Sometimes Money Makes People Create Better Results

Photo by Josie Weiss on Unsplash

I’ve always said that money isn’t evil. It does however, have many drawbacks. Still, in today’s world, its powerful inherent incentives can produce better results, if used wisely.

That’s because everybody needs money to get what they want and need. So pretty much anyone will do things for money. That makes money amoral. People motivate others with it for good AND bad purposes.

Which brings us to the great purpose Minnesota uses money to create.

Incentives make the planet better

Starting this year, an environmental program rewards Minnesotans who transform their lawns into pollen-friendly critter habitats. According to Treehugger, Minnesota put aside nearly a million dollars a year to create Lawns to Legumes which aims to reverse the state’s declining bee population.

Landowners who replace lawns with bee-friendly wildflowers, clover and native grasses qualify for grants between $150 and $350. The money defrays yard conversion costs. How much the state pays depends on whether lawns exist in corridors frequented by pollinators. Pollinators include critters such as butterflies, moths, beetles and native flies. The list also includes Minnesota’s state bee, the federally-endangered Rusty patched bumble bee.

The program began in February.

You may know bees and other pollinators serve vital food chain functions. By moving from flower to flower, such critters help plants pollinate one another. Lawns to Legumes representatives expect many Minnesotan will convert lawns into needed habitat. Those lawns once were rich with flowering diversity.

But pesticides, pathogens, large-scale farming and residential development turned that diversity around. All that makes it hard for pollinator survival.

The rusty patched bumble bee in Minnesota. (Photo by The Xerces Society/Sarah Foltz Jordan

Financial incentives work

Many programs manipulate human behavior through cash incentives. For example, utilities trade valuable carbon credits which allow certain utilities leeway in operating power plants which emit carbon dioxide. Getting such credits requires power plants to retrofit operations so they’re more environmentally friendly. Those that do receive the credits. Then they can sell them to other utilities. Utilities buying such credits use them to defray their old carbon-emitting plants’ environmental impacts.

Police departments for decades use monetary rewards. People report vital tips leading to criminal arrests in return for such rewards. Each year such programs generate thousands of crime tips. Tips which often lead to arrests.

Lotteries are another way states fund educational and environmental programs. The lure of a major windfall creates hundreds of millions of dollars in Lottery ticket sales. A portion of those sales goes to state schools and other worthwhile programs. The fact is, monetary incentives can and do help create better outcomes.

These and other examples prove that Copiosis’ Net Benefit Reward (NBR) incentive can succeed too. NBR is not money. But it does unlock access to things a person can’t get without it. These things are called Luxuries. People get NBR as an award whenever their actions create Net Benefit Value (NBV). The more NBV they create, the more NBR they get. And, so long as that NBV keeps happening, those responsible keep getting NBR.

That means nearly everyone can enjoy passive income streams. Not only successful business people. Here’s how NBR works:

A better planet for all

Furthermore, since capital goods are given to all at no cost in Copiosis, restoring the environment becomes a cinch for those interested in such work. And, since restoring the environment offers tremendous NBV, we expect many people will take environmental-friendly action. Including replacing lawns with pollinator-friendly species. When they do that, they get more than a cash deferment. They get income. And they keep getting it so long as they maintain their pollinator-friendly property.

It also means, however, that larger environmental problems become easier to solve as well. Any act which restores the environment merits NBR for for NBV such acts create. The bigger the NBV amount the more NBR people get. So people passionate about large environmental problems stand to get rich. Even researchers whose data inform future real-world projects can get rich.

No limits exist as to how much NBR we can create. That means, unlike what happens with money and money-based budgeting, people don’t compete against each other for a limited pot of rewards.

Money has its drawbacks, but one thing it does well is motivate people to act. That proves our NBR concept can work too. Unlike money though, NBR offers a moral incentive. People get it only when they create beneficial results. Money, as you know is amoral. It rewards all kinds of behavior we’d rather not see, such as illegal drug manufacturing and even murder.

Through NBR we’ve created a powerful, moral incentive that can make people create better results. Results that can benefit not only humanity, but the planet as well. That’s why we’re eager to transition society from a debt-based monetary economy, to one based on Net Benefit Value.

When that’s done not only will pollinators benefit, but all the other species too. Including humans.

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