Posted by urbansuburbanecoliteracy | Posted in Economic Sustainabliity, Social Sustainability | Posted on 30-07-2010
On July 28th, the New York Times published an article about the rise of microlending (http://www NULL.nytimes NULL.com/2010/07/29/business/smallbusiness/29sbiz NULL.html?src=me&ref=business). For years, microlending has been considered an economic staple in “developing” countries. (Of course, the next question is, what are developing countries developing into?) When you consider that the same “structural adjustment” (renamed “Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (http://www NULL.imf NULL.org/external/np/exr/facts/prgf NULL.htm)” but soon to be replaced by the “Extended Credit Facility”) imposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on Africa and third world countries is very likely in the karmic cards for the United States, the time is nigh for small towns and communities to save themselves economically.
Why? Who else will do it? US cities (http://money NULL.cnn NULL.com/2010/05/28/news/economy/american_cities_broke NULL.fortune/index NULL.htm) (Vallejo (http://articles NULL.latimes NULL.com/2010/jul/27/local/la-me-bell-cuts-20100727/3), Bell, and Maywood (http://latimesblogs NULL.latimes NULL.com/lanow/2010/06/sheriffs-dept-to-patrol-maywood-while-city-employees-now-face-lay-offs NULL.html) in CA for starters) are going bankrupt and most of the states are very close to going bankrupt (http://www NULL.huffingtonpost NULL.com/2010/06/25/state-budget-crisis-46-st_n_625285 NULL.html). In a painful twist, states are passing budget cuts onto city and county governments (http://www NULL.huffingtonpost NULL.com/2010/05/29/states-local-budget-cuts_n_594630 NULL.html). So (http://www NULL.google NULL.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gPcuKLCFev6Vg7ZRNE7asQid3CtAD9GSG7303)me states have appealed to the federal government for financial help (http://www NULL.google NULL.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gPcuKLCFev6Vg7ZRNE7asQid3CtAD9GSG7303) while the country itself may very well be on the road to bankruptcy (http://www NULL.telegraph NULL.co NULL.uk/finance/2943328/US-could-be-going-bankrupt NULL.html). All the while, the DOD can’t account for $8.7 billion in Iraqi oil funds (http://www NULL.time NULL.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2006708,00 NULL.html) and the bank bailouts starting in 2009 could cost $4 trillion (http://money NULL.cnn NULL.com/2009/01/27/news/bigger NULL.bailout NULL.fortune/). Obviously that’s a lot more than the initial $700 billion handed over on a silver platter to the banks through a blatant financial coup d’etat in late 2009. While the exact pathways of the money trail may be obscure, many of us viscerally feel the corruption and graft even if we can’t necessarily name names and pinpoint addresses of the thieves.
Had enough of the bleak economic prospects? You’re not alone. The local food movement gained momentum because people wanted tastier, more nutritious fresh food but that food was more than mere sustenance for the body. It was food for the soul. People reconnected with farmers through farmers’ markets and direct purchases on the farms themselves. Through food and a growing sense of extended community discovered through personal connections cultivated with small farmers, folks reconnected with the land itself. If locally grown food is possible, why not localized loans with full transparency? There is no reason in the world why communities should NOT invest in themselves. Why should communities continue to export their wealth into the hands of banks, big box stores, and other corporate and governmental institutions that do not have those communities’ best interest at heart?
Fear, anxiety, and depression are clouding the minds and hearts of so many Americans but no one can save us except ourselves – not President Obama or his admininistration, certainly NOT Congress, and forget about the judicial branch of government. In fact, give up vain hopes that any politician can save us from ourselves. With their picadilloes and frailties, our elected officials are just as human as any of the rest of us. Nothing except ourselves can stop us from developing local cultures that meet social and economic human needs without further compromising the opportunities of future generations and the planet’s ecosystems. We’re at a point in time when ordinary people are being called to accomplish extraordinary deeds. Will you heed the prompting of your heart and conscience or run to silence both?Did you like this? If so, please bookmark it (http://www NULL.addthis NULL.com/bookmark NULL.php),