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A Deeper Look

A DEEPER LOOK

INTRODUCTION (AUDIO)
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The following audio clips have been created to offer you a Deeper Look into the social structure proposed in Currency.

“Why” clips to give you a snapshot of the factors that inspired the writing of the novel.

“How” clips will address the question, “How did The Network manage to get elected?” 

“2028” These share a glimpse of what the world looks like right after The Network was

elected in the year 2028.  

 

Listen below to take a deeper look 

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Individual Clips
DEFINING CURRENCY (AUDIO)
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DEFINING CURRENCY (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) Let’s define currency. Which definition of currency are we referring to? A standardized medium of exchange. In the beginning, that exchange took on many forms… from beads, to clay discs, to pieces of different metal that caught the eye of the beholder. They started out as small, flat metal discs with designs impressed on them. Then, when portability became an issue, small pieces of paper bearing the designs were soon introduced to accompany those metal discs. Over time, those pieces of metal and their matching pieces of paper, became what we know today as money— currency. Where did it all go wrong? Simple answer: human nature. Greed crept in. People began to amass and hoard money and thus started the ever widening chasm between the haves and the have nots. It’s bizarre when you think about it. What real value does money (those little pieces of paper) have anyway? We can’t eat them. We can’t wear them. We can’t use them for shelter—but they have provided a convenient means of exchange for a long, long time. And during that time, the gap between those people who have a lot of those little pieces of paper (money) and those who do not, has widened. Net result: the haves now wield increasingly more power and prestige over the have-nots. This disparity is the underpinning of the majority of the problems our world faces today: whether it's hunger, homelessness, access to health care, pollution, clothing, shelter, climate change, war... The list goes on and on. These very problems were the genesis of both Currency - The Book, and Currency - The Network.

THE CURRENCY OF CHOICE (AUDIO)
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THE CURRENCY OF CHOICE (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) How did The Network come up with its Currency of Choice? To answer this, The Network raised three key questions: 1. How can individuals and nations be put on an equal playing field? 2. What currency does every person on the planet have an equal supply of? 3. What can be done to eradicate the gap between the haves and have-nots, while still addressing all of the world’s major issues? Enter The Network —a new social structure that shifted the currency of exchange. And that new currency is: time. Here in the year 2028, the currency that we use for everything is our time. And because our time is our currency, no one person is any “wealthier" (in any way), than another. When we see someone who has something we don’t have, or is doing something that we’re not doing, we understand that it’s all about the choices they have made—and we could have made those same choices if we wanted to. They have chosen to spend their time on that “something”. It might be fancy clothes, or a trip to Disneyland, or dinner at an upscale restaurant… it’s all about choice. The question is, “How do each of us want to spend our time—and on what?” But the biggest choice that everyone had to make at the time of the election was whether or not they wanted “The Network” and whether or not they wanted to govern themselves—to decide everything for themselves! They had to embrace the idea that The Network is not separate or distinct from the people. We The People…. We Are The Network. And now, together, here in 2028, we have decided. As a majority, we decided to no longer be victims. We The People, decided collectively, in a free election, to become The Network. And in time, we will need to evaluate everything and decide for ourselves once again. Should enough people in the future decide they want to re-elect our old system of external representation—a system where they are governed by a handful of politicians that make decisions for them—all they will need to do is vote for that in their next upcoming free election.

WHY? MONEY - POWER - POSITION (AUDIO)
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MONEY - POWER - POSITION (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) It was impossible to turn on the television, or browse the online evening news and not see that money, power and position were at the root of almost every problem, every evil, every challenge and every issue that we faced back in 2024. No matter what crisis, it was obvious that someone, somewhere was making a huge profit, or amassing power, from someone else’s misfortune. Needless to say, those profiteers and power-mongers weren’t about to change. They liked things just the way they were—and most of the rest of us allowed it to happen. What were we thinking to allow greed, the need for more and more, to cause so much suffering in the world? Even though it was all around us, how did we manage to shut it out; to turn a blind eye on the effects of our choices. I heard it argued that we couldn’t be held responsible for such things as “illness”. But then, let’s be honest ... we knew that often, even illness was the result of a lack of healthcare, poor nutrition, or abysmal living condition. So again, we knew that the real culprit was the huge gap between the haves and the have-nots; and we continued to condone it. And … it was not only people paying the price. Our ecosystem was screaming at us to stop, to change our ways. But most of us seemed more interested in maintaining the status quo than we were in making changes. The status quo had somehow become more important to us than the survival of our own planet. Maybe it was just that we were too scared to step out of our comfort zone, to give up our perceived lifestyle. That was ... until The Network came along. Now— because money is no longer the driver—the need for profit is gone. So our ability to ensure everyone has enough of everything they need is our focus. And we no longer feel the need to cut corners, or to make things quickly or cheaply—and certainly the need to make everything disposable is long gone. As for power …now that all companies and businesses are owned by all of us, the race for power and position is history. Now that no one person has power over any other person’s future—and with the 3 year limit imposed on all working positions—everything has changed. As for equality: the simultaneous removal of money, power and position was key. Had any one of these three elements been allowed to remain, achieving true equality would have been a pipe dream. Had money been allowed to remain in any form, digital or otherwise, power and position would have gone underground and re-established itself there. Things could have gotten worse, not better. Had power or position been allowed to remain, the influential and the elite of the world, would simply have found another barter system to replace money and we would have been right back where we started. In essence, because they were removed simultaneously, no longer does “money, power or position” in any form, call the shots in this world.

WHY? HUNGER (AUDIO)
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WHY? HUNGER ! (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) Back in 2024, the headlines read: HUNGER: THE QUIET PANDEMIC—ONE IN TEN HUNGRY! Three photos were lined up under that headline. The first, a photo of an an emaciated child sitting in the dirt with an empty bowl in her lap. The second, an elderly man in a dilapidated military jacket sitting at an table opening a can of dog food. And the third, was a garbage truck dumping tons of spoiled vegetables into a land fill. Further down in the article, another picture showed a buffett table laden with tray after tray of tantalizing food, surrounded by people loading dinner plates. The last line of the article read: THE HAVE’S AND THE HAVE-NOTS !! These disturbing scenes were the type of fertilizer that helped initiate the growth of The Network. Hunger was one of its first targets. Over the next 5 years, from 2024 until today, The Network has had shadow committees working to overcome the biggest problems. Hunger being front and centre! As The Network gained momentum, more and more people became involved. The Network had help — wealthy benefactors and philanthropists made so much possible with enormous donations. Land owners who believed in the cause, either loaned large tracts of land for agriculture, or in many cases, just donated it outright. But… the biggest help came from ordinary people—working people who donated their own personal time off work. The unemployed ... people on social assistance ... retired people ... they all came forward to help. The goal: to create an effective from field-to-table system of delivery, while eliminating waste. From planting, to growing, to harvesting, to processing, to packaging, right through to delivery; for each and every one of the major food groups. For those foods we could not grow here at home, our international division went to work. It became all about trade, especially with countries that were already part of The Network. Import requirements were valued against exports, creating a smooth, efficient mechanism of exchange. The year is now 2028. Now the headlines read: HUNGER: A PLAGUE OF THE PAST! The Network’s plan is a reality!

WHY? HOMELESSNESS (AUDIO)
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WHY? HOMELESSNESS ! (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) The Network has officially been in place for less than a year, and already headlines read: HOMELESSNESS ON THE RUN! But we’re not done yet. Just 5 years ago (back in 2024), sadly, every city in the world was unofficially divided by class. There were slums—places known as “the wrong side of the tracks”. There were working class neighborhoods and yuppie areas. And of course, there were entire “communities” for the elite and upper class. Much, much worse than that, there were more than 500,000 homeless people in the US—numbers that were comparable to most countries around the world. And in some countries the numbers were even worse. People living under bridges, sleeping in subway stations. HOMELESS. Maybe it was because of these shocking statistics that people became so motivated to help. Under the shadow guidance of The Network, although not yet elected, committed people and agencies began offering generous and unprecedented support. Donations of building materials, money, labor and qualified workers started rolling in. In order to provide housing for everyone, The Network’s criteria for housing was approximately 800 square feet for single people and 1200 square feet for a family. Once these objectives are reached, The Network’s long term plan is to implement a three stage program for housing. Suffice it to say—no one will ever have to sleep under a bridge, or cuddle up next to an air vent, to survive the night, ever again!

WHY? HEALTHCARE (AUDIO)WHY? HEALTHCARE (AUDIO)WHY? HEALTHCARE (AUDIO)WHY? HEALTHCARE (AUDIO)WHY? HEALTHCARE (AUDIO)WHY? HEALTHCARE (AUDIO)WHY? HEALTHCARE (AUDIO)WHY? HEALTHCARE (AUDIO)WHY? HEALTHCARE (AUDIO)
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WHY? HEALTHCARE ! (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) In 2023, the total compensation package for the leading drug manufacturer’s CEO, was (according to Google) $33,348,000.00, In 2023, a one year supply of a specialty drug for just one person would cost that person over $300,000.00 US. Because of these sickening statistics, it’s not surprising that astronomical hospital bills were the norm. The problem was that many, many people who needed to go to the hospital simply could not afford to go. And those who needed ongoing care for chronic conditions, but didn’t have medical insurance, were in even bigger trouble. And…. for those really unfortunate souls who needed one of those specialty drugs? Unless they had money, they were doomed to a poor quality of life ... or compromised health ... or even death. It is easy to see where the cynical statement, “there is no money in good health” got its rise. That was the norm in 2024. The cost of drugs was a political “hot potato” that politicians juggled; because it was known that drug companies exerted massive influence on those in political positions. Profit reigned, riding on the back of inequality. The climate of the entire health care system in 2024 was fertile ground for sowing the seeds of The Network. 2028. Enter The Network. With money gone, profit is no longer an issue for our drug and health care sectors. The target has switched to equality; where everyone is accorded the opportunity to enjoy both physical and mental health. Today the focus is on proactive wellness care for everyone-- not just a privileged few like it used to be. Now, here, in 2028, good healthcare is no longer only for those who can afford it.

WHY? HELPLESSNESS (AUDIO)
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WHY? HELPLESSNESS ! (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) Sadly, helplessness was alive and well back in 2024. People felt helpless to change the system ... helpless to deal with the growing poverty ... helpless to deal with hunger and homelessness ... helpless to deal with an unresponsive government. They felt like they had no say, no power, regardless of what particular political system they lived under. These feelings led to a general malaise that can best be characterized by the phrase “what’s the use?”. Helplessness thrived and had been thriving for decades. But also in 2024, at the very first hint of The Network, we watched the dawning of the demise of Helplessness. The Network heralded the birth of a new philosophy: Educate—Activate—Participate! People were encourage to get involved, get active, talk to everyone and anyone who would listen. Today everything has changed. There is no ineffective government. There are no politicians. There are only people; many of whom work on commissions. Commissions whose job it is to pave the way for whatever the majority of the electorate voted for. The people on the commissions are doers, not deciders. They must rotate back into the general populace at least every 3 years. No one can cling to power. Today there is active and direct representation—true democracy. Today, people are encouraged to vote (via an electronic portal on their personal devise) on everything of a major nature. And its a simple majority rules. But to vote, you must pass an online test about the issue you’re about to vote on. This ensures that you understand the pros and cons of the topic; and the consequences of your vote. Today, here in 2028… the future is in our hands. There are no victims or villains—and there is no room for helplessness now. Helplessness might have been a life and death struggle back in 2024, but thanks to The Network, today an obituary might read: HELPLESSNESS DEAD!! And it is with a sense of relief that we report the demise of this villain.

WHY? OVERPOPULATION (AUDIO)
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WHY? OVERPOPULATION ! (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) In 2024, we had a world population of 7.8 billion people. Dangerously close our Earth’s maximum capacity. Now, here in 2028, The Network has a goal to reduce the world population over the next four generations. At the end of those four generations, our planet will experience the first negative birth rate it has had in centuries. So, obviously, once any country achieves a negative birth rate, an adjustment to policy will need to be made for that country. But until then, over population will continue to feed into every problem we are battling. From hunger ... to lack of healthcare ... to homelessness ... to water shortages ... to pollution ... and the list goes on. Now, having won the election and with the foundations in place to provide for our basic needs, The Network is ready to tackle one of the root problems--over population! The strategy? Simple. If two people have only one baby, then one generation later (roughly twenty-seven years) we will already have cut our population in half. Do this for three more generations and our 7.8 billion will be down to roughly Nine Hundred and Forty million people. And this number does not include people who chose not to have any children ... or those who chose to adopt ... or those who died young. 940 Million. Now that’s a number our Earth can support. The approach? Equally as simple. Following the delivery of her first baby, mom is asked to consent to tubal ligation. Safe, simple, effective birth control. But what happens in the event of an accidental pregnancy or should mom refuse tubal ligation? There are no negative repercussions-- because the system itself is self-regulating. Everyone knows that the extra goodies in life are more abundant for smaller families. And what about those circumstances that are unforeseen, like the death of a child? Simply put: compassion is built right into the system. The reversal of a tubal ligation is not only accessible, it’s safe and effective. It goes without saying that every person has the indisputable right to procreate. But, hand in hand with that right should come the responsibility not to over-populate.

WHY? FAMILY (AUDIO)
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WHY? FAMILY ! (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) A glance back to the rat race of 2024 ... Most everyone had to work roughly one half of every year just to pay their taxes. That day, usually in mid June, became know as “tax free day”. And, the other one-half of their income was expected to cover everything else. Including all the basics, like: food, clothes, rent, utilities, car expenses, gas, repairs, insurance. AND also from that same, leftover other half, they had to try to pay for all the really important things in life, like: savings for university, or medical insurance, or even just braces for their kids. So, the challenge back in 2024 was to find a way to pay for all of this ... and then have enough money left over to enjoy a family life. Money, to do things like: take your kids to a movie, fund the activities they would like to take part in, or just make sure you could afford to take time off to be with them as a family. What a contrast to the world now in 2028! Taxes are gone, and so too is the stress of paying for housing, food, medical, education and all those “other” essential expenses. Suddenly, your 4 hour workday provides for all your family’s basic necessities. And, if you choose to work an additional 4 hours at a Career-Job, (that’s a total of no more than 8 hours a day), you’re doing so, to enrich your life. Not only in terms of doing something fulfilling and worthwhile with your time, but also to bank fulfillment hours. So that we can take our kids to the movies ... get them into that sport they want ... or take that extra special vacation everyone has been looking forward to. The true value of the Fulfillment Division is abundantly apparent. The attitude of 2024--where life took a back seat to work, and taking time for family, or leisure was rare--has done an abrupt “about face”. People are now rediscovering the value of leisure and the importance of family time. Everyone is breathing a silent “good riddance” to the stresses of what now seems like long ago.

WHY? FEAR (AUDIO)
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WHY? FEAR ! (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) Let’s talk about fear. Fear can be overt or covert, physical or emotional, but regardless of its form, fear controls humans—and it was doing a fine job of controlling all of us in the not-too-distant past. What are some of the effects of fear? Frustration ... immobility ... and all too often, aggression—like the aggression that was gripping the world in 2024. And it wasn’t just adults who were fearful. Many young people were close to being paralyzed with fear. Will I ever be able to own my own home? Will I get a good enough job to survive? As they watched their parents struggling to live from paycheck to paycheck. Are we on the brink of a third world war? Will our planet even survive? In the novel, Currency, it’s Fred who talks about the problem first. To quote Fred: “Fear. Everybody is scared to friggin’ death. It’s putting ‘em under pressure, and most people don’t do good under pressure. So we got shootings and road rage and robberies — but underneath there’s just one big friggin’ problem. Fear.” Also in the novel, it’s Laurel who reflects on how shocked some people were when The Network was elected. To quote Laurel: “I marvel at their naivety. Did they truly think that much fear in the world would not have a consequence? The year is now 2028. And fear—the force that controlled—is gone. The Network began systematically breaking down fear by engaging people in every facet of their new approach to problems. The result: everything has changed. The future is not only bright, there is nothing to fear. Hunger has been eliminated. Poverty is no more. Everyone has a home. Everyone has clothes to wear. Everyone has access to medical care when they need it. Everyone has the same right and access to education. Everyone is safe. Everyone is equal. Fear is no more!

WHY? URBAN SPRAWL (AUDIO)
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WHY? URBAN SPRAWL ! (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) The Year is 2028. Land is life, and at last it is being treated like the precious life-giving support system that it truly is. No more are we treating land like a resource or a commodity. Historically, we watched good, productive land be expropriated by urban sprawl. Or by greedy developers for massive subdivisions—that often had paid-off politicians paving the way. But today, land management policies now focus on the best use of the land (both rural and urban) rather than potential profit. Now, vast tracts of land are being reclaimed for farming, ranching, grazing—even forestry. Our focus is now on the environment. And, we have fair and effective land-use policies that benefit all citizens. Rather than mostly benefiting a select few. In the past, it was money that did all the talking and nothing else mattered. Property lines have disappeared, leaving only international borders and state/provincial lines in place. Coast to coast, border to border and everything in-between now belongs to every citizen in the country! Granted, initially there was pushback from some very powerful and wealthy groups. Now, many of these people are seeing the overwhelming positives that The Network is offering and are becoming strong supporters of its land management philosophy. What is that philosophy? So long as any group or individual is allowed to amass property of any kind (including land), there will always be inequity; and in this world inequity does not need to exist. We can do things differently. No one truly needs ownership over anything. And the driver for someone wanting to attain ownership, is to garner some form of wealth or power.

WHY? MENTAL HEALTH & DESPAIR (AUDIO)
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WHY? MENTAL HEALTH & DESPAIR ! (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) We are mid-way through 2028. The first year that the Network has been in place, and already the media headlines are reflecting a number of positive effects from this radically different system. Headline: SUICIDE RATE DROPS DRAMATICALLY ! Headline: INTERPERSONAL STRESS LEVELS FALLING ! With headline after headline reporting reductions in stress—locally, nationally, and internationally—all types of conflicts are plummeting. Assaults, shootings, homicides, drug abuse levels—all falling, almost simultaneously. In 2024, before The Network became well known, mental health issues that people were suffering from were at epidemic levels. The competition to succeed at the expense of others, ran rampant. The credo of, “be number one”, was the platform on which our society was based. Stresses caused by this edict were the catalyst behind the epidemic of violence, despair and suicides, that we were all aware of. Mass shootings, bombings, homicide, assault, war, genocide, opioid epidemics—how well we remember!! People were not designed to live in a constant state of stress, so naturally the result was an overwhelming number of mental health issues in the population. These, in turn, fueled more stress-related behavior and violence. A vicious circle. Very little value or emphasis was placed on satisfaction, contentment or happiness in 2024. “Get ahead at all costs”, was the unspoken recipe that bombarded the populace. Enter The Network and its radically different approach to life. With the removal of money, power and hierarchy, the fundamental importance of fulfillment has come to the forefront. People now have hope. Where there had been no hope, now there is not only hope—but there are also endless possibilities. Not just for a select few either, but possibilities for everybody. Good mental health throughout our nation and the world is flourishing in this new environment and the future looks great!

WHY? POLLUTION (AUDIO)
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WHY? POLLUTION ! (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) Were we so focused on money, power and position in 2024, that we were foolish enough to be poisoning the very host that was providing for us? Giving us life? ... In retrospect, it certainly looks that way. We were polluting our planet to the brink of making ourselves extinct. Protest groups all over the world were like voices crying in the wilderness, as they tried to stem the ever-increasing flow of pollutants that were choking the very systems that were sustaining us as a species. But money, power and position, forged onward. Ignoring the cries of protest. Oceans full of single use plastics. Rainforests falling to the roar of bulldozers—claiming the wood was nothing more than a resource! Wetlands being drained, rather than recognizing them as the essential water filtration system that they were … and are. On and on it went—all in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. We were rapidly reaching the point of no return; the point when our earth would be beyond recovery. But then came a single word: NETWORK. 2024 became a turning point. At first, it was just curiosity that gripped a small segment of the population. But the voices prevailed and grew in volume. More and more people realized that massive change was desperately needed to bring our host back into balance and The Network seemed to offer the solution. More people came on board with this radically new concept expressed as: No Money, No Power, No Position. Controversy raged. And The Network concept gathered even more momentum. Hope for a sustainable future became a reality as old systems gave way to new. Earlier this year (here in 2028) The Network was voted in, and among its major initiatives, wiping out the scourge of pollution is a priority. We are not there yet, but with The Network guiding us, we have definitely turned the corner.

HOW? THE PEOPLE TOOK CHARGE (AUDIO)
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HOW? THE PEOPLE TOOK CHARGE (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) Many people back in 2024 were not only skeptical about The Network, a lot of people simply dismissed it, saying, “It will never work. Nobody’s going to vote for that!” But what they did not see, or chose to ignore, was the rapidly growing number of people who were desperate for change. People who were homeless, or had been marginalized in some way. People who were wondering how they were going to feed their families with the rising cost of food. Obviously, all these people voted for The Network. Along with them was the 34% of the population who would never own their home due to the price of buying a house. And, many people who did own their home, but were parents— and because university tuition in the US had gone to over $100,000 for a simple 4 year degree—many of those people also showed up at the polls to vote Network. Add to that, everyone in need of medical care but couldn’t afford it… and, well, you get the picture! Simple math should have told those skeptics what was coming. History has a way of repeating itself. Remember the peasants who fought in the Russian Revolution with pitchforks and axes … and won? History was, once again ripe for change, but this time pitchforks and axes were replaced with information and peaceful determination to create a better world. A world of equality and respect—where marginalization due to race, religion, or financial status—would not be tolerated. And they were prepared to do whatever it took to achieve that. Who would have guessed that within months, people from every walk of life would be volunteering their time to work in fields ... factories ... filling even the most undesirable positions? They formed shadow committees to mirror every level and branch of the existing government. So that they might learn the intricacies that would be necessary for them to run what would become, “commissions”. People were determined to create sustainable, lasting change in a peaceful manner. Lofty ideals, but it was the poor, underprivileged majority who really made it happen—because they had both time and sense of purpose on their side. These were the factors that The Network naysayers in 2024 had overlooked.

HOW? POLITICAL CHANGE (AUDIO)
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HOW? POLITICAL CHANGE (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) The year is 2028, and The Network is in place. How did this happen—seemingly overnight? ... It didn’t. It took 5 years of planned, gradual change. One of the biggest changes: no more politicians. No longer does a representative decide for a constituency. Today we decide for ourselves and vote on issues personally and directly. As a result, power mongering and corruption have all but disappeared. Another change revolves around ownership. All businesses … all farming and food production … all health care … all service industries … all companies large or small—have gone from being privately owned, to no longer being owned by any individuals. Everything is now owned collectively by everyone. Part of the initial work was deciding which businesses would remain and which ones would be amalgamated. We, the people, as owners, recognized that healthy competition is important. Even when both businesses have the same owner—i.e.: you and I, the people. Competition encourages creativity and initiative. Encouraging everyone to ponder, “which of our branches will come up with the best product or service”? No longer is profit the focus of any business or industry. Today, its’ not about offering services, or making things quickly and cheaply. With plenty of people-hours available to create the goods and services that we need, quality and durability are the new watchwords. In a lot of ways, our jobs have not changed. The same skills and educational qualifications that landed you a job in the pre-Network world, are the same skills and qualifications that are required today. And, people with advanced skills are being encouraged to take on Commission positions. Then, their expertise and experience can be shared, with more junior people to help make the transition to The Network as seamless as possible. It’s encouraging to see how, already, people are beginning to embrace the concept of not owning a business ... or land ... or a service industry. Many people are saying that they’re experiencing a sense of relief now that the burden of ownership, and the responsibility for making a profit, has been lifted from their shoulders. Now they are enjoying their work every bit as much as they are enjoying their leisure. Better still, thanks to these changes, poverty and inequality have all but evaporated.

HOW? A NEW JUSTICE SYSTEM (AUDIO)
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HOW? A NEW JUSTICE SYSTEM (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) The Justice System in 2024 was built on two platforms: criminal law and civil law. Money was the wheel on which each system revolved. In the criminal law system, the quicker a lawyer could get the criminal back on the street to re-offend, the quicker the lawyer could make some more money. On the civil law side, lawsuits for every imaginable issue—from automobile accidents, to malpractice suits—overwhelmed the courts and legal settlements were ridiculously high. The result? Prices were being driven higher and higher. Insurance companies increased their premiums to stay profitable, and drug companies were pushing the cost of life saving medication out of reach. So, on the one hand, dangerous criminals were allowed to walk the streets, and on the other, the costs of insurance, drugs and other services skyrocketed. That was the reality of 2024. Here in 2028, we have The Network. With money gone, there are no longer any drug, personal injury or malpractice lawsuits whatsoever, so the old litigious mentality is dead. In criminal law, the focus has shifted to harsher sentences and no parole for serious crimes and repeat offenders. Capital punishment has been re-introduced for murder one and treason. And, as expected, it once again is proving to be the great deterrent that it always was. Then the attention shifted to the judges themselves. Their terms as a judge, as with all other jobs and positions, became limited to 3 years, making it virtually impossible for power or position to become a factor in their tenure. Most importantly, an Anti-Corruption unit has been formed. Their function is to anticipate and eradicate all attempts being made to create any underground economy. Any form of black market would re-establish a system where money, power and hierarchy would prevail—which sadly, would eventually lead to poverty and inequality once again. So, the anti-corruption unit is the “watchdog” for The Network. They police everything from voting to favoritism, to nepotism, to power grabbing; even queue jumping. The old adage, “it’s not what you know but who you know that matters” is quickly being eliminated. The justice system has indeed changed. Here in 2028, with the elimination of money, power and position, crime has plummeted.

HOW? THE SECOND AMENDMENT (AUDIO)
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HOW? THE SECOND AMENDMENT (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) Headline of 2024 reads: ANOTHER NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING! Almost instantly the proponents of strict gun control raised another cry to ban private ownership of guns. Then, a very different headline from the same year reads: PRO-GUN NEW HAMPSHIRE BOASTS LOWEST MURDER RATE IN THE US. Similar articles from other Pro-Gun states report: “Violent career criminals are not applying for state permits to carry guns and statistics in states where citizens are ‘permitted to carry’ showed a marked decrease in violent crime.  This is an obvious deterrent to the would be criminal; never knowing when they might encounter an armed citizen." Meanwhile, in other news, a study done by The Fraser Institute of Canada, found that countries where sweeping firearm regulations have been introduced, i.e. Great Britain, Australia and Canada, all saw dramatic increases in violent crime since the introduction of the regulations. This article further states that, “What makes gun control so compelling for many is the belief that violent crime is driven by the availability of guns. The analysis overall found that this assumption was false.” Let’s fast forward to 2028, and the election of The Network. Among the more controversial issues The Network tackled, was the issue of gun control. The Network immediately banned all assault type weapons, like sub-machine-guns. But rather than completely banning all other defense and sporting firearms, The Network chose to emulate the success of places where citizens are encouraged to carry firearms. Next, The Network created rigorous firearm training programs, and enforced an intense vetting process for all prospective owners. Hand-in-hand with this they have instituted severe and exacting penalties for gun-related crimes. By adopting this position, The Network recognized that a gun is merely a tool. It does not commit crimes. People do. Which raised the question “Why do some individuals resort to such extreme violence?” The Network shifted its focus onto this question. Immediately it became evident that much of the cause of the violence was related to people experiencing some form of marginalization. The real culprits were poverty, despair, fear, mental health and unemployment. The Network’s mission is to completely disarm all of these true culprits. Their mandate is to address the root causes of gun violence while, at the same time, ensuring that we don’t become a defenseless society. History has taught us that defenseless societies are extremely vulnerable for takeover by authoritarian rulers and dictators. Scarier still, had The Network disarmed the populace, especially as we implement this major change in our social structure, other superpowers around the world would certainly have seen us as “ripe for the picking”. Instead, by encouraging everyone to take part in legitimate, responsible gun ownership, we now have a much safer, much less violent society.

HOW? TRANSPORTATION ADDRESSED (AUDIO)
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HOW? TRANSPORTATION ADDRESSED (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) In 2024, success was often measured by the kind of car a person drove, or the number of vehicles they owned. That equated to some 284 million cars and light trucks in the US. Worse yet, there were over 2 million semi’s with tractor-trailers. The result? The cost of building roads and maintaining highways was astronomical. More problematic, though, was the staggering amount of air pollution being produced. Enter 2028! While international movement of freight and passengers on ocean liners and air travel has remained much the same, the entire face of domestic travel has changed dramatically. No longer are there privately owned motor vehicles. Yay!! One less measure of elitism. And the use of fossil fuel for tractor-trailers and buses has all but disappeared. Instead, solar power has taken over and ‘The Train’ is king! Multiple level tracks have replaced most highways. The lower level tracks are for slower moving freight trains; and upper level tracks are carrying the faster passenger trains. Our new rail system has three segments that move people all around the country. First: The Transcontinental passenger trains are the lap of luxury. With upscale dining cars, posh viewing carriages, and spacious berths for either singles or families; each boasting private three-piece bathrooms. Second: The In-State commuter trains are a blend of high speed, privacy and comfort. Designed to replace the family car—with first class service on board! Each private compartment has lie-flat seats & built-in computers. There are different compartments that cater to different-sized families or groups of up to six. In this stress-free environment, coupled with comfort and privacy, no one misses the family car. And third: The Inner-city Transit was built primarily for speed and efficiency. Most city streets are now transit lines for this train. These three trains have made travel—whether it’s local or from coast to coast—easy and comfortable. If you’re wondering how outlying areas and towns are being connected, we have “The Truss”. It’s a bus designed to mimic the comfort of the In-State commuter. It’s adaptable enough for an “on the fly” pickup at Truss Stops and sophisticated enough to allow for in-advance booking if you want a private booth. And, if you’re longing for the nostalgia of being behind the wheel, you can use banked hours to “rent” almost any kind of vehicle (or motorbike) and go for a drive. Even take a vacation! The benefits of this new system for people are obvious, but the real winner is our environment.

2028! THE THREE DIVISIONS (AUDIO)
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2028! THE THREE DIVISIONS (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT) 2028 newspaper headline reads: NETWORK ELECTED ! What does this mean and what does it look like? The anticipation (mingled with apprehension) is palatable, as the old systems are replaced with the new. Simply put: the three key elements on which our previous society had been built, are no more. No more money. No more hierarchy. No more personal power. Time has become the commodity of commerce. A commodity that every person has an equal amount of. To accomplish the goals of the newly structured society, The Network was divided into 3 Divisions. Division One: The Social Division. A Division to look after the 6 basic and essential needs—including: food, shelter, clothing, health care, education and safety. The sense of security, and relief that everyone is feeling is immeasurable! Division Two: The Career Division. Although working in this Division and having a Career is not mandatory, most people are choosing to either pursue their previous Career farther, or embark on a new one. By doing so, they earn 4 hours of banked time daily that they can spend however they want to in The Fulfillment Division. We’ll talk about this one in a minute. Even more exciting, for those people who previously could not afford the educational costs of the Career of their dreams, those doors are now open. Now, everyone can have a Career that brings them passion and excitement. Division Three: The Fulfillment Division. This Division recognizes the desire for goodies in life, and it provides the mechanism to have them. Here is where people spend the banked time they’ve earned from their Career-Job. The list of choices of how to spend banked time is endless: Arts & Entertainment / Sports & Recreation / Travel & Leisure / Product & Services / Philosophy & Religion / Culture & Heritage / and more. The Fulfillment Division is like the cherry on top of a sundae. By dividing our social structure into these 3 Divisions, The Network has made available to each and every person the means and opportunity to have all their basic needs met. An opportunity to find passion and meaning in life. And finally, the time and me