Cite JOURNAL ARTICLE
Zukunftsprobleme unserer Wirtschaft
Credit and Capital Markets – Kredit und Kapital, Vol. 14 (1981), Iss. 1 : pp. 3–25
Future Problems of Our Economy
Pessimistic forecasts infer from the persistent increase in population and the threatening exhaustion of reserves of natural resources that there are limits to economic growth. In this article, therefore - following some fundamental reasoning on the potentialities of and limits to futurology - the question is raised of whether the exponential population growth in the past 300 years will continue; the author reaches the conclusion that at present clear trends can be observed, which speak for a change in population development. The study centres around the future development of the production structure; the thesis is advanced that the further development of the world economy will be governed by mutual complementation as between the industrial countries and the underdeveloped countries. In underdeveloped countries - if the historical pattern of the present industrial countries is followed - it can be expected that the high proportion of agricultural production will give way to expansion of industry and the services sector. For the industrial countries, the decisive factors will lie in the necessity to develop substitute energies, to shift production to capital-intensive fields with high research expenditure, to automate medium and small plants with microprocessors, to further intensify telecommunication and to increase the supply of services in the field of science and research on the one hand, and the health and recreation sectors on the other. These developments will result in the discoveries of science in the postindustrial age becoming the dominating production factor in technology, the administration and politics. In conclusion, attention is focussed on what is probably the most difficult problem of the future, i.e., the political safeguarding of the international division of labour and hence of access to the vital raw material markets, and the creation of a world monetary system which ensures the stability of an international monetary unit.