Return to site

The Welfare State, Politics, and Cryptoeconomics

Why power in the hands of many, is better than power in the hands of the few.

Is This The Most Efficient Way to Do This?

As 2019 winds down, many Americans are enjoying a holiday season of peace, calm, and quiet with their families. Work parties begin, Friendsgivings commence, drinks and merriment are had. While this is going on, I'm sure many Americans are feeling a slight tinge in their throats, like a cough that leads to flu. This feeling is a looming uncertainty going into the next election season, that will likely dictate the future of America for at least the next decade. All over the world, the last political cycle saw many countries come face to face with thoughts and ideas that drew lines between nations, states, and even families. While I have hope for America's future, I am not looking forward to the next election as it becomes increasingly that this one will likely be an extension of the last: a game of cutting to slice out enough supporters to keep parties alive, while somehow keeping the nation alive. I am certainly enjoying the festivities, but I can't help but notice how even now at gatherings that aren't supposed to be about politics, those lines are starting to creep up, and that tinge will be a full blown sickness soon enough.

Unfortunately in this fight, I have bad news: I'm not Republican, or Democrat. Americans are socially expected to choose a side or be sliced out of a piece of the American pie, but I neither agree with Republican or Democratic party principles on a variety of issues. I somewhat agree with solutions to problems given by both sides. In fact for some issues, I agree with both parties at the same time. I come into the election feeling more like a teeter-totter on the brink of falling to one side, but fearing that my own decision will have a greater affect on those that don't vote with me, and lines will be drawn in my own personal life as people take offense to decisions I make. Sadly, I feel like the current game of politics doesn't allow for participants to exist in a superposition of multiple views, which not only makes me feel limited in what I can say, but also what I can do about it. A particular one for me is the idea of social welfare.

On one hand, I do agree that there are segments of society who need help. I personally come from a background that has utilized welfare. Many of my own successes are attributed directly to government aid, family aid, aid from friends, and even strangers. On the other, I do not agree that a government is the best way to distribute this aid. If anyone wants to see why, apply for welfare. I've worked in a Welfare office. You'll see inefficiencies that are laughable, technologies that are outdated, and an almost palpable effort to do as little as possible, if not for pure laziness, but because doing anything more will require a marginal cost far outweighing the expected returns. Going into this election cycle, I expect to hear more about Universal Health Care every day, and while I believe people should have access to quality health care, I do believe a state run system has inefficiencies that can cause, sometimes worse pain and stress. Ask women in England who would rather fly to the United States and pay for a private hysterectomy, a procedure that only costs only $8000, than undergo 3 years of waiting while undergoing painful blood transfusions to keep their conditions stable. I just don't buy State operation is a good idea for everything, and unfortunately it seems like the argument is more about the cost and financials of operating a State run healthcare system rather then asking, is this the most efficient way to do this?

Strangely, no one seems to be asking this question at all, and there seems to be a Black or White answer to the solution of making a large body of healthcare available to the public. Although, I do think there might be a solution, one that involves a superposition of availability and low cost. Which leads me to my own view of the situation: I believe Universal Basic Income is the answer, and in fact is likely the most efficient solution we have to allocating money to people. Only one candidate seems to be parading this idea around, but he is currently trading at an 8% chance of winning the nomination. While stranger things have happened, I'm not betting on Yang to take this idea any further than July. It seems this idea is dead in the water. We simply will not see a State run Universal Basic Income solution, probably in my lifetime. But again let's ask, is this the most efficient way to do this?

History, Abridged

Universal Basic Income is not a new idea, and some countries have even began to implement it, but I think as the new decade begins, technology has shown is that we may have a more efficient way to do many things: by letting the public provide it. How? Before you ask this. I want present an abridged version of human history, and take a look at the interplay of technology, power, and innovation. While this may offend you, I'm going to wrap this up in four Acts, and it most certainly will miss facts, incorrectly attribute relevant details to the wrong people, and completely alter order of events to fit my own personal narrative, but bear with me and send me your corrections. I'll be happy to hear them.

Act I: The Financial Revolution (Antiquity to 1940)

Kings controlled all wealth and owned everything by Divine Right. Property rights didn't exist, including rights to your own body. Any large scale business or operation required the permission, of the Kings, since the wealth was centrally controlled by them and only them. Around the 1500s, the Earth strangely got colder and forced people to stay inside for a large portion of the year. People had time to read and think, and started asking is this the most efficient way to do this? At the same time, a bunch of gamblers, who also happened to be mathematicians started staying inside to read and think, and asked about efficient ways to shark casinos. All this sitting inside and thinking culminated into the theory of probability, which for some reason, never was even thought of before. Somewhere along the line, the concept of investment came about, which utilized probability to allow people to gamble on businesses. Companies were created, securities were made, and we moved away from wealth from a centralized few, and moved to wealth owned by the public.

It spawned new industries, new ideas, and put innovation in the hands of the people.

Act II: The Personal Computer (1940 to 2000)

Companies and governments controlled all of the power to do large scale automation and owned everything by Corporate Ownership. The world strangely went into a full scale war, and forced countries and governments to choose a side. Mathematicians got involved, and they quickly began to read and think, and they started asking is this the most efficient way to do this? Operations Research was born, and the world saw a rapid expansion of the use of computation to optimize and analyze efficiency in all aspects. Along with this, certain problems arose that were the inverse of probability, where one needed to form estimations with data. The estimations were strikingly accurate, and we quickly saw the power of doing raw computation at a speed that no single human could do at scale. The War ended, and we had a bunch of ideas and stuff about computation, as well as a heap of smart Mathematicians with nothing to do. They created the Integrated Circuit and the Transistor, which would revolutionize the size of computers from government and corporate operated basement-size machines, to the size of a small backpack. For the next 40 years, we moved away from the ownership of a centralized few, and moved the power to computation owned by the public.

It spawned new industries, new ideas, and put innovation in the hands of the people.

Act III: The Internet Age (2000 to Now)

Companies and governments controlled all of the power to do large scale computer networking and owned everything by Corporate Ownership. The world strangely watched as terrorists attacked the United States, and countries and governments began operations to integrate surveillance systems and communicate data with a faster speed than seen before. Mail was too slow, phone calls were too slow, and for the first time people learned we needed to act in real time, not after the fact, if we were to combat evil. Along with this, the world needed to get up to speed on where exactly Afghanistan was. The internet quickly became a hub of thoughts, ideas, and chat rooms, and for the first time people became connected. But, the world needed more than access to the distributed knowledge of the citizens though clunky desktop computers. A few years earlier, bunch of Mathematicians in Canada decided business people needed access to the internet in the palm of your hand to connect to the lightning fast speeds of business. A small war ensued which only showcased that only the rich and powerful could utilize this technology. A bunch of Mathematicians asked, is this the most efficient way to do this? When the dust settled, devices emerged that could communicate across the internet directly to all handheld devices, which generated one of the first smart phones in existence that could communicate through email, take pictures, and give an amazing user experience that allowed for people to connect in near real time for less than $200: The Sidekick. The Sidekick would revolutionize access to the internet from devices owned by governments and corporations, to being owned by the public.

It spawned new industries, new ideas, and put innovation in the hands of the people.

Act IV: The Cryptoeconomics Age (Now to ???)

Companies and governments controlled all of the power to do large scale corporate finance and owned everything, mandated by Banking Licensing. The world strangely watched as governments enacted to fragment the economy, and companies began operations to build networks to bridge these fragments and operate finance with a faster speed than ever before. Finance was seen as a solution to the worlds problems, and access to markets and finance became harder and harder. A decade earlier, an Unknown Mathematician decided the people using their personal computers could provide banking services to anyone with a cell phone. The first iteration was clunky and required all of the computers to all calculate the same thing over and over again, wasting electricity. A few more Mathematicians got together and asked, is this the most efficient way to do this? The Casper FFG algorithm was born on the Ethereum Blockchain, and would revolutionize how people with standard handheld devices could provide economic services to other people, and generate income doing it.

The Casper powered network would revolutionize access to financial services owned by governments and corporations, to being owned by the public.

 

It spawned new industries, new ideas, and put innovation in the hands of the people.

The above hasn't happened, yet. Before our eyes, a number of projects are underway to allow the people, not governments or corporations to provide financial services to the globe. In each of the above acts there's a consistent theme: when power shifts from the few, to the many, there are opportunities the likes of which we cannot imagine. In Act I, no one would have imagined the automobile. In Act II, no one would have imagined the iMac. In Act III, no one would have imagined social networks. The technologies in each Act that distributed power from the few, to the many provided society with new forms of wealth creation and a better society for everyone. Although, it isn't all rosy. The new technologies can also be used for evil, but we have seen by and large, in the long tail of history, the people get a much better return on their investment. What will Act IV bring?

Right now, we are witnessing people getting access to power, and since antiquity, the people always win. So far we have:

When we ask for Universal Basic Income, it's clear to me this is possible. We can provide a means for anyone to earn a baseline level of well-being, without the need of a corporation or government. There's only one thing you have to ask: is this the most efficient way to do this?

All Posts
×

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OK