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Whole Person Accounting and Accountability

Discussion of efficiency and profitability are based on the assumptions of current accounting methods. These methods are based on the point of view of the irreducibly separate individual. The only way that profit can accrue is for the minus on the side of where the resources are taken (outside the self, in the externalities) is ignored and attributed to the seller/producer of the good or service. Discussion of efficiency and profitability are based on the assumptions of current accounting methods. These methods are based on the point of view of the irreducibly separate individual. The only way that profit can accrue is for the minus on the side of where the resources are taken (outside the self, in the externalities) is ignored and attributed to the seller/producer of the good or service. If this is not done there is no profit to be had. Moving resources from one side of the self boundary to the other always requires energy to create motion and overcome the friction in the boundary crossing and it is only energy (mostly in the form of matter and human time/energy) that is moved from one place to another. Where is the profit? Nothing is added if the separate-self position is equally offset by the non-separate self-position. This, whole person double entry bookkeeping, is closer to describing the reality of things than the exclusively separate-self based profit accounting model.

Exchange across the individual self-boundary will always occur and the net result will not be profit, only exchange. In fact when our system ignores the non-separate self in the accounting equation we end up degrading the value of everything because we used to much energy moving things from one side of the self boundary to the other. When we do this there is a waste of energy (inefficiency) and side effects due to the expenditure of energy in excess of what is needed to achieve the human purpose of expanding the scope of consciousness. Exchange of material across living semi-permeable boundaries is occurring all the time and all life forms collect the material they need for the ongoing processes of life within their boundaries. So aggregation, concentration, centralization, or profit in this sense, is part of the natural model of life. But profit is self-limiting within the context of cell boundaries. The goal of life is not to accumulate more and more; the boundary of the individual could not tolerate the expansion it would burst. Before the individual would burst through over consumption, the inner workings of their cells and organs would become clogged with the excess and the processes of life within the individuals? boundary would degrade.

The whole person accounting system must account for the exchange of material and energy across the boundary of the individual by quantifying the effect of the exchange in both the separate and non-separate self. In the language of present day economics the whole person accounting system must account for externalities. For a system to be complete it would have to capture both positive and negative externalities and it would have to capture them whether the externality primarily effects the material or non-material world. For each type of industry the positive and negative externalities will be calculated as a ratio of units of production to the particular externality. The company creating the product or supplying the service will pay the cost of negative externalities to the effected individuals via a cost redistribution tax at the end of each year. The benefit of positive externalities received by others will be returned to the company via an end of year tax that returns 50% of the benefit to the company. The remaining 50% benefit of the positive externality will remain with its indirect beneficiaries creating generalized wealth outside the immediate scope of the transaction. Companies would remain largely free to make any choice that maximized their profits. The people who are paying the real cost of negative externalities, and in effect providing subsidies companies with large negative externalities, would no longer be burdened with paying the cost of an externality. Companies that have benefited from others paying the cost of their externality would be freed from the burden of the perverse incentives in their business environment and would be freed from the pain of having to compete in a market that destroys more value than it creates. Transition externality tax breaks could be given on a time limited basis for businesses that aggressively pursued a transition plan that was intended to restore their externality to a positive balance. This would result in a rapid change in many industries based on competition and would be very dynamic. The net effect of this system would be to reinforce economic activity that generated positive externalities and transfer money to the generators of those externalities. The money that negative externalities would transfer to the public would rest half in their hands as wealth and half in the hands of the generator of positive externalities. Choice would remain in the hands of the individual but the non-separate aspect of the individual would be valued in the economic system that views the both the separate individual and the non-separate individual.

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