Honor

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.

 

 

Investigate the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal

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Mothers and a Living Income – Giving as We have Received

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by Kristina Salas 

Katrina Gilbert Paycheck to Paycheck Living Income Mothers Right

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Investigate the Equal Life Foundation and the Living Income.

Bill of Rights Equal Life Foundation

 

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Living Income Guaranteed: Basic Nutrition and Education

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The latest research into basic nutrition, the medical profession and the researches claim that poverty cannot be addressed until basic nutrition has been addressed. The research also indicates that the amount of children that die and/or suffer from malnutrition is much higher than reported.

What is lacking in this understanding is that Basic Nutrition is subject to Living Income. If there is no Living Income, there can be no Basic Nutrition. Neither can there be ‘basic education’ because Basic Nutrition is dependent on Basic Education, and Basic Education is dependent on Living Income. This is really easy to deduce and the repeated evidence – which is after all what science is based on – that is produced through the cycles that exist which is what a scientist measures, exists on earth forever and yet in spite of our claims of basic intelligence evolving, basic common sense seems to be going nowhere.

So, if you want to end poverty in the world, you’re going to have to sit down and work out for yourself on a piece of paper what Basic Nutrition is subject to:

  • Is it just existing or do you need ‘something’ before you get it?

So write down what is basic nutrition and then you write down what you need to get it per person, per family.

  • Then write out what Basic Nutrition is – meaning where do you get it from, you have to write down what is required, for you as Basic Education to be able to understand Basic Nutrition is.
  • Then, you write out what you require to have both Basic Education and Basic Nutrition and how you achieve that when there are no jobs available.

If you look at the latest figures of for instance Croatia, which is now becoming part of the European Union: 50% of the youth is unemployed and there are no jobs available; and they have no possibility of any changes in their future and they are the next generation of parents which are going to have children which are going to be subject to Basic Nutrition, but they don’t have Living Income. Now, will they not have sex because they have no Living Income or will they have sex and there will be children? Have a look at Africa, on average 50% and more of a country in Africa are without jobs. Even though unemployment is high – it doesn’t stop the fact that people will act within their basic nature and produce children. They will have no money, no Basic Income, no Basic Nutrition and no Basic Education – then the children suffer.

Those with money do understand these problems but refuse to consider a system that can resolve the issue. Because once you have Basic Education in place – which will produce an understanding of Basic Nutrition – you’re going to have a change in the population growth and it’s going to go down! You don’t have to ‘cull’ the human to reduce population growth, you just need to educate them and give them a reason to live: Living Income Guaranteed. And, most of the evils in the world will go away by a simple application, a consideration to give to others as you would like to receive – you would like to have enough money, to have a decent life, to be able to give yourself and your children Basic Nutrition, to give yourself and your children the Basic Education and to have a basic happy lifestyle! Give that to everyone with Living Income Guaranteed, ensure that your political parties – or the ones that you join and that you vote for – embrace a Living Income Guaranteed and if you don’t have such a political party in your country: start one! It’s time to care.

Capitalism has always in times of great uncertainty and where the system was in melt down, moved towards war. If we want to prevent another World War, we need to sort out the ills of Capitalism which are based on the fact that there is a lack in consumption. This lack in consumption is causing a big problem with unemployment and is putting the profits of corporations under pressure, causing even more unemployment, causing more people without Basic Nutrition and Basic Education. This is all solved by one simple thing: Living Income Guaranteed, and we can Guarantee a Society that is Living in Balance.

 

 

Equal Life Foundation Research Team

 

Basic Income Guaranteed, Basic Nutrition, Basic Education

Living Income Guaranteed and Human Rights

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Why are the Human Rights of every person on Earth not protected? If one takes this to the level of a parent, every parent wants for their children the best future in this world. With the current application and the implication of the way that our current system functions, it is more based on luck than on the fact that one has a birth right as a human on Earth to have a decent life with basic needs fulfilled. No one that currently has got these needs fulfilled would like to give it up and live in the conditions of those that do not have Human Rights in this polarized system between haves and have not’s.

With the Living Income Guaranteed – which is in a way positive capitalism – this problem can be resolved and a lot of unnecessary discord and wars on Earth can come to an end because we have a system that works. War has only become an easy way for the few elites to make a lot of money, utilizing people living in poverty through paying them a pittance for their patriotism to go out there and kill people. And all of this just to support an arms industry that is in its very nature of existence a violation of Human Rights in every way.

We suggest that it is important to investigate what Human Rights are for you and then to have a look if you have them. If you are lucky enough to have them, then also investigate if everybody has got them as well and if they don’t: we have the responsibility to ensure that they get them. If we are not willing to live the lives of those in poverty, then why should we keep others refrained from their right to have a dignified living? Currently we’re living in a modern day holocaust wherein capitalism and elitism have become part of our individual ideology in which we haven’t learned to care for anyone else but ourselves and where we use money as a dividing line between having Human Rights and not having Human Rights, accepting it as ‘how the world works.’

Through the correct use of democracy, there is going to be a change in the system and once we all realize that we can use politics to bring about a change, we can use democracy as the majority rule to bring about a change that is best for all. Within this there are also going to be consequences, because the violation of Human Rights will certainly be investigated – even only in a way like what happened in South Africa after the apartheid era, a forgiveness tribunal was established where what really happened was exposed, so that we all can learn from it and prevent it from ever happening again.

We suggest that we all get involved now, let’s realize that there is a change in the awareness of the human being wherein slowly but surely, we are all having the realization that we’ve been taken for a ride through propaganda and through manipulation of the mind, which is a necessary and inevitable step to finally take the veil off our eyes. Rather than waiting until it happens – which will place one squarely in a position where you may be perceived to have been part of the violation of Human Rights – we suggest to act now and take action. It’s going to take a lot of education and it’s going to take a lot of effort to help those that are stuck, which are the people with money – the rest have been stuck because they don’t have money and they have to focus on always getting money to survive day by day –  but something is certain: this will not continue the way it exists now.

Ask yourself the BIG question: why is it that everyone on Earth does not have Equal Human Rights? Why is it that Human Rights have become a commodity that can be bought with money?

Equal Life Foundation Research Team

Basic Income Guaranteed - Human Rights are Not Optional

Living Income Guaranteed: Taxation and Transparency

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One of the fundamental problems in the world in how crime develops is through tax and tax evasion and for that, specially companies employ lawyers to find loopholes in laws so that they can set up all kinds of foundations and charities with which to evade tax; and with which to influence the markets and the goods available to the consumer, to benefit their own bottom line. Now with Living Income Guaranteed it is suggested that there is no tax at a personal level and no tax at a corporate level and that one only works with either sales tax or value added tax or, if necessary, with an import duty.

Charities and foundations should be eradicated because they are actually only duplicating the work that should have been done by the government – and the government being the people, the government is not a separate corporation and it is the social arm of the people. Therefore all the work done by charities is actually the work and responsibilities of the government of the citizens, for the citizens. And this duplication exists in order to be able to evade tax, placing governments under pressure to borrow more money, taking vast parts of the budget going towards interest is quite a foolish thing to do because that just makes the government more ineffective.

The most sought after jobs in the world should be those within the government that will require the highest level of expertise with very clear guidelines to ensure that the work delivered at all times is without question the best that can be. After all the foundation of respect between citizens is based on effectively delivering goods and services required to live. This is being hampered by the current methodology where especially profit and tax evasion plays a role and where the services of government are undermined – in many cases deliberately – simply to make profit quickly. This type of behavior which is a form of financial treason, should be outlawed in every way.

And therefore the positioning of accounting services really should be replaced by automation – this implies a universal software that is linked to the banking industry which is under Living Income Guaranteed which automatically assesses the profit margins and automatically keeps a tap on the income to make sure that the minimum wage is always adhered to, as well as ensuring that nobody can defraud the system. The only reason why there is no transparency at any level when money moves is because there is dishonesty. Absolute transparency means nothing is hidden and one should also apply this within the context of the pricing of goods so that one ensures that when a company is operational, there is enough money moving to ensure everyone gets their wages and that there is sufficient profit for the investors, so that at the end of the day the sales tax and the value added tax are paid effectively. All of that can be automated, removing the human factor that at this stage causes so many problems, because of the temptation that still exists to abuse the use of resources for personal benefit.This will only be stopped in time through education and understanding how peace and harmony depend on our ability to trust one another.

Equal Life Foundation Research Team

Basic Income Guaranteed and Taxation