Open Thread: How do we solve the crisis?Submitted by Michael Nystrom on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 09:30
By we, I mean "we the people."
What has become apparent so far is that the large institutions that we have tasked with running our society have been inept in 1) anticipating the crisis, 2) understanding the crisis and 3) taking steps to solve it.
The government's answer is the same as ever: Print more money. But you can't solve the problem of inflation with more inflation. That will just get us deeper in the hole. And look at the response of corporations, which has been no better. GM hasn't built a decent car for 40 years or more. They're washed up as an organization, and they're begging for money, too.
I've heard stories of credit card companies that are lowering responsible customers' credit limits - to below customers' outstanding balances - then saying, "You're over your limit." Then they raise the interest rate and charge a hefty monthly "over limit fee." I cannot think of a better example of parasitic corporate behavior.
I will be away for the weekend. In the mean time, this thread is a place to discuss alternative solutions to the crisis. The problem with the "solutions" we've seen so far from the government / the Fed is that they seem to have absolutely no understanding of the myriad problems we're facing. Credit is one problem, but it is a symptom, not the root problem.
In your comments, please address what you believe to be the root of the problem, and then how to we solve it?
Also, I'd like to hear comments on something I've been thinking about recently - alternative currencies. As we head into what is likely to be a Second Great Depression, a problem we'll see again is: a lot of people looking for work; a lot of work to be done; but no money to pay them. Alternative currencies are a parallel system of exchange that bypasses FRNs and I believe they are tax free. They are usually community based, but with the internet, we could have a big community!
For example, check out this article:
Money is like an iron ring we've put through our noses. We've forgotten that we designed it, and it's now leading us around. I think it's time to figure out where we want to go - in my opinion toward sustainability and community - and then design a money system that gets us there.
Has anyone here ever used alternative currencies? What can we learn from the Feds' raid of the Liberty Dollar, which was a gold-backed currency? What role could these currencies play in solving the 'crisis?'