In the latest issue of YES! David Korten discusses his newly revised book, Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth. In response to a question regarding the housing bubble—“Four to six trillion dollars of value went away when the bubble popped. But what does that actually mean in terms of housing?—Korten replies:
Later, Korten recognizes that this idea—the idea of something’s worth actually corresponding to something of value that that thing provides—is not unique to him. It’s just that the opposition to such thoughts has been so systematically ingrained in people (as an example, the interviewer asks ealier: “What about the stock market? That’s widely accepted by Americans as an index of economic health”*) that most doubt their own instincts as to how things really should work. Or, as Korten puts it:
Korten sees the glorifying of the seven deadly sins in capitalist culture as that “perverse cultural manipulation.”
*Korten’s answer to this question is probably my favorite part of the interview: “Well, the fact that the total value of stock market assets can go up and down by trillions of dollars day by day is a pretty powerful indicator that it has no relationship to any underlying real value.” Exactly.
Source: YES! (interview only available in print edition; an excerpt from the revised edition of Agenda for a New Economy is available online.)