Rants & Reasons

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,