Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
isn't a guaranteed living wage incompatible with Hartz IV?
I don't understand. Of course it is incompatible with taking the money of people, who refuse a job, away, which was indeed a principle broadened, but not introduced by the Hartz IV reforms. But is there any reason, why every aspect of the Hartz reforms has to be kept?

Before there were welfare and long-term unemployment programs, totally separated. That is, when you once have worked for a couple of years, you would never face the same hardship as somebody, who never got a job, depending on the amount of money, they had earned before. This was fused into one program by the Hartz IV, in which long-term unemployed people were equally treated as people, who never had worked. This aspect of course is not in contradiction with the basic income.

Unlike in the welfare program before, where people had the possibility to ask for specific things, Hartz IV is a fixed some of money. As well the same as with the basic income.

Then there is the enforcement of people to do work. But this works only very badly. There are few jobs you can give to unmotivated people without doing damage. It produces a mentality of thinking the gov't has to provide the work place, and if it can't you do nothing. But often there simply were no work places to place unemployed people on. This has led to extremely unproductive gov't measures, that did not help at all to bring people into the regular job market. So there is no big loss, when you give that up.

Starvid suggests to cut taxes instead. Which taxes he wants to cut? Income tax is hardly paid by poor people. VAT incentives saving over consumption and is in the income ranges between poor and middle class highly progressive, when food, clothes and rent are free of it. Extra high VAT on energy and co is a feature for the environment. So which tax he wants to cut?

The other suggestion to make public services cheaper instead, is something I disagree with mostly. There are some services, that make sense to subsidize, but is there any reason to force people to take exactly these public services? There would have to be enormous gains from compound empowerment to justify such action (as there are clearly in e.g. public transport, but only little in child care or university education). By default markets work fairly well, and there should be some explanation, why one wants disturb the market. Already those services, that were suggested in the discussion, like free education, or free childcare, are not really innovative changes compared to what already exists in some of our societies, and are not necessarily what I would like, e.g. free public child care for small children is something I really hate and see as oppression by the gov't, a little explanation here, how I think such 'Scandinavian' measures would destroy important freedoms in our societies (that are not already Scandinavian or French)

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 9th, 2008 at 12:14:47 PM EST
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