Raison d'etre

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Transformation

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Resourcism - a new economic system for the coming age of automation

Transformation - How to achieve Resourcism

Resourcism will not be achieved through a natural process of change. It requires significant forward planning and particular infrastructure to create the necessary framework. If such a framework is put in place, as the technology for smart automation improves, a sensible transition is possible. We look at an example of how this may occur.

Transformation of a City

A large city could transform itself into a resource-based city leveraging new automation. As an example consider a city such as Bristol.  It has a large population within its extended area of over 600,000.  It has a dynamic and young population with many innovations such as Bristol Money, Bristol Energy, many charities along with many problems such as severe traffic congestion and air pollution.

Bristol would be an ideal city to challenge the formal economic processes and take a path towards resource based economics.  Let’s consider the steps and detail of such a transition, with Smart Robotic Architecture (SRA) approaching, after autonomous cars have arrived and there are many automatic processes available for assisting the transition.

A Bristol-wide ‘not for profit’ organisation is set up by the council and supported by many local businesses and charities.  This new organisation is modeled on a new model organisation that ensures it cannot be used as a power base for anyone’s personal idea of ‘democracy’.  Within in it’s oversight would be a number of core provisions:

  1. A Bristol wide database for every individual, business and resource.  This would be technically strong, with the highest level of security provision.  It would keep all the necessary details to help new smart technologies interact with each other and the whole community. (see the App of Apps).
  2. This not for profit organisation would be owned effectively by every active individual within the database.  Each individual would choose whether or not to have an ‘active’ status.
  3. It would provide improved infrastructure for all services such as vehicle charging points, power systems, and for local communications.  This would ensure that within the greater area, high quality, very fast wireless coverage was available everywhere and that all services were capable of direct communication with users and the core database systems. 
  4. It would provide significant media coverage for the ideas, technology and plans for the transition to Resourcism, along with a  detailed process for any individual or business to move out of the cities boundaries and move out of the new resource based economics.  Such detail would include the purchasing of property and businesses resources at sensible exchange rates.
  5. It would seek and secure active support form the UK government, from large international businesses, from worldwide interested parties, from local land owners outside city limits and from other local towns and cities.
  6. It would create wholly owned set of manufacturing organisations that either agreed the use of, or the outright purchased of, manufacturing facilities to enable smart manufacturing of new robotic and automatic systems.  This could include Bristol’s own autonomous vehicles designed specifically for new infrastructure across the city to for improved provision. (eg delivery systems where an autonomous vehicle delivers from central warehousing to houses and businesses with linked security boxes).
  7. It would provide applications for many administration processes such as banking, loans, purchasing, insurance, vehicle taxation, power provision, email & other communication systems, etc.  These would use the central database to provide enhanced application processes such as automatic purchasing, delivery and payment.
  8. For housing, it would deliver a city-wide housing strategy based on a re-invented building society model.  This provides local house building using local builders, fixed loans, provision of land, and takes all the rented accommodation into a new scheme that ensures fairness and continuity.
  9. For food, power, water etc, new city-wide and external resources would be purchased, (eg  farming land, reservoirs).   These would ensure a growing independence for many core resources. Food would be created using new techniques such as vertical farms.  Power would come from solar, wind  or other renewables and maybe emerging energy processes that may become available (eg safe small scale nuclear).

Phased Approach

This would all be done long before the move to Resourcism.  As the smart robots become viable, the manufacturing bases would initially ramp up to create the (almost) automatic factories that can create more smart robots.  This would not happen overnight.  Let’s say the phased run up and the initial manufacturing takes 15 years.  The resources for this part of the project would need to be paid for from external businesses and local employment  This money would come from a savings fund provided by the people who had an active database status, or people who wished to buy into the idea from anywhere in the UK.  The interest on this non-returnable savings fund would be specific conditions offered after the move to Resourcism.  This would include provision of all the basics such as food, water, transport, housing, power, healthcare, education, and other city-wide shared resources.

The transition should be a phased approach.  The first is to set up the initial nine provisions above.  The second would be to ramp up production of automated services and test these across a range of provisions such as free travel.



Example - The Free Travel App

The travel app provides a fair solution depending upon individual need.   The database is essential here as it provides the information for the app to make good, fair, efficient decisions on city-wide provision.  A linked system for free car hire for out of city limits would be part of the scheme.  When out of the city limits the driver would pay for recharging by using standard UK currency.

This new centrally controlled vehicle system would significantly reduce the traffic congestion and air pollution.   These vehicles would be made and powered by not for profit city held resources.  The external costs would come from the loan system of active individuals. The first stage of testing would allow normal vehicles within the city-wide scheme.  Subsequently, these would be required to be non-pollution vehicles (electric or fuel cell).  The first testing stage may be, say, 5 years.  The second stage would tax all other vehicles with an increasing charge within the city limits.  So that, over time more people would find it much better economically to agree an active status within the database.  So, let’s say within another 5 years, most vehicles are within the scheme. At this point all non-scheme vehicles would be banned from within the city limits.  So, within a ten year period the city could have transitioned to a free, shared travel system.

This free travel system would stand alone, it is not necessary for a full move to Resourcism to allow it to work. It would, however be a good working example of how resources can be successfully shared and also provide significant benefits for the people of Bristol completely removing both vehicle pollution and congestion.  These factors in themselves would improve the efficiency of Bristol by reducing travel time and improving health, reducing healthcare costs.


Free food, power, water and other services

These again could be introduced on a phased basis after transport has moved to say the second stage.  For active individuals, city manufactured basic food stuffs and power could be provided from (mostly) new automatic systems.  The database driven provision would ensure fairness and promote efficient usage.  This would ensure that sensible use of these resources was enabled.  The cost, over time, for this provision would become lower and lower, due to the nature of the increasing automation.  This provision would be a significantly useful test bed for the issues and technologies involved.  As automation improves, the lessons for implementation would go hand in hand.  By the time that SRA is really here, these free resource based systems would provide an excellent model for moving to a city-wide Resource based model after the ramp up post SRA.


Small Businesses

Bristol has a vibrant small business community providing services and niche products such as craft beer, specialist foods and many home based products. It is important that such businesses find a place within this transition process. Many of the owners of such business relish the challenge and satisfaction of creating something that is unique and gives them the space to be individual. This creativity should be built in to the transition to Resourcism. 

The only difference is that the end products are made available through the resource based market and resource money system. As a scarce resource, they would still represent special value and be purchased by people who care about that value. The only real difference would be that they could not so easily become a major brand offered throughout the UK or world-wide. The upside is that many other individuals would have the opportunity to create new businesses (based on the new model organisations) to provide new products and services. These new business opportunities would be enhanced because the resources for production, marketing, administration and delivery would be more or less freely available to any individual or group who wished to be creative. Such immense opportunity would provide a centre of creativity that would lead the world. 



The Final Phase

Core Jobs

Post SRA, the ramping up of automated systems and improvement in the city-wide production of power, food, transportation and other core services would create improving efficiencies.  From within the Resourcism members, some core human jobs would be filled, perhaps from a rotating part-time workforce.  These people would be offered some additional incentives such as first in the queue for say transport and other facilities.  Human jobs would be in healthcare, education and creative planning, and other key provisions. (Approx 1.5 m educational staff in the UK, from 31.4m total employment  ie approx 4.5%).  Let’s say that the city-wide Resource systems need 15% of the total employable people to deliver free services.  The city-wide Resource system still requires external provision.  This would include some foodstuffs, perhaps water, manufacturing parts, basic building materials, etc.  How would these be paid for?  The city could of course sell to external parties excess manufactured good, power, clean water, food stuffs and perhaps offer some services to local people outside the city-wide Resource system such as educational services.  The effectiveness of providing these extra goods and services would depend upon the efficiency of the city-wide processes.  As these should be very efficient, (being almost entirely automated), post SRA, during the ramp up period, (say 5 years), the number of automated systems would jump and provide for a big increase in production.  This production is then likely to far exceed the requirement of the city-wide population and would be available to be sold externally.


Efficiency Drives Change


This would mean that at some point, these efficiencies across all these core services would be such that all active members of the Resourcism scheme could be offered all these services for free.  So, the two provisions would come together.  Firstly the number of active members would have grown and there would be enough people who have the skills and wish to provide for the ongoing workforce based on some fair increased provision. (eg first in the queue for housing improvement, nearest schools, transport in busy periods).  People and businesses who decide Resourcism is not for them can take their leave being paid for their property on a fair basis.

Transformation

So, let’s say 5 years post SRA, all the above is in place.  Full Resourcism could be enacted for Bristol city.  This would mean that all people still living within the city limits would be active members, the others having left.  The final transition would be to create the new money system based on the city-wide resources.  Each person would get an equal share, plus any interest on their allotted loans within the initial Resource scheme.  This money would be full digital and linked directly the database system. Using technologies such as BlockChain it would be almost impossible to fool or swap for anything else not within the city-wide systems.  It would not be able to exchange into another currency except for a small ‘holiday’ allowance to enable people who have no external provision to exist outside the city limits and to fund some non available systems within the city limits, such as external streaming services, (films, music etc).  

It is likely that there would be no shortage of people wishing to move into Bristol offering free living in a resource based system, and thus an exchange system would provide a fair basis for anyone to buy in to the Resource system and live within the city limits.  This external money would allow people to move away on a one in, one out, basis.

The housing scheme, having run for many years, has provided everyone with quality housing, either rented, mortgaged or owned outright.  All city-wide properties are taken equally into the housing scheme without any change to the ownership.  However, the logic of having a such a shared system, managed by the housing system would mean that property could not be freely purchased or sold within the city limits.  

There would be nothing to prevent any individual from existing both within the city Resource system and externally.  This would mean that people could own money and property outside the Resource system.  Formally, no other currency could be used within the city limits, but of course this would be contravened by some people and there would be misuse. However, such misuse would be limited due to the vast majority of (free) resources available and with no possible access for specifics like travel as it is controlled entirely from the database applications, then the damage caused to the overall integrity of the resource based system must be small. 

Some resources will be limited.  The obvious ones would be local small business products and services, live entertainment, live music, sport facilities, the arts, top quality restaurants and other similar venues.  Such resources would be paid for using the digital currency.  However, as the database and digital purchasing system knows exactly what everyone is purchasing, it would be sensible to limit the use of such resources to ensure at least some fairness.  Otherwise it is likely, human nature being what it is, people may attempt to monopolise or control specific scarce resources.

For many activities such as local production, local services, sport, research, hobbies, etc, people would be able to create or transfer existing organisations into the resource system.  They would all be connected to the database and could not create resources outside of the resource systems.  For some organisations that produce useful products that may be sold externally, they would just require a simple licence to 'export'. This export licence would ensure that the product sold for external currency was input into Bristol's overall economic system. This would not limit what these organisations got up to, just make sure that they worked for the whole system and not against it. This would mean that a business that wished to become a larger UK wide or worldwide organisation and make its own profits would need to relocate outside the city limits. This creates an interesting economic and cultural experiment - how many businesses and creative people would give up the free provision and community of such a resourced based system and take their chance in an open world market?

For visitors to the city, they would pay a time limited pass in external currency.  This would provide access to all the free resources, plus free hotels, self-serve restaurants, travel and provide a limited amount of purchase in the Resourcism money for additional scarce resources (eg live theatre shows, music venues etc).

This final transition would also create a full stop for many normal services that we currently expect to use daily.  Nearly all administration becomes unnecessary.  Think; taxes, purchasing, insurance, banking, loans, interest and accounting.  Think also; travel to work each day, planning meetings, work emails, large administration areas. All of these evaporate, and in doing so freeing a huge amount of labour and time for creativity. 

Success will be seen as keeping alive the creativity, value and vibrance that Bristol now offers, while solving the basic issues needed to provide a very good quality of life for all.


email: cst@commonsensethinking.co.uk