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Subject: Citizen's wage and children rss

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In Bramadan's citizens' wage, half of the money given to children are given to the parents, and half of it is put in a bank account the children get access to once they turn 18. I've seen too many friends squander what their parents saved for them with a huge Asian tour between high school and college, or by just goofing around at home for a year. Not that there's anything wrong with huge Asian tours, I just don't think enormous payments to 18-year-olds would achieve what we want with the citizen's wage.

I'd rather see that the parents get the full amount, from day 1, as long as they retain custody. This, however, gives strong incentives for excess childbirth, and - if allowed to be a bit cynical about it - especially so for a certain group of parents that might not be the best parents. It could also add extra fuel to infected custody conflicts.

So ... should the school/child-care center administrate some of the money, and pay for stuff like diapers, bicycles, school excursions, sports club membership, summer camps and other kinds of goods/services identified as such that poor children lack and which make them suffer from their parents' poverty (and unfairly so, as they're children and not the ones who caused the family's financial situation), or am I just building a bureaucratic and corrupt planned economy here?
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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Mondainai wrote:
In Bramadan's citizens' wage, half of the money given to children are given to the parents, and half of it is put in a bank account the children get access to once they turn 18. I've seen too many friends squander what their parents saved for them with a huge Asian tour between high school and college, or by just goofing around at home for a year. Not that there's anything wrong with huge Asian tours, I just don't think enormous payments to 18-year-olds would achieve what we want with the citizen's wage.

I'd rather see that the parents get the full amount, from day 1, as long as they retain custody. This, however, gives strong incentives for excess childbirth, and - if allowed to be a bit cynical about it - especially so for a certain group of parents that might not be the best parents. It could also add extra fuel to infected custody conflicts.

So ... should the school/child-care center administrate some of the money, and pay for stuff like diapers, bicycles, school excursions, sports club membership, summer camps and other kinds of goods/services identified as such that poor children lack and which make them suffer from their parents' poverty (and unfairly so, as they're children and not the ones who caused the family's financial situation), or am I just building a bureaucratic and corrupt planned economy here?


Well when the UK government introduced the individual learning account companies cold called people to get their money, even though there was no realistic way that that person could study with that organisation. I also know of people who set up schools teaching such things as embroidery just to take advantage of it. I suspect therefore that anything administered by private companies would be abused by them for their benefit and not that of the people they are supposed to help. It seems to me that the best way to help disadvantaged children would be (assuming you don’t want to give them decent education and health scare) would be a voucher scheme redeemable at local stores for the items listed in the voucher (this would then be redeemable from the government by the store). This helps both the poor children (who will get the nappies and food they need, and the local shops.
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Yeah, I guess my idea would make sense in the old, more "Socialist" Sweden, where all schools and day-care centers were basically parts of the government. I'm not saying things were better in the 80s, but using schools like that makes less sense in 2011, when they are practically private entities (if often municipality owned) competing with each other, kicking back profits to overseas accounts.

I disregarded the voucher idea because I've understood that in some places where food/soap/whatever coupons etc. are handed out to the poor, there is a black market on which the poor sell such coupons, getting cash anyway, but less than what the taxpayers paid, the difference leaked to black market sharks, and this on top of the extra bureaucracy of managing the coupon system. We want Johan to have a bicycle just like the other kids although his parents are poor, we give his parents a bicycle voucher, and they sell it and pay off old debts, buy booze or whatever. Still, they are probably way better parents than a foster home is.

Personally, I think most parents - even the "troubled" - think of their children first, so most money would really go to the right places. That is, citizen's wage for all, regardless of age.
But it could also be that the money is much better spent on activities during after-school hours, youth stations where you do homework, play and interact with responsible adults. That is, half the citizen's wage spent on such activities rather than given out as cash.

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Boaty McBoatface
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Mondainai wrote:
Yeah, I guess my idea would make sense in the old, more "Socialist" Sweden, where all schools and day-care centers were basically parts of the government. I'm not saying things were better in the 80s, but using schools like that makes less sense in 2011, when they are practically private entities (if often municipality owned) competing with each other, kicking back profits to overseas accounts.

I disregarded the voucher idea because I've understood that in some places where food/soap/whatever coupons etc. are handed out to the poor, there is a black market on which the poor sell such coupons, getting cash anyway, but less than what the taxpayers paid, the difference leaked to black market sharks, and this on top of the extra bureaucracy of managing the coupon system. We want Johan to have a bicycle just like the other kids although his parents are poor, we give his parents a bicycle voucher, and they sell it and pay off old debts, buy booze or whatever. Still, they are probably way better parents than a foster home is.

Personally, I think most parents - even the "troubled" - think of their children first, so most money would really go to the right places. That is, citizen's wage for all, regardless of age.
But it could also be that the money is much better spent on activities during after-school hours, youth stations where you do homework, play and interact with responsible adults. That is, half the citizen's wage spent on such activities rather than given out as cash.



Most may think of their children first, but the job of the state is to protect the vulnerable not from the majority but from the irresponsible minority. Moreover I am not sure that things like bikes should be paid for by the taxpayer. I agree that the state should provide a safety net to protect the poorest, but it should provide the necessities only.
 
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Mac Mcleod
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Having a pile of money makes you a "whale" (problem with our current 401k system).

Not sure giving to children is sustainable PLUS it encourages having kids which I'm against. We are already grossly overpopulated and need to scale back to lower population levels. One humane way to do that is to stop giving money (I'm looking at you Child Exemption on Taxes) to people to have children.

I'd much prefer poverty protection to be in the form of services.
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maxo-texas wrote:
Having a pile of money makes you a "whale" (problem with our current 401k system).

Not sure giving to children is sustainable PLUS it encourages having kids which I'm against. We are already grossly overpopulated and need to scale back to lower population levels. One humane way to do that is to stop giving money (I'm looking at you Child Exemption on Taxes) to people to have children.

I'd much prefer poverty protection to be in the form of services.


That won't stop them having them (after all its not worked anywhere (or anywhen) else it just creates more child poverty. But I do think that service provision is better then raw cash (at least for the child’s benefit).
 
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Saving for children is a common custom here, as much as one is able. Equally common however is the custom that the money has strings attached in the sense of restrictions on what the money can be used for. Thus for example, one would allow the money to be used for costs related to a wedding and setting up the household thereafter or going to university but not be blown on a trip for example. Usually one also allows the child to take full possession of the funds after a certain age or if certain conditions arise-- generally intended to reflect a desired level of maturity.
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maxo-texas wrote:
Not sure giving to children is sustainable PLUS it encourages having kids which I'm against. We are already grossly overpopulated and need to scale back to lower population levels. One humane way to do that is to stop giving money (I'm looking at you Child Exemption on Taxes) to people to have children.
I agree with you, but I also agree with those who don't want children to suffer from their parents' shortcomings. This whole "you get what you make" principle of market economy is awesome, but the "you get what two randomly chosen individuals a.k.a. 'your parents' make" principle is just horrible.

But you're right in that we should not encourage population growth, hence the upper limit for this child grant should be put at whatever economists find is the crucial level, and the rest be spent on:

maxo-texas wrote:
I'd much prefer poverty protection to be in the form of services.

Breakfast and dinner in school for those who want, schooltrips should be fully paid for (it's one of those humiliating experiences - when you can't join the rest to the zoo or whatever), activity centers could have the tools needed to fix your clothes/your bicycle and so on. And of course free medical and dental care for underages, but that's already the case in most developed countries.
 
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Bojan Ramadanovic
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Main reason I like my idea is that "beginning of adulthood" is often associated with the significant expenses which are the seed of significant inequalities later in life.

Paying for post-secondary education for example is formidable expense for the poorer students even if there is a fully functional system of student-loans in place. Alternatively early adulthood is a time when people could use money to start a business or even to put a down-payment on a dwelling.

One solution is to make some things "free" on government expense (i.e. university) but the problem with that is that then you get over-subsciption as people who are not intellectually and emotionally inclined towards university go simply so as not to lose out on the free offer.
Much better to have university be costly but affordable by everyone.

If you are worried about the people at the age of majority being irresponsible with large sums of money - you could impose restrictions as to how and to whom the lump sum could be paid (mortgages, commercial credit and educational institutions). With a proviso that those who do not use one of the "allowed" opportunities get their money in lump at a less "irresponsible" age of 25 or 30 or what have you.

Idea that everyone begins their adult lives with ~$50k or so to invest in themselves in a way they (and not necessarily government) think is profitable is to me one of the key points of mixing reasonable egalitarianism with free market.
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Mac Mcleod
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Mondainai wrote:

Breakfast and dinner in school for those who want, schooltrips should be fully paid for (it's one of those humiliating experiences - when you can't join the rest to the zoo or whatever), activity centers could have the tools needed to fix your clothes/your bicycle and so on. And of course free medical and dental care for underages, but that's already the case in most developed countries.


I'm totally down with those except the school trip unless we are talking minimal expense which is what I think you mean (not paying for that trip to washington D.C. but we will pay for the trip to the local museum and craft supplies).

Free medical and dental care have to have limits. We can't afford to pay $1 million to save every severely ill child but I could support paying up to a couple grand a year for dental and health care.

I prefer university to be as inexpensive as possible- but with strict limits on what the government will pay. So... state school- okay, harvard- sorry. Once you get in, it's on grades. If you don't maintain good grades you do not get reimbursed. My daughter had to maintain a "B" average to get reimbursed or else it would have came out of her pocket. If you can't maintain a "C" average, the state shouldn't reimburse you and any state program should include mandatory internship periods so they graduate with work experience.

I'd prefer to have inexpensive university over loans. Our current system of loans in America is predatory on the young. It's really horrific.
 
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bramadan wrote:
Idea that everyone begins their adult lives with ~$50k or so to invest in themselves in a way they (and not necessarily government) think is profitable is to me one of the key points of mixing reasonable egalitarianism with free market.

I see the problem in this as being that many seemingly reasonable decisions just won't work out, and even without the least intention to waste the money, it will be wasted. We all know people who are still trying to figure out who they are at 30 or 40.

However, a college education is always good, and I agree that the student loan system is pretty broken (in the US, at least). Rather that all the "friction" and worry inherent in the student loan system, I'd just let everyone have 2 years in a community college and 2 years in a state college, free. The increase in taxes on the greater income will more than pay for the education, including losing 4 years out of the workforce (assuming they don't work) and interest. I've done the math on this: it pays for itself easily.

(Perhaps I should comment on what I mean by "community college" and "state college". California has a 3 tier system; it may be very different even in other US states. Community colleges are 2 year institutions for 2 year degrees or trade education; credits are honored, by law, by the other parts of the California education system. State colleges offer 4 year degrees (exceptionally, they offer PhD's and do research)--this is where free years 3 and 4 would be spent, in the California education system. The University of California--it's technically only one institution, of which UCLA, UC Berkeley, UCI, UCSD etc. are campuses--offers 4 and 7 year degrees, medical degrees, does research etc.)

Nothing should prevent the use of this funding to go to a private institution or a higher quality institution, etc.
 
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maxo-texas wrote:

I'd prefer to have inexpensive university over loans. Our current system of loans in America is predatory on the young. It's really horrific.


Problem is - universities *are* expensive.
Unless you are happy with herding students like cattle into 400+ sized classes, and to some extent even if you do, an undergrad year costs university somewhere upwards of 10k for arts and 15k or more for sciences (and I am talking normal university - not one with lots of superstar profs) and this does not include dorms and what have you - just classes and regular extras.

Therefore, either state subsidizes the difference to the university directly or kids have to pay through their nose (and cover it with the loans).
If state subsidizes university directly then you are in effect running a fairly major wealth transfer from those who do not go to the university to those who do (which is in itself regressive). If you run student loans you still do a bit of potentially regressive wealth transfer *and* get all the exploitative crap you are talking about.

Idea I am pushing makes it possible for everyone who thinks they would benefit from university sufficiently to go while
a) not disadvantaging people who think they could do better with an apprenticeship or simply by starting their own business
b) not hiding the true cost of university education from the consumers - thus creating artificially high demand.
 
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Bojan Ramadanovic
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Tall_Walt wrote:
bramadan wrote:
Idea that everyone begins their adult lives with ~$50k or so to invest in themselves in a way they (and not necessarily government) think is profitable is to me one of the key points of mixing reasonable egalitarianism with free market.

I see the problem in this as being that many seemingly reasonable decisions just won't work out, and even without the least intention to waste the money, it will be wasted. We all know people who are still trying to figure out who they are at 30 or 40.


In some ways this is a cogent critique of the entire notion of "citizen's wage".
Some people really *are* irresponsible at any age and will spend their "citizen's wage" on boardgames and then starve (or look for further charity) by the middle of the month. If you are taking this view then you do think that society *is* better with paternalistic welfare system whereby irresponsible are prevented from being so by constant supervision and micro-allocation of any help they may receive.

In some ways - you can not have it two ways - either you believe that most people are relatively responsible and able to make basic decisions about their welfare or you decide that they are not. If you believe later is the case then you should oppose whole idea of "citizen's wage". You can have a bit of fuzzy ground around the age at which you assume people become responsible but unless you have some cut-off you may as well just keep present system.

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bramadan wrote:
If you are taking this view then you do think that society *is* better with paternalistic welfare system whereby irresponsible are prevented from being so by constant supervision and micro-allocation of any help they may receive.

Kindly speak for yourself and not for me.

Almost anyone can be a clerk in a fast food restaurant or a store. The irresponsible may waste this money. I see no reason to give them more money to waste. I see no reason not to force them into a minimum amount of responsibility by forcing them to work for their toys. I do not see any net win by going to the expense of hiring a social worker to try to make them into something they are not.

bramadan wrote:
If state subsidizes university directly then you are in effect running a fairly major wealth transfer from those who do not go to the university to those who do (which is in itself regressive).

It's not effectively a transfer because the college graduates pay more taxes because of their higher earnings. It's essentially a loan program without the paperwork, bureaucracy, and stress.
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bramadan wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:

I'd prefer to have inexpensive university over loans. Our current system of loans in America is predatory on the young. It's really horrific.


Problem is - universities *are* expensive.
Unless you are happy with herding students like cattle into 400+ sized classes, and to some extent even if you do, an undergrad year costs university somewhere upwards of 10k for arts and 15k or more for sciences (and I am talking normal university - not one with lots of superstar profs) and this does not include dorms and what have you - just classes and regular extras.

Therefore, either state subsidizes the difference to the university directly or kids have to pay through their nose (and cover it with the loans).
If state subsidizes university directly then you are in effect running a fairly major wealth transfer from those who do not go to the university to those who do (which is in itself regressive). If you run student loans you still do a bit of potentially regressive wealth transfer *and* get all the exploitative crap you are talking about.

Idea I am pushing makes it possible for everyone who thinks they would benefit from university sufficiently to go while
a) not disadvantaging people who think they could do better with an apprenticeship or simply by starting their own business
b) not hiding the true cost of university education from the consumers - thus creating artificially high demand.


Schooling costs have grossly inflated over the last 15 years. In part because of government grants and unbreakable loans.

It's quite reasonable to have cattle call classes for the first two years of core classes. You still learn how to think more clearly and learn things that were not taught in high school.

When I went to state school only 20 years ago, I was able to pay one week's wages per 9 hour semester. That means a 9 hour semester today should be roughly $2000 edit ... $800 -- not $10,000.

The same problem we have in our health industry has hit our college industry. It is priced way too high.

Edit-- no idea why I said $2000. Changing it to a closer inflation adjusted figure to what I was paying.
 
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maxo-texas wrote:
bramadan wrote:
Problem is - universities *are* expensive.

Schooling costs have grossly inflated over the last 15 years. In part because of government grants and unbreakable loans.

I'm sorry: too much gaming over the weekend. I explained the California system poorly.

The thing about the California system is that community colleges are essentially super-high schools. Classes may be taught by instructors with masters degrees, maybe even bachelors degrees. In some ways it's less expensive than a high school because everyone wants to be there. They only teach lower division courses, basic foundation courses. As such, their teachers actually need fewer qualifications than a high school, not needing an education degree, but just a degree in their area of expertise. But since these course are transferable to the state colleges and UC, there's little disadvantage to starting your education here. It is one of the least expensive institutions in the nation.

The state colleges, in original conception, are four year teaching schools, not doing research. Thus, you're not hiring research level professors, but just PhD's who are good at teaching. Unfortunately, the California state colleges have started dabbling in research and graduate work, which pushes up their costs.

UC, in original conception, was the only home of research, the only place research drove up the cost of education, and the only place professors are hired more for research than for teaching. Students don't go to US to be taught, they go there to learn from the best in their fields. Some classes are pretty chaotic, but a dedicated student still learns the material.
 
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Is there any fundamental reason why Children should get the full wage from birth onward? If not then why not simply limit that wage and build it up when approaching 18 or whatever cutoff point is chosen for independce?

I like the idea of al children getting a lump sum for education et al, whether some will squander it or not. However I am somewhat concerned that the price of services and goods typically consumed by people recieving that sum will be geared to towards the ammount of that sum, so much that it will to some extent negate the equality priciple.
 
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