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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Three Strategies For Managing The Economy Of Access

The Internet has shredded vertical value chains, created vast new horizontal value chains, and spawned a generation that prefers access to ownership. To survive in the emerging Economy of Access, firms will need radically different strategies and management.
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Good Forbes article on the "sharing economy" or economy of the commons, based on Rifkin's new book 'The zero marginal cost society'. But lacks, as most writing on this new paradigm, some critical reflections on the social implications of these new trends.

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EU “has the power” to put in place a universal basic income

EU “has the power” to put in place a universal basic income | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
From Martin Luther King to Erich Fromm, the universal – or unconditional – basic income (UBI) has always had its supporters. The idea is not new. But the economic crisis has brought it back to the forefront “as a solution” to the most pressing issues facing the EU today.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Very good EurActiv report of an EESC conference in Brussels.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 15, 8:11 AM

Economic wealth and liberty leads to the ability to participate in the society, polity and economy as a generally equal member.  This is not the crude "liberty" of the ability to act with impunity to the consequences of your actions, but the ability to act as a human being with all of the dignity and rights that the individual needs in order to produce a sustainable, functional and relatively prosperous society.

 

Laissez-faire policies, when left unchecked, leads to the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few individuals who connive and cheat their way to the top, such that they are able to assert an undemocratic influence over a given people, regardless of their actual merit or intentions or ability to be held accountable.  Laissez-faire leads to the centralization of wealth in the hands of a few, and, as a result of that economic centraliziation, the centraliziation of power in the governmental instrument that needs to be working for everyone's interests, not just the elite's small-self perceived interests.  This is the empirical result of a wide range of historical economic research, ranging from the fall of the Roman Republic to the Second Gilded Age in which we're living at present.  Government is simply a tool for those who have economic and social power within the economy/society.  It is a neutral puppet in and of itself.  It is whomever is backing it and occupying it that gives it its actual character, especially stemming from the top executive and legislative levels.  It's influence and power is limited by the needs, wishes and sentiments of the general public of society.  It will have no more influence or control over what it is  practically and legitimately given by the members of the external society.

 

A shame that so few people understand this fact about government or society, for the sake of an ideological belief or personal interest that the ought not have.

 

Silly brains.


Think about it.

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What if economic growth is no longer possible in the 21st century?

What if economic growth is no longer possible in the 21st century? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The postwar economic model is no longer sustainable or effective. That means we must turn to redistribution if we want to save the middle class.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Great article - the answer is simple; the politics impossible. A post-growth society will need a new prosperity paradigm, new institutions and new leaders. Think this will happen without collapse and hard shocks? think again.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, March 22, 8:02 PM

The elephant in the room.

 

What is the point of economic growth if it does not enrich all of our lives?  What good is it if we impoverish ourselves and our environment in order to get it?

 

We're not all going to be millionaires, nor does one/their family need to be millionaires in order to be happy, well off and able to take care of themselves.  What is the point of prioritizing pieces of cloth rag over our physical, psychological, social and environmental health?  Why not let growth happen organically, based upon the natural ebbings and flowing of goods and services, technological development and resource conservation?

 

What good is money if you poison yourself for it?

 

Think about it.

 

 

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Sharing As Part of the New Economy: An Interview with Lauren Anderson

Sharing As Part of the New Economy: An Interview with Lauren Anderson | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Collaborative consumption describes the reinvention of traditional market behaviors such as renting, bartering, swapping, exchanging, with technology enabling us to exchange and collaborate on a scale that would not have been possible before."

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Interesting interview about one of the most inspiring developments in the economy in recent years. But questions remain on its viability in the system of global capitalism.

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L’accord de « libre dumping » UE/USA : un faux AMI pire que le vrai

L’accord de « libre dumping » UE/USA : un faux AMI pire que le vrai | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Le projet actuel dit de « partenariat transatlantique pour le commerce et l’investissement » (PTCI, en anglais TTIP) est pire que l’AMI (billets suivants). Pour des raisons que je reporte en annexe 2, j’éviterai de le qualifier d’accord de « libre-échange ». Je trouve que c’est lui faire trop d’honneur que de l’associer au beau mot de liberté, et même à celui d’échange. Je parlerai d’accord de dérégulation, de suppression des protections collectives, de libre dumping ou libre jungle, de liberté d’exploitation des peuples par les multinationales, de « Grand Marché Transatlantique » (GMT), de l’Europe livrée aux appétits américains, etc. Je justifierai tout cela."

Willy De Backer's insight:

French economist Jean Gadrey undertakes a critical analysis of the recently launched TTIP - series of three articles - must read

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Japan as the new normal: Living in a constrained economy

If the end of economic growth is approaching, Japan can offer insight into the new forms of economic and societal behaviour required.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Very good article by Brendan Barrett of the United Nations University. Could Japan become the model for the difficult transition to a post-growth society?

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New book: Creating Sustainable Societies by John Boik

New book: Creating Sustainable Societies by John Boik | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Creating Sustainable Societies: The Rebirth of Democracy and Local Economies first pinpoints the central problems within our financial, economic, and governance systems that have lead to high unemployment, massive debt, environmental degradation, mistrust of Congress and big business, and hyper-inequities of wealth and political power. The book then proposes a practical, bold blueprint for addressing these concerns and creating meaningful change."

 

Change from the bottom up, new local currency systems and direct democracy are the keywords in this new blueprint for a sustainable transition.

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Waiting in Vain for the Quick Fix

Waiting in Vain for the Quick Fix | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The economic problems in the U.S. and Eurozone are mostly structural, not monetary. Unfortunately ideologues and politicians on both sides of the spectrum are interested in quick fixes rather than the real groundwork of economic progress.

 

Very good analysis by Jeffrey Sachs of the global economic crisis and why austerity policies and a return to classical Keynesianism will not work.

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Building a civil economy

"The current crisis of global capitalism provides a unique opportunity to chart an alternative to the complicit collusion of central states and free markets that characterise liberal political economy. From this perspective, the proposed shift of focus from a self-interested pursuit of power or wealth (or both at once) to the quest for the common good opens the way for transforming modern economics. The alternative that this essay has outlined is a ‘civil economy’ whereby markets and states are embedded in the social relations and civic bonds that constitute society."

 

At OpenDemocracy Adrian Pabst sketches the contours of an alternative economy beyond free market and state, beyond austerity and neo-Keynesianism.

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Hollande, la finance et l’angoisse finale du banquier

Global plutocracy and the financial Fourth Reich are preparing their battle plans against Hollande win in French presidential elections.

 

Read also this week's Economist to understand how the 1% is preparing for new class war.

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Wall Street elites are no longer accountable

Wall Street elites are no longer accountable | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The idea that forging signatures, that notarizing very important legal documents really improperly in thousands of cases -- maybe millions -- the idea that that is somehow is going to be allowed to go on with just sort of a penalty of some kind or a fine and not prosecuted in the criminal courts, I think it is amazing. It is really counter to what we have all been led to believe was the course of action in such a case.

 

Great podcast with Pulitzer prize winner Gretchen Morgenson on how the financial elites keep wrecking the economy without any punishment.

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The Semantic Economy

The Semantic Economy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
In the semantic economy, that design will be generated through a complex network of entities. Competitive advantage will be conferred on those who can create new informational value.
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Draghi Takes Tough Line on Austerity

Draghi Takes Tough Line on Austerity | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi delivered a stern message to countries in Europe's debt-saddled periphery, insisting that the region's worsening economic malaise wasn't an invitation to relax deficit targets.

 

The tragic Puppets of the Market God (read Goldman Sachs) continue their perverse tales. If Rick Santorum is looking for the works of Satan, maybe he should look beyond the Atlantic?

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Economist receives rock star treatment

Economist receives rock star treatment | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The reception for his “Capital in the 21st Century” has led the French economist Thomas Piketty to Washington’s halls of power and New York’s media outlets.
Willy De Backer's insight:

More praise for Thomas Piketty in the NY Times

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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 19, 1:03 PM

The one who points out a possible theory of function is hailed as a hero and villain for the public to see.

But the one who points out the impending collapse of civilization, based on evidence gathered from history, is left in obscurity.

 

I'm young, I get it.

 

But that doesn't make what I've said any less valuable or accurate.

 

But will anyone listen to me, even though I've basically got the essence of how to get out of this mess, from which either party could capitalize considerably from for generations to come?

Of course not.

 

I'm just a "kid" after all.

 

And these adults with so much negative experience are just going to keep doing what their brains have programmed themselves to do.

 

Think about it.

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Monetarism is the living dead of economic theory – let's kill it off

Monetarism is the living dead of economic theory – let's kill it off | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Philip Pilkington: The Bank of England suddenly looks capable of doing what the government can't: consigning monetarism to the past
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Some mandatory reading for the 'experts' at the ECB and the European Commission.

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Mindsets and Money: Breaking the Grip of Distorted Economics

Mindsets and Money: Breaking the Grip of Distorted Economics | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Some businesses are beginning to expand their focus beyond the surprisingly recent, single-minded obsession with maximizing shareholder value. Yet we haven’t solved the core problem, because the game is fundamentally defined by its rules. And markets, for all their agility and elegance, are massively distorted in several critical ways:..."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent ideas from Gil Friend on the radical business reforms needed to make our economies sustainable.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, March 11, 9:24 AM

I've been saying this for a few years now.

 

Money HAS to be put in its place, relative to the biological, social and environmental needs of humanity, in both the short and the long term.  Otherwise, we're going to kill ourselves for what amounts to pieces of cloth rag or digital signatures that we don't honestly need and shouldn't really want, if produced by those methods which kill our society, our environment and, ultimately, ourselves through killing our society and environment.

 

This would all start in the private financial sector which makes the investments and the decisoins as to what gets funded and what doesn't.  Who cares if the return is less, especially if you're still able to make a return?  Why should society and the will of society as expressed through the law tolerate or accept the pathological behavior of a few individuals who have mistaken money for something that they need over their physical, social and environmental needs?

 

Think about it.

 

Because it is a pathological mindset/brain type that's at work here.  It shows in the person's behavior, actions, perspectives and attitudes about all things that relate to them.  They need help, more than anything.  And, I don't think they should have a choice about whether they receive help or not, considering how dangerous their actions are for themselves and the rest of us.

 

Think about it.

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Bioeconomics: The Hidden Megascience

Bioeconomics: The Hidden Megascience | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
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Brilliant must-read article on the ideological dominance of neo-Darwinism and neo-Liberalism and the need for new thinking about man and nature.

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Cuadrilla PR man admits George Osborne's shale gas revolution won’t cut energy bills

Cuadrilla PR man admits George Osborne's shale gas revolution won’t cut energy bills | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
George Osborne's plan to drive down energy prices through a shale gas revolution was dealt a blow when Britain's sole active shale gas producer said that even a boom would have a “basically insignificant” impact on prices.
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Must-read for any European business leader who believes the fairy tales that Europe can have its own shale revolution leading to lower energy prices.

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New OECD report shows world en route to zero-growth

New OECD report shows world en route to zero-growth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The new OECD report "Looking to 2060: long-term growth prospects for the world" predicts that in fifty years the combined GDP of China and India will surpass the entire OECD area. Growth will continue to be anemic in most Western countries and global inequality will remain high.

 

This pessimistic report completely neglects the issue of resource constraints to growth which was the subject of a recent IMF report. If you would add the predictions of the IMF study to the outcome of this one, it is clear that we are on track for a zero-growth world. Time to start rethinking our way of life if we want to remain relatively prosperous and have a good life.

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Suddenly, quantitative easing for the people seems possible

Suddenly, quantitative easing for the people seems possible | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
As some of the world’s top central bankers start to admit that standard quantitative easing is failing to generate growth, previously taboo ideas can be mentioned, including QE for the People, discussed here last week.

 

Interesting and provocative ideas from financial economist Anatole Kaletsky (author of "Capitalism 4.0"). Give the new money created by central banks to the people instead of the banksters.

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Eight Fallacies about Growth

"Our decision-making elites may tacitly understand that growth has become uneconomic. But they have also figured out how to keep the dwindling extra benefits for themselves, while “sharing” the exploding extra costs with the poor, the future, and other species. The elite-owned media, the corporate-funded think tanks, the kept economists of high academia, and the World Bank — not to mention GoldSacks and Wall Street — all sing hymns to growth in harmony with class interest and greed. The public is bamboozled by technical obfuscation, and by the false promise that, thanks to growth, they too will one day be rich. Intellectual confusion is real, but moral corruption fogs the discussion even more."

 

Herman Daly (ex World Bank) provides another must-read article on the fallacies of economic growth and explains why the potential for "decoupling" is limited and why economic growth has become "uneconomical".

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Save the Euro - who for?

"Our present crisis is one of democracy even more than it is of finance. It is about a lack of honesty as much as it is a lack of growth. Debt and dishonesty are together strangling European democracy.

We should rid ourselves of both."

 

This article in Open Democracy is like a drop of wisdom in the oceans of economic idiocy.

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A Blueprint for "INCRA" - An International Non-Profit Credit Rating Agency

"In light of the intense criticism leveled against credit rating agencies for their perceived failure to analyze adequately sovereign creditworthiness, the Bertelsmann Foundation has developed a blueprint for an international non-profit credit rating agency (INCRA), whose rating criteria are designed to increase credibility and international acceptance."

 

Great initiative by the Bertelsman Foundation to create an alternative to the casino-capitalist rating agencies and integrate sustainability criteria into  sovereign risk assessments.

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Tackling inequality: a new role for the state

"For the last thirty years we have been operating a faulty economic model. Yet it has survived the second deepest recession of the last 100 years largely intact. To escape today’s era of slow and intermittent growth and prolonged instability requires the great concentrations of income and wealth to be broken up – just as they were in the 1930s. Instead, across the globe, the great wealth divide has continued to grow through the recession." (Source: Open Democracy)

 

Brilliant analysis of the relationship between the Great Depression and 30 years of free-market policies which increased inequalities in all economies.

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A World Bank for a New World

A World Bank for a New World | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
A World Bank leader who once again comes from Wall Street or from US politics would be a heavy blow for a planet in need of creative solutions to complex development challenges. The Bank needs an accomplished professional who is ready to tackle the great challenges of sustainable development from day one.

 

The replacement of Robert Zoellick at the helm of the World Bank is an opportunity to give the US-led institution a new direction according to Jeffrey Sachs in Project Syndicate.

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