Monday, July 4, 2016

Surviving Economic Instability

Successful economies are built on stability. If you know exactly where your next meal is coming from and can reliably predict no shortages, it allows you to free more of your money up for investments and spending, which are the real drivers of an economy. However, if there is even slight uncertainty, people start increasing their savings and holding off on buying things they don't need. Small events of this size are what cause recessions. The larger the uncertainty, the worse the recession. Unfortunately, we are likely headed into the largest period of uncertainty in an age. Climate change is absolutely happening, and at a frightening rate. Agricultural land is widely being poorly managed and thus used up. The grasslands of the world are almost all turning to desert. To make matters worse, our country is throwing up walls (figuratively, but maybe literally as well) and developing factions that increasingly vilify each other. These are not the sort of things that bode well for the sort of long term stability a thriving civilization is built upon.

I saw a maxim recently that really struck a nerve. "When you have more than you need, don't build a higher wall, build a longer table." I really love that one. As humans, we thrive together. We survive the hard times together. We build a civilization together. We make the world a better place together. A few people acting alone cannot do it themselves.

But what if that saying isn't referring to food and money and other tangible resources? What if you have an abundance of knowledge and solutions? What if that knowledge and those solutions are exactly what is needed? How would you build that longer table and what would it look like?

The first thing to remember is everything has a value. If you give it away for free, that is its value. I learned this from martial arts. I'd honestly teach it for free to have a good group of people to practice with. But teaching it for free sets its value. If I am not paying for class, what do I miss if I don't show up? But when someone pays for something, it sets a value. You don't have to fleece people, but give the knowledge and the solutions a value.

Once the base set of knowledge and solutions is identified, it needs to be developed, researched, and implemented. The first thing you need is a team. Honestly, this is probably the hardest part. When you are implementing something completely new, how do you find people who share the vision, who think beyond what has been universally taught and what everyone believes? It is a tough thing,and a lot of luck is involved.

Next you need a demonstration site. While you might find a few people to believe in your vision, if you want more people to believe, it has to be demonstrably true. You have to be able to prove to the doubters and naysayers that it can be done. Nothing is more fun than telling the person who says "It'll never work!" that "We have been doing it successfully for 3 years now. Want to come see?" But it needs to be more than a demonstration site. Provable prosperity is the minimum. If a demonstration site is in an area that wouldn't normally support such a thing, even better. You want to produce all the food you need on a half acre? Build it in a desert, on the side of a mountain, in a frozen tundra. If you can do it there, you have proven it can be done anywhere.

Next you need a community. You need a dedicated group of individuals willing to work together, willing to learn, willing to embrace a new version of prosperity. You need people who will go out and implement the solutions on new sites and in different ways. You need people who will talk about it and bring new members to create a growing community.

Now I just have to bring this set of ideas to life. I have a vision, a set of solutions I believe could fix our environment, bring security, and maybe even fix the economy. I have a team. I have a demonstration site. Who wants to be a part of my community?


  1. Well I couldn't convince a drowning man to get into a lifeboat, but I've learned a lot from you and I can always try to lead by example!