Guaranteed Livable Income
for a Guaranteed Livable World
a collection of thoughts on guaranteed livable income
Victoria BC, April 2006
Dark Age Ahead
Global warming (climate change) behaviour-made!
Terrorist threats policy-made.
Blatant disregard for the web of life.
Guaranteed Livable Income resurfaces at a good time,
perhaps just in time, for us to stop and contemplate what it is we want to do with ourselves.
Guaranteed Livable Income means: "Hello, welcome to Earth. This is your basic income. We are born with rights, inalienable rights and needs, and they should be provided for because you are now a citizen of Planet Earth, a human being on Planet Earth.
Everyone should have this opening welcoming of no poverty. Poverty is not natural. It's not a natural disaster; it is manmade, like many so-called natural disasters.
We need Guaranteed Livable Income for a Guaranteed Livable World. If the Planet Earth were a patient in a hospital at this moment, she would be in the ICU in critical condition, with life support being withheld by ideology.
The condition in which we find our planet is a direct result of misguided economic activity where the preservation of the planet counts for nothing -- yet without the planet, none of us would be here.
We are in big trouble. We may have passed the point of planetary exploitation (rape of Mother Earth) and are starting to experience the domino effect of extinctions - oh, yeah, as the planet goes, as our brother and sister species go, so do we. Our own local areas are toxic waste. So are we. Cancer, anyone? It's from what we breathe, eat, drink and think.
Not only are we removed from nature today, [but] it has become an enemy. This is absurd; this is wrong. It is our home. It is not the natural laws that are the problem; it is us behaving like unconscious robots swallowing propaganda hook, line and sinker.
One of the main arguments against GLI has been that people are lazy. Now is the time for laziness. The deep ocean fish alone need 100 years of being left alone just to find out whether or not we've already driven them to extinction. Canada, North America, the planet, need low-impact human activity, if we want a planet 100 years from now.
We do not need any more of anything currently being produced, unless it's life-enhancing/ affirming. We do not need any more golf courses, ski resorts, mega-developments. We need to care for the planet. We could probably keep the economy strong by simply recycling all the stuff we already have for the next 200 years. Most of the stuff we produce in our jobs isn't healthy for us or our planet. Most of the stuff we produce is pre-planned obsolete, not needed, but wanted, stuff.
Obliteration of the planet
We do not need more jobs... The sooner we take people out of overproduction and the production of harmful products the better off we'll be - i.e., jobs for the sake of jobs, when it isn't a job that's needed; it's money.
No more clearcuts. No more oil, no more diamond mines, no more destruction. No more damn jobs - Surely we can do better than that.
The people who are easiest on the planet are the homeless. They should all get the first GLI cheques as a symbolic thank you. Who are the poor generally? Aboriginal, women, elder women, artists, students, revolutionaries, unemployed, underemployed, beautiful losers, people of colour, the bankrupt. The poor are becoming poorer. The middle class is disappearing [into] the working poor. Everyone lives way beyond their income.
With GLI we can meet people's basic needs very easily by choosing to spend money and restructure - dissolve - harmful institutions.
There is lots of money around; it's just not available to all. There is no need for poverty. The money is there in Canada. The money is there globally. The notion that some are more deserving than others is the prevalent barrier.
Spending is choosing, so the way we spend money as a government is a choice. What is life-sustaining? What enhances life on the planet? What produces less toxic waste? We consumers need to ask the same questions.
We don't have a shortage of anything other than health - planetary health, community health, individual health.
With a GLI we would have time to examine: What would be a meaningful, fulfilling way for me to contribute to the regeneration of the planet? Who am I? Why am I here? What is important to me? What is spirituality? What is sacred? What is good for my body, mind, spirit, health - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. What can I learn from people who have lived for thousands of years in tune with natural laws?
There are Concerns - will GLI be set up to fail? Will consumers buying things in the same destructive, uneducated way as the majority do now? GLI would immediately lift millions in Canada out of poverty. That's got to be good, but blind consumerism is not. Not that the poor have a responsibility to be conscious consumers - we all do. But it would be nice if, with that first cheque, there was a list of local food producers, fair trade organizations, etc.
Maybe digestion problems, which are on the increase, are because we cannot digest genetically engineered food. PeptoBismol (cherry flavour) is not the answer. Most of what is called food in our "supermarkets" is nothing but a chemical stew and should not be consumed. Knowing what you eat and why you eat it is the answer.
What are the Costs of Poverty? Health. Poverty = injustice = a denial of our humanness. Jails, military, mental hospitals, criminalization of those in poverty. Many people think it is normal to have a "medicine cabinet" full of pharmaceuticals. It is not. Rarely, if ever, should we need to take a remedy.
Arguments against GLI will include: "If ______ doesn't have a job, why should I work hard at my job?" "Everyone else should, too." "Just lazy people wanting a handout."
People are poor through policy and then blamed for their poverty and punished. The ruling elite already know this - we live in a pseudo-democracy. Casting a vote does not a democracy make. Whose idea was it, anyway, that said some people were to struggle each day for daily bread, and why do so many people believe it?
When your mind isn't free, it's brainwashed. In a state of groupthink and we believe what we are told through the media, not figuring out what really is important to us, what would really contribute to individual self-wellness and the whole of our family - neighbourhood - community - city - planet. People are internalizing propaganda as fact, as the way things are.
Taxes are spent mostly to maintain the profits and privileges of the power elite (transnational corporations). As little money is spent on the poor as possible.
The very rich pay no tax, so the taxes of the working poor, what's left of the middle class and the upper middle professionals are not used to help their fellow humans who live in poverty. Instead, they subsidize the rich.
If everyone didn't have to work to survive, perhaps old people wouldn't be shut away in old people prisons and left to die. Perhaps broken families would reunite, communities. Perhaps we can help each other one to one, rather than the warehousing Big Box mentality. Have you ever smelled the food in those places - even the high-end ones? It's institutional, with the telltale odor apparent but not quite identifiable.
We don't have a skills shortage. We have no leadership shortage. We are all gifted. Natural leaders - where are they? In poverty, so we'll never know their brilliance.
Universities are not leaders. There are no leaders, just corporate capitalists filling their pockets. No insight into the destructive life-destroying nature of the economic system of which we are all a part.
Popular culture thinks violence is cool and the goal is get rich or die trying. Bigger stuff, more stuff - there are limits to this obscene excess. He who has the most stuff when he dies wins. If everyone - 6 billion of us - lived like we do, we'd need several planets. We all live on one.
Consuming should be in the context of natural laws - laws that govern nature, the planet, the universe. You do not need to be a quantum physicist to notice these laws.
In fact, if we want this planet to last more than 100 years from today, we'd better do it yesterday. Trashing the planet is obsolete; she cannot take anymore trashing. The vast tracts of the ocean are fished out and much land unproductive because of chemical agribusiness and planned obsolescence.
Things critical for human life:
Local foods - variety in season
A planet, the sun, gravity.
Good air, good water, good food with actual nutrients.
Love. A sense of worth (start with GLI). Peace. Heat in winter. Soul-satisfying activities. A Pranic Healer in every family. Activities that enhance/maintain energy levels. Living consciously - i.e., how does it really feel as I smoke this toxic waste called a cigarette? Take two tomatoes, one genetically engineered, one organic - which one tastes best? Divine behaviour; i.e., love your neighbour as yourself.
With a GLI there would not be poor 3 to a block asking for spare change. Maybe we'll begin to remember who and what we are.
A Guaranteed Livable Income, an Single Transferable Vote system, A Department of Peace. Let's start here.
"There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew." -- Marshall McLuhan.