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Welfare BDSM

 

Lately I have been thinking about the true nature of the "welfare traps" that many people, including myself, are stuck in.

Let's start with the Wikipedia definition:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_trap

"A welfare trap is an example of the perverse incentive: the welfare recipient has an incentive to avoid raising his own productivity because the resulting income gain is not enough to compensate for the (increased) work effort."

Yes indeed, because as is the case in most welfare systems around the world, anything you earn will be instantly deducted from your welfare benefits. Or you might even lose it all; depending on the case and system in place, even a small "extra income" that is a fraction of your monthly benefits might actually cause you to lose the rights to that benefit. Earn 100 euros and your benefits are slashed by 100 euros, and so on...we all know how the stuff works.

But wait, what is that "perverse incentive" that the wiki article mentions?

Let's see...they have a separate page for that one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perverse_incentive

"A perverse incentive is an incentive that has an unintended and undesirable result which is contrary to the interests of the incentive makers. Perverse incentives are a type of unintended consequence."

OK, so in our case, this would mean for example that a poor person "on benefits" might actually start to avoid all activity that would bring him/her "more money", because thanks to the instant benefit cuts he/she would actually get nothing, or even end up with less. So for example, a person on benefits has an incentive to avoid lowly paid part time work or freelance work.

But it's not just "work" that can cause suspicious money transfers to appear in the bank account of the welfare recipient...Everyday activities such as selling stuff online, winning a small amount in sports betting, or getting your money back when you returned that wrong size shirt you bought online...all these things bring money to your bank account, and depending on the country and system, these things will cause your benefits to be cut (all 3 examples here are from Finland, where it's luck based; you might get cut, or you may not, it all depends on the official you handles your case).

So in addition of having an incentive to avoid paid work, you are "not allowed" to sell things, to win anything from games of chance, or to get your money back from anything. Also you aren't allowed to receive small donations or financial help of any kind from any other source than the welfare system...in other words the welfare laws make their best to ensure that once you drop into welfare, your dependance from the welfare system is maximized: Once you're in, you're stuck forever.

Now, that sounds perverse enough, but there seems to be more to it...let's open another wiki article that deals with "perversions", in this case "Perverse Subsidies":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidy#Perverse_subsidies

"Although subsidies can be important many are ‘perverse’. To be ‘perverse’, subsidies must exert effects that are demonstrably and significantly adverse both economically and environmentally. A subsidy rarely, if ever, starts perverse, but..."

Notice the statement "A subsidy rarely, if ever, starts perverse".

Hmm, maybe so, but what if that's not the case with the welfare system? What if the whole system was originally designed by a pervert? Or was at some point perverted by a pervert, and then eventually every country in the world copied these perversions to their own welfare systems?

And of course the system has been "perverse" for a long time, and the perversions are well known...and many generations have passed and no-one has done anything to change it.

And so, could we then draw the conclusion that our welfare system was actually designed to be pervert, by a pervert, from the very beginning, and taking this assumption one step further: could these perversions in fact have their roots in non-consesual psychological bondage and in Master-Slave contracts of the BDSM culture?

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The Master-Slave Contract

The nature of the current welfare systems becomes much more clear after conducting a small thought experiment. We just have to reduce the scope of the "benefits deal" from the "law of the country"-level to the "deal between you and me"-level.

Because when we do this, the "you and me" version of the deal brings us a scenario like this: I'm rich and you're poor. You don't have any money, I have more than enough. To help you survive, I'll offer you a deal: I'll give you a "monthly benefit", that is just enough for you to stay alive.

And so far it sounds good...But then I start adding clauses such as: If you earn anything, all your earnings will be deducted from your benefit. So, if you get a small payment from some small work, I'll take the money. If you sell something, I'll take the money. If you win in sports betting, I'll take the money. If you buy a shirt and return it because it was wrong size, and get a refund, then in this case too I'll take the money. And so on. You have to report your income monthly, and also every month you have to beg me to give you this benefit, otherwise you won't get it.

And now the deal doesn't sound so good anymore...You would instantly be suspicious: why is your helper trying to keep you poor? Wouldn't it make more sense to let you keep all the extra money you earn, no matter what the source, so that you might one day become economically independent and wouldn't need this benefit anymore?

And so, you would ask me the reason for such conditions. Of course in this case I couldn't hide behind the answer "it's the law of the country", because this is a deal between two persons...so instead I would have to tell the truth: "Because I'm a pervert, and I enjoy when people are dependent on me, when they beg help from me, and this way I have control over their lives."

And so, after hearing this you would of course like to say "No, I won't play this game", but then you realize that you can't do that, because you need that benefit money to survive. You simply have no options, and we both know it perfectly well. And so, in this "deal" I'm taking advantage of your dire situation, in order to fulfill my fantasies of having psychological control and dominance over someone.

And so you are forced to accept the deal and you sign the contract.

And as time goes on, more things are added into the "contract", such as paperwork that you need to fill, a constant requirement for you to "look for work", and even a requirement to work for free, or else you'll lose the benefit.

And so, what we have here is basically a Master-Slave contract of psychological bondage and humiliation, designed to last forever.

And when this contract is scaled up, bigger and bigger, so that it covers the entire nation, then we get the modern welfare system: a strange combination of "poor aid" and bondage: a psychological humiliation contract, upscaled thousandfold and written in the actual laws of the country.

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Here are some more similarities between welfare and BDSM:

Consent

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consent_%28BDSM%29

"Consent is an explicit agreement to acts, terms, and conditions. It can be confirmed verbally and/or in writing."

"Consent is a vital element in all psychological play, and consent can be granted in many ways. Some employ a written form known as a "Dungeon negotiation form"; for others a simple verbal commitment is sufficient. Consent can be limited both in duration and content."

"For long term consent, a "Slave Contract" is sometimes used. BDSM "contracts" are only agreements between consenting adults and are not legally binding; in fact, the possession of one may be considered illegal in some areas. Slave contracts are simply a way of defining the nature and limits of the relationship.

Sounds familiar...here in Finland we actually have a paper called "Service Contract" (Palvelusopimus) for all the "long term suckers" who stay on "social benefits" one year after another...this is a custom written contract that is signed between you and the official who handles your case.


Visible signs of your "sucker status"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master/slave_%28BDSM%29#Total_power_exchange

"Various forms of symbolism are sometimes used to affirm the owner/slave relationship. These include the wearing the owner's collar, being registered in a slave register, adopting (sometimes legally changing to) a name chosen by the owner, or engaging in a public declaration or ritualized ceremony of some type."

All benefit recipients are indeed registered but aren't required to wear a collar, at least not yet...instead food stamps are used as a sign of your "sucker status": if you use food stamps to pay for anything, then everyone knows you're a poor sucker and "on benefits". This is the only purpose of the "food stamp" practice; instead of giving you real money, your Master gives you "sucker money", so that everyone around you knows you're a sucker.


Real Humiliation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotic_humiliation

"Real Humiliation is the act of making a person carry out specific tasks which involve other real people who are not aware that there is a task or dominant relation issuing the task in the background."

Being forced to "seek work" falls into this category: in order to get your benefits, you're required to constantly apply for various jobs, even if you aren't interested in the job in question, or don't fill the job requirements, or even if there are no jobs at all.

Right now in almost every country of the world there is an ever increasing amount people whose "job" is to "seek jobs"...which might seem insane, but it makes sense from the BDSM perspective: all these submissive unemployed people are publicly humiliating themselves in order to please their Master.

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So in conclusion, we can say that the current western welfare system shares many similarities with BDSM, and in fact can be classified as a form of psychological BDSM.

And because of this, the welfare system has two conflicting purposes: 1. To help you. 2. To make you a "sucker" and keep you that way.

And this conflict is what makes the welfare system "perverse"...so perverse that even Wikipedia openly calls it perverse.

In the traditional political spectrum, the goal of "create more suckers and humiliate them" can't be found in the agenda of any party, left or right...this is because the idea originates from the BDSM world and not from any mainstream economy or society model. But yet, by time the idea of "help comes with humiliation" has been gradually integrated to the value system of our society, and so the welfare systems of the world turned out as they now are: humiliation became normal and "part of the process". People got used to it, the officials and institutions got used to it, and most politicians couldn't care less, because the whole issue dealt with the suckers and the suckers don't matter.

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But this all doesn't mean that welfare itself would be a bad thing...it has simply been perverted with all these humiliation elements which never belonged there in the first place.

A different kind of welfare system where all humiliation elements have been removed, would be much like the proposed "Basic Income" system, an idea which is thankfully gaining more popularity by every passing day...maybe there is some hope for the suckers after all?

And neither does this mean that BDSM would be a bad thing, it only becames bad when someone, or an entire nation, is forced to "play" against their own will. :)

 

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Disclaimer:

This article was written by a person who has been "on benefits" for 10+ years in a row, and who would really like to be the coach in the locker room of the Women's Ice Hockey Team of Nigeria after they have just lost a friendly match to Canada 43-0.  :D

 

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