Wednesday 7 January 2015

Living Income Guaranteed is Not the Basic Income Guarantee

Unconditional Basic Income

It could be construed that the Living Income Guaranteed (LIG) by the Equal Life Foundation (ELF) emerges from the movement for a Universal Basic Income or the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), but this would be a misapprehension. The LIG originates from the Equal Money System and the ELF is not affiliated with the BIEN.

The Basic Income is described as 'an income unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement'. It is generally understood to be unconditional and universal, 'at the same level, to rich and poor alike'. The LIG, however, would not be 'unconditionally provided but allocated through a means-test' as 'a social security ‘net’' for those who are 'eligible'.
Moreover, the LIG entails a 'Paradigm Shift' and wide-ranging if rather nonsensical 'Structural Adjustments' which are not part of any Basic Income proposal.

The LIG 'proposal' suggests strict controls to monitor Public Relations companies and the advertising industry – but if that were the case then it would put the ELF out of business. In its own words, the 'advertisement and public relations projects' of the ELF are not 'focused on educating the consumer and/or population in a factual manner using information relevant to the product or service being described and promoted'. The promotion of the LIG by the ELF is misleading. It uses 'psychological manipulation tactics' which do not 'truly honor the dictum of the ‘informed consumer’ making rational decisions'.

The ELF presents the LIG in such a way that it appears as if it is connected to the Basic Income movement when it is not.

LIG supporters regularly publish information that could easily create the false impression that if people support the LIG and give money to the ELF it may help to advance research carried out by BIEN-affiliated researchers and other supporters of the Basic Income. They do so by utilising the exact same terminology and frequently posting news items, videos, quotes and articles from the BIEN and about the Basic Income, as if these things have some relevance to the LIG when they do not. One example of many is the video, How to Emancipate the Precariat which discusses the book, The Precariat – the New Dangerous Class by co-founder of the BIEN, Guy Standing, in order to promote the LIG. 

At the LIG YouTube channel, the most vociferous LIG supporter and author of Eugenics is Best for All Life in Equality, Marlen Del Razo interviews Basic Income supporters (notably, Scott Santens and Nyc Labrets) about the Basic Income but without ever mentioning the ELF or the LIG in any detail or the fact that the LIG is an entirely different thing to the Basic Income; yet elsewhere she expresses the view that a universal basic income will never happen.

The ELF's so-called 'Bill of Rights' has been written by Ken Cousens, who until recently was a prominent spokesperson for the 'sovereign citizen' group, the 'Republic for the united States of America', from which he has been accused of stealing over a million dollars. Many of his ideas to do with money, the law, politics etc., are identical to the pseudo-legal conspiracy theories and beliefs of the Sovereign Citizen Movement which have been used by scam artists to con people out of money and in some cases, get them thrown in jailCousens is formally providing training to the ELF/LIG supporters, and while his 'sovereign citizen'-style beliefs may be relevant to the LIG such beliefs are not in any way an influence on the movement for the Basic Income.

Unlike the proposals for a Basic Income, the LIG 'proposal' is not discussed by its supporters within an actual political arena or public social forum, but only on websites run by its supporters. If the LIGgers were to openly discuss their 'proposal' with others then they would be forced to address certain pertinent issues, not least the fact that the main activity of the ELF is in marketing schemes of the group known as Desteni.