Thursday, April 22, 2010

Capitalism and Mental Illness

In the United States we have an unfortunate knack of differentiating work/labor and our politics. Or, more specifically, of treating our work practice as if it were essentially not related to politics. This is, of course, an illusion. All work/labor is political. All mental health assessments and interventions are political.

In life after capitalism, mental health institutions will no longer be organized according to the models promoted by slave labor, sociological abuse, poverty. This is promoted and dictated by social control imperatives and corporate profit motives. Instead, the institutional goal Socialism will be to facilitate the fullest development of the potentials of each and every individual, consistent with his or her physical and mental capabilities. Rather than viewing people as objects to be manipulated and controlled for the benefit of capital. The resistance toward empowerment, National Health Care, Universal Income, environment . Workers rights, human rights and dignities, stress and abuse, has engulfed the world in flames of agony.

With developing the Social notions of democratic Socialism as in the Scandinavian Countries, , a post-capitalist social system will inaugurate other transformations in the way that people are treated as human beings.

We must engage in empowerment practice. Empowerment practice involves ways of thinking and acting that acknowledge, support and amplify people’s own participation and influence in the decisions that affect their lives.

Abuse, exploitation, stress, fatigue, overwork, slums life, rural poverty life, workplace abuse all cause depression, stress, anxiety, and violence. Also, broken homes,

An average 23 percent of Americans, Britons, Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians suffered in the last 12 months, but only 11.5 percent of Germans, Italians, French, Belgians, Spaniards and Dutch.
The message could not be clearer. Capitalism is extremely bad for for our mental health.
Capitalism stokes up relative materialism: unrealistic aspirations and the expectation that they can be fulfilled.
It does so to stimulate consumerism in order to increase profits.

individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker or subordinate. Workplace exploitation can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological , physical abuse and humiliation. This type of aggression is particularly difficult because unlike the typical forms of exploitation workplace abusers often operate within the protection of the government and policies of their entreprises and their society. Exploitation in the workplace is in the majority of cases reported as having been perpetrated by management and takes a many of forms .
Unfairly treated
Public humiliation(s)
Regularly threatened with dismissal
Any form of undermining behavior
Taking credit for work that another has done
Unfairly passed over for promotion or denied training opportunities
Being quick to criticize and slow to praise
Character assassination
Spreading malicious rumors
Smear campaigns
Social ostracism
Physical assault

The conflicts that arise in workplaces may be shaped by the unique aspects of this environment, including the long hours many people spend at their workplace, the hierarchical structure of the Corporations, and the difficulties’
It’s a primary contributor to many risk factors that can affect brain development. While all children are vulnerable to things like inadequate nutrition, substance abuse, maternal depression, exposure to environmental toxins, trauma, abuse and poor quality daily care, a disproportionate number of people in low-income families face multiple risk factors, often several of them simultaneously

Our brains learn very early how to cope with the environment to which we are exposed, sometimes with harmful results. (e.g Going Postal, robberies, muggings, gang warfare, etc)

This change must take place at an individual level, in families, in child care facilities and schools, through socialized communities in local and state government.
If we want our children to be successful, the adults in their lives, to identify where change is needed, and to work together to bring about improvements. For this vision to become reality for all people, we must develop strategies to eliminate poverty for young all such as the Universal Income, sustainable livable communities, and community work. We must create programs and services that can improve the life chances for all already in poverty.

Everyone must have empowerment, equal opportunity, and and a life worth living. With the current system this is impossible.

For Buyanzaya Koubry

Monday, April 19, 2010

Food Wars

Only in America do we have class-ism in food. The New Trend is to go Organic. But isn’t food supposed to be organic to begin with? Isn’t that the essence of food?
When poor people go shopping for food, it is less than nutritious than what rich people could buy. Inexpensive food is chemically laced with almost no Nutritional Value.
But wealthy people will spend $20 on a 4 oz jar of peanut butter that has real ingredients.
The poor and middle class have poor diets in America.
When I went to Italy, the food for all is organic. They use the same farming practices they have used for centuries. In fact Italy hosts two “Blues Zones”. Sardinia and Apulia/Calabria People have healthy diets and lifestyles.
Only during the 20th century was a large supply of new synthetic chemicals introduced to the food supply. This more recent style of production is referred to as "conventional." Under organic production, the use of conventional non-organic pestcides, insecticides and herbicides is greatly restricted and saved as a last resort. However, contrary to popular belief, certain non-organic fertilizers are still used If livestock are involved, they must be reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones, and generally fed a healthy diet.[ In most countries, organic produce may not be genteically modifies. It has been suggested that the application of nanotechnology to food and agriculture is a further technology that needs to be excluded from certified organic food. The Soil Association (UK) has been the first organic certifier to implement a nano-exclusion.
Organic food production is a heavily regulated industry, distinct from home gardening. Currently, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan and many other countries require producers to obtain certification in order to market food as "organic" within their borders. Most certifications allow some chemicals and pesticides to be used], so consumers should be aware of the standards .

In the European Union 3.9% of the total utilized agricultural area is used for organic production. The countries with the highest proportion of organic land are Austria (11%) and Italy (8.4), followed by Czech Republic and Greece (both 7.2%). The lowest figures are shown for Malta (0.1%), Poland (0.6%) and Ireland (0.8%)
· 11.6% of all farmers produced organically in 2007. The government has created incentives to increase the figure to 20% by 2010.[
· 4.9% of all food products sold in Austrian supermarkets (including discount stores) in 2006 were organic. 8000 different organic products were available in the same year.

· Since 2005 all school lunches must be organic by law.
· In 2005 168,000 ha of land were under organic management. 7 percent of Polish consumers buy food that was produced according to the EU-Eco-regulation. The value of the organic market is estimated at 50 million Euros (2006).
· Organic food sales increased from just over £100 million in 1993/94 to £1.21 billion in 2004 (an 11% increase on 2003).
· After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, agricultural inputs that had previously been purchased from Eastern Bloc countries were no longer available in Cuba, and many Cuban farms converted to organic methods out of necessity. Consequently, organic agriculture is a mainstream practice in Cuba, while it remains an alternative practice in most other countries. Although some products called organic in Cuba would not satisfy certification requirements in other countries (crops may be genetically modified, for example, Cuba exports organic citrus and citrus juices to EU markets that meet EU organic standards. Cuba's forced conversion to organic methods may position the country to be a global supplier of organic products.

Jamie Oliver has a new TV show called Food Revolution, this is his staement:

I believe that every child in America has the right to fresh, nutritious school meals, and that every family deserves real, honest, wholesome food. Too many people are being affected by what they eat. It's time for a national revolution. America needs to stand up for better food! You live in an amazing country full of inspirational people and you have the power to change things. With your help, we can get better food into homes, schools and communities all over America and give your kids a better future. Sign the petition to save America's cooking skills and improve school food. It could be the most important thing you ever do for your family. America's health needs you now!

While Frankenfoods/modeified food are known to cause health and nutrition problems. One day we must finally make food organic again.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Alternative Economics

No doubt poverty and joblessness can be eliminated in our time. Martin Luther King said:
The problem indicates that our emphasis must be two-fold. We must create full employment or we must create incomes. People must be made consumers by one method or the other. Once they are placed in this position, we need to be concerned that the potential of the individual is not wasted. New forms of work that enhance the social good will have to be devised for those for whom traditional jobs are not available."[
Here are a few models:
Worker Self-Management: Each productive enterprise is controlled democratically by its workers.
The Market: These enterprises interact with one another and with consumers in an environment largely free of governmental price controls. Raw materials, instruments of production and consumer goods are all bought and sold at prices largely determined by the forces of supply and demand.
Social Control of Investment: Funds for new investment are generated by a capital assets tax and are returned to the economy through a network of public investment banks and other industries.
These can be developed in the form of Municipal Enterprise, Co-operative Enterprise, Sustainable and Ecological/Green Enterprises. HighTech/Low Tech, Sustaining and infrastructure for Sustainable/Livable Communities.
Here is an example. If a too big to fail bank fails. It should be Nationalized, and broken up. Than given to the employees with the government as a silent partner. The workers control the banks, even voting out corporate officers if they fail or have moral issues. The government, who regulates, gets s split if the profits. The people get a living wage and empowerment. The Executives are no longer allowed to have big paychecks, no get corporate welfare or bonuses. Regulations work where Banks make for Savings and loans. This offsets taxes to being lowered and no tax abatement. More money goes to the community.
Here is a link to a good site:
Since the manufacturing jobs are not coming back the answer is creating high and low tech jobs that pay a living wage. Maybe starting a Eco Industrial Park.
An eco-industrial park (EIP) is an industrial park in which businesses work in tandem and with the local community in an attempt to reduce waste and pollution, efficiently share resources (such as information, materials, water, energy, infrastructure, and natural resources), and help achieve sustainable development, with the intention of increasing economic and social gains and improving quality of life. An EIP may also be planned, designed, and built in such a way that it makes it easier for businesses to work in tandem, and that results in a more financially sound and beneficial, environmentally and socially friendly project for the developer.
There are many opportunities for Public Works and other Community details.
Co-operatives are one way to go. And we must not forget the importance of the Universal Income/ Basic Income Grant.
In The book, “Toward Useful Unemployment” it describes things people can do to make their own work. (Or not). George Bush was only partly right in his tax return stimulus. The Notion is spending power creates more jobs and consumerism. THE UI/BIG allows everyone to be “Self Employed”. An artisan can practice his hobby, invention, or craft and make market from that creativity. In a regular job situation this si impossible at times.
It is considered that there is a difference between a job and work. People may work harder in there personal lives than at work, while some jobs do not require much work. (I have seen this with my own eyes. It is true)
Also, re-architecture of communities and re-designing towns to a more futurist model will re-invent the small town and home towns into bustling communities with many futuristic jobs. The dependence on Automobiles and long arrivals to work will be eliminated . Communities would be more compact and populous, leaving many green spaces.
Jobs and the workplaces evolves. The Blacksmith, local tinker, milkman, and spinner are all gone. These are casualties of Occupational Evolution.
There are also something coming up called Telecommute jobs, where people can make work from their home computers. Through technological evolution, Robotics, cyborgs, and automation 20th century jobs will disappear. In the 21st Century new work and a new life will be coming. This is a situation that must be fostered right away.
The possibilities are endless, but we will control our own destinies. As Frank Loydd Wright once noted, “A free America... means just this: individual freedom for all, rich or poor, or else this system of government we call democracy is only an expedient to enslave man to the machine and make him like it. “

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Full Employment

The active pursuit of full employment through varied government policies is associated with Keynesian economics and marked the former agenda of many Western nations, until neo-liberalism took hold.
Australia was the first country in the world in which full employment in a free society was made official policy by its government. On May 30, 1945, The Australian Labor Party Prime Minister John Curtin and his Employment Minister John Dedman proposed a white paper in the Australian House of Representatives titled Full Employment In Australia, the first time any government apart Communists had unequivocally committed itself to providing work for any person who was willing and able to work. Conditions of full employment lasted in Australia from 1941 to 1975. This had been preceded by the Harvester Judgment (1907), establishing a living wage; while this earlier case was overturned, it remained influential.
The Job Guarantee (JG) is an economic policy proposal aimed at providing a sustainable solution to the dual problems of inflation and unemployment. Its aim is to create full employment and price stability. It is also referred to as employer of last resort (ELR)
The economic policy stance currently dominant around the world uses unemployment as a policy tool to control inflation; when cost pressures rise, the standard monetary policy carried out by the banks) tightens interest rates, creating a buffer stock of unemployed people, which reduces wage demands, and ultimately inflation. When inflationary expectations subside, these people will get their jobs back. In Marxian terms, the unemployed serve as a reserve army of labor. By contrast, in a job guarantee program, a buffer stock of employed people (employed in the job guarantee program) provides the same protection against inflation without the social costs of unemployment, Fulfilling the dual mandate of full employment and price stability
full employability whereby governments engage in programs to prepare the unemployed for work without guaranteeing that work will be available towards a focus on creating enough work. The full employability agenda has come under fire from a number of sources in recent years
Wage slavery refers to a situation where a person is dependent for a livelihood on the wages earned, especially if the dependency is total and immediate. The term is used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor. Some uses of the term may refer only to a situation of inequality between labor and capital," particularly where workers are paid unreasonably low wages . More controversially, others equate it with a lack of workers' self-management or point to similarities between owning and employing a person, and extend the term to cover a wide range of employment relationships in a hierarchical social environment with limited job-related choices (e.g. working for a wage under threat of starvation, poverty or social relegation).
Working poor is a term used to describe individuals and families who maintain regular employment but remain in relative poverty due to low levels of pay and dependent expenses. The working poor are often distinguished from paupers, poor who are supported by government aid or charity.
Living wage is a term used to describe the minimum hourly wage necessary for shelter (housing and incidentals such as clothing and other basic needs) and nutrition for a person for an extended period of time (lifetime). In developed countries such as the United Kingdom or Switzerland, this standard generally means that a person working forty hours a week, with no additional income, should be able to afford a specified quality or quantity of housing, food, utilities, transport, health care, and recreation.
This concept differs from the minimum wage in that the latter is set by law and may fail to meet the requirements of a living wage. It differs somewhat from basic needs in that the basic needs model usually measures a minimum level of consumption, without regard for the source of the income.
basic income is granted independent of other income (including salaries) and wealth, with no other requirement than citizenship. This is a special case of BIG/UI, based on varied goals. While most modern countries have some form of guaranteed minimum income, a basic income is rare. Only the Alaska Dividend exists here, and pays $1000 a year. It is not very sufficient.
A basic income is a proposed system of social security, that periodically provides each citizen with a sum of money that is sufficient to live on. Except for citizenship, a Basic Income is entirely unconditional. There is no means test; the richest as well as the poorest citizens would receive it. In The USA it is possible to give each person $30,000
A basic income is often proposed in the form of a citizen's dividend (a transfer) or a negative income tax (a guarantee). A basic income less than the social minimum is referred to as a partial basic income. (there should be one for poor teens who have no access to a part time job.)
A worldwide basic income, typically including income redistribution between nations, is known as a global basic income.
In many ways a BIG or Universal Income would change social situations and circumstances so no one is stuck in an adverse situation. It would also help people create there own jobs and business thusly stimulating the economy.
In essence, a Living Wage, 32 hour work week. The end of mindless mind numbing jobs replacing with meaningful jobs should be the agenda of all political forces. These forces are being widely ignored even by liberal elements. In which case the Conservative elements of slave labor and wage slavery still exist. With a restructuring society for affordability rather than the corporate profits, only then can the world change