Image credit: Peak Moment
From asking whether we are hooked on growth, to arguing that industrial civilization is unsustainable, Peak Moment TV has probed some deep and important questions about how economics can help or hinder the cause of sustainability. Their latest offering, an interview with David C. Korten, is no exception. And it's one that might just appeal across traditional divisions of left and right.David C. Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy and The Great Turning, is used to stirring up controversy. His latest writing takes aim at both Wall Street and Government, arguing that trying to adjust our current economic model is essentially just tinkering around the edges. Trying to reform Wall Street, he says, is like trying to reform the Mafia.
The real key to a more sustainable approach to economics, says Korten, is to completely reinvent our concept of wealth. Instead of focusing on monetary wealth, which is essentially based on promissory notes and debt, we need to refocus on more tangible things like the productivity of our soils, the availability of secure shelter and energy, and the strength of our community. These are things that have a direct influence on our well-being, and they are things we can achieve by working together with our neighbors. This is real wealth.
At a time when so many progressives like to complain about the Tea Party, and so many conservatives are busy freaking out about an imaginary cabal of climate scientists, Korten's words are a nice reminder of what we have in common—namely an interest in feeding, housing and clothing ourselves and our families, and in sharing these pleasures with the rest of our community. Maybe living simply really is the new American Dream...
More on Economics and Sustainability
Living Simply: An Alternative American Dream? (Video)
Are We Hooked on Growth? (Video)
Is Being Uncivilized Sustainable? (Video)
Confessions of an Economic Hitman (Video)