The way forward
12. The way forward is to return to a strongly regulated banking-financial system and
restore a proper policy focus to where true economic value flows from - productive enterprise.
1. Productive enterprise not financial shell games. We identify three sectors of enterprise where true value is created:
1. Productive government enterprise which occurs at the federal, state and local levels of government. If you think government
does not produce valuable output then you apparently haven't heard of the Bonneville Power Administration.
2. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which are the tens of thousands of nonprofit entities who produce goods or provide services.
3. Private enterprise is the largest of the three sectors. Private enterprise ranges from huge multi-national corporations
to local, single person businesses.
The merit of productive enterprise needs to be assessed on a case by case basis. Many legal forms of
enterprise produce products and services that may damage people and ecosystems. Through marketing propaganda,
many products and services offer the illusion of value when in fact a local or less expensive product will do.
The Coast Range Association supports locally produced, sustainable products and services.
2. Just compensation for labor and a fair distribution of income.
Workplace freedom to associate and communicate with fellow workers is a basic right. Employees
must be protected from dismissal
when exercising the rights of labor. The right to bargain collectively for the best
wage deal must be restored. Like banking regulation, the enforcement of landmark labor laws is a record
of government failure. Labor's right to organize must be restored on a practical level. At the same time it
falls to government to address the massive disparity in income distribution.
3. The common wealth of ecosystems, land, air and water from which numerous ecosystem services flow.
The Coast Range region's economic vitality is a outcome of productive ecosystems, sustainable land
management, and the protection of our right to clean air and water. While great progress has been made
in the past fifteen years, much work remains to be done.
13. We remind coastal residents that the large percentage of coastal income from
income transfers, medical payments, and retirement incomes all flow from today's
productive enterprise and labor force. If retirement income is important to you,
then it's vital to appreciate where that income flows from - today's working population.
The take away
As the great Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki once said "Our problems are global in scale but
the solutions are all around us." Many amoung us in every community have developed expertise in ecological
issues, war and peace issues, and human rights issues. We believe that it is time to develop a grassroots expertise in
economic policy issues toward these ends:
1. Holding our elected officials accountable for their oversight of the financial system and our common
wealth. Oregon's junior senator, Jeff Merkeley, sits on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban
Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Financial Institutions. This committee is ground zero
for oversight of the financial system.
2. Building local solutions to the economic challenges we all face. Local, sustainable enterprise
should be promoted by social policy and supported by a grassroots network and political constituency.
The presentation ends with specific examples for each of the above points. At each presentation a handout of text,
website, and blog sources is provided.
If you believe the above information has merit and wish to see a presentation in your community write
Chuck Willer at the Coast Range Association. Together we'll make it happen. firstname.lastname@example.org
The graph below is from Steve Keen's Debtwatch blog, an excellent source for data and analysis of the financial crisis.
Data from Steve's blog and the Economic Policy Institute are used in the CRA presentation.
Steve Keen's Debtwatch is here: http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/
The Economic Policy Institute is here: http://www.epi.org/