We got a great question the other day: What happens in Copiosis if a capital good owner gives out his goods to a project and it fails? The project uses resources but does not in the end create value?
We’ve been trained to believe that failure is bad. In capitalism, failure often means loss. In Copiosis, anything that produces something creates some kind of value. Even if that value is just learning. But that doesn’t mean we want all producers out there failing to turn valuable resources into failures, even if we do learn something.
Capital goods owners are one of many checks and balances in Copiosis that ensures resources are used productively. But they aren’t the only ones on the hook. Producers who receive the capital goods are responsible too. As are those working with producers. In effect everyone is responsible for outcomes because everyone is on the hook.
This is where cautious trust comes in.
First, producers have to assure capital good owners that many of the potential risks have been accounted for. Also, the team has to demonstrate to the owner that they have the skills and knowledge to handle “what ifs”. To hedge against risk, a capital good owner may give a small amount of resources to test the idea and the team. Unlike today, where there is a great rush to results, in Copiosis a lot more forethought and planning needs to occur to make sure a project has the best chance of success. So the owner and the team will have to do a lot of pre-planning, contingency planning and risk assessment to guarantee as much as possible success.
For “projects” with established successes, such as an on-going manufacturing operation that makes a good that is well-known, in demand and constantly needed, then capital goods producers are rewarded more quickly as the product follows a well-established life-cycle. In this case we know the operation is successful…But in the case of a new project, one never done before, everyone is on the hook .
Is someone observing the progress of projects?
Yes, there are payers who are observing the work, as well as other “free lancers” doing the same…and being rewarded. There would be auditors paying attention too….people who have succeeded at similar work in the past, for example might pay attention to the project, offer advice and consultation…all these people are helping ensure the project doesn’t fail. That is a high Net Benefit activity in my opinion.
Now someone might say capital good givers should be rewarded no matter what. It’s up to the producer if he messes up….then no nbr. Such a person might ask: Why does the capital good owner have to act with cautious trust in the beginning?
Why should the capital good giver be rewarded no matter what? Copiosis is about personal responsibility at every level, owning the consequences (good or bad) of every decision you make. You can’t say “well, that was the producer’s mistake so I should not be penalized for giving goods to him”.
Yes, you should be responsible because you were the steward of the resources you gave and own. You as the steward are STEWARDING nature’s (the planet’s) resources. As a STEWARD you are RESPONSIBLE for how they are used. And since YOU are giving them to someone to be used, as a steward, you should be mindful about who you give nature’s gifts to. We are all connected to each other in a vast web of teamwork. That network includes the physical world’s resources. So we all have responsibility.
So, no, the giver is not let off the hook. The “risk” is ultimately on the capital good producer. And the project producer and his or her team. If the project is not successful, everyone is to “blame” because the capital good producer didn’t do her due diligence to ensure her goods would be used in a way that was beneficial to people and planet.
In Copiosis, there is no one to blame but yourself for your actions. So if a project you give resources to fails, you own that decision. No one is free from the responsibility of their actions.