Humans invented money out of necessity. We started with hunting, gathering, and trade. Gifts were exchanged between tribes as a symbol of respect to make social fabrics stronger and satisfy our innate sense of reciprocity. As our populations flourished due to agriculture and cities began to form, money was a logical device to take away the friction of barter and trade and keep an account of labor.
As society progressed, money mutated into a form of power that favored the greedy and objectified the weak. The world began to divide between those protected with wealth and those without. Accounting became a measure of how much you could take from the others, instead of a measure of how much you’ve helped. Instead of communities sharing their natural wealth, they were sold to the highest bidder, stolen by foreign invaders, or funneled to cruel dictators corrupted by money. By creating artificial scarcity of money, those in power could sway vast numbers of the population to toil away at labor their whole life and even suppress their better instincts in the pursuit of a distant comfort.
The fundamental problems of the modern money system is that artificially-valued currency is being used to manipulate and incentivize the lower classes of society to work counter to their immediate self interest and in favor of major corporate stockholders. Workers are rewarded with a chance at home ownership and a good quality of life, but only if they are willing to go into major debt, spend a majority of their mental and health capital at work, and be taxed heavily throughout their life in order to fund government institutions.
Money, despite its unnatural disposition, is here to stay. It’s a monster which intoxicates those who have and risk it, and haunts those who chase and hoard it. Wealth is no longer anchored in labor, invention and resources, but rather clever manipulation of the financial system. Yet, money is still the “grease in the gears” of the global society – a symbol of power all agree on and strive towards.
The question is – how can we take back control of this monster that we have created? How can we as humans realize the injustice, jealousy and corruption that money can cause, and bring back a sense of community, caring and passion? How can we taper back the consumerism that consumes us, and live within our means?
Here are some ways money can be reinvented:
- Create digitized local time banks (1:1 hour trade of services) to bring back local community interaction and a sharing of skills that don’t necessarily require an exchange of money. This would allow a new social class to not become slaves to debt, but rather spend their time as they wish, helping neighbors, and building social capital.
- Eliminate the high levels of debt in the economy, the amount of debt should be proportional to the amount of GDP. No more consumer, corporate, or government debt, only calculated risks for new inventions should be rewarded.
- Encourage consumer saving plans through incentives.
- Encourage corporations to increase wages and share the profits. It will help uplift the economy from the waistband and distribute wealth, and increase taxes for good government spending to improve the quality of life for the whole world.
- Replace banks that suck wealth out of society with a nationalized digital credit system that automatically optimizes the position of capital in order to foster innovation and incentivizes global humane entrepreneurship.
- Get rid of cash and credit cards that are a tax on the system, in favor of mobile payments and nationalized trackable credits that are inflation proof and authenticated by biometrics.
- Encourage eMarketplaces for trade and sale of local services and goods to save on transportation costs and help customers and merchants find each other.
- Standardize wages based on the level of education achieved as well as measured contribution to society. The gluttony of the wealthy and the marginalization of the non-wealthy would be eradicated over a few generations.
- Discourage concentrations of wealth and power which have been proven to create corrupt, violent, self-preserving entities. Computer-aided logical decision making and intelligent yield management favoring humanistic goals will optimize society over the long-run.
In the long run…
- As income ranges standardize across the world, taxes to fund public services would be flat to equalize the tax burden and the tax code would be dramatically simplified, fair and transparent.
- The stock market would be replaced with a stock system that is directly correlated with the value of companies, not their perceived value.
- Global trade would be streamlined in order to create a level playing field. No more free trade zones and protectionist tariffs, the best products of each region of the world would be accessible and affordable for all, and each producer would have equal access to the global marketplace via eTrading platforms.
- Everyone would have free access to internet, healthcare, and basic social services in order to create a foundation for prosperity.
- A flat percentage of all wealth would go to local and foreign aid.
- Most jobs would be creative - scientific, health, research, software, engineering, and social services, jobs that actually contribute to society. Military, finance, energy, and government administration jobs would diminish.
- Most manual labor would be handled by automation/robots.
- No social classes - what you put in is what you get out.
- Corporations would slowly vanish, people would self organize into groups with equal distribution of shares among all members.
For people to reach their full creative potential, we need a monetary system that rewards originality and innovation by investing in projects that have direct benefit to humanistic goals vs. consumerism and wealth accumulation. Our future depends on reinventing how money works in society and restoring our lost sense of community.