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What Do You Think Of Finland's Fantastic Plan?

 
 
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2016 12:14 pm
Obviously it may seem that the title gives away how I feel about it, but it's not quite in the way some may think. I whole-heartedly endorse it, but I do wonder if it isn't actually fantastic in the sense of being fanciful.

From an American perspective (and I would suggest from a European one as well) the Finnish people are quite unique, and yet certainly most Americans don't even appreciate how unique they are in terms of their origins, language, mythology, and culture.

I've not ever been to Finland but hope to visit after I retire. The nation regularly appears at the top of lists ranking countries based on such things as education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, and human development. Finland has been rated the least corrupted country in the world and the 13th in terms of ease of doing business.

It can be said to follow the Nordic model of social-democracy and has one of the strongest social safety nets in the world.

But look what it is prepared to do now.



Regardless of how one feels about them, social safety nets in the West are here to stay. The US is part of the West and it's no different here, in fact, our safety net is only likely to get stronger and more pervasive. Unfortunately being more pervasive in this country usually means more invasive, and more expensive.

Here though is an idea that I think a lot of conservatives can get behind. I know I can.

The linked article nicely delineates the plan's advantages:

Quote:
It would be simple and inexpensive to implement and operate. It would greatly shrink the size and cost of government and the amount of governmental intrusion into people’s private lives. It would obviate the need for such political footballs (and market distorters) as the minimum wage, as everyone would have a basic income upon which they can build as they gain skills. It would eliminate welfare traps, where people keep their earned income below a certain level to avoid losing welfare benefits. As the money is only available to citizens and legal residents, it would not be a magnet for illegal aliens. It would eliminate political conflict over the very large number of welfare programs now operated by the federal and state governments.


As the "wage" is paid to all citizens, regardless of economic status, it can't be said to be a "hand-out" program or raise questions of equity. The rich will give most of it back through taxes and the poor will get to keep most or all of it.

However, I also share the author's belief that in the US, a program like this would be, largely, opposed by Democrats. So those of you who consider yourself Democrats, liberals, progressives or left of center, what do you think? Of course opinions from anyone else are welcome as well, but I would like to see if anyone can come up with a reasonable objection to a program like this; carried out as the Finns plan to: Replacing, not adding to the country's social programs.

I'm rooting for Finland. In keeping with their reputation for being incorruptible and economically competitive, the Finns have come up with a wonderfully practical way to ensure the basic needs of the Finnish people, that doesn't provide for opportunism among politicians, providers, or even those few Finns inclined to embrace corruption and scam the system.

I can easily see me and many other conservatives supporting this, and wouldn't it be wonderful to take the issue of providing for the basic needs of citizens off the political table?


 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2016 12:25 pm
There's talk about something similar in Canada. Will probably take a while to get there (as it's been talked about for years).

Our government is already quite a bit flatter than many (particularly the US), so I'm not convinced that liberals/progressives are big government fans. Conservatives* tend to bring in more rules, and liberals (at least in Canada) peel rules back. Less interference with more support (sometimes financial/sometimes programmatic). It seems to work well.


* keeping in mind that many conservatives in Canada are left of American liberals.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2016 12:43 pm
@ehBeth,
Nowhere near enough of an expert on Canadian progressives vs their counterparts here so I've no reason to question your take. If Canadian liberals peel back rules, that's to their credit as far as I'm concerned.

It may or may not be unique to liberals in the US, but they are definitely in favor of expanded government if only by virtue of their support of the programs that require it. They might deny the support but the proof is in the pudding.

I am interested in learning if there are any liberals (anywhere) who have a fundamental problem with this plan. I think we all can agree that the likelihood that this is being shoved down the throats of a reluctant Finnish people by a right-wing, reactionary group of uber-Capitalists in Helsinki is very remote.

Whether American liberals oppose the idea (I hope they don't) I am 100% certain that American Democrat Politicians (and their reflexive apologists among the citizenry) will. As the author suggests, the opposition is unlikely to cloaked in outrage about how poor people will get shafted, but a plan like this will cause problems for a whole lot of cozy relationships and schemes. The least corruptible country in the world probably doesn't have to deal with such intrigue.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2016 01:07 pm
Finland has fincial crisis
high amount of people out of work
The program is rather controverisel with 51% pro
The government in Finland is rightliberal-
The testprogram will start in 2017-18
Sweden is not interested in anything like that.

What do you mean with liberal?
Most Americans mean political left.
Scandinavians usually mean in the middle or liberal right.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2016 01:26 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Not sure what progressives are in the Canadian context.

Liberals are fairly centrist.
Conservatives are a titch to the right of centre (on the global political spectrum).
The NDP is slightly to the left.
The Greens are socially liberal, fiscally very conservative.

Are any of them progressive? using my personal definition I'd the say the NDP could possibly be defined that way but not sure what they'd be considered in the US.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2016 01:27 pm
@saab,
If I remember correctly, the last Social Democratic government ended in Finland in 2003.
Afterwards, it were Conservative governments, now it's a more right-wing one.

This program (with actually just a rather small test group) is opposed by the Social Democrats and other centrist and left wing groups/parties.

More or less it's a negative income tax, like the proposed in Switzerland (where the sum you would get is three times higher).
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2016 03:29 pm
@saab,
Well we can get ourselves going in circles trying to define "liberal" and "left" and "conservative" and "right" in one country let alone across multiple ones.

It's difficult because no matter how differently you describe the polar ends of the political spectrum, they have one very important thing in common: The State effectively controls everything.

Unfortunately most Americans (often myself included) refer to the political left as "liberal." It's a poor choice of words, not because those who we call "liberals" are not "to the left," but because they are often not "liberal." It's a firmly entrenched habit though. Americans know what we mean, but I can see how it confuses those outside of this country.

However I don't want this to evolve/devolve into a discussion about what it "the Right" and what is "the Left."

I'm interested in the reasons why people (no matter what their political stripe) who oppose it, don't think it will work well.

Why isn't Sweden interested in it?
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2016 03:30 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Well, I'm not going to ask for your definition of "right-wing." It's too subjective.

Why do the Social Democrats oppose it?

Edit: And if you don't know, please just say so. I'm not interested in speculation.
saab
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2016 03:39 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
En opinionsundersökning gjord av Kaks i början av januari visar på att 51 procent av finländerna är positiva till medborgarlön, skriver Svenska Dagbladet.

An opinion questionairy made by Kaks in the beginning of january shows that
51% of the Fins are positiv to the program writes Svenska Dagbladet
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2016 03:45 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
In Sweden there is not even a discussion about it.
The Greens were talking about it for while, but have dropped it totally.
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2016 03:52 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Why do the Social Democrats oppose it?

Because the ability to selectively dole out or take credit for benefits is power. If neither can be done, power is gone and politicians of all stripes will not give that up willingly.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2016 11:49 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Why do the Social Democrats oppose it?
Because there would be no other benefits, because it would be taxed, because it would be less for those who need the money than those got before ...

Besides that, they fear the loss of influence of the unions or that there won't be no unions anymore afterwards. (Jobless money is paid by an organisation which is largely controlled by the unions in Finland)
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2016 12:42 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Well, I'm not going to ask for your definition of "right-wing." It's too subjective.
Indeed. I call the "Finns Party" right-wing populist, others think, it's a centre-based populist party.
saab
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2016 02:15 am
@Walter Hinteler,
To be sure - I looked it up and the difinition of Finns´Party" is nationalistic and right-wing populist accoording to Swedish info
So you are right. They have 38 seats.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2016 04:22 am
@saab,
Well sooner or later the entire world will be out of work, at least as we knew it...its just a matter of when and achieving critical mass for structural change, it will come...something similar to the Finish model will end up emerging in many other countries given the proper time.
As for controversies, they are common when big change happens....is there a study uppon who's demographics are opposed ? I would love to know who are the short sighted fellows that oppose the experiment...does experimenting with social economical structure hurts ?
saab
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2016 06:05 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Finland has support for people who are out of work.
They also have support for people whose income is below a certain amount.
If everybody should have a certain income independent from their regular income who is going to pay for that?
The idea is to give to people with a certain low income. It is expensive and costs money every month to check if people are working or not. This has lead to people just sit at home and do nothing. And the ones with support have to be as the state wants them to be.
The new experiment would allow people to earn something without being controlled all the time.
If it will be cheaper or not is too early to tell, but probably when the constant controlling disapaer.
The experiment will be in Äänekoski, where 20% are out of work. With a basis income your life will be easier.You are also allowed to take some job or start studying.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2016 06:43 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
I would love to know who are the short sighted fellows that oppose the experiment...

It's true that the experiment is now technically and economically possible, but there will always be those who oppose it on philosophical or moral grounds.
A possible problem does exist in the very real psychological effects of 'living on the dole'. Many people get their identity and self worth through their jobs, no matter how low paid or menial they are.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2016 10:54 am
@saab,
In a global Economy we need Global rules to get to the part on WHO is gona pay for that...we are already fifty years to late, Einstein and Marie Curie used to talk about it 80 years or so ago...International Law needs to stop being a joke and fiscal paradises need to stop...when things go south either way they will stop, or "terrorism" and other misplaced analisis on the decontructuon of society will only get worse...
...dont take me for a lefty...I have no political campus besides common sense...I just aknowledge the capitalist liberalist model we have regulates itself in the worst possible way..it "operates" within extremes. Savage Darwinism is feudal and not adequate to a deeply interconected tech world.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2016 10:57 am
@Leadfoot,
I am not negating, quite the oppositte, ppl need to have meaningful ocupations...jobs ? No...for most "jobs" are about social dominance not about meanigful work...
...in a teck world work needs and will be something else entirelly...
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2016 12:17 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Global rules in a global Economy.
I must admit I do not understand anything.
The Nordic countries do not have the same rules
EU is a mess with poor and rich countries. Countries where people pay no taxes and work without registrating things. Other countries people work hard and pay taxes. How will you change that?
How are we going to have the same rules in Scandinavia and India???? We can´t even get it work within EU.
 

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