Capitalism

Debt as Wages and Steve Jobs

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By Rebecca Dalmas

debts wagesI read this article here, about capitalism. The part where debt was used to allow for declining wages, as, according to the article, began in the 70’s here in America, shows how we perceptually revalue things, as an ability within each of us. In this case, in this article, the measure of earnings and money lending, used resources and labor and reconfigured it is such a way to allow greater amounts of money to accumulate into the hands of a few. No doubt, the law industry also benefitted from this, as schemes were ordered, constructed to support that change via that measure of using debt to pay wages.

And the media, as this was running full steam by the time we hit the 70’s , filled in the dreams of what one could do within taking out loans and building that home. All the while, as one is so occupied with the dream, the hope, the desire, that looking at how debt was being used to pay wages was not noticed. Were it , and perhaps there was the lone whistle blower that had no space to voice their concerns, as the media was already owned by those who had accumulated enough wealth to construct lending structures that were a means of hiding lowering wages.

What is astounding is the obvious in all of this. This means that humans are the means to investigate form and ‘ pull on the stings of formation’ in time and space, and that no one human being can be more than another in this system, as all parts are needed to do what is a form that is devious by definition and presented as a false positive. Hence, no few can own anything that is the structural foundation of being a living person on this earth.

This reminds me of what Steve Jobs was quoted to have said towards the very end of his life. He said that what he owned and the power he had were meaningless. These were things he could not take with him. It was the connection to others, that was the value. Hence he realized the value was being, was living, was being present here. He realized that this game that we have all accepted and allowed of winning power and things, is the illusion. And as we see, within the debt use of wage support and the slight of hand going on behind the racing to win a home ONLY,  is game we as a collective accept and allow that is not what is best for us. The consequence of this game, is that the debt is now the elephant in the room, and the laborers, the ones that are the parts that built this, are too expensive and can be replaced by automation, leaving fewer jobs. This leaves fewer possibilities for humans to realize their value, which is to interact with others and do what men can do, which is to come up with new ways of doing things, as a group, because this is how this is done, on this planet where resources cannot be owned unless it is believed to be a truth, when it is not. Steve Jobs makes this clear.

A basic income, a Living Income Guarantee , would be to realize that value Steve Jobs was talking about. Perhaps, he would still have discovered with the many others he discovered with, his discoveries would have happened, yet they would have happened in tandem with really living the value being life; meaning he would have had the time to discover and investigate and come up with new ways of doing things, and spend time enjoying his family and his community and the many values on this earth, as the plants and the animals, and the soils. Obviously, Steve jobs does not exist alone, he is a part of the whole. And, perhaps he is the consequence of what came before, birthed into existence as the sum of development that existed before him. This would mean that he is you , he is life in another form. If he is this, as this is how this works, this is a movement, in a way, that is a celebration of life. It is such a huge and great thing; it means that the value of creation is being and playing with what is formed and realizing in word and deed and thought,  that we create what is here, and it is all of us working together that is the value.

It is time to remove this pyramid scheme of inequality to life. It is time to realize that poverty is a crime against life. It is time to realize, in deed and systemic form that war is a crime, it is destructive as it is not transformative – it is not using what men can do  in constructive ways to create a world where life on this earth is dignified in and as the practice of realizing the value is being here, interacting with others, realizing their perspective to build awareness and to come up with new ways of doing things that improve and respect this physical manifestation of life. We can do this, we can stand together, as we have done, and stand as what is best for all. It is said that one cannot know what is outside of one’s awareness, yet the steps forward are visible, one needs only take that step to see the next. I mean, this is how this is done! Support a Living Income Guarantee. Time to create a systemic form that is the voice and structure of realizing the value is being life.

 

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The Capital is Mine

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By Sylvia Gerssen

Capitalism - Living Income Guaranteed

 

We’re all trying to find ways to let the “Capital be Mine”, or better said, to let Capitalism work for us. Over the years we’ve been able to witness how that played out in all parts of our daily life. Proponents of Capitalism, as we know it today, say that greed has been used to place Capitalism within a pejorative context. When we look at the definition of Capitalism in the Merriam-Webster dictionary it’s written that Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market. Wikipedia adds the factor of profit as a characteristic of Capitalism when they say that this system in which trades, industries and the means of production are largely or entirely privately owned and operated for profit. That makes Capitalism into a deadly and doomed cocktail of competition and profit where the fittest will survive and the majority is submitted to wage labor and slaves of the components that are in power within society.

The 21th century is marked by Capitalism, which could work in theory and on paper, though we’re still slaves of masters as if we were still in times of Feudalism. Back in the Middle Ages between the 9th and 15th century we had Feudalism as our economic system, which was a way of structuring society around relationships, derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labor. We we’re not free citizens that were able to do exactly that what we wanted. When Capitalism emerged from Feudalism it looked like we had more freedom. We were all able to invest money in order to make a profit and become rich, which then resulted into wanting to make money through profit as an end in itself.

Capitalism which is an economic system has now almost turned into a religion, we believe strongly that one day the Capital will be ours on the back of another, if we follow the rules or rites of Capitalism. Free market processes will emerge where anything can be sold from a pair of panties to the air that we breathe and the water that we drink to stay alive. When we add the survival of the fittest to it we know we’ll be heading on the road to greed. Greed, that according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary means an intense desire for wealth or possessions. They add to not let greed for riches control you and that’s exactly what we’re controlled by, through denial or acceptance. Greed exists in all of us to a greater or lesser extent. Some of us can control it, others are out of control without any form of regret. We’re a product of our own Capitalistic product and we see it as normal, the norm to live by. We see money as our God to turn to and to comfort us. When we’re deprived of money we feel as if God is punishing us, we’re not worthy. So we need to become greedy, monsters without regret to become the fittest to survive.

This Capitalistic religion was carried out through the world by means of Globalization though Imperialism in the 19th century. Capitalism was spreading like an oil stain in the ocean and still a product that third world countries would like to have or invite to their country, without looking at the Trojan horse effect that Capitalism in fact has. When inviting Capitalism, the countries religion will be changed and it’s money will be worshipped from now on. It’s almost like a STD, first you indulge and enjoy before you can even grasp the consequences.

When we look at how we’ve given away our directive principle when it comes to money, and how most of us have become the 99% , we can see that institutes like banks are the pubic louses in our crotch that we allow to feast while thinking that we were the ones that had a great party. Capitalism by the means of Globalization has brought us a banking system that infected the entire Capitalistic system where we think that eternal growth is the norm and greed is a virtue. Our banking system consist of people, people who know that they can make fortunes once they are in and at the same time know they can be out on the streets any time the system wants to eject them for not being the best money maker for the bank. This way of thinking as a reward system stimulates and enlarges the mechanism of the survival of the fittest where it is a breeding place for greed without regret. The bankers that took the world to the 2008 crisis are still not having regret and are looking back at a great time and many opportunities. And why do they not have any regret? Because we allow them to be greedy and take, we rewarded them with bail outs and sent them the message that they can get away with their behavior while we stay put, which isn’t a surprise when we know the same greed is within all of us. So in a way we look with jealousy in our eyes how the bankers can get away with it while not directly getting why we allow it and have not yet come with solid solutions to turn the tide.

We can even see that the political arena has become a springboard for politicians to end up in the banking sector earning triple the salary they had and handing over their influential service record to the banks. Corporations use the same trick to get influential people inside their organizations to guarantee immunity and build a facade of trust with these public figures that are trusted by the greater public. We can conclude that our global banking system is the tumor within Capitalism. In order to get a form of Capitalism that is great on paper and great in real life we do not only have to get rid of the tumor, but also see that the cause of the cancer is our greediness and thus clear that point.

Clearing this point of greediness includes that we as humanity have to become responsible citizens again. We have to take responsibility for ourselves as well as for ourselves as a group. We can’t depend on the few that are profiting from our Capitalistic system; we need to build a system where all can have a foundation even if we’re not the fittest. At the same time it would be irrational to say that Capitalism isn’t working when certain parts of Capitalism are sucking the blood out of the system. We can come up with economical systems that would work so much better, but absolutely not ready to implement within our current society. In times like this we do not need fantasies of what could be, there is no time to reminisce about things. We’re living within a time that is screaming for direction and cooperation. We need to be willing to not only go for our own greed, but also go for the greater good.

What if we, for the time being, keep Capitalism and “inject life into capitalism” as Marlen Vargas Del Razo said in a life Google hangout. We could rebuild our society with the use of cooperatives where its members, we the people, own the ‘company’, make revenue which strengthens the cooperatives and goes straight to its members. So after expenses each member gets a part of the money the ‘company’ makes, which would be called profit within Capitalism and surplus within a cooperative. Capitalism is close related to the cooperative’s way of making money and that makes it easy to start thinking about Cooperative Capitalism. Where we can bring communal sense back into society, learn from each other, support each other, volunteer and make money. Making a cooperative web of support avoiding the need for greediness. Cooperation on all levels of society to make ourselves ready for the next step and smoothly shift into another economic system like for instance a Living Income Guaranteed.

Capital is mine can then evolve in Capital is mine and yours, because no one should be without any form of support. It’s very simple, what if you become me one day or I become you and end up less fortunate? Do we want to be forgotten, do we want to be looked at with disgust and eyes full of hatred, because we might have inflicted our misfortune upon ourselves. Every being needs a hand that reaches out to them no matter how or why they got themselves in the situation they’re in. We can take our authority in our own hands again, we can cooperate because we are inherently social beings living in groups, why not use such a trait and make a ‘profit’ out of it for the betterment of all? The world only needs a yes from you and things could change in ways you can’t believe right now. Blinded by survival we’ve lost touch with ourselves and our surroundings while the Capital, real life, has always been waiting for us. We can take the Capital; we may take it and in return give it equally to others. The Capital is ours!

 

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The Math is Simple: We Need a Living Income Guaranteed

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By Kelly Posey

 

Did the math - we need LIGSo I am going through my college classes, math in particular, so going over things like fractions and rations and linear equations. Being that I am now over 30 and have been living life for a while and not just fresh out of high school, and not still living at home with parents, I have actually practically applied a lot of this math within my day to day living, within things like budgeting mainly. And as I go through the course, this is actually the practical application that is shown for this math – is that it is useful for doing your own personal budgeting and such.


So we have here in this math a really cool and useful tool to be utilized in the distribution of resources and goods to everyone, the things that we need and use on a daily basis in our lives. It has helped me to figure out whether or not I can afford certain things, and just how much I can afford to pay in rent for a place to live for example. The problem comes in however when your numbers just don’t add up to being enough to provide you what you need.


It seems strange that we would allow such problems to exist where individuals can be faced with not having enough to cover all our basic needs, where no matter how you do the math, there is just no solution. You would think that we humans don’t even grasp the simplest of math to see that for so many it doesn’t add up. It’s even stranger still that there are those who would seem to even deny that such a situation exists and would imply that it is simply due to individuals not managing their money properly or living ‘within their means. But there is a bottom line that if your income is below that, you just don’t have enough and no amount of money management is going to solve that.

 

stress-worry-mental-instability-poverty-parental-stress-living-income-guaranteed_thumbInteresting that we are taught this math in school to help us with finances but not really taught that ‘hey- you might end up not actually having enough to pay all your bills though.’ I mean, maybe I would have geared up and gone to college right after high school instead of taking my chances with the ‘real world’ and trying to go straight into getting a job, if I’d had any idea that pretty much the only jobs I would have access to would be those that don’t pay enough. At the time, I was afraid to incur a huge college tuition loan, when I didn’t really even yet know what I wanted to do with my life. But if I had known that in the end I would be no better off than I was 10+ years ago, maybe I would have had a different perspective.
However, even then, it is still a numbers game. Even if you have a degree, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you won’t still end up in one of those jobs that doesn’t pay enough. Because over time, those types of jobs have been increasing, and the better paying jobs decreasing. The ones that provide better pay, decent benefits, paid leave, or any leave at all, and maybe some kind of retirement, or even pay raises. When we have heard politicians say they are making more jobs, we should have asked what kind of jobs? Ones that actually will support us? Or treat us as cheap labor?


Our economy is screaming for a Basic Income program like the
Living Income Guaranteed. Just look at the numbers. I see more and more homeless on the streets literally every day. I am approached more and more frequently by individuals asking for some money. I see more and more shops closing and vacant buildings. The signs are all around and I don’t want to wait to see how bad it gets. If we are not going to make sure that we have enough jobs that pay enough, then we need a proper support system to make sure everyone has enough for a decent life.

It only costs us more to try and help individuals once they aren’t being effectively supported by the system. We have so many costly programs that only exist to try and help the problem after it’s already been created, that often still aren’t enough to keep people on their feet. It is much more cost effective to prevent causing problems that need to be cleaned up. The numbers don’t lie so it’s about time we listen to them and make sure that everyone really is in a position to effectively work out a proper budget.

 

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What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? Part 2

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By Josh Richert

 

Continuing from the last blog , CSR is more of a global initiative that is being implemented, encouraged, and directed by various organizations as well as the UN to encourage corporate responsibility towards a common ‘good’.  One of those organizations is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).  From their website:

“The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a leading organization in the sustainability field. GRI promotes the use of sustainability reporting as a way for organizations to become more sustainable and contribute to sustainable development.”

So, we have CSR which is a global initiative of corporate self-governance to encourage corporation to both regulate themselves and report on themselves in regards to changing and implementing business practices for the common good, such as making products that are environmentally friendly, avoiding slave and child labor, giving back to communities, etc.  In order to implement the CSR and encourage it worldwide, organizations like GRI have been created.  But there are other bodies in addition to GRI, such as the Integrated International Reporting Council.
The IIRC produced a
Discussion Paper in 2011 from which the feedback demonstrated overwhelming support for Integrated Reporting and endorsed the development of a global Framework. It also concluded that the primary audience of integrated reports is investors in order to aid their allocation of financial capital.

And then we also have the United Nations Global Impact, from there website:

“The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning with ten universally accepted principles for human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
​The UN Global Compact and GRI signed an agreement in May 2010 to align their work in advancing corporate responsibility and transparency. As part of this agreement, GRI will develop guidance regarding the
Global Compact’s ten principles and integrate UNGC issue areas into the next iteration of its Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. The UNGC will adopt the GRI Guidelines as the recommended reporting framework for the more than 5800 businesses that have joined the world’s largest corporate responsibility platform.”

So, what I am getting at here is establishing the framework of what exactly CSR is, and from what I can see, CSR not a set of global laws, but a set of global initiatives for specifically international corporations to voluntarily adhere to (and arguably for their own good such as increasing market share and profitability due to increased consumer awareness of their ‘ethical and altruistic’ business practices) with the intent to improve living conditions for those living on this planet (a.k.a. the ‘common good’) through encouraging corporate responsibility to those living on this planet, of whom are commonly referred to as the ‘stakeholders.’ 

The guidelines, encouragement, and implementation for these standards are managed by various organizations, including GRI, UNGC, and IIRC, to name a few.  These organizations have created what is commonly referred to as ‘sustainability reports’ with specific guidelines and standards in specific categories such as human resources, environmental concerns, supply chain concerns (i.e. labor), philanthropy, volunteering, etc. wherein corporations are encouraged to report on each category based upon specific standards created by these organization.

But is this ‘global initiative’ of corporate ‘self-regulation’ for the common ‘good’ really effective?
Well, one interesting article from Nov 2012 found on the CSR-reporting website sheds some interesting light on that topic.  As a direct quote from the article:

banarra consistency

“Let me just repeat that so it’s clear:

Labor Indicators: 86% of companies claim they report and only 11% actually do.

Human Rights Indicators: 62% of companies claim they report and only 20% actually do.”

This research reveals a significant difference between claims made in GRI Sustainability Reporting and what actually gets reported (which was unpublished research as of November 17 2012 that was conducted by the Vienna Team in collaboration with Middlesex University London lead by Dr. Sepideh Parsa and Dr. Ian Roper); wherein we can see that the vast majority of corporations are reporting falsehoods, are reporting inaccurately, or claim to be reporting but are not even reporting at all.

Why so?  Well, I would venture that this would be expected for the following: Regardless of the motive, whether it be ultraistic or self-serving, for a corporation to self-regulate and comply with CSR reporting, the bottom line is that those with a controlling interest in these corporations, the shareholders, are looking for maximum returns on their investments which means that the corporations profit comes first, and that the consequences of the corporate actions come second.  Thus, if it is more profitable to ‘cheat’ on the CSR reporting then that is what will happen. Furthermore, if complying with CSR initiatives threatens the survival of corporations then that would be reason and justification for corporations to not allow any reporting (tell on itself in essence) that would undermine its ability to survive.  Another reason is that the shareholders are not stakeholders usually and thus are not really feeling the consequences of the corporate practices and thus it is easy to turn a blind eye and ignore the inconsistencies in the CSR reporting by the corporations they own.

 

So, what we are left here with is an interesting dynamic and that is: the corporations are left with finding the right balance between making their CSR reports – which of course is considered to be a competitive advantage – and also keeping profits up as much as possible in order to appease their shareholders and so ensure their survival and continued existence.  I mean, this is a real test of self-honesty even on an individual level in that, would you tell on yourself / disclose your secrets to another if that meant that it may imply that you would lose money, profits and make you less competitive?  So, that balancing point is where the company can be transparent and honest, yet still keep profits up within a satisfactory zone all at the same time.  Thus, this means for most companies that they are going to have fudge the numbers to make this work. This is just plain common sense.

 

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How can we change the system to ensure that corporations will report accurately and make significant changes to their practices that will benefit all / the stakeholders? 

Obviously there needs to be a change in the frame-work of the system because with the way the system is set-up now, there will be no true corporate responsibility taken by corporations as it really is not in their best interest, ultimately, as evidenced by the poor participation in reporting and making real changes thus far.  Thus, the framework of the economic system needs to be adjusted in a way that the corporations still work within self-interest / making profits but yet that self-interest will lead them to make real changes.  The economic system itself must change because the alternative to changing the system and attempting to police or enforce such a code of ethics would literally be impossible on a global scale within the realization that there just is not enough man-power, time, and ways and means to really be able to get inside the corporations and ensure their compliance.  Thus, the compliance must be considered essential to corporations, by corporations, for their survival – just as non-compliance is in essence essential to their survival now – and that will only be achieved by making some adjustments to the economic system.

Another point to consider, is that within the current economic structure, how can we even trust that CSR / eco-friendly / socially responsible measures taken by environmental groups and NGO’s are always working in our / the general populace / the stakeholders and the Earth’s best interest? 

There is strong evidence, if one spends any  time researching this point, that the CSR and Green concepts have been used to corner markets, drive commodity prices up, control resources and markets, and pass oppressive laws or push for potentially oppressive laws such as the ‘carbon tax’ scheme / meme.  It can be argued that this CSR movement has been used as a platform to create memes that the populace accepts as accurate and for their good to then lobby for ‘eco-friendly’ government policies that are really more like ‘Trojan Horses’ that when enforced actually play into the hand of those behind the scenes seeking profit and further oppressing the people.  There is strong evidence that the very corporations themselves use the environmental movement to control prices, markets, and resources.  The oil companies often times fund the very environmental movements that they appear to be in opposition to, as an example.

In sum, CSR and the related green movements are all well and needed, but within the current economic system structure, these initiative and movements are either ineffective or used to manipulate and control markets for the benefits of the shareholders and not the stakeholders.

Back to the question: how can we change our system to ensure that corporations will report accurately and actually make real changes upon themselves within a point of self-regulation?  The answer to this question is not simply in the details, yet it is simple within the point of considering how our economic system is currently structured.  So, there are a couple of points to consider here:

1.  LIG.  A Living Income Guaranteed needs to be initiated.  So, I ask the question: Who ultimately is in control of the corporations?  Answer: Those who buy their products and services, within the point that if corporations lose their customer base, they may cease to exist / go out of business.  So, ultimately, who is the corporation appeasing within all of its activities?  The customer. 

Even within the degree of fraud and manipulation in reporting and green movements today, the customer is ultimately in mind.  It’s like an abusive relationship.  If one party in relationship can ‘get away’ with it, they will, and they will continue to do, so long as the desired relationship stays intact.  However, once that relationship is threatened, the abuser will change his/her behavior in order to save the relationship, if possible.  And even if that change of behavior is within self-interest, the change will still be made in a way that will benefit all parties if the abused decides to no longer take the stance as the abused and force the abuser to change within that stance.

Thus, how do we get the people to take that stand? 

Right now, we as the people / the ‘stakeholders’, are not taking that stand that says ‘no you don’t.  You will not abuse the resources and the people for the sake of your own profit.’  And the primary reason is that most people only have enough money to meet basic survival needs as most people are existing in the bottom level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.   However, if people have enough money, they will move beyond survival and then start really looking at how to make themselves and this world a better place.

You see, right now, most people are only able to shop for things based upon price.  It may matter in the back of someone’s mind about all the abuses that were required to bring that product to market at that price, but if that is all one is able to afford and that is what one needs – that product will be bought regardless.  You see, corporations have us at our knees right now within the principle of ‘beggars cannot be choosers.’  The general populace simply does not have the money to truly vote with their money and thus corporations do not have to really answer to the consumer or the environment because either way, we are still buying from them.

Thus, a LIG will enable the populace to start voting with their money so long as we are able to structure it in a way that the LIG will lift people enough out of poverty to do so.  The LIG will create a new pool of money found in the common man zone, instead of only in the upper echelons where the shareholders of corporations primarily are.  The shareholders have so much money that they are disconnected with the realities on the ground and the abuses therein. Shareholders are concerned with increasing their wealth.  That is why they are shareholders in the first place.  Thus, an LIG will equalize that playing field in giving the common man voting rights with their money and thus lifting them up into a form of ‘shareholder’ as well as their existing status of stakeholder.

2.  Dare I say Nationalization?  Let’s call it: Converting Stakeholders (the common man) to Shareholders.  And let’s start with nationalization of essential resources and perhaps the energy sector.  Through nationalization, stakeholders will suddenly become shareholders of the resources that corporations use to bring energy, raw materials such as lumber, food, and water to market for consumption.  That means that wealthy hidden elite will not be in control behind the scenes in a way to increase their profits at the expense of us all.  That also means that people living within the borders of each country will suddenly have the wealth of these resources and thus will be able to sell or trade these natural resources to other countries or corporations. 
Once established, we can hold a democratic Internet voting system, in the form of a liquid democracy, accessible to the people / the citizens of certain geographic areas – to vote for how they would like the natural resources to be handled.

If this were to occur, then corporations would have to change their ways to conform to the laws of the land regarding these resources, because the owners of the resources, the people, will demand it; or these corporations would have to go somewhere else where these nationalizations have not occurred, YET.  Can anyone give me a good reason why ‘nationalization’ of the resources would be so demonized and how actually benefits from the demonization of the concept of nationalization?

 

3.  Increase Awareness: This is already happening in the CSR / Green movements.  This needs to continue and then be streamlined into a unified movement that is brought to everyone’s attention.  Thus, when people have the money through LIG and have ownership of the resources through Nationalization: they will make better decisions / votes as to how to manage them.

Within this public awareness that needs to be increased, as well as we need to de-polarize the movement and bring it into a practical point of consideration where we all as one see, realize, and understand the consequences and implications of our actions within the current state of affairs, within a fact-based platform.   As compared to where we are now, which has this CSR / ECO / Social awareness movement polarized between left and right / liberal vs. conservative, where the left embraces this movement and anything that comes with this movement, even the manipulated aspects of this movement that are contrived by certain groups to corner markets and drive up prices etc., and the right which rejects this movement in its entirety.

Thus within this polarization, all are consumed with the energy of right verses wrong and not are looking at the practical points that are right here in front of us.  I mean, we do have a garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean that is the size of the United States, don’t we?  Can’t we start discussions on these points without getting all polarized into groups based on right vs. wrong?  So, the depolarization of this movement needs to occur so that people can start looking at this practically, and within that we can start really creating solutions that can be implemented through laws or mandates or simply the influence carried out with the populace who now has money through LIG or part ownership of at least the natural resources.

Once this is in place, corporations will have no other choice but to make decisions that are best for all in their practices or else face the prospect of going extinct / out of business.  Let’s do this.

 

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What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

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By Josh Richert

You, like me, may have heard of the growing trend for companies and primarily large international corporations to work towards producing products and services that are provided in a way that is environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.  This is commonly referred to as the ‘green movement’ and other terms associated with this would be terms such as ‘carbon footprint’, ‘sustainability’, and ‘eco-friendly.’  But did you know that there exist actual laws and regulations that are designed to direct this movement?  Well, I did not know this until recently, although it would make sense that there must be, as any social or business movement or trend in thinking in our world requires a ‘force’ either behind the scenes or overt to lead the charge and pave the way.

CSROne of these entities is CSR, which stands for Corporate Social Responsibility and also called Business for Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Responsible Business, Enlightened Capitalism, Ethical Business, Triple Bottom Line, Green Business, Corporate Citizenship, Responsible Business, Social Enterprise, etc.   As it stands today, CSR is a form of a built-in self-regulating mechanism whereby businesses can monitor and ensure that their activities comply with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, social and environmental impact, governance considerations and international norms of behavior for the ‘common good’.  The goal of CSR is to have corporations embrace these responsibilities and thus encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, customers, employees, and communities which are commonly referred to as ‘stakeholders’.   CSR is regulated by the UN and other international bodies and is a global movement.

The evolution of CSR is that it came into our collective consciousness in response to the connection between apartheid and business in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s, which resulted in negative screens on these companies.  Activists responding to slavery, extraction, exploitation, and environmental degradation due to business practices began exposing the inconsistencies between these businesses as to what they present to society and what their actual impact is.  Today, the term CSR implies a responsibility but actually acts as a competitive advantage in that many business leaders are recognizing that these issues can have serious impacts on their companies due to the growing awareness of how products are made, who suffers, if the environment suffers as a consequence to how they are produced which results in consumers avoided their products if their business practices are too ‘bad’. 

Thus, today, many companies today implement CSR into their business model to give them a competitive advantage to gain access to capital, attract talent, gain consumer loyalty, and increase shareholder value just to name a few.

business ethics LIG

 

Even though CSR is recognized as a voluntary self-regulation, stock exchanges across the globe are beginning to require reporting on the non-financial impacts of a company’s activities.  There are a group of standards from which a company can measure their CSR initiatives: ISO 26000, Global Reporting Initiative (FRI), AccountAbility 1000, and Social Accountability International SA8000 to name a few.

Over the years, corporate philanthropy has been widely recognized as the leading tactic for CSR.  Other tactics include human rights initiatives, community investment, natural and organic products, sustainable development, fair trade, green products, responsible investments, diversity, clean technology, among others.  Companies interested in communicating their CSR initiatives use CSRWire.com as the dominant vehicle in distributing information on their initiatives.

The overall goal and intent of CSR is to develop an economically just and environmentally sustainable society.  But, is this really working out as intended?  And even if so, is it fast enough to curb the current level of environmental degradation and social and labor abuses that we are now witnessing on this planet from the current business practices of corporations, before it’s too late and we have consequences that will affect us all, or at least the vast majority of us, in a highly ‘negative’ way? 

Is CSR and other initiatives and regulations like this a real solution or just a band-aid?  And are these initiatives really for the common good or are they being used to consolidate control at the top by slowly but surely enforcing more and more control and regulations on companies?  And within our current economic system of capitalism and its current structure, is it really possible to have a significant effect on the environment by implementing a top-down approach, such as CSR, to dealing with these issues, or is a bottom-up approach more affective?  And what is and would be a bottom-up approach?  And can a bottom-up approach be implemented in a capitalist system?  And what is capitalism anyway?

These questions will be answered in my next writings.  So, stay tuned.

 

Money or profit

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Living On Stolen Money – Decision or Consequence?

Posted on Updated on

By Viktor Person

Crimes Criminality LIG Living IncomeA life of crime is two-part documentary (I’ve posted embeds of the videos in the bottom of the post), where a filmmaker follows some criminals during two periods in their lifetime. The first time he meets them they are in their late twenties and still quite strong and vigorous, and they are sustaining themselves through shoplifting. In part two he meets them when they are in their middle thirties and life has begun to take a toll on them.

What is so interesting about this documentary is that it reveals the mindset of the criminals, the WHY of their decision to become criminals. Several times throughout the documentary they exclaim that they are able to make much more money through stealing than through having a regular job. Working one day as a shoplifter makes them around 3000 dollars, while working one day at McDonald’s makes them about 80 dollars. Thus, what is clear is that these people are not driven by some form of bad moral, or psychopathic desire to cause harm to others. No – in-fact these shoplifters are economist’s showing to us what kind of consequences our current economic system create.

It’s obvious that thieves, shoplifters and burglars are not an incident or mishap, they are consequence, they are not an anomaly, they are a predictable outcome – the result of an equation. For those of us that have led a life of money, it’s hard to relate to and understand what goes through a person’s mind when he or she decides to become professional shoplifter, because most of us born in economically stable environments would perceive it as immoral, wrong and barbarian. However, for someone born at the very low end of the hierarchy theft and a criminal life is a way of escaping a permanent sentence to a life poverty, and hard work.

Economists would probably agree with me, because it’s simple mathematics, when there is no support for those at the bottom, no hope for a better life, no ability to rise and build a life for oneself, then crime is a way out = supply and demand = cause and effect = problem and consequence.

Thus, realize, when crime rise, it’s not something bad, it’s actually an indication that something is very, very wrong with society, and that there are some drastic changes required. Realize that when prisons are filled to the brim with people, then we have a sick society, and that sickness can be traced back to the unequal distribution of money and resources.

This is where we require embracing a paradigm shift, because in order to make our lives better, our society more safe, our life experiences more rewarding, we must learn to give – we must learn to give, as we’d like to receive. Most of us have extremely difficult to grasp this concept, and when confronted with it, we shiver and turn inside, immediately out of our mouths comes the statements that “it’s unfair!” – “they should work for their money!” – “we can’t change that!” – “there will always be crime!” – but see, this is not common sense, this is assumptions, ideas, projections, and in actuality useless opinions that have no significance in terms of how reality actually works.

The fact is that, when we make the decision to give all an equal opportunity to make something worthwhile of themselves in this world, we are doing ourselves a significant favor. We will in doing that release so much pressure, fear, and society will become a completely different place, where crime will be significantly less.

One of the solutions we’re able to implement is a minimum wage, and not just any minimum wage, but a big minimum wage with which one can buy luxurious items, start a family and make one’s life comfortable and enjoyable. Manual labor such as working for McDonald’s, or similar, shouldn’t be awarded with a salary that merely puts one on the breadline. Instead dedicating oneself to contributing to society should be awarded amply; it should be more profitable to live honestly than to make living as a criminal.

So, the key to designing a successful society is to ask us the question WHY? Because everything that happens in this world does so for a reason – our physical reality is filled with equations and these in turn produce various results, and through changing the variables, we’ll change the result.

Investigate the Living Income Guaranteed and allow yourself to step up and become a social engineer, question the movement of your daily life, what happens, why it happens, and how it could be changed in such a way that all are included. Because it’s clear that – there are SOLUTIONS – we must simply be brave enough to see and apply them.


 

 

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Living Capitalism

Posted on Updated on

By Barbara Stängl

Problem:

This has become the one system that we have come to live by whether one calls it socialism, communism, democracy or any other ideology that we harbor in our minds as a system we submit ourselves to in the belief that one cannot avoid being ruled by it, driven by the fear of ourselves taking responsibility for ourselves as all that is within this existence and standing up for who we are in it and as it.

One must realize that socialism as it is lived as communism is capitalism in disguise, because the focus is on money, on capital, on the survival through money, the imprint of money on the people in similar ways as in ‘free market’ capitalism, with no actual freedom of trade and only the few on top, the 1% pocketing 95% of the profits. Capitalism is a state of being captivated by money expressed by the desire for more stuff or for more profit, more power and control, basically the greed for more. It is the cap of the pyramid where the base is comprised of the natural resources and the human resources – life and resources that have been misappropriated and abused for the very few on top – though with each and everyone focusing on being part of the top, the cap, those being superior over the ones underneath, having it made in acceptance of the disadvantage of others, the abuse of all ‘inferior’, thus each accepts the struggle for superiority on the given terms of capitalism, the competition and fight for survival.

Be as HappyAbuse and suffering is accepted and allowed in every second all over the world on all levels and dimensions, but strangely humanity doesn’t consider changing it. Most support it and will defend it rigorously as if we had been brainwashed into believing we do and will not question capitalism. It is not a natural state as proclaimed by Darwin as the fight for survival of the fittest, which is being put forward and maintained as a justification to one’s resistance to change the system and allow everything as it is – in a ‘don’t worry be happy’ mentality of those that are able to stand in the system in some way or another based on the fear of losing the little one has painstakingly earned or fearing actually having to limit oneself in one’s perceived right to consume because ‘I can afford to’, ‘I worked for it’.

 

2841160Thus we are willing to accept the majority of the beings on this planet crying out in pain and suffering each second of the day, a second-by-second holocaust for the majority of beings in this existence for our own comfort and the comfort zone of our minds. To be clear: We are actually accepting and allowing mass murder, rape, child abuse, victimization, starvation, animal abuse, deliberate infliction of pain and suffering for the promise of money at the end of the week or month. For printed paper that doesn’t even actually belong to us, as is stated by the banks, the agreed upon value of which can be nullified at any moment. How brainwashed are we? How dumb can we be? How little common sense do we have left, if at all?

 

Child AbuseThere are not many who realize that we’re dealing with a man-made creation which we are able to change so that every one being is considered and taken care of. And even if we do realize it, we have more immediate things to do in the moment, continue with what is due in our jobs, then get groceries, the children, cook, clean and watch the news, sigh, watch a film on TV and go to bed because the job requires you to be fit, and so the whole hamster wheel routine starts all over again till we are simply too mentally and physically tired to consider any other way and ultimately we give up on questioning: Why is it that this extensive crime against Life is being allowed ‘by others’? Everything is fine as long as it doesn’t happen to my family, to myself. Some turn to religion, to some underlying superior plan and rationalize their experience and observations, or do drugs or revert to games, sex and entertainment.

 


Solution:

Caged FreedomWe must see, realize and understand that and how we have detached ourselves from this reality and ourselves. We have allowed ourselves to develop such a mistrust of the physical, of ourselves as the physical because of the identification with emotions and feelings, with energetic experiences – where we no longer comprehend what is actually real, where one is to direct one’s focus and attention to, what is of real significance, substance and value and what is of projective nature and doesn’t hold true because it’s based on fear and becomes the figments and paranoia of and as the mind.

The system is us and we as-it are holding each of us by choice prisoner to it / to ourselves as a system of ‘Life’, ‘Death’ and ‘Struggle’ – that has manifested as capitalism of ‘Grow or Die’. We must understand the brainwashing within the acceptance that suffering is a natural part of life and step out of this mental dysfunction and let go of the concept of ‘having to work for a living’, ‘having the right to work to earn a living’ and instead see that we all have a right for Life, the right of Life, because we are of Life, we are living beings. Our capital is Life, the physical resources – so all will profit in being given an equal and one opportunity to practical physical survival/living in this physical existence. We will manage and live this system through our contribution to make it work for ourselves and for all. We can capitalize on the resources of each human being contributing to life on earth.

So it is pertinent to give to all an equal right to life, which we inherently have, because we are life / of life but what we abdicated our responsibility for, we aren’t standing in self-responsibility for and as ourselves as Life. So we must all commit to a process and standing from survival to living / to Life / as Life and realize that this is something that has actually always been and always will be everyone’s equal right.

A step toward this end is to see, realize and understand one’s own ‘mind-traps’ where one goes into justifications and reasons why a new Economic System will ‘never work’ – where the excuses usually exist around ‘others will deceive’ and ‘what if ‘others won’t work equally’ or ‘what if others use the opportunity to again deceive people’ or ‘I won’t change because others won’t change’, ‘Why me first?’ One must be prepared to see how one deceives oneself and others and see what one allows oneself to be within it, what statement one is making by continuing within the secret mind, inner conversations and backchat, because that is what separates oneself within oneself, from others, the world, reality, existence, Life. It’s a process of aligning oneself with reality and becoming real and making a different statement on who one is, based on the principle of oneness and equality, of giving how one would like to receive, of true care for and consideration of Life and all living beings in this existence.

 

off_to_save_the_worldIt is to personally walk through what one perceives as the comforts of capitalism, to understand the fear behind it, wherein one allows oneself to want to hold onto things as a substitute for true ‘comfort’ as and within the physical as what is actually supportive for the body’s well-being. And so to also consider the ones that suffer, to consider walking in their shoes for a one day and within that seeing the reality of capitalism and its outgrowths of debt, poverty, horrible diseases and starvation due to corruption and greed. To then make a stand in saying ‘Stop. To here and no further!’

There is the LIG Living Income Guaranteed  platform that incorporates a life manifesto stating the living principles on which a fair system that supports all life equally can be implemented, which one is able to support and make known. It is a step toward equality with respect to one’s financial means in the system as base support to be freed up time-wise to work on aligning oneself with Life and the living principles within and as oneself and within that to speed the process for a complete implementation of the principle of oneness and equality for the best of all in form of a system that forms the structure and mechanisms of providing for all equally pertaining to a fair distribution Earth’s resources and seeing to the point of sustainability and managing added value within a ‘labor system’ that actually respects Life and allows for self-expression instead of abuse.

Living Income Guaranteed Page

Benefits and rewards:

 

People are given enough to live within a system as how it is proposed in Living Income Guaranteed. There will be no need to take on jobs that compromise you as who one is as a human being and in that there is a chance to create jobs that channel one’s self-expression and creativity, that are actually fun to do and open up innovations that are needed for the support of our planet ecologically and for health care and other fields. There would be a rebalancing of the extremes that are now allowed, because the abuse would not have to be carried out to survive due to the inequality. There will be an environment of support where there is no focus on money and survival but on a dignity of life and living. One will work toward the actual profit of a having a clean planet with clean water for all. The statement of value of each Life and living being will be made and eventually lived. Thus from such capitalism life itself will benefit, each human, the animals, nature and the earth – we capitalize on the physical resources to direct this physical existence… the system to the best outcome for all.

Investigate the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal and Join us for discussion.

 

 

Credits:

‘I worked for it’

‘Off to save the world’

‘Be as happy as possible’

‘Child abuse’