Economic growth: inclusive, green, no-cost.

Greening the micro-economy

Today’s capitalism, dominated by huge organizations, offers “efficiency” within corporate silos, but devastating externalities. Better markets at the bottom of the economy would foster more localized, circular, adaptive, micro-economic activity.

1) Precision pricing of transport

Transportation is now the largest source of greenhouse gases in the US. POEMs (Public Official E-Markets) minimizes transport. Book a dog walker, vehicle valet, childminder, cleaning crew, book-keeper, or office receptionist and the most local people will likely be the lowest cost. POEMs’ markets would be uniquely deep, informed, configurable, and low-overhead, so each person’s travel times and costs can be accurately and easily compensated within their charges.

That precision could also accelerate newer forms of transport. A ride to the train terminus? POEMs could instantly show buses, motorbike taxis, shared minibuses, community car hire and paid-for carpooling options each with automatically constructed micro-insurance cover.

And resources can be expanded or shrunk to align more perfectly with need. Imagine an entrepreneurial coach driver trialling a new route in POEMs this Saturday. Sensibly, she might have purchased only an option on a luxury bus in POEMs’ vehicle rental markets, not committed to rent.

Perhaps by Friday, only 12 seats have been purchased. So, she relinquishes her hold on the 52-seater. Her contract with passengers reserved the right to substitute a smaller vehicle. POEMs might automatically now rent her a cheaper minibus from its open markets. Self-interest ensures tailored capacity in modes of transport. On a more popular route, POEMs might be offering drivers a chance to profitably merge their minibus departures into one coach hire.

 

2) A large-scale alternative to closed platforms

How often do we see vans from DHL, FedEx, Amazon, and the Post Office jostling down the same street? Each of these corporates has its own scheduling platform, which delivers extraordinary efficiency inside their narrow silo of activity. Supermarkets likewise each have their own platforms, drivers, vehicles, and depots. So do each of the food delivery apps. Traditional local deliverers can’t compete with the order-taking clout of these platforms, they have to get onto one of them – becoming a DHL franchisee for example.

The climate absorbs wider inefficiencies of this model. Vehicles are running duplicate routes, returning to an array of depots to refill. The same is true of cars. How often do a Lyft and Uber driver pass each other en-route to pick up passengers to which the other was originally closer? That factor is part of the 69% increase in pollution caused by ride-hailing apps.

POEMs is an open platform. Anyone can sell journey or delivery services on their own terms. The system can construct complex supply chains of distribution facilities, vehicles, and labor, but it uses local links at every stage. It focuses on each seller’s multi-sector reliability rather than a narrow business model. If they use a bike rather than a branded van it’s no problem. And each link in the chain sets their own rates with sophisticated distance-related pricing.

So, if there are 10 packages, 5 lots of groceries and three pizzas to be delivered in Park Avenue this morning, it will make sense for someone wanting to price themselves into that work in that street to get cheaper the more drop-offs they can aggregate. This reflects their reduced travel time and costs.

For bulk carriers further up POEMs’ supply chains, any empty loadspace in their truck can be sold in real-time. And depots need not be fixed monolithic premises. Anyone with suitable premises can check zoning permissions and projected earnings in POEMs then offer their building as a drop-off and pick-up hub; for a few hours, days, or months.

 

3) Localized food production

Closed platforms powering large organizations also dominate food supply. In Canada, 95% of beef goes through just three meatpacking plants. Giants like Tyson, JBS, and Cargill process millions of birds, hogs, and cows a week in the US with producers tied to financials that force huge scale. That creates effluent lakes, big transport operations, and platforms that can’t adapt when institutional demand drops.

POEMs can’t elevate small processors to this level of cost slashing. But it would improve their – and their suppliers’ –  chances of competing with mega-farms. Anyone with some scrubland wanting to raise chickens could go to POEMs’ deep markets for live chicks, feed, deliveries, housing, building erection, and, in time, sale of eggs or local meat. Is the area zoned for community farming? POEMs’ links to official databases allows it to advise.

Food miles are reduced in this model. Versatility is increased; if the poultry don’t thrive on the scrub it’s simple to switch to, perhaps, goats. Checking to-the-minute local trends and prices in processing, or sale, of goat milk/wool/meat would take seconds.

 

4) A “4 R’s” economy

Operators of POEMs would make their money on small transactions. So they would be strongly incentivized to drive the four R’s of a green economy: rental, repair, resale, and recycling.

Take a high-end set of electric clippers owned by a householder. Currently they might sit unused for 99% of their life, while neighbors also have their own haircut appliances idle. But POEMs shows each owner what their grooming aid could earn if rented when not needed. It can instantly arrange micro-insurance and for a neighbourhood “holder” to handle storage, disinfection, plus checking out and back, for a split of earnings. The clippers could be collected and taken to the holder, with the owner having pre-emptive rights to get them returned as needed.

After a year of intense cutting, the clippers might need maintenance. Availability of local repairers gets them back in circulation quickly. When it’s time to let them go, there’s an informed, deep, safe, market for preowned products. Finally, when they can cut no more, buyers await in POEMs’ markets for any components with monetary value.

For home grooming equipment read; kitchen gadgets, entertainment devices, toys, garden furniture, home medical equipment, industrial equipment, agricultural implements, car accessories, and so on. In each case: Less manufacturing and packaging, more value for money.

This would equally apply to static resources. A home washing machine can be turned into a cash source by anyone willing to do neighbors’ laundry. This wouldn’t be the overhead-laden, niche, market which Washio, for example, splurged $16m trying to aggregate before it folded. Laundry would be just one sector among thousands in POEMs. The vibrant market that should follow might blunt the attraction of owning washing machines.

 

5) Increased effectiveness for policy levers

Individual self-interest should drive green activity within POEMs’ more efficient markets. That could be accelerated by the system’s readiness to foster legitimate interventions in its markets. For example;

  • Policy: POEMs’ responsiveness magnifies official action. If new bike lanes dissect the City, rickshaws could become faster than taxis for short journeys. That shows for buyers in hours as the system clocks comparative journey times across its diverse transport sectors.
  • Green incentives: Tax breaks for tree planting in gardens or farms announced? Expect to see the materials, artisans, and trainers required mobilizing for opportunity within minutes as Opportunity Feeds for thousands of diverse sellers highlight coming demand. The breaks might initially be limited to one geography or class of property. The scheme can then be widened by changing inputs on a screen. There’s no leafleting, enrollment, verification, monitoring, or paperwork required; POEMs absorbs all those functions.
  • Investment: POEMs should weaken Wall Street’s traditional investment silos, not with restrictions but by opening new asset classes around up-skilling, equipping, and cross-pollinating human capital in ways that are unthinkable now. Over time, that might mean less funds flowing to polluters, particularly if green-minded users, told the system to decline investment in their development by any institution tied to fossil fuels.
  • Personal choices: Boycotting could become effortless and razor-sharp in POEMs. It would be up to legislators whether to mandate these tools as part of the system’s scope of course.

Boycott tools could allow, for instance, a user to specify they would pay up to 10% more to favour electric vehicles for their journeys and deliveries. Or they might refuse to buy/rent any product that POEMs shows as having transited through Amazon in protest at packaging polices.

But POEMs’ most significant contribution to climate policy might be an alleviation of pocketbook anxiety. By fostering opportunity, safety nets, and interventions it would allow people battered by today’s capitalism space to focus on the world around them. To help that, the new markets could include a specific Green Dashboard, tallying mileages, re-use of products, and other eco-metrics for any sector, geography, or user.

POEMs would be funded by corporates who run the markets in return for a fixed percentage cut of each purchase price. That model could also work in polluting transition economies, allowing them to leapfrog the inefficient closed platforms that are doing so much damage in more developed nations. We have covered transition economies in a separate briefing.

 

Precision government