Freedom

Living Income Guaranteed and Taxation – From Redistribution to Contribution

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by Maite Zamora Moreno

 

Re-Set Living Income Guaranteed Taxation

The re-set’ is a UK-based movement consisting of several proposals to effect ‘a constitutional re-set to re-store fair principles, accountability, community led governance and ethics. Ensuring peoplecare, earthcare and fairshare for the benefit of all’. You can check out their website here: www.thereset.org. An overview of the proposals is presented here: http://www.thereset.org/proposals.php.

In this blog the focus is the Proposal on the abolition of Taxes. The re-set proposes to abolish the current tax system and replace it with ‘TEAL’ – Total Economic Activity Levy:

TEAL is very much a ‘pay as you go’ tax. Every time money is withdrawn or paid into a bank account, a tiny percentage of money from each transaction will speedily find its way into the treasury. Even people without bank accounts will contribute, because whenever a pack of cigarettes or a loaf of bread is purchased, the seller (say a shop) will be paid, and when the shop pays into his bank TEAL will be collected, and if you sell your labour (i.e. you have a job) TEAL will be paid by your employer and collected by your bank.”

This principle is the same one we propose under the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal. Within such a system, the focus changes from ‘redistribution’ to plain ‘contribution’. It’s not about trying to equalize incomes and moving it from the rich to the poor – but a matter of: if you make more use of the economic system, you proportionally contribute more to sustain it. One likes to believe that one’s wealth is derived from merit alone – but it simply isn’t. There is an entire economic system in place that enables a successful person to be successful. There are those who have gone before you, who have shared their know-how with you, there are those who have an income to buy your goods or services, an income they earned through participation in the economic system, there is physical infrastructure like roads and railway systems that enable all economic activity. If the economic system was self-sustaining and never required any financial input in order to maintain it or correct its inherent weaknesses, then we could say the economic system is a free one. Obviously, that is not the case. The ‘pay as you go’ tax is therefore a reasonable method of collecting the funds to be re-invested within the economic system that each one depends on.

If a basic income or living income is provided through non-tax funding – then the ‘pay as you go’ tax or ‘TEAL’ should be sufficient to mobilize the funds needed for other government expenditures, which we suggest would be quite limited if the economy in itself is largely corrected and empowered through the integration of the Living Income or Basic Income – then other taxes can indeed be abolished.

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There is Enough! Stopping the Cycle of Ignorance with LIG

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By Garbrielle Goodrow

foodwaste-blog


There is enough. This statement is crucial for the continuation of our species in the times ahead, where all we hear is that we do not have enough, not enough food, not enough money, not enough housing, but if one look behind who is in fact saying these statements, you will find the corporations who have a vested interest in us continuing to believe this and so live out this belief that there is not enough. The corporations who control now the resources, the private banks who control the money supply, and the governments that control our livelihoods all have a stake within making a lot of profit, while we continue to believe that ‘there is not enough.’ So we cannot accept and allow any longer this notion that there is not enough resources or food or money in this world, we have to educate ourselves on the reality of what is here and how to walk the path to understand and so live the statement that There IS enough!


We know that money is made out of thin air, there is no value inherently within the paper it’s made from, it’s simply a medium for commerce, and within this we the people give it meaning. So saying there is not enough money is a scapegoat for admitting to the fact that some want more than others, and will do what it takes to make this continue to happen as it is and has been a reality for most of our recorded history. All are responsible within this ignorance we have accepted and allowed where some go with nothing and some go with enough, we all live here and so accept this money system as it is now, so we all have to face the consequences and change the outcomes to be best for all. It’s on each one being a part of this change because nothing will change until we stand up within ourselves and change who we are from within to the without.

If we look at food for instance, here are some statistics about hunger and
also statics on the food waste in the United States:

  • Total number of children that die every year from hunger –
    1.5 million
  • Percent of world population considered to be starving –
    33%
  • Time between deaths of people who die from hunger –
    3.6 seconds
  • Each year, about 40 percent of all food in the United States goes uneaten. It’s just tossed out or left to rot. And that’s a fairly large waste of resources. All that freshwater and land, all that fertilizer and energy — for nothing. By one recent estimate, Americans are squandering the equivalent of $165 billion each year by rubbishing so much food.

So we have 33 percent of the world population that is considered starving and we have on the other extreme 40 percent of the food in America is thrown away due to not being processed effectively or not reaching the desired aesthetic picture the shoppers demand for. This seems like a sick joke we are playing on ourselves, I mean this doesn’t make any rational sense to allow such a play out of life and death to exist, but it does, it is happening every day.

What we fail to see or realize within the system we live in is that we are more and more interconnected and so dependent on each other to continue to exist. When we allow such a contrast of basic needs where some have a lot and many others have little to nothing, we have to stop and consider what we are in fact doing here. There has to be a point in each one’s life where we have to question the way things are. This is determined and will be determined by each one within themselves and so will determine their own lives and existence, but it’s suggested to find solutions for all human beings to be given the necessary basic rights that we all are given at birth, the conditions for a decent life.

The Equal Life Foundation of which I support and contribute to with research and funding, have proposed a Living Income Guarantee, They have set out the basic structure for a new way of life for everyone, where those that require it will be given a living income to be able to buy what is needed and be sustained in a dignified way through changing parts of the current system that is currently in place. This will be walked as we start to open up the relationships and pathways once there is more support and funding involved, but we are not there yet. We have to start from the ground up as we see, realize, and understand that starting from the top down will not change things as this is the way it’s always been, and there has been no significant change in human life in the last 2000 years. We as the people that can hear the message and see that the way forward is a way of walking the talk and living the solution as ourselves, can move to positions and solutions that will continue to propel this best for all principle forward and walk what is necessary in all avenues until it is eventually done. Never giving up, continuing to push forward, empowering ourselves and so others as we move forward.

We do have enough on this planet, so this is not the problem as the Earth has given all the resources/sustenance/common sense to walk the best for all principle for each one to equally benefit from this reality. If we start with a living income, to create a standard of living that gives all dignity then we can also start looking at how and through what means we can change the way we do things to create efficiency and sustainability, we can start the path of honoring life and not wasting and destroying it due to our own ignorance.

Support the Equal Life Foundation and the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal  to start and create the change that is needed to live the principle of ‘best for all life’, which will always be best for you.

 

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Food Waste

Economist’s Journey To Life

A Westerner’s Experience Living in Thailand

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By Adrian Blackburn

Isaan-couple-on-bike

 

Seeing the economic status/conditions of this country, and being able to fit it into the bigger picture that includes all of the world nations, has helped me to better understand the global hierarchy of nations and how individual countries play specific roles within this.

Within this, currency manipulation and separation through cultural identities is key – also the competition point, which is expressed through nationalism.

One of the best tools to keep any nation bonded to maintaining its role in the global hierarchy is nationalism – one of the best forms of control is to have one identify with and begin to love and revere their chains – this obviously applies at the individual level in interpersonal relationships as well. Religion also plays a major role in this as the antidote when the conditions of a nation are adverse, giving all kinds of justifications as to why things are the way they are or false hope that it is all somehow ‘for the better.’

Identifying oneself with impoverishment, destitution and extremely adverse conditions carries with it great psychological implications – usually a degree of shame and a complete lack of self belief and self will – we all know how hard it is to be poor in the west at a social level and the implications this has – now imagine the massive degree of poverty that is standard, normalized and accepted in countries such as this, and how broad and far reaching these conditions are with regard to their effect on the psyche of the individual – conditions that we in the west would be appalled by, as we now see people rioting in the streets due to their living conditions worsening – whereas in countries such as this, it is already standard, accepted. It is fascinating because in this country, the protests and riots you see in the streets are actually the political minority upper-class who are angry about any attempts by ‘corrupt’ politicians to improve the lives of the poor majority lower class – this majority poor lower class simply don’t have the time or resources to gather and form a force to protest or riot, they are too busy surviving (or not even).

So our own lack of awareness to the lives of the impoverished in our own countries in the west are really just ‘the tip of the iceberg’ when you broaden that to a world-scale, and our lack of education and proper media reporting/exposure plays a major role in this – also the fact that as nations who naturally compete according to the laws of economics, this ignorance can also be justified because as long as we are on the winning team, things are fine apparently. If anything, our main priority and inclination is to take advantage of and exploit such conditions, which really something that is done quite extensively.

Language barriers and cultural norms are exacerbated through the competition principle – most racism in the world is not overt but rather implicit, the principle of ‘it is different from me therefore I value it less’. The competition principle – expressed through cultural identity – places the lens through which we tend to judge things that are different and not normal in our own cultures, which is really an unfortunate thing because when you get down to it, you realize that it is all essentially the same stuff – predictable humans behavior based on circumstances/conditions – but just appearing differently because we are coming from different perspectives that are shaped by our conditions – again here economic conditions play the largest defining role.

For instance, in my experience I have noticed the tendency for many foreigners who come here to judge this country – which is quite an easy thing to do, given the conditions here and the issues they create – without ever considering that they themselves have in fact played a role in why things are the way they are in places like this. National borders are really illusory when it is plain fact that the entire world is very directly connected by a global economic system, and of course more indirectly connected through relationships.

When you break down borders and view this as a global issue, you also realize that in fact, what we would call ‘normal middle class’ people in western/developed nations, who we consider as not being rich, are in fact within the top %10 of the worlds richest people – so when people in the west feel disempowered to act and make any change for the better in their world within the mentality of ‘poor little old me, what could I possibly do?’ – understand that there are people in this world – China serves as a great example of this – who live in complete slavery. They get up, work for 18 hours, with short breaks for meals and hygiene upkeep to make sure they are still alive and can work – sleep for 6 hours and then repeat. People who would look at the lives of middle class people like ourselves and think ‘omg, they have 2 or 3 hours of free time to themselves every day and bit of extra money in the bank?’ what a life! I only wish I could ever be so privileged, the things I could do with all that freedom…’

We are also – in the case of Thailand – talking about a nation where certain basic freedoms are not even allowed by the rule of law – for instance while we have free speech in the west – although that is questionable and constantly under duress – this pales in comparison to a nation like this where for instance you literally cannot say any thing negative about the monarchy – you would be thrown in jail.

In the west, our lack of understanding and our inaction comes largely from information control and manipulation, but when we are talking about a country with money and resources through which the individual tends to be more enabled and have more opportunity, ignorance is more of a choice – whereas in Thailand there is a large amount of information control on the internet and in media in general, and again very limiting economic conditions – many people genuinely don’t know what they don’t know and have no way of ever finding out, and thus have very little chance or opportunity of being able to help themselves.

So this really all puts into perspective our self-responsibility and our responsibility to our world as middle-class westerners.

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