FOCUS & AIMS
Cardinal Focus of JNE
At the backdrop of a widespread pretext that ‘old economics’ failing repeatedly in reversing crises looming, the new current of thought must have the advantage of offering new avenues for decision-makers to devise what righteous action lines should be.
The starting point for most economic theories was an investigation into the Nature and Causes of Wealth of Nations. Only supplementary theories were created to look at the Poverty of Nations. This led to the creation of concepts, institutions, legislation and political programs befitting those theories. Historically, economists largely ignored the Subject of Poverty - abject poverty being a creation of mankind, not of nature. At the end of the WWII, absolute poverty was endemic in much of Africa, Asia and Latin America, and Europe needed reconstruction. The reason there is so much poverty in the world is that economists have never correctly addressed it as a challenge. Indeed, economists’ more emphasis was on reconstruction, not poverty alleviation - logically fascinated to modelling for defining and optimizing faster growth.
Understanding growth is unquestionably the most essential task in economics. Across the globe, poverty still remains the greatest cause of miseries - surest remedy being sustainable economic growth, of course.
As widely perceived, elegant economic theories have little or no relevance to reality with lives in poverty and deprivations. Non-conventional collateral-free micro-lending, charity, philanthropy and social business – all directed at wholly empowering the bottom majority have no theoretic strand in the mainstream economics. Yet, these yield an important re-distributive function to improve fairness in economic outcomes. As such, these useful ‘change drivers’ which influence economic actions need to be integrated into a more 'encompassing economics discipline'.
Inequality in income and wealth in the world has reached a tipping point as the richest 1% own more than twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people. Unfettered profit-maximizing economic system is undeniably contributing significantly to this rising inequality. Remarkably, as Bloomberg Billionaires Index reveals, in Covid-19 Pandemic year 2020 when millions were becoming unemployed and poor, the world’s 500 richest people have added approximately US$1.8 trillion to their combined wealth in 2020, bringing them to a total net worth of US$7.6 trillion. Such a grave scenario reminds us of American Egalitarian Economist Henry George - “What has destroyed every previous civilization has been the tendency to the unequal distribution of wealth and power”, in his seminal book (1879) on Progress and Poverty: An Enquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth.
The concerning trend of fast-declining biodiversity is a huge challenge. The survival of the natural world depends on maintaining its biodiversity. Since biodiversity is the diversity of life, economics of biodiversity is in essence of the entire biosphere economics. In economic modelling exercises natural assets or natural capital was never included, so was in measuring economic success to protect and enhance our prosperity and the natural world. Practically, nature is not imbedded in economics, as such a blind spot therein. Notably, GDP does not include nature - codify nature – so does depreciation for loss of nature. So, natural assets or natural capital, bio-diversity and ecology need to be integrated into whilst shaping a more 'encompassing economics discipline'.
‘Advances in science and technology’ is one of the keys behind the true sources of wealth and increases in standards of living. Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds great opportunity for humanity, encompassing everything from Google’s algorithms to self-driving cars to facial recognition software. The AI we have today, however, gradually rises fast, but worrying about what will happen when that intelligence outpaces humans. The fast advancing AI technology may soon ‘replace’ manpower in few years and add to unemployment woes in populated countries like India. As the most popular physicist scientist since Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking puts it, “Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.”
Eminent physicist Hawking's biggest warning is about the rise of Artificial Intelligence: “It will either be the best thing that's ever happened to us, or it will be the worst thing. If we're not careful, it very well may be the last thing” (Vox 16 October 2018). Ungoverned AI remains a threat to declining employment. Practically, unemployment equals or exceeds levels of the Great Depression in many countries. Global regulatory guidelines are essentially needed on the development and research on AI. Otherwise AI technology would be viewed as disruptive technology, thus survival threat from AI will increase.
Facebook or social media, willing to provide a platform for misinformation-disinformation and political manipulation, regardless of the consequences for democracy, has shown the dangers of a privately controlled monopolistic surveillance economy. This sensitive issue as such demands carefully crafted governance guidelines. Democracy and civic courage which falls within the realm of Encompassing Economics would contribute effectively to likely social innovation.
The Crash of 2008 sensed in terms of what, a few weeks before, passed as conventional wisdom, resonated a moment like that of one ancient Greek term aporia – a state of intense bafflement urgently demanding a new model of the world we live in. As such, the claim for a ‘new economics’ gets through outburst against the trio to blame – the financiers who did such a bad job of managing risk; the regulators who failed to stop them and the economics profession who provided the models that gave comfort to regulators that markets could be self-regulated - that they were efficient and self-correcting.
Remarkably, at the peak of global financial meltdown, it has been a widespread feeling that market was lacking moral, and reckless regulations were on its guard, thus greed took lead, and economists haven’t done terribly well in explaining things associated with! Definitely, moral, social and material – balance was in short of! Without values to guide them, free markets reduce all relationships to transactions, all motivations to self-interest. So, unbridled and untrammeled, they become the enemy of the good society. Essentially, all these emphasize the pursuit of sound economic theory and rigorous discourse that better serves humanity.
Core Aims of JNE
Given infancy of scholarly enquiry, extending conceptual underpinnings of why economics should focus on creating a better society and helping all live more fulfilling lives is essential for the development of a Real-world Economics Profession. JNE need to identify pervasive flaws in existing economic modelling, and explore innovative interdisciplinary enquiries.
The Journal aims at shaping the future of Economy and Economics through two-fold debates – answer and response to why repeated wrongs with economy point to paradigmatic shift in Economics and draw on new developments in Economic Ideas and Theories.
The stocktaking of ideas via JNE publications will enable us to think afresh about the challenges of inclusive development and sustainability that the world, especially the emerging economies, confront today.
The new Journal would promote and encourage economics idea generators, both reformist academic and researchers, and professional economists to pursue action research on social intervention issues. Indeed, innovative economic ideas would enhance deeper understanding of how the economy works, so are better ideas to lead to better decisions, thus have a better impact on citizens.
The JNE would encourage contributions towards a deep understanding of ecosystem processes and how they are affected by economic activity. As well, it would facilitate documentations to potential prospective authors for embedding nature, ecology and biodiversity (used interchangeably) in Encompassing New Economics.
In shaping a More Encompassing Economics Discipline, the cardinal purpose of JNE is thus to encourage developing new economics curricula and research as grounded in history and multidisciplinary nature involving beyond conventional economics - sociology, ecology & biodiversity, history, mathematics, psychology, physics, human biology, medicine and healthcare, anthropology, engineering, computer science, etc.
The JNE would thus desire reliable interdisciplinary research and analytic outcomes on new economic thinking and innovative ideas to help equip the practitioners across disciplines with a deeper understanding of how better the economy works and can avoid crises.
The new Journal would facilitate the new policy cistern - Global Institute for New Economics (GIfNE), as established to find and encourage scale the best social innovations in the economy, translate innovative ideas into reality – as such a rigorous discourse that better serves humanity.