Monday, January 29, 2007

Working for other peoples' money unfair

Sue Bradford opposes working for the dole - because, you see, the Greens believe that if you can't find a job you like, everyone else should be forced to pay for you. You are "entitled" to have your existence paid for by other people working and surrendering between a quarter and half of their earnings under threat (taxes), but shouldn't be required to do anything for it. Notice what a winning formula that has been for certain generations of no-hopers.
Personally I'd start reform of the dole by putting a one-year limit on it, and you wouldn't be able to claim more than three years in your life. I'd also stop inflation indexing it, so that it gradually became less and less attractive as people's backstop. This would encourage people to save or take out income insurance. Beneficiary bashing? Well, it would be nice if beneficiaries were grateful for those giving them money for nothing extracted by force, or maybe they want to ask for support next time. Imagine that - asking instead of demanding help. That starting reform would be in the context of a coalition government, serious reform would put a one-year time limit on the dole, after which it would be abolished.


Uroskin said...

I would rather look at it from a different perspective: you pay tax your in working life to ensure you against life's bad patches such as illness, unemployment and old-age destitution. This was the original thought behind the welfare state and set up by labour unions in Europe at the end of the 19th century: there was a clear link between your contribution (when you could) and the benefit (when you needed it). Perhaps we should go to that link (which was never very strong in NZ when its welfare state was set up), i.e. part of your taxes, by default, should be paid into an unemployment insurance account, pension scheme and health insurance.
A beneficial side effect of that old union solidarity system was of course it saved capitalism's bacon by unionists pulling out the sting of communist activism in most of western Europe.

libertyscott said...

Uroskin, the fundamental problem is that this was under a culture where people had the self-respect to largely find it personally unacceptable to sit about idle doing nothing - you still see in many of the elderly who don't want to be useless, counter that to some younger people who happily will be useless (in Britain they are called WAGs).

You have a useful suggestion of making it insurance based, that could mean you pay less according to your behaviour - much like insurance works for property. If you change jobs regularly you'll pay more, if you are qualified for many different careers you pay less.

kg said...

I have an idea: being about to move (rented) house I have a lot of stuff to pack up and put on a truck.
How about some of the dole recipients I'm supporting turn up and give me a hand?
Yeah, riiight. That'd involve them acknowledging a debt and getting off their backsides, wouldn't it?

libertyscott said...

sheesh I'd be worried they'll lend you a hand alright, reducing the amount you need to move permanently!