Beta Test will Show What Critical Race Theory Looks Like in Praxis:
After nearly fifteen years of research, conceptual design and preliminary testing, The Third Option is ready to beta test its new democratic version of capitalism and is calling on the Federal Government to oversee the test, which will require a potential outlay of $2.6 billion over four years.
An underserved community, yet-to-be-determined, will be the test subject of this economic experiment; The Third Option is already in the process of asking for volunteers from among the over three thousand underserved communities that still exist inside U.S territory.
The Federal grant program currently divides funding among several specific departments (like transportation, energy, housing, health and human services, etc.); unfortunately, underserved communities need every one of these services. Therefore, The Third Option has chosen to publicly lobby Federal Government to obtain this financial grant, which they believe better represents the original intent of the petition clause of the U.S Constitution.
“To secretly lobby individual legislators for favorable treatment is the type of behavior we hope to extinguish” says Robert Simmons, head of The Third Option project. “A true Democracy would not dispense Liberty as if It was a scarce resource. Our model defines Liberty as individual autonomy and dispenses the equal opportunity for all to attain It, which is not only a more sustainable, fair, and inclusive solution, but considerably more democratic.”
The Third Option plan is simple:
- The ‘test community’ must comprise approximately 100,000 people to qualify, and they must volunteer for the experiment per what Liberty requires (the community with the highest percentage of constituents who agree to perform the experiment will be the one chosen to execute it).
- Members of the community must forego paying all taxes for the duration of the experiment (up to four years), instead putting 10% of their gross earnings into a Public Bank that will be placed directly within their community. Federal Government will oversee the bank, to make sure all monies are collected and allocated properly.
- Additionally, Federal Government will supplement these bank deposits in the following manner:
As an example, U.S. Gross National Income, or GNI (“the total amount of money earned by a nation’s people and businesses” in any given year), was $21,261.27B in 2020. Meanwhile, the U.S. population for that same year was 331,449,281. Taking 10% of GNI and dividing it by the entire U.S. population would leave each resident with an (equal) $6,415 ‘share’ for the year 2020.
Once the Community Public Bank collects 10% of resident incomes for that year, The Federal Government will supplement this total such that the bank holds funds equal to
In the 2020 example, the Bank would need to hold $641.5 Million in funds ($6,415 X 100,000 community members) for that year. Next, each of the 100,000 citizens would be given a bank account, identified by their social security number, representing an equal ‘share’ of whatever the Public Bank is able to collect through investments made on behalf of the community.
These accounts would be unique in that no citizen could add or withdraw money from them until after the experiment was finished. The $641.5 Million kept in the Public Bank could only be accessed through direct investment in the community, at a rate of 4% interest over a 30-year period. In other words, the only way the bank makes money for the community is if the community borrows the money, then pays it back with interest; only then will community members realize any gains from these ‘investments.’
Because the Public Bank is tasked with dispensing “Liberty as Opportunity,” money could only be invested in specified ways. At this time, The Third Option project only recognizes eight essential needs necessary to equally dispense Liberty (as autonomy) to all citizens:
- Water / Sewer
For example, the initial seed capital of approximately $640 million would be used to rebuild essential community infrastructure, based on a plan subject to majority vote by the entire community. While the community is being rebuilt (preferably utilizing community members whenever possible), education would be tasked to train community members—through two-year associate degrees—to fit into one of these ‘essential needs’ fields (those who are already employable in these fields can begin working immediately).
By year three, when the community is rebuilt and essential needs businesses are being utilized, each resident’s income would grow (from full employment), and the federal government’s supplementary obligation would diminish considerably. If and when the 10% tax on gross revenue exceeds the average amount of $6415 per year per community member, the federal grant could either be terminated, or used to fund a different community, if further testing is warranted.
The initial $641.5 million investment—loaned at 4% —would grow to $1.1 billion in 30 years and leave each citizen with a $11,000 payoff for helping grow their community. Continuing this experiment for the entire four years would increase each citizen’s share to approximately $44,000, but only if citizens continue to work and pay their bills until all loans are paid back.
A living wage cannot be sustained in the current environment of steady inflation and stagnant wages. The Third Option plan solves this problem, by taking these essential needs out of the hands of the private sector for this experiment.
Housing, for example, would be built ‘at cost,’ so rent would only represent the mortgage payment needed to build it (materials and initial labor, plus a 1% ‘land value tax’ that will be factored in to pay for all federal workers on the project). Food, communication, transportation, energy, etc., would be offered without profit margins attached. The only viable way to create a sustainable living wage is to bring the ‘cost of living’ down; then, even minimum wage would be sufficient to cover what Liberty demands.
The hope is that ‘patrons’ from outside the community would rally around the test community, to help it succeed in an “it takes a village” kind of attitude; from educational training to architectural design, well-wishers are welcome to join the project, although the federal government would have stipulations on the substance and function of all investments. New community infrastructure must utilize:
- Green / Clean Energy and Transportation
- Vertical and Regenerative Farming (all current sustainable practices)
- Infinitely Sustainable and Recyclable packaging
- A Fiber optic Communication grid, plus online community engagement tools, to facilitate civic virtue, communication infrastructure theory, etc.
- Net Zero or Passive Housing, smart building designs, etc.
- Organic Waste Treatment, converting waste into supplemental energy wherever possible
- New Preventive Healthcare guidelines, for mental / emotional and physical health
- Family Counseling, Restorative Justice practices, and Third Option Rehabilitation programs for all non-violent offenders
- A ‘walkable’ community center (with car-free zones), dedicated bike and personal electric transit lanes, etc.
- A new educational model that starts with daycare, adds Pre-K for two years, a second teacher / counselor to all elementary classrooms, and culminates with two-year associate degrees during junior / senior year
In essence, this community must be built to represent the community of the future.
The Health Resources & Service Administration (HRSA) has identified approximately 3,438 medically underserved areas (MUAs) in the United States. 19 million Americans are still without adequate internet access. 13.8 million Americans face food insecurity throughout any given year. Two million Americans do not have access to clean drinking water. Forty million citizens “live in housing they cannot afford.” Half of all three and four year olds are not enrolled in a pre-school of some kind. 45% of Americans have no access to public transportation.
No private entities currently invest in underserved communities; there will be few ‘conflicts of interest’ to negotiate when running this experiment. If, however, private entities are on community property, but not serving the community in any way, they would need to pay the 1% land value tax on top of their normal taxes; they would not be part of the experiment, and may be forced to relocate, by use of ‘eminent domain’, if they are in any way harming the community, or in violation of the new infrastructure requirements.
It is important to reiterate the words of founder Thomas Jefferson, who made it clear (in our Declaration of Independence) that government exists to secure “unalienable rights” such as Liberty, and when government “becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”
If government continues to evolve along with the needs of its people, there is no need for anything but purposeful civic engagement toward this end. Although society is not currently set up to reflect any self-evident truths, it is nevertheless true that when government fails in its duty to secure the Liberty of any individual or group, the Liberty of all is compromised. The goal of The Third Option is to tie our fates together more closely, such that we all bear the cost—and reap the benefit—of securing Democracy for everyone.