Fixing The Future (Documentary) – An Alternative Economic Model
By lucas@endneoliberalism On 5 Jul, 2013 At 01:24 AM | Categorized As Green Business | With 0 Comments

Fixing The Future visits towns all across the United States that are growing back using cooperative capitalism and even printing their own local money. Some initiatives, like the Portland Hour Exchange, are defying the concept of money altogether.

The Portland Hour Exchange is a bank of time. Neighbors swap skills and swap time for cooking, maintenance work, boat sailing and even health care services. People get to do the things they love and meet neighbors in the community. Everyone’s hour is worth the same amount regardless of skills.

Local currencies, such as the Baltimore Notes, keep money inside the community. When you spend your money at a chain store only 15% remains in the economy, but 3 times as much stays in the community when you spend on a local business. The B-note boosts over 200 local businesses affiliated with the program.

The benefits of strong local economies, a busy Main Street, go beyond economic needs in a country where 47 million Americans live below the poverty line. A functioning local economy is a place of ongoing activity that encourages meaningful relationships and creative new ventures. People have well-paid jobs and are happy because they do what they love. Products are also better; more natural, more delicious, and made by your happy neighbors. People in strong local communities are paying their mortgages, sending kids to schools, and they get to live in a place that is more beautiful and enjoyable.

People from these local towns are happy because they spend more time with the environment and creative people. In turn, they need a lot less of the things that are useless and disposable, they enjoy more delicious foods and fun leisure activities, and they engage business creations that are praised and experienced like a form of art.

In these prosperous towns, sustainable connections are formed among local businesses. The Willows Inn, for example, serves the delicious natural salmon fished by Lummi Island Wild Reefnet Salmon Fishery, which uses solar panels and human labour to pull the nets filled with salmon from the beautiful Lummi river.

Worker cooperatives like Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, Ohio Cooperative Solar, and Green City Growers are reaching industrial size and putting millions of people to work. Cooperatives invest in green technologies because they can be long-term oriented without pressures from Wall Street and because they rely on the environment they live in. Evergreen uses the latest technologies for reduced water consuption and it is the most efficient laundry in the state of Ohio.

An interesting fact about cooperatives is that they pay higher wages yet remain longer in business than standard business organizations, as I point out in the book Occupy The Market, How Green Entrepeneurship Makes Multinational. Cooperatives also have the potential to go global, such as the Mondragon Cooperative in Bilbao that earns approximately $20 billion in revenue per year, or Greystone Bakery, the first Benefit Corporation that produces over 400,000 pounds per year of brownies for Ben & Jerry’s icecreams.

The GDP-based Neoliberal economy failed to meet the economic needs of millions of Americans who live below the poverty line. Neoliberalism only benefited the 1%. Entrepreneurial initiatives that centre economic progress around Main Street are creating meaningful jobs that pay better while people meet their social and spiritual needs as well.

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Occupy The Market, How Green Entrepeneurship Makes Multinational

End Neoliberalism. Tax & Regulate The One Percent

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Picture Credit: jseattle CC BY 2.0

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