The one-time cost of building a SRN would be a sapling compared to the full tree of recurring wealth it would produce over generations. The return in tangible wealth that would flow from an initial capital investment, sufficient to finance an affordable SRN, would be multiplied as a sun, rain, soil and work generate and recycle goods and services indefinitely.
The analysis of Thomas Pikety in Capital in the 21st Century points out that economic, social and political stability would require that the accumulations of wealth be somehow redistributed, but he doubts this can be accomplished politically. In The Economist’s October 2014 Special Report on The World Economy, Ryan Avent suggests that the exponentially growing virtuosity of the “digital revolution” will require governments to provide “workers with more of a cushion against the painful effects of that creative destruction.”
We suggest that a one-time redistribution of wealth that is sufficient to finance a SRN represents providing a hook and line for catching fish indefinitely, over occasionally handing out a Friday night meal ticket.
In a SRN, human energy is directed through a sequence of production processes in which every output is also an input within an endlessly recurring circle of life. Once that circle of nature, work and tools starts turning, the external costs of energy, water, most food, waste recovery and shelter are mostly off the table. Also, the collaborative disciplines and routines of self-governance and work can be extrapolated into income producing enterprise projects.
There is an economic wisdom embodied in naturally replenishing biological circles that predated the fast-forward evolution of technical innovation. A community that re-integrates itself into that ancient cycle of life will replenish itself indefinitely and still be able to skim the cream from the technical evolution.