999 words to save the world
COVID 19 -v- Economy
Ending the crisis with logic - Pentel's Simple Reframe Theory 2020
There is a behavioural conflict between the economy and the risk to life from the pandemic. (I want to try to keep this simple so I am just going to call it the bug.)
It's a couple of days before the 4th of July 2020 and America has recorded another record in new cases. I am struggling to keep up with which part of which country is in what process. Are they easing or are they cordoning off regions? It is constantly changing. And the markets are dancing on the deck of the Titanic. They don't what to say but they have a compulsion to keep talking.
We can beat the bug if we are logical. Modifying our behaviour through social distancing, wearing masks and other measures can stop the spread now while we isolate patients, invent vaccines, cures, care for people’s needs including emotional and solve the problem. It can be done with time. It's practical and although we would have to spend time working through what a new and better normal, looks like we could do this. The degree of certainty is 95%+
However, although this could be done, this is not what we are doing today. Today a key problem is the economic impact. I will talk about other matters at the end but one of the major drivers of our current suicidal behaviour is our economic needs. To feed ourselves, make people feel safe at home, to tend to the impacted people all costs money. The amount of money needed so far in the economic crash has been astronomical and the system is not fixed.
Assume for a moment please that we can map the drivers of behaviour as in the chart at the top of the page. We actually can, therefore, look at the behaviour towards the best outcome of our welfare and compare them with the best outcome for our economic system. Economic behaviours conflict with survival/social and medical behaviours most.
Social behaviour is solvable through thought effort and investment. We could open all the schools/pub safely, give working people a sense of fulfilment and create social experiences if I didn't have the economic issues to deal with. What Dan Pink calls Autonomy Mastery and Purpose balanced with Daniel Kahneman’s Prospect Theory. We would create a new normal with a rich social aspect for everyone.
So, in simple terms, it is logical to say that if we take the economic system out of the equation and the next 2-5 years look very different. If it wasn't for economics we could make the next 5 years a time of change the beginning of a better age - a renaissance.
The opportunity is right here, right now, to re-examine our way of life and a chance to build a better society.
So now let's consider economics. Firstly how is economics looking right now to you? - robust, steady, nourishing, in control? This little standstill has already cost more than the last 10 years Global GDP and we are not through it yet. Also looking at what we really need - it can't afford it.
You can't produce a good economic model at the moment - no one can. So I am here to bury old economics not to praise it.
Economics plays the vital role of keeping score of our endeavours. It is language an organisational tool. But it is a weapon, not a tool right now. This is man-made and never really has worked effectively or brilliantly, just ok. The way it reflected vital issues like health welfare climate racism poverty has been to ignore them. And it worked sadly immorally and effectively.
Unlike finding a vaccine we can change economics by just making design changes. We have cooked the books like this many times from the cost of the Napoleonic War to the last financial crash. We simply rewrite the rules input new numbers and it's over.
Economists and politicians are refusing to face the car has crashed and we need action. I have never seen such cognitive dissonance. The Emperor is naked. They are bright people but they are in shock and trying to achieve goals that are not currently possible.
The current needs of the economy are at odds with our survival.
We need markets, the system, to wake up and look at the convergence that is building in every indicator. Jobs Losses, Bankruptcy Rates, Unemployment are all drawing value into the vortex of economic collapse. Misery that can be completely avoided has not started yet.
Everyone involved in the economic cycle needs to take a moment and take a breath.
Realise that the system needed a dramatic redesign. The last estimate I saw was 40 - 100 trillion+. Pay people, feed us, provide the solutions we need to function fix our common medical social, ecological, racial issues, only then rewrite the economic system to be better.
It is easier than finding a cure to the bug. In the meanwhile, by changing some numbers on a system, by inputting data, and by the whit of humans we could end most of the misery we currently face.
This is not about too big to fail this is about making people trade lives for money. We have for years had a system of economic cannibalism. "You become rich because I become poorer" is a powerful part of modern economics. Look at Amazon and the wealth from the millions of lives they have economically destroyed look at Facebook making money by creating bad habits and behavioural engineering. These are not the only problem it's a long list.
How can you save the world?
That's quite easy it's only 7 words so, repeat after me
money is not the point - happiness is
Say it as often as you can, say it to everyone you talk to, if you want to end social injustice, teach it to your kids.