1. The Economy of the Jubilee – read the five pages below:
About: The Economy of the Jubilee (found at www.torahtimes.org)
The Economy of the Jubilee is a chapter of a book written by Daniel Gregg that I feel best captures the essence of the Kondratieff Wave theory. In only a few pages the author manages to make sense of the naturally recurring cycles of expansion and contraction in the K-Wave cycle through the lens of the Jubilee period known to the ancient Hebrews. By examining these longer economic cycles through the prism of the Biblical Jubilee we can better appreciate the purpose of these boom-bust cycles that are a part of nature.
The author does a splendid job of tracing the 50 year Jubilee periods of growth and decline in ancient times to the ones found in the modern age shown in the K-Wave charts. By extrapolating the wisdom of the Biblical Jubilee to our present condition he reveals something quite profound- that economic winters are the direct result of poor economic planning and don’t have to occur. They do in large part, he argues, because the prevailing economic structures today don’t incorporate the basic principles underlying the notion of the Jubilee- debt forgiveness after extended periods, sabbaticals, no paper money and most of all the recognition of the long wave economic cycle. The prevailing economic system today rejects the hallmark features of the Jubilee and thus we all suffer from prolonged depressions, unequal wealth distribution, and grossly inefficient resource utilization. Maybe we should consider the model of these ancient Hebrews, one that prevented them from ever suffering through the perils of an economic winter.
Somehow, the purpose of the jubilee concept has been forgotten since the days of the ancient Hebrews. While our present economic worldview rejects the key themes of the Jubilee, the author did credit two sources who have tried to reintroduce the concept- the Mayans and Nikolai Kondratieff. Hopefully it won’t take one final Kondratieff Winter for these ideas to become accepted by a consensus now blind to considering the higher minded approaches seen in the Biblical Jubilee. Our enduring prosperity is at stake here.
2. Jubilee on Wall Street: An Optimistic Look at the Global Financial Crash
Since the early 1980’s I have read as much as I could on long wave super-cycles and the Kondratieff Wave theory but had yet to find a source I felt contained a meaningful and far-reaching grasp of this material. To my delight I have found such a source in the above referenced book that is David Knox Barker’s magnum opus on super-cycles. I feel it is by far the most comprehensive and meaningful book on the subject and should be required reading for everyone with a stake in our economy and especially those interested in the study of long wave economic theory.
Barker’s book is a compelling narrative on super cycles long on counter-intuitive themes that resonate well with the aggregate of material here on our site. He explains the jubilee concept provided in the Book of Leviticus in the Bible and its purpose regarding debt cancellation. His worldview is grounded in a decent and basic understanding of the human condition and his outlook is optimistic instead of the doomsday approach favored by so many who choose to accentuate the dramatic effects of the winter stage of the Kondratieff Cycle.
Pure students of K-Wave theory will enjoy here the detail he provides on all aspects of the K-Wave- the four seasons, how it relates to our modern world, how it impacts banking, global trade and interest rates and so much more. What I found perhaps most profound however was his take on the path forward just ahead in the spring phase of the cycle. He proposes it could take form in three possible paths. The first one relates to the current path we are on- a redistributive world empire overseen by right wing style corporate elitists. This path facilitates a concentration of power in many areas to a primary degree and could set back capitalism for decades or even longer he proposes.
Another possible path is a redistributive model from the left that deploys state sponsored socialist style capitalism that gives government an even bigger role than it has today. He proposes this would also limit the potential growth and innovation in the spring cycle phase but would not be so debilitating as the right wing model. Yet it would still however prevent society as a whole from reaping the prosperity that could otherwise be attained without a reckless social policy that interferes with market forces to a primary degree through a top-down mandate from US Sam that assumes its effects upon all of us will be felt proportionally. Unlike the cerosis attained from the former, this path relates more to what could have been ( a lost opportunity) than the travesty of some destructive element.
The final path he proposes is a vision he calls the Great Republic and here Barker goes to great lengths to accentuate his vision. He calls for a 12 step plan to revamp our current socio-economic system to usher in the best era we have ever seen. These steps include among others instituting a Digital Gold Currency to keep a check and balance on unfettered printing by the Federal Reserve, tax reform, electoral reform to allow for a major third party, a large increase in reserve requirements to prevent banks from becoming too leveraged, and more. My favorite was a proposal to a cut government spending equal to 1% of GDP per year implemented until total US government spending including entitlements represents only 15% of GDP. That along with a balanced budget amendment would go a long way to alleviate the potential ticking time bomb we now have with our own national debt.
The sum of Barker’s vision here is extraordinary. I encourage our readers to check it out and send us your comments. Our leaders in Washington need to understand the keynote of Barker’s message- that formulating public policy in the absence of a coherent grasp of long wave economic cycle theory is just futile and ignorant. We as a society have been for too long ignorant of the blessings inherent in a jubilee notion to debt forgiveness. But since the period of the Industrial Revolution there has been a proxy that has served to be an inconvenient truth- the Kondratieff Winter. The K-Winter is basically a forced jubilee on society that is chaotic, messy, unscripted and unnecessary. It seems plausible to me that until the preponderance of society and its leaders accept super-cycle economic theory we are resigned to the pitfalls of a Kondratieff Winter in lieu of the jubilee championed in the Book of Leviticus. If nothing else, Barker’s masterpiece frames this so well for all of us to see.