Discussion on Living Income Guaranteed

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What is your Take on Living Income Guaranteed?

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Maite Zamora Moreno

Share your perspective on the Equal Life Foundation's B.I.G. proposal here.

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Bella Bargilly

I find the proposals simplistic and realistic. I am delighted that this win-win solution is now being not only proposed, but also practically elaborated, wherein it is demonstrated how it can be done and how all 'sides' (meaning all levels and aspects of partaking in the system, for example also business and corporations) will benefit - and it makes sense!
In fact I ask myself why we haven't come up with these/such solutions long time ago already - the common sense within it is crystal clear.

You wouldn't have thought, but implementing Living Income as proposed by the Equal Life Foundation would in fact for the first time allow the Economy to flourish - for real.
From what I see, from studying the history of the concept of Basic Income, what prevented the implementation of a basic income was mostly the fear of compromising the economy. And there haven't been many solution proposals in terms of how to fund a basic income, other than through tax, which would work like a 'charity' while keeping the essence of the system (inequality) as is.

I love the fact that within the L.I.G. proposal LIFE is placed as the basic principle, the actual value, and that the proposals on all points are drafted from the starting-point of ensuring Human Rights / the Right to Life, thus formulating a life-support system to replace the current life-draining system that places profit before life.
What's fascinating within the L.I.G. proposal is that it will restore capitalism to what it should be, and will allow for profits in a way that does not compromise life.

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Ambrož Bauer

I think that plan needs to be made and presented to the "responsible" authoroties we deal with because they have the belief system in hand to write it down as they please. LIG needs to get their "blessing" and it must be done allover the planet at the same time so that new policies won't be abused by some that want power for themselves. It is going to be a BIG change to get those that worked their whole lives to accumulate power to give it away

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Kelly Posey

It's due time that for us to stop allowing ourselves to be not paid enough to live properly, especially if we have jobs and are working, of those that are able to. It makes no sense to work our whole lives and not even be able to provide ourselves and our families with everything we need effectively like proper and timely healthcare, higher education, being able to pay all our bills and still have enough left over to enjoy life.

And it makes no sense to penalize those who can't work for one reason or another, everyone has the right to live and not be deprived of needs. I see that this is exactly what the BIGuaranteed is offering, by establishing a basic income that will effectively support those unable to work, and a minimum wage that is not just a minimum to survive but is actually set as a living wage that would allow those who work to make enough to live and to enjoy what more life has to offer. We should ask ourselves why this was not already in place, why did we not make it law that everyone should get fair remuneration that is actually enough to provide a flourishing life for an individual.

I support the implementation of BIGuaranteed because it's the way things should be, it's how a species that has any respect for itself would Guarantee that it is taking care of itself, of every part, which is every individual and family. Lack of housing, lack of access to education, untreated health issues, overworking with no time to enjoy life - these should be things of the past and have no place in a reality where we have every capability to provide everyone a proper dignified life.

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Kelly Posey

"I think that plan needs to be made and presented to the "responsible" authoroties we deal with because they have the belief system in hand to write it down as they please. LIG needs to get their "blessing" and it must be done allover the planet at the same time so that new policies won't be abused by some that want power for themselves. It is going to be a BIG change to get those that worked thier whole lives to accumulate power to give it away"

As I understand it, the LIG takes nothing away from anyone. It gives a living income to those who need it, and the minimum wage ensures that those who work are given proper remuneration, which would be factored into the price of products. So, no one has to give up any money they already have. This would actually make it easier for businesses to be successful, as with individuals being paid more, they will buy much more, and it will not be so cut-throat as it is now to secure markets and make sales as businesses won't be competing over such a small pool of those who can afford to buy products and services. So LIG will actually support more businesses, which means more jobs, more employment, more people making a decent living. So it's a win-win for everyone.

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Viktor Persson

The proposal is simply genius – I mean – it's so simple yet so powerful at the same time. And the understanding that the more money that is in circulation in society – the more growth, and well-being we're able to create – that is a unique understanding because not any other political agenda have brought forth this concept; so I mean – this is history in the making – a New Dawn for Mankind – it's LIG!

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Christy Ceraso

I do not think that more economic growth, ie., more "consuming" is the answer here. To quote Guy McPherson, "If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath."

And Andrew Anselmo, responding to people claiming that what we need is free energy:
"In the end, we will still have an infinite growth paradigm, and this is the essence of what is killing us. As clever as we are, it may be that we are just a tad too clever and rapacious, and Homo sapiens may be just a evolutionary cul-de-sac, due to this very trait. Even economic collapse, which might save the world, will still leave us, with our genetic predisposition towards more growth. Our clever brains, matched with our more base instincts to consume, expand, and populate will lead us right back to where we started."

Essentially I do not agree with this model (LIG) if it is based on the idea that every human on the earth should all have what the "rich, developed" countries have, ie, cars, computers, modern houses, electricity on demand, etc., because we are already creating an environmental catastrophe with the expansion of these things.

Obviously people should not be deprived of their right to a life of quality, we should all have clothing, shelter, clean water, a place on the earth to live that costs nothing, access to food and medicine and that which promotes and sustains health... life should be absolutely free, and we should not be enslaved to a money system based on private property, violence and greed. But to set up a standard model based on the the consumptive model of the industrialized cultures is not only is short-sighted. "Modern" societies need to scale down on consumption of the earth's so called "resources," not the other way around. We have a lot to learn from indigenous people who lived sustainably in this planet for a very long time. We have to make our decisions not based on "economic growth" or some search for security based on a fantasy of limitless "resources". What is best for all has to begin with/include our relationship to/as earth, nature, the physical. And our current "consumer" society is really fucked up in this regard. Money itself won't solve these issues, only respect for life.

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Christy Ceraso

Why, given the following info from the Basic Income Earth Network website, is this Living Income Guaranteed proposal basing itself on a "means-test" model?

"... giving to all, rich and poor, is not meant to make things better for the rich. But, for a given level of minimum income, is there any reason to believe that it is better for the poor than a means-tested guaranteed income? Yes, for at least three interconnected reasons. Firstly, the rate of take up of benefits is likely to be higher under a universal scheme than if a means test is in place. Fewer among the poor will fail to be informed about their entitlements and to avail themselves of the benefits they have a right to. Secondly, there is nothing humiliating about benefits given to all as a matter of citizenship. This cannot be said, even with the least demeaning and intrusive procedures, about benefits reserved for the needy, the destitute, those identified as unable to fend for themselves. From the standpoint of the poor, this may count as an advantage in itself, because of the lesser stigma associated with a universal basic income. It also matters indirectly because of the effect of the stigma on the rate of take up. Thirdly, the regular, reliable payment of the benefit is not interrupted when accepting a job under a basic income scheme, whereas it would be under a standard means-tested scheme. Compared to means-tested schemes guaranteeing the same level of minimum income, this opens up real prospects for poor people who have good reasons not to take risks. This amounts to removing one aspect of the unemployment trap commonly associated with conventional benefit systems, an aspect to which social workers are usually far more sensitive than economists.

See also: giving to the lazy, giving to the rich (2)

Does Basic Income make work pay? The other aspect of the unemployment trap generated by means-tested guaranteed minimum schemes is the one most commonly stressed by economists. It consists in the lack of a significant positive income differential between no work and low-paid work. At the bottom end of the earnings distribution, if each Euro of earnings is offset, or practically offset, or more than offset, by a loss of one Euro in benefits, one does not need to be particularly lazy to turn down a job that would yield such earnings, or to actively look for such jobs. Given the additional costs, travelling time or child care problems involved, one may not be able to afford to work under such circumstances. Moreover, it would generally not make much sense for employers to design and offer such jobs, as people who would be grateful for being sacked are unlikely to constitute a conscientious and reliable work force. A minimum wage legislation may anyway prevent full-time jobs from being offered a wage lower than the income guarantee, in which case the latter consideration only applies to part-time jobs. The replacement of a means-tested guaranteed income by a universal basic income is often presented as a way of tackling this second aspect of the unemployment trap too. If one gave everyone a universal basic income but taxed at 100% the portion of everyone's earnings that does not exceed the minimum guarantee (see for example Salverda 1984), the unemployment trap would be the same, in this respect, as under a means-tested guaranteed minimum income. [Fig.1 and Fig.3] But if one makes the mild assumption that the explicit tax rate applying to the lowest income brackets must remain noticeably lower than 100%, then the following statement holds. Since you can keep the full amount of your basic income, whether working or not, whether rich or poor, you are bound to be better off when working than out of work. "

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Christy Ceraso

Sorry I didn't complete that quote by Guy McPherson: "If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try counting your money while holding your breath."

Also, here is a lecture he gave which elucidates the precedence of the global environmental crisis and how economic growth is the cause of it, not a solution to it.

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Christy Ceraso
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Marlen Vargas Del Razo

Hi Christy, to answer your questions here are the following quotes:

Why is it called Living Income instead of Basic Income?
It is called ‘Living Income’ because it won’t only provide each one with the minimum required to survive, it implies sufficient allowance that is able to cover the fundamental expenses required for a dignified living – Why? Because this will enable people to reach their creative potential, return to the job market, become independent from the Living Income and contribute to the progression of the economy.

This means that a Living Income Guaranteed should be provided to individuals that are currently unable to participate in any economic activity due to the lack of jobs/education/health. However those that don’t participate in any economic activity but do have sufficient money to live due to, for example, family wealth, inheritance or any other regular income won’t qualify nor require the Living Income Guaranteed.

Why is Living Income Guaranteed Not Unconditional?
The reason why it is not given to all people unconditionally is because this would undermine the sustainability of an economic system that does require people to be motivated to educate themselves and work to enable the continuation and functionality of our societies.

http://livingincomeguaranteed.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/376-what-is-the-living-income-guaranteed/

To respond on the consideration of " "If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try counting your money while holding your breath."

I agree of course, though the point here is that a sound definition and application of the term economy as management of the resources/ecosystem is not yet lived and instead it has been turned into a pseudo-theory to justify the abuse not only upon resources, but onto the people that should be an equal part of such sustainable consideration to sustain and maintain life, instead of destroying it.

To understand the impact of money over life on Earth we have to see how the abuse of resources and human beings is directly linked to an abusive use of the capitalist system - we propose that the benefits of a nation's economic backbone formed by resources/ public services are given back to the people that require such support through the living income guaranteed, once people have more time to be educated about the matters on this Earth in relation to sustainability, we can get to the point of establishing changes within how we produce and manage our resources and sustain life on Earth - these two aspects do not exclude each other, it is a matter of realizing that once money is used to support life, all abusive relationships existent in our current economic system will have to be aligned and corrected to consider the vital aspect that sustainability and protection of our environment represents to the continuation of everyone's life on Earth.

If something is still not clear, let us know

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Yogan Wayra Zadronzny Barrientos

In response to Christy's point on the environment and economic growth.

Jobs can actually be created based on protecting or supporting the environment. From what I can observe when I use my imagination to consider every possible source of abuse to the earth, there is also an exact point that the economy can use to create more jobs yet support the growth and maintenace of the environment. So I encourage you to the do the same, which requires some time of reflection and silence.

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Joana Jesus

Hi Everyone! One thing that it would be very helpful to have is a few scenarios for different cases, for instance, if I have a low paid job, would I be eligible for a living income? If I am a student? If I move to a new country? If I am a young mother? How would this differ from the current social benefits that require so much bureaucracy?
As I read on the blog, if someone has a minimum wage would be excluded from LIG. But then, will this not generate the fear of losing one's job and go back to the safe net that is only a temporary measure?
I work and study part-time and I find that if I had a living income I would not stop doing what I am doing, quite the contrary: I would probably be able to dedicate more time to study, be on a part-time job to apply my skills/earn extra, while certainly having less of a headache when making my financial decisions to pay rent, food, transports, fees, etc.

I agree that the transition to a new economic mindset will require some baby steps to make sure that all parts of the system and everyone is taken into consideration for a sustainable solution. Thanks Everyone.

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Janos Abel

A living income is a basic human right in fully developed industrial societies.

I developing regions, access to land of sufficient size and quality must be guaranteed to every individual.

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Marlen Vargas Del Razo

@JoanaJesus:

“Hi Everyone! One thing that it would be very helpful to have is a few scenarios >for different cases, for instance, if I have a low paid job, would I be eligible for >a living income?”
- If you have a job, that means that you don’t require the Living Income. Your job instead will stop being ‘low paid’ and you’ll be granted with at least double the living income, which means that you will earn double the amount you would earn if you had no job and only received the Living Income.

  • Living Income Guaranteed is given whenever you have no means to guarantee your basic needs, therefore once you have a job it will mean that your wage is your access to your basic needs, therefore you don’t require extra support for it.

"If I am a student?"
- Yes, you will get it as a student if you have no job and no parental support.

"If I move to a new country?"

- Here initially it will be a national point in that not all countries will implement LIG at the same time. As LIG spreads / becomes more global -- it makes sense to tie the LIG to one’s economic environment. Once LIG is implemented in several countries - these countries can go into agreement to extend LIG to Country A's citizens if Country A does the same for Country B's citizens in Country A. This is how currently a lot of countries have tax agreements - e.g., South Africa has agreement with Belgium that any Belgians working in SA pay taxes in SA and any SAers working in Belgium pay tax in Belgium.

"If I am a young mother?"
- For sure, one of the benefits that LIG promotes is that parents are able to stay at home taking care of and educating their children up to a point where it is possible for the mother to continue working and/or also dedicate herself to house work, which will also be supported with Living Income.

"How would this differ from the current social benefits that require so much >bureaucracy?”
- The necessary means-test to obtain the LIG will focus on simply checking people's status: are they employed/unemployed? Student? Housewife? Elder? Disabled? And accordingly give out a LIG. As we then go along, we can specify the process as the digitalization of information comes along.

"As I read on the blog, if someone has a minimum wage would be excluded from LIG. - >But then, will this not generate the fear of losing one's job and go back to the >safe net that is only a temporary measure?"
- The fear to lose one’s job will cease to exist in LIG because it stands as such safe net to ensure that if you have no job, you will automatically be able to apply to get the LIG – so the LIG is a temporary solution until you’re able to get another job. The measure will be as temporary as you make it to be, yet there is no restriction to getting the LIG since it is not a welfare plan but a way to ensure human rights are guaranteed to live in dignity.

"I work and study part-time and I find that if I had a living income I would not >stop doing what I am doing, quite the contrary: I would probably be able to dedicate >more time to study, be on a part-time job to apply my skills/earn extra, while >certainly having less of a headache when making my financial decisions to pay rent, >food, transports, fees, etc."
- Yes, with the application of living income you could decide to study, have a part time job and earn good money to live with sufficient economic solvency – due to getting at least double the living income in your job; or decide to not work at all, focus on your studies and get the benefit of the Living Income, which will support you to cover for your basic living expenses like rent, food, transports, water, etc.

"I agree that the transition to a new economic mindset will require some baby steps >to make sure that all parts of the system and everyone is taken into consideration >for a sustainable solution. Thanks Everyone."
- Yes, LIG is a new economic mindset indeed where granting access to basic living human rights promotes the reactivation and renovation of the economy at a national level. It is thus sustainable and it solves major problems that were before solved with promoting war, over exploitation of human and natural resources as well as selling resources without any regulation – therefore it is time to realize that funding our human living rights is and should be part of our economic models of the future, and that’s how we propose the Living Income as the way to reactivate the economy, eradicate poverty and dignify life in a sustainable manner.

Thank you for your questions and comments

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Marlen Vargas Del Razo

@Janos Abel

A living income is a basic human right in fully developed industrial societies.
I developing regions, access to land of sufficient size and quality must be >guaranteed to every individual.

Do you mean land for agricultural or housing purposes?

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