Where to now?

While reading Capital in the 21st Century I was thinking. A century ago, the means of production was considered the most important economic asset – you could make things in factories and sell them in high volumes to earn a high return on investment. Two centuries ago it was agricultural land (and slaves in the USA) that earned the most money because food was in demand. Now it is human capital because of the predominance of service based income. It seems likely that growth on the order of 3-5%, as it has been for the past 30 years, will be unsustainable because of resource limitations. But which kind of resource is likely to be the limiter? What will the future look like?

Note:published with sections incomplete Sept 29 2014

Continue Reading →

Capitalism is dead. Long live the king

The events of the past 6 weeks should mean that the world realises the near end to free market capitalism of Adam Smith etc (and perhaps expressed in its most ugly form by Gordon Gecko in the film Wall Street). I have pulled together a number of articles that I wrote in the past and put them into one post. Read or skim where you wish.

The argument given by “traditionalists” that the market is best able to decide should by now be finished. The market is clearly not able to do so in some circumstances. Markets measure specific things and they are not always the things that matter to people. We should stop asking if the common good or free markets are the choice. Economic Darwinism is a falsehood and therefore we should move on and just say we want the greater good. If that means regulation then so be it. We are not in the 19th century anymore and we can do better.

Continue Reading →