Out of a Consumer Economy’s Ashes Rises a Caring Economy

August 10, 2020

By Sydney Solis, CPS Partnership Community

The word economy comes from the Greek oikonomia, which means household thrift. In other words, an economy is supposed to work for all the people, not only for the wealthy and for politically connected corporate and religious institutions. For example, giving taxpayer funded PPP loans to private corporations so people can return to work in low wage jobs is like peasants paying taxes in the bricks they make— that their King in turn uses to build their own prison with.

The United States can reinvent itself by adhering to what capitalism calls creative destruction. In our current COVID-19 and war-ravaged world, we could choose to allow the domination system’s materialistic and environmentally destructive consumer economy to become a thing of the past, and embrace the nascent caring economy that is more relevant to the times we are living in. It’s what the market and public need to serve humanity and create meaningful, caring jobs instead of another round of vapid, meaningless employment prospects.

Solve racial inequity and the wealth gap by providing citizens some benefit for their taxes — fund tuition for every member of society to receive the education needed for innovation to address a new era, not prop up the wealthy few to retain their power.

Most workers need two jobs to make ends meet. Paying employees less than $600 a week is wage theft and akin to slavery. A much better use of taxpayer funds is to invest in human capital. Public universities, schools and libraries that serve all citizens, and not just the wealthy few, are struggling because they aren’t receiving stimulus. “The weak will not survive,” says an article in Bloomberg. Why wasn’t this silogism applied to corporations? Cities are struggling too.

Care — health care, childcare, elder care and education — is America’s fastest growing sector and the largest in demand.

Thomas Jefferson said a democracy depends on enlightened citizens, and that enlightenment is through education. But now American citizens are ending up deprived of property and homeless on the streets of our cities. The institutions that have grown up around private banks realize Jefferson’s warning about wealth inequity. The money needs to be returned to the people.

Bank of America made billions in profit in the COVID-19 downturn; Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley reported record profits. Meanwhile, Main Street evictions are inevitable, and further aid for average Americans questionable. While banks get 0 percent interest loans, student loans are currently between 2.13 and 14 percent. This formerly immoral usury is the average citizen’s norm, with credit card rates predicted to decrease to a paltry 16%. Americans are being looted.

Social scientist, scholar and author Riane Eisler offers a caring economy’s partnership system over the present domination system that enforces violence, war, and gender and wealth inequality. Care gives a high return on investment, she says in her book The Real Wealth of Nations, and the new Social Wealth Index confirms that care — health care, childcare, elder care and education — is America’s fastest growing sector and the largest in demand. Investing in human capital creates an egalitarian society, she posits, that includes minorities and women.

Harris Rosen, founder of the largest independent hotel chain in Florida, understands the power of a caring economy and says businesses owe a debt to society. He has invested more than $50 million over the years in education and preschools, knowing that education provides dividends benefiting all of society, and reduces poverty and violence by ensuring all children become productive members of society.

Although a Spanish study discussed human’s predisposition toward violence, anthropologist Douglas P. Fry, co-author with Riane Eisler of the 2019 book Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives, and Future, commented that “…the findings show that social organization is critically important in affecting human violence”. In a recent interview with Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere, Fry asserted, “Partnership is about living in balance. We need to stop promoting domination. We need to send cultural signals that encourage a partnership narrative”.

Let America rise from the ashes of this pandemic with a caring economy, bringing goodness, peace and prosperity, as well as liberty and justice for all.

Photo by Fran Hogan on Unsplash

Sydney Solis is a certified Caring Economy Advocate, an award-winning poet, author and former business reporter living in Orlando.

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