We need a total paradigm shift.
1. As we evaluate "economic development" in our community, always ask how any proposed change or new development will effect the entire community; the commonwealth of citizens and the surrounding ecology.
2. Meet as many local needs from local sources as possible through the mutual work of citizens. Build a local and regional economy that supports the creative and productive enterprise of local free market entrepreneurs, not state subsidized multi-national corporate behemoths. It is good to remember that the dictionary definition of fascism is simply "the merger of state and corporate interests.” Here is a sobering quote: "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . -corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of this country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed." -- Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
3. Use local resources to meet local needs first, and then market any surplus outside of your local community in concentric circles of distribution. Sell closest to source first to minimize energy used in transport of goods.
5. Set up intergenerational communities where the old and young work within a "whole system" community structure to care for the specific needs of people at each stage of the life-cycle. Institutional childcare and the exploitive nursing home industry have very high social and financial costs. We must integrate all ages into efficient systems of a well functioning local community. Inter-generational co-housing is a good model to develop.
6. Develop appropriate technology for adding value within the community at a scale that is in balance with nature, the actual community scale, the real human social scale and the actual carrying capacity of the local ecology.
7. Develop small scale industry and business to support local farm, fishery, and forest economies to produce real goods for real needs. A sustainable society can only be supported with resources from sustainable sources.
8. Produce as much of the energy needed by the community as possible at the local level. Conserve and utilize all energy within intelligent systems to lessen the actual need for energy. Effective conservation is much more cost effective than chasing an illusory and temporary techno-fix. Nature conserves energy whenever possible. There is no waste in nature. We need to apply scientific bio-mimicry to build an efficient human ecological-economy.
9. Work to increase the real income within the community and lessen the need to purchase resources and services outside of your community. The net value of economic activity is the only valid and real measure.
10. Build direct local connections between urban consumers and rural producers of food and energy.
12. Be aware of the real economic value of neighborly acts and community cohesion. A safe, sane society is much less costly to operate than a society burdened with systemic dis-enfranchisement that leads to crime and violence.A world that works for all of us can only be built up from local communities that work for all of the participants.
13. Develop reality based currencies, web-based direct value trading and traditional barter systems to replace the inflationary/imaginary global money system. As the sub-prime mortgage crash is painfully demonstrating, a sustainable economy must be based on the trade of real goods and services, not just financial "paper". Sustainable societies can only be operated on real resources and real capital, not false credit conjured up out of thin air.