Income and Spending

How will I make money?

You won’t, money in its current form no longer exists. You will be provided with a house (if you don’t already have one when the amnesty is over) and it will already have electricity, gas (if needed), a telephone line and Internet. You will be provided with a government ID which will provide access to a portal which will be accessible via the Internet. (A printed report can be requested via telephone as well if you don’t like using computers).

The portal will tell you which class you are in (Just in case you get amnesia – I’ve watched TV, it happens.), How much Grace you have earned/lost and it will list your allowances.

Allowance

Money is gone but you still need to do your shopping. We’re not going to start delivering pallets of pre-processed food blocks to your front door. You will be provided with a pre-set allowance which will be usable only within the categories it’s been provided for.

The categories are as follows:

  • Living essentials.
  • Housing improvements. (Redecorating, getting an extension, new furniture, etc…)
  • Luxuries
  • Holidays/Vacations

And that’s it. You can think of these are the new version of your bank accounts. Every month you will receive a credit to your allowance based on how much Grace you have accumulated (If you have negative Grace then your allowance will still be credited but not by as much) and if you work for a living (the increase in allowance will depend on the job you choose).

Allowance accrues from the moment you are born (or enter an Aretecratic society) and the amount will never go down unless it is spent by that person or that persons allocated carer. You are free to spend every credit in your budget or you can scrimp and save until your heart’s content. You cannot transfer credits from one budget to another and credits are not transferrable between people. Only the government has the ability to provide credits. There are options to access the allowance of another individual though (see ‘Dependency Allowance’).

Your allowance will increase if you choose to work for a living. The increase in allowance will depend on which career path you choose (for example you will have a higher increase if you are a government employee or an emergency services worker) and how many hours you choose to work per week.

Dependency Allowance

If you care for a member of the Dependency class then it may be possible for you to access their allowance accounts. In the case of children, the parents control the allowance accounts until the child reaches the age of 15, at which point they get control of it for themselves (if the children wish, they may allow their parents to maintain access to it up until they leave home).

In the case of handicapped people, they must provide permission to allow someone else to access the accounts (where they are not physically or mentally able to do so then that right may be provided by the government)

A move away from consumerism

The purpose of using a credit allowance is to curb runaway consumerism, credits only apply to things which have to be limited in order to maintain control (for example, watching a movie or playing a game online will be free but if you want to have a physical disc of that item then you’ll need to pay for it).

In fact, one of the goals of Aretecracy is to get people to move away from the idea that they need to have a lot of things. capitalism tells us that we can’t truly be happy unless we have the latest and greatest toys and it suckers the vast majority of us in (myself included!). Yet, for the most part, advances in technology don’t warrant a phone upgrade every year, we buy them because it’s ‘cool’ to have the latest gadgets.

There is also the concept of ‘planned obsolescence’ which is something I would like to see stopped as soon as possible. We should get back into the mindset that things should be built to last, they only get replaced when they break down or when something significantly better is released to the market.

Lastly, we need to change our eating habits, if not for our own good, then for the good of the environment. As this is a libertarian society, there is no way I would allow a law to be passed which tells people what they can and can’t eat, however laws will be passed in regards to the ethical treatment of animals, which will make mass-production of animal products difficult. I will also required that it will cost considerably more food credits to buy animal products than it will cost to buy vegetable products. Meat will still be available to those who want it but in time, we will hopefully return to the days where eating meat isn’t a part of every single meal.

Common questions

1 Why is the luxury budget not also the holiday/vacation balance?

Tell me honestly. How many people do you know who have a huge TV but haven’t had a holiday in years. People are rubbish when it comes to taking care of themselves so we’ve made sure that they always have a separate balance to use on holidays, it’s important to get away from it all and travel broadens the mind. This doesn’t take away from the luxury balance, it’s just an extra bit.

2 What if I run out of food?

There is no concept of ‘debt’ in Aretecracy but you can still reach a balance of zero. If this happens and you can’t afford to buy food then your only option is to go to a food hall. These halls will be spread around the country and will offer three square meals a day to anyone who asks for them. The quality of the food to be found in places like this will be similar to what you would expect from a school canteen, however they will always be free.

3 What about things like the theatre and going to the gym?

The reason you pay for things like the theatre and cinema at the moment is because people can’t really create art for art’s sake (unless they are happy being poor). In the new world order, creating art is a good way to earn Grace so it will be everywhere! Enjoying music, the cinema or the theatre will be free!

Somethings will never change, owning a Gym is a great way to earn big bucks in the current world order and the same will go for the new world order. The bigger the gym and the more customers it has and the better it is at taking care of its customers healthcare needs, the more Grace its owners and employees will earn. Gyms will still be big business but they won’t care about your credits anymore, so they too will be free!

4 What do the shops get out of it?

You might wonder why we have the allowance system at all. Well it’s not really there to benefit anyone, the credit system is there for two reasons.

1. To ensure nobody takes more than their fair share.
Owning or working in a shop which provides benefits to the world will be another great way of earning Grace. Farming and manufacture will be a fantastic way to earn lots of Grace so there is no reason for the shops to charge money.

However if we don’t have credits, there is nothing to stop one person from going into a shop and just walking out with everything in there.

2. It will help with our analytics.
Each credit will have your id attached to it, the store won’t be able to see those details BUT they will have access to the analytics it provides them. This means they and the government will see the needs of that area. For example, if there is an area which has a lot of elderly residents then the local shops will soon find out that they need to order a larger stock of medicinal products. In fact they may discover that a Supermarket isn’t enough to cover demand and a Chemists will need to be constructed.