A purpose-based Economy under a Human Perspective
Can we transform, radically, our notion of VALUE to set a new baseline for an Inclusive & Sustainable Global Society?
The ANSWER is YES.
PhiEconomy has investigated what are the inherent causes within our current economic system driving inequality & damage to the environment.
For CENTURIES, the Economic Science has searched for the TRUE VALUE behind the MONEY. We have created “fictions” about what MONEY should be. What it truly represents. Or what it should be. We went from SALT -which had some REAL VALUE of exchange at certain point in history-, going into SILVER & GOLD -which its scarcity represented some kind of VALUE- and nowadays, as paper-money backed by Governments -with the “trust” on them, as its CORE VALUE. Confidence we would keep our VALUE gained and providing us with some “certainty” for the future-. BUT the problems we faced TODAY at the local & global levels are the RESULT of that VISION -global grand challenges very well described by United Nations on the Sustainable Development Goals– …A vision which FELT SHORT. Let’s see…
VALUE is not only represented for just material things -commodities- nor only for services we can produce/offer in a “market environment”. There are other needs that cannot be fulfilled via a market’s process. And those needs are BUILT/CONSTRUCTED via social transactions/interactions between humans shaping/modelling/giving life to our societies. The market is only one sphere of our lives -which seems today be the only one with inherent VALUE to us, we are just market-focused only nowadays. It is even considered as a new type of religion, as the author Yuval Harari described very well on his book “Homo Deus”; where Economic Growth is the one and only objective for Governments & Citizens alike-. But there is a very important -I would even say/argue ESSENTIAL– second sphere of VALUE: our relationships with other humans, living beings and the environment. And this 2nd sphere was never taken into account by the Economic Science. That sphere was considered as “granted”, without any “economic” value or seen as a “liability” that a State needs to take care of.
On the 1st sphere of value we’ve mentioned, the “market” is governed by prices and tariffs. We even sell ourselves via a Curriculum Vitae on the job’s market. But there are many non-material things/values that cannot be sold or bought. And those things belong to that 2nd sphere of value we’ve referenced before, and we commonly refer to it today as SOCIAL or COMMON GOOD.
The Capitalist System carries, therefore, an “error by design”; a conceptual mistake we can fix today thanks to technologies like Blockchain…We all pursue MONEY. Money without any “human component” behind it, backing it up. Since its only purpose is enhancing/improving the market forces, it led to a system where consumerism and economic growth ARE the ONLY objectives. And we are reaching the boundaries/limits of that design. But we have started to recognize this situation. We know we have reached the abundance in different areas, but still many of us cannot enjoy it. According to ILO -International Labour Organization-, on its 2017’s report, 927 Million workers around the World earn only three (3) to seven (7) dollars a day -considered as extreme or moderate poverty- and 312 Millions have no job at all. This represents 50% of the economically active population around the world. And this has not changed much in the last 20-30 years. And yet, also people which are wealthy enough, are facing now same challenges as non-wealthy such as Climate Change, Insecurity, non-healthy food, air pollution, water contamination and others. Seems like not a good outcome for any. Plus, we also need to recognize, our system based its growth in the exploitation of natural resources which are falling short and causing most of the human’s made problems we are experiencing.
And as our only response/alternative to the system above, we created another fiction: Communism. We thought the market forces and social forces could not live together. They should be enemies. We created a crack where everything connected to social/ the common good seems to be without any economic value. This is a FALSE DICHOTOMY. We cannot have a system where we only value the market or the common good. We NEED an INCLUSIVE SYSTEM where both AREAS of VALUE are PRAISED. And we can FIX it via CHAGING our NOTION of what MONEY truly should represent.
PhiEconomy brings a SOLUTION to this problem. A FIX within the Capitalist System. Connecting BOTH WORLDS. The quantitative market world with the qualitative social/common good world. The tangible with the intangible. Individual’s needs with collective’s needs. And the solution is pretty SIMPLE. It was always “in front of our eyes” -as usually is throughout human’s history-.
The first step is: THINKING MONEY represents ALWAYS a PREVIOUS VALUE. It should not be issued as a DEBT, as this is just a vague promise of VALUE. And what is even worst, the only way to give it back is via the gaining of sales for a product/service in a market environment. Perceiving MONEY only works as an ENGINE for the MARKET is the REAL problem. Market is just ONE SIDE of the COIN, it is WHERE we USE the money. What it is “good for”. But it IS NOT THE SPHERE of its CREATION. There ARE NOT particular CAUSES/PURPOSES of WHY MONEY should be ISSUED in the current’s mechanism -beyond trying to create market growth-. Therefore, by issuing money in that way, we are NOT REPRESENTING the inherent VALUE of MONEY. We just see ONE SIDE of the VALUE EQUATION. We are focusing only on market transactions and we left out social transactions. Society is BUILT upon BOTH -and even more today, when we have the POWER to eliminate the basic material needs for all humankind, and any gross-innovation on top of it, provides just a marginal value for our societies; compared to the value we can obtain for all of us, at a global level, if we reduce human’s problems like poverty, inequality, climate change and the rest of Sustainable Development Goals (aka SDGs)-. The Economic Science DID NOT THINK at all about a HUMAN SPHERE of VALUE. We are referencing to the Social Goods that cannot be traded on a market environment. And that sphere is an ESSENTIAL part of the MONEY. The previous value of money or, to put it in other words, what constitutes the substance of it; it is actually the daily social transactions which build our common good -our life with other humans, living beings &the environment-. There are MANY PURPOSES we need to CONQUER as HUMANKIND and PURSUING THEM is what GIVES the VALUE to MONEY ISSUING. And those should be GLOBAL PURPOSES. We cannot divide/split them by national frontiers or borders, ethnicity or gender. These purposes ARE SO IMPORTANT, so KEY to our GLOBAL SOCIETY that we need ALL CITIZENS around the world to CONTRIBUTE for achieving them. And It is actually THE WILL of every & each CITIZEN to help in reaching them, what PROVIDES that SUBSTANCE to MONEY. Those EFFORTS towards BECOMING an ACTIVE CITIZEN -individually- and get responsibility with the environment and the common tasks we -as a global society- need to act on. So we can say that MONEY ISSUING is the RESULT of search & develop PURPOSES to reach a SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY. And contributing to it is our HUMAN RIGHT -from where we can derive money’s issuing is a human right as well when connected to the common good- but also a MORAL OBLIGATION as being citizens on this world.
It is URGENT to understand this scope of action for each of us. And that is our MOST IMPORTANT TASK we have in front of us, understand the jobs of the future -and activities most likely robots will not replace- are around BUILDING that SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY. So in order to START IMPLEMENTING the SOLUTION we need to accept this error by design in our Capitalist’s system and enlighten us with what is the REAL VALUE behind the MONEY. Its “reason of being”. And that reason is the WORK every citizen does to get better and to improve the society as whole. And this process will become FUNDAMENTAL/ESSENTIAL to our lives. And then of course, we still have the second sphere of value: the “market” and this is where we will be SPENDING the result of our contribution to achieve the goals we have set as a GLOBAL BODY, as a HUMAN SPECIE. That is where the CURRENCY comes into EFFECT -where the two-way value is fulfilled-: we can acquire GOODS & SERVICES from the market -regardless how much human work is utilized there-. Due to market’s nature -which is MAXIMIZING its earnings and reaching the zero’s marginal cost- human’s work will be always a target for elimination -and that is something good, not bad as we think about it today. If there is a task that can be automated or a robot (physical or digital) can perform, then, it has no value for a human being to pursue it-. We can RESOLVE this increasing problem of job’s loss in the market with this new logic of understanding where our VALUE is, as human beings, and what we do everyday as common’s tasks.
So we can start talking about AUGMENTED VALUE -where we intersect social/common good & market value-, the VALUE’S SPHERES of the INTANGIBLE/NON-QUANTIFIABLE –social actions, common goods- & the TANGIBLE/QUANTIFIABLE -the market-. The first type, governed by “social transactions”, represent the money’s genesis and the sphere of its creation; the second type, market’s transactions governed by prices & tariffs, belong the sphere of the usage or utilization of money. Using this process and uniting both concepts, we also get an AUGMENTED TYPE OF MONEY, which contains a PREVIOUS HUMAN VALUE inherited from its creation. Therefore, money is ONLY ISSUED when a HUMAN BEING performs a task that HELPS SOLVING a GLOBAL CHALLENGE or something the SOCIETY is FOCUSED ON.
Let’s see some examples: Learning, Health, Poverty, Security, Shelter & others. United Nations have created a GREAT 1st FRAMEWORK we can take as a REFERENCE to FIND the PURPOSES which makes “sense” to issue MONEY. Those can FULLFILL that 1st SPHERE of INTANGIBLE VALUE. I.e: Issuing money from every human being learning, studying. And this can be done during the whole life. No need to focus education anymore in finding a job in the future at the job’s market, but now directed towards FINDING its PURPOSE in life, its MOTIVATIONS for living a good personal life. This is the NEW, ENHANCED CONCEPT of VALUE, linked to PURPOSES -individuals & collective- and this will BE THE ROAD TO SUCCESS on this XXI’st Century to our HUMANKIND. And this example from learning/studying is, perhaps, one of the most important causes for MONEY ISSUING -because this purpose set the foundations for many other, cemented on this one-. It is IMPERATIVE to start comprehending this concept and creating/implementing the mechanisms to make this happens.
Another good example for causes driving money’s issuing would be KEEPING HEALTHY, because that makes us better as a person -we feel better and we are happier- but also allow us to decrease the health’s costs -which continue to rise and prohibit for many people to access good healthcare around the world as we all know health systems are in lots of troubles or even collapsing in several latitudes-. Another: producing our own clean & renewable energy, helping fight climate change but also making energy abundant. This can resolve two problems at the same time: generating energy around the world -with no damage to the environment- and make energy available to all people in the world -not only at zero cost by giving the devices through governments but also creating a source of income to all of them-. Energy is a HUMAN RIGHT, it does not belong to the market’s logic or arbitrage. We need to be able to get to a human’s development stage where technology allow us to produce clean energy on every home & business, cheap in producing it and even at zero’s marginal cost. We need to reach that level and one way is moving from the “centralized” idea of energy companies, into a decentralized world where each citizen can produce for its own consumption the required energy at home. The cryptocurrency Solarcoin is a GREAT example of this: we move out from the market idea of “price/tariff” into the intangible value sphere where we issue money based on the contribution we make to the society via producing our clean, renewable energy for our own consumption -and stop demanding fossil & centralized’s produce energy-. Companies providing the devices to citizens earn a tiny fraction of each digital coin issued by their equipment. This is the right way in which we can achieve and conquer collective objectives like this one.
So we can continue to form ideas on which are those COMMON VALUES we need to pursue and imaging what individual citizen efforts we need to perform. Everyone -rich, poor, Chinese, Argentinians, English, from any country, ethnicity or religion- can help & participate to CRAFT that SUSTAINABLE & INCLUSIVE Global Society we all need to live in.
This new way of thinking about the Economy, where the Human Being is at the center stage, empowering its individual’s actions to get better and to improve its environment -as a result of being a better person and a better citizen- OPEN UP a whole new world of possibilities & new economics laws we need to EXPLORE. PLUS this also helps to resolve a current dilemma: how to make money available to people widely -because, the 2nd sphere of money we described, that is the sphere of the usage of money, needs consumers…and if people cannot access money via getting a paid/market job, the market itself will end-up collapsing as well-.
So thinking on this new sphere of value -money’s genesis-, where money flourish directly from the hands of the citizens; we can also eliminate a heavy-duty task all Governments around the World have: wealth’s redistribution -which is also not working in most of the countries and take us to big pockets/black holes of corruption and increasing levels of taxing-. And this problem is inherited from the design’s error on money’s issuing. We ARE in a ZERO-SUM game, where the governments/states take money from individuals and corporations to distribute among the ones who cannot access to good market jobs -plus if we consider automation will continue to rise due to market’s logic on achieving maximum efficiency, this problem will become worst and worst every year-. So one way to FIX this via creating money on COMMON PURPOSES would be focusing on activities helping SAVE MONEY on State’s spent, providing opportunities for every & each citizen to help and get an income for contributing to a common goal. We can eliminate also the need to create “state backed jobs” just to provide a bandage for the private jobs -human workers- that are being eliminated. We move from the idea of welfare into an idea of active citizens, helping shape our Society. We give new dignity and engage citizens around the world under common goals. We all feel part of a Global Body of VALUE creation. We all, as citizens, has duties we cannot delegate or postpone -not even if we are the richest person in the world-. If we want to create a virtuous society, taking our SPECIE one step forward on our EVOLUTION path, we need to understand that the Economy should have an strategy behind it, a mission, a vision and common goals. Making the “social/common good area of transactions” and the “market area of goods and services” work aligned, as an orchestra, so we can focus on what is important rather than in what is not. An Economy that innovates through the lenses of a human perspective -and not just producing things fomenting consumerism without an underlying sense for what we do-. We can -and need- to abandon the relationship we have today with the Democracy, where citizens are just mere clients of politicians and we think they will/need to solve everything because we pay our taxes and that free us from all the challenges we face -even challenges we help to skyrocket everyday with our own actions-. Of course, this current state of things is a very convenient mechanism for us and even for politicians -we just vote every two or four years & pay our taxes, that’s it!-. But it is not working….Poverty, inequality, clean water, climate change, gender’s violence and all United Nations SDGs are problems which need all global citizen’s attention and contributions -in terms of efforts- to be solved. Augmented Value & Augmented Money’s notions are a possible way to approach a solution for good.
So WHAT DO WE PROPOSE, HOW CAN WE DO THAT?
DECENTRALIZED PROTOCOLS for MONEY ISSUING based on PURPOSES:
It is ESSENTIAL to start BUILDING PROTOCOLS for DECENTRALIZED MONEY ISSUING by PURPOSES, without any owners, WHICH ALLOW any individual or company to create DEVICES to TAP into those processes and GRAB the small/large COMMUNITY surrounding them to participate in the process. Via APIs, we create COMPETITION within NEW TYPE of ENTERPRISES to INNOVATE in TECHNOLOGY in order to ACHIEVE those PURPOSES and capture the ATTENTION of other fellow CITIZENS to use those devices. Its MONETIZATION comes now from citizen´s efforts operating/doing those devices/tasks and not anymore a “culture” of buying/selling as the main & unique goal. Those enterprises/individuals which provides equipment/infrastructure will earn from each coin being created by the citizens utilizing the equipment/infrastructure. So a unique global currency is possible per purpose with several, thousands or even millions of enterprises/citizens adding their equipment/infrastructure to issuing those coins via citizens they engage in the process. A tiny portion of each coin will go to them -providers- and another tiny portion will go to the state’s where the citizen’s performing the task is based on. We generate a global competition to improve technology -making more efficient- under a human’s perspective. Governed by Public Blockchains & PHI algorithm’s we can set a way to adjust money’s issuing as per to maintain an equilibrium & redistribute the wealth we generate as a global society.