The Ideal Economy Of The Future
Here is an unusually perceptive glimpse of the Future in a vision
of an ideal, moneyless, self-regulating, consumer-based economy
scanned from an article in a prominent American bankers' association
magazine. I thought it would interest those Canadians who have been
duped into perpetuating the decrepit Ways Of The Ancients in their
supposedly modern Canadian economy. firstname.lastname@example.org
JCT: Could you mention the name of the magazine and the date?
Ending Recessions, Depressions, Unemployment, Inflation, and High
Living Costs - ConsumerCard
In both principle and practice, the permanent
solution to our
chronic unemployment problems is relatively simple. In principle, all
we need do is base most of our industrial production on the long-term
industrial orders of Consumers rather than on the short-term industrial
orders of Investors. In practice, this simply means contracting with
one of our major credit-card companies to issue and administer a special
new credit card which would enable consumers to place long-term orders
with industry and to pay for these with their labor rather than with
money. Consumers and businessmen would then do whatever else was
necessary to make the new credit card work.
Unemployment is simply the result of insufficient numbers of
consumer orders reaching Industry. Consumer Orders are the fuel upon
which industry runs. When the flow of consumer orders slows, industrial
production slows and unemployment results. If industry is to maintain a
high level of productivity, its managers must draw from a full fuel tank
of long-term consumer industrial orders.
JCT: There is a lack of credit
In the past, we have always acted as though
(private and governmental) could order things for consumers and maintain
industry's backlog of orders. Therefore our economic policies have
concentrated on encouraging more investors to initiate more and more
job-producing industrial orders and then providing investors with
convenient and reliable means of doing so.
Regrettably, this short-sighted policy neglects entirely the
second major source of economic orders: the ultimate consumers
themselves. This neglect is unfortunate since working consumers
outnumber investors ten to one, and they have forty times more financial
capacity than investors. Consumers also know more about what consumers
want, and in one month they can place more firm long-term consumer
orders with industry than industry can handle in fifty years.
JCT: It's true there would be an explosion of industrial activity
if every consumer had his own LETS interest-free credit card to
provide perfect demand information. And I'd bet it would be for the
products like tractors, not tanks.
Thus to create lifetime full employment
for all Americans -
regardless of age, race, gender, education, or disability - we must
expand our economic policies to encourage consumers as well as investors
to place many long-term consumer orders with industry and to provide
both consumers and investors with reliable means of doing so.
Unfortunately, unlike investors, consumers are provided no such means.
JCT: Until LETS arrived on the scene.
Therefore we must establish in our local
and national banks a special
consumer-based credit system to parallel our present investor-based
JCT: And the LETS program should apply to provide the accounts
running side by side with regular federal currency accounts.
This new credit system could take the form
of a special
credit-card whose use would be identical to that of an ordinary credit
card except for two major differences. First, instead of being used to
BUY existing Investor-ordered products off retailer shelves, the new
"ConsumerCard" would be used exclusively to ORDER the production of
future consumer goods and services. Second, instead of being repaid in
investor-created currency, consumer credits could be paid only in the
labor of the ordering consumers.
JCT: I think this guy will enjoy finding out that LETS is doing
that already though it hasn't yet been applied to the extent which he
Once distributed en masse to scores of
millions of current and
future credit-card holders, the many potential benefits of this unique
ConsumerCard would induce consumers to use it, and the potential profits
would pressure businessmen to facilitate its use and accept its credits.
To the extent that it was used, unemployment would end nationwide. So
would all other economic problems, from monetary Inflation, cyclical
business recessions, and general economic instability, to labor strikes,
unscientific pricing policies, misproduction. haphazard development,
and gross misappropriation of human and natural resources.
JCT: And of course, Global Employment Trading Software would end
employment world-wide in the very same way.
The use of the new consumer-based credit
system would produce an
energetic surge of efficient, sensible, and stable industrial activity
which would double our Gross National Product and everyone's wages
within one year and every seven years thereafter.
JCT: I'd like to see his numbers because I think diverting the
mis-employed to useful employment might increase GNP in useful
production versus non-useful production by a factor of 2 as he
suggests to a factor of 9. I really believe that the whole world will
only have to chip in full time work until surpluses reach acceptable
proportions and then retire to lives of leisure and dividends.
I think the idea of getting a dividend as a share in robot
paychecks was the greatest idea of Maj. Clifford H. Douglas, the
engineer who proposed a workable, though not-optimal, sociable credit
solution. He said that as the lever of technology got longer and
longer providing more and more with less human work, dividends as a
share in that robotic production would replace wages as the means of
allocating purchasing power to society's members. It was was this
conclusion which forever banned my fear of technology putting people
out of work when it really was never the work people wanted but the
life-support tickets that came along with the job.
Real Caouette, the Great Quebec Social Credit leader, said it
"Do you think you want more jobs? You can have all the jobs you
like. Take out the bulldozer and put in 50 men with shovels. Do you
want more jobs, take away their shovels and give them spoons."
Consumers would receive what they wanted,
not what investors thought
they wanted or should have, or what investors could afford to order.
JCT: It's as if all LETS members could vote for what they wanted
produced by how they spend their money.
Full employment would promptly shrink the
public dole while the
new affluence would greatly enlarge our tax base. Huge new tax revenues
would quickly convert government budget deficits into surpluses and
enable governments to repay their ponderous public debts within three
years while providing ample new funds for education, defense, public
health and public works, and the maintenance of our crumbling
JCT: I think "Defense" will be taken over by the Salvation Army
"Life-Guard" programs for more than just swimmers.
The new employment security would stabilize
jobs and thus families,
individuals, communities, and cultures. These stabilized communities
would in turn reverse urban decay and elevate public morale
JCT: I've had too many friends commit suicide, with more on the
way, to not appreciate how a chance at LETS employment creates hope
and sense of self-worth after living under a system where their
wallets remind them "Near-Zero" all their lives. There's no making me
slow down in engineering this guy's vision.
Stabilized social pressures would also
discourage crime, fraud, and
debt evasion while tighter financial controls and the disuse of
negotiable cash would prevent them.
JCT: I don't think tight financial controls are necessary and do
not intend to forgo negotiable tokens for any reason until a better
medium is available. Controls were not needed in the 1950s and 1960s
when there was plentiful employment and they should not be needed once
full employment is achieved.
Consumer orders would enable businessmen
to set prices and wages
scientifically since consumer evaluations of ordered products could be
properly compared with worker evaluations of the jobs created by those
orders. This practice would permit the economy to establish proper
production priorities and to determine the optimum allocations of human
and natural resources. This would end the aggressive tug-of-war method
of setting prices and wages and the subsequent frustrating misplacement
of invaluable workers and wasteful mis-allocation of irreplaceable
JCT: Yes. And it would eliminate commercials and advertising now
needed by industry to induce an insufficient market to buy theirs, not
their competitor's, products. Imagine a world with no advertising
other than signs. It's never there when you don't need it, only
available when you do want it. That's what I'll appreciate most.
Long-term consumer contracts would reserve
limited land and
mineral rights for the exclusive use of specific individuals and
families. These individual allocations would inspire a broad
conservation of natural resources and restrain excessive fertility. The
limits of these personal allocations would thus discourage current
excessive population growth, the rape of natural resources, and the
further extinction of species without official intervention.
JCT: A stewardship system with payment for what you use is what a
stable currency could help organize. With LETS, a compulsive gambler
cabbie could buy a car, get on the road, work until he's got enough
savings to sell it back, pay the depreciation and fly off to Las Vegas
and see how long his savings last knowing he can come back home and do
the same thing over and over again. I would think the bridge playing
cabbie would do the same.
Pollutants in our air, land, food, and
water would gradually
disappear once its high costs persuaded consumers to pay higher prices
to manufacturers to fund the suppression of pollution at its source.
JCT: The best part of it all. Finally, the cost of cleaning up
can be afforded in the price of goods and services offering enough
profit so no one needs to cheat.
Scientific research would be stimulated
since its estimated value
would elicit ample investments from consumers and from the many
businessmen looking for better and more efficient ways to fulfill
their fifty-year backlogs of orders. Similarly, useful inventions
would find immediate applications and markets through the consumer
agencies which would be organized to utilize fully the many
opportunities of this new consumer-ordering device.
JCT: And with sales forecast up front, no interest to include in
the cost of production, prices will first jump down to their natural
and just level.
After we have controlled unemployment at
home, as world leaders
we can inspire similar economic reforms abroad. In doing so we would
not only help other nations improve their economy and our international
relations, we would also divert the flood of illegal immigrants fleeing
the economic chaos in those nations. Full employment abroad would also
persuade economic refugees already here to return voluntarily to their
own countries, while our newly closed local economies could compel them
to do so.
JCT: No compulsion would be necessary. With enough jobs and
peace back at home, no one minds a Latin, an African, an Asian, a
Caucasian working on the same production line with them. With no lack
of jobs to create friction between tribes back at home, those who
would like to return to their homelands could do so while those who
are happy adding multi-cultural charm to our societies would remain.
As this brief review Indicates, the potential
benefits of this
consumer-based credit system are enormous. In monetary terms alone,
the system is potentially worth at least One Trillion Dollars Annually
to the people of the United States and proportionally more to other
peoples of the world.
JCT: The Fraser Institute estimates total Government debt at $1.8
trillion and commercial and private debt at $1.4 trillion for a total
of $3.2 trillion. At 10% interest, debt service is over $300 billion
so that Canadians share the payment of almost $1 billion a day for
interest. Guessing US debt service as 8 to 10 times that of Canada, it
is fair to wonder if installing a national US LETS in monetary terms
alone would be worth at least another $2.4 trillion just on the
interest saved. If you think Americans will be surprised to find out
they can be at least One Trillion Dollars Annually better off than
before with a LETS consumer-based credit system, imagine how surprised
they'll be to find out it's actually closer to Four Trillion dollars
more they'd be getting in value?
When I hear the Canadian Government announce they're going to
spend $25 million to save the Great Lakes this, I think they're going
to spend the equivalent of 45 minutes worth of interest. When they
announce $2 billion for infrastructure repair, I think 2 days
interest. They're trying to get us to applaud for a drop while the
river's running by.
So, yes, liberating all that interest from the pockets of those
who already have abundance and putting it into the pockets of those
who do not have abundance will have all of the above effects and more.
This guy knows what he wants, he just may not know that the LETS
software is already being used to do just what he suggests.
If he sees Eden, I see the same Eden too.
In 1 John 5:16, he notes the problem in one breath,
Of all the sins the greatest is "the sin that leads to death."
MORT-GAGE DEATH-GAMBLE USURY.
I think this fellow has encompassed more conservatively the
benefits I expect national and global LETS would instantaneously
deliver. I hope it explains why I have not been involved much in the
long-term planning at the grass-roots level going on around the world.
There are plenty of more experienced people to be doing that.
I do hope that this vision explains why I've pushed "Big Bigger
Biggest" so "Loud Louder Loudest" so "Long Longer Longest." This is my
vision of Global LETS. I hope you see it too.
a comment to John Turmel