New economic system. Why?

Aside

Q: You’ve developed a new economic system. Why?
As far as the economic system and sustainability, the whole system, is skewed against it, so while you can tinker around the edges, you can’t really resolve the lack of accountability to the ecosystem.

A: That’s right. So, to give you some examples of different approaches that I’ve examined along the way, for instance, there’s a whole movement centered around the idea of what they call the gift economy. Everybody just shares what they have. I think it’s a wonderful sentiment, but I don’t think that will go anywhere, that it will remain a sentiment, an idea. It requires people to display certain levels of altruistic behavior. How do we institutionalize that? Without some centralized communistic type structure I don’t see that people would voluntarily do that in large enough numbers that it would make any impact. So, nice idea, but it’s totally impractical. I’ve also looked at the Zeitgeist movement and their vision of the future, their systems and architecture. Again, very exciting and appealing, but again I don’t see that that can be applied anytime soon. I see it as impractical.

– from interview

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Harbinger

Britain’s rejection of the Euro agreement may give an indication of the willingness and rate at which countries will adopt NPV as the tool with which to manage their economies.

The current European crisis only underscores not only how much politics and economics are intertwined, but also the pervasive extent to which banking and corporate interests control the fate of nations. British Prime Minister Cameron’s defense of sovereignty is nothing more than a protective move for City of London, Britain’s equivalent to Wall Street, against external regulation. The shared currency is also lending Germany moral authority over Greece’s comparatively laid-back approach. If these enlightened countries cannot co-operate in monetary matters, would they do any better with a universal Net Planetary Value system?

In the first place, there will be no currency, common or national, to give rise to differentials,  inflation, devaluation, deficits, or any of the multitudinous variables which give rise to international friction. Each country’s NPV is simply a reflection of what each contributes. It is possible that Greece with its history, archaeology and contribution to the foundation of Western thought, in addition to its other resources, would come out ahead, thumb its nose at Germany, and relax into its more leisurely lifestyle. NPV actually restores a degree of sovereignty to countries, freed from the shackles of banks and corporate interests.

Precisely because financial interests so closely control governments, the countries of the developed west, especially the UK and USA, will be least likely to adopt NPV. Like Iceland repudiating its debt, countries like Greece and the other PIGS could very well decide to opt for a system that gives its citizens universal education and healthcare, feeds and houses them. They would not have to worry about meeting IMF, World Bank or European Central bank conditions, or balancing budgets to engender investors’ confidence. Each country remains free to continue or adopt whatever form of governance its national idiosyncracies determine.

The developing world will readily recognize a good deal where the welfare of their citizens is safeguarded and they are not under the thumb of the money-gougers and resource extractors. The newly formed Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, led by Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil, expressly omits US and Canadian participation. Resistance to US hegemony and corporate capitalist incursions may be the goad for these countries to abandon the monetary system, regain their sovereignties and release their peoples from wage and debt slavery.

Obsolete people

Are the American people obsolete?
The richest few don’t need the rest of us as markets, soldiers or police anymore. Maybe we should all emigrate

In every industrial democracy since the end of World War II, there has been a social contract between the few and the many. In return for receiving a disproportionate amount of the gains from economic growth in a capitalist economy, the rich paid a disproportionate percentage of the taxes needed for public goods and a safety net for the majority.
Michael Lind

Cleverly written piece but like so much commentary, short on solutions. The elite do not own real wealth, they only control the symbols (money) of it. That money is equated with power, used to control the rest of us, the now notorious 99%. What jobs cannot be automated have been outsourced to cheaper labor markets. Modern warfare is conducted at a distance using automated systems so cannon fodder will become increasingly unnecessary. Policing however will be a growth sector as greater numbers will be needed to subdue mounting unrest.

What the 1% does not seem to realize is that the great unwashed and unhoused masses are an essential part of the equation. Leaving them out brings down the entire economy. As wage slaves they are not mere cogs in the machine to be discarded and replaced by electronic circuits. They are also consumers of the end product, by orthodox reckoning responsible for generating 70% of GDP, meaningless as that index is.

If we eliminate money and implement a values-based system the elite can hang on to their riches and repair to an appropriate niche for the survival and sustainability of the environment and all in it.

Beginner’s mind

… seemingly technical economic questions have crowded out questions of justice and the common good. I think there is a growing sense, in many societies, that G.D.P. and market values do not by themselves produce happiness, or a good society.
– Michael J. Sandel
in Thomas Friedman, “Justice Goes Global,” New York Times, June 16, 2011

Since the experts seem not to have a clue, it’s anyone’s guess, and fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Without any background or training in economics and little facility for figures, i venture to offer these musings on a possible scenario. Zen master Shunryu Suzuki maintains that being unburdened with expertise, offers a distinct advantage — in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few. Bearing in mind also the dictum attributed to Einstein that everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler, let us strip matters down to their essence and go from there.

It takes imagination to conceive of a better future. This system is idealistic and utopian calling for social engineering and reform on a hitherto unprecedented scale. The thinking behind it couldn’t be any simpler but we have been too embroiled and entranced by the present monetary system to question it much less to consider supplanting it with something else. I cannot help but be inspired by the resolute efforts of the people of Tahrir Square and the Middle East, and latterly of the Occupy Wall Street movement. What they are doing makes me believe it can be done and this is time to do it. The status is no longer quo.

These are some rough notes which i share so that others more qualified may take some or other of the ideas and work them into a viable alternative to the mess that now obtains. Economics, the management of the planetary household is the bedrock on which our survival depends. There is not much time. I invite your feedback and input and hope that through our interactions a team will emerge to make this vision a reality.

A change of heart or of values without a practice is only another pointless luxury of a passively consumptive way of life.
– Wendell Berry