Basic income legislation rejected in Switzerland

A referendum in Switzerland has seen legislation to introduce basic income rejected.

Last Saturday, the people of Switzerland took part in the world’s first referendum to introduce a nationwide basic income – unconditionally granted to all individuals, without means test or work requirement. The proposal, which would have seen every adult guaranteed a yearly wage of around A$30,000, with an additional A$7800 for every child in their care, was rejected.

The final tally saw 77 per cent reject the proposal. In this first attempt, basic income may have been rejected but the idea of basic income is not yet done with. Pre-polling in Switzerland suggested that the proposal was never going to gain the required support because of the sudden and untested nature of basic income. However, the polling does suggest that 77 per cent of the Swiss population would support a test of basic income.

The referendum on basic income was introduced under Switzerland's 'popular initiative system', which allows citizens to suggest changes to the federal constitution. For an initiative to be considered, campaigners need to collect 100,000 signatures over 18 months so an idea can go to a public vote.

Read more from www.bbc.com
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Read more from www.theage.com.au

Opinion: Your rights to constitutional changes

The referendum in Switzerland over the weekend opened my eyes to what is one of the most forward-thinking and responsible systems of checks and balances – Switzerland’s ‘popular initiative system’.

This revolutionary system hands the power back to the people and enables them to propose important policies to the parliament. Any new proposal requires the signature of about 1.5 per cent of the population and referenda are held to consider, at one time, several ideas suggested by the popular initiative system.

Under our current system, the Australian Government does not have to consider any new ideas, no matter how popular they are, whether it be an increase in the Age Pension or changes to the law that would see the legalisation of euthanasia.

Imagine just how different our country could be with a little bit of power handed back to the people? Would you like to see a similar initiative introduced in Australia? What would be the first legislative changes you would support?





    COMMENTS

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    probins01
    8th Jun 2016
    10:30am
    This idea is nothing new.
    I and many others in Australia have been singing the praises of CIR, Citizen Initiated Referenda for over 30 years!
    It's a fabulous idea and the referenda coincides with elections, so it doesn't impose any significant increase in electoral costs.
    No government here will take it up, because they are unable to go against the wishes of their corporate, banking and union masters.
    Lescol
    8th Jun 2016
    12:07pm
    I fully support this concept and I grow weary of the large parties. At the coming election; true independent first, current government last.

    As a senior citizen I believe the vision is to cut the nonsense. Give all people of retirement age the full pension and tax all income in the normal way. Simple. This gets rid of the bureaucracy associated with monitoring the current ineffective system and puts everyone on an even footing.

    You are not punished for saving to supplement your retirement as is happening in the current political climate. Ditto traveling away from Australia as you will pay tax (31%). Simple eh? Just like the Citizen initiated Referenda!

    cheers
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    12:50pm
    It's more than a fabulous idea. It's an idea that it is undemocratic and abusive of human rights NOT to incorporate in our system of government. Our government shows nothing but contempt for the people, and it's time this was changed.

    As for basic income - it should at least be paid to all senior citizens, in accordance with the objectives of the introduction of aged pensions and out of respect for our older population. But having recently completed a sociology course, I am keenly aware now of the danger and destructiveness of ''needs-based'' welfare. By paying people to bludge, fake illness or disability, etc. you encourage that behaviour. By punishing people for working and saving, you discourage that behaviour. It seems astonishing to me that the same folk who come on here ranting about ''bludgers'' and ''fakers'' ripping off our taxpayer strongly support a system that encourages such behaviour and punishes responsible contribution to society.

    Time to wake up, Aussies. Demand an end to needs-based welfare and a return to the notion that work and saving should be fairly rewarded. A safety net is essential. Our genuinely sick and disabled and otherwise underprivileged should be treated with respect and cared for with empathy, but NOT at the expense of denying others the benefits of their hard work and frugal living.

    Our politicians are brainless, clueless, inept in the extreme, and contemptuous of those they are paid to serve. We need a total system overhaul - starting with Citizen Initiated Referenda and the restoration of aged pensions as an ENTITLEMENT for all (respectfully acknowledging that most of us bought and paid for our pensions under legislation that guaranteed them, and nobody had a right to withdraw that entitlement. Politicians say their entitlements can't be reduced. How dare they suggest the rules should be different for those who have so much less?)
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    1:06pm
    It is a bad idea and would only make people lazier and fatter. We already have a welfare mentality where no one wants to work and this would make that worse.
    Robin7
    8th Jun 2016
    2:02pm
    Bronny, you thinks so little of your fellow aussies, I don't understand how you can stay in the same country as the rest of us.
    What you say here makes no sense when checked against the LNP's own statistics, and indeed has no relevance to CIR.


    No government here will take up CIR, because they are unable to accept that the regular citizenry of Australia may actually have good ideas.

    When the proposal was put to K.Rudd he rejected it out of hand, saying, On National Television, that if CIR was adopted Australians would immediately vote to hang people from lampposts for speeding.
    When I put this to a nationals pollie face-to-face, he said, you cant give power to the people, they would ruin the country.
    -> Shows just what our pollies think of us.

    AND CIR does go against the wishes of the Pollies corporate, banking and union masters. With CIR we could make sure that the Fat Cats stop leaning on the rest of us, and pay their fair share.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    2:17pm
    By the amount of petitions I get each day in my email inbox and delete I know why we don't have CIRs. Because we would have one every other day as it is not hard to get 100,000 signatures. K Rudd is right this.

    Unfortunately for some I do live in Australia but on a country estate away from other people. You people should feel lucky as no one normally gets past my locked front gate.

    I see you have also realised that I have nothing to do with the LNP, Labor or any other political party. Just had one on the phone who asked me about what his party could do for Australia.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    5:35pm
    Bonny, SOME Australians have a ''welfare mentality'' and don't want to work because our STUPID ''needs-based' welfare system punishes people for striving and rewards them for being lazy and irresponsible.

    If you want people to work, you have to make it worthwhile. You can't do that by abolishing welfare, because that leaves the genuinely disadvantaged without support. You can't do it with threats, bullying, insults, or punishments, because NOBODY is qualified to know who is genuine and who isn't. The ONLY way to do it is to recognize that needs-based welfare doesn't work, and to accept that the only way capitalism is going to survive the current challenges of growing inequality and falling demand for labour is to introduce a basic income system that allows people to strive without suffering hurt and gives them security to try, knowing that if they fail, they will be sustained to get up and try again.

    The people who whine about a welfare mentality are the very people who create it and sustain it with their idiotic notions and their disgustingly cruel and arrogant judgmental attitudes. It's no wonder some people don't want to work when nasty, selfish people claim that they should be stripped, in old age, of everything they worked for and forced to die in poverty, leaving their family nothing. Why the hell would anybody want to work in a nation where they are treated that way?
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    5:50pm
    Rainey fully self funded retires don't have a problem and they get no welfare. They have worked and invested their money so that they are not dependent upon others.

    The whingers seem to be only those who depend upon welfare because who don't depend on welfare are happy with their lot in life.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    8:27pm
    Bonny, you can't deal in fact, can you? Just the popular myth the rich peddle to justify their greed and selfishness and unfairness.

    FACT: ''Self-funded retirees'' cost the nation far more than pensioners. They take huge unfair tax concessions throughout their working life - concessions that ARE NOT available to low income earners - and then they take fat tax-free salaries in retirement. Of course they are happy with their privileges and the unfair overindulgences they enjoy at the expense of the hard workers who they use and abuse.

    NO RETIREE is dependant on welfare, because there isn't any such thing for the aged. There is a pension WRONGFULLY DENIED to many and DISHONESTLY BRANDED as 'welfare' by arrogant dishonest bastards who refuse to acknowledge the facts of history and who steal and plunder the funds that were built up from the contributions of those who are now either being denied the entitlement they bought and paid for, or are being thrown crumbs and insulted and disrespected and lied about.

    And actually in my experience those on aged pensions are generally far happier and much nicer people than most of the chest-beating arrogant thieves who pretend superiority after ripping off taxpayers for decades - AND pensioners contribute far more to society. Just go into any charity or community service group and see how many pensioners are there working for nothing, vs wealthy folk.

    I really wish the government would steal all your assets, Bonny. Maybe then you'd stop scorning the victims of legalized theft. People like you make me wish for another war, or better still, a takeover like the one in Communist China, where they made the privileged parade in the streets and bow to peasants, after charging them with crimes and stripping them of everything they owned. I thought that was a shocking thing to do to anyone, but you deserve it.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    8:30pm
    Rainy,
    I admire your patience & persistence to educate those who have "No ability to See".
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    11:07pm
    Well I have lost a fortune many times already so if the government steals my assets I have the knowledge to get them back again.
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2016
    7:52am
    What CRAP Bonny. A young person might be able to work and earn and very slowly and painfully get back up after a devastating loss, but it takes money to make money. Knowledge is totally useless unless accompanied by opportunity and physical and emotional capacity. You are so transparently dishonest! Do you really think others are stupid enough to believe your rubbish?

    One thing is certain. Anyone who lost a fortune even once would NOT be wanting to deprive hard workers of their homes and savings. They would vehemently oppose any suggestion of punishing people for being hard working, responsible, and frugal.
    Retired Knowall
    9th Jun 2016
    8:05am
    Rainey the VICTIM dribbling on again.
    Self Funded Retirees COST the Govt...Really?
    I have paid more tax than you have earnt you fool.
    LiveItUp
    9th Jun 2016
    11:06am
    Agree Rainey is always the victim. I don't think they have any idea what it is like to be a fully self funded retiree. No weekly or fortnightly payments but to be holding up to 4 years living expenses so one doesn't have to sell something at the wrong time.

    Maybe we should send them our yearly tax bills. The government cost me money not the other way around.

    Obviously they have no idea what investing money is all about either.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    5:33pm
    How to evidence total stupidity and arrogance folks! Make wild unsubstantiated claims that someone you know you paid more in tax than someone you know absolutely NOTHING about earned! And he calls me a 'fool'????

    As for Bonny... we all know her attitude to people who invested up to 5 decades contributing to society. She wants to take their houses and grind them into poverty if they didn't win the birth lottery or enjoy enormous good luck at some point. What scum!

    Neither Retired Knowall nor Bonny can contribute to a logical, fact-based debate. All they know how to do is insult.

    And to think my father and father-in-law sacrificed everything to preserve a society in which THINGS like them can prosper!
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    10:36am
    People in Switzerland are also in the process of (after having collected the required number of signatures) to FORCE a discussion of generating finance for the benefit of the people rather than the BANKSTERS!
    The Dutch have forced a PLEBISCITE on the same issue.
    The issue is being discussed in the British parliament!
    Iceland has JAILED the BANKSTERS and PAID OUT ALL loans in the country!
    Hungary has evicted the International BANKSTERS!

    In the past few years a BIll has been submitted (a few times) to parliament (most recently by Senator Maddigan) to amend section 128 of the Australian Constitution to allow for Australians taxpayers to initiate a Referendum and FORCE Change to how our Government deals with its Citizens.
    I believe that these issues were dismissed via a mechanism of technicality on each occasion.

    Our politicians are FRIGHTENED to have this mechanism introduced in Australia as such would represent GrassRoot Direct Democracy in its most Efficient, Effective & Truest form and ensure that "BackDoor Deals" (like the TPP Trade agreement ???????) cannot be completed OR can be reversed.

    Introduction of People's Initiated Referendum & Voters Veto has the ability to return ALL Power to the people once they understand the mechanism & it's applications.
    The process allows US to introduce Laws which benefit US rather than the International Corporation and Banksters.
    We also would be able to reverse unpopular Laws!
    However, we - obviously - have a massive battle on our hands to get it introduced in order for US to apply it.
    INTRODUCTION IS A "MUST".

    For those who want to understand more, I have enclosed a link to a book (Download as PDF) written by Prof. Geoffrey de Q Walker who, at the time of writing, was the Dean of the Faculty of Law at St. Lucian University in Brisbane.

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0ahUKEwiI2rjHlZfNAhWkKaYKHUX-COsQFggjMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Falor.org%2FLibrary%2FWalker%2520G%2520de%2520Q%2520-%2520The%2520Peoples%2520Law.pdf&usg=AFQjCNF-5T7XVfKj6f54EvlhGtkQLp5DHQ
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    12:54pm
    Thanks for that information Patriot. I will read that paper with interest.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    12:59pm
    I'd be really (really) worried about introducing a proposal that allows direct democracy for legislation change at the federal level (perhaps it's okay at the local level), as proposed in Professor Walkers book. California's experience with this demonstrates that although it can work as a safety valve against (perceived) dictatorial approaches by the ruling party, over time it degenerates into 'management by committee' where more and more decisions are passed to the people (who may or may not deliberate or research sufficiently to understand the strategic implications of their decisions).

    Of course, there would be benefits (eg. we could propose a constraint on the terms of office in the HoR or the Senate; we could propose specific levies like a public transport levy or public hospital levy), and there could be problems (eg. in California, the people voted to change electoral boundaries - which could be seen as elitist; at the extreme California has had to vote on 17 propositions at one time - March 2000 - and 16 in November 2004; they've also passed legislation on public servant salaries).

    The idea takes us from representative democracy to participative democracy, which in itself will require massive changes to the constitution and the structure of our society.

    Any change will need to be done with extreme deliberation, and learning the lessons of those before.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    1:40pm
    Richied,

    The book was launched (Walker's) in 1097 and I met the man himself at his promotion tour in Goondiwindi on the western Darling Downs.

    You must have a "More Recent" rewrite of the book as the Prof Certainly (at his promotion Tour) discussed (and I personally discussed the issue with him at that occasion) - reacted to & promoted introduction of these principles at ALL Levels of Government.
    I've had my Coconut Oil every morning for the last 6 months and so, my alzheimers should have subsided and hopefully is under control!?!?!?
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    1:47pm
    Sorry, I should have made it clear that the concepts may have merit for local (and even state) level, but my concern was with applying them to federal level.

    At state level for instance (where in NSW we have mandated four year terms), there is little motivation for the ruling party to do what the people want in the first two or so years of being in power, because they have a further two years to 'feed the chooks' before the next election. A policy of direct democracy might institute appropriate counter-balance (if the right governance/checks and balances is applied).

    At a federal level, it would be easy to see how one state could legislate to the detriment of others (eg. a proposal to change the GST allocation) - that's the sort of thing I'm concerned about.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    1:50pm
    Rainey
    The book launch was 1987 and - as far as I know - has not been revised since.
    It deals with the Principles of CIR & Voters Veto and some of the stuff which I drew into the discussion above is "recent time news" and will not be included in the book.
    I only highlighted some of these issues to indicate the GRAVE NEED for CIR a principle.

    I agree that Pressure Groups could present some problems initially with a referendum on many insignificant/trivial issues.

    Electronic voting should reduce the costs of these referendums and - in a short time - discourage escapades such as these.
    (Un)fortunately, electronic votes are more difficult to manipulate and thereby BASTARDIZE the result!!!

    The nominal number of signatures required (if set/adjusted correctly) would also become a barrier very fast as nobody likes to just laboriously collect signatures and never "Reach the trigger point" which makes the desired result happen.

    I can only see some "Teething Problems".

    And finally, IT COULD PROVIDE A "Real Purpose in life for Old Geezers like us" as - I assume - we would be doing most of the slogging to get the signatures!?
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    2:06pm
    I don't think it would be difficult to get the numbers on any petition - check out change.org and you can see a large number of petitions that get 10s of 1000s of votes very quickly, without any marketing/advertising/formal support.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    2:21pm
    Richied
    Thanks for your response. Makes more sense now.

    In the Aust. Constitution, the Feds can override State Govt at any time and so, unless implemented at Fed level also - CIR would have little more meaning than an "Expression of Interest" if only implemented at State & Local Levels.

    And - as this would suit the Pollies - they (All of a sudden) would remember that we have a Constitution and implement it!
    QuickeyeQld
    8th Jun 2016
    4:38pm
    Patriot, the link you provided to the book by Prof. Geoffrey de Q Walker does not work for me. What is the name of the book you mentioned?
    Perhaps a form of Citizen Initiated Referenda could be used as a more effective method for the people to express their opinions and identifying the real issues that need to be considered by the Government/Parliament. Once an issue had been raised and voted on by the public, it would be an effective way of the public judging whether/how their government is working for them. We don't seem to have a very good system going at present.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    4:59pm
    Quickeye
    try this link:

    alor.org/Library/Walker%20G%20de%20Q%20-%20The%20Peoples%20Law.pdf

    google search: "geoffrey De Q Walker + the people's law" without the inverted commas should provide the download as the 2nd item.

    If still not, I can upload on a cloud and provide a link for downloading from there.

    Please let me know.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    5:05pm
    Quickeye

    A non-binding referendum is called a plebicide which is proposed for sorting out same sex marriages etc.

    Why waste the money and ask the people if the pollies can still refuse implementation.

    We have has a few referendums asking if we would allow change of our Constitution for the Shires & Councils be recognised and - via this mechanism - then provide them with the power of LEGALLY make & Enforce LAWS.
    Despite opur REFUSAL of this, our State & FED Govts behave just like we have approved these changes and are promoting "Local Governments" rather than Local Governance"

    Why the hell ask us IF they are only reacting to our WILL if/WHEN if suits their - obviously - coveted agendas
    Ted Wards
    8th Jun 2016
    10:51am
    A new political party People's Choice operates under a similar system. Not sure how many candidates they have across Australia but the one in East Brisbane did quite well in the last election. Better than anticipated in fact. I think it has merit and makes the politicians more accountable. Thats what we need to introduce, making them really accountable for their time in power.
    probins01
    8th Jun 2016
    10:58am
    I agree Ted, the only thing I would question, and I'm sure it's unintentional, is the use of the word 'power'.
    Politicians in a democracy certainly act like they have 'power', but what they really have is delegated authority from the people of Australia.
    Authority is when a police officer holds up his hand for you to stop on the road. He has no real power, because if you chose, you could easily run him down with your car. But he has authority, which we recognise and obey.
    We can choose to remove or reduce political authority at the ballot box, by voting for parties such as the one you mention, and other minor parties and independents, which will force true democratic debate in the legislative chambers.
    Aussiefrog
    8th Jun 2016
    12:46pm
    Absolutely, whatever you do, DON'T VOTE FOR LIB/LAB/GREEN, they have done enough damage to our country and our way of life!
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    12:53pm
    probins01, I agree with you in theory, but in practice our choices in the ballot box are far too limited and the system is far too skewed to favouring the major parties. We don't really have power at all. They do.

    We need to force change, somehow. I wish I knew how it could be accomplished. It's long overdue.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    1:26pm
    These parties (like People's Choice) are simply encouraging people to do what they should be doing - engaging with their representative to tell them your point of view, and then the representative takes all those views into account when they vote on legislation.

    The bigger parties use conventions and member meetings to develop their policies, and then vote as a bloc along party lines. This almost excludes those who are not party members in the democratic process (except for the voting in or out of their representative).

    A groundswell away from the major parties to those parties that encourage active engagement by their constituents (and not just their party members) should be a good thing. One caveat though: this does run the risk of having populist legislation, rather than 'what's good for the country', if the representative is forced to vote with the majority view on each policy.
    particolor
    8th Jun 2016
    1:46pm
    Have any of you taken a Good look at that thing you vote for now ? They stand there like a Cigar Store Indian !! :-) :-)
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    2:40pm
    All candidates are chosen by the parties to do the party's work. They are then put on a ballot paper which makes the people think they voted for them when infact they are just planted their to be voted upon. Nothing democratic in our electoral voting system.
    Hairy
    8th Jun 2016
    10:53am
    I agree with probin
    particolor
    8th Jun 2016
    12:25pm
    So do I !!
    I'm sick of the Dictators we have now ! :-(
    Nothing but Dissatisfaction in over a Decade !
    Except the Rich got Richer ! :-)
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    12:53pm
    Agree particolor.
    Sen.Cit.90
    8th Jun 2016
    11:07am
    Hi all,
    I've commented on this subject a couple of times. There is a party trying to initiate a similar system of government here; check: http://www.restoreaustralia.org.au/
    Sen.Cit.90
    8th Jun 2016
    12:22pm
    Since writing the above comment I have received an email discussing another Political party:
    www.australianlibertyalliance.org.au
    Interestingly they show where they have candidates standing in the coming elections. Also stating their policies (read good to me)
    particolor
    8th Jun 2016
    12:57pm
    If the Swiss rejected $30.000, it shows that Most must be getting More ( Law of Human thinking) ... But we are expected to paddle along on $22,000 a Year ? I'm talking Retired Old Age Pension after working and paying tax in THIS Country for better than 40 years !! That's one Eight of a Polly's Pension, Who cleared out after a few years and left their Country with a Messy Deficit ! :-(
    MICK
    8th Jun 2016
    11:39am
    Bring this on. Badly needed in a political system which is controlled by the big end of town for its own interests.
    particolor
    8th Jun 2016
    12:59pm
    The New Normal ! :-) :-) $$$$ :-)
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    1:08pm
    particolor,

    A new religion - headed by the god Mammon - was born.

    Ans so it is!
    MICK
    8th Jun 2016
    11:45am
    This sort of idea will always be rejected by the captains of industry who work tirelessly to push wages down to zero for workers. With robotics starting to displace workers this sort of idea will have to eventually be implemented because when you get half of the population unable to find paid work there are two things will will happen:

    1. revolution if nothing done.
    2. the financial system will fail if only the top end of society earn and own everything. The system only works when money moves around a society and this is what our brain dead rich folk refuse to entertain.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    1:07pm
    It's funny, Mick, that people scream ''communism'' in response to proposals of basic income, but in fact the system is the best protection we could ever implement of the capitalist system. It's exactly the opposite of the communist mantra. It would make capitalism strong and much more workable and beneficial to all. (Oh, whoops! That's precisely what the privileged DON'T want. The introduce a degree of socialism to society in order to ensure that the weaknesses of capitalism prevail and opportunity is restricted to the privileged. Then they lie and claim the benefits of opportunity and privilege are ''rewards for hard work''. Except of course the hardest workers get the least reward!)
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    3:05pm
    The problem is not the money people are given it is the bad choices they make for that money. This basic income idea would not solve that basic problem. You also have the fact if you give someone something they don't value it as much as if they had worked to achieve it. It all should start with kids earning everything they get from day 1 and not be just given stuff.
    Circum
    8th Jun 2016
    5:44pm
    Mick you need a chill pill to suppress your phobia about workers being suppressed and their wages pushed down,Sadly I knew a few union organisers who pushed this barrow.Nothing about supporting the workers,it was all about power and a brainwashed game for the union guys.Nothing to do about being rich.The union game was to screw the bosses and they had a good barstardised strategy to do that.Fortunately not all work places are like that.not even Labor based worksites.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    5:53pm
    Crap, Bonny. You know NOTHING about psychology or sociology. The problem IS the TERMS the money is given on. You reward people for doing nothing and punish them for striving, what do you expect them to do?

    If you had ever been disadvantaged (and clearly you haven't or you would have more empathy, respect and human decency), you would know that the disadvantaged need a safety net to let them strive. They need to feel respected and valued in the community, and worthy of a better lifestyle. They need to know that striving will gain them something. They need to know that they won't be left penniless if they have a go and fail, but they will be helped to get up and try again.

    Of course people value most what they work to achieve, which is why welfare is abused - because they AREN'T ALLOWED TO WORK FOR IT. They are punished if they do. Give them a basic income so they are secure and tell them whatever they earn above that will give them a better lifestyle and they have a reason to work and the safety of knowing that striving isn't going to mean poverty and devastation if they don't happen to succeed at first or quickly enough.

    I grew up with kids who were told every day of their lives that they were ''the scum of the earth'' and ''useless no-hopers'' and had ''bad blood in them''. They got no education. Abuse resulted in physical disabilities. Emotional abuse left them psychologically crippled. As adults, they are given ''welfare'' and told ''be grateful for charity''. If they get a casual job, they lose their welfare. If they make something to sell, they lose their welfare. If they take a job that doesn't work out, they suffer weeks without income and condemnation and bullying.

    They have been conditioned to believe they can never amount to anything, but they can be paid to give up, so they give up.

    Give them a basic income and security, and they go out and grow vegetables or build something. They take on some casual work and get paid and DON'T lose their benefit cheque, and they figure ''hey, I CAN do stuff and build a better life''. But no! Folk like Bonny just want to cut them down again with insults and abuse and threats that if they work they will lose their sustenance and if they actually get to retirement with some healthy savings after a lifetime of effort, they will be told they are not entitled to expect to keep the home they worked so hard for, much less to enjoy their savings - but they have to eke out a miserable existence draining their savings away so BLUDGERS AND WASTERS (as well as the genuinely needy) can get handouts, and RICH FOLK can take big whacks of WELFARE from the taxpayer's purse and call it ''tax concessions''.

    YOU are the welfare problem, Bonny. You with your vile judgmental attitudes, lack of compassion, and total lack of understanding. YOU and the people who created our current welfare system - which is deliberately designed to keep people down and STOP them striving, and does so very effectively - are 100% responsible for very single person on welfare who could or should be working and earning.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    6:09pm
    What a lot of BS. It is obvious you haven't seen this in action. I have and it just doesn't work. It all sounds good in theory but you can't give people handouts and expect them to do well in society.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    6:24pm
    Bonny,
    I'm afraid Rainy makes an awful number of good points & assumptions.
    Psychologically, his discussion make a "lot of Sense".
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    6:52pm
    Yes Rainey has read many books on Utopia and most of those assumptions are just plain stupid. You are right they don't make sense and certainly void of common sense.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    7:56pm
    Precisely WHERE AND WHEN have you seen it in action, Bonny? Because I don't know of any civilization that has actually tried the concept- though some have experimented with something close, with excellent results.

    The only COMMON SENSE notion is that if you punish endeavour and reward giving up, more people will give up and less people will strive. But we just keep on punishing endeavour and rewarding giving up, and then complain about getting exactly what YOU want. More poverty. Higher welfare costs. More people not trying.

    Basic income is about ENABLING ENDEAVOUR, ending exploitation and abuse and ALLOWING people to have a go, and benefit fairly from whatever level of success they are able to achieve. It's about setting them free to strive and achieve, instead of trapping them in welfare for life by ensuring that they daren't take the risk of trying to escape it.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    8:03pm
    Just some links (few of many) relating to the experiment referred to by this discussion.

    It - to me - would seem that the Swiss - generally - are too affluent at this stage to accept the referendum referred to.

    Other countries like Holland and the UK are feeling the economic "Pinch" and are accepting the challenge though!

    http://capx.co/keeping-an-eye-on-utrechts-basic-income-experiment/

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/2ae61f24-f2a9-11e5-aff5-19b4e253664a.html#axzz4AyrVZ4Ll

    http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/08/more-dutch-cities-may-join-in-basic-income-experiment/
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2016
    8:04am
    Thanks Patriot. Still waiting for the untruthful Bonny to tell me where she saw it tried and failed.
    particolor
    8th Jun 2016
    12:12pm
    Elections in this Country ( And Others) are a waste of our time and a Disgusting waste of Money ! Elections are now a Farce ! Whoever gains power are nothing more than Puppets on Strings, thinking people SEE this ! But We The People are no longer a Factor in changing it :-(
    Conglomerates and Corporations run the Show now ! Get used to it :-( Party Promise are Faked and full of LIES to make you (or them) feel Good ! Nothing will change until those Blood sucking Leeches of the Revolving Door Club are Banished Right out of the System !
    Who in the Public asked for all this Unwanted and Unsustainable "Immigration" ? Who Grated all those Greedy Polly Perks and Superannuation ? Who Who and Who goes on with nothing You voted for, Election after election you get the Same Muck !! :-( :-( TBC...
    Aussiefrog
    8th Jun 2016
    12:49pm
    Defeatist attitude Particolor! I thought you were a fighter.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    1:05pm
    Of course they are puppets - puppets to those they represent.

    It just happens that strong lobby groups (from all sides) drive agendas, and (most?) people do not engage with their representative on matters.

    Funnily, in Australia, people have chosen to simply complain in open forums like Facebook and Twitter rather than actively engage with their representative. There is a bit of a groundswell for support of ideas on sites like change.org that seek to petition members of parliament, however people don't actively trawl through the available petitions but wait till one appears in their Facebook feed.

    We can make our 'puppets' (ie. representatives) accountable to what we want by writing letters to them or phoning them or arranging meetings in their offices. They are our servants - it's just that the lobby groups have become far more adept at driving policy than we have.

    Get in there and fight - it does make a difference :-)
    particolor
    8th Jun 2016
    1:06pm
    TBC Means I haven't finished Yet !! :-( But when I do I'll be Banished from the Tribe !! :-) :-) The Jerks running this show now wont like to hear what We, yes WE ! Think of them !! A Government was once there for its People ! :-) Now the People are there to Make the Government Leeches Fat !! Full of OUR BLOOD !! :-( :-(
    particolor
    8th Jun 2016
    1:14pm
    And that goes TRIPLE for their (Jobs for the Boys) BaurocRATS Sitting there doing Nothing, and getting more Money than a Saudi Prince ! :-( :-(
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    1:17pm
    particolor,
    Never truer words spoken!
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    12:35pm
    There are a couple of challenges with committing to have a referendum every time a petition of over 100,000 signatures is presented. The most important is that fringe/extreme groups can force referenda that have no chance of progressing, diluting discussion on 'important' matters. Campaigns leading up to elections would not only be arguing for or against parties, but for or against a number of referenda. Will parties need to align themselves to one side of each referendum proposal?

    California has buckled under this type of direct democracy since the 1970s, with hundreds of initiatives being voted on by the populace (however that is for legislature as well as constitutional change). The Switzerland referendum is focused only on the constitution and not on legislature, however it is feasible for a proposal to be put up that changes the constitution to allow legislative change via referendum. An uneducated populace may vote for that, opening the floodgates for massive structural change to our society.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    1:11pm
    Changes might not be for the better, Richied, but it's hard to imagine they could make things much worse!
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    1:34pm
    Haha.

    I'm an eternal optimist. I believe Australia's current system is fairly robust, with pretty good checks and balances (always room for improvement).

    Compare us to the US of A (which has huge poverty, the gap between richest and poorest is one of the highest in the world, most services primarily based on ability to pay rather than need), Europe, China (massive urbanisation program at the expense of environment, stringent controls on freedom of speech), etc.

    Yep, we're not doing great, but given the current state of the world (in a downward spiral, caused I believe on over-population resulting in overall reduction in living standards), in comparison we're not that badly done by.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    1:42pm
    Agree we aint perfect but we have one of the best systems in the world today.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    1:58pm
    Richied
    I agree: "Aust's current system is fairly Robust".
    It is Utterly Unfair, Crook & full of Deceitfulness.
    WE ARE BEING SOLD POUT!!!!

    Or does this mean that we've - as the major stakeholders - have been "Asleep at the Wheel" and let the bastards take us into a direction which only serves themselves rather than the Australian Nation"?

    if this is found to be true, I call us (collectively) a "Bunch of Wankers & Gutless Wonders".!!!!!
    That is, unless we collectively get our buts moving and correct this gross wrongdoing for the sake of our (grand)children.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    2:17pm
    Yep - I think we have been asleep at the wheel.

    The current election campaign is demonstrating (to me at least) a disinterest (or perhaps disdain) in the political process. There doesn't seem to be the fire in the bellies of the great unwashed that we've seen in past elections.

    I consider myself fairly well engaged in the political process, including regularly writing letters to members of parliament, signing petitions, engaging in a number of forums (online and face to face). About the only things I almost never do is go on street marches or hand out flyers. Yet a lot of my friends find my activities as being 'not normal' because they don't see active engagement as necessary. The sad bit is I have a quite educated circle of friends so their lack of interest worries me.

    Also, politics today is less about what is right for the country (although there are still a lot of politicians who take that approach) and more what is right for particular lobby groups (whether it be religious, industry, unions).

    So yes, I agree we need to encourage everyone to get off their behinds and make 'our' representatives accountable for what 'we' want :-)
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    6:20pm
    I agree no one really seem to show any interest in the current election campaign or in fact really care. It just like it is not happening. I guess I'm just over the stupid governments we have had for the past decade where nothing gets done too.

    I haven't found anyone worth voting for yet so it a blank paper from me.
    Mez
    8th Jun 2016
    12:37pm
    Onward Christian soldiers into Communism!
    NO THANKS!
    I am pleased that commonsense prevailed in Switzerland. I also agree with some comments about voting the major parties out and the Australian Liberty Alliance appears to be one of several good alternative choices.
    HarrysOpinion
    8th Jun 2016
    12:45pm
    Mez, it's not completely off the table...it's just that the idea is ahead of its time...but time will come!
    Aussiefrog
    8th Jun 2016
    12:52pm
    A.L.A. is indeed a good alternative, put Green, Labor and Liberal last on your ballot paper!
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    1:01pm
    It's NOT communist, Mez. You are sadly misled. There's nothing COMMUNIST about a social program that ensures everyone in society is treated with respect and provided with an acceptable standard of living. People can still work and earn and be far better off than those who don't. Capitalism still operates very well alongside a basic income scheme.

    The difference is that the socialist/communist approach of punishing hard workers, keeping the disadvantaged and battlers down, with false claims of minimizing the tax burden by making welfare needs-based, is eliminated in favour of a system that treats everyone with respect and affords everyone the same opportunities, rewarding initiative and endeavour while giving people the freedom to pursue their ambitions.

    Our system is far more communist than a basic income system. We bash the disadvantaged and deprive them of opportunity, forcing them to discard ambition because any effort to climb up the ladder is punished by loss of benefit. We look after the rich well. We throw crumbs to the genuinely needy, and make sure they are suitably embarrassed accepting them (aware that the crumbs are charity, and generally begrudged). We bash workers and savers who struggle to get ahead - unless they are outstandingly successful and make it to quite wealthy status, in which case heap benefits on them, costing the taxpayer a fortune to indulge them.

    The introduction of a basic income is the best protection our society could ever hope to implement against a communist or excessively socialist regime. It would actually make capitalism functional and strong.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    1:03pm
    And it would end forever the problem of ''bludgers'' and ''fakers'' and other rorters of our welfare system. People would have freedom of choice to pursue their preferred lifestyle with dignity, and strong incentives to work - because there would be quantifiable rewards and no penalty for striving to rise just above poverty.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    1:10pm
    Socialism is just a polite way of saying communism. Do you really think people would be better off? I don't. We need to address why people are disadvantaged and in most cases it is not from a lack of money but from making bad life choices.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    1:11pm
    Rainy,
    In fact - we are allowing the Ba****ds to destroy a "Generation or TWO".
    These are OUR (grand)kids
    Hopefully the revolution starts soon, because there seems to be no other way to get our (their) buts moving?!?!?!
    probins01
    8th Jun 2016
    1:12pm
    I think Mez is referring to the Swiss adult guaranteed wage idea, which is insanely communist, but CIR is not communist or insane.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    1:14pm
    Bonny,
    One identifies & qualifies a country by how it looks after it's needy.

    We currently - in my humble opinion - rate awfully near the bottom of this list.

    GREED - GREED - GREED by some who leave nothing for others.
    Money should NOT be a commodity but simply a convenient record keeping that SERVES rather than ENSLAVES the general populace!
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    1:17pm
    Socialism has similarities to communism, Bonny, but it's NOT the same thing. But the point is that the basic income system strengthens CAPITALISM. It is a protection against BOTH communism and socialism, removing the weaknesses from capitalism and addressing the areas in which it fails.

    Yes, we would be FAR better off. Of course disadvantage is often a result of bad life choices (and often NOT at all!), but the basic income addresses BOTH financial poverty and poverty resulting from bad choices, because it incentivizes responsible behaviour and encourages people to pull themselves up, whereas our system punishes it and deliberately keeps the disadvantaged down.

    The only people who should oppose a basic income system are those who believe the right to a dignified lifestyle and reasonable choices of career path etc. should be limited to those who win in the birth lottery. In other words, the 'I'm okay bugger you'' privileged SNOBS who want a return to feudal society.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    1:19pm
    I too am referring to the Swiss adult guaranteed wage not CIRs.
    particolor
    8th Jun 2016
    1:19pm
    Who wrote that up there ?? Its nothing like Communism ! Communism is when you grow a Crop of Potatoes and the Government takes the LOT ! And then gives you back 4 potatoes to live on !! :-( :-(
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    1:23pm
    We already have a basic income in Australia for those who need it. It is called welfare. If you don't want welfare you get off you backside and do something to get off it. It is as simple as that.
    particolor
    8th Jun 2016
    1:28pm
    Not hard to see Your Paid For !! :-) :-) I'm 70 do you want Me to go out and Dig Ditches, till I drop !!:-(
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    1:40pm
    Bonny: Your statement that socialism is a polite way of saying communism is wrong.

    Communism does not reward people for effort - everyone is treated the same.

    Socialism treats everyone equally (but not the same) - everyone has the opportunity to get ahead based on more efficient or increased effort.

    Almost all communist structures have failed. There are some very successful socialist structures.

    Socialism, like capitalism, is open to corruption, and it is usually endemic corruption that is a primary cause of the failure of socialist and capitalist societies.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    2:42pm
    All forms of societies in the world today are not perfect but capitalism is the best we have.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    6:04pm
    And capitalism would work 1000% better if we had a basic income, Bonny, because we wouldn't need to reward people for doing nothing and punish them for striving - as our current welfare system does.

    Needs-based welfare CREATES bludgers and fakers and rorters and cheats. It rewards that behaviour. Strugglers wanting to work are punished harshly for taking a casual job or trying out in a job that doesn't work out for them. Savers are punished harshly for getting to old age with a home and a small nest egg.

    The whole idea of the basic income is to STOP THE ROT and set people free to strive and achieve and be rewarded for working.

    It's NOT simple to ''get off your backside'' Bonny, because the minute you do, you are at risk of losing your ''needs-based'' welfare that you are desperately dependent on. You need security that something will replace it. Starting a business doesn't give you security. A job might, if it's a suitable job with reasonable security attached - but we have some 800,000 unemployed and over 1 million more underemployed, so getting a job - let alone a suitable job - is not easy.

    We have the perfect solution if only people weren't so bat-eyed and pig-headed and arrogant and UTTERLY SELFISH. The basic income IS CAPITALISM IN IT'S FINEST FORM - everyone gets fair opportunity and reasonable security, and what they do with it is up to them. Everyone is free to strive and enjoy rewards for striving. Everyone starts at the same starting block, and where they go from there is up to them. No rewards for bludging or cheating or faking or rorting. No punishment for striving. Just a free market where everyone has choices and safety and incentives and where endeavour ALWAYS pays.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    6:13pm
    So you think people like me should be given a basic income even though we don't need it. All I would do with it is invest it to make more money. How does that benefit society?
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    8:42pm
    Bonny, I get that you are too dumb to understand the concept. Why don't you just go away and let the intelligent adults debate? Some here have the brains to think past idiotic assumptions and self-interest and consider the best interests of the society.

    You would always find a way to cheat, exploit and plunder and then gloat and pretend to be better than anyone else, no matter what the system. That's what you do. We get that. There are rotten eggs in every crowd.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    11:10pm
    A very interesting answer indeed.
    HarrysOpinion
    9th Jun 2016
    5:40am
    Rainey, congrats, a perfect evaluation of a rotten egg.
    Retired Knowall
    9th Jun 2016
    5:16pm
    Rainey, you haven't explained if you are so bright and intelligent, how come you are on Welfare?
    LiveItUp
    9th Jun 2016
    6:50pm
    I want to know where al the money is coming from? Pennies from heaven I guess.

    By the way I don't like rotten eggs either but they are awesome for egg fights.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    5:37pm
    More evidence of your STUPIDITY, Retired Knowall. Assuming again.

    I AM NOT ON WELFARE AND NEVER HAVE BEEN.

    I work. I was retired self-funded for a time. I will be again one day.
    Anonymous
    11th Jun 2016
    6:30am
    Bonny, the money is coming from FAIR TAXATION, and creating incentives to be happily productive, which will slash disability and sickness costs, slash mental illness and the associated costs, reduce family breakdowns (with their associated costs), stop girls having babies for income... it goes on and on and on. Anyone with intelligence knows where the money comes from. The problem is that the egomaniacal narcissists in this society DON'T WANT social health. They LIKE seeing other downtrodden (don't you, Bonny dear! It make you feel superior!)
    Aussiefrog
    8th Jun 2016
    12:55pm
    The duopoly has done enough damage to our country and to it's people, it's time for a change, vote for any small parties or independents to keep the bastards honest!
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    1:07pm
    Yep - minority governments ran well for the first 20 years of federation, and when the Democrats were around the bastards were (relatively) honest :-)

    8th Jun 2016
    12:55pm
    Whilst this seems like a good idea, it will be impossible to make it work in Australia. Our system of referenda is such that any changes will need a majority of all votes as well as a majority of votes in a majority of states and our history shows that Australians approve just over 42% of referenda.
    Australia has always been overgoverned with the three levels and it is impossible to believe that a change to the three levels will ever happen. Change will mean that one level (generally thought to be the states level) will need to virtually vote itself out of existence. What has been happening in NSW with council amalgamations appears to reduce the power of some councils but perhaps another stage should be introduced. Remove elected councillors and replace them with a CEO with similar powers of the administrators currently in charge of amalgamated councils. A system of checks and balances might be needed but certainly, those councillors accused of corruption would be excluded.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    1:05pm
    Old Man
    In the link to Prof Walker's book I refer to above, he analyses the history of Aust Referendums and arrives at a totally different conclusion to the interpretation by our Corporate Masters ( & Banksters) & their politician slaves.
    The Slaves are certainly suggesting that we seldom seem to approve of the proposals at referendums.
    Prof Walker provides a Qualified reasoning Why that is so.
    It seems that we're not stupid after all!!!!
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    1:19pm
    I disagree about Australia being over-governed. We have about the same as most democracies; it's just that the structures are different. For example, in the US of A, there are federal, state, city and local borough structures. In UK, there are national, city and local borough structures.

    I also don't like the idea of non-elected people running any level of public service. Putting a CEO implies executive powers and a commercial bent to managing the structure. My career has been balanced between public and private sector, and it is clear to me that they need to be managed differently.

    An example is public transport. If run as a commercial enterprise, services that are not well-patronised are removed. In isolation this may seem appropriate however from a structural perspective this can be disastrous, as the service may have been patronised by a few low/no income people who have no other way of getting around. The service may also have a complementary service (eg. a bus to the city has a complementary one from the city later in the day) which initially is fairly well patronised - but with the first service removed, there are less patrons on the return journey so that becomes under-utilised and is removed.

    You suggest that building a structure for CEOs etc with appropriate checks and balances might be needed. Perhaps what is needed is better checks and balances on our existing structure (eg. you must declare every interest in any business or property in council area; you must excuse yourself from any discussion or vote that may impact those interests; make it a criminal offense with hefty incarceration for breaches; build an ICAC for council level).
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2016
    7:11am
    One way or another, we certainly need better checks and balances in NSW Councils! The State Government has consistently reduced accountability, and councillors can basically do as they please. There is a ''Code of Conduct'' process that is a sick joke. The outcome is determined purely by who the complaint is assessed by (and the complainant has no say in this) and the outcome depends on the friendships and vested interests of the assessor. If they like the person complained about, or agree with some cause that person is supporting, they simply dismiss the complaint. There's nowhere to go when that happens. It's over. I submitted a complaint about employees on our council lying - with absolute concrete indisputable evidence on paper that the lies were told and that they caused both me and the council significant financial loss. The assessor (the accused's counterpart on the neighbouring council, and a good friend) simply looked at me and said ''I don't see it that way. Complaint dismissed.''
    A neighbour has just had a similar experience complaining about a councillor lying and defaming a citizen. The General Manager of the Council gets on famously with this councillor, and dislikes the complainant because he writes letters to newspapers criticizing council, so they just dismiss a valid complaint accompanied by strong evidence of wrong-doing. State Government isn't interested. There seems to be no recourse at all. Our Council was sacked for corruption and investigated again recently over allegations of corruption (which were valid but couldn't be proved this time), and they are still there doing what they have always done.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    1:05pm
    No thanks. Australians already have a welfare mentality that needs fixing and this would only make it worse.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    1:09pm
    No Bonny. It would FIX the system. But that's what you DON'T want, because the stinking privileged in this country would NEVER want to extend opportunity and fair reward for effort to the battling hard workers who build the nation.

    You should study sociology and psychology. No, on second thoughts, you shouldn't. You wouldn't have the basic human qualities that are required to comprehend.
    probins01
    8th Jun 2016
    1:10pm
    Never mind 'keeping the bastards honest' eh Bonny?
    Seriously, how much are you in the pockets of the LNP?
    Or perhaps you're a paid lobbyist for a corporation of bank?
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    1:17pm
    I have already studied sociology and psychology and what a lot of BS. Maybe good in theory but it practice it's a disaster. Remember I'm from a very disadvantaged background so I know a lot about why people are what they are. I have seem socialism in action and you simply can't just give people money. Ever wondered why rich kids do so badly? That is what socialism does to people. It would fix nothing and struggle street wold get worse not better. Money is not the answer to many human problems.

    I have nothing to do with the LNP. In fact I have no faith at all in my local LNP candidate.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    1:22pm
    Bonny,
    You rather perpetuate the:"Dog eat Dog" principles prevailing currently I suppose.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    1:25pm
    I've seen such a thing in action where the money flows but people just get lazier and lazier until their society collapses. I certainly don't want to live in such a society.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    1:29pm
    There you go, Bonny. As I said, you lack the basic human qualities required to comprehend. All that intelligent data would be way beyond your capacity to absorb, much less use.

    I'm from a VERY disadvantaged background and I know a lot about why people are what thy are - and it is SOMETIMES because they make bad choices, as a result of never having the opportunity to learn HOW TO CHOOSE WISELY. It is OFTEN because they are financially and therefore educationally deprived. It is OFTEN because they suffer poor health or face crisis or trauma in their personal lives or in their family. The basic income addresses all but the lack of education in how to choose - and even in that area it offers major advantages.

    When rich kids make bad choices it's because they weren't taught how to choose wisely. When battlers make poor choices it's a combination of not having the opportunity to learn to choose wisely and a system that punishes endeavour and keeps strugglers down. (Find casual work or try to become self-employed, we'll take away your benefits. Save for retirement. We'll take away your pension and beat you down into hardship again.)

    The beautiful thing about the basic income system is that it sets people free to pursue their goals without loss or penalty if their success is only moderate, guaranteeing their security while they struggle through the periods of minimal reward and enabling them to hang in there long enough to achieve success. It provides a safety net so people can afford to have a go - because failing doesn't mean total devastation. It lets people choose community service roles with dignity, without suffering poverty as a consequence.

    If people lack drive, you won't force them to acquire it by bashing or bullying. But you certainly kill drive by making it to hard and too risky to strive but guaranteeing an income to anyone who just sits on their butt and does nothing (which is precisely what our dumb society does!)

    Our stupid system pays people to fail and to fail to strive, and punishes people for striving (unless they achieve outstanding success). A healthy capitalist system gives everyone that essential safety net that lets them strive. If they succeed, they are richly rewarded with a much higher income than the basic. If they fail, they are safe and can try again.

    The only folk who should oppose a basic income system are those who want a return to feudal society where the rich have it all and the rest live in varying degrees of poverty with neither freedom nor dignity.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    1:37pm
    From what you have just written Rainey you haven't done it hard at all. Imagine going fishing to eat or catching rabbits so you can eat. Boiling up weeds to go with them. Digging up yams and cooking them. Making covers for you feet out of old sacks to keep them warm. Using newspaper between thin blankets to keep warm. Collecting wood to light a fire to cook and keep warm.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    2:14pm
    Bonny,
    I - for once - agree with you. I'm so please that you are enlightening us with YOUR personally relayed intimate knowledge of the "Life Path" that Rainy has endured.
    As I do not see anything like this disclosed in his messages, did you get his personal approval to disclose all this info? Or is it UTTER CODSWALLOP?!?!?!?!

    Rainy is a very lucky person as he got (and it sounds like keeps) his hands dirty to stay "Grounded" and in touch with what is happing all around is. Despite rigorous attempts of the "Feudal System being re-introduced all around us, he has managed NOT to become totally disconnected from a benevolent value system.

    May be I don't agree that he has not done it "Hard at All". Fortunately, his life has kept him "Connected to Real Values" and made him a "Better & more Compassionate Person".
    These are qualities some of us don't Dare to Dream of".
    DOG eat DOG must not remain an option in our community.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    2:28pm
    Unfortunately it's not Codswallop. Even today I still live a very simple life but I don't eat dogs.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    2:38pm
    Um, as an outsider looking in, I'm wondering if you two (Patriot and Bonny) are actually reading each other's posts properly. Both of you seem to have misinterpreted the other's posts (more than once) and shot back posts based on that misrepresentation.

    (Just trying to calm things down a bit :-) )
    Aussie
    8th Jun 2016
    2:44pm
    Richied they are having fun kicking each other bum sounds like a husband and wife arguing but they have there point of view and they have their right to kick each other
    all good mate thanks for trying to calm them ... you may lose :-)
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    2:55pm
    I have thick skin :-)
    Aussie
    8th Jun 2016
    4:38pm
    Richied
    me too thick skin ... You have no idea what people has been calling me because I made some posting not to their christian standards they call me Monkey Bloody foreigner you should go back stupid and many many more racist comments that will upset a lot of people but not me I really do not care :-) :-) feel sorry for them :-) :-)
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    6:54pm
    Patriot, you asked Bonny ''did you get his personal approval to disclose all this info? Or is it UTTER CODSWALLOP?!?!?!?!''

    Answer: It's UTTER CODSWALLOP. As is most of the arrogant, self-serving nonsense Bonny writes.

    Yes, I am a very lucky person. I survived major disadvantage, married a strong partner who also survived hideous disadvantage but who was equally strong, resilient and determined and equally compassionate, caring, and grounded. Together, we raised and educated a family we can be proud of (all university-educated professionals), we achieved a great deal, and we built good lives for ourselves. It's been incredibly hard and the challenges we faced would destroy a lot of strong people - and they just seemed to keep coming, one after another. Sickness, a disabled child, job losses, devastating work accidents, car accident, unfair legal problems, unfair treatment by government agencies (bureaucratic corruption that destroyed a successful business), tragic death of a child leaving orphaned children, a disabled grandchild... it just went on and on and on. But we beat it. And we are happy. Despite being over retirement age, I'm able to keep working at a job I enjoy. And what I'm most grateful for is that I've never lost the ability to empathize with others, to try to understand the struggles others face rather than judging and condemning, and to look for ways to improve society for the benefit of everyone - rather than with selfish motive.

    I often sound negative, but it's not because I don't appreciate what is good in our world, but rather because I see how much better it SHOULD be, and how easy it would be for honest, decent, respectful people to make it better.

    As for Bonny - no disadvantaged background there, because those who overcome GENUINE disadvantage don't lose their sense of perspective, don't lack empathy, and certainly don't shun psychology and sociology - because disadvantage teaches you to understand just what hardship and pain does to the human psyche, and what it takes to recover.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    7:15pm
    Rainy,
    The question to Bonnie was rhetoric as I knew that IT could not have known the facts(???) that were revealed as they could have never been deducted from your responses.
    That is, especially when one is as far removed from the "realities of hardship" as Bonnie is and - presumably - always has been.
    NOW BONNIE, there is an assumption that can safely be gleaned from the "general Attitude & Lack-of Compassion" that you display on this forum.
    I have not had an easy run (career wise) myself (although no major personal/health obstacles like yourself) as I've always had a "big Mouth" and "Told the truth as I saw it" rather than what was desired to be heard.
    However, in the end, I also got there and am now retired as a pensioner (with dignity) as I can maintain that I have always done what was correct in the "Big Scheme if Things" rather than BUCKLED & KNUCKLED under and/or "sold my Integrity for a few Lousy Peanuts.
    I NEVER sold my Honour!
    The price to be paid for "Lack of Compassion" is just not worth it!
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    7:17pm
    Rainey it sounds like you have had a dream run compared to me with life's challengers. But unlike you I don't hang out my dirty washing for all to see.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    8:39pm
    Bonny, you just hang out your VILE AND DISGUSTING personality, and make your lies very apparent - because NOBODY believes you know anything about hardship. We all know people who overcame hardship aren't nasty narcissists with no capacity for compassion and no human decency.
    musicveg
    9th Jun 2016
    1:09am
    I like reading about Rainey's life, and his opinions sit with me nicely, he has great compassion and insight into human nature. To say he is hanging out dirty washing is un-called for, very nasty comment, Bonny.
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2016
    7:47am
    How privileged was Bonny? Wow! Rabbit stew or roast rabbit is a real treat. I love dandelions. We have tons of edible weeds in Australia that taste really good. I cultivate many in my garden. Sad that a lot of folk don't know about them. Yams are yummy. Some of my happiest memories from a very challenging childhood are of eating pidgeon pie, picking blackberries (and getting torn apart by thorns!) and going mushrooming after rain. But I got really sick of living on nothing but mushrooms for weeks after. But hunger was much worse. Most Australians have never experienced hunger.

    I don't class anyone as underprivileged because they eat rabbits or weeds. Growing vegetables and fishing and finding and cooking edible weeds is great fun and educational. Being taught to forage for food and what I could and couldn't eat was the more privileged part of childhood. And finding ways to keep warm and sheltered is something rich people do for pleasure (camping out!)

    It was educational deprivation, deprivation of love and family connections, emotional abuse (being indoctrinated to believe I was worthless), and being forced - at a very young age - into work I hated and would be locked into for many years, when I had real ambitions and obvious talent and was totally frustrated, oppressed, exploited and abused instead of being allowed to use my natural skills and abilities. It was lack of emotional support to understand options and make wise choices that held me back for so long. And believing I didn't deserve success or happiness - because I'd been thoroughly indoctrinated with that belief, and every failure, loss, deprivation or crisis in adult life seemed to confirm it. It was incarceration for nearly 20 years (not in prison, but equally bad or maybe worse) for no greater crime than being born into a poor family, and never being allowed to see that family - one I later discovered was loving, caring, hard working and respectable, and wanted me.

    I eventually broke out and started a business and made a go of it - but the struggle was horrendous. For 19 years I lived on substantially less than the dole, and in fear of bankruptcy. It would have been so easy to just go on welfare and stay there. A secure income, freedom to grow vegies and make things and fish, and spend time with family instead of being accused of neglecting them because I worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. With no guidance, or education, I made tons of mistakes. But I learned to innovate. And now, I could teach others skills that would drive massive productivity gain across the nation, but I'll never get the chance because I don't have the bits of paper that say I'm ''qualified'' to do much of anything. All I have is life experience, and in this over-educated qualification-obsessed society, that doesn't count for much! My dad knew how to abolish a weed that the nation has spent millions trying to eradicate, but nobody took any notice of him because he wasn't a ''university trained expert''. They are still trying and failing and complaining about the damage its spread does!

    I support the basic wage concept because 95% of people who face the disadvantage I did CAN'T overcome it. It's too hard, and welfare is too easy by comparison (not that it's easy, or pleasant, but it compares favourably). Some folk even find prison more tolerable than struggling against all odds in an society that stamps on people for striving. And I support it because it's fair and equitable. It doesn't punish endeavour and discourage effort. It doesn't reward failing or giving up. It protects against exploitation and abuse - allowing people to simply walk away from it, secure that they will still be able to eat and find shelter. It opens up opportunity for everyone, and what they do with it is then up to them. They can study, train, serve the community, invent, create, or choose employment that gives them satisfaction. Very few will ever choose to do nothing. It's just not in our DNA to like being useless and unproductive. That's a mould people are forced into by our needs-based welfare system.

    The problem, as I see it, is that the privileged don't want the underprivileged to have those freedoms or opportunities. It's too easy for the privileged to get ever richer and more powerful by exploiting and abusing and keeping people down. So as good as the idea is, it's likely to continue being rejected by the 77% who are favoured by the current cruel and unfair system. Just as the very large percentage who aren't suffering massive unfairness under our appalling pension system support changes that hurt others, but not them.
    KB
    8th Jun 2016
    1:15pm
    A good idea in theory but politicians in Australia prefer their own ideas and values. For or people who need to survive on a pension a basic wage is a good concept,
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    1:27pm
    KB,
    Some disagreement in allocating responsibilities!
    Our Pollies rather implement and enforce the ideas of the internationalist Gangsters rather than ours!
    I thought that OUR Aust Constitution has certain Names & Procedures for those who betray the Country to which they represent!
    jackie
    8th Jun 2016
    1:17pm
    The time may not be right but it will happen eventually.
    particolor
    8th Jun 2016
    1:36pm
    And the Sun will burn its last Shovelful of Coal EVENTUALLY !! :-(

    8th Jun 2016
    1:31pm
    This will be the next thing that BOTH the LNP and Labor will "promise". If you believe ANYTHING either one of these parties say you need to be mentally assessed.
    Patriot
    8th Jun 2016
    1:33pm
    Fast Eddie
    Don't exclude the Greens please.
    I have for months now attempted to get them to react to questions posed in an e-mail.
    No response - PASSIVE RESISTANCE!!! Typical!

    I am Green at heart, but they are just becoming another ARM on the Octopus that represent the "Evil Party Machine".
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    1:40pm
    All promise have a use by date...July 2.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    2:32pm
    Yes, Patriot,they, too, would sell their mothers to get a vote. They are Green, all right, with mould, lichen, and algae from being in the dark, all wet, and immobile.
    Aussie
    8th Jun 2016
    2:40pm
    The pensioners and other centrelink recipients total is about 3 million (I think) and I am sure if we all vote independent they will fill the pinch for sure we are about 10%++ of votes so vote independent maybe for liberal democrats ????? or any other you think is ok to vote for
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    2:45pm
    I wonder how many of these welfare recipients really care who they vote for? Most wouldn't even vote given the choice. They only show up so they don't have to spend their beer and pokie money on a fine.
    Aussie
    8th Jun 2016
    2:51pm
    Bonny I use to go to the Casino in Sydney to have all you can eat cheap and to get there you walk through the pokies floor and the number of older people was a lot but what do they do ???? no incentive to do nothing everything is to expensive and the pokies may give them some extra $$$ ??? maybe not but at least they are happy even if they spend all their centrelink money.
    ??? Not sure but up to them I guess
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    3:00pm
    Last time I was in Melbourne we all went to Casino and the Casino gave us some gambling chips which we cashed in and had lunch instead. My Melbourne friends do it about once a month.

    I read the rules on Keno the other day at the club when I won a free Keno ticket. I now know how my mother did so well with Keno. She would never tell me and say she was just lucky.
    Aussie
    8th Jun 2016
    4:40pm
    Hey Bonny what is the trick I am not a gambler I lose all the time so my maximum bet is 5 dollars that's it.
    but hey tell us the tricks we give you a commision 5% or 10% if a big win :-) :-)
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    5:45pm
    I'm not a gambler either so I haven't yet tested whether I'm right or not.

    I was given so credit awhile back and I could only spend that credit in the establishment. There was nothing I could find to spend it on so I thought I'd have to forfeit it. Someone told me why don't I wash it. So I uploaded the credit into a pokie but I couldn't find the handle to pull. After awhile I decided to give the big button a couple of presses and on the second one all the bells and whistles went off. OK this was not going to plan at all. It eventually all worked out and I left a tip for the staff ouot of my winnings. I haven't played the pokies since that fateful day.
    Aussie
    8th Jun 2016
    2:00pm
    I have read all your comments and in principle I agree but there is more to consider as citizens of Australia and the defense of our rights and Duties.
    Australia do not have a Bill of Rights (BOR) our rights and duties are scatter around our constitution which comes from the old English and American constitution with some amendments from us.

    Our rights and duties are not defines in a single document and that is why the governments can create, amend or modify our rights and duties any time they like.

    As I indicated I agreed with this post in principle but we also need to incorporate a BOR to be able to secure our future and maintain the post in the same place so we can plan and decide our futures with confidence.

    This is my opinion (and is my right of opinion - part of a BOR)

    Have a look some history about the BOC in Australia and by the way New Zealand and almost all other countries in the western world have a BOR.

    https://www.humanrights.gov.au/how-are-human-rights-protected-australian-law

    http://www.legalanswers.sl.nsw.gov.au/hot_topics/pdf/bill_rights_54.pdf

    http://www.lawfoundation.net.au/ljf/app/9CB5AFA66DE49D82CA2571A9000C12FB.html

    And there is a lot of info about this subject on the net.

    I will leave this UP TO YOU to think and UP TO YOU to decide
    Rae
    8th Jun 2016
    4:09pm
    I've always believed we needed a bill of rights. As it is our only protection is the constitution which the Elite want to fiddle with at various times.

    I also suspect that getting too much for free does not necessarily help people. There is just no achievement in it.

    Sure older Australians, the sick and disabled need care. We also need to figure out why we have so much disability and how it can be prevented going forward.

    No one here has suggested how paying everyone a wage would be paid for.

    You do realise we are broke and up to our necks in debt to overseas savers? Not just as a nation but as individuals as well.

    We own very little now as it has been sold. A lot of infrastructure is owned by the Chinese communist governments. This includes the security of electricity generation and delivery, water resources, food and ports. If you worry about communism this must surely keep you awake at night?

    I don't expect a reply. Far better to deny reality and dream about fortnightly payment from other taxpayers.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    4:53pm
    Pretty good points Rae.

    I'd like to make one observation though. The largest foreign investment in Australia is the US of A (with over $860b). The UK is second with just under $500b). Belgium, Japan and Singapore are the next three biggest investors in Australia. China is still a comparatively small investor in Australia.

    Currently 87.5% of all farmland is 100% Australian-owned, and over the past 6 years the percentage has not dropped significantly (in NSW and Victoria, the Australia-owned percentages are stagnant at around 97%).

    Throughout Australia's history, ownership and investment of industries has been bolstered by foreign investors. We hear 'horror' stories of China buying up land (eg. Van Diemans Land Company worth $280million) but quite often this is transfer of ownership from one foreign investor to another (in VDL case, from New Zealand to China).

    There is the risk to food security if a foreign government owns our land and they have food problems there, however the current (and recently revised) foreign ownership laws are pretty good protection for us.

    One article (a little dated, but before the recent tightening of foreign investment rules) gives a balanced picture - http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/2015/02/25/facts-defy-claims-qld-fear-mongers-foreign-ownership/
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    6:29pm
    Rae, a basic income would be paid for by eliminating all social security payments (which are no longer needed), all the expensive administration around social security payments, and all unfair tax concessions (replaced by additional income). Taxes are structured such that those who earn good incomes effectively pay back their basic income in tax, and more if their incomes are high. Ultimately, the cost is actually less than welfare, because only those who don't earn actually end up getting a net income from the basic wage, but there is a massively increased incentive to work and strive by eliminating the current disincentives and harsh penalties that keep people on welfare.

    The argument for it is similar to the one against the changed pension assets test: ie. that if you punish people for responsible behaviour, you get less responsible people. If you reward working and saving and investing wisely, you get more people working, saving and investing wisely. A safety net in the form of a basic income lets people strive and take risk safely, while not threatening them with loss of their secure income if they achieve partial or slow success.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    6:53pm
    Awesome you have just put half of our workers out of work.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    8:33pm
    How Bonny? By giving them incentives and freedom to strive instead of bashing them down every time they try to stand up. By enabling innovation and creativity and community service instead of forcing them into welfare dependence? Or maybe by ending exploitation and abuse and giving people the power to demand respect and fairness?

    You don't put people out of work by setting them free to work and benefit from working. Only a bastard who wants a society that enslaves and exploits would claim a basic wage would put people out of work, because the only workers who would quit are those who are being abused and exploited - and they would find, or create, better opportunities, because people don't like to be idle. They just like to be able to gain satisfaction and reward from the work they do.
    robmur
    8th Jun 2016
    3:55pm
    It is a very good idea. It could get rid or reduce considerably Centrelink and all its many allowances. It would get rid of asset and income tests. Disability allowances would disappear. However, much thought would need to go into the idea. Why not start off with all of Centrelink clients as most receive concessions on most needs such as utilities, travel, Medicare, car registration etc. The universal income allowance (UIA) would have to be at least equivalent to the single age pension for every adult receiving Centrelink payments. Give UIA a trial for twelve months. Utrecht in Holland is going to be trialed in 2017.
    PlanB
    8th Jun 2016
    4:24pm
    I have not read all this as yet but at 1st glance how the hell would that work?
    Does that mean that people would not be holding down jobs?
    Also what would people be expected to do for their money they were given? I am sure they would be expected to do something?
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    6:18pm
    PlanB, the idea is that everyone is entitled to basic security to maintain an acceptable - though basic - lifestyle. From there, what they do is up to them. It works brilliantly because it eliminates all the current incentives to bludge, fake, rort, and cheat and all the penalties for striving, working and saving. Take the total cost of all welfare - which is very high - plus the cost of administration (which is astronomical) - and the cost of unfair tax concessions, and you can probably finance a basic income for everyone. No, there is not generally an expectation that people do anything for the basic income, but most will want to earn a lot more, so they will work. The thing is that there is not disincentive to work. Currently, we tell people ''be disabled or just don't work, and we'll give you a secure income, but get out and have a go and we'll take it away.'' Fear of failure makes them cling to the secure income. When the secure income is unconditional, there's incentive to strive and safety to take risks in business or inventing or pursuing creative endeavours. People who want to devote themselves to community service or caring roles can, without feeling denigrated or disrespected. They get enough to get by on, and if they choose to do a bit of other paid work on the side or someone rewards them for their efforts, they don't suffer loss of income or security.

    It's solid gold as far as strengthening the capitalist system goes, because it puts everyone on an equal footing at the starting block and lets them run as far and fast as they can, with adequate rewards for every step, but with no penalty or hurt for taking risks and failing. They have security of an income to get them through crisis or trauma or illness, but when they are able to work and earn, they have nothing but incentive to do so - REGARDLESS of their status in society or their economic position. Currently, only the privileged in our society are rewarded. The disadvantaged are punished for striving - so they don't. And then people shun and condemn them and insult them with nasty names. But they don't stop to think that it's our cruel system that is FORCING people into dependency. Our welfare system is geared to keeping the battlers down. And now we are even crushing the middle class (refer pension assets test that attacks people who achieved modest savings but aren't wealthy).

    The basic income could solve a host of problems and restore our faith in the capitalist system.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    6:54pm
    Except at least half of our current workers would be out of work.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    7:37pm
    No they wouldn't Bonny. Every available job would be filled and more would be created because there would be more equity and spending power in the community, more incentive to work, and more capacity to innovate and create.

    But how could anyone expect you to get that? The concept requires INTELLIGENT thinking to understand. Arrogance and greed destroys brain cells, and it's sure done a job on yours!
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    8:00pm
    Where does the black economy fit in? I can see it increasing exponentially with every one with fist full of cash. Why would people get a job and pay lots of tax when they can work for themselves for cash jobs? I know what I would do.

    You don't mention how it would be paid for?
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    8:13pm
    The black economy is thriving now, Bonny. It can't get much worse, and there's no reason at all why a basic income would make it worse. The rich keep ranting about having to cut tax to create incentives, but if you suggest giving the poor incentives they scream and protest and predict doom and destruction. They should make up their minds. Either incentives work or they don't. If they do, offer them to everyone - not just the privileged. If they don't, come clean and abolish them for everyone.

    I did mention how it would be paid for. Again you are too dense and arrogant to notice, and too shallow and closed minded to think of creative solutions.
    PlanB
    9th Jun 2016
    7:17am
    Thanks Rainy, I still wonder how that could be afforded ?
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2016
    8:01am
    We had an affluent society before tax evasion became an art form and something the government applauded. When I was a child, the rich paid far more tax than they do today, and society functioned very well. There was plenty of incentive to strive and succeed and jobs were plentiful. Technology has presented challenges, but the real problem is tax evasion - as evidenced by the Panama Papers and the wealth stowed in tax havens around the world.

    If we could get back to the notion that tax is the price of living in civilization, and to subscribing to the belief that everyone is entitled, in a decent society, to opportunity and choices, and that exploitation and abuse shouldn't be tolerated, we would have plenty of money to fund a basic income system. We would save billions in welfare payments and administrations (and half those welfare payments are unfair and over-indulgent!). We would drive huge productivity and innovation growth.

    It's a monumental shift in thinking - which is why it will be very hard to ever garner support for - but it is certainly feasible with the right approach and would solve a host of problems. Sadly, I won't hold my breath. It's not going to happen soon.
    Rodent
    8th Jun 2016
    5:14pm
    How about a bit of light relief

    I AM ONLY POSTING THIS I DID NOT CREATE IT

    A revised version of the ant and the grasshopper fable for a bit of light entertainment

    The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building and improving his house and laying up supplies for the winter.
    The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
    Come winter, the squirrel is warm and well fed.
    The shivering grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.
    The end.

    The Australian Version
    The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up for winter.
    The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
    Come winter the squirrel is warm and well fed.
    A social worker finds the shivering grasshopper, calls a press conference and demands to know why the squirrel should be allowed to be warm and well fed whole others less fortunate, like the grasshopper, are cold and starving.
    The ABC shows up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper, with cuts to a video of the squirrel I. His comfortable warm home with a table laden with food.
    The Australian press informs people that they should be ashamed that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so while others have plenty.
    The Greens, the Labor Party, Greenpeace, Animal Rights and The Grasshopper Housing Commission of Australia demonstrate in front of the squirrels house.
    The ABC, interrupting a cultural festival special from St Kolda with breaking news, broadcasts a multi cultural choir singing 'we shall overcome'.
    Bill Shortan rants in an interview with Laurie Oakes that the squirrell got rich off the backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the squirrel to make him pay his 'fair share' and increases the charge for squirrels to enter Melbourne city centre.
    In response to pressure from the media, the government drafts the Economic Equity and Grasshopper Anti-Discrimination Act, retrospective to the beginning of summer. The squirrels taxes are reassess.
    He is taken to court and fined for failing to hire grasshoppers as builders, for the work he was doing on his home, and an additional fine for contempt when he told court the grasshopper did not want to work.
    The grasshopper is provided with a Housing Commission house, financial aid to furnish it and an account with a local taxi firm to ensure he can be socially mobile.
    The squirrels food is seized and re-distributed to the more needy members of society, in this case the grasshopper.
    Without enough money to buy more food, to pay the fine and his newly imposed retrospective taxes, the squirrel has to downsize and start building a new home.
    The local authority take over his old home and utilize it as a temporary home for asylum seeking cats who had hijacked a plane to get to Australia as they had to share their country of origin with mice.
    On arrival they tried to blow up the airport because of Australia's apparent love of dogs.
    The cats had been arrested for the international offense of hijacking and attempted bombing but were immediately released because the police fed them pilchard instead of salmon whilst in custody.
    Initial moves to make them return to their own country were abandoned because it was feared they would face death by mice.
    The cats devised a scam to obtain money from people's credit cards.
    A 60 minutes special shows the grasshopper finishing up the last of the squirrel's food, though spring is months away, while the Housing Commission house he is I crumbles around him because he hasn't bothered to maintain it. He is shown to be taking drugs.
    Sarah Hanson Young blames inadequate government funding for the grasshopper's drug 'illness'.
    The cats seek recompense in the Australian courts for their treatment since arrival in Australia.
    The grasshopper gets arrested for stabbing an old dog during a burglary to get money for his drug habit. He is imprisoned but released immediately because he has been in custody a few weeks. He is placed in the care of the probation service to monitor and supervise him.
    Within a few weeks he has killed a guinea pig in a botched robbery.
    A commission of enquiry, that will eventually cost $10 million and state the obvious, is set up.
    Additional money is put into funding a drug rehabilitation scheme for grasshoppers.
    Legal aid for lawyers representing asylum seekers is increased.
    The asylum seeking cats are praised by the government for enriching Australia's multicultural diversity and dogs are critised by government for failing to befriend cats.
    The grasshopper dies of an overdose.
    The usual sections of the press blame it on the obvious failure of the government to address the root causes of despair arising from social inequity and his traumatic experience of prison.
    The Greens and the Labor Party call for the resignation of the Prime Minister.
    The cats are paid $1 million each because their rights were infringed when the government failed to inform them there were mice in Australia.
    The squirrel, the dogs and the victims of the hijacking and bombing, the burglaries and robberies have to pay an additional percentage on their credit cards to cover losses, their taxes are increased to pay for law and order, and they are told they will have to work beyond 65 because of a shortfall in government funds.

    This then pretty much sums up what's happening in Australia today, Lucky Country ??
    THE END
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    5:59pm
    It is certainly a land of do gooders that can't keep themselves out of others people's business. No wonder the squirrels lie low and pretend to be like everyone else.
    Retired Knowall
    9th Jun 2016
    5:27pm
    Oh I get it, the Grasshoppers name was Rainey.
    LiveItUp
    9th Jun 2016
    6:53pm
    Ooops I was thinking the same Retired Knowall.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    5:34pm
    Sad that you two can't debate intelligently and have to resort to insults and abuse. Sore losers!
    Rodent
    8th Jun 2016
    5:35pm
    Dear Aussie

    Refer your comments- The pensioners and other centrelink recipients total is about 3 million (I think)

    If you are referring to all the Social Security payments that are affected by the Asset Test changes due in Jan 2017 then the NUMBERS are 4,981,754 people

    These numbers represent all Social Security Payments, Age Pension, DSP, Carer Payment etc etc , BUT also these numbers include Social Security Income Support allowances such as, Newstart, Sickness Parenting, payments etc etc
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    6:00pm
    That's way too many people welfare with little input into society. No wonder we are in such debt.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    6:22pm
    Well, YOU support the system that forces them to stay down and not work, Bonny. People like YOU are to blame for the debt. Sorry!

    When people are ALLOWED to work, earn, save, and enjoy reward and are HELPED UP instead of being pushed down and punished for trying, we will have less people on welfare and more people working. But if you keep paying people to do nothing and taking their livelihood away if they have a go but can't quite make it to independence, they are going to do nothing. That's common sense. Pity sense isn't common anymore!
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    6:50pm
    Gee I didn't know I had a payroll. They'll want payroll tax out of me next. I don't support our welfare system as it supports many people who don't need it.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    6:57pm
    You really are DENSE, Bonny. Who mentioned ''payroll''?

    Of course our welfare system supports many who don't need it BECAUSE IT'S NEEDS BASED SO IT CREATES PSUEDO-NEED.

    When you STOP creating need by punishing endeavour, you reduce need and increase endeavour.

    But keep being a bat-eyed arrogant fool, and the number on welfare will keep growing.
    LiveItUp
    8th Jun 2016
    7:08pm
    Well I'm not on welfare so if I am a bat-eyed arrogant fool (whatever that is) maybe that's just what one has to be to not ride the welfare merryground. Oh to not have to deal with Centrelink is a blessing in itself.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2016
    8:08pm
    No, Bonny. What you have to be to not be on welfare is someone who is strong or lucky enough that they CAN escape the prison we have created that deliberately locks people in to a welfare mentality by punishing them for trying to get out of it. A percentage of people have enough strength to fight the system. The majority just give in to the brutality and abuse the system inflicts on them and do what the dumb system forces them to do.

    If we want to end the welfare mentality, we need to wake up and stop locking people into a rut. Give them safety to climb out of hardship and rewards for trying and human nature is such that THEY WILL CLIMB. Our stinking vile privileged snob-indulging greed-based system forces people into welfare, locks them there, and then gloats and bombards them with insults and abuse and pretend superiority over them. In fact, there isn't a single person on welfare who is as contemptible and stupid or as big a blight on society as people who endorse crushing the disadvantaged and stealing from those who worked hard to achieve near self-sufficiency in old age.

    Yes, not having to deal with Centrelink is a blessing - one 100% of people who deal with them would love to avoid. But this vile stinking society of egomaniacal snobs deliberately structures and maintains a system that guarantees they will never have the opportunity - just so the vile selfish egomaniacs can gloat and chest beat and pretend they are better than others.

    Heaven forbid we give folk the opportunity to prove their ability. They would show up the self-opinionated idiots who are currently unfairly dominating the business and political world and stuffing it up so badly. We would have people succeeding on merit instead of by claimed birthright or ''connections''. Goodness, we can't have that, can we. The useless overpaid fat cats wouldn't be able to sustain their unearned wealth.
    Franky
    8th Jun 2016
    7:30pm
    It's to my thinking the only true democracy there is in the world.
    What we have in Australia is a dictatorship by big business, they donate to both political parties and expect something in return. No wonder our so-called representatives do not represent us at all, but rather are there to sell us what the government has decided to do, dictated to by the IMF, banks and big business.

    8th Jun 2016
    10:27pm
    SWITZERLAND are also considering providing every citizen with about 20,000 euro's to spend, as they have identified that people will SPEND this amount in the economy and thereby generate and maintain a HEALTHY economy.

    The OLD FASHION and STUPID view that it is welfare and that it is a BAD thing, is USA neo con corporatocracy DOGMA that simply does not work in this world.

    Switzerland are innovative and forward thinking which is something that is essential due to the state of the world's economy.... all of which has emanated from the USA (a corporatocracy).... from corrupt and greedy mega corporation practices.... possible due to it being the World Currency.

    Our current govt unfortunately is like their NBN.... old fashion & out of date, utter rubbish that costs triple that of Labor's 'state of the art' NBN and like its implementation is in total SHAMBLES..... that is why they are adopting USA neo con DOGMA, even though it doesn't work and will effectively HAND AUSTRALIA over to FOREIGN mega corporations.

    So, I am really impressed with Switzerland, it is CERTAINLY NOT a socialist country more down the fascist line BUT they are smart enough to recognise the need to adopt and change, to ensure their country continues to prosper whilst reducing the prospect of poverty, crime, & drug use.
    Old Fella
    8th Jun 2016
    10:44pm
    Politicians love the notion of absolute power, even though they may deny such notion until their lying breath desists . I doubt Australian politics and politicians would dare risk a true independent yet truly public referendum on something new and/or positive, Heavens know where that might lead the Nations citizens and the country. Better they be guided by prominent and not so prominent Parliamentarians and Party hacks, Or so they would want us to accept.
    JAID
    9th Jun 2016
    9:48am
    Despite that historically we have proven quite sensible in referenda there are a few things I would fear of CIR.

    We might get a demand for endless Australian soapies, or worse, endless American soapies. View soapies for the dole. Compulsory attendence at the footy; compulsory eski at the ready.We may demand free KFC or worse. We may mandate free cars for all; require that the banks open their vaults or that we return to white Australia, We might authorise trial by media.

    Freedom seems more a personal thing. I would go with a lot less government.
    MD
    9th Jun 2016
    10:02am
    Rodent, thanks for the 'animal farm' scenario - made more sense to me than most other rants combined. Absolutely cricket old boy ! Which brings to mind these few pearls:-

    You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

    What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

    The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

    When half the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they worked for, that is the beginning of the end for any nation.

    Credit where credit due, leave me out of it.
    LiveItUp
    9th Jun 2016
    6:56pm
    The current welfare mentality of Australia is the beginning of the end for Australia unless people wake up and realise that any money printed has to be borrowed and paid back. It is also the case that a debt is likely to be recalled at the worst time too.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    5:24pm
    Bonny, if fools would wake up and recognize that a totally misguided a hopelessly inequitable and destructive 'needs-based' system caused the problem, and the dunces who keep harping about ''welfare'' ARE the problem, we could reduce the national debt WITHOUT destroying society. But the '''holier than though I'm okay stuff you'' chest-beating egotists who only want to judge people they know nothing about and rave about their claimed achievements are ensuring the welfare bill grows and grows. The powers-that-be are too IDIOTIC and removed from the real world to devise solutions. They just keep making it worse.

    For once, you are right. When work and saving and responsible planning ceases to deliver benefit, that is the beginning of the end. So why do you aggressively support depriving workers and savers and responsible planners of benefit? You want to see anyone who isn't rich suffer misery and deprivation and denial of any benefit they EARNED, yet you wonder why the welfare mentality thrives? DUMB!
    LiveItUp
    12th Jun 2016
    4:23pm
    No I'm just sick of people blugging on us taxpayers.
    Anonymous
    13th Jun 2016
    12:14pm
    Then support change that STOPS it, instead of demanding change that makes it worse, Bonny. Your approach caused the problem and will do nothing but exacerbate it until it causes total economic collapse.
    Roberto
    10th Jun 2016
    6:33am
    Reduce the power that politicians have and reduce their remunerations including their outrageous retirement packages.
    red 1
    11th Jun 2016
    11:07am
    A GREAT IDEA!! We should have such a system in Australia. Put it out there folks.
    Not Senile Yet!
    11th Jun 2016
    12:52pm
    When is Welfare not Welfare???
    It is when someone earns the Right to be paid an AGED Pension by ......
    Obeying the law and paying their fair share of taxes for the majority of their working life!
    Aged Pensions were NEVER Welfare!
    Aged Pensions were never supposed to be Asset tested either.....that was introduced by Party Puppets to save money.....because they failed to Balance the Budget!
    Welfare is payments to Disabled, Unemployed, and Single Parents who are unable to work!
    Only the Modern Pollies have labelled Aged Pensions as Welfare.....which is a Violation of The Age Discrimination Act!
    Sadly our Party Puppets also gave themselves an exemption from ALL Discrimination Legislation that applies to everyone except them!
    Propaganda spread by Corrupt Parties and Their Puppet MP's to justify Cuts to everything.....even Education & Health...do nothing to improve the Quality of People's Choices.....instead they do great harm to the Future of a Great Country!
    Capitalism fed only by Greed has failed Humanity over and over.....it needs a balance/safety net.....so people are able to recover!
    Welfare for Welfare's sake is not enough....it needs to encourage endeavour/having a go.....not a punishment mentality for making mistakes or wrong choices!
    Bonny crows about Self Sufficiency.....but also blames people for being dumb!
    Dumb comes from no access to Education & Labelling with Name Calling.....just like a School Bully!
    Work has to be available to everyone.....not just the so called Smart People!
    Party Puppets are Corrupt simply because they have committed to serving their Party....rather than ALL people...be they dumb or smart!
    As for Change....First you need to Change Yourself....to change any outcome!
    LiveItUp
    12th Jun 2016
    4:21pm
    That explains why the pension is welfare. it is for those who failed to provide enough forbtheir own retirement and should only be given to the needy. No one gets it because the earned the right to receive it. People like me would have earned tha,t right many times over but no pension for us.

    Therefore the pension is welfare.
    Anonymous
    13th Jun 2016
    12:17pm
    It is, Bonny, but it shouldn't be and the fact that it is constitutes fraud and deception by government. And it certainly ISN'T given only to the needy. It's given to the dishonest, the manipulative, and the irresponsible, and the way it's distributed is economically irresponsible and making it far more expensive than it needs to be.

    When it ceases to be ''welfare'' and becomes the ''entitlement'' it was ALWAYS INTENDED to be, and a fair tax system is implemented, it will be both affordable and fair.