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Characteristics of a Balanced Economy

1) New profit and utility functions: Reality dictates that we adjust the current economic and social systems to ones based on mutual consideration, collaboration, synergy, sharing information and resources, and balanced consumption. We must also unify economic, fiscal, and monetary mechanisms. These new systems express mutual guarantee, while the current economy is based on maximizing personal utility and profit, competitiveness, and stimulating inherent conflict among people and countries.

2) Detaching income from consumption: Every person will be able to purchase products and services according to need for a reasonable standard of living, regardless of income, provided everyone works and contributes to society according to their ability. In other words, everyone will do for society all they can, and will receive from society what they need for sustenance. Reciprocity and transparency will play key roles here. Detaching income from consumption will apply to everyone, but it does not mean that income, ownership of property and possessions, or contributing to the public benefit will be equal among everyone.

3) Relative, idiosyncratic equality: The mutual guarantee economy will bring with it drastic narrowing of socioeconomic inequality until it is completely annihilated. Society does not need to forcefully equalize everyone by arbitrarily distributing income, services, and material resources. Rather, distribution should be relative and individualistic—to each according to their particular needs for basic, reasonable living. A reasonable standard of living will be determined as “that which guarantees for every person the provision of life’s necessities, and allows for comfortable living according to the specific needs of a person or a family.” This standard will be in accord with the standard of living that is the norm in one’s immediate environment, meaning a standard of living above the poverty line for all. That standard will be determined by round table consensus (see this chapter, section “General,” item 3). Equality will manifest in fairness of resource distribution, complete transparency of the decision-making process, full participation of the individual in the effort to provide for self and for family, and contributing to society’s general well-being to the best of one’s ability.

4) Securing a reasonable standard of living: A guaranteed standard of living will be secured for all, which suffices to maintain oneself on a reasonable level. Services and products will include housing, healthcare, education from birth to death, food, clothing, and anything that individuals and families need to live comfortably according to the economic abilities of the general society. This entails a standard of living that is above the poverty line, as described in the above item. As a result, some individuals or families will rise in their standard of living, and some will decline. However, the entire process will take place with everyone’s consent and a sense of mutual responsibility and concern for each other, as is suitable for a society that has adopted mutual guarantee as a way of life. Informing, educating, and the influence of the environment are necessary elements in inculcating the required changes toward relative equality and securing a reasonable standard of living for all.

5) A balanced economy: Balanced consumption is imperative in this new, balanced economy. Adapting human interrelations to the dependence between them in the global-integral world will change the entire economic paradigm, not only consumption. It will move from a competitive, overblown, self-centered, and wasteful economy, into a balanced, stable, functional, and collaborative economy, and at more advanced stages, it will even become altruistic. All economic systems—production, commerce, consumption, the financial system, and the social system will be adapted to the precise size required to provide humanity with all it needs for reasonable consumption, no less, and no more.

6) Growth: The pursuit of economic growth as society’s prime goal does not serve the welfare of the public. It creates pressures and causes much economic and social harm. The transition to a balanced economy will render the system that venerates growth irrelevant. We will stop measuring a country’s economic success by the percentage of growth of its GDP. The new economic goal of a country will be to provide all its citizens with what they need to sustain them. Beyond that, all national and personal resources will be aimed at developing and realizing the personal and collective potential of the citizens.

7) Surpluses in the new economy: A mutual guarantee-based economy will produce substantial surpluses in financial, economic, and natural resources. When we know that there is someone to take care of our needs under any circumstances, we will not need to keep reserves in property or money. Firms and countries will also follow that principle, and the surpluses will manifest in an abundance of natural resources, an increase of free land and rentable apartments, and freed resources due to the cessation of over-consumption of pre-prepared food and farmland products that are currently thrown away instead of being distributed. It will also manifest in increasing people’s surpluses, along with the fair division of income, voluntary changes among tycoons, who will act to narrow inequality, and government offices that do not need to keep reserves for themselves. Due to the importance of this concept in the new economy, we dedicated the chapter, “Surplus and Improving the Public's Well-Being,” entirely to that topic.

8) Satisfaction from giving: In a mutual guarantee-based economy, materialism will take its natural place—to provide for necessities. Satisfaction and the drive for work will come from the desire to be part of a society that lives by the principle of mutual guarantee among people, without additional income or possessions. Instead, gratification will come from providing for others’ needs and from contributing to the general well-being. Our achievements will come from our contribution to the new socioeconomic treaty, from the desire to help others develop, and from the reciprocity of human relations.

Satisfaction from giving is a result of a gradual inner change, through the influence of the environment, the provision of information, and education for mutual guarantee.

9) An emergency plan for dealing with unemployment: Unemployment will continue to rise due to the crisis and because of the necessary transition from an overblown, competitive economy into a balanced and functional one. Hundreds of millions of people will become unemployed and will thus require immediate attention. This socioeconomic time-bomb has the potential to destroy families, increase inequality, divide society, and could deteriorate into violence and social and governmental instabilities. The emergency plan for dealing with unemployment according to the principle of mutual guarantee, in the framework of the global-integral world, will include paying a fair sustenance-scholarship provided that one participates in an educational framework, to be established by the state. Participation will be regarded as working. For details on the content and advantages of the emergency plan for the state and for the people, see chapter, “Emergency Plan for Unemployment.”

10) Unifying government and financial mechanisms: Currently, several international institutions, primarily in education, economy, and health—such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, or UNESCO—reflect the international community’s recognition of the need for mutual assistance, sharing of information, and cross-border and cross-culture collaboration. The new connection among people in the framework of the socioeconomic treaty called “mutual guarantee” will accelerate international collaboration.

We are living within a single, closed economic system where one country cannot act only for its own interests, but rather with a sense of responsibility and connection to other countries. Therefore, it is only natural that international collaboration will increase and deepen, including unification of monetary and fiscal instruments in line with the laws of the global-integral world, recognizing that an integral system can have only one chief.

11) The social tycoon: In a mutual guarantee-based socioeconomic system, tycoons will have their rightful place. The required equality in a harmonious system is a relative and idiosyncratic one—according to one’s needs and to the extent to which one fulfills one’s potential contribution to society. Educating humanity toward mutual guarantee will change the values of tycoons from wanting to dominate and maximize their gain at the expense of consumers to extending to others new, prosocial values. The moguls will receive social approbation from society not because of their fancy cars, private jets, or their mansions, but because of their contribution to society, to the environment, to the country, and to the world. At the same time, tycoons will be able to continue using their unique skills so society can benefit from their abilities to produce wealth. This will provide the tycoons with gratification, just as in a family, the main provider enjoys his or her ability to provide for the well-being of the entire family.

12) The mutual guarantee index: Today there are mechanisms for measuring economic and social inequality or the quality of life. When a mutual guarantee index is developed, we will be able to measure the degree to which firms, countries, and organizations implement the principle of mutual guarantee and the balanced economy described in this book. The index will also measure our progress toward mutual guarantee.

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