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Killer Arguments Against Citizen's Income, Not (8)

Friday, March 3, 2017 8:56
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From The Independent:

Finland’s basic income experiment is unworkable, uneconomical and ultimately useless. Plus, it will only encourage some people to work less.

That’s not the view of a hard core Thatcherite (1), but of the country’s biggest trade union. The labour group says the results of the two-year pilot program will fail to sway its opposition to a welfare-policy idea that’s gaining traction among those looking for an alternative in the post-industrial age…

The traditional paladin of workers’ rights would rather tweak the existing system. It has the backing of the country’s biggest opposition party, the Social Democrats, whose Kalevi Sorsa foundation concluded in a 2012 paper that UBI may simply be a means of scrapping minimum wage requirements.(1)

SAK rejects [UBI proponent] Standing’s accusations that the union’s real motive for opposing UBI is fear of a drop in membership or a collapse of its insurance funds. (2) A 2014 report by the German Institute for Economic Research suggested that trade union hostility “may be a result of the threat of losing bargaining power.”

1) Unfair to drag Thatcher into this. According to Christopher Monckton, she was not entirely opposed to the idea (but as per usual never got round to implementing it).

2) Whether we have minimum wage legislation or not is an entirely separate topic to whether we have a welfare system or not and if so, whether a Citizen’s Income is the least distortionary and hence ‘cheapest’ kind of welfare system for a given level of financial support.

3) Standing’s probably put his finger on the real reason why so many Trade Unions oppose it; but by their logic, they should be opposing all kinds of taxpayer-funded welfare system which allow the unemployed to survive.


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