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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Billionaire Philosopher King?

In the late 1990s I came to two important realizations.  First, I realized that Internet television would emerge and eventually end Cable TV.  The second was that a confluence of forces, including Internet TV, would result in the emergence, probably in the 2010s or 2020s of a new trend toward semi-autonomous microstates, similar to Andorra, Bahamas, Luxembourg, etc. that will be carefully designed to enable and facilitate a specific set of values and lifestyles.  

The Internet TV realization, when I published it, was universally rejected. The microstate argument was simply ignored.  Today, with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, CBS All Access subscriptions and iTunes, Amazon and Google Play purchases, the idea that Internet TV will replace Cable is not so far fetched.  The first values based microstate is being planned right now in Honduras.  It is the first, but it is far from the last.

There are about 600 million households in Western civilization and by 2040 at least a third of them will have entered the Information Age (median household income of 600,000USD) and moved to microstates and independent city states such as Singapore.  If the average micro state is comprised of 100,000 households, Western civilization will need 2,000 of them by then.  With an average market value of 3 million per household, that is 600 trillion USD of construction.

Because most microstates will be an expression of a larger Culture of Affluence, the developmental structure will likely be two tiered.  To make this more concrete, I will use the example of Polymathica, though it will likely be just one of 25 to 50 Western Cultures of Affluence.  As I mention elsewhere, the population of the various Cultures of Affluence will likely follow a Pareto distribution.  So, adjusting for the 1/3 that will live in microstates at that time

  1. 10,000,000 households
  2.   9,500,000
  3.   9,025,000
  4.   8,573,750
  5.   8,145,000
  6.   7,738,000
  7.   7,351,000
  8.   6,983,000
  9.   6,634,000
  10.   6,302,000
I suspect that Polymathica will likely be the eighth largest Culture of Affluence and, therefore will have about 7 million units built at a total market value of 21 trillion USD.  Within the Polymathic Institute will be a general design team that will receive a 1/2% fee for design, copyright and marketing services.  Most of this will accrue to the Institute, itself, and be used to promote polymathic research, education, careers and lifestyles.  However, each microstate will have a dedicated design team comprised of creative visionaries.

Polymathica will build 7,000,000/100,000 = 70 microstates by 2040.  They will average 100,000 households but will vary from as little as 10,000 to as much as 500,000.  The average will have a market value of about 300 billion USD.  The design team of each will differ, of course.  Some may have a single dominant designer, others may have design teams of 2 to 6.

The microstate design team will receive a design fee of 2 1/2%, which will, then average, 7.5 billion USD, and create anywhere from one to six billionaires per microstate.  Of course, of the 70, some designers will move to a second microstate.  Still, this process will likely create nearly 200 billionaires among the designers, just in Polymathica.  Among all the Cultures of Affluence, the total will likely exceed 5,000, compared to the total of about 1,500 billionaires today.

While the construction of these microstates will undoubtedly create many additional billionaires in finance, construction, commercial real estate, retail, etc. I am focusing on these microstate designers because they are essentially 'philosopher kings'.  They will hold no political power, but by carefully designing every aspect of the microstate, they will provide the vision and wisdom that Plato imagined for philosopher kings when he said, "
philosophers [must] become kings…or those now called kings [must]…genuinely and adequately philosophize".

I have been designing a Polymathican microstate on Samana Cay in the Bahamas.  You can read much of my work on the page Polymathica Villages.  It is not yet complete, but it has sufficient information to get a general sense of the process. As I have done this, I have come to realize that this is precisely the kind of work that is appropriate for a 150+ D15IQ member of the Inappropriately Excluded.  The traits of high IQ and polymathic knowledge are absolutely necessary for success.  And by doing it, if it leads to billion dollar plus net worth, one can accept that it is fair compensation.  He or she has created a near utopia for 250,000 people.  That should be worth a lot.

The village or microstate design is more than just platting and designing buildings.  Yes, comprehensive line of sight renderings will be executed.  Skyline renderings will also be done.  The physical structure will be designed with the utmost of care.  However, also, a complete economic model will be built that allows the designer to set realistic rules.  Retail and professional services will match demand against economies of scale.  Infrastructure will be designed to assure efficiency and effectiveness.

In other words, when I set the minimum wage at $50 per hour, I first made sure that boutiques, restaurants, etc. would be sufficiently profitable at that labor cost without requiring overly burdensome prices.  Part of that is establishing the proper number of permits.  What cities tend to do is allow overbuilding to the point where labor rates are driven down to their lowest acceptable rates.  The argument is that the additional choices improve the prevailing quality of life.  However, if by maximizing choices, it creates a large underclass, that simply isn't true.  

Samana Cay will have a 1,400,000 square foot fashion mall with average revenue per square foot of around $4,500.  That is sufficient to provide a robust selection for the residents but still allow a minimum wage of $50 per hour to be supported.  In fact,, my calculations suggest that competition for the best fashion consultants may push hourly wages substantially higher than minimum wage.

I also work deeply into infrastructure, energy, water and sewer, transportation, etc.  In otherwords, every last detail is worked out to assure that the microstate runs efficiently.  I also do a whole lot of role playing.  For example, I may imagine that I am a twenty-something age couple with a household income of 170,000 USD.  Where do they live?  What work do they do for how many hours per week?  How do they get to work, to shopping, to entertainment?  It is Saturday morning; what options do they have for the day?  Can they afford them?  In other words, I am not just designing a village or set of villages, I am designing lifestyles that are proper for Polymathicans.  The village designs encourage polymathic lifestyles.

When people consider relocating to Samana Cay, they will be given detailed descriptions of the body of laws, programs and policies.  I design them, though we will use 'focus groups' a lot to determine how Polymathicans will react to different ideas after they have been explained.

The importance of this is that political action, and the social friction it causes, is minimal.  If a family doesn't like the rules, they will move somewhere else rather than village.  By relying on market mechanics, the importance of politics fades to relatively insignificance.  This is what I call Market Based Governance. The rules are part of what you sell.  It doesn't mean that there are no democratic processes; it means that they are relatively innocuous.

This is a massively polymathic design process and an extremely complex project.  It will require the best minds available who, frankly, today are being excluded from large scale projects such as this.  They will not be exactly what Plato imagined as a Philospher King, but they will provide essentially the same services.  Upon success, they will not only be very wealthy, they will be lionized by the residents.  The won't be George Washington - more like Benjamin Franklin.

While it is still a half decade before even the first microstates will start having residents, it is certainly not too early to start planning.  So, I hope that at least some of our Polymathic Institute Members will use the tools that they will acquire from membership to begin the process.  I know that I will dedicate some time to building a design team for Samana Cay.  Do you want to build a eight or nine figure net worth doing something really, really important?  I know that I am not averse.

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