|Regarding Michael's mention of a negative income tax. Here's a useful model that delivers something just as good to its members:|
I look for useful models of how a society can function effectively to promote the well-being of everyone. The Mondragon Cooperative has so far proven to be one of the most useful in this regard. This is a virtual complete society which is literally owned directly by its members and has been running both at a profit and with an outstanding growth rate for over half a century now.
Mondragon is not a state, but a voluntary but highly organized association of producers that charges a hefty fee for membership. Once a member, which requires acceptance and a trial period of a year, as well as a big chunk of cash, you then have one vote, like every other member, on all the policies and structure of the society.
However, this is not "20th Century Motors" from AS. Mondragon is run to produce prosperity for its worker owners. They are a bunch of hard-nosed businessmen, looking to further their own interests. And they do. Mondragon provides just about everything that a state does - or attempts to - to its owners, such as medical care, retirement, schools, etc. and pays significantly higher salaries to its workers than non-Mondragon workers in the same area and comparable jobs.
For a real eye opener, go to: http://www.mcc.es/
From the Mondragon sumary financial report. Figures are listed as 2005, 2006, % variation.
Complete report at: http://www.mcc.es/ing/magnitudes/memoria2006.pdfINESS
(In million euros)
PERFORMANCE 2005 2006 % VARIATION
MCC Total Assets 22,977 27,550 19.9 - i.e., a 20% growth rate, which is typical for Mondragon for the past 5 decades...
MCC Equity 4,226 4,696 11.1
MCC Consolidated Results 545 677 24.2
Caja Laboral Assets Under Administration 11,036 12,333 11.8
Lagun-Aro Endowment Fund 3,303 3,626 9.8
Total Turnover (Industrial and Distribution) 11,859 13,390 12.9
MCC Overall Investments 866 1,243 43.5
MCC workforce at year end 78,455 83,601 6.6
% members of co-operative workforce 81 80 -1.2
% women members of co-operative workforce 41.9 41.9 -
Incident/accident rate for Industrial Group 58.3 54 -7.4
Stakeholding capital of worker-members 2,010 2,282 13.5
No. worker-members in Governing Bodies 835 861 3.1
% profit distribution to worker-members 57.4 50 -12.3
Resources allocated to community schemes 33 34 3.0
No. Students at MCC Educational Centres 7,642 7,429 -2.8
RESPONSIBLE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
No. ISO 14000 Certificates in force 42 45 7.1
No. EMAS Certificates in force 4 4 -
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
% Resources allocated to R&D over Value Added (I.G.) 5.5 5.3 -3.6
No. Technology Centres in MCC 11 12 9.1
Now imagine that Mondragon were an L5 colony, wholly owned and run by the residents for a profit.
Now scale that up a bit, to a ~10,000 mile diameter sphere of rock....