An idea for a MAIDSAFE use case

I am just going to talk about what I have learned from others on this subject, come what may. Perhaps the ideas I impart here can lead to better ideas, when combined with the knowledge others possess. This thread was originally inspired by, and going to be a response to, the discussion in the thread “SAFE TV to expedite mass adoption”, although I feel that it deviates so far from the original subject as to warrant a thread of its own.

Money is not an integral ingredient of an economic system, only resources and labor are. Money has been useful as a tool to distribute resources and direct labor in ways to benefit society. The important aspect of economics is the production and distribution of goods and services. Money is a representational token of the value to society created by the economic activity, and it is useful for its fungibility. Money has no inherent value, its’ value is agreed upon only by social convention. In reality, all things are priceless and unique.

The incentive to exchange goods and services between participants is the primary use of a monetary economic system. However, the use of money has an inherent flaw, as money only has value in relative scarcity. If everyone had as much money as they wanted, it would produce no incentive. Even after our society has discovered the ability to employ machines to produce goods and services in abundance, money has continued to act to produce artificial scarcity in the economy through the competitive market system. While competition is generally considered beneficial to progress, if it is a matter of survival, competition frequently leads to disastrous consequences. This means that for as long as we continue to use the scarcity based monetary system to produce incentive to exchange goods and services, we will forever experience scarcity within our society. In situations where real scarcity does still exist, science and technology have generally provided acceptable substitutes for those scarce resources. In order to resolve these inherent issues, we would benefit enormously by creating an economic system that alleviates scarcity and allows for its participants to access the resources needed for survival, while still incentivising conservation and efficiency in order to preserve resources for the rest of society and future generations.

The way this could be accomplished is by providing each individual with the ability to produce their own “money” through a “proof of stake” system, and enabling exchange through a “blockchain-like” trustworthy economic system. For example, an individual would produce their own “income” as a declaration of intent to use a fair share of resources for their needs (i.e. the individual’s “proof of stake”). The individual would then produce value for their “proof of stake” by participation in the societal economy in whatever method that would be acceptable to other participants in this market. In order to eliminate the competition that monetary economics produces (relative scarcity), the individual would be able to “claim” each economic exchange for whatever value other market participants would find acceptable.

This is difficult to envision in abstraction, so let me provide an example to illustrate the idea.

Citizen X, an ordinary member of society, needs access to resources to survive. She obtains a “proof of stake” (a market identity) in order to coordinate access to validation of her economic participation. This “proof of stake” allows her to issue a “personal coin” for her economic exchanges. The “coin” is exchanged during the transaction with other “proof of stake” holders. Her “proof of stake” obtains value by the amount of other “proof of stake” holders that are willing to accept her “coin” in exchange for their “coins” in transactions. (The number of participants willing to accept your “coin”, essentially its fungibility, would be data stored within the “proof of stake” validation.)

This does not need to be an exchange as we know it today, simply being in the same geo-location as other people, or performing actions that are relevant to society could be turned into an “income”. This would allow for people to produce value for society in ways that our monetary system today cannot. It would be possible to reward participation in socially beneficial actions, as long as they provide a recognizable valuable to the people who are willing to accept your “coin”. You could be “paid” for any action you perform in society, from going on vacation, to spending time with your family, to taking a healthy walk or reading a book, even playing music or a game. Whatever action you get “paid” for is simply publically declared as your “income”, and your “coin” gets accepted by others, or not, on a purely voluntary basis, based on your “ledger” of past transactions and the criteria acceptable to the other party, which is also the criteria they set for themselves. This accords with the principle of treating others as you wish to be treated.

Let me illustrate this with a further example. Citizen X has become hungry. She goes to the “market” and finds another economic participant that “sells” apples as part of their contribution to society. The other economic participant, let’s call him Citizen Z, agrees to accept Citizen X’s “coin” based upon the history of transactions declared on Citizen X’s “proof of stake” ledger (available electronically through the exchange of “proof of stake” ledger data). Citizen Z has established this criteria by their own economic transactions, and the “approval” comes from comparison of the two ledgers.

In order to adopt this new economic system, we will need to be able to transition to it without destroying the economic system we currently use. This can be accomplished by allowing each participant in the transaction to declare their own value for the transaction independently from what the other participant of the transaction declares that value to be. This has the effect of eliminating the pricing structure imposed on resources and labor. The way it operates is that each participant in the exchange is able to declare the price for the goods or services independently from what the other participant declares.

Another example is needed to illustrate this idea more clearly. Let us presume that Citizen X, our first participant, has a handicap or other circumstance which debilitates them from producing an equal amount of labor and/or resources in service to the economy. In order to eliminate the competition inherent in the pricing structure, she is allowed to set her own price for the goods and services she uses. Again, since the exchange is voluntary between participants, this exchange can be accepted or rejected based on Citizen Z’s own criteria for acceptance, as established on his “ledger”. The point of this independant declaration of value is to destroy the “price discovery” mechanism inherent in the denominational market system. What is valuable to me, may not be as valuable to you. (Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, essentially.) When Citizen Z produces an apple, he may take great pains to acquire heirloom seeds, to provide proper nutrition to the plant, to keep pests away, and protect the plant from toxic chemicals and a thousand other minute criteria that probably has great value to society, while Citizen X may be just hungry and has an urge for an apple. In this way, Citizen X gets an apple, and pays an equitable portion of her income to acquire it, while Citizen Z is also able to sell the extraordinary apple he has produced, for an equitable price in proportion to the effort he has put into it, declaring it as an income against his “proof of stake”, and thereby contributing to the economy.

There are two essential ideas to take away from this conversation. Firstly, the monetary based economic system produces the scarcity we experience in our society, and the best way to eliminate it is to allow each citizen to declare an equitable income and account for their transactions in a way that encourages efficiency and conservation by publicly declaring their transactions. Secondly, value is a subjective judgement. Each market participant needs to have the freedom to assess the value of their exchange independently from the value placed on it by the person they are exchanging with. The publicly exchanged “proof of stake” ledger should be used as criteria to accept or reject transactions in place of individual prices on labor or resources, as is the case in the current economic system.

I know what you are probably thinking right now; “This is a nice pipe-dream, but my bank is not going to accept my token without some fiat monetary value attached to it. Taxes have to be paid in fiat moneys, and they will never accept my “declared” income as money.” And you would be correct. There is no way that banks, governments and institutions would accept this type of an economic exchange. However, remember that the established institutions are what you are supporting when you use the current monetary exchange system, and if you ever want to be free from that type of centrally controlled monetary system, you will have to find a way in which you can operate independently of them. The economic system I have illustrated is designed based on the mutual trust that can only exist for exchanges between one person and another, and it can provide all the necessary resources for survival in and of itself. People have the need for food, shelter, medicine, transportation and communication, all of which are able to be provided by other people in the type of economic system I have presented here. Even though this system could someday provide for the needs of all people, it cannot do so immediately. Instead, it is possible to sell the labor and resources we produce in exchange for fiat currencies, as we do today, while using the new economic model to produce additional value for society beyond the limitations of the monetary based market system. It is possible to operate both systems concurrently, providing an abundance to those who operate in both systems, and providing the essential resources to those who would otherwise be excluded from the scarcity based market economic system.

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I don’t want to argue against your ideas, but I will point out your mistakes in basic premises. Here you don’t get the purpose of money. One of its purposes is to allow people to economize - to store result of their labor and use it at a more appropriate time. You can’t do that with milk or brick laying.

Secondly, it is not supposed (and it never does) to benefit the society, but to benefit the owner (laborer or farmer or physicist , for example). When its purported to be benefiting the society, that is why it is used to plunder those who create. For example right now central banks are printing it to “benefit the economy” (or some shit like that) which in practice means making up fake currency and giving it away to big business while those who save are totally screwed.

It is really sad that those who are being robbed day in day out have no slightest idea of what money is, what it is supposed to do, and what is happening in today’s world of central banks run amok.

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I think that the ability to compare transactions on ledger and base acceptance of one another’s “coin” upon that history, can replace the scarcity mechanism of monetarism to affect the efficiency of the individual participants. This has an effect of creating an incentive to make actors within the economy behave more like each other, incentivising equanimity and efficiency, while preserving the freedom to act unlike each other if the circumstances dictate, preserving the freedom of choice.

On your second point, I do not claim that money is beneficial to society, but that money has had beneficial effects upon society. I was simply trying to avoid the argument about whether money is beneficial or not, and just point out that there has been progress made and acknowledge that the benefits could be attributable to using a monetary system to create incentive and encourage efficiency. I personally think that the incentive is not a benefit to society, but many people would attribute societies advancement entirely this incentive structure. I personally think that the progress of science and language has been the fuel of societies advancement.

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The whole point of money is that it’s supposed to be scarce.
Why the heck would I want to hoard water molecules or grains of rice?

You can declare an equitable income and pay it to yourself using your own, your newly mined RICEGRAIN coin.
And then you want to use that to buy my organic veggies and I say “Sorry, bitcoin only”.
I have no use for your RICEGRAIN, it’s generated at will, out of nothing.
End of story.

Aaaaaah, I see. So this is where you and @Warren, armed with baseball bats, come to my shop and politely suggest I shove my carrots up my ass and give you all other vegetables in exchange for a generous sum of 700 RICEGRAIN coins…
Well, that’s very original!
But you’re not the only one who thought of that scenario. Never bring a baseball bat to a shotgun fight!

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If it doesn’t benefit society it shouldn’t happen!

But @janitor I would be facinated to know what you would make of Richard Wolff’s youtube video series thats been branded Socialism for dummies. Because in his ideas I see the posdibility for common ground.

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I take it that means it should definitively happen. :wink:

Socialism for dummies: gotta take a look at those this weekend, especially about that one about Republican Marxists (I hope it mentions the EXIM bank and the MIC!)

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I understand the point of money being scarce to give it value. My point is that this scarcity is reflected in the distribution of goods and labor to people in the economy, which is the reason that despite our technological ability to produce an abundance, we have never been able to distribute it. Try to think think of it as a massive game of musical chairs, where the most ethical and empathetic people are the last to get a seat. This is the reason psychopathic people do so well in an economic game. I’m not saying you should hoard your production instead, I’m saying we have much better means of determining what is needed and where, than a market system which values a product based on scarcity and consistently works to deliver the least product for the greatest profit.

But the money that the banks generates at will is fine with you, I assume? The point of the ledger system is to account for your efficiency and to provide a history that makes your coin acceptable to those that would operate in similar fashion. The pieces of paper or electronic bits you use today have no more or less value than something self generated. At least with an ability to “audit the fed” of the coin you accept, you do have the freedom to choose based on the values you apply to yourself.

I think with the end of the scarcity of money will also come the end of most reasons for violence in society. One of the things that makes me think this is the way people act when they do live without the pressures of the monetary system, as in native tribes where scarcity is not a problem or in a kibbutz. There are many examples of communities where the incentive created by monetarism has been eliminated, and the results are consistently more peaceful. While you may believe that people are naturally greedy or lazy or inherently violent, I believe all of these behaviors are a result of the social system we employ in a monetary based market system. Science has repeatedly demonstrated that these behaviors are not inherent to humans, but learned through social cues.

I would love to recommend a book that I read called “The Best That Money Can’t Buy”, however, the information in this book has never been made available for free, ironically. The next best source that comes close is “The Zeitgeist Movement Defined” which is available for free here

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I just want to add that, the most beneficial actions that take place in society are usually done out of a love for mankind, not for the profit motive. Salk never patented his polio vaccine, and Einstein never cashed in on his mathematical formulas. A person that stoops down to pick up trash, does not do it because someone might see it and reward them for it.

Only the most destructive of behaviors are generated by the profit motive, and eliminating that motive would change the world we live in to something that reflects the values that are common to the entire human race. It would eliminate war, poverty and violence, en masse. If this isn’t a good enough reason to try and adopt a system that eliminates monetary incentive, then I think the human race may deserve the fate that awaits it at the end of the monetary economic system.

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