Amongst all the hysteria and real pain caused by the last forty years of 'conservative' misrule and such, the basic failure of established 'economic theory' now coming to a head with the 'meltdown' new voices are being hear. Voices that question the basic goals and models government uses as it tries to manage and promote economic activity.
One particularly interesting 'movement' created a story in my paper just recently :
'Economists appraise Bhutan's happiness model' where people from all over the world met and raised the question of what it is that we should measure about our society that would give us a good insight into what is happening to folks in their total environment not just that restricted to 'economics' much less all the blather about how a higher GDP is a good thing. There are many indicators that a bigger GDP means very little to the average person and indeed can be a harmful goal to attempt to reach for society as a whole.
'Sustainable' is the new black but how can we build a sustainable society when the very structure of our economic system works against same? This is the subject of
'A Steady State Economy' by Professor Herman Daly and a read of this offers some ideas about what needs to be done in terms of structural reform to our economy.
I find it no accident that every 60 to 75 years our much vaunted economy self-destructs and while I am of the tribe which views certain segments of the political and business community as my natural enemies there is more to this periodic failure than Republicans vs. Democrats, deficits vs. surplus and the latest buzz-words 'regulation' and 'bailouts'
Read these linked posts and see what you think.