Burtonomics, The Second Coming of Keynes and Wealth Transfer

The idiot Burton gets to create a new branch of idiotic economics Burtonomics where social welfare is not a safety net for those who are temporarily unable to participate fully in the economics of society but rather as a means of wealth transfer from those who have too much to those who deserve other people’s money and as an economic stimulus.

We pay €382,145,000 to collect taxes and €325,482,000 to pay it out in social welfare, a total of €707,627,000 in administration and then pay a further 20 billion in actual welfare. No doubt Burton will assert that this is also a form of wealth transfer as the people whose money it originally was cannot be trusted to spend it as wisely as Burton.

irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire … 31102.html

independent.ie/opinion/colum … 97005.html

Which is why this is happening:

independent.ie/business/iris … 97046.html

This information is taken from:

oecd.org/document/28/0,3746, … 19,00.html - OECD Benefits and Wages: Statistics

Irish long-term unemployment payments as percentage of the OECD average over the years 2001-2010

Irish long-term unemployment payments ranked relative to other countries OECD average over the years 2001-2010

Irish long-term unemployment payments as percentage of the OECD average for 2010

So no scope for cuts there Joan. No issues with benefit generosity or work incentives.

Of the 18 types of long-term unemployment benefit claimant:

  1. 67% of AW Single Person No Children
  2. 67% of AW One-Earner Couple No Children
  3. 67% of AW Two-Earner Couple No Children
  4. 67% of AW Lone Parent 2 Children
  5. 67% of AW One-Earner Couple 2 Children
  6. 67% of AW Two-Earner Couple 2 Children
  7. 100% of AW Single Person No Children
  8. 100% of AW One-Earner Couple No Children
  9. 100% of AW Two-Earner Couple No Children
  10. 100% of AW Lone Parent 2 Children
  11. 100% of AW One-Earner Couple 2 Children
  12. 100% of AW Two-Earner Couple 2 Children
  13. 150% of AW Single Person No Children
  14. 150% of AW One-Earner Couple No Children
  15. 150% of AW Two-Earner Couple No Children
  16. 150% of AW Lone Parent 2 Children
  17. 150% of AW One-Earner Couple 2 Children
  18. 150% of AW Two-Earner Couple 2 Children

all but three get more that the European average with 8 getting more than 160% of average. 9 of the sixteen get the highest in Europe with two more getting the second highest and a further three more getting third highest.

Just pay a whole bunch of other people’s money for a large cohort of people to sit of their arses because so called low-paid jobs do not offer a sufficiently large difference to justify moving from welfare.

Meanwhile Fine Gael are paralysed by their desire to preserve the coalition and their overpaid Ministerial jobs.

Combined with Rabbite’s defence of the public service, we are all fucked.

Irish long-term unemployment payments ranked relative to other countries OECD average for 2010

Thanks for that, but I’m not gonna spend 30 minutes of my life trying to figure out what is going on in the graphs etc. What does “67% of AW Single Person No Children” mean for example? The letters “AW” aren’t explained anywhere - do they mean “average wealth” or “average wage” or something else?

It would be helpful if you could outline the point you are making in a few sentences. I’ll then decide whether it is worth my while digging into the links in more detail.

oecd.org/document/28/0,3746, … 19,00.html

AW = Average Wage

jxbr, am I right in saying that you’re a wealthy individual?

Play the ball not the man. Ok.

Great idea. I’ll remember to bring that up next time I’m told that I only hold the positions I hold because I’m in the public service and that therefore I can only be a “vested interest.”

Use the report button if you have an issue with a post on the forum.

I am concerned about the sources of the supposed 3.5B cuts that must be produced from this upcoming budget.
The way I see it there is about another 0.5B to be cut from allowable margins (i.e. furhter trimming on expenses, capital expenditures etc.) that won’t massively affect the key people (i.e. public servants, pensionsers and those on the dole)

Then there’s the next 3Billion.

The IMF/ECB/EC mantra to now has been that the public sector payments have not really beeen mentioned. So I’m going to take it from that the the IMF/ECB/EC are going to allow those payments (i.e. payments to direct government employees) to continue.

I do think that social welfare cuts are coming.

These will be the cuts at the margins.
i.e. the things that will be cuts will be more of the subsidary benefits such as fuel, tv licence, food allowances etc…
For this year only, the core payments will be allowed to continue or be only very marginally reduced.

Even with that I’m struggling to see the 3Billion being saved. (I can only see about 1 Billion)

So yeah, More Tax for the productive classes, i.e. higher PAYE this year, and sure, 'twas those EU/IMF/ECB that made us do it…

Does it make any difference? I mean can’t people look at it objectively?

Ireland has a huge social welfare bill which is paid for in part in borrowed money. I don’t think anyone seriously disputes that.

So the options are:

  1. reduce social welfare;
  2. increase taxes or make cuts to public service;
  3. do nothing and hope it goes away.

Which option do you prefer?

Option 2) is a very difficult option to take. Increased taxes could result in a smaller overall tax take. Cuts to public service will affect everyone and could result in the public sector going on strike.

Option 3) is just non-sense.

Burton is correct that cuts in social welfare will reduce growth and economic activity in the short term. But what she doesn’t say is that this growth is not sustainable. It cannot be continued into the long term.

As an aside, my sympathy for people on welfare was diminished significantly when I became self employed and earned less than minimum wage but was expected to not only feel sympathy for those people getting more money than me for no work, but I was also paying PRSI with no possibility of getting any welfare benefits.

Am I right in saying this has absolutely no relevance to the debate at hand

By all means attack the content of a post leave irrelevancies out of it

Welcome ot the club. The membership fees may cost you everything. :confused:

It’s included in 2). I wanted to make the point that if not from welfare it will have to come from somewhere else. While the money spent on welfare is re-spent and therefore results in a short term increase in growth (assuming a higher marginal propensity to consume on the part of welfare recipients than those who pay tax), it does not directly purchase any goods or services or get anything made for the money.

But I suppose there could be 4 options.

Fabulous Thread Title Jxbr. A Tad elegaic even. :smiley:

Burton is but the maintainer of the core Labour vote. I don’t think the core maintenance scheme will last forever and sooner or later she will find herself in Phill Hobanesque deep doo doo.

The core labour vote is about 10% of the electorate. Coddle them and piss off the other 90? I dont think thats the plan.

On the subject at hand, JXBR is turning economics into a morality play again.

Burton is right about the economic effects that swingeing cuts would have right now. If you dont see that you havent been paying attention.

There is one answer to this. Clearly you are not spending enough, as spending provides ‘stimulus’. More spending=more ‘stimulus’=better.

Where Burton and her like will find an idiot willing and able to bank roll this experiment in economic suicide is her affair. But keep me out of it, that’s all I say.

Surely the core labour vote is 90% of the Labour electorate? Make them work for their welfare to satisfy the other 10%? I don’t think that’s the plan.

Burton is saying she’ll gladly pay the IMF Tuesday (plus interest) for a bailout handout today. I don’t think she’s been paying attention!

I’m not the one who coined the term “vested interest.” People on the other side of this particular debate here on the pin use this terminology all the time and use it as a way to discredit the views of anyone who disagrees with them. So it is routinely pointed out of those in the PS who post here and don’t think additional cuts are a good idea that “well, they would say that wouldn’t they.”

I’d be pleased if we could all look at arguments on the merits. However few around here do that. Instead, they are all too willing to play the man and not the ball. Only when the same thing is done to them (e.g., “jxbr, you wouldn’t happen to be wealthy?”) is there an outcry.

I’ve said it many times: Ireland’s tax take as a percentage of GDP (which is, contrary to what the GNP fetishists here claim, the appropriate denominator) is still woefully low. It’s all well and good to insist that the country is “broke” but it isn’t really broke until you’ve maximized tax revenue and still aren’t making ends meet. It’s as if a household insisted that it was “broke” and went on a borrowing spree to make ends meet while failing to lodge all of the second income earner’s pay cheques.

Obviously, Ireland’s exceedingly low corporate tax rate is a moral outrage. And don’t tell me it can’t be raised at all. To believe that is to believe that 12.5% is the exact point on the curve where any increase or decrease will result in decreased revenues. There is zero evidence to support that view.

Similarly, my sympathy for the self-employed has been diminished significantly by repeated encounters with tradesmen who all expressed varying strong preferences to be paid in cash.

Oh dear. Not I am not “wealthy”. I would have responded earlier. Normally my butler monitors these things. But he and the valet had to spend the evening polishing my collection of diamond shoes.

For someone who has constructed a persona as an academic educated to doctorate level, your constant behaviour in both avoiding citing any supporting information when attempting to make an argument or in not refuting information presented in support of an argument with reasoned analysis with which you disagree is unusual. You evince none of the academic characteristics of observe, analyse, formulate, present, discuss and modify.

For someone who squeals when asked apparent loaded questions, your propensity to ask them is also as contradictory as it is anti-academic.

And yet once again, the core issues such as of the 18 types of long-term unemployment benefit claimant all but three get more that the European average with 8 getting more than 160% of average. 9 of the sixteen get the highest in Europe with two more getting the second highest and a further three more getting third highest are left unaddressed in your attempts to distract and smear.

I did this analysis after hearing on my way to work a person on Morning Ireland a few weeks ago claim that benefits in Ireland were not even in the top 10 in Europe. I thought that was worth exploring. So explore I did, unlike the Moring Ireland alleged journalist.

The idea that social welfare is a form of wealth transfer and an economic stimulus is an offensive nonsense. Taking this argument further, even more taxes should be raised and social welfare increased by even larger amounts to provide an even greater economic stimulus and so on.

This does seem to be a considerable moving of goalposts by Burton as to the purpose of a social welfare system. I am used to hearing that it is a “social safety net”. But the numbers no longer support this assertion, it is now clearly an alternative career choice (and one that is more economically beneficial for the recipient than most low paid labour).

Now it is being reclassified as a form of wealth transfer and economic stimulus in one. So it no longer matters that the amount being dished out is disproportionate to what is necessary to provide “safety”, as those receiving the money deserve to have it more and are more likely to spend it than those from whom it is taken.

All of which might even be defensible in a way if most of the money wasn’t being borrowed to finance the scheme. What kind of crazy wealth redistribution plan requires the borrowing of the entire amount to be redistributed every year?

Anyway, I rather suspect Burton is just furiously spinning as to why her particular parish should receive no cuts in the forthcoming budget. Bugger every other department. She’d be just as adamant as to the economic benefits of agricultural subsidies if that was her beat.