writer and commentator on economics and finance
There are two related key challenges in economics. One is to rehabilitate the idea of progress and the other to put economic growth at the centre of that advance.
Unless there is a widespread belief that society can improve it is hard to see how it can go forward. Historically optimism about the future has played a key role in promoting both scientific and social advance.
In addition, economic growth needs to be rehabilitated as a core component of progress. Increasing affluence provides the means and resources to create a better future.
Over the next 18 years a huge amount could be done if such an ambitious outlook become prevalent including:
- Ensuring the whole of the world’s population has what we take for granted in the West. This includes access to cars, clean water, electricity, roads, sanitation and information technology.
- Letting all of those who want to work do so and providing a high standard of living for those who cannot. Greater affluence should make it possible to provide the elderly with a comfortable living.
- Increasing the power of humanity to control nature. Problems such as climate change and natural disasters should be capable of high technology solutions.
Daniel Ben-Ami is author of Cowardly Capitalism: The Myth of the Global Financial Casino (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and a contributor to Cultural Difference, Media Memories: Anglo-American Images of Japan (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)).