Some open questions


#1

Asked by some of my coworkers:

  • How do you incentivize people to care more for strangers than their next of kin?
  • How do you incentivize people not to hoard their Raha dollars instead of actively using it?
  • The people you need to convince are the wealthiest people of the world. Why would they want to put their money in Raha?
  • Wouldn’t a true UBI cause inflation because everyone has more money to spend?
  • Why don’t you have inflation?

#2

All good questions. Here’s my $0.02, though I’m sure there are many answers.

How do you incentivize people to care more for strangers than their next of kin?
I’m not sure you do. As the saying goes, “Blood runs deep”. I think that thinks like Singer’s “The Life You Can Save” and other similar discussions can help with compassion towards somewhat unknown “others”. Suffice to say there is plenty of human suffering in the world that may serve to motivate people to help others well outside of their immediate social circles.

How do you incentivize people not to hoard their Raha dollars instead of actively using it?
It seems like this would come as a result of having more things on the market from more people. If, with a wave of a magic wand, tomorrow we could use Raha anywhere that we could use PayPal (as an example), it would suddenly have some real and tangible value and people would begin to spend it. I’m no economist, but I guess what I’m getting at is that currency has the value that people assign it. If it’s valued, it is valuable and will be spent… Though there will always be some who save much more than spend.

The people you need to convince are the wealthiest people of the world. Why would they want to put their money in Raha?
I get a bit of hope in this department by the likes of T he Gates Foundation, et. Al. I think the wealthy have a tremendous opportunity to reduce human suffering, and thankfully, some realize it. My other thought on this is that, at least in the democracies of the world, change is made by the individuals. Policy is shaped by the people who step up to the plate and serve their community.

Wouldn’t a true UBI cause inflation because everyone has more money to spend?
Maybe? It seems like it’s a lot to do with balance. Countries around the world have more money to spend each year, and seem to be doing well enough. I think I will have to defer to the more clever economic minds on how to make that work for something like Raha.

Why don’t you have inflation?
It’s a fair cop? I’m not sure what would happen without some management of inflation or deflation (similar to the function of the Federal Reserve in the U.S.). It seems to me that there is a chance for runaway inflation or deflation if it’s left to be completely hands-off.


#3

Ah, thanks for kicking up this back to life!

I think that thinks like Singer’s “The Life You Can Save” and other similar discussions can help with compassion towards somewhat unknown “others”. Suffice to say there is plenty of human suffering in the world that may serve to motivate people to help others well outside of their immediate social circles.

Yes, I agree. But also, I don’t think it’s necessary that everyone finds compassion in themselves to help everyone else in the world. If the default is to distribute, people won’t have to constantly think about it. And if there is some other value on the platform, they will join.

There are also interesting strategies like tit for tat and simulations in game theory that show cooperative strategies can have better outcomes than selfish ones.

currency has the value that people assign it. If it’s valued, it is valuable and will be spent…

Whole-heartedly agree! Raha is actually Estonian for “money”, but it’s roots are from the Proto-Germanic word “skraha” meaning squirrel skin. Everything from squirrel skin to boulders has been used as currency.

My other thought on this is that, at least in the democracies of the world, change is made by the individuals. Policy is shaped by the people who step up to the plate and serve their community.

To add to this, I do think in a globalized society, people have even more incentives to reduce human suffering. I also believe widespread systemic changes can succeed without billionaires if a majority of people believe and choose to adopt it (though it’ll be much easier if they’re also on board).

It seems to me that there is a chance for runaway inflation or deflation if it’s left to be completely hands-off.

Inflation/deflation is not fully off the table with our current idea of having a governing body elected democratically a.k.a. Raha Parliament. The thinking was that a cap allows investors in Raha to better evaluate its value.