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Woody Tasch: Destructive Economics

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global oneness project Destructive Economics Imagine that I'm speaking to a room now of a few hundred people and before the speech starts I say the following-- --"By the way, did anybody walk here tonight?" And maybe one hand goes up out of the 200. Woody Tasch - Point Reyes Station, California - Author, "Slow Money" And I say, "Well, you did virtually nothing for the economy." "You just wore the soles of your shoes out a little bit." "Did anybody ride a bike here?" and maybe 1 or 2 hands come up. "Well, you did a little bit more for the economy." "You bought the bike, the bike's going to need a new tire, blah, blah, blah." "Anybody take mass transit here?" Depending on where you are, sometimes you get no hands on that one and sometimes you get some hands. "Well, if you took a bus here, now we're getting somewhere." "Buses are expensive--insurance, you've got to employ the bus driver, etc." "Anybody drive here?" 95% of the hands go up. "Okay, now we're talking about some serious economic activity." "Everyone knows how expensive it is--cars, gas, insurance." And then everyone thinks it's over, and I say, "But did anybody get in an accident on the way here?" Everyone laughs, and I say, "Oh, it's too bad because if someone got in an accident, now we're getting into the realm of economic heroism-- --because you'd have the ambulance, you'd have to go to the hospital, all the insurance claims would start flying." I said, "And if that was a really serious accident and you almost died and you had to go in the intensive care unit-- --and when you came out you left your family, your life went into turmoil, you got divorced-- --the kids had to go into therapy, that is a superhero economically because the capital--" So when you go through that little exercise, what becomes apparent to people is economics, economic growth-- --dollar flows, which we call the economy, is not synonymous with human well-being. In fact, much of the activity that we measure in those dollar flows is actually destructive. So if you get away from that slightly playful story-- --and think about things like producing tens of millions of cars and all kinds of military armaments and cigarettes-- --and all of the things that we measure that are key to economic growth-- --these things are key, these are central--and they are of dubious long-term value in terms of sustainability and health-- --I don't think it should take too long for people-- --especially in today's world where we know about parts per million in the atmosphere and some of the limits-- --for people to say, "Jeez, economic growth isn't synonymous with well-being." It's an important component of certain parts of our lives-- --but it is no longer synonymous with well-being. We can't just continue to try to grow our way out of our problems. We have to find other ways of creating economic opportunity and wealth that are not dependent upon destructive activities.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 48 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 112
Posted by: global on Mar 9, 2009

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