Proposal for a new social contract

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Alias
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Proposal for a new social contract

Post by Alias » December 9th, 2012, 8:59 pm

by Zatamon

We are a species of contradictions:

Co-operation and competition; desire for freedom and for power; generosity and greed; loyalty and enmity. In a social context this duality manifests itself as freedom from, and compassion for, one another.

The different social systems in our history were built on different assumptions of human nature.

- Capitalism assumes that our primary motivation is greedy self interest (freedom and competition) - Communism is built on the assumption that we can be like a family, each caring equally for all (compassion and sharing). - Socialism of various kinds try to find a compromise between those extremes, so far without much success, because the compromises were arbitrary, piecemeal, without a clearly defined principle. Can we find a compromise acceptable to most people?

Let’s agree that we acknowledge both of our needs: freedom from, and compassion for, one another. Let us agree that the compassion part has priority, up to where the basic survival needs of every citizen in our country is assured. Beyond this point our priorities change and our need for freedom takes over.

The concept I have in mind is a variety of the ‘Basic Income Alternative’ a policy that has been and is currently studied by various western governments (including Ireland and Canada). In my version, we have a two-compartment economy, with the two parts completely isolated from each other. One, the public sector, is communist in nature, while the second, the private sector, is pure capitalism.

In the public sector, basic human needs are the responsibility of the national government and takes priority over every other human activity. In the public sector there is no money.

The government is in charge of all the industries and infrastructure (without exception) required to provide basic human needs: food, clothing, housing, health, education, communication, transportation.

The government controls all the resources necessary to eliminate poverty and make sure every citizen’s basic needs are satisfied.

The basic human needs can be easily calculated by using scientific data on age-dependent calorie requirements, climate-dependent clothing and housing requirement, population-dependent health- and education-requirement and the necessary energy and raw-material production, as well as the necessary infrastructure in transportation and communication. It could be easily planned – and adapted, as conditions change - based on physiological, climatic and demographic data.

Production in this economy presupposes that the sector is self contained, the nation has all the resources required to implement this system; no foreign trade is required.

Basic human needs are very easy to satisfy - we have all the resources and the technology to do it in abundance today, if we put everything else on hold and eliminate all waste (ostentation, lavish entertainment, military, finance, duplication and competition) until basic human needs are satisfied. In my opinion no ethical human being could justify spending any amount of resources on those items I just listed, as long as there is one hungry child or homeless citizen in the country.

This does not mean that I would want to live without arts or sports or some luxuries, but the beauty of the system is that I would not have to. The key word above is ***ABUNDANCE***. With intelligent organization, elimination of wasteful competition and duplication, we could produce ***ENOUGH*** of the basic necessities to accommodate individual differences in needs and statistical fluctuations in demand, with a comfortable margin of safety.

No regulation on the individual level is necessary. The produced goods and services could be made freely available: people could just help themselves in the warehouses, find the ‘basic quality’ house they need, close to the place where they work. If basic needs are guaranteed, no sane person would bother with hoarding, so no artificial shortages would happen (the assumption being that insane persons are in a very tiny minority).

Besides being in charge of all production activity to satisfy this goal, the government will have to maintain the police and the courts to make sure the system is defended against criminals, sociopaths and psychopaths. Another beauty of the system is that once basic needs are satisfied, the level of crime, violence and destructive behavior will decrease drastically.

The time an average citizen will have to work in the Public Sector could be as low as 2-3 hours per workday. This minimal contribution can be accumulated in advance to provide for vacations and personal projects, but would not be transferable to make sure no person has a ‘free ride’. You don’t have to ‘save up’ for illness and retirement, because those are provided for by the excess safety buffer built into the system.

The government would stay the sole ‘owner’ of all natural resources that are common birthright of all citizens. Among these are primarily land, air, water, space, forests, wildlife, mineral deposits, communication frequency bands. Nobody can expropriate any of this for exclusive personal use beyond what they are entitled to in their basic needs (these needs are defined by national consensus, reached by referendum, based on scientific and demographic data).

After basic needs are satisfied and poverty, hunger, preventable illness and ignorance is eliminated from the nation; crimes are prevented to the best of the police’s ability, then the government’s task ends. It has done all in its power to make sure that basic human needs are satisfied, nobody goes hungry, no one freezes to death on a winter sidewalk, nobody gets abused by crime or exploitation, no one too young, old or sick gets neglected, no human greed and evil is allowed to rule.

The second compartment in the economy which would be completely private, and totally separate from the Public Sector and the government. Other than assuring that no criminal activity (theft, fraud, murder, pollution, inhumanity to animals, etc) is taking place in the second tier, the government is staying completely out of it.

The private sector could be organized in any way participants want to - it can have money and banks and loans and interest rates and what-have-you. It can lease excess natural resources (only in a sustainable way) from the government for its own purposes, by contributing extra benefit to the public, basic-needs production economy (they can not pay in currency because the government does not use any). The value of natural resources in terms of public service provided for its use will have to be calculated by the economic planners of the government, based on scarcity of resources versus public benefit of service provided for it. It has to be dynamic, with strict guidelines protecting it from abuse.

Nobody could be forced to participate in the ‘private sector’ of the economy, it would be strictly voluntary. If the private economy organizes itself to use a recognized common currency, then citizens could get ‘paid’ for their work in the private sector and use this money to purchase luxuries (products and services beyond basic needs) just as they do now. The private sector could do any amount of foreign trade so long as it does not compromise the public economy.

No compromise would be tolerated when it comes to basic needs and rights, the sustainability of the system, the health of the environment and the rights of other living species. Of course there are millions of details to be worked out, I only wanted to describe the basic principles of a ‘workable’ social organization. And, of course, I have no road-map leading from ‘A’ to ‘B’ and don’t even know if such a road-map is possible in the immediate future. However, I wanted to describe how a social organization could exist without money.

To summarize:

The essence of my system: People decide that the most important goal is to make sure everybody’s basic needs are met. They create an economy to assure that. There is no money involved, every able citizen contributes a minimum number of hours per day and the produced goods are made available to everyone freely. This economy is completely self contained: it has its power generating stations, mining, industries, agriculture, transportation and communication facilities, schools and hospitals.

Now, whoever wants more can do it in their spare time, as long as 1./ they don’t touch our economy in any way whatsoever (if they can’t do it without us, it is their problem, we will not let anything compromise the ‘prime directive’). 2./ They don’t cause damage to the environment and don’t harm anyone in the process (including other species).

As Will Durant wrote in “The Lessons of History (chapter X. - Government and History) -- “If our economy of freedom fails to distribute wealth as ably as it has created it, the road to dictatorship will be open to any man who can persuasively promise security to all; and a martial government, under whatever charming phrases, will engulf the democratic world”
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David_the_simple
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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by David_the_simple » December 9th, 2012, 11:59 pm

intriguing !

Upon first pass:

1 ) the 2-3 hours seems reasonable in light of modern inventions and industry. Setting up an employment network and delegation of who does what would be a bit of work. It is the other 6 - 5 hours that would give us the abundance we enjoy today. Those that are comfortable with working only 2-3 hours per day would make up the lower class, those that worked more would achieve more.

2) managing all resources required for the basic needs under government seems interesting. Setting up said government would be monumental. Allocation of resources between public and private might prove interesting.

I'll have to ponder this further.

Thanks for Zatamon's letter

MarcusPCato
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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by MarcusPCato » January 14th, 2013, 9:37 am

First, Alias, why should we agree that the "compassion" aspect should assume any priority? You failed to justify that, which is really the whole key to your utopia.

Secondly, Durant missed a lesson of history: it is also possible to prevent the abuse of power by denying the government the POWER to redirect the economy in the first place, and structure that denial of power in such a way that it takes a super-super majority to amend it.

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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by David_the_simple » January 14th, 2013, 9:58 am

MarcusPCato wrote:First, Alias, why should we agree that the "compassion" aspect should assume any priority? You failed to justify that, which is really the whole key to your utopia.
I'd like to interject here... Compassion is not a bad thing, but more important to the structure of society is the "un-written moral law". I do not mean morals as in Sunday school, but the emergent laws that guide social creatures to work together 'as-best-as-possible'. Recipricated-altruism is a major component of this emergent laws of morality. It does help the society as a whole.
MarcusPCato wrote:Secondly, Durant missed a lesson of history: it is also possible to prevent the abuse of power by denying the government the POWER to redirect the economy in the first place, and structure that denial of power in such a way that it takes a super-super majority to amend it.
Here governemt as a person-autocrate or group-republic, your statement holds, but... government as 'representative' puts the masses back in the drivers seat. Presently, our representation is horrablily dilute when compared to the monkeysphere of humans, hence the power is shifting to a republic-oligarchy-aristocracy.

The above essay is an interesting springboard. Still a bit crude to cover nuances, but perhaps a stake in the ground for further brain-storming.

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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by Alias » January 14th, 2013, 7:04 pm

As it's not my proposal, I can neither have succeeded nor failed in the justifications of the author's stance. I believe he does consider co-operation and compassion to be fundamental to the health of societies, and I'm inclined to agree. Indeed, I cannot promote the existence of a society without those qualities and suspect (though I cannot prove) that the majority of citizens would prefer to live in a co-operative and compassionate society.

Anyway, I've since discovered another statement of a very similar thesis, in the work of futurist Hazel Henderson, in her 1989 book The Politics of the Solar Age. She draws our attention to the two-hemisphere economy that already exists, and has always existed in civilized societies: the monetary half, which is measured in currency, capital, paid labour, industrial output, etc and the value-based co-operative half that is not measured, but without which the monetary economy could not function: volunteerism, family obligation, community effort, service clubs, exchanging favours, self-sufficiency, relief and rescue - all the work people naturally do for themselves, their kin and their neighbours that's never taken into account by economic planners - and is generally ignored by politicians (even while an unpaid army of party faithful helps their election). We already have government taking on many of the functions of family and community in the form of services, but governments today have to contract private enterprise for the construction and pay workers in money, which must be borrowed from banks, etc. This confounds the two pats of economy and organization - and is prone to abuse.

All Zatamon proposes, at base, is to acknowledge and make official the two separate hemispheres. Include all resources and activities necessary for survival in the voluntary hemisphere (which was the whole economy in pre-monetary societies; nothing foreign to human nature); to give that hemisphere the power to protect and sustain itself - thus, government. Include non-essential, self-benefiting labour in a distinct economy based on a medium of exchange and competition. I think that's a reasonable approach.

My personal interest is in the practicalities of organization, and particularly of governance. I would suggest calling the two parts of economy Public Sector and Private Sector - and making those terms meaningful in deed.
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MarcusPCato
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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by MarcusPCato » January 14th, 2013, 7:11 pm

David_the_simple wrote:

(Nested quote removed.)


Here governemt as a person-autocrate or group-republic, your statement holds, but... government as 'representative' puts the masses back in the drivers seat. Presently, our representation is horrablily dilute when compared to the monkeysphere of humans, hence the power is shifting to a republic-oligarchy-aristocracy.
Our government was never intended to be, nor SHOULD it be, a democracy. It was intended to be, following the lead of Marcus Tullius Cicero, a mixed republic with monarchic, aristocratic and democratic elements, each intending to check and balance the other.

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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by David_the_simple » January 14th, 2013, 9:42 pm

MarcusPCato wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


Our government was never intended to be, nor SHOULD it be, a democracy. It was intended to be, following the lead of Marcus Tullius Cicero, a mixed republic with monarchic, aristocratic and democratic elements, each intending to check and balance the other.
I'll have to agree to a point. A pure democracy can not work beyond a small population. But a republic without regards for the masses will not work either. Power corrupts. Our given system has a serious flaw... morals were not written into the constitution, and the loop hole is there to be exploited. There are examples in our judicial system where the guilty are set free on a technicality, the technicality exposed in that instance of court, but moral-fairness-justice ignored. Should our mix of republic-monarchy-aristocracy-democracy have a chance to exist beyond a few hundred years, morals will need to be written into the constitution to avoid morphing into just republic-monarchy-aristocracy.

This thread introduces an interesting concept. Feasibility and projected outcomes are still in question.

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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by Alias » January 15th, 2013, 12:28 am

I'm not sure direct democracy is impossible with larger populations, given the present state of technology. If you can organize a national uprising via Twitter, I guess you can hold an election. My suggestion would be to, rather, to keep the political process small and local, which would be easier to organize.

Can the outcomes be much worse than we have now? We're facing extinction, though most people haven't been told yet. We're wasting an enormous amount of our resources, effort and welfare on strife over wealth - at the cost of survival. What kind of sense does that make?

Take money, and worry about survival, and the dependence of survival on the ability to acquire money, out of the equation - what happens to the society? What happens to the task of governing and policing? more fundamentally still: For whom does the government exist? And what is its purpose?
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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by David_the_simple » January 15th, 2013, 9:59 am

Alias wrote:I'm not sure direct democracy is impossible with larger populations, given the present state of technology. If you can organize a national uprising via Twitter, I guess you can hold an election. My suggestion would be to, rather, to keep the political process small and local, which would be easier to organize.
I suspect with a generation of education, using technology, a larger population to representative would be possible. Keeping the politics local, would be more realistic and 'fool-resistant'
Alias wrote:Can the outcomes be much worse than we have now? We're facing extinction, though most people haven't been told yet. We're wasting an enormous amount of our resources, effort and welfare on strife over wealth - at the cost of survival. What kind of sense does that make?
It is interesting that the amount of money and effort put into an election for a person we did not know just prior to an election. I doubt if the information is entirely credible for those positioins.
Alias wrote:Take money, and worry about survival, and the dependence of survival on the ability to acquire money, out of the equation - what happens to the society? What happens to the task of governing and policing? more fundamentally still: For whom does the government exist? And what is its purpose?
For the self-seeking monarch or group, obviously not the people...

Hence the need for a 'representative', and one that actually does represent or a good monarch (fat chance of that). The purpose being to assist the masses in our pursuit of life, liberty and justice.

I would propose a government founded on a constitution that has nearly all the checks and balances that we have, but modified to include in writing 'morals' and modify the granularity of representation to no more than 5000 to 1 (the 100,000 to 1 isn't doing that great of a job now)

This thread introduced the concept of a cashless sector of economy/government. It would be interesting if this is possible.

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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by Alias » January 16th, 2013, 1:02 am

Of course it's possible - we had it for 10,000 years before money was invented. The question is: can we deal with the people who so greatly benefit from money-based governance? No matter how much they deride government's ability to handle money, they won't easily give up a perfect funnel from the citizen's to the mogul's pocket. The next question is, can we shake off the brainwashing of the last few hundred years, wherein money was central to everything - even play, love, art and spirituality?

For sure, once money is out of government, nobody will want to corrupt an official: they won't have the power to award lucrative contracts or pass legislation favourable to greedy backers. How much chicanary can you perpetrate, directing a truckload of turnip? (Yes, there is the possibility of mis-allocating truckloads of steel beams, but since no private contractor gets anywhere near a public-works building site, it would be very much harder.) In the private sector, people can steal and cheat all they want - or all they can get away with - among themselves, without the privileges of a legal structure based on wealth.

I have no problem with a moral basis to the constitution - no religion, though, or cultural bias; just basic principles that apply to everybody - perhaps something like http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/the UN declaration of human rights.

The one thing I consider most important in government is that it should never become exclusive to professional politicians and/or bureaucrats. The citizenry needs to be involved at all levels of organization and decision-making, all the time. It's not rocket-science! If GW Bush was qualified to run the world's biggest corporate nation, practical people can run a non-profit organization. If the outcome affects them exactly as it does their fellow citizens, they'd be a lot more responsible than the untouchable millionaires are now. I would recommend terms of two to four years in office, overlapping so you never have all rookies in a council.
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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by David_the_simple » January 16th, 2013, 10:52 am

Alias wrote:Of course it's possible - we had it for 10,000 years before money was invented. .
I can see the overlap in concept of democracy, but 10,000 years ago the population was smaller. Again, per your suggestion, using technology and cultural education could increase the effective size of the population under pure democracy. But here again comes into play monkeysphere and propoganda. Who really is 'that' person running for office?
Alias wrote:The question is: can we deal with the people who so greatly benefit from money-based governance? No matter how much they deride government's ability to handle money, they won't easily give up a perfect funnel from the citizen's to the mogul's pocket.
- Right you are! - In reality money is a tool or a weapon. - This thread introduces an alternative to money. Truely a threat to those who get more for less. A system without money, can it be done ?!
Alias wrote: The next question is, can we shake off the brainwashing of the last few hundred years, wherein money was central to everything - even play, love, art and spirituality?
With passive education, expect 40 to 100 years, (if we have that long). With dynamic, but violent free education, I think it takes 20 years, (if we have that long).
Alias wrote: For sure, once money is out of government, nobody will want to corrupt an official: they won't have the power to award lucrative contracts or pass legislation favourable to greedy backers. How much chicanary can you perpetrate, directing a truckload of turnip? (Yes, there is the possibility of mis-allocating truckloads of steel beams, but since no private contractor gets anywhere near a public-works building site, it would be very much harder.) In the private sector, people can steal and cheat all they want - or all they can get away with - among themselves, without the privileges of a legal structure based on wealth.
agreed, the feasibility of a moneyless economy being the question.
Alias wrote: I have no problem with a moral basis to the constitution - no religion, though, or cultural bias; just basic principles that apply to everybody - perhaps something like http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/the UN declaration of human rights.
Agreed, it is imperitive that there is no cultural bias, but based on laws of social creatures. This way a single constitution could last as long as there are social creatures yet allow for nuances of sporatic cultures.
Alias wrote: The one thing I consider most important in government is that it should never become exclusive to professional politicians and/or bureaucrats. The citizenry needs to be involved at all levels of organization and decision-making, all the time. It's not rocket-science! If GW Bush was qualified to run the world's biggest corporate nation, practical people can run a non-profit organization. If the outcome affects them exactly as it does their fellow citizens, they'd be a lot more responsible than the untouchable millionaires are now. I would recommend terms of two to four years in office, overlapping so you never have all rookies in a council.
I would think that if morals were written into a constitution, those specific professions would be outlawed :)

In nature, there appears to be opposing forces, preditor and prey, regretfully, even in sentient social creatures. I would suspect that preditors will find a way to violate moral-fairness-justice whether an economy is based on money or moneyless.

Which system could lends itself to a bias toward moral-fairness-justice? In a money based ecomony, wage vs task is a big issue. A moneyless economy could avoid this problem. Earlier, a hybrid economy was suggested. Purhaps this would allow versitality.

To cap my understanding:

1) morals written into a constitution to help filter out the influence of immoral men in the society

2) moneyless based economy for managing resources to common needs and survival

3) money based economy for those that are willing to 'work' for a higher standard of living

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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by Alias » January 16th, 2013, 12:17 pm

David_the_simple wrote: I can see the overlap in concept of democracy, but 10,000 years ago the population was smaller.
Not only smaller, but more homogeneous and aware of their interdependence. On the community level, we still have this; on the national level, we forget interdependence in the heat of competing for not enough. Make sure there is enough for everyone, and that source of friction is removed - that particular set of blinkers is removed.

Also, we could eliminate elections altogether, saving much effort and potential conflict. All able adults are eligible for council-service, just as they are for jury duty. When your number comes up, take a month to hand over whatever work you're currently doing, then report to the chamber of representatives. Put in four hours on administration; the rest of your day is free. Serve two years in office, then return to private life.

A system without money, can it be done ?!
What I like about this proposal is that it's only half a system without money. The cash-junkies are not asked to give up their habit - only to stop foisting their habit on everybody else.
[brain-dewashing] With dynamic, but violent free education, I think it takes 20 years, (if we have that long).
The imminent economic collapse may take care of the problem much faster. But messily. When the debt-load becomes so heavy that the entire fantasy structure comes crashing down, the real things - houses, potato fields, tanks, ozone-holes, roads, slag-heaps - will still be here. It's hard for us, products of the global market age, to think about money and how it's used - and how unreal it actually is. Indeed, any number with $ in front and zeroes behind tends to turn otherwise healthy brain tissue into grey fluff. It's helpful, maybe, to think about what we can see and touch. Does a beanstalk stop growing when it doesn't get paid? No, but it will, without water. You can build a house without mortgage payments, but not without lumber and bricks. (Or something. Of course, I'm a wierdo who wants to live in a tree-house in a forest garden, but whatever works for you.)
In nature, there appears to be opposing forces, preditor and prey, regretfully, even in sentient social creatures. I would suspect that preditors will find a way to violate moral-fairness-justice whether an economy is based on money or moneyless.
If they have their separate sandbox to play in, maybe they won't be so eager to invade ours. And I'm pretty sure plenty of voluntary prey would line up to trade 4 hours of work for 10 minutes of luxury. But we'd still need to be vigilant. Corruption-proofing the administrators is a start. Strong critical thinking courses in elementary school will help. And the moral contract, of course.
To cap my understanding:

1) morals written into a constitution to help filter out the influence of immoral men in the society
I suppose they would still be in the society - they just wouldn't be allowed to structure it in their own image and define everybody's role.
2) moneyless based economy for managing resources to common needs and survival

3) money based economy for those that are willing to 'work' for a higher standard of living
Yeah. It doesn't have to be money; the private sector can use whatever medium of exchange they like. The private sector would probably contain many economic structures on various models, as people experiment. The most aggressive predators would certainly want to take over the whole thing, but if people aren't afraid of them, forced to work for and obey them, that might prove a whole lot more difficult.
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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by David_the_simple » January 17th, 2013, 12:14 pm

Alias wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


Yeah. It doesn't have to be money; the private sector can use whatever medium of exchange they like. The private sector would probably contain many economic structures on various models, as people experiment. The most aggressive predators would certainly want to take over the whole thing, but if people aren't afraid of them, forced to work for and obey them, that might prove a whole lot more difficult.
Given this, can we re-cap to say, we have two sectors of economy:

1) The Common Sector, one to govern resources required for survival, the basic and common needs. I suspecct this would include: water treatment, basic foods, basic housing (most economical possible), road building and maintenace, basic transportation (most economic possible), basic communication network, trash recycling service

2) The Private Sector, one allowing potentially higher standard of living by ambition and competition. With this allowing for bigger homes, sporty cars, state of the art entertainment, etc.


I suspect this would need to be applied on three levels: city, state, national. As each level has nuances, e.g. on a city level we need police and on a national level, we need a basic military.

It would also seem possible for the masses to append into the common sector, at differnt levels, by agreement, non-survival services, eg "we ALL want internet". Here upon agreement, the Common Sector would create jobs and services.

How would the mitigation of working in Common Sector job and purchasing from the Private Sector be done?

Common Sector job "time" to purchase products or service of equal "time" ? (machine production rates vs manual really messes this one up)

Is it possible to come up with a wage/salary-to-value table?

Alternative?

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Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by Alias » January 17th, 2013, 11:00 pm

David_the_simple wrote: 1) The Common Sector, one to govern resources required for survival, the basic and common needs. I suspecct this would include: water treatment, basic foods, basic housing (most economical possible), road building and maintenace, basic transportation (most economic possible), basic communication network, trash recycling service
Plus natural resource management and environmental protection, education, health care, and energy production for heating, lighting and industry to produce the essentials. My feeling is that, once they're involved in such projects, people would tend to improve the goods and services, and processes. The most economical isn't necessarily cheap or poor. You know how - even now - many clever, innovative people put their ideas into the webishphere, free, for everyone to share. I suspect the public sector would grow more efficient - either to increase the quality of its product, or to reduce the hours of work, maybe both.
2) The Private Sector, one allowing potentially higher standard of living by ambition and competition. With this allowing for bigger homes, sporty cars, state of the art entertainment, etc.
Yes, i believe that was the idea. They would need to have permission for the use of surplus resources and be closely watched so they don't pollute or endanger their workers. (After all, we need those people back in the road repair crew and fabric mill next morning, in good condition.) I imagine, too, that they would be allowed to use public infrastructure, so long as they contribute to its upkeep. I don't know how transport and transportation would work - probably need to put the cuttingest-edge technology on it, right away. One thing I would strongly recommend is to keep everything as compact as possible: work, school, greenhouse, clothing outlet, park, administration, all within walking or biking distance of home.
I suspect this would need to be applied on three levels: city, state, national. As each level has nuances, e.g. on a city level we need police and on a national level, we need a basic military.
For a start, yes, because that's how we're organized now. But there might be a regional unit of administration that's smaller than state but bigger than county? We might find it more efficient to deal with coherent geographical areas. I haven't given any thought to the military - it's outside my knowledge and interest. Police, I have definite ideas about. Probably need two kinds: peace-keepers (to chill interpersonal conflict in the community) and guardians (to keep the private sector from poaching or abusing public assets. (Did you know that Ecuador has written the rights of nature into its new constitution? That's a good idea. The world is full of good ideas that have no chance against the vested interest of big money. We could have had electric cars and domestic wind-generators for a hundred years already!)
It would also seem possible for the masses to append into the common sector, at differnt levels, by agreement, non-survival services, eg "we ALL want internet". Here upon agreement, the Common Sector would create jobs and services.
Absolutely. If we don't need elections, we can still have referenda on all kinds of public concerns and initiatives. Then get the planners and councils to work out the logistics; bring the proposal back to the people: Here is how much extra we'd all have to work to get it done - is everybody willing?
How would the mitigation of working in Common Sector job and purchasing from the Private Sector be done?
My assumption is that you work your four hours in community service, and then you're free - to play with your kids, make music, or go to your private job to earn whatever the medium of exchange is, over there. Suppose you're a surgeon: put in a shift of ER, then go over to the private clinic and do a face-lift, or whatever; collect fee, buy fancy watch. Of course, in essential services, your public hours would have to vary. It could be flexible in lots of jobs. The best news is, I think we could keep all education in the public sector; free to qualifying students (but we'd train only as many as the public sector needs in each skill-set).
Common Sector job "time" to purchase products or service of equal "time" ? (machine production rates vs manual really messes this one up)
No overlap, no grey zone. Common sector jobs are unpaid; common sector goods are free - so everybody's work has the same value and dignity. You choose the work you like, for which you have aptitude, and we train you. Heck, we should retrain anyone who wants a change, say, once in five years? Maybe not geologist to veterinarian, but the short courses, like paramedic to cucumber breeder.
Is it possible to come up with a wage/salary-to-value table?
Don't all employers come up with wage-scales already? And all manufacturers, with a table of prices? It's not my problem how they evaluate time, skill and effort, over there. If workers aren't worried about shoes and vaccinations for their kids, they can negotiate fair compensation. Remember, too, nobody has to work for the private sector.

My guess is, there would be a lot of experimentation in the private sector. Remember, we're starting with a truly level playing field; wide open to initiative. Independent crafters and tinkerers, making luxury items on their own and bartering with one another; small teams of entrepreneurs, inventing, producing and marketing their goods locally; traders who carry products back and forth between communities; brewers, entertainers, consultants, music teachers; probably very few large industrial undertakings, simply because the legal/social/financial structure isn't there to give them breaks, bully their employees, protect their property, or bail them out.
Democracy in Truth! Equal votes for fact and fantasy!

David_the_simple
Posts: 225
Joined: June 20th, 2011, 7:28 pm

Re: Proposal for a new social contract

Post by David_the_simple » January 18th, 2013, 12:59 pm

Alias wrote: (Nested quote removed.)

My assumption is that you work your four hours in community service, and then you're free - to play with your kids, make music, or go to your private job to earn whatever the medium of exchange is, over there. Suppose you're a surgeon: put in a shift of ER, then go over to the private clinic and do a face-lift, or whatever; collect fee, buy fancy watch. Of course, in essential services, your public hours would have to vary. It could be flexible in lots of jobs. The best news is, I think we could keep all education in the public sector; free to qualifying students (but we'd train only as many as the public sector needs in each skill-set).
After embracing this, I tried to mentally emulate it...

For those of minimal ambition, they serve their community time, get what they need, then have fun with the kids, hobby, etc.

For those of greater ambition, no problem, after serving community time, go work in the private sector, earn a higher standard of living

For those of less than minimal ambition... how would the community handle someone who misses too much work or accomplishes far too little?

Should a "tally card' be issued to all, such that they can withdraw from the community stores their share?

In cases of drought or other factors limiting resources, does the community store ration out goods per capita?

While in the public sector, how does one get rewarded for working harder than the next guy or does he just work less hours?

The devil is sometimes in the details. I recall that in the early American collonies, food was pooled for winter consumption. Some towns almost starved due to "let the other guy fill the food bank". It was a govenor that changed this rule to all are responsible for their own food which stopped the 'lazyness'.

This proposal has merit, I'd like to see if it has a chance even in mental emulations.

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