A while back, as you might recall, I posted a message, ‘reflections re/ cyberjournal’. I invited people to join a new group, focused around community empowerment. The group did come together, with a really good bunch of folks. I’m very pleased to be working with them. We call ourselves the ‘new world roundtable’. One of our members suggested this as our mission statement, and this seems to be the path we’re taking:
Through this dialog group we seek to devise and implement ways to increase citizen involvement in local governance that promotes sustainable, eco-friendly ways of living for all.
I’ve created many online groups over the years, and frankly most of them haven’t worked out very well. If they aren’t moderated, there always seems to be a person or two who spoil things. And if I’m moderating them, it doesn’t work very well for back-and-forth dialog. A catch 22. So it was with fingers crossed that I approached this new group, which is open – anyone can post whatever.
We went through a very interesting startup process. After everyone introduced themselves, we diverged quite a bit, and I started to get that ‘here we go again’ feeling. We started trying to ‘reach agreement’ on principles, goals, etc. and the more we talked the more impossible it seemed. And then, almost magically, the energy shifted, like when a storm suddenly clears and the sun comes out.
We realized that we don’t need to reach agreement at all. We share a direction, which the simple ‘mission statement’ expresses, and we can simply discuss various ideas as they come up. If something ‘clicks’ with a few people, then they can work on it together. If not, then we just move on. A few of us started talking about community currencies, and that’s led to some interesting results. The discussion inspired me to write up some ideas that had been brewing for some time, and they came together very nicely.
I did a lot of work with the enneagram many years ago, and published three articles in Enneagram Monthly. I had come up with a new way to look at the enneagram, as a modeling tool with special hidden properties that no one had noticed. So, to get back to currencies, I decided to try using the ‘enhanced enneagram’ to model the development process of a new economy, going from the beginning launch, through nine stages, up to becoming a mature productive economy.
I went through about ten pages of scribblings and sketches before the model started coming together. Once it clicked, I knew how to proceed, but several 16-hour days of intense work were required. That’s why you haven’t been hearing from me.
The enneagram doesn’t actually contain any clues about economics, or about personality, which is what people usually use it for. And it can only model certain kinds of systems. What the enneagram does, when modeling is possible, is to point out where you need to focus your attention if you want to understand the subtleties of how your system operates.
So once I identified what the nine stages were, and what characterizes them, I had to figure out how each of those stages was ‘special’ in the world of economics. This led to several more pages of scribblings, about inflation and deflation, consumer motivation, and the effect of exchange rates, currency supplies, taxes, and investment strategies. I knew just enough about economics to work out each of the nine situations, but I never, ever would have known to identify the nine stages to begin with. I doubt if anyone else has ever identified them either. Most of what we call ‘economics’ today is simply one of the nine stages, long since past its move-on date.
To be candid, I think this model is a breakthrough in economic theory. It’s a kind of ‘free energy’ model, a ‘perpetual prosperity’ machine. It needs two things to start it in motion: a capital investment, and lots of under-employed people. The capital investment gets paid back in the new currency, at no cost to the community, during stage 7 which is threatened by deflation. We simply print money to pay back the investors, and that stabilizes the economy at the same time. See what I mean about ‘free energy’?
The capital investment is used to create productive enterprises that put the under-employed people to work producing high value-added goods or services that have a local market. And the capital sustains those enterprises while the economy begins to operate, paying the salaries in dollars while the products are being sold in the new currency. People start buying the products, because we offer lots of people in town a significant stash (probably more than $100 worth) of the new currency to spend. We pay you to sign up for an account, no strings attached. In stage 1, all we care about is employing the people in inherently profitable production, and getting circulation going in the currency. You might say stage 1 is a ‘loss leader’ in getting residents to try ‘our store’.
Each of the nine stages is like one of stages of a rocket. Each stage takes the economy up to a new level, then it departs as dead weight never to return, and the next stage takes over. Somewhere like Bolivia or Ecuador could really use this system as a development model. No hope in countries like ours, but we can use it communities.
And one more thing, there’s no loans or debts in the system. There’s a bank, and it gives away money rather than loaning it. If there’s too much money in circulation, then the bank starts removing currency by ‘taxing’ each transaction. The tax doesn’t go anywhere, it simply gets subtracted from the seller’s account and disappears. In effect, the value removed from the seller’s account is distributed out to everyone as a corresponding increase in the purchasing power of whatever currency they have.
I’ve written the model up, and put it online as a ‘New World Roundtable working document’. That doesn’t mean it’s endorsed by the group, not at all. Anyone in the group can create a working document. As the label says, it’s just some ideas I’m working with.
The system can be explained in simple terms, but the current document is very dense and technical. I wanted to get all the pieces and relationships clearly set out, to see how it all fits together. Next I can think about presentation and promotion. But for those of you brave souls who want to venture where no one has gone before, into the space of economic polarity configurations… the link is below. If any of you return safely to Earth with your head intact, please drop me a line.
First you click on this link:
then when the page comes up, you’ll see this download button:
click on that and you’ll get this on your screen:
Prosperous community economies – a developmental model
Moderator: •••@••.••• (comments welcome)