World Transformation - Category: Economics, Financing, Banking
 Oreo Budgets
picture From Ming the Mechanic: A nice Flash presentation narrated by Ben Cohen, founder of Ben&Jerry's, done for TrueMajority.org, in which he explains, using Oreo cookies, the way that the U.S. federal budget is divided up, and how little rearrangement it would take to fund most of America's social programs. Simple and compelling.
[ | 18 May 2004 @ 06:32 | PermaLink ]

 Trapped in Illusions
picture From Synergic Earth News: Arthur Noll writes: Money and markets are not the only illusionary way of looking at the world that has destroyed civilizations, the more basic cause of the trouble is human nature, which grabs hold of these illusionary ways of thought because it feels good to them. There are many ways to see the world wrong, money and markets is one of the most insidious, because it looks rational on the surface. No one on the surface of things is expecting mystical beliefs to come true to satisfy the sustainable working of markets, what is mystical about trading this bit of paper for that product? It is tangible, involves real things. But when you look a little deeper, magical expectations are exactly what you find. Markets inherently drive towards infinite growth, infinite substitutions, the expectation of this coming true requires magic. Is there no better system than money? I thought about this for years and came up with nothing. All the advantages you talk about, yes, I've gone over them repeatedly and came up with nothing better, yet the flaws of the system drove me back to keep looking. And I found it, found it right in front of my eyes and yet had not seen it. I've written of it before, I'll repeat it again. We can organize and work as a single body works. Does your stomach demand payment before it sends it's work to the small intestine? Does the small intestine hold out for cash or credit before nutrients go into the bloodstream? No, a thousand times no. Stuff is simply freely passed around. The brain must make calculations of Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROEI), considering the problems of the whole body, coodinating it's movements, to get the stuff in the first place. If the brain is smart, it may also consider whether that EROEI is sustainable. Society can operate the same way. We figure the EROEI of the actions of that society, and the sustainability of that EROEI, and within those limits, resources are as freely passed around within the group as they are passed around in the body. If a part of your body doesn't work right anymore, has a negative EROEI, you may consider very seriously cutting it off. The same can happen to people in this society. Done in this way, the disadvantages of barter are gone, and the advantages of money are also gone. You do not worry about getting what you need for what you have made on a specific exchange, the problem with barter. You simply take what you need from where it is made, and give what you made to whoever wants it. Even without considering the long term problems of the market, money is a far more cumbersome system compared to this, think again of my example of the various organs demanding payment. Your body would work like a herky jerk puppet if it worked at all, on such a system. And I think current society has that same herky jerky quality to it. There has not been a better system in human consciousness before, but now I give you one. The "body society" should be able to grow to be much smoother in it's immediate actions as well as having advantages for making plans for the long term. Evaluation of resources and the actions of people making up the body of society can be done without the distortions of and problems of barter, money or mysticism, they can be done on the basis of EROEI for the whole group and the sustainability of that EROEI. (01/26/04)
[ | 19 Apr 2004 @ 13:21 | PermaLink ]

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