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News Why World Change is Necessary

The Basic Income

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Whether the Basic Income is positive or not is really all up to the way it’s financed. If it’s to be done by ‘taxing the rich’, Marxist newspeak for gutting the Middle Class with income tax, it’s bad. ‘Tax the rich’ in reality should mean a progressive tax on wealth, including the wealth stored in special purpose vehicles like trust funds etc. This is most certainly not part of the plan. But the good version, which is definitely necessary, is paying out to the people the proceeds of the exploitation of the Commons For instance, a Georgist Land Value Tax all paid out to the commoners in equal shares. This hits two birds with one stone: we’ll have Land Reform and the basic downside of the LVT (empowerment of the State through extra taxation) is solved, because the proceeds are handed back to the people.

Greece to Test Minimum Guaranteed Income Program

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Greek Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis announced yesterday that the country will be testing a "minimum guaranteed income" (MGI) measure for Greek citizens living in poverty. The country's current social welfare system is inefficient and incomplete, said Vroutsis, but the MGI "is the pillar of the social solidarity of tomorrow." The pilot program will be implemented in 13 municipalities for six months. Participating individuals will receive 200 euros per month, plus an additional 100 euros per adult in the household and 50 euros per child.

SPAIN: Poll shows Party that endorses BIG most popular

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Recent poll shows Podemos (We Can) is most supported party in Spain. Podemos was a newly emerged political party in January 2014 out of Indignados, the anti-austerity movement similar to the Occupy Wall Street. The party endorses BIG and got five seats in European Parliament Election in May 2014. According to the poll released November 1st by the Spanish newspaper El Pais, The party got 27.7%, ahead to the opposition Socialist Party 26.2% and to the ruling party Popular Party 20.7%.

Wouldn’t Unconditional Basic Income Just Cause Massive Inflation?

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Any basic income can and should be indexed to match or beat inflation.Just as the minimum wage has eroded over time because of inflation and the political fight over ever raising it, a basic income should automatically rise each year to match inflation so that it doesn't erode in the same way. Better yet, instead of just indexing a basic income to CPI, it could even be indexed to something like productivity, so that the gains of society continue to accrue more widely for everyone, instead of only the few. The result of this would be a basic income that always increases faster than inflation, so that each and every year, we would be able to buy a greater amount of goods and services than the year before

Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy

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On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda "Today, increased labour productivity means more inequality. With a universal basic income in place, what ordinary citizens lose through less employment can be more than made up for through higher public equity dividends. Also, workers’ bargaining power would increase as prospective employees would be better able to say ‘no’ to exploitative provisions in their employment contracts. Those with minimal market power gain by having an alternative source of income, even if that alternative is quite small. A universal basic income gives a young worker an opportunity to refuse a poor job offer; to hold out for a better offer. A universal basic income is an incentive to take on uncertain and irregular work, knowing that they will still have a basic income to fall back on when their job finishes or if their business venture fails. They will never have to reapply for a basic income; it would be a dividend, not a hand-out."

GiveDirectly: The Future of Foreign Aid?

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Just give money to the poor: That’s the essence of GiveDirectly’s strategy for global good. It sounds way too simple to work. What about trainings and empowerment and oversight? But initial studies suggest it works very well indeed — and that GiveDirectly could jumpstart an entirely new way of easing global poverty. In western Kenya, GiveDirectly grants recipient families about $1,000 over the six to nine months, more than doubling their annual incomes, on average. Recipients can spend the money however they want. So far, it seems, they’re making investments with long-term returns: sturdy tin roofs that, unlike thatched ones, don’t require constant repairs; school fees for their children; and livestock and land.

Exposing Reality Changes Reality

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Factory workers at “New Collections” used to be paid just 20 to 24 cents an hour. They were sometimes beaten and robbed of overtime pay. Now, ten of the abusive and corrupt senior managers at Next Collections have been fired and for the first time women workers are receiving their maternity leave and full benefits. After four years of being cheated workers now are paid in full and on time, including all overtime and back wages according to the law. No more 17- to 20-hour shifts, seven days a week, earning just 20 to 24 cents an hour. Workers are no longer threatened, physically abused and fired for demanding their rights.All overtime is strictly voluntary, and cannot exceed two hours a day, six days a week, for a regular 48-hour workweek with 12 hours of overtime.

Citizen Engagement Improves Access to Public Goods in Mexico

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Systems of governance based on electoral competition among political parties differ essentially from usos because decisions are taken by politicians without an ongoing process of consultation with the citizenry. The monitoring and sanctioning dynamics that come into play when citizens gather in public assemblies are usually absent in party-run municipalities, and thus the allocation of resources for public goods seems sub-optimal.

Shouldn't all this talk about basic income actually be talk about basic resources?

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For those familiar with a resource-based economy, basic income is a step in that direction. Instead of saying every human should have a 100% equal claim to all globally available resources, a basic income says that every citizen of a nation or state should have an absolute minimum claim to the natural resources of that nation or state, sufficient to secure individual basic needs, such that there will continue to be humans with a much larger claim, but no one will have less claim than a hard minimum limit.

Living the New Economy Convergence Draws Passionate Crowd

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For four days this past week, hundreds of activists, speakers, panelists, thinkers, visionaries, and caring citizens came together in Oakland, California for the first annual Bay Area Living the New Economy Convergence. Over breakfasts, lunches, presentations and round tables, they discussed ideas and tools for shifting away from the current profit-driven system and into a new economic paradigm, one that puts people and ecology at the heart of business models

Want to Solve Climate Change? Tackle Inequality

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It appears that for nitrogen, and many other ‘lumpy’ planetary boundary pressures -- such as phosphorus use, land use change, biodiversity loss, chemical pollution and water withdrawals -- the global distribution of pressure matters, as well as the total. More evenly distributed pressure may reduce total pressure at the global scale, as well as reducing the risk of local ecosystem collapse. Indeed, two Earth-system scientists, Will Steffen and Mark Stafford Smith pointed out in a 2013 paper that this means, “It may well be in the self-interest of wealthy nations to achieve a more spatially equitable world in terms of access to resources and ecosystem services.”

Economics As If Future Generations Mattered

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Current economic calculations do not recognize the full cost to the Commons -- the cultural and natural heritage we share that is the foundation of our economy. Yet growing numbers of people are waking up to the reemerging Commons ethic, which holds that human systems must be aligned to match ecological ones. People believe that future generations have the inalienable right to a healthy planet, and many are now seeking ways to withdraw their consent to the politics and policies that lead to a toxic future. A rights-based approach to human systems like the economy allows us to open our discussion to questions like: What is the economy for? What are the principles needed to guarantee that we are fair to future generations? What tenets make justice and the protection of the Commons more likely?

GreenHab the Office

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Because a picture-and statistics-speak a thousand words, we’ve created this handy visual guide (you can print on recycled paper, of course) to all-things green office supplies and services for your business. Read on to find easy ways to make a huge difference in how your office effects the environment. From c02 emissions and water heating, to paper use efficiency and lighting, here’s everything that plays a part in your company’s carbon footprint. We’ve made it easy to read and now it’s all in one place, for your reference at any time.

Immigrant Children as Casualities in the Global War for Profit.

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Immigrants in receiving countries are often looked at as a pest, a form of human infestation. More and more countries in Europe but also the US and Australia are becoming increasingly hostile towards immigrants and refugees and all along no one talks about the elephant in the room; the fact that these same countries contributed to and largely are responsible for creating the current situation. But countries such as Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Mexico, Burma and Sudan where people are fleeing from, are not isolated from the rest of the world; it is all interconnected and economic interests in one country sets of a spiral of events in another, a fact that is largely ignored by the citizens of the countries that benefit from the riches. We are happy as long as we can buy cheap clothes and purchase cheap oil while blissfully ignoring the chain of events that brought those cheap products into our lives. But when we come face to face with the people whose lives were destroyed so that ours could be safe and prosperous we ought to take a good long hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves whether it is worth it.

Breaking Down Without a Spare: America’s lopsided welfare system of counterproductive public assistance

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As citizens, we are doing everything we can. Some of us are even tragically dying in our attempts to struggle on, while over 10,000 others have already grown too tired of the struggle to even continue living. As long as wages continue to not rise, and as long as jobs continue to be eliminated due to advances in technology, we have nowhere else to turn but our own safety nets. It is for this reason, it will only become ever more increasingly important for us to look with open eyes and minds at our system of public assistance and how it functions for all of us, poor and rich alike. If so many of us are already driving on our spare tires, and we recognize the road ahead is only going to get bumpier and more dangerous, then we must together make sure that we either make it quick and painless for us all to get right back on the road when we need assistance, or finally guarantee that no matter what, there will always be another spare tire for all of us.

Elizabeth May calls for a “Guaranteed Livable Income” in Canada

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In a press release commemorating October 17, the United Nations Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands said the Green Party of Canada was the only federal party advocating making poverty history through a guaranteed income for poor an low-income Canadians.

Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?

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It is easy to see where we are heading – the future will need far fewer workers. Computers, automation and robots will eliminate jobs in increasingly large numbers, and also apply downward wage pressure. Which is completely backwards from what could be happening is we designed society for the benefit of all. If the wealth were not concentrating, every worker would be benefiting from the increases in productivity created by all of this new technology. Wages would be rising and the work week would be shortening. Instead, all of the benefits are flowing straight to the 1% and everyone else is suffering. This is where the idea of the Basic Income comes in. It is a standardized way of addressing the large scale unemployment that is coming soon, as well as simplifying welfare, retirement and disability payments, as well as making the productivity increases available to everyone in society instead of the elite few.

Global Inequality Reaches Levels Not Seen in Nearly 200 Years

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Global income inequality has returned to levels recorded in the 1820s—when the Industrial Revolution produced sizable wealth gaps between the rich and poor—according to a new report released Thursday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Poverty and Homelessness are Human and Civil Rights Issues

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I feel that we need a paradigm shift in how we perceive the problems of poverty and homelessness and that it is time, right now, for an intellectually violent revolution. We can start by no longer calling efforts to address poverty a ‘War on Poverty’. However well-intentioned that phrase might have been in its original use, it has come to mean something else entirely over time. A war on poverty now implies that poverty, and the poor, are enemies we must overcome as a society. James Abro

Pirates Propose Guaranteed Basic Income

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Pirates have proposed a congressional statement, directing the Welfare Minister to implement a guaranteed minimum income, what in recent years has also gone under the name of universal basic income or citizen wage. More precisely, the proposal, made by Halldóra Mogensen, Jón Þór Ólafsson and Birgitta Jónsódttir on Monday, would instruct the Minister to form a team to “map ways to ensure an unconditional minimum income for all the country’s citizens, with the aim to support economic and social rights and eliminate poverty.”

Blogs Education and Solutions

Ending the Vicious Cycle of Economic Inequality with Living Income Guaranteed

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"The pursuit of higher returns for the already wealthy within this dwindling pie cannot persist forever. With wealth refusing year on year to trickle down, debt has been used to plug the wage-consumption gap for the rest. The signals are showing quite plainly that this pursuit of growth, via inequality, is ineffective and unsustainable.”

What If There Was No Military

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Upon researching this world, one can see that there are countries that live without military spending and are thus able to thrive. "Common denominators of these countries are they are wealthy, they have high standards of living, low crime rates and long life expectancies. Shows you what can happen when you spend your money on education, hospitals, research facilities, social welfare and culture, rather than on war and destruction doesn't it?" So, what if there was no military? What if the money that was spent to 'protect' us was appropriated to support us instead? So instead of buying into the propaganda of 'supporting our troops', we supported ourselves, our children, our world.

Eskom – The Power Question

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That is what Eskom is representing at this time: Power – who has the power to control the power? Are we going to place the power to control power in the hands of another small group of people and simply ‘trust’ they will not abuse their power to only further their own power? Or will we place the power in the hands of the people? When applying citizen shareholding to Eskom, decentralisation is maximized with no one person/group of people having more power than another to influence how power is distributed in South Africa – personal agendas are taken out of the equation and what is best for South Africa can be created.

Set Your Priorities Straight

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Many justifications are put forward for military spending – but do they hold up? Creating security for your citizens starts with guaranteeing personal financial security. Reviving the economy starts with ensuring effective flow in the domestic economy by reducing inequality and ensuring everyone is enabled to be an active and empowered participant in the economy. Building world peace starts with eradicating crime at home by making sure no one has a reason to destroy another’s life out of spite, because they are lacking. Democratization starts with recognizing the wishes of your people at home and acting according to those wishes – increase direct political decision making and build in mandatory budget referendums.

A Permanent Solution for the Neglected Produce Laborers of Mexico

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With the Living Income Guaranteed the workforce will no longer be able to be exploited, because that desperation to find a job no matter where it is or how terrible the work conditions are will no longer exist. When the people who cannot find work receive a Living Income they will no longer accept bad working conditions. The company will have to improve the working conditions otherwise they are going to have a hard time hiring the workforce needed to get the job done.

Venezuelan Beauty Pageants & Living Income Guaranteed

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It's a natural human right for all to be able to have the means and resources necessary to live a comfortable life, but currently many families do not even have the means to live that kind of life, which is why I suggest we consider implementing a Living Income Guaranteed, because within that families who are poor, who have low-incomes, who are unable to sustain themselves and their children, who had to resort to sending their daughters to beauty pageants in the hopes of having a better life, will no longer need to do this because they will be able to receive an allowance on a monthly basis that will ensure that their basic needs are met, that their survival in this world is no longer something to worry or fear about

Eskom - Where is South Africa Headed and Who is in the Driver’s Seat?

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Now – I’m sketching the pattern in large strokes and I’m not trying to make an argument for leaving things as they are. What I do want to stress is to be watchful for grasping at the first proposed alternative to the current situation in the expectation that it is an actual solution. That is what emotional decisions are. I’m sure you’ve had experiences in your personal life of making decisions when you were emotionally unstable – decisions that you regretted later on, because they were made in the heat or in the turbulence of the moment, when you did not see things clearly. That is what is happening right now – only on a larger scale.

Putting Living Income into Perspective

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Giving a certain quantity of money will have to go hand in hand with ensuring that the quality of living is a priority, instead of maybe giving a large sum of money to buy low quality products, have a low quality lifestyle with no education on how to best use your money, which would result in further problems. Education as part of our individual responsibility is essential to understand what it means to take responsibility for being a supportive member of society, which extends to the kind of lives and activities we dedicate ourselves to –this will be each one’s responsibility and choice as well.

Life Isn’t Supposed to be this Hard

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Life isn’t supposed to be this hard. We can change it. We can help each other. We can give opportunities to each other. We can support each other to be the best we can be. It’s doesn’t start with some other guys over there – it starts with YOU and ME. WE are the change, TOGETHER we are better, stronger. We have the responsibility to support solutions that will bring heaven to Earth. We may not see the full fruits of our labours in our lifetime, but maybe our children will.

Fighting for Survival - Where is the Right to Life?

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But when criminal behavior is the result of lacking the financial means of doing anything else with one’s life, then being in prison is unlikely to facilitate any form of personal transformation – because they know that once they get out, they’re back to where they started, however much they may want to change – their opportunities in life do not.

Christmas & Cheap Labor: Does Ignorance = Innocence?

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It does shock me now, that I never questioned the very low prices before and deepens my surprise and awareness of my robotic behaviour. “Don’t look too closely at the world systems just focus on your self interest and walk blindly…ooo arn’t you lucky you found that great deal to fill your children’s stockings at Christmas or afford to buy a new spring wardrobe so as to feel a sense of abundance, not quite so cheated compared to your rich friends…better hurry…grab it before someone else does.” The truth is its just a ‘fix’ like a drug, temporary relief for the frustrated middle class.

How Can We Put an End to Black Friday/Gray Thursday/Cyber Monday?

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So, yes, I had to breathe and calm myself down, as I 'felt claustrophobic'. But, I also asked myself the questions, how could a product be reduced by $70? What were the shipping costs, how much was an employee paid hourly to produce those boots? How much was the clerk paid hourly to ring up that sale? And what other costs went into producing these products that end up on our shelves? Who did that impact?

How the Living Income Guaranteed Will promote Environmental Sustainability

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With the implementation of Living Income Guaranteed we could ensure that all options are considered and see what will be the best solution. Not to say that LIG would be bad news to businesses around the world and force them to cut carbon emissions – no – rather more about focusing on ways to prevent this with the use of new technologies that are available and that are currently not being used because profit is placed over sustainability, which is how through Corporate Social Responsibility measures, corporations will also have to consider their own sustainability and assurance of production by stopping degrading measures that will cause more consequences for them and the community.

Nkandla – We’re Not Asking the Most Important Question

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We keep getting more news reports on Nkandla. The country is in uproar because it may or may not be that public funds were misappropriated to further the personal pleasures of the president. The Nkandla-story is a great example of how we’ll tend to wake up, blink our eyes and start demanding accountability from our political leaders after the facts. While we’re all busy attempting to find out what actually happened and from different sides proposals are being made on how to go from here – we’re all missing the most important question: how do we prevent a similar situation in the future?

Who is more Fiscally Responsible – Citizens or Elected Politicians?

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When the extent of your political participation is to vote someone into office – then all you have is ‘hope’ that the people in power will use public funds responsibly and for the purposes that you expect them to. Mandatory budget referendums would create a point of direct accountability towards the citizenry that once politicians are in power, they are indeed acting out their mandate on behalf of the people.

The Math is Simple: We Need a Living Income Guaranteed

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It only costs us more to try and help individuals once they aren’t being effectively supported by the system. We have so many costly programs that only exist to try and help the problem after it’s already been created, that often still aren’t enough to keep people on their feet. It is much more cost effective to prevent causing problems that need to be cleaned up. The numbers don’t lie so it’s about time we listen to them and make sure that everyone really is in a position to effectively work out a proper budget.

The Living Income Proposal for South Africa

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"Current economic and political policies implemented to promote prosperity and the well-being of society’s disenfranchised may have, to a degree, been able to facilitate economic growth, but the bounties of this growth have yet to reach those who most need it. The Living Income Guaranteed will assist and support those individuals within society that find themselves in a disadvantaged position as a result of this structural ineffectiveness and inadequacy. The Living Income Guaranteed will provide Equal Opportunity for all; functioning as the medium through which nations, such as South Africa, will be able to remediate the most direct and negative effects of capitalism, while maintaining many of the unique strengths that such a system embodies. Living Income Guaranteed will thus aid in balancing growth with sustainability; ensuring and securing Fundamental Human Rights for everyone."

Low Wages and High Unemployment Rate – Where to Go from Here? – Part 2

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We suggest working towards providing a Living Income Guaranteed (LIG) of R4500 per month to any (adult) South African who is unemployed or retired. As soon as one takes up employment, one’s LIG falls away. Perhaps, dear reader, you are now scratching hour head wondering how this would at all solve the dilemma between higher wages and higher unemployment: won’t this cause unemployment to sky-rocket to an all-time high? We have a solution for that as well.

Hidden Fees and the Presumption of Benefit

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Take your average job in a first world country. A person will do this job for money and use that money to in turn buy their basic necessities and if there is any extra after they take care of their basic survival, they will either save it, invest it, or spend it on some form of luxury or entertainment. BUT – what does the “job” entail? It does not matter what a person’s job is – because the “Hidden Fee” that is being extracted from them is the same no matter what a person does – as long as it is for money in the current system. This hidden fee is particularly nefarious in nature because it is not just about extracting money and resources from people already struggling with survival – but because of the excessive amount of waste and negative consequence on health and the environment that is created which only makes the “Hidden Fee” even higher each day.

Understanding the current form of Democracy for the purpose of Redefining and Redesigning it

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Establishing a foundation of real participatory democracy of the people by the people for the people is a process of people taking responsibility by investigating how the world functions, realizing where the problems lie, designing solutions, and then standing as those solutions so to change the system of democracy by stepping up and becoming it. This is what (real) democracy of the people by the people for the people is all about: all the people taking responsibility for all the things.

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