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What other systems could society use, rather than a Monetary System?

Looking at the world today, everything seems to revolve around the economy. This causes mass amounts of people to be incredibly poor, a lot more so than incredibly rich.
Why CAN'T everyone have the same.
Looking at it the big picture, the Monetary system clearly is'nt working, so what else can we do?

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    Jun 29 2012: Humans need an incentive system beyond the idea of a perfect world. In my experience, I've met very few people that can think past what they want to eat for lunch. So, to think that we could all have the same no matter how hard you worked or how much you produced, to me, creates a disincentive for our society. I would love to see a huge push for socialism but it's just not in the cards right now.

    I also believe that wealth and poverty (not starving people in the streets but a lower class) are important to provide incentives. The problem is class mobility. This is where as an American, I would love to see changes in education in lower income communities and a change in the way public schools money is distributed. It's not fair that upper class family's have a better public school education with all the resources plus more, than lower income students. The upper class/middle class school children are probably looking to go to college anyways, it's the children that feel like college is out of reach that we have to captivate.

    I would have to agree that there is a large accumulation of of wealth in most westernized worlds that isn't being used for investment but rather self gain. The question is really here not whether to take the money from the rich but how to get the rich to spread their wealth through investment. We should find a way to produce incentives to move this money around instead of creating more classist rhetoric. I am by no means saying that taxes shouldn't be raised on the rich, rather that we need to work with the upper class rather than hate them.

    In the UK they have a system from olden times that provides incentive for the rich to give back. The house of lords, which to my understanding is basically people that have donated enough money to charity to hold power in their country (an incentive).

    The Monetary system is broken but just like anything in life, with logic and humanitarian thinking we can mend the cracks that have been build on greed.
    • Jun 29 2012: I agree. Some aspects of society can be made "equal" and it has been successfully done in many countries. Typically this is an equal access and opportunity for education and healthcare.
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      Jun 29 2012: Ryan

      I agree with you that we need an incentive program, on this part you are thinking.

      Regarding class mobility, you are drinking and if you think that it is going change through government you are drinking the hard stuff. No where in world is there more class mobility than the United States. The problem is government involvement in education ( think why is the cost of a college education so fing high).

      Self interest is the stock in trade of the free market that Ayn Rand explains so well.The way to get the rich to invest is to get out of their way this is organic to them otherwise they would not be rich. But when you say we should raise the taxes on the rich you have gone to the Tequila and have eaten the worm at the bottom of bottle. When taxes are lowered tax revenue goes up. Google the Regan tax cuts or the Coolidge tax cuts. Which resulted in long periods prosperity.

      Regarding the UK you still need to sober up as their economy has steadily been shrinking for a long time now.

      You are thinking this is good and unusual here on TED as most just want to spew dogma (which they accuse me of doing). You might actually get it (which most will not) I recommend that you watch this video:

      http://www.ted.com/talks/niall_ferguson_the_6_killer_apps_of_prosperity.html

      I also recommend basic economics by Thomas Sowell and Fountain head by Ayn Rand

      If you get through these books (not short) I guarantee your thinking will NOT be the same. And you will better be able to navigate the economics of life, as 90% of the memes regarding economics are b.s.
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        Jun 29 2012: I'm an economics major but your right I don't understand everything about the economic system yet with only a handful of classes. I do understand that by raising taxes you fail to have an affect of the multiplier affect. This I understand, with only 2000 words it's hard to explain your entire arguments. Basically, the only thing that I was saying is that right now in America it seems to me that our country's elite's are holding on to a lot of money and rightfully so, if there is no money to increase supply or invest in a market because people are paying off debts from the housing bubble bursting or the uncertainty of the future markets there is no reason to invest.

        So, just offering an alternative to this method is you basically take away the I (investment) and you create G (government spending) by taxing the rich and putting that money to use to virtually create a multiplier affect through government spending.

        Well, I know here in Pennsylvania that there has recently been government cuts in education budget and this is why college is so expensive. Just asking how is it that government expenditures on education would cause educations prices to go up?

        I take it that your about privatized education but these private schools are ridiculously priced at peaks of around $60,000 dollars. With public schools ranging from $8,000-$13,000 depending on your state schools. I don't fully understand your argument on that aspect. I will definitely take a look at those books, this was one of the reasons I joined this site!

        About, the UK I wasn't saying they have a strong economy, I was simply stating an incentive system that they have implemented hoping to inspire people to think of incentives for the rich.

        And I drink all of those things...but that is a topic for another day.
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          Jun 29 2012: I like your statement on your profile of I'm drinker and a thinker.

          On your first 2 paragraphs the only thing that is relevant is that people follow their self interest which is just a fact. Even if they are trying to help others you could say it is their interest as they want to do that as with altruism and the reality that we are all in the same boat. The reason that they don't invest is uncertainty period. Since government created this uncertainty in the first place splain me how more government is going to help?

          The reason why your college learnin cost so much more is simple. When they discovered gold at Sutters Mill what happened to the cost of a shovel at the hardware store? That is right, when colleges discovered all the money made available through student loans the price of tuition skyrocketed, same thing happened with housing and healthcare. Thomas Sowell's book covers this subject very well and there are some other factors as well one of which is the accreditation process (think education regulation).

          The UK is a study in what not to do with a country. they are the epitome of what
          Z is talking about below which has be caused in no small part by their healthcare system. Also ever time their country would shrink a little (remember they use to control the world) they would economize when they should have been producing, to today you have an kicked in the head economy.

          Kristian it occurs to me that I'm doing most of the heavy lifting?
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        Jun 29 2012: @pat

        The US government must have really rubbed your ears badly that you don't like them that much ... :o)

        If Thomas Sowell was right, how is it possible, that education in Germany was free of charge and is getting back to it after a short period of pricing it?

        When I was in the US I was amazed to hear from my US colleagues that they had to pay for their place at the University. I did not pay a single dime to get my university degree and could even get a loan by the German government with 0% interest rate to reduce the time jobbing at the side.

        If a small nation as mine is able to create such a fair system, why can't others? And believe me, no German potician is smarter than those from the US. So there must be something else which enables fairness to come alive and I am certain it could be done in the US too.
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          Jun 29 2012: One thing imo is the culture Germans are hard working and very productive very laudable could you say the same of Greeks? But it is also an arguably homogenous culture compared to the U.S.

          Secondly the government is borrowing the money one way or another.
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        Jun 29 2012: I see some Thomas Hobbes in your argument and I agree with that definition of human nature.

        The uncertainty is created by the government and this is because of our political statement in my opinion. We do not have a group of political philosophers in office we have politicians. My basic argument is this. If the groups with money are not increasing investment than the multiplier affect is not moving. Therefore, to create stimulus in an economy you can do one of two things. You can increase the deficit A LOT by selling treasuries or you can increase taxes on these groups in power and reduce the the amount of impact on the deficit. Spend money to make money. It's the Keynesian method. You than use this new money and put it towards job creating projects (such as infrastructure or subsidies to hire more people to specific markets that have potential to create product) Therefore, once people have money (jobs) they'll be able to put the money back into the economy and once again investment must increase to keep up with the consumption. This creates the multiplier affect!

        Now, if all economics were to run like this, I think that the world won't have the problems that they do but from my learning this seems to be a valid option and a option that can and has brought our country out of tight spots. (Great Depression/ WWII)

        As for the education argument...I suppose I'd have to research education regulations in the past. I'm unaware of much of it but from your argument it seemed that the privatization of university schooling has brought about higher costs? Your initial argument was that government caused education costs to go up. I just don't fully understand how government would cause this. Is it all government regulation on the universities? What about Public schools?
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          Jun 29 2012: If you mention the multiplier effect again I will reach through your computer screen and slap some sense into you, are you drinking right now? Have you ever seen the 1.5 multiplier in the wild?

          Keynes only gained popularity because the politicians you mention could use his ideas to gain votes. Ryan I want you to read my lips It does not work it is Kool Aid.

          It was government that caused the Great Depression certainly not shorten it even Ben Bernanke thinks so. Gees Am I gunna half to give you a bad grade in economics? your major?

          Here is a story that Sowell gives in one of his books. A school in Colorado starts up a law school. In order to save money they do not use accredited teachers,. instead they use practicing lawyers who get graduates that pass the bar at a higher level than Harvard at less than half the cost. The Ivy league schools get wind of this and tell the school they have to start using accredited teachers or the department of education is going to have take away their accreditation for the school. So they comply and few regulations later cost as much as the other schools and have just as poor a result.

          In the public schools have a teachers union. Here in California they are some of the highest paid teachers in the United States yet score 47th on test scores that's right only Louisiana and Alabama score worst than California, this is where that incentive system you talked about would be real handy.
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        Jun 29 2012: I'm not pleased with that answer it sounds like a slippery slope argument. Regulations to keep schools accountable....sounds good to me! I feel like you hear the word government and you go up in arms. Tip toeing on the edge of autocracy.

        Pat no need for grades here. We're all trying to have an intelligent conversation and your way of conversing seems to be degrading. Which is not only bad manners but also shows your close mindedness to my argument...You make harsh judgement without questioning which is a sure sign of ignorance to my argument.

        Anyways, yes the governments lowering of the interest rates just as the housing bubble burst caused the banking system to take a plunge but there is much more to that story besides the government intervention.

        Government funds going into education are not bad. I don't know why you are against this? You heard government and you suddenly panicked? Why shouldn't governments fund public school systems pat?

        "Have you ever seen the 1.5 multiplier in the wild?" What does that even mean? This is a sovereign system. A system created by humans based on incentive. Yes I've seen incentive used in the "wild"...implemented by man. You give a monkey a puzzle...he solves it he gets a banana?

        If you lower taxes, YOU WILL have more money to spend. Therefore, you will spend that money and when you spend that money...firms WILL HAVE to increase the amount of UNITS they produce to keep up. That makes perfect sense to me...You increase government expenditures...firms have to increase their units....they increase investment ect. How does that not make sense to you?

        What economic theory do you back? How does it work? What is the best way to bring the cost of schools down? So to do so you take people that aren't trained to teach and you get them to teach our students to pass a test? Do you support no child left behind act? That seems to be doing well......
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          Jun 29 2012: The 1.5 multiplier is from Keynesian propaganda. The in the wild part refers to a joke that it is only conjecture and does not exist. This is the standard bs the politicians use to spend more money.

          My mistake, I have already answered all of those questions but you can't hear me because you have already drank the Kool Aide.

          Read basic economics and see if you can reconcile that with what they are teaching you.
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        Jun 30 2012: I haven't drank anything...I'm willing to listen to any ideology based theory. I was completely open minded to any suggestion that you could offer and question anything that I did not understand but I agree that the conversation seems to be dead so will end it here.

        I enjoyed our conversation besides your degrading undertone...I'm sure will meet again on here....it seems to be a smaller network than I assumed! I'll definitely read up on basic economics with a questioning attitude like I do everything else.
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          Jun 30 2012: I don't consider my comments to be degrading, what I was doing was challenging your ideas but it appears you have already decided.
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    Jun 29 2012: .
    - Installing mechanisms to prevent wealth to accumulate individually and locally
    - Change or system of values towards less vanity, greed and claim for power
    - Banish gambling and betting from economical interaction
    - Redirect value back into the 'making' instead of its 'trading'
    - Banish the concept of interest rates
    - Banish virtual value

    The concepts are there, it is the implementation were the problem lays.

    The monetary system itself is not the problem, its the rules we allowed to form within.
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      Jun 29 2012: so if i want to borrow money from my friend, and pay back 5% more a year later, it would be illegal? why?
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        Jun 29 2012: Because the concept of interest rates is a self-sustaining and destructive mechanism.

        Let me try to make this understandable. If the worldwide monetary value would be worth $100. Now half of the population would lend the other half money with an interest rate of 5%, one year later the overall value of the monetary system could increase to a maximum of $105. Where does this $5 come from, as in this whole interaction nothing but virtual value got produced? As a monetary system can only represent its underlying sorce of material 'resources' it outbalances itself by this virtual part.

        If you would have borrowed a book from your friend instead - 100 pages thick - first, it is most likely that he did not expect you to add 5 extra pages when you returning it - I would reconsider this friend if he would :o) - and if he did, the pages you are then giving to him would be real in their value, as they exist materially.

        Due to the creation of this virtual value we can and will observe the existing economical system collapse on a regular basis.

        I have always wondered why only money is allowed and therefore capable to reproduce itself out of itself. Matter can't do this and this is why the laws of physics do not collapse on themselves.

        So if we would ban this virtual value come to existence, it would lead to more reliable forms of global economic trades. And remember, 'interest rates' are not more than a man made concept and can therefore be changed at any time. And if they proof to be harmful to people, I support they should be changed.
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          Jun 29 2012: hidden in your generalizations, there are statements that disturb me.

          1. you claim that i don't know what is good for me? because i agreed to take money at 5% interest. but you somehow know better what is good for me? how do you know? maybe i can jump start my business with it, and have 20% yield on the money. maybe it will save the life of someone i love. maybe it will save me from a grave situation. 5% seems to be a good price to me. but you say i'm engaging in some evil activity, and i should not do that.

          2. you seem to claim that lending money at interest is an evil thing to do, and friends don't do that. i lent money for interest to my friend. so you seem to claim that i'm evil, i exploited my friend. but he seemed to be happy to me with his new car, which he should not wait another year to get. so i believe i was cool, as opposed to evil or exploitative.

          3. you also seem to claim that such behavior leads to collapse of the economy or things of that nature. i fail to see how could my actions possibly hurt anyone. explain.
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        Jul 2 2012: Hello Krisztián,

        the simplified example I have given was neither meant nor intended to disturb you nor to accuse you of having any evil intention. So I apologize if it did.

        I was heading for the general concept of interest rates only and took on your example which may have caused this misunderstanding.

        The given fact, that I loan money to my friends without interest rates proves my concept that there is no necessity to it. So what you think I may think about you doing differently, is up to you, as I am not going to judge your actions. I just know, there is no necessity to it, that's all I am stating.

        The example you have given of saving someones life by taking on a loan, has, unfortunately proofed itself to become bitter reality for those who were not able to do so, just because they have not been granted 'creditworthiness' in a system, which do not support general and free health care. As much as I know this topic has caused endless debates in the US and still is today.

        That the concept of 'interest rates' is capable of leading economies into collapse can be seen at the given financial crisis within the US and Europe and as much as I have seen, people are getting hurt by it.
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          Jul 2 2012: this is a very profound and widespread mistake. to talk "in general", and not considering the actual effects on individuals lives. you believe you can ban interest without actually hurting the people that want to borrow or lend money at interest. laws always control people's lives. there are no laws with general effects only.

          there is no necessity to drink orange juice either, but you don't want to ban it, do you? if you don't want to lend at interest, fine for me. if you want to borrow for free, and you can find partner for it, fine. but why should that limit me?

          i believe la trappe dubbel is a good beer. not everyone can afford it, but it does not make it any worse does it? or for example a cancer drug, or a comfortable car, they are all valuable, though not available for everyone. a loan of USD120,000 is a (or can be a) good thing, though not everyone can afford it. why would that be a problem? how health care come into the picture, i honestly have no idea.

          interest rate is as old as history. yet, many empires and countries thrived. so it is not very justified to blame the fall of some on interest. for one example, the current economic crisis can be blamed on *too low* interest rates.

          for interest rate has an economic meaning. just like price, interest rate delivers information about the scarcity of the item, in that case, savings. interest rate tells investors how scarce savings are, so how profitable an investment has to be in order to be worthwhile to invest in. set the interest rate too low, and investments start to happen that are unnecessary, and generate a negative value at the end. that's why the US have built thousands of houses now empty. given the low interest rates, it seemed to be a good idea. but it turned out to be a waste of resources.
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      Jun 29 2012: "- Installing mechanisms to prevent wealth to accumulate individually and locally" You mean put an end to private property?

      "- Change or system of values towards less vanity, greed and claim for power" Do you propose vanity police? If so they should make their headquarters at the beltway.

      "Banish gambling and betting from economical interaction" So do away with the stock market?

      "Redirect value back into the 'making' instead of its 'trading'" So we now have to make everything that we use every day ourselves?

      "he monetary system itself is not the problem, its the rules we allowed to form within." So fractional banking and fiat money are fine?
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        Jun 29 2012: .
        You mean put an end to private property?

        No. But it can be more reasonable than it is and by this I mean limitation. Of course those limits are discussible and not static for all times, yet I can not really see any good reason why some people have millions of dollars on hand while others die of starvation. Do you?

        Do you propose vanity police?

        No. But I find the role models we created are mainly based on advertising strategies instead of a more humanistic view on this world. Less superficial more substancial values I propose.

        So do away with the stock market?

        Yes. It proofed itself worthless in creating reliable and stable markets. It creates virtual value without any substancial equivalent. It reacts emotionally, hypernervous and irrational and I don't wan't the world economy be steered by this. If my taxi-driver was this way, I would leave the cab, wouldn't you? And as long as computer programs are making millions of dollars by differences in virtual values in between milliseconds, we truly lost any porpotion!

        So we now have to make everything that we use every day ourselves?

        No. But I do not see any good reason why a woman in a sweat-shop in Bangladesh who makes a T-shirt selling for $20 in the US or Europe, is the last in the chain of profit and get's a ridiculous fraction of it's selling price. Also here we need a new understanding of participation and fairness. In Germany we have a saying 'The gold is in the trading' and I always wondered why this is still getting accepted.

        So fractional banking and fiat money are fine?

        No. This actually is the core of the problem.
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          Jun 29 2012: "But it can be more reasonable than it is and by this I mean limitation. Of course those limits are discussible and not static for all times, yet I can not really see any good reason why some people have millions of dollars on hand while others die of starvation. Do you?"

          Yes there is no evidence that you can take from those who have more and give to those who have less without reducing everyone to squalor. please read the 2 comments by Zdenek Smith in this thread. On the other hand China's annual per capita GDP has gone from $500 to $7500 over the past 10 years.

          "But I find the role models we created are mainly based on advertising strategies instead of a more humanistic view on this world. Less superficial more substancial values I propose."

          Who is going to decide this?

          "Yes. It proofed itself worthless in creating reliable and stable markets. It creates virtual value without any substancial equivalent. It reacts emotionally, hypernervous and irrational and I don't wan't the world economy be steered by this. If my taxi-driver was this way, I would leave the cab, wouldn't you? And as long as computer programs are making millions of dollars by differences in virtual values in between milliseconds, we truly lost any porpotion!"

          The very core of job creation is investment in small business of which the stock market plays no small part.

          "In Germany we have a saying 'The gold is in the trading' and I always wondered why this is still getting accepted."

          Because it is true:

          http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex.html


          "No. This actually is the core of the problem."

          On that we agree
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          Jun 29 2012: I am not talking about equality I am talking about more balance and fairness than we have today. I am convinced, that there is no need for anyone on this planet to die in starvation, yet indeed many do. And as long Banks are getting supported with millions and millions by tax money at that very same time, something has gotten out of control in our system.

          Also I would rather drive a car, which was designed to last and to be as 'green' as possible in its production and use. The technology in cars we are using today could be far more advanced than it is, yet 'the market' itself has no interest in it. Things have to break down to get replaced by new ones to perpetuate the wheel of demand. And the bill for this is written day by day.

          '... A scale is irrelevant.'
          No pie is growing out of it self, it is the effort of many hands to get it done. And to stay in the picture I have given before, the woman in the sweat-shop is getting the least for the creation of the product she produces, aside the woman (or men) who made the fabric and the ones picking the cotton. And as long as the purchaser at e.g. Macy's, who spend mayby two hours of getting the deal done is earing more on each T-Shirt than the sweat-shop lady and the whole chain down the line of the raw-materials, the system istelf is not in a fair balance. If it was, why does so many swet-shops do not have labor unions?

          ...Very few people remain in either the top quin tile or the bottom quin tile for many years.

          I do not know the expresion 'quin tile' but I figure it sympolises some sort of position within a system. On this I am afraid there are real 'flesh and blood' people in despair by the given rules of our global economy. And so far I have never seen a top manager who lost his job facing hunger, wheras the lower 'tile' people often do.

          ... This is complete crap I can explain but you probably quit listening?

          I would not quit listening, yet I would probably doubt your explanation.
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          Jun 29 2012: Actually you ARE talking about equality. The point is that fewer do. A point of logic is that something has to be compared to itself over time. To say something woulda coulda shoulda is irrelevant. Something is out of control but it is not the free market as by definition the free market is carefully controlled by all 7 billion who participate in it 100's of times a day.

          Can you demonstrate what you say about car technology? Your opining doesn't count even if it is very certain. (what German is not very certain?)

          No Pie is growing by itself but the fact is certain key players have contributed much more than others Would we have as cheap as energy as we have now if not for Rockefeller or Edison, as advanced of automobiles .if not for Ford, be as smart if not for Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Yup they deserve more money than the girl in the sweat shop. But note that girl is working there because that is the best deal she can make therefore is doing better there than she could otherwise. I read a magazine article this morning that indicated that by 2015 the labor advantages of manufacturing in China will be gone by 2015 and they have coined a new word "re-shoring".

          Quin tile is easily looked up thanks to the aforementioned Google. At any given time most people will suffer and most people will move out of the lowest quin tile. In fact the only time they do not is when the very certain do gooders pay them for being in that quin tile at which point they camp out at that level. This is the same reason the park service does not allow you to feed the animals as they then become dependent on others and do not learn to live for themselves.

          If you still want to hear the explanation on statistical crap let me know otherwise I don't want to waste my time.
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          Jun 29 2012: @ Pat

          You arre right, I am talking about equality.

          Concerning the free market we will not converge in our views on it, as I do not share the widespread acceptance that consumer control the market. They could, and therefore a lot of effort is spend on confusion (e.g. phone contracts), disinformation (e.g. light products), suggestion (commercials) and censorship (e,g. Fukushima). 'Free' to my understanding looks different. There are also other effects of group behaviour which does not make a market 'free'.

          I have met many Germans who are not certain, but to give you an example on car-technology there is to say, that there are oil filter who would make it needless to change the oil of the engine. Calculate yourself what this would mean to the oil industy and if they would like this technology released to the 'free marked'? This market is not free, it is a place of interest and as bigger you get, as more you can influence it. But also here our views will not converge.

          You are twisting my example by comparing Edison with the girl of the sweat-shop. And the fact that she has no other choice but to work there does not legitimize her payment, yet causes it. Yet back to your argument. Does Edison or any other inventor or founder deserve more money than his employees? Yes, they do and should (see incentives), yet the difference became ridiculous. To me this is a matter of proportion, which got out of control. The effect of the 're-shoring' you talked about will be interesting to watch and I hope it will be beneficial to many Americans.

          Google did not give me any useful result on 'Quin tiles' and even Wikipedia did not help. This may also be related to the fact that I am no native English speaker and that my translation program did not answered my query. So thank you for the translation and your example which I finally was able to understand.

          But you can save your time on the statisticals.
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          Jun 29 2012: The fundamental error in your thinking is to talk about absolutes or ideals. That is an error in logic, as per the scientific method the metric is the way it was compared to the way it is now . But absolutely not the "the way it should be"

          I will leave it at this and give you the last word.
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        Jun 29 2012: ... China's annual per capita GDP has gone from $500 to $7500 over the past 10 years.

        Which is a good thing and was hard worked for. But also China shows the perversion of super-capitalism, as it created a number of super-rich people to the burden of the others. And if this and corruption could be eliminated I am quite sure the average could be more than $7500 today.

        (role model) Who is going to decide this?

        Who is deciding it now? Big advertising budgeds! I am certain that after 3.5 billion years of evolution we can do better than that. We already have all the ethics needed, it is that they are not getting promoted.

        The very core of job creation is investment in small business of which the stock market plays no small part.

        And by which those jobs are getting outsorced into 3rd world countries to increase the shareholder value. Leading to swet-shops and such. No, I am convinced that small businesses can be supported in a much more efficient way to create and also to sutstain their jobs.

        (Gold in the trade) Because it is true.

        We may have a missunderstanding here. I am not against trading, on the contrary, I am aginst the given distribution of the benefit which is gained in trading. This German saying states, that you are making more money in trading goods than you can make by producing goods. And this can be quite 'off scale' to any good purpose.

        It may not became clear enough. I am aginst the perversion, the extremes in our given economy,
        not against the economy itself. And the extremes are increasing to the disadvantage of the majority of the people. And this I do not accept.
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          Jun 29 2012: There will NEVER be equality, the problem starts with trying to create it and is what creates the difference between N Korea and S Korea, your Germany and East Germany would you rather drive a Mercedes or a Travant?

          Advertising creates interest in their products which is the opposite of government that by definition is using force on people to tell people what those who (with great certainty) "know best" have decided they have to do.

          Jobs that are outsourced create more jobs through comparative advantage that is explained in the video. Since value is created by the virtue of the exchange why shouldn't it be more commensurate? Which brings up another point this evil rich guy has grown the size of the pie he has increased everyone's standard of living so he is not taking his wealth from anyone. A scale is irrelevant.

          The extremes are a category they are not real flesh and blood people. This fallacy is created by politicians and is specious. Very few people remain in either the top quin tile or the bottom quin tile for many years. Real flesh and blood people will occupy many categories over their lives.

          Additionally through statistic manipulation the politicians have shown the rich in U.S. to have increased their wealth many times over the past 20yr or so over the middle class. This is complete crap I can explain but you probably quit listening?
        • Jun 29 2012: I agree that extremes are not good and we have seen some very bad examples recently with American banks and stock brokerages.

          I think there needs to be a balance so that wealthy are not getting wealthy beyond reasonable level while being rewarded for their important contributions. We also need more transparency in the banking sector and introduce accountability by business leaders?
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          Jun 29 2012: Z

          We just need to get government out of banking. We now have banking controlled by government. We are suppose to have a profit AND loss system which means if you want to make bat shit crazy investments go for it but when you go get stung YOU get stung.
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        Jun 29 2012: ... YOU get stung.

        Completely agree with you on your 'YOU get stung'. Yet I do not 'fear' as much the involvement of the government within the market. I also do not believe in the self-correcting principles of a free marked, as especially the most recent crises proofed that it is not working. Also the tendency of forming monopolies is a sign, that a free market will serve towards the good for the people.

        Capital is greedy in its nature and therefore has to be tamed. For governments and its potential for improvements we two could probably open and fill many separate threads on this site... :o)
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          Jun 29 2012: You do not fear government as you are ignorant of it. When Hitler (I know...) was telling the Germans how to live and what their purpose was would it have worried you then?

          Can you give me some examples of monopolies with out government help if even then?

          Capital does have to be controlled. By the one devise that is irreducibly simple and infinitely complex simultaneously the FREE MARKET. Sorry Jan-Bernd but you are not qualified to do this job.
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          Jun 29 2012: @ pat

          Oh yes, we have definitively seen what qualified people have managed on the capital market. I salute and bow my head in awe.

          For the sake of our controversy I wish to have your faith in your FREE MARKET, but I judge any system by it outcome and by this the free marked failed to make me believe in its self-correcting mechanisms. Bubble after bubble creates itself out of thin air, no substance at all, and burst sometimes that hard that whole nations with all their people get shoken by it. If all these tradegies would only affect those who caused the problem I would be on yout side. But they are not and this is what makes me think different.

          Regarding Hitler, I liked your I know comment. And most likely I would not have been worried at that time like most Germans have not. But to me there is a difference in between a government within a dictatorship and the government of a democracy, in which our nations live today. And as I said we could easily go on for hours in dissecting the problems in democratic systems, yet to me this is the best form I can think of and therefore I wan't the market, the capital be controlled for the good of the people and the trading.
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        Jun 29 2012: @ pat

        Somehow I can not directly reply on your comments, probably because of the way these comments are interlaced, so you can find another comment on yours at the end of this page regarding the CAR.
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        Jun 30 2012: .
        If you are granting me the last word, I hope I will choose it wisely.

        If it comes to people and fairness I am aiming as high as I possibly can, as compromises are a part of any democratic process and thus will be cut down to a certain extent.

        By doing so I am not afaid to become idealistic, never was and hopefully never will be, as I do not consider Idealism a bad thing if its intention is for the good of all people.

        This world we all live in is only as good as we make it, day by day.

        If it comes to people and fairness, the principles of logic not always apply and I am glad they don't.

        Logic by its very own nature operates free of any humanity, thus it should be used gently in this matter.

        If the chances of your or mine cancer treatment - god fobid - will ever be on its lowest chance of success, it would not be logic to try, yet we would be thankful if we were granted to try.

        And hey, what do you think Robin Hood was good for as a role model in our childhood? I am certain it was not only meant to spark the urge for green leggings ... :o)
    • Jun 29 2012: I am sorry but that sounds like an ideology similar to communism being impose on others? Where is the free will and who will decide what is a good rule and what is not?
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        Jun 29 2012: It is no communism and we all know it did not work. But does capitalism work? Also here we can see its down-sides. But fortunately we don't have to think in strict categories. Capitalism did not work, so all aspects of it are nonsense. Capitalism has it negative sides, so all sides are nonsense...

        Where is the free will and who will decide what is a good rule and what is not?

        The decision of the quality of a rule is its outcome. If a role does not work, change it. If a role has imperfections, improve it. This is called optimisation if we choose for it based on our free will.

        The recent collapses we have seen in the US and in Europe shall not make us re-think the principles of our economy? This I would consider the loss of our free will for the sake of invariability.
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          Jun 29 2012: The problem is that you have to separate what actually did or did not work. The problem with socialism is that the apparent prosperity is a result of borrowing which the politicians are never going to admit.
        • Jun 29 2012: " But does capitalism work? Also here we can see its down-sides."

          Capitalism has problems but it is the best we currently have?

          "Where is the free will and who will decide what is a good rule and what is not?"

          In terms of ethics and morality UN Declaration of Human Rights is universal framework. In terms of concrete rules we need courts, politicians and working democracy (meaning democracy where people are well informed and active in the political process).

          "The recent collapses we have seen in the US and in Europe shall not make us re-think the principles of our economy? "

          Yes there are definitely lessons to be learned. However we have no option but to continue with using money and capitalism before we find something better?

          cheers
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          Jun 29 2012: @Zdenek

          Capitalism has problems but it is the best we currently have?

          Yes! So let's make it even better! Less speed, less greed, more humanity.

          ... meaning democracy where people are well informed and active in the political process.

          Totally with you!

          However we have no option but to continue with using money and capitalism before we find something better?

          And we will rightly so. Unfortunately I do not see any progress in learning so far...
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        Jun 29 2012: @pat

        And so it is in capitalism. Where is the financial crisis in the US based on if not on loans? The same in Europe. And it seems that we have lived far beyond our means and the correction of this was and will be quite painful.

        I recently saw a documentary about Deutsche Bank and how they are throwing out American families in large numbers off their homes, because those weren't able to pay their dues. So families are getting punished to reduce the loss in profits for the sake of the shareholders? And because of the inflation in the American property market those houses remain empty, because they can not be sold by Deutsche Bank. In what world are we living in? No, this can not be right at all!
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          Jun 29 2012: No it is not right but it is not because of the evil banksters. It is because of a government program called the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) google it there are other factors but this is the big one.
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          Jun 29 2012: @pat
          Accordingly to the information on Wikipedia, again, I disagree!

          And again, if you count that much in qualified people, I again bow my hed in awe for those brilliant bankers.

          Qualification does not protect against common sense and against the tool called risk analysis!

          If you run a business by loaning money to people to make your profit by it, it becomes your very own interest to have a closer look to those people you are working with... your customers. And who ever is telling you not to, just don't listen to them! Those subprime mortgages out of the CRA act did neither cause the volume nor the crisis itself.
          And if you are running a business you are responsible to your own actions anyway.

          According to Luci Ellis, Bank for International Selttlements 'The housing meltdown: Why did it happen in the United States?' (http://www.bis.org/publ/work259.htm) the housing meltdown shows no causal relation the Community Reinvestment Act. This topic seems to be controversal and because I am not into this matter deep enough, I can not take this argument than Deutsche Bank is doing rightly so to kick families out of their homes. This is dirty business!
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          Jun 29 2012: @Pat
          The government has made mistakes in the past but what you seem to be proposing is complete detachment from governmental intervention. I don't think because of governments poor decisions in the past that you throw government intervention away completely.

          What should happen is constant revision of government policy...but because of people in this country who fight for this complete lack of government intervention we have what I like to call a "The brick wall of American Politics"

          I personally would love to see statistical analysis of class mobility because in all my research it seems that the lower class typically stay lower class much more often than the upper class or middle class, drop to lower class.

          I think your just as ideological and less logical as a socialist. With no government at all I don't see anything happening but the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Who will look after the people? The free market? How does the free market accommodate to the poor? As I see it in today's society...the only motivator is money. One of the lowest paid professions in America are social workers and teachers. Why all of a sudden we stop involving the government will any of this change?
        • Jun 30 2012: I think the problem with mortgages is due to many factors.

          The government program had some major issues.

          The people taking mortgages did not make educated decision and didn't understand or even ignore their financial situation.

          Banks offered mortgages that were not suitable for financial profile of many of the borrowers. They also offered mortgages with too low qualification criteria. Some mortgages were setup with minimum or no payment over time toward principal.

          Probably a few more factors I didn't notice.
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          Jun 30 2012: zdenek, i believe most people did very much a good decision. they lived in a house for years, much bigger than they ever could afford, no downpayment, no qualification, ridiculously low interest rates, and nothing to lose. why would they not sign up for that?

          and now they complain about "losing" their house. what house?? they've never owned a house! be grateful for the good years, and now back to reality.

          the losers are not the borrowers, but the lenders. those that lost their lifetime savings. they should be outraged now! i should go to ING, and ask them: did you invest in US housing? do you own mortgage based CDO-s? if so, what was your thinking? do you not understand the fundamentals? or i pay you for jumping on bandwagons?
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          Jun 30 2012: Yup group think had a lot to do with it as illustrated by tulip bulbs in Holland in the 1600's.

          The banks only went along with this financial suicide because the government offered them a carrot and a stick. The stick being that if they did not make these loans the regulators would make life miserable for them. The carrot was the Fanny and Freddie would carry the paper which is now to the tune of 5 trillion.

          The derivative thing was vastly overstated as the banks hedge their bets and did not have as much exposure as the media would have you believe. (if really was as big as the media said why doesn't it make the news any more?)
  • Jun 28 2012: From my experience with communism (I lived under the regime for 25 years) people will be fairly quickly demotivated to try their best or even to do a good job. Not everyone at first but eventually everyone will do bare minimum. Why would you put much effort into anything when others are not doing much and getting the same amount of reward?

    We need a system where hard working and inventive individuals get rewarded accordingly. So far money and capitalism proved to be the best system we have (not perfect in many ways thou).
    • Jun 29 2012: I understand what you are saying, I really do, but surely not everyone will be demotivated.
      Everyone is different to some degree. If the right motivation was put forward in education, then people might be driven towards a different goal, to a different success, like there own personal intelligence.
      If you look at people in third world countries (especially the younger) they all seem to want schooling. Granted this view may be me being naive, and they want education to get jobs for money, but surely if another goal was their, they would still want to learn.
      I'm not saying communism is the right way either, from my knowledge it still uses money, Just people still get the same amount, except the state.
      I understand that the IDEA of capitalism is good, it just isnt working for the mass.
      • Jun 29 2012: Yes there are exceptions and some people are motivated by other things than money. However as a society if we don't distribute economic wealth based on individual effort I can't see how most people can be motivated.

        Capitalism is working quite well in some countries like Canada, Sweden, Germany, and others. I think it is not capitalism but lack of people's education and involvement in political process so they can make it to their advantage?
        • Jun 29 2012: Capitalism seems to be working ok for the western world, kinda (the eurozone crises and economic collapse in Spain, Greece ,Italy may prove otherwise). But i refuse to believe that if the whole world was capitalist, then things would be any better. I think some countries would still be a lot poorer than others and thus the people will still suffer.
          And lack of education in most cases is due to the economy. Schools should never run out of resources, and surely University or college should be free. not a way for every self motivated individual, who wants to better there education, to get into mass amounts of debt.
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        Jun 29 2012: tell the people in the 1900's in the USA that capitalism does not work for the masses. within a century, life standards rose constantly and fast.
        • Jun 29 2012: Tell that to the thousands of people in the USA who died and lost their jobs in the great depression due to the 1929 wall street crash!! life standards certainly dropped then.
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        Jun 29 2012: sorry, the great depression was government job

        however, even with the great depression, the average over time is grossly positive, so anyone would choose capitalism with great depression over no captalism
      • Jun 29 2012: "Capitalism seems to be working ok for the western world, kinda (the eurozone crises and economic collapse in Spain, Greece ,Italy may prove otherwise). "

        I think Spain and Greece are examples of where economy was affected by on-capitalistic pro-government big spending policies. I don't argue that pure capitalism is good but rather I suggest we need balance of healthy competition and reasonable social policies?

        "And lack of education in most cases is due to the economy. Schools should never run out of resources, and surely University or college should be free."

        Maybe, but people without official degrees became very successful in business and otherwise. Nowadays we see a trend of experience and creativity being important. Schools don't even teach enough about ethics, creativity, life skills and entrepreneurship.
  • Jul 21 2012: The root of the problem is that in order to run our society we have to exchange goods or services. If you think about it is a simple and primitive rule wich has been in place forever. Unless we replace this rule with a more efficient one than we will have the society that you live in today.

    Can I suggest that we come up with a set of rule where exchanging is not required? For instance a rule could be that in a future world we should all give and get from society.

    Can anyone suggest any more rules?
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    Jul 2 2012: To whom it may concern:

    http://www.thevenusproject.com/

    http://www.tromsite.com/

    Viewer discretion is advised.
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      Jul 2 2012: i would say, viewer could spend his time much better than this. the venus project is not even wrong. and that other thing ... you know something is not right if the present is called "the monetary system", and the subtopics include "justice", "language", "luck", "beauty and design" and such. come on! money is not that difficult.
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        Jul 2 2012: Hello Krisztián,

        the question here actually is about the 'monetary system' and alternatives for it and I prefer
        viewers decide for themselves what to spend their time on.

        For both links one should be prepared due to the manipulative character of what and how it is shown, yet what isn't?

        I can just say, that some of these aspects has been new and interesting to me and they may be so to others as well. Who knows?

        And if you know better ways to spend time on, please contribute!
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          Jul 2 2012: manipulative is a problem, but not a central one. the central problem is that it is false, or even worse, it does not have sense at all. i'm throughly annoyed with the venus project. it is deliberately engineered to appeal for the dissatisfaction of economic illiterate people. it is not their fault, one can not easily get economic insight today. the experts that we should trust repeatedly failed to predict or even explain the catastrophic collapse of economic policies all over the world. mainstream economics seams to be a major fiasco. so people naturally turn to anything different. and the venus project rides that wave. this is very very harmful.
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        Jul 2 2012: Krisztián,

        it may not make any sense to you, it may be false in your eyes. No complains! But this should be the measurement of all the others?

        And those experts you are naming with THE insight in economic do not exist, never have and never will! If it was any different, please give me a good reason why all of them have allowed this and other crisises to happen? In any field of expertise you will find a multitude in opinions, believes and experiences, which can be quite contradictory - especially by the fact, that economics is a "empirical" discipline. And "empirical" is never 'static'.

        Especially the venus project does not ride any 'wave' if you mean by this any current situation.
        Jacque Fresco is working on his ideas in public since 1969, which I would not consider a 'wave'.

        I repeat it again, let people decide what information they wan't to consider and which not. Anything else is called censorship, and I can not believe this is you wish to promote!

        Especially the TED community I consider smart enough to make up their own minds, don't you?
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          Jul 2 2012: you have a really disturbing view on things.

          first you stated that every material out there is manipulative. now you claim that every field is controversial, and there are no consensus in any of them. these are false! controversy in physics is on the very edge! controversy in biology is about things like what was first, RNA or protein. these are marginal questions. in science, most things are well established and not debated.

          please note that i myself said that econ professors and policy makers failed miserably. please read again my previous post.

          people can freely read about the venus project. i never advocated shutting down the website . but i will on every occasion tell my opinion on it. that's what a conversation is about. we react to what is said, not just let them sit here.
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        Jul 2 2012: quote: 'but i will on every occasion tell my opinion on it. that's what a conversation is about. we react to what is said, not just let them sit here.'

        And you rightly do so! And so do I! And we all should do this. To me this is democracy!

        quote: 'in science, most things are well established and not debated.'

        Science, if not there, where else? is changing even the most established agreements the very moment new evidence is found and confirmed which makes it necessery! This is why I love science!

        So if you, like I, agree that experts faild in the mechanisms of economy, why not think about how to ovid theses things to happen again? If you do not find any aspects within the venus project acceptable to you, that is fine! We already do what is part of the process, we argue about it!

        And if our discussion helps Chris Richie to decide to follow those links or not, well, then even better.

        Personally I just get suspicious if someone claims to know what is true and what is false, this is why I try to refer to my own believes the moment I am making a statement on something. This, I agree, does not always works out well at all times, but I am trying to improve on that.
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          Jul 2 2012: "why not think about how to ovid theses things to happen again?"

          eer, what? i spent like a 100 hours listening to lectures, and read 12 books on the subject. i would claim that it is enough to meet the requirement of "thinking about" it.

          and exactly that was my point about the venus project. what we have is crap. so since the venus project is different, it should be good, right? well, no. it is also crap. because there is only one truth, but there are many many craps.
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        Jul 2 2012: Ok, whatever, as we are not adding any more content to the original question, we may leave it here as it is.
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    Jun 28 2012: The alternative would be that you make everything you use every day yourself, that doesn't seem very workable?

    The alternative is to learn to do something or make something that someone will trade for.

    Because of this people in China have learned new skills and have raised the average yearly income from $500 per year to $7500 per year in the last 10 years. I think that is pretty good?

    You see the economy is a huge part of life and it is not going to change. But if you learn the rules it can benefit you.
    • Jun 29 2012: Thats a fair point, but what about people from LEDC's, I dont think the rules apply to them as such.
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        Jun 29 2012: LEDC ?

        It applies to all countries and all individuals.