Part 3 of 3:
“Getting Beyond Economic Growth”

The end of growth doesn’t mean the end of profitability, says Heinberg. Our future economy could be an ecosystem of businesses that will have to operate within limits of energy and resources.

Norberg-Hodge says that what is fundamentally behind our crises today is the “blackmailing” done to governments by giant multinational corporations. She advocates regulatory “speed bumps” to increase accountability and visibility, allowing society to shape commerce rather than commerce shaping society.

Heinberg warns of massive financial defaults throughout the world as rating agencies downgrade banks with toxic assets. He advocates across-the-board debt forgiveness not only for banks but for individuals and households the world over. Though it will be painful for everyone, he thinks that this is the only way through our financial crisis. Norberg-Hodge adds that governments are now servicing financial systems rather than the other way around - a localized bank should adhere to the rules of the local economy. Heinberg says we should be asking: WHO should be allowed to create money and what IS money?

“I think it’s really important that we get out of our silos and start talking to other people in our community right now,” he says “because we are going to be depending on our neighbors in the years ahead to a much greater degree than we are accustomed to.” He says that most of the interactions that we have with others now are commercial interactions, and we should be building bonds of trust starting with the poorest people; whether through a local food network, a jobs program or housing.

“These are the efforts that need to start right now,” he says.

Oct. 2011

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