by: the Common Constitutionalist
Every developed nation on Earth, at least so called Western Nations, has something in common and that something is what to do about the poor.
Countries wrestle with the social and economic impact – we/they struggle with the ever-increasing cost of caring for our/their poor. Those on the left insist it is our duty as a grand collective to redistribute the wealth from the haves to the have-nots. Those on the right agree that some care should be provided to the working poor, the homeless and truly indigent. This debate has been raging for multiple decades with no end in sight – the left advocating for ever more entitlements and the right insisting on some accountability.
Instead of just endlessly debating the issue the Island nation of New Zealand years ago decided to try something new. In 2013 they overhauled their welfare system to make those who receive payments somewhat more accountable. Some of the changes included discouraging families on welfare from having more children, requiring recipients to reapply for benefits at set intervals, cutting benefits if certain obligations are not met and guiding recipients into work. They also instituted a penalty for abusers of the system where a spouse must repay any benefit his or her spouse received under false pretenses. Try that in America.
Although the system has helped, the government of New Zealand is still not satisfied. So, it’s on to something new and even more radical. They call it a “Universal Basic Income” (UBI) and it “involves a basic, unconditional, fixed payment made to every person in the country by the state in lieu of benefits.” read more