Just A Controversial Thought: How About Resource Based Economy?

Not only our profiles are online nowadays, but our financial information are also online.  Albeit, our financial information are encrypted and well kept in digital vaults, but as we know it even encryption sometimes isn’t enough.  If you’ve been diligent in perusing technology news online, you probably have encountered numerous stories that reported on how hackers had successfully penetrated security systems of various banks, corporations, and businesses.  With the advents of evermore sophisticated technology, we tend to think the next algorithm or encryption will end all successful hacking attempts.  Nonetheless, I highly doubt so!

With our financial information online, we can never really be safe.  When look closer, encrypting our financial information online can be just as safe as having cash on hand.  At least, with having cash on hand, we are sure that we are the one who is counting the money.  Online though, we are never too sure who is looking at our financial information if encryption isn’t doing its job.  Plus, evermore digitizing our financial information, we are frustrating the people who are not so computer savvy.  In fact, it is outright dangerous for the people who do not know how to protect their financial information properly through the Internet (i.e., banking online).

In my opinion, the people who are promoting to replace a cash society with a cashless society is at best foolish.  Plus, a cashless society is very bad for the economy as a whole if we are not too careful.  How come?  In my opinion, when there isn’t much oversight in who has the control over whom money, there will be tendencies for all sorts of ill will.  Plus, cashless society has to rely on electronic, and we know electronic can be hacked (or fictitiously conjured up new, unlimited electronic credits such as billions of dollars all reside on an electronic monetary system).  Without cash as an alternative currency form, people in cashless society has only electronic to rely on keeping their money safe.  Imagine if one day you wake up to find your bank account is totally wiped out, and the bank cannot reinstate the lost amount of money in your online bank balance, what will you do if you’re living in a cashless society where cash will no longer represent anything but just a piece of paper?  At least in a cash society, you have a choice in staying away from the bank that does not want to accomodate you and yet you are able to use your cash for certain transactions.  I imagine in a cashless society, all transactions have to go through a form of electronic banking system, whether you like it or not.

As our technology advances evermore, us humans should be able to allow everything to represent as a something of value.  By this I mean we can use intelligent computer software to help us manage and calculate resources on hand, and we can totally use whatever resources we have on hand to trade for other resources as if we’re using money.  For an example, gold was money once in the ancient time.  Now, gold is considered something of value but not outright money in large part of the world.  Since our ancestors did not have advanced computers to do multitude amount of calculation, therefore it was easier for them to make sure that there was only one form of money.  Nowadays, one form of money can be easily manipulated out of ill will for bad causes, self indulgence, and so on (e.g., inflation and deflation manipulations, interest manipulation).  Sure, ill will has a tendency to be resilient whether we like it or not and whether our society has improved in morality or not, but resource based economy might be harder for ill will to have it easy in manipulating the economy.  Furthermore, it’s simply that resource based economy might give people more choices in figuring out how to survive and stay above the poverty line.

I had watched a YouTube video and saw how Jacque Fresco expressed his view on resource based economy, and it was interesting.  Nonetheless, I’m not sure I understood him all that well, but I think he has always wanted to promote the idea of how machine will decide what resources go to who.  I think his idea on having machine to decide what resources go to who is a little too extreme.  I think I have seen a video in which Jacque Fresco said machine is unbiased, therefore it might be better at distributing resources than humans.  To me though, machine has to be so intelligent in order for it to be smart enough to be unbiased in distributing resources among us, but the machine with that kind of intelligence might as well be biased and devilish.  Instead of having machine to keep an eye on human economy, why not having machine to act as a calculating tool as it has always been — and we only have to let resource based economy to work among the decisions that the humans love to make.  In the end, it might be better for an individual human being to realize one’s foolishness in a trade (i.e., a trade of resource as if using resource as money) than having to blame a machine for having a hiccup (i.e., electronic error).

In conclusion, I think people who are discontented with a cash society and too fearful of cashless society might think resource based economy is the way to go.  Nonetheless, resource based economy had not worked out all that well for the ancient people; their technology wasn’t smart enough to iron out potential problems within a resource based economy (e.g., facilitating transactions, recording gigantic amount of records, computing complex transaction types, etc…).  With this in mind, people of today might not be too fond of resource based economy since we don’t exactly remember a single exemplary example of resource based economy (i.e., to prove that it’s more superior than our current active economic model).  Still, I think with our advanced technology, resource based economy might be worth a try.

Afterthought:  Perhaps, some people might argue resource based economy might be too complex for large businesses to bother.  Nonetheless, we can also argue that large businesses have more resources to work with than small businesses, therefore they can easily identify the proper resources for trading.  Plus, large businesses can always deploy advanced technology (i.e., supercomputer) to facilitate transactions.  Nowadays, it is not too hard to automate transactions and things in general.  Furthermore, resource based economy doesn’t necessary promote a society without cash or credit through electronic banking system, instead a resource based economy that I think of can work alongside cash and electronic credit.  After all, the resource based economy that I think of is all about facilitating transactions of anything that has value.  This means whatever is being valued by another human fellow, trade can be made.  Of course, the government themselves can collect tax according to the resources they want to prioritize in safekeeping.  If the governments make the wrong decisions on maximizing certain resources, they too can be poorer just like an individual human, business, and so on.  Nonetheless, the governments can rely on the strength of resource based economy (i.e., more resources can be used as currency) to prosper.

To Clear Things Up:  I’m not an expert in economics at all.  In fact, I’m far from knowing enough economics to participate in any economic debate.  Nonetheless, this article is an expression of my state of mind on our current economic crisis in the West.  Europe is having great difficulty in keeping their economies from not getting out of control (e.g., liquidity issue, inflation, etc…).  United States might have to print even more money to keep U.S. economy stays competitive, but printing more money might encourage outrageous inflation (i.e., purchasing power of the money might decline heavily).  This is why resource based economy has peaked my interest.  Nonetheless, we never know if resource based economy works or not and we can only think that it might work, because we don’t currently live in a resource based economy.  By the way, this article is till pretty much in line with EssayBoard topics, because it does question how we best use our technology in improving our ancient monetary system.

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