The idea of a Universal Basic Income seems pretty straight forward. Everyone gets a minimum payment to cover life’s costs. Sounds good, all things being equal.
But all things are not equal.
Rich people do NOT need universal basic income and indeed should not get it. Or should they?
Maybe the answer isn’t means testing the payment of UBI, it’s means-testing the ability to access it. Controlling access is not a new idea.
Take superannuation – everyone gets paid a regulated minimum amount of Super – but can only access it under certain conditions such as retirement, dire medical issues or potentially losing home due to non-payments.
Your UBI could be paid into a government-held bank account, which can be accessed dependent upon a few very simple conditions. Those conditions would need some smarter people to work out properly…
But lets ‘spitball’ some ideas to start with:
- Your yearly income is less than 200% of the ‘average’ (median) income, or $200,000 per year (adjusted for inflation)
- Your total asset value does not exceed 1000% of the ‘average’ (median) asset value, or $5 million (adjusted for inflation)
Continue reading Universal Basic Income – What to do about wealthy people?
That classic Gough Whitlam campaign slogan “It’s Time”, is as relevant today in 2015 as it was the day his campaign launched in 1972.
The space for progressive political and economic change is once again widening, after having come under repeated attack by conservatives ever since Gough was dismissed via Double Dissolution in 1975.
At Progress, I attended a workshop called “Moving the Rock – Shifting Power for Sustained Change”, hosted by Sam La Rocca and Holly Hammond. Points raised in that workshop provided some of the key takeaways for me. Particularly, a strong reminder about the value and role of radicals.
It’s about the intersection of what is ideal and what is ‘politically achievable’. Continue reading It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).
Ugh. The Liberal Party have screwed up the Australian Government’s policy setting again, as we who pay attention knew they would.
Palmer and his cohorts played along, happy to cut a tax which would save his business millions while costing the Australian public billions.
It’s appalling, and next (literally, tomorrow) they’ll be trying to roll back workplace rights for all Australian workers by essentially re-introducing the majority of their previous ‘WorkChoices’ policy.
There’s a pro-forma email to cross bench senators asking them not to support the changes, click here to see it.
It’s very easy to say “yes that ‘happened’, but we’ve moved on”, when you are on the perpetrating, winning or ‘privileged’ side of that ‘thing’ which ‘happened’.
I see it all the time in White Australia.
As a white kid growing up that was the attitude I was taught toward history, that history was just a bunch of interesting stories that happened in the past. Stories we should enjoy and remember, but barely any different from fiction.
Who knows what is and isn’t true about history I was told. History is written by the victor, I was told. History is mostly about wars and how they were won, I was told.
In White Australia, we do not pay much attention to history as a general social rule and where we do our inability to do so respectfully is infamous.
Tony Abbott’s latest declaration is absolutely indicative of that:
“The arrival of the first fleet was the defining moment in the history of this continent. Let me repeat that: it was the defining moment in the history of this continent,” (emphasis added).
I disagree. Certainly that was a defining moment in the history of this continent, but this continent’s history is MUCH longer than the history of this ‘country’. Continue reading Stop ‘moving on’ – a message to White Australia.
Western Australia lost it’s AAA credit rating at Moody’s today, the second agency to drop WA to the second highest credit standing Aa1.
This has primarily happened due to a structural budget deficit and growing debt under the Liberal Government here in WA.
The problem is less how we are spending tax, and more how we collect it.
Too many eggs in the one mining royalties basket was never a good idea, and nor are the many tax loop holes and subsidies for the ultra-rich. Our State Government is hamstrung in it’s revenue raising capacity because it gives up so much in subsidies.
For instances, Gina Rinehart receives over $4bn in tax breaks and subsidies per year.
Cutting funding to essential public services is not the answer to our governments budget woes, it’s short term thinking and bad economics.
Those services have multiplier effects, the people whose incomes they pay are working people, and spend their incomes quickly. This creates tax at point of sale then goes on to be spent by those it employs, with tax paid as income tax and business tax on profit too.
By the time this process is repeated a few times in the economy, each $1 of government spending in say schools or hospitals is likely to actually create tax income in the mid-term. The long term improvement of social outcomes also leads further tax generation.
If the Government are serious about balancing the budget, they need to start shovelling cash from the nearby truck that’s over-flowing with $100 bills, not shuffling budget papers and scraping out the last few coins from working peoples piggy banks.