Today, most markets are Capital Markets that seek to maximise profits. Profits increase the seller's capital, and for the shareholders of companies selling goods and services, the product is money as Capital. Buyers look for the lowest-cost goods, and sellers seek to maximise money profits. The inevitable result is the creation of a few big firms with few owners, with most people having no ownership of any firms. This happens because profits are all kept by the owners of firms and not shared with buyers.
A permanent market is different. It assumes the firms remain while the owners are the customers or workers interested in preserving the goods and services the future markets distribute. These future beneficiaries are custodians of the assets. They know they will be passing them on, and it is to their benefit to keep them in good condition and improve on them while using them. They work to reduce the cost while improving value by building sustainable products.
This contrasts with Capital markets, where the incentive is to exploit the assets by extracting the profits and using them elsewhere. Private companies that take over public assets or “the commons” exploit them while permanent markets preserve and enhance the commons.
Permanent Markets create profits by saving money and reducing costs. Capital markets generate more money by increasing profits while giving less value by exploiting the commons.
The author is building a NetLogo model of a Permanent Local Electricity Market (PLEC) to compare the existing electricity market with a permanent market that keeps the existing system intact and only changes the markets operating in local areas where users choose to change.