Inequality

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

Life Isn’t Supposed to be this Hard

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By Cerise Poolman

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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Solution Oriented Mindset and LIG – “Housing First” Project

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By Garbrielle Goodrow

 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

 

LIG

 

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

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

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

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

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The Demon in Democracy

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By Barbara Stängl

Democracy

I’m having a look at Democracy here and how we are living this idea of ‘ruling a people’ according to the meaning of the word, where humanity needs a system platform from which it is possible to find and give direction to the basic decisions that have to be made to organize the essentials of this world, the food, resources for heating, shelter, water, territory, health and education.

 

Democracy

Basic decisions require principles which provide directives and criteria, so that a decision makes sense. The platform of Democracy functions on the basis of the principle of capitalism, free market forces and freedom of speech. It is a system that requires money to be able to take part in it, but it does not automatically grant this money to everyone unconditionally. You somehow have to be part of the ruling people, as someone having money, to be able to be heard, have a voice. Having walked the education and career system makes one eligible to be part of the system, as long as you remain competent and competitive. For this, however, you will have needed a ‘good start’ such as wealthy, well-to-do parents and the motivation or at least endurance to take the necessary exams to pass the set standards to survive within this system. Thus the statement can be made that within Democracy one is able to participate when one has education and money, or money as a stand-alone. These principles determine that most are struggling or are excluded from the get-go.

 

hands

 

The consequences of history have influenced the way democracy is legally set up and laid down for many countries. The Federal Republic of Germany, for example, strangely has no actual constitution, only a Basic Law that has been decided on, without the vote of the people, which brings forth the question of who / which people is ruling, when it’s supposed to be a democracy? In this case a number of 7 minister presidents have decided on the Basic Laws, which in its fundamentals has been suggested by the allied forces’ war governors that had the sovereignty over what was left of the Weimar Republic after the war. So a democracy and the principles by which it functions aren’t necessarily decided on by the people that are subject to this form of government.

 

Dictatorial DemocracyA constitution was to be enacted when the country reunified, a matter laid down under Art. 146 of the Basic Law. This was never followed up on. The Basic Law in Germany acts as a constitution and has entrenched the principles of democracy, republicanism, social responsibility and federalism, which cannot be removed or repealed by the normal amendment process. So it has come to be that the people of Germany has not given its vote in a free, independent, secret election, it hasn’t even been asked. This overshadows the execution of a true democracy from the very beginning when the process of establishing a fundamental framework for a people, which was to be of democratic nature in that it requires their majority vote, has been circumvented. It can be surmised that the minister presidents held the people to be too biased toward a non-acceptance of the Basic Laws and a constitution that would for the time being exclude a major part of the Germany left over from WWII, the whole 4th sector, the GDR – it being under communist rule – a state of affairs that constituted the dividing of Germany into East and West. The suspected bias was understandable as a written document would be based on the acceptance of the forced separation of families, friends and partners on the basis of ideologies inflicted on each side at the liberty of more or less self-proclaimed leaders in a very undemocratic manner. Is democracy in fact a dictatorship?

 

The Grundgesetz, Basic Law, holds the statute of Democracy as the form of government for the German people, with a majority vote allowing for the formation of a consensus to set the direction of politics in the country supporting the idea one is able to participate in the forming of decisions that influence one’s own life. Reality proves to be different. The German Federal State is constituted of 16 member countries, most of which have their own constitution which upholds the Basic Laws and some kind of allegiance or subjection to the Federal Republic. Thus the representation of a citizen in a country goes along the administrative pathways of the country and the federal state and then through the overhead structure of the European Union for political decisions on that level.

rettungsschirm

 

In comparison to a liquid democracy where the individuals’ voices can be heard in a poll, the system of a democracy of a majority ruling with indirect representation waters down the voting power of a citizen and thus no new solutions and perspectives get to the responsible organs of the government. There is also the law of Federal Law breaks State Laws and Union Law breaks Federal Law, where the Union is able to overrule anything.

World politics is about money and who controls money, because those who are in control of money are also in control of everything else. This lies in the hands of very few who through their standing within these vast amounts direct nations on the level of the unions, the United Nations and the European Union, where regional, country and national representatives of the peoples are simply overridden by creating events that seemingly justify measures that lie outside of even the European constitution, let alone that of countries and states. Such events and justifications constitute the designation of an enemy or an imminent danger as for example communism after the second world war through the placing into the public awareness through media the polarity of democracy and communism, the former being the state of freedom, the latter one of totalitarianism; or after the reunification of Germany and the breaking down of the communist block, there were oil and financial crises, the 911 tragedy allowing terrorists to be generated as a general threat, also the Moslem Brotherhood threat – all in turn allowing for vast constitutional breaches and thus Orwellian privacy transgressions and enslavement on all levels.

 

orwellian_governmentThis goes to show that the true meaning of democracy – of the people ruling – is quite in reverse as everything else in the world. People one doesn’t know and hasn’t voted for determine the policy of the country, the elite, those with the vast money have the power. They make decisions that aren’t based on the principle of best for all people and manufacture a mock choice that is presented in form of two bureaucrats like Schröder and Merkel or Bush and Carey who represent the same ideas, so it is actually not relevant who one votes for, because they actually represent the guys pulling the threads, the Bilderbergs, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations.

Democracy is just a label for one pole of the polarity that is upheld in order to maintain conflicts in this world and has been laid down in the Truman doctrine after WWII where the US makes it constitutional for herself to protect the Democracy as the liberty of a people and wherever a threat to this is manufactured, a conflict/war zone can be created and resources and people exploited and more power usurped.

 


Solutions

The Solution to this is definitely to get the media out of the hands of those controlling it by supporting free journalists and investigators, sites that are able to see and present the full picture and solutions to this demise, individual presentations of what we are allowing and accepting here. Equally it is to see that there are two fronts to work on – oneself within/as the allowance and acceptances within the polarities that are reflected on the outside in the world events and creations and walking towards establishing a platform for true equality starting with equal opportunity to receive money, food, housing and clean water for everyone and actual education, where this must be completely revised and restructured. This will require bringing awareness of the situation to the people and what can be done by each individual to make it count on a grand scale.

 

Education Kindergarten KidsWith respect to Human Rights and the right to Life, the establishment of ‘ LIG’, a Living Income Guaranteed, is principal. Considering the implementation of nationalization, the redirection of military budgets and changes toward indirect taxation as a solution to be able to use the profit and savings for the common good, such as providing for one’s direct and basic needs as having dignified housing, clean water, food, health services and education, by way of a provision of an actual ‘living income’ for each eligible citizen as a reasonably sized financial security on an as-needed basis.

As an incentive for those who are able to, guaranteed minimum wages are being suggested of double the living income for people who actually work, produce and create added-value. Doing research on this to see what works and what doesn’t from history, why or why not, to remedy what crystallizes from this and implement what is supportive are essential steps toward a change that serves the principle of best for all equally for a democracy where people/living beings – vs. corporate entities – are at the heart of the system, where their interest and well-being are at the center of focus. A means toward this aim can be a party that promotes the conceptual basis for open source democracy/ liquid democracy and the support of transparency in public affairs.

 

The benefits are obvious: The allowed separation from one’s own self-responsibility with respect to government and self-government will gradually be worked out and walked within/as self-authority by implementing a method /a system, where one can be heard, because money is not the pre-requisite, as it’s provided unconditionally from the start.

iraqi-kids-by-adamhenning-via-flickr

 

One will be able to have better relationships due to competition not being at the heart of the system as necessary part of survival, where one can stop analyzing what the other has that I haven’t and focus on simply enjoying the presence of the other and be with them and allow creativity to flow into the time and space of togetherness. Thus, peace, freedom and trust is given true potential with this external structure and one will also have more time for the development of self-honesty within self-investigation to undo one’s separation on a more individual level.

The benefits also include actual self-expression or a process thereof, without the fear of disadvantages. Herewith a movement from survival to Life can be initiated. We are able to bring Heaven to Earth, with clean water, luscious and abundant nature, resources for all with a system that represents who we are as self-empowerment and self-responsibility, a Democracy that is based on the living principle of what is best for all equally.

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

 

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‘Power to the People’
‘Hands’
‘Dictatorial Democracy’
‘War is Peace…”
‘Iraqi kids…”

Closing the Achievement Gap with Living Income Guaranteed

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Various studies show that early language acquisition plays a major role in setting the stage for a child’s future achievement course.

By the age of 24 months, one can already gauge by the size of the child’s vocabulary, how smoothly the child’s cognitive development will unfold and whether the child may face a challenging learning and growth trajectory. As early as 18 months of age, a lag may already become apparent between children of the same age in terms of their information processing capacities. From there – the gap either grows or remains proportionately consistent. How well the child’s processing skills and vocabulary are established as babies and toddlers, in turn plays a detrimental role in whether or not the child will reach its full potential at adulthood.

What causes a child’s processing skills and acquired vocabulary to be underdeveloped? The direct answer would be: How much a child is being talked to and the range of vocabulary used when being talked to. However, the condition that rules this variable (how much one is being talked to and what range of words) is the socio-economic environment that the child finds itself within.

Parents from mid to higher levels of socioeconomic status generally have more time to spend with their children and they themselves possess a richer vocabulary than parents of lower socioeconomic status.

Closingtheachievementgap

Parents coming from a lower economic status may be working several jobs to make ends meet and have a more limited vocabulary. Having to cope with more stress and anxiety due to every day struggles can lead one to be more taciturn. All of this adds up to less words from a limited range being spoken towards the child(ren).

Besides being externally disadvantaged due to lower economic status limiting future opportunities, children are also internally disadvantaged in how well they will be able to exploit the opportunities that will be available to them because of stunted vocabulary acquisition and cognitive skills.

“By 2 years of age, these disparities are equivalent to a six-month gap between infants from rich and poor families in both language processing skills and vocabulary knowledge,” Fernald said. “What we’re seeing here is the beginning of a developmental cascade, a growing disparity between kids that has enormous implications for their later educational success and career opportunities.”
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/september/toddler-language-gap-091213.html

As discussed in other blogs (Living Income Guaranteed and Raising Children, The Self-Perpetuating Cycle of Homelessness and Living Income Guaranteed), the implementation of a Living Income Guaranteed will provide an opportunity for parents to stay at home and take care of their children, or have financial security knowing that any job would at least provide an income at double the Living Income rate.

In fact, a survey polling to find out how many mothers would want to stay at home ‘if money was not an object’, shows that 75% of new mothers would want to stay at home, 12% would not want to be a full-time mother and 13% did not know what they would do. Of those mother who did go back to work, just over half indicated that the reason for doing so was because money was tight, and 3% indicated that they had to go back because pregnancy had left them in serious debt.

uSwitch-Money-Mums-Infographic

With the implementation of a Living Income Guaranteed we can raise the conditions necessary to stimulate, enhance and foster our children’s development and utmost potential. By creating a financially stable environment, parents are able to tend to both a child’s physical and mental needs to ensure optimal growth and well-being. Financial worries put aside with a Living Income safety net, promotes peace of mind for parents which leads to better parent-child relationships and reducing the incidence of conflict at home .

By having this foundation in place, we set the stage for success in our children’s education and future careers.

For more information on what the Living Income Guaranteed entails, read the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal.

 

Recommended articles:
Educreation
Evolving Humanity through Education
Parents Need a Living Income Now
Should You Send Your Child to Preschool?
Why Do We Go To School?
The Skills We Need to Change the World
Where Will Following China’s Example Lead Us?
Are Longer School Days in the Best Interest of Our Children?
A Political Awakening of the Young Generation or a Return to 1950′s Survival Strategies?

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BIG Pilot Project Namibia: a Perspective

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Now, my perspective is probably going to be quite unique. I was born in Windhoek [Bernard Poolman] growing up in Okahandja, very close to Ontjivero where they did the BIG Pilot Project. Growing up in the community and with the culture and with a unique understanding of the dynamics there, allowed me to see how things really work – let me give my two cents of this project.
The project was based on giving a community a 100 Namibian dollars a month as a basic Income. Now, first point is to understand that Namibian dollars are not American dollars, it is very easy to mistake this point. so to give you at the current exchange rate an estimate, a 100 Namibian dollars = 10 American Dollars approximately, so it is certainly not a Living Income that is being given, it is not making any significant change, it does not impact the ‘dollar a day’ poverty bracket, it doesn’t even take the person over that. So from the perspective of what a Living Income should be, this is hardly a ‘Pilot Project,’ it’s more a feel-good project and certainly not something with which one can sway a government to implement a Living Income Project.
Next, Ontjivero is far out, there are no industries as such, there’s no employment as such, the only thing the people can do there is buy consumer stuff which are very basic survival stuffs, and obviously buy alcohol as that is the foundation of each of the smaller communities, because they have no entertainment, they have nothing else to do and it’s become part of the culture. It is the same culture that is being used by ‘the white man’ so to speak over centuries, keeping the locals busy with a very structured way of alcohol consumption – when they have money, the tendency is to get some more.

 

The products/ the goods that will come in and those that may start a little business to sell to the community will be buying this in the closest towns which is either Okahandja, but more probably Windhoek because your hyper stores are in Windhoek, Okahandja as a community is really very small – and the goods will be sold as prices that are highly inflated because the consumer base in Ontjivero is very small, so you have to make profit, you have to make quite a profit on every product sold. A 100 Dollars a person extra into the economic scenario will obviously bring a significant increase in spending power from the spending power they had before. So it will look like it is a ‘significant point,’ but one needs to look at what was there before this pittance was added to remind the people of how little they have.
So some will make some more money and there will be more food on the table because the staple foods being mealiemeel which is porridge made from corn, selling approximately at 80 rand (+- 8 us dollars or 6 euros) for a bag of 10 kilograms, which will feed a person, probably for about 10 days with 3 meals a day – obviously who cares that they are eating the same food 3 times a day, which in itself leads to malnutrition – nobody would ever do that in the western world, eating 3 same meals a day for a whole month, but that is what it boils down to, you can buy one staple food that will last for part of the month, and you have to eat the same food every day. And the fact that there is no electricity or running water or toilets or anything relevant to a normal town scenario – that means there are no costs for that, but there are also no benefits of this – would mean that a significant amount of time is spent in preparing food because the person would have to go into the veld to find wood for the fire, they’ll have to go and get water and then they have to cook the food on the fire. Now the pots they cook this food in are iron pots, an iron pot costs in the region of 300 Namibian Dollars, that’s without the transport to get it there – that is if you buy it in town (capital) and obviously the transport from Ontjivero to the closest town is quite expensive because it is a significant way to travel.
To give you an idea, I grew up in a small town where there was no entertainment. To get to the closest movie theatre, was 80 kilometers, to go and do shopping from the whole sellers – because you couldn’t find all the stuff in the small town – was 80 kilometers. So it is a significant point that must be planned well and that is quite costly to bring resources to the town.

Now there was some researcher from Germany writing a negative article about the pilot project and some of his observations only confirm the level of ignorance that exists within the so-called ‘researchers.’ One of his complaints was that the Namibian University was not involved in the research project. To involve a person – or several of them from that university in the project – will cost more than the total money that goes into the pilot project – that should be realized as the first point.

Secondly, the level of Education of the people in an area like that is so insignificant, their capacity so stunted as the current research shows that a person that grows up in poverty will be equal to a person that had a stroke, which would mean that their ability to answer questions – specially from a person not understanding the basic cultural language, even through an interpreter – is not going to get you relevant feedback, because you don’t understand the dynamics that exist within the survival pattern of the particular group of people.
And in Namibia, the basic language for instance there would be like Herero and Afrikaans, as English is not a major language, specially outside the cities to such a degree that when I came to South Africa in 1981, I failed my first year university because I couldn’t speak English, because English was not emphasized – although obviously under the auspices of the ‘United Nations’ and all the wonderful tools with which they pretend to stop poverty, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and stuff like that, the main language has been made English but there has been no significant input to bring about this change, specially where it’s outside the main centers.
So the person is not going to be able to understand the context of the questions and the interpretation of any form of research material will hardly be of any significant value.

Furthermore this researcher claimed that there were no empirical economists to overview the project, so now you want to add another part of the Empireconomists to this whole pile which will increase the cost even more, because this empire – you call them ‘empirical’ I call them ‘Empire-Economists’ because they justify the process of empire – these Empire Economists will cost even more for money that could have gone to the Basic Income Project will now be diverted to the few researches which – whether they’re black or white are in fact actually white, because those blacks that are significantly educated become like white people, because that’s how the brainwashing functions.
So, the research would not have been significant because the statistics used would be to justify why the project can’t work which is exactly what your major organizations like the World Bank and the IMF actually do. Their point is not to find a working model, their point is to justify the model they’re already using and therefore, they’ve already shut down the Basic Income Grant overall because there is no way at the level of the brainwashed Empireconomists where there is any form of understanding that there could be a better system that will involve for instance a Basic Income Grant.
Furthermore this researcher – I don’t know if one can call them ‘researchers’ if they are that ignorant, but let’s attempt to value this point – claimed that in all the years has been ‘no infrastructure development‘. Now tell me, in a community where a bag of mealiemeel is nearly the price of the 100 Namibian Dollar allowance, you want to tell me they have sufficient to buy bricks to do some improvement. Now to give you an idea of what the price is for a brick, the price for a brick before delivery and the delivery will double the price due to the distance – virtually where this is located, the bricks are 5 rand each which is 5 Namibian Dollar Each, which gives you 20 bricks if you take the Basic Income Grant allowance that was received by a person that can buy 20 bricks a month if they don’t eat bricks, they don’t buy food and they accumulate it, it will take them several years to have enough bricks to build an outside toilet, just to satisfy these dear researcher’s peculiar strange conclusion.
So I would not pay much attention to those that claim they are working at some University in some project, doing some form of research that apparently means that they care about what’s going on, they are just being paid with grants, grants that should have been focused on and pulled together for a Basic Income Grant. All these researchers will no longer exist in a Living Income Guaranteed project because there, people will do research because they really care, not because they need the money or they pretend to care. I would not give much attention to how this is all being viewed.


Overall, there would be some change, I mean having money to buy mealiemeel and to have some food where you have virtually no income in a community, certainly is a massive impact, but is it significant that it will actually make a permanent change to the cultural tradition and to the human nature in that area? No, it will not make any significant difference, it will not bring about significant change where the person can make a life changing decision because there is no possibility. This particular Pilot Project is more a project where one will have a look at how effective slavery can exist within the minimum income bracket of the poverty line as accepted. One can call the BIG Project rather a World Bank or an International Monetary Fund Project. Obviously it’s been funded by the church which is some of the significant influencers and supporters of things like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, because the church does not question the suffering and poverty, they in fact ensure that it exists.

So therefore the money that is there is really completely insignificant, the project is insignificant – obviously the people are grateful, they’ve got some ‘more food,’ food that otherwise would not have been there and due to the continuous process of globalization that is even affecting Namibia, there will be less food and less money in this type of communities. But if you guys can continue getting the money to this people, let me tell you: they really need it, it’ll buy them some mealiemeel, they will smile for you, you can take some snaps and publish it all over and tell the world how good you are because you are feeding the starving – they will make a living, they will survive, they will give you the photo opportunity and the public relations opportunity – but don’t fool yourself, your Pilot Project is insignificant and is of no real value. In fact, it only gives an actual overview of the nature of the current Basic Income Grant Project, that the people behind it don’t have a clue what it means to make a difference in a person’s life, it is actually disrespectful to do so little and to blow it out of proportion so much.


So it is important to realize that economics should not be based on statistics, it must be based on fact and another word for fact, the word for Economic Fact is Mathematics and for that you need correct data and then you can work out what is the real situation and what is best.

Now what I suggest to a researcher: if you want to have a model of establishing what would be acceptable in another person’s life: you start with your life and you assess what it takes to have your lifestyle. you do the mathematical data collection and then you start to remove stuff from your life to see at what level you reach the point where your lifestyle is no longer acceptable, and when you get to your threshold, then you have to live that for a significant period, like for instance in the BIG Pilot Project it’s being going on for several years so you have to live at this threshold for several years and then see if it is still acceptable.
From that perspective you can work out exactly what you would be willing to live with as a Living Income and thus, that is what you propose for everyone else because then you do onto others as you would like to be done onto and thus you give as you would like to receive, and so unless a researcher in economics follows the principle of assessing their own lifestyle and establishing what is acceptable or not within their own life – they have no way except a mathematical way to establish what is valid and what is not.
So at the moment we have no real data all around about establishing an Economic System in the world that is Best for All. The Living Income Guaranteed as we are proposing is coming with suggested data models, how to take data into account and how to adjust the structure of consumerism and thus improve capitalism to bring about a sustainable Basic Income for everyone that qualifies.
So investigate the Living Income Guaranteed – we really care and actually do research.

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BIG Pilot Project Namibia -  a Perspective

Will the Living Income Guaranteed cause Inflation?

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One must first understand Inflation. Many years ago I asked a big shot in the bank a definition for inflation and his answer was quite incoherent, it’s like a matter of opinion. So we should rather look at the facts, than the opinions and justifications of ‘What inflation is?’and ‘Why does it exist?’


In a way if we go back in history, inflation can be seen as an extension of the cruelty of man. When there is not enough, then the so-called ideology of ‘Supply and Demand’ allows the greedy to increase prices and sell to the highest bidder, ensuring that the ideology that ‘money is power’ becomes ingrained in the human consciousness.

Another perspective of inflation is that it is an extension of Public Relations and Advertising.In advertising the real picture is photoshopped to make it more aligned with the mind, the mind becomes controlled by these images, goes into association and a relationship of comparison and then judges reality according to these pictures. This mechanism creates desires which produce the same type of supply and demand where the human who is controlled by these images and propaganda will do whatever they can to buy a product that is being inflated in its image.

Now the clever thing about this inflation of products by Public Relations is that you have to read the small print. The big print is all the fake and false images – the small print contains all the legal truths. The real truth about anything is always the small print because there you know you get the information about side effects, warranties, planned obsolescence, all the negative stuff is in the small print while all the positive stuff is in the big print. This is the same nature of positive thinking: it inflates the image on the positive side, it diminishes the negative side causing extreme imbalance that eventually reflects itself in general society as poverty and wealth.

Let’s look at another point of inflation: the deliberate inflation of prices to increase the profits of the corporation.As mechanization has been increasing – which should simply function as the replacement of labor, not the replacement of employment: more and more jobs are lost.Yet, prices are still being inflated. And now we sit with massive unemployment, inflated pricing, a problem with supply and demand because people don’t have money to buy and consume. So despite an appearance of inflation, the economic reality is that the economies are shrinking and not inflating– and you sit with the problem that your real value of a product has been lost a long time ago, because the real value has been labor all along.. And because the ideas of saving, competition, inflating the corporation and the war for a monopolized control has become the way of the world — the reality of what really exists is no longer easily accessible because: all we have is our inflated images.


So obviously if we have to keep following this distorted view of reality which is justified through the word ‘inflation,’ which is just a model of statistics – and you can check out the previous blog about the uselessness of statistics (
A Living Income Guaranteed is the BIG Issue) the statistics just inflate the idea that you know what you’re talking about, so statistics is just another form of inflation, it’s just Public Relations. It’s just a fake and false image and likeness with which the actual data is distorted so that those that benefit from having control and access to resources through this inflated view can justify why it is that the things are the way they are, why poverty is so immense and expansive… And so you’ll have the curious bizarre thing happening, for instance that the corporate top dogs and the loyalty they buy from people that are in the corporation – as well as their income – has been skyrocketing for at least the last 30 years. So these massive profits are used to buy loyalty which protects the top dogs. This same illness is now part of the government where people’s loyalty is bought so that they can protect the wealth of the few while the majority of people on Earth are existing in one or two dollars a day – and that’s quite okay apparently because the image is inflated to say that “That is enough for them to make a living.”

 

If we do not change the system, this Inflation point will have an effect. Obviously if the Living Income Guaranteed becomes a reality, we have to change the economic model: it’s not working, it has a fake and false inflated image by economists that are not worthy of the word ‘Economist’ because they are not managing and researching the ecology, the ecosystem of the world to ensure that every human being’s basic Human Rights are being protected.

Therefore everything you know about ‘Economics’ as several people that were brave enough to stand up have said “you have just being been lied to” –  Economy/the Economists, the ideas of Economics are all just a lie and so is inflation – the image is inflated, the truth and the data are not real and the human being has been mislead to believe that their data should not be in the hands of a central agency to actually create a stable environment. And so, the corporation and the propagandists can say that they’re doing and acting according to the will of the people, because the problem of inflation even exists there, the specific ideas and conspiracies have been inflated deliberately to create this image and likeness that the human’s will is apparently democratically being adhered to – It’s all in the image and likenesses of inflation.

For this all to work, you better study the Living Income Guaranteed proposal where we show what is necessary to be in place for a balanced society, where we show and expose all the inflations and propagandas and misdirection, where we show that at the end, even those in the current BIG proposals only have inflated egos – so inflation is really everywhere. Nowadays we even have inflation in terms of what it does to the body because the food is no longer supportive of the body, because Health is not really on the agenda of those that make policy,it’s all about profit.

Inflation is a danger all around and unless we stop all inflation – which is just a mind job – and we get back to reality and work with actual data based on the physical, our economic balance on Earth will not be restored, we will not have an ecosystem that supports Life on Earth and that protects the Human Rights of Every Human Being.

 

Equal Life Foundation Research Team

 

Inflation and the Living Income Guaranteed