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Radical new economic system will emerge from collapse of capitalism

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What would the world be like if the costs of producing anything -- especially energy -- dropped to almost nothing? Political advisor Jeremy Rifkin thinks that consumption would also drop because fear of scarcity would no longer make any sense. A great example of this comes from the world of Star Trek, where a fixed amount of basic chemicals are made into any item desired, without cost or waste. So instead of buying a box of tea bags and storing them in his nonexistent kitchen, Captain Picard merely says "tea, Earl Grey, hot" whenever he wants a cup of tea. Imagine this same idea for everything, and you see a potential idealistic future.

In that future there's no need for paid work.

I wonder if that will lead to a surplus or shortage of people doing scientific research.

I would love to live in this world:

Every economy in history has relied for its success on the three pillars of communication, energy, and transportation, but what Rifkin says makes this age unique is that we are seeing them converge to create a super internet.

While the radical changes in communication are already well known, he claims a revolution in transport is just around the corner. “You’ll have near zero marginal cost electricity with the probability of printed out cars within 10 or 15 years,” he says. “Add to this GPS guidance and driverless vehicles and you will see the marginal costs of transport on this automated logistics internet falling pretty sharply.”

Rifkin is particularly interested in the upheaval currently rippling through the energy sector and points to the millions of small and medium sized enterprises, homeowners and neighbourhoods already producing their own green electricity.

The momentum will only gather pace as the price of renewable technology plummets. Rifkin predicts the cost of harvesting energy will one day be as cheap as buying a phone:

You can create your own green electricity and then go up on the emerging energy internet and programme your apps to share your surpluses across that energy internet. You can also use all the big data across that value chain to see how the energy is flowing. That’s not theoretical. It’s just starting.

If only what he says is true? 

His example of music is nonsense.  Music and media is more controlled now that it ever has been. 

Oligopolies supported by governments have never been more powerful. 

If the oligopolies and governments collapse, who is going to spend the trillions for roads and bridges for driverless cars people cannot afford?

How much did the Uss Enterprise cost in 2015 dollars? Or did it use bitcoins?

Futurist and wild eyed optimists want to believe there is a reset button for the past actions and systems.  There is not. The world is more unstable now, 30 years after the web than it has been. Why?

It's called the cult of  the offensive.  It happens every time there is a dramatic technical shift.  If we all have rocks we have a truce but as soon as we get arrows one group tries to get more.  The arms race leads to everyone attacking at the same time before ability becomes too asymmetrical.  The idea is I am so strong that there is no need for defense. Of course the exceptional will be victorious. Shock an awe y'all. Worked well. 

Right now we are attacking each other with conventional, economic and cyber warfare. 

What happens to the 100s of trillions in currency swaps, defaulted bonds, fried electric grids and pipelines, and destroyed physical infrastructure?

Think mad mex over Star Trek.  The Middle East is pretty much there and I have not met a Vulcan yet. 

Okay but if energy storage becomes so inexpensive that energy has no cost, what's the consequence?

Economies that export energy have to reset while economies that import energy get bigger?

I was listening to NPR this afternoon. There was an interview with a North Dakota mayor.  

Two quotes.  "We are optimistic that oil prices will rise again to around the 80$ level"

"We have some of the most fertile agricultural land on the planet and....that will last forever."

First how can one group say high energy prices are good and necessary and another group say they are bad

Namely the trade off between ag and energy.  

Fracking uses huge amounts if water as does ag. Both also use sand and dirt(earth) and both use huge amounts of chemicals. 

Just like the ocean fisheries were destroyed by over fishing the ag will be destroyed by over use of water. 

The creation of money was directly transferred to hoarding of wealth through energy prices.  The world debt is founded on that mechanism even has the velocity of money reached "impossible " lows. 

ND budgets are predicated on 75$ oil.  At 25 how do they pay for bonds or support a housing stock that doubled in 8 years?

Don't worry oil will go back up which decreases production and demand, and upward transfer of wealth.  Unless it doesn't in which High yield bond market fails and banks get wiped out again. 

If a world system stability  is predicted on inflated energy prices some of us if not all of us are screwed. 

The world can't adjust if energy becomes abundant?

You cannot kill the oligopolies. They are like a end stage cancer if you kill them you kill the host ie us.  You can replace them with new ones and put them on life support with central banks.  

Now the central banks are the oligopolies. 

Decades ago, we knew natural monopolies, roads, grids, telecom etc were bad and we used anti trust laws.  That is currently unthinkable.  

It is the natural progression of statist capitalism.  Facebook is not trying to disrupt the system, they are trying to become a monopoly.  

With respect to energy, there is always finite space and water and transmission sources.  If energy was abundant and clean and cheap, after the rebalancing if it led to high growth you would hit the real cost of water. Even if tech could clean the oceans, someone would own that and the pipes to middle America. 

The only way it works is with a conscious repatriation of oligopolies' assets and return them to regions.   What would West Virginia be like if it retained a fraction of the coal profits?

It would be one of the wealthiest states instead of one of the poorest.

Ok so one day we will repatriate the oligopolies instead of killing them.

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