0 We ignore the absolute basics at our peril.

  • Society
  • by Adrian Mark Dore
  • 21-03-2024
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Most people realise there is something wrong with our economy but aren’t sure what. This analogy will help you realise how simple and basic the problem is and how we can rectify it. 

Joe and his wife have four children. One they lavish with love, care, attention, and money. The other three they ignore, mistreat and spend little on. 

Yet, today, Joe has the ignorance and audacity to tell me he is worried and concerned for his family, which is utterly dysfunctional. 

The problem is blindingly obvious to the rest of us, except Joe and his wife. 

When you have four equally important members of a family, and you don’t treat them equally with love and attention – expect problems. 

This is a basic understanding most of us seem to appreciate – it’s not rocket science. 

So, with this innate understanding of the basics of life, why then are we surprised that the most influential aspect affecting our lives – the economy, is as dysfunctional as Joe’s family? 

It’s dysfunctional for exactly the same reasons. The economy has four children (or Primary Capitals), namely, Financial, Human, Environmental and Common Capital. All equal contributors to a successful economy. 

Like Joe, the economy only looks after one of its children – Financial Capital. The other three are ignored and mistreated in favour of Financial Capital. Their welfare is of little concern to the economy. 

As a result, like Joe’s family, our economy is utterly dysfunctional. And like Joe, the remedy is the same. Treat all members of your family with the same care and attention. 

Our economy only measures and manages Financial Capital. The other three primary capitals that contribute equally to our economic success are ignored. Human, Environmental and Common Capital (investment in shared infrastructure and services) are ignored. 

Until this is fixed – roll on the bad times and the increased dominance of Financial Capital. 

The first and most important step in this journey is to replace free market economic policies with social market policies in an attempt to restore some semblance of balance in the care of all Primary Capitals. Free market policies are central to our economic problems as they unashamedly only serve Financial Capital needs. As far as they are concerned, the other primary capitals are irrelevant, and that’s a massive problem for us.

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