The New Economy Starts Here

“As challenging as the economic meltdown may be, it buys time to build a new economy that serves life rather than money. It lays bare the fact that the existing financial system has brought our way of life and the natural systems on which we depend to the brink of collapse. This wake-up call is inspiring unprecedented numbers of people to take action to bring forth the culture and institutions of a new economy that can serve us and sustain our living planet for generations into the future.”

– David Korten, “The New Economy,” Yes! Magazine, Summer 2009

The Summer 2009 issue of Yes! Magazine makes me want to buy gift subscriptions for everyone I know – this entire issue is devoted to the “new economy.” The new economy is a sustainable one, with ideals outlined very similar to a steady state economy. There are some amazing facts, well displayed in graphics and well written in articles, about how our modern economy functions (destructively) and how the new economy will work (progressively).

Our modern economy is built upon phantom money, passing off risk, increasing indebtedness, and turning wealthy into wealthier as well as poor into poorer. The current economic model has turned America away from the goods-producing, worker-based economy into a wealthy man’s playground where only the rich have access to money (and money creation). This economy creates money off of interest that is loaned to make more money to pay off older debts.

As David Korten notes in his article in the most recent issue of Yes! Magazine, there is a growing amount of people feeling the need to change from this off-centered, unsustainable economy. The new economy is one based in communities not global corporations. The new economy creates real wealth – family, food, health – not phantom wealth like more material goods and paper money. The new economy is run by people, with clear oversight and common goals.

Small, local businesses are nearly three times as profitable as global corporations.

The creation of money in our modern economy is done by privately-owned banks. These banks are managed for the “exclusive benefit of their top managers and largest shareholders.” They create money by loaning money at interest, which rates are controlled by the Federal Reserve. The FED pretends to be a public organization, yet is partially controlled by private interests and is accountable only to itself. The lack of regulatory oversight has pushed our most recent economic downtown, yet we continue to support this system and it’s closed-door policy.

Each dollar spent locally is four times as beneficial than a dollar spent in a global owned business.

In the new economy, banks would be run by co-ops and credit unions with complete public oversight. The Federal Reserve would be entirely public in the new economy, not partially run by bank executives and closed to the people. Local economics, community-based currency, and community supported enterprises are the backbone in the new economy.

The quantity of our bank account will be replaced with the quality of our life. This is the steady state economy, this is our new economy. People are feeling this need and beginning to realize that our growth, greed-centered economy is not giving us true wealth. We will be creating our new economy from the down up, altering our government policies through a social revolution –  a Steady State Revolution!

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