05 September 2013

Day 246: Green Economics – the Newest Fad?

Reading through a magazine, I came across an article on how traditional neoclassical economics is just not up to the task of providing an effective system of distribution for the world – with which I agree. 

At the bottom of the article, was a whole list to numerous websites promoting different forms of ‘alternative economics’. Being interested in exploring what’s out there on the internet in relation to new developments in economics, I copied the list eagerly to go through the various websites.
As I browsed my way through the 10 or so different websites, a communal theme started to make its appearance throughout the websites – they all looked ‘fresh’ and ‘green’ and we’re all about : reduce carbon emissions, shrink your ecological footprint – essentially: ‘save the planet’.
Something was just not right with this picture.

And then it hit me: this is just another fad.

Just as we have Spirituality within the realms of Religion, the Organic / Raw Food movement in terms of Food – we now have ‘Green Economics’ in the realm of Economy.

What all these movements have in common, is that they jump ahead of the issues that are relevant. Without first providing and ensuring dignified living conditions so all can have a life of delight on Earth, Spirituality immediately jumps to saving your ‘Beingness’ and ensuring that your Beingness can transcend to higher planes. But what is the value of such an objective if we can’t even manifest a sense of brotherhood and solidarity on Earth, within our societies and relations to one another? What is the point of ‘attaining our higher selves’ when we obsessively and compulsively wage War and destroy life?

What is the point of pushing and insisting on Organic Food when we have not even established basic Food Security for everyone on the globe?

What is the point of trying to save the planet through changing the way we do economics if we can’t even set our economic system up in a way that saves everyone from economic hardship? How can we expect to fulfill such a great responsibility as ‘saving the planet’ and ‘taking care of the Earth’, when we haven’t even proven our responsibility towards each other, towards one another as human beings? How can we expect people to support ‘Green Economics’ to ‘save the planet’ when every moment of the day is spent towards survival? How can we expect people to start treating the planet with dignity, respect and care when we haven’t shown that we can live these principles towards another?

If we can’t even actively secure Human Rights and treat one another as we would like to be treated – then we can’t engage ourselves towards saving the Planet. Our efforts towards ensuring that every human being on Earth in fact has a living standard that we would all deem acceptable – has been negligible to say the least. To at this stage demand everyone to treat the planet, nature, the Animal Kingdom with respect – would simply be a spit in the face of those who have never received any such kindness. When people are treated with disrespect and disregard, one is tacitly giving permission to those who receive such treatment, to transfer this treatment in kind to others. 

I’m not saying that nutritious food and ecologically balanced methods of producing and distributing goods is not important – as certainly these points would benefit ourselves, the planet and future generations; but the point is to acknowledge our track records, which is looking kind of dismal at the moment, and to not overreach in our objectives. Our race to ‘save the planet’ is currently one ran knee-deep in the mud, we may be spending a lot of energy on it but it’s not getting us far. So let us rather spend our energy towards getting the fundamentals right, towards getting in place the foundation that will ensure an effective campaign towards a harmonious management of our home, the Earth, by first establishing such a relationship towards one another – and then from there it will simply be a walk in the park, to extend this treatment to the Planet.   

The first step towards fostering an attitude and character conducive to the restoration of the Earth to a state of balance, is to first restore faith in humanity and our capacity to care, through implementing a system such as the Living Income Guaranteed by the Equal Life Foundation. This is a practical way to acknowledge our common humanity, our common Right to Life and to truly develop a sense of respect for Life on Earth, and Earth as Life. We cannot allow ourselves to ignore the impact human activity has on the Earth and the Environment. Only through equipping every human being with the necessary resources to sustain a dignified life, and equipping everyone with the tools of education, can we move as One towards caring for our Planet.

About the Living Income Guaranteed – from the LIG website livingincome.me

Why a L.I.G.?

The Living Income Guaranteed (“L.I.G.”) by the Equal Life Foundation is a Proposal geared towards addressing the most immediate Human Rights problems modern societies are faced with today. Current systems and approaches that have been implemented towards prosperity and well-being of the citizens within nations have been able to facilitate economic growth, but though the bounties of this growth have not yet been able to reach everyone.

The Living Income Guaranteed is aimed at assisting and supporting those individuals within society that find themselves in a disadvantaged position as a result from structural ineffectiveness and inadequacies, through providing Equality of Opportunity for all. The Living Income Guaranteed will function as the medium through which a state is able to remediate the most direct negative effects of a capitalistic system, while still being able to maintain some of the perks that such a system represents and embodies. The Living Income Guaranteed will thus aid in balancing Growth with Sustainability whilst effectively securing Human Rights.

What is L.I.G.?

Living Income Guaranteed stands for the provision of a Living Income for each citizen that is unable to sustain themselves financially to live a dignified life. Unlike the Basic Income Grant proposals, the Living Income Guaranteed is not invariably provided but distributed by a means-test. The Living Income Guaranteed is a social security net which everyone can apply to, when it is necessitated. This principle locks in with the Duties of the Government as laid out within most Bill of Rights, where the State is responsible to ensure the livelihood and well-being of its citizens when the citizen is unable to do so for him or herself.

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