Thursday, November 19, 2009

economic think(ing out loud)

Different people paying th same number of dollars does not mean different people paying th same value.

My $20 is, to me, a different value than your $20 is to you.

What would a proportional currency look like? Instead of "everyone has to pay th same dollars" it might go, "everyone has to pay th same proportion". Then, 20 proportional units ("poops," say) for me & 20 poops for you are, to each of us, th same value (more or less), but a different number of dollars.

In effect, each person would have her own currency which would convert to dollars at a different rate.

This assumes we develop a "fair" way of determining th "value" of $20 for each person.

What about th "value" of stuff for th seller? If I charge 20 poops for a candy bar, then some folks would spend more dollars than others on th candy bar (because of th different dollars to poops rates). If I'm selling a candy bar & I want more dollars, I'd try to attract th folks whose poops are worth more dollars.

But why would someone want more dollars? If I find a way to make more dollars, my poops are worth less.

If we had poops (& we cared about fair distribution of power), we wouldn't need dollars at all. Poops could cancel out th power of dollars entirely.

Maybe a proportional currency could exist alongside standard currency, added to th current economy for ease of sliding-scale-type transactions. If it were made easy for people to charge proportional prices instead of standard prices, I wonder if they would do it.

Another can of worms: organizations that function as people. Companies, corporations, non-profits, unions, committees, political parties. Do they get poop rates? Can a small business spend fewer dollars than a large business, but th same number of poops? Where do I stand next to X-mart, when we're competing to buy a thing?

Maybe dollars & poops are in contradiction. Yes, I think they are, & for th contradiction to get resolved, we need a different system.

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