Jeff Booth's book delves into the deflationary nature of modern technology and economics, challenging the current economic paradigm of inflation-based monetary policy.
Human beings naturally tend to notice things that change more than the things that are actually important, but less subject to change. In practical terms, we rely more on water than on mobile phones, but because the availability of water does not vary (at least in developed countries) while the varieties of smartphones available are constantly changing, we are unconsciously inclined to pay more attention to smartphones.
Our current economic system is based on an assumption of constant inflation: small increases in the prices of goods and services occur more or less every year. Meanwhile the idea of resorting to deflation today goes so much against the consensus of opinion that few are willing to tackle it.
The above statement directly challenges some universal truths rooted in our society; words that most people believe in, and that contain a particular warning about two dangerous trends which, in the opinion of the author, are not receiving enough attention.
The first is that the global inflationary economy is supported by a huge, unstable, and unsustainable amount of debt. The second is that the rapid advancement of technology will cause widespread, lasting, and unprecedented unemployment. Furthermore, as we will see later, unemployment is also closely linked to the issue of price deflation. To avoid disaster, we need to act quickly, and rethink the whole system.
The way humans think is the result of the set of beliefs that they accumulate during the course of their lives, depending on the experiences they have and the accepted conventions of society. This is why "beginners" (or beginner thinking) can be highly advantageous in times of great change, even if it means having less experience. The beginner's mind, in fact, questions itself with the genuine intention of finding the answer, rather than defending an existing one. It is free from comparisons, conventions or beliefs linked to the way things were in the past. When we get trapped in the current of our present situation, it is often difficult to see things from a new perspective, because we are too busy swimming against the tide.
This explains why it is often better to listen to several different opinions when we are trying to solve a problem, because this can provide us with a fresh outlook on things.