All Humans: Priceless

photo credit: diversity untitled blue

In a previous post, I wrote about how using physical money is a terrible way to run civilization, mainly because money was created by governments to finance wars, not to make civilization work.  Money and markets care little for people.

At the end of that post, I argued that we can do better.  I believe net-benefit reward (NBR) is better way to  reward people for creating things, taking risks, and making civilization work.

NBR is not like money

NBR is a value-based form of reward.  Negative results (human harm, environmental damage, wasteful processes, etc.) merit no reward.  Net-benefit reward quantifies the positive results of a given action and subtracts the quantified negative results of that action = net benefit.

NBR is given only after all the facts are known.  Money doesn’t work that way.  Producers in today’s systems can rake in a lot of dough well before the effects of their actions are known.  Some of them are punished after the fact.  Others get a financial slap on the hand compared to how much money they make. Cigarettes, the Corvair, pesticides, and other chemical compounds, and certain medical devices are great examples of production that earned producers a lot of money, while resulting in harm to people, the planet, or both.

NBR is non-transferrable.  That eliminates the two-party transaction dilemma of unequal power, which gave rise to the saying “buyer beware.”  Where there is a buyer and a seller nearly always there is unequal knowledge about the transaction, leading to an inequality in power.  The one with more knowledge (more power) tends make the better deal.

In Copiosis, three-way transactions are the norm.  When a consumer wants a product, she doesn’t hand her NBR over to the producer or the seller.  The producer or sales person offers the good, and if the consumer accepts it, her NBR goes out of existence.  Once the effects of her consumption show up in the real world, e.g., the consumer uses the product and sees some results from using it, the NBR algorithm (via the Copiosis Organization) rewards the producer and seller with NBR based on the perceived benefits to the consumer, to society, and to the planet.  The producer and the sales person are rewarded by society, and this three-way transaction is unique to NBR.

Money is always backed by something, even if just a promise by government to make good on the debt the money represents.  NBR is not backed by debt, gold, or other standard and doesn’t need to be.  It is simply a measure of how well a producer’s action benefits people and the planet.  The way NBR is used to obtain luxuries eliminates inflation, deflation, and other market fluctuations typical in capitalist systems.

The only thing determining the size of one’s net-benefit reward is how well one’s actions benefit the planet and the people on it.  So if you’re a farmer and you raise crappy produce no one wants, you are rewarded accordingly.  If you’re a scientist and you produce a lot of faulty conclusions, you get no reward.

On the other hand, if a farmer feeds a town with her apples, uses scrap wood to generate electricity, uses her “waste” apples to help the pig farmer down the street feed his pigs, and hosts kids on her farm as an educational experience every quarter, she gets a lot of NBR for all this beneficial action.  You see?

The algorithm might be worth reading about: Here’s a link to the latest discussion on the current version.

About lazy bums

Let’s say someone doesn’t want to produce anything.  Can he can still receive NBR?   No.  He’s producing no benefit for others or the planet, and still his necessities are provided to him at no cost by producers who earn NBR for keeping him and other people alive and well.

So it’s no big deal if folks don’t want to do anything in Copiosis.  But my guess is that luxuries in Copiosis, just like today, will be so compelling that people will want to make other people and the planet better off because that’s the only way they can get them.  What’s different in Copiosis vs. capitalism is that no one is forced to do anything. You don’t need NBR for your necessities.  You can’t get into NBR debt.  Your NBR can’t be transferred to someone else.

If you had no debt and you couldn’t make any, and if all your necessities were provided at no cost to you (including education and healthcare), what would you do with your time?  Would you just sit around and be lazy?  For a time, perhaps.  My guess is most people would do things that benefit others or the planet.  That’s what we are hard-wired to do.  Copiosis and NBR unleash humanity to follow their hearts, their passions, their desires.  The vast majority in the world today are decidedly NOT doing that at their jobs.  In Copiosis, many jobs will go away because people will do things they like to do, not things they need to do to earn a living.

Of course, some people will be able to do more than others, thereby receiving greater rewards.  No problem.  You can’t amass power with NBR, because anyone’s NBR is worthless to everyone else.  You can’t control others with your NBR, because NBR is non-transferable.  NBR means no bribery.

What about the mentally or physically disabled? These people are well cared-for by family members or other people who are passionate about such work.  In either case, providers are benefiting another human being, so they’re getting NBR.

Mentally and physically disabled people are rarely totally incapable.  It’s just that their contribution is not often valued highly in our current system.  These people can still read, write, talk, tell stories, lift things, care for animals … there will be many ways they can earn NBR.

What is the value of human life?

Every human is priceless.  In Copiosis, we don’t assign worth to people or positions.  We assign “worth” by measuring effects.  If a high school student invents a cure for a disease, she will receive NBR when her invention cures people and not before.  Everyone in Copiosis can earn unlimited NBR by benefitting others or the planet.  Some may be limited due to aptitude and capability, but so what?  They still have their necessities provided at no cost to them and there are plenty of ways for them to produce benefit for others, thereby receiving NBR.

Negative human elements are soothed in large measure by everything I just shared, although some will still be mean, nasty, jealous, and envious.  Copiosis is not Utopia.   However, the effects of such emotions are addressed much better in Copiosis than currently in the United States, and there are plenty of options for getting relief from such emotions and learning to handle them productively through counseling and other therapies, since healthcare is provided to all at no cost.

So, in essence, people grow-up in our system.  It’s funny because we were just talking about how Copiosis demands that people grow-up in order to succeed in the new world it offers.  This growing-up is already happening among the people helping to make Copiosis a reality.  So I’m encouraged by that and buoyed in my belief that I know what I’m talking about 🙂

Job scarcity doesn’t exist

Some people will argue that there can only be so many of each type of job position in Copiosis and so those who don’t get one of those positions will likely feel envy, jealousy, or anger and will act from those emotions.  It is impossible for there to be infinite amounts of the same position they would say.

There are plenty of opportunities for people to do the same work, or a derivative, in Copiosis.  Job scarcity exists today because people are paid money for such positions and there is only so much money to go around making such positions limited.  In Copiosis, people are rewarded for results.  No matter how many people want to be carpenters, they can all be carpenters.  Not everyone is passionate about carpentry, and natural limits will take care of distributing people into the right occupations.  There will be plenty of opportunities to benefit people and the planet.

With NBR, Copiosis focuses producers on two things that have inestimable value: People and Earth.  Rather than using something designed to finance the destruction of both of these through war, doesn’t it make sense to switch to something that honors the priceless value of both humanity and the planet?

I think so.

Usher in the post-government era now.

MAKE GOVERNMENT UNNECESSARY.001Nations with Traditional economies always have government. Do Copiosis Economies have to have a government?  Of course, that depends upon what one means by the word “government.”

Referring to a dictionary, the most appropriate definition we can find is as follows:

5 a: the organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions and which is usually classified according to the distribution of power within it.

But there is also 5 b which could be considered:

5b: the complex of political institutions, laws, and customs through which the function of governing is carried out in a specific political unit.

[The term “govern” (from 5b) is defined as “to exercise continuous sovereign authority over; especially: to control and direct the making and administration of policy in.”]

In a Traditional Economy that authority comes from the control of force, that is, if you don’t do what they say they can hurt or kill you.  The military and police are the instruments by which this force is organized.  These parts of government play their roles in the expectation of being paid for their services.  There has never been a government in which the military and police were not paid by the “sovereign authority” whether that authority was an individual (king, despot, ruler) or group (the Roman Senate) or legislative body (the English Parliament).

Obviously, the functions of police and the military will be necessary for a Copiosis nation even as it is for Traditional Economy nations.  The police and military of a Copiosis nation will have to be paid.  They will be paid by the Copiosis Organization. But does that organization constitute a government?  Does it “control and direct”?  Does it “exercise authority”?

The Copiosis Organization does not control nor direct nor exercise authority.  Each Volunteer only pays after the fact.  Each pays only for the consequences of the actions of individuals.  Volunteers give no direction.  They give no orders.  They tell no one what to do.  The Volunteers only respond they do not initiate.  The Volunteers have no authority to tell anyone what to do, not even each other.  The Volunteers have no power to punish.  There would be millions of Volunteers in an economy the size of the United States and each would be independent, making up her own mind about whom to pay and how much to pay them.  (Since most Volunteers would be old, there will probably be more women Payers than men.)

What about the “organization” or “machinery through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions”?  We have already indicated above that those who perform the military and police functions would be paid for doing so but not controlled by those who pay them.  The same would also be true for any other actions by individuals which accomplish those functions of government which produce benefits.  The criminal justice system (beyond the police), for example, would be paid for their actions if those actions result in Net-Benefit.   Judges would be paid based on the consequences of their decisions, not on whether their decisions matched the law.  The same is true for all the other roles individuals play in law enforcement.  It will no longer matter what the law is since the law is neither an excuse nor a justification for any actions.  All that will matter is the consequences of one’s actions.

Therefore, the government will have very little to do.  There will be no laws to pass concerning human behavior since such laws would not be enforced unless their enforcement brought benefits.  But laws would also be unnecessary since if the behavior they require brought benefits then people would already be motivated to act that way.  If the behavior they prohibited caused damage, the behavior would already cost those who did these acts money.  Plus, others would already be trying to prevent those actions even without the law.  The government would have and spend no money at all (and not tax at all) so there would be no appropriations bills.  Various Cabinet posts and their entire departments could cease to exist.  There might be something for the Secretary of State to do but little for the others.  About the only role remaining for government officials would be to represent the nation in relations with the governments of other nations. An important job. But nothing as expansive compared to what we have today.

In many respects one might even consider the result “anarchy.”  But that term merits definition since it is used in many ways.  The definition which fits best for this situation is “absence of government.”  There would be no disorder since disorder would cost a lot of people a lot of money.  No one gets paid for chaos.

Another definition of anarchy is “a utopian society having no government and made up of individuals who enjoy complete freedom.”  That comes near the situation except for that word “utopian.”  The Copiosis society would by no means be a utopia.  There will always be plenty of problems to address and difficulties to overcome.  Mother Nature will see to that even if people get along with each other much better.  But since a Copiosis society would have almost no government and since the individuals of that society would not be constrained by law or the government, one could say they “enjoyed complete freedom.”  Always bearing in mind that behaving irresponsibly would cost those individuals income they might otherwise have gained.

My conclusion is that shortly after the adoption of Copiosis, a nation would experience a rapid withering away of that bureaucracy which we are now pleased to call government while at the same time the functions of government would be performed far better and more dependably than ever.  The whole idea of a government as a controlling or directing agency will come to seem strange and abhorrent.

Do you really want a job?

No one wants a jobSally is a single mother. She successfully escaped poverty by creating her own preschool. Natural choice: she loves children.

Her passion creates value: preschool is full, parents and children love it. Her paid staff (two other women) love it too. Partly because Sally pays higher than standard wages.

Three years in Sally is making it. Not on her own though. Sally relies on family to make her life run. Her mother owns the home doubling as school and household. A wealthy sister regularly sends care packages full of new clothes for Sally and her daughter. This sister also takes Sally on trips – to California, Idaho, Washington – to visit family and get away. Sally uses her sister’s login for movies and entertainment.

Preschool is exhausting. When the last child is gone, Sally is relieved. The day’s not over though. There’s cleaning, prepping, laundry. Administration. Then there’s tomorrow.

Sally provides parents support much like how her sister supports her. Sally’s effort allows people to to spend their effort in jobs that make the economy go. Someone must watch the kids. To these adults Sally provides value and service.

How many of those parents trade time with their kids for jobs which, given the choice, they would never choose to do? If you find work, passion and job in alignment in your life, lucky you. Most people working jobs on the planet aren’t so fortunate.

Humanity would be better served with more people who find alignment between work and passion and job. Funny thing is, when the first two align, the last one disappears. We don’t want more jobs. We want to work. And we’d prefer that work aligned with who we are, not with what we need.

How to get rid of taxes while keeping excellent public services

END TAXES.001I filed my taxes before the extended COVID deadline this year.  That brings to mind the relationship between a Copiosis citizen and the government of a Copiosis state.

Every nation state in the history of man has used a money represented as a physical object.  Money which is or represents physical object(s) can be taken from you against your will.  It can be used to buy any goods or services from anyone.  Therefore, everyone wants the money you have or might have some day.

The “everyone” includes your government.  From the township or county level through the state to the federal level there are a wide variety of taxes and fees which the various governmental units levy upon citizens and anyone else who happens their way.

This is motivated by the nature of our money and is made possible by the nature of this money. After all governments need your money. In return you get services. Some you probably like. Others, maybe not.

Copiosis economies will not likely have governments. Even if they do (temporarily) will they collect taxes?

Net Benefit Rewards people get and use to consume luxuries is not a physical object and it does not represent a physical object.  When earned, it comes into existence in the Producer’s account. That increase doesn’t come from any other source.

The people whose decisions result in it being there do not lose any of their reward income as a result of crediting the earner’s account.  When the account owner spends it, their Net Benefit Reward is deducted from their account balance.  It is not transferred to another account, it is deducted from the owner’s account.  That’s it.  No more, no less.  Thus NBR spent goes nowhere. It ceases to exist.

Therefore, even if a Copiosis government wanted to take Copiosis “money” from a citizen (or someone else) it couldn’t.  For one, only individual humans own NBR accounts.  There is no “Uncle Sam” account representing the government.  Second, Net Benefit Reward can’t be moved from one account to another.

So how does government pay its bills?

The government has no bills.  The Copiosis “government” has no Net Benefit Reward Account and no budget.  The Copiosis government cannot loan or borrow Net Benefit Reward.  If some office of government needs a desk for performing its paper work and someone chooses to give to that office worker a desk and if that worker uses that desk to do work which deserves to be rewarded, the person who providing the desk will also be rewarded.

So long as that desk is useful in producing benefits to others, the person who gave the desk will be rewarded.  The office worker doesn’t pay that person.  The government doesn’t pay that person.  The Copiosis algorithm does.

What about the persons who provided the wood and metal and tools to make the desk? What about those who contributed labor making it?

Yes, they get rewarded in the same way. Those who moved the desk from the desk factory to the office get rewarded too.  The person using the desk also gets rewarded. So in essence why does “government” need money?

Functions government does today get better in Copiosis because those “desk people” get rewarded only when that government function creates Net Benefit.  Enforcing rules just for the sake of created government revenue produces no benefit. Red tape produces no benefit.  Being rude or insolent to citizens needing services reduces Net Benefit.

In other words, the better job that worker does, the more NBR the worker gets and the more all those who contributed to that work getting done get too.  Workers who do well will have suppliers of equipment and other resource providers asking them to accept their materials.  Workers who perform poorly find they have nothing to work with and someone else does the work in their place.

(As an aside, there would be remarkably few government workers since there would be almost nothing for the government to do but, that’s a subject for some other article. Suffice it to say this is why there likely are no governments of any kind in Copiosis.)

So what taxes are collected?  What about import or export taxes?  Nope.  No taxes of any kind. What about property tax?  No taxes of any kind.  What about inheritance tax?  No taxes of any kind 😊.  What about…No taxes of any kind at any time for any reason by any level of government under any circumstances.

Government in a Copiosis economy has no taxes, no need for taxes, and no means by which to collect taxes because everything happens in Copiosis without needing taxes.

I hope that’s clear.  NO TAXES.