Sunday, February 17, 2019

Universal income study finds money for nothing won’t make us work less

This was originally one of Milton Friedman's ideas so should not be immediately dismissed.  Friedman, however, saw it as a replacement for ALL government support of the individual so his idea has not really been tried yet.

A major reservation about the study below is that the target people were ALREADY unemployed at the beginning of the study so that they did not work less is not very meaningful. One has to laugh

But the big problem with such schemes is cost. Even the most optimistic analyses from Leftist jurisdictions end up showing them as being unaffordable for large numbers

For the last two years the Finnish government has been giving 2000 unemployed people a guaranteed, no-strings-attached payment each month. It is the world’s most robust test of universal basic income, and the preliminary results, released this morning, seem to dispel some of the doubts about the policy’s negative impacts.

Universal basic income comes in different flavours, but the essence of the idea is to give everyone a guaranteed income that covers their basic needs, like housing and food. Crucially, the income is the same for everyone all the time – it does not get reduced if, for example, a person gets a job or a salary increase.

The Finnish results were hotly anticipated because the experiment’s careful design promised robust evidence on UBI. “This is an exceptional experiment, both socially and globally,” said Pirkko Mattila, Finland’s minister of social affairs and health, at a press conference.

Read more: What happens if we pay everyone just to live?
The experiment began in December 2016. Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, randomly selected 2000 people aged between 25 and 58 from across the country who were on unemployment benefits.

It then replaced those people’s benefits with a guaranteed payment of €560 a month. They would continue receiving the payments whether they got a job or not.

The experiment ended on 31 December 2018 and preliminary results were published this morning. It compared the income, employment status and general wellbeing of those who received the UBI with a control group of 5000 who carried on receiving benefits.

There was no difference between the two groups in terms of the number of days in employment in 2017 – both groups worked on average 49 days. The UBI trial group only earned €21 less on average than the control group during 2017.

The surveys also showed that the UBI group perceived their health and stress levels to be significantly better than in the control group.

Read more: Robots don’t take people’s jobs – they make new ones
“This is early data but nonetheless a significant moment as global interest gathers in basic income,” says Anthony Painter at the RSA think tank, which is working with the Scottish government to scope out a possible trial of UBI in Fife.

Supporters of UBI say that it frees people’s time for social goods like looking after children or serving their community, although this wasn’t measured in the Finnish trial. Additionally, requiring unemployed people to continually prove they are looking for work creates a lot of stress for them, which is bad for their health and may mean they are less likely to be able to find work. It also creates bureaucracy for the state.

On the other hand, basic income is expensive, even if it replaces existing benefits. And some say it could encourage people to work less.

“The criticism levelled at basic income that it would disincentivise work is not supported by [the Finnish] data,” says Painter.

An old idea
UBI is a concept that originated at least 200 years ago. But over the past few years it has become a fashionable policy idea, with many countries exploring pilot studies.

One reason for the increased interest is the fear that automation might displace large numbers of people from employment – essentially robots taking our jobs.

There have been several other trials of the idea, but none were definitive. Take for example the Mincome experiment, in which the 10,000 citizens of Dauphin in Manitoba, Canada, were guaranteed a basic level of financial security in 1975.

Recent analysis of public records from the time showed that it was only young men and young women who spent less time in work during the trial, and this because they were either in college or looking after babies.

Yet there was no control group. And it wasn’t a true basic income, because the money wasn’t given unconditionally — people’s earnings were topped up when they dropped below a threshold.

There is still more to find out about UBI that has not been revealed in experiments as yet. “What we have been able to find out so far is not the whole truth,” said Olli Kangas at the University of Turku, who led the Finnish study in partnership with Kela. “That is much more sophisticated.”

For example, Painter points out that, because the experiment chose people randomly from across Finland, it can’t tell us about any regional differences in the effects of UBI. “There is a strong case for further experiments,” says Painter. “It would be good to see ‘saturation’ pilots where everyone in an entire area receives a basic income.”


Left out in the cold

Nights in Anchorage, Alaska can be deadly cold.

It’s hard to imagine being homeless in such an extreme climate. The need for shelters to house vulnerable women, men, and children is high—lives depend on it.

But what if you were a homeless woman who had survived domestic violence? Or sexual assault … or even human trafficking?

What would you do? Where would you turn?

You see, most overnight shelters are co-ed. And these women are often forced to choose between spending the night out in the freezing cold or sleeping in a space shared with men. Understandably, sleeping and changing in the same room as men leaves many of these vulnerable women feeling anxious. And under these conditions, they can never truly rest.

Thankfully, Anchorage, Alaska has the Downtown Hope Center.

As a Christian non-profit organization, the Hope Center offers an overnight shelter for women. It’s a place where women can feel safe and protected, especially those who have survived abuse or sex trafficking.

But now, the local government is threatening this important refuge – the only one of its kind in Anchorage. Why? Because Anchorage wants to force the Hope Center to admit biological men if they identify as female when they show up to the shelter.

It all started in January 2018 when a biological man, who identifies as a woman, tried to gain access to the women’s shelter. The individual was drunk and injured so the Hope Center sent him to the hospital to get the care he needed, even paying for his taxi.

Soon after, a complaint was filed against the Hope Center with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, claiming that it had discriminated against this individual. There’s just one problem: The Hope Center never violated the law. In fact, they helped this man get the care he needed.

Since then, Anchorage has pushed the Hope Center to change its policies and admit biological men if they identify as female when they show up to the shelter. The Hope Center cannot do this. Not only does it violate their religious beliefs, but it places the women they protect at great risk. The shelter houses women who have experienced unspeakable abuse. If Anchorage has its way, the Hope Center would have to allow biological men to sleep mere feet from vulnerable women despite the trauma and anxiety that would trigger in these women.

Think about that: The government is trying to force a shelter for abused women to house men. The city’s true motivation is clear: It wants to force this faith-based homeless shelter to get on board with its political agenda—all at the expense of the women the Hope Center serves.

Inspired by their Christian faith, the Hope Center serves everyone. During the day, it offers job skills training, meals, and clothing to women and men, no matter how they identify. It’s just that at night, to protect the women in their care, the shelter is open to women only.

You would think the local government would applaud the Hope Center for all that it does for the community. Instead, the City of Anchorage is targeting this faith-based shelter because of its Christian beliefs. And in their rush to push religious beliefs out of the public square, Anchorage officials are pushing vulnerable women out in the cold.

That’s why Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Hope Center. No one should be forced to violate their sincerely held beliefs, especially a vital ministry like the Hope Center.

We must stand up for religious freedom now before it is too late. This case is a clear example that some government officials are willing to push their agenda no matter whom it hurts—even the most vulnerable.

Via email from Alliance Defending Freedom --

Kansas OB-GYN on Dangers of NYC Late-Term Abortion Law: ‘Moms Are Going to Die from This Procedure’

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who has delivered 5,000 babies during his 30 years as an obstetrician, told Fox News on Wednesday that the later in the pregnancy an abortion is performed, the greater the risk to the mother as well.

In an interview on “Fox & Friends,” Marshall condemned New York’s new late-term abortion law, calling it “the most barbaric law that’s been written in American history.”

He said no one in America thinks “murdering a baby just minutes before delivery is right,” but what “no one is talking about is that this is actually very, very dangerous for moms, that moms are going to die from this procedure.”

“The most common complications that I saw as an obstetrician is number one, the uterus was perforated during the procedure. When that uterus gets bigger, it’s much easier to perforate, but the other complication even more common is just hemorrhaging,” Marshall said.

“So what I would typically see is a woman in the emergency room in shock, hemorrhaging from this procedure, and we would have to rush them to the emergency room and literally, we would be fishing out pieces of the baby that they left behind or pieces of the placenta so that uterus cannot clamp down afterwards,” he added.

In an op-ed Tuesday on Fox News’ website, Marshall wrote,

In a late-term abortion, a mother is at higher risk for uterine perforation and incomplete separation of the placenta – and thus, life-threatening hemorrhaging that can occur, potentially resulting in the death of many mothers.

Late-term abortions also have high risk of permanent scarring, and the possibility of an infection of the uterus and surrounding organs, which often leads to infertility. Point blank, late-term abortions are unsafe and are more dangerous than naturally occurring childbirth in almost any situation.

Throughout my 30 years and thousands of deliveries, every pregnancy was different. Every situation had its challenges – every single one.

No mother goes through pregnancy without some physical, emotional, financial or medical trials. Contrary to the pro-abortion movement, regardless of the mother’s underlying medical health, I never saw the scenario where we had to choose between a mom’s life and a baby. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but thanks to advancements in medicine, that scenario is extremely rare.

Furthermore, he said, New York’s late-term abortion bill and a similar proposed bill in Virginia that was defeated both listed mental health “as a reason to allow for a late-term and partial-birth abortion if the mother is experiencing mental or emotional distress.”

First off, pregnancy triggers some type of emotional distress in almost every patient. But more importantly, I also served as an OB-GYN to a state mental health hospital and prison, where I would see moms who were struggling with the worst of the worst of untreated mental health issues.

To this day, I can't think of a single scenario where I thought a late-term abortion would help to improve a woman’s mental health.

“You write about how it’s safer for you just to deliver the baby, and there’s so many moms that want these babies that can’t have children of their own. You write in the op-ed, you say mental health is listed as a reason to allow for late-term and partial birth abortions in the state of New York,” Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt said.

“You say that was part of the bill, but we’ve gotten a comment from the governor’s office – Cuomo’s office – and he says, ‘These comments are not only legally incorrect but are irresponsible. The Reproductive Health Act does not reference mental health contrary to Congressman Marshall’s blatantly false statement. Federal law and court decision clearly outline the standard for health which New York has adopted. We encourage him to actually read the law.’ What is your response?” Earhardt asked.

“I think the governor should maybe walk in the shoes of an obstetrician for 20 years as well. I think this is very mentally damaging to the patients, and I think he’s a lawyer, not a physician. Maybe he should stick to being a lawyer,” Marshall said.


Australian tribunal finds that Muslims are not a race.  So criticism of them is not racist

TV host Sonia Kruger vilified and stereotyped Muslims living in Australia during a controversial segment on Channel 9’s Today program, but she did not racially vilify Muslims because religion is not a race, a tribunal has judged.

Nine has said the network is standing by its star.

The Nine Network was taken to the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NSW CAT) by Sydney man Sam Ekermawi after he saw a segment on Today on 18 July 2016 where Kruger said no more Muslims should be allowed into Australia “because I want to feel safe”.

On the show’s Mixed Grill segment, Kruger and co-hosts Lisa Wilkinson and David Campbell discussed a newspaper opinion piece by News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt on Muslim immigration within Europe.

The discussion came just days after an attack in the French city of Nice perpetrated by a Muslim terrorist that saw 86 people killed when a truck slammed into revellers at a Bastille Day celebration.

Talking to Wilkinson about whether Australia’s border should be closed to Muslim immigrants, Kruger said: “Personally, I think Andrew Bolt has a point here, that there is a correlation between the number of people who … are Muslim in a country and the number of terrorist attacks.

“Now I have a lot of very good friends who are Muslim, who are peace-loving who are beautiful people, but there are fanatics.

“Personally I would like to see it stopped now for Australia. Because I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do, when they go out to celebrate Australia Day.”

Later Wilkinson asked Kruger to clarify if she really “would like our borders closed to Muslims at this point?”.

“Yes I would. I think we have something like 500,000 (Muslims) now in our country … but for the safely of the citizens here, I think it’s important,” Kruger replied.

Mr Ekermawi complained Kruger’s comments amounted to racial vilification.

The tribunal said the comments went “beyond simply a fair report of Andrew Bolt’s article”. “(Kruger) provided her own views and commentary on the issues and these additions were not just opinion, they were vilifying remarks in their own right,” it said.

Mr Bolt’s article, the tribunal noted, said that “the number of Muslims in the country does not tell the full story” and that Germany might have faced fewer attacks because many Muslims who had emigrated there had come from Turkey, a country with a more western outlook. However, a similar distinction was not expressed by Kruger.

“In particular, we refer to her remarks that all Muslim migration should be stopped now ‘because I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do, when they go out to celebrate Australia Day’,” the decision read.

“Ms Kruger could have expressed her comments in a more measured manner to avoid a finding of vilification. For example, she could have referred to the need for Australia to engage in greater security checking of people wishing to migrate who may happen to be Muslims and the need to prevent a drift towards radicalisation among Muslims currently in Australia, rather than simply stating that 500,000 Muslims represents an unacceptable safety risk which justifies stopping all Muslim migration.”

Overall, the tribunal accepted that the discussion was in the public interest and Kruger and Nine “were acting in good faith without malice and not for an improper purpose”.

But the tribunal said they could not accept Kruger’s statements were “reasonable” and appeared to be “unsupported by any evidence or material”.

“A type of stereotyping was being made in … that all members of this ‘Muslim community’ were tarnished as potential terrorists or sympathisers of terrorism,” it found.

The tribunal said Muslim Australians face discrimination and Kruger’s comments could have stoked this.

“Some ordinary members of the Australian population already harbour feelings of hatred towards, or serious contempt for, Australian Muslims as a whole. In our view, such feelings or emotions would be encouraged or incited among ordinary members of the Australian population by Ms Kruger’s remarks.”

“I want to make it very clear that I have complete respect for people of all races and religions. I acknowledge my views yesterday may have been extreme,” she said. “There is no simple answer here and if we are to find a solution, at the very least we need to be able to discuss it.”

The tribunal dismissed Mr Ekermawi’s racial vilification claim chiefly because it could not find grounds for a religion being a race. “The evidence does not support a finding that Muslims living in Australia are a ‘race’ by reason of a common ethnic or ethno-religious origin.”

However, the NSW CAT said had the definition of race been different: “we would have found that both of the Respondents engaged in racial vilification of the Australian Muslim community.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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