For my long time readers, most of you understand that I am not an optimist about the outcome of economic policy over the long term for this nation. It is not as a result of the people of this country, but those elites who have risen to the heights of power which manipulate every aspect of our society. A good friend of mine online recommended this book as he felt some of the points the author made might be pertinent in the near future.
In Jeff Booth’s The Price of Tomorrow the idea that technology will introduce deflation solving a lot of America’s persistent issues offers a hopeful, yet deceptive viewpoint that the new era of technological innovation will save all of us and help with the evolution into a more utopian future.
If you’re not into a critical analysis of his ideas, you might want to stop reading now.
The Price of Tomorrow – Why Deflation is the Key to an Abundant Future by Jeff Booth
First and foremost, this book was written before the Covid-19 pandemic and did not anticipate the Fed and Congress introducing trillions of dollars into the economic system to maintain an economic status quo due to misguided policies about a disease that was not as severe are originally reported.
Now for the hopium.
Jeff, for those of you who do not know who he is, was one of the technological boom kids, who did lead the way in technological innovation and created some very strong companies based on original ideas, unlike many of the pikers in the tech world.
The author’s description from Google Books sounds impressive:
Jeff Booth is a visionary leader who has lived at the forefront of technology change for 20 years. He led BuildDirect, a technology company that aimed to simplify the building industry, for nearly two decades through the dot-com meltdown, the 2008 financial crisis, and many waves of technological disruption. Jeff has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Inc.com, The Globe and Mail, BNN, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, TIME, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2015, he was named BC Technology Industry Association’s (BCTIA) Person of the Year, and in 2016 Goldman Sachs named him among its 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs. He is a Founding Partner of OtioLabs, Co-Founder of addyinvest.com and NocNoc, and serves on the boards of Terramera, SPUD.ca, LlamaZOO, Synthiam and the Richmond Hospital Foundation as well as numerous advisory boards. He has been a Young Presidents Organization member since 2004 and contributes time as a founding Fellow on the Creative Destruction Lab.
A very extensive and successful track record is on full display in the paragraph above.
For myself, I have none of that “public” credibility beyond my field of expertise but I am a thinker.
I subscribe to the theory of Creative Destruction and deflation becoming a result of technological innovation. It is impossible to be a realist and not recognize, as he states in the book, that the evolution from PCs to smartphones, a dial up internet to a universal high speed communications and data platform, and other ideas that became reality pressure prices lower as each leap introduces cheaper versions via mass production and adoption by the masses.
The book predictably chugs along until, of course page 109 where Mr. Booth states the following:
But our energy needs today are much greater than they were in years past, and the cumulative damage from the use of inefficient energy is likewise greater.
Of course he is referring to “fossil fuels” without understanding that the technological leaps he professes to advocate for are impossible at this time as the modern energy solutions he advocates are only affordable to the wealthiest 5-8% of the population despite socialist aligned policies of subsidization. But wait, there’s more:
We stay on a wheel of inefficiency where are economies are addicted to the jobs and profits derived from exploiting energy-ignoring the fully loaded cost of fossil fuels when we include its by-product (sic), global warming.
Credibility, meet window. All gone. Sadly Jeff makes it worse throughout this rambling chapter on “The Future of Energy” by failing at any point to advocate for nuclear energy, a truly clean alternative before talking his (presumed) investment portfolio by advocating for wind and solar even though the majority of citizens globally can not afford it nor the risks of these pie in the sky schemes working. Hence is very argument for these energy inputs is more inflationary than deflationary as the state of California found out the last few summers.
Needless to say, the chapter on artificial intelligence is one where there is a belief that it can be contained and used as a hopeful tool. This naive approach discounts the considerations of men who wish to impose their own personal ideals on systems (Hint: META) versus the greater good of all of mankind. The reality is that most private corporations will not use AI for the truly evil systemic attacks to extinguish competition. The real fear is what global governments, including our own, may use such advanced technology for.
The remainder of the book is a typical Kum Ba Yah of quasi-socialist hippie drivel where he proclaims that deflation will take over if we put all of our differences aside, accept the new energy and economic order and then we can live happily ever after.
In other words, the final one hundred plus remaining pages are not grounded in any reality that I’ve witnessed in my almost sixty years on this earth and provide the insight of why so many in Silicon Valley are living in a delusional dream for our future. Until this reality is faced and dealt with, the so-called deflation that Mr. Booth proclaims will only occur due to a massive economic crash with the Federal Reserve acquiescing to allow the deflationary crash to happen to check hyperinflation before it runs out of control.
I would advise reading this book to get a perspective on what the author’s views are, but his belief in global warming and the functionality of solar and wind power exhibits an agenda which taints his opinion and thus conclusions throughout this book.