"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Helicopter Money

Social Credit (*) is mocked here as "helicopter money" here; based on this article it certainly seems likely that the Swiss proposal to go all in on a guaranteed non-means-tested universal income will be excessive and will backfire.

(* Historically in Canada this idea was called "social credit", which remains the name I prefer. Unfortunately the idea was premature and also it  picked up some cultural baggage by appealing to unsophisticated and xenophobic rural voters. But I think it's clear that "helicopter money" is not intrinsically a bad idea.) 

Work and wealth have to be connected, but work and survival with a reasonable level of dignity should not. And as machines end up doing all the substantive work, they increasingly cannot.

An otherwise thriving society based on the artificial necessity of enormous amounts of pantomime work has been tried before, I think, on Easter Island. It did not end well.

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