The Third Place: Modes of Transportation (Pt. III of III)

Concluding with the topic about the means of transportation, we will be discussing about two important topics to buttress the ideas introduced in Parts I and II. First, if Part I had more to do with the production process of transportation and Part II about the pedestrian, then the logical conclusion is to finish the topic with the motorist. The driver of the automobile, compared to the driver of the horse-drawn carriage, is a product of the State of Total Mobilization, as evidenced by motorists’ ability to harness the horsepower of their engines in order to reach their next destination. Next, we will discuss about the economic roles of transporting Equipmentalities, raw materials and personnel on railways, abroad freighters and airliners. Each have their own respective advantages and disadvantages as well as their intended roles within any given workweek.   

On the Distribution of Automobiles

Automobiles, it should be recalled, are capable of being attached to a Domain within the Work-World as the Productive Properties of an Enterprise. They can even be considered as someone’s Personal Property, which they use to commute from the Household to the workspace and back. Due to these characteristics and because the Council State technically administrates and owns the Automotive Industry, it is important to ascertain how the Council State intends to distribute the automobiles among the Totality. If one’s initial assumption that the Council State will repeat the methodology of STEP (Soviet-Type Economic Planning) in its application of MTEP (Mission-Type Economic Planning), one ought to be ashamed of arriving at such a myopic conclusion.

STEP had a number of methods that governed how it distributed automobiles. The following methods below describe how the Soviets and Eastern Bloc countries employed STEP in their Automotive Industries.

  • Eligibility: Relying on the Intents of Command and Obedience, the Central Planners consulted with the Administrators of different Enterprises on who in their workspaces are eligible for receiving an automobile.  
  • Majority Vote: Relying on the Delegative model of Democratic governance, all personnel in the workspace will vote on who should receive the automobile.
  • First-Come, First-Serve: This is that famous “waiting list” which later became the butt of a joke from that Jeffersonian Social-Democrat Ronald Reagan (Read: “I never left the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.”). What Reagan did not mention is that the people who had to wait long periods for an automobile never claimed theirs in a punctual manner.    
  • Lottery: All personnel in the workspace would play a lottery to determine who among them should claim the automobile. A winner is announced by their Enterprise’s Administrator.
  • Service Record Preference: Sometimes, war veterans and the disabled are more likely to receive an automobile than those who did not serve in the armed forces or are not disabled.
  • Transactional Sale: If one is not well-liked in the workspace, running on a streak of bad luck, or does not have anything which helps their Service Record stand out from others, they can always save enough Actual Geld to buy their own automobile.        

If I had to categorize these six ways of obtaining an automobile under STEP, it would have to be in three categories. Each one corresponds to Council Democracy, to STEP’s conception of competition in the Planned/Command Economy, and the actual transactional sales themselves.

For MTEP, keeping the transactional sales as an option should be preserved and, unlike STEP, the Work-Standard can allow this to be a viable avenue without ever having to rely on borrowing an “Auto Loan” from a Fractional-Reserve Banking System. The Council State should, as stated back in Part I, maintain an inventory of vehicle parts that can be readily assembled for the purposes of the VCS Economy and the Student Government of the SSE by extension. Fleets of vehicles need to be reserved as Productive Properties of Enterprises which need them for their creation of Arbeit and Geld. Obvious examples include Enterprises delivering pizzas, driving taxis, and hauling precious cargo on eighteen-wheelers.

Moreover, the Council State should also consider issuing Implicit Intents to the Automotive Industry on manufacturing rare, one-of-a-kind heirloom vehicles that will be awarded to those of sufficient Social Rank as “Prizes.” Such Prizes may be conferred on top of medals, letters of commendation, promotions to the next Social Rank or they could be conferred separately, depending on the context at hand. Rather depending on the political process vis-à-vis Council Democracy on the workspace, having to be singled out by the Administrator of one’s Enterprise, a waiting list or a lottery, people will be able to receive the heirloom vehicle in recognition of their merits, achievements, and Quality of Arbeit. The final authority on who decides will be the Central Planners, whose decisions will be enforced by the State Commissariats of Wages and Prices.   

That being said, the “lottery” and “first come, first serve” avenues could be preserved as optional ways of receiving heirloom vehicles outside of receiving Prizes from the Council State. Of course, they shall never be used as replacements of the usual purchasing of automobiles and receiving them as part of one’s Vocation or from a Prize. Like casino gambling, running a lottery for an heirloom vehicle could be a way for the Council State to add tax revenue to its State Budget. And the first come, first serve basis could be a way for the Automotive Industry to raise Actual Geld for charitable causes.

In summary, MTEP is supposed to have the following avenues of obtaining an automobile. From the order of highest to lowest priority, there are four possibilities:

  1. Transactional sales of automobiles between the Self and an automotive dealership affiliated with an Enterprise specializing in automotive production.
  2. Vehicles required by those who need them as part of carrying out their Vocations.
  3. Special heirloom vehicles awarded to recipients as Prizes.
  4. Fundraising initiatives such as lotteries and raffle giveaways.   

Railways, Freighters, and Airliners

Aside from automobiles, other major means of transportation are to rely on railways, ferries, and airliners. All three are great ways of traveling between cities or across the country. Similar to their more urbanized counterparts in the cities, they too rely on similar methods of creating Arbeit and Geld as part of the LER Process. Arbeit and Geld can come from running the services and delivering passengers to their destinations, while a secondary source of Actual Geld is received selling tickets to the passengers. As stated back in Part II, the transactional sale of tickets should suffice in providing the Council State with another source of tax revenue.

But that is not the only way for the Council State to receive tax revenue through those means of transportation. Another context involves international trade, where the Council State will be tasked with facilitating the movement of goods and services as well as Arbeit and Geld across international borders. This context only becomes relevant when the Council State manages to sign a Real Trade Agreement (RTA) with one or more nations, regardless of whether the other nations involved have national currencies pegged to the Work-Standard. Given the complex, yet specific description of how the LER Process operates in RTAs, allow me to reiterate some of the ideas discussed originally in The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.) here.

In any RTA, the Council State can be expected to create tangible wealth from the LER Process or the transactional sales themselves. The difference is that in Real Trade, unlike Free Trade, the Council State must maintain a “Balances of Trades and Payments” with the other nations. Barring the transactional sales, the Council State needs to negotiate with the other nations regarding how much Arbeit and Geld it will be receiving by selling goods and services within their borders. If we were to use a basic bilateral trade agreement with another nation relying on the Work-Standard as an example, the Council State could be expected to yield one of three default possibilities for the Life-Energy Reserve in its RTA:

  1. 25% Arbeit & 75% Geld: The Council State receives less Actual Arbeit in favor of more Actual Geld from the other nation involved in its RTA. In the LER Process, that is up to 25% Actual Arbeit from successfully selling goods and services, but 75% of the Actual Geld from the subsequent conversions.
  2. 50% Arbeit & 50% Geld: The Council State breaks even with other nation. They split the Actual Arbeit and Actual Geld received from the LER Process.    
  3. 75% Arbeit & 25% Geld: The Council State receives more Actual Arbeit in exchange for less Actual Geld from the other nation. The Council State gets 75% of the Actual Arbeit in the LER Process and receives 25% of the Actual Geld from the subsequent conversions.   

How the Council State decides will depend on whether they are exporting goods and services or importing them from the other nation participating in its RTA. It may seem confusing at first, but this is really an expansion of concepts which were established in the formulation of the Reciprocal Theory of Value (RTV) and the Work Theory of Money (WTM). To understand how these three possibilities are going to be conducted, where are the sources of Actual Arbeit coming from? The four sources of Actual Arbeit in the LER Process are:

  1. The production process of goods and services intended for export.
  2. The transportation and delivery of those goods and services across international borders.
  3. The distribution of the goods and services across the foreign nation.
  4. And the successful sales of those same goods and services to customers.

The Actual Arbeit and Actual Geld for each four are to be broken down into increments of 25%. Which of the four should the Council State be allowed to register to the Life-Energy Reserve? Remember that familiar phrase which I had constantly reiterated throughout The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.): “The greatest Quality of Arbeit for the least Quality of Geld?”

If the Council State contributes less Actual Arbeit, it is going to generate more Actual Geld; if the Council State contributes more Actual Arbeit, it is going to generate less Actual Geld.

In essence, the Value of Arbeit can depreciate by the Council State adding Attrition to the overall Attrition/Inaction Rate by trying to get as much Actual Arbeit from three of the four production processes. Alternatively, if the Council State wants to minimize adding Attrition to the Attrition/Inaction, it can appreciate the Value of Arbeit by reducing its involvement in all but one of the four production processes. Should the Value of Arbeit falls, it leads to Currency Depreciation, resulting in cheaper exports for the involved Enterprises but more expensive imports. And if the Value of Arbeit rises, it yields Currency Appreciation, making exports expensive but imports cheaper.  

The implications of Currency Depreciation/Appreciation induced by the Attrition/Inaction will impact the final Prices of goods and services in the foreign nation. In contrast to the Arbeit and Geld sourced directly from the LER Process, the Actual Geld from the transactional sales themselves are dependent on the extent of Currency Depreciation/Appreciation. By allowing Currency Depreciation, the Council State will cause the foreign nation to spend more on its imports, giving the Council State more Actual Geld from the transactional sales themselves. Conversely, in Currency Appreciation, the Council State receives less Actual Geld from those same transactional sales.

These implications are what brings us back to the role of railways, freighters, and airliners. All three are pivotal in determining whether the Council State gets to receive its State Revenues from the LER Process or from the transactional sales as part of its RTAs. Seen in this light, the Balances of Trades and Payments are an extension of the same “tradeoff” affecting how the Reciprocal Theory of Value (RTV) and the Work Theory of Money (WTM) influence the conduct of MTEP under the Work-Standard. How much tangible wealth should come from the production process and how much from the transactional sales?

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