Planned Economy

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.

 

csr

 

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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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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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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After Extreme Weather, Living Income Stands

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by Kristina Salas

 

Extreme Weather Living Income GuaranteedToday I read an article about a small town in Northern California that was devastated by the continuous wild fires raging in the West. So many houses were burned to the ground. In the video, a woman says many are left with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
I thought of the various weather conditions throughout the world that leave so many in a position of helplessness, where every belonging is destroyed. I thought of this small town that does not have a booming economy to stabilize such a scenario, where many people’s livelihoods rest on the employment that perhaps is no longer standing.
Another person is the video said the town was already an “economically depressed area” and now so many more would be out of work.

Imagine if that was you, and the very means in which you depended on for your survival was put to a halt and you no longer had that choice – you cannot work. When employment becomes the dependent for one to survive, what happens when one lose their job? Or when they are forced into unemployment due to unexpected weather conditions? Here is where a safety net is required – a foundation anyone in such a position can fall back on.

The Living Income Guaranteed, proposed by the Equal Life Foundation, is such a system that would ensure any victims to have to face such harsh conditions of extreme weather, that leave their area devastated and struggling to re-build their economy, the ability to move forward with the least likely burden. Imagine you are okay to do what is necessary to be done to ensure you re-build not only your life and the life of your family and friends, but also your community without having the added pressure and stress of not working, and the current consequence of such a position, to add to the list of things to be done.

No one should have to fear not working, especially when it is something out of one’s own hands, as the consequence of not working is not making money. And we know what happens when one does not make money. And so since yours, mine, and everyone’s survival is dependent on the money we have, all have the right to have access to this resource. Whether you are in between jobs, in an area hit by extreme weather, or simply unable to find work at the moment, all are entitled to the condition that provides a basic living ability; a right to have access to your basic HUMAN RIGHTS. No one should have to be without, and no one should have to fear going without. It is our duty as a society, as humanity, to ensure all are cared for in the times when it’s needed most – because within that is the principle of ‘do unto another as you would have done unto yourself’. That is a principle in which the Living Income in built upon and with it’s assistance and support, we would see a drastic change in our views of such calamities. Extreme weather would no longer be seen as something that is too difficult to come back from – as the political, social and economic structure would be in place for anyone to be able to stand from. It is the foundation which is required, and is absolutely viable to create, to ensure that together we can face whatever situations may come upon us, whether that is the weather or not – we have the resources and means to ensure no one is left alone or without the support to re-build and re-create in a way that is dignified.

Investigate Equal Life Foundation and the Proposal of a Living Income Guaranteed  as the safety net necessary for when unexpected weather or conditions exist. We are more than capable of ensuring no one is felt fearful of the future and ‘what to do next’ – because we have the means and the finances to ensure everyone the opportunity to stand up on their own to feet and start moving forward, creating and building again.

Equal Life Foundation - Bill of Rights - LIG

 

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Living Income Guaranteed and Taxation – From Redistribution to Contribution

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by Maite Zamora Moreno

 

Re-Set Living Income Guaranteed Taxation

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Communism and the 1%

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By Barbara Stängl

Communism

Karl_MarxCommunism in its end stage is a classless and stateless society. This ideology has never in fact been implemented to the final stage, where the state as such would have ‘withered away’. The states ruled by communist political parties themselves rather define themselves as socialist states. Karl Marx has divided the working class from the capitalist class, in that it can be said that he too was a global player serving the system in that he adhered to propagating and intensifying already existing inequalities, same as Obama or Merkel, which is essential for any kind of ideology to work: divide & conquer. This holds true whether one is speaking of the system/ideology of democracy, totalitarianism, socialism, capitalism or communism. 

 

obama-divide-conquer-and-change

Communism was utilized by the Elite to further the chasm by way of placing it as a threat to democracy and ‘its values’ of free market, freedom of speech and a free media. What was stated to be a planned economy on the communist/socialist side was opposed to a market-based economy – both only paradigms, both not working for the majority, both not based on the principle of what is best for all. 

As mentioned above, and specifically in the example of the Soviet Union, there never was communism according to Marx’ definition nor a communism that in the actual sense of the word focused on the community, as all being equal and being given an equal opportunity to live life to its fullest potential. It was again a sort of dictatorship, where the subordinated beings had to do all the labor and the top 1% were able to profit, to have it all and live the ‘happy life’.

 

The problem was the economic focus on heavy industry at the expense of consumer goods, oftentimes resulting in shortages of vital products or even famine, and to cover up the mismanagement of the government in their 5-year plans, militarism and propaganda were used in a widespread manner. These means and measures of manipulation and suppression had been so obvious to the ‘democratic side’ of the iron curtain at the time of the Soviet Union, but there was also this strange inability or rather unwillingness to see the parallels in the capitalist system that we hold in such great esteem.


As a side note here, both the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Federal President of Germany Joachim Gauck had held close connections to the then GDR before coming to represent the German people through their respective positions or rather placements. Gauck is supposed to have been a resistance fighter in the GDR, but received a lot of privileges there that would not ordinarily have been awarded to resistance fighters. The same situation with Merkel who had the privilege of going to Moscow to study which is only granted to people who are loyal to the ‘Einheitspartei’. So the point I want to make here is that there’s something going on behind the scene we’re being shown of two opposing ideological systems, where one is a threat to the other, the idea being utilized to justify the channeling of vast amounts of money into military, armies and means of defense, which the CEOs, leading political and other string-pulling figures benefit from immensely.

 

workaholicSo, we’re being taken on quite a ride here. The solution is to educate people on how ideologies are being used within the power principle of ‘divide and conquer’ to brainwash and manipulate people to make do with the direst of living conditions with hard, tedious or repetitive labor and little pay or no job at all where the ideology of capitalism is lived or the opposite where one has to juggle 2-3 jobs concurrently on a daily basis to survive, because the pay one is given for one job does not suffice to get by on at all. People have to be told who benefits from the information that is being propagated, so one is able to see the intent behind the disinformation.

For one, panic and desperation can be avoided because one does not fall for incomplete and misleading information. One will not be misguided so easily and will learn to apply commonsense. Politics and the media are in the hands of the financing and private banking sector, that is to say the individuals behind it, and these have usurped politics and media to maintain the status quo that is serving them so well. This is the dimension of educating people, one step to be taken toward change.

 

team-buildingA fundamental model that is to be implemented, namely the platform presented within/as LIG, the Living Income Guaranteed, which suggests the nationalization of resources, where, however, the profit will be used to create social equality by providing a guaranteed living income for shelter, food, electricity, clean water, education and internet for voting and communication/a means of participating and getting vital information, local and global news for all. Provided with such a basis on a world scale one will be able to choose a living/an occupation according to one’s actual creative abilities and build a business to make more money that provides them with some luxury as well.

For those that are already working for a business firm or company there should be a minimum wage that is double the Living Income which means that if people get a Living Income of 15 dollars per hour, the minimum wage for work should be 30 dollars. This would create the incentive for people to educate themselves and take on more responsibility in the professional areas in the application of technological advancements and know-how on a highly skilled level.

 

The benefits are real equality on a lived basis, where there is happiness through being guaranteed a life in dignity, with real improvements in the job situations because money does not come from abusing the laborers and their workforce, but from the nationalization of the essential resourcing corporations. Education toward professional skills and access to internet for everyone will bring forth entrepreneurial endeavors and will eventually increase the overall power of acquisition which will support the entire society’s well-being. Education of how our mind works, together with a sound financial basis will also improve the relationships between individuals as greed and competition will decrease and one is more ready to meet one’s neighbor on an eye to eye level. Starvation will be a thing of the past and health issues will be able to be dealt with from an early onset because the financial means will be available to all, which means everybody gets an equal chance toward happiness and self-realization for real, which adds up to a lived statement of ‘true communism’ in the actual sense of the word, where each is treated as an equal part of the community of mankind on the principle of the common good being life – which is to be supported equally by all as one.

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

 

Picture credits:
Divide and conquer
Karl Marx
MalcolmX
Team building
Juggling jobs

Liberalism: Problems, Solutions & Benefits

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By Barbara Stängl
 

Liberalism

“Liberalism is a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market and the gold standard; in political terms it denotes a belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties”  (ref.:www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liberalism‎).

Classical liberalism has its focus on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government – the concept emerged as a response to the Industrial Revolution and urbanization in the 19th century. It advocates civil liberties with a limited government under the rule of law, private property and laissez-faire economic liberalism. Social liberalism believes in government intervention to provide equal protection and opportunity. Neoliberalism promotes a market economy with a strong state, a ‘social market economy’. Later the meaning had shifted to hold one of a more radical and laissez-faire capitalistic ideas. It was used to criticize legislative initiatives for free trade, deregulation, enhanced privatization and an overall reduction in government control of the economy.

Neoliberalism is what we are still allowing and accepting as our economical and political system nowadays.

A change in economic course was taken with the program Ludwig Erhard formulated after the Second World War, where demand was not taken as the driving factor of production any more, but rather the other way around, wherein the idea was assumed that every offer created its own demand – which is said to only be valid for trade economies. This new directive of a social market economy, where focus is to be on profit, competition and consuming goods for and within each and everyone, not only economy and politics,  which was implemented thereafter, caused dire consequences reaching up to the current situation where the financial sector as a non-producing element in the system is reaching blown-up and disproportionate extents of power in that major banks are able to demand to be bailed out by the government using the financial means of the public when a tide of bad investments collapses back onto them in consequence and leaves them unable to rectify their position of creating money from loans, financial products and other financial machinations within the state. 

1. JahreDesAufbausInOstUndWest_plakatErhardSozialeMarktwirtschaft

 

Thus the real economy is in the process of subsidizing the banking sector which doesn’t produce consumer goods and thus doesn’t contribute to the productivity and added-value, but only creates claims for consumer goods with the respective finance products they conceptualize, the consequence being a discrepancy between factual goods and the claim for them, which in turn leaves people in the upper middle financial ranks of society feeling richer and better off than years ago, but they aren’t in fact, as they are holding only claims to potential goods and not the actual manifested object. This is actually a matter of window-dressing based on agreements without basic real securities.

Thus accepting the ideology of Neoliberalism as a political directive for how we manage our economy has led to the debt crisis of 2007, which should in fact show us what we are allowing, i.e. the economical coups that are possible by stock markets against democracy and in that against the people itself. A criminalist system of unfettered capitalism has been allowed, wherein values are destroyed instead of creating them, the consequence of which living beings have to bear in form of abuse, denigration, immense suffering, poverty and starvation, conflict, war, hopelessness and despair, death – all for an idea that has proven that it doesn’t work for society, where the principle of best for all is being ridden roughshod over.

 

The idea of neoliberalism is based on implementing the following parameters based on the concept that laws and regulations disturb the balance of market economy:

 

Austerity-is-not-working - LIG

  • the reduction of legal regulations for the private economical sector
  • reduced taxation of big income earners
  • austerity programs within the social state such as health, education and culture
  • no tariff security and secure jobs and positions
  • subsidization of corporate power and banking powers

 

Greece Greek Bailout LIG

 

Within this, forces that propagate and uphold this ideology of neoliberalism feature a tendency of obscuring the inner workings of the economy resulting in an impenetrability of the same for the common person. There also seems to be a tacit prohibition in place to further the common wealth on an equal basis, based on the presumption that there is a fundamental inequality between and amongst people, which in fact has to be intensified so that the principle of free competition works. 

 

Office Bully Bulying Profit Driven Societies LIG

Another feature is the maintained rationality that there is ‘no alternative’, as if this is how humanity inherently functions – on the basis of inequality and a competitive nature. Slogans such as ‘the market shall regulate society through competition’ show that the model as the blueprint of neoliberalism that leading figures sought to implement was to basically make individuals into enterprises who are required to establish entrepreneurial traits and behaviors on all levels of their social interactions, dominated by demand and offer, costs, gains and investments as the new social values post WWII within ‘free competition of inequalities’. This kind of freedom cannot accept other liberties along with it, as Erhard stated: “Rights shall find their expression in the freedom of consumption.” This ultimately allows for a constant state of fear of not being able to express within these limitations, and being judged by one’s ability or inability to do so and thus to hold one’s status within society and remain competitive.

 

Solution:

One must realize the allowance and acceptance of the manipulation leading to the change of focus from surviving within WWII and a hands-on approach of rebuilding and producing some kind of added value to what was left in the ruins of the war to a focus on and the dominion of competition and competiveness. This has brought forth an alienation within oneself toward one’s self-expression and what life is about and can be, and the diversion from the principle of best for all within giving another what one would like to receive oneself. This is where one can actually find a handle for the fear of not surviving. One is able to refocus, to redirect one’s focus on equality and in that seeing, realizing and understanding that there is an alternative way, because all are in fact equal as and within life and in that we are all one, one humanity, one life.

 

Living Income Guaranteed - Logo

 

As it is us, the people, each and every one, that constitute the system, politics, economy, what we focus on, what we allow and accept as the statement of who we are, we create. It is important to see one’s immediate starting point for one’ s actions and interactions and make sure it is not one of competition, of proving oneself better or superior over another, where one comes from the point of fear of not surviving. One is able to realign oneself with one’s self-expression.

Alongside with this personal process we are able to and in fact must reorganize the existing financial structures and the realign the power we give to institutions with what serves all equally. To this end as a first platform there is LIG – Living Income Guaranteed which states common sense rationalities – those we could have observed and referred to in ourselves instead of accepting and allowing the manipulations that have and are taking place in politics and underlying powers which we have submitted ourselves to. Such are among others a guaranteed living income on an as-needed basis as provisions for shelter, food and education etc. – basically everything that is required to ensure one’s well-being. We can stop this ideology that we have supported inadvertently by having accepted the misinformation and manipulations over many decades by bringing out the information that is relevant and valid and constitutes a basis for implementing a change on the principle of what is best for all equally as life.

The rewards are obvious: No more fear of losing one’s job and not surviving. No more competition as an all-pervading overlay on every social interaction, instead of self-expression. A letting go of pressure and an allowance to see the other and be with him without placing a price tag onto the time spent for support so one has money to survive. The security of having food, a home one can return to and feel comfortable in, education to expand in this existence, and providing children with a world that nourishes and supports all on the basis of true care.

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

 

Photo Credits:

Ludwig Erhard

Office bully

Greece bailouts

Austerity

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

Living Income Guaranteed and Public Relations

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It is suggested to read the view of Noam Chomsky which is quite to the point and calls the public relations officers the ‘experts of producing lies.’ Now, if you have ever been in a business where you planned it and you have to work out the advertising and the marketing of it, you will know you’re looking for words to describe the product emotionally and you stay away from the facts. Because the facts are the few things you have put together within the product to produce something unique that can compete with other products and there is obviously always something ‘missing.’ That’s why for instance a product’s warranty is only for one year now because, in one year’s time – that’s what the warranty implies – the product will break. Everyone is kept in the illusion that apparently there is some improvement in the product and that’s why there will be a ‘new version’. But if you have to take away the outside picture and you look at the inside – take a car, for instance – it is essentially the same that it has been before. It maybe got a new name, a new color and here and there a new feature – but you’re paying a lot more and it’s not going to last you and you’re made to believe that this car is a ‘new model’ or this cellphone is a ‘better model.’

If you look at the timeframe you’ll notice that nowadays they are releasing a new cellphone basically every few months. You must understand that in the design stage, when they release the previous cellphone you paid a fortune for, they already have designed and planned another five models! They were ready with ‘the new stuff’ – they could’ve just as well not wasted so many resources and give you the best cellphone, but no! They need you to buy because there is a problem in the capitalistic system where it is said that ‘there is not enough consumption’, ‘there’s not enough spending’ but that’s not the real problem.

The real problem is: there’s not enough money because the more and more products are outsourced for instance moving it – let’s take America as an example – to China producing it cheaper. Leaving whole cities in America devastated with people without jobs, then importing the product and selling it cheaper under the justification that ‘now the product will be cheaper, so you should be able to afford it’. This is done without calculating the loss of money due to the loss of jobs that happened. This creates a situation where less people end up being able to buy the product, there’s thus less money and the corporations have to go to the point where they become a monopoly and destroy the competition.  Because if they don’t = they simply can’t survive because there are simply not enough costumers with money with the low profit margins that they’re working on. If we look at this same aspect within the food industry, we have exactly the same problem. That is why labeling for instance is never really specific, you never get real detailed instructions and you never get the truth about how the products are manufactured and/or produced.

Now with Living Income Guaranteed, the total scene will change. Public Relations will be what it should have always been: explaining to the public the relationship they will have with the product and how the product will benefit them, how and why the product was made in a better way to last longer and to be of greater service, why the product is real value for money. Public Relations will be like the person that stands and ensures that the public knows everything, that there are no secrets and is thus the face of the corporation – that is how capitalism is supposed to function, no more lies and deceit.

Public Relations as it exists now, should be banned from politics because politics is and should be where the actual policy of the political party is explained in simple language that every voter can understand and that public policy should be the first thing on the agenda for implementation; and if the political party does not implement it, immediately a referendum should be held on whether they should remain in power under new public policy or not – that is democracy. One cannot change one’s word or go back on your word and get away with it, but the public has accepted this as ‘normal’ – politicians lie, they never keep their word and that’s ‘okay.’

In many cases the corporations are so desperate to keep going that they spend lots of money to ensure that the politicians realize one simple thing “The corporations are supplying a lot of jobs and therefore the laws must protect the corporations to protect jobs” – that’s the justification used. Therefore it’s not so much only the amount of money that goes to the political party, it is about the voters that are able to vote, because those with money = they’re able to vote; those on the streets = they can’t vote because there’s normally a problem: they don’t have a fixed vote, they don’t have the necessary documents or they don’t have the money to go and vote – very simple.

Public Relations must ensure that those that are on the fringe and not necessarily controlled by a corporate or a governmental job, are convinced by promises and hope that the political party is going to produce something, for example that they will ensure there are enough jobs available; if that is achieved, the political party will win. Unfortunately all of this is done under the disguise of competition, under the premise of monopoly, the game we were taught as children, absolutely brutal. And then the human factor is taken out and is called ‘market forces,’ ‘supply and demand,’ the ‘invisible hand’ that determines the flow of the economy, which are deliberate and made up excuses. Bause if you start studying the Living Income Guaranteed proposal as we are putting it together, place what we are sharing on paper and start to assess how one places this together: you’re going to notice that a workable model with enough money that ensures that the corporation makes money is possible, where everybody has got an income and as such, there will be sufficient consumption; this means we can have better products, the environment can be protected, we can produce more effective products, people are not forced to go into all kinds of forced and slave labor situations.

When everything is produced to last longer at a price that is sufficient to ensure the survival of the corporation and to ensure the Living Income Guaranteed of each person, we have a sound and healthy economic system. It’ll also make a massive difference to our food, because a lot of the foods that are allowed to be on the shelves are purely there, placed by people looking at ways to make money to entice the consumer. The fact that the food overall and in many cases is not really healthy, is covered up by ‘bright pictures’ ‘shiny words’ and that’s backed up by the spirituality of the person that is developed and particularly designed by Public Relations. Creating a consumption industry based on ‘like’ and ‘love,’ getting you emotionally involved, ensuring that psychology claims that emotion is important and valid without any information or research into how the mind actually functions, because if the mind is understood = brainwashing cannot happen and the current system cannot continue – this is known! Just not by the people that’s been brainwashed, they don’t understand even why they buy stuff, they feel like ‘they like it,’ they like how it looks, they like what it does, they don’t care that there is engineered redundancy within products just like there is engineered redundancy within the employment sector and everything is driven by a simple thing called profit, and that there’s no real competition in the markets because: “Those with more money will always win.” Go back to your monopoly game, that’s how it works! You’re in this game now.

Our economic system should not be called ‘Capitalism,’ it should be called ‘Monopoly’. And you may have no chance in the system, but you have a chance to become part of a political party that champions the Living Income Guaranteed. If there is no such party established in your country: you start one and you become politically active visiting the voters door to door, selling to them a new economic system, showing that their vote counts, understanding that democracy means 1+1+1 = every vote counts only once, so we need a majority vote, a majority of people that must understand how Living Income Guaranteed functions and why the current economy isn’t functioning for everyone. You also want to explain to them why there are big problems in the future with for instance pensions. One must act now and not wait once the whole system starts collapsing and new laws are made and people are marginalized and you don’t see the suffering and poverty, because we may be one of those suddenly without any support, having nowhere to go.

It is important that one becomes practical, that we become an activist which is someone that takes action, that’s activism: acting on the information available when you see there’s a problem and help with the education of the public because you’re part of the public, so there is one voice and this one voice presents an answer that works for everyone! It is really simple if you get down to it. And at the very least if you can’t do anything, then at least make sure that your money supports a solution, it’s also an investment in your future.

Research the Living Income Guaranteed by the Equal Life Foundation, we are a non-profit organization that researches and puts together economic solutions and educational solutions. We look at how humanity can coexist in a way where there is real freedom, real individual freedom and real happiness and one thing we all know: happiness depends on money. With the Living Income Guaranteed: everybody will have a little piece of happiness.

Equal Life foundation Research

Basic Income Guaranteed - Propaganda