Poll: Hm?
Poll Options
View poll results: Hm?
Yeah, we should have an amended workhouse system
19 25%
No, we shouldn't have any workhouse system.
23 30%
Undecided.
8 10%
F*ck you Craig I don't like this question.
27 35%
Voters: 77.
Page 1 of 2
#1
In 1834 the United Kingdom had a Poor Law amendment. One of the things which the amendment said was that the state should set up 'workhouses'. Basically if you couldn't pay your rent, taxes etc because you had no job, or couldn't sell anything to make up your what others were due for, then you should go to the workhouse where they'll give you just enough food to survive if you worked long hours. It was intended to be a deterrent.

There were some horrendous things that happened in there, including not enough food and even unreported sexual assaults. It also ended up that those with seasonal jobs, children and the elderly went in and it really was not their fault for being old, young or just having no work.

However, if it this could be reformed, however you wanted to, would you allow such a scheme in society?

Yes, this is vague, but have fun with it.
Last edited by Craigo at Jan 10, 2010,
#2
It's just that, a scheme. And it's stupidly profitable, and the government has no business paying less than they allow the private sector to pay. I'd say that'd be mighty profitable for the government... A non profit entity...
#3
Maybe it could be a way for young people to get working experience?
████████████████████████████
███████████████████████████
█████████████████████████
██████████████████████████
███████████████████████████
███████████████████████████
███████████████████████████
███████████████████████████
#4
Quote by captaincrunk
It's just that, a scheme. And it's stupidly profitable, and the government has no business paying less than they allow the private sector to pay. I'd say that'd be mighty profitable for the government... A non profit entity...

It was literally bare, bare minimum and business men ran the workhouses.
#5
Broccoli
Quote by CFH82
Ejaculate in MY moustache?!

Music is just wiggly air. Accept it or leave it.ಠ_ಠ
#6
Quote by Kensai
Maybe it could be a way for young people to get working experience?

The men who promoted these schemes were normally rich business men or extreme free marketeers. The workhouse was explicitly intended for those who had no money because blame was put onto the poor. An extreme sense of 'personal responsibility'.
#9
Quote by Craigo
It was literally bare, bare minimum and business men ran the workhouses.

Yeah that's not gonna fly. People can do better stealing than working in those conditions, it wouldn't do it's job at all. I think that in principle it could work, but it'd need to overseen by government regulation. Same rules for hours, and workers compensation laws, that are currently in place.
#11
Quote by Craigo
The men who promoted these schemes were normally rich business men or extreme free marketeers. The workhouse was explicitly intended for those who had no money because blame was put onto the poor. An extreme sense of 'personal responsibility'.

Oh I meant if you were to implement the idea today, and not have it all "ooh, douchey 19th century rich unethical business men".

Sort of like volunteer work people do to make a difference, and get working experience. Except you get paid a little.
████████████████████████████
███████████████████████████
█████████████████████████
██████████████████████████
███████████████████████████
███████████████████████████
███████████████████████████
███████████████████████████
#12
Quote by Kensai
Maybe it could be a way for young people to get working experience?

That's something we've discussed in my microeconomics classes for a long time. It's such a tricky area, how long you can pay a low "training" wage, or if the employers would find reason to fire the young kids and just get another young kid to keep the low wage. It's something that needs to be watched, that's for sure!

EDIT: To your new post above mine, we have some things like that but they're mostly private charity stuff.
#13
I think it wouldn't be that bad if they gave you enough to fill a persons hunger, & maybe somewhere to stay if you hadn't got a home & also cut the work back to a reasonable amount hours. But it'd mainly be for homeless people, because no one wants to employ a homeless person, so it'd help them out a lot.
#14
Quote by Kensai
Oh I meant if you were to implement the idea today, and not have it all "ooh, douchey 19th century rich unethical business men".

Sort of like volunteer work people do to make a difference, and get working experience. Except you get paid a little.

That doesn't sound anything remotely like that system at all

But you know, that would be a fairly sweet idea
#15
Quote by Craigo
Basically if you couldn't pay your rent, taxes etc because you had no job, or couldn't sell anything to make up your what others were due for, then you should go to the workhouse where they'll give you just enough food to survive if you worked long hours. It was intended to be a deterrent.



You're "working" for nothing except food. This is basically slavery. The people who "worked" in these workhouses weren't getting paid for their work.
#16
The ethos of the workhouse and indeed its ruling tenet was the 'Principle of Less Elegibility' - that the conditions in the workhouse were designed to be nastier than those available to the most poorly paid job.

The point of the workhouse was to be in an institution to punish people for being victims of circumstance. It's an utterly nonsensical and disgustingly conservative method of society indulging its snobby feeling that the poor are simply poor because they are lazy.

The workhouses are a relic of a past age! Lunacy! Barbarism!

Just.

No!
#17
Quote by AreaMan
You're "working" for nothing except food. This is basically slavery. The people who "worked" in these workhouses weren't getting paid for their work.

Work is work, and food can be pay. Currency isn't the only currency you know! I'm not saying this specific situation was ethical, just saying there's more than one way to exchange value.
#19
Quote by captaincrunk
Work is work, and food can be pay. Currency isn't the only currency you know! I'm not saying this specific situation was ethical, just saying there's more than one way to exchange value.


But if you're being paid in food, how are you ever going to leave the workhouse? You're stuck in the situation if the only thing you're earning is food.
#20
Quote by hobson111
Someone's doing gcse history

Or a degree

I did State and Poor at A Level though.
Quote by AreaMan
You're "working" for nothing except food. This is basically slavery. The people who "worked" in these workhouses weren't getting paid for their work.

I'll grant you that if accept the idea that if you have a waged job, you are working in wage slavery.
#21
This kinda reminds me of the stuff Hitler implemented in Germany fo fix the huge unemployment

A bit like a way of earning your benefits, provided you are physically able to do so? As long as whatever money the administrators earned went towards things beneficial to society (vague, I know) I don't think I'd see much of a problem with this. I'm probably missing a load of important stuff though :S

What I have in my mind is nothing like the workhouses of old, mind.



stratkat
#22
It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure how well it would work..

You couldn't force anyone into it without having to go through a whole human rights freak out, and without forcing people into it, there's no way of guaranteeing that you'll have enough people to actually do anything in any profitable way unless you go back a few centuries, pay them next to nothing and make them work their asses off, which would get all kinds of shit thrown at all kinds of fans.

I like the idea of having a place for people with nothing else to go to work, but I don't think putting them all in the same place would actually be feasible.
#23
Quote by AreaMan
But if you're being paid in food, how are you ever going to leave the workhouse? You're stuck in the situation if the only thing you're earning is food.

Even if you're earning only enough money to buy food, you're still stuck. Its not the food that has them stuck, it's the unavailability of quality jobs. Or the lack of skills, or age, as it was portrayed in the OP. A lot of these people probably couldn't get out anyway.
#24
Quote by Craigo
That doesn't sound anything remotely like that system at all

But you know, that would be a fairly sweet idea


Almost what I was thinking, what he said is pretty different from you you described, but might be good.

As for the workhouses, if done right it could serve a useful existence, but the amount of things that can (and thus will) be done wrong/unjustly, it won't work.
#25
Quote by captaincrunk
Even if you're earning only enough money to buy food, you're still stuck. Its not the food that has them stuck, it's the unavailability of quality jobs. Or the lack of skills, or age, as it was portrayed in the OP. A lot of these people probably couldn't get out anyway.


That still doesn't address the fact that it's incredibly unethical.
#26
Quote by EuBoat
This kinda reminds me of the stuff Hitler implemented in Germany fo fix the huge unemployment

What the hell?
Quote by dark&broken
I like the idea of having a place for people with nothing else to go to work, but I don't think putting them all in the same place would actually be feasible.

A voluntary state employment scheme could be fine for the unemployed. I do believe we implemented some in the 1920's to help with the economic mess we were in.
#27
Quote by dark&broken
I like the idea of having a place for people with nothing else to go to work, but I don't think putting them all in the same place would actually be feasible.

Even a metaphorical workhouse wouldn't really work. There aren't many jobs that could employ such large numbers of people aside from public works projects perhaps. And then you end up with shoddy craftsmanship. It'd have to be almost like a temp agency, hooking people up with various jobs for people who might not have normally employed them?
#28
so you work long hours just for a little bit of food? how do you make any money to ever get out of the workhouse and better your life? it seems like just a way for the owners of said workhouses to turn a quick buck by not having to paying hardly anything for labor while keeping the workers in a perpetual state of poverty.


Quote by Kensai
Oh I meant if you were to implement the idea today, and not have it all "ooh, douchey 19th century rich unethical business men".

Sort of like volunteer work people do to make a difference, and get working experience. Except you get paid a little.


theyre called internships
Remember through sounds
Remember through smells
Remember through colors
Remember through towns
-Modest Mouse, "Novocaine Stain"
Last edited by NoLaurelTree000 at Jan 10, 2010,
#29
Let's just say workhouses are like Marx's Communism.

Good ideas when you think about it, but the right form of it will never happen.
#30
Quote by NoLaurelTree000
so you work long hours just for a little bit of food? how do you make any money to ever get out of the workhouse and better your life? it seems like just a way for the owners of said workhouses to turn a quick buck by not having to paying hardly anything for labor.

By getting a job after you leave. Also, you can set up tabs back then as butchers and markets were far more local, so say you were to get a new job and be paid in a week, you can just pay everyone back a week later after you've got your pay.

Of course, we'd have an entirely different system today if we set one up.
#31
Quote by AreaMan
Let's just say workhouses are like Marx's Communism.

Good ideas when you think about it, but the right form of it will never happen.

The 1834 Poor Law amendment act is one of the worst things our Government has done to it's subjects and is fucking awful 'in theory' too.
#32
Quote by Craigo
What the hell?
Ignore me. I've been revising all day and it's late



stratkat
#34
Quote by AreaMan
That still doesn't address the fact that it's incredibly unethical.

And leaving those people on the street with nothing at all is?

If anything, if done properly, people could learn skills from these places that could allow them to get a job elsewhere. Maybe have night-class type things for after they're done working where they could learn basic computer skills, or whatever else, so that they could eventually "graduate" on to a better job with a half-decent wage.

Quote by Craigo
A voluntary state employment scheme could be fine for the unemployed. I do believe we implemented some in the 1920's to help with the economic mess we were in.

Depends what the work is. It would have to be something where the number of people doing it doesn't matter. Something like a factory making something would require some minimum number of workers for it to be economically efficient and worth doing, if it's voluntary, they might not meet that number of workers, and if they dip below at some point, it could start being a drain on the economy rather than helping, and might shut down, thus rendering it essentially useless.

Quote by captaincrunk
Even a metaphorical workhouse wouldn't really work. There aren't many jobs that could employ such large numbers of people aside from public works projects perhaps. And then you end up with shoddy craftsmanship. It'd have to be almost like a temp agency, hooking people up with various jobs for people who might not have normally employed them?

There wouldn't have to be that many people, you'd only have to worry about having a very large body of unemployed people in large cities, and in large cities you could probably get more than one place like this.
#35
Quote by Craigo
By getting a job after you leave. Also, you can set up tabs back then as butchers and markets were far more local, so say you were to get a new job and be paid in a week, you can just pay everyone back a week later after you've got your pay.

Of course, we'd have an entirely different system today if we set one up.


so it was in the same vein as the modern idea of unemployment?

what exactly are you proposing that would be different about a modern system? it seems to exploit the poor for the profit of the rich. i dont really see any way around that without it turning into a socialist type commune.
Remember through sounds
Remember through smells
Remember through colors
Remember through towns
-Modest Mouse, "Novocaine Stain"
Last edited by NoLaurelTree000 at Jan 10, 2010,
#36
I chose the 4th option, I have no reason.
all I ever wanted was to pick apart the day
put the pieces back together my way
#37
Quote by Andre
Depends what the work is. It would have to be something where the number of people doing it doesn't matter. Something like a factory making something would require some minimum number of workers for it to be economically efficient and worth doing, if it's voluntary, they might not meet that number of workers, and if they dip below at some point, it could start being a drain on the economy rather than helping, and might shut down, thus rendering it essentially useless.

It was for skilled labourers. They reckonised that it wasn't their fault so hunted for unskilled jobs with lower wages so they've have incentive to go back to their skilled jobs when available. It was hard to pull off but was successful. Can't remember what jobs they gave out.
#39
Quote by Craigo
It was intended to be a deterrent.
Another way of saying it's regressive. Usually a bad sign. If something is such a problem that a solution needs to be created to deter it, it's probably a big enough problem to be worthy addressing at the source.

Quote by Craigo
There were some horrendous things that happened in there, including not enough food and even unreported sexual assaults. It also ended up that those with seasonal jobs, children and the elderly went in and it really was not their fault for being old, young or just having no work.
Not surprising, really. If they're forced to be there, you can expect problems. And what motivation would the operator of a workhouse have to provide a safe, clean, healthy environment?

This is quite the opposite of how capitalism functions.
It's all about incentives, baby. Without them, it fails hard.

Quote by Craigo
However, if it this could be reformed, however you wanted to, would you allow such a scheme in society?
It would take some serious reforms for such a thing to work well. Probably more than would be economically feasible. Maybe if they were an option, as a way to pay off bad debts in a more expedient manner and have your credit rating return to normal afterward, this might stand a chance of working. But even then, it's got too many problems at the core that would need to be addressed.

Outlook: bleak.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#40
Quote by NoLaurelTree000
so it was in the same vein as the modern idea of unemployment?

what exactly are you proposing that would be different about a modern system? it seems to exploit the poor for the profit of the rich. i dont really see any way around that without it turning into a socialist type commune.

It's entirely different from unemployment.

When you're unemployed, you're not earning anything and not likely learning anything either.

In a workhouse you're earning at the very least your room&board, and potentially learning skills that will help you get a better job.

Quote by Craigo
It was for skilled labourers. They reckonised that it wasn't their fault so hunted for unskilled jobs with lower wages so they've have incentive to go back to their skilled jobs when available. It was hard to pull off but was successful. Can't remember what jobs they gave out.

I could see how that would work, could be appropriate for all the auto industry workers who've been laid off, who might be able to get their old jobs back once the economy bounces back.

I was talking more about just general people, your average unemployed person who might not really have any kind of skills, or homeless people though.
Page 1 of 2