Complexity Economics and the Edge of Chaos

Debbie says:

I was delighted to be invited (by Beth Plutchak) to participate in her symposium on social change and complexity theory, Social Justice at the Edge of Chaos. Fellow participants include Claire Hintz, Steven Schwartz, Nancy Jane Moore, and others.

The plan is for each of us to post an initial essay (mine, explaining and then critiquing the concept of “homo economicus” aka “rational economic man” is here), and then we’re going to respond to each other’s essays and we hope to have a rich conversation.

Here’s an excerpt from Nancy Jane Moore’s contribution (“We Aren’t Dragons”) which sums up the kinds of things we hope to address:

If we approached our economy from the point of view set out by Kate Raworth in her book Doughnut Economics, we could build a society that both meets the needs of people and balances the environmental and social issues that we face together. The Doughnut Economics Action Lab sets out some projects that Raworth and her colleagues are developing to put these programs in place.

The United States can easily develop a system that makes it possible to give everyone in the country a decent life regardless of whether they are in a position to develop wealth. Even in these complicated times, the United States remains a wealthy place with abundant resources and it has a sovereign currency of great strength. Applying the principles of Modern Monetary Theory (as set out by Stephanie Kelton in her recent book The Deficit Myth), the U.S. can spend sufficient funds to give everyone education, health care, housing, and income. Income can be in the form of guaranteed jobs or guaranteed income (or both). 

This work dovetails with my commitment to public banking, and my interest in going beyond elections to a truly interdependent, socially responsible economy. If these topics interest you, please go to the symposium link, and subscribe, so you get email notifications of new posts as they go up through the month of November.

If we’re living on the edge of chaos, we might as well come back from the edge better than we were when we got there.

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