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Resources should be distributed according to need rather than based on the rather fuzzy notion of "merit".
The biggest issue with "meritocracy" is the "cracy" part. Whenever people who conform with some ideal that society holds dear get more resources than everyone else, chances are that they'll use those extra resources to get even more extra resources again tomorrow. They may use these resources to influence the societal notion of "merit", or they may gain extra brownie points with people by giving the extra resources away and appearing more charitable than others, even though all they did was giving away that which others don't even have.
In a needs based distribution system, this cannot happen. If you really need the kidney transplant that you were alotted, you will not use it to enhance your position in society.
Needs based distribution doesn't mean poverty though. It does not mean that you only get what you need. Most goods exist (or could exist if production was organized more rationally) in greater quantity than is needed by humanity and could therefore just be distributed freely to everyone. Needs based distribution only kicks in when there are shortages of certain goods, and it would definitely be more effective than giving things to the highest bidders.
In order to implement a needs based distribution system, we need three ingredients:
- There needs to be a way for users of certain goods to communicate with producers of those goods
- The producers should sign a contract with the users of those goods that goods will be distributed freely whenever possible, and if not possible, then they will implement whatever rationing scheme has been used in past situations of shortages and notify the consumers; the consumers then have the opportunity to work out where the old rationing scheme should be adjusted to the current situation
- Groups with special needs should be able to band together so they can meaningfully express their needs on the above "assemblies"
The Magnova community says Needs Based Distribution addresses the following issues. (Registered users can upvote/downvote these connections.)
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