From east to west and north to south, the prevailing global economic order is failing to deliver the various benefits it promised the planetary beast (human mass.) For the sake of brevity, we will only look at the most obvious shortcomings. As it stands, a deflationary economic cycle in the countries of the rich is taking root. Japan is a poster child of this phenomenon, even though it had fought tooth and nail to avoid such a distinction for over two decades. Deflation is a phenomenon whereby prices of goods/services continue to fall on a generalized basis.

It is the opposite of inflation with which we are quite familiar. As a result, the rich beast is in trouble; unemployment, house price collapse, etc. The stock markets there are propped up by phony money (largesse of the states) so that the rich of the rich will not lose their shirts. In the world of the not-so-rich and poor, the familiar pet, inflation (though tempered) has solidly established itself as one of the main features of economic life. Since the beast in developing countries has endorsed the northern philosophy of ‘life is consumerism’, inflation is bound to remain problematic.
When the credit propelled economic expansion (that has been around for the last forty years) started to implode in earnest (2007), the underlying economic condition of the rich countries became decidedly deflationary. In trying to rectify the situation, governments borrowed irresponsibly/unsustainably from the future and pumped massive amount of liquidity (availing money directly as well as through their central banks) into their economies.  The effort was to create more effective demand so that the installed over capacity of the productive sector can still keep humming. So far this strategy has not worked! In fact the problem that primarily originated in the realm of the private sector has now engulfed sovereign states themselves. The Euro zone is another poster child, in this case of cascading sovereign bankruptcies.
Those of us residing outside of the west continue to blindly mimic their ways, wrongly assuming that we will reach the level of affluence they were lucky to attain. It is this illusion that keeps all our drones busy in all sorts of useful and useless occupations. Resource shortages, exploding population, climate change, etc. were not factors when the west was economically ascending with attendant power in global politics, culture, etc. Today however, it is a different story altogether. Nevertheless, the established global order (coal mine) continues to hammer unsustainable doctrines into our heads and unfortunately we don’t seem to have the faculty to resist. One thing is for sure, even the entrenched cabals (financial, etc) are finally forced to admit, at least internally, the obvious dislocations of the system, i.e, the most important issues facing humanity are; the environment and the messed up and unsustainable global economic system. For example, here is what the Davos creed (World Economic Forum) is silently but gradually brooding about, while still seeping their Champaign and champing their caviars. See Howell’s article next column.
The global activists, intellectual and otherwise, who have been preaching about the unsustainability of the whole scheme are finally wining, not only over the apathy of the beast, but also of the minds of privileged establishment intellectuals. See Stiglitz’s article on page 50. The ‘coal mine’ is now so scared it has started to publicly acknowledge the critique of the intellectual activists that were put forward decades ago against the prevailing Frankenstein complexity, compliment of the profit system. The inherent fallibility of humanly organized structures/processes, particularly as they pertain to the environment and the economy have finally been recognized even by those greedy knuckleheads.
In the process of deconstructing the existing global paradigm, the beast sadly but soberly realized the frightening incompetency of global leadership across the board, i.e. not only in politics, but also in the world of business and economics, culture, religion, etc. Luckily the new movements that are taking roots all over the world are gradually and determinedly clarifying their leading thoughts, not only on the present but also on the desired future.
Here is a synopsis of the demand put forward by the new economy movement:
“Comprehensive reforms that address the current failure of the global economy to provide full employment, healthy communities, stable markets and to protect the planet. Systemic solutions that address root causes, not ad hoc, piecemeal, or narrowly nationalistic approaches that are focused on symptoms. Collective input and effort of leaders from many disciplines and communities, not just top-down adjustments to current markets, by regulators and economic experts. Assessment and application of alternative models and approaches, which have been developed in the periphery of public awareness, that together point the way to a more just and sustainable economy.” Good Day!