Contrib Economy

In one of the chapters of Zero Point Energy I outline a new form of economics I would be happy to open to discussion.

20130719_122150My main premises it that all economic theories up until now are belief systems that do not take human behavior into account. Whether it’s Capitalism and its idealized “free market” or the Communist belief in equality, none of these are practicalities. I think today’s strongest economic belief system is the “growth based economy”. Ask any business major and they will tell you that economies have to grow for the system to keep running. A business has to sell more; a country has to produce more, export more, waste more! Besides the immense strain this is putting on earth’s resources it is a vicious cycle that makes us work for the economic system instead of it working for us. This cycle also causes business to try to make us as miserable as possible in order to sell us the idea that if we only buy a new car, shoes, makeup, ice cream, diet we will be happy.

 

So how can we break out of this cycle?

Let’s take a look at ourselves, when observing humans two opposite and obvious patterns are easily noticed:

  1. When people don’t do what they want they are extremely lazy. Compensating them for their work helps little. They will do the minimum needed to maintain the compensation.
  2. When people are doing what they want they will invest immense amounts of time and effort even when there is no outside compensation for their efforts.

From these two behavior patterns it seems obvious that we should be trying to maximize personal freedom and allow people to invest their time and work in an area that interests them. Yet we still have to make sure that the things that need to be done do indeed get done.

Shared Resource Economy

I suggest adapting principles that seem to be working amazingly well in the open source community:

  • Strengthen the sense of community
  • Adopt a cooperative competitiveness environment
  • Move to a contribution based economy
  • Encourage conservation of resources

There is a whole lot of info in the second part of the book on how I think this could be done practically. Here are the main point:

  • A community’s resources should be looked at as a whole belonging to no one or everyone in the community.
  • Replace money with a Contribution based system that tracks how much an individual has contributed and consumed from society. This Contib system should be untransferable. “Money” should be a zero sum game one plays only with oneself. This will allow essential services like medicine and basic food to be cheap to consume but still offer a high reward to those providing these services. It will also prevent intergenerational hoarding.
  • This Contrib system should be as individualized as possible allowing each member of the community to decide what they consider to be a contribution and a consumption. A person can be considered rich by one member and poor by another.

How exactly can this work? What about people that can’t work? How can you measure work? Read the book :) and after you do I’d be really interested in getting people’s inputs on this so join the Forum.

Oh yeah and based on this philosophy if you think my book contributed something to you please contribute something back, some Paypal donation would be great but any other service you can help me with is also super cool!

2 comments on “Contrib Economy
  1. George Henry says:

    To make this Shared Resource Economy idea clear to people who are having trouble with it, I imagine that a game “like” Monopoly would be helpful. Just as Monopoly illustrates the principles of capitalism and enables one to take it to the limit in a gaming context, the SRE game would reward a player for demonstrating a strong practical grasp of the economic model that it would teach and provide mechanisms for exploring.

    If a board game seems too far behind the times, of course the basic idea could be realized as an interactive multi-player software game.

    I admire your work thus far on this and exposing it via your book. The problem is that a truly ENORMOUS amount of exposure is needed. If you are not a marketer by nature, perhaps you could partner with one who would help your ideas go viral, be taken up by others, evolve and be refined by a passionately-interested community.

    One thing I would really hate to see would be: This is the idea that can save humanity, but only a handful of people – most likely branded as crackpots by the mainstream – hear of it or understand it until it is too late.

  2. shashkes says:

    Thanks for your thoughts! The game is a great Idea, i’ll give it some thought.
    As for exposing people to these idea’s i’m taking it slowly. I’ve just been online for a few weeks and i’m and hoping readers who like the book will share it with friends… but i have a few trick up my sleeve ;)

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