Reflect on what's important
As Covid-19 takes its course and with lockdown, loss of jobs and limits placed on our physical movements, it's a time to reflect on what's really important. If we have a roof over our heads, warmth, adequate clothing, sufficient food, good health, a few modern trappings for some comfort and to function along with access to essential services then we have to basics to maintain or create a good life.
To overly bemoan a reduced income or diminished bank balance, where all the above are in place, is to miss the purpose and meaning of our existence I feel. I urge those to whom this applies to spare a thought for those who do not have those basics as outlined. Maslow's hierarchy of needs clearly illustrates that those struggling to meet basic survival needs don't have the luxury of being preoccupied with such things, or the higher needs as portrayed in his pyramid.
To potentially enjoy a full rewarding life, I maintain that sufficiency is more than enough. Surplus to sufficiency and not sharing that surplus where survival need is the issue is undeniably and largely explanatory of the very evident distressed state of the world, where 10 per cent own 90 per cent of the world's wealth. Finally, I disagree with Mike Hosking on many things, but his stance refuting the worthiness of a universal income, I agree with. This, as reportedly being considered in the US and UK, won't work, I concur. Financial assistance, in my view needs to be targeted to need, as is currently happening.
Jay Kuten has a few lines from a Rudyard Kipling poem; "If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you." He should read these words with deep thought as to who it describes in our modern world and he might think of US President Donald J Trump.
G R SCOWN
Re: Mike Hosking's opinion piece - Let's not lose our minds - re universal wage: "Universal incomes don't work - have been proven not to work". Strong stuff when the formal report is not due to be released for some time. The Finnish experiment was hamstrung by inter-party disagreement and poor delivery through insufficient allocation of funds. The Universal Basic Income was only delivered to 2000 unemployed people and was little more than a replacement for the unemployment benefit but with fewer strings attached. The final outcome cannot be called a failure but appears inconclusive - those receiving the UBI showed improved self-esteem but there was little difference in the jobless rate.
Ironically Mike Hosking has made a strong argument against giving tax cuts to the rich. He argues that giving money to people who don't need it is waste as it doesn't get spent in a remotely useful way. National's tax cuts in their first term would have given some wealthy persons $5000 extra weekly but was paid for by increased GST to those already in need and the starving of finance to hospitals, education and other society infrastructure. For society to succeed, all citizens must share in a slice of the pie. Whether it is a universal basic income or some other transfer of wealth is still in question. The Finnish experiment was too limited to resolve that dilemma.