How could we change economics so that it better reflects the expectations of a modern pluralist society? The world, in the main, and in the absence of anything better relies on a capitalistic monetary system that is undisciplined, unregulated and intoxicated with greed.
Firstly, I believe a better understanding of why money matters might help. As I see it, we need to eliminate many of the reasons we worship it. Very simply put:
- “Economics is the study of how people allocate scarce resources for production, distribution, and consumption, both individually and collectively.
- Two major types of economics are microeconomics, which focuses on the behavior of individual consumers and producers, and macroeconomics, which examine overall economies on a regional, national, or international scale.
- Economics is especially concerned with efficiency in production and exchange and uses models and assumptions to understand how to create incentives and policies that will maximize efficiency.
- Economists formulate and publish numerous economic indicators, such as gross domestic product (GDP) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
- Capitalism, socialism, and communism are types of economic systems.”
It was never intended to be a measure of one’s success, or lack of it. It has never made one person better than another but it has suppressed the advancement of many.
There are those who make money but are never remembered. There are others who do great deeds and are.
At the root of all that is evil is greed. The want of it, the craving for it, the love of it and the power that comes with it.
Economics is not and was never intended to be a capitalist gift for those who happen to support a right-wing political ideology. Nor was it intended to be a means by which the wealthy become wealthier. Nor was it meant to be a means by which politicians could cement their power.
How is it possible for the inherited rich and privileged to understand poverty?
Economics should be a gift used to mould a humane and rounded society committed to kindness and compassion. A system by which the pursuit of success is encouraged while at the same time acknowledging that fairness and equality of opportunity is real in economic terms.
Imagine if you will an Australia where economics has a humane face to it. Where capitalism is controlled by common good regulations.
America may be the most advanced technological nation on earth but its social progress on matters of great moral importance is still fighting its way out of the dark ages when mysticism was rampart.
The root cause of all this ill-conceived thinking is a failure to understand what an economy is.
I believe that the Morrison government thinks that our economy collects taxes and other methods of obtaining money and redistributes it, using a top down methodology.
It is this government’s view that the economy is an entity unto itself – it seems to operate somehow in a separate cloud to the rest of us. Furthermore, it is independent of the world in which we live.
That is until events wrench us back to it. For example, according to this theory, the environment is somehow in conflict with the economy rather than an essential, vital essence of it.
This theory is wrong
The notion that a few privileged individuals can own the vast majority of a country’s wealth and the remainder own little is on any level unsustainable, politically, economically or morally.
Invariably when I read about how successful people are. the measure is always the value of their assets.
For those on the left it has been a depressing year; losing an election that was there for the taking. A disaster no one expected.
Those on the right rejoiced at their unexpected good fortune in the belief that it was the way things should be anyway.
Then along came some blistering fires, a few floods and a pandemic with a recession tagging along. I don’t make light of these matters because they are unlike anything for over a hundred years.
There are mixed views on how well our government has handled all these matters but for the purpose of this piece let’s put that aside and look at the future.
If COVID-19 has given us anything positive it is the opportunity to look at things differently, with fresh eyes and ideas.
With a new budget coming down in just a few weeks would it be too much to hope that our government might aim for a more equitable distribution of the country’s wealth.
I wish to revisit what I wrote almost a year ago:
“Indeed, would it be a little too much to expect – even hope – that this government might show a little more compassion, even love toward the elderly, those who cannot find work, or those who simply need more?
Could the government we elected – headed by a man of faith who confesses that God is love – find it is his heart to do something about the lack of it shown to the asylum seekers left on Manus and Nauru? Don’t leave the heavy work to God all the time.
Will those Ministers who share his faith with him, who also confess love as the central tenant of it, do more for the lost who walk our streets, those who hunger for food and love, or lodgings?
Will those who confess that they walk in the shoes of Jesus and those who don’t, reconsider their decisions involving, climate change, ethics, education, morality, law, medicine, population, infrastructure, water, what we can grow and many other complex issues in the knowledge that the changes they legislate will have a lasting effect on our children and their children?
My fervent hope is that love, kindness and compassion is considered in their deliberations. May your God bless you in this?
I would also hope – as I’m sure you would pray – for far less lying by all politicians given that truth is one of the commandments unto all. That its restoration be hastily elevated to its former standing.
And so, it goes for what we see on our televisions, the demonstrable hatred toward each other that you show in Question Time. Please eliminate it now, urgently.
What I ‘m trying to say here is that a true democracy cannot exist without a love for all the things that it exists for.
Love is a democratic outcome of all the thoughts that humble us. Debate in our place of democracy is not of necessity about winning or taking down one’s opponent. It is an exchange of facts, ideas and principles. Or in its purist form it is simply the art of persuasion
By this I mean that love shames us when we seek to act without principles, but love honours dignity and mutual respect for our opponents.
Love softens hearts that want outrage, violence, bossing, bullying and sometimes love cannot be spoken, only shown
There is such a widespread disillusionment with how politics is practiced in our country that people feel powerless. That their vote means very little and they are not participants in our democracy.
The absence of love from one to the other eventually insinuates its way into society and partakes in its decay.”
We are all in this together.
My thought for the day
“The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages … It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom or our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.” (Robert Kennedy, 1968).
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