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A BASIC income (BI) is defined as a modest, regular payment to every legal resident in the community, paid unconditionally as a right, regardless of income, employment or relationship status. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the case for BI does not rest on the assumption that robots and artificial intelligence will cause mass unemployment or that it would be a more efficient way of relieving poverty than present welfare systems (although it would). The main arguments are ethical and relate to social justice, individual freedom and the need for basic security.

First, a BI is a matter of social justice. The wealth and income of all of us has far more to do with the efforts and achievements of our collective forebears than with anything we do for ourselves. If we accept private inheritance, we should accept social inheritance, regarding a BI as a “social dividend” on our collective wealth. In an era of rentier capitalism, in which more and more income is being channelled to the owners of assets—physical, financial and intellectual—and in which wages will continue to stagnate, a BI would provide an anchor for a fairer income-distribution system. And it would compensate the growing “precariat”, hit by labour flexibility, technological disruption and economic uncertainty.

“In an era of rentier capitalism… [a basic income] would provide an anchor for a fairer income-distribution system

Second, a BI would enhance freedom. The political right preaches freedom but fails to recognise that financial insecurity constrains the ability to make rational choices. People must be able to say “no” to oppressive or exploitative relationships, as women know only too well. Some on the right understand that and support a BI. Meanwhile, the left has ignored freedom in its paternalistic social policies. Welfare recipients are treated as subjects of charity or pity, subject to arbitrary and intrusive controls to prove themselves “deserving”.

BI would enhance “republican freedom” from potential as well as actual domination by figures of unaccountable power. As argued elsewhere, a BI is the only welfare policy for which the “emancipatory value” is greater than the monetary value.

Third, a BI would give people basic (not total) security in an era of chronic economic insecurity. Basic security is a natural public good. Your having it does not deprive me from having it; indeed we gain from others having basic security. Psychologists have shown that insecurity lowers IQ and “mental bandwidth”, diminishing the ability to make rational decisions, causing stress and mental illness. Moreover, people with basic security tend to be more altruistic and empathetic, solidaristic and engaged in the community.

“People with basic security tend to be more altruistic and empathetic, solidaristic and engaged in the community

Now to respond to the two most frequent objections to basic income. The first is that BI is unaffordable. Many of the sums bandied about are just back-of-the-envelope calculations that assume a certain level of basic income multiplied by the population. Such gross figures ignore clawback through the tax system, savings in other areas of public spending and dynamic effects. Studies in the UK and elsewhere have shown that BI is affordable even with existing tax/benefit systems.

That said, my preference would be a “social dividend” route, creating a national wealth fund built from rolling back the vast regressive subsidies and tax breaks governments now give out, as well as from ecological taxes and levies on all forms of rentier income, including that flowing to Big Tech from use of our personal data and metadata. The fund could pay a small basic income initially that would rise as it grows. As BI pilots and experiments have shown, even a small basic income can have a big impact on nutrition, health, schooling, economic activity and social solidarity.

“Even a small basic income can have a big impact on nutrition, health, schooling, economic activity and social solidarity

The second objection is that a BI would induce laziness, undermining the work ethic. This is not borne out by the evidence, especially if all forms of work and not just paid labour are taken into account. Besides giving people more energy, confidence and ability to take risks, a BI would remove the poverty and precarity traps embedded in existing means-tested systems that are major disincentives to taking low-paid insecure jobs.

Since the status quo is untenable and inequitable, opponents of BI should show what alternative they propose that would provide basic security while enhancing freedom and serving social justice. I have not seen any such proposal.

Guy Standing is the author of “Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen” (Penguin, 2017)

Original Poster8 points · 1 month ago

Foxconn itself has been more circumspect on the number of jobs it will create, saying in a press release it will “create 3,000 jobs with the potential to grow to 13,000 new jobs”. Even if 13,000 new jobs are created, Wisconsin would be paying $346,153 per job at a subsidy of $4.5bn. An astronomical sum, but nothing compared to the $1.5m per job cost if the deal ends up creating just 3,000 new positions.

...

In the state capital of Madison, Democratic congressman Mark Pocan is “greatly sceptical” of a “sketchy” deal that he believes will not ultimately benefit the local area, let alone the state of Wisconsin. “It’s a huge subsidy to give to any company, especially for a state the size of Wisconsin,” he says. “Most people in Wisconsin believe they are going to be paying for this for 25 years or more.

“If you asked people how they would stimulate Wisconsin’s economy, I’m sure you would get a lot of ideas, but I don’t think that one of them would be, let’s give $4.5bn to a foreign company to create something in a corner of a state where a lot of people from outside the state will probably work.

“We have some of the worst roads in the country, we have had huge cuts to education. I don’t think this matches most people’s priorities.”

The state didn’t have the money to spend in the first place, says Pocan, and if it did he believes it would have been better off encouraging job growth at the grassroots level, spending on retraining people, developing small businesses and fixing infrastructure.

This is a deal cut to please big business, not Wisconsin, Bryce argues. “It is all about [Republican] donors,” he says. “It shows that they’re all about helping their donors not the people in the state.”

Original Poster2 points · 2 months ago

Is free trade truly free - and fair? What roles do US President Trump, economic powerhouse China, and the EU play in global trade? When it comes to global trade, it would seem that trickery, threats and deception are the order of the day - yet all this takes place largely beyond the reach of the public eye. Donald Trump has made "America First” his agenda and rallying cry. Along with aiming sharp criticism at global export champion Germany, Trump has also introduced punitive tariffs and warned of further measures. Will this fresh wave of protectionism lead to economic isolationism and threaten global free trade? And what about those for whom free trade’s promise of prosperity increasingly rings hollow? Around the world, many people have come to regard themselves as the losers of globalization. If the true winners of free trade and globalization are not ordinary citizens, has the time come to revise the liberal orthodoxy of free trade? This documentary visits Germany, Switzerland, the United States and Cameroon to explore these issues by way of some everyday examples, including the trade in onions, floor tiles, and bicycles.

_______

DW Documentary gives you knowledge beyond the headlines. Watch high-class documentaries from German broadcasters and international production companies. Meet intriguing people, travel to distant lands, get a look behind the complexities of daily life and build a deeper understanding of current affairs and global events. Subscribe and explore the world around you with DW Documentary.

Original Poster1 point · 2 months ago

Is free trade truly free - and fair? What roles do US President Trump, economic powerhouse China, and the EU play in global trade? When it comes to global trade, it would seem that trickery, threats and deception are the order of the day - yet all this takes place largely beyond the reach of the public eye. Donald Trump has made "America First” his agenda and rallying cry. Along with aiming sharp criticism at global export champion Germany, Trump has also introduced punitive tariffs and warned of further measures. Will this fresh wave of protectionism lead to economic isolationism and threaten global free trade? And what about those for whom free trade’s promise of prosperity increasingly rings hollow? Around the world, many people have come to regard themselves as the losers of globalization. If the true winners of free trade and globalization are not ordinary citizens, has the time come to revise the liberal orthodoxy of free trade? This documentary visits Germany, Switzerland, the United States and Cameroon to explore these issues by way of some everyday examples, including the trade in onions, floor tiles, and bicycles.

_______

DW Documentary gives you knowledge beyond the headlines. Watch high-class documentaries from German broadcasters and international production companies. Meet intriguing people, travel to distant lands, get a look behind the complexities of daily life and build a deeper understanding of current affairs and global events. Subscribe and explore the world around you with DW Documentary.

Original Poster5 points · 2 months ago

When I lived in Brazil as a reporter from 2010 to 2015, I heard hardly anyone defend military rule – at least out loud. The last dictatorship, which ran from 1964-85, left behind a legacy of debt, hyperinflation, falling wages and human rights abuses. Yet unlike Chile and Argentina, Brazilian soldiers were never judged for their crimes – and never fell into abject disgrace. So today, with Brazil at the forefront of a global backlash against “elites” and institutions, the military is increasingly perceived as the only credible vehicle for change. Polls show the armed forces are by far the country’s most respected institution (the press is a distant second). A year ago, 38 percent of Brazilians told the Pew Research Center that military rule would be “good for the country.” That number is surely higher now.  

The truckers’ strike started on May 21 after a government-sanctioned hike in diesel prices, but quickly grew into something much bigger. On WhatsApp groups and elsewhere, striking truckers shared videos and other messages calling for an end to Temer’s government. One cited by Estado de S.Paulo read: “Victory is near! Truckers + the people x legality x legitimacy = the fall of the Brazilian Bastille! Let’s not weaken. Come on, National Security Forces!” On Wednesday, the phrase intervenção militar was being mentioned on Twitter at a pace of 515 times per minute, according to one study. Smelling blood, many truckers continued to block roads even after a deal was truck with Temer to bring diesel prices back down. By this point, supermarkets around the country were running out of basic goods, and half of Brazilians had to change their daily routines because of lack of fuel, according to a Datafolha poll. Yet that same poll showed the strikers had the support of a whopping 87 percent of the population. 

Submission statements can’t be copypastas

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Original Poster9 points · 2 months ago

Sorry I'm not one for writing much and I just wanted to post this article to get opinions as I don't read much about this in the news (mainly just trump, north korea, gaza, etc.)

Submission Statement

America's Quarterly Editor-in-Chief, Brian Winter, writes of his shock at the opinons unfolding from some sections of the Brazillian population. He writes that according to a new private poll - around 40 percent of the electorate believe the Brazillian military should "intervene" someway in the political system of Brazil. Some of the reasons for this are the on-going corruption in the political system and the contracting economy.

He describes arriving at a truckers strike protesting rising petrol prices where he talked to some of the truckers. Some of the protesters say the the price of petrol is being risen by politicians so they can steal more money from the company. He describes a huge banner at the strike calling for a military intervention.

“SUPPORT FOR THE TRUCK DRIVERS. MILITARY INTERVENTION! ARMED FORCES, URGENT!”

Amongst all of this a candidate for the Brazillian General Election in 2018, Jair Bolsonaro, has stated that if elected he may roll back human rights, appoint military officials to key government positions and give security forces carte blanche to deal with suspected criminals possibly similar to the Philippines.

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Hi there

I'm using Firefox Quantum and every time I open a new tab in the background the Reddit welcome keeps showing up. I've clicked on the X button and the OK button but it always shows up when I open a new tab in the background.

I've tried it on Chrome as well and the welcome never shows up again after clicking the X button.

Has anyone experienced this problem as well? It might just be a problem with the new Reddit design but as I said I've tried it on Chrome and have had no problems.

Thanks for any help.

https://i.redd.it/5fh8fg4vkl111.png

3
2 comments
Original Poster3 points · 5 months ago

As for "genuine ties" to European countries, Delia explained what the process of "becoming Maltese" consists of these days."They fly in, they're brought by car here," he said. "They're here for 30 minutes just to sign their papers and get their passport and go on to move to Europe. So we cannot check for sure what these people are doing and why they bought a European citizenship."

Can the EU just decide not to honor those passports if they haven't actually shown some commitment to Malta? Portugal and Spain at least require several years of good-standing residency before you get the opportunity-opening red passport.

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Original Poster1 point · 5 months ago

Portugal seems to be guilty of this as well, but with some conditions such as donating to arts and science.

Deputy Prime Minister Portas is not impressed by any of these arguments. He even wants to lower the price for the new golden visas. If he has his way, a pledge to invest 350,000 euros in building renovation or art or science projects will be enough to get a residency permit. Those investing in underdeveloped regions can even expect a discount of 20 percent. The competition to win over rich foreigners has got tougher, says Portas: "After all, we're competing with 13 other countries."

Instead of scaring potential applicants away with tough conditions, Portas would rather offer them gifts. As for the accusations of corruption and other crimes in connection with the golden visa, Portas has just this to say: "Anyone who is guilty should be hit by the full weight of the law." What he fails to mention is that Portugal's police, state prosecutors, and judges are now hopelessly overburdened thanks to the austerity measures imposed by his government.

Original Poster2 points · 5 months ago

The second part of the equation is harder. The truth is that there’s very little risk to killing a reporter. Statistics from the Committee to Protect Journalists show that while 70 percent of reporters killed are murdered for their story, only 10 percent of journalists’ murders are ever solved. That compares to a typical rate of 50 to 90 percent for other murders.

Why are journalism murders so hard to solve?

In the first place, such killings are hard to investigate even for well-meaning police forces. The assassins will often be from a professional murder squad. The body may not be found. These professionals know how to do their jobs, and if they are caught, they are often willing to serve the time as is required by their professional responsibilities. Many of the 10 percent charged with journalism murders are just the trigger men, and not those who ultimately greenlighted the assassination.

But not all police forces are well-meaning.

Original Poster2 points · 5 months ago

The second part of the equation is harder. The truth is that there’s very little risk to killing a reporter. Statistics from the Committee to Protect Journalists show that while 70 percent of reporters killed are murdered for their story, only 10 percent of journalists’ murders are ever solved. That compares to a typical rate of 50 to 90 percent for other murders.

Why are journalism murders so hard to solve?

In the first place, such killings are hard to investigate even for well-meaning police forces. The assassins will often be from a professional murder squad. The body may not be found. These professionals know how to do their jobs, and if they are caught, they are often willing to serve the time as is required by their professional responsibilities. Many of the 10 percent charged with journalism murders are just the trigger men, and not those who ultimately greenlighted the assassination.

But not all police forces are well-meaning.

Original Poster2 points · 5 months ago

In case of paywall:

Iceland’s success in cutting substance abuse among teenagers may be tested in the west of Ireland with a pilot scheme involving 7,000 young people.

Imposing guilt on children and penalties on suppliers will not work, as the issue is a societal one, Icelandic director of the Planet Youth project Jon Sigfusson said in Galway.

He outlined how his country’s project was so successful that Iceland went from having one of the highest to one of the lowest rates of substance abuse by teenagers over a 20-year period.

The initiative is now being tested in 18 countries in Europe, along with Latin America and several African states.

Mr Sigfusson, who was invited to Galway by the Western Region Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, said that children are not responsible for their own well-being and parents must take a greater role.

“Children are not to blame for not reading a brochure that somebody gives them about drugs, they are not responsible for their own well-being – we are, the whole society,” he said, and the problem could not be tackled by a government on its own.

Parents’ role

Imposing higher prices or marketing restrictions would not prevent alcohol abuse, he said, given that that one of Iceland’s jokes was that one needed to be a millionaire to have a drink problem.

Rather, creating an unattractive environment around alcohol misuse was more likely to be effective, he said.

Contrary to what parents might think, surveys done by Planet Youth had found that children wanted their parents to know where they were at night.

“They don’t want their parents to have no interest,”Mr Sigfusson said. For this reason parental factors were key, he said, adding that giving children parental time, support, care and warmth were crucial.

The community focus of Planet Youth involves changing the social environment by reducing the amount of unstructured, unsupervised leisure time and increasing parental involvement.

Community involvement

Access to activities, not just sport, are vital, and success can be seen at a local level with community involvement, he said.

The scheme gathers evidence from teenagers at a community level through a 27-page survey, which informs community workers about the lives of the teenagers. The information pinpoints risk factors.

“When you have this information on the table you can take it to government and say ‘listen here is something that needs to be addressed’,” Mr Sigfusson explained.

“Sometimes it’s a governmental thing and the government can do it through legislation, sometimes the people in the local communities can use it and they don’t need to go to government for everything,” he added.

Western Region Drugs and Alcohol Task Force community liaison worker Emmet Major said it was hoped to test the scheme in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon this year, with four projects in four local authority areas.

Original Poster14 points · 6 months ago

Rendezvous with a former neo-Nazi

A few phone calls later and I'm sitting in a car with photographer Eva Tedesjo on our way to Varnamo. Hours later, in a deserted hotel lobby, I meet one of the people who has sown fear in my life and that of my family.

Martin had been an active neo-Nazi since he was 16. He dropped out in 2016. Now he is 30.

We start with what we have in common: Now he, too, is threatened by Nazis.

"The last time I was threatened was yesterday; one of the leaders of NMR wrote on Facebook that I should die. Another has said that I should have my throat cut," he said. "I save everything. One day I may go to the police and then I'll have it in black and white. My neighbors keep an eye out. The other day they saw a skinhead outside the house who was taking photos of the cars, probably to check if any of them were registered to me."

What made you finally leave neo-Nazism?

I fell for a woman of foreign origin and started to see her in secret. I was completely confused and wondered what was wrong with me. We were very fond of each other. But I said later that it wouldn't work because I would be exposing her to risks.

Who was the first person you got in touch with when you decided to leave neo-Nazism?

Lennart, my old bowling teacher. I call him Dad. I had nowhere to go.

Have you received any other help?

I phoned the local authorities. They said they had no plan for drop-outs. They didn't care a bit. So I emailed AFA [Anti-Fascist Action] and said that there was no help to be had in this shitty place. They offered to let me speak to another dropout. Then I rang the mental health service and got to meet a psychologist.

Why AFA?

They were the only ones who called me an idiot. Consistently. No one had ever set a boundary for me or tried to stop me. People are so damned afraid to say that it is wrong of you to be a neo-Nazi. If anyone had said "For God's sake, Martin," when I was 16, I don't think I would have been radicalized.

Original Poster5 points · 6 months ago

Rendezvous with a former neo-Nazi

A few phone calls later and I'm sitting in a car with photographer Eva Tedesjo on our way to Varnamo. Hours later, in a deserted hotel lobby, I meet one of the people who has sown fear in my life and that of my family.

Martin had been an active neo-Nazi since he was 16. He dropped out in 2016. Now he is 30.

We start with what we have in common: Now he, too, is threatened by Nazis.

"The last time I was threatened was yesterday; one of the leaders of NMR wrote on Facebook that I should die. Another has said that I should have my throat cut," he said. "I save everything. One day I may go to the police and then I'll have it in black and white. My neighbors keep an eye out. The other day they saw a skinhead outside the house who was taking photos of the cars, probably to check if any of them were registered to me."

What made you finally leave neo-Nazism?

I fell for a woman of foreign origin and started to see her in secret. I was completely confused and wondered what was wrong with me. We were very fond of each other. But I said later that it wouldn't work because I would be exposing her to risks.

Who was the first person you got in touch with when you decided to leave neo-Nazism?

Lennart, my old bowling teacher. I call him Dad. I had nowhere to go.

Have you received any other help?

I phoned the local authorities. They said they had no plan for drop-outs. They didn't care a bit. So I emailed AFA [Anti-Fascist Action] and said that there was no help to be had in this shitty place. They offered to let me speak to another dropout. Then I rang the mental health service and got to meet a psychologist.

Why AFA?

They were the only ones who called me an idiot. Consistently. No one had ever set a boundary for me or tried to stop me. People are so damned afraid to say that it is wrong of you to be a neo-Nazi. If anyone had said "For God's sake, Martin," when I was 16, I don't think I would have been radicalized.

2

Hi

I was wondering if you have had abortion canvassers to your house yet?

I just had some anti-abortion canvassers there now.

2
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