We’re not in scarcity though. We’re in abundance. Far more than any other time in history. But what’s been happening is our idealism bubble is fading and we’re starting to see things more properly now but it ‘feels like’ scarcity because of the time frames we’re comparing it to and the limited geographical areas we’re comparing it with.
There’s more people, more stuff. People aren’t dying off, populations are growing. Technology is improving. Injustices are being exposed and worked on that just weren’t seen before.
What’s changed? Local economies. USA may go down, China goes up. Korea improves while the EU is tanking.
Compare the world now to the world pre-WW2.
Or to pre-WW1.
Forget the 50s-70s. We’re ALWAYS comparing against them. But they were a fantasy, a constructed illusion based upon a perception of wealth that wasn’t actually there to begin with.
Needs grew. That’s the main source of perceived scarcity.
We don’t want to go “back in time” and we won’t. We can’t. But what we’re doing is seeing the impact of wealth and success spread to a larger population, adding to the illusion of “going down”.
But, I’m no economist. I just see the 50s-70s as a blip in the radar: It’s a period of time where the adults were cheering but more babies were dying worldwide due to less medical care that we’ve since improved worldwide since the early 70s.
Anyway, I could be wrong about all of that
People like their stuff. The thing is, you can practice it at anytime.
Take your own stuff and redistribute it and live off what your calculated needs would be. Gather together some neighbors and help each other pay of each other’s mortgages. Eat dinner with your neighbors. Just start with the people in the houses around you.
If you find it’s hard to do, then it might explain better why it’s hard on a large scale.
I know. But it’s a start. The means of production may still be split, but the benefits of production can be shared.
I honestly can see it working in small scale: flat /minimal hierarchy communities of 150 members or less.
Perhaps cells – something like that.
But i don’t think it scales properly, not without authoritarianism at the helm, like China.
Well, you have to get on the level of globalization then. This adds significantly to the complexity and is, to me, even more reason why such a system as you propose might be difficult to achieve.
Perhaps walls can go up.
Perhaps increasing tariffs, restricting free trade.
… as far as things like BitCoin and similar system, it’s _possible_ to create an alternative economy. But I don’t know it’s sustainability and scalability. It may TECHNICALLY scale, but with increase scale comes increase risk to manipulation and a constant closing of security holes. Without a backing of a central authority, when your money gets sucked out through a glitch, will a thumbs down vote on the offending party be enough for people?
Ok. How is the balancing calculated between production and distribution? What about monitoring of fraud? What if you don’t trust your neighbor to play fair?
Tracking is great. But again: fraud. I believe there are some GREAT ideas being used at present and I’ve seen a hint of even more powerful tracking/voting systems that are on the horizon.
But will it get public acceptance? Bitcoin (to pick on that example), is barely known or used in the USA outside of some areas of the West Coast.
*I* want to believe in it. But I haven’t been convinced yet.
There’d have to be consequences. I worked for a pharmaceutical company for a few years once. I was a systems analyst. They dragged me over to another building in another town to work on a ‘special project’ for three months once.
What was it for?
It was to track drops.
A drop is when a sales rep distributes free samples of product to doctors and the like. There were four reps per district on a rotating schedule, and several thousand districts in the USA.
I had to figure out who was selling drugs out of their garage and I found them.
There weren’t many but they were there. Because the company was the authority, they could get fired and prosecuted because what they did was a federal crime.
The thing is: They were VERY hard to find. These were minor blips, infrequent, inconsistent. Sliding scale average windows I had to fine tune over and over again to find them, and single unit tracking couldn’t work because it looks like noise.
Mind you, I was using Excel 2K, with NO experience in statistics, but I muddled my way through quite fine and I _still_ don’t know what procedures I stumbled upon. I just kept working at it until the outliers would stand out.
Anyway, that is a very small example, involving only 8000 sales reps in 2000 territories.
With millions of transactions, it will be far easier to hide. No local checks and balances: everything is open and globalized.
Mind you, I’m 100% for transparency. Florida is a state with “Sunshine Laws. You do something wrong, it’s transparent, no matter who you are. On the net.
It shows up in worldwide news the next day because EVERYBODY ELSE has privacy laws protecting people’s egos or whatever.
Having lived in both secretive (NJ) and exposed naked transparency (Florida), I prefer it this way in Florida.
So, I’m all for it. But… I still think the danger of fraud is real because trend spotting can get very difficult when someone is adept at skirting the fraud detection algorithms.
In hindsight, had I access to today’s 2016 tech instead of 1999/200 tech, I could’ve taken the data and turned it into wave forms and just… listened. Move the frequency curves around a little until the outliers were highlighted. Audacity. I’d have put it in audacity. Yeah, maybe we’ve progressed since then. Maybe it could work.
What’s that? Oh the listening or the fraud stuff? Well, I have a blessing/curse of perfect pitch, so for me, I’d “hear” something wrong with the data long before I could see it or narrow it down in other ways. Auditory detection in general is far more keen than vision. Can’t always see a line going higher or lower… and our color discrimination isn’t that great.
The only thing that would be better is smell. Turn data into odors and, just like you can tell if a recipe has too much or too little garlic, data transformed into odor would also be more easily detected than by visual or algorithmic means.
But our tech isn’t there yet. I’m still waiting.