Forward Thinking Florida: Gainesville Mayor Considers Guaranteed Income

Karen Madej

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Source courtesy of SEED

Celebrating International Women's Day Every Day

Berlin celebrates International Women's Day with a holiday. The women of Berlin must feel very special.

A gender equal world would be a wonderful place for all women to live. Some men have not embraced this concept and persist in keeping women down, based on antiquated perspectives.

We need to change this outdated point of view. Without women there would be no men and vice versa. To make new human beings we need each other. To raise children, the influence of both parents is the ideal but not a given. Acceptance that all genders are equal in today's world is where we should start.

The partner or person that stays at home to raise the children, keep the home, feed the family is equal to the breadwinner. Homemakers are no less than those they support. Some states recognise this fact of life.

There are nine states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin) that consider property acquired during a marriage to be community property. In these states, marital property is split 50-50 between the divorcing couple. Attorneys

Most of the other states go some way to splitting the spoils of marriage in ways judges deem fair. This might result in 50-50, 60-40 or 70-30 divisions of property.

The divorce settlement in Florida depends on how well you behave

In Florida, bad behaviour is taken into consideration. Called economic fault, divorce lawyers will weigh the value of a spouse's spending on gambling, gifts for mistresses or gigalos, and bankrolling family members when both spouses do not agree. These activities may be considered only as the marriage is breaking down or throughout the relationship contract depending on which state the divorcing parties reside.

According to the Weforum Report 2020 the USA falls short in several areas where women - who still do the majority of child raising and home caring, are concerned.

Work participation and leadership female male value

  • Workers employed part-time, % of employed people 27.99 16.46 1.70
  • Proportion of unpaid work per day, female/male ratio 15.42 9.88 1.56
  • Boards of listed companies,% board members 21.70 78.30 0.28

Many more women both care for the family and work part-time. Many more women work unpaid every day than men. And women lag far behind as board members.

Were women (and enlightened males) paid for their child raising and caring for the home work, they would have choices. They could choose to pay for child minders and house cleaning services while they studied or worked full-time. They could persue careers and be equal in the man's world of money and property.

I'm not saying that all women want careers and to compete or work alongside men in offices and on building sites. I'm saying women have the right to choose. In this capitalist world, money is the equaliser. Therefore, everyone must have money to be equal.

Think about who decided capitalism was the way to go and how it affects our lives today. Rightly or wrongly the majority of wealth benefits 1% of the world's population. There lies the greatest inequality.

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By BrendelSignature at English Wikipedia - Own work (Original text: self-made), Public Domain

Correcting inequality is possible

Community Spring is a non-profit working with poverty stricken people to help them build a better world for themselves. They are also working with Gainesville's Mayor Lauren Poe, on making June 2020's $300 CS Direct check (organised by Community Spring) to make the payment a permenant one. The trial last year, sent $300 dollar checks to 128 households.

At first, many recipients thought it was a scam. However, the results of the experiment showed 77% of people felt empowered. They mostly used the money to pay their rent, untility bills, and for food. Max Tipping, 32, policy director for Community Spring said:

“You have the autonomy and the power to decide where that money goes,”

Giving a no-strings attached sum of money to the poorest people gives them dignity and choices and fewer worries. Which results in less mental health issues, more people moving to full-time from part-time employment. Unpaid workers are compensated for their work.

Mayor Poe is the first Florida mayor to join Mayors for Guaranteed Income. Of the 37 MGI mayors 9 have trials underway or completed and the rest are in development.

I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income. — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO donated $15 million on December 8 2020. This sum guarantees each mayor a $500,000 grant for their pilot scheme.

Mayors for a Guaranteed Income and the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED), Sukhi Samra (25) says:

MGI would love to get a mayor in each state, but that the end goal is ultimately to compile enough data to justify a national guaranteed or universal basic income policy.

SEED shares their summary of key findings on their website.

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A guaranteed income, in the long-term, will boost the economy. For the short-term, people previously living in poverty will be healthier. They will have the time to learn and grow and contribute to the economy in the future. Achievements federal welfare has failed to offer.

March 8, International Women's Day serves to remind us that equality is for the benefit of everyone. We need to change the old-fashioned non-progressive minds, to embrace dignity and peace of mind for all.

Now, more than ever, the 30.6% of Gainesville residents, women and men, who live in poverty, need guaranteed incomes.

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Passionate about climate change and living a debt-free, sustainable life. Determined to learn how to and build an adobe house or Earthship. The goal is to live off-grid and off the land. Energy for heat and to power electrical devices and appliances will use solar, wind, and hydro-powered electricity. No trees will die to make my home.

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