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Let money and knowledge flow freely

Updated: Feb 19

In a climate of justice, money and knowledge would flow freely. Instead of banks only giving money to those with an acceptable credit rating, people could get enough money to “buy” the goods and services they need for a sustainable living. Same with knowledge.

My book, A Climate of Justice, exemplifies the free flow of knowledge. Because of funding from LYRASIS, it is available as an open access book, licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This means that anyone can not only read it, but also use the material in their research. They are just asked to tell where they got the material.

Let’s face it, one cannot do much with knowledge without money and can do a lot of harm with money without knowledge.

Also, some know what we must do to house the houseless, but do not have the money to do so. Some have money to influence others, but not much of an idea of what values need promotion.

The problem, of course, is that both knowledge and money are treated as commodities. “I will tell you the latest management theory for $2000.00 a day.” “You can increase your pile of money by investing in farmland.” The hoarding of knowledge and money maintains the gap between the “haves and have-nots,” and as this gap grows, so does the resentment of the have-nots against the haves.

Modern technology has changed the sharing of knowledge. If you want to know how to fix a dishwasher, there is a video that tells you how to do it. You could always go to the public library to get a book, but now you can get it on-line for free, if it is open access.

There is a down-side to the free flow of knowledge. If writers cannot make a living from their work, only those who already have money will be able to share their creations. Look at what’s happened to the music industry. Composers are no longer compensated for their creations. So, what are we to do? I think it’s probably true that if we are going to share knowledge, we also need to share money.

Keynesian economic theory would not have a problem with sharing money. If people have money in their pockets, or a credit line on their credit cards, they can engage in the trading of such things as food, clothing, and shelter. Money would function as a means of exchange and allow us to acquire some of our provisions through the market. Other provisions, like knowledge, would be as accessible as A Climate of Justice.

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