Monday, March 28, 2016

Notes on Defining Economic Access

How might one think about economic access as a potential right, at least in a limited sense? The ability to define one's work on economic terms in relation to others, i.e. create one's work, is an important part of this concept. However, economic access is more than a right to generate work patterns on sustainable terms, because it includes an ongoing ability to take part in the consumption definitions of one's own environment, as well. Presently, our economic environments are externally defined, in ways that can even overwhelm those with professional incomes, to some degree.

Granted, prosperous regions now have the additional burden of an artificially restricted knowledge use marketplace at an international level - hence higher real estate costs. Just the same, many financial burdens are due to a lack of government responsiveness to factors which impact local costs. Externally generated requirements for a wide range of production and consumption in the marketplace, now contribute to uncertainty for a wide range of personal investments.

Jean Twenge, a psychologist at San Diego State University, understands the problems of economic access which also contribute to mental issues for young people. In a recent Quartz article, "Why are our kids so miserable?", Quartz writer Jenny Anderson addressed her concerns:
Twenge has observed a notable shift away from internal, or intrinsic goals, which one can control, toward extrinsic ones, which are set by the world, and which are increasingly unforgiving...The percentage of people who expect to get graduate and professional degrees, for example, has surged as have the number of people who aspire to secure a professional job. But the numbers of people getting these degrees and jobs has stayed flat..."Expectations have risen, but reality has stayed the same", she told Quartz.
A lack of economic access is also associated with inequality. In the past, inequality was most closely linked to whether one was able to derive income from private property. In the present, the most important resource capacity for economic access is knowledge use - particularly as one ages and it becomes difficult to continue the physical labor which many low skill jobs require. In certain respects, higher incomes are representative of a knowledge based marketplace which has yet to be developed. Jonathan Rothwell at Brookings writes about inequality (ht David Henderson):
Curbing this inequality requires a real understanding of its causes. Three of the standard explanations - capital shares, skills and technology - are myths. The real cause of elite inequality is the lack of open access, and market competition in elite investment and labor markets. To bring the elite down to size, we need to make them compete.
While Rothwell's challenge in this article is noteworthy, his suggested strategies are somewhat unrealistic to initiate in general equilibrium conditions. There are also "first mover" issues involved, that would make it difficult to reduce the income expectations for healthcare providers as they are presently construed in the marketplace. Healthcare providers not only face high overhead costs to remain in operation, but their educational expenses take many years to pay off, as well.

This is why an alternative equilibrium setting would work best for vital aspects of knowledge dispersal. Local corporations would design broad infrastructure support, for those who elect to engage in healthcare provision without the income normally associated with this activity. The lack of economic access in terms of inequality, is most problematic for the marketplace which remains missing - both in terms of production and consumption. Hence the problem for economic access is not about differences in income, but the underlying problem of lost marketplace potential.

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