O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org.

Mostrando postagens com marcador The Globalist. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador The Globalist. Mostrar todas as postagens

domingo, 12 de novembro de 2017

Crescimento populacional: os dados da questao - The Globalist



Global Population Growth: Just The Facts

The Globalist, November 2017

 

Global Population Growth Per Minute

On balance, how many more people did Earth gain every minute of the past year? | By The Globalist.

https://www.theglobalist.com/global-population-growth-per-minute/

Annual Population Growth by Region

How much did different world regions gain in population over the past year? | By The Globalist

 https://www.theglobalist.com/annual-population-growth-by-region/

The Global Gender Balance in 2017

What share of the population of each world region is female? | By The Globalist.

https://www.theglobalist.com/the-global-gender-balance-in-2017/

International Migration and the Global Agenda

What are the causes and effects of global migration?



Four powerful forces are contributing to the urgency of addressing the international migration issue on the national, regional and international agenda.
The first force is demography. Generally speaking, receiving countries in the North are facing a “birth-rate crisis.” With more deaths than births due to low fertility levels, many receiving countries are experiencing rapid population aging — and facing outright population decline.
In contrast, the populations of sending countries, especially in Asia and Africa, continue to grow rapidly, with most of their populations concentrated in the younger ages.
Economics is the second major force. With aging and shrinking populations, many developed nations are confronting serious labor shortages, financial pressures on government-sponsored pensions and difficulties providing health care for the elderly.
In addition, countries in the Persian Gulf are recruiting large numbers of temporary migrant workers for their expanding economies, fueled largely by their vast oil wealth.
At the same time, millions of men and women in poor developing countries, especially the youth, face poverty and hardships securing employment. And as a result, many are seeking opportunities by migrating — legally or illegally — to wealthier countries, especially in Europe and North America.
Their difficult situations are further compounded by environmental and climate changes impacting their farming, fishing and other important natural resources.
The third major force is culture — a broad set of issues including ethnicity, language, religion, customs and tradition. In contrast to the past, the composition of the immigrants in many instances differs greatly from that of the receiving country.
In Europe following World War II, for example, many immigrants came from the relatively poorer countries of southern Europe.
Many of the immigrants today, however, are not only less educated and lower skilled than the native populations — but are ethnically and culturally different, raising concerns about integration, assimilation and cultural integrity.
Finally, the fourth crucial force is national security. The events of 9-11 in the United States, the bombings in the United Kingdom, Spain, Indonesia and elsewhere, as well as several high profile violent crimes committed by immigrants have heightened security and safety concerns relating to international migrants.
As a result, many countries have tightened their borders, stiffened their policies and instituted new guidelines and procedures, e.g., photos, fingerprints, lengthy detentions and immigration bans, to monitor and deal with those coming from certain countries, especially illegal immigrants.
In addition, civil conflict and societal breakdowns — such as in Somalia, Haiti and the Congo — have resulted in millions of people rushing to escape from the disorder, violence and insecurity.
These four powerful forces are keeping international migration at the top of national, regional and global agenda.
Moreover, given the current economic downturn and growing anti-immigrant sentiments among both developed and developing countries, it seems certain that the issue of how best to manage international migration will become even more contentious, divisive and challenging for governments and international organizations in the years ahead.

domingo, 6 de julho de 2014

1814 or 1914? The Fateful Choice in 2014 - Martin Sieff (The Globalist)

Não acredito em ciclos, seja econômicos, seja históricos, mas acredito na capacidade humana de cometer os mesmos erros, e dos homens políticos de perpetrar as mesmas bobagens que seus predecessores de maneira geral. Quanto aos militares, é conhecida sua proverbial tendência de estudar as guerras passadas para tirar lições sobre as que aparecem pelo caminho, e provavelmente de cometer outros tantos erros quantos seus congêneres da vida civil.
Enfim, como disse alguém, ninguém, em qualquer época, jamais perdeu dinheiro apostando na estupidez humana.
Ou como disse Einstein: existem duas coisas infinitas e incomensuráveis: o universo e a estupidez humana, e ele não tinha muita certeza quanto ao primeiro...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

1814 or 1914? The Fateful Choice in 2014

The surprising way in which historical choices present themselves in cycles that are 100 years apart.


Is 2014 another 1914 or 1814? The fate — and even survival — of the world depends on the answer.
This summer, the world remembers the start of World War I. This catastrophe shattered the global civilization of Europe to a degree that in terms of prosperity, security, demography and basic optimism about life and the future took more than 40 years to recover from — and then only after even greater catastrophes.
But any which way one turns historic responsibilities, all the unprecedented and previously unimaginable cataclysms of the first half of the 20th century across Eurasia flowed from that one, fundamental cause — the start of full-scale international war between the Great Powers in the summer of 1914.
The Russian Revolution, the killer famines that swept the infant Soviet Union, the Ukrainian genocide of up to 10 million people,Stalin’s Great Terror, the rise to power of Adolf Hitler, the Nazi conquest of Europe, the Holocaust and the hecatombs of dead in World War II (80 million people, including 27 million Soviet citizens) all stemmed from that original catastrophe in 1914.

Craving full-scale European war

For generations thereafter, Germany in general and Kaiser Wilhelm II in particular were demonized across the Western world.
A slew of excellent new histories by Sean McMeekin (July 1914), Margaret MacMillan (The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914) and Christopher Clark (The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914) make clear that the outbreak of these events was by no means Germany’s fault alone.
The Russian General Staff in St. Petersburg and the long-overlooked, truly sinister figure of Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré in Paris were the ones who actively plotted and craved full-scale European war. The Kaiser, while certainly hysterical and amazingly inept, did not. He actually wanted to avoid it.
Recent research also brings out the pivotal role of Winston Churchill, civilian head of Britain’s Royal Navy, as second only to the abysmal Foreign Secretary Edward Grey, as being the key movers to drag Britain into the conflict when the country could otherwise easily have stayed out.
Churchill’s shaping of events converted what otherwise would have been a six-month to one-year victory of Germany against Russia and France with high casualties and lasting changes into something infinitely worse — a four-year death struggle to the ultimate mutual destruction of all.
1914, therefore, set off a chain reaction succession of pathological conflagrations that reduced the civilization of Europe, both material and moral, to a smoking ruin by 1945.

What a difference a century makes

By contrast, precisely a century earlier, the years of 1814-15 ended a quarter century cycle of continent-spanning destruction that had started with the French Revolution in 1789. (Though even that event, properly understood, was set off by the 1786 Free Trade Treaty which France signed with England to its own ruin).
The leaders of the restored great monarchies of Europe started in 1814 their herculean task of restoring political and social stability. That was essential in a Europe that had been ravaged and ruined by a quarter century of war.
At first, this endeavor looked hopeless. When exiled French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte returned to mainland France on March 20, 1815, the regime that had been set up to succeed him under the Bourbon dynasty of King Louis XVIII quickly collapsed.
Yet, 200 years ago the leaders of the great powers stayed cool. They gathered their military forces, worked in close cooperation and decisively defeated the resurgent Napoleon once and for all at the battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815.
The crucial military partnership that saved Europe from the maelstrom of catastrophe was between the British Army commanded by Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, and the Prussian Army led by Field Marshal Gebhard von Blücher.

What a difference another century makes

That pivotal collaboration was all the more significant if one recalls that, a century later, it was the breakdown in trust and communication between Britain and Germany that led to the catastrophic mauling of both great nations and the eventual destruction of both their empires in the early 20th century.
Today, the omens for truly broad and bold international cooperation in Iraq are not good. They are fearful. Just as was the case with Napoleon quickly seizing the reins of France after his return from exile, so it is now in Iraq.
The army of supposedly democratic Iraq is now crumbling before a new wave of Islamist jihadis, who are vastly inferior to the U.S.-trained and equipped regular Iraqi army in number and equipment.
It does not help the overall situation that Europe is exhausted economically and the United States is exhausted militarily.

The importance of constructive compromise

Both Brussels and Washington are furious at Russia over its role in the continuing Ukraine crisis. Meanwhile, China is actively probing about advancing its interests in the South China Sea at the expense of its neighbors, much as Tsarist Russia and Austria-Hungary plotted in the Balkans before and during 1914.
To escape the truly terrible danger of another 1914, the leaders of the G-8 and China today should first heed and fear the dreadful lessons of 1914. Then they should reach back another century before that to learn the crucial lessons of Anglo-German collaboration to defeat Napoleon in 1814.
For this reason, the United States and the European Union need to make the effort to reach out in a new and serious partnership effort with China and Russia, paying attention for once to the grievances and interests of these great nations.
The great victory of Waterloo did not come easily — 100,000 men, about half divided between the British and the French — died there.
And it would still all have been in vain if the leaders of the great powers had not put aside their many differences of politics, ideology, religious faith and culture to meet at the Congress of Vienna starting in September 1814 where they forged a serious peace that lasted for a full century.
The future of the human race today hinges on whether the leaders of our 21st century world choose to follow the examples of the despised and discredited petty men of 1914, or whether they go back to the truly visionary and wise cooperative globalists of 1814-15.

About Martin Sieff

Martin Sieff is Chief Global Analyst at The Globalist Research Center and Editor-at-Large at The Globalist.

Takeaways

  • Is 2014 another 1914 or 1814? The fate — and even survival — of the world depends on the answer.
  • The future of our 21st century world depends on not following the example of the despised and petty men of 1914.
  • Our best hope in 2014 is for another wave of smart diplomats, like the visionary and cooperative globalists of 1814.
  • Superpowers that are traditional rivals need to compromise and work together against extremist threats to all.
  • Britain and Germany need to cooperate with Russia to ensure a European peace, as they did in 1814, but not in 1914.

sábado, 5 de julho de 2014

Milionarios do mundo: despikettyzando a riqueza mundial

De repente, em virtude das "descobertas" econômicas de um desses iluminados que resolvem reinventar a pólvora, parece que o problema mais grave do mundo é a desigualdade distributiva, ou seja, o fato de que grande parte da riqueza esteja concentrada em poucas mãos (e bolsos, ou melhor, contas bancárias e títulos em carteira).
Não, não é. O mundo nunca teve tantos milionários e tão rapidamente. E o fato de que eles concentrem parte substancial da riqueza global não representa, tampouco, um problema, pois a dinâmica de sua criação demonstra claramente que muito mais gente está sendo capaz de aceder a patamares mais altos de riqueza do que jamais ocorreu antes na história econômica mundial. Ou seja, o "problema" da "concentração de renda" é um falso problema, por qualquer lado que se examine. 
Está mais do que na hora de "despikettyzar" o debate, e colocá-lo em termos corretos, quais sejam: como aumentar a renda de todos, em níveis razoáveis, não diminuir a renda dos megabilionários, o que reduziria a dinâmica da criação de riqueza. 
A existência de milhões de milionários e de um punhado de megabilionários é extremamente saudável para a prosperidade de todos os seres humanos. Só ingênuos, ignorantes e socialistas acham que isso é negativo. 
Não é, ao contrário: é muito promissor para o futuro da prosperidade mundial. Cada vez mais, um maior número de pessoas vai querer ser milionário. Essa coisa de igualitarismo ou é ingenuidade ou é inveja...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida 

The World’s Millionaire Stock Is on the Rise

The world’s “millionaire club” grew faster than most economies in 2013.

Credit: sapfir - Shutterstock.com

Takeaways


  • About a third of global private wealth goes to .19% of the world’s population.
  • Despite global economic crises, the world has more millionaires than ever before.
  • One global growth rate has not decreased - the growth rate of people with a net-worth of a million or more.

1.Altogether, there were 13.73 million millionaires in the world in 2013, compared to 11.97 million in 2012.
2.The number of millionaires worldwide rose by 14.7% between 2012 and 2013, about five times the estimated 2.9% rate of global economic growth.
3.The 28% increase in global stock market value in 2013 boosted the number of millionaires worldwide.
4.Even with the ranks of the world’s millionaires swelling, they make up only 0.19% of the global population.
5.However, the assets of the world’s 13.73 million high-rollers hit a record high of $52.6 trillion in 2013, or about a third of global private wealth.
6.The financial wealth of the world’s millionaires has increased by 60% since the financial crisis of 2008.
7.Despite the rapid growth in the number of Chinese millionaires, most millionaires still come from the developed countries.
8.Japan alone has 2.33 millionaires, more than Africa (140,800), Latin America (542,200), the Middle East (569,300) and China (758,000) combined.
Sources: Capgemini’s World Wealth Report 2014, with additional analysis by The Globalist Research Center.


sexta-feira, 6 de setembro de 2013

A Russia perdeu um seculo inteiro (o Brasil vai fazer o mesmo?) - Alexei Bayer

1913-2013: How Russia Botched an Entire Century

Could Russia have been as successful as the United States?



One hundred years ago, shortly before the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, Russia was on the verge of becoming the China of the day. It had embarked on the path to industrial capitalism two or three decades after the United States and Germany.
By the start of World War I, it was developing dynamically enough to get on track to catch up with the leading industrial powers of the day.
The Russia of that era was an enormous country, even larger than the Soviet Union at its peak, because it included both Poland and Finland within its borders. It also boasted tremendous natural resources and a vast, diversified population.
Russia featured remarkably modern elements. For example, it abolished serfdom in 1861, two years before President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in the United States.
In the countryside, a class of prosperous peasants was emerging. And in Russia’s southern provinces and in Ukraine, there were large, productive farms — similar to those later found in the American Midwest.
These farms made Russia the breadbasket of the world, accounting for around one-third of the global wheat trade before World War I. In fact, Russia’s early 20th century wheat traders were so sophisticated that they initiated hedging prices and used financial markets in London and New York for their crops.
In the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, coal and steel production was expanding, also using British investment and knowhow.
The construction of the Trans-Siberian railway, inaugurated in 1890, linked European Russia with the Pacific Coast. This made the economic development and exploration of Siberia possible, a move from which even today’s Russia benefits most handsomely.

Lagging literacy

At the same time, Russia’s educational system was poor. Around 70% of the population was still illiterate at the start of the 20th century. However, the illiterate were mainly peasants. In cities, primary and secondary schools were being established, benefiting even the urban poor.
Russia also had very modern universities and a substantial scientific research establishment. Mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky pioneered hyperbolic geometry and chemist Dmitri Mendeleev is credited with creating the first periodic table of elements, both in the 19th century.
Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov was the fourth winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1904, followed by immunologist Ilya Mechnikov in 1908. No Russian has won the prize since.
Professional and technical education, too, was increasingly open to children of lower-ranking officials, workers and even peasants. The ranks of the Russian intelligentsia, the educated class, were swelling. By the start of World War I, the literacy rate rose to 40%.
Despite lagging behind in terms of literacy, Russia managed to develop world-class culture and arts. Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky were probably the most internationally famous and influential fiction writers of their time.
Chekhov’s plays shaped the development of theater throughout the 20th century and Gorky’s plays were performed all over Europe in the years before World War I.
Stanislavsky developed an acting method that is still widely used in Hollywood. The Actors’ Studio and Lee Strasberg, who trained some of the brightest stars of American theater and cinema in the middle of the 20th century, adapted it.
Meanwhile, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich were at the origins of modern classical music, and Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe created modern dance.
In 1913, the Armory Show became a major sensation in New York City. It brought the French post-impressionist art of Van Gogh, Gauguin and others to America for the first time. While Americans were just catching on to these trends, Russian artists had already moved beyond post-impressionism.
Just two years later, in 1915, Kazimir Malevich created his Black Square, the first abstract painting.

An economic boom

While it is hard to assess economic growth in the early 1900s — few institutions collected data back then, any available figures were notoriously unreliable and modern statistical tools had not yet been developed — there is evidence that Russia stormed into the modern era after 1905.
There was rapid urbanization, with men increasingly moving to towns in search of employment. The share of the agricultural sector fell from 58% of the economy in 1885 to 51% before World War I.
Meanwhile, industry, construction and transportation accounted for 32% of the Russian economy, up from 23% in 1885. The rail network increased from 2,000 km to 70,000 km.
Like all rapidly developing nations, including the United States shortly before, Russia was a huge user of foreign capital. In the final decades of the czars’ rule, foreign investment accounted for 40% of all industrial investment, and a substantial portion of agricultural investment as well.
Western Europe, notably England, France and Belgium, provided most of that capital. By the start of World War I, Russia accounted for 15% of all international debt.
Even though Russia was still an underdeveloped country by prevailing Western European standards, it was not as backward as it is commonly portrayed. Just look at Russia’s performance in World War I, when it confronted Europe’s leading industrial power, Germany.
At the start of the conflict, Russia was not only able to mobilize quickly. It also managed to deliver troops and supplies to the front fast enough to start an invasion of Galicia in September 1914.
In fact, Russia was able to help its Western allies by forcing Germany to divert forces out of France in order to use them to assist Austria-Hungary, which was reeling from Russia’s assault.
In World War I, Russians certainly were outmatched by German efficiency and military technology. But the czar’s troops held up a lot better than Stalin’s Red Army did in the summer of 1941.

Soviet failures

After the Bolshevik revolution, the introduction of the command economy did manage to mobilize the Soviet Union. Later on, by channeling much of the country’s immense resources into the military-industrial complex, the communists were able to defeat Nazi Germany. Thereafter, they were able to come close to matching American military prowess for around half a century.
But such a gigantic effort could not be sustained. To get close, the Soviet government wasted and destroyed much of the resources on which Russia’s economic success relied.
First and foremost, it squandered Russia’s human resources. Russia’s population is currently around 140 million. Some demographers believe that natural growth since 1913 should have put its population to almost 200 million or even 225 million.
Two World Wars, fought by Russian commanders without regard for losses, two famines in the early 1920s and the 1930s, purges and social ills brought about by communist mismanagement have resulted in as many as 85 million in today’s Russia “going missing” — not being born at all.
The communists did create a good educational system and achieved nearly 100% literacy, but they managed to waste human capital in other ways. Peasants were herded into collective farms, effectively reintroducing serfdom.
Life expectancy for men in Russia now is an extremely low 64.3 years — on a par with or less than in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Chronic illnesses and alcoholism that often precede an early death rob society of the most productive years of its males.
Moreover, the economic system that prohibited private enterprise kept several generations of Russians from fulfilling their potential and benefiting society as a whole.
While pre-revolutionary Russia was developing into a major global economic power naturally and consistently, the USSR was a colossus with feet of clay.
Today’s Russia still suffers from the disastrous legacy of the Soviet era. Instead of co-leading the world, as its potential suggested at the start of the 20th century, it is, on average, one of the poorest and technologically backward countries in Europe.
In a 19th century kind of way, Russia produces little and survives by selling its vast array of raw materials to the world’s leading industrial nations.
With that as economic strategy, the country itself exists in a serf-like state. The raw material riches benefit small, kleptocratic elites, who shift their assets abroad. Considerable parts of the country’s infrastructure are as if they dated back to the medieval era. Social services are rudimentary and the quality of life is extremely poor.
The United States has spent much of the past 100 years relentlessly developing, perfecting its industrial base and its technological infrastructure and investing into human capital. It has focused on creating optimal conditions for individuals to achieve their potential.
Despite various mistakes and setbacks, the United States still sets the direction of technological innovation and its culture dominates the world.
Russia, in contrast, has wasted its resources, especially human ones. It literally killed off many talented people. Others were able to escape in time and achieved fame in Europe and, especially, in the United States, thus contributing notably to America’s economy and culture.
Choreographer George Balanchine, writer Vladimir Nabokov and, most recently, Google founder Sergei Brin are just a few examples among many.
Russia’s political economy has not moved forward much over the past 100 years. Despite mind-boggling mistakes, mismanagement and crimes of its leaders, Russia even now has much unrealized potential.
Russians may yet rise up and fulfill their human potential. But for that to happen, they will need to change the country’s kleptocratic political system and end their own serf-like mentality. Both are, in so many ways, the direct descendants of the Soviet era.
Alexei Bayer is a contributing editor of The Globalist. His debut novel, Murder at the Dacha, which is set in 1960s Moscow, was published in May.

quinta-feira, 9 de maio de 2013

Ferguson vs Keynes: Economic (Im)Possibilities of Our Grandchildren - The Globalist

O site The Globalist retoma um bom debate. Primeiro ler, depois refletir, depois comentar...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida



Globalist Document > Global History
Niall Ferguson Vs. Keynes, the (Gay, Childless) Futurist


By John Maynard Keynes | Sunday, May 05, 2013

Harvard historian Niall Ferguson recently asserted that John Maynard Keynes was indifferent to the long-term consequences of deficit spending because Keynes was gay and childless — and thus didn't care about future generations. Ferguson apologized for his remarks. But he might not have made them in the first place if he had read — as you can below — Keynes' "Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren."


We are suffering just now from a bad attack of economic pessimism.
It is common to hear people say that the epoch of enormous economic progress which characterized the 19th century is over, that the rapid improvement in the standard of life is now going to slow down, that a decline in prosperity is more likely than an improvement in the decade which lies ahead of us.
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I see us free to return to some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue: that avarice is a vice, that the exaction of usury is a misdemeanor and the love of money is detestable.
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I believe that this is a wildly mistaken interpretation of what is happening to us.
We are suffering not from the rheumatics of old age, but from the growing pains of over-rapid changes, from the painfulness of readjustment between one economic period and another.
The increase of technical efficiency has been taking place faster than we can deal with the problem of labor absorption. The improvement in the standard of life has been a little too quick.
The prevailing world depression, the enormous anomaly of unemployment in a world full of wants, the disastrous mistakes we have made, blind us to what is going on under the surface to the true interpretation of the trend of things.
For I predict that both of the two opposed errors of pessimism, which now make so much noise in the world, will be proved wrong in our own time — the pessimism of the revolutionaries who think that things are so bad that nothing can save us but violent change, and the pessimism of the reactionaries who consider the balance of our economic and social life so precarious that we must risk no experiments.
For the moment, the very rapidity of these changes is hurting us and bringing difficult problems to solve. We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not yet have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come — namely, technological unemployment.
This means unemployment due to our discovery of means of economizing the use of labor outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labor.
But this is only a temporary phase of maladjustment. All this means in the long run is that mankind is solving its economic problem. I would predict that the standard of life in progressive countries 100 years hence will be between four and eight times as high as it is today.
There would be nothing surprising in this even in the light of our present knowledge. It would not be foolish to contemplate the possibility of far greater progress still.
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I would predict that the standard of life in progressive countries 100 years hence will be between four and eight times as high as it is today.
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Now it is true that the needs of human beings may seem to be insatiable. But they fall into two classes — those needs which are absolute in the sense that we feel them whatever the situation of our fellow human beings may be, and those which are relative in the sense that we feel them only if their satisfaction lifts us above, makes us feel superior to, our fellows.
Needs of the second class, those which satisfy the desire for superiority, may indeed be insatiable. For the higher the general level, the higher still are they. But this is not so true of the absolute needs. A point may soon be reached, much sooner perhaps than we are all of us aware of, when these needs are satisfied in the sense that we prefer to devote our further energies to non-economic purposes.
Thus, for the first time since his creation, man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem — how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.
The strenuous purposeful money-makers may carry all of us along with them into the lap of economic abundance. But it will be those peoples who can keep alive, and cultivate into a fuller perfection, the art of life itself and do not sell themselves for the means of life, who will be able to enjoy the abundance when it comes.
Yet there is no country and no people, I think, who can look forward to the age of leisure and of abundance without a dread. For we have been trained too long to strive and not to enjoy.
It is a fearful problem for the ordinary person, with no special talents, to occupy himself, especially if he no longer has roots in the soil or in custom or in the beloved conventions of a traditional society. To judge from the behavior and the achievements of the wealthy classes today in any quarter of the world, the outlook is very depressing!
For these are, so to speak, our advance guard — those who are spying out the promised land for the rest of us and pitching their camp there. For they have most of them failed disastrously, so it seems to me — those who have an independent income but no associations or duties or ties — to solve the problem which has been set them.
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Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.
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I feel sure that with a little more experience we shall use the new-found bounty of nature quite differently from the way in which the rich use it today, and will map out for ourselves a plan of life quite otherwise than theirs.
For many ages to come, the old Adam will be so strong in us that everybody will need to do some work if he is to be contented. We shall do more things for ourselves than is usual with the rich today, only too glad to have small duties and tasks and routines.
But beyond this, we shall endeavor to spread the bread thin on the butter — to make what work there is still to be done to be as widely shared as possible. Three-hour shifts or a 15 hour week may put off the problem for a great while. For three hours a day is quite enough to satisfy the old Adam in most of us!
There are changes in other spheres too which we must expect to come. When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals.
We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo moral principles which have hagridden us for 200 years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues.
We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession — as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life — will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease.
All kinds of social customs and economic practices, affecting the distribution of wealth and of economic rewards and penalties, which we now maintain at all costs, however distasteful and unjust they may be in themselves, because they are tremendously useful in promoting the accumulation of capital, we shall then be free, at last, to discard.
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A point may soon be reached when these needs are satisfied in the sense that we prefer to devote our further energies to non-economic purposes.
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Of course, there will still be many people with intense, unsatisfied purposiveness who will blindly pursue wealth — unless they can find some plausible substitute. But the rest of us will no longer be under any obligation to applaud and encourage them.
I see us free, therefore, to return to some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue: that avarice is a vice, that the exaction of usury is a misdemeanor and the love of money is detestable, that those walk most truly in the paths of virtue and sane wisdom who take least thought for the morrow.
We shall once more value ends above means and prefer the good to the useful. We shall honor those who can teach us how to pluck the hour and the day virtuously and well, the delightful people who are capable of taking direct enjoyment in things, the lilies of the field who toil not, neither do they spin.
But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another 100 years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not.
Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.
I look forward, therefore, in days not so very remote, to the greatest change which has ever occurred in the material environment of life for human beings in the aggregate. But, of course, it will all happen gradually, not as a catastrophe.
Indeed, it has already begun. The course of affairs will simply be that there will be ever larger and larger classes and groups of people from whom problems of economic necessity have been practically removed.
The critical difference will be realized when this condition has become so general that the nature of one's duty to one's neighbor is changed. For it will remain reasonable to be economically purposive for others after it has ceased to be reasonable for oneself.
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The increase of technical efficiency has been taking place faster than we can deal with the problem of labor absorption. The improvement in the standard of life has been a little too quick.
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The pace at which we can reach our destination of economic bliss will be governed by four things: our power to control population, our determination to avoid wars and civil dissensions, our willingness to entrust to science the direction of those matters which are properly the concern of science, and the rate of accumulation as fixed by the margin between our production and our consumption — of which the last will easily look after itself, given the first three.
Meanwhile there will be no harm in making mild preparations for our destiny, in encouraging, and experimenting in, the arts of life as well as the activities of purpose.
But, chiefly, do not let us overestimate the importance of the economic problem, or sacrifice to its supposed necessities other matters of greater and more permanent significance.
It should be a matter for specialists — like dentistry. If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people, on a level with dentists, that would be splendid!
Editors note: This Globalist Document is excerpted from John Maynard Keynes' "Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren," published in 1931 in "Essays in Persuasion."

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