Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Replacing Money with Tokens of Goodness

  1. Oct 13, 2009 #1

    jambaugh

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    While reading about the evils of money in another thread I had a wonderful idea! We can do away with all that evil money and its evil consequences while maintaining a functional social system. Here is how it works:

    People would receive tokens in proportion to how well they help others. We'll call these Tokens Of Goodness or Tokens of Gratitude or just TOGs for short. This tokens could be then used to reward others who do good things for the token holder. I've attached a rough paper design below but maybe small metal disks would work too.

    How many TOGs a person got would be decided as fairly as possible. The person providing the good deed (cleaning someone's house, helping to build them a car, mow their lawn...) would negotiate with the person receiving the beneficial act and they would decide on a degree of goodness of the act. We'll call this level the Principle Relative Increment of Contributed Ethic or PRICE for short.

    If the good-deed-doer and the good-deed-recipient couldn't decide on a fair PRICE then they look elsewhere. The doer for someone more appreciative to help and the recipient for someone less self righteous about his deed.

    Those receiving the good deeds of others would also have to do good deeds to earn tokens. We dispense with that "Evil Money" and only use TOGs and people would only get what they fairly deserve.

    We could even allow people with many TOG's to lend them to others who, though they are good people, have not yet accumulated enough good deed tokens for some benefit they wish to receive. This lending being a nice thing to do and all the nicer for lending more tokens the lender would negotiate for a percentage of extra TOG's be returned.

    Just to be sure the phrase "no good deed goes unpunished!" remains true, the government might confiscate a percentage of exchanged TOGs to use when there is need for general goodness to be done. They would give these extra TOGs to people for being good enough to serve the public as judges, congressmen or policemen.

    Suggested design for the TOG:
    attachment.php?attachmentid=21117&stc=1&d=1255481714.png

    I always liked the term "capital" used to mean "good" as in "That's a capital idea!" So I suggest we call this Capitalnomics!
    Hmmm... kind of awkward sounding. Maybe some shorter "-ism" form or something...

    Anyway here's a catchy slogan summarizing the ideal:
    "From each according to his benefit! To each according to his service!"

    I know this sounds like another pie in the sky Utopian ideal but I really really think it could work if we all just decided to try it!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2009 #2
    I was wondering about taxes.
     
  4. Oct 13, 2009 #3
    Money is not evil, it is a tool. Hammers are not evil, they are tools. It is people who do evil with the tools, not the tools doing the evil.
     
  5. Oct 13, 2009 #4
    I didn't shoot that guy, my gun did.
     
  6. Oct 13, 2009 #5

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Ok this is a system of awards for public service. But what about pay for the job you do everyday for your employer?
     
  7. Oct 13, 2009 #6
    If the Citizens of Togonia could loosen the production of Togs away from the monopolistic Federal Tog Reserve Company some degree of fair play could might ensue.

    Of course, about 20% of the Togians would still end up with 80% of the Togs in short order after having assumed a leadership role in the equitable distribution of Togs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2009
  8. Oct 13, 2009 #7

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    This thread was way too long to be a joke yet way too silly to be serious. Ignored pending moderation.
     
  9. Oct 13, 2009 #8

    Bobbywhy

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    jambaugh,

    Seems you have described Robert Trivers' "Reciprocal Altruism". I agree, good idea.
     
  10. Oct 13, 2009 #9
  11. Oct 14, 2009 #10

    jambaugh

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Why do you insist on excluding my employer from "the public"? Most people I hear speaking of "public good" in critical debate are using their own selective definition of "the public".

    [edit] Remember "the public" is only a collection of private individuals. Also remember that my employer can only pay me what tokens of good are gifted him from "the public" to whom he gives benefit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  12. Oct 14, 2009 #11
    All good people will probably never earn (or accumulate) these TOGs...

    now only if goodness could be priced. You are fundamentally misunderstanding what is "goodness" in your OP IMO.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  13. Oct 14, 2009 #12

    jambaugh

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    No... that system is inefficient. They do not keep track of the level of benefit provided. An auction for exchange of TOG's for benefit is the only means to fairly compare how benevolent one has been.

    I think you are missing the isomorphism mapping that I [tongue in cheek]naively failed to see[/tongue in cheek].
     
  14. Oct 14, 2009 #13

    jambaugh

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Good is as good does. Piety and righteous indignation are not enough. You give me a car now and you've done good for me. I'm wiling to give you lots of TOG's for that act of goodness. And if I'm not you shouldn't give me the car.

    How do you assess the benefit a person receives if you don't allow him to freely negotiate how many tokens he is willing to grant for receipt of that benefit and if you don't make receipt of that benefit contingent on the granting of tokens?
     
  15. Oct 14, 2009 #14
    If I doing a good dead then I am not looking for anything from you or any tokens neither I want to receive any future or present benefits. It is just cheap and offending if I am doing something good for someone and the person tries to put a price on my goodness.
     
  16. Oct 14, 2009 #15

    jambaugh

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Why must the good deed be altruistically motivated? Is it not sufficient that it be of benefit to the other? If I expect benefit in return how does that diminish the benefit I give? If on the other had granting benefit brings benefit then such a system of selfishness benefits all far more.

    Rather I would call "my" system "reciprocal selfishness".

    In fact I think I'd call Triver's system that too except in his context there is no reasoning or conceptual weighing of risk-benefit. Rather the selfish genes by trial and error find the behavior they instill in their carriers which (locally) maximizes the genes' reproduction. Note the genes don't care which bird promulgates it. (from Trivers' warning call of birds example)
     
  17. Oct 14, 2009 #16

    jambaugh

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Again good is as good does. You have --distorted by your upbringing-- a skewed version of doing good. You do me good when and to the degree that I benefit from your deed whether you receive credit or not.

    If I have the choice of getting a clunker car from you as a sacrifice,
    or a new car from some selfish slob who by some mechanism gets credit for that "gift" I'll take the new car.

    By your accounting am I not more pious by choosing to not let you sacrifice and choosing rather to let the slob benefit from my choice?
     
  18. Oct 14, 2009 #17

    jambaugh

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Rather 20% end up with 80% of the TOGs because they are best able to maximize the distribution of benefit those TOGs reflect.

    As far as the Federal Tog Reserve goes, as long as they keep the value of the TOG stable they are providing a benefit and as long as the holders of power do not use coercive force to interfere in the free negotiation of TOG exchange then what does it matter? [A couple of big IF's I know.]
     
  19. Oct 14, 2009 #18
    The OP is satirizing an article that says money is evil. Money is not evil, it is a token system. This is the gist of the satire. The OP wants to call his new-fangled system 'capitalism'. The slogan "From each according to his benefit! To each according to his service!" is a declaration of nonsense.
     
  20. Oct 14, 2009 #19

    jambaugh

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    And you're stating the obvious why?

    I wouldn't call it nonsense. The point of my satire is to show the other side of money.

    Money really is a token of beneficial action. Dollars are really "Tokens of Goodness".

    The free contract and free market really is the only fair way to assess value and distribute benefit.

    That is so long as the exchange of goods and services for dollars are not distorted by the application of force based coercion (the only type but there are those who like to redefine "coercion") or fraud.
     
  21. Oct 14, 2009 #20
    I don't understand. Could you given an example?

    But they do. For the most part, an exchange of TOGs between party A and party B comes under scrutiny of coalition C who demand by threat of incarceration and ruin, a piece of the action--and sometimes they demand, by the same threats, that it be paid forward!

    By the way, I really appreciate your reconstruction. Good food for thought. I was considering that a Pay It Forward (PIF) exchange, without additional devices, would be a zero sum game. That is, the number of PIFs in the world would add up to zero. But TOG exchange could also be a zero sum game. As zero sum, there would be no central bank generating new TOGs out of nowhere, but it would require a clearing house, as it's otherwise difficult to pay for something with a pocket full of negative TOGs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  22. Oct 15, 2009 #21

    jambaugh

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Well ok, suppose we start with evenly distributed TOGs. I invent a new type of widget which everyone wants. So by giving people wigets I make they a bit happier say about 5 TOG's worth. I do my homework and work out a system where I can make 1000 wigets a day, hiring 50 workers and paying them for their beneficial assistance say 30 TOG's a day, so a total of 1500 TOG's plus another 1 TOG per unit of raw material one guy benefits me by providing. So that's a total of 2500 TOGs per day I am benefited by others but a total of 5000 TOGs per day of benefit I give to others so I'm responsible for a net 2500 TOGs of beneficence spread around the public each day. I do this for a year or three and due to my great ability at benefiting others I accumulate a hell of a lot more TOGs than everyone else. Multiply, Scale and Extrapolate.


    Don't confuse the reserve with the guverment. The Federal Reserve has no authority to use force. They just control the TOG supply.
    Thanks. The inversion of "evil money" viewed as TOG's has been rattling around my head since I read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and her essays. It got formal a few years later and a recent discussion thread reminded me of my old TOG idea.
    The thing to remember w.r.t. zero sum is that the total number of TOG's needn't reflect the total net benefit. TOGs are tokens given relative weight by the market.

    The total net wealth in a free contract is always greater after the exchange than before. The value of a good or service (minus cost) is always greater for the recipient who contracted for it than the person yielding it or else they would not decide on an exchange. Remember value comes from holders of value an not some physical property of the good or service. The bow in the hands of the hunter has increased in value above what it held when owned by the bow maker since the hunter can use the bow to produce meat + bone + sinew to build more bows. The total wealth when the bow maker had the bow and the hunter had the side of venison is less than the total wealth when they swap the two.

    Total wealth increases. No zero sum, rather positive sum exchange. If the TOG supply is fixed then as wealth increases the relative amount of wealth per TOG goes up (deflation). If TOGs are distributed by the Federal TOG Reserve faster than wealth is created then inflation will occur. But regardless of the TOG supply wealth increases provided people are free to exchange increments of wealth freely (faster than depreciation).

    Of course wealth also can decrease say if the bow maker doesn't finish the side of venison before it spoils or if the hunter breaks his bow. So if the guverment suppresses the free exchange of wellbeing enough, then the total wealth can decrease. But it is critical to recognize that wealth exchange is a positive sum action and so the best way to promote the general welfare is to allow as far as possible uninhibited free exchange.

    The rich get rich by enriching many very efficiently. Their riches as measured in TOGs reflects their beneficence in terms of goods and services provided to those who value them.

    And of course I'm speaking idealistically. I could be a Kennedy and be rich because my daddy made a killing running bootleg whiskey during prohibition. No actual beneficial acts of my own there. So if I could compromise with all of the socialists and eliminate all but estate and gift taxes (even at the 100% level or close to that) then I'd be fine with that and the socialist could use these to enrich the impoverished. But in the bargain they must stop trying to constrain free exchange of services no matter how rich people get off the system.
     
  23. Oct 15, 2009 #22

    mheslep

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    In addition to controlling the TOG supply, the Fed exercises its regulatory and enforcement authority over individuals and banks several times a week on average, in the form of fines, lifetime bans, etc.
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/enforcement/2009enforcement.htm
    That authority is also likely to substantially increase in the future as the fed becomes a 'systemic risk' regulator.
     
  24. Oct 15, 2009 #23
    Just a quick reply for now.

    Actually, I was attempting to portray the IRS under control of the winning political factions, and where laws provide the IRS with the means to collect taxes on a quarterly basis, on income that is projected, rather than made.
     
  25. Oct 15, 2009 #24

    jambaugh

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I was not fully aware of their regulatory role (Actually for some reason I hand in mind a more distinct division between regulatory body and administrators of the money supply.) I have been reading the link to remediate my gross ignorance. Thanks again.

    BTW Very nice quote!
     
  26. Oct 15, 2009 #25

    jambaugh

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ahhh I see. Chilling.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook