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We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old

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In these days of economic collapse, it is critical for people to act decisively and quickly to begin the process of restructuring our local communities. I invite those who read this to respond to me directly after reading this.

The election will not fix the economy. We have not yet begun that fight. Stimulus packages will not fix the economy. The infrastructure investment would be improved by such spending but the payoff for this investment economically would be limited and within small sectors of the economy. The real payoff for this would be the future. As such a transition to energy production to renewable energies might finally happen. This is a good thing.

Now is the time for us to pool the resources available now in our communities. This can impact on farming, urban residents, retail operations and labor. But it is not meant in quite the same spirit as the verse from the old labor song that is used in the title.

Now is the time to localize the economy. Look to our neighbors and in our communities. Create new institutions capable of community investment. Build from the ground up out of the ashes of destroyed local economies. Farm co-ops need to function autonomously, retail co-ops will need to redefine their focus for sales. Apartment owners need to develop new rent-with-option-to-buy leases and agreements.

The key is to pool financial resources and NOT try to go it on our own. Credit unions were originally developed from just such thinking during the last Great Depression. Commitments to such revenue pools need to address many issues that have yet to arise, such as relocations for employment, decline of incomes, limited credit availability and increasing anxiety and depression. Intentional communities can address some of these issues but require responsible step-by-step development where reach does not exceed grasp.

Trying to keep a sinking boat afloat is never a good idea, but it is an idea that most people usually stick with until it is too late. If the boat is already filled with holes, bailing cannot be done fast enough. If now, we try to live by cutting back on credit and expenses, while the boat is sinking, all we will accomplish is putting off the inevitable.

The future requires new creation, new life. Our initiative now is our willingness to find support and pooling of resources. We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old. 


I am a Green Party member who lives in San Francisco. I have been active in water planning in the Middle Rio Grande region of New Mexico. I write political articles on the need for third parties, the contemporary failures of public education, the (more...)

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