Comment: Solve money and apathy and the rest go away.

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Solve money and apathy and the rest go away.

I'm guessing you weren't expecting such a long dissertation, but everyone on this site should realize that this is not a 'sound bite' problem. Still, I'll be a brief as possible. Please realize that this is a very abridged version.

I understand where you're coming from, but still disagree. You make two major points and I'll tackle the money one first.

The reality of the situation is that in the depths of the issue, it doesn't matter one bit what we use as money. What matters is that the rules surrounding it apply equally to all involved. Since we can't seem to get control of how money is created, we assume that making fiat dollars tied to gold or even a basket of commodities is the only way to end the inflation games. Even the interest / usury issue is one where we look to abstract solutions because we can't solve the root problem. This is wrong headed thinking. To show you why and how, I'll first set up a mini society as an example. I'm keeping it brief, so stick to macro general principles for now, ok?

If a dozen people lived on an island and decided that time spent should be allowed to be saved for future use in barter, then the obvious solution would be to implement some form of money to keep score. When the very first transaction took place, by necessity, it would be one of debt. Bob would thatch Joe's roof and Joe would owe him for some trade imbalance against this labor. Joe would sign a napkin and give it value (promissory note) equal to the agreement. Bob could then trade that as an object of value like any other. When it returned to Joe, he would be forced to trade it for something of inherent value but would be getting something in return that he did not value in the days before money. He can then choose to retire it to clear his debt. We'll call this (A).

Method (B): By allowing the Island (capital "I", aka recognized as an authorized group now) to create money, that entity now needs some income for overhead or a deemed service to be used as a method of injecting its new money into the population. This is unfair to those who have created real value so the net result is that the people constantly lose value to whomever is given the privilege of printing it or whomever is placed in charge.

If the Island deems (by whatever method - addressed below) that it provides worthy services, this could possibly be used to balance the debt incurred by the people, as long as that process was acceptable to all the people.

Another method (C) is to use some material object (like gold of shells) with an intrinsic value as money. This now requires labor to 'create' or mine the money, which then balances the debt out. As such, the value of the money now is variable and market derived so as to keep the miner working at a rate equivalent to the average person.

The last method (D) is similar to playing monopoly. Each time round the board, you collect money and you can choose to use it however you wish. As in the game, this system is highly inflationary because we all know that the longer the game is played, the more money is in play so fortunes are won and lost much easier. It's basically the opposite of option B.

In our society, we currently use a compilation of methods A, B and C. The problem is that we don't implement any of the balances to correct the issues each has. In each case, the method chosen could easily work well and without problems but we failed in the implementation. So here we are decades or centuries after beginning these endeavors and we find it daunting to retroactively correct the errors. As such, many people simply determine that we should restart the game to make things equal once again. But this is hardly fair to those who played by the rules and amassed the highest volumes of wealth.

What I'm proposing is a way that the people of the island (or our society) can relegate money to constantly decreasing significance. If you have watched the Zeitgeist movies, then you're familiar with their supposition that the scarcity of money is the problem. Not withstanding their other suggestions on social control, this one concept is a major branch of the main problem. Unfortunately, it isn't allowed to be discussed because the alternative (assumed as the printing of tons of money) is hyper-inflationary. This is where the free market swoops in to save the day.

If we recognize that the technology advancements of the last century have vastly increased the total wealth of all people, it's easy to see that each person 'should' have more. All we have to do is to find a method of balancing those who now monopolize the massive profits. Specifically, we have to return labor its rightful value in the game as opposed to them losing it to the money changers and tech monopolists. I believe this is much easier than any other method of 'fighting the system'. I also believe we can do it without any government sanctioned rule changes and (wait for it...) even without any mass awareness or mass movement.

By using the free market exactly how it was designed, we can entice workers to join on the bandwagon and by virtue of their high numbers, those reliant on earning a living from the creation and transactions of money will quickly lose their fortunes.

One argument against this is that bringing this much wealth to the people will be strongly inflationary. I disagree with this assertion. Sure, in the beginning when the very first company begins to pay employees multiples of the 'normal' wage, it will drive local prices up, but there is a deeper balance to that problem. When people still have to work for their income, they will always seek out savings. Once they have purchased all the goodies and toys they want, they will quickly turn to quality. Talk of who has the best gadget will become who got the best value, longest lasting, most features, etc. People will quickly stop hoarding because they no longer live under a system of scarcity. Many other social problems (especially all the charity based ones and wealth related crimes) will fade out in proportion to the increased wealth of the lowest classes. The result of all this is that what people now clamor for government to provide, the people will begin providing without hesitation. Who is going to want to be forced to pay taxes for those newly unneeded services? Not too many.

In case you missed the magic action that caused all this, it was for some people to join together to support a given business as long as that business trades debt (including high pressure marketing) for higher wages and a business model of stability (non-growth).

Why and how would this work, you ask? Well, we the people actually have all the money in circulation (as opposed to stockpiled away like the rich do). We can take it out of the rigged stock market and invest in small, local businesses that hold a single owner or tiny group of owners accountable to us. Everyone involved would make many times more money for their role but Wall St. wouldn't make a dime. (A quick illustration is that when I worked at Gateway computers in '94, the owner's adjusted gross income was 11 times the total of all wages paid under him. Instead of going public and cashing in short term, he could have tripled wages or more and his employees would have all become built in customers and salesmen! Now, the company is struggling to survive.)

Ok, on to the government side. So far, this has all been grass roots but to fix the gov problem, we have to recognize that we are indeed the ultimate authority. To illustrate this, one only needs to envision 99% of the population all focused on making any one rule change. One way or another (see Iceland or Greece), no problem or foe can withstand that power in today's age. You can make all the arcane arguments you want (or choose to let other authors do it for you), but the fact remains that those in power have that power because they use money against us and we choose not to assert our authority. The myriad reasons and interrelations of how that money had grown our apathy become irrelevant if we had a consensus on this fact. I proposed a way to give that money power back to the people and now comes the way to give that knowledge to them as well.

So, to circumvent all the sovereignty proposals and all the political games and even all the propaganda techniques, we only must find a foolproof method of gathering that consensus. Herein lies the hard work. My proposal is that we use the internet to provide a platform where this can happen. If done well, people will migrate to it and make it more of an authority on popular opinion. If it contained all the idiosyncrasies and failsafes we currently use to gather consensus, it will appeal to everyone. If not, it will ultimately fail.

This means that it needs to be free form and open to any subject, like DP, but have ranking and a fact checking functions and then a debate function to determine fact validity and so on. It also needs to tap the intelligence of the individual, not group think and allow people the comfort of safety to freely speak their mind. There are too many other features it needs to list here but suffice it to say that in hundreds of discussions over the last 16 years since public opinion on Perot failed to elect him, these solutions have been refined over and over. Now we're in the age of Web 2.0, cloud computing, HTML5, distributed computing and nearly ubiquitous internet access, everything is easily possible. Hopefully very soon, the budget will finally become available and we'll get to try it.

That in place, how do you think it best to 'fix the government' if we got a consensus? I know your numerous points on consensus well, but I see them differently. We do choose to live in a republic because we value the rule of law above democracy or a dictatorship. We just have to return those laws to the wishes of the people. We also have to remove the incentive for people to vote for laws that will favor them over others. Lastly, we need to show people that involvement can become an easy and productive process once again. Just like the parent who gave up telling the teenager what to do because it became futile, the people need a process where they trust that their actions will have results. This, IMHO, could lead those with real solutions to move them to the forefront and get the necessary changes put in place.

I welcome all questions, comments and critiques. That's how we refine an idea. Cheers.