Frequently Asked Questions
In the past , countries would create hard currency, according to the amount of gold reserves they had. This is no longer done.
Today a country creates curre ncy according to the amount of marketable goods and services it has.
Both those who buy goods and services made in a country and those who produce goods and services that are sold are contributing to that country’s wealth.
Since all people in the world would be purchasing goods and services from their $500, ALL PEOPLE, not only the producers, are helping to provide markets for the goods and services that are sold under the World Marshall Plan, and so EVERYBODY IS GENERATING THE CURRENCY FOR THIS SUPPLEMENTARY ECONOMY.
This makes this Plan different from other Marshall Plans. In other Plans the “rich” are asked to provide the money for the “poor “. Here there is a redistribution of what exists. In Kooistra’s Plan, there is INCREASED production, because not only goods and services are increased, but also markets.
The bureaucracy of the World Marshall Plan is small in comparison to that used in existing government services.
Let us take the Netherlands as an example, because it was here the Plan was developed. In the Netherlands, when the Service for Post, Telegraph and Telephone were still a governmental institution, it employed 100,000 civil servants. The World Marshall Plan would require only 30,000 to cover the whole of the Netherlands.
The World Marshall Plan has the advantage that it is set up in our present telecommunications era and can therefore automate much of its work from the start.
In those versions of communism which were criticized for their large bureaucracies, there was an effort to achieve full employment, even if this meant overemployment. In this World Marshall Plan, each pair of development workers has the mandate to counsel 1000 people and to participate in small group meetings. This provides each with a full – time activity, as follows:
Let us assume that a country has approximately 400 households per 1000 people and that the 2 UN development workers are able to visit 4 families or single persons a day, each once a year. Each development worker would then spend 100 of their 240 working days (in the typical Dutch working year) for other tasks: attending small group discussion meetings, extra counseling, and so on.
In the Netherlands , this would mean an increase of 30,000 jobs, very similar to those performed by post office employees, of which there are 100,000 in the Netherlands alone. More than three times the amount!
3. The U.N. has been accused of being an enormous bureaucracy. Will the World Marshall Plan not make the U.N. even more cumbersome?
At present, much effort is made to cut down on unnecessary posts at the U.N., to “rationalize” it, as this is called. The World Marshall Plan which will consist of 2 development workers per 1000 people, and experts to set up and maintain the computer network, has been set up to be a “lean” establishment. As it evolves, it can be trimmed, as the need arises.
There are regular population censuses in every country, which take between 3 and 14 days to carry out. The U.N. has provided a large number of countries with the necessary technology and vehicles to penetrate the more remote regions. These population censuses are not perfect, but they are likely to improve as technology becomes more easily available, and governments become more motivated to reach every one of their citizens.
It may be impossible to conduct censuses in war-torn areas, in areas where there are many homeless people, or where the government is uncooperative, for instance. All these problems are a result of human actions, they can be prevented, as the Plan’s incentives become known and sufficiently valued.
The World Marshall Plan provides the following incentives:
Every person receiving a supplementary in come will contribute to
- a strengthened world economy,
- increased markets,
- tax revenue (usually for their own government),
- greater social stability, and
- a happier human and more flourishing natural environment.
As the plan takes hold and expands to increasing areas, both governments and citizens are likely to be interested in providing optimal conditions for the Supplementary Economy. Governments would then make the necessary infrastructures a priority; citizens are likely to be keen to register; and battles might well be stopped, as has sometimes been the case , to allow health workers to inoculate children in one of the war zones.
5. Development assistance has been known to end up in the wrong pockets. How can fraud be prevented.
Fraud and dishonesty plagues every aspect of today’s life. They may therefore well occur in the World Marshall Plan. However, the Plan provides safeguards. These are:
- No money is distributed as supplementary income. Embezzlement would therefore involve the annexation of goods and services, ordered by another person. This is safeguarded because:
- Requests for goods and services are made after private person to person consultation with a couple of development workers, who after the private consultation, will often understand WHY they were ordered. The development workers are there to safeguard the process against coercion.
- Every person is a member of a small discussion group where he or she will have had an opportunity to speak. Coercion may well be detected by fellow group members.
- Goods and services may be collected only after identification of the receiver. It will be difficult to pick up what another person has requested.
- Everyone is subject to the same rules: anyone wishing to check what anyone else anywhere in the world has ordered can do so by consulting the computer system. All people are therefore one another’s “keepers”.
- Development workers work in pairs. One is chosen from the immediate region, the other from the international level. Theirs are likely to be quite different backgrounds and they will be able to check up on each other’s work.
In other words, regional and international development workers, fellow discussion group members and anyone anywhere in the world wishing to check on irregular purchasing patterns in specific regions — all these are “keepers” of the system.
Moreover: ANYONE CHEATING RISKS EXCLUSION FROM THE SYSTEM AS PRODUCER AND AS RECIPIENT. In the beginning when each receives U.N. $500 , ones “good name” is at stake. As one’s income increases, say in 15 – 20 years, one stands to lose as much as $15000 per year, as well as ones reputation worldwide.
Today there are certain substances that are banned: ivory, some hazardous substances, etc. These are banned because they are destructive to humanity or the environment. Such bans will, of course, be honoured by the World Marshall Plan.
Other decisions pertaining to goods and services that are available through the Plan are made in the small discussion groups. These will decide which ones are harmful to the region or the world. For instance, it is unlikely that people would be allowed to use their supplementary income toward a car in New York City. Cars are impractical here and they contribute to pollution, lung diseases, etc. On the other hand, in a rural area, a village might pool their resources to buy a lorry to take products to market.
Each person has maximum freedom to determine the direction of his or her own development and is limited only by considerations with regard to the good of the community and the environment.
The method of decision making, is nothing more than a system for doing things, like electing a government, or making a phone call.
People are free to participate, or not.
Men wishing to dispose of their wives’ incomes or other people who wish to take control have little chance. They are monitored by development workers who come from outside ofthe region
7. Both consensus building and sociocracy are time consuming, would it not be more effective and efficient to use other democratic processes, like voting.
In today’s interdependent world, partial solutions no longer work. If one person has an infectious disease, all others are in danger; if one region is polluted, the poisons are likely to spread to other areas; if there is terrorism in one area, people’s travels to other parts of the world will be constrained through long baggage searches, fear, and so on. We are either all a part of the solution, or solutions will be undermined.
For this reason, it is imperative that all people begin to think globally, that all people understand the cause of today’s problems and see their resolution as our joint responsibility.
The decision-making process of consensus and consent, as in sociocracy, familiarize people with the pros and cons of each subject and encourage each person to think for him or herself. By actively participating in discussions and actively giving consent to solutions, all participants become actively involved in the solution and partly responsible.
When, on the other hand, a topic is voted on, there are always some who are for and some who are opposed. Those opposed will tend to feel less responsible for the good outcome of the matter voted on, may not want to participate in the solution, and may even sabotage proceedings.
The U.N. has been dealing with global problems since its inception. Initially, it made decisions by simple majority vote (procedural decisions); or 2/3 majority (substantive decisions.) It has, over the years changed its decision-making process to increase the number of subjects that can be decided by consensus so as to ensure that all countries standby decisions and become an active part of the solution.
Decisions by consent are much more easily made, since people do not have to agree. They may not be opposed. This is to safeguard people and the environment from harmful goodsand services.
This process initially takes time but lays the foundation for durable solutions, whereas decisions by vote often are ignored by those who voted against it.
Five hundred U.N. Dollars are a supplementary income. It is a great deal to a person whoearns $400 dollars a year. To him or her, it can make the difference between survival and starvation, especially if every man, woman and child in a family receives such a basic income.
In the industrialized countries, the supplementary income is enough for most people to want to give thought to how they wish to improve their lives. Since the amount is likely to increase every year, the amount of thought given to one’s own development priorities isalso increased. In industrialized countries,the supplementary income will help to raise consciousness about which goods and services are wholesome and which are destructive.
The consciousness raising process in the industrialized countries will been hanced through the effect of the supplementary economy on markets and therefore on business and advertising. Business will pick up, producers will be enriched and production will increasingly focus on the goods and services that will promote the development of individuals. This will change the tone of advertising, impact consumers thinking, and focus the demand on wholesome products.
Both men and women receive an individual supplementary income, which they can dispose of according to their own insights. In a world in which men have a say about how a woman leads her life, many women are likely to be subject to domination when the Plan is first implemented. If men wish to exclude their wives from the supplementary system, they themselves also stand to lose.
In today’s world, more and more women are taking their lives into their own hands and helping other women who wish to do this. Men are increasingly supporting women in thisprocess. The Marshall Plan will promote women’s financial independence.
There is a deeper reason for discrimination against women: people are afraid of aspects of themselves they have suppressed. The stereotype (particularlyin the industrial society) was the “irrational” woman and the “goal-oriented”, “rational” man. Where men feared their emotional sides, they kept all reminders of this side of themselves under control, including by “looking down” on women, since they were said to embody the “irrational”.
As we are encouraged to think caringly about our individual development, we become more and more conscious of all the aspects of ourselves we overlooked in the past. We nurture these and give them the attention they thusfar lacked, and notice that, whether male or female, we ALL share an ability to feel and express emotion and intuition. We can all act in a goal-oriented fashion, which used to be the realm identified with the male. As weare more comfortable expressing all sides of ourselves, our uneasiness with other people decreases and we enjoy seeing others coming into their own.
While the supplementary economy will support a percentage of people who are not productive,its ability to grow does depend on people’s will to produce and buy marketable goods and services.
People who are blocked from expressing their creativity, become inert and are called”lazy”. As people discover the spark of their own individuation process, “laziness” is likely to decrease. In the Netherlands, which has a comprehensive social system, many unemployed people do work without pay. They are following their inner spark. In theSupplementary Economy people would be able to get paid for their activities.
Lazy people do not harm the Supplementary Economy, which requires both producers, and consumers to create the markets for the producers. The more producers and the larger the markets, the faster the world economy will grow and the larger the supplementary income of each individual person will be as time goes on. “Lazy” people, who are able to spend money, play an important part in any economy, as employers–people who PURCHASE the goods and services.
Anyone anywhere can access the computer system and see what another person has ordered. There is no privacy, regarding what one has ordered. Those who wish to purchase goods and services discreetly, can buy them from their ordinary income and use the supplementary income for something else.
Consumerism relating to material resources would indeed harm the environment. People are therefore divided into seven groups, according to their development challenges. Roughly 50% of the world will have non-material development needs, such as sport, culture and education. After some time, those requiring material goods for immediate development will also focus more on emotional, mentaland spiritual development which can continue indefinitely without using polluting or non-renewable resources.
13. How can the World Marshall Plan function in a self-centred world. Does it not require a Utopia before it can be put into practice?
We are rapidly becoming aware that today’s economy is unlikely to provide the happy and fulfilled future people desire.
The Supplementary Economy feeds a person’s deepest desires to become afully evolved and fulfilled human being. This process is frustrated only when human beings are unable to find fulfillment at a point of their natural development.
If they do find individual fulfillment, they undergo an emotional, mental and spiritual development which is as discernable as the physical one by which babies grow into children, these become teenagers, which, in turn, become adults, and so on.
The emotional, mental and spiritual maturation process involves, among other things, anability to identify with increasingly large parts of reality: the self, the family, the world and beyond. This process is stunted if development is not allowed to proceed according to what “sparks” a person’s deepest interests, for this is what enables his or her individual potential to unfold.
By making use of the “selfish” desire for personal fulfillment, individuals’ development through the Supplementary Economy will tend to result in an increased desire to adopt more responsibility and a sense of greater involvement with our world. Following the”selfish” desire for fulfillment of our deepest needs is the only way to achieve true world citizenship.
The problems of globalization that impact our lives from all sides are, in part,a result of existing infrastructures which already exist worldwide and expand sour ability to move about and to communicate from a distance.
The elements of each of the infrastructures, needed for the World Marshall Plan, already exist. They will require some expansion, some fine-tuning, but the know-how exists, and many of the parts are already in place. They have not been developed further, because until now the incentive was not there. With the prospect of a regenerated world economy with benefits for all people, and the opportunity to come to grips with our escalating problems, the infrastructures can be easily expanded with the help of the U.N. and its Agencies.
15. The Plan, as outlined at the end of the 1990s would require ten million development workers. Is this not too many people to manage, especially since with todays’ increase in population the numbers are likely to be even much greater today?
There are many times that number of civil servants in governments’ employ today, The number seems large, because we are not used to thinking about numbers in global terms.
There is no difficulty generating the necessary census takers needed to count half the world’s population every five years. Like these census takers, the ten million would come from all countries and be trained in different places. Their activities would be coordinated more easily than the activities of census takers, because in ten years from now when the plan could be in full operation our capacity for automation will have increased considerably.
16. Ten million people working for the Supplementary Economy comprise a very large number of people working for what could quickly become “big brother.” Would freedom and privacy problems not soon emerge?
Once again, looked at globally the figure is extremely large. Yet, so are the total number of postal employees or airline personnel. The reason why the latter seem less threatening, is because we seldom think of them as belonging to one group or infrastructure. Yet like the World Marshall Plan, they are all subject to the same international agreements.
We see postal, telephone and airline services as consisting of local branches, or separate companies. This, too, is true of the Supplementary Economy, which is built up of small discussion groups, and regional barter groups, etc., which will have grown into a global system, much like the worldwide telephone network has. The Supplementary Economy would be more transparent than these systems, because everyone would personally beworking with the same guidelines, and the same amount of credit, and would eventually, as technology became more widespread, have access to the data of the worldwide system.
17. What about population growth? If we maintain2 development workers for every 1000 people, it would mean adding 500 development workers to the system every day. Hiring development workers, in and of itself, would demand a huge employment agency.
In the same way that hiring for the telephone and other systems mentioned above takesplace in a local or national context, so would the hiring of development workers.
18. Does the competition which can produce progress in a free market system not getlost in this Supplementary Economy?
The Supplementary Economy encourages creativity and constantly opens new markets. This will encourage healthy competition. It offers goods and services in a manner similar to that of the old economy at prearranged prices. Goods that have been found wanting or that have been produced with unfair working practices will be able to be boycotted, much as in the traditional economy
19. As the Supplementary Economy develops, so do the number of U.N. Dollars on the market, will that not smother the traditional economy?
As the Supplementary Economy expands, so does the traditional economy. Better production methods developed for the Supplementary Economy, expanded markets, more durable and less harmful goods and services will have a direct and positive effect on both economies equally. So, both economies will expand. It is indeed likely that the number of U.N. Dollars will increase in proportion to other currencies. They should be seen as an international currency that can be used only for development needs, a currency that, like all other currencies, has its limitations. Russian Roubles, for instance, can only be used in Russia, Euros only in the EU, Chinese yen in China and Syrian Pounds in Syria, U.S. foodstamps can only be used for the purchase of food in the U.S. So, U.N. Dollars can be used internationally, but only for products that promote wholesome development, goods and services that do not harm other people or the environment.
20. Why and when is money created in the traditional economy and how does this relate to the creation of the U.N. Dollar?
Money is created to facilitate the exchange of goods and services.
Extra currency is created when a country has EXTRA goods and services that are extremely likely to be marketed. Both in traditional economies and the U.N. economy, currency is created both to cover an increase in marketable goods and services and IN ANTICIPATION of FUTURE TRENDS. It is not necessary to wait until goods are actually sold before currency is created to cover the extra production.
It is with this principle in mind that both traditional currencies and the U.N. Dollar iscreated.
There are certain problems experienced in traditional economies that are not a problem in the same way in the Supplementary Economy.
For instance, because one often does not have firm orders in advance when currency iscreated in traditional economies, the creation of currency may be subject to error. Other dynamics which affect the value of currency (how many goods and services it can buy) include speculation: buying and selling foreign currency or products like sugar, etc. on “future markets”. This speculation and error alters the value of products and thus also of currency and these imbalances, referred to as inflation and deflation, are regulated by central banks, by producing extra currency or withdrawing it.
Wars, budget deficits, the debt crisis are some other factors which are destroying today’s traditional economies.
In today’s world, there is a great deal of production capacity, but markets are shrinking rapidly, because of the problems mentioned above and the resulting gap between rich andpoor.
Once the world becomes united into one market for the purpose of the Supplementary Economy, the U.N. Dollar can be created because the unused production capacity then has a market. Once production becomes marketable, currency can be created to cover it. The U.N. Dollars are created to cover the future sale of products which have already been ordered and for which there is a supplier. It is thus less subject to error than traditional currencies.
21. Who foots the bill, when U.N. Dollars are exchanged for other currencies, to cover the purchase of materials not available through the Supplementary Economy?
The World Marshall Plan is financed by all people in the world. It is the act of producing EXTRA goods and services and the act of buying these that produces the MARKETABLE GOODS AND SERVICES which make it possible to create extra currency responsibly. Under the World Marshall Plan, everyone in the world participates in the creation of the currency by becoming a buyer, i.e. creating a MARKET for the extra goods and services; some are also producers. CONSUMERS AND PRODUCERS TOGETHER CREATE THE MARKETABLE GOODS AND SERVICES. The extra currency can thus be created. This currency could be called U.S. Dollars, French Francs, Lebanese Pounds, or any currency made up specially for the Plan, for all are ideally produced in essentially the sameway.
Because the currency is backed by the marketable\marketed goods and services, it can be exchanged for a national currency as follows: The U.N. Dollars are taken by the bank and destroyed. In its place,an equivalent amount of national currency is produced (printed, minted, etc.) This can be done because the original U.N. Dollars have already been marketed, the energy, goods etc. has thus already become a part of the world economy.The national governments must DESTROY the U.N. Dollars AND THEN CREATE the EQUIVALENT in their own currency. The National currency does not have to be paid by taxes, it has already been backed by the goods and services marketed under the plan.
Existing monetary units are subject to changes which have little significance totheir valueas an agent with which to buy goods and services. They are subject to industrial unrest, wars, catastrophies, governmental policies, economic mishaps, and, most spectacularly, to speculation by banks, etc. and the trade in money.
Because of the way that they are backed by goods and services that have already been ordered, the U.N. Dollar is not subject to flux in the same way. Moreover, a separate currency makes it easier to ensure that it can only be used for the goods and services supplied by the Supplementary Economy, and thus help our world to make the transition to sustainable development.
The value of the ECU is tied to that of other currencies, and is liable to vary with them. The U.N. Dollar, as conceived at the moment, has a constant value every year when it is created. It maintains that value for the whole of that year.
The Marshall Plan aims at every level of development, including attitude change. Development on this broad scale is necessary, because destructive attitudes among the rich are as responsible for the world’s environment and economy as the poverty in the developing countries. The Plan is thus NOT AIMED as was the original one, just at the poor. People will be able to work at becoming wiser ad infinitum.
There is always room for both economies: people will always want to have access to good sand services that are not necessarily on the cutting edge of their development.
Initially the Supplementary Economy will gain financially in comparison to the traditional ones. Later a balance will set in. It is important that both economies continue, since only if the choice exists, can the supplementary economy retain its educational value.
The World Marshall Plan has been developed to midwife the birth of a global community. Once people think and act as responsible world citizens, the Supplementary Economy and the traditional economies will approach one another: people will be more inclined to buy wholesome and beneficial goods and services from their traditional salaries. It would not be wise to abandon either of the economies, since people must always retain the choice.
25. Will people in “industrialized” countries not have reached a point of satisfactory development before people in “developing” countries?
Poorer rural areas will indeed benefit from technologies available in industrialized areas, and develop accordingly.
Yet, development requires us to evolve at all levels: our inner development will focus onbuilding a sense of social responsibility and community, based on values of caring, sharing and cooperation.
Industrialized countries are officially called “developed” in U.N. terminology, but “developing”, or economically poorer countries often point out quite rightly that community and spiritual development, still prevalent in poorer rural areas, is often lacking in industrialized areas, where the sense of community, has oftenlargely given way toalienation.
Developing countries moreover have often honed their ability to repair broken products–skills which have been largely lost in throw-away economies.
Thus, to a certain extent all areas, all people have ongoing individual challenges relating to development. We can all learn from one another. Development leads to wisdom, saintliness, and levels that are still beyond our comprehension