Who Gets What in the Exchange of Value?

When value is generated, who experiences and who receives what part of it?  This is a distribution question.  Around distribution is the question of who gets how much of the value flowing through any part of your life.  Big questions here circle around who has the right to what, and who gets to decide how it is used.  These questions deal with issues around taxation, public revenue, and private ownership.  The big question that hundreds of generations have struggled with is, who gets what of the value that flows through the group’s work?

Basically, you can think of three different groups who divide up the pie of what is made in an exchange: those who have resources; those who do work; and those who organize.  Essentially, you pay rents to people who own the resources you are using.  Whether it is an apartment, a warehouse space, land, or large equipment, you can pay someone else rent for the use of the resources they own.  The people who do the work to make the good or provide the service are paid wages.  Whether paid by the hour or day, like most employees, or by the project, like many professional services, such as doctors or architects, they are paid wages for their time.  Finally, after rents and wages come profits, which typically go to those people who organize the work and resources.

Today’s agreements about value tend to be buried deep within the group unconscious, with most people assuming the current rules are given: that this is the way it must be.  There is one national currency.  The government controls how much money there is and how it is used.  One’s wealth is defined by how much money one has.[1]  What if these assumptions are completely wrong?  What would happen if agreements of abundance were made explicit and shared?  Millions of people in hundreds of thousands of groups are actively exploring new forms of these agreements today, and demonstrating that they can be much more effective this way.

Ecosynomics suggests a very different relationship with value in a network of individuals.  The creative force of spirit manifests in two forms: its absolute, pure form; and in its relative, individuated forms.  Value is the experience of harmonic vibrancy (spirit) coming through both.[2]  People experience the manifestation of the possibility-light, as it expresses in relationships.  Exchange is acknowledging how the experience of vibrancy coming through shows up as itself in me, in you, in us, in nature, in spirit.  Ecosynomics is the recognition of the abundance flowing in all five relationships, while economics is the commoditization of the value that previously you exchanged.

[1] For integral perspectives on money, see Bernard Lietaer and Richard Wagner.  For perspectives on the system dynamics of money, see (Ritchie-Dunham & Hulbert, 2009a).  For the impact of strings of agreement of different types of money, see (Ritchie-Dunham & Hulbert, 2009b).

[2] See an interview with me on the ecosynomics of money (Teague, 2010c).

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