Changing the System Mindfully. Are we imprisoned by our unexamined concepts???

Changing the System Mindfully. Are we imprisoned by our unexamined concepts???
Humanity is imprisoned by a heartless monetary system, co-dependently arising from dichotomy of man and nature, self and society, ecology and economy, and public and private. How is the system fabricated? How do we awaken from our collective delusion and suffering? Please share this blog for Contemplative Social Action to Cultivate a Culture of Awakening! "Do everything with a mind that lets go" - Ajahn Chah

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Universal Basic Income, Human Security & Real Economy of Peace

Recently I had the privilege to present my paper "Global Citizens Manifesto: Basic Income as Basic Human Right" at the 10th USBIG Conference in New York. I just sent a proposal following a spontaneous impulse and to my surprise it got accepted. As a cyber activist and someone outside academia since 1988, I had some anxiety about economists and academics. I first came across the idea of unconditional basic income grant to all citizens without means test about 10 years ago and I always felt this is what is needed to heal humanity and restore ecological balance in the planet. I presented my ideas in the context of a new debt-free and sustainable economic paradigm, based on right understanding of currency.

Archbihop Desmond Tutu sent this address to 2010 Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) Congress

Dr Martin Luther King supported Basic Income for all in 1967. [see youtube]

There are many innovative ways to fund universal basic income, from land rent, to resource rent (on oil, coal, forest, airwave) to negative tax (via Taxation System and perhaps co2 emission) and direct issue of debt-free public currency. The last one requires civil society engagement to fundamentally shift the current predatory paradigm to a compassionate one by shifting the way we perceive and generate currency. 

In October 2010, $1,281 went out to every man, woman, and child in Alaska. The history shows that any state could do the same. "Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend is closer to a basic income than almost any other policy in the world today." - Karl Widerquist, Georgetown University-Quatar

The pilot projects of universal basic income grant have been largely successful in Namibia. Targeted efforts are underway in South Africa, Brazil and perhaps Canada. Surprisingly Iran is ready to introduce the World's First National Basic Income. Following the recent popular uprising in North Africa and Middle East some are seriously considering basic income to relieve poverty.

I was fortunate to have a chance meeting and warm discussion with monetary historian Stephen Zarlenga of American Monetary Institute  and Alanna Hartzog of Earth Right Institute.  More later..

Meanwhile watch the energizing "Economics of Happiness" documentary in this website . 
Buddha taught a way to complete freedom and happiness that comes from meditative reflection and concentration. He suggested cultivating a wholesome benevolent state of mind (equanimity) that is free of attachment to views and cravings for external things, approval or incentives. Here are some questions for men who see violence and accumulation of wealth as the way to happiness by Robert Thurman, a Tibetan Buddhist Scholar. See Buddha's view on freedom, inner security and Pursuit of Happiness.

Germany and Ireland have been discussing unconditional basic income for years as an alternative to dysfunctional social welfare system. For some proposed models in Germany visit here. Work is in progress in Canada , Brazil and Europe.

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PBS Commanding Heights: Battle of Ideas for the World economy, Part 1 & 2