TED Conversations

Andre Hoogeveen

Specialist, Apple Computer Inc.

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What benefits and challenges might arise as a result of transitioning from a monetary system to a resource-based society?

In other words, if we were to eliminate all forms of money and bartering, what changes - large and small, positive and negative - might we see?

Thus, imagine a world in which there is a comprehensive accounting of the planet's resources, such as fresh water, arable land, minerals, and animal life. Further contemplate that technology and automation have begun to eliminate dangerous, boring, or repetitive jobs. Finally, take a moment to ponder the possibilities if each person were given the opportunity for a quality education and the ability to reach their highest potential.

Indeed, there is a lot to take in, and no single answer could account for the many facets of such a scenario. Nevertheless, from a position of sustainability, I think we must realistically look at what the monetary system has done, and what ever-developing technology will do.

As you consider your possible answer(s), please reflect on the following:

- The effect of education on the birthrate.
- Ownership of the Earth's resources.
- The concept of "usership" as opposed to the "right of possession".
- The inevitability of "technological unemployment".

I thank you kindly for reading this, and for taking the time to answer!


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  • Aug 13 2013: Any product developed for the sole purpose of maintaining wealth is man driven for obviously personal gain. Where society values scarce items such as Gold or any new supply starved product to hold wealth is simple manipulation of the system to continue the devastation money had created. Real poverty is Economics driven and wealth of society relies heavily on the creation of poor by starving resources and artificially inflating prices by starving supply. Nothing on earth has any real value outside food, Clothing and shelter. Everything else is just desire driven. Banking system take the money from the poor or the depositors or the tax payers to recover their losses and maintain the financial systems function. How is this or any other element of the monetary system of value to the general population where those in control of the money take huge slices from the funds/deposits etc and then when it all goes wrong call on the same depositors to give them more money without incurring debt so they can recover.

    Society needs to take a good long hard look at itself and remove money and the concept of money from society for it to progress from the pillaging that has gone on over the last century.
    without money we can only trade items of real value. Goods and services do this. Convenience is the only benefit of money but to what degree of penalty to society

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