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Re-Establishing Altruism As A Viable Social Norm

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Modern Money is Zero-Sum :(

If everyone suddenly had with ten times as much money, this would have no more effect than writing an extra zero on the end of all the prices. Why not? Because traditional money has relative, not absolute value. Its zero-sum nature may be the biggest single problem of the centralised money system.

The world is full of people striving to become 'financially secure', but few who have achieved this. This is actually inevitable, since the rich are only as rich as the poor are poor. Until we adopt a non-zero sum money system, 'making money' will inevitably mean depriving someone else of it, since a zero-sum system only has so much to go round!

Zero-sum money models every transaction as win-lose, rewarding competition rather than cooperation. It discourages altruism by perpetuating destructive and wasteful social cycles of scarcity, selfishness, fear and competition. This is exactly the kind of thinking that people need to get away from if they are to make the transition from scarcity to abundance.

Strictly speaking, the amount of money in circulation does increase, by expansion of debt owed to central banks. However, individuals cannot increase the money supply, although it is their labour, not that of bankers, that increases the wealth of society. Central bankers have a monopoly over money creation. Although no effort or resources are needed to create new money, central bankers are entitled to collect rent on it in the form of interest.

The zero-sum nature of the money system hampers a large percentage of the world's population from truly helping one another. Many people would like to be able to ignore money and help their fellow man, but find themselves forced to justify their existence in narrow financial terms - to 'get by' - often greatly limiting their cooperative behaviour. Rather than pay attention to maximising the potential of real resources, such as land, food, houses, hard disks etc, people are forced to pay attention to the imaginary resource that is money.

We are developing Altruistic Economics, a system for scoring human interactions, which needs no central authority that issues currency. The amount of goodwill in circulation is not fixed, but changes automatically by statements of accreditation that individuals issue to one another. By reconnecting people with the consequences of their actions, we believe it can rekindle the spirit of altruism within them, so long repressed by a zero-sum money system.

DownloadsTitleAuthor(s)        Date       Reference
 Shelling Out - The Origins of Money Nick Szabo 2002
 How Money is Created Smithy 2004-04-24 Wizards Of Money 1
 Banking on Poverty Smithy 2001-09-30 Wizards Of Money 3
  How Money is Created Smithy 2001-07-29 Wizards Of Money 1
  Banking on Poverty Smithy 2001-09-30 Wizards Of Money 3
 The Great Cookie Jar - Taking The Mysteries Out Of The Money System Edward E. Popp 1978
 Beyond Money John Taylor Gatto

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