An Economic Commons

Kevin Cox
3 min readJan 24, 2024

I have started a magazine on substack with subscriptions to discuss and report on Economic Commons. I am doing this so readers and writers can participate in an Economic Commons and the members of the Commons can experiment and try out variations. You can join the substack without a paid subscription. Follow this link to see the magazine and give yourself a free subscription, or try it out with a paid subscription.

All the articles I write and post in the Commons will be stored here, but I will not store comments or other writer’s contributions.

A Magazine as a Reader/Writer Commons.

For-profit organisations and markets dominate economics and the exchange of goods and services.

The civil society of religious organisations, volunteer groups, clubs, communities, and families dominate not-for-profit organisations and economic exchanges that share any surplus with the community they serve.

A Commons Economy is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

For-profit organisations can combine the benefits of profits with the community benefits of sharing and increasing capital productivity.

This magazine discusses Economic Commons and is a for-profit magazine where the profits are shared with the community of readers and authors. It is an example of how any business can become a commons while increasing profits by sharing them with its readers and authors.

It will start with a simple 50:50 split between the reader and the authors. It will not require any change to the Substack subscription model to illustrate any size of business can share to benefit both producers and consumers. Authors because it gets more repeat business and readers because each article read costs less.

It starts with the following agreement.

Subscription money is distributed to

  • Pay the operating costs of the substack
  • Payment processors.

The Remainder is distributed to

  • Authors
  • Readers

The Authors initially receive 50% and the Readers 50%

The Readers are encouraged — but not forced — to spend their share on other subscriptions, including “An Economic Commons”. Readers get their funds minus processing fees if they cancel a subscription or when they pay their next subscription.

Like the authors, the readers get a share of the 50% depending on how many articles they have read. If they have read none, they get 25%; if they have read all, they get 75%.

Authors get a share depending on the articles used. The share is a graduated scale determined by the authors. Similarly, readers decide the division of their share, and both authors and readers decide the division of the total share.

The objective is to keep as much money as possible in the substack system and to reuse it as much as possible. For example, authors will be encouraged to spend their share on other subscriptions using an Economic Commons.

Assume the subscriptions amount to $1,000 and $300 goes to substack and payment processors. Assume both authors and readers recycle their shares with other subscriptions. The $700 is spent twice on subscriptions; the year after, it is $490. If the substack and the payment processors shared their profits, then all the money would circulate, and the economic productivity of the Capital would be very high. It can be imagined that Capital will continue to recycle producing articles.

It may mean a reader and author commons becomes available to all for the first subscription plus the cost of operating the system minus the (100% — percentage share to readers). Imagine if we used the same system for all goods and services.

Please get in touch with me if you would like to build an agent-based model of this or other Commons.

Please recommend this magazine to others.

Please send me any article you would like to put in the magazine.

Please pay for a subscription. It is an unusual investment as it gives you more for the same amount of money by circulating profits.

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Kevin Cox

Kevin works on empowering individuals within local communities to rid the economy of unearned income.