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Why Can't American Socialists Come up with a Plan to End Poverty

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posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 07:46 PM

originally posted by: ChiefD

originally posted by: xuenchen
a reply to: ChiefD

$25,000 a year paid every 2 weeks is around $960 every 2 weeks.

And I believe military pensions are paid from a budget, not actually from welfare or social Security.

So maybe this plan does not affect military pensions.

And don't forget, you would be getting the 25,000 too, and so would a spouse.

And military personnel would also get the 25,000 even while on active duty.

Not a bad safety net.

Woo, that sounds pretty awesome! Maybe start a petition on

How awesome would that be - if resident ATS members collaborated to create this and it were to gain some sort of traction? I'm behind it - as another poster mentioned, beats trickle-down-voodoo.

My girlfriend had two surgeries today and I have my hands a bit full or else I would offer my opinions, but I'm really liking it - and having trouble seeing any downsides here.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 07:46 PM
a reply to: xuenchen

You mean like this?

Those European democratic socialists are certainly working on it... Something similar is being put into an experimental phase in Finland. This is not a country-wide experiment, but a smaller one, I think.

The idea of Basic Income is very interesting, assuming it is done well. We don't know if it would work large-scale yet, from what I've been able to find - it is still experimental. The devil is in the details, but xuenchen, you said we aren't supposed to have details or seek out the "devil" in the plan you presented?? I don't know that there is such a blight to it, but I do know there are people who have been working on this kind of idea since the 1980's.

As to the presented plan in your OP - I really don't know how that would play out in real life. Health Care is totally covered already in the European countries, so basic income is in addition to benefits already received. Health Care must be addressed for any such plan to work. The other side is, would there really be enough income to do this? Would loop-holes in the tax code let wealthy folks slip out the door, or hide their money so that 8% didn't hit them so hard? I dunno, but there's that devil...

From the website I linked:

A basic income is an income unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement. It is a form of minimum income guarantee that differs from those that now exist in various European countries in three important ways:

it is being paid to individuals rather than households;
it is paid irrespective of any income from other sources;
it is paid without requiring the performance of any work or the willingness to accept a job if offered.

Liberty and equality, efficiency and community, common ownership of the Earth and equal sharing in the benefits of technical progress, the flexibility of the labour market and the dignity of the poor, the fight against inhumane working conditions, against the desertification of the countryside and against interregional inequalities, the viability of cooperatives and the promotion of adult education, autonomy from bosses, husbands and bureaucrats, have all been invoked in its favor.

But it is the inability to tackle unemployment with conventional means that has led in the last decade or so to the idea being taken seriously throughout Europe by a growing number of scholars and organizations. Social policy and economic policy can no longer be conceived separately, and basic income is increasingly viewed as the only viable way of reconciling two of their respective central objectives: poverty relief and full employment./ex]

Interesting ideas.

- AB

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 07:46 PM
a reply to: forkedtongue


Keep everything separate.

Petty jealousy and micro-managing won't work.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 07:48 PM
a reply to: AboveBoard

Not quite.

It needs to be low enough to make people uncomfortable enough that they are incentivized to work to for more and better. It also needs to be something that people can be weaned off of and onto as their needs change, not something everyone gets top to bottom.

We are $19 trillion in debt. We need to save money, not keep spending it forever.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 07:51 PM
a reply to: AboveBoard

Well we need bright minds to analyze with details.

Any comparisons to Europe might help.

But this plan may already be paid for without the jealousies.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 07:56 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

Maybe business should move more towards renting things out in such a system. Where ownership occurs after long periods of time. Making it so that people are incentivized to keep working to have stuff... I don't know.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 07:58 PM

originally posted by: 3NL1GHT3N3D1
Why has capitalism allowed poverty to escalate in the recent past? Obviously capitalism hasn't done a very good job of hindering it, so what makes it any better than socialism in that respect?

ETA: Capitalism not Democracy

Capitalism hasn't caused this problem...America's social welfare programs have created generations of families dependent on the social welfare system.

Limited access to- AND desire for education has also created generations of people unable to compete for wealth in a capitalist system. These are people with the potential to do great things and compete with the wealthy...but our social welfare system is not focused on individual achievement. It simply ensures dependance and that the wealthy never have to compete in a free market society.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:00 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

I'm presenting you with what the Europeans are working on. I see that you think they don't quite have it figured out.

What is wrong with giving someone a basic living, and then letting them realize they can earn their way upwards from there? I sense a lot of judgement in the idea that if you don't put someone in survival-mode they won't try to help themselves. Maybe they want a car or a house or a better neighborhood, nicer clothes and vacations? If they want a better life, the incentive is an internal motivation to better their circumstances, if they don't, then they are not forced to, and no one will feel sorry for them, there is no need for disciplining them or judging them. This assumes there is work to be had, of course.

EDIT: I re-read your post - sorry, I'm in the middle of family time here and a bit less focused than I would like. Apologies. I think we are a bit on the same page with the income being enough to meet basic needs?? ... post continues...

What if there is no work to be had? What if the only work is in brutal conditions that the company only gets away with because they know people are desperate? I think they, the Europeans, were looking at this as a way to smooth out the economy, keep cash flowing into the economy from the money given out. Why?

Because if someone doesn't have a job, it will go right back into the economy (rent, food, clothes, transportation, etc.), if they do, it might go towards savings/investment or larger purchases, or simply back into the economy from people who are enjoying a higher standard of living from their own efforts than 'basic.'

People who were unable to work wouldn't have to worry so much, assuming health care was also covered - they would have a small life, but not one of abject poverty. People who squandered their money from the gov would find they had destroyed their own net, and they would become the pariah class, unless they fell under some other category (such as mental illness) that made them an exception to the rule.

If it is too low, what happens to those who are unable to work, or if there is no viable or safe employment?

I am just learning about this now, and am no expert, so these are just ideas to be played with.

- AB

edit on 15-1-2016 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:03 PM
a reply to: xuenchen

Explain what you mean by jealousies? I'm sorry - you lost me on that. I thank you in advance.

- AB

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:07 PM
For people with children and no spouse, this plan might make it easier to collect court ordered child support.

As long as the spouse is a Citizen, the 25,000 would not be immune to certain court orders.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:10 PM
a reply to: AboveBoard

If you give people a basic living, something that makes them comfortable, they will not be incentivized to do for themselves. Instead, they will be content to sit back and complain that they don't have more and better provided to them. They will see what others have worked for that they don't have, and they will complain and call those people greedy.

We pretty much have that in place now.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:11 PM

originally posted by: AboveBoard
a reply to: xuenchen

Explain what you mean by jealousies? I'm sorry - you lost me on that. I thank you in advance.

- AB

Mostly, just ignore the micro-managing and pettiness.

Focus on the 25,000 per person.

And maybe with the health insurance question, the money could come from an increase to the FICA taxes.

The plan suggests 8% with 8% employer match.

Currently, it's 7.65% x 7.65%

Maybe 10% x 10%

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:18 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

I see that as a very negative way to look at people but you are welcome to see them as lazy if you choose. Perhaps there are those who are simply content with less? I know a lot of people would not be comfortable on $25,000. I don't know if the Europeans are trying to make people comfortable or not, but at least to eliminate poverty as a thing.

(I know I would have stopped working for a while and taken time off after I gave birth, for one thing. I went back to work in two weeks with my first child, and after three with my second, only because he was in the hospital for heart surgery for three weeks. No maternity leave or anything for me - it was work or nothing.)

People would still be paying back into the system when they spent their money, even if they weren't contributing directly to the tax base.

My other son has severe autism - the $25,000 doesn't begin to cover what it takes to keep him home with us, and the alternative of him living somewhere else is a ton more expensive than him living at home. He has Medicaid with a disability rider that covers some of that expense.

This is another problem I see with this plan, at least for folks like me... ??? I have a lot of questions about simplistic plans as they seem to fall apart when met with individual or group circumstances.

edit on 15-1-2016 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:26 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

Few people are happy with a basic living, that's why everyone is so depressed and have no motivation. They have to bust their ass just to get to a basic living and lose family and friend time to do it. Start everyone at a basic living, and make work about getting fun things, and you take the biggest stress of work that brings people down away. Is much easier to stay motivated when your not struggling just to eat.

People respond better to rewards and positive reinforcement than they do to punishment and negative reinforcement.

Take away the punishment and suffering and make work about reward and positive reinforcement and you'll have a lot more enthusiastic workers.

Right now people start in a punishment based system. Hell most jobs are like that, when people do well I rarely see them complimented, but screw up once and you can bet they're there to jump down your throat. Is the same with this, if people aren't suffering they won't work mentality. It's not true.

People go the extra mile to get rewarded, they do the bare minimum to avoid punishment.

This system is a rewarding one, your people need to be suffering to work is a punishment based one. It forces people to work to not get hurt rather than to be rewarded.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:32 PM
a reply to: AboveBoard

This plan might make it easier for employers to grant leaves of absence for things you point out.

Think positive.

And remember your children get savings bonds until they're 18.

Think about how much that would amount to including the accrued interest that savings bond give.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:33 PM
a reply to: xuenchen

Xuen, you've thoroughly confused me. Are you in favor of this or against it? I'm in favor of it to an extent, especially if the federal government nationalized the Federal Reserve first and placed price controls on "needs" (to prevent inflation from making the $25,000 meaningless).

As for the question in the title, which American socialists are you talking about? Remember something, most of the Democratic Party's elite are either pro-capitalist, extreme-capitalist, or agree with some aspects of socialism while preferring a mix of socialism & capitalism. Even I believe in a mix of socialism & capitalism, specifically nationalized needs & capitalized "wants". I'm bringing that up because if you're only going by Democrats as the "socialists that won't end poverty", you're starting in the wrong camp.

The other answer I'll give is that a plan to end poverty is meaningless if both major parties and their donors fight it tooth and nail. The simple fact is poverty is good for some business models, particularly from the standpoint of getting overly qualified workers for below market prices because of their desperation from a failing economy. And too many voters have short attentions spans & don't care enough about details to read this entire plan, much less push for it. Many people would panic the second they saw the "Eliminate all Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, VA medical, and most (or all) welfare" part, without waiting for the rest of the plan or its implementation. So practically, it would probably require a phasing out of those programs just to prevent public panic.

Then there are the massive numbers of government employees, contractors, and private businesses that work with those programs. In theory, many or all of them would either lose their jobs or see reduced business. So I'd guess many of them would fight this (and there's no shortage of politicians who would exploit their outrage for political gain), even though the end result would be much more efficient & actually pull more people out of poverty.

I could probably go on but I'm juggling too many things right now lol. I do think this would be a good start though. (note: part of me thinks this is your own solution, which would be impressive. i've almost completed my plan to end world hunger, which i started simply because i was bored & wanted to brainstorm. the number crunching is killing me though)

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:37 PM
When Americans go to some third world country, some Latin American country for example, and see people living in one room, thatched huts they are shocked.
It is so completely alien to anything they have ever seen.
They think "What desperate poverty! How terrible! These poor people!" For an American it is a real culture shock.

The modern lifestyle of the three bedroom house with hot and cold running water, electricity, and all the modern conveniences is a thing of only the last seventy five years.
it has only appeared as a way of life of the masses in the advanced industrialized societies.

The most of the modern conveniences hadn't even been invented a hundred years ago.
when one looks at things in perspective
Those living in the one-room hut in Ecuador are just living in the way that has been the norm for the common man throughout the ages.

Many billions of people have lived out their lives in that same way
with no thought that they were living in poverty or that they were even poor.
It is only in modern America where people think it is necessary to have plenty of meat and
all the tender delicacies of a king every day......

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:41 PM
a reply to: enlightenedservant

This isn't about me.

I'm neutral.

But I agreed in another thread to take a positive stance for the Hell of it.

Focus on the ball not the players.

Find any flaws and come up with intelligent solutions.

Be careful not to let jealousies and over-thinking get in the way.

I'm pointing out the positives and responding to possible set backs.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:42 PM
a reply to: enlightenedservant

Inflation is here to stay.

This plan would obviously make payment adjustments just like existing SS and other programs already.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 08:43 PM
a reply to: enlightenedservant

The OP answers which Socialists I'm talking about.

But the U.S. has other parties like Socialist Workers, CPU, etc. etc.

edit on Jan-15-2016 by xuenchen because: ......

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