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Author Topic: Am I a hypocrite for taking unemployment benefits?  (Read 3519 times)
chickenado
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December 06, 2010, 01:45:11 PM
 #1

Graduated from uni in 2009. My temporary contract expired last month, so I'm unemployed again after working for only 14 months.

Now I'm living (quite comfortably) from unemployment benefit, thanks to my generous social-democratic government.

When I talk to my friends about the benefits of Bitcoin (undermining gov. etc.) they say I don't practice what I preach.

Now as a libertarian I'm not particularly proud of doing this, but a man needs to do what he needs to do to survive, and the opportunity is there, so wouldn't it be stupid not to make use of it? Of course I do not intend to keep claiming benefits long term.

Here are some more counter arguments I came up with...

Unemployment benefit is not a tax but an insurance  so I am simply consuming a product/service that I have already paid for(coercively).

The government is partially to blame for my unemployment. One of the reasons I'm struggling to find a job is because I don't have "3-5 years work experience". I would be happy to work for less than minimum wage, on a precarious contract, just to get that experience. But labour regulations in my country are extremely rigid. As a result, taking on someone on a permanent contract is a huge burden for a company. As a result, companies are reluctant to take on people with little experience. This exacerbates the chicken-and-egg situation for new entrants.

Sound reasonable? Or I am being a hypocrite?
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brocktice
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December 06, 2010, 02:13:16 PM
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If you're going to be a purist, I'd say you're a hypocrite. From a more practical standpoint, the taxes you've had to pay have prevented you from, say, saving that money for a rainy day instead, and you've already paid for it, so you might as well use it.

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grondilu
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December 06, 2010, 02:18:00 PM
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Unemployment benefit is not a tax but an insurance  so I am simply consuming a product/service that I have already paid for(coercively).

The government is partially to blame for my unemployment. One of the reasons I'm struggling to find a job is because I don't have "3-5 years work experience". I would be happy to work for less than minimum wage, on a precarious contract, just to get that experience. But labour regulations in my country are extremely rigid. As a result, taking on someone on a permanent contract is a huge burden for a company. As a result, companies are reluctant to take on people with little experience. This exacerbates the chicken-and-egg situation for new entrants.

Sound reasonable? Or I am being a hypocrite?

Sounds very reasonable.  Don't try too hard to rationalize though.

It's not just a matter of arithmetics of economics.  It's also a matter of self-estim and being capable of sticking to your principles.

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December 06, 2010, 02:34:11 PM
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Cognitive Dissonance.
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December 06, 2010, 02:34:38 PM
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In Canada the employment insurance scheme is quite distinct from welfare programs.  Employees and employers pay premiums into a fund which is used to pay for the benefits.  Welfare comes out of general revenues.

If I recall correctly, EI in Canada actually subsidizes general spending because the premiums are too high.


How would you say things are setup in your country?

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brocktice
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December 06, 2010, 02:59:56 PM
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As an employer I can tell you that unemployment insurance is a separate tax paid by employers in the US.

http://media.witcoin.com/p/1608/8----This-is-nuts

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MoonShadow
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December 06, 2010, 04:01:16 PM
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Unemployment benefit is not a tax but an insurance  so I am simply consuming a product/service that I have already paid for(coercively).


Forced insurance, yes.  You should not feel bad for using your employer paid benefits; which is exactly what (most) EI is, even if it is after the fact.  It's just like health insurance, delayed.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

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FatherMcGruder
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December 06, 2010, 04:52:33 PM
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If you voted for such policies, maybe. However, taking care of your self interests doesn't make you one.

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FreeMoney
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December 06, 2010, 04:54:55 PM
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If you advocate for the dissolution of the state then you are absolutely not a hypocrite. Taking money from them makes them weaker. Usually the state gets a more loyal advocate out of it and that's their profit. Don'y advocate for them to have one tiny bit of power. And don't depend on the money, but by all means take it.

I don't do it because it isn't worth giving them info and doing paperwork to me, but in a pinch I'd be all over that.

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grondilu
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December 06, 2010, 05:07:38 PM
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I don't do it because it isn't worth giving them info and doing paperwork to me,

+1
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December 06, 2010, 05:15:04 PM
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It's a delicate dilemma I'd say.
Is a slave that accepts a gift from his mater accepting his slave condition, or being hypocrite?
Even when you know that the gift was produced with the stolen labor of other slaves, it's complicated to condemn the one that accepts it...

While I was a student here in France, I benefited from their rent-aid program. I think such program should be extinguished, as many others, but anyway, I did get money from it.
Now that I have a job they have already taken much more money from me than what they gave me before, so I don't regret at all.

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ribuck
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December 06, 2010, 05:22:38 PM
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If you advocate for the dissolution of the state then you are absolutely not a hypocrite. Taking money from them makes them weaker. Usually the state gets a more loyal advocate out of it and that's their profit ... don't depend on the money, but by all means take it.

Very insightful. I went to University in the late 70s when very generous government grants were available, and I chose not to take them, on principle. But I think I should have done so, for the reasons you explained.
grondilu
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December 06, 2010, 05:26:58 PM
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Very insightful. I went to University in the late 70s when very generous government grants were available, and I chose not to take them, on principle. But I think I should have done so, for the reasons you explained.

The problem with that is you won't be able to defend your liberal ideas.  People will, with good reasons, claim that you oppose the very thing you live on.

If you want to stand as an example, you can't accept any money from government.
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December 06, 2010, 05:42:30 PM
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The problem with that is you won't be able to defend your liberal ideas.

That's what I thought at the time, when I didn't take the money, but FreeMoney has resolved the apparent contradiction. If taking the money would bring my ideas a little bit closer to reality, it's honest and worthwhile.

People will, with good reasons, claim that you oppose the very thing you live on.

FreeMoney was very careful to say that if you take the money, you mustn't depend on it (i.e. need it to live on). I took a job throughout my university education, so I was always financially independent. I should have taken the money and donated it to a voluntarist cause.
FatherMcGruder
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December 06, 2010, 05:46:17 PM
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FreeMoney was very careful to say that if you take the money, you mustn't depend on it (i.e. need it to live on). I took a job throughout my university education, so I was always financially independent. I should have taken the money and donated it to a voluntarist cause.
But it already is your money with which to do what you want. The government took it from you. Now that you have it back, how can anyone blame you for spending it as you would have had the government not taken it?

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FreeMoney
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December 06, 2010, 06:05:54 PM
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Very insightful. I went to University in the late 70s when very generous government grants were available, and I chose not to take them, on principle. But I think I should have done so, for the reasons you explained.

The problem with that is you won't be able to defend your liberal ideas.  People will, with good reasons, claim that you oppose the very thing you live on.

If you want to stand as an example, you can't accept any money from government.


I strongly disagree.

If our master locks us in the cellar I am going to punch you out if you rag on me for eating the slop he throws us. It would be a total lie to say I was pro slavery because I got my food from the slave master.

If you want to insist that you can't use the money because it was stolen then you need to take it and return it. The fact that this is hard to do in no way implies that the masters should keep it.

Even if you have somehow avoided all taxation for your entire life there will never be an amount offered to you that compensates for your lack of freedom.

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FreeMoney
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December 06, 2010, 06:12:03 PM
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FreeMoney was very careful to say that if you take the money, you mustn't depend on it (i.e. need it to live on). I took a job throughout my university education, so I was always financially independent. I should have taken the money and donated it to a voluntarist cause.
But it already is your money with which to do what you want. The government took it from you. Now that you have it back, how can anyone blame you for spending it as you would have had the government not taken it?

Depending on it is a really bad position to be in for a variety of reasons. But if you are literally starving or something I'm not saying you should turn it down to avoid being dependent.

Back to the cellar, when he tosses the bread down the stairs don't eat it contentedly and go back to sleep. You need to find a way out of the damn cellar. It's not where you want to be and it isn't even as safe as you think. He could forget about you or die himself.

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grondilu
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December 06, 2010, 06:23:59 PM
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Depending on it is a really bad position to be in for a variety of reasons. But if you are literally starving or something I'm not saying you should turn it down to avoid being dependent.

Well if someone has really no choice, it's ok I guess.   But as far as I'm concerned, I won't claim anything until I am really really broke, starving and with no roof upon my head.
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December 06, 2010, 06:34:33 PM
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Depending on it is a really bad position to be in for a variety of reasons. But if you are literally starving or something I'm not saying you should turn it down to avoid being dependent.

Well if someone has really no choice, it's ok I guess.   But as far as I'm concerned, I won't claim anything until I am really really broke, starving and with no roof upon my head.


I won't either. But I think anyone who takes money from the state, through non payment of taxes or through redistribution programs is helping to defeat the state. If someone starts apologetics for the state after taking the money or claiming that they deserve it or some crap then all benefit is undone.

While it's still here, bleed it out. Never advocate for it.

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December 06, 2010, 08:34:00 PM
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Depending on it is a really bad position to be in for a variety of reasons. But if you are literally starving or something I'm not saying you should turn it down to avoid being dependent.
When the government gives you your money back after having taken it, you are foolish not to accept it. Instead of not claiming that which belongs to us, we should work to prevent its theft in the first place.

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