A New Economic Paradigm
Stop measuring money transactions, start measuring the health of our rivers, our forests, our children, our communities. It’s not very difficult.
- Vandana Shiva, Renowned Scientist & Environmentalist
A broken economic system is the major contributor towards a broken planet
It is clear that our current broken economic system plays a key role in the perfect storm of global crisis we are now facing and unless reform is made in this area, progress in other areas will be very slow. The new theory of neuroeconomics offers explanations from neuroscience for why the current economic system is harmful for normal healthy brain (and therefore behavioral) functions and proposes a new paradigm that is in tune with a healthy and balanced life.
We can summarize our findings:
- Because the Economy is our means of putting food on the table, it is of top priority for our immediate personal survival.
- Unfortunately, such a system prioritizes short term gain over long term planning. Choices good for us today, may have bad consequences for the future
- Consumerism is based on producing a false need for products and services which promise happiness but never truly deliver it. It does keep the economic wheels spinning though.
- Debt is the modus operandi of the money system and the central banks of the world control government money printing and debt. The central banks are a private monopoly that charge interest to the government for the privelige of printing of paper money. This is unnecessary and was unsuccessfully fought by the founding fathers of the United States.
- People are encouraged to borrow money to get into debt in order to consume.
- The current economic system is based on an untenable principle of limitless growth in a finite world
- This consumerism is the stimulus for manufacturing, which is in turn unsustainable and creates the double-barrelled problem of resource depletion and global pollution, especially Global Warming
- This consumerism is unbalanced an has led to severe inequity, both in developed countrie and between developed countries and developing countries, where developed countries gorge themselves and account for the majority of pollution while the developing countries are exploited and polluted
- Because economics is tied to basic survival, we cannot simply throw it out. Unless we can radically transform it into something which severes the current ties to high consumption, high resource depletion and high pollution, we will not be successful in solving all the other critical problems facing humanity, instead, we will remain on a trajectory to a bleak future
- There are, however, signs that people are growing tired of this and there are new sustainable models being presented
The primary function built into today’s economic system is personal survival at the expense of both people and the environment. It is based on short term thinking and therefore cannot take Global Warming into serious consideration because, although it is necessary for long term survival, it is a threat to short term profitability. This profit-at-all-cost coupled with an economic model of continuous growth to feed the masses encourages consumerism and an throwaway society that depletes resources and creates pollution, all to make a quick buck.
We encourage readers to explore all the potential new economic solutions in this section ranging from alternative currencies to local economies. Suffice it to say that all of them align with the new science of neuroeconomics.