On Nov 12, 9:08 am, Joan Sutherland wrote:
> Please propose Phil, how you – if you were in power -would legislate changes
> to your nation’s economy and environnmental policies to create the changes *
> you* want to see, without creating a dictatorship.
Well… OK, but if I were in power and could write my own legislation without anyone understanding quite why… wouldn’t I then BE a dictator?
I think the question has to be, how would a new way of thinking about the problem become of enough interest to people for them to see the importance of understanding how to make it work, a kind of different question.
So, hypothetically, if a significant base of popular support developed it would probably be because some group of activists, scientists and business people discovered the seriousness of our dilemma, and spread the word of the real physical necessity of a change in plans. So assume that the word is spread, that for our survival as a society it is physically necessary to end the economic need for producing multiplying returns on investment. Also assume that the initial skepticism quickly fades and the basic response is silence, indicating most everyone gets the message, and that we have to do it.
The first step would be something like assuring people that, because the core problem is everyone becoming forced to change faster than we know how, how we change the way we use money needs to be done in manageable steps, even if it seems we’d be heading for changing quite a lot. Then you’d propose a new tax policy for steering investment decisions, coordinated with similar policies internationally.
It could be to have two different rates on capital gains, a higher rate on capital gains that are reinvested and a lower rate on capital gains that are used for qualified long term good works like adaptation to a sustainable future. That might start modestly and ramp up, with everyone understanding that the goal is to turn the global pool of investment funds into almost purely an endowment for the earth.
How’s that sound?
There would still be lots of people making good money, but only from their being creatively successful in working and managing things, not from just using their money to multiply more money. The large change, of course, is that the proceeds of investments would be going to good works rather than multiplying the wealth of the wealthy.
So just having a split tax rate on unearned income based on value to the future would mark the beginning of the end of the super-rich. It would also the beginning of the end of deficit spending, and of pension funds financed by growth, and all those kinds of expanding wealth transfers from future growth for consumption in the present.
In other words, it would mean beginning a huge global institutional change. I think once people learn that we are going to learn to be practical in how we live the earth, and in our relationships around the world, those institutional changes would go fairly smoothly.
Most of the institutions that would need to change would still be needed, of course, but just not organized around continually multiplying in scale and complexity and energy consumption and control over everyone else, like they are organized to do now…
It seems that learning to see that as a real necessity is what will get people to ask how to be practical in accomplishing it. People sense something’s wrong, but don’t even have the language in which to understand much of this it seems. So that’s sort of what I’m looking for.