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The New Economy – Are you ready for it?

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I read a lot. I think a lot too. One of the things I just can’t get over is the sorry state of our economy and politics, both suck. What are we going to do now? This keeps me up at night. Slowly most of what we know about the world and the economy, is becoming obsolete. The industrial revolution is over, just like the agricultural one once was.

“You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” Morpheus

The old economy is dying, on life support, current power structures hanging on with dear life, but just like every dying patient the end result is always death, I am not an economist – I ‘m a physician, I know. Just like in nature, death gives birth to new life, the economy of the 21st century, the new economy.

What exactly will the new economy look like?

I don’t think anybody knows, but it won’t look anything like the stuff we have seen before. Today too many businesses are build around exploitation, greed and short-term profits, putting shareholder value over people, laws and the environment. This too, will come to an end and a new world will emerge. Getting there could get ugly, the empire is already waking up and it won’t give up easily, but it will vanish in its current form.

“Capitalism, if left unchecked, brings out the worst in human kind.”

What won’t change is that we all need to eat safe and nutritious foods, drink clean water, have access to healthcare, depend on some form of government and public services, require energy to keep things running, need to manage the whole thing and lastly educate our children.

Food – Industry and government successfully brainwashed people into false believes about nutrition and the production of food. Lobbying has led to an upward redistribution of wealth to the detriment of small (and local) farms, public health, animal welfare and the environment. Today multinational corporations attempt to patent life in an effort to further tightening their grip on food production. Agriculture in its current form will diminish and new forms of food production will emerge offering new business opportunities to future generations. http://www.fixingourfood.com/pdffiles/America’sFailedFoodSystem.pdf

Energy – Energy needs and energy prices are rising world-wide and beneficiaries of today’s energy markets are hindering the development of alternative sources while continuing to destroy the environment. Fortunately this model is not sustainable, because people won’t be able to afford the rising energy costs and/or fossil fuels will run out further increasing prices. Wind, solar, hydro-electric, all offer abundant sources of energy waiting to be explored and become commercially viable. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/mar/08/big-nuclear-cosy-relationship-obama-administration

Finance – The heart of today’s problems lies in the organization and lack of effective oversight of the finance sector, which in addition to crashing the economy in 2008 demanded tax payer bailouts for these “too big to fail” corporations. Money equals influence and too much money too much influence and corruption. “You can always count on people to do the right thing, once all other options have been exhausted,” W. Churchill once said, smart man. Our system of capitalism depends on everyone playing their part in this rigged game favoring big money, therefore once people wake up and stop participating other systems of finance will emerge bringing with them alternative payment networks, alternative currencies (like bit coins), alternative financial products and alternative investment opportunities. Alternative CurrenciesBitcoin

Government and Public Services – Today, many governments around the world are implementing austerity measures, reducing public services and further worsening the economic situation of the majority of their populations, simply to please international banks and the IMF (International Monetary Fund), in essence bailing out the banking industry that collectively brought about the crisis in the first place while having the tax payers foot the bill, profit capitalism and loss socialism. The problem with this strategy is the reduction in spendable cash, reducing consumer spending and with that income from taxes, perpetuating and/or worsening the problem.

Water – Potable water, or drinking water, is quickly becoming a commodity. It receives very little public attention outside of areas already experiencing water shortages. You don’t have to look far, like the African continent, shortages already affect parts of Georgia and the Carolinas. Water is essential for animal health, including the human animal, and agriculture. Water shortages are therefore a problem that will increase with population growth, offering business opportunities now and in the future. http://www.miller-mccune.com/environment/water-shortages-threaten-the-american-west-lifestyle-31150/

Health – People will always get sick, hence they will always need healthcare. The US healthcare system is broken, providing inefficient, expensive services to a minority with insurance and money to pay for them while achieving mediocre outcomes on average, leaving everyone else in the dust. Healthcare, just like the other areas touched upon, is governed by greed and focused on redistributing wealth while providing healthcare is seen as a necessary evil. http://spfaust.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/free-markets-in-us-health-care-part-ii-epic-fail/ http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8130

Management – Management as we know it already died, there too executives and managers are hanging on to their outdated jobs with dear life. We don’t need people who tell us what to do anymore, just google it! Besides they often times don’t contribute to the productivity of the system, rendering them an avoidable cost factor to be eliminated sooner rather than later. A new form of management will emerge taking today’s changing work environments and living arrangements into account, as business ceases to be done in large “work containers” instead moving to coffee shops, dining rooms and front porches. http://travisrobertson.com/leadership/management-system-dead-man-walking/

Education – Today’s educational institutions are for-profit businesses, delivering shareholder value first, education second, often shoddy results at outrageous sums of dollars conveniently provided by the education loan industry, another possible bubble ready to burst. With the value of degrees and certificates rapidly declining and prices steadily increasing, people will soon either be unable or unwilling to finance their children’s scholarly work, instead turning to free (and often better) opportunities via the Internet, therefore by default forcing change upon the system. Ken Robinson – Schools kill Creativity

The assumption in many people’s heads is that after the recovery things will be similar to before the economy crashed, in particular the employment situation. This assumption is understandable, but incorrect, jobs will not mysteriously come back to the United States, because emerging economies overseas will continue to offer cheaper labor costs, therefore unemployment will remain high unless the government steps in, which is not likely looking at current power structures. If your livelihood depends on traditional employment and your solution is hoping for the best, you might be in for a rude awakening. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/03/how-a-new-jobless-era-will-transform-america/7919/. If you are still considering employment read Steve Pavlina’s 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/07/10-reasons-you-should-never-get-a-job

Create Your Own Recovery

The problem many people are facing is: How am I going to earn money in tomorrow’s economy? What problems are we facing today that desperately need solving? At the macro level think of food, water, a clean environment, reduction of CO2, energy, curing disease, and others; these are all problems that will get worse with increasing population (which we already know is happening) and therefore need solutions today and into the future.

“In Russia there was one kind of boxes on the shelves, all flour and sugar, in America there are many, still only flour and sugar.”

Think outside the box! This isn’t easy, because our brains are wired to work best with familiar concepts and we all, to some degree, avoid change; basically you need to start thinking about tomorrow world using today’s terminology. To thrive in the new economy work on solving today’s problems today AND start building tomorrow.

5 Steps to Designing Your Future Today

Think! – Start thinking your own thoughts instead of letting others do that for you! If you take away nothing else from this article, please start to think for yourself. Everybody is out to shape your perceptions and opinions; governments, corporations, the media, advertisers spend billions of dollars doing exactly that and trust me, they are very good at it. If you haven’t seen the Matrix, this would be a good time; besides it is a lot of fun!

Live a healthier life – Learn about food and health and start cooking your own meals to take care of your family. Many of today’s health problems and associated social and personal costs could be avoided with healthy nutrition and exercise. You don’t have to belong to a gym to get fit, just take your dog on a long walk or do body weight exercises (check youtube for instructions). If you own a home, consider growing your own food.

Consume less and vote with your money – Start by living within your means and escape the rampant economic slavery that replaced slavery based on race and origin. Consider doing business with local, smaller companies that treat you and the environment well. Having more stuff does not increase happiness in the long term, close friendships do and cost little.

Education – Always keep learning! From gardening, home and car repair to building and programming computers, there is so much fascinating stuff out there. Your only limitations are time and your imagination, and with Internet access available almost everywhere, no tuition required. Learn how to start a business!

Finances – Get your own finances in order by reducing debt and, if you can, increasing your income. Sell your crap and reduce the size of your home. Less home means less costs overall and less time to maintain. Choose a local bank or credit union to do business with and get to know the people. Consider bartering.

Start a business – How can you contribute a solution, however small, to any of the problems outlined above and maybe you can turn it into a business? Get rich quick hardly ever works, but if you put your efforts into providing a quality product or service solving a real problem at a fair price you are bound to succeed. Unicorn Grocery Workers (UK)

I will close with this thought not only about the new economy, but the world as a whole:

“We should try to create a society each of us would want if we didn’t know in advance who we’d be.” Paul Krugman

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Thanks to those talented photographers who’s images we used in this post. They are listed by their Flickr usernames:

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8factorsInfinitely curious, optimistic, logical thinker out there enjoying life!View all posts by 8factors →