When we refer to an economy we tend to think only of the amount of money we have to spend for our daily needs and extras. From a larger perspective we can see that economies represent a particular complexity that goes beyond the simple availability of individual cash. It has everything to do with the way we deal with money as a culture. There are even various types of economy, some are all right while others are devastatingly bad. And still, in each of the versions we have cash in our pockets to spend on our daily concerns. Money doesn’t care, do we?
A good economy is one based on value creation. It is focused on structural innovation of all elements of society. People contribute to the innovation through creativity, entrepreneurship and labor contribution. Money is an exchangeable value without interest since the true value creation is something else, based on human wellness and social cohesion. Money is just a means, a catalyst to enable value creation and then comes free for another go. Money is also a symbol that represents a value that is saved for a while because it created another value before. For instance in farming people work together on the land and receive money as a token for their labor. This can be exchanged again for primary life support when this is created or harvested. Money circulates and does not grow. What grows is the added value and wellness of the community. Taxation is limited due to the value driven output of the community that requires little bureaucracy and public funding because people address progress themselves and together. These economies don’t grow, their wellness does by investing labor in renewal and modernization. Ownership has no other purpose than usage of property against a negative interest due to deterioration of goods. People are likely to invest in their surrounding to keep it valuable through innovated wellness. Labor is seen valued as social contribution and wellness is the payback.
Such economy is based on consumption of material goods. The distribution and consumption is being taxed to finance the consequences of consumer growth. The investment in distribution, infrastructure, health care and other consequences of such type of organization is huge. The economy tends to grow and endebt itself enormously, making money into a valuable with interest as it does not circulate but flows from debt to institution, relying on more consumption and inflation. Such economy is highly volatile due to its dependence on consumer patterns and speculation with the available resources. Having property is lucrative do to its automatic growth in value on which new debt can be based. Investment is based on structuring the environment for more consumption and affective distribution. Mentality becomes greedy, the having is never enough and landscapes change due to te growing consumer concentration points (cities) and infrastructures to supply them. Inflation is huge due to the continuous needs for more and more while money is the only means to access what people consider valuable when the do not have it and unvaluable when they have it. Such economy is sick. Yet it uses exactly the same money.
Good economies are sustainable and bad ones not. Good economies are not rich in material sense but are trustworthy, bad ones are rich but their currencies have been inflated artificially. Good economies have no real debt as the money that circulates is based on real colatoral. Bad economies have huge debts to account for and pay large amounts of interest over the back of the future inflation on shortages.
Most economies in the world have transformed over the years from good to bad economies. It is not the money that is good or bad but the way we deal with it. Transforming from a good to a bad economy is easy. It is based on human greed. Suddenly the amount of cash in circulation is expanding without any real reason, just due to the perceived value of commodities that are kept in shortage. Populations gradually become lazy and enjoy consumption without having to do very much for it. Investments go towards more and more infrastructure and hardware. People get focused on “having” through materialism and so do institutions. Money and touchable values become the core interest of the consumer and consequence driven culture. Money is a goal for both the consumer world and the world of consequences and both never seem to have enough.
Moving from a bad to a good economy is extremely complex. The greed and perceived abundance of goods is a human quality that does not erradicate that easily. A bad economy deals with massive amounts of money that seems valuable to the general community. Money is money, exactly the same from bad and good economies. The money itself is not the problem, it is the culture around it. The fact that it is based on mainly hot air or a huge debt is not of interest, as long as people have their daily cash. The culture is speculative, not wanting to do real labor for reciprocity, just wanting to deal with financial growth in any way. Money does not circulate but flows just one way, from an overvalued item or debt against overvalued items, to the bank. There is no value creation anymore other than making this hot air ballon grow through more of the same. As the consequences grow so do the needs of a government through tax and pressure on the population.
To break through that culture a severe crisis is needed, often war, depriving people from everything and making them aware again of true values. People do not degrade their perceived financial wealth just by themselves, not even with the best arguments. Hard work for sustainable progress is a dirty word when the alternative is to sit back and watch your properties grow sky high. Criminality, poverty, debt, psychological disorders, health problems, pollution, apathy, etc It all rises, just like the economy of unsustainable growth and mentality. Can it be changed? No, not through intrinsic motivation. Elements can be addressed as long as abundance remains but mentality of greed is persistant especially as institutions also are dominantely based on it.
Is it then possible to create the abundance of a good economy within a bad economy? Undoubtedly to a large extend but then one needs to speculate with talent and innovation instead of materialism and lack of investment. The true good of people is creativity and when we value that in a result driven way we can create abundance through open cooperations. Certain rules should be introduced against interest rates, fractal banking, apathy, etc favoring a proactive code of conduct based on human progress rather then self enrichment.
In a good economy democracy works because people choose for progress and personal involvement, creating their own wealth directly and not depending on others through money systems. In a bad economy democracy does not work because one choses for greed no matter what. Today the world faces a huge transformational need from a bad to a good economy everwhere. It is probably the greatest challenge ever of humankind. Not a challenge against the odds of nature or the quest of knowledge. The challenge is with ourselves and the greed that obsesses us when we get a chance and will not let go until it is forcefully taken from us by disaster. Even wisdom does not help, only maybe the exchange of bad for good value against the awareness of some, especially ourselves.
We face a challenging and confrontational time ahead.