Socialism - 1830 style

At 1830 there were riots in England, which were caused by bad policies, which seem to have counterparts in today’s social and immigration practices.

  • People were paid subsistence salaries, with supplemental income paid by the local government from the parish fund, which was financed by a special tax - the Poor Rate. The modern counterpart (at least in Israel) is the practice of paying people at low-skill professions salaries below the legal minimum rate, and having them supplement their income by “hashlamat hachnasa” - complementary income. This practice discourages employers from paying those people salaries which would let them support themselves (and from the effort to train those people so that their productivity will be high enough to justify reasonable salaries).
  • The Poor Rate’s modern counterpart is the National Insurance (known in USA as Social Security) fee.
  • Today as at 1830, social policies created the notorious poverty trap, from which people could not escape without extraordinary measures.
  • People could not move from parish to another parish unless the original parish certified that it would take them back if they cannot support themselves in other parishes. The modern counterpart is that of countries requiring people arriving from other countries to have means to support themselves and travel back to their country of origin.

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1 Comment »

Comment by PeachUK
2008-05-31 12:02:26

Australia has the right idea about this sort of thing - immigrants are welcome there (and probably just as needed as in Israel, due to small population growth) BUT they only want professional people with scarce skills in Australia, they allow people in on a points basis (you get points based on how good a commodity your particular skills are, your age, your state of health etc) as they do not want to go the way of most countries (UK sadly included) that seem to accept the world’s rubbish who only come here and are a burden on the state rather than putting something into it. I think most countries (if not all) should follow Australia’s shining example of immigration policy.

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