Question: What do inequity, billionaires, denuded landscapes, drought, over population, and homelessness have in common?
Answer: Economics. The very thing we rely on to sustain us is our Achilles heal. We need to change our view of Economics from the panacea for all of our ills, to severe skepticism.
Why Economics Appears To Work: Denial
Because we wanted more people, we grew more food. Because we wanted more food, we grazed cows. Because cows are grazed everywhere, the land withered. Because the old forests and prairies are gone, the rain is stopping. Because the land withered and the rain stopped, the cow died — before it could even be killed by humans. Why? Economics.
We built civilization with economics. However, this model of social organization destroys the world for us to survive. Capitalism has become the dominate governance model because it extracts profit the fastest. Even China has adopted it’s own free-market version.
If we look at population and cities, economics appears to be working. However, if we take off the blinders and expand our empathy, diversity of life is dying.
Our biggest problems are institutionalized into society through culture, business, and government. Quandary: We are taught civilization must continue at any cost. If society is causing a problem, the only way to solve the problem is to eliminate a cause which cannot be eliminated. Thus, the problem can never be resolved, and will continue to spiral out of control.
Why Economics Creates More Problems, Even When It Provides Results
Conservative, Republican policy makers believe that problems should be solved by using the economy to make a profit. It makes sense, they represent the wealthy who stand to benefit through economic solutions.
There is however, a contradiction between conservative religious values and actual lifestyle practice: One of the human poisons — Greed. We cannot preach both redeeming values and exploit in our daily lives. Yet, modern religions reinforces this insanity by giving humans dominion over all life to destroy as we wish.
We cannot simultaneously take away people’s unemployment benefits to encourage them to work and not raise the minimum wage at the same time.
Reagan was wrong, money does not trickle down, it vacuums up. For example, the trillions of dollars of Covid pandemic aid will all in the end go to the wealthy. Almost all will slip through the hands of the low income people and be sucked up by giant corporations that feed, supply, and clothe everyone. Economics does the opposite of what it proponents say, it creates wealth for the wealthy, period. While the 99% slave for life.
Movie: Other Side of the Hill
A new movie in 2020, Other Side of the Hill, “Shows how rural communities in Eastern Oregon are reaping economic rewards now by transcending the toxic partisan rhetoric of climate change.”
Let’s take a closer look at the economic falsehoods:
- A statistic in the movie shows that Wallowa County per capita income has increased. However, the economic benefits of large solar and wind farms are concentrated on a few energy companies and existing wealthy land owners. Everyone else in the county has seen no economic benefits in their pocketbooks. A few ranchers are now richer, getting $3000-5000 per acre in revenue for energy vs. $300 for cattle.
- Energy has increased land prices, so now young families can no longer afford to buy rural land to farm.
- The real cause of climate change, deforestation, is not addressed by these investments. In fact it is exacerbated.
- The life span of the energy projects is only about 20 years. Then the blades have to come off the wind turbines and the solar panels are obsolete. See Planet of The Humans by Michael Moore.
- It takes more BTUs of energy to create and maintain the non-renewable solar and wind farms than they produce.
The Value of Life Is Eliminated By Money
Economics convert life and the land into resources with a singular purpose. Instead of 30 million species on the brink of extinction, there is only timber, minerals, energy and food. All else is invisible.
The sacred value of all life, regeneration, biodiversity, non-human home and family, stable weather, clean water and air, and all creation are stripped away. Non-human life becomes voiceless.
Only The Great Spirit can create life and ecosystems. Civilized humanity can only build, pave, spend, deplete, run down, mine, log, farm, damn, explode, violence, jail, educate, program, and control. However, indigenous peoples contribute, thrive, co-exist, leave, respect, tend, regenerate, and are in harmony with wild biodiversity.
Money never dies. Money is not alive. Money is an idea. Money is a mind-disease that converts the wild living Earth to resources as quickly as possible so profit can be enjoyed by the current generation of humans. The humans who cut the old-growth forest are dead. The humans who plowed the original wild prairies are dead. The humans who damed the rivers and killed the wild fisheries are dead. The humans who brought small pox are dead. We will all soon be dead and leave less behind for our children than we were given by our parents.
Burr’s Third Law: For every consumption, there is an equal and opposite destruction.
Business Are Blinded By Profit
A company does what it is paid to do by consumers to survive and profit. Demand dictates production and services. Revenue is accumulated at the minimum cost without considering externalized costs, or the original source of the demand, aka the problem.
A Profit and a Solution are not the same. Neither are their stakeholders.
Food companies scrape and poison the planet clean to provide whatever consumers are addicted to: meat, soda, junk food. They look at the numbers and care for none: environmental damage, public health disease, population growth, land and water poisoning — just quarterly profits. Cigarette companies don’t pay for their customer’s lung cancer medical bills, lost wages and family’s suffering. Soda companies don’t pay their customer’s obesity, cancer, dental, and heart disease medical bills. Herbicide and pesticide companies can never clean the land, soil and people they have poisoned.
If you want to ignore a problem, hire a corporation. Create vaccines instead of figuring out what is causing these viruses.
Public Policy Makers Do Not Have Whole System Eyes
To be honest, policy makers lack most skills to do their job. Most politicians are clueless ego maniacs. Business executives are worse because quarterly profit-blinders narrow their vision.
The only peoples who have ever walked Earth who know how to make a livelihood without destroying it are indigenous peoples:
- Their knowledge of how to make a living with the wild is intact.
- Their minds are not twisted by the civilized mind-disease.
- They possess no economics, only balance. The word profit does not even exist in original native languages. All trades must be equal without exploitation. All wigwams are the same. No one is paid a wage.
A contemporary skillset may be:
- Native edible, medicinal, shelter and social skills. Know the seasonal wheel of food and shelter locations.
- Permaculture teachers, able to teach the entire PDC from memory. Natural builders are useful. Herbalists with physiology training, plus natural history education.
- Oligist degrees don’t help much. An understanding of how to live in a place is more important. We don’t need a microscope to see where clean water comes from.
- Economics have the wrong skillset for a living planet. We have only gotten as far as we have by exploiting the diminishing resources found in the new colonies a couple hundreds years ago. Economists are more useful in a place with no life, like Mars.
- Wildcrafters and seed growers know where the source of plants comes from: open pollinated seeds with the full genetics to regrow the same plant true to type from seed. Dig a wild onion in the fall, shake the seeds off upside down in place; harvest and sow in one stop.
The point is policy makers do not have the wisdom and courage to look at the root cause of our problems. For example, we do not have a shortage of housing or food, we have concentration of wealth and too many people. But accumulation of wealth and family size are sacred cows not to be questioned. Instead, we build more houses and grow more food for more people.
Kudos to The Honest Public Officials.
Kudos to public policy makers who are genuinely trying to make the world a better place to right injustices, create equity and guarantee safety. But their vision must be 10x greater and everything must be questioned. End money. Every billionaire must be cut down to $2-5 million, or we will have institutionalized monarchy. Every family to one-child, or we will populate ourselves into oblivion. There will never be enough to go around for our 8 billion. What we have left is burning out as quickly as a match in the next few generations. Educating our children to follow in their consumer-parent’s footsteps is programming for accelerating disaster.
This is one of the dead cows along the road in Bears Ears National Monument, which Donald Trump unprotected, and is now grazed. The cows are dying in this water-less place. The stench from this one cow is staggeringly overwhelming, that any human who has smelled it will never eat meat again. The rancher has so little empathy, that they won’t even take the cows to the stockyard. You can hear forgotten cows whaling in ravines. The desert landscape is barren of grass. But, because it is profitable, American ranchers graze millions of cattle in Desert West cow-death camps. Brazilian ranchers burn the last of the rainforest for grazing. Who is the beast, man or cow?
Evolve Beyond Economics And Money
In short, economics is a lousy social organization system. It’s like dropping the Earth into a blender and pressing frappé. The planet gets trashed and the goods are disturbed unevenly. Every dollar given is taken from someone else. Money makes people desperate, and do bad things. GDP has become the Gross Destruction Produced.
Let us evolve past economics, and find a better way to organize society to make a living.
Economics Create Problems, Not Solve Them
The Two Great Needs Capitalism and Democracy Can Never Fill
Jubilee 2020: Dump Our Rotting Debt Economy
Money: 10 Unintended Consequences
Share these ideas person-to-person. Don’t just read these essays, post links on your social media to essays that resonate with you. Our speech is not free if dissenting messages are hidden by search engines, and mainstream media. You found these ideas, now share them with others.
Chuck Burr is author of Culturequake: The Restoration Revolution. Revised Fourth Edition. 10th Anniversary.