I agree Barter does not work for someone which has made their life self sufficient.
That is where an Economy based on Food is better than any fiat/mineral (IE gold, silver) is a better way to work.
--- WARNING: WALL OF TEXT ---
My basic idea and principle theory is if you take from our current system to develop a more solid rewarding system, you may get something that works
and can't be abused.
You maintain a Wage/Salary of sorts based around this Food backed Economy.
Where the Wage is based on Calories burnt to perform that task.
So if you have manual labor like Mining, than that person has a higher wage than someone who just sits and works behind a computer. (Tho an I.T job
wouldn't be required in a self sufficient community)
I still haven't hammered out the details on how it would work or put in a practical test for the afore mentioned reason.
But basically your economy is measured off grams of food.
So let's use Wheat Germ (toasted, plain) as an example.
28.3g of Wheat Germ provides 108 Calories - About - Wheat Germ
Depending on the work, if someone needed 1000 Calories to perform their tasks for the day, then they would need 262g of Wheat Germ.
That would be the wage for day. Or that would be the cost to perform that job for someone.
So in a community where not everyone would be self sufficient, you would then have those people providing their services at a cost of what it would
take to perform that task.
Since there is no point in taking more food than you would need because it would only spoil, then there is no greed.
But this cycle is ultimately self defeating - Which is good.
Because if the person did prefer to have more food or would like more of one type, then they would either be happy to do the extra work, or they would
look to supplement it themselves.
Which would then give them more work, but take the work off someone else to provide it.
Hence eliminating the extra stress on the community.
Now you also have the argument of;
Well what if the person harvesting the Wheat for the community has all that he needs, and doesn't need the services of an individual? That individual
would then go without Wheat and could possibly starve.
The answer would be Yes AND No.
Obviously the Wheat Farmer would be growing more than enough Wheat for the whole community - Or there would be multiple Wheat Farmers, but you would
have that Wheat Farmer possibly selling the remaining bulk to someone in the community if he/she didn't want to hold onto it.
So then the starving individual in question would then get the Wheat from that person instead of the farmer.
Considering that the wage/salary/payment for the Wheat is based off Calories used in the task to earn the Wheat, is preset by the economy. The Farmer,
the member who has the bulk of Wheat and the starving individual wouldn't be any more out of pocket when they first started due to the cycle of the
Wheat Farmer Bob sells his remaining Wheat to Joe because Joe works in Irrigation and can in turn pay for the Wheat by Irrigating Farmer Bob's
Tailor Rachael would then buy what Wheat she needs from Joe because Joe needs some new work clothing at the rate it would cost her to perform the
Furthermore, you may ask about mineral costs;
Same thing applies;
Miner Gary sells his produce (minerals) to those in the community that needs them, based on the calories required to attain them.
Farmer Bob needs some of Miner Gary's Steel because he is Irrigating his Farm and needs these supplies for Joe. In turn Miner Gary gets fed for his
work and lives to help the community another day.
Farmer Bob gets his steel because Miner Gary needed to be fed and could supply his produce as payment.
Now I am sure you are asking... Isn't this just Barter?
It is, but it isn't as briefly touched on at the start of the post.
It is a centralized economy.
So you would have a coin/paper system as a representative of units in grams of food.
So this is how it would break down in the community.
Everyone in the community who has some sort of produce, bring said produce to a central location.
Instead of standing over it in ownership, the produce is DONATED to the community.
The community then pays for said produced based on what they have earned in their own jobs.
So if Miner Gary has been working 5 days a week and has burned around 20,000 Calories, then he has an account balance of 5,241 (rounding up) grams of
Wheat - Based on the initial example of 108 calories per 28.3g of Wheat Germ.
Now this is how it would work for what Miner Gary produces in terms of economy account credit.
If those 20,000 calories produce say 100KG of Steel, then would equate to;
100KG = 100,000g
20,000c / 100,000g = 0.2 calories per gram of Steel.
For Miner Gary, it would cost him 21.6g of Steel to get him 28.3g of Wheat for 108 Calories.
In order to get his 20,000 Calories, he would then have to mine 4,000g of Steel.
So this would give the community a surplus of Steel.
Now in turn, this would give Miner Gary the ability to rest for the next 25 weeks while the Steel stock dwindles down and not go hungry. Or at least
until the community needed more Steel.
This would go for any profession in the Community that produces a non edible product.
What about Tailor Rachael who would be needed by the community to constantly produce clothes even though she wouldn't need any more food?
Well... Tailor Rachel would still need to get cloth from the clothier if she didn't make it herself, if she did make it herself, then she would need
to get wool or cotton from other farmers. So she could take orders as demanded, or make a surplus and rest for several weeks while her stocks drop.
What about Farmer Bob that doesn't need to produce any more Wheat because he has an excess and doesn't need to work?
Well Farmer Bob needs more than just Wheat to live
No doubt there are some flaws in this system... But show me a system that is perfect?
Maybe I should create my own thread in Economics?
What if everyone is excess of their stock?
Then the Community Wins doesn't it?
edit on 18/7/2011 by Sovaka because: Fixing stuff
edit on 18/7/2011 by Sovaka because: Spelling, Grammar, probably still