When I was in sixth grade in 1984, I was encouraged by my teacher to be part of a new during the day activity group called future problem solvers. It was essentially one of those '70's ideas that finally filtered into the public school system in the early '80's. By the time it got to me, it wasn't exactly as the wiki page describes - it was run more as a method to facilitate group dynamics and critical thinking to find solutions to posed problems.
So, in the spirit of that, I ask the following question:
"If you live on a finite planet, with finite, albeit renewable, necessary resources supporting its inhabitants, how do you most efficiently distribute those resources so that everyone has what they need to live and prosper, the ecological balance is the least disturbed and the distribution is sustainable indefinitely with respect to the totality of inhabitants?"
This is not a loaded question. This is the only question facing us as a species, as this is precisely the truth of our own existence.
If you believe in capitalism, your answer will go somewhat as follows:
1. Ensure that the most necessary resources possible are 'owned' privately by individuals, clans, or eventually corporations. Governments may also be involved in this ownership, so long as long as their first duty is to protect the individual, clan or corporate ownership of such.
2. Through this ownership of necessary resources, create scarcity such that all inhabitants not privileged to 'own' are required to labor for their owners to exploit those resources in order to have access to a bare minimum of those resources in order to continue to live.
3. As the profit from greater resource exploitation grows, encourage and invest in other ancillary industries that, though not directly related to resources, astronomically increase the profit from resource based industries, all the while making subsistence living impossible.
4. Create economic demand for non-necessary, consumable products in order to shore up the non-resource based ancillary businesses, thereby creating an economic world in which everyone is creating worthless bits of junk in order to get food and housing - and worthless junk.
5. Suppress any suggestion that this is not the 'natural order' through military or economic force.
6. Do all of this without regard to the environmental impacts that could threaten the future existence of not just our species, but every species on the planet.
In our age, point 4 is essentially the evolution of capitalism. We make unnecessary shit, to pretend that no one starves if they want to acquiesce to indentured servitude, while all of the wealth goes to a tiny proportion of the population, so that they can live lavish lives and destroy the planet.
People who believe in capitalism are equivalent to people who believe in Santa Claus.
As a former 'future problem solver' I can ask a whole bunch of questions:
Why should resources be owned?
What is the basis of that ownership?
On what grounds is that ownership enforced?
What conflicts of interest exist within that enforcement?
Why do we base an economy on the idea of resource waste?
Why do we allow the few to rule the many?
And most importantly:
Why aren't we asking the question above the fold of every individual, boss, politician, patrician... It involves all of us. We are on the same planet. We face the same question as to our continued existence.
We are destroying the conditions of possibility for the future existence of our own species. What do we do about that? Why isn't that the first question from anyone's mouth?
So back to the original question. I have a shitload of ideas - most impractical. But we all need to start thinking about this...