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The Trust Economy


Summary:

Something big is coming. It can be really good or it can be really bad. This is a detailed outline of the good. The Trust Economy offers:

• A simple, elegant, fast, and peaceful solution to the world wide financial crises.

A workable answer to the demands of the 99% that can be implemented by the 99%

• Leverages existing models and available tools to manage and distribute resources in a fair and equitable manner.

• Easy to understand and implement.

• Creates a system that can not be stolen from or manipulated by a few at the expense of everyone else.

• Automatically aligns itself with the whole, without diminishing personal property or responsibility.


Background:

In the nineteen sixties and seventies, when technology was growing up, it was often said that technology would solve the worlds ills by making more abundance, shorter work weeks, and less toil and struggle. Robotics and computers were supposed to make life better for everyone.

In the years since, we have seen the potential of these things. We now have the technology to build a car, for example, without it ever being touched by human hands. But we don’t do this. The reason we don’t use the full extent of our automation abilities is because if we did, we would be putting hundreds of thousands of people out of work. They would be unable to feed their families.

Our financial system has no mechanism to distribute wealth created by technology to the common good. In the current model, a robot, or a human slave’s work can never feed the person it replaces; it can only increase the profits of the company that uses it. This causes a redistribution of wealth from the ones that were doing the work to the select few that have a financial stake in the company.

We have made profound advancements in our ability to care for ourselves as a community but there is no way for us, as a community, to reap the benefits. We would have to break the rules of our financial system to do that. There is no financial instrument or incentive for sharing wealth.

In the current economic crises, the problem is not lack of resources or skilled labor. The problem is not lack of markets, or any other functional issue. The problem is conformance to a financial structure that is uncontrollable, irrational, out dated, and totally susceptible to the mechanistic thinking of greed and fear.

We say we have free markets and we should let market forces decide for us what things cost and what things are available to buy. Most people want electric cars that work, without harming the environment. These cars are technically possible, yet we can’t buy them. Why? Because being able to drive three hundred miles for about a dime would have a devastating effect on the oil industry’s profits. The price of rice throughout the world has more than doubled, to the point where people are going hungry, why? Because of market fears that there may be a shortage. There is no shortage.

We have the lowest paid workers in the world handling our most valuable resource, food, while our highest paid workers, executives, seem to do nothing but create more problems for the world to solve. There are important things that our planet and all people need. Things that we can develop and produce, like renewable energy. Yet we are doing next to nothing to move these things forward. Why? Because of ‘market forces’.

World wide, health care systems focus on profit rather than health; developing cures not for the biggest problems but the biggest profits. There is a shortage of general medical doctors, Why? Because the market pays more for specialists. We design drugs that keep people sick and needing drugs instead of addressing root causes of problems. The market pays more when people are ill.

We have a global economy with resources concentrated at various locations. The structure of our financial systems and the illusion that we are separate economies is creating greed motivated violence in an attempt to control and manipulate the people who own or control these resources.

The disparity in the distribution of wealth, created by our own advancements, continues to create all kinds of social problems. These problems have no real basis except lack of compassion and an attempt to fight fear by hording. There are ample laws in the USA and throughout the world to combat hording of goods but there are no such laws to stop the hording of work effort in the form of money. In fact, we support and encourage this form hording, even though it is more destructive than any other.

We have the technology and resources to feed and clothe the world. Through automation we can do it with less effort than ever before. Yet ‘market forces’ keep us in the dark ages of greed and control.

The last time world financial systems collapsed, in the nineteen twenties, the USA changed from the gold standard to Federal Reserve notes that are the world trading currency today. This change was done to obscure the simple fact that the monetary system was broken. More money was borrowed than was available. The money was lent to people who’s ability to pay it back was entirely dependent on the further advancement of credit. When the USA changed from the gold standard, they fundamentally changed the nature of money. Before that time money represented something that had an actual value. What that value was could change but it would never be zero. Since the change though, money’s actual value has been entirely open to interpretation. It is roughly a representation of human energy used plus natural resources that are in use. In addition to all the issues listed above, the main problem with this form of exchange is that its value is intangible and can not truly be known.

Hiding the credit/value problem in the Federal Reserve restored confidence in banking and money and, to some extent, restored order to the system. The underlying problems were never addressed and exist to this day. This is why a bunch of questionable mortgages can bring the whole system tumbling down. These bad mortgages revealed weaknesses in the system of credit that can no longer be swept under the rug. Almost every business in the USA has been borrowing forward, in the short term credit market, for years. In reality, money today is nothing more than a tool for manipulation and control. Money has no intrinsic value, only the value we say it has. The continued use of this fictitious system is slowing human development and progress. We are playing a dangerous game. We pretend that money is stable and important and must be honored. Then we get into too much debt and declare bankruptcy either personally or, as it is happening now, on a grand scale. Suddenly the importance and honor is gone. We fiddle with the numbers a bit, tell a good story about how it is all better and the debt goes away. Then we start the game again, and again. In reality, we have been functioning without money for over fifty years.

We have an opportunity now, with the current financial crisis to make a subtle shift in our economic structures that will have a profoundly positive impact on the entire system. There is no reason to create human suffering and hardship out of thin air just to maintain the delusional thinking that money must be honored. Continuing to do so just prolongs the agony caused by not changing the structure when it no longer fits reality.

Money does not motivate people to do work. People do work because they want to improve their lives. Within the current financial structure, that is almost impossible. The people who don’t want to work are not working now. The system still functions. It addition, there are a large number of people working in the Financial, Insurance, and Real Estate industries that are willing and happy to do productive work but, are not doing anything productive at all. They are just maintaining the illusion. Continuing to use money, or trying to assign value to human work, is stifling human development. It is causing hunger and misery in the USA and around the world. Our financial system is allowing greed and fear to lord over us all.

In a truly free market, the wants and needs of the people are met by the people through participation in projects that the people see adds value to their lives. Things that hurt people don’t get supported and so, don’t happen. Things that seem like a good idea but turn out to be otherwise, are easily stopped because it is clear that no one can gain from continuing. Can we say these things about our economy today?

Humanity has worked for thousands of years to get where we are now. Where all of us can truly enjoy life on this planet while continuing to improve our standing in abundance and love. The only thing that is stopping us from reaping the benefits is our commitment to the farce that is money.

A simple shift, within the structures we have in place, would resolve this issue. Ownership, personal liberties, and all of our existing laws would remain in tact. Stealing would still be a crime. The only change would be to honor the fact that every human has an equal right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To be specific, stop trying to make a single transaction balanced and fair by putting a price on every product or service. By giving freely what is asked for and trusting that when you ask, you will also receive, we can serve all our needs in peace. Tit-for-tat trade is no longer possible. It robs us all of our own social and technological gains.

Our collective efforts, technological advancements, and productivity gains can no longer be stored or equitably distributed in the container called money. Abundance is the birthright of every human on this planet not just the few that now claim this privilege. The only way to represent the true nature of our physical reality is to do as Nature does: share — with no strings attached! Humans on this planet are now totally interdependent. It is time we honor our interconnectedness and the contribution of each individual as equal in value.

There have always been and always will be, some that can not or will not contribute in meaningful and constructive ways. Society as a whole has always found a way to care for these people. In the past it was done by making exceptions to the rules and giving charity. With our advancements in technology and compassion, the care of these people can be done with less stress than ever before. Just stop counting. What difference does it make who does what work, there is enough for all. Stop trying to say that a robot building cars entitles one person to have more than another. Stop trying to say that the time spent in a field harvesting food has less, or more, value than the time spent making a business deal. As long as we keep contributing, we can all profit, together.

Attempts to fix our monetary issues by adjusting tax code, spending public money to prop up failed financial systems and institutions, taking from one group and giving to another, or making up new institutions to hide the problem, will not resolve the fact that the underpinnings of the financial system are broken. The system is unjust and riddled with abuse and corruption. How could it be otherwise? The financial system is a lie at its core. It is designed to deceive, abuse, and control people while giving lip service to freedom and choice.

The only path to true freedom and prosperity from this point forward is to presume and teach that each of us has a responsibility to step up freely and to be of service for the good of all. Presume and teach that, given the choice of mutual abundance or mutual destruction, enough of us will move together toward our dreams to keep and grow our world. This would create, once and for all, the free economy that we have seen in our dreams and longed for these many generations!

This problem is not something that was created by devious forces bent on destroying humanity or the dark agendas of the ultra rich. We are all complicit by our continued participation in this illusion. Day by day we each ignore our own knowledge that there is something wrong because as individuals we can see no solution. One man can not make the required changes. What one person can do is start an honest conversation.

We can solve this problem together. We can try things and see what works. We can adjust as we go; for the good of all. If we are operating from an honest assessment of the problem with an eye on real solutions then we can not fail. The only way we can fail is by trying to maintain the illusion that money and the financial structures we have created around it can serve humanity. They can not! The time is long past when a few greedy people can sit alone, pulling the strings of human suffering.


Details:

The Trust Economy already exists. It is used by businesses and individuals every day. The best natural example is nature. The Trust Economy is the primal economy. It is the economy through which we receive all of the raw materials we use in this world. Trees don’t charge the squeals for nuts, the field doesn’t charge the mouse for grass, or rent for its home. This example, while most important, is a little crude for our purposes. It lacks human consciousness; understanding, wisdom, and compassion. It operates on the same mechanistic level as our primitive emotions. Conscious humans, with the right intentions, can leverage the Trust Economy in ways Nature alone never could. Nature is proof though, that we are not going to dry up and blow away if we choose to live within the Trust Economy.

The best human example of the Trust Economy is GNU General Public License for free software. There is a huge amount of software available on the web for free under the terms of this license. You can read about the license at www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.html. When you use software under the terms of this license, receive a gift, utilize something you received from nature or use anything given to you, you are making a withdrawal from the virtual bank of the Trust Economy. Every time you give something to someone or contribute to any project that results in a free product, or do anything that improves the abundance and diversity of the natural world, you are making a deposit into the same virtual bank.

Make no mistake; while you can not see the bank, or walk through the door, this bank does exist and it holds the combined resources of all of nature and all of us. All we have to do is use it.

So how do we use this bank? Remember you make a withdrawal each time you receive something, you make a deposit each time you give something. This doesn’t mean go into anyones home or business and take whatever you want. Would you go to the ocean and drain all the water? Or into a forest and take all the trees? There are some companies that try that and the result is never good, for them or anyone else. Oil companies have been doing that for years with oil, I think we all can see where that leads. If we only have our eye on momentary, personal gain then there is no system ever devised that will stop us from self destruction. Using the Trust Economy only removes the artificial issues created by our financial system. It is up to each one of us to behave like conscious, compassionate, humans in all our dealings in whatever system we chose to use. It is a lot easier to do that without the stress of not having enough. Our current financial system puts most of us into this position, most of the time. A few have more than they can ever use and they keep it, just in case.

Example Transactions:

As a consumer, you walk into a store and say, “good day I need some things”. The shop keeper says, “I thought you might.” You look around and get what you need. You take it to the checkout counter so the store keeper can count it. Then you say, “thank you so much.” The store keeper says, “ you are so welcome.” You leave with what you bought. The stuff is now yours. As the store keeper, you call up the producer or distributer of the stuff that you sell and you say, “good day! I need some more stuff.” The producer says, “I thought you might.” Then you ask for what you need. The producer takes your order. As the producer, you keep track of what people need and order. You call the shipper and tell them you have some stuff to pick up. They pick it up and deliver it. You know how to produce the stuff, you have been doing it for years. When you need help you place ads and interview people as they interview you. You ask the ones you like to work for you. Have you heard this before?

The differences are actually very subtle. It is just your motivations and incentives that are different. When you are looking for work you will not be looking for the most pay, every one pays the same. You will be looking for the nicest place to spend your time. The place where you can learn what you want to know. The place where you can be of the most service to the people you care about.

Now you are asking who is going to take out the trash? And the answer is, we have to figure that out. There is much more incentive to have less trash. There is the service aspect, If your needs are met and you like your life, are you likely to be willing to do things to maintain it? Last of all there is the need for punitive things. We have laws. If you break the laws you still get punished. Maybe you get 6 months of trash duty for littering, A year on the road maintenance crew for a DUI. There are lots of jobs that need to be done that are not most peoples best. We are no longer hampered by the cost of development, the only cost is time. We are not needing to create jobs so people can eat. We can figure out ways of automating the jobs that are really nasty or would be done more efficiently by machines. Other jobs are only bad because they are designed by people that only care about money, not peoples health. They don’t pay attention to ergonomics until someone dies or the government makes them. If everyone opts for the solar cell production facility and no one shows up to do coal mining, would it really be that bad?

How would government change? Maybe our representatives would be interested in helping the people instead of feeding the biggest contributor’s business. Maybe it would start to look like it was designed to look.

What industries would go away? Financial industry, Insurance, Real Estate. The Medical industry would change a lot. Heroic cures at the last second would quickly become a last resort. Of the diseases we now spend so heavily on would be treated with preventative care because it only makes sense to wait if you get paid the most in an emergency. Chemical companies would have a huge change in there product lines and there production methods but they would be about the same size. Distribution industries would grow and become much more automated. Marketing, advertising will still be around but they will be talking about different things. Travel and leisure industries would grow and change. People working in resorts would be equal with the ones resorting so there would be less of a server, served mentality. People very much enjoy helping other people relax and have fun though so I doubt there would be much trouble finding people to help.

Business that support their workers and produce thing or services that make deposits into the virtual bank and make life better will thrive. Business that treat their workers badly and only take from the bank will quickly fail. There will need to be some new laws to deal with unbalanced supply and demand, stop needless waisting of resources, and land use issues. I am sure we can figure out these details together.

Now your saying, That sounds great and I would do my part but what about those other people that would just take and not give anything? Do you mean like pirates? It takes a lot of work to be a pirate and the pay is not that good. The incentive for it is rather low in the Trust Economy. Are you talking about the mentally ill? As a society we have a responsibility to take care of those that can’t take care of them selves. At the moment we are doing it in homeless shelters and jails. Maybe we can think of better accommodations for these people.

Maybe you are referring to those gang bangers on urban streets who just hang around a do drugs all day. Do You really think those people would be doing that if they felt like they could do something else? Like get a good education? Do something interesting? I assure you that most people, when given an opportunity, and some respect, will respond positively.

There will be some that just take what they can and give nothing back, even when everyone around them is suggesting something different. How is that different from now. How much can one person actually use? If your talking about money, one person can hoard billions of dollars. One person can con people out of their whole life savings. One person can buy ten houses and leave them empty for 10 months out of the year and keep slaves to clean the one they are living in. What harm can one person do in the Trust Economy? Maybe live in a house they like, drive a good car, take a lot of vacations, drink too much. We added about 15% to the work force by dumping the financial industry. We can add huge gains in productivity by actually using the full extent of our automation skills. More gains by having corporate policies and personal behavior that serve people instead of greed. I believe we can deal with it. Some of our finance friends can sit down and do the numbers to figure our how many people we actually have working now and how many we need. I believe we are operating now with about 25% of working age adults not working at all, world wide. That is just a guess but we haven’t even started and we will get better at it as we go.


Implementation:

We are actually at an excellent time for this shift. Most people have already lost 40% or more of their asset wealth. When the Euro fails, and it will soon, our financial losses world wide will be close to 100%

In a few weeks our money will be known to have no value. The people of the world are going to be pissed off. If there is a way to have an abundant life anyway, Most people will take it. There will be two options then. People can riot, fight, steal, starve and die or people can live in a better world with a bank that is full of resources and no way to rob it. What will you choose?

Governments and business leaders will never implement the Trust Economy. They will fight it tooth and nail. Implementation will have to be done by the people for the people. Small businesses and individuals will switch in a heartbeat as soon as money has no value. Larger business and energy companies will have to be forced to comply by their workers behaving within the new structure. If a large business or corporation resists all the workers will just have to leave and let them stew for a while. They won’t have a work force so they won’t have a choice. They can let their product rot or distribute it.

People are already at the bottom of the confidence scale it terms of where things are going and the value of their money. 99% or more of the world’s population is not fully getting their needs met. Some are out right starving but many just have bad health care, no retirement, bad housing, etc. Getting them to understand the benefits and get on board won’t be to hard. It is the other 1% that have more than they need and want to keep it that way that will have a hard time letting go. Business and world leaders that think that they have control will have a bit of a struggle. After all, money has been at the heart of human control structures for a long time.

We live in a Just-in-Time market place in most places around the world. That seems to work fine but it may be prudent to do a little stocking up before we make this shift, if there is still time. There are lots of other details that we can think of and respond to together. The sooner we start looking at this as a real option the better. If we wait too long the transition will just get harder. People are already starting to get hurt. We are in a financial crises that no one understands. Even if we fixed all the credit problems and the greed and corruption issues, we would still be left with a economic model that no longer fits our economic reality. Aside from some unfounded fears that people wouldn’t step up and take part if we didn’t force them to, what is the down side to doing this?

Start talking about it. Pick a date. When the money fails just go to work. Ignore the balance on the cash register. start sharing now. Get used to it. Something big is coming it can be really good or really bad. It is really up to us, together.

Reposted from: www.creation-songs.com/blog/?p=135

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31 Responses so far.

  1. […] Economy (MLE), Love Based Economy (LBE), Gift Economy (GE), Priceless Economic System (PES), Trust Economy (TE), Voluntary Collaborative Economy (VCE), Sharing Society, Resource Based Society, Moneyless […]

  2. Barry Voeten says:

    I agree on the problems and the failures of our current (yesterday’s) capitalist system.

    I suppose we all have considered many possible directions of development and wrote long unstructured texts which are hard to digest during the first 12 years after their birth. So keep up the good work.

    In this text I find a lot of good expectations from automation. Let the computer do it. Let the machine do it. Personally, I can’t agree with that. The time has come where we ourselves are going to take responsibility.

    The point is: automation is not bad on its own: it depends on the model you program into it. And see: abandoning the money-profit model is good idea, but what is next?

    In order for society to find balance – which I think should be the new target – we need to know what to measure and how to measure that. This should include recycling – the life cycle of goods in general mixed with the energy required for a cycle of production and reduction. Once we can recycle everything and have that done for the energy not above our daily solar income, we are _sustainable_.

    Once we are sustainable, keep as going. Before that day, learn how to measure the above and build a financial system on top of these natural laws.

    • Barry, I would love to hear your ideas about why measuring is important. I can’t figure out how it does anything but get in the way and leave people out. What are your thoughts on this?

      • Barry Voeten says:

        >>Barry, I would love to hear your ideas about why measuring is important.
        >> I can’t figure out how it does anything but get in the way and
        >> leave people out. What are your thoughts on this?

        Why would people be left out, if we would fairly and honestly measure the natural value of the products they produce, use and reduce? It’s like the weather, it does not get any better when you already know it’s cold. But at least you can dress for it.

        People get left out by other principles. Sure, todays measurement of wealth (not to mention well-being) is ridiculous. They get left out by the principle of ownership. Somebody else now owns your home. The bank, the buyer.

        In my view, we can start of with a natural understanding of value, and get on with turn-around principles of responsibility vs. ownership & power. Transparency vs secrecy. Interest-free vs. interest by law. Cooperation vs competition. Localization vs globalization.

        If you are interested in the full body of my work, please refer to colourcash.org/

        For serious reading, I recommend downloading the free pdf of the book.

        Thank you, Barry

        Rotterdam, The Netherlands

        • You haven’t answered the question yet. I’ll answer yours.

          When I was a child my mother had MS. She didn’t produce anything. I didn’t produce anything. nor did my brothers or sister. My dad had money but he wasn’t around.

          What value were any of us adding then? It took years before there was any productive member of that family. In a system that keeps score, a childhood like mine would lead to nothing but debt.

          Enjoyment of life should not be dependent on another’s assessment of productivity or responsibility. No one knows what is fair. What if I didn’t want to produce anything? What if I am creating something that takes years and has really valuable components? What if it doesn’t turn out as expected? All of these scenarios are examples of when measuring can hurt people.

          The stuff is there. We make more all the time. Its usefulness is variable. Each person is priceless. You can’t predict which ones should be supported when, or to what extent. These are all examples why measuring is a bad idea. I can’t think of one instance where it adds value to our lives. If you have one I would love to hear it.
          BTW: interesting web site. I’ll look into it, thanks!

          • Barry Voeten says:

            > In a system that keeps score, a childhood like mine would lead to nothing but debt.

            Here we get to the point. Some people just are not able to add anything productive. They are too young, old, sick, stoned. Do you feel as if that is bad? I don’t. In those situations, you need the help of others and measuring that, well, will probably show the real truth.

            To avoid adding up too much wealth or debt, colourcash resets all accounts every year. Because it’s not about owing debt. The computer will remember your balance at the end of the year. Hopefully, you will do better next year. And if not, so be it.

            > , I would love to hear your ideas about why measuring is important

            It is because on the ecological scale, the planet is off balance. Socially, we are off balance. In order to bet us back into balance – as a whole, we need to determine what is going on and how to fix that. In Colourcash lingo: the planet’s green is quickly turning blue, requiring more and more red. In Black&white economics they call that ‘growth’, but we know that’s a lie.

            We can’t escape from the money lie, if there is no alternative that has the power to catch it lying.

            Also, we have become used to measuring only in quantities. Here, the RGB colour system comes in, measuring qualities. The difference between a car and a horse? Blue vs. Red. There is no real need in this example to measure the quantity of the car’s or the horse’s power. Just the colour – the quality – will do.

            > No one knows what is fair.

            I’d say: we all do, but we have different opinions. Just because mine is not at all better than anyone elses, everyone should have their own opinion and use that!

            Actually, I agree with you completely that we should not need anything such as money or colourcash at all, but, as a sort of temporary way to get the planet back into balance, I’d say we need to use all we can use to get back into balance.

            Thanks for asking, Kelly.

  3. shockme says:

    Where did all the comments go?

  4. I’ll say one thing. I don’t think Real Estate would be done away with entirely. Perhaps the nature of the job would change, and it would be a bit more like guiding tours. The Real Estate Agent would suggest the best place for a person and would not be concerned about commissions or budgets. They could suggest where a person might enjoy living based on their interests entirely.

    One guy likes to surf and enjoys being socially active? Show him a place on the beach where like-minded people have already clustered. Another enjoys solitude and the sound of the waves breaking as they hit the shore? Help him find a more secluded area. A group of people want to build tree-houses and live in the treetops? Find them the perfect grove of trees. Hang-gliders? Find the perfect vantage point in the mountains.

    Even financial consultants could become resource consultants. Help them become engineers and they could really help people who want to build things, but have no idea where to start. Educated advice for inventors and tinkerers, really.

    Subtle shifts on both the macro (Trust Bank) and micro (individual jobs/hobbies scale…

    • Shock Me says:

      I like this vision of a local guide helping newcomers choose a place that matches their goals.

  5. Sebastian says:

    Gold standard was abolished by Nixon in 1971.

  6. Kelly,

    The title of your article says it best – it all comes down to trust doesn’t it?

    When we look at “economy” in nature, we see two ways that supply meets demand;
    a) the demand physically goes to the supply (the cheetah runs down the gazelle), or
    b) the supply physically goes to the demand (the fly is caught in the spider’s web)

    Man seems to be the one creature to invent a construct, money, to act as a “place holder” for supply. If we have money, and the supply is available at a price, then we can have it. If not, then not – unless we barter for it, steal it or it’s gifted to us.

    We use money instead of trust between producer and supplier. Or should I say money is a metaphor or substitute for trust? Money talks and bullshit walks as they saying goes. Trouble is, our money IS bullshit any more. It’s issued and distributed in controlled quantities by institutions that don’t give a rip about their impact on natural systems. They act in THEIR self-interest – no surprise.

    As a species we have become civilized and specialized – only knowledgeable preppers are ready for economic collapse. The rest of us, myself included, rely on this substitute trust system we’ve become so dependent upon, for our next meal and sleeping quarters. Homer Simpson would say “Doh!” right about now.

    If money totally lost it’s value today nothing would happen to supply or demand. It would be just like it was yesterday – the only thing missing is the substitute for trust between trading parties to match supply to demand as before.

    So without our substitute for trust, would we be wise enough to go “cold turkey” without a really big fuss? Could we call a big cyber-huddle and keep the wheels of commerce turning without currency there to grease them?

    I think maybe, just maybe, if we handed out your article and could get everybody THINKING as you’ve clearly done as evidenced in your article, we could pull through a monetary collapse with no problem.

    It would be more like waking from a bad dream.

    I enjoyed reading your stuff, I hope you write some more.

  7. Ryan says:

    The whole idea behind the RBE was a little hard for me to grasp when I immediately began to read about it. I could see how it could work, but failed to see exactly why it would work the way it theoretically could. The hardest part for me was to understand the fact that people wouldn’t hoard goods in an RBE and why they wouldn’t hoard those goods.

    I think the best way to understand it, for me at least, is to keep the principle of how money works; not the system but just the idea of having a value for everything. Now, assume that the value of everything in the entire world has a value of $0, you’re $250,000 house, $25,000 car, $250 netbook… All of it drops to a $0. What got me at first was “how can we keep people from taking more than they need? Everything is available for grabs after all.” But, when I really started to think about it, I realized that if everything in the world has the same “value,” then there would be no incentive to hoard it. You wouldn’t have to worry about taking advantage of the “buy 3 get 1 free” even though you only need two. Since everything is available for grabs, you would just take two.

    I just thought I’d share the mentality of the $0 value analogy in case some people were having trouble thinking of how it would work, since it is quite an alien system to most of us.

    • Ryan,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to think about this and comment. I would like to suggest a few ideas that may help you wrap your head around this.

      The value of our stuff dose not become 0. Things still have value. The value is just not measured in dollars and it is not used to balance individual transactions.

      Things don’t become “up for grabs”. It is a sharing process. You own what you have until you share it. Stealing is still not allowed. If you don’t what to share you don’t have to; Although it would be hard to think of why you wouldn’t.

      I pointed this out in the article but I think it is worth mentioning: There is massive hording now. Money allows people to amass wealth (resources) that they could not use in a thousand lifetimes. They use that wealth to control, manipulate and withhold from others. They also use it to control perceptions so that people think it is normal for ones to do this. This kind of hording is far more destructive than anything one person or group could do if all resources were free.

  8. This article crystallizes thoughts and suppositions that I have had for decades. Since the days of, the “hippie”, mentality I have accepted the perception that mutual benefit of all contributing to a joing reality is immeasurable. I shall very much be implementing these postulations and perceptions in all my future undertakings. I hope that all who read this article will see the value in it’s presentations. It is a shame that the leaders of society do not have the kind of insight that is presented here. May the good Lord help them. As for the rest of us, let us move on into a better world.

  9. Janice says:

    I just wanted to mention an article I read about the hundredth monkey. The experiment was about an evolutionary process called reaching critical mass. When enough people start to view the world in a slightly different way, (the number of people is unknown) evolution kicks in and everybody starts to follow suit. I, myself, seem to have no problem believing in an RBE. So keep talking and sharing with as many people as possible. The more you share the closer we get to critical mass.

    With great love and respect, Janice

  10. Strannik says:

    It seems to me that there is yet another resource that is limited and remains so even in resource-based economy. I’m talking about individual human lifetime. The question is – how do I decide *objectively* what to do with my lifetime? How to prevent that people focus their efforts on fixing biggest social problems instead of fixing the problems of those individuals who “yell loudest”. This is something that needs to be thought about.

    • Matt Angiono says:

      There are many reasons people would focus on these social problems, as the value system would change in an RBE. First, the most obvious problems would be tackled first, such as food, water, clothing, etc. for those in need. This is determined using technology to see what is needed the most, and by whom, not just by individuals sitting around and guessing. People still like to be guided to some extent, but the application of anyone’s efforts is still their choice. Efficiency is at the heart of the value system here. Seeing how many people simply volunteer in our capitalist society, it is easy to see this would happen readily by those wanting to help.

      The people that earn respect are ones who put forth effort, and those who don’t immediately become visible and lose their place in the social structure. If you weren’t skilled enough to do what you desired, you would study in your field of interest, which will be far easier to do without money. All training is individually tailored, and teachers can work at will, not to mention the immense online capabilities. When this happens, medical needs will also drop, as preventative practice will become standard.

      The research for prolonging life can also be explored, but much more successfully and efficiently without the need for funding. Check out the work of Aubrey de Grey or the Manhattan Beach project to see that this research is well under way already. The doctors and desires are there, and we are only limited now because it is more financially beneficial to the health care industries to have sick people that they can fix with medication. Imagine if everyone had access to healthy food and regular health check ups! These will both be standard when an RBE comes into practice!

  11. Pedro Palhoto says:

    This article has several great points that I will integrate into my current work. Let me share back some previously unshared thoughts. Maybe someone can build further on this.

    I’m currently working on an A-B-C game plan approach to a transition into this big shift that seems to be coming. I personally buzz call it “Civilization 4.0” (where 1.0=Aboriginal; 2.0=Barter; 3.0=Monetary; 4.0=Resource-based).

    Plan A: Transition smoothly into a resource-based economy, deprecating parts of the 3.0 system gradually to avoid a sudden collapse. Using initiatives such as Open Source Ecology.

    Plan B: A social and economic collapse happens before the transition is complete. The hope is to have a robust network of RBE communities ready in some rural parts of the world that can help restore order when the urban centers become very unsafe.

    Plan C: Even if the unprepared masses of urban centers (or the left over military) are successful at organizing and pillaging the rural RBE communities; people in those communities have been at least acquiring survival skills to be able to travel nomadically and live off the wilderness.

    The A-B-C game plan can be marketed as a backup economy, either by reserving a spot (if you are 3.0 wealthy), or by building it (if you are 3.0 unemployed or just simply prefer to take a part in it).

    Whichever scenario (A, B or C) you are inclined towards and focus your work on, the result will help the rest of the scenarios, hopefully getting us quicker to an A scenario by working together.

    The backup economy, if proven successful in some regions around the world, can be the tipping point for the rest of the masses to take notice.

    This can only start bottom-up, in places that the current economy is not concerned. This means rural villages/small municipalities where there is abandoned infrastructure that can be turned into Multitecs (extended libraries), workshops, classrooms and other common basic RBE facilities to kickstart self sufficient (yet collaborative) communities. In this perspective, local communities will become the enterprises of the new economy.

    This year, with some people I am working with, we hope to get this off the ground in the Iberian peninsula (Portugal and Spain).

  12. bee says:

    I like the idea, but I just can’t seem to wrap my head around RBE. There are a lot of natural checks and balances that exist in a monetary based system that is unfettered, yet transparent and visible in its operation.

    I agree that we don’t have that now, but I am unsure how RBE would perform like natural laws do to create balance.

    maybe there exists a game/simulation programmed with the RBE model I could use to show how it would work?

  13. David says:

    A fabulous article and I like the term ‘Trust Economy’.
    Jacque Fresco brought us the Resource Economy but perhaps your version is a viable starting block.

  14. admin says:

    May I welcome our guest poster Kelly MacInnis. I thank you Kelly for sharing your insight. May it be reality soon!

  15. Kim says:

    That was supposed to be “Highlights and link to full post posted on my blog.” Typing too fast!

  16. Kim says:

    Highlights and like to full post posed on my blog: keemseek.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/the-trust-economy/

  17. Kim says:

    thank you for the extensive implementation explanation/set of ideas. i am reposting on my blog.
    love and peace!

  18. Once again you have deepened the conversation and brought us closer to reality. I thank you for this wonderful, yet scary realization. The reality is that most people want their lives to stay the same, we value status quo. While the Trust Economy is scary to most it is usually better to choose a path rather than be thrust upon it. With choice comes greater happiness. I have been living without money as best I can for the past 3yrs. I know this is possible and it excites me to know we are moving into a new age!

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