Towards a leisure society

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And even the analyst community is noting the redefinition of labour. All been said on this Tumblr before.

And even the analyst community is noting the redefinition of labour. All been said on this Tumblr before.

People picking up on the leisure crisis (finally)

People picking up on the leisure crisis (finally)

You said in one of your beyond scarcity articles: "debasing or adding debt to the system may only lead to lower living standards for all, rather than elevating all and closing the inequality gap in the process." What do you mean by this?

Anonymous

Well, what i was saying is that a lot of people THINK that the reason we should not take on more debt, is because this will lead to lower living standards, for more debt equals more consumers and more competition over a scarce amount of goods and resources.

This would have been a fair argument for most of history. BUT… my argument is that in times of abundance and output gaps, more debt helps to spread the abundance of goods, rather than have it be concentrated in areas of ridiculous wealth. Debasement or more debt, amount to the same thing. Greater distribution of today’s goods away from concentrated zones.

Now, that sort of policy in times of bare equilibrium or scarcity, was literally the equivalent of confiscating assets from people who had worked harder than most to accumulate them. 

This is the story of communism.

But this is not the case now. Debasement/debt doesn’t diminish relative wealth or access to goods. At worst it limits the generations for which extreme wealth can be passed down over the years. Is it fair that rather than spend on existing goods today, some people are hoarding claims so that they can keep them for grandchildren of grandchildren not even born yet? No, I don’t think so.
Those claims should be circulated today, and thus no longer put off to the future, but brought forward to today.
If not, an excess of goods and  capacity will just go to waste. We have the means to feed and provide for more people than ever before, we are choosing not to because it compromises the value of generational claims. 

In the US we stigmatize non-workers, and select remaining workers for high or low reward. Education is a big part of the selection process. In a leisure society education would be for avocation rather than vocation.

Anonymous

Yes, I think that’s a fair observation.

Have you read Julius Norwich's "Christmas Crackers" series of commonplace books? (I haven't yet been able to find the most recent decadal compilation in the US, but I have the earlier ones.) Just wondering. e.g., (tried to add an Amazon UK link)

Anonymous

No fraid not. 

Hi! You say "The more leisure the more time to educate ourselves (...)" >> Aren't you afraid a big number of people simply lack the social/cultural capital to evolve and find meaning into such an increasingly ambitous&smart-people centered economy ? Do you take seriously the often evocated "lords & servants" outcome ? Thanks ! Keep up the good work

Anonymous

Yes, I agree with you. Curiosity of the world is something that’s impossible to enforce. Hopefully, though, if you stimulate enough minds the right way people will begin to ask the right questions. But there is always going to be a risk where people opt out and choose the banal superficial life. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In abundance the world becomes meritocratic from an influence point of view, but it doesn’t deprive anyone I don’t think. You can choose to engage or disengage. 
What we don’t want is a Morlock/Eloi situation evolving. 

May 5

If there's increasing abundance and the emergence of a leisure society, I wonder what this means for the current (western) education system that is as intensely and insanely focused on competition as never before. Kids already learn 3 languages in kindergarten these days. Is this a bubble before the collapse? Any thoughts on how education would change/needs to change for a world with increasing abundance?

Anonymous

I think that fits the paradigm very well. The more leisure the more time to educate ourselves, and the more education needed to excel at the remaining jobs which still satisfy a great purpose.

May 2

Hi there, I just read your post on contango and backwardation and the gold market. I found it interesting and illuminating to consider storage costs/reburying as crucial to the dynamics of the gold market. Still several parts I wasn't able to completely wrap my head around. Can you recommend any good "advanced-intro" ( book to these issues, i.e. financial markets, fiscal policy instruments, currency. Would be much obliged. Thanks, Sandy, Berlin

Anonymous

Hi there, thanks for your note.
I’m afraid there is no definitive book. That is partly the problem. A good basis in contango/backwardation are the JM Keynes on the topic. The goldwatcher is a good base, but doesn’t really go into commodity curve trading.

May 2
Today’s instalment of Tweets that lack social skills, render me agog, or make me wonder what is this person actually trying to achieve?

NO!

Today’s instalment of Tweets that lack social skills, render me agog, or make me wonder what is this person actually trying to achieve?

NO!

2007/2008 deja vu?

In my inbox from an estate agent:

Hello all,

I have just taken on a beautiful house, 10 minute walk from Turnham Green tube.

I have attached some pictures, Please have a look. I have no other details and to be honest, the way the market is, it will be sold before I have them!

Excellent Condition Throughout  South Facing Garden  Period Property  Three Double Bedrooms  Two Bathrooms  Double Reception Room  Elegant Hallway  Cellar  Dining Room  Fitted Kitchen  10 Minutes Walk to Turnham Green Tube Station

I can possibly get some one off viewings.

Please let me know if you would like to view. My direct line is xxxx

Thank you 

Or will this time be different because we know the government will continue to backstop?