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Thread: Inequality Is Ruining Our Country

  1. #51
    Senior Member Yossarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I appreciate your responding to my post and not writing me off as a loon. It's true that I don't know a whole lot about economics, but I think I know enough about the basics to know that more thinking out of the box to make the existing status quo work better for everyone might do us all a lot of good.
    I'd guess there are plenty of people who are willing to make changes if they make sense. So let's take this:

    The Wall Street economy features the absentee ownership of global publicly-traded, limited-liability corporations for which short-term financial profit is the sole measure of performance.

    I think bae and kib have both made similar criticisms in the past so you may not be alone on this one. What I'd like to see is an analysis of the costs of moving to an alternative system. In particular how much value is lost if you move away from economies of scale. Or how do you preserve economies of scale in your alternative system? There's a reason why most of us don't buy cars from a local car maker or rely on your neighbor's cousin for all your air travel needs.

  2. #52
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
    I'd guess there are plenty of people who are willing to make changes if they make sense. So let's take this:

    The Wall Street economy features the absentee ownership of global publicly-traded, limited-liability corporations for which short-term financial profit is the sole measure of performance.

    I think bae and kib have both made similar criticisms in the past so you may not be alone on this one. What I'd like to see is an analysis of the costs of moving to an alternative system. In particular how much value is lost if you move away from economies of scale. Or how do you preserve economies of scale in your alternative system? There's a reason why most of us don't buy cars from a local car maker or rely on your neighbor's cousin for all your air travel needs.
    I don't know, but I prefer to start with exploring our values as a society and then working out the details on how to get there. If we value only the price of something then we are going to choose Walmart regardless of the social impact, or the impact to the local economy.

    But I'll refer again to David Korten who suggests we replace indicators like GDP with other measures of economic performance: "We get what we measure, so let’s measure what we want."

    His suggestions are actually at the end of the article I linked to above and are food for thought. Here is an article he wrote for Yes! magazine that outlines his 7 steps to get to an alternative economy.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #53
    Senior Member Yossarian's Avatar
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    I didn't see much in the way of real suggestions in that article. It also seems to me to be something of a side show. If you want change, look to yourself, not the global system.

  4. #54
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
    I didn't see much in the way of real suggestions in that article. It also seems to me to be something of a side show. If you want change, look to yourself, not the global system.
    Yes, you are right.. change starts with the individual.. as for me, I started a local food delivery service to encourage people to eat locally. My plan is to develop this as a worker co-op business, and expand offerings to include tool sharing memberships and other sharing services. The Sharing Economy is growing considerably these days, so it's a workable business model.

    I also am using this business as a platform for experimenting with the gift economy. We'll see how it goes! I have a lot of colleagues who are also experimenting in the gift economy, with mixed results of course... it will take time to work out the kinks.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  5. #55
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    I didn't see much in the way of real suggestions in that article. It also seems to me to be something of a side show. If you want change, look to yourself, not the global system.
    It depends, I try to shop ethically as much as I can if that's what is meant. I think actually most people who care about the issues DO to the extent they can afford (but the affording part is tricky for many). So I think pretty much everyone who cares about such things is already there to *some* extent, but still whatever, noone's a saint and neither am I.

    I wouldn't know how to start some local worker co-op if my life depended on it (nor would almost any of the people I know who care about such things - although I am aware of the existence of a few very rare such things). And I do know local small scale manufacturing that I could volunteer for (oh yes volunteer, does anyone seriously think I'd get paid any time soon). Nor would I frankly have the energy at the end of the day to start a whole new business, but I would have the money to help fund it. But I do see the routes to getting more involved in local politics (city level) if that's what is meant.

    If you want change that's primarily about your life that's one thing, it's almost incredibly boundlessly difficult. But I don't think it's the main subject being talked about here. The subject I guess at this point is what to do about "holy heck the world is screwed up and going to heck in a handbasket, my goodness!"

    A lot of people get pretty involved with the gift economy, the problem becomes that so many people are also being driven crazy just trying to survive economically and it's very hard to bridge that gap.
    Last edited by ApatheticNoMore; 5-19-14 at 3:18pm.
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