1) Hour-based Currency Everything made by mankind is composed of only 2 primary ingredients… human & natural resources. At the source, natural resources are a free gift from nature to us all. Human resources, then, are the only real input cost of everything made. Since human labour is already measured and priced using hours, it only makes sense to use hours as the basis for society's currency. Hours are a stable, universal constant that are accessible to everyone equally. The number of hours in a day is immune to inflation from human greed or economic magic. The true value of our own time on Earth is infinite. To honestly respect others, we must recognize the value of their lives are also infinite. An infinite value divided by any number remains infinite. Every hour of human life, then, is equally priceless.
2) Automatic Money Creation and Extinction New money will be created directly by the people, not by the government or the banks. New money (labour credits) will be created instantly as people perform socially productive work. All money will be backed 100% by socially productive labour already performed. When money is spent, it will be extinguished. Money will not recirculate. Consumption will automatically extinguish money.
3) Income Income will only be generated two ways:
Labour One hour of labour will create one hour of new money as income to the worker. Paid time-off will be used to reward extremely difficult, stressful, or dangerous work. One hour of labour will create up to three additional hours of paid time-off as income to the worker. Only socially-productive, commercial labour will create new money. Socially-productive, commercial labour is labour that produces goods or services that are consumed by people other than the worker himself. Pursuing a post-secondary education is also socially-productive labour. Acquiring knowledge enhances the value of our human resources and increases society's collective wealth. One hour of study will create one hour of new money as income to the student. Course outlines will establish how many paid study hours each course includes. All students will be able to pay their tuition fees simply by attending classes, without any debt, and still have a sufficient income to live comfortably while learning.
Endowments At birth, all people inherit an equal right to a share of the Earth's natural resources. Throughout their lives, all people contribute more to society than just their paid employment. Raising families, caring for loved ones, maintaining friendships, all have enormous social value. Endowments simply recognize this equal right and reward these voluntary social contributions. At 21 years of age, every person will receive an endowment of 10 hours per week, whether they work or not, for the rest of their lives.
4) Commercial Credit Commercial enterprises will no longer need any start-up capital. Once registered as a business, commercial entities simply open an accounting line-of-credit at a bank of their choice. Since workers create all of their own income themselves simply by working, the employer has no up-front labour costs to pay. Commercial raw materials, supplies, and all other inputs are simply transferred between businesses without the need for any money at all. All commercial transfers are simply recorded as accounting entries at the business banks. The "seller's" outstanding line-of-credit is reduced by the value of a transfer, while the "purchaser's" line-of-credit is increased by the value transferred. Sales to consumers also reduce the outstanding balance on a business line-of-credit.
5) Public Capital All major assets, like buildings, machinery, infrastructure, vehicles, etc., that have been designed to last for longer than 10 years, are also transferred to those who require them without the need for any money at all. The user is simply responsible for paying the actual depreciation cost of using the asset. A house that took 12,000 hours to build, and was designed to last 100 years, would depreciate at the rate of 120 hours a year. The depreciation cost to the user would be only 10 hours a month. (how many hours do you have to work now to pay your rent or mortgage each month?) The ownership of all major assets remain in the public domain. Elites and governments no longer own anything. Users still enjoy exclusive, private, possession and usage rights for as long as they wish (assuming they pay the monthly asset depreciation costs responsibly). Users cannot sell major assets for a profit. Speculation and inflation vanish. Exorbitant rents to property owners disappear completely. All people remain on an equal economic playing field.
6) Commercial Prices Commercial prices are calculated by totalling input costs, all of which are denominated in hours. Price = internal labour + operating inputs + asset depreciation. No profit is added. No financing costs are added. Neither are necessary. Private capital is no longer at risk. There are no shareholders to reward. Capital is a free public utility available to everyone. Since labour itself creates the money to pay workers, workers are paid the full value of the major assets they produce during the production cycle. But major assets are depreciated into prices slowly as the assets wear out. Accordingly, more income is generated during a production cycle than what immediately goes into final prices. In other words, in the short term, incomes exceed prices. Government labour creates new money but government services are provided freely (unpriced). Also, student labour and the endowments add income which has no corresponding market prices. In addition, the government consumes a portion of the goods and services produced commercially which reduces the supply of commercial goods and services available to consumers. Again this causes consumer incomes to exceed final consumer prices. Some excess income is needed to pay for future, ongoing asset depreciation costs, plus some excess income is necessary to fund personal savings without stalling the economy, but too much income could create a supply shortage of goods and services. To compensate for this, one government tax must be added to prices. Natural resource usage fees would replace all other taxes, including income taxes and sales taxes.
7) Natural Resource Usage Fees To slow the consumption rate of scarce resources and to make recycling more affordable, a resource usage fee must be added to the price of every good and service produced. Resource usage fees will be based upon two primary considerations. The first will be the annual depletion rate of the total remaining supply of a particular resource. The depletion rate for a completely renewable resource would be 0%. The depletion rate for a scarce or rapidly declining resource could run as high as 50%. The depletion fee would be calculated by multiplying the total labour cost of supplying the resource by the depletion rating. If it took 10 labour hours to produce a barrel of crude oil, and the depletion rate for crude oil was set at 50%, then a barrel of crude would cost 15 hours. The second consideration will be based upon the environmental impact of utilizing a resource. Impact assessments will include both the environmental cost of resource extraction and processing plus any final waste disposal costs. The environmental fee will be added to the depletion fee to calculate the resource usage fee. If money doesn't recirculate, and there is no artificial system of debt to sustain consumption, when resources cost more than what was paid out to produce them, then consumption rates will fall accordingly. High resource usage fees will encourage manufacturers to develop more environmentally sustainable production strategies.
Using these 7 simple concepts, the primary nature of the economy can be changed from a competitive, high-growth, profit-driven model to a more cooperative, sustainable and equitable one...
where all people matter equally where all have a real opportunity to develop their full potential where a willingness to honestly try your best counts equally for all where a lack of money is not an obstacle where inner fulfillment is more important than material accumulation where richness of heart supersedes richness of pocket where family and community trump individual greed
Is such a society possible?
You bet it is... there is simply no other way we will make it as a species. The earth is telling us to change, nicely for now... but our time is running out. A few hundred unelected billionaires now believe they have the right to dictate the way the rest of humanity lives. Their vision of a bio-digital society where human biology and artificial intelligence merge to create a new human species with a 2.0 operating system is pure madness. Please take the time to read and understand the solutions we suggest. Yes there's a lot of reading on this site, but you don't have to do it all today. Take your time and get back to us...