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Simplify Welfare: Finland gets it!

Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 years, 10 months ago to Economics
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I can get behind this simplification to the Welfare System. Simple. Also should ditch minimum wage.
SOURCE URL: http://money.cnn.com/2015/12/07/news/economy/finland-basic-income-800-euros/index.html?iid=surge-stack-dom


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    Posted by  $  sjatkins 3 years, 10 months ago
    It is still theft and involuntary servitude. Also it doesn't work. Do the math. Pick what you think is a "living wage" and multiple it by the number of adults likely to take/need it. Then work out how much more you have to take from everyone else to pay for it. I think you will see it doesn't work on a mathematical level as well as not working on the ethical level.
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    • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 10 months ago
      In order to agree or disagree with you, I would have to know 'how much Finland is currently giving out on welfare' plus 'how much the bureaucratic overhead of staffing the welfare department costs'. If they are already spending more money than that for their current welfare program, then this could represent a net savings.

      It is philosophically odious, however. And...a bit amusing.

      Jan
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      • Posted by dbhalling 3 years, 10 months ago
        Using US figures, the US has about 318 Million people, and at $10k per person that works out to $3.18 Trillion dollars. The US federal budget this year is about $3.9 Trillion dollars, which would leave about $700 million left over. This means that this program would have to replace all Social Security and medicare payments. The states would also save money if medicare and medicaid were eliminated plus a host of other mandated programs. US Defense spending is just under $600 million. So you can make the math work, but it really has to replace all welfare - no emergency disaster aid, aid to farmers, no ethanol subsidies, no bailing out the banks, etc.
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        • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 10 months ago
          You are making this sound almost good: I would get 10K, and a lot of spending that I do not want to have happen anyway gets eliminated. Can you make it de-fund the EPA too?

          Jan, half joking
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  • Posted by dbhalling 3 years, 10 months ago
    Logically this makes sense, however the bleeding hearts will not accept that someone could waste all their money and still end up on the streets. Also it is still theft.
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 3 years, 10 months ago
    This is utter nonsense! Simplifying a welfare system is still a welfare system (in this case a direct wealth redistribution system) and a guaranteed income for every citizen is simply forcing producers to produce a portion of their goods/services for free. The guaranteed income the producer receives as an individual won't make up for the necessary decrease of the value of the money the producer receives, and then they're going to increase the tax rate on producers to get the producers' guaranteed income payment back.

    Following this step, the producer will need to increase the wholesale price of his goods/services to keep his income where it was before this change and the gov't will have to stop him through price controls. But for the producers that have to buy out of country raw resources, the gov't can't fix those prices.

    This is a guaranteed spiraling breakdown of the country's financial system. This worse than socialism--it's fascism.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 10 months ago
      It says the rich would pay theirs back in new taxes, so effectively they do not get the credit. It's basically a way of taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor, but not in the form of gov't programs but just a check. The credit would be phased out slowly, so there would be no accidental cliffs where if you earn more than a certain amount use lose access to some benefit program. This will not affect prices and is not fascism, at least no more so than taxing people and using the money for gov't programs is.
      It's a more naked way of showing the gov't taking your money and handing it to someone else, easier to dial up and down than an aid agency.
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  • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 3 years, 10 months ago
    What Welfare system? According to the story, EVERY adult citizen is going to get this...not just the needy. What, exactly then, IS the purpose?

    If Finland would simply:
    1. Cancel all student debt
    2. Offer free college to all
    3. Pay a $15 minimum wage to campus workers
    They could fix everything!

    Ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!
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  • Posted by wiggys 3 years, 10 months ago
    if the really wanted to end welfare they would say you will get it for the next 5 years and if you still don't support your self move to another country like the usa.
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  • Posted by term2 3 years, 10 months ago
    Pretty crazy actually. How can people be so STUPID as to think that giving free money will encourage people to work. It certainly wouldnt make ME work more.
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    • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 3 years, 10 months ago
      There is logic behind that. If you are on a welfare system which provides a certain amount of income if you remain unemployed, the salary you get from taking a job must significantly exceed the benefits that you are going to lose. For low skilled people this can be a pretty big amount. By making it a rate you get (and pay taxes on) no matter the income than any low wage job you get is extra, so you have incentive to take a minimum wage job to better yourself.
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      • Posted by term2 3 years, 10 months ago
        that sounds logical, but somehow it cant work because everyone would get the basic stipend, and who pays for it? If you get $500 a month, you would have to pay $500 per month in taxes just to cover what you got....
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        • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 3 years, 10 months ago
          Well, of course, they are going to take taxes out of it. I don't know their tax system but I bet it's progressive. It has the advantage of being low overhead so there are some savings there and if people on the stipend take part time work to augment the basic stipend they will pay taxes (a small amount I'm sure) on that.

          It could, at least theoretically, be revenue neutral but it will probably cost more. There is a philosophical advantage to it being a universal stipend to it being something you have to declare yourself incapable of taking care of yourself to get.

          Of course the whole idea of taking money from productive people and giving it to non-productive one is not the kind of thing that Objectivists are likely to be happy with. I would like it less if I hadn't been thinking about how we deal with a future in which all the goods we need can be made by only a fraction of the workforce.
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          • Posted by term2 3 years, 10 months ago
            I understand the argument for it, but if everyone gets $500 a month for example, doesnt EVERYONE need to pay at least $500 in taxes each month to pay for it? If some dont pay that much, others have to pay more. It seems a bit like a perpetual motion machine.
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            • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 3 years, 10 months ago
              Obviously some people are going to pay more and have their money given to others. As I said, this is not an Objectivist ideal! Presumably, this is already happening with a host of separate programs that have to be individually managed. In the U.S. there are dozens of programs, all with staffs, paperwork, etc. The government even makes giving money away expensive and inefficient!
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 years, 10 months ago
    Would never work here. Bleeding hearts who love to spend other people's money would find numerous loopholes to keep their favorite giveaway program going in addition to the guaranteed national wage.

    The fiction is that such an injection of cash would stimulate the economy, but that's delusional, sort of like Nancy Pelosi's claim that every welfare dollar spent somehow generates $1.75. The first screaming would come from the "living wage" crowd, who would point out that the program would be unacceptable unless it equaled $15/hr ($30,000 annual).

    We aren't yet in the Star Trek world, where all necessary labor is provided by automated systems and robots, and people only work if they want to. I'm not so sure such a world would be a good thing, or the beginning of our species' extinction. My mind keeps returning to "Forbidden Planet," and the fate of the Krell.
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    • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 3 years, 10 months ago
      Thinking about the world where the majority, but not all, (90%+) of labor is provided by automated systems and robots I keep coming back to schemes such as this one.

      I don't like the idea of taking money from production to provide an income for the idle but when we reach a world where there simply isn't something productive for a significant portion of our population to do we will have to deal with this.
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      • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 years, 10 months ago
        The future will be a confluence of technologies that result in an almost unimaginable variety of pathways. If, as some predict, AI entities reach what we would regard as sentience, we will have to deal with an alien civilization we created; bionics will reach such sophistication that replacement limbs and organs may enable near immortality; genetic engineering will create the opportunity for tailored human evolution. Where all of this is headed is such a whirlpool of possibilities that futurists have labeled it "the Singularity," when they believe the future becomes completely unpredictable (as though it ever truly was).
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 10 months ago
        "taking money from production to provide an income for the idle but when we reach a world where there simply isn't something productive for a significant portion of our population to do"
        My hope is that market forces provide an incentive for people to use the new technologies in creative ways to create imagined value. My hope is that it's like someone saying the printing press would leave scribes with nothing to do.
        I am not sure my hopes will come true. There's the chance that technology will increase the income gap partly by creating amazing new wealth for the few who can use the technology, e.g. top teachers who replace the need for as many local teachers, and people will respond prematurely with socialism.
        I also think what Dr. Zarkov said could happen, where the technology creates a race of super robot who can think creatively as humans do. As he says, it's a whirlpool of possibilities at that point.
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  • Posted by jhagen 3 years, 10 months ago
    Sounds like they're taking a page from the FairTax system. Wonder if they're thinking of implementing the rest of it in the long run.
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
      That is the same idea but only in the sense of the single deduction for Right to Life which ought to be a clear cut number in any system. We have a sort of phony one and if you can figure out how to do it along with the social security income tax and without Turbo Tax good luck.

      The IRS exists for two reasons. Citizen Control and Citizen harassment. They serve no other useful purpose.

      No matter what level the percentage is all it takes is that percent taken off the top like any sales tax and transmitted by the employer to the government..But no they have to play games and ensure a population that lives in fear. At least the producing portion of the population. The looters and moochers could care less.

      I don't agree with giving out the checks but making Right To Life an up front deduction on any income makes eminent sense. What right does government have to take that which we depend on merely to survive? Answer? No right. Then why isn't it an uip front deduction right after income? I don't mind if its adjusted to local costs of living. But as a giveaway like the unearned Earned Income Deduction. Hell no unless it applies to everyone.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 10 months ago
    Yes. It takes money away from bureaucrats and administrators and gives it to the poor. Critics will say the poor might mis-spend it, but in some cases I say they'll spend it way more wisely than the gov't.

    Many citizens oppose giving significant aid to the poor, but "reform the [insert product or service name] system" sounds better. It leads to the creation of agencies that are hard to shut down.

    I agree with the ideas in this article.
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    • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
      Better than what we do now. Cheaper and fairer. Still redistribution, but less wasting at the government.
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      • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
        It's something like the right to life exemption but the truth is within five to a good chunk will still be RTLifers for Lifers. But I would have finished an extra degree or two and many like me would have moved up. The really smart ones would put that money or their salaries away and whatever the amount was would have retired wealthy. They used to say any savings account beginning with $5,000 at birth would outdo social security up until 2008 when the government ran all those banks out of business with no other deposits..... So for me...

        I can't see that as a sound investment anymore if the system is under control of the current government.

        At this point almost anything qualifies as better based on trust alone... We went from the gold standard to the credit standard to the faith standard to the fear standard. And there it sits.
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  • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
    Sorry for not replying to any posts against my own submission. I've been away on business travel...again.

    My positive thought here (not to take away from the accurate comment from sjatkins) is that such a simple system would reduce the waste in the government system distributing welfare. Milton Friedman showed that the government wastes 60-70% of the funding it gets internally. The concept is a little like a flat fat tax with a zero crossing and negative at some point.

    As I've posted before, I prefer the flat-rate/negative tax with a rule that you may not vote in any election if at any time since the prior election you were a net negative contributor.

    Of course no welfare is better, but I don't see that as presently sale able to the lemmings with the Warren-esque oligarchian moochers at the helm of the media.
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  • Posted by  $  sjatkins 3 years, 10 months ago
    I don't believe for a minute this will result in less HEW government expenditures. In particular the Healthcare related programs are very unlikely to be rolled into this. In the US those costs are growing faster than the rest.

    And of course it is ethically repugnant UNLESS once can voluntary opt-in, opt-out.

    All of that said I believe we can get to a place technologically where we can meet all the needs and many of the desires of everyone on earth with a small fraction of productive capacity. But we will never ever get there by robbing the productive of working capital.
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  • Posted by bassboat 3 years, 10 months ago
    Any time the government reaches into your pocket for money I am against it. Yes, the government needs money for the armed forces and courts to settle disputes but that is it. Cut back all department of ed, epa, lets., and we will be able to cut taxes and raise all boats, not what the government wants you to have.
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  • Posted by davidmcnab 3 years, 10 months ago
    If public safety and social order are valued as jointly-owned property, then regular insurance premiums to help maintain it might be theft in a very real sense, but the payoffs can significantly exceed the value of what gets taken.

    In other words - cut all welfare, let everyone fend for themselves, and then there'll be massive escalations in crime.

    I met a white Rhodesian once (escaped before Mugabe's takeover), and he had a few words to say about the extreme laissez-faire welfare-free environment of Rhodesia. Everyone with more than a couple of dimes to their name had to carry guns and live in constant fear of violence, burglary, rapes, carjackings, abuse. Is that what we want?
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  • Posted by teri-amborn 3 years, 10 months ago
    My very dear friend left Finland and emmigrated to the U.S., became a citizen and cut ties with socialism because as she says: "Socialism doesn't work."
    She also added: "Actually the socialists did two things correctly: 1) They outlawed frivolous lawsuits and: 2) They enslaved the professors and made education free for as long as you want to peruse an education. OTHER THAN THAT, socialism doesn't work!"
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    • Posted by  $  edweaver 3 years, 10 months ago
      I agree Socialism doesn't work, anywhere. But how is is correct that they enslave professors? I get that they do it by giving free education but how do the professors go along with it?
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      • Posted by teri-amborn 3 years, 10 months ago
        IDK.
        My guess: Real teachers (professors) desire to teach without the constant interference of politics.
        As Newt Gingrich (strangely) stated: "Teaching is a missionary calling".
        My guess is that enslavement culled the herd of non-teaching professors.
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        • Posted by  $  edweaver 3 years, 10 months ago
          Hmmm. Maybe.

          I hear people say that education in Europe is so much better than in America and I struggle to understand how free education is worth anymore than the price paid. I have no experience so I am left to wonder if it is really true. :)
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          • Posted by teri-amborn 3 years, 10 months ago
            You aren't the only one who struggles.
            At this juncture in time, information is basically free for all c/o the internet.
            We are seeing into a new dimension of education that Europe is already dipping its toe into. My guess is that eventually thought (education) will not come with a price tag but rather with a vetting process. If you can read, process and think and then articulate your conclusions you will achieve "status/respect/compensation"...?
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            • Posted by  $  edweaver 3 years, 10 months ago
              It seems to me that our education system is way behind the times. We are stuck on the classroom setting for a number of reasons, most of them due to the unwillingness to change. Or not forced to change because the money keeps rolling in. The internet could be a great tool for learning and it would start to reduce the costs of education and allow the best teachers to earn more money. IMHO government controls are the main reason things don't change.
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              • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
                The best answer is never never ever vote for a school budget Why feed the hand that is biting you?
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                • Posted by  $  edweaver 3 years, 10 months ago
                  Do you mean a school referendum? If so tell that to the people who have children. You know the routine, it is all about the children and you just can't spend enough on my little Johny or Jane. It is quite easy when it is other people's money they are spending.

                  There are companies that school districts contract with that specialize in selling referendums.
                  Check out http://www.schoolperceptions.com/Comm...

                  Last year our school put forth a referendum to the tune of $48 million, in a town of 4200 people. Fortunately it was defeated with 75% against. Then they hire this marketing company to survey voters and the results came out this week in the paper. The headline read "Survey results show Dodgeville School District voters would support $18-20 million referendum.
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                  • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
                    $20 million divided by 4800 = $4167 after tax dollars per individual assuming 4800 are all working adults.

                    Somehow I would a. have trouble believing that survey and b. go looking for a new home. School budgets are routinely vote in by parents of children K-12 and voted against by everyone else.They are keyed to the attitude only while MY Johnny is in school. Add a few who think the school is there to entertain them on Friday nights with sports activities or is viewed as a baby sitting service... And how much did they pay School Perceptions to hoodwink the residents?

                    Nevertheless The best way to improve education is vote down the budgets and demand academic standards as the price for a yes vote. After all isn't that what the residents are supposed to be purchasing?

                    Failed systems = Zero funding. It's a carrot and a big mother stick in one package.
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  • Posted by jetmec 3 years, 10 months ago
    Who are you kidding! The minimum wade stops exploitation, Or would you like to work for 30 cents an hour!
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 10 months ago
      "The minimum wade stops exploitation, Or would you like to work for 30 cents an hour!"
      Are you being sarcastic? Do you think the only reason most people get paid is b/c of the wage laws, not because they're providing something that someone else wants?
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      • Posted by jetmec 3 years, 10 months ago
        With out the basic wage law the people who do the work would be paid next to nothing, Look at India or China or one of the other country's where there's no wage laws, Nike pay 30cents an hour to there employee's which include children, Remember this next time you pay $300 for a set of trainers
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        • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
          What's the cost of a meal in India or China? What's the cost of medicine? What's the cost of a cell phone? Your comparison of our overpriced, over inflated phony economy to that of any other country is worthy of one of Lakoff's disciples or what's his face Krugman but it doesn't stand any tests other than spreading propaganda. Try some facts that hold water and then come back and try again. Your statement you defend it..... .
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          • Posted by jetmec 3 years, 10 months ago
            Try looking at Ukraine! Most of the food and defiantly the medicines are EU or US price's the average pay.....$150 - $200 a month!
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            • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
              Source? Cite? or propaganda.Try again you lost twice daddy george will not be proud of you.
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              • Posted by jetmec 3 years, 10 months ago
                You ask for the source! easy my Ukrainian wife and my trips to the shops!! You loose!
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                • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
                  in all fairness ....

                  That's hearsay. In anything remotely resembling objectivism. So instead of using subjective or non sourced information take a few minutes to do something like the following.....the objective way. That's what we deal with here.

                  In using the following sites I would not be eating at Mcdonald's on a locals wages but on my retirement i would consider living there. Currently I am expat in yet another country. Quick tip for medical if you have a plan in the USA and it's not Obamacare but military retirement consider DAN Divers Network air medevac at $70-$80 per year from anywhere in the world for any injury or illness not just dive accidents.

                  Msg at the end in Ukraine language please excuse any errors.

                  For example you could have cited, sourced knowledge making it first hand such as it is found at
                  http://www.ukraine.com/forums/moving/...
                  or gone to http://numbeo.com for up to date volunteered information
                  or http://ukrainianweek.com

                  or this one Prices for goods and services increased as the value of hryvnia, the local Ukrainian currency, dropped.

                  Hryvnia to US Dollars Costs of living in Ukraine increased since 2013.

                  17 September 2015 Ukrainian Rada approved a raise in the official minimum of the costs of living from 1176 to 1330 hryvnia/month, and the minimum salary from 1218 to 1378 hryvnia/month. The changes will be implemented from 1 December 2015.

                  Accordingly, the minimum hourly wages changed from 7.29 to 8.25 hryvnia ($0.33 to $0.38 per hour).

                  Official minimum costs of living for different categories of people (per month):

                  Children 0-5 years old: 1167 hryvnia ($53)
                  Children 6-17: 1455 hryvnia ($67)
                  Adults 18+: 1374 hryvnia ($63)
                  Disabled: 1074 hryvnia ($49)

                  However, experts say that the real costs of living in Ukraine is higher than even the newly modified official numbers.

                  Andrey Vigiringsky, the deputy director of the company “Public Audit”, stated that their calculations were made on the basis of the factual costs of living and inlfation, in order to match the standards of in 2013, reported, reported http://Finance.ua.

                  According to “Public Audit”, the minimum salary should be 2487 hryvnia/month, and pensions 1938 hryvnia/month. Economist Andrey Martynyuk agrees that the minimum salary should be at least 2,500 hryvnia/month. Kiev’s lawyer Stanislav Batrin believes that the costs of living should be raised to 7,000 hryvnia/month within 3 years.

                  According to UBS rating released in September 2015, Kiev is the cheapest capital in the world to live in. The report published by the bank states that a family needs $1237/month to get by in the Ukrainian capital, with the further $540 required to pay the rent. (Those numbers are substantially higher than what locals actually live on.) Kiev is also at the bottom of wage charts by UBS.

                  Local realtors say that the average price for renting a studio apartment in Kiev is around $230/month. Larger apartments will cost more. Regional prices for apartment rent are significantly lower.

                  http://elenasmodels.com some sort of dating site with economics added.

                  or any number of readily available information sources.

                  I used two not entirely at randomn.

                  The first one is from a similar couple in 2005. An examination shows the situation has changed but one site claims $50US a week. and gives current and corrected government figures including cost of living per child or adult.

                  Currently with the hyrvnia at 43.1 to the USD

                  With the increase of costs in the USA and and the devaluation of the worth of the US Dollar another site would be http://expatarrivals.com to compare and a lot of other information from weather to the least useful McDonalds. Medical being most important as most if not all health supply systems are worth zilch in other countries.

                  Numbeo provides comparison between target countries and a second third choice country. For example I live well in Mexico but have merchant marine friends in Ukraine. I can compare costs between known situations.

                  Dobryden Druzhyna Jetmec. Wait a minute..

                  Привіт пані JetMec . Ласка, щоб переглянути свій пост і сприяння шляхом надання коментар в точності або , можливо, інших джерел інформації. Використовуйте або мову. Дякую

                  Майклу
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        • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 10 months ago
          " Look at India or China or one of the other country's where there's no wage laws,"
          You don't think prices are affected by supply and demand? You think a benevolent gov't could take a place where the price of something is $0.75 and make that price $7.50 by passing a law? You think the same buyers and sellers would come together and buy/sell roughly the same amount at ten times the price because it's the law?
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  • Posted by Danno 3 years, 10 months ago
    And then what happens year after year? Vote higher basic wage that then hurts company creation. Government spending no mater the form crowds out private investment. My forebears left Finland over 100 years ago for good reason. Anyone remember Nokia???
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 3 years, 10 months ago
    Ha-ha. People will claim it's not enough, and then
    it will just go up, and up. Still, with the elimination
    of red tape, it might go a little better for a while. But then some people will complain that people are
    misusing the money and squandering it on pleasures, and trying to run back for more when
    it runs out, and others will want investigations,
    and then they'll get more and more red tape a-
    gain; that's what I think will happen.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 10 months ago
    Since there are no Objectivist politicians, I don't fully trust any of them. We all know that welfare is used by politicians in order to garner votes. If that power is taken away, both sides will rant. But, if by some miracle it manages to happen, something even worse and probably crazier will replace it. Always keep in mind that power and money are the true motivators for those within the Beltway. The only difference between them is degree.
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  • Posted by gaiagal 3 years, 10 months ago
    Let's see. I get $875/mo. I like to gamble or do drugs or just buy nice clothes and get my hair and nails done. What if I have a kid? More than one kid? What am I going to do? Budget? or am I going to take this money and run with it?

    Are there cost controls on goods and services? Will merchants see this as an opportunity to raise prices?

    Give your kid a generous monthly allowance. Tell them this is all the money they have for the month. See what happens...at least until they learn you mean it. Also, will you really mean it? Check out how often you find an "exception" and give the kid more money.
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