Greed Is A Great Way To Motivate People. Just not in capitalism


I am getting a lot of questions from people from around the world about Copiosis. As they come in, I’m adding them to the FAQ page. Eventually, I’ll have a compendium of most of the questions we will have gotten over the years.

Some of the questions are worthy of longer replies. Here is one of them:

How will individuals be motivated to add value to society if the basic needs are provided?

This is a common question I get. My experience is people who ask this question tend to believe other people must be motivated by the threat of not getting their basic needs met in order to do things.

We at Copiosis believe that people are better motivated to produce tremendous value only after their basic needs are provided. Only then can they operate at the higher levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy, where higher order human expression comes out.

In economies today, people are negatively motivated to contribute to society. “Earning a living” motivates us all because we can’t get and maintain our basic needs without doing something that earns us money.

This is a problem because the majority of people get stuck “earning a living”. They rarely have moments to express their talents in the highest and most valuable ways. Let alone refine them so that they become worthy of sharing and making an impact on the world.

To get to that level, they are taught they need education and “time”. But those two often end up costing people (increasing their debt).  So instead of getting to the point where their highest level expressions benefit society, they have to work more “paying jobs” to service their debt.

Most people never make it to that highly refined, world-changing skill level. Some do, after retirement. Some other brave people go against the system and manage to create value for society despite what people tell them. These are rare people though.

The rest are forced to “earn a living” in uninspiring jobs. Sometimes a person’s contribution to society is not only not valuable, it’s actually destructive. This is the case with drug dealers, pick-pocketers and others who commit crimes or enslave or abuse other people.

So, I think you can agree that the way we motivate people by forcing them to pay for things they need works in some cases, but in many, many cases it produces terrible results.

Copiosis gives people positive motivation. First, by providing basic needs for everyone, people can relax and figure out the best way to express their talents. Suddenly they have time. They don’t have to worry about mortgages, debt, bills and other costs that come with simply living. They don’t have to worry about massive student loans they’ll have to pay off for the rest of their lives.

Second, we use what some people think is a negative – human greed – to inspire people to add net-positive value to society. If you look around, what people are really doing with the money they earn is they are using it to buy things to express themselves to themselves and to others.

They buy experiences and things that coincide with their interests, they obtain things that enhance their personality and characters, enrich their lives and generally make life more interesting and enjoyable.

In Copiosis, all these things are Luxuries. Luxuries can only be obtained in two ways:

  1. A person who owns the Luxury can transfer it to the other person, or
  2. The person who wants the Luxury can give up their Net Benefit Rewards (NBR) for it.

Obviously, there will not be enough people who own enough Luxuries for those people to give everyone Luxuries. So the main way people will obtain Luxuries is to give up NBR for them.

Now, in Copiosis, NBR serves only two purposes: it rewards Producers after-the-fact for the Net-Benefit they create. It also allows Producers access to Luxuries.

So, we motivate people through their greed: People want Luxuries. The more the better. The main way they get them is do things which merit them NBR, then give up the NBR to get them. What’s different (among many other things) between Copiosis and today’s money economies is that the only way to get NBR is to create Net-Benefit. Net Benefit is defined as positive value to society minus the negative consequences of actions taken to produce that positive benefit.

People are greedy. There’s nothing wrong with that so long as that greed can be expressed in a context that makes that expression moral. Copiosis channels greed in a way that produces maximum positive benefit for all thereby gradually, gently, motivating all human beings to do things that create net positive value.

Copiosis is an innovation that eliminates market externalities, spurs innovation, and holds people accountable for their actions like nothing else in human history. 

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