It’s a common enough cry currently, we must radically change the economy from what we had before. The big question being, well, umm, why?
What, actually, is it that we would like from the economy?
Well, people generally like getting richer. It is a normal human desire for our children to have it better than we do. So, a world with economic growth, where things are getting better, is one thing we would like.
We would like, on moral grounds, that poverty is abolished. That was happening.
Absolute poverty afflicted some 40 per cent of humanity only 50 years ago; last year, the number slipped under 10 per cent.
We really could see that number becoming, if not zero, at least within a rounding error of it by 2030. We were on the right track.
We can even look at inequality, something that some worry about and others do not — I do not.
Global inequality was falling, and swiftly too. For the poorer countries were growing markedly faster than the richer ones. Meaning that the gap between them must, mathematically, be falling.
Before all this kicked off, we had the bare essentials of what we desired from that international economy: rising standards of living, falling inequality and absolute poverty declining towards extinction.
Why wouldn’t we want that economic system back?