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Brilliant Diary, techno. Insights and understanding like yours are rare.

IMHO we need Keynesianism updated for the Internet Age.

To achieve this magnificent "Global New Green Deal" along Keynesian lines we need an entirely new financial system, and moreover, one which we can transition to seamlessly - no small challenge.

Keynes "International Clearing Union" proposal at Bretton Woods is IMHO the correct architecture, but must be created on a networked basis from the ground up, rather than imposed "top down".

The fungible global currency (his "Bancor") which would be exchanged within that Clearing Union (subject to a mutualised guarantee, but that is another story) is of course an energy "Value Unit", and this ties in perfectly with

Energy Accounting

and the Technocracy movement.

As you identify, energy value is only a part - but a very significant part - of an economy, the other key elements being the use/rental value of Land (and its production)- and the productive capacity of the individual ie "Labour", where the concept of "Intellectual Property" and the capitalisation of knowledge has been rendering Marx's analysis pretty obsolete, IMHO.

I digress.

I believe that it is straightforwardly possible through the use of new (partnership based) "frameworks" for energy investment to develop mechanisms whereby the necessary $45 trillion may be funded, and in so doing, to create a new "energy dollar" of global application.

The proposition is quite simple.

Firstly, create an "Energy Pool" legal framework.

Secondly, impose a compulsory levy upon all non-renewables energy transactions (eg gasoline use) which funds the Pool.

Thirdly, use the Pool to invest both in creating new renewable energy projects (MegaWatts) and in energy saving retrofits (NegaWatts).

This "investment" would be in the form of an interest free loan in dollar terms: the "energy loan" would be repayable not in dollars but in energy produced, or the cash equivalent of the energy saved.

Fourthly, the reluctant investor would be given an "Energy Unit" in return for his compulsory investment, and this would be redeemable (at the prevailing energy market price) against renewable energy supplied or against an energy loan obligation in respect of energy saving investment received.

These redeemable Units would have a value in exchange, and would rapidly come to circulate as currency.

The balance of renewable energy - over and above repayment of the "energy loan" - produced by renewable energy projects funded in this way would be shared among citizens as they collectively agree by way of local "energy dividends".

The result is essentially a Value Unit based upon the energy content of carbon, rather than the complete deficit-based bollocks of a Value Unit based upon the carbon in CO2 - a system brought to us by the same people who brought us the Credit Crunch.

The "Community Energy Partnerships" which make this possible and form the basic building blocks of an International Energy Clearing Union can be implemented now, by any community willing and able to do so.

What are we waiting for?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Jun 11th, 2008 at 07:06:06 AM EST
IMHO we need Keynesianism updated for the Internet Age.

Agreed.  Funny you should mention it.  We were discussing just this issue in Socratic Economics XI National Accounts a week or so ago.  I inquired as to the financial prospects for a from scratch recreation of the General Theory that adapted it to the global economy.  Mig thought it would be a cult classic and said:


What you're looking for is a Feynman Lectures on Economics, so to speak,...

which I found apt.

Why do I suspect that if you were to write such a work you would find yourself practicing economics from Finnigan's Cave?  Or are there still more sinister methods of enforcing "market discipline" on the recalcitrant?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 01:32:03 AM EST
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Well, actually I think before anyone can write anything meningful about Economics they must have a good look at their assumptions.

As has been discussed on ET ad nauseam, all too often these assumptions bear no relation to the reality of the world in which we live.

ARGeezer:

Why do I suspect that if you were to write such a work you would find yourself practicing economics from Finnigan's Cave?

Me, I'm from the "Zen and the Art of Economics" school.

In particular the

Metaphysics of Value

with which I commenced that rather rambling paper on Knowledge and Value.

I'm summoning up a book which will have a section, probably on "Coarse Economics" (as with "Coarse Fishing")

In fact the book's probably already written out there and I could probably assemble it from the stuff I've posted on ET and elsewhere.

Not easy for an idle bastard like me.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 09:05:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I certainly agree about the importance of assumptions.  Those and the level of personal, or, if you will, "ego" development normative in the discipline today are, I suspect, what has given rise to the "Post-Autistic Economics" movement.  If the discipline can be kept close to the level of male adolescent competitiveness it is likely easier for elites to manipulate to their advantage.  God forbid compassion or concern for anything beyond the next quarter or year's profits should concern. Much better to banish such untoward impulses to the realm of "externalities" and deal with them through voluntary efforts.

Thanks for The Metaphysics of Value.  It has been bookmarked for further perusal.  I will await your pending book.  If you, or anyone could make a from scratch update of the General Theory half as accessible as Heilbronner's "The Worldly Philosophers" it would be at once a great public service and probably never out of print.

Meanwhile, deadlines prevent me from being the idle bastard which I so prefer.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 10:51:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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