Have you Ever been Swept Off Your Feet?

In both cases – whether the bubble was inflated with positive or negative energy – the participants in the bubble are being swept away further and further away from actual physical reality and start to see everything either ‘extremely negatively’ or ‘extremely positively’ – neither experience is grounded in reality – because the physical is neither positive or negative – it just is what it is.

And Then You Crash – Meconomics

In this little series, we’ve been investigating the phenomenon of inflation, how we in our daily lives participate in ‘inflating our reality’ and so, how we are on a personal level participating in the same principles/dynamics that we see playing out on a bigger scale when it comes to inflation, speculative bubbles and financial market crashes.

Welcoming New Life with Living Income Guaranteed

Comfort, security and nurturing are all things we wish are present when a baby comes into this world. Yet, these conditions are not a reality for many babies, as parents themselves like these things in their lives. In Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu Natal province in South Africa, 3 to 5 babies are…

Humanity Washed Ashore

This was an excerpt of just one of the stories about the boy. Over the last few days, dozens have been written and published on various major news sites. What is more striking than the content of the posts, is the comments that are left on these articles. What is humanity’s response to such images, to such news?

Voting Fun – What does it Feel Like to Have a Say?

Now – before such increased direct political participation is a reality – let’s do a little test to see what it feels like. So – here are some mock-questions where you’re asked to give your input. Imagine that this relates to your direct reality (eg. your town) – and your answer has a weight that influences the outcome of the decision. Of course, in reality…

27 October 2013

Day 251: Living Income Guaranteed and Market Mechanics

This blog is in response to a comment made on Day 250: Economics Nobel Prize reduced to Laughingstock :
“Economics is about, or should be about, how to employ the available means in such a way that no want more urgently felt should remain satisfied because the means suitable for its attainment were employed - wasted - for the attainment of a want less urgently felt. This is what it means to economize: to allocate scarce resources to their most productive/urgent use. "Most urgent use" is determined by supply and demand as established on the free market. I agree with the criticism that empirical economics seem frivolous and misplaced. But I disagree with the conclusion of this article; the only way to make the world more wealthy is by increasing the ratio of capital to people through investment and savings. Wealth redistribution will only succeed in making us all equally poor. Well written piece, though, thank you for a thoughtful opinion.” - Matt Summers
“Economics is about, or should be about, how to employ the available means in such a way that no want more urgently felt should remain satisfied because the means suitable for its attainment were employed - wasted - for the attainment of a want less urgently felt. This is what it means to economize: to allocate scarce resources to their most productive/urgent use. "Most urgent use" is determined by supply and demand as established on the free market.”
The effectiveness of markets in being able to successfully allocate resources to ‘their most productive/urgent use’ is dependent on how effectively the market is able to capture supply and demand signals. Here, we currently have a problem as not everyone has an equal opportunity to access the field of the free market and cast their demand / signal their need. Access to the free market is restricted, and the only way to gain access is by having a ticket – where one’s ‘purchasing power’ is representative of such a ticket that will grant you access.

clip_image002So long you do not have the money / financial means to back up your demands, your demands will fall on deaf ears and not be catered for. Alternatively, depending on the scope of purchasing power available to you, your demands may only be catered for partially, as you are unable to ‘validate’ or ‘redeem’ all of your needs into demands due to the size and scope of one’s purchasing power – and thus the free market will only pick up one those demands/needs that are backed up by purchasing power, while not registering others.
With not everyone’s demands in effect being picked up by the market, we get a distorted view and picture of what we believe is wanted/needed - and use this distorted picture as a map to allocate scarce resources. To actually be able to direct and allocate resources to their most productive and urgent use, we require a lot more information – information that is missing and not being received simply because not everyone has the capacity to validate their demands through purchasing power.

Whether we like it or not, we currently live in a world with huge levels of income inequality[1] aclip_image004nd thus purchasing power inequality – where there is an inverse relationship existent between the size of purchasing power and the amount of people who have purchasing power.
In terms of the mechanics of Supply and Demand, this structure gets translated into the market receiving a big amount of information about the demands of a few people, while receiving little to no information from the majority of the people who have smaller to no purchasing power.

Within providing a Living Income Guaranteed, the goal is not to ‘equalize’ the entire purchasing power structure – but merely to give those at the bottom / those who do not have access to the market mechanisms -- the chance to be heard and recognized within the market. Providing a Living Income Guaranteed effectively provides everyone with a base amount of purchasing power, so that at a minimum everyone can effectively signal their demands to be able to achieve a dignified living standard.lig bubble
Wealth redistribution will only succeed in making us all equally poor.”
Here I will assume that your statement is based on the same logic Nozick follows, where he perceives a problem in redistribution leading to disincentive for the productive members of the economy who would then produce less and less until they cover only their immediate needs and having no ‘surplus’ to redistribute.
In terms of the Living Income Guaranteed proposal, where we want to ensure that those who are unable to sustain themselves financially through providing them with a Living Income – we are not looking at a massive movement of redistribution. In terms of the capital and wealth that is available within the world, it only takes a small fraction[2] being moved from top to bottom to give the majority of people the necessary ‘bump’ to be able to realize a dignified living standard for themselves.
There will thus still be a wide range of incomes, a wide range of competition and more than enough incentive to be innovative and keep producing.

A more drastic change will rather be seen within the market system within the mechanics of supply and demand being able to capture a lot more information about the needs and wants of people – which will provide society with more effective and accurate guidelines as to where resources should be allocated for their most productive/urgent use. The biggest change will be seen in the living standards of people and the actual realization of having everyone’s fundamental human rights secured.

Here, we can look for instance at the ‘ideal’ many people envisage when looking at the distribution of wealth in society. As you can see from the graph below, it still leaves plenty of incentive for those who are incentive driven to be productive and innovative – while at the same time allowing the bottom two quintiles to have sufficient wealth to live a dignified life (and to have any share of wealth at all for that matter! Since both the first and second quintile barely get registered on the ‘actual’/’current’ graph).
The Nozickian notion that redistribution will ‘leave us all equally poor’, is a very radical and extremist position, which takes on a very rigid and narrow view on human nature and values. It is assumed that we only care about ourselves and within this will go as far as compromising and sabotaging our own living standards just because we don’t want anyone else to reap benefits of ‘our work’ and ‘our effort’. There is no space for relating to one another and helping each other out – even when it comes down to something basic such as having everyone’s fundamental human rights covered. We suggest that humans are not the completely irrationally selfish beings Nozick assumes us to be, and that we are capable of compassion and can realize this compassion in the form of having everyone’s fundamental human rights secured.
“But I disagree with the conclusion of this article; the only way to make the world more wealthy is by increasing the ratio of capital to people through investment and savings.”
This statement is not necessarily true – as it assumes that we are currently experiencing a ‘lack’ in real capital and actual resources to effectively provide everyone with a proper living standard. The capital and the resources are already here – but through the market system operating at an inefficient level (due to our current supply and demand curves not capturing the full extent of demand as explained above), the capital/resources are not moving and not being directed towards those who need it most.

This is how we end up with scenarios of food dumping and having huge amounts of food destroyed and thrown away parallel to having high levels of hunger and starvation in the world. This is simply because our economic system is not sensitive and attuned to human needs and instead being irrationally driven by the profit motive. Economics and the market have become all about non-human elements as profit and numbers which have stopped serving the general human interest. By placing in a Living Income Guaranteed system, we are placing the human element back in the center of economics, allowing economics to be the life supporting instrument that it was destined to be. Economics and money are then here to support ourselves in living our life – and not the other way around where are lives are lived in the service of money and the economy, as how the majority of people’s lives are currently being lived.
It’s time to reverse the roles.
[1] See our blog on the World’s Lorenz Curve, which displays almost perfect inequality “Day 143: The Neo-Apartheid Era
[2] See “
World’s 100 richest could end global poverty 4 times over”, which is but one example of ‘how little it takes’ to make a ‘big difference’ for many

Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta

15 October 2013

Day 250: Economics Nobel Prize reduced to Laughingstock

“The award was for their work on the pricing of financial assets. Together they concluded that predicting the price of stocks and bonds in the short term is virtually impossible. But they showed it is possible to forecast the broad course of prices over longer periods, such as the three to five years.
Shiller was among those who warned in the 1990s that the run-up in stock prices as part of the Internet stock bubble was the result of "irrational exuberance." 

Last decade, Shiller made similar warnings about the run-up in U.S. home prices. That proved to be correct when the housing bubble burst and plunged the nation into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”

Our expectations and standards of economics and economists really has reached an all-time low when we hand out Nobel prizes for work on how to improve one’s gambles in the financial market and for predicting failures in our economic system.
While we still haven’t mastered basic resource management, whereby we ensure that everyone has got access to those resources which safeguard human subsistence – we rather place value and importance on the speculative side of economics which only cares about profit and unsubstantiated growth at the expense of issues of real importance, such as eradicating poverty and starvation.
We entertain ourselves with the fringe side of economics while we haven’t even got the basics in place. Resource inequality and living standards disparity are skyrocketing. We’ve never had this many people living in poverty and we’ve never had this much wealth and ‘know how’ in the world.

And still, even though we have everything in place to create a world where everyone lives a life of comfort and dignity, we’re not moving the puzzle pieces in place to bring a better world into being.
Economics as a discipline has failed us in every way. Economics should be disqualified as a field from receiving any form of recognition of praise until we have put into place the basics as a foundation where everyone is able to secure their life. This should be the primary focus of economics, and so long primary structures and logistics are not in place to support life on earth – we shouldn’t bother indulging ourselves in fictional economics pertaining gamble and speculation.
If we really want to do something worthwhile in the name of economics, we would start with providing a safety net such as a Living Income Guaranteed, which practically ensures that everyone is provided with the means to live their life, without being deprived of basic necessities and living in a survival state of being - the way life is supposed to be lived.

To find out more about the Living Income Guaranteed, visit: