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Comments on Friday 3 October 2003:
A thought I had about social security. People who have little trouble finding employment, and even some of those who have significant trouble, find social security a repugnant idea. That part of the money you earn is mandatorily going to support other people who aren't working - it's easy to see why this is offensive. Combine that with minimum wage, and you get, understandably, people suggesting that the minimum wage be repealed, and then those people who are getting your tax money can earn for themselves, from those employers who can't afford to hire people at minimum wage.

Which brings me around to my point - is that really what would happen? First, if unemployed people stop getting money to live on, you get people who are suddenly very desperate to find employment. Then, if minimum wage is repealed, you have people who are suddenly desperate to find employment and employers who can take their pick of the most desperate people. Do you think, under those circumstances, your hypothetical $25000 job would be safe? Your employer now has the option of firing you and hiring two-and-a-half $10000 people, who may not be as good, but they're probably willing to work hard, stupid hours to keep the jobs. Even if you are better than two and a half hard-working people, do you think your employer would recognise it? Even if they're not hypothetically firing you, I'd warrant many employers would be offering pay-cuts as the alternative.

Which brings me to my conclusion - paying for other people's unemployment is effectively paying for your own job security, and, in a way, paying to maintain your own high wages. Suddenly it doesn't seem so offensive any more.

Now you can focus your annoyance somewhere more deserving, such as military spending, or, if you don't have children, how much you're paying for the education of other people's screeching spawn. [04:09]

Digi
If all the unemployed people suddenly got jobs the government would introduce massive tax cuts to reflect the money saved. Really, they *really* would. I mean, what else would they do with 16 Million pounds a week of saved expendature? They certainly wouldn't pocket it.

If the government suddenly had 16 Million quid a week extra, people would expect some changes, and no government can deal with it's people having expectations of them. Unemployment is good. It's a nice black-hole to put money in. Much like MI6, MI5, or dossier-writters.

James
I'm not paying to support people who aren't working. I'm paying to support me if I lose my job. It's an insurance racket, not merely a government sinkhole. :)

RavenBlack
I don't know anyone who, in a period of unemployment, gets back a *tenth* of what they've put into social security in the employed period immediately preceding. Indeed, the unemployment system seems designed to ensure that you *can't* get back out as much as you put in, except if you retire, at which point you can take out more than you put in, subsidised by all those other buggers who're still getting screwed.

James
Yup, an insurance racket. I've never gotten a tenth back of what I've put into auto insurance either, and it's just as voluntary.

wyndenai
I don't mind Social Security in general so much, but it's only because one of the few relatives I actually care about survives on disability benefits and there's no way the amount myself and her son put in would cover her expenses.

Then again, I know people who've remained on unemployment for ages after being laid off from good jobs because they've been getting far more money than they would be from any job currently existant in their economically-screwed area. And that, I suppose, is the bit you're complaining about. I also suppose it wouldn't help to tell you one of them is spending the extra time at home being an attentive father for his (pre-unemployment) screeching spawn, huh? ;)

And yes, I'm sneaking over from lj to read comments... the people are brighter, over here.

RavenBlack
Oooh, car insurance makes me cross. And medical. All insurance pisses me off - if you have money available (including house equity that could be borrowed against) then you should be allowed to damn well insure yourself. After a few years, your 'no claims' bonus would be enough to cover yourself *again*.

Kanada Ten
"-if you have money available (including house equity that could be borrowed against) then you should be allowed to damn well insure yourself.-"

You can do this. It takes some effort to set up, but it can be done. In fact, you can then insure other /people/. In effect you start an insurance company. Tíis the same as starting a bank.

RavenBlack
Yes, but that way requires that you have much more money available than you'd ever actually need in practice. And I'd warrant that there are fees that insurance companies have to pay to the government, thus voiding the value of self-insurance.

Kanada Ten
"Yes, but that way requires that you have much more money available than you'd ever actually need in practice."

That's the entire point of /insurance/. The fees are nominal* when you consider the taxes one pays on said assets and total insurance costs. If the company doesn't make a profit, you can actually reduce your taxes by claiming a loss.

The Social Security, Welfare, and Unemployment issues are far more complex.

As a small example, Alaska has the highest payments for welfare and unemployment, yet the payouts take place only during part of the year. The Alaskan job market fluctuates incredibly fast requiring people for weeks to months of work, and then it dies. If they had to keep insuring the people and paying a full rate with taxes (see below) the product prices would rise to reflect this. It is cheaper to pay unemployment and welfare, insuring that the workers stay in the region for immediate availability when needed.

The same is true for the Auto Industry, but different.

Minimum wage really gauges much more than we could ever type on a blog. Iíll give a little bit here:

The government taxes companies for their payroll expenditures as well, essentially /charging/ them for every employee the pay based on how much the employee is paid.

A person earning minimum wage must work over 9 hours /every day of the year/ to meet the basic needs of the average American.

The bad to minimum wage is illusion (forcing small businesses out) because the truth is payroll taxes on minimum wage could be eliminated (and then made up for in general economic stimulus) to offset it.

*Insurance fees in IL
$400 one time fee
$90 to $125 per insured per year

RavenBlack
The complications of the effects of minimum wage was rather my point.

The "basic needs of the average American" are a stupid measure, mind. Looks to me like the cited average American *needs* a car and *needs* to be renting an apartment for themself rather than using public transport and sharing an apartment.

And of course there's the distorting effect of 0.3% of Americans living in San Francisco, which accounts for, ooh, seven eighths of the average 'basic needs' expense, what with San Franciscans needing $800000 a week to rent half a cardboard box on the street.

Soli
Minimum wage is incredibly important to a worker-friendly environment. Look at America before there were worker's rights such as the 40-hour week and minimum wage- corporations grew to the point of threatening government stability in the post-reconstruction era around 1880-1900.

Chris Chambers
Another key part of the whole debate comes up with Inflation; every time unemployment drops below a certain figure (and no, I'm not aware of what that figure is, precisely), inflation goes up faster than is economically healthy. So Welfare and other Social Security programs exist, in part, so that a certain percentage of the population can remain unemployed so that our 50k a year job isn't an entry level minumum wage position.

* loveable *
haa,

yeah im still at school and i was searching this website for a Cpsd project looking for wages and hours that interpreting for MI:6 provides, well all i can say that this site was no help at all lol<\/A>/ but hey i cant be bothered to more work so i thought i would sign it =]
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