The Great Debate on Value and the Distribution of Rewards
One thing that has plagued the world for a Millenia is the debate on value and who should be rewarded for what and are those rewards justified?
I was sitting on the Grape discord earlier today whilst they were having a hugely heated discussion on the value of their new coin. Who should be rewarded for their effort on it, and in what ways we should reward these people, and who is deserving of these rewards and how?
So this is a discussion that has plagued mankind since the days when we were swapping our goats for some carrots and a slaughtered cow. It's not a new one, and it's not one that's going to be solved any time soon.
Value is a simplistic term, in that one can create value through production in some form. It could be anything. Raising and breeding a cow for selling to the public later, or simply taking care of your sick uncle so that he survives his illness. Both have inherent value. To clarify this value in the way I see it, you will earn money from this cow at a later date, and your sick uncle will be able to go back to work and earn for your family. We all coexist in a system of creating value.
But how do we now determine the rewards received for this newly created value?
If you think of a human when they are born and all the way up until adulthood in terms of value they are a net negative. Think of it realistically of what they contribute to society -- and if you are raising them right then at the beginning it is all about them. Rightly so, most of your resources as a parent will need to go into raising your children. So until they are of working age then children are a net negative to the creation of value.
Then when that same human is of working age and dependant on the skills they chose then they will go into the workforce and begin to create value of some kind, whether big or small, and rewarded for their creation of said value.
The argument is, and has always been, since the beginning of time, whether the rewards are proportional to the value that we create. Is the system that we have fair and just?
Rewards can take many forms, however the most common one is in the form of a national currency where we can use to purchase food, drink, products and services to better our lives with. Some even use that same currency to create their very own businesses with. The choice is yours.
The debate has always ravaged between those who have too much rewards (the rich), and those who have too little (the poor). The idea being that those with too much are eating up everything and those with too little are not being helped up. It's an argument, I'll state again, that's not a new one.
But it's too complex of a discussion to explain away by just saying that the rich should pay their fair share and that the poor should just work harder. To solve a problem we at first need to understand it. Understanding it also means to be able to emphasise with both sides.
I am going to argue that I am in a unique position to both have known very well off people, and on the other hand I not only have known very poor people but I have existed in this circle (and mindset) too. However, you may disagree with me and that's fine.
One thing that's ludicrous is that poor people can't just work harder to earn more money. There is such a thing called the poverty trap and I will argue that it's designed to keep people down there. After all, how would the banks survive without gratuitously profiting off the poor? They wouldn't be able to do that with people that have money because then that would mean the wealth that keeps them afloat would start to disappear. What rich person would keep money in a bank that's going to keep taking from them?
No, you take from people that have very little choice, and then you make it look like you are doing them a favour by letting them open an account in your shitty protection racket.
To create more wealth that means there needs to be more opportunity. You can't just simply work harder if there's no jobs available. I remember some old bastard telling me that he would literally pick up shit from the street if he had to when I was unemployed and that I was a drain on society. Alas, it gave him quite a shock when I told him that he should accompany me down to the job shop or show me where these shit picker jobs were so I could go and get them. People have a lot of opinions, but most of them are biased and shit. A lot of mine are too for the record, hah.
No, for true wealth to be created within the poor we need proper financial and social education. The benefits of stopping spending on addictions and saving up that money every month. The benefits of the nuclear family and how having both Dad and Mum at home increases the chances of your child's success (and your own physical and mental health wellness) twenty fold.
But then this comes at a cost. Robust social aid incentives aren't created out of thin air. People don't work for free. As an ex charity worker myself I know that you can't just hire social professionals to do a days work for free -- they have families to feed too. And our projects and the distribution of those projects, the money has to come from somewhere.
David Cameron had a vision of Big Society when he first came into UK office about us all helping each other, but in turn it was just a shady operation to skim off the top of spending. Like most of these shite social incentives by government. Poorly thought out and corners cut everywhere. We laughed because we knew that eventually our funding would all be cut to nothing and we'd be looking for another job in a few years.
But this funding to keep us all in jobs it came from somewhere and it came from rich donations. The kind of donations you don't hear about because it just attracts too much attention from the public. When you offer it up to discussion of the public it becomes a kangaroo court rather than a free exchange of ideas. I think in our team our yearly turnover was at least $2 Million.
But we earned very little back. The problem with charity work and helping the underprivileged is that it leaves so little room for turning a profit. For example you can't shout at someone struggling with anxiety to meet your hectic deadline, that's silly. You introduce them into a pressurised environment very slowly so that one day they might be able to manage it. I've found exposure therapy to be extremely effective, but again, everyone's different so you have to think on your feet at all times.
So unless more money filters downwards, and for free, then the poor are going to be continually used, abused, and neglected.
You could argue that we could all just work for free in a fair and just society, or that we could all be paid the same in an equal, fair and just society so that everyone benefits -- but this idea is even more stupid and here's why.
The idea, whilst extremely well intentioned, will play out in the most horrific ways imaginable. It took me about two weeks of paying everyone the same in my community to realise that I would eventually get fucked by a train sideways.
Whilst my discord community is no financial authority, or government institution with unimaginable clout to back up their claims, I still had a small amount of finance to distribute to my community contributors in ways that they seen fit. Everyone was equal in my discord, regardless of race, creed, gender, or sexuality. If you wanted a role with me you got paid end of. Everyone was so exited about the idea and we eventually became so pumped about starting something never done in cryptocurrency before. An equal coin. Well, it was named Brocoin but we were all equal in the eyes of my coin.
Sadly this all started to crumble at the seems when people began utilising their output and coins in different ways.
There were people that barely showed up to work for me yet expected full payment. This was fine obviously because I wasn't going to let the idea of meritocracy get in the way. That was until of course, the other people that were carrying the entire discord on their shoulders began complaining that they were doing so yet receiving the same as the ones that barely lifted a finger.
Not only that but some spent what they had as soon as they got it and complained that they never had enough, and some saved every penny of it hoping that we'd be huge one day. Hat's off to you @burlarj.
So equality was only a visualisation in my mind. When it was applied to the world though, the winds of diversity of thought took it into wildly different directions. I realised that we weren't equal at all, and we never will be.
The only way I could apply any form of equality was to force it on my users. And that's against my ethics and morals.
We could also make the argument for a co-operative society. One that works together with each other for the common good and better goals. Most famously portrayed on Star Trek. I think the Federation was a sort of co-operative society. Where money wasn't a thing but everyone tried to work together for the betterment of the human race.
But in a co-operative society what do you do about those radical "other" thinkers? And in that society any sort of thought that strays from the social and financial norms would be considered radical. Think of it realistically. Imagine if someone started saying, "I don't like the way this society functions. I hate it. It sucks."
Imagine the poison that would inflict on other people that freely co-operate? And the disturbance to the social cohesion within the group?
You would have to oust them from society, or better yet, take them out of their homes in the middle of the night and execute them. Then tell their families that they have fled to the west -- please tell me you get this reference lol.
In my mind, and from what I have seen in practise is that any form of equality imparted on large groups of people will have to be done so brutally and without care or empathy.
"Let's take from the rich!! They have enough money."
I actually used to think this way a while back. Part of me used to think that taking from people that have and giving it to people that have not is the way to go. Like Robin Hood stealing from the Sheriff of Nottingham. Stealing from the rich to give to the deserving poor.
But then once I had accumulated a fair amount of money myself I began seeing the argument from the other side.
For as long as I could remember I haven't been a high earner. Happy to take my paycheque and go home and scream at the big man because I didn't make enough. It just didn't seem right. So I blamed people with money.
But what a lot of people don't actually understand is that wealth accumulation takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Sometimes you can be going at it for years before you hit the sweet spots. Sometimes you can be going at it forever.
The blood, sweat, and tears that I have been through to get to where I am today is beyond imaginable. I've had to sacrifice almost all of my addictions, nights out with my friends, and a good portion of my free time. I would like to really be playing Mass effect 2 tonight but here I am writing to you guys, a sucker for punishment I am sometimes.
The rich ride isn't an easy one, and unless it's something you've always wanted to do then I'd advise against it. The richer the people that I meet (and I meet a lot in crypto) generally, the smarter and quicker on their feet they are. People don't accumulate wealth through luck and clumsiness. People accumulate wealth through razor sharp intelligence.
But that goes against every grain of what I have been taught as a child and a young adult. In fact it was hard writing that. But the more people with abundant wealth I meet, the quicker and sharper they seem to be.
I guess we run with that falsehood that it's easy to be rich so that we can dream of being rich one day but at the same time fill a necessary gap that the world can function.
Without the working class, the world would cease to operate. Those bins need emptied, and those toilets definitely need cleaned for sure.
And now that I have a semi-decent wealth pot I am less inclined to give it away needlessly. Why should I give away something that I've worked really excruciatingly hard for and could have a far better quality life if I opted out of the train?
What makes you so important?
What gives you more inherent value than my wealth?
Why should I give to you?
Would you be just as happy to give away your money like me? Or is it just me that should because I have more? How is that fair to me?
Of course you're preaching to the choir here because I understand the need for abundant social provisions and I'm always donating away something here or there, but that doesn't make those questions any less relevant. The question you should be asking yourself this is:
If you don't think you should be giving away your money, then how should I be required to give away mine?
The answer is an easy one though. The harder that you tax rich people then the quicker they leave for other areas where they aren't so heavy handed. You just need look at California and their great exodus. It's got so bad there that they are looking at trying to tax ex-residents.
So then this brings us full circle to the same question -- value, rewards, and the fairness of it all.
Well, I can guarantee you there will never be a truly completely fair society. For someone to win, there will always, always be someone that loses - whether you like that idea or not. When you buy Bitcoin on an exchange and make 10000% -- someone still had to sell you their bitcoin. Therefor they lose.
There is no equality. Only winners and losers.
But to give us a fair and just society then there needs to be a fairly robust safety net on the bottom, but also a fairly just system at the top.
Right now corporations are escaping with paying no taxes -- look at Starbucks in the UK for example. Because their main office is in Ireland then their tax gets waivered. Truly astonishing, and fucked up. They say Capitalism is flawed, and it is.
In any truly free Capitalistic society then it creates monopolies. The best idea wins and eats out the rest -- creating a small group of monopolies over us all. Take Facebook and Twitter for example. Twitter banned @splinterlands with no recourse to those actions purely because they were competing in the same space as them.
Capitalism needs at least some breaks on it to allow for competition.
But that being said I do wonder if the big three have realised the end of their business cycle and are desperately trying to grasp at their monopolies before they come crashing down underneath us. Watch this space.
So we've realised that both the extremes are flawed in every way. Maybe now it's time to meet in the middle? Perhaps?
I dunno. Some random thoughts for today.
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