WebStamp July 15, 2020
Building A Better Economy
The use of money in economics has been part of human history for the last 3000 years. It began as a medium of exchange allowing people to trade goods and services indirectly. This simplified the problem of having to find someone to barter with what you had to offer with someone who had what you needed. Around 600 BC money changed from being a representation of goods or services purchased to a commodity.
Using money as a base for all transactions became the new norm allowing people to easily purchase an abundance and variety of items. It was easier than bartering away what little you had with many for items you needed. You were able to keep what you had by earning money that allowed you to buy more.
From there evolved our fragile capitalistic economy. With the Industrial Revolution came mass-production overproducing more than we needed. Rather than pursuing spiritual and ethical values, interest and desire for possession and the accumulation of money to purchase those items was inspired by the very few who had control of the money.
Today everything is about making money so you can spend it on over-priced products. We are taught to save our money for the future and look out for number one. As we all strive for a better future, we are led to believe that with more money we can provide better health care, better food, and other necessities and luxuries for a good life. Corporations and governments want to make money so they can buy more resources which in turn creates a scarcity of products.
Monetary value is placed on products according to their scarcity in this capitalistic economy. Things become more expensive and scarcer as the supply goes down and/or the demand goes up. There is no relation to the actual production cost and the selling cost. An item’s price is usually set in relation to the limited supply produced, a promoted demand, and the amount of profit to be made.
Now that the world economy is in shambles due to a pandemic it is the perfect opportunity to make changes to improve our economic system. Imagine a society where everything we need is provided for such as health, food, and shelter and the acquisition of wealth is no longer a priority leaving people the time to better themselves and humanity. The problem is that there is no reference in world economics about an economic model to establish a sustainable post-scarcity society. This I feel is the fact that those currently in control of the monetary system will lose the control they have.
Is a post-scarcity economy achievable? Probably not in the next 5 or 10 years, but there have been changes made that are already having society progressing towards that goal. We have the United Nations and many other charities and organizations supplying the necessities of life to those in need. There is crowdfunding to obtain monetary resources to achieve a goal. Then there is the XPRIZE Competition that is dedicated to inspire and guide innovators to create breakthroughs enabling a world of abundance -- a world where every man, woman and child can access all the energy, clean drinking water, shelter, education and healthcare they require.
The only plausible example of a post-scarcity society comes from science-fiction series Star Trek, where one focuses on self-improvement of oneself and others and not to monopolize material items and resources. In WebStamp’s next issue we will look deeper into how we can begin to develop a society where we don’t have to work for a living but where all necessities required for living are provided to all and with new technologies such as robots (unfortunately no replicators yet) doing the work for us. With proper and fair distribution of resources and supplies, we may only need 10 to 15 percent of the population to actually provide labour to sustain a utopian society.
Articles in this Issue
WebStamp July 15, 2020