A Bleak Outlook
Our world system is breaking down – and we are feeling it. Recent events, such as the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the first ever negative trading of oil futures have proven that the world is needing a change in our economic outlook. The average person can understand how the pandemic has caused economic downturn. It’s visible in the jobs lost, the lack of cars on the road and the lack of trust among people. Cashiers have literal walls in front of them to prevent infection and social distancing has prevented many from venturing outside. These are just a few examples of how our lives have radically changed in such a short time. For those in the know of Wall Street, low trading numbers in oil futures is possibly a greater disaster.
It’s a Cycle
It’s times like these, with such an uncertain future, where do we look? Well, we know we cannot rely on where we are much longer. Every few years, with increasing frequency, we face recession and depression while national debt grows in both times of prosperity and in times of lack. We cannot rely on government to bail us out, because government can’t force you to buy or sell. Nor can we look to Wall Street, with its unpredictable (or predictable, depending on who you ask) fluctuations to make us and companies rich.
We’ve Lost our Focus
The problem isn’t Wall Street or government per say. But what we have done as a society is become reliant on the idea of turning a quick profit at the expense of others and speculating on what the future will hold without considering our friends, family and neighborhoods. Many get rich quick schemes rely on this selfishness, perpetuating the lie that personal enrichment is all about who has the money. Most give up on trying that and instead settle into a job that pays.
The lie: Money can guarantee peace of mind.
The truth: We want the liberty to get what we want and the security to get what we need. If the US dollar became worthless tomorrow, what would it do for you? What if instead of relying on money to provide us our liberty and security, we looked back to each other. It’s so simple a concept that a child can understand it.
As we said in the introduction, the problem of our current system is that we look to money to guarantee both liberty and security. The problem is that implodes beyond a cursory examination. So, what do we look to instead? When money is “valuable”, the “value” of gold or silver decreases, but the reverse happens in an economic downturn. Gold doesn’t guarantee economic security just as the dollar doesn’t guarantee the liberty to get what you want.
“Do me a favor…”
Do you remember these words? When was the last time you asked someone for a favor? In order to do this, we require one thing: a relationship. When you ask that question, you’ve done something: you’ve created a currency. In some cartoons and movies such as “Dumb and Dumber”, you’ll see IOU papers as throw-away jokes to indicate that the person who “borrowed” the money is unable to pay it back. But what if they were? In a real-life example, when an older child has done something destructive and they are unable to pay back the debt in money, parents may ask the child to “work it off” by doing things that the parent has deemed as valuable, according to the child’s abilities.
The point is that relationships are another form of currency, a long-standing, in time and memorial form of currency that was the foundation of our money and the only means of guaranteeing income for businesses in the future. This is why ratings and loyalty programs (for example) are so important to our business vernacular. Merchants must do a good job or they cannot get repeating customers. A broken relationship = monetary losses.
Broken Relationships Broke Main Street
Before big box retailers and online megaliths could guarantee everything we wanted at an inexpensive price all at one convenient location, Main Street relied on bringing people in through establishing a relationship with them. Sales were not needed all that often because loyal customers equaled return business and word of mouth was the biggest advertising platform. Mr. Tucker knew Mrs. Johnson because she shopped at Mr. Tucker’s store. But, the appeal of cheaper prices drew Mrs. Johnson away and eventually Mr. Tucker had to shut down his store. However, if Mrs. Johnson had a long standing relationship, she wouldn’t be so inclined to go away because she knows where Mr. Tucker gets his materials and how well he makes his products. Brand loyalty, despite the higher price, would draw her in.
Broken Main Street Broke Communities
Mr. Tucker knows little Jimmy Johnson because not only does he live down the street from Mr. Tucker, but Jimmy’s mom, Mrs. Johnson, shops at Mr. Tucker’s store and they know each other. Mr. Tucker occasionally keeps an eye on Jimmy for Mrs. Johnson when she has an unexpected situation come up. When Jimmy gets old enough, because he’s established a relationship with Mr. Tucker, he gets a part time job at Mr. Tucker’s store. When Jimmy (who now goes by Jim) gets older still, he can go back to Mr. Tucker’s store to get his needs met and if he maintained a relationship, perhaps gets cheaper prices.
This is more than brand loyalty – this is community. Trust leads to relationships, which leads to community, which leads to economy. These things all work together to create genuine prosperity and is the foundation of a genuine functioning economy.
As we have attempted to establish, relationships are the foundation of healthy economy and community. But, how do we monetize relationships? We’re not saying that relationships are cheap and can be bought. We’re talking about trust, the foundation of relationship. How much trust do you have for a merchant? How much trust does that merchant have in you? You’re “level” of trust determines how much you can trade. Let’s put this in a “concrete” example – we quote it because if you haven’t caught on already… well, here’s the example. How much trust do people have in gold? What can gold do for us in and of itself? Nothing. It’s nothing more than a medium of exchange – its value (economically) is determined by how much people want it. If people started hating gold tomorrow, how much would it be worth (economically)?
You are Valuable
Let’s take the same analogy and substitute it with you. How much trust do people have in you? What can you do for us, in and of yourself? Everything. You are not just a medium of exchange – your value (economically) is determined by how much people want you. If people started hating you tomorrow, how much would you be worth (economically)?
Your work, your ability to produce well (whatever that looks like), can be monetized.
Unyti Through the Power of Community
What we have done is monetize your capacity to work. We call it “Value” and its no coincidence that our symbol for it looks like a person, because “U” are the start and “y”ou are at the heart of Unyti. You are the basis of currency and it’s not just an ideal – this is reality. You drive economy every day by driving your car, buying online or in store, working at your job, doing your hobbies, talking to friends, family and strangers.
Our Mission, Your Goals
Common Unity is at the heart of community. Unyti seeks to give the remaining Main Street stores and aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to have an online community to bolster Main Street, but not at the expense of Wall Street, so that we all can reinvigorate what made our neighborhoods trusting, caring places instead of our homes being our castles and our yards being fiefdoms. That’s quite a mouthful, but by joining us, this is what you agree to – personal enrichment by enriching yourself and others. Again, this isn’t an ideal – this is how economy should work because this is how economy starts and how it grows.