Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chapter 3 – The new monetary and economic model

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

»You can’t solve a problem with the same thought patterns which helped to bring it about.«
– Albert Einstein

Since the beginning of time, living nature has created something which economists can only dream of: it creates live and constant growth in abundance. Only we humans seem not to have understood something yet: although we could feed all the people in the world – actually with biologically produced food – two-thirds of humankind live below the poverty line, while just a few are swimming in money.

Why is there this endless poverty in the world? And why is there extreme wealth? We were concerned with the question of »why« in chapter 1. In this chapter we will concern ourselves with the question of »how«. How does nature do it? What is it that nature does right and we humans have obviously been doing wrong up to now? How can we achieve prosperity for everyone in peace and in harmony with nature?

When I pondered on this question intensively in the mid-1990’s, I was almost the only one with such thoughts. The public did not yet know anything about the idea of a basic income or alternative currency models. Although such approaches had already existed since the beginning of the twentieth century, very few people had heard of them – myself included. And that was a good thing, as it later turned out. For in that way I was able to set out on my quest for the solution without being influenced by other ideas.

Creating new thought structures

»Technology was never a problem. The problem that needed to be solved lay in the inhabitants’ thinking and in the economy.«
– Joytopia

In order to figure it out I had to start thinking quite differently from hitherto: for our previous thought patterns have taken us to the point where we are at the moment. And because our thought patterns are firmly ingrained and our thoughts follow these patterns like the motorists on the highway, I began to use unusual techniques to stop the accustomed patterns in their tracks. Only when there is a total road block are the motorists forced to switch to side roads and try new ways. Then completely new views open up in a wondrous way.

Writing a visionary short story was one such new way. You relocate to a desirable future and look back at the way you achieved this future. In doing this you can wish for anything you like – prosperity for all, peace, a nation without taxes, full employment, a good working climate, happy and motivated people who are fit up to a great age, intact nature and much more. There is no such thing as »It won’t work«, since everything is possible and everything is allowed in your imagination. Even Albert Einstein valued the imagination higher than knowledge: »Knowledge is limited, imagination unlimited.«

Another method of breaking the pattern is the requirement to think of everything in the reverse of the usual way. When we live in a world where the national budget is financed with taxes, we have the government donate money to its citizens. When demographic change can no longer be financed, in our vision senior citizens finance the economy through their simple existence. When single parents have child support problems, in Joytopia children contribute to their family’s prosperity through an active basic income.

Internal role play is also an effective instrument for creative lateral thinkers to obtain completely new perspectives and impulses. You slip into another person’s role and have them speak on a topic. In our story it is Very Goodfriend from another planet who shows people the way to worldwide prosperity – in peace and in harmony with nature.

Such and similar creative techniques are excellently suited to helping us find new ideas and solutions. We let our soul grow wings and discover worlds full of opportunities.

Nature as a role model

»On Freegaia there had always been people who observed nature and sought to fathom its laws.« 
– Joytopia

Nature has always been and still is the greatest source of inspiration. I repeatedly asked myself, »How does nature do it and what do we do differently?« – and that for several reasons. On the one hand, the new economic model should be in harmony with nature. If we humans want to survive, we need to work with and not against nature. We need to do everything in our power to make good the catastrophic damage we have caused in past years. On the other hand, nature shows us how life functions. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We only need to decode the inventions of living nature. Are you familiar with the term bionics? Wikipedia describes it as follows:

»Bionics (...) is the application of biological methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology. (...)The transfer of technology between life forms and manufactures is, according to proponents of bionic technology, desirable because evolutionary pressure typically forces living organisms, including fauna and flora, to become highly optimised and efficient.«

In technology bionics is applied as a matter of course. Every aircraft manufacturer studies the bird flight and learns how flying works from nature. Afterwards it is much easier to construct aircraft or optimise them. But Wikipedia only mentions technology. What is part of the tools of the trade for aircraft engineers and other technicians is only just starting to find its way into economics.

At the Gradido Academy (formerly Joytopia Academy) we have been practising economic bionics for years. By observing nature intensively we have arrived at a completely new economic theory – the Natural Economy for worldwide prosperity in peace and in harmony with nature. All our research comes to the same conclusion with a very clear message:

We humans can create worldwide prosperity if we observe natural laws.

Below we will analyse statements from the Joytopia story, supplement them and assemble them into an economic model. That is not so difficult at all. For everything brilliant is simple in its fundamental idea. And nature is brilliant! She has not only generated life but also maintains it – in a sustainable way.

The power of vision

»Everything you can think will become reality! Everything you wish for will come to pass if you can imagine it.«
– Joytopia

“Do be realistic!” – “You’ll never manage it!” – “I can’t imagine it!” – “Who do you think you are because you think you can change the world!”– “ »They« will never allow it!” – “The world is as it is and we can’t change it!”

Do you know who our greatest enemies are? No, they aren’t other people! They are our own thought blockades. We don’t believe we can imagine that we can succeed in doing something. Yes, you read it correctly: the thought blockade starts with us thinking we couldn’t even imagine it. However, we know that our imagination is infinite. »Thoughts are free«, a German folk song says. But if we do not even allow ourselves to imagine a positive future in our thoughts, however do we want to create it?

»Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.«

– Marianne Williamson – A Return To Love:
Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

This quotation, which was incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela and thus became world famous, insistently urges us to live our life’s purpose: »We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us«.We have let ourselves be weighed down by our self-made thought blockades for much too long. We have allowed ourselves to be forbidden to make use of our inalienable freedom, the freedom to think and dream, develop visions, make plans and help shape the world.

The powerful people of this world have not permitted this ban on freedom. That is the reason why they appear so powerful to us. But they are also prisoners of the system as long as they believe they can keep this simple secret and have to keep down the rest of the world in order to stay in power. This way of thinking is consistent with the zero-sum dogma, the illusion that there is not enough for everyone. A person who believes there is not enough for everyone has to put up fences and deny others access to the source.

But God’s gifts are there for all of us. We were all born »to make manifest the glory of God «. We all carry creative power within us to create a world in which there is prosperity for all, in peace and in harmony with nature.

»We have already achieved that aim on our planet Freegaia. You just need to copy it and spread it on earth. That’s our gift to you humans«.  
– Joytopia

The plan for such a world already exists. That is the subject of this book. We just need to have the courage to let our light shine and let go of our deepest fear, the fear of being powerful beyond measure. In this way we give our people the opportunity to do the same and our presence liberates others. We trigger a powerful, liberating chain reaction, for the gift from Joytopia is available to everyone.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Chapter 3.2 – Gift economy and abundance

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

Nature practises a gift economy

» Nature produces food from herself and gives it to her living creatures.«
–  Joytopia

The members of nature do what they do because of an internal stimulus. The busy bee collects nectar which the flower freely gives it because it is consistent with its being. It can’t do any differently. It follows its inner motivation, its instinct. Along the way flower pollen sticks to its hairy legs. And while it flies from flower to flower, it carries on the flower pollen and helps pollinate other flowers. Fruits grow from the pollinated flowers – apples, pears, plums, berries, tomatoes peas, beans…, delicious food for humans and animals – all free gifts.

The animals, in their turn, run or fly around and drop their heaps wherever they like (as did our human ancestors). The seed falls to earth embedded in valuable dung and can grow up into a new plant. So that all this can happen the sun gives us warmth and rain falls from the clouds. Worms and other organisms make the soil fertile and solubilise  the nutrients so that they can be taken up by the roots – just like that.                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Has any of the living creatures made an agreement with the others? Have they taken out a loan or set conditions? – Who has thought up this wonderful teamwork? Chance? Hardly, for »God doesn’t play dice«. God gives us the most valuable thing we possess – our life. So nature practises a gift economy. Not a market economy, not communism or capitalism – nothing but a gift economy!

We humans have preserved a few relicts of the gift economy. We can still find something of it in our cultures and religions: »It is more blessed to give than to receive« with the Christians, generosity with the Buddhists, the proverbial hospitality of the Orientals, the gift festivals of the Indians. And also citizens’ voluntary commitment, donations, compassion…, qualities and activities, without which our modern society would not function anymore.


»When nature is in order, abundance prevails, i.e. there is more food available than is needed. Food is perishable and can only be stored for a certain amount of time«.
– Joytopia

Not only does nature freely give us what we need; she also gives it to us in abundance. When we sit by a river, fresh water constantly flows from one side, far more than we will ever need. All the water we don’t need goes on flowing. That was at least the primitive situation before industrialisation used, polluted and contaminated water on a large scale. At that time people could bathe in the rivers and drink the water from streams and rivers.

Another example is a healthy apple tree which bears a lot of fruit. Animals (as long as they do not invade as pests) do not consume the entire crop but eat what they need and leave the rest on the tree. Here too, nature supplies more than is needed. The unconsumed apples rot and re-enter the natural cycle. 

An interesting observation is the fact that the use of a resource in nature often creates added value.  Plants and animals that drink water grow and reproduce or at least keep themselves alive. Furthermore, the consumption of fruits also serves the reproduction of the plants that have produced the fruits –  as thanks from the beneficiary to the donors.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chapter 3.3 – The threefold good

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

The manifold interactions of natural beings with each other serve the good of the individual (the bee drinks nectar), the good of the community (the bee colony obtains honey supplies) and the good of the big scheme of things (maintenance of the eco-system). We call this the threefold good.

The threefold good of the whole is the decisive criterion in the Natural Economy of Life. When one of the three aspects is neglected, the whole picture gets out of balance. When the good of the individual is lacking, meaning no personal interest exists, why should we commit ourselves? When the good of the community is lacking, the community will collapse. And when the good of the big scheme of things is at issue, the basis of our existence is at risk.

I would like to invite you to make an experiment. Please select a few events of the day, both personal and political. Now ask yourself about each event:
  1. Does it contribute to my personal good? Does it contribute to the personal good of the individuals involved?
  2. Does it contribute to the good of the family, the region, the country etc.?
  3. Does it contribute to the good of all people, nature and the environment?

What did you find out from this little exercise? Did the majority of your events serve the threefold good? If not, what could be improved?

It is best to examine the  threefold good as often as possible. With everything you encounter ask yourself: »Does it serve the good of the individual, the good of the community and the good of the big scheme of things?« If you ask yourself these three questions about all the things you are confronted with, you will sharpen your judgement of what serves life and what harms it. The threefold good will develop into a permanent part of your life and the three questions will become a much-loved habit that you wouldn’t want to do without. In the next sections we have plenty of opportunities to practise this.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chapter 3.14 – The girl who silenced the world for five minutes

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

Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Severn Suzuki founded the Environmental Children's Organisation (ECO) when she was only just nine years old. When she was twelve, she and three friends managed to raise the money to travel to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. She highlighted how the diverse environmental problems are seen by young people.

Here is her speech:

»Hello, I’m Severn Suzuki speaking for E.C.O. – The Environmental Children’s Organisation.

We are a group of twelve and thirteen-year-olds from Canada trying to make a difference: Vanessa Suttie, Morgan Geisler, Michelle Quigg and me. We raised all the money ourselves to come six thousand miles to tell you adults you must change your ways. Coming here today, I have no hidden agenda. I am fighting for my future.

Losing my future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market. I am here to speak for all generations to come.

I am here to speak on behalf of the starving children around the world whose cries go unheard.

I am here to speak for the countless animals dying across this planet because they have nowhere left to go. We cannot afford not to be heard.

I am afraid to go out in the sun now because of the holes in the ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what chemicals are in it.

I used to go fishing in Vancouver with my dad until just a few years ago we found the fish full of cancers. And now we hear about animals and plants becoming extinct every day — vanishing forever.

In my life, I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and rainforests full of birds and butterflies, but now I wonder if they will even exist for my children to see.

Did you have to worry about these little things when you were my age?

All this is happening before our eyes and yet we act as if we have all the time we want and all the solutions. I’m only a child and I don’t have all the solutions, but I want you to realise, neither do you!

  • You don’t know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer.
  • You don’t know how to bring salmon back up a dead stream.
  • You don’t know how to bring back an animal now extinct.
  • And you can’t bring back forests that once grew where there is now desert.

If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it!

Here, you may be delegates of your governments, business people, organisers, reporters or politicians – but really you are mothers and fathers, brothers and sister, aunts and uncles – and all of you are somebody’s child.

I’m only a child, yet I know we are all part of a family, five billion strong, in fact, 30 million species strong and we all share the same air, water and soil — borders and governments will never change that.

I’m only a child, yet I know we are all in this together and should act as one single world towards one single goal.

In my anger, I am not blind, and in my fear, I am not afraid to tell the world how I feel.

In my country, we make so much waste, we buy and throw away, buy and throw away, and yet northern countries will not share with the needy. Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to lose some of our wealth, afraid to share.

In Canada, we live the privileged life, with plenty of food, water and shelter — we have watches, bicycles, computers and television sets.

Two days ago here in Brazil, we were shocked when we spent some time with some children living on the streets. And this is what one child told us: “I wish I was rich and if I were, I would give all the street children food, clothes, medicine, shelter and love and affection.”

If a child on the street who has nothing, is willing to share, why are we who have everything still so greedy?

I can’t stop thinking that these children are my age, that it makes a tremendous difference where you are born, that I could be one of those children living in the favelas of Rio; I could be a child starving in Somalia; a victim of war in the Middle East or a beggar in India.

I’m only a child yet I know if all the money spent on war was spent on ending poverty and finding environmental answers, what a wonderful place this earth would be!

At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us to behave in the world. You teach us:

  • not to fight with others,
  • to work things out,
  • to respect others,
  • to clean up our mess,
  • not to hurt other creatures
  • to share – not be greedy.

Then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?

Do not forget why you’re attending these conferences, who you’re doing this for – we are your own children. You are deciding what kind of world we will grow up in. Parents should be able to comfort their children by saying “everything’s going to be all right” , “we’re doing the best we can” and “it’s not the end of the world”.

But I don’t think you can say that to us anymore. Are we even on your list of priorities? My father always says “You are what you do, not what you say.”

Well, what you do makes me cry at night. You grown-ups say you love us. I challenge you, please make your actions reflect your words. Thank you for listening.«
– Severn Suzuki

You can find a video of this moving speech on YouTube.


Chapter 3.4 – No creation of money through debt

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

»In nature there are no debts and no interest is charged. That’s why it doesn’t occur to plants and animals to hoard more than they need. Because of that there are no  »rich« and »poor« plants or animals«.    
– Joytopia

Have you ever wondered where money actually comes from? How was it created? Does it simply come from the cash dispenser like electricity from the socket? Did a creator make it in some prehistoric time as God created the world? And who created the debts?

There is a touch of mysticism about money. And so it is no wonder that only very few people know how money is created. »Money creation« is a term from the world of finance. It describes the process by which money comes into being. And indeed it is now something mystical since today’s money is often called fiat money. This has nothing to do with the car make of the same name but refers to the Bible: in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, God said in Latin »Fiat lux!«, which means »Let there be light!«. And there was light, as we learnt in our religious instruction lessons. Today’s creator gods say »Fiat money!«, or »Let there be money!« And they create money from borrowing or debt.

Fiat money signifies »money from nothing«. A small part of it is created by the central banks and the greatest part by the commercial banks. In the bank balance sheet the total of all accounts has to be »zero«. Expressed differently, the total credit balances have to be equal to the total debts.

How does the creation of money from nothing work? Imagine that you and I both have a zero amount of euros on our bank accounts. We have absolutely no money at all. Although neither of us has any money, you buy books from me to give to your friends because you would like to pass on the valuable knowledge about the Natural Economy of Life. As you are an honest person, you transfer a hundred euros to my account. I am now the happy owner of a credit balance of one hundred euros: and you unfortunately have a debt of one hundred euros to the bank.

What has just happened? Money was created from nothing – through debt! Inside the bank the procedure is in fact slightly more complex but for us »non-bankers« (that’s what banks call people like you and me) only what goes in and what goes out counts. Nothing goes in and assets and debts come out.

Who has created the money then? The central bank? Its bank director? The friendly bank clerk who looks after your current account? The bank computer? The answer is hard but clear: you have created money, thus burdening yourself with debt. You wanted to do something good, support a project, inform your friends, make the world a bit better and in doing so have got yourself into debt!

»Yes, but only because I didn’t have any money. You should only spend what you have.« This – or something similar – is what you may be thinking now. But can this rule be kept at all in a system where money is created through debt? For every credit in euros there has to be a debit somewhere else. If you have no debt someone else has. There is no other possibility in our system. So that it does not come to people’s attention our governments have assumed the debts on behalf of their citizens. In Germany that currently makes 20,000 euros in government debt per person. Virtually all nations worldwide have enormous debts and many of them are on the verge of bankruptcy.

Such a system cannot function at all – least of all when we consider the threefold good for there it fails on all three levels. The good of the individual is diminished since you either have debts or have helped to create other people’s debts. The good of the community is at risk on account of the high government debts with the risk of state bankruptcy. Today the entire international community is affected. And finally the good of the big scheme of things is negatively impacted since highly competitive markets do not shrink from waging wars and destroying the environment.

A system of creating money from debt harms everybody and benefits nobody.

Interest and compound interest further aggravate the problem. But even interest-free monetary systems have the harmful impact described. Well-meaning alternative monetary systems, such as barter clubs and exchanges, LETS systems and suchlike are also included in this category. Regional currencies, which are tied to the national currency, cannot be considered as solutions for this very reason.

»It is beyond doubt that the good is always the bad that you cease to do«.

– Wilhelm Busch
German humorist, poet and graphic artist

In the following sections you will get to know a monetary and economic model which does not create money from debt but from life itself. It is constructed in such a way that everyone benefits and nobody is harmed.

And it is based on a principle which should be a matter of course for a civilised species…

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chapter 3.5 – Unconditional participation

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

»Whether and how hard animals work for their food is very different from one form of life to another. Every animal living in the wild behaves in accordance with its nature. If you want an animal in captivity to work, you have to goad it all the time. No animal would fight for a right to work«.
– Joytopia

Human beings are not very different from animals in this respect. A human who is able to behave in accordance with their nature blossoms. Think of a person who is a true musician through and through. Music is his world and he loves it more than anything else. He takes up his instrument and plays it at every opportunity that presents itself. The subjects of his conversations are mainly about music and music is his element.

If you lock him up, for example as a professional musician in an orchestra, where a strict hierarchy rules and he has to work according to a schedule, it can happen that his enthusiasm for music very soon vanishes. He begins to »work to rule«, that means only to play when he is goaded by an external force.

What has killed his original love of music? In this simple but realistic example we can make out four parameters as »love killers«:

  1. captivity
  2. hierarchy
  3. too much work
  4. external force


Love is free by nature. It likes to surrender itself. But if you hold it captive, it changes into prostitution. Captivity must not be confused with a commitment freely entered into. Free-will commitments lead to dependability and a feeling of security and protection. Captivity, however, is based on coercion. The captive longs for freedom.


Love knows no hierarchies, no classes, no castes. Your counterpart is an equal partner, whose differentness provides enrichment and triggers admiration. Hierarchy, on the other hand, is often connected with sanctions when the ranking is not respected. When other sanctions are forbidden by law, bullying is often used.

However, a hierarchy is necessary in certain cases, particularly in types of organisation based on command structures, primarily in the military. And a certain hierarchy is also indispensable in other ventures requiring a precise interplay of all the participants. Responsibility and decision-making powers are delegated to people who possess the required competence. As long as a hierarchy is based on genuine competence it is not normally perceived as disagreeable. But equality should then prevail outside of work.

Too much work

Even the most enjoyable occupation becomes a disagreeable duty when there is too much of it. Of course, sometimes there is simply a lot to do. And if you recognise a sense in the activity, love is not harmed. But when you permanently have too much work to do – possibly under pressure of time –, your health is undermined.

External coercion

When love is lacking as internal motivation, external coercion has to be used to maintain mechanical performance. It is true that a certain amount of coercion can help people get over inner blockades but it should not become the main driving force.

»All things are poison and nothing is without poison –
the dose alone makes something non-poisonous«.
– Paracelsus

None of the four parameters is only good or only bad: it depends on the right amount. »Only the dose makes the poison«, medical science says. What would be the right amount for our true musician through and through? That is, of course, different from person to person but we can already draw some conclusions from the previous situation.

If he has the possibility to join an orchestra voluntarily and does not take on the job exclusively because of the compulsion of having to earn his living, his captivity becomes a voluntary commitment. If the positions are assigned in accordance with musical and human skills and a climate of mutual esteem prevails among the musicians, the hierarchy is gladly recognised as sensible and necessary. This is particularly the case when the musicians come together with a respectful attitude towards each other and on an equal footing. His individual work-life balance must be in order, that means with an appropriate amount of work and leisure.

Three crucial working conditions must be in place for our musician so that he does not lose his love of music and his inner motivation:

  1. voluntary commitment,
  2. competent hierarchy and mutual esteem
  3. work-life balance. 

The work schedule is then only gentle external coercion to help him over the all too human blockades now and then. Such exemplary working conditions naturally already exist in some firms. And they know why, for well-motivated employees are the more important capital for a business enterprise.

Our concern is to create ideal living and working conditions for all people worldwide. In this way we serve the threefold good – the good of the individual, who enjoys ideal living and working conditions; the good of the community, for contented people enhance the common attitude to life for everybody; and the good of the big scheme of things, for motivated co-workers are also the most important capital for the »Freegaia venture«.

In order to assure ideal living and working conditions for everybody, we must ensure that every person first of all has the possibility to work. This must be optimised to the extent that it approximates to the individual’s ideal as closely as possible. For this we have developed the concept of unconditional participation.

»Everyone has the right – not the duty – to unconditional participation. Participation consists of giving and taking. So every person has the right to contribute to the common good in accordance with their nature«.
– Joytopia

Irrespective of age, state of health, gender, skin colour, nationality, religion and view of the world…, every person has the possibility to work for the community for up to 50 hours a month in a way consistent with their nature and thus earn an active basic income of 20 gradidos an hour. The active basic income therefore amounts to a maximum of 1,000 gradidos. Gradido means »thanks«. So the community thanks each of its active members: »A thousand thanks for being with us!«. Unconditional participation is a right and not a duty. Anyone who would rather use their time elsewhere, for example working in the free economy, is welcome to do so.

»Whether we contribute to the common good or work in the free economy, it is the same as in nature. Everybody does something that is consistent with their nature. A person who likes baking bread bakes bread, someone who like playing a musical instrument plays music. Some citizens practise several professions because they enjoy being versatile. We do what we love, deliver the best quality and are successful«.
– Joytopia

The unusual thing about the concept of unconditional participation is the fact that everyone has the right to it, even children, sick people and old people. It is also unusual especially as child labour is forbidden in this country. In Third World countries children are forced to work in sweatshops under inhumane conditions. They make products that are allowed to be sold in our country. Talk about double standards!

However, there is also child labour which has a very positive impact on young people’s development: children who grow up in family businesses mostly work from an early age. They are normally more responsible, more self-assured and better equipped to cope with the demands of life than their peers. They mostly retain these qualities in their adult lives.

As a boy I would have liked to go out to work early and be able to earn money like my father. As soon as I was allowed to, I started to deliver advertising material for a supermarket. A bit later I coached other schoolchildren in mathematics. In the school holidays I looked for holiday jobs. The chance to earn money of my own greatly boosted my self-confidence.

The unemployed and social security claimants, who do not have opportunities to earn money, often suffer from feelings of inferiority. In this case the money is less important  than the feeling of being a fully-fledged member of the community, who is allowed to make their contribution. It can be understood in the same way when pensioners, who have paid contributions to their pensions all their lives, fall ill and die shortly after their retirement because they no longer have the feeling of being needed.

Unconditional participation therefore means being allowed to contribute to the good of the community in accordance with our natures. The first question is: what do you like doing, what are you able to do, what would you like to contribute? Only after answering these questions do we consider how your skills can be optimally used for the community.

This can already start at pre-school age with tasks suited to children and then develop further. The development of a person’s highest potential, discovering their personal inclinations and abilities and finding their life task appear important enough for us to recommend making these matters a main school subject.

During the transition period adults will need support as well. Many people have forgotten what they really want and what they like doing. They do not listen to their inner voices anymore and they have stopped feeling their inner yearnings, allowing themselves wishes and setting their own goals. Here the community can help with appropriate measures. Today there are already very good methods for developing your full potential. This can also be carried out in groups.

Also sick people mostly have the desire to be needed and contribute something to the community. And it is also important for them to give support if appropriate. In the ideal case this will positively influence their quality of life and even their state of health. 

People with disabilities often have really exceptional capabilities. Do you know the Brenzband? They are a music band consisting of about fifteen people, most of whom are disabled. In their concerts they radiate such sympathy and human warmth that it is pure joy. In their numerous performances they now also play on political occasions and manage to move people to tears. Their foreign tours go as far as China and a few years ago they even received a UNESCO prize. It is certainly not only their music that touches the audience: the love and intensity manifested by these musicians »with disabilities« simply touch hearts.

Or do you know the film Rainman, in which Dustin Hofmann plays an autistic man who teaches his younger brother, a heartless businessman, to experience human feelings again?

Those are two very different examples of exceptional qualities that people with disabilities can bring into our lives. Instead, they are unfortunately often locked up in our society. How rich our common life will be when they are allowed to enjoy unconditional participation as well and contribute to the community in their very personal way!

As we see, many more people can and want to contribute their share to the common good than is generally supposed. Giving all of them the vested right to unconditional participation (or better said, giving it back, since it has been taken from them in our society) will enhance the quality of life of all of us many times over.

It is a matter of course that people who cannot do anything or need time out for health reasons will receive their basic income and the necessary care without anything being expected from them in return. They are fortunately already provided for in some countries through welfare benefits, pensions or suchlike. They are full co-creators and also contribute to money creation like everyone else.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chapter 3.6 – Threefold money creation

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

Threefold creation of money by life 

»Our money is no longer created from debts but from life itself. Our currency is the gradido, which means »thanks«. The creation of money follows simple rules. 3,000 gradidos are created for every citizen each month. A third of the money created is used for a basic income. Another third is used for the national budget and the rest for the Equalisation and Environmental Fund. We call this the threefold creation of money«.

– Joytopia

Do you remember where money comes from in the old system? Correct – from nothing! Assets and debts are created from »nothing«. Figures are generated in a computer according to internationally recognised rules. The old rules follow zero-sum principles and are designed in such a way that their impact harms everybody and benefits nobody.

The gradido – the »living money« – is created from life itself. Through the existence of every person 3,000 gradidos are created every month without debts being created. The new rules, according to which the numbers are generated in a computer, follow the plus-sum principle and serve the threefold good – the good of the individual, the good of the community and the good of the big scheme of things. They have a beneficial impact on all those involved and harm nobody.

It is important to understand that money creation is nothing more than generating numbers in a computer. And it is quite normal for rules to be altered or superseded by new ones when they do not serve their purpose (any longer). There is scarcely anything more hostile to life in this world than the present monetary system. All wars and all man-made disasters are direct or indirect consequences of it. What the hell got into humankind to introduce the system of debt money? And what the hell is still in us that we treat it like a sacred cow and maintain its perfidious creation rules? It is quite easy to alter the rules and create living money that serves the good of everyone and makes the survival of humanity possible – in peace and in harmony with nature.

From the threefold good the threefold creation of money is derived. Three amounts of 1,000 gradidos are created for every person each month. With 1,000 gradidos per person per month the Natural Economy of Life provides the financial means to serve the threefold good. The threefold creation of money includes:

  1. an active basic income for every person,
  2. a national income for every country proportional to the number of its citizens,
  3. an Equalisation and Environmental Fund for decontaminating the environment.

The active basic income

The first amount of money created (1,000 gradidos) is intended as the basic income. Every citizen has the right to a basic income of 1,000 gradidos. Two variations of this are conceivable: an unconditional basic income that everyone gets »just like that« and an active basic income that is earned with unconditional participation.

On account of the many positive consequences that ensue from unconditional participation we unequivocally advocate the active basic income. In addition to the advantages already described, from the viewpoint of monetary theory there is also the argument that the money created is covered by services already rendered. Even if – and especially because – the value of money only exists in people’s heads, money covered by services should have a more stable value than money which is created »out of thin air«.

The idea of an unconditional basic income triggers so-called »envy debates«. Working people ask themselves why they should produce the money or products consumed by other people who in their eyes do not work. Supporters of the unconditional basic income try to defuse these envy debates with all kinds of arguments without any real success.

A basic income covered by services makes such envy debates superfluous. After all, everybody has earned their active basic income with services to the community.

National income proportional to the number of inhabitants

The second amount of money created (1,000 gradidos per person per month) goes to the national budget. Without having to levy taxes every country has a per-capita national budget at its disposal of an amount customary in Central Europe, including health and social services.

Central Europe currently has the highest standard of living worldwide. Therefore it serves us as a yardstick when it is a matter of defining what we imagine worldwide prosperity to be quantitatively.

Since the second amount of money created also includes health and social services as well as the national budget, neither taxes nor other levies have to be imposed. Hence, considerably less government control is necessary than today, which makes it possible to reduce bureaucracy significantly.

The national budget is funded without any debt whatsoever. All the costs of servicing capital in the present system are avoided. In future there will be absolutely no reason for a government ever to borrow money. For, on the one hand, the national budget is already generously calculated and, on the other hand, an additional fund of an equal amount is provided for protection and decontamination of the environment.

Equalisation and Environment Fund

The third amount of money created is intended for decontaminating and preserving our environment.  With 1,000 gradidos per person per month the world environmental budget is as high as the sum of the national budgets of all countries. As its name says, the Equalisation and Environment Fund has the task of eliminating economic and ecological contamination as far as possible and protecting nature and the environment  in a sustainable manner in future.

By economic contamination we primarily understand the serious differences between the hitherto poor countries and the rich industrialised countries. The Equalisation and Environment Fund helps in this respect in addition to the equalising impact inherently brought about by the Natural Economy of Life. The elimination of the differences between rich and poor as fast as possible is first and foremost a signal of peace as it shows the unconditional willingness of the rich nations to make good the damage they caused in the past. And worldwide peace also benefits the environment as well as human beings.

The long-term task of the Equalisation and Environment fund is sustainable protection of the environment and nature. Eco-friendly industrial branches, products and services are subsidised. This means organic products will be significantly cheaper than products harmful to the environment, which will not be able to maintain their position on the market. Only eco-friendly economic activity will be worthwhile. Industrial branches hitherto harmful to the environment will receive support during the changeover.

With the creation of the third amount of money we have created a worldwide environment budget to make funds available for a return to being harmony with nature. However, this can only work if we firmly integrate an important natural law into our monetary and economic model – the cycle of growth and decay.