What do we mean when we say
“Finance is how society chooses which technologies for making a future history of prosperous adaptations to life’s constant changes can, should and will be evolved through enterprise”?
Received wisdom from earlier times – that has become the conventional orthodoxy of our times – teaches that the economy is about the twin goals of “maximizing utility under conditions of scarcity” and “creating abundance through industrial efficiency”.
Where does “prosperous adaptation to life’s constant changes” come from?
It comes from pondering the juxtaposition of pension money inside the Wall Street system, from seeing that Wall Street is built on an expectation for constant growth in future value, and from realizing that this expectation is completely unsupported by the physical experience of history, and the simple existential truth that times change, and people adapt to changing times.
At a certain level of mathematical abstraction there is some truth to the expectation for constant growth, but at the level of the physical enterprise, where work gets done and wealth gets created, the ruling principle is change, and evolutionary adaptation to change. Sometimes change takes the form of growth. Sometimes change takes the form of staying strong. Sometimes change takes the form of letting go.
Which means that this is the real pulse beat of prosperity: