What’s Wrong: Money is designed to compel endless economic growth. Every dollar in every wallet or bank account was loaned into existence with interest. That means the amount of debt is always more than the total amount of money in circulation, putting us all into competition with each other for scarce money. By artificially manipulating interests rates, central banks can (and do) cause economic and social mayhem with a few taps on a keyboard.
Copiosis Solution: Copiosis uses a different kind of money called net benefit reward (NBR). NBR is the reward that society gives people for creating a net benefit. A net benefit is created when the positive aspects of a certain activity outweigh the negative ones. In capitalism, money is earned whenever you can make a profit, regardless of the social and environmental consequences. Some kinds of economic activity do create a net positive effect on society such as libraries, museums, food, and transportation. Other activities, like the industrial, factory farming of animals, create a negative net benefit when all the external costs are factored in. Even so, the practice continues because it generates profit. Profit is blind. However, Copiosis recognizes and accounts for all outcomes of a given activity, rewarding only those activities which provide a positive net benefit to society.
In Copiosis, economic activity will be monitored by an all volunteer “Payer organization” made up of people who are experts in their fields. These “Payers” gather data used to determine how much NBR is awarded. Net benefit is awarded only after it is quantifiably shown how people and the planet have been made better off. This essentially eliminates all activities that do not create a net benefit not by law, but by simply deciding not to reward those activities.
People can redeem their net benefit rewards for luxury items beyond the basic necessities, which are given to all for free. People may also receive net benefit reward for offering luxury items, so long as the consumption of those luxury items does not create a negative net benefit to society. Net benefit reward is both virtual and non-transferable, meaning only the person who owns the net benefit reward can redeem the rewards for luxury goods and services. Once the net benefit reward is redeemed, that particular NBR is retired.
What’s Wrong: Our entire global society, with the exception of Bhutan, measures success by the percentage growth in GDP from the previous year. If more goods and services (of any kind) are exchanged for money, we say that society is progressing. Notice that no attention is put on to the nature of the economic activity. If you have to spend $1000 protecting your website from hackers and malware, that’s a good thing for the economy. If your washer breaks down and you replace it with a new one, that’s good for the economy too, nevermind the resources were wasted. GDP counts all expenditures as positive expenditures, and this is why the current economy has become predatory. Having exhausted the meeting of legitimate needs of people, the economy has now started to create problems for people, forcing them to pay for the solutions. Medical care, for example, is so expensive no one can really afford it. So people must buy health insurance, which has its own problems and often fails to cover medical needs, thus creating a phenomena called medical bankruptcy. The insurance industry at large creates trillions of dollars of profit while affording “protection” for situations the system itself creates! That’s because, at the end of the day, the economy must grow or it ceases to function.
Copiosis Solution: Instead of maximizing GDP, the goal of Copiosis is to maximize net benefit. In today’s economy, people are free to pursue any activity that generates a profit even if it causes a severe net detriment to other people, our economy and the planet. In Copiosis, any activity that doesn’t create a net benefit will cease to continue. This won’t happen because government passes a law prohibiting that activity. It will happen naturally. In Copiosis, only activities that create a positive net benefit for society will be rewarded, meaning that no one will be rewarded for activities that do not on the whole make people and the planet better off.
The Copiosis economy is no longer under any pressure to grow. Unlike money, NBR is not scarce as there is enough of it to be awarded to people whose activities create a net benefit. Every single person will be incentivized to engage in actions that produce a positive effect on society and be rewarded for doing so and our measure of progress will be linked to those efforts. So many activities that go unrewarded today such as child-rearing, looking after the elderly, mentoring, and those that aren’t done today because they threaten industries or jobs or are “too costly”, will get done and be rewarded in Copiosis.
Redefining The Social Contract
What’s Wrong: Human productivity has reached a level where we could easily provide for every human need on the planet. The nature of money means that only those who have it can access the fruits of society. Very few people have achieved the ability to have autonomy over their own time. Meanwhile, the majority of us are being told to be happy that you can find a job at all. In capitalism, our individual survival is directly tied to our contribution to the economy. We live according to the assumption that every person must contribute. But the contribution must fit within certain parameters in order to earn money for that contribution. If we don’t contribute in this narrow range, we can’t survive. For most of human history, our survival depended on everyone putting in their “fair share”. With the kind of production capability available today, this assumption is no longer true (For example, in 1790 America, 90% of the population was needed to grow food to feed the population. Today, only 2% of people are needed to produce the food for the rest.) This production and efficiency explosion has created an abundant society, but our economics is built to thrive on scarcity. So instead of freeing people to pursue their passions, we force them to invent new, unnecessary goods and services and then convince people they can’t live without them, all while contributing to endless landfills and storage lockers.
Copiosis Solution: Whereas capitalism guaranteed the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, Copiosis also guarantees the right to food, shelter, education, and health care. But Copiosis is not socialism. It retains the incentives at the heart of capitalism, the idea that if you work hard, you will be rewarded with nice things. How does it do this without a government getting in the way? Copiosis creates a new kind of organization called the Payer organization which is responsible for observing and rewarding activities that create a net benefit. This organization is open to anyone that wants to be a part of it. While a mathematical algorithm is used to determine how much net benefit a particular action has produced, members of each local Payer organization may adjust each factor based on the priorities and desires of each local community. In Copiosis, human beings at the local level retain ultimate control over what constitutes a net benefit. In this way, people can thrive when the planet and other people thrive as well. Copiosis realigns our incentives with doing good, rather than simply making a buck any way you can.
Net Benefit Reward
|Can be used for nearly any purpose. And can be transferred between people or institutions||Non-transferrable – only natural humans who earned the NBR can redeem it. Institutions or organizations can not own NBR|
|Can be used to make anyone do just about anything including fight imperial wars and clearcut the rainforests.||Only redeemable for luxury items – there is no other purpose as basic needs are provided freely to all|
|Exists both virtually and in physical form, even if it is just paper with special ink on it.||Completely virtual|
|Scarce – The money system forces people into competition for never enough money.||Abundant – Enough NBR is issued to cover all net benefit producing activities|
The math formula is composed of 8 variables each measuring a critical component of producer/consumer activity. Variables are grouped into three main “functions”:
Each variable as well as each function has a “weighting” variable which allows for cultural values differences to be included in the formula.
How Copiosis is like Capitalism
How Copiosis is unlike Capitalism
|Retains the incentive to work and the rewards that come from that work||Producers are not constrained by costs, but instead by net benefit to planet and people|
|Retains the market mechanism as it is applied to earning NBR||Work is refocused on only those activities that provide a net benefit to society|
|Resources still compete for projects, only on the basis of NB instead of profit.||Everyone is provided access to the basic needs without needing to work at all, freeing people to participate (or not) in whatever projects or activities that produce a net benefit. Those providing those basic needs are rewarded NB|
|Production decisions are made by producers – the people who make things, not by a central committee or government||There is no government restraining what producers make or debt that hamstrings people’s creativity|
|The best product “wins”||Many pursuits that go unrewarded in capitalism are rewarded in Copiosis|
|Those who benefit more people are rewarded more||There is no credit. If you want a luxury, you must have the NBR for it|
|Consumerism exists, but in an enlightened state, balanced by other factors as all persons are granted autonomy over their own time and become able to pursue the art of living.||The workforce is highly mobile. No longer do people have to live where they work nor are they required to live someplace they don’t like, because that’s the only place they can find work|
|Justice still exists, property and individual rights are still protected. Justice system workers are rewarded only when their solutions produce net benefit.||There is no copyright or patent protection in Copiosis. All innovation is shared openly with the goal of maximizing NB.|
|A person can still become very wealthy if that’s what a person chooses to do.||Corporate personhood no longer absolves people from the consequences of their decisions…because organizations can’t own NBR or make decisions|
|Property may be passed on to future family generations||There are no economic fluctuations in Copiosis such as unemployment, recessions or depressions because getting things done is not constrained by our ability to pay for labor or resources|
|The financial sector no longer exists, including activities related to market speculation, hedging, banking, etc.|
|Insurance is no longer necessary as replacing goods that are damaged is no longer cost prohibitive|
Computers are complex manufactured goods. Here is how such a product would be made in a Copiosis economy, generally. Many steps are left out for brevity (such as component and prototype selection and testing, quality assurance and inspection processes, focus group testing, manufacturing process design, etc.) but these omitted process are similar to the ones below.
The process is not much different than how a computer is designed today. Only the accountability and the reward process differs. But because of these differences, the decisions made in the process are much much different than how such decisions are made today.
Design teams would specify basic expected features users want. But they would not stop there. Their objective is to maximize their individual Net Benefit Rewards by maximizing the net benefit to consumers and the planet. So the design team would design the computer to minimize negative environmental effects of building, distributing and using the computer, while packing the computer with as many other features as possible.
Because of this, this team obviously would be composed of far more people than coders and product engineers. This team would spec a computer that would last as long as possible, with parts that can be upgraded constantly through its life. The computer would likely also provide functions computers today do not, such as biometric monitoring information that could benefit the health of the user in some way for example. It might also be designed for effortless end-of-life recovery and recycling. Perhaps a personal safety function would be included that would read carbon monoxide in the air and send an alert if necessary.
The manufacturing process would use the absolute minimum in resources and those resources would be of the most abundant possible. Sourcing those resources would be accomplished in the most sustainable manner.
Now, you could say that is what happens today. However, with cost measured in money, that’s not what really happens. What happens is the least cost sustainable resource, process, labor and or design is usually the one that is used. Then scale is used to gain cost efficiencies: The more computers that can be made, the more costs can be allocated to more units, thereby decreasing per unit costs, which equal larger profits. Trade-offs between costs and the environment are always being made, often with the environment losing. That is why, for example, you see mountains of computer carcasses littering African cities and poisoning water, soil and people there with rare elements used to make them. It costs to much to include in the design an efficient way to reuse old computers.
In Copiosis, the computer maker isn’t constrained by cost because it doesn’t pay anybody for anything. Costs therefore don’t exist. So trade-offs aren’t needed. Suppliers are rewarded for the net benefit they create by contributing to the computer maker’s production process. This frees the computer maker to make the absolute best product possible with no regard for costs but with every regard for their process’ effect on the environment.
Once the design spec is near completion, the work would go to engineers (both on the software and hardware sides) who would begin designing these capabilities into code and into the hardware.
Meanwhile, supply chain coordinators ff would begin sourcing factories, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), tooling requirements, etc. for building the computer. They would coordinate with these contractors and suppliers to ensure their bill of materials and specs are met. Suppliers and contractors, knowing their businesses better than the computer maker, would likely offer new compelling ways to improve the maker’s specs and processes. Thus making the computer making process even more efficient (i.e. even more positive net benefit producing). Coordinators might help the computer maker meet new suppliers and contractors with even better ideas.
Once relationships are in place and the process is determined, materials and equipment would be allocated.
One or more OEM factories would be allocated to assemble/make parts. The OEM factory owner would simply offer her factory and, if chosen, she and her co-workers (there are no employees) would receive NBR for producing the computers.
Raw materials would be ordered – Natural or existing materials would be converted to processed materials. Waste plastic, for example might be grinded up and converted to pellets that can be used to create computer housings, for example. At that step, everyone who was involved in collecting, grinding and turning waste plastic into new plastic substrate delivered to the factory, would be rewarded NBR once that processed material was delivered. They benefitted the factory (and society) by providing the net benefit of converting a waste stream into a useable material. Once all materials arrived at the factory, the factory would use them to create the computer parts. Once complete, computer parts would be shipped to the assembly factory. Once those parts arrive at the assembly factory, everyone responsible for converting the natural and waste stream “raw” materials into computer parts would be rewarded NBR for the net benefit of enabling the computer maker to make computers.
At the assembly factory, the parts would be assembled into computers.The computers are then shipped to various locations where consumers can obtain them. Once the computers are consumed, i.e. being used by consumers in however way that looks, everyone responsible for creating those computers is rewarded NBR. This includes the people responsible for helping the consumers choose this computer.
So long as the computers remain in use, everyone who contributed to the consumer benefitting from using that computer continues to receive a recurring periodic reward. Once that usage stops though, everyone stops receiving that recurring “income.”
Upstream suppliers don’t receive this recurring “income” stream. They benefit from the vast amount of net benefit they produce in providing the material going into huge numbers of parts and processes.