Day 459: Feudal Employers and Basic Income

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Lexmark and a #BasicIncome or LETSMARK a #BasicIncome for All

Printer and software giant Lexmark has fired dozens of workers from its factory in the Mexican city of Ciudad Júarez after they demanded a pay rise of $0.35 per day.

Hundreds of workers at the printer cartridge plant went on strike last week, calling for the company to increase its daily rate for experienced employees from 114 to 120 pesos – a raise of approximately $0.35.

Days later, Lexmark fired around 120 of the striking workers. Most of those dismissed had been involved in attempts to set up an independent union to advocate pay increases and improvements in working conditions.

It would seem impossible, but many of us don’t yet realize that the true asset of a company is it’s working force, no matter how much money a company has to invest, no matter how much they claim that ‘they are creating job opportunities’ -for which they get juicy tax rebates if not full tax holiday like in some third world countries, eager to attract foreign investments-, they are NOTHING and they can go NOWHERE without their working force.

We have become accustomed to a culture of replace-ability, our commercial system thrives on making people irrelevant in the working place, we have developed production models that alienate people while making them insignificant  – or attempting to with all our might.

Of course it will be hard to put an end to this culture, mainly because it works, not for the people, but for the corporatism who is willing to trade the lives they don’t care to know anything about – for profit.

They are demanding better working conditions, a living wage, recognition of their right to form independent unions, a halt to sexual harassment, and legal protection from handling hazardous chemicals among other things. The maquila scene has not changed that much for workers since the city established manufacturing facilities fifty years ago.

Most of the demonstrators are laborers who are not paid sufficient wages to provide their families with enough food, clothing, and schooling, much less giving the families the opportunity to move out of poverty. Both the government and employers consider low wages as a “competitive advantage” that is used to attract foreign business interests. The laborers are caught in an impossible situation.

This feudal style corporate employment is a global problem, it pays for some to keep people too busy, too worried, too poor to even consider  other solutions.

regardless of ‘what they are doing to keep things as they are’ we have a solution right up our sleeve, it’s a #BasicIncome, a #livingincomeguaranteed for All, can you see how such a simple solution would turn the negotiating table upside down -for good?

People who have enough to live, pay for a housing, pay for their food, their kids’ needs, their health needs would not have to put up with the hope of ‘having someone generous enough to lift them out of poverty in exchange for their hard work’ – that would be a given, then all the Feudal Employers of the Planet would have to reconsider how they attract their workers and would have to offer much more than sexual harassment and impossible living conditions -that some are now forced to accept.

They would have to provide an attractive working environment, benefits, working models that remember they are often times dealing with talented people eager to learn and do their best to participate in the company’s growth, and then a company like Lexmark,  whose ‘revenue totaled $3.7bn’ last year, would be forced to reconsider how to share the profit including the bottom of the pyramid, because such pyramids can exist only if there is a bottom and unless the Feuda-tards start to realize that, they could go Topsy-turvy in a moment, when their ex-workers move on to more rewarding lives with a Basic Income or with Employers who have had no difficulty understanding or rewarding their companies’ True Assets.

Here is an example of the Future of Employment (an ad by a fast growing IT company)

What We Value

Clear communication, transparency, open-mindedness, empathy and patience are just a few of Buffer’s cultural values. We are looking for a person who understands this culture and will thrive within a team of people passionate about self-improvement, honesty and openness.

Where You’ll Work

You will work in the place that makes you happy, that inspires you daily, and helps you to become the person that you wish to be. You will work daily with team members scattered around the world and across time zones to build a better culture and product.

Get it?

The biggest oppositions to a Basic Income is Fear, the Pharaohs can see that implementing a Given Living for All would dis-empower them, which is not even true, unless one considers ‘Power’ making others lives a living hell to make sure their fear of survival ensures their fidelization to the company.

A Basic Income would change our social models to their very core- equality on the negotiating table will start only when all have a Living Guaranteed – why are not yet giving it to each other – if we are the 99%, who are we waiting for?

#BasicIncome – it’s not just a Solution- it’s a Revolution on the grounds of social justice and equality – we all have the same right to Life, that’s a given, so why isn’t a Basic Income A Given yet?

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Day 328: When McDonald doesn’t pay a Living Wage – You Do

mcdonald budget

Recently  McDonald teamed up with Visa to ‘help’ their workers to make it to the end of the month.

For the sake of understanding this point fully I went and looked for the Mc-Visa budget journal, for sure when two giants such as McDonald and Visa get together, people who had the ability to MasterMind billions of dollars for themselves, you never know, there may be something we can learn from them, could it be that they know how to stretch a dollar in ways we have not considered?

The first thing that I found interesting was the discrepancy between the budget they drew up and what was published by those that reviewed it, in the first budget there was no money accounted for heating – this being a point that proves the disconnection between those that live up in the high floors of those corporations, where do they live, are they even human?  I was briefly in New York for 6 days and spent them inside central Station because the temperature outside was -17 centigrades in February, every year you read of people dying of cold in New York – are they McDonald Employees? This small change, heating, diminished their ‘spending money from 27/day to/day on the projected budget.

Please consider that this vast amount set aside for daily spending includes clothing, food, entertainment and transport, they have only counted your car purchase not the petrol, possibly because they have ways and technologies unknown to the populace that prevent them from relating to the reality of those at the bottom, maybe they drive nuclear cars, Tesla cars, water fuelled cars, maybe they convinced their driver that it his privilege to pay for their petrol, who knows what goes on up there…

The other point that I found comical (and tragic) was that they added 2 jobs to make ends meet, now there is no need to even go further into their calculations, because the point that you considered that your employee must have a second job to be able to live, means that YOU KNOW that what you give him is not a Living Wage  -by any means.

Normally when people with common sense put their pen to paper, they do so to compare if what they have in their Minds is applicable and workable in reality, any Human Resource Director with average intelligence would not have posted that, specifically if he  were trying to prove that his employees are just poor at math and he would show them how it is done.

Instead they went ahead and did post it, so, here is the Resulting Ideal McDonald Employee

He is a childless adult – and will stay that way until he dies

How do we know? well,  we’ll have him work 2 jobs, one, ours, the main one is 40 hours a week, to get an extra 900 USD they have to put in another 20/30 hours a week at the same minimum wage – that comes to 12 to 14 hours a day of work – unless you include weekends, which will leave you so rotten you’ll forget all about sex – plus if you work between 60 to 70 hours a week you would need childcare money – which we don’t give you – there goes a company with a social conscience — don’t we always say the population on earth must be reduced?

He is strong like a mule

he can work 60 to 70 hours a week, that alone takes a lot of stamina, you must be in excellent health conditions for that, this is why we did not budget any healthcare money for you, 20 dollars a month in healthcare will get you band aids and aspirin which is the most you should need – you have no contraceptive costs because we solved that at point 1

He is not into fashion or fancy clothing – or clothing at all

This is why we did not budget for useless clothes when he can comfortably live all his life wearing our provided uniform, even during his second job, many would scream for an opportunity such as this – uniforms are washed by us (are they?) so no laundry costs of any kind – which we did not in fact budget in any way

He is not into buying a home

He can’t with the wage we give him or the second job, we budgeted 600 dollars a month for rent or mortgage, but a mortgage now you can only get it with a deposit of 30% in cash, which at the fancy saving budgeted of 100 dollars a month will take him 30 years to save IF housing doesn’t appreciate of 100% like it did in the past 30 years, if it should he has to save for 60 years before he can have the down-payment money, at that age though no one will give him a mortgage but maybe by that time banks will have found ways to extend mortgage debts to their children – oops wait, he can’t have children – then we suggest he rents, there is plenty accommodation for 600 USD a month is the USA, he has to be creative, if he loves living in the open and opts for a tent in some of his friends backyard, he can save most of the money we budgeted for his rent, so it’s just a matter of being industrious and wanting to have a better life – he must want to live the American dream, this is how America got where it is today

He is not a Foodie

We budgeted an astronomical amount for daily expenses, 25 USD a day, of this he can spare at least 10 for food alone, a McMeal costs 1 dollar, enough said.

If this is Your Dream Job – apply at the closest McDonald.

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In brief, McDonald meeting Visa is like Alice in Wonderland, they can sustain their dream worlds together for a better future (their own) and somehow they hold the belief that if they can convince others that they don’t need REAL money to live, they may get away with it.

All this would be great and dandy, if they were not asking in return real working hours, then we could all have pretense employments at McDonald where we pretend to go to work and they pretend to pay their employees fairly, instead the make belief world of McDonald is a one way world, they are the only one that want to give an unrealistic compensation to people while they fatten up those on top and keep expanding all over the world with real profits, profiting from the lives of those that work for them.

We support a Living Wage as a Human right, for the simple reason that you need money to live and having a life is not what such a budget shows, having a Life means having Equal opportunities to share this world and what goes on here, it doesn’t mean to give the shitty lives out to live just to some, while some live dream lives in their personal paradise.

If you think that your employees can live on such a wage, you should try it out, see if what you wrote in your budget fits You when you LIVE IT out and then decide.

In Italy one entrepreneur, Enzo Rossi,  who was paying the regular legal wage to his employees of 1000 euro per month, tried to live on it and after 20 days when he went broke he  raised their wage of 20%, not because the Law told him, because his common sense told him that if he could not live on it, nor could his employees, period.

One last point about McDonald’s’ employees that is worth noting,  since they are not given a living wage, as in a wage they can live on, it’s obvious that if and when they don’t won’t have enough to pay for their healthcare, they will use Medicare, if they won’t have enough to eat, they’ll use food stamps, so in the end, YOU are the one paying the living wage to those employees because someone refuses to, is this OK with you? Is it OK to be the one that steps in for the Corporations, who are not willing to share their profits with those that make their profits possible in the first place?

Not that the problem is that you pay with your tax money, that is the last of a long list of problems here, the problem is that a NON living wage stays that way, even when  some smart-ass wants to be clever about it and tries to razzle-dazzle people into believing that it’s enough to live on – when in fact it’s not.

Reality is not changed through our imagination, imagining a fair wage doesn’t make a wage fair, it’s the Money that makes lives fair, a Living wage is fair because it allows people to live, giving people not enough to live in exchange for their time, means that their time=their lives have no worth, they have no worth, and supporting a world that promotes a worthless humanity is not how we will get out of this mess.

Support a Living Basic Income for ALL  instead – that will establish a world of HarMoney, where Money will no longer do Harm but will become a support and a way to give to Each Other Worth and a Life Worth Living.

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