Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Looking Back Through the Bottlenecks

Assume we are in the not too distant future when our Emission Reduction Currency System is operational and growing.

In this imagined future we have had our first Annual General Meeting, adopted our Constitution, elected our officers (anyone up for the challenge of building a genuinely NEW kind of community from the ground up! WE NEED YOU!), have signed up members and distributed Booyas and they are actually being accepted as currency by other members.

HOORAY! Doesn't that feel good! We've done it!

Imagining we are already where we are headed is a part of the challenge. Otherwise all the mundane and difficult steps, each one taking time and energy and attention, that we need to take, one after the other, can make achieving a dream seem impossible.

So celebrate the vision. We have succeeded in finding a way of moving forwards. We are no longer cynical, despondent, waiting for politicians and impersonal powers to dig us out of the global environmental and energy crisis that we all have been complicit in. We are beyond all that now. We are having fun, making friends, doing meaningful work and literally "making money out of thin air" and a bit of care.

And what do we do when we are through all these inevitable bottlenecks?


Which happens to be precisely the same thing that we need to do right now.

This is a thought that one of our members, Nick, shared with me. Nick was a bit more to the point actually.

Nick has recently been successful in getting our Local Council to go along with his stalwart group of volunteers in granting land and resources for creating a community garden. We went to a council planning meeting this week and everything is going better than expected. Now they are doing whatever comes next.

On a more abstract level, Nick dropped by over the weekend and we had a lively conversation about a potential bottleneck in the Maia Maia Project currency system, one of these things on the far side of next. If we award Maia Maia groups annually for dropping below their original baselines and if businesses also contribute their emissions reductions to the system, won't the value of a Booya inevitably go down as the numbers of Booyas in the system goes up? In other words, won't we have inflation?

This is a question that has bothered me for sometime and I think Nick and I came up with a potential answer for you all to consider. Suppose the Maia Maia Project levies a surcharge, say 5%, on each Booya transaction. Some of this surcharge could 'pay' volunteers and retire the initial loans of Booyas to new members. However, after 20 transactions (for a 5% surcharge) a Booya would be removed from circulation and be stored in a Reserve account. Eventually a portion of the Reserve would be 'retired' and would be considered then as a 'permanent' reduction in emissions by the scheme. Alternatively, if there were more opportunities to spend Booyas that there were Booyas to spend, some of the Reserve could be donated back to the grants scheme to increase opportunities for folks to earn Booyas. By managing the Reserve and surcharge rates the Maia Maia Project can manage inflation and deflation in the scheme in much the same way as a Reserve Bank does in the national economy.

Hopefully this last paragraph hasn't become a bottleneck in itself for anyone.

The good news is, you are already on the other side of it :)

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