Social Evolution and the Economics Renaissance

© 2009 by SocioEconomics, Inc.
by John Boswell

Much like America’s current socio-economic circumstance, the ‘dismal science’ of economics is undergoing a radical transformation.  These two upheavals are not unrelated. Our collective socio-economic philosophy, which places excessive emphasis on consumption, is giving way to a new paradigm of responsible capitalism. Likewise, the philosophies that have dominated economic policy for the last several decades have clearly failed in the face of adversity must now be seriously reconsidered, as well as new methods promoted.   In the cover story to the July 19th issue of The Economist, the sea-change in the field of economics brought about by the financial crisis and worldwide economic downturn is investigated with healthy, skeptical inquiry. However, like most mainstream economics debates, it fails to consider the importance of sociological factors in developing a new theory of economics.

Macroeconomics is undoubtedly undergoing a severe stress-test.  Economists Dr. Jack Lessinger and Ranger Kidwell-Ross are proponents of a largely overlooked perspective of economics that ties in with the sociological and psychological state of an economy’s citizens: the theory of Transformational Socio-Economics.  After decades developing his theory, Dr. Lessinger has identified several socio-economic paradigms in America that overlap and cause depressions.  Viewed from this perspective, the current economic cacophony is part of a natural cycle of social change that takes place on the scale of centuries.  From the perspective of The Economist, the prevailing and competing viewpoints fall into just two camps: One is the de-regulatory, free-market approach that has held sway in recent years and was partially responsible for the origins of the financial crisis. The other is the Liberal/Keynesian approach that favors regulation and government spending to smooth business cycles and protect against any rotten byproducts of the free market.  Although there are valid points on both sides, the bigger picture is left out in both cases.

Economic policies, through the lens of Lessinger and Kidwell-Ross’ theory, should be tailored to help smooth the transition from one socio-economic paradigm to the next, not by adhering to one school of thought or another purely on principle.  We are in the midst of a social upheaval that will transform our culture and economy, away from our fading consumerist-philosophy to a new era of prosperity. The new paradigm, as they see it, will be one they term ‘Responsible Capitalism.’

The two prevailing camps of economic thought have too little of a connection to this fundamental component of how an economy functions.  The transition from the consumer economy to responsible capitalism will have to be understood, promoted and smoothed by the government and its citizens. Only if that is done will be able to avoid the likelihood of further social unrest and consequential economic struggles. This will have to come about through popularizing the notion that society must embrace this transformation. For example, the incentives that corporations and individuals have will need to be re-structured to better suit the incoming social paradigm.

The science of economics requires better integration with the sociological philosophy of the individuals that comprise it. This necessarily must include:

• Placing utmost importance on paving the way for clean, renewable energy;

• Reconfiguring and updating national infrastructure to fit new societal values;

• Stressing environmental responsibility among both business and bureaucracy;

• A distancing of the ingrained notion of consumption as nearly the sole driver of economic  growth;

• Emphasizing long-term budgetary responsibility;

• And many more adjustments to the structuring of society.

The Economist concludes “…a broader change in mindset is still needed.  Economists need to reach out from their specialized silos… For in the end, economists are social scientists, trying to understand the real world” (p.12).  This notion of branching out, coupled with the up and coming theory of Socio-Economics, is precisely the type of transformation the dismal science needs to appeal more intimately to the people that make the economy run. In fact, doing so is vital in the quest to restore our country to prosperity.

For more information on the socio-economic upheaval transforming America, see The Great Prosperity of 2020, coauthored by the founder and president of Socio-Economics, Dr. Jack Lessinger and Ranger Kidwell-Ross.