Tuesday, January 21, 2014

We Need A New Economic System

According to Time magazine, “the world’s 85 richest individuals now own as much as the poorest half of the 7 billion global population, according to a report released by Oxfam” last week.
Just contemplate that statistic for a moment. Eighty-five people. Own more than 3,500,000,000 people put together.
Imagine what a gathering of 85 people would look like. Eighty-five people wouldn’t even fill up the small music club I frequent; it’s an intimate club and it holds 225 people.
Now imagine a gathering of 3.5 billion (a little harder to do!). The two groups have the same amount of wealth.
Is it just me or is there something seriously wrong with this picture?!
The Time magazine article goes on to say, “The report calls on governments to crackdown on international tax dodgers and invest in public institutions such as healthcare, as well as implement progressive taxes and eradicate opaque political structures that encourage corruption.”
I think we need to go a lot farther than that. I think we need to rethink our economic system completely. Tom Toles, the editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post, is a utopian dreamer like me. In his blog post today he wrote:
I know economics is really resistant to efforts to make it more equitable and fair and satisfying, but we’re going to have to take another run at it anyway. Marxism was an attempt to do it with a very blunt instrument, all cast iron gears and belching steam and hammers and sickles. It was a colossal mess. But we’re smarter now. Everything else works better, so why not a more sophisticated model of redistributed economic benefits? What would that look like? 
It would look like a conscious dedicated plan and effort to get all that grunt work [of labor] into the newly capable hands of computer-guided robot slaves. And distribute some of the profits from that endeavor and some of the Do What You Love (DWYL) opportunities to everyone. We can Do It If We Want To. (DIIWWT)
Here’s Mr. Toles’ cartoon today, in the same theme:


  1. Yes, we need a new economic system. One that eliminates all financial institutions that don't produce anything but trouble, where all debt is dissolved and we go back to a cash society. Just that would shift all other institutions as well.

  2. In Biblical times they regularly had what were called Jubilees, where all debt was cancelled. A Jubilee was supposed to occur every 50-80 years. An offshoot of Occupy Wall Street is called Rolling Jubilee, a people's movement to eliminate debt: http://rollingjubilee.org/

  3. Yo Katie! Let's not forget the banks. The World Bank is more than likely 50 rich SOB's playing war puppeteer. From now on we call them the World War Bank haha! Look forward to scopin rest of the blog...maybe a book or 2!


  4. I'm all for a thorough reset, and that eminently includes the banks. Just today JPMorgan Bank says they're giving their CEO Jamie Dimon, a raise, even though the bank's paying out billions in fines for wrong-doing under his watch. Just the latest in the chronicles of insanity in American-style capitalism...And the World Bank is the blunt instrument of American-style capitalism, used to beat the rest of the world into submission...