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By: Marcus Perriello | Our Voice Contributor
The central object of nearly every debate in the United States today is money. Everyone sees money as a personal possession, but there are fundamental differences between various groups of people with regards to what money actually is and how it should be utilized.
Every empire in history has had a national treasury with a combination of internally and externally acquired materials that were deemed valuable by those in power. This paradigm, with regards to money and valuables, has only worsened as people have expanded beyond their respective borders. People have always interpreted value through covetousness; material that the observer desires and is sometimes willing to disregard the value of life in order to obtain it. Some hold the notion that this is part of nature’s way of balancing itself out by keeping the human population from engulfing the entire planet and eventually killing itself off sooner rather than later. Oddly enough, there is merit to this argument, but only as far as natural human impulse is concerned. What sets humans apart from all other species is the ability to rationalize and to reason as opposed to succumbing to pure instinct and simply trying to kill each other over every dispute.
National treasuries have always been kept under strict observation. This is to make sure it remained immovable and fixed in quantity, in order to maintain intrinsic value when those in power weren’t working to expand that treasury through external imports. This has proven to be both an ineffective and irrational practice, considering that this financial infrastructure is not harmonic with the natural world. Trying to force organic mechanisms to behave inanimately and conform to a rigidly-structured system makes about as much sense as asking water not to be wet.
Examining events and societies throughout the world, past and present, we can clearly see the distinction between natural and artificial behavior from all forms of natural elements, including living beings. The United States and the European Union are the most modern examples of this dichotomy in action, as people are having to settle for less and less as a means of surviving while prices on goods and services continue to shoot skyward. Every boom-and-bust cycle has come as a result of immense income and wealth inequality coupled with ever-increasing costs, and has returned full-circle usually in the form of dramatic political action or full-scale revolution.
The flaw in both these approaches is the same: Systemic Infrastructure. As long as the incentives to keep resorting back to what caused the calamity in the first place remain, revolution will continue to live up to its name and history will keep repeating itself, over and over and over again.
Monetary systems that require the supply of currency to remain fixed in quantity inevitably lead to conflicts over resources. While the money is motivating the buyers’ actions, the issue of environmental rejuvenation is either being opaquely addressed, or ignored completely. Because the resources we depend on for sustenance and survival are organic just as we are, it stands to reason that the money we use for trade and economic growth should reflect that reality. We should not be trying to force it to conform to an artificial state.
Money that acts organically is more reflective of the natural world and can serve as a gauge to determine where we are in our progress, and where we need to go from there. This is what the Hydrodollar system was designed to do. Some people have criticized this system as being impractical and dangerous. They suggest it would lead to: water shortages, wars for water, water being used as a proverbial gun to the head of the public by power-hungry warlords, famine, disease, and eventual extinction. Under conventional wisdom and practice, this would be true.
But it’s the infrastructure of the Hydrodollar that sets it apart and negates all incentives for the aforementioned scenarios to take place. It’s also important to note that these situations have already occurred throughout history and continue today because of the infrastructure of the current systems being used. The Hydrodollar system includes infrastructure in a way that has never been done before! I believe it would provide incentives to push humanity in a whole new direction. One that points towards a future that is more vibrant, more stable, more sustainable. A future that promotes innovation and economic growth in areas that would otherwise be considered benign using conventional systems.
In today’s economic systems, only a handful of professions and classes of people are able to live comfortably. Most people simply accept this situation for what it is and try their best to get as far as they can within the confines of their respective system – usually to no avail. Individuals of like minds that have assembled into various groups (usually, political parties) have done so in order to promote, implement and enforce ideals and practices at which they are adept. At the same time, they impose their ideology on those within their society who are not so familiar with their doctrine.
This has been the ultimate political paradox throughout human history. We see it in almost every single example of human interaction. Again, it all comes down to the systemic infrastructure of the monetary system in question.
One of the most common retorts from Conservatives towards Left-leaning political ideologues is the issue of using other people’s money. In the United States, taxes have been used to cause harm to outside parties overwhelmingly more so than they have ever been used to help people in vulnerable positions. Taking into account the United States’ history of war, tax dollars being used to help others does seem rather unorthodox, which is why some in the U.S. see such a reversal in both philosophy and practice as unimaginable, unpatriotic, immoral, and/or totally unacceptable. But there is a question at the heart of this debate:
Is the money being debated over truly a personal possession?
Once transferred into a separate bank account or a simple changing of hands in the form of a business transaction, the one thing enabling the buyer to reverse that transaction and be fully reimbursed is the business policy imposed by the seller. Some businesses have a “No Refunds” policy which tells the buyer that once that money changes hands, it’s no longer property of the buyer and there is no legal recourse to regain it if the buyer is unsatisfied. On the other hand, most businesses do offer refunds to unsatisfied customers. This means that at any time during the company’s stated grace period, the buyer can regain the money traded for what was purchased, so long as the purchase was returned in the condition in which it was originally bought.
The more beguiling factor in play is that of the Federal Reserve. Through the orders from The Fed, the U.S. Mint is required to print a prescribed amount of money each time such an order is placed, meaning the money is created out of thin air. Right out of the gate, this proves that money is a product of human imagination and is not divinely bound to any man-made limitations. Since this is true, why is the government so stingy and hesitant when it comes to printing money? It is because the monetary system the U.S. operates with (along with the majority of the world’s economies) is not backed by any Commodity… just debt. In this case, debt is the gun that is held to the head of the government, who in turn holds a similar gun to the heads of the public in order to more readily be able to repay the bankers who authorized the printing of the money.
Since this is the case, how is the government able to print its own money if it has to repay that money to private interests? It’s because it’s not the government’s money, nor is it the public’s money. It is the product of private bankers who hold stakes in the central banking systems around the world. Each time money is authorized to be printed, interest is attached to it by the bank which requires the borrower to repay more over time than the original principle amount borrowed. This is the only way banks make money. But that money they make is, again, printed out of thin air. And due to the nature of the central banking system, it’s ultimately nothing more than a game of numbers, proving that at any time, a government could reject this system and start over with a different system of their choosing.
Embedded within the Hydrodollar system are two infrastructure changes that allow any society that adopts it to operate without the possibility of being shackled to a system of perpetual debt:
- The substance supporting the system’s infrastructure, water, is fluid and always changing as opposed to being a fixed, inanimate substance like gold, which opens the boundaries of the monetary system to allow it to operate in tandem with the natural world.
- The water used to support the system’s infrastructure includes the entire planet’s water table, and due to the man-made borders separating the various cultural territories, coupled with the phenomenon of global trade, this exposes a loophole in the current systems that allow the Hydrodollar system to operate without the possibility of being controlled by any particular entity.
The support tool for the Hydrodollar system is not able to be owned and therefore, by default, forces the system’s participating societies to reorganize their economic infrastructure to reflect the organic nature of the Hydrodollar system.
The first factor to point out is this system’s elimination of Rate of Exchange. Because the entire planet’s water table is used to support the systemic infrastructure, intrinsic value for the currency is universal, making global trading simple and easy to manage.
Next, it highlights in its design the need to ensure our natural environment is as healthy and plentiful as it can be in order to strengthen the foundation of the system. Strengthening the foundation of the system is not something that can be done with the current monetary systems in effect because they are all either based on perpetual debt, or commodities that are fixed and inanimate. This goes against the grain of the natural world and the human condition.
One critical factor this system allows for is the creation of more usable water. The more usable water we have, the greater the value of the currency. Historically, support tools for monetary systems have not been materials that could be increased in quantity due to their inanimate nature. This is where the Hydrodollar system has the heads-up that’s been missing in every monetary system mankind has ever enacted. Because of the incentives built into this system, it serves all concerned to gear professional efforts towards the creation of more usable water, as opposed to extracting petroleum and destroying the environment.
Most people know that a transition from fossil fuel to a Green and Renewable Energy grid is essential to our survival because it allows our environment to be nursed back to health, in turn promoting and ensuring better health for all life. The problem here with the current system is that the incentives built into it are more profitable in the opposite direction, where survival and prosperity is strictly limited to those who are engaged in destroying the means of our survival, inevitably pitting man against both Nature, and himself. Within the Hydrodollar system is the exact opposite of this; where Man and Nature are collaborators in ensuring the health and prosperity of each other.
As for the issue of “using other people’s money” as argued endlessly by Conservative and Libertarian factions, due to this system’s design there is much more flexibility in the ability of society to organize their financial infrastructure, rather than being strictly limited – where taxpayers’ money is endlessly manipulated to benefit the 1% at the top. Another key incentive is the benefits that come with redirecting the tax dollars that need to be garnered towards more constructive purposes as opposed to those of death and destruction. One method of reorganizing an economy with this system is to separate gratuitous spending from the Basic Commons (Food, Shelter, Clothing, Healthcare, Education). The Basic Commons would be immovable and could not be raided for any reason whatsoever. They are the most fundamental basic needs of all people. Any gratuitous spending can be agreed upon, more extensively, by the public through referendums. Congress would then be able to go through the process of either defeating or passing the measures on their way to either being vetoed or signed into law.
America, as a culture, is built on Self-Interest as the primary means of moving society forward. But as any historian or economist will testify, this ideology always leaves the majority of citizens behind; resulting in growing inequality and instability. The Hydrodollar system allows for every citizen in a given culture to pursue their individual dreams and ambitions unhindered by the decries of the top 1% because of its flexibility and fluid nature.
Since this system allows for the separation of Worker-Capitalist inter-dependency, it simultaneously presents a new challenge in economic reorganization: Jobs. Working Class people value their labor skills and enjoy the opportunity to put them to use. Capitalists want to invest as little as possible while maximizing profits for themselves. As we all know, this is precisely the ideology and practice that has led to endless revolutions throughout history. The Hydrodollar system enables the working class to operate more independently if they so choose, relieving the capitalists of the burden of having to pay workers a living wage, allowing them to be more competitive with their fellow entrepreneurs and corporate executives. However, the issue of corporate control over society, especially through government, has long been a hindrance to the progress of that society. Corporate social control is being called out across the globe as working classes in all nations, affected by the spread of global corporatism, are recognizing the dangers that such a system poses to the entire world.
While the Hydrodollar system would allow this to continue due to its natural behavior and fluid design at no expense to the 99%, it is for both moral and political reasons that the spread of corporatism is being challenged and would be best for everyone if it were completely dismantled and abolished forever. As for the issue of jobs, because automation is the elephant in the room in this case, institution of the Hydrodollar system would serve as a benefit to both parties. We are moving in the direction of automation and the Hydrodollar would create an environment in which the working class can still pursue their individual goals and live a dignified life.
The topic of Universal Basic Income has gotten some traction in recent months but is still a sharply dividing subject. Some people believe that a basic income would help lift those left behind out of poverty, while reducing the incentives for more ambitious capitalists to exploit the working class and the poor. Others believe such an undertaking is immoral, perverse, economically hindering, and a gross use of other people’s money. This is where the compartmentalization provided through the Hydrodollar system comes into play.
As part of economic reorganization, institution of a Universal Basic Income can be modified to go towards those who want to take part in it, while at the same time leaving those who oppose it to their own devices as they choose. In this way, issuing of a basic income is totally separate and is not a use of other people’s money. With this in mind, it can be debated as to whether or not Universal Basic Income can be added to the list of Basic Commons.
Through the mechanisms of Social Democracy is the ability of the public to keep the government accountable, even though this system provides a means of severing financial inter-dependency. Coupled with this is the act of decentralization of the banking system, which would prove most effective with a system like this both through the institution of the Basic Commons, as well as active public engagement. This is already practiced at the municipal and local levels. In matters of State and Federal endeavors, the public’s concern is of little-to-no consequence due to the influence of money in politics and the political infrastructure being a Republic. It is at this level that self-interest becomes more evident. Exposed is the level of accountability from the government in decline because of the influence from the wealthy donor class. It is possible to enact a constitutional amendment barring elected officials from being allowed to determine their own pay. Through Social Democracy, elected officials can ask the public for a raise through ballot initiatives, and the final decision is then acted on accordingly.
This is the best way to hold a government accountable to the public.
As long as those in power can determine their own salaries, the will of the people means nothing to them. The Hydrodollar system does allow for separation of worker-capitalist inter-dependency, but only so far as the will of society permits. This system, combined with a strong foundation in Social Democracy, puts the fate of the economy, as well as the fate of the government, solely in the hands of the public and forces elected government officials to listen to the will of the people.
Economic reorganization is never an easy thing to accomplish. It is a massive undertaking with many bumps and detours along the way. But as the Hydrodollar system’s incentive packages show, it’s all worth it in the end.