human rights

From Zero Sum War to Win-Win Life Support

 

forgive-yourself-life-is-too-short

Fear is the starting point of our actions or inactions, of every thought we create and act upon. Why is this? Well, because we haven’t mostly learned how to consider each other in our actions or inactions – we haven’t learned how to communicate in order to establish agreements to, for example, get to share things in a way where all involved are considered and so, no one would have to fight to get their ‘share of the pie’ so to speak. Fear is what drives us to want to ‘secure’ our resources or get someone else’s because we fear not having enough for tomorrow – or simply wanting to have more just to have more power, more control, more ‘security’ which is once again all coming from fearing losing it all, and ultimately fearing our own death. This sounds like the reason for wars at the moment and one would tend to look at it as a problem between nations only, however, this within each one of us and it has to exist within us first in order to now ‘make sense’ and justify wars as righteous actions to secure (grab, steal) someone else’s resources/territory or people to serve as slaves – this might sound ‘outdated’ or how it was in the old days, however things haven’t really changed no matter how much ‘evolved’ we might be with all our super-powers to crate all of these technological gadgets and plan super-sustainable cities, which is great but one thing is certain: if we do not change our starting point from Fear toward a genuine principle of cooperation, solidarity, communication, ability to work together, to share, to establish agreements, to consider each other’s right to live in dignity = it will be rather difficult to get to any real evolution.

The reason why we cannot continue following a system of ‘morals’ of right and wrong is because that is the foundation of our ‘justice’ mind construct. For example, what one grows up believing is ‘right’ and ‘fair’ in America might not be the same as what someone in Russia grows up learning is right – in one or the other war can be justified as a means to ‘secure one’s homeland’ and in the other war is seen as a self-destructive action and last resort, while agreeing that it is right to stock on nuclear weapons to ‘defend our people.’ The point here being that in common sense, there cannot be any ‘right’ or ‘righteousness’ in promoting war or defense tactics, because the obvious principled living point is missed: how to Not wage wars but rather learn how to communicate, to know what each other is fearing, to know what each faction is requiring and so get to establish agreements, solutions where both or all parts are considering self-responsibility. Oh wow, such a simplistic way to avoid stocking on nuclear weapons or spending 20 million dollars a day on warfare while we starve 2+ billions of people and destroy the most precious resources we have on Earth! So you tell me whether there’s anything ‘righteous’ or common sensical in war as in there being any ‘fair’ or ‘just’ excuse to wage it…. There is NONE.

Where do we as ‘the people of the world’ fit in this scheme? Well, as much as we would like to think wars are a problem of the ‘super high spheres in society,’ it is not really only ‘them’ that have the ultimate say to wage wars. We all do this within ourselves, against each other, all the time. Have a look at our own thoughts, how much inner conflict we create within ourselves that we eventually create into actual problems between one another and ‘against someone’ just because we want to defend what we believe is ‘right’ which is actually – as the justifications for wars show – an excuse, a reason, a justification to get benefits for oneself and so justify doing ‘whatever it takes’ to get them. In this world, it is rather – unfortunately – common to have to lie, cheat, deceive, fool and abuse another/others in order to get ‘what one wants.’

One might think this is not so at all, because one plays ‘fair’ – but can there be any real fairness in this world in fact? Can there be any real cleanliness we even ignores how money is created as debt to tie us to a system of enslavement and how the very life we trade with is embedded in a monetary system that devalues life and ponders money as the right over life? No, no one can really escape from the actual thwarted foundation that moves every single cent in this world. This is no different to how we justify the means to get to an end, where we as individuals do not really question the outflows and consequences of us wanting to get something/someone in certain place that benefits us as individuals.

We rarely – if not never genuinely – consider everyone that is directly or indirectly involved and affected by our decisions, by our actions and how within creating of our world system a zero sum game – where one’s earnings is another’s loss – we actually bite our own tail all the time, because we have missed the understanding that by denying another’s growth and wellbeing is shooting ourselves in the leg as well, because we are all in fact interconnected by the sheer realization that we live in the same world. This is not a spiritual or metaphysical connotation here, but quite a factual aspect of our lives in this world.

Therefore, when we decide to go against others to get what we want, within following our fear to have none or our desire to have more, within believing that control and power are real as they make us even ‘more powerful’ and so intimidating others to not mess with us, we become in fact our own worst enemy – no matter who you are, where you are, what ‘right or wrong’ morality you base your actions on: physical laws of action and consequence dictate that the moment that we disregard a part of the whole and wage war against it = everyone else will be affected.

 

War Against Life - Democracy Against War

Maybe we will only realize this when it is too late and we have no resources to wage war on… we haven’t consider that everything in this world is alive and that our very decisions and principles dictate how we create ourselves, how we shape our reality, how we create or destroy life around us – being humans, animals, plants, the ecosystem in itself. What nature is showing us is that if we continue ‘waging war’ against each other, nature/ the animal kingdom will also demonstrate the outflows of our inability to coexist in harmony, maybe that’s what we require to see in order to wake up from our warmongering slumber.

Ultimately, isn’t it that all that we want is our secured access to resources, to live at peace and in dignity? Then why haven’t we yet actually worked on creating a system that guarantees just that? Why haven’t we placed our collective effort and work in gear to get that done and secured? Makes no sense to only keep ‘fighting injustice’ and ‘fighting against terror’ which is a paradox in itself, we have to instead focus on living the principles that we want to see reflected in this world .

If we want fairness and Justice we have to create it from within ourselves: to consider at all times what is Best for All, to do onto another as we would like to be done onto ourselves as ‘they’ are also ‘me’ as well, to give as I would like to receive and to ensure that no harm or abuse is waged in means of one’s benefit – that must be recognized as self-destruction, period.

So, there can be no excuse to not give to each other the right to a guaranteed Living Income, which is a first stepping stone to get everyone their share of the economy, no matter how thwarted it is in its foundation at the moment – this is a first step to begin straightening the crooked tree we have all allowed to grow ‘by itself’ without any clear definition of what we want that money to be. Our current zero sum economic system is our collective consequence, it is our responsibility, so we have to begin placing solutions to get everyone on the playing field, so that then we can look at how to best generate fairness embedded in the way that money is created, in the way that our laws are created – which would be turned into living principles that do not focus only on ‘punishing people,’ but rather on preventing crime, on preventing war, on preventing inequality, on preventing spite and desire for power. These are the living principles we have missed as humanity – we are witnessing the results of this as ongoing wars and environmental degradation keep going on until we one day we might find there’s no more clean water to drink, no bees to pollinate our flowers, no food to fill our stomachs with, no trust between one another at all and no strength to survive – that would be most undesirable chaos.

We are at a crossroads here: either we connect the dots and realize how we are waging a war against ourselves on all fronts, stop and decide to rather focus on collaborating, developing solidarity and implementing solutions that guarantee our decision to cooperate and coexist supporting one another or we obliterate ourselves.

I suggest we rather gear our minds, our bodies and our intentions to focus on establishing and creating solutions to prevent getting ourselves to that worst case scenario where no ‘win’ can exist – let’s prevent our children having to come to us and ask us why we didn’t do anything to stop this mess.

There’s still time, but it’s running out…. It is now or never that we create a world-system where no one ends up losing and everyone actually wins.

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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:

 

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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

What is the Living Income Guaranteed?

 

Originally posted at: http://livingincomeguaranteed.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/376-what-is-the-living-income-guaranteed/ 

Living Income Guaranteed is an economic and political mechanism to ensure the establishment of Fundamental Human Birth Rights of the public through allocating an allowance on a monthly basis to every eligible individual that is currently in a position of being unable to sustain themselves – and/or people in their custody – financially to a level that Human Dignity deserves and that currently lack such support due to reasons beyond their immediate control including – but not limited to – unemployment, lacking access to food, lacking access to housing, lacking access to healthcare, lacking access to education, physical disability, being retired or not old enough to have a job.

This is within the understanding that the existence of poverty and lack of education as the key to have a job and means to live is the result and outflow of the economic system’s malfunction, providing an unfair allocation of National Natural Resources, being unable to support every living individual with sufficient access to fundamental living necessities. The most immediate remedy is to eradicate poverty, through allocating/designating a monthly allowance to those that don’t have access to their fundamental living necessities, thereby empowering them to establish a dignified life, enabling each one to reach their potential, choose a career and contribute to the economy through their skill, labour and purchasing power.

 

Why is it called Living Income instead of Basic Income?

It is called ‘Living Income’ because it won’t only provide each one with the minimum required to survive, it implies sufficient allowance that is able to cover the fundamental expenses required for a dignified living Why? Because this will enable people to reach their creative potential, return to the job market, become independent from the Living Income and contribute to the progression of the economy.

This means that a Living Income Guaranteed should be provided to all individuals that are currently unable to participate in any economic activity due to the lack of jobs/education/health. However those that don’t participate in any economic activity but do have sufficient money to live due to, for example, family wealth, inheritance or any other regular income won’t qualify nor require the Living Income Guaranteed.

 

Why is Living Income Guaranteed Not Unconditional?

The reason why it is not given to all people unconditionally is because this would undermine the sustainability of an economic system that does require people to be motivated to educate themselves and work to enable the continuation and functionality of our societies.

 

That means that people that work won’t get the Living Income Guaranteed?

That’s right, however we Do propose that the Minimum Wage is Doubled (twice the Living Income Allowance), which means that there will be a series of reforms to take place first to make the Living Income Guaranteed a sufficient Allowance granted to cover fundamental living necessities, which is within the context of our current economy More than our current Minimum Wage standards.

This allowance should be sufficient for an individual to have dignified living conditions with guaranteed access to their fundamental human birth rights: Food, Water, Housing, Healthcare, Education, Clothing, Transportation, Public Services, etc.

Now to motivate people to work, the new minimum wage should be Double the Living Income Guaranteed in the most common economic activities which are at the moment associated with retail workers, waiters, cashiers, transportation workers, fast food industries, etc..

So, anyone that genuinely wants to have a top quality lifestyle will not conform to only getting the minimum as the Living Income, but continue educating themselves, developing further skills to make more money and have more financial solvency.

 

What’s in it for the corporations with implementing the Living Income Guaranteed model?

A broader consumer base. Those that previously had no money to live and as such were not economically active will suddenly become active participants in the economy which will ensure that profit is also broadened for corporations, realizing that if more buyers emerge, there will be more profit that can be used to better the working conditions, to diminish the compulsive production and instead adapt the prices to make things affordable, with great quality and providing a secure and harmonious working base, as well as proceeding to fund the automation of jobs that are currently deteriorating human health.

Workers will feel supported and cared for by their employers, which will result in individuals that no longer feel pressured and enforced to only be a profit-making machine, but will feel happy and content to realize that their work is being truly remunerated and that their time and contribution to the corporation is being valued as the life-time investment it actually is. A well remunerated individual will create a happier and fulfilled society that is no longer afraid of not having sufficient money to feed their family, it will be the beginning of a new era of quality work that dignifies the lives of human beings that genuinely desire to improve their lifestyles.

 

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Why is the implementation of a Living Income Guaranteed an immediate solution to the economic crisis?

More than a solution to a crisis, it should be understood as the way to guarantee that the Fundamental Human Rights to each individual are properly funded through allocating an Allowance as the access to the necessary things one requires to live in a dignified way – this is within the principle of Giving to others what we would like to receive, and if we want to live in a peaceful society, to have a happy and healthy living condition, we then must give access to this Allowance/Income as a living certainty that will eradicate the need to resort to crime, panhandling, homelessness, lacking education, health care that results in economical regression affecting every individual in society.

It is common sense that if we give an Allowance to every eligible individual to be well nourished, have proper living conditions with the fundamental necessary services, health care and leisure time, more educated beings will emerge from this when realizing that if one is given support as in getting an income to cover one’s living necessities, one learns how to give back to society too. This will be understood as a living principle that applies to every living being on Earth beyond any political, social, religious or ideological affiliation. We’re talking about physical living necessities that all human beings require to live in a dignified and sustainable way.

On top of this, many jobs are being replaced by the rise of the machine, which will require more restructuring processes in our economy to finally upgrade the premise of being able to ‘make a living by having a job’ because if jobs are currently not available to all – regardless of having college degrees and necessary skills to have one – then it is certain that a new understanding of our economy should be grasped as supportive mechanism for all individuals rather than a restrictive and coercive one.

In the past, long-term policies and treaties have attempted to benefit the working class over time, and it has proven to be inefficient for the tightening policies implemented by corporations as well as the economic outflows have deviated their effectiveness. This is how through a direct intervention to provide the Living Income as an Allowance and doubling of the minimum wage, we are directing the problem at the root, instead of expecting third party actors and policies to solve the situation throughout time.

 

Will the Living Income Guaranteed undermine competition and as such create economic stagnation in society?

Not at all, actually it’s the other way around. If we define competition as the ability achieve the best living condition in a society, by allocating Allowance to every eligible individual that previously had no access to it, we assure the activation of the economy and impulse people to work if they do want to have a greater economic solvency to cover other consumer desires for extra commodities that are not able to be paid for with the Living Income Guaranteed. Also, there is no limit to how much money you or corporations can make as long as their businesses do not interfere in any way with the nationalization of natural resources or fundamental public services – that is the condition. That means that the rules of a free market still apply and as such, the only constitutional and governmental management will be to supervise the implementation of the Living Income Guaranteed, as well as conducting the usual maintenance, management and provision of public goods and the justice department.

The more you prepare yourself, the better work you’ll have, the more benefits which means you will earn more money as well. Competition means bettering oneself to perform a certain activity the best way one can and this is an essential part of human nature  that has kept our societies remaining competitive, innovative and creative  at a local and global level.

You will also be able to truly have free choice on which work is best for you instead of engaging in working contracts based on need rather than preference or choice. This is the way to implement a real ethical environment at work too, where no more exploitation occurs since any job won’t be the result of a need to work in order to survive, but rather become a means and incentive to increase the quality of life.

 

How will it be funded?

Through the nationalization of resources , banks and basic services which means that if, for example, your oil, gas, water, electricity, telecommunications ,transportation is defined as patrimony of the people, the profit that comes from the consumption/purchase of such goods and services should be sufficient to fund the Living Income Guaranteed for eligible individuals. This means there will be no need to have personal taxation but instead keep the VAT (Value Added Tax) as it is to continue funding the functions of the government – this is also within the consideration that as the purchasing power increases and consumer base broadens, the funds coming from VAT will also increase creating more solvency in governmental budget as well, which translates to higher quality public welfare.

Thus with the Living Income Guaranteed there is one thing that is of vital importance: no one in the system, no citizen will pay tax – all tax will be facilitated by either value added tax or sales tax or import duties. If you have a government system that is responsible because you have a system where each one is functioning effectively within the system, you do not need excessive tax; your tax is spent on things like roadwork, transport facilitation – all things that can be handled ‘in house’.

One of the things that can work quite effectively also in a country is to have a toll tax on the roads which are managed by the government and that keeps the roads in place, so according to the use that one has of a road = will be the amount of tax you pay, but there will be in this proposal no income tax, so nobody is going to pay for anyone’s Living Income Guaranteed, it’s coming from the resource companies which everybody in the country are participating in and your sales tax or your value added tax will be according to the amount of your participation within a particular system – this is a fair way of dealing with government tax collection.

This is how the distribution of wealth and profits is expanded onto those that would have no benefit from the commercialization of natural resources and basic services, and due to the constant consumption and requirement of these, it is ensured that the foundation of the Living Income Guaranteed will always remain sustainable and have sufficient funds to cover the beneficiaries’ expenses.

Another example is how through stopping allocating money to fund wars, the trillions of dollars that are spent in the warfare industry can be designated to revitalize the economy through funding the Living Income Guaranteed and supporting the health care, education, commerce, production industries and basic services that require to be improved at home.

 

Will Public Services also be Nationalized?

Health care, education, water, electricity, telecommunications,media, banks will also be nationalized. Each country will have to assess their available resources in order for the government to make sufficient profit to fund the Living Income Guaranteed.

 

How can we implement the Living Income Guaranteed?

Through a political proposal, through existing or new political parties that have this mechanism as their key card to gain the majority vote to have our Fundamental Human Rights guaranteed through the Living Income Guaranteed. This means that the right to a Living Income must be granted on a constitutional basis – this is a national-based system constituted at a political level and able to be voted on within a democratic process based on the principle of one man, one vote.

LIG Hong Kong

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