Equality

Life Isn’t Supposed to be this Hard

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By Cerise Poolman

Labor force South Africa Living Income Minimum WageI have had many conversations with people, mostly people who are in low-paying jobs without much prospects for advancement, conversations about life. The thing that everyone agrees on is that life shouldn’t be this hard. Sometimes someone might say something like “I don’t know what we can do, maybe just pray harder.” To this I will respond with something like I think that what will be more effective than prayer to make a difference is action. If we all take action together, united in the goal of making life better, then we will see great changes – and everyone agrees to this logic. I have not met one person who says “NO, action won’t change anything!” The worst thing within all of this is that this life is difficult because we make it so. The worst part is that we could change the world if we took action, but we don’t.

One of the most popular excuses I hear is that it’s “other peoples’ faults”. The world is horrible and I have a crap life because of all the a-holes in the world. There are too many people who won’t change. The world will never change when there are so many bad people. This excuse is used to justify our own inaction – because apparently any effort we make would have no results and so it’s not even worth the effort. It’s as if we’re waiting for guaranteed paths of action, unwilling to move until we are absolutely sure that what we do will actually work. In a way this is the easy way out, because standing for change means going out into the unknown, no certainty as to what lies ahead.

Here in South Africa a very large part of the workforce survives on minimum wage, well below the poverty line. A large number of people live in illegal or government housing (which doesn’t appear to be very different when you put the two next to each other). These are the people who are hurt the most by this world, who are the most vulnerable. At this stage the only ways that they can try to bring about change is through protests, sometimes violent and sometimes not. At this stage there is a diminished level of understanding as to how change can be brought about – not only by impoverished people, but by most people.

There is a serious hole in the understanding of the average citizen Joe of how the system works, and more importantly, the power that each person has. Back to South Africa, what can the impoverished and vulnerable do to change their lives? They have minimal support from public (government) and community structures – dealing with the government is like pulling teeth, but pulling the wrong one each time. These people do not know how to ask the right questions, most of the time they do not even know what their rights are and what support structures are available to them. What then can they do? They often have only limited skills in reading and writing and, if any, very limited access to public sources of knowledge such as the internet. To add to this, the leaders they are most likely to choose are the ones who stir passion in their hearts, whether the message they are giving makes sense or not. Then there is the question of those who are more privileged – how far does their responsibility extend to the underprivileged?

I would say that where one has the ability and understanding to support another then they also have the responsibility to do so. What defines ‘ability’? Resources, skills, knowledge – but to what degree? Well, let me put it this way: If you know that you can help, then it becomes your responsibility to do so. Waiting for someone else to come along and help so that you don’t have to is an abdication of your responsibility to your community – and I don’t mean ‘community’ in the smallest sense of the word, I mean it in the largest sense, the global sense.

Life isn’t supposed to be this hard. We can change it. We can help each other. We can give opportunities to each other. We can support each other to be the best we can be. It’s doesn’t start with some other guys over there – it starts with YOU and ME. WE are the change, TOGETHER we are better, stronger. We have the responsibility to support solutions that will bring heaven to Earth. We may not see the full fruits of our labours in our lifetime, but maybe our children will.

 

Promotion of and Education on a Living Income Guaranteed for South Africa.

 

Investigate the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal

Solution Oriented Mindset and LIG – “Housing First” Project

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By Garbrielle Goodrow

 

Homeless Salt Lake CityWithin then next series of blogs on the Living Income I will be discussing the solution oriented mindset of current plans and actions around the globe that are happening, and how within this capacity and even greater ones, a Living Income as proposed by the Equal Life Foundation will be able to facilitate these actions on greater scales.

An article I read tonight was about how in Salt Lake City they are implementing a change in the way they handle the homeless called “Housing First,’ where they give people an opportunity of a better life by giving them a furnished home to live in, and a more supportive environment for their transition into a new way of life. This foundational support of housing and access to health services, give them the time to be able to walk the process necessary to change their lives.

Before this program was implemented in Salt Lake City – like so many other cities – the state and police force were criminalizing homelessness and sending these unfortunate people into jail because they didn’t have a place to go. So the cycle would continue, they would arrest homeless people on the streets, in the park, or on private properties and send them to jail. Where they would get released in the morning and go back to the same locations, and then the next night would get arrested again. This obviously not making much sense nor supporting those who require support. The money that was being spent to do all of this was not being used for the purposes of supporting these people, but to put a band aid solution onto the problem that did not support either side nor was economically viable or efficient as the problem never gets solved.

“The cost of shelters, emergency-room visits, ambulances, police, and so on quickly piles up. Lloyd Pendleton, the director of Utah’s Homeless Task Force, told me of one individual whose care one year cost nearly a million dollars, and said that, with the traditional approach, the average chronically homeless person used to cost Salt Lake City more than twenty thousand dollars a year. Putting someone into permanent housing costs the state just eight thousand dollars, and that’s after you include the cost of the case managers who work with the formerly homeless to help them adjust. The same is true elsewhere. A Colorado study found that the average homeless person cost the state forty-three thousand dollars a year, while housing that person would cost just seventeen thousand dollars.” (1)

Housing First Salt Lake CitySo the cost of supporting those who are having trouble in their life versus perpetuating the same non productive cycles of using the public resources is not even making a dent on the problem, as the homeless numbers still continue to rise. Through taking the time and effort to create a plan like the one that has been implemented in Salt Lake City, it is now proven that is much more economically feasible and socially responsible to provide housing for everyone, because not only is it supporting people to create a better life, but it’s creating an environment for the community that is more equal and wholesome. No more are we seeing the problem just continue to proliferate, but there is a start of a solution put in place to support these people and in doing so also create a better life and living environment for all. These people who are getting the support of the “Housing First” program in Salt Lake City are now becoming productive citizens in their communities and are able to create a stable life for themselves and for their families.


“Housing First isn’t just cost-effective. It’s more effective, period. The old model assumed that before you could put people into permanent homes you had to deal with their underlying issues—get them to stop drinking, take their medication, and so on. Otherwise, it was thought, they’d end up back on the streets. But it’s ridiculously hard to get people to make such changes while they’re living in a shelter or on the street. ‘If you move people into permanent supportive housing first, and then give them help, it seems to work better,’ Nan Roman, the president and C.E.O. of the National Alliance for Homelessness, told me. ‘It’s intuitive, in a way. People do better when they have stability.’ Utah’s first pilot program placed seventeen people in homes scattered around Salt Lake City, and after twenty-two months not one of them was back on the streets. In the years since, the number of Utah’s chronically homeless has fallen by seventy-four per cent.” (1)

This is proving that when people are supported with a basic means to live as these people were given a place to stay and support for them to get back on a stable platform, they will thrive. A Living Income that has no strings attached and is here for their benefit will create results that not only gives dignity and health back to those who are participating in it, but it supports the whole community to flourish and become a place of growth and development.

The Living Income guarantee will work in such a way as with the Salt Lake City homeless project, supporting and living within the principle of doing what is best for all. Obviously we see when we use our resources and money to support the wellbeing of others and the wellbeing of the environment, we have results that are conducive and supportive of the upliftment of the people that need it the most: those without money or resources. And also the collateral benefit is that the community starts to thrive with less crime, less drugs and alcohol use on the streets, as well as being more vitality breathed into these places, as the homeless get their feet back on the ground and can start to contribute back to the community and feel proud within themselves for being able to do so.

 

LIG

 

People who become homeless do so for a systemic problem, either they are caught in addiction perpetuated by our consumer society, or they ran out of resources, or have mental health problems with no real options for solutions and care. So many factors cause the problem that will in turn have to be addressed on a more holistic and systemic basis, but as we see with the “Housing First” project, even small steps gives way to opening for this process to create a better life for all.

Money is a medium that is able to support growth in life into a best for all scenario as this example was set forth with the successful integration of stable housing for the homeless in Salt Lake City. On the other hand, money can be used in ways that are not supportive, where money is wasted and spent in dead end ventures due to greed and an inability to move in a direction and willingness to fix what is broken in our current system.

We have a choice and a decision to make within ourselves as to what way of life would we like, not only for ourselves, but also for the future generations that to come. Living income Guaranteed by the Equal Life Foundation is setting the path forward to, on a systematic level,  give financial support to All those who are in need of it,  which will give way to having more access to resources and time to stabilize our lives into a way that is dignified. The Living Income Proposal‘s implementation will counterbalance the current mindset of feeding off of those who are not able to support themselves as we’ve seen with the banking and credit card industry for an obvious instance, and again create a path to support all in this world as we would want to be supported and doing what is best for everyone here on this planet.

The example with the Salt Lake City project shows that when people are given the conditions to have a chance to support themselves, they will thrive as living beings –  though this process has to be actualized as it’s just in certain areas now for specific causes. The Living Income Guaranteed Proposal sets the path for all people in this world to be given an income if in need to get their feet back on the ground and time to move themselves in the direction that will be best for them and so best for all. Supporting and giving to life as self will always come back to self eventually, as “what you give you will receive” says an ancient proverb and it remains true to this day.

Check Out the Links for More Information on Living Income:

 

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The Future of Education and the School of Life

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by Anna Brix Thomsen

School of Life LIG ELFIn the previous post we did a thought experiment where we placed ourselves in the shoes of a child in today’s Western school system. I am sure many can relate to the experiences described and agree that the current school system is not optimal.

In this post we are therefore going to do a different thought experiment. We are going to imagine what it would be like to go to school in a potential future education system, an education system that honors and prioritizes the life and well being of our children, an educational system that doesn’t aim solely at producing future consumers to keep the wheels of corporate capitalism spinning, but on nurturing compassionate and independent individuals to live and become their full potential and become responsible members of society as a whole.

When politicians and scholars discuss educational reforms, the bottom line comes down how much money is allocated in the local and national budgets to optimize the education system. And as other parts of the economy are prioritized, the education system is often left with severe cutbacks, low wages for teachers and poor physical conditions.

However – in this thought experiment we’re going to take this point out of the equation. We’re doing this for the following reasons:

First of all, studies have shown that long term investments in quality education is far more profitable in the long-run than short-term cutbacks often resulting in increasing drop-out rates and educational inequality. Therefore, it is not valid to discuss budgets that are in no way acceptable when it comes to establishing an optimized education system as though it is a given condition when looking at educational reforms.

Secondly, within the proposal of a Living Income Guaranteed system we are proposing a fundamental restructuring of our economic systems, where supporting that which is best for ALL citizens is a primary principle and aim. What this means is that if we can all agree that education is so important that budgets shouldn’t determine how good our schools are, then budgets isn’t the first point that should be discussed when it comes to education, but in fact the last. The last meaning, we look at what would be optimal when it comes to creating an education system that is best for all and THEN we look at what is possible in terms of allocating resources; not the other way around. An example of how this makes it possible to finance an education system that in the short-term might be more ‘expensive’ than the one we have today (yet more profitable in the long run), could for example be through we as citizens deciding that an ample budget for our education systems is more important than an astronomical budget used to arm military forces. This is however not the only way that a Living Income Guaranteed system will make it possible to restructure a country’s economy, as several proposals have been made to for example nationalize resources and increase value added tax, so if this is something you are interested, you can read more about the proposals for financing a Living Income Guaranteed System.

Furthermore, one of the fundamental pillars of the proposal of a Living Income Guaranteed System especially in relation to a restructuring of our education systems, has to do with the fact that everyone who doesn’t work will be able to receive a Living Income, a ‘citizen’s wage’ if you will,  and where those who do work will earn at least double what a living income provides, through placing the minimum wage at the double of the living income.

So to sum up the fundamental change of our education systems that a Living Income System provides in relation to education is that:

  • In a Living Income system, parents will have the opportunity to spend more time with, and even be the primary educators of their children. They will in other words have more responsibility when it comes to the education of their children, but will also be better equipped at providing the best possible education for their children
  • The people who do decide to become teachers and instructors will be those who are passionate about teaching as teaching will not simply be an easy access to a stable salary. This is an important point, because we have all experienced how demotivating it is to be taught by someone who’s not only unskilled at teaching but who also is highly ineffective at it and few of us have experienced the stark difference it is to be taught by someone who’s not only qualified but also passionate about teaching.
  • The budget for education is determined only by how far we are willing to go to provide the best possible education for our children. What we are talking about here is not necessarily fancy school structures and infinite budgets for schools to take their students on fieldtrips. It is also not astronomical teachers salaries, but instead simply to – through resetting the idea that school budgets must be kept as low as possible – give ourselves the space and time to rethink what education can and should be. A specific example of this has to do with class sizes, which I covered in a recent blog that you can read here.

 

Instead of doing a thought experiment where we imagine a ‘Day in the Life’ of a child or parent in a Living Income system, I’d like to ask you to simply imagine for yourself how it would be like for you as a parent to raise your child in a world where struggling to survive is no longer the first priority because this point will be taken care of by the Living Income System. How will it be like to wake up in the morning? To get everyone dressed, fed and ready for the day? How will it be like to have the ‘luxury’ of the right to decide between parenting as a ‘life-path’, a career or even both, in a way that supports everyone involved?

How many mothers and fathers do not go to work every day feeling guilty, stressed and apathetic, knowing that they’re leaving their child in the hands of strangers? How many parents can honestly say that they have full trust in the daycare and education-system to do what is best for their children? And if they have the trust, how many will admit that it is a trust build on hope because anything else would be too unbearable to consider?

I’m sure many parents have considered homeschooling their children for this exact reason, but realistically speaking, how many are in a financial position where they are able to do so? And how many parents have had any form of training in terms of communicating with and effectively educating a child?

Imagine if all parents would receive proper training, similar to that of kindergarten- and elementary school teachers, but even more streamlined and supportive. How would your communication with your child change?

Obviously not all parents will want to be homeschoolers and therefore teachers will play an important role in a Living Income system. What I would like you to consider here is that schools and the education system in general does not have to be the way that it is currently. The current school-model is primarily based on an industrial perspective on education, where as many people are to be educated, as cheaply as possible, with the result that the current school system is actually not an optimal learning environment. It is therefore important that we dare to step out of the idea of schools only being one thing, one model and dare to imagine that it could be completely different. An example of this could be a much more streamlined and flexible transition between home-life and school-life, where a community of parents join together to create ‘mini-schools’. If families living together in the same apartment building for example come together in a joint effort to take care of and educate their children, it would mean that some parents could work, whereas others could stay in the community and care for the children. Maybe the parents could even hire a teacher if they prefer to do so; with the teacher being an individual whose passion it is to be a teacher.

Teaching ought to be a ‘calling’ that people decides to do because they’re passionate about teaching. Imagine if all teachers were people who truly enjoy and are exceptionally skilled at teaching, imagine a small group of students all working together and at the same time with individualized curricular aligned to their individual needs. The importance of passionate teachers is not to be underestimated and studies have even shown much difference a teacher makes when it is someone who truly enjoys what they are doing.

Many of the most skilled and qualified teachers today quit their jobs because the working conditions are unacceptable. To retain their integrity and respect for the teaching-profession they actually have to quit their jobs because they see that the current system in no way will allow them to teach in the way they see will truly benefit the children. With 35 children in a classroom having to be taught according to a standardized curriculum and given an exuberant amount of tests, it is no wonder that these compassionate and creative teachers decide to quit their jobs. Instead teaching becomes something you do if you don’t know what else to do or because you see it as an easy access to a stable income. That is certainly not how it should be. However – what we’re suggesting with the Living Income proposal is not that the solution then is to merely give teachers higher salaries. Instead we suggest that teachers are giving a Living Income due to the fact that their performing a public service and it is detrimental for the teaching-profession if becoming a teacher is something one does for the money.

What we are proposing instead is to provide teachers, and so students with optimized learning environments and conditions; small student groups, time to prepare and do research, resources and equipment available that need all the teachers needs.

Imagine what it would be like in such a school environment where the highest priority is on the joy of learning, not as a platitude we tell our students, but as a real statement of intent that translates into practical reality as learning environments optimized to fit all students needs: spaces for reading and introspection, labs equipped with everything needed to effectively teach biology and physics, music studios, painting studios, language labs, excursions to local work-places, guest lecturers, internships for older students – basically a strong coherence between school-life and the rest of society where school isn’t merely a simulation or containment facility but where it actually becomes an integral part of society, given equal importance and priority.

Imagine if all students were taught in exactly the way that fits their individual needs, imagine if all students were treated with great care and consideration when it comes to nurture and support them to reach their true potential. Wouldn’t the world look very different? Wouldn’t we as people be more fulfilled on an individual level and better equipped at stepping into society as highly contributory citizens?

Imagine an education system that truly honors its students, that show them the greatest respect in teaching them to honor life. Imagine an education system where compassion and equality are not simply slogans we throw around to make our excuse for an education system look better, but an integral part of a child’s daily life.

As you can see, the sky is really the limit when it comes to imagining an education system that is optimized and aligned to each student’s individual need. There are so many possibilities available once we step out of the limits of the current education system where schools are pressed to the max to keep budgets down and deliver a fully standardized education.

As a teacher, I stand 100 % behind the proposal for a Living Income system because I would for one like to see and experience an education system that truly honors the human potential, that does not compromise and that has as its chief aim to ensure that all children are educated in the best way possible to harness their unique potential in this world. I would like to see the adults that walk out of such an education system and I have no doubt that the world will be forever changed because of it. This can truly be an exciting time to be alive – if only we dare to step out of our comfort zones and realize that we are capable of so much more, if only we start honoring and celebrating life – and what better place to start doing that than through the potential of our children?

If you are ready to get involved in a political and economic change of paradigms and thereby also a change of our education systems, I invite you to investigate the Equal Life Foundation’s proposal of a Guaranteed Living Income System. This proposal suggests a groundbreaking change in political paradigms that doesn’t ‘take sides’ but instead presents a completely new approach to solving the problems we are currently facing in this world.

 

Re-Educate yourself here:

A couple of weeks ago I was part of the panel on a Live Google Hangout about the Common Core standards initiative. I definitely recommend watching it.

The Ultimate History Lesson with John Taylor Gatto:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQiW_l848t8

PROPAGANDA | FULL ENGLISH VERSION (2012)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NMr2VrhmFI

The Century of the Self
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7EwXmxpExw

Psywar
http://metanoia-films.org/psywar/

The Trap
http://archive.org/details/AdamCurtis_TheTrap

The Power Principle
http://metanoia-films.org/the-power-principle/

Human Resources: Social Engineering in the 20th Century
http://metanoia-films.org/human-resources/

The Story of Your Enslavement
http://youtu.be/Xbp6umQT58A

Blind Spot
https://vimeo.com/30559203

Inequality for all documentary:
http://www.putlocker.to/watch-inequality-for-all-online-free-putlocker.html

The Four Horsemen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fbvquHSPJU

On Advertisement and the end of the world:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8gM0Q58iP0

Third World America – Chris Hedges
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drZE65_134g

More articles about parenting and education in a Guaranteed Living Income System:

http://livingincomeforall.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/parents-need-a-living-income-now/

https://livingincomeguaranteed.wordpress.com/category/parenting/

http://economistjourneytolife.blogspot.com/2014/01/day-259-living-income-guaranteed-and.html

https://livingincomeguaranteed.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/the-self-perpetuating-cycle-of-homelessness-and-living-income-guaranteed/

Watch the hangout about Education for a New World in Order: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlj5wGCRnSU

 

For Further Information, Follow these Links:

Ownership: The Lie That Kills

Posted on Updated on

by Sandy Mac Jones


Greed - Living Income GuaranteedI was stunned to find out that a major reason there is so many millions dying of starvation in African countries each year is that, of the 10 countries that the Nile River runs through, only 2 of these countries have the ‘right’ to use the water from the river for irrigation/farming/transportation or any other purpose! This is because Egypt and Sudan apparently ‘own’ the water ‘rights’ of the Nile River.

But does anyone really ‘own’ any part of mother earth? Was the river here before the arrival of the human?  Yes, it was!  Ownership is merely a concept, an idea someone came up with to enforce safety measures against those that intrude and steal or more often, take/conquer and keep all for oneself or ones ‘country’. Why can we not keep the safety measures but forgo the unfair idea of ownership? The answer to that is, we can.

If you think of two children fighting over a toy, the one child crying ‘it’s mine’ , he only ever gets to ‘keep’ it  if he is bigger/stronger, or someone else (the adult) intervenes and says what the ‘rule’ is. But if human beings are the children, where and who is the adult (god?) to intervene?  No one and nothing is intervening, we must be our own solution – there is no other way.

It seems back in 1925 there was a treaty signed between Britain, Italy and Egypt (this was updated in 1959 to include Sudan). Britain held Dominion over much of the African continent=came with weapons and murdered people to steal the wealth of the African countries and take it back ‘home’ to Britain.  Back then, Egypt and Sudan were Britain’s source of cotton and Britain knew that their rate of production was only possible through the Nile and the use of massive irrigation systems. So in this treaty Britain and Egypt decided that the Nile belonged to Egypt AND that no-one is allowed to do anything with the water that, as a consequence, will lessen the amount of water that ends up in Egypt, thereby insuring Britain’s cotton crop production.

JP Morgan Monopoly - Living Income GuaranteedThat’s right, they just decided = they made it up ’cause they were bigger and stronger,’ just bullies in the schoolyard!  No complicated economic theory needed here, they did this just because they could, because their stick was bigger than the other countries sticks. Just like the two little children fighting over the toy, they were bigger and stronger so got their way. It’s all about power and control and greed.

 

But supposedly they based this decision on the fact that Egypt has a 7000 year history with the Nile, way back starting with the Pharaohs so historically and traditionally belongs to them. Well, we have to stop referring to history and the past to make decisions based on today. Instead, we must use common sense and compassion to decide upon an approach that is best for all life, which in this case would be all countries through which the Nile flows are able to use this natural resource to better their economy and support the population!  That would include:   Ethiopia, Uganda, Zaire, Kenya, Eritrea, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi and yes, Egypt and Sudan.

Other reasons for this decision were that it had been determined that Egypt was the country which had made most efficient use of the Nile, in economic terms. So what? Are we not all life? Does a newborn baby today deserve to suffer starvation and die in agony because 85 years ago their birth country did not make as efficient use of the Nile as Egypt? We are talking here about an invisible dividing line (again made up by human beings) separating the land and people into ‘countries’. It is not in fact ‘real’; we make it real by our agreement to participate. Also, let not the fact escape us that ‘efficient use’ of the Nile meant that Egypt produced cotton for Britain which they could profit from and provide clothing for their people, total self-interested motives. The invisible lines have to come down as we wake up to the fact that, this approach is not what is best for all, as life on earth. And the practice of hoarding commodities, such as cotton, so you can control supply and demand, thereby controlling prices at the expense of millions of others, should be strictly monitored and made illegal/penalized.

Can you honestly look in the mirror or in your child’s eyes and say your child does not deserve to have a comfortable, enjoyable, dignified life but the child across the invisible line=boarder, does? There is a difference is the quality of life because there is a different starting point of the two children, this is inequality. I am not suggesting we eliminate boarders as they provide logistical reference points so we can communicate and move about on our planet. I am suggesting we understand that boarders are nothing more than that–lines we have made up for practical purposes. We do not need to kill each other over imaginary lines!  Our one planet needs one focus; to implement an economic system based upon the principal of what is best for all life, that system is A Living Income Guaranteed.

Innovation Relocation - Living Income Guaranteed

Read the Proposal here:   Living Income Guaranteed Proposal

 

 

 

Sadly, Ethiopia, which was the only African country that was never colonized, simply had ‘no legal representation’ and thus no say in the matter when this treaty was being written and signed, while over 80% of the water that ends up in Egypt originates from Ethiopia!  Many of the countries, when the treaty was being signed, were also too busy focusing on just surviving, so they didn’t really pay attention to the treaty or start thinking of some magnificent irrigation system as they simply did not have that luxury.

After independence from Britain, a few African countries declared the treaty as void but the treaty was never really challenged and nothing was ever really done about it because the other countries were scared of Egypt’s military force, also knowing that Egypt still has strong ties with Britain’s, a powerful nation indeed.

Of course, many countries in order to develop, need these type of natural resources to support themselves, just as Egypt did with the Nile, which brings a lot of advantage in terms of agriculture (to irrigate the land in the case of the Nile) and transportation.

So every year Ethiopia and other countries get millions of dollars into the country as ‘food aid’. Also, realize that when this investment as food is eaten, it is gone. The problem remains, charity is not effective as a solution to starvation.  Crazy, when there is the Nile flowing right through their land!  A sickening consequence of the Nile River ‘ownership’ issue:  wasted food and food aid.

To add to the insanity no one is allowed to assist these devastated African countries in the investment of dams and irrigation system and hydro power  which will actually help them get somewhere to improve the standard of living and create their own food source! And then the few farmers who do work their farms to produce food – can’t get their food sold because its cheaper to get free food aid. So they end up not being able to sell anything and end up joining the food aid line. Ironic.

There exist warehouses in Ethiopia FULL of food, grown right there in Ethiopia. And a warehouse next door FULL with bags of food with the American flag on it, food aid food. So all the food these poor farmers worked so hard for just rots away and then you end up with a whole nation of people being dependent on food aid. Insanity plain and simple, theft of 8 African countries ability to stand on their own feet, live with dignity, provide sustenance and jobs for their population.

The LIG proposal can be adopted, in part or whole, by any political party.

 

Living Income Guaranteed - LogoInvestigate the Equal Life Foundation and the proposal for a Living Income Guaranteed where all are sufficiently supported and honored with their basic human rights – where they have the ability to provide themselves with food, water, shelter, education, health care – all things one would like for themselves and would be living a standard less than what is best for them without such things.

Please investigate the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal and Join us for discussion.

Equal Life Foundation

Fundamental Human Rights by Equal Life Foundation

 

Watch/Participate in our Live Google Hangouts: http://www.youtube.com/LivingIncome

Mothers and a Living Income – Giving as We have Received

Posted on Updated on

by Kristina Salas 

Katrina Gilbert Paycheck to Paycheck Living Income Mothers Right

Today I watched the documentary called ‘Paycheck to Paycheck,’ about a single mother, my age, with three children. She lives in the South, works as a Certified Nursing Assistant, separated from her husband of almost 10 years, and gets a working wage of $9.49 an hour.

I was shocked to see the hourly wage of this woman, because from my perspective, her work is something that takes more education than I currently have, and yet I still make more an hour than her. And from my perspective, her work is much more valuable. She is caring for the elderly in a nursing home; feeding them, changing their bed sheets, changing their catheters, and most importantly, spending time with them when no one else does. She provides care in an environment that is the last place these elderly will end up, while when she is not working, she is caring for children and their environment; the first place these children are exposed to.
So she is directly dealing with the next generation, while simultaneously giving as much comfort she can while the previous generation slowly leaves.

And she is giving not even $10.00 an hour of compensation to support herself, and her three children.

This documentary exemplifies the major problem we have, not only in this country, but around the world. The people that have first hand control of forming and shaping our future, our children, are not being properly supported or valued in any way whatsoever. No one could possibly expect to live comfortably on $10 an hour, let alone raising three other humans on that wage.
This is a prime example of why a living income is an absolute necessity in our world, and a basic human right. The women who carry, birth and raise the children, the future of humanity, are not giving the proper support necessary that is required. She should have any and all resources available to ensure she is in a prime position – mentally and physically – to do the job she has in front of her, which is to create a space and environment that supports the potential of all children. Instead, with her working wage, she must live as an example that tells her children that life is hard, life is a struggle, you are not valued for the work you do, and ultimately you are alone to suffer the consequence of a system created and sustained by All of society.

No mother should be expected to work if children are brought into the picture, all mothers should have the CHOICE to not work, and still be giving a LIVING wage – don’t you think it would be of more value for the children, and so society as a whole, to have a full-time caretaker there who is not stretched so thin to the point where panic attacks keep them from working, where stress of making it to the next pay day is not distracting them from being able to provide the best care for the children; where a mother is not put into a position where she must tell her children to wait just a minute when they say they are hungry, simply because she needs a moment to sit down and breathe. Where she does not have to sacrifice her health and well being just because there is only enough to give more to her children.

Women, mothers specifically, is one group of people that would benefit form a Living Income, and from my perspective, should be an absolute basic right. The fact that this mother of three must work for $9.49 an hour to support herself and her family, without any support or assistance from the system in which she is working for, goes to show the lack of care we actually have for what we are bringing into this life, let alone the life that is already here.

A Living Income, proposed by the Equal Life Foundation, is a simple step we can take in rectifying this situation – where in giving a living wage to our Mothers we are living the statement of gratitude, and giving to THEM what they have given to US, which is Life. I would think this would be the first priority for anyone wanting to change our social and economic systems – to ensure that our Mothers and so our Children are being given the financial support required to flourish in this World – able to stand on a foundation that allows the true potential of all beings to be harnessed and to expand, after all – the children today are the people tomorrow that will be the ones assisting us when it’s our time to leave this world.

Investigate the Equal Life Foundation and the Living Income.

Bill of Rights Equal Life Foundation

 

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The Shared Idea of Socialism and What to Make of it

Posted on Updated on

By Barbara Stängl

Socialism

Some history and the problem:

Socialism is an idea that has as its basis equality pertaining to property being shared by all and distributed equally. Unfortunately, when the idea was first put into practice by a British man called Owen in the US State of Indiana in 1825 on the huge property he bought and called New Harmony, it ultimately failed. This was not due to the fundamentals of the idea of socialism as such, but due to the organization of the distribution of the produce, the fact that the land was not owned by the residents themselves and in part in consequence to this, there was a lack of self-responsibility as to the cultivation of the land, the workforce needed to maintain self-sufficiency, and finally, due to the nature of the people that it attracted. Though the people who chose to live in New Harmony on the basis of the shared idea of socialism that received the tinge of its founder Robert Owen, were open-minded and socially oriented, they were very theoretically and philosophically minded. This set of characters and personalities gave the experiment a bias that ultimately tipped it toward being marked as not sustainable. However, Owen implemented a set of social rules to live by, such as no public drinking, personal cleanliness, emptying trash at specific intervals, free education in which the human character was to be developed in more fortunate ways and having to make time for family, he granted sick pay and shortened working hours. All of which were directed at changing human nature and optimizing the conditions of living together.

 

Owen-and-new-harmony

 

The idea was recast by two philosophers Engels and Marx later, who considered socialism to be humankind’s destiny which was considered to become a triumph over capitalism. It was thus directly placed to have a polarity nature toward capitalism, which allowed the idea of Revolution to settle in as a means to drive socialism forward and gain supremacy over capitalism. This was adopted as a point of self-identification that amounted to demonic obsession which found its most extreme manifestation and expression under the dictatorship of Stalin in the USSR. Here the term socialism was actually abused to cover up and, where not possible, to justify the atrocities against its population and the antagonists of the ideology. Socialism had been turned into communism, though the term was still used by the ruling figures to benefit from the moral appeal that true socialism had among large parts of the general world population.

 

Lidice_massacred_men

 

The ‘other side of the polarity’, the capitalistic states, the ‘States of Freedom’ as they were contrasted to socialistic states, used the label of socialism as a propaganda operation also but for the opposite reason, namely to defame socialism by way of association with this miserable and rapacious tyranny.

Socialism, as the core notion of working people being in control of production and of their own lives basically, on the principle of equality with respect to property and distribution of goods, has been evacuated of content over the last century, due to the Soviet Union being called a socialist society as a propagandistic means of directing the world to suit the vested interests of the elite by keeping the masses enslaved. It seems the few at the top are doing their best that nobody would be able to easily pick up the idea of socialism and try to establish a working structure on that basis for the common good of man.

 

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Solution

As a solution it is necessary to distinguish between the socialistic/communistic ulcerations of true socialism. The collapse of the Soviet Union can actually be counted as a small victory for socialism as such, because it has been freed of the radical revolution aspect as well as the aspect of tyranny and debasement toward the working class. The latter will have to be solidly embraced within the term of communism and within that, of course, dictatorship. Along those lines the term nationalization and nationalistic should be looked at and stripped of its associations with fascist developments and resulting atrocities of Nazi Germany leading to and in World War II. The pros and cons of the Israeli kibbutzim are to be investigated, and seen that these are said to have worked until they were ridden into a debt crisis in the middle of the 1980’s from which they weren’t able to recover. One must ask who is pulling the strings here and why. It is pretty obvious that they simply weren’t supposed to work in the public eye.

The solution to humanity’s demise should not be found in an idea or ideology, as that can be used within polarity and undermined, but within a living principle, that does not have to be named socialism or capitalism or democracy. It’s certainly not about the name or the idea.

Of course at first there must be something communicable as the name for a solution presented, such as a democracy on a real people-basis, a form of direct democracy, as has been proposed by the platform of Living Income Guaranteed. The realization must be fostered that life can only strive on earth – we can only strive, or even simply survive – when we give to the other what we ourselves would like to receive, on an equal and one basis. If we do not see that we are already equal on the basis of the substance of Life and are killing ourselves and others by not acknowledging and living this principle, we will perish.

One must realize that socialism is just a word – we are the ones who must take care of our reactions, associations, prejudices and fears within it and as it, and allow ourselves to establish a groundwork that supports all — as the sounding and individual letters of the word suggest: so-see-I-all-is-m(e)

We must turn to Life lived on the principle of equality and incorporate the lived realization of oneness, as we are all of and as Life here.

 

The reward is a state, where competition exacted on the basis of live or die / grow or perish will be of the past; where we implement our realization that we are able to stand as the living principle of equality and oneness and give to the other what we want for ourselves and our children, which is the kind of socialism that has not been compromised through fear and desire for control, greed and power. Giving to the other as one would wish for oneself means to distribute resources fairly and adequately, as required by each and on the basis of ensuring that everything used can be reconstituted and replenished, that resources are sustainable. This will provide for real, actual support of all equally resulting in peace and dignity. Responsibility will be more readily lived because there won’t be the point of ‘it’s not my responsibility – I don’t have a say anyway, I’m just a small keg in a big machine’ when equality is lived on principality.

We will see truly happy children that are able to play and enjoy themselves because they are cared for on a steady basis from the start with actual equal opportunity within education, good nourishment, and a stable social environment. One will find the ability to truly trust oneself and others within a trustworthy, self-responsible society that is not self-incapacitated through the allowance and acceptance of a maniac Elite that irrespective of the whole pulls the strings in utter self-interest. There will be no one to polarize to ‘defend’ a status of self-interested accumulation of wealth on the basis of democracy vs. socialism/communism when the principle of equality is truly implemented and lived.

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

 

Photo credits

‘New Harmony’

Massacres

Vested Interest

LIG

What is payment? We got it wrong this whole time!

Posted on Updated on

By Blaž Cegnar

 

We are raised up by the society to believe that we pay for things with money. You know: paper, coin, digits on the bank account. Whenever we want something that we don’t have or is not ours, we pay for it in the store with money and then it’s ours. Then we can do with it whatever we want, because WE paid for it with OUR MONEY. Then there is this division in our society where some believe that one should always work to earn one’s money and that those who don’t do ‘real’ work are bad people, lazy, selfish. Others like the capitalist idea where one invests one’s money (earned, stolen, inherited or all of the above) so that the money ‘works’ for you and one just gets the benefits, the profits. But what all have in common is that all live in the illusion of money and payment, because everyone believes that we pay for things with money. I did too, but boy, was I wrong.

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We don’t pay for things with money. Nothing is actually paid for with money. So, what is the real payment for a product or a service? Who does in fact, actually pay for it? If I walk into a store and buy some milk, who paid for it and with what? Me with my money? Nope, this is a complete illusion. Can you see it? Wake up – who really paid for the milk? The cow that produced it. The farmer who collected it, the people who packed it and moved it to the store. All these beings PAID for it WITH their WORK. This is the only REAL payment that exists, ever. Everything is paid for with work, with effort, with movement. Giving some ‘money’ over the counter is not a payment, it is a joke. It is some ‘kids’ playing games, imagining things. This is what we are doing when we believe that we actually paid for something when we give our money or when we transfer some digits to another’s bank account – we are imagining things. We aren’t really doing a damn thing, we are only taking what is already there and shuffling some paper and digits around because we care so much about them – the digits and the paper we call money. But we only care about the amount of our digits and our paper, not about another’s. But no, we don’t even dare to talk with anyone openly about our money, our digits and our paper, or theirs, because it’s a secret. If I have less money than you then I am ashamed and if I have more than you then screw you, that’s how life works. But it doesn’t. This is how we created the system of money to work in our minds – big difference.

Money is just a tool, a mind tool in a game with rules that we create, and it can be very useful to help us disperse the goods in a more equal, reasonable, practical way. Money is not evil or bad. We are evil and bad, because of the way we use it to abuse each other – Life – with it. So, our society today does not use money to disperse goods in an equal, reasonable, practical way for all to live a Dignified Life. We use the money to enslave each other, we use the money to say who is worthy of life and who is not worthy of life. We use the money to define whose life is worth more and whose life is not worth a penny. And we take it dead serious. We do not give a shit when people suffer and die because we do not allow them to have enough money. We allow them to work to the bone though, of course, but we do not recognize the payment that they do, the REAL PAYMENT, THE PAIN-MENT.

All these abused workers do all the pain-ment for us while others mostly just shuffle the paper – ‘money’ – around and then we actually believe that the hardest PAIN-MENT that the ‘lowest’ workers do is worth the least amount of credit? We obviously do believe this, because we give the workers who work the most and the hardest, the least amount of credit for it. We came up with this rule that such people, who work the hardest and the longest, who do most of the ACTUAL HARD PAIN-MENT for all of us, should get the least amount of credit for it. Would we like to be in their shoes? Would we give ourselves the same amount of credit if we had to work in their shoes? No, be serious and be self-honest. Oh, did we get this whole payment thing wrong on all the levels imaginable! So, here we see that we have to redefine the word PAYMENT, which we dared to define and understand so selfishly and contrary to the actual reality of things, so that we can stop abusing and stop creating abuse of Life with it and actually come up with a definition that is supportive for all.

Current definition (from Wiki): A payment is the transfer of an item of value from one party (such as a person or company) to another in exchange for the provision of goods, services or both, or to fulfill a legal obligation.

Re-definition: PAYMENT – the pain-ment of work, labor and effort that one gifts into an activity, product or service. These people, who work to the bone in sweatshops all over the world and all people who work anywhere, are the ones who actually pay and make the PAIN-MENT for our shit that we then buy with money: our iPhoneys, our fancy plastic fantasies, our clothes etc. Workers are the ones who paid for it.

 

Gastar dinero con prudencia - salvar al capitalismo

 

So, the next time I see myself say or think: “Hey, I paid for that!”, I’ll stop, breathe and realize: Wow, I did not really pay for that at all, I just gave my money for it, my credits, my imaginable value. And mostly not even to the being who ACTUALLY paid for it with their own physical labor. That being is probably suffering somewhere in a sweatshop, being abused by all who don’t understand where the actual payment happens, who do not value the Life of all beings equally as their own and do not give all the equal credit for the work and the pain-ment they do. I will no longer allow the abuse of money and payment and I will speak up for all beings that do not get their equal credit in spite of all the PAIN-MENT they do. I will work to implement a new system, where Life, work and pain-ment of all the beings is valued equally and where all receive their equal credit for being alive and sharing their Life with me, so that we can all be alive together in a Life worth living.

 

So, taking this new definition of the word payment: how does it affect one’s awareness of reality and how should the money system change according to it so that there is no more abuse?

 

Firstly, we become aware that no one is actually paying for anything with money, because the only form of real, actual payment is movement / labor / work / effort itself, towards a goal, product, service that is best for all, that supports all. When we are aware of this, we can see that we cannot really value work through money, because most of the work can be valuable and useful for the society in some way or another. Sure, some work is more urgent than another and so, some work must be done prior to some other work. For example; producing food for all is more urgent than painting a picture, but this does not change the value of work itself – it only changes the priority, the urgency of it, the order in which the work should be done – very important to realize. So, what is the value of baking bread? What is the value of building houses, producing electricity, assembling iPhoneys, designing and planning new things? What is the value of singing, painting, making a sculpture? Can we really put a value in digits on any work? Sure, any random number will do… But it is still just and illusion of the mind, a thing that we made up. So, really, what is the real value of any work and effort that supports Life? It is the value of Life itself, because Life expresses self through work, effort, expression, art, movement…

 

So, you see, the value of any work that supports Life equals to the value of  Life itself, because Life does it. Can you see? Wake up – do you see it yet?

Living Income Guaranteed - Logo

 

So, in a system where this would be fully realized and implemented people would work firstly on things that are necessary to sustain a Dignified Life for all and then they would work on anything they like – and all would still get an equal amount of credit for it, based on the value of Life itself. So simple, yet so hard to grasp through a mind of selfishness. So, back to where we are at the moment in our reality, of course we cannot just remove all money and say every work is priceless, because we have been living in the illusion of money and payment for so long. Thus we need to gradually realize the illusion, like I explained above, and step by step implement the necessary changes in the system that will – in the end – lead to a Dignified Life for All, where money as we know it today will no longer exist.

We can start by implementing a solution that is described in the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal. This proposal / goal is not an Utopian world. What I am talking about is a world of common sense, a world where Life is actually recognized and honored in all. What we have today and what we have been trying to live until now – this is the real Utopia, because we are trying to live according to illusions that we create in our minds. And whenever we try to live out illusions that are not in consideration with the actual reality – we create suffering.

As long as we create suffering, we are doing it wrong and we are trying to live out the illusions of our minds that are not real, that are selfish. So simple, yet so hard to see through our minds, as long as we try so hard to avoid any self-responsibility.

I dare you to join me and see through the deception of money and payment that we have today. The economic solution I suggest to read  about: Living Income Guaranteed

 

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