When looking to create wealth at an individual, state or international level there are foundational concepts that we take for granted. The nature of markets, capital and money must all be understood to create wealth. We at Vichaar Manthan believe it is time to re-examine and cross-examine these concepts in the light of sustainability.
Rethinking Capital - Paths to Sustainable Growth
Capital is central to our global order. For three centuries, capitalism has been the engine for unprecedented progress in living standards, liberty and freedom. The world now faces a new set of problems caused by our success: climate change, war, and growing inequality (in the West). Is it time to rethink our ideas of capital? With the decline of American hegemony, China and India’s growth strategies will play a crucial role in shaping the future of humanity. What do sustainable and equitable growth models look like for these emerging giants, and how do their current approaches stack up? This discussion will ask how we put sustainability at the heart of our approach to economic growth.
Markets- panacea or wilful ignorance?
Milton Friedman once quipped, “underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself”. Friedman believed in a small government, limited regulation, and faith in market pricing, allowing the relationship between supply and demand to control everything. Do we want markets to decide how much we pay for our healthcare? Do we trust the markets to solve climate change? Those that advocate free markets believe it is the bedrock of all that we value in a liberal democracy, while the naysayers, who are also equally convinced, argue for intervention, and a bigger role for regulation and legislation. Who is right? Come and explore one of the most pertinent questions of our time.
What is money, and is it a problem?
Money is an idea and a belief. Like any belief, it can fade over time. The idea of money is perpetually changing, sometimes for the betterment of the few and sometimes for the many. Money, however, is always controlled by the few. According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK’s top 10% of earners own 43% of all assets, whereas the bottom 50% of earners own 9%. How much inequality is acceptable in a democracy? Is the idea of money in need of reform? What are our alternatives, or have we become bereft of ideas? Come and explore the nature of money, and what if anything, we can do about it.