"Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men." - Adam Smith, Chapter IX, p. 749, Book IV, The Wealth of Nations
Over on Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah, Kirith Kodachi fingers a long simmering issue for corporations everywhere. How do you fund the organization? It's a serious issue for many corporations and for the economy as a whole.
Kirith correctly points out that it is all too easy to create inflation in the economy. Economic management is a tricky balancing act made less easy by too many hands in the pot. New Eden's economy, for all it's vaunted similarities to the real world, is still a highly artificial economy. I count this problem with taxation as symptom of that larger malaise.
No doubt CCP could treat the symptom. One thing corporations do is earn profit. From that profit they pay bills, some of which are employee paychecks. I would not be opposed to a change in Eve Online where all ISK made by a corporation member goes to the corporation. A percentage of that gross profit would then go back to the employee as a wage, determined by the corporation and the member based on that members abilities and contributions. Call it reverse taxation if you like, most people just call it a paycheck.
If you don't like that model, you could use the American Medical Association model, or any other model used by organizations with large voluntary memberships. Let's say a person wants to be a member of Goonswarm. There are many benefits Goonswarm provides it's members. That's never been something anyone could deny, not even me. Goonswarm could (should) charge pilots to be members of such an organization, flat out, no tax system needed. If someone doesn't pay their dues, kick them and set them red. Confiscate all their assets first if you like. Either way, if they don't pay they don't play.
Those are just two off the console ideas. There are many hurdles to clear to implement either of those suggestions, I won't deny that. It's easy for me to sit here and throw out suggestions. That's not the point though. What I really want to get across is the current taxation model is the wrong model. When CCP sits down and looks at a major industry revamp, I want them to consider making the current corporate model parallel the real world. That's where we need to go to correct this issue.
It's been written many times that the Eve Economy is unlike any other MMORPG in that it works like a real economy. So should our corporations. When I go to work for HBHI and SYJ, everything I make should go to them and for that I should get a paycheck. That might include housing allowance (POS space) and health care (clone reimbursement.) When on official company business, I should get paid mileage (ship reimbursement.)
This is already done in SYJ to a large degree. The alliance, no, let's call it a mega-corporation, takes possession of all sleeper loot. That's the mega-corporation's gross profit. The mega-corporation then pays each participating pilot a share of that profit. That's our paycheck. We have insurance. It is a ship reimbursement fund, the ISK for which comes from PvP loot. If we lose a ship on a mega-corporation job the insurance kicks in. It works quite well and it is all handled by our mega-corporation leadership using financial books (spreadsheets!) done outside the Eve client.
It would be nice to see some controls built into Eve to make it possible within the client. Is it a lot to stick into the game? Yes, it is. Will Eve Online ever be exactly like RL? Probably not, but any move in that direction would be a good move in my opinion. The models already exist for all of it. CCP would have to invent nothing. They'd just need to insure the game follows the models already guiding stock exchanges throughout the world.
And that's something else I've been mumbling to myself about. I'd like to see a New Eden Stock Exchange. The NESE would allow corporations and mega-corporations to become publicly traded entities. Expand those "shares" listed on the corporation page. A pilot wouldn't have to be a member of Goonswarm to get a piece of the Goonswarm financial action so to speak. Goonswarm would benefit from cash inflow. They would pay dividends, make quarterly reports, and all those other things mega-corporations do. If they don't, investors will take their ISK elsewhere. Supply and demand would control this market just like it does the current commodities market in New Eden.
But let's forget about Goonswarm for a moment (yeah, I know, that's difficult, but do it anyway.) Let's talk about all those Indy Corporations who live, work, and die all over New Eden. They may be a high-sec corporation or a renter corporation out in null-sec. They may be into T3 manufacturing or drugs. It wouldn't matter. If you could invest your ISK into those companies based on projections of possible future profit, how cool would that be? Forget about station trading, the real money is in the stock market! Do you hear me Gevlon?
This is a sort of dream I have. CCP, when you get around to thinking about how industry and the markets should work at the end of your five-year vision, take a look at the London Stock Exchange, the NYSE and the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Allow New Eden companies to work like RL companies. Let us leverage our assets off. Give us the opportunity to become the next IBM of Wetware Mainframes or the next Solyndra of Nanite production. Either way, it'll be because of our economic chops (or lack thereof.) Give us that and you truly will make gaming history.