Have you Ever been Swept Off Your Feet?

In both cases – whether the bubble was inflated with positive or negative energy – the participants in the bubble are being swept away further and further away from actual physical reality and start to see everything either ‘extremely negatively’ or ‘extremely positively’ – neither experience is grounded in reality – because the physical is neither positive or negative – it just is what it is.

And Then You Crash – Meconomics

In this little series, we’ve been investigating the phenomenon of inflation, how we in our daily lives participate in ‘inflating our reality’ and so, how we are on a personal level participating in the same principles/dynamics that we see playing out on a bigger scale when it comes to inflation, speculative bubbles and financial market crashes.

Welcoming New Life with Living Income Guaranteed

Comfort, security and nurturing are all things we wish are present when a baby comes into this world. Yet, these conditions are not a reality for many babies, as parents themselves like these things in their lives. In Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu Natal province in South Africa, 3 to 5 babies are…

Humanity Washed Ashore

This was an excerpt of just one of the stories about the boy. Over the last few days, dozens have been written and published on various major news sites. What is more striking than the content of the posts, is the comments that are left on these articles. What is humanity’s response to such images, to such news?

Voting Fun – What does it Feel Like to Have a Say?

Now – before such increased direct political participation is a reality – let’s do a little test to see what it feels like. So – here are some mock-questions where you’re asked to give your input. Imagine that this relates to your direct reality (eg. your town) – and your answer has a weight that influences the outcome of the decision. Of course, in reality…

23 December 2014

Ending the Vicious Cycle of Economic Inequality with Living Income Guaranteed

“Rising economic inequality was a major driver of the financial crisis. With the OECD recently debunking ‘trickle-down’ economics, our new report sets out the links between inequality, the growth in scale and influence of the financial sector, and the dangers for financial stability.”

“Privatisation and the doctrine of maximising value for shareholders have increased the amount of economic activity focused on extracting the largest possible short-term profit. These trends are referred to collectively as ‘financialisation’.”

“This diagram lays out the seven indicators of economic instability, each fuelled by rising inequality and increasing financial sector activity:

Our report describes how these indicators laid the path for the 2008 crash, and threaten to do the same again:

  1. Increasing inequality depresses demand since consumption levels depend more on the wages of those at the lower end of the income scale, than the profits of the wealthy
  2. In the face of stagnating wages, households rely increasingly on debt to maintain their lifestyles with rising asset prices, especially in residential housing, worsening this.
  3. Financial liberalisation allows money to flood into countries with trade deficits, such as the USA and the UK, providing the funds for debt-led consumption.
  4. Snowballing wealth at the top increases risky financial speculation.

Inequality doesn’t bring growth, it brings economic instability

In recent years there has been a marked slowing of growth across the world’s wealthiest economies, with none returning to the growth trends experienced before the crisis. Many have begun to speculate that this stagnation could, in fact, be a permanent development – meaning that wealthy economies are fundamentally unable to create enough demand to keep growing.
The mainstream political consensus has for decades now suggested that inequality is a price worth paying for economic growth. But new research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows definitively that this inequality/growth trade-off is false – adding to a growing body of research showing that inequality actually prevents economies from growing. This points to a fundamental structural flaw in the economy: if the proceeds of growth are not shared, the pie stops growing.

The pursuit of higher returns for the already wealthy within this dwindling pie cannot persist forever. With wealth refusing year on year to trickle down, debt has been used to plug the wage-consumption gap for the rest. The signals are showing quite plainly that this pursuit of growth, via inequality, is ineffective and unsustainable.”

The New Economic Foundation suggests both reversing the trend of liberalizing the financial market and at the same time implementing efforts to reduce inequality. The implementation of the Living Income Guaranteed proposal will see poverty eradicated  and ensure a limit to inequality where, at the very least, everyone will have an income sufficient to lead a dignified life – herein effectively stopping the currently allowed trend of unrestrained inequality where the wealth of a small elite is paid for by the lives of many. Concurrently, financial markets will be restrained by limiting the need for excessive debt and the move towards citizen shareholding of human rights and basic resource companies – where those profits are utilized for the funding of a Living Income Guaranteed – flowing back into the goods and service market – and no longer the currency in a financial monopoly game. Unfettered inequality and an unrestricted financial market are unsustainable – the solution is here – please read and share the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal to redefine our economy and manifest the values and ideals of humanity, dignity and justice – in fact.

About the New Economic Foundation:

NEF is the UK's leading think tank promoting social, economic and environmental justice. Our purpose is to bring about a Great Transition – to transform the economy so that it works for people and the planet.

The UK and most of the world's economies are increasingly unsustainable, unfair and unstable. It is not even making us any happier – many of the richest countries in the world do not have the highest wellbeing.

18 December 2014

Set Your Priorities Straight

“So, since Ukraine is nonetheless now gearing up, with American taxpayers’ money, to replace its weapons-supply that was used-up or destroyed in the war to-date, and also to build an immense new military graveyard for a planned 250,000 corpses of Ukrainian soldiers in the next and future rounds of invasions against the rebelling region in Ukraine’s (former) southeast, the IMF is basically quitting continued financing of that ethnic-cleansing campaign against the residents in that region. The EU has already quit funding it, other than a token half-billion-euro donation delivered on December 10th. Only the U.S. remains committed to funding it, by donating whatever weapons and military guidance are deemed necessary in order to conquer, and/or to expel, the pro-Russian residents in Ukraine’s former southeast. 98% of the U.S. House voted for it, and so did 100% of the U.S. Senate. At least 67% of the U.S. public are against it.”

The question that comes up is: How is that possible? How does that work?

When the majority of the population does not support the funding of a foreign war – how is it possible that those ‘representing the people’ vote in a totally different direction?

And what is more – why is this not hitting the headlines? While everyone’s focus is on Ferguson, whether or not Putin is becoming the new Stalin and the apparent ‘shock’ at torture practices  – the American elite goes about deciding what to do with taxpayers’ money without anyone even noticing that it stands squarely against the wishes of US citizens.

According to PovertyUSA, 46.2 million Americans live in poverty in the USA – that is 1 in 6 – and 1 in 7 American households were food insecure last year. Why oh why would you consider funding a foreign war – when at home, people are in desperate need of support?

Many justifications are put forward for military spending – but do they hold up?

Creating security for your citizens starts with guaranteeing personal financial security. Reviving the economy starts with ensuring effective flow in the domestic economy by reducing inequality and ensuring everyone is enabled to be an active and empowered participant in the economy. Building world peace starts with eradicating crime at home by making sure no one has a reason to destroy another’s life out of spite, because they are lacking. Democratization starts with recognizing the wishes of your people at home and acting according to those wishes – increase direct political decision making and build in mandatory budget referendums.

The real threats to civilization – the real wars that are being fought are not wars between countries, are not wars between people of different religion and different race. The real war is the war against against poverty – the fight to survive.

A Living Income Guaranteed would be a better use of funds currently allocated to military operations – if you really want to achieve the goals mentioned above – then start by implementing a Living Income Guaranteed – you have no right to meddle in foreign affairs when you allow your own people to live in destitution.


08 December 2014

Fighting for Survival - Where is the Right to Life?

“The leader of a violent gang that controlled life inside one of America's most notorious jails testified that he directed guards motivated by sex and money to smuggle in drugs and cellphones and facilitate attacks on inmates who challenged his authority.
Tavon "Bulldog" White described a culture of corruption inside the centuries-old Baltimore City Detention Center, led by a gang that has its own language and laws and authorities. The Black Guerilla Family's hierarchy includes a "minister of education" who quizzes members on gang literature and a "minister of finance" who manages the profits sent by cellphones from behind bars.

The gang's smuggling schemes even fund the bail that frees gang members who can't pay to get sprung from jail, he testified this week.

Gang leaders, not guards, are the ultimate authority inside the jail, he said.”

I really suggest reading the entire article as the snippets of stories being told in it are quite astounding. This is not the synopsis of a TV show, but an example of what actually takes place behind the walls and fences of a prison – it goes beyond what anyone could imagine scripting for a movie or a show. When jail time is seen as a solution to crime, this is the results we start seeing – not only do gang members ‘go back’ to a life of crime, they continue the same participation and behavior for the entire time of their incarceration. Now – I don’t mean to say it is like this for everyone. I’m sure there are those individuals who get a wake up call from spending time in prison – or in other words, who actually use that time to reflect on their lives, what they’ve done, who they’ve become and whether that’s really who they want to be.

But when criminal behavior is the result of lacking the financial means of doing anything else with one’s life, then being in prison is unlikely to facilitate any form of personal transformation – because they know that once they get out, they’re back to where they started,  however much they may want to change – their opportunities in life do not.

Reading some more on Baltimore, it’s clear that it is a city that is struggling with a high crime rate, in a second article, I came across he following:

“Interviews with community leaders and residents show that few are looking exclusively to police for the answer. Though many believe street-level officers should be more visible and work to strengthen ties in the communities they police, most point to jobs as the only way to reduce gun violence.

"A lot of these cats got dreams — they don't want to do this [drug dealing]," Lawrence Davis, 35, of the Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood, said as he looked on at the shooting near City College. "There aren't enough opportunities, and this is all they know."

City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young said police need to boost foot patrols. But he placed much of the blame for the increase in violent crime on the economy.

"Until we're able to create employment opportunities for our citizens in Baltimore, and to address the drug problem that we have in Baltimore, I don't see where we're going to really get out of this," he said.”
Can Baltimore wait for employment opportunities to be created to reduce its level of violent crime? Can we continue to entertain the illusion that it is possible that enough jobs can be created for everyone who needs one with the increasing tendency to replace jobs through labor saving technology? When the root of the problem is the need to survive then the immediate solution is to provide these means. Every other measure comes second – because those measures would facilitate a transition towards a new life – but no new life can be written if the right to life is not recognized in the act of giving a living income when no other source of income is available.


And watch: