The case for Manna


10 months agoSteemit7 min read

The current banking system is a system defined by scarcity, austerity and insider information. The assumption is that if you give people enough motivation, they will work. And if you take away most or all of their bargaining power, they will be ever so very happy to work for a sandwich.

Since around 1980, I've watched the conservatives (Democrats and Republicans alike) turn on the middle class like a vise. They have hindered, hobbled, and eventually decimated American unions. They have continually created trade agreements with foreign governments that put the middle class at a disadvantage - and Trump's bellicose rants notwithstanding, there is no end in sight. Both parties grovel to the moneyed class as if the middle class were a mere second thought. Both parties are counting on scarcity and austerity for the middle class to further reduce whatever middle class power is left.

A transition from scarcity to abundance in our monetary system would be profound. Not just for the middle class, but for everyone. I know that people who bought crypto near the top of the December bubble (like I did) last year are hurting. They want to see the gains they were hoping for. But it's important to remember the reason cryptocurrency was invented: to defy the rules imposed by the bankers. To withdraw the power to make money from the bankers and distribute it far and wide so that monetary policy runs more like a democracy than an autocracy.

Early on in my research of cryptocurrency, I learned that what gives a currency value is it's use. Money has power when it circulates. So what could make a currency more powerful than sitting in a bank? Money that is distributed to everyone and is used. That is the real power of money.

When money is distributed like basic income guaranteed, no questions asked, people do not sit on their ass as many people might suggest. Numerous studies in the last 30 years have shown one consistent pattern: a basic income gives people the power to say NO to dead-end, no-life jobs. A basic income will allow people to have a life. It gives people the power to walk away from abusive employers. A basic income gives people the power to change careers when they find their work does not make use of their talents. This is the purpose that Manna seeks to fulfill.

Manna is distributed to people just for signing up. From the Manna Whitepaper:

Manna is the first publicly traded, blockchain-based currency to be distributed as a Universal Basic Income subsidy to anyone in the world who applies and is verified as a unique human being. Manna, originally called Grantcoin, is also the first cryptocurrency to be managed and distributed by a U.S.-based tax-exempt nonprofit organization, and to be value-backed not only by investors, but also by tax-deductible donations which are used to buy back the token on markets where it trades. If sufficiently capitalized in the future, Manna will also be backed by profits from a capital reserve fund, similar to the Alaska Permanent Fund which pays an annual dividend to all citizens of the U.S. state of Alaska and is the longest-lasting and most successful UBI subsidy program in the world. (emphasis mine)

In contrast to the planned world wide distribution of Manna, the vast majority of Bitcoin (and probably a few other coins) are held by a small percentage of active accounts held by early adopters. You can see the Bitcoin analysis here, from Bambou Club on Medium.

I have a Manna account. In just a few weeks, I have accumulated $0.31 USD on Manna. Yes, it's tiny. But in some very poor countries, that tiny sum is already making a difference. Bitcoin, as good as it is, is not making that difference because it is still based on scarcity. You might have notice that Wall Street has been keen in Bitcoin. I bet that scarcity model is why those guys find Bitcoin so interesting.

The reason for scarcity in money is not just to ensure it has value. I believe that design-built scarcity in monetary policy is a result of the puritan work ethic, the lash that humans have lived under for at least the last 400 years. The scarcity model is based on the assumption that humans are motivated by punishment and reward in order to get anything done.

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. -- H. L. Mencken

The facts prove otherwise. Humans are motivated by interaction with others and they do not fare well alone. Humans are motivated by the joy of learning new skills. The most successful musicians in history have proven this over and over again. Despite living in a pool of wealth (derived from government intervention in the markets - copyrights), the highest paid musicians continue to keep producing music because every time they do, they get better.

Kids prove this, too. They learn to eat, walk, talk, read, write and crunch numbers all without compensation. Kids do all that and more with nary a thought about money. They do it because we are built to learn skills and apply them. We are built to imitate what we see in others and do what they do. We are built to communicate with each other, to share ideas, skills and talents, all without money. Money is just an artificial construct foisted upon us as "motivation". But if you've ever had a job you hated, you know you'd rather be doing something you love to do for money if you had the choice.

In his book, Raising Human Beings, Dr. Ross W. Greene shows without a doubt that challenging behavior in kids disappears when we collaborate with them to solve the problems that give rise to challenging behavior in kids. Kids present challenging behavior when they are trying to solve a problem. They need help from their caregivers to solve that problem. Mind you, they don't want someone else to solve the problem, they just need help solving it.

Kids are happier when they collaborate with their parents to solve problems. They are not motivated by punishment, like grounding, spanking or other subtle forms of coercion. They are not even motivated by money to solve those problems (we sometimes call them "growing pains"). They are motivated by a desire to learn a new skill, which they will apply whenever they see an opportunity to do so.

I have kids myself. I've seen the difference. I believe that mastery of skills is more important than punishment and reward, for punishment and reward are great at reinforcing behavior but they don't teach any skills. I also know from personal and second hand experience, that it's hard to learn new things when in fear. Fear is regression to instinct and old, hardwired memories. When people are not worried about the money, they think about the work, they think about solving problems, they think about applying their skills to existing problems.

For reasons set forth above, I believe that Manna will be an untold success. The press will not believe it or report it because it falls outside of the punishment and reward paradigm. But everyone that signs up for Manna will know the true value of money is when it is distributed and circulated throughout and for humanity.

To learn more about Manna, click on the image below (note that the link in the image below is my referral link to the Manna Website):


Other articles you might enjoy by @digitalfirehose:

Plan B for Humanity

A basic guaranteed income in the context of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

A sort of political movie review: Star Wars: Rogue One

Happiness isn't getting everything you want - happiness is a skill

The opposite of love is not hate, it is apathy

Fate, impunity and altruism


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