Neoliberalism has got us into the present mess and it has no way of getting us out. Whether it is AI, Climate Change, Vaping, Uber, AirBnB, Tourism…. for nearly forty years we have said – let the market decide.
The “Free Market” and the removal of regulation has not brought us to Nirvana, it has brought us to the end of the world as we know it. We hold the world in our hands, and we have the power to act to treasure and protect it, or will we continue with the market rules mentality and hasten the end of our world.
Inequality is growing, the lost of habitat and species continues unabated and the world is burning at one end and flooding over here. The big picture is grim and it is hard to see what future there will be when some have to decide between medicine and bread. And like the Hunger Games, many of us are distracted by baubles – a few dollars here, a few dollars there.
We have models that can work – SCIRT in Christchurch resulted in businesses working collaboratively and getting the infrastructure job done. Max Harris’s idea of Green Ministry of Works. Country Calendar showing how farming can be done differently. Community Housing Providers building housing for families. Simplicity coming up with a model for build to rent projects.
The market will not save us – only collaboration and radical action will. Who will champion this?
AI and Vaping as examples of how not to do it
When Vaping was first introduced – it was touted as the best way to support people to stop smoking. I remember them saying – we are the good guys we are not going to target young people and new vapers, give us a go. And so we did – a largely unregulated market has led to a huge increase in vaping, much of it by young people and by previous non smokers. Tobacco companies have unified the Vape world and of course it has created a new way to sell nicotine.
I remember at the time – why do we trust them to act in the best interests of our communities. Now we have a strong vaping business lobby group, who of course do not have the best interests of the community at heart. Australia has done the right thing finally, and we seem to be not even considering it.
What led me to write this article was the talk of the dangers of AI – it is clear that AI has much to offer us, but could also destroy us. In the past our approach has been – let’s see what happens.