Here is what we know, that when it comes to the free market and the capitalist system, it works. Well, at least some of the time and for some people and it has its ups and downs. So, yes it has flaws and its broken in many places. Sort of like a large pipe with leaks that have been taped over. It isn’t perfect but still, there has to be a better way.We know Communism doesn’t work and Socialism doesn’t work but other than those two and without opting for an anarchist system, capitalism is what works… for now.
As mentioned, while capitalism does work for some of the people, it doesn’t for everyone and there is an inherent movement of wealth. This movement consistently creates a system where people accumulate more wealth than necessary and the continual quest for this wealth leads to large gaps in inequality. This, in turn, fosters poverty which creates a cyclic nature of poverty, revolution, stability, poverty etc. As the capitalist system grows in poverty with less and less wealth distributed, the more disenchanted and disenfranchised those on the bottom become and this leads to social unrest. In other words, there HAS TO BE A BETTER SYSTEM.
An Energy Based Economy
There is a better way and one that can revolutionize societies in a way never dreamed of before and that is having an energy based economy. An energy based economy is one in which the value of anything and everything can be determined in the concept of energy units. Everything you do, from reading this to getting up to get a drink and even to go to work uses energy. The products you create at work utilize energy, the thought processes that go into your designed… everything is or requires energy. Thus, everything can be converted to the value in terms of energy.
Sounds simplistic I know, but since I am not an economist this explanation will be a little shaky. Consider that instead of dollars, everything is based on let’s say the kilowatt/hour and everything is valued by the energy required to produce, let’s say a widget, in Kw/H. Thus if it takes 500KW/H to make a widget, then the value would be 500Kw/H plus margin. Again, simplistic but I am just trying to give you the concept. To carry it further, now consider your paycheck is in Kw/H based on the amount of energy you expelled during your productivity period or work. Now, you can take this Kw/H paycheck, assuming you had the appropriate amount and purchase a widget.
More Than Money
Yes, Kw/H would replace money but it goes beyond just replacing money. As more and more automation comes online and fewer people are required to do a job, this frees up people to do other things. In an energy based economy or system, the amount of energy you expend to create art, or the next novel or research a new disease is valued on the concept of energy, in this case the Kw/H. Granted, this is much harder to explain than just changing the currency to the Kw/H but imagine the economic system you see in something like Star Trek. Where you are free to be a writer, an artist or whatever you want. That is close to what I am talking about.
Fantastic But Not Far-Fetched
By this point, you might be thinking that I am crazy, out of my mind, head in the clouds or just it won’t work. However, it wasn’t my idea. Both Henry Ford and Thomas Edison toyed with the idea of an energy based economic system. Other people, scholars, scientists and more have considered this concept. So, it isn’t as crazy as it might seem. Imagine the world where automation takes care of the hard stuff and you are free to dream and create. Of course, it isn’t that easy and there is a lot more too it but at this point, it could be the better system we are looking for.
These links provide some good information on energy based economic systems. Give them a look if you are interested. Who knows, you might come up with a better idea. The point is, we need a better system and we know what doesn’t work so we need new ideas and new concepts.