The Jump # 13 – The Chains of Debt and the Opportunities of Social Credit

Debt is a powerful force that keeps us as slaves. In this episode I will show you an older and better alternative, “Social Credit”, and do my best to explain the difference. For Social Credit is a liberating and useful force in the emerging post-Jump and Networked Social Economy.

How we used to borrow

Traditionally people borrowed money to purchase a “productive asset” such as a tool or against a predictable event such as the harvest. What this means in practice is that traditionally debt was self-liquidating. The productive asset, such as a loom, increased the value of the business and threw off enough cash to pay off the loan. Or the harvest came in and the seed loan was paid off.

This idea of a productive asset included the home. Traditionally, people mainly worked from home. So your house was also a work space and so it was a generator of income. Your lodging was a productive asset.

The big idea here is that we usually only borrowed money to finance a productive and self-liquidating asset. Only in desperation, or if we were an aristocrat, did we borrow money to finance consumption.

How we borrow today

Today, we mainly use debt to finance the consumption of items that lose their value quickly. These include clothes, furnishings and even cars. We even borrow for events, such as meals and vacations, that have no lasting value at all. Central to this now is borrowing for education. A BA in History has no direct connection with paid employment. But a plumber’s ticket does.

With ever increasing debt but no productive assets, we climb onto a treadmill where there is no payoff or release. This is even true for our homes. Today most of us work away from home and so our homes, this definition includes places that we rent, have become a net-cost and so a drain that never goes away. Rent or domestic mortgage payments are amongst our most significant never ending chains of financial obligation.

Using this approach to borrowing, we never escape. So, if you step back and examine how we use debt today, we see that much of it is in our choice. We can choose not to finance mere consumption or things and events that are in themselves transitory.

What we can do is to change our approach to borrowing and return to a more traditional way of seeing the use of debt.

It is hard to do this if you are caught up in the pre-Jump belief system of proving your status by “show.” It is much easier to do this if you no longer are captured by this external vision of your worth as a person.

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The Jump #12 – Freedom and Time

Once you have made the Jump AND made the adjustments to how you live post-jump, you will start to experience freedom. You will increasingly have more and more control over your time.

In this episode, I will explain what I mean by this statement about time.

We know that there is no such thing as an instant garden. We accept that great gardens take time. Anything in the natural world takes time. We as individuals need time. But our current world does not allow for this essential ingredient for quality.

The Post-Jump life gives us time. For it makes status no longer dependent on things, which can never be satisfied but instead on our contribution to our families and our communities. Such a contribution is real and is in our control. This takes most of the financial pressure off us and so provides us with time.

Let’s see how this works with food.

Food and eating has become a solitary transaction that we either squeeze into a hectic day or use as a cure for loneliness. How we buy food and how we eat now is driven mainly by our time deficit. Food is merely another item on a long list of impersonal transactions.

Traditionally food is not a transaction but is the main process for binding a community together. It is the human equivalent of primate “Social Grooming”.

Our ancestors, and many Italians today, seek out food that is good. They seek food that is itself not rushed. They prepare it in community as a sacred act. Once cooked, they share it as a celebration of that community.

This issue of time, cultivation and community, is traditionally the same for how our ancestors raised their children and how they worked.

Like plants, our children need to be cultivated by people that they know and love. Raising children is a community exercise.

It is the same for our work. Good ideas, good things the time to be cultivated. So do our clients. Our client relationships need cultivation. Not marketing, love.

Quality in all things demands time. A well-structured post-jump life gives us this time back.

One of the ways that we short-circuit time, is credit. But while credit enables us to grow faster, it can also bring chains that bind us and force us to make decisions about our business and our lives that are bad for us.

In the next episode, we will talk about banks and credit and I will show you how it can be our relationships with our customers that will bring us credit when we need it and so give us an escape from banks and other transactional lenders.

For, just as our children can learn without the institution of a school, just as we can be healthy without the institution of medicine, so we can obtain credit without the institution of banking.

We will look back at how communities supported each other so that its members could grow but at a sustainable and healthy rate.