Posted 8 years ago on July 7, 2012, 2:14 p.m. EST by francismjenkins
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I think this is where the data converges, this is where we find underlying consensus. Are stock markets evil? What about a world with a stock market in every city, versus a giant, centralized and interwoven financial system? Is the concept of money necessarily a bad idea? After all, it offers immense convenience (from a mathematical perspective), and it offers reliability. Obviously a monetary system controlled by a centralized financial system is a bad idea (so much should be obvious to any reasonably intelligent observer), but what if we didn't have a centralized financial system, rather, banks were local in size and scope, community banks, credit unions, even municipal banks (and stock markets).
But I think the problem of centralization is much broader than merely our financial system (although its weaknesses are perhaps most profoundly highlighted by the cyclical chaos and corruption of our financial system).
I was in Grand Central about a week ago, read a headline in a national newspaper that said (I'm paraphrasing) ... the housing market may be rebounding. I think a few days before that I read something in another national newspaper that made the opposite claim; and it became immediately apparent, the public has been herded, like puppets on a string, our anxieties controlled by this interwoven/centralized financial, media, and political culture (add in energy giants, retail giants, etc.).
This doesn't need to be our future. The most important thing Americans can do for themselves is begin by taking control of our currency (through establishing municipal banks, owned by cities throughout the country & local cities and counties refusing to work with large financial institutions), because with control of capital, we can fund our own worker cooperatives, we can reestablish local control over retail and production and food. Our cities should also own the cable television infrastructure (as some cities in the US already do).
. . . the deregulations have led to a concentration of media ownership with fewer broadcasters competing in regional markets and the elimination of many local, independent and alternative media outlets.
Moreover, there's no reason why we can't take environmental responsibility into our own hands. Cities can gasify garbage and convert it into liquid fuels (instead of dumping it in landfills), cities can own utility companies, and implement their own renewable energy strategy (maybe in cooperation with surrounding localities).
Local governments and people need to start asserting themselves (it's not impossible).