6.5 Town Meeting — Money Matters

Day 7, 3PM

When everyone was back, I said, “Article 5 could be a sticky one. We need to consider, although we probably will not resolve, a monetary system. That is, how do we go about ‘paying’ for things we need? Do we adopt a purely capitalistic system, where the seller sets the price and if the buyers won’t pay it, he has to lower it? This has certainly worked well in much of our old world — at least until the UNWG decided to ‘re-distribute the wealth’.

“In these early days, we are all expected to chip in and provide the fundamentals for each other and most,” I paused to glare at a few people, “…most are doing just that.

“Still, some system needs to be devised. For instance, the supplies that Selco promised to the colonists are all here, now. Suppose we want something else from the Mayflower — how do we pay for it?”

I paused again as some murmering occurred between the colonists and then continued, “As another example, we’ve already discovered that there are some dangerous animals about. Many, most of you possess no arms but others have brought along quite a few. Those that did might want to part with one or two of them but how is a price determined?

“The final article we will discuss before the actual election is land claims, or parceling out the land in town. Not all might need all that land and will want to sell it to someone else who wants more property. What is the price?”

“Now — it could be that we decide on a simple barter system of goods or labor. That would probably suffice for now but again, at some point a more formal system needs to be developed. Also, again, I’d like to stress that we might not reach any conclusions in the time allotted today but I think that you all should have a chance to, er, float some of your ideas.

“We might wind up putting it off or charging our new Town Council with coming up with a system and reporting back to us at another Town Meeting, say in 30 days from now.”

That was probably the longest speech I’d given in four years, since leaving Earth. I took a sip from my coffee cup and then concluded, “So, I’ll open up the floor — let us set a time limit of one hour — for discussion.

“Who wants to go first? Ah, Mr. Reyes, please…”

54 Responses to “6.5 Town Meeting — Money Matters”

  1. Lester Reye Says:

    I intend to propose as a base monetary system the Standard Labor Hour (SLH). It would function in this manner. Should you desire something brought in by rhe Mayflower or made on board it, or something owned by the Colony as a whole, you pay in SLH.

    Some may figure their time more valuable than another’s, and in a private trade that could well be the case. But from the governments point of view the time in each of our lives is valuable to each of us in equal measure.

    So the government sets a price on the Biolab equipment of a certain number of SLH. This may be for purchase or more likely for lease. Anyone desiring to use that equipment will agree to put in that many hours of his or her time as repayment. This applies to everything you haven’t made yourself, I only use the Biolab as an example.

    Some may say I am the only one who knows how to operate this piece of equipment in an efficient manner, and my time is worth more than you are giving me credit for. To those I would say fine then don’t use the equipment and someone less capable than you might try his hand. And this could apply to the Lumber mill, or the Windmills, or even our seeds for crops. I will do without even if it results in privation and hardship rather than be held hostage to someone that claims their time more valuable than mine when dealing with government. And I must stress. In private contracts these rules shall not apply.

    Should the government as authorized by the citizenry wish to hire an individual to perform a specific task than that individual would have every right to negotiate the amount of compensation received. The government would pay in SLH at the agreed upon rate and that credit could be legally used to purchase from either the government or your fellow colonist.

    Many after viewing the position papers I distributed during our break have asked questioned and asked for clarification of certain points. I can assure each and every one of you that I have noted your concerns and will respond as best I may. Thank You Mr. Moderator.

  2. Frank Turner Says:

    How would a person get these SLH in the first place? Especially if he didn’t wish to work for the government.?

  3. Lester Reye Says:

    I can certainly understand a reluctance to work for the government but in order for this experiment in freedom to succeed all who wish to receive the benefits provided by this association have an obligation to invest their time into insuring that it does succeed. There has previously been a suggestion made that 30 hours every 10 Alchibaen Days would be the proper initial tax due the colony. I second this as a start and thus everyone would work for and receive from the colony at least that much, 30 SLH in a 10 day period. Of course there is so much needing to be done at the present time that everyone should be able to spend as many hours working for the colony as desired.

  4. Frank Turner Says:

    That still doesn’t answer my question. Can I remain a colony member without being forced to work for the colony?

  5. Lester Reye Says:

    Certainly. You may freely trade with those who have earned SLH and in turn use that credit to provide the taxes levied. I can envision an emergency situation where your physical labor might be required but I do not think that would be true at the present time. And before any such requirement be made it would have to be approved by the government in a manner provided for.

  6. Glenda Cumberland Says:

    {To Travis, standing next to her} Bother! They don’t even have a government and already they’re talking taxes!

  7. Gene Washburn Says:

    Will this be electronic or physical currency? And in either case how do we prevent counterfeiting?

  8. Lester Reye Says:

    I believe it would take either or both forms with a record keeping system to note the government issuance of each SLH credit or note and serialization to preclude forgeries. The exact mechanism will need to be worked out.

  9. Linda Parker Says:

    So how will the Government on Alchibah and the Mayflower set the prices of the things we need?

  10. Lester Reye Says:

    I propose what many would consider a semi-capitalist solution to this problem. In this case I will use building supplies as an example. We are having this meeting today in this fine new Community Center due to the exemplary performance and sacrifice of all those involved with its construction. I shall detail first the contribution of William Bartlett and Joe Fortson to this endeavor. An examination of the Log files show that during the five and a half days spent providing for lumber supplies they along with support from other colonists kept the saws in constant use. And the total number of human hours equaled two hundred and thirty. And yes there were robots involved also but I will omit them for the sake of brevity.

    In the aforementioned time period they produced 17,000 board feet of lumber for this building plus another 4,500 board feet that went into various other constructions. After a study of relevant information I can assure you I do not believe anyone else would have achieved even 75% as much output with the same amount of labor. Why? Bartlett in particular had previous expertise in lumber production gained on Earth.

    Simplifying again, then a SLH of lumber would produce about 150 board feet. As the colony now owns the means of production, the mills, it might set a surcharge of 10% and sell that lumber on the open market. Should Bartlett or Fortson continue to offer to run the mills the Colony would be advised to offer them a premium for their services.

    Let us now address the actual construction workers who erected this structure. That work though necessary and important would be paid by the colony at 1 standard labor hour for every hour invested.

    And finally Mrs. Parker I’ll address your husband J.J.’s contribution. The direction of the entire project and insuring its completion so rapidly would strongly argue for a rate in excess of the standard. The exact number would be determined by the Council through committee deputized by it.

    Actual prices whenever possible should be set with a firm understanding of the Colony’s needs and capabilities. Prices not so set need to be reviewed on an ongoing basis. And as before this issue must be open to suggestions and comments from all colonists.

    I truly cannot speak to how those on the Mayflower set their system up but I would hope for some kind of relationship between us in this area.

  11. The Historian Says:

    Well. Anyone else?

  12. Pamela Nash Says:

    Shouldn’t people with children be paid more? It takes more money to raise a family and the colony needs children.

  13. Jack the Blade Says:

    Jack the Blade
    This is a pointless discussion. We are never going to agree on a monetary system. We need to split everything into shares and each individual does whatever he wants with his part. And children should not get shares. It goes against my principles but I will accept partial shares for children to get this done with.

    All money matters after everything is divided up should be in the hands of private banks started by subscription.

  14. Rajnar Singe Says:

    And exactly what part of the food produced by those on the Mayflower while you were in cold storage is yours Jack?

  15. Jack the Blade Says:

    Stelco made a deal to set us up here. And as I see it that was just part of the deal.

  16. Joe Fortson Says:

    I got another couple hundred more boards out on the drying racks Jack, cut em last night using Stelco‘s equipment. Stop by and see me when you come to get yours.

  17. John Pierce Says:

    I drew up the plans for the hall that we’re sitting in right now, and JJ did a stellar job (pardon the pun) at managing the project. But are either of our efforts really more valuable than those of the other colonists involved? Sure, on Earth we’d be paid more, but here and now when we’ve got the chance to really consider everyone equal should we continue into the same sort of system that produced such abject poverty and absurd wealth back on Earth?

    I’d also like to respectfully disagree with the idea that a pure capitalist system “worked well” on Earth - it worked well for most of us, sure, but it wasn’t working so well for the hundreds of millions who were starving around the world since it was implemented on a world wide scale.

  18. The Historian Says:

    So what are your solutions to that? We’ve heard from Mr. Reye. What about the rest of you? Communism? Socialism? Those systems always seem to wind up totally corrupt, with most of the people in worse poverty than ever and store shelves bare. Give us solutions!

  19. John Pierce Says:

    Well, like you said I doubt we can solve such a complex issue in an hour, but how about a truly standard Standard Labor Hour, where everyone is paid equally for an hour of work? Children would have to be factored in somehow, and education would have to be free for this to work. In fact, we would have to pay people to go to whatever our equivalent of college is, but when you think about it it’s in the interest of the Colony to have people educated. I certainly don’t have all (or even many) of the details worked out, but it’s at least worth considering.

  20. Frank Turner Says:

    John, I agree that education certainly is important. But I think food is even more necessary. Should food also be free? And clothing and shelter? If you can show me one society in all of Earth’s history that succeeded for any length of time while enforcing equality of outcome I might consider your proposal and apply it to the entire colony.

    And there’s no point in bringing up a self selecting minority such as the Society of Friends. They divorced themselves from secular government but were both tolerated and protected by a larger society. When dealing with that larger society their hour of labor was only worth as much as it produced. And all did not produce the same amount. I wouldn’t be surprised if you and likeminded individuals could operate in a similar fashion. I don’t see it working but you have the freedom to try. I think we will all need to cooperate for the common defense but the rest is up to you.

    We are starting from a relatively equal position here and will all exist under the same laws with the same chances. That’s about as much as anyone expect out of life. Reye’s solution may not be perfect but it seems reasonable at first glance. I’m willing to give it a try and see if the details fall into place.

  21. Glenda Cumberland Says:

    If everybody is paid the same regardless of what they do, what is the incentive for them to take risks or to start a business? Why should someone risk their life working in a mine or deep sea fishing when, for the same money, they could be flipping burgers? For that matter, Mr. Pierce, why would someone waste their time — being paid for it or not — to go for extra schooling if they will be paid the same whether they drop out of high school or graduate with a doctorate?

  22. Captain Travis Says:

    It does strike me that if there is no financial incentive to bettering yourself, most people won’t. No Communist country ever led the world in inventions, medical discoveries, improvements in agricultural yields or standards of living. China might have developed a roaring economy near the beginning of the century but it was by manufacturing for others, mostly American and European concerns. They offered cheap labor, not innovation.

  23. John Pierce Says:

    As I said, I am merely suggesting that we should consider such options. As to why people would go to school if they didn’t have to, I would say that desire for schooling is as good a reason as any - certainly there will be people who would want to learn more, regardless of financial incentive, and I suspect they would also be the people who would be able to do the most with that schooling. Certainly making education freely available to everyone provides a larger base of people, with greater likelihood that people will be able to go into the field they can do the most good. At the very least we should strive for true equality of opportunity. But that is a somewhat separate question from the monetary system that should probably be dealt with later.

    Also, to Glenda, I have a counter question. How does it make sense that professional athletes or corporate executives back on Earth were paid vastly more than those miner and fishermen you’re talking about? Now, you might protest (and it’s a fair one) that we’re obviously not going to be paying professional athletes or corporate executives here. What I’m trying to say is that was the outcome that the “free market” ended up at - an illogical and obviously unfair one. What’s to prevent a similar outcome from happening here down the road if we establish a pure capitalist system? Obviously the UNWG, through massive corruption and mismanagement, royally screwed up their attempt at leveling the outcomes, but that doesn’t necessarily preclude some sort of quasi-capitalist system from being better than a pure capitalist one. It merely proves that they fucked it up.

  24. Connor Benjamin Says:

    I’d like to say I agree with John - we should be looking at all options here. We’ve got a clean slate, why color it with prejudices we’ve developed because of the UNWG? Their example of what “equalization” can be is obviously a horrible one. There is certainly merit, however, to the idea that certain things should not be left up to the market. Health care, education and the penal system are three that come to my mind. I certainly don’t think we should jump blindly into some sort of socialist or communist state, but I don’t think we should jump blindly straight to capitalism either.

  25. Historian Says:

    Well, We’re not going to get anywhere on this in one hour. To some extant, all of us in Liberty are beginning on a level playing field. That’s good. We are starting with approximately the same number of “goods” as it were, small tents, robots, generally the same amount of clothing.

    As long as we’re ’shooting the breeze’ so to speak, we didn’t bring this up in the previous article but maybe we should, now since we haven’t taken nominations as yet. I propose that all those who serve — councilpersons that is — do so in their spare time and without compensation. Further, gifts of any sort to councilpersons would be forbidden. That removes any thought of “money” tainting our modest new government.

    Any thoughts?

  26. Glenda Cumberland Says:

    Then what incentive — if there’s no financial compensation — is there for anyone to serve?

  27. Frank Turner Says:

    Glenda I think the compensation would be in the doing. Working for a system you believed in. I understand the intent of the gift proposal but I think by gifts we need to make sure that we are only limiting gifts that might be large enough to hint at influence buying or peddling. Something beyond a cup of coffee or a freshly baked pie. And once we determine our source of currency I think each council member should receive one hours worth as total compensation for their entire term upon leaving office. Providing it is not under a cloud.

  28. Elana Pierce Says:

    The incentive is the desire to help the colony. I’m not sure I agree though. I have no doubt that there are many here who would serve without conpensation, but we at least have to be sure that we’re not penalizing people who serve. It seems to me that there should be some sort of compensation (pending figuring out our monetary system, of course). And I agree that we need to make sure that there is no corruption, but by banning gifts to councilpersons entirely you are banning gifts that would be given anyway - again, penalizing the people who serve. We certainly need to know who’s giving who gifts, but banning them seems excessive.

  29. Jaisa Benjamin Says:

    Frank, it sounds like you’re proposing the New Hampshire plan. I remember my grandfather mentioning how in New Hampshire they used to pay their state legislators something like $100 a year. While that’s well intentioned, it seems like it could have the unfortunate side effect of detering less well-off people from serving. While we don’t have that problem here, I’d like to propose we pay 1/3 time to the Council - 1/3 of the base pay. It’d be enough to not “penalize” them as Elana put it, but not so much to give them any advantage over the rest of us or any significant incentive to delay their proceedings. As far as the gifts, how about having required reporting of all gifts? If something fishy is going on we’ll know right away and we can deal with it. Hell, if there are people who seem to be bent on abusing the system we can ban *them* from giving gifts.

  30. Frank Turner Says:

    Jaisa, I could go this far, let each Council Member post their expenses every 30 days or so and by a straight up or down vote of the Colonists those expenses will be covered. Let them apply half of Reye’s 30 hour of labor every 10 days to the job but beyond that nothing. So long as we are voting on all laws gifts really don’t matter much. A gift might get a law proposed but it won’t get me to vote for it.

  31. Jaisa Benjamin Says:

    Alright, so a maximum of 15 hours at the full base pay rate (whatever that turns out to be) every ten days? I can agree to that. I’d still say gifts should be recorded though, or at least large ones. You’re damn right bribing a council member won’t get a law passed, but it could get a favorable decision on a managerial decision. And besides, even if the bribe doesn’t ultimately succeed, I still want to know if my reps are on the take.

  32. Lester Reye Says:

    I want to thank You for your earlier support Frank but remember that wasn’t my tax even though I tend to support it. And I too am in favor or reporting gifts. But those who would accept them for disreputable reasons would be unlikely to report them in any event

  33. Andrew Stuart Says:

    Well, Mariana can no longer keep me in my seat with my mouth shut! She tried believe me. I will try to touch on each major point as I see them and keep it brief.

    Mr. Reyes your contention that no ones time is more important than anyone else’s is right out of the Karl Marx play book of Advanced Socialism. Of course in any technological society there are some knowledge bases and skill sets that are more valuable that others Usually in proportion to the amount of study and effort needed to produce them. You used the example of Bart and I think that was a good one. He clearly put in the time and effort at some time to develop the skill set of Forestry, Lumberjack, and Mill Operator. For some lout like me who did not have that skill set to wander in and say”No thanks, I’ll do my own”, would be at best inefficient and in the worst case I break the mill and commit a crime against the colony. In that case however, it is possible that the foundry on Mayflower could offer us some assistance in repair of the mill, we would still limp on. Do Bart and Joe and that whole crowd deserve recompense for the effort above and beyond the basic setup that they have put in to produce the basic building blocks of this Colony? Darn tooting they do!

    Skill sets build on skill sets to build a viable society. What we have to avoid is the ridiculous overcompensation gaps that appeared on Old Earth. These generally occurred when Boards of Directors were allowed to vote themselves Powers and Wage increases without stockholder involvement.

    Athletes, if public money (Taxes) had not been spent to subsidize the Athletic Teams involved by providing them stadiums to play in, the money would never had been there for such foolishness.

    The members of the Council, should out of fairness, be recompensed for the time they spend on the Council! What I personally do not want to see is that compensation reach a level to where they do not have to have some other means to live. We must make sure that Governance never becomes a full-time job! We never want to see them doing something just to justify their existence. As Mark Twain said, ”What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin!”

    Gifts to Council members given in public under full scrutiny I could care less about. If we think you got bought we’ll vote you out. But, anything that is proven to have been done under the table is De Facto attempted bribery and if accepted an automatic impeachment vote occurs for that Council member.

    We are after all in a co-operative effort here folks. Some are going to have to work for the common good of the Colony for quite a while. I personally feel that no one owes any of us on the BioLab project one darn thing at this point. We put our skill sets and effort in to taking Alchibah assets and deploying them into a usable form. We have not yet produced anything. That starts tomorrow morning. Yeah, at some point I will discuss with the Council the Stuart private property necessary to make it function. But for right now, lets get some use out of this. We got fields to plow and crops to grow!

    Thanks

  34. Lester Reye Says:

    Mr. Stuart. I agree with much of what you say but I do disagree strongly on one point, and I feel you have perhaps inadvertently mischaracterized my position on another.

    First our point of disagreement. I feel quite certain that the Colony does indeed have a current debt to you and all those who helped in the construction of the Biolab. The site seems well chosen and from what I have heard the construction very suitable for it’s intended purpose. Your exploration investigating the location for a water powered energy source was also something that I feel a working council would have been behind and is due obvious recompense. I think my activities during this first week on planet will be put to much more scrutiny than yours when and if compensation is authorized.

    And rather than reiterate my original position on private and public contractual obligations. I shall merely say that yes some skill sets are obviously worth more than others. But a government must operate within it’s means. And that may result in offering less for a service than a particular individual feels is his due. That person should. not be compelled to perform that job under such conditions. If the 30 hrs of service to the Colony plan is enacted, that service could be spent on tasks more in line with the nature of a standard labor hour. Things where a high skill set would help but not be an impediment to accomplishment. An example of such a job might be assisting in preparing cropland. I am sure there will be many such.

    I will admit also that it does smack of communism when the government owns the means of production. But until duplicates of these assets are built I see little option but to insist their use be regulated by all colonists through an elected government.

    And I thank You Mr. Stuart and everyone else present for hearing me out in this matter.

  35. Mark Tilley Says:

    Look, we don’t need to create a permanent economic system right now. And I think temporary socialism is compelling.

    There are a lot of things that need to be done. The council can keep a list of these tasks, proposed by people and/or themselves, and people can sign up for those tasks. If there are people who are not signing up, then they are assigned to something.

    That way people with certain skills can contribute to what they know best, and the rest can pick something they are interested in, or get to learn other skills.

    And then each task would be worth a certain amount of hours, or however many hours it takes, whichever.

    Look, we’re all going to need to be experts in something if we’re going to survive. We need to pool our expertise, and the rest of us need to figure the rest out. It will be a joint effort, no doubt about it, which does smell of socialism.

    But that doesn’t mean it is forever, and it doesn’t mean we need to have a socialist society. I think we’re all too independent minded to allow that type of thinking into our culture!

    But I digress. Come to think of it, are we still on track? What is happening once we collect these hours? Are we paying to eat? How will it all work, once we figure out our system of “money”?

    Please excuse my lack of focus, it has been a long day, and I think all this talk is more tiring than the manual labor we’ve all been doing!

  36. The Historian Says:

    Folks, this has been interesting and, as I said before, it’s not likely that we’ll reach any sort of accord regarding a monetary system at present. I do think, however, that the next article on the agenda might reach a conclusion and at the same time, clarify some minor issues about this one.

    I propose three things for now.

    I think we’re in agreement that for the time being, we all need to pitch-in on getting our town — our planet! — going and I think that 30 hours of “community service” per ten-day period is reasonable and necessary. The rest of the time you’ll no doubt be building your permanent homes and businesses once we settle land issues.

    With that in mind, can we:

    1) Agree that all colonists of adult age be required to perform 30 hours of community service in every 10-day “week?” Below that age, children should be in school and I propose that this Community Center of ours would make a good one!

    2) That one of the tasks of the newly created Town Council be to research and come up with further suggestions for a monetary system to present to us in 30 days, at our next Town Meeting?

    3) And that we now move on to Article 6 — land issues?

    What say ye?

  37. Rajnar Singe Says:

    I would have no objection to the Community Building being used for a school by those wishing to do so. But I do not feel any of the instructors should be paid by the community at large. Nor should any receive community service credit for such instruction. A child’s education should be the responsibility of the parent. Free public education was part of the problem on Earth. Home schooling and private schools both outperformed it by a large measure.

  38. Pamela Nash Says:

    Why Mr. Singe. Of course the government should provide free schooling. Schooling is very important to the success of the colony so the colony must have control over how it is done and what is taught. And it must make sure that all children attend. But even beyond that it will free up women, who I understand usually get stuck with home schooling, for more fulfilling and productive employment.

  39. Connor Benjamin Says:

    Pamela, I couldn’t agree more. If there was any problem on Earth regarding education it was that its quality was unequally distributed between rich and poor areas, even within developed nations and that college education, which is required in most professions to significantly contribute to society, was not (at least in America) free for all who wanted it. Forcing a significant portion of our colony to use their time educating their own children when they could be contributing to the good of the colony as a whole would be, to put it mildly, a disastrously bad idea. As one small example of this, Rajnar, it would be a shame if some big, bad animal out there went and ate you because the only trained zoologist here (myself) was too tied up homeschooling his children to do the research necessary to understand the local fauna.

    I would also add that Pamela hit the nail on the head in another regard as well. Educating our children is one of the most important things that we can do to ensure the long term survival of our colony and its people. Forcing that education to be dependent on the good will of one or more of our citizens would not only be folly, it would be unfair in the extreme. That someone providing one of the most important services this colony needs would not be paid for their work is utterly ridiculous.

  40. William Bartlett Says:

    Connor I tend to support Rajnar on this issue but it seems like with so many others it will not be solved easily. Why don’t we just say that it’s summer vacation right now and in about 100 Alchibah days the various sides can put it to the vote? Schooling is very important long term but short term, as Andy says, we have got fields to plow.

  41. Elana Pierce Says:

    Bart, I think you’re right that we should probably table the discussion on our education system for a while. We certainly have more pressing issues to deal with for right now. However, the children are going to have to stay somewhere during the day while their parents work to help the colony survive. If we have no public schooling then they will, I assume, keep on going to the Parkers’ makeshift daycare. That is a service the colony needs, so we should obviously allow the people working there to count those hours towards their 30 hours of service. So, if we’re going to be “paying” for it anyway, why not start the kids in a school right now? The Parkers are doing a wonderful job, but why not kill two birds with one stone?

  42. William Bartlett Says:

    Elana I am as leery about government daycare as I am government education in normal times. I can see that times aren’t exactly normal here. I also would trust Hanna to run a program in a fair way. For the time being—. I would vote for your proposal if it had a definite termination date, say 200 days from now, and the majority of the parents decide to use the service. I sure think that the colony shouldn’t be responsible for the expenses of daycare when the parents aren’t working on Colony business.

  43. Rajnar Singe Says:

    I perhaps disagree, more strongly than Mr. Bartlett about this proposal . But in a spirit of amity I will also vote for it adding one more minor provision. That Mrs. Parker be paid at a rate no higher than those involved in other general work. And that the total hours payable during any 10 day period be set advance.

  44. Elana Pierce Says:

    I’m sorry, perhaps I wasn’t clear. What I was proposing was not extending the daycare, but rather having a temporary school set up (with the 200 day limit, of course). Why only have the kids in day care when you can also be teaching them? I know we’ve got a very capable educator here, Kaiya Yamasak, who would be happy to look after and teach the kids. And of course we wouldn’t pay her any more than anyone else - I never suggested that, and neither did anyone else.

  45. Kaiya Yamasak Says:

    Thank you Elana. I am (unsurprisingly, I would think) in favor of free public education. But we’re talking about that later. I do have to agree that having the kids here being educated rather than just taken care of makes a lot of sense. I mean, why not? What’s the downside? An extra two hundred days of school is more than a full school year. Why waste it? No offense intended to the Parkers of course, who are doing an incredible job.

  46. Mark Tilley Says:

    I’d like to second, err, third that idea. If were going to be paying someone to look after the children it might as well be someone who’s trained to teach them as well. Like the lady said, where’s the harm?

  47. Andrew Stuart Says:

    I seem to recall in conversations with the Parkers that Jules actually was a Teacher on Old Earth. I wonder if he, with assistance he will probably surly request, could begin the setup of a school in conjunction with the daycare they now operate?

    It would seem to me to be the most efficient and easiest start-up we would have.

    I believe we have a rather broad cross section of Subject Matter Experts to assist this endeavor!

  48. Kaiya Yamasak Says:

    I’m terribly sorry. I didn’t realized you were a teacher Jules. I’d be more than happy to help you set up and teach the school - if we decide to have one, of course. I’ve been teaching for a few years, and I love it, but I’ve got no doubt that you’re the person to run the show. I’d love to get together so I can pick your brain sometime.

  49. Jules Parker, Sr. Says:

    Miss, usually it’s the missus who picks my brain but I don’t think she’d mind if you did [once]. Sorry for arriving at the tailend of this discussion but, fortunately, I’m in time to agree to it. If the other colonists approve, I’d welcome the opportunity to coordinate an education program for our children. With your help. And also engaging those having specialized expertise.

    Once an educator, always an educator! We’ll grow our own …. our way!!

  50. The Historian Says:

    It is not normally the place for the moderator to inject his own opinion but as the product of public schools as well as someone who, er, taught in them at one time, before teaching History in a college, I think they are getting an unfair rap against them. The problem wasn’t with the schools themselves other than that political correctness ran wild, it was that instead of allowing for local control, instead, state governments and then the federal government began butting in on decisions and mandates — unfunded or not — that in reality should have been the realm of the local community.

    Personally, I have no problem with home schooling if one of the parents are able to do it. I have no problem with private schools as long as they are privately funded. But, for those who cannot afford either of those options, I think part of any sensible community plan is to include a publicly funded education system but with one caveat: While we are all interested in seeing our modest population grow, there is also a responsibility for those doing the growing to assume some of the financial responsibility for the burden those children place upon a community. Not all of it, but some of it. Education of our kids benefits everyone in the community but there has to be a line drawn somewhere.

    By that I mean that — at some point if we have taxes — some of the public taxes should go towards education of our children as a subsidy but those having children must kick in addition taxes payable to the public school. In effect, a reverse voucher system. Someone or a couple who have no children should not be paying as much to the school system as someone or a couple that have ten children!

    In the meantime, since we obviously are not going to settle this now, I concur with others that Jules and Kaiya work out a system of school/daycare for those parents who desire it and that they may consider this a 200 day service to the community to be compensated for in the future.

    I’ll open the floor again for any last comments and then we’ll move on…

  51. Jack the Blade Says:

    The Historian has gotten a little of it correct. But the only way to stop the growth of the weed we call government is not to feed it. And anyone voting for government power and influence in education will see in time that influence pervert any idea of governmental limits.

    I will vote no on the issue. Those who vote yes are part of the problem.

  52. The Historian Says:

    Yes, well, thank you, Jack. If there are no more comments, we shall move on…

  53. Connor Benjamin Says:

    If I may, Histy? I’d just like to address Jack’s comment before we vote and move onto the next article. Jack, I have to disagree with your premise. You’re assuming that government funding equates to government “power and influence.” While that has obviously been the case on Earth, the idea that it’s the only possibility is simply flawed logic. You have to remember that under the system we’re designing, WE are the government - the citizens vote on every law and have unprecedented oversight of the managerial decisions of the government. What is being proposed is not a government run school. It is a government funded, citizen run school.

    Alright, I’ll stop being a gasbag and delaying the meeting. Mr. Moderator?

  54. The Historian Says:

    Alright then…



Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Probably.

All Contents (written or photo/artwork) not attributed to other sources is
Copyright (C) 2006 - 2011 by Jeff Soyer. All rights reserved.