Tuesday, June 01, 2004

A Private Space Transportation System (Geocities Rescue)

In the wake of the Columbia disaster, it is time to create a new strategy for the exploration of space. This essay advocates formation of a consortium to study, market, design and build an integrated Space Transportation System (STS), including a permanently manned and privately owned Space Station.

Why is this a Christian Left topic, you may ask? Because providing for a privately funded international Space Transportation Systems diverts resources that are otherwise be used to perpetuate the war machine. Additionally, creating a new consortium to construct the system provides another setting where 21st Century Economics is applicable.

Department of Defense budget cuts at the end of the cold war have eroded the American aerospace business base. While the war on terrorism has revived the Defense Budget for a time, it is obvious that we soon run out of enemies. If union-owned firms and Employee Stock Ownership Plans adopt the 21st century management style I have described above, and this management style leads to the adoption of democracy in American multi-nationals, the need for a large military-industrial complex diminishes further. As this need shrinks, something must go into the void in order to prevent the creation of some conflict or enemy as a way to keep the military-industrial establishment alive. The natural answer is the exploration of space.

On the space science front, both the Administration and Congress seem reluctant to expand the space program to pick up the slack. Like other public programs, the space program is limited in its creativity to programmed activity, status quo assumptions and budget ceilings. An illustration of the state of space technology is the failure to take greater advantage of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 collision with Jupiter. An STS could have provided a special mission to the far side of Jupiter to observe the actual impacts, and to make closer observations of the phenomenon. Recently, International Space Station Alpha downsized due to contracting, funding and safety problems. The size of the crew has been cut to two for the foreseeable future, making accomplishment of the station’s scientific mission all but impossible. The slow pace at which ISS Alpha is built under-uses contract capacity and is wasteful. Fixed costs and overhead are charged to smaller and smaller pieces of variable effort over a longer, more expensive time period. This increases the total cost of the system over one procured more quickly. A more efficiently procured system is also a better system, as optional features not otherwise affordable are added. Part of the blame rests with the decision to rely on the Space Shuttle. A privately managed system would have long ago gone with a more efficient alternative rather than succumbing to bureaucratic inertia.

Funding the Space Transportation System with appropriated dollars at any speed raises serious questions of generational equity. Generational equity matches program funding to program use. Using this criterion, it is unfair for the current generation to fully fund a project with a useful life as long as an integrated STS, especially if doing so directly worsens a national operating deficit crisis.

If government is incapable of taking space exploration to the next level, perhaps it is time for the private sector to step in. Aerospace firms must radically refocus their efforts away from contracted science, with its cost reimbursement inefficiencies and evolve, leaving the government behind.

A more robust Space Transportation System is financed by consortia of defense firms through bond issues, possibly with government guarantees. Fees for transport, research, manufacturing and satellite maintenance from NASA, DoD, the Department of Commerce, universities, corporations, other nations and excursion passengers finance operations and the repayment of debt.

Consortium Creation
Actually building a Space Transportation System is a multi-step process. The first phase is consortium creation. An Industrial Space Consortium of aerospace firms is established under the control of a consolidated Board of Governors, with an Operations Committee made up of Component project managers and an Executive Director to oversee the entire effort. Consortium creation includes all activities from reception of Investment Proposals to the final agreement forming the consortium. Beyond that, I spare you further plan details, although I will share them with interested aerospace firms for a nominal fee.

Preliminary Analysis
The second phase is Preliminary Analysis. Each member company contributes to the analyses of the STS as a whole, and for any components or sub-components the Consortium member wishes to design, develop, build and/or operate. Members companies prepare white papers for group discussion to assess the current state of space transportation and research, both public and private. They identify potential public and private sector clients for assigned segments of the STS, both in terms of available resources and willingness-to-pay, and draft preliminary schedules and system engineering studies. Member companies explore debt financing options, as well as the possibility of seeking loan guarantees from various governments for certain research, development and construction operations. Here are some of the possible parts of an integrated Space Transportation System:

1. Space Station
The central component of and advanced Space Transportation System is a manned space station complex, including manned and unmanned weigh stations and depots at various altitudes. Manned stations provide bases for all other operations. The main station component is large enough for the generation of an artificial gravity field, food production, personnel and material transfer, energy processing, permanent habitat areas, administration and hospitality for occupants of facilities without artificial gravity. Major systems in such a station include superstructure, cooling, food production, energy, gravity, emergency propulsion, astronomy, research, radar, docking, habitat, vehicle and satellite maintenance and electronics.

2. Satellite construction, repair and maintenance
Satellite construction, repair and maintenance facilities are included on a manned space station, or be based there for accomplishment in satellite orbit. Given raw materials and components from the surface and placement of manufacturing personnel on the manned station, satellite assembly and maintenance is accomplished in orbit. The key question to be considered is whether the personnel involved in building satellites on earth are willing to live in space.

3. Depot and provisioning
Raw material provisioning can be accomplished using unmanned launches to a set of coordinates designated as an orbiting depot. This depot contains a manned habitat and a maneuvering vehicle for the management of material containers in orbit. Separate vehicles ferry material from the depot staging area to the permanent manned station.

4. Manned space flight, passenger carriage
A regimen for cheaper manned space flight, and the carriage of paying tourists is sure to evolve, given demand. Integration with Space Shuttle and National Aerospace Plane vehicles, as well as newly designed systems, is part of this task. This system includes routes to and from various Space Transportation System components, including eventual trips to the Moon and points beyond.

5. Lunar colony
It is also time to undertake advanced studies of a lunar colony, if only to test nearby technology that is necessary for a mission to Mars. Such a colony potentially provides a permanent staging area for space exploration, a permanent human habitat, and an alternate source for raw materials for orbital facilities.

6. Space exploration
The Space Transportation System is an essential part of an integrated space exploration program, both to provide raw materials for orbital facilities and to provide facilities for governmental and academic clients. The foci of such a program are science and exploitation of sources of raw materials. This activity is also a rich source of clients.

7. Ceilonautic Institute
A not-for-profit research and teaching institute is established for research and education in the space science and transport training, including mission, manufacturing and research personnel. Candidates for employment in the Space Transportation System are trained, as well as paying students from governmental space agencies.

8. Inner-space Exploration - Ocean Habitats
Companion studies are accomplished on modular undersea habitats to further study the possibility of self-contained environments with air cycling, food production, and water purification systems.

9. Nuclear Research
Nuclear research that is no longer safely accomplished on earth is accomplished in orbital and lunar facilities, including development of more efficient reactors, waste management and storage systems, inter-planetary nuclear propulsion systems and deep space energy generation systems.

Initial Design
The actual Space Transportation procurement occurs in three phases: Initial Design, Development and Construction, and Operations. A long-term payment strategy over the life of the system is suggested to guarantee generational equity. The Initial Design involves heavy up front design and testing efforts, which eventually save on construction and support costs. It is accomplished by the issuing of cost based research contracts and in house research projects that put a premium on creativity. A special capital fund is set up, with the government loan guarantees, to fund these costs.

Development and Construction
The Development and Construction phase includes all activities from Full Scale Development to Initial Support. The Consortium and its member companies undertake this phase and assume the costs of all the preliminary efforts. Once the design and funding plan are complete a funding package is put together. This package takes the form of a multi-year bond issue, and is assembled in the same way state and local governments fund capital projects. A financial and responsibility audit occurs at this point to assure program financial integrity. Part of the funding plan includes contingencies for program cancellation. When the package is structured and approved, loan guarantee requests are submitted to the relevant government agencies for approval of loan guarantees, which are enacted by Congressional Authorization and Appropriations Committees. Revenue from STS operations fund the redemption of the bonds over the useful life of the STS. After funding is approved construction occurs as fast as Consortium member performance and delivery system capacity allows. The Consortium continues to execute this phase until the second year of full operation, with its central audit facility performing inspection, acceptance and audit functions, as well as any technical support required.

The last phase is Operation. It is performed by the Consortium, funded by revenue from clients in the public and private sectors. This continues from completion of construction to component obsolescence. A venture such as this offers a new way for aerospace firms to do business. After more discussion on a mission to Mars, we return to a description of how aerospace firms utilize 21st Century Management.

Going to Mars (Geocities Rescue)

Going to Mars (and beyond) requires two things, a vast expansion in space infrastructure and breakthroughs in propulsion.

Space Infrastructure
International Space Station Alpha is currently in orbit and behind schedule. It is dependent upon the now grounded NASA Space Shuttle for its completion. I suggest we think much bigger and build a real space infrastructure consisting of a series of space stations at various orbits around Earth, the Sun and Mars. They are all to be capital financed, as suggested previously, and to some extent all rely on funds from space travelers and the inhabitants themselves (who establish permanent residency in space with their families).

The space station of the future is self-sufficient in terms of food production and waste management. It spins so that it has its own gravity. There are tourism facilities, spacecraft and satellite maintenance facilities and scientific facilities, all of which are revenue generators. Each station has its own internal economy and social infrastructure, including restaurants, hotels, banks, entertainment, retail, schools, social services and religious institutions. If station facilities are part of a larger institution or chain, that entity pays for transport and housing of personnel, as well as salaries. People even retire in space, possibly living on lower gravity levels. Lunar colonies are quite attractive to the elderly, since they are at one-sixth earth’s gravity. Lunar colonies and those in close earth orbit have, as a primary function, the building of space ships and other colonies. It is much cheaper to blast unmanned craft into orbit at high boost than to launch manned craft with completed modules, as we do now, provided you have a workforce that wants to live in space.

The station operational staff is under orders, with officers and crew. The commander of any space station or colony is Colonel (excuse the pun) and has some sort of transport assigned to it for near station operations. There are also escape pods in case an evacuation is necessary.

The following space stations are proposed, leading a trail of breadcrumbs to Mars:

BETA: Building platform for ships and colonies

GAMMA: Low earth orbit station with artificial gravity

DELTA: Depot point to which unmanned supply ships and catapulted material are launched to and transported from.

EPSILON: Advanced building platform for ships and colonies

ETA, IOTA, KAPPA: Geosynchronous stations at 120 degree intervals

LAMBDA: L-5 Space Colony

MU, NU: Lunar Colonies

OMICRON, PHI, RHO: Stations in solar orbit between Earth and Mars to serve as emergency facilities and solar system observatories at 120 degree intervals. Possibly stationed on asteroids if in the asteroid is in a regular orbit.

SIGMA, TAU, THETA: Arosynchronous stations over Mars for study and colonization.

UPSILON: Low Mars Orbit station

ZETA, XI, OMEGA: Martian colonies. Martian satellite colonies are also developed.

Gravitational Propulsion (Geocities Rescue)

I believe it is possible to build a propulsion system that uses centrifugal force to cleanly harness atomic power to move between space stations. Whether such a propulsion system is used to launch from the earth’s surface is uncertain, as reactor technology is likely not efficient enough achieve orbit.

To harness centrifugal force to propel the shift, magnetized weights are spun around a hinged drive shaft. These weights attempt to achieve a 90 degree angle from the source of the motion, the drive shaft. They are prevented from doing so by a repelling magnetic field. If the force of motion of these weights is greater than the mass of the craft, it will move (provide components are stronger than the forces exerted). At least two of these systems are used, rotating in different directions, so that the craft is stable. Altering the power of each system or moving the repulsing magnets provide steering control to the craft.

Do I know for certain that this will work? No, I am not a physicist. Do physicists know? No, not unless they have actually tried to build a working model with the intention of having it work. Now, you ask, why am I publishing this on my web page and my manifesto? The answer is obvious to anyone who deals with corporate and government science. I have no doctoral degree in physics. Without one, the establishment does not talk to me. It is possible that putting this out here leads someone to do an experiment, if only because someone else might. Of course, if someone does make this work, building an interplanetary craft is not be a trivial enterprise. For those who really want to make such an enterprise work (without relying on governmental largesse to do it - and with cheap lift the last thing we want is government control of this) a new way to manage aerospace efforts is offered in the next essay. In any event, someone with the wherewithal to test and build this will likely contact me to participate in such an effort.

Aerospace Firm Management (Geocities Rescue)

Two types of firms apply here, consortia of existing firms and start-up firms. Consortia of established firms find suggestions here on how to adapt their operations for life in the new century. Start-ups find suggestions on how to use the principles set out in this volume to create new capital, both human and physical.

Total Quality Management
Quality is important in the development of aerospace equipment, since the effect of defects is catastrophic. It is not enough to have a TQM program, it must be central to the culture. For both established and start-up firms, responsibility is assigned to the lowest possible level. Of course, everyone who knows anything about TQM already knows this. What they don’t know is that pay and bonus structures have to mirror this change of responsibility. In traditional capitalist firms, responsibility was assigned to the highest level and delegated down, with pay structures reflecting the assignment of responsibility. TQM and Baldridge are looked at as merely management fads in most organizations because the failure to change compensation systems has signaled employees that management is not really serious about the program. When decision systems are flattened while compensation systems remain hierarchical, employees take the implicit hint that their efforts are not as valued as those are within the hierarchy, and ignore the system accordingly. In employee-owned aerospace firms, if responsibility is assigned more evenly in a TQM culture, pay mirrors that assignment or the TQM program is doomed, as are the people who depend upon the hardware and software developed by that culture.

Recruitment and Compensation
Recruiting the best possible people is essential in succeeding in this high stakes business. The suggestions offered in the essay on the 21st Century Career apply to both established firms and start-up firms, albeit in different ways.

Established firms have the financial wherewithal to attract the best employees by paying them bonuses for education already earned or by paying tuition, salary and living expenses for the best students in the country, thereby gaining competitive advantage. The downside is that they already have an established culture, so an education and pay audit is completed on every single employee to determine the extent their salaries have compensated them as well as they would have been compensated if they had been brought in under the new rules. Management then takes the difficult step of lowering the salaries of employees whose pay to date has been adequate compensation (which is better than the current practice of laying off senior workers and replacing them with two younger workers for the same price). Failure to do so results in two different pay systems, one for long term employees and one for new employees, leading to demands by the newer employees for higher salaries with time. For employees who have been under-compensated, cash bonuses and stock grants are awarded to make these employees whole. This benefit is also used to attract new, mid-level employees who have been under-compensated in prior jobs or who have outstanding educational debt. Firms purchase and pay off that debt and award stock to reflect the cost of going without while going to school.

New firms have a different problem and different opportunities. Unlike older firms, they have no existing culture that needs to be dealt with. However, they also are without existing funds in order to pay students to pursue their educations or the lines of credit to underwrite student debt. In order to compensate for this, venture capital is required for payment of student tuition and salaries as well as employee salaries. The extent to which venture capital funds, rather than revenue pay for these human assets is the extent to which venture capitalists own the product of their labor – a situation that employee-ownership was designed to overcome. If venture capital is used, agreements are made up front on the extent to which venture capitalists receive profit. As revenue is earned, there is a transition period during which the percentage awarded to workers gradually increases until it matches their costs relative to the total cost of the operation, leaving the venture capitalists with the profit for physical capital only. Why would a venture capitalist accede to such circumstances? Self-interest is the reason, as even with a mandated profit-sharing program, firms following this business model have the best employees and produce the best innovations, producing more profit than any competitor, as not only planned, but also unplanned innovations result.

21st Century Housing
Of all the industries on the planet, employee-owned aerospace is the most likely to offer long-term contracts to employees which contain home mortgage financing provisions for the purchase of an environmentally-efficient domicile. Any firm with designs on space colonization, whether it is a pre-existing consortium or a startup, should strongly consider offering whatever environmental system is built for space to their earth-bound employees. It goes without saying that employees who actually live and work in space or on lunar or Martian colonies also have this feature as part of their employment contracts. Newer firms are possibly in a better position to do this, since their usually younger employees do not already own homes. Existing firms also offer this benefit to those employees who wish to sell their existing home and sink these funds into a 21st Century Home with a smaller mortgage.

Companies are urged to adopt employee ownership structures along the lines described above, using either Employee Stock Ownership Programs (ESOPs) or cooperative forms of organization. Newer firms, which are in the process of creating wealth through sweat equity use stock grants in lieu of pay for both performance, innovation and to compensate for existing education with stock rather than payroll. ESOP plans are not necessary unless the firm uses venture capital financing, in which case using an ESOP is just the ticket to buy out the venture capitalist. Whatever the structure, employees must have their say, either as individuals or through their labor or professional organization, in the operations of the firm. While all employees are heard, using share ownership as a voting method gives more experienced employees a greater voice. This is wise, since lives are in the balance when some decisions are made. Employees who come to the firm from another firm convert their retirement equity to equity in the new firm, giving them a voice commensurate with their experience while putting them at stake. Providing greater control and ownership to older employees allows for the creation of a flatter wage structure. This also has the effect of decreasing expenses while rewarding loyalty. A caution is in order, however. While older employees gain greater shares each period as dividends are reinvested, basic share awards are equal. Nothing destroys motivation among junior employees like combining unequal ownership and unequal acquisition. Awarding the same number of basic shares prevents this perception, improving morale all around.

Twenty-first Century Homes: Interindependence (Geocities Rescue)

Housing is provided in two ways in employee-owned firms. Young people who are in training or early in their careers are provided dormitory or apartment housing and full boarding. They receive this benefit while they pursue their educations and during that time while they are paying off their educational debt with a service commitment to the employer who financed their education or training. Young families who are receiving remedial education are also provided this style of housing. I explore this topic in more detail in the next essay. The remainder of this chapter describes the homes that employees are eligible to purchase after they have fulfilled their educational service requirements.

If the planet were not more crowded, a workable farm would be provided to all workers. Given population pressure, the desire by some to explore space and the ever-present threat of environmental disaster due to pollution, bio-terror or war, outdoor farms are just not feasible for everyone. This essay provides a blueprint for a workable alternative, which I call Inter-Independence. Inter-independence combines cooperation with self-sufficiency. In theory, each employee applies his or her unique talents and training so that everyone is able to become self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency comes in the form of a dwelling with its own food production facilities.

Individual food production is necessary because people have wildly varying tastes and preferences for food. This system is offered as an alternative to Socialism, which often leads to rationing. Rationing is not an acceptable solution, as only the median customer is satisfied. This is unacceptable, as people are not ants. Having workers grow their own food makes them responsible for their own diet. It also overcomes the free rider problem, since slacking off only makes one’s own family hungry and no one else’s. Long-term dependence on society through a public pension or broad based stock ownership is also a lesser alternative. Public pensions are never high enough to provide the range of choices people desire, while the experience of recent years has shown that stock ownership without total ownership by the workers provides no real security.

Inter-independence also provides the worker with something to do in retirement. Growing one’s own food, albeit in a highly automated setting, provides retirees with enough to do to keep them interested in life. It is also more spiritually rewarding than the idleness often associated with retirement.

Workers who chose this type of home are given a shorter work day in order to have time to grow their own food, as well as a lower salary to account for the fact that they no longer have to purchase a share of their food. Of course, many firms also provide cafeteria service at breakfast and lunch, so commercial agriculture is still required. Additionally, not all workers want to grow their own food and instead work a standard eight-hour day. These employees devote the money saved on their mortgages to investment to comfortably purchase food in retirement.

Individual food production is a key part of the American ideal, which we have grown away from in the last century. J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur first wrote about this ideal in his Letters from an American Farmer in the late eighteenth century. In colonial America, owning land was key. Crèvecoeur asked What should we American farmers be without the distinct possession of that soil? It feeds, it clothes us, from it we draw our great exuberancy, our best meat, richest drink... (20). It was the essence of the American ideal to land on its shores, become skilled, build up a small amount of capital and raise a farm, often giving and receiving labor from one’s neighbors in doing so. Inter-independence restores this ideal, replacing food production techniques developed for space colonization for free land.

Food Production Facilities and Environmental Efficiency
Homes with food production facilities will be available everywhere, from the Midwest to a space colony on Mars. The home duplicates the entire food production cycle found in nature. Waste products are reintroduced into the food chain through the hydroponic production of grass, which is then either burnt or broken down in a bioreactor to produce either soil or a nutrient solution for hydroponic vegetable production. The Great Plains were created over a long process of topsoil growth and burning, over a time span of thousands of years. Technology is able to duplicate this process in a shorter span of time.

Mankind evolved as a carnivore. Therefore, to man, eating meat is natural. However, unless everyone has a bit of outdoor pastureland set aside, or wishes to take on the raising and butchering of animals in their basement, simulated meat production equipment is needed, either through the growing and processing of yeast or soy to look like muscle fiber. As the aim of this economic system is independence, appliances to process vegetable matter into simulated meat must be small enough, and easy enough to maintain, to be placed in the home. Cows, sheep, pigs and chickens synthesize protein all the time. Science is now, or will soon, be able to duplicate this process in the laboratory, then in the factory, then in the home. Small animals are also kept, especially if they provide a dual purpose. Chickens are useful for both eggs and meat, while sheep are raised for both wool and meat. Those who do not wish to learn butchery pay for the slaughter and processing of these animals.

Cotton is grown at home and spun using automated machinery. The computer revolution makes possible in the home much of what was previously found only in factories. Robotics, expert systems and artificial intelligence are used to assist basement or roof gardening.

Grain is grown to produce both food and alcohol for consumption and energy production. Renewable sources, such as solar, wind, garbage and methane are also utilized. Employee-owned firms also hold local energy or telecommunication stocks, distributing them to their retirees so that the dividends from holding the stock are adequate to purchase power, transportation and telecommunication services.

These dwellings are environmentally efficient, meaning that they are both self-sufficient and at peace with the outside environment. Habitats are self-contained and toxin free as possible. Factory farming and environmental degradation become relics of the past. With food grown in the home, reforestation and restoration of grasslands commences, giving the earth a rest. Inter-independence takes the urgency away from population control, as self-contained habitats allow an expanding human ecology without the attendant ecological ruin. Self-contained cities are built under the earth, under the sea and in space, giving mankind room to grow.

Providing for Growing Families
Habitat size is a function of family size. When a child is added the family trades up. When this occurs the loan value of the home changes, with adjustments for the state of repairs of the house given up and the house acquired. Another option is to subsidize the difference between the house sizes and let the family put the habitat up on the open market - a solution which allows the market to determine the value of the house rather than a bureaucracy, while still assuring the needs of the cooperative and the family.

Families apply a portion of their dependent tax credit to offset the increase in mortgage costs. In Inter-Independence, children are viewed as both a public and a corporate resource. The more resources produced, the better the prospect for the society, both in terms of a strong marketplace and in terms of human resources. The absolute number of geniuses grows with the size of the population, with geniuses achieving more in a larger, more diverse, society. The society eventually makes its money back through more and better output. Firms need workers and customers, so it is in their interest to treat families well, even without tax advantages.

The Twenty-first Century Career (Geocities Rescue)

Younger Workers
Currently, younger workers begin their careers in high school doing menial labor for the minimum wage, often without regard to talent, unless they have parental connections, in which case their employment is still often without regard to talent. During this period, middle class youth get the best jobs and are supported partially or totally by their parents. Lower class and immigrant youth are forced into the worst jobs, perpetuating class divisions in society. Young women who get pregnant are encouraged to have an abortion, give their child up for adoption or go on welfare. Less than a century ago, pregnancy meant a wedding to the child’s father, who was able to find a job or was given or sold a farm to support his family. Perhaps it is time to learn from the past.

Young people between the ages of 16 and 20 on an academic track work in the home growing food for their families under the guidance of their parents. If their parents have paid for their homes and retired, they assist them in any home based business undertaken as a second career. Students attending a faith-based school work part of the time in the related institution’s social service activities, possibly assisting older retirees in growing their food in exchange for housing and a stipend or working in a medical, psychiatric or educational institution. Students also work in secular educational or social service agencies.

Young people on a non-academic track attend a vocational/technical institute under the sponsorship of their future employer and are paid by that employer, provided room and board and work a limited number of hours in their chosen trade. They also enter this track by joining a union as an apprentice.

Students in this age group who have less than a tenth grade level of literacy in the dominant language have as their primary duty the pursuit of their education and are provided tuition, room and board in a setting to facilitate this. No other work is required of them.

Young people with families are entitled to the child care tax credit through their employer or school, as described in the essay on structural reform of the tax code. At this age, young people marry if both individuals have the emotional maturity for that level of commitment. Whether parents or not, single or married, these individuals are treated like adults, including the right to vote and to serve in the military (if there is such a thing – see the essay on world peace). Treating young people with respect and providing them with opportunity has them make better choices, lessening promiscuity and drug abuse.

Students on the academic track earn given an associates degree when they have completed their educations. Students who advance to a skill level equal to the fourteenth grade level are allowed to graduate early, regardless of the number of credit hours accumulated. During this time they have sampled various disciplines and have some idea of their advanced educational needs, while others complete their general educations and enter the workforce. Students who wish to go on find an employer to sponsor their major course and graduate work. While pursing their educations they are provided room, board, a salary and practical work experience with the sponsoring employer. After graduation, they work for two years for every year of advanced education received. Workers who leave work or are terminated before their work requirement ends are responsible for repaying a portion of their tuition on a pro rata basis through a governmentally sponsored student loan.

Students seeking a legal education take accounting, politics and those courses that many individuals take privately to prepare for the LSAT test as the first year of a four-year legal curriculum. Students seeking a career teaching college receive courses in education, as well as the academic discipline that they profess. With other employers providing work upon graduation in other fields, universities best serve their own interests by limiting admissions for professorial candidates to the number of available positions at the other end.

Medical Education
The crisis in nursing is best remedied by changing how doctors are trained. Prior to attending medical school, students are required to earn a nursing credential and practice for two years as a Registered Nurse. This increases both the number of nurses and provides new doctors with an experience that they do not forget; changing forever the way nurses are treated. This training also provides the type of clinical experience that makes the long hours expected of medical residents less necessary. Students then attend medical school and complete their residency with much more practical knowledge and less of a need to work mind-numbing hours. As with other professions, students seek employment at the start of their training in nursing and are paid and housed throughout their early careers by the sponsoring health care system or hospital. At each stage of the training process, the wage rate is constant, from nursing school to the end of residency. Paying nurses and residents the same also increase camaraderie on the ward. Young doctors make less while in residency than they currently do, but they make more at the beginning and end their residencies debt free. Nurses who do not go on to advanced training in medicine begin to accumulate stock in their health system or hospital at an earlier age and are able to retire younger than their colleagues who continue in medicine. Those who do continue on into medicine are able to join a group practice, continue with the hospital or health system or work independently eight years after completing their medical degrees. Pay differentials in medicine decrease, as this system allows all who are capable to practice medicine at a just pay rate, increasing the number of doctors to what society needs. Under the laws of supply and demand, a plentiful supply of physicians lowers the price of medicine. However, doctors who provide innovative care, contributing to the state of the art in medicine, make more because of their innovation, whether inside or outside a sponsored system.

Mid-career Workers
After individuals have completed their service requirements (whatever their level of education), they continue on with the employing firm or find a position with a competitor. At this point they move out of company provided housing and purchase an environmentally efficient 21st century home, with or without food production facilities. Those who forgo growing their own food receive a higher salary, although their work day is correspondingly longer. Their employer, who may arrange for the building of the home, finances their home loan. At this stage, employees begin to accumulate stock in an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The loan maturity is timed to match the time when the ESOP shares provide enough of a return to pay in benefits what the worker makes as a salary, as well as additional accumulation of shares so that between dividends and share buy-back these shares last for the remainder of the individual’s and their spouse’s expected life span. This home is replaced with a larger dwelling as children are born, with adjustments for the state of upkeep and additional mortgage costs partially financed by the family size tax credit. When the family shrinks as children reach maturity, the home is replaced with a smaller dwelling, if so desired, with additional proceeds leading to a shorter work life as any profits are split between a decrease in the home loan debt and additional ESOP shares.

Worker salaries are fairly even, with payment for longevity reflected in a higher return on ESOP shares, some of which is taken in cash rather than reinvested. Workers also receive payments for innovation or sales that demonstrably increase the profitability of the firm. These payments are in both stock and cash to reflect both current and future higher earnings of the firm. On the other end of the performance spectrum, workers who do not do well are evaluated to determine the cause. If needed, employees are referred to employee assistance programs if drug or alcohol abuse or mental illness is the cause. Workers who require retraining are retrained, with a slight lengthening of the employment contract. If entire cohorts of employees are less productive because of the advance of technology, their home loans are forgiven and their retirement plans are made whole. Laying workers off as they near retirement eligibility as a cost avoidance measure is longer practiced by 21st Century employee-owned firms.

After the mortgage is paid and adequate stock accumulated, the worker is eligible to retire. The stock benefit is approximately the same as the full salary. The worker can keep working at double salary, freelance in his profession, or teach younger workers. Even if the retiree does none of these, taking the food production option means continued activity growing food. When the individual is no longer able to farm, assistance is available through the firm or house of worship, which arranges for a young family to assist in the production of food and upkeep in exchange for housing and a stipend. When the retiree or spouse needs full time hospital care it is covered by the firm’s insurance plan. Retirees continue to vote their remaining shares in the ESOP, which need not be sold during their lifetimes. Their wisdom is useful in the deliberations of the firm. Spouses, however, sell back their shares upon the death of the retiree, in exchange for an annuity sponsored by either the company or the individual’s house of worship. Retirees and their spouses also purchase a negative mortgage from the company or their house of worship, so that the home then reverts to the firm or church upon their deaths. If a worker dies before retirement, the surviving spouse is made whole in terms of pension and mortgage forgiveness (provided there has been no foul play). Children do not expect to inherit a large estate. Instead, they inherit a system that provides them the opportunity to excel to the best of their ability and be rewarded for it.