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26 October 2008

Idea: Towards a 7/7 economy and New Communes

Idea: Towards a 7/7 economy; 24 Oct 2008

1. For most of China's 5,000 year history, its people, mostly peasants -- still today numbering 800 million -- worked every day, resting only when tired or other chores require a change. They took time off work only on festivals and other celebrations. It was pretty much the same in the cities and towns. Business people also worked every day and took time off only when tiredness, rest or other chores required it.

2. Like the Western sartorial suit and tie, which today is worn even by China's leaders, the 5 or 5-1/2 or 6 day week is a Western invention. In the Christian Bible, God rested on the 7th day after creating the heaven and the earth. So, in the West, and later through Western hegemony, throughout the world, the 7 day week was adopted, with the 7th day, the Sunday, ordained as the Rest Day, like the Christian God rested on the 7th Day.

3. Today, there is no reason to stick to this 5- or 6-day Western work week. Indeed, there are many, many advantages to a 7/7 work week. To list but a few :
...2/5th increase in work thus higher employment;
...2/7ths better use of otherwise wasted office/factory rented space;
...stock markets that open all week thus avoiding the end-of-week defensive buying/selling;
...traffic flows that thus 'evens out' over the week instead of jamming roads and other transportations over 5 or 6 days while being under-utilised on weekends;
...electricity use also evens out over the week [electricity capacity has to cater to peak use but cannot be stored during slack use];
...malls, leisure and entertainment centres, etc, all also evened out in patronage rather than suffering peaks and troughs;
...this all leading to better utilisation of expensive and even scarce resources. When everyone is off-work on weekends, this creates crowds and inefficient use of leisure resources which are then, under-utilised on weekdays;
...this idea even greatly reduces corruption;
...greater work arrangements flexibility leading to better work arrangements such as part-time work;

4. In jobs, simply by having the whole city or country operate 7/7, this means that every job now done by 1 worker working 5 days a week = 5 worker-days can be increased to 7 worker-days, an increase of 2 worker-days or 2/5 x 100 = 40% increase in work-jobs. Of course, if there is no demand for the extra worker's output, then there will be no increase or a smaller increase than 40%. But the potential is there. China already has hundreds of millions unemployed or underemployed, so this is an idea that should be considered. Plus the fact that many of the 800 million peasants will want to move to the cities for a better life, which may be possible with the new land policy, makes this idea worth considering.

5. Why is this idea not thought of before? Besides the obvious, the main resistance against this idea is human nature. A manager who rose to his position only after much hard work and politicking does not want someone to deputise for him when he is not around. This human nature resistance is present at almost every level, not just the manager position. Of course, a check-out girl at a supermarket check-out counter does not have such misgivings because her job is easily interchangeable and so lends itself perfectly to a 7/7 job.

6. So, some measures are needed to ensure that in every dept, company, govt dept, city and the entire country, the workers who most fear someone taking away their jobs be given some reassurance. This is important for the 7/7 economy to be implemented smoothly and even successfully. In most big companies nowadays, especially in important or critical positions, the worker must take leave each year for at least 1 week or 7 days consecutively. This is to ensure that the job is handed over to a deputy who can then, in the course of doing his/her superior's job, find any corruption or criminal wrongdoings of the main jobholder. This is now standard practice to reduce corruption and wrongdoings but clearly 1 week is not enough. If all jobs in China, both in the govt and in private companies, have this 7/7 work week with at least 1 day done by a deputy, most corruption in China will be eliminated, thus also reducing mistakes and cover ups like the tainted milk scandal. When you have someone deputising for you every week, looking at your work, you have to be a lot more careful. It is also much harder to bribe someone who is sharing his job and responsibilities with another.

7. There are other reasons for a 7/7 economy. With computers and modern communications and processes, each and every employee now does a lot more than a similar employee in a similar job did say, a decade ago. In fact, each employee is now so productive that he/she does so much that in almost every dept, when 1 employee is away for even a few weeks, nobody can do his/her job. There is no back-up. The more efficient a dept, the less each employee knows about the work of his/her colleagues because work is now complicated, complex, highly efficient and computerised -- even though each colleague is sitting only arms-length away and they lunch together every day. Thus, a 7/7 work week will automatically make back-ups of each and every job so when 1 employee is gone for weeks or for good, the stand-in can continue business as usual.

8. Office space and factory space rental is a big item in every company's monthly and yearly expenditure. By leaving the expensive office and factory space empty each weekend, 2/7ths of the rental is wasted. You pay 7/7 office rentals but use only 5/7ths. You waste 28.57%. Imagine how much this translates in renminbi. Of course, to work 7/7, you will need to pay more aircon, electricity, maintenance costs, as well as hiring 2/7 more workers, but if you have enough business or demand for your output, reclaiming 28.57% of wasted office rentals can translate into much bigger profits.

9. Another reason why this idea was not done before is that it requires a whole town, city or country to do it all together at once. For example, a family has 2 grandparents, 2 parents, and 1 child. Both parents work and the child goes to school. Thus, both parents and their child must coordinate their work week so as to have the same days off together, like they do now on weekends. But this is not difficult because even the schools and teachers will also work 7/7. So, suppose everyone works 5 days a week with 2 days off as required by labour laws, then offices and companies must allow employees to choose their days off to coordinate with their spouses and child. This is not difficult.

10. Since the major jobholder will work 5/7 and the stand-in or deputy only 2/7, the deputy can actually stand in for another 1-1/2 employees. This versatility and back-up of all the functions in a dept can only be good. Much of today's jobs are computerised and mechanised [as in factories], so this versatility will promote learning of more diverse skills and trades. This is good for the individual as well as the company and the country as a whole. Indeed, for many boring, dead-end jobs, this working as back-up in varied jobs and job functions will appeal to many.

11. Currently, there is the illogic of employed workers being worked very hard while unemployed people have no work at all. By implementing a 7/7 economy, work will be more évened out' so that the employee with a job can choose to work a little less while the unemployed can get some work. This leads to greater flexibility. For example, a working mother may want or can work only 2 days a week. This 7/7 economy allows this flexible working arrangement when previously, a worker has to work 5 or 6 days a week or not at all, as unemployed. Thus, many part-time work will be possible. Thus, in the 7/7 economy, the lines between employed and unemployed will blur. It may even make no sense to report statistics on employment and unemployment since most people will work as much or as little as they want.

12. Even professionals may implement this 7/7 week. For example, a doctor operating a clinic may work 4 days a week and have a locum stand in for him/her on the other 3 days. Lawyers, consultants, stockbrokers, etc, can all implement this 7/7 week.

13. After or maybe before the successful implementation of a 7/7 economy, the govt may want to consider new labour laws. For example, the old definitions of employed vs unemployed may need to be revised. Some may work 1 day, others 2, and so on. Thus, labour laws may need to recognise payment on a daily-rated basis instead of the monthly wage. This is optional and depends on what the govt wants to do for its economy and workers.

14. In mixed populations like Malaysia, which has big populations of Malays [muslims] and Chinese and Indians, the Malay muslims may want to take Fridays off because that is the day of prayers. Thus the muslims may take Fridays off while the other races can take other days off. Thus, the 7/7 economy caters to different rest-day needs.

15. When this 7/7 economy is implemented, maybe as a pilot project in some town or city first, like, say, Shanghai, the road traffic will be evened out over the whole week thus reducing jams. But this gain is only a one-time gain and if other measures are not done, soon the roads will be jammed all 7 days a week. This evening out also applies to other public transport such as buses and metro trains, all of which will be better utilised.

16. Stock markets will open all week so a sudden bad news over the weekend can allow for buying/selling stocks. This leads to more stable stocks trading. With events happening so fast nowadays, this is important.

17. Electricity use will also be evened out over the week. Currently, power stations have to be big enough for peak use during the work week but cannot shut down or reduce production during weekends since electricity cannot be stored.

18. Similarly, leisure and entertainment complexes will be patronised all week instead of just weekends. This evening out will reduce weekend over-crowding and ensure better utilisation of all the facilities.

19. You may want to reinvent the week. For example, you can have a work week that is 10 days, with workers getting 2, 3 or even 4 days off. Everything is now flexible and can be reinvented. There is no need to stick to the Gregorian calendar [ ]. You can use back the old Chinese Lunar calendar if you want. Or invent something new. With modern computers and the Internet, it will be easy to 'translate' from the standard Gregorian calendar to any calendar you choose to invent. Just like now we can, with 1 click, get the time anywhere in the world.

20. The needs of a modern economy and society require new work-life balance and arrangements. A 7/7 economy is most likely to provide the best arrangements for everybody.

21. China is now trying for more GDP growth through greater domestic consumption, since exports to the US and EU are decreasing in the financial turmoil. With a 7/7 economy, Chinese spending will take place over 7 days instead of the current weekends only. This will increase domestic spending as desired. Also, with more people employed, spending will also rise.

22. RH: "A 7/7 economy solves EVERYTHING. Creates 2/5 or 40% more Work-jobs, at only [2/5 more Workers Pay - 2/7 Office/Factory Rental costs]. PLUS Immeasurably, Many, Many other recurring Benefits worth $b $b $b pa!!!"

23. RH: It is entirely possible that the above BOLD may even be LESS than the ITALICS, thus leading to NO COST of the extra 2/5 or 40% workers, or even SUBSIDISED, that is, when BOLD - ITALICS returns a negative, that is, the savings in Office/Factory Rentals exceeds the extra 2/5 or 40% workers pays, in which case there is an overall REDUCTION in ALL the workers salary costs, both the 5/7 + the extra 2/7 of workers. In other words, moving to 7/7 could actually REDUCE the total wage costs while increasing the workforce by 2/5 for free or even for an overall wage costs subsidy.

HOW TO DOUBLE YOUR ECONOMY WITH NO PAIN[added 5 Sep 2011; added 20 Sep 2011 new paras 12 and 13 plus some edits]

1. First, please read this:

26 October 2008
Idea: Towards a 7/7 economy and New Communes

Idea: Towards a 7/7 economy; 24 Oct 2008


2. Although I deliberately slanted the article above for China, the same ideas and principles can be used by ANY country, although some will benefit much, much, more than others.

3. Of course, no govt is ever going to do anything more than 'more of the same', so I did not see, nor expect to see, any govt rushing to implement my 7/7 Economy, although every single govt will benefit and will suffer hardly any pain at all in implementing it. Govts were invented in an era when societies were largely agrarian, slow moving and exceedingly simple, with even the few cities being mostly small and simple. Today, however, societies are huge, hugely complex and complicated, with the huge numbers of populations by itself creating unsolveable problems simply by the huge numbers. Thus, govts today, ARE the problems and not the solution. This is the main reason why my 7/7 Economy has still not arrived.

4. However, if govts and politicians cannot change, they may change when desperate. Is Japan desperate enough? If so, then Japan may want to implement my 7/7 Economy. Indeed, there are obvious clear benefits. For example, an economy that works 7 days a week is clearly far more productive than one that works only 6 or 7 days. Thus, a gain of 20% or 40% more production of goods and services. In the economic competition and race among countries, when even a 1 or 2% extra can mean victory, a production gain of 20 or 40% is a winner by a long shot. Question is, is Japan and its leaders and new PM, desperate enough to want and implement Change? Or more of the same?

5. If Japan wants to attempt my 7/7 Economy, here are some practical considerations. For example, since Japanese men still matter more than Japanese women, it is therefore better if the main jobholder, that is, the one working the main job 5 or 6 days a week, be mostly a man, with a woman filling in the 1 or 2 days when the main Man-jobholder is off. This will be the least disruptive of current work routine and habits, and therefore easiest for everybody. So, for 5 or 6 days a week, the job functions are exactly like now, so very little change/pain. Thus, only on the other 1 or 2 days would a woman take over the job, thereby acting much like a temp or part time worker. So, the first principle is for a Man to be mostly the main jobholder and a Woman be the temp or Filler for the day/s when the Man is off work.

6. So the first principle is: Man mostly main jobholder, Woman Filler.

7. Since the Woman may work at 2 or more Filler jobs, companies will require some protection from loss of privacy, secrecy and trade secrets if she is not working all her Filler jobs in the same company. Thus, some new Labour Laws will be needed in which a Filler may not work in the same industry as the other job/s she temps at. This is slightly unfair to the Woman because it prevents her from holding a substantive job on her own, or even as a Main Jobholder, although like any job/s, she may eventually get a Main Job for herself -- this is not precluded, neither by law nor practice. In fact, the 'apprenticeship' she gets experience in, like any apprenticeship and experience, can help her get a Main Job later, even if she starts her career as a Part Timer. Even though in Japan, like in most workplaces in every country, women are seldom promoted to substantive positions anyway, so this is mostly enshrining an already existing practice. Since many women stay at home after marriage, this system of Man mainjobholder and Woman filler can work to the advantage of women as a whole because it opens up a huge number of temp or part time jobs that would otherwise not be available. In fact, my 7/7 Economy creates an entirely new economic class, that of the Temp, Filler or Part Time worker. Also, by making Part Time jobs an established institution, bosses become more agreeable to hire part timers and this alone, will create many, many, part time jobs, not only for women, but also for some men who may not be able or want to hold, a fulltime job. Thus, the main effect of my 7/7 Economy is to promote Part Time Work as an established institution. This is important for flexibility in a modern economy where now and then, a recession may come along that retrenches many fulltime workers. Thus, an institution of Part Time Work creates a new flexibility for companies to re-organise to survive a recession or adverse business conditions. For example, companies may fire some part time staff to save costs if business is reduced or production needs to be trimmed. Or companies may fire some fulltime staff if they are too costly and rely on [presumably] cheaper part time staff. Part Time Work can save many companies from going under in adverse business conditions. In this way, Part Time Work strengthens an economy by giving bosses flexibility in work arrangements as well as 20% or 40% more productivity. This may be what Japan needs at the moment.

8. Unions in Japan must understand all this and agree to some changes in union contracts and agreements. For example, the clauses in a Part Time worker's contract will need to state that if a Part Timer is found to be working a Second or Third Job, etc, in the same industry, he or she may be sacked without compensation, etc. There needs to be sufficient punishment to deter Second Jobholders from working in the same industry as the First [Part Time] Job. In addition, employee benefits such as bonus, medical care, etc, will need to be studied and clauses worked out to the mutual benefits of both bosses and part timers. This is not difficult. For example, part timers can be given some extra allowance with which they buy their own medical care insurance, etc. [It is probably best for the employer/s to pay the medical insurance company direct, to ensure full and proper medical coverage]. Unions also need to study all these and propose and agree to, such clauses. In time, the govt can publish standard or template clauses as guide for employers, unions and workers. All these are not difficult or painful.

9. Even with this new system, women can continue, like now, to hold fulltime jobs. There is no change in this. However, what is created is a new class of Part Timers, mostly women, who can now find part time work to suit their needs, from working 1 or 2 days, to holding several part time jobs and thus work a full week.

10. The most important single result is FLEXIBILITY for both employers as well as workers. Flexibility can mean the company survive a recession better while for the workers, it can mean that if they are laid off, he or she can quickly and easily find 1 or more part time jobs to put food on the table. Inflexible company and work arrangements are often the main reasons why companies and workers suffer in recessions. Once you build in this flexibility, both companies and workers benefit. This is the way to go in the 21st Century. Good Luck!

11. In my original article, I wrote that to test my 7/7 Economy, an entire city may need to do this experiment. This probably frightened off any govt that might have been interested. I now consider this requirement to be most unwise. A single big company of about 1,000 employees would probably be enough. However, even getting a private company to try this experiment will be difficult. Fortunately, there is a good way to conduct this experiment quietly and without any profit/loss/inconvenience consequences to a private company and that is for one of Japan's 47 Prefecture Govts to try it first. Or it may even be the Mayoral govt of a big city. The number of employees required to try this would be a minimum of a few thousand employees. The experiment can be done slowly and quietly over a long time of many months before it is evaluated and published in reports. Since it is a Japan govt that is involved, no private companies are inconvenienced and the govt involved can try out many methods and observe as closely as it wants before it concludes whether the 7/7 Idea works or fails. This is probably best. If this first experiment is a success, then the national govt may want to be the first 7/7 Govt in the world, after which it can persuade a big company or several, in different industries, to try the experiment. By this time, the Japan Govt will have much experience and methodologies to guide the implementations in the private companies.

12. By this time, the Japan Govt will be able to formulate legislations relating to these Part Timers work and once these legislations are published, publicised and explained, companies will quickly see the benefits [as well as from the various Japan Govt experiences and maybe also from some famous private companies that have tried it] and adoption nationwide should then follow. However, there is no need for the entire country to adopt 100% this 7/7 Economy. The key is flexibility. Those companies who benefit most will automatically adopt it while those with constraints may not. It is all about flexibility. The govt only needs to make the legislations available. As simple as that. It need not push or promote this idea, except give some concessions and incentives if it really wants to push the idea [because of such advantageous side effects as reduced congestions on roads and public transport, etc, and to spread out the patronage of what used to be previously mostly 'weekend' recreation and leisure facilities].

13. Thus, simply legislate to make it possible. This will probably be the first fundamental change in the employer-employee relationship since the Industrial Revolution and maybe since Marx analysed this relationship. The employer-employee relationship is basically antagonistic, in which both sides try to gain maximum benefits while giving the other as few benefits and concessions as possible. With this Idea, employers can get the maximum out of, and thereby optimise/reduce, their fixed costs such as factory/office rentals and work assets such as machines and computers, thereby become 20% or 40% more productive, which, with multiplier effects, can double the economy; while the employees can choose a new lifestyle in which they are no longer wage-slaves to their employers but can work as much or as little as they like or want, thereby organising their work/s around their lifestyles instead of the other way round. Thus, for employees, for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, they can work to afford the lifestyle they want and not simply to be a wage-slave to their employer's needs and not their own. The capitalist gets his 20% or 40% increase in production while the employee can arrange his work/s around his lifestyle and not the other way round. Thus, both capitalists and Marx will approve. It is an Idea for the 21st Century. Good Luck!


NEW COMMUNES [written 7 Dec 2010; added 21 Jun 2011]

1. I believe that Capitalism is self-defeating and will eventually collapse and that the US, currently the most advanced capitalist economy and country, is collapsing. However, the US is collapsing not because the capitalism system cannot work indefinitely -- I believe it can -- but more because the VALUES and SOCIAL MORES created by capitalism are so bad, poisonous and parasitic that these values and social mores, once taken root in the country and have become widespread, kills off the host, that is, the country hosting the capitalism. So the more advanced the capitalism economy, the sooner it destroys its society and country, like what is happening in the US now.

2. Some reasons for this self destruction is that capitalism creates selfishness in individuals and companies and even politicians and govt. A society in which every man cares only for himself, fights hard only for his own selfish interests, every man for himself, survival of the fittest, you die your business -- must fail, given how complex modern societies are, where even a single misfit or aggrieved individual, or social outcast, can do big damage to the entire society.

3. The capitalist economy is brilliant for efficient production of goods and services, but quickly goes past being an efficient producer of basic and important goods and services to more and more esoteric and even frivolous goods and services, that is, all bells and whistles, until the advanced economy is producing literally worthless goods and services. For example, as I have pointed out, the US economy is 70% consumer spending, predicated on cheap oil so that any increase in the oil price will probably kill off the US economy, and an economy based on advertising-news-entertainment-esoteric-financial-services. This means that capitalism must be stopped once the economy has developed enough, otherwise the entire economy over-develops into more and more esoteric goods and services that are basically, not needed. All bells and whistles.

4. An industry begins, grows and ends up this way: First, someone has an idea, gets capital to develop his idea into a business, makes money, so others quickly also do the same, thereby creating a new industry. Soon, there are many competitors and Darwinian survival of the fittest, happens. With competition, companies struggle to make their goods and services better and different, so you end up, from the Ford Model T to the current SUV. In the latest industry, the computer industry, the industry developed from the very important and useful email, web browser and search engine [these latter 2 are what makes the internet possible] to social media like Facebook and Twitter. These new esoteric goods and services like Facebook and Twitter can make money and so are 'successes' in money terms, but these esoteric developments add little by way of service to society, just like SUVs do not transport passengers any better than a Corolla. Thus, all industries develop from basic usefulness to esoteric and exotic products that serve less and less useful needs. Do we really need an iPhone 4? This diatribe makes the point that, allowed freely to develop, capitalism develops goods and services far beyond what society really needs, into esoteric products serving frivolous and marginal whims. An advanced capitalistic economy produces mostly marginal goods and services. Thus, it is better that someone, some institution, or govt, actually brakes the development of every industry once it starts developing into fanciful, esoteric, marginal, levels. The US financial industry is probably another good example of overdevelopment. This posits the theory that capitalism should let its magic work to develop industries, to develop the goods and services needed by society, but to brake or even stop development once it becomes too esoteric, marginal and whimsical. This is probably impossible in capitalist democracies but may be possible in communist countries.

5. Having made the point, I hope, that capitalism, taken to its logical conclusion, is collapse, is communism any better? Communism, taken to extremes, has starved millions to death, produced feeble, weak and misdirected economies and impoverished peoples and society lacking even the basic necessities of life. However, those countries like China that have combined communism with capitalism, may do well. However, China is communist only in govt, while its economy is pretty capitalist. So, China has to brake any development of its capitalist economy once it knows [very difficult] that it is overdeveloping. Currently, China is producing the basics -- the washing machines, fridges, cars, houses, TVs, computers, etc, so seems quite a long way from overdevelopment. Note that overdevelopment can be imported or forced, in an open global economy, by others doing it first, so you also do it in order to be competitive. Few countries can shut off outside pressures but a govt like China's can probably do it better.

6. If China is still a long way from capitalist economy overdevelopment, but only its govt is communist, can China re-introduce some communism back into its society? To balance against the self-destructive Values and Social Mores of total selfishness that capitalism creates? In typical capitalist societies, the rich [the ones with capital] become richer and richer while the rest can remain very, very poor. This is glaringly true in the US and is also happening in China today. In the US, the rich capitalists have seized control of the political system, both political parties, even the govt and society, and have parasitically deformed and distorted govt and economy to serve their own selfish interests. In China, the govt is still intact, free from such deformation and distortion. However, the communist govt in China has lost its ideology of communism, since it has to run a capitalist economy. It is now communist only in name and power structure. So, this little essay is to try to re-introduce some communism back into China.

7. MAO Ze Dong rose to power and govt on the backs of the Chinese peasant, of whom there are about 800m. So, any effort to re-introduce communism back into China must work on these 800m mostly poor peasants, and certainly not the rich capitalists in Shanghai, who can take care of their own private jets. MAO and his communists created the Commune system, so maybe we can call this effort "New Commune".

8. The old commune grouped about 5,000 families, mostly in the countryside but there were also urban communes. Agricultural communes failed in their collectivisation attempts to farming so we may not succeed any better with a new attempt. However, since the scrapping of the old commune system in 1982, much has happened, so our New Commune can take a different form. The basic idea of the old commune was Sharing. Except that in those days, there was little to share, except land and some simple hand tools for farming. Our New Commune has much, much, more to Share. So, if Sharing is the basic principle of the commune, what can we share?

9. If we compare the old commune with our New Commune, the old commune had little to share except land and simple hand farming tools. Today, a typical home has a TV, radio, fridge, washing machine, computer, even car or van or truck. Thus, we have many opportunities to share. Suppose, instead of every home owning and operating its own fridge, washing machine, etc, we have collective ownership, that is, Sharing, like in the old communes? This can work, to improve the lives of all those in the new commune.

10. Just Sharing is important enough to be its own argument, and an antidote to capitalism's Selfish pursuit of individual interests. [Capitalism creates Individuals while Communism tries to create Societies, in smaller groups called Communes]. But if you need an economic, efficiency, financial, even ecological reason, I can supply them. For example, a washing machine can easily wash a dozen loads of clothes a day, without shortening its lifespan by much. Yet it is used only once a day in most homes. Thus, it is wasted for most of the day, for most of its life. Similarly, a car can be driven on the roads for a dozen hours a day but instead is parked at the office most of the day, and at home, most of the night, thus a huge waste of an expensive resource. Thus, by Sharing, almost every resource in the home can be better utilised. This means that our New Commune can share many Common Assets or Common Properties, which not only saves money but also create a Sharing Society and thus a better society than the Individualistic Society that capitalism creates. Sharing is a good antidote to capitalism's selfishness.

11. Suppose a New Commune of 5,000 families pools money to buy 200 cars. These cars can then be shared and be more fully utilised than the typical car now, which is used by only one family and in fact, usually used only by the father. Other Common Properties can be an electric drill, aluminium step ladder, desktop computer and printer, fax machine, even telephones -- both landline and cellphone, etc, etc. For practical reasons, these Common Assets should be conveniently and centrally stored and managed by a New Commune head or manager. For example, if the Commune cars are nearby, several housewives who are neighbours may do their grocery shopping together at the same time, so 3 or 4 housewives share one car, whereas now, a single housewife uses one car for herself. Thus, the old commune had little to share whereas now, there are many useful and important home appliances that can be jointly owned and shared.

12. In the cities, people are less likely to share because they are richer, can afford their own appliances, and the dense living makes people prefer to keep to themselves. In the countryside, the 800m poor peasants will find sharing very attractive. A point to note is that, currently, fridges and washing machines, etc, are all designed for single families, so initially, buying a fridge big enough for 3 families will only be slightly cheaper than buying 3 smaller fridges, but once capitalistic supply and demand happens, the big fridge for 3 families will be much cheaper than 3 small ones. For washing machines, etc, same principle. In terms of production, it uses less materials and labour and is far more efficient to manufacture 1 big fridge for 3 families than 3 small fridges. Same for washing machine, etc. Ecologically better, too,

13. Thus, sharing in a New Commune system creates better society values and social mores than the selfishness created by capitalistic systems. In China, the one child system may make these single kids lonely and maybe even distort their social development. By having New Communes in which neighbours share and jointly use Common Properties, the single child gets to meet and play with other single children, thus creating a better society. This bonding of neighbours is more important than the economic arguments for a New Commune. A country of One Child Families -- one child and 2 parents or even with 4 grandparents -- fragment society into very divided small society units. With Sharing, the social unit becomes much bigger than just a One Child Family. It becomes several families whose daily sharing and interactions build harmony and closeness. This makes it easier for mutual help, mutual caring and makes society stronger and more cohesive. When neighbours help each other, look out for each other, many, many good things also happen, such as reduced crime rates and better care for old, elderly or the very young children. All good and no bad, I believe. Thus, the New Commune can be a good basis for building a strong and cohesive society, and a much happier one, too. This New Commune or Sharing System can be a good basis for a 21st Century Communism.

14. Although Sharing is possible in the cities, too, our first aim are the 800m peasants in the countryside. If we can make countryside life more comfortable, fewer peasants will need to move to the overcrowded cities to find a better life. Here are some suggestions for Common Properties:


a large room or hall with a bathroom

with folding chairs and tables
with electric fans
with a flat panel tv of at least 40 inches
with a Nintendo Wii game console and games, Sony Playstation Move games, XBox 360 Kinect games
with radio
with xianggi, weiqi, mahjong and other games
with a small library of books and magazines for children and adults
with desktop computers, printer and internet access
with landline telephone and cellphone
with fax machine
with First Aid medical kit complete with antiseptic bandages and plasters and solutions
with some common over-the-counter medicines for flu, coughs, fever, pain, etc
with thermometers for measuring fevers
with blood pressure monitors, both manual and battery-operated
with weighing scale to measure body weight and a calculator for calculating Body Mass Index
with eye test chart pasted on a wall
with aluminium ladders, regularly checked for safety
with various stationary items such as paper, rulers, cutters, protractors, compasses and dividers, calculators, etc
with snacks and drinks from vending machines or just a pantry
with a kitchen for light cooking
with washing machines
with fridges
with fire extinguishers, regularly checked for proper functioning
with tool box containing electric drill, screwdrivers, measuring tape, etc
with agricultural hand tools like spades, shovels, hoes, etc

parked nearby, a car, regularly checked for tyre pressure, oil, battery, etc. These regular servicings and maintenance can be outsourced to an agent or company who can submit a bid or contract for an entire commune of 5,000 families

All these managed and supervised by a manager or village head, who can be chosen or elected by the 20-30 families.







Idea: Random thoughts on World Govt

Idea: Random thoughts on World Govt; 17 Oct 2008

1. Although it is possible to conceive and implement a World Govt from scratch, which has many advantages, given that humans are slow to change mindsets or embrace startlingly different ideas, proponents of a WG may need to build upon the current UN, just as the UN was based on the old League Of Nations. One advantage is that building from the UN allows use of many current UN agencies and procedures.

2. The US will try to take over the WG and thus achieve what they tried but could not as a big power, that is, turn every country into its control. Now even impossibler given that the US is now in terminal decline. So the WG may anoint as its first World President, a person from a small state that has no or few world domination ambitions.

3. A WG needs money so one way would be for it to issue the Fiat Currency, the W$ or World Dollar. Probably all oil trades would be in W$ to reinforce this as the universal currency. Then so would all other trades. For a while, individual currencies may remain as the respective medium of exchange and interchangeable into W$ but eventually, only the W$ would circulate, in every country. When this universal currency is established, no country would be able to stay out or opt out of the WG.

4. The WG should 'worldise', as in 'nationalise' as many of the global resources as possible. The easiest would be to worldise all the Earth's oceans. The current 200 mile exclusive economic zones may need to be abolished. Thus, any use of the oceans whether by ships transporting goods, fishing, mining, or oil and gas production, etc, would come under WG control. A WG tax may be levied for use of this global resource. All fishing boats would be licenced and taxed by the WG and licences would be distributed to all, even non-coastal or landlocked countries.

5. One justification for the WG would be that 'global problems require global solutions' which only a WG can do since single countries acting selfishly have glaringly failed. Among the global problems that WG is best able to tackle include ozone depletion, climate change, water insufficiency, clean energy, natural disaster help, human poverty, human diseases, pandemics, genocides, refugees, failed states, etc.

6. The air, atmosphere and near space may need to come under WG control as well, which can levy a tax on any use of the air and atmosphere by planes, space satellites, or air pollution.

7. Individual govts may need to pay a tax to the WG as well.

8. All supra-national agencies such as the World Bank, IMF, WTO, etc, would come under the WG, which will then establish the Rules for world trade and financing, etc. These may allow for more WG taxes.

9. All govts are ultimately based on force, so a WG must have a big standing armed forces to settle disputes. The soldiers can be drawn from various countries and trained. Having different nationalities of soldiers will make it easier to send in those nationalities soldiers who would not have a national interest or agenda to push. The Gurkhas would be a good start. A World Police is necessary to investigate crime, whether by individuals or govts, for prosecution.

10. Prosecution would be in World Courts, according to World Laws. Judges, prosecutors and juries would be drawn from all over the world's judges and lawyers. A World University will produce World Lawyers.

11. The World University will also produce graduates trained in global disciplines, such as World Laws, World Govt Studies, climate change, water issues, clean energy, oceans sustainability, pollution [since this transcends national boundaries], etc. This is better than the ad hoc, random studies done by disparate groups currently.

12. World Research Institutes would focus on global problems ignored by the advanced countries, such as Malaria, which still kills millions in poor countries. Also, WRI can develop better products, systems, procedures to alleviate poverty and wretched living conditions in poor countries.

13. The WG may need to be physically sited somewhere but not necessarily forever. It can move every decade or so to another continent, thus by its location, help to understand and focus on its region or continent. The WG needs this kind of perspectives to be effective and obeyed.

14. The World President would need to have a World Legislature to draft laws and debate issues. He or she will also need a Cabinet for implementing various functions.

15. The WG would need to have its own World Media, that is, TV, Radio, Internet, Newspapers, etc. This is to propagate its existence, its policies, its leading personalities, its works, etc. It should own its own satellites.

16. World Passports would be issued to its members and employees. This will be universally accepted.

17. World Citizens would be able to live and work everywhere. However, there may need to be some limits on the number any country has to take. Refugees without a country will be considered for WC.

18. There are already some failed states. The WG can take over some failed states to establish a territorial presence or even to site its headquarters or base its military or various agencies. It has money, so it can quickly build the buildings, roads, airports, telecommunications, etc.

19. Proponents of a WG can first spread the idea through a novel, movie, tv series and computer game. WG is an inherently dramatic concept and lends itself to many dramatic possibilities, from wars against rogue anti-WG states and insurgents, to strategic manoeuvrings and alliances between various country-groups, etc.

20. For the last few decades, the main obstacle to a better, more effective UN was the US. The US, President after President, saw no need for a stronger UN because that would hinder the unfettered action of America upon the world. So it single-handedly prevented the UN developing into a more effective world body that could truly develop 'global solutions for global problems'. Today, America is beginning to realise that it has severe limitations disproportionate to its ambitions; that it no longer calls the shots. It now has to choose whether to recognise and acknowledge its limitations and cede power to a WG and then try to use that WG to attain some of its cherished world objectives -- OR FACE 1 OR MORE RISING POWERS WHO WOULD TOTALLY ACT AGAINST ITS VERY SURVIVAL AND INTERESTS. Thus, American support for a WG is in its mid and long term interests. Either it transfers power and authority to a neutral WG over which it has some influence, or totally lose all influence when push comes to shove and a new Coalition of the Willing Anti-American Powers coalesce to undermine its very existence, as all top dogs are reduced by former under dogs. Here is an insightful article that lays out the facts and the dwindling options that America now faces :