Michael Heller on the Gridlock Economy
Question: What is a gridlock economy?
Michael Heller: When too many people on pieces of one thing, nobody can use it. Usually, private ownership creates wealth, but too much ownership has the opposite effect. It creates gridlock. That’s a free market paradox I discovered and it’s the core of this book of “The Gridlock Economy.”
Question: When did you first notice the gridlock trend?
Heller: I first started thinking about the gridlock economy when I was stuck in an airport wondering why is it that everybody spends weeks of their lives sitting in airports and stuck on planes and I started thinking about gridlock when I was traveling overseas and people in other countries have cell phones that they can watch TV on and you can’t do it in this country. I have friends who are scientists who had [promising] lines of research that they simply couldn’t pursue and said, well, we’ll just abandon this. And why did you do that? And I’ve realized that all of those kinds of everyday experiences that I kept having, sitting in airports, having my cellphone drop calls, having scientists lose, you know, lose the ability to do their work. Now, all those problems were really the same problem, they were examples of an ownership structure, way we organize the stuff around us that doesn’t really work that I’m calling gridlock.
According to Michael Heller, when too many people own pieces of one thing, nobody can use it.
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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