Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 3 - The Root of All Evil

A new day, a new topic: Money.

The other day, while driving to work, something dawned on me, why do we need money?  Initially, it's a "wtf you talking about?" kind of response, but I think it should be given a little more attention.

A long, long time ago (no more than 6000yrs ago for you Creationists out there :)  ), our ancestors used the barter system.  This of course, was efficient for the time.  There were maybe 20 people to a town?  So of course, each person had a knack, and so on and so forth.  As population increased, people intermingled, exotic goods became available in many parts of the world, something more substantial and "easy" was needed to replace bartering specific items.  Here comes gold to the rescue, more specifically, currency "worth" gold.  This is important to note because the actual money (except for coins) isn't worth any more than the paper it's printed on (figuratively of course, it's probably worth substantially more due to the inks/dyes and "special counterfeit measures").  So what happens when you have more money than gold? Not good stuff, the value of the currency drops and life gets a little bit harder.

Anyway, so to be brief, I go to the store and buy a loaf of bread, instead of, let's say, giving computer advice(one of my personal talents) to the shopkeeper in exchange for a loaf of bread, I give him 1 dollar for a loaf of bread.  Now, several weeks later, the shopkeeper needs computer advice, he calls up the local tech line and for .99 /min he gets the advice he needs (there goes my dollar).  This cycle of course propagates until the dollar is lost/damaged/destroyed, whatever.

I have a proposal, since all we are really doing is taking some item, applying meaning/value to it and "passing the buck" (pardon the pun, I can't help myself sometimes), why not remove the messiness.  Now, for all your trekkies and Star Wars fans, don't mess yourself just yet.  As of now, it is not fully possible to have a "denominationless" society, no self control.  But I would like to steer more towards the Star Wars idea and introduce the concept of credits.

Okay, so hear me out.  Everyone who goes to work gets a paycheck.  Everyone who is part of the system, meaning they have an SSN, pays taxes and receives some kind of benefits (hopefully) when that time comes.
So, let us hit upon each point involved with money and explain how it will work:
  • Citizenship
    • Being a citizen gets you a social security number.  This number links you into the system.  All credits earned, spent, etc. are tied to your social security number.  Not too much different than things are today.
  • Employment
    • Alright, so right now people make all diffierent kinds of wages, different educations, so on and so forth.  Let's streamline this.  If you have a job, you get credits.  Jobs should be ranked on tiers, based on the level of education required for the job.
      • No job = Tier 0
        • 50 credits a week
      • No education = Tier 1
        • Full Time = 200 credits a week
        • Par Time = 100 credits a week
      • Standard Education (high school) = Tier 2
        • Full Time = 500 credits/wk
        • Part Time = 250 credits/wk
      • Advanced Education (associates/bach/tech school)
        • Full = 700/wk
        • Part = 350/wk
      • Master Education (masters/phd/etc.)
        • Full = 1000/wk
        • Part = 600/wk
    • Now this is all well and good, but what does it mean? Well, we will get down to the indication of credits momentarily.
  • Benefits
    • Being a citizen earns you several things:
      • Healthcare
        • Go anywhere, in country, at any time, and receive the healthcare you need, free
      • Food
        • Each citizen is guaranteed a certain "weekly credit" allowance for food.
        • On top of what you earn, or don't earn, you are granted X credits for food
          • Children under the age of 16 have their credits forwarded to their legal guardian(s)
        • Of course if you would like extra you can spend your credits how you see fit
      • Exchange
        • For countries that don't participate in the credit system.  Your home country can take credits for exchange to the specific countnries denomination
      • Home
        • Every citizen is guaranteed a place to leave based on your weekly credit in take.
  • Using Credits
    • Besides your standard basic rights that you are granted, you can use your credits for various things.
      • Home upgrades
        • Items for you home, such as electronics, decorations, etc.
        • Actual home upgrade, meaning you can bargain more of your weekly credits to live in a higher tiered home
      • Extra commodities
        • Extra food items, beyond the given credit allowance
      • In essence, anything you can do now with money
    • How does this work for businesses and resources?
      • Based on the business type and the amount of credits the business earns each "period" they are allotted X amount of resources
      • Business are run by a "popularity" contest.  The most popular business earn the most credits, thus having access to more resources
      • In order to start a business, entrepenuers must "estimate" a "periodic" credit earning which will "buy" them a year at that earning worth of resources.
        • After the year, if they fall below 25% of their expected they will have a "resource debt" that must be satisfied before they are allowed to receive resources at their current credit earning
        • The same applies, except opposite if they are above 25% of their estimate
How is this different from money?  It takes away the value of gold from the equation.  Instead, the value is placed within the individual.  There is really no reason to be greedy, you only make credits based on  your education level, not your greed or corporate bonus.  The key for business is becoming popular, meaning people buy from you because they like what you do.  This pushes good business ethics. 

Anyway, this is my idea on the whole thing.  I think it could work, if people really wanted a change.  Hopefully others will respond to this and get a dialogue going.  Thanks!

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