The Other Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules!
This IDEO challenge brief begins:
“In the wake of a global economic crisis…”
Your challenge brief begins: “In the wake of a global economic crisis…” and so we see right off that unemployment is a symptom of an economic crisis.
Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and others, warned that economic booms and busts would be the result of allowing private interests to control our money supply. They warned us that giant banks and giant corporations would be the inevitable outcome and they would cause wild swings in our economy through inflation and deflation. We have surely arrived at the future they predicted over 200 years ago.
Can we be clear headed and honest enough to treat the cause, not the symptoms? Cold compresses on a fevered forehead may feel good but they won’t cure an infection in the gut.
Private interests impinging on our money supply are like parasites or tumors in the body that interfere with the flow of blood in our system. Private banks, giant corporations, and massive governments have become the overindulgent, dominating agents in our society, continually concentrating wealth and power in the hands of those at the top.
So how do we get off this roller-coaster of wild economic swings that cause unemployment and a host of other societal ills? By Finding ways to circumvent, and re-invent our monetary system. Look for ways to recreate the global economy based on a different set of principles, using a different kind of currency. Can we create open source money? Can we create a parallel monetary system that would be insulated from the booms and busts of the present system?
My response to the challenge is to invite people of all ages, not just young people, to find out how our current monetary system works, or rather how it doesn’t work, and start discussing ideas on how to fix it. Awareness is the first step.
Here’s a thought: If we are going to have central banks, shouldn’t they be public institutions and shouldn’t the employees be paid like civil servants? (The Federal Reserve is no more Federal than Federal Express, and they have no reserves at all.)
Our current debt based monetary system is the driving force behind the profligate misuse of our natural, and our human resources. It’s like crystal meth destroying the addict.
It may seem off-topic to start talking about how our system is trashing the planet in a discussion about building better employment opportunities and pathways for young people, but when you get down to the nitty-gritty of the failing global economic system you find money being created out of thin air and loaned out at interest. This puts a hyper demand on people and resources. The loans are stimulating, and the after-effects are devastating.
Better employment opportunities and pathways would lead to the creation of a better global economic system. One that doesn’t inherently abuse people or the planet. Individuals will probably continue to do those things, but our system should not induce it or make it unavoidable.
The problem has been with us so long that we don’t even question it. I wonder if one in a hundred people even know what the term ‘debt based money’ means. When digging into the subject we commonly find extremes of irritating diatribe on one hand and coma inducing intellectualizing on the other, both of which can make it very difficult to understand the core issues.
On a positive note there are level headed discussions on the topic going on in the world. One in particular is Positive Money www.positivemoney.org. I believe their efforts are worth contributing to.
Our system is literally an unbelievable nightmare and we need to gently wake ourselves up to what is going on. Otherwise we’ll find ourselves overwhelmed and boggled by the situation, refusing to believe it could possibly be true, and remain in denial.
Becoming aware of the situation is the first step. Denial and anger may follow, but that’s the way it sometimes goes with this sort of thing. I believe people around the world will find a way to sort all this out and set us up for our next stage in human evolution, whatever that may be.
I like to imagine living on a civilized planet. I’m not sure what the monetary system looks like on such a planet, but I’m quite certain it’s nothing like what we have here on our planet.