Question: Isn’t this just another form of socialism with the Payers owning everything and lording it over everyone as the government?
Answer: The short and simple answer is "No, it is not socialism." But this question would not have come up if there wasn’t something about this new kind of money that suggests socialism to some people. So let’s see what we can discover.
Necessities are free to all as needed.
Probably the first hint of socialism comes from the sixth principle of the new money which states: "Goods and services designated ‘necessities’ are free to all, as needed." This reminds many people of the old communist principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" or something like that. It sounds like a government welfare system where the government, like in Rome of 2000 years ago, distributes food to the masses. So why isn’t this making of "necessities" freely available socialism?
Well, first of all, the government isn’t involved in people being given anything. Those who give necessities to others get paid for doing so if what they give actually helps the others. Naturally, the Payers do all the paying. Anyone who wants to gain money may do so by giving necessities to those who need them. No one is required or coerced into giving because there is no need. It’s a free market and the invisible hand of the free market will lure people into giving necessities to others just as it lures people into trading their goods and services in any other free market.
Second, the government doesn’t have any control over any bureaucracy, even itself. "He who pays the piper calls the tune" as the old saying goes and the government doesn’t pay its workers. Therefore the government can’t really control anything.
Finally, all property in the new money system is the private property of individuals. Anything which is not owned by anyone can be acquired merely by taking responsibility for it. Then it becomes property. Therefore, the government, not being an individual, cannot own any business or industry or tools or anything at all.
The Payers as government.
Since the Payers are the only people who can see that others come to have money, they probably remind many people of an overbearing, cradle to the grave, "nanny government" trying to make people do what they think is the "right thing." They imagine the Payers paying mothers for caring for their own children and paying farmers for giving their crops to the poor and so forth all as if the Payers were forcing people to do those things.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the Payers will almost certainly organize themselves into a bureaucracy. Governments have bureaucracy and lots of money and the payer organization certainly fits that bill. So why aren’t the Payers just another kind of government trying to tell everyone what to do?
The basic reason why the Payers are not another form of government is that they have no luxuries and must live among the poorest of the people. What difference does that make? Well, they are vulnerable to the people they live among. Lacking luxuries, they cannot escape other than by going into their quarters and closing the door. Even then they would need to come out for food. If the Payers are not accomplishing what the general public wants them to accomplish, they will be objects of severe social sanctions. They will be unpopular. Therefore, they must do what they can to keep people happy.
So how do they keep people happy? By paying for net benefit. By paying for the good consequences of the actions of others. They cannot succeed if they pay before the benefits are manifest. They cannot succeed if they pay for what the producers intended or hope to achieve. They can only succeed in keeping the public happy if they pay only for actual beneficial consequences.
Now if they tell Joe to do something and Joe does it and the result is not beneficial, Joe will be angry at them for not paying him. If they pay Joe then they are not paying for other things which could make the public happy and then the public will be angry at them. (Joe would also have contempt for them.) Therefore, the best thing the Payers can do to keep the public happy is to avoid telling anyone what to do.
But let’s assume that the Payers haven’t learned that yet. Let’s assume that they do try to tell you what to do. You can tell them to shut up and go away. You don’t need them. If you produce net benefit they pretty much have to pay you because if they don’t you will stop doing it and all the people that were benefitting will be mad at the Payers. So it doesn’t matter to you whether they tell you what to do or not. You can ignore them. Experience will soon teach them to just wait and see what you do.
Finally, all the Payers can do is reward people for the consequences of their actions. They have no ability to punish. So they are no threat to anyone.
Who’s paying, really?
The amount of goods and services necessary to feed, clothe, shelter, and keep in good health the entire population of an industrial nation is huge. By today’s prices that costs billions of dollars. Somebody has to be paying for all that. Only a government has that kind of money and the power to force people to contribute to such an effort. Doesn’t that indicate that this is socialism in disguise?
This is a natural assumption in the present world with our present money. But you have to keep in mind that the money doesn’t have to come from anywhere for the Payers to credit someone’s account. That means that there is never a shortage of money to pay for net benefits. It never costs the Payers any money because they have no money and can never have money. They can’t even have what money can buy. Therefore they don’t mind crediting people’s accounts.
Furthermore, no one has to give up anything they would rather keep. If you are a farmer and want to keep your entire crop and eat it yourself, that is just fine with everybody else. No one cares. If you produce enough to feed several people, why would you do all that work just to let the food spoil? Why not give it to others and get money for having done so? You don’t have to be forced to contribute because if you contribute you will be rewarded. It’s as if all those people out there had plenty of money and would pay you for what you do for them. No force is needed nor would it be acceptable. People don’t like being forced and they would make the Payers very unhappy if they didn’t pay to stop those who were trying to force others.