[FoRK] Chart of the Day...

Jebadiah Moore jebdm at jebdm.net
Wed Jun 9 10:13:41 PDT 2010

On Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 12:02 AM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

> Especially annoying trends since most of them did not take care of
> themselves, smoked, didn't exercise, etc.
> I wonder if the solution, probably in the distant future, is guaranteed
> reasonably priced housing / healthcare / etc. through some mechanism that
> doesn't generate its own gigantic money sink.  In a hand-wavy sense,
> providing good, distributed living resources with economy of scale and
> commercial competition.  You would have to have strong built-in competition
> and "refactoring" and refresh frequently to avoid something like "the
> projects" result.  Roughly what we need for housing in general in some
> areas.

What about a health insurance corporation, organized sort of like a co-op,
run as a for-profit but with shareholders being (at least mostly) customers.
 It would be in the corp's best interests to maximize health, and therefore
to promote healthy behaviors.  One of the easiest ways to do that is to
provide low-cost healthy food, and as a massive organization it would have
the ability to either grow its own food or to buy it at discount wholesale,
then resell it to members at cost.  The distribution costs would be lowered
because they could provide healthcare to employees at, again, cost.  The
corporation could hire its own doctors as well.

You could lower cost further for some members by organizing group living
facilities--low cost apartments/housing communities with group dining,
on-site healthcare (including preventative), etc.--which would have be
beneficial by cutting transportation costs, having a slightly more
"enforced" healthy eating regiment, ease of administrating preventative
care, health benefits of social living, elimination of redundant facilities,
etc.  Beyond the cost advantages for members would be the ease of living and
group organization.  There'd be incentive for workplaces to cluster around
these facilities, and indeed some portion of the members could be employed
at the facilities themselves.

Essentially communes, minus the hippies.

I think key is that it's not an attempt to circumvent the market system,
it's not mandatory, it sidesteps the danger of internal collapse that
regular communes have by having organization from the outside, and it
doesn't have a social movement or the like behind it (although I guess you
might naturally get clusters like this--some facilities oriented towards
Christians, some towards academics, etc.; you could even intentionally
"theme" them in this way).

Jebadiah Moore

More information about the FoRK mailing list