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May 07

Mental world – Changes ahead?

  • Some say we won’t need to buy anything in future – we won’t own a thing

  • Indeed, according to Trip Adler, founder of Scribd, a book and newspaper subscription service:

    • “In future, you’ll just pay one thing and then have total freedom to consume what you want”

    • Netflix for video, Amazon for shopping, Spotify for music

    • Buying stuff will become ‘old hat’

    • Companies will sell access, not products, in future – via the internet

    • Fixation with ownership will crumble as new generations emerge

    • Why buy a newspaper when you can read the news on your phone, for free

    • Cars could be next

    • Most cars sit idle for over 95% of the time, and most people prefer it that way rather than car-share – but times may change this – many already hire or hire theirs out

    • Overall, people will question what is a product and where does its value lie

Quite how economies will clock such changes is unclear, especially given GDP is already a significantly flawed statistic

This could have major impIications for national political parties

In the UK, some say:

  • The Conservative party focus on growing the national wealth pie – and the only way to do that is to encourage the private sector to grow more

  • The Labour party focus on new ways to slice it

So a dose of one party, then the other, might the best way to improve the standard of living of more and more of the UK population

But if nobody buys or owns anything, it might be difficult to establish just how big any national wealth pie is in the first place

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