Green Recovery

With the stock market ready to record its biggest annual drop since 1931, conversation automatically advances toward January and what kind of economic recovery investors can look forward to. Pick any of the questionable words/phrases out of that last clause to gauge how out of touch we remain, from a media standpoint, with what is happening to the country, the economy and the planet in concert.

The optimism is hard to overstate; we’re a resilient people, no doubt. The dissonance is amazing. And, truthfully, we shouldn’t be cowering. But we need to put that optimism to the test and face facts. Keeping your head up when things are grim, that’s optimism. Doing the same things over and over and hoping for different results, well, that’s just another way of licking our ears clean.

This future that we’re afraid of is within site; ours is to embrace it, prickly though it be. The assumptions coming back into focus in hopes that this little economic tremor will pass need to be held as suspects for a while longer. Habeas for all – read them their rights, charge them and give them their one phone call. But hold them. We seem to never be able to concentrate on any one problem long enough to get it by the short hairs, if you will, before something conveniently displaces it. I’m not talking conspiracy here. It’s the millions of false equivalences that are a natural outcome of a shallow cultural paradigm we’ve allowed to slip into place, where everyone speaks in the language of commodity but no one understands the slang.

All you money managers out there need to hold your seats for a while. Alternate reality: Figure out something to do with your money within five hundred yards of your driveway as a method to tilt the local tax coffers again. Seriously. Economies of scale have nothing to do with humans.

Recovering the green will mean having people make things for other people. Re-establishing local identities, putting people to work, paying taxes, furthering the public good is the only way to increase the wealth of a wealthy society.