- Word from the author
- Summary of the CPS-Model
- The Three Principles of the CPS-Model
- Benefits of the CPS-Model
- Detail numbers on the CPS-Model
- Word from the author:
Our basic human needs have been commoditized so that we can conveniently obtain them if we have enough money. In the rush to create infrastructure for monetary gains, we have made access to modern conveniences secondary for many members of society. We have neglected to offer them access to that same infrastructure or the means to create their own if they so choose. These problems manifest themselves in different ways:
• We create more food than people have time to buy.
• We build more houses than people have access to live in.
• We have less time to create healthy social interactions because we overwork the population that has jobs.
• We have less people making the decisions on how to use common water and other environmental elements.
• We have college educated people with sufficient job skills, but not enough careers in their field in which to use them.
• The non-consensual and negatively symptomatic constructs of oppression and isolation create shorter life spans and harsh living experiences.
The solutions we are looking for live in the same space as the problems we are struggling with. My proposal for an alternative to the current social service model is so simple that it only takes a few paragraphs to explain. It takes a great deal more explanation to prove that this change for one group of people does not inherently mean harm to another group. Historically in this country progress for one group of people has always meant harm to a different group of people, often in the form of exploitative labor. As that has been the societal norm, it’s reasonable for people to be wary of progress. The culture of harm is deeply ingrained in our society but very many of the systems that incite harm can be changed in our lifetime without violence or the vilification of others for their past involvement in those systems. The model I am introducing, The Correct Priority Society Model, (CPS-Model) takes into account the diversity of work ethics in this county to create work that is consensual and sustainable.
- Summary of the CPS Model:
The CPS-Model is a county wide worker program that makes basic needs accessible to people regardless of social standing, income, ability or skill-set. The CPS-Model adds up the collective hours of human labor related to basic human needs (natural food, clean water, shelter from the elements, collective infrastructure and consensual education) needed to sustain the entire city. Then it divides that number of collective hours of labor by the number of people willing to do the work. People would only need to work a minimum of 8-14 hours a week to have consistent access to their basic needs. If we use the CPS-Model just for our basic needs, we can still participate in a competitive for profit economy for the things that we want. The CPS-Model is not a replacement to the for profit economy: the exchange of minimal work for basic needs does not include monetary compensation and therefore is not in direct competition with the for profit economy. Society could inherently have a way of giving everyone a chance to get what they need by doing what they can.
Any person can choose to work in the CPS-Model for their basic needs or opt out and earn both their needs and their wants from the for profit economy. With the CPS-Model in place, the economy (that supplies people’s wants) will only be made stronger and more competitive when people have their basic needs met. Hundreds of people, who rely on a second or third job to pay for all of their basic needs, can leave their second or third job for the security of the CPS-Model. This will open up the job market for those who don’t have any job at all. Entrepreneurs can work the minimum of 8-14 hours a week in the CPS-Model and have more time and money to focus on their small businesses. Small business owners unable to offer full time jobs can offer part time jobs to employees who are already receiving their basic needs in the CPS-Model.
To operate, the CPS model will use a smaller fraction of the current tax revenue that is already generated (by the for-profit economy) for social services to acquire materials and equipment for the production of basic needs. Current social services rely solely on tax revenue to buy, distribute, and administrate a limited amount of basic needs without allowing the benefactors to contribute anything to the production process. Alternatively, the CPS-Model asks participating people for a minimum of 8-14 hours of work per week in exchange for their basic needs. People who are not participating directly in the CPS-Model will also benefit from the amazing amount of extra work in the public sectors, work that will improve streets, create safe neighborhoods, better public education, speedier trials and many other functions of the county that exist outside of the for-profit economic model.
- The three principles
There are three principles that will help you understand the CPS-Model as it relates to an individual’s freedom within the context of society. These principles also serve as guidelines for the CPS-Model.
The amount of time an individual has to devote to themselves outside of someone else’s agenda. This may include time spent pursuing passions, creating, and being with friends and family.
Because the CPS- Model makes basic needs accessible to everyone participating in it, each person will have the freedom to make decisions for themselves based on their own thoughts, feelings, and desires, not based on pursuing their basic needs.
The ability for an individual to make choices to pursue life, liberty and happiness, including, but not limited to occupation, decisions regarding personal relationship dynamics, religious practice, and health. This includes the ability to make these decisions based on transparent information and in full knowledge of their positive and negative consequences.
- Benefits of the CPS-Model:
Because their basic needs will already be met in the CPS-Model, people will be more deliberate about where they spend their money in the free market economy.
The CPS-Model on the county level allows people to collectively own physical resources, material and even natural public spaces (rivers and land) to be transmuted into basic needs. These can’t be bought or sold privately but only used in the CPS-Model. This will keep the production of basic needs local which will provide work for local people. Producing basic needs locally protects people from the fluctuations of the economy over the production of those same basic needs.
The CPS-Model provides security for family members unable to find jobs, people looking to start a business venture, innovate or create a new stream of income because they can always enroll in the CPS-Model to access their basic needs.
Because some big businesses hire solely for profit they have a rigid workload and do not offer a living wage, sick leave, or benefits. The CPS-Model will be in place to secure every worker’s basic needs in case they are not met by their other job.
The CPS-Model does not make a profit by selling what it produces; rather what it produces goes directly to the people enrolled in the CPS-Model giving us the power to slow down the pace of work. Workers will have a smaller workload or work requirements and more flexible hours adaptable to peoples’ lifestyles and disabilities. The CPS- Model can offer work to people who otherwise would not get hired by for profit businesses.
Businesses have always benefited from advancements in technology but people fear being replaced by robots or automation. For people whose jobs are replaced by robots or automation, the CPS-Model can act as a safety net. When the CPS-Model uses this technology thereby decreasing its workers’ hours, the workers will still collect their same basic needs. When automation decreases the amount of labor in one sector, every worker’s hours will decrease as well. Therefore, automation is welcome in the CPS-Model.
The CPS-Model can also devote more hours to repairing the environment, developing skills related to environmental care, and inventing innovative ways to recycle and reuse when big businesses do not take the responsibility or time to do it themselves.
- Detail numbers on the CPS-Model:
The CPS-Model isn’t based in just one building or relegated to one neighborhood. Instead, the model is integrated into the whole city. Rather than starting from scratch, the CPS-Model will improve on the current social service programs already in place. The city of Greensboro holds a Population of about 270,000 people. 25.8% are children under the age of 18 who can’t work and 11.9% are too elderly and cannot work without difficulty. This leaves 150,391 people eligible to work in the CPS-Model. Within this 150,000, 70,000 people self identify as comfortably able to buy both their wants and needs from the for profit economy; 80,391 people have a form of paid work but self identify as always lacking two or more of their basic needs; 19,609 people have no steady work and struggle to secure all of their basic needs; 6.6% of people under 65 years old self identify as having a disability and may or may not be able to work in some capacity but still need access to all of their basic needs.
The CPS-Model operates on a municipal and county level, mixing the current paid staff of the municipality and county with the CPS-Model workers. The collaboration between the current social service programs and other entities that accept federal funds and the CPS-Model is necessary because CPS-Model workers only enroll in 6 to 12 month work contracts. Their work will supplement the current services in place.
People can choose from all kinds of work, learn new skill sets and switch between different kinds of work as it becomes available.
The bulk of The CPS-Model services remove the limitation of what the city or county can pay people to do for the public sector. Social services that need tax revenue and federal money to operate tend to contract out their labor to businesses that hire workers for a limited time. For example, recycling services have their own trucks and machinery that the county does not want to spend money on maintaining. If social services invest their money in equipment and in keeping paid staff on the municipal and county level, those workers will be more consistent and proficient at their job. The CPS-Model workers will be able to help the county workers maintain their equipment as well as aid them in their work. The CPS-Model workers will have shorter shifts than paid staff and will be trained to be helpful and communicative with the paid staff. The county can save money in the long run by investing in equipment and having CPS-Model workers maintain it. Just as it’s more cost effective to own a car than to rent one from a business every day, it is more cost effective for the county to have its own materials and equipment than to contract businesses who have them. This cohesive platform of services will attract more businesses to our city and create opportunity for local people to start businesses as well.
The pilot program should not be less than 10,000 people and would include people already accepting social services as well as people looking to supplement their income by earning their basic needs outside of the for profit economy. All people enrolled will complete an evaluation of skill set and proficiency for the available work they desire to do. At the height of participation the collective hours of work would be 112,360,000 (one hundred twelve million three hundred sixty thousand) hours per year. The average work load in the CPS-Model for each citizen is 8- 14 hours a week or 1- 2 hours of labor a day in exchange for access to their basic needs. Every person can choose to work in the CPS model for their basic needs while participating in the for profit economy for the things they want. Or they can choose not to participate in the CPS-Model and earn both their needs and their wants from the free market economy. People can earn all five of their basic needs working in the CPS-Model but if a person already has access to some of those basic needs their hours of work can be adjusted down.
Greensboro has a total of 4010 Full-Time and Part-time paid personnel working 16,965,120 hrs of work per year towards public education. At the height of participation the CPS-Model can contribute an extra 26,644,000 labor hours towards public education. CPS-Model workers can work as administrators, assistant principals, guidance counselors, media coordinators, audiovisual- technicians, clerks, secretaries, service workers and laborers. More staff would increase each schools capacity to enroll students.
Along with providing everyone enrolled in the CPS-Model with a steady supply of locally grown essential food staples, at the height of participation the CPS-Model will have a surplus of food, enough to produce 71,747 tons of fresh food a year for public school lunch and breakfast: 1 ton or 5.5 pounds per day per child for 157 public elementary, middle and high schools in Greensboro.
More access to fresh food will also foster a demand for locally grown food. To help for profit farmers stay competitive, the CPS-Model workers will tend to the for profit crops in exchange for the right to farm a different part of that land that would be reserved for CPS-Model food production.
Drinking water and waste water management consist of highly technical jobs that need to continue as predominantly paid positions. Still, there are places for CPS-Model workers to participate. For example, the pipes throughout Greensboro are designed to stay in the ground for about 40 years at which time they need to be replaced. Currently, Greensboro is replacing old pipes at about 1.5% rate per year. CPS-Model workers can speed up the process, replacing old pipes at a faster rate, preventing leaks and creating a safer water system. In addition, many maps and plans of waterways and pipe systems would be easier to read and understand by technicians if they were digitized by CPS-Model workers for future use. The CPS-Model can add 718,160 hours of work towards a more efficient water system.
The city of Greensboro’s infrastructure includes: the trash collection service to over 83,000 residential and business locations; the fire department which currently has 578 positions; the police department with 694 sworn officers and 111 unsworn officers; bus drivers and park maintenance workers. Some of these jobs are contracted out when they could instead be filled by CPS-Model workers. At the height of participation the CPS-Model can add 16,603,200 hours of work towards all of these public sectors. In addition, CPS-Model workers can fill operational roles such as evaluation of skill set and proficiency for the available work as well as teaching other people new skill sets that can then be applied to CPS-Model work. CPS-Model workers can contribute to sectors that may never be profitable in the county’s free market economy such as expanding services to make the elderly more comfortable, environmental research and repair, mental health services and support, re-envisioning the foster care system, and public art.
People don’t have to be caste, or qualified by situational circumstance or be approved to be enrolled in the CPS-Model. Anyone who self identifies as “lacking their basic needs” has the opportunity to earn them in a labor system that is consensual, has a minimal time commitment and a minimal set of job requirements. This gives every person who self identifies as “willing to do the work” a humane means of accessing basic human needs.
Societies are the natural groupings of people together in a physical geographic location. They are very similar to why bees have hives or why dolphins have pods. A society’s primary function is to increase the chances of survival of humans in the wilderness. The .=]American Dream, is a belief that no matter what your circumstance, everyone is capable of reaching the same standard of lifestyle on solely their own volition. In reality this does not include everyone and always holds the threat of not including those who believe in The American Dream as well. The CPS-Model is based on the idea that survival begins with the access to basic needs without compromising an individual’s dignity and freedom. Each individual can contribute in some form to producing basic needs for everyone. Participation in the CPS-Model is consensual and there are no consequences for not participating. Regardless of which ideology you hold your willingness to consent to the work is all that is needed. The CPS-Model is American diversity and democracy at its best; there is no need to punish or shame those who do not consent.