A Public Forum on Capitalism on the CBC Radio
"Capitalism as we know it: Broken Beyond Repair?"   Under this banner, a public forum on the state of the economy was broadcast on the CBC Radio on Sunday March 29, 2009, from Simon Fraser University's Business School in Vancouver, hosted by Michael Enright.
We hoped to provide more details. Regretfully, however, the forum's report on the CBC website is unusually skimpy. The recently announced staff and program cuts at the CBC are probably to blame. Still, one would expect that the panelists be named at least.
The banner question was put forth to 6 panelists and the audience in the hall.
One of the panelists had asserted that we cannot do anything about the propensity to over-consumption. The explanation was that in a democracy people make politicians to follow their wishes, and it is just a matter of reality that they wish to consume. There is a theme that permeates A Better Organization which relates to this assertion. It is the difficulty in pinpointing a place in the structures of governance where wisdom can naturally reside. A non-elected, no-limited-term senate appears to be the only place.
It is our contention that a higher degree of wisdom in governance is called for to mitigate the excessive political influence of big business, which is magnified by economic globalization.
A topic of dematerialization of economy came up. The term was attributed to Richard Lipsey, a panelist, who was introduced as the Dean of Economics in Canada. A Better Organization expresses and deals with the concern about the ever increasing material consumption, the global process unsustainable in view of the Earth's environmental and resource limitations. One policy-making difficulty is that there is no distinction between material and non-material consumption in the existing measurements (the GDP, etc.) of economic performance.
One panelist submitted that the crises inherent to free markets are known as far back as 5 thousand years, that little can be done to eliminate them, and that special efforts should be made for lessening the hardship they bring on masses of people. A Better Organization presents that unconditional basic income as the cardinal part of the universal social safety net would be a measure in this direction, which in addition would have an economy-stabilizing influence.
Page created on April 9, 2009