It's May Day: Let Us Praise Socialism

You have more faith in people than I do. I think that if you provided all of that, we would have a significant percentage of the population happily living on the dole for life. Hell, that describes something BETTER than I had until my mid-20s. Prior to that I had no TV nor did I have a private room. Food was only acquired through this thing called work.

Given the ability of many to try to stretch out various government support payments through multiple generations, I think that the negative incentives of your program would quickly sink the economy of our nation.

You claim that we have dismantled so much - while there is much to be done, Medicaid, Social Security, TANF and other programs still exist. Free public schools, Head Start, lunch programs are still offered. Families making under $100k can send their kids to Stanford for free. It is not like the entire welfare apparatus of the US has been dismantled - the main attack was the Welfare to Work shift that happened under Clinton and the Republican House.

“This is John Halt speaking…”

Foolish austerity measures during a recession are destroying lives and economies?

Here is wisdom. Moderation is the key to any ideology. A “weak” principle is usually healthier than a “strong” principle. Fundamentalism in nearly any body of thought it usually a rotten idea.

Ursula K. LeGuin said, “Almost anything carried to its logical extreme becomes depressing, if not carcinogenic.”

And I would vote for you for emperor, really, but I’m already pledged to Nyarlathotep!

European-style social democracy; that’s clear enough.

And there are absolutely no exceptions.

It’s true, is it not, that most people have more than meager means described in the program (a room to live in that has heat and air conditioning, enough food to keep you healthy, health care basic clothing and basic cable Internet and TV to keep you hooked into the culture) that you object to?

Considering that no one today is obligated to work for any more than this (or, indeed, work for even this little), doesn’t that suggest that your lack of “faith in people” is pretty much torn to ribbons by the fact that people conventionally do aspire to and work for and achieve more than this?

In other words, your premise—if we provide these basics, many people will not work at all—is discredited by the fact that many people every day maintain much more plentiful lifestyles by the sweat of their brow. Is it your contention that these people will stop if they knew they were guaranteed a trailer with AC and a teevee?

People have that (and in some cases less, as I did) BECAUSE they work. If they could get all of that withOUT work - I think that many would stop working.

We can see this in some of the areas of the nation that have endemic multi-generational welfare (as it used to be called) families.

If I had a choice of stock shelves at Wal Mart to get myself (and my kids) a private room, food, AC, clothes, TV and internet and not doing a damned thing and getting all of that too - I might just stop working at Wal Mart.

Grin! After many years of participating in discussions like those we enjoy here, I learned never (never, ever, not so much as once, under no circumstances!) to make statements under universal quantifiers!

Why do they need any sort of austerity? Why is the recession hammering them so hard that they need such draconian measures? It’s the workers paradise, right? So, why are they all looking at harsh austerity measures in the first place?

:stuck_out_tongue: We spend more on our social safety net than many countries yearly GDP. What you really mean here is that, IYHO we don’t spend enough of our money on it, not the ridiculous hyperbole that we’ve dismantled the thing in any meaningful way, considering the staggering sums we pay for it as a nation.

I’m sure you THINK you do, but as John noted what you really like is a mixed economy, with capitalism doing the heavy lifting and making it work so you and your fellow socialist types can spend the money on more netting. If you took capitalism out of the equation then your socialism would fall flat on it’s face, since economically it sucks big donkey wankage and always has. You don’t like where the bar is set in the US (and that’s a valid beef), but instead of acknowledging that you want to try and use handwaving and eye watering hyperbole that isn’t related to reality. We HAVE your mixed economy, along with very expensive social safety net. We can afford it BECAUSE we have a basic, regulated capitalist economy. It doesn’t hum along as well as it could, IMHO due to folks such as yourself, but it works well enough to be able to, so far, afford all that social goodness you crave. Just like our European brethren and sistren, who have adopted a similar system. The only meaningful difference is where they set the various bars for taxation and safety nettage (and how much they are willing to pony up for the common defense of western civilization of course).

-XT

Indeed.

Nah most people want to work, some don’t but are compelled to as the dole is enough to get by but not enough to really live.

Working at Wal Mart, there is your problem. If we reduce min wage to flip all as it is in a lot countries then the difference between having a job and being on the dole is minimal.

Right - but the proposal was to raise the dole to cover a decent lifestyle (again - private room, healthy food, tv, internet, clothes and healthcare).

I can think of several people who would happily take that over their current lot in life WITH their job. I know many people who joined the military JUST to get all of the above. If they could get it for nothing?

Well that sounds stupid unless the person is incapable of working, then it sounds fair.

There was actually a series of experiments performed in the 1970s on the effects of a Guaranteed Minimum Income on labor output. Several thousand people from low income families were involved in this experiment that occurred over the course of 5 years. While there was a reduction in number of hours worked (about 7% for men and 14% for women) there was no sign of people dropping out of the labor force entirely.

Some people would argue that any reduction in labor output is unacceptable. But I’d argue that this is a feature and not a bug. If a job is so shitty that the only reason a person will take it is to avoid starvation and homelessness, that job shouldn’t exist.

Unless someone is putting a gun to the heads of the employees, then SOMEONE thinks that their labor is worth the paltry pay. If not, then companies wouldn’t be able to keep people on for starvation wages and would be forced to either do away with the job (probably though automation or sending it overseas where someone else might make a different cost to benefit calculation) or increase wages to entice someone to take the job.

-XT

And those who don’t want “something more” get to just sit on their lazy asses? What a brilliant plan! :rolleyes:

So fucking what? The food is available, but that’s not enough? You want delivery, too? Unfuckingbelievable. :rolleyes:

And how about if people want to work more hours to further themselves? Or does your little dsytopian dream not allow the desire to improve one’s lot in life. You know, you really should try to think this shit through at least a teensy weeny amount. :rolleyes:

So, let them contribute it, get fairly compensated and pay for their own existence. What is wrong with that?

Working at starvation point is ultimately just as coercive as working at gunpoint.

Wait, I thought there were food banks?