Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/03/21/coronavirus-uk-will-pay-80-o.html
Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/03/21/coronavirus-uk-will-pay-80-o.html
Whilst the shortage of food entering the country (balanced by the food now not leaving the country - though that is not a net-zero) is really an unintended dress rehearsal for a no-deal Brexit, paying 80% of lost wages may (I hope) be a dress rehearsal for universal basic income.
Because big gubmint is bad, and there’s no money because the rich ain’t paying enough taxes anyway. And fuck the commies anyway.
I guess there will be more, just enough to keep the masses from revolting.
Chuck Schumer. As much as I dislike the guy, was up on the TV just now saying the Democrats in congress are pushing to cover 100%. The initial relief bill Nancy Pelosi put up involved more than a trillion dollars for workers and small businesses.
The US is discussing this. But it isn’t happening because according to the GOP it’s a socialist conspiracy.
On the plus side we’re about to get a tax waver that will put approximately zero dollars in people’s pockets. But will save billionaire’s millions!
If I was getting 80% of my pay, I’d probably be paying at least 40% of my bills, and saving the rest for TP, hand sanitizer and food delivery.
Because our country isn’t and likely never was those things. At least not top to bottom. Smoke and mirrors. What we are is a country that bends over backwards to make its richest citizens ever richer at the expense of everyone who believes they have a chance of becoming one of those citizens and especially those who know they won’t; whose goals have been crushed into just hoping to make it to the next day.
How can our government do something like pay 80% of the wages for everyone laid off and maintain the illusion that those people too can become the wealthy elite? You won’t get rich by taking a government handout, buddy. Just richer if you’re already rich.
I won’t be surprised if the stipend check comes with a coupon for a discount on a pair of bootstraps.
The reason everyone in this country cannot become millionaires isn’t because common people lack work ethic or drive. Many common people work their asses off just to stay above water. It’s because the system requires a huge base of struggling people to keep it running as intended.
Like a pyramid scheme.
The ones who don’t have to work so hard and can relax and enjoy their lives are the ones at the top. Everyone else struggles and hopes. The ones who have made it closer to the top can see it and believe they can make it if they just put in more time and effort. Some do, most don’t. The ones who do understand how the pyramid works and then does their part to ensure the base keeps struggling as it must, to keep the pyramid from crumbling.
Some of the measures the government and the “ruling class” have already enacted to try to save the economy show that a lot of the things we have to go through on a daily basis are actually artificial and unnecessary.
Hopefully enough people see it and recognize it for a sham so that the smoke can’t be put back in the bottle.
I live in Alaska, where we have our PFD (permanent fund dividend) each year, and I have complicated feelings about governments simply handing out money to people. It’s just as you said: you won’t get wealthy from getting this government check each year. The way that people up here let it drive our policies (slashing funding to the arts/education/medicine/etc all to get a few hundred more dollars in their pocket) drives me bonkers. It’s so short-sighted. Many Alaskans don’t seem to be able to connect the dots that if you defund Medicaid and the only public university system in the state, your extra few thousand dollars won’t get you a whole lot once you start having to pay for medical care on your own AND when even more jobs go away because university employs a lot of people statewide. I could go on, but we’ll leave it there for now.
It isn’t enough to just throw money at people in this situation while putting most of the focus on supporting corporations and businesses, which seems to be the preferred tactic of our country’s government. We’re throwing band-aids on things instead of using this as an opportunity to make a meaningful change in how things (ie: responses to pandemics) are structured.
Someone on here made a comment about musical chairs, and Trump’s policy being based on him making it through his term before the music stopped (thus not having to live with any of the changes he made). I can’t help but be reminded of that analogy whenever I see him shaking and sweating and blustering his way through this situation.
The UK payment isn’t as generous as it looks. A proportion of the working population - recent counts estimate one million people - are on zero-hours contracts. What’s 80% of zero? Yes, no relief for them.
It has always been the case that the Mammonite death cult would not give up their stranglehold on power without a lot of bodies and piles of skulls. Ours of course. Until they lose their grip on power they will keep doing the same things no matter what the damage - the problem with any religion, including Mammonism, is that there is no room for changing direction.
There were a lot of possible scenarios for them losing power, which was inevitable. I was betting on climate change induced system collapse followed by armed revolution, but it looks like the virus is going to change that.
Disease and inequality has always brought change.
When Adam delved and Eve span
Who was then a gentleman?
Yeah, the policy also doesn’t help self-employed people. Only employees on a payroll are being helped at the moment. It’s also highlighting the criminal state of the unemployment safety net. If you need to draw universal credit you have to wait five weeks and then you get about £318 a month - why are we now allowing some people to get up to £2500 a month and limiting others to £318?
Some disabled people on benefits are getting their services cut. Cummings and de Pfeffel are still trying to get eugenics pushed through parliament.
Curious that when the UK government does something bad BB reports it as Bad Tories, or Bad Conservatives, but when it does something BB likes the party in charge mysteriously is absent.
That’s not bias because left wing bias isn’t bias at al because left=good therefore good=left
Don’t worry, Tony Blair will get the same treatment as de Pfeffel.
It’ll be fine.
You’ve noticed this ‘bias’ in your 4 year absence, have you, comrade?
The UK’s Tory party is every bit as ideological as the GOP, even if they don’t shout quite as loudly about it (mainly because of the NHS, which is both blatantly socialist and consistently more popular than the Tories have ever been).
But this move is not socialism in any sense. They’re paying money to employers to help them retain staff, which is very different to paying workers. For a start, as @Fred_Cairns says, this doesn’t cover casually paid workers or the self-employed. And even with salaried staff, employers are still free to fire them if their contracts allow it. So this is more about protecting businesses from closing than about individuals.
I’m still impressed that they’ve done it this soon, and not criticising it per se; it’s also a good start that they’ve suspended income tax payments on account for self-emplos like me, although that was always a fucking scam.
But they haven’t yet meaningfully addressed the main financial asteroid heading for low-income workers, which is rent. They could and should ban no-fault evictions (permanently) and come up with a scheme to ban evictions for rent arrears arising in the next few months. But that would mean breaking into the national piggy bank of grotesquely-overvalued property, which really does go against their evil principles. So that’ll be the real test of dogma vs. morality.
At best it’s what Marx referred to as Conservative or Bourgeoise Socialism in the Communist Manifesto.
The socialistic bourgeois want all the advantages of modern social conditions without the struggles and dangers necessarily resulting therefrom. They desire the existing state of society, minus its revolutionary and disintegrating elements. They wish for a bourgeoisie without a proletariat. The bourgeoisie naturally conceives the world in which it is supreme to be the best; and bourgeois socialism develops this comfortable conception into various more or less complete systems. In requiring the proletariat to carry out such a system, and thereby to march straightaway into the social New Jerusalem, it but requires in reality that the proletariat should remain within the bounds of existing society, but should cast away all its hateful ideas concerning the bourgeoisie.
A second, and more practical, but less systematic, form of this socialism sought to depreciate every revolutionary movement in the eyes of the working class by showing that no mere political reform, but only a change in the material conditions of existence, in economical relations, could be of any advantage to them. By changes in the material conditions of existence, this form of socialism, however, by no means understands abolition of the bourgeois relations of production, an abolition that can be affected only by a revolution, but administrative reforms, based on the continued existence of these relations; reforms, therefore, that in no respect affect the relations between capital and labor, but, at the best, lessen the cost, and simplify the administrative work of bourgeois government.
Bourgeois socialism attains adequate expression when, and only when, it becomes a mere figure of speech.
Free trade: for the benefit of the working class. Protective duties: for the benefit of the working class. Prison reform: for the benefit of the working class. This is the last word and the only seriously meant word of bourgeois socialism.
It is summed up in the phrase: the bourgeois is a bourgeois — for the benefit of the working class.
I mean, I don’t think it’s that, either. It’s just orthodox state capitalism (though even that is pretty left-wing by modern Tory standards). The logic is that by quarantining workers, the state has created a problem for employers who are legally committed to paying their salaries. The fact that some workers will still get paid is basically a side effect, albeit not one I’m complaining about.
In fairness, a scheme to compensate workers directly would probably be much more complicated in logistical terms, so at this early stage I don’t know that even a socialist government could have done better. But if this is also the final plan, then I’d say it’s about the most capitalist thing they could have done, short of legislating to let businesses fire workers immediately. After all, it’s basically saying that a person’s time is worth whatever an employer says it’s worth.
Ideology aside, I think they’re going to have to go further – Tories may not care about rights, but they care about politics, and they care about economic indicators, and they’re not going to be able to gaslight their way past the reality of millions of people running out of cash. My hope is that the pace of events will force them to do more of the right things than their ideology would prefer.
The really interesting question is what they’ll do about rent. It will be very difficult to deal with that in a way that doesn’t spotlight how rigged the whole system is in favour of the undeserving rich.
If they have PAYE entries, then they are covered for whatever their typical monthly pay is.