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Unconditional Basic Income as feminist topic

(92 Posts)
VestalVirgin Fri 11-Dec-15 22:13:57

There's a thread on this topic in Aibu, but I think it is also a feminist issue. Giving every person a certain minimum sum (enough to live on) would be an important step towards the abolition of prostitution, among other things.

It would, of course, not affect the special snowflakes who are happy "sex workers", but it would mean that no woman has to work under inacceptable conditions - including, but not limited to prostitution.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Fri 11-Dec-15 22:15:21

Same goes for Men though, surely. How is this a feminist issue? and how is it practical?

PlonitbatPlonit Fri 11-Dec-15 22:18:39

Doesn't the U stand for 'Universal'? I think the issue is that most of the currently 'unpaid' labour in society is done by women and that universal basic income would benefit those who are currently economically dependent on someone else because they are working unpaid (it would be clawed back in form of tax from those who worked for pay).

PlonitbatPlonit Fri 11-Dec-15 22:23:46

I don't know why I've put unpaid in quotes above.

PlaysWellWithOthers Fri 11-Dec-15 22:24:49

I think it very much depends on how it's going to be paid.

If, like UC, it will be paid to one person, the head of household or man as they're generally known, then there is the same potential for financial abuse as there is now. If it will be paid to each person separately then it's better.

Women's unpaid caring work is priceless, if we stopped doing it the country would grind to a shuddering halt. So something does need to change.

7Days Fri 11-Dec-15 22:25:44

Isn't that part of the reasoning behind child benefit - mothers only, obv. In Ireland it's paid direct to the mother afaik, or was when I started having kids.
It's the same argument for all forms of social welfare, even tax credits, really. Haven't read the other thread so may have missed some points.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Fri 11-Dec-15 22:26:51

I can see some merit but how do you avoid it encouraging a dependency culture ?

I'm not sure I'm terribly keen on those who could work choosing not to. How do you mitigate that ?

Presumably this minimum sum would form part of taxable income? It seems a bit odd to give people who don't need it a minimum state wage and then incur admin costs in taking 40 or 50% of it back.

PlaysWellWithOthers Fri 11-Dec-15 22:29:08

It is, isn't it Buffy.

I'm not sure if I agree with it, but it seems to be gaining a lot of traction in..... Finland???? (probably wrong, but meh)

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PlonitbatPlonit Fri 11-Dec-15 22:40:43

I think the idea is that you then abolish all means-tested benefits and all the administrative cost that goes with that. Income tax is considerably easier to administer than means-tested/conditional benefits. You get rid of the stigma attached to benefits, because they are universal.

IrenetheQuaint Fri 11-Dec-15 22:42:28

They have or had one in some of the Gulf states too... very generous because of the oil revenues, so, according to my source, lots of the locals did what they fancied all day and imported Indians and Filipinas to do the shitwork for starvation wages.

I dunno. I don't think the numbers would add up - it would be so expensive that income tax rates would have to be very high. So, harder to recruit people to do necessary jobs, and an incentive for some high earners to move abroad.

It would be preferable to pay people in need proper benefits and get rid of the benefits trap to encourage work, I think. That would still be cheaper.

Piratespoo Fri 11-Dec-15 22:52:44

For a feminist, you are very disparaging towards sex workers. Everyone has a story and a reason for their choices. Why do you call people special snowflakes just because you don't understand their reasoning?
You are women shaming, the opposite of a feminist.

VestalVirgin Fri 11-Dec-15 22:56:28

If, like UC, it will be paid to one person, the head of household or man as they're generally known, then there is the same potential for financial abuse as there is now. If it will be paid to each person separately then it's better.

Paying it to a "head of household" would obviously be nonsensical and destroy the whole purpose of it.

I don't think any of the current ideas has this in mind. Though maybe children's incomes would be paid to the parents until they are sixteen or so.

You get rid of the stigma attached to benefits, because they are universal.

That is the idea.

@Irene: Getting rid of the bullying methods that are used to "encourage" people to work would be a step in the right direction.

Most people want to work, I think, but most would not want to work in soul-sucking jobs that achieve nothing useful.
Even the most lazy would choose to work part-time in boring jobs to be able to afford some nice extras.

I have worked for a firm that phoned random people to try and sell them stuff (illegal, but they had ways to work around it), and all the co-workers I talked to were in desparate need of money. They paid badly, so I don't think anyone would work there if they had an unconditional basic income.

Apart from the fact that people wouldn't work in jobs where the whole job consists of annoying other people, it would give women financial independence.

Financial independence would not only reduce prostitution, it would also remove hurdles to leaving abusive relationships.

It would by no means be an adequate compensation for women's unpaid work, but it would enable more women to choose to not do that unpaid work for husbands anymore.

PlaysWellWithOthers Fri 11-Dec-15 22:56:55

Yeah, probably not the thread to get into yet another bunfight about prostituted women, there's already one going on on another thread, but thanks for your input

VestalVirgin Fri 11-Dec-15 22:57:59

You are women shaming, the opposite of a feminist.

You confuse feminism with "applauding everything women do". It is not the same.

I don't care for special snowflakes who think they are entitled to earning their money in a certain way even if it means that millions of other women are raped and the police can't stop it.

PlaysWellWithOthers Fri 11-Dec-15 22:59:13

Fair enough Vestal, I have to say I don't know huge amounts about the detail, hence my slightly vague post, but I do find the idea intriguing.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Fri 11-Dec-15 23:16:44

It would by no means be an adequate compensation for women's unpaid work, but it would enable more women to choose to not do that unpaid work for husbands anymore

Why is there an assumptions that work done by a woman looking after the home and children is unpaid? If her efforts at home allow him to earn presumably she shares in the benefits of his earnings.

I don't see why I should pay more tax so that stay at home wives and partners can be paid.

AnyoneButSanta Fri 11-Dec-15 23:35:37

I think that although there's a lot to be said for a citizen's income, it might end up with a lot more women choosing to be SAHPs. And although that's presumably a good outcome for them - at least in the short term - it may not be the best thing for society as a whole if it means that the jobs that drive our lives are more male dominated.

Elendon Sat 12-Dec-15 00:06:05

We are all dependent on something. We all live in a dependency culture.

I think it's an excellent idea and would lead to a less dependent culture.

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Sat 12-Dec-15 00:17:14

I don't think £500 would cover it though.

VestalVirgin Sat 12-Dec-15 00:22:35

I think that although there's a lot to be said for a citizen's income, it might end up with a lot more women choosing to be SAHPs. And although that's presumably a good outcome for them - at least in the short term - it may not be the best thing for society as a whole if it means that the jobs that drive our lives are more male dominated.

Why do you think more women would want to stay away from well-paid high-influence jobs?

After all, the children's basic income could be used to pay for childcare.

Sure, many women would rather stay at home than drudge away as cleaner or as cashier in a supermarket, or similar.

But women who went to university and have a career ahead of them that doesn't only pay good money but also boosts their self-esteem?

One would have to do a study on this to know for sure, but I would suspect that more women stay below their potential right now, because they had children at a young age and need to put bread on the table somehow, or similar.

Are women from middle class and higher income households more likely to be SAHMs than women whose parents have a lower income?

caroldecker Sat 12-Dec-15 00:35:51

If you can afford it through mineral wealth, you get the Qatar economy, with only 13% of the population as nationals, with lots of oil wealth and 87% being immigrants with no oil wealth who do 94% of jobs.
If you can't afford that, the only way is by taxing workers, who will resent the unemployed being able to afford a good lifestyle - look at the government we have elected.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 12-Dec-15 01:06:37

I think it's an excellent idea and would lead to a less dependent culture

I don't agree. I resent paying more tax so a stay at home mother can be paid for staying at home.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 12-Dec-15 01:07:16

Sorry I would resent paying more tax for that.

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