human rights

Austerity Measures: Can They Be Justified?

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By Viktor Persson

 

human-rights-greece1

 

In the aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis that incurred a massive economic destabilization on a global level, the neoliberal concept of ‘austerity measures’ have now reached the western hemisphere, with Greece and Spain as its more notable victims. In particular, the Greece bailout, which is allegedly a saving package, has imposed a myriad of conditions and restrictive measures on the Greece economy. The purpose of these structural restrictions is apparently to empower and stabilize the Greece economy, however, the opposite has happened, as has been documented in several high profile investigations.

The concept of austerity measures ranges back to the 17th century, and have more recently been adopted by the neoliberal economic doctrine as a way of dumping market failures on the state and indirectly, on the public. That austerity measures has the capacity of causing detrimental effects for the general public has been proven in Greece, and there is a history of failures with the so-called Structural Adjustment Programs imposed by the International Monetary Fund as part of their lending to developing countries, due to the conditions of austerity that these loans impose on the debtor.

Several independent sources indicate that austerity measures, such as cuts in public spending in the health, education, and other mechanisms of social security, creates human suffering on a widespread scale. With Greece, we have been given the opportunity to closely observe the social catastrophe that is created by austerity. The Truth Committee has noted that, unemployment has gone from 7.3% in 2008 to 27.9% in 2013. Youth unemployment reached a staggering 64.9% in may 2013. Due to cuts in public health expenditure more than 2.5 million persons, or one fourth of the total population of Greece, are without health insurance. Furthermore diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and HIV have increased, and mental health problems have ballooned. Pensions have been reduced by 40 %, which have caused 45 % of Greece pensioners to fall below the poverty line. 500,000 people lives in conditions of homelessness, insecure or inadequate housing. To put it mildly, there is a humanitarian crisis in Greece.

What have been left out from the discussion on austerity measures are human rights, primarily the economic and social rights established by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This convention is binding on the contracting states – and Greece together with the Eurozone countries has all ratified the convention. You would hence think, that in detailing the Memorandum of Understanding between Greece and the Troika, that contains the austerity conditions imposed on Greece, there must have been a discussion on the potential impacts on Human Rights that the austerity measures could create. However, there has not been such a discussion. Instead the EU member states, the EU commission, EU central bank and the International Monetary Fund have displayed a disregard for how the austerity policies would affect the Human Rights of the people of Greece. Court rulings by the highest Greece court that have ruled the pension cuts as unconstitutional and as a breach of Human Rights, have in the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding been referred to as ‘fiscal risks’. Such a use of vocabulary when referring to the Human Rights is nothing short of remarkable.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has adopted the Guiding principles on foreign debt and human rights in July 2012. According to paragraph 56 ‘Debt relief efforts must not compromise the provision of basic services. In particular, debt relief conditions that may adversely impact the realization of human rights or undermine development in the beneficiary State must be avoided’. The UN General assembly has in September 2015 adopted a resolution (A/69/L.84), which defines nine principles on how a debt restructuring process should be directed. Among these principles is the principle of sustainability, which implies that sovereign debt restructuring should lead to a stable debt situation in the debtor state, preserving creditors’ rights while promoting economic growth and sustainable development, reducing economic and social costs, ensuring the stability of the international financial system and respecting human rights.

Not surprisingly, these principles were adopted by vote and not by consensus, with the developed countries claiming that Human Rights should not be a consideration when it comes to debt and debt relief. However this position cannot be accepted as legitimate. Obviously Human Rights is and must be an important part of economical decisions, because the very foundation of economics is Human Beings. The consequence of separating economics from Human Rights is such perversities as slavery. Possibly, this is what the new era of austerity and debt has become, a more refined form of slavery, which is free from the moral constraints of its predecessors, because it is now justified with the slick vocabulary of neoliberalism and market economy. Though, when scrutinized, austerity measures are a soulless machine working for an anonymous creditor, fueled with the accepted belief that this is the way things must be. The debt must allegedly be paid back at all costs… because… well because, the market wants it that way.

To create a heaven on earth, it is clear that all forms of commercial agreements, debt contracts accounted for, must be able to be declared null and void if they happen to breach Human Rights. This is how it should have always been, and we must ask ourselves, why this has not yet happened. The United Nations has been around for 60 years, yet still, flagrant violations of Human Rights are allowed with reference to commercial agreements. What is missing; motivation, drive, integrity or compassion? And how come we accept and allow the life of countless human beings to be reduced to numbers on a balance sheet?

Clearly, there is a rift between the reality of our world, and the principles conceptualized in our Human Rights instruments. The process of making these principles a living reality will without a doubt be a challenging venture, yet it will be through the respect for Humans on a global level, that we will be able to create a world that truly worth living in. And let us not forget that there are solutions to these problems. Even though the massive bureaucracy that is involved can make us as individuals feel as if we are small ants facing the enormous Goliath, the system is comprised of individual human beings, like you and me. By standing up, one by one, and supporting a new direction in politics and economics, we will have an impact. In democracy we each have one vote, and that is how we will be able to shift direction, through coming together and unanimously voting for a new world that is best for all.

 

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Pollution Inequality and Living Income Guaranteed

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by Maite Zamora Moreno

Air Quality China Pollution Control Living Income Proposal

 

One of the reasons pollution has been able to become such a huge problem is that those creating the pollution are usually not the ones suffering its consequences. Let’s take the classical fictional example of a paper factory using a nearby river in which to dump its waste-material. The river-current drags these materials away from the paper factory and to a nearby town that uses the river water for drinking purposes. The paper factory might use the same river for drinking water for its employees or production processes, but it will use the water a bit higher up the river, at a point where the water is still clean. So – even though the factory is producing the waste material, dumping it in the river and so contaminating the quality of the water – it is not the factory itself/those working at the factory who feel and experience the consequences of polluting the river to get rid of its waste. Since the factory doesn’t feel the harm in what it’s doing, it won’t change what it’s doing, unless there are complaints from the villagers who DO experience the consequences of the river pollution and take action so that solutions can be implemented.


Now – a study was done by James K. Boyce, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, where he investigated the ‘distribution’ of air pollution. Most people have heard about distribution of income and wealth and how unequal it is. But what about air pollution – is everyone suffering to the same extent or are certain groups/categories of people more exposed – and why?

In an interview with the professor the following was discussed:

LP: Do patterns of inequality differ across the country? How can a person of color or a poor person avoid air pollution?
JKB: Avoiding industrial air pollution is difficult, particularly if you’re poor or a member of a racial or ethnic minority. That’s partly because of housing prices. It’s partly because of discrimination in housing and mortgage markets — the phenomenon of red-lining. And it’s also partly because of the tendency for firms to site polluting facilities in relatively low-income and relatively high-minority communities because they expect less political pushback.

Hmmm, that last statement is quite interesting, isn’t it? In the example of our paper factory we were giving the factory ‘the benefit of the doubt’ in saying that – they probably didn’t realize what they were doing within polluting the water of the river, because they weren’t experiencing the consequences of the polluted water. But this statement clearly shows that – polluting firms are not only aware that they are polluting, they are aware that it has negative consequences for others – and yet, so long as they think they can ‘get away with it’, they’ll still do it. And when can they get away with it? When those experiencing the negative outflows are unlikely to speak up or take action to hold the firm accountable.

Or maybe it doesn’t mean that at all. Perhaps – let us entertain this notion for a moment – perhaps people of color or poor people are less likely to initiate political push back because they just don’t mind the air pollution. Maybe they are the enlightened ones who realize that air pollution is really not a big deal and therefore simply don’t want to make a fuss when it isn’t necessary.

But then you get to the following part of the interview:

 

LP: What are some of the most concerning economic effects of industrial air pollution on communities?

JKB: Air pollution has adverse effects on people’s health, and that means that they have to spend more on healthcare and they miss more days of work, either because they themselves are too ill to go to work or because their kids are sick and they have to stay home and take care of them. It also has adverse effects on property values, which vary with the levels of air pollution in the community.

On top of those outcome effects, it also impacts equality of opportunity, particularly for children. Because communities that are heavily burdened with air pollution tend to have higher incidence and greater severity of childhood asthma, the kids miss more days of school, and partly because they’re missing school and perhaps partly because of the neurological impacts of air pollution on their young and developing cognitive function, there is an adverse effect on school performance.
If you believe, as I think most Americans believe, that every kid deserves an equal chance, that equality of opportunity for children is dear to our society for reasons of both equity and efficiency, then the impacts of disproportionate pollution burdens on the children in some communities – the fact that the playing field is tilted against them through no fault of their own – is a troubling feature of our environmental landscape.

That settles it then – air pollution is definitely a problem that impacts the lives of those who are most exposed to it in a harmful way. So, it’s highly unlikely that they don’t mind – it must be that there is a problem in their ability to voice themselves and push for solutions that would improve their standard of living. And that makes total sense. As we have argued before – political participation is currently a luxury that can only be afforded by those who have the money and the time to firstly educate themselves on what procedures are available to them to organize themselves, formulate complaints and propose solutions – and secondly, walk these procedures and taking action.


With the implementation of a Living Income Guaranteed, companies would no longer have the ability to get away with excessive air pollution in low-income or minority community areas. No matter how much one currently struggles to get by income-wise and no matter if one belongs to a ‘minority community’ – each one’s economic situation would be secured and therefore, each one’s political influence is guaranteed as well. Herein, we could make an end to the cycle of impairing opportunities of those who already have a harder time to make the best of the opportunities they do have. Because once one is caught up in the struggle to survive, one has no bargaining power – one becomes the equivalent of a ‘slave’ within a system where one’s long term benefits are sacrificed for the short term goals of having enough money to put food on the table and pay the bills. And this is known by firms who release excessive amounts of pollutants into the environment for which they do not want to take responsibility – and so they will callously ensure that the consequences they create are carried mostly by those who don’t have the luxury to put a stop to it.

So, is a Living Income Guaranteed ‘bad news’ for firms? No – not at all. The philosophy of the free market is based on the premise that off-setting individual interests can create the best outcome for everyone. Of course, interests that are not voiced have no power to off-set anything at all – which is precisely what we’re witnessing in the world today. A Living Income Guaranteed would ensure that all interests are considered and play a role within the creation of an optimal outcome. Air pollution is a great example herein, because, what is air pollution? It is a way in which the natural equilibrium is disturbed, which, as we are all too aware of, is having consequences on the larger natural systems that the air forms a part of. In essence, it is a form of poisoning the planet, the planet we all share.

We can try for a while to keep the effects of pollution isolated so that most, or at least the more affluent, in society don’t have to worry about it. But the planet is an interconnected system and eventually – as we’re noticing with global warming – the effects will reach everyone. So – implementing a Living Income Guaranteed is not only a matter of empowering those without means or voice to make a decent living for themselves in this world – it is a vital step to ensure that we create optimal outcomes for everyone, that cannot be achieved if not everyone is part of the discussion.

corporate-social-responsibility - LIG

 

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Redemption and the Right to a Living Income

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by Kristina Salas 

Redemption - Canning Documentary - Living Income GuaranteedFor anyone who thinks and believes that those that are unemployed, receiving assistance from the state or federal government, or living on the streets are lazy and no good, feeding off the system, I suggest you watch the HBO documentary Redemption.

Here we watch people all over the streets of New York collecting bottles and cans as a way to survive. To them this is their full time job, walking block after block, day after day, going through trash that sits on the corner to collect all and any bottles or cans that can be recycled. Why do they do this? Because for each bottle or can, they can receive five cents. This seems hardly anything to be working so dam hard for, yet they are doing it. They are doing it with their children because they cannot afford childcare, and because they are extra hands to help out, they are doing it without sleeping, they are doing it to afford to live in a one bedroom apartment with seven other people. They are doing it because money matters in the fight for survival and is the only option available to them.

Redemption Documentary - Canning - America - Living Income GuaranteedBefore you assume to think these are people who put themselves in this situation, as if they deserved it, think again and watch the documentary. These are people with degrees, who have worked for such companies as Microsoft, who worked at the World Trade Center, who fought in wars for ‘our freedom’, who cannot survive on the social security they receive alone.
These are people who are doing what they can to survive, because the harsh reality is that if you make one wrong move, you too can be put out on the street without a helping hand. And you will then see what it’s really like to live for your survival. Money gives us a buffer, we do not see the extent to the consequence our system of life on Earth creates – because we did not pull the shorter stick.


Anyone who suggest that someone does not deserve a Living Income, a dignified life with the resource required to survive, simply because they are not working the job we define as ‘acceptable’ – put yourself in the shoes of another. What would you do to survive? Is your right to food, shelter, hot water, clean clothing more valid then someone who isn’t working, or not doing a job we classify as normal? Would you be willing to walk the streets of New York, digging through trash bags in front of fine dining establishment, simply to ensure you can buy yourself a sandwich for the day? What does shame have to do with anything when it comes to survival?

Redemption - Canning Documentary - LIGI suggest anyone that has such a judgment on those that are down and out and willing to do ANYTHING to make a few bucks, to watch this documentary, to put yourself in their shoes, and to then ask the question, why are Human Rights not a RIGHT given to all, unquestionably?


Investigate the
Living Income Guaranteed proposed by the Equal Life Foundation. The core principle is that all humans have unalienable rights to life – that means food, water, shelter, clothing, education. These cannot and should not be denied to anyone, whether you are not able to find a job, in between jobs, victim of layoffs, whatever – that no matter your situation, YOU have the right to a dignified life, and that you are not FORCED to sift through the rubbish of other humans to collect your income.

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Living Capitalism

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By Barbara Stängl

Problem:

This has become the one system that we have come to live by whether one calls it socialism, communism, democracy or any other ideology that we harbor in our minds as a system we submit ourselves to in the belief that one cannot avoid being ruled by it, driven by the fear of ourselves taking responsibility for ourselves as all that is within this existence and standing up for who we are in it and as it.

One must realize that socialism as it is lived as communism is capitalism in disguise, because the focus is on money, on capital, on the survival through money, the imprint of money on the people in similar ways as in ‘free market’ capitalism, with no actual freedom of trade and only the few on top, the 1% pocketing 95% of the profits. Capitalism is a state of being captivated by money expressed by the desire for more stuff or for more profit, more power and control, basically the greed for more. It is the cap of the pyramid where the base is comprised of the natural resources and the human resources – life and resources that have been misappropriated and abused for the very few on top – though with each and everyone focusing on being part of the top, the cap, those being superior over the ones underneath, having it made in acceptance of the disadvantage of others, the abuse of all ‘inferior’, thus each accepts the struggle for superiority on the given terms of capitalism, the competition and fight for survival.

Be as HappyAbuse and suffering is accepted and allowed in every second all over the world on all levels and dimensions, but strangely humanity doesn’t consider changing it. Most support it and will defend it rigorously as if we had been brainwashed into believing we do and will not question capitalism. It is not a natural state as proclaimed by Darwin as the fight for survival of the fittest, which is being put forward and maintained as a justification to one’s resistance to change the system and allow everything as it is – in a ‘don’t worry be happy’ mentality of those that are able to stand in the system in some way or another based on the fear of losing the little one has painstakingly earned or fearing actually having to limit oneself in one’s perceived right to consume because ‘I can afford to’, ‘I worked for it’.

 

2841160Thus we are willing to accept the majority of the beings on this planet crying out in pain and suffering each second of the day, a second-by-second holocaust for the majority of beings in this existence for our own comfort and the comfort zone of our minds. To be clear: We are actually accepting and allowing mass murder, rape, child abuse, victimization, starvation, animal abuse, deliberate infliction of pain and suffering for the promise of money at the end of the week or month. For printed paper that doesn’t even actually belong to us, as is stated by the banks, the agreed upon value of which can be nullified at any moment. How brainwashed are we? How dumb can we be? How little common sense do we have left, if at all?

 

Child AbuseThere are not many who realize that we’re dealing with a man-made creation which we are able to change so that every one being is considered and taken care of. And even if we do realize it, we have more immediate things to do in the moment, continue with what is due in our jobs, then get groceries, the children, cook, clean and watch the news, sigh, watch a film on TV and go to bed because the job requires you to be fit, and so the whole hamster wheel routine starts all over again till we are simply too mentally and physically tired to consider any other way and ultimately we give up on questioning: Why is it that this extensive crime against Life is being allowed ‘by others’? Everything is fine as long as it doesn’t happen to my family, to myself. Some turn to religion, to some underlying superior plan and rationalize their experience and observations, or do drugs or revert to games, sex and entertainment.

 

Solution:

Caged FreedomWe must see, realize and understand that and how we have detached ourselves from this reality and ourselves. We have allowed ourselves to develop such a mistrust of the physical, of ourselves as the physical because of the identification with emotions and feelings, with energetic experiences – where we no longer comprehend what is actually real, where one is to direct one’s focus and attention to, what is of real significance, substance and value and what is of projective nature and doesn’t hold true because it’s based on fear and becomes the figments and paranoia of and as the mind.

The system is us and we as-it are holding each of us by choice prisoner to it / to ourselves as a system of ‘Life’, ‘Death’ and ‘Struggle’ – that has manifested as capitalism of ‘Grow or Die’. We must understand the brainwashing within the acceptance that suffering is a natural part of life and step out of this mental dysfunction and let go of the concept of ‘having to work for a living’, ‘having the right to work to earn a living’ and instead see that we all have a right for Life, the right of Life, because we are of Life, we are living beings. Our capital is Life, the physical resources – so all will profit in being given an equal and one opportunity to practical physical survival/living in this physical existence. We will manage and live this system through our contribution to make it work for ourselves and for all. We can capitalize on the resources of each human being contributing to life on earth.

So it is pertinent to give to all an equal right to life, which we inherently have, because we are life / of life but what we abdicated our responsibility for, we aren’t standing in self-responsibility for and as ourselves as Life. So we must all commit to a process and standing from survival to living / to Life / as Life and realize that this is something that has actually always been and always will be everyone’s equal right.

A step toward this end is to see, realize and understand one’s own ‘mind-traps’ where one goes into justifications and reasons why a new Economic System will ‘never work’ – where the excuses usually exist around ‘others will deceive’ and ‘what if ‘others won’t work equally’ or ‘what if others use the opportunity to again deceive people’ or ‘I won’t change because others won’t change’, ‘Why me first?’ One must be prepared to see how one deceives oneself and others and see what one allows oneself to be within it, what statement one is making by continuing within the secret mind, inner conversations and backchat, because that is what separates oneself within oneself, from others, the world, reality, existence, Life. It’s a process of aligning oneself with reality and becoming real and making a different statement on who one is, based on the principle of oneness and equality, of giving how one would like to receive, of true care for and consideration of Life and all living beings in this existence.

 

off_to_save_the_worldIt is to personally walk through what one perceives as the comforts of capitalism, to understand the fear behind it, wherein one allows oneself to want to hold onto things as a substitute for true ‘comfort’ as and within the physical as what is actually supportive for the body’s well-being. And so to also consider the ones that suffer, to consider walking in their shoes for a one day and within that seeing the reality of capitalism and its outgrowths of debt, poverty, horrible diseases and starvation due to corruption and greed. To then make a stand in saying ‘Stop. To here and no further!’

There is the LIG Living Income Guaranteed  platform that incorporates a life manifesto stating the living principles on which a fair system that supports all life equally can be implemented, which one is able to support and make known. It is a step toward equality with respect to one’s financial means in the system as base support to be freed up time-wise to work on aligning oneself with Life and the living principles within and as oneself and within that to speed the process for a complete implementation of the principle of oneness and equality for the best of all in form of a system that forms the structure and mechanisms of providing for all equally pertaining to a fair distribution Earth’s resources and seeing to the point of sustainability and managing added value within a ‘labor system’ that actually respects Life and allows for self-expression instead of abuse.

Living Income Guaranteed Page

Benefits and rewards:

 

People are given enough to live within a system as how it is proposed in Living Income Guaranteed. There will be no need to take on jobs that compromise you as who one is as a human being and in that there is a chance to create jobs that channel one’s self-expression and creativity, that are actually fun to do and open up innovations that are needed for the support of our planet ecologically and for health care and other fields. There would be a rebalancing of the extremes that are now allowed, because the abuse would not have to be carried out to survive due to the inequality. There will be an environment of support where there is no focus on money and survival but on a dignity of life and living. One will work toward the actual profit of a having a clean planet with clean water for all. The statement of value of each Life and living being will be made and eventually lived. Thus from such capitalism life itself will benefit, each human, the animals, nature and the earth – we capitalize on the physical resources to direct this physical existence… the system to the best outcome for all.

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

 

 

Credits:

‘I worked for it’

‘Off to save the world’

‘Be as happy as possible’

‘Child abuse’

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

The Self-Perpetuating Cycle of Homelessness and Living Income Guaranteed

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The following article lays out the account of one mother’s ‘bad luck’ after the other: Homeless Mother Gets Job Interview But Doesn’t Have Childcare, Ends Up In Jail

She is a mother of two, homeless, unemployed and finds herself having a chance for a job. Not having a home, she cannot leave her children at home while she attends the job interview. Not having money, she is unable to afford childcare while she attends the job interview. So she does the only thing she can do in her situation: leave the children in the car with the window cracked open while she attends the job interview.

Taylor was charged with two felony counts of child abuse for leaving her six-month-old and two-year-old in a car with the windows cracked last Thursday for at least 45 minutes as she sat in an interview for a potential job. She told officers that she was homeless, so she couldn’t leave her children in the house, and she had no one else to watch them.”

Yes, what she did was dangerous, creating conditions which could have led to a fatal outcome. But like the article states: “Taylor’s story raises an important issue: People in her situation are left with only bad options. “Just as she set up the conditions for possible harm for her children by leaving them in the car, so is the system and society guilty as a whole for creating the conditions in which people’s hands are forced to make ‘bad decision’ and forced to choose between lesser evils.

Once landed in a bad position, it can be hard to move out if it, as one’s dysfunctional reality is set up to maintain itself as just that: dysfunctional.

Homeless people also struggle with more than child care when looking for work — they can have difficulty finding an internet connection to apply to job or transportation to get to interviews, clean clothes, or a place to put their belongings. And once they land a job offer, they can run into even more problems, especially if they don’t have things like an ID or birth certificate. It’s a vicious cycle; not having a job perpetuates homelessness, which can in turn make it even harder to find a job.”

break the cycle

What this story tells us, is that in how we are currently running our society and economic lives – you need money in order to make money. If you do not have money to clothe yourself, feed yourself, take care of basic hygiene, have a roof over your head; then it is very unlikely that you will be able to move into a position that will enable you to attain a dignified living standard. It’s kind of a Catch-22 in the land of the economically underprivileged.

How do we break this self-perpetuating cycle? With a Living Income Guaranteed of course.

If this woman would have had a Living Income disposable to herself, she would a) have had the option to stay at home and take care of her kids or b) pay for child care to give her the time and space to get employment.Not only is a Living Income Guaranteed instrumental to ending homelessness, a manifestation which puts to question our solidarity and should really have been eradicated already ages ago; it is also a cost-saver.

“It is cheaper to give homeless people a home than it is to leave them on the streets.That’s not just the opinion of advocates working to end homelessness, nor is it the opinion of homeless people themselves. It is a fact that has been borne out by studies across the country, from Florida to Colorado and beyond.The latest analysis to back up this fact comes out of Charlotte, where researchers from the University of North Carolina Charlotte examined a recently constructed apartment complex that was oriented towards homeless people.Moore Place opened in 2012 with 85 units. Each resident is required to contribute 30 percent of his or her income, which includes any benefits like disability, veterans, or Social Security, toward rent. The rest of the housing costs, which total approximately $14,000 per person annually, are covered by a mix of local and federal government grants, as well as private donors.In the first year alone, researchers found that Moore Place saved taxpayers $1.8 million. These savings comes from improvements in two primary areas: health care and incarceration.”
From: It Saves Millions To Simply Give Homeless People A Place To Live

Both humanitarian and economic motives for a better world, come together within a Living Income Guaranteed. We can reduce social misery, improve human dignity and security and boost the economy – all in the same package. We’d be crazy not to.

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

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The Butterfly Effect and Living Income Guaranteed

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Flowing Economy

The economy in any given location, can be likened to the dynamics of water. If the water in a river flows, then the river is healthy, life thrives in its waters and supports the surrounding terrestrial ecosystems.

Water evaporates from the Earth’s surface, transforms into clouds, travels with the wind, and lands in a new area where it can support life.

When water stagnates, it can become stale. Bacteria and disease start brooding and life stops thriving. Water, and more specifically flowing water – is an essential element and resource in sustaining life.

In our society, we have made the primary element that supports life: ‘money’. If you have money, you can eat, you can drink, you can live in a nice house, you can educate yourself, you can start new ventures, you can support a family, you can participate in leisure time. Money is used, and money is spent – and each expense in turn becomes a flow of income for someone else in society.

Money like water – can be stored for the future. Water-grabs in the form of excessive damming can threaten the vitality of an entire ecosystem: as water is held back, not enough water flows and the area that was once supported by its flow is now faced with a condition of lack, resulting in the degradation of the environment. Dams, when properly regulated and monitored, can be a beneficial factor in the environment. In the same way, we know that saving money can be beneficial to get us through a future ‘rainy day’.  However, when we hog money, like water, we create averse conditions within the economic environment (=ecosystem) around us.

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The Marginal Propensity to Consume, Save and the Multiplier Effect

Within the realm of economics, you may sometimes hear of the term ‘multiplier effect’ and ‘marginal propensity to consume’ or ‘marginal propensity to save’. Although these terms sound daunting, their meaning is actually very simple.

All these above-mentioned terms, relate to changes in the economy when an influx of income (and resulting spending) occurs.

Whenever we have money/an income, we will tend to save some of it and spend the rest. The amount we spend in contrast to how much we save for each unit of additional income, is our ‘marginal propensity to consume’ (MPC). If our MPC is 0.8, then this means that for every additional increase of income, we will spend 80% of it. In turn, the ratio of how much we save over how much we spend for each additional unit of income, is our ‘marginal propensity to save’ (MPS). If our MPC was 0.8, then our MPS is 0.2, which means we will save 20% of any additional income.

When you have little money, your propensity to save will be very low as money will primarily be spent on everyday needs. As your income goes up, your propensity to save will go up as you feel secure enough to ‘put something away’ and still be able to tend to your everyday needs. Once you’re well off, you will be more likely to save a higher portion of additional increments of income, leading to a lower marginal propensity to consume.

The multiplier effect, refers to an effect in the economy where an increase in spending will bring about a ripple effect which results in a greater amount of value as an outcome than the initial amount spent. In a way, one can look at it as ‘returns on an investment’. Here, we can go back to the example of the river, where additional flowing water in a river is not just ‘additional water’. It is also the drinking water for animals downstream whose presence is absolutely vital to the local biome [See ‘How Wolves Change Rivers’ to see how a change in a single variable can have a huge impact]. The same way, money spent in the economy is not just ‘some money spent’, but also the income of another human being who in turn can utilize this income to employ the services of someone else and again contribute to someone’s livelihood.

We can see from the following excerpt, that these propensities matter when it comes down to economic health and vitality:

“Wall Street banks handed out $26.7 billion in bonuses to their 165,200 employees last year. That amount would be enough to more than double the pay for all 1,085,000 Americans who work full-time at the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Purveyors of luxury goods always welcome the Wall Street bonus season, but a raise in the minimum wage would give America’s economy a much greater boost. To meet basic needs, low-wage workers tend to spend nearly every dollar they make. The wealthy can afford to squirrel away more of their earnings.

All those dollars low-wage workers spend create an economic ripple effect. Every extra dollar going into the pockets of low-wage workers, standard economic multiplier models tell us, adds about $1.21 to the national economy. Every extra dollar going into the pockets of a high-income American, by contrast, only adds about 39 cents to the GDP.”

Bang-for-the-Buck

http://www.ips-dc.org/reports/wall_street_bonuses_and_the_minimum_wage

This article nicely illustrates the power of money movement, and where this ‘current’ is the strongest.

By bringing Living Income Guaranteed into the economic picture, we can bring in a gush of fresh new water and transform our stagnant pool into a thriving flowing river. Besides fulfilling our moral duty towards our fellow men through securing each one’s Basic Human Rights, we also put into motion a new economic drive from which will sprout new opportunities of innovation and entrepreneurship.

It becomes possible to have a nice life and to enjoy the latest comfort and tech that science and creativity have to offer, whilst simultaneously making sure that everyone’s livelihood is guaranteed. The principle behind an economy like this is really a simple one: Give, as you would like to Receive.

By changing the money composition in the economy by a fraction, we can bring about tremendous changes. These changes in turn, will bring about their own effects. Even if one might not agree with a Living Income Guaranteed for political reasons, we cannot ignore the ample economic benefits that are coupled with its implementation; to name but just a few: economic growth and expansion, higher living standards, better skilled labor force, lower debt levels and better employment conditions. These in turn translate into social, cultural and psychological benefits such as lower crime rate, lower levels of stress, increased personal freedom, social cohesion, enhanced personal growth and development and overall happiness.

Let’s unleash the wave of economic, social, cultural and personal potential with Living Income Guaranteed.

 

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