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 also want to mention a trivial hypothetical conversation among economists in our current paradigm.

    Economist A: "The Gross Domestic Product of the United States has risen tremendously this year."
    Economist B: "Indeed, it seems the money flow going toward medical care has doubled."
    Economist A: "If this trend continues, perhaps their monetary dysfunctionality will be solved!"

    Now let's back up. Our GDP goes up because more people are putting money into the healthcare system than ever before.. doctor jobs are becoming more stable.. the pharmaceutical industry is booming. All sounds good right? But what does this actually mean for America?

    More people are SICK and/or DYING.

    Let's also consider the following.

    I and an old partner of mine are in charge of all the worlds personal computer sales. In order to maintain the competitive edge, I naturally want to design a better product than my competition, however.. I know the best plan of action is to slowly introduce new features to my products year after year, my old partner has realized the same. Instead of putting tons of time and effort into creating the next big step in computing, I'd rather let the consumer experience the advancement of my products step-by-step, thus ensuring a greater profit margin. The same goes for vehicles, homes, etc.

    When the bottom line is "profit", industry will cut corners and cheat the consumer. When the bottom line is "efficiency" (like a resource-based economy) products will be easily updated and greater leaps would be encouraged.
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      Aug 18 2011: economics 101:

      you can not increase GDP by shifting money to a sector. because it requires taking money out of another sector. you can only increase the GDP by taking money out of nonproductive sectors, and put them in productive sectors.

      profit = efficiency. if you can produce more using less, that is, you are more efficient than the competition, you can earn profits.

      common sense 101:

      growing healthcare does not mean more sick people. it can be the case that we have more sick people, and thus we have to spend more money on healthcare. but it also can be the case that healthcare is getting more funding, and thus making people more healthy. you can't tell that by simply looking at the money figures.
      • Aug 19 2011: Agreed, it could also be that with advances within the medical sector require, as I have said, a higher production value due to man-hours and processes.

        And for what reason are you bringing this up? It does not serve your argument, Gabriel, as it detracts from your point. Why would you say the consumer is cheated? Do you not believe that, if for example, the technological sector brought out massive leaps the inability for human nature to deal with change would show through?

        Think of the older generations, I come across people every day in my line of work that are resitant to useing e-governance because they prefer paper copies and in a lot of cases can't handle the newer technologies. Such massive leaps would not be accomodating to those currently living whereas a slow-release allows accustomisation.

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