A little while ago I tried to understand quantum mechanics and realised that atomic physicists talk in a different language. There are fermions and bosons and all sorts of other exotic names for the different types of particles. And when we talk about particles we are really talking about waves. Except not all of the time, because sometimes… (this is where I stop talking about things I don’t really understand)
And I wondered if that could be a problem in what I am proposing.
A new language?
You see what I am talking about is radical. Our economies are built on debt. We expect to have to borrow money (for example the UK government expects UK students to take out loans to pay for basics whilst they are at university). We live in a “buy now pay later” society. So talking about a debt-free world is talking about something we have no experience of and so makes little sense to us. It is like playing monopoly but not being allowed to turn the cards over and mortgage them – it changes the whole way the game is played.
But it is also the way that many people are taught how to get rid of personal debt problems and how people who have been made bankrupt have to live.
Let me expand on this. I have been through the CAP Money Course (CAP is a charity which helps people deal with money management and debt problems). The idea is to help people simplify their finances and an important part of this is for you to stop using credit cards and instead use cash.
What difference does this make – simply that if you use cash you can only spend what you have in your wallet or purse; if you use a credit card you can end up borrowing money.
So I need to try to find ways of talking about the world which stop you thinking about the world you know and start thinking about a different sort of world.
So come with me to solvent land. When you want something you can have it – as long as you have enough dough in your pocket or doubloons in your vault.
If you don’t have enough, you cannot have it. It’s that simple.
If you really want something and you don’t have enough doubloons now, you will have to save up for it – putting aside doubloons in your vault every week or month until you do have enough. If you get paid in dough you can take this to the vault-minder and get it converted into doubloons. And you can turn doubloons into dough if you need more to carry around in your pocket.
If you want to do something big which needs more doubloons than you have, you will have to find someone, or a group of people, with enough doubloons. They will either give you the doubloons or invest it in some way – for example buying what you need and renting it to you.
Solvent land may not look very different to the world we live in now, but it will be. We won’t have banks any more, we will have vaults where our doubloons are looked after by vault-minders. We will have clever devices called plastic doubloons which allow us to get at the doubloons in our vault without needing to travel all the way to the vault to fetch them. They will use electronic communication to tell the vault-minders to move doubloons from our vault to someone elses vault.
So if we were living in solvent land can you think of things you can do now that you would want to be able to do but wont be able to do? Here are a few ideas:
- spending next months pay (will not be allowed)
- using someone else’s doubloons to pay for my stuff (only if they give them to you)
- buying the latest gadget when it comes out (only if you have enough doubloons in your vault)