I Know How Much You Make.
Imagining Comprehensive Income Transparency
What if everyone could have income and sales data on anything immediately?
I’ve been contemplating the meaning of “Post-Market Economy” lately and frankly coming up mostly blank. When Bush (the first one) said it was our duty to buy stuff, I believed him. Trying to imagine a post-market economy is like imagining what Yoda looks like before you saw Star Wars. The closest vision I can muster is a Roddenberry flavored future of free food and going to work for no pay just because it was fun.
I’m an imaginative person, but this one has been giving me problems. It seems too big, too much of a difference between what we know now, and whatever that might be.When tackling a big problem, it’s a good idea to break it down into smaller big problems.
A likely smaller big problem might have something to do with money. Maybe a likely problem area or step towards a post-market economy might be income equity. Everybody wants to be earning what they’re worth or better. No one wants to be cheated out of money they feel they’ve earned with their hard work. If someone doesn’t get paid for doing something like building a hotel, they get upset.
What if we knew what that hotel owner was making on each room. What if all of that data was easily accessible for anyone to peruse. What if the hotel owner knew how much his competitors in China where making. What would happen to pricing of goods and services? Imagine that every apple you bought had a complete data stream, a history from seed to dumpling. By simply asking the question, “how much did the apple picker make compared to the farmer and the distributor?” One of your intelligences (they prefer you drop the word artificial, it’s insulting) would beam the graphs into the corner of your line of site. Wouldn’t that be cool if that could happen? You’d be able to know at a glance which of the tennis shoes at FlorMart were being sold with deep slave labor level price structures. You’d know immediately what percentage of a CEO’s income was directly attributable to non-voluntary labor.
It’s too bad that this data doesn’t exist yet. It would be cool if they could invent tags on goods that gave you a data handle with which to trace such information.
Then there would be the difficult task of calculating probable incomes using known cost structures. If only we had technology that could do such a thing.
I enjoy these imaginary exercises. It gives me a better appreciation of Star Trek. What other fantastic wonders might await us in the future? One Person:One Vote;The unalienable right to eat, be warm and have a safe place to sleep;A health care system that didn’t make a few people wealthy from the labor, misery and deaths of others. I’ve got lots of daydreaming to do.