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.”
It costs more to keep poverty than it would cost to eliminate it, says author and Occupy Wall Street organizer David DeGraw. it would cost just 0.5 percent of the wealth currently held by the top 1 percent to eliminate poverty nationwide.
“If people would just wrap their head around the fact that we have $94 trillion of wealth in this country, I think we would have a revolution overnight”
This article sheds light on Mexican immigrants in fear of deportation and the long-reaching effects on each and every one of their family members and community. And, what about the other immigrants that came to the U.S. as undocumented, fleeing poverty and real danger in their countries? Are they not facing the same reality?
So, these people flee their countries, send their children, to a land they hope will bring a better standard of living and what happens? They are plunged right back into fear and poverty.
How, can we, as a people come to the aid of our fellow man?
Naomi Klein's brilliant 2008 book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," was a visionary breakthrough in understanding how the oligarchy uses catastrophic circumstances to seize economic control of nations. Taking advantage of natural, political and financial upheaval, Klein cogently argues, the apostles of Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand use disaster as an opportunity to implement extremist free-market economic policies while reducing government spending for the common good.
THE SICKER YOU ARE, THE MORE IT COSTS
Campaigners have now hit out at the ‘insidious creep’ of private companies offering what either should be provided on the NHS, such as decent food, or services that used to be free, like communal TV.
Research repeatedly shows that costs can be extraordinary. An online survey earlier this year by money-saving website voucher codespro.co.uk of 1,500 former hospital patients showed that many were spending more than £21 a day, including an average of £2.90 on a phone, internet and TV. The website’s chief executive Nick Swan says: ‘Food was actually the biggest expenditure for patients – on average they spent £12.30 a day on meals – whereas for visiting relatives, parking was unsurprisingly the largest cost.’
What kind of a ‘lesson’ does a child born into extreme poverty and starvation learn, if that is what you believe in? Hey, even if you are financially loaded you will still age and crumble/decay and die so your ‘power’ of money is ultimately an illusion, nonetheless a helpful and necessary one. Within a society where a LIG was in place, people would not have to rely on ideas of a loving god/power, living with a flimsy hope in a better future, just to cope with life.
" The efficacy of cash transfer programs is evident by their spread worldwide. A 2011 report by the U.K. Department for International Development stated, “Over the past 15 years, a ‘quiet revolution’ has seen governments in the developing world invest in increasingly large-scale cash transfer programs. These are now estimated to reach between 0.75 and 1 billion people.” In Latin America one in four citizens now receive cash directly from their governments.
What is most needed now in Canada is a basic income guarantee for working-age adults. Millions of them suffer in poverty, including many working one or more jobs. Millions more are in precarious work—employment at risk from outsourcing and “robosourcing,” annual incomes in stagnation, and one or two paycheques away from serious hardship."
"War does not work from an economic perspective
In 2003 US politicians orchestrated the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq based on blatant lies—lies that have cost the American people over $3 trillion.
Imagine what we could have done with this money:
With $3 trillion dollars, we could have guaranteed free higher education for all interested Americans. Instead, we are wallowing in over $1 trillion in outstanding college loan debt.
With $3 trillion, we could have created a system of universal health care. Instead, affordable health care is still out of reach for many Americans and we have no idea if there will even be a Medicare system when we are old enough to retire.
With $3 trillion we could have renovated our decrepit public schools and crumbling public infrastructure, giving us the kind of foundation we need for a thriving nation in the decades to come.
With $3 trillion we could have created a national energy grid based not upon environmentally destructive fossil fuels, but upon renewable energy sources--something that our generation cares passionately about."
While NATO is busy announcing a counter-invasion to the non-existent Russian invasion of Ukraine, people in Ukraine are calling out for peace and negotiations, for political leadership which will bring them peace, not weapons and war.
The old consciousness is dysfunctional and a new consciousness based on an ethic of non-killing and respect and cooperation is spreading. It is time for NATO to recognise that its violent policies are counterproductive. The Ukraine crisis, groups such as the Islamic State, etc., will not be solved with guns, but with justice and through dialogue.
We live in dangerous times, but all things are possible, all things are changing … and peace is possible.
Jews To Israel: If Not Now, When
This week, they were joined, in his fashion, by Pulitzer-Prize-winning author and illustrator Art Spiegelman, who became one of the most acclaimed voices of the Holocaust when he told the story of his father's survival at Auschwitz with his extraordinary graphic novel Maus. After admitting he'd "spent a lifetime trying to NOT think about Israel," Spiegelman created a re-constituted David and Goliath image for The Nation as his way of acknowledging that "Israel is like some badly battered child with PTSD who has grown up to batter others."
And Friday, 43 veterans of Unit 8200, Israel's most secretive military intelligence unit, released a letter refusing to serve in operations in the Occupied Territories, citing their growing "moral dilemmas" in the face of an “all-encompassing” surveillance of largely innocent people that "is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society." This is the sound of people waking up: "We refuse to continue serving as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories."
While the administration’s current attempt to circumnavigate Congress is hypocritical as well as potentially illegal, it’s also consistent with the way Obama has exercised US military power before. As Spencer Ackerman notes, he’s extended drone strikes across the Middle East and North Africa; initiated a seven-month air campaign in Libya without congressional approval; prolonged the war in Afghanistan; and, in recent months, ordered more than 1,000 troops back into Iraq. Promises of no boots on the ground notwithstanding, Obama’s war footprint is large, and expanding.
In 2012, one third of adults 50 and over were "cost burdened," meaning that they pay more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing—a rate that rises to 37 percent when the population aged 80 and over is considered. Nearly half of this cost burdened population faces a "severe burden," meaning they pay more than 50 percent of their incomes on housing. Older adults of color are hit hardest: in 2012, 29 percent of older white households were cost burdened, compared to 39 percent of older Asian, 43 percent of older Hispanic, and 46 percent of older black households, the study finds.
The high cost of housing forces older Americans to cut back spending on fundamental needs. According to the study, "severely cost-burdened households aged 50 and over in the bottom expenditure quartile spend 43 percent less on food and 59 percent less on health care compared with otherwise similar households living in housing they can afford."
The study authors conclude that domestic abuse, perpetrated mostly against women and children, costs about $9.5 trillion dollars each year in lost economic output. That far surpasses the price tag for recent civil wars, estimated at an annual $170 billion, as well as for homicides unrelated to intimate partner violence, estimated at an annual $650 billion. Researchers arrived at those ballpark figures by attempting to estimate both tangible and intangible costs resulting from domestic abuse, like lost earnings, reduced economic activity, and health consequences.
Beyond the need to focus on ways of reducing inequality, we must emphasise values and policies
that promote work that is not labour, work to reproduce, regenerate and conserve resources and
communities, not jobs and labour that tend to deplete or eat up resources or that do nothing for the
quality of life, in families, in communities and across the whole EU. This is part of the ecological
imperative, and it is part that has been marginalised, partly by separating talk of ‘poverty’ and
‘environment’ as if they were unrelated.
It is a radically different system to the tax-benefit system we have now - but it is perfectly feasible - and if implemented in the right way it could remove the damaging poverty traps built into our current system.
But the idea of Basic Income Security goes further than this. It proposes that the level of Basic Income be set high enough to end poverty - nobody should have an income which is inadequate and which stops them contributing as a citizen to society. Furthermore, this right to exist with dignity should be enshrined constitutionally - to protect the rights of the poorest. For, as we've seen in the UK, without constitutional protection, welfare rights quickly deteriorate.
Aggregate measures such as the infant mortality rate thus allow us to see things. In parsing the numbers, we notice that poor babies die more frequently; we notice that the United States has more first-day newborn deaths than all other industrial nations combined; we notice that African American babies die at twice the rate of white babies in the U.S.; we notice that babies in some communities, cities, and regions die so frequently that infant mortality is an established fact of life, like racism and police violence; and we notice that in other communities, cities, and regions—those with more racial and class privilege—the death of an infant is shocking because it is so very unexpected. Infant death, normalized in some contexts, elsewhere interrupts the profound structural privilege of believing all will be right in the world.
Infant mortality is about race, poverty, and geography, and the ways that the lives of some women and children in the U.S. are made to matter more—and less—than others.
The Jan Dhan Yojana, which promises a bank account, insurance cover, and overdraft facility to each Indian household within the next two years, will finally allow the government a chance to institute a universal basic income transfer to all citizens, and thereby reconfigure the country’s leaky and dysfunctional welfare system.
Economists have written about the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) in one form or another at least since Friedrich Hayek endorsed the idea in 1944. Many leading economists were active in the Guaranteed Income movement in the United States in the 1960s and 70s. They have been a less visible face of the idea in its recent resurgence. That could be changing. This year, one prominent Economist, Ed Dolan, has made BIG a major focus of his writing.
“Using GDP as the main assessment method has caused a lot of problems, like unequal income distribution, problems with the social welfare system and environmental costs,” said Xie Yaxuan, head of macroeconomic analysis at China Merchants Securities in Shenzhen.
Did you have a kid in 2013? Congratulations! That will cost you a quarter of a million dollars.
Yes, all you procreators: according to new stats from the US Department of Agriculture, the price tag for raising a baby born in 2013 to the age of 18 just soared over $245,000 for a middle-income couple. The figure is up $4,260 from 2012.