Under 30? No Dole For You

I hate the handout mentality, and even more so the entitlement mentality of some of those who receive handouts, but I’m not sure this is a good idea – and doubt it will sell politically:

TONY Abbott has proposed banning the dole for people under 30 in a bid to entice the unemployed to head west and fill massive skill shortages in the booming resources sector.

I certainly think there needs to be strict control over who receives these benefits (though I’m informed it’s a lot harder to receive them than it once was – particularly for those young people still living at home), but I don’t think this is the answer. There are many other issues which could improve both the budget bottom-line, and encourage increased employment and productivity amongst our youth. Here are a few thoughts which spring to mind:

  • Crack down on the ever-increasing rates of people on Disability Support Pension;
  • Stop thinking everyone should go to university – or year 12, for that matter. Governments on both sides boast about how they’ve increased percentage of students completing year 12, or a uni degree, but how is this a measure of success?;
  • Maybe we should make unemployment benefits a HECS-style loan (or would this deter people from ever finding work?);
  • Mandatory unemployment insurance? (OK, I hate this idea – it’s un-libertarian, and wouldn’t be much help to young people anyway… just putting it out there).

Any other thoughts?

24 thoughts on “Under 30? No Dole For You

  1. Abbott just seems to love engaging in class warfare.

    As libertarians, of course we’re sceptical about welfare. But Tony Abbott is not anti-welfare if his maternity leave scheme is any indication. He seems to just want to reward high-income women and punish younger people from low-income families.

  2. How about Jury-Dole? I thought of this when I was conscripted by the state to ‘serve’ on a jury a few years ago. A Dolee would serve some time on a jury panel, recieving wages, and would then have the same amount of time off, whilst being paid, to look for work. This way you get juries filled in from people who aren’t working, and thus you don’t disturb workers in their careers. And there is always some per-cent unemployed, and therefore jury material.

  3. See this and this for background on a Negative Payroll Tax to help unemployment while remaining short term revenue neutral and long term budget neutral and actually increasing GDP (the former is more for policy wonks, and the latter is in simpler language). For more, see also what the former links to and some of the other articles and letters on the same page as the latter.

  4. Nuke, If I’m ever on trial, I want a jury of my peers – not a bunch of dole bludgers. My requirement to occasionally (possibly) serve on a jury is annoying – but necessary for the defendant’s liberty.

  5. ‘Nuke’ Gray, you have described the “two obols a day men” (or was it three obols?) of ancient Athens. That needed a heavier use of juries to work – they were larger than ours, and did some of the judging role too, and were funded by fees from the litigants under laws that encouraged going through the jury process.

  6. Fleeced, every Australian is your peer, you elitist! What do you mean by peers? In what way is an Australian who is unemployed not your peer, except for the lack of a job (which may be a temporary issue, for all we know?) As a person with a job, I did not like having to sit on a jury and go over evidence, when I could have been with my workmates. Coming in to serve on a jury might give a dolee some experience of keeping regular hours, and thus prepare them for real jobs, to list another example of why this would be good.

  7. “Fleeced, every Australian is your peer, you elitist!”

    Heh – true… and I wasn’t saying I didn’t want any welfare recipient on the jury – just not exclusively. I think it’s best to strive for a jury that represents a cross-section of the community.

  8. P.M., the Athenians had some good ideas! I think we should all participate in local government on a parttime basis. Instead of separating government from us, we all have an equal time making it work, at least for law-making, etc.
    Fleeced, whilst the ideal of a fair representation sounds good, we might find that unemployed people are a fair rep of the total population (when the economy goes bad, all sections suffer, for instance.) If we keep dole-wages low, dolees will still have an incentive to find alternative work.
    In fact, in contrast to Abbott, it might be beneficial if school-leavers did dole-jury duty. It would instill work-habits in the impressionable young, whilst teaching that you don’t get something for nothing (libertarian brainwashing where it will do most good!).

  9. I think he’d be better off arguing against specific payments, such as the very inequitable youth allowance, than against a specific age group being entitled to welfare when everyone else still is. Plus, I have no doubt even if he pulled this off they’d still keep payments for parents under 30, in which case we’d see a hell of a spike in parents under 30.

  10. Haha – that’s right, Tim – remember the Paxtons?

    Mitch – yes, it would be pretty funny not to give under-30’s unemployment benefits, whilse keeping parental leave. The other problem is that it will only INCREASE the number of people trying for university or other useless education courses[1], just so they can qualify for Austudy.

    [1] Of course, I don’t mean to imply that all university and educational courses are useless – but most of them seem to be.

  11. @Nuke’ Gray so what would you do to me if I refused to serve on the government?

    You’d be put against the wall and shot. We’re not the namby-pamby type of dreadlocked, rainbow coloured, sympathy-wrist-band-wearing libertarians you find at your typical marijuana legalisation rally. We’re the sort of libertarians that grab fistfuls of liberty and force-feed it down your throat. Open wide, baby, here comes the freedom express.

  12. Nuke’ Gray & Fleeced,
    I have to say I agree and disagree.
    Yes, we are all human and have equal rights (which is the way it should be for everyone, I completely agree).
    However, I am a parent, I am a hard worker and I am educated. A 20 something dole bludger that dropped out of school is NOT my peer.

  13. David, I am not a namby-pamby like Michael Sutcliffe- I would get tough on people!
    Seriously,I would have voluntary local citizenship. If you chose to become a citizen, then you would be trained in the local militia, and would patrol public lands and roads, and would then have the right to be a councillor, perhaps for one month. Thus eleven months of disjointed training and service, a few days a month, and one month of getting together with 1/12th of the other citizens to be the government- which would mean passing or changing laws that only affect public roads and lands. If we needed Mayors, perhaps the people who have been citizens longest are automatically appointed as leader.
    Perhaps the militiapeople with the best scores could go on training exercises with militia from other counties as an Allied, not united, force- in case of foreign invasion.

  14. Spaced Cadet, would you accept the decision of a jury made up of people who are on the dole? Especially as this gives them a job, so they are not your typical ‘bludger’?

  15. Steve – that question seems from left-field… afraid I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Nuke – can’t speak for Spacey, but I’d be ok with one or two (as you’d expect with a random selection,) but I’d like to have a mix. Of course, there’s a line of thinking that people who really don’t want to be there might have it in for you too – but that’s just more reason to have as much a cross-section as possible.

    Of course – if I was before a jury, then I’m not sure I’d ever be willing to “accept” a finding against me 🙂

  16. Dave, getting back to my version of a minarchy, if you did not join up as a citizen, you would be a guest on public lands. Like everyone else you would be expected to obey the laws, but you would have no way of directly changing or influencing those laws. You could talk to citizens, and thus indirectly have an influence, but that would be the limit of your public vote-power.

  17. PML – if you’re pushing your usual solution to unemployment then good. Once I understood it I thought it was quite superb.

    Tony Abbott will lose the next election. Why not increase the tax free threshold and give people something to be happy about rather than be mister gloomy.

  18. I don’t think the Liberal Party will ever market policies as helping the unemployed, Terje. They seem to like being seen as hard-asses that punish people.

    Even if they were doing something beneficial like raising the tax-free threshold the rhetoric would be that of punishment.

  19. Yes, TerjeP, I was “pushing [my] usual solution to unemployment” – and thanks for the kind words.

    I would be glad to talk people through what is involved in Negative Payroll Tax, including the way it helps GDP as well as unemployment, but nobody ever even followed up that post about it I made on this site.

    Also, as Shem Bennett remarked, “I don’t think the Liberal Party will ever market policies as helping the unemployed”; even though I got a resolution to study this approach passed at a State Conference, despite repeated prodding and my offer to do all the work and get together a study panel, they failed and refused to do so, instead putting great effort into trying to tell me that the approach had been discredited – without ever showing any evidence of that and missing the point that the idea wasn’t to push a policy but to get a study done to bring out any gaps so it could be used to build on. It’s a large part of why I let my membership lapse, since they won’t shit or get off the pot (Jesus put it more politely: “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in” – Matthew 23:13).

    If you want a more forcible way of achieving the same things, you could adapt this Poll Tax variant; the sanction on people who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay the tax would be to give them hard work that paid enough to live on (funded by the rest of the tax take). It wouldn’t be the constitutionally improper “civil conscription” as it would only be the sanction for non-payment of tax, which would be the objective of the measure.

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