A Vision for the 21st Century Economy

The economic engine at work.

What about socialism/Marxism/communism?

What about free market/libertarian/laissez-faire capitalism?

So why capitalism at all?

  1. It generates incredible wealth and has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty

What should the 21st century economy look like?

1. Government Regulation/Spending

2. Cap private spending in government and make elections democratic again

3. Internalize Negative Externalities (make doing bad things less profitable)

  • Stop fossil fuel subsidies. Globally, more is spent on fossil fuel subsidies than on healthcare. That is just ridiculous.
  • Implement a carbon tax. It works.
  • End the agricultural subsidies and protectionist tariffs that encourage farmers to clear forests, use excessive amounts of fertilizer and precious underground water and give an artificial advantage to first-world farmers over third-world ones.
  • Somehow simplify the insane complexity of the financial sector and emphasize its ethics and raison d’être. As economist Robert Shiller says, “Finance is not about making money per se. It exists to support other goals — those of society.”
  • Back out of any treaty that masquerades as free-trade but only serves to give corporations more power. Corporations simply cannot be allowed to sue countries for “lost profits” or erode our digital rights in the name of intellectual property. On the same topic, all trade agreements should include clauses that ensure humane conditions and fair compensation for foreign labour, monitored by an independent third party.
  • Get tougher on companies with a lot of monopoly power. Important industries like telecom, GMOs, mass media, drugs, music and film are dominated by a few powerful firms which have the power to strangle consumers, competition and innovation.

4. Incentivize Positive Externalities (make doing good things more profitable)

  • Ramp up low-interest loans, subsidies and investment into renewable energy research and companies (even better if this is done with fossil fuel subsidies). This includes everything from energy production (fusion, solar, wind) to more efficient consumption (electric vehicles) to sustainable urban development.
  • Do the same thing for GMOs, innovative farming techniques, novel food production (lab-grown meat) and water generation (rainwater harvesting, desalination)
  • Increase public investment in basic research and provide worthwhile tax credits to encourage private research.
  • Restructure the way we fund drug research. This guy has an awesome idea.
  • Incentivize developers to build affordable housing alongside luxury developments to combat gentrification.
  • Fix patents so that they work for innovators and not for the patent trolls who’ve extracted $1 trillion in wealth since 1990.
  • Invest in entrepreneurs. They’re really good for the economy.

5. Use a better metric for progress/success

6. Basic Income (BI)

Conclusion

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Eclectically curious and always learning. 🇨🇦, PM @Microsoft AI 🤖, & part-time guitarist 🎸, previously: @WaterlooEng 👨🏽‍💻

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Krishn Ramesh

Krishn Ramesh

Eclectically curious and always learning. 🇨🇦, PM @Microsoft AI 🤖, & part-time guitarist 🎸, previously: @WaterlooEng 👨🏽‍💻

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