Friday, October 10, 2008


It’s time for ordinary people to create a new American economics

by Larry Geller

It’s time that we got together, in our communities, and begin to talk about money. And about banks, mortgages, small business, credit and microcredit.

We already do that around the issues of sustainability and the environment. Let’s add economics into our conversation.

Your servant here, he has been told to say it clear, to say it cold: it's over, it ain't going any further And now the wheels of heaven stop you feel the Devil's riding crop Get ready for the future: it is murder
—Leonard Cohen, "The Future"
(hat tip: Ed Coll)
So we learn now that our government is spending trillions of our taxpayer dollars to make the banks and investment firms whole. Nothing for us, nothing to change the fundamental problems that have created this god-awful mess. It’s not over yet, either.

In order to survive in our communities we may need to learn about microcredit. Yes, how to support small and family-run businesses with just enough money so that they can get started.

We may want to move our money from the big banks to credit unions so that families can still buy homes in our neighborhoods.

Ithaca Hours Ithaca dollars in register
Who knows, maybe local currencies like Ithaca Hours would help keep money circulating where we live instead of between Wall Street bankers.

We’ll need to hold our own meetings and we’ll need our own media. The local media won’t cover it. They are so firmly part of the establishment that they don’t know how. We are just eyeballs to be delivered to their advertisers, that’s about it. To me, one of the greatest examples of this took place during the Republican National Convention. Each of the four days, outside, there were massive protests. Each day ended with tear gas, pepper spray, and clashes with militarized law enforcement making illegal arrests. You’d never know it, though, if you depended on your daily paper for news. Similarly, if entrenched economics are challenged, they will make sure that they avoid the subject as long as they can.

We have the tools in social networking and good old-fashioned community organizing. We’re talented and resourceful, we can create what we need to succeed.

The conversation will not start in Washington or at our state legislatures, nor in our media. It has to start with us, and it must grow.

And grow, and grow, and grow, until we have an alternative to the present insanity. Until we have an economy designed by and for the average American.


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