Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth by David C Korten

By David C Korten


Nearly years after the monetary meltdown, financial restoration nonetheless turns out a far off promise. determined, overwhelming desire for switch has now not conquer Washington’s timid choice for the established order. Joblessness and foreclosure stay endemic, and every day brings scandalous new revelations of outrageous Wall highway bonuses and corruption.

Issued as a file of the hot financial system operating workforce, this considerably up-to-date and improved new version of schedule for a brand new economic climate is a decision for a countrywide statement of Independence from Wall road. what's wanted, Korten argues, is a approach that favors existence values over monetary values, roots strength in humans and group, and helps neighborhood resilience and self-organization inside a framework of dwelling markets and democracy. the recent version is a guide for a nonviolent major road revolution – simply because swap, as he explains, won't come from above. it is going to come from below.

The root of the matter, as particular greatly within the first variation of time table for a brand new economic system, continues to be what it used to be in 2008: Wall road associations that experience perfected the paintings of making “phantom wealth”—mere numbers on paper—without generating whatever of actual worth and with none considered the social results. within the new version, Korten examines how occasions on account that September 2008 have confirmed that the predatory Wall road leopard can't switch its spots and explains why a visionary new president opted for marginal reform. He fleshes out his imaginative and prescient of the choice to the company Wall highway economic climate: a primary highway financial system in response to in the community owned, community-oriented “living organisations” whose luck is measured as a lot by means of their optimistic effect on humans and the surroundings as through their confident stability sheets. most significantly, he deals a groundbreaking plan as to what we as voters can do to damage during the political paralysis and exchange the phantom-wealth Wall road method with a living-wealth major highway process that's attentive to the desires and values of normal people.

2011 self sustaining writer publication Award silver medalist!

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Extra resources for Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth

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Rarely have I come across such a clear example of the widespread belief, seemingly pervasive on Wall Street, that inflating asset bubbles creates real wealth. Apparently, even the editors of Foreign Policy and their editorial reviewers failed to recognize what I’ll call the “Edmunds fallacy” for the sake of giving it a shorthand name. Asset bubbles create only phantom wealth that increases the claims of the holder to a society’s real wealth and thereby dilutes the claims of everyone else. Edmunds did not invent this fallacy, but his Foreign Policy article lent it new intellectual respectability and, as noted below, apparently stirred the imagination of Wall Street insiders.

Economic growth is disrupting the values and living systems essential to human well-being. Beyond a minimal threshold of consumption, building community, rather than increasing the consumption of stuff, is the key to increasing human health and happiness. Equity Poverty, not equity, is the issue, and the proper response is to kick-start the growth process within the world’s remaining pockets of absolute poverty by introducing technologies and social services funded by foreign aid. Extreme poverty is the inevitable other side of the coin of extreme wealth and can be resolved only through redistribution from those who have more than they need to those who have less.

PHANTOM WEALTH In business school, I learned the art of assessing investment options to maximize financial return. My teachers never mentioned that what we were really learning was to maximize returns to people who had money, that is, to make rich people richer. Nor did they mention that if pursued mechanically, the methods we were learning might result in the creation of phantom wealth. That concept didn’t exist. Buried in the details of our calculations, no one asked, What is money? Why should we assume that maximizing financial return maximizes the creation of real value?

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