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Literal Reserve Army of Labour

Resell the labour of jobseekers
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The idea: a combined benefits/temporary jobs agency, run by the government, that will pay people a fixed sum each week. In exchange for this, they will have to work a maximum of 40 hours a week at whatever job the agency manages to find for them (with allowance for capability - if someone has a bad back, they will not be expected to do heavy manual labour). The income from the jobs that are found for them will be paid to the agency, and used to reduce the money that is required to be spent by the government on the scheme.

This would enable people to have a guaranteed income each week, even when the work is seasonal or volatile for other reasons. People enrolled in the scheme would not have to worry about losing their benefits because they've found a job, only to have to sign on a couple of weeks later because the work has dried up.

(I originally had the idea from a discussion on the radio about fruit pickers - a caller made the suggestion that is commonly made, of making welfare recipients do the work).

Selky, Jun 25 2017

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       One effect of this would be a dramatic drop in the innovation supply. People would not have the time to come up with arbitrary ideas, of which some may survive, and of which some may be useful, of which some may advance civilization. People trapped in daily jobs wouldn't have the brain motility to think about things like that and when they get home, they'd be too tired to think at all.
Ian Tindale, Jun 25 2017
  

       Another way of guaranteeing everyone an income is to pay everyone an income.
nineteenthly, Jun 25 2017
  

       Why don’t the workless just go and work their share of the land?
pocmloc, Jun 25 2017
  

       Because it belongs to someone else.
nineteenthly, Jun 25 2017
  

       Oh really? How come?
pocmloc, Jun 25 2017
  

       Does anyone have any air freshener ? There's a nasty whiff of socialism in this idea ...
8th of 7, Jun 25 2017
  

       //How come?// Because some people put more effort than others into choosing their ancestors.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 25 2017
  

       " One effect of this would be a dramatic drop in the innovation supply. People would not have the time to come up with arbitrary ideas, of which some may survive, and of which some may be useful, of which some may advance civilization. "   

       Some of which may wind up on the halfbakery.
normzone, Jun 26 2017
  

       I.e. The Civilian Conservation Corps? It was a great idea in the 30's and helped get this country through the Great Depression.
RayfordSteele, Jun 26 2017
  

       Sounds like a combination of welfare and a temp agency. OK.   

       How does anything like this handle people like me, though? My body is incapable of sticking to a 24-hour sleep/wake cycle for more than a few months, and even for those few months it's painful. I go to sleep and get up at different times each day; some weeks I'm more diurnal and some weeks I'm more nocturnal. I don't imagine I'd be much more compatible with shift work either.
notexactly, Jun 27 2017
  

       I'm a definite fan of coming up with a workable system to a) utilise the labour pool of people on welfare schemes, b) train/prepare/develop welfare recipients for future participation in employment and c) deincentivise welfare- as-a-choice such as that may be.   

       As much as people try to obfuscate the issue - there is a definite incentive for people to remain on generous welfare schemes (such as exist in many places outside of the US) - which is proven to establish itself as an inter- generational issue. This is not and should not be just an individual choice - the rest of society have to fund the program. I don't think anyone should be able to just choose to live off society without any obligation (outside, of course, for genuine reasons for not being able to support yourself). I'm yet to hear a compelling argument for why someone should be able to choose to benefit from the labour of others with no obligations themselves.   

       //How does anything like this handle people like me, though? //   

       Without being overly blunt - I don't think that problem is so common that this system should specifically cater for it. As much as this sounds like a rather debilitating issue to have when trying to fit into a rigidly 24-hour society, arguably this condition of yours is for you to manage.   

       That said - I would think that a scheme of this size should definitely be able to handle some level of ad-hoc participation from participants who have been certified as needing that.   

       It's got to be a challenge though. My chronic insomnia is hard enough to deal with, but I can at least pretend to fit into a long-term 24-hr cycle.
Custardguts, Jun 27 2017
  

       // I don't think that problem is so common that this system should specifically cater for it. As much as this sounds like a rather debilitating issue to have when trying to fit into a rigidly 24-hour society, arguably this condition of yours is for you to manage. //   

       I actually agree with that. My chosen solution is to be self-employed.
notexactly, Jun 27 2017
  

       [notexactly], I wouldn't expect everyone who is unemployed to be forced into a one-scheme-fits-all system. See "(with allowance for capability - if someone has a bad back, they will not be expected to do heavy manual labour)".   

       [RayfordSteele], not exactly. It would basically be the government purchasing peoples labour and reselling it. They purchase 40 hours of your labour each week, and then sell it on to companies and individuals looking for it - and if they can't sell all of it on, you still get paid.   

       I'm thinking it would be best to do it on a weekly basis? So if someone loses their job, they can sign up and commit themselves for the next week, but if they find a job by the end of that week they don't have to sign up for the following week.
Selky, Jun 28 2017
  

       I also think it would be a good idea to work an education aspect into this, for those who want it. Say up to half the time can be chosen to be spent enrolled on a course to learn a skill. Obviously it shouldn't be possible to use it to be an eternal student, of course...
Selky, Jun 28 2017
  

       I'm not sure that I see much here that's meaningfully new and it seems to verge on the MFD across multiple territories, including "heard it on the radio" and "widely known to exist". The specific tuning of various programs -- including for instance being enrolled in a qualified educational program qualifying as "work"-fare -- has all been and/or is being tried in numerous jurisdictions.   

       If people want to work in menial jobs to make ends meet, they have ample opportunity to do so and in fact even many (if not most) on benefits already do other activities, just typically off the books -- in fact, one of the arguments for basic income is that you wouldn't actually discount benefits with other gotten wages, as that disincentivises work.
theircompetitor, Jun 28 2017
  

       //I'm yet to hear a compelling argument for why someone should be able to choose to benefit from the labour of others with no obligations themselves.//   

       Well the same can be said for benefitting from the land of others. i.e. obtaining monopoly over an area of land without compensating others for depriving them of it.
pocmloc, Jun 29 2017
  

       Workfare is hardly a new idea.
DrBob, Jun 29 2017
  

       //obtaining monopoly over an area of land without compensating others for depriving them of it.//   

       Fine, but the landowners arent the majority tax contributors. Tax is largely paid by the wealthy-but-not-rich.
Custardguts, Jun 29 2017
  

       I keep reading this as "literal reverse army of Labour" - leading Jeremy Corbyn's race back to the 1970's.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 29 2017
  
      
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