Greedy Goblin

Monday, August 15, 2011

I told you!

I wrote this post almost 2 years ago.

Most of you believed back then that we have a V shape financial crisis (a mistake/abuse in the financial system), while I was telling it's a fundamental, systemic crisis, that creates constant recession and recurring financial/monetary problems until the system is fixed. It's like North Korea, every year is worse than the previous and will be until that awful system fails. Hoping that the events of the last years did not passed by you unnoticed, I repost it with little updates. I claimed that:
  • Technological advance will decrease the income of the uneducated, unskilled workers
  • This is already happening, in the last decades the richest 20% of the population increased their income share (their income / income of all people) by 0.5%/year, having 60% in 2000.
  • The GDP/employed cannot be increased arbitrarily, it's defined by technology, and increases around 2-3%/year
To prove that these effects will lead to large-scale GDP loss, I have to prove the following:
  • The uneducated, unskilled workers will be displaced instead of employed for low wages (income inequality is incompatible with employment)
  • This cannot be stopped by education (transforming them into skilled workers)
  • The displaced unskilled will not be employed in services area (where jobs cannot really be done by machines)
  • The employment rate will fall faster than GDP/employed will increase, resulting in net GDP/person loss
The machines have a cost of operation, including of course the amortization and the interest of the loan to buy them (or the opportunity cost of not investing our cash). If you can employ people below this cost, doing that is the effective choice. If we assume this scenario, then the advancement of the machines simply means that the salary of menial workers decreases over time. Is it a problem?

In China, not. In the USA and EU it is, due to welfare. If you get $5K/year for nothing, you won't work for $10K. It's not laziness, simply maximizing utility. People want "fun" at the end, so if the "fun" gained by the salary (a car, a travel, a big TV, better meal) is lower than the "fun" lost by the job (you are away from friends since you are at work, you must go bed early, you can't drink, boss is mean, job is dirty), it's the right choice to refuse employment. As soon as the machine costs get (already did) to the region of welfare, these people become unemployable.

The education issue is harder. It's obvious that (besides a few mentally disabled) people can learn new skills. We are genetically the same mankind who dug the dirt a couple thousand years ago, and look at us, even the dumbest of us are driving cars and even play computer games (terribly though). So there are no serious limits for the dumb people to go back to the school and learn new things.

However studying is a long process. Even a tradeskill course takes 1-3 years and it assumes some pre-existing skills like fluent reading and user-level computer skills. However you must eat during learning. If you have no money now, you can't go to a school, pay education costs just to get a job 2 years from now. The only way out is someone else paying for your school, food, home until you get a job.

For kids, these are the parents. For bright young people, it can be a profit oriented banker who makes his profit from student loan interest. But who would give student loan to a 30 years old illiterate homeless?!

The country could provide education, housing and food free for such people (in the hope of later tax revenues). However by doing so, it destroys the reason for getting the job. You get what you pay for! If you pay for being a student, you'll get lot of students and only a few graduates able to get a job (common thing in country found universities in Europe)

Can you pay for graduates? I mean could the country give student loans (that must be repaid from salary) to everyone? Of course it could. But what do you do with those who default? If there is no punishment, people will take the loans and don't bother learning. On the other hand how can you punish defaulted student loans in a country where people have rights? Do you think you could pass a bill in the US or the EU to imprison or rather put to forced labor those who defaulted their student loans?


To handle the "services area" issue, we must first see that mass-services can be done by machines (self serving supermarket, cleaning machines, vending machines, ATMs). Only personal services need people, like home cleaning, driving, baby sitting, cooking, escorting (in both meanings). These services need manners and trustability (who would let a stinky punk into his home?

These services are usually done by immigrants (less than citizen) or young people (less than grown person). If properly paid citizens do the job, we get a luxury-service! There is demand for such services and some people will work there. But the situation where every employed person (who is not a personal servant himself) have 2-3 personal servants is completely impossible.


So we have an ever-growing group of welfare leech, who refuse to work for machine cost, refuse to study and can't be employed as a servant. However we still have one hope: GDP/employed is constantly increasing. If we assume this trend continues, the GDP/employed of 2040 will be 220-240% of 2008. So even if 20% of the population will be employed (instead of 44%), the GDP/person will be 2.3*20/44 = 1.05 of 2008. That's "only" stagnation, not collapse.

However in the "top 20% will outplace everyone else by 2040" theory I used the assumption that the welfare gives 20% income share to the other 80%. Can it be? The answer is sadly: no! The welfare is low because the welfare leech is a minority of the society and gets welfare only because of the "goodness" of the employed. The average employed person doesn't want to see his fellow men starving on the streets.

As the amount of permanently unemployed increases, their political power grows. If today I'd start the "welfare party" in the USA with the only program point "moar welfare" aka "nerf the world", I'd get 10-20%. In the EU, with lower employment rate, such parties (socialists) are common and get 30-40% and the other parties often have to make compromises with them, making the welfare a "holy cow" in the EU.

As the employment rate drops, the "welfare party" gets more and more voters, gets more and more power, giving out more and more welfare. The higher welfare makes more jobs unfillable. With $5K/year welfare, you can get workers for $15K. If the welfare gets to $10K/year, you can't. This speeds up unemployment, increasing the power of the "welfare party" even more. It's also important, that with the increased number of welfare leeches, the social stigma of being one diminishes. Today lot of people choose work over welfare because they don't want to be looked down. If the local majority would be welfare leech, the work could be socially stigmatized! The workers would be "no lifers" opposed to the "fun ppl" living on welfare, hanging out with friends all day! Haven't you seen such normative change somewhere?


Now comes the solution! I have to disappoint all my fellow sociopaths, no genocide involved. It's not humane action on my side, simply logic. Any "waste-disposal" method could be (therefore necessarily would be) abused by some person, group or movement to get rid of their enemies/competitors.

The solution is: if you choose to ask for any kind of welfare, country found education or health care (after the age of 18), you give up your right to
  • vote in elections (president, congress/parliament, city mayor, judge, public vote)
  • your right to be a juror
  • to serve in any elected position
  • law enforcement, bureaucracy (on fields where you actually enforce something on people, you can still be CSI, secretary in some government office or janitor in the courthouse
  • in the army with higher rank than enlisted man
  • as a boss or employer of any person (if you can't handle your personal finance, how could you manage a company)
  • bear firearms
You can still have a one-man business or obviously can have a job. You can only regain the political rights by repaying the welfare received in your life, with (Fed) interests. By this scheme no man's rights are limited unless he asks for it in return of the welfare.

This scheme would create a new class besides the full right citizens, people who have personal rights but no political rights. This way the welfare leech could not vote for more welfare, could be forced to learn or take "lowly jobs".

Wait a minute!
  • unable to vote
  • can't bear firearms
  • cannot be a boss
  • forced to study
  • works as a baby-sitter
Is it a new class? It's the well-known class of children! I merely suggest that anyone who has welfare-loan towards the country should be equal to children in rights and obligations. My guess is that 18+ "children" would work their ass to become adult. Also the fact that crimes against children are not widespread are enough proof that the countries can protect the less-than-citizens from abuse.

PS: if someone would commit crime, the costs of the legal procedure, the compensation to the victims and prison costs would also be added to the welfare balance, rendering the convict a "child" until he repays the damages he caused. PS2: Watching the mount-fetish of social people it could be introduced that only citizens can drive red or black cars, "children" cannot. Also non-essential "fun" services like restaurants, bars, travel programs can have "no children allowed" signs. The word "child" should be emphasized all the time, motivating them to finally grow up.

45 comments:

Gentleman said...

I like it.

As a Student, it's really hard to live on your own and study. If people could study while on welfare, it would help. Then they can repay as they see fit to regain their rights. Or not. This would allow some trash that wants to do something but can't find the cash for it or the time to survive and make themselves useful eventually.

I've been asking myself why they don't support students more, as it is very difficult to support yourself while you study, and you want to live alone, and you have no parents to help with living costs (altough they pay for school). Happy to find the answer here.

spinksville said...

So before citizens have children they need to be sure they can pay for all the associated education? This is going to kill your birth rate among educated employed young people. The welfare people won't care, they're already on welfare.

Anonymous said...

Welfare (unemployment) doesn't work like getting 5k for nothing. In every country I'm aware of with welfare you get the bare minimum to live. You can buy very basic of food (or food stamps), you cannot afford expensive luxury thing such as car, house, vacation. Simply because you take such for granted doesn't mean people on welfare have such. If they do, the system fails because everything they earn beyond that 5k is meant to be available for them to afford such luxury. Since a lot of the money beyond the 5k is utility for life, making life easier (car, cellphone, computer, dishwasher, washing machine) it'd be very shortsighted to stay unemployed instead of working.

There are also various reasons people are on welfare, different types of welfare, and various reasons of unemployment. There are even highly educated people who are unemployed because their resume is too impressive. There is seasonal unemployment. There is the inability to commute/relocate.

I argue different: since intelligence is mostly genetic, and since society now requires less non-intelligent people (they are replaced by machines) we must get rid of these non-intelligent people since there are too many of them. The eco-system of humanity will take care of this by itself via catalysts. One of those could be yours but the unemployed masses would never agree to such a system, and it is impossible to take away the right to vote unless they are declared insane. Such a migration goes slowly but surely in a democracy; not in a revolution-style way except for taking away voting rights.

"This speeds up unemployment, increasing the power of the "welfare party" even more."

I don't see such happening here in my country. When its going bad with the economy, like now, then the right-wing parties win arguing they save expenses. It is a little more complex than this since nowadays left-wing do same they just want to cut expenses of different projects though (say army in Afghanistan). Either way, the right-wing win, and at such time all kind of left-wing "hobbies" get their income cut. We also see more and more popularity of parties who are nationalist/anti-EU.

"PS: if someone would commit crime, the costs of the legal procedure, the compensation to the victims and prison costs would also be added to the welfare balance, rendering the convict a "child" until he repays the damages he caused."

Costs of legal procedure already go to loser of court case in some countries. There is no way such a suspect would be able to repay their costs so they'd commit crimes again, this time doing more their best to get away with it. Such downwards spiral leads to excessive violence in society. Who pays this if the suspect is dead? Correct, society does.

Phelps said...

Actually, the status symbol is built in, the same as it was 300 years ago. Citizens can bear arms. Therefore, bearing arms marks you as an adult.

Anonymous said...

Receiving welfare seems goblinish to me, few minutes of "work" (filling papers) for several hundred euros. Social stigmas would be a non-issue.

Happy Forum said...

Haha, this is awesome. However, there are a few issues.

The Flynn effect claims that IQ over time increases (usually as nations become developed), so if the rate of IQ increase is higher than the rate of technological increase and subsequent implementation, then we don't really have this problem (still have our current welfare systems though, which your problem does somewhat fix).

Secondly, while your Children-Class system might have easily been implemented many decades ago, it would be extremely hard to implement now without resulting violence. As you've mentioned many many times, socials would tend to take a system like this not as a change for the better in long-run utility of a country, but as a personal attack deeming them unworthy. This is likely to be exacerbated in that people who oppose this change would very likely oppose it vehemently, where as people who see this change as positive are not likely to work as fanatically for its implementation. Thus, each non-M&S person against this change would likely put in way more effort than a person for this change.

For whatever it counts, even though M&S are a disorganized bunch, if they can even read all of them would likely oppose your idea.

p.s. I think the book IQ and Global Inequality makes the claim that the Flynn effect beginning to stop in developed countries, so I suppose that's a point in your favor, though I don't know how true this claim is as the book is fairly controversial.

Bizdis said...

This idea seems decent, but I disagree with this partially as that would disadvantage actual children. Children actually have value as future workers, the more productive work they do now, the better job opportunities they have in the future.

Therefore we would need a new class for the welfare leech. This would mean that they would be below actual children in many circumstances, as youths would be allowed in to certain restaurants (as you mentioned).

It doesn't take a genius to realise that this would infuriate them beyond belief, as they are used to being able to easily look down on children, feeling (falsely) that they are more useless (which I just disproved) and stupider (which in a minority of cases may be false) than they are. Gradually all that they hold dear would disappear (their political rights, social respect and "free money"), and they would eventually riot.

Riots put stress on policemen to keep the idiots under control, and property may be damaged. Therefore, infuriating the welfare leech may not be a good idea.

Rather than creating a whole new class for them, and making them feel "I'm at the bottom of the ladder anyway, so it doesn't matter what I do", I would suggest just treating them in a similar way, and taking away their rights as an adult. Essentially that means they can't buy alcohol, drive a car(unless they can prove that they work, and therefore a car would get them to work quicker), or vote, as well as any other restrictions that haven't come to my mind that under 18 year olds suffer from.

I reckon that this would cause slightly less riots, and is a more fitting punishment for welfare leeches (as they become the only thing they look down on).

Quasar said...

Governments have made it clear that instead of fixing their broken economy, they're just going to print more paper money which appears to solve the problem in the short term, but makes it far worse in the long term.

The US and Europe are going to see total economic collapse within this decade and anyone who has their wealth stored in fiat currency will see it evaporate as high inflation destroys its value.

Take a look at the price of gold (real money) over the recent past to see how much wealth you have lost to inflation.

Azuriel said...

1) How much of this is due to the unbounded nature of income in capitalism? The top 1% of Americans earns 24% of the USA's income, and controls 40% of the nation's wealth. At some point the economic principle of the value of a thing being determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it becomes ridiculous - does anyone actually believe a CEO labor/expertise/decisions is worth $30+ million a year? You can't even say that CEOs take the blame for bad decisions, between a disgraced CEO's "golden parachute" and miraculous ability to find jobs in politics.

Besides, I don't think unlimited income potential is the only incentive to be productive/inventive. Would Steve Jobs have done what he done for only $500 million instead of $1 billion? I would think so. Productive people enjoy being productive; I have same incentive to make $50k/year as I do to make $100k or $100 million.

2) If you get $5K/year for nothing, you won't work for $10K. It's not laziness, simply maximizing utility. People want "fun" at the end, so if the "fun" gained by the salary (a car, a travel, a big TV, better meal) is lower than the "fun" lost by the job (you are away from friends since you are at work, you must go bed early, you can't drink, boss is mean, job is dirty), it's the right choice to refuse employment.

If people were interested in an actual solution, it would be tackling that issue: redefining what people see as "fun," such that their utility is maximized by having a job no matter what the welfare::job ratios are at. However, this is directly at odds with a consumerism economy where self-value is determined by the make/model of your car, number of televisions, etc, all to encourage you buying useless shit.

3) Your solution shares the same level of practicality with genocide. You are advocating slavery. Yes, the rights of children are withheld until they turn 18. However, economic downturns, deaths of a spouse, cancer, illness, etc, do not suddenly turn otherwise productive people back into "children." Perhaps you could argue that the person could refuse treatment (welfare) to retain their rights and simply die, but I would say that is a Faustian Bargain at best and is virtually indistinguishable from simply pointing guns at peoples' heads arbitrarily and having them forfeit citizenship.

Besides, maybe disarmament would work in the EU, but the (future) police state the US would have to construct would very much have to pry every last gun from its owners' cold, dead fingers. This nation was founded on "no taxation without representation" (among other things).

4) You assert genocide would necessarily be "abused by some person, group or movement to get rid of their enemies/competitors." Would you not further concede that a political system designed to remove power from lower classes has every incentive to keep said lower classes from ever getting out of that hole? Imagine how much money could be saved by the Koch Brothers and Murdoch if they did not have to lobby and buy up so much advertising to convince morons that they would get a piece of the pie once taxes are lowered, in defiance to all evidence?

Sten Düring said...

Laughing hysterically at a moron.

"Can you give student loans..."

We do. It works. Some default.

Of course it helps that the student is forced to pass his/her exams continually in order to continue to receive said loans.

The cost for society is lower for a graduate who defaults the loans compared to an uneducated person.

Oh, we also have the combination of a welfare state and one of the most orderly state finances in the world.

It's not my problem you live in a M&S state.

Soge said...

Why leave the clause of forbidding companies from putting these people on leading positions? It seems natural that this would happen in most decent companies, and for those that won't, well, that is kinda like hiring people on your family - stupid and naturally selected against on the long run. Or a calculated risk that could work for those looking for cheaper bosses.

Anonymous said...

I get your idea, but I don't think those lazy bastards would mind that they can't cast votes or be a boss in a company.

Some poeople will not work no matter what. Untill there is anyone willing to support their miserible life they will continue to slack.

There is only 1 solution - no financial support from the country.

Unknown said...

So if the "Children" class loses voting rights, what happens then? Giving them no political influence helps prevent them from increasing their welfare checks, but with no political influence at all, this ultimately gives even more power to the "top 20%".

More political power usually turns into less regulation turns into more corporate crime. In this way, we give the top 20% a growing political power, causing them to gain even more GDP/each, reducing even more middle class to children.

Also, people protect children because they are "helpless." I can't imagine that a 30 year illiterate unemployed will find the same level of support than an 8 year old child will, regardless of laws.

Leeho said...

If they wouldn't have a vote, why then they wouldn't be abused by those who have? I mean what will stop the government elected by tax payers to make new laws, like lowering welfare, getting off other rights of those people, etc?

Imraith Dos Santos said...

No, these people would not be treated as children...they would be serfs. Having once accepted welfare or student loan, they would never be able achieve the earning power to repay. They would be serfs, their children would be serfs...and on and on.

Anonymous said...

In the US there are many in the armed service that are married that still need help to make ends meet due to the fact that low ranking enlisted men/women make 13-15k a year. Do you tell that person they cannot vote in the country they help to protect?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't work. The "leeches" don't care about voting, or owning a business, nor does the meager money they get leave room for them to do so.

And, in the USA in particular, it's WAY too easy to end up needing some sort of assistance. End up out of a job (that provided health benefits) and get sick? Welcome to bankruptcy!

This would create a ruling elite, while leaving even those who were making an honest effort with no rights. Maybe we could then define how important each member of this elite is by giving them titles, and letting them take care of special designators, too. The person with the most money we could call "King" or "Queen".

Anonymous said...

"children" aren't allowed to drink, either... No booze 'til you pay your debt to society.

Anonymous said...

Your proposal does have the advantage of removing the hopelessly incompetent from the voting bloc. This would tend to prevent the rise of Greece-like welfare states.

It has the disadvantage of long-term instability because it removes the ability of the poor to vote. (From an American perspective) At the moment, the 'highly employed' class controls American politics and has been rewriting laws to increase corporate profits, make bankruptcy difficult, et cetera. Essentially, changing laws to distribute wealth to the richest people in the nation. At a point we reached a while back, it was a rational choice for the bottom 80% to massacre the upper 20% and claim ~90% of the nation's wealth. Fortunately, the bottom 80% is fairly stupid. At a later point, (see England riots), wealth redistribution to the upper class will be sufficiently large that the opportunity will be large enough that the lower 80% will figure it out. That will cause instability, which is very, very expensive. Remember that 1 policeman can restrain roughly 1 person and that there are about 1k poor people per policeman...the poor can always vote with weapons.

My inclination is to massively increase corporate welfare. :) By paying a price per head to employ people of working age. Say, 15k USD. For a completely incompetent M/S, the best job they could get might pay only 12k (with the rest spent on rental of a cubicle somewhere to keep them out of the way). For a worker whose job can be done by a machine for 5k, they would be paid about 19k.

Phelps said...

If they wouldn't have a vote, why then they wouldn't be abused by those who have? I mean what will stop the government elected by tax payers to make new laws, like lowering welfare, getting off other rights of those people, etc?

1) Not giving someone as much money as before is not abuse.

2) This is one of the features, because it acts as a check against the person who pays nothing in voting themselves more money.

Campitor said...

This law would never pass in the USA since most companies would lobby against it. Large corporations recieve corporate welfare and would lose their right to lobby. And some would argue that being employed by those companies would also mean you would lose your right to vote since you are a partial recipient of the welfare donation. So the poor could never vote but neither could the rich who receive corporate welfare; I would like a system where only the middle class could lobby and vote.

Bearsome said...

You assume that by taking away political rights of "leechers", you're making them powerless, or at the very least, their power will stop growing. But, there are few reasons why your solution wouldn't work. First, as you admit, "The average employed person doesn't want to see his fellow men starving on the streets." Thus, there would be employed people still fighting for the benefits of the welfare people. Second, you cannot just "take away" public unrest. If that was possible, kings would have been kings forever and those French monarchy wouldn't have been beheaded by the hungry peasants. If you forcibly take away the legal power, people will protest in illegal ways and eventually get violent.

As much as I hate the idea of welfare, everyone goes through a hardship at one point or another, for various reasons. Getting welfare doesn't make you a better or a worse human being. As with most things in life, it's not so black and white. Also, in my opinion, welfare is like drugs. People who have pride and ambition will not take it, or will not stay on it for long, while people who want it will stay on it whether society looks down on it or not. This is not to say that the views of a society doesn't influence an individual's actions. But, I do believe we always have a choice, even if the choice is not always pleasant.

Michael said...

There are practical concerns that prevent you from just eliminating all social welfare. The just, correct, fair thing is clearly to never steal from one group of people to give to another group of people, for whatever reason. But even rational, taxpaying, people are willing to allow some injustice to keep people from starving in the streets.

But enough of that! Instead, I'd urge you to beware any time you hear someone say 'AMG, all the bad things are happening right noooowww! It's a disaster!' There's nothing that happens that hasn't happened hundreds of times before.

Everyone points at the income gap, saying the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer. It's not true, it's a data anomaly. We measure income not per capita, but as household income. The change in the past 30-40 years is not a shift in income distribution, but a shift in how the 'average household' looks.

50 years ago, the average household was either a single person who worked, or a married couple with children and one parent who worked. Now things are different, combinations that were rare back then are far more common now.

There are far more households with two parents working, single parents who also work, couples who both work and don't have kids. Kids are leaving their parents' households sooner to start their own lives, and are marrying and having kids later.

So there's a group of two wage-earning households who make significantly more than the old average household income. And there's a group of single parents who work part time so they can care for their kids, who make significantly less than the old average.

This gives the _impression_ of a widening income gap. If you correct the income/household into income/person, you'd find that the income gap hasn't changed much at all, merely keeping pace with inflation.

It's just a data anomaly, a bias/mistake in how we report this information.

Anonymous said...

Problems that arise from government tyranny won't be solved by more tyranny.
Some of your ideas are good, but you revert to solutions that rely on the violence of the state, when the solution is to minimize the actions of the state.
Do not try to "perfect" welfare...it can't be done. The solution is to end government welfare entirely.

Anonymous said...

At least where I am, there is a large class of highly productive individuals that would run afoul of Gevlon's proposed law. They're called doctors and many of them receive funds -- either as grants or in the form of low-interest loans -- to finance their education. They aren't lazy, stupid or unproductive, but by an accident of birth most of them do not have the capital necessary to complete med school. Punishing doctors (or anybody else in a similar situation) for this seems like a bad idea.

Ashdrake said...

Hey Gevlon.
I absolutely love your posts and I agree on almost all your points.

However a few things to note are:

People are inherintly chicken-shits (we are evolved monkeys after all), so they will do whatever they can to save their asses, this means that violent protests and/or revolutions will have few people.

However, when you have absolutely nothing to lose, like when the 1989 revolutions took place, for example in Romania, the country i live in, people went in the streets not because they thought communism sucked and Capitalism roxxored, but because they were hungry and cold. In the winter we had heat for like 2hours a day and hot water for the same ammount of time.

People went to the streets because they couldnt take it anymore, after 6 years of basically starving and being cold every winter and with the prospect of another 3 or 4 more years of the same, people said FUCK THIS SHIT. Thats why people died in the revolution, about 1 to 2k of em.

You also have to amount for the "white knights" or "i give everything to my children" category of people who would endanger their lives so "everyone else" // their children live a better life.

Fundamentally, no matter how shit is life and how poor you are, the majority of people will not riot / cause problems if they have a place to call home (even if its a modest flat) and something to eat.

Most people that live in US and Western Europe have been spoiled so much, that maybe they will break sooner than someone from Eastern Europe or ex-Soviet block, since they had it "easy" compared to us.

War, War never changes and revolutions never change. People die, other people get to rule and in time to became the people that they killed, until they go too complacent or do some other shitty mistake and they themselvees or their successors die and the wholec cycle repeats itself . This has happened time and time again throughout history.

We live in a stupid retarded world, where most young people think working is bad and they dont want to work. Those that do work, make the awful mistake of giving everything they have to their children so they live a spoiled life and when they get in touch with the real life they end up on drugs or some other bullshit.

Its not like you cannot get a job in this world, you can scrape dung off the floor for 10$/hour and you can have a job. Most people however think that "If I went to college/University I DESERVE better than scraping dung off the floor" and unfortunately there are too many of these self-entitled people lying around.

Technology/Machinery/Everything else is just a consequence of this.
When people will start to realize that by working and knowing what work is, you will value the rest of time you spend with yourself/family/friends as something special and worthy of remembering instead of just another "i hang out today like everyday" occurance and they start to value money because they see how hard it is to make them and how easy they get spent, they will not realise anything. They will still continue to buy "new cars, 10 tvs, random expensive shit" instead of having priorities in life.

And so long as this shit will start to happen, then people will continue to act like mindless sheeple and idiots and the people at the top of the food-chain will continue to make billions and profit from them, because at the end of the day, its a jungle out there, and its either kill or be killed, be a slave or a slavemaster, survive or die. The choice is yours to make.

Anonymous said...

Also an important aspect is that children can't have children.

Phelps said...

At least where I am, there is a large class of highly productive individuals that would run afoul of Gevlon's proposed law. They're called doctors and many of them receive funds -- either as grants or in the form of low-interest loans -- to finance their education.

I don't see working doctors having too much trouble paying the loans back.

Alrenous said...

Turns out the Romans were right all along. Mencius Moldbug sporadically touches on this as well.

If you take a man's independence financially, you also take his independence morally. If his continued survival depends on your good will, then his continued actions also depend on your good will. The natural reciprocal of dependence is obedience.

As of late, however, it has become seen as objectionable to cut off benefits to the 'needy,' no matter how objectionable are the actions taken by that 'needy.' Their keepers are allowed to deny responsibility, and the 'needy' were never self-responsible in the first place.

MM:
"Because dependency is another name for power. The relationship between dependent and provider is the relationship between client and patron. Which is the relationship between parent and child. Which also happens to be the relationship between master and slave. There's a reason Aristotle devotes the first book of the Politics to this sort of kitchen government."


The university thing should be solved by spreading the idea they have the right to tax students. The point is to increase future earnings; the university can pay for itself out of those earnings. If it can't, you shouldn't go.

Slackers can only sort of default on this. They'd have to go, actually submit assignments and so on, and then not get a job. Sounds like a lot of work for a slacker.

Self-interest would keep students from taking pointless classes, and competition would stop universities from inflating course loads. Market wins again.

Anonymous said...

My first year of college my wife and I both lost our jobs and went on food stamps for a year. We ate like kings! They gave us more food than we could eat. Getting a job hurt because we were back to eating ramen but at least we had our dignity back.

chewy said...

I assume by "if you choose to ask for any kind of welfare" you mean that these are a permanent loss of privileges for ever having asked for welfare ?

In which case it won't work because that class will merely accept the conditions and take the money. Do you really think those who make a career from welfare care about voting ? The working classes end up funding them from taxes.

Or you might mean that the impositions are not permanent but only whilst taking the welfare ? In which case why is it such an imposition ? They can't vote, be a juror, politician, police officer, army officer, a boss or have a gun whilst they're claiming welfare. They need to claim welfare, do you imagine that any of these things were what they were about to do instead ?

Shall I become an Army Officer or claim welfare... ? Mmmm, let me think.

Voting is merely addressing the social conscience. If you vote for the party that wins is gives you a deluded sense of involvement. If you vote for the party that loses you may as well have not voted at all because your vote has no effect on the current decision making

Inno said...

@anonymous 15:25: beginning soldiers in the US make approximately 30-31k a year. You're leaving out very short promotions between the junior enlisted ranks and forgetting to figure in the housing allowance for married people along with the food allowance for the soldier. there is also an annual clothing allowance. Figuring in only the basic pay at the lowest level is silly. As a tax payer you're covering quite a bit more than the basic pay and allowances especially when you figure in that only the basic pay is taxed.

Sofie Bird said...

I see big problems removing rights from people who face bad luck. People on welfare should not all be tarred with the same brush.

There are even bigger problems if they can't regain those rights without repaying the entirity of the loan - if it gets to be more than a couple of years where they're working, living on ramen because they're repaying the loan, but still don't have those rights yet, I see many just won't bother, and will continue to leech. So your 'solution' will in fact exacerbate the issue of people staying on welfare.

In Australia for a while we had a 'work for the dole' scheme. Essentially, you had to work for the government (planting trees, cleaning up litter, other menial tasks) to get your welfare payments - there was no 'sit back and get welfare'. We had a shift in government, which meant of course the old policies all had to go - at the moment you have to prove you're searching for employment and you must take any job offered to you, otherwise you lose your welfare. I'd see a solution along those lines - force them to be productive members of society in order to get welfare - as more useful.

Anonymous said...

Sofie Bird's point about repayment makes me think about Debtor's Prison and Indentured Servants.

I find it hard to believe that such a scheme wouldn't quick devolve into a form of slavery for anyone foolish enough to sign on. After all, those affected can't vote to avoid it and those paying into the system can't be blind to the master/slave dynamic.

In fact, we do this today with prisons and prison labor. On the upside, you have to be put in jail *and* volunteer to do the work, but doing the work is a "good mark" for regaining citizenship.

Because of this, I think it is more ethical and honest to simply disband welfare than to try a half measure like this.

Malcolm Nix said...

In his original post, Gevlon suggests people on welfare shouldn't be allowed to possess or carry firearms. If I interpret this literally, he actually claims that an inbred, semi-retarded, undereducated Red State Redneck can own a gun only because somebody pays him the minimum wage to fill my car with gasoline. Has Gevlon ever considered the option that he might get shot by someone who approves of his post? And that someone might be an employee of his local McDonalds who has never had a study loan or other welfare benefit... I think not...
But, then again, I'm trying to doubt if Gevlon is really the sociopath he claims to be. His social criticism is always targeting the same people, the poor, unemployed, futureless, etc. Suppose we put a skull on top of the upper class, would he join our criticism or would he stay on his old target? And wouldn't that make him a slacker?

Phelps said...

I wonder why Malcolm went with "red state redneck" when it is the blue state leftist union thugs ACTUALLY shooting people.

http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/17/union-organizer-suspected-of-shooting-non-union-ohio-employer/

Malcolm Nix said...

Allow me to react first to mr. Phelps' input.

Apparently some employer has been shot in the arm and the suspicion seems to rest on someone related to or working for a trade union. According to him this incident, in which one individual has been the victim of agression that might find its origins within an attempt to organize workers, is just the tip of the iceberg of pandemic proportions. Forget Dawn of the Dead! It's the teamsters who will eat you alive!

OK, let's switch to something serious now. Let's take a closer look at one of Gevlon's premises.

I quote: "As the amount of permanently unemployed increases, their political power grows. If today I'd start the "welfare party" in the USA with the only program point "moar welfare" aka "nerf the world", I'd get 10-20%. In the EU, with lower employment rate, such parties (socialists) are common and get 30-40%..."

I would like to point out that the US even now has a socialist party. If you don't believe me, just visit http://socialistparty-usa.org/, although I can imagine some of you are disgusted by the mere idea.

The SPUSA (the abbreviation does sound a bit stupid, but that's their problem) doesn't just support welfare, but wants to expand all possible welfare programs. It is in every manner a socialist party like those often vilified by Gevlon. It electorally targets the poor, the unemployed and all other categories considered leeches by Gevlon.

So, according to Gevlon's own theory, the SPUSA should get more than 10 percent of the votes. However, in the last congressional elections only this member of the SPUSA has been elected: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Sanders . The man lives in Vermont. Enough said.

The one party that openly endorses welfare and its recipients can't even get people elected, let alone give them political clout in DC.

I think we can safely call this part of Gevlon's theory compromised. As a greedy goblin, maybe he should try to vendor it for 3 copper. Forget the auction house. Bad ideas are soulbound.

Anonymous said...

This post is staggeringly moronic.

Let me get this straight, you've correctly identified the downward trend of unskilled and semi-skilled labor. You've also spotted that welfare acts as a bottom limit on this trend.

What do you propose when they drop below housing? Travel? Food? Without welfare this will result in people working for barest sustenance. Is this really the kind of country you want to live in? One where a 16 hour shift in a sweatshop nets you a bowl of gruel and a filthy blanket to sleep under?

Let's get some perspective here, we can raise taxes on the top 1% to their still modest 1990 levels and we will make exactly as much as taking 100% from the bottom 50%. Fact, this is how broken the US is and it's basically what people like you are backing.

Phelps said...

Let's get some perspective here, we can raise taxes on the top 1% to their still modest 1990 levels and we will make exactly as much as taking 100% from the bottom 50%. Fact, this is how broken the US is and it's basically what people like you are backing.

This ignores the real problem. The problem isn't money coming in. That's always going to be about 19.5%. That's Hauser's Law. The problem is money going out. You don't balance the budget by raising taxes. You balance the budget by cutting spending, and the majority of the US budget now and in the future is entitlements to your bottom 50%.

Anonymous said...

Roman empire had something similar and see how that turned out. More and more I conclude there is no solution and that we (at least for a few years more) live in the golden age of our western civilization. Crash will be brutal and I need to get me a big dog, and some trigger happy friends.

Phelps said...

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as ‘bad luck’.”
– Robert A. Heinlein

Anonymous said...

This is actually pretty funny, do you really think the '' workers '' parties are run by workers?

Check the Netherlands, the current guys in the Parliament (Wilders) famously said he'd put the power back into the hand of the regular Joe.

Nothing happened so far. Money gets cut from mentally disabled children!!, students get no money, retirement homes gets closed, psychiatric facilities get closed/relocated to a shittier/corporate location.

We call that 'links lullen, rechts vullen' Talk bullshit on the left (social) fill your pockets on the right.

As you said, we're the same people that were digging in the dirty years ago, the people in power are the same people that ran close to our ancient emperors/kings/etc. Check any European country parliament, chances are alot of them have ancestors that were regents/dukes/feodal lords etc.

Fabien said...

It's been done, many times, most famously by the Roman republic; it's called a ploutocracy.

It has the same potential for abuse as the "waste disposal" option: the senior class (Senatus in latin) has an incentive to keep the non-voting classes just below water, giving them little welfare while stripping them of most of their rights. This allows them to divert even more of the wealth to themselves, and of course they manage to progressively transform the wealth criterion with an hereditary birth right.

The only option for non-voting populations is to rebel, and they did it regularly under ploutocratic systems. Romans progressively balanced their system, most notably by creating plebeian tribune, but eventually the populists (Caesar then Octavian/Augustus) managed to take over with the support of the plebe.

Anonymous said...

If welfare was the problem, shouldn't countries with a lot of welfare (ie Norway) be doing worse than countries with little welfare (ie USA)? I haven't paid much attention, but to me it seems to me that's not the case.

As for unemployment:
Say you have a building that needs 12 man-hours of cleaning each day. You could get one person to do it working 12 hours a day, or you could get two people to do it, working 6 hours a day each. And there you go, twice the amount of jobs!

Of course, this does makes things more expensive for the employers, but as you point out, the richest are getting richer, so they should be able to afford it. Small businesses could get subsidies (which would basically just be handing the money through the company to the person, instead of giving directly to the person).

Any flaw in this?

Phelps said...

If welfare was the problem, shouldn't countries with a lot of welfare (ie Norway) be doing worse than countries with little welfare (ie USA)? I haven't paid much attention, but to me it seems to me that's not the case.

The USA has a ton of welfare. This European myth of poor Americans struggling to eat while they die of easily preventable illnesses is just that, a myth. When you hear about American poverty rates, know that we don't count the direct payments our government makes to the poor in those numbers.

We make direct payments to families on the dole. We provide even more families with food assistance. On top of that, we pay Social Security to anyone over 65, with no means testing whatsoever. We provide single-payer healthcare for everyone over 65, no means testing. We provide SS to anyone medically disabled, and pick up their healthcare as well.

In addition, it is illegal to deny emergency medical care to anyone in America, and there are county hospitals providing free service to the needy all over America, and we provide health insurance to all poor mothers and children.

In addition to ALL that, America also provides significant welfare to the rest of the world, in our defense spending which keeps the trade lanes open and discourages invasions. Our foreign aid is a bugaboo here politically, but the reality is that it is a very small part of our budget.

As for unemployment:
Say you have a building that needs 12 man-hours of cleaning each day. You could get one person to do it working 12 hours a day, or you could get two people to do it, working 6 hours a day each. And there you go, twice the amount of jobs!


People in America are already bitching that full time jobs are being replaced with part time jobs, which is exactly what you describe. And that isn't what happens anyways -- they just decide they can put up with a slightly dirtier building, and knock the first guy down to 6 hours without hiring anyone new.

Of course, this does makes things more expensive for the employers, but as you point out, the richest are getting richer, so they should be able to afford it. Small businesses could get subsidies (which would basically just be handing the money through the company to the person, instead of giving directly to the person).

The rich get richer because they don't waste money on shit like this. Spending as much as you "can afford" is how the poor get poor to start with. Essentially, what you are arguing is for the rich to stop doing the things that made them rich to start with, and start acting like poor people.