Back in 2014, The Natural Resilience Foundation started advocating for a Green New Deal. As the Green New Deal movement grows worldwide, it is becoming evident that a key towards universal jobs (conservatives) or universal basic income (liberals) does not involve subsidizing obsolete industries like fossil fuels, internal combustion engine automobile production, most forms of the plastic industry (especially single use plastics) and large scale agribusiness. These industries are not sustainable in the long run, and run counter to the needs of Nature. We must foster green jobs and work with and not against Nature. What we need to start with is a Human needs budget for all Human inhabitants on our planet.
Although I have personally been advocating for universal basic income (UBI) worldwide, I realize that universal jobs income (UJI) is a more practical solution given the political, social and economic climate we currently live in. In an ideal world, we could eliminate “profit” from the business equation and provide all people with a decent standard of living, eradicating poverty on a worldwide basis, along with the wars associated with that same poverty.
The other ideal situation I would advocate for is the elimination of equity ownership in companies and just finance any capital that is required for Human Needs through debt instruments. Once again, this is too radical in our current bureaucratic and mistrusting society that unfortunately seems to lean towards suspicion, fear and greed in our dealings with other people rather than cooperation, trust and love in our personal relationships. Equity ownership creates much of the wealth enjoyed by the 1% of our population. Perhaps suspicion, fear and greed are part of our human nature, but I sincerely hope that is not true.
What components might be included in determining the UBI or UJI for people in a particular geographic area?
- Clean Air
- Clean Water
- High quality Food
- High quality Clothing
- High quality Shelter
- Clean and renewable Energy
- Reliable Internet powered by clean and renewable energy
- Mobility Solutions based upon clean and renewable energy
- Leisure and Disposable Income
- High quality Health Care
- High quality Education
These 11 components are the start of a Human needs budget that serves as a model for an economy based upon what society as a whole needs and not just a thin sliver of the overall world Human population.
In redefining governing, living and managing resources around Human Needs overall, many industries including the eleven basic human needs categories will have to be revamped towards a more socialist view of the world. There are no good and bad words in terms like “profit,” “socialism,” “capitalism”, etc.; these words are simply economic and political constructs that we as Humans, have invented and live by (and sometimes die by).
Every Human needs the above basic level of subsistence to be a citizen of the world. If we look at the planet and its inhabitants as a whole, we see vast differences in pay scales from rural to urban areas and within various geographic areas. Nationalism will not go away overnight but the basic premise is that planetary resources including food production, water, air, energy generation and waste management really have to be handled on a global basis to be effective. So why not start applying resource management principles on a worldwide basis rather than nationally?
The notion of whether $1,000 per month per individual is enough to provide a UBI or UJI for people who live in a particular U.S. municipality has to be explored (some posit that urban areas might require more like $3,000 per month) but we have to start looking at revising systems to accommodate income differences and whether economic notions about money supply, gold standards, cryptocurrencies, and real estate ownership are even relevant when what we really need is to start with a Human Needs budget and then manage the requisite resources needed to service Human Needs and the needs of Mother Nature. I was taught at the Wharton School that when budgeting you always start with the “sales” portion of the profit and loss statement, rather than the expenses. The Green New Deal is the ultimate start up and requires entrepreneurial, not bureaucratic thinking.
Klaus Jacob, the noted geophysicist from Columbia University, mentioned the term Nomadic Infrastructure to me several years and I asked him what he meant by the term. He said, “Our work in Lagos showed a society that built their houses on stilts so when areas got flooded they could easily move their house (infrastructure) upland to avoid further flooding. Several hundred years ago, people knew about high ground and many houses were built to withstand significant flooding. More recently, we abandoned that notion and began building in earnest in places like Miami Beach, Lower Manhattan and other areas close to sea level in elevation. Not so smart…
This notion of Nomadic Infrastructure dovetails nicely with the concept of decentralized communities that produce their food, energy, water, air and all necessary resources as locally as possible without relying on monolithic institutions that depend upon a fossil fuel based economy and other unsustainable economic practices.
The ability to effectively recycle materials within a community must create some sort of closed loop system that does not require use of external landfills and dumping toxic plastic in oceans that will effectively taint our food supply. If we are not careful, we may become extinct due to an obsessive reliance on plastic packaging. Huh?
The practice of recycling, repurposing and reusing is key to an effective society that respects our resources and understands our role in our natural economy. We are not the kings (or even queens) of this planet; we are merely a middle level species that used to take our food from the leftovers of larger cats and animals like hyenas — in effect, we were in the middle, not the top of the food chain. It was only through the advent of such inventions like firearms that we became a higher level species but in some ways this higher level of achievement is counter to nature and you should be seriously looked at as we view our role on this planet.
The effective management of resources creates difference sorts of jobs that do not necessarily need profit in their equation; they do need a triple bottom line approach to business solutions, that is, focusing not just on financial objectives, but also by factoring social and environmental costs into the business equation. In upcoming, blog posts we will look in greater detail of the concepts of how blockchain technology works and how distributed ledger technology may achieve triple bottom line accounting.
I have decided to start adhering to Greta Thunberg’s #FridaysForFuture by trying to publish a weekly blog entry that focuses on future solutions like some of the ideas above.
Although the tasks may seem daunting, the good news is that we have the ability to become sustainable and resilient. Where there is a will, there is a way.
#greennewdeal #takethepower #extinctionrebellion #FridaysForFuture #zeitgeist #limitstogrowth #smallisbeautiful #metoo #climateyouthstrike #climatechange #resourcecapitalism #naturalcapitalism #universalbaseincome #universaljobs