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Re: [ox] grundsicherung - word translation?

On Fre, 09 Feb 2001, graham wrote:

Can any kind soul give me an english equivalent
for the word 'grundsicherung'? I thought I understood
but am getting more and more confused....

"basic supply" (synonymes are: "Bürgergeld"--"civil money", 
"Jugendrente"--"youth pension" or "Negativsteuer"--"negative tax")


The idea behind it is, that every citizen gets a monthly payment from 
tax money. This "basic supply" should be high enough to fulfil ones 
basic needs, if there is no other income. (If you consider paying 
taxes and receiving your "basic supply" as one and the same, it looks 
as though some people pay "negative tax", which means they get money 
-- therefore the name.).

This system could replace parenting money, social security (=help for 
long-time-unemployed people) and pensions, however its main goal is a 
replacement of todays social security system.

There are three major differences between "negative tax" and "social 
security"(as currently implemented in the FRG):

1. You receive your "negative tax", even if you are rich.

The taxes you have to pay are a fixed *percentage* of your income, 
and you get back a fixed *amount* of money. It has, contrary to 
"social security", absulutely nothing to do with your savings.

2. You don't ever have to pay your "negative tax" back.

People who live on social security have to pay everything back as 
soon as they do better. This way their depts grow on and on, and 
finally it would not make sense any longer to look for a job.

3. There is a linear dependency between taxes and income.

When living on social security, the opportunities of earning extra 
money are very limited. You would spend all day at work and have not 
much more than someone who does not work at all. This makes no sense.

Relation to Oekonux:

Technical progress leads to unemployment. This however should not be 
condamned, but be seen as a chance to such do activities (like 
scientific research, literature, music, arts, sports) life is made 
for, however which usually would not let you earn any money.

Those who condamn unemployment, either want technological degradation 
("machine storm"), or a regulation of work time. Both would be fatal. 

There is no way yet, except through private sponsorship, to decide, 
not to work for money, but to do scientific or cultural activities 
instead. The current social security system is too insufficient for 
this purpose.

The idea of a "negative tax" or "basic supply" is especially 
interesting, because it is requested from many different political 
directions. Furthermore, the new system would not cost more than the 

Partially, the ongoing discussion on the mailing list is about the 
question though a new system like negative taxes could lead to the 
World Revolution ;o) I don't have such high exspectations. ;o)



Organisation: projekt

[English translation]
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