A living wage is defined “as a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living.” I found that when I asked the google for a definition. When I asked about a guaranteed living wage I got: “…that all citizens or families have an income sufficient to live on, provided they meet certain conditions.”

I first heard of the concept in the early ’80s when I read Critical Path by R. Buckminster Fuller. He had a whole slew of wonderful ideas in that book, including how to use the power of the sun world around to make sure we had plenty of solar energy. San Diego company Geni (http://www.geni.org/index.html) describes this idea pretty well.

But Bucky questioned the whole idea of the need to earn a living. He said:

We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living. “The New York Magazine Environmental Teach-In” by Elizabeth Barlow in New York Magazine (30 March 1970), p. 30

He said something similar in Critical Path I’m quite sure because I’ve never read The New York Magazine.

Income disparity, robots and the ‘net

We’re hearing more about the possibilities of a guaranteed living wage, I suspect, because we’re also hearing more about the growing income disparity not just in the U.S., but around the world. Plus we’re already seeing the impact of robots – and that will only grow.

In June of 2016 Switzerland voted against the idea of a guaranteed living wage. The New York Times indicated various reasons which, in my not very humble opinion, boiled down to fear of a massive change like this.

Scott Santens on Medium poses some truly scary questions about the whole notion of needing to earn a living. Scary or exciting, depending on your view. He’s not the only one to question the morality of forcing people to work for a living. I love his reasoning. He points out that working for ourselves is a truly hard, almost impossible option if there isn’t a living wage to back you up. I agree.

Bloomberg makes it clear that robots will certainly, no are certainly lowering the number of jobs. If there literally are no more jobs, or very few, what’s the morality of being forced to somehow earn a living by working for others? Would it even be possible? What might happen to the whole idea of work?

‘Experience worldwide indicates a pressing need for new and simpler methods of income distribution,’ says says Kalle Moene, director of ESOP – the Centre for the Study of Equality, Social Organization and Performance at the University of Oslo, and his Indian-American colleague, Debraj Ray, who is affiliated to the Centre. Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-03-economists-minimum-income.html#jCp

I hadn’t even thought of a paycheck being a way to redistribute money, but it certainly is! It may well be that governments could provide its citizens a ‘citizen’ income based on the gross national income (it’s not clear how environmental costs would be included in this number if at all) at a lower cost then the whole industry if you will of providing and maintaining jobs.

How might this work?

I have no clue how this would actually work. I do, however, have an intuitive sense that it could. As I recall, Bucky figured the planet, could afford to pay every person about $40,000 a year – no this is my memory and it’s not adjusted for inflation. After everyone got tired of buying tons of stuff, 10 percent of the folks would start thinking and would come up with the ideas that would support this.

Naive? You bet!

Stop, however, for a moment and let yourself dream a bit. Do we live in an abundant universe or not? Remember this? Bet you can guess my opinion.

What’s yours?

Love, blessings and planetary abundance,

Anne Wayman: When Grandmother Speaks

 

 

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Like so many progressives, I’ve been horrified that we elected Donald Trump as President. Against my instincts I watched his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017 and was aware of my emotions swinging from negative judgement to a desire to bring peace, kindness, and understanding. I realized I really do want to speak up and out in a way that will help, not add to the hate and fear.

The following day, after deciding not to go, I joined a friend and took a bus to the Women’s March in San Diego. We had been expecting maybe 10,000 – which in San Diego is a pretty good crowd. Instead we had more than 30,000!

It was a magnificent experience. Contrary to most news reports I saw, it was not a protest against Trump, although there was some of that. Mostly it was a march for equality and justice for all, for peace, and for the environment.

How I’m finding my way

I’ve been working at understanding how Trump could win. Of course, he was wise in focusing his campaign in a way that would win him the Electoral College. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg talked about why it’s time to let that go here. She’s a pistol!

What I’m dimly coming to realize is that many of the women who voted for Trump and I, while having many things in common, have some areas of experience that are quite different. For example, I’ve never managed a long-term relationship mostly because I wouldn’t put up with any nonsense. I haven’t had to put up with locker room talk – I’ve walked away from it. Of course that means I don’t even know what a long term relationship is. Nor have I had a husband who lost a job and was unable to find decent or any employment.

I’ve come to have a bit less confusion about why those who voted for Trump did so, particularly the women. And I’m ashamed at how I’ve ignored them for so long.

Getting out of my bubble

In other words, I’ve been working to get out of my political bubble. I’ve done this by reading conservative websites and by thinking back and realizing I have known people who probably voted for the Republican side of the ticket.

I limit my political reading and responding to about an hour a day. That’s about all I can take and stay in the moment and not go down the dark tunnel of despair.

Despair won’t help

Falling into despair, while tempting, does nothing really to help. It’s a luxury if you will I don’t feel I can afford.

I’ve found these articles helpful:

Why Trump’s Inauguration is Not the Beginning of an Era—but the End

Strategies for Hope – spoken the night before the inauguration I find it even more helpful now.

I call, and write, and sign petitions and believe you should too. I’m finding making those actions a part of my day help keep me what, calm? Rationally concerned? Feeling like I’m making my contribution? All of these and I notice those are mostly about me. Except mental pictures of my grand kids keep popping up.

I’m also back to my practice of gratitude daily – counting what I’m grateful for using a rosary.

I get out early every morning to unlock some buildings where I live and often remember to look up and experience the sunrise.

No, our world hasn’t ended. Are we in trouble? Well, yes, and I don’t know how much – nor does anyone really. Staying conscious, and as present as I can be really is all I know to reach for even when I’m protesting or not.

Does any of this resonate with you? I’d love to hear from you here in comments.

Love, blessings and abundance,

Anne Wayman: When Grandmother Speaks

 

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Speak Out – About What?

Over at AboutFreelanceWriting.com I challenged writers to speak out. That post came about because at least two of is in our forum have expressed a sense that we must speak up about what’s happening politically, racially and, maybe most importantly, climate change. Speaking out isn’t always easy I was brought up to be a nice girl. […]

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Voter Suppression is the Real Issue, Not Voter Fraud

I was hoping we were done with this election, but it’s not to be apparently. And maybe we should be grateful. After all Trump’s whining about voter fraud, and he’s still complaining even though he appears to have won the election. That’s because Jill Stein and the Green Party have raised enough money to require a […]

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Kill the Black Snake – The Dakota Access Pipeline

I watched Mni Wiconi’s short film,  The Stand at Standing Rock this morning and heard the Dakota Access Pipeline referred to as a “black snake.” If, as some report, a black snake means trouble, sadness and depression, the Dakota Access Pipeline would certainly seem to qualify. The movie, which is already slightly out of date, gives the […]

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How do we stop the hate?

If the news is to be believed hate crimes against Muslims and other minorities are significantly since the election of Donald Trump. Even though these numbers are squishy because, as a country, we don’t do a great job tracking hate crimes, a truth is hate or rather it’s expression does seem to be on the […]

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Stuff We Really Want vs. Stuff That’s Sold to Us

It was back when the SUV, that pseudo station wagon truck, became so popular that I began to realize just how much marketing has to do with selling us  stuff. Over and over again I heard and read that the reason d’etre for the unsafe, fuel hogging vehicle was because the “customer demands them.” I didn’t believe it […]

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How Much Stuff Is In Storage?

Not long ago I took the trolley from National City where I live to the train station in downtown San Diego to to Santa Ana where I was picked up by my youngest son and grandson for a day’s visit. It’s about a two-hour trip. The occasion was my youngest granddaughter’s season-end gymnastic competition – amazing […]

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Writing 5 Minutes At A Time

There’s a theory that even super busy folks can get project like a blog or a book done if they devote only 5 minutes a day to it. This is more or less in addition to their normal duties. It’s purpose is to find a way to make progress on  something important that doesn’t have […]

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Buy American Will Create Jobs – And May Be More Sustainable

Everything is sooooo connected. In theory we know that – this video puts forth the idea that if we can increase buying American made goods it will create a million jobs in the USA. How to buy American made goods Of course, it’s not as easy to buy American as it once was. Reading labels […]

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