Answer to Patrice Aymes article
The major economic problem the humanity faces at the beginning of the 21 century, is the limited capacity of world resources to sustain the existing trend of world population growth together with increasing demand for ever growing consumerism, that is spreading gradually to most parts of the world. When speaking about limited resources, usually people tend to think about limited energy resources or other row materials. But the technological development trend showed us, that when such a problem occurred, the science and technology found its way to solve this problem within reasonable period of time. So when I speak about limited resources I mean the world itself, as a living organ, where interlocked ecological processes created a certain balance that enabled life on earth to evolve, until reaching todays point, when human consciousness and cognitive processes gave to humanity tools to thrive and farther develop toward higher level of consciousness. On the other hand the same development gave to humanity tools to destroy the delicate balance on earth that enabled all this to happen.
The other very important economic problem is the uneven distribution of the wealth between different regions and cultures. The uneven distribution of the wealth is not only a problem of participation in the welfare the modern states are capable to create, but also diversion of the population growth from the developed rich world, with developed education systems, to poor countries, with very limited education system, or education system that opposes the modern values, of openness to diversity in cultural, ideological, and belief values. Your article about Pickett’s book is focused on the uneven distribution of the wealth in the modern developed world. I would say this is a local problem and less a global one, but still an important one, since we all live in this local region 🙂. The unequal income distribution of the wealth is a direct result of capitalistic system, that tends by its nature to prefers the yield income upon the income out of work. This phenomena of “yield economy”, gets positive impulses when there are no events to interrupt it, like, war, revolution, dramatic change of leading elites, etc. Without these only public political intervention that interrupts the natural flow of the capitalistic system, like progressive taxation, social security, well focused public spending can make some difference in the natural trend towards growing uneven distribution of the wealth.
I have difficulty to believe, that any major change can be done within the existing economic system, so much focused on ever growing need to increases the yield on capital. To me seems almost inevitable that we are heading towards a new economics paradigm change, its nature is unpredictable. The phenomena of global unrestrained money printing, called “Quantitative Easing”, has to have at the end of day some major consequences on the global economy. No one, (not even Krugman) knows what consequences will have this economic policy to the world monetary system. I don’t want to be the new Roubini, (the doom day economist), but see my statement above as a prediction to some kind of catastrophic event in the future.
Back to the issue of yield driven economy, this system has to be changed and better in some organized way than as result of some catastrophic event, like world war, revolution, world ecologic collapse etc. I personally focus most my spare time to come out with some idea of an economic-political system, not based on yield and not on centrally managed economy, that potentially could cope with these major problems.