Page 2

News Why World Change is Necessary

3 Things You May Have Missed in the New Poverty, Income, and Inequality Data

Thumb povertycensusbrief 620x398

New data released today show that the share of Americans with incomes below the poverty line stayed flat between 2013 and 2014 at 14.8 percent. Six years into the economic recovery, poverty and economic insecurity remain far more widespread than they should be—or than they need to be. This is because policymakers have failed to make decisions—such as increasing the minimum wage and strengthening collective bargaining—that would help ensure that low- and middle-income families get their fair share of the gains from economic growth. Instead of addressing the real problem, congressional conservatives are pushing hard for policies that would make the situation far worse for families, including deep cuts to public programs that promote economic security and opportunity.

Labor Day 2028

Thumb portrait

In 1928, famed British economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would advance so far in a hundred years – by 2028 – that it will replace all work, and no one will need to worry about making money. “For the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem – how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.” We still have thirteen years to go before we reach Keynes’ prophetic year, but we’re not exactly on the way to it. Americans are working harder than ever. Keynes may be proven right about technological progress. We’re on the verge of 3-D printing, driverless cars, delivery drones, and robots that can serve us coffee in the morning and make our beds. But he overlooked one big question: How to redistribute the profits from these marvelous labor-saving inventions, so we’ll have the money to buy the free time they provide?

Just What the Doctor Ordered – A Basic Income

Thumb grandkids

But none of these factors compare to the way that poverty makes us sick. Prescribing medications and lifestyle changes for our patients who suffer from income deficiency isn’t enough; we need to start prescribing healthy incomes. Decades of studies have shown that healthcare accounts for less than 25 per cent of health outcomes. The upstream factors that affect health such as income, education, employment, housing, and food security have a far greater impact on whether we will be ill or well. Of these, income has the most powerful influence, as it shapes access to the other health determinants. Low-income Canadians are more likely to die earlier and suffer from more illnesses than Canadians with higher incomes, regardless of age, sex, race or place of residence. No wonder doctors and policy-makers are beginning to line up behind the notion of a basic income guarantee.

Cut the working week to a maximum of 20 hours, urge top economists

Thumb people waiting outside a  007

A thinktank, the New Economics Foundation (NEF), which has organised the event with the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics, argues that if everyone worked fewer hours – say, 20 or so a week – there would be more jobs to go round, employees could spend more time with their families and energy-hungry excess consumption would be curbed. Anna Coote, of NEF, said: "There's a great disequilibrium between people who have got too much paid work, and those who have got too little or none."

The "Tradition" of Fireworks

Thumb child fireworks

Why in the face of the reality of the consequences of fireworks would we as a people continue a 'tradition' that is harmful/dangerous to our children, our animals, our environment? Are fireworks continued because they are an incredibly lucrative business amassing millions of dollars year in and year out? And why is it that countries have enough money for costly firework displays yet not enough money to take care of their citizens?

NAMIBIA: Government ‘strongly considering’ Basic Income

Thumb zephania kameeta 420x273

The Namibian Minister for Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Zephania Kameeta, has confirmed in an interview that his government is ‘strongly considering’ a Basic Income grant, adding that his ministry is in the process of finalising a concept paper on the issue. Kameeta is a longtime proponent of Basic Income and former chairperson of the Namibian BIG Coalition. He was appointed Minister for Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare in March this year, sparking hopes among Basic Income advocates of progress towards its implementation.

Study Confirms US Gov Doesn’t Represent The Will Of The People

Thumb american oligarchy

In an effort to determine the state of the political system, the researchers included extensive policy data which was collected from between the years of 1981 and 2002. The report unsurprisingly found that US policy was majorly accommodating to its economic elite. Economic elites and organized groups which represent business interests, have substantial impacts on government policy, while average citizens have little to no influence.

This Dutch City Plans to Give Residents a Universal ‘Basic Income’

Thumb gettyimages 478177778

Utrecht is partnering with a local university to provide residents with a “basic income,” which is enough to cover living costs, The Independent reports. The idea is to see whether citizens dedicate more time to volunteering, studying and other forms of self and community improvement when they don’t have to worry about earning money to survive. People who participate in the experiment won’t have any restrictions placed on how they choose to spend the money they receive.

Summary of the first day of the presentation of the preliminary report of the Debt Truth Commission

Thumb arton11789 1f7c2

It was thus decided to dramatise the condition of public finances, not only through disinformation campaigns, but also through falsifying statistics to aggravate public deficits and debt. “In contradiction with the official line rehashed by the media, there is no difference in the Greek situation compared to that of other countries in difficulty. In fact, the Greek situation very much resembled the situation in the US, Ireland or Spain. The Greek specificity occurred later in the extraordinary violence of the creditors, bleeding the Greek people more every day”. This violence was closely monitored. The commission is in possession of a confidential two page IMF document, from 2010, that describes the damage that will be done: wage and pension cuts, a fall in GDP and increased debt. As Eric Toussaint summarised, “The IMF was well aware that its policies would have terrible social and economic consequences.”

"Shit's Gonna Hit the Fan": Talking to a Billionaire About Class War

Thumb 1300170712278461617

Gawker: It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation though, isn’t it? Which came first, the high wages, or the strong economy in the place that has the high wages? The typical rejoinder is, “higher wages drive down employment.” NH: Show me an example. Show me an example of where high wages drove down employment. You show me a high wage place, I’ll show you a low unemployment place. And this is because the fundamental law of capitalism is: when workers have more money, businesses have more customers, and need more workers. The idea that high wages equals low employment, it’s absurd. And you have to understand that when somebody like me tells somebody like you that [high wages equals low employment] is the case, the only thing that’s true about that statement is that if I can get you to believe it, it would be very good for me. Which is why people like me have been saying it, again and again and again, and why people like me have said it at every point at which workers’ rights have been advanced. You can go back 150 years and literally find the same people saying the same thing in the same way. “If we have to pay you more, it will be bad for you.” And that’s because saying that is a much more polite way of saying, “I’m rich, you’re poor, and I would prefer to keep it what way.”

FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment

Thumb finnish government 420x236

The new Finnish government has committed to a Basic Income experiment as part of its programme for government, published last month. The commitment consists of one line: ‘Implement a Basic Income experiment’, in the ‘Health and Welfare’ section of the programme. The main party of government, the Centre Party and the new Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, are known to be supportive of Basic Income, but his new government partners, the populist Finns Party and conservative NCP have not spoken publicly on the issue. The scant reference to Basic Income raises some doubts about the government’s commitment to the policy. Nonetheless, this marks the first commitment from a European country to implement a Basic Income experiment and will be the first experiment in a developed nation since the 1970s.

Migrant Farmworkers Ask Ben and Jerry's to Provide "Milk With Dignity"

Thumb 2015 0619dairy2

Ben & Jerry's might seem like an unlikely target: with its origin story of two tie-dyed hippies fighting for survival via guerrilla actions against a larger ice cream corporation, fair trade sourcing of ingredients, celebrated treatment of animals in their supply chain, and a social justice verbiage laden mission statement. Many years later, and now under the control of the Unilever corporation, the ice cream company generates nearly $600 million in annual domestic revenue and operates internationally in 25 countries. Yet Diaz is far from the only migrant farmworker experiencing wage theft, overcrowded, unsanitary housing, and poverty wages in Ben & Jerry's supply chain.

Australia's War on People Smugglers Is Really a War on Refugees

Thumb p5 rohingya refugee boat

The toll of Australia's bipartisan anti-refugee policies in death and suffering is rising. Since May more than 3000 Rohingya refugees from Arakan state in Burma (Myanmar) have turned up on the shores of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, having either swum ashore or been rescued by local fishing boat crews. An estimated 7000 more are trapped on boats that have been described as “floating coffins”. Abandoned by people smugglers following a crackdown by Thai authorities, and towed out to sea by the Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian navies, the refugees are lacking food, water and fuel and their boats – not designed for long-distance voyages – are sinking. Hundreds have died from hunger, dehydration, drowning, or in fights over the small amounts of food and water that the navies have given them. This is Australian policy at work. When Australian politicians talk about their “war on people smugglers” it is code for “war on refugees”. It is the language of racist “dog whistling” – what is meant is clear but no actual admission is made. Likewise with claims that “stopping the boats” is based on concerns for maritime safety. If anyone had doubts, the horrific fate of the Rohingya refugees should dispel them. Australia has continually demanded that its south-east Asian neighbours assist it in its “war on people smugglers”. This is what Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have done and the current maritime holocaust is the result.

Imagining Social Justice as a Communal Process

Thumb 2015 0403sj

Conceptualizing violence within the frame of hate makes it easy to mistake symptom for cause. Hatred is not the root cause of racism, misogyny, homophobia, violence against transgender people, violence against disabled people, or economic cruelty. Hate is a predictable consequence of deeply rooted, historically persistent forms of these maladies. They are foundational to institutionalizing hierarchies of power. Unnoticed and unexamined, they permeate mainstream culture. Hate violence is also symbolic: It declares the superiority of one group of people over another. Those targeted are symbolically presented as psychically or physically disposable; the violence is a ritual of degradation.

New York Airport Workers Strike, Telling Management "Poverty Wages Don't Fly"

Thumb 2015 0426ms 2

In the last year, the airport workers, employed by Aviation Safeguards (ASG), a company contracted by airlines British Airways and Delta, have protested allegations of wage theft and intimidation by ASG, after workers received a letter from their employer stating their jobs could be terminated for participating in union activity, which the National Labor Relations Board ruled illegal. Bueno and other workers said that despite pressure from management, they were not afraid to speak out for higher wages and union representation, and against unfair labor practices.

Rethinking basic income in a sharing society

Thumb rajeshmakwana

"Although an agency would initially have to be set up by governments to administer the program, it would operate independently of the private and public sector as a ‘commons trust’ that could conceivably manage a range of shared resources—from land, fossil fuels and atmospheric carbon storage, to the electromagnetic spectrum and intellectual property. According to calculations by Barnes based only on a specific selection of shared assets, the program could provide every American citizen with as much as $5,000 a year. The real advantage of a social dividend from resource rents is that it would facilitate, rather than impede, the creation of a more equal society that embodies the ethic and practice of sharing. Unlike the standard basic income proposal, this alternative approach would not compete with existing welfare budgets, and it would therefore complement solidarity-based systems of social protection. The social dividend also acknowledges that all citizens are entitled to a fair share of co-owned wealth and resources, which is a commonsense proposal with the potential to dramatically reform economic systems and enhance social cohesion. Since the value of common resources would be shared more equitably, social dividends present an important systemic solution to poverty that can counterbalance the injustice of a global economic model in which wealth predominantly flows to the richest one per cent of the world’s population."

NAMIBIA: Basic Income Movement Leader Appointed as Head of New Ministry for Poverty Alleviation

Thumb zephania kameeta 420x216

Former bishop Zephania Kameeta and prominent advocate for basic income was just appointed Minister of a new Ministry for Poverty Alleviation. Zephania Kameeta is known to be one of the pioneers of the Basic Income Grant (BIG) Coalition which started a worldwide known basic income experiment in the rural town of Otjivero in 2007. He even influenced the German Protestant Church in their move in support for basic income, BIEN Germany’s Ronald Blaschke reminded in a recent blog post. Kameeta has repeatedly pushed the government to step forward the idea.

FINLAND: 65% of Parliamentary Candidates Favor Basic Income

Thumb eduskunta parliament 300x200

As the general elections are approaching, the idea of basic income just breached an unprecedented milestone in Finland, with nearly 65.5% of all parliamentary candidates publicly supporting the policy. The report released by national media YLE is based on direct answers from candidates collected through an online platform launched. 1,642 running candidates participated – for a total of nearly 2,000. Among other questions, candidates were asked if they agree with the following statement: “Finland should implement a basic income scheme that would replace the current minimum level of social security.”

How to Die of Dumb

Thumb 2015 0308pitt

The short version, however, is that our cannibalistic economic model, indifferent news media, sagging voter turnout, general cynicism, religious derangement and fundamental addiction to a cognitive dissonance that motivates so very many to slap aside stone-carved facts staring them in the face, is going to put this whole human experiment into a shallow, unmarked grave. People talk about "Destroying the planet," which is a hoot. The planet isn't going anywhere. Even the environment may recover in one form or another. The equation we are busily erasing from the blackboard - for profit while encased in a suffocating bag of ignorance - is ourselves. This is how you die of Dumb.

What Trickle-Down Economics Has Done to the US: The Rich Get All the Money

Thumb 2015 0305rich

In January 2015, the Pew Charitable Trusts published "The Precarious State of Family Balance Sheets," in which the incredible conclusion is reached that virtually no one in the United States has ready cash reserves to cover two months of lost income. Clearly, most of the top 20 percent have other assets, stocks and bonds, real estate etc. on which they can draw, and they seldom lose their jobs without good severance packages. But 80 percent do not have enough reserves to last more than a month, and half of them do not have enough to last two weeks.

Blogs Education and Solutions

What would you do with more time on your hands?

Thumb no time to think

What is fascinating about the pictures of my grandparents is that they depict a time were there was more time. You can see them sitting by the lake having a cup of coffee, or sitting in their porch, eating a meal prepared on the grill. It is clear that there was less pressure back then, time was not such a scarce resource as it is in today’s hectic world. And talking with my grandfather this becomes clearer. He has shared with me how he used to fish with nets during the autumns and springs, and hunt on the lands. Nowadays, these hobbies do not exist in the same quantity as before – and the reason why? We do not have enough time.

A Living Income provides international conflict resolution

Thumb screen shot 2015 09 29 at 9 00 48 pm

Inequality is on the rise worldwide, creating extreme disparities in wealth, education and other areas of human development. Inequality has caused increased marginalization of mostly rural geographic areas and this in turn has caused the rising up of “formerly repressed sectors of society seeking greater independence, power and control.” These countries “were among the most economically vulnerable and least able to cope with crisis.”

Micro Credits – A Solution For Poverty?

Thumb yunus thumb

Change cannot come through DEBT. The very reason why we are living in a world where money is increasingly more difficult to obtain is because of DEBT. We live in a debt based system, and this forces us to work more – and even still there will/must be a loser. With debt, someone always loses; someone must be that poor guy that has to pay back the interest. Real change will come through changing the structural design of the economic system – because only through changing the rules of the game are we removing this incessant fear of survival that is currently holding the entire human race in its grip. That structural change must involve giving all human beings a dignified life, real security, real safety, and easy access to money. This cannot come from debt, as debt is the very instigator of fear, anxiety and stress.

Tomorrowland – Would you get a Pin?

Thumb tomorrowland

It still puzzles me why the character speaking these words was portrayed as the villain – wasn’t he right on the money? Isn’t that exactly what is happening today? Some say the movie is about imagination, about feeding positive thoughts rather than negative thoughts – but it’s not really.

When Life No Longer Needs to be Paid For

Thumb living life

At the moment life is not free – we have to pay for it. Buying groceries, paying rent or paying off the loan you needed to take out to buy your house, paying for medical support, paying for water and electricity – all of the life-supporting essentials cost money. So, in essence, you pay to continue living every day another day. Now – what would happen when everyone received at least a Living Income – and if working – would receive at least double?

Stopping Exploitation with a Living Income Guaranteed

Thumb imagesgr thumb1 thumb

These Companies are making money out of people who have none. Why are we punishing people for being poor? This is an Impossible situation for low income people where they really have no way out. This kind of exploitation is something that must be stopped. This is something that we can change with a better system, one that considers the individual needs of people in different situations. Not only would these people above live far better lives with the Living Income Guaranteed, but we can implement solutions to stops the obvious exploitation of people in these situations so that no person’s life get ruined just because they are poor.

How is War Still a Thing?

Thumb acav and m48 convoy vietnam war

f you look at human history and all the progress we’ve made, the technology, the infrastructure, the institutions, the various ways of communicating over enormous distances – instantaneously - traveling into space, creating music, art – it’s pretty impressive. And yet – with all of this apparent evolution and progress, it’s hard to be optimistic about humanity’s history and legacy, because: there’s still this one huge nasty atrocity we keep doing, over and over again… we keep on waging wars.

Why Understanding Conflict is to Prevent War

Thumb suite f

As I was watching this movie called Suite Française, which starts with scenes of German airplanes bombing civilian people who were walking on the road from Paris to a small town to find shelter and safety, I felt myself feeling shocked by those images of war-planes bombing 'innocent' civilians. But then I started looking at this concept of war and how it is that there is always this 'bad guy' or 'bad people' apparently without any reason or conscience killing a whole bunch of other people. Those 'bad guys' in this case being the Germans. I suppose the modern equivalent of 'the Germans' would be like ISIS, those 'monsters' who are invading countries, killing innocent people and trying to enforce their vision and way of life onto a people. So, just like with pre-war Germany, I myself must admit that there is very little that I truly know about how the current ISIS situation really started, why did they become militant, why are they so angry, why are they set on killing, plundering and raping across Syria and Iraq and who are they really...

Politics? Fun?? Have you Lost your Mind?!

Thumb john oliver cookie monster vocab news

One of the reasons it is so hard to push for substantial change is that – the way to do that is through politics – and trying to get people engaged and passionate about politics is not an easy feat. Just ask yourself – apart from the sentence I just wrote – when last did you hear the words ‘politics’ and ‘passionate’ in the same sentence together? It seems the two are each others' opposites. I imagine the following is actually how some people have defined politics in their minds’ dictionary: “Politics: I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s boring and I want nothing to do with it”

Voting Fun – What does it Feel Like to Have a Say?

Thumb voting

One of the pillars within the Living Income Guaranteed proposal is the substantiating of Democracy through Direct Political Participation. Technology is available to hold regular votes that includes a large number of individuals. These votes can range from participatory budgeting where each citizen is asked to approve the yearly national budget, to making decisions on a daily basis on a local/municipality level.

Humanity Washed Ashore

Thumb syrian migrant boy turkey

This was an excerpt of just one of the stories about the boy. Over the last few days, dozens have been written and published on various major news sites. What is more striking than the content of the posts, is the comments that are left on these articles. What is humanity’s response to such images, to such news? If you have a moment, I would suggest to read through the comments. It ranges from expressing shock, to sending love and prayers, to abdicating responsibility, to assigning blame to the parents, countries, presidents, religions and then it just goes into back-and-forth bickering over ‘what kind of person you are’. That just makes you wonder...

Welcoming New Life with Living Income Guaranteed

Thumb picblogdeadbabies

Comfort, security and nurturing are all things we wish are present when a baby comes into this world. Yet, these conditions are not a reality for many babies, as parents themselves lack these things int heir lives. In Pietermaritzburg, the capital of the Kwazulu Natal province in South Africa, 3 to 5 babies are found dead every week.

And Then You Crash - Meconomics

Thumb crashing hard

In this little series, we’ve been investigating the phenomenon of inflation, how we in our daily lives participate in ‘inflating our reality’ and so, how we are on a personal level participating in the same principles/dynamics that we see playing out on a bigger scale when it comes to inflation, speculative bubbles and financial market crashes.

The Age of Migration: UK and Calais is just the Beginning

Thumb calais

If we take a look at the reasons as to why people decide to leave their homes and travel across the world, it has to do with finding opportunities for making money, and escaping war – it’s these two reasons that dominate. Thus the solution to ending the refugee problem is found in providing, and creating the necessary structures to give all, regardless of birth, opportunities to make money and a peaceful environment. This would be a long-term solution, which would not only stop the current refugee stream, but also make a lot of people able to live happy, dignified, and awesome lives.

Have you Ever been Swept Off Your Feet? - Meconomics

Thumb levitation1

"These energetic charges are key to understanding the process of inflation, because generally speaking, something interesting happens when we speak words that are energetically charged. You can see it for yourself by looking at any memories where a person spoke to you and their words were energetically charged: how did you feel? You might not be able to name the exact experience you had, but you definitely felt ‘something’. That ‘something’ is your energetic reaction to another’s words."

Do You Know the Stakes of the Bets you Place? - Meconomics

Thumb rolling dice

"When it comes to speculating in the financial market, the same happens – you’re looking at different indicators and factors, what direction things seem to be moving in – from that you make assumptions about what will happen in the future and from there, you make your investment decisions. You have no certainty beforehand, you’re only interpreting data and trying to derive ‘meaning’ from it and then trying to project this meaning in the future to see where you would best invest. Speculation in the financial market is an investment with the hope of gain, but with a risk of loss – wherein your decision-making is based on assumptions/conjectures/guesses. In other words: you’re placing a bet, you’re gambling."

Inflating Reality Much? - Meconomics

Thumb technology bubble

"Maybe let’s start with the following question: have you ever had an argument with a friend, family member or partner where the initial point of disagreement or the initial issue is blown entirely out of proportion? A conversation with your partner can start, for instance, with ‘did you remember to buy us toothpaste?’ and end up in a full-blown fight with shouting and tears. And then when you calm down, you realize you just broke up with your partner – you can’t remember how the fight started but suddenly your life looks very different. How does that happen? How do we do that?"

Regulating the Palm Oil Explosion and the Living Income Proposal

Thumb 4247149433 de1522178b o

"If we can’t rely on international organizations mandated to protect and assist indigenous people shouldn’t we rethink our international laws and constraints so that local communities do not lose access to vital land and water resources? Why should local communities be left with permanent soil erosion, animal abuse, pesticides, deforestation, migratory labor and child labor that accompany monoculture plantations? We do know that the current industrial plantation model as it exists does not respect the rights of indigenous populations. Why not learn from Africa’s indigenous populations who know how to grow and cultivate palm oil utilizing the common sense application of agroecology and biodiversity?"

Reality in a Bubble - Meconomics

Thumb ozone jordan chemicals earth globe

You can imagine how these bubbles can create economic disasters – because in the end, economics is about sustaining lives. When you don’t know whether the ground you’re walking on is real or could collapse any moment, you’re working with instability and uncertainty, which at the moment are two words that are embedded in our economic system, partly due to the nature of these speculative bubbles. To give you an idea of the far-reaching consequences these bubbles can have, just think of the recent financial crisis.

The EuroAsylum and a Living Income Guaranteed

Thumb immigration01

Check out our solution for a world that works for All, a guaranteed Living is a choice that we can make to support each other, it’s not an unattainable dream, we just need to wake up from the fairy tale called Economics and rewrite this system to consider giving to each other what we would like for ourselves, and if a Life is not top of our list, we must rearrange our priorities until it is, because without A Life, what are we even talking about?

Load more posts