Artificial Scarcity and Stagnation

“In earlier chapters, we found that value flows to scarcity. In a transparent market, scarce goods and services will command higher prices and generate higher profits. We also found that when goods and services are commoditized by automation, their scarcity value plummets, along with profits. Privilege works by enforcing an artificial scarcity on accurate information. The few with access to accurate information skim the gains from scarcity not by improving productivity or producing scarce goods and services, but by exploiting the artificial scarcity enforced by centralized hierarchies such as states, central banks and monopolies. Overall wealth is not increased by this exploitation of artificial scarcity. Rather, this concentration of gains into the hands of the privileged few who produce no value—no new goods or services or innovations—robs the system of capital that could have fueled improved productivity. The opportunity cost of maintaining the privileges of the few via artificial scarcity are immense, as productive uses for the capital diverted to the privileged few go begging.

Artificial scarcity enforced by centralized hierarchies has only one set of possible outputs: increasing stagnation, inequality and instability.“

A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All: The Future Belongs to Work That Is Meaningful, pp. 215-216, Charles Hugh Smith