Part 2 Section II in the Series
In Section I we discussed how land allotments and regulations could be used to address a good portion of a household’s self-subsistence needs. In this section, we’ll focus on where the sources of money can be found that round out survival needs and enable a reasonable level of comfort.
On our Homestead land we can produce nutritious food, access clean water, and sustainably extract raw materials for a variety of purposes such as native plants for medicine, clay for pottery making, stone for building, wood for cooking fires, etc. Additionally, it may make sense to purchase some items because we lack the natural resources, time, or skill needed to produce them. An example of this could be clothing. Clothing can be made from plants (cotton, hemp) and animals (hides, fur); the creation of clothing from raw material to finished product is fairly extensive and requires specialized knowledge and skill to produce a quality finished good. Our purchase decision may be to buy the finished clothing item or it may be to buy some fabric and thread to sew it ourselves – either way, we will need to have something to trade for what we need from others. Although bartering (trading one good or service for another) is one method of exchange, the more common method is the use of money (the universally accepted exchange instrument).
We can acquire money by selling a surplus (the quantity that exceeds what we reserve for our own use) of a product we produce, selling our labor toward producing a product sold by others, or a combination of both. But what happens if there is a shortage of employment for the skills we offer, our place of employment closes, a natural disaster ruins our crops that produce the surplus we sell, we become ill, disabled, or frail with age and cannot tend our Homestead or offer our labor to another for monetary compensation? If we don’t have a sufficient safety net, we become beggars or starve.
Enter the Guaranteed Basic Income. The establishment of a Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) serves three distinct purposes:
- Provides seed money for young people to establish their Homestead and a financial base to support their transition to an adult life.
- Provides an income stream to every adult to help them get through times of adversity and change including a survival income at retirement age.
- It’s automatically provided as a Right to every Citizen without the requirement of proving a need; this is contrary to many of the current social safety net programs whose needs-based eligibility requirements negatively impact the individual self-esteem of recipients and produce discord within society.
The GBI amount for each citizen is based on the National Self-Sufficiency Standard (One Adult and One Preschool Child category). It accrues funds each year from birth up until age 18 at an ascending scale rate culminating at 25% of the National SSS at age 25; the aggregate accrued amount by age 18 is disbursed to the Citizen at age 25. A lump sum yearly amount is disbursed to each Citizen beginning at age 18 and continues for life; the amount increases at age 26 to 50% of the National SSS and remains the same until the retirement age of 60 where it increases to 100% of the National SSS and perpetuates at this level for the remainder of the Citizen’s life. An illustration of the Guaranteed Basic Income over the life of a Citizen using the National SSS of $37,881 and the National budgetary cost for the 2020 estimated population of 360 million can be viewed here . The National Self-Sufficiency Standard is to be adjusted up or down once each calendar year in accordance with the Cost of Living Index and once every 3 years with the updated Community SSS; All Communities are to update their respective Self-Sufficiency Standards at least once every 3 years.
The GBI replaces the existing Social Security Pension, Unemployment Insurance, Short-Term Disability Insurance, Food and Childcare Assistance (except for families with more than one child), Transportation Assistance, Housing Assistance, General Assistance, On-Call Jury Duty pay, and Paid Family, Bereavement and Medical Leave.
Eligibility is suspended and not accrued for any Citizen of any age who becomes incarcerated as a result of a criminal conviction; the annual GBI amount that would normally be disbursed to the Citizen is disbursed instead to the incarceration facility at which the Citizen resides to offset some of the associated costs to house and care for that Citizen. Once the Citizen is released from the incarceration facility and re-enters society, the Citizen is restored eligibility for receipt of their regular annual GBI disbursement amount.
It is expected that every able Citizen participate as a productive member of the Commons Economy. With this in mind, the following Guaranteed Basic Income eligibility criterion applies to Citizens of prime productive age (18 – 59):
- Gross Income (including GBI) reported on each Citizen’s annual tax return that fall within the 18 to 59 age range must equal at least twice their annual GBI disbursement amount (Example: GBI is $18,941; Gross Income must equal at least $37,882). The GBI disbursement amount for the following tax year will be reduced by the amount of gross income below the minimum required except when one of the following conditions are met:
- Citizen was enrolled and actively participating in an education degree program for at least 25% of the tax year and is 18 to 49 years of age.
- Citizen has been mentally or physically disabled for 25% or more of the tax year
- Citizen was on protected unpaid leave for 25% or more of the tax year
- Citizen was unemployed for 25% or less of the tax year; as the Nation’s Guaranteed Jobs Program (covered in Part 3 – Economy) guarantees minimum wage work to any Citizen able and willing to work, a lack of income due to unemployment for a period greater than 3 months does not qualify as an exception.
- GBI amounts are to be disbursed no later than 90 calendar days following the receipt of a Citizen’s annual tax return.
Should an illness or injury occur that results in the medical inability of a Citizen (aged 18 – 59) to generate income equivalent to the National SSS for a cumulative period of 6 months or greater in any one calendar year, the National Long Term Disability Insurance will pay that Citizen the difference between the National SSS and the GBI amount the Citizen receives for the entire period of disability up to the retirement age of 60.
To ensure equitable and just compensation for human effort exerted (labor), a wage structure needs to be established.
We have determined that the amount of annual income needed to support a flourishing lifestyle is equivalent to three times that of the Self-Sufficiency Standard. The SSS represents Survival, twice the SSS enables reasonable Comfort, and thrice the SSS provides for adequate Resilience Reserves which culminates in a financial condition that supports a flourishing lifestyle. For example, SSS of $37,881 + Comfort of $37,881 + Resilience Reserves of $37,881 = Flourishing Lifestyle at $113,643.
As the National SSS represents the income necessary for basic survival for a household composed of One Adult and One Dependent, any minimum wage less than this is unreasonable. Therefore, the National Minimum Wage shall reflect the National SSS. This provides our floor for the base wage structure.
Given everyone’s contribution level to an organization’s success varies depending on the type of position they perform and the knowledge (education and experience) they bring to the performance of that position, a differentiation in Base Wage reflecting this should be applied.
The Education differentiation shall be addressed first. We will attach the completion of General Education Degree (aka High School Diploma or GED) to the National Minimum Wage; typically, the GED reflects the completion of 12 years of formal education. The Base Wage increases as additional advanced level degrees are obtained with differentiation based on the typical number of years to complete the degrees as they relate to total years available for employment, and an enhanced knowledge value derived from the education. An Education Degree Base Wage Calculator has been devised for this purpose. The Education Degree Base Wage is the foundational basis used when determining the Position Base Wage.
The Position Base Wage reflects the total wage an individual can be paid for the performance of a specific Position. When an Organization creates a position, they are required to determine certain criteria that an individual must meet in order to be awarded that position. Those criteria would state a minimum value that culminates in a minimum Position Base Pay and a maximum value that places a cap on the base pay the Organization is required to pay should an individual awarded the position meet all of the maximum value criteria. Organizations are required to use all of the following criteria in determining the Minimum and Maximum Value Criteria for each Position within their organization: Education Degree, Post-Degree Specialized Training Certification, Prior Similar Position Experience, Industry or Position Hazardous Risk Factor, Team Leader Responsibilities (Yes/No), Executive Leadership (Yes/No). Organizations may not use any other criteria for determining a position’s base wage. A Position Base Wage Calculator has been devised for this purpose.
The establishment of the Education and Position Base Wage Calculators ensures universal application among all organizations within the Nation. In applying these calculators, employees can be assured of a non-discriminatory and just base wage compensation for the positions they hold within any organization. It also provides a cap on the base wage the Owner or CEO can receive which, when coupled with the Equitable Profit Sharing Structure (For-Profit Organizations) or the Equitable Service Award Distribution Structure (Non-Profit Organizations), promotes an equitable internal monetary compensation structure. This structure also provides wage stability for organizations as position wages do not change with the flow of supply and demand for talent.
You may have noticed that the Position Base Wage Calculator does not include a differential for years of service within an organization. The value for Years of Service to an Organization is taken into account during Profit Sharing and Service Award Distribution.
For-Profit Organization Profit Sharing will equate to 50% of Net Profits. Employee Profit Sharing will equate to 25% and will be distributed in accordance with the Equitable Employee Profit Sharing Structure. Community Profit Sharing will equate to 25% and will be collected as a Province (Time Zone) Tax; re-distributed to Community Non-Profit Institutions not funded with National Tax Dollars in accordance with the Equitable Community Profit Sharing Structure. The remaining 50% of profits shall be retained by the Organization for use as resilience reserves and future investments.
Employee Profit Sharing will be distributed from one pool – to all employees within the pool with one calendar year or greater of employment, regardless of performance unless employees received a Corrective Action Notice during the profit sharing year (employees with Corrective Action Notices within the profit sharing year are excluded from the profit sharing distribution for that year).
- The Equitable Employee Profit Sharing Structure calculates and distributes profit sharing amounts to individual employees as follows: All eligible employees receive a percentage of the pool based on the percent of their gross actual year end wages (includes paid time off and excludes overtime) plus an Internal Service factor as it relates to the total base wages of all eligible employees for that pool. Example: Individual gross actual year end wages + Internal Service factor = $50,000, Total Profit Sharing Wages for Employees Eligible for the Pool is $750,000, Profit Sharing Pool is $200,000 (25% of $800,000 Net Profit); $50,000 / $750,000 = 0.07 so this individual’s share of the profit sharing pool is 7% or $13,333).
- All Profit Sharing recipients are required to place 25% of their total share amount into a qualifying Supplemental Pension Fund.
The Organization’s Net Profit and corresponding Profit Sharing Pool amount must be provided, in written form, to all employees within one month following the organization’s fiscal year end. Distribution of individual Profit Sharing amounts shall occur no later than two months following the organization’s fiscal year end.
Non-Profit Organization Service Award Distribution amounts are calculated and budgeted prior to the fiscal year in which they apply. Eligibility applies to all employees with one calendar year or greater of employment, regardless of performance unless employees received a Corrective Action Notice during the service award distribution year (employees with Corrective Action Notices within the service award distribution year are excluded from the service award distribution for that year).
- The Equitable Employee Service Award Distribution amounts are calculated for individual employees by taking their gross actual year end wages (includes paid time off and excludes overtime), dividing it by their Total Working Years for the degree level necessary for the position they hold, and multiplying that result by the number of Internal Service Years they have completed. Service Award amounts shall be distributed to all eligible employees no later than two months following the organization’s fiscal year end.
- All Service Award recipients are required to place 25% of their total award amount into a qualifying Supplemental Pension Fund.
Click these links to view an example of the For-Profit Base Wage and Internal Service Value Calculator and Non-Profit Base Wage and Internal Service Value Calculator .
The combination of a Guaranteed Basic Income, a Guaranteed Jobs Program (further explained in part 3 of this series which covers the economy), a Self-Sufficiency Standard that determines the Minimum Wage, a Position Base Wage structure that enables differentials while ensuring internal equity, an Equitable Profit Sharing/Service Award Distribution, as well as Homestead land, should provide every Citizen with the opportunity to live a Comfortable lifestyle for the majority of their lives and achieve a Flourishing Lifestyle at some point during their lives.
This concludes Section II. The next section will focus on Healthful Living.