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…”