About Us

Living Income Guaranteed (“L.I.G.”) is a Proposal by the Equal Life Foundation that presents a format for economic and political activity based upon the current capitalistic framework, yet adjusted in such a manner as to guarantee and protect each one’s Fundamental Human Rights. The L.I.G. Proposal may be adopted by any political party and is intended to be specified or refined according to the cultural, economic and social realities of any particular county.

The goal of L.I.G is to address the immediate and pressing problems flowing from economic deprivation – including not only the hardships that flow from it directly, but also those indirect consequences that are experienced in the entirety of the economy as well as on the levels of our social, cultural, political and ecological systems. We have come to view problems and phenomena in a fragmented way and all too often neglect to see how interconnected all levels of human life are. What this implies is not that we require to change all institutions, customs and traditions on all levels and in all areas of human life, but quite the opposite: that if we make only a few, yet key, adjustments in certain areas of how our society is organized – we will start to see the benefits permeating through all dimensions of our shared experience.

Current economic and political policies implemented to promote prosperity and the well-being of society’s disenfranchised may have, to a degree, been able to facilitate economic growth, but the bounties of this growth have yet to reach those who most need it. The Living Income Guaranteed will assist and support those individuals within society that find themselves in a disadvantaged position as a result of this structural ineffectiveness and inadequacy. The Living Income Guaranteed will provide Equal Opportunity for all; functioning as the medium through which nations, such as South Africa, will be able to remediate the most direct and negative effects of capitalism, while maintaining many of the unique strengths that such a system embodies. Living Income Guaranteed will thus aid in balancing growth with sustainability; ensuring and securing Fundamental Human Rights for everyone.

At the heart of the L.I.G. proposal is the provision of an actual ‘Living Income’ for each eligible citizen – an income that provides a reasonable level of financial security so that everyone may lead a dignified life. Eligibility would initially be defined by a person’s status as ‘unemployed’ or ‘retired’ and the amount of the Living Income the same for all recipients. The Living Income Guaranteed differs herein from the Basic Income Grant/Guarantee proposals as it does not promise a living or basic income to every citizen. In our view such a promise is not feasible and not warranted. The L.I.G. proposal also steps away from the welfare state approach for several reasons. Welfare programs tend to be complex, paternalistic and hence costly to administer. Complex, through creating a myriad of rules of who can apply for which type of benefit – although, granted, in South Africa, this complexity has not yet manifested. However, if South Africa’s welfare programs were to expand along the logic and examples of other welfare nations, we would soon experience the same complex system. Such complexity works against those who are in the greatest need of social assistance through lacking a clear understanding and knowledge of the benefits they are able to apply for and how. Complexity increases the opportunity for error, mismanagement, corruption, as well as loss of oversight in how funds are allocated and what the benefits are of each program within the economy and society as a whole. Welfare programs tend to be paternalistic due to the ‘strings attached’ approach, where in order to maintain benefits, recipients must adhere to certain standards and demands. Paternalism denies recipients the empowerment they require to take charge of their lives and their destinies, as well as enforces social labels and tensions towards welfare recipients. Complexity and paternalism combined result in high administrative costs on behalf of the government. We argue that more could be achieved through direct cash transfers without the additional costs of management and verification of adherence of standards.

The Living Income Guaranteed is a social security ‘net’ available to all; on an as-needed basis. This principle exemplifies our national expectations of government, as laid out within the South African Bill of Rights, where the state ensures the well-being of its citizens when the citizens are unable to provide for themselves.

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Living-Income-Guaranteed-for-South-Africa

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LivingIncome

The Living Income Guaranteed website: http://livingincome.me

Global Living Income Guaranteed blog: http://livingincomeguaranteed.wordpress.com/ 

Contact us at: livingincome@equallife.org


Post a Comment