We need to establish a two-part economic system within every nation. One being the already familiar private economy which allows relatively free markets and free enterprises, whereby citizens are greatly free to create their own businesses and to set their own prices and to gain their own profits, and one which is a public economy that allows those in need to work together to supply their own needs. Similar to the idea I posted titled, “Feeding The Poor With Community Gardens,” the poor and the privately unemployed would create and use public markets where, together, they would make their own products and provide their own services, instead of entirely using tax dollars. Everyone who is unemployed within the private job market could immediately and automatically, without question, get a public job at little to no further expense to private citizens. The poor, or those out of private work, could shop at public stores, operated and maintained by the poor, to buy products made and distributed by the poor. This would take away a great deal of the burden on governments who currently provide most of the aid to the poor, using taxes, as well as lower the shame and raise the pride in those in need, since it would not exactly be a handout.
These public shopping centers would only be for the poor or those in temporary need until they can get back on their feet or find a private sector job. This obviously leads to two separate forms of currency. One that is public, printed by the government and used primarily by those in need, and one that is private like those currently being used in the relatively free market systems. These systems do not necessarily have to exist completely separate. There can be some crossover and exchanges made possible, but the main caution is to prevent any disruption amongst the private markets. For example, allowing the poor to sell their vegetables to those who are NOT in need could prove harmful to the private markets by taking away their business. But a private citizen should be allowed to buy products and services from public citizens if those products and services are not available in the private market, and public citizens should be allowed to purchase from private markets if private citizens are willing to accept public currency. But again, that public currency could never be used by a private citizen to hire public citizens to work for them or use it to buy products they could find within the private market.
As soon as a public citizen in need is able to find a private sector job, he or she would no longer be allowed to have a public job or to earn additional public money, unless it is needed to supplement his or her private sector job(s) in order to rise above the poverty line. However, their remaining public currency, which they truly earned while working as a public citizen, could legally be used within the public markets.
Local governments may have to kick-start these new public economies by providing land, buildings, and funding, but I’m confident that once these economies get launched they will become very self-sustaining and the government and all citizens, private and public, will be better off in the long run. The overall bi-economy will flourish and prosper quite well.
It would also be nice to one day extend this concept to a social economy and a capitalistic economy, whereby any citizen, whether they are poor or not, could choose to live in a more socialized economy. In such an economy, citizens would still be free to start up and operate their own business, but there would be more rules and guidelines in terms of price setting and profiting. In other words, let the capitalists have their world and let the socialists have theirs. Hopefully though, a delicate balance between the two economic systems could be achieved, since I believe pure capitalism and pure socialism are both, on their own, doomed to fail. I’m confident such a balanced system will become a reality and will usher in a new golden age of prosperity and well being.
By Guyus Seralius–March 12, 2013