A question of natural resources

1383634_621685894541734_856692664_nEditor’s note: We had a visitor ask a question and thought others might have the same or similar questions. 

Question: Since everything in Copiosis is property, and all property is owned by someone, what is the story around basic resources?  How are resources allocated to provide the most Net-Benefit? How is this determined and by who?  How does somebody own the basic minerals, water and air?  Where does the concept of the commons and community property fit in? 

 

In every case, things are allocated by private individuals according to their private interest. This also applies to basic resources in some cases. In others, the allocation is determined by the community at large through the Payer Bureaucracy (which is the supporting organization of the Payer Organization).

For minerals it’s easy: the land in which the minerals are located are owned by a private individual. That person has the ownership right to manage that land as he sees fit for his own benefit according to how the economy works. Ownership in Copiosis is more akin to “stewardship” than “ownership” as we know it today.

Today, we have entities responsible for managing water “rights”. There are water utilities (munis). There’s the US Environmental Protection Agency and others. There are agreements in place dating back hundreds of years detailing who has “rights” to water. In a Copiosis Economy the people best suited to take ownership of property are the ones likely to do so. You wouldn’t want my mom being in charge of the water in your town. But you’d probably be ok with the Senior engineer of the Water Bureau or Water Utility in your town managing that resource, wouldn’t you?

Let’s assume your answer is yes. Now, that engineer only owns the “resource”. But he can’t own all the assets used to manage that resource. There are too many tools, vehicles, pipes, switches, computers, pumps, etc. He also can’t “own” the natural aquifer where the water is sourced, the tributaries that feed it, the watersheds that feed tributaries or the vast range that feeds the watersheds. He also doesn’t own the clouds that bring the water, or the sun that gets the whole process going.

However, there are lots of people who also work in the Water Bureau who could own parts of this “resource system”. The men and women who maintain the pipes, valves, spigots, the guys who drive the service vehicles, the scientists who test the water, the security people who keep the system safe….all these people in a Copiosis Economy, if they choose, could take ownership of specific aspects of the water utility system. All these people could then own and manage their portion of the system as they see fit. Of course, they would have to do so in a coordinated fashion. They would also have to coordinate with users of all kinds as well as the Payer Organization, to make sure the system operated in a way everyone agreed was the optimal use of that system. Coordinators would obviously help with that.

There’s bound to be disagreement, that’s why there would be mediators (current-day judges) to help come to fair and equitable decisions on such matters. Copiosis dramatically alters the Justice system. But that’s a whole other story.

Water “rights” such as those out of streams and rivers are a different matter. That said, those rights are still managed by someone. It may be the (I think) US Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and other federal agencies. In Copiosis, those agencies go away, but the people who work in those agencies don’t. They can continue (if they want) working on these issues. The good news is, these issues suddenly become free of the political machinations that make these things so contentious. In fact, the political appointees to all these agencies and organizations – the directors, administrators and such – they no longer have a role to play in managing the resources, unless they want to and can adequately perform as coordinators.

Also, our methods of using water (as well as all resources) change dramatically after The Transition, which, presumably makes many of these concerns over time go away. That is where the Payer Bureaucracy comes in. More on that shortly.

 

The Atmosphere and the air we breathe

I personally don’t think specific people will be able to take stewardship of the air. The atmosphere is more of a commons, as would be water that exists outside water utilities (such as water in major rivers, lakes, oceans and such). These resources – including some basic materials (i.e. minerals) get managed by the inherent nature of the Payer Organization Bureaucracy and the Net-Benefit calculation.

For example, since there is no federal, state or local governments, people who work in entities such as the state level Department of Environmental Quality, EPA, and the US Coast Guard and such would no longer have jobs in those agencies (as with the other federal agencies mentioned above). However, some of the skills these people possess – the scientists, researchers, data wonks, public health PHds, analysts, etc., would find themselves highly sought after in the Payer Organization Bureaucracy. Some of these people, such as rangers, inspectors and enforcement personnel could continue their work, but they would work independent of any organization other than a loosely organized team or coop of folks voluntarily united by a common purpose. Their work could support the Support Bureaucracy.

The wonks, researchers and scientists and their knowledge, skills and output would be used to calculate, for example, how much negative Net-Benefit is created when a car, plane or jetski spews emissions into the air, or when a farmer uses technology and farming practices that waste water, or when a factory uses processes that not only consume millions of gallons of fresh water (such as fracking) but also results in water that is not reusable and a resource – natural gas – that harms the atmosphere. This information is fed into the Net-Benefit algorithms, and Income Signals (as opposed to price signals) and sent to Producers who, presumably alter their behavior in order to maximize their income. If, for (an extreme) example (for purposes of illustration), I’m the owner of a coal-fired power plant, the Payers might tell me one day that my use of coal and the emissions I create by burning it cause so much impact to the environment that operating my plant will earn me 2% of what I was earning previously, based on the Net-Benefit calculation.

WTF? I would say at first.

Now there are several actions I could take. I could get mad and stomp around and operate my plant anyway. This would be a problem though because not only will I get only 2% of what I was making in income, everyone who helps me make that plant run also sees a similar decrease for contributing to the Net-Benefit my plant now produces. Same with vendors, suppliers and contractors to the plant. So it isn’t likely I’ll be able to run my plant under those conditions because I can’t run it by myself and I’m sure all those other people will refuse to work for only 2% of what they were making before.

Copiosis does remarkable things to human choices that capitalism never will: it frees people. In this example, I may no longer want to run my coal plant. In Copiosis, the balance sheet costs of my plant are irrelevant. What’s more, changing my plant in Copiosis is a relatively easy undertaking. That’s because so long as the changes I may undertake enable my pant to produce Positive Net-Benefit, all the material, equipment and labor I would need to change it will be provided to me at no cost. So, let’s say I’m a smart guy. I’m reading the economic tea leaves and realize that coal as an energy resource is dead as a doornail. It’s clear, since the marginal cost of production is now 0 for all goods and services, that renewable technologies suddenly become highly attractive, and more “economical” than any other energy source – even Nuclear power.

If I were to convert my plant from a coal-fired plant to a bio-fuel-fired plant, I could do better. But the emissions I would create from burning the fuel could still impact my income. But I know a guy who had developed an innovation that captures all those emissions and recycles them into more energy. I could go that route, but really, the best energy source in terms of Net-Benefit is one that does not produce any emissions. My plant just happens to be located out in the boondocks because the EPA in the old days wouldn’t let me site it close to the consumption centers. That turned out to be a good thing because my plant is surrounded by relatively little. It’s mostly prairie land. The land my plant sits on is owned by me, but the adjacent lands are owned by other folks. Maybe I could create a solar farm? Geothermal? Maybe I can provide my land to another energy company that is in the solar business. Maybe I could join a team and investigate other ways to create energy, ways that don’t require a bunch of land….maybe…maybe….

 

Freedom of thought, freedom from “affordability”

This openness of thought and opportunity is made available because I don’t have to pay for my home. I don’t have to worry about insurance or medical bills. My food, my kids education, all that is covered. If I really wanted to continue running my plant, I could convert it to the Bio-version and still make income. I wouldn’t maximize my income until I figured out a way to capture and eliminate the emissions. I could probably find a way to do that with some time and thought, which are abundant in a Copiosis Economy.

This story hopefully illustrates that the “commons”, air, water, some land, elements and minerals are held in stewardship through the Payer Bureaucracy and the Net-Benefit calculation. The people who today work at capturing all the data we use to currently keep track of these “commons” and their quality, status etc., work in a very large number of separate institutions, consulting firms, engineering firms, governments and nonprofits. After the Transition, they would earn income doing those same tasks, but as part of a massive organization (loosely managed in an open-source, transparent and connected environment) supporting the Payer Organization. Their skills would be used to inform civilization about the state and quality of these commons, and their work product (their results) would inform all manners of Net-Benefit calculations. Of course, anyone could join this bureaucracy to help inform it, so if you don’t like the results they come up with, you have the ability to play a role in creating the results. Most importantly, all their work would drive entrepreneurs, industrialists and innovators to seriously begin taking on problems that languish because “we can’t afford it”.

 

Some people argue that the politics involved in dealing with some of these decisions would result in stagnation. I think such stagnation, as well as the policy pendulum swings we see today, occur because there currently are too many perverse incentives driving such decisions including the false scarcity created by affordability. Scarcity-based economies always have this problem. Post-scarcity economies do not. Take these incentives away and I believe people will make better decisions faster.

 

Everyone becomes an environmental steward

All commons and community property is managed in the same way. Any property or material value too large for individual stewardship is managed by the Net-Benefit calculation which increases the consequence of resource consumption as that resource nears depletion: the closer towards depletion, the greater negative impact consuming that resource has on a Producer’s income. Also, as resources near depletion, the Net-Benefit value of actions that restore said resources increases.

In fisheries for example, I could envision fishermen earning income fishing stocks, but as those stocks near depletion (they don’t have to get CLOSE to depletion) Net-Benefit Income Signals would transform those fishermen into conservation managers as they would earn more income restoring the stock than fishing it. Over time I would presume smart fishermen would self-manage these resources to maintain an optimum level of income balance by “sustainable fishing practices”. The same would occur for power plant managers, factory managers and other facilities that consume or impact the commons.

 

 

 

What about sociopaths?

portraitEditors note: This post is in response to a question we received via Twitter

 

How do you keep sociopaths from gaming [Copiosis]?

 

In every society there are people who act in ways that are sociopathic. Some actually are sociopaths. Who knows why they are the way they are? In status-quo economies, we have to answer this question. Answering it can give us insight into how to prevent them from doing things that hurt people, cause systemic abuse or threaten entire civilizations if they get into seats of power. Nevertheless, we have seen the tremendous damage sociopaths inflict in status-quo economies, especially capitalism.

Let’s take a look at what a sociopath is and how his behavior might look in the real world. We’re presuming we’re using the word “sociopath” loosely. We’re not only talking about clinically diagnosed Sociopaths, but people (and corporations) what act in sociopathic ways. This blog has a decent description of the type of behaviors a loosely-defined sociopath might embody. Here’s an excerpt from it:

“[They have] no conscience, believe in nothing beyond their own selfish, greedy, and narcissistic self-interests. They are the ones who succeed in amassing great wealth and power because they use the rest of humanity as their disposable serfs…What sets them apart from many people is their high intelligence, a ruthless ability to use others for their own purposes, and a talent to fake sincerity and friendship. Sociopaths are often great leaders and control freaks. Most people are easily duped by these unconscionable charlatans of the highest magnitude. While sociopaths may only constitute at most 5% of the total population, they have perfected the art of wholly manipulating the other 95% of us….Sociopaths operate under the general assumption that there is nothing transcendent or eternal after this life on earth, and that winning by amassing as much power and wealth during their lifetimes is the only purpose to human existence. If they believe in a god beyond money, that god is also the supreme sociopath who will reward them in the afterlife commensurate with their achievements on earth. Overall, they long abandoned, or never made any connection between what they wanted to do or actually did, and any system of human ethics or religious morality. Sociopaths simply have no consciences and thus are free to do as they please. Other human beings are viewed as simple disposable commodities in their unquenchable thirst for money and power.

Ok. That’s a pretty clear loose definition. Thanks Marc Pascal!

It’s often said that extreme success in business often requires sociopathic tendencies. Unfortunately, status-quo economies as well as representative-party politics offer ample opportunities for sociopaths to rise to power then cause mayhem.

Can the same be said for post-scarcity Copiosis Economies? Let’s take a look.

Sociopathic individuals by themselves are mostly impotent. It is authority, power, money and their ability to ensnare and use others that enable these people to cause systemic harm. Generally speaking, people are highly susceptible to sociopaths as Marc describes above. The problem with status-quo economies is often sociopaths rise to powerful positions before they are recognized. By then, it’s too late: they have all the power they need in their ability to threaten people with all kinds of sanctions (including violence meted out of course by others paid in some way by the sociopath) that keep people in check doing the sociopath’s bidding.

Can a sociopath rise to a position of power in Copiosis? Let’s look at authority. People with authority in a Copiosis Economy are people who have demonstrated an ability for marshaling resources (generally land, labor and capital) to get things done in ways that generate income for everyone involved. Not only that, in getting things done, they must be mindful of the Net Benefit calculation. This means that the way they get things done (assuming they have “authority” as described above) produces maximum benefit and minimum negative consequences. “Negative consequences” includes how people are treated in pursuit of that which is done.

No one in a Copiosis Economy has the ability to force anyone else to do anything. Our sociopath may be successful initially getting people to do something, through his charisma. Inevitably though his true colors show. His agenda is revealed to be less than beneficial or serving only his personal needs. When that happens, what will keep people from ignoring his sociopathic dictates?

Can he use the threat of loss of income to force people to do things? Not really. The sociopath’s money cannot be transferred to other people. Even if he is the CEO of a business organization, the organization doesn’t control people’s income, the Payer Organization does. Corporations in Copiosis Economies all convert to loosely organized Cooperatives. There’s no such think as Corporate Personhood in Copiosis.  They can’t own money or any other assets (only human beings can) so the sociopath has no authority bestowed upon him by his position in the organization and the organization’s wealth. There’s no way the sociopath can change another person’s income. Trying to have an impact on another’s income would have an impact though….on the sociopath’s income, due to the negative Net Benefit of such an act.

Can the sociopath pay people to do his bidding? Nope. But the sociopath could “pay” people by transferring Luxury items to them. Consider this however: the Net Benefit calculation has an impact on all behavior, not just commercial acts. So people earning “Luxuries” by doing the sociopath’s bidding, may risk losing future income if such acts generate significant negative Net Benefit. Of course, the sociopath himself also risks the same losses in a magnified way as he would be the “mastermind” behind such a plot.

Can he threaten people with losing their jobs? He can, but people would laugh at him. In Copiosis Economies, being fired is no big deal. For one, organizations will find the labor pool highly competitive, meaning, it will be difficult getting people to work for them, let alone stay once they are brought on board, especially if the jobs are boring, repetitive or mundane.  With so many other options available to earn income, organizations will have to be much different than they are today to attract and retain people. People can easily start their own company, move to other companies, or do something on their own to earn income not at all related to “business”. Even if they can’t find work for a time, all their Necessities are covered – even education –  so there’s no “teeth” in the threat of being fired.

More likely, people approached by the sociopath would simply ignore him. If they understand how the economy works, people would have no interest in participating in the sociopath’s scheme.

Can a sociopath swindle money from others, cheat them, or in some way harm them financially? Money is non-transferrable, so none of those things are possible. People can’t get in debt, there is no interest, or “credit”. There’s no retirement nest egg, or stock market. Homes are owned outright: there are no mortgages and associated payment streams that can be traded as a commodity. For investment purposes, there are no such things as “commodities” in a Copiosis Economy. So people can’t be financially harmed through fraud.

Let’s say he was gifted in IT. He could successfully (at least once, maybe twice) hack the system thereby impacting one, or hundreds or millions of people via their money accounts. But what damage does that actually do? People don’t need money to pay bills, keep their house or car, or buy food or health care. He could disrupt the system managing Net Benefit, the national inventory of goods and services, or some other aspect of the mainframe system. That could cause limited, short-term systemic damage. But it wouldn’t last for long.

Then again, the Support Bureaucracy’s IT department, which operates in a transparent, open source protocol would easily spot and fix such breeches should they occur. More likely, the IT department would design ahead of time software that’s very good at protecting itself, including backups and redundancies. Today, the majority of major corporations rely on open source software to manage their back-ends. Those are the most stable and secure systems around, rarely if ever breeched. How much more so would a system managed in a completely transparent, open source way? What’s more, any problem created in a Copiosis Economy creates an opportunity for people to earn income by solving the problem and creating positive Net Benefit.

Should the sociopath succeed once, or even twice, it is an easy matter to forensically trace his deed back to him. The magnitude of negative Net Benefit associated with maliciously hacking into the “system” would generate severe financial consequences for the sociopath. What’s more, anyone who not only creates the solution to such a breech, but also makes future breeches of that type impossible, can earn very good income. If the breech is systemic in nature, the magnitude of income associated with fixing the problem is as huge as the magnitude impacting the sociopath for attempting to damage the system.

 

The sociopath could become a Payer as anyone can. But so what? Payers, by role definition have no power over people. Their job is to only pay people for the Net Benefit they produce. Individual payers have a threshold up to which they are able to pay. Beyond that threshold, more Payers must be involved in the calculation. Becoming a Payer is a dead end for a sociopath hell-bent on creating mayhem.

He could join the support bureaucracy. This could be a potential problem. However, that massive group of people will have structures and protocols that check and balance a single person’s power. There are no hierarchies in the support bureaucracy. Only people working within their skill area to generate data that informs Producers and Payers about the state of the economy. Should the sociopath demonstrate anti-social behavior, it is likely people in this organization would refuse to work with him, no matter how brilliant he is.

A sociopath could use physical force to create mayhem. He could wage violence and use violence to coerce people to do things they would rather not do. However, such acts wouldn’t go far. Most communities I’m aware of would not tolerate such behavior, especially if calling out such behavior, and rescuing people subjected to such acts earns the good-deed-doers income. It’s possible that he could form a band of thugs, maybe even a large band, and attempt to take over the system. However, the Net Benefit of preventing such a system from forming in the first place would be huge. Thus, a large number of people skilled at this would self-select in preventing such a group from gaining traction. Think of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Human Rights Campaign, and other organizations dedicated to human rights. Today, those organizations rely on donations and perhaps winnings form court judgements. In Copiosis there’s no limit to what individuals working in these organizations can make doing work they feel passionately called to do. These organizations of people would be formidable opponents of an organized sociopathic group.

 

There’s also the community response to sociopathic behavior. Money can’t buy Necessities. Housing (utilities, including electricity & water), healthcare and food are all private property. My experience of human communities is they don’t tolerate such people even when there are no incentives to weed out such anti-social behavior! An identified sociopath would find it difficult to survive in communities that know him and his MO. He could move, but his Reputation Account goes with him. Sociopaths who can’t help but act on their tendencies would find few communities willing to accept him.

Given all this, what I envision happening with people who display such behavior can only happen in Copiosis. Remember, all problems present an opportunity for a person to earn income. That means the sociopath is a problem walking around waiting for a solution. It is possible – likely even – that someone (or some ones) in the mental health field who specializes in researching sociopathy will want to develop treatments for such afflicted people. Copiosis will unveil a large number of these kinds of people, once the tools such people use to express their behavior – power, authority, money, charismatic behavior – disappear. It is estimated that there are at least 12 million sociopaths in the US alone. Experts in the fields of psychology, medicine and other sciences would find a cornucopia of income-generating possibilities in the sociopathic community.

Sociopaths aren’t bad. They aren’t evil. However, like liberal regulation of alcohol to a drunk driver, status-quo economies enable sociopathic behavior to an extreme degree. Sociopaths need help. Copiosis will create the context for help to arrive. Who knows what’s possible when people can earn income helping even people society would rather do without?

How alternative medicine works better in Copiosis

Natural medicine.001
Editor’s Note: A visitor to our website asked a question worth sharing:

 

It appears that this “Payer Organization” has a lot of power. In Capitalism, the consumer is the final arbiter of value. This seems to work pretty well to me. Who decides what is of value in Copiosis?

This question comes up a lot, particularly regarding the Payer Organization. The short answer is, it doesn’t matter who judges value so long as the people involved feel the judgment is fair. We explain more in the next question below.

 

Followup question: As an alternative health practitioner, I would be devastated if I were forced into the allopathic medical construct just because the Payer Organization says that modern medicine is the only thing of value. (or that the food pyramid is valid)  I know from experience that love, compassion, belief and many of nature’s own gifts work far better than most drugs. (Not that there isn’t a place for allopathic medicine – if that floats your boat)  What happens to things that don’t fit the “mold”?

The interesting thing about where your passions lie is this: despite the dominance of allopathic regimes, you still find it worthwhile to invest your time and energy doing work in the world you believe is valuable, even though you may not ever earn what your allopathic fellow practitioners earn.

What’s interesting about our society today is the complexity of the opinion-verse. There are so many people out there who share the same opinion of almost whatever example you give. One of the reasons one wellness modality prevails over others (allopathy vs. “alternative”) is because of our system: in our system even modalities must compete for a slice of the limited pie Traditional Capitalism creates. The reality is, there’s no reason why all modalities can’t be offered and allow the person being treated to choose. People think they are free to choose today, but that is not the case. Western medicine (allopathy) dominates the healthcare space. It is relatively difficult (even with the Internet) to get reliable information on alternative medicine. Mainstream medicine doesn’t equate it as equal to allopathy. What’s more, allopathy has stronger lobbies, more money and more powerful allies (such as the pharmaceutical and insurance industries) to make sure you spend your healthcare dollars in their modalities. There’s a lot more that can be said about how uneven the playing field is for allopathy vs. alternative medicine. It’s so uneven that alternative practitioners constantly find themselves resisting being “forced into a mold.”

In Copiosis there is no “mold” because there’s no one putting pressure on anyone to fit in any kind of mold. There’s no financial pressure, there’s no political pressure, there’s no federal government (or any government) pressure. There’s just the desire you have to follow your bliss. Provided that your bliss makes other people’s lives better, you get paid. Period.

The Payer Organization is a cross-section of the population made up of millions of people. It is bound to include many retired and not-retired alternative medicine practitioners. So your views on alternative medicine will be represented within the Payer Organization.

What’s more – and more important – is the Payer Organization doesn’t care about modalities. It looks at results. And it doesn’t pay the Producer (in this case the healthcare provider) until the result shows up. So there’s no need for the Payer Organization to pay an allopath differently from a natural or alternative medicine practitioner unless the two approaches produce different results regarding benefits – consequences (the Net Benefit* calculation).

We know that allopathy is problematic in many ways. It’s prevalence in society generally is due more to politics and lobbies than its effectiveness. Healthcare as practiced today is highly reactive, not proactive, it’s expensive and often causes more problems than it solves; It’s also extremely resource-wasteful.

Such practices in Copiosis would not earn as much as other modalities that keep people well in the first place and do so with minimal resource consumption. The only arena where I could see allopathy earn more in Copiosis than alternative medicine might be if a human is critically wounded – such as in battlefield conditions, a car accident or any other circumstance where the body experiences extreme trauma such as a loss of limb or damage to internal organs which require surgery. Wellness practices (proactive and alternative modalities that keep people healthy so there is no illness to treat) are much more valuable for society and individuals seen from the perspective of benefits – consequences.

The food pyramid is a great example of politics influencing health care/wellness. In a Copiosis Economy, things like the food pyramid, how it was created and why it persists are impossible, because:

  1. There’s no law-making body
  2. A lobbyist can’t lobby for them because organizations can’t own money, and
  3. An individual can’t pay them to create laws in his favor either: because money can’t be transferred from one person to another. Even if such a law exists, you don’t have to follow them if you don’t want to.

But most importantly, there’s no incentive for businesses to dominate in Copiosis the way they are encouraged to in Traditional/Crony Capitalism a.k.a. Corporatism.

 

Last question: If something has been of value to one person, but then causes another person harm (such as many allopathic drugs do), how is that handled?

By value here, you mean, an allopathic drug has value to the maker in terms of making money, but harms people who take it. Is that right? Or maybe you mean the drug helps some people, but harms others? We’ll try to answer both questions at the same time.

Today, value is separated from consequences. This is true about nearly everything. So a drug maker can make a lot of money well before the full effects of the drug is known. If the drug turns out to be crap or worse, the drug maker still ends up keeping all the “value” (money) they made prior to that discovery. Even more money can be made if they can conceal the crappy nature of the drug. The longer they can conceal problems, the better it is for them in terms of income potential.

In Copiosis, a drug maker doesn’t earn a dime until the results are known. So they can’t earn “ill-gotten gains”. Now, there are drugs that work for some people, but not for others. In those cases, we are getting into very specific detail for how the Net Benefit calculation is performed. We don’t have those details yet, but the principles upon which they will be determined remain consistent:

  1. Income is always realized only after the facts are known
  2. Income is based on actual results produced – (resources consumed + negative consequences)
  3. Customer value has some input, but that input is small.

In Copiosis economies, even allopathic drugs improve, because how much a drug manufacturer gets paid is based on the results derived, not the arbitrary and subjective criterion of “value”. So drug makers get better at what they create, because how much they earn is tied to actual results produced.

*Net Benefit = Overall Benefit – Negative Consequences

Making Luxuries a force for good

MAKE MONEY GOOD.001In a Copiosis economy, money can buy only goods and services designated as “Luxuries.”  But “Luxury” is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?  A Necessity for one person is a Luxury to someone of more reduced circumstances.

Anything can be designated as a “Luxury” or as a “Necessity” or as a “pink elephant,” for that matter.  What is important is the consequences of  restricting the purchasing power of money to a single category of goods and services.  Payers can have no money at all and are not allowed to consume Luxuries.  Therefore, to label something as a Luxury item or service is to deny Payers access to that good or service.  Therefore, no good or service which is actually necessary to support life may be labeled a Luxury if the Copiosis is to succeed.

Also, if people are to desire money and be willing to work to get money, the things which money can buy must be desirable to many people.  Therefore, in order to meaningfully be designated a Luxury, a good or service must be one whose consumption by a person would give pleasure.  This also excludes many goods and services from being treated as Luxuries.

But within these very broad limits any commodity or service which may be consumed by people could be designated as a Luxury.  Therefore those whose task it is to actually choose those items to be designated Luxuries will have considerable flexibility and freedom in their choices.

What considerations will lead those who decide to choose one or the other category for specific items and services?  We have no way to be certain but we can expect that this freedom of choice would lead them to use the designations to control the proportion of persons in the society who are Payers.  It seems obvious that the more goods and services which are denied to Payers, the fewer people will be willing to make the sacrifice in order to become Payers.  Alternatively, the more goods and services which are not really necessary to life which are available to Payers, the higher the proportion of people that will decide to make such a lifetime commitment.

Obviously there will be an optimum proportion of Payers in the population.  If there is a very high proportion, each Payer will not feel important and will be more likely to be ignored and relatively powerless. Therefore they will not try very hard to do their jobs well. On the other hand, if there is a very small proportion of Payers, they will be overworked and they will not be able to pay for everything that should be paid for.  Therefore, the Payers are probably the best organization to decide on what goods and services should be designated as Luxuries and which as Necessities.  That organization will be highly motivated to get it right and keep it right.

Will the designations change over time?  Probably.  After all, goods and services which we take for granted today such as plumbing and electric lights were considered Luxuries at one time.  There would be similar changes in the future as well.  There is no reason why such designations should be fixed forever.