By Dave Svetlik

Humanity continues to operate under the false assumption that there “isn’t enough to go around,” hence someone must go without and lead a life of poverty and deprivation. It is this false assumption that leads to “you or me,” “every man for himself” reptilian-reflexive thinking that in the end becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When the prevailing socioeconomic framing is that some must go without so that others may be rich, the synergetic opportunities for universal success are lost. Greed, hoarding, and corruption rule the day and the very real potential to make the world work for everyone is the ultimate victim. The inevitable result is the crippling, “gilded age” inequality most of the world lives with today. Our current trajectory leads humanity toward planetary ecological disaster and the growing possibility of nuclear war.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t need to live under false assumptions. Scarcity is self-imposed. Humans can live well on our planet and do so in an ecologically sound manner. But we are not going to accomplish this by continuing to fly “Spaceship Earth” using a manmade operating manual based on falsehoods, ideologies, and fact-free economic foolishness having no correlation with physical reality. Economists must be physicists and humanity must strive to see the obvious.

When an estimated 40 percent of the food produced in America ends up in landfills producing methane (one of the most harmful greenhouse gases) and we are told we can’t “afford” to feed school children or the 42 million food insecure people in our nation, something is drastically wrong with our economic “thinking.”

When all of the physical resources, knowledge and manpower needed to repair and rebuild our infrastructure is readily available and we are told we can’t “afford” to do so and must live with crumbling roads and collapsing bridges, something is drastically wrong with our economic “theories.”

When there are adequate hospitals, medical personnel, medical schools, or the readily available resources to build more facilities and train more personnel where needed, and we are told we cannot “afford” to provide universal public healthcare, something is radically wrong with our economic “ideologies.”

When all of the technological knowledge, physical resources, and manpower are available to undertake massive conversion of our electric power production from fossil fuels to safe alternative energies and we continue to expand oil and coal usage, our economic “development” amounts to global suicide.

When our national political and military “leaders” see everyone who isn’t “us” as enemies rather than fellow passengers on Spaceship Earth, when our national political and military “leaders” involve us in endless wars because “they” have “our” natural resources and “there isn’t enough to go around,” when our national political and military “leaders” willingly invest the greatest engineering and scientific expertise, along with massive levels of physical resources, in developing ever more effective ways of killing one another to the point of risking total nuclear human extinction, our economic “thinking” is sociopathic insanity and our “leaders” are economic madmen.

When our false economic beliefs and assumptions continue to convince us there “isn’t enough to go around” and lead us down the path of self-inflicted scarcity, we ensure there won’t be enough to go around and self-inflicted scarcity.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can make the world work for everyone. We must. This “Universal Economy” series has been an ongoing attempt to introduce, in layman’s terms, the increasingly accepted economic discipline of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Based on a clear understanding of just what “money” is and how our understanding of money and economics determines the quality of life for all of us, MMT fulfills the critical need to corelate enlightened economic thinking with material reality and the laws of physics. We can make Spaceship Earth work for everyone.

For some of the most lucid discussions of MMT see:

Professor Stephanie Kelton

Professor Randall Wray

Warren Mosler