How it Would Work and the Benefits
If every man, woman and child were given $500 every year to spend exclusively on their wholesome development, they would do this in quite different ways. The economically poor might concentrate on food production, or they might pool resources to buy a village water pump, while those whose material needs are already met could focus on the arts and sciences, furthering education or personal development. Everyone would be encouraged to consider such questions as: What is health, what adds depth and meaning to life, and how can an individual develop personally without harming others or the environment?
A sustainable, supplementary income for each person would not only affect every individual’s life, but it would also change the world economy unrecognisably.
Where many earn as little as $400 a year…
A $500 increase in income for every woman, man and child of a family would constitute a fortune. Individuals could spend it on educational and other resources for soil regeneration and food production, or to start a small business. Communities could pool a part of their resources to buy a water pump, install a sewage system or build a school.
While all would initially contribute to the supplementary economy as consumers, the extra income would catapult many, within only a few years, into becoming both producers and consumers in a regenerated, fast-growing world economy, based exclusively on the buying and selling of sustainable goods and services.
To those to whom $500 is a relatively small amount…
A bonus of $500 to those with a larger income provides serious food for thought, and would, at the very least, result in a worldwide consciousness-raising campaign that would gain momentum, as every year the amount would increase, each individual again would be asked to order goods and/or services for wholesome development.
In wealthier communities, individuals could spend their income on art and culture, professional development, personal and spiritual development, or other creative endeavours. Such services would not deplete non-renewable resources but would expand individual horizons and enhance the quality of interpersonal and even international communication and relations.
Effects on the world economy…
There would be a significant boost to the world economy for those goods and services that benefit the development of people, communities and the planet, without harming any individual or the environment.
As people’s physical living conditions improve, there would be more requests for educational, cultural and spiritual services, thus allowing the world economy to expand indefinitely without affecting the health of the planet.
Businesses, seeing a decreasing demand for goods and services that deplete non-renewable resources or cause harm to people or the planet, would be peacefully encouraged to direct their research and development to the production of goods and services for this health-generating market. For example, arms industries could convert without any layoffs. The transition would produce neither unemployment nor bankruptcies and would be particularly beneficial given the fact that this supplementary economy fully promotes the achievement of the SDGs, which were adopted by all nations. It also affords the transition to an economy where leisure will play an increasingly central role, as artificial intelligence and robots take over work from human beings.
As corporate production focuses increasingly on goods and services that promote health and sustainable development, their advertising would reinforce this trend. This, in turn, would reinforce a predisposition among people worldwide to judge goods and services by their positive impact on human beings, on the economy and on the environment. Thus, business and people’s attitudes would work together to promote individual satisfaction, caring and sustainable development worldwide in an upward spiral.
As more and more people’s individual physical needs are met, they will be able to become producers for the supplementary economy. Also, businesses that were not prepared initially to join are likely to be influenced by the growing need to focus on sustainable goods and services and will gradually, as they are ready, also become producers for the sustainable supplementary global economy. In this way, the supplementary sustainable, global economy will grow and take over from less sustainable economies without conflict or competition.
At the same time, as individual physical needs are met, more and more people will be satisfying their immaterial needs. The immaterial needs such as working with one’s creativity, education, personal and spiritual development can grow ad infinitum while remaining sustainable, fuelled by human creativity. This will create an immaterial economy that is sustainable and will be able to grow even as artificial intelligence takes on part of the jobs currently filled by human beings.