Our economies are built on perpetual growth. We measure growth as a success. We have tons of indicators that measure growth. The stock market rises and falls with the news of growth of company production and the subsequent profit due to the growth. The economy falls without growth. Growth, growth, growth.
How does this possibly fit with the isolationist policies we are pursuing right now? We are making this huge experiment with guys who don’t have a clue what the capitalist economy is based on. I am not judging whether this is a good or bad system. But it is the system we have.
For centuries we have achieved growth by taking over other countries through wars and taking their resources. The US has been a relative newcomer to this game and has not been particularly successful at it. Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq were no hits for expansion.
We have been doing well by getting the innovators and brains of other countries and letting them develop here under the free market system.
That’s how we got Wernher Von Braun with the atom bomb, Einstein and many others as well as companies that thrive in the climate of innovation.
Old-style capitalism is based on continual expansion. The countries to invade are limited. And discovering new frontiers in the universe has not proven so easy. We have left our galaxy and still didn’t find anything useful to exploit. We have invaded countries but we have not gotten a decent market for our goods nor access to their resources. All we got was destroyed countries without infrastructure. And since we don’t believe in the Marshall Plan-type rebuilding anymore we left them with a mess.
We were on the right track. We allowed people from other countries to come and live here because their own countries of birth did not let them thrive. From the gardeners to the rocket scientists we fostered new energy and enthusiasm from people who came here to make themselves a life in freedom.
And economies can grow, not because we have to invade other countries, but because we invent new things and infuse new energy.
Silicon Valley is a perfect example. In the last 30 years life changed more than in the last 2000 years. We have been innovators with the internet, solar energy, electric cars, satellites, new life-saving drugs and all the start-ups that sprang from these big inventions.
We were on the right track.
And now we are shutting down all of these avenues of growth by going back to the 1950s. The assumption is that we only need the people we handpick to come to this country as if we can tell who will be the next Steve Jobs or Tesla.
Innovation often comes from the drive of individuals who want to change their circumstances. It comes from people who want more than they are predestined to achieve in their original environments. It comes from the joy of learning and reaching beyond one’s limits.
The United States used to be such a country of innovation and can-do attitutes. The huddled masses were people who wanted to be free to invent, work, innovate and live lives without oppression. Even Trump’s grandfather came for that reason because Germany at the time was not conducive and he did not want to serve in the military.
But now everything is thrown out of the window. We are going back to the old concept of there being just one pie and we have to yank our piece of pie away from everybody else and protect it with everything we got including war and violence.
That is not how progress and growth is achieved anymore. It is achieved by responsible handling of the resources we have, by inventing and generating renewable energy that does not damage the environment.
We have to encourage people to learn and grow and think of better ways to improve all of our lives. It entails stopping the killing everywhere and finding ways to resolve differences in ways that fit the 21st century. It asks for real leaders to step up and stand for a world where peace, freedom and prosperity are goals that can be achieved through innovation, scientific breakthroughs, value of human lives and clear thinking. Everything else just gives us more of the same with ever- escalating atrocities and calamities. Let’s go for the real, the humane and human progress. Let’s stand against the tired old adages that exploitation, racism, sexism, misogyny and homophobia are the solutions to make anything great again. That way to achieve wealth has expired. And any attempt to recreate it is doomed to fail.
Let’s embrace people, animals, plants and our wonderful earth and how we can make the best out of what we have.
Let’s be responsible humans.

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