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, each citizen has a voice - should 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, as well 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 but 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 nations economic pie. That threshold could be underwritten by governments and based on 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 of wealth is the inequity in opportunities. Opportunity distribution is an empowering answer to inequality as opposed to redistribution.
In today’s digital era, social capital is more valuable than financial capital. Shouldn’t all participants get a share of the wealth they help generate?
Deglobalization and inflation will continue to put upwards pressure on prices, leading to higher interest rates. This may cause a recession and general asset value declines. The combination of slower growth and higher interest rates could make the United States’ debt harder and more expensive to finance, ultimately resulting in a lower dollar, unless its currency acts as the only refuge in a troubled world with few alternative investments.
Capitalism has run its course if not restructured. Beyond money it needs to focus on participation and fairness.
Own the robots as opposed to just tax the robots.
Are you financially better off with money or assets? Money is like energy - a necessary enabler, valuable when circulating, invested or spent, at risk of expiring if unused.
Assets, like property, art or a business, have the advantage of their uniqueness with intrinsic value. Money is to assets what fuel is to a vehicle.
What will give people dignity and meaning in a world where human value will no longer be tied to their jobs?
Everyone’s true capital is what they can give, their engagement with the world.
With increased functionality of AI, much of what is considered work could be handled by machines. This will free up people and time, disassociating value from labor, as well as social goods and benefits with time commitment. Therefore, an income won’t be what gives individuals the economic access to living needs. It will have to be the fair distribution of productive capacity, consisting of the output of computing and digital resources. Everyone will want to have a share, or adequate access to the world’s knowledge economy. Economic value will be digital to be distributed among people, with excess or risk capital likely owned by the machines themselves will control its allocation.
We will be liberated, yet the masters will be the machines - what will be our recourse and the governance that might give humans a say?