Bank of America protest 

It’s a telling sign of our time when it’s a struggle to actually talk about the value of things and not just the price they are supposedly worth. When we struggle to discuss what actually makes something worth its weight in gold, so to speak, and not some speculative number put on it. Does it keep up safe from the elements? Does it sate our hunger? Quench our thirst? Educate our children? These are what actually make things worthwhile, but all we talk about are what those things cost, which is too often defined by, at best, speculation and at worst, deceit.

This is the thrust behind David Korten’s idea of phantom wealth and real wealth. (I’ve written previously about Korten here and here.) In a recent blog post at YES! Magazine Korten writes about a new report from the New Economy Working Group (NEWGroup) called How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule. In that post Korten takes on the malfeasance of Wall Street and corporations: “Despite the financial crash of 2008, the financial assets of America’s billionaires and the idle cash of the most profitable corporations are now at historic highs.” The report continues the attack:

The 2008 financial crash was a direct and inevitable consequence of a social engineering experiment conducted by Wall Street interests that allowed Wall Street financial institutions to consolidate their control of the creation and allocation of money beyond the reach of public accountability. The priority of the money system shifted from funding real investment for building community wealth to funding financial games designed solely to enrich Wall Street without the burden of producing anything of real value.  

The report offers a six-part agenda for leading us back to a world where the real value of things comes to the forefront. The suggestions include, “Break[ing] up the mega-banks and implement[ing] tax and regulatory policies that favor community financial institutions” and “Establish[ing] state-owned partnership banks in each of the 50 states, patterned after the Bank of North Dakota.”

It’s hard to see something like this actually working right now, given the repulsion so many in Congress feel toward the government they make up—and the success they’ve had in turning that repulsion into votes. Still, it’s nice to see an approach that stems from actual values instead of made-up ones.

Source: YES! Magazine, How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule 

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter

click me