Captain Qahn's picture

'Why doesn’t the government just give everybody money?' asks Eduardo Porter


"Being universal — that is, for the homeless and the masters of the universe alike — the program would be free of the cumbersome assessments required to determine eligibility..."

"The idea of universal basic income sounds extravagant, right? Well, the Finns and even the Swiss are thinking about it. On June 5, Swiss citizens will vote in a referendum on whether to hand out 30,000 francs a year — just over $30,000 — to every citizen, regardless of wealth, work status or whatever."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/30/swiss-village-chooses-to-pay-... "...By rejecting the government's plans, the village - which counts 300 millionaires among its population of 22,000 - has sent shockwaves across the country, with some accusing the residents of racism. The villagers must now fork out 290,000 Swiss francs (£200,000) as a forfeit for refusing to welcome the asylum seekers."


"The popularity of the universal basic income stems from a fanciful diagnosis born in Silicon Valley of the challenges faced by the working class across industrialized nations: one that sees declining employment rates and stagnant wages and concludes that robots are about to take over all the jobs in the world.

That scenario might lie in our future — I will devote my next column to discussion of such a universe. But it’s certainly not our present. Men at their prime working ages — 25 to 54 — have been falling out of the labor force since the 1960s. Still, today more than eight out of every 10 Americans in their prime are working."

"It is undoubtedly true that the American safety net needs fixing. Fifty million Americans live in poverty. Sixteen million live on the equivalent of $8.60 a day. Providing more income security for the struggling working class would not only produce a more equitable society, it would increase spending and improve economic growth."

"“a universal basic income is one of those ideas that the longer you look at it, the less enthusiastic you become.”" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3IWwnNe5mc


"The basic truth is that giving people benefits does influence their behavior. There are a large number of people in our society — little children, people who are 75 years old, people who are disabled — who aren’t going to work no matter what. Then there is what you can prudently afford to give to people where there are going to be large incentive effects. So there are a variety of incremental reforms that would broaden eligibility for various existing programs that I would support, but the universal basic income is one of those ideas that the longer you look at it, the less enthusiastic you become."

"If you think of the costs of someone not working, if you think of all the attendant health care, criminal justice and other impacts, the truth is that these investments may actually pay for themselves multiple times over."


Meanwhile by Federico Pistono: "As tech threatens jobs, we must test a universal basic income -  Paying a basic wage to all could hold society together if automation destroys swathes of work, but we need more trials to be sure"

"THE idea that technology would destroy jobs and dramatically increase unemployment was considered a fallacy not long ago. Economists believed technology always created new opportunities and hence new jobs.
Today, with the rise of machine-learning algorithms and advanced robotics, many have changed their view. It’s possible that within 20 years almost half of all jobs will be lost to machines, and nobody really knows how we are going to cope with that.   Those who still have faith in technology’s power to create jobs fail to recognise the shift to a “superstar economy”, where a handful of companies disrupt markets, make billions and employ very few people, while the rest fight for the scraps.
So how would the millions whose jobs are at high risk of being automated survive in this landscape? One of the most interesting proposals, that doesn’t rely on the fanciful idea that the market will figure it out, is an unconditional basic income (UBI).
It’s a simple concept with far-reaching consequences. The state would give a monthly stipend to every citizen, regardless of income or employment status. This would simplify bureaucracy, get rid of outdated and inefficient means-based benefits, and provide support for people to live with dignity and find new meaning.  Perhaps the biggest UBI experiments, involving a whole town in Canada and 20 villages in India, have confounded a key criticism – that it would kill the incentive to work.

Not only did people continue working, but they were more likely to start businesses or perform socially beneficial activities compared with controls. In addition, there was an increase in general well-being, and no increase in alcohol, drug use or gambling.

These results are promising but not conclusive. We don’t know what would happen in other countries, or whether the results would apply on larger scales. New experiments may give a clearer picture. The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands has started a UBI pilot, with a view to extending it to 300,000 residents; Finland is poised to do the same.   But for now, any country implementing a nationwide UBI would be going out on a limb. There are so many variables that if it goes well, it will be difficult to analyse and understand exactly why it worked and how it can be replicated elsewhere. If it goes wrong, it will deter further research and experiments.

It would be better to test it on a random sample of 1000 towns of 10,000 people each than in one country of 10 million. A network of such experiments in many countries is the perfect set-up to learn and prepare for larger-scale projects, right before the wave of automation hits us hard. We need to be ready." source: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28186-as-tech-threatens-jobs-we-m...

Oh, wonders to wallow: 







Benefitz Betty's picture

Switzerland Ticks Boxes

Not to be outdone by the EU the Swiss are holding their own referendum ... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36454060

"But polls suggest that only about one quarter of Swiss voters back the idea...."

"There is little support among Swiss politicians for the idea and not a single parliamentary party has come out in favour, but the proposal gathered more than 100,000 signatures and is therefore being put to the vote under the Swiss popular initiative system.

Critics of the measure say that disconnecting the link between work done and money earned would be bad for society.

But Che Wagner from the campaign group Basic Income Switzerland, says it wouldn't be money for nothing.

"In Switzerland over 50% of total work that is done is unpaid. It's care work, it's at home, it's in different communities, so that work would be more valued with a basic income."

However tis wrapped up in other 'referendum' items so turnout should be interesting.... unlike the other items on the box ...

Erm? http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/swiss-referendum-to-deci...

Does anyone outside Switzerland know what else they are voting on?

Ah, so ...


Asylum Procedures

Genetic Screening?

Hmmm .... the uninvited.


Benefitz Betty's picture

EU: The Sounds of the Suberbs

Paris ... Crossing into the Alien North?


tis like Whitby innit?

"Every city has its rival quarters, every quarter has its genius loci - its spirit of place - and here in Paris, there's a big irrational but unavoidable dividing line: you're either a north-of-the-river person, or… well, the opposite."

tut tut...  Cathedrals v Abbey

Hmmm ... Summary

  • Whereas an abbey is a complex or an ensemble of many minor buildings, a cathedral is defined as a single large and ornate church building.
  • An abbey is conducted under an abbess or an abbot while a cathedral is conducted under the denomination with an episcopal hierarchy.
  • An abbey is a place for nuns and priests to live and worship whereas a cathedral is built as a place of worship.
Ah, so  ... is he on a roll ;-?
Oh, OK: 
"The Place de la Republique is a temple of left-wingery. People come there to commune with the faithful, the same way their forefathers-and-mothers would once have dipped into a church for solace and a reminder of bigger themes. Out west, there's a different tribe. There, the young men wear green trousers and moccasins, and understand the stock market. One lot marches to stop economic reform, the other lot marches to stop gay marriage.

Both sides can do what they want - but please, not on my doorstep."

You see, down here, south of the river, we're an unpretentious lot. They - the northerners - they think we're boring because we don't go clubbing on the same street we live in, and we don't take "causes" quite so seriously. In fact we're just normal..."

"Silly, isn't it? I mean, it's all the one city. North, south, left, right: who cares? Life swirls on regardless. But actually of course, we're all constantly drawing subconscious mental maps of where we live, nursing our fidelity to the bit we've chanced to settle in."



Captain Qahn's picture

Pick of the Flicks


"It is being billed as the biggest single Arctic research expedition ever planned.

Germany is going to sail its 120m-long research vessel, the Polarstern, into the sea-ice at the top of the world and just let it get stuck so it can drift across the north pole.

The 2,500km (1,550-mile) trip, to begin in 2019, is likely to take a year.

Researchers hope to gather valuable new insights on the region where Earth's climate is changing fastest...."


"The projected price for HS2 is £56bn... MPs are expected to give the scheme the final seal of approval this week when it returns to the Commons from the Lords."


"The basic income is a big idea with a pedigree. It owes its roots to Thomas Paine, the 18th-century radical, who in 1797 proposed paying all 21-year-olds a £15 grant funded through a tax on landowners. Since then it has captured the imagination of many a philosopher, but until the past couple of years never gained much political traction beyond the fringes...."

Kangasala ... is that the dog?


Demoted to a rabid ole computer wolf ...




Captain Qahn's picture

Areas of Outstanding Natural Business

“Were it me running their electronic warfare show, I would build small drones and stuff them with electronics that would monitor and record everything our military radars would send at them,” Bania said. “Then I would get busy reverse engineering what our weaponry did. Then I would develop protocols to spoof radar locks back at us giving ranges that would imply these ridiculous motions.”

"Other organisations and individuals can apply, as long as they collaborate with a farmer or land manager, or in support of a farmer or group of farmers.

Common land is eligible for this funding. You can apply as a landowner with sole rights, or as a group of commoners acting together.

You can check if your land is within the boundaries of a protected landscape on the MAGIC mapping website.

  1. Select Designations.
  2. Select Land-based designations.
  3. Select Statutory.
  4. Untick all boxes apart from Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (England) and National Parks (England)."


Oh, OK:


Target Practice;-0



The Green House Effect.

“Ratatouille, what do you got?”





btw ... if you don't 're-open' you have to repay your grants ;-0

"In addition, some governments may classify solar panels as hazardous waste, due to the small amounts of heavy metals (cadmium, lead, etc.) they contain. This classification carries with it a string of expensive restrictions — hazardous waste can only be transported at designated times and via select routes, etc."


"With three days before the deadline of the EU settlement scheme this Wednesday, campaigners say late applicants are being stuck in online queues as others find it impossible to access advice on the government helpline."



Captain Qahn's picture

A Democratic Process

"In a letter sent to numerous politicians in the region, including Ben Houchen, the Tees Valley Mayor, and Hartlepool Council leader Shane Moore, Sacha Bedding, the chief executive of the Wharton Trust said he wanted to 'explore whether Hartlepool would be a suitable location for an offshore Geological Disposal Facility (GDF)'.

The Wharton Trust support people to get into employment, promote healthier lifestyles and engage young people in positive activities."


"“I am not prepared to be the Council Leader that started the ball rolling to turn my hometown into the nuclear waste dump of the United Kingdom and – frankly – I don’t care how many pieces of silver are being offered."


"Mr Houchen said: “This stinks! I want to give Hartlepool Labour the benefit of the doubt. I hope this isn’t an attempted stitch up in secret to bring a highly dangerous nuclear waste dump to Hartlepool. They need to make their position clear immediately as the longer they are silent the more it says about their position. They must disclose details of this meeting, what was discussed and if they decided to support these ridiculous plans.

“For as long as I am mayor, I will fight tooth and nail to not allow our amazing region to become a dumping ground for nuclear waste, I’m told Shane Moore feels the same as I do, so now is the time for him to come out and condemn these plans publicly and commit to not allow any nuclear dumping in the town."

“I’ve already taken steps to speak with Government and have informed them that this is not wanted in Hartlepool and never will be. “We are making huge strides in Hartlepool and across Teesside and Darlington and the last thing we need as we sell our region to the world is to be known as the dumping ground for the UK’s nuclear waste.”"



Barnard Castle.



"“And he was like, ‘Oh my God, you’re right, she’s driving me crackers. We’ve got to find her a job with lots of foreign travel. Could we get the Cabinet Secretary to give her a job on COP26, travelling round with Kate Middleton?’...

A Number 10 source said claims made by Mr Cummings were “risible, like much of Dom’s recent output.”"




Captain Black's picture

Huge Strides

"Cumbria county council, which resisted the last efforts to site a GDF locally in 2013, has declined to take part in either of the two existing working groups, saying its involvement would give the process “a credibility it doesn’t deserve”."




“We see it more as the beginning of a long journey.”

'Letter Boxing'

"The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, ancient woodland and historic sites. Created on 28 November 1952 it became Britain’s sixth national park, and is one of 15 in the United Kingdom. It covers an area of 554 sq miles (1,436 sq km) and has 26 miles of coastline. There are also 1,408 miles (2,268km) of Public Rights of Way..."


"I found many things to appreciate about “the moor”, as it’s known by all who live around its edges: the lines and circles of ancient stones, the ruined settlements, the rail tracks and quarries, the rabbit holes and crumbled walls, and all that remains of the work and lives of the miners, warreners, drystone wall builders and peat cutters who were still a presence."


"Dartmoor is the only English national park where wild camping is allowed."



'A combination of hiking, orienteering and treasure hunting...'

Dear Carl Les,

"The persecution of mobile people goes back to the 1349 Ordinance of Labourers, which ruled that those deemed to be “vagrants” could be whipped or branded with hot irons. Laws passed in the 16th century decreed that “rogues”, “vagabonds” and other “masterless men” could have their ears sliced in two or bored with a hot poker If they still failed to return to their own parish (regardless of whether they had one)."

Quietly getting on with it... ;-0




Caption This

"The Sands North Bay15/10/2004 : £464,253

£79,000 previously spent on Newburn House, Alma Square, £50,000 on affordable housing in Sleights, £30,000 spent at Sneaton Castle,Whitby & £150,000, towards Young Person’s Pathway Housing (6 units) at Victoria Road, Scarborough  Unspent balance of £155,253 committed to affordable housing - a further £30,000 for Sneaton Castle and £125,253 towards other housing schemes"



Keep Scrolling.


Parastatal, Moi?


"The majority of councillors said they felt having a destination management body for Yorkshire was important, but that WtY had lost its way."


Mortal Mindy's picture

A Thrifty Way

"We need a bold next step to jump-start us out of endless wage stagnation"


"After the first loop of three stages, the crews will return to the service area at the mart."



Hop on and off any bus, any time, fare-free.


Thanks for the 'Fish'.. ;-)



Captain Black's picture

A Selection of Track?

"One of the many jobs which is progressing this winter is being undertaken by the Permanent Way Team. They are currently replacing fifty seven 60ft lengths of 1950s bullhead rail."



"And if your stresses are sustained and daily, get yourself to an empty room – be it hotel, hostel or hovel – find a lamp
and empty your paradise onto a desk"

Hmm ...

"The railway say they hope the work will help to ensure a smooth and comfortable ride for passengers next season."



"It’s also currently working on a package of 10 transport improvements around the Pannal Ash and Oatlands area."


"“You could put a yoghurt in permafrost and it might still be edible 50,000 years later.”"