F.A.Q.

 

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Differences and comparisons between income systems that are commonly confused.

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Issues concerning Maori Rangatiratanga

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What about people who do not know how to manage their money correctly?

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What form of policing should occur to keep everyone working like responsible sovereigns/citizens?

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What about people who do nothing?

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How would a UI address current environmental crisis?

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What effects would a UI have on violence and crime?

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What are some further benefits of UI systems e.g. for "employers and workers"?

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What about the global economic effects on funding UI systems?

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Why should I pay my hard earned taxes on a UI that will also be distributed to those "Dole Bludgers"?

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Who supports the concept of a Universal Income Systems?

 

Q Are all the different income systems such as Basic Income (BI), Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI), Social Credit, Universal Basic Income (UBI), Unconditional Universal Income (UUI), and Citizens Income the same as a Universal Income? How are they the same/different from each other? Do the differences matter?

A No they are not all the same as a Universal Income; however the aspirations of many of the supporters are. The Universal Income Trust was founded on the recent law changes that have occurred in the area of international human rights. Many of these changes have not had time to integrate into these other movements which have been around longer. It takes awhile for people to pick up on information that lies outside their immediate discipline. 

In order for any of these to properly qualify as a universal income they must first and foremost, comply with the International Bill of Human Rights: the law. The I.B.H.R. provides a minimum agreed standard for what comprises economic rights and social justice, which must be achieved so that people can begin to live in harmony with themselves and their natural environment. This has been accepted by mainstream society from all walks of life and from across almost every nation. It also provides a legal tool by which we can measure the effectiveness of a given economic system's ability to meet society's needs as well as compare varying systems and proposals with each other.

The definitions to the above termed models are as follows:

BASIC INCOME (BI)
This"... is an income unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement". Quoted from the Basic Income European Network (BIEN) Newsletter. [Note certain countries like Ireland have defined a basic income exclusively on their own terms, independently of this definition. I.e. In Ireland A Basic Income is defined as that described in the C.O.R.I. Proposal which provides a significant living income paid unconditionally to everyone. The government has  produced a "green paper" on it.]

Citizen's Income (CI)
This"... is an unconditional, non-withdrawable income payable to each individual as a right of citizenship". Quoted from the CI website in England.
"The Citizen's Income Trust plays a vital role in building democracy, promoting pluralism, improving justice, addressing poverty and correcting and complementing the roles of the state and the economic market place." This quote has been added from their website to reinforce the motivation and intent behind their advocacy of a Citizens Income. There are also proposals in NZ that have advocated the term CI as well.

Universal Basic Income (UBI) 
This term, originally coined by NZ economic  historian Keith Rankin in 1990, was used to describe a form of basic income that could be derived from his proposed Social Wage Accounting System. His proposal inspired the development of an organisation called UBINZ. The definition of a UBI has been successively modified over time from his original proposal too meet the value systems of its supporters. At present the accepted definition is as follows:
"A Universal Basic Income (UBI) is an unconditional cash payment to individuals sufficient to meet basic needs". Quoted from the UBI website. To date this is the only nationally agreed definition for a UBI even though there are  individuals, groups, and papers that have defined and interpreted the concept quite differently.

Unconditional Universal Income

1.       This is one form of a universal income system.  It provides at the least a minimum wage income adjusted to the cost of living and placed in addition to one's existing income regardless of financial status. This income is sufficient enough to meet the legal requirements for one person's ability to raise a household. Note that the words “wage” and “income” are used interchangeably.  This is to reinforce the point that the income is earned.

2.       It is unconditional.  There are no strings attached apart from those stated in points 3 and 4 below.  No one has the right to take it away from anyone else. If there is an economic problem, the society will generate income without taking people’s “basic right to a minimum wage” away from them.

3.       It is universal.  The income is provided to everyone living in a country such as Aotearoa/New Zealand whose primary taxes are paid to the government.  This would include all citizens and permanent residents.

4.       The wage/income is provided for the responsibilities each individual has for his/her role as a sovereign in a democratic society. (See Charter of UN, Article 2 for principle of equal sovereignty in a democratic society. See International Bill of Human Rights for a listing of those responsibilities). Note, there are no work requirements or evaluations placed on individuals for this income outside of people acting on their own conscience and best sensibilities.

This is a nationally agreed definition taken from the UUI Position Paper.

 

Guaranteed Annual Income 

This is a standard term frequently used in Australia Canada, and the U.S.A. to describe varying forms of  a Basic Income.

 

Social Credit 

The term was coined in the 1920's by British civil engineer Major Clifford Douglas and was one of the original inspirations for the Basic Income Movement in Aotearoa NZ, Britain, Canada, and elsewhere. Its major shortfall was that it was based on an economic theory of income that has not been possible to substantiate. As such the movement lost much of its momentum, though its philosophy of providing a sustainable middle way between the unsustainable domination/exploitation of corporate capitalism and the controls of a "crony" or clique-based socialism, are still held close to the hearts of many supporters of basic income. They also emphasized the importance of society's institutions being for the service of humanity not humanity to be in service or enslaved to its own institutions. The concept of the democratic sovereignty of the people played an important part in the grass roots support for the movement. This concept is echoed in the title of PhD. Belgian economist Walter Van Trier's definitive  book on the history of Basic Income: "Every One A King". 

 

Universal Income Systems

The one sentence definition defining Universal Income Systems 
is as follows: "Universal Income Systems are those economic schemes that comply with the International Bill of Human Rights". To understand what this means you must either be familiar with the International Bill of Human Rights or have read the articles on the page Universal Income Systems Defined. A summary definition is as follows: Universal Income systems are those economic systems that provide unconditionally at least a minimum waged income placed on top of one's existing income regardless of financial status.  These Systems are derived from and are the realisation of economic compliance with the International Bill of Human Rights. The income or wage is for every individual's role or job responsibilities as the acting sovereign of that democratic society. The word sovereign is used to denote the actual meaning behind being a citizen or permanent resident of a democratic society (Democracy= Gk. demos [people]+ krates [to rule or ruler). People are the legal employers of our government officials i.e. they pay their salaries; and they all own an equal percentage of societies resources: the Public Domain (see UI Trust Website Economics page.)

 

In general the similarities between the given systems are that they support at some level an income provided to all people of a given society for the purposes of promoting economic and social justice.

 

The differences between the systems are in terms of how social/economic justice is defined, how much will be allocated, for whom, by whom, and how long. These are as varied as there are proposals for each of the systems.

For example a cash rebate of $1.00 paid to all on an annual basis could qualify in definition as both a Citizens Income as well as a Basic Income. The government may also decide at the last minute to cut back on health expenditures to accommodate for this potential loss in revenue. The degree of economic/social justice from this system would obviously be highly questionable, yet this could qualify as a legitimate outcome without some form of minimum standardisation. 

The only "system" of those listed that provide an agreed, measurable, standardised level of income that complies with the mandates of a Universal Income and thereby with the minimum standards outlined in law by the International Bill of Human Rights is UUI (However there are a variety of individual "proposals" from all of the given genres that would also comply. It needs to be stressed as well that on the international level many countries are much further down the track of realising the mandates of the International Bill of Human Rights than Aotearoa NZ.).

 

Fortunately, most people supporting  a "Basic Income" at the grass roots level, such as in Ireland, do not support a BI in general terms but on the specifics of a given proposal. For the average country, however, this is a difficult road to travel. For people to confidently vote on the nuances of a specific economic proposal, with all of its jargon and hidden effects, requires an incredibly well educated population. They must be able to discern that what is before them is achievable with minimal risks and acceptable consequences.  Further, to get a proposal to this level of sophistication, independent of government support, requires massive amounts of income to finance the best economists available within and outside of a country to provide as much assurance as possible to those concerned. Amazingly, Ireland has gotten this far and their processes are really worth studying.

The Basic Income European Network (BIEN), as stated, seems to be evolving at this point in time into an academic network providing research and resources for Basic income Supporters to use as fuel for their campaigns. This has become an essential resource for those interested in the concept of basic income. See BIEN for their excellent resources.

A UBI's differences are as follows:

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Based on existing proposals, at present, the cash dividend is an income that can be taken away at anytime after implementation by a given government. Hence the UBI definition of "unconditional" does not grant the income as a "right"--as governments cannot legally take rights away from people (See I.C.C.P.R. art 5). Unconditional in UBI terminology can only mean at this point in time "no work requirement". This is highlighted since many articles on UBI discuss the "cash payment" as a "right".

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At this point in time there is no agreed level as to what "a sufficient amount of cash income on which to live is". Some proposals have it at slightly less than the present unemployment benefit, others the same, and some slightly above. Note that in NZ right now, many families that are on the so-called "Unemployment Benefit", are still obliged to go to food banks, and soup kitchens to survive.

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Some "advocates" see the cash income as a replacement for the present "targeted  social welfare system", ending all "targeted" benefits: horizontal equity without the vertical equity requirements of human rights laws [ (see notes) The end of all targeting would mean that the income would have to cover education, health, childcare, housing and etc.]. This has been done without providing an economic proposal illustrating how much cash income would be required to replace the welfare system as well as how it would be funded. Certainly, an income at or around the present "dole" level with all public services and support funded by user-pay type taxes would hardly benefit low-income earners (see economic page Tax slide show) Still others disagree with this notion and advocate a tiered welfare system in conjunction with a variable cash income.

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Finally, there is as of yet, not an agreement as to why allocate the income in the first place. Some see it as a move to social/economic justice, but refuse to have the models they are purporting conform to mainstream minimum standard laws of social/economic justice: i.e. the International Bill of Human Rights. This would be a little easier to understand if, what was on offer, exceeded these minimum standards: most don't however. Some see it as a dividend to be determined by "the powers that be" to end poverty: in colloquial terminology this translates as a "handout". For the past two years, people from all "walks of life" have been steadily sending petitions to the government of NZ, asking for a UUI or a UI for everyone as a "right". To turn around and say that the income is a handout, is equivalent to having a worker at the end of two weeks work have their employer say "You haven't really earned anything, but I, out of the goodness of my heart, will give you this handout so that you can keep on living; but just remember the hand that feeds you." To the low-income earners, who are suffering and who could benefit the most from this income, few like the idea of supporting a concept that means they will be receiving a handout from others to raise their families especially in lieu of all the prejudices they receive from society. Also there have been ongoing, commercialised, disinformation campaigns against the poor, such as the "Code of Social and Family Responsibility", suggesting that low-income earners are "bludgers" draining the money from the so-called "taxpayers"; as a result, many people who aren't low-income earners, actually believe that low-income people do not work, pay taxes, or earn their income. As such they see the UBI as simply a glorified hand-out, and question how are those lazy "bludgers" going to be made to work when they are getting something for nothing? This prevailing prejudicial attitude has been a source of pressure to keep the levels of UBI at or around the "dole" level. The argument being that everyone will still have enough "fear of poverty" to motivate them into the workforce. Using the "fear of poverty" as a "stick" to compel people into servitude, is illegal (see note).

In contrast a UI or UUI, are systems based on universally agreed minimum standards that represent the legal norms of mainstream society, and not subject to the potential biases of special interest groups.   Unlike the previously mentioned movements the income aspect of the system cannot be at the expense of the vertical equity of others rights or a vital component of the infrastructure of a social welfare state: i.e. the importance of moving towards free education or health for all. The only aspect of a social welfare state that would be changed is the abolition of the concept of "Unemployment". Since the income is allocated to all members of a society for their rightful role as the sovereign of that democratic society, no one could be legally declared unemployed any more i.e. society would return to a true state of full-employment.

How can the sovereign of a "democratic society" be declared unemployed or in need of meaningful work?

Everyone would have at the minimum a minimum waged level income placed on top of his\her existing income. This also bridges the gap between the dilemma of "work requirement vs. no work requirement" for the income. Since everyone already has the fore- said legal job responsibilities, with or without this income, the income therefore, simply allows people to perform their existing jobs more effectively. It also fulfils the legal responsibilities that all people have the right to be paid for their work. 

 

To answer the question "do the differences matter?" this could best be answered by another colloquial question i.e. what would a society be like that had a BI or a UBI? The answer can only be derived after extreme scrutiny and highly skilled analysis of a given proposal. As there are no currently agreed standards in the UBI or BI movement, in general, for determining values for horizontal and vertical equity, there is no possible way of "generalising the effects" of a UBI on a society. Some proposals may choose to dismantle the entire welfare state, including health, education, sickness subsidies, and so forth and replace it with a "dole wage" to everyone, as the only subsidised income.
Universal Income systems, on the contrary, are  based entirely on agreed standards of horizontal and vertical equity: i.e. the International Bill of Human Rights. It is a shared evolutionary vision of a sustainable future, held by the people of this planet and society as a whole. It is supported by the diversity of our systems of knowledge. It is before our government, Judiciary, and now being mainstreamed through our schools. It has  been manifested into law and is finally ready for the next step: to be actualised.

It needs to be stressed that there are vast amounts people from all of these movements with a high degree of integrity to these principles of human rights, and it is through their work and efforts that keeps the momentum growing in this direction.

These issues are ongoing and constantly changing, this site will be modified to account for the changes as they occur. There have been many outstanding positive contributions by UBI such as the wonderful expertise brought to the many economic proposals that have inspired people and generally broadened the debate of the Universal Income movement in general. There are always the selfless people in the background who are always there, to hold things together when needed, that form the real  backbone to the movement, without whose effort their would be no movement at all.  Please see their excellent website at UBINZ to learn more about the organisation.

 

 

 

Q What about the Issue of Maori Sovereignty

 

A It first needs to be stated in terms of Maoritaka, that the Universal Income Trust has committed itself to attaining the purpose of respecting and implementing the dual heritage of the partners of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi). The term referred to as "sovereignty" in this question refers to the issue surrounding the concept of "rangatiratanga" as expressed in the the Treaty of Waitangi.

The following is quoted from the Official Media Statement released by the Waitangi Tribunal [Te R/pú Whakamana i ti Tiriti o Waitangi] in 6 July 1998 concerning its report on Te Whanau o Waipareira. This eloquent document and its subsequent report focuses heavily on treaty interpretations of the concept of the Rangatiratanga of the Maori and its relationship to the gift of the right of kawanatanga [Democratic Governance] to the Crown.

Concerning the nature of partnership between the Crown and Maori.

"The perception of a partnership relationship between Maori and the Crown arises from historical evidence of Maori and Pakeha expectations at the time of the Treaty; that the gift of kawanatanga was in exchange for protection and the guarantee of rangatiratanga in all its forms. Partnership thus serves to describe a relationship where one party is not subordinate to the other but where each must respect the other's status and authority in all walks of life."

Concerning the nature of change over time with our nation's commitment to the living spirit of the Treaty. 

"Here again, a broad consideration of the Treaty is required, one that keeps to the fore the Treaty's underlying purpose. An approach that limits Maori rights by reference to the tribal arrangements of 1840 is no more justifiable in our view than one that would limit the Crown's right of governance to governance according to 1840 standards. At the time of the Treaty, everything lay in the future, and if the cession of governance and the promises in the Treaty were to mean anything, they would need to be always speaking and to speak in the context of changing circumstances over time."

Explanation of the concept of Rangatiratanga.

"Rangatiratanga,... is that which is sourced to the reciprocal duties and responsibilities between leaders and their associated Maori community. It is a relationship fundamental to Maori culture and identity and describes a leadership acting not out of self interest but in a caring and nurturing way with the people close at heart, fully accountable to them and enjoying their support. A Maori community defines itself by a relationship of rangatiratanga between its leaders and members; rangatiratanga gives a group a distinctly Maori character; it offers members a group identity and rights. But it is attached to a Maori community and is not restricted to a tribe. The principle of rangatiratanga appears to be simply that Maori should control their own tikanga and taonga, including their social and political organisation, and, to the extent practicable and reasonable, fix their own policy and manage their own programmes."  

"In this situation neither rights of autonomy nor rights of governance are absolute but each must be conditioned by the other's needs and the duties of mutual respect. If a power imbalance lies heavily in favour of the Crown, it should be offset by the weight of the Crown's duty to protect Maori rangatiratanga. But most of all, the concept of partnership serves to answer questions about the extent to which the Crown should provide for Maori autonomy in the management of Maori affairs, and more particularly how Maori and the Crown should relate to each other that such issues might be resolved."

Finally, concerning the issue of Maori rights and equality in citizenship.

From 8.2.5  TE WHANAU O WAIPAREIRA REPORT

"...we reiterated that the Queen's protection applies in a general way to all Maori people; in particular, we found that...article 3 assured Maori of recognition and protection as a people, in addition to rights of equal citizenship."

From the above it is clear that a Universal Income, far from being a challenge to the Rangatiratanga of the Maori, can and must be provided, at least in part, for the security and protection of Maori rangatiratanga. This is a critical part of the responsibilities of democratic sovereignty unique to the people of Aotearoa NZ.

Universal Income systems are not a panacea that will, when implemented, solve all social and environmental issues. Rather, they are an essential tool that can assist people to effectively work through them.

The empowerment, via a Universal Income, of the shared democratic sovereignty of the people ensures the following: that all people, including Maori have an equal and genuine voice in shaping the decisions which affect them and ensures that all people can contribute to the development of society: this also provides all Maoris with equal rights to citizenship not just in words but in deed.

An agreed foundation for argument on issues on which people disagree is a need which is becoming more obvious as political and mass communication systems develop. Most people are not involved in the processes which produce plans and decisions which affect their lives. They know they are being presented with a fait accompli ("a thing already done", they are just going through the motions to make it look like something democratic actually happened) . More critically they realise that they and their families will be forced to live with the consequences of the decisions taken. A lack of structures and systems to involve people in the decision making process results in the exclusion and alienation of large sections of society. It causes and maintains inequality. Maori are highly discriminated against within he context of our present socio-economic structures [see Progress Towards Closing Social and Economic Gaps Between Maori and Non-Maori; A Report to the Minister of Maori Affairs].

Any exclusion of people from debate on the issues that affect them is suspect. Such exclusion leaves those responsible for it open to charges concerning the arbitrary use of power. Some of the decision making structures of our society and of our world allow people to be represented in the decision making process. However almost all of these structures do not provide genuine participation for most people affected by their decisions. Our society and the world in which we live need decision making structures which enable true and effective participation.

Real participation by all is essential if society is to develop and, in practice, maintain principles guaranteeing satisfaction of basic needs, respect for others as equals, economic equality, social, sexual, ethnic, cultural, and religious equality.

Modern means of communications and information make it relatively easy to involve people in dialogue and decision making. It is a question of political will. Will the groups who have the power share it with others?

Universal Income Systems can only benefit Maori. It is a system based and entrenched in human rights laws. Maori delegations have been instrumental in helping shape modern International Human Rights laws especially as it effects indigenous cultures. Local Iwi and Maori in general have been some of the greatest supporters of Human Rights reforms in communities and throughout Aotearoa NZ . Maori will not have to be dependent on being in servitude to western or Pakeha institutions for their livelihood as they are now. They can freely determine their own culture and its expressions as well as having the resources to do so. People will be empowered to work together in communities as Whanau, and work through local claims and issues to the mutual benefit of all. People will have the time and resources to learn about Maori culture, its heritage and the language. Many Maori, at present, don't even have the time and resources to learn their own language, much less, anyone else.

Democratic sovereignty is based on the principle that all people are equal, no one person or group is superior or has the right to dominate another. At present our system is dominated by those who have the most capital. Their will is the principle force determining the basis of how society operates i.e. to provide them with more capital. Universal Income systems places the power back in the hands of the people to determine the future of their own society.  As responsible people who want to live together in peace we all have a responsibility to work through these issues to the mutual benefit of all. This is the job that the people share as sovereigns. It is not about ruling or dominating each other it is about working and living together as equals. Through understanding our similarities we begin to appreciate our differences. Our differences are what makes us unique and gives beauty and wonder to the world in which we live.  

Q If everyone gets a universal Income what do we do with people who blow it all on stuff/drugs/church/grog etc?

A. The question implies at least two possible interpretations:

1) the efficacy of what people will spend their money on, and
2) what happens if they waste their money and run out?

The answer to the question then, is that, since everyone is the paid sovereign of that society it is nobody's business what other people do with their pay cheques. We do not ask what politicians, CEO's, lawyers, teachers, and etc. do with their private pay cheques, so why are we concerned with what low-income people do with theirs? So long as people are not violating other people's rights, damaging the environment, and so on what is the problem?
The key is that we need to remember what our own job responsibilities are in a democratic society (see Job of the Sovereignty). They do not include prying into or judging other people's personal lives. If they have a problem and are seeking our help then it is their responsibility to confide in us. At that point we can intervene, provide support, and help as needed. As far as people irresponsibly wasting their money and running out of it, this is more of a problem with the moderate to higher income class in terms of gambling at casinos, stocks and so forth. New Zealand, and many other countries that have had a strong social welfare based economy, show very little statistics that this is, or has been, a significant problem for beneficiaries.

Central to the issue of a country adopting a UI is the necessary revamping of that nations education system in accordance with the International Bill of Human Rights.

"If all people are to be rulers, which is what democracy means, then all people must be educated as rulers; nine tenths of them cannot continue to be trained as slaves. The alternative to educating all people as rulers is to
return to a government in which a small elite will rule the great uneducated, slavish masses. This will represent a tacit, if not an explicit agreement, with an ancient Greek conviction that some men   [and women] are by nature fit only to be slaves. In the judgement of perrenialists, we are operating our schools as if most people were fit only for servile occupations, not for the obligations of free citizenship."
Robert Hutchins,  "The conflict in education". P.66.



It is interesting that there are now a variety of economic proposals illustrating how by simple means low income countries such as NZ, can now fund UUI schemes with very modest adaptations of the existing tax structures. The principle problem is no longer "can we afford it?"; but rather, why should we do it.

Q. What form of "policing" would occur to ensure that people are behaving like responsible sovereigns i.e. that they are doing their jobs?

 

A. The answer is simple: none. It is up to each individual to perform his/her responsibilities according to his/her best sensibilities as that person deems fit.
As each individual shares the highest status attainable with everyone else, the reigning sovereign of a free and democratic society, no individual has any power over another in terms of controlling his or her pay/work.

Remember, we are talking about a democracy: everyone is the boss. There is no "boss of the bosses" in a democracy.

The wisdom of the governing power exists within everyone. No individual or group has exclusive rights to a divine wisdom that allows them to rule over others against their will by law or otherwise. If certain people wish to wave or subordinate their individual rights to another they can, but they will still retain the resources and the rights to reclaim their lives, status, and responsibilities whenever they wish. See UI and the Environment for more information and examples.  

 Q. You still haven't sufficiently answered for me about what to do with those people who do nothing?


A.
If you have really ever seen someone who can and does nothing, you have found the story of the millennium. Call up a major movie producer, TV mini-series production team, circus, and or etc. Make yourself the next multi-millionaire with that story and retire. The fact is that even dead bodies are working. They nurture the soil in the form of compost. This in turn feeds the plants, animals and ultimately you. The real question being asked then is "what do we do about people whose work some people in our society don't value?"  This question can be directed to many of our government officials, services, multi-national organisations, and so forth. As mentioned earlier, paired with the advent of a  Universal Income, must be the revamping of the educational system. It must educate people about what comprises responsible citizenship and people's relationship to their institutions. It is a maxim of almost all accepted models of "Human Learning", that, in order to foster responsible citizenship in others we must emulate those values ourselves.  

The biggest problem our society has right now isn't all those people out there who are doing nothing that we need to do something about. Rather, it is what to do with all those people out there who think that there are all those people out there doing nothing that we need to do something about.

  It is this "socially conditioned" mentality that is one of the major stumbling blocks to any society achieving a universal income. It prevents us from being able to trust our own selves, as a society. This "self trust" as a society, is a fundamental skill and tool necessary to be able to responsibly live in harmony with ourselves and our natural environment.

Without this basic "trust" the citizens of a society are forced to have to live in a "nanny styled culture" governed by cliques based on wealth/capital and/or cliques based on personality cults, both having no real wisdom guiding it, can only lead us further down the path to a non-sustainable future .

 

UI and the Environment

Q. How would a UI address the immensity of our present environmental problems if at all?

 

A. It first needs to be stressed, like a mantra, that…
Universal Income systems are not a panacea that will, when implemented, solve all social and environmental issues. Rather, they are an essential tool that can assist people to effectively work through them.

At the root of primary social, political, economic, and environmental problems facing any country lays the lack of understanding about the nature of the people's relationship with their institutions.

Responsibility for the actions of institutions rests entirely with the people experiencing the effects of those actions: the sovereignty. For example, city councilors cannot assume responsibility for the health or lives of the people in their community i.e. they cannot give life back to a person who died from a poisoned water supply that was mismanaged by city council. It is, ultimately, the people's responsibility in a given community to monitor their city council's actions on environmental controls, as it is the people whose lives are at risk, not the councilors. This illustrates the reciprocally reinforcing nature of the job of the people as sovereigns. It shows why it is not necessary, nor effective, to have a designated "Boss of the Sovereigns" to motivate responsible actions from the people.

  A UI provides, at a minimum, a minimum wage salary that is paid in addition to one's existing income. This means that people who work for environmentally sensitive organisations will not have to work as many hours to receive the same amount of income. Loggers, for example, can reduce the amount of (exotic) trees they cut down and preserve their way of life by not destroying them all. It will also be viable for them to use "selective cutting" rather than "clear cutting" practices, since it would then be both in their economic, as well as aesthetic interests to do so.

People will not have to drive to places far away from where they live in order to work to survive. They can reduce their hours if they wish and find part time jobs locally to supplement their income for their individual lifestyle needs.

Everyone will have an unconditional living income that allows him or her to explore alternative lifestyle situations that are more harmonious with their natural environment if they wish. They will have the time and resources to pursue necessary political actions and public education campaigns effectively as they arise.

We will no longer have to pursue mindless "job creation" projects where they are not needed (i.e. building roads through native forests or parks just for the purpose of creating jobs.). Everyone will already have a job.

A UUI, in general, will provide better protection of our environment.  People will be able to regulate institutions by withdrawing their support from those damaging the environment and offering support to those institutions that promote a healthy sustainable environment.

   

Social Problems: Violence and Crime

Q. What effects would a UI have on violence and crime?

A. At this point, to those who have been following this page, it can be seen that in a world where everyone is the boss or sovereign there is no unemployment. Physical and psychological poverty would be rendered almost obsolete. The status issues associated with power conflicts and violence between races, sexes, and the various other classes of people would dramatically decline, because everyone would share the highest status attainable in a free society. They would have equal access to essential life resources. For example, in the case of domestic violence, where women may find themselves entrapped within dysfunctional or violent relationships, they would have the financial resources readily available to easily leave and start their own lives. This would be likewise true in the reverse cases for males.

Crime that is based on stealing would diminish. In Auckland NZ, up until the late 1980's, "honesty boxes" with large amounts of money used to lay unattended on the streets for newspapers. During those times people had reasonable incomes and therefore had no real need to steal: so they didn't.

 

Q What are some further benefits of a Universal Income?

A     It raises the incentive for those seeking further employment, or additional income, to take up part-time and temporary employment. Also, a vast array of studies from around the world reveals that basic resources like access to the telecommunication systems networks, information technologies, and transportation are vital to obtaining employment. A UI ensures that people will have this access. The recent Social Security Amendment sanctions on beneficiaries ensures that they won’t.

         Benefits for employers include the relief of minimum wage law requirements, as everyone will already receive a minimum wage income from the “public pool”. The economy will also be revitalised, such that more people will have money to purchase goods and services. The purchasing power of the dollar will increase. Workers will be more enthusiastic (they would have equal bargaining power), skilled and co-operative. These factors combined would lead to an overall increase in sustainable productivity.

 

Q. What about the global economic effects on a Universal Income?

A. Many of the Universal Income proposals are based on the existing internal tax structures of a society and are therefore independent to a large degree of external market forces.

They have been supported and validated by many national economists as well as by internationally renowned "Nobel Prize" winning economists.

 

Q. Taxes? Why should I pay more of my hard earned tax dollars to those "dole bludgers"?

A. The unemployment benefit in NZ has not traditionally been funded out of income tax. It has been paid primarily out of "deficit financing".   

There is no such thing as a group of people called "taxpayers" who pay for those who don't pay taxes. Everyone in NZ, including those on the "benefit" pay taxes. Further, every single person who pays taxes in NZ is on the "Dole"--to use the standard media terminology. The biggest "dole bludgers", if we are to be reduced to use this type of terminology, are therefore those people in NZ who have the most money. See Poverty page and Economics page

(The dole is here being defined as an unconditional handout.).

Those who have the most money get the largest tax returns (rebates), breaks, and subsidies in terms of "real income".

Low-income earners have to pay the highest percentage of their income in taxes via user pay schemes in order to cover the shortfall in taxes which are not being paid by the rich and higher income earners. E.g. A person whose annual income is $10,000 or less compared with a person or family who earns $100,000 pays over 1000% more every time they use the same publicly owned resources such as water under "user pay" resource taxes.  The people own public resources collectively. Everyone owns an equal share of the resources. Therefore, throughout history civilised societies have traditionally recognised that people should pay a percentage of their income on taxes in terms of equity as opposed to flat rates. Low-income earners are also paying twice for the same service. The question is why are the poor to the middle-income earners paying for the rich and high-income earners to be on the dole? (Remember that almost all beneficiaries have been and are actually working for their income; despite the media propaganda that is contrary to the government's own studies.) Most of the rich have obtained their wealth from what economists call "unearned income". This includes inheritance, interest, rent and so forth. Add to this the privatisation of public resources without public consent, the illegal compulsory work schemes with its subsequent financial sanctions on the poor [ILO panel ruled NZ Community Wage Schemes as illegal], and we have the behaviours that are ripping NZ and other countries apart. [Note. Financial sanctions placed on the poor, means taking the basics of food and shelter away from them. It is the death penalty for many, the children being the most vulnerable. PLEASE LET'S WAKE UP AND put an end to these criminal BEHAVIOURS!]  

Note, up to 80% of the NZ population, depending on the type of UI System that is put in place would experience a net profit after taxes, not a loss! (see economics page.)

It is essential that if we are to have an egalitarian democratic society that can live in harmony with nature, everyone must receive his or her rightful entitlement to, at the least, an unconditional minimum wage living income. Not just the upper-income people. The money is there, the people need it, it belongs to them, and the laws are in place for it.

 

Q. Who supports the basic concept of Universal Income Systems?

A. UUI and universal income systems in general, far from being outer “fringe” ideas, are those economic policies that conform to mainstream international human rights laws. They form what the consensus of international opinion recognise as comprising the essential elements of a civilised society.

Some supporters of the basic concepts of Universal Income Systems have included: The World Council of Churches, NZ National Council Of Women, The Peoples Charter, the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr., Noam Chomsky, Buckminister Fuller (Buckminister Fuller calculated that during 1971 their was enough income available to provide a universal income of $1 Billion dollars to every person on this planet), and Bertrand Russell.

We have reached a stage in our history where our government officials no longer know their actual relationship to themselves, institutions, and the environment.  Our way of life has become a threat to our environment and ourselves, and as such, is no longer sustainable.  Therefore, the Universal Income Movement cannot be anything less than an education that allows people to re-ascend to their rightful heritage: their shared sovereignty and the re-establishment of basic human rights for everyone.

 

 

 

 

                                                                        

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