An Unpublished Op-ed

This Op-ed was written for Davos meetings but could never be published:

” This op-ed is regarding the World Economic Forum 2019. Paul Krugman, a world renowned economist, has recently defended the idea of raising taxes to even 80% and higher for some people. It should be noted that I never dispute the fact that inequality is a huge concern all around the world. In 2014 the World Economic Forum(WEF) argued that  “growing inequality posed the single biggest risk globally, beating out global warming, war, disease, and other calamities.” It should also be noted that this writing is not limited to the US as WEF clearly mentioned that as a global concern. When an economist believes taxing some people for 80% is a reasonable policy, it only means one thing, the system, the global capitalist system, is broken. And raising taxes to redistribute wealth is merely a pain-killer policy leaving the underlying problem intact. Next week brightest minds in the economic world will gather once again in Davos. This time to, among other things, discuss “A global dialogue on the future of the economy to review principles for economic and social decision-making that need to be redefined to better reflect the structural changes inherent in the Fourth Industrial Revolution along with a global dialogue on financial and monetary systems to jointly shape our monetary and financial systems by not only leveraging new technologies, such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain, but also making the systems more resilient for achieving sustainable growth and long-term societal well-being.” For many Blockchain means one thing: decentralization. New technologies coupled with new concepts such as sharing economy are decentralizing the economy which should be welcomed with an open arm world-wide. Decentralization of economy is a unique opportunity 21st-century technology creates. That is “creating platforms for distributed capitalism, not just a redistributed capitalism”.  Sharing-value economy is not merely sharing consumption (as is the case for well-known platforms today) but also it is access to sharing resources, cloud computing for instance where computation power is available to all or sharing knowledge, internet and ever-growing open source movement for instance where anyone can access decentralized information and educate themselves and use open source packages in their products. These advancements alongside Blockchain should be welcomed as they decentralize economy and distribute opportunity. Now anyone has access to means of production which was only available to huge monopolies at some point. And that is significant. It mixes left and right ideas, a sharing-value system in an open market. Capitalism tends to divide people into winners and losers. But then the second, forgotten half of capitalism, collaboration, brings them back together. When capitalism is all about competition, winners get fatter and fatter and losers get thinner and thinner an ever-increasing gap. But collaboration brings them back, prevents the system from falling. And that is the significance of sharing economy and new technologies. Internet as an example is decentralization of information. Something created through collaboration and available to all. Considering these remarkable technological change, institutional reform as highlighted by WEF 2019 overview is therefore critical.  Instead, a huge effort is being made to change and regulate new technologies to make them suitable for the current institutional structure. The solution, however, is the other way around, one would argue. “A global dialogue on institutional reform to rethink the global institutional frameworks that emerged in the 20th century and adapt them to ensure they are relevant for the new political, economic and social context for the remainder of the 21st century…” says the World Economic Forum 2019 overview.I also wish to mention the symbolic coincidence of these discussions with the continuation of France’s gilets jaunes protests. No suitable evolution is ever achieved through street demonstrations and revolution. Evolution by nature is a gradual process which cannot be fast-forwarded. Evolution by nature is a peaceful process. And lastly, technologies are tools we have built. We have been building tools from the beginning and will continue to do so forever. It’s critical that institutions can adapt and evolve accordingly. Any argument for technological reform instead of institutional reform is, in fact, a losing battle. And Davos meeting has highlighted that greatly. “

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