Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mathematically splitting ownership (sharing) of a car/coffee maker or any other resource

Sharing a car can either be simple and unfair, or fair with any mathematical complexities managed through software applications.  This paper is using some simple every day sharing to illustrate important finance/organizational breakthroughs that apply and extend to the most complex organizational and social resource management purposes.

Principles of fair ownership of a resource
  • Equal partnership or decision power: Any minority or less than equal decision power is equivalent to no decision input
  • Paying to the partnership per use, with competition for use handled by a bidding process.
  • Sharing of proceeds when resource is sold.  Sharing of proceeds from use fees.
  • Sharing of fixed costs such as insurance, storage, repairs.
  • Minimum use fee related to depreciation, maintenance and fuel associated to use.
  • Process for adding/removing partners either through bidding or some other determination of value.
Issues with sharing a car
Sharing a car (or plane/tractor/house/TV) has many potential inconveniences (costs) with the main offsetting benefit of lower individual partner expenses.  The main issue is that Friday nights and weekend carry much more desired use than Monday's 2am-4am, or Tuesdays 10am to 3pm.  Bidding for access to a resource allows for perfect utilization of that resource.  Because everyone is an equal partner, then losers of a bid receive their share of a winner's bid.  People who can schedule trips at off peak times can likely be able to the minimum use fee for actual costs related to use.  Bidding provides a contractual solution to shared resource conflicts.  The alternative of allocating the resource to those who nag, complain or yell the most is not a contractual (deterministic) resolution process, and the alternative of fixed time blocks is less flexible, and doesn't account for individual (potentially shifting) desirability for certain time blocks.

Details of use bidding process
* bids exclude the cost per mile (minimum use fee)
* If someone wants to use the car from 2-5, while someone else wants it from 4-10, they need to outbid each other for the entire block.  Other bids from 5-7, and 7-10 would help the bid from 2-5.  Whichever adds up to more total revenue to the partnership would win.
* If someone absolutely needs to know that they have control of the car on the 3rd saturday of august, or next saturday, or tommorow, then they would pay a fee (to the partnership) based on the length of time that other bids are blocked.  The fee levels can be preagreed and/or reviewed by partner vote for exceptional cases.
* If someone wanted to take the car on vacation for 2 weeks, he'd need to outbid for the whole 2 weeks any bid for a single hour in that period, or make a proposal to the full partnership for the 2 week block.  Even if someone really wanted the car for a few hours in the period, there is likely significant revenue potential for the partnership in allowing the 2 week block rental, that the partnership would accept a reasonable offer.
* Every partner is assumed to have the alternative of commercial car rental options, and so there is a cap to how much anyone will pay the partnership for use, and there are opportunities for those deprived (outbid) for the use of the car.
* Partners would be allowed to resell their time slots/reservations.
* If a booking is to end with the car transferred to the next driver outside of normal dropoff locations, then those 2 drivers should make a joint booking covering the full time that the car is to be away from normal accessible pickup locations.  They agree among themselves on how to split the total costs.
* A policy to deal with drivers that are late in returning the car after use would include paying the partnership the higher of their hourly rental fee or the next partner's hourly rental fee, and pay the next partner the same amount for his inconvenience.
* The partnership might allow non-partners to rent the car.  Charging a higher per mile fee based on increased risk of irresponsible care or theft, and insurance.  Partners might be given a $2/hour or $10/day bidding advantage over non partners.
* If a partner is a victim of a crash while using the car, then regardless of whether he is at fault, he would be asked to pay the full share of any insurance premium increases, and a high portion of any deductible.  Some inner-partnership tribunal may reduce such penalties for instance out of fairness or partnership's failure if the cause of crash is say brake failure or worn tire blowout or zombie attack.  

Work/chores surrounding the car
Gas costs would be included in the per mile minimum use fee.  Filling up the tank might be an expected volunteer activity, or the partnership might pay any partner that chooses to refill the tank when it is under half full a fixed amount (say $1).  The actual cost of the gas would be treated as if the partner gave that amount to the partnership, and offset any use fees he has.

Changing oil or tires, cleaning the interior are all jobs that likely many partners would be qualified to do.  A bidding process among partners together with commercial non-partner alternatives if they seem better than the bids received would determine who gets to do the job.  The cost is paid by the partnership, using the per mile and rental revenue.

There may be a partner who is qualified to conduct advanced mechanical repairs.  And hopefully a few that are qualified to understand/supervise the process.  Bidding to supervise/approve repair jobs either from commercial outside or internal partners would be similar to bidding to do an oil change.

Motivation to share ownership of a car
A car can be useful, and you are unlikely to require it 24/7/365.  The main reason to share ownership is to have access while splitting the costs.  There can be several variations in individual motives, and these variations can cause conflicts or symbiotic benefits to partners.  One generality though is that every partner prefers that every other partner want to use the car in different ways than they do.

Investor:  Someone who doesn't use the car at all could make money from the ownership.  He only pays for his share of parking and insurance, and unexpected repairs.  If many other partners compete to use the car, the investor's share of those revenues could be well above  his costs.

Mechanic/worker: Like the investor, the car could be a source of work/income to a mechanic.  Other partners could subsidize their car use by ferrying the car to and from other partners.

Light flexible users: By scheduling their trips only when other partners don't request the car, they'd pay only the minimum use fees related to fuel and depreciation/maintenance costs of the car.  Car poolers who just want to use it to get to and from work in a common area of town receive a convenient and innexpensive means of travel to get there that they both subsidize for other owners, and have their use subsidized as well through bidding exchanges.

Heavy users: Those monopolising the resource by outbidding everyone else for prime time use, and blocking off entire days pay much more than other partners, but they pay much less than if they had to own the full car, and pay all of the parking, insurance and repair costs.  They also share in the revenue from the car when they are not using it.

Conflict and opportunities among motives
Heavy users will get frustrated if there are too many of them conflicting for the same time slots.  Investors may be delighted by this.  An obvious solution to the conflict that is in the interest of the heavy users is the partnership acquring a 2nd or additional car.  If the conflict persists, then the partnership will be collecting high rental fees, and so has the funds to acquire an additional car.  While it is possible that a majority of partners would have investor motives, and so it might seem wise to pre-agree conditions upon which the partnership would aquire additional cars, its actually unlikely to be necessary.

The primary motive for entering the car sharing is very likely to include some desired access.  There are likely  better pure investment alternatives.  The mechanic/worker motives would definitely favour acquiring a new car.  The light users if their motives are mainly "free" use of the car would also favour acquiring a new car if their access is getting crowded out by additional users.  A major advantage to the partnership of a 2nd car is redundancy in having a backup when the main car is being repaired.  If access to the car(s) is too conflicted, then the partnership is unable to attract new partners.  New partners inject cash directly into existing partners pockets by paying for (a share of) both the current worth of the car, and regular costs of parking/insurance/repairs.  Since the natural purpose of the partnership was to have access to cars, there is a very strong confluence of interests to maintain access to cars, and so have the partnership acquire an additional car when needed.

Another reason that pre-determining conditions for a new car acquisition may not be necessary, is that any group of partners can individually form an additional partnership for a new car using the funds from their share of the cash stash that is created in the partnership as a result of competitive use of the car.  Also, most of the existing partners are likely to want to join the new partnership anyway.  Even investment-motivated partners that want to block a new car acquisition on the grounds that it harms the profits of the existing partnership's intensely competitive car use, would see opportunity for the same to arise eventually in the new car's partnership.  Having a single partnership with 2 cars is more attractive to both existing users and potential new partners (compared to membership in either) because sometimes access to a van or pickup would be useful, and membership in 2 partnerships doubles the accounting, bills, voting for no reason.

Continuing with the additional partnership option, heavy users starting a new partnership because investors wanted to block the partnership from acquiring a new car would still welcome the same investment-motivated individuals in the new partnership.  Investors aren't parasites.  They'd help share in the acquisition and other fixed costs.  If they never bid on the time slots you want to use the car in, then you drive whenever you want, and only pay the actual operating costs.  

2 partners sharing 2 cars
Some people value convenience and access more than anything, and would have a general reluctance to sharing a car.  But one person who owns a pickup truck and one neighbour who owns a compact/electric car could come together to share both cars.  The compact car would likely have lower per mile costs and be preferred for some trips.  Adding a 3rd investment focused light user partner might be attractive to these partners because it offloads 1/3rd of the costs, and is unlikely to impede their full access.

Determining the minimum use fee
Users bid on blocks of time, but pay in addition to that the costs of operating the vehicle.  Those costs are definitely higher than just fuel costs.  The simplest way to measure "wear and tear" into a per mile cost is to take the estimated value of the car now (say a 2008 honda with 50k miles), the expected number of miles driven in upcoming year (say 20k miles), and then estimate future value by looking at the current value of a 2007 honda with 70k miles (with worn tires).  The next year a similar assessment would take place taking into account any surplus/deficit over the prior year's estimate. Fuel charges and wear and tear can be billed as separate items.  A driver that returns a car with a full tank would not be charged fuel costs.

Another guideline for setting the use fees is that they should allow generating a small surplus that avoids as much as possible the possibility of asking all of the partners for special contributions to repairs.  Most partners would appreciate the budgeting certainty that accompanies such a policy and predictable use fess over unpredictable demands for contributions.

The one source of conflict over use fee settings is that heavy users who not only pay most of the use fees, but also likely pay high time block bids to the partnership.  Their self interest would not only favour low use fees, but the proposal that some of the time block fees be used to offset use costs.  The philosophy of using time block fees to lower use costs would be wrong and evil.  The purpose of the bidding competition for time blocks of use is to compensate the partnership (other partners) for your temporal monopoly of the resource.  
While trying to use time block fees to subsidize and lower use fees is "evil", the time block fees do serve as a reserve for repairs, and so there is no need to inflate use fees just for the sake of protective anticipation of every expense (if there is a healthy stream of time block rental fees).

Partnership additions and subtractions
The topic of this paper extends concepts I developed in communal equity of businesses which mainly deals with adding and removing equal partners in a business setting.  The big difference when valuing a partnership in a resource ownership rather than a business, is that even if the partnership is receiving income from its resource, the value is purely tied to the market (resale) value of the resource.

In communal equity valuation, the main mechanism for setting the buy-in price or sell-out price is to have all of the partners list their dollar value, and then choose the median price as the buy-in price, and for the sell-out price either use a discount percentage from that value or have an independent vote for that price.  This process is also available for adding/removing partners in a shared car ownership.  

The process for buying in may involve considering who the buyer is in setting the price.  Someone mechanically skilled and wanting to contribute might be lured with a low price.  A heavy user with stereotypically irresponsible features might make some partners reluctant, but heavy users bring the partnership money, and the last 3 points of the "details of bidding" section deal with the risk of irresponsible behaviour.  The partnership has the security of a potential irresponsible partner's share, and if that partner is unable to pay restitution to the partnership, the share may be taken away.  If a car has 9 partners, then a new 10th partner pays 1/10th of the value of the car, and all the partners pay 1/10th of future fixed expenses.

The process for selling out can be determined prior to buy in by coding a "right to sell out".  The advantage of giving every partner a right to sell their share back to the partnership is that it enhances the value of joining the partnership.  A partner may move away and be unable to use the resource in the future, or become unable to pay his share of costs.  A partner may feel persecuted or strongly object to a partnership decision or attitude.  The right to secession/divorce solves all democratic/political conflicts.  A formula for determining a right to sell-out price should be based on a distressed sale price.  Blue book values less 20%-30%, or a craigslist or other internet search less 5%-10%.  The right to sell out is a unilateral right given to every partner to impose a demand for money on the partnership.  It doesn't have to be at a generous price to be valuable and generous.  The existence of the right doesn't preclude a proposal for partnership vote on terms for a specific sell out.

Software and technology
Software tools for a car sharing service are fairly critical to simplifying the process and minimizing its time sink.  Software tools include a bidding reservation system, a member credits and dues accounting system, and a partnership democracy and proposal review system.  A bidding system is a mathematical process that resolves conflicts in under 1 second by outbidding.  The alternative of strongly worded emails or tribunals where parties accuse each other of "you got to use it last time, and its my turn" have no unbiased resolution mechanism, and are time consuming.

Technology to account for miles driven, return of the car, could involve pictures of odometers, fuel gages,  GPS and clocks, but ideally it would be through an onboard car computer.  Lockboxes on the outside of the car could access keys, but ideally again, an onboard computer would require logins to authenticate who is driving, and track usage.

It is possible to avoid any hardware (such as lockboxes, and car computers).  This is easier if all of the partners share a narrow location, but even without it, a human chain of custody for keys is possible.  Exchanges between the next scheduled user would occur, and a signoff on miles, fuel would be made.  If there is a time lapse between the next scheduled use time and the previous user's return time, other partners might rent the car for the (short) period that it is free, returning the keys in time to the next scheduled user.  Hardware has the advantages of not using people's time or requiring their scheduling availability, and increasing partnership revenue by tracking all usage and encouraging full time block rentals.  Hardware has the disadvantage of costing something, and may not be able to verify external damage to the car.

I want to buy half your lawnmower, neighbour
The above lowtech chain of custody is especially applicable to relatively low value items such as a lawnmower.  After reading this article, you could go to your neighbour and offer to buy half of his lawnmower.  The costs to consider are tracking fuel use, who does the refueling, and picking up or delivering the lawnmower to the next user.  Standard fees for delivery would lead to the simplification that if all partners do their own pickup, then no costs change hand as a result of pick up and delivery.  Some partners can make money by delivering the mower to the next user, and "btw, can I mow your lawn?" can be another source of income.

After you buy half your neighbour's lawnmower, you can try selling 1/3rd of it to someone else, then 1/4 to another neighbour.

Would you buy 1/20th of a lawnmower that is worth $100 for $10?
I would.  Even if I am overpaying for my "real" share by double or $5.  The main alternative I would have would be to spend $100 instead of $10 for my mowing needs.  I actually don't have anywhere to store it, so I would happily make more money delivering it to the next user.  I also don't have an easy way of refueling it, or sharpening its blades, so that being taken care of is also a big advantage. I would be part of a network of partners that regularly produces offers to mow my lawn at a reasonable price without having me required to pick up or deliver the mower.  That 20 users instead of 1, reduces its life expectancy from 20 years to 1 or 2, doesn't bother me because it was probably going to get stolen or rust out before the 20 year period anyway, and we'll have a new better lawnmower within a couple of years as a result too, and I will only pay 1/20th the cost at that time.  If you asked me to pay $15 or $20 to join the partnership I would grumble, but would still say yes.

For you, who started the partnership with your neighbour by paying him $50 for half of his mower, you might have charged the next partners for their shares $40, $30, $25, $25, $20, $20, $20, $18, $16, $15, $14, $14, $13, $13, $12, $11, $10, $11, $10 and your share of all of those partner sales would be $20, $10, $6.25, $5, $3.66, $2.84, $2.50, $2, $1.46, $1.25, $1.07, $1, $.83, $.81, $.73, $.66, $.60, $.55, $.50 which leads to you making back your full $50 after the 9th partner (while keeping 1/9th ownership), and all of the mew partners up to 20th. provide you with proceeds from ownership transfers of over $61.

Natural sharing and consumer cooperatives
Continuing my laziness for naming concepts, natural sharing of resources is a fine label for this concept.  Natural is a reference to a solution for mathematical optimality.  This concept is also very closely related to consumer cooperatives.  The primary purpose of the partnership is centered around shared consumption of a resource.  In addition to work being created for the partnership, there is also a consumer networking effect where the partners can cooperate and trade with each other.  In addition to lawn mowing service, there are car pools, and delivery favours.  The accounting software that tracks amounts due and from the partnership also allows the partners to transfer balances among themselves through micropayments.

The office coffee maker
One way to get a coffee maker into your organization is to lobby the bossman to buy you one with company funds.  There is no clear economic rationale to the organization for making the purchase, and the vocal opposition will object that degenerate drug addicts should not be supported in engaging in drug use at company expense on company premises, and any funds that are proposed for this drug paraphanelia should instead by distributed to non-drug-addict employees as raises.  This war is something the bossman must resolve.  There are two heated sides to a fairly irrelevant issue, and difficulty in achieving a consensus.

There is a boring peaceful solution though.  Those employees that want a coffee maker should be able to pool together the funds to buy one, and the important point, without asking for permission.  They may come to a friendly agreement with the bossman for paying very little for use of organizational office space and electricity.  The argument for unmetered free access to electricity and office space is that it would cost the organization more in metering it, than ignoring it.

The clinching argument for organizational support in allowing a coffee maker cooperative within the organization is that of strategic investment.  Investment without control or concern for direct (profit) benefits made for the indirect benefits it will provide.  In the case of the organizational coffee maker, the indirect benefits are productivity levels improved by shorter trips outside the organization, and allowing the slaves/employees to confirm their "deserved" freedom of having a coffee maker without needing permission.  There are costs to suppressing the coffee maker coop.  While there may be no labour regulations guaranteeing access to coffee makers, and theft of electricity and office space is a fireable offense, there are more productive uses of time than suppressing coffee makers.  For those of you puzzled at the absurdity of this discussion, consider the suppression of electronic cigarettes and bitcoin, then add corporate coffee shop interests in suppressing private coffee consumption, and authoritarian anti-labour groups suppressing the right of anyone doing anything without obtaining permission.

The Office Pinball Machine
With the strategic investment argument winning you a coffee maker coop, it works to get a pinball machine for the break room too.  The strategic benefit to the organization is that it will distract the slaves from their 70 hour workweek, and the clincher... Pinball machines are awesome.  For the investors in the pinball machine, the machine should keep its investment value because they aren't made any more, and because it comes with a built-in usage meter (coin slot), non partners can be allowed to play it, and the revenue should cover maintenance.

Child Daycare
Though much more boring and useless than a pinball machine (joke), daycare can be a valued service.  Daycare might be facilitated by an employer though subsidized location rental, and by having computers tied to the organizational network, child monitors could have some of their wages/fees subsidized by the employer if they are doing/available for work.  Regardless of whether any assistance at all is provided by the employer, cooperative daycare among a group of employees can be attractive for the cost savings, and networking connections that allow finding child monitors.  A bidding process can be more flexible than requiring every coop member to provide equal time commitments.

Employee services without permission and lobbying
Lobbying for employee services to the bossman has several problems.  Bribes, remaining budget, biases, friendships of the bossman will have influence on the decision.  If the organization happens to be an equal partnership that vote and bind the full organization through majority, both a pinball machine and daycare, have no direct relationship to the organizational mandate, and so should not be a decision where the majority forces a decision on the rest.  Those who want a pinball machine pay for it, and those who want daycare pay for it.  The organization may provide modest support that is much easier for a majority to accept.  The benefit to everyone is that both a pinball machine and daycare service may be adopted without even considering an organizational budget only able to afford one.

The clearest example of this in city politics is when a developer or team owner proposes that a city pay for a sports stadium or casino.  The outcome is always bad.  Either an expensive crony development deal for the benefit of only those who will appreciate and use a sports stadium, or not having an awesome sports stadium.

Natural governance
Another commonality in the above partnerships are that all work is assigned based on a partnership vote for a package of a candidate, mandate and budget.  This is similar to my larger organizational/social governance model, I call natural governance, which suggests replacing elected kings and board of directors who then appoint all other positions, with the direct election of those positions, mandates and budgets.  The advantage is accountability in those positions.  A further refinement is that instead of electing heads of the FDA or EPA, we could "elect" (democratically determine) individual investigation projects within those agencies.

Natural sharing without equal ownership
Non owners can participate in the bidding process.  A single resource owner can still share it (or veto against sharing it).  The time rental bidding or agreed price and minimum use fee model still apply.  Unequal owners tend to create the same relationship as owner vs. non-owners.  There may not be much of a difference with commercial relationships, other than it can be more informal.  Worth noting is that when a partial owner has booked a block of time for the resource, then he is the exclusive owner of that block of time and can resell portions of it.

Shared ownership of a human resource
Freelance work can be imagined as self-owned.  Accepting a retainer is promising ownership of some of your hours to the one who pays your retainer, but maintains your freelance nature.  Accepting an employee position typically transfers ownership of your weekday 9-5 time to one employer, but it can also be viewed as a retainer for 35-40 hours per week.  A designer, engineer, or secretary can have multiple bosses within an organization in theory but this is considered difficult.

Natural sharing of an employee or human resource's retainer can be achieved by making all of the department's that might use the resource equal partner's in that resource.  They are equally responsible for the payment of the retainer, but the minimum use fee is the hourly rate corresponding to that retainer, and bids among the departments are made against each other with the partnership receiving the winning bid.  Any time used above and beyond the employee's full time obligations or human resource's retainer is negotiated directly with the human resource with payments going to him.

Generally, having multiple bosses instead of a single hierarchy in an organization is considered difficult because of the conflicts that can arise between bosses.  Natural sharing's bidding process solves all of those conflicts.  The human resource can have a share in his ownership in order to profit from competitiveness over the use of his time.  And/or the base salary can increase on a quarterly basis, based on how busy he is.  Those owners who are less busy, profit from the use of the resource by others.  There is no reason that shares in the human resource have to be from a single employer, as long as confidentiality among employers is respected.  If there is to be ownership of the human resource's time across multiple employers (as opposed to departments of a single employer) then it is important for the human resource, himself, to own a share of the resource, and allow, to his advantage, all interested partners to join in the partnership at the rate of his existing retainer fee.

One very useful aspect of this model of employment is in situations where post project availability in technology projects is required.  Implementation, installation, bug fixes, support can require unpredictable time requirements.  But it can also permit a partnership or hierarchy (delegating to and training of junior "employees") of human resources to make itself available for "customer ownership" of their time.

Interaction between work in shared ownership of resources and consumer coops
The mechanic function can be performed by one of the owners in a shared car.  Or, several car or car fleet ownership groups can share the human resource that is a mechanic.  The latter can make more sense for a professional full time mechanic, while the former makes more sense for amateur/apprentice/retired/part-time jack of all trades mechanics.

A co-owned mechanic resource can in turn co-own a set of tools and garage space housing those tools with other mechanics or tinkerers that need occasional use of tools.  A group of mechanics specializing in drive train repair and maintenance (most likely to be co-owned by customers due to eventual need) can in turn co-own one collision body and paint shop on the basis that those services require different tools.

The costs to the owners of the mechanic are his fixed expenses including any compensation he wants for 0 work.  If the mechanic shares ownership of space and tools, then his co-owners only pay a fraction of those costs, and a fraction of the fixed costs associated with a partial ownership in a body shop.  When someone uses the mechanic service, the mechanic receives an agreed hourly rate, and payment for his share of the garage and tool use fees, and his costs if any for body shop services.

The bidding system for mechanic services would primarily be based on jumping ahead of the queue.  Bids would still primarily be payments among the co-owners of the mechanic, but an associated bid for tool and space rental must also be covered by the customer-owner.  The bidder might also optionally offer a bonus to the mechanic for quick turnaround.  It makes sense to have a maximum bid which guarantees queue position, and a fairly chunky interval among bids.  For example there may be a $50/hr maximum rental bid that guarantees a position in queue (behind only other $50 bids).  A $5 interval between bids would permit a limited number of classes for work.  Work that was currently bid at $25/hr or higher would be permitted a 2 hour wind down time before being put aside to work on higher bid work.  If the shop is free for the next few hours, then a bid of $5 or $10 might guarantee that a job that takes 1 or 2 hours is completed without getting bumped for higher bid work.  When dealing with outside non-owner customers, any costs normally paid by owners when the facility is idle would be covered, and a fee equivalent to a bid provided to the partnership.

Advantage for customers in co-owning a service
Because the workers face no risk since all of their fixed costs are paid for, they can charge lower prices than if they had to buy space and tools upfront, and hope that they get enough business to pay for their fixed costs.  So the total amount paid to the worker-service by the customer owners is lower than it would be if a risk-adjusted price or profit margin was built into the prices.

For a truck fleet owner that might be able to afford 1 full time mechanic, co-owning part of 3 mechanics might not only be cheaper, but provide them with the capability of fixing 3 trucks at a time.  Furthermore, its business focus is likely on making and shipping things, and so managing a mechanic or garage operation is a needless distraction.  In the same vein, such a company would likely prefer co-owning a shipping service rather than maintaining its own.

Co-ownership also substantially reduces risk to the partners.  If they are not consuming the resource due to slowness in their business, then the co-ownership produces revenue for them.  If competition is very high, and a surplus generated for the partnership, then the surplus facilitates expanding the service.

Advantage for worker in being co-owned
A unionized position is likely to either pay more or offer better perks and vacations.  If the worker has a unionized position, he would not see much benefit in pursuing having his work co-owned, but unionization is increasingly difficult as technology advances and work is more competitive.  One popular alternative becoming fashionable for those underemployed is worker cooperatives, where the workers own an equal share of the business.  While that may be attractive, compared to being co-owned, the workers will need to raise startup capital somehow.

A worker coop and co-owned worker can be compatible in several ways.  Several mechanics can co-own a garage and tools, where some or all of the partners are co-owned by different groups.  A group of co-owned workers can expand into a worker cooperative by reducing the hours available as a co-owned retainer.

A group of mechanics sharing the same place is a source of networking, where people getting jobs can subcontract to others to complete or assist with the work.

The one disadvantage of co-owned worker is potentially needing several customer-owners before starting.  Like the landmower ownership, starting as a single owner employee simplifies the process.  It may be in both the employee and employer's interest to obtain additional partners.  Approaching an existing garage can be an attractive partnership for people wanting to invent/build something, or private car partnerships that would repair their own car on weekends and late night.

Worker's wages can go up more rapidly when more customers want to co-own and use his time compared to traditional employment.  It works essentially like having multiple competing job offers on his ability to negotiate salary.

The relationship with basic income
Political conflict between the left and right too often focuses on the question "Does labour or capital better deserve to oppress consumers?".  Consumer's having the right to organize production seems obvious.  They still need the help of capital and workers, and natural sharing or consumer coops still compensate for those roles.  Basic income (cash paid unconditionally directly to adult citizens) frees people from the requirement of a slavemaster as the motive for work.  Basic income also enables sharing as a consumer coping strategy because all of the partners will have the income available when dues are due, and it enables workers assisting partnerships and cooperatives for supplemental income if they are not otherwise busy. Basic income also enables starting businesses without immediate revenue opportunities, by relying on the income support.

Global climate and environmental sustainability
We can consider all humans equal owners of the planet's climate and ecological sustainability.  But we should also separate climate issues into distinct ownership plans.  Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, ocean acidification, methane releases associated with permafrost thawing, desertification, and sub-arctic and antarctic glacier melting are all distinct climate challenges that require addressing, but not necessarily have a single solution.  The latter problem of polar glacier melting can be addressed narrowly.  We can block out the sun near the poles to cool them.  This might be considered an act of war by the few people that inhabit sub-arctic regions such as Greenland, and so a peaceful solution could involve the near billion people that would be affected by massive sea level increases, to chip in to the polar cooling dislocation fund.  A general problem with global warming discussions is that some people, organizations, and nations, would benefit from it, and a discussion model that allows them to "extort" a modest fee for their lost opportunities would be more productive than a model that permits their obstructionism under a facade of agreement.  Acknowledging the right to rape and destroy the environment is probably necessary to implement policies to save the environment by addressing compensation for the rapists, or at least excusing them from paying for their share of the solution costs.  It appears as though human-political nature requires calamitous circumstances before acting, but using a model of shared ownership could allow some of us to pay more for the costs of prevention, including the possibility of compensating those that might be opposed to action.



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