Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Public Brainstorm: Economic-Demographic Crisis

December 6, 2012 will be the 10 Years Anniversary event of the Club of Amsterdam.

We are going to promote and discuss ideas, statements, observations and solutions for five areas that are considered key challenges by Schloer Consulting Group. The main characteristics are exponential changes - the primary cause for critical societal and economic crisis. You find an overview of the Public Brainstorm here.

You are invited to contribute here to our public brainstorming session: Public Brainstorm: Economic-Demographic Crisis


Anonymous Rob George said...

First, we wish to congratulate the Club of Amsterdam on its ten year celebration of significant contribution.

We further wish to suggest the serious consideration of Socioeconomic Democracy as a peaceful, just and democratic resolution of the myriad unnecessary and painful problems confronting humanity caused by the maldistribution of wealth both within and among nations.

Socioeconomic Democracy is a theoretically consistent and practically implementable socioeconomic system wherein there exist both some form and amount of locally appropriate Universally Guaranteed Personal Income and some form and amount of locally appropriate Maximum Allowable Personal Wealth, with both the lower bound on personal material poverty and the upper bound on personal material wealth set and adjusted democratically by all participants of a democratic society.

Socioeconomic Democracy is trivially accomplished with elementary Public Choice Theory. It further provides the necessary and presently missing but essential economic incentive, for all those with the financial capability to do so, to work productively to realize a much improved and sustainable economic system dedicated to the betterment of all.

As has been demonstrated elsewhere, Socioeconomic Democracy can eliminate or significantly reduce a multitude of serious-to-deadly, but utterly unnecessary, intimately intertwined societal problems including (but by no means limited to) those familiar ones associated with: automation, computerization and robotization; budget deficits and national debts; bureaucracy; maltreatment of children; crime and punishment; development, sustainable or otherwise; ecology, environment, resources and pollution; education; the elderly; the feminine majority; inflation; international conflict; intranational conflict; involuntary employment; involuntary unemployment; labor strife and strikes; sick medical and health care; military metamorphosis; natural disasters; pay justice; planned obsolescence; political participation; poverty; racism; sexism; and the General Welfare.

A few, of many, relevant links:

"A Democratic Socioeconomic Platform, in search of a Democratic Political Party"

Socioeconomic Democracy: An Advanced Socioeconomic System (Praeger Studies on the 21st Century, 2002)

"Bibliography of Socioeconomic Democracy"

"Socioeconomic Democracy: A Nonkilling, Life-Affirming and Enhancing Psycho-Politico-Socio-Economic System"

"Introducing a Socioeconomic Democracy"
Prepared for Pakistan Futuristics Institute Silver Jubilee Publication: 4
Islamabad, Pakistan, 8 May 2011.
This article includes an analysis of the many similarities and a few minor differences between Socioeconomic Democracy and Zakat, one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

"Socioeconomic Democracy and Sustainable Development"

"Socioeconomic Democracy"
International Journal of Science, February, 2012, (pp.33-48).

Robley E. George
Director, Center for the Study of Democratic Societies
Coordinador, Nonkilling Economics and Business Research Committee

October 08, 2012 7:02 PM  
Blogger Khani said...

We face a society which has become oddly unaffordable, even while economies have been "growing" (by any metric the analysts care invoke) for decades. This is a crisis, by any standard, and the crisis we are increasingly facing has much the characteristics of a slowly heated pot where we would be the frogs.

What is regarded as consensually unacceptable right now would have caused flaming car riots fifteen years ago. What may become politically expedient and acceptable fifteen years from now would ten years ago have put politicians heads on spikes.

Sadly the politicians are just dupes who go along with the glacially progressively intolerable. The pensioners crisis is no difference. We are talking societal marginalization the likes we haven't seen before the Edwardian age. People are starting to commit suicide over this, in places like Greece and Spain, and we have seen the same epidemic of engineered (or contrived) collapse in the soviet Union of the 1990s, where basicly whole aging generations of people were left off attritioned, with as much cavalier disinterest as the nazi's did to jews.

The crisis is one of politicians enabling (or being treasonous collaborators with) the international banking sector. Bean counters with the moral graces of Torquemada.

The paradigm these people keep chasing, much like a banner in Hell, is the idea of societal profitability, much the same way as if a society is a corporate entity. Well, if that were the case we'd actually be allowed to vote in shareholder meetings, and not pony show 4 year electoral cycles.

Sadly the world is owned, and not by "the people". That is why I /sign the above post by Rob George, with insistence and vehemence and quite a bit of anger.

The world is becoming intolerable, and it's time we do something about it.

October 17, 2012 5:56 PM  
Blogger Felix Bopp said...

Hardy F. Schloer: “The world will be tested between 2012 and 2025 by more challenges, than it has possibly in its entire existence of human development.

Clearly, I am not discounting here the challenges of the past centuries, as for example the outbreak of the black pest in the dark ages, where there was no medicine or sufficient understanding in how to deal with such far reaching epidemic; or perhaps the two world wars of the last century, that caused more then 80 million death by senseless violence. Neither should one discount the emergence of nuclear technologies or weapons, which posed for the first time in history real and omnipresent danger of destroying the entire planet in a timeframe of only few minutes.

Nevertheless, many real dangerous and catastrophic events are less violent and much less visible. For example, the human discovery of cereals or potatoes enabled human population to grow in exponential pace, and in only the past two centuries of exponential growth to overpopulate the planet in such way, that it is now near impossible to keep vital dynamics of this planet in a sustainable balance. The real problem is ‘us’.

The fact however is, that we do not experience separately a crisis of overpopulation. With it came the systemic faults of money and its creation, which lead to economic breakdown. Exponential overpopulation also caused vastly emerging food, water and farmland shortages, and a predatory and now often violent battle to use the resulting energy shortage in the most profitable ways. Then there is the exponential environmental decay, which poses also accelerating effects on the food, water and farmland problems. Accelerating global warming and its effects come here to mind.

The fact is, that we experience all these climactic disasters concurrently, coming together in one dynamic model, like the proverbial ‘perfect storm’. We are living in the next 20 years in the ‘Age of Final Exponential Change’ where relatively flat growth curves have all begun concurrently to transform into fast and vertical growth that is unsustainable and also complimentary to produce disastrous magnifications to all other here identified problem domains.

To manage this ‘perfect storm’ of complimentary disasters, we must begin to analyze our problems in much more complex and more inclusive models. Unless we begin to think in inclusive and interdisciplinary models, we will not even begin to understand; much less solve these problems.

Understanding is the first step, and it is vitally important. The world, and mostly its politicians and economic leaders are in deep denial about these problems. Misinformation, driven mostly by self-serving dogma, or greed for profit, cement this denial as necessity, to defend specific and selfish goals. However, just as we must look at all our challenges in the context of all concurrent problem domains, we also need the entire human population to come together, and participate in the understanding of this complex situation and also in the definition of solutions.

Ultimately, we will need to do two separate things to solve these problems. First we need to analyze data in an all-inclusive way, using modern supercomputers and cloud computing infrastructures to analyze all available global data and so manage the scientific understanding of the ‘interrelated problem fabric’. Secondly, we must decide on a global level, how we furthermore instruct intelligent supercomputers to search for possible solutions to these problems.

We do not have time anymore, for politicians to ‘play the omni-intelligent rulers’ of our world. We must hurry to find globally acceptable solutions to this perfect storm of apocalyptic problems, because it is the fear in society, that we don’t know where we are going next, that causes global fear, aggression and finally global conflict. To prevent this we must come together, and solve our pretext of sustainability. This will be the first step to begin living together as one human race, in peace, freedom and sustainability.”

October 19, 2012 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very impressive article. Well prepared. Very motivating!! Set off on to way

October 20, 2012 1:06 AM  
Blogger Felix Bopp said...

Hardy F. Schloer: "I did read all your comments. Interesting! Those of you, that think, that these problems are all just go away, if we do nothing, because 50% of them are not true (not scientific) and the other 50% will solve themselves before they become too critical. Well, all of you, that believe this may be in for a very big surprise… and soon.

I don't know how to put this any simpler, or any more polite….

The problem is not the 100s of predictions prophesying the end of the world, coming from all kinds of crazy paranoia groups, or pseudo scientists that could not even understand the plunder they wrote themselves. The problem is also not churches that tell us, that the Revelations in the Bible are about to tell us from the end the world. We know, what to think about them.


The real danger of exponential change is, where a timeline/data correlation is located in the near vertical curve segment of the observed exponential change.
We are living in a world, where more then 74% of our vital indexes (SCG Analysis 2011) have crossed over into the dangerous exponential acceleration point of the curve, as opposed to only about 8% in the 1950s. In only 10 more years we will see likely over 90% of our vital indexes operate in a near vertical rise or decline, depending on what you observe, or what the focal point of your research is.

If this this was just all to complicated for you, then here is a very simple exercise I ask you to do:

Please watch the following lesson by Prof. Dr. Albert A. Bartlett from the University of Colorado:

Watch all of it. Watch it twice, if you have to! Then we can open the discussions again about what exponential changes we want to observe, how they influence each other, and what the mathematical outcome they MUST produce!

Do your homework. Start, what we have started decades ago. So far the predictive analysis of our group has been exactly on target for these decades. We use holistic models, and we strip all the soft data, and assumptive elements (and other nonsense) as much as possible, and only use, what is left: very hard data; hard change-over-time observations (Stochastic Time-Series Data); and continuous error corrective optimization methods and offsetting factors, as new data and facts becomes available. We need such error correction method, since we live in a dynamic world after all, and new information becomes available continuously.

After you done all of this, and use a very complex and inclusive investigation model of the planet (as inclusive as modern supercomputers and cloud computing infrastructures allow you to be) and include as a minimum global and regional models and data of Population, Energy, Environment, Economy, Finance, Logistic, Food and Water into the overall model. Furthermore, lay over all this a sociological probability model of expected human behavior. Now you begin to do useful science!

When you begin to trace all the exponential changes and compile the potential effect corridors in the data, then you will be confronted with a most uncomforting reality: 2012 to 2025 will be very hard to manage, unless we start looking NOW at the real facts and expected futures, and not wishful thinking, or masking such facts by the needs of special interest groups. There is no more time for minority rule of the planet. We need to arrive at consensus of the global community NOW, to prevent a meltdown.

Our politicians are not equipped to deal with these problems. Al they know is, how to get elected. We need to begin to vote for problem-solving strategies, rather then presidents, because this is all that matters from now on."

Hardy F. Schloer, President and CEO, Schloer Consulting Group - SCG

October 22, 2012 2:13 PM  
Blogger Ray Podder said...

We have solved the production automation problem a long time ago.

1/3 of all the food produced in the world is either destroyed or wasted to maintain prices, renewable energy innovations that are too cheap to meter are systematically suppressed, water shortages are promoted as an impending crisis while we consume bottled water and mass produced meat wasting trillions of gallons, not to mention the 9billion gallons of it poisoned everyday from activities like fracking! Why?

It seems that we are still promoting production and consumption efficiencies as the way forward when we have never solved for the distribution problem with the same diligence.

The mass cultivation of greed and envy to drive consumption misses the point entirely. So does the socialist view of redistributing poverty. Greed and charity are at conceptual odds and politicians leverage these odds to keep an inefficient system in place that by its design perpetuates division and disparity.

There is no escape unless we transcend this scarcity based paradigm of supply and demand.

The activity on the networked spaces have been giving us clues since the introduction of "free" software, which untethered the assumption that capital is a factor of the cost of labor, but we still ignore it and try to fit the so called "non-market" activity into the valuation game. The co-creative, collaborative sharing economy crowdsourcing everything is a larger clue. Please don't ignore this one!

The confusion of our natural tendency to create and share has been abstracted and distorted by buying and selling, profits and margins. These memes perhaps had been useful in a regionally scarce, connection sparse marketplace. They are starting to show limits. Profits and margins are leaving the system everywhere you look. Group buying, discounting and auctions are reducing profits across the board. We can try to control costs with crowdsourcing on the supply side, but we can't control prices as duplicability becomes easier and easier. Perhaps its time to look at the problem in reverse?

What if the answer to the distribution problem was a network economy of allocations?

In other words, imagine a many-to-many crowdfunding model where our individual work and play, along with taxation and infrastructure spending were all based on giving instead of taking? Instead of rewarding the greedy, we created mechanisms to reward the generous. We have the technical means, so why not policy to encourage more of it? It has the potential to balance budgets, provide relief and encourage innovation for the real needs of humanity and not the greed that seems to be a failing driver of progress? The examples of this working contextually are abundant. Why can it not work for the whole world?

Before you consider this as ludicrous or uninformed, just think about the economic model for the basic unit of existence we are all familiar with, the family. Does a parent negotiate profit margins with their child, or do we allocate resources to our children so that they can be happy, and thus productive to society? We now have the tools to duplicate this empowerment across the world.

So why are we still fixated on perpetuating more of the GDP based production and consumption problem we have already solved?

October 23, 2012 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Markus Petz said...

Hmn I wrote a long comment and then the machine logged me off so in brief.

Europe has 0.5% natural land. The population still growths. So Malthus was correct, except technology can move the destruction from human populations to animal and plant communities.

You can see more with these links:

these show that life has got worse since the 1970s.

But may be there is hope by moving to a p2p paradigm and cooperative working, thus bringing in externalites and reducing the damage.

I also think population has a chance of stabilizing as per this article:

October 25, 2012 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy Walter said...

The factories and buildings are running at less than 75% capacity. We have the intellectual, engineering, structural, and spatial capacity to supply everyone with everything - and more. The problem is the system - specifically, the banking/money system. We have unfunded demand - the people want to buy, the producers want to produce, the space is available.

Some form of Social Credit is the answer - that means giving money to producers to produce and then to the people to buy their products.

Here are some comments, not my own, to further explain it. I must admit that I am new to the concept and it is the object of my next effort. But here is an introduction. Search for "Social Credit", Greenbacks, and Major Douglas

October 27, 2012 3:28 PM  
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October 31, 2012 3:06 AM  
Anonymous Geert Lovink said...

The sustainability crisis may be global, and so are fuel prices. But the economic-demographic crisis in Amsterdam is not, and we can do something about it to turn the tide. Amsterdam thrives on the collective and collaborative creative energy of young people. This is not not hard to see. As a matter of fact it is precisely this group that has been driven out of the city over the past 15 years. Amsterdam is already suffering from the law that forbids squatting. There is less and less cheap housing, with a steady growing population students more and more people are forced to commute in and out of the city. As a result there is less and less emotional attachment, and investment, of young people in public places and infrastructures in the city. Add the cultural budget cuts, empty office towers and the high prices of real estate and rents and you will understand why more and more youngsters will only reside here briefly and turn into non-detached consumers of the urban environment. To reverse this situation a few steps might be enough the reverse the situation. First and foremost, as a former squatter, I would propose to lift the ban on squatting. One Volkskrant building wasn't enough. True, there are a number of 'broedplaatsen' but that's not enough, and too controlled anyway.

Stop raiding so-called illegal techno parties. The almost 600 million euros turn-over of the techno dance scene has come from somewhere. Is someone making sure that today's teenagers can experiment? This is not just a matter of repressive tolerance of weird ideas. It is about a fundamental right, in Amsterdam, which has been taken away from us, to fool around. One way to get would be to artificially lower real-estate prices and fight speculation and unreasonable growth in that sector in any way possible. The best would be to bring down prices to mid-nineties levels, corrected after inflation. In this way we could, again, start to compete with Berlin (where prices are now slowly but steadily start to go up). The other approach would be to re-introduce modern public infrastructure and make sure that it cannot be sold and privatized. The sales of the public cable system in Amsterdam in the late nineties was a direct destruction of talent (as was the closure of the pirate radio stations). A project like The Digital City, unique in the world, was never understood by local politicians, as were many smaller follow-up internet projects that were pioneered in this city. Let's reverse this process! Say no to policing and repression of the arts. Instead of merely defending old institutions this is call to respect the founding of new spaces.

Geert Lovink

November 02, 2012 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Pakistan Radio said...

congratulation to the Club of Amsterdam and hope that next coming year they will perform great as like they done, appreciated

December 31, 2012 6:33 AM  

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