What's Your Story?

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Phantom Wealth Casino Economy

Real Wealth Living Earth Economy

Defining Slogan

The one with the most toys wins

We all do better when we all do better

Human Nature

We humans are by nature motivated to pursue individual self-interest and material acquisition. Cooperation in service to some greater community good is contrary to our nature.

We humans are complex beings of many possibilities. The mature consciousness finds joy in cooperation, caring, and service to others. Greed, violence, and extreme individualism are symptoms of psychological dysfunction.

Money

Money is wealth and those who make money are creating new wealth that ultimately trickles down to benefit us all.

Money is a mere number, an accounting chit. Those who make money unassociated with the creation of anything of real value are engaged in a form of theft.

Markets

Free from taxes and government regulation, the market rewards in direct proportion to individual contribution and turns the pursuit of individual financial advantage into greater wealth and well-being for all.

Markets work best when within a framework of rules and values that reflect the community interest. Markets that celebrate and reward psychological dysfunction are destructive of community values and well-being.

Community Interest

The community interest is a simple aggregation of individual interests. We all do best when we each seek to maximize our individual financial gain.

Strong caring communities are essential to our individual and collective happiness, security, and general well-being. We all do better when we look out for one another and invest collectively in community and environmental health. 

Rules

Our economic system is sound. Deficiencies are best resolved by eliminating distorting rules and taxes.

Our fatally flawed economic system undermines our well-being and threatens our survival as a species. We must replace it with a new system based on community values and valid assumptions.

System Alternatives

The only alternative to the excess of global capitalism is the oppressive and unproductive state tyranny of socialism/communism.

Capitalism and communism both centralize and concentrate economic power in unaccountable institutions. The better option is a system of properly regulated locally rooted regional economies.

Indicators

Growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is an indicator of economic progress and growth in the total wealth and well-being of society

GDP is a measure of the economic cost of producing a given level of well-being. Economic performance is better assessed against nonfinancial indicators of the health of our children, families, communities, and natural systems.

These are two starkly contrasting economic stories. Which has the greater currency in the public culture? Which, by your experience, is the more valid? What’s your story?

Note that this page may be copied and used as an effective group discussion exercise.