Wednesday 7 December 2016

Land of plenty

Published 07/10/2011 | 05:00

•A comic play written by Louis Dalton in the 1950s entitled 'The Money Doesn't Matter' is very relevant at the moment. Apart from not being at all funny for millions of people, the money does not really matter in relief of the present crisis. That is why the vote of the Bundestag to practically double Germany's contribution to "debt resolution" has received a very mixed reaction on world markets. Even China, which we are told is awash with money, is worried and with good cause; its difficulty is that the world is not big enough to consume all it can and needs to produce and it is suffering chronic unemployment despite its gigantic production output. And therein lies the problem; it is not the money and it is not the debt; the prime cause is much deeper and much more fundamental. It is the extraordinary capability to produce and the capability to do so with less and less human input.

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For the very first time in human history the world can produce more than it can consume and it can do it with less and less work. This is an indisputable fact and because economic dogma has no contingency process for such a development the crisis is great and dangerous. Debt is a smokescreen; a failed attempt to substitute cheap and easy credit for earning power and a futile attempt to force growth where growth is no longer possible or necessary.

The great changes that have occurred are good news very good news indeed. We can supply all our needs and do not have to work so hard anymore; our ancestors would have been incredulous of such wonderful possibilities.

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