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The key to the Scandinavian labor model is to have lots of cheap re-education for people who have become unemployed and also push them hard into getting new jobs.

No one likes to give money to hippies who don't feel like working, especially not poor single mothers working two crappy jobs and paying high taxes. I'd much rather see the poor single mother get such a big tax cut she only needs one crap job, and might then having enough time to train to become a nurse, or something.

Of course, there is always the last recourse, going to the social services. But this carries a heavy social stigma. People really don't want to do that. By implementing a basic income for everyone, taking handouts becomes normal and socially acceptable. That's a dangerous road to walk.

But maybe it's just my inner Martin Luther who's protesting. </snark>

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Oct 7th, 2008 at 12:54:21 PM EST
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But to the best of my knowledge it's never been demonstrated empirically that the pushing people to work part actually works...

If you're going to guarantee somebody a living income, you can't force him to work (short of doing so at gunpoint). So all the "pushing people to work" parts inevitably end up being about failing to guarantee people a living income. And AFAIK, it's never been demonstrated that pushing people into poverty (or threatening to do so) makes those people more likely to find work. It may make them willing to take crappier work or lower paid work, but that's not quite the same thing.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Oct 7th, 2008 at 01:19:07 PM EST
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If a poor single mother working two job has a high tax rate then that is a problem with the tax rate...

And honestly, I'm noticing, in my generation in France, that taking handouts carries less and less social stigma. Whether it is being on minimal income for a few years preparing some competitive exam, taking a long break between two jobs while getting unemployment money, people simply do it. The stigma of private sector work, where especially among qualified workers it include "managing" people, i.e. making them suffer so that they do the company's bidding, exists too.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Oct 7th, 2008 at 05:08:44 PM EST
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