Bucking Economic Greed

Marjorie Kelly
Co-founder and editor of Business Ethics magazine;
author of
The Divine Right of Capital

The best place people can put their money to work is investing
in their community. When you make speculative bets on the stock
market, so-called ?invested? dollars don?t really reach the
corporations you intend; they simply trade hands from one
speculator to another. If you want to put your money to work
building something, place it with a community development financial
institution (CDFI). These organizations, which include everything
from community development credit unions and community investment
funds to neighborhood-oriented banks like ShoreBank and technical
assistance organizations like the Woodstock Institute, make
community-oriented loans for things like low-income housing,
inner-city development, and small-business help for the
disadvantaged. And they have a great track record on repayment, so
your money is safe.

For more on Business Ethics magazine, visit
www.business-ethics.com

David Morris
Vice president, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Tithe yourself. Devote 10 percent of your income to support
political efforts?both electoral and nonelectoral?whose objective
is to defeat George Bush?s quest for a second term. The time frame
is short: 12 to 15 months. Success would make all other efforts
possible.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is at
www.ilsr.org

Hazel Henderson
Economist and futurist; author of many books, including
The Politics of the Solar Age

I would first recommend that people who want to put their money
to work for their values look at all their options for investing in
socially responsible mutual funds. For the more adventurous, there
are funds specializing in solar energy and renewable resources.
Those concerned with revitalizing and growing vigorous local
economies can look at the many community investment opportunities
for CDs and bonds, which pay interest and help inner-city
redevelopment, micro-enterprises, affordable housing,
community-supported local agriculture. Check out all these options
at www.socialinvest.org.
Personally, I believe that the U.S. dollar?s days as the world?s
?defacto? reserve currency are numbered. Some 35 percent of world
trade and other countries? currency reserves are now in euros. Many
countries have diversified their currency reserves out of U.S.
dollars.

Hazel Henderson is at
www.hazelhenderson.com

Jacob Needleman
Professor of philosophy, San Francisco State University; author
of
Money and the Meaning of Life and several other
books

Of course, there are many enterprises and projects that are
worthy of support, and many individuals worthy of being helped. But
there is one use of money that is rarely mentioned, but that in its
way is one of the most beneficent uses of money in the world. I am
referring to the use of money and wealth to further one?s own
pursuit of truth and inner development. The world needs many
things, but nothing more urgently than men and women of wisdom and
conscience. To those who wish to put their dollars to good use in
the world, I would suggest they consider seeking out the help that
would enable them to work at becoming within themselves men and
women who actually can see reality and understand the Good. It is
not easy; it takes a great hunger, and the freedom that money
brings can be a tremendous help in finding the guidance that is
necessary.

For more on Jacob Needleman, visit
www.jacobneedleman.com

Joe Sibilia
President, Meadowbrooklane Capital, and founder of the Gasoline
Alley Foundation

Where you work, how you spend your money, how you spend your
time, and how you invest what?s left over contribute to the common
good. If you decide to work for a company that pollutes waterways,
or employs slave labor, or engages in illicit trade while investing
your money in a socially responsible mutual fund, you?re really
only kidding yourself. Every time you spend money on a product or
service, you are making an investment in that company. You
contribute to profits and support their business model. Every time
you decide to engage in a social or cultural event, you support and
contribute to its sustainability. It?s shifting your thoughts,
conscious living. It ain?t easy. And once you begin to think about
it, it becomes a lifelong journey. To be on the journey with
like-minded individuals makes the trip that much better. The
travelers will benefit the future generations. That?s really the
goal: leaving the place a little better for the next
generation.

Meadowbrooklane Capital is at
www.meadowbrooklane.com

Mark Finser
President and CEO, Rudolf Steiner Foundation (RSF)

So much in our world today tries to separate us from our money.
We?re told to buy this, invest in that, give to this. What we have
tried to focus on at our foundation is how individuals can stay
connected with their money all the way through its movement. Money
moves when you buy something, it moves when you invest, it moves
when you give. And each one of these transactions has a different
quality to it. If individuals and organizations can stay awake and
consciously follow how their money moves in the world, it is far
more satisfying and has far more impact.

For those to whom we lend the money, it?s important that they be
just as conscious of where that money is coming from. And as they
repay their obligations, we?ve heard time and time again how much
easier it is for them when they?re writing their check to picture
the whole community that has wanted them to succeed. This is the
true form of transparency.

For more on RSF, visit
www.rsfoundation.org

Michael Kieschnick
Co-founder, Working Assets

Most ways of using money have made the world worse. Thankfully,
there are an infinite number of honorable ways to give, invest,
spend?and not spend?money that would make the world better. This is
a very personal choice, and the best choice is one that can be
sustained over time. Three that seem critical to me are:

Spending money to change who is president of the United States.
There has never been so much power concentrated in one country, and
that country is led by someone with a messianic goal of rolling
back the 20th century;

Keeping money out of the hands of the national chains,
and instead buying goods that are made to last from local stores,
artists, and farmers; and

Giving money in a way that provides women and girls with full
educational opportunities, civil rights, political power, and
freedom of expression around the world.

For more on Working Assets, visit
www.workingassets.com

Catherine Austin Fitts
President, Solari Inc.

The best investment opportunity in America is to start a solari,
which is a neighborhood investment databank and adviser. A solari
circulates information about ?how the money works? and helps small
businesses and real estate access local and global equity markets
in a way that significantly increases equity yields in a
neighborhood or small town. Investing our time and money in a
neighborhood solari is a way to build retirement savings by ?voting
with our money? for a sustainable economy.

For more on Solari Inc., visit
www.solari.com

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