The End of Privilege - Introduction
People today on an intuitive level can sense there is something amiss within the fabric of our socioeconomic systems. They may not have access to the specifics. Such as the fact that 805 million people struggle on a daily basis with hunger in today’s world even though there is more than enough food produced to feed everyone on the planet, or that the richest 85 people on the planet currently control as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the world’s population combined. Instead they may know it on a more personal level. Maybe a friend struggles with keeping food on the table or an uncle lost his house during the sub prime melt down. One thing that more and more people are sure of is that leaders on the left and right haven’t come up with anything new on of how to fix it.
A few have awaken, with more joining them every day, to the fact that it is the system itself that is the problem. Some of the symptoms pointing to this are the cycles of boom and bust, the fact that wealth naturally accumulates among the wealthy unless there is some sort of outside interference, and the large portions of resources used to accomplish tasks that do very little to actually further human progress, all these things point to the system being what is dysfunctional.
The fact that the system is the problem will make achieving a fix harder because as a species we favor evolution over revolution. We much rather tweak what already exists rather than scrap it and start over. You can see this with the current Affordable Care Act which no one on the left or right seems to like. Instead of starting from a blank page and creating an effective new health care delivery system they instead passed a bill, largely written by the health insurance industry, that forced everyone into participating in a system most people still find lacking.
There is a pretty simple reason for why we tend to tinker with existing systems rather then replace them with new, more optimized systems. As a species we all have a built in resistance to change. We tend to accept even a dysfunctional existence as a “comfort zone” and initially resist attempts to change it. This trait served us well back when the world was a brutal place, but now that much of the world has developed it hinders us from putting our best foot forward.
That is where this story begins. I have started this blog, and a book about the same subject, to explore the possibility that the very system is the core problem. Our current socioeconomic system was developed when the most advanced form of transportation was strapping a large chunk of canvas to a dead tree in the middle of a boat. Since then science has advanced our knowledge of everything. So much so that we are at the point that our current systems are antiquated.
You may be thinking this is going to be a blog about switching to a Resource Based Economy(RBE) and you are right, sort of. You see I’m never been nor will I ever be blindly aligned with any single ideology. There is a lot to like about the ideal of a Resource Based Economy but as we've found out with capitalism, communism, or any other -ism is that a socioeconomic system based on a pure version of a single economic theory usually doesn't work very well. For instance, in the United States we replaced the Laissez Faire capitalism of the 1920's with regulated capitalism along with a dash of a socialist safety net after the Great Depression in order to prevent another occurrence of the Great Depression. Another example would be China injecting it’s communist system with some free market incentives borrowed from capitalism in order to promote growth and development.
Thus, the socioeconomic system I’m going to lay out here and in the forth coming book seem about as similar to anything today as a cave man would seem to a nuclear engineer. It is going to have a good dose of ideas put forth by the advocates of RBE as well as bits and pieces from other systems. Where it seems to make sense I will even make a case for reviving practices that where once the norm but now have fallen out of favor.
Now let me leave you with some candy for your imagination to ponder till my next post. Think of how many resources are dedicated to the following endeavors — Wall Street, Banking, Insurance, Advertising, top down government bureaucracy, and debt collecting. Now imagine some things that would be much more beneficial to human existence that those resources could accomplish if none of those activities had to exist. Kind of blows your mind doesn't it? If you take this journey with me I’ll show you how it can be done and so much more.