Friday, 4 August 2017

Ownership, THE biggest issue of the 21 Century

Is ownership THE big issue?
In the UK everyone wants to own everything. Because historically that’s always been the ticket to a fast fortune. Economic reality and the consolidation of wealth into a very few hands has made the prospect of ownership of very much, very unlikely. This is reality for many young people in the UK and beyond. I hear of amazing things that solve the difficulties of ownership through subscription. Take for example the local toy library. Subscribe for a small fee and you don’t have to own all that plastic crap that destroys the planet. Not only that you don’t have to store it all either. This and other examples, Uber etc. led me to question the need to own anything. Could this completely change society?
What if everything was a subscription? Could this take millions of vehicles off the road? Imagine you could summon an autonomous vehicle whenever you needed one. If a limited number of electric vehicles were in constant circulation nearby and efficient. Imagine they had drop off points in or very near the city centres. Could this idea take millions of cars off the road and free up space for pedestrians, cyclists. Could it allow electric vehicles the space to ferry us to the outskirts of cities. Where larger electric coaches or trains wait to take us on longer journeys. Without becoming bogged down in local congestion? Do we need to own the rusty heap of depreciating scrap that sits outside our door for 90% of the time?
How about houses and Living space? Do we need to own them? What if there were large scale not for profit cooperatives that developed houses and communal living spaces. What if you could subscribe to them on a month by month basis for as long as you wanted? Imagine the potential for mobility, and the security this could offer. Imagine the amount of money wasted on ownership that we could recycle into the economy. If humanity cooperatively provided all necessary ( bottom row Maslov) services by subscription. then would a universal income to replace benefits would become a reality for the poor? Could we see what people need to subscribe to and make sure everyone gets it?
It seems bizarre that we can subscribe to a TV package that we don’t need. Whilst we struggle to meet over priced housing costs. Isn’t it time to reorganise the way society views ownership? We are at a pivotal point in the future of our world. We can either continue to destroy it. Or we can adjust our lives to live within our means and the ability of the planet to support us. I’m taken by Kate Raworth’s Donught economics. Can community based, carefully organised, benevolent subscription provide the solution for future one planet living?
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