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15

Are the poor too expensive?

Redistribution and the welfare state

0
terms
3
notes

Hills, J. (2015). Are the poor too expensive?. In Hills, J. Good Times, Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us. Policy Press, pp. 15-46

30

[...] Receiving a lot of healthcare from the NHS does not really make people 'better off' than those who do not need that care (although the recipients would be a lot worse off if they had to pay for it privately). [...]

—p.30 by John Hills 2 years ago

[...] Receiving a lot of healthcare from the NHS does not really make people 'better off' than those who do not need that care (although the recipients would be a lot worse off if they had to pay for it privately). [...]

—p.30 by John Hills 2 years ago
36
  • low and high earners should pay the same share of income in tax (a proportional system;
  • higher earners should pay a higher share of income in tax (a progressive system);
  • both should pay the same amount in tax (a regressive system).

They were also asked how state pensions and unemployment benefits should relate to their previous earnings--whether they should vary according to past contributions or likely need:

  • previous high earners should get more because they had paid in more, that is, they should be earnings-related;
  • they should get the same, through flat-rate entitlements;
  • previous low-earners should get more because their needs are greater, implying, for instance, that benefits should be means-tested.

options in a poll in the EU. it's weird cus i would support the last option (out of the last 3) and yet I know means-testing is a bad idea ... idk

conclusion: roughly evenly split between progressive and proportional, with the remainder supporting regressive

the other thing this example makes clear to me is that democracy itself is a great illustration of drift. the telos of having a democratic system is to produce a system that works. we use democracy as a heuristic because it seems like a reasonable one compared to others that have been tried. but there comes a time when we forget about the original purpose and start worshipping the structure. this idea that elections--as a symbol of democracy--are so incredibly important and pure and all that. when really democratic elections only "work"--that is, they only produce a system that works in the long run--if 1) you can trust people to vote correctly and 2) the options they are voting for are themselves optimal. elections should not be worshipped when we're living in an age that is essentially a hostile environment for democracy. when the average voter doesn't have all the information needed to make the right decisions and isn't truly empowered to make any important decisions. worshipping the idea of democracy as expressed through elections where one man = one vote will get you nowhere. you have to be able to modify the idea of democracy to fit the circumstances. you almost have to kill your heroes, actually

—p.36 by John Hills 2 years ago
  • low and high earners should pay the same share of income in tax (a proportional system;
  • higher earners should pay a higher share of income in tax (a progressive system);
  • both should pay the same amount in tax (a regressive system).

They were also asked how state pensions and unemployment benefits should relate to their previous earnings--whether they should vary according to past contributions or likely need:

  • previous high earners should get more because they had paid in more, that is, they should be earnings-related;
  • they should get the same, through flat-rate entitlements;
  • previous low-earners should get more because their needs are greater, implying, for instance, that benefits should be means-tested.

options in a poll in the EU. it's weird cus i would support the last option (out of the last 3) and yet I know means-testing is a bad idea ... idk

conclusion: roughly evenly split between progressive and proportional, with the remainder supporting regressive

the other thing this example makes clear to me is that democracy itself is a great illustration of drift. the telos of having a democratic system is to produce a system that works. we use democracy as a heuristic because it seems like a reasonable one compared to others that have been tried. but there comes a time when we forget about the original purpose and start worshipping the structure. this idea that elections--as a symbol of democracy--are so incredibly important and pure and all that. when really democratic elections only "work"--that is, they only produce a system that works in the long run--if 1) you can trust people to vote correctly and 2) the options they are voting for are themselves optimal. elections should not be worshipped when we're living in an age that is essentially a hostile environment for democracy. when the average voter doesn't have all the information needed to make the right decisions and isn't truly empowered to make any important decisions. worshipping the idea of democracy as expressed through elections where one man = one vote will get you nowhere. you have to be able to modify the idea of democracy to fit the circumstances. you almost have to kill your heroes, actually

—p.36 by John Hills 2 years ago
45

If we are looking for a reason for pressure on those with middle incomes, it is not at the bottom end we should be looking. Rather, it is at the top. If anyone got too expensive, it has, in fact, been the rich.

—p.45 by John Hills 2 years ago

If we are looking for a reason for pressure on those with middle incomes, it is not at the bottom end we should be looking. Rather, it is at the top. If anyone got too expensive, it has, in fact, been the rich.

—p.45 by John Hills 2 years ago