Click for a loop of British ocean waves from the 1990’s
(sound effects that were available at the library).
Hopes for Equal Footings in Global Economics
Shell Money for You
Wampum has been called the medium of exchange, or money, of the Native and Colonial Americans. This has been seen as proof that even American Indians believed in the Gospel of Mammon, that like the Europeans, their economics were also rooted in capitalism. The native people — the Navajo, the Pawnee, the Cheyenne, the Apache, the Dakota, the Sioux, the Blackfoot, the Iroquois, and the Cherokee — did not need gold to trade with the Europeans; they had established trade via wampum, they needed seashells.
So instead of following the whites’ mantra “Go west, young man”, they told their young bucks, “Go east, young brave, go where the seashells are in abundance.” So they left the Plains or the woodlands for the nearest ocean, the Atlantic. They reached the banks — that is, the shores — picked up satchels of money — that is, shells — tip-toed back to their horses, and galloped home.
There are a few, very fundamental differences between Native Americans and the European colonists. First, American Indians had money-less exchange, theirs was more a very large family, than an impersonal town or city. They lived in tribes, not towns. In a capitalist economy, it’s every man for himself. In a tribal, money-less economy everyone works together for the common good, be it by farming, fishing, or hunting. There is only cooperation, no greed, no squabbling (or dying) over bank notes.
From my study of economics, I can recall a concept known as the velocity of money, that is, how many times money changes hands in a given period. When money is very rarely exchanged, it is no longer functioning as fuel to an economy. Instead it is only a quasi-deed, or a warm memento of tribal appreciation, much as what is in evidence here.
Say a pilgrim sells a sack of potatoes for a belt of wampum (forget for a moment he has no packaging materials). He turns around and buys two dozen oysters with this wampum. How does he know he does not deserve three dozen oysters, or even four dozen oysters from his wampum? A big advantage of paper money over wampum is that paper money has a large numeral on its front indicating the size of wampum the paper would represent were wampum given a uniform, market-consensus value. In other words, there is no way of knowing how much the wampum is worth.
Then the reason the term wampum was created is that it serves the bourgeois legend well — every people had a currency-based capitalist economy. There are no exceptions; exceptions are not possible, they only fail miserably.
Many societies did prosper without money though. These self-contained communities lived on a free exchange of goods, they enjoyed frictionless commerce. To landed interests, the Native Americans, the Amish, the early Chinese, the Eskimo, the Pacific Islander, those running production collectives in the Canadian maritimes, even the Vatican, would all be vainly dismissed as languishing capitalists. Although any dyed-in-the-wool profiteer must finally admit Jesus Christ, Moses, and Saint Nicholas were not at all cut from the same cloth as they.
People working together without the carrot, or whip, of a money incentive is alien to the Western orientation. As is good works being their own reward, with sustenance guaranteed by the tribe, or by the ones who enjoy your efforts.
So wampum is essentially just a travel souvenir for your squaw. A squaw though is apparently an offensive term for one’s female mate, a term we should not use. Another language and culture barrier, much like the ones with the French. Our Native People would offer to translate ‘woman’ to a non-offensive expression. Just give them an oyster shell, and you might get them to talk.
Money is nothing but a scorecard ...
... and isn’t that a shame. Where would we be without this scorecard? Would the world be a happier, healthier place? Would there be an end to poverty? First off, how is money a scorecard?
Lucre is a scorecard because whoever you get your lucre from is constantly deciding your score; that is, your income, or more truthfully, your fate. So adult life, essentially, is finding a consistent way of adding points to our scorecards. The standard way to add points to one’s tally on this card is by creating goods and services for another’s benefit.
This same scorecard is often seen as a measure of your value as a worker and as a person. Your score supposedly indicates dedication to craft, and the degree of difficulty in getting the craft work done. You are then rated the earth’s resources depending on your score.
A prime analogy is between this economic reduction and a chef. She creates her labor of love, a dish, for the satisfaction of another, a diner. In return the chef’s scorecard total is increased by her manager. She has now been found worthy, and can take her scorecard and procure her own meals.
The scorecard makes no claim on being fair or equitable. The scorecard can be accreted or adjusted prejudicially, one is over or under paid — and can just as easily be a scorecard for evil works, as it can be for good ones.
Often we desire goods, but cannot possess them, even though the productive capacity exists and is available. Our offer of green paper does not satisfy the seller, the scorecard total must have more significant numerals. Were the obligation to produce green paper waived, the spigots of production could conceivably be opened wide.
Today, when a scorecard’s sum is not sufficient, there are two options. One option is to forgo consumption, then slow or cancel production runs. The other is to look for second rate goods. These inferior goods will often use the same resources as the first rate ones, they cost the planet the same. These just represent the economy line, the floor for a producer’s higher priced items.
We live our lives minding this scorecard, many have an almost religious attachment to it. Was that God’s intention? Was that our intention? Perhaps in today’s increasingly complex world, an increasingly involved financial system is desired.
It is a nice, little daydream though, of a world without scorecards, without backwards lucre, and without the Gospel of Mammon. A sweet, little reverie of a world where we have all we need. Sounds like the garden of Eden, when’s the last time the earth’s people deserved that?
Competition for my Tax Dollars
If I cannot be thankful for the quality of goods and services my public goods provider, or government, offers me, do I have to stay with that provider? Further, once nations can provide outside their physical boundaries, can I find one whose goods and services I would prefer? Like Canada’s, for instance.
If one were to prefer Health
Canada, why should they be
stuck with their employer’s plan?
Public goods and services encompass all of a citizen’s necessities that he or she cannot afford individually, yet can be provided collectively. This cost-sharing is a major reason, if not the reason, democratic governments exist, and why they have the backing of their populace. These publicly provided goods usually include healthcare, the financial security safety net, a constabulary, a legal system, regional protection, etc.
Consider the sharing of public goods providers as the equivalent of multiple cable utilities sharing the same telephone poles. Or imagine your neighborhood protected by an RCMP Detachment. I would like to live on the land I do today, yet have the public goods provider be my own call. Competition for my tax dollar. I know, who deserves that? Apparently no one, just thought I’d ask.
If I am free, why am I subjected to the IRS? 2/14/16. For the brave among us, and for those extremely frustrated at tax time: Remember what our forefathers did to protest their tax burden. They held a Tea Party, and started a brand, new nation. One nation in a few ways founded under liberty.
Except that is, for legalizing slavery via Constitutional arrogance. Unfortunately, the Founders also blew it on the guns for all, free for all. The Second Amendment allowed Washington, Jefferson, et al, to hold down their slaves with firepower, and this American license to kill (or at least, threaten to kill) has proven to have no legitimate purpose.
Back to filing tax returns when the IRS already has the info comprising them (or how else would they know if you were ever cheating?) Why not build a more perfect union? One whose tax code is without: over-complication; built-in job security, and deliberate obfuscation. We’ll leave all this to you though, I’m not going to be hanged for treason.
How to Save the Mom-and-Pop Shop
Did you ever wonder how the likes of Walmart out-price and out-sell Mom and Pop shops, or anyone else smaller than themselves? Mega-stores benefit without bound from discriminatory pricing. Because of the amount they purchase from suppliers, they receive pricing discounts their smaller competitors can only dream of getting. And because consumers shop on price, these volume discounts will eventually give the monopolist possession of all in retail that matters — be it store location, loyal customers, or brand cachet.
I worked at a manufacturer of electronics that would tailor price for specific customers. I even read that a local bicycle store could not hope to compete with Walmart. The reason was that Walmart sold their bikes for less than the local shop paid to stock the same models.
Without pricing equality, we will see more bankruptcies of small businesses, just as we see them now. Every bargain-shopper will have little choice but to select the ‘category killer;’ one day we will have only one or two retailers in every store category.
If suppliers posted the same prices for one and all, economic equality would be attained without market disruption. Any proprietor would enjoy unhampered commerce with this equal pricing of goods. With today’s pricing discrimination, only powerful enterprise has the freedoms inherent in Free Enterprise.
Beemers priced like Kias
At a corporation I once worked for, I heard an executive explain that price is not a function of cost, but rather it is a function of product manager discretion. In practical use then, price is essentially arbitrary, it is a function of whatever the market will bear, or whatever the buyer and seller can negotiate.
Consequently, the price of merchandise is not derived from what it cost to be manufactured, or even what price is most socially responsible, it is derived from what produces the largest accumulation of cash. More traditionally though, pricing a good is only a matter of totaling the costs required to create it, and adding a percent profit margin.
Other than negotiation and cost, there is even a third method for pricing a commodity. This third method bases pricing on earth cost, or on the product’s burden to our earth. Earth costing allows for socially responsible allocation of factors of production that are very difficult to replenish.
In eco-friendly pricing, goods would be priced to the extent that they deplete limited resources, not just priced according to demand or cost. These prices could be prototyped after carbon emissions trading. Here the difference between a manufacturing concern’s actual resource usage and its allotment would be exchanged for other assets.
If one were to suggest that existing market mechanisms already do this, that they prevent scarcity, ask a commercial fisherman how much longer he will have fluke to bring to market. Earth costing and efficient resource allocation form the basis for the next step, integrating industry to only make best in class merchandise.
Consider this new approach in the creation of an automobile. There can be many car models that use the same resources, they weigh the same, and their manufacture requires the same amount of steel, plastic, and glass. Yet one is of very poor quality and another is of superior quality. The one of superior quality has the same burden on our planet as the poorly made one, so they should be costed the same, and ultimately, priced the same. Then the superior engineering could be licensed to the manufacturer of the inferior vehicles. While these consortiums of manufacturing would be immaterial to manual labor-intensive car makers such as Rolls Royce, the rest would stand to profit.
Making sub-standard goods results in a vast waste of resources, goods are built from material that should have been used in the manufacture of finer merchandise. If industry were run as an activity benefiting mankind at large, instead of one only benefiting a small group of consumers, economies of scale would kick in to enhance quality and quantity, as well as to lower price.
Designs then would be the product of an entire industry’s Research and Development budget, and unlike today, no effort would be duplicated. Nothing would be wasted so more could be produced, everything would last longer so less would be needed, and everyone would have safer, much better built consumer goods.
This may sound like pure fantasy, but as the earth’s resources dwindle, the cooperative, teamwork model of commerce is sure to become reality.
Gates et al to Open Checkbooks for “Giving Pledge”
Many of the world’s most fortunate have decided to donate half their cache to charity. Surprisingly, they fail to mention where the money from this “Giving Pledge” will ultimately go. Were they opening their vaults for me, I would be sure to put it to best use.
First, no one — man or beast, woman or child — would ever go hungry again. Next, the currency of currency free, city-state trading networks would be researched. This feasibility study would determine if areas, or even countries, in never ending poverty could become money-free zones (some would argue they are money-free already). Today, the inability to produce bank notes forces the beggared to perish, maybe there is a way to let them live without mandating they fork over financial script.
If these efforts prove successful, implementations of Amish-inspired community economics could be extended to those above the poverty line. A chicken in every pot, a carriage in every garage would be guaranteed. The only requirement to stay in good standing, each nominated member of the new regional, trading networks — ones parallel to existing paper-denominated economies — must contribute their fair share.
Next in line, I would arrange a pilot program of industrial consolidation to benefit each of us and our natural resources. The positive outcomes of this industry-wide teamwork and cooperation would include: greater, higher quality production at lower cost, less strain on the environment, and unity of purpose in the marketplace.
Obviously, developing and implementing these remedies is just a pipe dream, the fabulously wealthy ultimately decide who gets their vast wealth and where it is employed. Expect Bill Gates to plunk down much of his $25 billion to help eradicate malaria in Africa, as this is one of his favorite causes.
Mosquito nets are apparently very important to survival there (I kid you not). How many nets can you get for $25 billion? An accountant is likely working on this very problem right now (ok, now I kid). Gates’ also looks forward to Warren Buffett’s joining the pledge. Four years earlier, Buffett gave $37 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates life-long dream will at last come true: the continent of Africa will be enveloped in one long swath of netting.
Outside of investigations into altering the form commerce takes, I would look into insuring the survival of marine life to perpetuity. Given the change in food preferences, it would stand to reason that cattle will eventually be forsaken. They will be given up as a not too healthy, not very humanely-treated food source.
In its place would be the products of aqua culture, fish and shellfish. Many surmise sharks are attacking humans, and whales are beaching themselves, because their seafood is over fished and disappearing. With sustainable marine farming, their survival instincts will no longer be a cause for our sorrow, denizens of the deep will have enough to eat.
Well, if I had Bill Gates’, or Warren Buffett’s, kind of money to spend on charity that is how I would first spend it: marine conservation, eradicating poverty and hunger, and opening up trade and commerce networks to enable an unconstrained flow of goods. Of course, I am not Bill Gates so it looks as though the mosquito nets will save the day. And Britain’s Financial Times sees this windfall as possibly saving the arts — I am glad we all have our priorities in order.
Eating Shellfish May Save the Seas 6/28/11. Shellfish are not easy prey for aquatic life, except perhaps for crabs and starfish. I was hoping I would find a video of a crab opening up a clam, oyster, mussel, or scallop, but I could not find one on Youtube (only starfish eating open, dead clams). The claws of large, half-pound crabs would have to be surprisingly vise-like to open these hinged bivalves.
With their shell of calcium carbonate protecting it, and living in mud a few inches beneath the water, predators likely cannot access their meat. Crabs and starfish may be more akin to scavengers eating dead bottom-feeders and shellfish, than predators eating live mollusks.
Compared to wild shrimp, shellfish may be a superior source of sustainable seafood, diverting it to our dinner plates may have little effect on the rest of the marine ecosystem. The only issue then is over-harvesting by Man, there may be too little left behind to reproduce stocks.
Imagine there’s no Money
Welcome to Freetown, where everything is — you guessed it — free. If a town pools its resources, its cash and its assets, it marshals buying power (such as volume discounting) not held individually. Once a municipality’s assets are held communally, everyone living within its borders gets their staples and necessities without any monetary charge.
One-by-one, nearby communities will also want to get onboard, and get in the act, until an entire region offers its residents everything free of charge. Everyone must be productive, either within Freetown’s borders, or outside, in cutthroat America. If they remain in the capitalist regime, they must repatriate, or reintroduce, their earnings from Cutthroat Land into the Freetown General Account.
Don’t think this is impossible. Several societies have had civilizations, yet did not have economies. Just think of the Native Americans, the Mayflower Pilgrims, the early Amish, as well as Asian cultures.
By the way, wampum, or shell money, is worthless as a medium of exchange when: there is no place to redeem it; its valuation is entirely inconsistent; there are no posted prices; and because of its omnipresence, it is inherently without any value. Shell money was just a way of Colonials to say that Indians easily embraced the ways of White man’s token exchange economics. The only reason that the First Settlers did not prevail over the European invaders, was because the latter had guns.
Money is fast becoming, especially for the wealthier, a formality, and a means to ration against the underclass, or even against the middle class. It establishes a gate keeping function to goods and services that is open for those possessing the lion’s share of engraved, green paper; and closed for those locked out by bloodline.
A prime purpose for our race ultimately should be achieving true economic equality. A better economic regime would give every employed man and woman a pro-rated piece of the pie — that is, the Earth’s resources — simply because they cohabitate with the rest of humanity. To not allow those consistently and gainfully employed to have what they would need or like gives rise to life-long material deprivation.
At some point in this planet’s technological arc, we will have the productive capacity to make a Garden of Eden on Earth, but engraved green paper will still stand in the way. As product availability become unrestricted, and the rendering of green paper insignificant, it is foreseeable for money to no longer be a means to decide goods distribution, and to who gets what.
An economy and goods distribution based on merit, not bloodline as blue bloods, but birthright as humans on Earth, is the end game, the best hope for our long term existence — one often subject to upheaval based on supplies of wealth. Today, there are millions who work much harder than those with most of the money. How can a just civilization continue to allow this for dozens of generations into the future? The wealthy do what they feel like doing, while everyone else does what they are forced to do.
You might say the end of the mean green will never happen, mankind is far too greedy for this non-currency schema to take hold. Yet if you look at all the great science fiction works by the finest writers about life centuries distant, like Star Trek, and Star Wars, none have any use for money, it is archaic. Utopian writers have no place for something so cheap of spirit, for a financial mechanism that segregates the products of human activity so unevenly, and hardly ever with the greater good in mind.
Who looks at those with much more than us, and thinks it is all well-deserved or fair? Do Third World countries think the Western World deserves its tons upon tons of engraved green paper, especially when those vaults of paper kept scarce is preventing them from having any enjoyable existence?
One day, perhaps not even in this century, but one day, Humankind will petition for basic economic equalities. They will demand that everyone deserves their portion of the World’s resources on a per capita basis. As one person in the species, Homo Sapiens, and as cohabitants on this Earth alongside of every other human, fairness of resource and goods distribution will be seen as an inalienable economic right of every man and woman.
The liberation away from the strictures and confines of green, engraved paper, will begin with food, and expand to shelter, and further and further, until at last Humankind has what the Holy Bible always prophesied, the Garden of Eden, or Heaven on Earth for everyone.
Everyone would say that a money-less, wealth-constituency-bestowed, economics could never work. Although they would also say, that if it did, it would be a more satisfying life than Mankind has ever seen. Yet given that level of desire for it, why would it never work?
Price is only market-determined, it is not intrinsic to its value, it is only a consensus estimate of price; based on a consensus estimate of the value of the tendered currency, which is meaningless. Given this, pricing is arbitrary — and money is an abstraction — which means the global economy is on shakier ground than at first blush, many would think.
Today, when we want a larger perspective of humanity, we take the global view. One day, we’ll need an even longer and deeper view, one of all living beings, outside of just humanity’s historical path, in which case we’ll need to take the intergalactic perspective.
For instance, after another economic failure here on Earth, or even a catastrophic depression, a hypothetical civilization in a distant galaxy may be imagined as an alternative, one having a distribution economy based solely on sharing instead of trinket or green paper exchanges (USSR’s communism wouldn’t compare, they had money).
If we can conceive of a race whose economy was not seeded with gold as was ours, and then migrated to paper currency (as a gold substitute), we can conceive of a way — without money, and without haves and have nots — of comfortably sustaining all of this Earth’s population, which today we are at a complete loss for accomplishing.
This is the tilting at windmills section of my web site. Yet try to find why capitalism works better than this would. Have a two tier economy. Everyone gets food, shelter, clothing, and an occupation in the first tier. In the second tier there are the luxury goods. One is entitled to these non-essentials by getting credits from your customers, that is, your constituency. These are the people who are happy with your work, and want to show you they are by giving you some of their one hundred, yearly credits. Those around you decide your fortunes, not an uncaring boss.
You collect these credits as one might S & H Green Stamps from the days of yore (specifically, circa the 1960’s). Then you go to your local national store to redeem them for great gifts, no questions asked. Do a good job, a brand new, high-definition TV is yours. There is workplace incentive just as capitalism has and communism never did, and there is equality of goods distribution which capitalism doesn’t have, with its infinite cronyism and its deck stacked for the wealthy, yet goods equality communism claimed to having.
Is capitalism the best distributor of the wealth of nations? No, it isn’t. Poverty is everywhere in the world, and it has no signs of easing. There are rather regular economic recessions, most recently in 2009, and then again, the worst collapse of all, the apocalyptic depression in 1929. Our economic engine is a beast that will never be tamed, and the World, especially the poverty-struck, remains at its mercy.
Instead of informal, generous and efficient goods distribution networks based on principles of equality, we have ones based on scarce, green paper accumulations of an unnatural abstraction known as currency. We have lived under this trinket-exchanging economy since the age of the Roman Empire.
In contrast, during the times inspiring the legend of Camelot, and the Knights of the Round Table, there was free and open, token-free trade. It may not have even been quid pro quo trade, as there may have been no impediment to simply giving anything to anyone in need, just as Robin Hood did.
The current economic regime of capitalism expects its agents to only operate out of greedy, self-interest. That is its contract with every one of these players, that they maximize their wealth. Yet this wealth is at its core only an abstraction. Those who are the most aggressive are then handed the lion’s share of global output and capital, irregardless of what anyone with less deserves as fellow inhabitants of this planet.
bridge the divide between
what is deserved and what is given.
In an informal, generous economy, one without paper or plastic money, today is just another glorious day. You wake up with a state of the art plasma TV from the world wide electronics consortium at the foot of your bed. Your top of the line ride is parked in your three car garage. You live in a house that is twice the size that you would have lived in, had you had to pay for it from your old stockpile of green paper.
To quote your builder, “In the old days, we would say we’d like to give you a two story house, except you only have enough green paper for a one story house. Now instead, we don’t care about the size of the green paper pile, today this is only a matter of coordinating delivery of supply, of computer maximized logistics. We consider our work much like a worldwide Habitat for Humanity. And we enjoy it a lot more. We are always busy, there is no downtime, fretting whether the bills will be paid. What’s better we are not driven mad by capitalistic pressures.”
Today, we are forced to live by a “Theology of Money,” little different from history’s “Gospel of Mammon.” Today’s version of money is a new form of worship, the fakery that will replace happiness. It is held dear as our new religion, our rejuvenating joie de vivre. We say prayers for its abundance, so our suffering may be eased. We try to become like those with the most of it, because we find them to be the most interesting, and the sexiest. We must stay the course, nothing shall set itself before the acquisition of green script. We expect that lucre will cure whatever ails us, we only need more and more of it. We cherish the notion that money will give us power over others, or that by becoming rich, we will at long last get all the respect we so richly deserved.
Money possesses phenomenal power over Man’s day-to-day existence, when it is in fact only a symbol, an abstraction, making it inherently worthless. Outside of the value we give currency, currency is only worth what it is printed upon. Our unshakeable belief in negotiable paper pulp, and hard disk-backed plastic credit cards, is held firm even when our needs are unmet — unmet because of recession, unemployment, or lack of engraved paper — and even when everyone can still be fully employed and productive. Our ability to prosper, individually and as a people, is often severely impeded by our inability to secure green paper. This economic insufficiency stands in sharp contrast to the fact that almost down to a worker we are ready, willing, and able, to do everything in our power required to fulfill our iconic American Dream.
Without money, the spigots of production are open wide. Commerce is then frictionless and without financial bottleneck, money is not a factor to gum the works and slow manufacture. In typical economic organization, the shortage of paper money keeps a stranglehold on world-wide prosperity — especially Third World prosperity. For the destitute of the desperately poor nations, today’s market barriers created by enforcing the tendering of green paper, ensure that poverty is all millions will ever know cradle to grave.
In a currency-free economy, we produce as much as people desire, production is not a function of how much green paper people have to tender. As a consequence, production demand is completely unprecedented, and to fulfill this demand, full, one-hundred-percent employment is a one-hundred-percent certainty. Because greed will not be the clarion call of the market place dynamic, products will no longer be rushed out the door full of defects. Just consider Windows with its euphemistically-named “Monthly Updates,” which are in effect continuous product recalls.
A pyramid of any size
has but a single capstone
Mouse over for composition
John D. Rockefeller,
“... and a dime for you and ...”
Their game, their rules
For second tier, big ticket items, just queue an order or secure a conferral from work. First tier staples like groceries, water, and even shelter, are shared and guaranteed for life for every person, and without charge, just for the cohabitation of this planet. Commodities are dropped off at communities on a lot basis and picked up by citizens at area depots. Just think of it as a Costco without the cost, more a global community than a company or country. Yet this is not socialist, title to property such as real estate and autos is not collective, it is grand fathered and conferred or traded against. (Because most live in new construction though, trading in the real estate market is very light. Like most sales personnel, real estate sales people have moved on to less aggressive and demanding careers.)
The grief from our antiquated bank script, green paper-rationed economy can be soul crushing. Collectively teetering on the edge of financial ruin? Enduring all manner of economic hell, why does mankind subject themselves to this? Why did we ever choose to live this way, to live where fulfilling our needs are secondary to fulfilling the needs of those above us in every organizational pyramid?
Another typical day under new economic regime, and you are loving life, in part because the chance of losing your job or livelihood has been eliminated. Due to the removal of vagaries of market gyrations, your future is not only rosy and secure, it is guaranteed. There is no longer a whip or a carrot to motivate you all your working days, you are there because you like it there. There is no discord on an individual, community, or global level. Workplace aggression to stake a bigger slice of the budget pie is no more, it is unnecessary. Everyone finally understands: “We are all in this together.” By doing your job well and on-time, you stay in good stead with this cooperative, and are awarded gift conferrals as incentives.
No more crimes for
cash, craving bank script
and god-like golden glow.
You check your in box and you see four people sent you a portion of their annual allotment of online gift conferrals, effectively retro S & H Green Stamps. Your remuneration is decided more fairly than just by your boss alone. Because you did such a commendable job, co-workers with varying seniority, a customer, and your mentor all decided you deserve a wide screen TV, pushing you above the conferral threshold for one. So like capitalism, and unlike communism, exemplary effort is rewarded. The conferrals cleared your home inventory limits, because you do not already own a wide screen TV. We maintain inventory of people’s houses so they cannot stockpile, yet there is no need to horde anyway, you have all you need, want, or even hope to own.
What else can you expect when you take away the mean green? For one, crime vanishes. This is because there is no hard luck, no people dependent on stealing money, and no greed compelling it. Here there is no economic hardship, one’s needs are met, there is nothing to make one greedy.
It is Saturday, 11PM, so you pick out your TV at the national store. You show your conferral form to the guard and walk out without opening your wallet, no cash changes hands. You do not have a wallet, no one does. Without money, outside of birth control, what would you put in it? You know the TV is of superior quality, it was created from the combined talents of every Research and Development department in the industry.
What about dedication beyond the call? Why would anyone become a doctor in an economy such as this? Simple, their conferral level is given a multiplier. Because the training of doctors sacrifices their twenties, because they work grueling hours their entire lives, because they doggedly keep at their formal education, and because so much responsibility is on their shoulders, their dedication must be rewarded. Your material wealth then is a function of how much your workplace cohort values you with conferrals, plus how much society at large values your educational and career credentials, and how much of a multiplier you are given based on your job responsibilities.
All hail to a primary tenet
of capitalism, competition.
Another concern of the ultra-hard working, who gets select real estate such as beachfront property? In determining the ownership of second homes, a lottery system decides its winner based on the entrant’s conferral level, time on the queue, and luck. Exclusive vacation bookings would be handled in a similar manner.
Given that few other jobs put your life at risk; armed service enlistees, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, and officers of the law deserve additional enticements as well.
A study in diverging values,
the moneylender devoted to his coins, and his money-
weary, yet well-dressed wife devoted to her Bible.
You may claim that a money-less economy will never work, it has never been done, and it is anything except tried-and-true. Actually you are mistaken, the Amish did it, as did the Plains Indians, the Eskimos, the early Chinese, the Pacific Islander, those running production cooperatives in the Canadian maritimes, and even the Vatican does it, they prosper as currency-free economic collectives.
Oh, what a
With a trinket-exchange, money economy as we all have today, prosperity for all will never happen. It has not happened in its thousands of years of existence, and it will never happen in the future. It is not designed to happen, it is pure Darwinism, survival of the most aggressive. It is designed for the rich to stay that way, and everyone else to claw at their heels. Affluence for all, though, will happen in a money-less economy. That would be its central tenet, its core value, not capitalism’s driving motivator of Darwinian greed.
The cooperative, shared model of community commerce outlined here helps to define its technological progression well into the twenty-first century and beyond. Wealthy or destitute, fortunate or afflicted, in the eternity of time a single lifetime is all God may offer us. Our current economic system metes out hardship and tragedy every single day, here and especially the hundreds of millions in the Third World.
Why not bond together on the commonality of our economic needs, much like an Amish barn raising on the grandest scale. Marshall all the planet’s resources without regard to profiteering interests, share technology and optimize their manufacture for the good of everyone, and in this way immeasurably improve everyone’s quality of life and standard of living.
The well-to-do will scoff at such proposals, but they run the mass media so they can prevent anyone from seriously considering any of this. But then read the newspaper or watch the TV news and see if all the world’s impoverished and desperate would agree with the designs of the wealthy on everyone else’s livelihood. The best interests of the hardcore capitalists are only their own. The indigent’s lifelong struggle, and their prayers, simply to put a decent dinner on the table — even when food is plentiful for the monied majority — is often because of the Western World’s mandate for green script.
Building an Other Nation, a Better Israel
The Most Perfect Union
Let our thoughts now turn to politics, where we vote for who we would like to tell us what to do. We cannot self determine, as the Republicans kvetch about ad nauseum, because the wealthy are so shallow, and so weak of character, that they are aggressive little twerps dedicated to taking everything over for themselves. The only thing standing in the way of their worldwide domination is legislation. Yet the most effective end-around is to govern with a selected group of people, people whose values you appreciate, people who actually have values.
Buy a plot of land ministered with your form of self-governance. Canada could be an appropriate destination for this movement, because America has become a real backwater for any utopian, progressive, and compassionate thought. As the founding principles of kindness and non-belligerence domino in our burgh, eventually the Reds, the Republicans, and their regressive politics are cornered. Happy ending, wouldn’t you say?
America was founded on racism and guns, slavery was made legal per the United States Constitution — Washington and Jefferson, our founding racists, owned people. And the Founding Fathers promulgated the use of guns, because they had to keep their slaves in check.
What the gun crazies fail to realize today, is that you’re not protected against your government if you own a gun. If the Army positions a Sherman tank on your driveway, you’re sunk, you’re dead meat. If they fly F-16s over your house and drop an air-to-ground missile on it, what use is the gun you have, that a few years earlier, your wife used to kill herself in rather pointed objection to her servitude as a conservative wife. Most heartbreaking, was that she would still be alive if you didn’t keep the fully legal murder hardware in your house. Thanks to the NRA, in this country deadly weaponry will always be legal, and American, as Mom and apple pie.
A Brighter Tomorrow Requires Learning from our Mistakes
Say, just say, because of your queasy dissatisfaction with your present nation’s insurmountable logjams of governance, you needed an exodus to a new pristine homeland. Let’s also just say that your taste for a goods distribution system based on greed, aggressiveness, and one-upmanship, such as capitalism is waning, and waning fast.
Because of your refusal to get and stay behind the existing global inequitable, clunky works, you have been commissioned to establish a new, streamlined and unrivaled Utopia, and you were given the resources to create just such a domain. Everything — commerce, entertainment, governance, even people — will be best-in-class. We only need your input to make it so. Think of it like the video game The Sims, except this is all frighteningly, yet intoxicatingly, real.
In the decades of preparation in getting Other Nation up and running, we discovered that there exists micro nations that have been attempted, and while their efforts were valiant, we found them to be well, can we say it, a little wimpy in their ambitions, and sadly small-scaled. Forget boutique nations, let’s have it all. We are aiming for the whole enchilada, an unstoppable juggernaut of liberty, peace, and prosperity — the envy of the Free World, and the oppressed one as well (which oddly enough are beginning to sound like one and the same place).
Newly-engineered infrastructure; easy, environment-friendly transportation; best-in-class manufacturing and educational facilities; organic farms for food; eager, and well-paid careerists; and pallets of gold for foreign transactions were all provided gratis by an anonymous donor (anonymity would be preferred, otherwise Other Nation would end up being grossly indebted to the Walmarts, the McDonalds, and the Mercedes of the corporate world, and the billionaires of the private world). To pursue an undertaking of this magnitude — like Libya was recently able to accomplish with very little — a long, although still manageable (please do not feel overwhelmed), list of decisions need to be made.
Well, then, let us begin. One of the first orders of business is to extricate ourselves from what we know to be an oppressive regime. Scotland did an excellent job of this by offering its electorate a binding referendum to secede from Great Britain. We will leave the Union within three years, four tops.
But beyond simple secession, what will be an Other Nation’s core tenets? Is there a nation we can pattern itself upon? Is there a country have you always admired for its people, its relaxed yet ambitious lifestyle, its belief in tolerance, its tireless fight for equal opportunity and a more just distribution of wealth, its careful stewardship of the environment, and its familial teamwork and work ethic? Yes, if you guessed our neighbors to the North, Canada, you guessed right. Now, then, what will you jettison — what exists where you live that you absolutely despise? Besides chronically losing sports franchises.
Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade
If all production was the end result of Mankind working together instead of fighting over trinkets like green paper, or battling coworkers over missed deadlines, wouldn’t we be producing much more? If corporate production methods were not privately-held, State secret-equivalents, every nation of the World would be prosperous, and foreign economies would not drag down the American one.
Money is yet another method to stratify society. Money is a complete abstraction, green paper money is worthless unless we assign it value. It is only a means of giving some more than is given others, and usually by giving it to them arbitrarily, and not based on effort. Eventually, Man will need to understand that commercial endeavors, are a group, shared, community or global effort. Every man for himself, as exists everywhere today, is self-defeating. Grand-scale teamwork is our only hope.
You might be wondering where an Other Nation would get the productive capacity for manufacturing as a fledgling sovereign. Simple, corporations offer us their product, we offer them a place to incorporate. Just as Burger King moved to Canada because its business policies are more favorable there, industry will be moving in droves to Other Nation for the very same reason. The co-op business model emigrant companies would be adopting has no taxation, just the spirit of communal, unified, non-competitive, cooperating industry. Is there a commercial enterprise anywhere that would not want to sign on to be lightened of its burden of public goods funding, otherwise known as taxation?
When greed is no longer the global motivator, but mutually beneficial existence is instead, will your goods distribution system still require a payment mechanism, or will it be currency-free with its spigots of production opened wide? Will goods distribution be like King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, where every prefecture gives to every other prefecture in free and easy, M-sized to N-sized, multi-party, bulk lot exchanges, instead of only rigid, lucre-constricted, 1 to 1, two-party exchanges? In this new world, pallets are delivered daily, depot-style, to your burgh, then brought to your home. With such a potent economic formula, the balance of trade with other countries of exports over imports will always be favorable.
In twenty years, an Other Nation will be the dominant commerce model in the world economy. Textbooks will all be rewritten. Families will be pulling out their roots to join us (in Canada apparently, as tundra is cheap). Maps will be redrawn, globes will be recast, and Google Maps will show an Other Nation as the preeminent military powerhouse (with many missile silo symbols dotted everywhere).
Closer to home, would you like to watch TV without any commercials? Then imagine goods promoted without them, on their own merits — as per viral, consumer-driven marketing — and never forced across the table, or forced down your throat like McDonalds does. The marketplace is now, as it has always been, a struggle between buyers haggling for price breaks, pitted against sellers pressing to move slower inventory. Everyone knows this is a very awkward and frustrating system, it’s just that no one has ever done anything about it, until the advanced reconstruction team at Other Letter devised these methods.
After One Year in Jail, most Criminals have learned their Lesson
There are several impediments to a crime-free society. One is punishing the convicted much more than is necessary to rehabilitate him — the punishment is so severe, rehabilitation is no longer possible. This creates unemployable and unforgiven, repeat offenders who have nowhere to go but back to prison. I would have to suggest that after one year, most convicts know they made a huge mistake and wouldn’t repeat offend if they had a worthwhile recourse in regular society. When there are legitimate methods to get what one needs, why resort to crime?
Employment for anyone, convicts included, should be based on the ability to do the job, and on that alone. While you probably do not want major felons involved with your children, they can run heavy equipment, equipment that cannot be stolen. Without second, or even third chances, society has created a subclass that it has castaway forever, whose only function once having a criminal record is to commit more and bigger crimes. Prison is a crime school where more advanced criminal activity is learned, often nonaccredited.
Societal justice is also hampered by the prosecution of victimless crimes such as those involving marijuana users, as well as those involving prostitutes and their Johns. Adult prostitutes will not work at society-acceptable jobs that are available to them at this point in their lives. Walmart 9 to 5s pay them nothing compared to Craig’s List. They can make much more money with their body, and with their street smarts. The pimps are the ones that have to be stopped. Yet the only way they can be stopped is if the prostitutes are legally protected as they are in Las Vegas, anywhere else they are as good as punching bags to their pimps. Cops won’t protect hookers, they are just criminals.
Shaming Johns by posting their photographs, names, and hometowns, pre-trial on the Internet, and without guilt established, is illegal in America, which does not mean it hasn’t been done for grandstanding, political purposes here on Long Island by former Republican and Nassau County District Attorney, now U.S. Congresswoman, Kathleen Rice (she must have been advised from real attorneys of the incredible illegality of condemning someone without a trial, as she later dropped her “Shame the Johns,” crazy vendetta). If a guy is hard-up (his wife is a deuce and a half), for whatever reason, he will seek satisfaction, even if that means going to those in the “world’s oldest profession” to find it.
Marijuana is a soft drug, and those involved in its distribution should never do jail time. One day, people will look back at America and laugh at today’s leaders, because they locked up people in jail who sold weed, sent them away from their families for ten, twenty, or more years, yet permitted the showing of beer commercials during every sporting event. Then they made selling alcohol almost as legal as selling milk, while sometimes selling both from the same store. Another by-product of this Draconian marijuana policy, is the black-market price is jacked up for cannabis to levels that may require theft by habitués to keep a supply of their drug of choice.
When policing is no longer used to fight petty, victimless crime, it can be used instead to battle domestic violence, enhance road and neighborhood safety, block human trafficking, get gangs off the streets, as well as organized crime, so the community feels completely safe. Legalizing soft drugs will drive the mafia out of business.
Concerning drugs, I would suggest another take on the Amish rumspringa. Here, it would mean granting a license to experiment between when someone’s brain is fully mature, say at twenty years of age, and when full, adult-level responsibilities kick in, say at age thirty. This would be done in one’s home, or locally, so driving and bugging out would not be a problem.
Crimes caused when desperate addicts addicted to hard drugs steal cash to secure their fix can be stopped by registering addicts, just give them controlled access to controlled substances. Methadone maintenance is a successful example of this. Locking people up, then forcing them to rob or even kill, because they need to fulfill a biological need does not make any sense.
Online drug dealing thrives because, according to one report, it is seen as a safer place to buy drugs than through cocked and locked street dealers. There are even user reviews of the drugs’ quality, so there is a perception that they won’t get ripped off, and it might be user pre-tested for potency. Wouldn’t it make sense that, until they get help, or the government gives them a safe supply, they should be getting their fix online where they won’t get killed: because the dosage is wrong, or because the pusher says you’re short cash? Regardless if addicts are supplied on the street, via online purchasing, or via the State, they still need treatment, because anyone agrees there’s much more to life than going through one’s years drugged out.
One way to fight infanticide (or the killing of newborns), as well as prevent the creation of unwanted children, is to have a Roe v. Wade-type provision in an Other Nation’s Constitution. A second, sadly common one is to force the mother who just gave birth, to put her baby up for adoption. A problem with this second option is that both mother and child will likely never want to see each other again. Forced motherhood is an awful dictate of the Vatican. That people will listen to White, virgin males in robes regarding women’s reproductive health makes me question a majority of humanity’s sanity.
None of these suggestions can ever be implemented into law in America because much of this country still thinks we are living in the conservative, restrictive, poverty is last on the agenda, lowering taxes first, Eisenhower, Reagan, or Bush Administrations...
Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms & Cannabis
Our nation must do something about the control of dangerous materials, such as alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. Tobacco is easy to control, none of it shall cross our borders. One apocalyptic public health risk is then resolved, and incalculable suffering ended. For firearms, only those protecting the public, that is, the police and any military, will be allowed to carry them. This avoids the massacres that America, with the most lax gun-control laws in the World, regularly faces. Given what the police are dealt on a daily basis, the NRA is an invasive terrorist organization that must surely hate law enforcement; because by increasing the number of guns in circulation, the NRA does such a great job of gutting policing efforts. So our nation would be treating them as terrorists, and prosecutes them for promulgating weapons use, to the full extent of your law. The NRA are financial beneficiaries of an egregious loophole in the United States Constitution. Hunters are welcome elsewhere, we find it cruel and dangerous. We do not have a taste for venison, and except for occasionally ordering the filets of cows slaughtered for McDonalds, we will not be eating anything above a turkey on the food chain.
Marijuana should be treated no different than alcohol, otherwise cannabis is sold in the same nefarious network where heroin is, illegally, in a very dangerous, and very expensive, black market. We will make an effort, via public safety campaigns, and public service announcements, to limit their use to only those wanting to experiment, like the Amish parents allow their offspring in the rumspringa interval. You may be better off eliminating that usage too, but many people have always seemed to have an interest in one or the other. Otherwise, only grant citizenship to those who will pledge to not smoke or drink, and if they are caught in the act, they must pack their bags. This differs from Prohibition because that tried to stop drinkers from drinking, here they would be clean and sober from the start. One consideration, regardless of the drug of choice, everyone must eventually get clean, or, to sound a bit overwrought, they will join hands with the Devil. His deep bite will enable their little habit to one day unleash all the torment of Hell upon them. Eventually, Other Nation will likely be dry, so anyone needing to get liquored up, or toasted, will have to do so by visiting the States — where they just see it as another way to make money.
Constitution and Governance
To stop moneyed and special interests from taking over the government, as it has in America’s patronage election system, our campaign financing for public service will only be from the public government till, and never solicited from the private one. Politicians, known in Other Nation as Council Appointees, will quickly realize that they only promote what is best for this new nation, but never promulgate positions for the deep-pocketed, from whom they would be receiving substantial, ill-gotten sums were they serving in lesser nations honoring money politics.
Appointees, only working for the public good here, will no longer have politics as a stepping stone to gilded fortunes, but they will instead amass their own spiritual wealth, by adding value to a fledgling, yet unusually spirited and thriving civic enterprise, one not seen since America’s founding — and they were monied, aristocratic, slave owning racists. Career politicians will need to look to lesser nations for their needed privilege, influence, and luxurious lifestyle.
An Other Nation will be founded with grassroots, de-centralized support. Unlike in Washington, D.C., Other Nation won’t have entrenched power brokers getting campaign funding from the NRA, Walmart, or the Vatican and its self-righteous affiliates. Instead, the Council will be of and for the people. In an Other Nation, it will not be business as usual from out-of-touch politicians, ones sending soldiers headlong to their deaths by the thousands, as it has been for over a century since we started rallying around the first waving of Bandages and Bullet Holes.
Then from whose Constitution might you employ as a template to fashion a governance document? If it were adapted, which amendments will you need to include, and which ones will you need to jettison? Are you partial to the Second Amendment allowing everyone and their brother to won an assault rifle? Do you wonder why no one bothers to repeal the Second Amendment, even though the vast majority of Americans are against guns? Do you finally realize the entire travesty could be expected from the Founding Fathers who were slave-owning racists? Will your legal code be written in English so anyone can understand it? Or should it be written in legalese so only attorneys will? Does the legal and political community deserve to be handed complete control over the reins of power?
Other Nation will need to do a much more vigorous job in establishing civil liberties than a country such as America, where freedom is so aggressively marketed, yet where the reality falls far short of the promoted ideal. The United States Constitution was created on September 17, 1787, to give universal rights to White males. It was later amended to give African Americans rights equal to Caucasians, at least on paper, 89 years after the so-called Land of the Free was founded. A country where driving while Black can be punishable by death. In 1979, the Equal Rights Amendment attempted to grant women equality to men 114 years after the American manumission of Blacks, but it was soundly defeated. From day one, an Other Constitution will grant our people equal rights regardless of gender, sexual orientation, skin color, and even, your wealth. While the faith of most will be an Other Spirituality (why else would you join us?), we will allow non-conformists to become full-fledged citizens, as long as they are not proselytizing rabble-rousers longing for the Old Ways back in the Land of Bandages and Bullet Holes.
To protect society, the convicted must be rehabilitated, and demonstrated the error of their ways. Will you punish and defeat law-breakers with chain-gang style justice, or should society do their best to set them on any possible path to recovery? Other Nation will not give the death penalty for three reasons. One, execution shortens the time spent being punished, as well as the prisoner’s feeling of guilt and remorse. At minimum, murderers should live at least as long as is necessary for them to realize that what they did was wrong; and if they live that long, what is the point in killing them? Two, the killer’s tale about why he did it, any regrets he had, and any lessons that might be learned from his misspent life, as well as his circumvented or denied path to rehabilitation and recovery, might never be told. And three, holding a death sentence over someone’s head indefinitely — like a noose — is cruel and inhuman punishment. What’s more, as the extent of punishments go, how could anyone flog a prisoner to near-death? In terms of corporal pain infliction, capital punishment is obviously far beyond that, as someone healthy is put down, and laid to rest. As explained earlier, only units operating to protect the public will carry guns, so the murder rate here will be one of the lowest in the World — so if we even had a Death Row, it would be empty.
Will our police force be feared and hated, or appreciated and welcomed? As most are well aware, there are good cops and there are bad ones. Such a moral schism would seem to get very pronounced in this profession, and even enforced; as officers of the law are expected, and most likely trained, to always be aggressive against any potential adversity. Some will try to resolve an extremely difficult situation peaceably, others have no vested, morally-founded interest in such an approach, and will show gratuitous intimidation or force. In an Other Nation, the emphasis would be almost solely on public service and protection, rather than on authority obedience, and skull-cracking. Our law officers would be trained to uphold the strictest standards of racial sensitivity.
Entertainment and the Parasitic Paparazzi
Paparazzi photographs will not be banned, but our publishing community, out of common decency, will not print any of them, ever. As a consequence, celebrities will make an exodus from Hollywood to an Other Nation, making our homey, little Valhalla, the new Entertainment Capitol of the Universe. Press junkets, parties; and interviews without any project to promote, as well as television shows and movies, will be the only events where we will get a sneak peek into the lives of stars and starlets. In addition, planned photo ops, and open house red carpets, will replace the around-the-clock stalking by paparazzi. If you are a Hollywood actor or actress, and your career is flagging, why not stop on in? Taking or publishing any unsolicited photographs, especially those of children, will be a felony.
If you have made a habit of listening to play lists on Youtube, you are often dismayed by the endless commercials. Only Other Nation has the remedy. Extensive research at the Other Nation Board of Industrial & Musical Standards has demonstrated that there are only five hundred songs people enjoy listening to more than ten times apiece. These are songs you just never seem to grow tired of hearing. Your Other Nation will secure replay rights to these songs, and they will be streamed off an Other Nation’s media server, not Youtube’s ones laden with commercials. Because this nation has negotiated rights for only these five hundred songs, they will be available for a song. These will be included in our cultural budget, free of commercials.
How does that sound — wouldn’t this be music to your ears? In addition, there will always be a generous selection of global bit casting radio. (I hear your concern, “How could you, Other Letter? — you have just given the World a billion dollar business idea, yet hardly gotten your fair share in return.” Hold on, there is no income stream. You’re thinking, levy those listeners of yours; but that will never fly — people are not used to paying money for their streaming music.)
Animals in Cages & Big Fish in Small Tanks
Another question to consider is whether or not you will allow zoos and aquariums in your country. In so far as they are a defense against species extinction (perhaps through environmental catastrophe), animals held in captivity may be very desirable as breeding stock. How many animals in zoos and aquariums are near extinction though? I would have to think these would definitely be a small minority of their population, as might those injured animals invaluably being nursed back to health. They are crowd-pleasers though, kids seem to appreciate seeing exotic creatures up close, as might their parents.
There may be evidence that even lowly aquatic life may be more worthy of respect. A recent visit to an aquarium revealed that fish, or at least many fish longer than one foot, move their eyes. In my estimation, that bumps them much further up the evolutionary tree than might have been thought previously. This is because there must be a brain signal behind the eye movement to tell them where in their possible field of view their eyes should be moved, and in anticipation of which events.
If there is a strong desire to keep animals captive, they should at least try to do a better job of imitating their habitat, and not having them live in such cramped environs. Even reintroduction of a species to the wild could be considered, then tried — at worst, they’ll end up back in the zoo, or become a natural prey. There is an entire economy in capturing and domesticating wildlife, an Other Nation will likely only want a tangential role, if any.
Paycheck Porn & Last Rites for Runaways
The rabid and growing, pornographic enterprise — one that started innocently enough in just making stag films — gets more and more out of hand. Sex crimes easily have the potential of being fueled by interminable sessions looking at addictive Internet porn. These videos, especially the hard-core ones where the actresses are occasionally seen with black and blue marks, are often freak shows that not only exploit women, runaways, and children, they regularly violate them, and prevent them from having normal lives worthy of respect. These women and girls — and we may be talking about many, many more than just whores for hire and display — possess one piece of capital, their body, which they must regularly tender, just as a slave might, so they can stay above water. Given the end result for the defiled actresses and the jaded viewers, we have a lose-lose situation.
Even the New York Times noted that porn’s heyday was in the Seventies. They had real scripts, definitely on the goofy, campy side, but entertaining nonetheless. What is available today though via the Internet in massive quantities (and now without even scripts as it must slow down its production and its demands on casting), is essentially Last Rites for runaways. Nothing redeems the sacrifice of their self-respect, neither exposition of technique, nor a beautiful finished product. Very few good scripts are written for this market now. Considering how big a place sex has in our lives, it is more than a little surprising exceptional erotica in all its varieties and strengths is rarely, if ever, available.
An “.xxx” top-level domain would make any desired parental or personal regulation of the material much more enforceable — browsers would block any URL ending in “.xxx”. Historically, Internet smut has no precedent. Eighty years ago, when there was very little pornography readily available, sperm counts were higher, so males did not ejaculate with the frequency that they do today. Sigmund Freud decided we should not repress or deny any sexual urges, and today no one does.
No One Who beats the House sticks around
Because our citizens have better things to do then pull levers for metal trinkets, as a well-conditioned rat would for a reward of kibble, gambling will have to be done Stateside. This also prevents organized crime from making their presence here. In an Other Nation, we would prefer that none of our citizenry drop their life savings at a green-felted table.
Auto Mechanic Maintenance Contracts
If you have ever been soaked by a car mechanic, take heart, you will never be again in an Other Nation. We will promote auto upkeep with actuarially-adjusted, insurance contracts as a repair garage’s exclusive mode of billing. These will provide for full maintenance of your car, for the life of your car, without the expected hassles of unexpected charges. Your mechanic’s business will never be slow, and his income stream will be level, so he will have no incentive on trying to fix a car that does not need to be fixed.
The Hippocratic Oath is hardly an Oath of Poverty
Find a doctor ten or twenty years out of medical school, and give him a notebook. Tell him to write down everything he knows about medicine. How many pages would have writing on them? Doctors should be re-certified, require them to retake and pass the Boards every ten years or so. Considering their pay scale, prestige in the community, and responsibility, they should be vetted regularly. Demand what every other profession demands, ongoing excellence, and comprehensive skill renewal. Instead of Golf Wednesday at the links, their re-education would make them better informed of the current practices, the best medications, the newest technology, and the latest research, so their patients will receive the best care known to man. Continuing Medical Education is not yet compulsory in many States, but neglect of CME is irresponsible, and in Other Nation would be considered malpractice.
In medicine for money, there is very little incentive for doctors to share what they know. Say a doctor has many local patients and he knows of a successful first-line-of-defense treatment. Why would he ever tell any other doctor of this proven and effective remedy? To do so would only hurt his bottom line. The better doctors will confer with their colleagues, but there are plenty of ‘Lone Wolves’ on the prowl who have their own ways of doing things.
Health care delivery will no longer be a for-profit enterprise. It will be a Constitutional right, so there will be fewer public health issues — physicians will not be motivated by the dollar sign to recommend and authorize unnecessary procedures, or experiment with new and unfounded ones. Furthermore, doctors will be required to state the pros and cons of any procedure they recommend, and do so without regard to how much cash they would have otherwise made performing them. During evaluation, they will need to post or disclose their pricing, including average out-of-pocket amount for specific plans. Pharmaceutical companies will see changes as well. Big Pharma will not be jamming the airwaves imploring you to ask your doctor about their latest potion. If you need to sleep better, exercise, or boring late night radio and TV, works better than taking a heavily-promoted, addictive narcotic every night.
Shared, publicly-provided goods, will be given to those who need the most, not to those with the most money. For immigrants this means that because of you and your family’s citizenship, and investment in time and money in your citizenship here, you have earned our trust. Welcome aboard, we offer you the keys to the basic human sustenance needs of healthcare, employment placements, and housing.
A National Spirit never compromised
On a community level, will esprit de corps and unity of purpose be an easily-secured asset in this dynamic, rapidly evolving principality? We will trust our people, knowing this trust will be reciprocated. Does living in a place where people share your moral and spiritual, as well as their cultural sensibilities sound tempting? Isn’t this why the Pilgrims set up shop so far from Cornwall? Why not allow innovative family structures be given stead, as counterpoint to where lifestyles preferred by the majority are shoved down people’s throats, and where those with one lifestyle preference are not punished because of them?
Elitism versus Open Club Memberships
Clubs and associations would have open memberships in an Other Nation. While there may be a strong tendency among snobs and elitists to restrict membership, and thus restrict access to certain activities such as Polo and golf, we will not be restricting them here. We get no satisfaction in preventing other people from doing things that we will only allow ourselves to do. In fact, we would have a guilty conscience from lauding our privilege over others. Members-only arrangements are a vestige of plantation hierarchies, and closed, smug, intolerant societies.
A Relevant, Inclusive Education
Will your educational system be feared or will it be inviting, relevant or not? Will people fall through its cracks because it is meaningless obedience training? Will it be a cut-throat competition where students jump through hoops so they can be graded like beef? Will the leaders of tomorrow be vengeful against those very hurtfully jealous of their success? Will this success be meted in school environments where unfair advantages are given to those with lengthy and independent, academic preparation?
Will you be learning material of value now, and that you will want and need to carry into your future? Or will your education be largely irrelevant to Mankind’s endeavor, and padded with courses that are of the most value to: the professors that know how to teach them; the academic departments that need to keep their classrooms full to remain funded; the testing agencies who need to test people with something; and the universities themselves that need to keep their alumni endowment growing by offering prestigious degrees earned with inordinately difficult and insignificant coursework. Because schools are the gatekeepers to advancement in life, they need to present necessary material that is accessible to everyone, and not only reserve it for those who can afford six-figure educational investments.
An Other Nation debuts on the International Scene
Out of good will and a non-aggression pact, you were donated a vacant plot of 20,000 acres of prime tundra in Northern Canada for your colonization. Will your closest neighbors — the Eskimos, or First Nations people, as you will begin calling them — offer you any tips on survival? Will you learn to become as self-sufficient as they have been for centuries? Will you limit your haul from nature to only as much as required for your colony’s subsistence, or will you become Global Fur King? Will you give citizenship papers to anyone with a passion and a work ethic to get them, or should there be an almost impossible battery of tests and qualifications for entrance?
How will international relations be fostered? How will you prevent invasions from, say, Mainers who with global warming care to usurp your camping slots each and every summer? Will you be invited to join the United Nations? Will other countries, regardless of their place on the political spectrum consider this Other Nation the darling of the global scene, and only have an interest in giving you things — or will they only give you headaches? Or will you feel safer knowing invading armies will have to trudge through hundreds of miles of frozen tundra only to be greeted by very friendly, albeit very frightened, citizenry? Will other nations be as charitable to your nation as you will be to theirs?
Will another nation, shamed by your country’s success, try to precipitate an international incident, and try to make an Other Nation look weak, vulnerable, and ripe for the picking? How will you prevent saboteurs from ruining all your sovereignty’s hard work. Will you require a standing army, or given the example here, will Canada provide a defense? Will defending RCMPs, the Canadian Mounties, require recompense? Will the entire experiment be vaporized by nuclear weaponry, or poisoned by biochemical ones? Will the Underworld, or a jealous government, find a more than willing loner to be employed as an assassin of Other Nation’s strongest proponent, and humble martyr (perhaps there is a high-mileage Popemobile up for sale that just needs a little TLC)? Another concern will be whether a nation hemorrhaging emigrants, because of the de-populating effect, will freeze the assets of these refugees to prevent them from starting a new life in a better, Other Nation.
Would working to create a more perfect Union be worthwhile, one without the mistakes we’re stuck with today?
Did you ever stop to consider how much the present society was founded on mistrust and greed? I possess nothing, even eating is out of the question, unless someone gives me the nod, until “my superior” hands me green paper. With such a system, there is a tremendous temptation to take in more than what is rightfully yours. Money, or the Gospel of Mammon, is the root of this evil, except it won’t be in an Other Nation.
What will you do to make an Other Nation the best damn country possible? What will you do far better than your nearest competitor? How will you whet the curiosity of an anxious and envious people, without yet offering a complete yet inexact blueprint? Will you provide a three page document, much like the U.S. Constitution, and say, we don’t need much else, do we? Will the people of a new nation finally get it right — economically, legally, socially, and diplomatically? Is anything worth a try? Are you so enamored of your nation that you are certain nothing better will ever be possible? If these principles were to take root everywhere in Creation, would the deal-breaking requirement of a colonization location no longer matter?
Money has long been considered the root of all evil, so taking it away may sound like Heaven on Earth. Yet money has a function that may be very difficult to replace, and that is it decides who gets inferior, knock off and superior, privileged versions of a product. For instance, who gets a crummy car, and who gets a fully luxe model? In Soviet Russia, this was partially resolved before, and with some success, by putting goods on the marketplace with a single, uniform quality. Given workers’ commitment to the equality of goods, no one should get anything better than anyone else (except if given conferrals by others for exceptional work, so then one would deserve more luxurious transport options). With today’s computerized market equilibrium, this might be more doable now than it was under a moneyed, oppressive regime fifty years ago.
You may decide, “These may be great ideas, but for the most part you would need your own country to implement them, so you need a dominion that you will never, ever be able to repatriate as your own.” There is a very elegant workaround to that issue, and it has to do with the fact that a nation is little more than a public goods provider, it provides services that people cannot afford to provide on their own. These include emergency services like police and fire departments, healthcare, a financial security safety net, and security services like the military. An Other Nation could have a virtual overlapping existence and receive tax monies for services rendered from any burgh located within any jurisdictions between the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts.
For instance, those in a section of Florida may prefer and pay for Other policing as opposed to current forces that today provide inadequate services. The existing provider would sue, and we would counter-sue stating we have the right to have a public goods provider of our choosing. They would win though, for one very simple reason, the jurisdictions would overlap, and thus would be extremely inefficient to administer (imagine a highway patrol that cannot issue a speeding summons until they know if the violator of the law is in their jurisdiction). The solution: hold a referendum on who deserves to be your public goods provider for a given principality. If you do not have that right to govern as a majority decides, you hardly have much liberty at all.
Yet you usurp the police department powers of this certain town in Florida. Florida has no issue with a carpetbagger taking over in such a fashion? Next you vote yourself into taking over all of the Gator State. Do you honestly believe the United States Government will idly sit by while you set up camp and apportion the state of Florida? Then you say, the United States Government itself is the next public goods provider you shall take over for malfeasance. That is a revolutionary idea, start a revolution. Hmm, I don’t know, originally on paper, this whole Other Nation thing did look pretty good, now we’re setting ourselves up for the capital crime of treason. If you still want to go ahead with this, write to me from Death Row.
The Other Great Labor Question
During the American Civil War, the Great Labor Question was first posed — would anything in the South ever get accomplished once slave drivers could no longer whip slaves? That became a groundless concern, people need to eat, shelter themselves, etcetera. They will work to provide themselves with these amenities.
Why then would anyone lift a finger without the guarantee of green bank script? This is the Other Great Labor Question. In all honesty, I doubt anyone alive today will learn the answer first hand. Yet what follows is why people would work in a money-free society.
For starters, you are working for a progressively equitable and principled society, a regional trading partner, a worldwide collective, one not answering to Wall Street, a Corporation, or a government. Staying in good stead with your mentor and your employer keeps your tap in the international consumer goods pipeline.
That is your incentive, avoiding the deportation back to an economy that oddly prides itself on the Darwinian nature of its goods distribution system. Once one tastes complete economic freedom, why return to a commercial network endorsing the proposition the well off are fitter, better than the rest? Having sampled Valhalla, could you go back to subscribing — like those clutching the gold standard — that the well-to-do deserve their privileged station in life, and we know to admire them, independent of their character?
What could be greater than money?
For those emigrating back out of material happiness, say hello once more to governance that proudly calls its internal policing Homeland Security, uncannily evocative of the Reichstag’s Fatherland. Reacquaint yourself to a land where the only agreements are on deploying oily bombing missions, or withholding comprehensive medical care.
The financially entrenched would likely add that a money-free economy is unsustainable because of two aspects of human nature, selfishness or greed, and laziness or complacency. Well these factors are what doom present economic equality — witness perpetual Third World poverty, the chain reaction of foreclosures on junk mortgages, and Bernard Madoff.
Then consider the typical, lifeless fixtures money brings — polished, marble vaults to safeguard green paper supplies, whips and carrots to keep those outside the Ruling Class following orders and keep them in lockstep with Upper Crust interests.
Much of the world would welcome the end of a token-rationed economy whose production is limited by the availability of tokens. One where your material net worth is often decided by caprice. More would welcome the beginning of open distribution conduits where even the impoverished are on an even footing in the marketplace. A world where everyone, without reservation or qualification, would pledge allegiance to their flag, with economic liberty and justice for all.