Economic Revival

Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People

 

Notes from the article: Print Less but Transfer More Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People  By Mark Blyth and Eric Lonergan

Problems:

us-dollar-benjamin-bandage

 

Insufficient spending keeps the economy in stagnation

Starved up Economy: Lower Income Economies Save up as security and so spend far less than they could actually spend in development/ infrastructure – this leads to stagnation and austerity measures.

Retirement Fears: Middle-aged adults save up more and spend less in goods and services.

New printed money: Not the solution because inequality grows because it is not distributed from the bottom up.

Fiscal Policies have lowered taxes and improved government spending – this hasn’t worked as an effective incentive

Monetary Policies: the recipe that created the crisis in 2008 was the lowering of interest and the increase of money supply. This is now known as Greenspan’s recipe for disaster.

Tax rebates and stimulus packages don’t create sustainable solutions.

– There is no real consensus on how to best use taxes or spending efficiently to stimulate the economy.

 

QE Bernanke Quantitative Easing Recipe for disaster

Quantitative Easing (QE) by Bernanke: the formula of printing loads of money by purchasing billions of dollars worth of mortgage backed by securities and government bonds has been an attempt to boost stock and bond prices, only leading to furthering the bubble on to QE 1, QE 2… 3? to no avail

Since the end of the financial crisis in 2008-2009, the US Federal Reserve has been, essentially, printing money to boost the US economy.The programme, known as “quantitative easing” (QE), is about to come to an end in October.

Source: BBC News – Has quantitative easing helped the US economy? http://bbc.in/1r1kXrq

– European Central Bank (ECB) attempted to make interest rates negative to increase consumer spending

Did Consumer Spending increase? No

  • – Housing markets have overheated
  • – People do not borrow money because debt is too high

Expanding balance sheets through Q.E. is similar to inflating a hot air balloon, it will invariably fall back to the ground.

Fear of Spending: People hesitate to spend their money – this fear of spending causes instability and prolonged stagnation leading to

  • – High unemployment
  • – Low wage growth

 

Tax on the wealthy? It’s not a popular measure as this discourages private investment and further stagnates the economy. This shouldn’t be a punishment to anyone

What do we know thus far? All of these methods are not working!

Then… Why hasn’t the government provided Cash Transfers yet?

Governments Must Do Better!

 

 

 

Solutions

Governments Should Boost the Bottom/Low Income Households

– Central Banks – such as the Federal Reserve – Should Hand Consumers Cash Directly into Millions of Individual accounts.

  • – No more asset purchasing
  • -No more interest rate shifts/changes

– Cash Transfers stand a better chance than interest rate shifts or Quantitative Easing Policies.

How?

– Giving Tax paying households a certain amount of money

– The Government could distribute cash to all equally OR

– Give money to the bottom 80% low income households

The point is to: SUPPORT those that have The Least

Lower Income Households are more prone to consume, therefore handing them money means: they would boost the spending immediately

Central Banks wouldn’t need to print more money as they are now doing with Quantitative Easing.

 

Question: Would this offset “Income Inequality”?

No if a policy of implementing higher wages for people active in labor market is implemented along with the provision of Cash Transfers or a Living Income such as what we propose in the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal

Most economists agree that Cash Transfers from a Central Bank would stimulate Demand.

This is the First Significant Innovation on Monetary Policy since the Invention of Central Banking!

Cash Transfers become Monetary Policy as soon as the Banks begin using them.

– Payments should be exempt from taxes

– What about the inflation excuse? No problem, transfers can be a flexible tool and so inflation can be managed.

 

What about the Wealthy? They can provide higher wages to boost the bottom and so benefit themselves by expanding consumer base.

– Bank of England, European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve have 20% excess assets = this means that they could Invest Back on the Citizens

 

How will this money be used?

Each country and its government can decide to place certain conditions on how this money is spent. For instance

  • – To save money: retaining funds as savings for the future
  • – To finance their education
  • – To pay-off debts
  • – To Start a Business
  • -To invest in a home, car, etc.

This will lower income inequality as well as promote a culture of investing and spending in a Smart manner.

 

The ultimate question is: Why this measure hadn’t been implemented before?

This has to do with Central Banks: Central Banks were not designed to Manage spending. Their functions were

  • – To issue currency
  • – To provide liquidity to the Government Bond Market
  • – To Mitigate Banking Policies
  • – Q.E. which is a variant of Bond Buying function which has achieved little effect on economic growth, because the bottom was not supported.

Money printing

Here is to realize that Printing Money is Not the issue – as it is already what is been done with Q.E. However, the Federal Reserve Bank is extremely resistant to legislative changes, because it will affect its current monetary policy as no more bank-bailouts would be able to take place. This we all know was a grave mistake and now the actual bailout must be handed to the majority, which is subsumed in poverty.

How money is created is another discussion of itself that will take further steps to give a real value back on money –  however these are first steps toward a supportive policy that benefits the majority

There is NO Reason for Governments to Not try Cash Transfers out!

 

Rewards:

Cash Transfers as an initial version of the provision of a Living Income would generate the following positive changes in the economy:

– They would increase spending, which is what has been sought all along as solution to revive the economy

– No need to spend more in infrastructure or government spending

– No need to do immediate changes in the taxation code

– No more poor payoffs

– No more poverty, no more homelessness

– Better living standards = less criminality

– No more perverse consequences benefiting a few at the top and leaving the bottom with no solution

– Inequality is addressed without skinning the rich, eventually everyone benefits from this = it is a win-win solution

– It’s time to Innovate: we cannot continue following policies from a century ago.

We require the Courage, the Intelligence and Leadership to try something New. We fully agree, it is about time we stop living in crisis modality and start supporting win-win solutions coming from Central Banks. It IS possible, so why aren’t we doing this already?

Investigate the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal for Further Innovative Solutions to make of Cash Transfers a genuine groundbreaking supportive model for the Economy

 

Watch our Living Income Google Hangout discussing this Council of Foreign Relations article and other developments toward the provision of a Living Income/ Basic Income

 

cash-transfer1

Why are higher wages a Win-Win Solution?

 

Everyone knows that having money enables us to cover our needs and live in a comfortable manner, however the less we earn, the higher prices go up, the more taxes we pay and the more wealth is accumulated in the hands of a few means that the less opportunities exist to change the way the economic model works now. But, we have to learn this has not always been ‘the way the world works.’

Let’s take the most usual example. The growing rate of income inequality in the United States of America and around the globe has its most recent roots in 1978 when the taxation to the rich was diminished and the financial industry deregulation, enabling the infamous 1% to grow richer and richer to the exorbitant data that we find today wherein 400 individuals may hold half of the wealth of the entire Nation. The problem in itself is not their wealth, but how it is used – meaning, it’s not being reinvested back into the economy in ways that it reaches the population – it mostly goes to bailouts, lobbying, political campaigns or other forms of capital investment that are not taxable. From my perspective, this ability for the corporate powers to define what the government does is what the ideal of ‘Free Market’ becomes when government does not regulate the greatest casinos on Earth – Wall Street – and exorbitant amounts of invisible money are able to be created out of thin air, out of bidding on the actual assets and work that real people do, which means that this world is in reverse: human labor – whichever form it is – has been ousted from the benefits of any form of ‘economic efficiency’ or ‘growing economy’ in GDP numbers, and instead, the middle and working class have been tied to a noose where instruments used for further polarization of society, such as inflation along with a stagnant rate of wages for over 35 years have led to the ongoing crisis since 2008 worldwide: a few people having all the money they want and the rest having less and less power of acquisition, which results in an ever straining bubble about to burst when realizing that even those with great wealth depend on those that helped create their great wealth in the first place: the middle class that is now being eradicated to become part of the poverty lines.

As Nick Hanauer nailed it: Costumers are the Real Job Creators and explains how the middle class expenditure is what has made companies like his own the extremely profitable business it is. Why? Because the more people can afford to buy, the more businesses win – therefore, the less people can afford buying products = the less profit great business owners have. It is obvious that limitations in one side of the society inevitably catch up on the wealthy rest too, if those millions do not generate economic activity.

 

The problem with wealth is that it’s not reintegrated back to society, it’s mostly spent in some other forms of investments, are equally ‘bubbly’ goods such as gold, hedge funds, art or financing government members to deregulate the markets, which only continues to widen inequality.

When looking at the problem and tracing the point back to how individuals go from middle class to poverty, one can see that there has been a problem overlooked when large corporations take the jobs of small businesses, resulting in going-out-of-business  which means jobs are lost; when technology reduces the amount of human labor required, when having no ‘good job opportunities’ forces underemployment and lower wages because we have collectively accepted that ‘it’s best to have at least a shitty job with bad wages than nothing,’ which in turn makes the idea of ‘higher education being the key to live well’ another planned obsolescence tactic to rather generate debt in college people so that their working money – if they do happen to find a good job – is able to be slashed In half to pay for an education that most likely won’t get people having the job that was expected to give three to four times more than what they earn on a yearly basis, plus paying taxes that won’t go back in social benefits. This is the current straining reality: the problem is the structure of how money is being used, but also the complacency and ignorance to accept things ‘how they are’ instead of realizing that: this is Not the way life’s meant to be, this is Not the way economies have always operated. We have reached the bottom and we can only go that far.

 

income-inequality-living income

 

What happens when wages are not good enough?

Besides growing discontent toward governments, corporations through protests and worker’s strikes, some of the immediate coping mechanisms that newly unemployed people do is saturate credit cards to pay for basic needs like food/services/transportation and education, take low-end jobs or resort to criminal activities, resulting in worse consequences at a collective level. Others went through the expectancy of ‘earning more money’ through refinancing their houses – which created the big bubble that burst in 2008 – leaving many in a declared state of poverty and bankruptcy, working two or three jobs to make ends meet – and sometimes not even that is enough. Using up savings or retirement funds for healthcare bills became a way to care for the essentials, leaving many homeless people living in tent cities while millions of houses are left empty and owned by banks that essentially propitiate debt to make profit… and we have fallen for it.

This is obviously a stressful and unacceptable situation considering that personal taxes paid to the IRS are not directly benefiting people with any form of unemployment plans – which have been recently cut for millions of Americans – as well as the 40 billion cut in food stamps over a decade – or creating of ‘new jobs’ since we know that the problem is this gaping inequality stemming from the stagnation of wealth in the hands of a few and having the rest having to cope with inflation, debt, rising health costs, topped credit cards, gigantic mortgage and college debts that seem insurmountable since wages have not gone up at all since then 1970’s.

On top of that, paying taxes without getting any support back is a slap in the face considering that:

“The US is now locked into a system whereby the government issues bonds to generate the funds for their operations, bonds that are backed up by the taxation of the public’s own labor. […] the most outrageous fact of all is that not one cent of the money collected by the income tax goes toward payment of government services. This startling admission was confirmed by the Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, better known as the Grace Commission, a Congressional investigation that was appointed by President Reagan in 1982 and concluded:

“With two thirds of everyone’s personal income taxes wasted or not collected, 100 percent of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the federal debt and by federal government contributions to transfer payments. In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services [that] taxpayers expect from their government.”

  – James Corbett

 

End the Torment with Living Income Guaranteed

 

Solutions

The Debt hole is able to be stopped first of all by stopping the need to go into debt and because right now it might be impossible to ‘create jobs’ from out of thin air – since there’s no economic flow – a first and necessary input that generates a new flow has to be created: to provide a Living Income to people that currently are unemployed and give Higher Wages to those that do work. This is why we support the movement that is gaining momentum in the US to raise wages from the average $7.25 to 15 dollars or more, as it is well know that people that earn higher wages become loyal workers, enhance their dedication and working skills with the general incentive of gaining more money, which means a higher quality living standard, better quality products, better education as well as considering that higher power of acquisition is the best cure to an anemic economy. This will in turn not only truly generate ‘jobs’ but a better quality jobs in new ventures that will go beyond the usual retail and service industry, which currently has the most job placements and the least pay, keeping a stagnant society designed to manufacture, serve with no use of our true skills and potential that we all have as human beings.

Therefore the real capital that must be recognized is ourselves: the human capital, understanding that any speculative bubble will eventually burst as it should, since it was never real in the first place and instead, focus on supporting the ‘middle class’ with better wages, which in turn will create better job opportunities and eradicate poverty by providing a Living Income to everyone that so requires it.

This will also remove the need to create ‘extra funds’ – and their eventual cuts in the emergency of further ‘budget crisis’ – for unemployment or pension plans, since the provision of a Living Income is No Longer linked to Personal Income Tax, but through other means that we suggest are used to fund the Living Income, such as using the money that goes to military budget, foreign aid, nationalizing companies that profit from the use and sales of natural resources and value added tax, which will in turn create a system that stands by its own spending-movement profit rather than taxing the poor to siphon those funds to pay governmental debts.

 

The Living Income Guaranteed model will not only enable the provision of a basic income or living income in a sustainable manner, but it will also enable the following changes in the economy of any nation that implements it:

 

Suggested Documentaries:

 

Living Income Guaranteed - Eradicating Poverty

We know the extent of poverty in the world yet we keep pretending that our picture perfect life is all that exists – would we ignore the neglect of life if it was at our doorstep?
We can change this picture with a
Living Income Guaranteed by Equal Life Foundation
www.livingincome.me

artwork by Matti Freeman

Military Budget to Finance a Living Income: World Peace and Win-Win Solutions

War only benefits those that wage it: it will never be the way to create peace, it won’t ever be a smart way to deal with rivalry between nations and it won’t ever have ‘good results’ since war is anything but constructive, it is the most vicious of humankind’s enterprises since it represents the epitome of ‘divide and conquer’; and because the greatest problem in the world is money, war then becomes a supposed ‘remedy’ for it, without understanding how this ‘solution’ is formed within the same mentality that believes we should always exist in fear of each other, of the potential attacks that we’ve allowed as part of our geopolitical arrangements  wherein entire nations are supposed to hate each other in the name of following a history, a culture, a tradition, a religion… right now waging war due to religion is as valid as waging war using the now worn up excuse of ‘terrorist threats’ to justify waging war against countries that most of the times do not represent an ‘threat’ but are deliberately made a threat to the current hegemony that certain countries manufacture in this world through the link between wars and the money systems.

 

What do we get from war?

Deaths, suffering, torture, destruction, post traumatic disorders, diseases, chemical pollution, desire for revenge, ‘winners and losers’  – but overall, what matters the most is money, the military industry behind all wars are the ones that really benefit from convincing the public that for example, 40% of each tax dollar paid by American people goes to the military budget

where-do-our-income-tax-dollars-go

For more charts and information visit: http://warnomore.wordpress.com/facts/

 

Who is responsible for wars?

Is it only certain corporations that make the weapons, the vehicles, drones, uniforms, food and services for the military abroad? No, that’s the materialization of money directed to war, but the consent resides within the each one of us that still accept war as something that does any form of ‘good’ which we should already know can only be a lie since deliberate attacks, harm and abuse won’t ever be what is best for everyone.

Now, I mentioned how we suggest that instead of having a basic income/ living income be financed by augmenting taxes in each country, creating further scorn within the taxpayer due to ‘their taxes funding ‘lazy people’s right to a basic income,’ we can instead use the money that would usually be directed to fund wars which for example in a country like the United State of America is equivalent to trillions of dollars. Such money should be instead directed to finance a Living Income for the people that is supporting such war in the first place due to economic interests or ‘manufactured consent’ within the idea of taking revenge or settling peace and democracy somewhere else.

See, as humanity throughout history, the old way to ‘revive the economy’ in times of crisis was through scheming a war and then having people producing and working in order to get an entire nation strengthen and ‘moving on’ within the common goal of uniting to go to war against so and so. This is still being applied in 21st century, though more and more we become aware of how All Wars are Bankers Wars and that World Wars I and II have only been waged for the purpose of redrawing the map of the world, occupying territories and generating ‘world powers’ as the ones that apparently ‘win’ the war creating the illusion that ‘a war solved the problem,’ whichever the ‘problem’ was in the first place.

So, with regards to the proposed ways to fund the Living Income Guaranteed:

 

REDIRECTION OF MILITARY BUDGETS

A second major and proper source of funds to finance a Living Income is the
redirection of
military budgets. Whereas the real and propagated justifications for war
are questionable, their resulting devastation is not. It requires no further explanation
or argumentation to clarify why warfare is undesirable and worth eradicating.

Every democratic government has a duty first and foremost to the citizens of their
own country. Spending vast amounts of public funds to finance military action under
the guise of humanitarianism has no sensical meaning when at home such things
as unemployment, poverty, inadequate education programs or health systems are
common and increasingly problematic. To better the world, we must start at home.

Source: http://livingincomeguaranteed.wordpress.com/the-proposal/

 

Living Income Guaranteed - DAWN -  ELF - No More War copy

 

I got the following comment from Ann upon explaining the solutions to fund a Living Income without resorting to use personal taxes for it and instead, using the money that would usually fund wars:

“I like the idea of having money that goes to arms and war, going to the living income. However I also see an issue with this, in our current system, where there are many international actors with opposing goals, in conflict with each other, and which will not de-arm themselves because they you are basically naked towards the others who might still have arms and use them. Your then defenseless. So for that to work everyone would together need to stop wars, armies etc…  Which would not be easy because of all the conflict and manipulation going on.”

 

This is so and it sounds quite ‘logical’ within our current accepted ways of thinking and it is due to reasons like these that some nations have not yet signed treaties for disarmament and still reject the idea of ever having to sign any document to stop nuclear proliferation – this is obviously tied in with the excuse that ‘vulnerability exists’ between nations and that is why ‘everyone should have the right to have weapons to defend themselves’ – but we don’t even question any longer WHY such conflicts exist in the first place. The notion that a nation is vulnerable and becomes ‘defenseless’ exists as a consequence of a world wherein we’ve always learned how to ‘get what we want’ through force, and that means mostly power, gaining more money, more territories, enslave people, use their resources, invade with people and businesses… you name it, wars always exist as a façade of ‘valid excuses’ to kill, harm, occupy and abuse others in the name of so-called peace, which is in fact only more money and power.

Let’s talk about the most common example. The Unite States of America has a large capacity for such intimidation which can be seen as ‘preventing attacks’ from its smaller and less capable ‘enemies’ due to the fact that the US can annihilate them and they – most of the times – do not have the means to prevent this or retaliate in any substantial way. If the USA redirected the military budget, many could look at this as a form of weakening/weakness placing the USA in a more vulnerable position to be attacked due to its lessened ability to intimidate others or defend itself.

The offense-defense game in international political affairs is played by creating a continuous process of intimidation through potential military interventions by the world’s hegemons/ world powers upon nations that represent an obstacle to their expansionist greed. This is how ‘pseudo enemies’ are deliberately created to give continuation to a warfare industry that enables profit to be made upon these constant calls for the necessity to intervene in the name of peace and democracy in other countries or defend themselves from ‘potential terrorist attacks’ which is mostly a fabrication of such threat to keep the military industry in place.

This continuous provocation forces the nations ‘under the mire’ to arm themselves as well to have the means for defense. This ever present tension between nations is what creates the belief that each nation should always be ready and prepared to go to war, when in fact wars only represent the interests of a few that benefit from it, since war is always implying death and destruction using the public’s opinion as manufactured consent to support it in the name of fighting against terrorism and national defense; other reasons include fighting certain nations that do not comply to the views of imperialist-powers and so represent  an obstacle to their own imperial position. However throughout history we’ve witnessed how wars are justified consent to commit crimes against humanity including the use of tax payer’s money to fund such destructive enterprises.

 

If the USA redirected their military budget – which accounts to 40% of tax payer’s money – to fund a Living Income Guaranteed,  those with common sense would not perceive it as a weakness to not intimidate or invade others  for the sole purpose of generating profit for few corporate elites, realizing that the nation is already having a weak economy due to most of the funds being directed for military purposes for the illegitimate benefit of a few, instead of strengthening the economy at home if such funds would support individual’s financial security.

 

DAWN - war

 

Now, what to do with the apparent ‘potential threats’?

United Nations and such Conventions exist for a reason: to get together and establish solutions that benefit everyone: win-win solutions.

Let’s take once again the example of America, the most bellicose country on Earth. If the money spent currently in the ongoing Afghan war and Iraq occupation that has been going on for over a decade now, would be instead given back to the Americans in the form of a Living Income and Higher Wages for those that work, then there would be no such high poverty rates in America, no such grave unemployment rates or cuts in food stamps and/or unemployment benefits: because people would have money to live in dignity, would support the stability and continuous genuine growth of the economy – with the increase of each one’s power of acquisition – as well as ensuring that every bit of taxpayer’s money stays ‘at home.’ This is the real way to empower a country, however when nations participate in expansionist ‘foreign policies’ then such resources are aimed to wars that become a ‘necessary evil’ according to the manufactured consent in the public to gain resources, land, good position in the world-system, etc. As an extra fact, it is no coincidence that the country with most debt in the world is also the most bellicose.

So, international treaties should be signed between nations to cease all fire and/or potential threats and manipulation such as economic sanctions and instead, focus on establishing a Living Income Guaranteed model that will immediately support each country’s people at home. This will strengthen the weakened economies around the globe, and generate a true global market wherein each nation can still compete to be the most successful by providing the best living standards for their population. Trade will thrive, but some things will change now that  for example people won’t have to resort to do ‘any type of job to make a living’ as there won’t be such imperious necessity since a Living Income will be provided to avoid such forced labor conditions, which is also another form of warfare too, structural violence.

Now, these treaties would most likely not imply that nations will become ‘friends again’ – that would be mostly ideal, but we are realistic and understand that to ‘straighten trees’ that have been born crooked will take a while or simply a new generation to be educated with principles of supporting each other human being as an equal rather than identifying oneself from a certain nation, race, religion, political affiliation, financial status etc. so until then, It should be part of our democratic decision-making processes to endorse the Living Income model as a way to stop wars, redirect that money to fund social security, to provide higher wages as the incentives for people to realize that a nation’s power and ability to compete within the global market resides within the ability to have every citizen protected with money to live as a human right, having access to good public services, higher wages, improved education systems, unconditional healthcare, participating in the administration of nation’s resources through national corporations and in essence becoming a person that works on building and strengthening the nation’s economy, instead of taking the job to become a soldier – due to having no other means to make a living –  to kill with the excuse of defending their nation, leave their families and return with missing limbs, diseases/addictions and post traumatic disorders – or worse, not return at all.

War has never been and won’t EVER be the way to get a nation out of a crisis – it might be so for certain corporations and businesses but for the people, for life on Earth it is obvious it only means death and destruction and a direct attack against ourselves.

 

So, How can the military budget be redirected to fund a Living Income?

Through new or emerging political parties that endorses the Living Income Guaranteed proposal which will have to result in an unprecedented political revival from the people that have been currently disenchanted by politics and the government,  because in essence: we have to become the politicians that can propose and vote on these fundamental changes. It’s time we learn how to manage ourselves, our lives, our resources, our nations in a way that is best for everyone, including those that are already living quite well off within the current version of capitalism we live in. The ability to change our current ‘war paradigm’ is in our hands.

Investigate more in the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal where not only do we propose the funding of each individual’s right to live in dignity, but also contribute to a genuine way to implement world peace.

 

For more education on war expenditure visit:

Watch:

 

Read:

 

Military Expenditure - Funding Living Income Instead

Artworks by: Damián Ledesma