BELA'S SALON

The individual is a cell in the body of humankind

THE CARE ECONOMY
by Bela Hatvany

We have moved from the Agricultural Economy through the Industrial Economy, and we are now seeing a need to supplant the Information Economy. The latent need which is not being attended to is for care— care for humans, care for our planet and all that is in it. We all experience unmet needs for care. Children need care, all adults need care; healthy ones, sick ones, old and young. We are not caring for our planet and this threatens our species and many others. This latent need can be turned into demand by investing so as to enable these needs to become demand.

We need to invest in enabling demand by giving all of us access to care. This is done by ensuring that we have money to pay for it or by ensuring that it is available free of charge. Each of these require investment of money, enabling the care to be paid for. In the UK we invest in enabling demand by creating free services such as the National Health Service.

At the same time we need to ensure that all types of care is available. We need to invest on the demand side and on the supply side. We can invest in making teaching and health care professions attractive. This can be done by dramatically increasing relative salaries. We can invest in producing low-cost housing throughout the country.

Investing on the supply side and the demand side needs to be done in a balanced way so that the demand is in proportion to the supply. If demand is higher than supply this will cause inflation. If supply is lower than demand this will cause deflation. I think it is a good idea to ensure a controlled inflation between 5 and 10 percent per annum until the existing debt has been reduced to a small fraction of gross domestic production. This can be achieve in one or two decades.

All of these investments must be done in a manner conducive to the long-term health of our planet. We have to listen to our new understandings of how to grow healthy things in a sustainable way that renews the soil. We need to listen to the rapidly emerging understandings of electric solar and other sustainable source of energy.

In order to make the investments that will enable demand and to produce the care products and services we must create enough money. This is done by the power of fiat (let there be money). In the UK the Bank of England has this power. The Bank of England can create all of the money that is needed.

A multitude of different measures must be taken to address our balance of payments so that it comes into balance. The measures must be discovered by creating a vigorous inquiry driven by the imperative of reducing the balance of payments deficit. Special measures must be found to wean us from our dependence on imported energy.

At the moment we are importing too much energy and raw and finished goods. We must enter into a vigorous program to reduce our dependence on these imports. Investing heavily in sustainable energy from solar is critical. We have not had the foresight of Germany to have started doing this decades ago. We need to get on with it now.

All of this requires us to have a 20-40 year planning horizon, which demands that we revise our socio-political systems.

The money supply must be more evenly distributed across the entire population. Universal Basic Income is a good method. Complementary currencies can be introduced where needed to create bridges between unmet needs and unused resources.

Our conversations about the sanctity of the individual need to be complemented by an equal emphasis on our oneness. If we pause to become aware and thoughtful it immediately becomes obvious that we live in a state of inter-being totally dependent moment by moment on the air and our environment. Day by day we are dependent on healthy water and food and adequate warmth and shelter. Now is the time to urgently shift our emphasis from economic growth to care, care for our planet and everyone and everything that is on it.

Our current ideas of freedom and individuality and rights to individual property have to be modified to take into account the reality that we all have one home which is this planet. We must start to care for it and everyone and everything on it.
NOW!

Essential Viewing
Basic Income, The Movie (Grundeinkommen)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViywrpAyVdY

Basic Income: An Idea Whose Time has Come
TED Talk, James Mulvale
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBWsmoy5Re4

Noam Chomsky, Who Rules the World Now?
BBC Channel 4 Interview
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2lsEVlqts0

Essential Reading
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a Global Initiative for the United Nations, is a good framework for what we need to work on in order to create a sustainable world. Read the framework.
http://unsdsn.org

The Bela Initiative - See more at: http://uk.iofc.org/open-letter-bela-hatvany#sthash.kwe1tDpu.dpuf

Links:
Circular Economy
https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy

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