“And Raven tried to make People out of Rock, so they would not die and a Leaf, so they would change. Rock was too slow. So People were created from a Leaf. It was light, it was quick, it changed.” Alaskan Native American Tlingit legend, People of the Tides.
“The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know things can change.” Pope Francis, Care of Our Common Home, Encyclical
“You never change something by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller, “Critical Path”
Buried deep in our minds is the understanding that change is essential to life. Native peoples, who were keen observers saw Natures changes create possibilities. Possibilities offered choice. They understood that Nature pursued equilibrium through diversity. It uses change as the raw material to create balance moment to moment, balance in motion.
Choices formed by change open opportunities for discussion and possible agreement. We are a tiny reflection in the eye of Nature. We function with the same general guides. We can perceive truth, deep in our collective unconscious. When we are presented with choices and come to eventual agreement, we have an opportunity to choose a common truth that promotes human survival.
What is our most pressing common problem, worldwide? I suggest it is economic focus on profit and lack of its focus on human survival and life survival. This is where a new and truthful agreement needs to happen. Isn’t it time we agree to structure the dominant human system of our time, economics, so that it fulfills human needs?
Most of us labor under an economic system that pursues profit as its goal. The term “wage slavery” is accurately applied to our times. Constant promotion of notions that divide us like, scarcity of resources, fear of immigrants (they take our jobs), keeping up and competing with your neighbor, buying the ‘best’ education for your children so they can get jobs that offer the highest wages, defining making money as the most creative activity in which a person can participate, all ultimately distort human relations toward less diversity, less empathy, more racism, religious conflict and wars. At any point humanity is being sacrificed to the better profit not the better good.
What if we turn toward what we have in common instead of our differences? Basic human survival needs are a good place to start. We all have the need for food, shelter and education in common. Fulfilling these needs can be the priority of economics world wide. Liberating humanity from economic slavery in return for a fraction of individual work life time.
The commonality of our human survival needs is clear. None of us can live without food (water), shelter and education. The base amount of food and water is the same for everyone, one million calories, of each, per year. Basic shelter that protects from weather and provides moderation of temperature when needed, is comparable world wide. And education, from kindergarten to whatever higher education a person has the desire and intellect to absorb, is provided with out cost, because we know that an educated population is more tolerant of differences, more peaceful and creative. These results all bode well for the survival of our human community.
All these needs can be measured in terms of energy consumed or used. This is desirable because if we put a monetary value on them it is subjective value that cannot be kept constant overall. By measuring human needs in energy units, as accurately as science understands, we are closer to an objective valuation that cannot be manipulated by money markets, stocks, interest rates, etc.
Starting with food and water, they can be measured with energy calories. We already know that approximately 100 calories of food are recommended daily for a healthy diet from cradle to end of life and daily water calories are also known. Shelter can be measured by energy jules from the sun that are needed to grow the natural materials and the average calories absorbed by human work effort expended in building these structures can be added. Education is a special consideration. People acquire most of their education through what they observe and experience throughout their lives. We learn to communicate, become social, develop a moral philosophy, learn to understand our fellow humans and how to compromise for mutual benefit. then there is specialized knowledge that is available mostly through higher education in colleges and universities. This can be measured by calculating average teaching and study times for a student to learn a specialty, then equate that time with life energy spent by each individual during those activities. Maybe calories would be useful here also. This kind of human energy calculation was used by the US military to determine how many fighters would be enough for any violent encounter. In 1957, Rear Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, USN, estimated that “Man’s muscle power is rated at 35 watts continuously, or one-twentieth horse power.” This statement both quantifies an energy basis for humans and also makes comparison with another quantified standard for energy measurement, horse power. Returning to energy expended for formal learning and teaching it is not difficult to equate these same estimates with a time/energy equation. Formal education can be expressed through energy units and provided in this way, at no cost.
No cost? How is that possible? Because every individual of working age and throughout their work life will work one hour per workday (approximately) for energy units that represent food, shelter and education. This is the Human Renewable Energy Measure that acts as a preamble to the for-profit economic system. The rest of the work life hours and how they are spent are the decision of everyone. They may use their time to earn money to buy things they want or use their time to for example, think and create. “Time is Money”, evolves to “Time is Life”. The results of such empowerment can only be imagined.
What kind of work will people do for their energy unit quota or HREM? Any work that is beneficial to society. Some examples would be, raising children, working on infrastructure, providing medical/dental care, etc. Once their quota for energy units are met, the extra hours and days and years of work life are paid in whatever currency is available in their country. The energy unit quota is ‘spent’ on food, shelter and education by converting it to a type of currency that cannot be hoarded or saved in stocks or savings accounts. When this currency reaches a bank it is destroyed, so it does not flood the economy and create inflation. But, before it goes to the bank, it can be spent the same as any local currency.
Once people don’t have to give up most of their working lifetime to “busy work for profit”, as Bucky Fuller called it, and can contribute a fraction of lifetime to working for basic needs, slavery for survival is over. Most of us must think about survival in terms of what job can we get that will pay enough money so that we can eat and pay rent and support our families. Our minds are focused on keeping the job and pleasing the person you are working for so that we don’t lose the job. You don’t have the time or energy left to consider “what you were thinking about before someone told you, you have to make a living”, Buckminster Fuller. And this gets worse as the subjective value of money fluctuates against the average wage earners and they must make more money and spend more lifetime to meet their needs.
Once people don’t have to give up most of their lifetime to work for survival needs, economic functioning changes dramatically. This will affect how each of us behaves. We won’t be working 8 hours 5 to 7 days a week to meet needs. We can choose to work longer hours to earn money for wants. But we can work approximately one hour a day or one day a week to meet our individual needs. This can ultimately reduce the work week in general to as little as 20 hours a week. for most people this would cover needs and wants. And this affects how people are thinking. A possible internal conversation may go like this, “do I work the minimum for my needs then pursue my interests, be creative and inventive, spend more time with family and cultivation of friends and relationships, read and observe, or do I use some of my extra time to make money in the profit economy so that I can buy things I want? As B.F put it, you get to go back to “what you were thinking about before someone told you, you have to make a living.”
The functions of the HREM do not eliminate ‘for profit economics’. It allows a whole new spectrum of possibilities and choices to be revealed to an individual, resulting in more diversity of human interaction and outcome. The stagnation and predictable outcomes of profit economics are challenged and made secondary to individual choice. By expanding our individual diversity we begin to imitate the processes of Nature. We are seeking equilibrium through diversity, moving and ever changing into the future.
Why should we bother to make it possible for economics to meet basic needs worldwide? Basic human needs are among the least expensive and least profit-making activities of modern economics. So, they are not a high priority in most economies. The emphasis on profit is forcing humanity to live with and die from the many damaging symptoms generated by for profit economics. Some examples of these symptoms are, wars over valuable natural resources, poverty, human slavery, gross financial inequality, debilitating stress when work is unavailable, scapegoating, drug an alcohol addiction, unrecoverable damage to environments, extinction of species and damage to our atmosphere, the air we breathe.
How will meeting the basic survival needs of everyone from birth to death moderate and sometimes eliminate most of the damaging symptoms of profit economics? Human behavior and motives are profoundly affected when the dignity and safety of individuals are protected by providing basic needs for basic work. People are not forced to leave their homes and countries in order to find work that pays enough for them to live and for their families to survive. We have enough food and resources to provide basic needs worldwide. We don’t distribute it effectively. Profit economics does not motivate this kind of behavior. So, it is mostly left to churches, NGO’s and billionaires. Another important change is in the relationship between employer and employee. They are on a more equal basis. An employee can bargain for better wages because their basic needs are met. No one can be forced into nonliving wage slavery because survival is no longer the ultimate threat that an employer has over an employee. Once the basic work requirement has been met, through the equivalent of one day a week of work, a person can choose to work more hours for money they can use to buy their wants. And they will work these extra hours at jobs that pay acceptable wages. The basic work will be related to activities that fulfill the production and distribution of basic needs, worldwide. Farming, teaching, constructing shelter, would be some of the basic work. Work for extra things people feel they want will be at all the variety of jobs that presently exist in the economies in which we live. The big question will be, “what do I want to spend my time on today? Do I want to work more hours for my wants or do I want to participate in activities that interest me but do not pay me anything? There is no way to determine at this time how people will answer these questions. A generation or more of basic needs being met may have to pass before the outcomes of survival security are revealed. The important thing is that choice and resulting diversity will have been introduced into human activities. We are trusting that humans, if aloud to, know how to move our species toward physical and mental health and survival. We know how to protect our Earth and the lives that share it with us, if we are not forced into exploitation for the sake of survival.
The goal is to create an economy whose purpose is to honor human energy and stop the collateral damage of profit economics. The Human Renewable Energy Measure, HREM, is suggested as a starting point for this purpose. It will act as a zero, a standard that protects humanity and eventually replaces the dominance of the profit standard which promotes dehumanization and elastic currency. “We are called to be the architects of the future – not its victims.” BF
The human species is a natural force. A new era is being named because of our domination, the Anthropocene, the age of man. Our present status/impact on Earth confers on us vast responsibility “Though free to think and act, we are held together, like stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable.” Nikola Tesla “…where ever there is life, there is mass moved by a force.” “does not the whole of human life attest it? Birth growth, old age, and death of an individual, family, race or nation, what is it all but a rhythm? All life-manifestation, then, even in its most intricate form, as exemplified in man, however involved and inscrutable, is only a movement, to which the same general laws of movement which govern throughout the physical universe must be applicable.” page 104, N.Tesla, “My Inventions and Other Writings” Penguin Classics. These statements by N.T. assert our human commonality and force of purpose even though we are individuals with free will. Our commonality allows us to come to agreements about the best ideas that can preserve the human life force into the future.
Like Admiral Rickover, Tesla felt that it was possible to measure human energy. Unlike Admiral Rickover’s evaluation that was useful for calculating the “human muscle power” needed for battle, Teslas equation is all encompassing. He represents the whole mass of humanity and the presence of its living force in the following equation. “Let,… M represent the mass of man. This mass is impelled in one direction (with) force f, which is resisted by another partly frictional and partly negative force R, acting in a direction exactly opposite, and retarding the movement of the mass. In accordance with the preceding, the human energy will then be given by the product 1/2MV squared = 1/2MV times V, in which M is the total mass of man in the ordinary interpretation of the term “mass”, and V is a certain hypothetical velocity.” pages 106-107, My Inventions and Other Writings”, Penguin Classics.
“You never change something by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” BF By introducing into economics a preamble to the “for profit economics” we are using, an agreement to measure and provide basic human survival needs in energy units in exchange for a minimal human work energy/life requirement, a new model is created. We “…shift our focus and resources from weaponry to livingry.” BF, “Critical Path” We begin the process of focusing human life force energy toward more time to think creatively, more individuality, more cooperation and innovation, less competition for resources that have been made artificially “scarce”, less warfare and wage slavery.
“We are on a spaceship; a beautiful one. It took billions of years to develop. We are not going to get another. Now, how do we make this spaceship work?” BF. Let’s examine some of the obstacles that our present economic social model presents. Then we can look at possible changes we can make for the better. How have we modeled and organized or present economic social agreement? What is our existing model? The amazing advances in technology, over less than 100 years, were predicted to replace tedious repetitious work and shorten work hours, create leisure time and make work activities more efficient. What happened? Where did the extra time go? More efficiency, fewer hours to have to pay laborers should have resulted in more profit. Where did the extra value go? Did we get more time to think, create, read or interact? Were the new technologies employed to meet basic needs world wide? No. In fact, the opposite happened. Most people are working longer hours and for less pay. Our economics, that values profit making above all, gives very little extra value from new tech and efficiency back to the general working population. Most of the profit goes into stocks and bank accounts of the owners of the businesses that are profiting from advanced technologies and fewer employees. Also, increasing the wealth of the already wealthy are rebates and gifts from government. This is aided by low tax rates for mega companies. These tax rates are justified with talk of “trickle down economics”, which is a fantasy. What businesses do with their extra cash is pay more into stocks, pay CEO’s and owners unimaginable wages, expand their companies into countries with weak laws to protect their valuable natural resources, set up shop there with low wages for workers and cheap land values so they can make even more money. This is the mindset that is praised and promoted under our current social model. Modern economics demands profit above all. The social agreement that needs changing is not governments, not human flaws and failings, it is within the most powerful and pervasive activity we all participate in, economics. We can see the damage that “successful” companies do when they leave countries where wages are living wages and go to countries that have no laws protecting labor from exploitation. “Wage Slaves” are created and a continuous loop of workers who have to work for subsistence or less is the result. Companies are enriched and they proceed to expand their operations in these countries giving as little benefit to the local people whose home it is, as they can get away with.
What is wrong with this picture? Aren’t they doing just what modern economics asks of them? Why shouldn’t they get what they worked for? Or, did they work for it? Were they the creators of all the new technologies. Were they the builders of the infrastructures that make things work? Were they the teachers who passed on the necessary tools to make use of our cumulated knowledge? Humanity builds on the achievements and knowledge of all humanity that came before us and we extend these ideas to the next generation. Our mass of humanity is propelled by the exchange of thought that can result in useful invention. And this process is mostly done without pay. It is one of the highest forms of creativity and work. But in order to do it humans need time. Aristotle said, “ The end of labor is to gain leisure.” He defined music, arts and teaching as “leisure work”. Work that is done for no pay. As BF would later assert, “free the creativity of all humanity to create and not compete.”
Let’s say we all have some time to think, what do we want a new economic social model to look like? One that would provide basic needs and “gain leisure” for everyone? That is my idea of a good start. We are, “local Universe information gatherers and problem solvers,” as BF said. This is our strongest survival activity. For thousands of years humans have learned from and benefited from the activities of Nature. We have learned to understand some of the ways it solves problems. And, when presented with a problem, Nature responds as efficiently as possible. We need Natural efficiency in our economics. And we all recognize efficiency when we see it. A Buddhist saying asserts that “ we are all students of reality – whatever it is….” Our present social economic contract is not based on reality. It is not efficient. It’s practice is based on an assumption of never ending resources and consumption, which is unsustainable and will ultimately result in our extinction and that of other living things, as it already has done. The other dominant thought is Social Darwinism or survival of the fittest. (A close reading of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species”, reveals that he was not promoting this concept as understood today. He felt that human cooperation was the trait that has brought us this far and could take us into the future.) We are encouraged to believe that we are inherently superior to all life on Earth – more fit to survive – and that it follows that some humans are more fit to survive than others. This suits profit economics perfectly. “Winner take all and the Devil take the hindmost.” Even the Bible suggests that man has “dominion over the Earth”. The concept of inherent superiority is blinding us to our common human potentials and the profound significance of other life forms around us. We are encouraged to destroy life in the name of profit. Wherever humanity settles, first it clears away what was there before. Vaclav Havel made a speech in Philadelphia, July 4, 1994, “ The Need for Transcendence inn the Post-Modern World”, in which he addressed this subject. “… the awareness of our being anchored in the Earth and the Universe, the awareness that we are not here alone nor for ourselves alone… This forgotten awareness is encoded in all religions.” Even Pope Francis who chose the name of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment, states in his encyclical “ Care for Our Common Home”, “ We need to care for the Earth so that it may continue as God willed to be a source of life for the entire human family.” And it follows that no life form is more fit to survive than another – all forms are necessary to each other in ways we have only just begun to understand.
Let’s look at our present economic agreement. Is it economical? Ludwig von Mises asserted that whatever was technologically most efficient at your generations time in history is what should be dominant everywhere for everyone. He felt that the focus of economics should be “the physical reality of survival”. He called money, “our shared illusion”. In our time, what can be considered an efficient technology that has profound significance on our energy needs and has been viable for more than 60 years ( since the Space Race for which it was invented) but little used generally or spoken about until recent years? Renewable energies. Only recently have banks begun to back away from funding fossil fuel projects in favor of renewable energy projects. Yet, an advocacy group called Extinction Rebellion is questioning weather the Capitalist System can allow renewables to dominate and halt the progress of Climate Change. BBC News, Rodger Harrabin BBC environment analyst, December 30, 2019. Why have renewable energy technologies, wind, sun and biomass, taken so long to surface? They are clearly more efficient, cleaner and cheaper than the fossil fuel model. After all, we got to the moon in less than 12 years when we were motivated by the Cold War. The question has been, “How do we make money off renewable energy technologies?” And it has taken this long for fuel companies to find a way to make big money off renewable energies. This has never been the objective for these highly advanced technologies. The goal has been what Tesla asserted in his writings, cheaper and eventually free energy World Wide. This would be the most efficient use and eventually the most life sustaining. Tesla was a humanitarian and had this vision during his final projects when he experimented with transmitting energy through the air. (note, pages, book)
Our “shared illusion” money, as Mises referred to it, can be a tool for economies to use but it should not be the goal of economics. Simply making money for the sake of making money and profit and enriching an “elite” minority does not serve life survival. “You can make money or make sense.” BF We don’t want to lose sight of what is truly efficient and economical! This is what economics can do well when its purpose is life survival. If we want a sustainable economy it needs to have a objective physical basis, not a subjective currency basis. The physics that we presently understand about human survival needs, can act as an economic constant, starting point, a zero that is not vulnerable to manipulation, as is currency. These physical needs can be identified then calculated in energy units using our most current scientific knowledge and compiled by computers. The physical basis for human survival can be calculated/quantified with useful accuracy for the first time in human history!
We live in a time when many people walk around with a genius in their pocket, their ‘smart’ phone. This genius can access the internet anytime its owner wants. And there it will find humanity’s present fund of knowledge. We can benefit easily from this vast library, in an instant, by connecting with the internet through computers and smart phones. Because our present cumulated state of knowledge has become easier to use than a conventional library and more vast than a typical library collection, many more people worldwide are becoming more educated than ever before. The possibilities for diversity and change are increasing. The results are not predictable from our present vantage but, like Nature, we can move toward balance through uncertainty. Bucky Fuller called this ‘synergy’, when the results can have nothing to do with the character of it’s parts. And this is a situation that is desirable. The outcome can be unexpected but, at the same time, extremely creative and useful. The goal is to err on the side of diversity not domestication. The philosophy, “survival of the fittest”, can be be seen as a useful way to domesticate populations. Consider – we breed food animals for their “best traits’ and cull the ones that have less meat, lay fewer eggs, cannot tolerate certain conditions like weather extremes, and captivity. We breed and genetically manipulate food plants in similar ways. We need to be aware that these same efforts are at work domesticating humanity through constant advertising and propaganda. Only those individuals who ‘get with the program’, will be considered useful and allowed to thrive. Pope Francis states, in his encyclical on “Our Common Home”, that presently “economic interest prevails over common good… Let us not forget that we are carbon-based living things – we have that in common with all living things.” He refers to the threat to diversity that is posed by Climate Change. “Humanity is called to create awareness of the need to change styles of life, production and consumption, to combat this warming, or at least, the human causes that produce or accentuate it.” With Climate Change we encounter change that appears to be leading humanity to its destruction through contamination of our ‘Common Home’. Here is where a distinction between change brought about by profit economics, (Climate Change), and change that is a creative result of diversity, must be made. With thoughtful consideration most of us can tell the difference. What is the result? Is it useful? Does it promote life? Pope Francis goes on to say, “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know things can change.” (for the better) Paragraph #18, Pope Francis goes on to warn us, “The continued acceleration of (adverse) changes affecting humanity and the planet is coupled today with a more intensified pace of life and work which might be called ‘rapidification’. Although change is part of the working of complex systems, the speed with which human activity has developed contrasts with the naturally slow pace of biological evolution. Moreover, the goals of this rapid and constant change are not necessarily geared to the common good or to integral or sustainable human development… The ecosystems of tropical forests possess an enormously complex biodiversity which is almost impossible to appreciate fully, yet when these forests are burned down or leveled for purpose of cultivation, within the space of a few years countless species are lost and the areas frequently become arid wastelands. A delicate balance has to be maintained when speaking about these places, for we cannot overlook the huge global economic interests which, under the guise of protecting them, can undermine the sovereignty of individual nations. In fact, there are proposals to “internationalize the Amazon”, which only serve the economic interests of transnational corporations.” Paragraph #38. These same concerns can be applied to the Earth at large. Do we want to “make money or make sense?”
More than a third of nations have in their constitution’s rights to food, shelter and education. The intention is there but these nations cannot, for the most part, accomplish these aims. Why? Because economics trumps government. Economics is our World Government. From the moment of social consciousness to death every human on Earth becomes a part of and participant in the Worldwide Economic System. Its rules are the uppermost because they lead the way to survival or no survival, for everyone. National governments are secondary to this system and vulnerable to its functioning. We have already examined the ‘motives’ of modern economics. Pursuit of profit is a slim bet to base human and general life survival upon. But it is extremely entertaining for those that enjoy hoarding money and exerting the influence and power that it can bring. To what ends? Has the power brokering of a few individuals brought us to a good place? Or, are we seeing that the concentric circles of profit chasing bringing less diversity, less choice, less creativity, more stress, more population dislocation, more inequality, more poverty and starvation?
The reason that our physical human commonality is so important is that these things are self-evident and will ultimately bring us to agreement. Agreement is a wonderful human activity that has saved us throughout our history. This sounds like a simplistic statement. And it is. Some of the most profound things we are capable of, can start very simply. Things of general and urgent importance to humanity develop over time. They are woven intricately by countless and anonymous hands until they become a seamless part of everyday life and few remember when it wasn’t so. Some examples of these kinds of agreement are languages (verbal and written), storage and transfer of information, the development of science and technology that allowed industrialization, physical and time measurements. This last, physical measurement is particularly important for structuring an economy that enables life into the future.
How do we know what is fair, without measurement? How does a person know where he is or where to go, if he has no map, no measure for distance, no compass or other locating device? Let’s consider, a pilot has to bail out of his burning plane with his parachute and he lands in a field. As luck would have it, there is a person hiking nearby. The pilot asks the hiker, “Where am I.” The hiker says, “You are in a wheat field.” The pilot responds, “You must be an economist!” The hiker says, “Yes, but how do you know?” The pilot replies, “You just gave me perfectly accurate information and told me nothing.” Our economics presently functions in this same way. Valuations of human work energy (thought and physical effort) are subjected to interpretation. There is no standard of value from which human renewable energy, when used to run economies, is measured. Human work effort is what runs economies and is it’s source of value. How can it be measured accurately? We can begin to see a way toward this when we consider what our currency values are pegged to presently. The value of the dollar, and by extension the value of currency world wide because the dollar is considered the “preferred currency”, is linked to fossil energy prices. The significance of fossil energy is derived from its amplifying effect it has on human energy. It makes us stronger and faster through machinery and more intelligent through computing and technologies. Without it we would still be doing everything “by hand”. These fossil resources and prices are controlled by a small group of people and countries, subjectively. The urgent need for countries without these fossil resources to have a reliable source of them, gives great power and influence to the countries that have fossil fuels to sell. They can name their price. Civilization, as we know it, would be greatly changed without fossil energy. Renewable energies are being used more and more but are still a very small percentage of overall energy use. Sustainable economics and fairness will begin to evolve as we use more renewable sources for energy, gradually replacing fossil fuel, and place human renewable energy as the most important energy in economics by defining it with an equation. A reasonable estimate for human renewable energy can be expressed as 20 human energy hours = 7.2 mega Joules, (Dr David Borton, RPI, Troy, New York., http://www.oeic.us/articles/renewable energy/solar energy in our lives not in the news. The 20 hours represents a desired length of a basic work week and the energy represents hard physical effort for that time interval by someone in good physical condition. We can standardize that to an individual’s one hour of energy as 360,000 Joules = 360 kJ. With the Human Energy Renewable Measure, HREM, standardized to equal to 20 human energy hours or 7200kJ. This becomes a useful unit that expresses human energy similar to other numbers we attach significance to like, inches in a foot, degrees of temperature, ounces in a pound, horse power or any other valuable agreements on measurement or equating we use for a starting point for transaction, experimentation, travel, time, value, thought, etc.
Designing a human energy equation provides us a useful tool with which human needs can be distributed worldwide. The equation is expressed in Joules because the energy for human thought and effort derives directly from renewable solar energy. For almost all human existence on Earth, societies have been powered by humans themselves with only the help of hand tools and their intellect. Our air, water and food are all provided by sunshine on plants and sunshine distilling fresh water into the atmosphere for our rain that provides us with water. This essential renewable energy supply is roughly 4 giga-joules for every adult human or 1 million calories of food and water per year. The same has been true of whoever existed over the millions of years of beings we call human. Solar energy input powered our food gathering, our reproduction, our social interactions and our society (including the arts and our wars) and is still growing our population numbers.
Human renewable energy is a decentralized economic resource every human can produce and is less vulnerable to the inflation, deflation and manipulation our current ‘currency’ is subject to. Human energy has the real potential to create free markets. If our work energy is protected by the economy we live in, through human needs being met for a standard work contribution, then our work energy in the larger market place is voluntary and the opportunity to work for more money or our ‘wants’ is individual choice. This situation will eventually result in real free markets. Unlike the ‘free markets’ that exist today, which give most of the ‘freedom’ to the wealthy, the banks and the political power brokers. This freedom is often used by corporations to coerce workers in vulnerable economic circumstances worldwide, to work for marginal wages and in this way significantly boost corporate profit margins.
The gross domestic product, GDP, only concerns itself with human energy that is paid with currency (wages). Only people with jobs paid in wages are recognized in this calculation. GDP cannot exist without human energy but fails to calculate a most important aspect of human energy that is always at work in the shadows. We define this as the ‘human existence economy’. Once again, we are directing attention to the most basic concern of humanity, (each individual born), that of survival. We all have this drive in common. In fact human existence hours per person per year can be calculated to equal 8,760 hours. Of these hours an average 20 hour human work week would be equal to say, 2,000 work hours per year. The rest of these hours that are not used for sleep are individual human energies used to create support structure for the ‘work hours’. These support structures, and they take many forms, make it possible for some people to leave home in the morning, work 8 or so hours at a wage paying job, return home to refuel and sleep, then repeat that process 5 to 7 days a week depending on the wage they are being paid. We are all familiar with this. But, when we examine what makes this routine possible the ‘human existence economy’ is revealed. It supplies essential support in the form of child care, elder care, volunteer work of all kinds, maintenance of the home, preparation of meals, informal psychological council and emotional support, creative activities (writing, music, painting), innovative thinking, etc. In the H.R.E.M. economic system the ‘human existence economy’ is included in the GDP. It is recognized and rewarded with a base wage that guarantees every person functioning in ‘support economics’, no matter what age or ability; their education, healthcare, food and shelter. The success of a nations GDP will be rated not just by how many people have jobs that pay wages. Nations that develop H.R.E.M. economies will be rated by how well they recognize all non-wage social contributions and reward their entire population. “As human beings, all seven billion of us are born the same way and die the same way. Physically, mentally and emotionally we are the same. We all want to live a happy life and avoid problems, but in a materialistic culture we overlook the importance of love and affection.” Dalai Lama, Twitter post, 1/6/20.
Through H.R.E.M. economics we are developing a more economical and efficient result. One of its many results will contribute to reversing Climate Change. Here is how it works. When we agree that everyone receive survival needs, we are then obliged to figure out is how to afford it. The only way this can be possible is if it is done in the most efficient and therefore least expensive way. Through this required efficiency, natural resources are not squandered and wasted. Everything is carefully grown and constructed with the future in mind. Will there be enough for future generations, how do we make this possible? Are the methods used sustainable and replaceable? What is the impact on our common home, Earth? Are we doing the best we can to keep Earth healthy? When we agree to recognize and protect the common good, which equals our species survival all life survival benifits. Our computerizing and systemizing technologies come into play to make this possible. All the common elements of human need can be identified and quantified no matter what the unique challenges of food , housing and education. And these can then then be converted into the appropriate energy units for purposes of calculation and distribution. This process can be recognized as real democracy. Human agreement and technology is being used to protect the common good.
Declaring that Humanity has rights, as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights drafted (1948) by the United Nations does eloquently, is an essential beginning. Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the drafting committee that created the final document. It was her “driving force” that carried this process through the two years it took to finish. But, in order to make these rights a reality there has to be an agreed upon process. Articles, 22,23,24,25 and 26 of the UDHR speak to the common needs of humanity. The starting point and focus of HREM economics. An economic zero that will transform the present focus from unsustainable profit making to general life enhancement and human empowerment. Putting a measure of control back into the hands of the general population to counter oligarchy and waste. As BF said, “built a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
A new model built on measuring human energy. Our energy is our life, our time, our thoughts, our generosity, our spirituality, our conversation, our inventiveness, our survival and by extension, our Earths survival. Human energy profoundly effects the Earth at this time, to the point that a new era has been named for this process, the Anthropocene, as has been mentioned previously. We recognize that our busy activities on Earth have begun a process we call Climate Change. Over the 300 or so years of industrialization fueled by fossil energy, profound and damaging changes in our fragile atmosphere have been occurring. Though many nations are now converting to renewable energies, (notably Germany and China), this process has yet to catch up to the rate of damage. Still, there is hesitancy about accepting the reality of Climate Change and its human source. Propaganda from the elite status quo which profits greatly from fossil fuel sales worldwide, protects their interests with wars and continues to grab locations worldwide for future oil drilling, holds public opinion in a state of confusion. These missives of climate change denial coming from countless news organizations and world leaders whose resources are limitless in this pursuit, create an atmosphere of ignorance, suspicion, and mistrust of science, effectively thrusting humanity back into the Middle Ages where ‘bleeding a patient’ was considered an effective remedy for disease. We have come far beyond this in science, but it is very easy to create confusion with the same techniques that have worked historically for ages. Just use a “firehose of falsehoods” as President Putin once said. World power structures have always used ‘divide and conquer’ as a way to control populations. Dividing us into religious, language, race, color and sex categories. Resulting in helplessness in the face of crisis. Humanity has the option of “becoming enduringly successful,” as BF said. “ It is a matter of converting the high technology from weaponry to livingry.” (Mr Fuller created this word to express what he felt was missing from our vocabulary) “The essence of livingry is human life advantaging and environment controlling… redirecting from weaponry to livingry production.” By inventing a new word BF is trying to show a new direction for humanity.
Another confusion that is presently in use is the myth of scarcity. Not enough for all. This tyranny of scarcity asserts that “ it has to be either you or me. Not enough for both… reasoning that unselfishness is suicidal.” BF This path of thinking promotes survival of the “fittest’, in other words, the domesticated. What about survival of the living, all the living? Is this no longer considered a possibility? The activity of dividing humanity into special function categories that serve the world economy and enrich the already rich, forces humanity into a game of musical chairs that always provides too few chairs for everybody resulting in desperation and panic. Competition over too few living wage jobs pits individual against individual and promotes selfishness and hypocrisy, a culture of lies. Behavioral science explains that aggression is a secondary behavior in humans. When we get what we need and are not overwhelmed, threatened or enslaved we behave in spontaneously benevolent ways. But, when we are desperate we become aggressive. A result of what was relied on, no longer working. When the United States were first forming their government and their attitude toward the Native Americans, a Squamish Indian Chief commented on their behavior when he addressed the Congress during bargaining for the sale of Indian lands. “We know the white man does not understand… One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it he moves on. He leaves his father’s grave behind, he does not care. He kidnaps the earth for his children, he does not care. His father’s grave and his children birthright are forgotten. He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to be bought, plundered, sold like sheep or bright beads. His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only desert.”
Let’s look at the economic game of ‘musical chairs’ in which we all are participating. You are invited to play a game and you are asked to bring whatever money you have to put into a 50/50 raffle. At the door of the hosts home each participant will be given $1,000. Your host greets all of you and takes your contribution and gives you $1,000. Then you are invited to sit in one of the chairs that have been arranged in a circle in the center of a room. Everyone takes a seat. Then you are instructed that as soon as music begins everyone has to leave their seat and start walking around the outside of the circle of chairs. When the music stops everyone is asked to find a seat and sit down. The music starts, everyone starts circling and the host removes one chair. The music stops and everyone scrambles to sit down. One person is left without a place to sit. This person is thrown out of the building by thugs employed by the host, the money he/she brought is confiscated plus the $1,000. All this money is then distributed equally among the remaining players. The game is continued until there is one seat left and two players. They circle the last seat while the music plays and fight over it when the music stops. If one of them survives The host and his thugs face this person and demand his/her money upon threat of injury or death. So, in the end, the host has all the money back that he gave out to each player plus the money each of them brought along. Then the game is played over and over again with new players.
“As soon as you’re born, they make you feel small – by giving you no time, instead of it all.” John Lennon, “Working Class Hero.” “Time is not money, time is life.” Jeff Beller, co-author of the HREM concept. It is important to ask the question, are we having the time of our lives? or, are we selling our time to be allowed to live? Modern Economics does not consider real data that impacts the survival of the human species and life survival in general. Modern economics concentrates on maximizing profit. Presently we live with the damaging symptoms of this kind of economics. Some of these are, wars (…only fools and profiteers want war.” Xena), poverty, starvation, dislocation of populations, mass emigration, terrorism, racism, scapegoating, religious persecution, massive landfills of wasted natural resources, to mention just a few. Modern economics provides no ground under our feet. We cannot be effective custodians of humanity and life on earth when, as George Sand wrote, “there is no there, there.” Meanwhile our dominant social system, economics, is doing extreme harm to Humanity and Nature. This can be changed if an agreement is made between people of good intention to modify our economic processes so that they provide human existence needs before any other function. Where are the people who speak to us about what can make our shared existence better? Where are the people who are willing to speak out against war and the violence that is being committed against humanity and life on Earth? Presently, fear, paranoia and lies speak the loudest. “…a nation will be judged by the integrity of the individual.” BF “…no superior order that can cancel your conscience.” Nuremberg trials.
“Agreement is sacred.” Utah Phillips What will be our agreement? Our defining act of survival? Can we come to a current understanding? The pun on ‘current’ is intentional. Currency can only have value if it is based on physical needs – Our Common Human Life Needs. Where is the humanity in our economics? It is not there, yet. But we know that change can happen, and agreement can be made. If a concept ‘rings true’ over time it will be adopted. Pope Francis speak of “elemental understanding”. He gives us a message of hope, “society can change quickly.” He cautions us, “stop exploiting others, stop exploiting Earth.” He urges us to understand the reality of “the connectives of life… realities are greater than ideas.” We need to be aware of the realities of our finite Earth. Our economics functions within a ‘flat earth’ mentality. Only an open edged planet that goes in all directions into infinity could inspire the concepts of endless resources and endless waste. “…things will slide in every direction, there won’t be anything you can measure anymore…” Leonard Cohan, from “The Future is Murder”. If we agree to change the economic environment by measuring human needs in energy units then fulfilling them as the main function of economics; we begin to change the behavior of the people who are functioning within our economic environment and the symptoms that result from present economic norms. “…economics and social systems contribute to difficulties… the human brain is different from other living creatures – how can the Human Condition become more in harmony with Natures continuity? How do we protect humans?” Pope Francis addressing US Congress, 2015. We are the decision makers, the ones that can come to agreement on a course for the future. Human renewable energy value belongs to all people, not just a few. Not just “the fittest”, not just the money makers. This was vividly illustrated in 1929 at the advent of the Great Crash in the stock market. “Save us!”, said the banks. And, they turned to the government, President Roosevelt and the People of the United States they said, “The citizens themselves and their government… become the wealth of last recourse.” The underwriting wealth belongs to all the people and not the few… “Bail us out!” said the banks. We have heard this cry recently. The same request was made of US taxpayers recently to bail out banks after the real estate crash of 2007-2008. This was referred to as the Great Recession. But it should have come as no surprise since crashes of this kind occur approximately every 20 years with various degrees of severity. In this way resetting an economy whose flaws make this necessary. Always the failure of profit economics comes to human workers for remedy. Economics is pegged to human survival and human work energy in the final reckoning. So why don’t we protect Humanity instead of suffering through economic crash after economic crash, resulting in destroyed pensions, wiped out savings and the possibility of fatal harm to individuals and families, as banks try to recoup their losses and avoid bankruptcy? Maybe because we couldn’t figure out how to do it before. A revision of our Social Economic Agreement that requires quantifying accurately the survival needs of people everywhere on Earth and providing these needs, ‘cradle to cradle’, in this way protecting Human Renewable Energy, “the wealth of last resort”; was not possible till now.
For the first time in history we can accurately measure the survival needs of humanity. We can do this because of the sophistication of our internet information gathering. Human needs worldwide, no matter what the differing environments and circumstances, can be tabulated, systematized and algorithms created for each function that is used to distribute these survival needs. We already have systems in use that are on a smaller scale than the HREM, systems that provide essential services, like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schools, public libraries and our Military support structure for participants and their families. All of these measure important human needs and fulfill them. We know these systems work and if that’s Socialism, Why Not? The HREM is a much larger system measuring human survival needs fairly Worldwide but it can be done and can be compared to the way horse power was standardized. The following is a useful equation that I have mentioned previously that could measure human renewable energy needs devised by physicist Dr. David Borton, RPI. Troy, New York. “The standard is somewhat arbitrarily set as 20 human energy hours = 7.2 mega Joules. The 20 hours represent a desired length of a basic work week and the energy represents hard physical effort for that time interval by someone in good physical condition. We can break that down as an individual’s one hour of energy is standardized to 360,000 Joules = 360 kJ.” With the Human Renewable Energy Measure standardized to equal to 20 human energy hours (or 7200kJ) it becomes a useful unit that expresses human energy similar to other numbers we attach significance to like, inches in a foot, degrees of temperature, ounces in a pound, horse power or any other valuable measurements/equations we use so that there is a starting point agreed upon for transactions, experimentation, travel, time etc.
Why is energy so important? Why is Human energy so important? Presently money values are based on Fossil energy. You have heard of the ‘Petrodollar’, a unit of currency earned by a country from the export of petroleum. Petroleum energy has been the driver for the industrialization and the wealth of Nations for more than 100 years. It is the prime enhancer for Human Energy. A front loader can lift more dirt than one person with a shovel. Because of the importance of fossil energies like oil, coal, gasoline/diesel and their derivatives money values have been pegged to their prices. The “wealth of last resort” has been ignored because it is much simpler, in the short run, to maintain a machine than provide basic needs to people Worldwide. But this blind spot is fatally dangerous. Petroleum driven prosperity assumes infinite resources to exploit, dependency on a dwindling and more and more expensive energy, creation of wars over properties and ocean coastlines that may provide the next oil boom, wasteful use of materials and possessions as the drum beat of consumerism is endlessly promoted through all media outlets. Because the economy cannot make money with petroleum unless people are constantly buying what it produces. Meanwhile, renewable energies like solar, wind and biomass are still trailing far behind even though they have been proven and less are damaging to our atmosphere. And the most important renewable energy, human physical and mental effort, is not honored or protected. Even though, without it the whole house of cards would collapse. This is what scares governments the most, that people will finally realize and demand their economic value. That they are indispensable. The real value of a dollar should be based on the HREM and create a Human dollar, ending the dominance of the Petro dollar. “Build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” BF With the advent of zero, mathematics was vastly improved. Economics can benefit from this same effect when our common human survival needs are the first priority of economic functioning. Then our Human Energy will promote economic functions that efficiently sustain Humanity, Nature, our Atmosphere our combined creativity of thought, inventiveness, spirituality, our survival, our humanity. Why? Because, when we focus on helping each other and design our social economic system to achieve this Worldwide, we commit ourselves to a system that functions economically – efficiently. And this is the turn in the road that will begin the environmental recovery of Earth; from which all life will benefit. As Buckminster Fuller stated, there is “no fundamental inadequacy of life support.” Only ineffective and inefficient distribution of support.
The inability and lack of will to measure human energy value in our social economic system is slowly eroding our democratic hopes and our diversity as a species. Real value is our life, our lifetime of human energy and its creations. Whatever promotes and sustains human life should be the basis of our social economic system. All life will benefit from the stability, the blooming of creativity and generosity that HREM economics can inspire. We are the dominant species on Earth at this moment and we have the fate of the lifeforms that live with us, in our hands. We must not fail them or ourselves. All survival depends on life diversity. A physical reality that surrounds us on Earth is that Nature promotes and preserves diversity in order to create equilibrium. Through the outputs, combinations and expressions of our diversity we contribute as a species to Natures equilibrium. We are part of Nature and our actions impact all life. We have a responsibility to behave toward life and natural ecosystems (chemical and mineral) in a manner that promotes, sustains and protects diversity.
A case can be made that we are all now governed by a Global Economic Government. It is clear to any person that if you are not economically independent (as minority are) you must function at work to earn money for shelter and the next meal and repeat this at least 5 days week, 8 hours a day until you can possibly retire around the age of 65. Any work that pays regularly is accepted. Not necessarily work you are good at or enjoy or is useful. Powerful individuals use this kind of economics to control large populations for thousands of years. The only difference now is that we are told to believe that we have freedom, freedom to choose and to rise to any economic level in society. This can happen. The rags to riches story is a favorite of demigods. But, it happens very infrequently. Millions of years ago Human cooperation saved our species. This was how we were able to multiply into our billions of today. We were small vulnerable populations at the beginning. Only by sharing of crucial information and not killing each other could the human species compete and thrive among life forms stronger and more abundant. Today this principle of sharing ideas and survival needs is just as crucial, but it is obscured by commercialism and our accelerated pace of life. Pope Francis referred to this as “rapidification” in “Our Common Home”. He describes it as a symptom of modern economics which emphasizes scarcity, competition, and profit above all. Wealth accumulates in the bank accounts, businesses and corporations of a minority and the rest of humanity is expected to work for them and then squabble over the leftovers. The result is an ultimate ‘divide and conquer’ activity. Desperate people pitted against each other to get what they need from too little for too many. BF felt that “70% of all jobs in America… are preoccupied with work that is not producing any wealth or life support.” The wealth that is produced is absorbed and hoarded by a minority and does not help provide the needs of the many. When the 70% of ‘make work’ jobs are eliminated and those that are left and essential are divided among the working populations through ‘job sharing’, we see shorter work week, more leisure time and more pride in the dignified work that is being done. “at home staying humans will start thinking – What was I thinking about when they told me I had to ‘earn my living’ doing what someone else had decided needed to be done? What do I see that needs to be done that no one else is attending to?” BF
Some might be thinking, “Why should we bother to save so many billions of people? Why not let them die and just keep enough population to serve the rich?” The answer is that we need diversity, there is enough for everyone, we need efficient distribution and populations will drop when child survival is more assured because of better prenatal and childcare. As far as we know, we are the most complex life forms on Earth. And could with time become an even more extraordinary presence with unimaginable potential. Maybe we can someday travel at will in space and visit other planets. Or, even more possible, we can make this Earth a real Eden. This has been foreseen (and remembered) since language began.
All lies are equally valueless, only truth has weight. On personal integrity hangs humanities fate. We cannot expect governments to act on our behalf. We need to assert what we know from experience to be real and life sustaining. Most basic of these being, food, shelter and education. When we assert that the HREM be the standard and starting point of economics then we can start to make the “pursuit of happiness” a possibility and not just a vague promise in a Bill of Rights. Our measure of dignity and survival should be the promise of our Rights. Then, we take the leap that we are capable of. We are on it’s verge. We only pause because we are confused and distracted by influences that preach never change and suppressed by economic slavery. Of course, there are powerful structures that resist change and insist on things remaining the same because it works very well for them. They do not want the general public to understand the flat earth economics under which we are born to work. Essential information is left out so that the majority of people remain in the dark about how economics is absorbing their time and their life. Economics operates by using our work energy (physical and mental) for production then storing most of the profit from that in virtual money (stocks) held for the use of a minority. This process is unsustainable but can continue through many generations, creating frustration, despair and premature death. There is no need for this behavior to continue. We can agree to provide survival needs calculated in energy units that cannot be manipulated as the preamble or bill of rights to our social economic system, then open the free market for everyone so that they can make as much money can and then buy their ‘wants’. No one’s economic status is threatened. They can still make lots of money if that is how they choose to spend their time. But some (maybe many) people will choose to use their lifetime to do other things. A whole Earth of possibilities opens up. Individual creativity is encouraged when there is significant leisure time to think. This also gets us closer to Natures model, equilibrium through diversity. Humans are built for motion and exploration. Our legs hold us upright so that our eyes can constantly scan for information. Our arms and hands are free to hold things and manipulate them. Our brains are large and capable of complex thought. These things all point to a capacity that will make it possible for all to be living optimally worldwide. “They will learn more than we will ever know – I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” Sachmo “No factor operative aboard our planet is so effective in aggregating, reorganizing, concentrating and refining the disorderly, random resource receipts as is the human mind. Human mind has discovered a number of cosmic laws – generalized scientific principles… Human mind has developed the computer, whose combined information storing, retrieving and formulate disclosing (is) magnificently augmenting human minds… BF and he wrote this before there were smart phones!
Our enslavement by the imperative of profit economics gone rogue, is threatening our long-term survival. This is not a new or sudden development. It has been in the works for a long time. In past history, approximately 90% of Egyptians were employed to prepare a container (pyramids and the like) that would take their dead Pharaoh to be born again in a paradise surrounded by all his/her riches and slaves. Today a similar percentage of workers worldwide is providing ‘heaven on Earth’ for our economically privileged minority (the present day Pharaohs). This is sanctioned by and hidden from most observers within present economic functioning. This could be referred to as an economic coo because all modern governments are subject to and subjected by economic pressure. Why else would ‘economic sanctions’ be wielded as a tool to control other countries? Bring them to their knees by raising the prices or denying entirely their survival needs. Then, move in and take whatever is of value, their property, their natural resources, under the guise that these things are being ‘developed’ within a free market economy. But the profit does not benefit the general population it profits a few industrialists and corrupt government officials. We know this. The great thing about truth is that it ‘ring true’ if we listen. We can all recognize it no matter what our education, language, religion, country or government. It is time for Capitalism to evolve, it has become stagnant. Embracing a physical human basis for sustainable economics is a beginning. An Agreement of Understanding that human physical energy be protected with a guaranteed survival ‘share’ (cradle to cradle). In this way acknowledging and honoring the indispensability of each individual’s life work energy. We can, with a clear conscience, hand the results of our generation to the children of the next, because we make this honest agreement. Only truth has weight.
This manuscript is, itself, a beginning. It attempts to put into language a radical change of direction for economics. I use the word radical with hesitation but feel it is appropriate because we have gone down the wrong road for so long and may only vaguely perceive that there is another way, other economic possibilities that serve humanity and nature. Maybe new words need to be invented for expressing this kind of economy. The language of economics presently in use has no definition for Humanity or Nature. It has not come very far from the ancient cuneiform writing that was developed for commerce and only the scribes could decipher. We need to do something difficult but necessary.
“Poverty is not a natural human condition.” Mother Teresa If we ‘Follow the Money’, as has often been said, we find that it never intersects life value. Gandhi once said, “the deadliest form of violence is poverty.” Poverty is not just about being poor but also ‘feeling poor’. Stresses created by living in stratified and economically unequal societies are well documented and very often deadly. What can we do? We can start discussion at every opportunity no matter how difficult and uncomfortable the opposition may be, about a new direction for economics. Instead of economics as usual, that follows the money. An economic system that seeks out sequences of value that preserve and enhance life. One that values our human renewable energy contribution and through us values Nature and helps preserve its dynamic. If each of us is trying to do what Nature is doing all around us, we can look to the future with justifiable hope
The Human Renewable Energy Measure belongs to everybody and will need our conversation, understanding and finally, agreement, to bring it into the light. Once all this is happening the practical aspects of integrating it into the economic system can be addressed and algorithms created to define and disperse universal survival needs; everyone’s fair measure for a fair contribution of their work life energy.
This humble attempt at putting the HREM, Human Renewable Energy Measure, into language is just a beginning. There have been many concepts that have come close to this in the past, Thomas Moore’s “Utopia” and recently the Universal Basic Income concept) but I have yet to find one that uses energy measurement (physics) to define human existence value and incorporate this value in economics. (Our unique, individual value is another subject and not measurable, but perceived and subjective. And is not the subject of this manuscript.) Most concepts fall back on money/wages as the defining value of humans and this is immediately suspect because money values fluctuate as they pursue profit and attempt to balance budgets. Measurement in money value is always the escape hatch for economies that are really oligarchies in disguise. Control the money value and you control populations. The result is not the value of humanity. It only reveals the activities of wasteful economies that can perceive no end to resources and that enslave its most valuable resource, humanity. Money values that fluctuate at the whim of governments and powerful individuals cannot provide solid footing for the rest of us, only the sensation of trying to stand upright on floating logs as they rush downriver.
This is not a structure for taking away wealth. But wealth cannot be taken out of the hides of working people.
“The gamblin’ man is rich and the working man is poor. I ain’t got no home in this world anymore.” Woodie Guthrie The economics that we live in does not recognize the value or diversity of human work, resulting in an extremely narrow definition of work. Only work that contributes to profit making and its enabling structures are rewarded with wages. Even the dictionary definition of work, “an activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something,” suggests a much wider scope. An expanded definition of work more closely imitates the best economy we know, Nature. Nature is economical in its own way and uses diversity to promote its equilibrium. Equilibrium is a desired outcome in nature and in economics and it is a pursuit; a process fed by constant and diverse input. An expanded definition of human work can serve the same purpose in human economics as diversity serves in nature, promotion of equilibrium and life survival. Economist and physicist John Nash recognized the danger to a social economic system that lacked diversity. His “Game Theory” explains a bargaining activity that presently occurs within modern economics. Each player, in game theory, has an ultimate threat presented to him/her, that ensures a bargain is struck. Seeking the bargain in a limited pool of choices continues to limit outcomes. Limited outcomes create vulnerability. This is a fatal weakness within our economic model. We can expand the definition of work by making the primary function of economics to fulfill the basic human needs of food, shelter and education and defining value as the human physical and intellectual work within this system. In this way, empowering and not enslaving people world