Let’s talk about taxes.
How will we pay for Asgardia?
Tax is used to help provide funding for a range of public services such as education, welfare, health-care, roads, railways, public-transport, housing, public projects and it really is the life-blood of a country and there have been a lot of conversations recently about how Asgardia will pay for all its services.
I am a man of the modern world and I am no stranger to the modern way of doing things and so it will come as no surprise to those like me, that I have experience in crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is the collective effort of a large group of often unconnected individuals who come together and pool small amounts of money to invest in something.
Crowdfunding works by creating a central point for a very decentralized network of people and is the exemplar of the expression “Strength in numbers.” It works because a vast group of people spread out all across the world have a common interest and come together to support that interest.
A good example of this is Kickstarter which is a Crowdfunding website where people can raise projects or business start-ups and appeal for money from the crowd. Kickstarter has raised 3.2billion dollars and has funded over 130,000 projects.
So intrinsically, the concept of Crowdfunding shares a lot of sentiment with the philosophy of Asgardia. A group of people coming together regardless of borders to reach a common goal. Great. And it’s not just the sentiment that works, either. Crowdfunding is becoming a massive industry.
According to Massolution (via http://crowdexpert.com/ ) the total funding volume has more than doubled each year to a massive $34.4 billion dollars. A large sum of that money includes P2P financing, but even without that the total is still over 10 billion dollars and it shows that the money is there.
“The total funding volume more than doubled each year to a massive $34 billion dollars in 2015.”
So there is money in Crowdfunding and it seems like it might be a viable way to fund some important government services, potentially get some money together to fund start-ups or inject some life into a field of research. But is it enough to run a country?
In terms of population, Asgardia is close in number to Iceland which has a population of around 332,000 – it’s an impressive economy and in 2007 it was the 7th most productive country in the world so it’s a good example of an economy of a similar population.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the usual method used to measure a country’s economy. GDP is the total value of everything produced by all the people and businesses in the country. In 2017 Iceland’s GDP was $18 billion dollars which gives them a GDP per capita of $52,500.
According to OECD in 2015 the total tax revenue for Iceland was 6.1billion dollars – as it currently stands, this would mean that each member of Asgardians would need to contribute a whopping average of $20,500 per year through crowd funding to match Iceland’s tax revenue.
Of course, it’s easy to poke holes in that logic, we don’t have any public transport, we don’t have to pay for health care, we don’t need to pay for sanitation or for refuse and so Asgardia in its current form is going to need a lot less money to be operational and fund things, but it certainly gets the point across.
So it’s clear that funding the entire country through crowdfunding is going to be a challenge, but we can we afford through crowdfunding?
According to space.com NASA’s new rockets, scheduled for 2023 will cost around 500 million per launch. With a population of 300,000 this would mean that we’d need an average donation of $1,666 per person and we’d be able to afford to launch our own rocket into space! (Assuming NASA would let us borrow one.)
Even with modest Crowdfunding, we’d be able to give a financial boost to a lot of ongoing research initiatives, or even fund our own research to help further our goals and develop marketable space technologies.
Funding start-up companies through the use of crowdfunding would be another great return for Asgardia. By creating businesses that are successful and marketable under the Asgardian banner, it would not only help our reputation as a nation, but the more money they make, the more they can put back in to Asgardia through donations and crowdfunding.
We can invest in ownership of land around the world and start to create the infrastructure that we will need in the future. Solar energy plants, launch platforms, fuel refineries – and until we need them, we can rent them out to people or sell their produce.
A conversation about how we’re going to pay for everything will definitely need to take place in the future, but for now, there are plenty of things that we can be working on to start building up a financial basis for the nation.
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