Saturday, December 4, 2010

(Financial) Saving and Virtue ???

Just posted to Interfluidity (see previous post) as reply:

Investment does not equal savings, it does not even necessarily come from savings unless you count all wealth (which is mostly nonfinancial) as savings. Our greatest wealth is not numerated, it just is, the knowledge of ages and the planet earth which includes ourselves. Really the decision to invest is decisions to invest. It should be the social decision to invest. We (or they) are doing very badly, but that’s not because of credit money, the most efficient system of money, but our decisions as to how it should be used are badly flawed, driven by greed alone, that cannot work.

Investment has to be chosen, either to advance private or public ends. Right now our society sees nothing wrong with trashing our commonwealth for private gains. Really what we need to do is advance social economic investment. This is all twisted now so that vice of self interest becomes virtue.

There is a great need, a crisis IMO, to invest in the conversion from life destroying fossil energy to renewable energy and energy efficiency, and sustainable electric transportation. Will that be enabled purely by “the market”? Well, perhaps if we could levy sufficient taxes on it, and there we run into capture of the government and media. I can’t imagine this happening. Instead, perhaps we should think about the damage that probably will be done, such as sea level rise over 200ft and the deaths of billions, negative externalities certainly greater than all the fossil created wealth. But by the time the water rises, there will be no one to collect from even without the scam of limited liability.

I can’t see the economist’s rosy scenario of our children being wealther ad infinitum, when it’s clear we’ve already reached the abyss. I pity the future. I hope I am wrong.

But it doesn’t seem like capitalism has created wealth at all, just borrowed it from a future that will never be.

And what about China?

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