Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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How to fix the world economy

Replace all benefits with pay
  [vote for,

Replace money printing for stock markets and credit liquidity markets with money printed for each citizen in the world.

According to Wikipedia, my government (the United Kingdom) spends £240 billion on welfare, £102 billion on education and £145 billion on health. The welfare spend is enough to give everyone £4675 a year.

That's enough to pay for rent in the city outskirts.

My local government spends £1,585,193,200 providing local services.

I propose scrapping the money spent on welfare and gifting that to individuals per year based on GDP. When the country does well financially, everyone earns more.

Increase the amount of money that can be earned before being taxed to whatever this amount of money is. So everyone who earns more gets taxed at 50%.

Everyone should have health insurance.

chronological, Apr 01 2020


       If only world leaders would just embrace these easy solutions, the world would be such a better place
theircompetitor, Apr 01 2020

       // Everyone should have health insurance //   

       Who pays for that, then ? Where does the funding come from ?   

       Governments have no money, other than that they steal from their citizens, or borrow - which has, eventually, to be repaid. They are also grossly inefficient.
8th of 7, Apr 01 2020

       I'm not sure what to do about healthcare.   

       The government owning hospitals and employing health experts directly seems to provide great care - world class care. But it's very inefficient.   

       I wonder if privatised health care and insurance based healthcare would work better and be cheaper?
chronological, Apr 01 2020

       So does everyone else. Socialised healthcare is a disaster.   

       When healthcare is funded by the state, the assumption is that it has infinitely deep pockets. In reality, healthcare is a black hole for financial resource. No organization can ever provide enough money to fund healthcare to the satisfaction of every user. There has to be rationing. This is a brutal and unpleasant fact.   

       States with free universal healthcare will eventually bankrupt themselves, and the objective of good health for the entire population will never be achieved since the Law of Diminishing Returns operates inexorably.
8th of 7, Apr 01 2020

       it certainly is not. Dollar for dollar Western countries with socialized healthcare have massively better outcomes than the US.
Voice, Apr 01 2020

       This is not a new idea, it's called citizens income, or universal basic income.   

       It is obviously much more logical and sane than means-tested handouts, which is why it has never and probably will never be implemented.   

       The most sensible proposals recommend funding such a universal distribution of cash through some kind of tax or levy on commons, whether that is on land values (as suggested by Henry George over a century ago), or on natural resource extraction license sales, or by central bank money printing aka inflation & growth in the economy.   

       Again these ideas are very equitable and rational, which is why they are inevitably considered fringe, marginal and unlikely ever to be implemented.
pocmloc, Apr 01 2020

       I support UBI, but you can't take from health and education to fund it. Not if you want a healthy economy and populace. As for the idea, how to put this kindly.... [chron] you should really read a few economics and history textbooks to get an understanding of how humanity has proposed, implemented and worked with the various issues you're trying to address.
Voice, Apr 01 2020

       // massively better outcomes than the US. //   

       Medically, yes.   

       Is that the only criterion ? To fund that healthcare, the state must take a higher and higher proportion of income from its workers. This will inevitably lead to disaster.   

       Humans are not altruistic on a macro scale. You should model any proposed system around the notion that all human beings are greedy, venal, selfish and dishonest (on a macro scale) and will do whatever they can to get the most output for the least input. This behaviour is strongly supported by historical and observational evidence.
8th of 7, Apr 01 2020

       That's not anything like inevitable. It's not even likely! Sure if you want life extending implants, military implants, implanted tools and equipment, a real-time communication hub in every person and so forth but most (dare I say all) countries are content to keep people healthy up until they reach a point of diminishing returns and "let" them die with "dignity".
Voice, Apr 01 2020

       The "country" might be, but medics aren't, and employ emotive imagery ("you must save this sick baby/teenager/old person") and arguments to extract constantly increasing funding for healthcare.   

       "Human history is the story of scarce resources that have competing uses". As you point out, economics textbooks explain this very clearly. Resources are finite, they must be apportioned accordingly, and there will always be winners and losers. Since governments are inefficient and subject to popular pressure, they apportion resources according to that pressure, not rational analysis.
8th of 7, Apr 01 2020

       //it certainly is not. Dollar for dollar Western countries with socialized healthcare have massively better outcomes than the US//   

theircompetitor, Apr 01 2020

       It depends what metrics you apply.
8th of 7, Apr 01 2020

       the reality is a bit different. The middle class, especially upper middle class, has a vastly different level of service than anywhere in the world (the upper classes have a different level of service everywhere, as is evidenced by the rapid corona tests accessible to celebrities)   

       The US average is brought down by the uninsured and underinsured. What that masks is that if and when US finally succumbs to anything resembling what Western Europe has, the average will go up but the level of service the middle and upper middle class is accustomed to will go down. And thus they continue to fight it.
theircompetitor, Apr 01 2020

       Inequality can never be permanently removed from an economic system. It can be reduced, but that produces stresses and strains. Allow those to get too big, or persist for too long (low-cycle and high-cycle fatigue) and there will be a catastrophic* correction.   

       *In the mathematical sense. See "points of inflexion", catastrophe curves, and discontinuous functions.
8th of 7, Apr 01 2020

       The idea is nothing new, also, what has it to do with the 'world economy'?
Skewed, Apr 01 2020

       Wishful thinking ?
8th of 7, Apr 01 2020

       // the NHS has mission creep by spending more and more to save fewer and fewer. //   

       Well spotted. In the end, that's what will destroy it.   

       If you will spend 1 resource unit to save 1 life, will you spend 2 ? If yes, then why not 20 ? 100 ? 1000 ?   

       Where do you call a halt to the value of one life ? The medics never will; in the end, entropy will call time. The system will collapse, and lots of people will die.   

       Social programmes like pensions and healthcare were created generations ago, but then set in legislative stone. Now, any attempt to change them to cope with changed (very much changed) conditions is political suicude because nobody wants to take a hit, especially older users in poorer health who see their prospects diminished. They have votes, and importantly, money and influence too.   

       Too late, it's been realized that the "Pensions time bomb" is a thermonuclear device.   

       Tick, tock, tick, tock ...
8th of 7, Apr 01 2020

       //the state must take a higher and higher proportion of income from its workers//   

       Ah yes - the alternative, where medical insurers take a higher and higher proportion, is clearly much better ... right?   

       Actually, both arrangements are more rational than they first appear; in a society where most people don't really need more stuff, why wouldn't a growing part of the economy be dedicated to their health? What else should they spend on? (I mean, yes, infrastructure and education, obviously, but that's a separate problem).
pertinax, Apr 02 2020

       //NHS has mission creep// Agreed.
pertinax, Apr 02 2020

       //To fund that healthcare, the state must take a higher and higher proportion of income from its workers.//   


       // the NHS has mission creep by spending more and more to save fewer and fewer. //   

       (and similar).   

       Yeah... no.   

       //There has to be rationing.//   

       This is always going to be the case - except for the ultra-rich who can personally fund all imaginable treatments directly.   

       In brief, the way the NHS does it is to work from its budget to derive how much can be spent to save one quality-adjusted life-year, and hence what treatments they can fund.   

       The way that private health insurance does this is ... essentially the same, except with additional layers of bureaucracy and private organisations milking off as much of the money as they can get away with.
Loris, Apr 02 2020

       // essentially the same ///   

       With one huge difference - the amount of funding allocated isn't so much of an ice-axe to help political parties claw their way to the moral high ground.   

       Under a private or even semi-private system, the fact that healthcare isn't a "something for nothing" service is constantly forced into the minds of users.   

       It's unfair, unjust, discriminatory, and a huge source of stress and anxiety. Completely natural, unavoidable, and part of life. The slowest antelope gets eaten.
8th of 7, Apr 02 2020


       ... except in so far as it is, in fact, avoided, in most advanced societies.
pertinax, Apr 02 2020

       No, it's not. There's a pretence that it is, an "Emperor's New Clothes" shared delusion, but it's there nonetheless. It's part of the disconnect between what humans want to believe they are, and what they actually are.   

       The only free cheese is in mousetraps.
8th of 7, Apr 02 2020

       //There's a pretence that it is//   

       So ... people are *actually* hugely stressed and anxious about this, but foolishly think they're not? That's some impressive mental gymnastics - do you work out?
pertinax, Apr 02 2020

       In the U.S., service users worry about paying health insurance, and extent of coverage. In the U.K. they worry about postcode prescribing, availability of novel pharmaceuticals, waiting lists. That's more indirect, but arises from the same source.
8th of 7, Apr 02 2020

       //The only free cheese is in mousetraps//   

       Not true, mum gave me some cheese only last month, didn't ask to be paid at all, doubtless driven to do this by the (somewhat addled, as it's doubtful at this point I'll have any offspring) imperative to insure the welfare of her offspring & promote her own genes into the future.
Skewed, Apr 02 2020

       That proves the point - it wasn't "free". Her genes were indeed making an investment in their own continuity.   

       You're just an asset. As Richard Dawkins points out, genes are very selfish; they have to be. Only the selfish survive.
8th of 7, Apr 02 2020

       Yes but in every possible way it was indeed free to me not only at point of delivery but indefinitely into the future as well.   

       She'd already bought it, was moving in with her sister for the lockdown & it was a bit pongy already (me I like that) so if I didn't want it she'd have thrown it out, so didn't even have a delayed potential future cost to my 'inheritance' were I expecting to get one.   

       The einstein theory of cheese cost relativity : It's freeness, lack thereof or position on the spectrum between completely free & infinitely costly is relative to where you stand in the transaction & observe it from.   

       Expressed most simply for the layman as 'I'm her relative so it was free'.
Skewed, Apr 02 2020

       //Her genes were indeed making an investment in their own continuity.//   

       By the same reasoning, then, a collective entity (such as a nation state) can make an investment in *its* own continuity.
pertinax, Apr 02 2020

       That's exactly what Hitler said.   

       BZZZZZT Godwin's Law !   

       Hitler said: "What is life? Life is the Nation. The individual must die anyway. Beyond the life of the individual is the Nation."   

       (Source: Wikiquote, "The World at War": Stalingrad)   

       Of course, part of that "investment" management is writing down/off and disposing of assets that no longer provide a return.   

       We note your enthusiastic espousal of fascistic totalitarian values with interest (and approbation); we also invest in our continuity, as you may have noticed.
8th of 7, Apr 02 2020

       My first bit of advice would be to stop eating like Americans, and knock off the bloody cigarettes. That'll save you a fortune in healthcare costs.   

       My next bit of advice would be to make like every health care machine that goes bing should be produced on the cheap using some efficient manufacturing methods. Take a look at a Raspberry pi, harden it a bit, add a touch screen, and there's your ventilator controller. Not every single machine needs to be able to deal with a level 5 ER emergency in terms of support. Build a bunch on the cheap, and have fewer that have more capability for the tougher cases.   

       We build hospital beds like every single bed needs push-button maid service, which seems to be a silly fallacy. Sometimes all that is needed is a cot, a blanket and pillow, and a foam mattress.
RayfordSteele, Apr 02 2020

       //BZZZZZT Godwin's Law ! //   

       May I gently remind you of what Godwin's Law says? It says that the first person to invoke the Hitler comparison thereby *loses* the argument.   

       Thank you for playing.   

       {slips out of the room to the soundtrack of the "Suicide Squad" scene from "Life of Brian"}
pertinax, Apr 02 2020

       //Godwin's Law ! //   

       //It says that the first person to invoke the Hitler comparison thereby *loses* the argument//   

       The real, the only true, original & unrevised Godwin's law : "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1"   

       I hereby accuse [pert] of Godwin's law revisionism, you are a revisionist & I claim my $1.
Skewed, Apr 02 2020

       <Encloses $1 in used tram tickets in plain brown envelope, conceals same behind hot water pipes in gentlemen's toilets, Waterloo station/>   

       // Sometimes all that is needed is a cot, a blanket and pillow, and a foam mattress. //   

       ... or as that's known in most of Africa, "Intensive Care" ....   

       The problem of over-engineered, over-certified, hugely expensive Machines That Go Ping can be traced back to a single, pernicious fault in system design: Lawyers.
8th of 7, Apr 03 2020


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