Rants & Reasons

Prophecy from SustainableUSA 2006 to 2009

Prophecy from Sustainable USA:

 

Over the last decade, millions of people predicted the troubles the US was headed for if we did not change our economic philosophy and curtail the runaway collusion between wealthy manipulators, the government and the media. We've been saying some of the same things for years now. - Things have changed quite a bit lately. The world has changed; and it happened faster than we thought it would…

 

The reason for reprinting some of these excerpts is just the hope that more people will realize their shared fate, and see through the illusions of politics and the media. By looking back at some predictions and events from a few years ago, it might help to see how we got here, and what we might try next. My other 'insane' hope is that those with enormous wealth will learn the same lessons that we do, about life on earth, and thus allow for a truce. – A truce that could lead us to a partnership, developing a Regenerative Economy that could sustain their wealth, while elevating this country and its people.

 

Sustainable USA Excerpts: These include a 2006 prediction re: the collapse of the US Economy, and the increasing agitation of its people. 2008: - notes on political corruption, the power and importance of the 1%, some hopes, warnings and ideas. and March of 2009:Some warnings, more economics with reminders of how we got here, a prelude to a stimulus package, theory, hopes and ideas…

 

What is an Economy?pub. march 2006

 

"… Runaway Free Enterprise Capitalism is what we currently have in the USA. At this stage, people with a lot of money (capital assets) can control markets, supply, and market values. There are many ways they can do this; some legal, some not… Much of this economy is no longer based on the basic needs (food, water, shelter), but rather on how much the markets will bear and how gullible the populace is. Essentially, everyone tries to make as much money as possible till consumers can no longer afford to pay the going rates. This leads ultimately to a point where a very small percentage of the population controls nearly all the wealth and the system will begin to collapse.

 

…We cannot simply tear down the existing economic structure (regardless of how destructive it is).We have to create a new economic model and then, carefully, transition to the new economy. … First, we have to agree as a nation that this is what we choose to do. Then we just need to be smart and patient. Logic is all we really need in a real-valued economy. The new structure (should be) based on maintaining a quality water supply and pursuing true sustainability."

 

 

Why Now?pub. march 2006

 

"Now is a good time.

 

Every day there is a not-insignificant quantum shift in the lower levels of the food chain. Microorganisms are being selected for extinction and mutation, leaving higher life forms (like humans) more and more vulnerable to disease and infection (i.e.: Avian Flu, West Nile Virus, SARS, - these are only the beginning.) Every study I have seen on ecological carrying capacity has the sustainable human capacity level around 2 billion. We’ve just screeched past 6.5 billion and are still climbing. The horizontal asymptote, the maximum capacity for Homo sapiens, is the wall that we are headed for. Ecologically speaking, “The Day After Tomorrow” was yesterday.

 

We no longer have the luxury of pondering whether global warming is happening or not. Or if the heat production of the industrialized nations combined with deforestation of the rain forests, are affecting climate change and global oxygen levels. The fact is we cannot be absolutely certain of any of these things without a second Earth to sacrifice in the name of scientific research, 'conservatism', or “good old-fashioned cynicism”.

 

We do know that what we do matters. - On the national economic front we lose a few more jobs each day to outsourcing, attrition, market brokering (greed), etc.

 

We all know that it will take some time to shift over to different economic machinery, but if we do not start soon, it will not matter. It is Time for some kind of Intelligent Revolution. If not, our present course will have us at war with many other nations, peoples, neighbors, friends, rush-hour drivers, etc. I do not know what you feel from your daily life, your social spheres, and your life history to this point; but in my regular interactions with the working poor, teenagers, addicts, and the comfortable middle class, I feel the hate and distrust rising. Without a substantial course correction, the gun-toting territorialism and looting witnessed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina will just seep into the daily life of many Americans."

 

Living in the Matrix2006

"All our kids are being born into the matrix of problems that expands every day we fail to address the two underlying problems: Human Population Levels and Sustainability.

 

War, disease, corruption, greed, terrorism, homelessness, unemployment, climate change, etc… None of these problems will go away. They will only get worse until we focus the bulk of our energy towards solving the two major issues of our time. Period.

Think about it… As a country, (and as individuals) we do have to deal with daily issues… However, to get “lost” in any of these surface issues (like politics ) is insanity ( and is equivalent to 'getting lost in the matrix'). We need to keep our focus on solving the underlying causes, rather than perpetually treating the symptoms. We cannot cure infectious diseases with band-aids.

 

Human population levels are driving us rapidly into realms of unprecedented biological pressure. (Stress)

 

A Sustainable Society by definition uses (all its natural resources) no faster than they can regenerate.

 

…An economy focused on sustainability has an abundance of job opportunities,(see jobs at enviromonster) and (can) give us hope for the future. The resources for sustainability are vast. There are many among us who understand how to create sustainable homes, and how to expand that idea to larger and larger communities. Perhaps you are one of those people. All we have to do is join together to move this country in the right direction."

 

 

How deep does the rabbit hole really go?July 2008

"Every time I dig for the truth I realize that the controlling economic forces are far more omnipresent, insidious and unaccountable than I can truly comprehend. Those that have been thoroughly corrupted by power and greed have become blind to the connected nature of all life on Earth. There are synaptic pathways in their brains that may never again be accessible. Still, I'm praying for them to wake up to their own "Scrooge Moment" and, like it was Christmas morning, shift all their resources towards (a regenerative future.)

 

…In 1996, in response to California Clean Air Legislation, fully electric cars were on the road in California with the supportive infrastructure initiated. The Bush administration, along with the oil companies and car manufacturers, sued the state of California. All those electric cars have been recalled and subsequently crushed. - The technologies supported by this administration, Ethanol and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars, are slight of hand tricks to keep the profits in the hands of the (energy) companies. Increased corn-based ethanol production is very unsound environmentally and economically. And the hydrogen fuel-cell cars may never really arrive; and they may never surpass the fully electric cars produced in 1996, in terms of overall environmental footprint. The Japanese Water (HHO) Car may be a leap in the right direction.- Regardless, conservation is by far, the #1 priority of any rational energy policy. That should be repeated, conservation is the #1 priority of any rational energy policy

 

What I believe it will take to rescue the United States economy …is a "New Deal for the 21st Century". Instead of retrofitting auto factories for tank production, we (should) be retrofitting our entire infrastructure (towards) a sustainable, environmentally-based infrastructure. … Once this begins it (would) be remarkably easy to assimilate. The intellectual resources in this country are vast and comprehensive in this regard: Environmental-Economic "Monsters", Lester Brown and William McDonough just for starters.

We will also need a new approach to justice. As more and more information regarding the usurpation of the US resources and reputation for private gain surfaces, we (should) hold our current President, Vice President, House Speaker, several corporations and many co-conspirators accountable. (But) we need to innovate here. - Throughout history when the "good guys" have ousted the "bad guys", the good guys have turned into the bad guys. - If you have to become evil to fight evil, then evil wins… - remember that any of us might have succumbed to the trappings of enormous wealth and the illusions of "power".

… None of us really knows the whole truth of anything. Period."

 

October 2008

Letter to John Obama and Barack McCain

"Unless someone rises like Jesus or Einstein one of you will become President of the United States…… Very few people, if any, have the strength of character to withstand the onslaught of the insidious campaigns financed by the Faceless Left and the Faceless Right…. and you puppeteers behind the dark curtains, wealthy beyond all common understanding, you need to stop… - You need to help us turn this ship with all possible haste. You need to realize that most of the systems that have kept you wealthy are finally destroying The Everything. It's nobody's fault and it's everybody's fault. It's nobody's responsibility and it's everybody's responsibility. All of us together under the same sun; maybe we can really do what really needs to be done…" (Video Link)

Hopes for the Next President

(Platform and Candidate Endorsement)

"After all the debates and rhetoric to this point, I believe that one major party's team is a guarantee for disaster. The other team, though also lacking a strong scientific and ecological foundation, may still help us bridge to the future. They will most definitely need the constant input and influence of the many who are dedicated to creating a sustainable future for our children…

Simply, I have long felt that John McCain was a better than average senator; however, he has (exhibited) no understanding of the dangers posed by human population levels, which from my perspective, disqualifies him. His running mate has no understanding of the importance of conserving natural resources, including air and fresh water, thereby disqualifying her. (from a sustainability perspective)

If Obama can be influenced by people like Lester Brown, William McDonough, Jimmy Carter and us, then we (may) have a much better chance of facing the real issues that threaten the survival of the human species."

(Possible) Platform:

"Establish Sustainability as a Destination: If the goal of our society is to consume natural resources at rates no greater than they can regenerate, then our infrastructure development, educational and foreign policy (could) have a commonality of purpose. We could once again be a nation with a real mission. With a clear destination, we can plot a viable course to get there. Without a clear destination; no matter how well intentioned, the US government will continue to put band aids on dinosaurs, and this economy will crash down under its own weight again—meaning that the amount of money and resource that is extracted from the system by the top 1% of the population will continue to be invested unsustainably at the expense of the American workers. In short, they've been taking our money and wasting most of it.

Regarding sustainable infrastructure: Every individual and industry (should) take the time to consider their place in a sustainable society. Jobs pertaining to the essentials of life: food, water, shelter, health and connection, should have real value and staying power. Organic farming and soil conservation at all production levels (should) be areas of enormous growth. Also, all forms of alternative energy and the conservation industry (should) flourish. Many of the pursuits of the Dinosaur, greed-based, economy have been completely useless or counterproductive. We need to shift over to jobs that are good for the environment and public health, or at least those that do not threaten environmental health more than is necessary. If we're going to use any band aids on the fossil fuel dinosaurs, it should not be the mythological clean coal or the equally heavily promoted, environmentally friendly, off shore drilling. It might be the Breeder Reactor (or Recycling Reactor). We hope to do a short film soon, looking for the present realities of coal, oil, nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal. My personal belief is that …we can, and will, transform normal consumption and waste levels to a normal we can live with."

 

March 31, 2009

Where I come from:

"In 1987 I began researching the impact on the environment due to economics and human expansion. My background is in physics, (civilian crowd management) and art, so I try to resolve things to their simplest elements. After nearly twenty years, my conclusion was that humans have only two Real Problems to solve. All other issues; including war, poverty, corruption, violence, disease, etc... will continue to escalate till we face head-on: Sustainability, and Human Population levels.

 

There are many of us who have tried to sound the alarms regarding economics, population, and pivotal environmental concerns. Anyone who has tried to help awaken others to these sensitive situations has been branded an "alarmist" by opposing forces. - Most of us are not crying wolf; though now, many vital messages have gone unheeded due to a label that is largely a misnomer. There are those who have raised alarms for money, 'power' or vanity. I am not one of those.

 

Letter to the right, and to the left:

(Aside to the extreme right wing of America) If you want Obama to fail, he will. And when (his presidency) fails, the country will fail. – It is time to face the reality that this is no longer a game. The puppeteers have rolled all the dice, played all the cards. There are no cards left in the deck.

 

What does it mean to have a failed state?

- It means that the government is no longer capable of providing for the safety and welfare of its people. In this era of high stress, disconnected peoples, and easy access to weapons, you can do the math. Or better, ask someone who’s done a tour of duty in the more intense regions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Darfur, Pakistan… or right now our neighbor to the south, Mexico. The way I see it, we have very little time to try to work together to stabilize this country. If we can help Mexico stabilize it might help all of North and South America.

 

Further, Anyone who believes they can continue to make a profit at the expense of someone else needs to think differently. The “extra” money, and credit, that was floating around in the middle class is nowhere near what it was 8 months ago. That means there is very little left that can be extracted by “exploitation” of the middle class.

 

I maintain hope for the Obama administration and for the future, though at times that seems completely irrational. - About three years ago, I started saying I didn’t think we could survive to the, non-impeached, end of the Bush / Cheney Presidency. It depends on your definition of “survival” (and of "inertia") whether we have or have not…I believe he (Obama), and we, need to make truly bold steps (some of which he outlined during his campaign) if we are to really “survive” and help the world towards a sane, sustainable existence.

 

Two of the obvious areas where Obama has been unable to overcome inertia are 1.The failure to functionally increase taxes on the extremely wealthy and 2.The failure to extricate coal as a primary source of energy. Both of these interests are capable of getting what they want, regardless of the cost to US citizens and the rest of the world. Currently, “Clean Coal” and its opponents are spending hundreds of millions on commercials trying to persuade us to their perspectives. If we were truly acting as a “United” States, we would not be wasting all that money. We would be using it towards solutions instead. Personally, I believe Clean Coal to be a myth; however, since stimulus money has already been committed, then I say – give it your best shot. Just be rational and impartial about the results. I’m sure we can make it a little cleaner; however, I don’t think we should be investing our future resources, time and energy into this 20th century dinosaur. We need to move on...

 

A core element of our energy and environmental policy should be getting us and the world off coal (as much as possible. - Some details in Environomics 101)1 As regards fair taxation of the very wealthy, it has come to this: If the premier capitalists wish to save capitalism itself, then they should impose limits on themselves. This country is in a very perilous position. Those possessing enormous wealth and resource have the ability to help us all. If they choose not to, then we have to either 1. Pry it from their cold dead hands (just kidding…) or 2. Devise a new economic system that doesn’t use any ‘old’ currency. – Neither of these seems easily implemented; although, the latter, if achieved, could be the key to the future. If we’ve ever needed another Einstein it is now, and it is in the art and science of “New Economics”. – None of the old guard; as smart as they are, can see from outside their own bubbles. - The entrenched multinational "Monopoly" players continue to impede and disrupt the process of essential change. We need to give them a new game to play…

 

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- Now back to the present (11-11): One possible course is to completely ignore what is said by every politician, every major media news person and talking head, and also their advertisers. Pause and look inside yourself. If we stop listening to those people, they may finally start listening to us... (And the few 'honest' politicians may finally rise to the surface) We can work to create and support honest, regenerative efforts at home, in our communities, across the US and the world. After a while we might start to see possibilities we did not know existed. (The Occupy Movements are developing cooperative methodologies as I write this.) We, of the working class, may have to support each other in cooperative homes, or tent cities for a while... - We can stop wasting energy, water and money, and we can stop buying into all the BS that 'They' have been selling us. And we can start growing chemical-free, green plants wherever they can take hold. - "If I can change, the whole world can change."

 

-you can also reference the more recent (2011) notions at Enviromonster.com

peace and good luck to all of us…

 

 

Footnote:

 

1. Environomics 101 / Stimulus Notes:(March 31, 2009)

Virtually all the financial institutions were heavily invested into the housing market. (As well as derivatives, day-trading and insider trading schemes) Some people bought over their heads, and many marketeers looked the other way because they had so many different ways to make money as the price bubble just kept inflating. Wall Street and the banks were operating like Las Vegas. They were all trading ‘paper’ and driving the prices higher and higher (like pyramid schemes, as long as there’s a buyer on the far end, there’s money to be made and the pyramid grows) till we started to hit the inevitable wall. People began to lose their jobs, primarily, due to “free trade” agreements and the fact that we haven’t had near enough focus on the essentials: food, water and shelter. Lost jobs led to foreclosures and diminishing revenues for many businesses, leading to more lost jobs and foreclosures. Housing prices fell, which was good only for those few who were truly in a stable position to buy. Anyone who needed, or was counting on, selling a house for a “fair” market price, almost overnight, lost up to 50% of their home’s value while still holding a note for the escalated price they had committed. And, of course, many were already just barely making or barely missing their mortgage payments. - A dip in these incomes and more foreclosures. And the dominoes are falling. The banks and all the investors that had been trading paper were suddenly stuck holding onto much thinner air. Like playing musical chairs, but when the music stopped, there were a lot of chairs missing, not just one…But whose money was really lost??

 

Economic policy, environmentalism, energy policy and politics have all been woven together into an inseparable fabric. Most in the news media talk about “The Economy” as though it were something real or tangible. What is it really? Since the 1950s our economy has drifted into the land of illusion…

 

 

– Notes on Supply Side Economics – Two things: 1. Supply is created in anticipation of demand, and 2. “If you build it they will come”, which came to mean that if you had enough capital to promote the heck out of a product, you could “create” a market for it. This was done to the extent that we ultimately became products ourselves of market manipulation. Largely, goods and services were not created to serve public needs; rather, goods were created, and the idea that we needed them was what was sold to us. To survive, we do not NEED digital plasma TVs, super-charged SUVs, drive-through saturated fats, face lifts, liposuction, implants, designer clothes, 8,000 square foot homes with perfectly groomed chemical lawns, 10 million dollar athletes on steroids selling Viagra, multimillion dollar bonuses for the CEOs of failing companies, nor the 24 hour entertainment-news cycle. And we don’t need any politician, whose campaigns we’ve indirectly financed, lying to us while they trade our freedoms for favors from the lobbyists who represent faceless corporations trying to rule the world by selling us a bunch of crap that we do not need! - I could go on all day…

 

What we do need is a new economic matrix that is founded, primarily, on the essentials of life: food, water, shelter, some form of health care and connection. And the essential goods and services that we provide should be valued in such a way that what one person does could be traded for something of value that someone else does. Further, we are up to our solar plexus in a world wide ecological crisis. Some of you may not believe this; however, irrespective of what you choose to believe about the degree and cause of Earth’s temperature fluctuations, scientists around the globe are in agreement that we have crossed into very fragile territory regarding the pollution and toxification of the air, land and water systems. There is widespread consensus and concern regarding fresh water and resource depletion, eco-system degradation, habitat destruction and species extinctions. In short, even if “global warming” has no impact whatsoever, the habitability of Earth for humans is on the verge of crossing the point of no return.

 

Now if you think the Earth is simply enormous with an endless supply of fresh water and minerals and that the atmosphere is large enough to absorb any amount of pollution; you would be very wrong in both assumptions. The human population is depleting resources across the board at rates far in excess of the Earth’s ability to regenerate those resources. And the atmosphere, while expansive, is not able to completely filter out our daily waste products; meaning that every day the air gets just a little less breathable. To compound that, the human population is currently increasing by over 1 million people every five days. For some reference, this rate which we’ve been applying for over fifty years is about (400 times what it was just four centuries ago…)

 

If this information is new for you, I would simply tell you that I believe it is beyond human capability to grasp the full impact of what this means. To make it even simpler; the evidence clearly suggests that if we do not create, with all possible haste, a sustainable economic structure that we can share with the world, while also addressing world population concerns, only a miracle will save us from our own ignorance and stupidity.

 

So what do we do now? – If you were the leader of the diminishing free world, what would you do?"

 

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your answers here:

 

Letter to Ron Paul

Dr. Paul,                                           (Sent to Ron Paul 1-6-12)

The odds of you reading this are maybe 50,000 to 1. Nonetheless, having been inspired by your honesty, integrity and fortitude, try I am... I consider you to be the most honest and probably the smartest of all who are and will be running for president.

You know far more than most about government and finance, and the history of US and global economies, and also about pursuing, becoming and being a medical doctor; add to that a US Representative, and your faith... You have studied these things, researched and experienced them. You could teach me many things that I may not know, or do not understand.

For decades I have studied, researched and experienced the impact on the habitable earth-environment due to human expansion and economics. I am rooted in Classical Physics, Thermodynamics, Relativity and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and my faith... I believe there are correlations you may be unaware of.

I admire your constitutional and libertarian stance on government and life in general. I also believe that the current 'Free Market' will not, and cannot save us from ourselves. If we humans, or even just Americans could agree to reset the board, such that our value structure could be more firmly grounded on the earth-based elements that sustain life; then the Free Market might function to the benefit of all. – 'It' is clearly not functioning that way now. This 'Economy' is literally consuming itself, as it continually depletes the resource base, pollutes more than it mitigates, trades jobs for private profit, and shows very little inclination towards self-correction.1

Taking an analytical look at consumption, pollution and population curves should render "The Business Cycle" obsolete, or at least highly misleading, because it appears these cycles do not factor in the substantial effects of population increase, resource depletion, nor of human habitat destruction. – This business concept should perhaps be used for historical purposes only. This is no longer a cycle. It is a spiral, and it is not spiraling upward. I feel certain that anyone using the phrases, "grow this economy" or "grow our way out of this" is speaking without thinking. We can grow a new economy once we've answered "What, Where, How, and Why we should be making what we need. We are approaching more than one asymptote; which means that change is upon us. Among the good news is that we have, with some frequency, acted well through other adversity...2

Looking at the world through this lens, the only 'True Fiscal Conservatives' I can see are those who have recognized that the fiscally responsible thing to do is, and has been, to build a conservation-based economy designed to regenerate the resource base which could then support a healthy, sustainable economy. - - This is the underlying theme for Regenerative Economics. And it is this idea along with some related information that I would like to help bring to your attention.

Just consider that in your lifetime the world population has more than tripled. Approximately three fourths of human population growth has occurred over the last 95 years. It took thousands of years for the first 25 percent to accrue. (Over the next 24 hours we will add more people to the Earth than we did in a full year, less than five centuries ago) As a medical doctor you should recognize the similarity of this growth curve to that of bacteria in a Petri dish. - And I do not believe there is a person on Earth who can accurately assess the web of stresses that puts on our ability to think rationally...

Nonetheless, Dr. Paul, like you I am an optimist; willing to work hard enough to be a realist. In these extraordinary times, it will take extraordinary effort and extraordinary luck...

Most of your colleagues have simply become middle men for the puppeteers who pull the strings of this economy and force the hands in the international game of Risk. I believe there should be a truce between the puppeteers and representatives of the working class. If an honest man, such as you becomes the next president, perhaps you could orchestrate such a truce to help reset the playing field for the free market of the 21st Century. – Otherwise I think that innovation, courage and leadership must come from outside of government. War is no longer the answer. –You are the only candidate I'm aware of who seems to believe this. If we do not learn to cooperate and value the things that are good for all of us, then we will get where we're going. – Anyone not too insulated from human reality knows where that is...

"Problems cannot be solved by the level of awareness that created them" A. E.

I am humbly at your service to help in any way I can to help wake Americans from our delusions, to try to 'deal with reality'...

Peace. Good luck to you, and to all of us,

Jordan Macarus

1. - Although there are many highly conscious, forward-thinking individuals and entrepreneurs whose work and courage might further benefit humanity if we can achieve sentience on a larger scale...

2. Other good news: Our combined technological and intellectual capabilities are enormous. - We need only prove that intelligence is possible on a large scale...

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Post Script:

I believe it is critical for states and municipalities to have enough latitude to support local Regenerative (or Sustainable) Experiments. I am just one among millions across the world trying to assist such initiatives. The following proposal (generalized for EnviroMonster publication) is being considered at a local college:

Greetings,

For the past few years, I have been advocating Regenerative Economics and Cooperative Problem Solving Experiments as possible means to help transition local and large-scale economies towards a sustainable path. I am proposing a project for several unincorporated acres that could be a working model of Regenerative Economics, as well as a research and development site for many related projects. A local conservation foundation and a group of forward-thinking investors are eager to see what educational partnerships might be established to take this idea from possibility to plausibility to reality. Because of its integrity and capabilities, (this college) seems the most logical institution to partner with in the region. I am writing to you in hopes of setting up a meeting by early 2012. 

I refer to myself as a Sustainability Coordinator. I have taught physics and chemistry, performed energy inspections, worked at a government lab, manpower coordinator for, perhaps, the largest security and crowd management company in the Midwest, managed a few other projects, and have written several articles related to Conservation-Based Economics. What follows is the current proposal outline.

Local Regenerative Economics Experiment:   (updated December 2011)

... If this property could be obtained, the idea is to bring together soil conservationists, horticulturists, solar and wind technicians, other applied sciences and 21st century business concepts to establish a project that develops and applies regenerative-economics philosophies and methodologies. The intention is also to achieve long-term economic viability here.

The basics: An organic farming and renewable energy project. – With an experimental focus on Cooperative Problem Solving, Water and Soil Regeneration, and Job Creation.

Land Use:

Perhaps one or two windmills, in conjunction with many solar panels to supply electricity for operations at the site, as well as excess energy fed back into the grid. (The goal is to generate more electricity than we use)

Organic gardening and horticulture experiments, connected to long-term water and soil conservation.

Ergonomic Green House for year-round horticulture.

The development of related energy and economics projects, i.e.:  bicycle-powered generators, local delivery systems, residential and commercial energy and water conservation, indoor and outdoor gardening, etc...

Any solar panels, windmills etc... should be built with as much local participation as possible. – Could include: Assembly, design, building materials, etc… - And the ecological footprint for all projects should be assessed for entire production threads; from the mining and transportation of materials through manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance. – The goal is not 'perfection', rather to do the best we can, document what we do, and learn what is possible along the way.

The intention is to approach every job for this project using cooperative methods, and minimize the amount of energy and resource required. (This includes work scheduling and transportation of participants, as well as all the work itself) – The overall energy / resource, pollution, and human participation values can determine which tasks warrant 'power tools'. (Philosophically; ‘just because we can, does not mean that we should…’) Part of the economic emphasis is to employ, or involve as many people as possible, while maintaining efficiency of operations and resources.

"A modern economy is largely an illusion we've bought into. A better illusion is possible."

 

Simplifying Job Priorities 9-3-11

Simplifying Job Priorities 9-3-11

 

A Crisis Management Economy:

 

I hear a lot of people saying they would like the government or the private sector to create “good jobs”.  – And what most seem to mean by that are well paying jobs with benefits. From my perspective a good job is one that has some longevity, decent pay, and also helps to stabilize the resource base, and therefore the economy itself. The Earth-Based Economy that underlies the 'virtual economy' we're immersed in must now be repaired and maintained. - Unless we prefer escalating levels of chaos till death resolves it for us... I would prefer that we identify the 'good jobs' and try to work our way out of this. Fundamentally, a good job could be anything related to regenerating soil and fresh water; and also anything that helps improve education and public health, conserves energy and resources, produces cleaner energy, and the ‘intelligent’ rebuilding, and / or redesigning of essential ‘infrastructure’ and disaster areas. - And of course some jobs that continue to protect our backside from the trouble many of us humans of many nations and nationalities have caused. And some more ideas that are in and on your mind…

 

In the wake of Hurricane Irene, it seems that we could simplify the focus of any ‘back to work’ or ‘jobs bill’ by putting everything under the umbrella of Crisis Management. We may have finally reached the time where we can address things by their real names. We are irrefutably in a state of increasing crisis (plural). - Obviously an economic and an employment crisis, but also a potentially catastrophic ecological crisis; and if the current cycle of natural disasters continues, we may never catch up with the relief work. - Unless the focus of our economy itself is shifted towards a “Crisis Management Economy.”  Irene’s natural disaster brothers and sisters have left unresolved destruction in their wake, and will most likely continue to do so. I see no reason to believe the earth will suddenly enter a ‘quiet’ phase.

 

 So taking all that into account, we should probably establish a common, vernacular definition for what a Good Job is...

 

If we were to agree that good jobs are basically related to conservation of resources, regenerating the soil, fresh water and overall public health, along with intelligent pre and post disaster management, etc… , then I think we have   Absolutely    No    Shortage   Of    Work    To    Do.  – If we were a rational society with a reasonably honest and functional government, (and a reasonably honest and symbiotic free market) I suspect we could very-quickly align ourselves to structure the jobs that begin to address all the tasks at hand; and also structure the financial logistics to get the national engine up and running...

 

Part 2: Why Not?

I know there are some good, and reasonably honest people working for the government and for private enterprise. (If there were none, things would likely be worse than they are)   

Nevertheless, our numbers, sociological and economic clout seem currently insufficient to make the possible plausible. We may all be suffering from an economy that will not allow itself to be objectively evaluated. –  Our Economy, personified, may be analogous to HAL 9000 from 2001 – A Space Odyssey.  (Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick)

 

So, in 2011, how do we evaluate our HAL 9000? Who is He, or who are They? - Those that will not allow for an objective understanding of just what is this thing we call “The Economy”?

 

THEY; may be all of us who believe that The Economy is something tangible and immutable...(yet no two people share an understanding)  And I believe there are also THEY, who may be the sum total of individuals and corporations that have won the virtual reality, monetary game; yet are unwilling to declare the game over…  - Probability, being what it is, I do feel certain that some are willing. There is just no obvious precedent where a nation; its people, its government and its benefactors simply collaborated to re-set the board, in order to help regenerate that nation.

 

Well here we are. And we are humans. Many have declared humans to be “the most intelligent beings on earth”. And many still refer to The United States as being “the greatest nation on earth”.  – If we do get the chance again to emulate those intangible attributes, I would hope we drop those phrases forever… {“Those who say don’t know, and those who know don’t say”…} -  So, back to the business of trying to discover that which might make our intelligence and our greatness tangible:

 

How do WE, a nation and a world of individuals, pause long enough to collectively assess our situation and then collaborate to re-set the board; such that it supports a game where what is good for the individual is good for the collective? - A game whose purpose is to regenerate the resources that make the game itself possible. - A game that inspires people to participate and rewards the ‘quality’ and ‘quantity’ of their input. - In short, a game that rewards commitment, effort and results, but does not substantially reward greed.  

 

I think that game of the future, that we could and should start playing asap is a form of Regenerative Economics. – One designed to be ‘intelligent’ and flexible enough to also incorporate pre and post Crisis Management. 

 

Now it’s just up to All of Us to believe that it is not only possible, but plausible. Many are already proving that plausibility with some off-grid dwellings, cooperative farms, forward thinking reparations after natural disasters, and sustainable community experiments. We’ll just have to add to those efforts and keep pushing these ideas out into the ether…

 

Lastly, another appeal to the very wealthy THEY:  - Just because there is no ‘modern’ precedent for re-engineering an economic landscape for regeneration does not mean that it cannot be done. If those of you with enormous wealth and clout choose to consider it; we could put millions of people forward to work regenerating the soil and the fresh water, repairing, redesigning, reinventing and discovering how a vigorous, cooperative human civilization is possible.  – And this idea of re-setting the board before further collapse may be the best, sanest way to maintain your wealth and your legacy. There are, no doubt, some interesting nuances and paradigms that will require courageous, objective analysis. - I suggest working them out in cooperative problem solving experiments…

 

 

Peace, and good luck,

Support the 99%

This just in:  "Money is Not God"1

 

I was among those inspired by Rick Hampson's USA Today article (10-11-11). Initially I felt all those references to the "left" were undermining the point of these demonstrations. (I believe terms like Left, Right, Conservative, Liberal, and all the 'isms', etc… are worse than useless, since no two people share the same definition for any of them.) But by the end of the article I felt encouraged. Like, maybe, people would offer ideas that could help something good happen… Something good for 'This Country', and the world…

 

I believe what the 99%ers are doing is good for 100% of us. They are helping to open the door to a new discussion; possibly, 'How do we satiate, or diminish, the role of greed in our economy and, thusly, in our lives?'

 

Or more fundamentally, How do we work together to save ourselves and each other?

 

Or to put it in the context of a problem looking for a solution: How do we create, or regenerate, the conditions that can sustain an economy for a long time?

 

While I don't believe any single person has all the answers, I believe the answers do exist, and that some of the cooperative methods being developed during these occupations are helping already. Maybe a way that success exists for this effort is when enough of us are willing, both to agree that our world is way off balance, and that our best chance exists only if we finally work together; to face the tough decisions, and start adapting to the changes that are already upon us. We are aboard a giant ship at sea that has lost its way, a runaway economy in a fog of confusion. Between the dust particles suspended in the smoke screen that exists so the truths remain obscured, we can see rays of light cutting through like the fingers of the sun's hand. This is it. - One for all, and all for one. No one gets thrown under the bus. - No matter how helpless or despicable we all may have been at one time or another. – Wealthy, the not-wealthy and the poor, we need to help each other, or nobody makes it through the rough ride ahead…

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So, on to potential solutions: In a phrase: Regenerative Economics. (Working definition: An economy whose focus is to create and / or regenerate the elements that support the economy itself. – This approach also recognizes that the fundamental elements for a sustainable, earth-based economy are: fresh water, arable soil, the plants, animals, minerals, other natural resources, and reasonably healthy people. From these elements arise the affordable and edible food, water, shelter, health maintenance, etc…)

 

Over thirty years ago, in the 1970s, there were many scientists and other thinkers focusing on how we might prepare for a world whose human demands were exceeding nature's ability to supply. Regenerative Economists have been at their craft for more than those thirty years. The main reason this hasn't already been addressed on a large scale is pretty much the same as the 'problem' the 99%ers are exposing. – "Greed Gone Wild"…

 

After 25 years of my own research and observations, I don't believe there is a band-aid that can fix our government, eliminate greed, and establish a sustainable economy that provides long-term jobs that support the healthy existence of its people. But for the sake of this moment I will footnote the arguments, commentary, and the theories, and offer three band-aid clusters that might rescue the patient (The United States of America):

 

Some Possible demands of the 99%:

{These suggestions were condensed from many interviews. These may or may not accurately represent the current hopes of the occupiers}

 

 A: To significantly reduce the waste and corruption in the federal government:2

 

1. End the Lobby System. Period.3 

 

2. Eliminate all private financing of election campaigns.4

 

3. Rewrite the compensation packages for elected officials, and other government employees. (Salaries, pensions, benefits, budgets, etc…)5

 

B: Financing Jobs in a new Economy:

 

1. Establish something like 'US Recovery Bonds'. – A tax deferred bond program that could enable wealthy people to invest in this country's potential future.6

 

2. Debate Warren Buffet's tax proposal7 on the house floor (apply the same 'realistic', progressive numbers for income taxes and capital gains taxes). Broadcast it Live on all networks. – And pass it!

 

C: Initiating the New Economy:

 

1. In short, regenerative and sustainable practices should be stimulated, or 'rewarded', and unsustainable practices should be phased out. -  Altering our subsidy and tax policies can help to accomplish this.8

 

2. The focus should be on what needs to be accomplished first, then transposing those essentials into jobs, and addressing where the money comes from.9

 

3. Communities, or regions, could help accelerate this process, if given some resources and latitude to conduct their own regenerative experiments.10

 

4. There are many intellectual / printed resources and examples of regenerative economics in the US and around the world.11 If we can combine the best of what we have achieved with a regenerative philosophy and the desire to work through all this together, the results might go beyond even the most optimistic among us.

 

PS. We also need to stop the Keystone, Tar Sands Pipeline.  –  It is the same thing: 1% will profit at the expense of all. Stopping it now will help protect the environment and the economy.11

 

   

Footnotes:

 

 

1. A man by the name of Bob Gordon and many others have decried this.

 

2. (Get the over the table, and the under the table money out of politics. – Yes it would take several lawyers to make sure the wording leaves no loophole unplugged.)

 

3. Re Lobbyists: "Don't deny any of their unemployment claims; just lay them all off." Again, no one should get thrown under the bus, even if their role in undermining 'the economy' and the country has been substantial (this would also apply to many individuals in the financial industry, and many other industries whose practices have contributed to job losses, environmental degradation and the collapse of the economy itself) 

 

4. (Eliminate All forms of private election financing; including 501c-type loopholes, etc… must effectively reverse the corporate access granted by the Citizens United case.)

 

5. Make them citizens again. – We do want our representatives to be motivated and have some resources to work with, but we need them to be working for the people of this country who elected them; no longer just smoke-screening us while actually working for private interests. – Many of those are multi-national…

 

6. "Job one for the 12 is to pare down some future promises that even a rich America can’t fulfill. Big money must be saved here. The 12 should then turn to the issue of revenues. I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.

But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice."  - Warren Buffet -

(A version of this op-ed appeared in print on August 15, 2011, on page A21 of the New York edition with the headline: Stop Coddling the Super-Rich.)

 

  – Two additional notes here: 1. Many representatives and senators have signed an oath with Grover Norquist not to raise taxes. This obstruction will have to be addressed for any functional movement on tax policy. This oath may well be unconstitutional or illegal since it has superceded their oath to serve the American People. - and 2. Progressive taxes on capital gains, dividends and income could definitely help mitigate some of the damage being done by excessive greed, but there would still be a need to begin the public discussion regarding the role of the stock market, banks, insurance companies, energy companies, etc.. in a sustainable economy. – In short, "what are the essential elements in a 21st Century Regenerative Economy, and what should be redesigned, rebuilt or replaced?"

 

 

7. This could be a win-win for everybody. The wealthy could 'grandfather' their wealth and get the acknowledgement for helping all of us, while helping to establish a 'bank' for a long-term jobs and recovery program – Many believe a 'new' Regenerative Economy could be fully up, and running on its own engine in two growing seasons or less…

 

8. Again, no one should be thrown under the bus. If any particular endeavor or industry needs to change to allow for a sustainable future, then we should all change together. We can jumpstart sustainable practices through straightforward initiatives, subsidies, tax breaks, rebates, etc… And we can help phase out unsustainable practices through progressive taxation on consumption and pollution. (To have the desired effect without causing more problems, the rates should probably go down for very low to moderate levels, and then continue to graduate higher as consumption and pollution levels increase towards 'destructive'.)  - We need to significantly curb our consumption, and decrease the toxic load on the water, the soil and the air.  Many professional 'Economists' agree that we should be refueling and maintaining our economy with progressive consumption and pollution taxes. It would be preferable that the wealthy simply invest enough money back into the system rather than have it taxed back in. – If people could be trusted to do the 'right' thing, or simply give a damn, then none of this would be necessary…

 

9. Many services could still be paid for on the 'open' market, but many will likely require initial funding directly or indirectly through the federal and local governments. Whether workers are paid as employees of businesses, independent contractors, or direct employees of the 'commonwealth' should not really matter, and could be worked out in "Cooperative Problem Solving Experiments." – see 11.

 

10. I believe mortgage relief and new creative ideas to reduce the cost of living and help keep people in their homes are fundamental for communities to achieve success in sustainable, economic endeavors. Creativity, flexibility and an open mind are perhaps the most essential components for sustainability. - This is about rebuilding the United States for the 21st Century...  From my perspective, major elements of our economy have essentially been running backwards; so that much of what we have considered normal no longer makes sense. – A new 'normal' is beginning to arise. (Perhaps more so in some other countries; hopefully we can start to catch up, lead and walk together) And the new normal should be better for all of us…

 

11. Some Resources and Reference Materials: Brooksley Born – Frontline Movie "The Warning" at pbs.org;  Lester R. Brown at the Earth Policy Institute: "World on the Edge. – How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse";  William McDonough at McDonough.com: Sustainable Architecture and Philosophy – also at TED Talks;  David MacKay: "Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air"; EnviroMonster.com: "Cooperative Problem Solving Experiments", Streams of Consciousness, and Jobs Proposals;  Jacques Fresco at TheVenusProject.com;  Peter Joseph at ZeitgeistMovie.com;  Joe Shuster: "Beyond Fossil Fools";   Japan for Sustainability at japanfs.org;  Jimmy Carter's Energy Speech from April 18, 1977 at pbs.org;  C-Span public meeting on U.S. – Canada Pipeline Oct. 7, 2011: www.c-spanvideo.org/program/301959-1; DemocracyNow.org; 

                   - Peace through intelligence, courage and persistence -

Prelude to a Jobs Bill

 

 

Prelude to a Jobs Bill

The US govt. managed to avert a possible default by raising the debt ceiling at the 11th hour. In the process, we have revealed to the world just how destabilizing, counterproductive, greedy, corrupt and confused our politicians have become…

 The televised talking heads, both rational and irrational, are mentioning that it is now time for a realistic Jobs Bill. I'm somewhat relieved to hear that, along with some important, yet poorly defined, key words like "Infrastructure" and "Education".

 My profound hope is that we can seize this moment and establish a Jobs Bill / national mission after engaging in discussions like the following:

1. What might a sustainable US economy / society look like?

2. What should 21st Century Infrastructure consist of?

3. How can we reasonably finance a back (forward) to work program that leads towards long-term stability?

The odds of this congress and this administration agreeing on a jobs bill that addresses those 3 questions, and can actually help the US for any length of time are probably less than a million to one, unless…


- The public discussions and discussions in the vernacular media address those, and other pertinent questions with all possible haste, integrity and volume…

 If we can have open discussions of what a functional, long-term US economy might look like, (I believe) it would have to finally take into account the real costs and the real value of all our natural resources. What most economists and corporate profit machines have not accounted for are diminishing natural resources (oil, coal, fresh water, clean soil, natural gas, metals and other minerals, healthy plants, animals and humans, etc…). As a self-proclaimed, Regenerative Economist, I claim that the true foundation of Any Economy is the Natural Resource Base.  I think virtually every geologist, ecologist, biologist, chemist and physicist would agree that we are consuming and polluting at rates far in excess of what nature can regenerate and mitigate.

 

Because of the failure to address those fundamental environmental constraints, much of our accepted economic practices are actually destroying the basis of The Real Economy.  The ‘reality’ is more likely, that based on current consumption and pollution levels, every single economic choice we make that is a net negative for the environment or human health, is now, and for the foreseeable future, Bad for the Real Economy. - If we agree that the Real Economy is directly related to the quantity and quality of the natural resource base, then we might refer to this relationship as a fact:  - "In 2011AD, anything that is bad for the environment is also bad for the economy". 

 So how the heck do we begin to create an economy that is good for the environment, and therefore good for all of us??

 - The good news is that nature does have a high, yet Finite, capacity to regenerate and mitigate many things. So we don't have to do the impossible, we just have to get our consumption and pollution below the levels that the Earth can balance.

 How we get there is through the courage to take on our conventions and paradigms with open minds. And at least here in the US, it would really help if the super-wealthy movers and shakers would also encourage these discussions to take place. I keep coming back to the same appeal: If those with enough wealth to control markets through massive advertising campaigns, lobbyists, campaign contributions, etc…   will entertain a moment of truce; we might gain a fair assessment of our collective situation.

 And that could lead us into the discussions of how to implement the minor changes that can make all the difference. We all need to contribute to the solution process. I hope that the wealthiest among us will consider what might only be a shift in their investment portfolios, and a more overt ownership of the United States Government. The semi-covert methods of lobbies, campaign finance and media manipulation seem extremely wasteful. - To simply own government bonds for a forward thinking economy / country / government might yield perpetual returns without all the waste and destruction that the current ownership system is causing…

 I do not feel fortunate in my belief that our federal government is currently incapable of any sincere discussions regarding 21st Century Infrastructure, sustainability or putting people ‘forward’ to work. If that is correct, then the impetus must come from the public and any media outlets, and their advertisers. There is enormous potential to lift all our life boats if we open this up for discussion. {please advertisers, just pause and think about ‘it’ – (your family’s long-term future…)}  This cannot be good verses evil, right verses left, or man verses man. This has to be, all of us working together towards the common goal of a sustainable Earth habitat. - I know that can sound naïve and a bit Disney, but it is apparently up to us, - you and me – (the public, the citizens, the individuals), to forge the ideas that can enable a demographically comprehensive and rational coalition so we can rebuild this nation together. 

 It won’t be easy no matter what we do. It would just be a lot easier to be working towards common goals than having to work against each other and ourselves…

 On to an EnviroMonster Jobs Bill…