What is Community Funded Basic Income?

CFBI is a framework for Basic Income distribution…

It goes like this. Everyone must put in at least $1. That’s your buy in to the system. That’s the floor. If everyone puts in $1 everyone gets back $1 at the end of the month.

Those willing to put in more than $1 begin contributing to basic income for all. That money will be distributed to everyone. So if I put in $51 and there are 50 people in the system… everyone gets $2. That means everyone gets a Basic Income of $2, though everyone contributed $1 so it could be argued the Basic Income value is $1.

Here’s information on Basic Income, and my own thoughts on why that might be a good system to have in place.

That’s the framework. If people with more income are willing to share their money, this framework will provide them a way to distribute it as widely as possible.

But there’s more…

CFBI is a gift economy…

Anyone in the system can donate things to the Culture Fund. What kind of things? Anything you want:

The art you created because you had some spare time, the bracelets you weave when you’re bored, the scarf you knit, the name of the character in your new story, the name of the star you discovered.

Anything that you think someone else might want as a gift.

For every dollar you put into CFBI you are granted a Kudos. This is your karma for supporting this system and being part of the culture. You can use Kudos to bid on the gifts people have contributed to the Culture Fund. Winners of the bid get the item, thank you for supporting our basic income. And thank you to the gift giver who devoted their time to build our culture and keep pushing forward income for all.

CFBI is a social experiment…

If everyone just puts in their dollar and gets it back every month… then the framework exists, but we’re not really using it to help others. If those with disposable income start contributing large sums it’s possible basic income could be funded purely on the generosity and contribution of those around us. If amazing creators start putting things up as gifts that cause large sums to be deposited you’ll have proven that we can all work together to give to each other (and that the arts kick ass). How amazing would that be? Are you ready to help those around you? I am!

Revision History

1/28/18: Added Basic Income links

1/30/18: Changed ‘Culture Dollars’ to ‘Kudos’


How do you fund the infrastructure?

For now generous donations from yours truly, which will mean I provide less to the CFBI fund. If the infrastructure becomes too costly we may have to look at deducting it from input into the system (You put in $1, but get out $0.98).

How will you prevent people opening multiple accounts?

Really good question, feel free to email or comment if you’ve got an airtight solution. Right now we’re looking at requiring social security number or requiring you to submit a photo of your Driver’s License (yes, this limits us to the US, which is dumb, but I’m just a simple guy with a plan and some coding skills).

You know everyone is going to just jump on to take the money, right?

Well I know at least one person who won’t do so *points thumbs at himself*. I know I’m not nearly enough, but maybe there are people like me.

How will you take and give money?

Looking into this, it appears Amazon Payments allows microtransactions for a minimal fee. In order to save on transactions we may work like PayPal and store your accumulated Basic Income on our network until you request a distribution of it.

Can’t you then use the money to invest and give people back more?

Ahhh!! I’m just a person capable of coding. It’s possible if this grows large enough to make that feasible we’ll get someone who will navigate those terrifying waters. For now, nope! nope! heck nope!

So you get a Kudos for every dollar you put in? Even that first one?

Yep, which means Kudos do become worth less over time (because people can just use the dollar they got back to get another Kudos next month). The Kudos is not designed as a robust currency, it’s a thank you for participating in the culture.

So what if I don’t have enough Kudos but I want that really awesome dragon made out of pennies the person just put up?

You can put your money into the CFBI fund right now. It will get distributed this month and everyone benefits from the activities of the amazing artist. Thus pushing CFBI to even greater heights of contribution.

How do I get the stuff I get with Kudos?

Sadly we have no means of making this free. Transportation is a real world expense. We shouldn’t put the burden on artist, so it will be up to the buyer to arrange transport. Artists will have an area to note how much shipping will likely be.

So I’ve got to pay to ship the stuff that’s supposed to be my gift, lame?

Yeah, sorry. The real world is a harsh and unforgiving master. You could only buy things from local giftcrafters and go pick them up yourself. Or you could buy any number of intangible items like names of characters in books being written.

What if all the stuff being gifted is shitty?

Well that’s just, like, your opinion man!

In all fairness, this is a possibility. We’ll make sure to put in a rating system and a low enough rating will drop it out of availability. Remember these are gifts the crafters are making with no extra compensation, a gift from them to you. So wait and see if there’s anything better next month. Or add some things you’ve made that are clearly superior.

Can I add stuff I bought to the Culture Fund?

Sure, if you’ve got it and think people might like it. Remember you’re giving this as a gift so you may want to consider how you could personalize it.

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