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News Why World Change is Necessary

Occupy organizer calls for guaranteed income: Cost of poverty greater than eliminating it

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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”

The Long-Reaching Effects of Deportation

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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?

The Shock Doctrine of the Oligarchy Cannot Be Allowed to Debilitate Us

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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.

Mugged in our hospital beds: The NHS's hidden charges for everything from cold drinks and snacks to bedside TV sets and phones

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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.’

Living Income Guaranteed: The True Answer to Your Prayers

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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.

How can we not afford a ‘basic annual income’?

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" 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."

There Is No Future in War: Youth Rise Up, a Manifesto

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"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."

Say ‘No’ to War and Media Propaganda

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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

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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."

Obama Charged with 'Imperial Hubris' Unmatched Even by Bush

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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.

High Cost of Housing Forcing Elderly Americans to Cut Back on Food and Healthcare: Study

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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."

Domestic Violence Kills More People Than Wars, Global Study Finds

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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.

The Precariat and Basic Income

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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.

Scottish Independence and Welfare Reform

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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.

The Color of Infant Mortality

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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 first step towards welfare reform

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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.

UNITED STATES: Prominent economist, Ed Dolan, turns attention to BIG

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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.

Small Chinese cities steer away from GDP as measure of success

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“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.

The Cost of Raising a Child to 18 Soars to More Than $245,000

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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.

An idea for the second machine age: a guaranteed standard of living for all

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The free market right are exercised by BIG, the Basic Income Guarantee - Such a system would also have the potential to answer one of the big concerns about the future of work - that technological change is fast making many forms of mass, unskilled and semi-skilled labour redundant. If enforced leisure is what we have to look forward to, some form of compensation has to be provided, or society would soon implode.

Blogs Education and Solutions

Transcending False Dilemmas with Living Income Guaranteed – Part 3 – Tools of Intervention

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"At the Equal Life Foundation, we take the guaranteeing of human rights very seriously – in our view, they are not optional and they should not be seen as variables that are dependent on the grace of market forces that may or may not grant these rights at some points in time. Seeing that the conventional paradigm and available policies lack the capacity to ensure these rights, it became clear that it was necessary to step outside of this paradigm and dare to look for alternative measures that CAN guarantee human rights, yet won’t result in the crippling and destabilizing of the whole of the economy."

What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? Part 2

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A Living Income will enable the populace to start voting with their money so long as we are able to structure it in a way that the LIG will lift people enough out of poverty to do so. The LIG will create a new pool of money found in the common man zone, instead of only in the upper echelons where the shareholders of corporations primarily are. The shareholders have so much money that they are disconnected with the realities on the ground and the abuses therein. Shareholders are concerned with increasing their wealth. That is why they are shareholders in the first place. Thus, an LIG will equalize that playing field in giving the common man voting rights with their money and thus lifting them up into a form of ‘shareholder’ as well as their existing status of stakeholder.

Transcending False Dilemmas with Living Income Guaranteed – Part 2 – Sustainability vs Full Employment

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At Naomi Klein’s launch for her new book ‘This changes everything’, Naomi presented the same dilemma to Estela Vasquez, Executive VP at SEIU (United Healthcare Workers East), asking her to comment on the tension that has been existing between climate change and labor union activists – her reply was as follows: “We actually can fight for good jobs, for jobs that deal with the question of having clean energy, renewable energy, to have transportation that is accessible to all, (…) jobs can be created in retro-feeding buildings, in creating new forms of energy, in creating transportation that is clean, in creating a new society, where the determining factor is not profit, but the determining factor is the well-being of every living thing on Earth, not just human beings.”

What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

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The overall goal and intent of CSR is to develop an economically just and environmentally sustainable society. But, is this really working out as intended? And even if so, is it fast enough to curb the current level of environmental degradation and social and labor abuses that we are now witnessing on this planet from the current business practices of corporations, before it’s too late and we have consequences that will affect us all, or at least the vast majority of us, in a highly ‘negative’ way?

Transcending Fales Dilemmas with Living Income Guaranteed - Part 1

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We tend to so blindly accept information the way it is presented to us – without critically thinking for ourselves and seeing if there are no alternatives. No, instead we immediately position ourselves on one or the other side of the dilemma and feel good about ourselves for ‘taking in a position’. But what does it matter to take in a position, if that position is not going to lead to a solution, but simply perpetuates a back-and-forth dynamic that can only lead to losing?

Solution Oriented Mindset and LIG – “Housing First” Project

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Through taking the time and effort to create a plan like the one that has been implemented in Salt Lake City, it is now proven that is much more economically feasible and socially responsible to provide housing for everyone, because not only is it supporting people to create a better life, but it’s creating an environment for the community that is more equal and wholesome. No more are we seeing the problem just continue to proliferate, but there is a start of a solution put in place to support these people and in doing so also create a better life and living environment for all. These people who are getting the support of the “Housing First” program in Salt Lake City are now becoming productive citizens in their communities and are able to create a stable life for themselves and for their families.

Common Concerns about the Implementation of a Living Income Guaranteed

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The constitutions and the values and principles that we've been upholding are products of the past - where once upon a time, they were considered useful and an improvement over what was here before. However, if you look at the abuse that has been allowed in the name of these values and principles, it becomes clear that we have to formulate new principles for our global society to live by. We simply cannot continue as we are. If not for those in need - then out of self-interest - because in the battle where each person is fighting for their rights - we are disregarding the planet we live on and some day, we will all have to pay the price - unless we change what we're doing. That doesn't mean we have to implement a utopian society of equality - but would it be so outrageous if each person was given the bare necessities to survive?

The Future of Education and the School of Life

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Imagine an education system that truly honors its students, that show them the greatest respect in teaching them to honor life. Imagine an education system where compassion and equality are not simply slogans we throw around to make our excuse for an education system look better, but an integral part of a child’s daily life. In a Living Income system, parents will have the opportunity to spend more time with, and even be the primary educators of their children. They will in other words have more responsibility when it comes to the education of their children, but will also be better equipped at providing the best possible education for their children

Ownership: The Lie That Kills

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Can you honestly look in the mirror or in your child’s eyes and say your child does not deserve to have a comfortable, enjoyable, dignified life but the child across the invisible line=boarder, does? There is a difference is the quality of life because there is a different starting point of the two children, this is inequality. I am not suggesting we eliminate boarders as they provide logistical reference points so we can communicate and move about on our planet. I am suggesting we understand that boarders are nothing more than that–lines we have made up for practical purposes. We do not need to kill each other over imaginary lines!

How to Stop Creating Corruption and Criminals

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By design, we don’t have TIME to rethink this world and this is another reason why we need a Living Income Guaranteed, many are purposefully enslaved from 9 to 5 if not longer, on a daily basis to earn a Living that should be granted to All, many don’t have the time, the strength, the clarity to ponder about the state of our world and the things that really need to be sorted out, we need TIME, a living income guarantee is FREE Time, a free Life with no strings attached in exchange for active participation, it will give us that buffer to take a breath, to come out of the mud in which we have been buried and buried ourselves to look around and decide – is this the world I want to live in?

Pollution Inequality and Living Income Guaranteed

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With the implementation of a Living Income Guaranteed, companies would no longer have the ability to get away with excessive air pollution in low-income or minority community areas. No matter how much one currently struggles to get by income-wise and no matter if one belongs to a ‘minority community’ – each one’s economic situation would be secured and therefore, each one’s political influence is guaranteed as well. Herein, we could make an end to the cycle of impairing opportunities of those who already have a harder time to make the best of the opportunities they do have.

The Ebola Trojan Horse to Liberia Oct 6

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Direct democracy is not impossible, getting involved in politics is not useless, exposing the truth of what goes on in the world is not worthless because this is how we are growing into an educated force that is awake and alive and that claims a sovereignty that is not demanded but for which we are actively engaging the system, structuring ourselves into an undeniable force -against all odds.

The Best Healthcare? Only possible with a Living Income Guaranteed Oct5

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If you have been looking at ways to change out healthcare system, consider a #livingincomeguaranteed, we could guarantee that each doctor has their life given back, free of charges, guaranteed, and we give ourselves and each other a life as a given, not as a struggle or as a debt or as a bond, then fixing the nuts and bolts of the matter will be an easy task that we can accomplish in one lifetime.

Redemption and the Right to a Living Income

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Before you assume to think these are people who put themselves in this situation, as if they deserved it, think again and watch the documentary. These are people with degrees, who have worked for such companies as Microsoft, who worked at the World Trade Center, who fought in wars for 'our freedom', who cannot survive on the social security they receive alone.

Taking Leave may mean the End of your Job – Solutions?

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A solution that will end this fear and anxiety of losing a job if you take your leave which you are in fact entitled to would be the Living Income Guaranteed. This will give power to the employees and create a dignified work environment. With the minimum wage being double the Living income people will have enough money to live. This will stop the abuse of employees, because they could simply leave and find a better place to work so the employer will need to treat his employees with care to keep them working there.

We've Got Blood on our Hands

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Who is responsible for the killings during this violent strike? The policemen who did the shooting? The union workers who were striking without the authorization of the union leadership? The ANC as the party in power? The people who voted the ANC into power? The system that created the conditions in which mineworkers felt the need to go strike to demand better wages? Or… all of us? For not preventing conflict where it could have been foreseen, for not preventing harm where it could have been predicted, for not preventing desperation that would obviously lead to compromise?

From Zero Sum War to Win-Win Life Support

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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 .

Mothers and a Living Income - Giving as We have Received

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This documentary exemplifies the major problem we have, not only in this country, but around the world. The people that have first hand control of forming and shaping our future, our children, are not being properly supported or valued in any way whatsoever. No one could possibly expect to live comfortably on $10 an hour, let alone raising three other humans on that wage.This is a prime example of why a living income is an absolute necessity in our world, and a basic human right.

Beliefs about Poverty

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Our education, our exposure to statistics, along with the vast enterprise of media and opinion appear to work against the implementation of physical, real life solutions. We think we know what’s happening because we are aware of the problem. We make a leap into a belief that awareness and a feeling energy of compassion actually generates food and shelter! This is magical thinking where statistics and quantification create a virtual reality of meaning unrelated (not in relationship) to actual experience, observation and just plain logic.

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