FUNDAMENTAL SYSTEMIC CHANGE

 

Along with this beautiful full moon I experienced while driving home last night, what follows is something else to ponder…

 

Full moon over North Island forest and logging road at 10.30 pm  2021-06-23 bruce witzel photo

 

From the lessons of Coronavirus, we now know for sure that many areas require system change – take Senior Care homes for example. The 2020 book The Sustainable Economy by Robert S. Devine, which I introduced in my previous post What is the Price of a Human, suggests at least these nine items to help bring about fundamental systemic change:

 

1) Redesign corporations

2) Institute fees and caps on the extraction of virgin materials

3) Bolster public services

4) Dial down the stock market’s obsession with maximizing shareholders returns

5) Expand parental leave

6) Provide a sufficient minimum wage

7) Support organized labour

8) Infuse trade agreements with strong environmental and social provisions

9) Restrict advertising. (I like that one!)

 

These suggestions are courtesy of Gus Speth, past dean of Yale Forestry and Environmental Studies and  co-chair of the The Next-System Project.

The Sustainable Economy  was well researched, detailed and insightful about current problems and solutions.

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Now I’m half way through Bending Towards Justice, by US Senator Doug Jones. As the late Rep. John Lewis writes in praise about the book: “Facing the truth of our dark past with honesty and humility is the only way this nation (USA) can heal these deep wounds.”

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In closing I’ll quote from one of my personal heroes (an economist) :

 

“Everywhere people ask: “What can I actually do?” The answer is as simple as it is disconcerting: we can, each of us, work to put our own inner house in order. The guidance we need for this work cannot be found in science or technology, the value of which utterly depends on the ends they serve; but it can still be found in . . .  traditional wisdom . . .  

The real problems of our planet are not economic or technical, they are philosophical.”

 

E.F. Schumacher, author of Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

 

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Through all our deepest ponderings, let’s opt in for the wisdom of the good earth!

 

Cheers, Bruce 

 

Francis and I in our garden, summer 2020 - Darrell McIntosh

3 thoughts on “FUNDAMENTAL SYSTEMIC CHANGE

  1. I really like Senator Jones and didn’t know of his book. I’ll be interested. And I must say that the long list of items noted as means for creating change and a more equitable economy feel so impossible, but I think, where possible, we can make personal sacrifices that may over time make a positive difference.

    Such a happy and warm photo of you and Francis. I’m so glad you shared it!

    • Maybe even to begin with a few of the points and the rest will follow….

      Here in BC we have a $15/hr min. wage… Also our Canadian Employment Insurance Plan covers up to one year parental leave after birth of anew child, to be able to be divided between either spouse…. We do need a national day car program though , which I think will help parents immensely. Less advertising?,,,, hmmm. Actually I think advertising has got a terrible negative effects in creating our consumer society. but try to stop that industry, right? Guess your right though Debra how it’s such a tall order. I think the author, Levine, admitted this in the last paragraph of the book… basically he asks “Can we do this…. create sustainable societies?” He answers his own question …”Yes we can. The real question is if we will… or rather, have the will.”

      Thanks for the kudos of the photo…. taken by one of the few friends we had over one day during the slight lull in the pandemic last summer. He’s a good photographer, isn’t he? Well, he did us good!

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