Global Economy

The Refugee Crisis: A Wake Up Call to the Devaluation of Life

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by Joana Jesus

Je-suis-un-réfugié_No-one-is-free-until-we-are-all-free

A few years ago, I took the decision to voluntarily leave my family and study for a year in France. Later on, I chose again to move and work in the United Kingdom. Within the European Union, such mobility is promoted and there is no need to justify your decision or to have a visa to do so – as an European citizen and within the EU it is my right to establish wherever assists me to develop to my utmost potential, to keep growing, to know a different culture, to speak new languages, and to be financially stable. This makes absolute sense to my generation, however 30 years ago (before the Schengen Agreement) this process would have been much harder to achieve and probably older generations couldn’t imagine such openness. When looking at the refugee situation, the resistance to embrace the newcomers is the resistance to a new reality that needs to be as flexible as the one granted to Europeans. The difference is that this is not a voluntary migration but rather imposed unto people for not having a choice: they either flee or they risk their lives by staying in a war-zone (or becoming the fighters themselves). What would you choose?

Since reaching its media attention this year, I see that the refugee crisis comes down to a crisis of priorities that began long time ago in our world and is affecting our sense of humanity. The shocking images that flooded the big screen in the past months, along with xenophobic comments from the far-right are symptoms of a bigger problem, that is: The Devaluation of Life.

The belief that one’s life has more value based on where one was born reminds me some medieval-like-wars in a Game-of-Thrones-land, almost unthinkable in World Wide Web times. However, this year’s events showed a darker side of Europe where countries started closing doors to those in desperate need, in a clear reflection of barbaric attitude against the “others”. The main difference is that before speed-of-light communications we would not understand how wars happening in the other side could be interlinked with the people on this side of the world.

refugees-are-human-beings-1In today’s reality, in developing nations we have the support of real-time analysis, people’s reports, factual testimonials, whistle-blowers, bloggers and documentaries raising awareness to the needs of the few being paid at the expense of the many. Further down I briefly clarify how the war in Syria and in other countries in the Middle East are directly related to the lifestyle European/Western citizens enjoy. For the moment, let’s look at the mental barriers that hinder us to know the “other side”. Any attempt to blame the “other” for not being able to take care of its own people is a sign that we haven’t yet grasped the interdependency that all countries coexist in, or how world politics and economics really work. The idea that borders separate us from other humans is another illusion but is simply showing the success of economic and political interests in diminishing our inherent value as equal beings sharing this planet.

Similarly to the manifestation of solidarity with the French events, first with the Charlie Hebdo attacks and then with the 13/11 terrorist acts in Paris, it is time to stand equal and one with refugees, reminding ourselves that many of our ancestors have also escaped from war-zones and that we must not accept further wars to break the lives of future generations. Only by standing in solidarity with refugees will be able to demand political action to prevent such atrocities again. That is why I state: I am a refugee / Je suis un réfugié – whatever is happening in this moment in time I am part of it and, as Martin Luther King said “No one is free until we are all free”.

The destructive wars that people in the Middle East are fleeing from are not only killing them from the inside, but also limiting any chances of survival. I have been asking myself: what would I do if I was caught in such a hostile environment? I would most likely do what they are doing to find a peaceful place to live and begin the healing process.

I am originally from Portugal, a country within the European Union that has been under a tough financial crisis and where there has been a devaluation of Life too. I have been seeing the slow-death of joy in many people’s hearts struggling to survive. Economically speaking, the education, people’s work and the resources in the country aren’t enough to cope the hardships that the economic war imposes unto them, so many decided to emigrate to find a better environment to grow-up, to learn from and to create a better life for themselves.

In a recent interview I run independently in the centre of Lisbon, I asked the Portuguese people how the country could help the current migrants and refugees. There is a common tendency to think that we first need to help “our people” before we can help others. Another perspective was that migrants and refugees wouldn’t be happy in Portugal either because of the poor life standards that the majority of the people have now. Nevertheless, many agree that we must be able to stand as an example and offer as much help as possible, since our problems are far less than the ones that the people from war-zones are experiencing.

By looking at the statement that we can only help “others” after we help the nationals of a given country, we see that the migration crisis is a mirror of what is happening already within one’s borders, where poverty and homeless people have been difficult social problems to tackle. This is an opportunity to finally address the social and economic issues that are preventing EVERYONE from creating their own destinies, and the refugee crisis is simply enhancing the existing non-sustainable social structures where poverty and inequality are still a reality for many Europeans.

If the European countries were all stable and all their citizens lived well, would people embrace refugees, or would there be cultural clashes, fears and other mental limitations used to justify the lack of funding, infrastructure or social support? Systematic changes take time to be understood and accepted by people, especially when people have been educated (brainwashed) to define themselves as the national symbols, and feel threatened by multiculturalism and diversity. But as with the principle of mobility within the EU, global mobility from the East to the West, from the South to the North are a reality that must be welcomed and taken into consideration, not suppressed or punished.

In relation to the interdependence we all live in, we can easily look at our western lifestyles and wonder where prime resources come from to keep us warm, to enable transportation, industries and to essentially make society run. As with any other war, the root of the problem is related to the control and dominion of land and natural resources in specific areas of the world. According to Oil & Gas Journal, Syria was estimated to possess proved reserves of oil at 2.5 billion barrels as of January 1, 2015 and shale oil resources, with estimates of reserves in 2010 ranging as high as 50 billion tons  (see http://www.eia.gov/beta/international/analysis.cfm?iso=SYR).This is what is the ultimate justification for the destruction that is causing people to flee from war zones. Therefore, in the name of our own comfort but also in the name of the comfort of all the other human beings, it is our responsibility to find solutions that consider what is best for all. We don’t need to wait for further revenge or terrorist demands that will perpetuate the perceptions of separation. We all know that the only solution is to mature international relations toward a new level of cooperation, responding to everyone’s needs and fostering peaceful living.

In my perspective, the biggest lesson to learn from the migration crisis is the consequences of our Devaluation of Life. Despite all technological advancements, we haven’t yet been able to come with plans and actions to manage world resources fairly and equally, and to apply political will to consider all peoples of the world. It is also a red flag about the false perceptions we have of “other people” based on specific religious or cultural differences that are deliberately shown by the media as the problem, instead of educating that differences are sources of diversity and expansion.

Additionally, I suggest that this becomes an opportunity to challenge that narrow-minded belief that we can either help “our people” or “the others”, and instead we adopt the possibility of “having both” – this can be possible by creating the funds to address the social-economic priorities of nationals through solutions such as the Living Income Guaranteed, while at the same time fund the immediate needs of refugees through the profits we are making in exploiting local resources, and finally to establish a common ground for the West and the Middle Eastern societies to benefit from shared resources in a sustainable way through fair diplomatic negotiations based on the principle of valuing Life.

Why do we continue to play musical chairs with people’s lives, knowing that this world and our species has plenty of solutions to offer?

I also recommend watching the open discussion on the Refugee crisis organised by the Living Income Guaranteed, where you will hear first-hand experiences about the integration process of refugees in Sweden, Denmark and in Germany. As Anna Brix Thomsen demystifies, we fear that which we don’t know and that is also why many people have resistance to accept refugees in Europe – but once the mental barrier is transcended, a whole new world of opportunities, of personal growth and understanding is available toward a better future for our humanity.

 

 

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A Permanent Solution for the Neglected Produce Laborers of Mexico

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by Fidelis Spies 

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Problem:

A Times reporter and photographer find that thousands of laborers at Mexico’s mega-farms endure harsh conditions and exploitation while supplying produce for American consumers.

The Times found:

  • Many farm laborers are essentially trapped for months at a time in rat-infested camps, often without beds and sometimes without functioning toilets or a reliable water supply.
  • Some camp bosses illegally withhold wages to prevent workers from leaving during peak harvest periods.
  • Laborers often go deep in debt paying inflated prices for necessities at company stores. Some are reduced to scavenging for food when their credit is cut off. It’s common for laborers to head home penniless at the end of a harvest.
  • Those who seek to escape their debts and miserable living conditions have to contend with guards, barbed-wire fences and sometimes threats of violence from camp supervisors.
  • Major U.S. companies have done little to enforce social responsibility guidelines that call for basic worker protections such as clean housing and fair pay practices.

Hardship on Mexico’s farms, a bounty for U.S. tables

By RICHARD MAROSI http://graphics.latimes.com/product-of-mexico-camps/

Where does our food come from? It is the fruits and veggies of other people’s labor. Farm exports to the U.S. from Mexico have tripled to $7.6 billion in the last decade, enriching agribusinesses, distributors and retailers. As you can see in the article it’s the actual labors that come out last.

The company utilizes advance growing techniques and very carefully employs sanitary measures to make sure their produce is safe and good quality, but at the same time they absolutely neglect the workforce. The produce has a higher value than the actual humans working there. One of these Companies actually recently took out full-page newspaper ads promoting its commitment to social responsibility.

The company these laborers work for use devious ways to keep profits high. It is law to pay workers their wages on a weekly base. To ensure that the people do not leave before their 3 month work contract the company often withholds their wages and only pays them at the end of their contract. In that time the workers get their food from the company store with its inflated prices. They often go deep in debt and at the end of their contract some go home without any money.

The conditions are so bad, yet people still go there to work knowing that they might not make money – some go just to stay fed. They go because they simply have no alternative and that is what the companies are exploiting. Is there any way to stop this Madness? Yes

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Solution:

The main reason why people will work for a company like this and live with the miserable living conditions is because they need the money – no matter how little it is. So let’s see how the Living Income Guaranteed will drastically improve the situation:

With the Living Income Guaranteed the workforce will no longer be able to be exploited, because that desperation to find a job no matter where it is or how terrible the work conditions are will no longer exist. When the people who cannot find work receive a Living Income they will no longer accept bad working conditions. The company will have to improve the working conditions otherwise they are going to have a hard time hiring the workforce needed to get the job done.

This Involves granting them good quality foods that they are used to eating, to create proper housing with full services for them – water, toilets – and proper working gear. Also what would need to be done is abolish all abuse – this means no threats and not deliberately creating debt for the workforce.  These companies will need to apply and live by their corporate social responsibility measures; currently it’s only a front to make the companies look good.

With the basic Income Double the Living Income the laborers will be able to make a guaranteed decent living that will be paid on a weekly basis, no excuses allowed.

A Living Income Guaranteed will provide effective and practical solutions to all the current problems these laborers are facing and it is something this world needs – a Solution.

 

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How the Living Income Guaranteed Will promote Environmental Sustainability

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by Fidelis Spies

Environmental Healing with LIGAs we all know, our continued human existence is having consequences on the Earth and one of them is the Earth warming up. And so scientists are trying to come up with solutions to stop this particular consequence and one of the options to stop Global warming is through GEOengineering – interfering with nature on a planetary scale.

Here are some of the GEOengineering options that scientist are currently investigating:

1. Afforestation: This technique would irrigate deserts, such as those in Australia and North Africa, to plant millions of trees that could absorb carbon dioxide; this vegetation would also draw in sunlight that the deserts currently reflect back into space, and so contribute to global warming.

2. Artificial ocean upwelling: Engineers would use long pipes to pump cold, nutrient-rich water upward to cool ocean-surface waters. If this process ever stopped it could cause oceans to rebalance their heat levels and rapidly change the climate.

3. Ocean alkalinisation: This involves heaping lime into the ocean to chemically increase the absorption of carbon dioxide.

4. Ocean iron fertilisation: The method involves dumping iron into the oceans to improve the growth of photosynthetic organisms that can absorb carbon dioxide.

5. Solar radiation management: This would reduce the amount of sunlight Earth receives, by shooting reflective sulphate-based aerosols into the atmosphere.

As I read through this list I get kind of worried, because they are trying to stop the Earth from heating up through wanting to do things like dumping iron into the oceans or spraying the air with sulphate. Won’t that simply cause more problems in the future? You don’t solve a problem with another problem.

Here is an analogy: You see a spider trapped in your bathtub. So you take a few sheets of tissue paper and very carefully burn your house down…

In a similar way that is how we deal with issues we face on this Earth. With the above mentioned solutions we are simply going to create more problems.

Earth Tool ChangeThe way you deal with problems is stopping them at the source, which is the way we humans interact with the Earth – or more specifically: how we have come to value profit over things that actually matter – like the Earth itself. Our world leaders have for some time had those meetings on finding solutions to cut carbon emissions, but not many are actually doing that. The reason comes back to money, a factory pollutes the Earth, but it also makes money. Currently cutting emissions equals less money made.

Eco friendly solutions cost a lot of money, so that is why it is not ever really implemented on global scale – it’s not cost effective. Also, there is the factor that there is a massive profit being made by current use of available technologies – like oil and coal – and thus coming up with other solutions is discouraged.

So then what is the reason for all this pollution currently created? Money. And what would be the solution to clean up and stop pollution? Money. The planet has over 7 billion people on it. And I have read and seen solutions to control and get rid of pollution many times, but it never gets implemented, because the people coming up with these ideas do not have the necessary funds to implement these ideas or do more research. And in many of these cases the people who come up with these ideas are those directly affected by the pollution.

With the implementation of Living Income Guaranteed we could ensure that all options are considered and see what will be the best solution. Not to say that LIG would be bad news to businesses around the world and force them to cut carbon emissions – no – rather more about focusing on ways to prevent this with the use of new technologies that are available and that are currently not being used because profit is placed over sustainability, which is how through Corporate Social Responsibility measures, corporations will also have to consider their own sustainability and assurance of production by stopping degrading measures that will cause more consequences for them and the community.

Also what is happening is that consumers are becoming aware of the consequences that factories have on the environment and are favoring eco-friendly production methods. So the company will have to start introducing environmentally friendly solutions and stick to the new trend to meet the customer demand in order to still make money.

Another point is that when an individual doesn’t have to worry about surviving and can start focusing on actual living – it opens doors and with it great potential. For example there are so many people who find passion in doing humanitarian work, or finding solutions to make factories more efficient and less polluting – but cannot focus on doing any of that, because they need money to survive. Who knows what potential we can unlock and ideas we can come up with and implement to reduce or even reverse the negative consequences we have created on this Earth. The Living Income Guaranteed would bring us closer to finding the solutions we require.

Here are Videos that further explain how with the Implementation of the Living Income Guaranteed will promote Environmental Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility:

 

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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.

 

corporate-social-responsibility - LIG

 

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Taking Leave may mean the End of your Job – Solutions?

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by Fidelis Spies

“It’s like a bachelor party for your career! Or having someone buying you dinner and then assume that means he’s owed sexual intercourse! Anyway, apparently telling people to take a vacation before they come to work for you is becoming a thing now.

Paid Leave Labor Vacation Living Income GuaranteedWriting this week in Slate, Will Oremus reports on this phenomenon, telling the tale of Jason Freedman, the CEO of a San Francisco-based commercial real estate search engine company called 42 floors. Freedman offers what he calls paid “pre-cations” to new hires, explaining, “It’s like, ‘Yeah, have a great time! And when you get back here, work your ass off.’” The point is, that sounds terrible.

As Oremus points out, we are already a vastly overworked nation. We put in considerably more hours than we did a generation ago — and most of us are doing it while facing what the New York Times last year called “flatlined” wages. A new study released last month revealed that Americans take only about half the vacation time they’re entitled to, missing out on the equivalent of “over 500 million” days off a year. Why? Because they’re afraid of repercussions, an anxiety reinforced by what MarketWatch notes is “company culture and lack of encouragement from management to take time off.” People are reluctant to take vacations for fear they’ll be revealed as expendable.”
See more at: http://www.salon.com/2014/10/01/the_pre_vacation_is_a_trap/

Well now, what a problem we have here. In the article above you can see how taking paid leave is something that most people simply cannot do, because it could mean the end of their job. Getting a job is a big problem in this world and when you do have a job you will do anything to keep it, because you need the money to survive in this world.

This gives employers power over the employees. There are many people looking for jobs, so if you are deemed replaceable you will simply be replaced. So if it means you have works your ass off every day and not take any leave then there is nothing you can do about it unless you risk getting fired. This leads to bad work situations and over worked, overstressed employees. This will only get worse unless something changes.

A solution that will end this fear and anxiety of losing a job if you take your leave which you are in fact entitled to would be the Living Income Guaranteed. This will give power to the employees and create a dignified work environment. With the minimum wage being double the Living income people will have enough money to live. This will stop the abuse of employees, because they could simply leave and find a better place to work so the employer will need to treat his employees with care to keep them working there.

Workers will feel supported and cared for by their employers, which will result in individuals that no longer feel pressured and enforced to only be a profit-making machine, but will feel happy and content to realize that their work is being truly remunerated and that their time and contribution to the corporation is being valued as the life-time investment it actually is. A well remunerated individual will create a happier and fulfilled society that is no longer afraid of not having sufficient money to feed their family, it will be the beginning of a new era of quality work that dignifies the lives of human beings that genuinely desire to improve their lifestyles.

 

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The Theory of Economy

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by Viktor Person

supply-and-demand-01-resized-600This summer I had the mixed pleasure of reading a course in Microeconomics and International trade. In microeconomics the primary focus of the researchers is to establish ‘What is the market really doing and why?’ – and this is attempted to be done utilizing mathematical formulas; primarily utilizing the famous graph where two lines cross each-other, the one line sloping downwards (demand) and the other sloping upwards (supply) – and where they meet each other = that’s apparently the optimal price for the product and the optimal quantity of that product in that given market.

What first struck me as being fascinating about these theories was that they seldom predicted how the market would behave in reality, and neither could they be verified with empirical evidence – and most of the time the authors of the my books where busy trying to find reasons and various viewpoints as to why these theories wasn’t working “as they should” – and how they probably did work but it was just that the inventors missed to take into consideration some important factors and variables.

Though, what was the most fascinating about this entire area of research, was how there was this complete worship to the idea that lower prices = higher consumer satisfaction; and that apparently for a market to be functional, what is required is that we produce as many products as possible, to the lowest prices possible, because then the consumers are able to buy as much as possible, and then we’re apparently okay, happy, and have a fruitful existence here on earth.

Obviously, when I looked at these ideas, I silently chuckled – because the logical flaw of this assumption is glaringly simple = the producers are the consumers! YES – that’s the secret of economy and the reason why we’ve got so many unemployed in this day and age is because we’ve failed to understand that when a product is cheaper, someone at the other end gets less money, which in turns means that a (employee) consumer gets less money, which in turns means that the producer gets less customers = and it all ends up in such a way that most lose but a few that manage to reap the monopoly profits of those very low-priced products – because they’ve priced out everyone else.

It’s clear that we have to develop a new way of looking at economics, and that mathematics and statistics isn’t the way to go – no – we actually require to look at the actuality of what is going on. For example, poverty, what is the actuality of poverty? Why does poverty exist to begin with? It’s not a matter of mathematics, rather it’s a matter of seeing what is behind everything in this world – and that is MONEY – money that in itself is a completely innocent creation meant to be but a way of distributing goods and services to where they are required and wanted the most; but in our current system – money has become a point of control – where those that are already rich and on top of things with all possible means make sure the keep those stricken by poverty in place – else we wouldn’t anymore have a functional slave labor force that can produce all of our various gadgets and other mechanics of entertainment.

Thus, what we must ask ourselves, and economists more importantly, is why have we never used our knowledge to produce a sustainable system where all of us are able to create a life that is dignified, cool and enjoyable? What is required for us to do that? MONEY – and what do we need to bring through such money into this world? Resources – so what is then the solution – the real economic master plan as to how to create a world that would be sustainable and practical for all its inhabitants? To agree that we share the resources – at least the basic and most essential resources – those that we MUST HAVE in order to live.

Thus, I stand behind the Living Income Guaranteed – which is a functional, effective and sustainable way of creating a new world for all people where money will be shared – and for those economists that want to make a difference – I suggest that you investigate this concept and bring your knowledge to the table and help to create something from which we can all benefit!

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A Westerner’s Experience Living in Thailand

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By Adrian Blackburn

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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.

Colonialism: Problems and Solutions

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By Barbara Stängl

 

The Problem with Colonialism

“Colonialism is a practice of domination, which involves the subjugation of one people to another.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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Colonialism is frequently used interchangeably with imperialism. This is not actually correct, even though both involve political and economic control over a dependent territory. In colonialism, population is oftentimes transferred to a new territory as settlers who maintain an allegiance to their home country, whereas imperialism denotes the power and control factor one ruling country has over the other. However, the starting point of increasing profit and expanding power is the same.

The trick was to disguise the profit and power motive, in fact the exploitation that is be executed through colonialism, as development – with an argument known as the mission of bringing civilization to under- and undeveloped peoples, which was used to justify the intrusions and devastation of the land. So, internal decisions of the respective countries were influenced, financial and intellectual support arranged, the money for infrastructure projects lent, where around a fifth of the loan would be the actual money received, ensuing a tie-up of 80 percent in deposits in London, that would enslave the respective third world countries’ population. ‘Call in the loans’ is basically how the word colonialism is lived and manifested today.

Despite the fact that oftentimes the respective countries that had been targeted for ‘development’ fought for and received independence of the capitalist country, this revealed to be deceptive, as the status ultimately amounted to that of an informal colony. Besides, any obligations given up by them had to be taken over by befriended countries that were tied into such agreements by ‘legal’ coercion.

The idea or ideology of colonialism is nurtured by capitalist nations throughout the world with the enforcement of political, cultural and economic control over the weak nations of the world, in order to exploit them for pure self-enrichment – looking for trade, but basically sucking out the wealth of the countries it has pre-ordained for its dealings. So colonialism it is a major part of capitalism for the purpose of securing financial, economical and power interests. To this end, also, billions of slaves have been trafficked to the Americas, for instance, to have cheap human resources as laborers on the plantations that were set up, in its wake raping nature and natives alike of a balanced relationship with the whole as here as pre-established, causing warfare at all levels, resulting in genocide and complete agony for all life.

 

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Colonialism also took on horrific extents in Malaya and Kenya, for example, where whole villages were punished in 1952, the states turned into a police state with a shoot to kill policy, detention camps were established with forced labor and hangings and any attempt to thwart British revenue demands were brutally oppressed. Hereby the UK gained immense military and industrial strength. Again motivated by material, economic and strategic interest, and, promising independence, GB continued following this ideology of colonialism in the Muslim world; the war on Iraq was spurred dividing the area into weak states, creating Iraq for the oil it needed for the Royal Navy – exchanging rulers and gassing and bombing the nation.

Colonialism sees exploitation and inhumane treatment of people with attacks against insurgents by systematic abuse, such as sleep deprivation, hooding, sexual degradation and starvation. Afghanistan is another example that is well-known, also Israel, established as a settler colony as an outpost of European capitalism, fostered in particular by British imperialism along with the creation of other states to ensure their influence. The list goes on.

One can easily see where this is going: the exploitation and devastation of the earth’s resources and enslavement of all but very few, the Elite behind it all, though even they are subservient to their greed and fear of sinking below the obtained standard trying to hold what they have made themselves believe they’re entitled to.

 

The solution

Since the driving factor is capitalism and within this profit and power and thus the starting point is existent of desire for More, which comes in form of economic control over those nations with rich resources, in the wake of which immense suffering is created for life on all levels, the solution is to limit the control of the corporations. They should not own natural resources and be allowed to mine them for profit of the very few without taking environmental consequences into consideration within responsibility and in regard to sustenance of an overall natural equilibrium. The resources will be handled in a way that is best for all.

It is necessary to take the capitalistic factor out of the equation, namely by implementing a system of equality with each and every living being on earth, where each being is entitled to an income from birth on. Thus each will have enough to stop the struggle for survival and coerced cooperation into a situation of compromise and devastation will be able to be immensely limited. Fear will be taken out of the equation to a great deal and the basis for self-investigation will be established.

The primary steps toward this solution would be to educate people on what equality actually means and what the consequences of implementing such a life principle into and as our practical living would look like to let people eventually see, realize and understand that fearing financial equality is quite ridiculous.

Establishing a party that each can actually vote for is essential as history has proven that acts of revolution give rise to a turnover with the ultimate effect that the same system is implemented only with a different person at the top, not to mention the brutality that is accepted by opting for violent and aggressive measures. The aim of the party would be to reallocate and nationalize resources and redistribute the responsibilities for these and their respective processing to people who are actually competent to handle such a task ecologically with responsibility.

Of course a new financial system will require substantial changes in the administrative structures and tasks and a consequent slimming down of the present extortions of these offices. On the other hand, there will be a need for people to evaluate, forward and implement improvements and suggestions thereof and people will have to be supported and educated to be able to participate with common sense, which will require the directive and clarity of insight of the respective persons to be the peers in this matter, thus after a slimming down there will be stable foundation to be set up and new expansion with regards to various novel fields, for example of science and research, that will need to be supervised will be possible.

Media will have to have a completely reversed focus point namely not to misinform and influence to the disadvantage of the people, but to inform and open up problematic points to impulse some stroke of genius or simply common sense toward solutions that support the common good and forward real growth for humanity.

On the long run the education system has to be totally reorganized and revised, pertaining for one to the contents and basically to the starting point of education as such, where not competition is being fostered to later ultimately cater to the corporate greed – the profit and advantage of the 1% -but but to ‘pick up everyone where he’s at’ and direct toward a re-establishment of common sense and actual know-how as to how things function in this world, what is here and how to create and move toward solutions that are best for all in a team.

 

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The reward, as benefits, is obvious:

No being will have to suffer. Everyone will have food, water, shelter, education – a life. There will be no wars for resources. Fear will be on a personal level as a part of the mind consciousness system to be directed but not reinforced by the economical and financial system and so more easily handled and stopped.

School will be something very interesting without fear of failing in the system later due to bad marks, because competition will not be lived as ‘me against you’ within a superiority/inferiority paradigm, but wanting to excel in and as a team, because one will want to participate with one’s self-expression and not as a matter of surviving in the system.

There will be peace and a possibility of real self-expression without fear.

There will be a great mess to be cleaned up, but there will be a co-operation that establishes itself as everyone has enough for himself and is free to actually work together.

The Living Income Guaranteed integrates these principles in The Proposal, it is in our best interest to end foreign interventions for the sake of profit making purposes and instead, be able to focus on strengthening our own nations economy as well as developing trade within fair terms that benefit both sides.

What is the Living Income Guaranteed?

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Living Income Guaranteed is an economic and political mechanism to ensure the establishment of Fundamental Human Birth Rights of the public through allocating an allowance on a monthly basis to every eligible individual that is currently in a position of being unable to sustain themselves – and/or people in their custody – financially to a level that Human Dignity deserves and that currently lack such support due to reasons beyond their immediate control including – but not limited to – unemployment, lacking access to food, lacking access to housing, lacking access to healthcare, lacking access to education, physical disability, being retired or not old enough to have a job.

This is within the understanding that the existence of poverty and lack of education as the key to have a job and means to live is the result and outflow of the economic system’s malfunction, providing an unfair allocation of National Natural Resources, being unable to support every living individual with sufficient access to fundamental living necessities. The most immediate remedy is to eradicate poverty, through allocating/designating a monthly allowance to those that don’t have access to their fundamental living necessities, thereby empowering them to establish a dignified life, enabling each one to reach their potential, choose a career and contribute to the economy through their skill, labour and purchasing power.

Why is it called Living Income instead of Basic Income?

It is called ‘Living Income’ because it won’t only provide each one with the minimum required to survive, it implies sufficient allowance that is able to cover the fundamental expenses required for a dignified living Why? Because this will enable people to reach their creative potential, return to the job market, become independent from the Living Income and contribute to the progression of the economy.

This means that a Living Income Guaranteed should be provided to all individuals that are currently unable to participate in any economic activity due to the lack of jobs/education/health. However those that don’t participate in any economic activity but do have sufficient money to live due to, for example, family wealth, inheritance or any other regular income won’t qualify nor require the Living Income Guaranteed.

Why is Living Income Guaranteed Not Unconditional?

The reason why it is not given to all people unconditionally is because this would undermine the sustainability of an economic system that does require people to be motivated to educate themselves and work to enable the continuation and functionality of our societies.

That means that people that work won’t get the Living Income Guaranteed?

That’s right, however we Do propose that the Minimum Wage is Doubled (twice the Living Income Allowance), which means that there will be a series of reforms to take place first to make the Living Income Guaranteed a sufficient Allowance granted to cover fundamental living necessities, which is within the context of our current economy More than our current Minimum Wage standards.

This allowance should be sufficient for an individual to have dignified living conditions with guaranteed access to their fundamental human birth rights: Food, Water, Housing, Healthcare, Education, Clothing, Transportation, Public Services, etc.

Now to motivate people to work, the new minimum wage should be Double the Living Income Guaranteed in the most common economic activities which are at the moment associated with retail workers, waiters, cashiers, transportation workers, fast food industries, etc..

So, anyone that genuinely wants to have a top quality lifestyle will not conform to only getting the minimum as the Living Income, but continue educating themselves, developing further skills to make more money and have more financial solvency.

What’s in it for the corporations with implementing the Living Income Guaranteed model?

A broader consumer base. Those that previously had no money to live and as such were not economically active will suddenly become active participants in the economy which will ensure that profit is also broadened for corporations, realizing that if more buyers emerge, there will be more profit that can be used to better the working conditions, to diminish the compulsive production and instead adapt the prices to make things affordable, with great quality and providing a secure and harmonious working base, as well as proceeding to fund the automation of jobs that are currently deteriorating human health.

Workers will feel supported and cared for by their employers, which will result in individuals that no longer feel pressured and enforced to only be a profit-making machine, but will feel happy and content to realize that their work is being truly remunerated and that their time and contribution to the corporation is being valued as the life-time investment it actually is. A well remunerated individual will create a happier and fulfilled society that is no longer afraid of not having sufficient money to feed their family, it will be the beginning of a new era of quality work that dignifies the lives of human beings that genuinely desire to improve their lifestyles.

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Why is the implementation of a Living Income Guaranteed an immediate solution to the economic crisis?

More than a solution to a crisis, it should be understood as the way to guarantee that the Fundamental Human Rights to each individual are properly funded through allocating an Allowance as the access to the necessary things one requires to live in a dignified way – this is within the principle of Giving to others what we would like to receive, and if we want to live in a peaceful society, to have a happy and healthy living condition, we then must give access to this Allowance/Income as a living certainty that will eradicate the need to resort to crime, panhandling, homelessness, lacking education, health care that results in economical regression affecting every individual in society.

It is common sense that if we give an Allowance to every eligible individual to be well nourished, have proper living conditions with the fundamental necessary services, health care and leisure time, more educated beings will emerge from this when realizing that if one is given support as in getting an income to cover one’s living necessities, one learns how to give back to society too. This will be understood as a living principle that applies to every living being on Earth beyond any political, social, religious or ideological affiliation. We’re talking about physical living necessities that all human beings require to live in a dignified and sustainable way.

On top of this, many jobs are being replaced by the rise of the machine, which will require more restructuring processes in our economy to finally upgrade the premise of being able to ‘make a living by having a job’ because if jobs are currently not available to all – regardless of having college degrees and necessary skills to have one – then it is certain that a new understanding of our economy should be grasped as supportive mechanism for all individuals rather than a restrictive and coercive one.

In the past, long-term policies and treaties have attempted to benefit the working class over time, and it has proven to be inefficient for the tightening policies implemented by corporations as well as the economic outflows have deviated their effectiveness. This is how through a direct intervention to provide the Living Income as an Allowance and doubling of the minimum wage, we are directing the problem at the root, instead of expecting third party actors and policies to solve the situation throughout time.

Will the Living Income Guaranteed undermine competition and as such create economic stagnation in society?

Not at all, actually it’s the other way around. If we define competition as the ability achieve the best living condition in a society, by allocating Allowance to every eligible individual that previously had no access to it, we assure the activation of the economy and impulse people to work if they do want to have a greater economic solvency to cover other consumer desires for extra commodities that are not able to be paid for with the Living Income Guaranteed. Also, there is no limit to how much money you or corporations can make as long as their businesses do not interfere in any way with the nationalization of natural resources or fundamental public services – that is the condition. That means that the rules of a free market still apply and as such, the only constitutional and governmental management will be to supervise the implementation of the Living Income Guaranteed, as well as conducting the usual maintenance, management and provision of public goods and the justice department.

The more you prepare yourself, the better work you’ll have, the more benefits which means you will earn more money as well. Competition means bettering oneself to perform a certain activity the best way one can and this is an essential part of human nature  that has kept our societies remaining competitive, innovative and creative  at a local and global level.

You will also be able to truly have free choice on which work is best for you instead of engaging in working contracts based on need rather than preference or choice. This is the way to implement a real ethical environment at work too, where no more exploitation occurs since any job won’t be the result of a need to work in order to survive, but rather become a means and incentive to increase the quality of life. 

How will it be funded?

Through the nationalization of resources , banks and basic services which means that if, for example, your oil, gas, water, electricity, telecommunications ,transportation is defined as patrimony of the people, the profit that comes from the consumption/purchase of such goods and services should be sufficient to fund the Living Income Guaranteed for eligible individuals. This means there will be no need to have personal taxation but instead keep the VAT (Value Added Tax) as it is to continue funding the functions of the government – this is also within the consideration that as the purchasing power increases and consumer base broadens, the funds coming from VAT will also increase creating more solvency in governmental budget as well, which translates to higher quality public welfare.

Thus with the Living Income Guaranteed there is one thing that is of vital importance: no one in the system, no citizen will pay tax – all tax will be facilitated by either value added tax or sales tax or import duties. If you have a government system that is responsible because you have a system where each one is functioning effectively within the system, you do not need excessive tax; your tax is spent on things like roadwork, transport facilitation – all things that can be handled ‘in house’.

One of the things that can work quite effectively also in a country is to have a toll tax on the roads which are managed by the government and that keeps the roads in place, so according to the use that one has of a road = will be the amount of tax you pay, but there will be in this proposal no income tax, so nobody is going to pay for anyone’s Living Income Guaranteed, it’s coming from the resource companies which everybody in the country are participating in and your sales tax or your value added tax will be according to the amount of your participation within a particular system – this is a fair way of dealing with government tax collection.

This is how the distribution of wealth and profits is expanded onto those that would have no benefit from the commercialization of natural resources and basic services, and due to the constant consumption and requirement of these, it is ensured that the foundation of the Living Income Guaranteed will always remain sustainable and have sufficient funds to cover the beneficiaries’ expenses.

Another example is how through stopping allocating money to fund wars, the trillions of dollars that are spent in the warfare industry can be designated to revitalize the economy through funding the Living Income Guaranteed and supporting the health care, education, commerce, production industries and basic services that require to be improved at home.

Will Public Services also be Nationalized?

Health care, education, water, electricity, telecommunications, media, banks will also be nationalized. Each country will have to assess their available resources in order for the government to make sufficient profit to fund the Living Income Guaranteed.

How can we implement the Living Income Guaranteed?

Through a political proposal, through existing or new political parties that have this mechanism as their key card to gain the majority vote to have our Fundamental Human Rights guaranteed through the Living Income Guaranteed. This means that the right to a Living Income must be granted on a constitutional basis – this is a national-based system constituted at a political level and able to be voted on within a democratic process based on the principle of one man, one vote.

LIG Hong Kong

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Living Income Guaranteed and the Rise of the Machine

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This will be an ongoing discussion wherein slowly but surely we will dissect the situation around the idea that the machine could be ‘the savior of mankind.’

Within this we have to first look at where we are with the machine as it exists now:

  • What is this machine?
  • What have we done with this machine?
  • How is this machine functioning in our current society?

Here let me give you a story…

About three years ago, one of the neighbors came and we were discussing things in general, he then mentioned an interesting event, a family member tendered for the engine block of one of the new Toyota models that were going to be produced. The specifications of the tender were that the block must last for a warranty period of five years. So in their diligence and commitment to get the tender, they engineered an engine block that would last 8 years. Obviously they were under the impression that if you produce something better than the specifications, your tender will probably receive a more positive view. Fascinatingly enough their tender was rejected, because it did not keep to the specification of a warranty of 5 years.

 

Now the engine block of a motorcar is engineered, produced and constructed by the machine, but who makes the machine that makes the engine block? That is the human and the human intent.
If we take this now to a broader view of many, many products that are available in stores, we’ll notice that many of them are produced by the machine. But regardless of being produced by the machine (which by the way ensures a greater level of perfection than when it is produced by the human) – in total disregard of this potential perfection, the human would design the machine to produce the goods to only last a limited period of time. This causes massive levels of consumption, placing massive pressure on resources and all in the name of creating a market flow which produces money and profit, which produces – according to our well-drilled brainwashed economists –a market economy that’s necessary to keep the world economy going.

 

And within this obviously, the competition that exists between the remaining few corporations in this game of monopoly, is to see ‘who can destroy who’ in price wars. It’s an economic war going on and at the end ‘only one shall remain’ – and the one that remains obviously will determine in the end the quality of the product produced. If the consumer has already been conditioned by the fact that nothing else is available but that which has a limited warranty, the corporation can keep producing the same product over and over again, knowing that it will fail within a particular period of time where the consumer will be addicted and adapted to have the product and thus must replace it by their own apparent ‘free choice’ — and so a market force is being created.

 

Is this really the purpose of ‘the Rise of the Machine’?
What is the machine replacing but the human labor point?
By replacing human labor what we have already seen is that many people lose their jobs and even those that remain employed, end up receiving lower incomes with only the few at the top receiving higher incomes. In this way it is ensured that those that do make the decisions, do not question the system; those that do not make the decisions have no choice, because otherwise they will have no job because of their diminished bargaining power in an economy with high unemployment.

So, a perfect slavery system exists – all in the name of the machine and the machine is blamed for it, instead of the human.

Certainly in a redesigned economy, the machine can play a significant role in perfecting the products available for the human race to use, perfecting the reduction of resources used in the production process, extending the life of the produced product as part of this perfection. Through this, allowing the human to benefit from their placement of the labor resource by ensuring that there is significant and enough Living income for each one to ensure that the product produced can be consumed but for mostly to ensure that the right to life is recognized as a human right, allowing the human to have more free time in which to develop their awareness to become more benevolent, less competitive and self-responsible. Those are the points which should be the outflow of the rise of the machine: a reduction in competition thus a reduction in conflict, a reduction in war and the development of quality production and sustainability, because the principles are understood as what is necessary to have an ecosystem that is effective and supportive in nourishing the human race as a whole. Unfortunately, this is yet to be considered.

You should watch the documentary

The Light Bulb Conspiracy to understand the nature of the problem: the problem is the human being, not the machine. The machine certainly can create and contribute to a society that brings vast levels of freedom to everyone and our society can develop a higher purpose for its existence. At the moment, we’re at the most basic part of our existence where there’s not even a Living Income, there’s not even a Living Income for everyone! While this could have been possible if this was introduced as the machine was rising but instead, those brutal enough to take advantage of the situation forced a play that caused a massive problem in the world, and now all the top people, the elite in the world has no idea how to practically solve the problem.

So the solution to the problem is not apparent, more radical steps are being considered. I would suggest that the real radical step is to realize that the mistake was made when labor was removed from the equation of the pricing of a product, and it was replaced by the labor of the machine, you cannot compare the two: the machine is actually an extension of human labor and therefore the human should be glorified through it, it found a better way to create more time. But now instead, those that do not fit into the economic model are forced to use all their time to find ways to survive – that is certainly not the way forward.

Investigate

Living Income Guaranteed, become part of the research. If your objective and your principle is like ours: to find a practical solution that is best for all that works for everyone and you can see that obviously that is the only way we will have a workable solution on earth, then join us. There is no way that an answer on Earth is going to come through an individual, it’s going to require a group, the group as humanity to work together, to bury the hatchet and to forgive each other and to move on and create a system that is best for all – there is no other solution possible. And to simply try and ‘find ways’ that do not involve an outcome that is best for all: is just a waste of time.

 

Equal Life Foundation Research Team

 

Living Income Guaranteed and the Rise of the Machine