More economic thoughts

So, more and more I am liking the idea of a bucketed currency.

One of the big reasons why is that politicians (especially right wingers, but politicians in general) like to talk about how they ‘can’t afford to do things’. One big reason for this is that our current rather broken, not to mention stupid economic system doesn’t actually keep track of the resources we have at all. Therefore, when we, for example, say that we “can’t afford” national healthcare, the truth is, we don’t even know how much it would cost! Everything gets squashed into a floating point value we call “money”, and the “money” to real resource conversion is arbitrary and generally driven by things like scarcity. It’s not a value that indicates the real value of the resource, or else fracking would never have gotten off the ground. (Any 3 year old can tell you water is more valuable than any petrochemical).

I know that it would be a major endeavor to create a bucketed currency system. I’m talking about having separate buckets to track skilled man hours in every major skill, every type of metal, energy, transit cost, etc. I’m talking about tracking a hundred thousand buckets on every product. This is something that is well within the technology we use today, but it’s a rather radical shift from the “We turn everything into one price and call it money” system that we currently use.

However, the only way you know if you can afford national healthcare, for example, is if you know how many man-hours you have of people skilled in the medical arts, and about how many people are going to need those skills. This is again kindergarden stuff, but it’s not something that seems to be widely acknowledged.

“But, with a bucketed currency system, how would we know what people could afford?”. That’s a very good question, and not one I have a great answer for yet. However, well written software could at the very least ensure that everyone had a place to live and food to eat. Yes, I’m talking about communism. I think communism could have worked if they’d had better tools to use when they were creating it.

Of course, then the next question is, why would *I* want this? I’m in the top 2% of my industry, skill wise, and I get paid very well because of it. On the other paw, I feel awful every time another friend tells me about being evicted, or about struggling to pay their medical bills. As near as I can tell, almost everyone out there is hurting. Even the 1% – at the point at which they become the 1%, they no longer have any idea who they can trust – who is really their friend, and who is just out for their money. You will note that I will not sign up to *BE* the 1%. I’m fairly sure if it was a goal of mine, I could do it. It’s not. But while I see us having made amazing strides in technology, I see a world where a whole lot of people are stressed, scared, and unhappy, be they at the bottom of the ladder or the top. And I’d really, really like us to find ways to fix that. I think that a ‘everybody eats’ policy would go a long way towards that, and I think that it’s very doable.

One Response to “More economic thoughts”

  1. Firesong Says:

    I’d never ask why you would want that. I already know that your goals involve the whole world and not just you.

    You’re so bright, in so many ways.

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