Globalization and technology especially have depressed nominal prices and wages, even though real standards of living are rising. GDP as the measure of wellbeing is therefore misleading.
Citizens as stakeholders: In the West citizens have a voice - shouldn't they also own a piece of their countries?
How do we build a healthy future? Democracy, capitalism, geopolitics and the future human all need new thinking.
The reality is that trade deficits have been a huge win over decades for America with foreigners financing its consumers - enabled by the US dollar as the world reserve currency (and stronger than ever).
Capitalism has conquered the world. It’s created enormous wealth and lifted people out of poverty, but inequality has risen. We have to rethink capitalism.
Even though in reality the world as a whole is better off than ever before, people feel poorer. While productivity benefits accrue to people and society, price decreases create continuous political and psychological challenges.
Today, as much as it is important for America’s trade partners to open their economies to competition, even more powerful is that they stimulate domestically to spur growth, benefiting everyone. That’s especially the case with Germany.
Ownership is the most constructive way to address inequality. Predistribution through stakes in newly created enterprises and a savings plan like Australia’s superannuation fund gives everyone a share of the future. It is less toxic than redistribution through taxes.
Beyond the sharing economy to sharing ownership in society, for everyone to have a stake in a collective future.
As opposed to today’s use of gold, bitcoin has the potential of being more than a store of value- it can be productively utilized as a means of exchange and investment. It needs to fulfill this promise in order to be endorsed by central bankers – otherwise they will confine it to simply another speculative asset.
In the coming world, humans will have to find meaning beyond their jobs as traditional work disappears.
Over the last decades the world was about cooperation, economic development, technological progress and mixing of cultures. We are now in a phase where politics, national identities and apprehension of the future dominate. Governance and cultures matter.
As China comes on the world stage, mutual respect with the West is needed, as only coexistence is possible for peace. To counterweight China, the West has to come together. The developing trade war is the signal of a potential civilizational clash.
States could give citizens a digital wallet to engage everyone in the economy and provide the start of a personal endowment. Besides currency, wallets would hold stakes in the economy through equity shares and be the basis of savings accounts. Individuals would draw (with limits) from them for their lifetime needs as they occur such as nutrition, housing, education, health, children, etc.
Each individual life is an asset, valuable just by being. This as a participant in the economy, and as data. In addition everyone is likely to become a recipient of some form of universal basic income or universal basic capital in the future. Therefore individuals could be tokenized on the block chain, unlocking their potential economic value. It may sound utopian yet it might be a financing mechanism to fund people throughout their lives, if used within reasonable limits.
You could also imagine each citizen having a minimum value as a share of a nation’s economic pie. That threshold could be underwritten by governments and by their worth as data. Thus all are stakeholders in the economy no matter what and can be actors in the economy throughout their lives.
Inequality has historically been dealt with using the redistribution of taxation. Predistribution is more empowering and inclusive, making everyone a participant. Meanwhile, the rebalancing is happening through wage growth which is direct and fair, yet also creates inflation.
Inflation will increase due to the world wide redomestication of production, wage increases and disinvestment in traditional energy sources.
The cost of wealth inequality is inequity in opportunities. Distributed capabilities and assets from the start is an empowering answer to inequality, as opposed to just redistribution through taxes and government subsidies. Predistribution.
In today’s digital era, social media establishes reputations, generating financial value. Virtual engagement weighs increasingly more than the physical. Who owns and controls that capital is the question.