Some businesses will cease to exist
As we innovate businesses come and go. Think how rapidly phones have changed in our lifetime. More change will come. Physical keys are on their way out, as are light switches. Coal mining is on its way out because it is dirty, dangerous, and now more expensive than renewable forms of energy. Businesses adapt, some disappear and new ones pros- per. There is continuous churn.
Changing our money system is a profound change. There will be adjustments as we transition. Our financial sector will transform. Today 8 percent of all employees work in the financial sector and owners take home over 30 percent of corporate profits. Some of these businesses will shrink and people will lose their jobs.
However, this may be a boon for the nation. Too many of our brightest go into finance because it currently pays such outsize rewards. When banks become servants of the economy instead of rulers extracting outsize wealth from everyone else, there will still be bank jobs. But, the financial sector will find a balance with the rest of the economy; it will no longer rule and pull in such an outsize proportion of income from the nation.
As our best and brightest look for challenging work outside the former financial casino, we will see a bloom of innovation. They will apply their ingenuity to some of the very real problems we face today, instead of to creating arcane financial instruments and to elaborate games that mostly suck up income for the wealthy few.
Banking will return to being a relatively staid business: provide deposit and transaction account services at a competitive price and make a reasonable profit; serve as a middleman for savers who want to lend out their money and take a competitive fee for this service; and, provide sound insurance options for individuals and businesses. Banks will serve business, instead of being the masters of the nation.
There will still be speculators and investors. However, there will be no more billion-dollar salaries for gaming the financial sector on borrowed money, at the nation’s expense. There may be fewer jobs available for trained butlers and yacht stewards, but there will always be people who make extraordinary wealth by creating extraordinary new products and services. They will simply have to earn their great wealth, without having special privileges.
A period of adjustment
If we want to be kind, we can use some of the new money government creates in its first years as money creator to provide a cushion for people who must make job transitions. We can increase unemployment and retraining benefits to support a more comfortable transition to a new monetary system and the new economy. Or, if we institute a universal basic income, everyone will have a cushion for any contingency. We can do away with the entire unemployment apparatus and free these people to do something more productive for the nation, too.
We are so creative. New businesses will emerge as we shift our creative energies and resources in new directions. We can be confident when we fertilize our nation’s common wealth, a healthy economy will blossom.