It's impossible to conclude that our economic environment is not subject to the same diversity that comprises our natural environment. Given that an economy is a subset of the society that wrests itself from an unforgiving natural world riddled with chaos, why do some branches of economic thought continue to rationalize humankinds pecuniary endeavors down to neat tightly, clean, predictable outcomes. The structure of an economic system must reflect the multifaceted and diverse characteristics of the world in which it operates - a world of varying personalities all interacting in incoherent ways.
Our universe is not clean and orderly it's very, very messy - nothing ever seems to work out according to the best-conceived plans. It is therefore imperative that we not endeavor to extend our subconscious worldview of tidy neatly trimmed "lawns" to any natural substrate in the living breathing messy struggle for life. There are no "lawns" of perfectly crafted conception in nature so why extend the improbable to a natural world substrate? A prairie ecosystem is full of tall grass of varying varieties, riddled with ground squirrel holes, snakes in some regions, muck, and a variety of wildlife not allowed to intrude into our comfortable neat complacent checkerboard communities. But the interaction between the two does result in changes that affect both.
Similarly, our economic system must reflect the realities or "ground truth" inherent in the natural environment, societal structure, and impractical, irrational interspersed behavior of the human substrate. So why continue to refine any economic model based upon illusion by further perturbing an already tumultuous society by injecting policies that don't align with any existing observable dynamic?
Over the past few years we've been led to believe that the Laissez-faire neoclassical economic realm of illusory conceptualization would translate into this wonderful world guided by some "invisible hand". Ours would be a service sector oriented economy never again requiring the utilization of dirty hands, and strong muscles. Every citizen would magically be endowed with all the necessary intellect, desire, and personality to expand the service sector into the preeminent sector of employment. There was just one problem with the distorted nation state competitive advantage simplistic view of our globe - it still left a substantial segment of our population underemployed, and unemployed because they just didn't fit into the special mold of a service sector laborer.
Expanding the concept of competitive advantage outside of its original boundaries centered in a particular industry was just another attempt to mold reality (only perceptually achievable by propaganda) to fit illusion. Over the past few decades we've been deluding ourselves into thinking that a viable economy can function stripped of its manufacturing sector. It has become abundantly evident that an economic system crafted for the benefit of the larger community cannot operate solely as a service sector economy devoid of a sustainable manufacturing base.
Competitive advantage must mold both the service sector and manufacturing components across industry segments that are jealousy defended by national policies within a completely economically integrated world. No economy can be sustained under just one of these core economic components they both must be merged together in order to achieve some semblance of economic and societal sustainability & stability.
We have witnessed the effective subversion of an already inherently unsustainable service sector nation-state competitive advantage model into something contrived and contorted beyond its illusory construct. Perpetuated by the "information age" propagandists we were led to believe that an economy could be solely built upon a technologically oriented service sector. Factories were no longer needed within an economy based solely upon intellectual labor. The problems with this early nation-state competitive advantage centered model were three fold. First, it was myopically constrained to a nation-state centric advantage that never expanded across borders. Secondly, it failed to account for the unpredictable effects of human behavior within a tumultuous greed enhanced global society. Thirdly, as already conveyed, the competitive advantage of a technologically oriented service sector was too broad in scope to be maintained at the nation-state level.
But what mutated from this touted elegant distortion of reality was driven by the second factor, the uncontrollable greed educed by Laissez-faire religious tenants that encouraged human behavior contrary to the maintenance of sustainable and stable communities. Any behavior was permissible in the corruptly focused short-term greed addicted behavioral state. What evolved was a belief system built around the individual to the exclusion of the community a credo that any means was justified even the 'slash and burn' pillage of entire nation-states to fulfill the unquenchable desires of the few wealthy elite. Labor arbitrage became the 'club' of choice wielded by the 'strong arms' of an army of mercenary lobbyists fielded to sustain the wealthy fiefdom's ability to exploit workers by any means imaginable.
With so many interconnected messy threads weaving throughout our society, class consciousness, across unique behavioral responses to stimuli, and the turbulent at times dangerous physical world we inhabit it is abundantly clear that any economic theories must be conceived in the forge of reality. It is a reality that recognizes a simple requirement of all human beings - fairness. Without fairness or some form of equity, infused with equality the best conceived seemingly realistic policies will be nothing more than distorted illusion cloaked in a thin veil of reality. Human beings are very adept at perceiving whether certain aspects of their societal framework are fair, or slanted towards the interests of those ultimately in control. No amount of 'packaging' will deceive a community of citizens over the 'long haul' - this is aptly reflected in the current rejection by the general populous of the trickle down supply-side greed based economics benefiting the few practiced over the last few years.
Quakers believe that we are all our brothers' keeper, that when we act in the best interests of our fellow human beings we serve the better interests of our communities. Thus, realizing that in order for a sustainable, stable economy to transpire we need to include everyone; those who desire or are suited to work in a vibrant manufacturing component, others who excel in a service sector intellectual or assistance driven component, and those who must be cared for by a compassionate community (government) because their unable to survive in either component of a competitively oriented sector of our economy. It is also important to integrate our nation-state economies into an "International Economic Congress" whereby the interests of Capital (businesses) and Labor can be democratically resolved, and a coordinated oversight of all economically related endeavors can be achieved for the betterment of the entire global community. We are on the cusp of an appreciation that transcends any past global paradigm shift - our movement towards a sustainable, stable world community is very achievable. Let's make it happen.