Just an idea: Alternative to money

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AllHazzardi, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. AllHazzardi

    AllHazzardi Member

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    I believe it was John Locke who once made a very good argument for defining Property as that which is obtained by labor. I was thinking maybe this would be a good idea.

    When you think about an equal society, rather than using a monetary coin or paper to define income and worth to obtain property, perhaps we should literally use labor.

    I believe that in an equal society, the best person for the job should be selected, but his time in that job is equal in value to the same time spent by another individual in another job.

    Essentially what this boils down to is one hour's labor from one individual is considered equally valuable to one hour labor from another individual. If it takes four hours to make a single unit of an item(eg, a TV), it should cost four hours to obtain, own, or have as personal property.

    One might think "But hey, if everyone's time is equal, noone will get ahead!". However, one can easily get ahead by saving time spent; if you only spend half of the hours you accrue, you will build them up over time and be able to make large purchases.

    The secret to making this system work overall is in how you consider education valuable. Instead of making it more valuable on the time side, we can consider the time spent obtaining education itself valuable. You are paid an equal amount as you study; a portion is removed to pay the cost of education, and the other available portion accrues into a bank which you can either spend or save. After 8 years of education, one might accrue a large pool of funds to be put forward to the purchases required to go into business(labor cost of maintaining material farm, labor cost of processing materials to parts, labor cost of delivering parts to location, labor cost of assembling parts, employees).

    We already track worked hours to determine pay, so the information is already collected and available; private property is still available, and contains all items which could be considered luxury items(not absolutely necessary for survival). If it takes 1 person 1 hour to make, it is worth 1 hour at sale. If it takes 5 people 5 hours to make, it is worth 25 hours at sale.



    To make such a system work, we need locational housing(we have hotels) for the individuals moving around to different jobs that they are best suited for, we need a system of tracking time spent working(we have timecards and digital tracking systems), and a system to track account balances(we'd have that still whether we let the banks die or not). This "currency" is universal around the world, and any Country that's interested or willing may join into it.

    It's not quite Capitalism, because in this system, noone is attempting to "Capitalize" on the transacation; just earn their fair due for their work or studies. "Taxes" are instead hours "gained" by the government through willfull donation of time; certain assignments are issued by the government, be they for research, manufacturing, or construction work. Time spent is divided amongst government(unified spending body) and the individual(denominative spending body). Government funds are used to pay for the hours spent by the other people earning that portion, and are used to pay for whatever cost the societal body incurs; be it for group-shared things like arenas or for public amenities. These costs can also be partially paid for by willfull donation of hours from any individual, private or public interested in putting forth currency to gain the benefit of the grouped "large purchase".

    The relative values stay the same overall, but there is less ambiguity, and less erratic motion in the system. A TV might cost 4 hours, a car might cost 50, a stadium might cost 10,000. They are proportionate to their time required to create, rather than the desire to profit on the transaction.

    Just a thought.
     
    #1 AllHazzardi, Aug 10, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  2. HazelGod

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    Congratulations...you just summarized the basic tenets of communism.
     
  3. lucky8

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    You're over looking one thing: what takes me an hour to do takes a lot of people 2 hours to do. Whether it's because they are less intelligent, not trained as well, or just an overall slow worker, there will always be discrepancies between individual productivity...this would also lead to slower completion times and less productivity as people would intentionally take extra time to complete a task in order to make that task have more value...
     
  4. AllHazzardi

    AllHazzardi Member

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    And so those individuals wouldn't be the ones doing your job. They'd likely have another job that they are more suited for. Likewise, if you force it to take longer to make a given item, then it is cheaper if a person who is better at producing that item makes it. Even base crafts, such as crocheting, can be measured by time invested, making hand-made, non-machine-assisted objects valuable(it may take 10 straight hours for a very skilled worker to crochet a blanket), while mass-produced machine-made items require comparatively less labor to produce(one machine runs at X speed and is run by one man). So one "man-hour" ends up producing 10,000 items, for example. This cements the use of technology in the system without adding prohibitively to the cost; The cost of the machine that makes 10,000 machine-made items is the cost of the workers to assemble it+workers to make parts+workers to harvest materials. This gives flat advantage to upgrading technology, as it increases supply without destroying the balance of costs; the company that mass-produces super-cheap chincy merchandise will not win out against the company that produces a sufficient supply of quality merchandise which has had its cost to produce reduced by improving efficiency and using alternative energies.

    Communism has no private ownership of property; you cannot own anything you use, as it is provided for by the government. However, this is not such a system; what you get is what you choose to get based on your pay, which is a direct value equivalency to your time worked. Private ownership still exists, and we are still using a monetary equivalent to represent the work done(Just like money), only having changed the value to a set thing; 1 hour's work is worth 1 hour's work. This way, one can essentially labor at building a bridge and convert that work done into a television(as if you had sat down and put it together yourself).

    Socialism and Communism also have dictatorships; however, there is an interim, social democracy, which is rule by the people. In what I describe, the government acts as the switchboard for workers, tasks, and ideas, as well as national representation and management. Jobs, tasks, and goals can be listed in such a system, with all available work under one unified system; the jobs can be either selected or doled out, and can be anything from the equivalent of volunteer work to research.

    By setting wages equal, we are not only pushing towards a more equal society, but reducing incentives for inequality. With one man making $50, at the same cost, 5 people could be hired at $10. Instead of voraciously overpaying and overbonusing executives, their respective contribution to overall function is regarded as equal; executives are unable to achieve their job if they do not have subordinates to direct.

    Additionally, when wages are tracked in an equal, balanced way across different professions, the result is that there is nearly no inflation; without each person in the line of people trying to make the extra dollar, the prices are relatively much lower and equalized for all members of the population.

    What you do with your time is up to you. You could use it to purchase the requirements for running a business, you could use it to upgrade or expand your house, you could use it to fund research, or you could just buy a whole lot of really cool stuff.

    Of course, minimizing the potential for fraud is a priority; but there's more ways than just locking it off to accomplish that.

    One such way is in how the system works; if an individual attempts to intentionally lag behind to raise his pay, it raises the cost of producing that item, which increases the sale cost, which balances out as others do the same thing and raise the cost of the products he purchases.

    In this system, it is very difficult to "get ahead" by cheating the system.
     
    #4 AllHazzardi, Aug 10, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  5. mynameisnobody

    mynameisnobody New Member

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    This program repudiates the role of "supply and demand" in determining the value of labor. The problem with that is that it practically guarantees shortages in services, in exact analogy to the way it guarantees shortages in goods. What motivation is there for anyone to perform the jobs which are difficult, or dangerous, or which require many years of training, education, or practice? And what authority is going to ration those few who are willing and able to perform the difficult, dangerous, or highly skilled jobs? You have eliminated the marketplace as a system for apportioning labor - what will you use in its place?

    Supply and demand is why, say, a firm's chief structural engineer or test pilot or brain surgeon is paid more than the guy who sweeps the floors. The available labor pool of floor sweepers is thousands of times larger than the available pool of engineers or pilots or surgeons. And it is much easier to recruit new floor sweepers, thus adding to the size of the available labor pool, than it is to recruit new engineers, pilots, or surgeons.
     
  6. AllHazzardi

    AllHazzardi Member

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    That's because the solid divestment from the current system is the function of supply and demand. By eliminating the natural variation in the system, we equalize the economy, government, and society, so rather than acting as a tiered mechanism, they are in balanced and equal operation. This is much like removing an object from the environment it was in so you may study it specifically. You could also call it eliminating variables from the observed data. When you want to know what specifically about an object makes it do what it does, you are effectively excluding "weak variables" and then finely controlling the strong variables to know which weak variables have an impact. By momentarily removing the system from the marketplace, or removing the impact of the environment from the observed data, we can know a lot about a single thing; the object itself. However, we learn very little about true behavior, you can't learn how a leaf will fly in the wind inside a windless static-less dustless laboratory. Only if you bring the wind to the lab can you examine this. And even then, unless the air quality and temperature and content was exactly the same, the path would be different. An object in existence in itself has no behavior, if a magnet in motion in space were alone, it would not spin, and would not even be moving. Only by examining how something reacts with its environment can we know of its impact on the environment; This is why long term or aggressive tests are done with acid and other substances. It's harder to simulate the environment than one would think, so the easiest thing to do is to remove it from the data; the better thing to do is test for its impact anyway. Air Pressure might not be a huge consideration force compared to gravity, but it does have an impact. These impacts are often easier calculated than measured or recreated. Thus we have fluid dynamics to calculate the motion of fluids, and other such sciences.

    So when you look at this "Supply and demand" architecture, it's important to ask; being this is a system which uses money, how much does it COST?

    What I mean is, it's important to ask how much a "supply and demand" architecture costs. You have the costs of supply: farming, harvesting, transporting, counting, processing, storing. And you have the costs of demand: Transporting(again), retail, packaging, advertising.

    In other words, no matter what you do, you will always have some variation of these costs.

    However, they can be carefully reduced; this is through certain technology. The idea of technology is that, since a person costs a lot over time, the more technology you use, the lower your upkeep costs per product created. In other words, at the same resource cost for 10,000 sheets of paper, it'd take the manual worker 10 hours to make 10,000 sheets, and the machine run by a manual worker 1 hour to make 10,000 sheets. This is more true if the machine is energy efficient, automated, and repairable, the less people you have to hire to get the job done, the better. This is because it saves you money in the long run.

    But the question is, whose time is worth more? Even if you think the machine operator's skill is higher, he is far outclassed by the time spent by the other individual. He is outclassed because the time it takes to satisfy the same production amount per day is exponentially higher than the time it takes for the machine operator. There is one indicator that can show us this; the profit speedometer on the company.

    With a hand-operator, a man can make 1,000 of these sheets of paper an hour; essentially cutting a really big roll. His work day is 10 hours, and he makes 10,000 sheets. Demand for these sheets is 10,000 per day, and their price is $1 per 100. Total Value, $100 per day.

    With an automated machine, an operator can make 10,000 of these sheets of paper in an hour; he just makes sure nothing explodes and reloads the system when it's done. His work day is 10 hours, and he makes 100,000 sheets. Demand for these sheets is 10,000 per day, If the company charges the same as the hand-maker's papers to attempt to profit greatly(and boy, they do) then they are $1 per 100. Total Value, $1000 per day.

    Which one is more valuable to the company if the company is trying to make a huge profit is obvious.

    If you decide one worker is more valuable, and raise his pay, you must maintain making the minimum income level to sustain that pay-grade now. This means prices must go up, and more profit must be made. If one man sells an object to another man for $1, and then that man goes to another and sells it for $2, and it's sold again for $3, increasing in price each time; after all, it's one of a kind. Each person makes a profit of 1$. There are 6,700,000,000 people in the world.

    So by trying to "get ahead" you literally make the race longer and harder. Eventually the steps become so big people begin stumbling; first small ones, then larger ones. However, by removing that fluctuation of supply and demand, the desire to profit and "get ahead", you eliminate the "up and down" motion; you don't reset it to 0, you just stop it from wiggling up and down at the current point. The result is rapid deflation, in the sense of all of the existing inflation goes away, and prices normalize. When you don't have supply and demand interfering, if it takes 10 hours of work from an individual to MAKE an object, it costs 10 "hours" of currency(earned by work) from another individual to BUY it.

    The result is that every time new technology is created such as better materials, healthier food, better production; over time, the price goes down, not up. Gains in technology results in much cheaper(but equally if not more effective) products, because in this consideration of "equality" and "equal pay", if you work an hour, you earn an hour, so when you buy a Television you aren't paying the million dollar bonuses of the executives and for their fast cars and pointlessly huge houses.

    By considering all work time equal in value, we also create not only a universal currency in this act of stabilizing the system, but also a system of direct representation of value. If you work for 50 hours in a hospital, your compensation is partaking of 50 hours of work of other individuals. This may include food(work of farmers), clothing(work of tailors), medical procedures(work of doctors), digital devices(work of engineers), or any other product. If everyone is essentially paid 1 dollar for every hour they work, then pay-outs can be daily; if you walk in at 9 am, check in, and leave at 5 pm, when you check out your balance is deposited immediately. Since noone's trying to profit, there's no point in holding on to someone else's money for a couple cents of interest.

    The reason I do think this system is a good idea is because it is relatively resilient to fraud and unfair treatment, as well as requiring less investment to sustain. After all, you don't need to print any money or coinage. Additionally, labor(work, time spent working) is the whole idea of money; monetary coinage is used to represent worthiness of work. Instead of converting it to a solid, expensive to print, transferable unit which has its own value that interferes with its representative value, it is converted, 1:1 to a recording of how much time you have spent working.

    To handle the function of the market, we use a networked job placement system. Think of it like Monster.com taking over for all the HR departments of all the companies and making a big easy-to-read digital chart of all available jobs, the company which needs to person, and the locations of those jobs. This is "A list". We then take a second chart("B list"), all "available workers"(Currently unoccupied labor force) and compare experience to job requirement, finding the best match(best tool for the job) for every position. Well; monster.com taking over for all the HR dept, and then being absorbed by the government. This system alone saves money and manpower because most of the work is done by readily available technology.

    There are many many more small details which enhance the entire concept, but it would take a very long time to explain them all, so I'll focus on just answering what's asked.
     
  7. mynameisnobody

    mynameisnobody New Member

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    It costs exactly as much as it needs to, to do the job. And it does it automatically, without central direction of a Master Plan.

    The utopian communities found in various places in the US during the 19th century worked on principles similar to those you outline. Or, rather, they didn't work according to those principles. Most failed once the initial stash of money ran out. The only one I've heard of which survived was Oneida Limited, the well-known manufacturer of knives and cutlery. It started as a commercial venture of the Oneida Society, a utopian community. The Society itself only lasted from 1848 to 1881.
     
  8. D_Doewell Dadong

    D_Doewell Dadong New Member

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    Nice idea, won't work. (Thats a brief summary of everything above)
     
  9. AllHazzardi

    AllHazzardi Member

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    This is because in a Utopian system, every detail needs to be carefully balanced. If you don't produce and research because you don't have funds to purchase materials or gain education, you don't develop or advance, and eventually fail. The system needs to be oriented and designed around fulfilling the central tasks; Domestic, Advisory, and International.

    Domestic includes the laws and justice system, as well as the public opinion function of representative government. Representative government contains the sub-functions of spending, national direction(or attitude), and social development. This function is share by the House and Senate, with specific and separate duties for each.

    Workforce includes the business and employment systems, as well as the corporate sector function of economic advisement. Ideally collecting the research and scientific basis to determine an effective course of action. The Executive branch serves this function; advisers have specified knowledge in different sectors of operation who inform the decision body of the best course of action.

    International is exactly what we all know it to be, the decision body for interaction with other societies. This function is served both by elements of the executive branch(Pres, Vice Pres, Secretary of State) and the Senate.


    In the case of the US, we have a repeating substructure of this description. Like a bunch of grapes, The surrounding area, not counting individual grapes, but their outer edge, is the federal government. Each individual grape is a state government, each individual seed is a city government, and the starches and materials inside those are the population. The structure that supports the grapes(the vine) is the previously built technology and infrastructure that's supporting the growth.

    If the vine is too weak, the grapes are small, or the vine will break. If the vine is too bulky, the grapes will be spoiled, as too much energy was put to building it, or the object it is growing on will collapse.

    If the grape skin is too dark, not enough light gets in to the flesh, if the skin is too light, too much light will get in to the flesh.

    If the seed is too soft, an animal will eat it, if the seed is too hard, the plant will not break through it.


    However, by understanding the individual requirements and how they interact with each other, we can set up a base structure, or system of operation, which requires little overall investment to keep running, but allows for further development.

    The way this system generates even higher development rates is by lubricating all the transition points, allowing quicker advancement. Each person not currently working spends time with a hobby; a study of what they would really like to do, or actual educational studies. If they have work during studies, they do it, and study over a slightly longer time. Each of these individuals is then checked against a list of known "needed" workers; specific jobs which no currently available worker currently fits the profile for. If there is a match, the system then puts them on a list to be assigned as interns if they are interested, and they are assigned tasks which require the knowledge that is learned over time in a normal educational environment. If someone suddenly has a good idea, the system helps them find currently unemployed individuals to fit development team requirements for that idea. If it is in their field, they are the project leader, if it's not in their field, they are the concept adviser. These individuals then work together to create whatever the idea may be.

    All of this can be coordinated through the internet and digital systems. If security is your concern, everything would be double recorded, once in a single access read-only system before any processing occurs, the other in the functioning computer, and then double checked against each other to verify accuracy.

    By accelerating all of the conceptual and technological elements through a system such as this, we effectively reduce the distance in the "six degrees" from six, to two. The result is that idea and technology happen at an accelerated rate, and development is effectively inspired by individual personal interest. We have enough population and technology at this point to pursue all directions of development equally. Each of these has equal chance to make a breakthrough which can help another pursuit discover something new.

    If you're worried about the labor jobs that nobody wants to do not getting done; there are those individuals who enjoy those jobs(Nothing better than a good days hard work), and there are those individuals who are not educated enough yet to do any other, for everything else, there's machinery and technology. Immigration, rather than a hindrance, becomes a powerful workforce which is able to constantly replace the individuals interested in seeking higher education and higher profession(their dream job). Eventually technology can replace these requirements, and instead, everyone studies what they're interested in, be it music to become good performers(to raise morale and occupy people), science to invent a new device(to make the job of someone, somewhere, a little easier), or a craft skill(to make things that people want to have).

    In truth, the sole biggest thing in the way of our current society functioning this way, is the fear of "0", the fear of not going faster than the people around you. A president said something about fear one time, but I think it's well enough known to not need repeating. It's like the cube(or square, if you prefer) trying everything possible to resist popping into a sphere(or a circle, if you prefer). Those last couple barriers holding the structure up from popping down and dropping you down.... the fear of falling into the very abyss which we've been clambering to get out of.
     
    #9 AllHazzardi, Aug 11, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  10. B_Enough_for_Me

    B_Enough_for_Me New Member

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    Same here. It is a very creative idea that Engals and Marx came up with, but it won't work.

    Beyond that I'm letting these other guys fight it out.
     
  11. Gl3nn

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    You're joking, right? If you go to university and sit in the first lesson of the year of Economy, you'll see why this doesn't make sense.
     
  12. AllHazzardi

    AllHazzardi Member

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    And why doesn't it?

    Instead of having higher education be worth a higher continuous wage(an infinitely building pattern), we consider education itself to be worth a wage. If you're studying to learn to do your dream job, it could be considered your job(a paid internship) because you are working on being able to supply a needed worker.

    By not placing direct value on resources, there would be concern of running out of resources(over consumption). This is a natural, purpose-built drive to create technology which preserves as much resources as possible. By considering ourselves constantly in a situation where "We may run out of stuff we can gather", we naturally align ourselves towards technology which relies on renewable resources.

    Without the companies using iron because it's cheaper than steel, we wouldn't have bridges that fall down and buildings that bend. Without companies which are willing to cut quality for profit, things are done well, done right, and done efficiently. Done well because the best person for the job is doing it, done right because the importance of quality is always a top consideration, and done efficiently, because the economic system is so closely balanced, you can do a lot more things than you used to on the same work.

    Every economic theory that rails against a similar system declares it does not work because you do not have something to value things with; This is that something, it is time spent by people. If it takes 10 people an hour in the morning to maintain a park, and that park can service 5000 people a day, and 5000 people per day are visiting that park, it would cost 7.2 seconds per person per day to enjoy the benefits of the time spent by the individuals maintaining it.
     
    #12 AllHazzardi, Aug 11, 2009
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