Saturday, May 24, 2014

Essay: A New Story for a New Economy by David Korten

"..the story of Sacred Money and Markets. It goes like this:

Time is money. Money is wealth. Making money creates wealth and is the defining purpose of the individual, business, and the economy. Those who make money are society's wealth creators. Their affluent lifestyles are their fair and just reward for their special contribution; they merit our apprecia-tion and respect. Material consumption is the path to happiness. We humans are by nature individu-alistic and competitive. The invisible hand of the free market directs our insatiable competitive drive to serve ends that maximize the wealth of all. Inequality and environmental damage are regret-table, but necessary, collateral damage on the path to prosperity for all. If we hold true to course, economic growth will eventually create sufficient wealth to end poverty and drive the technological advances needed to end human dependence on nature. 

Most readers will readily recognize—or at least suspect—that every assertion of this familiar story is false or badly misleading. Although economics courses in our most prestigious universities teach this story and corporate media constantly repeat it, it is bad ethics, bad science, and bad economics—as is extensively documented elsewhere by many authors, including myself. The ultimate proof is the environmental devastation, economic desperation, and social alienation this story leaves everywhere in its path."

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