You have been lied to and so have I. Blame our teachers, and the two centuries of economic gurus for their deception. All economies have been aiming so hard for develop, under the guise of “interne-extern balance.” There is just one problem: they have been grasping for the wrong trophy.
The great orthodox question is “How is a developing economy able to balance intern and extern balance on the same time?” It’s just a more elegant way of asking “Does she develop really hard like a developed economy did?”
Of course she does. If you believe what you read, the development would be achieving perfect harmony in our societies between the version of ourselves that toils and the other parts that don’t. But what if real harmony comes from being focus in all areas of the economy?
We recently pointed out that the fundamental problem with intern-extern balance is that they assume these two things are oppositional. The starting argument is that intern and extern are in conflict with one another.
Now, intern focus is development, and development “is defined” by the growth. This argument assumes that external focus, like international trade and finance, makes the economy, fundamentally, dependant and only internal development can balance out that external problem. It doesn’t have to be like this.
To find development in all aspects of economy, we need to start talking about a recent concept. We judge our economies on these abilities to achieve sustainable development, not “intern-extern balance”.
We have one planet and we should fill it with what is most important to us. We are told to focus on achieving a positive “intern-extern balance”, but rarely top to question if that’s what really matters. We should check in with our society’s goals even once per week to track what we do and how developing it makes us. If we did, we might realize that although one economy look developed, she doesn’t actually do much of what makes us developed. “Intern-Extern balance” doesn’t solve this problem, optimizing for sustainable development does.
“Intern-extern balance” is an empty goal. It’s a state of equilibrium, but nothing more. Our focus should not be to balance external or internal balance with our economies; it should be to design our economies so that she purposefully does more of what makes us developed. When we regularly engage what makes us developed, the feeling carries over into everything we do. This makes us, rational agents, more productive.
Our ultimate goal should be sustainable development. By sustainable we mean that you must be able to continue to develop what you do for long periods of time — and it must not impact other’s ability to find their own development. This inherently rules out quick-hitting highs and destructive behaviors.
We understand that sustainable development is not always possible. Some economies are struggling with poverty and others are ill. Many economies do not even have the fundamental “flexibility” to pursue their own higher purpose or must serve others first. But for those who are, economically, flexible and can make intentional choices to be sustainably developed, the rewards are uplifting and lasting.
Sustainable development is a long-term goal, because we all have lows. Moreover, economy is unpredictable and even cruel at times with some crises. Reaching and holding on to this level of self-content is not easy to achieve, but it should be our ultimate aspiration.
Because of orthodox stigmas, trade discrimination, and other issues that are barriers to accessing traditional development, too many countries face recession, financial stress, and capital volatility alone in a global world. To develop sustainable economies in which every parts can work efficiently, we must start by dispelling the orthodox myth that only a few north developed economies are emerge with natural development and without internal and external problems. We don’t have to wait until we have equilibrate intern or extern balance or invented some miraculous new technology or energy to guarantee that. We already have the characteristics we need to transform our economies. We simply need to give them the means to resolve problems using effective methods that are backed by rigorous evidence so we can put to rest the myth of undeveloped once and for all.