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Author Topic: Would an alternative economic system benefit the planet?  (Read 1115 times)

Offline thedoc

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David asked the Naked Scientists:
   The planet Earth is going through drastic changes in the environment, global temperatures rising, the depletion of ice at the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps, the fastest mass extinction of species since the Dinosaurs and the oceans becoming polluted and acidic due to human activity.

All of these destructive elements being caused by humans onto the planet have one thing in common. This being the human-made concept of money and this of capitalism (an ideology based on selfish and short term principles regardless to the long term destruction/consequences).

My question : Is it time for humans to think of an alternative to money, where there is a system which benefits the planet, wildlife and life itself ?
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 14/09/2016 13:23:02 by _system »


 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Would an alternative economic system benefit the planet?
« Reply #1 on: 14/09/2016 17:56:54 »
Not capitalism per se, but its association with economic expansion.

The upside of capitalism is that it permits and occasionally rewards risk, innovation, discovery, and anything else that benefits people to the extent that you can sell it.

The upside of money is that at best it is a portable and exchangeable token of work, and allows us to specialise. I fix your x-ray machine, you fix my broken leg: fair exchange of specialisms that distinguish us from our predecessors. But neither of us is a farmer or a dustman, and right now my leg is OK but the dustman's leg is broken and we all need to eat....so let's invent money. 

My scheme for saving the world actually uses the incentive value of money. Scrap all child benefits and pay every woman 500 every 6 months if she isn't pregnant. Pretty soon the population will decrease, so the whole economic system will have to adjust to a shrinking market for everything, and we will eventually reach a fully sustainable level of consumption and production.

I don't see any fundamental reason for limiting wealth or income, as long as it is acquired in fair competition and not by monopoly. A footballer or musician is worth exactly what people are prepared to pay to watch him, and anyone can have a go.

There is however a snag in the case of genetically modified food. Innovation involves risk and effort, and should therefore be protected from theft of intellectual property by patents. Now suppose I produce a sterile rice plant that consistently yields 20% more than any natural product. Obviously a Good Thing. But you would be foolish to buy any other seed because your neighbour can undercut your market price  by using my product. So after a few years, I control the  world price and availability of rice: maybe not for ever, but long enough to have the undeserved power of life and death over a very large population.

That's why we need to develop shale oil in the UK.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Would an alternative economic system benefit the planet?
« Reply #2 on: 14/09/2016 20:51:06 »
I agree with the need to reduce the world population but it can only been done slowly as the Chinese have found out as we need plenty of young people to support the old.
We need to reduce the number of old people (me excluded!) may I suggest free cigarettes and alcohol for the over sixties.
Something must be done to prevent people living in near desert areas where the land will not support them humans are so good at breeding that a woman will produce 10 children to have 3 survive and grow up in sub human conditions.
I am in favour of capitalism but it is bizarre that somethings like football tickets are not allowed to find their true value, we must have money what a lot of bookkeeping would be needed if we tried to do without it.
Abortion should be freely available up to 23 weeks but after then the mother should be required to give birth and offer the child for adoption.
Surrogate mothers should be allowed to be adequately rewarded 
 
 

Offline tkadm30

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Re: Would an alternative economic system benefit the planet?
« Reply #3 on: 14/09/2016 21:06:13 »
I think a alternative economic system based on experience and skills could replace capitalism. This way we could focus on free education and train peoples according to their own interests and skills, in exchange of labor. The Internet could also be redesigned to allow free communication and support for workers looking to exchange employment opportunities - a global and distributed "job" market sensitive to the resources needed to develop fair trade.

 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Would an alternative economic system benefit the planet?
« Reply #4 on: 14/09/2016 22:51:12 »
I agree with the need to reduce the world population but it can only been done slowly as the Chinese have found out as we need plenty of young people to support the old.
Not true. In the UK, at least, very few people under 20 pay any tax and most receive state education, health and social services. It's the cohort from 20 to 60 that actually support the elderly and the young by providing tax revenues, education and medical services. If we reduce the birthrate to half the replacement level the working fraction actually increases and both pensions and elderly services can be increased substantially.

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We need to reduce the number of old people (me excluded!) may I suggest free cigarettes and alcohol for the over sixties.
The natural wastage from cancer, heart disease, liver/kidney failure  and dementia is entirely sufficient and already accounts for about 90% of deaths in  this cohort. Very few people survive beyond 100. It would be better to offer a humane exit on demand for all.
 
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Something must be done to prevent people living in near desert areas where the land will not support them humans are so good at breeding that a woman will produce 10 children to have 3 survive and grow up in sub human conditions.
hence my idea of offering money to women who are not pregnant. 1000 per year (tax free) makes economic sense in the UK, and something like 7% of average personal income can be calculated for any region.
 
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Abortion should be freely available up to 23 weeks but after then the mother should be required to give birth and offer the child for adoption.-
contraception is far less risky both physically and emotionally, and a lot cheaper. You can buy a lot of pills for 1000 per year, have a great sex life, and not sentence your babies to starvation or third-party parenting.
 
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Surrogate mothers should be allowed to be adequately rewarded 
In what way does the free market not already define "adequate"? Payment must be for the service, not the product, because buying and selling a human is slavery.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Would an alternative economic system benefit the planet?
« Reply #5 on: 15/09/2016 10:01:08 »
Of course I prefer contraception to abortion but sometimes it fails for a variety of reasons abortion should be available as a backup.
Those who are carrying a health foetus and neither have the means or desire to raise it themselves should be encouraged (possibly financially) to carry it to term and part with it for adoption, we have the ridiculous situation where healthy foetuses are aborted while desperate medical efforts are taken to try and keep 22 week old ones alive for parents who want a child   
 

Offline Tim the Plumber

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Re: Would an alternative economic system benefit the planet?
« Reply #6 on: 17/09/2016 17:09:40 »
Did the Soviet Union have a good track record of environmental management?

How about China under communism or now in it's semi-communist state?

Well, I've put in my point and now back to the communist fantasy of killing humans.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Would an alternative economic system benefit the planet?
« Reply #7 on: 18/09/2016 00:10:18 »
And how would that help improve their lives?
 

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Re: Would an alternative economic system benefit the planet?
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