|Subject:||Re: [socialcredit] Signs of the Times|
|Date:||Monday, May 18, 2009 17:52:11 (+1200)|
|From:||William Hugh McGunnigle <wmcgunn @.........nz>
I don't have any quibble with your arguments, but I do have a long
standing objections to :Socialism because I believe it is unworkable, and
gives the impression that everyone should have free access certain
necessities of life without contributing to society as a whole. I, like you,
have an inbuilt resistance to government "control" over every aspect of our
lives particularly its ineffective management of finance.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kenneth Palmerton" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 12:57 AM
Subject: Re: [socialcredit] Signs of the Times
> In-Reply-To: <000e01c9d68e$420a2130$4982c67c@HomePC>
> Hi William.
> I agree with you that in a civilised society a sustainable claim to our
> sufficient, if not equitable share of what we are able to produce, is one
> of the marks of that civilisation.
> The eternal constraint upon that sufficiency is the effort made by
> humanity in converting natural resources into consumable goods and
> The question needs to be asked, how can we guarantee any particular level
> in advance of knowing what it is we have available to distribute ?
> One valuable contribution to this debate for me was the idea that in fact
> a large proportion of what we had available was never monetised and made
> available. An old SC insight, shared in medieval times even by some of the
> The reason why I personally prefer the name "Dividend" is because it
> implies something an individual is entitled to, not any sort of "handout".
> Though I fail to understand why some people, and now you seem to ally
> yourself with them, who totally denigrate the place of Government in our
> attempts to make our individual needs constitute a market. Government
> "owns" nothing, it is an essential link that is, or should be, of our
> Although I think I understand the point you make about unscrupulous
> employers ability to exploit a basic income, I believe you to be wrong.
> Though it might take a little time for employees to throw off their victim
> attitudes, a basic income would in fact hand them the most powerful anti
> discrimination tool they have ever had.
> For the first time it will allow a worker to refuse any employment on
> conditions or remuneration that is not to their liking. For the first time
> ever it will allow the classical theories of a market to apply. It will
> allow the theories of supply and demand to apply without crushing the
> This depends of course upon our money system being reformed in a manner
> that reflects our ability to produce. Without debt. For we must remember
> that the product of industry is goods and services, not money. So how can
> you argue that such reforms would mean that all this would belong to
> Government ?
> To repeat, Government own NOTHING. And how you can call such a possibility
> "Socialistic" I do not know. For this argument destroys the bedrock of
> Socialism totally, the Labour theory of value.
> Such a possibility requires a political reorientation that is NOT being
> proposed here.
> One of the issues that I have had to counter over many years is the one
> about "Handouts". Since at least the 1940s in my own party there have been
> some who have agonised about the effect upon production if all had enough
> to live on through their dividend.
> Time has allowed us to hammer out the likely realities, Some WILL laze
> their time away, the effects I feel would not last, for some do that now.
> Most will turn to work that they find rewarding, with society probably
> being better off with better quality goods, and more contented workers,
> for what we propose prevents no one from topping up their dividend with
> whatever the market can provide by way of opportunities.
> The argument about who will do the dirty jobs also engaged our thoughts.
> With a reformed money system it would be possible to offer financial
> rewards sufficient to make it attractive, and until someone came forward
> to do them under conditions that were acceptable. Why should a brain
> surgeon be paid more that a road sweeper? as society needs both of them,
> and with an enhanced financial reward for keeping our roads clean we may
> even come to respect them more :-))
> Its a complicated debate William, and I don't think we have exhausted all
> the possible ramifications such reforms could bring, good and bad.
> -------- Original Message --------
> From: "William Hugh McGunnigle" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: <email@example.com>
> Date: Sun, 17 May 2009 13:24:14 +1200
> HI Ken
> Good points, but under SC everyone will have acess to a National
> dividend which should give them some income. However this will not be
> sufficient to provide all the necessities of life I am still workiong on
> problem of ensuring that everyone has a minimum sustainable income. This
> cannot be a gauranteed minimum income provided by the government, that
> cannot be accepted because it is too easy for unethical employers to
> exploit. That was proven in the early days of the industrial revolution
> there was provision for those who could not obtain an income sufficient
> subsistance living to be compensated from a " Poor fund" maintained by the
> local authorities from rates etc. All that happened was that employers
> simply reduced wages to a minimum level so that all employees were forced
> get subsidies from that fund. Local authorities just increased rates to
> provide for that fund. It was a blatent case of exploitation and
> the government stepped in and abolished the system under pressure from
> manufacturers who were being assessed at ever increasing local rates. The
> greed of the
> early industrialists undermined the whole system. No government could ever
> accept any form of gruaranteed income unless every bit of earnings from
> every industry and commercial enterprise was considered GOVERNMENT INCOME
> and the government than allocated this income to the enterprises on the
> basis of earning capacity after taking a percentage from the bulk of the
> income for its own purposes that would include allocating an income to
> citizen from those profits. I certainly could not accept this form of
> socialist behavior because of its long term effects on the will of the
> general population to work efficiently for the good of all. I don't have a
> solution to the problem you have set me yet, perhaps some of the other
> people in the forum can offer one.
> Bill McG
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kenneth Palmerton" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: <email@example.com>
> Cc: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Sunday, May 17, 2009 8:37 AM
> Subject: Re: [socialcredit] Signs of the Times
>> In-Reply-To: <002801c9d5fa$0c4c5840$8b82c67c@HomePC>
>> Hi William.
>> Certainly the "Compensated price" has not been fully explored as a means
>> of augmenting a deficient income. But it will not work where there is no
>> income at all :-(
>> As for orthodox economists, in general they go bananas when it is
>> suggested that goods can be sold at less than cost, which is what we
>> "risk" if it is suggested that we have retail prices reduced.
>> They generally have pat answers like the overriding need for "Hard
>> currency" that some east european nations had when they sold us cars at
>> less than cost for instance.
>> Radical solutions to common problems are hard for some to take in I fear
>> -------- Original Message --------
>> From: "William Hugh McGunnigle" <email@example.com>
>> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Date: Sat, 16 May 2009 19:43:40 +1200
>> HI Wallace
>> There is a perfectly valid alternative to the dividend system
>> that was touched on by Douglas namely a supplementary price subsidy to
>> prices down paid from the same source that would furnish the National
>> dividend. This of course would be outlawed by GATT, but nevertheless I
>> believe that GATT would find it difficult to oppose the move if it
>> to foodstuffs. Even GATT agreements cannot be enforced if a subsidy is
>> designed to alieviate starvation among people who cannot afford socalled
>> "market force prices " for food. I sincerly believe that Douglas intended
>> that both a dividend and subsidies should be used to enable people to
>> the necessities of life like food, shelter and clothing if necessary. do
>> have any opinion on that aspect of SC
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Wallace Klinck" <email@example.com>
>> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Sent: Friday, May 15, 2009 10:06 AM
>> Subject: Re: [socialcredit] Signs of the Times
>> I do agree that Bill McG. is entirely justified in rejecting the
>> proposals of Mr. Robley George and the Center for the Study of
>> Democratic Societies which do not accord with those of C. H. Douglas
>> and Social Credit. Terence Holmes has done a most creditable work in
>> providing an explanation of why the two policies are incompatible.
>> The only point I would like to emphasize is that Douglas did not
>> provide for a "minimal" amount of purchasing-power but rather for a
>> sufficiency to allow the consumer fully to access the flow of consumer
>> goods as they emerge from the productive system. This is a
>> mathematical issue and is not to be determined by "moral" or
>> subjective considerations. A minimum annual wage (MAW) is no
>> solution whatsoever and does not deal with the fundamental defect in
>> the price system wherein costs and prices are increasingly generated
>> in excess of purchasing-power. Mr. George gives no indication of
>> having explored this aspect of the problem and the Social Credit
>> approach to it. He seems only anxious to introduce his own approach
>> to these issues. Inasmuch as this is a Social Credit group it would
>> seem more appropriate if he were to become versed in Social Credit
>> before advocating for something quite different from it and
>> incompatible with it.
>> Wally Klinck
>> On 13-May-09, at 9:16 PM, email@example.com wrote:
>>> Dear GeorgeCSDS,
>>> Bill McG, I believe, is correct in challenging you on this, but I
>>> that you might appreciate an explanation:
>>> I think I speak for all Social Creditors when I say I wholeheartedly
>>> embrace your desire for a minimum amount of purchasing power for each
>>> individual, and indeed that this value should be derived at by a method
>>> which includes democratic approval.
>>> You have correctly inferred that the fair distribution of purchasing
>>> is the main thing which is missing in our economic systems, and is an
>>> important goal to be pursued in the desired economic reform.
>>> However, this significant part of the solution is only one element of
>>> which the current financial system is well buttressed against.
>>> The distribution of money is one thing, but the nature of money, the
>>> ownership of it, the right to exploit every transaction, the right to
>>> withhold it, and the right to control the industries of the nations
>>> through it (and hence the standard of living of all people), is another
>>> and is more fundamental.
>>> I say MORE fundamental - not to minimise its importance, but to
>>> that we are where we are due to the stacking up of a number of layers
>>> errors, and that the issues regarding the distribution of money are
>>> dependent upon a correct understanding of the nature and ownership of
>>> This, from what I can interpret from your post, has not been addressed
>>> I have a question in a similar field for your consideration:
>>> What is the use of canceling the debts of an entire 3rd World nation,
>>> the mechanism which put them into debt in the first place is not
>>> This will quite likely impose extra sanctions against the 'freed'
>>> and will not correct the underlying, fundamental issue of indebtedness.
>>> The nation will continue to plunge in a negative direction from zero.
>>> The idea that a MAW would help is, I believe, based upon the popular
>>> fallacy that "The poor are poor because the rich are rich."
>>> The governments and media of the industrialized nations have used that
>>> just recently in their attempt to distract us from the true reasons for
>>> the current financial crisis - by pointing the blame at excessively
>>> overpaid CEOs.
>>> This represents such a minute drop in the ocean that I am surprised
>>> at the gullibility of the public to swallow it, and at the brazenness
>>> the 'authorities' to suggest it!
>>> In addressing one of your comments specifically -
>>> If you really think "Automation, computerization and robotization" are
>>> problems, then please, please try to understand that these things are
>>> problems within the context of the current financial system, where the
>>> only form of the distribution of purchasing power is directly and
>>> indirectly through labour (wages, salaries and dividends), and this
>>> concept was borne of the Marxian fallacy that All wealth is derived
>>> through labour, and the principle erroneously pulled out of context
>>> the New Testament that "He who does not work, should not eat."
>>> Poverty, as you have correctly suggested, is a distribution problem -
>>> may I remind you, a problem created by technology (which in actual
>>> has extinguished scarcity - if it ever really existed).
>>> For instance, how can the improvement over 100 years from the cost of
>>> a) 100 days of labour to produce 200 days of food, to
>>> b) 20 days of labour to produce 500 days of food, be considered a
>>> The potential of greater leisure time has been reversed into the term
>>> 'unemployment' by restricting the distribution of wealth to only those
>>> are involved in the production.
>>> Your version of utopia demands from the individual that which he may
>>> wish to relinquish - it is another Draconian system which does 'good to
>>> you' whether you asked for it or not, and demands you to do good to
>>> whether you are inclined or not.
>>> This removes the initiative and responsibility away from the individual
>>> and invests it with the State.
>>> This is anti-Christian, anti-democratic, anti-freedom, and treats every
>>> person as incapable of exercising their own judgment. it does not
>>> the reality of human nature or even of nature itself.
>>> Personally, I can appreciate your sentiment that sometimes this listing
>>> tends to get bogged down in nit-picking details, but please excuse us
>>> being imperfect!
>>> C.H.Douglas understood very well the need for a minimum level of
>>> purchasing power, but showed clearly that all wages were never enough
>>> buy all production, and that there are other elements of wealth like
>>> increment of association and the cultural inheritance which we are all,
>>> members of the human race, entitled to a share.
>>> I encourage you to read further than this list in your endeavor to
>>> understand Douglas, who, in my humble opinion possessed one of the
>>> greatest minds and hearts for social justice since the Incarnation.
>>> Terence Holmes
>>>> What you propose is not democracy but a socoialist dictatorship. i.e.
>>>> Communism. This is based on the present monetary system which has
>>>> hence your system will fail too.
>>>> Bill McG
>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>> From: GeorgeCSDS@aol.com
>>>> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>>>> Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2009 7:14 AM
>>>> Subject: [socialcredit] Signs of the Times
>>>> Dear Ellen Brown, and all you Social Crediteers,
>>>> Just as Karl Marx, in his mature age, had only contempt for most
>>>> "Marxists," so C. H. Douglas must be spinning and swearing in his
>>>> at the quibbling and nit-picking of many members of this list for
>>>> after month after month, while essentially all of humanity suffers or
>>>> starves needlessly.
>>>> There are two fundamental shortcomings of economic theory and
>>>> One is the Definition of wealth/money/whatever. The other is the
>>>> Distribution of same.
>>>> It is submitted that Socioeconomic Democracy can and does
>>>> (and democratically, though that may or may not be of interest to some
>>>> particular members of this list) resolve or reduce a "wealth" of
>>>> contemporary serious societal problems caused by the flagrant
>>>> maldistribution of wealth. It would also facilitate more meaningful
>>>> useful definitions of wealth, rapidly.
>>>> Following is how this is done.
>>>> Introduction to a Democratic Socioeconomic Platform
>>>> Robley E. George
>>>> Center for the Study of Democratic Societies
>>>> 15 February 2009
>>>> The purpose of this communication is to introduce a Democratic
>>>> Socioeconomic Platform, in search of a Democratic Political Party.
>>>> The purpose of this Democratic Socioeconomic Platform is to put forth
>>>> new, fundamentally just, democratic and systemically consistent
>>>> political platform capable of, when democratically implemented,
>>>> satisfactorily resolving or significantly reducing a wide variety of
>>>> contemporary serious societal problems, as well as effectively
>>>> the General Welfare of All Citizens of a Democratic Society.
>>>> Socioeconomic Democracy, which is the essence of the proposed DSeP,
>>>> be viewed as engaging in Transformational Politics, that is, an
>>>> evolutionary politics that consciously, openly, honestly,
>>>> publicly, peacefully, democratically and successfully works to realize
>>>> Synergetic Inclusive Societal Improvement. It will be seen that
>>>> Socioeconomic Democracy contributes significantly to the Positive
>>>> Empowerment and Healthy Development of all Participants of a
>>>> Specifically, Socioeconomic Democracy (SeD) is a theoretical and
>>>> practical socioeconomic system wherein there exist both some form and
>>>> amount of locally appropriate Universally Guaranteed Personal Income
>>>> (UGI) and some form and amount of locally appropriate Maximum
>>>> Personal Wealth (MAW), with both the lower bound on personal material
>>>> poverty and the upper bound on personal material wealth set and
>>>> democratically by all participants of a democratic society.
>>>> The definitive document describing Socioeconomic Democracy is the
>>>> Socioeconomic Democracy: An Advanced Socioeconomic System (Praeger,
>>>> 2002) . The website of the Center for the Study of Democratic
>>>> Societies provides a wealth of further information regarding
>>>> Socioeconomic Democracy . The specifically defined idea of
>>>> Socioeconomic Democracy was first presented in this writer_s initial,
>>>> self-published book in 1972 . A far more fully justified and
>>>> developed exposition of the Democratic Socioeconomic Platform
>>>> here was first presented in the Pelican Web , and is now
>>>> available on the CSDS website .
>>>> The subject of Socioeconomic Democracy is discussed on a growing
>>>> of websites, Internet newsletters, e-journals, and social and
>>>> professional networks, locatable by the usual procedures. See, for
>>>> example, [6 _ 22]. A sampling of supportive or related material for
>>>> the various ideas of Socioeconomic Democracy may be found in the much
>>>> abbreviated further reading list [23-40].
>>>> In this material and elsewhere will be found anthropological,
>>>> historical, philosophical, psychological, religious and human rights
>>>> justifications for various locally appropriate forms of Socioeconomic
>>>> Numerous practical political approximations to the ideal theoretical
>>>> democratic socioeconomic system model have already been outlined or
>>>> detailed. One simple, obvious and meritorious practical political
>>>> approximation is characterized by different political parties
>>>> different amounts for the two crucial socioeconomic boundary
>>>> with the _winning_ political party or coalition then implementing
>>>> their particular understanding of the General Will of the democratic
>>>> society. Another not-unreasonable political approximation to
>>>> universally guaranteed income might be guaranteed income for all
>>>> citizens over and/or under certain age limits.
>>>> Striking similarities and two intriguing minor differences between
>>>> and Zakat, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, that embodies the essence
>>>> of Islami (Psycho-Politico-Socio-)Economics, have been indicated and
>>>> internationally discussed. Simply developing this relationship
>>>> logically could facilitate considerable progress.
>>>> Relative costs and benefits studies for the four basic forms of SeD,
>>>> well as important considerations of the effect of variations in the
>>>> particular magnitudes of the democratically set tolerable bounds on
>>>> personal material poverty and personal material wealth have likewise
>>>> been provided. System realizability, feasibility and implementation
>>>> requirements have also been identified and shown to be quite
>>>> satisfiable. Again, essentially all that is required is a thoughtful
>>>> democratic society.
>>>> Essential Aspects of Socioeconomic Democracy
>>>> We begin by examining each of SeD_s democratically set bounds, i.e.,
>>>> UGI and MAW. Following that is an important yet simple
>>>> between Qualitative Democracy and Quantitative Democracy. The latter,
>>>> justified by elementary Social or Public Choice theory, is used to
>>>> society to democratically decide the amounts of these two fundamental
>>>> economic bounds, UGI and MAW. Some of the many possible theoretical
>>>> variations of SeD are then outlined.
>>>> After this introduction to the essential elements of SeD, Economic
>>>> Incentive and Self-Interest within and induced by such a system are
>>>> considered. Following a brief review of the strong, positive and
>>>> societally beneficial economic incentive created by Socioeconomic
>>>> Democracy, we then consider the possibilities of democratically
>>>> resolving, or at least significantly reducing, simultaneously,
>>>> humanity_s many painful, interrelated and utterly unnecessary
>>>> socioeconomic problems.
>>>> UGI. With Socioeconomic Democracy, each Participant of the
>>>> Society would understand that some form and amount of a democratically
>>>> determined minimum amount of societally guaranteed personal income or
>>>> financial support would always be available. Put another way, society
>>>> would guarantee each citizen some minimum amount of purchasing power,
>>>> one way or another.
>>>> To be sure, this basic idea dates back at least to antiquity, and
>>>> in recent decades, been increasingly explored and richly developed by
>>>> numerous individuals, organizations and governments at all levels.
>>>> Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) and the United States Basic Income
>>>> Guarantee (USBIG) organizations are but two of many dedicated and
>>>> productive groups exploring, advocating and introducing the general
>>>> concepts around the world.
>>>> Depending upon available resources and the degree and direction of
>>>> technological development, this democratically set, societally
>>>> guaranteed minimum income for all could be sufficient to satisfy the
>>>> typical individual's minimum subsistence and/or personal healthy
>>>> needs. Alternatively, other societies might democratically decide to
>>>> set the guaranteed amount at a partial subsistence level, for a
>>>> of legitimate reasons usually generated by particular circumstances.
>>>> There are, of course, as many different names and forms of UGI
>>>> at least from Basic Income (BI) to Negative Income Tax (NIT) and
>>>> including Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI)) as there are reasons to
>>>> establish some form of UGI, or, for that matter, as there are ways
>>>> proposed to fund different forms of UGI. Indeed, a democratically set
>>>> UGI could logically be called and considered Guaranteed Sustainable
>>>> Development for All. An increasingly popular public policy
>>>> referred to as _Socioeconomic Affirmative Action_ is clearly
>>>> MAW. Further, with Socioeconomic Democracy, all participants of the
>>>> democratic socioeconomic system would understand that all personal
>>>> material wealth above the democratically determined and established
>>>> maximum allowable amount would, by due process, be transferred out of
>>>> their ownership and control in a manner specified by the
>>>> designed and implemented laws of the land, and transferred in
>>>> with other laws of the land to fund, say, various forms of Sustainable
>>>> Development for All.
>>>> Do note that all the wealth above the democratically determined
>>>> allowable amount, now to be devoted (after SeD is established) to the
>>>> sustainable development of all, could be either transferred in some
>>>> sense directly to a democratically elected government to be deployed
>>>> democratically determined, or be dispersed and deployed as the present
>>>> wealth owners desire and think best, satisfying, of course, a few
>>>> reasonable laws, rules and regulations on the matter.
>>>> This latter procedure has many merits, of which one would be that the
>>>> present wealth holders might in general be expected to more fully
>>>> appreciate their _earned_ opportunity to direct their democratically
>>>> determined excess wealth toward focusing on specific societal problems
>>>> that particularly interest and concern them personally.
>>>> Yet again, this _privilege_ to personally deploy one_s
>>>> _excess_ wealth for the betterment of society, as personally
>>>> preferred, could be extended to all those who had personal wealth in
>>>> excess of the initially established, democratically decided MAW limit
>>>> _Grandfather_ clause, as it were), while all excess personal wealth
>>>> periodically trimmed off after the system is well established could be
>>>> directed toward a democratic government_s General Welfare Fund.
>>>> Perhaps needless to say, the primary benefit of Socioeconomic
>>>> to enhance societal well being and the General Welfare is the result
>>>> the economic incentive the democratically set MAW limit creates, and
>>>> the amount of wealth periodically trimmed off and donated toward the
>>>> worthy cause of insuring sustainable development for all. (But
>>>> everything helps.) This Economic Incentive is discussed below.
>>>> Democracy. There is a simple procedure by which each individual
>>>> participant in a democratic society (or each member of a democratic
>>>> legislative body or committee) can directly vote her or his particular
>>>> preference for an amount, magnitude, or quantity of something in
>>>> question, with the democratically determined, societally or
>>>> legislatively desired amount unequivocally resulting. As if to
>>>> emphasize the significance of the discovery, Duncan Black and
>>>> Nobelist Kenneth Arrow independently and more or less simultaneously
>>>> established the important yet simple mathematical result and procedure
>>>> more than a half century ago.
>>>> Their now-classic Social Choice contributions have provided the
>>>> which shows that the Median Value of the participants' (citizens' or
>>>> legislators_) Personal Preference Distribution is the amount the
>>>> democratic society or body, as a whole, is "for" -- assuming the
>>>> operational _one participant, one vote; majority rule_
>>>> decision-making process. Roughly speaking, this means that the
>>>> democratically determined amount is such that half the voters want
>>>> much or more while the other half want that much or less.
>>>> Note that the objective is not, definitely not, and should never be
>>>> _equality, in and of everything_ (whatever that might mean, and
>>>> neglecting its impossibility of realization), but rather acceptably
>>>> bounded inequality of essentials, with the particular democratic
>>>> democratically determining the degree of inequality it will tolerate
>>>> does desire.
>>>> In passing, we note that Rush Limbaugh, the popular self-designated
>>>> _Doctor of Democracy,_ will undoubtedly meet this concept of an
>>>> advanced functioning democracy with high approval. This should be
>>>> especially the case considering Rush_s long-expressed concern
>>>> regarding his apprehension about public discussion of excessive and
>>>> innovative CEO _Compensation Packages_ and the many embarrassing
>>>> problems such pumped-up public attention exposes.
>>>> Variations of SeD. Note that any participant in the democratic
>>>> political process, who might be opposed to any amount of UGI, for any
>>>> reason at all, could vote to place the lower bound on universal,
>>>> societally guaranteed financial assistance at zero. If a majority of
>>>> voters so voted, it would be the democratic desire of that particular
>>>> society, at that particular time, to have no UGI.
>>>> Likewise, anyone who might be opposed to some finite limit on
>>>> personal material wealth, for any reason(s) whatsoever, could and
>>>> vote, at election time, to place the upper bound of MAW at infinity.
>>>> If, for any of a variety of reasons, a majority of the voting public
>>>> were to prefer and vote to place MAW at infinity, then it would be the
>>>> democratic desire of that society, at that time, to have no upper
>>>> on personal material wealth.
>>>> Socioeconomic Democracy is thus seen to embrace, present and
>>>> all four of the generic variations of democratic socioeconomic
>>>> That is, there can be democratic societies wherein there is a nonzero
>>>> UGI and a finite MAW (the standard and most effective form of SeD);
>>>> UGI and finite MAW (a system with many merits!); nonzero UGI and
>>>> infinite MAW (legendary problems: how and how much to finance the UGI,
>>>> and who says so?); and finally, zero UGI and infinite MAW (similar to
>>>> the current situation, but at least then democratically approved, with
>>>> such skewed and problem-producing wealth maldistribution apparently
>>>> acceptable). Beyond these four theoretical and fundamental variations
>>>> of Socioeconomic Democracy are, of course, the wide ranges of
>>>> magnitudes of the UGI and MAW levels, both to be democratically
>>>> Perhaps needless to observe, the same voting procedure (Quantitative
>>>> Democracy) can be used to democratically resolve a wide variety of
>>>> serious societal questions concerning magnitudes of important societal
>>>> parameters, arising in many different realms and levels of society.
>>>> These might include, for example, a societally set upper bound on
>>>> allowable personal income and/or an upper bound on the allowable ratio
>>>> of maximum-to-minimum income, or wealth, whether in a company,
>>>> corporation, or country. Thus, many societies, all fundamentally
>>>> democratic, could nevertheless display their individual democratic
>>>> Economic Incentives Created by Socioeconomic Democracy
>>>> Consider first the economic incentive created by a democratically set
>>>> Maximum Allowable Personal Wealth limit. We have observed earlier
>>>> with SeD, all wealth above the democratically set upper bound on
>>>> personal material wealth could either be given to the government as
>>>> taxes (to either enhance the General Welfare Fund or be mandated for
>>>> specific projects and purposes) or be disposed of as the present
>>>> _owners_ so choose (again, satisfying reasonable, democratically
>>>> established societal restrictions, suggestions and opportunities).
>>>> In either case, all rational, self-interested and insatiable (as the
>>>> current dominant-though-fading neoclassical economic assumptions/
>>>> goes), extremely wealthy, and certainly law-abiding, participants in
>>>> democratic society with its democratic socioeconomic system, who still
>>>> desire increased personal material wealth, would be economically
>>>> motivated, that is, have economic incentive, to actively and seriously
>>>> work to increase the welfare and well-being of the less well-off
>>>> of society. Only in this manner can these (still-wealthiest)
>>>> participants persuade a majority of the citizens/participants of the
>>>> democratic society to see the wisdom in and democratically vote to
>>>> somewhat the legal upper limit on allowable personal material wealth
>>>> everything considered.
>>>> There is, in fact, strong economic incentive for those who are at or
>>>> near the democratically set upper bound on allowable personal material
>>>> wealth to be successful in improving the General Welfare. For if the
>>>> current level of MAW is not producing sufficient improvement in the
>>>> General Welfare, as democratically determined, there is the
>>>> and probability that the democratic society will democratically decide
>>>> to reduce the MAW limit even more, in order to enlist even more
>>>> still-wealthy participants (with their unique and valuable know-how,
>>>> contacts and _can-do_-ness), and their extra wealth, in the proper
>>>> and noble task of seriously improving the welfare and well being of
>>>> society, humanity and posterity.
>>>> The ultimate effect of such economic incentive, as experienced by
>>>> at or near the democratically set upper bound on MAW, will be to
>>>> transform their very real, primitive and originally quite justified
>>>> (individual survivability) concept of _self-interest_ to instead,
>>>> and in effect, interpret and include larger and larger segments of
>>>> society and humanity as _self,_ insofar as calculations of
>>>> _self-interest_ are concerned.
>>>> This is because such a perspective will be appealing to that
>>>> still-functioning, primitive, individual-ego-informed self-interest.
>>>> Put another way, global and higher consciousness will be increasingly
>>>> appreciated, encouraged and demonstrated with the emerging realization
>>>> of the very real benefit to personal self-interest that results from
>>>> considerations of inclusive _self-interest._
>>>> Note also that a not-insignificant amount of this effect would be
>>>> manifest, even if some particular democratic society democratically
>>>> decided and voted to initially establish the upper limit on allowable
>>>> personal material wealth (MAW) at, say, twice the amount of wealth
>>>> presently possessed by the currently Richest of the Rich.
>>>> of this observation is an amusing exercise.
>>>> Another informative and amusing exercise is to consider the effects
>>>> ramifications of many different levels of MAW, democratically set in,
>>>> say, contemporary United States of America -- though the general idea
>>>> is, of course, applicable everywhere. For example, consider what
>>>> different situations would obtain in the USA (as well as globally, for
>>>> that matter) if the personal MAW limit in the USA in 2012 were
>>>> democratically set at, say, $1tn, $700bn (an acknowledgement of Hank_s
>>>> contribution to public discussion), $100bn, $50bn (an acknowledgement
>>>> Bernie_s contribution to public discussion), $10bn, $1bn, $500m, and
>>>> even $100m (also known as a _Texas Unit_).
>>>> A further question might be: Just what does the Gentle Reader
>>>> the MAW limit should be in the USA? Still another, as instructive,
>>>> question is: Just what does the thoughtful reader think/feel the MAW
>>>> limit ultimately would be, if democratically established in the USA in
>>>> The economic incentives created by various forms of UGI have long
>>>> theoretically examined, practically tested and adequately documented.
>>>> The results are easily available, though anyone not familiar with the
>>>> subject could conveniently begin with BIEN and USBIG. And, of course,
>>>> there_s the good ol_ Alaska Permanent Fund!
>>>> Certainly, except for Tom Paine and, actually, Thales, no proposal
>>>> some form of UGI has ever yet been seriously linked directly to either
>>>> democracy or some form of upper bound on allowable personal material
>>>> wealth. Hence, in spite of its promise and potential, the present
>>>> of this biologically and psychologically very sick planet.
>>>> Insights parallel to those regarding the democratically set MAW
>>>> above, can be obtained by considering implications and ramifications
>>>> various possible specific, democratically set UGI amounts and
>>>> approximations, in the USA and elsewhere, again in 2012. If one were
>>>> _totally_ against any universally guaranteed income for all, one
>>>> could/would/should vote to place the UGI at $0/yr. For different
>>>> reasons, different arguments could easily be produced to justify
>>>> consideration of, say, numerical values of personal UGI ranging from
>>>> $0/yr, $1/yr, $1/mo, $1/d (amount one-sixth of humanity tries to live
>>>> on), $100/mo, $200/mo (roughly comparable to the Alaska Permanent Fund
>>>> dividend), $10k/yr, $100k/yr, $1m/yr, and, say, $657m/yr (which was
>>>> average _compensation_ of the _top_ 20 private equity and hedge
>>>> fund managers in 2006, according to the continuingly informative and
>>>> delightfully read Rosa Brooks).
>>>> The incentives, economic and otherwise, created by establishing these
>>>> two crucial economic bounds, i.e., UGI and MAW, democratically, will,
>>>> among many other desirable developments, significantly encourage and
>>>> enhance the informed political participation of all citizens in their
>>>> finally meaningfully democratic society -- here assumed a positive and
>>>> progressive political development. This, again, is basically because
>>>> very real and undeniable self-interest in all of us. After all, the
>>>> only way to democratically establish the UGI and MAW limits is to
>>>> participate in the political process that would change the de facto
>>>> settings from zero and infinity, respectively, to magnitudes more
>>>> suitable to a sustainable democratic society.
>>>> Democratic Resolution of Socioeconomic Problems
>>>> As is sketched above and described at length in the referenced
>>>> Socioeconomic Democracy would thus create economic incentive and
>>>> necessary funds to encourage and effect significant reduction in an
>>>> almost surprisingly diverse array of unnecessary yet painful,
>>>> and lethal individual, societal and global problems.
>>>> These problems include (but are by no means limited to) those
>>>> ones involving: automation, computerization and robotization; budget
>>>> deficits and national debts; bureaucracy; maltreatment of children;
>>>> crime and punishment; development, sustainable or otherwise; ecology,
>>>> environment, resources and pollution; education; the elderly; the
>>>> feminine majority; inflation; international conflict; intranational
>>>> conflict; involuntary employment; involuntary unemployment; labor
>>>> and strikes; sick medical and health care; military metamorphosis;
>>>> natural disasters; pay justice; planned obsolescence; political
>>>> participation; poverty; racism; sexism; untamed technology; and the
>>>> General Welfare.
>>>> It should be kept in mind that these highly desirable outcomes of
>>>> reduced societal problems are not simply _Goals for a Better World._
>>>> Rather, they are the direct and predictable ramifications of adopting
>>>> various forms of locally appropriate Socioeconomic Democracy.
>>>> As indicated earlier, the individual, extremely wealthy people (all
>>>> those democratic participants in the democratic society who are at or
>>>> near the democratically set personal MAW limit), with their different
>>>> skills and knowledge sets, if serious about their self-interest
>>>> maximization, can all be expected to utilize and apply their
>>>> gifts/talents toward reducing or resolving the problems of others.
>>>> wanting to do so efficiently and effectively, these individual, still
>>>> extremely wealthy participants of their particular democratic
>>>> can further be expected to devote their gifts/talents to reducing
>>>> classes of problems that particularly interest them -- for any of a
>>>> variety of reasons.
>>>> This is one of a number of reasons why so many different societal
>>>> problems will all be seriously addressed and significantly reduced,
>>>> because they will all be addressed simultaneously, synergistically and
>>>> therefore successfully. Whatever societal problems are not addressed
>>>> adequately by the publicly motivated _private sector,_ as
>>>> democratically determined, can and should be successfully addressed by
>>>> the democratic government, which will now have available sufficient
>>>> funds and motivation to do so, appreciatively provided by the
>>>> democratically set MAW limit.
>>>> This might appear, at first glance, revolutionary. But remember;
>>>> in this way can these still wealthiest members of society persuade a
>>>> majority of society to democratically raise the upper limit on
>>>> MAW, which the law-abiding wealthiest of society presumably still
>>>> desire. Far more common, it is predicted, will be the increasing
>>>> of those who now see the undeniable and inviting light of a glorious
>>>> day beckoning from, dare it be said, the end of humanity_s
>>>> terrifyingly dark Tunnel of Conscious Transformation.
>>>> References and Links
>>>>  Socioeconomic Democracy: An Advanced Socioeconomic
>>>> Westport: Praeger, 2002. (Praeger Studies on the 21st Century.)
>>>>  Center for the Study of Democratic Societies:
>>>>  Common Sense II: On the Further Design of Government in
>>>> General. Jericho (NY): Exposition University Press, 1972.
>>>>  An earlier draft of this DSeP was first published on the
>>>> PelicanWeb (July & August, 2008), in its two parts.
>>>> DSeP, Part I
>>>> DSeP, Part II
>>>>  _A Democratic Socioeconomic Platform, in search of a
>>>> Democratic Political Party_ (the complete, single pdf version)
>>>>  _Socioeconomic Democracy and Sustainable Development_
>>>> Solidarity, Sustainability, and Non-Violence, v.3, n.12 (Dec. 2007).
>>>>  _Socioeconomic Democracy and Sustainable Development_
>>>> DEVELOPMENT 4 ALL.
>>>>  _Socioeconomic Democracy & Energy_
>>>> Synthesis/Regeneration. No. 43 (Spring 2007).
>>>>  _Share the Wealth _ with Socioeconomic Democracy_
>>>> Physics _ Economy _ New Energy. (Mar. 2007).
>>>>  _Socioeconomic Democracy_
>>>> New Paradigm. v.1, n.2 (Sep. 2006).
>>>>  _Socioeconomic Democracy: A Democratic Basic Income
>>>> Guarantee._ Paper presented at the USBIG (US Basic Income Guarantee)
>>>> Congress. New York, March 2005.
>>>>  _Utopia or Oblivion_
>>>> Future Positive. (Mar. 2004).
>>>>  _SOCIOECONOMIC DEMOCRACY: A Realizable Democratic
>>>> Socioeconomic Utopia._ Utopian World Championship 2004.
>>>>  _Socioeconomic Democracy._ ahp Perspective, Association
>>>> for Humanistic Psychology, Dec. 2003/Jan. 2004 (17-19).
>>>>  _Futures of Socioeconomic Democracy._ Journal of Futures
>>>> Studies, v.5, n.4. Tamsui (Taiwan), Center for Futures Studies, May
>>>> 2001 (31-48).
>>>>  _Socioeconomic Democracy and the State of Welfare._
>>>> Democracy & Nature: The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy,
>>>> v.5, n.3. London, Carfax Publishing, Nov. 1999 (469-484).
>>>>  _Socioeconomic Democracy: A Synergetic Amalgam of New and
>>>> Ancient Ideas in Political Economy._ Paper presented at the 5th
>>>> International Congress of the International Society for
>>>> Intercommunication of New Ideas (ISINI), Mexico City, August 1999. In
>>>> Ortiz, Edgar and Alejandra Cabello (eds.), Economic Issues and
>>>> Globalization: Theory and Evidence I: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de
>>>> Mexico, 1999. Article essentially reproduced at CSDS website:
>>>>  _Socioeconomic Democracy and Islami Economics._ Some
>>>> Significant 21st Century Trends and Issues: Poverty, Population, Peace
>>>> and Sustainability, Dr. Ikram Azam, ed. Islamabad: Pakistan
>>>> Institute (PFI), 1998.
>>>>  "Socioeconomic Democracy." In Pak Futurist 6. PFI, Sep/Oct
>>>>  "The Developing World and Socioeconomic Democracy." Paper
>>>> presented at First International Pakistan Futuristics Institute
>>>> (PFI)/World Future Studies Federation (WFSF) Conference entitled The
>>>> Future of Democracy in the Developing World, Islamabad, October 1992.
>>>> Later in PFI/WFSF First International Conference Special Souvenir.
>>>> Islamabad, October 1992.
>>>>  _An Introduction to Socioeconomic Democracy._ Journal of
>>>> World Education, v.16, n.3. Association of World Education, July 1985
>>>>  For a more complete historical development and presentation
>>>> the ideas of Socioeconomic Democracy, starting in the early 1970s,
>>>> please see CSDS/Bibliography:
>>>>  Paine, Thomas. Everything you can get your hands and eyes
>>>> He remains at once current, prophetic and empowering.
>>>>  Kuhn, Thomas, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd
>>>> Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1970.
>>>>  Black, Duncan, The Theory of Committees and Elections.
>>>> Cambridge Univ. Press, 1958.
>>>>  Arrow, Kenneth, Social Choice and Individual Values, 2nd
>>>> New York: Wiley, 1963.
>>>>  Ulatowska, Lisinka, FEARless: Ordinary people doing
>>>> extraordinary things in a world gripped by fear. Bloomington:
>>>> AuthorHouse, 2005.
>>>>  _Health and Illness in Relation to Dignity and Humiliation
>>>> Times of Global Interdependence_ by Lindner, Evelin G.
>>>> Solidarity, Sustainability, and Non-Violence, v.4, n.6 (June,
>>>>  _About Altruism_ by Lichtenberg, Judith. Philosophy &
>>>> Public Policy Quarterly, v.28, ns.1/2. Univ. of Maryland: Institute
>>>> Philosophy and Public Policy, Winter/Spring 2008 (2-6).
>>>>  _Can Democracy Save the Planet?_ by Elkington, John &
>>>> Lotherington, John.
>>>> Open Democracy: free thinking for the world. (21 April 2008).
>>>>  _Wall Street_s crybabies_ by Rosa Brooks
>>>>  DoWire/Democracies Online
>>>>  Democratic Governance Practice Network (MDG-Net)
>>>>  _Too Much: A Commentary on Excess and Inequality_
>>>>  Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)
>>>>  U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG)
>>>>  Livable Income For Everyone
>>>>  Alaska Permanent Fund
>>>>  Income Security Institute, Washington, DC
>>>>  Maslow, Abrahm H. and Honigmann, John. _Synergy: Some Notes
>>>> of Ruth Benedict._ American Anthropologist 72, 1970.
>>>> Remember Mom this Mother's Day! Find a florist near you now.
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