Now, my perspective is probably going to be quite unique. I was born in Windhoek [Bernard Poolman] growing up in Okahandja, very close to Ontjivero where they did the BIG Pilot Project. Growing up in the community and with the culture and with a unique understanding of the dynamics there, allowed me to see how things really work – let me give my two cents of this project.
The project was based on giving a community a 100 Namibian dollars a month as a basic Income. Now, first point is to understand that Namibian dollars are not American dollars, it is very easy to mistake this point. so to give you at the current exchange rate an estimate, a 100 Namibian dollars = 10 American Dollars approximately, so it is certainly not a Basic Income that is being given, it is not making any significant change, it does not impact the ‘dollar a day’ poverty bracket, it doesn’t even take the person over that. So from the perspective of what a Basic Income should be, this is hardly a ‘Pilot Project,’ it’s more a feel-good project and certainly not something with which one can sway a government to implement a Basic Income Project.
Next, Ontjivero is far out, there are no industries as such, there’s no employment as such, the only thing the people can do there is buy consumer stuff which are very basic survival stuffs, and obviously buy alcohol as that is the foundation of each of the smaller communities, because they have no entertainment, they have nothing else to do and it’s become part of the culture. It is the same culture that is being used by ‘the white man’ so to speak over centuries, keeping the locals busy with a very structured way of alcohol consumption – when they have money, the tendency is to get some more.
The products/ the goods that will come in and those that may start a little business to sell to the community will be buying this in the closest towns which is either Okahandja, but more probably Windhoek because your hyper stores are in Windhoek, Okahandja as a community is really very small – and the goods will be sold as prices that are highly inflated because the consumer base in Ontjivero is very small, so you have to make profit, you have to make quite a profit on every product sold. A 100 Dollars a person extra into the economic scenario will obviously bring a significant increase in spending power from the spending power they had before. So it will look like it is a ‘significant point,’ but one needs to look at what was there before this pittance was added to remind the people of how little they have.
So some will make some more money and there will be more food on the table because the staple foods being mealiemeel which is porridge made from corn, selling approximately at 80 rand (+- 8 us dollars or 6 euros) for a bag of 10 kilograms, which will feed a person, probably for about 10 days with 3 meals a day – obviously who cares that they are eating the same food 3 times a day, which in itself leads to malnutrition – nobody would ever do that in the western world, eating 3 same meals a day for a whole month, but that is what it boils down to, you can buy one staple food that will last for part of the month, and you have to eat the same food every day. And the fact that there is no electricity or running water or toilets or anything relevant to a normal town scenario – that means there are no costs for that, but there are also no benefits of this – would mean that a significant amount of time is spent in preparing food because the person would have to go into the veld to find wood for the fire, they’ll have to go and get water and then they have to cook the food on the fire. Now the pots they cook this food in are iron pots, an iron pot costs in the region of 300 Namibian Dollars, that’s without the transport to get it there – that is if you buy it in town (capital) and obviously the transport from Ontjivero to the closest town is quite expensive because it is a significant way to travel.
To give you an idea, I grew up in a small town where there was no entertainment. To get to the closest movie theatre, was 80 kilometers, to go and do shopping from the whole sellers – because you couldn’t find all the stuff in the small town – was 80 kilometers. So it is a significant point that must be planned well and that is quite costly to bring resources to the town.
Now there was some researcher from Germany writing a negative article about the pilot project and some of his observations only confirm the level of ignorance that exists within the so-called ‘researchers.’ One of his complaints was that the Namibian University was not involved in the research project. To involve a person – or several of them from that university in the project – will cost more than the total money that goes into the pilot project – that should be realized as the first point.
Secondly, the level of Education of the people in an area like that is so insignificant, their capacity so stunted as the current research shows that a person that grows up in poverty will be equal to a person that had a stroke, which would mean that their ability to answer questions – specially from a person not understanding the basic cultural language, even through an interpreter – is not going to get you relevant feedback, because you don’t understand the dynamics that exist within the survival pattern of the particular group of people.
And in Namibia, the basic language for instance there would be like Herero and Afrikaans, as English is not a major language, specially outside the cities to such a degree that when I came to South Africa in 1981, I failed my first year university because I couldn’t speak English, because English was not emphasized – although obviously under the auspices of the ‘United Nations’ and all the wonderful tools with which they pretend to stop poverty, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and stuff like that, the main language has been made English but there has been no significant input to bring about this change, specially where it’s outside the main centers.
So the person is not going to be able to understand the context of the questions and the interpretation of any form of research material will hardly be of any significant value.
Furthermore this researcher claimed that there were no empirical economists to overview the project, so now you want to add another part of the Empireconomists to this whole pile which will increase the cost even more, because this empire – you call them ‘empirical’ I call them ‘Empire-Economists’ because they justify the process of empire – these Empire Economists will cost even more for money that could have gone to the Basic Income Project will now be diverted to the few researches which – whether they’re black or white are in fact actually white, because those blacks that are significantly educated become like white people, because that’s how the brainwashing functions.
So, the research would not have been significant because the statistics used would be to justify why the project can’t work which is exactly what your major organizations like the World Bank and the IMF actually do. Their point is not to find a working model, their point is to justify the model they’re already using and therefore, they’ve already shut down the Basic Income Grant overall because there is no way at the level of the brainwashed Empireconomists where there is any form of understanding that there could be a better system that will involve for instance a Basic Income Grant.
Furthermore this researcher – I don’t know if one can call them ‘researchers’ if they are that ignorant, but let’s attempt to value this point – claimed that in all the years has been ‘no infrastructure development‘. Now tell me, in a community where a bag of mealiemeel is nearly the price of the 100 Namibian Dollar allowance, you want to tell me they have sufficient to buy bricks to do some improvement. Now to give you an idea of what the price is for a brick, the price for a brick before delivery and the delivery will double the price due to the distance – virtually where this is located, the bricks are 5 rand each which is 5 Namibian Dollar Each, which gives you 20 bricks if you take the Basic Income Grant allowance that was received by a person that can buy 20 bricks a month if they don’t eat bricks, they don’t buy food and they accumulate it, it will take them several years to have enough bricks to build an outside toilet, just to satisfy these dear researcher’s peculiar strange conclusion.
So I would not pay much attention to those that claim they are working at some University in some project, doing some form of research that apparently means that they care about what’s going on, they are just being paid with grants, grants that should have been focused on and pulled together for a Basic Income Grant. All these researchers will no longer exist in a Living Income Guaranteed project because there, people will do research because they really care, not because they need the money or they pretend to care. I would not give much attention to how this is all being viewed.
Overall, there would be some change, I mean having money to buy mealiemeel and to have some food where you have virtually no income in a community, certainly is a massive impact, but is it significant that it will actually make a permanent change to the cultural tradition and to the human nature in that area? No, it will not make any significant difference, it will not bring about significant change where the person can make a life changing decision because there is no possibility. This particular Pilot Project is more a project where one will have a look at how effective slavery can exist within the minimum income bracket of the poverty line as accepted. One can call the BIG Project rather a World Bank or an International Monetary Fund Project. Obviously it’s been funded by the church which is some of the significant influencers and supporters of things like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, because the church does not question the suffering and poverty, they in fact ensure that it exists.
So therefore the money that is there is really completely insignificant, the project is insignificant – obviously the people are grateful, they’ve got some ‘more food,’ food that otherwise would not have been there and due to the continuous process of globalization that is even affecting Namibia, there will be less food and less money in this type of communities. But if you guys can continue getting the money to this people, let me tell you: they really need it, it’ll buy them some mealiemeel, they will smile for you, you can take some snaps and publish it all over and tell the world how good you are because you are feeding the starving – they will make a living, they will survive, they will give you the photo opportunity and the public relations opportunity – but don’t fool yourself, your Pilot Project is insignificant and is of no real value. In fact, it only gives an actual overview of the nature of the current Basic Income Grant Project, that the people behind it don’t have a clue what it means to make a difference in a person’s life, it is actually disrespectful to do so little and to blow it out of proportion so much.
So it is important to realize that economics should not be based on statistics, it must be based on fact and another word for fact, the word for Economic Fact is Mathematics and for that you need correct data and then you can work out what is the real situation and what is best.
Now what I suggest to a researcher: if you want to have a model of establishing what would be acceptable in another person’s life: you start with your life and you assess what it takes to have your lifestyle. you do the mathematical data collection and then you start to remove stuff from your life to see at what level you reach the point where your lifestyle is no longer acceptable, and when you get to your threshold, then you have to live that for a significant period, like for instance in the BIG Pilot Project it’s being going on for several years so you have to live at this threshold for several years and then see if it is still acceptable.
From that perspective you can work out exactly what you would be willing to live with as a Basic Income and thus, that is what you propose for everyone else because then you do onto others as you would like to be done onto and thus you give as you would like to receive, and so unless a researcher in economics follows the principle of assessing their own lifestyle and establishing what is acceptable or not within their own life – they have no way except a mathematical way to establish what is valid and what is not.
So at the moment we have no real data all around about establishing an Economic System in the world that is Best for All. The Living Income Guaranteed as we are proposing is coming with suggested data models, how to take data into account and how to adjust the structure of consumerism and thus improve capitalism to bring about a sustainable Basic Income for everyone that qualifies.
So investigate the Living Income Guaranteed – we really care and actually do research.
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This should be good news for the capitalists.
This proposal will have to become part of a political party’s manifesto and become part of their economic policy and they have to promote it within the context as presented to overcome the objections that are inherently glued to the view of the capitalist.
If you look at George Bush, David Cameron, Obama – they all have promoted the idea to ‘save capitalism’, that there is one thing everybody must do, they say: ‘spend more.’ But there’s a problem with what’s happening in the world there are fewer and fewer jobs which means people can spend less and less so all the economies are contracting because the money supply which at the end is dependent on the amount of people participating in the system with money is shrinking; the economic theory did not expand yet to consider proper solutions for the world. So the following is how one solves the problem.
In any given country you have citizens, they are citizens by birth and by birth they have a birth right towards citizenship in that country. We propose that that birth right should be including inclusive of the resources that are in that country – for instance, the mining resources and water resources, electricity, cellphones, telephones… all the points that are part of that country originally. But maybe it’ll be possible to only look at the resources that everybody requires and needs on a daily basis which are food, water, electricity and something like the cellphone, telephone and internet. These are things that are already in a country and they have intrinsic value. By utilizing these resources you have a situation where everyone in the country participates in contributing towards the total turnover of these particular resources.
If the price is set to be sufficient to accommodate sufficient profit for the shareholders – which in this case will be the citizens of the country – which then are distributed to all those citizens in the country that do not have enough income as a Basic Income Guaranteed, it is possible to set up a system which will have a very interesting effect for all capitalists. This is because suddenly, all the people in the country will be able to spend money; this will mean the capitalists that will so to speak ‘lose income’ because if they already own any of these resources in the country their shares will be transferred through nationalization to the shareholders that should have owned it in the first place, which are the citizens. In other words, if you take away anything from the security of a state and the security of a state is to supply and support their citizens: you’re committing treason. So by taking these corporations and creating them as private entities, taking it away from the rights of the citizens, in fact treason has been committed and this is being done through public relations and cognitive disinformation, by control of the media. This is why we also suggest that the media should also be controlled by the citizens because the media in any particular country is always the voice of the citizens. And therefore, all of these corporations still run as corporations, the only difference is that the shareholding is in the hands of the citizens and it becomes a matter of national pride, and they are managed properly by people that are properly skilled that do so for the benefit of the country.
This can become extremely valuable resources in terms of stabilizing an economy and presenting and producing sufficient profit that at the moment as we know, ends up in the hands of a selective few elite to such an extent that their combined wealth can stop poverty in the whole world several times, which means there is already enough money created. Obviously what they’re doing is a fascinating thing, in many cases they’re reducing prices of products simply to outperform the competition which causes massive unemployment in the world, purely to make more money but is justified as saying that ‘by making things cheaper = we’re making it more affordable for everyone,’ but if a person does not have an income = they don’t have a level of affordability, there is just no way they can own it. So when one takes this model and you apply it and you have each citizen with a Basic Income Guaranteed, the citizen now can spend money, this money will normally be spent at the normal corporations that now supply goods and services in all kinds of arenas, that will increase turnover, that would increase job creation and that would increase profits.
Now you’ll say “But if everybody gets a Basic Income, who’s going to do the work?” very simple, the minimum wage should be double the basic income so that the person is motivated to not use the Basic Income Guaranteed but to go out and work because that will give them access to money to buy luxuries as well, because the Basic Income Guaranteed will not be sufficient to buy ‘extreme luxuries,’ it will be to buy the basics that are necessary, to provide the education that is necessary, to have at least one motor vehicle to be able to have the transport that’s necessary.
Another suggestion within the Basic Income Guaranteed proposal is that there is also a subsidy for homes which is sufficient to construct a reasonable home because that will not only benefit the banking industry, but it will also benefit the building industry and so it’ll again have a knock on effect in creating cash flow which then creates money supply, which creates an economy that is growing and a happy capitalist, because there will be many more opportunities than what exists now.
One of the things that should be considered is the standard of goods – there should be a minimum standard and each country should have a bureau of standards that specifically makes sure that the products made available to the citizens as a matter of their birth right and their citizen’s right to have goods that are of real value, that these products are going through stringent tests. This way we ensure the capitalists don’t just try and make profit but actually provide a proper service and a proper product which will reduce a lot of the unnecessary energy spending in the world where things are just made for the sake of enticing people to buy through advertising. Thus, advertising should be not based on cognitive disinformation or on placing people in an emotional state when they’re buying, it should be based on fact and there should be better regulation about advertising so that people are not psychologically manipulated, because that is simply not acceptable.
When you have a system where you have your basic job facilitation which includes from janitors, to road builders to any type of job where your minimum wage is double your basic income, you will find that there will be enough workers to do the work because they’ll earn more, and those that work will have benefit because they will be able to buy better cars, bigger houses and they will thus have a better standing in the community which will motivate people to look for jobs and because lots more money is in circulation = new businesses will begin, which will again offer more jobs and thus create more opportunities for people to get a better income than just a Basic Income Guaranteed.
The Basic Income Guaranteed must be of such nature that it is sufficient for a person or a family to live a decent life, one worthy of their birth right as a citizen. Utilizing it this way, it becomes viable for the corporations to give up some of the things they control in favor of having a stable economy that provides a lot more money in circulation, which provides a lot more opportunities for profit. By doing this, one reduces various factors that have become extreme problems which are already being investigated by projects like the Big Project In Namibia: if everybody’s got a Basic Income: crime reduces, violence reduces and people want to improve themselves because they are no longer desperate, they have moved from desperation to hope and they start to educate themselves better.
This is an all-around effective solution where one can ensure then that the most Basic Human Rights as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is actually taken care of, the capitalists are kept happy, those that believe that ‘some are lazy and some are not’ are kept happy because they can now go and work and earn more money and leave the others with less money.
Essentially a Basic Income Guaranteed is at this stage a viable solution for a world in extreme trouble. Bailouts won’t work, people that actually want to send money to bailouts should rather send it to educating people about the validity of a system that is a mixture between socialism and capitalism and that protects the citizenship of each person within a country. And then between the countries they can work out solutions for those countries that’s got less resources and develop them to also have a similar resource structure which provides sufficient income in house through the internal use of for instance cellphones, airtime, electricity, water, media, that sufficient profit is made out of that to facilitate the Basic Income Guaranteed so that there is never any debt made for facilitating this.
This will also solve another problem that is going to become extensive in the next 20 years which is that all the pensions will be gone because it will replace the pension system, there will be no longer contributions to those pensions because a person will have a Basic Income Guaranteed it will thus, instead of money being invested into corporations, the money will be in the hands of the citizen. The citizen will then use the money to decide what is best and where to invest it.
To all the people benefited with Basic Income Guaranteed we suggest that that they save 10% of that money and invest it every month in the corporations, the other corporations that are not yet owned by the citizens and if all the citizens do that = very soon the citizens will own all the corporations and all the capitalists would have made their profit and will have a system where a person on a Basic Income Guaranteed will earn enough from their shares in the corporations that they will get to a point where their income is higher than the Basic Income Guaranteed and the moment that happens = they no longer are dependent on the Basic Income Guaranteed and they move towards self-sufficiency.
Basic Income Guaranteed will require certain rules. One of them being that one shouldn’t own more than one car – this means that if you have two cars = you have more money than you should have for a Basic Income Guaranteed; and if you have a job and the job obviously always will be according to minimum wage which is double the Basic Income Guaranteed= you no longer require the Basic Income Guaranteed because you’re now in self-sufficiency and that position opens up for another person, because one of the things about this world is that there are always new people arriving that are going to need some help to get into the system.
All education within the system, within a country should be facilitated by the Basic Income Guaranteed facilitation and because education is a calling and not a place of profit, all educators that are part of that should be placed on a Basic Income Guaranteed and all education at university level, everything should be free to the citizens because it is a Human Right to educate each one and it is thus facilitated so that we have in the education system those that truly do it for a calling and that are not doing it for money, because they are doing it as a service to their fellow citizens.
With the Basic Income Guaranteed there is one thing that is of vital importance: no one in the system, no citizen will pay tax – all tax will be facilitated by either value added tax or sales tax or import duties. If you have a government system that is responsible because you have a system where each one is functioning effectively within the system, you do not need excessive tax; your tax is spent on things like roadwork, transport facilitation – all things that can be handled in house.
One of the things that can work quite effectively also in a country is to have a toll tax on the roads which are managed by the government and that keeps the roads in place, so according to the use that one has of a road = will be the amount of tax you pay, but there will be in this proposal no tax so nobody is going to pay for anyone’s basic income guaranteed, it’s coming from the resource companies which everybody in the country are participating in and your sales tax or your value added tax will be according to the amount of your participation within a particular system – this is a fair way of dealing with income tax – or shall we say government tax collection.
To have this facilitated effectively, the control of it will be important which means the total system will have to be digitized. The payment of the Basic Income Guaranteed will be via your bank card so it’ll be instantaneous and society will move towards a more ‘cashless society,’ but in a cashless society where one will have enough of what you need and nobody can take away your income because you are guaranteed this income unless you obviously have a job, which means you have double income.
In this proposal no matter what objection one could possibly have, there will be an answer, everybody will be satisfied. It’s a very simplistic solution that brings an end to the problems that are now in the world.
With the rise of the machine there’s going to be job-loss which means there’s going to be greater efficiency, which means there’s going to be less cost on input. So if there is job-loss = there is Basic Income Guaranteed. The type of new businesses that will develop will be based on human ingenuity, the great word that the capitalists like to use.
So the capitalists – those that want to earn more in the system – can come up with great ideas to create new employment and so to uplift people to a higher level of income or double at least that the Basic Income Guaranteed. So all desires, all hopes will be answered and in a way, the whole principle of the pursuit of happiness, the principle of each one being able to be in a world of opportunity instead of just a ‘land of opportunity’ of the US, it will be the whole world that will be a land of opportunity, a world of opportunity where you can be anything you want to be and the opportunities are endless.
Environmental policy will have to be strictly applied and wastage will have to be looked at and therefore the education system needs to be substantially upgraded. This is how each individual will be content and not worry about what others have, and instead work to earn a greater living if they truly want to.
So the Basic Income Guaranteed Proposal for the world is a solution of equal opportunity. If you do not want to make use of that opportunity, you’ll have a Basic Income Guaranteed – if you want to make use of that opportunity, at the very least you’ll have double the Basic Income Guaranteed.
‘How much the Basic Income Guaranteed will be’ is going to be worked out according to what is necessary for a person or a family to make a decent living. In this one will probably have to look at the one thing that needs to change which are currencies, there will have to be one world currency because the need for currencies will no longer exist, because that is only being used by the richer countries to steal resources from the poorer countries and that’s no longer necessary because there’s enough money to pay for it anyway. Therefore, we don’t need ‘exchange rates’ anymore, you can have your own money but it is equal. So if you have the euro = one dollar = one yen = one pound = one rand = one peso – that will make sure we have no more peasants.
It’s obviously the ultimate patriotic system you could ever come up with, be a patriot, be a BIG supporter and remember capitalists: here is your ultimate opportunity of making profit, you will never have had such a good opportunity before because now, your ability to come up with the ultimate product that entices the population to buy it is now at your feet.
Join BIG, be Big hearted: it’s time.
Equal Life Foundation Research Team
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