New Economy 2015: Curing Capitalism
[SPECIAL SERIES PART 3 of 3] “The idea behind QE is that you don’t need a printing press to add money to an ailing economy,” cites Jeff Kearns in his Bloomberg report.
You probably don’t realize this, but the Federal Reserve’s bond buying program, also known as quantitative easing (QE), which began after the 2008 global economic meltdown, was more than just economic stimulus. It was what primarily kept the U.S. economy from totally collapsing—along with similar efforts coordinated globally. Ending October, 2014, the 3.5 trillion dollar intervention was the biggest emergency economic boost in history, the sum of Germany’s entire economy. Capitalism couldn’t save itself from... well, from itself, or its inherent flaws, which caused such conditions to arise. Let’s revisit history, so we can carry forward its lessons towards building a better tomorrow. In 2008, mostly due to global banking policy related to financial derivatives, a domino effect had the world’s economies go over a cliff when speculative bubbles burst. No singular leader or institution was culpable.
The loosening of banking regulations up until 2008 could not be blamed solely on then President Bush, or anyone else, as steady deregulation had been eliminating safety nets over the last couple of decades.
The irresponsible banking policies, if not criminal, were not the sole invention of one major institution, but were systemic within many global powerhouses. Let’s repeat so that you understand the magnitude of the 2008 collapse and resultant QE: as we learned in Part 1 of this series, capitalism is dependent on growth, or it doesn’t work. Without growth, capitalism literally ceases to function, except predatorily, before toppling as it erodes its own base. Had the Federal Reserve not scrambled to inject “artificial growth” into the economy over the last five years, you and I would be looking at a very different world right now. Yet, the crisis isn’t over. It’s only been deferred.
The erosion factor is still in play as the wealthy benefit from bailouts and ongoing stimulus via low interest rates, while the general populous continues to deal with the fallout amidst a deteriorating infrastructure and a worthless currency powered solely by belief. With the majority of all U.S. public school children living in poverty, and Wall Street quietly dismantling the reforms put in place in the aftermath of 2008 to prevent runaway speculative markets from happening again, what is the take-away? More capitalism is not the solution to capitalism’s limitations. This means we must evolve. Big business or big government is not going to save us. It means taking responsibility — first for yourself, and then participating in a grassroots global community effort to be the change. We have reached an amazing watershed moment in humanity’s cultural story. What will your story be? The three core elements of capitalism are competition, capital, and a pricing system, which we’ll call currency. In the new trickle-up paradigm introduced in Part 2 of this series, competition is out, and collaboration is in so that no one is left behind. Non-profit banking, food, healthcare, and other cooperatives allow supporters a return on their investment for supporting innovative businesses, products, and services. For most individuals, the lack of capital for research and development, and then for marketing, limits the ability to bring one’s creative genius into the marketplace. Trickle-up means we mirror Nature by capitalizing from within, planting seeds to reap a perpetual harvest through employee-owned businesses, crowd-funding, and open sourcing. And finally, we provide safety nets and additional support to those purely in service to humanity through grants from private foundations and other non-profits.
The concept of charity is eliminated from our consciousness as volunteerism becomes a valued and tradable currency. Though cooperatives are not failure-proof, higher efficacy in an unconstrained environment allows for dynamism at presidential speed — months instead of decades. Transparency and accountability, social and ecological responsibility, quality of life, and even joyful living emerge as new norms, as the generated good continues to extend outward and ultimately upward. If capitalism is working for you, there is no need to fear these improvements. Some of these newer business models have been in place for decades, working alongside traditional capitalism, providing a livable wage to those who wish to live a simple life long before recent blue-chip stock companies were pressured to by public outcry. Concerned that income opportunity is limited under these paradigms? Employees would no longer be asked to forfeit invention rights to employers without receiving a share in the wealth. Nano-technology and automation will continue to free up manual labor and improve efficiency so that the traditional work week could actually decrease. If competition divides, meaning you must work twice as hard to get ahead, cooperation has the opposite effect. Just as a family comes together to problem solve and share the work load, imagine if we extended this philosophy to our global family. Cooperative work days could be brought down to 4 hours instead of 8-12, so that employees are given opportunities to explore passions and further education. Budding artists could take up apprenticeships with artisans. Writers could walk the woods for inspiration. Musicians could collaborate. Promising holistic healthcare practitioners and future master gardeners could attend open lectures given by area experts. Families could volunteer in community gardens, gain wisdom from our seniors, and learn compassion from the disabled.
There would be more time to attend local government meetings. Scientists and engineers could offer tours and demonstrations of the latest free energy technology breakthroughs, proposed planned communities, and public transportation. Through this invaluable and ongoing exchange of information and ideas, the genius contained within you just might unleash itself to provide a singular perspective that solves a unique problem, creates a new novelty, invention, or mind-altering artistry. This is your unlimited income stream.
There are magic and miracles in collaboration! This is how properly functioning life works. Each one of us has an essential role to fulfill to lead humanity into a new era of true equality and prosperity. It’s your time to thrive! .
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