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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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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

  • Yesmagazine.org
  • 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)
  • Davidkorten.org
  • Greatturning.org

Part I: The Case for a New Economy

A. Looking Upstream

  1. 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
  2. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. 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!]
  2. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Related Posts:
12 Reasons I Want People To Read This Book
Agenda for a New Economy From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth
Animal Vegetable Miracle

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16 Responses to “Understanding Agenda For a New Economy ~ David Korten”

  1. Mark Says:

    Sounds very interesting! There is so much here and so much to discuss about the direction our economy is/may take. Thanks for this review.

    Marks last blog post..How Do You Use Your Creativity?

  2. Vered - MomGrind Says:

    Sounds like a highly unconventional approach.

    Vered – MomGrinds last blog post..Low Rise Jeans: Five Reasons To Hate Them, One Reason To Love Them

  3. Patricia Says:

    There is so much in this book and so much I find to be true and well explained I am sharing this book in all 3 posts this week. It is rather a basic primer for the facts and history of what transpired and how each person can find hope and promise for a New Economy – powerful stuff and if we can all communicate – wow!

    Actually, I think it would be more a human approach to rethinking our values and putting them to work locally. He believes blogging communities are one of the strongest assets available because we are all learning powerful communication tools …

  4. Patricia Says:

    Vered and Mark
    Many thanks for your comments and venturing forth – next week I put lighter “stuff” on the agenda here!

  5. Jannie Funster Says:

    Tho Wall Street certainly serves a purpose for investors it is far from the backbone of our economic system of small businesses.

    Bailouts were just a crying shame, yes. And this stimulus business, yes, bad, bad idea for our growth and prosperity.

    I agree with the bandages, sheer nonsense.

    Would be nice to get back to Reaganomics.

    Always interesting here, Dear Patricia. Thanks.

    Jannie Funsters last blog post..Why we usually eat at home

  6. Patricia Says:

    Thank you for coming on by…laughing at your post today still!
    I am afraid Reaganomics was just the most recent part of Empire Building…it was really just Alexander Hamiltonian Empire Economics built into an actor’s smooth reassurance…then Clinton followed suit – shame on him, but they were all so popular…and the Bush boys always thought they were KINGS and anointed by God

    This picture is bigger than this – larger scoped and very thorough.
    Not a political adventure but rather a humane look that includes the environmental health too…amazing smart stuff…from an amazing person – as JD says This is standing on the shoulders of giants” stuff…

    Patricias last blog post..Understanding Agenda For a New Economy ~ David Korten

  7. J.D. Meier Says:

    I’m still making sense of the new economy. This helps give me more food for thought. I’m trying to find the patterns and practices that make sense, along with the mental models. I think mental models really help accelerate learning and making the most of a situation.

    J.D. Meiers last blog post..12 Practices for Improving Likeability

  8. Patricia Says:

    I think you would really enjoy Korten’s book – his vision truly takes in a huge big picture and in my 3 writings I did not even come close to capturing his ideas for mental models – These concepts still need individual creativity to produce REAL WEALTH vs Phantom Wealth.
    We just persuaded our credit union to make a “real wealth” loan to us for our solar panels and hot water heater….we had to teach them how to put their rules into a new model…it was a lot of work, but it is working out very well and will put a number of people to work at the credit union learning how to transitions their other loans so that they truly keep life green and growing. Without this book I would not have even known to try this process and concept.

    Patricias last blog post..Understanding Agenda For a New Economy ~ David Korten

  9. Mama Zen Says:

    This sounds fascinating. Honestly, I need all the help that I can get to understand this mess!

    Mama Zens last blog post..Fit To Be Fried

  10. Liara Covert Says:

    Every human being has insight and wisdom to offer others. Where you are on your own journey determines what sorts of materials you invite into your life and how you choose to use them. When you are open to learning, lessons are everywhere.

    Liara Coverts last blog post..Susan Shumsky & Interview on Divine revelations

  11. Patricia Says:

    Mama Zen,
    I think David Korten is a great communicator and writes in an easy style to understand – even my high school history and economics classes are coming into play as he teaches in such an amazingly easy style – here all his great stories are missing too. The book is not hard but is certainly creates understanding.

    This is a great teacher with great lessons. I needed his help with this crisis – now I feel like I can truly form my own ideas and manifest actions that will truly make a difference. My whole goal is to get the word out here for these lessons and those who are ready.

  12. Jannie Funster Says:

    Well, who snuck in here yesterday under my name and got on a high horse over economic policies?

    I should be more open-minded about these things.


    Jannie Funsters last blog post..Why we usually eat at home

  13. Patricia Says:

    You are open-minded…this stuff is really interesting, I am just concerned I am presenting it in too boring a style…
    I may have done myself in with 3 parts…this is creation of new ideas…getting away from the same old same old…
    It is really mind- stretching …

    I never thought I would be into this stuff…nice to see you here – wonder who was here before? 😉

    Patricias last blog post..Understanding Agenda For a New Economy ~ David Korten

  14. CHANGE DOESN’T COME FROM THE TOP — Passing Thru Says:

    […] great summaries of ideas from Agenda for a New Economy, by David Korten.  You can find them here (Understanding Agenda for a New Economy) and here (The Case for Eliminating Wall Street).  She found so much that was interesting in the […]

  15. LisaNewton Says:

    Building the system from the ground up, usually works. As the system grows while it’s small, bugs can be worked out. When it’s so large, the bugs are too big or can’t even be seen until it’s too late. :)

    LisaNewtons last blog post..Hancock Park, the La Brea Tar Pits, and LACMA

  16. Patricia Says:

    Thank you for coming by and commenting. Korten would say that what you are doing on your blog is exactly what needs to happen at your point of impact – seeing what your community is doing and educating people to the starts and stops – working out those little things that happen and starting one on one. Education is a huge key.