Economic concepts for the 21st century

Some practical and conceptual tools towards changing economics

(There is some repetition, as concept pages overlap)

Some Problems:

  • Growth as a dangerous Pyramid Scheme. What is 'Growth'? When and how can it stop, without resulting in decay? Production has traditionally been a process of Natural resources-made into- Product -made into - Waste, and has been more adaptable for large-scale products than for supply of services. Now this consumption goal is being challenged. An economic systems that relies on Growth Unending is the biggest Pyramid Scheme ever, and it must end, like all Pyramid schemes, in disastrous collapse. Growth should only go as far as it is needed to meet people's real needs - and after that, improve quality of life without increasing consumption.
  • The fallacy of the marketplace as the ideal regulator of supply and demand today is that demand is wealth-driven. Most of the needs of the world call out for jobs that need to be done and products supplied, but the crucial question is how to pay for them
  • Resources Costs of major world industries - war, the arms trade and drugs.
  • Wealth derived from non-useful activities such as international financial dealings, land speculation, futures, and stock-exchange speculation today are a major source of national financial problems and disastrous economic cycles.

Some concepts for thinking out of the present rut -
and see the other concept pages

    • Common Wealth. This has a real meaning to be kept alive. It is not just a phrase.
    • Consuming is not a good word. Humans should be Users rather than Destroyers of the world's resources.
    • Future Cost to be factored in with Capital and Labor as a major component of product cost
    • Human Rationalism rather than Economic Rationalism
    • Independence of nations. Political independence means little if a region has no control over its economic management. Nation States began with the function of reducing the lawlessness and rapacity of robber barons; today the barons are international, and nation states now have a function to protect people from their lawlessness and greed. Use of property, conditions of employment, local sustenance and prevention of poverty can all be taken out of local control by cross-national organisations oriented only to profit.
    • Index of Gross Unnecessary Suffering and Index of Quality of Life to be published for each country along with GDP and GNP
    • Jobs that are needed. q.v. The perspective of 'what are the jobs needing to be done' is much more fruitful than trying to 'create jobs' regardless of anything except employers' profits or government subsidies.
    • Jobs. Tuesday work for the dole. q.v. The dole is taken to represent pay for one day's work, which can be almost anything that is useful. This cannot threaten wages for full-time workers. On one day a week, nobody is to be idle. Nobody is bludging because they are earning the dole, and continuing work experience. There is a great deal of useful employment that could operate on this principle without taking away any full-time workers jobs. A Freedom to Work Day.
    • Circulating Money is needed. Money was invented to be a means of exchange of goods and services, but today it siphons off into sinks - overseas and to the 'already haves' - so that it is no longer circulating through the whole community, round and round.
    • The purpose of economic activity should be firstly to meet real needs, a profit-system is only a way to do this.
    • Prevention of destructive take-overs. Plotting takeovers gives something for power-hungry executives to do, and reduces their competition, but there needs to be protection against this for healthy companies. This is particularly important when takeovers from overseas destroy the local competition in this way.
    • Public Enterprise as well as Private Enterprise. That is, structures within profit-making public-owned organisations that give the advantages of private enterprise, except that the profits go to revenue, not to private shareholders.
    • Regional Currency circulates only within a country or region, unlinkable with the national currency that is used for banking, finance and international trade. Regional currency can only keep circulating to pay for goods and services - it can be banked only for security. It cannot drain out of the region or country or be trapped in the sink of millionaires' profits or even interest-bearing private saving. That means that there need be no paradox of need combined with unemployment. Jobs that are needed can be paid for, because the wages will be returning into circulation to pay for local goods and services, and the income from these that is received in regional currency will be then passed on again, round and round.
    • Shares and Loans: Self-terminating Government Shares and Loans that terminate when the dividends and interest paid add up to x times what was originally paid for them, regardless of prices in transactions since (x = what would be fair, allowing for rewards for taking risks in investment).
    • The SUSTAINABLE HOUSEHOLD is as important as the Marketplace in thinking about Economics. Spinks and others have written on this. It will be even more important in the future, as waste becomes recognised as a major problem leading to shortages of resources.
    • Useful Taxes Some ideas can be implemented about socially useful taxation.
    • Waste-prevention today is as important as Product Production for a country's continued prosperity and positive trade balance, and hence an important source of employment. At present 50% of production is either wasted or barely utilised. Work - redefinitions are needed for Work, Drudgery, Earning and Being Paid which include an invidious category of 'unproductive employment' in which people get paid for useless or antisocial activities.