Transfer Earning and Reset
- Dinesh Bhattarai
- 1499 words
- 8 min
Stephen Hawking was an astrophysicist. He earned his degree and respect in the field, was knowledgeable in his field. His findings in the field can be taken for granted most of the times. However he did speak in the fields he is far less knowledgeable, like AI ruining our existence as human beings, etc.
Albert Einstein was a great theoretical physicist who made great scientific discoveries like photoelectric effect, special theory of relativity and general relativity. However, he also spoke(expressed opinions) about religion, a field he knew not much about. He also rejected quantum mechanics even though it was under his own field.
The problem is not that they were wrong most of the time in their assessments but that we were transferring their earnings from one domain to another. Einstein and Hawking had high earnings(respect and credentials) in their respective fields but relatively low in other fields. But people were ready to accept them at higher levels than their actual levels. Let's call it transfer-earning (taken from transfer-learning in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning) i.e. they transferred their earnings across domains.
This is a common phenomenon in the market. You earn something in a field, make a bunch of money and start off in other domains with that money. The people struggling in that field for a long time, earning their livelihood will be crushed by your rather large transfer earning. Your new company is pretty good and will displace all other companies and soon you will create a monopoly. This is capitalism. A hierarchy arises with time, you come to the top of it. You worked hard and came to the top. You believe in meritocracy, equal opportunity, and hard work. You already had a large earning that came from the transfer. Most of the time, the transfer earning comes over generation i.e. family wealth.
In an isolated world, like a perfect sphere in a vacuum, all the things you believe are correct. However, as you went(or so to speak helped to create) in the hierarchy of social structure, you absorbed many resources into you. Now there are fewer resources available to become someone like you, to climb the social ladder. Add a few hundreds of you and anyone below you is living in scarcity.
Let's say, when you start playing in a new field, like getting an education, your scores get reset. Say, when you die, your children can't inherit all your wealth but part of it and all other of your wealth is taken by the government and is redistributed among the public. Your children still get apart from the big pie but most of the wealth you got accumulated by the nature of your work, get released into the ecosystem back, like when you die, your body gets reclaimed by the Mother Nature. Some methods like digging up a grave are better than incineration so how your earning should be redistributed back to the ecosystem is open to debate. Maybe, all the earnings you make need not be returned to the government but you have the right to create a non-profit public institution that will carry your philanthropic side after your death so that your name will live far more than you. Your earnings will now not create a black hole that hordes resource and kill everything in its path but give rise to a new star that a lively solar system.
Or viewing it another way, after a certain limit of the resource is accumulated at a place, anything above the limit should be shred, either directly giving it to a common public entity of the people (i.e. governments) or establish a new public entity which works in the best interest of the people. So all the people will have resources ranging from minimal basic income to the maximum threshold at one's disposal. Giving money directly to people might not work but giving them enough when they work for say 20 hours a week would suffice as the basic income. As technology gets advanced and work gets automated, people get rewarded the same for less amount of work. Maybe, people will work for one day get enough money to live for a year. Many people will float between the richest and poorest time and again. But nothing to worry. People won't have to work hard to make a living. Any lavish dream? Work on something innovative and get to the top. Or work every day and get to the top. There will many ways to reach the top. Have extra money? Start a company. Lost money? Start working on another idea. Go to some venture capitalists or to any public organizations if your idea is really innovative. Your experiment will benefit you and civilization both.
Why limit one's resources? Why not taxation?
People do not contribute to society equally. That is a fact. Some contribute more than others. However, people do not contribute thousands of times more than the average man either. One in a position of power and influence creates great feats by utilizing others in less power and influence. So he deserves respect and power but proportionally.
Taxation can not stop resources from accumulating in one place. It will merely slow down the process of creation of black holes.
Less need for revolutions
Almost all the times, revolutions are done due to the large disparity. When the disparity is less and the cost of revolutions is less than the reward, revolutions will happen less. Some people will get richer than others due to hard-work, mere luck or maybe by some tricks but there is a hard limit. All the money collected will return to the collective. There is less of a concern of misuse.
When you have extra money that you can't use for your personal whims, you have to think like a philanthropist. You don't want the rewards of your hard work to go to wrong hands. You will now invest in long term goals, the goals you never thought about. You will invest in research, development and exploration, something you would have never done due to low-profit margins.
As time passes, more money will be accumulated for the public good. Since the outcome of the non-profit can't be used for profit, the research and technological developments will always go to the public domain, forming an ecosystem. Spawning a new business will be cheaper. Trying out new things will be faster. Large ventures will sprout by the collaboration of public non-profits. Governments will merely maintain the health of the ecosystem.
- Social Security
- Minimum Wage
- Public Works Programs
- Limits on Child Labour
- Regulation of Banks and Stock Market
- Progressive Taxation
- Universal Basic Income, a future solution for automation
The transformation can't happen tonight and can't happen by law. Too much resistance will kill the project at once. However, rich billionaires can do it voluntarily. In fact, many of them are doing this already via Giving Pledge. But most of these pledges do not invest in anything sustainable like research and development. Most of them give it to the poor, which is not a bad thing but the method can't be sustainable. Another problem is there is no consensus on how much money the rich need. What should be the maximum amount of money they should require. Most billionaires don't want to lose their position in their company, which they would if they give that money away. Others want to invest in other ventures, which they could use the public non-profit entity, just that they can't get the profit from it. But why do they need that extra profit? They already have enough. They could use the extra profit to power new ventures. Non-profit in those entities does not mean you can't earn, it just means that the earning can't go to your pocket but return to the public.
I'm not sure, how this could be legislated and regulated to force the limit on everyone. The limit could be different based on geography, local economy, etc. There are many complexities in the implementation but the idea on its merit is still plausible.