Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Buckminster Fuller economics, a summary

Rather than write an academic essay on Buckminster Fuller's economic ideas (as opposed to his science), I will take the two which count the most to me and run through the practical implications. The two major points, connected with his philosophy which can be tested in the real world, as most western countries can afford to divide their taxes directly to pay everyone a basic living wage, before working as well if they want to. No unemployment and nothing spent on staff, premises or means tests. Those working continue paying tax, so there is something coming in to pay it, as most people would still want more than the basic and would be happy to work, but not a) because they have to and b) all the hours possible as they can't afford not to.

His second view is the philosophy behind this, which also challenges the 20th century shortage mentality. That is that no person should need to work nowadays to survive, as technology and economics can provide what we all need already and remove the almost religious requirement to work, not because we need to but think people expect us to. Peer pressure is never a reason to do the wrong or right thing, and if it creates a culture which becomes oppressive, then it is building an imaginary prison we have no need for but needs enough people to break free for others to realise it. The shortage mentality is behind the left of politics, who believe there isn't enough to go round, therefore there is competition for all types of resources, and those with the most power gain too much and need a powerful state system to remove it from them. One life, no pleasure.

So, unless the economics was wrong, which enough people have shown is not the case, then freeing ourselves from the illusion we must have a job to be a valuable citizen (no longer to survive, as we do have a welfare system despite the stigma currently attached to using it) would allow our true abilities to come through. Like Larry Dossey, a doctor working all hours and a book idea which never happened till he hurt his back and had to lie down for weeks, and then he wrote the book, it was a best seller, and his old career was over. I personally got made redundant, got another job eventually, and got made redundant almost straight away. While sending hundreds of job applications by post and in person, gaining a total of four interviews, I took three professional courses, two from home and one at college, raised my level to the one I needed but hadn't yet managed, and was then eligible to see many more students who were required to see people only qualified at this level.

A passing interest in global warming led me into a deep web of deception connecting all governments worldwide, once I found the predicted results from rising CO2 by the UN were nowhere near what they claimed. The time I had available after losing my jobs meant I never had to be up at any time, and if I was busy reading or writing I could stay up till I was finished. This is particularly important in writing, as that is from your head and once you start if you have to stop to go to bed how much will still be there the next day to continue? I usually write and stop when it's done, and then have nothing to do the following day, as there's no job to stop me. You get the picture. What are you really good at, love doing, but although it may even make you money (mine hasn't but could in the future), haven't enough time to do it fully or at all as work comes first? This way everyone can work as much or as little as they want to, but it's extra. Many people enjoy working and have the energy to spend most of the week doing so, and if you've qualified as a professional few people wouldn't go out and do it rather than waste their talents and the extra money. So the most essential services would not fizzle out, and guess what, the upside would be many people not 'working' as such, ie for money, would produce just as much as they would otherwise, art, entertainment, voluntary work, but be doing it for themselves and the people they wanted to do it for, rather than their employer who nearly always gives a fraction of the profits the employees make for them back in wages. So not only would the essential work get done, but the quality would improve as people would do it because they wanted to, and the many people doing jobs they don't like because what they do pays less would then be able to all do whatever they wanted, knowing the basic income would always cover their needs.

I can't see a single thing wrong with this, no gaps at all. Since I lost my last job I've seen plenty of clients, some paid and some unpaid as part of my outside research. That again led to my true ambition, media work, a magazine article, four TV appearances and an interview so far. Had I kept any of my previous jobs I may have managed the specialised work but not sure I'd have had much time to read the years of material it needed to cross from counselling and spiritual work to politics. The big picture there is so big although I knew when I'd found it, it took so long I can't see it being so easy had I had to stop every night when I was following leads to go to bed, and only have a couple of specific hours a day to do any at all. I'd have scratched the surface, learnt a few key points, and probably never have got to the bottom of it. The same formula applies to every single person on the planet. You have a potential, you either spend most of your time doing something you may or may not want to do, often for the benefit of other people who get most of what you produce, and are very unlikely to ever come close to fulfilling it doing so, or have the option to choose a job you really want regardless of the pay, and are unlikely to ever resent working again. Your alternative to working is not wasting time, as you are always doing something. Everyone has natural talents, and without the threat of losing your home and necessities will all be free to allow them to blossom in full. I believe if people change their way of seeing the world, take this new idea on board and then realise it's not only superior to what we have now, but quite reasonable and possible then instead of aiming for more of the same forever, will have a new view of life to aspire and work towards. If enough people first learn about this and then take it on board, then they will form a movement and political party to bring it about. What could be better than that?

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