The Alliance Party's plan for our future economic growth revolves around Universal Energy, as it is the key that makes every goal we've discussed thus far possible. But the implementation of Universal Energy isn't as simple as pressing a button, nor is gauging its impact (however positive) to our economy. So as we dive into the Alliance Party's economic model, we'll need to answer some pressing questions surrounding Universal Energy's funding and implementation strategy as they're all part of the same approach.
Of these questions, the most relevant include:
- How much will Universal Energy cost?
- Who pays for it? The government (aka taxpayers)? Private industry? Not-for-profit organizations?
- Who manages its implementation and operation?
- What kind of economic system does Universal Energy fit into? Capitalism? Socialism? Collectivism? All, any or none of the above?
- What about the jobs that would be lost if we moved to a scarcity-free economy?
- What about the jobs that would be gained?
These questions are all valid, and are taken seriously by this writing.
However, as it proceeds to answer them, it’s important to recognize that each of these questions are asked within the context of our current economic system, for in that model they are especially relevant. I believe that in a society powered by Universal Energy, they would be far less so.
When we think of an economic system, be it capitalism, socialism, communism or collectivism, each of these systems and the theories behind them were beholden to the inherent problem of scarcity. As such, each were created and promoted specifically because of how they responded to that problem. Yet with the problems inherent to resource scarcity removed through Universal Energy, the economic constraints that came with them would be removed in kind. And it becomes far less challenging to provide for society’s basic needs when you can inexpensively produce resources indefinitely and society faces fewer cost externalities that come through scarcity-driven afflictions.
Because of this, Universal Energy can support the creation of a new economic system that was previously not possible in a zero-sum resource game, a system that like Universal Energy itself, doesn’t bow the parameters of our current system as constraints for implementation. Rather, it changes the rules of the game to evolve beyond them into something different.
We call this new system the Energy Economy, and refer to the economic model it powers as Collective Capitalism. These concepts are different because they allow our economy to be fueled by indefinite energy and resources, instead of being constrained by them. Where we once had to worry about energy costs, material costs, manufacturing costs and environmental constraints, we use technology to alleviate those concerns so industry can sustainably innovate and advance with fewer restrictions. As the costs of doing business fall, the benefits of capitalism become more apparent and easier to collectively access, as do society's offerings in kind.
Of these collective benefits, the first and most important among them is the provision - at little to no cost - of unlimited energy and resources as a core function of society.
In effect, this is simply the next iteration of what we’ve already experienced over the past 150 years. Recall how indoor plumbing, mechanized agriculture, personal vehicles, national highways and residential electricity were provided in a large scale capacity for the first time only last century.
These advances increased the standard of living for everyone and they gave the poorest sectors of society luxuries that even the wealthiest didn’t have for the past 99.99% of our history.
The Energy Economy is simply the next step in that direction, but with all critical resources, meaning that no matter what, even the poorest members of society still have a source of food, water, electricity, fuel and a roof over their heads. In a system of Collective Capitalism, every core need is satisfied as a function not of economics, but of technology, allowing every individual to exist without scarcity hanging over their heads, encouraging them to thrive and advance as they so choose.
Because this result is driven through technology that we know both works and can function as has been proposed, the Energy Economy bases its conclusions not on economic idealism, but rather on economic realities.
It’s not seeking to implement an economic utopia driven by wishful thinking toward human nature, it rather recognizes human nature exactly for what it is and simply uses technology to bypass it by providing indefinite abundance. No matter how much one consumes, by design, it will not matter as the system will always produce more at a rate faster than consumption.
This system avoids the zero-sum game altogether by building a positive-sum game in which to operate. And a positive-sum game, underwritten by technology, can solve social problems with greater speed and efficacy than any ideological model ever could, doing so in a way that even the hardest cynic could appreciate.
The goal is simple: provide everyone within society an indefinite source of critical resources so that the concept of need is made functionally irrelevant, and en-masse, the darker sides of human nature vanish, as does the drive for large scale conflict. Not universal basic income - universal basic resources. Presenting massive savings by avoiding cost externalities that manifest in a world dominated by resource scarcity, it in turn then allows more money to advance society and supercharge our economy.
This is the mindset behind the Energy Economy and Collective Capitalism, and is the model the Alliance Party would promote for adoption within our economy, in abstract.
The details of how it plans on doing so are as follows, which are explained in the context of the most prudent questions regarding Universal Energy’s implementation:
How Much Will University Energy Cost To Implement?
Although Universal Energy is a working model, it’s still conceptual in nature and thus abstract - especially since it’s modular by design. It can be implemented to any scale of size, and there is significant flexibility for how exactly we go about it.
Additionally, the technologies that make it possible, while proven, require another layer of standardization, engineering and investment in ideal manufacturing methods that has yet to be performed. This means things like price estimates, deployment models and other cost externalities (construction, quality assurance, material procurement, etc.) can only be provided through educated assumptions. With this in mind, our proposed implementation scale and the pricing model that comes with it is based on three factors:
- The capability to generate 300% of the electricity currently consumed in the United States every year.
- The capability to functionally end resource scarcity nationwide and make the United States 100% energy independent.
- Estimated additional research and development costs, as well as costs to construct, integrate and regulate all of the systems described herein.
This proposed cost estimate assesses that Universal Energy and its primary systems (electricity generation, water and fuel) can be implemented at a maximum cost of $6.5 trillion dollars paid over 10-15 years, which notably does not incorporate cost reductions due to learning ratio, lowered energy prices or mitigated social problems - which would be significant in reality.
But with this said at first glance, $6.5 trillion seems like a lot of money – and it is. But before you laugh at this figure and think me nutty for suggesting it, I’d ask that you hear me out in full, as this expenditure is far more affordable than we realize – especially if it is paid over time.
To that end, I’d like to share with you a few other expenditures of the same order of magnitude that our society has made in the past, so that we may see what we ended up receiving for them in return:
- $41 trillion: the inflation-adjusted total the Federal Government has spent over the past 10 years - and the Federal Government alone.
- $14 trillion: the total sum of the “official” U.S. defense budgets in addition to the cost of the Global War on Terror paid since 9/11/2001. This figure does not include military spending outside of the defense budget (Veterans Affairs, interest payments on national debt, homeland security, clandestine operations (CIA), etc.), which would bring this figure significantly higher.
- $7+ trillion: the approximate sum of the Medicare/Medicaid/CHIP payments the Federal Government has made over the past decade.
- $2+ trillion: the total sum we have paid on the interest on the national debt over the past 10 years. Not principal – just interest.
- $1.5 trillion: the total sum of the F-35 fighter jet program. That’s how much the American taxpayer will pay for a single class of military aircraft.
- $6.5 trillion: the total sum the U.S. military is unable to account for in a recent audit.
These expenditures cost tens of trillions and were considered national priorities by the government who wrote the check, but very little of this tangibly bettered the American people or our society as a whole in the end.
I seriously doubt that $14 trillion really made us safer from terrorists, who since 9/10/2001 have killed 2% of the amount of people who have since died in drunk driving accidents. Our military superiority is unmatched worldwide and has been since the Soviet Union fell, so I am hard pressed to see how our lives got better with the purchase of a $1.5 trillion fighter jet program. Lump that in with the cost of Global War on Terror, missing money from the U.S. military and the interest paid on our national debt (most of which is due to war) and we’d have Universal Energy bought and paid for twice over with trillions to spare.
Yet Universal Energy does actually give us something of tangible value. It does improve our society, it does raise our quality of life. And it doesn’t just do so slightly, it does so massively, transforming the basis of our society into something that opens up opportunities and possibilities that we never before thought possible – not to mention avoiding the consequences of the coming resource crisis.
With these considerations in mind, we see that the cost of Universal Energy, proportionally, compared to the value it gives us absolutely makes it a wise expenditure. But how we pay for it requires a bit more nuance, which brings us to the details of the cost estimate itself, which is included on this separate page.
As stated previously, this estimate elected to not speculate on cost reductions that would apply with an investment in advanced energy technology. But even with this figure at face value, considering the list of past expenditures above, it buys us so much more than the trillions that went out the window and gave us little in return.
This is a point that cannot be mentioned enough. Year in, year out, our government taxes our income in the name of social services yet spends only a fraction of that money on actual social services, and of them, the waste and incompetence therein comprises scales unrivaled. $41 trillion down the drain - and for what? For the continuation of the status quo? For bank bailouts, billions in corporate subsidies, a deflation of the middle class and 14 years of war amid a society that's intellectually weakening and increasingly divided? For a full-steam-ahead push toward a future dominated by environmental collapse, resource scarcity and conflict?
The supporters of our current system might consider ridiculous any proposal to make a modest investment towards solving the core problems of our time. We rather believe that what we are doing now is ridiculous. Because if paying for our long-term survival is somehow unrealistic, then so is our survival over the long-term - and that's not an option the Alliance Party is interested in considering.
Our present circumstances don’t have to be “the way things are” anymore. We have been chained to this false dilemma for too long, believing that we have to keep walking the same path we are on now simply because we’re walking it currently. It’s time we change course. Thus for a comparatively small sum on the scale of nationwide expenditures, we propose we instead build ourselves something greater, something that allows us to flourish, advance and avoid circumstances that would otherwise bring a darkened future. It shouldn’t be a hard case to make. And this realization, above all else, is what Universal Energy costs to implement.