Mon 12 Aug 2013 8:50AM

How is money going to work in this hybrid community?

JG Jammie Gregory Public Seen by 18

How is money going to work here, most would agree we can't live without money, and shouldn't be expected to donate all our personal funds to the community when others do not, yet within the community we could barter, we could use another form of currency, we could volunteer our time, how will it work? For instance if everyone donated 10 hrs of their time to the community instead, 1 person might repair the chainsaw, that another uses to cut down trees, that another uses to make furniture, that another uses to paint on, that another uses to sell on ebay, all that the government couldn't tax, and also it would put everyone on an equal level of "pay" or "status", there would suddenly be no advantage to sabotaging a coworker to look bad to get a promotion... would that be a better way? And lets say we have a community bank or trust fund, how do we put money into that fund? by donations? time? and how will we all decide how to reinvest that money into our community? Should 1 person be in charge of the bank fund like a treasurer or should everyone?


Gene Cox Wed 14 Aug 2013 3:39AM

This is something I have studied and thought about in depth. For a community, Twin Oaks has an excellent process, but I would tweak it a little. The process described in this discussion is a very good example. Suppose I am working 20 hours a week for co-op businesses in the community, then in my free time, I do work on the Internet (proofreading, data entry) that I earn an income from. I don't have a mortgage or rent, food is available, electricity, water, anything I need; I would happily give that income to the community fund. If I contribute more to the fund than someone else, I expect no extra privileges, I am still equal to everyone else. Co-op businesses sell their products and services to non-community members, but it will be greatly reduces because there is very little overhead involved. Income from these sales go to the community fund. Resources that aren't produced within the community, say deodorant, boots, flour, are bought with the community funds, but the resources bought are agreed upon by the community. I have planned out that once a community reaches the size of a village (or several communities combine to form a village), the village will be fully self sustainable, so the village will need a community bank. Of course this should go without saying, but everything is fully transparent, not by the u.s. governments definition of transparency. We put money into that fund by our income from, let's call it ecotourist, sales. Since the village is fully self sustainable, money gets reinvested into helping build new communities. Your ROI is more people who are able to help out in different areas, becoming very efficient, having time to pursue more education, travel, etc. No one person is in charge, we all are.


Jammie Gregory Wed 14 Aug 2013 4:08AM

So we came to about the same idea then..." Suppose I am working 20 hours a week for co-op businesses in the community, then in my free time, I do work on the Internet (proofreading, data entry) that I earn an income from. I don’t have a mortgage or rent, food is available, electricity, water, anything I need; I would happily give that income to the community fund", that sounds ok I guess but more like a donation, would everyone have to donate their free time money? I kinda look at it like people should be getting relatively rich living like this, we work together and provide all the essentials we need, then our free time real world job gives us enough personal money to buy want items and live better off than those in the old system... what does ROI mean?


Gene Cox Wed 14 Aug 2013 7:31PM

ROI- return on investment


Jammie Gregory Fri 16 Aug 2013 11:53AM

I dislike this "document" Gene, mostly because it doesn't state reasons for why this or that should be the case, it's just "this is how it should be", which is opinion. It sounds like convoluted word play, replacing money with another form of money, and work estimation, replacing our already ineffective politics with another form of "lazy consensus" and somewhat representative politics to keep things "more agile". I don't think the author has grasped the 2 fundamental structures/problems of our society. Money and politics, are both expedient, and undue ways to amass power and control over others. Money creates a misplaced sense of value, the "right thing" often becomes "the bottom line", and money supply creates false scarcity, whereas human effort is a constantly renewing resource, it create opportunities for greed and selfishness, while motivating it is not a true motive. Politics is difficult because people struggle for power within it, they make it difficult without even realizing it by their own conflicts of interest, bias, and general ignorance... things they will need to unlearn to become more civilized. Simply put, what is best for a group or "good" is what everyone wants, and the more political power is equally divided the better off the group will be, and the more likely we are to arrive at the best decision for everyone involved. The one thing in the article I do like is the part about one's peers judging a person's merit in the group, I believe that is fair and could be incorporated some way, that is lets say someone constantly goes beyond what is required of everyone, then asks for funding or to create a special job position, not so they can have a cushy job or buy some fancy tool that they want, but so they can deliver even more back to the community, I can see people voting to allow that.


Blaine Smith Fri 16 Aug 2013 9:44PM

I like the idea of peers judging the merit. I think that there should be no mandatory enforcement of how many hours you work. I think people should do a job if they see the need or if they are asked, but people should also be aware of others needs, skills and their own projects. If someone is busy either wait or find someone else. Nor do I think there should be any kind of currency within the community or a bank for that matter. As it will always result in conflict. I think if some doesn't work enough they should be asked by others what their problem is, it might simply be that they are busy doing their own project that will in the long run help the group but they should tell others about it and not keep it secret. But if they really are doing nothing (besides meditating) then there should be a group meeting to decide how to help them or what is to be done with them.


Jammie Gregory Sat 17 Aug 2013 1:07AM

Blaine, we could do that, and if it doesn't work change it as we go along, by voting...I get the feeling though if we set a minimum standard of contribution time it will solve a lot of blame game problems from the start, some people will work tirelessly to make this happen and start resenting those who hardly work. We may be better off to not rush it and give people plenty of time to hold a real job outside the community, and just recognize people who want to work for the community more by giving them whatever they need to produce more results. Also I don't understand how we could go without a community bank fund or account, if we sell organic goods to the farmer's market, who gets that money if everyone helped to produce them? How are we going to buy new shovels and concrete without "any kind of money"? The central idea behind "hybrid" was that we can't live in a world completely without money just yet, we have to use it in order to lift ourselves out of this system first.


Gene Cox Sat 17 Aug 2013 2:45AM

My apologies, I threw a wrench into this discussion by posting an unfinished document and not explaining it. I don't even think this may be the correct discussion for it. This is what BetterMeans used as a company who paid their members. It's a pretty good system up to the money part. It was used in a virtual environment, and I'm trying to adapt it to a physical one. You are correct, the authors had no grasp or desire (that I'm aware of) for a money free society. Removing.