TED Conversations

Gabriel Ray

Student, The Venus Project

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A new global economy with relation to the natural world, rather than the fluctuation of 'value'.

In order to validly support the human race, we have to understand that our economy can not be based on something as trivial and abstract as value. Value is relative and has no true manifestation. While one person may be attracted to this particular golden rock, another may be just as captivated by a lump of coal. Our economy must reflect what we have on our planet, what we need for our planet, and how we can make the very most of what is available. With our current system of value, that which there is little of holds the most value. In this sense, if all the oranges in the world were to go extinct but one, it would be an incredibly valuable orange.. but what good would it do. It does not make sense to power our homes and our machines (vehicles and otherwise) on finite, limited resources such as hydrocarbon fuels. In a true economy, based on the principles of sustainability, we would focus more on what there is a lot of and what can easily be renewed and updated. Our cities, our homes, and our very way of lives, must evolve constantly with the introduction of new information if we ever hope to survive and spread through the cosmos.


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    Aug 18 2011: I'll remind you all this is under 'idea' and not 'debate'. If you think that I am at all trying to talk anyone down, you are mistaken.. so please, do try to be respectful, understanding and clear with your words. To respond to Nicholas, 19 hours ago.

    A quote from Jacque Fresco, who coined the phrase "Resource-Based Economy"

    "What else would a resource-based economy mean? Technology intelligently and efficiently applied, conserves energy, reduces waste, and provides more leisure time. With automated inventory on a global scale, we can maintain a balance between production and distribution.

    With the elimination of debt, the fear of losing one's job will no longer be a threat. This assurance, combined with education on how to relate to one another in a much more meaningful way, could considerably reduce both mental and physical stress and leave us free to explore and develop our abilities.

    If the thought of eliminating money still troubles you, consider this: If a group of people with gold, diamonds and money were stranded on an island that had no resources such as food, clean air and water, their wealth would be irrelevant to their survival. It is only when resources are scarce that money can be used to control their distribution. One could not, for example, sell the air we breathe or water abundantly flowing down from a mountain stream. Although air and water are valuable, in abundance they cannot be sold.

    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."

    To explain, a resource based economy would focus on building up natural resources rather than acquiring monetary wealth. I THINK this is necessary for humanities survival.
    • Aug 18 2011: Oh that you would heed your own words Gabriel. Your opening statement is not clear, I am trying to deduce what exactly you mean still.

      A resource based economy is what we already have, i.e. a resource is in demand the price goes up. For example, Central Rand Gold, shares increasing from pence to pounds. The 'value' of gold as a resource has climbed to a phenominal high. Surely this natural resource is what you are on about building up within a new style economy?

      Secondly, any natural resource would have to be processed in order for use. Which would add man hours, now if a particular resource required technology to bring about (medicine for example) and more man hours, the cost of that resource would rise. So how would one then "barter" for such an item?

      Your idea on survival theory is intriguing but has no place in this debate and it is a fallacy to use it as a valid argument. We are not stranded on an island, we are part of societies. Even at the small scale, such as a hamlet, whilst people help each other out more, payment is metered out. Why?

      So, I ask you again, what system do you propose to replace? And please be thorough,

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