By Don Vande Krol, Guest Writer
I’ve spent a good portion of my life building houses and apartment buildings. I was rewarded by earning some money used to support my family.
But, in some ways, I was rewarded in a more satisfying way when the house I participated in building became a home for others. Driving by those homes later, and seeing children playing in the yards, and noticing how the homeowners had added touches to the house which made it distinctively theirs, made me feel as though my contributions to the world made a difference. I was not only building houses, I was building a better world.
In this present world, not everyone has a home. In fact, families and individuals are being forcibly moved out of their homes and onto the streets where they have no protection from the miserable and dangerous cold that is part of the weather pattern where I live now. I’ve always had a warm place to go in the cold, and a place that belonged to me and my family. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be homeless … and yet, I know that is the reality for many people. I also know that the world hasn’t always been like this. I believe it is true that even the nomadic hunter-gatherers had homes – their houses could be picked up and moved when they moved, but they weren’t homeless. With so many who, like me, want to create a better world, how did we end up with homeless people?
The houses I built began in someone’s imagination – either mine, or most often, a professional architect’s – although there was that house that began as a few squares drawn on piece of tablet paper handed to me by a person with hopeful expectations that I could turn it into his dream house. If this world is a construction of our collective imaginations, which I believe it is, what went wrong? Well, it doesn’t really matter at this point, does it? What does matter is for us to imagine something better and then work together to construct that world. What we need is a plan which, not only inspires our imagination, but is practical – not beyond our resources or abilities. Recently I ran across a plan that seems to be just what I’ve been looking for. If this plan inspires the imagination of enough of us, we can begin to build a world where no one has to be homeless.
How would it differ?
Basically, the origin and use of money would be transformed. In a Copiosis world, I would also be rewarded with money, but it would not be money created by debt. I wouldn’t have to take out a construction loan, nor would the people who I built the house for, need to take out a mortgage loan. In fact, a bank would not be involved at all. Banks, in such a world would not even exist. In a Copiosis world, money is given to those who meet the needs of others by an organization of people trained to appraise the net value of gifts. Because shelter is a necessity, it would be provided by a community of givers at no cost to the receivers. Unlike the current world, a distinction is made between necessities and luxuries. A house would be a necessity, a garage built on the house might fall into the category of a luxury. I would also receive money for something that I really enjoy more than putting nails into boards – I would be rewarded with money for sharing my knowledge and experience of building houses with others.
If everything I need to survive is given to me at no cost, what would I do with the money I was rewarded with? Perhaps, after I had provided enough net-benefits to others (including my family), I could trade my money for an upgrade to the carpeting in my house. But then again, with everything I need given to me, perhaps I would not want to be encumbered with a lot of possessions. I could live simply and enjoy watching others enjoy the luxuries that I would be able to give them (money, just like my reputation, would only exist in my account – it could not be given to others).
Is that the sort of world you would like to live in? If so, learn more about Copiosis, and let’s start working on it!