Life after Contact — the Economy

What will happen to the economy when ET contact happens?  I’m not talking about, will stocks go up or down when ET contact is announced.  I think that is an interesting question, but not one I want to discuss today.  No, I mean, what will the post-contact world be like?  Will we still have the economic system we have today in a post-contact world?  Will we still use money?  Will capitalism survive?  Or, will it be the Dawn of a New Age and a kind of post-capitalist utopia?  Not, of course, the communism of old Russia or China, or even the socialism of some countries today, but a new, enlightened economic system the likes of which has never been tried on this planet.  In other words, the future of our economy could be an economic system that is modeled on and inspired by advice and input from the economic models of extraterrestrial civilizations.

We can expect revolutions in all major fields of knowledge as a result of extraterrestrial contact.  Physics, biology, all of the sciences.  History, philosophy and religion and other cultural institutions.  Why not the economy as well? In fact, some would say that the current economic system is overdue for an overhaul.

Those human speakers for the ETs convey messages that are very dramatic and positive. They say that there will be a new system to replace the usurious banking system, with lower interest rates.  Some say taxes will be much lower.  There is talk about a World Trust Fund backed by gold and other precious metals.  There is talk about the adoption of free energy devices, which by itself will democratize energy and power, and make many processes much more efficient and inexpensive.  Other than these specifics, there are general statements that we will have moved beyond lack, poverty, and the necessity to perform menial work.  Is it possible to believe these positive ideas?

The old economic system is a very complex, highly variable chaotic dynamical system that depends on armies of worker bees to sustain a precious few very wealthy people and families.  A new system will hopefully be better, but might be oriented more toward gross national happiness (GNH) than gross national product.  Sure, in an efficiently run hive or machine, the goal is to produce honey or widgets.  But in modern human society, is it really all about producing the most widgets? 

I dream of  a postcontact economic system that involves a more egalitarian monetary system.  A system where there is less struggle, more freedom to express one’s creativity.  It seems that our system has a small number of people at the very top who are immensely wealthy, and then the masses of everyone else, hard-working people who must spend much of their time working to pay the bills at the end of the month.

An interesting question is, what if electronic money just ceases to exist?  Imagine if a solar flare, or an intense burst of galactic radiation, suddenly erases all the computers and CDs that we have.  How would we know how much money we had?  Would that money actually even exist?  What would happen to our culture, our television, and our news media?  Would corporations survive?  In fact, such a scenario isn’t that far-fetched.  Something similar occurs when a currency collapses, as happened in Argentina.  The economy collapsed and the currency became worthless.  What happened was, the workers took over the factories and kept the fundamental infrastructure of the system operating. The physical world would still exist.  People would keep a lot of the infrastructure running along  in such a scenario.  It’s just that the numbers game about who owns how much money, would be massively reset.

That might sound like a worst case scenario, and for the wealthy, it would be very impactful. For most of us, though, the effects would be very dramatic in the short term, possibly with a lot of chaos and perhaps violence, but ultimately, if the currency collapsed or the electronic money was wiped out, a leveling out would take place.  Everyone would be reduced to their physical assets, land, food, paper money, durable goods, and so on.  The disparity of wealth in real physical assets is pretty small compared to the disparity in electronic “wealth.”

Another idea is a sort of leveling of wealth through currency collapse through hyperinflation, which leads to the need for a new currency.

Who knows what could happen, there are so many scenarios.  Maybe it would just be an evolution of our current system to a hopefully more just one.  I will write more about this in future entries.

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