I was saving this until the whitepaper was ready for human consumption.
But @dantheman just posted an excellent article on the concept of a coin intended to
produce a universal basic income
So I felt now would be a good time talk about what we've been working on for the past couple of years with the VIVA project.
To understand VIVA you need to understand its history.
VIVA attempts to answer the question,
How do you provide for everyone in a world where the only thing scarce are jobs?
As our technology and automation increase, the cost of production for nearly everything is rapidly trending towards $0.
In the meantime, labor as always, is the primary cost of production.
If you look at places where products are produced cheapest it's because labor costs are low or non-existent.
Automation really just replaces people with machines that don't get tired, don't go on strike to demand better working conditions etc.
Of course, someone has to design the machines in the first place, and while they don't go on strike, machines do break down, so you need people to fix them.
This has spurred a large influx of people into STEM.
One community college summed it up nicely in their course summary on intro to robotics where it said
Learn to build machines and replace your friends and neighbors!
Even these jobs will be going away as we make advances in AI.
So we're destined for an abundance society with no jobs!
That means we can all stop working, stop paying and everything is free right?
No, in a situation like that, the animal side of mankind kicks in and we end up with riots, wars and worse.
But it gets even more challenging...
I've said before that with the current progression of technology, we're either the last to generation to die or the first to live forever.
Live 50 more years and you'll see what I'm saying, or just read some of my blogs on the topic.
Even assuming we all decided to live like the Amish, the fact is that current economic paths are unsustainable, because they assume consumers will always be in a position to buy.
In the USA the social security system is already pushed to the brink.
Give average human lifespans another 10 years and social security checks will bounce.
One solution to all of this is found in the concept of a UBI or Universal Basic Income.
It sounds great on paper, just give each person a guaranteed minimum income whether they work or not.
Now everyone has money! Problem solved!
Not so fast. Here's the sad truth about money...
Everything you know about money is a lie.
It's JUST a government issued commodity we all agreed to use for barter.
There is nothing magical about it and if you give everyone equal amounts of it simply by right of being human, you actually zero that amount of money out of the economy.
Because demand for items rise when people have money, but supply does not respond to demand, it responds to price, hence prices rise in response first.
This means that new money is inflated out of the economy because everything now costs proportionally more.
I'm not against UBI, but a hybrid approach is warranted if we're to make this sustainable over the course of generations.
Current UBI approaches assume that if you just keep adding money it will solve all the problems and make things better.
UBI might gain traction in Europe, but in the USA, proponents of UBI meet with fierce resistance from our "moral majority".
A majority that preaches that a man must eat by the sweat of his brow and never be a burden to society, no matter how much he contributes.
These are diametrically opposed viewpoints, and I find it hilarious that most "anti-UBI" people are either collecting Social Security and Medicare or planning to.
Either way, no one wants to subsidize the life of someone who isn't trying to live theirs.
So let's examine this from a different perspective.
I'm going to say something that will shock you, so just sit down a minute before continuing.
Sitting down? Good!
The problem here isn't that we need more money!
The problem is that we have an excess of laborers with no jobs available, to give them any sort of satisfaction.
Money doesn't solve this, we either need to reduce the population, or increase the available jobs because people don't work for money.
They work to satisfy Maslow's Heirarchy.
This is why there are volunteers. Jobs are a means to an end in acquiring their hierarchical needs, money is one enabler of that.
Once a person has their lower order needs taken care of, they tend to do what they want.
So, less people or more jobs...
Since I'm not a fan of population control, we've decided to create a currency that ensures every person has a job and a reliable source of income.
Long term we want this to be a path to retirement so automation and innovation are encouraged.
If in 5 years time, each and every person reading this has effectively retired to do whatever they want, then I've done my job.
But how do you give everyone a job?
A job is nothing special, it's just a thing you do, that earns you income.
Prior to the advent of the industrial revolution, everyone that wanted a job could have a job.
They either worked for someone else or they started their own business.
Entrepreneurship was the key then and it's the key now.
Specifically a return to "cottage industry", but with the global reach that the internet affords us.
To accomplish that, we needed to come up with a way that people could launch a business into our ecosystem, hire workers and receive a living wage.
As amazing as the internet is, distribution of labor and resources is still a huge issue.
But the internet does allow us to create "labor proxies" and there are some things such as disaster proof backup redundancy, for which distance from the source is an asset rather than a liability.
The real trick here is to create new kinds of business.
Innovative businesses that do new things, leveraging the strength of the global economy yet don't require a fortune to get operational.
In order to maximally benefit from a global economy, we need an economic engine.
Something sleek and powerful, nimble and able to respond to the market at a moment's notice.
Welcome to VIVA!
VIVA is an economic engine, powered by supply and demand fundamentals.
It enables entrepreneurship, by fully leveraging the computing power of each and every connected node.
To be continued...