Friday, April 17, 2020

Bottom-Up Development Economics

Development Economics have largely focused on top-down efforts by National Governments and International Institutions. The main underlying point of my book Zen and the Art of Funk Capitalism is to try and discover a way to build the very same Institutions, but privately and voluntarily by the people, and for the people. 
I have been described as a Libertarian, and this is not wrong. But a Libertarian who wants to see global economic development happen spontaneously.  
And I am not forced to by anyone, and have had the particularly good fortune to have been born into a family which had enough money for a comfortable life with no financial worries that affected the kids, and with parents who are Economists from Cambridge, U.K. and St. Stephens College, New Delhi.) 
So I am certain type of Libertarian. I will try to explain why in the rest of this essay. I am personally not opposed to National Governments and International Institutions doing what they do, and I appreciate the spirit in which they have tried over the last century or so. They have accomplished a lot in that time, but like any good Libertarian, I WANT MORE!   
Let's start with the basics of the obstacles to maintaining the good health in which most of us are born, and the education or skills training that will allow us to make money. 
Let us start with the last point, and work our way backwards. 
At this current unprecedented time in history (the year 2020), money can be made by anyone with a high-school education, or even a high-school drop-out. All it takes is clear thinking, of which there is, unfortunately, a dearth. Not intelligence. Not people skills. Just clear thinking. 
At The Kitcoin Club we are building a site where people can sign up for any Job Skills Training course. They can sign up as Teachers, Students, Employers, Investors, or Verifiers (or all). The catch is, they must provide data on what was spent on the Training, how much the income of the student of each Course increased, what was the Return-on-Investment for the Investor.  
Also, the Investment cannot be a loan. It must be an Investment in the Training of the Student, which must include an on-the-job component at Employers' locations (or tele-work presence). The Teaching is also encouraged to be Tele-Learning with a real live Teacher in addition to Online Course Material. But old-fashioned Training is also acceptable.  
The Student must pay back 10% of what they earn (or a percentage of the increase in income), for 10 years, or up to a maximum of twice what was invested is repaid to the Investor. (This allows the project to fund two additional Students for every successful Student.) 
The expected result is that the data itself (which would be privacy-managed -- consent must be given by the choice by the owner of the information to anyone who requests it) would spontaneously generate the information needed for all players. 
Now for maintaining good health, Physicians are encouraged by my company, Tranquilmoney, Inc. to use its PracticeTracker software and services platform which is available for free to them, and paid for by the Health Insurance companies. PracticeTracker requires each patient encounter to be fully documented (video-recording and Telehealth are available with HIPAA compliant privacy policies). This ensures the Healthcare Insurance company that no fraudulent claim can be submitted through PracticeTracker. Their net profit should increase dramatically due to this, but open competition will ensure that insurance premiums come down even while the Healthcare Insurance company maintains its historical profitability. 
While all this takes place, there is still a need for government to continue and even raise what they have been doing for their citizens.  
In the USA, there is Medicaid insurance for people below a certain income level. Its limitation is that it is the choice of each state within the country. The USA must provide Universal Medicaid, force all states to provide Medicaid, and carry the financial burden on the Federal Budget.  
In India, there are government-owned hospitals for anyone to go to.  
There are limitations with these too. Many practitioners do not accept Medicaid patients in the USA, and not all government-owned hospitals are competent (though some are among the best in the world.)  
But these are band-aid measures that must continue, and must be improved, while over time, as income levels of the people increase, people will opt for private insurance. The Medicaid and older people's Medicare can continue to be Universal for everyone, with Private Health Insurance picking up only the amounts above what the government programs cover. This again will ensure that the government subsidy does not crowd out the Private Sector who will compete and continually innovate to compete harder. All their innovations should be actively used by the government-owned hospitals and Medicaid healthcare providers.  
Last of all, in this time of a global healthcare pandemic, there must be a Universal Basic Income provided to everyone. But instead of being like England's "Poor Law" during the Great Depression, or the current dole system of various governments, all such Universal Basic Income must be a Kitcoin-type investment, where the person must go through Training in some skill that will let them work (or Tele-work) and earn money. Pay back if you can earn, don't if you can't. 
So I am searching for a word to describe my form of Libertarianism. I found "Libertarian Paternalism" in the book Nudge, and Nudge Theory.  
But while I do use "nudging," my form of Libertarianism is defined by individual freedom and free will. But if everyone is free, coercion of others should 
be banned! So there must be a government that bans coercion by any individual of any other individual. This principle should be the core of jurisprudence (read the book! ). 
But apart from law, in running my company, Tranquilmoney, Inc., I also believe my employees should have free will and manage themselves. So I implemented W. Edwards Deming's Total Quality Management ("TQM"). We did it electronically being techies ourselves, and call it "Total Digital Management" ("TDM"). 
TQM is not about the management of quality. It is about the quality of management. It is an HR topic. Each employee develops a set of metrics with the help of their boss under the headings PQDCM -- Productivity, Quality, Delivery (as per schedule), Costs, and Morale.  
Morale is measured by things like: 
- Do all employees come into work on time because they love their job? 
- Do the love their job because they are given the job of managing their metrics themselves rather than doing whatever their boss orders? 
- Do they love their job because our IT team automates using information technology and Artificial Intelligence not to eliminate them but to make their job easier and more productive? 
So with TQM, everyone can use the techniques in both their personal and professional lives. Just decide on the metrics you want to set, and put a target for Continous Improvement every day / week / month / year. These are the tools and methods and philosophy I use in practice every day to implement what I decided to call "Libertariam Maternalism." 
If anyone should agree with me, I would love to know!

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