Showing posts with label society. Show all posts
Showing posts with label society. Show all posts

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Future of Suburban Living

As the top 20% crowd into the cities, voluntarily as that is where all the good stuff is within walking distance including most of the jobs that support the top 20% what happens to the suburbs that they leave?  Property values crater, and it becomes reasonable for the bottom 80% to achieve the American Dream of suburban living.  Rents in the strip malls and local shopping centers crater along with the property values, and become affordable for bodegas, Dollar stores, and other services catering to the lower income groups.  Assuming existing transit is maintained, (roads don't matter) as travel outside the neighborhood is mainly for jobs serving the 20%.  The 20% will insure it is maintained as they don't use it anyway and they need the service people who are gentrified out of the city.  

The current suburban standard of 4-5 bedrooms and 2-3 baths will serve an extended family of many as well as it serves the current family of 3.  The family room or a big downstairs room will be turned into a dorm for the kids and the adults will occupy the 4-5 bedrooms.  The modern luxury kitchen will easily serve dozens as well or better than it serves 3.

One can expect the current suburban developments to become ethnic enclaves, since once the block is busted and prices crater further, friends and families will join the blockbuster and remake the development to serve their needs.  The fences will come down and the large backyards will connect to be a big playground for the neighborhood.

It is happening as we chat, many suburban neighborhoods and cities connected by transit to the urban core are now ethnic enclaves, and the white homeowners are taking the money and running while the money is still there.  The elderly to "Adult communities" and the working ethnics are blockbusting a new community for their ethnic group.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Collection Post for Basic Income and Living Wages

This post is a working collection of blue road thinking on UBI and LW.  It is subject to additions, editing and other annoyances.  A more readable version an be found at http://jcarlinbl.blogspot.com/2016/11/universal-basic-income.html

Once again a guest post to start things off.  
 

July 19, 2015 at 4:43am

The biggest reason I support UBI (Universal Basic Income) has nothing to do with our possible automated future, as labor becomes less essential, or at least as we need much less of it, though that's a great reason to support it. It's not even about eliminating poverty or making the unemployment rate a non-issue, though those are very good reasons too.

The reason I want a UBI is to make work at least -technically- optional. I want this because so long as work is not optional, so long as it is mandatory, it is coercive. I want UBI so that every low wage worker whose boss screws them on hours, who reprimands them for taking sick days, who asks them to work too fast in unsafe conditions (see the current fast-food lawsuit), every young employee whose boss secretly grabs their ass while no one is looking, who's constantly making lewd comments, or racist comments, or any other sort of hateful bullshit... So that every employee who finds themselves trapped in the fiefdom of some petty little tyrant of a boss, which is actually The Majority Of Low End Workers, so that they can say:

"TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT"

So that they can really, truly, meaningfully walk the fuck away. And not have it mean they end up on the streets or their kids starve or they find themselves turning tricks to keep the water running and the lights on. Or for that matter just ending up in yet another job with a slightly different petty tyrant. And they can do this, deal with this, without having to deal with lawyers or Union Reps, who though are better than -not- having them it'd be nicer to just be able to do it ourselves. Because if -enough- of them (us) say 'NO' to this petty fucking bullshit, then firms will be forced to stop letting the petty bullshit happen (those who fail to will simply not get workers), and work in general will end up less awful for everyone.

Because the ability to say 'NO' to someone who's actively abusing you... that should be pretty high on the list of 'Liberties' worth defending. In my mind.


GDP is ultimately people buying goods and services from other people. Somebody has to flip those burgers the basic income recipients are buying. 
Since low income people spend locally and buy from people they know (not robots) the income from outside the local economy stays in the local economy and all are better off. The multiplier effect of the basic income or entry wage dollar is nearly 3 times. That is, the burger flipper who is paid somewhat more than the basic income or hesh wouldn't work, spends most of herm income on local goods and services, creating more local demand for those goods and services.   Also some basic income recipients will use their time to pursue a dream of artisan goods production, a local service like a band or restaurant or performance venue.  Some will succeed and generate more local income. 

Eliminating corporate welfare in the form of support for inadequate wages for minimum wage workers would be the first step to a more equitable distribution of the GDP.  Instead of welfare to supplement inadequate earned income each adult citizen or green card holder would be provided with one half the income necessary for housing, medical care, education,  and local transportation for a family if married, less if single.  This assumes that a two parent household is preferred for raising children.  Single mothers would be encouraged to partner up with an interested co-parent of any gender to form a family unit enabling the larger per person payment. 

Eliminating welfare with all its administrative costs would more than pay for the BI for those unable to work or have better things to do with their time than unskilled minimum wage labor. Those with better things to do will probably provide taxes and purchase goods and services which will cover their BI. Everybody wants to start a restaurant, or write a graphic novel, or sing a song. Some of them would actually succeed if they didn't have to worry about feeding the family first.

It wouldn't take much transfer of wealth from the hoarders to have a profound effect on the GDP. If the corporate welfare queens had to compete for unskilled labor with a UBI minimum wage laws would be anachronistic. Market wages and working conditions for unskilled labor in a competitive market for those willing to work at those jobs would move even unskilled laborers into the low middle class.

The economic argument for a UBI is that it is outside money to low income people who spend locally for necessities provided by mainly other low income people. The bodega proprietor, (there would be food trucks on every corner) and other neighborhood business would thrive and economic benefits would trickle UP to landlords, food truck lessors, food truck builders, etc. They might even buy a solar food truck with a Powerwall 2 from Tesla if they are really successful.



There are more houses off the market in the USA than there are homeless by a large factor. Sure they are in "undesirable areas" close in suburbs. But with UBI those areas could be quite desirable quickly. All the infrastructure is there for local living: streets; abandoned strip malls for locally run eateries and dry goods; and shuttered warehouses for local art venues, studios, and performing spaces that could be licensed to coops for code compliance by the cities. There are more houses off the market in the USA than there are homeless by a large factor. Sure they are in "undesirable areas" close in suburbs. But with UBI those areas could be quite desirable quickly. All the infrastructure is there for local living: streets; bus transit for infrequent trips out of the neighborhood; abandoned strip malls for locally run eateries and dry goods; and shuttered warehouses for local art venues, studios, and performing spaces that could be licensed to coops for code compliance by the cities.
 

Many of the people working those "backbreaking" jobs like truck farming, housekeeping, industrial cleaning, do them with considerable pride in their work in spite of the pay.  As noted above with UBI if these jobs need to be performed by people, they would have to be paid accordingly.  Some are now, as there are employers who want things done right, and you can't coerce a reluctant worker to insure only spot free table ware gets into the cupboard, and the out of the way corners are clean. 


One of the most important people in my sister's terminal support team was the custodian whose good nature, empathy, and respect for her family caregivers made life easier for all, as well as the fact that he kept her room spotless in spite of all the careless traffic.
 
If there were an UBI an income based progressive tax which would discourage wage based jobs, could provide the necessary revenues to support UBI, universal single payer Health Care and universal education. As could any of several business and financial taxes which would discourage employers and financiers.   

With UBI all taxes, business and personal could be consumption based with a progressive value added tax. 

Those wanting jobs would pay no additional taxes on income and those investing in jobs would not be taxed on business income from those created jobs.  But since both businesses and people consume goods, a VAT of some kind would be equitable.  With VAST people existing on UBI only could only consume at the basic level and pay little or no tax.  People with additional income from other sources and businesses supporting them would likely purchase goods and services above the basic level and pay a progressive tax on the difference in cost. 

The only way to prevent revolution by populist or pitchforks is to provide a way for people to opt out comfortably if not necessarily successfully. Providing basic needs for those who opt out, see Scandinavian socialism and post war unions, makes it possible for people to opt out of the zero sum game and still be human. In a modern society where mass production is essentially labor free, the consumption driver for the economy is gone. Some countries are recognizing this and providing a basic stipend that is liveable if not comfortable. Those who wish to contribute to society, and most reasonable people do, will find ways to contribute with artisanship, sale of intangibles on crowd funding sites, and innovation. None of which is possible for a person struggling to feed a family or even hermself.
----------------------------
A thorough analysis of the tax effects of UBI.  
Hat tip to @miniver
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/01/why-we-should-all-have-a-basic-income/ 


4 comments:


J'Carlin said...
Why it is worth the daily slog through facebook.
J'Carlin said...
I learned about the TTJASI from a mentor at Pan Am. His advice: As soon as you save up enough "Fuck You Money" you can begin to do your job right. In a sense privilege, and/or another livable income in the family gives the same work freedom as FYM which is after all a relative term, but UBI puts a safety net under all who wish to "do their job right."
J'Carlin said...
Nyah Wynne Yes! Definitely. That's probably my number 2 top reason, in part because it's talked about very little. There are huge numbers of activities that people can engage in that are of real meaningful value to society that don't translate well into market value. Experimenting with art is a major one. Art sometimes pays off, sometimes doesn't, but all too often ends up either compromising itself in order to sell better or having to be fit into someone's spare time while they work some non-career, low end, dead-end job to survive. Other things include many sort of research, as finding grants can be as troublesome as trying to fund art. Care of children and the elderly sometimes pays but only if the ones being cared for can pay. In fact any sort of general service to the community tends to be deeply undervalued. The market values service to people according to their ability to pay, so serving the needs of 100 poor people is worth less than serving the whims of 1 wealthy person. There are all manner of truly valuable activities one can engage in that the market deems worthless.
J'Carlin said...
The compromises involved in selling art and research to the rich individuals and/or corporations is probably why real art and research so seldom see the light of day. On the hopeful side, the internet and crowd funding may be breaking the strangle-hold of the rich on both art and research. If you build it and post it on Facebook "The people will come."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Is Internet Porn Ruining Our Next Generation? Is Censorship the Answer?

beliefnet
Thanks for considering the children.

Nice social conscience.IamGreatest
Most computers, smart phones and even home routers have controls to exclude unwanted internet content.  Parents who think porn is bad can filter it.  Social controls (your conscience) is not the answer. 

But if you really want to consider the children teach them early and often "About your Sexuality" or its successor "Our Whole Lives" curriculum from UU and UCC which treats sexuality as a natural part of the human existence.  If you don't teach them they will learn it from advertisements and TV reality shows.  Or their porn loving friends. 

Education always works.  Censorship never does.  

I read a study a few months ago about young boys and the effects of viewing porn (as a mom of two boys, I was curious) and it focused on the fact that porn skews a person's view of sex and of 'normalcy.' In the study, the boys interviewed thought all girls looked like the girls in porn and if they didn't then that was weird (i.e., all girls were fully shaved, etc). It also discussed how the sex in porn is not even realistic and so it causes young men (and young girls that view it) to have unrealistic expectations. IMO, porn is not harmless and it's not something that should be viewed by children.christiangirl

If young boys and girls don't know what normal is, of course porn will skew their view of sex and 'normalcy.'  If they are kept in the dark of "we don't talk about that" and the only light is porn, guess what, light is normal. I was given a sex education book as soon as I learned to read, about 4 or 5.  '40s. It was as might be expected poorly written and obscure but my parents encouraged me to ask them or my older sisters about anything I didn't understand. Needless to say I was a trouble maker in grade school as other kids knew I had answers to questions their parents wouldn't talk about.  

Mammals have sex at puberty and are interested in it far before that.  Humans are mammals.  They will figure it out one way or the other. 

And, yet, grown men have their views on sex skewed by porn. It's not just about whether or not a kid is taught about 'normal' sex prior to their viewing porn. ...watching too much porn desensitizes us to 'normal' sex. Studies back me up...christiangirl

I suspect that none of those studies included grown men that didn't learn about sex from the church (sex is sin, and the missionary position while still sinful is excusable for procreation.) Or in the military: FFF&F. 

I know and have followed many children both boys and girls that were taught properly about sexuality pre-puberty and most of them find kinky porn to be a stupid waste of time. Most had good relationships with the opposite sex through early puberty and later in life.  None of them had unwanted children. This is confirmed by follow up studies on children that were exposed to the About Your Sexuality and Our Whole Lives curriculums both by UU and UCC research.

Are you actually suggesting that parents take an active roll in raising their own kids? You're asking way too much.mountain_humanist
Liberals think it is the governments job, i.e. "it takes a village."Seraphim
Since religious parents and many others have shown they can't do the job of teaching sexuality and defusing porn, perhaps the village stepping in is not a bad idea.

 In subjects like sexual mores that have such an important impact on peoples "village" I think the government and schools should stay entirely out of the picture. Government and schools will fall to the lowest common denominator usually "Just say no" as unrealistic as that is for sex or anything else. 
First and most important are the parents, supported either by their church or secular resources, eg, charitable organizations providing information and contraceptives for those choosing that route, or the many "Sex Ed" books available at the library, some written at the child's level of development.  Amazon has a whole section in children's books>Growing Up and Facts of Life.  As noted earlier put a few on the child's bookshelf and encourage questions.  When the child needs them hesh will find them. 

Perhaps surprisingly I think the child's church should be the choice for parents who do not choose to be involved.  Make sure your church school has a sexuality resource center no matter what the doctrine is.  The child will have to live with the consequences of that doctrine so they had best know what it is.  Note that child is pre-pubescent.  If they learn before the hormones kick in they are more likely to make better choices. 

The worst choice for parents who don't want to be involved actively is unfortunately porn.  Make sure the door is open to talk about it.  They will see it.  Banned or not.  If they can't talk to parents and mentors, they will learn from peers and porn stars.  

Still,  education simply cannot satiate curiosity,  it won't.  Your 12 year old is still going to want to see what he can see on the internet.   After all I have seen and even done I still have curiosity myself from time to time.

That is where things can get weird,  even with eduation kids are still forming impressions and still forming connections and can get things sadly wrong with some of the stuff they can see online.

I almost ( I said almost, not quite)  think you should do some porny web surfing with kids to be there to correct where things are wrong and where it is not realistic.   But I also believe in strong boundaries and can't imagine doing something like that myself. Funderey

There is a difference between education and indoctrination.  Education is open inquiry where questions and issues are invited and welcome.  When a 12 year old surfs some disturbing porn, either they will hide it if indoctrinated and get things wrong, or if educated ask a trusted mentor what the hell is this?  But they have to know what "Normal sexuality" is in their culture before they can ask about "Abnormal sex"   
I still find you wildly unrealistic and out of touch here.   NO, your average run of the mill - NON indoctrinated, not even religious 12 year old is not going to be totally up front and honest about the porn he or she surfed. They will talk to their friends if it is particularly weird. funderey

One of the early activities in a sexuality education curriculum is defusing taboos.  A bunch of taboo words are written on a sheet of butcher paper, and the kids are asked to write synonyms under them and cross out any wrong synonyms.  Then the fun begins.  "What is wrong with that crossed out word?" asks the facilitator. The kids begin to argue and all sorts of taboos see the light of day.  But the kids learn that they can discuss anything at all, and they do.  One thing they usually argue about is whether a word is nice or not, and the facilitator smiles.  Sexuality education has just sprung up unannounced.

I may be out of touch with the real world, but I have been asked questions by pre-pubescent kids that I had to research to answer.  And I told the kid just that.  Not that it was wrong, just that I didn't know. 
 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Thuggish Mediocracy

http://popehat.com/2015/09/16/willful-paranoia-the-classic-excuse-for-willful-paranoia-istandwithahmed/

American lives are controlled by the thuggishly mediocre. The best measure of their control is this: when called out on their mediocre thuggery, they can comfortably double down.
Being non-white or having a foreign sounding names helps them get away with the persecution of the "different" read able to think and act for themselves, but the point of the article was that difference is bad. You must be mediocre like us or you are dangerous. 
 
The fact is that we are dangerous and always have been, regardless of color or name. As a child in the 50's, white, common name, I was dangerous. I read books, I read Steinbeck, I sang radical folk songs. I was frequently in trouble with the authorities petty and powerful. Which is why you have never seen my real name in print. And why I have always chosen my friends with care. Even on Facebook when I am too old to matter anymore.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thinking About Beliefs.

beliefnet
I think at this point the only thing being achieved with this thread is "people from various backgrounds coming together to tell the OP that their methods are unnecessarily offensive."LDS
The OP got your attention, that is at least progress.
Progress towards what?Jewsha
Progress towards thinking about the prevailing misogyny in religion that spills over into the society dominated by those misogynic religions.

Even the attacks, diversions, and lies, make people "see the smoke" most people will simply rubberneck, a few will figure out there is a fire, one or two will try to do something to put out the fire, and as many if not more will scream "Let it burn!"

But just seeing the smoke makes people think about their belief about the cause of the fire.  And that thinking is inside the conceptual blocks that protect the belief.  Thinking inside the blocks is a disaster for beliefs.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Is Religion Useful?

beliefnet

I find fundamentalism to be a victimless crime as long as it stays in the community of fundamentalists.  I am not convinced that bringing a child up to fit into herm community is child abuse if the community is large enough to provide for the needs of all in the community.  In the well connected cosmopolitan society in which they are embedded I suspect that they are non-competitive, but that is their problem not the larger society.  Political proselytizing can and should be discouraged politically, but most societies are able to do so long term.  

Other than political activity I have no issues at all with believers in some supernatural focus for their lives.  It provides a prepackaged social and ethical structure that can be at the very least comforting and satisfying, and relieves them from the difficult activity of making sense of being alive and having to die.  If the great mother Goddess or the misanthropic God takes care of all the spiritual needs one can devote ones attention to the social and material needs of living with greater focus.  

I find deconversion activity is useful for the community, but I suspect that SBNR is the reasonable expectation rather than atheism.