Economic growth: inclusive, green, no-cost.

Climate

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

 

A “4 R’s” economy

Operators of a POEMs (Public Official E-Markets) system 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, re-sale 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 during downtime. It can instantly arrange micro-insurance and for a neighbourhood “holder” to handle storage, disinfection, plus checking out and back, for a split of its 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 few years 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. When they can cut no more, buyers await in POEMs’ markets for any components with monetary value.

For home beauty equipment read; gaming consoles,  tools, pet accessories, toys, books, garden furniture, home medical equipment, industrial washers, agricultural implements, production line components, microscopes, commercial vehicles and so on. Less manufacturing and packaging, more value for money.

This also applies to static resources. A home washing machine can be turned into a cash source by anyone willing to take in neighbors’ laundry. This isn’t the overhead-laden, dissipated, market which Washio splurged $16m on aggregating before its collapse. Laundry would be just one sector among thousands seamlessly drawing on POEMs’ vast infrastructure to enable and protect trading. The vibrant market that should follow might remove the attraction of owning a washer for many.

 

The problem of 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 within the economy. Supermarkets likewise each have their own platforms, drivers, vans and depots. So do each of the food delivery apps. Local deliverers can’t compete with the order-taking clout of these huge systems, 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 empty to disparate depots. It’s the same in other forms of transportation. 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 estimated 69% increase in pollution caused by ride-hailing apps.

POEMs would be an open platform. Anyone can sell 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 on offer.

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

For bulk carriers in POEMs based supply chains, any empty loadspace in their truck can constantly be offered in real-time. And depots aren’t fixed monolithic premises used as a base for there-and-back forays. Anyone with suitable premises can check zoning and opt to sell it as a distribution hub in POEMs, short or long-term, after checking their likely earnings.

 

Carbon neutered

The same factor would kick-in when booking a dog walker, vehicle valet, childminder, cleaning crew, book-keeper, or office receptionist. The most local will likely be the lowest cost. POEMs is wide, multi-sector, informed, and low-overhead enough for travel times and costs to accurately reflect in total charges.

That could quickly accelerate newer forms of transport. A ride to the train terminus? POEMs might instantly show motorbike taxis, shared minibuses, paid-for carpooling with inbuilt insurance cover and other options outside the Uber or Lyft business model.

And resources can be expanded or shrunk to align more perfectly with need. Imagine an entrepreneurial coach driver who had offered an excursion to a beauty spot on Saturday in POEMs. Sensibly, she might have purchased only the right to rent a luxury bus on the day for her customers, not the obligation.

But by Friday, she has sold only 12 seats. So, she relinquishes her hold on the 52-seater, releasing it back into the market. The contract with her passengers reserved the right to substitute a smaller vehicle. POEMs might automatically now rent her a minibus from its open markets. Self-interest not only drives less travel, it ensures tailored capacity in modes of transport.

 

Food production

Closed platforms between huge organizations also dominate food supply. In Canada, 95% of beef goes through just three meatpacking plants. Giants like Tyson, JBS, Smithfield and ConAgra process hundreds of thousands of birds, hogs and cows a week in the US with producers tied to financials that force huge scale. That creates effluent lakes, chemical laden meat, massive transport operations and – potentially – breeding grounds for viruses.

POEMs can’t elevate small farmers 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 be connected instantly, seamlessly, to POEMs’ markets for live chicks, feed, deliveries, housing, building erection and, in time, sale of eggs or local food. Is the area zoned for commercial animal raising? POEMs’ link 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, perhpas, goats. Checking to-the-minute local trends and prices in processing, or sale, of goat milk/wool/meat would take seconds. And the remaining chicken house and feed? Straight into POEMs re-sale markets.

 

Pulling levers

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

  • Policy: POEMs’ responsiveness magnifies government action. If new bike lanes dissect the City Centre, rickshaws could become faster than taxis for short journeys. That shows for buyers in hours as the system clocks average journey times across its diverse transport modes on offer.
  • Stimulus: Tax breaks for weatherization of houses announced? Expect to see the materials, skills, and artisans required mobilizing for opportunity within minutes as Opportunity Feeds for thousands of diverse sellers highlight coming demand. The experiment might initially be limited to one geography or class of property. The scheme can then be widened at any point by changing inputs on a screen. There’s no leafleting, enrolment, verification, monitoring or paperwork; POEMs performs all those functions.
  • Investment: POEMs should weaken Wall Street’s traditional investment silos, not with restrictions on options but by opening new asset classes around upskilling, 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, opted to tell the system to decline investment 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 its application to pocketbook issues. By fostering opportunity, safety nets, and interventions; it allows so many people falling through gaps in today’s institution-dominated capitalism space to focus energy on the world around them. The new markets could include a specific Green Dashboard, tallying mileage, re-use of products, and other eco-metrics in any sector or geography.

POEMs would be funded by corporates who run the markets in return for a fixed percentage cut of each payment from buyer to seller. The model could work in polluting transition economies, allowing them to leapfrog the current world of closed platforms and dissipated markets that is doing so much to hold back the developed world. For clarity, we have covered this in a separate briefing.

 

Precision government