"The economic risk of Brexit is over", says Moody's. "Now the risk is the US Presidential election." For two centuries, economic growth has been driven by technological innovation. Why do the economic 'experts' seem to think it's all about politics?
Technology is radically transforming the global economy right now.
Last week, the World Economic Forum published a report on how blockchain – the technology behind Bitcoin - is set to revolutionise financial services. It offers more transparency, greater trust, fewer middlemen – and less need for ratings agencies like Moody's.
Blockchain's potential goes beyond business. Two weeks ago, the government made a blockchain company an approved public-sector supplier. It hopes the technology could eliminate fraud and overpayment in the welfare system.
Another incredible innovation on the horizon is the driverless car. Uber is about to pilot driverless minicabs – which will ultimately enable it to cut fares even further than it has already.
Ten years ago, who would have predicted that either of these technologies would now be mainstream?
Innovation tends to take everyone by surprise. That's nothing new.
Two hundred years ago, Malthus predicted mass starvation because of overpopulation. Instead, because of the agricultural and industrial revolutions, not only did the world's population boom, but the standard of living unprecedentedly rose too.
The unpredictability of innovation is one of the reasons why economic 'experts' have such trouble foreseeing the future – and why the doomsayers are so often wrong.
Of course, politics can negatively affect economies. In fact, it usually does. The more politicians try and micromanage the economy, the more they hold it back.
But innovation is changing politics too. Thanks to the digital revolution, politics as we know it is giving way to iDemocracy.
Politicians love to think economic growth is all about them. No one else needs to play along with their fantasy.
"A revolutionary text ... right up there with the Communist manifesto" - Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
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