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It is becoming clear that current level of social security is too high for some countries to sustain.
Besides increasing taxes for social security (as well as narrowing down rich-poor gap, strengthen society and democracy), social security level will need to be “de-leveraged” to society’s “debt/economic fundamental level” for some “over-leveraged” societies.
The question is how to do it?

People need time to adapt. And this is a new “social security contract”, people did not prepare for this new state beforehand. It would be not fair to carry out it drastically – prepare for political revolutions or even wars.
So what can we do?

My idea: “de-leverage” retirement pension scheme in gradually increasing manner based on age.
For example, assuming the society’s “debt/economic fundamental level” can support 40% of the original amount of retirement pension and the statutory retirement age is 60 years:
People aged 60 years or above will still get 100% of the original amount of retirement pension.
People aged 59 years (1 more year to retire) will get 98%.
People aged 58 years (1 more year to retire) will get 96%.

People aged 30 years (1 more year to retire) will get 40%.
People aged below 30 years can stick to 40% of the original amount or devise new “social security contract” based on society’s new vision of future.

What do you think? Any unintended consequence? Inputs welcomed.

When you have economic contraction you also have a substantial contraction of the trust horizon. This deprives political institutions at the national and international level of the trust that would give them political legitimacy. They become stranded assets from a trust perspective. People no longer internalize the rules that those institutions are attempting to impose. The response is typically surveillance, coercion, and repression. This picture basically suggests that it is pointless to look for solutions from the top down. It is not solutions that will come from the top down but more problems.

So politicians typically make a bad situation worse as expensively as possible.


from a quote of this article.


My idea:
How about promote a culture that president who failed to be re-elected will still be welcomed to contend in the presidental election in the future?
This should encourage those in top position make the “worse before better” tough decision. If his/her decision is wise, he/she will be more likely to get re-elected when the effects manifest.

Policy makers need to be allowed to try.

…debt can be used to finance four different financial transactions:
1. productive investment
2. innovation
3. consumption
4. speculation

The first two add to the productive capacity of an economy. When the government builds roads, dams that produce hydro-electric power, or other infrastructure projects, debt is being used productively. Similarly, when debt is used by companies for research and development or new ventures, it may lead to the production of new goods or services, which then can lead to an expansion of GDP.

Debt that is used for consumption, however, is considered a dissipation of capital. Nothing is produced; rather, something is consumed. After something is consumed—such as a basic necessity like food—the debt remains even though the item consumed no longer exists. When debt is added for consumption purposes it enables the debtor to pull tomorrow’s demand forward into the present. As debt is used to expand consumption in the present period, it is in essence borrowing from the future therefore reducing future demand.

Debt taken on for speculative purposes is also unproductive as it can lead to asset bubbles or overinflated prices for assets. Eventually all asset bubbles go bust. The overinflated asset values decline but the debt still remains. Think of the recent housing bust and the technology bubble as an example of speculative bubbles financed by debt for unproductive purposes.


from this article.

So, “Is debt good or bad?”

My response, “Debt for what?”

One of the reason people are not motivated to cooperate is lack of global vision. Avoidance of something worse is not enough. People would rather grip what they have right now even though they know it becomes worse tomorrow. To motivate, there have to be something more attractive than present if they act. And actually it is exactly what will happen if we change – we would be better off, happier, our civilization will be far more advanced, and we will be able to go out of the Earth.

Yes, out of the Earth, you hear it correctly. We (The Earth’s Biosphere) need not be constrained by the limits of Earth forever. We will be better diversifying ourselves to multiple planets/outer space’s living spaces if anything happens to the Earth, Sun, or even Galaxy. We will be better prepared to meet extraterrestrial beings. This is the dream of humanity, popular in 1960s but fading afterwards. We waste precious time by dealing with symptoms of our own problems so that they keep dragging us from progress.

Thus to realise this vision we have to really resolve our problems, unite, to release our full potentials so that we can get full ingenuity apply to this challenge. It is so much waste for so many population but under-develop; genetic or cultural diversity becomes source of conflicts instead of source of ingenuity; precious slow-renewable resources and time wasted on conflicts rather than for going out of the Earth. If we collapse now, then the Biosphere have to wait for a long time for slow-renewable resources to recover and then the next emergent (and hopefully wiser) life can utilize them to make the breakthrough.

One important point: even if we have succeeded to go out of the Earth, never damage the Earth. The Earth is still the best place for us. It is where we come into being and evolve, therefore the environment is the most suitable living condition to us. It is our base for diversify, so we should sustain it as long as possible. Not to mention we are not ready to go out of the Earth yet. I don’t see any reason why we should not act to sustain our base, exploit our full potentials to maximize our (life’s) chance of existence. It is how the world works (dynamics, evolution).

P.S. When writing this post I discover the debates of terraforming and its ethical concerns. It led me to think that what should we act if we encounter extraterrestrial beings. Life is reconcilable if we can find something in common, for example, we are actually from the same origin because both of us are the product of terraforming by other extraterrestrial beings in different planets a long time ago. Then it immediately appears to me that by enlarging our scope, shared prosperity is always possible.

In my opinion, in descending order of importance:


  1. Universal love 大爱
  2. Critical thinking 独立思考
  3. Visionary 大视野
  4. Dynamics thinking 动态思维

We cannot know what will happen in the future for sure, but if they are equipped with these traits, I will be relieved.

Next question: How could we get these learning outcomes? (To be continued)

If last decade is the lost decade, now is the decisive moment. When the old path is clear to be harder and harder to continue, either we change first, or be forced to change to adapt. In this time of change, good luck and best wishes.



Update: Interesting piece by Tony Blair. I do not agree his suggested policies, but the quote below.


To decide how to do that is to decide fundamentally what we believe in and what we want from our future. In deciding this, only the head can guide us in how to do it; but the heart must tell us what it is we truly believe in doing.

Rationality guides us how to do, the heart tell us what we want. Or in Chinese, 理性是生存的武器,感性是活着的目的。


What you really want?

Imagining, at first generally and then increasing specificity, what you really want?

What you really want, not what someone has taught you to want, and what you willing to settle for.

We all will die one day. What do you really want?



Ask yourself. You will know what should do.

Thanks Donella Meadows for this question. I did not know her when she was alive, but her spirit in her works will be in my heart.

… as this article claims.

If so, why? What can we do about it?

Are you thinking more like a CEO, or more like a founder?

I am planting seed, hopefully it will germinate when the time comes.

Time, it is all about time. Is now already the right timing?

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