TED Conversations

Managing Director, Front Shore


This conversation is closed.

Can we discuss the economics of abundance? And the possibility of 'free' instead of a guaranteed minimum income?

I'm delighted to hear Mr. McAfee discussing this and would love to more about what professional economists have to say about the performance of economic models in a society of abundance, as opposed to scarcity.

I would love to hear thoughts, and be pointed in the right direction for further reading etc, on the possibility of providing essential goods and services for free - in place of, or in addition to, something like a guaranteed minimum income.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jun 13 2013: I suspect that as material goods become abundant, the new currency will be time. Until we find a way to live forever or at least meaningfully extend the productive life span, scarcity will be what we do with the time we have on this planet. I think it is inherently (or instinctively) human to seek meaning and purpose in ones life - self actualization. Meaning and purpose are heavily shaped societies norms, expectations and values - I think we will recognize that once individuals experience abundance without fear of losing it, they will begin to focus on psychic rewards. These rewards will fundamentally be about recognition and achieving contentment.

    I wonder if the new measures of success will be an individual's impact on society.
    • Jun 14 2013: Hi Vincent, I think you're exactly right - the currency, per se, will change. Indeed, I believe that change has already begun to a certain extent (look at some of the people who are TED-celebrities - they have great influence and social capital without, necessarily, much financial capital at all).

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.