Full cost accounting, the design of money, and crowd-funding

Today had a bumper crop of amazingly good articles getting more widespread publicity at long last.

Getting the Market to Tell Ecological Truths
by Lester Brown

https://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/11-12

One of the shocking conclusions of this article is that the full cost of a litre of petrol -when you account for indirect and long-term consequential costs, “including climate change, oil industry tax breaks, military protection of the oil supply, oil industry subsidies, oil spills, and treatment of auto exhaust-related respiratory illnesses” -estimated at 12 U.S. dollars per Imperial gallon = 1.66 British pounds per litre, then the full cost of petrol is around £2.84/l! (when market price is reckoned as £1.28/l, before the recent price shock due to the strike threat)

and

What’s all the fuzz about money?
Debt-free money may well be the solution to restoring a sane monetary system.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/04/20124395428374962.html

Comment on Al-Jazeera article by Positive Money:
http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/2012/04/aljazeera-debt-free-money-may-well-be-the-solution/

“What if money itself needed to be changed? This is not a debate about the financial system per se, but actually an argument about the intrinsic “design” of money.

But, isn’t money just money? No, it isn’t, and paradoxically, though the debates precedes its emergence, the internet played a big role in teaching us a new truth: Money is designed, and that design matters.

Today though, money creation has become a largely private affair. Not only is government money created through debt, but most money in circulation is also created through the leveraging of banks. Most of the money is lent into existence and thus essentially created by private banks in a system of generalised compound interest.”

Communities urged to ‘crowd fund’ green energy schemes

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2167115/communities-urged-crowd-fund-green-energy-schemes

Crowd-funding (historically known as co-operative finance) is an alternative to the need for accumulation of capital through interest-bearing lending as a pre-condition of capital investment in development.

As I’ve been waffling on about for a couple of years, yes a certain amount of concentration of capital is necessary to get worthwhile but initially expensive innovative development projects going, and traditionally that’s through private ownership of vast accumulations of capital acquired through the design of the monetary system being based on interest-bearing debts, but now we have the technology (internet and mobile phones for instant digital payments) quite suddenly co-operative finance or ‘crowd-sourcing’ -retaining democratic control of capital in the most directly, genuinely ‘free’ market way possible, becomes exponentially more feasible.

As soon as it’s taken up, because it’s intrinsically likely to be more cost-effective for society as a whole to use crowd-funding instead of older mechanisms of concentrating capital resources, it’s likely to evolve and invade the finance markets and -hopefully- become an ESS (evolutionary stable strategy) pretty damn quick, please!

(Btw, I think EnergyShare was brokered by Triodos Investment Management. Another Hooray please for Triodos!)

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