Monday, 2 June 2014

Economics @ Transition Exeter: an active working group

One big idea which has been explored recently by Transition Exeter is 'georgism':
Futures Forum: Economics @ Transition Exeter: A land value tax

The county's largest Transition Town 
Transition Exeter
has its own working group looking at the bigger issues around economics 
- with some links to some interesting videos below:


We think there could be a better, more just economic system than we have now, that doesn’t put banks and global companies before local business and local peoples’ jobs and quality of life.  How?  See some of the videos and articles below.
Planet –Friendly Economics
 In Transition Exeter economics group, we’ve been educating ourselves about the current economy and how it could be different; we’re still doing this, but also want to discuss what we’re learning with more people, and help find projects which will move us towards a low carbon economy, and one which doesn’t have a built in self-destruct mechanism.
 Current economic theory and practice accepts the economic growth paradigm (as if there were no limits to natural resources). It has fuelled climate change and brought some marine and land ecosystems to collapse, with many more threatened. The way money is created, mainly by being lent into being by the banks as debt, is a driving force in this damage. Households and businesses struggle to pay interest on their debt, having to increase their material throughput to do so without regard to human happiness or ecological costs. Our money systems are not currently democratically controlled or run to benefit the community (see Money as Debt below). How do we address this? Reform of the financial system is needed. Money systems can be used to help create thriving local economies, reducing leakage through large businesses to national and international profit accounts and the fossil-fuelled long distance transport used to supply our needs and wants today.
Our present economy is like an aeroplane. If it doesn’t move forwards fast it falls out of the sky. We need an economy that moves like a helicopter. The only trouble is, that we have to transform the aeroplane into the helicopter in mid-flight!
Some ideas about how we do this are in the resources below, especially ‘The Great Transition’ and ‘Prosperity without Growth.’ We also list some of the articles and videos we’ve found useful, that show how the present economy affects the planet’s life support systems.
Transition Exeter’s Economics group has three aims:
  1. to educate ourselves about what a sustainable economy would be like
  2. to pass on the information to other people
  3. to develop practical projects
We have regular meetings, which are open. To find out more, do get in touch with us at economics@transitionexeter.org.uk  
Below are some of the videos and writings we’ve found most useful, but there are many more in the Resource List you can get from us.
Short videos:
About why growth isn’t indefinitely possible:
1) The test tube analogy
3) The Story of Stuff
4) The first video on positivemoney.org.uk explains what’s wrong with the current system.
Medium length videos:
Tim Jackson @ TED: Tim Jackson's economic reality check
A short (20 minute) introduction to the themes of ‘Prosperity without Growth’
Money as Debt - shows why money created mainly by banks forces continued economic growth even at the cost of environmental destruction
[BBC5.tv is a UK based independent production collective, comprised of individuals committed to progressive journalism and the observance of truth]
For more depth:
Series of short videosCrash Course in economics at www.chrismartenson.com
The Great Transition, New Economics Foundation – short book, readable, with policies on how to get from here to there, a just sustainable economy. Downloadable at http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/great-transition

Economics | Transition Exeter

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