Friday, August 21, 2009

The New Economy - A Modest Proposal for Building Community

America is shifting. Most view the present trends in the market as destructive and with good cause. Banks are closing, sometimes several in a single day. Businesses going bankrupt are leaving the main streets of many American cities and towns mottled with boarded up store fronts. Families and individuals are canceling vacations, reusing items that formerly they would have replaced, shopping in department stores is down, replaced by shopping used stores and garage sales.

Refocusing gives you the opportunity to consider what really matters. Are you doing that now?

Concerns over police violence are increasing even while the actual incidence is dropping. Officers live in the areas where they work. Many are appalled at the violations of rights they have witnessed and are questioning what they have been taught. “The County Sheriff, America's Last Hope,” by Sheriff Richard Mack, is experiencing a steady rise in sales. Mack, the first of several sheriffs to file against the Brady Bill in the early 90's is constantly on tours. Quietly people gather to listen, both local law enforcement and ordinary people

Concern over forced vaccinations is rising. New Jersey passed an injunction to be followed by Washington State. California is expected to weigh in within the week. Across the country people are raising their voices in objection to the present trends.

Gardens are popping up in the inner city of Detroit on vacant lots where before only trash blossomed. Interest in bartering and trading, garden grown food for services and other necessities, is working its way through neighborhoods as families look for ways to survive the loss of jobs. Instead of viewing this as a short term survival issue see a transition taking place. We are moving from the Corporate Economy to the New Economy in small, incremental steps.

The Corporate Economy sucked us dry. Money and all we created was funneled through huge, impersonal corporations, banking, oil, pharma, big food etc, to accumulate in the coffers of a few individuals. They knew exactly what they were doing. It was fraud on a massive, global scale.

In ten years this period will be recognized as 'the shift,' the time when Americans began to change focus, seeing themselves differently. More families every day confront the need to make the mortgage payment, keep the lights on, put gas in the car, and exchange with those around then without that paper folding stuff PFS pronounced, “peefs”) or credit cards. Seeing yourself differently reveals unexpected strengths, as our ancestors could have told us.

Currency comes in many forms. The original idea for money as 'currency' was to facilitate the flow of exchange, a form of mutually beneficial cooperation. Many barter – trade and script alternatives are now springing into existence. What once was was can be so again.

One of the bills you get every month you must pay in the Corporate World (CW, pronounced ceeew) is your bill for electric power. The technology has long been available to move from centralized (on the CW model for money) to the decentralized local generation for power. It could have always been decentralized. That did not happen because corporations saw the opportunity for continuous income with little effort. Most people think decentralized power is too expensive. They are wrong and their wrong belief causes them to ignore a way to put people back to work, reduce the sucking of corporations, and at the same time make all of us more secure.

Centralized generation of electricity was promoted by government and corporations to provide regular income to them. Ignoring the decentralized model came with costs paid by ordinary people above and beyond that monthly electric bill, which is steadily rising.

Today many are out of work, small factories are closed We need jobs. All of us need to lower costs to ensure our own survival and choke off the flow of our lives to the corporations who continue to suck us dry.

The raw materials and components for wind turbines and other energy systems are surprisingly inexpensive. Parts could be produced locally, the designs are available on the internet. By cooperating locally we can ease our jobs problem and at the same time lower our costs for electric energy. Nearly every community in America has the resources to carry out this project.

Americans have taken on larger projects before, fighting wars far from home. This project refocuses our attention to the source of American greatness, caring for each other in absolute alignment with the mission laid out by one man who died for us 2,000 years ago. We begin and end in our own communities, growing to know each other better.

Existing organizations, the Elks, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the PTA, churches of all kinds, anyone could participate. They can machine, construct, take orders, schedule. There will be much to be done.

There are many designs for wind turbines that are highly cost effective. We can share designs, again through the internet.

Those out of work can earn their own installations through sweat equity. Those who have the money can pay, ensuring their energy needs are met. And we can make sure the needy, the elderly, never want for energy, staying warm in winter and comfortable through the summer. Central Valley of California lost 130 elderly to heat two years ago. It must have been a horrible dying for each of them.

Power lines are all too fragile, starting fires for which the corporations deny accountability and costing all of us while destroying billions in property. There are reasons going beyond the shut off notice so common today. The notice should be enough if we care about each other as that one man intended.

Count up your own reasons for change, practical or spiritual.

The Barn Raising, the Turbine or Solar Party. I can smell the big, steaming pots of chili and soup, almost taste the home-made garlic bread and salads fresh from the garden. When you walk away from illusions, like the corporate reality now receding into history, we may well find unexpected moments of grace in a new America.