Developed nations find themselves stuck in economic quicksand as the status quo is maintained through debts on sovereign balance sheets. Over the last few decades of rapid economic expansion, each country bet on the continued story of globalization that narrates Tom Friedman’s dreams each night. As the developing world sees our folly, will they choose a different path? Do their informal markets signal a true alternative to centrally planned economies? Or is the System D economy a symptom of complexity collapse in a world where seven billion humans are fighting for basic necessities?
In Extraenvironmentalist #50, Robert Neuwirth tells us how supply meets demand in the informal markets employing as many as 2/3 of the world’s population. Does this System D economy provide the blueprint for an economic system that could exist in developed nations as governments breakdown from debt overhangs and peak complexity? Robert tells us about his journeys through the global trade networks of System D as he wrote the Stealth of Nations in Paraguay, Nigeria, China and more. Then, international business man of mystery Simon Black [1h 11m] joins us to talk about his travels to as many as 60 nations each year. He updates us on the breakdown of Europe and the United States while describing the economic optimism he’s seeing in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. Last of all, John Michael Greer [2h 03m] takes a break from his hiatus on The Archdruid Report to answer your questions.