Un-Un-Cat — Episode 27. The A in HUMAN; ArtCoin365 economic stimulus for the arts.
The value added to culture and society by creative work may never have been more important in human history than right now.
For President Green’s 3rd Christmas in the White House, she gave the Nation a publicly owned gift — ArtCoin365.
President Green’s 1st Christmas in the White House she had given the Nation Read-Free-News-Passes of fifty cents per day or $3.50 per week to support an actual ‘free-press’ not manipulated by advertisers nor owners, by supporting local news, digital newspapers, small-town radio broadcasts and podcasts. This was a publicly owned independent agency for journalism, like the US Postal Service. Only instead of being responsible for delivering the mail, this was a digital branch of PBS and NPR, designed to provide journalists grants and funding for news organizations.
RFNP (Read-Free-News-Passes) was a digital-pass to read past the paywall on any online newspaper, news magazine site, or streaming news podcast for everyone with an USPS current resident digital address in the new internet. In a comment “like” box after an article or video, everyone had the option to use the digital pass to “pay” or tip five-or-ten-cents per read/stream or the system would just keep a list of news consumed in each person’s RFNP account and divide the read-free pass up automatically each week.
The US Military Built USTeX for text internet and the Four public streaming channels for video and audio podcasts: News, Sports, Education and Government, all were going very well. The end of the digital divide was very popular. (see Episode 23. — Heal the Digital Divide).
As the new internet had been connected, one local area at a time, small newspapers arose transformed into publicly owned free-press podcasts and local government public forums. People figured out that using the RFNP funds raised the money for the news they cared about; fast. Many of the boomer generation maxed out their $3.50 RFNP per week fund, others only tried it a few times.
The first year free-reads averaged .19￠ a day per American, with over 327 million participants adding up to $62,130,000 dollars per day. Times 365?!
Twenty-two-billion-six-hundred-seventy-seven-million-four-hundred-fifty dollars worth of value added by the peoples’ participation alone, not using any tax revenue.
A few points need to be clearly understood about this “digital-chunk-of-change”. 1. This money is NOT raised from taxing anyone, it’s added human capital generated actively by the people reading and clicking news media. 2. It’s a journalism grant program for payroll and operation costs only. 3. All distribution of funds is transparent, no private shareholders, bankers, or investors get a single penny because this money belongs to the people, not to the wealthy who think they can buy and “own” everything.
The second year of RFNP participation was up to an average of .25￠ a day per American, and other countries started up similar programs. The third-year saw .31￠ a day per American.
This resulted in a more than complete reversal of the biggest drop in employment in newspaper industry history that had happened in 2018 and 2019. And after many stations and newspapers were bought back by the people from the conglomerates and the people were back in control of their free press, not all the money raised by reading and comment tips was spent. Because it was public money that only existed as grants to support the free-press, if news organizations didn’t need the money to keep the roof over their heads, and they had already covered payroll, then the money doesn’t exist. In a similar way that money on offshore accounts isn’t useful to anyone. But, unlike the hoarding of the wealthy in accounts that just sit there earning interest rich people didn’t actually need, because RFNP is public money, the people voted on what to do with the excess funds.
Every local district chose to spend their RFNP digital money, across the US in local forums and town halls. While some of the ideas were unique to each county, trends would catch on and spread. For example, education programs middle school to community college in journalism, funding digital news archives of local history and news in local public libraries, paying off debts and legal fees for court cases that had made the local news, building off the grid local news broadcast centers with free room and board for journalists, crew and their families.
All this to say that when ArtCoin365 was given to the people at President Green’s 3rd Christmas in the White House, the people were educated about how to use the chat-box tip system. They knew how it worked and now instead of journalism clicks worth a penny-for-their-thoughts, the funds they generated were for economic stimulus for the arts.
The National Endowment for the Arts and an entire list of grant and funding programs for public art had been notified that ArtCoin365 was in the works for just over two years. They had been working with all types of artists to make sure that as many people as physically possible could participate. Especially art forms traditionally difficult to make a living with. Examples being, dance, poetry, theater, performance art, and all kinds of crafts, fiber arts spinning to fashion, ceramic art, hand metalsmithing, woodworking, glass blowing, the paper arts, etc… It’s possible to make money with the arts but next to impossible to make a living wage since the industrial age.
ArtCoin365 will use the same banking locations as the $1,000 per month UBI for Americans over 18 years of age. The county-owned credit unions and post office money orders were set up to process the art grants. And every craft person, writer, cartoonist, painter, and sculptor needed to have their own official web presence to get paid.
The idea is simple, just like with the RFNP each person had an ArtCoin365 digital account to tip any artist or writer they liked any amount they wanted from one cent up to until they used up their dollar per day limit for that month. The fund would not be sent anywhere for 30 days. Then art and literature grants would be distributed on the first business day of the following month.
“Why should ‘starving artist’ still be a term in an age where billionaires hoard more money than they could spend in a thousand lifetimes?” President Green said in her Christmas gift “card” to the nation. “This is not about making anybody wealthy beyond what they need. Just like the Free-Press news passes, if the money isn’t spent, it doesn’t exist.”
The next few years were an art renaissance like the world has not seen since the 14th to 16th centuries but at 21st-century speed. The public, not the oligarchy decided what was art. ArtCoin365 transformed the day to day life of every American and spread to a global movement.
For the first time in thousands of years, artists didn’t have to starve to buy art supplies and tools. Studio spaces were built everywhere. Art “monasteries” in revamped McMansion estates and old industrial warehouses flourished. Every town had an art gallery, a theater + events stage, community studio for all types of crafts, a publicly sponsored tailor and cobbler shop for custom clothing and shoes made to fit individuals, artist co-ops, and editing and demand publishing houses for all types of books, board games, playing cards, greeting cards and posters. Many quit their day-jobs and let the robot do the “shit” work. Leave flipping burger over greasy grills to the robots. Let musicians with a natural aptitude for numbers make music, not spread-sheets. Let janitors with college degrees leave the cleaning to machines. Millions more got a better job working for and with artists as the locus of production moved back to hand-crafted goods. Creative people designed the works of art and hired engineers to design robots to do everything from needle-work to custom glass art.
As micro-brew beer pubs took out mega commercial beers; original personal creative goods took out the wasteful overproduction of the industrial age. As creative people thrived, the superstores shilling cheap goods made in poor nations at near slave labor in sweatshops shipped thousands of miles were now the ones going out of business, not the small local businesses.
The environmental impact of people-power was well below carbon neutral. People wanted green products and to keep their world thriving, and the emotional good of creative work being valued over profits for the top 1% was close to a utopian transformation.