Points of Progress

This semi-regular report includes things happening in our world, policies, articles and practices in-line with the steady state economy or transitioning to it, that are worth some time to read about –  the good news, the promising results. They are all exciting things happening I just don’t have time to post about each in-depth.

Here are some cool things happening in the world:

The 3/50 Project: Uniting Small Business With Local Citizen Action

In an effort to support local businesses and local economies and new campaign called the 3/50 Project asks you to pick your 3 favorite local businesses and donate $50 a month to each. From there website, “If have the employed population spent $50 in a locally owned business, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue…. For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community.”

Even though the site’s founder is likely a growth-support, the concept is in-line with steady state economics: local economy is the core. If you want a more secure, just economy, starting local is the only way to go. Your money speaks louder than your words nowadays, so spend it wisely. It is simple campaigns like this one that inspire me to be hopeful, as the simple ones are usually more successful.

UK Post Bank Campaign

The campaign for a “post bank” in the UK isn’t exactly breaking news, but the progress and concept are noteworthy nonetheless. Just recently Ed Miliband, the British energy and climate secretary, put his support behind the post bank as well. To quote Miliband in the article, “It speaks to people’s sense of community – and frankly, banks have let down low-income consumers, and others as well. It is part of a new deal for the low paid around the banking industry.” (He isn’t the first to bank this idea, see here)

A post bank would be a public-owned bank run through the post office. It would be an readily available, community bank – allowing the people access to bank accounts without dealing with the fat-cat, big banks that dominate the landscape today. This institution would help small businesses, people of low incomes, and could restore public faith in the banking system (as well as create a banking system deserving of that trust).

Co-op profits surge as customers desert UK’s bigger banks

Right in line with the last bit, here is some news that points towards a more promising future: co-ops over big banks. Co-op groups reported a 38 percent increase in new accounts. Credit unions and co-ops internalize a lot of their risk, tend to lend more responsibly, and keep their profits in the community. In case you weren’t reading the above parts about how important the local economy and community really are, read my posts on the subject (“The New Economy Starts Here” & “Local Currency & Bartering“)

So, news that the co-ops are seeing a profit serge as UK citizens leave the bigger banks is a good trend for two reasons: (1) hopefully this is a sign we have learned not to trust in the big, greed banks that caused our most recent “Great Recession,” and (2) we’re pushing towards a steady state economy with action – which speaks louder than, well, words.