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Comment Re:They can't afford it - REALLY! (Score 1) 412

Because 80-90% of the amount is collected back in taxes, so the net expense for governament is 10-20%, or 30-60€ billion. Sounds like the amount you already use on welfare. The other 80-90% of the basic income goes to people with decent jobs and their tax rates are adjusted so that they only get about the same amount of money after taxes as they now get.

Currently an unemployed person in Finland can get about 500€/month in benefits and also aid for housing, something like 300€. If you add these together and we get a 500-800€ / month range that is the range proposed for the basic income here. The point of the experiment is to test some different amounts. Obviously, depending on the amount there may or may not be other benefits available and taxation also changes.

Like I said originally: the idea is not to give people more money, but to get rid of the inefficient and demoralising welfare bureaucracy that requires a lot of paperwork and does not allow the unemployed to take short term jobs.

Comment Re:They can't afford it (Score 1) 412

You do not ask for the basic income - it arrives automatically on your bank account every month. The trick is that taxation is modified so that people like me - with a decent salary - will end up the same as now after taxation.

To understand why this is useful, one thing to realize is that our taxation is a very clean and automated process, while the social benefits are a horrid mess that requires a lot of paperwork.

I live in Europe - Finland, and I'm commenting from the POV of our starting basic income experiment. I have no idea of how basic income would work in the US.

Comment Re:They can't afford it (Score 5, Insightful) 412

All of these basic income articles always get these "free moneys" comments, while the actual plan is not about giving unemployed people more money than what they now receive. The idea is to make taking any work always beneficial compared to unemployment. The current system - where you have to demonstrate that you have no work - has the problem that taking a short gig may you may end up losing money before you can again show that you are unemployed.

Also hopefully we will get less bureaucrazy etc.

Even now, every refugee that is granted refugee status will start receiving unemployment benefits.

Comment Re:Monitor (Score 1) 127

I don't know about Romania, but at least here in Finland, you cannot really fire a single employee for bad performance. If the guy cannot do his job at all, then maybe, but just for being the bottom of the barrel is not cause for firing. On the other hand, if the company does not need the employees work any more, they can fire him, but then they cannot immediate hire someone else to do it.

All this means is that when a company wants someone to leave, they 1) sometimes offer money if you resign or 2) try to find something actionable, like being at work drunk.

Submission + - Why Do Americans Work So Much?

An anonymous reader writes: writes

Rebecca Rosen has an interesting essay at The Atlantic on economist John Maynard Keynes' prediction in 1930 that with increased productivity, over the next 100 years the economy would become so productive that people would barely need to work at all. For a while, it looked like Keynes was right: In 1930 the average workweek was 47 hours. By 1970 it had fallen to slightly less than 39. But then something changed. Instead of continuing to decline, the duration of the workweek stayed put; it’s hovered just below 40 hours for nearly five decades. According to Rosen there would be no mystery in this if Keynes had been wrong about the economy’s increasing productivity, which he thought would lead to a standard of living “between four and eight times as high as it is today.” Keynes got that right: Technology has made the economy massively more productive.

Now a new paper Benjamin Friedman says that “the U.S. economy is right on track to reach Keynes’s eight-fold multiple” by 2029—100 years after the last data Keynes would have had. But according to Friedman, the key reason that Keynes prediction failed to come true is that Keynes failed to allow for the changing distribution of wealth. With widening inequality, median income (and therefore the income of most families) has risen, and is now rising, much more slowly than Keynes anticipated. The failure of the workweek to shrink as he predicted follows. Although Keynes’s eight-fold figure holds up for the economy in aggregate, it’s not at all the case for the median American worker. For them, output by 2029 is likely to be around 3.5 times what it was when Keynes was writing—a bit below his four- to-eight-fold predicted range. "What Keynes foretold was a very optimistic version of what economists call technological unemployment—the idea that less labor will be necessary because machines can do so much," writes Rosen. "The prosperity Keynes predicted is here. After all, the economy as a whole has grown even more brilliantly than he expected. But for most Americans, that prosperity is nowhere to be seen—and, as a result, neither are those shorter workweeks."

Comment Re:Quit whining (Score 2) 114

That is not really possible. Amazon is getting to a monopoly position if you want to use all the modern Cloud stuff. Sure, you can get boxes from many different providers, but AWS has a ton of other services that you cannot buy from others and even more importantly, all the 3rd party Cloud services are running on AWS so they are faster if you are on AWS too.

I would not be surprised if in 10 years Amazon would be a verb for running server software like google is now for search.

Submission + - Did the FTC just kill Native Advertising? 2

popo writes: Native Advertising, or advertorial content that's camouflaged to mimic a site's original content is all the rage among web publishers these days — (cough, Slashdot, cough) — particularly as ad-blocking takes a bigger and bigger bite out of traditional web-advertising revenues. Well today the FTC reiterated its position on native ads and may have just slammed the door shut on this "alternative" form of online advertising. The verdict: If it's not clearly marked "advertising", it may be considered misleading. And by misleading, the FTC means illegal. Of course, from an adblocking perspective, once you clearly indicate something is an ad — you make it all the more easy to block. Which defeats one of the primary goals of native ads to begin with. Did the FTC just kill native advertising?

Submission + - PATREON: Dylan recommends - I will leak your identity

WolphFang writes: Received this in my inbox this morning at 5:23 EST5EDT. Beyond having my basic Patreon information, I have little faith that the extortioners have access to either my expired Pay Pal credit card information or my Credit Card information stored in "Stripe", the payment processor that Patreon is using. Beyond reporting the message to Google as "phishing", what is the best way to notify Patreon of such extortion attempts? Should this message be sent to anyone else for any reason?

Unfortunately your data was leaked in the recent hacking of the Patreon web site and I now have your information. I have your tax id, tax forms, SSN, DOB, Name, Address, Credit card details and more sensitive data. Now, I can go ahead and leak your details online which would damage your credit score like hell and would create a lot of problems for you. If you would like to prevent me from doing this then you need to send 1 bitcoin to the following BTC address. Bitcoin Address: -deleted- You can buy bitcoins using online exchanges easily. The bitcoin address is unique to you. Sending bitcoin takes take, so you better get started right now, you have 48 hours in total.

Submission + - Finland Begins To Shape Basic Income Proposal (

jones_supa writes: The Finnish social insurance institution is to begin drawing up plans for a citizens' basic income model. If eventually deployed after an experimental phase, the model could revolutionize the Finnish social welfare system. Under basic income all citizens would be paid a taxless benefit sum free of charge by the government. The proposal's director Olli Kangas says that the model would see Finns being paid some 800 euros a month in its full form, 550 euros monthly in the model's pilot phase. The full-fledged form of the model would make some earnings-based benefits obsolete, but in the partial pilot format benefits would not be affected, and housing and income support would remain as separate packages.

Submission + - Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s 2

schwit1 writes: A new study finds that people today who eat and exercise the same amount as people 20 years ago are still fatter.

A study published recently in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice found that it's harder for adults today to maintain the same weight as those 20 to 30 years ago did, even at the same levels of food intake and exercise. The authors examined the dietary data of 36,400 Americans between 1971 and 2008 and the physical activity data of 14,419 people between 1988 and 2006. They grouped the data sets together by the amount of food and activity, age, and BMI.

They found a very surprising correlation: A given person, in 2006, eating the same amount of calories, taking in the same quantities of macronutrients like protein and fat, and exercising the same amount as a person of the same age did in 1988 would have a BMI that was about 2.3 points higher. In other words, people today are about 10 percent heavier than people were in the 1980s, even if they follow the exact same diet and exercise plans.

Comment Re:Oh, that's ironic (Score 1) 578

That may be true for the 4 million Syrian refugees that are mostly in the camps near Syria. The refugees that get smuggled to Europe are not all from Syria and do not share that distribution. They are mostly young men. During 2014 refugees from Iraq to Finland were 84% male. I cannot find statistics for 2015, but even the totally pro-refugee media admits that they are young men.

It would be great if the refugees coming to Europe would share the balanced gender and age distribution of the refugees on the camps.

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