Can we re-align the global order towards a more sustainable trade and growth model? Is an international Carbon tax a hail mary? And will a multi-polar globe shift us towards more democratised capital ownership? Join Vichaar Manthan as we explore these questions with some of the brightest minds of our time.
How do we democratise capital?
Private wealth globally stands at $135 trillion. The wealthiest 1% control over 40% of this wealth. With this concentration of wealth comes power, and power in the hands of the few creates an unsustainable future for the many. Capital is employed to serve those that own it. How then do we ensure that it works for the benefit of humanity? Current suggestions range from de novo sovereign wealth funds to global collectives. Effectively democratising the capital in private hands whilst maintaining incentives for risk-taking and innovation presents a significant challenge. Many argue that in a capitalist society the return on capital will always be greater than the return on labour. How then how do we begin to include more people in the act of capital formation? Join us as we explore the future of capital.
The myth of benevolent imperialism
In November 2001 the US army hoisted an American flag over Kandahar, prompting journalistic fervour around the openly visible ‘American empire’. From being described as an “infant empire” by George Washington in its early days to shouldering “the white man’s burden” in the 1900s, the American growth story seems to be inexorably linked to American imperialism. How should we view modern American hegemony in contrast with Chinese mercantilism in South Asia, Africa, and South America? Is the world better-off with a multipolar power structure, rather than a single hegemon? How do we ensure that rich nations and corporations behave responsibly towards those that are open to exploitation and trapped in poverty cycles? Or is it time to accept economic Darwinism as the path to sustainability?
Carbon tax - Crafting the silver bullet
Markets are not perfect. Arguably, our current climate crisis is an example of the greatest market failure ever seen. Global and national institutions seem unable to find the silver bullet that will make the market work for us and our long-term interests. Carbon tax is often seen as a solution par excellence, but the challenge appears to lie in its implementation, and creating an international standard seems almost impossible. What does an effective carbon tax look like? What real-world effects would such a universal tax programme have on our volatile and complex global economy?