Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Citizens Income and Green Wage Subsidy

There is a debate on a Green Party enlist about Citizens Income and Green Wage subsidy. This is my latest.

To be clear, I do not have an "underlying attachment to the notion that people should 'put in first'", that is, I do not hold that people should make a contribution before they receive welfare. I believe that all citizens should receive basic support unconditionally, as a decent alternative to begging, borrowing or stealing. In the case of "guests"", new arrivals in the country who have not had the opportunity to contribute but who are driven by circumstances to our shores, special measures will apply, where they receive support subject to conditions such as applying for citizenship, and learning the cultural and social responsibilities of citizenship.

If this is a safety net concept, is that wrong? And if so, how and why?

I have said before that the basic justification for welfare support is the basic human right to life. By being born onto the planet, every human being has a right to life. An equal right. There are no class divisions, with some having a superior right to live and others having in inferior or absent right to life. 

In nature, that right to life is expressed as freedom to find a territory in which to hunt and gather. Nowadays, the wealth of that land area is expressed in monetary terms. The right is to live is equal, but for the system to function equitably, right must  come with responsibilities.

This is as I understand it, the rationale of Citizens Income. There is a misunderstanding forming that GWS is an *alternative* to CI. It is not. It is a *pathway* to CI.

Where Clive and the GWS differs is that GWS can be introduced in as many months as it takes to pass the Act of Parliament and put the necessary measures in place. CI can be introduced when tabloid editors, Parliament and Government have become soundly convinced in their minds that it is an excellent idea to move to a system of unconditional benefits. Judging on past performance, the UK will be the last in Europe, if not the world, to introduce such a liberal measure.

The essential difference right now, in real time, between GWS/CI and the current welfare system is that the current welfare system bans, bars and blocks people from working by insisting that their income is withdrawn at the moment they take on work. (If you will, the wealth which is offered by the living world is transferred  to the employer. ) This withdrawal of support is both irrational and devastating. It locks people into a prison of unemployment and idleness, of poverty and alienation. It also perpetuates the degeneration of our environment and society by preventing essential work for being done. And then, to add insult to injury, the kakistocracy, (look it up), the tabloids and Tories turn on the unemployed and accuse them of being shirkers.

GWS and CI both aim to stop this nonsense. The only difference is that GWS can stop it in 2014 or 2015, and CI can stop it at some happy time in he future when an enormous conceptual war that has not even started yet has been victoriously concluded.

Please vote for GWS
Thank you.


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