Saturday, October 4, 2014
Redemption and the Right to a Living Income
Here we watch people all over the streets of New York collecting bottles and cans as a way to survive. To them this is their full time job, walking block after block, day after day, going through trash that sits on the corner to collect all and any bottles or cans that can be recycled. Why do they do this? Because for each bottle or can, they can receive five cents. This seems hardly anything to be working so dam hard for, yet they are doing it. They are doing it with their children because they cannot afford childcare, and because they are extra hands to help out, they are doing it without sleeping, they are doing it to afford to live in a one bedroom apartment with seven other people. They are doing it because money matters in the fight for survival and is the only option available to them.
Before you assume to think these are people who put themselves in this situation, as if they deserved it,
think again and watch the documentary. These are people with degrees, who have worked for such companies as Microsoft, who worked at the World Trade Center, who fought in wars for 'our freedom', who cannot survive on the social security they receive alone.
These are people who are doing what they can to survive, because the harsh reality is that if you make one wrong move, you too can be put out on the street without a helping hand. And you will then see what it's really like to live for your survival. Money gives us a buffer, we do not see the extent to the consequence our system of life on Earth creates - because we did not pull the shorter stick.
Anyone who suggest that someone does not deserve a living income, a dignified life with the resource required to survive, simply because they are not working the job we define as 'acceptable' - put yourself in the shoes of another. What would you do to survive. Is your right to food, shelter, hot water, clean clothing more valid then someone who isn't working, or not doing a job we classify as normal? Would you be willing to walk the streets of New York, digging through trash bags in front of fine dining establishment, simply to ensure you can buy yourself a sandwich for the day? What does shame have to do with anything when it comes to survival?
Investigate the Living Income Guaranteed proposed by the Equal Life Foundation. The core principle is that all humans have unalienable rights to life - that means food, water, shelter, clothing, education. These cannot and should not be denied to anyone, whether you are not able to find a job, in between jobs, victim of layoffs, whatever - that no matter your situation, YOU have the right to a dignified life, and that you are not FORCED to sift through the rubbish of other humans to collect your income.