The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Saturday, December 03, 2005

My Utopian World, Part 2

As promised, here is the second installment of how I would lead my country into utopia, as a loved & respected dictator....

It's a bit more complicated this time round, as I'm dealing with bigger issues.....

Immigration:
We have open borders. All immigrants are welcome. However to claim citizenship they have to be fluent in the state language & pass a GCSE level (leaving school) in both verbal & written comprehension. They also have to pass a citizenship test about the mores, culture and ethics of the society they are joining & to agree to uphold those principles. Each individual member of the family must do this. Children under 16 have to pass the approprite age national curriculum English test and be enrolled within a school to recieve citizenship rights.

No-one may stay in the country for more than 12 months without applying for citizenship or a student/working visa (visas are only available for full time students/work)

Non citizens are not entitled to claim welfare benefits, vote, hold public office, or work for the public services. They will be charged for medical treatment recieved.

Asylum seekers of any kind (political/economic/ethical) must apply for asylum within 24 hours of entering the country. They will be housed in "fast-track" citizen centres for a maximum of 6 months & instruction will be available to assist them to become citizens. Basic needs, including medical care will be met. They can apply to take the citizen test at any time. There will be a standard weekly charge for this, which if necessary can be repaid through additional taxation up to 10 years after arrival.
The main aim of these laws is to ensure that all residents have equal opportunities. It solves the whole language/cultural barrier debate. It also solves the problem of an infinite number of "family members" using the system as they each have to take the test/learn the language. The "fast track" system removes the need for defining "Asylum seekers", and ensures there is no need to become an illegal immigrant - reducing exploitation.

Welfare:
Welfare benefits are available to all citizens, and include all medical treatments/preventions but not "lifestyle choice" treatments (cosmetic surgery other than to repair damage, fertility treatments etc)

If unemployed, your current rent/mortgage will be paid for a maximum of 6 months (12 months if on a recognised training course), then a basic amount/housing will be made available.

Welfare benefits will only cover basic needs.

If you are unemployed for more than 12 months, you will have to either enrol on a full time training course or be employed by the Community Works Services.

There is a minimum wage in effect. It will always be higher than Benefits.

Disability benefits are calulated on an individual basis, but will be at least the same as the minimum wage. To claim disibility benefits you have to be unable to be employed by the Community Works Service.

Maternity/Paternity leave is 6 months on full pay. This can be extended up to 12 months for breast feeding mothers.

State Pensions are means tested, and are equivalent value to welfare benefits, but are available for any length of time.
The main thrust of these laws is to encourage people to work, but to provide a safety net if they can't. The Community Works Service is my own innovation & can cover anything from painting walls to building roads. Of course, enforced employment is very politically incorrect, but it's my world, so who cares?

Once again, comments/input are always welcome, but have no actual influence over policy:-)

For thise of you who missed part one, you can find it here.

For those of you who are starting to worry, please be assured that I am not intending to stand for any political office in the real world:-)

23 Comments:

  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 1:58:00 pm, Blogger la la la I can't hear you said…

    Hola, Michele sent me.

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 2:30:00 pm, Anonymous Kat said…

    Whoa, Mrs. Aginoth--you and I started our blogs the exact same day! (I backdated some of my About-type pages to July.)

    I don't want to say too much about your utopia, because it's your utopia, not mine! But it's good to think about what you would prioritize if the role of prioritization were yours.

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 2:36:00 pm, Blogger Chas Ravndal said…

    Sounds very promising and fruitful.

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 2:40:00 pm, Blogger Plumkrazzee said…

    I LOVE the minimum wage/benefit solution. Why AREN'T you running? You got my vote! Michele sent me today!

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 3:48:00 pm, Blogger craziequeen said…

    Mrs Aginoth for President!!

    :-D

    cq

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 3:58:00 pm, Blogger Carmi said…

    A world that cares...who woulda thought? Sounds decidedly Walden-like to me. I'm so there.

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 4:16:00 pm, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said…

    Hi Mrs. A..
    Michele sent me again this morning...You SHOULD run for office! I think your ideas are very good!

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 4:35:00 pm, Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said…

    You've got MY vote!

    Michele sent me here.

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 6:11:00 pm, Blogger Prego said…

    no hablo ingles. vine por la michele.

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 6:30:00 pm, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    Prego - that would be fine. I would even have made the effort to answer you in Spanish. If it were true.

    However, as it is a total lie, I don't see why you, I, or anyone else should bother!

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 6:45:00 pm, Blogger Carmi said…

    Hi Mrs. A. I hope you have a wonderful time at the film. You both richly deserve this time together.

    Not sure what the deal with p. is. Hope it all works out.

    Here from Michele's...again. Sorry for being such a pest today :)

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 6:47:00 pm, Blogger Prego said…

    I was actually making a joke about the immigrant policies and language requirements that your blog entry proposed. I thought the Brits had a sense of humor?

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 6:48:00 pm, Blogger Prego said…

    PS. Nobody likes a tattle-tale.

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 6:52:00 pm, Blogger Karlo said…

    I like the Green Party's idea that there'd be a maximum wage tied to the minimum wage--essentially the idea that economic growth is a team effort and no member of the team should make obscene amounts while others get virtually nothing. Of course, the multiple they came up with was 7, if I remember correctly, which still allows people to make good money if the minimum wage is raised to a living wage.

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 6:56:00 pm, Blogger aka_monty said…

    It's always interesting to see another's viewpoints.

    :) Hello, Michele sent me!

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 7:27:00 pm, Anonymous Pearl said…

    Huh. Paid maternity leave is done in some companies as I understand. Seems a natural step to support families.

    This tends to not match up to my utopia as one who is liking a social net for all without qualification. It makes a staggering tax load to provide universal comprehensive physical and mental health care, but my social contract for living is even out the inequities by the richer helping the less fortunate whether circumstances are within their control or not, temporary or permanent.

    Yes, bit dicey of a utopia for me, being an ESL instructor in immigrant settlement (therefore beyond my livelihood and life experience of working with refugees among others). And U.S is close to 30% Spanish isn't it? It takes a full 7 years to get full-competency in a language and a culture with full participation.

    For people who are leaving a risky political situation only knowing corrupt officials, and hatred for them based on one thing or another, coming to a country and beliving a place is safe enough to ask for asylum within a day, .. whew. But I guess not only the nation is utopia but the whole world which would iron out these wrinkles.

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 11:12:00 pm, Blogger Aginoth said…

    Hey Prego ever heard of Smilies or emoticons? ;o)

    They make it quite clear when you are being serious or commenting with tongue in cheek...

     
  • At Saturday, December 03, 2005 11:12:00 pm, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    Prego - if you're making an incomprehensible joke on the first visit to a blog you know nothing about, a smiley would help you to be understood!

    Nobody asked you to like me.

    Pearl - If you look on the first post it specifically says this utopia is based in the UK - we already have paid maternity leave for all (but not for that length of time) and a full welfare state. I am aware of the costs & also of the pitfalls of making the welfare net so huge its better to live there than in the working world. I personaly would be much better off if I dumped Aggie & gave up work and that is not right in my opinion - not for society & not for individuals.

    I also have worked in TEFL & 3 months immersion is ample to learn a language enough to pass simple comprehension tests. 12 months is way more than enough.

    The asylum seekers do not have to apply for citizenship. they can hang out for three months then decide it's not for them (although no re-entry would be allowed). If you are really fleeing for your life the offer of accomodation, food & medical care should sound quite helpful. If you are deliberately chosing a new country to make your home in then you should have looked into many of the aspects before arriving. Totally open borders means a strict policing policy. It's not a perfect world, just a utopian society:-)

    Karlo - not sure about the maximum wage thing - when we tried it in the 70's it caused a massive "brain drain" as all the brightest & best scarpered off to the US for more money. When we get onto taxation though, you will see I do have a very high upper band:-)

     
  • At Sunday, December 04, 2005 4:06:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How typical of someone who already has kids to describe fertility treatment as a lifestyle choice. What would YOU have done if you hadn't been able to conceive, just rolled over and accepted it?

     
  • At Sunday, December 04, 2005 5:33:00 pm, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    Anonymous - Yes. Please read my whole blog before making spurious comments. I spent the first 27 years of my life being assured by every Gynae consultant in the country that I couldn't have kids. I accepted it. No rolling over required. You take what life throws at you & make the most of it.

    We had looked at both fostering & adoption. I had also looked forward to a happy & childless life. Aggie married me knowing that I couldn't have kids.

    children are NOT a right.

    not only does my Utopian world not offer fertility traetment on the NHS, it also insists on a parenting licence before you are allowed to have children. More in another installment.

     
  • At Monday, December 12, 2005 12:51:00 pm, Blogger craziequeen said…

    I would take issue with anonymous's comments.

    I can't have children, period.

    I have no womb - so IVF is out of the question.

    I am 41 - so am too old to adopt in the UK.

    This is not a lifestyle choice, this was caused by a medical condition.

    However, I do not complain [well, I do a little bit :-)] about not having children, it's a fact, and I live with it.

    Surrogacy has been suggested, but the later ramifications scare me off any considerations of that. How do you explain surrogacy to *your* child?

    It is not my *right* to have children - it is what Nature intends - and Nature does not intend me to have them.

    cq

     
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