The Univisionist 2.7 — Universal Letter to the ACTU ’s President & Secretary: Are You Open to Replacing Universal Minimum Wages (UMW) with The Universal Survival Income (USI)?
For: Roman Protasevich
Civilisationism is the Authoritarian-Illegitimates’ nightmare.
“The status-quo has many friends”
Michael Tubbs founder of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, USA
CC: Jon Owen
Pastor & CEO
Universal Question to the ACTU Leadership
‘If offered the ‘Grand Optimisation Deal’ (acronym of acronyms) of replacing the Universal Minimum Wage (UMW) with The Universal Survival Income (USI), will you accept?’
Letter received from the ACTU, May 27, 2021:
Victorians have once again been plunged into lockdown.
Millions of workers are facing at least a week without work or income.
These circumstances are a direct result of policy failures from the Morrison Government.
Despite an uneven recovery and a failing vaccine rollout — which meant that additional lockdowns were likely — the Federal government prematurely ended the JobKeeper wage subsidy at the end of March.
Two months later, Victoria now finds itself in a lockdown with no support for jobs.
Without the JobKeeper safety net, many workers face an uncertain future with no guaranteed connection to work.
Workers need better.
We’re calling on the Morrison Government to urgently reinstate JobKeeper for Victorians.
Paul, show your support by adding your name to our petition.
The Morrison Government bears clear responsibility for this lockdown, and have provided nothing but a failing vaccine rollout and a refusal to provide central coordination on quarantine.
Their lack of action is putting the health and job security of millions of Australians at risk and is an immense brake on our economic recovery.
While the rate of the vaccine rollout continues to crawl and lockdowns remain inevitable, there will be thousands of businesses and millions of workers who continue to need support.
People will lose work during this lockdown thanks to the Federal Government’s decision to completely end JobKeeper early.
They must reinstate JobKeeper where it is still needed.
Paul, show your solidarity with Victorian workers by adding your name to our petition.
June 6, 2021
Dear Ms’ O’Neil & McManus
The CDO thanks you for the above email calling for the lockdown’s effects to be combated via reinstating the Coalition’s former JobKeeper policy.
However, while agreeing with your concern for those at risk of suddenly lacking a survival-income (distinct from receiving less luxury-income) — especially those in casual paid-work, some sectors of the gig economy and many on 100% commission (including small-business owners) — noting ACOSS’ May 14 statement its ‘vision is an Australia free from poverty’ and its June 2 linking of those affected by lockdowns with those ‘affected by bushfires’, perhaps there is a better way.
Certainly, in a post-hunting-and-gathering post-subsistence-farming country, self-evidently, no matter what else happens, citizens must be assured of receiving their survival-income — the alternative, of people (including children) starving, homeless, marginalised, stigmatised and charity-dependent is unacceptable to any except those who have no aspiration to be civilised.
However, as the pragmatic rightly warn, ‘we must not kill the goose that lays the golden egg’.
Fortunately, there’s a nuanced way that will not only ensure all citizens receive survival-income but will also allow the golden-egg-laying-goose to live and, moreover, merrily procreate such that we may possess a growing free-range population of golden-egg-laying-geese.
Thus, we wonder whether you have deeply considered The Universal Survival Income (USI).
One way to understand The USI is in terms of an expansion and un-conditionalizing of the Universal Minimum-Wage (UMW) — i.e.:
1. Whereas the UMW is only for paid-workers, The USI is for all non-incarcerated in-country adult citizens
2. Whereas the UMW relates to a minimum hourly payment, which in no sense guarantees a survival-income across the week or month, The USI ensures everyone receives their survival-income and that they do so in a non-discriminatory non-stigmatising non-bureaucratically wasteful manner
3. Whereas the UMW has failed its core objective of eradicating, specifically, exploitation and, in general, Disempowerment, The USI is a PLUS-emancipator — i.e. it frees all citizens from Poverty, Lockdown (and other calamities including natural disaster, relationship breakdown, sickness and injury), Unemployment & Stigma (PLUS).
Furthermore, regarding the latter (i.e. benefit number 3), while both The USI and the UMW are infrastructural — i.e. societal-wide systems — in comparison to the optimal PLUS-emancipating USI, the UMW is, insidiously, a PUS & Disempowerment creating poisoner — i.e.:
1. Poverty: The UMW’s confinement to, firstly, only paid-work and, secondly, only an hourly paid-work rate means it fails to prevent Poverty yet it blocks the installation of The USI (if we didn’t have the UMW, The USI would certainly have evolved), which means it manufactures Poverty — yes, paradoxically, the UMW indirectly manufactures Poverty
2. Unemployment (and Underemployment): The UMW prevents labour market demand equalling labour market supply — pre-Covid, we had 5.7 million volunteers earning $0.00 per hour yet it is illegal to earn ‘something’ that is less than the Orwellian $19.84 per hour — which results in Unemployment whose definition is: ‘those who want paid-work at the going rate but cannot get it’
3. Stigma: Due to UMW-manufactured unemployment, we need 1-way welfare (in contrast to 2-way both country-and-individual-assisting infrastructure) such as the Jobseeker Band-Aid, which creates harassment and ‘dole-bludger’ stigma, which, in turn, leads to mental illness, anti-social escapism and a loss of hope particularly for our first nations people, which is why, conflated (yet hidden) with racism, they have disproportionate incarceration rates, recidivism, perception of ‘white man’s education’ (Indonesians, for example, don’t call it that) and children needing to be taken from their intergenerationally-and-communally-traumatised-to-dysfunction families.
[While not directly part of your responsibilities, given your position and power, perhaps you feel compelled to do all you can to end the country-splitting unnecessary suffering encapsulated in the absurdity of Disempowered paid-workers vilifying Disempowered non-paid-workers as ‘dole-bludgers’.]
The result: in 2021, in First World Australia, while many are swimming in luxury-income (including, given you are in the land’s top echelon of powerful executive bosses, obviously, yourselves), enormous unnecessary suffering continues to be infrastructurally manufactured such that perhaps 25% of Australians including over 1 million children are Disempowered.
Yet, all those concerns would be redundant if the UMW was replaced by The USI.
Plus, with The USI, as well as the perennially parched having their thirst quenched, even the ‘swimmers’ will be better off — i.e. with the economy reverting to exclusively producing the goods and services we desire such that it is no longer manufacturing both jobs-for-jobs’-sake paid-work and Manage-the-Manufactured-Mess (Triple-M) paid-work, which currently accounts for around half of our 13.1 million jobs, the 75% who are swimmers will have their respective private luxury-income ponds, pools, rivers and lakes extended.
Thus, notwithstanding our emotional attachment to the UMW, with The USI in place, it won’t be missed.
Regarding your members’ best interests:
1. They, as with every other non-Welfare-payment receiver, will receive an extra $20,000 per year in their pocket (about half a full-time minimum-wage)
2. Of the 20% of the workforce subject to the UMW (who, proportionately, benefit most), their wage will not fall (though new workers can choose to be hired on any hourly amount) and, depending on supply and demand, may even be bid up?
3. Unemployment will be eradicated, which means they can say ‘no’ to an employer and go elsewhere
4. Due to efficiency gains and more profit, their non-GST taxes will decrease (notwithstanding the abolishment of the tax-free-threshold)
5. They will experience tremendous peace of mind as their partners, their parents, their adult children and their friends will also receive it
6. They will live in a safer, more harmonious and unified (i.e. a more societal) country
7. With the economy becoming at least twice as efficient, their standard of living will boom, environmental damage will plummet, manufacturing will exponentiate, our regions will flourish, our country’s sovereignty will be secured and we will shiningly lead the world in Human-Organisation
8. It will complete the Universal Empowerment Infrastructure (UEI) whose cornerstones are:
1. Universal Legal Equality (including Merit-based reward)
2. Universal Liberal Democracy
3. Universal Education
4. Universal Healthcare
5. The Universal Survival Income.
[And, with the absence of one detracting from each of the others — for example, The USI absence, which can ferment home-disharmony, means many children cannot focus on their education — The UEI is potentially optimised and our country becomes the first to transcend the Industrial-Revolution-era Class-Warfarist paradigm into Civilisationism.]
Hence, with the production of the goods and services we desire more than doubled and our UEI optimised, we will demonstrate to both allies and enemies how to do the same, which will, amongst other things, decisively undermine the world’s Authoritarian-Illegitimates.
Thus, your members will be vastly, infrastructurally, better-off to a degree surpassing all the business-socialising legislation and confrontational blood, sweat and tears over the last 2 centuries including:
1. The 2009 Fair Work Act (and its arbitration commission)
2. The 1908 Harvester judgement:
‘“fair and reasonable” wages for an unskilled male worker required a living wage that was sufficient for “a human being in a civilised community” to support a wife and three children in “frugal comfort”, while a skilled worker should receive an additional margin for their skills, regardless of the employer’s capacity to pay.’ [Wikipedia]
3. The 1854 Eureka Stockade rebellion over government poverty-creating invasiveness.
Regarding the trade-unions role in the new Civilisationist paradigm, though your members will be vastly infrastructurally better-off, the trade-union role will still be vital and, with the surge in manufacturing, revitalised.
While emancipated from base Disempowerment concerns (including UMW considerations) and other peripherals such as UMW-defined ‘wage theft’, trade-unions will continue to be inviolable as paid-worker representers, advocates and negotiators for, by enterprise, wages, conditions and, especially, workplace safety.
Certainly, compensation is a poor second-best compared to such as preventing magnesium burning into hands, molten metal pouring down a boot, a ceiling crane falling-down over a work area, fingers getting spot-welded together, a hand getting crushed due to inopportunely correcting an alignment, strangulation from being attached to a cord after the other end gets stuck outside an elevator and it somehow wraps around a neck, an arm ripped-off after it gets caught in a conveyor belt, lung damage from breathing in poisonous fumes, the welding on the bottom of a barrel of engine-heads breaking and crushing feet, getting electrocuted and cooked alive inside a vat as it is being cleaned. [All these accidents either occurred or nearly occurred and the author, mostly as a Ford production-line machinist, either witnessed them or, in some other manner, was exposed to them.]
Thus, we need trade-unions to focus on foreseeing such occurrences, determining comprehensive solutions and then stubbornly hard-headedly insisting they be implemented.
That being said, there is a view on the Right — actually, some of them ‘swear black and blue’ — that the trade-union movement thick-headedly lacks sophistication and nuance such that it bluntly never gives-up even on the trivial.
One prominent right-winger in a letter to the CDO wrote:
‘ Talk to any Union official, and they call this the “Hard-Won-Gain Effect”. They never give away benefits, once granted. Its why we had fights with the CFMEU and ETU when we were doing Award Modernisation in 2010 and they refused to allow the allowances for, example, motor rewinders to be abolished. Rewinders disappeared in the 1980s because the technology was superseded (literally, they are as extinct as the horse and cart) yet their argument was “well, you never know, it may come back one day, and we had a massive fight in 1972 to get that allowance in, so we don’t want to throw it away.” ’
Yet, in defence of the trade-union movement, the CDO notes, in the past, sacrifices have been made in the form of, for example, wage-forsaking for superannuation. [Unfortunately, super is welfare disproportionately for the Empowered, which, according to the Australia Institute, costs $41 billion per year (more than we pay for education) in tax concessions.]
In any case, noting it’s just as easy to call for the once-and-for-all perpetual solution of The Universal Survival Income (USI) as it is for Jobkeeper, we wonder whether you are the 2 who will lead the trade-union movement out of the conflict for conflict’s sake wilderness such as to embrace replacing Universal Minimum Wages (UMW) with The USI.
Specifically, if the government offered to replace the Poverty, Unemployment & Stigma (PUS)-manufacturing UMW with the Poverty, Lockdown, Unemployment & Stigma (PLUS)-Emancipating USI, would you accept?
Quadruple-0 (i.e. beyond Triple-0 because society per se needs assistance):
- The Citizen’s Dividend Organisation (CDO) Australia
- The Universal Empowerment Organisation (UEO)
- The Optimisationism Organisation (TOO)
- The Civilisationism Organisation (TCO)
Humanity is being confronted by a perfect storm of culminating exponentiating Socio-Econo-Enviro- (SEE) Catastrophes including:
- Socio: poverty, stigmatisation, homelessness, mental-illness, excapism (such as drug & alcohol abuse), suicide, domestic-violence etc.
- Econo: unemployment, the welfare-to-work distortion, Jobs-Jobs-Jobs (Triple-J) politics, which has led to BS jobs-for-jobs’-sake & Manage-the-Manufactured-Mess (Triple-M) paid-work, the massive inefficiency of not ‘exclusively producing and delivering the goods & services we desire’ etc.; and,
- Natural: ecosystem destruction, species extinction, the explosive human population plague, plastic islands, climate change etc.
- International: our weaknesses boost Democracy’s enemies, which is currently catalysing international rivalry such as with China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.
Hypothesis: These catastrophes are due to a single foundational ‘Society-Individual Interface’ contradiction whose deleterious effects are cascading through every facet of society.
The relevant contradiction is the partial absence of the natural-morality-derived minimalist ‘Universal Empowerment Infrastructure’ (UEI), which consists of the 5 interdependent interactively-fortifying cornerstones of:
- Universal Legal Equality (including Merit-based Reward) — [In Australia] comparatively robust;
- Universal Liberal Democracy — comparatively robust;
- Universal Healthcare — comparatively robust;
- Universal Education — comparatively robust;
- Universal Survival Income (USI) — No, not yet.
[This USI-absence detracts from each of the other cornerstones making them all far less effective — for example, The USI-absence means homelife for many children is far less harmonious than it should be, which means, amongst other things, their capacity to concentrate on their education is compromised.]
The Socio-Econo-Environment-Harmonising Universal Survival Income (USI):
It’s not that it is the solution;
It’s that its absence is the problem.
The Taxpayer-to-Citizen-Transfer [Please note: Regarding the Society-Individual interface, unlike the current system, this is not a ‘cost’ but a ‘transfer’ and, in addition, it is not 1-way Welfare, which predominantly benefits recipients, but 2-way Infrastructure that, as with the other UEI cornerstones, has a return equivalent to multiples of the investment because it helps maximise societally-contributive self-actualisation.]
Around $20,000 per year x 18 million (non-incarcerated in-country adult Australian citizens) + $5,000 x 4.5 million (children) = $386 billion.
This may be achieved by (2018 figures):
- Abolishment of the Tax-Free Threshold ($35 billion);
- Reallocating $150 billion of the $175 billion Social Services budget (yes, federally, we are already spending almost half of what we need), which still leaves $25 billion to top up pensions and disability payments; and,
- Inserting a 20% full-breadth GST (no — it’s not regressive if the Disempowered are net beneficiaries; also, the wealthy and multinationals’ capacity to avoid a GST is particularly limited), which results in $200 billion minus $60 billion (from the current 10% gap-ridden GST) equaling an additional $140 billion.
In addition to this $325 billion total, there will be massive human-capital, efficiency, societal-involvement and trust gains, which means, not only is the USI easily afforded, we will be, at least, twice as prosperous such that it will amount to a win-win-win in which all community segments — the wealthy; the middle-class; and, the currently disempowered — all win.
In the process, the economy will also be transformed from an inefficient, resource-wasting and environment-trashing own-goal one to ‘an efficient production and distribution of goods and services we desire’ one.
That is, currently, around half our 13 million paid-workers have jobs that are either:
- Jobs-for-jobs-sake B.S. paid-work — such as excess public service jobs and subsidised/protected private enterprise jobs; or,
- Manage-the-Manufactured-Mess (‘Triple-M’) paid-work — such as Centrelink and excess legal, charity, mental-health etc jobs.
Then, there is the massive permeating benefit of achieving full-employment.
That is, with everyone taken care of and invested with the freedom to say ‘no’ to an employer plus the present social-status premium on paid-work over unpaid-work rectified, there will be a massive flow of power to the disempowered and working classes, which will lead to a workers’ paradise.
Yet, this workers’ paradise will enable significant labour-market deregulation (i.e. everyone is already being looked after so, while we may continue to feel an emotional attachment to, for instance, economy-wide minimum-wages, in practice, there will no longer be a need for them).
And, this means many of our millions of volunteers can get paid something and our young, elderly, relatively unskilled, disabled, unpaid-carers, 800,000+ unemployed and 1.1 million+ underemployed can, if they desire, get paid-work (or, more work) such that ‘anyone who, at the going rate, wants paid-work, can get it’.
In addition, the USI will eradicate the current welfare-to-paid-work distortion where there is a disincentive to acquire paid-work because, in doing so, one loses one’s welfare.
Furthermore, full-employment will result in wages and conditions being bid-up.
And yet, business, as well as benefiting from deregulation, rather than having to tolerate the current crop of unhappy conscripts, will benefit from an army of volunteer workers, which given, with regard to morale and productivity, ‘one bad apple spoils the barrel’, will deliver massive productivity efficiencies.
This means our tradables’ sector — especially manufacturing — will roar.
The Citizen’s Dividend Organisation’s Commitment (August 1, 2019):
1. Short-term (interim) — At the 2022 Australian Federal Election (unlike in 2019), at least one registered political party will have the USI as its signature policy such that the USI is an election issue; and,
2. Medium-term (end) — At the 2025 Australian Federal Election, the winner has a mandate for the implementation of a USI, which it then prosecutes.
Without The Universal Survival Income (USI),
It’s Impossible to Save the Environment.