Someone recently wrote a comment about Copiosis’ Net Benefit Rewards (NBR) framework and jobs no one likes to do. We share both the question, and answer because we know many ask similar questions.
The writer asked: “NBR = money so who decides what effort merits a single NBR and who decides how many NBR goods or services are worth? [Also] Many distasteful, dangerous and monotonous jobs will never get done if everyone gets necessities without working for them. So these jobs should come with the highest rewards.”
While many think the comparison accurate, NBR bears no resemblance to money. Differences between the two show how money and NBR work in distinct ways.
For example, money works when people pass it between one another. When a person buys something, the money that the thing “costs” goes into pockets of those making that thing.
People use money to do productive things (for them, society and the planet). But they also can (and do) use it for terrible things.
Money also represents a store of value, a “legal tender” of a nation, and facilitates two-way (buyer/seller) exchanges. Money also creates a zero-sum game mindset, where people think “if he gets money, that means I can’t get that money”. This holds true in every organization with budgets, including businesses, government, nonprofits, even families.
NBR doesn’t work like that
People can’t use NBR in any of these ways. Nor does it produce any outcomes money does. For one, NBR comes from no where and gets created at will. People cannot pass NBR from one person to another. So buyer-seller transactions do not exist with NBR.
Another key difference: with money, a person or organization gets their “income/revenue” immediately, with little regard for results produced when people consume what they make. Even after we know a person or organization’s product produces great harm, usually producers keep their income/profits. Cigarettes and illegal drugs, human trafficking and the endangered species trade offer examples.
Not so with NBR. Producers don’t get any NBR until results show up. So a big delay happens between acts and awards. That’s one reason necessities go to all at no cost.
But producers can accelerate their NBR award, or narrow the gap between act and award, by doing as much research on results/impacts up front, in trials, tests and simulations. That way they make sure their product produces as much good as possible and as little comparative harm.
So big differences exist between how money works and how NBR works.
Effort doesn’t matter
The next point was “who decides how much effort merits a single NBR?” In Copiosis, “effort” doesn’t factor into how much NBR a person gets. The algorithm measures what happens (results). So if one produces Net Beneficial results in a minute (such as saving someone from a burning car), or those results come after a year (such as defending the country), then results one produced (what one did, what resources got used, and the benefit/harm resulting) gets considered. Not effort.
Time-banking proponents think everyone should get equal income for each effort-hour going into work, because every human hour counts equally. While we agree with the philosophical point of human time valued equitably, what people do with that time differs greatly.
So we measure and award results. Not time invested, counted as effort.
The community also weighs in because the algorithm considers neighbor, peer and colleague perspectives alongside algorithm variables. That way one’s local, regional and national communities shape what gets awarded.
So the short answer is: you, your community and the algorithm together decides, but “effort” gets ignored.
Measuring worth or value
Next, the writer asked: “Who decides how many NBR a good or service is worth?”
Short answer: nobody. But this is a trick answer. 😊
Goods and services contain no inherent value on their own. Again, the algorithm only cares about results, not a product’s supposed intrinsic value. After all, one person may value something highly. Another, on the other hand, might consider that thing worth no value or even negative value.
But results contain easily-measured value. That’s what gets measured and that’s what a person gets awards for. We built measurement criteria into the algorithm and those criteria exist transparently on our website. This video describes them generally.
That said, the person who makes a product or service decides how much NBR a person must “burn” to consume their output. This sort of acts as a value measure. One decided only by the person making the thing, no one else. So “value” is in the eyes of the producer, not the consumer.
But remember, NBR isn’t money. So if I put a gateway of 50NBR on my product, when someone “burns” 50 of their NBR to consume my thing, I don’t get 50NBR. Instead, I get an ongoing stream of NBR income reflecting ongoing benefits my thing creates for the consumer and the planet as that person uses my thing.
Does money work that way? Decidedly not!
This video details how producers make the world awesome while also getting rich without taking money from consumers:
What about those jobs?
Finally, the writer asked: “Many jobs will never be filled if people get all their necessities without working. So such jobs should merit some of the highest rewards.”
We totally agree. And that’s how the algorithm works. The fewer people willing to do a particular task or job (such as distasteful, disgusting or dangerous ones) the more NBR those who do that task get. So unlike today, people doing the crappiest jobs, jobs which produce great benefit, get the richest…for a while.
We expect as time passes, people will invent ways around such jobs, making them obsolete. When they do, those people will get rich…for obvious reasons!