Monthly Archives: heinäkuu 2017

Parent-Voucher Association

Normaali

Viikko 28


 

Date: Apr 4th, 2014
Motion: THB that children’s benefits should be cut last, as the former are more important to society, i.e. future taxpayers, than senior citizens
Role: MP (opp.)


The Current Climate in Finland is such that the govt. should be able to save some budgetary money in cutting this or that. One of the items proposed on the agenda is child allowances, which are a uniquely Nordic phenomenon, a result from decades of work by tireless Nordic Social Democrats, who developed the benefit-transfer machine and had their fiscal power increased until recent times, when the economy, civil servants and bureaucrats have made it clear that we cannot go on with our business as usual.

We could go on financing our social-security benefits with borrowed, global money, but over time that would lead us towards a lowered credit rating by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch’s, and the rest, and therefore politicians have opted for taking the hard and rocky road out of the social-fiscal crisis.

What could be done about child allowances? My answer is simple: there is a way to both ensure that the neediest members of society will get them as usual, combined with the prospect that the wealthier parts of our social crust will cease to have them land onto their bank accounts. And now I’ll give you the means to the end.

Let us make child allowances to be applied for via social-welfare offices the way subsistence allowances (the so-called ”sossu” or ”fatta” money) are channeled today. This would mean that any family who would want that money needed to go humiliatingly through those same doors that were once reserved for the poorest and the most afflicted. This would ensure that the wealthy, who today may use all of that money towards the down payment for their child’s first proprietary student apartment, might opt out of the arrangement. Until now, it has been very easy for them to collect their due money. This would make it a notch harder. Many of the wealthy do not want to have anything to do with the unkempt and unwashed.

There is a a catch or a hitch, nevertheless. This arrangement would drastically raise fiscal spending for communities and municipalities, as they are the one footing the bill for subsistence allowances. Therefore, the govt. should direct all of its money earmarked for child allowances to communities instead of the Social Insurance Institution (= KELA). The rest they could return or use on something else.

What about the neediest? There is a catch here, too. They receive their net income in a manner where everything affects everything. If they get more of a certain benefit or money from a relative, they get less of another benefit. This is crazy. As they are poor and will apparently remain so until Hell freezes over, it is useless to try to flog them any more than they are already being put through. The truth must be that the poor use up all of their allotted money, in all circumstances, on basic necessities such as rents, food, clothes, fuel, booze, field trips and a smattering of domestic travelling. Only the well-off have the luxury or setting money aside to gather interest and be idle. All the worse off are in perpetual motion and their money revolves like that as well.

Let us be fair and adjust the system, for now, in this way. This way we can have our child-allowance cake and hide some of it as well. It’ll be a Birthday Bash. In the end, the donkey will get its tail and there will be fishing.

Thank you.


Arvio: Puheessa kangertelee se, että sen kirjoitusajankohdan jälkeen tilanne on muuttunut; KELA maksaa sossun aiemmin maksamat rahat. Lisäksi sen ehdottama esitys on epäilyttävä siinä mielessä, että rikkaat maksavat absoluuttisesti enemmän veroja kuin köyhät, vaikka ehkä relatiivisesti vähemmän, joten he lienevät moraalisesti oikeutettuja lapsilisiin. Kiinnostavaa on se tapa, millä puhe asettuu aloitteen ”puoliväliin”, niin että se sekä vastustaa että puolustaa kohdettaan (lapsien etuuksista leikkaamista) että taipuu talouden raameihin ja realiteetteihin, tai ainakin yrittää tehdä niin. Yleensä puheissa ei tehdä minkäänlaisia kompromisseja, puheiden liikkuessa puhtaiden abstraktioiden tasoilla, vaikka aidossa politiikassa lehmänkaupat ja kompromissit ovat hyvin tavallisia, syynä talouden realiteetit tai ristiriidat muiden puolueiden kanssa. Jos mainitsemiani vikoja ei olisi, tätä voisi pitää jopa parhaana kirjoittamani puheena.

Not Five a Day But for a Fiver a Day

Normaali

Viikko 27



Motion
: THB that the underclass can’t be taught how to cook meals
Role: Rep. (opp.)


People are today somehow anxiously ambivalent about food. Some would like us to believe that the food industry forces such nosh down our throats we don’t like, suffer from and fall ill with. This is an erroneous assumption. Good eating is just a few decisions, determinations and insights away.

First of all, I would spend some time with the person who wants to change his or her eating habits, eking it out on a small allowance, benefit or pension. I would first try to figure out how much that person is spending on nutrition all things summed up, counting in such consumables as alcohol, crisps, dinners in front of the TV, microwave meals, peanuts, popcorn, snuff, tobacco and so on, not forgetting anything that passes for foodstuffs or secondary digestibles. That way, a budget could be set at an expendable sum of money. We could spend together, as a mentor and a protegé, the same amount on sane, sound and healthy eating as on insane, depraved and vain eating.

(A footnote to this is if we could and should also count medicine into the equation. It would be tempting, as medicinal expenditure could raise the budget considerably due to its costliness in some people’s cases. Besides, it’s swallowed and ingested usually as pills. Nonetheless, I’ve decided to exclude medicine from this discussion, as it has no nutritional value and no calories.)

The key is to spend money on things that are as close to the primary-production chain as possible. I would shun any food that comes from a factory, as a rule of thumb. I would allow, though, spice, condiments and prefab sauces, and such things that are a necessary aid in cooking food and preparing meals. Even then, I’d keep an eye on the (E) numbers listed on the tin (i.e. food additives). I would not buy anything supplementary that has more than 5 (E) numbers blended in.

Then, I would come to an understanding with my protegé about what kind of food (s)he likes to eat that is easy to have as a platform for making food in a hurry, disorganised, from ingredients shelved and fresh. It could be cold or warm when served, as long as it was a kind of tuttifrutti dish that tolerates many flavours to add, methods to use and end results to achieve without becoming inedible.

The main thing would be to steer clear of a diet that is high in fats, salts and sugars. They are added to TV dinners and micromeals, mainly because they are chemical substances that are a) cheap to produce, b) preservatives in their own right and c) appealing to our central nervous systems and Stone Age brain circuits. They are the means of food manufacturers and marketers by which they got the upper hand in supermarkets, conquering people’s fridges and freezers and getting into the business in the first place. Without these ambivalent ingredients, factory-food manufacturers wouldn’t be in business, as their wares would be too expensive to produce with too small a profit margin.

Food is like culture, education and friends. They all should be raw, unadulterated and inexpensive. If kept organic and/or natural, food will nurture us and keep us healthy and sanguine. For this reason, it is absurd to claim that a poor person cannot afford to eat on a healthy diet. On the contrary, a poor person can’t afford not to, because (s)he will still have to fulfil other missions and needs besides eating.


Arvio: Puheen lineaarinen rakenne sisältää johdonmukaisen etenemisen ja yhden kolmen kohdan kiteytyksen ilman väliotsikoita. Jos aiemmat puhujat ovat keskittyneet aloitteen avainsanaan ”alaluokka”, ”alaluokan jäsenet”; teen työni hyvin, jos puolestani keskityn avainkohtaan ”valmistaa ruokaa” / ”kokata”.