This conversation is closed.

Why do we still live in a monetary based economy? How can we make our current system more efficient, less wasteful and overall sustainable?

Is there a better system that we could follow that is based around improving quality of life for all humans and to increase resource efficiency? I am not proposing that we don’t use a type of currency for trade, what I am saying is that our current system is not working efficiently and not improving human life. Money is the focal point and it traps people in it through debt. Our dependence on money has many adverse affects. It is limiting our potential and stopping sustainable progression.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to live in a society were we do things to their full potential. Maximise efficiency and minimise waste. A system that is transparent with no class distinction. That provides the basic needs of life for free; Food, shelter, education and cloths. No strings attached, nothing locking you in. We live once so while fill it with things that add nothing to your life our others?

Im not saying we should do this or that, I am saying that there are flaws in our current system, how can we change it to make it better? How can we make our current system more efficient, less wasteful and overall sustainable??

  • May 6 2013: It appears that the economy is based on money because of the prevalence of a social disease by the name of consumerism.

    The economy is not based on money. Money is just a means to make trade more efficient.

    Many people consider money to be the basis of the economy, and especially their own welfare. That is a big mistake. When a person pursues money instead of pursuing their own individual values, that person's life becomes unbalanced and there is never enough money.
    • May 7 2013: Human behavior is subject to the same laws as any other natural phenomenon. Our customs, behaviors, and values are byproducts of our culture. No one is born with greed, prejudice, bigotry, patriotism and hatred; these are all learned behavior patterns. If the environment is unaltered, similar behavior will reoccur.

      Today, much of the technology needed to bring about a global Resource Based Economy exists. If we choose to conform to the limitations of our present monetary-based economy, then it is likely that we will continue to live with its inevitable results: war, poverty, hunger, deprivation, crime, ignorance, stress, fear, and inequity. On the other hand, if we embrace the concept of a global resource-based economy.

      A smooth transition from our current fractional reserve banking system with its floating unbacked currency to a well thought out practical resource based economy can be achieved with the first step being...........wiping of the global debt!! a shocking thought but really is it? im sure the top 1% of the population who hold the debt over us all will kick up a fuss, because over night they will lose their iron grip on society, but hey revolution needs to be uncompromising for the good of the masses.

      its easy to harp on about the current system and its effects on the world but by not offering any alternatives and working towards those ends it all becomes frivolous, lame and really pointless. An exchange of free thinking ideas and logical sequences and step for change is i believe the real answer to the question asked above by Adam.

      for the good of this thread and in the interest of intellectual conversation can we add some thing of value any thing else comes off as a blight on your education, another conversation for another time.
      • May 7 2013: I agree that the environment must be altered. One specific alteration must be education in values. As long as people continue to pick up values from the media instead of looking inside themselves to determine their own values, those people will continue to have unbalanced lives, REGARDLESS of any economic institutions or government policies.

        Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to teach values in the schools of the USA because, for much of the population, religious values are the only acceptable values. The effect of not teaching values is that children learn that values are not important.

        Education in critical thinking and history would also help. Revolution has never resulted in a smooth transition, and IMO never will.

        Adam asks "What is stopping us and how can we overcome these barriers?"

        One barrier is widespread misunderstanding of economics and money, which I addressed to a very small extent in my first post.

        A second barrier is power and politics. For example, consider starvation. We can now grow more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet, and yet people continue to starve. There are a number of reasons for this, but the single most prevalent reason for starvation is politics. People in power prevent food from reaching the hungry for political purposes. The revolution/smooth transition to a "resource based economy" will be challenged by very powerful people who prefer the current situation. IMO, changing our political structures will require a great deal of time and experimentation.

        A third barrier is the notion that the current system is obviously bad. It is certainly imperfect, but the current system has resulted in a world of enormous wealth. The number of poor people on the planet continues to decrease at an amazing rate. Ordinary people are extremely wary of idealists who want to change this system without a full understanding of the consequences of their actions.

        In summary, the biggest problem is ignorance.
  • May 9 2013: What do humans need to survive in the most basic sense?


    Why do these things cost money? Who has the right, who is cruel enough to deny these basic necessities of life to anyone? We live in a world today with the resources and know how to meet this demand. Yet we do nothing because the economical system we live in would collapse. I say that right there is a redundant system. A system with a purpose, that is not in the best interests of humanity.

    Technology has advanced to the stage where it has and is going to continue to replace jobs because machines are more efficient and reliable. That’s a good thing, taking people away from mundane and repetitive tasks to give them the opportunity to live a more fulfilling life.

    Currently though this advancement in our civilization has had adverse affects because of how we regulate our resources through the trade of money. We all live and die, that is nature’s law. Why should there be a price on life, it was given so why aren’t the necessities to live given also?

    What gives people authority of possession over land? It was there a long time before we got here and is going to be there a lot longer when we aren’t. Shouldn’t it be used in a strategic and sustainable way to improve humanities quality of life and the life of the creatures we share it with?

    I believe the key to moving towards this way of life is awareness through education. Moving our focus away from the small things in today’s society which are most likely just symptoms of the cause: We will never fix the cause by just treating the symptoms. Use the symptoms to diagnose the cause.

    Imagine that tomorrow there was no money. We no longer need to fight to survive; we have advanced to the point where we can provide for everyone. Lets make history, you and I. We were the ones that ended poverty, pollution and inequality. That’s a legacy to pass on to the next generation to be proud of!
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      May 9 2013: Adam, I have mostly stayed away from this conversation, but I kind to have to side with Mr. Pintier on this matter. You speak of food and providing it to the people. Let's just look at that one issue. Not all food is grow in all places. It is a big globe. So, how do we grown, package, transport food stuffs from here to there. for example. there is not enough rice grown in the far east to meet demand. Rice is imported from California and Arkansas. So, just how do the thousands if not tens of thousands of people involved in getting that rice from here to there and the rice is given to a person in Indochina sustained? Can you imagine any machine or system to do that. I can''t. Is it possible in a thousand years... don't know. But, what I do know that these conversations of would and could are nice exercises in imagination but, really don't offer plausible solutions.
      There are many current problems that have plausible solutions that members of TED can address and with some luck, maybe someone will hit on a solution.... stranger things have happened.
      To deal with solutions that are the figment of science fiction authors is... well... fun, but really is a waste of valuable time and talent.
      • May 10 2013: When I go to a supermarket and see where a large portion of food was made, I wonder how many countries that ship went past that needed that product more then I. Why did that ship come to my country instead of stopping at there’s, money. The people that make this product are interested in making money so they can survive. We then have an excessive amount of food in a one place instead of the other because it has a higher chance to make a better profit. Have a look at the data about how much food gets wasted at groceries stores in wealth countries. They justify this because even though there is a huge waste, they are still making more money then they would’ve if they took it else where.

        We have the means to meet this demand today but just don’t because there is no money. You need money to make demand.

        Food shortage is a myth.

        Distribution of what we have is just inefficient.

        There are a lot of hidden costs to the way we do business. For example watch on YouTube: The hidden costs of hamburgers.

        Why isn’t it plausible??
    • May 10 2013: Adam.


      "Why do these things cost money?"
      i believe in our current system these things would be far to expensive for our governments to deliver to its people, thats world wide. hense get the new age slaves to feed and cloth them selves while still mantaining the status quo.

      "Who has the right, who is cruel enough to deny these basic necessities of life to anyone?"
      our elected officials have this right handed to them by the people (us) and we do little to fight for these things to be delivered by those governments. i dont think its a matter of being cruel its the logistica of it again in this system its just not feasable.

      but i think you have answered your own question on these points.

      "Why should there be a price on life, it was given so why aren’t the necessities to live given also?"
      im not sure what you mean by price on life unless your talking about the cost of living if so again we are going to fall back into a repetative droning of the current economic system that can only function in this manner, if every thing was for free it would collapse and you could just imagine the corporate controlled media headlines with that: "if you stop purchasing things TERRORIST WILL KILL YOUR FAMILY"

      "What gives people authority of possession over land? It was there a long time before we got here and is going to be there a lot longer when we aren’t. Shouldn’t it be used in a strategic and sustainable way to improve humanities quality of life and the life of the creatures we share it with?"
      so from this point of view i could see a few problems, although the idea is excellent in theory, if all land was up for grabs who is entitled to what? any thing and every thing? how do we police this land grab?

      what your saying here is perfect world stuff and as a poeple we should alsways be striving for a perfect world but this is a shift that wont happe over night, gradual steps and changes in the processes and the way we think can bring about change.
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    May 9 2013: lets take "improving quality of life". unless we want to decide what is good and what is not, quality of life is what people prefer to have. if people prefer to watch oprah, then for them, watching oprah is quality time. that measure of quality can be maximized in a free market setting, in which people work for each other and trade goods based on voluntary interaction. we can prove it is mutually beneficial, or otherwise the cooperation would not happen. we can also prove that coerced interactions can only benefit one party, otherwise it would happen voluntarily.

    resource efficiency. efficiency in what? the free market is a system that maximizes the psychic value output of any given set of resources and tools. it happens through the profit and loss concept, and through prices. profit means that you took resources, and transformed them into a good that is valued higher than what otherwise could have been created from the same set of resources. you found a better arrangement in order to generate more psychic value. again, this is a subjective efficiency, as it does not guarantee for example less food wasted. if people value abundance of cheap food, the free market delivers it without hesitation. the free market also optimizes other wastes the same way. it does not try to minimize waste, rather maximize the psychic value generated from a given set of resources.

    money is not the focal point of anything. psychic value is. we achieve higher level of satisfaction through the division of labor, that is, working on a single task, and then exchange. over a very basic level, this process needs a "common denominator", and that is money. the free market always creates some sort of money. throughout history, gold was people's choice, but we are getting to the age of computers, so some more advanced forms might come to life. it does not really matter as long as it is free from coercion (unlike today).

    check matt ridley's TED talk as a starter.
    • May 9 2013: Quality of life: amount of time in your life doing what ever you “enjoy” whether that is watching oprah or riding a horse. Large portions of our lives are currently taken up by work. Is work voluntary when you cannot survive without working to earn money? Everything we need to survive costs money. People buy these things. They then get consumed or break. Then you need to buy them again to continue to survive. Which then gives you a never ending demand in this “free market” because people kind of want to live. So this means you need to work (whether you enjoy it or not) to earn money. A majority of jobs in our society are made because people simply need to be employed and if they aren’t they get angry because they cant earn money to live.

      Today there are several things happening. That work is shifting towards machines and cheaper labour. That cheap labour is been found in poor countries and that’s why we are seeing an improvement with poverty. Yes that’s a good thing but it doesn’t stop the fight for work to survive. It is simply moving the work around. So I suppose you could say some people’s quality of life is getting better in some places but then others are getting worse. In this system there will always be a struggle for money to survive. Even though the resources and man power sits there, potential not getting utilised because there isn’t any paper to give to people in exchange instead some other poor fella as agreed to do it cheaper so he can live and a better profit can be made for only a few. The demand for better quality of life is always there but sometimes the money isn’t. Money is required to buy (trade) resources (or ideas as Matt Ridleys puts them) to add to local resources to meet a demand. People with little money can sometimes meet this demand but to a poor quality.

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        May 9 2013: you can not blame the need to work on society or the economy. i'm very sorry that iphones don't grow on trees. the free market economy that frees us from this burden. of course, we probably never will stop working. but we can work less and less, we can have more and more interesting jobs. it is not a remote possibility. it happened already, and it is happening right now.

        work is not shifting toward machines. some task are, but the total working population is not on decline. a tiny fraction of the jobs existed in 1000AD exist today, the rest is done by machines. people picked other jobs. as soon as the jobs of today gets automated, people will pick yet another jobs. only our imagination limits what we can do to make our lives even more interesting or satisfying.

        not "some people's" life got better. just look at the facts: average income in USA, 1800 was a few thousand dollars per year (inflation adjusted). today, even a very low income family has ten times as much. you can find no place on earth with declining life standards, except war zones.
        • May 10 2013: I accept that we will always have to work to a certain level. Machines can not do everything that we can. We will need to manage these systems and continue growing our knowledge base through work.

          A large portion of work is and has moved towards machines but yes there has been a shift in jobs around the work. Poorer countries are sometimes cheaper to do the work instead of machines but it is only a matter of time before the machine replaces them too.

          I agree there are some jobs getting made because our advancement with technology has reached a point of complexity that it requires people to specialise. The rate of these jobs being made however, are not keeping up with the jobs being replaced by machines. These specialise jobs as well require a lot of resources to educate people to meet them.

          Unemployment rates in the world are raising therefore weakening the economy. Making things more affordable for those who have money but less people have jobs so it’s a bit of a catch 22.

          This system is very complex and issues aren’t just caused by one thing.
    • May 9 2013: You have contradicted yourself when you say money is not the focal point but one sentence back from where you say this “ system maximizes the psychic value from a resource”. Which equals: We take a given resource and try to maximise psychic value but minimising production cost to maximise profits. Decreasing production costs has some serious affects on quality and efficiency. Ranging from human health, waste, product life, waste, pollution, etc. I think people would getter a higher level of satisfaction if they knew they were making something to its full potential and where receiving the same.

      You are obvious suggesting that our system is not free and therefore flaw. Flawed in what ways?

      I enjoyed that film. Recommend any others?
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        May 9 2013: i did not contradict myself at all. money is a great tool and nothing more. in fact it is so great tool that without it, modern economy could not exist. but it is still just a smart tool. the focal point of the economy is putting resources to uses that deliver the maximum psychic benefit.

        the problem is that you don't really get the role of money. for example you say " We take a given resource [...] but minimising production cost". the set of resources used *is* the cost. more precisely, all the goods foregone because we chose not to use the said resource to create them. if we make a bicycle, the cost of it is the steel and plastic, more precisely, the psychic value of a roller, a car door, 3 computer casings, and so on, whatever could have been made out of it. money is just a common denominator, so we don't have to list all the possible uses. so we say, $500. it is the same thing.

        reducing costs is a good thing. it does not have any negative effects. reducing costs only mean that we find a way to deliver the desired good in a way that we prevent the creation of less other goods than previously. in other words, the total amount of goods (measured by psychic value) can be increased with the same amount of effort and resources.

        resource overuse and the exploitation of nature is not a result of money. but a result of people's valuation. they value a good higher than a potential future shortage or discomfort.

        there are other factors that distort decisions made by people. for example misguided regulations. for example a liability cap, put in place by the US government, that limits the liability of oil drillers in case of accidents. this makes accidents less expensive, and thus makes companies care less. we know the results.
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    May 13 2013: I think this relates to my TED question?
  • May 12 2013: i see people are still a little confused about how to answer a question on here, surprising as they all seem to radiate this arrogance and superior knowledge of all things. but even with all this brilliance they still cant answer the question.

    "Why do we still live in a monetary based economy? How can we make our current system more efficient, less wasteful and overall sustainable?" this here people is a classic example of a question. there are some subtle clues like the sentence structure the question mark it looks like this ------>"?" did every one get that?? i used 2 of them as to not have the same confusion about my question.

    no where does it call for every one to ask Adam what he thinks is the best solution, but you all have done just that, then go ahead and nit pick at little bits and pieces of his response. if Adam had all the answers he wouldn't be on here trading pointless back and forth with people that are not contributing with any ideas or even furthering ideas that have already been put forward. his patients is far more then mine. do you honestly feel good about getting on here and trashing a guy that's trying to improve the quality of every ones lives? there's that question mark again do we remember what to do here? there's another i hope you are catching on.

    there is a saying i heard a while back and i believe it applies here nicely: I am all for cracking down on inappropriate digital behaviour. Too often the connected world is an excuse for some coward hiding behind a keyboard to bully someone else.
    Tony Parsons
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      May 13 2013: Sean, you are correct. I am one of the guilty ones.

      So... Adam, We live in in this economy because that's all there is. There is nothing better as bad as this is. Many different ones have been discussed and all fall short of any improvement over the current system. Maybe in a thousand years mankind will evolve into a better social economic system but that is only speculation on my part. I like to think positive.
      So, instead of spending so much worrisome time contemplating this situation, may I suggest you find solace in doing something today for your fellow man. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or maybe an animal shelter.
      There are charities that help people in foreign lands. You can find something to do for your fellow man.
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        May 13 2013: this is not entirely an accurate representation of the truth. we don't have capitalism as the least evil of all. capitalism is the theoretical maximum we can ever have, because it is the lack of evil. for too long, we indulged in this guilt, but it is time to end it. the true argument for capitalism is a moral one, not a practical one. my life is mine. if i create something with my own hands, it is mine. anyone attempting to take it by force is evil. it is that simple. we don't need any more analysis. that is the moral of capitalism: the non-initiation of aggression. the non-initiation of aggression is the only principle we have, and the direct consequence of it is capitalism. any other existing or theoretical system is based on aggression, thus morally objectionable.

        capitalism being the most livable, fastest progressing system is the icing on the cake.
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          May 14 2013: Here I was trying to throw the kid a bone and you had to go real on me. Doesn't anyone ever see a bit of irony in these comments. You are correct of course, in a thousand years someone will be complaining about having a better way of doing the economy and someone will say to wait a thousand years and it will be better.
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    May 10 2013: Adam, I hate to break it to you, but there are no resources or technology to meet the basic demands of food, clothing or shelter for the people of the world. Everyone in the world must expend some efforts in some manner to generate those basic resources for themselves and everyone else.
    What you are asking for has only happened once I have ever heard of. It was recorded in the book of Exodus. It seems the tribes of Israel in the most darkest days wondering the desert found bread had fallen from the sky and they were saved from starvation.
    Anyway Adam, you have all the passion of an evangelist and I wish you well.
    • May 10 2013: The data would say otherwise and im not just suggesting giving them the food but give them the means to grow and feed themselves sustainably.

      I guess thats another way we could transport the food. Planes. Ill admit i didn't think of that. Wouldn't take much to retrofit one of those bad boys, we have plenty domestic planes we could spare. might interfere with someones holidays to Hawaii but surely they would give up that for this cause?

      Every great idea and change we take for granted today was challenged and though impossible at its beginning. Time will slowly eat away at these barriers but will it be too late. there are a whole lot of what ifs and people ignoring facts delaying change. I hope this doesn't catch us out. Sadly it is already too late for many species we once shared this planet with.
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        May 10 2013: Like the dinosaurs?
        Seriously, again you fail to address the issues. Even if the sacrifices of no trips to Hawaii., planes have to be flown, fueled, and fixed as well as loaded and unloaded and on and on,
        It is not a great idea. An idea has a plausible change to evolve into action. I can not even imagine any of your claims or comments coming to fruition
        • May 11 2013: what are the issues and a plausible solution to them?
        • May 13 2013: Mike
          I agree with Krisztian that these guys are just posing some questions of Utopian society that nobody can really persuade a government or an industrial group to make it a reality. So they just ask why we can't do this and do that., but the concept of distribution to all the people of the world won't work by the benevolence of any group of people. If their suggestion were so good, actually not even practical, then why it is not done already. Yes, there are someone already tried this, but they failed miserably in the past, and also are some present cases, such as Venezuela and Cuba. Also, the Chinese are doing that in there,by agricultural technical aids , but apparently their efforts were not treated as success the gentlemen here either.
          If one looks at the past and the present, the condition of starvation and miserable conditions in some countries in the past were much worse than the current disasters in these same regions. For instance, the total production of food and energy of the world is much larger than thousands of years ago. Of course there are problems of distribution, but I don't believe that this mal-distribution is caused by the money system at all. As a matter of fact, the charitable work (including aids of food, health care and education) to many African countries by the "rich"can't be easily done by the ancient people at all. This kind of charitable work can't be done by an individual company, such as Monsanto or Caterpillar , because any substantial amount of such aid would have to resulted in loss to the company and thus they have to cut the wages to their workers to survive. How about asking the government? You can try it, but it most likely would be defeated in the Congress when this involves the tax increase or the additional gov debt. So why don't you gentlemen try it ? and my wish of good luck to you. Apparently both Mike and Krisztian and I believe that your proposal won't fly. so why should we waste our breath to argue about it here?!
  • May 8 2013: A good summary of our current system
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      May 8 2013: okay, i take it all back. if the only choice is v.p. or marxism, by all means, continue to advocate v.p.
      • May 8 2013: You are full of criticism but it seems as though you have nothing to put on the table to support "why" you oppose these concepts. I've asked you a couple of times now what you suggest as an alternative but you have yet to say anything other than dispute without actually explaining why you disagree so strongly.

        If I am so ill informed or missing a piece of information that you have, please share it with me. I am open to "constructive" criticism. One of the main reasons I have asked this questions, was too see if I have missed something in my research, obviously I have. Please share
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          May 8 2013: i don't need to suggest an alternative to show why yours is utterly wrong. i already told you to research the zeitgeist movie. the only valid conclusion is that you will never ever cite that movie or peter joseph as a positive reference. nor use any "wisdoms" put forward by that movie, or any other movies he made or makes. simply doing so you already greatly improved your understanding of the world.
    • May 8 2013: nice video Adam cheers for sharing a little bit more on the topic. it is clear it is an anti capitalist video but i didnt see exactly how it advocated marxism. im not sure why it has to be seen that we can only do one or the other venus project is an option but not the only one.
      • May 8 2013: Pinter,

        If you read over our pass conversations you will see that I haven’t once said that I think we should change to the Venus project or Zeitgeist systems. All I have said is that I like some of there concepts. If there was confusion with my question here it is again slightly different, maybe that will help.

        What changes do you think we can make to our current economical system to make it more efficient and increase quality of life? I believe our current one is outdated.

        I have been very patience with your arrogance and rudeness, only tolerating it in the hope that you actual had something constructive to add. Sadly it seems as though you do not have anything other than criticism to add to this point in time. Shame, looking at your profile I thought different at first.

        I hope you can prove me wrong
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          May 8 2013: this is not enough for me. the only thing in your opening statement besides problem description are the zeitgeist and the v.p. i will continue to treat this conversation being about the v.p. and all i have to say about v.p. is that it is bonkers. i'm not going to validate this nonsense by having a meaningful discussion about economic/social issues at the same table. this table is contaminated by the engineered lies of peter joseph, and the romantic neo-marxism of the v.p. this contamination has to be cleaned up, or we need to sit at another table.
      • May 8 2013: As requested, contaminates removed.

        Now where do you think we should go from here? Whats your opinion on global issues?
        • May 9 2013: oh pinter my favourite guy.

          i believe the venus project and zeitgeist part of adams question was only added in late after people could grasp the concept of giving their own opinion and kept asking adam what he thought was an alternative. to move the conversation on adam gave these two examples, but contaminants is a bit strong, but your general attitude towards every one is this way.

          no one asked you to join this conversation your input so far has been nil you have no ideas no concepts nothing at all get over trying to make every one needing to prove our worth to get any thing from you, by what iv seen on other conversation threads you do this on all of them.


          not sure why you thought any better from his profile some one that says they are both an athiest and a buddhist seems like a hypocryte straight up to me along with all his other imaginary accomplishments. we can all download certificates online to pinter only difference we still dont live in our mums basement.
  • May 7 2013: I think the monetary dominated economy needs to go. The idea of money is old, and as our world evolves, so should we and our civilizations. What worked before obviously can't work now.
    I am a member of the Zeitgeist movement, I don't believe in everything Pete Joseph says, but it is thought provoking, and in the end, if it can do that much to listeners and viewers, then it has done its job.
    I think bartering should be done when necessary, but why is exchange necessary?
    We need to get out of the mindset that we need to give what we receive.
    I believe certain things in life should be free as education, land, shelter, energy, travel etc.
    Now if you chose to barter, or return the favor then that's fine, but it's not mandated, it's not law.
    We all need to become more self sufficient, grow our own goods, a garden can become your food, medicine, household products, and hygiene products. Things we spend thousands of dollars on a month if given a chance.
    And if we're more self sufficient, there's less waste, and less room for moochers.
    What are the alternatives? And how do those alternatives eradicate greed, social divisions, the corrupt elite and government? The depletion of natural resources?
    They dont?
    • May 8 2013: well put.
      i like a lot of what you have said here if some thing isnt working why keep it? no brainer. i do see what you are proposing why give and not get? simple because in such a society you will get every thing you need thats the basis of that society to care for each and every person in that society.
      the grass roots steps towards self determination is vital. its easy for us all to go straight to the big picture stuff but in reality its the small steps that every one can and must make for the big picture stuff to become a reality.
      i believe in such a society when we are working for the common good for all rather then the dog eat dog, we will faze out the moochers and the people who contribute nothing, to be a part of a functioning community brings with it the sense of security, hope, family and love powerful emotions that bring out the best in all of us.
      as our civilisation evolves into an ever more complex and sophisticated mechanism the processes to which we run it should become simpler. we know what we have to achieve we have the means to achieve it, all we need now is a revolution to take back the rains of power from those who hold it with disregard for our well being. kings have been over thrown, governments toppled only to be replaced by the same system, do away with the old bring in the new.
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    May 7 2013: Adam,
    there is no other way for mankind to mange a global economy without using a monetary system. The theories of a new system, some of which you have described are simply not feasible. Consider this, Mankind started with a barter economy and as the number of people grew and barter expanded, the monetary system evolved. We are talking over 5000 years ago, the dawn of human civilization. So, consider this, if you could come up with a new and better system that meets all the benefits of plans listed and could have all the mechanics available, that's the easy part. The hard part is to get 7 billion people to change.
    • May 8 2013: Why is it impossible? I understand that our current system is the result of society’s awareness and knowledge growing; therefore the system has evolved with us through time. Want I am trying to say though is I think its time for a revision of our system because I believe it is not in the best interest of the whole of humanity just a few and delaying our potential progress. It’s inefficient and wasteful. Surely when you look at the world and how it is currently regulated you see what I am talking about?

      Im not saying we should do this or that, I am saying that there are flaws in our current system, how can we change it to make it better. There are some concepts out there, is it plausible to dump our current system and go for one of those, I personally don’t think it’s possible. But I could be wrong. Do we just adopt some of what they propose?? People once thought it was impossible to achieve a lot of things we have today, the only thing stopping change most of the time is our mind.

      How can we make our current system more efficient, less wasteful and overall sustainable??
    • May 8 2013: I agree 100% the hardest part of the transition to what ever system our elected officails choose/if they choose, will be the change that the general public will have to under go. history has shown us time and time again that change is some thing that takes time and what we start brain storming and leading the way for future generations to pick up the ball and run with it. im not under the assumption that things will change in my life time, or my childrens or my childrens children, but at some point our species has to evolve beyond selfishness greed and consumerism, into a more enlightened age where quality of life out weighs how many toys you have.
      i see the barter system and the monetary system to have the same inherant flaws that produce the behaviours i mentioned earlier, one is just a complex version of the other. my thoughts are why do we need to exchange goods? why do we need to recieve some thing for every thing you give? what if things were in surplus and instead of trying to compete to get it over others cant we just live in a communal manner? just an idea the would be scoffed at by many as our lives have only shown us that the opposite can make you happy and successful, if we look at communites like the armish they run largely un plugged from the economy, doing things for the good of their community is just a normal day for them. while we some time poke fun at their ways they remain a strong an independant people that are not riddled with the mental illness and social problems our society is. iv never seen a homeless armish person.
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    May 7 2013: Mr Pinter,
    Have you no sympathy for all those who want a better system? I mean Peter Joseph had this great idea where automated systems would give out all the basic necessities while operating on renewable energy sources. Of course, Pete doesn't really describe the mechanics of this system and the energy sources. I tried to wrap my mind about it and it is difficult to do. Then, it came to me. I remember this old movie, where Capt Picard addressed a machine asking for earl grey tea, hot.
    And the machine created a cup of tea. The energy source of power was said to be Di-lithium crystals. So,we can keep this idea alive every second week until the machines are built and di-lithium crystal generators are created.
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      May 7 2013: i have a different solution. i appoint mr cartledge to check every two weeks whether we have di-lithium generator or not. if we do, he rushes to every forum, and delivers the good news. meanwhile, they can discuss this utter nonsense on their own website. how about that?
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        May 7 2013: Hi Krisztian,

        not all of us are blind supporters of the Venus Project or the Zeitgeist movies, and yet, there might be bits and pieces of valuable information there. Just like there are bits and pieces of valuable information in the Austian School of Economics that you blindly support.

        But to pretend that people should abstain from discussing something that you consider nonsense shows that arrogance has it's pitfalls too. I think that I would like to apply for a moderator job here on the forums too, is there a link i must follow for that?

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          May 7 2013: i don't support anything blindly, and you will never see me appearing on forums just to repeat the same marketing and link to the same website. i also don't open a conversation every two weeks about the very same subject, adding nothing to what have already been said.

          i'm very sad if you could only make out that much of my efforts around here.
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        May 7 2013: I recognize your efforts Krisztian, and I have told you in the past that you know by far more about economics than the rest of us here

        But my critique was towards the policing aspect fo your comment. I apologize for attacking you at the same time.

        I would say let people promote the Venus Project and Zeitgeist movies as they see fit! their own merits or lack thereof will speak in the end, without the need of talking them down

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          May 7 2013: there is a difference between telling people not to do something, and banning them. luckily for everyone, i can "police" all day, as i have zero power to actually delete or ban anything. i have a right on the other hand to express my dissatisfaction about the regular showup of v.p. activists, and their tendency to repeat the same lines over and over again. i hate that with passion.
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        May 7 2013: fair enough, since they are free to come here and repeat the message over and over, you are certainly free to express your hate with passion

        i guess my anarchist nature (contempt for any kind of policing) won and I showed that in my comments

  • May 7 2013: The source on the earth is still limited to support such a large population.and people's educations aren't in that high quality of society you described.
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    May 7 2013: why do we still have one venus project conversation every second week?
    • May 7 2013: Maybe because people see the flaws in our current system and wonder why we don’t change to something better. Maybe that’s the Venus project, maybe not. Surely there are better models out there though. Our current one seems a little out of balance.

      What’s your opinion on our current system and concepts like the Venus project?
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        May 7 2013: so they settle with the first grand idea they come across? why don't you people actually study the issues you care about? you can talk endlessly about money, without knowing how it came about, how does it work, and what its role is in the economy. you sink in an warm and comfortable sea of metaphors and buzzwords. if it satisfies you, well, go ahead. or alternatively, you could start to learn some real stuff.
        • May 7 2013: I’m not saying lets settle for anything, I’m asking you what you think about both. Current system and what would be a good alternative. My personal opinion is the current one is not working in the interests of all mankind and the planet.
          I apologies if I come across as ignorant but I thought I was educated enough on the topic to talk about it. Obviously your opinion is backed by content, which opposes my view so I am very interested to hear your side. Maybe I have over looked something. That’s why I posted this question; many minds are better than one. What information do you recommend I read to get a better understanding?

          Please ignore Sean lynch's comments. He obviously has apposing views but instead of accepting differences and trying to understand others opinion, his being stubborn and rude. Talking in this manner will only slower progression.

          I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better. -Abraham Lincoln
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        May 7 2013: here is my recommendation for next time. if you want to learn more about what opinions are out there about a movement or theory, do not open a conversation, but just google it. especially go for the opposing argument, so you can google something like "venus project debunk" or "venus project criticism" etc. rehashing the same arguments endless times does not help at all. this is like the 10th venus project conversation on TED alone, and there are countless others out there. we don't need any more.
        • May 7 2013: it sounds like you think i am a little fixated on the Venus project. i like some of its concepts but i feel as though it isn't a practice solution to the issues we are faced with today. if it was we would be having this conversation.

          What is your opinion of the world and its issues? what are the conversations we need to be having to find solutions?
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        May 7 2013: in any conversation that is about the venus project, i'm not going to discuss anything else than the zealous spreading of the v.p. agenda, and the nature of that zeal. i'm wondering if it is really that much appealing to so many people, making them enthusiast, or it is an organized "spread the word" activism? i can't wrap my head around the fact that such a silly-billy movement can get such a huge attention.
        • May 7 2013: This is may background. I have watched the zeitgeist: moving forward film and read about other models like the Venus project. Personal study about the claims they make and I haven’t been about to find any information that stands against what they have spoken about. I understand when someone is trying to sell you something they are biased most of the time because they only tell you the things that support what they are trying to sell.

          When I compare our current system to the fundamentals of theirs, why wouldn’t you want to change? I imagine a lot of people’s lives are affected by money and that’s probably why these types of concepts appeal to people. Yes we do need a system to control and manage the world but surely we could be doing it better than we are.

          What are some things I should be paying attention too?
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        May 7 2013: it happened recently, and you are still in the ecstasy of the discovery?

        did you try google "zeitgeist movie debunk"? it is kinda weird, because the movie has basically no relation whatsoever to the venus project, yet they somehow come "packed" together. but if you look it up, you will find entire websites dedicated to the line-by-line factual refutation of everything in that movie. it is mindblowing how many lies they managed to put in it, and we have not talked about the logic yet. just an example: they claim that, among others, krishna would have born to a virgin mother. except in reality he had several older brothers, oops.

        the venus project is harder to debunk, because it makes no real claims, just emotionally loaded buzzwords. like "resource based economy", which does not mean a goddam single thing, and obviously never defined precisely.
        • May 7 2013: Yes I agree some of the zeitgeist films make some rather bold claims. I don’t walk around waving around any specific banner; I just like some of their concepts. All I hope to get out of this forum is more information and maybe other ideas that I haven’t come across yet.

          Lets move away from talking about the negatives to do with these models (thats just a dead end) and talk about reality and the world we live in today. I’m intrigued to hear more about your view on the world.
  • May 6 2013: Let’s look at some core challenges facing humanity today :

    'Shortages' and Equitable Distribution of Food.
    Shortages and Equitable Distribution of Fresh Water.
    Shortages and Equitable Distribution of Energy (Electrical/Oil).
    Oil Production now constant, with rising demand, driving prices up and stalling national and world economies.
    Rising Unemployment due to Automation reducing people spending ability and ultimately their ability to survive.
    The Decline of the Global Monetary System: As Debt Mechanisms and Consumer Cycles destabilise, sometimes in dramatic ways with unforeseen results.
    Development and Failure to Roll Out of Third Generation Renewable Technologies to minimise our reliance on oil/coal for energy.
    Equitable Distribution of Safe and Healthy environments of second and third world states.
    Corporate 'Ownership' of Genetic 'patents' & GM Foods that benefit only the corporation.
    The Increasing Extermination Rate of global flora and fauna.
    Green House Gases accelerating Global Warming.
    The increasing amount of waste produced as a by-product of the Monetary System.
    The destruction of the Biosphere, which humanity needs to survive.
    Increased Population and population growth exasperating all of the above.
    Increased wars and confrontations to forcefully take what is needed to survive.
    The lack of political willpower, backed with long term vision and resources, to tackle all of the above.
  • May 6 2013: The term and meaning of a Resource-Based Economy was originated by Jacque Fresco. It is a system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few. The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resource; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival.

    Modern society has access to highly advanced technology and can make available food, clothing, housing and medical care; update our educational system; and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non-contaminating energy. By supplying an efficiently designed economy, everyone can enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities of a high technological society.

    A resource-based economy would utilize existing resources from the land and sea, physical equipment, industrial plants, etc. to enhance the lives of the total population. In an economy based on resources rather than money, we could easily produce all of the necessities of life and provide a high standard of living for all.

    Money is only important in a society when certain resources for survival must be rationed and the people accept money as an exchange medium for the scarce resources. Money is a social convention, an agreement if you will. It is neither a natural resource nor does it represent one. It is not necessary for survival unless we have been conditioned to accept it as such.
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    May 5 2013: Because it is easier to carry to the market place than a pig or chickens to trade for the rice and beans I need.

    There will always be a medium .... what is your suggestion to replace money. The current best option is the bit coin.

    Whatcha think? Bob.
    • May 6 2013: I apologies, my explanation was quite ambiguous. hopefully my update helps you understand my question better. there has been some good comments too which may give you a better understanding of where i am hoping to go with the question.
  • May 5 2013: Let's see.
    Close to 100% of all crime worldwide, is directly connected to money.
    The other small percent is indirectly connected to money.

    A resource-based economy.
    While people scoff at it, no one here or elsewhere in the world has been working on redesigning or re-engineering society like Mr. Jacque Fresco through his Venus Project. No one. So all one has to say is to demean his work.

    The monetary system has been kept going through fear, wars, massive death and enormous pollution.
    I don't see how anyone can continue to support it or blindly choose ignorance over the reality of what it has done.
    It clearly cannot continue, will collapse and all our problems will still exist.
    The resources to use. The factories, institutions, knowledge, will, desire, wants, needs, tools and so on, will all be there. So too, will people.
    One is led to believe that because there is no money, there is no motive.

    Clearly many can no longer think for themselves. They only think what they have been told to think regarding our problems.
    That keeps them alive and well.
    • May 5 2013: Obviously you see flaws in our current system and would like to see change. I’m interested to know what changes you would make? How would we realistically make the transition and what is currently stopping people? You have made a few brief suggestions already but id like to see a more in depth explanation.

      My current but ever evolving explanation is that people are preoccupied with surviving in our current system and trying to find some happiness along the way. I think that a majority of people around me know that there is serious corruption in the world but what can they do when you have a family to support, a mortgage to pay, etc. the system traps people by consuming their time and overwhelming them with distractions.

      We naturally don’t like change; a change of this scale that would affect so much of our lives is very daunting. I think this is why it is so important to be talking about how we would make change instead of why we should make change. The why is quite clear when you look at the world and how out of balanced it is in every respect. People will want to know how it is going to affect them before even considering it.

      There needs to be a plan. There are some out there, but why haven’t they taken root? What needs to happen to make change take off?
  • May 5 2013: Before you ask this question, can you suggest any other system that works as well as, or better, than the monetary system we are having now. My answer to your question is: we could only return to one person's produced goods exchanges for other person's products, or nor at all. Even in communes, they couldn't function well without some exchange from outside entities in modern time. So what is your idea of the tokens, other than money or credits (which is the same as money) for the exchange, or the trade? Of course, it could be done if every man and woman becomes a hermit. But, ask all the people on earth how many of them are willing to live as hermits, without settling in each others way?
    • May 5 2013: Both the monetary and bartering system are similar. The trade of goods based on their value. Monetary: goods given a value depending on their demand and supply e.g. a monkeys value is $100 and a bananas is $1. Bartering: Goods value depending on demand and supply e.g. A Monkey is worth 100 bananas. Both work off the same principle but money makes the exchange easier and more universal. If you paid people in bananas or used it to pay for everything, I would imagine there being some issues. So in saying that I do believe we need a form of currency to represent something’s value but want I don’t like about our current system is it complexity and the way it has been geared to only benefit a few. It has many other negatives.

      To survive you must make an income/profit. To increase human’s quality of life and resource efficiency costs money. E.g. To increase profits, you make something as cheaply as possible, with a short life expectancy so when you break it or it stops working u need to buy it again. We may have the knowledge and technology to fix a lot of the issues in the world but we don’t because there is no money in it. If we did we would go into recession.. That’s sounds a little odd doesn’t it? Isn’t that a huge flaw in our current system? I think its time we updated so we can stop a lot of this senseless suffering we see today.
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    May 5 2013: Because it still works and the only one know to work for very long
    • May 5 2013: Does it work in the world we live in today?? We possess the means and know how to fix allot of the worlds issues but we dont because there is no profit in it. we have the resources and man power but a little piece of paper stops us.. that paper limits humanities potential and quality of life. that doesn't make sense to me? dont you think its time to update? technology and our understanding of the world we live in today has come a long way from when our current system was conceived. this system at the moment, seems to only benefit a few
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        May 5 2013: What do you suggest?
        • May 6 2013: There are some concepts out there already, sean Lynch talks about some of there fundamentals above. What is stopping the transition? awareness? would you be prepared to make a change?
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        May 6 2013: I scanned what he said.

        That won't work.

        I would be happy to be on the gold standard so as to alleviated financial enslavement
        • May 7 2013: The U.S. went off the gold standard under President Nixon in 1971. What may not be widely known is that the classic gold standard that the U.S. was utilizing (and that Britain and France had followed before) included a 40 percent cover ratio.

          What does that mean? The government will only print money if it has gold in its Treasury equivalent to 40% of the currency in circulation. That means if you have $10 billion of money in circulation, you have to have $4 billion of gold in the Treasury. A lot of gold bulls don’t realize it was a 40 percent cover.

          Pro: Simply put, the big positive of a return to the gold standard would give us fiscal discipline for governments, businesses and individuals. It would force all of us to be more fiscally responsible.

          Con: On the negative side of the coin, our jobs, incomes and the overall economy would grow at a much slower pace. Why?

          The answer comes down to money supply. That simply means the total money in circulation. and it is a dynamic and growing figure.

          Modern finance has growing money. Money supply grows in reaction to the growth of the real economy. As an economy grows, more wealth is generated. Post industrial growth for the last 160 years has averaged 2-3 percent and the gold supply hasn’t risen at the same pace.

          Put another way, today’s global economy stands at roughly $100 trillion GDP, and has been growing at 3-4 percent per year. Finding that much more gold per year is just not going to happen. That’s why going back to the gold standard is a pipe dream.

          Another stumbling block would be the difficulty in actually organizing a shift back to the gold standard. Some say it would only work if all countries agreed to work off the gold standard. Suppose we did it and the rest of the world didn’t drink the Kool Aid, we’ve got an economy moving at a snail’s pace and we’ve got the rest of the world growing at a 3.5-4% pace.

          You will win the lottery before we return back to the gold standard.
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        May 7 2013: Sean

        The quantity of gold is irrelevant. It would just be that much more value per unit of gold.

        Bit Coin is this idea. Which would be fine by me as well.

        The main point is to get away from a general devaluing of the money which is stealing.

        Real growth is different than what we have today. They have the idea that the economy can be controlled by government and props up things that should not be propped up which does not allow failure. Mean while investment stands on the side line until they can see a modicum of predictability in the economy which is anything but because of the "I know best" types.

        Yup odds are against it and odds are against this this country and Europe continuing in a recognizable form.
        • May 8 2013: Pat

          How can the quantity of gold be irrelevant if its the standard that your going by?

          i think this is the first time you have mentioned "bitcoin" the digit currency in my opinion will be just as problematic as the current money system, you can polish a turd but its still a turd.

          obviously the powrs to be have manipulated the current system to weigh heavily in their favour and leave us little guys at the dinner table begging for scraps. hense devaluation through inflation and the ever persistant interest attached to every thing makes enslavement to the system inevitable.

          its hard to say what real growth is as we are rarely priveldged to access unbiased data in realation to such. i dont think governments have any real control over the economy its all the world and central banks around the world with their exemptions from auditing and any out side control, they truely rule the world.

          if money is the problem why not erradicate the problem?
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        May 8 2013: Because the money becomes fixed to a certain amount of gold. Which creates a problem with growth of the economy as the the country would need more gold. But compared to what we have it is preferable. As inflation is not uniform and the elite benefit more from the source of the inflation.

        With Bitcoin the amount is not fixed.Which admittedly is dependent on confidence in Bitcoin. But it is not rigged. The natural outcome in a free market is deflation so that is to my understanding what would occur especially since you do not have any cronies printing money like the mad men that they are. Since you do not have anything to limit the value of the money it is infinitely expandable which at the same time will create infinite confidence.

        Not that this is for sure, but it strikes at the basic problem of the money. Could be worse than what we have now?
        • May 9 2013: but your the one putting forward the idea of the gold standard, now your saying with this system growth would not work? this is the reason the abandoned the gold standard in the first place. i see the gold standard as a step in the opposite direction to where we need to go. inflation and interest are just in built mechanisms in the central banking system this wont be the case if we move away from these types of systems all together.

          so bitcoin would be a self managed or third party audited system? we can run into the same broblem with bitcoin as we have with money today. who controls ii? who is resposable for auditing them? who is in change of the people auditing? who is the governing body of the auditors? we run into the same issure as the present system, power currupts, absolute power currupts absolutely.

          i dont see why we need this alternative to money to be some thing along the same line.
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        May 9 2013: But it did work as it was used in the U.S. up until 1971 and the U.S. was the most successful country in the history of the world. Look at any CPI graph to see when the inflation hockey sticked in 1971

        Bitcoin is not managed by anyone, it's value would be decided by the market. It will be printed at a predetermined level.and stop at a maximum of 21 million. Some say there will be a bubble with Bitcoin but it would seem that being a market created bubble it will remedy itself quickly.

        The beauty of this is that it is not manipulated by a central bank. I don't know enough about this know if it will work but neither do you.
        • May 13 2013: i just noticed that you had writen this babble.

          you understand what inflation is dont you? the devaluing of the currency by circulating more of it. so at that point i cant see what your on about as the central bank do as they please gold standard or not the two are not related.

          so are we just in a wishful bliss of this self controlled bitcoin system doing good for all humanity? and its controlled by the market what if the market crashes as its inclined to do when this new wishfull thinking system comes into play? it is my belief that such a system coming into play with all the credibility that you boast for bitcoin the market would crash on the first day with all the uncertainty.

          not manipulated by a central bank but by the market overnight bitcoin would be worth nothing. now you dont know enough about it neither do i no your right but you brought it up so at least have the backing on your claims before some one questions them and you just attempt to cut and run with your last statement come on thats just lazy.
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        May 13 2013: Arrogance dully noted.

        The two are not related? Seriously?

        Guaranteed there would be bubbles. The point is that the market corrects them quickly

        Bitcoin is in the nascent stages.

        Money by definition is a symbol backed by confidence. That confidence does not happen overnight.
        Once people see a system controlled by the market instead of central banks I think that will be the tipping point.