The real tragedy of the commons or how to really finance our future
This article aims to initiate a debate that has not taken place in monetary economics thus far. In order to finance and regulate global commons, we traditionally rely on a monetary monoculture. In spite of all the intellectual and mathematical scrutiny devoted to the topic, the debate ultimately boils down to austerity or stimulus, to regulatory and redistributive efforts. None of the official academic positions really address the nature of the monetary system itself and its negative impact on sustainability, and thus fail to provide an answer to the question of how to really finance our commons and our future. This is exemplified in the current debate on the so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) endorsed by the UN in 2015. The present text aims to provide arguments for a parallel, optional, complementary green quantitative easing in order to overcome these constraints. This argument goes beyond regulatory efforts and co-financed redistribution. The advantages of implementing this or a similar mechanism are manifold: firstly, it can be implemented in a fast and targeted manner and is relatively cheap. Secondly, it would have an anticyclical, anti-inflationary and resilient impact on our trading and payment system. Thirdly, it builds on findings in systems theory, thus avoiding the tedious discussion between the different schools of economics. Fourthly, it addresses findings in the life sciences (neurobiology and clinical and social psychology) in order to provide a match for real human behavior (beyond the homo oeconomicus). Fifthly, it addresses the magnitude, volume and significance of the global challenges ahead. In short: The real tragedy of the commons is based on a new kind of thinking on how to design a monetary ecosystem to make the world a better place.
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