« The MIT Forum on Future Cities | Main | Reflections on the Transition to an Information Society »

April 25, 2011



What happens when the incredible growth in productivity enabled by all our technologies reaches a point where not everyone needs to be involved in the work that supports our society? Is that a stagnation?

It's a stagnation under our present economy but not if it were better planned. For example, the US has millions of foreclosed homes sitting empty. This is a massive resource that is being wasted. Why? It seems ludicrous for a society to build homes and then leave them empty. It's like the statues of Easter Island, massive outlays for that society in resources yet useless, and which eventually proved fatal to that civilization.

Empty homes won't harm us in the same way, but they are an example of resources that aren't being used because the rules of our economy are based on creating artificial scarcities instead of harnessing all our technologies to create real abundance across many products and services, and drive down the cost of living for billions of people worldwide and moving them out of poverty.

We don't have a choice with stagnation because of the boom and bust cycles of our economy. But if we could somehow change the rules of our economy then it would unlock a tremendous amount of innovation and creativity. How we do that I don't know but I'm sure we can figure that out.


We have a level of access to our representatives now that is unprecedented. We CAN make ourselves heard. We MUST NOT let these conversations be dominated by people in the top 1-5%. They are only richer than we are ... not smarter, or more creative, or more "important."

We SHOULD push forward the age for claiming full benefits under Social Security - and implement means testing. We SHOULD cut what's covered by Medicare. We SHOULD cut the defense budget. We SHOULD allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. We SHOULD amend the tax code. We SHOULD put the entire federal government's power structure under a microscope, and cut programs or departments where we can. We SHOULD ensure that all citizens can at least afford an annual Pap smear (or well-child visit, or prostate exam), eye exam, and blood work. We SHOULD stop moving social supports and medical care beyond the reach of women (and allowing religious dogma to dictate what medical procedures a woman can or cannot safely obtain).

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

September 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  
Blog powered by Typepad