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Anti-work: Not Safe For Work, or is Work Not Safe For Us?

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    DarkWarriorDarkWarrior __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    Bogart wrote: »
    I fucking hate work, and I don't like the idea of dedicating 40 hours of my life each week to feeding a faceless machine just so I can afford the lifestyle my country has practically forced upon me, but I'm also 19 so my opinion is pretty much forfeit

    Its a fair opinion though. In the UK you can spend £160,000 over a lifetime, finally own your house but not own it. Because if you don't pay council tax which the council can spend on what it wants, they can still take your house out from under you. So you can't even have a home and just retire when its paid off and chill out. You're trapped in an inescapable system which forces you to work unless you're content being a bum and living off state handouts.

    It should be noted that council tax pays for things like your rubbish being taken away and the local amenities and a bunch of other stuff and is nowhere near the amount that rent comes to. It's an annual £1300 bill (depends on how nice your house is) you pay off in monthly installments. This amount doesn't force you to continue working past retirement age, but will eat up some of your pension.

    Eh, I'd take the bins away myself. I'd rather not pay council tax and not use public amenities and just pay for stuff I want to use instead. Point is, you can't just pay off your house and thats it, you just work as and when you want to. Theres a bill for owning your own house.

    Take the bins where exactly? Would you be willing to pay the landfill tax?

    Is it cheaper and on demand compared to bin services that sometimes come and sometimes don't and if I forget I'm stuck with the bin for an extra 2 weeks anyway?

    If so. Yes.

    DarkWarrior on
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    BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited March 2010
    Bogart wrote: »
    I fucking hate work, and I don't like the idea of dedicating 40 hours of my life each week to feeding a faceless machine just so I can afford the lifestyle my country has practically forced upon me, but I'm also 19 so my opinion is pretty much forfeit

    Its a fair opinion though. In the UK you can spend £160,000 over a lifetime, finally own your house but not own it. Because if you don't pay council tax which the council can spend on what it wants, they can still take your house out from under you. So you can't even have a home and just retire when its paid off and chill out. You're trapped in an inescapable system which forces you to work unless you're content being a bum and living off state handouts.

    It should be noted that council tax pays for things like your rubbish being taken away and the local amenities and a bunch of other stuff and is nowhere near the amount that rent comes to. It's an annual £1300 bill (depends on how nice your house is) you pay off in monthly installments. This amount doesn't force you to continue working past retirement age, but will eat up some of your pension.

    Eh, I'd take the bins away myself. I'd rather not pay council tax and not use public amenities and just pay for stuff I want to use instead. Point is, you can't just pay off your house and thats it, you just work as and when you want to. Theres a bill for owning your own house.

    It's not a bill for owning your house, it's a tax for public amenities and services that you pay because you live in the area and are benefitting from those things whether you're using them or not.

    Bogart on
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    DarkWarriorDarkWarrior __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    Bogart wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I fucking hate work, and I don't like the idea of dedicating 40 hours of my life each week to feeding a faceless machine just so I can afford the lifestyle my country has practically forced upon me, but I'm also 19 so my opinion is pretty much forfeit

    Its a fair opinion though. In the UK you can spend £160,000 over a lifetime, finally own your house but not own it. Because if you don't pay council tax which the council can spend on what it wants, they can still take your house out from under you. So you can't even have a home and just retire when its paid off and chill out. You're trapped in an inescapable system which forces you to work unless you're content being a bum and living off state handouts.

    It should be noted that council tax pays for things like your rubbish being taken away and the local amenities and a bunch of other stuff and is nowhere near the amount that rent comes to. It's an annual £1300 bill (depends on how nice your house is) you pay off in monthly installments. This amount doesn't force you to continue working past retirement age, but will eat up some of your pension.

    Eh, I'd take the bins away myself. I'd rather not pay council tax and not use public amenities and just pay for stuff I want to use instead. Point is, you can't just pay off your house and thats it, you just work as and when you want to. Theres a bill for owning your own house.

    It's not a bill for owning your house, it's a tax for public amenities and services that you pay because you live in the area and are benefitting from those things whether you're using them or not.

    Sounds like the same thing to me. And the using them or not is the important part. If you have never been to Oldham you should come and see what a shithole it is despite paying above the national average council tax. I don't think there are any amenities here. Point is you don't have an opt out and thus can never stop working unless you either :

    a)have a lot of money
    b) are retirement age and thus can draw a pension to cover it/

    DarkWarrior on
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    The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I am very much hoping for a resurgence of the Workers' Party Against Work.

    The Crowing One on
    3rddocbottom.jpg
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    poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Bogart wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I fucking hate work, and I don't like the idea of dedicating 40 hours of my life each week to feeding a faceless machine just so I can afford the lifestyle my country has practically forced upon me, but I'm also 19 so my opinion is pretty much forfeit

    Its a fair opinion though. In the UK you can spend £160,000 over a lifetime, finally own your house but not own it. Because if you don't pay council tax which the council can spend on what it wants, they can still take your house out from under you. So you can't even have a home and just retire when its paid off and chill out. You're trapped in an inescapable system which forces you to work unless you're content being a bum and living off state handouts.

    It should be noted that council tax pays for things like your rubbish being taken away and the local amenities and a bunch of other stuff and is nowhere near the amount that rent comes to. It's an annual £1300 bill (depends on how nice your house is) you pay off in monthly installments. This amount doesn't force you to continue working past retirement age, but will eat up some of your pension.

    Eh, I'd take the bins away myself. I'd rather not pay council tax and not use public amenities and just pay for stuff I want to use instead. Point is, you can't just pay off your house and thats it, you just work as and when you want to. Theres a bill for owning your own house.

    It's not a bill for owning your house, it's a tax for public amenities and services that you pay because you live in the area and are benefitting from those things whether you're using them or not.

    Sounds like the same thing to me. And the using them or not is the important part. If you have never been to Oldham you should come and see what a shithole it is despite paying above the national average council tax. I don't think there are any amenities here. Point is you don't have an opt out and thus can never stop working unless you either :

    a)have a lot of money
    b) are retirement age and thus can draw a pension to cover it/

    Don't forget you are not just paying for your own amenities, but also for how my amenities benefit you.

    You can still catch cholera from my rubbish, after all.

    And pensioners get council tax rebates, of course.

    I've never been to Oldham, but if you do have problems the solution is not returning to the 13th Century. Like a lot of these libertarian-esque ideas, we've tried sorting out our own rubbish already and it didn't work.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
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    BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited March 2010
    So are electricity, gas and water provided free to people who own their own homes? Because I guess if not you'd need to continue paying for them as well. And food. And anything else you want. So I guess your point is pretty terrible.

    And because you didn't seem to read my post in its entirety I'll say it again. You benefit from those things whether you use them or not. You might not be calling the police yourself, but your council tax money helps fund them and when that guy down the road gets burgled your money goes to help catch the thief and put him in jail so he can't burgle you later on. The youths in the youth centre you don't frequent are no longer on the streets doing whatever youths do these days. The rubbish you don't drop but that others do is picked up and thus your street is kept clean. You cannot simply 'opt out' of using for everything the council tax pays for.

    If you don't like where you live, move.

    Bogart on
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    Space CoyoteSpace Coyote Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Bogart wrote: »
    I fucking hate work, and I don't like the idea of dedicating 40 hours of my life each week to feeding a faceless machine just so I can afford the lifestyle my country has practically forced upon me, but I'm also 19 so my opinion is pretty much forfeit

    Its a fair opinion though. In the UK you can spend £160,000 over a lifetime, finally own your house but not own it. Because if you don't pay council tax which the council can spend on what it wants, they can still take your house out from under you. So you can't even have a home and just retire when its paid off and chill out. You're trapped in an inescapable system which forces you to work unless you're content being a bum and living off state handouts.

    It should be noted that council tax pays for things like your rubbish being taken away and the local amenities and a bunch of other stuff and is nowhere near the amount that rent comes to. It's an annual £1300 bill (depends on how nice your house is) you pay off in monthly installments. This amount doesn't force you to continue working past retirement age, but will eat up some of your pension.

    Eh, I'd take the bins away myself. I'd rather not pay council tax and not use public amenities and just pay for stuff I want to use instead. Point is, you can't just pay off your house and thats it, you just work as and when you want to. Theres a bill for owning your own house.

    Take the bins where exactly? Would you be willing to pay the landfill tax?

    Is it cheaper and on demand compared to bin services that sometimes come and sometimes don't and if I forget I'm stuck with the bin for an extra 2 weeks anyway?

    If so. Yes.

    Contracting the services the council provides yourself would be more expensive, or would you only contract a cheaper private fire service on demand (when your house is burning down)?

    Space Coyote on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2010
    poshniallo wrote: »

    I've never been to Oldham, but if you do have problems the solution is not returning to the 13th Century. Like a lot of these libertarian-esque ideas, we've tried sorting out our own rubbish already and it didn't work.

    See also: Naples

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
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    GrudgeGrudge blessed is the mind too small for doubtRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Bogart wrote: »
    So are electricity, gas and water provided free to people who own their own homes? Because I guess if not you'd need to continue paying for them as well. And food. And anything else you want. So I guess your point is pretty terrible.

    And because you didn't seem to read my post in its entirety I'll say it again. You benefit from those things whether you use them or not. You might not be calling the police yourself, but your council tax money helps fund them and when that guy down the road gets burgled your money goes to help catch the thief and put him in jail so he can't burgle you later on. The youths in the youth centre you don't frequent are no longer on the streets doing whatever youths do these days. The rubbish you don't drop but that others do is picked up and thus your street is kept clean. You cannot simply 'opt out' of using for everything the council tax pays for.

    If you don't like where you live, move.

    Indeed. If you don't want (to pay for) the benefits of civilization, move somewhere where there is none.

    Grudge on
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    The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Grudge wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    So are electricity, gas and water provided free to people who own their own homes? Because I guess if not you'd need to continue paying for them as well. And food. And anything else you want. So I guess your point is pretty terrible.

    And because you didn't seem to read my post in its entirety I'll say it again. You benefit from those things whether you use them or not. You might not be calling the police yourself, but your council tax money helps fund them and when that guy down the road gets burgled your money goes to help catch the thief and put him in jail so he can't burgle you later on. The youths in the youth centre you don't frequent are no longer on the streets doing whatever youths do these days. The rubbish you don't drop but that others do is picked up and thus your street is kept clean. You cannot simply 'opt out' of using for everything the council tax pays for.

    If you don't like where you live, move.

    Indeed. If you don't want (to pay for) the benefits of civilization, move somewhere where there is none.

    This is such a flimsy argument, and I'm rather sick of hearing people saying "screw you for thinking about doing things differently! move to Kenya and see how you like it!"

    The issue is simply that existent systems work, but are inherently flawed. There's a real point that our society is purely based on the creation of imaginary capital which then goes toward the creation of further imaginary capital. Services are needed, of course, and someone has to pay for them but that doesn't mean that engaging in philosophic and theoretical work to explore alternatives is worthless.

    The Crowing One on
    3rddocbottom.jpg
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    poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Grudge wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    So are electricity, gas and water provided free to people who own their own homes? Because I guess if not you'd need to continue paying for them as well. And food. And anything else you want. So I guess your point is pretty terrible.

    And because you didn't seem to read my post in its entirety I'll say it again. You benefit from those things whether you use them or not. You might not be calling the police yourself, but your council tax money helps fund them and when that guy down the road gets burgled your money goes to help catch the thief and put him in jail so he can't burgle you later on. The youths in the youth centre you don't frequent are no longer on the streets doing whatever youths do these days. The rubbish you don't drop but that others do is picked up and thus your street is kept clean. You cannot simply 'opt out' of using for everything the council tax pays for.

    If you don't like where you live, move.

    Indeed. If you don't want (to pay for) the benefits of civilization, move somewhere where there is none.

    This is such a flimsy argument, and I'm rather sick of hearing people saying "screw you for thinking about doing things differently! move to Kenya and see how you like it!"

    The issue is simply that existent systems work, but are inherently flawed. There's a real point that our society is purely based on the creation of imaginary capital which then goes toward the creation of further imaginary capital. Services are needed, of course, and someone has to pay for them but that doesn't mean that engaging in philosophic and theoretical work to explore alternatives is worthless.

    Your point is sensible, I've made it myself, and it has nothing at all to do with this conversation.

    Darkwarrior is not exploring new ideas. He's putting forward old ideas as if they've never been tried before.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
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    The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Grudge wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    So are electricity, gas and water provided free to people who own their own homes? Because I guess if not you'd need to continue paying for them as well. And food. And anything else you want. So I guess your point is pretty terrible.

    And because you didn't seem to read my post in its entirety I'll say it again. You benefit from those things whether you use them or not. You might not be calling the police yourself, but your council tax money helps fund them and when that guy down the road gets burgled your money goes to help catch the thief and put him in jail so he can't burgle you later on. The youths in the youth centre you don't frequent are no longer on the streets doing whatever youths do these days. The rubbish you don't drop but that others do is picked up and thus your street is kept clean. You cannot simply 'opt out' of using for everything the council tax pays for.

    If you don't like where you live, move.

    Indeed. If you don't want (to pay for) the benefits of civilization, move somewhere where there is none.

    This is such a flimsy argument, and I'm rather sick of hearing people saying "screw you for thinking about doing things differently! move to Kenya and see how you like it!"

    The issue is simply that existent systems work, but are inherently flawed. There's a real point that our society is purely based on the creation of imaginary capital which then goes toward the creation of further imaginary capital. Services are needed, of course, and someone has to pay for them but that doesn't mean that engaging in philosophic and theoretical work to explore alternatives is worthless.

    Your point is sensible, I've made it myself, and it has nothing at all to do with this conversation.

    Darkwarrior is not exploring new ideas. He's putting forward old ideas as if they've never been tried before.

    I understand, I was just raging at the "move to Canada, Commie!" attitude that isn't constructive in any way shape or form.

    The Crowing One on
    3rddocbottom.jpg
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    SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Grudge wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    So are electricity, gas and water provided free to people who own their own homes? Because I guess if not you'd need to continue paying for them as well. And food. And anything else you want. So I guess your point is pretty terrible.

    And because you didn't seem to read my post in its entirety I'll say it again. You benefit from those things whether you use them or not. You might not be calling the police yourself, but your council tax money helps fund them and when that guy down the road gets burgled your money goes to help catch the thief and put him in jail so he can't burgle you later on. The youths in the youth centre you don't frequent are no longer on the streets doing whatever youths do these days. The rubbish you don't drop but that others do is picked up and thus your street is kept clean. You cannot simply 'opt out' of using for everything the council tax pays for.

    If you don't like where you live, move.

    Indeed. If you don't want (to pay for) the benefits of civilization, move somewhere where there is none.

    This is such a flimsy argument, and I'm rather sick of hearing people saying "screw you for thinking about doing things differently! move to Kenya and see how you like it!"

    The issue is simply that existent systems work, but are inherently flawed. There's a real point that our society is purely based on the creation of imaginary capital which then goes toward the creation of further imaginary capital. Services are needed, of course, and someone has to pay for them but that doesn't mean that engaging in philosophic and theoretical work to explore alternatives is worthless.

    Your point is sensible, I've made it myself, and it has nothing at all to do with this conversation.

    Darkwarrior is not exploring new ideas. He's putting forward old ideas as if they've never been tried before.

    I understand, I was just raging at the "move to Canada, Commie!" attitude that isn't constructive in any way shape or form.

    I think it was "move to Somalia, Libertarian!"

    SkyGheNe on
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    BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited March 2010
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Bogart on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Bogart wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Exactly. His primary complaint was never being able to truly "own" his house because "omg property tax." When property taxes are a very fair way to make sure every property owner in an area keeps that area from looking like Mogadishu.

    It was the very idea of a property tax he was complaining about, not so much the amount or the services provided.

    To which I say, go try the alternative. Maybe we'll let you come back when you're done, if the warlords haven't killed you.

    mcdermott on
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    GrudgeGrudge blessed is the mind too small for doubtRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Exactly. His primary complaint was never being able to truly "own" his house because "omg property tax." When property taxes are a very fair way to make sure every property owner in an area keeps that area from looking like Mogadishu.

    It was the very idea of a property tax he was complaining about, not so much the amount or the services provided.

    To which I say, go try the alternative. Maybe we'll let you come back when you're done, if the warlords haven't killed you.

    So the complaint isn't about the principle of paying taxes, but rather how efficiently the services are distributed?

    Then I have another suggestion - run for local council, or at least get engaged with local government in some constructive way. Just sitting there complaining about the taxes is a silly goose thing to do.

    Grudge on
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    MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Some people have trouble grasping the connection between taxes and:
    1: Their ability to afford a house like they have
    2: The security they enjoy
    3: The various pipes and wires running through and around the house

    And it saddens me.

    I will pay the shit out of some taxes when I have a job despite the fact that some portion will be wasted on stupid stuff.

    MKR on
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    Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I went to school in Oldham, I think they got an EU grant a while back as they were officially declared a deprived area. It is a pretty big shithole, but that doesn't really change what council tax is for, which is kind of important.

    Luckily, as a PhD student I dodge taxes. Then again, I was also work at a ~50 hour week and don't get paid a lot, so it's kind a false saving.

    I look forward to the day when I can pack this in for a job with either defined hours and goals or decent pay.

    Mojo_Jojo on
    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
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    Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I like this idea, but, I'm skeptical. For one thing the overall premise seems to be that, hey, we've got more than enough already, no need to obsess over producing more. Meanwhile something like 90% of the planet lives in complete poverty.

    Also, this:"Only a small and diminishing fraction of work serves any useful purpose independent of the defense and reproduction of the work-system and its political and legal appendages. Twenty years ago, Paul and Percival Goodman estimated that just five per cent of the work then being done—presumably the figure, if accurate, is lower now—would satisfy our minimal needs for food, clothing and shelter. Theirs was only an educated guess but the main point is quite clear: directly or indirectly, most work serves the unproductive purposes of commerce or social control. Right off the bat we can liberate tens of millions of salesmen, soldiers, managers, cops, stockbrockers, clergymen, bankers, lawyers, teachers, landlords, security guards, ad-men and everyone who works for them. There is a snowball effect since every time you idle some bigshot you liberate his flunkeys and underlings also. Thus the economy implodes.

    Forty per cent of the workforce are white-collar workers, most of whom have some of the most tedious and idiotic jobs ever concocted. Entire industries, insurance and banking and real estate for instance, consist of nothing but useless paper-shuffling. It is no accident that the "tertiary sector," the service sector, is growing while the "secondary sector" (industry stagnates and the "primary sector" (agriculture) nearly disappears. Because work is unnecessary except to those whose power it secures, workers are shifted from relatively useful to relatively useless occupations as a measure to assure public order. Anything is better than nothing. That's why you can't go home just because you finish early. They want your time, enough of it to make you theirs, even if they have no use for most of it. Otherwise why hasn't the average work week gone down by more than a few minutes in the last fifty years?"

    That really needs some sources. Especially that 5% figure. For example, "salesmen, soldiers, managers, cops, stockbrockers, clergymen, bankers, lawyers, teachers, landlords, security guards, ad-men" those aren't useless jobs. They do produce a lot of bullshit, but it's not like we can just abolish those professions and expect society to still function. Security guard is the best example- if you've got a really impressive security force, no one will ever try to rob you, so the guards sit around doing nothing. But they're still accomplishing something, just by their existance.

    Pi-r8 on
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    BiopticBioptic Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Exactly. His primary complaint was never being able to truly "own" his house because "omg property tax." When property taxes are a very fair way to make sure every property owner in an area keeps that area from looking like Mogadishu.

    It was the very idea of a property tax he was complaining about, not so much the amount or the services provided.

    To which I say, go try the alternative. Maybe we'll let you come back when you're done, if the warlords haven't killed you.

    It's all a bit silly anyway - whilst we'd like to pretend that you're taxed for various things in order to provide benefit to owners of those things, all the money gets swept into massive pots and redistributed as seen fit by the government. Local government does indeed see almost all of the council tax money, but receives a massive chunk from central government as well - and crucially doesn't have to justify any increases in the amount obtained from either source. Not all services are necessary, certainly not all are useful, and they don't all provide a blanket 'benefit'. And whilst it's churlish to expect full dictation of how this money is used, many are feeling understandably narked when council taxes go substantially up year on year without any accountability and sometimes accompanied by a reduction in services.

    As for the "if you don't like it, then get involved in local politics" angle...that's not really feasible. In 99% of cases local council seats are tied to a local party affiliation, due largely to our election system using local council votes to determine parlimentary seats and therefore the 'ruling party'. Unless a council has been spectacularly brilliant/rubbish in the last 5 years, people will get voted in/out according the political favour of the main parties, not the individuals running for candidacy.

    In effect, your only control over how your money is spent is via a single vote to a political party once every 5 years or so, and hoping that vague policy promises translate into a restructuring of services in your local area.

    Bioptic on
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    LuqLuq Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Here in Texas (Dallas - Fort Worth at least) we get to vote directly on our local property taxes most of the time. We occasionally repeal increases and have the money refunded. Politicians sometimes get voted out of office if property taxes go up too much.

    But you know... ignorant Texans! Guns and horses and such!

    Luq on
    FFRK:jWwH RW:Onion Knight's Sage USB
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    sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    So, is there a concise and well-reasoned rebuttal of something like, say, Heinlein's "For Us, the Living" out there? The basic premise is that in a future society we have automated pretty much everything, and so nobody *needs* to work, as there is enough money for everyone to receive a stipend that covers their basic needs and then some. If a person *wants* to work, they can, for either the opportunity to keep themselves busy, top up their skills, or earn extra money for luxuries not covered by the stipend.

    [Note: I am fuzzy on the "hows" of this futuristic world, as I am only about 1/3 of the way through the book and there was a good dozen pages of wall-of-text exposition on how things got this way and my eyes sort of glazed over. I am reading it at my fiance's recommendation - my fiance is a huge proponent of the ideas therein.]

    sidhaethe on
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    DarkWarriorDarkWarrior __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    So, is there a concise and well-reasoned rebuttal of something like, say, Heinlein's "For Us, the Living" out there? The basic premise is that in a future society we have automated pretty much everything, and so nobody *needs* to work, as there is enough money for everyone to receive a stipend that covers their basic needs and then some. If a person *wants* to work, they can, for either the opportunity to keep themselves busy, top up their skills, or earn extra money for luxuries not covered by the stipend.

    [Note: I am fuzzy on the "hows" of this futuristic world, as I am only about 1/3 of the way through the book and there was a good dozen pages of wall-of-text exposition on how things got this way and my eyes sort of glazed over. I am reading it at my fiance's recommendation - my fiance is a huge proponent of the ideas therein.]

    Machines are basically the only way we will ever live in a society where we don't need to work if we don't want to. They can do the work, farming, maintenance (repairing themselves), construction.

    If ther ewas ever a way to create a Star Trek replicator you'd be moving closer to a utopia where you can have anything you want and money becomes insignificant but you can choose to work in order to afford more luxurious items.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Exactly. His primary complaint was never being able to truly "own" his house because "omg property tax." When property taxes are a very fair way to make sure every property owner in an area keeps that area from looking like Mogadishu.

    It was the very idea of a property tax he was complaining about, not so much the amount or the services provided.

    To which I say, go try the alternative. Maybe we'll let you come back when you're done, if the warlords haven't killed you.

    It's all a bit silly anyway - whilst we'd like to pretend that you're taxed for various things in order to provide benefit to owners of those things, all the money gets swept into massive pots and redistributed as seen fit by the government. Local government does indeed see almost all of the council tax money, but receives a massive chunk from central government as well - and crucially doesn't have to justify any increases in the amount obtained from either source. Not all services are necessary, certainly not all are useful, and they don't all provide a blanket 'benefit'. And whilst it's churlish to expect full dictation of how this money is used, many are feeling understandably narked when council taxes go substantially up year on year without any accountability and sometimes accompanied by a reduction in services.

    As for the "if you don't like it, then get involved in local politics" angle...that's not really feasible. In 99% of cases local council seats are tied to a local party affiliation, due largely to our election system using local council votes to determine parlimentary seats and therefore the 'ruling party'. Unless a council has been spectacularly brilliant/rubbish in the last 5 years, people will get voted in/out according the political favour of the main parties, not the individuals running for candidacy.

    In effect, your only control over how your money is spent is via a single vote to a political party once every 5 years or so, and hoping that vague policy promises translate into a restructuring of services in your local area.



    Council Tax was just one thing in an overarching idea that you can never escape the machine. You don't HAVE to have electricy or gas and Im pretty sure that while we pay for water, theres actually a legal requirement that you get it whether you pay or not because, hey, water everywhere right? Not lik e you had to mine it out of the Earth. What I'm talking about is that if you're responsible and work hard enough to own your own home there is no option to escape the cycle. You can work less but you will have to work because even if you can walk your ass down to the landfill and don't want gas or electric, you still need to stump up money for any number of mandated things for services you may never want.

    What I want, as I stated earlier, was a world where if you've paid your bills, in this case for a house, you're free to explore the various things the world and humanity have to offer. Insteda of dragging yourself back to a crappy job just to keep things moving.

    DarkWarrior on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I'm happy to see how much positive feedback this thread got overnight. I was expecting a lot of "but you have to work, slacker!" responses. Everybody's seemed to grasp that what I offered in the OP is an antithesis to the "Protestant work ethic," and I'm not so much interested in the antithesis as the synthesis.

    Somebody in the thread asked for sources on the amount of work done by hunter-gatherer cultures. I still need to find those.

    Again, I'm not arguing that a hunter-gatherer lifestyle is better. I like having cars and vaccines and video games. Although an irrational part of me sympathizes with this quote from Fight Club:
    "Imagine," Tyler said, "stalking elk past department store windows and stinking racks of beautiful rotting dresses and tuxedos on hangers; you'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life, and you'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. Jack and the beanstalk, you'll climb up through the dripping forest canopy and the air will be so clean you'll see tiny figures pounding corn and laying strips of venison to dry in the empty car pool lane of an abandoned superhighway stretching eight-lanes-wide and August-hot for a thousand miles."

    We have this notion that progress has steadily brought more free time and I don't think that's a foregone conclusion.

    My main complaint, I suppose, is that after the Industrial Revolution we were successful in improving working hours and conditions for all workers... and then we just stopped, and in the last 50 years, we've mostly stagnated and in some sectors we've regressed. Why have we just accepted that the 40-hour work-week, one-hour lunch, plus 5-20 hours of (paid or unpaid) overtime per week, plus whatever length of time you spend commuting, is The Way Things Ought To Be?

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Options
    Space CoyoteSpace Coyote Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    So, is there a concise and well-reasoned rebuttal of something like, say, Heinlein's "For Us, the Living" out there? The basic premise is that in a future society we have automated pretty much everything, and so nobody *needs* to work, as there is enough money for everyone to receive a stipend that covers their basic needs and then some. If a person *wants* to work, they can, for either the opportunity to keep themselves busy, top up their skills, or earn extra money for luxuries not covered by the stipend.

    [Note: I am fuzzy on the "hows" of this futuristic world, as I am only about 1/3 of the way through the book and there was a good dozen pages of wall-of-text exposition on how things got this way and my eyes sort of glazed over. I am reading it at my fiance's recommendation - my fiance is a huge proponent of the ideas therein.]

    Machines are basically the only way we will ever live in a society where we don't need to work if we don't want to. They can do the work, farming, maintenance (repairing themselves), construction.

    If ther ewas ever a way to create a Star Trek replicator you'd be moving closer to a utopia where you can have anything you want and money becomes insignificant but you can choose to work in order to afford more luxurious items.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Exactly. His primary complaint was never being able to truly "own" his house because "omg property tax." When property taxes are a very fair way to make sure every property owner in an area keeps that area from looking like Mogadishu.

    It was the very idea of a property tax he was complaining about, not so much the amount or the services provided.

    To which I say, go try the alternative. Maybe we'll let you come back when you're done, if the warlords haven't killed you.

    It's all a bit silly anyway - whilst we'd like to pretend that you're taxed for various things in order to provide benefit to owners of those things, all the money gets swept into massive pots and redistributed as seen fit by the government. Local government does indeed see almost all of the council tax money, but receives a massive chunk from central government as well - and crucially doesn't have to justify any increases in the amount obtained from either source. Not all services are necessary, certainly not all are useful, and they don't all provide a blanket 'benefit'. And whilst it's churlish to expect full dictation of how this money is used, many are feeling understandably narked when council taxes go substantially up year on year without any accountability and sometimes accompanied by a reduction in services.

    As for the "if you don't like it, then get involved in local politics" angle...that's not really feasible. In 99% of cases local council seats are tied to a local party affiliation, due largely to our election system using local council votes to determine parlimentary seats and therefore the 'ruling party'. Unless a council has been spectacularly brilliant/rubbish in the last 5 years, people will get voted in/out according the political favour of the main parties, not the individuals running for candidacy.

    In effect, your only control over how your money is spent is via a single vote to a political party once every 5 years or so, and hoping that vague policy promises translate into a restructuring of services in your local area.



    Council Tax was just one thing in an overarching idea that you can never escape the machine. You don't HAVE to have electricy or gas and Im pretty sure that while we pay for water, theres actually a legal requirement that you get it whether you pay or not because, hey, water everywhere right? Not lik e you had to mine it out of the Earth. What I'm talking about is that if you're responsible and work hard enough to own your own home there is no option to escape the cycle. You can work less but you will have to work because even if you can walk your ass down to the landfill and don't want gas or electric, you still need to stump up money for any number of mandated things for services you may never want.
    What I want, as I stated earlier, was a world where if you've paid your bills, in this case for a house, you're free to explore the various things the world and humanity have to offer. Insteda of dragging yourself back to a crappy job just to keep things moving.

    After you've paid off your house, can't you just work slightly longer to save several years worth of council tax? You could even save that money using the amount you used to spend on your mortgage.

    Space Coyote on
  • Options
    DarkWarriorDarkWarrior __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    So, is there a concise and well-reasoned rebuttal of something like, say, Heinlein's "For Us, the Living" out there? The basic premise is that in a future society we have automated pretty much everything, and so nobody *needs* to work, as there is enough money for everyone to receive a stipend that covers their basic needs and then some. If a person *wants* to work, they can, for either the opportunity to keep themselves busy, top up their skills, or earn extra money for luxuries not covered by the stipend.

    [Note: I am fuzzy on the "hows" of this futuristic world, as I am only about 1/3 of the way through the book and there was a good dozen pages of wall-of-text exposition on how things got this way and my eyes sort of glazed over. I am reading it at my fiance's recommendation - my fiance is a huge proponent of the ideas therein.]

    Machines are basically the only way we will ever live in a society where we don't need to work if we don't want to. They can do the work, farming, maintenance (repairing themselves), construction.

    If ther ewas ever a way to create a Star Trek replicator you'd be moving closer to a utopia where you can have anything you want and money becomes insignificant but you can choose to work in order to afford more luxurious items.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Exactly. His primary complaint was never being able to truly "own" his house because "omg property tax." When property taxes are a very fair way to make sure every property owner in an area keeps that area from looking like Mogadishu.

    It was the very idea of a property tax he was complaining about, not so much the amount or the services provided.

    To which I say, go try the alternative. Maybe we'll let you come back when you're done, if the warlords haven't killed you.

    It's all a bit silly anyway - whilst we'd like to pretend that you're taxed for various things in order to provide benefit to owners of those things, all the money gets swept into massive pots and redistributed as seen fit by the government. Local government does indeed see almost all of the council tax money, but receives a massive chunk from central government as well - and crucially doesn't have to justify any increases in the amount obtained from either source. Not all services are necessary, certainly not all are useful, and they don't all provide a blanket 'benefit'. And whilst it's churlish to expect full dictation of how this money is used, many are feeling understandably narked when council taxes go substantially up year on year without any accountability and sometimes accompanied by a reduction in services.

    As for the "if you don't like it, then get involved in local politics" angle...that's not really feasible. In 99% of cases local council seats are tied to a local party affiliation, due largely to our election system using local council votes to determine parlimentary seats and therefore the 'ruling party'. Unless a council has been spectacularly brilliant/rubbish in the last 5 years, people will get voted in/out according the political favour of the main parties, not the individuals running for candidacy.

    In effect, your only control over how your money is spent is via a single vote to a political party once every 5 years or so, and hoping that vague policy promises translate into a restructuring of services in your local area.



    Council Tax was just one thing in an overarching idea that you can never escape the machine. You don't HAVE to have electricy or gas and Im pretty sure that while we pay for water, theres actually a legal requirement that you get it whether you pay or not because, hey, water everywhere right? Not lik e you had to mine it out of the Earth. What I'm talking about is that if you're responsible and work hard enough to own your own home there is no option to escape the cycle. You can work less but you will have to work because even if you can walk your ass down to the landfill and don't want gas or electric, you still need to stump up money for any number of mandated things for services you may never want.
    What I want, as I stated earlier, was a world where if you've paid your bills, in this case for a house, you're free to explore the various things the world and humanity have to offer. Insteda of dragging yourself back to a crappy job just to keep things moving.

    After you've paid off your house, can't you just work slightly longer to save several years worth of council tax? You could even save that money using the amount you used to spend on your mortgage.

    What I've learned very recently is that life is incredibly short and any time not spent working is good.

    What you COULD do in regards to rubbish being left about, is make it a legal requirement to dispose of it properly (Which i think it already is) but with actual fines and punishment for not dealing with it properly in a timely fashion. So no paying for rubbish, rubbish pick-up and no getting away with leaving it to rot. I'd happily pay £5 every time I go to the landfill once every 2 weeks over £1,300 for the year.

    DarkWarrior on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I also hate the phrase "leisure" time. "Leisure" sounds like doing nothing, but a particular form of nothing that lazy overprivileged rich folks do, all lounging around by a swimming pool with mimosas in their hands at 11 am.

    What I want is more free time... free to spend pursuing other things. Maybe my free time is spent exercising, or volunteering for a charity, or learning a musical instrument, or visiting my family, or blogging. It's certainly not idle.

    I realized, a few weeks back, that I'm never bored when I'm outside of work. Finding stimulation outside of work is not hard; and if I get tired of my environment I just take a walk or go to a coffee shop. But I get intensely bored at work - I recognize that a big part of this is that I'm burnt out in my particular field, but it would be a lot easier if I could just say, "Hey guys, I know it's 2 pm, but I gotta check out for about an hour. I'll be at Starbucks listening to my iPod" and then work an hour later.

    Working fewer hours would be ideal, but until that can happen I'd be happy working more flexible hours.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Options
    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Also, I wonder what the economic effects of a 30/32-hour work week would be. Would inflation slow down? Would we get there by cutting the fat from our business processes, thereby reducing overhead? Would that reduction in cost be passed along to consumers, or would the money saved just line the pockets of executives and bankers?

    Is it possible to affect a shorter work week while simultaneously reducing the costs of goods and services, so people aren't dramatically impacted by the reduction in earning power?

    And if we did so, would that help reverse the two-income trap?

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Options
    Space CoyoteSpace Coyote Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    So, is there a concise and well-reasoned rebuttal of something like, say, Heinlein's "For Us, the Living" out there? The basic premise is that in a future society we have automated pretty much everything, and so nobody *needs* to work, as there is enough money for everyone to receive a stipend that covers their basic needs and then some. If a person *wants* to work, they can, for either the opportunity to keep themselves busy, top up their skills, or earn extra money for luxuries not covered by the stipend.

    [Note: I am fuzzy on the "hows" of this futuristic world, as I am only about 1/3 of the way through the book and there was a good dozen pages of wall-of-text exposition on how things got this way and my eyes sort of glazed over. I am reading it at my fiance's recommendation - my fiance is a huge proponent of the ideas therein.]

    Machines are basically the only way we will ever live in a society where we don't need to work if we don't want to. They can do the work, farming, maintenance (repairing themselves), construction.

    If ther ewas ever a way to create a Star Trek replicator you'd be moving closer to a utopia where you can have anything you want and money becomes insignificant but you can choose to work in order to afford more luxurious items.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Exactly. His primary complaint was never being able to truly "own" his house because "omg property tax." When property taxes are a very fair way to make sure every property owner in an area keeps that area from looking like Mogadishu.

    It was the very idea of a property tax he was complaining about, not so much the amount or the services provided.

    To which I say, go try the alternative. Maybe we'll let you come back when you're done, if the warlords haven't killed you.

    It's all a bit silly anyway - whilst we'd like to pretend that you're taxed for various things in order to provide benefit to owners of those things, all the money gets swept into massive pots and redistributed as seen fit by the government. Local government does indeed see almost all of the council tax money, but receives a massive chunk from central government as well - and crucially doesn't have to justify any increases in the amount obtained from either source. Not all services are necessary, certainly not all are useful, and they don't all provide a blanket 'benefit'. And whilst it's churlish to expect full dictation of how this money is used, many are feeling understandably narked when council taxes go substantially up year on year without any accountability and sometimes accompanied by a reduction in services.

    As for the "if you don't like it, then get involved in local politics" angle...that's not really feasible. In 99% of cases local council seats are tied to a local party affiliation, due largely to our election system using local council votes to determine parlimentary seats and therefore the 'ruling party'. Unless a council has been spectacularly brilliant/rubbish in the last 5 years, people will get voted in/out according the political favour of the main parties, not the individuals running for candidacy.

    In effect, your only control over how your money is spent is via a single vote to a political party once every 5 years or so, and hoping that vague policy promises translate into a restructuring of services in your local area.



    Council Tax was just one thing in an overarching idea that you can never escape the machine. You don't HAVE to have electricy or gas and Im pretty sure that while we pay for water, theres actually a legal requirement that you get it whether you pay or not because, hey, water everywhere right? Not lik e you had to mine it out of the Earth. What I'm talking about is that if you're responsible and work hard enough to own your own home there is no option to escape the cycle. You can work less but you will have to work because even if you can walk your ass down to the landfill and don't want gas or electric, you still need to stump up money for any number of mandated things for services you may never want.
    What I want, as I stated earlier, was a world where if you've paid your bills, in this case for a house, you're free to explore the various things the world and humanity have to offer. Insteda of dragging yourself back to a crappy job just to keep things moving.

    After you've paid off your house, can't you just work slightly longer to save several years worth of council tax? You could even save that money using the amount you used to spend on your mortgage.

    What I've learned very recently is that life is incredibly short and any time not spent working is good.

    What you COULD do in regards to rubbish being left about, is make it a legal requirement to dispose of it properly (Which i think it already is) but with actual fines and punishment for not dealing with it properly in a timely fashion. So no paying for rubbish, rubbish pick-up and no getting away with leaving it to rot. I'd happily pay £5 every time I go to the landfill once every 2 weeks over £1,300 for the year.

    And how much are you going to pay for the benefit you receive from having a functional fire service and a police service? How much are you going to pay to have bridges maintained and planning laws enforced? How do you administer the fines and punishment with no money?

    Space Coyote on
  • Options
    DarkWarriorDarkWarrior __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    I also hate the phrase "leisure" time. "Leisure" sounds like doing nothing, but a particular form of nothing that lazy overprivileged rich folks do, all lounging around by a swimming pool with mimosas in their hands at 11 am.

    What I want is more free time... free to spend pursuing other things. Maybe my free time is spent exercising, or volunteering for a charity, or learning a musical instrument, or visiting my family, or blogging. It's certainly not idle.

    I realized, a few weeks back, that I'm never bored when I'm outside of work. Finding stimulation outside of work is not hard; and if I get tired of my environment I just take a walk or go to a coffee shop. But I get intensely bored at work - I recognize that a big part of this is that I'm burnt out in my particular field, but it would be a lot easier if I could just say, "Hey guys, I know it's 2 pm, but I gotta check out for about an hour. I'll be at Starbucks listening to my iPod" and then work an hour later.

    Working fewer hours would be ideal, but until that can happen I'd be happy working more flexible hours.

    There would be people who waste that time but theres so much to do that anyone who wants to make use of it will find plenty to occupy that time.

    What bugs me most is not only the 8 hour days but that no consideration is given to the commute, losing an hour or two simply going to and from each day until you've lost a further 5-10 hours of your week and you need to sleep so potentioally you're looking at maybe 4 hours to yourself per day. Some of that wil;l be spent eating, some washing, so maybe 3 hours to yourself per day.
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    So, is there a concise and well-reasoned rebuttal of something like, say, Heinlein's "For Us, the Living" out there? The basic premise is that in a future society we have automated pretty much everything, and so nobody *needs* to work, as there is enough money for everyone to receive a stipend that covers their basic needs and then some. If a person *wants* to work, they can, for either the opportunity to keep themselves busy, top up their skills, or earn extra money for luxuries not covered by the stipend.

    [Note: I am fuzzy on the "hows" of this futuristic world, as I am only about 1/3 of the way through the book and there was a good dozen pages of wall-of-text exposition on how things got this way and my eyes sort of glazed over. I am reading it at my fiance's recommendation - my fiance is a huge proponent of the ideas therein.]

    Machines are basically the only way we will ever live in a society where we don't need to work if we don't want to. They can do the work, farming, maintenance (repairing themselves), construction.

    If ther ewas ever a way to create a Star Trek replicator you'd be moving closer to a utopia where you can have anything you want and money becomes insignificant but you can choose to work in order to afford more luxurious items.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Exactly. His primary complaint was never being able to truly "own" his house because "omg property tax." When property taxes are a very fair way to make sure every property owner in an area keeps that area from looking like Mogadishu.

    It was the very idea of a property tax he was complaining about, not so much the amount or the services provided.

    To which I say, go try the alternative. Maybe we'll let you come back when you're done, if the warlords haven't killed you.

    It's all a bit silly anyway - whilst we'd like to pretend that you're taxed for various things in order to provide benefit to owners of those things, all the money gets swept into massive pots and redistributed as seen fit by the government. Local government does indeed see almost all of the council tax money, but receives a massive chunk from central government as well - and crucially doesn't have to justify any increases in the amount obtained from either source. Not all services are necessary, certainly not all are useful, and they don't all provide a blanket 'benefit'. And whilst it's churlish to expect full dictation of how this money is used, many are feeling understandably narked when council taxes go substantially up year on year without any accountability and sometimes accompanied by a reduction in services.

    As for the "if you don't like it, then get involved in local politics" angle...that's not really feasible. In 99% of cases local council seats are tied to a local party affiliation, due largely to our election system using local council votes to determine parlimentary seats and therefore the 'ruling party'. Unless a council has been spectacularly brilliant/rubbish in the last 5 years, people will get voted in/out according the political favour of the main parties, not the individuals running for candidacy.

    In effect, your only control over how your money is spent is via a single vote to a political party once every 5 years or so, and hoping that vague policy promises translate into a restructuring of services in your local area.



    Council Tax was just one thing in an overarching idea that you can never escape the machine. You don't HAVE to have electricy or gas and Im pretty sure that while we pay for water, theres actually a legal requirement that you get it whether you pay or not because, hey, water everywhere right? Not lik e you had to mine it out of the Earth. What I'm talking about is that if you're responsible and work hard enough to own your own home there is no option to escape the cycle. You can work less but you will have to work because even if you can walk your ass down to the landfill and don't want gas or electric, you still need to stump up money for any number of mandated things for services you may never want.
    What I want, as I stated earlier, was a world where if you've paid your bills, in this case for a house, you're free to explore the various things the world and humanity have to offer. Insteda of dragging yourself back to a crappy job just to keep things moving.

    After you've paid off your house, can't you just work slightly longer to save several years worth of council tax? You could even save that money using the amount you used to spend on your mortgage.

    What I've learned very recently is that life is incredibly short and any time not spent working is good.

    What you COULD do in regards to rubbish being left about, is make it a legal requirement to dispose of it properly (Which i think it already is) but with actual fines and punishment for not dealing with it properly in a timely fashion. So no paying for rubbish, rubbish pick-up and no getting away with leaving it to rot. I'd happily pay £5 every time I go to the landfill once every 2 weeks over £1,300 for the year.

    And how much are you going to pay for the benefit you receive from having a functional fire service and a police service? How much are you going to pay to have bridges maintained and planning laws enforced? How do you administer the fines and punishment with no money?

    With what they get from any number of other taxes? If they didn't spend our money so liberally without efficiency I'm quite certain there'd be more than enough to vastly improve things AND offer a tax cut. For instance, in Oldham they've just spent a fortune doing up their headquarters.

    Now ( i think this is the right number) 4,000 (maybe 40,000) in the council sector are looking at losing their jobs because they cost too much.

    DarkWarrior on
  • Options
    mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Feral wrote: »

    We have this notion that progress has steadily brought more free time and I don't think that's a foregone conclusion.

    My main complaint, I suppose, is that after the Industrial Revolution we were successful in improving working hours and conditions for all workers... and then we just stopped, and in the last 50 years, we've mostly stagnated and in some sectors we've regressed. Why have we just accepted that the 40-hour work-week, one-hour lunch, plus 5-20 hours of (paid or unpaid) overtime per week, plus whatever length of time you spend commuting, is The Way Things Ought To Be?

    Probably because things were so awful before? And because some of the improvements in the last 50 years have been improvements that didn't have so much to do with the bare amount of time spent on work? (For example, safety regulations; OSHA didn't even exist forty years ago.)

    I am a bit amused at the "40 hour/8 hour" gold standard given that at least in the US professional sector, the idea of a 40-hour workweek is a dream; that's what "exempt" means. (I'm not complaining, just noting.)

    I've read The Abolition of Work and frankly, while your points are well-taken, it's a dumb book. It exemplifies Dorothy Parker's comment about calisthenics with words. Yes, it sounds clever, but in Heinleinutopia somebody has to keep the machines running, and machines can't do everything.

    mythago on
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    Space CoyoteSpace Coyote Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    So, is there a concise and well-reasoned rebuttal of something like, say, Heinlein's "For Us, the Living" out there? The basic premise is that in a future society we have automated pretty much everything, and so nobody *needs* to work, as there is enough money for everyone to receive a stipend that covers their basic needs and then some. If a person *wants* to work, they can, for either the opportunity to keep themselves busy, top up their skills, or earn extra money for luxuries not covered by the stipend.

    [Note: I am fuzzy on the "hows" of this futuristic world, as I am only about 1/3 of the way through the book and there was a good dozen pages of wall-of-text exposition on how things got this way and my eyes sort of glazed over. I am reading it at my fiance's recommendation - my fiance is a huge proponent of the ideas therein.]

    Machines are basically the only way we will ever live in a society where we don't need to work if we don't want to. They can do the work, farming, maintenance (repairing themselves), construction.

    If ther ewas ever a way to create a Star Trek replicator you'd be moving closer to a utopia where you can have anything you want and money becomes insignificant but you can choose to work in order to afford more luxurious items.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Exactly. His primary complaint was never being able to truly "own" his house because "omg property tax." When property taxes are a very fair way to make sure every property owner in an area keeps that area from looking like Mogadishu.

    It was the very idea of a property tax he was complaining about, not so much the amount or the services provided.

    To which I say, go try the alternative. Maybe we'll let you come back when you're done, if the warlords haven't killed you.

    It's all a bit silly anyway - whilst we'd like to pretend that you're taxed for various things in order to provide benefit to owners of those things, all the money gets swept into massive pots and redistributed as seen fit by the government. Local government does indeed see almost all of the council tax money, but receives a massive chunk from central government as well - and crucially doesn't have to justify any increases in the amount obtained from either source. Not all services are necessary, certainly not all are useful, and they don't all provide a blanket 'benefit'. And whilst it's churlish to expect full dictation of how this money is used, many are feeling understandably narked when council taxes go substantially up year on year without any accountability and sometimes accompanied by a reduction in services.

    As for the "if you don't like it, then get involved in local politics" angle...that's not really feasible. In 99% of cases local council seats are tied to a local party affiliation, due largely to our election system using local council votes to determine parlimentary seats and therefore the 'ruling party'. Unless a council has been spectacularly brilliant/rubbish in the last 5 years, people will get voted in/out according the political favour of the main parties, not the individuals running for candidacy.

    In effect, your only control over how your money is spent is via a single vote to a political party once every 5 years or so, and hoping that vague policy promises translate into a restructuring of services in your local area.



    Council Tax was just one thing in an overarching idea that you can never escape the machine. You don't HAVE to have electricy or gas and Im pretty sure that while we pay for water, theres actually a legal requirement that you get it whether you pay or not because, hey, water everywhere right? Not lik e you had to mine it out of the Earth. What I'm talking about is that if you're responsible and work hard enough to own your own home there is no option to escape the cycle. You can work less but you will have to work because even if you can walk your ass down to the landfill and don't want gas or electric, you still need to stump up money for any number of mandated things for services you may never want.

    What I want, as I stated earlier, was a world where if you've paid your bills, in this case for a house, you're free to explore the various things the world and humanity have to offer. Insteda of dragging yourself back to a crappy job just to keep things moving.

    After you've paid off your house, can't you just work slightly longer to save several years worth of council tax? You could even save that money using the amount you used to spend on your mortgage.

    What I've learned very recently is that life is incredibly short and any time not spent working is good.

    What you COULD do in regards to rubbish being left about, is make it a legal requirement to dispose of it properly (Which i think it already is) but with actual fines and punishment for not dealing with it properly in a timely fashion. So no paying for rubbish, rubbish pick-up and no getting away with leaving it to rot. I'd happily pay £5 every time I go to the landfill once every 2 weeks over £1,300 for the year.


    And how much are you going to pay for the benefit you receive from having a functional fire service and a police service? How much are you going to pay to have bridges maintained and planning laws enforced? How do you administer the fines and punishment with no money?

    With what they get from any number of other taxes? If they didn't spend our money so liberally without efficiency I'm quite certain there'd be more than enough to vastly improve things AND offer a tax cut. For instance, in Oldham they've just spent a fortune doing up their headquarters.

    Now ( i think this is the right number) 4,000 (maybe 40,000) in the council sector are looking at losing their jobs because they cost too much.

    If you are certain that services can be improved and taxes can be lowered, why not write to your council and tell them how?

    Space Coyote on
  • Options
    DarkWarriorDarkWarrior __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    So, is there a concise and well-reasoned rebuttal of something like, say, Heinlein's "For Us, the Living" out there? The basic premise is that in a future society we have automated pretty much everything, and so nobody *needs* to work, as there is enough money for everyone to receive a stipend that covers their basic needs and then some. If a person *wants* to work, they can, for either the opportunity to keep themselves busy, top up their skills, or earn extra money for luxuries not covered by the stipend.

    [Note: I am fuzzy on the "hows" of this futuristic world, as I am only about 1/3 of the way through the book and there was a good dozen pages of wall-of-text exposition on how things got this way and my eyes sort of glazed over. I am reading it at my fiance's recommendation - my fiance is a huge proponent of the ideas therein.]

    Machines are basically the only way we will ever live in a society where we don't need to work if we don't want to. They can do the work, farming, maintenance (repairing themselves), construction.

    If ther ewas ever a way to create a Star Trek replicator you'd be moving closer to a utopia where you can have anything you want and money becomes insignificant but you can choose to work in order to afford more luxurious items.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Exactly. His primary complaint was never being able to truly "own" his house because "omg property tax." When property taxes are a very fair way to make sure every property owner in an area keeps that area from looking like Mogadishu.

    It was the very idea of a property tax he was complaining about, not so much the amount or the services provided.

    To which I say, go try the alternative. Maybe we'll let you come back when you're done, if the warlords haven't killed you.

    It's all a bit silly anyway - whilst we'd like to pretend that you're taxed for various things in order to provide benefit to owners of those things, all the money gets swept into massive pots and redistributed as seen fit by the government. Local government does indeed see almost all of the council tax money, but receives a massive chunk from central government as well - and crucially doesn't have to justify any increases in the amount obtained from either source. Not all services are necessary, certainly not all are useful, and they don't all provide a blanket 'benefit'. And whilst it's churlish to expect full dictation of how this money is used, many are feeling understandably narked when council taxes go substantially up year on year without any accountability and sometimes accompanied by a reduction in services.

    As for the "if you don't like it, then get involved in local politics" angle...that's not really feasible. In 99% of cases local council seats are tied to a local party affiliation, due largely to our election system using local council votes to determine parlimentary seats and therefore the 'ruling party'. Unless a council has been spectacularly brilliant/rubbish in the last 5 years, people will get voted in/out according the political favour of the main parties, not the individuals running for candidacy.

    In effect, your only control over how your money is spent is via a single vote to a political party once every 5 years or so, and hoping that vague policy promises translate into a restructuring of services in your local area.



    Council Tax was just one thing in an overarching idea that you can never escape the machine. You don't HAVE to have electricy or gas and Im pretty sure that while we pay for water, theres actually a legal requirement that you get it whether you pay or not because, hey, water everywhere right? Not lik e you had to mine it out of the Earth. What I'm talking about is that if you're responsible and work hard enough to own your own home there is no option to escape the cycle. You can work less but you will have to work because even if you can walk your ass down to the landfill and don't want gas or electric, you still need to stump up money for any number of mandated things for services you may never want.

    What I want, as I stated earlier, was a world where if you've paid your bills, in this case for a house, you're free to explore the various things the world and humanity have to offer. Insteda of dragging yourself back to a crappy job just to keep things moving.

    After you've paid off your house, can't you just work slightly longer to save several years worth of council tax? You could even save that money using the amount you used to spend on your mortgage.

    What I've learned very recently is that life is incredibly short and any time not spent working is good.

    What you COULD do in regards to rubbish being left about, is make it a legal requirement to dispose of it properly (Which i think it already is) but with actual fines and punishment for not dealing with it properly in a timely fashion. So no paying for rubbish, rubbish pick-up and no getting away with leaving it to rot. I'd happily pay £5 every time I go to the landfill once every 2 weeks over £1,300 for the year.


    And how much are you going to pay for the benefit you receive from having a functional fire service and a police service? How much are you going to pay to have bridges maintained and planning laws enforced? How do you administer the fines and punishment with no money?

    With what they get from any number of other taxes? If they didn't spend our money so liberally without efficiency I'm quite certain there'd be more than enough to vastly improve things AND offer a tax cut. For instance, in Oldham they've just spent a fortune doing up their headquarters.

    Now ( i think this is the right number) 4,000 (maybe 40,000) in the council sector are looking at losing their jobs because they cost too much.

    If you are certain that services can be improved and taxes can be lowered, why not write to your council and tell them how?

    Because they don't care? It doesn't take a huge amount of common sense to improve things just takes capable people.

    DarkWarrior on
  • Options
    Space CoyoteSpace Coyote Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    So, is there a concise and well-reasoned rebuttal of something like, say, Heinlein's "For Us, the Living" out there? The basic premise is that in a future society we have automated pretty much everything, and so nobody *needs* to work, as there is enough money for everyone to receive a stipend that covers their basic needs and then some. If a person *wants* to work, they can, for either the opportunity to keep themselves busy, top up their skills, or earn extra money for luxuries not covered by the stipend.

    [Note: I am fuzzy on the "hows" of this futuristic world, as I am only about 1/3 of the way through the book and there was a good dozen pages of wall-of-text exposition on how things got this way and my eyes sort of glazed over. I am reading it at my fiance's recommendation - my fiance is a huge proponent of the ideas therein.]

    Machines are basically the only way we will ever live in a society where we don't need to work if we don't want to. They can do the work, farming, maintenance (repairing themselves), construction.

    If ther ewas ever a way to create a Star Trek replicator you'd be moving closer to a utopia where you can have anything you want and money becomes insignificant but you can choose to work in order to afford more luxurious items.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Exactly. His primary complaint was never being able to truly "own" his house because "omg property tax." When property taxes are a very fair way to make sure every property owner in an area keeps that area from looking like Mogadishu.

    It was the very idea of a property tax he was complaining about, not so much the amount or the services provided.

    To which I say, go try the alternative. Maybe we'll let you come back when you're done, if the warlords haven't killed you.

    It's all a bit silly anyway - whilst we'd like to pretend that you're taxed for various things in order to provide benefit to owners of those things, all the money gets swept into massive pots and redistributed as seen fit by the government. Local government does indeed see almost all of the council tax money, but receives a massive chunk from central government as well - and crucially doesn't have to justify any increases in the amount obtained from either source. Not all services are necessary, certainly not all are useful, and they don't all provide a blanket 'benefit'. And whilst it's churlish to expect full dictation of how this money is used, many are feeling understandably narked when council taxes go substantially up year on year without any accountability and sometimes accompanied by a reduction in services.

    As for the "if you don't like it, then get involved in local politics" angle...that's not really feasible. In 99% of cases local council seats are tied to a local party affiliation, due largely to our election system using local council votes to determine parlimentary seats and therefore the 'ruling party'. Unless a council has been spectacularly brilliant/rubbish in the last 5 years, people will get voted in/out according the political favour of the main parties, not the individuals running for candidacy.

    In effect, your only control over how your money is spent is via a single vote to a political party once every 5 years or so, and hoping that vague policy promises translate into a restructuring of services in your local area.



    Council Tax was just one thing in an overarching idea that you can never escape the machine. You don't HAVE to have electricy or gas and Im pretty sure that while we pay for water, theres actually a legal requirement that you get it whether you pay or not because, hey, water everywhere right? Not lik e you had to mine it out of the Earth. What I'm talking about is that if you're responsible and work hard enough to own your own home there is no option to escape the cycle. You can work less but you will have to work because even if you can walk your ass down to the landfill and don't want gas or electric, you still need to stump up money for any number of mandated things for services you may never want.

    What I want, as I stated earlier, was a world where if you've paid your bills, in this case for a house, you're free to explore the various things the world and humanity have to offer. Insteda of dragging yourself back to a crappy job just to keep things moving.

    After you've paid off your house, can't you just work slightly longer to save several years worth of council tax? You could even save that money using the amount you used to spend on your mortgage.

    What I've learned very recently is that life is incredibly short and any time not spent working is good.

    What you COULD do in regards to rubbish being left about, is make it a legal requirement to dispose of it properly (Which i think it already is) but with actual fines and punishment for not dealing with it properly in a timely fashion. So no paying for rubbish, rubbish pick-up and no getting away with leaving it to rot. I'd happily pay £5 every time I go to the landfill once every 2 weeks over £1,300 for the year.


    And how much are you going to pay for the benefit you receive from having a functional fire service and a police service? How much are you going to pay to have bridges maintained and planning laws enforced? How do you administer the fines and punishment with no money?

    With what they get from any number of other taxes? If they didn't spend our money so liberally without efficiency I'm quite certain there'd be more than enough to vastly improve things AND offer a tax cut. For instance, in Oldham they've just spent a fortune doing up their headquarters.

    Now ( i think this is the right number) 4,000 (maybe 40,000) in the council sector are looking at losing their jobs because they cost too much.

    If you are certain that services can be improved and taxes can be lowered, why not write to your council and tell them how?

    Because they don't care? It doesn't take a huge amount of common sense to improve things just takes capable people.

    You want to be free to explore the world and the things that humanity has to offer, but still to be apathetic and owning property in Oldham? You want more free time, but you want to travel to the local dump every two weeks? If council tax is that big of a problem, you shouldn't own property. In fact your mortgage is a greater hazard to your freedom, anyway.

    Space Coyote on
  • Options
    DarkWarriorDarkWarrior __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    So, is there a concise and well-reasoned rebuttal of something like, say, Heinlein's "For Us, the Living" out there? The basic premise is that in a future society we have automated pretty much everything, and so nobody *needs* to work, as there is enough money for everyone to receive a stipend that covers their basic needs and then some. If a person *wants* to work, they can, for either the opportunity to keep themselves busy, top up their skills, or earn extra money for luxuries not covered by the stipend.

    [Note: I am fuzzy on the "hows" of this futuristic world, as I am only about 1/3 of the way through the book and there was a good dozen pages of wall-of-text exposition on how things got this way and my eyes sort of glazed over. I am reading it at my fiance's recommendation - my fiance is a huge proponent of the ideas therein.]

    Machines are basically the only way we will ever live in a society where we don't need to work if we don't want to. They can do the work, farming, maintenance (repairing themselves), construction.

    If ther ewas ever a way to create a Star Trek replicator you'd be moving closer to a utopia where you can have anything you want and money becomes insignificant but you can choose to work in order to afford more luxurious items.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about him moving to Kenya. He specifically stated that his local area wasn't up to scratch as far as he was concerned, and I was suggesting that if it's so terrible he should consider moving somewhere where his council tax would give value for money.

    And I don't think he was engaging in philosophic or theoretical explorations of alternatives. I think he just didn't want to pay his taxes.

    EDIT: yeah, you get the idea.

    Exactly. His primary complaint was never being able to truly "own" his house because "omg property tax." When property taxes are a very fair way to make sure every property owner in an area keeps that area from looking like Mogadishu.

    It was the very idea of a property tax he was complaining about, not so much the amount or the services provided.

    To which I say, go try the alternative. Maybe we'll let you come back when you're done, if the warlords haven't killed you.

    It's all a bit silly anyway - whilst we'd like to pretend that you're taxed for various things in order to provide benefit to owners of those things, all the money gets swept into massive pots and redistributed as seen fit by the government. Local government does indeed see almost all of the council tax money, but receives a massive chunk from central government as well - and crucially doesn't have to justify any increases in the amount obtained from either source. Not all services are necessary, certainly not all are useful, and they don't all provide a blanket 'benefit'. And whilst it's churlish to expect full dictation of how this money is used, many are feeling understandably narked when council taxes go substantially up year on year without any accountability and sometimes accompanied by a reduction in services.

    As for the "if you don't like it, then get involved in local politics" angle...that's not really feasible. In 99% of cases local council seats are tied to a local party affiliation, due largely to our election system using local council votes to determine parlimentary seats and therefore the 'ruling party'. Unless a council has been spectacularly brilliant/rubbish in the last 5 years, people will get voted in/out according the political favour of the main parties, not the individuals running for candidacy.

    In effect, your only control over how your money is spent is via a single vote to a political party once every 5 years or so, and hoping that vague policy promises translate into a restructuring of services in your local area.



    Council Tax was just one thing in an overarching idea that you can never escape the machine. You don't HAVE to have electricy or gas and Im pretty sure that while we pay for water, theres actually a legal requirement that you get it whether you pay or not because, hey, water everywhere right? Not lik e you had to mine it out of the Earth. What I'm talking about is that if you're responsible and work hard enough to own your own home there is no option to escape the cycle. You can work less but you will have to work because even if you can walk your ass down to the landfill and don't want gas or electric, you still need to stump up money for any number of mandated things for services you may never want.

    What I want, as I stated earlier, was a world where if you've paid your bills, in this case for a house, you're free to explore the various things the world and humanity have to offer. Insteda of dragging yourself back to a crappy job just to keep things moving.

    After you've paid off your house, can't you just work slightly longer to save several years worth of council tax? You could even save that money using the amount you used to spend on your mortgage.

    What I've learned very recently is that life is incredibly short and any time not spent working is good.

    What you COULD do in regards to rubbish being left about, is make it a legal requirement to dispose of it properly (Which i think it already is) but with actual fines and punishment for not dealing with it properly in a timely fashion. So no paying for rubbish, rubbish pick-up and no getting away with leaving it to rot. I'd happily pay £5 every time I go to the landfill once every 2 weeks over £1,300 for the year.


    And how much are you going to pay for the benefit you receive from having a functional fire service and a police service? How much are you going to pay to have bridges maintained and planning laws enforced? How do you administer the fines and punishment with no money?

    With what they get from any number of other taxes? If they didn't spend our money so liberally without efficiency I'm quite certain there'd be more than enough to vastly improve things AND offer a tax cut. For instance, in Oldham they've just spent a fortune doing up their headquarters.

    Now ( i think this is the right number) 4,000 (maybe 40,000) in the council sector are looking at losing their jobs because they cost too much.

    If you are certain that services can be improved and taxes can be lowered, why not write to your council and tell them how?

    Because they don't care? It doesn't take a huge amount of common sense to improve things just takes capable people.

    You want to be free to explore the world and the things that humanity has to offer, but still to be apathetic and owning property in Oldham? You want more free time, but you want to travel to the local dump every two weeks? If council tax is that big of a problem, you shouldn't own property. In fact your mortgage is a greater hazard to your freedom, anyway.

    I can't imagine how much of a pain it must be to pay rent AND tax AND rates if you want to retire. How can spending an hour travelling to dispose of rubbish once every two weeks be considered a massive drain on time?

    As for apathy, eh. Like I said, its so programmed in that people work their entire lives, get forcably retired and then want to go back to work. I doubt me writing letter sis going to achieve anything because unless you're free from work, not a lot of people are going to support dealing with their own garbage. Now if you had a 3-4 day weekend? You might get somewhere.

    DarkWarrior on
  • Options
    Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I'm just going to copy and paste the passage I quoted in the "The Future" thread. I recognize it's unrealistic, but interesting none the less.
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    This whole "dem robots are teekin our jerbs!" discussion reminds me of one of my favorite passages from a Robert Anton Wilson book:

    President Hubbard's first step in establishing The RICH Economy was to offer a prize of $50,000 per year to any worker who could design a machine that would replace him or her. When the primate labor unions raised twenty-three varieties of hell about this plan, Hubbard countered by offering $30,000 a year to all other workers replaced by such a machine. The rank-and-file union people fell into conflict immediately, some accepting this as a fine idea (this group consisting mostly of those earning less than twenty thou per annum), and the leaders still hypnotized by the conditioned and domesticated primate reflex that Employment was Good and Unemployment was Bad.

    While the unions squabbled among themselves and ceased to present a unified front against the RICH scenario, conservatives mounted a campaign against it on the grounds that it was inflationary. Here Hubbard's political genius showed itself. She made no effort to reason with the intellectual conservatives, who were all theologians in disguise. All corporation heads and other alpha males of the right, however, were invited to a series of White House multimedia presentations on how RICH would work for them.

    The chief points in these presentations were that:


    1. a machine works twenty-four hours a day, not eight -- thereby tripling output immediately

    2. machines do not take sick leave

    3. machines are never late for work

    4. machines do not form unions and constantly ask for higher wages and more fringe benefits

    5. machines do not take vacations

    6. machines do not harbor grudges and foul up production in sneaky, undetectable ways

    7. cybernation was advancing every decade, anyway, despite the opposition of unions, government, and these alpha males; it was better to have huge populations celebrating the reward of $30,000 to $50,000 per year for group cleverness than huge populations suffering the humility of welfare

    8. with production rising due to both cybernation and the space-cities, consumers were needed and a society on welfare was a society of very meagre consumers.

    The alpha males were still fighting among themselves about whether this was "sound" or not when it squeaked through Congress.

    Within a year the first case of the new multi-inventive leisure class appeared. This was a Cherokee Indian named Starhawk, who had been an engine-lathe worker in Tucson. After designing himself out of that job, Starhawk had gone on to learn four other mechanical factory jobs, designed himself out of each, and now had a guaranteed income of $250,000 a year for these feats. He was now devoting himself to painting in the traditional Cherokee style -- which was what he had always wanted to do, back in adolescence, before he learned that he had to work for a living.....

    The majority of the unemployed, living comfortably on $30,000 a year, admittedly spent most of their time drinking booze, smoking weed, engaging in primate sexual acrobatics, and watching wall TV.

    When moralists complained that this was a subhuman existence, Hubbard answered, "And what kind of existence did they have doing idiot jobs that machines do better?"




    While obviously unrealistic science fiction, and the actual numbers obviously too low, I still get a kick out of it.

    Raiden333 on
    There was a steam sig here. It's gone now.
  • Options
    HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    I also hate the phrase "leisure" time. "Leisure" sounds like doing nothing, but a particular form of nothing that lazy overprivileged rich folks do, all lounging around by a swimming pool with mimosas in their hands at 11 am.

    What I want is more free time... free to spend pursuing other things. Maybe my free time is spent exercising, or volunteering for a charity, or learning a musical instrument, or visiting my family, or blogging. It's certainly not idle.

    I realized, a few weeks back, that I'm never bored when I'm outside of work. Finding stimulation outside of work is not hard; and if I get tired of my environment I just take a walk or go to a coffee shop. But I get intensely bored at work - I recognize that a big part of this is that I'm burnt out in my particular field, but it would be a lot easier if I could just say, "Hey guys, I know it's 2 pm, but I gotta check out for about an hour. I'll be at Starbucks listening to my iPod" and then work an hour later.

    Working fewer hours would be ideal, but until that can happen I'd be happy working more flexible hours.

    These two things. As it is now, I spend an hour and a half commuting each way, with an 8h + 1h lunch. In the winter, there are days I don't see the sun, being trapped in the cube farm and only venturing out to commute in the dawn or the dusk. I just took a four day weekend, and it was the best four days ever - why can't I shift my schedule to cram my 40h into fewer days? Or work from home part of the time? So long as I'm productive, what does it matter?

    I ended up working last New Year's Day. Some friends wanted to grab Pho, so I requested coming in an hour early and taking a 2 hour lunch. Getting this approved on a day when we had nothing to do was a HUGE pain in the ass.

    Houn on
  • Options
    Space CoyoteSpace Coyote Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I can't imagine how much of a pain it must be to pay rent AND tax AND rates if you want to retire. How can spending an hour travelling to dispose of rubbish once every two weeks be considered a massive drain on time?

    As for apathy, eh. Like I said, its so programmed in that people work their entire lives, get forcably retired and then want to go back to work. I doubt me writing letter sis going to achieve anything because unless you're free from work, not a lot of people are going to support dealing with their own garbage. Now if you had a 3-4 day weekend? You might get somewhere.

    You don't have to pay rent and tax and rates if you earn a low enough amount and live in a tent or a camper van, exploring the world and seeing what humanity has to offer.

    An hour spent every fortnight to deal with rubbish is a massive drain on time compared to the minute it takes to leave your bins out.

    You could have a 3-4 day weekend if you were willing to work part time and deal with the consequences of that decision.

    You can choose to be free, but you haven't and that is your problem, not a systemic one.

    Space Coyote on
  • Options
    MulysaSemproniusMulysaSempronius but also susie nyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    My job is pretty flexible. I can show up pretty much whenever (just calling in if I'll be late) taking however long a lunch whenever (generally just letting somebody know if I'll be a while) and leaving when I want (letting somebody know if it is > 1/2 an hour earlier than usual). it's a small company, and I just inform my immediate supervisor when I will be having a weird schedule, and she is cool with it as long as my work gets done.
    I still have to work 8+ hour days to get all my shit done. My breaks are usually sneaking on the internet while my old ICAP machine is running (I have to switch out samples and hit the right buttons, trouble-shooting where needed still.) Maybe it's because I am manufacturing chemical standards and I don't have a desk job, or because it's a small company that is growing rather rapidly, but I couldn't imagine having an hour downtime, let alone 4, in a day.
    And working with machines a good portion of my time makes me laugh at "robots will replace us." Oh man, I am about to kill my ICAP here. brb.

    MulysaSempronius on
    If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
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    DarkWarriorDarkWarrior __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    I can't imagine how much of a pain it must be to pay rent AND tax AND rates if you want to retire. How can spending an hour travelling to dispose of rubbish once every two weeks be considered a massive drain on time?

    As for apathy, eh. Like I said, its so programmed in that people work their entire lives, get forcably retired and then want to go back to work. I doubt me writing letter sis going to achieve anything because unless you're free from work, not a lot of people are going to support dealing with their own garbage. Now if you had a 3-4 day weekend? You might get somewhere.

    You don't have to pay rent and tax and rates if you earn a low enough amount and live in a tent or a camper van, exploring the world and seeing what humanity has to offer.

    An hour spent every fortnight to deal with rubbish is a massive drain on time compared to the minute it takes to leave your bins out.

    You could have a 3-4 day weekend if you were willing to work part time and deal with the consequences of that decision.

    You can choose to be free, but you haven't and that is your problem, not a systemic one.

    Me? I work a 4 day week. I don't understand, why are you so pro-work?

    DarkWarrior on
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