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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

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Living Income Guaranteed and Commodity Pricing

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The theories about free market suggest that supply and demand determine the price and that apparently there is a ‘market force’ that is determining at the end of the day who will be wealthy and who will be poor. The odds – if you know from playing Monopoly – are that ‘he who has the money will be wealthy because they will get more’. This is happening very effectively with commodity pricing, because the future’s market and the establishment of pricing through this common oddity instead of common sense – for example, determining the price of food this way like in a giant casino – is certainly not a way for any competent government that represents citizens to enable feeding its people.

Take for instance food in a capitalistic world where labor is a capital and your food is a capital, and the seat of your government is a capital and the money you have is a capital: the creation of food and feeding one’s citizens and then making available the surplus in the open markets is the way it should function. Where the establishment of food prices is based on the labor input and the cost input and the historical growth in value through the accumulated effort of the human’s participation on Earth. These are the aspects that must be part of the pricing system to ensure that those people have no need for a Living Income, because there is sufficient profit for those involved in creating the food to make a decent living, to pay the farm laborers properly so that they can do their work with a loving heart and not because they are forced to do it because they have no other means to make a living.

Imagine! all the people that are into the ideas of ‘consciousness’ for instance, already have this inclination that ‘the hands that touch things have an influence on its constitution’. This would imply that if your food is produced by poor people desperate to make a living that are not getting enough money, constantly experiencing anger, anxiety and fear = that would be transferred to our food and because we accept that as ‘okay,’ we accept the consequence of this form of production as ‘okay’ and as such, we accept the consequence of placing this in our body as ‘okay’ without realizing and understanding how is it that within this we contribute and participate in creating more disease on Earth.

Within the commodities’ markets, food pricing and the giant casino, those that make profits do not care about this because they can create another health product to sell and place on the markets, continuing the cycle of supply and demand which results in forced labor and economic slavery.

With Living Income Guaranteed we suggest that we start looking at the real science, not only the genetic modification that is attempted to be controlled through patents and influencing the food supply to influence the palate of the population and have control over it and thus control over price. Price control in Living Income Guaranteed is not a matter of control, it’s a matter of common sense: if the labor part of the food production is not healthy = the food cannot be healthy as the investigation into water crystals by Masaru Emoto indicated – and then it cannot produce a healthy society because the pricing isn’t healthy, the capitalistic system isn’t healthy, there is not enough money moving and your debt will increase! And then, because you are creating the system through a form of conflict, the only way you can then save the system is through conflict. Capitalism throughout time has been proven to ‘need war’ to continue existing and regenerate the economy, to create jobs and to create money for a minority.

Commodity markets and open markets need a new definition where a country produces a particular commodity, it first supplies its own citizens and the surplus – which can be determined as to what is needed in the world, just as it is done with oil – can be sold to all the other countries that need a particular commodity so that they can have access to it on the open market at a price that does not cause poverty and starvation, but that enhances the global economy.

Labor has lost all capital value which means if your labor is worth nothing = you have no power with which to ensure your wellbeing financially, health-wise and in all ways of your own family – and then a country is not able to support its citizens through proper government. And here the capitalist, the wealthy person needs to understand the simplicity of the Living Income Guaranteed. If you have citizens that have more money to spend and you only have a system that focuses on competition based on pricing, will cause less money to flow. Therefore we propose that competition is based on value, technology and effectiveness.

If one competes on things that are genuinely valuable like a better warranty, better quality product or a unique and innovative product, it is a healthy use of competition that doesn’t cause harm: it enhances the product. But to compete based on price alone, claiming that global prices are going to be ‘good for the citizens’ while the quality of the products is dropping all the time indicates that there’s something really wrong in our reasoning! Because the evidence is very clear that this is not how reality works. The very fact that this is even allowed and not seen as treason because of the way it harms the citizen = that is even more revealing to what extent we are not yet aware of how we have caused our own crisis and demise.

How labor loses capital value with lower commodity pricing and that lower prices create job loss, unemployment and starvation, should be part of our common sensical understanding of the economy. Yet, do you see any of this in the news? Do our journalists actually even comprehend the fact that they are not actually reporting the root and cause of the problems we hear and read about every day? This is a massive problem when we fail to see how it is through our common acceptance of economic inequality that we then accept every single problem and consequential outflow that stems from failing to support every single individual to live in the best possible sustainable manner.

The facts are that if the labor that is put into the production of something like food is not compensated effectively in and through the price, and if the distribution is not compensated and all participants within the creation of the food process are not compensated properly = then we are creating poverty through producing food.

How have we created poverty? We have food at a lower price which means less tax = which means a weaker social service = which means there is not enough money to support all the citizens – this is why we end up with revolutions – Why would we do that deliberately, unless it is that we don’t even understand – after our so called evolution – that we are actually creating the problem with ideologies like a ‘free market forces’ and ‘supply and demand.’

Supply and demand is very simple, it should be based on: What is the supply? Is there enough food for everyone? Which means that the demand is how much we need, what’s the surplus and whether the profit made from it actually supports everyone that is involved in the production process to make a decent living – this is what supply and demand is in a practical civil way. The ways that are currently used are downright counterproductive and detrimental to our global economy.

If you can see within integrity and common sense the problem that we are presenting here, then support a solution that is real: educate yourself, step out of your self-interest and realize that we must work together as one within a democracy to bring about real change.

Equal Life Foundation Research Team

Basic Income Guaranteed and Commodity Pricing