Thank you for the response and I totally agree with your overall view of the current situation. The success of neoliberal capitalism is statistically valid in expanding markets and growing value as value is currently determined. That has not been visible to the great mass of the population in post industrial economies. So the steady decline in well being in rich nations except for a very small rich elite.

This is creating the paradoxical situation of wide diversity in health. Here is an example:

A new study has found huge differences in life expectancies across America: in Fearrington, North Carolina, the estimated average life expectancy is 97.5 years; in Stilwell, Oklahoma, it is 56, the same as in Somalia. The Economist

This is a clear indication of the collapse of well being in predatory capitalist nations. We cannot allow this to worsen. But we must also not fall into simplistic responses. Those were never good but now they are deadly.

Neofascism, I could also call it neofuedalism or a number of other things, but these are all the quest for the strong man to provide personal guarantees for the ‘followers’ and to deliver punishment to the ‘others’ who are the cause of the pain. The reality is that this process simply rewards greed and destruction of everyone’s well being. That is not the desire.

To put this more directly, market economics is the most efficient way to determine price for commodities in short supply for a given area. Often called “free markets” they are proven to do this for the right situation but they don’t work for everything. While drugs and medical appliances can be allowed to move to a market price as a reference these are not items that can be controlled by markets. Health and well being are rights that must be supplied to all in a healthy society.

In the same was I support open trade and a global market limited by the rules of equitable distribution of wealth. One clear rule of free markets is that they must be managed to remain free. This is a problem with unfettered capitalism that always tends to monopolization and the commodification of everything based on the crudest concept of price or value.

The problem that we have is gross imbalances in distribution of the benefits from the global market. This applies to both the worker side as well as the consumer side. Ironically the people who have not benefited from neoliberal economics as it has been implemented did benefit from cheaper goods, e.g. clothes, electronics, etc. They were short changed by migration of jobs to lower cost countries but benefited from the lower prices of what they purchased. The missing component was reinvestment of the profits from the neoliberal planetary trade into each society. Instead this was allowed to be skimmed off by the ultra rich.

As a result we have workers with no significant gains over the last forty years, students buried in debt to capitalist structured universities, and abject poverty in societies that should have no poverty at all. My preference is for regional Universal Basic Income to guarantee a minimum distribution of growing wealth plus heavy infrastructure investment in each region of the planet to ensure opportunities for every person.

In my view we don’t need any billionaires and there is no reason for anyone to make more than, say, five million euros/dollars per year. Successful people, artists for instance, can be well rewarded but beyond that the wealth is lost as it cannot be used.This would also allow us to break the link between wages and well being. Incentives for creativity and innovation are inherent in recognized success and secondarily in wealth if you don’t need wealth to live adequately.

A bigger problem is finding things for people to do. We are still far too caught up in the idea of growth as essential. It is not and is in fact deadly to our planet that is limited in resources. We’re paying the price for that very clearly now. AI/ML will replace many jobs but that allows people to do other jobs that they would find more pleasurable or satisfying. If their needs are small they could literally do what they want.

This is where we need to go and this is not reachable in our current materialist driven cultures. I also have problem with nationalism at any level other than the very local and full planetary. We need to think of ourselves as planetary citizens because that is the level at which we will ultimately live or die. But we have time to get there. we just need to start now.

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Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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