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The Money Mirage — Contents

This is an annotated contents list to a blog explaining the challenge of real wealth creation — how to sustainably improve and enrich human beings’ lives.

Part 1 — Money

Focuses on the role of money in our society.

  1. The Money Mirage shows how the vast majority live in a universe dominated by the need for money to pay for the necessities of life.
  2. The Money Makers highlights the existence of a second ‘Universe Two’, where a class of people routinely conjure money into existence out of thin air. Where the necessities and constraints of Universe One simply don’t exist.
  3. Financial Cancer and ‘Growth’ examines the great innovation of recent decades: industrialised mechanisms to transfer wealth to those able to print their own money. A cancer sucking the life blood out of its host.
  4. The Great Corruption examines how the quest for ‘taking’ rather than ‘making’ has corrupted the central institutions of our society.
  5. Institutionalising Corruption provides details on how key institutions in our society have abandoned their original purposes to focus on taking rather than making.
  6. The Attack on Democracy explores how arguments in favour of ‘free markets’ are being used to challenge the very idea of democracy itself. Why not let markets decide everything?
  7. The ‘Up’ Escalator Stalls shows the other side of Universe Two’s money conjuring triumph: most peoples lives are no longer improving, and for a growing number they’re getting worse.
  8. The Nature of the Beast examines two types of innovation and entrepreneurship: productive and unproductive/parasitic. Over the last few decades, parasitic entrepreneurship — finding better cleverer ways of taking — has moved centre stage.
  9. ‘Economics’: A Modern Mystification Machine. Modern economics promotes financial as ‘market forces at work’. But it is a non-scientific belief system akin to astrology and alchemy.
  10. How economics ‘forgot’ wealth creation shows how economists fostered the Money Mirage, deliberately ignoring production to focus only on the exchange of things for money.
  11. Are Markets the Engines of Wealth Creation? dispels the myth that markets create wealth. Markets don’t actually produce anything. They can only trade things that have already been produced.

Part 2: Production

Examines fundamental truths about production that economics ignores.

12. How is Wealth Created? All production depends on the appropriate application of know-how. That’s got nothing to do with money or markets.

13. Know-how: The Foundation of All Wealth Creation shows how wealth creation depends on the development of ever more, better ‘recipes’ or modules of applied know-how

14. The 3As of Wealth Creation shows how successful production recipes achieve a combination of three things: improved Achievability, Availability and Affordability

15. Transcending Trade-Offs: the Engine of Improvement shows how constant attempts to overcome constraints and barriers drives ongoing innovation via new, better ‘recipes’

16. Waste: the “Free Lunch’ of Wealth Creation. Not getting things exactly right is as easy as falling off a log. That is why better alignment of activities is so powerful.

17. Organisation: Key to Effective Wealth Creation. The job of organisations is to develop and apply know-how to align activities more productively, to act as engines of wealth creation.

Covid interlude

18. Covid’s dogma bonfire highlights now necessary responses to the pandemic expose the lies behind multiple prevailing political and economic dogmas

19. Who will pay for the Covid bailout? Establishes a key point about money and economics. We don’t ‘pay’ for things with money. We pay for them by using up available resources. ‘Affordability’ is not about ‘having enough money’. It’s about having available resources.

20. Money as an instrument of power Follows on, by investigating the crucial role that money plays in handing power over available resources to particular groups of people.

21. We can afford what we can actually do A sure fire way to not recover economically from the pandemic would be to say ‘we have’t got the money to do it’. The question is, have we got the ability to make resources available?

22. Ten toxic myths about money Rehearses why wealth is not money. Money is an imperfect symbolic representation of wealth — and a means of exercising power over this wealth.

23. Why money doesn’t measure wealth Discusses the things money doesn’t measure, what it measures but shouldn’t, and what it measures badly.

24. Is changing how we spend money the answer to our problems? Yes, to the degree that it’s a means of exercising power over available resources. But No, because changing how we spend money doesn’t touch all the things that money can’t touch

Part 2 — Production, continued

Examines fundamental truths about production that economics ignores.

25. The Cinderella of Wealth Creation Examines the enormous unsung contribution of infrastructure to making things achievable, available and affordable — to wealth creation.

26. Why Economies are like Rain Forests Successful economies build momentum via an ever growing, complex set of interdependencies. They can’t be manufactured over night.

27. Searching for ‘Better’: Engine of Wealth Creation Humans always would like things to be better. It’s this constant desire for improvement — not the profit motive — that underlies all economic activity.

Part 3 People

Shows why a better understanding ‘human nature’ changes the, why, the what and the how of real wealth creation.

28. Why do Humans Make Things? Shows how human productive activities are, and always have been, much more than ‘economic’, because making lives better is not just about ‘economics’.

29. What Makes Humans Tick? Argues that humans are sentient, social, intelligent beings (and not ‘utility maximising’ calculation machines). This changes both the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of wealth creation.

30. What’s Wrong With ‘Subjective’? Why humans’ feelings are the acid test and measure of real wealth creation.

31. ‘Feelings’: The Litmus Test of System Health Humans have evolved universal physiological and emotional needs that make it possible to identify what ‘better’ policies and institutions should look like.



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