Categories
Opinion | Opinião

A Dignity Money Check

There is money enough for this. It is possible to give a check to each citizen with the necessary amount to survive with dignity. The Gross Domestic Product of my country is 200 000 Million EUR per year. We are about 12 Million citizens, diaspora included. In my crazy math, there’s more than enough money to give 1 Million EUR for each citizen!

Don’t get me wrong. I am not asking for this. All I’m saying is that even a poor country as mine has money enough to share. If governments, politicians and economists were smart, they wouldn’t be afraid of investing money on citizens. When survival and a minimal comfort are granted, citizens are creative and highly productive. They become motivated and inspired. Dignity boosts self-esteem, confidence and the development of skills.

The plague of unemployment and its consequent suffering and mental illnesses are easy to defeat. Give to each citizen a weekly dignity check. Money to end poverty. Move away the specter of fear.

Categories
Opinion | Opinião

Pandeconomics

People are dying. People are fired. People are broke. People are numbers.

The first sentence refers to the pandemic. The other three are day-to-day economics, now stressed by the first one.

I am neither an economist, a capitalist, a communist, a business manager or an union delegate. Therefore I cherished the dream of this intensification of the last three sentences forcing a change to the paradigm of global economy. Reality has another agenda.

On TV the other day an expert said businesses must be competitive or fall. Small and big business managers said there is no margin for a raise on minimum wages. Sacking is mainstream and governments shrug beatifically while giving sermons on not having illusions. The vision on unemployment keeps the same. Are jobs lacking? Too bad. Life goes on to the employed. The others are cast to get in line for social welfare whilst business managers refuse to both paying taxes and keeping jobs. The reason? Businesses must be competitive.

How many businesses are based on offshores and export their job vacancies? How many business headquarters are nothing but post office boxes? How many workers are enslaved on countries with no human rights? Why are these numbers seldom told or not told at all?

Politicians and business managers make haste to discredit such questions by labeling them as extremist, radical and demagogical. The pandemic will not end this. When catastrophe occurs, people in power do not come to their senses. They will only increase their efforts to maintain power.

Pandeconomics means the stressing of people being fired and getting blamed for not working. They will continue to be labelled as parasites by the ones who fired them so that taxes for social welfare are cut. Social classes become only three. Bosses, workers and unemployed. In other words, extremely rich, survivors and extremely poor.

Categories
Opinion | Opinião

The Cold Cold War

They say it ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. By then everyone talked about Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika and glasnost, Boris Yeltsin’s alcoholism and poking of women, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s plans to invade Finland and his night spent with pornstar and ex-member of the Italian parliament Cicciolina. The Russian bear was said to embrace the West, the iron curtain was open and, after fifty years of a nuclear arms race to an ever-growing arsenal capable of destroying life on Earth a few dozens of times, the Cold War was over.

The Soviet Union started to collapse. Eastern Europe republics claimed their independence from Russia, genocidal wars started in some of them, namely the one in former Yugoslavia. Some conflicts are still happening, sponsored by both Russia and countries from NATO. In the meantime, a former chief of the KGB becomes the elected President of Russia.

A few years ago, the spy novels writer John Le Carré said something like this: “I don’t want a microphone on Mr. Putin’s shoe. I want Mrs. Putin working for me.” The faith on technology replacing the investment on human capital turned the Western secret community into shambles, Le Carré explained. The Cold War isn’t over. Actually, spying activities have been increasing tremendously.

Russia and China have learned the hard way how communism as it was ruins economies. So they opened up, each on their on way. One country, two systems, for China, and an oligarchy pretending to be a democracy, for Russia, cartelized savage capitalism for both and their allies. Gas, caviar and Kalashnikovs made in Russia, everything else made in China, Western countries and companies exporting cheap jobs to them. Spies assure the wheels keep on turning, specially to the benefit of the armament, oil and stock exchange industries.

In this cold Cold War, ideology and human rights are lesser important than ever before. A self-centered culture grows fast in both East and West countries, private interests gain a pharaonic predominance legitimized by peoples craving for employment. We are on the verge of a hi-tech medieval age, where people’s souls return to tribal horizons. Intellectual and ethical capacities are submitted to the whims of the elites. Nations will be replaced by corporations. Businesses are to become the homeland of individuals.

Human qualities are no more.

Categories
Opinion | Opinião

Make A Living

They ought to teach that at school. How to make a living? It is odd the bombardment with slogans on having success we all are exposed to since childhood. Even odder is using the term success to define the condition of having a job. Call me a leftish, a socialist or even a communist, I don’t care, but I see employment and dignified wages as basic universal human rights.

Instead of a strictly ruled unemployment allowance, state budgets must deliver to every citizen a guaranteed social income in order to eradicate poverty. The popular theory stating people wouldn’t search for work if they had enough money for food and shelter is, to my eyes, a plain fallacy. Some people might not work, but the large majority would look for jobs or start businesses to both enlarge their income and follow their talents.

I not only believe state budgets have more than enough money for this, specially with strong regulation of real estate prices, as I am sure this would be the smartest investment ever done. Consumption would rise, duly taxed, creative forms of businesses would flourish from potential entrepreneurs and a more sustainable and equalitarian economy would emerge.

Am I being naïve?