A “Small but Beautiful” addition to the plan

Susan Witt, director of BurkShares community currency system presented on theFinance Lab Webinar today and I got to ask her to clarify how it eliminated the excess growth of debt. Then I thought of how the macro-economic solution Keynes first proposed could be usefully built into the design of local currencies to make them more popular and test the larger solution too.

Thanks for presenting on the Finance Lab today, and refreshing my understanding of how the BurkShares currency solves the debt growth problem. I actually attended a daylong seminar with Schumacher in the early 80’s but I seem to recall his director of the project, which I guess would have been you, was not there that day.

I remember trying to talk with him about one of the other strategies for keeping money and debt from growing unsustainably.  At that time I don’t think I even knew that Keynes and Boulding had seen the same option for allowing investment markets to stabilize at their natural healthy limits to growth. Continue reading A “Small but Beautiful” addition to the plan

But, can a whole economy be “Small is Beautiful”?

Most of the popular alternative economy proposals I read about, hold out hope we can return to simple living as the source of security it once was.  But how would we actually reduce the complexity of society and return to self-reliance, while somehow keeping our modern culture and character?

Can we really go ahead to the past?  Everyone seems to want to.

I really don’t think that’s remotely possible. There’s no sliding scale of time. The future can only be built from the the present.

I also hear a lot of criticism of the “sweeping technology solutions”, and would tend to agree with criticisms of things like high speed rail.  They’re proposed as if meant to have the economic impact that new highway systems did before.  It’s inappropriate to think change can now proceed by ever bigger steps as before.

There’s also a tendency to promote things like home energy conservation as an economic stimulus, but that is not in the least bit like discovering a new cheap source of energy, for example.  Trying to imagine how societies can change dramatically seems to bring out a lot of incomplete thinking.

It’s as if the question conceals a real lack of imagination these days. I think there’s a lot of evidence we’re grasping at straws. Continue reading But, can a whole economy be “Small is Beautiful”?