Capitalism is so ubiquitous and so entrenched around the world… Capitalism has been in use for so long… Capitalism is surrounded by so much cheerleading, myth and propaganda… that it can be difficult to imagine there being any possible alternative to capitalism.
Yet imagine we must, because capitalism has reached a tipping point where it has spun out of control. Capitalism and its side-effects are actively destroying the lives of billions of people on the planet. As detailed in the previous chapters, there are so many negatives now attached to capitalism, so much absurdity, and so much damage being caused by capitalism, that capitalism must be replaced by a new economic system that is much, much better for the 99%.
Let’s look at some simple questions that would be logical to ask about any new economic system:
- Do we want half of the people living on planet Earth to be living on $3 a day or less? Or 70% of the people living on planet Earth making $10 a day or less? Obviously not – such a situation is utterly absurd. The scope of poverty and suffering on planet Earth is unconscionable. Yet this is the situation that we find on Earth today under capitalism. Thousands of giant corporations like Nike and Walmart are propelling this absurdity under the flag of capitalism, as seen in Chapters 3 and 7. What we instead need is a new economy where every adult on planet Earth has a decent standard of living, which means billions and billions of people all around the world making the U.S. equivalent of $52,000 per year. Capitalism will never, ever deliver this. If it could, Nike, Walmart and thousands of similar corporations would be doing it now. Instead, these corporations are actively working every day to do the exact opposite. Therefore, we need to replace capitalism with a new economic system.
- Equally absurd is the common situation in the United States, where tens of millions of working people are on food stamps (SNAP) because they cannot earn enough money through their employment to purchase the food they need. Should there ever be situations where working people cannot earn enough money to feed themselves? Of course not. We need a new economic system that automatically delivers a high standard of living to everyone working in the economy.
- Do we want there to be vast slums, favelas, ghettos, refugee camps, etc. on planet Earth, where billions of people are living in squalor, without access to basics like clean water and electricity, and where the living conditions promote disease and pestilence? Of course not. Again, these conditions are utterly absurd, but are a direct result of capitalism. No human being should be forced to live this way. We need a new economic system that completely eliminates slums and related poverty.
- Do we want millions of children and adults to be dying of easily preventable causes every year (things like hunger, thirst, cholera, etc.) due to lack of access to basic services? Of course not, because this too is absolutely absurd. We have the technological means to prevent all of these deaths, but capitalism refuses to deploy them to billions of fellow humans. We need a new economic system that erases the poverty produced by capitalism.
- Do we want half of the citizens of planet Earth to be cut off from basic health services because of their intense poverty? This is what we find on Earth today, and it too is absurd.
- Do we want billions of human beings to lack access to basics like clean water, sanitation services, adequate food, etc.? We need a new economic system that, by design, eliminates this sort of depravity.
- Do we want inequality and the concentration of wealth so extreme that 0.1% of the population of the United States owns as much wealth as 90% of the rest of the country? Or where eight people on planet Earth own as much wealth as half of the world’s population? This is what capitalism is designed to do. Such a system is absolutely corrupt. In addition, the concentration of wealth is accelerating and now seems to be unstoppable under the rules of capitalism. The corrupt inequality fueling the wealthy elite on planet Earth must be eradicated, along with the rules of capitalism (such as asset capture) that make it possible. The new economic system we design must eliminate the concentration of wealth.
- Do we wish to see all of the pollution and environmental destruction currently occurring on planet Earth as a direct result of capitalism? Of course not. A new economic system that replaces capitalism should enhance the planet rather than destroy it.
- Should adults who are able to work, but who are unable to find a job, be taken to the brink of starvation by intense poverty? Under capitalism, unemployment and underemployment are a norm. There are billions of able-bodied people who would love to have a good job, and who would love to be able to earn the money to support themselves, but are unable to do so because there are not enough good jobs to go around. Similarly, there are billions of able-bodied people who are forced into jobs with absurdly low wages, and they must take these jobs because, under the current forcing functions of capitalism, they have no choice. This gigantically absurd situation must be eliminated by the new economic system that we design.
The solution to all of the problems that capitalism creates is to replace capitalism with a new economic system that is far more equitable than capitalism can or will ever be. This is the new economic system that we are designing in this book. The features we need in the new economy include:
- The need for “elites” is eliminated. Enormous executive salaries and all the perks disappear, ending the concentration of wealth and instead spreading all of this wealth out to everyone (see Chapter 7).
- Therefore, the uncontrollable theft committed by the elites under capitalism is eliminated (see Chapter 7).
- The ridiculous and unnecessary idea of profit is eliminated (see Chapter 13). Instead, people pay for the cost of producing a product (along with externalities) and no more.
- Therefore, the “cost” of any good in our new economic system is completely rational. The price of a product is the amount of human time required to produce/deliver it, without any of the profit that fuels the concentration of wealth under capitalism.
- This “cost” of any item is also completely transparent. Everyone could see and understand the cost of production for any product or service, because we can add up and display the total amount of human time required to produce it.
- Everyone participating in the new economy would intrinsically possess the thing necessary to pay the price of a product – they would simply contribute their productive human time to the economy.
- These steps immediately eliminate three problems endemic to capitalism/money/markets: a) the concentration of wealth, b) poverty and c) unemployment.
- These steps also add a new benefit: when new people and new technologies arrive into our new economic system, they are accommodated effortlessly rather than creating massive disruption through loss of jobs and decline in wages seen under capitalism.
- Therefore, as robots/automation take over more and more of the work in the economy, everyone in this new economy benefits through reduced labor requirements. This replaces the absurd situation in capitalism where the elites capture all of the new wealth created by robots and automation as seen today.
- All of the power held by corporations and executives today under capitalism evaporates, so that government is once again working for the 99%, rather than against it.
The fundamental goal of the new economy is incredibly easy to understand. The goal is to allow every human being on the planet to live a healthy, happy, fulfilling life at a decent standard of living, while at the same time completely eliminating all of the corrosive and poverty-inducing absurdities associated with capitalism. Low wages, unemployment, recession, inflation, asset capture, the concentration of wealth, profit, insane executive pay packages, stifled competition, etc. are all eliminated under our new economic system, because the system is designed for the 99% rather than the 1%.
Specifically, in the new economic system we are developing, all of these things must be true:
- Every human being on planet Earth receives high quality, healthy food.
- Every human being on planet Earth receives clean water and sanitation services.
- Every human being on planet Earth receives high quality, safe, secure housing.
- Every human being on planet Earth receives high quality health care.
- Every human being on planet Earth receives high quality clothing.
- Every human being on planet Earth receives high quality education.
- Every human being on planet Earth receives high quality transportation.
- Every human being on planet Earth receives 24×7 electricity and Internet access.
- Every human being on planet Earth receives a computer and a smart phone to access the Internet.
- And so on…
- While at the same time we are enhancing our planet rather than destroying it, as occurs under capitalism.
With this new economy, 99% of the people on planet Earth will be better off. Let’s look at how we can design the new economy to meet these goals…