A post appeared on a Musings of a Mad Conservative highlighting innovations the private sector is developing to get around the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). This post triggered memories of conversations I’ve had with conservatives about Copiosis. When they hear the amazing benefits Copiosis produces, it’s hard for conservatives (and most people really) to understand how they can be produced without paying for them.
Take healthcare for example, the topic of the Mad Conservative post. Interestingly, the majority of Americans want more healthcare and more spending on healthcare. The challenge of this of course, is other people are concerned about how all that healthcare will be paid for. This rock-and-a-hard-place situation is where policy makers find themselves. This situation – people wanting more care and more spending on care, but not wanting to pay for it – is also why the problem won’t be solved by the private sector. Western capitalism doesn’t allow these kinds of problems to be solved.
In Copiosis Capitalism, all healthcare (except for elective medical procedures) are provide to all Americans at no cost to them. How on earth can a capitalist system to that? Common thinking defending this question goes like this:
Hold on there. Do you really need to pay people?
Let’s think out of the box starting with a couple of assumptions:
Assumption #1. All human beings deserve healthcare as basic human right.
Assumption #2. Traditional ways of “paying for it” may not work anymore given assumption one. A capitalist country can’t pay for all that healthcare if it is given to people without them paying for it.
These conflicting assumptions require creative thinking. Let’s see if we can do that. First, let’s redefine how our free market works so that the “cost” is isolated. What does it really cost to deliver healthcare? It doesn’t cost MONEY. For most people, getting them to work doesn’t mean paying them, it means providing them a way to get what they want. We think people think they want money. But what they really want is a way to get what they need to live, so that they can spend their time enjoying life, which includes consuming things they want. So the question about COSTS (if you ignore the intermediary of money) is: how do you satisfy people’s wants and needs in a way that will inspire them to work?
First, let’s tackle the needs (food, clothing, healthcare, shelter, education). Let’s provide those for everyone without them having to pay for them (bear with me). People who produce these things (raw material providers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers) now have all the basic necessities they need provided at no cost to them, so they don’t need money to get those things. Remember, everyone is getting these now a no cost, including healthcare. So the people providing healthcare products and services no longer need money to pay a mortgage or pay rent, buy food, etc.
Now, let’s look at those wants. People’s wants aren’t as easy because they vary considerably per person. Let’s classify all those things that people want, generally speaking, as Luxuries. Now, some luxuries are more valuable that others, so we need to capture that value somehow, so that we moderate demand. To do this, we need to use money. But we’re not going to use money as it has been used throughout human history. That causes too much bad stuff to happen. Instead, let’s define money this way:
So now, we have satisfied everyone’s needs and have created a way to moderate demand for luxuries (wants). Left as it is, we’ve taken away a big motivator to people taking action: paying for what they need. We’ve made people lazy (or lazier if you believe people already are lazy)!
But wait, we’re going to motivate people through their desire to consume luxuries. We’re going to do that by paying people. But we’re not going to pay people for the work they do. That’s too arbitrary. What if I work as an assassin? We don’t want that. So instead, we’re going to pay people for the RESULTS their work produces. But not any result. I could still get paid for killing people! Let’s assume we all agreed on a way that accurately determines how much one’s work benefits other people. The more a person’s work benefits another person, the more that person gets paid for her work. If no benefit shows up, she gets nothing. Under such a scenario, a healthcare worker would eagerly provide healthcare services to a person (a patient) because obviously, improving one’s health produces a tremendous benefit for the person receiving the care, right? Now, there are no costs in paying this person, because there are no costs using virtual money. All the IT work needed to support the virtual money is being provided by IT workers in the same way healthcare is being provided by healthcare workers. The healthcare worker’s output is measured according to how much benefit is produced and that kicks out a payment to the worker. The worker isn’t paid by the place where she works, she is paid a third party (there is no need for an employer, the healthcare worker is working independently). Who that third party doesn’t really matter for purposes of this example.
So now we have healthcare workers delivering their valuable services at no cost to the patient. The healthcare worker doesn’t care that they patient isn’t paying for the services, because she is getting paid as soon as the benefit shows up. She uses her money to buy the luxuries she wants. Meanwhile, all her needs are being supplied by other members of her community at no cost to her because those people are getting their money in the same way the healthcare worker is getting hers: by benefitting others.
Briefly explained, this is how Copiosis solves the healthcare problem, and all other problems currently faced in Western capitalism.This is the kind of thinking that naturally transforms capitalism so that it works for everyone. It’s still a free market, but now it’s totally open, fair and gets things done while costing society nothing but the expenditure of resources.