Bizarro Economics

I should tell y’all about a weird recurring dream I have and how it hangs with me on the mornings after I wake up and face each working day. In my dream, things appear fairly normal except that some things are backwards compared to what I’m used to – sort of like the “Bizarro World” in the old Superman comics.  Like a mirror image of my regular waking world except for some very strange beliefs and behaviors held by the people in my dream.

In my dream, I’m marooned on a strange planet virtually identical to Earth except for a few aspects that it took me a while to figure out. The people there act pretty much like we do here on earth.  For the most part, they dress, speak and live like we do here.  They spend their time working, shopping, playing and living what at first seems to be pretty normal everyday lives.

But the more time I ‘spend’ there, three aspects of their social and economic configuration stand in contrast to the life I’m accustomed to;

  • The concept of intellectual property is utterly foreign to them.

They regard themselves and each other as conduits of skills and ideas rather than originators or owners.  Stealing or intentionally degrading material goods is penalized commensurate with the offenses, whereas ideas are shared freely and openly – in their system, adding value to an idea is pretty much its own reward.  The notion of secrecy applies only to personal information.  Otherwise, ideas compete, people cooperate.  Interesting idea.

  • Their system of organizational accountability is all out of whack!

For one thing, their leaders are chosen by and primarily accountable to their constituents in every facet of their lives!  They’ve organized themselves into this multi-tiered pyramid which is designed as a decision-making mechanism.  Their so-called leaders seem unanimously infected with the idea that delegating authority for decision-making to the folks most directly affected by the outcome!  It comes as no surprise that their hierarchical pyramid is very flat and cultural diversity is rampant.  These folks seem to have taken the ‘live-and-let-live’ theme to a dynamic extreme.

  • They do have standards though.  They have a system that pays trained citizens to create money ‘out of thin air’ to compensate volunteers ending and building ecosystems!

My first question obviously is whether compensated volunteerism is really voluntary.  It seems like very able-bodied adult in this bizarre place is entitled to free air, sunshine and free choice, but that’s about it.  Everybody except the infirm, old and very young adds value to the system to gain access to even the necessities like food, water, clothing, transportation and shelter!  What ever happened to entitlements, speculation and good old-fashioned elitism for crying out loud?

What we’d call bankers,  accountants and economists monitor the storage and flow of their money, but their paymasters are respected as dedicated guardians of their natural life-support mechanisms.  They work as a constellation of teams safeguarding and growing their economy as if it were a functional sub-system of their planetary organism.  Odd.  So very, very odd.

I’m okay with the first three practices because there are little clutches of people I know in my waking world that think like that.  I even know some of them personally.  But the last item is so weird that it makes my head spin.

These people think of their planet as a self-healing system – a sentient being of sorts, and like ours, left to its own devices, it can take its sweet time to heal itself unassisted.  The inhabitants of this crazy place see themselves as bipedal agents of this healing process and compensate each other for it!  Its (almost) the damnedest thing I ever saw!

Anyway, they pay each other in units they call $rallod.  These so-called $rallod are not elastic by the way, but rather estimates of real and embodied energy units.  Virtual energy in a way – potential when its stored (banked) and kinetic as it enters circulation.  Apparently they set up kind of an inelastic standard unit of value some time back and stuck with it so as not to deceive themselves about its intrinsic energy content (natural value).

They don’t seem one bit interested in doing it the proper way!  Why would they choose their currency in favor of the elastic debt-based fiat variety we use here on earth I wonder?  Can you imagine common citizens controlling the supply and definition of their money?  Just think of it!  And making it evidence-based instead of the superior debt-based system and with a fractional reserve method of issue?

Its as if the lunatics have banded together and taken over the asylum!  Preposterous!  Idiotic?  Damned strange, any way you look at it.

The dream seemed real at first and it took me a while, but finally I realized I was definitely not in Texas any more!  Not even America, but on a completely different planet!  Whew!  What a relief!  Come to find out, this planet-as-a-resource-bank idea caught on somewhere back in their early history and they just can’t seem to snap out of it.

Who ever heard of using evidence of planet-healing energy deposits as a basis for creating spendable currency?

Sadly, these folks see no reason to change.  Very weird….almost creepy.  $rallod indeed!  Maybe its some kind of mass hypnosis or some poisonous chemical added to their drinking water that inhibits clear thinking.  Who knows?  Can’t save them.  Every time I offer suggestions to correct them they just smile at me.  I’ve about decided to let nature take its course with these poor ignorant characters.

I’ve been up for a while now and had my coffee.  I’m starting to feel normal again – I’m beginning to focus my eyes and start thinking about the really important stuff.  It’s getting light outside now and pretty soon it’ll be time to drive to work.

Today, I think my boss wants me to clear some more land for the condos coming in.   I’ll admit some critters will be displaced I suppose, but at least my banker friends and I can earn some dollar$.

Lord knows we need the money!

And yeah, its good to be home again.

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