Bravo to YES! magazine, whose Fall issue (link here) is devoted to examining how we can create new jobs and a new economy based on human and community needs and sustainable practices:
The jobs crisis has slipped off the political radar, but to ordinary Americans, jobs and the economy are top issues. How can we build strong local economies that sustain us in an era of ecological limits? What can we do to support each other in challenging times, and how can we rebuild the American Dream?
The Fall issue is rich with ideas and inspiration. Here are titles of some of the articles:
- Who’s Building the Do-It-Ourselves Economy?
- Work Less, Live More
- 5 Steps to Redefine Making a Living
- 7 Smart Solutions
YES! has been among the most thoughtful voices calling for a new economy, one not so much vested in “isms” (capitalism, socialism, etc.), but rather one emphasizing individual and community priorities and values in the context of a sustainable society.
It won’t come from Wall Street or Washington D.C.
Implicit in all of these pieces is the realization that human-level solutions to our economic crisis are highly unlikely to come from Wall Street or D.C. I couldn’t agree more. Our mega-institutions are simply too broken right now.
The idea of Big Business as the Great American Jobs Machine may have had some credibility decades ago, but certainly no more. Wall Street is about short-term gains and shareholder profits, and jobs creation ranks very low on its priority list.
As for many of our policy makers in the nation’s capital, the less said, the better. Few are talking about jobs; even fewer are taking the long-term view that we desperately need.
In the meantime, encouraging and enabling entrepreneurial, socially responsible initiatives at the local, grassroots levels may provide some answers to the jobs crisis and to the question of how we build a sustainable and inclusive society.
Granted, these ideas need testing and refining, and frankly some of the new jobs described in YES! will leave people wrestling with how to pay the bills each month. But the more valuable point is that we need to ask ourselves some fundamental questions about how to live healthy, meaningful, and secure lives after decades of excess and credit-driven buying frenzy. Raising these questions is very threatening to those who have reaped the benefits of the status quo, but for everyone else, they are vital.