Thoughts on stocks & gold
"if a big paint job has to be done and Seasteading Inc doesn't have the cash at hand, it starts selling SeasteadDollars by just 'printing them'."
This is a direct cause of inflation. If Seasteading Inc prints more stocks/money, there's more of it in the market and the value of each one in circulation goes down.
Also, the stocks essentially are IOUs. The only way to truly cash out would be to find someone willing to buy them from you or for the whole company to be sold (which might mean the value would have to have gotten low anyways). The inflation part I'm sure of, but I could be a little off about the rest.
Now, the idea of having 'stocks' in the seastead you reside in is a potentially good idea for another reason, though. Stocks could be used as a way to convey unequal voting power. The question of whether each resident should have equal say would have to be decided beforehand but if not decision-making power could be awarded based on how 'invested' you are in the well being of the seastead. All residents buy in with a minimal number of shares, but those who invest more time, money, or ideas could earn more say in decisions that affect the direction of the whole project. Unfortunately, using stocks for this primary purpose doesn't fully line up with the idea of using it for money.
On another note, do we really want any outside investors, who simply buy stock in the company (without ever living on the seastead) to have any say in the day-to-day operation of your life?
Though the article hasn't yet been expanded to detail the idea fully, I like the idea of gold being a basis of monetary exchange, since all current forms of currency can be converted to gold, making it easy to convert, unlike a printed currency, which would need recognition from one or more major currencies already in circulation to be useful for outside trade. The main downside to using gold (besides accidentally dropping it in the water, never to be seen again) is that it becomes valuable enough to attract pirates, as opposed to purely trading resources for resources, which wouldn't be have enough concentrated value to be convenient for those wishing to make a quick buck, yet still hold enough value for those who want to survive on the open ocean.
Just my 2 cents... or 0.000673 grams of gold. Mike 15 March 2008