Indigent Immigration Act

Proposals for legislation and discussions of these

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Beathan
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Indigent Immigration Act

Post by Beathan »

Today I met an avatar in Colonia Nova who I recognized as one of the builders. I complimented him on his work and asked him if he was a citizen or professional outside hired help. He told me -- neither -- he was a noncitizen volunteer. As a RL college student, he was happy to help build CN, but could not afford the cost of land-based citizenship.

I know that landless citizenship has been tried and found wanting. However, there is something shameful in using volunteer labor of noncitizens -- it smacks of slavery. Even indentured servitude is better than that.

I would like to propose formation of a governmental foundation, funded by contributions and donations, to fund the land purchase and tier fees of active citizens, who are involved in public works and public improvment projects in particular, for the duration of their involvement in such public works or improvements and for any periods of public work hiatus. I would be willing to fund this with a sufficient donation -- to start it out -- to set up three such workers in modest houses, with tier paid for a year.

I do not want to see this proposal abused to import a professional or intellectual elite. Such people shoud pay their own way. I also want to limit this to people involved in public service labor -- and not in officeholding. That said, I do not want to see Colonia Nova built on the backs of noncitizen volunteer labor.

I know that much -- even most -- of the building was by citizens. I am very pleased with my domus, which was built by Jon Seattle, for instance. However, we should reward people willing to prove their worth to the community through labor by bringing them into the community as citizens.

Beathan

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michelmanen
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Public land for public servants

Post by michelmanen »

Hear hear!

I second this great suggestion - and would be willing to contribute maching funds to those of Beathan.

I agree precisely to his outline, including eligibility criteria.

Way to go Beathan!

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Pelanor Eldrich
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I agree also and...

Post by Pelanor Eldrich »

Would hope that compensation for SPC efforts could come from the treasury. Most people prefer a hand up over a handout. If we get some kind of wage economy going I'd hope our valued artisans and builders could get funded from our gov't for contracted work.

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Post by Beathan »

Pel -- I suppose that depends on whether the RA authorizes payment to builders in an amount sufficient to fund residency. If not, the foundation will step in. If so, the foundation can be used to attract people, who then stay by earning their keep.

The buy-in price, at least, is too steep for funding by CDS laborer's wage.

The problem I see is that government projects require government funds which requires government revenue generation. ATM, the only generation is from the very land we are trying to make more accessible. To pay wages, we need to increase prices and tiers, which requires that we raise wages again, etc. Some infusion of outside funds is called for.

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Pelanor Eldrich
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Right, I'm with you...

Post by Pelanor Eldrich »

Yes I agree completely. I've been asking Desmond and others for ideas on how we can generate new monthly gov't revenue streams. The only other minor mechanism we have is the citizen to citizen parcel transfer fee.

No one wants a sales tax, although I wonder if we couldn't rent out vendor space in the middle of the platz to non-citizens and/or offer free vendor space if they use a 5-10% sales tax CDS approved vendor? This would be similar to what Kendra does in Port Neualtenburg.

The other way to go is to pay indigent workers with a land from the gov't. Although that hurts the CDS bottom line a bit.

Looking for any ideas here...

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Post by Beathan »

My idea seems compatible with these concerns, Pel. We have a foundation dedicated to recruitment of immigrants with relevant SL skills -- primarily building skills. They are paid a bounty for becoming citizens and working for the CDS -- and that bounty is in the form a land purchase. They are then paid -- either by stipend or by continuing bounty -- to work on public improvement projects. The funds for the bounty come from donations; the stipends from government; but the effect is the same -- we attract people willing to do an honest day's work for honest pay -- and pay them.

Beathan

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Post by Justice Soothsayer »

Good to see that Beathan and Michel can find areas of agreement.

What you have proposed can be done without governmental action. Our group ownership rules would permit a Foundation for Starving Artisans to own a 512 m2 plot, under which up to 4 starving artists could hold citizenship. The Foundation could grant ownership status for a limited period of time, sort of acting as an incubator. I think 512 m2 plots in NFS are around L$1200 per month; I'll gladly join Michel & Beathan in paying a share of that, as I think supporting citizenship for artisans is a splendid idea.

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Post by Moon Adamant »

Good idea, Beathan and al :)

Some comments:

There is a budget to pay the buildings of CN. Some of the builders are working by token payments (tipically L$1 per build) - such as Jon, Sudane and myself - and the others are not. These will be payed through the budget.

Anyway, the foundation proposed resembles in some way, i think, Jon's proposal for the New Guild. This proposal states that the Guild shall have finantial autonomy, and land. That land could be set to different functions: sandbox, communal shop, school - why not also houses?

Hoping as i do that our proposal goes on, nevertheless - if the foundation does instead, or if you set a private thing - count me in for a contribution :)

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Post by Jon Seattle »

1. I think offering some sort of land award to Tony (say, though private contributions) is a great idea. I would surely contribute.

2. You should realize however, that Tony did gain several things though his voluntary involvement. In particular the opportunity to do a larger project with friendly critique from several master builders and the building materials (prims) needed to do such a project. He gave his labor, in part, is exchange for the opportunity to refine his skills.

CSDF has proposed a bill to help formalize this exchange of labor for education that is such an important part of our future. Our bill would reform the Guild in such a way as to provide an organizational framework for this kind of education and could well administer a scholarship / land fund.

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Post by Beathan »

Justice --

I agree that this could be done without government action. However, because of the tie to public works and improvements, I think that government involvement is important. Also, I didn't want to be accused of trying load up the electorate by importing partisan immigrants by subsidizing them. However, your specific mechanism for this project is by far the best one, I think. I would call it the Foundation for Apprentice and Journeyman Builders -- or perhaps the Free and Accepted Builders (but that is the Mason in me talking).

Jon -

I'm glad to hear that care has been taken for current workers and volunteers. Given the character of the people running the projects, I expected nothing less. However, as you point out, I see nothing wrong with expanding the benefits of labor to include citizenship by land ownership purchased with grant money. Also, a further goal of this proposal is to encourage immigration of skilled citizens. This should help us develop a strong SL economy, allowing us to transition into a healthy virtual state and away from a "debate society". (Note, I don't think we are a debate society, but the criticism has been made. As Pel notes, one of the best counterarguments would be to have more going on -- such as a thriving economy -- than just political jockeying, theorizing and argument.)

Moon --

I know relatively little about the proposal to reform the Guild, but from what I do know, my proposal should work in tandem with yours, and should not supplant it. The Guild provides services to skilled citizens, who become members of the Guild. My proposal provides incentives for skilled people to become citizens -- increasing the membership and therefore the use and influence of the Guild. At least, this is how I hope things would work -- and I would be willing to make any changes needed to accomplish that. Perhaps the Foundation could be under the authority and administration of the Guild? Perhaps the Guild steps in completely -- through its apprenticeship program -- owning land as a "Temple of Labor" or "Apprentice Hall", and apprentice and journeyman laborers could be citizens through that guild group. I'm offering this Bill up as an idea -- not as a personal project over which I would have personal control or through which I could create a niche for myself. Frankly, I think others would do the job of recruiting apprentices and providing for their training, care and feeding better than I could.

Beathan

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Post by Brian Livingston »

I fully support this foundation and would be pleased to lend financial support as well.

--BL

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Post by Chicago Kipling »

I understand to some degree your concerns about making it an NGO, Beathan, but I think I have to agree with Justice here. While an NGO introduces the complexity of seeming mixed electoral motives that can easily be addressed by funneling applications through a diverse approval board. My concern is that the introduction of government to the process opens the door to long debates that do little but tie up the time of you and others who wish to help people.

Definitely a good idea. I don't think it would be bad to have both a guild and a private foundation working towards the same end.

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Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

I support this initiative as well and would be willing to lend economic support to it. I think however that it should be incorporated under the auspices of the Guild as it is only natural that those who maintain the day to day contact with creative talent are also those best positioned to know to whom it would be relevant to extend the offer of residence and land grant.

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Post by Ranma Tardis »

[quote="Diderot Mirabeau":3pegno3r]I support this initiative as well and would be willing to lend economic support to it. I think however that it should be incorporated under the auspices of the Guild as it is only natural that those who maintain the day to day contact with creative talent are also those best positioned to know to whom it would be relevant to extend the offer of residence and land grant.[/quote:3pegno3r]

The Guild is for all purposes gone, tango uniform, gone to the choir unseen, pushing up the daisies or in other words past tense. Sundane is the only one left. Rumor has it that she had ejected all of the other members. She is the only one left.
Most of the CDS wants to transfer the remaining function. If it has not already been done, thus the Guild is not available to help.

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Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

I mean The New Guild (Tm) as proposed by the CSDF :-)

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