I friend of mine emailed a quite lengthy response to my last blog, The Real-World Star Trek Would Be Far From Utopia. My story, and her comments, were about what kind of world we might expect to live in, should reality mirror the future of the TV show(s) in which technology enables humanity to instantly reconfigure matter to meet our very need, thus eliminating scarcity, and need to actually work for a living.
Here are what I take to be her most salient comments, along with a few follow-up thoughts of my own—and even a tie in to financial advice!
“One of the issues I have with Economics,” she wrote, “is that it doesn’t really seem to work: I mean, look around! Where we are today is the direct result of economics, is it not? Yet we cling to the notion as it drowns us!”
First, I can only say: seriously? And yet I do think this is an important issue for financial advisors today—both because it seems to be a widely held view in our society and for what it says about the human condition.
As most of you know, “economics” is just a collection of observations and thoughts about “stuff.” Stuff is reality. We all need stuff to live: air, water, food, shelter, defense from predators (including each other), medicine, etc. Economics is about how we find, make, and get the stuff we need—and who gets how much of what.
As it turns out, there are a lot ways to do these things, and history suggests that some do work better than others.