Jack Saturday

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 507-509

“Poverty is still a very unfamiliar word in Japan.”

After years of economic stagnation and widening income disparities, this once proudly egalitarian nation is belatedly waking up to the fact that it has a large and growing number of poor people. The Labor Ministry’s disclosure in October that almost one in six Japanese, or 20 million people, lived in poverty in 2007 stunned the nation and ignited a debate over possible remedies that has raged ever since.

Many Japanese, who cling to the popular myth that their nation is uniformly middle class, were further shocked to see that Japan’s poverty rate, at 15.7 percent, was close to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s figure of 17.1 percent in the United States, whose glaring social inequalities have long been viewed with scorn and pity here.

… more than 80 percent of those living in poverty in Japan are part of the so-called working poor, holding low-wage, temporary jobs with no security and few benefits.
Japan Tries to Face Up to Growing Poverty Problem
New York Times
Published: April 21, 2010


As an American, all my life I've heard their chief mouthpiece, the president of the United States, beginning with Eisenhower, right on up through Kennedy, Reagan, Ford, Carter and Bush, and now Obama, sing the same song. Which goes moreover like this:

"Trade is the road to peace. Commerce and business know no national boundaries. They link nations together on productivity, creating jobs and peace across the world."

It sounded good at the time. Who would have thought that the people enjoying all this harmony and peace brought about through globalization would be enjoying it in a one big happy planetary work gulag? And if they are not doing so at the moment, they will be as soon global capitalism, under the watchful solidarity of the rich, bears full fruit.

Thanks to globalization, the American, Australian and European working classes are on their way to extinction, in terms of their traditional rights, and quality of life. Just like the workers being poisoned to death by circuit board toxins in Guiyu, China, their fates will be determined by global capital, either by default or by bitter struggle against it. We are not seeing much of the latter and are not likely to, until it is too late, which it may already be. After all, you cannot put up much of a struggle against global capital when you worship it as a creed and are addicted to commodities too.

Oh yeah, I forgot. We're gonna "develop" and "stimulus" our way out of what is happening now -- which is that we are fast becoming a slave labor workhouse planet. Now let me see here -- hmmm -- who is in charge of development? Oh yeah, the global financiers.
Anderson Cooper and Class Solidarity
By Joe Bageant
April 19, 2010


Basically close both the department for employment, department for housing (i.e. no more housing benefits) and much of HM revenue and replace it with Milton Friedman's Negative Income Tax.

Basically everyone gets the absolute minimum to survive from the government (based on the number of years in the system). So no more means testing at all. Everyone then pays taxes at exactly the e same rate.

Lets say we have worked out that the minimum a person needs to servive a year is £5,200 (£100 per week including rent/mortgage). Everyone automatically gets that from the state.

Then you pay 40% for every penny you earn. So here are some examples:


Government pays you £100 p.w. (don't forget we currently pay for housing benefits)

Working on a minimum wage, 40 hours (effective rate of income tax 0%):

You get £250 p.w. before tax. After tax, you get £250 p.w. (£150 from employment, £100 from universal benefits)

High Earner (£52,000 p.w.):

You get £1,000 p.w. before tax. After tax, you get £700 p.w. (£600 from employment, £100 from universal benefits)

I.e. you get a progressive redistrubition of wealth so that no-one dies on the streets in the UK without having to pay a single civil servent a penny to administer the system. That is efficient.
Milton Friedman's Negative Income Tax
Posted by: anthonyc Apr 3, 2010


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