TED Conversations

Mats Kaarbø


This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Is There a Future for Money?

In our digital age, where banks and even nations fail through reckless monetary spending and policies, it seems that our monetary system is becoming the big elephant in the room, yes even obsolete. Automation replacing humans seems to be one of the fundamental contradiction of capitalism and may be the demise of the system itself leaving the looming possibility of fascism or military dictatorship to arise and flourish if we fail to arrive at any alternatives.

While some believe taking us back to the gold standard will fix things, and others believe that debt forgiveness is the solution, we hear talks about access/resource based economies, where we simply declare all of Earth's resources as the common heritage of mankind and make goods and services available to all without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude, through technological abundance.

In fact, let's rephrase the question. At what point in the future do you think that our technology will make automated systems possible and allow us to move out of a monetary system?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Aug 21 2012: >wow, time is unlimited? that's certainly new to me

    let me know when the time in Universe will stop, I have many things to be finished. About "individual's time" I wrote in the same message.
    • thumb
      Aug 21 2012: i don't know about you, but for me, time is always a factor

      but you are welcome to think in time of the universe if you so desire. you can tell someone: do not mind that the production will end one million years in the future. it is nothing compared to the age of the universe. see how far that gets you.
      • thumb
        Aug 21 2012: I think I’ve explained enough what I think about individual’s labor, time and hierarchy of needs in context of discussion.
        • thumb
          Aug 21 2012: so you just dropped in that 'time is infinite' observation is some sort of colorful story? we are talking about our time at hand. time is a factor that always will be scarce.
      • thumb
        Aug 21 2012: I already understood that you see no difference between hobby and industrial labor in context of time spending. You spend your time always and everywhere and for no money. For example here and now. You need money not for your spent time, you need money to spend your next time the way you want. And the way you want requires products and services that are scarce today.
        • thumb
          Aug 21 2012: i see a lot of difference, just like i see difference between a good job and a bad job. but this is not a fundamental difference. we do things in order to improve our wellbeing. leisure or hobby is directly enjoyable. work enables us to enjoy ourselves better in the future. in addition, work can also be enjoyable in itself, but does not have to be.

          this has nothing to do with scarcity though. time is scarce because i want more of it than i have. i need to economize time, i need to decide what to do in the next minute or hour. i can not do two things at a time. if i try to teach you economics, i can not read an interesting article. that is why time is scarce. econ 101.
      • thumb
        Aug 21 2012: >time is scarce
        It is pretty obvious statement in this context and I’d definitely use it in a discussion if it makes any sense. So what is the fundamental relation between time and money? Not in our current economy. The conceptual relation. Relation for all parallel universes. As I pointed you need money not for your time. Directly you need money for resources since they are scarce. If they are non-scarce you don’t need money for them and spend your time the best you can. And I mentioned post-scarcity in the sense of resource scarcity, not time.
        If you mean some particular cases when time is an attribute of service or product. E.g. not all resources are scarce and only 100 people per year can become immortal. So yes money will be needed since it is not completely post-scarce society.
        • thumb
          Aug 22 2012: You can have one mechanic make a car from scratch and it'll take him, say a month to do. Or you can have a factory/assembly line make the same car in a few minutes. One is clearly better than the other. Would it make sense to pay for the service of the mechanic equally to paying for the service of the assembly line?

          Money is just some representational way of measuring how much time/effort/work it took you to do your job. It is completely relational to our current economy. Before we had money, we had simple trading, from specialized professions. But it got really hard to measure trading when you have conversions like 5 chickens for 1 wagon, so there needed to be an easier measurement tool.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.