New Economic Model?
Credit Crisis is an opportunity for change to a new economic model
Date: 11/21/2008 1:05:56 PM ( 9 y ) ... viewed 1113 times
New Economic model?
Could this economic downturn be the agent of change for a new, better way of "economics"? It seems that some day, in some future world, that we could do away with having to keep track of what we do and what we get for doing it. As it is now it is far from "fair" or even tolerable because lots of people work hard and get very little, and others have extreme wealth despite doing nothing valuable for the world. Some people end up doing a great harm to the world in terms of pollution or starting wars and profit a lot from their actions; some greedy-but-smart people started this credit crisis and they walked away with millions of dollars.
An economy where we all get what we need and we all pitch in by doing what we do best, wherever something needs doing, seems possible. Picture a colony starting on Mars, where everyone depends on everyone else to get things done in order to survive there - would they use currency? I doubt it. Keeping track [which is what money/currency is all about] of one's efforts or rewards would not be helpfull ; if someone slacked off they would be treated with understanding and coached back to being productive because that is the best option.
In very real terms, there are a few changes occuring now. With less consumer spending, and therefore the reduction of demand for new products, there is less need for raw materials. Perhaps we could just get by with recycling all the old consumer products for their raw materials - we may never need to do large mining projects again. Of course, in this economy, what is happening is that the corporations are demanding that only newly mined metals be used in order to keep their profits up and the company running. How many industries could we just do away with? Oil, mining, forestry, financial services and banking, and others may have become obsolete, or replacable.
The way we do things now tends to be the most expensive way possible, not the cheapest. Medicine is a great example, where doctors are encouraged to use only the newest, most expensive, drugs even if they are not the safest, and surgeries and even transplants are done but herbs are never given a try; specialists are consulted but alternative medicine ignored. The internet provider will do everything possible to encourage customers to use the most expensive services, and never advise a customer that "for your needs, this lower speed is probably good enough". With energy, we are using coal instead of getting electricity from renewable energy installations, which are much cheaper over the long term because after just a few years they are paid for and after that the electricity is more or less FREE for 20 more years. Bigger cars, Huge TVs, New toys for every kid, more, more, more" - that has been the message for many decades now and if has not helped us be happy or content at all, perhaps the opposite.
Job losses is the big concern for a lot of people now, and yet there are so many jobs going undone!! Our highways and sewage plants need to be upgraded, our schools need repairs, and so on. There is no money for those projects because they do not return a profit, there is no sales involved when it is done. This could all change in a new economic model where money is not used. Whatever needs doing will get done by "willing workers", and that includes producing enough food and energy for people. Instead, we seem to have our brightest, most educated, workers doing jobs in the "financial services industry" which never produces anything usefull for people at all. The only thing THEY do is to play around with currency. Banks are essential to the present economy, and they use up a lot of worker-hours, and yet all they do is keep track of wealth and provide start-up funding for projects and corporations - isn't that something that government could do directly? Or that we could just stop doing altogether in a new type of arrangement with "willing workers"?
Willing workers would do everything that needs doing, and they would benefit the same way everyone does - by getting all they need. One major problem with such a utopian model of economics is that some people, maybe most people, will be tempted to abuse they system and horde much more than they need, take all they can get, and generally be greedy. Greed is a huge problem in the current system - it was at the root of the credit crisis. One way to deal with greed, and hording, in the utopian system would be to balance materialism with "social needs". Some kind of "honour system" where anyone who has too much would not be able to have social contacts, certainly no visitors, and then how would they really enjoy any of those extra good they have taken? It might have to come down to where someone would alert others about anyone who has "too much stuff", and then there would be repercussions.
What repercussions? It would not be wonderfull if this new way were a police state, or have overly powerfull authority figures and agencies. Perhaps simply spending time in another kind of work environment would be all that is needed!! Punishment for any crimes would be that you have to do manual labor, or undesirable jobs [manual labour is preferrable for many people]. Tedious jobs might be adequate punishment to keep crime down!!
Ah, I know, I am dreaming again. Don't wake me up until we get there, ok?
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