The economies in the world today (at least most of them) are consumer-based; most of the economic activity goes to fulfilling the wants and needs of the consumer-citizen. Since parts of the world are wealthy, the desires of the consumers there are equally high; greater possibilities gives greater wants. This causes most of the big problems we see in the world today: a polluted environment, exhaustion of the natural resources, social tension between those who have much and those who have little.
To tackle these problems, we have to think differently about what an economy must be. Instead of a tool that is rigged to give us gratification, it must be a useful means to organize life for everyone in such a way that is fair and undamaging.
In this new kind of economy we look to what is essential to us - food, clean water, shelter, clothing, education, medical care and the means to communicate with each other - and we use the resources we have to accomplish these things and improve them if necessary. We look at situations and ask ourselves: is everything that is required available here, and, if not so, how can I contribute in such a way that it will be?
Since we use money as a common means of trade, the simplest and fastest way to relieve our problems is a redistribution of it; we take the supply of money in the rich parts of the world that is not used for essential needs and use it to accomplish our goals in the poorer parts of the world.
This shift of money and resources can be done both individually and in a more coordinated manner. The latter is more effectively; a government can aquire information about what is needed where, raise taxes for more income, and send money and resources to where it is needed. However, since people tend to be attached to their wealth and the possibility of consuming, it would take brave politicians to do that.
Therefore, we also have a personal responsibility to divide the money and the resources more equally among the people in this world. We should not live in luxury while other people are in need. If the politicians hesitate and do nothing, it is to us to choose a way in wich we ourselves can contribute to a healthier society.
If you want to comment on this article, go to Forum:A new kind of economy