You are hereA New Concept for Business / Key Business Changes
Key Business Changes
The discussion of needed business changes is structured to follow Father Vincent's 14 new commandments. Only a few of the commandments have most of the key business changes. Those are summarized or discussed here.
In this discussion, Nanook ( italics) is talking with Father Vincent ( + cross symbol), George ( % yin yang symbol), and Ben ( & ).
1 Life Liberty Pursuit of Happiness, Focus on the individual - Education
& "Strong work young man. The key institutions that fall under this commandments are: medicine with regard to life; government legal agencies and law enforcement with regard to life and liberty; and education with regard to pursuit of happiness.”
+ "Very good. And for this commandment, as far as institutions are concerned, I think the key tool to measure how well they are doing is to look at quality of life.”
2 Organizations created by society for benefit of individuals
Education - 1
& "This means that the fulfillment of each individual must always be maintained as organizations are defined. And that leads to the concept of UNIVERSAL, PERPETUAL EDUCATION.”
Education going back to apprentice model
+ "Precisely! Right now, education has become an assembly line for military - government - higher education and industrial production personnel. If you want to test this, just try to follow society’s plan for any individual to some particular life role. We ask our kids as soon as they can talk what they want to be. But there are only a limited range of answers parents are ready to relate to: ‘I want to be a fireman.’ Fine. Dump him into the system. ‘I want to be an engineer.’ Fine. Dump him into the system. ‘I want to be a nurse.’ Fine. Dump her into the system. ‘I want to be a ballerina.’ What about that Ben?“
& "Bingo! I told seal muncher about my sister and her ballet aspirations. The system tried to kill her. We need to turn society and education to an individual focus so there would be a place for her.”
+ "Precisely! So, to address the thousands of different examples like this, which are the true objective, what becomes an obvious approach is to take the world of occupations back to an apprentice model. So, your sister would essentially get her schooling at an ARTS academy plus directly with a ballet company.”
"OK. I have a question. How does a person like this fill their math and science requirements? I mean, it wouldn’t be practical for every ballet school to teach the full range of subjects. I suppose she could easily go to other schools for that since schools would be all over the place.”
+ "Actually, yes and no. Sure, students could attend multiple schools. But I think the more important point would be to question why in the world a ballerina should have to take intense science and math classes?”
"But… but… but… but…”
& "Everyone DUCK! There’s a model-T coming through.”
+ "Brainwashing Nanook. This is what I meant by education being an assembly line. It is trying to force people into a mold that feeds the machines of the industrial power brokers. Based on my experience with ballet students in New York City, they are so motivated and so smart, that they could learn all the math they need in life in a few months. And NONE of it would look like the math that engineers use to design rockets. Budgets, check books, mortgages and loans, payroll, income tax - that’s it.”
& "We have to drive the education fundamentalists, and their Nobel Lauriat curriculum designers out of their power positions. Ballet school programs need to start with ballet masters and current ballet dancers. Football school programs need to start with football coaches, managers and football players.”
"But… but… but… but…”
& "LOOK OUT! He’s gonna blow!”
% "He’s in overload. What do you think? Too much caffeine?”
& "I say dump him in the ocean.”
+ "Do you think when he gets back home and just sits there going ‘but, but, but, but’, they’ll come after us?”
They all broke up laughing.
& "And then what. After they convict us, what worse could they do to us than send us back up here? It wouldn’t be worth their time.”
+ "Nanook. I assure you. Use the tool. Have faith. It will all work out.”
"You mean - SYSTEMS.”
+ "Precisely! But first, wipe the slate in your brain clean. Throw out the rats nest of A2 Single Sentence Logic. We’ve got a lot more to say about education, but let’s hold off for awhile and bring some other factors into the picture to give it more perspective.”
Failure of fulfillment in labor
+ "The most important point to get in your mind is that in our society, business has become more important than people. This is the crisis society needs to reverse. Let me read something by Schwartz that I read to you before.”
- “The statistics of unemployment are not measures of a healthy society . . . they mask the slavery of tens of millions who perform tasks they abhor …labor must be transformed into a role of life’s creative, playful, artful enterprise. A sense of craftsmanship and pride in the product of one’s labor must supplant the wage-slavery . . Human labor cannot be regarded as a commodity to be bought and sold.”
+ "This was a big issue during the last century. It spawned Romanticism. Let me read about this in Ebenstein. Page 120.”
- “Romanticism was essentially a protest against the spread of industrial civilization. Romanticists felt that industrialism was destroying the natural and organic bonds of life that characterized pre-industrial, medieval Europe. They lamented that people in industrial society were becoming "alienated" from nature, from their fellows, from family and nation, and - most important of all - from even themselves. In despair, some Romanticists felt that the only escape from the evils of industrial civilization was the return to agrarian life - a highly impractical proposal.”
+ "Karl Marx strongly agreed with this view. Again, from a summary in Ebenstein.”
- “Under capitalism, Marx argued in the Manuscripts, people are alienated from their work, the things they produce, their employers, their fellow workers, themselves. Workers do not work, Marx wrote, in order to fulfill themselves and their creative potential, for their work ‘is not voluntary but imposed, forced labor.’ Their work does not satisfy their own needs but is merely a means of satisfying the needs of others - the capitalist employers who use them as an instrument for making profits. Capitalism thus dehumanizes the worker, who ‘sinks to the level of a commodity,’ and produces palaces for the rich but hovels for the poor. Workers are alienated from their employer, who appropriates the products of their labor and enjoys pleasures and freedoms denied the workers. They are also alienated from their fellow workers, with whom they compete for employment and favors bestowed by the employer. Money is the most visible symbol and expression of alienation under capitalism, the ‘visible deity’ that transforms all human relationships - including love, friendship and family - into monetary relationships. Marx specifically affirmed the need for a society in which love cannot be bought, but can ‘only be exchanged for love.’ “
"Pretty strong emotions about this is right.”
+ "This is the basis of refocusing on the individual. And it is something that society can fix. And this can be done by changing the fundamental rules under which businesses are formed and operated. So, let’s start with the gold standard: the CORPORATION.”
Corporations – designed for corruption, lack of social responsibility
& "This is my topic now. The way corporations are organized amplify everyone of the Seven Deadly Sins. The drive for money and power in the hands of government and powerful individuals has produced a society-wide corruption that has resulted in creating a caste of business managers. The result is reducing most of the people in our society to defacto slaves. Think back to all the problems we discussed the first day we talked. Let me repeat some of those inequities.
There are CEOs of companies that earn a salary and bonuses in the tens of millions of dollars even while that company is laying off workers? The average CEO in the U.S. makes 531 times what the average worker does. Think about this number. It means the average CEO earns more in one month than the average worker earns in his entire life. Over 20% of individually held stock is owned by 0.1% of the population. 40% is held by investment companies. 50% of the workforce is employed by just 3.5% of all companies. 27.3% of the 115.1 million work force are employed by just the largest 930 companies, each which has more than 10,000 employees. Just 930 groups of elite managers control over 31.4 million workers.”
"And this is bad, right?”
& "When you look at the extreme wage disparity and the careless way people are thrown around, yes it’s bad. This is corruption run amok. Free market business made sense when every businessman was an independent craftsman or a small business. If they were unreasonable or ruthless, people could just ignore them. That’s not the case anymore. What happens if a company controls a whole town? When you have one company that controls the entire telephone service of the country, or has offices in every state, this is no longer a business subject to the principles of a free market. Business is not some inalienable right. The reason we have robber barons in this country side by side with starving people on the streets is that the laws are designed to allow such excesses. It’s a continuation of the anarchy of the old west – the cattle barons. And the politicians keep it this way so the barons can amass power and wealth and the politicians can get a share in it. It doesn’t have to be that way.”
New company rules - management
Business - new rules
"SO? What does this new business world look like?”
& "Here are some of the new rules.
There will be a cap on company size, both in market share and maximum revenue.
There will be a limit on executive compensation based on a ratio to other positions in the company.
All companies will be owned by a combination of their employees and primary stock holders.
All members of the board of directors will be elected by the stock holders. BUT, all board members must also be company employees.
Promotion - Peter Principle
Promotions will be based on 360 degree reviews. That is, people above, at the same level, and BELOW a person being evaluated will contribute to the review process.”
"Hold on! Hold on! This means that the employees essentially get to elect the company president, vice president and like that?”
& "Bingo! 360 degree performance reviews. AND, every two years, all managers MUST change positions. They either go up, down, or sideways.”
"What’s that about?”
& "This accomplishes two things. The 360 degree review insures that leadership truly reflects the concerns of the staff. The bi-annual moves provide a way to eliminate the Peter Principle.”
“You’ve never heard of the PETER PRINCIPLE? Of course not. You don’t have any real world experience. It was named after Laurence Peter, who was a Doctor of Education from Washington State. He was also a psychologist. What led him to write his book, The Peter Principle, was the incompetence he ran into in every work situation he encountered. Although his book was written in a comical form, it is one of the most profound insights we have into the failures that plague modern business systems. In short, the Peter Principle states: ‘In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.’ ”
"Employees tend to rise to their level of INCOMPETENCE. That surely describes the people who are running the lab.”
"I assure you, the peter principle rules this place. I also assure you that, like Dr. Peter, you will find it EVERYWHERE you go. So, you’d better understand it. It is based on Single Sentence Logic at it’s best. Here’s how it works. If a person does very well at their job, what is the standard industry response?”
"Ugh… give them a raise I guess. And if they get a lot of raises, eventually they get a promotion.”
& "Bingo! You’re a bureaucrat in the making. And if that person keeps doing well?”
"Give them another raise and another promotion.”
& "Bingo! Gold star. Then what happens if the person reaches a level where they are finally over their head? They just don’t have the ability to do magic in the new position any more.”
"Wow!!! Now I see where you’re headed. Companies start out with a principle that appears to make sense on a case by case basis. But as part of a system, it fouls up big time. What this explains is that, for EVERY manager that doesn’t have the ability to reach the top post, eventually they rise to a level in the organization where they aren’t promotable any more because they can’t do the job they are in well.”
& "Bingo! They reach their level of incompetence. Sure, some people seek a management position because it is a chance to produce outstanding results. But they are the exception. Most people believe a management spot is a REWARD for scrapping and fighting. They see it as a REWARD for loyalty and not challenging management. So, when they get into management, they kick back and focus on boosting their personal reward as high as they can.
BUT, this is a much, much bigger problem than you are thinking. What this says is that THE WHOLE STRUCTURE OF THE ORGANIZATION eventually fills up with people in leadership positions that are incompetent at doing their job.”
"WHOA! WHOA! This is incredible.”
& "And not only are they incompetent at doing their own job, when they get into a position where they can’t understand what’s going on, they slow EVERY process around them down to CONTROL the world until they can understand it.”
"This is too incredible. Haven’t people in industry figured this out?”
& "Nope. It’s spelled out for them in plain English in Dr. Peter’s book. But they still can’t understand it. Why? I’ll tell you why. They’re A2s! They are totally intent on scrapping their way to the top. They are unable to accept their own limitations. They can’t understand this from a system standpoint. There is only one company I know of that ever paid attention to it. That was Hewlett-Packard. And they did what I said. Every two years, ALL managers changed positions, and they used 360 degree reviews to determine the moves.”
"And, I can see where that doesn’t have to be a career killer. If a person goes down, or sideways, they can try to grow again in an area that requires different skills.”
& "Right. Where moving down is fairly common, and is supported with education, they made it work very well. But there’s a more important question you didn’t ask: why hasn’t our SOCIETY figured this out yet? I’ll tell you why. Because the leaders of the companies DON’T WANT either society or their companies to fix it. They are sitting pretty. They don’t want that taken away.
External promotion audits
Another new element of the review process will be EXTERNAL PROMOTION AUDITS. Currently, a common business practice in the world is having the accounting of businesses reviewed by external auditors. In the new society, the same principle will be used for annual job reviews. This will keep the incompetent inmates from running the asylum just based on loyalty.
New company rules - staff
And, there will NO LONGER BE a clear division between management and labor. All positions now considered management will be considered coordinators, including the president. Each group comprised of a coordinator and workers will be considered a team.
"So, what does this say about unions?”
& "There won’t be any unions. All of the things the unions have been concerned about will be resolved through direct employee interaction. The closest equivalent to the unions in a watchdog capacity will be the schools and the Office of the National Provost.
Continuing education will be coordinated between the companies and the schools. The schools will have guidance counselors that follow individuals through their whole life. These counselors both provide guidance and act as watchdogs for the individuals.
Voice in work life - salaries
The whole issue of workers being isolated from control of their working environment has been understood for a long time. Let me read about this from Marquis Childs, in Ethics in a Business Society. Page 162.”
- “There is, however, another kind of strain that has its origins in the growing awareness of the unreal relationship between the authority of the economic unit and the authority of the political unit. The individual participates, if he is a good citizen, in the politics of his city, his county, and perhaps even his state. But decisions taken by the mayor, the city council, the county manager, the governor or the state have comparatively little bearing on the daily life of the average citizen. It is his relation to the business for which he works that conditions his whole life. About this relationship he has little or nothing to say, particularly if he is one of the many millions of Americans who work for corporations employing a thousand or more workers. . .
- The anomalous relationship of the economic unit and the political unit in the exercise of power may help to explain the indifference of the average American to politics and the fact that such a small percentage of eligible voters participate even in national elections. If the daily life of the individual is governed by a management, whether of a business, a trade union, or a farm cooperative, participation in politics will seem to many an exercise in futility. Growing cynicism toward politics and politicians is one consequence… The history of profit-sharing in its various forms illustrates the urge to participate, to work together toward a common end. . . . Drucker offers, as the one effective principle of social order in an advanced industrial society, participation by workers’ representatives not in the economic decisions of an industry, but in the management of the plant community. That is to say, in the management of matters of cleanliness and order, routines of work and relaxation.”
"OK. So how can that work? If workers are given the ability to decide routines and relaxation, they will always be sitting around playing cards like the Eskimos.”
& "Sorry seal muncher. Single Sentence Logic at work again. The reason this happens in some cases now is that different parts of a business are running by different rules. Unions set worker wages on a per hour basis. But there is no connection to worker productivity. In the new society, there would be no such thing as wage contracts like they have now. What would be set is employee pay ratios. So, every few months, the wages would be adjusted to match company revenue. Some months it would go up; other months it would go down. If the work force slacked off, revenue would fall, and everyone would pay the price.”
"So, this is like profit sharing that Childs talked about. But wouldn’t this put most of the load on those who worked hard, while the others slacked off?”
& "Not with a system model. There are two things that work against that. First, there are better records of who does what. It’s like piece work across the board. So, people who slack off don’t produce much and it will be seen. Second, there’s the 360 review. Whenever reviews come up, other people on the staff will have a say in your performance review. People know what other employees do. The poor ones will get exposed and moved to jobs they are more fit to do. These are important control mechanism because Pluralism will also be used for workplace decisions rather than voting where possible.”
"What about pensions and retirement?”
& "The idea of using pensions as a way to attract new employees is a joke. Once all the companies offer them, how can it be a discriminating factor? So, all people in the society will have portable pensions to fund their retirement, with rates connected to the pension plans they choose. But, retirement will take on a totally different appearance. Since life will be structured to maximize personal fulfillment right from day one, people might consider themselves retired right from the beginning.”
"I don’t understand this. It seems to me, even with motivation built into jobs, that, given all this fulfillment, not much work is going to get done.”
& "Brainwashing. The most important change in the new society will be huge wealth for everyone. As people focus on important items, and cut out the waste, there will be a much higher return on effort. And with all of this fulfillment, in a beautiful environment, people will be living in the Garden of Eden. The population will be much smaller. The environment will come back. There will be land for everyone. Don’t you see? The world we have now doesn’t have this because it is TOTALLY SCREWED UP.”
"Hmmm… OK. Let’s keep going.”
New company rules - processes
The employment process throughout the society will be coordinated. It will be similar to what real-estate now calls the ‘multiple listing service’. There will be an open listing for BOTH employees AND employers. That is, a person’s employee record will become part of their universal employee file.”
"Do you mean, that everything they’ve ever done, all their reviews, all their raises etc. becomes part of that?”
& "Come on. I’m not talking about making these records an open book. There would be restrictions on what is available. But there would be requirements for disclosure of work records across all employment in a person’s career far beyond what we have now.”
"But, wouldn’t this be a huge ‘violation of privacy’ issue?”
& "And, what’s your system model for that? This is how strongly you’ve been brainwashed. Who do you think has been the most vocal and driven group to control this kind of privacy?”
"OK. I can see where you’re headed. CORRUPTION.”
& "Bingo! The more a person has to hide, the louder they are going to try to cover up their tracks. Single Sentence Logic. This is a control game. But, there is a second part to this process. The same process is reversed for employers. New job seekers will be able to examine a detailed review about company history, including reviews of potential new supervisors, based on opinions of former employees.”
"This sounds like being able to get a job reference on the companies?”
& "Bingo! As I said at the start, society has been structured for the advantage of businesses. This new approach levels the playing field. No where for corrupt company management and officials to hide anymore. Remember, the companies will exist for the benefit of the society, not the other way around.
But even though this employment records system would have universal access, there is another broadly based rule that tames it down a lot. That is, MOBILITY LIMITATION. It will be a goal of the new society to promote strong extended families. To do that, people will be encouraged to work near their birth homes. And remember, with the economy and capital stabilized, this takes on much more meaning.”
Unemployment - 4 states of existence
"What about unemployment? Wouldn’t that force people to move?”
& "There won’t be any unemployment. The salary rating services will set salaries to keep everyone employed.”
"But surely, there will be economic cycles, or company failures that cause people to be out of work?”
& "Of course there will be cycles. But they will be small because the system issues will be much better known and controlled. If a company fails, which will be an expected occurrence because failures will be part of the business process design, the process will include provisions that put the employees right back into other companies or into school. This applies to ALL employees from top to bottom.”
"What about poor employees? Won’t they be able to be fired?”
& "Sure. But that won’t result in unemployment. People in the new society can only be in one of four situations: on vacation; in school, working, or disabled. No more unemployment.”
"So, you mean if an employee gets into a situation that would lead to them being fired, they go back to school?”
& "Bingo! You’re getting it.”
"Whoa! What about criminals. I didn’t hear prison in your list.”
& "Come on seal muncher. Prison was in the list. It was just spelled differently. Let me repeat it: S C H O O L !”
"OH yeah! I remember George said something about that this morning.”
& "Bingo! But, of course, not all schools are the same. And for dangerous criminals, the term ‘reform school’ would be more appropriate.”
% "But the term ‘school’ is critical. We will have to develop better psychological models for criminal behavior to make this work. But with more open mindedness about criminal behavior, we ought to be able to pin it down.”
Child rearing as a business model
& "We’ve got a lot of ground to cover. So, let’s look at some other unusual institutions. For example, child rearing would be considered an institution.”
"You mean, like daycare?”
& "No. I’m talking about MOTHERS. With population having to stop growing, birth rates would be tightly controlled. That would mean the worth of new members of the society will be much higher. So, mother’s who are allowed to have children will be rewarded highly for having those children and raising them well.”
"Whoa! Whoa! This is weird.”
& "Loosen up your brain, man. This is a SYSTEM issue. Children will become a very precious product for reasons very different than we think about today. In order to be permitted to have a child, a mother is going to have to make a good case that she can provide an outstanding life for the kid. So, new family structures will evolve to produce these new kids. It will be like a business. For example, 4 couples might agree to form an extended family and allow one of the women and her partner to have 2 children. That way, as a group, they comply with the one child per family goal. That means the children can be siblings. The other three couples would become LEGAL aunts and uncles. They might even have a few grand parents around. But the point is, all of them would agree to contribute to raising the kids, both financially and socially.”
"This is mind boggling. But there is no choice. If the population has to stop growing, and everyone is living much longer, then this kind of process has to happen. People with 6 kids today are living in total denial. My parents, and all my aunts and uncles, except for a few, had only 2 or 3 kids, even though they came from very large families.”
Business changes - child rearing support
+ "Ben is really on a roll. It’s obvious that we have to rethink the whole structure of society from the family up. But focusing back on the work environment, in the not too distant future, women are going to play an equal role in the workforce. So whether there are other adults to take care of the children or not, businesses are going to have to pitch in with this.”
"So, now you’re talking about things like daycare, right?”
+ "Nope. I’m talking way beyond that. I’m saying, in order to attract workers, companies are going to have to offer a lot of educational benefits for kids of employees, beyond what they get in school.”
"As I said. This is all too mind boggling to comprehend.”
Buyer beware - Seven Deadly Sins existed before humans
& "Time to shift into second gear. Whether we recognize it or not, this thing we call the quote, ‘MARKET,’ is not something that is self existing like the ocean or something. It is man made. It’s basic form evolved as human nature evolved. As soon as humans appeared with A2 intelligence, they figured out they could trade things. So bartering appeared. But as soon as bartering appeared, it was infected with lying, stealing and cheating. Why? Because chimps, our ancestors, already knew how to do all of those things and we inherited the genes from them.
"Whoa! Whoa! Did you say chimps already knew how to lie, steal and cheat?”
% "Exactly! And what’s your conclusion from that?”
"Ugh… ugh… I mean… I mean… This means the Seven Deadly Sins ALREADY EXISTED BEFORE HUMANS?”
% "Bingo!” & "Hey!” % "Back in your cage, Bonzo! That’s what we’ve been trying to get you to understand. The Seven Deadly Sins, as basic DRIVES, are animal drives wired into our animal brain. Human emotions are animal drives. Hulk brain inherits these drives and Grim brain quickly learns to embellish them. The A2 contribution is learning new tricks to act on those emotions. That’s why the Seven Deadly Sins are so hard to combat.”
& "So, humans then learned the value of coming together in one location to trade. That saved the time of walking from farm to farm. But how do you know what people have to trade? So they’d hang a sample on a stick. Wa la! Advertising! They also quickly learned that all products don’t have the same value. So, finding exact trades, like 7 chickens and 20 pumpkins for a shoe isn’t easy. They also couldn’t trust lying people with IOUs because they didn’t have paper to write on. So, in 2000 BC, they invented money. It’s easily dividable and acts as it’s own accounting system. The problem is, in 4000 years, the basic process hasn’t changed much. It’s the problem humans have envisioning new paradigms for new technology when there is so much legacy around.
So, let’s make some big changes. We have a huge new technology available that continuously remains unrecognized. It’s called CIVILIZATION. We also have a new goal called the INDIVIDUAL. So, let’s put them together.
In the new society, the old rule, ‘BUYER BEWARE’ will be outlawed.”
"Didn’t you talk about that already?”
& "Good memory. I brought it up this morning in relation to the law and legal contracts. So now let’s extend it to commerce in general. Application number one is advertising. Businesses will be required to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them God, in their sales materials.”
Buyer Beware - advertising
"But don’t we already have a law about that? Truth in advertising or something?”
& "Yeah, give me a break? Does it have any teeth? No. Is it enforced? No. Every car manufacturer in the country says it has the BEST car available. I thought the word BEST meant ONE. How can they ALL be the best? What the government has done is get tangled up between protecting the citizen and the right of freedom of the press. Since the Constitution doesn’t specifically say the government has to protect the individual, but it does say there has to be freedom of the press, the corrupt thinkers use that excuse to support business. What does the government give the individual? BUYER BEWARE.
And what does the buyer face? Business has become a runaway carnival midway. Lying to the public is accepted as common practice. Allowing skilled lawyers to write reams of fine print that every citizen is forced to deal with is protected as ‘honesty’.”
"OK. I’m sure this isn’t as simple as telling businesses not to lie.”
& "Correct. What it means is that advertising, as we know it, stops. The business objectives we now know are changed. Specifically, advertising would no longer be allowed as a way to ENTICE customers to buy a product. Advertising would become part of EDUCATION. The goal of an advertisement would be to educate the consumer in the proper selection and use of a product. In fact, to save advertising costs for example, all the car companies could join up and produce ONE car selection handbook for the public that covered all their cars.”
Buyer Beware - Competition
"Whoa! Whoa! What about the anti-monopoly laws? And what about competition?”
& "SYSTEM. Think SYSTEM. And watch out for the Single Sentence Logic emotions that are driving you. Everything I’m telling you works out in a model that puts the individual first.”
+ "And the other side of that statement is that almost every element of our current market culture is aimed at the benefit of business, the business owners and the politician’s financial investments.”
& "The monopoly problem is about price fixing. Since future prices won’t be driven by advertising, no conflict. Sure, there is a strong element of sales in advertising. But why is that a benefit to the individual? It’s not. Most of the time it’s a disadvantage because the advertising is design to deceive the customer in some way. What the new approach does is focus the role of competition back on the product itself. Let’s keep going.
Buyer Beware - services
One of the biggest changes in relation to Buyer Beware will be in services. Right now, EVERY ONE of the professional service businesses has established protections under the law that heavily burden the individual. I’m talking primarily about: doctors, lawyers, bankers, accountants, brokers and investment advisors. I’m sure this will eventually be exposed in history like the scams of the guilds in the middle ages and the robber barons of the turn of the century. Let’s look at medicine. George, do you want to start this?”
Buyer Beware - medicine
% "Sure. Medicine, as an industry, is turning to an insurance based model. This does make sense for many diseases and injuries because they happen infrequently. So, by getting people to save on a continuous basis, in small amounts, they have the money to pay for care when they need it. But think about the other side to that story. It means there will be a lot more money for the medical industry when people do get sick. And people won’t directly see the bills, so they won’t be in a position to put pressure on expenses. The bigger scam is related to the fact that most medical insurance companies set themselves up as non-profit corporations. And of course, Medicare and Medicaid, which have been fought about in Congress for about 20 years, appear ready for passage soon. They, of course, will be government agencies which means they will be driven by corruption..
So, both the government agencies and non-profits will go to the government to make up any shortcomings they have in operating costs. Given that they have deep government pockets to draw from, and no direct medical treatment responsibility, they have ZERO incentive, and zero active experience to cut medical costs in an effective way. In fact, since the world business model justifies higher salaries based on larger operations and higher revenues, the executives have a direct incentive to INCREASE medical payments.
To obtain services from doctors, the insurance companies have to have contracts with the doctors. This means, as individuals move from employer to employer, or employers change insurance providers, the doctors available to the individuals change. But let’s look at the PRIMARY PROBLEM for individuals with ANY of these medical approaches. How does an individual make an informed selection of a doctor?”
"That’s a good question. It’s always bothered me too. In my family, we ask the relatives.”
% "I’m sure you can see how ineffective that is. Sure, if there was a real quack doctor, the patient can sometime tell that. But, my point is, the average individual is TOTALLY unprepared, knowledge wise, to determine the competence or skill of a doctor. So, the ability of society, as individuals, to apply competition to improve physician competence, is totally zero. Who’s job is it then? The insurance companies? The hospitals? The medical societies? Government regulators? The only tool with any effectiveness is medical malpractice suits. And notice, I didn’t say lawyers or the legal profession. Lawyers, in fact, have a negative incentive in this regard. The more bad doctors there are, the more malpractice suits there will be. So, as a system, our medical insurance system totally fails. I can also tell you, from inside the profession, none of the other institutions I mentioned are responsible either. So costs are high, care is poor, and bad doctors are shuffled around. No one keeps track of them. The tragedies they cause don’t get recorded. The only thing that brings them out into the open is a wrongful death that gets into the courts. It’s a sham.”
System designed to maintain existing practice
& "Right. It’s a sham from top to bottom. The current medical schools are controlled by both the government and medical societies in a way that keeps medical practice in its existing form. There are no incentives to improve. The drug companies control drug development PRIMARILY to keep people chronically dependent on drugs and reap huge financial rewards. The hospitals are controlled by the government through extremely tight regulations in ways that remove all the incentives for them to improve treatment methods. What’s the result? The average person gets screwed and medical costs will keep rising way more than inflation.
Focus on wellness - hmo model
OK. Enough grief. Here’s how this should all change. In the new society, the focus of medicine will change from curing illness to PREVENTING illness. Doctors of the future will accept a group of patients and will be paid a fixed amount per patient to keep them healthy. The more patients they can sustain, the more money they will make. But they have to provide all the care the patients need. This will be done as physician groups. So all the medical specialties will be covered.
Insurance based payments
Paying for medical care will also be an insurance based system. Individuals, on a national basis, will have a two part payment system. The first part is a basic premium that is taken out of their pay like income tax withholding. They don’t have any choice about this. This guarantees them BASIC medical care. If they want a higher level of care, they can make voluntary contributions to a secondary premium to increase their care level. They can also, of course, seek individual care that they pay for themselves.
However, for both the basic and secondary premiums, the amount that people pay is NOT EQUAL. As new medical research discovers new causes for illnesses, people will be expected to take responsible action to maintain their health. If they don’t, it will affect their premium. For example, people who smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol excessively will pay an extra amount for that. People who are overweight will pay an extra amount for that.”
"I get it. This is your old criterion about insurance. Insurance can only apply to things that people don’t have control over.”
& "Bingo! And it’s also about pluralism. People get to choose from a variety of plans, even at the basic level. So everyone gets a lot of what they want. Of course, every one of those plans has to be internally self balancing.”
"OK. I understand that. But talking about insurance, who pays for it, who manages it? It’s just a big shell game. Why are costs going up so much and how are you going to stop that?”
Reasons for high medical costs
% "The costs are going up so much because of corruption. The medical establishment has a choke hold over society and the government is in on the take. Doctors can write a bill for practically any amount they want. If the government tries to appease the public by setting fixed prices for given procedures, the medical people just declare themselves specialists and create more procedures to charge for.
There has been a notable attempt in California by the Kaiser Company to create a patient group for their workers. It’s called Kaiser Permanente. Everyone in the group paid the same amount. But they also had to use the doctors that were selected by the company.
The medical establishment created a huge smoke screen by highlighting a few cases where things were less than perfect. It was a huge FEAR campaign. They drove the Single Sentence Logic angle in the press until they whipped people into a frenzy. The press convinced people that they should be able to choose their own doctors, even if those doctors weren’t in the system. Once the politicians were bought and backed them up, the people caved in.”
& "Sure. People went back to the old system, but medical costs also went through the roof.”
"OK. Give me the bottom line. How are you going to fix this?”
% "Fair enough. So, here’s our ten point plan:
1. Medicine must move to a wellness model, rather than focus on illness.
2. Medical records should move to universally based computer automation..
3. ALL medical practice should move to computer based diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. The role of physicians should largely change from regular patient care to serious illness care and caretakers of the medical information data bases.
4. The entire population should be taught basic medical skills as part of their primary and secondary education. They should learn to care for themselves a lot more using automated computer support. Self care would get a new designation as ‘primary medicine’.
5. The population should have basic home medical instruments. These would be simple tools like a scale, thermometer, BP cuff. Things like fevers, colds and bug bites would be self care, with the ability to diagnose serious problems through phone support.”
"I know you guys were just dreaming about the future when you developed these ideas. But using the Picture Phone the new way I described would accomplish a lot of this. And we already have the technology in 1966 to do it.”
6. “For emergencies and questionable symptoms, people would go to ‘rapid care’ centers in drug stores or community centers.. This level of care would get a new designation as ‘secondary medicine’.
7. For chronic but ambulatory patients, there would be additional tools in the home like urine test strips, spirometers etc.
8. Surgery should adopt automation methods and robotics. Surgical sewing machines are already available for example. But you never see them in use. This will allow the redefinition of surgical teams. Some would be specialists who could operate remote from the patient, saving the time for them to scrub up for simple parts of the procedures.”
"Again, this is not rocket science. Well, actually it is in a way. But we already do know how to do it. When labs work with radioactivity, they use what are called hot cells. They use manipulators and closed circuit TV to handle minute tasks 20 feet away behind concrete and lead walls.”
9. The finances for wellness can work using a ‘per person’ model rather than a ‘per procedure’ model, as long as ALL of the elements in the process are included in the model. This must be implemented in a shared way including EVERY element of the healthcare chain: insurance, doctors, hospitals, regulatory agencies, law making agencies AND medical schools. It must also be extended to those who affect wellness such as food providers, media and industry in relation to working conditions.
10. Medical education should start much earlier. The whole population should be exposed to health right from first grade. Students who have an interest in medicine as a career can start as early as, say, 6th grade. That way, future docs will have 11 years of basic medical education before they enter 4 years of medical school. Obviously, today’s 4 year pre-med and 4 year graduate medical programs would have to drastically change to deal with the higher skill level of applicants and the absence of skills moved to earlier training.”
Human variability and failure of drug companies to address this.
"This is amazing. And none of this is being done, you say, because of corruption.”
& "Bingo! Every one of these steps will cut large amounts of cost out of the system. But reduced cost means the sacred cows don’t get fed. So, the system fights these efficiencies at every turn.
11. We also have to make big changes in drug development.”
"HEY! What’s with point 11. Can’t you guys count?”
& "Talking about cows, you sure are hide bound. The way drug companies deal with drugs right now is based on a ridiculous assumption that ALL people have similar chemistry. So, they develop drugs, like aspirin, that everyone can take. They don’t even bother to control the doses precisely according to patient weight. This should be changed. We have enough data to start discriminating different drug responses by individual makeup. For example, some drugs might track blood type; others might track complexion; others might track allergy patterns. The whole world of genetics will also be exploding now that the double helix has been discovered. So, drugs can be selective for gene structures.”
% "The corruption supporting drug products and business in general has to be ended. Right now, to sell a drug, all the companies have to do is show it is not generally harmful if used per directions. In the new society, they will be required to show that it has a positive effect as well. Which leads to my favorite topic, psychologists and psychiatrists.
Psychology based on Maslow’s hierarchy
12. Psychiatric medicine has to be redeveloped from the bottom up. The whole lock that behavioral psychology has on the explanation of and treatment of mental conditions has to be broken. Psychology has to be rebuilt based on Maslow’s hierarchy. Behavioral methods for the lower needs, cognitive methods for the higher needs and the overlapping interaction of all of them.
Effects of food and diet on mood
Psychotherapy has to be approached on a holistic basis. It has to bring into account the effects of food and diet on mood.
The foundation of cognitive psychology has to be based on MATERIAL REALITY. As such, it must confront the role of the Seven Deadly Sins and religious superstition in causing distorted thinking. It must expose the connections between distorted thinking, symptoms and disease. It must make the understanding of FEAR the primary focus. Cognitive therapy needs to be based on establishing consistent rational patterns of thinking. It has to be based on values and logical thinking.”
"I think we talked about this. What you’re saying is that, if people believe inconsistent things because of superstition, then it will come out as symptoms and even disease.”
% "Exactly! And if society won’t confront the illogic of religion and superstition, they will never solve these problems. And, as with healthcare generally, psychologists and psychiatrists must work on a wellness basis. They will manage patient groups as part of an overall medical system, and they must provide all needed treatment for those groups.
Psycological counseling in education
Let me extend this into a community education based model so you’ll get a feeling for how powerful the overall new education approach is. To cope with a head full of conflicting beliefs and rules, people deny the value of logical thought. And, absent logic, when there is something causing them mental pain, they will just go into denial outright, or become hypochondriacs and stay in denial at the same time. Of course, the ‘thing’ that they are most denying is probably causing their misery. In current society they might end up with a few hours of psychological counseling, at huge cost, which is usually a total waste. These kind of problems require hundreds of hours of work to resolve. In the Universal Education model, as soon as someone believes they are having some mental conflict, they would get into a class that dealt with that. When we extend this approach, the result is that these people have life-long support at low cost.”
"I guess, to understand the whole concept of Universal Education, I have to really open up my mind.”
Plague of child abuse
% "Another whole area which has to be exposed is the plague of child abuse. When children are physically or psychologically abused, they suffer brain damage.”
"We talked about this. By damaged, you mean the brain doesn’t process things in a way we would call healthy.”
% "Exactly! And by damage, I’m not talking about physical trauma as in destroyed tissue. I’m talking about a change in brain structure during normal neural pathway development based on perceptions of fear or confusion.”
"You’re saying, during brain growth in children, if they are physically tormented by beatings, or being locked in closets or subject to mental confusion, their brains will develop in ways to capture those situations as ‘normal’ and acceptable.”
% "Exactly! So, when they grow up, they will respond to stimulations in the world very different from healthy people. Using your examples, pain will be good, while comfort will be bad; restraining or intimidating people will be good, while freedom will be bad; confusion will be good, while logic is confining. Religion is notorious for creating distortions like this. The problem is, if society will not confront and stop these abuses, then people will do bizarre things. And if society just tolerates bizarre behavior as ‘the way people are’, then we will get bizarre results every time one of these people get’s into a position of power. We have to stop this. So, in the new society, testing for logical thinking will become a major factor in schools and the work force. AND, childhood raising practices that are found to cause illogical thinking will be strictly prohibited.”
"So, you’re talking about things like ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’.”
% "Exactly! That’s a practice right out of primitive authoritarian thinking. It leads directly to violence and intolerance in adults.”
Buyer Beware - Stock market
"OK. I can understand the business beware approach with medicine. But how can that work with something like the stock market? I mean, that’s all about the buyer taking risks, right?”
& "Sure. There are always risks in investing. The issue here is eliminating pure gambling and minimizing the costs of running the system.
First off, remember, there will be NO secondary stock market. In fact, to make this principle perfectly clear, no securities will be allowed that are based on pure gambling or a zero sum system. None. Once you make that rule clear, then it’s easy to implement the business beware approach.
Stocks will still be sold. But their primary purpose will be to fund business startups. And by fund, I mean as in making a LOAN. The primary market will require that all stocks sold have a redemption date and a minimum redemption price. So a company that doesn’t make good will be forced into default because they can’t buy back their stock. The stock will have to be sold in waves with later waves resting on the security of built up assets. So, if things go bad, many of the waves will still get paid at some minimum price. So the risk of total loss of an investment is reduced.”
"I understand. There will still be risks. But there will also be the possibility of rewards for everyone in the system.”
& "Right. Always the prospect of positive value.”
"And when the media makes a stock report about the success of a business, it will be directly connected to how the company is rewarding its stock holders.”
& "Bingo! “
& "So far, we have been talking about for-profit businesses. In our country, we also have a structure called a non-profit business. The fundamental concept behind these types of business have collapsed because the corrupt elements in the government have seen the money that can be made there.
The whole idea of a non-profit organization was based on two things. First, that there were some social needs, like an orphanage, religious community or educational program, that couldn’t be addressed by the for-profit business model because there was no product-based financial gain related to them. Second, the public would not support funding them directly from the government through taxes – a religion for example. However, they still needed to collect money to exist. However, such a need could be funded by philanthropic contributions. To allow sufficient funds to be collected, the non-profit corporation model was invented. Because they were assumed to be providing a NEEDED public service, they were given many public benefits like not having to pay property taxes. People who made donations to them were also given tax benefits as an incentive to make donations. In current practice, however, multiple things have gone wrong with the model.
First, once the organizations were made financially sound, the idea of social need was lost to the goal of making money. To optimize income, the original problems became the drivers of revenue, propagating the problem the institutions were created to solve. In the case of orphanages, it gave society a chance to evade its social responsibility to find foster families and address the reasons children needed them in the first place.
Second, some of the non-profits, like hospitals and colleges, have become so financially successful, they far exceed most community businesses in size. They now bring in most of their funds through operational revenue rather than philanthropy, exactly opposite to the basic founding logic of lack of a product-based financial return. Because of their size, their staffs and executives can pay themselves at levels also exceeding most community businesses. They also hire outside firms to raise funds for them. But, some of the outside firms charge 70 cents on the dollar to raise the money.”
"So, you’re saying the non-profit becomes a money laundering shelter for the fund raising company.”
& "Bingo! You’re catching on quick. Third, because of a cozy deal with the government, non-profits now have a major revenue stream of government grants. This means they essentially have a direct tap into public tax money. Do you see the hypocrisy?”
"Wow! If they can get most of their money by selling their product, then their claim to be a public need is bogus to begin with. And if they get a stream of tax money, then the claim that society shouldn’t pay for this service is also bogus. What a bunch of liars!”
& "Bingo. But this isn’t the end of it. What happens if a rich person gives a big donation to a non-profit business, but also is a director of that business? For non-profits, the directors are called TRUSTEES. What happens if the activity of the non-profit is, conveniently, related to the hobby of that rich person?”
"Ah! I see what you’re saying. Then it becomes a way for them to write off a lot of taxes.”
& "Bingo! In the new society, there will be a similar organizational structure. It will be called a PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. However, it’s operational revenue will be severely limited. It’s fund raising expenses will be severely limited. And, it will be required to establish a very strong public need statement. Part of this public need statement will be a time table specifying a course of action for the Public Service Corporation to eliminate the public need it is created to address. If they are not successful in solving the problem in that time period, or handing it over to society in a formal way, then they will not be allowed to continue. That is, if there is a true public need, then the society itself should be taking care of it. So, a fundamental assumption for a Public Service Corp is that it is only addressing a temporary problem and is a limited life operation.”
"OK. So what about organizations like churches?”
+ "Funny you should ask. Don’t you see the hypocrisy? Didn’t Jesus say, “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”? And, if God wanted these organizations to survive, wouldn’t He find a way for them to collect enough money to support their grand cathedrals and pay property taxes?”
"Hmmm… I guess I never thought about it that way. So, what about social organizations like the Elks or the Jaycees?”
& "Simple. Let them be regular small corporations. Just because they are, quote, ‘for profit’, doesn’t mean they have to make a profit. No profit, no tax. Just because they are for-profit, doesn’t mean they can’t take contributions, or issue bonds. NO! It’s time to expose the corruption.”
Media focus on crisis and violence
"When you said Public Service Corporation, you made me think of National Educational Television. I’m sure there will be major changes in how the media is organized, right?”
& "Right. Big time. Let’s first divide the media into two segments: one for news, the other for entertainment.
The focus of news media competition is now based on selling news. It’s a commodity. And because of the existing business structure, big is better. But as media companies get bigger, the diversity of media products gets smaller. Does that make sense to you?”
"Sure. If one newspaper company takes over a city, then there will only be one newspaper - only one point of view of things.”
& "Bingo! And if there is only one newspaper, it will have to be dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. That typically means blood and guts. Look at the result. Let me read from a book by Gregg Easterbrook. The Progress Paradox. Page 119.”
- “In a world of six billion people, there will always be something burning, blowing up and surrounded by police with guns drawn. We then see each of these on television in a steady stream and take away the impression that life is spiraling out of control.
- The occurrence of crime is amplified by the fact that 45 percent of crimes reported by the media involve sex or violence, although only 3 percent of all crimes do. Television's sex-and-violence-obsessed approach, which presents crime as far more common and far more sadistic than it actually is, causes viewers to have highly unrealistic impressions of the risks in their own lives. Most American women believe they are at high risk to be victims of violent crimes, though the typical American woman is never involved in a crime. Men are far more likely than women to be violent-crime victims. This is made worse by the focus of television drama and movies on the same thing. In contemporary culture, movie depictions of helpless people being stalked, tortured, and murdered, especially women, are classified as ‘entertainment.’
- Movies and television vastly exaggerate the killing of police officers. More actually die in car crashes than shoot-outs. They also misrepresent how often police officers kill in turn. A typical movie depicts officers shooting and killing dozens of people. Yet it is exceptionally infrequent for a law-enforcement officer to discharge a weapon. Some 95 percent of New York City police officers, for example, retire without ever firing their guns except on the training range. And of the 41,000+ NYPD, a typical count of suspect killings would be 11 for a whole year.”
Focus on truth
& "OK. So, what are we going to do about it. The media can perform a vital service for society, but only if what they report is… Come on genius, fill in the blank… if what they report is…”
"Yeah. I know, ‘the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
& "Bingo! So, first off, the media will be segregated according to what type of content they present. This would be things like news, weather, public education, sports, general entertainment, and the arts. Limits will be put on the fraction of a particular market that a single company can own for each content type. This might be 20% for example. That will insure multiple views. Then, there will be restrictions placed on content.”
"OK. I know this is censorship, and a strong limit on freedom of the press. And I know you know that. So, how, again, does that make sense?”
& "Simple. You are asking this question based on Single Sentence Logic. Your starting emotion is based on the belief that we have freedom of speech in this country. Remember, we don’t even come close to freedom of the press now. So, what’s the problem?”
"Oh yeah. So, what you are doing is trading one form of limitation for another.”
& "Bingo! We are now adjusting the laws for the benefit of the people, not the benefit of the business executives. But most important, the new society will know that there are press limitations and will have a say in what they are. So, let’s keep talking about the news content group as an example.
Focus on truth - news media
First, let’s assume there are 5 major news networks in the country to meet the 20% rule. One would be based in the community schools; one would be based in the journalism colleges; and three would be private commercial networks. There may also be others. To get rid of the plague of sex and violence programming, it would be limited in three ways. One would be that it could not exceed in air time, the ratio that exists in real life. Second, the media must show that there is non-entertainment social value in airing the material. And third, the media must show that airing the material leads to effective appropriate community action to address social issues based on the material presented.”
"OK. I can see the ratio idea. That should probably apply to a lot of issues. But why is it the media’s responsibility to create social value?”
& "It isn’t the media’s responsibility to CREATE social value. It’s the media’s responsibility to understand social value. It’s their responsibility to understand the link between what they are showing and what it’s value is to the community. WHY? Because in the new world, ALL businesses operate for the benefit of the individuals. And item three says that not only must there be social value, but if the issue is a negative for society, that presenting the issue in the media leads to effective community action to resolve it.”
"So, are you saying if the public does not respond to media presentations, then the media shouldn’t show them? Again, why is that the media’s job? How does that work?”
& "The same way. It places a responsibility on the media to understand HOW what they present affects the public. The media must ask whether the people have done their homework on the history of that problem. If the people haven’t, the media needs to address the education problem first. The media must understand the processes that a community needs to take to correct a social problem and educate the public about how to get action.”
"Yeah, but, society doesn’t even know how to do that now?”
& "Bingo! Why am I not surprised? Our society is dysfunctional. In the new society, the media will have a lot of allies to help meet these requirements: primarily the applied social research colleges. The media then has two roles. One is to gather information about the public, business and the government agencies to find out what they are doing. The media is society’s major information gathering arm. The second is to EDUCATE the public how to fix it. The education part will not be done by the news media but the education media.”
Politically created unrest
"OK. I understand the theory. How about a solid example?”
& "Sure. Doom and gloom! Let me read from Easterbrook again. Page 101.”
- “There’s no money to be made in harmony. Environmentalists and Democratic candidates can raise funds by crying environmental doomsday, so doomsday they cry. The right-wing think tanks and Republicans can raise money, and industrial lobbyists can score hefty contracts, by falsely claiming that environmental regulations are destroying the economy. Each side's financial incentive is to be relentlessly negative. The positive analysis may be what matters to the typical person - but no actor in the system has a financial incentive to be positive. …consensus and optimism are bad for business…
- …most politicians prefer bad news to good. In contemporary Western politics, the party out of power drastically exaggerates all negative trends while denying all positive developments, in hopes of creating voter anger and getting back into power. ”
& "In each of these cases, the focus is on some social system that is broken. The media contributes to the problem by hyping the crisis. In the new society, the media will spot problems early because the society will run in parallel with sophisticated mathematical models. When something gets out of whack, people will find it quickly and the fixes will be clear. The other thing the media will be expected to do is track so called EXPERTS. Those who don’t establish a solid track record of knowing what’s going to happen will not be approached for comment.”
"Whoa! Truth in reporting. That would be a novelty.”
& "And for people, like politicians, who can’t be ignored because of their social role, the media will track and present their records on any topic they speak about. For example, let’s say a given politician SAYS the country is in crisis when her proposals are not being accepted, but things are going well when her proposals are being accepted. Yet, the problems she address haven’t changed. The media should run her out of town.”
"This approach seems like it would change the idea that there always has to be an opposing viewpoint?”
& "Bingo! It makes NO sense to give equal time to the Flat Earth Society. Sure, they should get to air their opinions. But how about on page 243. The media will be held to the standard of finding CREDIBLE opposing viewpoints, if there are any.”
Education - 2
Education as an institution
+ "OK. Let’s go back to the institution of education. In the new society, education becomes a primary focus provided to the society by the government. Education is life long. Education is there to help individuals reach fulfillment in whatever they want to do. It infuses every business and every community. The educational centers become the community centers. And to radically improve the efficiency of society, individuals are taught to do as many necessities of life themselves as possible. This includes medicine, accounting and law. The laws of the land related to these three professions are radically changed to streamline processes so people can easily do them themselves.”
"OK. I think we talked about that before.”
+ "Good. Now for some new changes.
Education - Diversity - curriculum
& "The first area of significant change would be at the curriculum level. The whole idea of a CORE CURRICULUM with a few electives has to be thrown out. The structure has to be built in reverse starting with the FULL DIVERSITY of ADULT occupations AND based on the knowledge and skills that those occupations require. It’s uncertain how many subjects will be required, because there will be so many overlaps. But there surely will be more than we already have. Let me read something from Goodman about this. Page … 60.”
- “…facing a confusing future of automated technology, excessive urbanization and entirely new patterns of work and leisure, the best educational brains ought to be devoting themselves to devising VARIOUS MEANS of educating and PATHS of growing up, appropriate to various talents, conditions and careers. We should be experimenting with different kinds of school, no school at all, the real city as school, farm schools, practical apprenticeships, guided travel, work camps, little theatres and local newspapers, community service. Many others, that other people can think of. Probably more than anything, we need a community, and community spirit, in which many adults who know something, and not only professional teachers, will pay attention to the young.”
+ "So, this immediately ties into our concept of the community center and integration into work and business.”
Education - automation, new teacher roles
& "The next major change is related to this. With the requirement for many new courses, and the need to make all of those courses available to all students, we need to give up the primitive concept of live instruction. In the new society, professional actors, with movie caliber communication skills, will create videos of courseware. These videos will use the latest graphics and special effects to best communicate the material. The videos will be used throughout the national school system. As audio and video technology develops, the automated courses will include interactive teaching methods.”
"But this seems like a no brainer. I mean, why doesn’t our society do this now?”
& "Nanook? A2! The Seven Deadly Sins. COMPETITION! ‘Your teachers can’t possibly teach third grade arithmetic as well as ours.’ So, we let, or should I say ‘make’, every teacher in the country develop their own courses from scratch. We’re out of our minds.” What should be a one or two or three time highly professional task is repeated 100,000 times every year in a half-assed way.
% "And that means we will have to create very different roles for teachers. They will have to learn to be better at observing and guiding students, rather than at presentation skills.”
Education - linking rewards to results
+ "Once we have these new teachers, we need to link their financial rewards directly to results.”
"Ah ha! Commandment 4: proportionate rewards. So, this means teacher salaries are linked to standardized test grades, or something?”
& "Buzzzzzzz! So sorry Sir Nanook. No cigar. Remember, in a pluralistic society, there are no grade levels. So, there’s no clock against which to pace tests.”
+ "What a teacher will be measured against is the time it takes a student to move through a subject and the completeness of the knowledge they have. More knowledge plus shorter time is good. But, the greatest change will be that the teacher will have a long term performance investment in their students. The teacher will essentially be paid a royalty for the student’s performance in a particular subject later on in their schooling and also based on their career success.”
"You mean, as a student goes through their career, part of what they earn will be sent back to their teachers?”
+ "Precisely! You’re catching on. It’s all part of a system. And this approach applies to teachers, school staff, and school administration. It also applies to the Applied Social Research College people as well.”
And this royalty is probably determined by the Applied Social Research Colleges based on fairness.”
+ "Precisely! “
"The picture keeps getting more clear: win-win-win-win-win.”
+ "Precisely! When some of us win, we all win. When some of us lose, we all lose. And yet, individual initiative is fully rewarded.
University - reward structure, dual ladder
"And will there be a change in the competitiveness in the universities themselves?”
+ "Sure will. First off, the faculty and student positions will not be ‘do or die’ positions like they are now. If you are accepted to the college as a researcher, your position and salary structure are guaranteed. Note, I said salary STRUCTURE, not salary. The salary is determined by dividing the college overall income. Individual incentives come from the success of individual publications, individual patents and the overall success of the college. So, mutual support is a big thing to build up college prestige. And, remember, the new society will have a static population. Limits on the size of the college will be set. So, there is greatly reduced staff growth pressure. The competition is both internal and external.
There will also be a DUAL LADDER reward structure. Administration will NOT be paid higher than researchers, unless they gain the special support of the staff for that. To be paid highly, the administrators will have to demonstrate to the staff that they made a contribution to the effort that was greater than those of the researchers. Pretty hard to do. This will be a school where Nobel Prize winners keep doing research instead of becoming administrative heads because research pays better.”
"I can pretty much envision what the research and job training colleges would be like. Tell me more about the Applied Social Research Colleges.”
+ "These would be true colleges, not social agencies. Their job is to develop the philosophy, the blue prints if you will, for how specific functions in the new society would work. Two of these that I mentioned were the National Opinion Census and the National Opinion Collection System. Another system will be the UNIVERSAL ENCYCLOPEDIA.”
"You’re going to have to explain that.”
+ "Sure. For the whole concept of the new society to work, people need to have a reliable source of both knowledge and wisdom. It has to be tested both against reality and against all other snippets of knowledge as a system. This is the UNIVERSAL ENCYCLOPEDIA.”
"OK. But who’s going to be the authority behind it?”
+ "There are two answers to that. The Applied Social Research College will have the responsibility to organize the structure and processes. But the final authority behind the content must be REALITY.”
"NEAT! I can see where you’re headed with that. It can’t rely on any human authority. That would bias it. So, it has to be tied to your definition of truth: CURRENTLY KNOWN, RELIABLE, PREDICTABLE, MATERIAL REALITY. And we already have the perfect tool to figure that out: the SCIENTIFIC METHOD.”
"Does this mean that there would be no mention of religion in such a book?
+ "Of course not. In fact, to be complete, a description of EVERY known practice of religion should be included. But there should also be critiques about each of them, based on testing, and discussions of their known material reality. For example, there would be a statement about the prayer studies I told you about, which showed that prayer, on a broad scale, has been shown not to produce the results people claim it does. Just to be clear about this process, let me read some key points from Carl Sagan’s description of the Scientific Method and skeptical thinking as an example. Page 210.”
Scientific method details
- “What skeptical thinking boils down to is the means to construct, and to understand, a reasoned argument, and especially important, to recognize a fallacious or fraudulent argument. The question is not whether we like the conclusion that emerges out of a train of reasoning, but whether the conclusion follows from the premise or starting point and whether that premise is true.
o Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the ‘facts.’
o Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
o Arguments from authority carry little weight. ‘Authorities’ have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.
o Spin more than one hypothesis. If there's something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives…
o Quantify. If whatever it is you're explaining has some measure, some numerical quantity attached to it, you'll be much better able to discriminate among competing hypotheses. What is vague and qualitative is open to many explanations. Of course there are truths to be sought in the many qualitative issues we are obliged to confront, but finding them is more challenging.
o If there's a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work, including the premise, not just most of them.
o Occam's Razor. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well, to choose the simpler.
o Always ask whether the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified. Propositions that are untestable, unfalsifiable, are not worth much…
o The reliance on carefully designed and controlled experiments is key…
o Argumentation cannot suffice for the discovery of new work, since the subtlety of Nature is greater many times than the subtlety of argument…
o Variables must be separated.”
+ "He then goes on to list 20 common situations that society always misunderstands. The point is, some people do know how to be objective. And every entry in the Universal Encyclopedia needs to follow these rules. I should also state that the Universal Encyclopedia can’t be a book. It would be more like a whole library. It would essentially be a summary of all the world’s knowledge. The other thing is, to make it useful for the whole society, we need to find some way for every individual to have easy access to it. Right now we don’t have the technology to do that.”
"This sounds like an ideal use for the picture phone.”
+ "The second factor that’s needed is to teach everyone how to use this encyclopedia. Part of this will just be courses related to the searching technology. But because the concepts are so broad, people should be able to draw on educational support at all stages in their life to understand how to interpret what they read there. This would be another role for the community knowledge centers. There would always be lectures going on for people to attend.
% "The focus of medicine in the new society would be wellness. The Universal Encyclopedia would have the latest knowledge about wellness and disease. The knowledge center would have a health function focused on interpreting this. And, in keeping with proportionate rewards, sickness for any member of the community would be seen as a weakness in the health function to be fixed.”
Equipment in labs
& "One of the problems schools have is purchasing equipment to prepare students for the work environment. This is expensive in equipment and teacher training. The schools are always playing catch-up. In the new society, this problem will be solved by the integration of education into the work environment. To make this manageable, towns and regions will have to plan their business zoning to provide convenient access of facilities to students. And to cut costs, businesses will be required to participate in extensive equipment recycling programs for the school labs.
& "We mentioned that government agencies would be run like businesses. But a better comparison would be like colleges. It would not be the role of an agency to directly interact with industry. That role would belong to the Applied Social Research Colleges. Government agencies would primarily organize them to get optimum results.”
"So, for example, you’re saying the FAA would not directly issue flight regulations. That would be done by a number of Private Applied Social Research Colleges focused on aviation. The true FAA, which would probably be an agency under the National Provost, would oversee the activities of the colleges to make sure they were efficient and making progress.”
& "That’s it. So the actual government structure is pretty small. And the colleges are pretty small as well. The goal of this model is not to minimize government, but to minimize the whole structure of social administration. The agencies are only needed for coordination.
Business regulation - Whistle blowers
To make that work, there needs to be a strong regulatory role. But, for the sake of efficiency, to keep the government small, the watch dog roll needs to be designed in a new way. So, how can we create an agency of watch dogs without creating a huge addition to the government?”
"Hmmm… I get it. The answer is in the commandment itself. Since all businesses are created for the benefit of the individuals in the society, those same individuals should be the ones to do the watching.”
& "Bingo! And who better to do it, since the individuals are in every part of the organization anyway. So, the way this would be implemented is to create a variation on the National Social Contract Monitoring System. Let’s call it the NATIONAL WORKPLACE EVALUATION SYSTEM. Like the National Social Contract Monitoring System, it would run through channels outside the companies and institutions, and also outside the direct control of the government. It would be a division of the Applied Social Research College. What this would do is provide a solid protection structure for what industry now calls WHISTLE BLOWERS.”
% "Those are individuals who come forward to expose corruption in a company.”
& "And in the new society, these people would be heroes - unlike today when they are persecuted.”
4 Rewards in Proportion to Social Contribution
“Funny. OK. Commandment four: rewards in proportion to social contribution.”
& "This commandment will present a major change in the way businesses compensate their employees. Right now, management hires employees based on competitive requirements. But, as a goal, they pay them the least they can while maintaining enough workers. They then keep the rest for themselves. This is, of course, A2 Single Sentence Logic. It has been shown over and over again that companies do the best when they pay the HIGHEST wages on a competitive basis and get the best workers. The investment banks understand this. Henry Ford proved the effectiveness of paying high wages. Of course he had the advantage of opening up a whole new model of production as well. But that model is lost on A2 management, which is what leads most of the businesses.
Leadership - developed in recognized talent
In the new society, wages are also adjusted to maintain a balance between employees and needs. The difference is that there is no separate scale system for management. It’s all one scale. And, notice, I didn’t say that wages are adjusted to attract the BEST performers. Because of limits on business size, there will be a lot more businesses than there are now and a lot more positions available for leadership.”
% "This is more complex than it first seams. In today’s capitalistic corporate world, social status is tied to corporate rank. But market success, due to our business laws, is largely dependent on luck. What this means is that leadership and true knowledge are not associated. It’s a myth. So, the educational system needs to be able to recognize a wide range of skill measures: sheer intelligence, that is I.Q., A3 and all the AQ’s. These need to be given very special advantages to create leaders to guide society to greater things.”
& "Remember we talked about a minimum wage law. In the new society, their won’t be such a thing on a national basis. All of the wages are determined based on the system model to keep everyone at full employment, but also to keep the ratio from top to bottom in any organization within the closest possible range. So, there will be the equivalent of a minimum wage level. But it will be different for each company.”
"But there have to be cases where the bottom end will just drop too low, right?”
& "That’s correct. But this problem is not solved just through wages. If a company’s lowest wage would fall below some minimum acceptablel level, the company will be forced into the equivalent of bankruptcy and the management will be removed. As for the employees at the bottom end, this is where there is a crossover into what we now call welfare. But it’s not decided based on wages. It’s decided based on QUALITY OF LIFE. And society will intervene and help the individuals with a long term plan.”
"You know, if all of this can actually happen, this world might be a great place to live.”
& "Bingo! A GREAT place for ALL of us to live!”
Creativity - Patents
Another big change will be in the rewards for creativity. We make so much of creativity in society, but most of it is squandered by government incompetence and the big industries. In the new society, every instance of creativity must be rewarded directly based on it’s contribution.
“Bill talked about that. Part of it was patents, which you and I also talked about. But, more important was that so many great ideas never saw the light of day. What would you do about that?”
& "Well the world wide patent system is useless, as you might expect. It has been optimized by A2’s to maximize their long range profits. So, in the new society, there would be many changes.
The most important thing to remember is that the basis of the patent system is claimed to be the encouragement of creativity for the benefit of society. Of course, that’s not how it is implemented. As with everything else in an A2, dog eat dog world, it is implemented to create wealth for the large business owners.
From square one, there would be a five layer patent system.
Level 1: The patents at layer one would be simple invention ideas that are accepted and reviewed by the patent system at no cost. Regular citizens could send these in. All companies that do creative work would also be REQUIRED to send in descriptions of their research ideas which were not considered adequate for the company to invest in, whether they worked or not. These ideas would be evaluated. If the patent office agreed they were technical failures, they would be published in a report called FAILED ATTEMPTS. If they had merit, they would be published in a report called unpatented novelty. The objectives of these reports is that society would FINALLY have access to ALL the ideas. A date of disclosure along with identification of the inventor would be established. The ideas would be clearly identified and classified in the conventional patent classification system. If anyone, a person or a company, wanted to pursue any of these ideas after that, they could then apply for a higher level patent. They would be required to pay the higher level patent fee. But also, they would be required to pay the original inventor a nominal royalty.
"I see: win-win-win. The public gets access to all this lost novelty. The company that runs with the idea get’s a product to sell. And the original inventor also get’s a reward if it sells.”
& "Bingo! Win-win-win.”
Level 2: The patents at layer two would be for novices. These are people who don’t have much money, but they want to try to build a business around some idea. The filing fees would be low. If approved, they would have to pay a yearly maintenance fee based on how successful they are selling their idea.
"Hmmm… So, if they get a reward, they share it with the patent office?”
& "Correct. Win-win-win-win: public, inventor, company, patent office. But low risk all around if they aren’t successful.
Level 3: These would be something I call Engineering Patents. These would be similar to what we today call design patents. But they would cover a much wider range of inventions including medicines. Essentially, anything that is designed through conventional engineering efforts would fall into this group. The fee would be related to the complexity of the invention and the cost of the research program needed to create the invention. The patents would file when the design was complete and tested.”
"So, this actually addresses the original goal of the patent system. It would protect large research efforts so they can recover their costs and make a profit.”
& "Bingo. Big rewards, big fees. Win-win-win-win.
Level 4: Research Universities would have their own type of patents. The primary differences for them would be date of disclosure based on notarized log book entries, and simplified descriptions based on log book summaries. So, lab discoveries would be easy for them to protect. But the information would become public right away as well.
Level 5: The patents we have now, which are called Utility Patents, would be at the top and would be fairly rare. They would be reserved for truly brilliant concepts. This would be for something like the invention of the first wheel. The primary difference for these is that they couldn’t be used to block others from using the idea. Instead, there would be a mandatory royalty due the inventor for anyone who created a specific use for it. But society would be able to use the idea broadly.
For all of these patent levels, there would be other big changes as well.
First, the protection would not be based on a set period of time. Right now, if a person get’s a patent, they get a monopoly on the invention for 17 years. In the new system, the protection would be based on both time and sales. The primary protection goal is aimed at allowing the company to recover all of its research and development investment plus earn a reasonable return on that investment. The target return on investment would be say 20 times. However, if they don’t achieve this goal in some time period based on the type of invention, then the return will be reduced. However, if no products were produced in 17 years, that would not stop the rewards for the inventor. They would extend without a time limit, just at a continually decreasing level.
Second, product producers would have to pay a royalty on their revenue as a patent fee. This would be the primary revenue of the patent office.
Third, Research Universities would be required to work with individual inventors to help them develop and market inventions.
Fourth, if a new improvement is developed for a product protected by an older patent, the return for the older patent will be decreased unless the old product is modified to incorporate the new development.
Fifth, the patent office would not be a government operation. Those idiots are killing the country. It would be handled by a university group in a competitive way. That group would have incentives to minimize the overall cost to society to run the patent system by maximizing their royalty stream.”
"Wow. What amazes me is how the current system world wide could keep blundering along with the old model.”
Intelligence is not rewarded in society - front door lobotomy
+ "It’s worse than that. Just think about the concept of intelligence. In every part of our society you will find statements that imply intelligence is a KEY value in the world. The whole push for higher education is part of that. YET, as soon as students graduate from high school, or college, or even graduate school, and go into industry, they are confronted with what I call the FRONT DOOR LOBOTOMY! They are screened during their job interview to be as intelligent and capable as possible. But, as soon as they come through the front door, they are stuck in mindless jobs and given very little authority to improve things. This is one of the faults that the new society would fix. Because of the mandatory job changes based on performance, intelligence will be rewarded. Because of the plural team structures and wages based on company performance, intelligence will be rewarded. Because of the National Opinion Collection System, intelligence will have a way to come forward.”
% "In the modern capitalistic corporate world, social status is tied to corporate rank and wealth. But market success is largely dependent on luck. So leadership and true knowledge are dissociated. The whole concept of social status that Ben talked about needs to be established to recognize and promote sheer wisdom. It needs to combine recognition of creative ideas from ANYONE, even those with lesser but consistent discoveries.”
External promotion audits
& "The need to recognize intelligence will be extended to promotions as well. Do you remember me talking about an EXTERNAL PROMOTION AUDIT. Businesses will be required to organize for continuous improvement in all their processes. It’s pretty easy to do this for production because of the rate that automation is sweeping the world. The Japanese are way ahead of us. But, in the new society, management will be required to do this as well. It won’t be easy. It will require the continuous improvement of concepts. But given that the world will still be dominated by A2’s, they will tend to slip back into the Seven Deadly Sins traps of valuing mostly loyalty and subservience. To keep them from doing that, ‘promotional guidelines’ will be mandated by law and accounting groups will make sure they are followed.”
"But, I can’t shake the feeling that this is so intrusive on business freedom.”
& "Of course. And that would be the waling and wining of current business people. But, why wouldn’t we expect that from A2 thinkers? All they know is the predator - prey instincts they learned on the savanna a million years ago. It’s just not consistent with a civilization that respects all human life.”
5 Sustainable world, sustainable society
"OK. Commandment five: promote sustainable life for man and the environment.”
Business cooperation - laws like rules in a game - Limited population, ZPG
& "The biggest change that business will face is operating in a no growth population. In fact, for awhile, they will have to put up with a shrinking population because the world already has too many people. So, while competition is still important to drive people to improvements, businesses will also have to cooperate and develop laws that produce a sustainable planet. To do this, the businesses will contribute to the development of social and economic theory at the Applied Social Research colleges and formulate new business laws. Because of the recognition that resources are limited, the laws developed for business will be seen more like rules in a game. The goal is to make them fair, not give business unrestrained growth. Growth will be gone.”
Worker shortages – need for a cultural model
"So, you probably think that the idea of worker shortages will be fixed?”
& "Of course. The ‘shortage’ of scientists, engineers, nurses, doctors and teachers that we keep reading about in the media is a Single Sentence Logic scam generated by the government and industry to boost management wages and justify the spending of tax money. Once a system model is developed and implemented, the ‘shortage scam’ will be gone. In the meantime, government, universities and big business will keep belching out the smoke screen to hide the fact that it has no clue how to provide low cost medical care, education, or defense systems without just finding lower cost workers. The government is secretly supporting the wealthy management of these institutions. The scam goes on.”
"But why does the system work this way?”
& "I’ll tell you why!”
"NO. No. Hang on. If I haven’t figured this out by now I’m an idiot. It’s just the authoritarian model and the Seven Deadly Sins.”
& "Bingo! Seal muncher has become a genius. The authoritarian model tells us some people believe they belong to a higher order of being than the rest of humanity. They therefore deserve to be richer, more powerful, and in control. And this is NOT because of what they contribute. It’s because of who they think they are; because of their birthright. So, all the talk about them being public servants is total hypocrisy.
Problem of limited Models
But, let’s jump way ahead of all this minutia. A sustainable world in a complex society can only be managed with complex computer models. What we have now are isolated, simplified paper models. They all need to be refined and integrated. For example, the economy of our country and the world is now dominated by GROWTH MODELS. They say things like inflation needs to be about 4% per year; unemployment needs to be about 4%; the money supply to asset ratio needs to be about 6, etc. But none of these address zero population growth, or population collapse. In the new society, these models will be replaced by comprehensive models like the Club of Rome model that you talked about and the society will run by those models. And specifically, population growth will stop and be reduced to 2 billion, industrial growth will stop, economic growth will stop.”
"OK. Commandment six: efficiency.”
& "Remember, the definition of efficiency is to minimize waste. In the new society, there will be a whole university directed to do this. A primary goal of that university will be to ELIMINATE unneeded jobs.”
"That’s funny. All you hear in the news these days is that we need MORE jobs.”
& "Bingo! And you wonder why we’re so screwed up. But, to be sure, both the needs to reduce and increase jobs can be resolved at the same time with a system approach. The point is, new jobs won’t be created for things that don’t benefit the society, if there are simpler ways of doing things.
Need for diversity - experimentation
But I think you can see the challenge here. On one hand we want to eliminate stuff that doesn’t fit the existing pattern of life, because it would not be efficient. On the other hand, we need to push out to explore new territory and escape the LEGACY problem. Let me read something to you from a book by Gardner Murphy. Human Potentialities.”
- “. . new components and new interactions will produce a kind of human nature and human experience which will be as far from the present as our own is from that of our earliest Old Stone Age ancestors.”
"I think you read that paragraph to me, didn’t you George?”
% "Right. And we discussed how we are limited more by what we know than what we don’t know. So, I think where this is pointing is that we need to create a life model that does not try to homogenize the whole world. Some things must be universal, like limiting population. But the structure of families to do that can vary widely, and should not be limited because one group thinks they have the only answer.”
Need for disruptive technology - effects on patents
& "The world will always benefit by new improvements. One of these we call disruptive technology.”
"Bill talked about that. He told me the story of the Xerox machine.”
& "Perfect example. In the new society, breakthroughs will be cherished. For example, as I said, the original inventor will NEVER run out of time to be rewarded. Individual inventors will have access to the Research Colleges, to help them develop concepts that are larger than they can afford. There will be a very low cost way for inventors to file patents. But most important, new improvements will reduce rewards for older products unless the new products incorporate the improvements.
This leads directly to the concept of competition. The benefit of competition and rewards to those who do well is the key to overcoming the sin of laziness. This is the important goal that must be preserved. The second thing is to focus on the importance of society and the individual over business.
The primary change we have to institute is to create rules to limit greed so that it doesn’t drive people to corruption.
Competition - limits in proportion to revenue - advertising
For example, product advertising is out of control. When more effort goes into promoting a product than the value of the product, then society is not being served. Only the producers are being served. Rules are needed to limit excessive product promotion to keep the society efficient. So, in the new society, there will be limits to advertising based on revenue. Let’s say, for example, advertising would not be allowed to exceed 10% of revenue.”
"That sounds like it would be plenty anyway, no?”
& "Oh naïve boy. Take a guess at how much of the price of a pack of bubble gum goes into advertising? Or how about soda? Never mind. I’ll tell you because you don’t have a clue. It can be as high as 85%.”
"WHAT???? This can’t be right.”
& "This is the old problem of producers creating the needs. The psychology that goes into driving consumers to buy products is a scam. Using complex psychology, people can be driven to buy almost anything. So, by limiting the amount a producer can spend, we will not only save inefficient expenses, but reduce the pressure on society to buy things that they don’t really need which are usually not good for them anyway. Just think: soda, gum, potato chips, cigarettes, liquor, cosmetics, jewelry.”
"But doesn’t this infringe on the right of freedom of speech?”
+ "You’re slipping Nanook. Remember, we put that to rest. There is no such thing now and can never be. It’s Single Sentence Logic. It’s a myth.”
Competition - limiting numbers and distribution of competitors
& "And not only do we have to limit the amount of money businesses can spend on advertising, but we have to limit the number of competitors allowed in any field or region. If a market becomes too competitive, in order to survive, some players will cross the line into the crime side. When that happens, honest players will fail. Only those who also take the crime route will stay alive. This was one of the reasons for the market crash during the depression. Without regulation to insure financial responsibility, whole industries can go through boom bubbles which will eventually collapse with great hardship to the society.
The same issues are related to contract bidding. As we discussed, if too many bidders are involved, there is a lot of waste. There is a way to improve this. In the new society, bidding will be handled in stages. First of all, bidders will have to qualify for an approved bidders list. This will be done to protect the bidders from spending money bidding on things they don’t really understand. If they want to get on a list, they will get help to do that. The bidding process will also be staged. It would start with one page concept papers. Bidders accepted at that stage would move to further stages. The number of stages would depend on the size of the contracts and the number of bidders left in the process. It is important to note that this process does not apply only to the government. All businesses would have to use a similar method.
Competition, Need for Resilience - bankruptcy
But competition in commerce, while producing winners, also produces losers. The sin of false pride blinds individuals from making honest self-evaluations in these cases. Because competition is intentionally designed into the law to sort out the weaker suppliers, there must also be a safety net for those who try diligently but fail.”
"Isn’t that what bankruptcy is for?”
& "Bingo! Exactly right. EXCEPT, we totally screw it up. This process must match rewards for both winners and losers with true performance. It should discriminate diligence from fraud. It should catch failing companies BEFORE they become insolvent to minimize creditor losses. Instead, it is implemented as a pure financial problem in ‘wild west’ fashion, that divides the losses among the creditors. In the new society, there would be many new roles for the bankruptcy team. Those will include recovering and protecting all the creativity, creating universal resume entries for the participants, and involving the surviving companies in the process. Creative people will be eligible for later rewards. Criminals will go into rehabilitation.
What needs to be changed is the position of the government being in favor of businesses rather than the people. Once they do that, we can develop the concept of cooperative competition.”
"OK. Give me a simple example of cooperation in the business setting among competitors that could work?”
& "Simple. The yellow pages of the phone book.”
"Hmmm… That’s neat. And this is really a great service to the public.”
& "Bingo! And just consider how unregulated competition in this regard could really mess things up for society. What if companies had to produce their own phone books. They could charge other companies to put ads and phone numbers in there, but also reject ads from competitors. And consumers had to pay to purchase them. A consumer would have to buy all of them to be sure to be able to find someone. There is a better way, which is what we now have. Everyone with a phone has a listing unless they request NOT to have one. And, if a business wants to create special attention, they pay extra for an ad. But no one can be rejected. It’s a good system and a good model.”
"Well, I think it’s obvious that the world should have coordinated things like the phone book to simplify access by everyone.”
& "Well, it may be obvious to you. BUT, in our society, it’s totally NOT obvious to most people! For example, isn’t it obvious that our nation speaks one language?”
& "Then why are producers allowed to sell dictionaries that don’t agree on what words mean? This is lunacy. In the new society, there will be only ONE primary dictionary that defines word usage. Sure, dictionaries can be made with different bindings, different paper, different print styles, even different commentary. But the primary definitions have to be universal.”
"Oh man! I never thought about that. I can see all the social problems this one screw up leads to.”
& "There are dozens of catastrophes like that. Here’s another one. Every individual, at some time, will need to get medical care. How did you say you picked a doctor?”
"We ask the relatives.”
& "And George explained how, as a free market approach, this is a total failure. So, in the new society, EVERY professional service that individuals can not easily get competitive information for from the market to make an informed decision, will be able to access a UNIVERSAL DIRECTORY OF PROFESIONAL SERVICES that will have information SUFFICIENT to discriminate professional performance. And if these are too difficult to create for a private business, then the Applied Social Research College will lead the effort. The system would eventually be turned over to private businesses.”
8 Harmony with nature, animal nature of humans, Seven Deadly Sins
"OK. Commandment eight: live in harmony with nature; recognize man’s animal nature.”
& "The primary action needed by companies to address this is through working conditions. The need for unions to form in the first place to achieve worker safety was a testimonial to the corruption of the U.S. government. Working conditions cover a number of things.
One area of concern is working hours. The best knowledge science has at the present time is that individuals, on AVERAGE, need at least 8 hours of sleep a day. Average, of course, means most people vary from this. But industries like airlines and medicine, which should know better, ignore this. It just won’t be allowed any longer.
Access to sun and air
In Europe, they require employees to have access to air and sun. This of course is for jobs that can provide it. You aren’t going to find sun working in a mine. But in the new society, special efforts should be made to develop remotely operated machines to do that kind of work. Where this objective mostly comes into play is in the design of buildings. It costs more not to have ANY interior rooms. But that’s the kind of thinking that has to change. Interior rooms must be justified for reasons other than cost. And there are obvious examples - like dark rooms for photography.
Health and safety
Safe and healthy working conditions are obvious. The country still doesn’t have an administration focused on this. In the new society, the Applied Social Research Colleges will have this responsibility. Keeping with the competition structure of all agencies, there will be competing divisions of the colleges that address each industry. They will work with industry sponsors to develop new approaches to address problems that minimize disruption and cost. Discoveries of each division will be published and shared with both the other divisions and the industry as a whole.
In the new society, work will be part of a continuum that includes family and education. Eventually, more time will be spent outside of work than in it because automation will provide most of the hard effort. So, keeping with pluralism, the workplace will have many different work models. Again, life will appear more like a college setting with work being the lab sessions.
"Commandment nine: Thou shalt spread beauty throughout the land.”
Beauty in the workplace
& "Relating to my last commandment, a new critical issue is building work facilities that provide beauty for workers. This doesn’t mean every part of a factory has to be beautiful. It’s not practical in the furnace room of a steel mill, for example. But, there should be beauty in places like lunch rooms, break rooms, and parking lots. And I’m not talking about just clean linoleum. I’m talking about the same high beauty that you see when you go to the corporate offices. It should rival the Roman plazas and temples.
Beauty related to company products
Almost every product that is produced ultimately connects with a part of the world that has an element of beauty. As part of a businesses employee interaction programs, these beauties in the world that are related to the company’s products should be put on parade for the employees.
10 Need for Responsibility for personal, family and society development
"OK. Commandment 10: personal responsibility.”
Company must include and extended employee life model
+ "I’ll take this one. It would be a primary responsibility for companies to help their employees both understand and fulfill their responsibilities to society. This would happen through the social programs in the company, as well as personal development training. Company rules would be modeled after social rules so people would be used to them. Company behaviors would demonstrate responsibility to the society and nature.
The best example would be education. Every employee would have a continuously updated life plan. It would not only include the employee, but their life partners. The continuing education program would help the employee reach the goals they set.
14 Need for common values - the social contract
"OK. Last but not least: Thou shalt understand the concepts of the social contract.”
Social contract includes workers contracts
& "The main business insight under this commandment would be that the, quote, ‘social contract’ is also a worker contract. The social contract is a statement that describes how the structure of society provides life, liberty and happiness for its members. Companies should have a contract with all their employees that set out the specific relationship between the individual and the WORKPLACE. This contract should be linked, in detail, with the national social contract.”
Company bylaws address the social contract
+ "We hear all the time that the primary role of a business is to make money for its investors. That statement is an observation of current thought based on the corruption of the goals that the country was founded on. The country was founded based on the assumption that it was to be a, quote, ‘Government of the people, by the people, FOR THE PEOPLE.’ It was not founded as a government FOR the wealthy property holders and businesses, which is where it has gone. So, in the new society, to be given a license to operate a business, a company has to show how what they plan to do will help achieve the goals of the social contract. And it cannot be a narrow statement based on one person or a group of individuals trying to pursue their own happiness. It must address the entire society.”
"Wow! This is amazing.”
+ "And I think that pretty much sums up how our thinking affects the practice of business in general.”
We took that opportunity to get up and move around. Good time for a lunch break. George was well ahead of the game. He was determined to break his food creativity record set the day before.