The Alternative Economic and Monetary System

Philip Wainwright (Western Australia)

An Introduction

There is an old saying “If you don’t know where you have been, you will not know where you are going.”  Its corollary is “if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know if you are on the right path toward it”.  It is inherent in this saying, just as it is in the parable of the Prodigal Son, that setting the destination is not as important as the journey there, and that what you need to know is within you to begin with.  It is with this in mind that if we don’t know what the future looks like how will we know what to do to make such a utopia happen.  All that information is within each of us, but it has been well and truly buried deep inside some people and it may simply mean they are not able to access such information.

One way to plan for that utopia is to begin to think of ways it can happen and what we need to do to begin the healing process toward such a state.  It cannot be the end game because that will mean we will get bogged down in dogma and end up exactly in the same place we are now.  It has to be a process of progressive development, just as humans have progressively developed to what we are now.  That is not to say we will remain in this form and with the limited skills we have now, but as the millennia roll on so will our development.  We need to be in a state of awareness to allow those changes to take place in the best possible way.  We can’t ever stamp out evil for it is needed to shine a light on good, but it is when we allow evil to be a greater part of our lives, do we also become evil.  It is the converse that we need to grow.

To maintain the ideal of cooperation, altruism and communalism, the utopia mentioned earlier, an economic and monetary system is required to support that.  The concepts of capitalism, profit, gain, interest, compounding and all the other terms introduced into the ‘economy’ as a means of ensuring slave hood to the system need to be obviated at every opportunity.

To this end the new system is based on bonds, “a relationship between people or groups based on shared feelings, interests, or experiences”  and trust, “firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something”.

The new currency will be called Trust Bonds (TB).

The amount a man or woman will be granted as part of the common wealth could be linked to an estimated number of hours of life and a value of 1 be attached to each hour.  This idea was put forward by the late Graham Stephens in 1994 , a New Zealand accountant.  He termed the phrase Timecon and worked out a system of hours being part of one’s contribution to society.  I have added the currency.  This is entirely arbitrary of course but the difference to the current system is that is based on being alive, and not related to earning capacity and then being valued as such.  The value is already in the life.  So it matters not whether one person lives to 110 and another to 40.  Their ‘value’ will be the contributing factor of the hours they are alive.  The amount of hours dedicated to individual and communal growth will depend on age, skills and abilities and level of health etc.  So being disabled will not be a barrier to contribution because everyone has some level of ability.  Children will contribute differently than adults, and younger adults will contribute differently than the elderly.  So there is no need for retirement nor unemployment because these conditions now do not apply.  Work will not be the dominant role of living so a life can be achieved at all stages of one’s existence without the need to labour for so many years to achieve a quiet end to it.

How will this apply to the commercial world and the world of work?

There will not be a need for any commercial, contractual or legally binding systems be it for local or international purposes.  As all produce and minerals is within the common wealth trust of all Australians, and that all things relating to and of the earth are therefore within the common wealth trust of all human beings, and that these are the result of the application only of Man’s labour, then it will be an exchange of labour that sets the control.  So where need necessitates the delivery of materials (finished not raw) to particular countries, it will be the exchange of labour rather than a cost of the materials that needs to be sorted out.  This could be in the form of protection, food, clothing, housing and travel needs of any Australian that holidays in the country receiving the materials and services.

All businesses within Australia will be cooperatives.  There will be no competition of any kind and a development trust will be established to oversee the introduction of new industries and how the products and services they produce are distributed.  This means that people will not have to leave the locality they are in for work and career due to the fact that all they need is within the area they live or will be provided by the distribution network.  This will include building materials, construction and maintenance materials, and services of all types.  This will have the flow on benefit of cutting down the need for transport infrastructure, reliance on fossil fuels and ancillary manufacturing such as in the production of tyres and the like.  For example there will not be the myriad of plumbers, electricians and the like, each being represented by different business names and models.  There will be sufficient of each trade and service to facilitate on going maintenance and to satisfy new constructions, as necessary.  Training of youth in the area will not be a financial burden on any business so there will be no need for separate apprentice training schools or businesses.  The overall standard will be set by the cooperative of that industry and across all industries the nation over.  The traditional model of Journeymen will be adopted to ensure lifelong training.

How does it start?

Each person will be given a Trust Bond amount at birth and will receive ongoing ‘payments’ throughout their lives, based on their contribution to the whole.  For example a newborn might receive 100,000 TB for their parents to allocate to food, additional care, clothing, infrastructure, and such.  The parents, in this case, will need to budget that amount to cover all aspects of the child’s life until, say, age 14.  After the child goes through the Trials associated with this age as part of their growth, he or she will either continue with their parents being responsible for their ‘financial’ well being, or they will begin to shoulder that responsibility themselves.

As there will be no ‘value’ outside of a product or service being offered by anyone other than it’s TB value, there will be no price gouging, no profiteering, no interest or any other liability attached to any transaction.  The idea of budgeting and control of spending will be fundamental to the system and specific consequences and checks and balances will need to be in place to prevent any deviation, sort of like a ‘speed limiting’ device on a vehicle would be an example with all spending being recorded with flags shown with every purchase that may impact the steady expenditure of the Trust Bond amount.   Overspending would raise concern with regard to Black Market activity or similar wastage or misuse and require that someone to be sent to check on the activities of the man or woman involved.  As drugs will still be a problem for many, and as there will not be any other money to trade, people will work out ways to try and get around it.

As a limit has been set it will not be in anyone’s favour to counterfeit the Trust Bonds as the total will show up somewhere.  As the transition to a more equitable system will take some time those with no budgeting skills, or being used to flouting their money, these people may need some time to adapt.  Education will be available to enhance those lacking in budgeting and other skills.

This would flow over into the ‘purchasing’ of houses, cars and other luxuries as each person would have to budget for that in their allocated TB amount.  There will be no loans to increase the TB limit and each person will be required to live within that limit.  This could see the end of huge commercial complexes such as shopping centers as there would be no requirement for them.  Just localised services and outlets for people within walking distance.  These areas could be turned into urban vegetable gardens to feed surrounding localities.  The current practice of huge houses that serve no other purpose than to feed the personality ego of the individual will become a thing of the past.

For example. A household requires a certain amount of furniture, fittings, luxury items to provide comfort and relaxation, and regular maintenance.  These would all be attended to by local tradespeople who would set up maintenance schedules for each new home and all existing ones.  Furniture might be replaced, say, every 10 years, and vehicles every 20 years.  When the time comes for that to happen it happens automatically.  If any householder breaks something accidentally it will be replaced but should it be due to a deliberate or malicious intent, they will do without for the remainder of the time of that arrangement.

Whilst the capitalistic approach to life has been instrumental in damaging our relationships with the planet and each other, we cannot allow ourselves to go fully in the opposite direction and expect all things to be provided for little input.  There must be some checks and balances, and some degree of restrain and control so that respect for another man or woman’s input is given credence, be it in the provision of a piece of furniture or in the provision of any service.

A1 does not necessarily support all views expressed in our Supporters’ Forum, but we do uphold and value the right of people to hold their own views and for these views to be considered and debated in the community.