The world we live in can be different than the way it is today. How do things look like now? Governments bear high debt threatening long-term stability. Cost of living seems higher than either paychecks or welfare can overcome. Despite a modern world with advanced technology and access to all the world’s knowledge, here, in the 21st century violence, poverty, and security remain challenges. A better path is possible.
Concerning the Elimination of Risk and Difficulty
Problems in life are a part of living. Challenges can build a person in the direction of wisdom and compassion, strength and proper action. One of the problems with today’s world is that the wrong problems are allowed to continue without a proper response.
Limited resources can assist us in making choices, however, poverty is an extreme version of this type of challenge. Debate that is civil consisting of words may help us determine the truth or relevance of our positions. Disagreement that otherwise diminishes into violent action is unworthy of intelligence and can undermine gains made during more civil moments of the past.
We have the option, as a society to choose the challenges that remain and which ones to design away according to our beliefs and reason.
Government does matter. Common rules and standards by which to operate is central to modern society. Several major questions stand today regarding the way government seems to function and how it relates to the rest of society. Let’s look at some of these questions:
- What kind of rules for society should be incorporated in government?
- What is the scope of government regarding the activities of society?
- What is the proper balance between entitlements and core security services?
Issue #1 – The Rules for Society
The people of today are far more educated than any generation of 100 years ago, 400 years ago. Sure, not everyone knows the latest physics theories, the philosophy of law, or the mechanics of manufacturing or perhaps major but discrete details of history. Despite that, compared to people of centuries ago, today’s peoples are far more knowledgeable. The access to the Web, the exposure to numerous facets of fact based and literary information on a weekly basis for 18 years of junior education means that the average person has more inherent data in their heads than people of the past.
Do people who are more naturally smarter and conditioned to more often self regulate need to exist in an environment of greater and increasingly intricate regulations? I think that a more intelligent people would benefit more from simpler laws better expressed to the cultural conventions of today than the deeply woven laws built up over the past designed, in part, to compensate for a wilder, less structured sense of the world. Rules more easily recalled as a whole and more widely known and understood in full by virtue of their broader and more concise definition.
Issue #2 – Scope of Government Regarding Society
When you look at science, business, technology and many areas of society many things are becoming more efficient, smaller, and more nimble. It is possible that government could become part of that trend rather than aloof of evolving world? A trend towards cleaner, clearer, more efficient operation and existence. A transformation that is more than just sustainable. More efficient, cleaner, clearer government is better structured to the outcomes of society.
What are some of the better outcomes of government and society? One of them is to use science, technology, and proper resource utilization to produce better materials, nutrition, health, security, and knowledge so that the living environment of the world continues to grow upward in the direction of indefinite prosperity and greater goodwill. A more efficient, cleaner, clearer government with that goal is more likely to properly enable such outcomes.
When the rules of society are more refined towards a reduced compliment of warrants, government can organize better in a way to properly accommodate such outcomes. The best interests of the society is defined as stability and productivity. Those interests, when encountered by government operation and rules scoped in balance to those interests, manifests those outcomes as a self fulfilling prophecy.
Issue #3 – Entitlements versus Core Services
Traditionally, the core service of government is security. That security begins by defining the geographical scope of government, or border of control. The security continues by protecting people within the border from physical harm from outside adversaries. The security ends by facilitating agreement between members within the border at the point of conflict.
In a global world today, that traditional role seems in question. There are more First World economies than at anytime in the past. First and Second World economies are more likely to compete financially than to do so with physical arms. Outward security on a global stage seems to be more of a matter of debt, fiscal stability, and migration of economic opportunities. Whereas internally, while violence is high in certain parts of certain cities, in the First World, internal conflict is much lower than in the past considering that for most people, they can walk down the street or sit at a place without worry.
The core services of government are essential in type but perhaps not in scale of investment. This harkens back to efficiency and clarity of purpose and action. How does government evolve to perform the core services regarding security of food, fuel, land, and nature in a way that is more streamlined? That is the regulatory challenge and shift of the future that must be answered in a complete way in order to see society advance rather than regress to the dismay of present or future generations.
This brings us to entitlements. Are entitlements the purview of government? Look at it this way. Soldiers that protect life and land are funded by the people. Inspectors who verify the safety of food, water, and equipment are funded by the people. Health care is the same side of the coin as law enforcement. One can protect life from immediate danger from others while the another protects it long-term based on the conditions within oneself. Is is possible that a health care agency composed of medical practitioners staffed the same way as firefighters and police, funded by the people could be of better benefit to the people than one subsidized by insurance? I think this is a better way.
Think about housing and food. Government should make sure people have a place to live, food to eat, transportation to the extent there exists a public road system, but government is not responsible for the accumulation of money by individuals or organizations. In the best way, the right entitlements are self supported by the government itself. The concept of entitlement evolves. People, when they are born until natural death are fully entitled to life, in full. It seems that a society that fulfills the full obligation of life to all its members will see that investment returned in terms of the support of that society for itself. That is the central, bottom-line based on the conclusions of Issue #1 and Issue #2.
Proactive Transformation Versus Involuntary Disruption
The world will become different. It is just a question of time; a questions of who makes the shift happen; and if the shift is good for you or not. We have a choice in how the future will look. Make the wrong choices, sit idly by, and maintain the status quo and it is possible that when the shift happens you find yourself in the midst of self destruction while those more involved trigger the shift continues on. Instead, you recognize that the shifts to come may be born out of the pain and uncomfortable circumstances of the people and the society. We want something different, it becomes a matter of who will deliver the true answer that we will recognize when it appears and who’s change will we embrace.
It is Not About Jobs, Forget About Employment
I am optimistic about industry and employment. An industrial shift is coming and there will be jobs. People will be employed, but not everyone. The problem is that there are more of us, more people than there are jobs. Young people today are reported as seeing the future as less profitable for them than compared to earlier generations. The numbers for employment and long-term success do not seem to be in favor of a really large population of people.
As a general observation, technology and optimizations of process will reduce jobs over the long-term. Formal systems seem to proceed in this way. Out of science and engineering, efficiency as a concept and an actual force of intellectual nature has emerged to diminish the value of physical labor whether in a factory, a service position, or an office.
Technology plus a huge population means that the mercantilist way of the past few centuries is not sufficient by itself as the main means to afford people personal security. Jobs are important in the short-term, but their availability and capability to remedy material and life sustaining needs will dissipate for a larger share of people. A different model is needed but one that is contrary to a Malthusian Point of View.
A Short Case for Changing the Model
About 160 years ago, a Gold Rush in California changed the entire world. Before that, there was massive economic issues but the Gold Rush changed all that. Looking back, 160 years seems like a good run, but is it? The effects of that era seems temporary in hindsight. Approximately 80 years after the Gold Rush, the world was back into a cycle of huge economic strain. After 2 world wars, things settled again in the direction of economic improvement but over the last 60 years from today, the economic dips have seemed inescapable.
Mercantilism, and the economic models that followed from it, has worked well for a population of a few hundred million spread out over a wide geographic area. It seems doubtful that it will work well for billions of people condensed into crowded cities in which the products are made in hi-tech automated factories requiring fewer people. A different way of doing things is due and the process should be calibrated to a future that is much different from today.
Have you ever driven down the highway and wondered why couldn’t there be more lanes so more cars can get through? I have asked myself that question and 10 or 15 years ago I realized that some of the roads are the way they are because earlier generations traveled by horse and carriage or there were fewer cars and when the roads were built, they were built based on the population as it was 40 or 100 years ago. I have sensed that perhaps the people of the past never thought there would be so many people as there are today. Regarding jobs, opportunities, and resources, that is the place we are at today.
The core systems in operation today where defined based on models from 200 – 400 years ago. These systems are not looking as if they will stand the test of time. Perhaps that is due to the way debts are managed at a governmental level but government debt did not cause economic recessions. The core issue is capacity. The ability to address scale of the world that has been reached. Today’s systems were designed for a world 200 or 400 years ago when there were fewer people but we are now beyond capacity. A new system is needed.
The New Model
It begins with Separation of State. The State becomes independent of impulsive petition rather than be as interwoven with economy and culture as is the case today. State evolves to become more concerned with more generalized regulation, consolidation of rules, termination of contradictory mandates, simplification of governmental code and articles, and their efficient execution. It is essentially more administrative in form. Professionalized, more streamlined, and clearer in operation.
Agencies such as fire protection, physical protection, health, infrastructure maintenance and natural resource conservancy as examples remain at the center of core services. Such an institution has no internal redundancy, sees a significant reduction in operational excess, and is an example of great stewardship of governmental resource. Properly established, an independent State with no economic incentive unto itself or its operating members can operate regulation in a more fair, thoughtful, and less ambiguous manner.
Essentially, this new State System, joins the judiciary in form and disposition with a laser focus on the best climate for individuals. Commercial organizations and others not part of the State share the principles of State in terms of limitation. Essentially, organizations of the future are limited to ensure there is balance in terms of resources for individuals and organizations alike. The overall rules for individuals apply to any given organization as a whole.
Separately, a new system will initiate a significant guarantee program in which all persons has the basics of life. This does not make people wards of the State, rather, the State is for the people in this circumstances. Under this system, a person can never lose their guarantees, except temporarily for the duration of incarceration, and with these guarantees, the individual will always be equipped to engage with society at large from a place of strength, dignity, and general certainty. This is called the Guarantee System.
Alongside the Guarantee System is the Credit System. The Credit System is based on the premise that barter is subjective and therefore an objective currency system is necessary to facilitate the exchange of items and services. The State holds unlimited credit and is the bank. New credits enter the system 1 of 2 ways. First, an individual or organization can obtain a research and development credit from the State. Second, individuals and organizations can exchange credits for items of the individual not provided by the Guarantee System.
Using these systems, society has security, people have basic needs addressed and the merchant system of today evolves to incentivize people and groups to work towards things beyond the basics through any range of activities including creative, invention, research, and performance. Properly executed, these systems can move society away from poverty, violence, and physical malady. The rich will still get richer, and people will have the opportunity to become materially rich, but the materially poor as a group with a real impoverished and intractable condition will exist no more.
Making the Transition
The State System, Credit System and Guarantee System each requires work to further define. However, compared to where things are today, they are far better alternatives. Today’s systems seem to be unready to deal with a world with billions of people and automated technology running factories and eventually restaurants and building construction. Likewise, the way compensation works seems to be at odds with the actual needs of society in light of the technological and resource abundance that surrounds us. A shift to a better system seems to be necessary.
The shift can be made. In fact, the aspects of the current systems operating in the world can become the materials for the new system. All that is required is a much clearer more cohesive message than what is presented here but followed with execution on the details and overall form in a way that achieves the same outcomes in a sustainable way. It can be done. We, as a collective people, are smarter than this, better than this. Moving from a low quality world to a high quality world is less about intelligence. It is about will. The will to do it and make it happen.