Inclusive Value Ledger
= "The Inclusive Value Ledger would equip every New York resident with a digital wallet".
RON KIM & ROBERT HOCKETT:
"Money is just “that which pays” in a payments system. If you want to improve money and value flow, improve payment architecture. Build a platform that allows value to emerge, to be stored, and to flow in “cash-poor” communities that now lacking authority to issue conventional currencies.
This is what prompts our Inclusive Value Ledger (IVL) initiative, a peer-to-peer (P2P) savings and payments platform that will massively accelerate value creation and commerce by enabling the free and unfettered flow of value among residents, businesses, and communities.
The digital technology that undergirds IVL enables communities to generate, capture, store, and exchange value that has gone untapped now for literally centuries. It is for this reason that Assemblyman Kim, joined by Senator Julia Salazar, is introducing legislation to establish a new payment platform built upon this same technology.
Here’s how it works: Each year, the State of New York disburses some $55 billion in tax credits, pension benefits, and other program payouts to residents of the state. Some of what’s paid can be spent anywhere, while some is redeemable only within the state. At the same time, the state receives annually comparable revenue in the form of tax remittances, franchise and licensing fees, returns on investments, and other inflows. Why not enable these moneys to circulate freely?
If, for example, a New Yorker qualifies for a tax credit now in virtue of some community service that they have recently performed, while their taxes are not due until next year or later this year, they could spend these credits now on the IVL, transferring the value to a counterparty from whom they wish to purchase something of value. This accelerates the money flow into and throughout the communities that need it, particularly for residents without a bank account, who would have to cash paper checks and pay exorbitant fees.
With this architecture in place, governments could take unprecedented steps to reward value. Were the State of New York to decide to reward people for the care work they do on behalf of elderly neighbors or of children in need of school tutoring, it could do so simply by crediting their IVL wallets, thereby “monetizing,” in spendable form, valuable community contributions that today go unvalued. Currently in New York, Medicaid does pay for home health care (such as nursing services), but it is limited and does not count intergenerational care, such as a family member quitting work to care for their elderly. That could be added as a supplement, and the IVL system would take care of the payment.
IVL would empower the individual to make autonomous and dignified decisions instead of allowing secondary markets, like for-profit adult day-care centers, to limit the ways they receive services. For example, many older adults commit fraud by accepting kickback money at adult day-care centers or pharmacies because they desperately need cash for everyday needs, including even such noncriminal activities as socializing with peers at local diners. With IVL, they would have the ability to use a part of their benefits for socializing with their peers without being forced to commit fraud.
Our plan is for New York to equip every resident, be it a person or business, with a smartphone-downloadable P2P digital wallet, into which state credits are paid and out of which remittances can flow. These wallets would, in turn, be linked to a single state “master account” administered by New York’s Empire State Development Corporation in concert with other state agencies. The system would enable wallet holders to instantly transact with each other: Ron’s paying Robert will be the simultaneous debiting of Ron’s wallet and crediting of Robert’s in the master account.
As a result, every New Yorker will be able to store and trade value any time at their discretion, anywhere in the state.
Establishment of an IVL will bring saving and spending capacity—it will bring value—to every cash-poor corner of New York, from economically challenged neighborhoods in our cities to isolated hamlets and farmsteads in the countryside. New York localities at last will be able to value—in the “putting your money where your mouth is” sense of that word—the astoundingly numerous types of community-building and care work that now go unvalued: All they need to do is to credit such work, in what now will be spendable form, through New Yorkers’ IVL digital wallets. A verification system would ensure that residents would only be paid for the value they create.
The value added by those who tutor kids after school, get groceries for elderly neighbors, clean up our environments, or help raise our families will finally find social or transferable expression. City and state can enable spendable value-expression to all, and hence foster value flow throughout their economies, by crediting IVL wallets. The ease of money flow will circulate more funds through local economies than just by depositing a check in a bank or cashing it with an exploitative payday lender.
This is not as far-fetched as you might at first think. During the Great Depression, cash-poor U.S. states issued and accepted complementary currencies called “scrips” to support local economies that no longer had cash flowing in. And today, developing economies across Asia and Africa are leapfrogging directly from barter economies to phone-wallet money economies, bypassing the barren middle ground of now-obsolete, under-inclusive brick-and-mortar institutions that leave so many unbanked.
Even in the contemporary U.S, private-sector businesses issue alternative currencies to support purchase of their products and knowledge of their brands. Most of us use these new tokens (airline miles, hotel points, credit card rewards, etc.) without even realizing we are using “alternative currencies.” The problem is that, like tax credits, they come with limits or restrictions. What’s needed is a shared pool in which everything can be traded and thus made fungible—“money” in the fullest, most unrestrictedly value-expressive sense. That’s what our IVL facilitates.
We now have the resources and technology needed to construct an economy that is truly inclusive, that values and rewards currently unrewarded and undervalued work. No longer need we stoop to tax-abatement bribery or accommodate privatization, consumption without production, and disposal of human capital for the benefit of a few absentee corporations and their few ultrarich owners.
The flourishing, valuing, and sharing of hitherto untapped human wealth on New York’s Inclusive Value Ledger is the way to return the fruits of productivity and political sovereignty back to the people." (https://prospect.org/economy/dynamic-inclusive-money-economy/?)
* Article: Hockett, Robert C., The New York Inclusive Value Ledger: A Peer-to-Peer Savings & Payments Platform for an All-Embracing and Dynamic State Economy (October 16, 2019).
"Many units of government see a need for more inclusive money, payment, and retail banking systems for the generation, accumulation, and free transfer of spendable value among their constituents. This document sketches a smart-device-accessible peer-to-peer (‘P2P’) savings and payments platform – the ‘New York Inclusive Value Ledger’ – which, thanks to new digital technologies, can easily be instituted and administered by any unit of government in the State of New York that wishes to supply this critical productive, commercial and financial infrastructure to all of its constituents. The resulting ‘Public Venmo’ will enable the monetization, hence the production, saving, and spending, of far more value than the state’s economy allows at present. Inclusive monetization will combine with inclusive economic participation to generate the most dynamic state economy New York has ever known."