Speaking up against our would be soviet overlords.

Ask a typical liberal, and you would be told that anyone on unemployment is a hard working individual who just can't get a job (because corporations are evil). The liberal will contend that they just want to help those poor hardworking individuals who would otherwise could not even afford to eat.

Ask a typical conservative, and you would be told they are lazy and don't want a job, and instead just want to be paid not to work. The conservative will tell you that if you cut them off, they will get a job right away, but they have no incentive to do so while the government is paying them to not work.

I have the perfect solution, this one is simply a case of "taking the third option". A well used cliche is where the hero has to choose between two bad choices, the hero finds a third solution that hasn't been spelled out for him and has no drawbacks, this is the so called "third option". So what is the third option in the unemployment issue?

Eliminate ALL payments for unemployment, to be replaced with a government employment program. Said government employment program will be available to anyone, no matter how long they have been out of work in the private sector and will pay 99% of the current minimum wage (figure adjustable between 90 and 100%, it may never go above or below those figures). It is imperative that it is 99% of minimum wage, so that any private sector job will pay more... however, we don't want to be cruel here, so making it 99% means that it is still enough (unless minimum wage is not enough, in which case it can be increased independently, automatically increasing the payout for government employment).

If liberals are being honest, then this should satisfy them... millions of Americans currently not eligible for unemployment benefits (due to being unemployed for too long, or other reasons) would now have a job and could afford to pay their bills. If liberals are right, hard working individuals who want a job but just can't find one will be empowered and overjoyed at finally getting a job and working for a living as they wanted all along.

If conservatives are being honest, then this should satisfy them... millions of Americans currently sucking on the government's teat will go out and get a real job in the private sector, because they want more money or an easier job (a dreary office job beats physical labor, for most). If conservatives are correct, then the "lazy bums" will be cut off from their mooching, forced to actually work for their money.

This is the perfect third option solution.

There are also two options which I have considered and I am not sure if they are a good idea:

1. The labor would be lease-able by private sector (further cutting costs of the program)

Problem: This could cause difficulty in people getting minimum wage jobs, especially if the government "leases" said labor at less then minimum wage.

Potential solutions: The government "leases" said labor at minimum wage, and with the agreement that if an employee "hires" several temps through the program they will have to either take them on as direct employees after a month, or ask for someone else (due to the individual not performing their job as desired). Or that the job itself is temporary (will only be available for up to 2 months). Or just not lease it to the private sector at all... this might be the better solution as there is too much room for this to be implemented incorrectly if we try to be "clever" in such a way... especially considering the mismanagement of those in congress.

2. if not enough work is available (whether from private sector or government assigned work) then individuals will be given outdoor labor type jobs, such as digging trenches and planting trees. If not enough of that kind of work can be found then they will be tasked with digging holes and filling them back up. (to ensure they are never paid to not work at all).

Problem: This will be unpopular. Perhaps it shouldn't be limited to physical work. As long as they are actually doing something.


Comments (Page 1)
on Dec 10, 2010

reserved

on Dec 10, 2010

First, the initial 26 weeks of unemployment is not a handout and costs the government nothing.  It is paid for by payroll taxes on employers.  And is needed as finding a job does not happen over night.  However, 6 months is good enough for a large majority to find work (especially given that many who have hard to place skills get severance anyway which extends the time they are getting money).  SO I do not advocate total elimination of unemployment,.  However the extensions are good to go and your program is viable provided:

Current unemployment is not taxable by FICA (so while they say you only get $350/week, that is actually worth 7.65% more than what you would make in the private sector).  In addition, although not income tax exempt, you are not required to pay taxes on the money received until you find work, so the tax is deferred.  For your program to work, those 2 things would have to be factored into the money they are getting from the government for their make do work.  In addition, the government would have to charge more than the minimum wage since the employer has to pay additional taxes on employees (the unemployment tax mentioned above, plus a Workers Compensation tax, and the employer part of FICA/Medicaid).  For it to be beneficial for the employer to outright hire the worker, the cost to them would have to be higher than what it cost them to hire the employee directly.  The government could use the excess to either pay the taxes like the employer or for administrative costs.

Third, current temp companies would not like it.  It would basically put them out of business.  That is something to consider, and I do not have a solution for that one.

And finally, it would be a good idea.  Turnover is very costly for employers.  This system would allow them to not incur any of the costs of turnover while still "test driving" the employee to see if they would make a good addition to the staff.  Laying off an employee that does not fit in does affect both hiring costs and the rate of the Unemployment tax for the employer, so these costs virtually disappear with this system. And is the reason many employers now use contract employees for new hires.  The law is already in place that states the contract employees cannot be hired for longer than 12 months without getting regular benefits, so the employer cannot abuse the system (It is called the Microsoft law).

on Dec 10, 2010

I am totally in favour of your proposal.

However, do note that at least in Europe welfare is simply paid to keep people from rioting. Whenever those payments are affected by politics, we have burning cars. I figure that in the middle ages those people were the local baron's thugs, another group of people paid to leave others alone.

But assuming that we get those riots under control or that America doesn't have that problem (which is possible since Americans have a different mindset), your proposal is excellent. It's very socialist, too. (I am assuming we keep special rules for those actually physically unable to work, like severely handicapped people.)

However, I am against the renting out to businesses scheme. Governments should not be in the business of competing against recruiting companies. In fact governments should not be in any business, with "business" being everything where we can logically expect competition (as opposed to areas where competition is physically impossible or legally limited*).

There are enough infrastructure jobs those people can do.

It even balances out. Whenever there is a recession, there will be more people on the dole; and at the same time government is supposed to improve the infrastructure (streets, bridges, highways, railroads, canals, pipes, cables). This would happen at a time when the economy is using the existing infrastructure less (because of the recession).

The proposal would thus support anti-cyclical economics, an actual Keynesian policy.

The big irony is that your proposal is technically left-wing. But liberals will hate it, I am sure.

I am totally in favour of it. The proposal is socialist, Keynesian, efficient, and simply very good. It's the sort of proposal that should come from the left. That's what socialists are actually for in politics: improve economics using socialist ideas. That the proposal comes from you instead shows us how badly organised and degenerated today's socialists are.

I am also back.

 

 

on Dec 10, 2010

*Areas where competition is physically impossible or legally limited:

Physically impossible: shortest street between two towns; bridge over river at best location; shortest railway link etc.

Legally limited: police force, military, government etc.

Those are areas where the proposal folk could work (except I would really let them into the second list).

 

on Dec 10, 2010

I am assuming we keep special rules for those actually physically unable to work, like severely handicapped people.

Sure, I was speaking only on unemployment, not disability.

although I have been considering an alternate program for (at least some) of disability cases, where instead of being paid not to work, the government provides what they need to work... aka, colorblind individuals are not allowed to drive, not being allowed to drive gets them disability benefits instead of a job. Take some of those government employees and set them up to do free car pooling to and from the place of business.

This will be dependent on the individual disability, the costs of compensating for it, etc. Will require some small scale prototype testings to see what works and what doesn't.

This could actually be a primary job of the government employeed, provide the assistance needed by disabled to hold a job.

However, I am against the renting out to businesses scheme. Governments should not be in the business of competing against recruiting companies. In fact governments should not be in any business, with "business" being everything where we can logically expect competition (as opposed to areas where competition is physically impossible or legally limited*).

You are right, this was a bad idea. At first I wrote it as a part of the plan, then I had second thoughts and edited to be a "not sure", now that I had a night to sleep on it I realize how bad an idea it is, and why. You and Dr. Guy just further solidified the point with your excellent arguments.

The labor should not be rent-able at all.

I am totally in favour of it. The proposal is socialist, Keynesian, efficient, and simply very good. It's the sort of proposal that should come from the left. That's what socialists are actually for in politics: improve economics using socialist ideas. That the proposal comes from you instead shows us how badly organised and degenerated today's socialists are.

Heh... Well, I am of the opinion that 90+% of those receiving unemployment benefits would get a job the moment you stop paying them to not work.

And while the complete elimination of all handouts is the capitalist approach, it will never happen in a democratic society. So since we must have some socialism, it might as well be well implemented socialism.

You are right that in theory, if the left is totally honest and upfront, this is the type of policy they should be coming up with. But for this proposal to come from the left, the left needs to honestly believe in what it is claiming. Whether the left or the right is correct isn't issue, if either the left or the right is correct, this proposal will still work... but for it to be accepted both the right and the left need to have been honest thus far about their reasoning. I don't believe that the left has been, I believe that the left is actually fully aware that paying someone not to work disincentivises work, but that is a tool in their goals of harming our economy (they believe it will make the rest of the world less poor and exploited), harming our industry (they believe it will save the planet from pollution), redistribute wealth (they believe that anyone who is "wealthy" is evil) and so on.

First, the initial 26 weeks of unemployment is not a handout and costs the government nothing.  It is paid for by payroll taxes on employers.

All money spent by the government is acquired via taxes... that the first 26 weeks are paid for by payroll taxes instead of general taxes doesn't change it being tax money that pays for it.

It should be a voluntary private insurance instead of a government program paid for by taxes or a government mandated purchase of such insurance.

Current unemployment is not taxable by FICA (so while they say you only get $350/week, that is actually worth 7.65% more than what you would make in the private sector).  In addition, although not income tax exempt, you are not required to pay taxes on the money received until you find work, so the tax is deferred.

You are right that I hadn't considered that when I carefully worded my plan, to remain in the spirit of my plan it would require that those two things be compensated for...

To be honest, the income tax is retarded and should be banned altogether. I am for the http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer

Incidentally, I came up with what I termed the perfect tax system, the fifth person I told it to informed me that someone else already thought of it and its called the fairtax. Turns out I am not the only person with a working brain.

on Dec 10, 2010

they believe that anyone who is "wealthy" is evil

Unless they are the one that is wealthy. Then it doesn't count. Their wealth is righteous because they care.

on Dec 10, 2010

Nitro Cruiser
Unless they are the one that is wealthy. Then it doesn't count. Their wealth is righteous because they care.

but of course... for the truely wealthy liberal, they are the exception.

For the majority of wealthy liberals, they themselves are simply not really wealthy... they are merely "upper middle class" despite people less rich then themselves being "evil wealthy"

on Dec 11, 2010

Finish completely with the whole entitlements/contributions mindset. "Social Wage" for everyone. From a multimillionaire/billionaires to down and out hobos. All get about $400 a week. Student, pensioner, unemployed, holiday pay, maternity/paternity pay, extra support for those in very difficult businesses such as small farmers, sick leave, .... ad infinitum = COVERED!! Child support could be rolled into it too giving 25% for a new born, 50% for older children. Simple %+ system for pensioners possible too) = Humungous bureaucracy saving system. Those unemployed would have a great incentive to find work as there would be no "claw back" problem ("Oi wuz better off loike when oi wuz unemployed"). Cost to taxpayer? Not much more than the current system, or should I say current farce. Even employers would love it. No worries about meeting sick pay or holiday pay. ... Yep, never happen. Too radical and too socialist.

on Dec 11, 2010

You want to finish with the whole entitlements mindset AND give everyone $400 a month?

$400 a month is wealth beyond the dreams of most people on this planet. Even the radical communists in Germany (not the German government but the actual communist party) have never argued for that much money.

Aren't new-borns more expensive than older children?

Yes, it will never happen. Too radical, too expensive, and too completely unnecessary.

 

on Dec 11, 2010

@Daftvador: 400 a week for 310 million people = 6.47 trillion dollars a year.

the total income in 2010 of the USA was 2.381 trillion

that is 1/3rd the cost of your plan. Furthermore, a whole lot of people will not want to even bother working under such a plan so there will be even less money available. plus, you know, all the other financial obligations that the government has.

@Leauki: do away with the mindset of entitlement and contributors, as in "its a basic human right, not an entitlement" and "everyone is really a contributor, even if they don't work they participate in culture" or some such.

on Dec 12, 2010

from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs

That's what Karl Marx said.

He said it in a time when everyone definitely didn't get what he needed and when many people could not, for legal or other reasons, contribute according to their ability.

Conservatives believe in "from each according to his ability". Conservatives think that everyone should work as much as they can.

Today's liberals believe in "to each according to his needs", and define "needs" as a life most people on earth can only dream of.

Karl Marx, the inventor of communism, in today's politics seems like an advocate of a "third way", a combination of the two.

Right and left are supposed to advocate the first part and both parts of Marx' principle respectively. But the left certainly do not even pay lip service to the first part.

A healthy unemployed man without dependent children living on welfare. Does he really contribute "according to his ability"? Is that his "ability": sitting at home, watching television? (Would he discover more ability if he didn't get "according to his needs"?)

And while we are at it, why can social welfare recipients in Europe afford television sets when public hospitals are still underfunded? Aren't hospitals more important than television?

I think that today an honest socialist has more in common with a conservative than with a liberal. Conservatives have started to believe in the second part of Marx' principle while liberals have entirely forgotten about the first.

on Dec 12, 2010

This reminds me of an excellent photo I took to illustrate the point.

Unemployment check, how else would you pay for your video card upgrade?

on Dec 12, 2010

Daftvador,

May I ask how much money you make that you think that $400 per week is the minimum amoung people ought to live on?

For me $400 per week is a lot of money. And I work hard for my upkeep.

 

on Dec 13, 2010

(I make about $2,000 a week but it varies quite a bit, mostly royalties... and I am perfectly happy to pay almost double the income tax I do so as to bring about this system) .... All the same, $400 pw social wage is a bit excessive perhaps. More like $200-300. With a GDP of about $45,000 per capita p.a. (USA) the payouts would approximate to about $13,000 per capita pa. (remember, EVERYONE would get this payout while of course having to pay a bit more in taxes to afford it) Plenty to spare in other words.

One the other hand, maybe $400 a week is reasonable. After all there's beer, ciggies, fine chockies, the latest ipad, etc to think about.... .........

on Dec 13, 2010

I make about $2,000 a week but it varies quite a bit, mostly royalties...

Not everyone has a very high income based on a government-created monopoly. Most people work very hard for money every week.

$2,000 per week is a lot of money and so is $400 per week.

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