SEEDS Basic Income

Tnx for your answer and clarification on how the harvest works @MaxVBohn.

I see this situation where a fixed amount creates an expectation of people that we should avoid to keep the ecosystem healthy when growth doesn’t happen. For that reason I believe the SEEDS Basic Income should not be a fixed amount but always the amount of Seeds the Basic Income account holds divided by 4, with also a maximum per lunar cycle that grows based on how successful the Basic Income is creating circulation of Seeds on a global level (as I described in the proposal with the phases), where the Basic Income account receives these Seeds based on how well SEEDS is doing economically. This could be through campaign proposals and with Harvest that goes to the Basic Income account (and perhaps in another way we haven’t thought about yet). This about how the Basic Income can be lower than forecasted is something I feel like adding to the proposal now that you brought this up. This should be clear to avoid expectations and disappointment.

I don’t see how the Harvest solves this issue. The Harvest can also get lower if the growth of SEEDS slows. And if the growth of SEEDS reverses, can Seeds be burned fast enough to leave any value for Harvest? Or are you mentioning that this is where the Basic Income becomes extra important because this is something the Harvest doesn’t have with what I quoted below?

Also responding to that quote; the idea with the 3 phases I described is that the Basic Income becomes less limited as the SEEDS economy grows. In phase 3 I also described that a percentage of Basic Income Tokens can start to have a later expiry date. I guess this is a functionality that could just go out of the proposal to leave this additional value over to the rewards that come from the Harvest.

There was 1 really important feature of the SEEDS Basic Income I forgot to mention in my previous response to your question. I personally feel like the SEEDS Basic Income is a healthy and valuable addition to the Harvest mechanism mostly because of what @neilkt shared:

Most money in our world is permanent (besides that it devaluates over time) and that is why wealth stays concentrated for generations. Seeds are supposed to keep their purchasing power, meaning that Seeds are even more permanent than Fiat. I believe money that expires creates much healthier valuation flows and that is why I believe in tokens build on top of Seeds that expire if you don’t use them.

This reverses equality and I consider this equitable. I see you mentioned you don’t necessarily consider this equitable in the case of the SEEDS Basic Income proposal and this is subjective to a certain extend, so we might just have a different vision of what equitable means.

What I see with the Harvest is that the people and organisations that join SEEDS earlier can still benefit from SEEDS more than those who joined later, because they can save up their Harvest as long as they want. With the SEEDS Basic Income this is the same, but the early adopters just couldn’t save the Seeds they didn’t use, which makes it healthier for the SEEDS ecosystem and harder to keep this in my opinion inequitable behaviour of the concentration of wealth.

I like the idea to combine the SEEDS Basic Income with the Harvest where this can simplify the need for organising and overseeing.

Now I also got curious about mechanisms that include expiring Harvest that could be implemented to create a similar effect and that makes sense as much as it does that gratitude tokens and Basic Income Tokens expire.
Any ideas here?

I would personally like to see that this half of the population gets a little bit more and that Europeans get a little bit less, so we are actually reversing inequality and working towards becoming 1 planetary specie with equal opportunities.

What do you think?

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First of I wanted to share my appreciation with you @Bart for birthing and stewarding this exploration group. Your efforts and passion is truly inspiring. :sparkles:

I won’t have space to contribute to this exploration for now but I will follow your endeavours closely to maybe of support in one way or another in the near future. Travel well :sailboat:

I strongly support your words around reversing inequality by adding this visual to the thread with an ask to embody equity:
image

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Hello there, I just want to voice my appreciation for you @Bart and hope it doesn’t feel like I have been going against you in my comments. :slight_smile:

To me it feels easy to see things in isolation as well as connected as a whole (it’s just a sense not that it is true reality, I might be very wrong :sweat_smile:). But I have trouble describing what I see simply and not cold and dry since it has a multitude of perspectives to cover. So thank you for going on the co-dis-covery with me :pray:

I’m a bit busy now, but maybe I can make a direct comparison of the Harvest and your BI-model at some point.

But to pick up on your response:
Around the mechanisms at play
If the amount of available Basic Income is programmatically determent to grow

it seems very similar to the Harvest in determining the available amount. That’s why I was suggesting to use it as a sub-BI of the Harvest.
If there is also Humans deciding how high the amount is or there is a bare min. then it increases in complexity: “what will the min. amount be?” “is it the same for every region?” “who is going to decide?” etc. all very important things to be clear about first.

Technically the Harvest has the ability to counter the de-growth of SEEDS. There “just” has to be agreement among the citizens to do so (just not in this focused manner as the BI).
That would be true for the BI as well.

All these things I don’t see played through and defined yet.
Many points aren’t that different from the Harvest only limited in terms of use. Increasing the use case for it over time is just saying “we do the same as the Harvest but not from the beginning and someone (who ever that is) will determine what will be added to the use cases at which point”.

Equality and Equity (I usually say Equitability has a bit of baggage)
Thanks @Kath.PlanetHive for posting the image again!!
How the BI is distributed is crucial for it to lead to equality or equity.
If saying everyone gets the same BI, it will help move to equality around bare necessities, but not straight to equity.
It is like putting the same box under everyone to reach the apple.

The problem with real equity for me is that it is in the twilight of objective and subjective. Who is going to determine what is equitable?
When you have a certain framing like 3 People of different heights, one tree, three fruits on the same height it becomes easy and simple to make that distinction but the world is a little more complex.

Moving in such spaces is a slippery slope.

A little side note:

People of different heights would not need a box to reach the apples if they supported each other.

There are many things to be considered here and it is very hard to test since it requires local and global to be looked at at the same time.
Therefore to really try things out only a play-through seems viable to gain more insight.
E.g. 50+ people can say how much they spent each week or month on bare necessities (list of items determined by everyone) and we see how much everyone thinks they need. How much they would potentially safe and what they think it would mean to them.
If the BI is not limited to bare necessities how would it be then?
But that is not a small undertaking either ^^

Another side note:

Nature is changing but the paste is different

I cringe when I hear nature is impermanent and money (or plastic) is. Nothing is permanent or better: everything is changeful.
Also in nature, even only limited to this planet, we have build up reserves for a long time: ice on the poles and mountains.
There are rocks deteriorating slower then plastics, revealing the times of millions of years.
The paper and metal of money might exist very long but the value of it changes constantly, grows and deteriorates over time.
I can’t see how it is not behaving a lot like a tree.

I highly appreciate your feedback @MaxVBohn all questions need to be addressed also the critical ones.

Reaction to your side note:

You are right, in the long term nothing is constant. The previous quote I used apparently didn’t describe the nature of why expiring money can be so much more valuable. I’ll try to describe the value of tokens that expires in a way that makes more sense. Maybe the question should be:

What prevents any individual from hoarding Seeds beyond their needs?

Is that something that occurs in nature? Things flourish where the ecosystem is healthy while I believe hoarding resources beyond ones needs is something that works destructive to ecosystems and that goes agains the nature of any healthy ecosystem.

In the case of humanity wealth stays concentrated for generations as a consequence of this behavior. There is a gigantic lack of equal opportunity in our societies. Tokens that expire have a lot of potential to prevent this from happening again in SEEDS.

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Mila and I have set up a Zoom to talk about what is being discussed in this topic on Wednesday 2021-09-01T13:00:00Z2021-09-01T14:00:00Z

With this call this topic can start as an exploration group to see how we can combine the development of a meaningful circulation of Seeds with a smart strategy to fairly distribute value among people that make use of this circulation. I am excited to further develop, fine tune and see what we can make of this!

@MaxVBohn @apostol @guyjames @DayaJ @reyna @andythegreenie @mbh66 @Arian @neilkt @Sam. Do you know anyone else who could be interested?

Zoom link:
RE Exploration Group: SEEDS Basic Income
Facilitated by Bart Elbertse

Meeting ID: 818 3335 4753
Passcode: 682907

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Thanks Bart, I’ll be there.
Could I please ask that you paste the full Zoom invite into your message above, rather than just the link? It’s just so that I can add it into my Zoom client.
Thanks and looking forward to it! :pray:

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Sarafu Network, a successful basic income project in Kenya run by Grassroots Economics in conjunction with the Kenyan Red Cross, has demurrage built into it. So naturally, velocity of circulation is high in those Kenyan communities that use Sarafu to meet their basic needs. In fact, could SEEDS partner up with Grassroots Economics to encourage emerging SEEDS communities in Kenya to use Sarafu Network as a basic income for its members whilst building up SEEDS as the economic system for the regenerative projects within those communities, thereby avoiding the temptation within poor communities to keep cashing out Seeds into fiat, which seems to concern Hypha/MBC so much when it comes to grassroots campaign proposals?

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We cannot reverse inequality from centuries in few years.
I don’t know how to teach Taliban people that women deserve the same opportunities.
I don’t want to share my piece of land with a beautiful river with thousands of people.
I don’t know how to tell people driving 4w vehicles that they don’t need it.
I think that the planet does not have enough resources for a European way of life for 7 billion inhabitants.
I am willing to give few hours of my work to help others, but few people want to learn meditation and any other efforts maybe fruitless.

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This drawing is funny but it is showing a very individualistic (anglo-saxon?) solution. In France, we would probably organize a coop to collect all the apple and start a protest because we do not agree on the way to distribute them. The article of wikipedia on social equity is linked to gender, race and religion. Do you have a better source to explain equity?

I don’t know if we must spend a lot of time on this semantic difference between equality and equity. We both agree that there is a lot of thing to do to improve the situation.
As the French motto is “liberty, equality, fraternity” I probably have a strong cultural bias.

Yes, great idea to partner with GRE. I think Will R. is aware of SEEDS but as he’s having a great deal of success with his own projects, and obviously doesn’t have a lot of time, the onus is probably on us to bridge the two projects. Grace Rachmany has become a director of GRE and is also within the SEEDS ecosystem so she might be a good go-to person.

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Sorry I have to disagree in a general context there again.
Money is the value we give it, not the object. We know that.
The value of money is going down (natural demurrage of our financial system). Only that people are not so much aware of it since the numbers on the bank account stay the same.

The rich stay rich not because they have money but because they use the money they have to create more for them. This does happen not through hording money but investing it.

The only people benefiting from the ability to safe money for a longer period of time is the “middle class” by accumulating wealth to finally make bigger investments that result in long term value like “building a house”.

Demurrage or the loss of value has often been used to increase financial flow but that also means an increase of consumption. From a regenerative point of view an increased flow of a currency is not necessarily desirable. A “stable” value on the other hand would serve at least the sustainability of things.
Seeds as a general currency wouldn’t work well if demurrage is implemented, not in attracting use cases nor in facilitating SEEDS purpose and vision.

I have no studies at hand to back my claims here and I just hope I can convey it without the need for looking for it (too little time at hand ;))

In the context of UBI (or Minimal Viable Income !? isn’t everything MV nowadays? :laughing:) I do agree that your approach is good, so it is not an argument against that.
Using it like the GRE / as the GRE would be a very good opportunity to try it out.

But perhaps the principle of demurrage can be found already within SEEDS? For example, one’s vote tokens (a governance currency) decrease after Full Moon as an incentive to make people spend them before Full Moon. Also, if one does not vote/abstain on all proposals in a voting cycle, then one’s Reputation Score decreases, reducing one’s number of voting tokens in the next voting cycle. Also, if one does not use any of one’s allotted gratitude tokens ( a social signalling currency) within a voting cycle, one does not receive any Seeds rewards. If you don’t spend your gratitude tokens by the end date, their value disappears. As for a demurrage-based basic income increasing financial flow, this does not necessarily lead to an overall increase of consumption but just - especially in a poor community - a mopping up of surplus resources (eg. food) that could otherwise not be consumed because it could not be afforded and would therefore go to waste. In my community there is a huge surplus of food thrown out by supermarkets every day even though there are lots of poor people who have to go to food banks for a minimal handout of food because they have too little money to buy food with. An increase in poor people’s food consumption would help regenerate that local community.

Some rich people stay rich by investing their money. But many other rich people stay rich by gaining monopoly power over a scarce resource and then charging a high rent for that resource despite little or no investment in improving the quality and/or quantity of that resource. My local private water company has a monopoly over the water resource in my local area and is notorious for doing very little investment in maintaining the water infrastructure - which now leaks huge quantities of raw sewage into local rivers/beaches frequently - despite extracting huge profits for its executives and shareholders through its charges on consumers who can’t go elsewhere for their water. This is just one example of rent seeking that can make a small number of rich people even richer through little or no work at all.

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Yes, most definitely there are use cases for demurrage to be implemented within SEEDS, but that is different from making Seeds lose in value automatically. Not saying that it can also become useful there at some point but no one could predict that.

When I was working in supermarkets and restaurant the crazy thing I learned is, that they do buy so much food and throw it away not because people don’t buy it. It is because it is better for them to have too much in case someone buys it for a “high” price than not having enough.
So even if everyone can afford the food, with todays business and consumption mentality, supermarkets would still rather provide the freshest, fully stocked shelves and throw access away than dropping the price or be more resourceful.

This would only work if there is clear support of local farmers where their produce can be clearly traced to the end customer.

That is very true and extremely sad, showing where the idealism of capitalism (We always want to do our best) doesn’t work out.
Still the owners of the local water monopoly would not be fazed by the local currency losing value. They just put it in something else. Buy up more land, another district, gold, bitcoin, build a casino to forget ones struggles in.
The local tenants on the other hand will have to struggle even more to change something, e.g. to move places and buy a new home.

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Yes, I do hope Hypha/MBC is on the case - or will become on the case - with exploring collaborative possibilities with Grassroots Economics. I think in the long term such possibilities are huge, especially as bioregional DHOs in the global South in places like East Africa start forming. These DHOs will have the opportunity to create their own tokens for circulation within their own communities and these could have demurrage built into them to help create basic incomes within their disadvantaged communities, and they could certainly partner up with Grassroots Economics to build these new community currencies. One important point: it’s perhaps questionable whether Seeds could be used as a general purpose currency to meet basic needs within places like Kenya if Seeds becomes commonly converted at scale to local fiat, as that rmight run the risk of upsetting the local financial authorities. I think Will Ruddick was arrested briefly by the Kenyan authorities because they misunderstood what he was trying to do with community currencies. My understanding is - and I’m not absolutely sure about this - is that they thought he was, in effect, creating his own version of the Kenyan Shilling and money printing at will. He wasn’t, as his community currencies are not, and never were designed to be, convertible into Kenyan Shillings. But certainly we have to be sensitive to local circumstances when introducing SEEDS-based schemes within the global South, where some governments are very nervous about any currency schemes that they perceive as possible threats to their own local currencies. This is where the expertise of local experts like Will Ruddick and his colleagues can be invaluable.

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You are quite right that rich people can stay rich by investing their money. Which reminds me that one option for creating a basic income for poor communities within the SEEDS ecosystem is to create a DHO within SEEDS where rich philanthropists within the SEEDS ecosystem could pool their funds to direct investments into poor communities within SEEDS via ubi schemes (within and outside SEEDS tokenomics) that inject fiat currency into such communities. Direct transfers of fiat from the global North into the global South is essential if global inequality is ever to be properly addressed. After all, much of the global North became rich partly as a result of direct transfers of wealth from the global South to the global North.

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Yes, there’s a fascinating documentary about WR here - he was put in prison for counterfeiting money, and I actually contributed to the crowdfunder at the time to help get him out, which is how I heard of him.

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Yes, absolutely fascinating documentary. Should perhaps be required viewing to understand some of the issues with community currency development in African contexts? Just importing Seeds into African communities without paying attention to local regulatory systems could be risky and backfire without careful forethought.