First Beginning Thoughts on a New Economy

If we don’t change course, our society is headed towards being dominated by one small group that owns most of the knowledge/intellectual property rights around robots/AI and another small, overlapping group that owns most of the capital.

If that happens, they’ll get even more fabulously wealthy while almost unimaginable numbers of people will either be unemployed or barely making it by (as mass unemployment drives wages down). It’ll mean the end of the middle class and the rise of what I’d call a “Pharaoh-based economy,” where the economy is driven by obscene consumption by the 1%. And that would also kill democracy.

But we could take a very different path:

  • We could democratize knowledge about robots/AI, 3-D printing, wearables, the Internet of Things, etc. as much as possible
  • We could change the rules of the system from a winner take all economy to one that favors diversity, rebuilding our communities from Harlem to Harlan County — and in doing so create the most powerful, innovative economy the world has ever seen

I think this new economy, what I call the Makers All economy, would rest on four pillars:

  • Universal Benefits & Basic Income (UBBI)
  • The Attention Economy (Making Intellectual Property)
  • Making Community
  • The Rest of the Market

Right now the beginning framework I have in my head is so misty/inchoate I can’t sum up each pillar in a few words — and they need better names. So in the next few blog posts I’ll start fleshing out each pillar and see if I can turn them into a v0.1.