Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]

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Winckle
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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Winckle » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:31 pm

Moggy wrote:
a dan from grcade wrote:But seriously: the monarchy is probably the largest overall contributor to reinforcing the widely held, though not often outright expressed, viewpoint that some people are simply born better than others.


Are you trying to say that Prince Andrew isn't genetically superior?

Because, if so, why does he have the superpower of zero sweat?

That's the worst Marvel character yet.

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Hime
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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Hime » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:33 pm

Karl_ wrote:When assigning houses, ultimately I think you would simply assign based on that person's or family's needs, though I think there could still be some choice (maybe picking one from a small list of options). I hope we would eventually reach the point where all the houses are pretty nice, and there's enough capacity for individuals to have a fair amount of choice.

How do you define a family's needs? Is it simply rooms and toilets per head count, garden space for pets, etc?

One of my main motivations for working is to pay for my home and I couldn't honestly say that I would keep doing the job I'm doing if I were able to live in a nice house for free. I can say with absolutely certainly my wife would give up her job tomorrow if she could. I'm sure we're not the only people who work in essential industries who might choose to do something less stressful if the burden (incentive?) of paying for a home was removed. Is there anything you would do to counter this or do you think someone else works step up in our absence?

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Moggy
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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Moggy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:47 pm

"Other people shouldn't be allowed nice homes because I might not work" is a hot take.

;)

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Moggy
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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Moggy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:50 pm

Seriously though, I'd be the same. I've got zero desire to work, I only do it to survive.

But with increased automation, we're facing a future where most people have no job anyway.

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Hime
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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Hime » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:06 pm

Moggy wrote:Seriously though, I'd be the same. I've got zero desire to work, I only do it to survive.

But with increased automation, we're facing a future where most people have no job anyway.

See I do quite enjoy my job and have certainly had times when I would be considered a 'workaholic' but the insomnia and stress plus the getting older, less materialistic and probably a bit jaded make me think I'd happily give up my job if it meant more time for hobbies, family, etc. I'm sure I'd still do something but it wouldn't be as significant of a contribution to society.

I still think we're a million miles away from a significant number of jobs being automated.

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Moggy
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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Moggy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:09 pm

Hime wrote:
Moggy wrote:Seriously though, I'd be the same. I've got zero desire to work, I only do it to survive.

But with increased automation, we're facing a future where most people have no job anyway.

See I do quite enjoy my job and have certainly had times when I would be considered a 'workaholic' but the insomnia and stress plus the getting older, less materialistic and probably a bit jaded make me think I'd happily give up my job if it meant more time for hobbies, family, etc. I'm sure I'd still do something but it wouldn't be as significant of a contribution to society.

I still think we're a million miles away from a significant number of jobs being automated.


We're a way off but it is coming. It'd be best to be prepared for it now rather than go through the hardship in the future.

And that's why I volunteer to be paid not to work.

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Karl_ » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:30 pm

Hime wrote:How do you define a family's needs? Is it simply rooms and toilets per head count, garden space for pets, etc?

I wouldn't define any of that. It would be a conversation we would need to have direct-democratically in our communities. We clearly wouldn't be able to distribute housing infrastructure from a community stock without a robust democratic process for input into and management of that stock.

I don't think you can or should impose that kind of system on a community - people have to demand it, engage with it, and ultimately actively maintain it.

Hime wrote:One of my main motivations for working is to pay for my home and I couldn't honestly say that I would keep doing the job I'm doing if I were able to live in a nice house for free. I can say with absolutely certainly my wife would give up her job tomorrow if she could. I'm sure we're not the only people who work in essential industries who might choose to do something less stressful if the burden (incentive?) of paying for a home was removed. Is there anything you would do to counter this or do you think someone else works step up in our absence?

If we started to leave capitalism behind us you would definitely need to work a lot less. You would still need to work a little bit.

There is enough labour to achieve community necessities with a relatively small amount of work per person even today. Since the 40-hour week was implemented, technological advances have increased productivity a lot. Under capitalism that productivity goes to growth, increased profits, and competition (marketing, etc.), but in a socialist society it can go towards decreasing everyone's hours. As automation and AI advance, an increasing proportion of ordinary people will be long-term out of work anyway - under capitalism it's not clear what will happen to those workers (stagnant economies and permanent welfare?) but socialism is a perfect answer to those conditions.

So we could all work less and work in better conditions, but there would still clearly be essential jobs to do, particularly in the opening stage of socialism - the transitional state - where we are just beginning to leave capitalism behind. I think communities would still incentivise "doing your bit". I don't know exactly what that would look like, but I assume there would be social pressure, increased or reduced access to luxuries, community rotas to share out unpopular jobs (think jury duty), etc.

In terms of your specific question about getting people to work if we give away houses and food - I don't think you have to threaten people with homelessness and starvation to get them to make reasonable contributions to their community. There's plenty of evidence in terms of psychology etc. that most humans (and other social animals!) enjoy feeling useful and are not inherently lazy or selfish, so I think people would do a bit of work to keep the world turning. You've spoken before about how hard you've worked over the years and at the risk of being a bit annoying (sorry :P ) I believe you probably would contribute your (e.g.) one day a week, even if you don't think you would now! [EDIT: You don't strike me as an idle person, is what I'm trying to say.]

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Hime » Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:05 pm

Karl_ wrote:
Hime wrote:How do you define a family's needs? Is it simply rooms and toilets per head count, garden space for pets, etc?

I wouldn't define any of that. It would be a conversation we would need to have direct-democratically in our communities. We clearly wouldn't be able to distribute housing infrastructure from a community stock without a robust democratic process for input into and management of that stock.

I don't think you can or should impose that kind of system on a community - people have to demand it, engage with it, and ultimately actively maintain it.

Hime wrote:One of my main motivations for working is to pay for my home and I couldn't honestly say that I would keep doing the job I'm doing if I were able to live in a nice house for free. I can say with absolutely certainly my wife would give up her job tomorrow if she could. I'm sure we're not the only people who work in essential industries who might choose to do something less stressful if the burden (incentive?) of paying for a home was removed. Is there anything you would do to counter this or do you think someone else works step up in our absence?

If we started to leave capitalism behind us you would definitely need to work a lot less. You would still need to work a little bit.

There is enough labour to achieve community necessities with a relatively small amount of work per person even today. Since the 40-hour week was implemented, technological advances have increased productivity a lot. Under capitalism that productivity goes to growth, increased profits, and competition (marketing, etc.), but in a socialist society it can go towards decreasing everyone's hours. As automation and AI advance, an increasing proportion of ordinary people will be long-term out of work anyway - under capitalism it's not clear what will happen to those workers (stagnant economies and permanent welfare?) but socialism is a perfect answer to those conditions.

So we could all work less and work in better conditions, but there would still clearly be essential jobs to do, particularly in the opening stage of socialism - the transitional state - where we are just beginning to leave capitalism behind. I think communities would still incentivise "doing your bit". I don't know exactly what that would look like, but I assume there would be social pressure, increased or reduced access to luxuries, community rotas to share out unpopular jobs (think jury duty), etc.

In terms of your specific question about getting people to work if we give away houses and food - I don't think you have to threaten people with homelessness and starvation to get them to make reasonable contributions to their community. There's plenty of evidence in terms of psychology etc. that most humans (and other social animals!) enjoy feeling useful and are not inherently lazy or selfish, so I think people would do a bit of work to keep the world turning. You've spoken before about how hard you've worked over the years and at the risk of being a bit annoying (sorry :P ) I believe you probably would contribute your (e.g.) one day a week, even if you don't think you would now! [EDIT: You don't strike me as an idle person, is what I'm trying to say.]

Automation won't solve the problem of needing doctors, scientists, plumbers, street cleaners, hair dressers, etc for years. Without meaning to sound judgemental some of those jobs require years of training and education that if a person decided they would rather not do it if the incentive of capital was removed there may not be another person to simply fill the void.

It's easy to sell the ultimate vision of socialism when people have loads more free time to do what they want but I don't see how you get passed that interim that could potentially last forever as some jobs will never be automated. That's not too suggest that I or others would do nothing but being a handyman or planting carrots is not the same level of contribution as being a brain surgeon, or some equally demanding job. I just don't think it's possible to get enough highly skilled, specialised people to work purely for the benefit of others.

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Karl_ » Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:33 pm

Hime wrote:Automation won't solve the problem of needing doctors, scientists, plumbers, street cleaners, hair dressers, etc for years. Without meaning to sound judgemental some of those jobs require years of training and education that if a person decided they would rather not do it if the incentive of capital was removed there may not be another person to simply fill the void.

It's easy to sell the ultimate vision of socialism when people have loads more free time to do what they want but I don't see how you get passed that interim that could potentially last forever as some jobs will never be automated. That's not too suggest that I or others would do nothing but being a handyman or planting carrots is not the same level of contribution as being a brain surgeon, or some equally demanding job. I just don't think it's possible to get enough highly skilled, specialised people to work purely for the benefit of others.

I mean, I am actually a medical researcher, and most of the work I do is already for free. Surgeons and scientists and so on tend to be passionate about helping people, of all workers it's those that I'm least worried about contributing in a different economic system. People I know who have been driven out of the sector say it's due to poor working conditions, which is caused by right-wing policy, not because they don't profit under capitalism enough.

I feel like I can't say anything more to you than I already said in my post - essential work would still be incentivised even under socialism; I don't think it's radical to suggest it's unnecessary to threaten people with starvation and death for them to contribute; socialism is a process, part of which is convincing people to connect to their communities - so I'll leave it here.

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Moggy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:49 pm

Hime wrote:Automation won't solve the problem of needing doctors, scientists, plumbers, street cleaners, hair dressers, etc for years. Without meaning to sound judgemental some of those jobs require years of training and education that if a person decided they would rather not do it if the incentive of capital was removed there may not be another person to simply fill the void.


I think for doctors and scientists there will be no problem as they are more vocations than jobs people are forced into just to earn some money.

Plumbers earn a very decent wage, some people will always want more cash even if we had a socialist setup. I'm not sure if the wages for hairdressers is low, but haircuts don't appear to be that cheap so I'm sure it pays enough that people will be willing to do it so they have more money.

And so the same thing applies to street cleaners. If we have a desperate need, the wages will be high enough to tempt people to do the work.

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Grumpy David » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:11 pm

Karl_ wrote:I mean, I am actually a medical researcher, and most of the work I do is already for free. Surgeons and scientists and so on tend to be passionate about helping people, of all workers it's those that I'm least worried about contributing in a different economic system. People I know who have been driven out of the sector say it's due to poor working conditions, which is caused by right-wing policy, not because they don't profit under capitalism enough.

I feel like I can't say anything more to you than I already said in my post - essential work would still be incentivised even under socialism; I don't think it's radical to suggest it's unnecessary to threaten people with starvation and death for them to contribute; socialism is a process, part of which is convincing people to care about their communities - so I'll leave it here.


How do you pay for rent, bills and food etc if most of your work is unpaid? PhD tax free stipend? The paid work you do is so highly paid and your outgoings so low you can afford to work for free for most of the week?

Incentives do influence behaviour. Doctors in their higher earning years were declining overtime shifts or even going part-time when they'd prefer to continue working full-time but wanted to avoid the pension taper relief and crazy tax bills incurred by pension taper relief. I don't doubt their desire to help their fellow man but I don't blame them for choosing to focus on their own self interest either when incentives skew outcomes.

I've done something similar with my weekend overtime and I'm nowhere near the income level where taper relief kicks in. I lose 51% of the overtime payment due to income tax, NI and my student loan but alternatively I can choose to have a day off during the week so I have a 5 day week instead of 6 day with a paid overtime day. Or what I've actually done and continued with doing overtime but increased salary sacrifice on the pension so 100% of the overtime goes straight to my pension.

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Hime » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:19 pm

Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:Automation won't solve the problem of needing doctors, scientists, plumbers, street cleaners, hair dressers, etc for years. Without meaning to sound judgemental some of those jobs require years of training and education that if a person decided they would rather not do it if the incentive of capital was removed there may not be another person to simply fill the void.


I think for doctors and scientists there will be no problem as they are more vocations than jobs people are forced into just to earn some money.

Plumbers earn a very decent wage, some people will always want more cash even if we had a socialist setup. I'm not sure if the wages for hairdressers is low, but haircuts don't appear to be that cheap so I'm sure it pays enough that people will be willing to do it so they have more money.

And so the same thing applies to street cleaners. If we have a desperate need, the wages will be high enough to tempt people to do the work.

Those were more an example of jobs that won't be easy to automate.

Your solution is to incentivise with wages, how is that different to how capitalism is supposed to work? I thought wages were abolished with socialism?

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Oblomov Boblomov » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:32 pm

Is the purpose also to abolish bureaucracy? Things like health & safety, GDPR, regulations, policies, database management, finance, quality assurance, legal compliance etc etc? Anyone with even a passing experience of working in the modern world is surely familiar with the absolute juggernaut of administrative work required to maintain all of these things.

Hate it all you want — we all do, obviously — but it's a necessary evil, it probably makes up a substantial majority of all work that is carried out in the developed world and I can tell you now that nobody on the planet is going to put in the hours needed to do it unless they're getting paid!

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Moggy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:35 pm

Hime wrote:
Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:Automation won't solve the problem of needing doctors, scientists, plumbers, street cleaners, hair dressers, etc for years. Without meaning to sound judgemental some of those jobs require years of training and education that if a person decided they would rather not do it if the incentive of capital was removed there may not be another person to simply fill the void.


I think for doctors and scientists there will be no problem as they are more vocations than jobs people are forced into just to earn some money.

Plumbers earn a very decent wage, some people will always want more cash even if we had a socialist setup. I'm not sure if the wages for hairdressers is low, but haircuts don't appear to be that cheap so I'm sure it pays enough that people will be willing to do it so they have more money.

And so the same thing applies to street cleaners. If we have a desperate need, the wages will be high enough to tempt people to do the work.

Those were more an example of jobs that won't be easy to automate.

Your solution is to incentivise with wages, how is that different to how capitalism is supposed to work? I thought wages were abolished with socialism?


I think you're thinking of communism.

You incentivise with wages while not requiring wages in order to live. A decent house, electric, food etc are basics. If you want the sports car and lavish holiday, you'll have to work for it. Some people will want to work because they love the job. Some will work because they love money. Some will work out of duty to family/local society. Some will happily never work again.

I'm not really advocating anything, was just responding to your idea that people wouldn't work if they already had a house/food/etc.

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Karl_ » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:57 pm

Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:Your solution is to incentivise with wages, how is that different to how capitalism is supposed to work? I thought wages were abolished with socialism?


I think you're thinking of communism.

You incentivise with wages while not requiring wages in order to live. A decent house, electric, food etc are basics. If you want the sports car and lavish holiday, you'll have to work for it. Some people will want to work because they love the job. Some will work because they love money. Some will work out of duty to family/local society. Some will happily never work again.

I'm not really advocating anything, was just responding to your idea that people wouldn't work if they already had a house/food/etc.


Capitalism is specifically a way of structuring society which allows people with wealth to invest capital into private ownership of a business, and to extract profit from it by virtue of that legal condition of private ownership.

A post-capitalist society could still have money and markets, just as pre-capitalist societies had money and markets.

In "market socialism", people still work for a wage and buy goods from businesses - but all businesses must be worker-owned cooperatives, such that the workplace is democratically managed rather than being held in private ownership. Utilities and public infrastructure would be nationalised. Progressive taxation and "use it or lose it" laws would preventing individuals from hoarding resources.

Most socialists (including me) believe that any kind of socialist society would be part of a long-term endeavour to build communism, which would happen when we reach the level of abundance and community democracy that could support it.

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Moggy » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:58 pm

Karl_ wrote:
Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:Your solution is to incentivise with wages, how is that different to how capitalism is supposed to work? I thought wages were abolished with socialism?


I think you're thinking of communism.

You incentivise with wages while not requiring wages in order to live. A decent house, electric, food etc are basics. If you want the sports car and lavish holiday, you'll have to work for it. Some people will want to work because they love the job. Some will work because they love money. Some will work out of duty to family/local society. Some will happily never work again.

I'm not really advocating anything, was just responding to your idea that people wouldn't work if they already had a house/food/etc.


Capitalism is specifically a way of structuring society which allows people with wealth to invest capital into private ownership of a business, and to extract profit from it by virtue of that legal condition of private ownership.

A post-capitalist society could still have money and markets, just as pre-capitalist societies had money and markets.

In "market socialism", people still work for a wage and buy goods from businesses - but all businesses must be worker-owned cooperatives, such that the workplace is democratically managed rather than being held in private ownership. Utilities and public infrastructure would be nationalised. Progressive taxation and "use it or lose it" laws would preventing individuals from hoarding resources.

Most socialists (including me) believe that any kind of socialist society would be part of a long-term endeavour to build communism, which would happen when we reach the level of abundance and community democracy that could support it.


Meh, sounds like Marxism.

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Hime » Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:39 am

Karl_ wrote:
Moggy wrote:
Hime wrote:Your solution is to incentivise with wages, how is that different to how capitalism is supposed to work? I thought wages were abolished with socialism?


I think you're thinking of communism.

You incentivise with wages while not requiring wages in order to live. A decent house, electric, food etc are basics. If you want the sports car and lavish holiday, you'll have to work for it. Some people will want to work because they love the job. Some will work because they love money. Some will work out of duty to family/local society. Some will happily never work again.

I'm not really advocating anything, was just responding to your idea that people wouldn't work if they already had a house/food/etc.


Capitalism is specifically a way of structuring society which allows people with wealth to invest capital into private ownership of a business, and to extract profit from it by virtue of that legal condition of private ownership.

A post-capitalist society could still have money and markets, just as pre-capitalist societies had money and markets.

In "market socialism", people still work for a wage and buy goods from businesses - but all businesses must be worker-owned cooperatives, such that the workplace is democratically managed rather than being held in private ownership. Utilities and public infrastructure would be nationalised. Progressive taxation and "use it or lose it" laws would preventing individuals from hoarding resources.

Most socialists (including me) believe that any kind of socialist society would be part of a long-term endeavour to build communism, which would happen when we reach the level of abundance and community democracy that could support it.

So if businesses are worker owned some business could still become much bigger than others? Is that considered ok because you'd have a limit on personal wealth so individuals would be forced to reinvest?

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Karl_ » Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:02 am

Hime wrote:So if businesses are worker owned some business could still become much bigger than others? Is that considered ok because you'd have a limit on personal wealth so individuals would be forced to reinvest?

Sure, I think you could have bigger and smaller cooperatives. There would still be competition between cooperatives for customers and so on. (A market socialist could tell you more about how they would prevent capital investment from reemerging.)

I haven't done too much reading on market socialism to be honest as I lean more towards wanting the community to democratically plan its economy, but I do think it's an interesting possible stepping-stone between here and more radically different systems. I appreciate there's something to be said for dealing with the biggest problem (capitalism!) first.

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PostRe: Politics Census: Lockdown Edition feat. Drumstick [Final results p.11]
by Hime » Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:34 am

Karl_ wrote:
Hime wrote:So if businesses are worker owned some business could still become much bigger than others? Is that considered ok because you'd have a limit on personal wealth so individuals would be forced to reinvest?

Sure, I think you could have bigger and smaller cooperatives. There would still be competition between cooperatives for customers and so on. (A market socialist could tell you more about how they would prevent capital investment from reemerging.)

I haven't done too much reading on market socialism to be honest as I lean more towards wanting the community to democratically plan its economy, but I do think it's an interesting possible stepping-stone between here and more radically different systems. I appreciate there's something to be said for dealing with the biggest problem (capitalism!) first.

Yeah of course, it's just a fun discussion. Don't worry I won't hold you to anything when the revolution comes ;)

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