Friday, May 17, 2019

GDP and the Reciprocal Volunteerism Factor

Volunteer activities are important for any community. Yet many take forms which make them impractical to designate as formal transactions that include monetary compensation as a part of GDP.

That said, there are important exceptions which might gain validation in the near future. From a wealth creation perspective, the greatest economic significance of social interchange is due to specific voluntary transactions between individuals which can be directly reciprocated. After all, these activities may contribute to the personal welfare of both participants, since both are included in the identity enhancement process of voluntary provision.

The most beneficial social exchange for economic purposes, consists of two participating sides in specific and timely transactions. By way of example: While the positive nature of "pay it forward" processes could be loosely considered a two sided voluntary exchange, its tendency in groups is infrequent in nature, while providers and recipients are not directly reciprocal. This helps explain as well another name for paying it forward: "random acts of kindness". Consequently, paying it forward may not occur frequently enough to strengthen trust or group cohesion. What's needed are regular and ongoing patterns of reciprocal volunteerism, for mutual assistance to become a replicative and spontaneous process.

Many who have felt powerless at some point in their lives, instinctively understand the value of mutually agreed upon negotiation for the supply and demand of time based services. Well designed platforms for services supply and demand, could help individuals go beyond efforts they might normally expend for their own families and friends. People especially need such patterns when they lack employment which encourages negotiation and social interchange in the workplace. Yet too much of this activity has been assigned to rigidly formal patterns in present day institutions. When specialists and professionals do most of the negotiating on behalf of the average individual, there are few remaining possibilities for voluntary reciprocity, or the identity reinforcing nature of mutual assistance which keeps us civil and humane.

What about forms of volunteerism which continue to function best informally - especially insofar as GDP is concerned? When we volunteer to help someone without a request on their part, we also (generally) don't expect them to reciprocate. While our assistance may still have positive results, random services supply without expectations on the part of recipients, can make it difficult to discern whether group social circumstance are positively evolving over time.

Also, domestic responsibilities in the home tend not to be the best candidates for the measure of GDP. Indeed, much of this activity revolves around personal preferences for spending time in one's own home environment. In other words, while work is certainly involved, it is generally of a much freer nature than most workplace norms, even to the extent of functioning as a form of positive experiential product. Fortunately, home for most individuals, at least during many stages of life, continues to be the main place where people actually have the most freedom to do as one wishes. The better part of home obligations today are choices, rather than absolute necessities.

Nevertheless: As more aspects of production continue to shift towards automation and technological support, societies will need to reconsider the relatively informal terms by which neighbors might provide voluntary services for one another. For that matter, the more that mutual assistance is spread among as many participants as possible, the less likely that anyone ends up taken for granted in such exchanges. It's easier for everyone concerned, when maintaining one's self respect is feasible in services exchange. Only recall that when individuals lack social norms re reciprocating for assistance, many will refuse to ask or accept - sometimes even if they are in dire need.

Another factor in terms of potential reciprocity, involves economic options such as guaranteed jobs or a basic income. Guaranteed jobs present problems in terms of external decision making as to what "needs" to be done, or what is "worthy" of being done. Without adequate input and negotiation on the part of all participants, guaranteed jobs miss the point. For instance, when external decision making determines the jobs provided, few are going to be willing to give up their own meaningful work, just so that others might have employment.

Likewise, some assume that a basic income could allow recipients to "do their own thing". Alas, while this approach could help in the short term for unexpected emergencies, long term it would be little more than an existential path to despair. Being expected to "do "one's own thing" indefinitely, is still social isolation, with little hope of returning to meaningful interaction with others. Indeed, the basic income approach would mean the least amount of group alignment among all possible economic options, in terms of local supply and demand for mutual assistance.

Granted, it would take considerable effort to decipher the supply and demand possibilities which individuals might seek to voluntarily provide one another. But once such processes are set into motion, the rewards could eventually prove worth the effort, for it would give individuals the chance to rediscover their natural inclinations for mutual exchange.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Is Targeting Productivity a Good Idea?

Would it be reasonable for the Bank of England to have a productivity target alongside its inflation target? Probably not. In response to a recent report which suggests a productivity growth target of 3% per annum, Frances Coppola offers explanations why attempting to target productivity in this matter could present problems:
This target is extremely challenging. A footnote in the report notes that labour productivity growth since 1950 has averaged 2.4%, and describes the proposed uplift of .06% above this average as a "small increase". Forgive me, but an increase of 25% in the rate of change is not by any stretch of the imagination "small". It's an absolute whopping hike, particularly when you take into account the fact that in the 1950s and 60s the labour force was much smaller due to lower immigration and female participation, and the UK was rebuilding after WWII. In a mature economy which is 80% services and which has nearly full employment of both men and women, that 3% target looks well-nigh impossible. 
There was also lack of clarity in the report, what aspects of productivity might actually be targeted, hence Coppola noted labour, capital, and multi-factor productivity as possibilities. What about capital, for instance?
The fact that the rate of return of capital has been falling for the best part of forty years could suggest that capital is not being deployed efficiently. 
However: Recall that as returns on capital have fallen, the services component of the economy has been rising, and has only recently stabilized at present levels in mature economies. Chances are the decades long shift in dominance between tradable and non tradable sector activity, holds considerable meaning for how capital potential translates into marketplace realities. After all, time based services in particular face not only natural scarcities but also artificially imposed scarcities, which further limits aggregate output for applied knowledge. Since much of today's capital investment is closely linked with human capital investment, non tradable sector output includes higher levels of professional income, rather than tradable sector profits which tend to be more widely dispersed among key staff, employees and shareholders.

There's probably little that central bankers can do directly, to encourage productivity gains. It's up to participants in the real economy to make this happen, and differences in organizational capacity will also be needed before significant productivity changes are likely for some non tradable sectors. In any event, central bankers aren't well positioned to positively impact present levels via productivity targets.

Alas, mature economies do need productivity gains in the near future, if living standards are to continue improving for future generations. But what can be done? Presently, a non linear approach might be necessary, which is another way of saying much of the low hanging fruit for productivity potential has already been picked, via more obvious linear means.

Any non linear approach would also benefit from a broader framing re general equilibrium dynamics. Toward this end, aggregate output potential can be considered through a total factor (or multi-factor) productivity lens. For instance, how much of today's time based product in non tradable sectors could be likened to a knowledge production factory?

Once we envision inputs and outputs on these terms, one problem quickly comes into focus. Unlike the direct alignments of tradable sector supply chains, many non tradable sector inputs which could translate into applied knowledge settings, are mostly haphazard and partial. Processes of learning in this regard, presently extend across a wide range of diverse institutions which are only indirectly linked to other institutions, if at all. Plus, it's difficult to discern what supply and demand for time based product might actually consist of, since much of the alignment is from individuals to multiple institutions, instead of individuals to individuals in group settings with a knowledge continuum.

Consequently, inputs which hold potential for use at most skill levels, greatly outnumber the outputs which are actually gleaned from the time based product of these supply chains. Imagine the problems this would create for the supply side chains of tradable sector activity, if only a mere fraction of their intermediate processes were useful to other parts of the supply chain!

Just as tradable sector activity has often combined many separate activities into long term knowledge continuum, an institution is needed which can perform a similar function for diverse high skill services in the present. Fortunately, it's possible to turn many aspects of formal education and human capital investment into input which could simultaneously function as output. Instead of attempting to target productivity in an effort to achieve long term growth gains, why not turn time value into an economic measure which provides greater focus for input, even as output is simultaneously increased. Time value as resource reciprocity could ultimately mean more productivity gains, than has been possible thus far with the input/output imbalance of today's high skill non tradable sectors.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Does Price Making Lead to a Zero Sum Economy?

Normally, price making in aggregate should not lead to this result. However, price making may imply not just a lack of resource coordination among private firms, but also economic activity which benefits from taxpayer support. Ultimately, much depends on the relevant sectors.

Likewise, economic dynamism may be reversed when societies overreact to perceptions of "ill gotten" gains. Venezuela provides one of the strongest warnings of our time, as to what might occur when citizens and governments overreact to existing prosperity by breaking up firms. All too often, such intentional destruction does little to preserve markets, for the products supplied up to this point. There is danger in placing excessive blame on the dominant tech firms of our time. Should these firms be broken up, it could lead to the loss of valuable product, especially for those who lack sufficient access to other platforms for knowledge and information dispersal. Whatever weariness or disillusion society may have with social media, it would be far better to create new economic patterns and systems for face to face interaction, instead of holding social media accountable for problems which in many instances it only bears partial responsibility.

Why do so many believe we are living with a zero sum economy? For one, non tradable sector dominance tends to lack the level of output that occurs during periods of tradable sector dominance. Unfortunately, price making as a way to reimburse extensive overhead costs (in lieu of limited output), can negatively impact aggregate output if practiced to excess over long periods.

Of course, economists and others regularly remind us there is no such thing as a zero sum economy in the long term, in aggregate. One observer put it this way:
In a capitalistic economy, in aggregate, there will always be more winners than losers. This is because the economy is growing in the long run and both parties benefit from an exchange.
Let's keep the faith in long run positives as best we can, since the short run has plenty of uncertainty. Even small examples of protectionism and zero sum thinking can cause further problems. Recently, zero sum thinking on President Trump's part, prompted him to impose a 17.5% tariff on tomatoes from Mexico. Many of us in Texas have already faced rising prices on fresh tomatoes for months, as it has gradually become more difficult for deliveries to cross the border in timely fashion. And given the lengthy wait those truck drivers face, by no means are tomatoes the only fresh produce being affected.

Is the supposed "product dumping" on Mexico's part a form of price making? Even if it was, low prices for commodities such as these, lead to a positive sum circumstance. There's more fresh food consumption than would otherwise be the case for lower income levels, more income for growers and workers and also retailers. Affordable produce for all income levels means more economic dynamism, not to mention health benefits. Seriously, is anyone really being hurt by tomatoes from across the border? After all, many tomatoes grown commercially in the U.S. are already slated for canning and other processing, instead of grocery store produce sections.

The price making that causes a structural possibility of zero sum circumstance, is when price making occurs in ways which pose clear limits for supply side potential. All the more so, when the production processes correlate with product linked to space and time, which only sets up additional negative ripple effects. However, the best way to ensure as much economic dynamism as possible, is to respond to price making by ensuring that price taking is also possible in the same markets that already contain natural scarcities. In other words, continue to provide real economic options, instead of destroying what continues to function in the here and now.

After all, creative destruction is not due to purposeful destruction. It's about the potential for societies to make new choices, not just in terms of both consumption, but also production.The best way to make certain we don't end up with zero sum outcomes, is to always leave room for the full coordination and market enhancement of price taking. All the more so, when product and services are already subject to the natural scarcities of space and time.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Build New Realities That Reflect Where We Are

And by extension, what society already has, not to mention previous accomplishments on the part of individuals and groups alike. Continued economic prosperity need not be as difficult as some are inclined to make it out to be.

Ultimately, our economic settings are about much more than participation and contributions at the cutting edge of applied knowledge. For that matter, the biggest part of our working lives is composed of what we've already learned and done - albeit in new contexts. How might we ensure that the profits from the the cutting edge don't always have to be redirected for the ongoing maintenance of utilitarian knowledge and skill? If shared workplace activities are to be sustained wherever people choose to live, those activities need to contribute more directly to wealth creation. New organizational methods which combine workplaces in more accessible settings, could help ensure we remain able to pursue our life objectives and intellectual challenges well into the future.

Alongside the new knowledge of cutting edge endeavour, we also all have the good fortune to be "standing on the shoulders of giants". It's this wealth of preexisting knowledge and skill, which could revitalize so many communities that lack the ability to contribute at the level our most prosperous regions now experience. The earlier efforts of untold millions who came before us, hold plenty of relevance for what we continue to pursue in the here and now.

What's more, much of what we've already accomplished as individuals, could often be useful to others as they pursue their own paths in life. How might we make our own self improvement efforts more relevant to others on economic terms? Economic inclusion is not about forcing everyone to certain forms of skill and ability which present institutions may not even need, it's about exploring the possibilities of what we already have. Further investments in human capital for what we assume workplaces might need, aren't necessarily the human capital others would seek from us in a better aligned economic framework.

Formal aspects of human capital investment in particular are being questioned, as the bar for social and economic inclusion continues to be pushed ever upward. Today's definitions of quality product tend to come with assumptions that our already existing attributes are somehow "never enough" to take part in society as we are now. Still, when our time value is only allowed as exclusive quality product, even the most routine of services based activities are expected to transpire on these terms. In the process, societies end up budgeting for these forms of quality product in ways that further exclude those who don't meet the qualifications as they presently exist.

For these reasons and more, I sometimes find myself overwhelmed by posts and articles which call for higher wages as supposedly the most important guarantor of continued prosperity. Granted, substantial wage increases have been with us for a long time. But how much of these wage increases were actually derived from the output gains which resulted from centuries of tradable sector dominance? Is it not time to design environments which more accurately reflect the forms of resource capacity we presently hold? Because much of that capacity is now more closely aligned with the experiential nature of scarce time based product, instead of the output gains associated with tradable sector activity.

What prompted this post was an article from Daron Acemoglu for Project Syndicate, which left me somewhat deflated. In "Where Do Good Jobs Come From?", he writes:
Historically, no known human society has created shared prosperity purely through redistribution. Prosperity comes from creating jobs that pay decent wages. And it is good jobs, not redistribution, that provide people with purpose and meaning. 
Articles such as this seem to come with underlying assumptions. One would expect that wages "must" go ever higher for all concerned, so that we as taxpayers might continue covering the ever increasing costs of our governments and maintenance of our environments. It won't be easy to dissuade these high cost expectations for the sum total of our living and working environments, even though ever higher wages are only feasible up to a point, especially now. Plus, these expectations stemmed from centuries of tradable sector dominance which made extensive and costly forms of building capacity/infrastructure possible in the first place.

How can we build more flexible environments which are more responsive and better suited to changes in output scale, during times of non tradable sector dominance? Today, continued progress depends on a better alignment of overhead costs and gains from scale in applied time, alongside what money can contribute in terms of ongoing output. Much of this process means creating physical infrastructure and building components on more lightweight and flexible terms. By way of example, walkable communities will definitely need to include building elements for living and working needs which are transportable by means other than automobiles and trucks.

Fortunately, it is also within our ability to create good work with meaning, even when such work does not come with well compensated salaries. Importantly, however, meaning is subjective. What is fulfilling to one person might just be an aggravation to the next, and selection processes need to be more closely aligned with individual preferences. Time arbitrage in particular, should always be a voluntary process for flexible forms of work association.

In his article, Daron Acemoglu noted that "no known human society has created shared prosperity purely through redistribution". I would add that redistribution isn't just about money, because we can't redistribute applied knowledge from those whose time based product is among our most scarce resources. The only way that knowledge can be increased in society is through active dispersal via time increments - not just via education but in terms of actual use and economic validity. As to the latter, increased participation is necessary, if it is to happen.

Economic inclusion means less judgement as to what is "supposed" to take place in time based experiential product. Indeed, if we can come to terms with this possibility, there could consequently be less emphasis on lifetime education as means to survive a demanding society, and more emphasis on lifetime learning as one of many ways to meaningfully live in a society. With a little luck, this approach could lead to communities which accept widely diverse levels of knowledge and skill as valid paths to economic participation. Let's build stronger economic realities based on what we have already become.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Wrap Up for April 2019

Why was European colonialism in Africa held up as a successful example of a "tax-driven currency"?

Jeffrey Hummel provides an interpretation of MMT.

Recent trends in 3D printing.

Arnold Kling reviews The Third Pillar.

Isabel Sawhill: "Forget collusion, the problem is corruption and complacency."

Miles Kimball explains how the Fed has changed its operations since 2008.

Taking on the two party monopoly.

"The first challenge is rising government debt."

Tracking regional variations in economic opportunity.

The good news is that sometimes, sovereign debt can be solved when it appears to have already gotten out of hand.

Could skilled immigrants revive the heartland?

"Beyond 2020, world growth is expected to stabilize at around 3.5%,"
Also, Highlights from a synchronized slowdown.

He won his case, but will he get his Land Rover back?

What role should commodities play in Fed targeting?

"17 percent of young adults ages 18 to 24 are out of work in mid to large cities in the U.S."

The Tories have stopped trying to tell an economic story.

The loss of continuity can compound more quickly than is often realized.

"...non-manufacturing employment in the US appears to have been increased by Chinese trade."
The problem however is that new high skill services generation hasn't been created in areas which lost manufacturing employment, but - instead - areas which were already prosperous.

Econtwitter helped Diane Coyle put together a great list of books in which economics and philosophy intersect.

"...every dollar of government health care spending represents both care for a patient, and income for a provider, and both groups will fight hard against cutbacks."

It turns out the implicit inflation target was approximately 1.5%.

Nolan Gray provides a useful list of books which can help readers gain a better understanding of zoning issues.

"What Happened to U.S. Business Dynamism?"

"There is no straight line from agricultural productivity to high GDP per capita."

Taking value chains into account.

"work in futures is about patterns, not predictions."

It's difficult to get "mini estates" and urbanism at the same time. "Without density, there is no walkability."

The price of dryers went up by approximately the same amount.

The Medicare hospital trust fund will be the first to go.

Might "greater transparency and openness" actually be counterproductive?

"Economic geography bites back."

What are the roles of "public interest" versus "public choice" in occupational licensing?

Applications for disability have dropped dramatically.

Perhaps civic engagement would benefit from new marketing strategies.

How important is speed as a factor in production?

"Does federal debt hurt the economy more than we thought?"

While I've been aware of time as (too often) a luxury amenity, it turns out shade is in short supply as well.

"This is not exactly how a market for lifesaving medical devices is supposed to work."

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Centralization, Economic Freedom, and the Skills Divide

To what extent could individuals still govern themselves, in contrast with how nations tend to be envisioned as "governing ourselves"? This question has become increasingly complex and important, as societies rely more than ever on knowledge to get things done.

Self governance was a simpler option for example, when property owners could still eke out a living from a productive plot of land. Whereas much of today's production involves high levels of knowledge and skill, not to mention levels of social coordination which go well beyond familial responsibilities. In a world economy increasingly dominated by knowledge and skill, does that mean it is no longer realistic to conceive of economic freedom as meaningful choice in interaction among individuals?

Too many time based services have been unnecessarily subjected to losses of economic freedom, via forms of external organizational control which reduce the possibility of meaningful interaction. But unlike many forms of final product, time based services tend to be experiential in nature, which often suggests they could be effectively managed and negotiated by the individuals who voluntarily choose to take part. Time based product is different from the specifications of tradable sector product, in that it often assumes snowflake forms. Indeed, this particularly holds true when we are young and still actively engaged in educational processes. Without real possibilities for mutual voluntary services association, people can end up experiencing difficulties establishing healthy boundaries, mutual respect, and trust as they go through their lives.

Over time, divisions of labour for time based services have become restricted in ways which not only inhibit total factor productivity, but also limit the nature of how providers and recipients could otherwise experience the personal exchange. Put simply, externally defined divisions of labour make more sense for the precise qualities needed in tradable product, than for the experiential nature of time based services. What's more, the non tradable sector divide in skills use potential, has been perpetuated by liberals and conservatives alike.

Perhaps these implicit agreements among professionals affect economic conditions in ways not always considered. Pierre Lemieux provides some interesting context in "Lessons and Challenges in The Limits to Liberty" where he takes a closer look at James Buchanan's Limits to Liberty (1975). For instance, Lemieux noted Buchanan's support of individualism in the latter's quote "each man counts for one, and that is that", and then continues:
It follows that individual liberty is a value and that the social system should be based on unanimous consent. Any limit to liberty must thus be consented to by each and every individual.
Alas, where do we observe this presumed liberty in action, given the lack of freedom so many now experience in the use of their own time, especially in relation to the time of others? If we do not believe that a diverse range of services could be freely chosen and provided, how can we really believe in free markets in the 21st century? How much of the present fiscal budgetary dilemma is due to our governments ensuring services markets remain as unfree as possible, on behalf of the interests they protect?

Not surprisingly, it turns out there are limits to the freedoms which James Buchanan believed to be possible. For one, Lemieux emphasized how Buchanan argued in favour of government provision for public goods as a social or constitutional contract. Yet what's different in this instance, is Buchanan's reasoning for doing so. As it turns out, his beliefs regarding personal aptitude and ability also factor into his proposed economic outcomes.

In contrast to other contractarian theorists, Buchanan does not assume equality in terms of resource utilization or personal capabilities. From this it follows that some minimum of welfare state may therefore be necessary. Private and public goods both depend in part on the rules of the economic game, whereby freedom is mostly agreeing to take part in what is already proposed, or refusing to do so. It's easy to imagine that sometimes the state needs to intervene when people refuse. Doing so costs money. Hence this quote from Buchanan:
The dividing line between private and public goods depends, in part, on how the property rights of persons are defined.
The twentieth century gave rise to many domestic forms of applied knowledge protectionism, long before the tradable sector protectionism which arose more recently. Essentially, knowledge and skill has also been made rival in non tradable sector circumstance, in part because protected knowledge has to do the heavy lifting of meeting the organizational costs of quality product and costly real estate. And with the giving to special interests of these exclusive production rights, comes the rationale for a welfare state as well. Hence conservatives and progressive alike, would tend to view welfare as means to reduce public rebellion or even revolution. Indeed, I recall an instance among friends in a local welfare office decades earlier, where local progressives expressed the rationale of public assistance exactly in these terms.

Again, Buchanan is hardly alone in assuming relatively permanent differences in aptitude and human potential at the outset. After all, many progressive arguments for government job guarantees or some form of "living" wage, contain the same underlying assumptions regarding how workplace conditions and skills requirements "should" consequently be defined. Nevertheless these assumptions blatantly disregard the potential for mutual reciprocity and well being, when societies allow as many as possible to pursue full engagement and meaningful interaction.

A limited welfare state is desirable for societies to protect the old and the weak. That said, there are millions who actively resist remaining weak. Some of the latter I might either respect or fear. But I don't find welfare states acceptable on the rationale of keeping out those who could potentially thrive but presumed too dumb or weak for society to allow to take part. Social and economic exclusion is not going to work in a knowledge based economy, especially when many forms of production and former employment are tended to by technology and automation. Let's don't create permanent skills divides between groups. That's a recipe for disaster. Doing so would not only prevent millions from assisting one another, but also incline some among these groups to rebel in a thousand ways that no government can prevent.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

"Keeping the Faith" in Services Generation

Much of today's high skill services generation and knowledge preservation are closely linked to government budgets, even though financial obligations toward this end are being rolled over and delayed as long as possible. One is compelled to wonder: How much GDP is even made possible through current resource capacity and reciprocity, instead of expectations for future claims on wealth? The fact so many rely on presently provided services which won't be repaid anytime soon, is creating problems for long term growth and output. This is already being reflected in the negative political scenarios many nations now face.

As Timothy Taylor noted in a recent post, there was a certain predictability about long run U.S. budget deficits that would eventually come to pass. According to Taylor:
Because two major federal spending programs are focused on older Americans--Social Security and Medicare--it has been utterly predictable for several decades that the long-run budget situation would come under strain at about this time.
When it comes to high skill services generation, healthcare is one of the more pressing concerns. He continues:
But the projected rise in government health care spending of 3.2% of GDP is a challenge that no one seems to know how to fix. It's a combination of the rising share of older people, and in particular the rising share of the very-old who are more likely to face needs for nursing home and Alzheimer's care.
Let's briefly consider some recent historical context. I just finished reading the book I.O.U.S.A. by Addison Wiggin and Kate Incontrera (sorry I couldn't provide an online link), which was published in 2008. Even though this book is all over the map in certain respects, it's an apt reminder that long term debt obligations were still being taken seriously by practically everyone, prior to the Great Recession and shortly thereafter. Perhaps that explains why some who contributed to I.O.U.S.A. expressed optimism: Once the need became obvious, people would step up to the plate and government debt would be addressed before it could spiral out of control.

Alas, the need is quite obvious yet nothing on the horizon suggests this hopeful scenario will occur, after all. Consequently, much of the decades long optimism re budgetary sustainability, is giving way to dismay, blame games, and wishful thinking such as MMT. It feels odd after having read I.O.U.S.A., to realize that expending energy on solutions for government debt is now basically a fool's game for anyone in a position of power. Yet nothing has changed. Once long term debt loads reach a certain point (and no one knows when that is or what it consists of), the genie cannot be put back into the bottle. We would be facing a very different national economic reality.

With such a dramatic shift, the marketplace for high skill time based services as they are currently constructed, would greatly suffer. What has finally become obvious - and none too soon - is that reform from within is proving impossible. No one will tolerate spending cutbacks until governments are no longer able to borrow on the terms they have come to expect. Timothy Taylor highlights the inertia we face in the meantime, for healthcare:
...every dollar of government health care spending represents both care for a patient and income for a provider, and both groups will fight hard against cutbacks.
In a sense, there is an awareness what could happen, just under the surface of today's dialogue. Since nothing has been taken care of in positive terms, however, that subtle awareness is expressing itself in negative ways. Hence demand for healthcare and other vital time based services is cloaked in insistence that existing supply side limits be reserved for natives - in other words leading to "this nation/system is full" talk. Likewise, another sidelong approach to the problem, has been the demand from conservatives and progressives alike for job creation which includes income levels or benefits capable of meeting healthcare expenses as they are now - despite the fact such talk runs counter to economic realities.

Even though interest payment levels are just one facet of long term debt issues, it's an important one. Timothy Taylor also stressed that interest payment obligations for past borrowing stood at 7.9%  in 2018. While that doesn't sound like a big deal, if nothing fundamental changes (which is of course the main concern of this post), interest payment obligations could balloon to 22% of all federal spending by 2048. That's one heck of a difference and a total game changer as well.

How to "keep the faith" that nothing will go wrong? Can we embrace production reform which buttresses the wealth creation of our existing systems, instead of posing threats to them? Can we ask our healthcare providers to join the effort in stepping away from a debt centered existence, to wealth creation which utilizes time based services as sustainable knowledge preservation?

If we can create forms of services generation which build new wealth at the outset, perhaps our governments won't ultimately end up with higher interest rates which force their hand in unwanted austerity, not to mention the havoc that would cause for what has become our services oriented economic existence. In the long run, wealth creation utterly relies on circles of sustainability, which means more use of resources that can be reciprocated in the present. Fortunately, it is feasible to build a new social contract for a wide range of services generation. Let's give it a try, while there's still time. Because time is running short.