How do you envision the Living Income rolling out -- country by country? Is Switzerland a good example of a western country implementing a living income?
How do you envision the Living Income rolling out -- country by country? Is Switzerland a good example of a western country implementing a living income?
Hi Jl Kenney, cool question.
As every legitimate change acknowledged at the governmental level of any nation, the process is in its entirety political in nature. This means that the first step is to create awareness about the existence of this solution so that people can start gathering in each country with the decisive purpose of implementing a Living Income Guaranteed system, for example. That is already happening in some places in Europe where certain political parties are endorsing what is currently proposed as Basic Income. These political parties have formed precisely as a way to legitimately and democratically implement changes in the political and economic structure.
You can watch our LIG Hangout with people from Slovenia explaining this point as well: Slovenia’s Political Awakening – Living Income Guaranteed https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NIVRv3g8nrk
So by all means we endorse completely pacific and democratic processes where each individual can participate in supporting the implementation of LIG or not through voting for a political party that endorses it as its main proposal. Switzerland is precisely that, a good example of how through living in a society where direct democracy and continuous referendums take place, it is possible to propose and implement changes that can benefit the citizens in it. However, there are various points which aren't entirely aligned with what LIG proposes, this is because the implementation of Basic Income in Switzerland comes in the form of money for people that already have good living standards, as well as giving money to those that most likely won't even require such extra money, which from our perspective is a waste of money in itself as that income should go to people who really require it.
Switzerland stands as an example for the world, however we should also take into account that the changes that the Swiss are conducting to close their borders to prevent more people from wanting to live in their country due to the provision of this basic income,are mostly detrimental to relationships between nations. That is why we can learn from how it goes within Switzerland, see what deficiencies emerge and so be able to learn from such mistakes and integrate further solutions to the LIG Proposal.
What's interesting to note is that people in Switzerland already have that culture of participation in decision-making processes at home, which is not yet a reality everywhere else in the world. Hence the importance of also focusing on the educational and awareness process to understand that it is possible to grant each other the right to life and higher wages and an overall better living condition if we all agree to participate and decide upon providing this right to life to each other through democratic processes. So this is something that we also have to share as an example for the rest of the nations that don't yet apply this democratic participation as part of one's responsibility as part of a certain nation/society.
From there, once a political party with the LIG agenda is in place, the changes will be conducted as series of developments that people will be able to adapt to their particular nation's characteristics and necessities. We cannot predict further than that at the moment since it will be about implementing changes, testing it out, seeing how sustainable it is and from there keep refining it until we get to generally stable and supportive results.
Let us know if you have further perspectives and ideas about this as well, thanks.
This is a very good question indeed. How are we going to implement LIG in every country that have different political systems?
My answer is "I don't know" ¯_(ツ)_/¯
To implement the LIG program we have to do an assessment of each countries resources and political system to see if it is possible.
Yes, an assessment within each nation is necessary, hence the actual work towards implementation will be done in groups that support and represent the proposal, and as such forming the necessary political parties to make the proposal part of a general plan that can be implemented democratically. Now, it is certain that some countries are closer to doing this than others where no sense of even an attempt of democracy exists. Therefore we do see that some countries will have to set the example and upon implementation and becoming the example to other nations, the model can become a suitable plan in this age of crisis we're living in.
So, we Do Know how it will be made viable and that is through politics - yes, it will have to be tailored according to each Nation's natural resources, their welfare systems, and any other expense they have such as how in the US foreign aid can be cut, military enterprises can be cut and any other foreign investment endeavor that is not benefiting and stabilizing people at home.
Therefore, we will in time also share these practical plannings related to certain countries where implementing a Living Income Proposal is becoming the most optimal way to fund a Basic Income/Living Income as well as implementing the rest of the changes that have become separate endeavors such as higher wages or people being benefited directly by the use of natural resources in a country.
Fro example, Chris, you're in New Zealand, right? So here you can begin investigating the political processes required to form a political party, investigating the already existent welfare systems, how are they being funded, which are your main natural resources, etc. and generally what would it take for such a proposal to get to be implemented.
One aspect we are certainly focusing on at the moment and at this stage is re-establishing the need for political participation - many groups and people divert this point or reducing it to the level of a petition, or simply as another form to protest/demand for rights - this is the problem because it is only through politics that we will take responsibility for ourselves.
I wrote more about this here: http://livingincomeforall.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/to-demand-change-or-to-create-solutions-for-change/
Therefore it is to also realize that before we want to move 'too fast' we first have to open this possibility to as many people as possible, as that's the only way you'll get political support. So, educating each other of the viability of this solution is our priority at the moment due to the extensive ingrained hierarchical and power-structures that exist within our minds of having 'some' people 'at the top' taking care of the problem - we know change won't come from 'the top' so first, it is to realize our responsibility to create the solutions from the ground up.
So you can share as well how this can be done in New Zealand and generally whether NZ is actually requiring a Living Income as well - I've heard good things about the stability and general good-living quality there, so share here how things actually work.
It will take four posts to answer your question because I want to give a detail and factual analysis of New Zealand. The first post will be about Government Finances. The second post will be about Social Security and Welfare, Unemployment, Average Incomes, and Taxes. The Third post will be about NZ Reserve Bank (Nationalized - Audited heavily),“Asset Bubbles”, and Immigration. The fourth post will be about the cost of living and my own personal situation.
Yes you are absolutely correct. New Zealand is a beautiful place to live. I am so lucky I was born on this side of the world. We have two main parties “National” (capitalism) and “Labour” (Socialism). Currently, “National” is in power and have done a “brilliant” job in busting up government monopolies using a mixed ownership model (Government owns 51% and 49% owned by New Zealanders). Their goal was to increase investment in NZ, increase competition, and create jobs.
For the last two years our government has been “almost” (0.2%) running a government surplus. In other words, our government has not been getting into debt to fund public programs (deficit spending). and 2015 is going to be the first year with a complete government surplus. This means our country is becoming much more prosperous.
Here is the evidence (NZ Government 2014 Budget Key Facts)
Government Revenue was 2014/15: $72.5b (30.1% of GDP)
Government Expenses was 2014/15: $73.1b (30.3% of GDP)
Government Returning to Operating Surplus 2014/15: $0.4b (0.2% of GDP)
Do you see that our Government size is 30% of GDP. This means 70% is produce and controlled by the private sector. In other words, our country is “guided capitalism”.
John Key is our current Prime Minister (Ex Investment Banker)
New Zealand Law provides each full-time worker with the following benefits: Parental leave (8 weeks), maternity leave (8 weeks), sick leave (5 days each year), bereavement leave (3 days), 10 days statutory holiday (e.g Christmas Day), 4 weeks paid holiday each year. Our Law really protects workers from being exploited by ruthless employers.
The next post will be about NZ’s Social Security and Welfare system
Chris Wells (Over-educated and Underpaid lol :-p)
Now let’s talk about NZ’s Social Security and Welfare System
In New Zealand it is free to go to hospital to have a check up (but it can be a 3 hour wait) and have surgery (if you are dieing). The retirement age in NZ is 65 years old and our government will give you a pension each week of $421 (single alone) and $319 for married couples. The Government will also give you a “Super Gold Card” that gives you many business discounts e.g. cheaper bus fares. Work and Income (Welfare Office or Job Center if you live in the UK) do an “asset test” first to see how much you are entitled to and whether or not you actually need the pension. If you have many assets you are still in entitled to social security and will receive 50% paycheck each week from the government regardless of how much money or assets you control.
Here is the evidence New Zealand Superannuation
The Government has now introduced “KiwiSaver” similar to a 401k retirement account in the US. KiwiSaver is a voluntary, work-based savings initiative with a range of membership benefits. Basically, you save for our own retirement by paying 2%, 4%, 8% of your paycheck each week. The Government will give you $1000 kickstart and contribute $521.43 each year. Your employer must also contribute 3% of your salary to KiwiSaver as well. Therefore, many New Zealanders choose to sign up to the program because it is basically free money.
Here is the evidence
The unemployment rate in New Zealand is currently at 6%. If you are unemployed you will receive the “Job Seeker Allowance”. This amount will vary depending on where you live and your cost of living. For example, my twin brother lives in Auckland (expensive city) and was unemployed for 3 months and he received $350 (Job Seeker Allowance + Accommodation Supplement) each week from the Government. This will give you an idea of what my brother was living on each week.
Job Seeker Allowance $350
Net Surplus $80
This net surplus can be used to for transportation costs to and from interviews. In addition, my brother could have applied for food grants (food stamps - if you live in the US) that gives you extra assistance. Furthermore, you can apply for a “Work to Transition Grant” once you successfully get a job offer. The work to transition grant will provide the following: $500 for work clothes, $500 for living costs, $500 for transportation costs. The Welfare Office also give job seminars and help people with writing professional CVs and Cover Letters.
Here is the evidence
Job Seeker Allowance
Progressive Tax System
In New Zealand we have a progressive tax system. Here are the following tax rates in NZ:
Personal income tax
10.5c per $1 on income up to $14,000
17.5c per $1 on income between $14,001 and $48,000
30c per $1 on income between $48,001 and $70,000
33c per $1 on income over $70,000
Company tax rate
The company tax rate is 28%
GST (Goods & Services Tax)
The rate of GST is 15%
Here is the evidence (Look at bottom left page NZ 2014 Government Budget)
You can see that we have a low company tax rate because we want to keep creating more jobs for the people. However, if you earn over $70,000 a year their is no incentive to work harder because you will be getting taxed at 33c in every $1 you earn over $70,000. Usually, if you are earning this income you will have a student loan as well. The Government will tax you additional 12c in every $1 you earn to repay back your student loan. In other words, if you have a student loan and you are earning over $70,000 you will be paying 45c in every $1 you earn over $70,000.
This really sucks because this gives people no incentive to earn over $70,000 a year. You are better off opening up your own business and paying 28% in tax than paying 45% tax a year. I will talk about average incomes, our student loan system, NZ Reserve Banking System, Immigration, and how it works in my next post.
Chris Wells (Searching for Truth based on math, logic, and reason)
Now Let’s Talk about New Zealand’s Student Loan System.
According to NZ 2014 Government Budget – The Government has allocated $12.8 billion to education. This of course includes all forms of schooling such as: primary, secondary, and tertiary education. According to Steven Joyce (Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister) he made the following statement: “Budget 2014 provides $198.6 million of operating funding for new investment in tertiary education (Beehive, 2014). Unfortunately, I cannot find the exact amount that was allocated to Tertiary education.
Here is the evidence
In New Zealand, StudyLink is a state owned enterprise (SOE) that is responsible for administering student loans to students. Our student loan system works by “how many papers you study”. In other words, each paper will be allocated a number (early life time limit) like 0.125 or 0.25 and the maximum you can get is 10 EFTS. Which is equivalent to ten years of study. There are of course eligibility tests depending on your background e.g. if you have rich parents or poor parents.
Here is the evidence StudyLink
The Government has made student loans interest free if you stay in New Zealand after you graduate. However, if you choose to leave overseas to find employment for more than 184 days you will be charged 6.4% interest. On the other hand, if you return back to NZ after being overseas then the interest will not be charged. In other words, interest is only charge while you are overseas.
New Zealand students do not pay back student loans like a mortgage payment each month (like the US before it implemented an income based repayment). Instead, the government charges us additional 12c for every $1 you earn over $19,000. In New Zealand you can "declare bankruptcy" on your student loan with very little difficulty or consequences.
I know because I declare bankruptcy on my student loan balance of $55,000. Many of my friends who leave overseas do this as well because we know how the system works.
(Scroll to the bottom of the page) Student loans are included in bankruptcy
I do not expect you to understand why I did it. The fact is the system allows it to happen and I took the opportunity while it was there. One thing you need to understand about me - I do not have any morals under capitalism or loyalty to anyone. I only work for employers who pay me the most. That’s all.
I have realized it will take three more posts to answer your questions in full.
In my next post I will talk about NZ Reserve Banking System and How it Works
Lets talk about the NZ Reserve Banking System (Think Tank) and How It Works. I will give you a brief overview of how it works because it will take me at least 3 months to publish a full detail report. The evidence presented in this post will be from the NZ Reserve Bank itself.
The NZ Government knows the dangers of a corrupt banking system and have “literally” made it “impossible” for banks to steal money from the people. The evidence clearly indicates the NZ Reserve Bank must operate in the best interests of the people. If the NZ Reserve Bank Governor does not keep inflation between 1-3% he will be replaced by someone else who can.
The NZ Reserve Bank is audited every year and is published on their website. So, you can see who are people receiving “dividends” hidden in the details of the report. Yes our banking system has shareholders and I know exactly who they are. I will provide this in my next post :-p
In New Zealand, the Reserve Bank uses monetary policy to control inflation and keep it within a specific target band (usually within 1-3%). The main instrument used in New Zealand is the Official Cash Rate which sets the interest rate for private banks to borrow money from the Reserve Bank. Then private banks will then lend this money to customers at a higher interest rate through mortgages, credit cards or personal loans. There are 23 private banks register with the NZ Reserve Bank.
Here is the evidence (List of private banks)
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 specifies that the primary function of the Reserve Bank shall be to deliver "stability in the general level of prices. For example, section 9 of the Act says that the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Reserve Bank shall together have a separate agreement setting out specific targets for achieving and maintaining price stability. This is known as the Policy Targets Agreement (PTA).
The second section says that in pursuing the objective of a stable general level of prices, the Bank shall monitor prices, including asset prices, as measured by a range of price indices. The Bank's inflation target shall be 1 to 3 per cent on average over the medium term, with a focus on keeping future average inflation near the 2 percent target midpoint. The price stability target is defined in terms of the All Groups Consumers Price Index (CPI), as published by Statistics New Zealand.
Section 3 says that when external events push inflation above or below its medium-term trend, "the Bank will respond consistent with meeting its medium-term target."
The final section describes how the Reserve Bank shall implement and be accountable for its decisions. This includes providing explanations for any inflation breaches, or projected breaches, in the Bank's quarterly Monetary Policy Statements. The last section also says that, as it implements monetary policy to achieve price stability, the Bank "shall seek to avoid unnecessary instability in output, interest rates and the exchange rate."The PTA is a public document, and as such is an important part of monetary policy transparency.
New Zealand Currency
New Zealand’s banknotes are currently printed by Note Printing Australia in Melbourne. Page 12 of the NZ Currency PDF I have provided for you below illustrates how the money is created and transported throughout New Zealand. Please read the pdf because it is a very enjoyable read about NZ Currency. The NZ Reserve Bank Site is very open and answer all the questions you have through published documents and YouTube videos.
Here is the evidence (New Zealand Currency and How it works)
Financial Stability Reports
The New Zealand Reserve Bank publishes a “Financial Stability Report” every six months on their website. This report outlines any financial problems the country is facing and what is happening overseas. For example, the overview of the report expresses the amount of debt per household has increase, and asset bubbles (houses) in Auckland and Christchurch are over valued. They have introduced a high loan value ratio (make it difficult to get a loan) in order to decrease house prices in these areas.
I hope this gives you an brief overview of how NZ Reserve Banking System Works. In my next post I will reveal the shareholders who are receiving dividends. Yes our banking system has owners and I know exactly who they are and where they live.
Nothing is beyond math, logic, and reason. I will upload it by the end of the day.
Till then enjoy reading this post :-p
Lets look for the truth together in NEW ZEALAND RESERVE BANKS ANNUAL REPORT
This is where the fun really begins. Get ready by getting a nice hot drink and make yourself comfortable e.g. I am in my comfortable bed while drinking a warm cup of coffee and I suggest you should do the same lol. So, who are the people controlling this system? Who are the shareholders?
The first thing you need is access to NZ Reserve Bank’s Annual Report.
Please open the document and press Ctrl F and type in the word “dividend” and press enter.
Page 8 states the following: Each year, the Bank reviews its required equity, using risk models similar to those used by commercial banks. Following this review, the Board recommended to the Minister of Finance that the Bank pay a dividend to the Crown of $175 million, and this recommendation was accepted.
Page 11 states the following: The Act requires the Bank to publish in its Statement of Intent a
‘statement of dividend principles’. The Bank’s statement of dividend principles is shown here.
Statement of Dividend Principles: The Bank should maintain sufficient equity for the financial risks associated with performing its functions. Equity in excess of that required to cover those risks will be distributed to the Crown. In general, unrealised gains should be retained by the Bank until they are realised in New Zealand dollars.
However, the Bank may recommend the distribution of unrealised gains where the Bank believes that the probability of the gain being realised is high.Each year, the Bank makes a recommendation to the Minister of Finance of the amount to be paid as a dividend. The Minister decides how much should be paid having regard for the recommendation of the Bank, the views of the Board of the Bank and any other relevant matters.
Page 39 provides a dividend payment chart. You can see the last five years of dividends. In 2009 the dividend was $650 million dollars
Page 49 provides the Statement of Changes of Equity which states the dividend of $175 million was paid to the New Zealand Government. Page 68 states the “Minister of Finance” determines the annual dividend in accordance with the Reserve Bank Act.
The Minister of Finance is Bill English - This guy controls how much is paid to the Crown (New Zealand’s Government)
Here is the evidence (In fact you can email or call him lol :-p)
I hope you found this information enjoyable to read. I have provided you the truth based on math, logic, and reason backed by evidence. You would be surprised that the answer is often a simple one. People will give you all these "conspiracy theories" and when you actually look at the evidence it completely reveals the plain truth. It is much simpler than you think.
The NZ Reserve Bank Paid $175 million dollar dividend to the Crown (NZ Government). The Government collects taxes and dividends to fund public programs. Bill English is the minister of finance who determines the amount according to the Reserve bank act. You can call, email, or even arrange an interview with him at his office. Plus look at the size of the dividend it is not big at all. Many companies make more profit than this a year. The NZ Reserve Bank is extremely regulated and it is literally impossible for people to abuse the system without being replace by Law (The Reserve Bank Act 1989). The moral at the end of the day is to look at “What are the facts?” and “What is the truth that the facts bear out?
I hope you enjoyed reading my posts. Please let me know what your thoughts are.
Chris Wells (Tells people how the world really works)