So I continue to think how to create a sharing economy that would really change the paradigm of our culture, that would really change people’s life experiences. One thing I see is that the fear of not having one’s basic needs met is a HUGE sapper of joy and peace, a cause of anxiety, a feeling that encourages people to take less chances and be more willing to compromise their soul and their passions for a “good job” and monetary security.
The fact that sometimes people’s basic needs aren’t met is a large problem, but the fear that I would guess 80% of the people in our society carry is gargantuan.
What happens if we could address that fear, and specifically address it within a larger sharing, cooperative economy? This would change people’s lives.
So here is one way to do it. Take a sharing community, like Kindista.org and Gift Circles in Eugene, or like time banks in other cities. Being active in this group would automatically make you a member of the local USS (ultimate social security) group. Members of USS would be able to receive funds to help them make it through hard times. and in return they would find ways to contribute to (work for) their community. (Note resources could be shared such as housing, but given the state of our economy, right now, this is a level best addressed by money.)
You would have to apply to receive USS money – and you would receive it if you addressed these guidelines –
1. You must have been an active part of the network for at least 6 months.
2. You would need to receiving any state aid that you are eligible for (Note: I work helping people fined resources, and this step with a knowledgeable resource person to help would mean some would not need money from the community, and others would need less than they thought)
3. You would need to have a plan for how you would use your time to benefit the community, You would have to offer skills you had and meet needs that others wanted met.
4. USS aid would be limited to 25% of the time you are been a member of this network. So if you were a member for 2 years, you could get up to 6 months of aid. If you were almost finished with your allotted time and had no prospects, a circle would be called for people to support you and help you find a place of economic balance. If this was an exceptional situation, some individuals may be willing to support you beyond the 6 month limit.
What this system would do is mean that no one in the group goes hungry or without a place to live because their community will help catch them. It would create a sense of safety, and deep connection and gratitude for one;s community. People would be freed to be their best selves and the energy freed from worry would help them give to their community more powerfully.
So what would this cost, and how would be the fund be raised?
Lets say we have 100 people involved. There would be no claims for the first 6 months. After than say 5% of the people are using these funds at any one time, maybe 8% during times of extreme financial scarcity on the larger society. (I think these numbers might be high. I think the simple fact that people had this safety net available might motivate them to need it and use it less)
So say we are talking 5% (5 people out of our group of 100, and on the average, each person needs $300 a month. That means we will payout $15oo a month, and we would probably need to reward those who coordinate this program (although their might be some alternatives to money. But for now let’s say we pay this person $500 to manage this program part time each month. For $2,000 a month, 100 people will have their fear of losing basic resources deeply reduced, and their sense of connection to their community deeply enhanced.
We could raise the funds for this, by suggesting to a few large donors that this is a great way to change the world, and encouraging community members who are doing well in terms of money, to donate monthly. $24,000a year is not a large amount to provide financial security for 100 people.
I would love to hear your feedback on this idea, and any ways to make it better, We can make something like this happen