Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pia asks : “How did you manage it?“ – Part 1

Excerpt from the book »Gradido – Natural Economy of Life«

A story from the future

Part 1: The new time


The visit


“Oh Pia, it’s nice that you’ve come to see your grandmother.”

“Hallo Granny, look what I’ve bought! That’s Joy, my new bio-robot from the Far East. They’re on special offer at the moment at Alibi and only cost 2,999 gradidos. Joy, come here! Joy to Pia!!! – Good!”

<!-- Joy is very good friend -->

“All right. – It’s still switched to English. – Joy, speak German!!”

<!-- Joy sprechen Deutsch -->

“Whoops, they’re still working on the translation. – Where is Grandpa?”

“At senior citizens sport.”

“Oh, what’s he doing today?”

“Parachute jumping! He’s still fit as a fiddle. No wonder with our healthy diet of spring water, organic fruit and vegetables, wild plants and hardly any meat…”

“Do you know what we had in History today? The waste age! That was in your youth, wasn’t it? Was everything really toxic waste? Your clothes, houses, computers, TV sets, vehicles, fuel and tarmac? Our teacher said people even had to take toxic waste when they were ill! Is that true, Granny?“

“Well, Pia, we called it medicine. But you’re right. When we had medicine left over, we weren’t allowed to just throw it away; we had to dispose of it as toxic waste, for the sake of the environment.”

“My bio-robot is 100% recyclable. Most of its parts can be composted and the others will be recycled. It is driven by free energy and is absolutely eco-friendly. Joy, show what you can do! Clean the kitchen, Joy,!”

<!—Clean kitchen menu: dust, hoover or wash up? -->

“Hoover.“

<!—Compost collected dust: yes/no? -->

“Yes.“

“Well, Pia, it’s just fantastic what technology can do nowadays!“

“All that came through the Natural Economy of Life. We owe it to this brilliant economic model that poverty was eradicated and prosperity for all was created worldwide. And completely in harmony with nature. NEL is my favourite subject at school.“

The natural law of growth and decay


“Well, Pia, you must explain something to me. I find everything wonderful – our active basic income that provides for everyone, our health service, our generous national budget and the subsidies for the environment. But one thing still puzzles me: how does the Natural Economy of Life work? Where does the money come from when we don’t have any taxes or levies?”

“Yes, Granny, that’s still strange for you, isn’t it? After all, you went to school in the waste age, didn’t you? The economy of that time ignored the most elementary natural laws like the cycle of growth and decay. But decay is inevitable, as every child knows nowadays. Because they ignored it, it surprised them in the form of inflation, monetary crashes, wars and so on. Although you were still faring well in Europe, people on other continents were starving. And you nearly destroyed the whole earth!“

“That’s right, Pia. You’ll reproach us with that as long as we live. Fortunately the Natural Economy of Life spread like wildfire over the internet and because of that there was a quantum leap in the development of humanity. But how does it work exactly?”

“I’ll be pleased to explain that to you, Granny. I have to make a presentation about it at school next week. The Natural Economy of Life is based on the natural law of growth and decay. As you know, we now have »living money« called gradidos. Our money is created through life itself. And it decays, like all of nature’s products.”

“Money is created and decays?”

“Exactly! Society creates 3,000 gradidos for each person per month. One gradido is equivalent to the former euro. The first 1,000 gradidos are intended for the active basic income that every person can earn through unconditional participation. The second 1,000 gradidos go to the government and the third 1,000 are for the Equalisation and Environment Fund, the EEF.”

“The EEF does a lot of good for people and nature.”

“Yes, the Equalisation and Environment Fund serves to make good the damage to the environment that unfortunately still exists today. So an extra pool of money of the same amount as the national budget is available for the environment. Protection and decontamination of the environment are the most lucrative branches of the economy.”

“So that’s the reason for the good development! – Pia, you said our »living money« comes from life and society creates money every month. How am I to understand that?”

“Depending of the form of government, the money is created in the municipalities or a central bank. Every person has one creation account and the amount is the same for everyone. Creation of money starts at birth and ends with death so that the living money is created by human life. All people and all nations have the same conditions.”

“So money is virtually created from nothing? What is the money covered by?”

“By the most precious thing we have – human life itself. Economically speaking, every person serves the community as a worker and a customer. The community is all of us. Everyone can contribute to the community through unconditional participation in a way consistent with their inclinations and abilities, meaning in accordance with their nature. Everybody can do what they love doing and they earn 20 gradidos an hour for it, up to a maximum of 1,000 gradidos a month. Gradido means »thanks« and with the 1,000 gradidos we say to each person: “A thousand thanks for being with us!”

“But if money is created every month, it will get more and more. Why don’t we have any inflation?”

“Inflation is enforced decay. Our decay operates according to a schedule and roughly 5% of the balance is debited from each account every month, making about 50% a year.”

“So after a year half of each gradido has gone from my account, right?”

“That’s correct.”

“In return I get an active basic income of 1,000 gradidos a month? After all, I do a lot of work for the community, for example in the Citizens Advice Bureau, looking after children, giving music lessons…”

“Yes, exactly, Granny.”

“So everyone always has the same amount of money at their disposal?”

“No, they don’t. Someone who works in addition or does business earns extra tax-free income. Some people do without unconditional participation because they earn more money in business. As you know, there are millionaires but there isn’t any poverty anymore.”

Let’s see if it adds up!


“I’m not a mathematician or an economist, Pia. Can you explain to me in a simple and plausible way how the whole thing works on a big scale?”

“Gladly, but we will have to do a few calculations. Today, like under the old system, we have some 80 million inhabitants in Germany, a government budget of about a trillion gradidos or euros respectively, including the health service, and a total amount of four or five trillion gradidos or euros on all accounts. Are you following me, Granny?”

“Yes I still am, so far.“


“The money supply is constant because of the interplay of money creation and decay. It evens out at the value where the creation of 3,000 gradidos per citizen and 5% decay are in balance. That makes 60,000 gradidos per citizen since 5% of 60,000 is 3,000.”

“I see. Decay belongs to money creation and that’s why the money supply stays constant and the value of money stable. Everybody has their basic income, every country has a national income and the environment is decontaminated. Is that right, Pia?”

“Exactly. The total money supply is more or less the same as it used to be. In Germany, for example, it is 80 million citizens times 60,000 gradidos, totalling 4.8 trillion gradidos. That’s why our prices are so similar to what they were before.”

“And the state budget?”

“We have 12 months times 1,000 gradidos times 80 million citizens. That makes a state budget of 960 billion gradidos a year, or a little less than one trillion. That has stayed the same as well. And in addition we have the Equalisation and Environment Fund of the same amount.”

“Ah, that’s why there’s enough money for all expenses, including the necessary decontamination of the environment and all without taxes, insurances or other deductions. Fantastic!”

Unemployment? Provision for old age? No problem!


“A lot of old problems have thus been solved: unemployment, illegal work, pension problems… are all things of the past. Everyone, from little children to the elderly, is provided for with the active basic income. Anyone who works as well earns extra tax-free money. A lot of people independently pursue their inclinations, for example art, crafts, research and education or simply have time for each other. Everything is possible without any problems. The working climate is excellent as nobody is compelled to work. Employers and customers who place orders court their employees and suppliers. Work is meaningful and enjoyable, or it doesn’t happen. Illegal work doesn’t exist anymore by definition because there are no taxes.”

“And the unpleasant jobs?”

“The hard, inhuman jobs have long since been done by machines. – Oh, by the way, what about my little friend? – Everything all right, Joy???”

<!— Kitchen hoovered. Dust put in compost bin-->

“Super, Joy, you’re wonderful!”

<!-- Joy is very good friend -->

“Yes, that you are, Joy. – You see, more and more work is being done by machines, Granny. The conditions of the other jobs are so good that it’s always possible to find people who like doing them. More dangerous jobs are very popular with adventurers as they are the best paid. By the way, they are less dangerous than they used to be because all the safety precautions are taken.”

The system regulates itself.


“But there were still bottlenecks sometimes for a short time. Food was in short supply during the changeover to organic farming but that problem was soon solved.”

“That’s right, Granny. Food got more expensive and the basic income was tight. A lot of  people looked for additional work. The EEF promoted organic farming and offered courses in permaculture. Numerous families built a country house and sold organic foods. So prices fell to a healthy level again.”

“Exactly. Today food costs a bit more than in the waste age but, in return, it is organic and its quality is excellent. Everybody can afford this good and healthy food.”

“The system regulates itself, as you see, Granny: if goods become scarce, prices rise. As a consequence, people want to work more. The best job offers are in connection with scarce goods, which now have to be produced in bigger quantities. Then prices fall until the balance is restored.”

“It’s plausible and amazingly simple.”

Both lenders and borrowers win with loans.

 

“But tell me, Pia, your bio-robot was awfully expensive, nearly 3,000 gradidos. How can you afford something like that?”

“ Joy is an investment. I bought it with a loan.”

“You have got into debt, Pia???”

“No, I got a loan from my classmates to finance the investment. We learnt how that works in NEL and, after all, I’m very business-minded!”

“Just listen to my 13-year-old granddaughter!”

“Shall I explain my calculation to you, Granny?”

“I see you’re absolutely dying to, so go ahead.”

“You know I get a basic income of 1,000 gradidos a month and in return I have taken on some interesting tasks at school. Among other things, I have organised a NEL study group and inform my schoolmates. I give my parents 600 gradidos for rent and board, I need 200 for current expenses and I have 200 left over.”

“And you could save them for the future.”

“Basically you’re right, Granny. Only you don’t save for the future, you invest in it.”

“Well, what’s the difference?”

“If I tried to save money for the future, it would soon be gone because of the decay. We can invest by giving or taking loans. I decided to take a loan and buy the bio-robot. I take it to the neighbours and help in their household for 20 gradidos an hour. In that way I can soon repay the loan and after that the money will be my profit.”

“My little Pia has become a clever businesswoman!”

“At the same time I’m investing in people since Joy can do nearly everything on its own. I only have to train it. Then I can talk to my neighbours or entertain their guests. Good neighbours become friends who help each other privately and professionally. I call that neighbourly help in the best sense!”

“I’m more and more amazed, Pia! – But what about your classmates who lent you the money?”

“Both of them happened to have some money to spare and offered to lend it to me. The two of them are really professional: by giving frequent loans they preserve the value of their money and are already accumulating a small fortune. I’m sure they’ll become bankers later.”

“Do they charge interest?”

“No! A lot of people want to preserve the value of their money and that’s why they grant interest-free loans.”

“So the girls also benefit without charging interest.“

“Yes, Granny. The Natural Economy of Life is a plus-sum game with win-win situations everywhere.”

“Are all your schoolmates so good at doing business?”

“Some of them have other interests like sport, art, music, science, research, development, crafts... Every pupil is involved in at least one project. They all win, as even if the project doesn’t bring in any extra money, they are all provided for through their active basic income. It’s just the same with adults as well.”

“I remember, Pia, we also financed our house with an interest-free loan. A bank arranged it for us for a fee. Because we were working and had tax-free earnings as well as our basic income, we were able to repay the money in just a few years. In the waste age would have had to pay it back our whole life long.”

Open source for all


“I can hear a flymo.”

“That must be Grandpa coming back from his parachute jumping. Since these public flymobiles started parachuting has become a national sport.”

“There he is. – Hallo, Grandpa!”

“Hallo, my sweetie! That was a wonderful day outdoors in nature.”

“Just imagine, Sven, your granddaughter has become a businesswoman. She has bought a bio-robot that has already hoovered our kitchen.”

“That’s wonderful, Pia. Then I insist on becoming your first regular customer.”

“You’re too late, Grandpa! The Meiers next door are already my customers.”

“My word, you really are a good businesswoman!”

“Pia and Sven, I’m afraid I have to leave you now because there’s going to be a LAN party in the Senior Citizens Centre.”

“Granny, do you still play with your old computers that emit EMFs?”

“My dear Pia, we do in fact still have the old nostalgic computers but we have linked them up to G-Com, which works without any EMFs just like your bio-mobile phone and Grandpa’s bio-computer.”

“I’m proud of you, Granny. Have a good time and see you again soon! – It’s amazing, Grandpa, that your old computers already have G-Com.”

“G-Com – communication over the gravity wave – has been known for a long time but the development of unconventional technologies used to be slow and laborious. As you know, I myself am an inventor and for a long time suffered from the patent law, which really obstructs innovations. It was quite different with software, where open-source software was often the best choice.”

“Exactly. With the introduction of the Natural Economy of Life patent law was amended and the general open-source principle was decided on. We learnt that in NEL.”

“Yes, Pia, all knowledge belongs to everyone. Only in that way was humankind able to survive. The general open-source principle wasn’t possible until the active basic income was introduced and everyone could have a good life at last. Unconventional thinkers, researchers, artists and craftsmen were also able to pursue their inner destiny. A quantum leap in the development of humankind followed. Just think of the flymos – flymobiles propelled by free energy and autopilot. They don’t need any roads, parking spaces or petrol.”

“And they’re perfect for parachute jumping, aren’t they, Grandpa?

“Yes, that they are, Pia!”

“Since the amendment of patent law there can be no patent on life anymore.”

“That’s right, Pia. The spook of patented seeds and dangerous genetic technology is a thing of the past, thank goodness. It was only just in time as corn feed had been almost completely destroyed by genetic modification.”

“Tell me, Grandpa, you used to work for the Equalisation and Environment Fund and helped to organise a lot of things. Can you help me with my presentation for school next week?”

“I’d be only too pleased to, my love.”

Equalisation between poor and rich countries


“Besides decontaminating and preserving the environment the EEF has other tasks, doesn’t it? Specifically, they are equalising previously poor and rich countries and asset exchange.”

“Yes, it does, Pia. I was in the team that saw through the equalisation of poor and rich countries. It wasn’t enough for all countries to create their money themselves. First of all, food supplies had to be assured for the population. We collected some facts and came to an astonishing conclusion.”

“What kind of facts were they?”

“We examined people’s meat consumption and its consequences. At that time 20% of the world population ate 80% of the total meat production. The huge meat consumption in the industrialised nations was the cause of considerable environmental damage. For a piece of meat 30 times more natural resources were used than for vegetable food with the same nutritional value. The largest number of diseases caused by diet were to be found in the countries with the highest meat consumption.”

“Ah, I can already guess the result.”

“Our thinking was that people in the industrialised nations would be healthier if they reduced their enormous meat consumption. Environmental damage decreases and enough food can be grown for everybody. It’s a great win-win situation for everyone.”

“For the meat industry as well?”

“Yes, indeed. We financed the changeover of the food production businesses and farming. We created an advertising campaign with the slogan »culinary – vegetarian – solidly united« with cookery books, gourmet guides and much more. By the way, there were no problems with ethnic or religious groups as vegetable food is allowed in all cultures.”

“But how were the poor countries able to catch up economically?”

“It happened almost automatically; the industrialised nations had a surplus of goods and were looking for new markets. Because money is created every month the poor countries had enough money to buy goods, technology and know-how and thus to gently align their development. Now they produce what they need themselves. The economy cooled down, sparing the environment.”

“But some companies had to close down, Grandpa.”

“That happened in the waste age as well. But now one thing is quite different: when companies close, nobody suffers from poverty. Employees and employers have hardly any risk as everybody has their basic income.”

“And incomes have equalised worldwide.”

“Exactly. After taxes were abolished labour costs in the industrialised nations decreased. Wages in the other countries caught up and so there are no low-wage countries anymore.”

“So there’s prosperity for all.”

Land and property


“Grandpa, you also drafted laws, for example the environmental requirements for property.”

“That’s right, Pia. Land is not sold anymore but leased over a long period because of the decay of money. This generates continual income for the owner. But ownership of land is linked to stringent environmental requirements. A person who lives on or farms their own or leased land easily meets these requirements. But large estates that are not ecologically farmed can quickly become a burden and are not worthwhile investments. So it happens that many owners of large estates give their land back to the community which then takes care of renaturalising it.”

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