Understanding Agenda For a New Economy ~ David Korten
I am taking a bit of a risk here because I am outlining this book by Korten, in hopes that more people will understand what is going on with our economy through this shorthand and will be inspired to do their part with understanding. I believe Education is the Key to our future and in the present I would add Understanding of what we learn is another Key.
If one keeps doing the same thing over and over again they achieve the same results over and over again.
3 Basic National Discussion Questions:
- Do Wall Street institutions do any anything so vital for the national interest that it justifies opening the national purse strings to shower them with trillions of dollars to save them from the consequences of their own excess?
- Is it possible that the whole Wall Street edifice is built on an illusion that has no substance yet carries deadly economic, social, and environmental consequences for the larger society?
- Might there be other ways to provide necessary and beneficial financial services with greater effectiveness and at lesser cost?
Who is David Korten
- Stanford and Harvard Schools of Economics and Business Graduate
- Worked in Asia with Ford Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development
- Author: The Post Corporate World: Life after Capitalism; When Corporations Rule the World; The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and Agenda for a New Economy.
- Father of two daughters is he. Husband of the publisher of YES, Magazine – Fran Korten
How to find out more about David Korten
- Business Alliance for Local Living(livingeconomies.org)
- American Independent Business Alliance (amiba.net)
- Institute for Policy Studies (ips-dc.org)
- New Economy Working Group (new-economyworkinggroup.org)
Part I: The Case for a New Economy
A. Looking Upstream
- What it means to treat the causes rather than the symptoms
- bailout makes more of a crisis – destroys future
- stimulus and green jobs thoughtful approach
- rebuild the economic system from the bottom up
- Getting the facts and the assumptions sorted out.
- Definition of Phantom Money: Money created by accounting entries or the inflation of asset bubbles, debt pyramids and performance fees – millions and fancy
- Definition of Real Wealth: Real wealth has intrinsic, as contrasted to exchange value. Life, not money, is the measure of real-wealth value; healthy, happy children, loving families, caring communities, and a beautiful, healthy natural environment. (artistic, spiritual, utilitarian values)
B. Modern alchemist and the Sport of Moneymaking
- Reality focuses behind the Wall Street Illusions
- Capitalists ideal is to create money out of nothing, without a need to produce anything of real value in return. Wall Street calls this a high-stakes competitive sport. Addictive
- Making rich people richer.
- Money is only an accounting chit, no meaning outside of the human mind. It is a system of power and how to use or abuse that power.
- Easy to confuse money for real wealth because it can be exchanged for labor, ideas, land, gold, health care, food and many things of value.
- People on Wall Street believe money is REAL. They do not realize that money is built upon the real work and effort of others to produce real wealth.
- Methods used by Wall Street for making money without creating anything of real value in return
- We are taught to believe this because we see the rich getting richer and Paris Hilton is out spending so much money.
- We are told repeatedly this is what our goal is in life and it is the American Dream
- We are conditioned to believe, and advertised to believe that we can achieve this with hard work and effort on our part.
- When Wall Street is gaining it is a net loss for all of the rest of society. We bargain away all the resources of the poorest of the poorest leaving them nothing – including no hope or future, all the time believing that we deserve this and if we just work a bit harder or longer or faster we will win the prize – wealth of money. The wealthy need servants, and of course the trickle down of the funds will provide health care to the poorest of the poor.
C. A Real – Market Alternative
- The only other way to rule by Wall Street is to rule by communist bureaucrats
- Extreme choices believed to be the only choices
- Unaccountable power which suppresses liberty and creativity for all but those at the top [we will not be able to choose our own doctors or plans!]
- Fallacy and Myth busting
- Wall Street versus Main Street Economies – very different priorities, values, and institution.
- Wall Street is pure finance, making money for those who have money.
- Main Street is local businesses and working people engaged in producing real goods and services which provide a livelihood for themselves and their communities. Values moderate the drive for profit.
- Corporations are not commodities bought and sold but are part of the Main Street Values and systems of creating Real Wealth.
- Democratic ideals and policies are a work in a Main Street System.
- Hear word Capitalism – think Cancer Cells – has lost its definition.
D. More Than Tinkering at the Margins
- Adjustments approach favored by the establishment will not stabilize economy
- Bailouts are akin to putting a bandage on cancer.
- Doomed to fail – even stimulus packages with no limits are failures
- Sachs = bandage approach Speth= holistic approach.
- Will not reduce economic inequality, or prevent environmental collapse.
- Tremendous amount of research shared on Sachs and Speth Approaches
- A community activist who is smart will use bandages and work day and night to rebuild from the ground up and holistic recovery.
I hate to tell you that you are missing a whole lot of fine stories and explanations, but hopefully this will give you a more solid understanding of what needs to happen..
Parts II, III, and IV are coming up on the next two posts.
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