Sunday, 15 January 2017

Beyond Nudging

Its great to see you recognising that human behaviour changes according to the economic environment people live within, I gained real experience of this by employing migrants on my farm and tried various ways of payments systems to encourage a better work ethic, and found that as long as employees have control in their pay by the effort put in , then there is almost limitless work can be achieved with huge satisfaction on behalf of the employee and greatly reduced management by the employer, so a win win situation, The the employer must however, have no problem on the level of earnings of those with the highest potential, often the high flyers can earn up to 4X the slowest . It also helps when the employees are incentivised with a target of buying a house , getting married , buying a car etc , this sets real ambition and drives individuals to considerable heights. 

To the employer there is also so much to be gained , less supervision , more productivity, reliability of employees turning up for work, better communications  due to understanding job specifications, and achieving time and cost targets. 

So when I read this as an active environmentalist who has been proposing a radical change in the economic and fiscal models , it came apparent that to achieve the desired outcome , any change must incorporate a natural incentive for everyone , and be seen to be fair and equal to all. 

To this end I have been trying to have a far more round holistic approach to the present crisis we see ourselves in, by including all major problem together, not as individual problems

1 Global personal debt problems 
2 Unfair distribution of wealth
3 Gross tax evasion , avoidance and fraud
3 Distorted taxation systems that reward the wealthy dis-proportionally, compared to the salaried and waged.
4 No real payment for the use and consumption of all Natural Resources
5 No recognition of the scale  pollution has on health and on Nature in fiscal terms 
6 Endless growth is non sustainable ?
7 No empowerment of the individual ,businesses to do the right thing naturally 
8 Poor control over endless waste through bad design and poor education , food waste, poor house design , road layouts etc etc 
9 The list goes on ......and on 

All these have had small incremental changes specifically designed for each case but there has been no overall fundamental look and the best ways from an economic and behaviourally aspect for a long time. There has been great advancements in technology and it has been thought this alone would get us out of the problems we are causing by technology. 

I believe we have to create a new system of thing driven by a new economic model , by empowering everyone equally with potential and targets of doing so much better than now. 

Given the tools everyone has far more unleashed potential if only they were given more financial freedom, it should not only be the preserve of the upper class and financially well to have the possibility of exciting creativity, it should be available to all in a fully inclusive society. 
We have the tools for real change, computers, educated people, resources in abundance , What is lacking is the drive by all to one aim, not necessarily direct but indirect through all the goods and services we buy and consume daily. 

It is this subliminal change in how we buy and what we buy, that will be the change that we need to revolutionise the whole way we see ourselves on the planet.  

My aim is to get governments to scrap all existing taxes , as they are often unfair and distorting, and replace with a new Natural Resource Tax , collected as close to source as possible. This NRT would be based on the damage caused to the planets ecosystems and all life on the earth and sufficient funds raised to replace all the revenue required by governments for their expenditure needs. 

Also, a Universal Basic Income wold become and integral part of the fundamental change as also would be a death tax to prevent vast accumulated wealth being hived away from the economy, and so maintain a steady money flow without the need of high GDP growth that is such a problem in today's economy. 

I cant find any modelling that has been done with this combined approach , but combined with real understanding of how human behaviour works  I am sure this could well be the win win model we are looking for. 

Greed as we have at present and a selfishness that often goes alongside   although tempered with a little philanthropy , does nothing to tackle the real problems which could often be solved by individuals collectively at a local level if the financial incentives were there in an on-going process. 
By Taxing the bad resources heavily . it would then send a whole new signal to how we design, manufacture, process, transport, advertise, market and finally consume all goods and services, to everyone equally and indeed it would redirect the consumer in being in charge of what is made, based on the real value all Natural Resources are to mankind  and all of Earths life. 

Katherine , I think what you are exploring is the most important topic of the day , but needs to be linked with a whole new way of valuing life and the planets finite resources. 

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