Beyond The Socialist Dream, A Money-less Society Part II

April 5, 2006 by aaron

In part one I suggested a merit based system; this idea is complete and utter hogwash. It is not a money-less society; it is a tiger who tried to change its stripes. The problem with a money-less society is that you need away to control resources and reward those that do best without playing favorites. Here we should diverge from the topic at hand and take a look at the options.

Equality be it actual or economic comes in two forms. The first is equality of opportunity and the second is equality of outcome. While the former makes all people equal and then gives them the freedom to decide where to go from there, the later forces all people to be equal no matter what. Economic equality can be forced on people; theoretically the communistic government of the USSR was based in part on this idea. History has shown us that people resist being forcibly economically equalized; because, forced equality takes away personal freedom. In fact economists Milton and Rose Friedman argue that a society that places equality of outcome ahead of equality of opportunity will have neither equality nor opportunity, but if a society places opportunity first equality will follow. But what does this have to do with a money-less society you ask. Well quite simply you can’t force all people to be the same, and you can’t pretend that everyone wants the same things out of life. Therefore from a merit system–which changes nothing from a money economy–we will consider an allowance system.

This allowance system will break everything down into the amount of energy needed to create it. In developing it we would then need to calculate how much energy can be produced in a single year, and divide the majority of that amount between each man, woman and child. This will be the base level of each person’s allowance, but if they want more than the base amount they must spend extra time doing something that benefits society as a whole.

Let’s take a minute took look at the feasibility of this idea. For example, lets take the average American who in 2005 used 337 million BTU per person. (Source 1) If you compare this number to the 3000 BTU the average person must consume per year on an average diet, you have a (large) range of energy required for a person to live versus how much energy a person uses to live. Furthermore, through research we find that in 2003 a total of 421 quadrillion BTU were consumed throughout the world which has an estimated population of 6 billion. (Source 2) If we divide the total consumption by the total population we find that there is roughly 70 million BTU (500 gallons of fuel oil) consumed each year for every person of the world. While 70 million seems like a large number, it is about a third of the yearly consumption of an American in the year 1949. This number demonstrates that to even support the entire worlds population at the 1949 levels of expenditure we would need to increase energy production to 1.29 quintillion BTU per year or roughly 3 times current levels. What does this tell us? At the current levels of energy production it is impossible to have economic equality without sacrificing large portions of modern society. This means we must move ourselves away from reality and now must work entirely in a theoretical world.

In our theoretical world we can produce enough energy to comfortably sustain every person on the planet at a reasonable level of comfort. This is their allowance; it is provided for free to every person who works a certain number of hours per week regardless of their job. This energy is spendable on anything a person wants–if they want a larger house the energy that it costs to build it will come out of this amount–but once it is gone they will receive a “welfare” that provides enough energy for the bare minimum and can only be spent on basic necessities. So if a person is allowed to choose if they live like a king for a month or reasonably for a year. Also person will not get the next years allowance unless they have worked their required number of hours; this forces even people who are not motivated to do something with their lives and not just leech off of society. However, as with any group there will be people who are motivated and will put the extra effort in. These people are rewarded with extra allowance when they do things that help society such as get an education or volunteer.

To use the old example of the doctor and the athlete from Part I. The doctor and the athlete on a year by year basis get the same allowance as each other and everyone else. However, as the doctor continues his education he is given an added amount to his allowance for that year. Once the doctor has finished his training he then reverts back to the normal allowance until he again does something extra that benefits society. Similarly, the athlete will be given a normal allowance for training and competing, but once he advances far enough that he wins competitions more than the average athlete he is given a…[remainder of this article has been corrupted]

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