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The Price of Tomorrow
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Learn the key ideas of the book by Jeff Booth

The Price of Tomorrow

Planning a new economic system that will stand the test of time

The current global economic system, based as it is, on inflation, is no longer suited to the pace of technological progress, and must be completely redefined. Economic policy is the same as it has always been, but technological progress on the web, and in the energy, artificial intelligence and automation sectors are pushing towards deflation. More efficiency means lower costs, and lower costs mean lower prices. In today's system, the growth of the economy is artificially financed by the creation of huge amounts of debt, which, at some point, will become unsustainable. To open our eyes and get us thinking about strategies to avoid such a collapse, Jeff Booth wrote The Price of Tomorrow. Why Deflation is the Key to an Abundant Future, in the hope that asking the right questions will lead to finding the right solutions.

The Price of Tomorrow
Read in 15 min.
Listen in 19 min.

The current global economic system is based on inflation and is no longer adequate for today’s technological advances and must be revised

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.


The key ideas of "The Price of Tomorrow"

The current global economic system is based on inflation and is no longer adequate for today’s technological advances and must be revised
In the current system, economic growth is artificially financed by the creation of enormous amounts of debt, which is in danger of becoming unstable, and bringing the entire system to its knees
Economic policy continues to favour inflation, but the online world is pushing towards deflation
The energy sector, the development of artificial intelligence and automation are all pushing towards deflation, and they will also be the cause of unprecedented unemployment
Since the level of debt will become unsustainable, and the push towards deflation unstoppable, the only solution will be to welcome it and adjust the system accordingly
Take-home message
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