Opinion: (Joseph Stiglitz, Professor at Columbia University, Chief Economist of the World Bank, a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001)): “The medicine du jour is simply timeworn austerity packages and privatization, which will merely leave the countries that embrace them poorer and more vulnerable. This medicine failed in East Asia, Latin America and elsewhere, and it will fail in Europe too. Indeed, it has already failed in Ireland, Latvia, and Greece.
“Regrettably, the financial markets and right-wing economists have gotten the problem exactly backwards: they believe that austerity produces confidence, and that confidence will produce growth. But austerity undermines growth….
“A failure of either Europe or the United States to return to robust growth would be bad for the global economy. The failure of both would be disastrous…. Unfortunately, unless wiser heads prevail, that is the way the world is heading.”
My comment: The world continues to move in that direction because the artificial stimulation of growth—or saving—does not make sense. It is impossible to “stimulate growth” artificially: It depletes resources, the environment, and increases the gap between rich and poor countries and people. We cannot promise work to everybody: There will be less work. It is pointless to oppose this trend; we have to understand it. Therefore, a third direction emerges.
The solution is to bring society to a new system of internal connection:
- Reasonable consumption—distribution that provides life’s necessities to everyone.
- Mandatory and constant training and education for everyone in the global and integral vision of the world. As school for children, the school should be on-going and teach everyone to exist in the new, integral, globally connected world.
- Educating everyone in the possibility to sense a new level of awareness and perception of the world.