Utopian Eco-Socio-Economic System
Pay less but get more, work more to live better. Henri Maalouf
In this abstract, I outline the main benefits of the Eco-socio- economic system for people living an Eco-lifestyle in Eco-cities. The aim of this concept is to eliminate poverty and encourage governments to invest in people for a better return on investment. Each family owning an Eco-home and a decent living standard from the cradle to the grave must become compulsory human rights.
Imagine living in an Eco-home where you can farm the small area of surrounding land and eat from it instead of starving. The Eco-home is in an organised and designed Eco-city, so you do not pay for electricity, water, transport, TV, phone, insurance, solicitor fees, internet, health and other outgoings.
Imagine if the local authority has to train you on required skills and find you a job so you can repay your mortgage and live better. Otherwise, the local authority has to pay the interest on your mortgage and give you food to survive. Only then can poverty and homelessness be eliminated.
Imagine an Eco-city surrounded by Eco-industries, businesses, agriculture, entertainment, utilities, information and communications technology (ICT) data centres and others, all designed to help you live a better life. The Eco-city is open for business 24/7 and it has plenty of jobs available to work flexible hours. Also, you can work from home, study at home, have access to the internet to explore the world, become self- employed and make your living. Imagine if the rich invest in the wellbeing of the poor, the poor become rich and the rich get reasonably richer, narrowing the gap of wealth between them.
Imagine if the justice system does not consider the interests of the rich and powerful as more important than the welfare of the poor. Imagine if the justice system acts like God, who can know the truth and everybody is equal as it would be on the judgment day. Imagine, if owning an Eco-home (for each family) is a compulsory human right.
Imagine millions of people living in an Eco-city as a big family, caring for each other and supporting the wellbeing of each one of them. Imagine if the Eco-city is run as an efficient conglomerate that has to take care of those families from the beginning till the end. Raising, educating, training and paying them equally to cover their cost of living to make the conglomerate successful.
Only then can you become a productive, civilised, free human with equal rights to others and living in a more dignified way.
The Ecolism series ofbooks stretches your imagination onhow to make it happen, as a revolutionary concept of a new Eco-socio- economic system. The Ecolism concept is perhaps an aberration or beyond the comprehension or care of some people, civil servants, politicians, ministers or lords. But, in time, as humans evolve, they will learn that there are better ways for humans to live in peace in a human ecosystem. Evolution and progress in life entail major changes in environmental circumstances, traditions and replacing the old systems with new ones.
The revolutionary solutions to the problems caused by capitalism and autocratic democracy are the answers to the public’s wishes. There is a wave of rising populism asking for change, but they do not know how to make this happen. Ecolism shows them the way. I hope the day of enlightenment comes and that welfare prevails against warfare. I hope that justice becomes like the divine judgment day when all sinners and money worshippers are reformed, especially those in authority or who are rich and influential.
The concept lessens the need for the government to spend billions to support the destitute and, at the same time, it guarantees a better living standard for the impoverished. However, the balance of giving and taking must be maintained for a system to succeed and remain ethical. Hence, a fair assessment of people’s abilities to work is essential for training them in the required skills and finding them suitable jobs to contribute more and live better.
In the Eco-socio-economic system, it is the government’s responsibility to find jobs for the locals first. Otherwise, they must subsidise their costs of living and not just provide a percentage of it. It is like a family: all of them work and subsidise each other to sustain their dignified survival.
In a competitive world, with billions on the planet living at various standards, it becomes essential to reduce the cost of living to accept lower wages and become more competitive. Besides, working smarter, harder and longer gives people an advantage. Therefore, training to higher levels and in the required skills should accompany workers throughout their lives so they may adapt to the required jobs. The more you know, the further you go.
Investing in people pays off. Give them more so that they can contribute more. Crucially, it is ethical to ring-fence the minimum cost of living to support people with lesser abilities to survive in a dignified way and with a higher living standard. The higher the minimum living standard a government can provide to its people, the more civilised the country becomes. Therefore, in Ecolism 2 – Utopian Eco-city and Ecolism 4 – Utopian Eco-Home, I detail the minimum living standard required.
Building an Eco-home for each family might look difficult to some people. It might be true in small countries that have a small amount of land, rough terrain of mountains or hardly any money. But it is not difficult for a rich country that has less than 10% of its people living on its land. Agriculture no longer needs a vast area of land, because we can grow food in all seasons and vertically in greenhouses and domes. Preserving the ‘green belt’ or countryside scenery is not more important than accommodating people in Eco-homes.
In the United Kingdom (UK), building an Eco-home, especially in an Eco-city or Eco-town would save the government billions or 75% of their spending on housing benefits.
Currently, in the UK as an example, there are about 18 million claimants for various types of social benefits costing the ministerial Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about £120 billion/year. In the UK, people on no or low income claim money for housing benefits in addition to social care. The DWP in the UK pays £12 billion/year for rented accommodation, in addition to another £12 billion for various types of social housing. If the DWP wants to save 75% on housing benefits, the formula is simple. An Eco-home costs £100,000 to build and the interest on its mortgage is 1.5 to 3% maximum. The monthly mortgage interest is £125 to £250/month compared to paying about £1,000/month for rented accommodation.
This is on the basis of one million families claiming for rented accommodation about £1,000/month on average or £12,000/year. It costs the DWP £12 billion a year. In comparison, the interest on mortgaged accommodation costs £3 billion/year. Therefore, the DWP could save £9 billion/year if they pay interest on the mortgage instead of paying for rented accommodation. Similar savings can be achieved for other social-care benefits when people live in Eco-cities spend less on their outgoings and enjoy a higher living standard.
Building an Eco-city of one million Eco-homes would cost £100 billion and probably about £20 billion in addition for its infrastructure. The cost might not look easily achievable. Actually, it is easily achievable with government borrowing or quantitative easing for banks. If a government borrows £120 billion at 1% interest rate, the cost is only £12 billion and, as I mentioned previously, the DWP saves £9 billion on housing benefits. Therefore, it is the best investment for borrowing money, unlike borrowing for a high-speed train project or similar.
However, to encourage investors to lend to the unemployed living on income support, the government must guarantee the mortgage loan. Additionally, the government must donate publicly owned land, which can be used as a deposit to lend 100% of the loan. Knowing how banks and financial institutions behave, the mortgage loans must be controlled by an Eco-bank created to look after the Ecolists welfare.
The Eco-city project needs a bold government with a great vision and ethical thinking to support people with low or no income in better ways. Moreover, adopting the right policies to stop wasting the taxpayers’ money is required.
The DWP in the UK would rather spend hundreds of millions on solicitors and bureaucracy to deal with appeal cases against the disabled for underpaying their entitlements. Also, they have recently scrapped the support for mortgage interest (SMI) and prefer to pay for rented accommodation instead of interest on a mortgage, which is three times higher. Isn’t it wise or ethical to pay the disabled and pensioners their rights instead of paying it to solicitors and for bureaucratic micromanagement to get away with not paying them their rights?
Furthermore, the Eco-socio-economic system and the Eco-city, with its surrounding businesses and industries, are designed to employ the unemployed, including the retired and partially disabled. Therefore, the unemployed will have the incentive to work and repay the mortgage, to build up equity and enjoy a better retirement. As a bonus, people might become more productive, work more, earn more and pay more taxes. As a result, they can pay back the government-borrowed money to build one million Eco-homes.
Different locations have varied costs of living. Therefore, building standard Eco-cities or Eco-towns, accompanied with a standard Eco-lifestyle in an Eco-socio-economic system, will standardise the costs of living. Once the cost of living for an Eco- lifestyle becomes standard and known, then an accurate subsidy for it becomes universal and can be fairly implemented.
Finally, imagine if the United States of America (USA) creates peace on earth and stops spending more than $700 billion each year on weapons of mass destruction. The USA could build Eco-cities in each state and give an Eco-home to every poor family. Every American would be rich from such projects, including the political parties. Obviously, everybody else in the world should follow suit to maintain the balance of peace on earth and become more morally civilised.
When I was in Sweden, I witnessed a parade for the socialist party and, when I asked a Swedish person about political parties, he said that in Sweden everybody is socialist, but one is more than the other. In my view, this is how each country should be, racing to become more socialist than capitalist or at least reform democracy and make it fairer to the poorer.
Therefore, The more social you are, the more civilised you become.