At 05:23 PM 29/06/00 -0700, James wrote:
>you need to start with an
>enormous positive cash balance to make the system economically viable; a
>Ponzi scheme would quickly collapse and the taxation required would
>destroy the economy.
I find this hard to belive. After all, you already pointed out that
providing the net direct to the poor would halve the current costs.
>how would differences in cost of living
>be accounted for? The poverty line in the greater Silicon Valley area
>would put one in the upper middle class in North Dakota.
How does it work with aged pensions now? Everyone gets the same, no? With
this minimal security, people might well up-sticks and move somewhere
cheaper. The hope is that sufficient of them will use this stake/security
to start some productive enterprise or fund their education, not just kick
back. And then this added wealth will be cropped to help support the
process. Or so thought Milton Friedman, that notorious Red, back in the
>there is something
>very bad economically about "taxation-for-welfare" systems. The government
>has not figured out a way to support the non-productive without causing
>adverse economic impacts on the individuals they are taxing.
Agreed this is a `social engineering' problem (in Popper's sense).
Construing the payment as `stakeholder' dividends might be one way to shift
the mental patterns involved.
>Most people will work if there is an
>opportunity and very few blatantly abuse the system.
Indeed. The key psychological point, I believe.
>the "leeches" puts a strain on the economy and on the productive class
>that is disproportionate to their numbers. In fact, from the best I can
>tell, the leeches take more from the economy when they are not working,
>than they are likely to add when they are. Quite frankly, these people
>are a social evil and should be tossed to the curb
Aargh. No, I'm not going to get all bleeding-heart here. Haven't you
noticed what happens when people get tossed to the curb? They turn and
snarl and bite. Eventually they come into your neighborhood and do painful
things. You might recommend killing them if they have the gall to do so.
This strikes me as a social corrosive even more appalling that the rot you
discern in their state-subsidised moral fibre.
But you might be right. And so might I. More probably there's a better way
neither of us have thought of. And the Spike will make it all redundant in
50 years or so anyway. But meanwhile, I'm happy to `buy the bastards off',
if one insists on seeing it that way -- while keeping the ill effects
contained by suitable security measures as are required, and by social
engineering if that's possible.
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