Big Ideas: Jeremy Rifkin and the internet of everything

Jeremy Rifkin, author of "The Zero Marginal Cost Society," and the founder and president of The Foundation on Economic Trends.

Now and then we like explore some of the big ideas changing our world.

Like the so-called "internet of everything."

In 2014, it's fair to say that most of us think of capitalism as one of the planet's default economic systems. Markets around the world are interconnected, and even communist countries like China buy and sell internationally.

Jeremy Rifkin is one of the people behind our big idea this week, and he argues that capitalism is, in effect, eating itself. That, thanks to the internet, we've gotten so good at making things cheaply, that everyone can.

Rifkin is an economic theorist who has advised the European Union, and he lays out those ideas his latest book is called the "Zero Marginal Cost Society," which is, he explains,

"The emergence of a news economic system called the 'collaborative commons.' This is actually the first new economic system to emerge since the advent of capitalism and socialism."

On profit motive:

"There's another whole institution that everyone on this planet relies on every day. It's called 'the social economy...' we have millions of organizations that provide all sorts of goods and service from health care to school systems...they're not considered by economists because they create social capital, not market captial."

Listen to the full innterview in the player above.

 

 

About the author

Lizzie O'Leary is the new host of Marketplace Weekend.

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