctly I think they're also high up for suicide rate but I'd hope that's not linked.

    Perhaps it's a country that we could drill down for information on to see how it works and what bits could be held up for other countries as an ideal. All theory of course but it'd be nice to get some degree of satisfaction from all this typing.

    I believe a comedian put it best
    "class is a way of being racist against people who look like you ".
    I think there's similar in-group and out-group or "othering" behaviour, its a flaw in human character formation, at the minute anyway. As soon as it seems one format has disappeared another arises to take its place.

    I'll be honest that I think the Swedish model is superior to all neo-liberal alternatives but I think that the basic income and stakeholder economy is an idea which has potential to surpass both.

    The contradictions in the economies of neo-liberal nations arent going to go away and further neo-liberalism hasnt provided any remedy, the best they can hope for is "the procedure was a success but the patient died" thinking.

    The ways in which the reforms of the basic income and stakeholder grants camp could take things could provide some solution to those contradictions but fiscal conservativism could treat them as just another benefit and easy target for cuts, as the conservatives in the UK did so, its the one flaw or problem with it but then any system which the public dont understand, dont support and are easily duped into ignorant opposition or ignorant reform of will prove a disaster.

  3. #183
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander
    I think Lark covered that with mention of cooperatives who share the profits of the business with the workforce.
    What about people who don't want to work? Do we let them starve or give them food stamps?

    I think Lark covered that with mention of cooperatives who share the profits of the business with the workforce.
    Has this ever worked? If I'm part of a cooperative and the guy next to me is a goofball who's half-assing it, won't I begin to resent the situation? Wouldn't the hard workers resent the lazy workers and would it be fair to redistribute equally when people aren't putting in the same effort?
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  4. #184

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Socialist is a descriptor assigned by the observer. It's pointless to even consider engaging at this level because any example pointed out could be termed as socialist by someone for the widest variety of reasons.

    Leave the labels aside and just evaluate based on your parameters. What you should be asking is how can you redistribute wealth without a prominent tax and spend policy. I think Lark covered that with mention of cooperatives who share the profits of the business with the workforce. Not that this measure alone will bring about social reform but if that model is encouraged and becomes popular then it would stand to reason that you'd end up with a culture change. The follow on from that is where the redistribution of wealth comes in.
    The problem with the redistribution of wealth is not simply the question of the why and wherefore but the how and when too.

    Taxing individuals and spending it on services they are never liable to use and only derive the most indirect benefice from is not going to be something which can be popularised.

    It ultimately results in a poor service for a poor people because the scarcity which results from resistance to tax and spend policies then mandates means testing, itself expensive, usually more expensive than a straight forward hand out, which further makes raising funds difficult.

    The basic incomes and stakeholder grants are one cash transfer means to redistributing the wealth, its not paying for services, its a straightforward transfer of money.

    Its easier to price tag as a result, its a "write down" and its easier to see what the figures are then, if you like, if your political objective is to contain taxation and spending for whatever reason its easier to know and to do with that sort of a system rather than a complex one in which a dozen different tax and spend legacies all marry up.

    Its part of the reason, despite being conceived by socialists originally, socialist opponents of monopoly power in the USSR, and then by the third wayers of Blair in the UK that right wingers like Charles Murray support versions of basic income as a project to replace the welfare state and make people dependent upon family instead.

    There was a UK conservative who wrote at length about it during the Blair years who is probably one of the best writers on the topic that I've known, although he has written in tribute to certain sorts of conservative thinking which has been out for fashion for a very long, long time, like Roy Harrod who wrote a book commending keynesianism as a conservative policy with the title "Are these hardships necessary?".

    A lot of a certain wing of libertarian free market fundamentalism strikes me as having painted itself into a corner and now isnt really capable of thinking outside the box of its own creating any longer.

  5. #185
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    What about people who don't want to work? Do we let them starve or give them food stamps?
    You can't afford to let them starve or you'll create a class motivated to prey on the others. So some form of safety net makes sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    Has this ever worked? If I'm part of a cooperative and the guy next to me is a goofball who's half-assing it, won't I begin to resent the situation? Wouldn't the hard workers resent the lazy workers and would it be fair to redistribute equally when people aren't putting in the same effort?
    That's the job of HR to route out the non-performers. HR is often hampered by accountants, I'd look closely at the internal structure and see whether HR is doing their jobs right. Strong HR tends to make a strong company.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #186

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    What about people who don't want to work? Do we let them starve or give them food stamps?

    Has this ever worked? If I'm part of a cooperative and the guy next to me is a goofball who's half-assing it, won't I begin to resent the situation? Wouldn't the hard workers resent the lazy workers and would it be fair to redistribute equally when people aren't putting in the same effort?
    The universal basic income idea involves the payment of an allowance to all, that's everyone, irrespective of their existing wealth or work, or lack of either, and its at or only just slightly above subsistence. Its the only thing you will ever receive from the state and the state will not provide any other services free at the point of delivery to anyone. You have that allowance and if you want to live on that allowance and aspire to nothing more than that, that's fine you go right ahead and do that.

    In real terms that will not happen. People will want more than a subsistence allowance will provide to them. Then they can work or do whatever to supplement the allowance the receive, if you want to spend more then you have to earn more, simple as and its the way it is at present. No one settles for working in McDonalds or another unskilled, low wage job who can earn more doing something else or wants to spend more and therefore needs another line of work which will provide them with more disposable income.

    The existence of a subsistence level universal basic income means that rich and poor alike are receiving the same from the public revenue, no one is getting paid while another is paying for it, it also relieves businesses of the need to pay minimum wages and provide liveable wages and provide work, which most business were never set up to provide anyway, it has always been at best a secondary objective or a distant, distant tertiary objective after profits and market share growth. It means no one has to work for anyone, no one is going to starve or be destitute if they choose not to work for someone but does any economy require that level of coercion to function? Really? What calibre of employees does that create?

    As to people half-assing it, that happens at the minute, the present system hasnt eliminated that and more free marketeer thinking doesnt look like eliminating it either, some people are lazy assholes, I say let them, I dont really give a shite but in a system of universal basic incomes they are more free to do their thing (and experience the natural consequences) and everyone else is more free to do their thing without them. Someone who is half assing things is only ever going to be a drag on any business unfortunate enough to employ them and they have a massive adverse impact upon anyone else working alongside them, so I say stop sweating it, stop giving them a second thought and let them fuck off, they may think that living in beggary on a stipend is beating the system but let them live that fools paradise.

    In addition to universal basic incomes, which are only ever going to be subsistence level affairs, I would suggest stakeholder grants, these could be something like a single payment to voters/tax payers at the age of majority, in the UK it was planned that they would be bonds which would mature for a generation turning eighteen, now the conservative party at a stroke abolished them and just gave the money to the high earning thieves in the city who had wrecked the economy as a bonus but the public could give a shit, they were blinkered into believing it was just another benefit for the feckless anyway.

    This single payment would be available to all citizens at the age of majority, now they could choose to spend that however they like, buy assets like cars or high fis, invest it as savings, spend it on an education, spend it on health insurance, whatever they like. Its more egalitarian than the old system of student tuition fees and grants which were paid for by generations of working people who never aspired to university but who paid the taxes for others to do so (which highlights one of the problems in redistributing wealth through tax for services, it frequently takes from the low earning taxpayer and gives to the middle classes for cultural reasons). This would mean that with each turn of the wheel, each generational shift the economy would have money circulated or at least available to circulate, although I dont believe every citizen would choose to save simultaneously stopping the circulation of money, it would be the populace doing it rather than the government and so not prey to political chicanery or policy changes. That would have a significant impact upon boom and bust economics and business cycles.

    I would expect that successful stakeholder grants, the problem being that it would probably take a few generations for this to be successful and not the election term limits of any politician or political party's fortunes, would lead to a situation in which citizens may not necessarily opt to spend on university educations, market forces would be liable to transform, positively, the landscape of education anyway since it would not be the preserve of a moneyed elite, but would use the grants as start up capital for businesses. If individuals join together they will have more start up capital but that's the case already, I would suspect that co-operatives or co-management would be more popular under such a regime because no one is going to decide they dont want a return on their investment, you understand? Its not a co-op in the sense of an ideological evaluation of co-operation versus competition or workers control or anything but a co-op as a business investment model.

    None of this fits inside the conventional left-right/socialist-capitalist thinking and if you stick with that you're not liable to understand any of it and, like I say, see it all as just another sort of benefit for feckless lazy people. In which case, well, that's a cage of your own constructing there.

    Personally I'd like to see a world in which everyone has three or more income streams, generated maybe from assets, capital and income which would allow them to stand apart, relatively speaking, from state or any coercive individual or firm in the economy. That sort of shake up of the status quo would really change things up for the traditional obsessing about free loaders and parsimonious bullshite. All that does is lock people into the thinking of the shanty town crooks.
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  7. #187
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    I doubt any HR could motivate people to work hard in a cooperative. It's the pursuit of one's dreams and personal wealth that drives people to work hard. Entrepreneurs frequently put in 60 hour work weeks because they love what they are doing. If you are merely a cog in some cooperative, you aren't going to be motivated and you aren't going to be happy.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  8. #188

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    You can't afford to let them starve or you'll create a class motivated to prey on the others. So some form of safety net makes sense.

    That's the job of HR to route out the non-performers. HR is often hampered by accountants, I'd look closely at the internal structure and see whether HR is doing their jobs right. Strong HR tends to make a strong company.
    I agree that creating a scenario conducive to norms of predatory behaviour would be antithetical to what I believe are the honest goals of most utopian free marketeers.

    Although safety nets are funny things, some people are that well practiced on the high wire that they dont think they need the net and they dont care much if other people do and perish as a result, in fact a lot of people have boners for the idea that someone else with perish in the process. Its sad but true of some of the free marketeers I've known, maybe they got mugged once or met a chav and decided they fucking hated them (welcome to the human race rich guy).

    My point is that that safety net can become pretty meager and mean, in the UK there's a lot of media propaganda about how modest the benefits were at the inception of the welfare state versus what they are today (never mind that the full employment policies reigning at inception have been abandoned in favour of a high unemployment economy instead) and that popularises the idea of cuts upon cuts resulting in less than susbsistence standards. Sometimes that's coupled with a "people will have no choice but to work" thinking but a lot of them time people dont give a shit, there's no jobs anyway, desperately needing to work doesnt mean anyone has to provide you with work.

    Instead of safety nets I prefer universal benefits, when they are up and running they would be less reviled and less susceptible to cuts than benefits which are the exclusive preserve of a single part of the population (and paid for unwillingly by another).

    You make a good point about HR, or it could simply be a role for management or workers, I suspect maybe this poster is someone without experience of what's being discussed beyond the theoretical.

  9. #189
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark
    Personally I'd like to see a world in which everyone has three or more income streams, generated maybe from assets, capital and income which would allow them to stand apart, relatively speaking, from state or any coercive individual or firm in the economy. That sort of shake up of the status quo would really change things up for the traditional obsessing about free loaders and parsimonious bullshite. All that does is lock people into the thinking of the shanty town crooks.
    Now this is something I hadn't considered. Thanks. New thinking is rare and I truely haven't encountered such an idea before. Now I have something to chew on.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  10. #190
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    I doubt any HR could motivate people to work hard in a cooperative. It's the pursuit of one's dreams and personal wealth that drives people to work hard. Entrepreneurs frequently put in 60 hour work weeks because they love what they are doing. If you are merely a cog in some cooperative, you aren't going to be motivated and you aren't going to be happy.
    Entrepreneurs often don't get much money to begin with and many do it because they enjoy the work and the concept (some would say illusion) that they have no pay masters. Money is not a universal motivator.

    As to motivating people, you can't. Flat out impossible.

    The only thing you can do in an attempt to end up with a motivated person is to offer them incentives you think they will be interested in.

    The public sector, which you wish to cut, contains many people on much lower wages than the private sector. They stay because they like the company ethics or the other benefits (such as my employer has flexi time which is a God send for a P). My own boss has great sway with her people not because she brings them money or gifts but because she's a great leader and has supported them in their professional and personal lives. She doesn't do it for the money either but for the feeling of having spent another day making the world a little bit better.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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