Note: This is taken from TPM-aholics, where it originated.
What do we want 2050 to look like?
We know a few things already.
It will be more crowded. Estimates put us somewhere north of 9 billion people worldwide. Maybe 14 billion by the end of the century. I might make it to see the 9 billion, unappealing as that sounds. The 14 billion, well, I’m glad I’ll be long gone for that.
Some nations will be much older, others will be younger.
It will be warmer. Whether temperature increases stay steady, accelerate, or slow, they will continue for the foreseeable future. As will weather instability, as we have seen in the last few months.
It might well be drier, and that’s not a good thing, as water is the one thing we absolutely, positively cannot live without.
Let’s leave the global aside for a moment and look at the national – and maybe even closer.
There are two main possible directions for the future. One is to continue along the increasing corporatization of America, until we begin to resemble something akin to an electronicized feudal state, where ownership of most of the economy is concentrated in the hands of a very few, with the great numbers of people having almost no say or stake in anything. This is the Libertarians’ ideal, of course, though many of their adherents are foolish enough to believe that they’ll somehow be on the ownership side of the fence.
They’re cannon fodder to the people really pulling the strings. And they’ll resist that truth to the last breath.
Or we can set about reclaiming the concept of a public good, redefining ourselves in terms of a society rather than simply an economy, and relegating all religious discussion to its rightful place in the private sphere.
Something to work for, don’t you think?
What if that goal was even such a simple notion as that there is no good reason for anyone to have to go to bed hungry, or to not have a bed to go hungry to, or even a roof overhead? That there is no good reason for a child to grow to adulthood unschooled? That everyone having basic health care is a huge social positive in many more ways than there are room to list here?
We live in a society. An economy is just a component of that society, and those who confuse the two shortchange not only this society, they also shortchange themselves.
It would appear that the choice is fairly clear – stark, even. On the one hand, we can live in Rand Paul’s dreamland, an electronicized Somalia, with no functioning government to speak of and a tiny, cosseted elite exploiting everyone else for fun (more on this in the future) and profit, or we can change direction and realize that we will indeed do better if we all do better.
So, what do you want 2050 to look like?